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    Times wires
    Friday, February 1, 2013

    NEW ORLEANS — Commissioner Roger Goodell wants to share the blame.

    "Safety," he said at his annual Super Bowl news conference Friday, "is all of our responsibilities."

    With thousands of ex-players suing the league over its handling of concussions, the topics of player health and safety filled most of the 45-minute session.

    "I'll stand up. I'll be accountable. It's part of my responsibility. I'll do everything," Goodell said. "But the players have to do it. The coaches have to do it. Our officials have to do it. Our medical professionals have to do it."

    Injuries from hits, Goodell said, can result from improper tackling used by players and taught by coaches. The players union, he added, must allow testing for human growth hormone.

    Goodell also mentioned upcoming changes, including adding independent neurologists to sidelines to help with concussion care during games — something players have asked for and the league opposed until now.

    "The No. 1 issue is take the head out of the game," Goodell said. "I think we've seen … players are using their head more than they had when you go back several decades."

    He said one tool the league can use to cut down on helmet-to-helmet hits is suspensions.

    "We're going to have to continue to see discipline escalate, particularly on repeat offenders," Goodell said. "We're going to have to take them off the field. Suspensions get through to them."

    On other matters:

    • Asked what he most rues about the Saints bounty investigation: "My biggest regret is that we aren't all recognizing that this is a collective responsibility to get (bounties) out of the game to make the game safer. Clearly the team, the NFL, the coaching staffs, executives and players, we all share that responsibility. That's what I regret, that I wasn't able to make that point clearly enough with the union."

    • On a "new generation of the Rooney Rule" with none of the 15 new coaches or general managers being a minority: "We didn't have the outcomes we wanted."

    • There is no timetable for a game in Mexico. The 49ers and Cardinals met there in 2005.

    • On how he has been treated in New Orleans after the bounty controversy: "My picture … is in every restaurant. I had a float in the Mardi Gras parade. We got a voodoo doll," he said, joking. He added he can, "appreciate the passion" of the fans and "couldn't feel more welcome."

    Deer-antler: The man who Sports Illustrated reported supplied Ray Lewis with deer-antler spray can't confirm the Ravens linebacker used it.

    Mitch Ross' company, Sports with Alternatives to Steroids, says its spray and pills contain a naturally occurring banned product connected to human growth hormone. SI reported Lewis called Ross shortly after tearing his triceps Oct. 14.

    Lewis denies the report. And asked if Lewis ever tried deer-antler spray, Ross said, "I never saw him put it in his mouth."

    49ers Practice: San Francisco wrapped up its final practice 15 minutes early. In all, it practiced 40 minutes fewer than it usually did during the regular season (though it still will conduct its usual Saturday walk-through).

    "We got everything done,'' coach Jim Harbaugh said of the week of practices. "There was good attention to detail and a crisp tempo.''

    Linebackers Aldon Smith and Ahmad Brooks were again limited by shoulder injuries but are listed as probable.

    Ravens practice: Baltimore coach John Harbaugh could barely contain his enthusiasm after his final workout, a 65-minute affair leading into today's walk-through.

    "It was an A-plus. A-plus-plus," he said of the week of practices. "We're at the stage where we're clicking on all cylinders and practicing very, very well."

    The team did not report any injuries.


    Getty ImagesGetty Images

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    By Rick Stroud, Times Staff Writer
    Friday, February 1, 2013

    NEW ORLEANS — Dave Wann­stedt gave Greg Schiano his first NFL job. Friday, the Bucs coach repaid the favor, sort of.

    The Bucs reached a deal with Wannstedt, 60, to become their special teams coach. He replaces Bob Ligashesky, who was fired Wednesday after one season.

    As coach of the Bears in 1996, Wannstedt hired Schiano to be a defensive assistant. He promoted Schiano to defensive backs coach in 1998.

    Tampa Bay was 30th in the NFL in kickoff returns this season with a 20.3-yard average and tied for 19th in punt returns with a 9-yard average.

    Wannstedt, who has never been a special teams coach, was an assistant with the Bills the past two seasons. He coached linebackers and was the assistant head coach in 2011, and defensive coordinator this season.

    Wannstedt coached the Bears from 1993-98, the Dolphins from 2000-04 and the University of Pittsburgh from 2005-10. He also was the defensive coordinator for the Cowboys from 1989-92, including their Super Bowl team of 1992, and the Dolphins in 1999.

    Falcons: Owner Arthur Blank denied an Atlanta Business Chronicle report saying he was approached by Los Angeles officials who want a team. Blank wants to replace the Georgia Dome. One plan has the team paying $700 million toward a $1 billion retractable-roof stadium and the state of Georgia the rest.

    Rams: An arbitration panel ruled for a $700 million plan by the team to renovate the Edward Jones Dome. The city of St. Louis, which owns the stadium, proposed a $124 million plan to make the stadium among the top eight in the league, as required by the lease. The city, which must pay for the renovations, has 30 days to accept or reject the decision. If the city rejects it, the team can leave St. Louis, where it has been since 1995, after the 2014-15 season.

    Texans: Running back Arian Foster denied an NFL Network report saying he likely would have a heart procedure in about a month. "I am feeling well and am as exuberant as ever," he said. Foster left the Dec. 23 game against the Vikings because of an irregular heartbeat.

    Information from Times wires was used in this report.


    Getty Images (2007)Getty Images (2007)

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    By Antonya English, Times Staff Writer
    Friday, February 1, 2013

    . TONIGHT

    No. 4 Florida vs. No. 16 Mississippi

    When/where: 7, O'Connell Center, Gainesville

    TV/radio: ESPNU; 620-AM

    Records: Florida 17-2, 7-0 SEC; Mississippi 17-3, 6-1

    Notable: The SEC's top teams meet. … Florida is on a nine-game winning streak and has outscored its seven SEC opponents by an average of 28.3 points. … A Gator win would give them a two-game lead in the SEC. … Ole Miss is ranked for the first time since 2010. … The Rebels are No. 5 in the nation in scoring (80 points per game). … Ole Miss seeks its first win over a top-five opponent since defeating No. 5 Florida 74-69 in the SEC tournament in 2001.

    Antonya English, Times staff writer


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  • 02/01/13--19:41: Sports in brief
  • Times wires
    Friday, February 1, 2013

    COLLEGES

    MAN BEHIND HOAX SAYS HE WAS MOLESTED

    The man who says he tricked Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o into falling for a fake woman he created online says the hoax had "everything to do" with him escaping from real life because he was molested as a child.

    Ronaiah Tuiasosopo spoke publicly for the first time with Dr. Phil McGraw for the Dr. Phil Show. The second of a two-part interview aired Friday. Tuiasosopo, 22, told McGraw he was repeatedly molested beginning at age 12 by someone close to his father, a church pastor and youth minister.

    "I felt that I couldn't do things, accomplish things, pursue things, live out as Ronaiah," Tuiasosopo said. "And I felt the need to create this. It has everything to do with what I went through as a child."

    He also said he was the voice of the girlfriend, named Lennay Kekua, and provided samples to McGraw and a producer. One sample, McGraw said, was compared by three laboratories to voicemails sent by the girlfriend character to Te'o and were a match.

    EX-BUCKEYE STAR INDICTED: Former Ohio State star Jim Stillwagon, 63, was indicted on charges he fired shots from his motorcycle at another driver last year. The arraignment is Monday for the college Hall of Fame defensive lineman.

    TENNIS

    U.S. takes 2-0 Davis Cup lead

    John Isner and Sam Querrey rolled to straight-set victories as the United States took a 2-0 lead over Brazil in the first round of the Davis Cup in Jacksonville. Isner, a Tampa resident, topped Thiago Alves 6-3, 7-6, 6-3, and Querrey beat Thomaz Bellucci 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 on an indoor hardcourt. The top-ranked American doubles team, Bob and Mike Bryan, can clinch a quarterfinal spot today in the best-of-five event.

    BASEBALL

    Hafner signs with Yankees

    DH Travis Hafner and the Yankees agreed to a $2 million, one-year contract; he can earn up to $4 million in bonuses based on plate appearances. Hafner, 35, played 66 games for Cleveland last year because of knee and back problems.

    Times wires


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    Times wires
    Friday, February 1, 2013

    SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Phil Mickelson made a mess of his final hole in the second round of the Phoenix Open, costing him another shot at history.

    A day after his putt for 59 curled 180 degrees and stayed out, "Lefty" missed a chance to break the PGA Tour's 36-hole scoring record Friday when he finished with double bogey.

