Archive for Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Brees named top offensive player

January 7, 2009

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— Drew Brees understood what breaking a record set by Dan Marino would mean to the New Orleans Saints.

So coming up 15 yards short was disappointing to the Saints quarterback, who won the Associated Press 2008 NFL Offensive Player of the Year award Tuesday.

Brees threw for 5,069 yards, 15 fewer than Marino’s 1984 mark and only the second time someone has eclipsed 5,000 yards passing in a season.

Although the Saints were 8-8 and didn’t make the playoffs, Brees performed so well he earned 22 votes in balloting by a nationwide panel of 50 sports writers and broadcasters who cover the league. That easily beat Peyton Manning, the NFL Most Valuable Player for the third time for Indianapolis, and Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson. They tied for second with nine votes each.

San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers received six votes, and Carolina running back DeAngelo Williams (2), Atlanta running back Michael Turner (1) and Carolina wide receiver Steve Smith (1) also got votes.

NFL

Peterson bids farewell

Kansas City, Mo. — If Carl Peterson plans to go straight from Kansas City to the Miami Dolphins, he isn’t tipping his hand.

Ending a 20-year run as president, general manager and chief executive of the Chiefs, Peterson delivered a 40-minute farewell speech Tuesday to friends and staff. In brief remarks later with reporters, he said talk of his possibly going to work for the new ownership of the Dolphins was “pure speculation.”

“I don’t deal in speculation, never have and never will,” Peterson said. “At this point, it’s not even worth discussing because it hasn’t been discussed.”

The 64-year-old longtime pro football executive did say he has no plans to retire.

“I’m thinking about going away for a couple of weeks and relaxing,” he said.

Chargers receiver arrested

San Diego — San Diego Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson has been arrested on suspicion of drunken driving. The California Highway Patrol says Jackson failed sobriety tests shortly after 2 a.m. Tuesday on state Route 52, west of Interstate 805. Jackson’s blood-alcohol level was unknown.

Thomas a Hall finalist

Canton, Ohio — Career sacks leader Bruce Smith, along with Rod Woodson, Shannon Sharpe and John Randle, are among the 15 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the only first-year-eligible players to make the final round this year. Former Kansas City’s linebacker Derrick Thomas also was named a finalist.

Joining them will be two contributors: former commissioner Paul Tagliabue and Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson, as well as two senior nominees selected last August by the Senior Committee: former Atlanta defensive end Claude Humphrey and former Dallas wide receiver Bob Hayes.

Between four and seven candidates will be elected in the balloting that will take place Jan. 31 in Tampa.

Of the other finalists, only former Pittsburgh center Dermontti Dawson and former Seattle defensive lineman Cortez Kennedy have not been finalists before.

The rest: wide receivers Cris Carter and Andre Reed; defensive end Richard Dent; and guards Russ Grimm, Bob Kuechenberg and Randall McDaniel.

NBA

Anthony out three weeks

Denver — Denver Nuggets All-Star Carmelo Anthony will miss at least three weeks because of a broken bone in his shooting hand, but he won’t need surgery. Anthony was fitted with a red, removable splint Tuesday after breaking a bone in his right hand in a victory over the Indiana Pacers the night before.

BASEBALL

MLB suspends two

New York — Phillies reliever J.C. Romero and Yankees minor-league pitcher Sergio Mitre were suspended for the first 50 games of next season after testing positive for a banned substance. The suspensions were announced Tuesday by Major League Baseball.

A’s, Giambi close to deal

Oakland, Calif. — Jason Giambi might just finish his career where it began more than a decade ago. The free-agent first baseman was close to completing a deal Tuesday to return to the Oakland Athletics nearly 14 years after making his debut with the club, according to two people familiar with the negotiations. The sides had reached a preliminary agreement, pending a physical, on what is expected to be a one-year contract with an option.

Rockies acquire Marquis

Denver — The Colorado Rockies have bolstered their starting rotation, acquiring right-hander Jason Marquis from the Chicago Cubs for reliever Luis Vizcaino.

Indians, Pavano agree

Cleveland — The Cleveland Indians and free-agent pitcher Carl Pavano, a four-year bust with the New York Yankees because of injuries, agreed to a one-year, $1.5 million contract on Tuesday. Pavano is 66-66 with a 4.23 ERA in 175 career starts for Montreal, Florida and New York. He had his best season in 2004, when he went 18-8 for the Marlins.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Auburn DB to enter draft

Auburn, Ala. — Defensive back Jerraud Powers has decided to forgo his senior season at Auburn and enter the NFL Draft. Auburn athletic officials announced Powers’ decision in a statement Tuesday. Powers, a 5-foot-9, 191-pounder from Decatur, said he was thankful for his years at Auburn, but felt the decision was best for him and his family.

Utah taking on BCS

Salt Lake City — Utah’s attorney general is investigating the Bowl Championship Series for a possible violation of federal antitrust laws after an undefeated Utes team was left out of the national title game for the second time in five years. Attorney General Mark Shurtleff contends the BCS unfairly puts schools like Utah, which is a member of a conference without an automatic bid to the lucrative bowl games, at a competitive and financial disadvantage.

OLYMPICS

USOC official resigns

Denver — Steve Roush resigned from the U.S. Olympic Committee on Tuesday, leaving a post in which he played a key role in organizing logistics for American athletes at the last three games. He was the USOC’s chief of sport performance since 2003.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

N.C. St.’s Yow won’t return

Raleigh, N.C. — North Carolina State women’s basketball coach Kay Yow will not return to the team this season due to health issues related to her long fight against cancer.

TENNIS

Davydenko advances

Chennai, India — Top-seeded Nikolay Davydenko defeated Daniel Koellerer, 6-2, 6-3, on Tuesday to advance to the second round of the Chennai Open.

HORSE RACING

Wagering drops 7 percent

Louisville, Ky. — Wagering on thoroughbred racing in the United States fell more than 7 percent in 2008 as the struggling economy and fewer racing dates led to a downturn at the betting window.

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