Final preparations under way
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Don't expect to hear much from the Ravens or 49ers this weekend. That is, until game-time for the Super Bowl. Today marks the end of pre-game interviews as the clubs hunker down for the final preparations for Sunday's championship game.
The Niners are making their sixth appearance in the Super Bowl while this is the second for the Ravens.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell (guh-DEHL') will take center stage today as he holds his annual State of the Game address. With labor peace there is a good chance he will be asked about expanded instant replay and the possibility of a team or teams in Europe as well as one in Los Angeles. Those are topics he and his predecessor Paul Tagliabue (TAG'-lee-uh-boo) discussed in depth several times over the years.
What will Mickelson do today
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — All eyes at the Phoenix Open are on Phil Mickelson after yesterday's opening-round 11-under 60. His round was consistent as he dropped 11 birdies. He came within a fraction of an inch of becoming the sixth player in PGA Tour history to shoot a 59 at a sanctioned event.
Mickelson needed to sink a 25-foot birdie attempt on his last hole to tie the PGA record, and the putt appeared on target until the final quarter-inch, when the ball caught the lip of the right edge of the cup and lipped out.
When play was stopped Thursday because of darkness, five players were in the clubhouse four shots off the pace: Jeff Maggert, Padraig Harrington, Brandt Snedeker, Ted Potter Jr. and Ryan Palmer.
Top tier teams from the east are in action against each other tonight
UNDATED (AP) — Two of the leading Eastern Conference teams in the NBA are squaring off tonight in New York as the Nets play host to Chicago. The visiting Bulls top the Central Division with a record of 28-17 while the Nets are 2 ½ back of the Knicks in the Atlantic with a mark of 27-19.
The Pacific Division-leading Clippers are looking for their 35th win of the year tonight as they play the Raptors in Toronto. The Clips have won two straight and can tie the idle Thunder for second-most wins in the league behind San Antonio's 37. The Spurs have the night off as well.
Miami is at Indiana in another game of Eastern Conference front-runners. The Heat have the best record in the conference at 29-13 while the Pacers are 1 ½ games back of the Bulls in the Central at 27-19.
On the other side of the fence is Orlando. The Magic have dropped seven straight and are 14-31. This evening they are facing the Celtics in Boston.
The remaining games tonight feature Milwaukee at New York, the 76ers home to the Kings, Cleveland at Detroit, the Wizards in Memphis against the Grizzlies, Denver home to New Orleans, Portland at Utah, the Mavs in Phoenix against the Suns and the Lakers in Minneapolis for a game against the Timberwolves.
It's a seven-game schedule tonight on ice
UNDATED (AP) — Two of the early-season disappointments in the NHL face off tonight in Washington as the Capitals entertain the Flyers. The Caps have just one win and three points, while the Flyers have two wins and four points. Each resides in last place in its division, the Atlantic for the Flyers and the Southeast for the Caps.
Ottawa has been anything but a disappointment with 11 points and the top spot in the Eastern Conference. This evening the Senators are at Carolina.
The top two teams in the Southeast Division meet tonight as Tampa Bay entertains Winnipeg. The Lightning top the division with 10 points while the Jets are in second with seven.
The rest of the schedule has St. Louis at Detroit, Dallas home to Phoenix, Chicago at Vancouver and Minnesota at Anaheim.
Report: RB Foster considering heart procedure
HOUSTON (AP) — Houston Texans running back Arian Foster has told the NFL Network that he is considering a heart procedure to address a condition that forced him out of a game. The 26-year old had to leave a game on Dec. 13 because of an irregular heartbeat.
Foster told the NFL Network that he will "likely undergo" a heart ablation in about a month. An ablation involves the use of a catheter to correct structural problems that can lead to an abnormal heartbeat, according to the Mayo Clinic's official Web site.
U.S. starts match with Brazil
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The best-of-five first round Davis Cup World Group match between the U.S. and Brazil starts today in Jacksonville, Fla. U.S. captain Jim Courier announced his team yesterday with John Isner (IHZ'-nur) and Sam Querrey (KWEER'-ee) serving as the singles players and the brothers Mike and Mike Bryan serving as the doubles team.
Isner says he is ready to return to the courts after injuring his knee a month ago at the Hopman Cup in Perth, Australia playing with Venus Williams. He hasn't played competitively since.