NFL shifts Bills home game vs Browns to Detroit due to storm
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — The NFL is relocating the Bills home game against the Cleveland Browns to Detroit on Sunday because of a lake-effect snowstorm set to hit the Buffalo region. The move to relocate the game comes before the storm even began. The forecast is for between one to three feet of snow on the region through the weekend. The switch in sites means the Bills will play back-to-back games in Detroit. They’re scheduled to play the Lions on Thanksgiving.
Commanders sued by DC for cheating fans out of ticket money
The Washington Commanders have been sued again by the District of Columbia. D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine announced the filing of a lawsuit in civil court against the NFL team for cheating fans who were season-ticket holders out of money. It’s the second civil suit filed by Racine’s office in the past week after initially accusing the Commanders, owner Dan Snyder, Commissioner Roger Goodell and the league of colluding to deceive fans about an investigation into the team’s workplace culture. The latest lawsuit comes on the heels of the ranking Republican on the House Oversight Committee saying its investigation will end early next year.
Griner has begun serving sentence in Russian penal colony
WASHINGTON (AP) — WNBA star Brittney Griner has begun serving her nine-year sentence for drug possession at a Russian penal colony. That’s according to statements from her lawyers and agent on Thursday. Her lawyers say they visited her last week at a penal colony in Mordovia, about 350 kilometers (210 miles) east of Moscow. They say, “Brittney is doing as well as could be expected and trying to stay strong as she adapts to a new environment.” The Biden administration has been trying for months to negotiate the release of Griner and another American jailed in Russia, Michigan corporate security executive Paul Whelan.
Manfred sure Mets-Yanks collusion query will find no issue
NEW YORK (AP) — Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred confirmed Thursday that Major League Baseball is looking into potentially improper communication between the New York Mets and Yankees regarding star free agent Aaron Judge. He says he is confident the inquiry will find no issues. The Athletic first reported MLB was investigating the teams after a story on SNY.com reported a “mutually respectful relationship” between Mets owner Steve Cohen and Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner would prevent a “high-profile bidding war” for Judge. Judge is expected to be named AL MVP on Thursday night and could command over $300 million in free agency.
Culture clash? Conservative Qatar preps for World Cup party
A recent outpouring of local anger to scenes of foreign artists and models reveling in Qatar underscored the tensions tearing at the conservative Muslim emirate. The hereditary sheikhdom restricts alcohol, bans drugs and suppresses free speech but is nonetheless preparing to welcome some of the world’s rowdiest crowds for the first World Cup in the Middle East. Human rights groups have raised concerns over how Qatari police will handle foreign fans’ violations of the country’s Islamic legal system that criminalizes public drunkenness, sex outside of marriage and homosexuality. Meanwhile, Qatar faces pressure from within to stay true to its Islamic heritage and Bedouin roots.
Lydia Ko takes step toward $2 million prize at LPGA finale
NAPLES, Fla. (AP) — Lydia Ko has shot 65 for a one-shot lead in the CME Group Tour Championship. It’s a good start to what she hopes is a great ending to her year. At stake is $2 million to the winner. That’s the largest payout in women’s golf history. Ko also can win LPGA player of the year. It wasn’t the greatest of starts. Her first tee shot hit a tree and Ko made a bogey on the par-5 opening hole at Tiburon. But she made up for that in a big way. She had four straight birdies late in the round.
Women break through as World Cup play-by-play voices
The World Cup will sound different this year. Jacqui Oatley will become the first woman play-by-play commentator for U.S. World Cup telecasts. She will head one of Fox’s five broadcast teams for the tournament in Qatar that opens Sunday. Pien Meulensteen, Vicki Sparks and Robyn Cowen are among the broadcasters for matches on BBC in Britain. Meulensteen said: “Loads of people will have negative comments about women and women commentators and that’s because that’s just the way that they think. They’re not open to hearing anything different.”
Senegal star Sadio Mané out of World Cup after operation
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — The Senegalese soccer federation and Bayern Munich say forward Sadio Mané will miss the World Cup after undergoing surgery for his leg injury. Bayern says the 30-year-old Mané had an operation in Innsbruck, Austria late Thursday to reattach a tendon to the head of his right fibula bone. He suffered the injury playing for Bayern in a German league game against Werder Bremen on Nov. 8. Senegal team doctor Manuel Afonso earlier said the latest MRI “shows us that the progress was not as favorable as we had hoped.” Most of Senegal’s squad arrived in Qatar for the World Cup on Sunday. The team’s first game in Qatar is against the Netherlands on Monday.
Rodgers, NFL players urge league to nix turf, go with grass
Aaron Rodgers and his peers around the NFL are calling for teams to tear up their turf playing surfaces and replace them with grass. The outpouring comes a week after NFL Players Association President JC Tretter called on six venues to immediately change their field types, saying the artificial turf in those stadiums was resulting in higher injury rates. Players are concerned about non-contact and lower extremity injuries. The NFL has said its data shows injury rates are similar on grass and artificial turf. Rodgers says owners could be “putting your money where your mouth is if player safety is important.”
Column: Why CFP expansion can’t work around the Rose Bowl
The Rose Bowl is looking for assurances amid discussions about expanding the College Football Playoff from four teams to 12. The bowl in suburban Los Angeles dates to 1902. It wants to keep its game on the afternoon of New Year’s Day each year. There are not guarantees. AP College Football Writer Ralph Russo has a solution. He says the Rose Bowl and the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans should be permanent semifinals that are also played on New Year’s Day. He says it would preserve some tradition amid all the changes.