The Blue Jays are reportedly landing one of the biggest stars on the market.
Mike Babcock (somewhat) acknowledged his faults while also disputing details surrounding some unflattering accusations made by his former star players.
The NBA commissioner believes players can play a prominent role in advocating for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Sarah Thomas became the first full-time woman official in the NFL in 2015.
We're tracking every notable free agent signing in the 2020-21 MLB offseason and giving you the details on the deal. Plus: What it means for your fantasy team.
Nikolaj Ehlers and the Winnipeg Jets have yet to lead a contest in regulation and yet they've won two of their three games to start the NHL season.
Brown delivered the news to his Instagram followers while apparently still under the influence of anesthesia.
MLB will reportedly launch an investigation into Jared Porter, which could make him ineligible for another job in MLB.
The NFC Championship Game features two Hall of Fame quarterbacks at different stages of their career in Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers.
It remains to be seen how Kyrie Irving will fit in with his superstar teammates James Harden and Kevin Durant on the Brooklyn Nets but the past couple of weeks have forced all basketball fans to wonder who the real Kyrie is and if in fact the 28-year-old is under-appreciated.
Caris LeVert is out indefinitely after doctors discovered a mass on his left kidney.
The NHL has called off Tuesday night’s game between Carolina and the Predators hours after the Hurricanes won the first of a two-game set in Nashville.
Tiger Woods won't take part in the Genesis Invitational, but will still serve as its host.
Conor McGregor is being sued by a woman and her mother for alleged personal injury.
Canadian Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe says she'll skip a second straight WNBA season in order to focus on the Tokyo Olympics. The 29-year-old, a reserve player for the New York Liberty, says she's been in touch with the team and it is aware of her plans to focus on a gold medal. "The plan this year is to forego the WNBA season again and to play with Team Canada for the whole summer, not miss any of our training camps leading up to the Olympics. Fully committed to Team Canada," Raincock-Ekunwe told CBC Sports. Waiting for Raincock-Ekunwe in the WNBA would be a young Liberty team including Canadian teammate Kia Nurse and former No. 1 pick Sabrina Ionescu. The team fielded a league-record seven rookies during its two-win 2020 season. "Of course it's tempting [to play with the Liberty]. I think they're making some moves this year that will be big, that will be beneficial for the team. Sabrina being healthy and with the rookies they had last season getting some experience last year, I think it will be a great year for New York. So yeah, it's tough to turn down the opportunity to play in one of the best leagues in the world. But I think Canada has a really good opportunity this summer," she said. Raincock-Ekunwe currently plays for Lyon of France's Ligue 1, where she intends to finish the season. In some ways, the Penticton, B.C., native's commitment is more crucial in 2021 than it was in 2020. The team meets regularly over Zoom, but hasn't been physically together since last February. An upcoming international window, where European leagues break for national team events, begins Jan. 31, but it's unlikely Canada will meet due to the spread of players across the world and various coronavirus restrictions. One advantage for the Canadians is that most other national teams don't meet virtually nearly as often, according to Raincock-Ekunwe, who previously played at the 2016 Rio Olympics. "I love to represent our country. I love to play with the women on our team. It's like a sisterhood or a family. And it's just such a great thing to be a part of and work together to that one goal. So it's something I look forward to every year getting together with this team. It's been a long time without each other. So it's weird," she said. "I'm really happy that we can just keep the connection through a year of disconnection." Team Canada may not meet in person again until after European league playoffs in May. On Tuesday, Raincock-Ekunwe scored the game-winning basket with 21 seconds remaining in EuroLeague action against Poland's Arka Gdynia. The centre is averaging 12.1 points and 6.3 rebounds on 59 per cent shooting over nine French league games this season, adding 9 points and 7.5 rebounds per game in four EuroLeague contests. Combined, Lyon is 9-4. That low games-played number reflects the bumpy campaign, with a coronavirus outbreak forcing a pause in play at one point. Raincock-Ekunwe was among the players who contracted the virus. "It didn't hit me as hard as some of the others. So I consider myself lucky. But I think I'm back to normal now — normal in this day and age. Honestly, I'm not feeling any side effects. I think right after I got it, it was hard to get the cardio back and kind of get the rhythm back," she said. With the Olympics scheduled to begin in just six months, some of the same virus-related concerns that caused the initial postponement are being brought up once again. As of today, Raincock-Ekunwe says she would support the decision to hold the Games. "I support vaccination and I would hope that there would be enough vaccines for those who would want to have some prior to the Olympics. And I think that could put a lot of people's mind at ease. But I don't think that the athletes should be prioritized over the general population who is at risk," she said. "And maybe I'm biased." After opting out of two straight WNBA seasons, Raincock-Ekunwe has sacrificed more than many potential Olympians. At this point, she just wants to play. "I think we're all ready. Ready to play, ready to represent our countries."
Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen have something in common besides being three of the four starting quarterbacks remaining in the NFL playoffs. The three were picked in the first round by teams coming off a playoff berth in moves that Green Bay, Kansas City and Buffalo surely don’t regret. The Packers took Aaron Rodgers 24th overall in 2005 despite having Brett Favre on the roster. Favre had led Green Bay to a 10-win season and playoff berth in 2004 and remained the starter for Rodgers’ first three seasons. The Packers then made Rodgers the starter in 2008 and have made the playoffs 10 times since then with one Super Bowl title. The Chiefs made their move for a quarterback in 2017 after back-to-back playoff appearances the previous two years with Alex Smith as their starter. Kansas City traded up 17 spots to take Mahomes and gave him the starting role in 2018. All Mahomes has done in that time is win the 2018 MVP award, get named Super Bowl MVP last year and put the Chiefs in position to get back there this season. The pick Kansas City got to take Mahomes came from Buffalo, which ended up with star cornerback Tre’Davious White that season along with extra first- and third-rounders. The Bills then traded up five spots the next year to draft Allen, who has emerged as a star this season. Since 2000, a playoff team has used a first-round pick on a quarterback seven times overall. The Broncos did it twice, taking Jay Cutler in 2006 after making it to the AFC title game with Jake Plummer the previous season, and then Paxton Lynch in 2016 after winning the Super Bowl in Peyton Manning’s final season before retirement. The Texans did it in 2017, trading up for Deshaun Watson after making it to the playoffs the previous year with Brock Osweiler, and the Packers did it this past season when they drafted Jordan Love. TOM TERRIFIC: Tom Brady can join some illustrious company with a win this week for another Super Bowl appearance. Brady will appear in his staggering 14th conference title game in 19 seasons as a starter when Tampa Bay visits Green Bay on Sunday. Brady won nine of those previous 13 conference championship games when he was in New England and can become the first football player to appear in 10 NFL title games with a win. Only a handful of players have made it to the championship round 10 times in Major League Baseball or the NBA, including some of the most iconic names in both sports. Yogi Berra has the most with 14 World Series appearances, followed by Mickey Mantle (12), Whitey Ford (11), and Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio and Elston Howard (10 each). In the NBA, Bill Russell is the leader with 12 appearances, followed by Celtics teammate Sam Jones with 11. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and LeBron James each have 10, with James reaching that mark last season. NOT SO SWEET HOME: For the third straight year, the New Orleans Saints' season ended with a playoff loss at home. After dropping the NFC title game to the Rams in the 2018 season thanks in large part to a blown call at the end of regulation, and then losing again in overtime to Minnesota last season, the Saints fell short on Sunday against Tampa Bay after committing four turnovers in a game for the first time since 2016. The Saints became just the third team to lose a home playoff game in three straight seasons, joining Kansas City (2016-18) and Chicago (1986-88). Drew Brees is the only quarterback to do it, as Alex Smith and Patrick Mahomes started the games for the Chiefs, and Doug Flutie and Jim McMahon for the Bears. In all, the Saints have won 49 regular-season games the past four years and don’t have a Super Bowl berth to show for it, having also lost in 2017 at Minnesota. That’s the most wins ever in a four-year span for a team that didn’t make the Super Bowl, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. PLAYING FROM AHEAD: The Chiefs have an impressive streak of holding a lead in 60 straight games in the regular season and playoffs, 10 shy of the record set by Seattle (2012-15). The last team to prevent Kansas City from taking a lead was Buffalo, in a 16-10 win on Nov. 26, 2017. MIGHTY MATT: Packers coach Matt LaFleur is back in the NFC title game for the second time in two seasons as an NFL coach. LaFleur is the sixth coach since the merger to make the conference championship game in his first two seasons and the first to do it since San Francisco’s Jim Harbaugh (2011-12). The other coaches to do it are Baltimore’s Don McCafferty (1970-71), San Francisco’s George Seifert (1989-90), Dallas’ Barry Switzer (1994-95) and the Jets’ Rex Ryan (2009-10). All those coaches reached at least one Super Bowl in those years with the exception of Ryan, who lost to Indianapolis and Pittsburgh. ___ More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL Josh Dubow, The Associated Press
