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NBA stars shower Kobe Bryant with old man retirement gifts
February 16, 2016 (15:00) [ Indexed from Sportal.com.au ]
Bryant was invited to the exclusive Gentlemens Supper Club held every season by Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony. More...
Northern Trust Open: Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy face off at famed Riviera Country Club
February 16, 2016 (00:30) [ Indexed from Sportal.com.au ]
The PGA Tour returns to Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles this week, and plenty of stars will be battling for the win. More...
NBA All-Stars from Kevin Durant to Al Horford face wild trade rumor mill
February 14, 2016 (19:15) [ Indexed from Sportal.com.au ]
The league's best are gathered in Toronto for this year's All-Star game. So why are they all being asked about getting traded? More...
Check out the $745 camo parkas given to NBA All-Stars for freezing Toronto
February 13, 2016 (22:45) [ Indexed from Sportal.com.au ]
Canada Goose gave the NBA All-Stars camouflage parks. More...
Beholder, Stellar Wind Nearing First Works
February 13, 2016 (19:15) [ Indexed from BloodHorse.com ]
Some of the West Coast's brightest equine stars from last year are getting back into the swing of things at Santa Anita Park. More...
Australia: Suavito stars in Group 1 C.F. Orr for Currie
February 13, 2016 (10:00) [ Indexed from Racing Post ]
SUAVITO (Nigel Blackiston) returned from injury to upstage a star-studded field in the CF Orr Stakes, providing jockey Luke Currie with his first Group 1 win in more than a decade. More...
Zach LaVine, Kristaps Porzingis highlight high-scoring Rising Stars Challenge
February 13, 2016 (05:45) [ Indexed from Sportal.com.au ]
The Timberwolves guard shined in the young talent showcase. More...
Valentine's Day all-stars: The most athletic married couples in sports
February 12, 2016 (13:30) [ Indexed from Sportal.com.au ]
In honor of Valentine's Day, Sporting News takes a look at the most athletic married couples in sports. More...
Richards suffers loss of star hurdler Glingerburn
February 11, 2016 (08:45) [ Indexed from Racing Post ]
GLINGERBURN, one of Nicky Richards’ stable stars, has been put down after failing to recover from a broken bone sustained in a fall at Ayr in October. More...
WWE star Daniel Bryan announces his retirement
February 08, 2016 (20:15) [ Indexed from Sportal.com.au ]
Sad news from the WWE and one of its brightest stars. More...
Cook stars on Five In A Row
February 07, 2016 (16:30) [ Indexed from Sky Sports ]
Danny Cook delivered Five In A Row with a barnstorming finish to win the totepoollive.com Scottish Future Champions Novices' Chase at Musselburgh. More...
Sandown: Bristol De Mai stars in Scilly Isles
February 06, 2016 (16:30) [ Indexed from Racing Post ]
BRISTOL DE MAI stated a strong case for the JLT Novices' Chase at the Cheltenham Festival with a flawless performance in this top-level chase, in which the Grade 1-winning hurdler jumped superbly before leaving his rivals trailing. More...
Sandown: Bristol De Mai stars in Scilly Isles
February 06, 2016 (16:00) [ Indexed from Racing Post ]
BRISTOL DE MAI stated a strong case for the JLT Novices' Chase at the Cheltenham Festival with a flawless performance in this top-level chase, in which the Grade 1-winning hurdler jumped superbly before leaving his rivals trailing. More...
Road To Riches leads stars on show at Leopardstown
February 05, 2016 (13:45) [ Indexed from Racing Post ]
EXCITING prospects Bellshill, Ivanovich Gorbatov and Tombstone all feature on a star-studded card at Leopardstown on Saturday, with last year's Cheltenham Gold Cup third Road To Riches the class act in the feature Irish Gold Cup. More...
