<![CDATA[NBC 10 Philadelphia - Sports]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/sports http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC10_40x125.png NBC 10 Philadelphia http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com en-us Fri, 18 Apr 2014 01:41:37 -0400 Fri, 18 Apr 2014 01:41:37 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[A Flyers Playoff Pep Rally]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 12:49:12 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000006761411_1200x675_228435011527.jpg Flyers Ice Girls came to the NBC10 studios to tell viewers about the event and how you can win playoff tickets.]]> <![CDATA[High School Blitz]]> Thu, 14 Nov 2013 11:45:39 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/HS_Sports_Txt.jpg ]]> PHILADELPHIA BUSINESS JOURNAL]]> <![CDATA[Dismal Attendance at Sixers Games]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 09:43:23 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/PHI+nba+lockout+sixers+fans+070111.jpg

The Philadelphia 76ers finished  their “rebuilding” year averaging 13,869 fans a game -- a decrease of nearly 3,000 fans per game over last year’s mark. It represents a 17 percent drop.

On Monday night, the team recorded its 18th win in the last home game of the season.

The team averaged 16,717 fans last season to rank 17th in attendance in the 30-team National Basketball Association. This year, it plummeted to 29th place.

Despite the steep dropoff in attendance (and interest), the Sixers were still not the lowest in the NBA. The Milwaukee Bucks head into their final home game Wednesday night averaging 13,496 fans per game. Read more about this story on PBJ.com

For more breaking business news go to PBJ.com

Photo Credit: NBC Philadelphia]]>
<![CDATA[49ers' Aldon Smith Arrested For False Bomb Threat]]> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 14:59:29 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/10-9-2013-aldon-smith.jpg

San Francisco 49ers star linebacker Aldon Smith was taken into custody by police at Los Angeles International Airport on Sunday following an encounter with a TSA agent, police said.

According to the Los Angeles Police Department, 25-year-old Smith from San Jose, Calif., was arrested at LAX after making a bomb threat. He was released from custody after posting $20,000 bail Sunday evening and was not charged on Monday, as is standard for out-of-custody defendents, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney.

According to the police statement, Smith was going through Terminal 1 screening and was randomly selected for a secondary screening at about 2 p.m.. Smith "then became belligerent and uncooperative with the process and with the TSA agent, making a comment indicating that he was in possession of a bomb before proceeding towards the gate area."

Los Angeles Airport Police made contact with Smith at the gate, where he was identified as the person in question. Once again, Smith became uncooperative and was detained and taken into custody by Airport Police and transported to LAPD and booked for California Penal Code 148.1(a) - false report of a bomb threat.

Additional eyewitness accounts support the accusation.

An airport employee said that he witnessed the confrontation at the gate between Smith and police.

"I could hear him saying bomb, and then I looked and noticed who it was," an LAX employee who said his name was "Garet" told NBC Bay Area. "He was taking money out of his pocket and throwing it on the ground saying, ‘It’ll be all right. It’ll be all right.'"

The NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit has confirmed police at the airport said it appeared Smith may have been drunk earlier in the day. He was belligerent, but he was not charged with being drunk in public, police said.

The airport said it did not run or request any blood alcohol tests because alcohol was not a factor in the arrest.

TMZ Sports was first to post footage of police officers at LAX taking Smith into custody. Smith can can be heard in the video saying he did nothing wrong.

San Francisco 49ers General Manager Trent Baalke released a statement saying the team is "disappointed to learn of the incident today involving Aldon Smith." He declined to comment further, citing a "pending legal matter."

This is the fourth criminal case against Smith in the last two years.

Smith had hearings on two separate criminal cases last Friday, including three felony counts of possessing an illegal assault weapon and a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence of alcohol, according to Deputy District Attorney Brian Buckelew.

Smith wasn't present for the hearing.

The district attorney's office filed the three felony charges against Smith on Oct. 9, after the office's firearms unit examined five rifles recovered by sheriff's deputies from Smith's rented home outside San Jose in 2012. Deputies searched the home after a raucous late-night party where two people were shot and wounded and Smith was stabbed in the leg.

During the crowded party, which was attended by 49ers player Chris Culliver and former 49ers player Delanie Walker, Smith fired a .45 caliber handgun into the air to disburse partygoers before he was stabbed.

The man prosecutors alleged stabbed Smith, Steven Raymond Burba, a reputed gang member, was later arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon. Authorities have not arrested a suspect in the shootings of the two victims at the party.

When sheriff's deputies arrived at Smith's home to investigate, they found five rifles in his bedroom, including three assault weapons, an Armalite AR-10T and two Bushmaster brand rifles, which Smith bought legally in Arizona in 2011 but are illegal to possess in California, prosecutors said.

Smith's separate DUI case was on the court calendar for a pretrial conference. He was arrested on suspicion of DUI and marijuana possession on Sept. 20, after San Jose police said he crashed his car into a tree at about 7 a.m. on Bentley Ridge Drive in San Jose.

