Hall of Fame Chiefs quarterback Len Dawson dies at 87
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Hall of Fame quarterback Len Dawson, who helped the Kansas City Chiefs to their first Super Bowl title, died Wednesday. The MVP of the Chiefs’ victory over the Vikings in January 1970 had been in declining health for years. He entered hospice care on Aug. 12. “Lenny the Cool” went into the Hall of Fame as a player in 1987. He also was inducted as a broadcaster in 2012. Dawson spent several decades working on local TV and radio broadcasts while also doing color analysis for NBC and hosting HBO’s iconic “Inside the NFL.” Len Dawson was 87.
Top PGA Tour players to commit to 20-event big money slate
ATLANTA (AP) — The PGA Tour is making its boldest response yet to the rival Saudi-funded league. PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan has announced a plan for the best players to commit to a 20-tournament schedule starting next year. That means they will be competing against one another up to 17 times and maybe more. That involves elevating four additional tournaments that will offer $20 million or more to go along with the tournaments already announced. Monahan says top players will be determined by a new Player Impact Program criteria. The PIP will double in money to $100 million.
Tatis apologizes to Padres, fans for 80-game drug suspension
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Fernando Tatis Jr. apologized privately to his San Diego Padres teammates for testing positive for a performance enhancing-drug, then publicly expressed remorse for the 80-game suspension that will keep him off the field well into next season. The star shortstop says he’s “really sorry for mistakes” and that his dreams have turned into his worst nightmares. He said there’s no one to blame other than himself. He was suspended on Aug. 12 after MLB said he tested positive for Clostebol, an anabolic steroid.
Durant, Nets plan to move forward together instead of trade
NEW YORK (AP) — Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets plan to stay together after all. The All-Star forward asked to be traded earlier this summer. The Nets said Tuesday that the team’s leadership met a day earlier with Durant and business partner Rich Kleiman in Los Angeles and “agreed to move forward with our partnership,” according to general manager Sean Marks. Marks added that the goal remains to bring a championship to Brooklyn. That is certainly more likely by keeping Durant, who remains one of the best scorers in the NBA. He is set to begin a four-year extension he signed last summer.
Parents of Astros’ Alvarez come from Cuba to see 1st game
HOUSTON (AP) — Houston Astros slugger Yordan Alvarez had three extra special guests at Minute Maid on Park on Tuesday night. His father, mother and brother came from Cuba to see him play professionally for the first time. The family arrived on Friday and is staying with Alvarez at his home in Houston. They aren’t sure how long they’ll get to stay. But for however long it is they’re soaking up every moment. The 25-year-old Alvarez hit a single early in the game against Minnesota.
MLB teams to play all 29 opponents under ’23 balanced sked
NEW YORK (AP) — Every Major League Baseball team will play each other in the same season for the first time next year as the sport switches to its first balanced schedule since 2000. As a result of the format switch agreed to in the March lockout settlement, high-profile games between division rivals such as Yankees-Red Sox, Dodgers-Giants and Cubs-Cardinals will be reduced from 19 and intradivision games will drop from 47% to 32%. A team will host all of the other 29 clubs at least once every two seasons. The season opens March 30 with all teams scheduled.
Air Raid evolution: Pioneering offense passes test of time
Twenty-five years since Hal Mumme unleashed the groundbreaking Air Raid offense on the Southeastern Conference it has become pervasive throughout football. But outside of Mike Leach, Mumme’s protege and Air Raid Godfather, most coaches are running an evolved form of the offense, with more running plays, more varied formations and an assortment of motions and misdirection. Air Raid principles and concepts can be found in just about every modern passing game from NFL to high school. But at the highest levels of the sport, it’s hard to find anyone actually running the Air Raid.
GM hires give NFL bright spot in diversity, but work remains
DALLAS (AP) — The NFL has seen a recent increase in the percentage of minorities hired as general managers. Six of the 12 hires since the start of 2021 have been minorities. Ryan Poles of the Chicago Bears credits former Kansas City GM Scott Pioli for prioritizing opportunities for minorities. Will McClay of the Dallas Cowboys has had chances to get that hiring ratio above 50%, but chose to stay with his club as vice president of player personnel. C. Keith Harrison is the lead author of the annual NFL Diversity and Inclusion Report. He and others believe relationships are crucial to maintaining or expanding roles of minorities in front offices. All agree the focus on minorities must continue.
PICK SIX: From the Heisman to the Thorpe, the winners are?
Who will take home college football’s biggest individual awards in 2022, from the Heisman to the Outland trophies? AP College Football Writer Ralph Russo surveys the favorites, contenders and possible breakout stars who will make a run at some hardware. Will Bryce Young repeat as Heisman winner or can another Lincoln Riley-coached quarterback win the most prestigious award in college football?
Belarus’ Azarenka dropped from Ukraine exhibition at US Open
NEW YORK (AP) — Two-time major champion and former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka has been dropped from a pre-U.S. Open exhibition event raising money for humanitarian assistance in Ukraine. Azarenka is from Belarus, which helped Russia launch its invasion of Ukraine in February. At least one Ukrainian tennis player, Marta Kostyuk, questioned having a Belarusian player participate in the U.S. Tennis Association’s “Tennis Plays for Peace Exhibition,” scheduled for Wednesday night in Louis Armstrong Stadium at Flushing Meadows. The USTA issued a statement Wednesday saying that Azarenka would not participate because of “sensitivities to Ukrainian players.”