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Chelsea star Lampard to miss Marseille clash

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COBHAM, England (AFP) - Frank Lampard will miss Chelsea's Champions League clash with Marseille on Tuesday as he continues to recover from hernia surgery which could also sideline him for England's Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro.
Lampard has missed five matches since the operation on August 31 and Blues cheap nfl jerseys
boss Carlo Ancelotti admitted the midfielder needs further rest before he will be ready to return to action.
That means Lampard is certain to miss the visit of the French champions to Stamford Bridge and this weekend's match against Arsenal.
Ancelotti also hinted that the 32-year-old, who has been feeling pain from the surgery scar tissue, will be unable to play for England in their next qualifier against Montenegro at Wembley on October 12.
"He can't play on Tuesday. We need to have more time than we expected for his rest," Ancelotti said on Monday.
"In a few days there will be an international break and he will be ready for Steelers jersey
the first game after the break.
"He didn't play with us so I don't think he is able to play for the national team."
Lampard's prolonged absence is a further blow to Ancelotti, who is already without Salomon Kalou and Yossi Benayoun due to injuries.
Brazil's Ramires, a recent signing from Benfica, deputised for Lampard against Manchester City and looked slightly overwhelmed by the pace and power of the match.
But Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel is adamant his team-mates are coping well with the challenge of filling in for Lampard.
"I think Frank is an important player for this team. We all know that. Over the years he has shown his consistency," Mikel said.
"He is a massive loss but I think we are coping well without him. Vikings jersey
We have only lost one of the games he has missed.
"Right now he is injured and we have other players who can do a similar job."


Three-Headed Monster Chicago Features Dynamic Trio of Returnees

IRVING, Texas - The Bears enter Sunday's game with the No. 1 ranked offense in the NFC after just one game.
The Bears enter Sunday's game with the No. 1 ranked defense in the NFC after just one game.
But according to Cowboys special teams’ coordinator Joe Decimally, the Bears rank nfl jerseys
No.1 on special teams as well. And not just after one game, but after the last few seasons as well.
"I think they've probably been the best return unit, consistently, over the last five years or so," Decimally said. "When you look at since Love (Smith) has been there, they've been the tops in the league on special teams. It's not just stat-wise, but how they've affected games. Those returnees and their cover people."
This week, as the Bears come to Cowboys Stadium for Sunday's Noon (CDT) kickoff, Chicago brings a trio of return specialists that have been dangerous at both punt and kickoff returns. Steelers jersey

Devin Hester gets most of the attention, but kickoff returnees Daniela Bears jersey
Manning and Johnny Knox - both from the same Division II school in Texas, Abilene Christian - are talented as well. Knox was named to the Pro Bowl as a kick returned last year, giving decimally and the rest of the coaching staff an up close look at him.
But still, it starts with Hester, who has NFL-record 11 return touchdowns, all occurring in his first two seasons in 2006 and 2007. The last two years, Hester has been more of a wide receiver, but he's back to returning punts once again.
"Hester is really unbelievable," said Cowboys punter Mat McCrea, who knows he'll have quite a challenge on his hands. "If you give him the ball in space, he can really hurt you. We have to be careful with him. I'd say Hester and (Demean) Jackson of the Eagles are the most dangerous returnees in the league. You have to be smart."
When asked if Hester is similar to Deon Sanders, Decimally turned the tables.
"I don't know that I wouldn't compare it the other way," Decimally said. "I'm not sure what Deon’s stats were, but I can tell you they weren't 11 touchdowns. I think Deon should be compared to Hester. He's really done a great job. He's special and we're going to have our work cut out for us."
Still, decimally said the player he fears the most among the Bears' three Bills jersey
returnees is Manning.
"He's a violent, tough returned," Decimally said. "He's done a great job. And then they've got a great guy in Knox who was in the Pro Bowl. It's going to be a heck of a challenge for us."


Gradkowski calm but eager for new start

Bruce Gradkowski's excitement over being named starting quarterback for the Oakland Raiders didn't last long. Having seen the team already make one change after only six quarters, the journeyman backup realizes there isn't much job security.
Gradkowski on Thursday worked through his second full practice since Coach Tom Cable picked him to replace Jason Campbell as the Raiders starter.
The promotion capped a 10-month stretch during which football jersey
Gradkowski suffered a pair of season-ending knee injuries, tore a pectoral muscle then watched as Oakland cut former No. 1 draft pick Amerces Russell, traded for Campbell and immediately named him the starter on the eve of training camp.
Despite getting reassurance from Cable otherwise, Gradkowski isn't taking anything for granted.
''No matter what coach said, you just never know,'' Gradkowski said. ''Winning's the name of the game, and if I'm not getting it done I'm sure he's going to try to find someone else who will. You just have to respect that.''
It's the quickest non-injury related quarterback change the Raiders have made since relocating to Northern California in 1995. Aaron Brooks was replaced by Andrew Walter in Week 2 during the 2006 season after injuring his throwing shoulder.
This is nothing new to Gradkowski. He came off the bench to replace Russell midway through last season and led the Raiders to wins over Cincinnati and Pittsburgh in his first three starts before suffering the season-ending knee injuries in Week 14.
That made him somewhat of a folk hero in Oakland, where fans had grown bitter because of Russell's poor performances and lackadaisical attitude. In four starts, Gradkowski passed for 844 yards and six touchdowns with one interception. His 89.7 rating as a starter was easily tops among the three quarterbacks San Diego Chargers jersey
Oakland used last season.
Just as quickly as his popularity with the Raiders was taking off, Gradkowski was injured. The misfortune continued in the off-season when Gradkowski tore a peck muscle while lifting weights, shelving him for most of the Raiders' off-season workouts.
That was followed by a groin injury early in camp that cost Gradkowski two weeks, giving Oakland more reason to go with Campbell as the starter.
''Last year was last year, and you've got to get it done this year,'' Gradkowski said. ''Coach Cable sat us down and told us the news, and I was excited. But the excitement ends right there. I really haven't done anything in my mind.''
While Gradkowski answered questions about the quarterback change at a podium adjacent to one of the team's three practice fields, Campbell politely declined to be interviewed when approached inside the Raiders locker room.
''I can't talk to you guys,'' Campbell said. ''I would but (the Raiders) asked me not to.''Dallas Cowboys jersey

Campbell, whom owner Al Davis compared to two-time Super Bowl winner Jim Plunkett shortly after the April trade from Washington, has a 61.9 completion percentage this season but passed for only 267 yards and led just one touchdown drive in 1 1/2 games. He was also sacked six times, a key issue given Oakland's pass-protection problems.
Cable cited the energy Gradkowski brought to the Raiders' huddle as a factor in making the change and said the quarterback's handling of his own health issues over the last year increased his popularity in the locker room.
''What it does more than anything, it earns the respect of your teammates, to battle through all those things and still stand tall,'' Cable said. ''He didn't panic. He was very disappointed ... but the thing about Bruce is whatever curveball you throw at him, he just takes it and keeps pushing.''
Notes: The Raiders added rookie Quentin Scott and re-signed S Steve Chicago Bears jersey
Brown to their practice squad. To make room, Oakland cut LB Slade Norris. ... LG Robert Gallery (hamstring) did not practice and is questionable to play against Arizona, Cable said. WR Chas Chileans (foot), LB Travis Goethe (back) and DT John Henderson (foot) are also questionable. S Michael Huff (headache) was limited while RB Michael Bush (broken thumb) and DT Richard Seymour (hamstring) had no restrictions.


24 sep 10 Omiyale figures it out on left side

It wasn't hard to read QB Jay Cutler's(notes) lips after the cameras caught him reacting following a play in which he was nearly smashed by pass rushers yet again early in the game vs. the Cowboys in Week Two.
"(Expletive) pass block," he appeared to say to no one in nfl jerseys
Apparently someone was listening to him. The Bears' top left tackle, Chris Williams, left the game after just three plays with a hamstring injury. When his replacement, Kevin Shaffer(notes), gave DeMarcus Ware(notes) the turnstile treatment a few too many times, Chicago shifted Frank Omiyale(notes) from right tackle to left tackle.
Some Bears fans may have groaned. Omiyale — or "Frank 'Oh my God,' " as one Chicago radio personality has dubbed him — has taken his share of criticism since signing with the team prior to the 2009 season.
However, Omiyale, who played guard last season, proved the doubters wrong this time. The Bears' pass protection improved with him on the left side and the offense found a rhythm as offensive coordinator Mike Martz called for more quick-hitting pass plays that required shorter drops by Cutler.
Suddenly the Bears were 2-0. Oh my God, indeed.
"Well it's not an ideal situation when you lose your Pittsburgh Steelers jersey
starting left tackle early in the game," head coach Lovie Smith said. "You have a backup plan. That's why we dress seven (offensive linemen). … You have to plan for injuries. It's not like it was chaotic out there, we had to work the plan. Frank Omiyale can do a lot of things for us, so you want to put your best available tackle in that position, which we did."
The question is, can Omiyale do that on a consistent basis? Williams, who has had his own issues in pass protection this season, was scheduled to undergo an MRI as of this writing, and it's possible that he'll miss a few games.
If he's out for an extended period, and Omiyale continues to play well, do the Bears consider keeping Omiyale on the left side and playing Williams at right tackle when he returns?Indianapolis Colts jersey

Probably not. The Bears view Williams, a first-round pick in '08, as their left tackle of the present and future, but there are some NFL observers who say Williams would be a better fit on the right side, where he started for most of last season.
Perhaps Omiyale, who could make his first start at left tackle since Minnesota Vikings jersey
'08 in Week Three, is more comfortable on the left side, and Williams is better off on the right side.
Maybe it's just that the Bears don't have any great left tackles. They may have two serviceable ones, and Martz has quickly figured out the best way to run an offense facing that reality.


