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National

  • No snow expected for Sunday's game

    JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) — So much for all the hand-wringing about a snowed-in Super Bowl.
    How would freezing spectators deal with the cold at MetLife Stadium?
    What sort of havoc would a big storm wreak on transportation and other game-day logistics?
    What if the NFL decided to postpone the game between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks for 24 hours?
    If the National Weather Service’s forecast is correct, the buzz about a blizzard at the first cold-weather, outdoor Super Bowl — the official host committee logo features a snowflake — will turn out to be just talk. As of Wednesday, no snow, or even rain, was being predicted for Sunday.
    “It would have been cool in the snow,” Seattle linebacker Heath Farwell said. “That’s, I guess, how football’s supposed to be played.”
    Players on both teams have experienced chilly conditions during games, of course, although they don’t regularly brace for conditions that are anticipated for this Sunday, even if there isn’t any snow. Sunday’s high temperature is expected to be 38 degrees, which would make it the coldest of the 48 Super Bowls so far.
    With the opening kickoff scheduled for about 6:30 p.m., the mercury could drop into the 20s by the time the game ends.

  • Tough drug-testing net in place for Sochi

    LONDON (AP) — Go ahead — just try to get away with it. If you're willing to take the risk, you'll pay the price.
    That's the challenge laid down to drug cheats thinking they can dope their way to success at the Winter Olympics in Sochi.
    International Olympic and anti-doping officials are implementing the toughest drug-testing program in Winter Games history, using intelligence to target athletes and events considered most at risk.
    Authorities are focusing their efforts on weeding out dopers through rigorous pre-games and pre-competition tests. Armed with an improved scientific method that can detect drug use going back months rather than days, the International Olympic Committee will conduct a record number of tests.
    Urine and blood samples will be stored for eight years for retroactive testing, providing further deterrence to anyone thinking they can avoid being caught.
    "I think it would be stupid to try to cheat," IOC medical director Dr. Richard Budgett told The Associated Press. "If there are any doping cases in Sochi, some of them may be because athletes are being stupid."

  • VIDEO: Super Bowl marks a milestone for Manning
  • Former Cowboy sentenced to jail for crash

     DALLAS (AP) — Former Dallas Cowboys player Josh Brent was sentenced Friday to 180 days in jail and 10 years of probation for a drunken car crash that killed his friend and teammate, Jerry Brown.
    Brent was convicted Wednesday of intoxication manslaughter for the December 2012 crash on a suburban Dallas highway that killed Brown, who was a passenger in Brent’s car.
    Brent, a Cowboys defensive tackle, and Brown, a linebacker on the practice squad, also played together at the University of Illinois and were close friends. They were headed home from a night of partying when Brent lost control of his Mercedes and crashed. Officers who arrived on scene saw Brent trying to pull Brown’s body from the wreckage.
    Blood tests pegged Brent’s blood alcohol content at 0.18 percent, which is more than twice the state’s legal limit to drive of 0.08 percent. Prosecutors told jurors that the burly, 320-pound lineman had as many as 17 drinks on the night of the crash.
    One of Brent’s attorneys, George Milner, argued that Brent wasn’t drunk and was only “guilty of being stupid behind the wheel of a car.”
    He contended that Brent couldn’t have had nearly as much to drink as prosecutors said he had, and that the police blood tests were flawed.

  • N.J. football-picking camel dies

    LACEY TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey’s pigskin-prognosticating camel has died just weeks before the state is set to host its first Super Bowl.
    Princess was a fixture at the Popcorn Park Zoo for 10 years. Zoo manager John Bergmann said the 26-year-old camel was euthanized after arthritis made it impossible for her to stand.
    Princess’ made her picks with graham crackers. Bergmann would hold one in each hand, marked with the names of the competing teams. Whichever hand she chose was her prediction.
    Princess correctly picked the Baltimore Ravens in last year’s Super Bowl. Her best run came in the 2008 season, when she picked 17 of 22 games correctly, including the Pittsburgh Steelers to win Super Bowl XLIII.

