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The Early Lead: January 2, 2011 - January 8, 2011

NFL wild-card weekend live: Saints-Seahawks, Jets-Colts

Herewith, your live, in-game thread. Tweet your way up here (#NFLWP) or join me in the comments. I'm going to go with the Colts over the Jets in tonight's game, but first, there's just something about the Seahawks at home...maybe...

By Cindy Boren  | January 8, 2011; 4:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  NFL  
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Tony Sparano gets contract extension through '13 from Miami Dolphins

The Miami Dolphins announced today that they have given Coach Tony Sparano a contract extension through 2013, wrapping up a chaotic and odd week in which owner Stephen Ross jetted to the West Coast to talk to Jim Harbaugh. Ross...

By Cindy Boren  | January 8, 2011; 3:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Ed Reed: 'My brother ... would want me to play' Sunday

Updated at 5:47 p.m. Despite the disappearance of his brother in Louisiana, safety Ed Reed will play in the Baltimore Ravens' playoff game Sunday against the Chiefs in Kansas City. "My brother loved football," Reed, who flew to Missouri with...

By Cindy Boren  | January 8, 2011; 2:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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NFL playoff schedule kicks off with Saints-Seahawks

The Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints will kick off the NFL playoffs today. The Saints will play the Seahawks in Seattle at 4:30 p.m.; the New York Jets will play the Colts in Indianapolis at 8 p.m. Both are...

By Cindy Boren  | January 8, 2011; 11:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
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Brother of Ravens safety Ed Reed reportedly missing in Louisiana

Updated at 6:01 p.m. A man believed to be the 29-year-old brother of Baltimore Ravens free safety Ed Reed is missing after jumping into the Mississippi River in Louisiana in order to avoid police. Members of the St. Charles Parish...

By Cindy Boren  | January 7, 2011; 4:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  NFL  
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Jim Harbaugh to coach San Francisco 49ers

Jim Harbaugh has reached agreement on a five-year deal to coach the San Francisco 49ers. Harbaugh's decision came down to a choice between staying as head coach at Stanford with returning quarterback Andrew Luck, and moving into the NFL, where...

By Cindy Boren  | January 7, 2011; 3:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
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Jason Campbell: 'I was the scapegoat' in Washington and 'it really stung'

His Oakland Raiders team, at times with him and without him, went 8-8 ... two games better than his former team, the Washington Redskins. That fact wasn't lost on quarterback Jason Campbell. In an interview with Jamie Mottram of Mister...

By Cindy Boren  | January 7, 2011; 10:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (63)
Categories:  Redskins  
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Jim Harbaugh's top options San Francisco 49ers, Stanford

Updated 3:15 p.m. Jim Harbaugh is choosing between remaining the coach at Stanford and jumping to the San Francisco 49ers, according to multiple reports. This never-ending saga (so lengthy, there's an animated "Bachelor" parody) is getting a little weird....

By Cindy Boren  | January 7, 2011; 9:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  College football, NFL  
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Rutgers' Eric LeGrand now has sensation throughout his body

Eric LeGrand, the Rutgers defensive lineman who was paralyzed on a kickoff return on Oct. 16, says he now has sensation throughout his body. LeGrand, in an ESPN interview that will air tomorrow, said he also can move his...

By Cindy Boren  | January 7, 2011; 6:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  College football  
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Rich Rodriguez breaks silence on firing by Michigan

Rich Rodriguez, fired Wednesday after three seasons as coach at the University of Michigan, issued a statement today that said: "I am proud of the dedication and commitment exhibited by the coaching staff and student-athletes who have represented the University...

By Cindy Boren  | January 6, 2011; 4:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  College football  
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Andrew Luck will return to Stanford

Andrew Luck will seek more helmet stickers at Stanford. (Streeter Lecka / Getty Images) Quarterback Andrew Luck, the Heisman Trophy runner-up, will return to Stanford for his junior season rather than enter the NFL Draft, the school has announced....

By Cindy Boren  | January 6, 2011; 2:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
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Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe returns to practice

Dwayne Bowe, the Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver who missed practice Wednesday because of a flu-like illness, returned to the field and practiced fully today. Guard Brian Waters missed practice Wednesday and again Thursday for the same reasonas the Chiefs...

By Cindy Boren  | January 6, 2011; 2:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Jim Harbaugh is in the middle of 49ers, Dolphins bidding war

For a change, it's fascinating to watch an NFL bidding war that does not involve the Washington Redskins. That's what reportedly is taking place in San Francisco, where Stanford Coach Jim Harbaugh is being wined, dined, wooed and pursued by...