Tom Brady, Cam Newton top NFLs best-selling jerseys
February 04, 2016 (16:30) [ Indexed from Sportal.com.au ]
Tom Brady only got more popular after the Deflategate scandal, leading the NFL in jersey sales from the start of April until the end of January, according to sales on NFLShop.com. While Brady continued his stardom, Panthers quarterback Cam Newton emerged as a likely NFL MVP recipient, wearingthe second-best selling jersey in the league. MORE: The best player at each jersey number | Super Bowl stars when they were kids Broncos QB Peyton Manning, despite starting just nine games in the regular season, stayed in the top five behind Brady, Newton, Giants wideout Odell Beckham Jr. and Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. The complete top 10: 1. Tom Brady, Patriots 2. Cam Newton, Panthers 3. Odell Beckham Jr., Giants 4. Rob Gronkowski, Patriots 5. Peyton Manning, Broncos 6. Aaron Rodgers, Packers 7. Russell Wilson, Seahawks 8. Luke Kuechly, Panthers 9. Dez Bryant, Cowboys 10. Jason Witten, Cowboys More...
Hugh Freeze, Ole Miss keep proving skeptics wrong (and they like it)
February 04, 2016 (15:30) [ Indexed from Sportal.com.au ]
The timing of it all went from the unfortunate to the unthinkable. No matter what you think of Ole Miss and coach Hugh Freezes ability to recruit elite players, you have to marvel at the sheer genius of winning on multiple levels. RECRUITING: Harbaugh's big day | Alabama not going away With the backdrop of a Yahoo!report late last week detailing an NCAA notice of allegations that includes violations in the football program, Ole Miss went out and beat " in no particular order " the aura of allegations hanging over the program, negative recruiting and heavyweight recruiters from its own conference to land a Top 6 class. A class that could be better than the 2013 class that elevated the program to the nations elite " and brought with it skepticism on how Ole Miss recruits. Its frustrating as heck, Freeze said of the idea that Ole Miss is operating other than above board. He paused for a moment, then added sternly, weve changed the narrative here. And they dont like it. Take your pick on who exactly they are. The NCAA. SEC rivals. Anyone who cant believe Ole Miss " the only SEC West Division team from the original 12 in the league to not play in the conference championship game " recruiting as well as anyone in the nations best conference. You say it just cant be. Freeze says look at the results. When youre the only team that has beaten Alabama under coach Nick Saban in back-to-back seasons, it resonates with recruits. When youve played in back-to-back New Years Six bowls, thats what sells. When youve got underclassmen declaring early for the NFL " three of whom are locks for the first round " high school players take notice. What happened was a credit to the way we do things here, Freeze said. Relationships won out in the end. MORE: Tracking the Top 25 players | Quick start to 2017 recruiting And it led to a class that, in three years, could be better than the 2013 class that Freeze used as the foundation of his program. That class included program-defining stars like Robert Nkemdiche, Laremy Tunsil, Laquon Treadwell, Evan Engram, Tony Conner and Quincy Adeboyejo. This one includes a program-defining quarterback (Shea Patterson) who can sit and learn behind a potential All-American (Chad Kelly); offensive tackle Greg Little (think Tunsil), defensive tackle Benito Jones (think Nkemdiche) and wideout A.J. Brown (think Treadwell). This class, just like 2013, comes with the backdrop of how. How does Ole Miss go into Louisiana " with LSU desperate for a quarterback " and get the best quarterback in the 2016 class? How do the Rebels get Brown, who went to high school in Starkville, Miss. (the home of rival Mississippi State)? How does Little leave the state of Texas for a program that hasnt won an SEC championship since 1963? Because the one guy who controls what its all about in Oxford, is the one guy who couldnt imagine being anywhere else. Theres a reason Freeze has stayed at Ole Miss despite overtures from other schools in and out of the SEC. It would have been easier to make more money and go somewhere else, and lead a program that has more built-in advantages than Ole Miss. But Freeze born and raised in the state of Mississippi, and believes in the dream of what can be at Ole Miss instead of the nightmare of what was. And he can sell the hell out of it. HAYES: Strong's owns NSD, but still needs QB for 2016 He did it three years ago, and has consistently done it since. That he has Ole Miss back near the topshouldnt really be a surprise. You want to criticize Freeze for something? Take aim at his team failing to stop a fourth-and-25 against Arkansas that wouldve sent the Rebels to the SEC Championship Game and changed the entire dynamic of the 2015 season. Then what? Then if Ole Miss beats Florida in a rematch and wins the SEC Championship, is a Top 5 recruiting class really such a surprise? Who knows what will come of the NCAA investigation. A source told Sporting News a majority of the violations are from the former coaching staff (Houston Nutt), and the one prominent violation from this staff (Tunsils contact with an agent) was responded to proactively and addressed with a multiple-game suspension. Know this: an elite group of players isnt signing with Ole Miss without full knowledge of the severity of any violations. Or without a coach who can sell a dream like no other. More...
