Review Category : National Sports

Serena Williams Makes History with Most Grand Slam Wins for Any Player

Scott Clarke / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — Serena Williams, the world’s top woman tennis player, now has the most Grand Slam match victories for any man or woman in the Open era.

Williams collected Grand Slam win No. 308 Monday after defeating Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova in the fourth round of the U.S. Open. The seeded No. 1 player crushed Shvedova 6-2, 6-3 in a little over an hour.

History made. Again.#Serena becomes overall Open Era leader in major match wins, def. Shvedova, 6-2, 6-3. #usopen pic.twitter.com/A8HOAZt4Vz

— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 5, 2016

The historic milestone moves Williams past Switzerland’s Roger Federer, who previously held the title with 307 major match victories.

The 34-year-old now heads to the quarterfinals, and she’s one step closer to claiming her seventh U.S. Open title and her 23rd Grand Slam singles title.

If she wins the New York tournament, the tennis star will surpass Chris Evert for the most U.S. Open titles and Steffi Graf for the most championships since the introduction of the Open era in 1968, when the Grand Slam tournaments agreed to permit professional players to compete with amateurs.

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San Francisco 49ers Release Bruce Miller After Arrest

Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) — The San Francisco 49ers released fullback Bruce Miller Monday after he was charged with assault with a deadly weapon, criminal threats and battery.

Miller, 29, was taken into custody by San Francisco police early Monday morning.

The 49ers have released Bruce Miller.

— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) September 5, 2016

The team said in a statement after the arrest: “The San Francisco 49ers organization is aware of the media report regarding Bruce Miller. We are gathering the relevant facts of this matter and will continue to monitor the situation.”

According to ABC News affiliate KGO-TV, Miller tried to enter the wrong room at a Fisherman’s Wharf hotel and allegedly assaulted a 70-year-old occupant.

Last year, Miller pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor domestic violence charge against his then-fiancee. He was ordered to court-mandated domestic violence counseling.

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Panthers’ Ron Rivera Would Rather Not Open Season on Thursday

Photo by Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) — The Carolina Panthers will face off against the Denver Broncos in a Super Bowl rematch to open the season Thursday night, but Panthers head coach Ron Rivera would rather a different schedule.

“We only have a week [to prepare] where other teams will have 10 days that you kind of need to have,” Rivera pointed out. “It was a mad scramble trying to put your roster together and get your practice squad out there.”

Rivera admitted that he doesn’t get a say in such decisions. “Defending NFC champs, it would have been nice to open the season at home,” he opined. “But it didn’t happen that way.”

“If I had my druthers, I’d have liked to start the season differently.” said Rivera. “But I don’t.”

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Earnhardt Jr.: ‘I Definitely Don’t Belong in a Race Car Today’

Photo by Allen Kee / ESPN Images(DARLINGTON, S.C.) — Dale Earnhardt Jr. says he’s doing better in his rehab from a concussion suffered earlier this year, but that sitting out the remainder of the NASCAR slate is the right decision for him.

Earnhardt has missed seven Sprint Cup races and announced Friday that he wouldn’t return in 2016. “I have the passion and the desire to drive,” he said Sunday at Darlington Raceway, “I enjoy it…my heart is there to continue, and if my doctor says I’m physically able to continue, that’s an easier decision for me to make.”

Earnhardt says he isn’t thinking about retirement, that his focus is only on getting better and getting back on the track.

The June crash in Michigan left Earnhardt with balance and vision issues associated with gaze stability.

“I definitely don’t belong in a race car today by any stretch of the imagination,” Earnhardt admitted. “You don’t know how long this process is going to take. We want to be healthy and be able to compete at some point…but we also don’t want to take any risks to reinjure ourselves or put ourselves in a situation where we essentially erase all the hard work we did to get better.”

The 41-year-old has 26 career wins in 595 Sprint Cup starts.

Jeff Gordon and Alex Bowman, who have combined to fill in for Earnhardt in the seven races he’s missed, will share the duties for the remaining 11 races.