By Cindy Boren  | January 6, 2011; 12:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
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Jason Garrett to be named Dallas Cowboys' head coach

Jason Garrett will be introduced as the Dallas Cowboys' head coach in a press conference at 2:30 p.m. EST today. Garrett, formerly the team's offensive coordinator, went 5-3 after replacing Wade Phillips on Nov. 9. Those three losses were by...

By Cindy Boren  | January 6, 2011; 12:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
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Team Russia kicked off flight after winning World Junior Hockey Championship

Updated at 1:33 p.m. What happens after a team wins a world championship with five third-period goals that crush the will to live from Team Canada? There's the requisite celebration, of course. And then everybody gets kicked off the flight...

By Cindy Boren  | January 6, 2011; 11:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
 
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Report: ESPN, NFL close to nearly $2 billion-per-year deal for 'Monday Night Football'

ESPN and the NFL are close to agreeing to a new deal that would be worth nearly $2 billion per year, according to a Sports Business Daily report. Citing multiple sources, SBD reports that ESPN will increase its annual rights...

By Cindy Boren  | January 6, 2011; 9:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
 
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Would Vince Young, Redskins be a good fit?

It's over between Jeff Fisher and Vince Young, which raises the question: Where will Young play next year? For followers of a certain Washington D.C., football team that may be seeking a change at quarterback, the question is far more...

By Cindy Boren  | January 6, 2011; 8:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (40)
Categories:  NFL, Redskins  
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Vince Young will be traded or released by Tennessee Titans

The tempestuous relationship between Tennessee Titans Coach Jeff Fisher and quarterback Vince Young will end with either the trade or release of the quarterback, according to Tennessean.com. "As you are aware, we have been engaged in a series of internal...

By Cindy Boren  | January 5, 2011; 7:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
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Mike Leach thought he and Maryland were a good match

Mike Leach and Maryland seemed like a good fit -- right up until the moment the school hired Connecticut's Randy Edsall to be its football coach. "I thought it was a good opportunity, but by the same token they have...

By Cindy Boren  | January 5, 2011; 4:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  College football  
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New Orleans Saints place Pierre Thomas on injured reserve list

The New Orleans Saints have placed running back Pierre Thomas on the injured reserve list a day after their leading rusher, Chris Ivory, was shut down for the season. With a playoff game looming Saturday on what probably will be...

By Cindy Boren  | January 5, 2011; 3:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Report: Jim Harbaugh, 49ers to meet

Updated at 4:23 p.m. Stanford Coach Jim Harbaugh is expected to meet today with the San Francisco 49ers according to an ESPN report. Harbaugh and 49ers officials were expected to meet at an undisclosed location away from the team's facility....

By Cindy Boren  | January 5, 2011; 2:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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Report: Denver Broncos will ask permission to interview Gregg Williams

The Denver Broncos reportedly will ask the New Orleans Saints for permission to interview defensive coordinator Gregg Williams for their vacant coaching position. Woody Paige reports that Williams, who re-energized the Saints' defense and formerly was Redskins' designated heir apparent...

By Cindy Boren  | January 5, 2011; 2:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Bert Blyleven, Roberto Alomar elected to Hall of Fame

Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven have been elected to the Hall of Fame in voting by members of the Baseball Writers Association of America. Alomar and Blyleven were easily elected; Alomar received 90 percent of the votes cast and Blyleven...

By Cindy Boren  | January 5, 2011; 1:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  MLB  
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Michigan athletic director believes Jim Harbaugh is headed to NFL

Michigan Athletic Director Dave Brandon agrees with John Harbaugh about just where Jim Harbaugh will coach next season. "I personally believe Jim Harbaugh is headed to the NFL," Brandon said at a press conference announcing the firing of Rich Rodriguez....

By Cindy Boren  | January 5, 2011; 1:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  College football, NFL  
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Michigan fires Rich Rodriguez

Saying "I believe this is the best decision for the future of Michigan's football program," Athletic Director Dave Brandon announced that Rich Rodriguez has been fired. "I have completed a systematic and thorough review of our football program and believe...

By Cindy Boren  | January 5, 2011; 12:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  College football  
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Sports offers pour in for Ted Williams' 'God-given gift of voice'

A homeless Ohio man wasn't boasting when he stood beside a Columbus street with a sign claiming that he has a "God-given gift of voice." All he needed was for someone to stop and listen, someone to ask him...

By Cindy Boren  | January 5, 2011; 10:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Raiders part with Tom Cable and Jim Harbaugh's name comes up

Updated at 12:37 p.m. The Oakland Raiders parted with Tom Cable on Tuesday, which means that there suddenly are two NFL coaching vacancies in the Bay Area. And, coincidentally and conveniently, the hottest name in coaching right now is just...

