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L.T., Chargers shut out Raiders 27-0 (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060912/ap_on_sp_fo_ga_su/fbn_chargers_raiders"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20060912/capt.e2446686e73845e59b41e2bb3d202dbb.chargers_raiders_football_caps10.jpg?x=101&y=130&sig=WbX2IhCpNO9Mbc1q6o0HwA--" align="left" height="130" width="101" alt="San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson goes for good yardage against the Oakland Raiders in the first quarter of their NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 11, 2006 in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)" border="0" /></a>AP - LaDainian Tomlinson and Shawne Merriman made Philip Rivers' job easy. In his first NFL start Monday night, Rivers didn't do much more than hand the ball off and watch his defense dominate. He didn't have to: Tomlinson carried 31 times for 131 yards and one touchdown and the Chargers handed Oakland its second home shutout in a 27-0 victory over the Raiders on Monday night.</p><br clear="all"/>

Vikings win debut under Childress, 19-16 (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060912/ap_on_sp_fo_ga_su/fbn_vikings_redskins"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20060912/capt.c5f630ac876743f7b2a1dcdc572c9f34.vikings_redskins_football_fdx215.jpg?x=130&y=104&sig=H2EcqlnXaP4oSMm6BBwN1Q--" align="left" height="104" width="130" alt="Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brad Johnson (14) rolls out of the pocket against the Washington Redskins during a football game, Monday, Sept. 11, 2006, in Landover, Md. Johnson led a 54-yard fourth-quarter drive, capped by Ryan Longwell's 31-yard field goal with one minute remaining, to give the Vikings a 19-16 victory.(AP Photo/Nick Wass)" border="0" /></a>AP - Two days before his 38th birthday, Brad Johnson was the one handing out a very nice present. In the locker room, the quarterback gave the game ball to new head coach Brad Childress, whose mission to transform the Minnesota Vikings is off to a winning start.</p><br clear="all"/>

Patriots trade Deion Branch to Seahawks (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060912/ap_on_sp_fo_ne/fbn_patriots_branch"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20060911/capt.c23a3b20f59e4d1a9a0642972afb04a7.branch_traded_football_mass103.jpg?x=130&y=101&sig=ZNiGI1_D3SLuK.VAQ1Cb2g--" align="left" height="101" width="130" alt="Super Bowl XXXIX Most Valuable Player Deion Branch of the New England Patriots holds up the Vince Lombardi trophy after the Patriots defeated the Philadelphia Eagles, 24-21 in Jacksonville, Fla., in this Sunday, Feb. 6, 2005 file photo. The New England Patriots ended the holdout of Branch on Monday, Sept. 11, 2006 by trading him to the Seattle Seahawks for a high draft pick. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)" border="0" /></a>AP - Even sore ribs couldn't contain Matt Hasselbeck's excitement over having former New England Super Bowl MVP Deion Branch to throw to as his newest Seahawks receiver.</p><br clear="all"/>

Cuddyer pulls Twins closer to Tigers (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060912/ap_on_sp_ba_ga_su/bba_athletics_twins"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20060912/capt.2274b293548d4d4fb765f83407e4684e.athletics_twins_baseball_mnpb105.jpg?x=120&y=130&sig=D.N4_s3.5_Co1NwO.SxWSA--" align="left" height="130" width="120" alt="Minnesota Twins' Michael Cuddyer (5) is congratulated by teammate Joe Mauer (7) after hitting a two-run home run against Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Joe Blanton during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Monday, Sept. 11, 2006, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Paul Battaglia)" border="0" /></a>AP - Carlos Silva's trusty sinker is working again, and September was a great time to find it. Silva threw seven smooth innings, Michael Cuddyer homered and drove in four runs and the Minnesota Twins beat the Oakland Athletics 9-4 Monday night to move within 1 1/2 games of idle Detroit in the AL Central.</p><br clear="all"/>

Ross hits 3 homers in Marlins' 16-5 rout (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060912/ap_on_sp_ba_ga_su/bbn_mets_marlins"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20060912/capt.b5feb3cf8ed54ccfb8808f5c1911d833.mets_marlins_baseball_mds103.jpg?x=130&y=113&sig=3pgN2zhCYyvOjslPWqXz9w--" align="left" height="113" width="130" alt="Florida Marlins' Cody Ross (12) is congratulated by teammate Miguel Cabrera after hitting a three-run home run against the New York Mets in the first inning of a baseball game Monday, Sept. 11, 2006 in Miami. Miguel Cabrera and Wes Helms scored on the home run. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)" border="0" /></a>AP - There's something about the Cody Ross-Anibal Sanchez duo that works for the surging Florida Marlins.</p><br clear="all"/>

Longwell boots Vikings past Redskins, Chargers cruise (Reuters)
Reuters - Ryan Longwell booted a 31-yard field goal with a minute to play to earn the Minnesota Vikings a 19-16 win over the Washington Redskins in the opening Monday night game of the NFL season.

