Update on the latest sports
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2 more bowl games on tap
UNDATED (AP) – Two more bowl games are on the Thursday schedule.
No. 23 Cincinnati and Boston College meet in the Birmingham Bowl in Alabama. The Bearcats are going for win No. 11 while coming off back-to-back losses to Memphis, including in the American Athletic Conference championship game. They’re led by quarterback Desmond Ridder. Boston College is being led by interim coach Rich Gunnell after the firing of coach Steve Addazio. The Eagles will be without all-time leading rusher A.J. Dillon, who is skipping the game to prepare for the NFL draft.
Tennessee and Indiana are both in a bowl game for the first time in three years. The Volunteers carry a five-game winning streak into the Gator Bowl tonight in Florida. The Hoosiers have their first eight-win season since 1993 and are seeking nine victories for the first time since 1967. Indiana also has won nine consecutive games against nonconference opponents. Tennessee has won three straight bowl games and four in a row against the Big Ten.
Browns kick off coaching interviews with Mike McCarthy
BEREA, Ohio (AP) – The Cleveland Browns didn’t even talk to Mike McCarthy during their last coaching search. This time, he’s at the top of their list.
The former Green Bay coach is meeting Thursday with Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam as Cleveland begins its latest quest to find the right coach after so many failed attempts.
McCarthy won a Super Bowl with the Packers in 2010 and went to the playoffs nine times in 13 years before being fired in 2018. The 56-year-old spent the past year out of football, immersing himself into studying concepts and trends and embracing analytics. He’s already interviewed with Carolina about their opening and will likely meet with the Giants about their opening.
McCarthy went 125-77-2 in Green Bay, but he was often criticized for not winning more than one Super Bowl with star QB Aaron Rodgers.
The Browns are seeking their seventh coach in 10 years after firing Freddie Kitchens on Sunday, hours after ending a disappointing 6-10 season with a loss at Cincinnati.
Kitchens’ dismissal was followed by the surprising ouster of general manager John Dorsey, who mutually parted ways with the team on Tuesday after refusing to accept a diminished role offered by the Haslams.
Former NBA Commissioner David Stern dies at 77
NEW YORK (AP) – David Stern had basketball as a passion and law as a profession, one he figured he could return to if a job at the NBA didn’t work out.
He never did. Instead he went to Europe, Asia and plenty of other places around the world, bringing with him a league that was previously an afterthought in the U.S. and turning it into a global powerhouse.
Stern, who spent 30 years as the NBA’s longest-serving commissioner and one of the best in sports history, died Wednesday. He was 77.
Stern suffered a brain hemorrhage on Dec. 12 and underwent emergency surgery. The league said he died with his wife, Dianne, and their family at his bedside.
Stern had been involved with the NBA for nearly two decades before he became its fourth commissioner on Feb. 1, 1984. By the time he left his position in 2014 – he wouldn’t say or let league staffers say “retire,” because he never stopped working – a league that fought for a foothold before him had grown to a more than $5 billion a year industry and made NBA basketball perhaps the world’s most popular sport after soccer.
Lakers forward LeBron James said, “We lost a great visionary.” Washington Wizards owner Ted Leonsis called Stern the “best leader in sports history.”
Larsen, who threw only perfect World Series game, dies at 90
NEW YORK (AP) – The only man to throw a perfect game in the World Series has died.
Don Larsen was in hospice care in Idaho when he died of esophageal cancer Wednesday at age 90, according to his agent.
The journeyman pitcher reached the heights of baseball glory when he threw a perfect game in 1956 with the New York Yankees for the only no-hitter in World Series history.
Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement Thursday that Larsen’s perfect game has “remained unique for 63 years and counting.”
Larsen was 81-91 with a 3.78 ERA during a pitching career that spanned seven major league clubs from 1953-67. He never won more than 11 games in a season and finished an unsightly 3-21 with Baltimore in 1954, the year before he was dealt to the Yankees as part of an 18-player trade.
His 97-pitch gem against the Brooklyn Dodgers came after he was pulled by manager Casey Stengel in the second inning of Game 2 days earlier.
Manfred noted that, “On a team of many stars, Don illustrated that anyone can make history – even perfection – on our sport’s biggest stage.”