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Washington Redskins suing Native Americans

Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder can’t leave bad enough alone.  He’s suing a group of Native Americans who have tried to block trademark registrations to limit the use of the term “Redskins” that many consider racist.  Judge Gerald Bruce Lee ruled in Alexandria, Va., that the suit against social worker Amanda Blackhorse and cohorts can proceed.  Meanwhile, the FCC, with bipartisan support from President Obama and Sen. John McCain, is considering banning the use of the offensive name on television game broadcasts.


RGIII gets chilly reception from teammates

When reporters began talking with Robert Griffin III about his return to action following recovery from a dislocated ankle, about 15 of his teammates began shouting, apparently trying to drown out the interview.  Griffin and the media moved to another room to continue the discussion.  At that point the noise in the locker room became even louder.  ESPN reported a team source said Griffin had “alienated himself” from the locker room.  Players have long resented Griffin’s constant tweeting and efforts at self promotion.


Broncos fan leaves at halftime, disappears for 5 days

As halftime approached at the San Diego-Denver NFL game, Broncos fan Paul Ketterman told his stepson he was going to meet some friends.  When he did not return, Jarod Tonneson called police, generating an all-out search.  “He wouldn’t just take off,” Tonneson said.  “He wouldn’t leave me there.”  But he did.  Ketterman, 53, hitchhiked to Pueblo, 112 miles away, and slept in wooded areas until he was found five days later in a K-Mart parking lot.  The Grand Gazette of Kremmling, Colo., where Ketterman lives, quoted a family member saying, “Paul is exhausted and in a fragile state, both physically and mentally.”  Family members told KUSA-NBC that “he had his fill of football and decided to take a walk.” 

Between the Lines:  Sounds a little like Bruce Springsteen’s song “Hungry Heart:  Went out for a walk and I never came back.”


Cowboys in turmoil over Joseph Randle’s comments

A heated argument developed between star receiver Dez Bryant and backup running back Joseph Randle as the Dallas Cowboys practiced last Friday.  The dispute arose from a tape released by police in Frisco, Tex., which showed Randle discussing past legal issues of Bryant and another Cowboy, Josh Brent, as the running back was being booked for shoplifting.  Randle is being ostracized by many Cowboys for citing teammates as a defense of his own misdeeds.  Coach Jason Garrett assessed a $30,000 fine against Randle and said he was “on the team for now.”  While some Cowboys want Randle off the team immediately, he’s important as DeMarco Murray’s main backup.  He became more valuable with a back injury keeping QB Tony Romo out of Sunday’s game against Arizona.


Aquib Talib calls Gronkowski ‘a wild dog’

Pro Bowl cornerback Aquib Talib, who played for New England last year but is now a Denver Bronco, gave a colorful assessment of his former teammate Rob Gronkowski prior to the Thursday night game:  “He’s 6-foot-7, 200 and who knows what, and he can run like a wild dog.”  In the 43-21 defeat of Denver, Gronkowski caught 9 passes for 105 yards and a TD.


NFL scout says Mariota is ‘too nice’

Oregon’s Marcus Mariota has thrown 24 touchdown passes to just one interception and is the front-runner for the Heisman Trophy and is pegged to be the top QB in the next NFL draft.  But Sports Illustrated quoted an unnamed NFL scout saying Mariota, while having “all the physical talent in the world,” may be “too nice” to lead an NFL team.  “If you punched him in the stomach he might apologize to you.  I just don’t know if he’s that alpha male you’re looking for. . . . If you’re expecting him to come in and be your savior year one, I don’t think that’s going to be it.”


Kobe praises Lin for waving him off

With five minutes left in a close game with the cross-town rival Los Angeles Clippers, Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant called for Jeremy Lin to pass him the ball.  Lin ignored him and scored on his own shot.  The Lakers, headed for a worst-ever 0-4 start, lost 118-111 to the Clips, but after the game, Kobe praised Lin for his newfound assertiveness.  “You have to be able to assert yourself,” Bryant said.  “Especially on a team that I’m playing on.  Especially on a team I’m playing on,” he repeated for emphasis.  “Because I don’t want chumps, I don’t want pushovers, and if you’re a chump and a pushover, I will run over you.  . . .  At some point you’ve got to piss on the fire hydrant.”


Both K.C. and San Francisco find bias in Joe Buck

Kansas City Royals fans put out volumes of tweets complaining that Fox sportscaster Joe Buck showed bias against their team during the World Series, especially in the climactic Game 7.  One fan reported that Buck mentioned Madison Bumgarner 87 times, Giants 56 times, San Francisco 24, Kansas City 13 and Royals 8.  One fan held a placard at Kauffman Stadium saying, “I’m here so I don’t have to listen to Joe Buck.”  The son of legendary Jack Buck, Joe is no more popular in San Francisco, where he drew criticism for mispronouncing Bumgarner’s  name.


Did Cubs and Maddon knife Renteria in the back?

The Tampa Bay Rays have accused the Chicago Cubs of tampering, allegedly contacting Joe Maddon (or his agent) while he was under contract as manager of the Rays.  Maddon two weeks ago opted out of a contract that had another year to run.  On Friday the Cubs fired their manager, Rick Renteria, who had completed year one of a three-year contract.  On Monday, Cubs president Theo Epstein announced he had hired “free agent” Maddon.  Andy Martino of The New York Daily News quoted “a high-ranking major league executive” saying,The whole industry is talking about what a classless act.”  Sources close to the Rays said the club was considering filing a formal tampering charge even though it would be difficult to prove and likely would not bring a significant player as compensation.


Bowling changing its scoring system

In hopes of improving its sagging popularity and becoming an Olympics sport, World Bowling president Kevin Dornberger is pushing to replacing the long-established accumulated score of up to 300 points for 10 frames.  In Sunday’s World Bowling Tour Finals in Las Vegas, a new set of rules resembled the match play system used by golf in the Ryder Cup.  The contest became a frame-by-frame showdown, with each bowler rolling a single ball per frame and the winner going “one-up.”  When both bowlers rolled a strike, each received a half point.


Jockey Rosie Napravnik retires at 26

Rosie Napravnik, the greatest woman jockey in history, stunned the horse racing world by announcing her retirement at 26.  Married to trainer Joe Sharp, she said, “I’ve been planning my retirement since I found out I was pregnant.”  She has been pregnant for seven weeks.  She closed out her career – at least for now — with a fine showing in the Breeder’s Cup at Santa Anita, winning the Distaff filly championship on Untapable.  She ranks sixth this year among all North American jockeys with $13 million in earnings. And that’s despite missing six weeks in the summer with a shoulder injury.  She’s the only woman to ride in all three Triple Crown races. In 2012 she passed Julie Krone for most wins and earnings by a woman.  Napravnik said she wanted “to be a mom for a while,” but did not rule out eventually returning to the track.

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