Archive for January, 2016

NFL-National Football League roundup (Reuters)

Sunday, January 31st, 2016
Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson still hasn't formally announced his retirement but indications continue to point toward his career being over. The day after the 2015 season, Johnson reportedly told Lions coach Jim Caldwell that it had been his final campaign, according to an ESPN report. Johnson, 30, previously told quarterback Matthew Stafford and linebacker Stephen Tulloch of his plans and both players agreed to keep it confidential.

X Games: Alex Massie takes home silver in snowboarder X adaptive

Sunday, January 31st, 2016
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Canadian Alex Massie took home Canada's only medal on Sunday at the Winter X Games, winning a silver in the snowboarder X adaptive event.

FINA Diving Grand Prix: Canada closes with 7 medals

Sunday, January 31st, 2016
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The Canadian diving team wrapped up a strong weekend at the FINA Diving Grand Prix in Rostock, Germany, with two more bronze medals on Sunday, bringing the team's total to seven.

John Scott makes all-star game look easy, scores twice

Sunday, January 31st, 2016
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John Scott is making it look like he belongs. The enforcer fans voted into the NHL All-Star Game scored twice for the Pacific Division during the team's first mini-game in the 3-on-3 All-Star tournament Sunday, bringing cheers from fans and smiles from teammates.

Broncos, Panthers arrive in Bay Area for Super Bowl (The Associated Press)

Sunday, January 31st, 2016
The Denver Broncos arrived in the Bay Area on Sunday for Northern California's first Super Bowl since 1985, followed soon after by the Carolina Panthers. Denver's flight into San Jose, California, was delayed by an hour. The team flew in a customized United Airlines jet with a Broncos logo over the door.

NHL All-Star Game: John Scott scores twice, Pacific will meet Atlantic in final

Sunday, January 31st, 2016
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The Atlantic division defeated the Metropolitan division 4-3, and John Scott scored twice en route to an 9-6 victory for the Pacific over the Central.

Cam Newton’s zebra pants highlight Panthers, Broncos SB 50 arrival (Shutdown Corner)

Sunday, January 31st, 2016
SAN FRANCISCO — And away we go. The Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos flew to Mineta San Jose International Airport on Sunday, beginning a week that will seem nothing like a normal game week for them. Super Bowl 50 will kick off a week after the teams arrive, and as always with the Super Bowl, the sideshow can overwhelm the game preparation. "I don't think that you can't not enjoy the moment," Panthers receiver Ted Ginn, who played in a Super Bowl three seasons ago with the San Francisco 49ers, said according to the team's website . "When you go down there, there is so much stuff for everybody to do, no matter if you are the number one guy on the team or a guy helping us all year. You are going to be able to go out there, enjoy yourself and have fun." Have fun? Panthers quarterback Cam Newton decided to wear some zebra pants on the flight to the Bay Area, so he's with that plan. Cam Newton’s style statement en route to #SB50 . https://t.co/NipQubnl48 pic.twitter.com/T9SyCkjU5W — Dave Enna (@Dave_Enna) January 31, 2016 Your move, @russwest44 . (via @Panthers ) pic.twitter.com/FPreoSZKTI — SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 31, 2016 That's a statement, even for a guy who spent a reported $12,000 on fox tails to wear off his belt this season. The Charlotte Observer reported that Newton's zebra pants were Versace Barocco Accent Print Jeans that go for $849, which proves that Newton paid a lot to wear those pants, and that no story is too insignificant to become a big story during Super Bowl week. Even a simple flight to a game isn't normal when it's the Super Bowl. Fans mobbed Bank of America Stadium to send off the Panthers, who are trying to win the first Super Bowl in team history. Fans line up outside Bank of America stadium as Carolina Panthers head to the Super Bowl https://t.co/QdQM1NIa2y pic.twitter.com/g7WWwHwj8R — FOX8 WGHP (@myfox8) January 31, 2016 That's probably when it starts to sink in that this game is unlike any other. Most flights to road games for the Broncos don't include live tweeting, so this one was different for them too. They landed at about 3 p.m. Pacific time, ahead of the Panthers. The Panthers landed at a little after 4 p.m. after their five-hour flight. ???? #BeatThePanthers pic.twitter.com/xTPighMo7U — Denver Broncos (@Broncos) January 31, 2016 18’s spot. #SB50 pic.twitter.com/TjElK9ey6K — Denver Broncos (@Broncos) January 31, 2016 With so many media obligations during the week, both teams took a similar approach during the bye week after winning the conference title. They treated the week as if they were playing Sunday, installing the game plan and practicing as usual. "When we get on the plane Sunday, I want feel like we’re pretty close to being ready to play,” Broncos coach Kubiak said earlier this week.  "We’ve laid the groundwork," Panthers safety Kurt Coleman said after Friday's practice, according to the Panthers' site. "Once we get out there we’ll do some touchup work and continue to get detail oriented. It’s been a great week of preparation." But no matter how normal the coaches try to keep the preparation for the game, the first time a player gets a marriage proposal from some "reporter" in a dress on media day, it'll be clear that there's a lot more going on than football. That part has already struck some players who haven't played in a Super Bowl yet. "It hit me after the [NFC championship] game and when my granddad called me," Panthers receiver Devin Funchess told the team's site after Wednesday's practice. "I was just chilling with it. I was excited and lost my voice and all that. But come today, we have to get back to work." Broncos tight end Vernon Davis, who also played in a Super Bowl with the 49ers, said: "It’s all mental because when you get in the stadium, you look around and you might see Beyonce. You have Eddie Murphy on this side and there are so many people. It’s such a big deal. You can’t get caught up in the outside. You can’t get caught up in that."  But if a player sees a teammate getting too starry-eyed, he can always take Broncos linebacker DeMarcus Ware's approach. "Everybody is really zoned in, and that’s when you really mean business," Ware said. "Or if you see, somebody that sits beside me today, their eyes are corralling a little bit, that’s when you slap him and he looks at you and he’s like: ‘OK. I’ve got to get back in order.'"  - - - - - - - Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab

