Pro Sports

FILE - In this Nov. 2, 2014, file photo, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) passes in the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens in Pittsburgh. Defending against the NFL's best quarterbacks is as difficult as ever these days, with the quality of passing play at an all-time high, the complexity of modern offenses and stricter rules about downfield contact. Don't forget one of the most basic tools in the quarterback’s belt: the pump fake. (AP Photo/Gene Puskar, File)

Pump Fake Still an Old Standby Tool

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers had first-and-goal at Carolina, poised to break open that September game in the third quarter. Roethlisberger looked left, cocked his arm and completed his entire throwing motion, luring a Panthers linebacker toward the anticipated trajectory. The ball never came out, but a crowd of defenders gathered in that part of the field. Big Ben …

In Brief: Niners’ Harbaugh Mum on Reported Offer

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Santa Clara, Calif. — San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh is declining to respond to reports that he is weighing an offer from Michigan to become the new football coach at his alma mater. Harbaugh has one season remaining on the $25 million, five-year contract he signed in January 2011. Several media outlets, …

Vonn May Condense Repertoire

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Val D’isere, France — Lindsey Vonn’s days of competing in all five ski disciplines may be behind her, since the four-time overall World Cup champion is seriously considering giving up slalom in her comeback from a career-threatening knee injury. The 30-year-old American racer thinks she is still somewhat off the pace in speed events, despite clinching her first victory in nearly two years …

Wisconsin Set to Hire Pittsburgh Coach

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Madison, Wis. — Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez wasted little time in identifying, pursuing and securing a head coach to replace Gary Andersen. According to a source close to the UW program, former UW assistant Paul Chryst, a Madison native, is poised to return to his alma mater. …

Red Sox Boost Pitching Staff

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Boston — Just like that, the Boston Red Sox have a starting rotation again. One day after acquiring a pair of starters, the Red Sox picked up a third, rebuilding their starting rotation this offseason almost as quickly …

Peterson’s Appeal Denied, Suspension Upheld

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Minneapolis — The NFL’s hard line on Adrian Peterson held up. The league-appointed arbitrator for Peterson’s appeal affirmed the unpaid suspension until at least next spring, the final result of the child-abuse case that kept the Minnesota running …

Minus Crosby, Pens Prevail

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Pittsburgh — Blake Comeau and Kris Letang scored early in the first period to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 3-1 victory over the Calgary Flames on Friday night. Rob Klinkhammer also scored to help the Penguins beat the Flames for the eighth straight time. Pittsburgh’s last loss …

Knicks End Long Skid

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Boston — Carmelo Anthony scored 22 points, Amare Stoudemire had 20 and the New York Knicks snapped a 10-game losing streak with a 101-95 victory over the Boston Celtics on Friday night. Tim Hardaway Jr. added 16 points …

Virginia Edges Upstart, Advances to NCAA Men’s Soccer Final

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Cary, n.c. — Darius Madison scored in the fifth minute, and Virginia beat Maryland-Baltimore County 1-0 on Friday to reach the NCAA College Cup final. The Cavaliers (13-6-3) will play UCLA on Sunday. In the second semifinal, UCLA beat Providence 3-2 on Chase Gasper’s goal in the second …

Thunder Top Cavs

Friday, December 12, 2014

Oklahoma City — Russell Westbrook scored 26 points, and Oklahoma City took advantage of LeBron James’ absence to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 103-94 on Thursday night. James sat out with left knee soreness, and without him, Cleveland’s winning streak ended at eight games. Cavaliers coach David Blatt said …

In Brief: Oregon QB Cleans Up at Awards Show

Friday, December 12, 2014

Lake Buena Vista, Fla. — Marcus Mariota put up nearly flawless numbers this season in leading Oregon to a spot in the first College Football Playoff. At the College Football Awards Show on Thursday night, he went a …

Red Sox Go on a Rebuilding Spree

Friday, December 12, 2014

San Diego — Less than five months after acquiring Yoenis Cespedes as part of a big deadline deal, the Boston Red Sox traded the slugging outfielder to help bolster their rotation. The Detroit Tigers were happy to take …

War Delay: In ‘Christmas Truce,’ Soccer Took Precedent Over Battle

Friday, December 12, 2014

Ploegsteert, Belgium — On the side of a wind-swept field covered with scorpion weed, a simple wooden cross marks a unique event in soccer history. At its base, amid wreaths of poppies, lie a smattering of balls and …