Review Category : National Sports

Airman Surprises Family in Emotional Reunion at Celtics Game

ABCNews.com(BOSTON) — For Staff Sergeant Mathew Noll’s family, the best part of the Celtics game last night wasn’t the fact that Boston won, but rather, it was the moment their son surprised them on the basketball court home from his seven-month deployment to Iraq, Jordan and Qatar.

“I knew I was going to react big, but they were hitting the roof,” Noll, who is in the U.S. Air Force National Guard, told ABC News of his family’s emotional reaction.

Noll is a teacher on the civilian side. One of his former students helped him pull off this monumental surprise, which was roughly two months in the making.

“One of my seventh-graders from last year was the one who facilitated all of this,” he said. “I had them doing a lot of community service projects where they’d be the one reaching out to companies to facilitate a project, like Make-A-Wish. He, having the knowledge of pulling something off like this, got the ball rolling with finding the members of the Celtics’ front office and he must’ve found the right person and sent the right email. He’s been great.”

Noll originally told his family he was returning home on Feb. 10, but unbeknownst to them, arrived home much sooner.

“I spent a few days hiding out at friend’s houses,” he said. “I knew it would be worth the wait. That’s what I kept telling myself.”

And it certainly was. His mom, Susan Noll, could hardly contain herself when she saw her eldest son entering the arena.

“There are no words. I’m still in shock,” she said. “It all felt like a dream. Like, ‘Oh my God, that’s really him. It was surreal. It was just surreal. My husband is retired military and my other son just finished basic training, and to be a military family and to have it happen like it did was just great.”

#WelcomeHome #SeatsforSoldiers pic.twitter.com/nMePN13ZcG

— Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 31, 2017

Noll said he was really nervous before his big unveiling, adding that the one thing going through his mind beforehand was, “Try to not look like an idiot. You only have one shot at this.”

Fortunately, the surprise went off without a hitch.

“It went as smooth as possible. There wasn’t one hiccup,” he said.

Noll is home for good now, and said he is very much looking forward to relaxing and seeing his pup.

“I’m going to sit in front of the fire and hang out with my dog,” he said. “I’m going to go grocery shopping and bunker down for the rest of the week.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Boston Marathon Bombing Survivor Celebrates Engagement with Empire State Building Run-Up

ABC News.(NEW YORK) — The 2013 Boston Marathon bombing cost Roseann Sdoia her leg, but she found a gift that will be hers forever as a result.

The firefighter who rescued Roseann, Mike Matera, just became her fiancé in December.

Now, the two are going to celebrate their engagement by running in the 40th Annual Empire State Building Run-Up.

Sdoia met her future husband when he rescued her from the second bombing. He visited her in the hospital, met her family, and the two eventually began a relationship. It resulted in him proposing to her in Nantucket in early December.

Sdoia spoke with ABC News about the run. Over 200 participants from around the world will race 86 floors, taking more than 1,500 steps and travelling over one thousand feet.

Nearly four years later, she’s partnered with the Challenged Athletes Foundation, a non-profit that provides opportunities and support to people facing physical challenges. She’s trying new activities, such as learning Italian, that she says can help raise her self-esteem and give her a sense of purpose. Sdoia credits the foundation for helping her and so many others try new and rewarding activities.

Sdoia and her fiancé will run on February 1, 2017.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Raiders’ Proposed Move to Las Vegas Hits Financial Snag

Scott Clarke / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — The Oakland Raiders’ proposed move to Las Vegas may be in jeopardy.

On Monday, billionare casino owner Sheldon Adelson pulled out of the $1.9 billion stadium project, taking with him his $650 million investment.

In a statement, Adelson said his decision to withdraw from the plans came after the Raiders presented a proposed lease agreement to the Las Vegas Stadium Authority that has “sent shockwaves through our community.”

“It was certainly shocking to the Adelson family,” he said. “We were not only excluded from the proposed agreement; we weren’t even aware of its existence.”

“It’s clear the Raiders have decided their path for moving to Las Vegas does not include the Adelson family. So, regrettably, we will no longer be involved in any facet of the stadium discussion,” Adelson added.

