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NEWS FROM 2007-01-08
Ohio State vs. Florida on tap tonight
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070108/ap_on_sp_co_ne/fbc_t25_bcs_championship"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070108/capt.aztw11201080234.bcs_championship_football_aztw112.jpg?x=130&y=80&sig=AvuT4p2MhHfVqhhpvE7I6A--" align="left" height="80" width="130" alt="Florida football fans cheer at a fan rally Sunday, Jan. 7, 2007 in Scottsdale, Ariz. Florida will face Ohio State Monday in the BCS Championship game. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)" border="0" /></a>AP - Ohio State and Florida are set to usher in a new era in college football, one where it doesn't take a bowl to produce a champion.</p><br clear="all"/>
Eagles kick Giants out of playoffs
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070108/ap_on_sp_fo_ga_su/fbn_giants_eagles_folo"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070108/capt.pada12501080128.giants_eagles_football_pada125.jpg?x=101&y=130&sig=6cRFRzSk7f6U602UUYUVgw--" align="left" height="130" width="101" alt="Philadelphia Eagles kicker David Akers kicks the winning field goal to give the Eagles a 23-20 victory over the New York Giants in the NFL wild card football game in Philadelphia Sunday, Jan. 7, 2007. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)" border="0" /></a>AP - Some players watched the snap. Others focused on the hold. Few saw the kick. The reaction of the fans let them know everything went smoothly on this one.</p><br clear="all"/>
San Diego next stop for Patriots
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070108/ap_on_sp_fo_ga_su/fbn_jets_patriots"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070107/capt.maea10201072234.jets_patriots_football_maea102.jpg?x=123&y=130&sig=aFkQU0OMvAjRi9OnDYPmmg--" align="left" height="130" width="123" alt="New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws under pressure from New York Jets safety Kerry Rhodes (25) during their 37-16 victory over the New York Jets in their AFC wild-card playoff football game in Foxborough, Mass. Sunday, Jan. 7, 2006. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)" border="0" /></a>AP - Bill Belichick had one more lesson for Eric Mangini: As long as he still has Tom Brady, the New England Patriots are a dangerous team in the playoffs.</p><br clear="all"/>
End to season catches Jets off guard
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070108/ap_on_sp_fo_ne/fbn_jets_lose"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070107/capt.bxs12001072243.jets_patriots_football_bxs120.jpg?x=130&y=96&sig=KvOUU.pxFvQYCAhxiHct3g--" align="left" height="96" width="130" alt="New York Jets quarterback Chad Pennington, right, congratulates New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick after the Patriots beat the Jets 37-16 in an AFC wild-card playoff football game in Foxborough, Mass., Sunday, Jan. 7, 2007. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)" border="0" /></a>AP - When Jonathan Vilma allowed himself to fantasize, he pictured himself taking the field for the Super Bowl in Miami, where he grew up and went to college.</p><br clear="all"/>
Petrino to coach Atlanta Falcons
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070108/ap_on_sp_fo_ne/fbn_falcons_petrino"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070108/capt.ny15401080238.falcons_petrino_football_ny154.jpg?x=92&y=130&sig=QPeHrnLtnP_RDP1doEQtXA--" align="left" height="130" width="92" alt="Louisville's head coach Bobby Petrino, left, talks with quarterback Brian Brohm during NCAA football action against in this Nov. 9, 2006 file photo in Piscataway, N.J. Petrino agreed Sunday, Jan. 7, 2007 to become the new coach of the Atlanta Falcons, moving to the NFL less than a week after the firing of Jim Mora. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)" border="0" /></a>AP - Bobby Petrino received plenty of offers during his four years as Louisville coach. Finally, he got one worth taking.</p><br clear="all"/>
Broncos mourn slain teammate in Texas
