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December 9, 2007

Tim Tebow wins Heisman

Sports Illustrated reported that the University of Florida Gator sophomore, Tim Tebow, won the 2007 Heisman Trophy Saturday.

Tebow made history at the event in New York city as he became the first sophomore to win the award in its 72 years of existance. Since the award was first given to Jay Berwanger in 1935 only upper classmen, juniors or seniors, have had the priviledge of winning the trophy that denotes the best player in college football for the season.

"I am fortunate, fortunate for a lot of things," Sports Illustrated wrote that Tebow said. "God truly blessed me and this just adds on. It's an honor. I'm so happy to be here."

To get to the podium on Saturday Tebow had to beat out three other finalist, one of which, Darren McFadden of Arkansas, became the first ever player to finish runner-up in the history of the award two years in a row, the Washington Post reported.

"Tebow received 1,957 points and 462 first-place votes to McFadden's 1,703 points and 291 first-place votes," Sports Illustrated reported.

The other two finalists that finished third and fourth in the voting were Colt Brennan of Hawaii and Chase Daniel of Missouri, respectively.

During his season Tebow put up record numbers. He completed 68 percent of his throws as he became the first player ever to rush for 20 touchdowns and throw for 20 touchdowns in one season.

Tebow has also led the Gators to a 9-3 record as a sophomore.

December 1, 2007

Evel Knievel Dies at 69

The LA Times reported that Evel Knievel, a legendary stuntman, died at the age of 69 Friday in Clearwater, Fla.

Knievel, who jumped his motorcycle over Greyhound buses and other large obstacles during his career, earned the title of American daredevil. During his career as a stuntman he broke 38 bones and had several concussions from failed jumps that resulted in crashes.

His health had been deteriorating for years due to diabetes and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, which is an untreatable condition.

"When you spoke with him, it was an effort for him to finish a sentence without taking another breath," Knievel's graphic design artist Bob Corbett told TIME.

Knievel reportedly had trouble breathing in his Clearwater home, and died before an ambulance could take him to the hospital, the LA Times reported.

Knievel will be remembered for not only his spectacular jumps over gaps as far as 150 feet, but also for some of his crashes. One notable crash at Caesars Palace that left him in a coma for a month.

"At a time when the nation was still struggling with the effects of the Vietnam War and Watergate, Knievel became an iconic American hero figure in his tight-fitting, red-white-and-blue jumpsuit," the LA Times reported. "His image was used to market motorcycles, crash helmets, Halloween costumes and candy."

November 18, 2007

Michigan coach Carr to retire Monday

ESPN news reported that Michigan's head football coach Lloyd Carr will retire Monday ending a 13 year career at Michigan.

Carr announced the decision to his players Sunday in a team meeting on the University of Michigan campus.

The announcement came following a 14-3 loss to Big Ten rival Ohio State Saturday. The loss marked the fourth straight loss to the Buckeyes.

The 62-year-old coach led the Wolverines to a 121-40 record, including five Big Ten championships and the 1997 national championship, in his 13 years as head coach. The .752 winning percentage was third among active coaches. Also, he has led Michigan to a bowl game in every single year as their head coach.

The Sports Network reported that this year Michigan went 8-4. The season started off with back-to-back losses to Appalachian State at of the Football Championship Subdivision, formerly Division 1-AA, and Oregon. The loss to Ohio State Saturday contributed to his 6-7 record against the Buckeyes all time.

"It was a move many expected last winter when he altered his contract, paving the way for this to be his last season on the sideline, and later made sure the school gave all of his assistants unprecedented, two-year deals," ESPN reported.

The decision to retire will end a 28 year career at Michigan. He was the defensive backs coach for the Wolverines from 1980-86, then a defensive coordinator from 1987-94 before becoming head coach in 1995.

"It's a hard thing to deal with," safety Jamar Adams told ESPN. "We're like a family, and when the head of your family is leaving, it's hard."

Carr is expected to announce the decision in a televised news conference Monday at 10 a.m. (et), the Sports Network said.

Possible candidates to replace Carr next season include Les Miles of LSU and NFL coach Jon Gruden of Tampa Bay, ESPN reported.

November 11, 2007

Police kill Italian soccer fan

ESPN news reported that police shot and killed a man from Rome at a highway rest area near Tuscany Sunday, while trying to break up a quarrel, authorities said.

Gabriele Sandri, 26, a soccer fan was enroute to a soccer game in Milaan to watch the Lazio, Rome's soccer team, when he was shot when police tried to break up an altercation between Sandri and a fan of an opposing team.

Sandri was around 125 miles north of Rome near Arrezo, police spokesman Saverio Cialdea said.

It is possible that Sandri was killed with a warning shot, police suggested. The incident is currently under investigation.

"It was a tragic error," said Arezzo police chief Vincenzo Giacobbe to the BBC.