Rest of student body joins Buckeyes on campus

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP)—Now that classes are about to begin at Ohio State, the Buckeyes on the football team are even busier and less isolated.
Despite a 3-0 start heading into Saturday’s game against Eastern Michigan (0-3), the No. 2 Buckeyes have plenty of areas to address at the same time they’re solving problems in the classroom.
“Classes begin tomorrow, so we’ve got to make sure that we nfl throwback jerseys
can handle one more thing,” coach Jim Tressel said on Tuesday. “Our players are looking forward to it. They’ve been here training since June 18th, and I think there’s just a certain energy and electricity that’s on the campus when the students come back.”
No longer can the Buckeyes crawl out of bed late in the morning and spend the next eight hours at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, watching film, lifting weights, practicing and meeting with their position coaches.
Now they must cram classes, studying and tests into an already busy day.
“I’m ready for school to start in the sense of we go to class and stuff like that,” defensive back Tyler Moeller said. “But I’m not so much ready for the studying and the tests and the midterms.”
Tight end Jake Stoneburner said hitting the books means maximizing your time.
“You just have to be able to get your rest and be organized better,” he said. “Obviously, we have classes in the mornings. We have to make sure that we go to them and study, but you still have to commit a lot of time to football. You can’t stop watching film, you can’t stop working out. You just have to be able to organize your time.”
It’s a particularly troublesome time of year for freshmen, who have Indianapolis Colts jersey
already had to adapt to the next level of football and now must face new academic challenges.
“We have so many things we have the freshmen do extra: mentoring programs to study table programs with more hours,” Tressel said. “There’s a lot asked of our freshmen. By early November, they’re kind of like, ‘Whoa, I’ve never gone at this pace for this long.”’
Moeller is used to the transition from athlete to student-athlete, since he’s a fifth-year senior.
“It is a good change to have people on campus again and to go to class— especially for a guy like me,” he said. “I have about five classes left to graduate. So to finally get my degree, it’s nice to start up again.”
The Buckeyes have plenty of work to do on the field, too.
Even though they have gotten off to a successful start, there are areas of concern.
Ohio State has spent lots of time tying up loose ends on special teams in the wake of a punt and kickoff return touchdown by Miami and lengthy returns in last year’s Rose Bowl in addition to the games against Marshall and Ohio. The coaching staff has also put in extra time after several drives inside the opposing 20 have not produced points or ended with a field goal. Also of concern is that the Buckeyes have had a punt and a kickoff blocked already this season.
Finally, the running game has been effective but not overpowering in Dallas Cowboys jersey
the first 25 percent of the regular season.
While the Buckeyes deal with those minor flaws, Tressel is pleased that his players won’t have so much free time on their hands.
“(Classwork) forces them to be just a little more efficient,” he said. “They may even have a little more bounce in their step, because they’re sitting around a little bit less and can get their thumbs off those (video games) and their rear ends off those sofas.”

Durham makes grade, on and off field

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Kris Durham laughed that he knew just how to deal with an uncooperative student who refused to pay attention in class during his recent student teaching stint at Oconee County Middle School.
Of course, it helped that one of the youngster's cousins was a former teammate of Durham at Georgia.
"Yeah, there was one kid who just absolutely did not do his work. football jerseys
But I knew one of his cousins - Tyson Browning," Durham said. "I found that out and I was like "do I need to call Tyson right now?' I was like if 'you're not going to listen I'll make that call right this second.'"
Durham's lessons haven't been reserved for the classroom.
With A.J. Green out one more game before his four-game suspension is over, Durham has become Aaron Murray's primary target all while serving as a guiding light to the Bulldogs' younger receivers.
Head coach Mark Richt appreciates what he's seen.
"He's always helping the younger guys when it comes to routes, defenses. He's like a second coach out there with the younger receivers. It's nice to have him out there. He's done a tremendous job our first three games and is becoming a playmaker in the offense. He's had some unbelievable catches, some touchdowns, and he's making me look good out there," Richt said. "I think he's feeling more involved [getting to play this year], and he's definitely helpful with the younger receivers. He keeps guys up. I was pretty down after the last game and he told me he still had my back. He's always encouraging."
He's also producing.
Heading into Saturday night's game at Mississippi State (7 p.m., FSN), Durham is the Bulldogs' leading receiver with 13 catches for 260 yards and a touchdown after posting a career-best performance against the Razorbacks. Last week, Durham had a career-best performance with five catches for 101 yards.
"I hope I've open some eyes but at the same time I'm just pleased to Pittsburgh Steelers jersey
have this opportunity," Durham said. "I'm just happy coaches have seen fit to put me in position to make some catches."
It certainly beats the alternative.
Durham redshirted in 2009 with a shoulder injury, that coming after he had to miss time in 2008 with ankle and hand injuries.
Had last year's injury not occurred, Durham's post-football career might already be underway.
An education major, Durham spent the spring doing his student teaching at nearby Oconee County Middle School where he taught Georgia history.
"To be honest, my dad is a coach and a teacher and that's one way I feel I can give back," Durham said. "I've had a lot of positive impacts from men and women in that field. The easiest way I can give back and show them my appreciation for it."
The Calhoun native still hopes to give pro ball a try.
But, just in case those plans don't work out, his back-up plan is already in place.
"I do like the teaching aspect," he said. "But sometimes it's hard keeping everybody motivated."
But that's one of the challenges Durham said he enjoys the Minnesota Vikings jersey
"That's the tough part because at that age they just care about one thing - what's going on in their life," he said. "But it's a lot of fun. They teach you and make you realize a lot of things about yourself. They've had a positive impact on me. I still think about the positive influence they had on me."

Borton's Blog: Defending defenders

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Somebody always has the answer to every loss, or every pride loss (See: UMass). That proved true this time as well, with a long-time Michigan follower providing the real reason the Wolverines' defense didn't (and won't, in his mind) hold up.
"Tell Rodriguez to get an offense that protects the defense," went the refrain. "Those guys were out there for 35 minutes."
Actually 37:38, but who's counting?
The idea behind the frustrated mini-rant has been put forth many times before. nfl jerseys
Those who insist the game is all about ball control, and that the best defense is the one sitting on the sidelines, laud such a stance. Those who hold that the best way to help a defense is to pile up as many points as quickly as possible, deride the notion.
Either osition represents an oversimplification. And the biggest misread of all involves the fact that Michigan's offense now is incapable of helping protect the defense.
In the first two games, Denard Robinson & Co. protected their defensive brethren like a suit of armor. They didn't turn the ball over once, they controlled it for 36:52 and 34:09, respectively, against UConn and Notre Dame, and they piled up a combined 58 points in the process.
Meanwhile, the U-M defense made some big plays when it needed to, getting itself off the field. That didn't happen in Game 3, rendering 42 Michigan points barely enough to win.
With that in mind, here are seven deadly help-the-defense moments that didn't materialize versus UMass…
• UMass takes the kickoff and drives 53 yards for a field goal, chewing up five minutes off the clock. Michigan's defense fails to stop the Minutemen on third-and-seven and later third-and-eight, surrendering a pair of Kyle Havens completions with confused or too-soft coverage.
• Michigan's offensive response featured two plays, with Robinson Colts jersey
getting picked off for the first time all year. So instead of balancing out the time, and the score, UMass gets it back. U-M holds the ball less than one minute out of the opening 8:14, further putting an already struggling defense on its heels.
• Robinson reveals a little more mortality early in the second quarter. On the same series, he bobbles a shotgun snap and takes a seven-yard loss, then suffers his first sack of the season, an eight-yarder. Instead of a strong response to a nine-play UMass scoring drive, the Wolverines hand it right back, keeping the snowball rolling.
• Michigan's furious response to a 17-7 deficit puts U-M head, 35-17, late in the third quarter. Ball game, right? It should have been, before the lapses creep in again. A would-be three-and-out turns into a chains-mover when Havens connects over the middle for a nine-yard gain on third-and-eight.
• Latr in that same drive, Massachusetts faces fourth-and-nine. Havens again cashes in, this time rolling to his left and finding a receiver for 12 yards. The Minutemen move on in for a touchdown, on their way to boosting the opponents' conversion percentage on fourth down to 62 percent (5 of 8) on the year. It's a respectable 34 percent (14 of 41) on third downs, but not in this game (6 of 12).
• The backbreaker for the hopes of subs waiting to get in arrives with just under 10 minutes left and Michigan leading, 42-24. Cam Gordon picks off a pass, runs it back a few yards, then puts it on the turf, with Massachusetts recovering. Not only is the ball out of Michigan's hands (albeit for Gordon's stolen seconds) from the 11:57 mark until the 5:15 mark, the Minutemen score and build some hope.
• Michigan's offensive response involves a three-and-out, a Cowboys jersey
dropped snap by freshman punter Will Hagerup, and a frantic finish, with the Wolverines barely hanging on.
Offense, defense and special teams - everyone contributed, even on a day when the Wolverines put up 42 points. Michigan's defense has to be better, more focused, more intense, etc. It also has to get more help, just like it did the first two weeks of the season.