Michigan's signing day extravaganza raises $110,000 for ChadTough
February 04, 2016 (15:30) [ Indexed from Sportal.com.au ]
Jim Leyland dabbed, Derek Jeter hung out with Tom Brady, Ric Flair was in attendance, and Michigan raised more than $110,000 for the charity ChadTough during Wednesday'sextravagant "Signing of the Stars." A fundraiser was held during the event for ChadTough, the foundation named for Chad Carr, the grandson of former Michigan coach Lloyd Carr. Chad died from Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), a brain tumor, onNov.23, 2015. His story had strong ties to the Michigan football team, so they try to help out whenever possible, and Wednesday was no different. MORE: 'Awesome' day in Ann Arbor | Ric Flair is all Michigan When asked by the Big Ten Network how Harbaugh got so many stars to show up, he had a simple response. Love for the university but most importantly love forChad Carr, ChadTough, his family, whatLloyd Carr has meant to this town, this state, this country, he said. Tammi and Jason, Chad, his brothers. Weve all witnessed it. When you see love, you see love for a young 5-year-old boy, when you see him love back, and everybody involved, it brings you nearer to God. I think that was the cornerstone of this event. Let that pour out and let others see it, too. More...
Josh Norman isn't who you think he is
February 04, 2016 (14:30) [ Indexed from Sportal.com.au ]
GREENWOOD, S.C. " Winter lays bare the foundation of J.W. BabbStadium. The ghosts of a powerhouse program's past sit heavy on the seats. As football slept in Greenwood, someone tore the grass and green from the ground. What remained: A swath of mud, baked by the South Carolina sun. Awaiting its new coat of turf.Stripped of its luster. Stripped of its sod facade and Friday night lights. A reminder of whatunearthing roots can help us see: The most colorfulwonders of this world " good, bad and eccentric " are still made from the soil stuff of home. Soil made from stardust. Stardust lost beneath the blend of what we see and what we know. PHOTOS: Josh Norman, from Greenwood to greatness | Ron Rivera is no novelty If no one else knew, Greenwood'sJosh Norman knew he had starstuff. In middle school, the fourth brother of five boys carried with him a dream and a notebook of doodles. Within each: football plays. Big football plays. Beyond Greenwood football plays. "Every day in practice, he'd prepare to be where he is at today," said Tony Temple, Norman's position coach at Greenwood in 2006. "It was never like, 'I'm just playing high school football.' His preparation was to be the best he could be every day." But now that he made it, the Super Bowl-bound Carolina Panthers cornerbackcarries Greenwood with him. And Greenwood, in turn, carries his story. The true story, they'd tell you. The story of the Norman we see versus the Norman they know. As longtime family friend Lisa Hamlin put it, "A lot of people don't know him like we do." Some of the words repeated interview after interview fit the portraitalready painted: Norman as on-field aggressor, off-field jokester, a ballhawk who can squawk. But others beggar belief until you hear them a fourth time, a fifth: Norman as the humble servant, the country boy, the sweet boy, a selfless superstar who does some of his best work in silence. And that's the thing. Norman is exactly who you think he is. And yet, in many ways, the opposite of what you'd expect. *** THE JOURNEY OUT OF GREENWOOD "The thing people don't know about Josh that they need to know about Josh is that nothing was handed to Josh," Kevin Addis told Sporting News. The defensive coordinator sits at his desk, the classroom wall behind him a photo-collage and homage to Greenwood's greatest players. A list that includes NFL players past and present " names like Robert Brooks, Ben Coates, Armanti Edwards, John Gilliam and Norman's former teammate D.J. Swearinger. But Norman, Addis says, is different. "He takes it as a personal challenge that nothing is handed to him," said Addis, who served as defensive backs coach and special teams coordinator in Norman's time. "That everything he is going to get, he's going to earn." No matter the question, each coach who encountered Norman circles back to the same story: This kid wasn't the natural. He was the worker, relentlessly competitive, studious. The kid who wore grooves into the floor of the