Sports

Sports

Eagles quarterback Vick would vote for himself for MVP

December 24, 2010

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— Michael Vick’s MVP pick?

That would be Michael Vick.

Asked after practice Friday who he would select if he had a vote, the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback said, “You put me on the spot.”

Then he added with a smile: “I would take ... myself.”

Vick and Patriots quarterback Tom Brady are widely considered the top two candidates for the award, which has been won or shared by a quarterback 17 of the last 23 years.

Brady leads the NFL with a 109.9 passer rating. In his last nine games, he’s thrown 21 touchdowns and no interceptions. The Patriots (12-2) have won 11 of their last 12.

Vick’s 103.6 passer rating is third-highest in the NFL and leads the NFC. He also has 613 yards rushing and has run for eight TDs — more than all but nine NFL running backs.

Vick spent Christmas in 2007 and 2008 incarcerated at Leavenworth Penitentiary in Kansas while serving an 18-month sentence on federal charges of running an illegal dogfighting ring.

“I’m just blessed to be here,” Vick said. “I spent two Christmases in Kansas, and that was by far the toughest thing I’ve had to do. Each and every year I reflect on that, and I think it will always make the holiday season more gratifying.

“(I’m) just thankful for a lot, thankful for the opportunity that I’ve been given, thankful for the blessings, and hopefully they’ll continue to come.”

NFL

Favre listed as doubtful

Eden Prairie, Minn. — Leslie Frazier counted Brett Favre out once before. He’s not about to do it again.

The Minnesota Vikings listed Favre as doubtful Friday with a concussion, leaving the door open for the 41-year-old quarterback to play against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night.

Lions place Stafford on IR

Allen Park, Mich. — The Detroit Lions have placed quarterback Matthew Stafford on injured reserve with a separated right shoulder.

Friday’s move ends Stafford’s season with two games remaining.

Jets’ Sanchez expected to play

Florham Park, N.J. — Deep breath, Jets fans. It appears Mark Sanchez is going to play.

The second-year quarterback was listed as probable on New York’s injury report Friday and coach Rex Ryan fully expects Sanchez to be under center, barring a late setback, to start in the team’s game at Chicago on Sunday after being limited with a sore right shoulder.

“Today, I don’t think there was any question that he was out to say, ’Hey look, I’m fine,”’ Ryan said. “He was. He threw it good. He never grimaced or anything else. He’s feeling good. He really feels good right now.”

Redskins’ Kyle Shanahan responds

Ashburn, Va. — Kyle Shanahan says comments made by Donovan McNabb’s agent were disturbing and that the Washington quarterback denied making the statements in a face-to-face meeting.

The Redskins offensive coordinator Friday responded to Fletcher Smith’s comments during his weekly CSN Washington television interview.

Kyle Shanahan says he and McNabb spoke “man-to-man” Thursday night and the 12-year veteran told him that the claims made by his agent were untrue.

Smith said in a statement Thursday the “tension” between McNabb and Shanahan, and his father, coach Mike Shanahan, is due to his client’s suggestions for improving the Redskins offense.

Kyle Shanahan says McNabb said he “didn’t tell his agent that stuff.”

Smith says he stands by his statement and that he and McNabb are “on the same page.”

Golf

Fay to retire as head of USGA

David Fay is retiring from the U.S. Golf Association, his two decades as executive director marked by a steady push for golf’s return to the Olympics and for the U.S. Open to be held on golf courses that anyone could play at a reasonable price.

Fay’s announcement Friday was somewhat of a surprise, although he turned 60 two months ago and said it was an important milestone for cancer survivors. He joined the USGA in 1978 and became its sixth executive director in 1989, serving under 12 presidents.

College basketball

MSU players suspended for fight

Honolulu — The two Mississippi State players caught on camera fighting in the stands of the Diamond Head Classic have been suspended indefinitely and sent home from Hawaii.

Renardo Sidney and Elgin Bailey, who are roommates, were involved in a fistfight after the Bulldogs’ game Thursday night. The altercation lasted for several minutes before being broken up by teammates and coaches.

“I’m very sorry for this incident,” Sidney said in a statement released by the university. “I had no intention of this ever happening. I apologize for embarrassing my family, all the Mississippi State fans, my teammates and coaches.

“I will learn from this and move on.”

College football

Iowa fullback to miss Insight Bowl

Iowa City, Iowa — Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz says fullback Brad Rogers will miss next week’s Insight Bowl against Missouri, and the rest of this season’s practices, because the freshman is undergoing heart tests.

Women’s basketball

Taurasi tests positive for modafinil

New York — WNBA standout and former UConn star Diana Taurasi tested positive for modafinil while playing in a professional women’s league in Turkey, the country’s basketball federation said Friday.

Neither her lawyer nor her team, Fenerbahce, would confirm that Taurasi tested positive for the stimulant, which has been involved in several major doping cases.

Modafinil is used to counter excessive sleepiness due to narcolepsy, shift-work sleep disorder or sleep apnea, according to the website for the prescription drug Provigil, which contains the substance.

Baseball

Sources: Padres, Hawpe agree

San Diego — The San Diego Padres have agreed to terms of a one-year contract with Brad Hawpe to play first base, two people with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press on Friday.

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