Some 49ers fans said they were not surprised Smith has had yet another brush with the law.

"You would think he’d get his act together after getting caught after having that DUI crash in San Jose but he’s young, he’s not learning," 49ers fan TJ Duran said.

"I would be shocked if he has a future with the team," football fan Sean Smith said.

Credit for cell phone video: Clayton Mullaly, USMC combat vet.


Information from Bay City News was used in this report.

Photo Credit: Jeff Gross/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[2 Hernandez Associates Indicted on Murder Charge]]> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 18:08:20 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/hernandezq.jpg

Two associates of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez were indicted Friday on murder charges, in connection with his alleged fatal shooting of a semi-professional football player last year.

A Massachusetts grand jury charged both Carlos Ortiz and Ernest Wallace with murder in connection with the June 2013 shooting death of Odin Lloyd in North Attleboro, Mass., NECN reported.

Bristol County District Attorney's Office said Ortiz and Wallace, both of Bristol, Conn., will be arraigned on the new charge in Fall River on a date that has yet to be determined.

Ortiz and Wallace had both pleaded not guilty to their previous charge of accessory to murder after the fact.

Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to murdering 27-year-old Lloyd, who was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancee.

<![CDATA[Kaepernick Rips Report]]> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 16:11:43 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/180*120/461570031.jpg

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick slammed media reports that he is being investigated by Miami police for sexual assault.

In a series of three tweets first sent at 7:30 a.m. Friday morning, Kaepernick wrote:

"The charges made in the TMZ story and other stories I’ve seen are completely wrong," he tweeted.  "They make things up about me that never happened. I take great pride in who I am and what I do, but  I guess sometimes you have to deal with someone who makes things up. I want to thank all of the people who have shared their encouraging sentiments. I assure you that your faith is not misplaced."

TMZ on Thursday first broke the news about Kaepernick, saying in its headline that he was being investigated for a sexual assault.

Later in the day, the Miami police department released a report filed April 3 by a woman who said she is a former lover of Kaepernick's. In the report, the woman said that she partied with him and two other NFL players, passed out at the Miami Viceroy hotel on April 2, and wound up at a hospital later without having any idea how she got there.

The report alleges no specific crime.

According to the police report, the woman -- who, according to the police report, had a previous sexual relationship with Kaepernick -- said she went to visit Ricardo Lockette, 27, at his unit at the luxury residences of the Viceroy in downtown Miami on April 1 about 9 p.m. Kaepernick and 49ers wide receiver Quinton Patton, 23, were also there.

The woman said she mixed drinks for the men and gave them shots, according to the report. She said the men told her that if she wanted to drink she had to "hit the bong, which contained marijuana," the report states.

They chatted for a while and watched basketball.

Before midnight, she started to feel "light headed," she told police, and she went to lie down.

She said Kaepernick came behind her in the bedroom and started kissing her, the report states. He started to undress her, and she told police she got naked. They did not have sex at this time, the report states.

Kaepernick left, saying he'd be right back.The Viceroy Hotel & Spa is seen in this image captured Thursday, April 10, 2014.

The Viceroy Hotel & Spa is seen in this image captured Thursday, April 10, 2014. (Photo: NBC 6 South Florida)

When the woman called out that she was in bed naked, Patton and Lockette opened the door and "peeked" inside, the report states. She remembers yelling, "What are you doing? Where is Colin? Get out!" the report states. They closed the door and left.

But the woman cannot remember anything after that.

She woke up in a hospital and can't remember arriving there.

Miami police said they are investigating the report, as is standard when someone files one.

Wisconsin-based XAM Sports, which represents Kaepernick, also issued a statement to CSN Bay Area in support of their client on Friday.

"We stand by Colin 100% and are fully confident that the truth will be evident once the facts come to light regarding this matter. Thank you for supporting Colin."

Agent Scott Smith represents Kaepernick, who is in line for a lucrative contract extension.

General manager Trent Baalke said recently at the NFL owners meetings in Orlando, Fla., the 49ers hope to have a new deal in place before the opening of training camp. And 49ers CEO Jed York said Kaepernick deserves to be paid like a top quarterback.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Kaepernick Probed in Hotel Incident]]> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 06:57:18 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/AP8942224809.jpg

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is being investigated by police in Miami in connection to an incident that allegedly involves a woman who passed out inside a luxury hotel room.

The report released by the Miami Police Department on Thursday does not charge Kaepernick with any specific crime.

A woman told authorities she partied with Kaepernick -- and two other NFL players -- and ended up in a South Florida hospital room without any recollection of how she got there, according to the police report.

The alleged encounter happened at the Viceroy Hotel in downtown Miami the evening of April 1.

