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Turin Throws Big Party to Start Olympics (AP)
Fireworks light up the Olympic rings during the opening ceremony of the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Turin, Italy, Friday, Feb. 10, 2006. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian, Pool)AP - Mix in some song, dance and a squealing Ferrari, and cap it off with some opera. That's amore — for the Turin Olympics.


Miller Time: Can Bode Live Up to Hype? (AP)
Bode Miller of the United States speeds down the course during training for the Men's Downhill at the Turin 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Sestriere Borgata, Italy, Friday, Feb. 10, 2006. (AP Photo/Alessandro Trovati)AP - Bode, Bode, Bode. For the last few months, that's what the Olympics buildup probably seemed to be all about for most members of the U.S. squad.


Old Is New Again as Raiders Hire Shell (AP)
Los Angeles Raiders head coach Art Shell watches from the sidelines as his team plays the Seattle Seahawks, Sept. 11, 1994,  in Los Angeles. The, now, Oakland Raiders' coaching search finally came to an end Friday night, Feb. 10, 2006,  when the team hired former coach Shell to replace Norv Turner. (AP Photo/Eric Draper,file)AP - Al Davis finally found a new coach for the Oakland Raiders — a man he regretted firing more than a decade ago. Art Shell was hired for his second stint as Raiders coach Friday night, one day after Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt became the latest candidate to tell the team he didn't want the job.


Nuggets Snap Mavs' 13-Game Winning Streak (AP)
Denver Nuggets guard Andre Miller, left, reacts as he is fouled while going up for a shot by Dallas Mavericks center DeSagana Diop of Senegal in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Denver on Friday, Feb. 10, 2006. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)AP - Kenyon Martin scored a season-high 34 points, while Carmelo Anthony added 24 points and a career-high 10 assists in the Denver Nuggets' 113-104 win over Dallas on Friday night, snapping the Mavericks' 13-game winning streak.


Missouri Coach Quin Snyder Resigns (AP)
University of Missouri head basketball coach watches his team play against Illinois December 21, 2005, in St. Louis.   One day after saying he planned to finish the season, coach  Snyder resigned Friday, Feb. 10, 2006, ending a seven-year stint that began with high hopes but ended in disappointment. AP Photo/Tom Gannam)AP - Missouri basketball coach Quin Snyder resigned Friday, one day after saying he planned to finish what had become a disappointing season.


Shell to return as Oakland Raiders head coach (Reuters)
Reuters - Art Shell is to return for a second stint as head coach of the Oakland Raiders, the AFC West team confirmed on its Web site on Friday.

Reserve Wilkins Leads Sonics Over Hawks (AP)
Atlanta Hawks' Al Harrington (3) releases a shot in front of Seattle SuperSonics' Robert Swift (31) during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game Friday, Feb. 10, 2006, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jim Bryant)AP - When Damien Wilkins heard Rashard Lewis was not returning, he didn't consider it an opportunity. Instead, he got worried.


Soriano loses arbitration, but will make $10 million (Reuters)
Former Texas Rangers baserunner Alfonso Soriano (bottom) steals second base by beating the throw to Seattle Mariners second baseman Jose Lopez (top) during the second inning of their game at Safeco Field in Seattle, September 29, 2005. (Anthony P. Bolante/Reuters)Reuters - All-star second baseman Alfonso Soriano lost his arbitration case to the Washington Nationals but will make a record $10 million this season, Major League Baseball said on its website on Friday.


Twellman Leads U.S. Socccer Over Japan (AP)
United States' Taylor Twellman battles Japan's Yuji Nakazawa during the first half of an international friendly soccer match Friday, Feb. 10, 2006, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Dino Vournas)AP - Taylor Twellman strengthened his case for making the U.S. World Cup roster, setting up two goals and scoring a third to lead the national team to a 3-2 victory over Japan on Friday night.