By Cindy Boren  | January 5, 2011; 8:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
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John Harbaugh doesn't think Jim Harbaugh will end up at Michigan

Just where will Jim Harbaugh be coaching next year? His brother John, coach of the Baltimore Ravens, offered a little further insight in his weekly WBAL radio appearance tonight. "I don't know what he's going to do," Harbaugh said (via...

By Cindy Boren  | January 4, 2011; 6:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  College football  
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ESPN fires Ron Franklin over comments to Jeannine Edwards

ESPN has fired Ron Franklin over remarks he made to Jeannine Edwards during a meeting to prepare for a bowl game last Friday. Franklin called Edwards "sweet baby," and when she raised an objection, called her an expletive. Another colleague...

By Cindy Boren  | January 4, 2011; 4:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (47)
Categories:  ESPN  
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Michigan denies reports that Rich Rodriguez has been fired...as of now

Updated at 6:40 p.m. The University of Michigan has denied reports that Rich Rodriguez has been fired...as of this moment. The school released a statement that said: "This is media speculation at this point the definitive voice on this matter...

By Cindy Boren  | January 4, 2011; 3:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  College football  
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Caron Butler will miss the rest of the season after undergoing knee surgery

Caron Butler prepped for knee surgery. (via Twitter) Caron Butler underwent knee surgery Tuesday morning and will miss the rest of the Dallas Mavericks' season. Butler, who tweeted a pre-op photo, had his ruptured right patellar tendon repaired. He added,...

By Cindy Boren  | January 4, 2011; 3:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  NBA  
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Rich Rodriguez, Michigan athletic director to meet

Michigan Coach Rich Rodriguez will meet with Athletic Director Dave Brandon this afternoon to discuss his future, according to an AnnArbor.com report. Members of the football team are expected to learn Rodriguez' fate at a previously-scheduled 7 p.m. meeting tonight....

By Cindy Boren  | January 4, 2011; 12:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  College football  
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Report: Miami Dolphins check out Jim Harbaugh

The Miami Dolphins and Jim Harbaugh? Hmmm... The Dolphins, according to a report by the NFL Network's Jason La Canfora, have had multiple conversations with the Stanford coach, whose services are wanted by the University of Michigan (where Rich Rodriguez...

By Cindy Boren  | January 4, 2011; 11:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
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Marvin Lewis re-signs with Cincinnati Bengals

Updated at 3:47 p.m. After a tumultuous day of on-and-off talks and varying reports, Marvin Lewis has re-signed with the Cincinnati Bengals. "I do feel like it's a new beginning," Lewis said in a late-afternoon press conference in Cincinnati. "It's...

By Cindy Boren  | January 4, 2011; 10:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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Tucker Carlson says he 'overspoke' about Michael Vick, execution

Tucker Carlson did some backpedaling on his Michael Vick comment last week. Carlson, appearing on Fox's "Hannity," clarified his statement that the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback "killed dogs and he did it in a heartless and cruel way. I think personally...

By Cindy Boren  | January 4, 2011; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (70)
 
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Brett Favre sued by Jets' former massage therapists

Two massage therapists filed suit in a New York City court, alleging that their complaints about sexually suggestive text messages from Brett Favre when he was playing for the New York Jets cost them their part-time jobs with the...

By Cindy Boren  | January 4, 2011; 8:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  NFL  
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Jim Harbaugh ponders his next move after Stanford wins Orange Bowl

Jim Harbaugh and his Stanford players celebrate Monday night. (Al Diaz / Miami Herald) Jim Harbaugh is officially on the clock. Now that his Stanford team has beaten Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl, he can decide where he...

By Cindy Boren  | January 4, 2011; 5:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  College football  
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John Harbaugh thinks there's 'good chance' Jim Harbaugh stays at Stanford

Jim Harbaugh, perhaps the hottest coaching prospect around right now, will wrap up the season tonight when his Stanford team plays Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl. Then what will Harbaugh do? Stay at Stanford? Take the Michigan job? Take...

By Cindy Boren  | January 3, 2011; 6:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  College football, NFL  
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Ron Franklin calls Jeannine Edwards 'sweet baby'

Updated at 10:21 p.m. Jeannine Edwards of ESPN clarified a few things concerning the incident with Ron Franklin. She told USA Today's Michael McCarthy that Franklin called her "sweet baby," not "sweetcakes," and that another employee who was present reported...

By Cindy Boren  | January 3, 2011; 1:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
Categories:  ESPN  
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Dave Wannstedt won't coach Pitt in Compass Bowl

Dave Wannstedt, in a take-your-bowl-and-shove-it move, has decided not to coach the Pitt Panthers in the Compass Bowl on Saturday. Instead, defensive coordinator Phil Bennett will fill in when the Panthers play Kentucky in Birmingham. Wannstedt, forced to resign Dec....