It is not uncommon for fans to fight at rest stops in Italy.

The game between the Lazio and rival Inter Milan was postponed by the Italian soccer federation following the shooting. Other games that were scheduled to take place Sunday were delayed 10 minutes and players along with referees wore black armbands, ESPN reported.

The shooting sparked riots in Bergamo. Fans tried to break through a barrier and run onto the field during a game between AC Milan and Atalanta.

"In April the Italian government introduced a law aimed at stamping out football hooliganism," the BBC reported.

The legislative action came in February after a police officer was killed in a riot in Sicily at a soccer game.

Other precautions to ensure fan and police safety have included a new anti-violence measures, which include the banning of some fans from traveling to away games, ESPN reported.

November 4, 2007

Man charged with Halloween murders

WCCO reported that a man was charged Saturday in a Halloween double shooting case.

Val Derick Diggins, 51, was charged with two cases of second-degree homicide in relation to the shootings that took place at 916 21st Ave N in Minneapolis.

The victims Charles Edward Woods-Wilson and Ira Lee Brown Jr. were shot and killed at the residence on Halloween.

Diggins entered the house and demanded money on Wednesday, according to a police report KARE 11 reported. Once given the money he approached Woods-Wilson and "told him that he should not have messed with him," the police report said. Diggins shot Woods-Wilson in the head.

Upon hearing the gunshot Brown Jr., came down the stairs to see what happened. When he saw Diggins, he tried to run, but he was shot in the back three times, the police report said.

WCCO reported that Diggins was identified by a witness that was in the house.

He is being held at Hennepin County Jail and his bail is set at $2 million, KARE 11 reported.

October 28, 2007

Major advertisers to join Facebook

The Sunday Times reported that any day now advertising giants such as Nike and Coca-Cola will sign advertising deals with Facebook.

Facebook, a three-and-a-half year old "social networking" Web site, attracts 200,000 users a day and has recently been valued at around $15 million. Facebook's 50 million registered users has attracted high profile advertisers, Dominic Rushe of the Sunday Times reported.

Microsoft recently bought a share $240 million share of Facebook, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

"The prices are not irrational but a concrete sign of the value of online advertising," Rushe wrote.

The recent advertising deals with Facebook show the recent trend of advertising moving away from television and newspapers to the online medium.

The Sunday Times reported advertising online is a $16.5 billion business in America and is growing 14 percent a year, according to Jupiter Research.

"Now online is another viable medium for reaching their audience — it’s part of the media mix,? Carlton Cribb, the digital buying director at Zed Media, said.

Social networds are notorious for collecting information about their users. People list their favorite music, movies, and activities. This information is attractive to advertisers that can create well-targeted ads from it, Rushe reported.

October 21, 2007

Torre turns down Yankee offer to return as skipper

ESPN reported that Joe Torre declined the New York Yankee's offer to return as their manager for the 2008 season Thursday due to a pay cut.

The Yankees offered Torre a $5 million contract for 2008, $2.5 million less than he made last season. Torre declined the offer.

The Kansas City Star reported that Torre said, “The fact that somebody is reducing your salary is just telling me they’re not satisfied with what you’re doing."

In his career as the Yankee's manager he led them to four World Series titles and 12 straight post-season appearances.

The decision to reduce Torre's salary came after a first round loss to the Cleveland Indians in this years playoffs. It was the third consecutive first round loss for the organization.

ESPN reported that Yankee team president Randy Levine said, "We thought that we need to go to a performance-based model, having nothing to do with Joe Torre's character, integrity or ability. We just think it's important to motivate people."

The Yankees have not reached a World Series since 2003.

The Yankees will now have to find a new manager for the team. "Bench coach Don Mattingly is the leading contender to replace Torre," reported ESPN.

Torre, 67, on the other hand said in a news conference Thursday that he might be interested in managing elsewhere.


October 14, 2007

Coach claims Minnesota reneged on job offer, plans lawsuit

Sports Illustrated reported Friday that a former Oklahoma State assistant basketball coach plans to sue the University of Minnesota after he claimed they offered him a job, then reneged that offer a day later.

Jimmy Williams left Oklahoma State, moved to Minnesota and bought a house after he believed he was offered a job as the assistant men's basketball coach and the university under Tubby Smith. The Gophers athletic director Joel Maturi then reneged the deal, said Dick Hunegs, William's attorney.

Williams plans to file a lawsuit against the university Monday, Hunegs said.

The Pioneer Press reported that the university interviewed Williams for the job, but no agreement was reached. The university was reluctant to hire Williams because of previous NCAA violations he sustained as a Gopher assistant coach from 1971-86, said University of Minnesota general counsel Mark Rotenberg.

Williams claims that he resigned on April 3 at Oklahoma Sate after accepting a $200,000 offer from Smith to coach for the university. He then claims the next day Maturi reneged the offer.