Sharks Beat Pacific Leader Dallas 6-3 (AP)
AP - Jonathan Cheechoo helped San Jose take the lead by being in the right place at the right time. He extended the lead with a more forceful goal. Cheechoo scored two of San Jose's four goals in the second period and the Sharks beat the Pacific Division-leading Dallas Stars 6-3 Friday night.

Upon further review …
Some Super-sized blunders in Detroit have Larry ready to throw the red flag in protest.

Raiders bring back Art Shell as coach (AP)
Al Davis finally found a new coach for the Oakland Raiders -- a man he regretted firing more than a decade ago. Art Shell was hired for his second stint as Raiders coach Friday night, one day after Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt became the latest candidate to tell the team he didn't want the job.

Texans extend Carr's deal three years (AP)
David Carr will be with the Houston Texans another three years, perhaps an indication the team might favor Heisman Trophy running back Reggie Bush over Texas quarterback Vince Young with the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft. The Texans had the option of extending their quarterback's contract for two seasons, but Friday decided to make it three instead.

Hall of Fame inductees meet in Hawaii (AP)
Rayfield Wright changed positions to try and help the Dallas Cowboys win, moving from tight end to right tackle. He remembers the first play at his new position vividly. It wasn't pretty. "I was thrown back into my quarterback the first time I lined up in training camp," Wright recalled Friday. "I ended on top of Craig (Morton).

Alexander, Barber twins turn heads (AP)
Tiki and Ronde Barber are often mistaken for each other. Throw look-a-like Shaun Alexander into the mix and it causes mass confusion among fans and even their NFC Pro Bowl teammates. Fans have confused Alexander, the NFL MVP, with the Barber twins ever since his rookie year with the Seattle Seahawks in 2000.

Michaels traded to NBC for cartoon bunny (AP)
The deal that allowed Al Michaels to jump from ABC to NBC includes a variety of business transactions -- and one rabbit being pulled out of a hat. A very old hat. By granting Michaels his exit papers, The Walt Disney Co., ABC's parent company, will get back a piece of its history from NBC Universal: the first animated character created by Disney and the forerunner to Mickey Mouse.

Kubiak: Sherman mulling coaching future (AP)
Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak said Friday that Mike Sherman will decide "over the next three or four days" whether he'll coach next season -- and possibly join the Texans' staff. "Mike's going to make a decision over the next three or four days whether he wants to come back and coach this season," Kubiak said.

Edwards expects Shields, Holmes back (AP)
After talking with guard Will Shields and running back Priest Holmes, new Chiefs coach Herman Edwards believes there is a good chance they'll be back next season. He was less confident that troubled wide receiver Terrell Owens might soon join the Chiefs. Edwards and team president Carl Peterson indicated last month they would be interested in exploring the possibility of signing Owens, who could...

Alexander: Seahawks contacted my agent (AP)
Shaun Alexander said Thursday that the Seahawks contacted his agent earlier this week to discuss the league MVP's future with the team. Alexander, who skipped light drills Thursday while resting his sprained right foot for the Pro Bowl, will become one of the league's most coveted free agents if he doesn't re-sign with the Seahawks before March 3.

Lawsuit against Bengals, NFL dismissed (AP)
A judge on Thursday dismissed Hamilton County's federal antitrust lawsuit against the Cincinnati Bengals and the National Football League because the suit was not filed within the four-year statute of limitations. U.S. District Judge S. Arthur Spiegel threw out the suit without getting to the merits of the county's argument that the Bengals misled taxpayers and officials by contending they needed a...

What's the deal, Isiah?
The Jalen Rose trade is just another example of Isiah Thomas' master plan – or lack of one.

Nuggets end Mavericks 13-game win streak (AP)
After spending a week answering questions about his character and his health, Kenyon Martin let his game do the talking. Martin scored a season-high 34 points, while Carmelo Anthony added 24 points and a career-high 10 assists in the Denver Nuggets' 113-104 win over Dallas on Friday night, snapping the Mavericks' 13-game winning streak.

