National Sports Briefs: Upshaw to be honored at all 16 NFL contests
NEW YORK ó The NFL will honor the late Gene Upshaw with his initials and his uniform number stenciled on the field for all 16 games this opening weekend.
The league had announced that all NFL players would wear a patch all season with the initials “GU” and the number 63, his former uniform number to honor the Hall of Fame guard and longtime union leader, who died two weeks ago.
It originally announced they also would be stenciled on the field for the season opener at Giants Stadium between the Redskins and Giants and for the Denver-Oakland game at Oakland, where Upshaw played his entire 15 seasons.
It extended that Tuesday to all games. A video tribute to Upshaw will also be shown.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. ó Jacksonville Jaguars offensive tackle Richard Collier was shot and critically wounded outside an apartment building early Tuesday as he and a former teammate waited for two women they had met at a nightclub, police said.
Collier, 26, and former Jaguars defensive end Kenneth Pettway were waiting in a Cadillac Escalade when a gunman fired into the vehicle. Collier was shot several times, but it wasn’t clear where he was hit.
– ALLEN PARK, Mich. ó Rudi Johnson didn’t need long to find a new home.
Johnson, who was waived by the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday, officially signed with the Detroit Lions on Tuesday. Johnson will join rookie Kevin Smith as the featured backs in Detroit’s new run-oriented offense.
– TAMPA, Fla. ó The Tampa Bay Buccaneers traded backup guard Dan Buenning to the Chicago Bears for an undisclosed draft pick Tuesday, then replaced the fourth-year pro by acquiring center-guard Sean Mahan from the Pittsburgh Steelers.
NEW YORK ó Chad Campbell lingered in the parking lot of a Dallas hospital as his wife waited inside to get the latest report on their first child, due to be born later this week.
He wanted a clear signal on his cell phone to hear the good news: Campbell is going to the Ryder Cup.
Paul Azinger completed his American team Tuesday, adding Campbell, Steve Stricker, Hunter Mahan and Kentucky native J.B. Holmes to a team that will have six Ryder Cup rookies and no Tiger Woods.
– MEXICO CITY ó Lorena Ochoa of Mexico says a new LPGA Tour policy requiring players to be effective in English starting in 2009 is a “little drastic.”
Ochoa, the No. 1 player in women’s golf, says golfers are better judged by their performance.
She was asked if she thought the new policy discriminated against international players.
“That is a a very strong word. I wouldn’t want to use it,” said Ochoa, who speaks English. “But I do think it is a little drastic.”
There are 121 international players from 26 countries on the LPGA Tour, including 45 players from South Korea.
SALEM, Va. ó Koby Clemens, the son of Roger Clemens, and two other minor league teammates were arrested early Sunday after a disturbance at a restaurant in Salem.
All three were held in the Roanoke County-Salem Jail before being released on bond. The three play for the Salem Avalanche, which played its final game of the season Monday.
– MIAMI ó The Braves recalled pitchers Charlie Morton and Jeff Ridgway and infielder Brent Lillibridge from Triple-A Richmond on Tuesday. The Braves also purchased the contracts of right-handers James Parr and Jorge Julio, and catcher Corky Miller from the Triple-A team.
– BOSTON ó Red Sox ace Josh Beckett is set to rejoin Boston’s rotation on Friday night in Texas. Beckett hasn’t pitched since Aug. 17 because of an inflamed right elbow.
LAUSANNE, Switzerland ó Asafa Powell matched the second-fastest 100 meters ever and Usain Bolt clocked the second-fastest 200 this year as the Jamaican friends and rivals dominated the Athletissima Grand Prix on Tuesday.
Powell’s time of 9.72 seconds equaled the old world record set by Bolt in New York City last May. Only Bolt has run faster, in his astonishing Olympic gold medal-winning run of 9.69 in Beijing last month.As then, Bolt eased up before the finish line on Tuesday, crossing in 19.63 to leave himself 0.33 outside the world mark.
CHARLOTTE ó Dario Franchitti will leave NASCAR and return to IndyCar in 2009 as the replacement driver for Dan Wheldon at Chip Ganassi Racing. The move was announced Tuesday by Ganassi, who also signed a multiyear extension with Target for both his open-wheel and NASCAR programs.
Franchitti won the 2007 IndyCar Series championship.
TORONTO ó The Maple Leafs traded veteran defenseman Bryan McCabe and a fourth-round draft pick to the Florida Panthers for defenseman Mike Van Ryn, ridding Toronto of its biggest contractual obligation.
Associated Press The college football notebook … RALEIGH ó North Carolina State hasn’t scored a point in nine consecutive quarters.... read more