weight room and into the back of DVDs, hisopponents' plays on constant pause, rewind, repeat. MORE: Greatest Carolina Panthers of all time "Josh competed at every single thing we did," Addis said. "If we were in the weight room, he was going to lift longer than everybody else. If it was an individual drill, he was going to win that drill. If he didn't win that drill, he would get extremely upset, and he wanted to continue to do that drill until he was credited with winning that drill." According to Norman's former coaches, that drive didn't end at season's end. Michael Hudson " a coach until 2005 and now an assistant principal at Greenwood " said Norman separated himself in the offseason, organizing drills, getting better year after year. "The reason he became a leader is because he worked," Hudson said. "He didn't tell people how hard he was working. He showed people how hard he was working." But with that chapter of Norman's story, we know how it ends. Not everyone saw that hard work. Despite being the best player on the 2006 South Carolina state championship team;despite being so versatile on defense that five different coaches offered five different explanations of the position he played;Norman didn't get a single D-I scholarship offer " only interest from Mars Hill, a D-II school less than three hours from home. Why? Circumstance and set ways. His academic eligibility came a little late as he improved test scores. He didn't attend many camps that would spotlight this kid lighting up a small town in South Carolina. And he didn't look the part. Photo provided by Greenwood HS. "So many kids have measurables," Hudson explained. "There's a set standard of measurables for D-I college cornerbacks. This height. This speed. This weight. Josh didn't have some of those." So schools passed on extending a scholarship and enkindled a fire. "That was tough on him that he didn't get the looks he thought he deserved to get," Addis said. "That's where that fire was built, that fire that's still burning now: To prove people wrong." UNDETERRED: Every NFL team's best undrafted free agent The rest iswell-chronicled Norman mythology, yet somehow true. He took classes at Horry Georgetown Tech. Followed his brother Marrio's footsteps, sans scholarship, to Coastal Carolina. Earned a scholarship as a walk-on after his freshman year. Then proceeded to kick ass. The first-team FCS All-American did enough to become a fifth-round pick for the Panthers in 2012. Then proceeded to get his ass kicked, to get benched in 2013. Two years later, he's an All-Pro cornerback. A Super Bowl contender. A community's hidden gem deemed unworthy of a scholarship who has become a team's stud due a big contract. "It was really hard going through all the things I went through," Norman told reporters Monday. "...I just shut down. I had to find my way through all the mess that was out there and just try to build myself up." Six-time state champion and South Carolina coaching legend Shell Dula" who coached Norman at Greenwood " looks back at that story and pinpoints the through-line: Norman never settled for what he was; not while there was still more to become. "He continually got better," Dula said. "You cannot say enough about his work ethic, his perseverance, his willingness to pay the price." That's the journey we know. Close to clich. A Cinderella story, Norman's glass slipper a cleat forever stained with Greenwood soil. The man who made it from there to here. But it's the Norman that keeps going back to Greenwood who has earned the heart of a hometown. Who gives off the field as much as he takes while on it. THE JOURNEY BACK TO GREENWOOD "There are a lot of people who have been faithful to this community after they go on to do good things," Hudson said. "But I really believe Josh wants to do as much as is physically possible for him to help other people, not for his gain or anything." Before you can understand why Norman gives so much to Greenwood, you have to understand the Norman they know. "Some of that, what you see of him, is part of his personality," Addis admitted. "But I think there's so much more to Josh than what everybody understands." So yes, Norman talkedtrash, but did not lack substance. "He led by example, maybe more so than words," Dula said. "He worked hard. He put forth a lot of effort. So when he did speak, it was a time when people listened to what