Tuesday’s Sports In Brief
PHOENIX (AP) Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch knew he had to talk. It didn’t mean he had to say anything. So, in essence, he didn’t.
At Super Bowl Media Day, the players and coaches are window dressing, and it’s really more about who’s asking the questions. There was Barrel Boy. A pair of buck-toothed sock puppets. A guy sporting a purple shirt, a bicycle helmet and seven Go Pro cameras, ”so I can catch all the angles, precisely.”
These characters are the sort that have helped turn an event that began as a convenient place to fill up the notebook in advance of the NFL title game into the full-fledged theatre of the absurd it has become.
About 2,000 reporters – make that people with credentials – filed into the U.S. Airways Center, worked their way down the stairs past a marching band playing a version of Blondie’s 1980 hit, ”Call Me,” and got down to business.
PHOENIX (AP) – Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s pre-emptive strike the previous night took the issue of air pressure in footballs on Super Bowl media day and, well, deflated it.
Not only was the topic rarely raised in questioning of players from both sides Tuesday, but Kraft’s protesting how his franchise is being portrayed seemed to provide the last word on the issue – for now.
In a short appearance at media day, Kraft assessed the impact of his strong statement delivered when New England arrived Monday. During that statement, he said he expects an apology from the NFL when its investigation determines the Patriots did nothing wrong.
Beyond that, the NFL’s investigation of deflated footballs used by New England in the AFC championship victory over Indianapolis gave way to questions about players’ favorite musicians, movies and clothing.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – Derrick Rose hit a step-back jumper with 7 seconds remaining in overtime, and the Chicago Bulls ended Golden State’s franchise-record 19-game home winning streak with a thrilling 113-111 victory over the Warriors.
Rose dribbled to his left and created space to get the shot off over Klay Thompson, skipping around the court after the Warriors called timeout. Rose finished with 30 points, and his final basket overshadowed a night when he committed a career-high 11 turnovers and made just 13 of 33 shots.
Thompson misfired on a running bank shot as time expired to finish off Golden State’s first loss at rowdy Oracle Arena in more than two months.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A jury convicted two ex-Vanderbilt football players of raping a former student, rejecting claims that they were too drunk to know what they were doing and that a college culture of binge drinking and promiscuous sex should be blamed for the attack.
The jury deliberated for three hours before announcing that Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey were guilty of aggravated rape and aggravated sexual battery.
Batey was stoic, staring ahead and Vandenburg shook his head ”no,” appearing stunned. His father had an outburst and abruptly left the courtroom.
The victim, a 21-year-old neuroscience and economics major at the time of the June 2013 attack, cried as each guilty verdict was announced. The men face decades in prison when they are sentenced March 6.
MIAMI (AP) – Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao have finally met – in person.
And now talks might get serious about them meeting in the ring.
The fighters were both sitting courtside, directly across from one another, at a Miami Heat game on Tuesday night. Mayweather went over to Pacquiao at halftime, the men shook hands and chatted briefly, then exchanged phone numbers.
”He gave his number to me and said we will communicate with each other,” said Pacquiao, adding that he had never before met Mayweather in person.
Asked to clarify if the exchange meant the two would negotiate directly about meeting in the ring, Pacquiao said that was the case.
ST. LOUIS (AP) – Martin Brodeur is retiring to take a front office job with the St. Louis Blues. The New Jersey Devils have a spot waiting for one of the greatest goaltenders in NHL history whenever he is ready to come back home.
The 10-time All-Star and four-time Vezina Trophy winner finished his career with St. Louis after a standout, two-decade run with New Jersey. A news conference was set for Thursday morning before the Blues return from the All-Star break to play Nashville.
The 42-year-old Brodeur wrapped up his 22-year career with St. Louis after signing as a free agent on Dec. 2. He was 3-3 with a 2.87 goals-against average and in his final victory became the fifth-oldest goalie to post a shutout in a 3-0 win over Colorado on Dec. 29.
He last played on Jan. 2 in a loss at Anaheim and had not returned since being granted a one-week leave of absence on Jan. 14.
MIAMI (AP) – Ichiro Suzuki has passed his physical and finalized a $2 million, one-year deal with the Miami Marlins.
Suzuki signed the deal in his native Japan. A news conference will be held there for him Thursday, with five Marlins executives present, including president David Samson, president of baseball operations Michael Hill and general manager Dan Jennings.
The 41-year-old Suzuki, a 10-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glove winner, is expected to be the team’s fourth outfielder behind Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna.
SCHLADMING, Austria (AP) – Alexander Khoroshilov won a night slalom by a huge margin, becoming the first Russian to get a World Cup victory in more than three decades.
Khoroshilov built on his commanding first-run lead to finish in a total time of 1 minute, 46.39 seconds, 1.44 ahead of second-place Stefano Gross of Italy, who had his maiden win two weeks ago in Addelboden, Switzerland.
Russia’s last victory came from Alexander Zhirov in a giant slalom in 1981.
Felix Neureuther of Germany came 1.51 behind in third and extended his lead in the discipline standings while setting a personal best by reaching his seventh podium of the season.