    "You always remember kind of the last hole, the last putt," Mickelson said. "But I think it's very possible that's going to help me because it's got me refocused that I cannot ease up on a single shot. I've got to be really focused. These guys are going to make a lot of birdies, and I've got to get after it and cannot make those kinds of mistakes."

    Mickelson followed his opening 60 with 65 to reach 17-under 125, a stroke off the tour record for the first two rounds of a tournament set by Pat Perez in the 2009 Bob Hope Classic and matched by David Toms at Colonial in 2011.

    "Unfortunately, I made a double on the last hole and didn't finish the way I wanted to," Mickelson said. "But I think it's a good example of what can happen on this course."

    His drive on No. 18 bounced into the left-side water hazard and, after a penalty drop, he didn't get enough on his approach; the ball landed on the green and rolled off the front edge. His chip ran 7 feet past, and his bogey putt slid by to the left.

    That left him four strokes ahead of Bill Haas, who shot 64, and five in front of Keegan Bradley (63) and Brandt Snedeker (66).

    Mickelson, the winner at TPC Scottsdale in 1996 and 2005, parred the first six holes and played the next 11 in 8 under before the lapse on 18.

    The 42-year-old former Arizona State star made a 4-foot birdie on the par-4 ninth — the hole where he missed the putt for 59 on Thursday — and overpowered the par-5 15th for eagle, hitting to 4 feet after a 358-yard drive.

    Bradley also eagled the 15th, hitting a 350-yard drive and a 7-iron approach to 8 feet, then birdied No. 16 in front of the noisy fans gathered on the "stadium hole."

    "It reminds me of when I go to Fenway Park," Bradley said. "There's always like a murmur. … It's really cool. I dig it. I wish there was more holes like that out here."

    RICH TOURNEY OFF: The South African tournament claiming to be among the richest outside the United States was indefinitely postponed. It was scheduled for November in Port Elizabeth with a purse of $8.5 million, but it failed to secure sponsorship.


    Associated PressAssociated Press

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  • 02/01/13--19:47: Indiana-Michigan draws hype
  • Times wires
    Friday, February 1, 2013

    INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana should be getting used to all this.

    Students lining up in chilly temperatures long before tip-off to see America's No. 1 team play at Assembly Hall. A nationally televised game that will become the focal point of college basketball for one day. And the Hoosiers vying again for the Big Ten lead.

    Today, it's all about facing Michigan.

    "It's going to be a big game, and I really can't wait for it," freshman guard Kevin Ferrell said.

    After stumbling in December against Butler and again early in conference play against Wisconsin, the Hoosiers (18-2, 7-1 Big Ten) have been trying to play their way back to the No. 1 spot they held early this season.

    But now the Wolverines (20-1, 7-1) carry the top ranking.

    Indiana's Cody Zeller had 19 points and 11 rebounds in a 97-60 rout of Purdue on the road on Wednesday. That came after a 75-70 win Sunday over then-No. 13 Michigan State, so the Hoosiers have a chance to sweep their biggest week this season.

    Michigan is playing well, too.

    "Everybody can play, they can run, shoot, play defense, they can do everything," Indiana guard Jordan Hulls said of Michigan. "So you know we're excited for this opportunity."

    Since losing Jan. 13 at No. 15 Ohio State, after their first perfect nonconference season since 1985-86, the Wolverines have won four straight. Sophomore guard Trey Burke is averaging 17.9 points and 7.1 assists.

    "We're looking forward to it. It's going to be a lot of hype. It's going to be a really hectic crowd and atmosphere," Burke said.

    EVANSVILLE: Coach Marty Simmons said swingman Jordan Jahr was kicked off the team.

    EX-ASSISTANT FILES SUIT: Former Detroit assistant Carlos Briggs filed a lawsuit against the school, alleging he was fired in retaliation after filing a whistle-blower report in which he detailed a relationship between then-athletic director Keri Gaither and assistant coach Derek Thomas.

    WOMEN: Chiney Ogwumike had 22 points and 13 rebounds as No. 4 Stanford (19-2, 7-1 Pac-12) beat host Oregon 86-62.


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    Times wires
    Friday, February 1, 2013

    at Red Wings 2 0 3 5
    Blues 2 1 0 3
    RALEIGH, N.C. — Dan Ellis made 33 saves to lead the Hurricanes past the Senators 1-0 on Friday. Eric Staal scored for Carolina.

    Ellis, in for the resting Cam Ward, earned his 13th shutout and first since Nov. 9, 2010, while with the Lightning. Tampa Bay signed him July 1, 2010, and traded him to Anaheim on Feb. 24, 2011. He signed with Carolina during last offseason.

    "One of the best things we did was blocking out, blocking shots, clearing rebounds. Our whole defensive game … was phenomenal," said Ellis, who has allowed a combined one goal in two starts. Ward has given up at least three goals in each of his four starts.

    Earlier Friday, Jason Spezza, Ottawa's No. 1 center, had surgery on a herniated disc. The team hopes he can return by early April.

    "I thought Ellis was good," Senators coach Paul MacLean said. "But I thought we were on the outside a little bit too much. Our energy level wasn't as good."

    Craig Anderson made 34 saves for Ottawa. He has allowed seven goals over seven games.

    Game highlights: Henrik Zetterberg had a hand in every goal for host Detroit, his empty-netter capping a hat trick and sealing a 5-3 win over the Blues. … Troy Brouwer and Wojtek Wolski scored 2:47 apart in the third as the host Capitals beat the Flyers 3-2 for their second win. Philadelphia has lost three in a row. It also lost wing Wayne Simmonds. He left late in the first after catching an elbow in the face from Capitals defenseman John Erskine.

    Coyotes future: The NHL said it still hopes Greg Jamison will complete his purchase of the Coyotes. He failed to find enough investors to complete a deal by a midnight Thursday deadline set in an arena lease he signed with the city of Glendale, Ariz. The NHL has owned the team for three years with hopes of keeping it in Arizona. It gave no timetable for a sale to Jamison, an ex-Sharks CEO, or anyone else. Any sale must come with a new lease.

    Around the league: Canadiens wing Max Pacioretty practiced six days after an appendectomy. The team ruled him out for games Saturday and Sunday. … Bruins wing Shawn Thornton (6 feet 2, 217 pounds) will miss seven to 10 days with a concussion sustained in Thursday's fight with Sabres wing John Scott (6-8, 270). … Blues wing Chris Stewart accused Blue Jackets wing Derek Dorsett of biting his hand during a fight Thursday. "Want to see the teeth marks?" Stewart said after the game, which featured four fights. Dorsett denied the charge. … Panthers wing Scottie Upshall will miss a month with an ankle injury sustained during a fight with Jets center James Wright on Thursday.

    at Hurricanes 1 0 0 1
    Senators 0 0 0 0

    First Period1, Carolina, E.Staal 5 (Semin, Corvo), 15:45. PenaltiesBowman, Car (boarding), :13; Methot, Ott (hooking), 6:31.

    Second PeriodNone. PenaltiesMethot, Ott (hooking), :52; McBain, Car, double minor (high-sticking), 9:23; Karlsson, Ott (elbowing), 14:12; E.Staal, Car (hooking), 17:15.

    Third PeriodNone. PenaltiesSmith, Ott (interference), 14:55. Shots on GoalOttawa 12-13-8—33. Carolina 15-9-11—35. Power-play opportunitiesOttawa 0 of 4; Carolina 0 of 4. GoaliesOttawa, Anderson 5-1-1 (35 shots-34 saves). Carolina, Ellis 2-0-0 (33-33). A18,680 (18,680).

    at Red Wings 2 0 3 5
    Blues 2 1 0 3

    First Period1, Detroit, Zetterberg 3 (Brunner, Kronwall), 6:12 (pp). 2, Detroit, Zetterberg 4 (Ericsson, Franzen), 8:07. 3, St. Louis, Shattenkirk 1 (Steen, McDonald), 9:50 (pp). 4, St. Louis, D'Agostini 1 (Tarasenko, Polak), 13:04. PenaltiesEricsson, Det (roughing), 2:48; Shattenkirk, StL (slashing), 4:47; Backes, StL (roughing), 5:30; Emmerton, Det (tripping), 9:04; Perron, StL (hooking), 10:26; Kronwall, Det (interference), 16:09; Perron, StL (unsportsmanlike conduct), 17:52.

    Second Period5, St. Louis, Berglund 5 (Backes, Perron), 4:30 (pp). PenaltiesQuincey, Det (tripping), 3:57; Sobotka, StL (interference), 11:01; St. Louis bench, served by Stewart (too many men), 14:27.