he had to say." MORE: Defending against Cam Newton hypocrisy Yes, Norman always displayedthisquirky soul and sense of humor, pushed buttons to see how far he could go with a joke. But never at the expense of his team, or his game. "Just an unbelievable personality," Addis said. "The prankster. The jokester. The guy that was so funny. I think that his teammates, and us as coaches, we gravitated toward him because he was a blast to be around off the field. And even on the field. But at the same time, he was going wide open." And yes, Norman is a physical terror on the field, a habitual blurrer of lines in his aggression. But never, those who know him say, out of maliciousness. "I think sometimes, when players play with passion, it's misinterpreted," Temple said. "I think the biggest thing is that Josh understands that on the field he has to play at another level to be the player he needs to be. That intense focus. But off the field, he's a humble person. He's just like me and you." The Norman they know inspires a series of words said again and again: Country boy, kind, humble and hard-working. Characteristics hard to reconcile with Norman'spublic persona, yet also hard to argue when you hear them echoed from the streets of uptown to a porch-bound rocking chair at Greenwood Farm and Feed. Hard to refute when you hear them from a kindergarten teacher and cancer survivor whose picture hangs in Norman's condo " who felt the tears flow when the Falcons visited Charlotte in December, the first time she'd seen Norman play since the sickness subsided. Lisa Hamlin has known Norman, a good friend to her daughter Leslie, since he was in middle school.Then, he was the boy who rode with them to games on Friday, when his brother Marrio also wason the field. Josh was the boy who lived on a farm, was "raised in the church," who rode horses, the son of strong, Christian parents, the second-youngestof the Norman five " all athletic. No braggadocios bone in his body, as far as she could see. "He was a sweet, sweet boy," Hamlin told SN. "Kind of shy. Very humble." Hamlin sings Norman's accolades for him. Over the years, she has cut out every article she saw written about him, pasted them to the wall of her kindergarten classroom. The kids, she says, play outside and vie for the right to say, to pretend, "I'm Josh Norman!" And he's no invisible hero to them, no distant dream of the imagination. His hands " those now-famous hands " have left fingerprints all over Greenwood. Photo provided by Greenwood HS. Among his list of contributions: Norman gave $10,000 to the family of Andre Day, his former football (Northside) and basketball (Greenwood) teammate taken too soon by leukemia. The funeral was the Saturday before the NFC title game. Norman was there. He gave $10,000 separately to six Greenwood churches. For Christmas, Hamlin says, "close to 200 people" received food, signed footballs, pictures and gifts for their children. Norman had those who couldn't get there by car bussed in. And he was there. A Christian presence in a Godly town; Coach Temple " who headed Greenwood's Fellowship of Christian Athletes and often went to church with Norman " described faith as being big in Norman's life. He remembered seeing Norman, as an FCA counselor, play Jesus in a skit. And play it big. The play's title: "The Champion." The Greenwood perception of Norman, personified. Not a savior(let's not commit sacrilege in the south), but larger than life, the center of attention, but serving something greater. Putting on an act, but genuine. A champion who had to rise again. A human dichotomy. CONSTRUCTION JOB: How the Panthers built a Super Bowl contender And Normangave money, of course, to Greenwood's athletic program " the first institution that allowed him to chase rings and glory. All of this, it should be noted, on a fifth-round pick's rookie contract " a contract that, before taxes, contained an average salary of $574,750. "I think a lot of people think that Josh is this multi-millionaire NFL football player," Addis said. "He's not ... He's given amounts of money that, probably, realistically, he doesn't really have. Or he doesn't need to be giving that much. I just think that shows you how much he loves where he's coming from." *** Greenwood sits less than three hours south of Charlotte, 100 miles as the crow flies " a small city with two faces. To the distant