Chad Henne came off the bench cold in the heat of a tense playoff game and delivered the game-sealing plays for Kansas City in his most consequential performance in a win since 2013. Henne became just the latest understudy quarterback to deliver a memorable performance in the post-season when he relieved an injured Patrick Mahomes and closed out a 22-17 win over Cleveland on Sunday that sent the defending champion Chiefs into the AFC championship game. If Mahomes remains in concussion protocol and can’t start this Sunday against the Buffalo Bills, Henne will get the nod as he tries to follow in the footsteps of other playoff fill-ins at quarterback. The most recent success story came three years ago, when Nick Foles replaced an injured Carson Wentz in December and led the Philadelphia Eagles on a magical post-season run that culminated in their only Super Bowl title. Jeff Hostetler blazed a similar path in 1990 with the New York Giants when he took over for an injured Phil Simms late in the season and also won the championship. “Everyone had jumped off the bandwagon,” Hostetler recalled three years ago when Foles was making his run. “We were completely shot as a team. That was the outside looking in. Inside where we were at, we just rallied the wagons. It was us versus the world. We just rallied around each other and it showed.” There are others as well, including Earl Morrall keeping the 1972 Dolphins perfect long enough for starter Bob Griese to finish the job in the Super Bowl, and Frank Reich staging the epic playoff comeback against Houston 28 years ago while Jim Kelly was out injured. Here’s a look at some of the most memorable playoff performances by backup quarterbacks: TOM MATTE: The Baltimore running back was thrust into emergency quarterback duty late in the 1965 season after Johnny Unitas and Gary Cuozzo went down with injuries. Matte started the season finale against the Rams, rushing for 99 yards and throwing two incompletions. He got the nod again the following week in a playoff game against Green Bay with a limited number of plays on a wrist band. He went 5 for 12 for 40 yards and ran for 57 more in a 13-10 loss to the Packers. EARL MORRALL: Morrall was in his 17th season as an NFL journeyman, who had lost to Joe Namath and the Jets in Super Bowl III and was a backup on a champion in Baltimore two years later. He joined the Dolphins in 1972 as Griese’s backup on a $100 waiver claim that proved to be a bargain when Griese got hurt in Week 5. Morrall started the next 11 games for the NFL’s only perfect team, leading playoff wins over Cleveland and Pittsburgh when he threw a TD pass to Larry Csonka in the AFC title game. Griese returned for the Super Bowl and completed the 17-0 season. JEFF HOSTETLER: Hostetler had started just two games in almost seven full seasons for the Giants when Simms injured his foot in Week 14. After starting that season with 10 straight wins, the Giants lost three out of four and were mostly written off as a contender when Simms got hurt. But Hostetler managed to lead the Giants to two wins to end the regular season, a lopsided playoff opener over Chicago, then upsets over two-time defending champion San Francisco in the NFC title game (15-13 on five field goals) and Buffalo (20-19) in the Super Bowl. He threw three TD passes with no interceptions in the playoff run. FRANK REICH: Two years after losing to Hostetler, the Bills relied on a backup to make it to their third consecutive Super Bowl. Starter Jim Kelly injured his knee in the regular-season finale, forcing Reich to take over in the playoffs. He led an epic comeback from a 35-3 deficit to beat Houston in the wild-card round and then Pittsburgh in the next round, throwing six TD passes with only one INT in the wins. Kelly returned to the AFC title game and started the Super Bowl before getting hurt again in the 52-17 loss to Dallas, which Reich finished. NICK FOLES: Reich was an assistant in Philadelphia 25 years later when Wentz went down with a knee injury that looked like it would derail the Eagles season. Foles stepped in and didn’t do much in the final three regular season games and the playoff opener over Atlanta. But he put together one of the greatest two-game stretches in post-season history to deliver the Eagles a title. He threw for 725 yards and six touchdowns in wins over Minnesota in the NFC title game and New England in the Super Bowl. He also caught a TD pass in the 41-33 win against the Patriots on a trick play known as the “Philly Special.” ___ More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL Josh Dubow, The Associated Press
That could foreshadow the whopper of a secondary Super Bowl ticket price that is already being anticipated in Tampa Bay next month.
Stadiums across the country all turned on their lights to honor the more than 400,000 people who have died due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Minty Bets, Jared Quay & Matt Gothard give their best bets for Wed. January 20.