    Third Period6, Detroit, Ericsson 1 (Zetterberg, Franzen), 4:31. 7, Detroit, Datsyuk 3 (Zetterberg, Franzen), 11:55 (pp). 8, Detroit, Zetterberg 5, 19:47 (en-sh). PenaltiesBackes, StL match penalty (match—deliberate injury), 9:38; Cleary, Det (interference), 17:49. Shots on GoalSt. Louis 14-7-5—26. Detroit 13-7-11—31. Power-play opportunitiesSt. Louis 2 of 5; Detroit 2 of 8. GoaliesSt. Louis, Halak (11 shots-9 saves), Elliott 3-2-0 (16:09 first, 19-17). Detroit, Howard 4-2-1 (26-23). A20,066 (20,066).

    at Capitals 0 1 2 3
    Flyers 0 1 1 2

    First PeriodNone. PenaltiesRinaldo, Phi (boarding), 1:23; Ovechkin, Was (roughing), 11:13; Timonen, Phi (roughing), 13:05; Rinaldo, Phi, major-game misconduct (fighting), 18:14; Hendricks, Was, major-game misconduct (fighting), 18:14.

    Second Period1, Philadelphia, Gervais 1 (Briere, McGinn), 11:43. 2, Washington, Backstrom 1 (Carlson), 17:42. PenaltiesBeagle, Was (tripping), 2:26; Coburn, Phi (delay of game), 6:11; Philadelphia bench, served by McGinn (too many men), 19:12; Timonen, Phi (cross-checking), 20:00.

    Third Period3, Washington, Brouwer 3 (Green, Backstrom), 3:57. 4, Washington, Wolski 2, 6:44. 5, Philadelphia, B.Schenn 1 (Read, Foster), 10:30. PenaltiesKundratek, Was (delay of game), 8:25. Shots on GoalPhiladelphia 11-14-6—31. Washington 11-6-9—26. Power-play opportunitiesPhiladelphia 0 of 3; Washington 0 of 5. GoaliesPhiladelphia, Bryzgalov 2-5-0 (26 shots-23 saves). Washington, Holtby 1-2-0 (31-29). A18,506 (18,506).


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  • 02/01/13--20:17: Lightning beats Jets
  • By Damian Cristodero, Times Staff Writer
    Friday, February 1, 2013

    TAMPA — You would think with the way the Lightning power play is going, the Jets would have made it a priority Friday night to stay out of the penalty box.

    Instead, Winnipeg in the first period gave the Tampa Bay power play — which entered fifth in the league at 30 percent — 8:33 of time and two five-on-threes, resulting in three goals. But that simply set the table for what was a 8-3 dismantling of the Jets before an announced 19,204 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

    It was the fifth straight win for the Lightning (6-1-0), which also has an 11-game streak (9-0-2) against the Jets/Thrashers franchise at home without a regulation loss.

    Cory Conacher scored twice, once on the power play, and had three points. Steven Stamkos and Vinny Lecavalier had power-play goals. Also scoring were Teddy Purcell, Ryan Malone, Ben Pouliot and Nate Thompson, whose tally gave the Lightning a league-best 14 players with at least one goal.

    Stamkos and Lecavalier had three points each, and Eric Brewer had two assists and was plus-3.

    Anders Lindback made 26 saves as Tampa Bay, snoozing through most of the last 30 minutes after taking a 6-0 second-period lead, was outshot 29-25 and allowed three third-period goals.

    In a sense, the Jets were ripe for the picking. They were the third team on the Lightning's five-game homestand playing on consecutive days. But that was no excuse for how they unraveled.

    Conacher's power-play goal 7:57 into the period on a redirect of Matt Carle's wrist shot was Tampa Bay's first shot of the game.

    Then it got interesting.

    First, Chris Thorburn got a five-minute major for checking from behind and a game misconduct for plastering Sami Salo face-first into the side glass with 7:49 remaining. A delay of game penalty to Ron Hainsey created a five-on-three on which Stamkos scored with a one-timer with 5:49 left.

    A cross-checking call on Mark Stuart with 3:56 left created another five-on-three on which Lecavalier scored.

    Evander Kane was called for unsportsmanlike conduct with 1:3 left, apparently for mouthing off to an official.

    So, to review, the Lightning had 8:33 of power-play time and scored on three of five power plays, twice five-on-three.

    The Lightning scored three in the second. Conacher, 26 seconds in, tipped in Brewer's shot. Thompson's sharp-angle goal at 4:43 chased goalie Ondrej Pavelec, who allowed five goals on 14 shots. Purcell's goal a minute later on Al Montoya made it 6-0.

    Lightning 3 3 2 8
    Jets 0 0 3 3
    Lightning 3 3 2 8
    Jets 0 0 3 3

    First Period1, Tampa Bay, Conacher 4 (Carle, Pouliot), 7:57 (pp). 2, Tampa Bay, Stamkos 5 (Purcell, Lindback), 14:11 (pp). 3, Tampa Bay, Lecavalier 4 (St. Louis, Stamkos), 16:55 (pp). PenaltiesHall, TB (interference), 2:42; Redmond, Wpg (holding), 5:59; Thorburn, Wpg, served by Jokinen, major-game misconduct (check from behind), 12:11; Hainsey, Wpg (delay of game), 12:47; Stuart, Wpg (cross-checking), 16:04; Kane, Wpg (unsportsmanlike conduct), 18:25.

    Second Period4, Tampa Bay, Conacher 5 (Brewer, Lecavalier), :26. 5, Tampa Bay, Thompson 1 (Crombeen, Brewer), 4:43. 6, Tampa Bay, Purcell 2 (Stamkos), 5:43. PenaltiesPonikarovsky, Wpg (slashing), 6:25; Thompson, TB (roughing), 6:25; Pyatt, TB (hooking), 10:44.

    Third Period7, Wpg, Enstrom 2 (Postma, Ladd), 5:34. 8, Wpg, Postma 1 (Little, Enstrom), 6:35 (pp). 9, Tampa Bay, Malone 4 (Lecavalier, Conacher), 8:46. 10, Wpg, Ladd 3 (Postma, Enstrom), 9:49 (pp). 11, Tampa Bay, Pouliot 2 (Pyatt, Hedman), 18:35. PenaltiesTampa Bay bench, served by Tyrell (too many men), 6:27; Aulie, TB (holding), 9:32. Shots on GoalWpg 7-10-12—29. Tampa Bay 10-7-8—25. Power-play opportunitiesWpg 2 of 4; Tampa Bay 3 of 5. GoaliesWpg, Pavelec 2-4-1 (14 shots-9 saves), Montoya (4:43 second, 11-8). Tampa Bay, Lindback 5-1-0 (29-26). A19,204 (19,204). T2:33. Referees—Mike Leggo, Tim Peel. LinesmenBrian Mach, Pierre Racicot.


    DIRK SHADD   |   TimesDIRK SHADD | Times

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    Times wires
    Saturday, February 2, 2013

    The trees at Toomer's Corner will be no more.

    For decades, fans at Auburn papered the oaks at Toomer's Corner after big victories. But Friday the school announced the trees can't be saved and will be taken down, two years after they were poisoned by a man claiming to be an Alabama fan.

    The trees — just off the northeast corner of the campus — will be rolled one last time, after Auburn's spring game April 20, the Birmingham News reported. Harvey Updyke is accused of poisoning the trees after Auburn's victory over Alabama in 2010. He is scheduled to stand trial starting April 8. The trees were further damaged by a brief fire last fall.

    The trees will be removed at an unspecified date, to be replaced by new structures, Debbie Shaw, Auburn's vice president for alumni affairs, said in a statement.


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    By Rick Stroud, Times Staff Writer
    Saturday, February 2, 2013

    NEW ORLEANS — Warren Sapp had another man in his embrace Saturday, and just like during his playing career, the poor guy wasn't going anywhere until the former Bucs defensive tackle decided to let go.

    Shortly after being elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, Sapp was greeted on the set of the NFL Network program by former linebacker Derrick Brooks. The onetime Bucs teammates, who have known each other since playing together in a Florida high school all-star game more than two decades ago, shared a tearful bear hug for about 45 seconds.

    "He said: 'You're next, man. I love you,' " said Brooks, who will be eligible for the Hall next year. " 'You're next, I love you. You're next, I love you. You're next, I love you.' "

    Sapp, 40, becomes only the second Bucs player to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, joining defensive end Lee Roy Selmon, who was enshrined in 1995 after six years of eligibility. Sapp was the last player announced during the televised show for the Hall of Fame Class of 2013, joining Ravens tackle Jonathan Ogden, Cowboys guard Larry Allen, Vikings receiver Cris Carter, Giants Super Bowl-winning coach Bill Parcells and senior candidates Dave Robinson and Curley Culp.