By Cindy Boren  | January 3, 2011; 12:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  College football  
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Roger Goodell sends letter to 5 million NFL fans

On the day after the regular season ended, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell emailed about 5 million fans, expressing the league's stance on the rookie wage scale, the 18-game season, the health of players and the continuing impact of a sluggish...

By Cindy Boren  | January 3, 2011; 11:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  NFL  
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Charlie Weis makes jump from Chiefs to Florida

Charlie Weis is taking his offensive coordinator skills to the University of Florida. Weis, the Kansas City Chiefs' offensive coordinator and former head coach at Notre Dame, will become the University of Florida offensive coordinator, the school announced. "Charlie was...

By Cindy Boren  | January 3, 2011; 10:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  College football, NFL  
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Orioles pitcher Alfredo Simon surrenders to police in Dominican Republic

Baltimore Orioles pitcher Alfredo Simon, prime suspect in a New Year's shooting in the Dominican Republic, surrendered to police this morning. He will face murder charges stemming from an incident in which Michael Esteban Castillo, 25, was shot to death...

By Cindy Boren  | January 3, 2011; 10:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  MLB  
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Black Monday: Eric Mangini fired by Browns

Updated at 5:41 p.m. The Cleveland Browns fired Coach Eric Mangini, announcing the expected move this morning. Among the possible replacements for Mangini, whose Browns were 5-11 this year, in Cleveland is team president Mike Holmgren himself. Another possibility: Marty...

By Cindy Boren  | January 3, 2011; 10:06 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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DC Sports-o-Meter Live: Who had the best, worst week in sports?

Who's up, who's down in DC? Tell Dan Steinberg and me and watch at noon to see if he can continue to be as wrong about everything in 2011 as he was in 2010....

By Cindy Boren  | January 3, 2011; 9:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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2011 NFL Draft order set for non-playoff teams

The first 20 picks of the 2011 NFL Draft, which will take place regardless of the labor situation, are set in stone, with the rest to be determined by playoff outcomes. The new draft format -- the three-day playerpalooza --...

By Cindy Boren  | January 3, 2011; 7:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  NFL  
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Tom Coughlin's job with Giants was never in doubt, owner says

The whispers about Tom Coughlin's demise were greatly exaggerated. New York Giants owner John Mara said, after the team's 17-14 win over the Washington Redskins, that Coughlin would return. "There was never any doubt he was going to be back...

By Cindy Boren  | January 2, 2011; 8:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  NFL  
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Leslie Frazier to be named Minnesota Vikings' coach...permanently

Leslie Frazier will be the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings next year. The interim job, which Frazier has held since Brad Childress was fired Nov. 22, will officially be his this week, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Despite the...

By Cindy Boren  | January 2, 2011; 3:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Mark Schlereth on Mike Shanahan's decision-making, ego ... and more

Kevin Ewoldt of Hogs Haven talked to ESPN's Mark Schlereth last week and got plenty of insight and opinion from him on Mike Shanahan as a coach and personnel guy. Schlereth is in a position to know...he played for Shanahan...

By Cindy Boren  | January 2, 2011; 1:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  Donovan McNabb, Mike Shanahan, Redskins  
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NFL Week 17 Live: Coaching buzz, playoff permutations on last week

Hate, hate, hate the end of the NFL's regular season. The postponement of last week's Sunday night game was a cold slap of a reminder of what lies ahead. Sure, "The Sound of Music" is a toe-tapper, but it ain't...

By Cindy Boren  | January 2, 2011; 12:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  NFL  
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Brett Favre inactive for what is expected to be final game of his career

If this is the last game of Brett Favre's NFL career, he will be spending it on the sideline. Favre has been listed as inactive for the Minnesota Vikings' season-ending game today against the Lions in Detroit. Favre, 41,...

By Cindy Boren  | January 2, 2011; 11:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Brett Favre  
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Report: Jason Garrett to be named Dallas Cowboys' coach

Updated at 1:59 p.m. Jason Garrett, the Dallas Cowboys' offensive coordinator who has been the interim head coach since replacing Wade Phillips on Nov. 9, will be given the job, according to an NFL Network report. Michael Lombardi of the...

By Cindy Boren  | January 2, 2011; 11:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Baltimore Orioles pitcher Alfredo Simon main suspect in killing

Baltimore Orioles pitcher Alfredo Simon is the main suspect in the fatal shooting of a man in the Dominican Republic. Dominican police issued a statement saying they are searching for Simon, 29, in connection with the shooting death of Michel...

By Cindy Boren  | January 2, 2011; 11:02 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  MLB  
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