Along with 26-year-old Kaepernick, Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Ricardo Lockette, 27, and 23-year-old 49ers wide receiver Quinton Patton, who is entering his second NFL season, are both mentioned in the incident report. CSN Bay Area's Matt Maiocco reports Kaepernick and Lockette forged a tight friendship during Lockette's time on the 49ers' practice squad in 2012.

Police in Miami are continuing to investigate whether Kaepernick and the two other NFL players mentioned are responsible for any wrongdoing.

“There is not much we can say about it, other than it is an open investigation for all three of these men,” Miami Police spokeswoman Kenia Reyes said.

The report was taken by Miami police on April 3, when the unnamed woman walked into the department's central station.

According to the police report, the woman said she went to visit Lockette at his unit at the luxury residences of the Viceroy on April 1 about 9 p.m. Patton and Kaepernick were also there.

The woman said she mixed drinks for the men and gave them shots, according to the report. She said the men told her that if she wanted to drink she had to "hit the bong, which contained marijuana," the report states.

They chatted for a while and watched basketball.

Before midnight, she started to feel "light headed," she told police, and she went to lie down.

She said Kaepernick came behind her in the bedroom and started kissing her, the report states. He started to undress her, and she told police she got naked. They did not have sex at this time, the report states.

Kaepernick left, saying he'd be right back.The Viceroy Hotel & Spa is seen in this image captured Thursday, April 10, 2014.

The Viceroy Hotel & Spa is seen in this image captured Thursday, April 10, 2014. (Photo: NBC 6 South Florida)

When the woman called out that she was in bed naked, Patton and Lockette opened the door and "peeked" inside, the report states. She remembers yelling, "What are you doing? Where is Colin? Get out!" the report states. They closed the door and left.

But the woman cannot remember anything after that.

She woke up in a hospital and can't remember arriving there.

The woman told police that she and Kaepernick had a sexual relationship in the past.

San Francisco 49ers’ General Manager Trent Baalke released a statement to the media Thursday morning, which said:

“The 49ers organization is aware of the recent media report regarding Colin Kaepernick and is in the process of gathering the pertinent facts.”

TMZ first broke the news. TMZ's report says any investigation is in the "beginning stages," according to law enforcement sources.

Niners cornerback Tramaine Brock said he thinks the investigation "must be a hoax."

Kaepernick has apparently been training in South Florida during the offseason. Less than week ago, the 49ers QB posted to Instagram a photo of himself hashtagged "#Miami."

Attempts to reach the players named in the report or their attorneys have been unsuccessful.

It's been a rough year for 49ers players off the field.

Chris Culliver is facing one felony charge and two misdemeanor charges after a March 30 hit-and-run involving a bicyclist in San Jose. The 25-year-old cornerback was charged with felony possession of brass knuckles, which carries up to a three-year prison sentence. He also was charged with misdemeanor hit-and-run with injury as well as misdemeanor hit-and-run, which have one-year maximum sentences.

All-Pro linebacker Aldon Smith was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and possession of marijuana in San Jose. In October, the 24-year-old was charged three felony weapons assault charges, stemming from a June 2012 house party he hosted. In September, he was charged with a DUI. In November, Smith pleaded not guilty.

Both Smith and Culliver, who are still under contract with the 49ers, are scheduled to make separate appearances in Santa Clara County court on Friday.

NBC Bay Area's Damian Trujillo and NBC 6 South Florida contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[UMass Basketball Player Announces He's Gay]]> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 12:30:41 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/ncaa_h3.jpg

UMass guard Derrick Gordon has become the first openly gay player in Division I men's basketball.

Gordon made the announcement in interviews with ESPN and Outsports on Wednesday. Gordon said he gained confidence by seeing an NBA team sign Jason Collins, who became the league's first openly gay player when he joined the Brooklyn Nets this season.

"I want to be myself," Gordon said in the interview televised on ESPN. "I don't want to hide and be someone I'm not."

The sophomore was the Minutemen's fourth-leading scorer with 9.4 points per game last season, when UMass reached the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1998. A transfer from Western Kentucky, Gordon played at high school powerhouse St. Patrick in New Jersey.

In the Outsports interview, Gordon said he considered quitting basketball last fall and isolated himself from teammates because of teasing. Over the summer, he had "liked" a photo on Instagram of him and his then-boyfriend in front of gay bar.

"I just wanted to run and hide somewhere," he said. "I used to go back to my room and I'd just cry."

Gordon was also inspired by spending time with several gay people in the world of sports in March, according to the Outsports article, and decided to come out to his family and then the Minutemen.

Once he opened up to his teammates, they were encouraging. In the ESPN interview, he recalled that they told him: "We're going to support you no matter what."

Coach Derek Kellogg told ESPN that he could already see a newfound happiness in Gordon.

"I haven't felt like this. Ever," Gordon said in the Outsports interview. "It's a lot of weight lifted off my shoulders. I can finally breathe now and live life happily."

On Twitter on Wednesday, he expressed similar levels of relief at his decision, saying he is "the happiest I have ever been in my 22 Years of living."