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070108/ap_on_sp_fo_ne/fbn_broncos_williams_killed"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070106/capt.txrh13101062343.broncos_williams_funeral_football_txrh131.jpg?x=130&y=86&sig=6QugDKL.JivmMK.y2eM1vQ--" align="left" height="86" width="130" alt="Denver Broncos owner at Pat Bowlen speaks at the funeral service for Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams in Fort Worth, Texas, Saturday, Jan. 6, 2007. Williams was gunned down in a drive-by shooting in downtown Denver on New Year's Day. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney, Pool)" border="0" /></a>AP - The anguished Denver Broncos came to Darrent Williams' hometown to help his community heal. They left knowing it had really been the other way around.</p><br clear="all"/>
Wade helps Heat return to winning ways
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070108/ap_on_sp_bk_ga_su/bkn_nba_rdp"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070108/capt.pda10501080440.heat_trail_blazers_basketball_pda105.jpg?x=91&y=130&sig=rrSEADRSHO2i4rPQ9ovTIw--" align="left" height="130" width="91" alt="Miami Heat guard Dwayne Wade keeps the ball out of the reach of Portland Trail Blazers guard Jarrett Jack during second half NBA basketball action in Portland, Ore., Sunday, Jan. 7, 2007. Wade led the Heat in scoring with 33 points to beat the Blazers 93-90.(AP Photo/Don Ryan)" border="0" /></a>AP - Dwyane Wade returned, and just like that Miami's skid was over. A much more anonymous player helped end the Dallas Mavericks' 13-game winning streak.</p><br clear="all"/>
Big Unit signs big deal with D-backs
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070108/ap_on_sp_ba_ne/bbo_johnson_trade"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070104/capt.ny16301042159.yankees_johnson_baseball_ny163.jpg?x=116&y=130&sig=cRjh3DPKZg8LZd07l3dDKg--" align="left" height="130" width="116" alt="New York Yankees starter Randy Johnson pitches in the first inning of Game 3 of the ALDS baseball game in Detroit, in this Oct. 6, 2006, file photo. The Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks reached a tentative agreement Thursday, Jan. 4, 2007, on a trade that would send Randy Johnson to Arizona, a move that allows the Big Unit's agents to get him a contract extension. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson, file)" border="0" /></a>AP - Only a few details remain before Randy Johnson rejoins the Arizona Diamondbacks.</p><br clear="all"/>
Manchester United advances in FA Cup
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070107/ap_on_sp_so_ne/soc_euro_rdp"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070107/capt.mjs11001071624.britain_soccer_fa_cup__mjs110.jpg?x=130&y=80&sig=EnFWgy_2AkhXr.oL4r0u7w--" align="left" height="80" width="130" alt="Manchester United's Ole Gunnar Solskjaer celebrates after scoring the winning goal during his team's FA Cup soccer match against Aston Villa at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Sunday Jan. 7, 2007. (AP Photo/Jon Super)" border="0" /></a>AP - Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had the winning goal during injury time and Henrik Larsson scored in his debut for Manchester United, which beat Aston Villa 2-1 Sunday in the third round of the FA Cup.</p><br clear="all"/>
Holmqvist continues to stymie opponents
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070108/ap_on_sp_ho_ga_su/hkn_nhl_rdp"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070108/capt.pagp11101080351.lightning_penguins_hockey_pagp111.jpg?x=130&y=81&sig=vVpxSnxzgMtVfsuP1zqUEA--" align="left" height="81" width="130" alt="Tampa Bay Lightning's Martin St. Louis (26) puts the game winning shoot out goal between the pads of Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (29) during NHL hockey action in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Jan. 7, 2007. The Lightning beat the Pens 3-2 in a shoot out.(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)" border="0" /></a>AP - Tampa Bay goalie Johan Holmqvist has been unbeatable in shootouts. He has stopped all 10 skaters he has faced in shootouts this season, including Sidney Crosby, Eric Christensen and Evgeni Malkin in Sunday night's 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.</p><br clear="all"/>
Jason Cole: Behind door No. 2
Eagles top Giants on Akers' 38-yard FG (AP)
Some of his teammates couldn't watch David Akers when he lined up for the winning kick, preferring to let the crowd's reaction tell them the outcome. Given recent events around the NFL, nobody could blame them. The fans' roar gave them the news -- snap, hold and kick were perfect this time. Akers hit a 38-yard field goal with no time remaining to give the Philadelphia Eagles a 23-20 victory over the...