traveler, the outsider, it's a bypass town. A strip of commercial real estate on amain through-road, so out of touch with the community conversation that the mall's HibbettSports features but one rack of Panthers gear. No Norman jerseys. No sign of their local son. Beyond that sterile strip lies a Southern town as you'd expect to see it. Quaint. God-fearing. Stratified. Separated, perhaps segregated, into communities described incoded words,genteel and rough. Equal parts concrete and country. Equal parts shotgun houses and plantation-style homes. A place that, for some families, went from a mill-town to a where-will-I-get-my-next-meal town. But back at Greenwood Highlies, by most accounts, a unifier. A stretch of common soil awaiting turf. A spectacle of a stadium. The house that Pinky Babb built; the home of Josh Norman. Photo provided by Greenwood HS. These are his roots. This is his soil. The substance beneath the style. An admittedly romantic, but intriguing, view of an enigmatic figure in football's biggest game. For in many ways Norman encompasses all of that Greenwood community, all at once. He is football town. He is God's country. He is farmland and city. He is humility and Southern swagger, and all the contradictions in between. But he is also "and you see it in their eyes, hear it in their voice " hope. He is what Greenwood aspires to be. He graduated high school as his city took a downward turn toward depression; he, too, was presented with mortality. Presented with the possibility that his best days were bygone, his American dream dashed by circumstance, by negligence. Then he made it anyway. And that defiance resonates. "He's a fighter," Addis said. "A survivor. And he's going to get what he thinks is rightfully his. "I don't think that he's the best cornerback in the NFL. But I know that Joshthinkshe's the best cornerback in the NFL. And because of that, he actually has a chance tobethe best cornerback in the NFL." Ah, the power of belief. Perhaps that's why Greenwood so effusively, so without caveat, believes in Josh Norman. Because they must. Or maybe, because they should. Because he believes in himself, no matter the size of the stage. Fame, like winter to a field, can lay bare the foundation of a man. Reveal his character, his flaws. Riches, like turf to a surface, can leave an artificial sheen on the unseen. But if there is anything synthetic about Norman, it's a product of his own making. "There's nothing like being self-made," he told reporters this week. "There's nothing like self-made because then nobody can take nothing from you." And then and only then, it follows, you're free to give. More...
NFL players struggle to do their daughters' hair in Pantene Super Bowl commercial
February 04, 2016 (02:15) [ Indexed from Sportal.com.au ]
DeAngelo Williams, Ben Watson and Jason Whitten are all NFL veterans. There isn't much the running back and tight ends can't conquer, be it a blitzing linebacker or a defensive back, gunning for their legs. However, take them out of their element and they all look like fish out of water. That's exactly what Pantene did, enlisting the fathers to do their daughters' hair in a series of Super Bowl 50 commercials. It's cute comedy at its finest. MORE: HS yearbook photos of Super Bowl 50 stars| Panthers fans make corny rap videos Williams, known for his long dreadlocksadmitted the only style he knows to do is a ponytail. He tried to spice things up and give his daughter Rhiya, a kindergartner, some twisted pigtails. Next up was his toddle Reyna. With her he went for the popular princess puff, a fitting style. "You know what's easier for me? Williams asked. "Running through a defensive line because I have help running through that defensive line." Watson, also a published author, looked like the old pro he is, overcoming the size of his massive hands and equipping his first-grader Grace with braided pigtails. If you're a father, and you only have so many hours in the day. "Maybe, doing their hair is one of the things that you can do to connect with them and to build that relationship." Whitten tried to step up and hooked up his three-year-old Landry with a ballerina bun and a braid, but was unsuccessful.He called an audible and scored a touchdown with the pigtails. "Catching a touchdown pass is a whole lot easier," he said. More...

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