"(Smith) offered me the job, and I accepted the job - you don't question that," Williams said.

Williams insists on getting the job he claims he was promised, plus damages.

The position Williams insists on getting has already been filled.

October 4, 2007

Police Recover Stolen Da Vinci Painting

MSNBC news reported that detectives recovered the Leonardo da Vinci painiting that was stolen from a Scottland castle four years ago, Thursday.

Officers raided a house in Glasglow and found "Madonna with the Yarnwinder," police said. Four men were also arrested during the raid, three from England and one from Scotland.

In 2003 the painting was stolen from Drumlanrig Castle in southern Scotland when the men posed as tourists, then overpowered a tour guide and left with the painting.

The painting showed up on the FBI's 10 most-wanted pieces of art, and is valued at around $65 million.

The painting was tracked down through efforts by the Scottish police, national crime agencies and the public, Detective Chief Inspector Mickey Dalgleish said.

“We are extremely pleased to recover the ’Madonna with the Yarnwinder’ painting,? Dalgleish said.

September 30, 2007

Favre Sets New TD record

ESPN reported that Brett Favre set a new NFL touchdown record in a 23-16 victory over the Minnesota Vikings Sunday.

Favre connected with Greg Jennings on a slant route with 4:32 left in the first quarter at the Metrodome in Minneapolis for record breaking touchdown pass No. 421. He added another touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.

ESPN reported that faithful Packer fans that made it to Minneapolis for the game, along with Viking fans stood and applauded Favre's accomplishment.

This mark surpasses Dan Marino's previous record of 420 touchdown passes.

Marino had held the record since 1995. A recording of Marino was played following the touchdown, in which he congratulated Farve on his accomplishment.

"I loved holding the touchdown record for the past 13 years," Marino said. "But if someone was going to break it, I'm glad it was someone like you, who has always competed at the highest level and always played to win."

Favre went on to complete 32-for-45 for 344 yards in the 23-16 win. His play undoubtable was key in the Packer's victory as they were only able to rush for 48 yards on 18 attempts, reported ABC News.

Just two weeks ago Favre broke the most career victories record previous held by John Elway with a win over the New York Giants.

Following the win over the Vikings, the Packers move to 4-0 on the season. This is the first 4-0 start the Packers have claimed since 1998.

September 21, 2007

Drug Testing Set to be Administered in Golf

ESPN reported Friday that major golf association's around the world signed off on anti-drug policies. The PGA tour, European tour, LPGA, and other major world tours have committed to issuing drug tests to their athletes.

Testing could begin as early as next spring, but there are still details that need to be worked out. The tours still need to decide when to test, and what penalties will be enforced for failure to meet standards.

The banned drugs will closely mirror those that the World Anti-Doping Agency state as preformance enhancing reported the New York Times.

The decision to test golfers was made due doping problems in other sports. The New York Times reported that Tim Finchem, the PGA Commissioner, stated in a news conference that were it not for the problems other sports have had, golf probably would not have adopted testing.

Gary Player, a PGA professional, stated at this years British Open that he knew of at least one player that had used steroids. He refused to release a name.

“No sport is immune from doping," said Dr. Gary I. Wadler, a member of WADA’s Prohibited List and Methods Committee.

"The R&A has no reason to believe that golf is anything other than a clean sport," R&A cheif executive Peter Dawson said. "But we've been supportive of a coordinated international effort in golf to test for drugs so that we can demonstrate that our sport is clean and we can keep it that way."

September 16, 2007

Belichick and Patriots Fined by NFL

ESPN reported that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell fined the New England Patriots and head coach Bill Belichick a total of $750, 000 Thursday for spying on defensive opponents signals.

The videotaping occurred in the Patriots week one game against the New York Jets. A video camera operated by Patriots video assistant Matt Estrella on the Jets' sidelines was confiscated. It was determined the Patriots were in violation of the league rule that states, "no video recording devices of any kind are permitted to be in use in the coaches' booth, on the field, or in the locker room during the game."

Belichick was fined $500, 000 while the Patriot organization was fined an additional $250,000 as well as the loss of their first round draft pick in the 2008 draft assuming the Patriots make the play-offs. If not, they will forfeit their second- and third-round draft picks if they miss the postseason. "This episode represents a calculated and deliberate attempt to avoid long-standing rules designed to encourage fair play and promote honest competition on the playing field," Goodell said.

"I apologize to the Kraft family and every person directly or indirectly associated with the New England Patriots for the embarrassment, distraction and penalty my mistake caused," Belicheck said.

The fine represents the largest fine ever applied to a coach. It accounts for up to 12 percent of Belicheck's $4.8 million 2007 salary. Also, this is the first time that a first-round draft pick has ever been taken away.

This is not the first time the Patriots were caught taping other teams. The other incident occurred last November in a game against Green Bay. The Packer's noticed Estrella taping and told him to stop. The team was not fined in that incident.