Belichick, Pats beat Mangini, Jets 37-16 (AP)
Bill Belichick and Tom Brady won three Super Bowls with Eric Mangini on their side. The Patriots coach taught his former student that maybe he can win another without him -- especially with his quarterback in championship form. Brady capped long scoring drives with short touchdown passes to Daniel Graham and Kevin Faulk, and Asante Samuel sealed it with a 36-yard interception return for a score...
Falcons to hire Louisville's Petrino (AP)
Bobby Petrino received plenty of offers during his four years as Louisville coach. Finally, he got one worth taking. The Atlanta Falcons lured Petrino away from the college ranks on Sunday, moving quickly to find a new head coach after firing Jim Mora. A formal announcement was set for Monday afternoon at the Falcons' suburban training complex in Flowery Branch -- exactly one week after Mora was let...
Barber gains 137 yards in likely finale (AP)
Tiki Barber walked off the football field for the last time in his 10-year career with no regrets, no tears and another big game for the New York Giants. In keeping with this turbulent 2006 season, the 31-year-old running back also walked into retirement with another disappointing loss, but with the admiration of his teammates and his opponents after rushing for 137 yards and having a hand in all...
Coughlin's future with Giants uncertain (AP)
Tom Coughlin's future with the New York Giants was uncertain Sunday after he coached the defending NFC East champions into the playoffs with a .500 record and couldn't get them out of the opening round of the playoffs for the second straight year. "I'll have something to say later in the week," Giants co-owner John Mara said when asked about Coughlin's future shortly after a heartbreaking 23-20...
Colts looking to regain success on road (AP)
Tony Dungy understands how a loud crowd affects playoff games. Home teams get off snaps quicker, players feed off the energy, and visiting teams tend to make more mistakes. Indianapolis took full advantage of its home field on Saturday, but next weekend, in the Colts' former hometown of Baltimore, they'll contend with the same issues from a different perspective.
Patriots OK without Branch, Vinatieri (AP)
Deion Branch and Adam Vinatieri are gone, but the Patriots have found some new playmakers at their positions. Jabar Gaffney caught eight passes and Reche Caldwell grabbed five Sunday in New England's first playoff game since Branch was traded to Seattle. Rookie Stephen Gostkowski was 3-for-3 on fields goals in his first postseason game -- and the Patriots first since they lost Vinatieri, one of the...
Seahawks able to exhale after big win (AP)
The same Seahawks who all season couldn't buy a break with all of team owner Paul Allen's Microsoft zillions finally got lucky. But now they're going to have to be good, too. Or at least better than they've been. All of Seattle -- players, coaches and fans alike -- reveled in advancing to the NFC's divisional playoffs.
Dolphins DE Taylor to return in 2007 (AP)
Jason Taylor needed only a few days off to decide he wants to keep working. The Miami Dolphins' defensive end said Sunday he plans to return next season, regardless of whom the team hires as coach. "If he'll have me, I'll be back in Miami," Taylor said on ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown. The Dolphins are searching for a successor to Nick Saban, who left last week for Alabama.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Big Ben's bitterness
Lakers snap Mavs' 13-game winning streak (AP)
Despite his limited playing time and a sub-par shooting percentage, Sasha Vujacic says he's never lacking in confidence. And that's a good thing, since a shooter must have that kind of mentality. Vujacic had his best game in three NBA seasons Sunday night, scoring a career-high 16 points, including a go-ahead 3-pointer with 28.5 seconds left, and the Los Angeles Lakers beat Dallas 101-98 to snap...
Wade returns, leads Heat past Blazers (AP)
Although Dwyane Wade said he was sluggish after his four-game layoff, he didn't really show it. Wade returned from a wrist injury and scored 33 points to lead the Miami Heat to a 93-90 victory Sunday night over the Portland Trail Blazers. Wade, who had 25 points in the first half, helped Miami rally from a 16-point deficit and snap a five-game losing streak.
Garnett gets Wolves past Rockets in OT (AP)
Mark Blount is making it tougher for Minnesota's opponents to focus on Kevin Garnett. The 7-foot Blount continued his recent strong play with 21 points and 10 rebounds in the Timberwolves' 103-99 overtime victory over the Houston Rockets on Sunday. Garnett still led the way with 26 points and 13 rebounds, but Blount's 6-for-12 shooting performance -- including his second 3-pointer of the season --...