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Scoreboard Roundup — 9/5/16

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

INTERLEAGUE
Cleveland 6, Miami 5

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Toronto 5, Tampa Bay 3
N-Y Yankees 5, Baltimore 2
Chi White Sox 13, Minnesota 11 (12 Innings)
Detroit 6, Kansas City 5
Houston 7, Texas 6
Oakland 1, Boston 0
L.A. Angels 4, Seattle 2

NATIONAL LEAGUE
St. Louis 5, Cincinnati 2
Milwaukee 10, Pittsburgh 0
Atlanta 2, Philadelphia 0
Chi Cubs 3, San Francisco 2 (13 Innings)
L.A. Dodgers 7, San Diego 4
Arizona 8, Colorado 5
N-Y Mets 5, Washington 1

TOP-25 COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Texas 50, (#10) Notre Dame 47 (FINAL/2 OVERTIMES)

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US Soccer Star Megan Rapinoe Kneels During National Anthem

@gbpackfan32/Twitter(CHICAGO) — U.S. soccer star Megan Rapinoe has joined Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest.

Rapino kneeled during “The Star-Spangled Banner” Sunday night before the Seattle Reign played the Chicago Red Stars.

“It’s the least I can do. Keep the conversation going,” she tweeted in response to writer and civil rights activist Shaun King who supported her decision.

It’s the least I can do. Keep the conversation going. https://t.co/qwfHcqgV6J

— Megan Rapinoe (@mPinoe) September 5, 2016

Kaepernick, a San Francisco 49ers quarterback, gained national attention when he chose not to stand during the anthem in a preseason game, what he said was a protest against racial injustice and police brutality in the country. After a media firestorm surrounding his protest, he decided to continue his protest by kneeling instead at future games.

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Kaepernick Jersey Sales Soar Amid Controversy

Scott Clarke / ESPN Images(SAN FRANCISCO) — Sales of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick jerseys have skyrocketed in the wake of his refusal to stand for the national anthem, which he says is protest against America’s treatment of “black people and people of color.”

Kaepernick’s decision not to stand during the playing of the anthem, which was first noticed by the media in a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers on August 26, has added to the debate in America over the subjects of race, patriotism, sports protest and violence by and against police.

News of Kaepernick’s growing marketability, at least in terms of jersey sales, adds an additional layer of complexity to the story of his protest. San Jose Mercury News reporter Mike Rosenberg first noted on Twitter that sales of Kaepernick jerseys had jumped from 20th among 49ers players to first.

Even though he is only a backup quarterback, Kaepernick has now moved to fifth overall among NFL jersey sales, according to NFL.com, jumping from eighth a day ago.

Some fans reacted by burning his jersey and other memorabilia on social media in the wake of news breaking about his protest.

Among the quarterback’s most vocal critics have been police officers. Kaepernick drew additional criticism after photos surfaced of him wearing socks that depicted police officers as cartoon pigs.

“I have two uncles and friends who are police officers and work to protect and serve ALL people,” Kaepernick said on Instagram in defense of the pictures.

The union for Santa Clara, California, Police Department officers — the police who work San Francisco home games — said that its members would consider boycotting their duty to police the stadium if the 49ers don’t discipline Kaepernick for his actions.

Santa Clara Police Chief Michael Sellers offered a rebuke of that position on Saturday, saying that “officers are here to protect the rights of every person, even if we disagree with their position,” but also expressed sympathy for the union’s sentiment.

Kaepernick was scheduled to speak at Third Baptist Church in San Francisco Sunday in front of a largely black congregation that included members of the NAACP, but he canceled, citing scheduling concerns.

The other speakers at Third Baptist church today addressed Kaepernick’s stance with words of support, and voiced criticism over the police, and Donald Trump and his supporters, who one woman called “bigots.”

49ers coach Chip Kelly announced this weekend that Kaepernick would be the team’s backup quarterback, ahead of third-stringer Christian Ponder, and behind starter Blaine Gabbert. Kaepernick is guaranteed $11.9 million in salary for this season and can earn another $2 million in roster bonuses depending on playing time, according to NFL.com.

Some analysts thought that Kaepernick could be cut by the team because of the attention he was receiving, but that has not turned out to be the case so far.

Dave Zirin, a sports editor for The Nation and a historian on sports protests, told ABC News in an interview last week that Kaepernick’s precarious spot on the 49ers roster only served to strengthen the power of his protest.

“He’s really risking something by doing this,” Zirin said. “It’s all the more admirable that he could be cut by the 49ers.”

The 49ers are scheduled to host the Los Angeles Rams in a game on Monday, September 12. He is expected to continue to protest the anthem at that game.

