NFL officiating chief Dean Blandino says the inspection of the footballs by referee Walt Anderson before the AFC championship game was handled properly. Blandino also said Thursday the process of checking the footballs and security surrounding the inspections will be enhanced for Sunday's Super Bowl. As the league's investigation into the Patriots' use of under-inflated footballs moves along, Blandino made it clear the officiating crew for New England's win over Indianapolis did its job. ''My major concern is did we follow proper protocol?'' Blandino said.
Marshawn Lynch changed the script and fired back at his critics. After two days of giving only scripted answers, the Seattle Seahawks' star running back gave his most extensive comments of Super Bowl week, mostly telling reporters why he won't talk to them.
Tiger Woods helped attract a record, raucous crowd to the Phoenix Open on Thursday, the first big event in a week that concludes with the Super Bowl. They didn't see much of a game - at least not from Woods. It was the first time in his career that Woods shot over par in his first round of the year.
Al Horford, Paul Millsap and Jeff Teague were picked Thursday as reserves for the Eastern Conference All-Star team, giving the sizzling Atlanta Hawks three selections. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook made the West team despite early season injuries for the Oklahoma City stars. The Miami Heat also had two reserves in Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. Point guard Damian Lillard was not among the seven reserves.
The number of recorded concussions dropped 25 percent during the regular season, according to the NFL, even as injury reporting and trips to injured reserve list rose overall. Data released by the league Thursday shows there were 111 concussions in games during the 2014 regular season, down from 148 in 2013, and 173 in 2012, a 36 percent drop over that three-year span. This follows repeated changes by the NFL meant to cut down on blows to the head, including reduced practice time and rules protecting defenseless receivers and barring leading with the crown of the helmet. ''And as things came to our attention, we took more interest in looking at these questions.'' When preseason games, plus preseason and regular-season practices, are included, the 202 concussions this season declined 12 percent from 2013, and 23 percent from 2012.
The way his team rolled over Missouri when they met a couple weeks ago, Kentucky coach John Calipari anticipated the Tigers throwing a few haymakers in the rematch. They wound up playing so physical that three Tigers fouled out. We just have to play through the physical play,'' said Calipari, whose team waxed the Tigers by 49 points on Jan. 13. Andrew Harrison had 15 points and twin brother Aaron Harrison had 11 for the Wildcats, who improved to 20-0 for the third time in school history.
Lakers stop 9-game skid, edge Bulls in double OT 123-118 (Yahoo Sports)
Jordan Hill scored 26 points and forced the second overtime with a clutch jumper, and the Los Angeles Lakers snapped their nine-game losing streak in thrilling fashion with a 123-118 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Thursday night. Wayne Ellington scored 23 points and rookie Jordan Clarkson added 18 for the Lakers, who held off the Bulls for their first victory since Jan. 9. With big late baskets from everybody in their patchwork lineup, the Lakers avoided matching the 1994 squad coached by Magic Johnson for the longest skid in the 16-time champion franchise's history. All-Star Jimmy Butler matched his career high with 35 points for the Bulls, who rallied from a nine-point deficit in 70 seconds late in regulation.
With his ex-teammates about to play in the Super Bowl, former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez went on trial on murder charges Thursday, watching from the defense table as prosecutors said DNA on a shell casing and security-camera video from his own home connect him to the crime. Hernandez's lawyer countered that the NFL player had ''the world at his feet'' and had no reason to kill. Hernandez, 25, is charged in the 2013 shooting death of Odin Lloyd, a 27-year-old semipro football player who was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancee. Lloyd's bullet-riddled body was found in an industrial park near Hernandez's North Attleborough home, not far from Gillette Stadium.
In need of a signature win to bolster a sagging NCAA tournament resume, UCLA looked for leadership from its lone senior starter. Norman Powell didn't disappoint. Powell scored 23 points and the Bruins defeated No. 11 Utah 69-59 on Thursday night for their first victory over a Top 25 opponent this season. ''He's a senior and he made a lot of big plays for us,'' UCLA coach Steve Alford said.
(NewsUSA) - It takes years of practice to become a great golfer and to hone your swing. But to reach that level, your body has to be up to the task. Well, it turns out chiropractic care can help golfers treat injuries and restore balance. For more information, visit www.F4CP.org/findadoctor.
Watch the video at: http://youtu.be/cGWPeSV4VKQ
(NewsUSA) - It's one of the unfortunate truths of our obsession with sports: Coaches don't normally get much credit unless they take their teams all the way to a title. And yet, there actually still are some coaches -- let's call them the good guys -- who view at least a part of their jobs as helping to build character in their players while easing the mental and physical irritations that come with competition.
"Coaches have the power to teach much more than the physical elements of the game,"
(NewsUSA) - Dwight Clark, former wide receiver of the San Fransisco 49ers, has a special place in his heart for chiropractic care. Most famous for "The Catch" in the 1982 NFC championship game, Clark found that chiropractic care, and seeing a chiropractor weekly, got him in the best possible shape for each game. For more information, visit www.yes2chiropractic.org.
Watch the video at: http://youtu.be/6v7VFQKeoJs
(NewsUSA) - "To shave strokes from your golf game, the only equipment you need is a good eraser."
Although this phrase is uttered jokingly by many golfers, recreational golfers who've reached their plateau have had very few other options, until now.
"If recreational golfers insist on following the rules used by the PGA Tour, there's little they can do to immediately improve their game," says John Hoeflich, executive director, of the United States Recreational Golf Association (USRGA). "Howeve
(NewsUSA) - "To shave strokes from your golf game, the only equipment you need is a good eraser."Although this phrase is uttered jokingly by many golfers, recreational golfers who've reached their plateau have had very few other options, until now."If recreational golfers insist on following the rules used by the PGA Tour, there's little they can do to immediately improve their game," says John Hoeflich, executive director, of the United States Recreational Golf Association (
(NewsUSA) - NewsusaInfographic - When going fishing or taking your boat out on the water, know the benefits of having the proper fishing license and boat registration. It helps your local environment. Learn more at, www.takemefishing.org. See full-sized image here.