Sunday, February 5, 2017


From NFL Communications

FRANK GORE of the Indianapolis Colts is the winner of the 2016 ART ROONEY SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD. The announcement of the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award was made at NFL HONORS, a two-hour primetime awards special recognizing the NFL's best players, performances and plays from the 2016 season that will air nationally tonight at 8 PM ET/PT on FOX.

The award, which was founded in 2014 in honor of the late founding owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pro Football Hall of Famer ART ROONEY, SR, recognizes the NFL player who best demonstrates the qualities of outstanding sportsmanship on the playing field, including fair play, respect for opponents and integrity in competition.

Gore will receive a $25,000 donation from the NFL Foundation to a charity of his choice.

A 12-year NFL veteran, Gore ranks eighth in NFL history with 13,065 rushing yards and is one of only five players in league annals with at least 13,000 rushing yards and 400 receptions in his career. Gore joined the Colts prior to the 2015 season after a 10-year stint with the San Francisco 49ers, where he rushed for a franchise record 11,073 yards and 64 touchdowns. A five-time Pro Bowler and 2006 AP All-Pro selection, he was a third-round draft choice of San Francisco in 2005.

The winner of the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award is determined by a vote of current NFL players. Previous recipients of the award include LARRY FITZGERALD of the Arizona Cardinals (2014) and CHARLES WOODSON of the Oakland Raiders (2015).

Each NFL team nominated one of its players for the award, which recognizes players who exemplify outstanding sportsmanship on the field. A panel of former players from the NFL Legends Community selected eight finalists (four in the AFC; four in the NFC) from the 32 nominees. The panel of Legends Coordinators was comprised of WARRICK DUNN, CURTIS MARTIN, KARL MECKLENBURG and LEONARD WHEELER.  

The eight finalists were listed on the Pro Bowl ballot under the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award when players voted on December 16, 2016. From the eight finalists, each team's players submitted a consensus vote of its choice for the winner. As in Pro Bowl voting, a team could not vote for its own player.

The finalists, featuring four players from each conference, were linebacker BRIAN CUSHING (Houston), Gore, tight end GREG OLSEN (Carolina), linebacker JULIUS PEPPERS (Green Bay), running back DARREN SPROLES (Philadelphia), tackle JOE STALEY (San Francisco), linebacker DE MARCUS WARE (Denver) and guard/tackle MARSHAL YANDA (Baltimore).

Eli Manning named co-winner of Walter Payton NFL Man of Year award

HOUSTON — He’s the Mann of the Year.
Or at least one of them.
“I challenge everyone here to help some person in need, you choose, but go out of your way to make a difference in some person’s life,” Manning said after receiving the award. “I promise you it’s worth it.”Giants quarterback Eli Manning was named co-winner of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year at Saturday night’s NFL Honors awards show, the first Giant to win it in the 47-year history of the award. He shared the honor with Larry Fitzgerald of the Cardinals.
For more on Eli Manning being named co-winner of Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year ...

Larry Fitzgerald Earns Co-NFL Man Of Year Honor

HOUSTON – Larry Fitzgerald was named the Walter Payton Man of the Year Saturday night, but he wasn’t alone.
For only the third time in the history of the award, there were co-winners of the honor – Fitzgerald shared the title with the Giants’ Eli Manning, players who were selected two picks apart in the 2004 NFL draft.
It doesn’t mean it meant any less.
“It’s truly humbling,” Fitzgerald said. “It kind of hit me when I was walking up on that stage, with (former winners) Anthony Munoz and Derrick Brooks and Kurt Warner and Curtis Martin, Warrick Dunn, all these guys who have been pillars in their communities.
“To be thought of in the same light as those men, football aside, that’s what it’s about.”
For more on Larry Fitzgerald being named co-winner of Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year ...

Thursday, January 5, 2017


As we pass from fall to winter sports, it is a good time to reflect on an issue that has affected our local sports teams this past season. There have not been any local headlines about the subject, but there is a shortage of sports officials in North Idaho that has reached a crisis point. This season, there were soccer games canceled, and multiple football and volleyball games rescheduled at the high school level in District 1, which covers the four northern counties of Idaho. Many youth leagues had to cancel or postpone games due to this problem.
The decline in numbers is a national trend. The economy certainly is a factor. When the economy declines, people need extra money and officiating is a viable part-time opportunity. However, when the economy is good, then officiating is not worth the aggravation to most. I use the term “aggravation” because officiating is something that you really must “want” to do, as opposed to “have” to do in order to succeed. As a long-time football official once told me, being a ref is something you are … not what you do.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

What sportsmanship! Gamecocks rescue UGA Equestrian Team before SEC Championships

COLLEGE STATION, TX (WIS) - The University of South Carolina and University of Georgia equestrian teams are pretty competitive. After all, the Gamecocks are the defending SEC Champions and the Bulldogs are six-time National Champions.

And the Gamecocks were the number 2 seed in the SEC Tournament this weekend. Georgia was ranked #1.

But the competition doesn't keep the riders from helping each other when they can.

En route to the SEC Championships in College Station, TX Friday morning, Georgia's team bus broke down. So the University of South Carolina team sent its bus to pick up the riders. 

The Bulldogs expressed their gratitude through a tweet Friday: "A bus breakdown is an exciting start to the morning, right? Thanks to @GamecockEQ for sending theirs to get us."

Autistic boy who shared lunch with FSU football player on hand for team's comeback victory

A boy featured in a photo with a Florida State University football player that quickly went viral for the special message behind it attended the team’s home opener as a special guest of the Seminoles. Bo Paske, a middle school student with autism who shared a meal with wide receiver Travis Rudolph said it was “an absolute blast,” Fox 5 Atlanta reported.

Ahead of Monday’s game, Rudolph presented Paske with a custom FSU jersey featuring the boy’s name on the back. Paske and his mother Leah were in attendance as FSU staged a major comeback victory over Ole Miss.

“It’s definitely been a whirlwind, but FSU and ESPN and the whole team has been fantastic and so gracious and kind and generous,” Leah told Fox 5 Atlanta. “Just bringing us here and putting us up. The gifts, they gave him shirts today, so it’s just been fantastic.”

UNLV athletes, Metro Police partner for children’s holiday party

The UNLV athletes who live at the Rebel Place Apartments near campus see these children on most days. It seemed only fitting they celebrate the holidays together.
Heads bobbed, hands raised, hips moved and legs stomped to Christmas music as children and their parents opened fortune cookies, drank hot chocolate and played football with the UNLV players Wednesday outside the complex.
More than 100 local children then lined up at the complex’s front door to eat pizza, take pictures with Santa Claus and unwrap gifts.
Click link to see more ... 

WATCH: OU embodies sportsmanship as Memphis' Rykhoek is stretchered off court

After a collision with Oklahoma's Matt Freeman, Memphis big man Chad Rykhoek went down with a scary injury in the second half on Saturday in Norman. The immediate reaction was an awesome show of sportsmanship, with both teams huddling around him to show their support.