  • VIDEO: Manning explains his "Omaha" call
  • Tennessee hires Ken Whisenhunt

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans have wrapped up their coaching search by hiring San Diego offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt as their new head coach and 17th in franchise history.
    Titans president and CEO Tommy Smith called the hiring a big day in announcing the hiring Monday.
    “Ken is a well-respected coach in this league and I am looking forward to seeing his vision become reality for this team,” Smith said in a statement. “He has a history of building successful offenses and took Arizona to a Super Bowl as a head coach. We all share a common goal for this team and that is to build a consistent winner.”
    The Titans flew to San Diego on Friday and interviewed Whisenhunt, who started his coaching career in Nashville at Vanderbilt. He was the fourth person interviewed by the Titans, who fired Mike Munchak on Jan. 4.
    But the Titans had competition for Whisenhunt, who also interviewed with Detroit and Cleveland last week.
    The Tennessean reported the Titans interviewed Cincinnati defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer for a second time Monday in Houston before hiring Whisenhunt.

  • Glavine, Maddux, Big Hurt picked for Hall of Fame

    NEW YORK (AP) — Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas were elected to baseball's Hall of Fame on Wednesday, while Craig Biggio fell two votes short and tainted stars of the Steroids Era remained far behind.

    Maddux was picked on 555 of 571 ballots by senior members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. His 97.2 percentage was the eighth-highest in the history of voting.

    Glavine, Maddux's longtime teammate in the Atlanta rotation, appeared on 525 ballots and received 91.9 percent. Thomas, the first Hall of Famer who spent the majority of his career as a designated hitter, was at 483.

    The trio will be inducted in Cooperstown on July 27 along with managers Bobby Cox, Joe Torre and Tony La Russa, elected last month by the expansion-era committee. Maddux and Glavine played under Cox for most of their careers.

    "It's exciting for me to go in with my teammate," Maddux said.

    Writers had not elected three players in one vote since Nolan Ryan, George Brett and Robin Yount in 1999.

    Biggio received 427 votes and 74.8 percent, matching Nellie Fox in 1985 and Pie Traynor in 1947 for the smallest margin to just miss. Biggio appeared on 388 ballots in his initial appearance last year and appears to be on track to gain election next year.

  • Vonn is a scratch for Sochi Games

    Lindsey Vonn will miss the Sochi Olympics because of a right knee injury, leaving the Winter Games without one of its biggest stars.
    The 29-year-old skier from Vail, Colo., announced her decision Tuesday, exactly one month before the opening ceremony in Russia. Her personal publicist, Lewis Kay, said in a statement Vonn will have surgery “shortly.”
    In a Facebook posting, Vonn said she is “devastated” to miss the Olympics, “but the reality has sunk in that my knee is just too unstable to compete at this level.”
    She took home two medals from the 2010 Vancouver Games, including becoming the first American woman to win an Olympic gold in the downhill. Vonn is also a four-time overall World Cup champion, the most recognized name in Alpine skiing — and the girlfriend of Tiger Woods.
    Add it all up, and she would have been the focus of plenty of media coverage in Sochi, and certainly a main character in NBC’s coverage for a U.S. audience.

  • Winston engineers late TD drive

    PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — After a regular season filled with blowout victories and easy fourth quarters, Jameis Winston and Florida State showed they could close like champions, too.
    No. 2 Auburn wobbled the top-ranked Seminoles by jumping out to an 18-point lead in the first half, and then put Florida State on the brink of defeat for the first time this season.
    Winston responded with the drive of his life and a game-winning touchdown pass with 13 seconds left that topped everything else he has done in one of the most sensational debut seasons a college quarterback has ever had.
    The Heisman Trophy winner led the Seminoles 80 yards in the final 79 seconds, flicking a 2-yard TD pass to Kelvin Benjamin to give No. 1 Florida State a 34-31 victory against Auburn in the last BCS championship game Monday night.
    “The last drive, that’s a great way to cap off our season,” Winston said. “That’s the way we wanted to cap off our season.”
    The Bowl Championship Series went out with a bang, too, with one of the best title games in its 16-year history, right there with Texas 41, USC 38 at the Rose Bowl in 2006. That night it was Vince Young leading the Longhorns and capping a comeback by scooting into the end zone with 19 seconds left.
    Now Winston is the Prince of Pasadena.