Croatian NBA standout Kukoc calls it quits (AFP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20060912/sp_afp/basketnbakukoccro"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/afp/20060912/capt.sge.mkp67.120906061014.photo00.photo.default-394x512.jpg?x=100&y=130&sig=I1HzBcI15AGvuqgDBCQr3Q--" align="left" height="130" width="100" alt="Toni Kukoc, pictured scoring over over Udonis Haslem of the Miami Heat in a game in April, is set to conclude his National Basketball Association career, the 13-year veteran saying he plans to call it quits because the only clubs near his home are not interested in him.(AFP/Getty Images/File/Doug Benc)" border="0" /></a>AFP - Toni Kukoc is set to conclude his National Basketball Association career, the 13-year veteran saying he plans to call it quits because the only clubs near his home are not interested in him.</p><br clear="all"/>

Vidro, Johnson help Nats swat D'Backs (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060912/ap_on_sp_ba_ga_su/bbn_nationals_diamondbacks"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20060912/capt.5692a5782e2e4d04b2c6237a112715eb.nationals_diamondbacks_baseball_pnc109.jpg?x=130&y=93&sig=wSOLEdmwit3ZPpEl1ErMnQ--" align="left" height="93" width="130" alt="Washington Nationals' Felipe Lopez, left, is congratulated by manager Frank Robinson, right, and teammate Alfonso Soriano, center, as Lopez returns to the dugout after scoring the game-winning run after Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Luis Vizcaino walked Nationals' Jose Vidro with the bases loaded in the ninth inning of an MLB baseball game Monday, Sept. 11, 2006, in Phoenix. The Nationals defeated the Diamondbacks 7-6. (AP Photo/Paul Connors)" border="0" /></a>AP - Washington second baseman Jose Vidro sought out manager Frank Robinson recently. Vidro wanted Robinson to know that he was no longer bothered by the hamstring injury that sidelined him for a month.</p><br clear="all"/>

Disgraced Juventus now on Italy's B list (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060911/ap_on_sp_so_ne/soc_sports_showcase"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20060909/capt.21e4300d80b04851b78abc90f9806975.italy_soccer_demoted_juventus_rim113.jpg?x=77&y=130&sig=2EZZG8OxmXLAInBdU3ApDw--" align="left" height="130" width="77" alt="Juventus forward Alessandro del Piero reacts during an Italian second division Serie B soccer match between Rimini and Juventus, at the Rimini stadium, Italy, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2006. (AP Photo/Massimo Pinca)" border="0" /></a>AP - Talk about a change of scenery. Just more than two months ago, Alessandro Del Piero, Gianluigi Buffon and Mauro Camoranesi lifted the World Cup trophy before a packed stadium, with hundreds of millions watching around the world.</p><br clear="all"/>

Flyers sign top scorer Gagne for 5 years (AP)
AP - Simon Gagne signed a multiyear contract and is heading to Philadelphia as fast as he can.

Feeling right at home
Several teams entered venues that are historically tough places to play and posted Week 1 wins.

L.T. leads Chargers past Raiders 27-0 (AP)
LaDainian Tomlinson and Shawne Merriman made Philip Rivers' job easy. In his first NFL start Monday night, Rivers didn't do much more than hand the ball off and watch his defense dominate. He didn't have to: Tomlinson carried 31 times for 131 yards and one touchdown and the Chargers handed Oakland its second home shutout in a 27-0 victory over the Raiders on Monday night.

Vikings beat Redskins 19-16 on late FG (AP)
Two days before his 38th birthday, Brad Johnson was the one handing out a very nice present. In the locker room, the quarterback gave the game ball to new head coach Brad Childress, whose mission to transform the Minnesota Vikings is off to a winning start. Ryan Longwell's 31-yard field goal with one minute remaining gave the Vikings a 19-16 victory over the Washington Redskins on Monday night.

Pats send WR Branch to Seahawks for pick (AP)
Even sore ribs couldn't contain Matt Hasselbeck's excitement over having former New England Super Bowl MVP Deion Branch to throw to as his newest Seahawks receiver. Branch's arrival had Hasselbeck laughing Monday through ribs that hurt enough from the battering by the Detroit Lions a day earlier, he held them while jogging through a short conditioning session.