Phillies Notebook: Polanco, Howard, Utley in dry spell for Phillies

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LOS ANGELES - The diagnosis Placido Polanco offered last night was the same one he has offered for the better part of the season.
How's the elbow? "Sore," he said.
Any more or less sore than usual? "The same," he nfl jerseys
Are there any remedies besides painkillers and ice? "Surgery," he said, with a grim smile.
And so Polanco, who has played through the pain nearly all season, remains in the same situation as the rest of the players in the Phillies lineup, needing to battle through various ailments and rediscover the offensive swagger that has eluded them lately.
The third baseman entered last night 5-for-32 with an uncharacteristic six strikeouts in eight games since he entered the Astros game Aug. 23 as a substitute. Those numbers aren't much different from the ones posted by two other recently injured stars. Chase Utley entered last night 5-for-31 with eight strikeouts since the start of the Astros series. Ryan Howard was 2-for-28 with 14 strikeouts during that stretch.
Thought all three showed signs of shaking off the doldrums with hits last night, in the eight previous games, the three infielders combined to reach base 24 times, nine of them coming on walks by Utley.
In that light, the view Charlie Manuel took before last night's game makes some sense. Sure, he could had given rookie outfielder Domonic Brown his first start in 10 games. But if the Phillies' bats are to awaken in time to put a charge into their stretch run, it will be because their established stars return to form. And Manuel has been unequivocal in his belief that the best way to return to form is to keep on playing.
"I want to play Domonic some, but at the same time I look at our lineup, and, like I've said before, that's our lineup," the manager said. "Like I've said before, too, I think he's going to be a tremendous player. I think he needs experience, but also I think that if we are going to get it done, that's our team. I believe in that lineup, and I think that's the one that's San Francisco 49ers jersey
carried us in the past, and I think that's how it's got to be. I've stuck with some guys all year long. I don't see the sense in not playing them now."
The unpredictable variable is health. Offseason surgery looks definite for Polanco, who, despite his recent struggles, has been the Phillies' most consistent performer this season. Howard has said several times over the past week that his biggest hurdles are more timing and rhythm than any lingering pain in the sprained ankle that sidelined him for 3 weeks. Utley, who returned from thumb surgery more than a week ahead of schedule, is the biggest unknown. In the first 13 games since his activation from the DL, the second baseman was only 9-for-49. He was still finding his way on base, having drawn nine walks and one hit by pitch. But he hasn't been driving the ball with his usual force (his only two extra-base hits during that stretch were doubles). The usually tightlipped Utley declined to answer questions from a reporter before last night's game.
Manuel acknowledged he has some options. But leading Utley off isn't one of them.
"I've hit Utley in the leadoff hole before in spring training just to give him some at-bats and get him out of the lineup as early as possible - he hates hitting in the leadoff hole," Manuel said. "Some people just don't like hitting there."
On occasion, Manuel has filled the leadoff hole with Werth, who is one of the game's most patient hitters.
"I've moved Werth up there," Manuel said. "I don't know what good that will do. Is he going to steal bases for us?"
The counterargument is that you have to reach base to Buffalo Bills jersey
steal bases, and Werth entered last night hitting .330 with a .385 OBP when leading off an inning, compared with Jimmy Rollins' .193/.240 marks. Werth has ended up scoring 24 runs in 122 plate appearances in which he led off an inning, compared with Rollins' 15 runs in 121 PAs.


Steelers jersey
THE baloney flying out of the YES booth over the weekend was enough to stock a deli.
Yesterday, in the top of the fifth, the Yanks up 1-0 and cheap nfl jerseys
rain getting heavier, Seattle's Franklin Gutierrez tried to score from second on a single to right. Jorge Posada caught Nick Swisher's throw and "tagged" Gutierrez for the out.
But despite Ken Singleton's firm claim over a replay that plate ump Sam Holbrook made "a good call!" all replays showed that Posada had the ball in his bare hand while making the "tag" with his glove. Singleton and Michael Kay were among the last to know.
Two batters later, Kay first mentioned the missed tag, as if he'd thought so all along.
With the rain worsening, neither man seemed upset that the Yanks might win an official game that should've been 1-1; neither said anything about replay rules.
And the more stats Kay reads and embellishes, the more hear-through trouble he makes for himself. Saturday, with Mariano Rivera in:
"This is a very big milestone for Rivera. With this appearance, he has appeared in 964 games, which ties him with David Weathers for 17th place on baseball's all-time games pitched list. So you know, to tie a former teammate, that's a big deal for Mo."
Perhaps realizing that he sounded ridiculous, Kay, a few moments later, amended his speech to, "I'm kinda like kidding, but I'm amazed that David Weathers is 17th on the all-time list."
Incidentally, Weathers was a Yankee for the last part of the '96 season and the start of the '97 season.
*** Pity the Mariners' Felix Hernandez wasn't a Yankee, Friday, when he was Koufax-like unhittable in Yankee Stadium. That's the only way we'd get to see him pitch that game, again, on YES's " Yankee Classics."
The 'whole' truth - MLB's dirt goes well beyond Rocket case
THURSDAY, the moment the Roger Clemens indictment hit the street, the rationalizations and obfuscations began, ranging from "Doesn't the government have anything better to do with its time and our money, we all know MLB stars were juiced?" to sympathetic local talk-radio positions, the kinds of stances that would not have been heard had Clemens not starred for the Yankees or had he spent his career with the Red Sox.
But the clear-headed recognize perjury as a charge that must be prosecuted. Doesn't matter if it's about molehills or mountains - lying under oath is a serious crime.
In Clemens' case, he was a highly paid employee in a multi-billion dollar business, a business granted federal antitrust waivers.
And Clemens is alleged to be one of the larger pieces in a multi-billion dollar business that was injected with fraud, a business that rewarded cheaters and rewarded those big shots who enabled the cheaters - those team owners, MLB execs and MLBPA execs who, at the very least, looked the other way as they stuffed their pockets.
Clemens' indictment on perjury and other charges is a logical conclusion to the events just prior to his 2008 sworn testimony before a Congressional committee.
Over two days, Clemens, escorted by his brilliant attorney, Rusty Hardin, made a transparent "good will" tour of the offices of nearly half of the 41 committee members. He posed for pictures, he signed autographs, he shook hands, he just happened to be passing by, ya know?
Yet, some of them actually took the bait. Brooklyn's Edolphus Towns and his staff posed with Clemens. Then Towns, prior to Clemens' public testimony, spoke of Brian McNamee as a shady character.
Still, such a preemptive lobbying effort smacked of desperation, the kind of Chicago Bears jersey
activity that innocent, circumspect folks would strictly avoid.
Even Clemens' defense seemed to rest on the fact that he's Roger Clemens, superstar, as opposed to resting on logic.
McNamee has zero credibility? If that's the case, then why did Clemens allow McNamee, not a physician, to inject him and his wife with anything?
Again, it's Baseball in the Age of Bud. The Clemens indictment is an indictment of Major League Baseball across its highest levels.
Every clean player who tried to make it and failed, or just barely made it, or made it big the legit way, should find some satisfaction.
So, too, should those fans who prefer the clean - no compromises or rationalizations - to the crooked.
Personalities with multiple personalities
THIS town is starting to load up with two different people who go by the exact same name.
There's the Michael Kay who didn't say a word on YES about the Roger Clemens indictment on Thursday, the day the story broke. Then there's the Michael Kay who Friday winded himself talking about the Clemens indictment on his ESPN 1050 radio show.
And how can the Boomer Esiason of WFAN's "Boomer and Carton" show, the Boomer Esiason who makes pee-pee jokes, be the same Boomer Esiason on CBS's NFL studio show?
They're so different, ya know? If they're the same man, which one is real? Which one is the phony?
*** If you rescued a kitten from a tree, ESPN would take partial credit.
This, Friday, from ESPN.com: "Former Alabama [basketball] player Mikhail Torrance collapsed at a workout Friday and was taken to Blake Memorial Hospital in Bradenton, Fla., a source confirmed to ESPN. He was transferred to the intensive-care until and was in critical condition.
"AOL FanHouse first reported the story."
*** A kid on the New Jersey team failed to field a grounder up the middle in the last inning of his team's 3-1 Little League World Series elimination loss yesterday to Hawaii.
If he didn't feel bad enough, ABC/ESPN then shot two close-ups of the kid, to make sure that everyone got the point and that he has a video keepsake.
*** Note to Sid Rosenberg and others vis-a-vis Ralph Branca vs. Bobby Thomson: Ex-Angels' reliever Donnie Moore did not commit suicide soon after he lost that game to the Red Sox in Game 5 of the 1986 ALCS.
Moore shot himself three years later, distraught over his failing marriage, New Orleans Saints jersey
financial debts and being cut by the Royals' farm team in Omaha.
*** The nerve of Jet and Giant patrons to think that thousands of dollars in ticket pricing and tens of thousands in PSL costs entitles them to purchase season's parking for $250 at PSL Stadium!