Collins made a trailblazing announcement last April when he came out in an interview with Sports Illustrated. In February, he became the first openly gay male athlete in the four major North American pro sports leagues.

Michael Sam, an All-American defensive end at Missouri, came out in interviews with ESPN, The New York Times and Outsports in February after his college career ended. He is projected as a middle-round prospect in next month's NFL draft.

Sam tweeted congratulations to Gordon after the announcement: "You have so many in your corner and we're all proud and rooting for you."


Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Batkid Throws 1st Pitch, Draws Praise, Criticism ]]> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 13:41:23 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/batkid6.jpg

He won the hearts of San Francisco five months ago, when the city morphed into Gotham City to lift the spirits of a 5-year-old battling leukemia.

And Batkid still evoked strong emotions when he took the mound at the Giants home opener at AT&T Park on Tuesday against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The tiny superhero, aka Miles Scott of Siskyou County, threw the first pitch at the game, where the Giants were victorious, 7-3. An especially poignant image was when the little boy dressed all in black held hands with pitcher Matt Cain on the field.

Some took to social media to criticize all the attention Miles - who is remission from his cancer - is still getting. The city of San Francisco and 12,000 volunteers pitched in on Nov. 15 to make the boy's dream come true: Allowing him to be his favorite superhero for the day. But some believe that the boy's 15 minutes is up.

On NBC Bay Area's Facebook page, some posters were critical of all the attention he was getting. "There are plenty of other kids out there that could use support or even a couple hours of fun," one person wrote.

But it's also safe to say that Miles has become a symbol of hope for many, especially those in the cancer community, who see that the boy battled his disease.

"Omg!," a poster named Dana Hernandez wrote. "This was so cool! It gave me the chills."

And in a Wednesday morning interview on NBC Bay Area, Giants commentator Mike Krukow called the "blanket of love that everyone" threw Batkid's way, was just "amazing."

"It was the start of a perfect day,"Krukow said during his weekly segment "Kruk on Skype." "And Batkid had a lot to do with it."

Miles Scott, left, dressed as Batkid, throws the ceremonial first pitch next to Batman before an opening day baseball game between the San Francisco Giants and the Arizona Diamondbacks in San Francisco, Tuesday, April 8, 2014.  (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, Pool).

<![CDATA[UConn Storms to 9th Title, Routing Notre Dame 79-58]]> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 23:59:18 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/AP576312210999.jpg

Geno Auriemma and Connecticut stand alone in women's college basketball, and they reached the top in unprecedented fashion.

The Huskies routed Notre Dame 79-58 Tuesday night in the first championship game featuring undefeated teams, winning their record ninth national title. Auriemma broke a tie with Pat Summitt and Tennessee for most all-time, doing it in her backyard.

Breanna Stewart, who was the AP's player of the year, scored 21 points to lead the Huskies (40-0) while Stefanie Dolson added 17 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists. Auriemma took out his senior center with a minute left, and the pair embraced in a long hug.

The victory also means that UConn is now the center of the college basketball world with both the men's and women's teams winning the championship in the same year again. The men's team beat Kentucky in the title game Monday night. This pair of victories come a decade after the Huskies became the only school to accomplish the feat.

While the names change at UConn, from Rebecca Lobo to Diana Taurasi, Maya Moore and now Stewart, Auriemma has been the constant, winning nine titles in only 20 seasons — including the last two. He's never lost in a national championship game.

"Congratulations to the UConn Huskies for winning the 2014 NCAA National Championship!," Summitt said in a statement emailed to The Associated Press. "My compliments also to coach Geno Auriemma for winning his ninth national title. He has accomplished this feat in record time."

It was the fifth unbeaten season for Auriemma and UConn and the first time the Huskies went 40-0 — matching Baylor as the only schools to accomplish that feat. The victory was also Connecticut's 46th straight dating back to last season's NCAA tournament title run. It's the third longest streak in school history — well short of the NCAA record 90 straight they won.

The loss was Notre Dame's third in the title game in the past four years. Kayla McBride finished off her stellar career with 21 points to lead the Irish, who were looking for their first championship since 2001.

After proving to be no challenge for the Huskies during the first 15 years of the rivalry which began in 1995, Notre Dame had owned the series lately, winning seven of the previous nine meetings. UConn though has won the last two, eliminating Notre Dame in the Final Four last season before topping them in the championship game this year.

The two former Big East rivals, who have no love lost for each other, put on a show in a game that women's basketball hoped could transcend the sport. The coaches added to the drama of the game with their verbal sparring on Monday. But it was Auriemma who got the last word again.

Even with the loss, it was a record-setting season for the Irish.

Notre Dame lost Skylar Diggins to graduation and changed conferences to the ACC. Neither mattered as they ran through their opponents, winning by an average of 25.6 points while taking both the conference regular season and tournament championships.

