Some of the sports stories The Associated Press is covering Thursday. A full Sports Digest will be sent by about 3 p.m. All times EDT:
– CHICAGO – No more Lovable Losers. Forget about curses, too. For the first time in 108 years, the Cubs can – get this – turn their attention toward a championship repeat.
– CLEVELAND – Nobody gave the Indians a chance all season, yet there they were in extra innings in Game 7 of the World Series. The future looks promising for a team that spent 2016 overcoming every obstacle in its path.
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– CLEVELAND – Theo Epstein, baseball's drought-buster, ended long runs of failure for the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago Cubs. It's safe to say this baseball guru will find his way to the Hall of Fame.
– They'll relive the game for generations, these Cubs fans, talking about the magical night in Cleveland when the skies opened and the curse of the Billy Goat was buried once and for all.
– MIAMI – President Barack Obama invites the Cubs to visit him at the White House. But Obama (a White Sox fan) reminds them to act quickly. He leaves office in mid-January.
– TAMPA, Fla. – Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons try to tighten their grip on first place in the NFC South when they face Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Game starts 8:25 p.m.
– FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Tom Brady has played in only four games, but at 39 he is in the conversation to become the oldest winner of the MVP award.
– ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – Wade Phillips didn't lose his sense of humor when Melvin Gordon plowed over him on the sideline. The Broncos' defensive coordinator discusses the jarring crash.
– OAKLAND, Calif. – Kevin Durant faces Russell Westbrook and the rest of his former Oklahoma City teammates for the first time since joining Golden State. Oklahoma City is 4-0. Game starts 10:30 p.m.
– NEW YORK – Rookie sensation Jimmy Vesey and the surging Rangers look for their sixth win in seven games when they play the Western Conference-leading Edmonton. Game starts 7 p.m.
– Two Top 25 college football games Thursday night: No. 12 Oklahoma at Iowa State (7:30 p.m.) and UCLA at No. 21 Colorado (9 p.m.).
– The AP announces its women's basketball preseason All-America team.
– VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova has basked in a championship celebration for seven months. Now it's time to defend the crown. The Wildcats are the Big East favorites and ranked fourth in the nation.
– PARIS – Marin Cilic earns a spot in the ATP finals by defeating David Goffin to reach the Paris Masters quarterfinals. The 2014 U.S. Open champion will next face top-ranked Novak Djokovic or Grigor Dimitrov.
– LAS VEGAS – Opening round of Shriners Children Hospitals Open on PGA Tour. Davis Love III is playing for the first time since he was the winning captain at the Ryder Cup.