Danica Patrick disappointed with 2012 results

19 Oct

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- With four races to go in the 2012 Nationwide Series season, Danica Patrick is 10th in the points standings, two points ahead of Joe Nemechek, who has run one fewer race. She has two top 10s, and the most memorable moments of her season aren't celebrations, but rather disappointments.

"I feel like we've been overall much faster than what our results have showed and performed better in the race than what our results have showed," Patrick said. We definitely had a pretty long stretch of bad luck through the summer and I feel like that was maybe where we had the most speed. Everything from Elkhart to Daytona to Iowa, there a bunch of races that things happened that were not completely out of my control but definitely not always in my control fully.

"I feel like with that in mind, it's been an okay season. We recognize as a team that we need to find speed and that's why you've seen the changes happen in the team that have happened. We all want to get faster. We all want to be more competitive and I feel like we've been inching a little bit closer here at the end of the year. I don't know if we'll get all the way by the end of this season but making progress is key."

At Road America, Patrick was hit by Jacques Villeneuve on the final lap while running fourth. She crashed in both Daytona races, and in the first Iowa race, lost a tire and finished 30th. Oh, and we can't forget the shoe. While leading at Montreal, Patrick ran over a shoe that had been thrown onto the track by a fan. And then, in a problem later determined to be unrelated to the shoe, something broke on the car and she finished 27th. 13 points-eligible drivers have competed in every Nationwide race this season, and among them, only Mike Wallace, Jason Bowles and Jeremy Clements are lower in the standings.

Next year, Patrick moves full-time to the Sprint Cup Series for Stewart Haas Racing. Tony Gibson, the current crew chief for Ryan Newman, will be her crew chief next year, and will also be atop her box for her final two Sprint Cup Series races in 2012. Matt Borland, SHR's vice president of competition, will become Newman's crew chief starting at Martinsville. Newman and Borland worked together at Penske Racing.

"For me, ultimately because I'm moving on, it's about learning and understanding cars understanding changes and just getting a better grasp of all of the elements for the weekend," Patrick said. "Ultimately I am disappointed with the results. I wish they were better. I wish there were better things on the record books. I would imagine a lot of drivers can say that at the end of the year."

Oh, and about Patrick's relationship with sponsor GoDaddy.com? SHR co-owner Tony Stewart doesn't seem too worried.

"As far as what came out yesterday it hasn't even been to our department yet and our side," Stewart said. "We don't really have anything to do with that at this point.  I think whatever happens it will be interesting to see when it comes Super Bowl Sunday for sure.  As far as what she is doing with the race team and the commitment there it is all the same. For us we read everything yesterday and laughed about it and going on."

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Tags: , , , Joe Nemechek, Kan., , , Nationwide Series season, Ryan Newman, SHR, , Sprint Cup Series, , yesterday
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Giants rookie David Wilson compares himself to birth control, thinks he’ll be a Hall of Famer

19 Oct

In his first NFL game, New York Giants rookie running back David Wilson found himself in Tom Coughlin's doghouse after fumbling on just his second rushing attempt of his career, a costly fumble that derailed a possible scoring drive. That fumble may have contributed to Wilson receiving just four rushing attempts over the following three weeks, but it hasn't affected his confidence.

According to Bob Glauber of Newsday, Wilson just thinks the team needs to believe in him and he'll get the job done when called upon.

"I'm like birth control. You have to believe in me. Like birth control, 99.9 percent of the time I'm going to come through for you," Wilson said.

"I never know when that opportunity is coming, and that's why you have to stay prepared. But when I do get that opportunity, I'm going to get lost in the moment and keep it going. Once I get my chance to go out there and play football and do what I do, I'm not going to want to let go of that."

Flaws in the manufacturing process aside, Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride has been reluctant to take Wilson out of his wallet since the Week 1 fumble. Overall, Wilson has logged just 67 snaps — 23 offense, 44 on special teams — this season, the fourth-lowest number of snaps among the 32 first-round picks in the 2012 NFL draft. His 23 snaps on offense are the second-lowest total for a 2012 first-round pick, ahead of only San Francisco 49ers wide receiver A.J. Jenkins, who has yet to crack his team's 46-man gameday roster.

[Also: Rex Ryan would consider playing Tim Tebow at RB

Wilson has just 10 snaps on offense over the last three games, but is beginning to take advantage of his opportunities, which could lead to more playing time. In the last two weeks, however, Wilson has gained 79 yards on seven carries, including a 40-yard touchdown run against the Cleveland Browns in Week 5, the first touchdown of what Wilson expects to be a Hall of Fame career.

"I think at the end of my career, I'll be in the Hall of Fame," he said. "I know myself, and I know (when) I have guys around me that feel the same way, which I feel I do. When I get my opportunity, the sky is not the limit. I think it's past it. You have to believe in yourself to do good things. This is how I feel."