The Irish lost senior Natalie Achonwa to a torn ACL in the regional final win over Baylor. Notre Dame wore warmup shirts with Achonwa's nickname "Ace" below her No. 11.

The team played inspired basketball in the Final Four win over Maryland, outrebounding the Terps by a record margin. The Irish couldn't muster a similar effort against UConn and it's gigantic front line. Stewart, Stefanie Dolson and Kiah Stokes dominated the interior. The Huskies outrebounded the Irish 54-31 and held them to a season-low in points.

After the teams traded shots early on, Stewart fueled a 16-0 run as the Huskies, who have played stellar defense all season, held the Irish without a point for nearly five minutes. Stewart's lay-in with 11:02 left made it 22-8.

A minute later, Dolson had an acrobatic tip to Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis for another layup.

The Irish stayed in the first half by hot 3-point shooting by Michaela Mabrey and Jewell Loyd. Trailing 37-25 with 4:09 left in the first half, the pair sparked a 13-6 run, hitting three 3-pointers which brought the Irish faithful to their feet.

UConn led 45-38 at the half, shooting 57 percent from the field and having 16 assists on their 21 baskets.

The Huskies closed the door on any Irish comeback scoring 18 of the first 22 points in the second half to put the game away. Stewart and Dolson had 10 points during the burst.


Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Phillies Home Opener]]> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 12:52:58 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Baseball+101+CBP+Generic+CBP+Dugout.jpg NBC10 reporter Tim Furlong is at Citizens Bank Park for the Phillies Home Opener Tuesday. He explains the different fun fans can have at CBP.]]> <![CDATA[Annual Blessing of the Baseballs]]> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 12:03:40 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000006697685_1200x675_220214851516.jpg Fans gathered for the 8th annual Blessing of the Balls at Citizens Bank Park . Three local religious leaders gathered to bless the baseballs that the Phillies will use in their Home Opener.]]> <![CDATA[Entertainment to Celebrate Phillies Home Opener]]> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 07:43:17 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/CBPedit.jpg Baseball is back in Philadelphia! NBC10's Jesse Gary reports from Citizens Bank Park on the free entertainment fans can enjoy before the Phillies home opener Tuesday afternoon.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[UConn Wins NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship]]> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 01:35:12 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/AP399579783850.jpg The NCAA tournament is arguably the best stretch of weeks on the sports calendar, filled with great teams, exciting games, star players and, usually, plenty of upsets. Mixed in with all the action are some dramatic photos. Take a look at the best of the NCAA tournament in photos.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Phillies Home Opener on NBC10]]> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 12:43:44 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/180*120/Phanatic.jpg

Good news, Phillies fans, you can catch all the home opener festivites right here on NBC10 on Tuesday! The even better news? You can still catch your favorite afternoon shows, just at a different time.

Here's the schedule for the afternoon and evening of Tuesday, April 7 on NBC10:

  • 12 p.m. - Days of Our Lives
  • 1 p.m. - Ellen
  • 2 p.m. - Steve Harvey
  • 3 p.m. - NBC10's Welcome Home Phillies special
  • 4 p.m. - Philadelphia Phillies vs. Milwaukee Brewers
  • After the game, NBC10 News

We'll return to our regular programming at 8 p.m. with "The Voice." 

Go Phillies!




Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Parakeet Cheers on UConn ]]> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 11:41:29 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/219*120/UConnParakeetRazz1200.jpg Talk about a UConn fan! Households across Connecticut are cheering on UConn, but at the DelGrego home in Cheshire, that includes Razz, the parakeet.]]> <![CDATA[Golf Digest's May Cover Angers LPGA Pros]]> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 09:55:38 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/AP960458089875.jpg

Golf Digest’s May issue has stirred up controversy because of who landed on the cover.

The magazine features 25-year-old Paulina Gretzky, fiancée of PGA Tour star Dustin Johnson and daughter of renowned hockey player Wayne Gretzky. Several LPGA stars are not pleased with the decision to use Gretzky, who's not a professional golfer, and said women pro golfers are getting overlooked.

“It’s frustrating for female golfers," Stacy Lewis, who is ranked No. 3 in the world, said when asked by The New York Times. "It’s kind of the state of where we’ve always been,” “We don’t get respect for being the golfers that we are. Obviously, Golf Digest is trying to sell magazines, but at the same time you would like to see a little respect for the women’s game.”

In the Golf Digest article, Gretzky demonstrates six golf-improvement exercises and talks about her involvement in the sport. The photos used to promote the issue, which hits newsstands April 15, show her wearing fitted white pants and a white sports bra.

“It’s Golf Digest, it’s not Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue,” Juli Inkster, LPGA star and a former cover girl of Golf Digest, told the Times of the spread. “I think they should maybe recognize some of the great women golfers that we have. It’s like, what do you have to do to get a little respect?”