Steelers jersey
Offensively and defensively, the Yankees liked what Austin Kearns offered them when they acquired him from Cleveland three weeks ago.
"We liked that he could play both corners. We liked his football jersey
at-bats," manager Joe Girardi said yesterday. "He's a tough out."
Kearns delivered again yesterday in the Yankees' 10-0 romp over the Mariners, smacking a solo homer in the fourth inning that accounted for the game's first run, a shot that seemed like it might be enough to be the game-winner.
There was no certainty that the game was going to go a full nine innings because of the rain, but Kearns' homer gave the Yanks the lead in case it turned out to be the rain-shortened minimum.
"We'd kind of heard about the forecast, so at the time it was nice to get a run," Kearns said.
Since being acquired from Cleveland on July 31 for pitcher Zach Saints jersey
McAllister, Kearns is batting .341 (14-for-41) with two homers and six RBIs. He's hit safely in his last 11 games, batting .400 (14-for-35).
*** Girardi said splitting up A.J. Burnett and Javier Vazquez in the rotation is "possible." Both righties have struggled lately, which makes things difficult for the Yankee bullpen.
*** Alex Rodriguez (sore calf) was not around the clubhouse yesterday and has yet to speak publicly since being placed on the DL Saturday.
Girardi said no more tests were scheduled, and insisted he would not have handled the injury differently - Rodriguez strained the calf last Monday, sat out three-plus games, then returned Friday and managed only one at-bat.
"It wasn't like we did this on a whim," Girardi said. "We consulted, we had him work out, we had him do things."
*** Andy Pettitte (groin) said that when he's getting San Diego Chargers jersey
back on a mound is still to be determined, though he said, "It'll be one day this week."
Alfredo Aceves, who threw 21/3 innings for Double-A Trenton on Saturday, is slated to throw two more innings within the next several days.


Penalty-prone Jets pay with push-ups

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New York's coach has had it with his team's undisciplined play, making defensive players who committed penalties Thursday stand and watch while the other 10 players did a set of push-ups around them.
''We had some tough love,'' Ryan said. ''We went back to grade cheap nfl jerseys
The 10-pack of push-ups happened three times, according to defensive coordinator Mike Pettine and several players.
''Whatever it takes to solve this, we're going to do,'' Ryan said. ''I know it's an old high school trick, but sometimes those old high school tricks still work on this level.''
The Jets committed 14 penalties in their season-opening 10-9 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Monday night. The defense was called for seven penalties, although one was declined.
''I just think with the number of penalties that we had, we wanted to have something just as a reminder,'' Pettine said. ''Just not talk about it. Something that the guys, they would know and give a little more thought to it.''
No one would reveal who the offenders were at practice, but the extra discipline made the session run about 10 minutes longer than usual.
''It was just a way of holding each other accountable,'' defensive end Vernon Gholston said. ''Obviously, going back to the game this past week with the penalties, one individual mistake could cost the rest of us. It was about putting that guy on display and having the others do the push-ups and let them do the suffering because you hurt the team if you have too many penalties.''
Defensive end Shaun Ellis said he had to do one set, but wasn't the cause of any.
''Nah, I don't get penalties,'' he said with a smile. ''As long as I've San Francisco 49ers jersey
been playing, you can count on one hand how many penalties I've had. I don't get penalties.''
Defensive tackle Sione Pouha said the players didn't question the punishment.
''Complaining isn't going to do anything for us,'' he said. ''The way I looked at it was, 'Man, let's get down and do our 10 and get up and play again.'''
Offensive players were also required to repeat plays until they were successful, particularly on third down. The Jets were 1 for 11 in that situation against the Ravens.
''It's not to chastise or anything,'' right tackle Damien Woody said. ''It's more just corrections. Maybe a guy didn't run a proper route, or the blocking wasn't right. At the end of the day, you want to feel good coming off the field.''
Pettine said the team submitted video of some of the penalties they were called for to the league - a common practice by NFL teams - to help them become more aware of what they can and can't do.
''I think we'll be smarter this week,'' Ellis said.
Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer reiterated that if someone fumbles during a game, they'll be pulled. Starting running back Shonn Greene didn't carry the ball in the second half after fumbling twice in the first half and losing one of them. Schottenheimer said other than quarterback Mark Sanchez, everyone is subject to that rule - even LaDainian Tomlinson.
''If L.T. puts it on the ground, he's coming out, too,'' Schottenheimer said.
NOTES: S Brodney Pool was limited again with a sprained ankle and his Buffalo Bills jersey
availability against New England was uncertain. Eric Smith started the opener in his place. ... Schottenheimer said he had no involvement in Sanchez's ''Jets West Camp'' in California in July. He stopped by the camp, but ''in no way, shape or form was I doing any coaching.'' An unidentified team complained to the NFL that the Jets violated an offseason training rule because coaches - Schottenheimer and Ryan - were present at the camp.

ush: Giving up Heisman not an admission of guilt

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Reggie Bush said Thursday that his decision to relinquish his Heisman Trophy is ''not an admission of guilt,'' just the best way to end the controversy.
''It's me showing respect to the Heisman Trophy itself and to the people football jersey
who came before me and the people coming after,'' Bush said after Saints practice. ''I just felt like it was the best thing to do, the most respectful thing to do because obviously I do respect the Heisman. I do respect all the things it stands for.''
The Heisman Trophy Trust had discussed reviewing Bush's eligibility for the award after an NCAA report concluded that Bush and his family had improperly accepted cash and gifts from sports agents while Bush was playing for Southern Cal.
Bush said he thought returning the award was the best way to move forward.
''I felt just to kind of silence all the talk around it, all the negativity around it - I felt like this would be the best decision to do right now so I could focus.''
Bush was the landslide winner of the Heisman following a highlight-filled 2005 season in which he piled up 2,890 all-purpose yards and helped lead USC to the BCS national title game, which the Trojans lost to Texas.
Bush is now the first winner in the 75-year history of the Heisman - one of the most prestigious prizes in American sports - to forfeit the award.
''I feel like he's tried to put himself in a position to do whatever he can do to help the situation,'' said Saints defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis, also a former USC teammate of Bush. ''He's always been a good guy as long as I've known him at USC and here in New Orleans. ... Hopefully (people will) finally leave him alone about it. It's five or six years ago. We need to let it go and move on.''
Coach Sean Payton said Bush has ''matured a ton here since we drafted him'' and has ''the full support of the players in the locker room.''
''I know that he feels like this is a family - a close-knit family - and for him, just like the rest of Chicago Bears jersey
us, it's about winning championships,'' Payton said. ''He's done that once already and we're aspiring to win more.''
Bush said he consulted family and some associates before forfeiting the Heisman, a move some of those close to him opposed.
''My mom and dad didn't want me to give it back,'' Bush said. ''That's just the motherly and fatherly nature of parents. They understand it at the end of the day. They understand I'm a grown man and I've got to make my own decisions and this is a learning experience for me and anybody else coming after me. ... All I can do is grow stronger from here.''
Allegations that Bush and his parents had accepted improper benefits while he was still an amateur athlete surfaced in 2006 and the NCAA began a years-long probe into the matter soon afterward.
The probe concluded this year and the NCAA in June cited USC for failing to monitor its athletes closely enough and punished the Trojans football program severely. The NCAA imposed a two-year postseason ban on USC and reduced scholarships.
While not admitting to anything in the report, Bush has said he regrets that his actions in some way led to sanctions against USC and caused controversy around his title of Heisman winner.
''I'm not happy this happened,'' Bush said. ''This is just a part of life. This is a part of growing pains and becoming more mature. You learn. You grow. You get better. You get stronger and hopefully you never make those same mistakes again.
''How do I clear my name? I don't know. I'm not sure. This is the first time I've been in this situation,'' Bush added. ''I've obviously got to brainstorm and get together with my team and see what we can do. I'm here to lend a helping hand to USC and any time they need me and any time I can do something to help them, they know I'm just a phone call away.''
Bush said he hopes putting the matter behind him allows him to focus more on things like helping the Saints defend their 2009 championship.
''All I can do is focus on the future and move ahead and move on with my life and try to continue to help the New Orleans Saints win games, every year, year in and year out and be a constant contender in this league,'' Bush said.
Bush said he also wants to start a program to help high school and college athletes deal with the pressures and temptations that come when their ability provides them celebrity and fame before they've turned pro.
''You're still a kid, but you're still asked to make adult decisions,'' Bush said, alluding to a handful of college teams - including North Carolina, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina - dealing with probes into whether their players had improper contact with agents.
''Whatever the NCAA has, whatever programs they have, aren't working and it needs to be changed. If it's not changed, it's going to continue and it hasn't stopped yet,'' Bush said. ''It's going to continue year after year after year and you're going to see kids be ineligible. You're going to see great athletes missing their junior and senior year and seasons because the system doesn't work.
''Obviously something has to be changed. You've got universities making millions of New Orleans Saints jersey
dollars off these kids and they don't get paid. The majority of college athletes who come in on scholarship come in (with) nothing. That's where you have a problem. You're making all this money off these kids and you're giving them crumbs and then you're surrounding these kids with money and telling them not to touch it.''

