National Sports

Pats fans celebrate ring No. 5

The Associated Press BOSTON — Snow, rain and chilly temperatures didn’t dampen the joy of New England Patriots fans exulting in their team’s latest championship Tuesday. The five-time Super Bowl winners received a hero’s welcome as they paraded through downtown Boston aboard World ...

Truex still finds himself thinking about last year

By Mark Didtler The Associated Press TAMPA, Fla. — Martin Truex Jr. is more driven than anything by the 2016 Daytona 500. Truex finished second to Denny Hamlin in a photo finish last year. He gets another shot at the “Great American Race” on Feb 26. “It’s the biggest race of ...

Rookie: Woods was inspiration from the start

The Associated Press PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — J.J. Spaun remembers the red sweater, the 4-foot putt and the uppercut from Tiger Woods when he won the 1997 Masters. Spaun was 6 years old. “He inspired me,” Spaun said. “He inspired all of us from my generation to compete and be the ...

Two RBs headline new Hall of Fame group

HOUSTON — The running backs were known simply by their initials: LT and TD. The quarterback served as ringmaster for “The Greatest Show on Turf.” All unstoppable in their own way, LaDainian Tomlinson, Terrell Davis and Kurt Warner earned their spots in the Pro Football Hall of Fame on ...

Iran bans US wrestlers over Trump

The Associated Press TEHRAN, Iran — Iran on Friday banned U.S. wrestlers from an important international tournament this month in response to President Donald Trump’s executive order forbidding visas for Iranians, the official IRNA news agency reported. A senior Iranian cleric vowed, ...

NFL hoping fatigue is not taking place

The Associated Press HOUSTON — It may have been a blip, explained as much by the must-watch presidential debates as by some wholesale turn away from football. Or, decades from now, 2016 could be remembered as the season fans started falling out of love with the NFL. TV ratings declined 8 ...

Super Bowl advertisers will try to be careful

NEW YORK — Super Bowl advertisers are treading carefully this year to avoid alienating customers as a divisive political climate takes some of the buzz away from what is usually the biggest spectacle on TV. Ad critic Barbara Lippert says that while “people need an escape,” like the ...

Back pain forcing Tiger out of Dubai

The Associated Press DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Tiger Woods withdrew from the Dubai Desert Classic on Friday with back spasms after shooting an opening-round 77 a day earlier, marking another frustrating start to his return to golf from a lengthy injury layoff. Woods’ manager, Mark ...

Ugly allegations continue to rock Baylor’s world

The Associated Press AUSTIN, Texas — The allegations against Baylor, its football program and former coach Art Briles, get uglier with each new lawsuit and legal filing. Among the most recent: More than 50 acts of rape by dozens of football players in four years.  Briles asking why an ...

Coach K to return to sidelines vs. Pitt

DURHAM, N.C. — Mike Krzyzewski is returning this weekend to coach his Duke Blue Devils. The Hall of Fame coach made the announcement Thursday night on his weekly radio show that he will make his return Saturday against Pittsburgh after back surgery kept him out for four weeks. His return ...

Charleston loses two wins after using wrong ball

CHARLESTON, S.C. — The College of Charleston’s women’s team is being forced to give up two wins after using the wrong size basketballs in games against William & Mary and UNC-Wilmington. The Colonial Athletic Association wanted to make the Cougars forfeit the games, but the NCAA ...

Federer triumphs in epic fashion

By John Pye The Associated Press MELBOURNE, Australia — So here was Roger Federer, down a break in the fifth set in a Grand Slam final. Across the net was his nemesis, Rafael Nadal, the left-handed Spaniard he hadn’t been able to beat in a major final in almost a decade. The ...

Bengals QB leads AFC to victory

The Associated Press ORLANDO, Fla. — Andy Dalton completed 10 of 12 passes for 100 yards and engineered two scoring drives to help lead the AFC to a 20-13 victory over the NFC in the Pro Bowl on Sunday night. The Cincinnati Bengals quarterback threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Travis ...

Long’s gamble pays off

FOXBOROUGH, Mass.  — There was a time when Chris Long didn’t think this opportunity would ever come. A time when words like “playoffs” and “Super Bowl” seemed like unattainable unicorns that the 31-year-old Patriots defensive lineman might never touch. Eight years in the NFL ...

Serena downs sister in final

MELBOURNE, Australia — Serena Williams held up a Grand Slam winner’s trophy for the 23rd time, celebrating her unrivalled place in history, and received a congratulatory letter and a pair of custom-made shoes from Michael Jordan, the name most synonymous with No. 23. Venus Williams got to ...

Rockies officially sign relief pitcher

DENVER — Greg Holland has no guess as to how hard he’s throwing these days. All he knows is that his fastball feels lively again. Ever so steadily, the right-handed reliever has been regaining the movement on his pitches as he recovers from reconstructive elbow surgery that kept him ...

Stallings’ Panthers in a freefall

By Will Graves The Associated Press PITTSBURGH — Kevin Stallings and Scott Barnes took turns standing at the dais plopped down near center court inside the Petersen Events Center last March ticking off the reasons — well, reason, mainly — Stallings left Vanderbilt after 17 years to ...

Pruett, 6 others selected to the Hall

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Five-time Rolex 24 at Daytona champion Scott Pruett was one of seven people selected for induction in the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America on Thursday. The 2017 class was announced at the Daytona International Speedway. The other inductees are sprint car great ...

Falcons careful with Jones, Mack

The Associated Press FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — Matt Ryan wasn’t worried that he didn’t have his center and top receiver with him for the Falcons’ first Super Bowl practice on Wednesday or for the remainder of the week. The quarterback says he trusts Alex Mack and Julio Jones will do ...

Serena proud of her finals opponent

The Associated Press MELBOURNE, Australia — When Mirjana Lucic-Baroni served out her victory over Karolina Pliskova at the Australian Open on Wednesday, making an unlikely return to the semifinals of a Grand Slam after nearly 18 years, she fell to her knees, placed her forehead on the court ...