“When there’s significant change and I feel like that flag represents what it’s supposed to represent in this country, I’ll stand,” Kaepernick told reporters one week ago.

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Cheryl Burke Talks Working With Ryan Lochte for ‘Dancing With the Stars’

Craig Sjodin/ABC(LOS ANGELES) — Cheryl Burke is back on Dancing with the Stars and has a celebrity partner that has been in the news just a bit as of late — Ryan Lochte.

“I couldn’t be happier,” the dancer, who left the show in 2014 to explore other opportunities, wrote in a blog for People magazine.

“In a way, it feels like I’m doing the show for the first time. I’m excited again — and I’m ready to go out there and give it my best shot,” she wrote.

As for working with the polarizing Olympian, she adds, “I’ve worked with athletes like Chad Ochocinco and Emmitt Smith in the past and I’ve always been impressed by their work ethic — and Ryan is no different. He shows up on time, ready to work, takes constructive criticism well and wants to keep practicing until he’s perfect.”

Burke says working with Lochte reminds her of when she was paired with Rob Kardashian. Then, the consummate professional addressed the elephant in the room — the backlash Lochte has faced from his actions in Rio.

“The Olympics are over, so we luckily don’t have to balance our rehearsals with Ryan’s training schedule. But with everything going on in his life right now, there is a lot on his mind,” she adds. “I’m really glad that I can be there now as a distraction. The show has given him something else to focus on: getting ready to dance in front of millions of people. I think this opportunity came at the perfect time for him.”

Lochte has said he made a “very big mistake” when he claimed to have been held up at gunpoint during the Rio Olympics but thinks the ensuing scandal was blown out of proportion.

“I did lie about that one part,” Lochte told Good Morning America. “I take full responsibility. I’m human. I made a mistake. A very big mistake.”

He added, “It’s been dragged out way too long. The media has taken this to a whole new level, and I just want to put this behind me and move on and move forward.”

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A Brief History: How the College Football Playoff Began

MariuszBlach/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) – The college football season begins this weekend as teams begin their quest to reach the College Football Playoff.

The College Football Playoff was created to try and put an end to the convoluted systems of naming a champion that plagued the sport for over a century.

Believe it or not, Division I college football is the only sport the NCAA does not award a championship to, which has led to outside forces taking matters into their own hands. For decades, the champion was determined by the AP Poll and the Coaches Poll, which led to many years of dual champions.

Then in 1997, the six biggest conferences joined forces to create the Bowl Championship Series, or BCS. Using a complex equation, it pitted the top two teams against each other in a championship game. The winner of the game was recognized as champions by the Coaches Poll, but the AP Poll did not always agree.

In 2014, the college football playoff was born and unlike the BCS, no polls or computer rankings are used. Instead, a 13 member committee, which includes former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, is used to pick the four playoff teams on selection day.

The new format seems to be a winner with over 30 million Americans watching the championship game last season, and an even bigger audience expected for this season’s championship.

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Syracuse QB Gets Emotional Surprise Before Season Opener

BananaStock/Thinkstock(SYRACUSE, N.Y.) — On the first day of a new era of Syracuse football, quarterback Eric Dungey was brought to tears before the game even kicked off.

Dungey started seven games as a true freshman last season, and earned the starting job for the Orange under new head coach Dino Babers. Looking to show he could handle the up-tempo style offense Babers is known for — an offense that resembles the Baylor offense that Babers helped create as an assistant coach to Art Briles — Dungey had plenty on his mind ahead of the season opener against Colgate. But when he got off the team bus and walked into the Carrier Dome, it wasn’t football that brought tears to his eyes.

Dungey’s brother, Matt, was waiting there to greet him, having received a month off from his service in the U.S. Army — all unbeknownst to the Syracuse quarterback. Matt Dungey is stationed in Germany and hadn’t seen his brother since Christmas 2014 — meaning he’d never seen Eric play college football in person.

Dressed in a blue Syracuse polo, Matt Dungey greeted his brother, telling him how proud he was to be there.

Dungey proceeded to complete 34 of 40 passes for a career-high 355 yards and two touchdowns. Afterwards, he said the pregame moment was “surreal.”

“It was awesome,” Dungey said. “I was locked in, got off the bus, saw my brother. I hadn’t seen him in years, so that was really cool — overwhelming, surreal to be honest.”

“Then,” Dungey added, “I had to lock back in and get ready for this game.”

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