Vikings' Abdullah says he felt great during fast

Steelers jersey
Husain Abdullah broke his Ramadan fast in the final minutes before Minnesota's season opener at New Orleans by grabbing a Gatorade, a banana and half of a protein bar before kickoff.
Then he took the field for the Vikings, as a starting safety for nfl jerseys
the first time in his NFL career.
Abdullah has had a memorable month or so since he first publicly discussed his daytime abstinence from all food and drink in honor of the Muslim holiday, a remarkable feat in the heat of two-a-day training camp practices.
He embraced the attention as a way to share about his faith and perhaps shed some positive light on Islam. For this fringe third-stringer and special teams player who went undrafted out of Washington State in 2008, it was the first time he found himself surrounded by reporters, cameras and recorders after practice.
Well, it happened again this week, and Ramadan has passed. Abdullah beat out incumbent Tyrell Johnson and hard-hitting backup Jamarca Sanford for the job that few fans or analysts outside team headquarters expected him to get.
''I was really excited, but at the same time I tried to stay within myself,'' Abdullah said. ''Don't get overly excited: `OK, you got the starting job, but now you've got to go out there and prove that you can play football.'''
He had four tackles, plus one on special teams, and the Vikings - despite a rough opening drive against Drew Brees and the Saints - held their own against arguably the league's best passing attack.
''I think I did pretty well. There were a few plays that I wish I was more of a factor on and I wish I got over faster,'' he said, ''but for the most part I think I did good.''
After Johnson and fellow starter Madieu Williams struggled at times last season, the Vikings declared their safety positions open for competition. Neither head coach Brad Childress nor defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier could offer an exact day or point when they felt Abdullah was making a legitimate push for the spot, pointing to his progress over his three years with the team.
''He continued to ascend to the point Saints jersey
where you believe he gave you the best opportunity to win. I thought he did some good things just in terms of tackling and getting people to the ground,'' Childress said. ''Sometimes it's not pretty in that last line of defense, but all you are talking about is usually finding angles and getting somebody down.''
The Vikings have refused to rule out giving Johnson or Sanford the job in the future, but Abdullah will start again this Sunday against Miami. Frazier remarked about how Abdullah was ''consistently making plays'' throughout offseason practices and during camp.
''We got to the point where we said we'd probably a hurting football team if we didn't give a guy who's been this productive the opportunity to show that he could start,'' Frazier said.
Abdullah said he lost only six pounds during the fast; he wants to recoup that and return to his normal playing weight of 204 pounds. The team's nutritionist, Carrie Peterson, devised a late-night and early-morning eating plan to make sure he had enough fuel. Strength and conditioning coaches Tom Kanavy and Juney Barnett helped with his workouts.
''This year has been the best year by far,'' Abdullah said, referring to the problem he had in 2009 keeping his energy level up during Ramadan. ''I feel great.''
He's been slowly getting his body clock back on schedule. To mark the end of the fast and to celebrate his starting spot, he and his wife went out for a steak dinner.
''I have to keep reminding myself it's OK to eat now during the day,'' Abdullah said. ''I eat something in the morning and then I don't eat anything. I have to keep reminding myself, `You got to eat. You got to eat.'''
Abdullah's brother, Hamza, is a safety for the Arizona Cardinals. He also fasted. Abdullah said he was surprised at how much attention he received this year, because they've observed the holiday by fasting for much of their lives.
It has certainly drawn him respect from around the league.
''That says a lot about him as a person and his character and how disciplined he was to do that,'' Dolphins running back Ronnie Brown said. ''To not eat or drink from sunup to sundown, that's hard enough when you're not doing anything. When you're putting football on top of that ... you have to take your hat off to him.''
So Abdullah has moved forward, flashing an easy smile when asked about either his faith or his occupation. He's become a voracious reader in a self-described ''search for truth,'' soaking up all kinds of books about religion including the Koran and the Bible. When he's at work, he's San Diego Chargers jersey
busy trying to get better.
''Since high school I was never the strongest, fastest, biggest. I like football. I like to play football,'' Abdullah said. ''I just try and do a little bit of everything and try and do everything right. Be in the right places. If you're in position, you don't need to run 4.3 to recover because you're already in position.''


Tulowitzki, Gonzalez push Rockies back into race

Pittsburgh Steelers jersey
DENVER – Fourteen seasons in, more than 1,900 games in, Todd Helton(notes) late Wednesday afternoon pondered for a moment the question: Had he seen many guys as hot as the one standing right over there?
He glanced across the clubhouse, the nfl throwback jerseys
bags packed for L.A. and more rigor, the life in a room of players that had so obviously needed to win a ballgame and had. His eyes returned.
“We talking about Tulo?” he said. “Or Gonzo?”
Long about two weeks ago, the Colorado Rockies barged into a two-team game for the National League West championship, the way they sometimes do in September. Further ago, they’d come back from 11 games and their various explanations for why it wasn’t working to this, to a game they believed they had to win, to riding a couple ballplayers in their mid-20s who suddenly can hardly miss a pitch.
Troy Tulowitzki(notes), who’d lost six weeks of summer to a chip fracture in his wrist, had just bashed two more home runs and driven in seven runs (all in the first four innings against the San Diego Padres) and came within “an inch,” manager Jim Tracy said – “A quarter of a centimeter,” Helton countered – of a third home run and three more RBIs.
In 14 games since the first of September, Tulowitzki has 11 home runs, 27 RBIs and a .386 batting average. The Rockies are 2½ games behind the Padres and, failing that, 2½ behind the faltering Atlanta Braves for the NL wild card.
“The game’s not that easy,” Tulowitzki insisted.
Carlos Gonzalez(notes), who bats third and just ahead of Tulowitzki, had two more hits Wednesday (and two more RBIs), his fourth consecutive multi-hit game. Though he’s spent the past week with right wrist tendinitis he says, “Only hurts when I’m hitting,” his September has brought a .474 batting average and 15 RBIs. He appears to have adjusted his swing, trying not to roll his wrists so violently through impact.
“It takes only one bad swing,” he said, adding with a smile, “so I just try to be perfect. I have to keep going for the team. I think I’ll be able to finish.”
So, yeah, we’re talking Tulo and Gonzo.
“I don’t know if there’s a better three-four in baseball,” Padres manager Bud Black said.
What remains is just how long they can stay this hot, and if it will keep Dallas Cowboys jersey
working on the road – where only the Pirates, Nationals and Diamondbacks have fewer wins in the NL – and if the Rockies have another one of those finishing kicks in them. Because the Padres came to Coors Field and won two games before losing Wednesday’s, 9-6, the series momentarily stemming what was beginning to look like a nasty late swoon.
Maybe it was the altitude – OK, probably it was the altitude – but Black’s band of SoCal grinders seemed to find its stroke against the Rockies. After batting .247 and averaging barely four runs a game through 142 games, the Padres jumped aboard Adrian Gonzalez(notes) (five hits, five RBIs), Miguel Tejada(notes) (seven hits, five RBIs) and one very big pinch homer from Matt Stairs(notes) to bat .309 and score 19 runs in three games here.
Afterward, the Padres packed for the NL Central, against which they are 23-7, explaining why they’d arrive in St. Louis on Wednesday night still leading a division in which six months ago they were uniformly picked to finish last. It’s been about the pitching, of course, and they can’t escape suspicions their offense will betray them one day soon, and for good.
“If we score four or five runs a game the rest of the way,” Adrian Gonzalez said, “we’re going to win the division. If we just score runs we’re going to be good.”
This is, alas, the NL West, where strange happens, where pitching a one-hitter doesn’t necessarily mean a win, where divorces take out franchises at the knees, and where the summer of Padres love threatens to become the fall of Troy.
When Tulowitzki came off the disabled list in late July, he hit one home run in two weeks and three in five weeks. Slowly, first in batting practice and then at 7 p.m., his wrist grew stronger, and his trust in it deepened. Rather than push the ball into right and right-center fields, he began to attack, and roll his wrists. Of his 11 home runs in two weeks, 10 have disappeared into left- and center-field bleachers.
“When I first came back,” he said, “I knew my power wasn’t there. Now, I’m picking my counts and I’m taking my shots.”
He is, again, a man who can carry a race, or parts of it.
“I’ve seen guys in home-run streaks but definitely not as Minnesota Vikings jersey
easy as he’s making it look,” Helton said. “It’s effortless. You see guys hitting home runs and they’re up there grunting and stuff. He’s up there barely swinging and the ball’s going a mile.”
Adrian Gonzalez is no pitcher, but he has a strategy for pitching to Gonzalez and Tulowitzki.
“Throw them balls,” he said. “Take your chances with the two and five guys. Bases loaded, walk them, take the two runs, and get the double play out of the fifth guy.”