    Sapp, after a decorated college career at Miami, was credited with helping transform a Buccaneers franchise from unlovable losers to Super Bowl XXXVII champions during the prime of his 13 NFL seasons that also included the final four years with the Oakland Raiders.

    So it was no surprise to see him blazing a path to the hallowed ground of the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, where he will be inducted during a ceremony on Aug. 3.

    While Sapp arrived first among his group of Bucs — as he did to the ballcarrier on so many Sundays — he said he expects to be followed by teammates and coaches.

    "We went at it, we went out at it with a vigor and a love and a flavor that you just don't see every day," he said. "In that little shack (at One Buc Place) we went and did it.

    "Brooks is next. (John) Lynch is right behind him. And Tony (Dungy), too. All of us."

    Sapp was a member of the league's All-Decade team for the 1990s and 2000s; defensive player of the year in '99; Super Bowl champion; seven-time Pro Bowl selection; and his 96 1/2 sacks are the second-highest career total for a defensive tackle.

    But not unlike his career, Sapp had to overcome a few obstacles that threatened to block his Hall path in his first year of eligibility. The 12th overall pick of the Bucs in 1995 was part of an unusually strong class of first-time eligible players, a list that included Allen, Ogden and Giants defensive end Michael Strahan.

    After a long day of debate, the selection committee narrowed the list of 15 finalists to 10: Sapp, Ogden, Strahan, Parcells, Allen, running back Jerome Bettis, Carter, receiver Andre Reed, defensive end Charles Haley and safety Aeneas Williams. It was the fourth time Parcells had been a finalist, and he was debated for nearly an hour on Saturday.

    Former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr., a longtime Tampa resident, and former Browns and Ravens owner Art Modell did not make the final 10.

    Brooks said he worried that some voters might focus on some of Sapp's locker room outbursts and on-field bombast and not his play, and he told his former teammate exactly that during lunch Wednesday.

    "Yeah, I was ornery when I came to your town," Sapp said. "No doubt about it. I was ornery sometimes when I walked into my own locker room. It was what it was. Hey, sometimes, I was a little ornery. But it all came out in the wash. There was no hatred in my heart. I played a kids game, I got paid a kings ransom and had a ball at it."

    In the end, Sapp's accomplishments were just too impressive for the selection committee to ignore, making him a first-ballot choice normally reserved for only the most dominant players in the Hall of Fame.

    Sapp said Saturday that he spent a nervous day with his children in New Orleans. He tried to call his co-hosts he works with as an analyst for the NFL Network — Hall of Famers Michael Irvin, Marshall Faulk and Deion Sanders — but they wouldn't answer.

    Because the Hall of Fame class is announced in alphabetical order, Sapp was called last.

    "You think of everything," Sapp said. "You think of everything that went on during my 13 years, the time I spent in Oakland. Ninety-eight when I was a fat a- - and couldn't rush. There were times I questioned myself on the football field. … It's a long way from Plymouth, Fla. (near Orlando) and that dirt road."

    Brooks said the only question he had was whether Sapp's bust in Canton would be bald or in braids as he wore his hair early in his career.

    "Braids," Sapp said, "because when that Warren was coming, you had trouble."

    Of course, legend has it that those busts talk to each other at night.

    "I want to know who I'm beside," Sapp said. "And then I'll tell you about the conversation."

    Rick Stroud can be reached at stroud@tampabay.com and can be heard from 6 to 9 a.m. weekdays on WDAE-620. View his blog at tampabay.com/blogs/bucs.


    Times files (1995)Times files (1995)

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  • 02/02/13--16:26: FSU loses to Duke
  • Times wires
    Saturday, February 2, 2013

    TALLAHASSEE — Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton got a glimpse Saturday of the level he wants his team to reach.

    Duke tends to have that effect.

    The fifth-ranked Blue Devils simply shot the Seminoles out of the gym and likely out of any NCAA Tournament hopes with a 79-60 win.

    Duke's backcourt of Seth Curry (21 points) and Quinn Cook (18) led the onslaught. Curry and Cook combined to make 9 of 13 3-pointers, effectively taking FSU out of the game early.

    "It was raining 3's," Hamilton said. "They were able to put themselves at that magic level that has been elusive to us."

    The Blue Devils (19-2, 6-2 ACC) were crisp from the opening tip until the final horn, blowing past the defending ACC tournament champions with ease.

    "It doesn't feel the same as it did last year," the Seminoles' Ian Miller said. "We enjoyed seeing teams panic. This year, we're the team panicking."

    Duke scored the game's first 11, and FSU went nearly 61/2 minutes before getting its second basket. Duke shot 60.8 percent and made 11 of 18 3-pointers as the Seminoles allowed a season high in points.

    Aaron Thomas had 14 points and fellow freshman Devon Bookert added nine for FSU (12-9, 4-4). Senior scoring leader Michael Snaer had just seven points on 3-of-13 shooting.

    FSU has been manhandled by ranked teams Miami, Minnesota, Florida and now Duke while also stealing a pair of ACC wins with last-second shots by Snaer.

    But while Hamilton tries to find the right mix, he'll likely have to continue turning to his youngsters in hopes of a strong finish to reach the NCAA Tournament and a fifth straight 20-win season.

    "If we are going to find a way to get back in the NCAA conversation, we're going to have to do something exceptional," Hamilton said. "We're not going to have very much room for error."

    The Seminoles have been competitive in several games despite struggling on the glass, a problem made worse by a potential season-ending injury to redshirt junior Terrance Shannon, their most reliable rebounder.


    Associated PressAssociated Press

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    Times staff
    Saturday, February 2, 2013

    The QBkilla

    Warren Sapp's 96½ regular-season sacks are 34th overall in NFL history and first among defensive tackles. (His 77 for the Bucs, 1995-2003, trail only Lee Roy Selmon's 78½.) In addition, Sapp had 5½ sacks in the playoffs. Here are all 102, including the opponent, quarterback and how many yards were lost (each green square = 1 yard):

    * Recorded as a half-sack

    # Division playoff ## Super Bowl

    DateOpp.QuarterbackYds.