Spurs end Nets 12-game home win streak (AP)
In between runs to the bathroom, Tim Duncan had enough left to help San Antonio keep its own run alive and end New Jersey's. Still affected by the flu-like symptoms that kept him out of the Spurs' last game, Duncan struggled early but made some key plays down the stretch as San Antonio beat New Jersey 83-73 Friday night to snap the Nets' 12-game home winning streak and prevent them from tying the...

Brand scores 44, Clippers win 30th game (AP)
Elton Brand couldn't have picked a better time to have one of his best games in the NBA. Brand tied a career high with 44 points in his first game since being named to the All-Star game, and the Los Angeles Clippers celebrated Mike Dunleavy's 1,000th regular-season game as an NBA head coach with a 91-87 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night.

Arenas takes All-Star snub out on Cavs (AP)
Gilbert Arenas turned his conflicting All-Star emotions into another big game. Brendan Haywood won a battle of temperaments that got Zydrunas Ilgauskas ejected in the fourth quarter. Antawn Jamison found his stroke at a vital stretch in the waning minutes. Oh yeah, and LeBron James had an off night. There wasn't much to get in the way of a fourth straight Washington Wizards victory Friday night.

Rasheed Wallace, Hamilton power Pistons (AP)
The Orlando Magic could have used a few All-Stars of their own Friday night. Instead, they were all playing for the other team. Rasheed Wallace scored 26 points and Richard Hamilton added 23 as the Detroit Pistons cruised to an 84-73 victory. Chauncey Billups had 11 points and 14 assists, while Ben Wallace contributed 10 rebounds for the Pistons.

Nash leads Suns past Kings 112-104 (AP)
Another night, another lead nearly blown for the Phoenix Suns. Steve Nash scored 24 points, including a key basket and a pair of late free throws, helping the Suns withstand a furious fourth-quarter Sacramento comeback and beat the Kings 112-104 Friday night. "It's pretty common for us to give up big leads," Nash said.

Brown: Marbury out until All-Star break (AP)
New York Knicks coach Larry Brown said Friday he expects to be without point guard Stephon Marbury until after the All-Star break. Marbury missed his fifth straight game Friday night against New Orleans with a bruised left shoulder. He also missed three others in January. The Knicks lost their first seven games without the two-time All-Star.

Backup guard Claxton leads Hornets (AP)
Without their budding star at point guard, the New Orleans Hornets took care of the ball and exploited a weak Knicks defense for a confidence-building win. Speedy Claxton scored 18 points and added a season-high 11 assists in place of injured point guard Chris Paul and David West added 21 points and 10 rebounds in the Hornets' 111-100 win against New York on Friday night.

Pierce, Celtics rout Blazers 115-83 (AP)
The Boston Celtics finally played the way they expected to when they acquired Wally Szczerbiak two weeks ago. Paul Pierce scored 20 of his 35 points in the third quarter, and the Celtics beat the Portland Trail Blazers 115-83 Friday night to snap their season-high, six-game losing streak. Boston won for the second time in eight games since acquiring Szczerbiak from Minnesota in a seven-player trade...

Power rankings
After opening the season ranked in the bottom five, Carolina enters the Olympic break poised to claim the Presidents' Trophy.

Gretzky, wife go to Turin despite probe (AP)
Janet Jones will accompany husband Wayne Gretzky to Italy for the Winter Olympics, a few days after she was implicated in an alleged gambling ring involving NHL players. Gretzky, the executive director of Canada's Olympic hockey team, previously said he was going to Turin this weekend. His wife was going, too, her publicist Elliot Mintz confirmed Friday.

Pens post rare road win, top Hurricanes (AP)
The Pittsburgh Penguins had bookend goals in the second period, one in the opening 16 seconds and the other in the final minute. That, along with an inspired effort during the rest of the game, was enough to carry them to a much-needed victory. "Anytime you play hockey, you want to play with momentum," Sidney Crosby said.