Chiefs QB Green out indefinitely (AP)
Trent Green sustained a "very, very severe concussion" when his head was slammed into the ground by Cincinnati's Robert Geathers and will be hospitalized at least until Tuesday, the Kansas City Chiefs said. "He's feeling much better," Chiefs President Carl Peterson said Monday. "But he has a very king-sized headache.

Disgruntled Porter inactive for Raiders (AP)
Jerry Porter, the Oakland Raiders' leading receiver last season, was inactive for the season opener Monday night against the San Diego Chargers. Porter's role on the team has greatly diminished after he clashed with new coach Art Shell in the offseason over his offseason workout plans. Porter demanded a trade at the start of training camp, but the Raiders have declined to grant his wish.

Colts ready to start 'regular' season (AP)
Now that the Manning Bowl is history, the Indianapolis Colts can finally start their "regular" season. As players and coaches quietly filed into the team's complex Monday, many including the usually unflappable Tony Dungy confirmed what most outsiders suspected: The hype leading up to Sunday's game was a distraction.

Bledsoe Cowboys' starter, 'right now' (AP)
Drew Bledsoe put his hands behind his hips, arched his back and grimaced, partly from the pain and perhaps partly to brace himself for the questions he knew were coming -- about his lousy outing in the Dallas Cowboys' season-opening loss and about the inevitable cries for backup Tony Romo to take his place.

Payton happy for New Orleans after win (AP)
Sean Payton's eyes wandered reflectively to an empty space in a room crowded with reporters and TV cameras. The subject was the rookie head coach's triumphant debut with the rebuilding New Orleans Saints -- a perfect chance for Payton to pat himself on the back, not that he had any inclination to do so.

Gruden: Bucs' loss was humiliating (AP)
The frustration in Jon Gruden's voice intensified with each word. His Tampa Bay Buccaneers were embarrassed by the Baltimore Ravens on opening day, and the coach took the team's poor performance on offense personally. "The entire football game is your responsibility. When you get beat like that ... you didn't do a very good job to say the least," Gruden said Monday, reflecting on Sunday's 27-0...

Makes and Misses: Red, white and … boo?
In the latest mailbag, Team USA had more than its share of critics from around the world.

Magic G Redick gets probation for DWI (AP)
J.J. Redick pleaded guilty Monday to drunken driving charges and received a one-year sentence of unsupervised probation. The former Duke basketball star also received a 60-day suspended license in North Carolina, $410 in fees and court costs and must perform 24 hours of community service, according to Candy Clark, administrative assistant to District Attorney Mike Nifong.

Cavs finalize $23M deal with F Gooden (AP)
The Cavaliers finally got Drew Gooden's autograph. Almost one month after he agreed to terms of a three-year, $23 million contract, Gooden signed the deal Monday, giving the club a power forward it believes can get it further into the playoffs. The signing of Gooden's deal was delayed so he could get a physical, and so his agents could finalize details on the package.

Celtics sign C Perkins to extension (AP)
Kendrick Perkins signed a multiyear contract extension Monday with the Boston Celtics after the center had the best of his three seasons with the team. "It is great to have one of our building blocks secured for the next few years," said Danny Ainge, the Celtics' executive director of basketball operations.

Bobcats sign Argentine F Herrmann (AP)
The Charlotte Bobcats signed forward Walter Herrmann of Argentina on Monday to a one-year contract on Monday. Herrmann's agent George Bass said the deal includes a team option for a second season. Financial terms were not disclosed. The 6-foot-9 Herrmann averaged 9.8 points and shot 47 percent from 3-point range while playing for his native country in last month's world championships.

Barkley, Wilkins and Dumars enter Hall (AP)
Charles Barkley played the comedian Friday during his induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame. But, behind the scenes, he also sounded a lot like a role model. He drew laughs by thanking his financial adviser for protecting his money but threw in a little advice for today's players. "I tell all these young kids, the money you make, save it, put it in the bank.

Grizzlies F Gasol to be out four months (AP)
Memphis Grizzlies forward Pau Gasol will be sidelined for four months after surgery to repair a broken bone in his left foot. The 7-foot Gasol is scheduled to leave for his native Spain on Monday for a two-week trip and begin rehabilitation upon returning to Memphis, the Grizzlies said Friday. He broke the bone last week while playing for Spain during the world championships in Japan.