    Sept. 3, 1995EaglesRandall Cunningham5

    Sept. 24, 1995RedskinsGus Frerotte2

    Oct. 22, 1995FalconsJeff George5

    Sept. 1, 1996PackersBrett Favre4

    Sept. 15, 1996SeahawksRick Mirer1

    Sept. 15, 1996SeahawksRick Mirer9

    Sept. 29, 1996LionsScott Mitchell6

    Oct. 13, 1996VikingsWarren Moon5 *

    Oct. 13, 1996VikingsWarren Moon6

    Nov. 24, 1996SaintsJim Everett0 *

    Dec. 15, 1996VikingsBrad Johnson9

    Dec. 15, 1996VikingsBrad Johnson8

    Dec. 22, 1996BearsShane Matthews3

    Aug. 31, 199749ersSteve Young11

    Aug. 31, 199749ersJeff Brohm10 *

    Aug. 31, 199749ersSteve Young5

    Sept. 7, 1997LionsScott Mitchell4

    Sept. 28, 1997CardinalsKent Graham5

    Oct. 12, 1997LionsScott Mitchell13

    Oct. 26, 1997VikingsBrad Johnson10

    Nov. 2, 1997ColtsKelly Holcomb7

    Nov. 16, 1997PatriotsDrew Bledsoe11

    Dec. 21, 1997BearsErik Kramer6

    Dec. 21, 1997BearsRick Mirer9

    Jan. 4, 1998PackersBrett Favre4 #

    Jan. 4, 1998PackersBrett Favre8 #

    Jan. 4, 1998PackersBrett Favre7 #

    Sept. 13, 1998PackersBrett Favre5

    Sept. 13, 1998PackersBrett Favre2

    Oct. 18, 1998PanthersSteve Beuerlein6

    Nov. 8, 1998OilersSteve McNair6

    Nov. 22, 1998LionsCharlie Batch7

    Nov. 29, 1998BearsMoses Moreno9

    Dec. 7, 1998PackersBrett Favre7

    Sept. 12, 1999GiantsKent Graham9

    Sept. 19, 1999EaglesDoug Pederson9

    Sept. 19, 1999EaglesDonovan McNabb11

    Sept. 19, 1999EaglesDonovan McNabb8

    Oct. 10, 1999PackersBrett Favre4

    Oct. 10, 1999PackersBrett Favre12

    Oct. 24, 1999BearsCade McNown6

    Nov. 14, 1999ChiefsElvis Grbac9

    Nov. 21, 1999FalconsChris Chandler9

    Nov. 28, 1999SeahawksJon Kitna6

    Dec. 12, 1999LionsGus Frerotte 9

    Dec. 12, 1999LionsGus Frerotte11 *

    Dec. 19, 1999RaidersRich Gannon3

    Jan. 15, 2000RedskinsBrad Johnson8 #

    Sept 3, 2000PatriotsDrew Bledsoe6

    Sept 3, 2000PatriotsDrew Bledsoe2 *

    Sept. 10, 2000BearsCade McNown10

    Sept. 17, 2000LionsCharlie Batch8

    Sept. 17, 2000LionsCharlie Batch2

    Sept. 17, 2000LionsCharlie Batch6

    Oct. 1, 2000RedskinsBrad Johnson7

    Oct. 9, 2000VikingsDaunte Culpepper12

    Oct. 19, 2000LionsCharlie Batch6

    Oct. 19, 2000LionsCharlie Batch7

    Oct. 29, 2000VikingsDaunte Culpepper9

    Nov. 12, 2000PackersBrett Favre5

    Nov. 26, 2000BillsRob Johnson9

    Nov. 26, 2000BillsRob Johnson13

    Dec. 18, 2000RamsKurt Warner5

    Dec. 18, 2000RamsKurt Warner13

    Dec. 24, 2000PackersBrett Favre12

    Oct. 14, 2001TitansSteve McNair7

    Nov. 11, 2001LionsCharlie Batch7

    Nov. 11, 2001LionsCharlie Batch0

    Nov. 26, 2001RamsKurt Warner9

    Nov. 26, 2001RamsKurt Warner8

    Dec. 23, 2001SaintsAaron Brooks11 *

    Dec. 29, 2001RavensElvis Grbac7 *

    Sept. 8, 2002SaintsAaron Brooks6

    Sept. 23, 2002RamsKurt Warner11

    Sept. 29, 2002BengalsAkili Smith6

    Sept. 29, 2002BengalsAkili Smith9

    Oct. 13, 2002BrownsTim Couch7

    Oct. 13, 2002BrownsTim Couch10

    Oct. 20, 2002EaglesDonovan McNabb9 *

    Oct. 27, 2002PanthersRandy Fasani11

    Jan. 12, 200349ersJeff Garcia5 * #

    Jan. 26, 2003RaidersRich Gannon9 ##

    Oct. 12, 2003RedskinsPatrick Ramsey2

    Oct. 12, 2003RedskinsRob Johnson3

    Oct. 26, 2003CowboysQuincy Carter10

    Nov. 24, 2003GiantsKerry Collins6

    Nov. 24, 2003GiantsKerry Collins9

    Sept. 19, 2004BillsDrew Bledsoe1 *

    Dec. 19, 2004TitansBilly Volek11

    Dec. 25, 2004ChiefsTrent Green6

    Oct. 2, 2005CowboysDrew Bledsoe5

    Oct. 23, 2005BillsKelly Holcomb7

    Oct. 30, 2005TitansSteve McNair7

    Oct. 30, 2005TitansSteve McNair5

    Oct. 30, 2005TitansSteve McNair10

    Sept. 17, 2006RavensSteve McNair10

    Sept. 17, 2006RavensSteve McNair7

    Oct. 29, 2006SteelersBen Roethlisberger9

    Nov. 6, 2006SeahawksSeneca Wallace5

    Nov. 12, 2006BroncosJake Plummer4

    Nov. 12, 2006BroncosJake Plummer5

    Dec. 3, 2006TexansDavid Carr7

    Dec. 17, 2006RamsMarc Bulger9

    Dec. 23, 2006ChiefsTrent Green2

    Dec. 31, 2006JetsChad Pennington8

    Oct. 21, 2007ChiefsDamon Huard9

    Oct. 28, 2007TitansVince Young7

    * Recorded as a half-sack # Division playoff ## Super Bowl

    By the numbers: Sack edition

    96½ Regular-season sacks, 34th overall in NFL history and most among defensive tackles.

    77 Regular-season sacks for the Bucs, fewer than only Lee Roy Selmon's 78½.

    48 Different quarterbacks sacked.

    3 Teams, among 32, against which Sapp didn't have a sack: Bucs (faced them in one game), Chargers (eight) and Dolphins (two).

    3 Teams Drew Bledsoe played for while being sacked: Patriots, Bills and Cowboys.

    11 Sacks of Brett Favre, most of any quarterback; second is Charlie Batch at eight.

    5 No. 1 overall draft picks sacked: Steve Young (1984 supplemental), Jeff George (1990), Drew Bledsoe (1993), Tim Couch (1999) and David Carr (2002).

    Into the end zone

    Warren Sapp scored three touchdowns — two on offense:

    DateOpponentPlay

    Oct. 22, 1995Falcons5-yard interception return

    Sept. 21, 2003Falcons6-yard catch from Brad Johnson

    Dec. 7, 2003Saints1-yard catch from Brad Johnson

    Career stats

    SeasonTeamGPGSTacklesSacksFFFRInt.

    1995Bucs168273101

    1996Bucs1514519110

    1997Bucs151558101/2310

    Playoffs22113210

    1998Bucs1616457210

    1999 * #Bucs151541121/2420

    Playoffs2271010

    2000 #Bucs161552161/2110

    Playoffs1130000

    2001 #Bucs1616376120

    Playoffs1150000

    2002 #Bucs16164771/2012

    Playoffs33511/2100

    2003Bucs1515445200

    2004Raiders16164221/2020

    2005Raiders1010325101

    2006Raiders16164710100

    2007Raiders1616502210

    Regular season198188573961/219124

    Playoffs993151/2320

    * NFL Defensive Player of the Year # First-team All-Pro


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    Saturday, February 2, 2013

    The 49ers are making their first appearance in the Super Bowl since Jan. 29, 1995. Their dramatic turnaround from 6-10 in 2010 to consecutive appearances in the NFC title game and now a Super Bowl is complete.

    Meanwhile, the Ravens have flirted with this opportunity for several years, making the AFC title game three times since 2008 but not winning it until this season.

    The clubs have several similarities, and they go well beyond coaches who are brothers and got on each other's nerves as kids. The blue-collar, physical mentality of both teams is evident in their on-field demeanors. Both thrive on power running games, spearheaded by Frank Gore (49ers) and Ray Rice (Ravens). And they have two of the better young quarterbacks in the game — though San Francisco's Colin Kaepernick and Baltimore's Joe Flacco couldn't be more different.

    These teams' adaptability is also notable. Both can let it fly and light up the scoreboard, but they have the ability to go old-school, too, and play conservatively.

    This is a game where, truly, anything is possible.

    Who has the edge?

    Quarterback

    The toughest call of all. The Ravens' Joe Flacco is red hot. The 49ers' Colin Kaeper­nick is revolutionary. The option-run variable probably makes Kaepernick harder to defend, but Flacco is much more experienced with an 8-4 record in the postseason.

    Edge: 49ers

    Running bacK

    How to choose between the Ravens' Ray Rice and 49ers' Frank Gore? Both are dual-purpose threats with powerful running styles. But if there's a difference in the backfield, it's Bernard Pierce (532 yards), who gives the Ravens the better 1-2 punch.

    Edge: Ravens

    Receiver/tight end

    Both teams have numerous weapons, but Baltimore's depth — including Anquan Boldin, Torrey Smith and tight end Dennis Pitta — and superior production win out. The 49ers' drop-off after receiver Michael Crabtree and tight end Vernon Davis is significant.

    Edge: Ravens

    Offensive line

    The stability and continuity on the 49ers' line along with the fact it's anchored by second-team All-Pro left tackle Joe Staley, are important factors in this game. In addition, the Ravens have overachieved after injuries and a reshuffling of their line entering the playoffs.

    Edge: 49ers

    Defensive line

    This is an area of strength for both teams, but the way Justin Smith has played this season tips the scale toward San Francisco. He tied for fourth among defensive linemen with 66 tackles.

    Edge: 49ers

    Linebackers

    Check out the talent: Patrick Willis, Aldon Smith and NaVorro Bowman for the 49ers and Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs for the Ravens. But the Niners are younger and healthier (though Lewis doesn't look the least bit slowed by October's torn triceps).

    Edge: 49ers

    Secondary

    The Ravens' pass defense stats were rather average except for one: 14 touchdown passes, second-fewest allowed in the NFL. But the 49ers are deep with solid cornerbacks and Pro Bowl safeties in Dashon Goldston and Donte Whitner.