Apart from Gretzky, the last two women featured on the cover have also not been players. Golf Channel anchor Holly Sonders graced the cover last May, and supermodel Kate Upton appeared alongside Arnold Palmer last December.

LPGA Tour Commissioner Mike Whan condemned the move on Friday.

"If a magazine called Golf Digest is interested in showcasing females in the game, yet consistently steers away from the true superstars who've made history over the last few years, something is clearly wrong," he said in a statement.

Editor-in-Chief of the magazine, Jerry Tarde, defended the choice to feature Gretzky.

"Sports figures, celebrities and models have appeared on Golf Digest covers since the magazine's beginning," Tarde said in a statement. "Paulina ranks at the high end of the golf celebrity scene today, and she has a compelling story to tell. She also might get some new people interested in the game."


Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Radio Host Apologizes for "Insensitive" C-Section Comments ]]> Fri, 04 Apr 2014 15:42:09 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/181759138.jpg

A morning radio host issued a public apology Friday for suggesting a New York Mets player should have asked his wife to get a C-section before the baseball season started so he wouldn't miss games while on paternity leave, saying he regrets making the "flippant" and "insensitive" remarks.

“I can only hope that people understand that my comment — my flippant comment — wasn’t made in any way, shape or form to insult anybody," Boomer Esiason, co-host of WFAN's "Boomer & Carton," said on the show Friday. "But obviously it did. And for that I am truly sorry.”

The former NFL quarterback came under fire after he and co-host Craig Carton skewered second baseman Daniel Murphy's decision to miss the first games of the season to be with his wife and newborn son.

Esiason said Murphy, who took three days of paternity leave after his wife went into labor as the baseball season kicked off Monday, should have told his wife to get a C-section so he could make opening day. His comment, which was made during Wednesday's show, came after Carton said that assuming there are no complications, Murphy should have gotten his "ass back to your team" a day after the birth.

The comments drew backlash from some medical experts, who cautioned against scheduling a surgical birth for timing or convenience when the procedure isn't medically necessary. Esiason acknowledged Friday that he was wrong to suggest such an approach.

"In no way, shape or form was I advocating anything for anybody to do," he said. "I was not telling women what to do with their bodies. I would never do that," he said. "That’s their decision, that’s their life and they know their bodies better than I do."

He said he feels bad that the Murphy family was "dragged into a conversation and their whole life was exposed," saying "what should be the greatest time in their life turned out to be somewhat of a firestorm that I personally put them into."

"All I can say is that I truly, truly, feel terrible about what I put them through. So for that I certainly apologize," he said.

Murphy, whose child was delivered via C-section, said Thursday that he and his wife "felt the best thing for our family was for stay for an extra day... just to have that support system." He called the choice to take paternity leave an "awesome part about being blessed, about being a parent."

"I can only speak from experience, from my experience, but a father seeing their wife, she was completely finished, she was done," he said. "She had had surgery and she was wiped. So having me there helped a lot."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Looks to Break All-Male Barrier in Lacrosse]]> Thu, 03 Apr 2014 11:13:48 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/161153179.jpg

Goalie Devon Wills might soon be in a league of her own.

To those in the know, Wills is a brick wall. A former All-Ivy League lacrosse player at Dartmouth, the current assistant coach of the University of Southern California women’s lacrosse team is a two-time Lacrosse World Cup champion and widely regarded as the best female lacrosse goalie in the world.

Come next week, you might know her as one of the few female athletes to break sport’s gender barrier.

Ranked second in career saves at Dartmouth, Wills was claimed by the New York Lizards of the Major Lacrosse League in December 2013 and invited to the team’s 2014 training camp.

If all goes well, the Team USA goalie would become the first female professional lacrosse player in the all-male MLL.

“The media attention about the gender issues of it was more than I thought was going to happen,” said Wills in an interview with NBC4’s Mario Solis. “And maybe that was me being a little naïve but at the same time, I just want to play lacrosse.”

Originally slated to attend Lizards’ training camp over three weekends in April, Wills was thought to have ample time to impress her prospective new coaches. However, Wills’ responsibilities as a defensive coordinator at USC will cut her professional tryout to just one day.

Despite the shortened opportunity, Wills seems unfazed.

“They’ll make their decision from there if I can hang; if I can’t. And then I’ll be right back here with my girls,” said Wills.

Wills  wouldn’t be the first female to play in a professional men’s league. In fact, she wouldn’t be the first female goalie to do so, either.

Manon Rheaume played for the Tampa Bay Lightning of the NHL in an exhibition game prior to the 1992 season.

Lightning general manager at the time, Phil Esposito, would later comment that Rheaume’s signing was a publicity stunt to garner attention for his fledgling franchise in a non-hockey market. Rheaume would not take the ice a second time for the Lightning.

“For me, it’s definitely not a stunt,” said Wills. “For me, it’s getting out there trying to be better than I am right now and trying something new.”