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Tour Report: PGA TOUR Canada set for 2013 (PGA Tour)

18 Oct
The PGA TOUR is assuming operational control of the Canadian Professional Golf Tour, with the new PGA TOUR Canada set to debut in 2013. The announcement was made on Thursday by PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem; Pierre Blouin, Chairman of the Canadian Tour Board of Directors; and Rick Janes, Commissioner of the Canadian Tour. Key [...]
Tags: announcement, Canadian Professional Golf Tour, , , , , Pierre Blouin, , Rick Janes, ,
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Before his death, Junior Seau seemed to be two different people

14 Oct
by in Fantasy Football, General

Cheerful and full of light one minute, and racked with depression, memory loss and confusion the next. That was Junior Seau in the months leading up to his suicide, according to a haunting portrait of Seau painted by Jill Leiber Steeg in Sunday's San Diego Union Tribune.

Seau never lost his compassion, sensitivity, or his zeal for helping other people, but in his retirement, Seau's darker side took a stronger hold. They were things out of his control. His brain, for reasons related to football or not, let him down. The farther away he got from football, the worse things became. Here's how Leiber Steeg described the darker side of Seau:

He once had a photographic memory, and never had a documented concussion in his 13 seasons with the Chargers. But he began showing signs of short-term memory loss, diminished concentration, a lack of impulse control and an inability to process numbers. He could snap without warning, becoming verbally and physically abusive to friends, family and loved ones. While some of those symptoms are associated with depression, insomnia and anxiety, they also are associated with traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurring through concussions.

Obviously, it's hard to separate that from football. Seau's family donated their father's brain to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for further research. Seau's son Tyler anticipates getting the results of that study back in three to six months.

I don't think too many people will be surprised if the report comes back with the conclusion that Seau had suffered major damage to his brain through years of repetitive blows to his head. Tyler says now that he's aware of the symptoms for traumatic brain injuries, he knows that his dad "had every single one of them."

Seau's business partner Ted Davenport, talked about how it became harder and harder to communicate with Seau.

"It was very hard to have a phone conversation with him. You'd talk about something, and he'd drift off, or he'd just get up and walk away from the phone. In person, he just didn't seem focused. He'd lost his focus. He was forgetful. He'd say, 'I'll call you right back,' and hang up the phone, then two days later, I'd call him and say, 'You were supposed to call me back,' and he didn't remember having had the conversation with me."

When Seau's body was found, there was a note with it that contained the lyrics of a favorite song of Seau's, called "Who I Ain't."

I never made a deal with the devil, but I broke promises to the Lord
I've tried to be the man I should, but sometimes I fall short
I'm not a man of anger; I never meant to hurt no one
But there are things in my life, I'm sad to say I've done
Cuz I broke the hearts of angels, cursed my fellow man
Turned from the Bible with a bottle in my hand
My only hope for forgiveness, when the good Lord calls my name
Is that He knows who I am and who I ain't

If you interested at all in Junior Seau, what his life was like in retirement, the effects of brain injuries on football players, or why retirement is so difficult for even the healthiest of players, it's a fascinating read and highly recommended.

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Tags: , , depression, Jill Leiber Steeg, junior, Junior Seau, , , phone, San Diego Union Tribune, traumatic brain injuries, traumatic brain injury
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NHL players on the move to Europe during lockout (Yahoo! Sports)

12 Oct
PRAGUE (AP) -- Seconds into the third period, Alexander Ovechkin took control of a loose puck - one that had stopped in a pool of water.
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Tour Report: Sunday’s Ryder Cup Singles recaps (PGA Tour)

30 Sep
MEDINAH, Ill. – Following are recaps of Sunday’s Singles Matches at the 39th Ryder Cup. LUKE DONALD, Europe def. BUBBA WATSON, U.S., 2 and 1 Watson record: 2-5-0 overall, 0-2-0 Singles Donald record: 10-4-1 overall, 3-2-0 Singes   QUICK RECAP: Donald was in control virtually from the outset, using laser-like irons to take a 2-up [...]
Tags: Bubba Watson, , Ill, , , outset, , , , RECAPS, , , Singles
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Rampant U.S. move 5-3 up on Europe at Cup (Reuters)

28 Sep

U.S. golfer Phil Mickelson (R) and Keegan Bradley celebrate after defeating Team Europe golfers Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell on the 17th green during the afternoon four-ball round at the 39th Ryder Cup matches at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Illinois, September 28, 2012. REUTERS/Matt Sullivan

MEDINAH, Illinois (Reuters) - A fired-up Phil Mickelson and an in-form Keegan Bradley won both their matches together as the United States stormed ahead 5-3 over holders Europe on a gripping first day of the 39th Ryder Cup on Friday. The teams split the morning foursomes session 2-2 but the Americans won three of the four fourball matches in the afternoon to seize control of the biennial competition at Medinah Country Club. Tiger Woods lost both his matches for the U.S. while world number one Rory McIlroy split his two on a day when the rookies shone brightest. ...