Rays manager Joe Maddon ejected from game

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP)—Yankees captain Derek Jeter(notes) acted his way to first base.
Jeter was awarded the base in the seventh inning of football jerseys
Wednesday night’s 4-3 loss to Tampa Bay when plate umpire Lance Barksdale ruled he was hit on the left arm by reliever Chad Qualls’(notes) pitch.
Turns out Jeter bluffed his way on base, admitting after the game that the pitch actually hit his bat.
“He told me to go to first base. I’m not going to tell him I’m not going to first, you know,” Jeter said.
Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon was ejected after arguing that call was incorrect.
“If our guys did it, I would have applauded that, too,” Maddon said. “For me it was a ground ball back to the pitcher.”
Maddon argued with Barksdale before leaving the plate area and continuing his discussion with second base umpire and crew chief Tom Hallion behind the mound.
Maddon later headed back and argued again with Barksdale, who threw the manager out of the game.
Jeter shook his arm following the pitch, prompting an on-field exam by trainer Gene Monahan.
“I think Geno acted more than I did, I guess,” Jeter said. “It’s part of the game. My job is to get on base.”
The next batter, Curtis Granderson(notes), hit a two-run homer that put the Yankees ahead 3-2.
NEW YORK (AP)—Jenrry Mejia(notes) of the New York Mets left his start against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Indianapolis Colts jersey
third inning Wednesday night after straining a muscle in the back of his shoulder.
With one out, Mejia walked pitcher Paul Maholm(notes), then threw two balls to leadoff hitter Andrew McCutchen(notes) before catcher Henry Blanco(notes) went out to the mound. The right-hander was replaced by Raul Valdes(notes).
The Mets said Mejia went for an MRI to evaluate what they called an acute strain.
The 20-year-old Mejia, who made 30 relief appearances early in the season for New York, was making his third major league start. He gave up 10 runs over nine innings in his two previous starts, both losses.
Valdes allowed a sacrifice fly by Jose Tabata(notes), but the run was unearned. Mejia didn’t give up a hit and walked two in 2 1-3 innings. He struck out one and threw a wild pitch.
CINCINNATI (AP)—The Cincinnati Reds’ game against Arizona on Wednesday was briefly delayed in the top of the third inning when a young man and woman draped a sign over the center field fence protesting Arizona’s anti-illegal immigration law.
The white banner, which almost reached all the way down to the warning track, contained in black letters the message “Not in Arizona, Not in Ohio” with the words SB 1070 circled and a diagonal line through them—the international symbol for prohibition.
That is the number for the bill passed by the Arizona legislature and signed into law by Republican Governor Jan Brewer in April.
An usher told the couple to remove the sign and then carried it away. The couple left a few minutes later.
BALTIMORE (AP)—Jose Bautista(notes) hit his major league-leading 47th home run Wednesday night, tying the Toronto Blue Jays club record set in 1987 by George Bell.
Bautista sent an 0-1 pitch from Baltimore’s Brad Bergesen(notes) over the center-field wall in the first inning. The drive landed in the bullpen and gave the Blue Jays a 1-0 lead.
It was his seventh of the season off the Minnesota Vikings jersey
Orioles, the most against any team. It was his second off Bergesen.
Bautista began the year with 59 career homers.
Toronto has hit at least one home run in 17 consecutive games, the longest run in the AL this year and one short of the streak of 18 straight by Cincinnati from May 11-29.


Stars come together for Texans’ Foster

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The father, once a football man, believed in the power of the stars and the sky. This is still the age of Aquarius, he told the mother when their second son was about to be born. The name Arian spoke to him. He looked it up. It meant water-bearer, holder of knowledge.
Carl Foster was glad. His child would have a name of football jersey
great importance. “It will guide him through life,” he said.
Then Arian Foster(notes) grew up to write poetry and make music, putting them together in a form of spoken-word melody he hates to call rap because, as he says, “It sounds too clichéd.” He went to college and studied philosophy. He asked questions. He challenged. He was, at 24, everything his parents hoped he could become.
All of this was taken into consideration from different cities this week in the hours after Foster ran through the Colts for 231 yards and three touchdowns as the Houston Texans’ top running back. An unknown to most of the country, Foster was suddenly leading all the sports highlight shows following the Texans’ victory. Everyone was talking about how the team had given him the game ball and how he had immediately taken it and handed it to the offensive linemen who opened the holes for him.
Suddenly the child raised to be so many things was a football star.
Over the phone from her office at the University of New Mexico where she works as an administrative assistant for African American student services, his mother Bernadette Sizemore laughs
“Surreal,” she says. “I have a hard time wrapping my head around it.”
They never envisioned their three children as sports stars. There was so much they wanted for them, so many things in the world, places to see, books to read. Sports were a diversion. A fun experience, but never was it to be the center of their lives.
” I started to see how star players were treated, his father and I didn’t like that,” says Sizemore, whose oldest son, Abdul, went on to run track for Florida A&M. “We wanted to make sure he didn’t get a big head. I really don’t like it when athletes have only sports in their life. We wanted him to like other things. That’s the focus we gave all our children growing up.”
She laughs again.
“Now he dances to the beat of a different drum,” she says.
Football had been Carl Foster’s life. Back in the late 1970s, it took him from Carson, Calif., to the University of New Mexico where he was a wide receiver and eventually to the training camp of the Denver Broncos, who promptly cut him at summer’s end of 1982. So unlike most fathers he understood the bitterness of the game; the full commitment it demands; the way it swallows everything else in life. And the last thing he wanted was for his two sons to play.
“I played the game for a long time, I love the game and I grew up in the game,” Carl Foster says from his home in Arizona. “There were a lot of things that I saw in the game that were extremely challenging to a young man. I didn’t want them to get hooked on the game and then after the game have nothing.
“I just wanted them to know there was life after football.”
Here is the son they raised:
On Tuesday he sat on a conference call organized by the Texans. He was asked the traditional question normally directed to a young football player trying to make it in the NFL: Is he comfortable in the professional game now? And he gave the traditional answer that, yes, he was. Then he said:
“I think that stems from just knowing the game of football. I like to think of myself as a cerebral player […] anytime I learn an offense.”
He said he had three offensive coordinators in college, and he took something from each of them.
“I like to learn the ‘why’ I was doing what I was doing instead of being a drone out there,” said Foster, who went undrafted in ’09 following his senior season despite a junior year in which he rushed for 1,193 yards in 2007.
Once he understood the process of the offense he said the game became easier. And once the game seemed easier, he could translate that experience to the NFL.
He did not say this arrogantly, but rather in a matter-of-fact tone – just as he meant no harm in declaring that when he was considering offers from the Texans, Saints, Jets, Giants and Buccaneers in 2009, he decided Houston offered the best chance to win a spot after his girlfriend, Romina, looked up each team’s roster and read the name of the running backs.
Nor was he trying to insult when he said that moving to San Diego in high school to live with his father after his parents’ divorce was the best thing that could have happened, because it removed him from the malaise of his home town of Albuquerque.
“The vision [in Albuquerque] isn’t very high,” he said. “People over there don’t expect a lot from other people. It’s kind of a cesspool of mediocrity. I hate to say that but it really is. It has so much talent over there, but I don’t see a lot of people pushing it over there.”
They are simply observations, answers to explain his life, and yet because football is a regimented game and players who speak their minds are often punished in some form for their candor, he will probably be judged for these things. Just as Sizemore says her son tried to honor the request of the coaches at Tennessee in declining interviews at a testy time in the program’s demise. Only instead of saying it wasn’t the right time or place, he told the reporter he would do the interview in “pterodactyl” and followed his words with prehistoric screeches.
In the end he was exactly what he had been raised to become: someone who saw the world just a little bit unlike everyone else.
The irony in the way they raised their children is that Carl and Bernadette ultimately became so involved in their sons’ football. While Carl hated the idea of football consuming his kids’ lives, he also found himself powerless to stop their will. “I didn’t have it in me to do that,” he says. He vowed to not be the stage father coaching his kids at youth football games.
And yet he kept getting pulled back in. Sometimes at the request of coaches who wanted the advice of someone who had played the game. Sometimes when coaches simply didn’t understand the player they had. He still is amazed that the high school coaches in Albuquerque told Arian he did not have the skills to play offense and insisted on moving him to linebacker.
It wasn’t long after that he and Bernadette divorced and Carl moved to California to run hotels when Arian joined him, transferred to Mission Bay High School in San Diego and was switched to running back after the coaches there saw the ease with which he sliced through tacklers when returning kicks.
Yet it was Bernadette who became Arian’s most public defender. She did this during his college years, when desperate to read anything about her son, she stumbled upon the Tennessee fan message boards. She was startled by the fury of the posters, the way they judged the players and coaches without understanding what was really happening in their lives.
She took the message board moniker “Fostermom” and wrote impassioned explanations. She talked about the sacrifices players make, the challenges they have to keep up with class work, and she told them how hard it was to play college football at a place as Indianapolis Colts jersey
big and important as Tennessee.
And like any outspoken message-board poster, she felt the fire of the hostile response.
“At first I would get my feelings hurt,” she says. “But then I realized it’s just a human emotion.”
She shot back at the critics. There were spats. When Arian fumbled she snapped at his detractors. When he made pterodactyl sounds to the reporters she tried to explain. Even when she might have been frustrated with things the coaches did, she tried hard not to criticize. She worried it would hurt Arian. But she also says this wasn’t about Arian; she did it for herself, for the fans, for anyone who wanted to love a college football team.
“There’s a definite feeling of ownership when you become involved in a program,” she says. “I didn’t donate dollars to buy season tickets, but I did donate my son. I think that was a significant contribution.”
But she also wonders if this hurt Arian. She remembers walking up to then-Vols coach Phil Fulmer and having him grunt, “I hear you are on the Internet.” She couldn’t tell whether he was angry.
Fulmer asks her what Arian thinks of her postings.
“Oh, I’m sure he hates it,” she says. “He told me, ‘Everywhere I go, everyone asks me about you.’ ”
She doesn’t know if her messages on the boards damaged Arian at the end of his career at Tennessee, when he went from a player who could have left school after his junior year to someone who tumbled his last season, though it seemed a series of calamities conspired to damage him at that time. He had leg injuries that cost him one game. The team was on its third offensive coordinator, Dave Clawson, was reliant on a number of running backs, and it was obvious that Fulmer was out as coach at year’s end.
Carl Foster watched sadly as Arian stumbled through his senior year, a one-time rising star suddenly hampered by injuries and a growing reputation – with his strange name, his major in philosophy and mother posting on the Internet – as more trouble than he was worth.
“They made him out to be this rogue character,” Carl says of the reports he read in the weeks before the draft. “That wasn’t him.”
Further hurting Foster’s stock was his inability to participate during the Senior Bowl or NFL scouting combine, and his bad outing during Tennessee’s pro day. So when the draft came and went without his name being called, Arian thought he was done with football. His parents kept telling him he had so much else he could rely upon, and he did love music. Carl marvels at his son’s creativity and the power of Romina. He is amazed such a booming voice could come from such a small woman.
But Arian wanted football, and after he signed as an undrafted free agent with the Texans last year, he was determined to give the game one final, desperate chance.
“I remember hearing a quote from [actor] Will Smith where he said: ‘I don’t spend energy on B that’s from Plan A,’ ” Arian says. “I don’t want to say that I put all my eggs in the same basket but, you know, I kind of did. I think with anybody with any success in life, it’s usually all or nothing.”
And after a couple of months on Houston’s practice squad before being activated last November, he made the team’s roster this summer and then beat out Steve Slaton(notes) for the starting spot.
Yet even he couldn’t have imagined Sunday’s game against the Colts. Who could?
“Hurdles define men in life,” he says of his past. “It was a hurdle but I’m putting it in the past.”
Now he has his own child, a girl, just over a year old, Dallas Cowboys jersey
with Romina. They called her Zeniah and gave her the middle name “Egypt” because Arian has become obsessed with its culture. And maybe like his parents before him, he can see how a name can define a child, giving her too the stars and the sky.

