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National Sports Briefs: Bush honors Giants

Associated Press
WASHINGTON ó Add this to the lore of championship ceremonies at the White House: President Bush believes in the Jessica Simpson jinx.
Bush, a Texas guy, lauded the New York Giants on Wednesday for winning the Super Bowl. Any football championship is big to the team and its fans, but this one was all the sweeter because it required a riveting, comeback effort against the New England Patriots, who were heavily favored and had not lost all year.
The president noted that along the way the Giants vanquished a team from his home state ó the Dallas Cowboys. Many Dallas fans pinned their team’s surprise playoff loss not on the Giants, but on Simpson. Seems the singer-actress was accused of being a distraction to her boyfriend, Dallas quarterback Tony Romo.
Apparently, Bush bought in.
“I’m a good sport,” Bush said at the South Lawn ceremony. “We’re going to send Jessica Simpson to the Democrat National Convention.”
Everything is political.
The Giants beat the Patriots, 17-14, in what was considered one of the biggest upsets in pro football history.
Even Bush, an early-to-bed leader, stayed up late that February night to watch the Giants pull ahead and hang on.
He didn’t skimp on the superlatives. “It turned out to be really one of the great, legendary football games in our nation’s history,” he said Wednesday.
– CHARLOTTE ó When the Carolina Panthers finished with the draft, they were still dangerously thin at defensive tackle. They spent the next two days loading up on veterans.
The Panthers signed free-agent Ian Scott on Tuesday, a day after they came to terms on a one-year deal with Darwin Walker, giving the Panthers needed bodies and perhaps competition for projected starters Maake Kemoeatu and Damione Lewis.
– BUFFALO, N.Y. ó The Buffalo Bills will receive $78 million ó more than double their calculated 2006 operating income ó to play eight games in Toronto over the next five years.
GOLF
BROKEN ARROW, Okla. ó Lorena Ochoa didn’t win last week (maybe it’s because she didn’t play) and Annika Sorenstam won instead at the Stanford International Pro-Am.
It’s too soon to know whether that sets up any sort of reheated rivalry because Sorenstam isn’t playing this week at Broken Arrow, Okla., where Ochoa will be going after her fifth consecutive LPGA Tour victory.
The last LPGA Tour player to win five straight was Sorenstam in 2004-05.
NHL
TORONTO ó Bruce Boudreau, who took over in November and led the Washington Capitals to a division title, was selected one of the finalists for the Jack Adams Award, given to NHL’s coach of the year.
– NEW YORK ó New York Rangers forward Sean Avery has been hospitalized after lacerating his spleen during a playoff loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
TENNIS
WIMBLEDON, England ó The Wimbledon champions will each receive $1.49 million this year, an increase of 5.8 percent.

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