A look ahead to top enterprise and feature stories planned globally by AP Sports. New digests will go out each Thursday and Monday and will be repeated on other weekdays. Please note that story plans may change depending on news and other issues.
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As with all our operations, we welcome and want your feedback. If you have thoughts or questions about the Sports Showcase Digest or the material listed, please reach out to Oskar Garcia, assistant sports editor for the U.S. east region, at 215-446-6632 or at ogarcia(at)ap.org.
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All times are Eastern.
THURSDAY, Dec. 7
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Each team has that one player that makes everything click together, the guy with so much ability and leadership that everyone else plays better too. Sure, the quarterback is the most important touching the ball every snap on offense. But take Mr. Indispensable off the field, and nothing is quite the same. And that makes winning that much tougher in the NFL. By Pro Football Writer Teresa M. Walker. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 3 a.m. Thursday. With: FBN–Mr. Indispensable-List.
FRIDAY, Dec. 8
BKC–THE LOW MAJORS-A DREAM REALIZED
SACRAMENTO, California – The bones are what hit Kevin Hicks. Not the house destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, not the devastation still apparent three years later, not the clothes wadded up in the corner of what was once his bedroom. No, the bones of the family dog scattered in the yard are what did it, causing the Sacramento State guard to break down in his first trip back to the 9th Ward of New Orleans since the storm uprooted his family. By Basketball Writer John Marshall. UPCOMING: 1,000 words, photos by 3 a.m. Dec. 8.
SATURDAY, Dec. 9
Rookies matter more than ever in the NFL nowadays, and the statistics make that clear: With players such as Kareem Hunt and Deshaun Watson (until he got injured, anyway) making immediate impacts, this season’s rookie class ranks among the strongest since 2000, showing up as No. 1 in rushing yards, No. 2 in TDs scored, No. 3 in receiving yards, No. 4 in total tackles. Still, an AP examination of the past 10 seasons shows that Super Bowl teams tend to rely less on first-year players than others around the league, while the worst clubs (think: Cleveland Browns) keep using plenty of rookies without much to show for it. By Pro Football Writer Howard Fendrich. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by Saturday at noon.
– FBN–ROOKIE BOOMS AND BUSTS. A look at a handful of the most, and least, successful NFL rookies this season. By Howard Fendrich. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos.
MONDAY, Dec. 11
FBN–CBS VS WRS
When the in-game tussles featuring Aqib Talib vs. Michael Crabtree, and Jalen Ramsey vs. A.J. Green played out, Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive back Ronnie Lott thought back to a bit of advice he received decades ago, before his San Francisco 49ers faced the Dallas Cowboys. ”`Do not get into a talking match. … Stay focused on the game,”’ Lott said recalled. ”I’m sure that some coach or somebody said, `Don’t get caught up in that’ to the guys involved in these things this season. Whatever the coaches said, it didn’t work.” Sometimes, it seems, conflicts between cornerbacks and wideouts are simply unavoidable. It is a unique dynamic in NFL games week after week: On play after play, CBs and WRs match up 1-on-1, with plenty of grabbing and shoving and, yes, yapping mixed in. By Pro Football Writer Howard Fendrich. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 3 a.m. Monday.
Again, if you have questions about the Sports Showcase Digest or the material listed, please reach out to Oskar Garcia, assistant sports editor for the U.S. east region, at 215-446-6632 or at ogarcia(at)ap.org.