Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes won big at the NFL Honors on Saturday night, taking home The Associated Press 2018 Most Valuable Player award.
Here's the complete list of winners from the ceremony, held at Atlanta's Fox Theatre:
NFL Honors, which debuted in Indianapolis in 2012, is held in the Super Bowl host city the night before the AFC and NFC champions meet. The 2019 ceremony was held at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta on Feb. 2.
Tight end Tony Gonzalez, cornerback Champ Bailey, safety Ed Reed, center Kevin Mawae and cornerback Ty Law were elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, along with contributors Pat Bowlen and Gil Brandt. Safety Johnny Robinson, a senior candidate from the AFL era, also was selected.
A Special Olympics golfer stole the show during Tuesday’s practice round for this week’s Phoenix Open. But for Amy Bockerstette, it was par for the course.
Bockerstette, a junior college golfer who has Down syndrome, was pulled out of the crowd by defending champion Gary Woodland and invited to play the par-3 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale, Golf Digest reported. After sending her tee shot into the sand trap, she sent her second shot onto the green and drained an 8-foot putt for par on one of the PGA Tour’s more challenging holes.
“It feels amazing,” Bockerstette told the Arizona Republic.
“It’s phenomenal,” Woodland said during his news conference Wednesday. “I told her she was an inspiration to all of us and we can all learn from her. She was dealt with some serious issues and she’s overcome them and she is phenomenal. She was so sweet, she was so excited and happy and that’s something that we can all learn from.
“When things aren’t going our way we can definitely look back at her. And I told her she was a hero and to keep doing what she’s doing because we’re all going to be following her.”
Bockerstette has excelled at golf since she attended high school in Phoenix. She qualified for the state tournament as a junior and in May signed a letter of intent to play at Paradise Valley Community College, Golf Digest reported.
The video produced by the PGA Tour has gone viral:
A Florida high school girls basketball player set a national record for career 3-point baskets Thursday night, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
Brylee Bartram, a senior guard for Seffner Christian, connected 10 times against Covenant Prep Christian to give her 504 3-point baskets. That tops the mark of 500, set in 2010 by Ashley Wirtzberger of Gila Bend, Arizona, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations record book.
Bartram is only 17 3-pointers shy of surpassing the overall national record of 520, set in 2015 by boys basketball player Bjorn Borman of Duluth, Minnesota, according to the NFHS record book.
The record-breaking shot came 23 seconds into the second quarter of Seffner Christian’s 81-30 victory, the Times reported.
Bartram will have a chance to break the record over the next few weeks, as Seffner Christian (17-7) ends its regular season Saturday and will play in a district tournament next week, the newspaper reported.
"It means a lot," Bartram told the Times. "It's taken a lot of hard work to get here. And there's still a lot of hard work to do. I felt like tonight was going to be the night. I feel relieved."
An Oklahoma wind farm will help provide electricity during Super Bowl LIII.
Thunder Ranch Wind Project, located north of Oklahoma City, has been generating wind energy for activities during Super Bowl week, KOCO reported.
Anheuser Busch bought renewable energy credits from the company and has given them to the Atlanta Super Bowl Committee to offset power used during the week.
"Last year, we generated more than one terawatt per hour of electricity," Thunder Ranch site supervisor Austin Jones told KOCO. "That's enough to power 100,000 average U.S. households for an entire year."
Much of that power will be generated by the wind.
"There's energy within it, and we're just harnessing it," Jones told the television station.
Things got a little batty Thursday night when the San Antonio Spurs hosted the Brooklyn Nets in an NBA game. And the Spurs’ “exterminator” was nowhere to be found.
Officials stopped the game for three minutes during the first quarter when several bats descended onto the court, ESPN reported. Support staff from both teams swatted at the flying mammals with towels, and while some players fled to the tunnel, Spurs forward Pau Gasol helped out by waving towels, The Washington Post reported.
One staff member was able to chase the bats away by using a net, ESPN reported.
The crowd chanted “Manu! Manu!” during the delay, referencing a 2009 incident when former Spurs star Manu Ginóbili swatted down a bat during a game against the Sacramento Kings on Halloween and picked it up from the court, the Post reported.
"It's just a mouse with wings,” Ginóbili joked at the time, ESPN reported. “When you can't dunk anymore, you have to find a way to make it into the news. So that's what I did. I grabbed a bat. I didn't think it was a big deal. I'm going to be retiring soon. If anybody has a pest problem ..."
The delay did not hurt the Spurs, who rallied in the fourth quarter to win their fourth straight game, 117-114, KSAT reported.
Jackie Robinson was born 100 years ago today, and the impact the Hall of Famer has had on baseball continues to resonate 63 years after his retirement.
Robinson, who broke the modern color line in major league baseball when he debuted for the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947, played only 10 seasons. But his courage and grace under pressure from white players, managers and fans earned him respect and paved the way for other blacks and Hispanics to follow in his footsteps.
Here are five things to know about No. 42.
Teddy tribute: Jack Roosevelt Robinson, the grandson of slaves, was born Jan. 31, 1919, in Cairo, Georgia. Shortly after his birth, Robinson’s mother relocated the family to Pasadena, California. Robinson’s middle name was a tribute to former President Theodore Roosevelt, who died 25 days before Robinson was born.