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Golf-Europe in early control at Ryder Cup (Reuters)

28 Sep
MEDINAH, Illinois, Sept 28 (Reuters) - Holders Europe seized early control in Friday's opening foursomes matches at the Ryder Cup, leading the United States in two of the encounters and lying all square in the other two. U.S. captain Davis Love III has set up the par-72 No. 3 course at Medinah Country Club with virtually no rough in a bid to create a birdie fest this week and the European players were taking advantage. ...
Tags: birdie, club, , , course, , Holders Europe, , , Medinah Country Club, , ,
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Andy Dirks slide breaks up double play as Tigers seize control of division lead (Video)

26 Sep

Andy Dirks barreled into second base on Wednesday night. A short while later, his Detroit Tigers barreled into sole possession of first place in the AL Central.

It's too early to tell if Dirks' takeout slide on Kansas City second baseman Irving Falu will be featured in the highlight reel of a division winner. But the hard entry by the Tigers right fielder broke up a double play that would have ended the eighth inning and allowed Don Kelly to score from third with the eventual winning run. The end result was a 5-4 Detroit victory at Comerica Park that gave the Tigers a one-game lead in the AL Central with eight to play. 

"I was just trying to break up the double play and try to get a piece of him any way I could to help us score that run,'' Dirks [told reporters after the game]. ''That's just kind of the way you play baseball.''

The solid baseball play actually brought to mind Alex Rios' hard slide on Sept. 17, which sprung the White Sox to a win over the Tigers that opened a three-game lead in the division for Chicago. Robin Ventura's crew has hit the skids since, though, and their 6-4 loss to Cleveland on Wednesday opened the door for the Tigers to stand alone atop the AL Central for the first time since July 22.

The White Sox have gone 2-7 since winning that game with the Rios slide while the Tigers have gone 6-3. While we're loathe to assign Dirks' slide any importance past its role in one victory, it certainly looks like the Tigers are finally starting to seize the division that everyone thought was theirs to begin with.

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Locked out referee: Packers would have won if I was working Monday night’s game

26 Sep

While it will provide little solace to the 1-2 Green Bay Packers or their picketing fans, but had locked-out NFL referee Walt Anderson been working Monday night's game between the Packers and Seattle Seahawks, the Packers would have won.

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Anderson, a retired dentist who is currently the coordinator of Football Officials for the Big 12 Conference, made the disclosure during an appearance on WHB in Kansas City.

"I guess I might end up being in a little bit of trouble with the league myself today because I would've reversed it to an interception," Anderson said via SportsRadioInterviews.com. "I just feel like that the defensive player established control, certainly a greater degree of control than the receiver, both in the air and going to the ground. Just the fact that a receiver ends up having a hand on the ball does not necessarily constitute control. I felt like, watching it live, it was an interception. And watching all the replays, I would've come to the same conclusion had I been making the decision."

Anderson has been an NFL official since 1996, grading highly enough to work several playoff games, including Super Bowl XXXV, before he was promoted to referee in 2003. Anderson was selected to be the referee in Super Bowl XLV, in which the Packers beat the Pittsburgh Steelers, 31-25.

As Anderson notes, he would not have had the authority to change the ruling on the field because he wouldn't have seen it. As the referee, his responsibility would have been to focus on the quarterback, in this case Russell Wilson, who took a hit from Packers linebacker Clay Matthews. The broadcast angle didn't show it, but after Wilson releases the football, Matthews appeared to launch himself, leading with the crown of his helmet, into the head and neck area of Wilson.

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Once under the hood for the replay, though, Anderson would have changed the call to an interception.

"I would've not had the ability to reverse it on the field because I wouldn't have been seeing it," Anderson said. "If I recall right, the quarterback got hit pretty hard, and legally, so I'm back there with him. I'm going to go to the ground and I'm probably just going to be made aware of the play after it's all kind of being sorted out down there in the end zone. But once it gets in the replay, in the NFL, it'd be the referee that makes the final decision."

Anderson didn't have much sympathy for the amount of criticism being heaped upon the replacement officials.

"On the one hand, they've really got a tough road to hoe. They've been put in an environment where they're just not adequately prepared for it, so they're trying to make the best they can out of a difficult situation," said Anderson. "The other side of that is nobody held a gun to their head and said 'Hey, you got to be an official in the NFL'. So it was their choice. If you're going to be prepared to work in that pressure-cooker environment, you're going to have to expect to take some of the heat that goes with it."

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