In addition, a source told ESPN that Goldman Sachs, which has a business relationship with Adelson, is now re-evaluating its involvement in the project.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Brady and Ryan Field Questions from Unexpected Super Bowl Spectators at Opening Night

Photodisc/Thinkstock(HOUSTON) — Formerly known as Media Day, Super Bowl Opening Night may be just about the most entertaining day in sports journalism, where serious peak athleticism and preparation meets chaotic debauchery — and this year’s prime time spectacle ahead of Super Bowl 51 did not disappoint.

Opening night at the Super Bowl! #SB51 pic.twitter.com/ONj8r0NR75

— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) January 31, 2017

As the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots prepare to face off this Sunday, both teams kicked off the week of events before the big game with Media Day — a large gathering where various players discussed everything from team and personal expectations to studying pages of their playbooks.

Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan even carried that elusive playbook with him throughout the day. Unfortunately for Shanahan, he didn’t keep a close enough eye on his bag and panicked when a San Francisco columnist accidentally mistook the bag for his own and strolled off. Luckily for the Falcons offense the playbook was returned to its rightful owner.

While plays are highly anticipated and prepared for by players, coaches and analysts, it’s the men behind the play call who really stole the show at night one.

“Fake Tom Brady” was spotted and photographed all around the event as part of a creative social experience by Bleacher Report. A guy dressed in a casual Patriots hoodie with a silicone look-alike mask and perfectly quaffed hair gave everyone, including Brady’s teammates, a good laugh.

The one and only Tom Brady says hello to #FakeBrady ? pic.twitter.com/Hu0U7nMBk2

— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 31, 2017

Tom Brady talked business as he addressed the things he worked to overcome this season. Deflate-gate plagued the start of his season as he was forced to sit out the first four games, but even that didn’t stop the star QB from making it to the championship match-up.

A sentimental moment from Brady came after a young fan posed a simple question, “Who was his hero?”

“I think my dad is my hero because he is someone I look up to everyday,” Brady said choked up, “… my dad.”

The four-time Super Bowl champ is chasing his fifth ring and a spot in the record books on Sunday night, which would make him the most decorated quarterback of all time.

Falcons’ QB Matt Ryan makes his debut Super Bowl appearance, but he said he won’t let his nerves get the best of him on football’s biggest stage.

“I feel like we have prepared ourselves for this moment, we have worked really, really hard and this is exactly where we want to be,” Ryan said.

The serious moments didn’t last long. Kel Mitchell took the crowd by surprise by making an appearance as Ed from Good Burger. He acknowledged Brady as the GOAT but took the term too literally, joking that he never knew the QB had fur underneath his jersey. Mitchell then delivered some fuel in the form of a cheeseburger to Ryan.

Kel Mitchell is reprising his role as Ed from Good Burger at Super Bowl Opening Night for Nickelodeon. pic.twitter.com/ZKxkBjSH70

— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) January 31, 2017

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Scoreboard Roundup — 1/30/17

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION

Philadelphia 122, Sacramento 119
Miami 104, Brooklyn 96
Minnesota 111, Orlando 105 (OT)
Boston 113, Detroit 109
Dallas 104, Cleveland 97
Memphis 115, Phoenix 96

TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL

(21) Duke 84, (20) Notre Dame 74
Philadelphia 122, Sacramento 119
Miami 104, Brooklyn 96
Minnesota 111, Orlando 105 (OT)
Boston 113, Detroit 109
Dallas 104, Cleveland 97
Memphis 115, Phoenix 96

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Cardinals Fined $2 Million, Lose Two Draft Picks for Hacking Astros

Allen Kee / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — Major League Baseball has ordered the St. Louis Cardinals to pay $2 million to the Houston Astros and to give the team their top two draft picks this year.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred made the announcement on Monday after an investigation was completed into the hacking of the Astros’ baseball operations database in 2013 and 2014. Last year, former Cardinals scouting director Chris Correa was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison because of the breach, and ordered to pay the Astros $279,038.65.

Manfred said Correa is now placed on the “permanently ineligible list.”

