Pro Sports

Mike Esterman poses for a photo in front of a sign for Super Bowl XLIX Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015, in downtown Phoenix. The New England Patriots face the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

NFL: Ref Inspected Footballs Properly

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Phoenix — NFL officiating chief Dean Blandino said the inspection of the footballs by referee Walt Anderson before the AFC championship game was handled properly. Blandino also said Thursday the process of checking the footballs and security surrounding the inspections will be enhanced for Sunday’s Super Bowl. As the league’s investigation into the Patriots’ use of under-inflated footballs moves along, …

Serena Aims for 19th Major Title

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Melbourne, Australia — It wasn’t until Serena Williams forced herself to relax, and not focus too intently on a milestone Grand Slam title, that she rediscovered the art of winning the biggest events in tennis. Now she’s on the verge of a 19th major championship after beating 19-year-old Madison Keys 7-6 (5), 6-2 …

A Corner Comparison: Super Bowl Features Two of NFL’s Elite Defenders

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Phoenix — They won’t line up across from one another. They won’t even be on the field at the same time. But the New England Patriots’ Darrelle Revis and the Seattle Seahawks’ Richard Sherman are perhaps the NFL’s two most accomplished cornerbacks, so their “matchup” in Sunday’s Super Bowl has led to plenty …

Seattle’s Silent GM Opens Up

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Renton, Wash. — It was not a simple season for Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider, from the preseason holdout of Marshawn Lynch to the midseason trade of Percy Harvin. Even celebrating the Seahawks’ second straight NFC championship …

Hanover’s Krass Fifth in Slopestyle at X Games

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Aspen, Colo. — Hanover’s Julia Krass placed fifth out of eight skiers in the women’s ski slopestyle at the Winter X Games on Saturday. Krass, who was invited to the event after failing to automatically qualify, posted scores …

Question Mark Now a Key Starter

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Renton, Wash. — Every now and then, even during games sometimes, Bruce Irvin will be overwhelmed by gratitude. He’ll remember the two weeks he spent in an Atlanta jail as a teenager. He’ll think about turning his life around and becoming a junior college football standout, only to …

Commentary: Ernie Banks Was More Than Baseball

Sunday, January 25, 2015

With a familiar glint in his eye and his trademark grin, Ernie Banks once revealed a recurring dream of him standing on a stage in Stockholm accepting the Nobel Peace Prize. A friend to presidents who once discussed …

Belichick: ‘We Try to Do Everything Right’

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Foxborough, Mass. — Saying his team “followed the rules to the letter,” New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick described in detail how his team prepares its footballs on game day and defended his players from chatter that they …

World Cup of Hockey Tourney Set for 2016

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Columbus, Ohio — The World Cup of Hockey is making a long-awaited return in 2016. And the NHL intends to host it every four years. “We decided that bringing back the World Cup was vitally important,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced Saturday during the league’s All-Star game weekend …

Banks Mourned In Sports World And Far Beyond

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Chicago — To Chicago Cubs fans, Ernie Banks was sunshine that cut through decades of darkness. To baseball players, he was the spirit of the game. His teammates loved him, and his list of admirers ranged from President …

NHL All-Stars Show Their Stuff at Skills Competition

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Columbus, Ohio — Ryan Johansen of the hometown Columbus Blue Jackets pulled a kid out of the stands and guided him to a goal to win the breakaway challenge, and Nashville’s Shea Weber fired the hardest shot with a 108.5-mph blast at the NHL All-Stars skills competition on …

Minnesota Vikings’ 1st Draft Pick Dies

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Minneapolis — Running back Tommy Mason, the first draft pick in Minnesota Vikings history, has died. He was 75. Mason’s sister-in-law, Suzanne MacNeil, told The Associated Press that Mason died peacefully Thursday at his home in Newport Beach, …

Bouchard In Quarters

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Melbourne, Australia — Eugenie Bouchard returned to the Australian Open quarterfinals with a win that was far from routine on Sunday. The 20-year-old Canadian, who reached the semifinals or better at the first three Grand Slam tournaments last year, won nine of the first 10 games in her …