David Binn placed on IR, James Dearth signed

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San Diego Chargrs long snapper David Binn(notes) was placed on the reserve-injured list because of a hamstring injury, ending his season.
They replaced him wth long snapper James Dearth(notes).
Binn played in 256 of the last 257 regular-season gamesnfl jersey
San Diego has played and all 12 of its playoff games dating back to his rookie season in 1994.
Dearth played in 144 consecutive regular-season games for the New York Jets from 2001-09 and their last nine playoff games, including the Jets’ divisional playoff game at San Diego.
The 6-foot-4, 265-pounder became a free agent after Minnesota Vikings jersey
ast seasn and spent time with Washington in August, but did not make the Redskins’ final 53-man roster.
With RB Chris Johnson getting 27 carries in the season opener vs. Oakland, including seven after the Titans took a 25-point lead late in the third quarter, the message came across loud and clear: the Titans continue to have no reservations about giving Johnson a lot of work. Johnson, who averaged a combined 29.7 rushes and receptions in the final 10 games of the '09 season, received 31 touches in Week One. Backup Javon Ringer(notes)’s role is to give Johnson a breather when Johnson needs it. "We're trying to get the ball to C.J. as often as we can, and when we get tired, we'll put Javon in," head coach Jeff Fisher explained. Fisher also said that fear of a player getting hurt does not enter his mind when making substitution decisions and that Ringer didn't need any extra work. Of his thought process on leaving Johnson in late in the game, Fisher said, "We're trying to win football games and play players Dallas Cowboys jersey
and get them ready for the long haul."

Despite the high-profile matchup between the Manning brothers

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Although Peyton Manning(notes) will be facing his brother for the second time in the NFL this weekend, the Indianapolis Colts’ star quarterback has bigger issues on his mind.
Helping his team avoid an 0-2 start is chief nfl jerseys
among them.
To prevent that from happening for the first time since his 1998 rookie season, the Colts need to bounce back from a stunning opening loss when they host Eli Manning(notes) and the New York Giants on Sunday night.
Despite the high-profile matchup between the Manning brothers, Indianapolis’ focus is on correcting the mistakes that led to a 34-24 loss at Houston last week. The Colts allowed the Texans to run for a franchise-record 257 yards - 231 by unheralded Arian Foster(notes), who also scored three touchdowns - while gaining only 44 yards on the ground themselves.
Indianapolis’ weakened offensive line also struggled to contain the Texans’ pass rush, as Peyton Manning was sacked twice and hit repeatedly.
“We just didn’t do enough as a group to kind of help each other out when one unit was struggling,” said Manning, who went 40 of 57 for 433 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. “That’s something we’ve done in the past. That’s something we’re going to need to do starting next week.”
One of those units took a big hit Wednesday, as star safety Bob Sanders(notes) was lost indefinitely after undergoing surgery to repair a torn biceps muscle in his right arm.
Injuries limited the 2007 NFL Defensive Player of the Year to eight games over the past two seasons.
Indianapolis needs to overcome Sanders’ latest setback and get its problems fixed quickly - especially along the offensive line, which may have struggled in part because of injuries and inexperience. The Giants knocked Carolina’s Matt Moore(notes) out of the game last week after sacking him four times, with their usually formidable pass rush looking strong in a season-opening 31-18 win.
“It was one of those days where it was kind of Pittsburgh Steelers jersey
a perfect storm. We were not playing well and they were playing well,” Colts left tackle Charlie Johnson(notes) said after the loss to Houston. “But that (pressure) has kind of been the Giants’ calling card since the (2008) Super Bowl, and we have to step up and play better.”
Establishing a running game would help keep New York’s pass rush in check. Joseph Addai(notes) had all 10 Indianapolis rushes last week for the club’s 44 yards.
The Colts weren’t able to run the ball the last time these teams met Sept. 10, 2006, a 26-21 Indianapolis home victory. Addai had 26 yards rushing and the Colts totaled 55, but Manning threw for 276 yards to help his team hold on.
Eli Manning, then in his third season, passed for 247 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Although he has a chance to even the score with his older brother, coach Tom Coughlin made it clear that’s not what’s important.
“… Who we are going to play - is the Indianapolis Colts football team,” Coughlin said. “And so that is the way that Eli will look at this - and nothing different. We have got to go into their place – a domed stadium – we have all of that to be concerned with as well. So it’s the competitive aspect that comes to the front. And that is where it stays.”
Manning will be looking to build on a strong effort in the opener. He went 20 of 30 for 263 yards and three touchdowns to Hakeem Nicks(notes). His three interceptions all were tipped off receivers’ hands.
Like Indianapolis, though, New York has plenty of room for improvement. The Giants committed four turnovers, were penalized nine times for 95 yards and went 5 for 14 on third down.
Perhaps the biggest concern was special teams, which left Coughlin fuming after a rough performance.
Rookie Matt Dodge(notes) had a 16.0-yard net average on three punts, one that was blocked for a safety in the fourth quarter. The Giants averaged 13.4 yards on kickoff returns and 6.8 on punt returns, while their coverage teams allowed Carolina 19.0 yards per punt return and 24.6 on kickoffs.
The poor kick coverage could be of particular concern after Colts rookie Devin Moore(notes) had 155 yards on seven kickoff returns in his NFL debut last week.
New York hopes Foster’s big day bodes well for its ground attack Sunday. Dallas Cowboys jersey
The Giants ran for 118 yards against Carolina, 76 by Ahmad Bradshaw(notes).
The Giants will be without starting tight end Kevin Boss(notes), who suffered a concussion after being hit on the opening drive.