Ginobili's 34 points power Spurs in win (AP)
No Tony Parker, no sweat, Tim Duncan said with a straight face. Parker missed his first game of the season with a right hip strain, but Manu Ginobili scored a season-high 34 points, and the San Antonio Spurs beat the Memphis Grizzlies 110-96 Sunday. The Spurs snapped their first three-game losing streak of the season.
Bosh, Ford lead Raptors past Wizards (AP)
It was a game of perspective exercises. Gilbert Arenas pegged Washington's loss on the early game time. Chris Bosh credited Toronto's win to having a full team for the first time in almost a month. "I don't think we've ever played well on 1 o'clock games," Arenas said after Bosh had 24 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Raptors to a 116-111 victory over the Wizards on Sunday.
Suns cruise past Warriors, 128-105 (AP)
James Jones' shot returned with the leather ball, and that means yet another offensive threat for the Phoenix Suns. Jones scored 25 points, two shy of his career high, and the Suns cruised to their sixth win in a row, 128-105 over the Golden State Warriors on Sunday night. Fellow reserve Leandro Barbosa scored 26 and Shawn Marion had 24 points and 17 rebounds in the Suns' 22nd victory in their last...
Magic win fourth in a row, beat Celtics (AP)
Grant Hill can't play every game these days, but it takes more than a couple on the bench to make him rusty. After missing three games with a sore left foot, Hill scored 21 points to lead the Orlando Magic over the Boston Celtics 87-79 on Sunday night. Dwight Howard had 18 points and 12 rebounds to help Orlando win its fourth straight.
Wallace helps Bulls beat Pistons 106-89 (AP)
Ben Wallace did his best, then relented for the first time all night. He had just helped the Chicago Bulls beat the Detroit Pistons 106-89 on Saturday night, and he had to admit this wasn't just another regular-season game. There were too many memories, too many good times. "It felt a little strange," he said.
Brown returning to 76ers as executive VP (AP)
The only Hall of Fame coach the Philadelphia 76ers have is going to spend his days in the front office instead of on the bench. Larry Brown was rehired by Philadelphia as an executive vice president on Saturday, a return to the organization he coached to its last NBA finals. The move stoked speculation that he'll eventually replace coach Maurice Cheeks.
Canucks need SO to win seventh straight (AP)
Olli Jokinen knew enough about Roberto Luongo from their six seasons together as teammates to be certain the Vancouver Canucks' netminder wasn't going to let a few soft third-period goals ruin his confidence. And he was right. Luongo stopped six Florida shots in overtime and five of six in a shootout as Vancouver defeated the Panthers 4-3 on Sunday night.
Brodeur, Devils blank Canadiens (AP)
For the second day in a row, the surging New Jersey Devils were solid from their superstar goalie on out to cap a very successful weekend in Canada. Martin Brodeur made 28 saves for his NHL-leading seventh shutout of the season and Brian Gionta scored twice, lifting New Jersey to a 3-0 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday.
Heatley, Senators rip Flyers 6-1 (AP)
Dany Heatley appears to be adapting well to playing without injured Ottawa Senators linemate Jason Spezza. With Spezza sidelined Sunday for the eighth straight game because of a knee injury, Heatley didn't miss a beat against the Philadelphia Flyers. Heatley had two goals and an assist, and linemate Daniel Alfredsson added a goal and two assists in the Ottawa Senators' 6-1 victory over the...
Coyotes win sixth in a row, top 'Hawks (AP)
Jeremy Roenick made his possible Chicago swan song memorable. Roenick, who began his career with the Blackhawks, had a goal and an assist Sunday to help Phoenix win its season-high sixth straight, 4-2 over Chicago. Michael Zigomanis, Fredrik Sjostrom and Oleg Saprykin also scored for Phoenix, which hasn't lost in regulation in its last eight, going 7-0-1.