Photo Credit: DP]]>
<![CDATA[Was Ortiz Selfie With Obama Staged?]]> Wed, 02 Apr 2014 19:15:31 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/David+Ortiz+selfie+with+President+Obama+crop.jpg

That selfie that Red Sox slugger David Ortiz took with President Barack Obama on Tuesday may have been part of a marketing stunt.

Now, Ortiz is taking some heat, NECN reports, after it emerged that Samsung coached him on how to snap his widely-tweeted White House photo.

Samsung acknowledged Wednesday that it had a relationship with Ortiz and the Red Sox and that it had helped him take his photo, and Sports Business Journal reported Monday that Ortiz just signed a new endorsement deal with the mobile provider.

"It was an honor to help him capture such an incredible and genuine moment of joy and excitement," Samsung said, comparing his selfie to the star-studded one that Ellen DeGeneres took at the Oscars.

The White House said Wednesday that Obama wasn't aware of the marketing stunt.

Ortiz snapped the photo with the president Tuesday as his team, last year's World Series champs, was being honored at the White House. Ortiz presented Obama with a personalized Red Sox jersey, which they're holding in the photo. 

Within moments, the photo was retweeted thousands of times.

Obama, a Chicago White Sox fan, told the team that several members of his administration are Red Sox fans and praised the team for its win and for bringing the city of Boston together in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings.

"Obviously, all the wins were sweet for Red Sox fans, but I think for the nation as a whole, there was something particular about this squad that was special and will go down in history," the president said.

He said the team represented the grit and resilience of one of America's iconic cities during one of its most difficult moments.

Photo Credit: @davidortiz]]>
<![CDATA[Reporter Challenges NCAA Policy, Gets His Cat Mug Confiscated]]> Thu, 03 Apr 2014 06:33:02 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/185740987.jpg

A reporter covering the Elite Eight showdown on Sunday found that even his cute cat mug would not escape NCAA's strict branding rules.

Wall Street Journal reporter Jason Gay brought a mug featuring illustrations of cats in various poses to Sunday's game between Connecticut and Michigan State at Madison Square Garden in New York City, violating NCAA's ban on all unofficial cups at tournament games.

"I was not innocently wandering into the Garden with a cat mug," Gay wrote in an article documenting the absurd incident. "I felt the NCAA cup rule was pretty funny, and a bit ridiculous, so I wanted to wage a tiny protest against the NCAA by bringing my kitty cat beverage holder to the game.”

Gay knew the mug, although adorable, violated NCAA regulations and that his credentials to cover the tournament required him to obey those rules. Powerade is the exclusive and official beverage of the NCAA, and blue and black paper Powerade cups are the only ones permitted at facilities during the games.

Gay was upfront with his 31,000 Twitter followers about his plans to sneak the cat mug into MSG. He first tweeted a photo of the mug in front of a sign at MSG that read “Only NCAA Cups Allowed Beyond This Point.” Another shot showed the mug on a table next to the official NCAA paper cup.


With only a few minutes left to go in the UConn-Michigan State game, a staffer approached Gay at courtside and asked for the mug.

“I was asked if the Journal intended to cover the Final Four next weekend, and I said that, yes, I believed the Journal intended to cover the Final Four,” Gay wrote. “I still was hanging onto the idea that this whole thing was a joke. Then the cat mug was requested. As in, they wanted the cat mug.”

Gay considered putting up a fight "because this cat mug is a protest of what I see as the hypocrisy of big-time college athletics in this country, where an urge to reap every possible dollar has undermined a beautiful endeavor." He surrendered it instead.

The mug was returned after the game.

The NCAA, which makes billions of dollars from corporate deals and from using players' names and likenesses on merchandise, has come under fire for their refusal to pay college athletes.

A recent lawsuit by Northwestern University football players has challenged the NCAA's rules, and the National Labor Relations Board ruled last week that college athletes must be considered employees, in a decision that moves Northwestern players a step closer to organizing the nation's first college athletes' union.

The NCAA has not yet responded to a request for comment. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images/DeAgostini]]>
<![CDATA[David Ortiz Takes Selfie With President Obama]]> Wed, 02 Apr 2014 16:32:33 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/David+Ortiz+selfie+with+President+Obama+crop.jpg

The Red Sox met President Barack Obama at the White House on Tuesday, and slugger David Ortiz managed to get a selfie with the president.

Within moments, the photo was retweeted thousands of times.

The Red Sox responded to the tweeted selfie by asking if it were the greatest selfie ever.

The team was in Washington, D.C. to celebrate its World Series win last season. Ortiz presented Obama with a personalized Red Sox jersey, which they're holding in the photo.  

Obama, a Chicago White Sox fan, told the team that several members of his administration are Red Sox fans and praised the team for its win and for bringing the city of Boston together in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings.

"Obviously, all the wins were sweet for Red Sox fans, but I think for the nation as a whole, there was something particular about this squad that was special and will go down in history," the president said.