Cruz Azul move clear at top of table

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A Cruz Azul win and defeat for Santos Laguna saw the a three-point gap open up at the top of the Mexican Apertura.
Horacio Cervantes - later dismissed - scored first, with nfl jerseys
Javier Penuelas and Christian Gimenez also on target and Gerard Flores hitting a consolation for Atlas.
Queretaro were Santos Laguna's conquerors, a Sergio Blanco hat-trick doing the bulk of the damage in a handsome 5-2 victory. Joaquin Beltran and Hector Altamirano scored the others, with Christian Benitez and a Eder Borelli own-goal putting Santos on the scoreboard.
Monterrey triumphed in the north-east derby against Tigres Minnesota Vikings jersey
Monterrey, Humberto Suazo converting the only goal a minute into the second half to go third on goal difference from Puebla.
Tecos were 1-0 winners over hosts Atlante, Alberto Ramirez the scorer four minutes from time.
Patricio Araujo (40) and Franco Arizala (46) were the scorers as Pachuca and Guadalajara drew 1-1.
Jaguares hammered Puebla 4-0 as Dallas Cowboys jersey
Carlos Ochoa (42, 55), Christian Valdez (52) and Jorge Rodriguez ran riot.


In response the following night

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A normal September game between a pair of non-contenders usually wouldn’t hold much interest, but Sunday’s game between the Florida Marlins and Washington Nationals could be far from the norm.
In the finale of a three-game series between these NL East rivals, Marlins starter Chris Volstad(notes) and Nationals outfielder Nyjer Morgan(notes) will likely face each other for the first time since they set off an ugly brawl.
Morgan initially drew the ire of nfl jersey
the Marlins on Aug. 31, when he separated catcher Brett Hayes’(notes) shoulder during a collision at home plate.
In response the following night, Volstad hit the Nationals outfielder with a pitch in the fourth inning. Morgan responded by stealing a pair of bases with his team trailing 14-3, and Volstad threw behind him in his next at-bat.
Morgan charged the mound and took a swing at Volstad that left the Florida pitcher with an abrasion on his cheek. The ensuing melee resulted in a combined nine suspensions.
“I thought it was over after (the fourth inning), but once I saw the ball go right behind me, it’s time to go,” Morgan said. “Once is good enough, but twice, no, it’s time to go.”
Volstad (9-9, 4.96 ERA) will take the ball for this start before beginning a six-game suspension Monday. Morgan is awaiting the outcome of appeals of both an eight-game suspension from the incident with Volstad, and a seven-game penalty for throwing a ball in the stands at Philadelphia on Aug. 21.
Morgan has played in both games of this series, going 2 for 6, and is 1 for 11 in his career versus Volstad.
Volstad us seeking his fifth win in as many starts against Washington (60-82) this season. He’s also 3-0 over his last four starts overall, but is coming off consecutive subpar outings.
The right-hander gave up six runs over five innings in the Sept. 1 win and five in five innings of Tuesday’s 8-7 loss in Philadelphia. He allowed nine hits in each of those outings, including a season-high three homers against the Phillies.
Volstad has benefited from 34 runs of Pittsburgh Steelers jersey
support in his four wins over the Nationals. He might not need that much help this time, as he’ll face a team that’s batted .168 and been outscored 14-5 during a four-game skid.
Washington managed five hits in Saturday’s 4-1 defeat, while Emilio Bonifacio(notes) had a two-run single for Florida (72-69). The Nationals are looking to avoid losing five in a row at home for the first time since Aug. 18-22, 2009.
Washington starter Jordan Zimmermann(notes) (0-0, 3.86) will try for a repeat performance of his start against the Marlins on Aug. 31, when he held them to one hit over six innings of the Nationals’ eventual 1-0, 10-inning loss.
The right-hander has a 1.50 ERA in two career starts against the Marlins but has not received a decision in either game.
Florida rookie outfielder Logan Morrison(notes), on a 10-game hitting streak, has reached base safely in 31 consecutive contests - the longest active streak in the majors.
“I’m sure since you just told me that I’m not going to Minnesota Vikings jersey
get on base (Sunday),” Morrison joked with a reporter after Saturday’s game. “I don’t think about it. I have no idea.”
Morrison struck out in both of his at-bats versus Zimmermann last month.
The Marlins are seeking their sixth consecutive win at Nationals Park.

Yankees give slumping Jeter a day off

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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)—Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter(notes) was out of the starting lineup against the Rangers on Saturday night, a decision manager Joe Girardi said was more because of a long game the previous night than the captain’s prolonged slump.
“My confidence in Derek hasn’t wavered,” Girardi said.
Jeter went 1 for 7 in a 6-5 loss to Texas in nfl throwback jerseys
13 innings on Friday night, a game that took 5 hours, 12 minutes.
Jeter is 2 for 18 and 7 for 61. Since Aug. 13, the 11-time All-Star has gone 16 for 102 (.157), dropping his average from .282 to .260.
“I don’t think there’s any question that he’s struggling,” Girardi said. “You always have that decision: Does he need a day off to get back on track? Or does he need to keep playing to get back on track? You never know the answer. But today’s day off is more that we played (so long) last night. …
“It hasn’t been too often in his career that he’s been (slumping like this), so you’re not really sure exactly how he’s going to handle it. But he’s very professional about what he does. Derek is very good about turning the page from day to day. He doesn’t let one at-bat affect the next at-bat. He’s going through a tough streak, and there’s human emotions involved. He’s doing a great job.”
Jeter is hitting 57 points below his major league career average and his worst by far for a full season.
“I sure wouldn’t bet against him, that he Dallas Cowboys jersey
can finish strong and be the Derek Jeter we know he can be,” Girardi said. “He’s going through a funk. It’s not abnormal for a hitter to go through a funk. (Mark Teixeira(notes)) went through one in April and in June, and people were wondering about him, about moving him out of the third spot. But we had faith in Tex. I think sometimes when people get older, people are more apt to question whether he’s in a slump because he’s older, or just in a slump. I think he’s just going through a slump and he’ll get out of it.”
Jeter hasn’t started six games this season. He’s been at shortstop for 131 games, with five more at designated hitter.
Girardi dismissed age being a factor. Jeter is 36 and in his Minnesota Vikings jersey
16th big league season.
“Now if he were 38, 39, you might start thinking about it,” Girardi said. “We believe Derek is going to hit and he’s going to get hot.”

A’s exercise contract option on Geren for 2011

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A’s exercise contract option on
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP)—Even though his club is likely to miss the playoffs for a fourth straight season, Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane saw no reason to let manager Bob Geren’s contract status linger.
Confident in the direction that the youngest team in the football jerseys
majors is headed, Beane and the A’s on Saturday exercised the club option on Geren’s contract for the 2011 season, saying his influence and work with the club’s younger players is critical to the franchise’s future.
“At the end of the day it seemed pretty obvious to all of us,” Beane said. “For us it’s critical that we have a manager that’s not only a teacher but has the patience to get through some of the growing pains a young player’s going to have. Bob and the rest of the staff have certainly done that.”
The A’s have been beset by a number of injuries to their front-line players. All-Star infielder Eric Chavez(notes) played in only 33 games before being sidelined for the year because of back and shoulder issues. Pitcher Ben Sheets(notes), who signed a $10 million, one-year deal with Oakland in the offseason, had season-ending elbow surgery in August, and center fielder Coco Crisp(notes) missed most of the first half of the year with leg injuries.
Despite all of that, the A’s have managed to stay around .500 in the AL West. Oakland went into Saturday’s game against Boston trailing first-place Texas by 7 1/2 games and still clinging to Indianapolis Colts jersey
slim playoff hopes.
“I talked to Billy and thanked him for the opportunity,” Geren said. “We’re so close to being an elite team, and to have the opportunity to manage them … it’s a real honor. To be asked back to try to bring us to the next level is a real privilege.”
Geren received a one-year contract extension, with the option, in March 2009. He was promoted from bench coach in November 2006 by his close friend Beane. The GM had given Geren a vote of confidence this season, another in which the A’s have been plagued by injuries but still stayed competitive in the AL West.
The 48-year-old Geren, the 28th manager in franchise history, had a 296-329 career record in four seasons heading into Saturday night’s game against Boston.
“Under the circumstances they’ve done about as well as you could expect and probably beyond that to be totally honest,” Beane said of the A’s coaching staff. “As the season went on and we saw how everybody was responding, it was a question you shouldn’t be in a position to have to ask given what he has done. If Minnesota Vikings jersey
you’ve made up your mind it makes sense to do it. It allows everybody to concentrate on moving forward.”
Geren played five major league seasons as a catcher with the New York Yankees and San Diego before his coaching career.
Beane said the team would address the contract status of the rest of the coaching staff later.
Geren for 2011