“We respect the Commissioner’s decision and appreciate that there is now a final resolution to this matter,” Cardinals chairman and CEO William O. DeWitt Jr. said in a statement according to ESPN.

“Commissioner Manfred’s findings are fully consistent with our own investigation’s conclusion that this activity was isolated to a single individual.”

The Astros said in a statement the ruling sent “a clear message of the severity of these actions,” according to ESPN.

“Our staff has invested a great deal of time in support of the government, legal and league investigations and are pleased to have closure on this issue,” the statement said.

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John Cena Wins 16th World Championship, Ties All-Time Record

Kohjiro Kinno / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — Wrestler and actor John Cena has had a storied career in the WWE. But now he’s officially a member of the illustrious 16-title club.

Cena defeated AJ Styles Sunday night at Royal Rumble to win his 16th World Championship belt, tying wrestling legend Ric Flair for the most world titles.

Flair took to Twitter to congratulate the entertainer. He also threw in a quick taunt.

“Congrats on #16 @JohnCena! Never Forget… To be the man, you gotta beat the man – WOOOOO!” he wrote.

Cena himself posted on Facebook, “The Champ is in good company with Ric Flair, The Nature Boy!”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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“GMA” Pawdoption Bowl: Ravens’ Ronnie Stanley Shares His Adoption Story

ABC News(NEW YORK) — As people are counting down the days to the Superbowl, ABC News’ Good Morning America is kicking off its “Pawdoption Bowl,” by sending NFL stars to rescue shelters across the country in an effort to help pups find new forever homes.

Kicking off the event this year is Baltimore Raven’s offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley, who told GMA he took home his beloved six-year-old Pit Bull, Lola, from the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS) in Baltimore, Maryland.

“I asked for the most un-adoptable pet pretty much,” Stanley said.

“If you’re thinking about getting a dog, definitely go to the shelter first,” Stanley added. “I think rescue dogs are more appreciative.”

GMA will be live streaming with Stanley from BARCS Monday at 2:30 p.m. ET. Be sure to visit Good Morning America on Facebook to see the adoptable array of dogs currently at the shelter.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr Calls Travel Ban ‘Horrible Idea’

Allen Kee / ESPN Images(PORTLAND, Ore.) — Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr spoke out about his personal experience with terrorism and expressed his concerns about President Trump’s executive order halting entry into the United States for citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries.

In his freshman year playing basketball at the University of Arizona, Kerr’s father Malcolm was assassinated in an act of terrorism while he was the President of the American University of Beirut.

Steve Kerr gives his candid thoughts on the Muslim Ban. pic.twitter.com/ex1CI7Ob3d

— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) January 30, 2017

Kerr told reporters after the Warriors win against the Portland Trail Blazers, “As someone whose family member was a victim of terrorism, having lost my father, if we’re trying to combat terrorism by banishing people from coming to this country, by really going against what supposedly our country’s about and creating fear, it’s the wrong way to go about it.”

“If anything we could be breeding anger and terror, so I’m completely against what’s happening. I think it’s shocking,” Kerr continued.

“It’s a horrible idea and I really I feel for all the people who are affected, families are being torn apart and I worry in the big picture what this means to the security of the world. It’s going about it completely opposite. You want to solve terror, you want to solve crime, this is not the way to do it.””

Courtesy of Susan Kerr Van de VenCopyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Scoreboard Roundup — 1/29/17

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION

Atlanta 142, NY Knicks 139 (4OT)
Cleveland 107, Oklahoma City 91
Orlando 114, Toronto 113
Washington 107, New Orleans 94
Indiana 120, Houston 101
Chicago 121, Philadelphia 108
Dallas 105, San Antonio 101
Golden State 113, Portland 111

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

Pacific 10, Central 3
Metropolitan 10, Atlantic 6
Metropolitan 4, Pacific 3

NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE PRO BOWL

AFC 20, NFC 13

TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL

(1) Villanova 61, (12) Virginia 59
(7) Arizona 77, Washington 66
(13) Louisville 85, NC State 60
(19) Cincinnati 94, South Florida 53
Nebraska 83, (20) Purdue 80
(24) Xavier 82, St. John’s 77

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