National sports briefs: Top 12 gather for fun day
NEW YORK ó Dale Earnhardt Jr. cruised past Kyle Busch in a crowded hallway, never bothering to glance in the direction of NASCARís points leader.
iThatís OK,î Busch smiled. iIíll win the regular season championship. He can win the souvenir championship.î
Ahhh, the dynamics of iChase Media Day,î when NASCAR sends the 12 drivers competing for the Sprint Cup title on a whirlwind blitz of New York City mere days before they begin the 10-race championship hunt.
Thereís actually not much tension Wednesday, despite the perceived frostiness between Busch and Earnhardt. The two head into the Chase opener this weekend in New Hampshire ranked first and fourth in the standings and fresh off of Sundayís latest run-in: Earnhardt spun Busch while Busch was leading at Richmond, a reverse of a May dustup at the same site.
The two most certainly arenít friends ó remember, Earnhardtís signing at Hendrick Motorsports before this season cost Busch his job ó but they can be cordial in this setting.
Besides, Earnhardt has bigger issues to deal with right now. Saks Fifth Avenue sent him a new blue Zegna cashmere sweater that all the ladies seemed to love as he wore it from stop to stop. Even talkshow host Kelly Ripa complimented it during a six-driver appearance on iLive with Regis and Kelly.î
NEW YORK ó Giants Guard Rich Seubert was giving fullback, and former Ledford High star, Madison Hedgecock grief.
iThey didnít want you, HEDGECOCK!î Seubert yelled from about 10 feet away. iThey said you werenít good enough to play for the Rams. They said you werenít strong enough to play for St. Louis, HEDGECOCK!î
Sitting on a stool, Hedgecock grinned, then did his best not to say too much about Sundayís game against the team that cut him before the start of last season. The Giants quickly signed the fullback, he became a starter and was a key piece in their Super Bowl championship season.
This will be his first game against the Rams for the 27-year-old Hedgecock.
iI definitely had this one on my calendar,î Hedgecock said. iBut I have an opportunity to go out there and compete against my former teammates and that will be a lot of fun.i
All I can do is prove myself,î said Hedgecock, who was drafted in the seventh round by the Rams in 2005.
DURHAM ó Duke University says former New York Mayor Rudy Giulianiís son was properly dismissed from the golf team and was never promised a spot on the squad.
Andrew Giuliani sued Duke in July, claiming he was improperly cut from the team earlier this year and that the coach violated a contract he entered when he agreed to come to the university and pay $200,000 in tuition and fees.
But Duke said in a court filing Wednesday that the 22-year-old Giuliani was properly suspended after throwing an apple in the face of another player, breaking a golf club during a tournament, injuring a teammate and becoming verbally abusive with a coach.
GREENSBORO ó With Fenway Park on hold, the ACC plans to hold its 2009 baseball tournament a little closer to home.
The ACC says next springís tournament will be held in Durham at the home stadium of the minor league Durham Bulls. The 10,000-seat stadium will host a 13-game tournament from May 20-24.
MADRID, Spain ó James Blake was left off the defending champion U.S. Davis Cup team because of exhaustion.