Bruins recall rookie LW Kessel (AP)
The Boston Bruins recalled rookie Phil Kessel on Sunday from the AHL nearly a month after he underwent surgery for testicular cancer. Kessel learned he had cancer shortly before playing in a Dec. 9 game against New Jersey. He underwent surgery three days later to remove his right testicle. He played two games last week for Providence of the AHL, scoring in a 2-1 loss Saturday to the Manchester...
Lightning win 10th straight over Pens (AP)
Sidney Crosby scored an unorthodox goal while sliding toward the net face first. Maybe that's why Martin St. Louis tried to do something different himself on the shot that ended up counting the most. St. Louis put an odd-angle backhander between Marc-Andre Fleury's pads for the only successful shot in the shootout and the Tampa Bay Lightning shook off Crosby's acrobatic goal to beat the Pittsburgh...
Melin helps Ducks end four-game slide (AP)
The Anaheim Ducks didn't suffer any hangover from their most embarrassing loss of the season. Coach Randy Carlyle wouldn't let them. Bjorn Melin scored in his NHL debut and the Ducks also got goals from Travis Moen and Ryan Getzlaf to beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-2 on Sunday night, ending a four-game losing streak.
Preds beat Blues for 13th straight time (AP)
The St. Louis Blues give the Nashville Predators a fight every time they play. Now, if they could only hand them a loss. The Blues lost 3-2 to their Central Division rivals on Saturday night. It was the 13th straight win for the Predators over the Blues and the fifth time this season the game was decided by one goal.
Briere, Sabres hold off Maple Leafs 4-3 (AP)
The Buffalo Sabres ended their rare losing skid and regained the top spot in the NHL. Daniel Briere, Ales Kotalik and Chris Drury had a goal and assist each, and Sabres held on for a 4-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night. Dmitri Kalinin also scored for the Sabres, who avoided their first three-game losing streak of the season.
Clowe, Sharks too much for Blue Jackets (AP)
One part of the scoresheet showed five power-play goals for the San Jose Sharks. Another part showed only four, thanks to a still-unresolved officiating error that had Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock steaming. Whether the final number turns out to be jaw-dropping or just plain impressive, the Sharks' potent power play was much too good for yet another opponent.
Jerry Bonkowski: Remembering a champion
NASCAR is a better sport today because Bobby Hamilton, who died of cancer on Sunday, was part of it.
Bobby Hamilton, longtime NASCAR driver, dies of cancer (AP)
Bobby Hamilton paid his early bills driving a wrecker, got his NASCAR break driving a car used in ``Days of Thunder'' and won the 2004 Craftsman Truck championship in his own truck.
Driver Hamilton dies at 49 (SportsTicker)
NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Ticker) - Bobby Hamilton, the 2004 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Championship, died on Sunday. He was 49.
Sainz wins second stage of Dakar Rally (AP)
Carlos Sainz won the second stage of the Dakar Rally on Sunday, ahead of Nani Roma and Luc Alphand, as the race prepared to move into Africa. Sainz, driving for Volkswagen, clocked 59 minutes, 26 seconds, while Roma and Alphand both timed 59:55 in Mitsubishis to finish second and third. Volkswagen driver Carlos Sousa, who won Saturday's opening stage, retained the overall lead.
Boris Said is king of the mountain again (AP)
Who rules? Boris rules.
Gordon 13th after first day of Dakar Rally (AP)
Robby Gordon is the only NASCAR driver competing in the Dakar Rally, an off-road road race from Portugal to Dakar that covers 4,918 miles. In 2005, he became the first American to win a stage of the grueling event. This year's edition, the 29th, has a record number of competitors, with 525 teams and 42 nationalities represented, including 250 motorcycles, 187 cars and 88 trucks.
NASCAR's Parsons hospitalized in intensive care unit (AP)
Former NASCAR champion Benny Parsons remained in intensive care Friday at Carolinas Medical Center after entering the hospital nearly two weeks ago because of complications stemming from lung cancer.
Former NASCAR champion Benny Parsons hospitalized (SportsTicker)
Former NASCAR champion and popular broadcaster Benny Parsons is hospitalized in the Intensive Care Unit of the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte.
Auto Racing 2006: Johnson, Hornish win big but quietly (SportsTicker)
For a sport known for its outspoken, colorful characters, the champions of the two major racing series in the United States let their actions do the talking.