    Edge: 49ers

    Special teams

    This is the 49ers' biggest weakness. David Akers has missed 14 of his past 38 field goals. The career 81 percent kicker made just 69 percent in the regular season and missed a 38-yarder in the NFC title game. Rookie Justin Tucker is 32-of-35, including 2-for-2 in the playoffs.

    Edge: Ravens

    Coaching

    It's difficult. But Jim Harbaugh is, arguably, a bigger factor in the 49ers' success than brother John is in the Ravens' success. Plus, the decision to start Colin Kaepernick at quarterback was pure genius, and he has brainiac offensive coordinator Greg Roman on his side.

    Edge: 49ers


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    Saturday, February 2, 2013

    3-4 Defense vs. The read option

    In looking at 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick's success with read-option plays, he's had relatively equal results against 4-3 or 3-4 defenses. The one exception was the divisional playoff game against the Packers on Jan. 12 in which Kaepernick ran for 181 yards, a playoff record for a quarterback. Green Bay, like the Ravens, uses a 3-4 alignment.

    So here's a question: Is one defensive front better suited to stop the read-option?

    The answer is not really. After the ball is snapped, there are typically the same number of defenders in the box in either defense. What changes are the responsibilities of various players, though we won't bother getting into those intricate details.

    If there is one thing that tilts the balance to one scheme versus the other, it's this: In the 3-4 defense, which features three linemen and four linebackers, teams theoretically have more athletic players near the line of scrimmage. That's a very good thing against a quarterback as elusive as Kaepernick.

    Biggest wildcard

    When you think of the Ravens, it's hard to not immediately think of defenses that pummel quarterbacks. Except, that's not who the Ravens are anymore. Against the 49ers, the Ravens — who tied for 15th in the regular season with 37 sacks — need to find a way to pressure Kaepernick when he decides to stay in the pocket. Against the Falcons in the NFC Championship Game, the Ravens registered just one quarterback hit and applied little pressure. Kaepernick carved them up, completing 16 of his 21 passes (76 percent).

    According to the website Pro Football Focus, the Ravens' premier pass rusher, Terrell Suggs, has applied a quarterback pressure just once every 14.5 rushes since returning from a torn Achilles' tendon. That's second worst among all 3-4 outside linebackers.

    Kaepernick presents enough problems as it is. The Ravens can't permit him to have a consistently clean pocket.

    Just in time

    49ers WR Michael Crabtree's breakout season has come just in time to perform on the biggest stage in American sports. Crabtree, a first-round pick out of Texas Tech in 2009, has been a good-but-not-special receiver for his first three seasons. But this season, he had 85 receptions for 1,105 yards and nine touchdowns — by far his best campaign. It's no coincidence that he's also become Kaepernick's favorite target. Crabtree has been targeted by Kaepernick an average of 10.6 times in the past seven games. That includes 13 times in a Week 17 win over Arizona. Don't expect that to change tonight. Those attempts to Crabtree have resulted in mostly completions, including 15 receptions in 18 targets in the 49ers' two playoff games. That means Crabtree is getting separation from defensive backs and has been sure-handed with the ball. Can he do it against the Ravens? Or can the Ravens slow down this hot-handed wideout?

    "Tight" coverage

    The Ravens have faced some of the NFL's preeminent tight ends this season, but most have produced pedestrian results against the Baltimore defense. This is noteworthy given the presence of 49ers Pro Bowler Vernon Davis, who helped propel the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game with, perhaps, his best game of the season (five catches, 106 yards). The Ravens clamped down on the top tight ends. This includes games against the Patriots' Rob Gronkowski (2 catches, 21 yards), the Bengals' Jermaine Gresham (3 catches, 30 yards), the Chargers' Antonio Gates (2 catches, 13 yards) and the Patriots' Aaron Hernandez (1 catch, 6 yards). The one notable exception was the Eagles' Brent Celek, who caught eight passes for 157 yards in a win over the Ravens in Week 2. This is a pretty strong suggestion the Ravens linebackers and safeties have done a good job in pass coverage against those tight ends. That's something they'll have to lean on today.

    Credit where due

    Ravens left tackle Bryant McKinnie has been a major disappointment during a career filled with "what ifs." What if he had kept his head straight after being picked seventh overall in 2002? What if he had a better work ethic? What if he was best known for something other than the Vikings' "Love Boat" scandal? At this point, none of that matters because McKinnie is one reason the Ravens reached the Super Bowl. Before the wild-card game, Baltimore inserted McKinnie into the starting lineup. It moved Michael Oher from left tackle to right tackle and Kelechi Osemele from right tackle to left guard, replacing the injured Jah Reid. McKinnie hasn't played at an All-Pro level, but he was humbled by being benched earlier in the season. Meanwhile, the Ravens have enjoyed an offensive renewal.

    By the numbers

    0 Interceptions thrown by the Ravens' Joe Flacco this postseason

    4 Individual 100-yard rushing games allowed by the 49ers this season

    5 100-yard rushing games for the Ravens' Ray Rice

    30 Points per game scored by the Ravens this postseason

    19.8 Average margin of victory in the 49ers' five Super Bowl wins

    228 Regular-season games played by retiring Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis


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    By Jim Huddleston, Times Correspondent
    Saturday, February 2, 2013

    What's hot: As cooler weather blankets our coast, focus inshore fishing on warmer pockets where gamefish hold. Shallow flats near any type of bayou, river or canal system have a tendency to stabilize the water temperature. Oyster bars and mangroves are great ambush areas. Outgoing tides invite redfish and trout to use these feeding zones. Sight-casting in mere inches of water is exciting in that a soft plastic-rigged weedless can be worked slowly along the bottom and still draw aggressive strikes. On the higher tides, suspending soft plugs is key. The slower the lure is worked, the better.

    Working sandy potholes with a select-sized shrimp has led to a variety of fish. Pompano, flounder and redfish have been taken while slow drifting through a grass flat with these depressions mixed in. By locating big mullet schools, clients are hooking into larger redfish that feed among the muds left behind.

    With a high pressure settling in after a front, clear skies can make the bite tougher. By downsizing in leader to 15-pound fluorocarbon and making those extra long casts, anglers can disguise the presentation better and find more hook-ups.

    Jim Huddleston charters out of Tampa, Palm Harbor and Clearwater and can be reached at (727) 439-9017 and at jimmy@captainhud.com.


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    Times wires
    Saturday, February 2, 2013

    Broadcast guide for today's coverage

    CBS

    2 p.m.: The Super Bowl Today pregame show

    Hosted by James Brown with analysts Dan Marino, Boomer Esiason, Shannon Sharpe and Bill Cowher

    Show also includes host Greg Gumbel, analyst Clay Matthews, insider Jason La Canfora, reporters Lesley Visser and Tracy Wolfson, Steve Tasker, Solomon Wilcots

    Features scheduled:

    Coaches Jim and John Harbaugh

    Former Raven O.J. Brigance, who suffers from ALS

    Colts coach Jim Pagano

    Zack Golditch, a survivor of the Aurora, Colo., movie theater shootings

    Player safety and the future of the game

    The music of New Orleans

    Player features on Ravens LB Ray Lewis, Ravens QB Joe Flacco, Ravens RB Ray Rice, 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick, 49ers TE Vernon Davis, 49ers LB Patrick Willis, 49ers LB Aldon Smith and 49ers DT Justin Smith

    Other segments:

    Live report from troops in Afghanistan, musical performances from OneRepublic and Matchbox Twenty and tailgating with cooking star Rachael Ray

    6:30: Approximate time of kickoff

    ESPN

    10 a.m.-2 p.m.: Sunday NFL Countdown

    Hosts: Chris Berman, Suzy Kolber, Mike Tirico

    Analysts: Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson, Keyshawn Johnson, Jon Gruden, Tedy Bruschi, Trent Dilfer, Merril Hoge, Ron Jaworski and Steve Young

    Reporters: Sal Paolantonio (Ravens) and Ed Werder (49ers)

    Planned features: 49ers pass rusher Aldon Smith; breaking the color barrier with QB Doug Williams; interviews with Ravens QB Joe Flacco and 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick, Ravens WR Torrey Smith; Frank Caliendo impersonates Gruden on Bourbon Street

    NFL Network

    7 a.m: First on the Field

    9 a.m.: NFL GameDay Morning

    5:30 p.m.: Ray Lewis: A Football Life

    6:30 p.m.: Super Bowl XLVII Game Center

    10 p.m.: NFL GameDay Final

    Midnight: NFL GameDay Final

    Super facts

    At stake: NFL championship

    Participants Baltimore Ravens (AFC) and San Francisco 49ers (NFC); the second appearance for the Ravens (1-0) and the sixth for the 49ers (5-0)

    Network coverage By CBS to more than 200 stations throughout the United States. The game will be distributed internationally by the NFL and NFL International to more than 185 countries and broadcast in 30 different languages.