Flores set path as 1st Hispanic coach to win Super Bowl (The Associated Press)

Sunday, January 31st, 2016
When Tom Flores won his first Super Bowl as head coach of the Oakland Raiders 35 years ago, the impact of being the first Hispanic coach to reach those heights didn't hit until well after the game. There was little made of the achievement in the lead-up to the game in New Orleans that the Raiders won 27-10 against the Philadelphia Eagles, and outside of a few postgame interviews with Spanish-language media members, there was not much of a fuss after the game, either. It took until the offseason for Flores truly to digest the impact he had.

Report: Calvin Johnson told his family, Lions he plans to retire (Shutdown Corner)

Sunday, January 31st, 2016
What is it about the Detroit Lions and generational players retiring in the middle of their prime? It appears that Calvin Johnson could join Barry Sanders as Lions greats who walked away from football in their very early 30s, according to this report from ESPN's Adam Schefter . The report says that Johnson told his family and close friends that the 2015 season would be his final one in the NFL, reiterating the message to Lions head coach Jim Caldwell the day after the regular season was over. Caldwell urged Johnson to sleep on his decision in early January, and now four weeks later it appears that Johnson's career is over at age 30 after nine brilliant NFL season. Although the Lions reportedly have not given up hope on Johnson changing his mind, the report indicates that he feels pretty content in his decision. It evoked memories of Sanders, who suddenly called it quits in the prime of his career at age 31 in 1999. Johnson missed five games over the 2013 and 2014 seasons with knee, finger and ankle injuries. He also sprained his ankle in Week 8 this season, and the injury limited Johnson on the practice field and on game days. But Johnson finished with a Pro Bowl selection and 88 catches, 1,214 yards and nine touchdowns — leading the Lions in yards and TDs and second to Golden Tate in catches. When word got out earlier in January that Johnson was considering retiring , he and the Lions issued a joint statement. Johnson said: "Like many players at this stage of their career, I am currently evaluating options for my future. I would expect to have a decision regarding this matter in the not-too-distant future." The Lions added: "We obviously have profound respect for Calvin and certainly understand and appreciate his decision to give proper thought and consideration to his football future." It appears he has given it enough thought. - - - - - - - Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Eric_Edholm

Ron Rivera, Panthers have Hispanic support in Super Bowl 50 (The Associated Press)

Sunday, January 31st, 2016
NFL Coach of the Year contender Ron Rivera and the Carolina Panthers are expected to have the support of the Hispanic community when they play the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50 next Sunday. With Rivera now in his fifth year at the helm, the Panthers' popularity has become so widespread in the Hispanic community they now employ their own broadcast team to call their games in Spanish. ''For the most part it's usually baseball and soccer (that are popular) there,'' Rivera told The Associated Press.