Update on the latest in sports:
SUPER BOWL-SNOW JAM
Atlanta braces for plunging temperatures, ice, maybe snow
ATLANTA (AP) – Atlantans awoke to relatively mild weather today, but forecasters warn that streets could still become icy as fans arrive for the Super Bowl, with temperatures expected to drop more than 20 degrees during the day.
More than 100 of today’s flights were canceled at Atlanta’s airport and schools were closed across the city “in an abundance of caution” ahead of the storm front, which was churning toward Georgia just as thousands of fans begin pouring into town for Super Bowl 53.
Even a threat of icy weather is taken seriously in Atlanta, five years after cars, trucks and school buses became marooned on the southern city’s freeways in what became known as “snow jam.”
The storm system slowed somewhat overnight, but National Weather Service meteorologist Sid King says temperatures are still expected to plunge into the 30s by this afternoon and the 20s by evening.
3-time major champion Andy Murray says he had hip operation
UNDATED (AP) – Andy Murray confirms that he’s had a second hip operation.
The 31-year-old tennis star posted on Instagram today, “Feeling a bit battered and bruised just now, but hopefully that will be the end of my hip pain.” Murray has gotten a metal implant one year after his first procedure on the joint.
Before losing in the first round at the Australian Open on Jan. 14, Murray said that he planned to retire at some point this year – and that it was possible that Grand Slam tournament might be the final event of his career.
Australian PM asks Thailand to free detained soccer player
BANGKOK (AP) – Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is urging Thailand to stop the extradition to Bahrain of a detained soccer player who has refugee status in Australia.
Morrison’s office says he has written a letter to Thailand’s prime minister, emphasizing that Hakeem al-Araibi’s case is an important matter to him personally, as well as to the Australian government and Australian people.
Al-Araibi, a former Bahraini national team player, says he fled his home country because of political repression. Bahrain wants the 25-year-old returned to serve a 10-year prison sentence he received in absentia in 2014 for vandalizing a police station, which he denies.
PSV fans who mocked beggars in Madrid face prison sentence
MADRID (AP) – Spanish prosecutors are seeking a one-year prison sentence for each of the three PSV Eindhoven fans being accused of mocking women who were begging in Madrid’s central Plaza Mayor before a Champions League match in 2016.
Prosecutors also want the fans to pay 600 euros ($685) to each of the four women they “humiliated” at the iconic plaza in the Spanish capital.
Videos posted on social media showed PSV supporters throwing coins and making fun of the women as they attempted to grab the money. Some made them do push-ups in exchange for the coins. Others burned a 5 euro note in front of the women.
Then-Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy (mah-ree-AH’-noh rah-HOY’) said at the time he was disgusted by the “repugnant” and “sickening” behavior of the fans.
YOUNGER AND CHEAPER-SUPER BOWL CUTS
In the younger, cheaper NFL, Super Bowl champs get cut, too
UNDATED (AP) – An Associated Press analysis of Super Bowl champions over the past seven years has revealed that title teams have shed an average of 20.4 players off their 53-man rosters from the Super Bowl to Week 1 of the next season. That’s 38.5 percent.
On average, the new players had 1.8 fewer years of experience than the players they replaced.
The findings are in line with data analyzed by the AP that shows a steady trend downward in experience of all teams despite attempts in the 2006 and 2011 collective bargaining agreements to stem that tide.
Italian coach banned for 5 months for head-butting opponent
ROME (AP) – A third-division coach in Italy has been banned for five months for head-butting an opponent and inciting violence.
Lucchese coach Giancarlo Favarin knocked Alessandria coach Gaetano Mancino to the ground with a powerful head-butt on Sunday at the end of their 2-2 draw in Serie C.
The Lega Pro, which governs that division, says in a statement that Favarin is banned until June 30 for that incident as well as “for having expressed blasphemous phrases during the game; for having invited his own player to ‘break the legs’ of an opponent.”
Lucchese has refuted reports the 60-year-old Favarin will be fired for the incident.
“The decision has left us genuinely perplexed,” Lucchese sporting director Antonio Obbedio said on Tuesday. “Not so much for the disqualification inflicted on the coach, as for the unequal treatment regarding other cases that occurred on the same day.”
Mancino was handed a two-match ban for “offensive and provocative behavior” toward Favarin.