He said the team represented the grit and resilience of one of America's iconic cities during one of its most difficult moments.

If you followed the Red Sox at all last season, then you know the story of the famous Red Sox beards. The president showed that he, too, was aware of the stories.

"I thought I invited the Red Sox here today, but there must be a mistake because I don't recognize all these clean-shaven guys," the president said.

Photo Credit: @davidortiz]]>
<![CDATA[Angels Coach Breaks Leg on Opening Day First Pitch]]> Tue, 01 Apr 2014 12:59:24 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/214*120/168967896.jpg

Baseball season got off to a painful start for Angels hitting coach Don Baylor, who suffered a leg injury when he caught the ceremonial first pitch before Monday's Opening Day game at Angel Stadium.

Baylor, 64, is scheduled for surgery Tuesday after he fractured his right femur as he caught the pitch from former Angel Vladimir Guerrero. The fracture might take up to six months to heal, according to team officials.


"Our thoughts and prayers are with Don right now," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Obviously it's (a freak accident), and we'll just see how it turns out. He's obviously in a lot of pain."

Baylor's right leg buckled as he stooped from a catcher's position behind home plate to catch Guerrero's low and wide pitch. Baylor, a survivor of multiple myeloma, struggled to get up and was helped off the field by Guerrero and the team's training staff.

He was transported to UCI Medical Center.

Assistant hitting coach Dave Hansen will take over the team's hitting coach duties as Baylor recovers.

Guerrero and Baylor represent the only two Angels to win American League MVP awards.

The Angels lost to Seattle, 10-3.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Marines Stabbed in Fight Between Dodgers, Angels Fans ]]> Tue, 01 Apr 2014 08:31:08 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/160*120/LAgenerics+crime+scene+police+tape+do+not+cross.jpg

Three Marines were stabbed in Huntington Beach on Sunday while trying to break up a fight that appeared to be between Angels and Dodgers fans.

Officers responded about 1:45 a.m. to reports of a fight between three women in the area of Main and Walnut streets, according to a news release from the Huntington Beach Police Department.

"It was about a hundred people crowded around, it became very chaotic," Huntington Beach Police Chief Rob Handy said.

The fight broke out hours after the Angels posted a 6-2 win over the Dodgers at the team's Anaheim stadium-- about 16 miles away from the Huntington Beach intersection.


When officers arrived and attempted to break up the large fight, Manuel Alvarez, 23, allegedly used a broken bottle to stab one of the Marines. Alvarez was taken into custody and faces an assault with a deadly weapon charge.

Another Marine was found nearby suffering from stab wounds. Both servicemen were taken to a hospital in stable condition.

A possible third victim was treated and released at a San Diego hospital.

After breaking up the altercation and placing several people in custody, officers learned from witnesses that the fight began when a woman wearing an Angels jersey made a comment about the Dodgers to two other women. The Marines, who police said did not know the women involved in the fight, were attempting to aid one of the assaulted women when they were attacked.

"The woman wearing the Angels shirt was knocked to the ground and was beaten, and kicked repeatedly," Handy said.

In all, six people were arrested and booked into jail. Victoria Robledo, 20, also faces an assault with a deadly weapon charge.

Detectives interviewed and released the other four adults, but more charges could be filed, they said. 

<![CDATA[Phillies Score Big in Opening Day Victory ]]> Mon, 31 Mar 2014 20:07:09 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/166*120/Phillies+Opening+Day.jpg Jimmy Rollins hit a grand slam and the Phillies held on for a 14-10 opening-day victory over the Texas Rangers in Arlington. Check out photos from the game.

Photo Credit: CSN Philadelphia ]]>
<![CDATA[Push to Make Opening Day a Holiday Strikes Out]]> Mon, 31 Mar 2014 18:12:08 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/sportsm1.jpg

Sorry, baseball fans — your valiant effort to get Opening Day deemed a national holiday were in vain.

The White House broke the news Monday, three days after a "We the People" petition to make baseball season's kick-off a holiday garnered the 100,000 signatures needed to earn a response.

The White House's response? Blame Congress.

"While we are sympathetic to your pitch to make Opening Day a national holiday, it's a little outside our strike zone: creating permanent federal holidays is traditionally the purview of Congress," a White House spokesman wrote. "So, it's up to the men and women on Capitol Hill to decide whether to swing at this pitch."

The petition had needed to reach 100,000 signatures by March 26. It had reached that total by Friday, March 21, according to MLB.com.

"It’s a day of hope. It’s a day that, for generations, has been looked forward to by baseball fans every off-season. It’s an American tradition, and it deserves to be recognized as an American holiday," the petition said.

The petition was pushed by beer-maker Budweiser in a series of three ads featuring Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith. While the White House technically had 60 days to respond, Budweiser had worked to expedite the process in time for Opening Day on Monday.

White House petitions have been used to campaign for everything from building a Death Star to letting Texas secede from the Union.

Photo Credit: AP]]>