Nuggets re-sign F Reggie Evans (AP)
The Denver Nuggets re-signed forward Reggie Evans to a multiyear contract. Terms were not released. The 26-year-old Evans averaged 5.2 points, 8.7 rebounds and 23.3 minutes in 26 games with the Nuggets last season. The Nuggets acquired him from Seattle in a four-team trade Feb. 23 that also sent Charles Smith and Ruben Patterson to Denver.

Flyers sign LW Gagne to five-year deal (AP)
Simon Gagne signed a multiyear contract and is heading to Philadelphia as fast as he can. "I am pretty excited today and I cannot wait to pack up my stuff and drive to Philly (Tuesday)," Gagne said. Gagne should feel free to splurge on that premium gas. The Flyers re-signed their leading scorer to a five-year contract Monday night, ending a summer of difficult negotiations right before the start of...

Predators give G Vokoun $22.8M extension (AP)
The Nashville Predators made sure goaltender Tomas Vokoun knows exactly how much they appreciate him. A franchise that lost in the opening round of the playoffs last spring with Vokoun out because of blood clots announced Monday they have signed the 30-year-old goalie to a four-year extension and given him the franchise's richest contract ever at $22.8 million.

'Canes' Kaberle could miss 4-to-6 months (AP)
Frantisek Kaberle, who scored the Stanley Cup-winning goal for the Carolina Hurricanes this year, had shoulder surgery Monday and could miss up to six months. Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford said the 32-year-old defenseman had the operation in Chicago to repair a lingering injury. He is expected to be out at least four months.

Canucks re-sign Linden to one-year deal (AP)
Trevor Linden re-signed with the Vancouver Canucks, agreeing to a one-year deal worth $600,000. The 36-year-old center will also be able to earn another $200,000 should he reach certain incentive bonuses. Linden had seven goals and nine assists in 82 games with the Canucks last season, his 17th in the NHL and 14th with the Canucks.

Blue Jackets ink D Westcott to extension (AP)
The Columbus Blue Jackets re-signed defenseman Duvie Westcott on Monday to a three-year contract extension through the 2009-10 season. Westcott is coming off the best year of his NHL career as he established career highs in games (78), goals (six), assists (22), points (28) and penalty minutes (133).

Malkin goes through workout with Pens (AP)
Evgeni Malkin has understood for a while now that he will have to learn English to maximize his potential in the National Hockey League -- to say nothing of his life in the United States. Malkin -- the No. 2 selection in the 2004 NHL draft behind fellow Russian and 2005-06 NHL rookie of the year Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals -- might not understand his coaches, but they say his...

Sabres re-sign G Miller to 3-year deal (AP)
BUFFALO, N.Y. (CP) -- The Buffalo Sabres re-signed Ryan Miller to a three-year deal Friday, ensuring that their No. 1 goalie won't miss the start of training camp next week. The 26-year-old Miller was 30-14-3 with a 2.60 goals-against average in 48 regular season games as a rookie last season. Despite missing 18 games with a fractured thumb, he finished among the top 10 in wins, GAA and save...

WWD: Chevy Rock & Roll 400
Kevin Harvick and Kasey Kahne came up big at Richmond. Tony Stewart? Not so much.

Petty Enterprises gets new crew chiefs (AP)
Petty Enterprises hired two new crew chiefs Monday as the team said it will use the final 10 races of this season to prepare for 2007.

Martin might not be done driving, after all (AP)
With zero titles in an otherwise storied career, Mark Martin again heads into the Chase for the championship as the sentimental favorite. This is supposed to be his final full-time season, his last chance to make a desperate grab at an elusive NASCAR crown.

Harvick grows into title contender (AP)
Nothing was easy for Kevin Harvick from his very first day at NASCAR's highest level.

Stewart folds at Richmond, misses cut for Chase (SportsTicker)
RICHMOND, Virginia (Ticker) - Far away from all the hoopla, celebration and screaming fans on pit road, Tony Stewart's team quietly pushed its Chevrolet Monte Carlo to the garage.

Harvick wins at Richmond, Stewart misses Chase (SportsTicker)


Roush not satisfied with 2 championships (AP)
Jack Roush calls himself ``a racing dog,'' and two championships in NASCAR's top stock car series have only increased his enthusiasm.

Chase formula -- wins vs. consistency -- still debated (AP)
Kasey Kahne entered Saturday night's Chevy Rock & Roll 400 leading the NASCAR Nextel Cup series with five victories but without a spot in the 10-race playoff. He took care of that with a third-place run that got him a spot.

Kahne off the bubble and into the Chase (AP)
Kasey Kahne managed to get himself off the bubble and into NASCAR's Chase for the Nextel Cup championship.

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