    Trophy The winner receives permanent possession of the Vince Lombardi Trophy, a sterling silver trophy created by Tiffany & Co. and presented annually to the winner of the Super Bowl. The trophy was named after the late coach Lombardi of the two-time Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers before the 1971 Super Bowl. The trophy is a regulation-sized silver football mounted in a kicking position on a pyramid-like stand of three concave sides. The trophy stands 20¾ inches tall, weighs 6.7 pounds and is valued more than $25,000. The words "Vince Lombardi" and "Super Bowl XLVII" are engraved on the base along with the NFL shield.

    Times wires


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    Times staff
    Saturday, February 2, 2013

    Predictions

    Niners, 20-17. "Kaepernick's legs will show the wear on Baltimore's aging defense."

    Gary Shelton, Times Sports columnist

    Niners, 28-24. "San Francisco was my pick as SB champ at the beginning of the season, so I'm sticking with them. More talent on the offensive and defensive lines."

    Rick Stroud, Times Bucs beat writer

    Ravens, 27-13. "The deep arm of Joe Flacco, paired with the revived defense of the Ravens in the playoffs, wins it for a Baltimore team that seemed left for dead in December."

    Peter King, Sports Illustrated

    Niners, 31-14. "Kaepernick's athleticism outplays Flacco. Both defenses are good. Only concern is 49ers kicker (David) Akers in closer game — that can make the Ravens the winner."

    Joe Maddon, Rays manager

    Niners. "The Ravens, despite all the hype surrounding Ray Lewis, allowed a rather pedestrian 21½ points per game this year. The 49ers also have the better offense, according to (Simple Rating System), so there isn't much to recommend the Ravens."

    Nate Silver, New York Times political prognosticator

    Niners, 28-17. "When San Francisco has the ball, the running of Frank Gore and LaMichael James is going to pose big problems for the Ravens defense. (And the running of Colin Kaepernick will be a nice bonus for the 49ers.)"

    Michael David Smith, ProFootballTalk

    Ravens, 17-10.

    Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers Cy Young winner

    Ravens, 24-21. "I like their toughness. Kaepernick has got that ability to run, to throw. He's going to be a phenom eventually. I love what they're about."

    Dick Vitale, sportscaster

    Niners, 17-14. "Two throwback teams playing a throwback game in which two undrafted free agent kickers, David Akers and Justin Tucker, could decide the world championship."

    Adam Schefter, ESPN

    Niners, 31-24: "I usually go for the NFC."

    Martina Navratilova, tennis Hall of Famer

    Ravens, 24-21. "It really is a toss-up game, but being a longtime AFC fan, I will go with Baltimore. Plus, I believe the Ravens have more players from the state of Florida, and living in Florida, that gives me another reason to root for them."

    Jack Nicklaus, golf Hall of Famer

    Niners, 31-20. "The game will be competitive for the first three quarters, but the Ravens will get Kaepernick-ed in the final 15 minutes, because San Francisco simply has too many different ways it can beat you these days. On the Superdome's fast track, the 49ers offense will thrive."

    — Don Banks, Sports Illustrated

    Ravens, 31-28 in OT.

    — Rich Gannon, CBS

    Niners, 28-16. "Because I hate the Ravens, just like every kid from Pittsburgh does."

    — Mark Cuban, Dallas Mavericks owner

    Niners, 21-17. "Being from San Diego, I rooted for the Chargers growing up, but I guess I'll go with the 49ers since they are from California, too. I think it's going to be a close game, though. With this being Ray Lewis' last game, I think the Ravens are going to make it tough."

    — Jimmie Johnson, NASCAR driver


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    Times staff
    Saturday, February 2, 2013