Olympians lift Rangers past Maple Leafs (AP)
Henrik Lundqvist's stellar rookie season has been that much better because he hasn't had to face the rejuvenated Jaromir Jagr. That could all change soon enough with an Olympic medal on the line. "Jaromir Jagr is on fire right now," Lundqvist said. "It's going to be tough for Sweden next week." Jagr, the Czech Republic's star forward, scored twice and added an assist in New York's four-goal second...

Death of Marc Potvin ruled suicide (AP)
The death of former NHL player Marc Potvin has been ruled a suicide. The 38-year-old Potvin used a belt to hang himself from a shower curtain rod, police Sgt. Scott Merlo said Friday. Potvin, coach of the Adirondack Frostbite of the United Hockey League, was found dead Jan. 13 in his Kalamazoo hotel room just hours before his team was to play against the Kalamazoo Wings.

Short-handed Flyers hold off Capitals (AP)
Unlikely contributions from an enforcer and a fourth-line player gave the Philadelphia Flyers a much-needed lift. Sami Kapanen scored the go-ahead goal and Brian Savage had two power-play scores, leading the injury-depleted Flyers to a 5-4 victory over the undermanned Washington Capitals on Friday night.

Svatos' two goals lift Avalanche to win (AP)
In a typical season, Marek Svatos might be running away with the rookie of the year award. Instead, he may be run over by a hyped bunch of first-year stars. Svatos scored twice in a 3-minute span of the third period to lead the Colorado Avalanche to a 4-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday night.

Phaneuf's OT goal gets Flames past Blues (AP)
Dion Phaneuf did his part to ensure the Calgary Flames entered the Olympic break atop the Northwest Division. The rookie defenseman scored twice, including the game-winner in overtime, to lead Calgary to a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Blues on Friday night. Andrew Ference also scored for Calgary, which played its final game before the hiatus for the Turin Games.

McDonald helps Ducks over Canucks 3-1 (AP)
After getting a day off to rest, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks came out strong against the Vancouver Canucks. A day after riding bikes around scenic Stanley Park and the Vancouver waterfront, the Mighty Ducks jumped out to an early three-goal lead, then hung on in the third period to beat the Canucks 3-1 Friday night.

Cheechoo, Michalek power Sharks to win (AP)
Jonathan Cheechoo helped San Jose take the lead by being in the right place at the right time. He extended the lead with a more forceful goal. Cheechoo scored two of San Jose's four goals in the second period and the Sharks beat the Pacific Division-leading Dallas Stars 6-3 Friday night. Milan Michalek also had two goals, and Joe Thornton and Alyn McCauley also scored as the Sharks won their second...

Good times
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Saturday's Bud Shootout promises to be a heck of a show.

Vickers trying to rebound from early troubles (AP)
Brian Vickers' first outing of the season ended early.

NASCAR season starts at Daytona (SportsTicker)
DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (Ticker) Another NASCAR season is here, meaning the roar of engines emanating from Daytona International Speedway.

Earnhardt Jr. confident troubles are behind him (AP)
While Dale Earnhardt Jr. would just as soon forget last season, the lessons he learned have him anxious to start this season.

Schrader gains pole for Budweiser Shootout (SportsTicker)
By Bruce Martin SportsTicker Contributing Editor

DaimlerChrysler to get $6.5 million from Davis (AP)
DaimlerChrysler won a $6.5 million judgment Thursday against Bill Davis Racing for breach of contract.

Harvick says no one has filled Earnhardt's shoes (AP)
In at least one way, Dale Earnhardt may have been irreplaceable.

NASCAR launches effort to boost diversity (AP)
NASCAR is revving up its efforts to bolster diversity in stock car racing with a new plan to train and hire more minorities to drive, work the pits and handle its business.

Stewart's title defense, Gordon and Earnhardt among things to watch (AP)
CHARLOTTE – Tony Stewart marked his time off by flipping a sprint car during a race, visiting the White...

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