Four-sport star: Robinson not only played baseball at UCLA. He also lettered in basketball, football and track. He also played tennis and won the junior boys singles title in the Pacific Coast Negro Tennis Tournament.
Military action: Robinson served in the Army during World War II but never saw action overseas. He was court-martialed after refusing to sit in the back of an unsegregated bus, but was acquitted. He was honorably discharged in 1944.
Career highlights: Robinson was named the National League’s Rookie of the Year in 1949 and was named the N.L.’s Most Valuable Player in 1949. He was a six-time all-star and played in five World Series. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962, his first year of eligibility.
Retired number: Robinson died Oct. 24, 1972. He was 53. Robinson’s No. 42 was retired in a ceremony at New York’s Shea Stadium on April 15, 1997 -- the 50th anniversary of his major league debut. Major League Baseball adopted “Jackie Robinson Day” on April 15, 2004. Every player on each team wore No. 42 that day.
Information from wire services, Baseball-reference.com and the Jackie Robinson website were used in compiling this report.
Two former baseball players at a Florida high school allege their teammates peppered them with racial slurs and accused them of bullying, hazing and harassment while coaches did nothing to prevent it, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday.
King, 17, and his father, Charlie King, along with Norwood and his mother, Shannon Norwood, are seeking more than $15,000 in damages, according to the lawsuit.
Jay King and Judah Norwood were former baseball players at East Lake High School, the Times reported. The two youths addressed the school board about the allegations Tuesday night, the newspaper reported.
“I’m not a liar,” King told the board, according to the Times. “Everything I said is true. Hazing, sexual harassment and bullying did occur.”
School board members did not respond to the allegations, the newspaper reported.
The lawsuit alleges that during the 2017-2018 school year, King and Norwood were intimidated and harassed after a practice by teammates. They allege they were taken to a secluded area, where coaches, teachers or school administrators were not present, and were subjected to a hazing ritual by their teammates.
King told the Times he had heard about the hazing before his senior season, but was skeptical.
“They were telling me about it in the fall, and I thought it was a joke,” King told the newspaper. “I didn’t take it serious until the day actually came up.”
King and Norwood refused to participate in the ritual, the Times reported. The lawsuit alleges that when Norwood ran away, he was chased by teammates who yelled insults. They stopped when King threatened to call 911.
“I knew the whole team,” Norwood told the Times. “I played football, they knew me. It was good until that happened.”
“The school system is under a duty to supervise,” Todd Hoover, the attorney representing the families, told the newspaper. “There was a lack of adequate supervision.”
Both players transferred to other schools. Only King still plays baseball.
East Lake baseball coach Zack Roper declined to comment to the Times.
In a statement to the newspaper, school district spokeswoman Lisa Wolf said the agency “fully investigated the incident both internally and externally and found there was no negligence on the part of our staff.”
As the New England Patriots prepare for Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta, one of Julian Edelman's biggest fans is celebrating, too. Grady Smith, of Salem, New Hampshire, was diagnosed with a rare brain disorder several months ago, but his latest scans are showing improvements.
"Grady is such an active athletic boy, so to hear something like that and to know what the outcome was going to be was horrifying," said Jillian Smith, Grady's mother.
Smith’s 8-year-old son, Grady, was diagnosed with Adreno-Leuko-Dystrophy (ALD) in August. The genetic disease damages the nerves in the brain, and it can be deadly if it's not caught early.
"We had waited three to six months, if he hadn't had found out there wouldn't have been treatment for him," Smith said.
Smith noticed something was wrong when Grady had trouble hearing her. But, after a few visits to the doctor and an MRI, she learned Grady may have trouble understanding language from having ALD.
"Lots of boys end up in vegetative states, some have problems walking, talking, seeing," Smith said. "It’s a very individualized disease."
After learning this devastating news, the Smith family reached out to Edelman, the Patriots wide receiver, who is Grady's favorite player.
Edelman responded with a video message.
"Grady, heard you’re going through some tough times," Edelman said on the video. "But you got to remember tough times don’t last, tough people do."
Those words of encouragement are now the Smith family motto as they help Grady battle this disease.
Smith said Grady was over the moon when he heard back from Edelman, and they continue to keep in touch. Edelman even visited Grady in the hospital a few months ago after Grady needed chemo and then a bone marrow transplant to stop the disease from progressing.
"It changed his whole demeanor and every time he was nervous or upset he would watch that video," Smith said.
Now Grady's spirits are even higher as Edelman and the rest of the Patriots make their way to the Super Bowl.
"Grady thinks it all happened because of him," Smith said.
And while Edelman stays in the spotlight for the big game, Smith hopes her son’s story can also be shared to help other families.
She says there’s a simple test doctors can do at birth to detect ALD in babies before it gets worse.
"It’s a heel prick it’s a very simple test," she said. "It costs around $2.50."
But hospitals in New Hampshire and Massachusetts don’t do that test automatically. So, the Smith family is now pushing for that to change.
"If something’s gonna come out of this, we need to make it positive and we need to fight for all these other little boys and their families," Jillian said. "It’s just unnecessary suffering. You can catch this."
Smith said Grady needs to be isolated this year to protect his immune system after his treatment. But he has a tutor at home while he starts rehab this week.
He plans on going back to school as a third-grader next year.
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