    Team Comparison

    Regular season

    Record (Won-lost-tied) 10-6 11-4-1

    Offense BAL SF

    First downs 314 322

    Rushing 98 128

    Passing 182 172

    Penalty 34 22

    Rushing (net) 1901 2491

    Avg. per game 118.8 155.7

    Yards per rush 4.3 5.1

    Passing (net) 3739 3298

    Avg. per game 233.7 206.1

    Pct. completed 59.6 66.3

    Yards gained 3900 3551

    Sacked 38 41

    Had intercepted 11 8

    Punts avg. yards 47.1 48.1

    Avg. punt return 9.4 10.5

    Avg. kickoff return 27.3 24.8

    Returned for TD 2 0

    Yards penalized 929 960

    Fumbles by 14 26

    Fumbles lost 5 8

    Opp. fumbles 23 21

    Opp. fumbles lost 12 11

    Poss. time (avg.) 32:25 31:46

    Extra-point kicks 42/42 44/44

    2-Point conversions 1/2 0/0

    Defense

    Opp. first downs 326 284

    Rushing 105 72

    Passing 187 178

    Penalty 34 34

    Opp. yards gained avg. 350.9 294.4

    Rushing avg. per game 122.8 94.2

    Yards per rush 4.0 3.7

    Opp passing avg. 228.1 200.2

    Pct. completed 60.1 59.4

    Sacked 37 38

    Yards lost 250 270

    Intercepted by 13 14

    Yards returned 196 216

    Returned for TD 2 2

    Opp punt returns 49 36

    Avg. return 7.8 6.9

    Opp kickoff returns 37 48

    Avg. return 23.2 26.9

    Super Bowl Champions

    2012—N.Y. Giants (NFC) 21, New England (AFC) 17

    2011—Green Bay (NFC) 31, Pittsburgh (AFC) 25

    2010—New Orleans (NFC) 31, Indianapolis (AFC) 17

    2009—Pittsburgh (AFC) 27, Arizona (NFC) 23

    2008—N.Y. Giants (NFC) 17, New England (AFC) 14

    2007—Indianapolis (AFC) 29, Chicago (NFC) 17

    2006—Pittsburgh (AFC) 21, Seattle (NFC) 10

    2005—New England (AFC) 24, Philadelphia (NFC) 21

    2004—New England (AFC) 32, Carolina (NFC) 29

    2003—Tampa Bay (NFC) 48, Oakland (AFC) 21

    2002—New England (AFC) 20, St. Louis (NFC) 17

    2001—Baltimore Ravens (AFC) 34, N.Y. Giants (NFC) 7

    2000—St. Louis (NFC) 23, Tennessee (AFC) 16

    1999—Denver (AFC) 34, Atlanta (NFC) 19

    1998—Denver (AFC) 31, Green Bay (NFC) 24

    1997—Green Bay (NFC) 35, New England (AFC) 21

    1996—Dallas (NFC) 27, Pittsburgh (AFC) 17

    1995—San Francisco (NFC) 49, San Diego (AFC) 26

    1994—Dallas (NFC) 30, Buffalo (AFC) 13

    1993—Dallas (NFC) 52, Buffalo (AFC) 17

    1992—Washington (NFC) 37, Buffalo (AFC) 24

    1991—N.Y. Giants (NFC) 20, Buffalo (AFC) 19

    1990—San Francisco (NFC) 55, Denver (AFC) 10

    1989—San Francisco (NFC) 20, Cincinnati (AFC) 16

    1988—Washington (NFC) 42, Denver (AFC) 10

    1987—N.Y. Giants (NFC) 39, Denver (AFC) 20

    1986—Chicago (NFC) 46, New England (AFC) 10

    1985—San Francisco (NFC) 38, Miami (AFC) 16

    1984—L.A. Raiders (AFC) 38, Washington (NFC) 9

    1983—Washington (NFC) 27, Miami (AFC) 17

    1982—San Francisco (NFC) 26, Cincinnati (AFC) 21

    1981—Oakland (AFC) 27, Philadelphia (NFC) 10

    1980—Pittsburgh (AFC) 31, L.A. Rams (NFC) 19

    1979—Pittsburgh (AFC) 35, Dallas (NFC) 31

    1978—Dallas (NFC) 27, Denver (AFC) 10

    1977—Oakland (AFC) 32, Minnesota (NFC) 14

    1976—Pittsburgh (AFC) 21, Dallas (NFC) 17

    1975—Pittsburgh (AFC) 16, Minnesota (NFC) 6

    1974—Miami (AFC) 24, Minnesota (NFC) 7

    1973—Miami (AFC) 14, Washington (NFC) 7

    1972—Dallas (NFC) 24, Miami (AFC) 3

    1971—Baltimore Colts (AFC) 16, Dallas (NFC) 13

    1970—Kansas City (AFL) 23, Minnesota (NFL) 7

    1969—N.Y. Jets (AFL) 16, Baltimore Colts (NFL) 7

    1968—Green Bay (NFL) 33, Oakland (AFL) 14

    1967—Green Bay (NFL) 35, Kansas City (AFL) 10

    Super Bowl MVPs

    2012—Eli Manning, QB, N.Y. Giants

    2011—Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay

    2010—Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans

    2009—Santonio Holmes, WR, Pittsburgh

    2008—Eli Manning, QB, N.Y. Giants

    2007—Peyton Manning, QB, Indianapolis

    2006—Hines Ward, WR, Pittsburgh

    2005—Deion Branch, WR, New England

    2004—Tom Brady, QB, New England

    2003—Dexter Jackson, FS, Tampa Bay

    2002—Tom Brady, QB, New England

    2001—Ray Lewis, LB, Baltimore

    2000—Kurt Warner, QB, St. Louis

    1999—John Elway, QB, Denver

    1998—Terrell Davis, RB, Denver

    1997—Desmond Howard, KR, Green Bay

    1996—Larry Brown, CB, Dallas

    1995—Steve Young, QB, San Francisco

    1994—Emmitt Smith, RB, Dallas

    1993—Troy Aikman, QB, Dallas

    1992—Mark Rypien, QB, Washington

    1991—Ottis Anderson, RB, N.Y. Giants

    1990—Joe Montana, QB, San Francisco

    1989—Jerry Rice, WR, San Francisco

    1988—Doug Williams, QB, Washington

    1987—Phil Simms, QB, N.Y. Giants

    1986—Richard Dent, DE, Chicago

    1985—Joe Montana, QB, San Francisco

    1984—Marcus Allen, RB, L.A. Raiders

    1983—John Riggins, RB, Washington

    1982—Joe Montana, QB, San Francisco

    1981—Jim Plunkett, QB, Oakland

    1980—Terry Bradshaw, QB, Pittsburgh

    1979—Terry Bradshaw, QB, Pittsburgh

    1978—Randy White, DT and Harvey Martin, DE, Dallas

    1977—Fred Biletnikoff, WR, Oakland

    1976—Lynn Swann, WR, Pittsburgh

    1975—Franco Harris, RB, Pittsburgh

    1974—Larry Csonka, RB, Miami

    1973—Jake Scott, S, Miami

    1972—Roger Staubach, QB, Dallas

    1971—Chuck Howley, LB, Dallas

    1970—Len Dawson, QB, Kansas City

    1969—Joe Namath, QB, N.Y. Jets

    1968—Bart Starr, QB, Green Bay

    1967—Bart Starr, QB, Green Bay


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  • 02/02/13--18:43: Sapp's most famed moments
  • By Rick Stroud, Times staff writer
    Saturday, February 2, 2013

    Aug. 31, 1997

    The Bucs win the season opener 13-6 over the 49ers. Sapp has 2½ sacks and gestures to fans that the 49ers were dead by slicing an imaginary knife across his throat. He also is partly responsible for cutting down quarterback Steve Young (above, concussion) and Jerry Rice (knee) in the first half. "That's what we expected to do," Sapp said. "We didn't expect anything less. Coach (Tony) Dungy talked about it all week — perception against reality. The perception was this powerhouse team from San Francisco was going to come in here and steamroll us and we weren't going to let it happen."

    March 18, 1988

    Sapp signs a six-year, $36 million contract. "Now maybe I can send my kids to college," Sapp said.

    Jan. 5, 1998

    In the NFC division playoff game against the Packers, Sapp has three sacks, forces two fumbles and recovers one. On several occasions, he and Green Bay QB Brett Favre go face mask-to-face mask. "On one particular play, I do remember Sapp got tired, and (he was coming out of the game) and Brett was like, 'That's right, go over there and take a blow,' " Packers running back Dorsey Levens said. "Warren got pretty upset. There was a guy coming in for Warren, and he told him to go back (to the sideline) and Sapp went back in the game."

    January 2000

    Sapp is named NFL defensive player of the year for the 1999 season. He has a career-best 12½ sacks and three forced fumbles. "It's something that I can't fathom," Sapp said. "If (people consider me) the most dominant guy that plays defense in this league, I love it, and I'll take it."

    Nov. 26, 2001

    On a Monday night in St. Louis, Sapp gets two sacks, and forces and recovers a fumble, leading the Bucs to a 24-17 win against the Rams. He drops Marshall Faulk for a 4-yard loss early in the third quarter and earns NFC defensive player of the week honors.

    Nov. 24, 2002

    Sapp blocks the Packers' Chad Clifton during an interception return, knocking him out of the game. In an exchange caught on camera, Packers coach Mike Sherman confronts Sapp on his way to the locker room after the game. Sapp challenges him: "If you're so tough, put a jersey on. … If I was 25 without my kids and a conscience, I would have given him a (butt)-whipping right on the 30-yard line."

    Sept. 21, 2003

    Sapp, lining up as a tight end on offense, catches a 6-yard touchdown from Brad Johnson late in the first half of a 31-10 Bucs win against the Falcons. He mimics the dance in the video of Beyonce's Crazy in Love. "I didn't do it quite like she does," the 303-pounder says. "But she's got a little more assets than I do."

    Oct. 12, 2003

    After the league tells him he can no longer skip through opposing teams' pregame drills, Sapp responds in a CBS pregame interview: "It's a slave system. Make no mistake about it; slave master say you can't do it, don't do it. They'll make an example out of you. … I guess I've become larger than life."

    Jan. 28, 2003

    Sapp helps the Bucs defense record five interceptions of Raiders QB Rick Gannon and becomes a Super Bowl champion as Tampa Bay trounces Oakland 48-21. "It's been eight long, hard years," said Sapp. "We were called paper champions, and everything else."

    Dec. 23, 2006

    Sapp, by this time a Raider, throws a sideline tantrum because of their ugly play. "It was something that was really, really on the edge of, like, gay porn," he explains. "When it's real bad football, that's what we call it: gay porn. Something you don't want to watch."


    Times (2003)Times (2003)

    0 0
  • 02/02/13--18:48: Sapp Hall of Fame reaction
  • Times staff
    Saturday, February 2, 2013

    What they're saying

    I am thrilled for Warren Sapp, the engine of the 4-3 defense. He's the most dominating inside presence I've been around: tremendous athletic ability, tenacity, discipline and football intelligence every single snap. He was a natural — even a great tight end. It's a great day for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    — Jon Gruden, former Bucs coach

    Congratulations to Warren Sapp on being elected into Pro Football Hall of Fame. It is well deserved and I am very proud of him."

    — Tony Dungy, former Bucs coach

    Congrats Doom. Can't wait to see you big fella.

    — Derrick Brooks, former Bucs teammate, via Twitter

    Congratulations to @WarrenSapp for getting inducted into the @nfl Hall Of Fame. One of the best ever.

    — Warrick Dunn, former Bucs teammate, via Twitter

    This is a proud day for the Buccaneers organization and Bucs fans everywhere. … Warren played the game with incredible ability and passion. He was a leader on one of the best defenses in NFL history and helped redefine the defensive tackle position. It is a fitting honor that Sapp will be recognized as one of the greatest to ever play and we could not be happier for him.

    — Bryan Glazer, Bucs co-chairman

    Overjoyed about my man @qbkilla on his Hall of Fame induction. Congrats big homie. Well deserved!!

    — Gerald McCoy, Bucs defensive lineman (using Sapp's old Twitter handle)

    Congrats Sapp! You did it!!

    — Drew Rosenhaus, agent

    Having lined up next to @WarrenSapp for years, not only is he a HOF player, he is a HOF presence. There will NEVER be another one EVER!

    — Booger McFarland, former Bucs teammate

    Derrick Brooks came in 1995, but Sapp was drafted ahead of him on that same day. That's when the turnaround really started.

    As Dungy and defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin arrived, Sapp quickly became a force on a defense that arguably became one of the best in history. Brooks was just as big a force as Sapp, and I'm confident the linebacker will get his due next year. But everything about the legendary Tampa 2 defense that soon was copied around the league started with Sapp. He was the disruptive force in the middle that cleared the way for everything else.

    Without Sapp, Dungy and Kiffin's defense still might have been good, but it wouldn't have been dominant. Without Sapp drawing so much attention from an offense, Brooks probably wouldn't have been quite as good as he was. Without Sapp, John Lynch and Ronde Barber might not be talked about as potential Hall of Famers.

    — Pat Yasinskas, espn.com

    Congrats @warrensapp @qbkilla HOF baby!!!! Amazing and deserved.

    — Andrew Zimmern, noted chef and TV personality


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