<![CDATA[NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth - Dallas-Fort Worth Sports News]]> Copyright 2016 http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/sports http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC+5-KXAS+Logo+for+Google+News.png NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth http://www.nbcdfw.com en-us Tue, 09 Feb 2016 04:18:26 -0600 Tue, 09 Feb 2016 04:18:26 -0600 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[NFL Enforces Policy Change at 2016 Combine, Draft]]> Tue, 09 Feb 2016 04:16:14 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-474829547.jpg

Players convicted for domestic violence, sexual assault or weapons offenses will not be allowed to attend the NFL Scouting Combine and Draft, according to an internal memo obtained by USA Today.

The memo came from NFL executive vice president of football operations, Troy Vincent. The NFL will enforce the new policy at this year's events.

All teams received notice Saturday, the day before Super Bowl 50.

NBC Sports reported that players will be barred from "any league-related event" if a background check turned up a felony or misdemeanor conviction. Players who refuse to submit a background check will also be turned away.

The new rule does not bar teams from hiring, but it will make it more difficult for players to be seen.

This year's scouting combine takes place Feb. 23-29 in Indianapolis. The draft is scheduled for April 28-30 in Chicago.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Jamie Benn: Blackhawks "Embarrassed Us in Front of Our Fans"]]> Mon, 08 Feb 2016 15:24:15 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/486304901.jpg

Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn didn’t mince words in the wake of Saturday night’s 5-1 home loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.

"They came to play," Benn said, per Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News. "They were ready to go and embarrassed us in front of our fans and in our own building.”

At the very least, the Stars will view Saturday night as a missed opportunity. The team that lost their division lead during a prolonged slump—and while the Blackhawks were riding a hot streak—had been playing better since the All-Star Break, with wins over the Jets and Avalanche last week. The win over the Avs was especially heartening, as the Stars hadn’t beaten them since 2013. It was all set up for the Stars to make a statement, but it was the Blackhawks making the statement on Saturday.

The reigning Stanley Cup champions now lead the Stars by five points in the Central Division.

"It was a huge game," said forward Vernon Fiddler. "We talked about it before the game, what it means, and then we lay an egg. It's unacceptable. There's a lot of disappointed guys in here."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Romo Still Considering Collarbone Procedure, Nothing Set in Stone]]> Mon, 08 Feb 2016 15:03:16 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-503288576%281%29.jpg

According to Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, nothing is set in stone yet where the health of his collarbone is concerned.

Romo made an appearance on Pro Football Talk Live on Friday from Radio Row in San Francisco, and when the topic of the collarbone came up, Romo reminded his hosts that it’s far from guaranteed that he’ll have another procedure to have a plate affixed to the bone—and, hopefully, prevent future breaks.

(But it still sounds like he’s leaning toward the surgery.)

There’s no conclusive anything,” Romo said. “I think you just want to make sure—a silly thing in some ways, I understand it’s an injury—but a little collarbone which really hurts our football team and our season when that happens. I just want to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”

In 2015, Romo appeared in just four games, and broke the collarbone twice. He has now broken the bone three times in his career.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Peyton Manning Explains Eli's Reaction]]> Mon, 08 Feb 2016 20:47:45 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-508990438.jpg

One of the most talked about moments of Super Bowl 50 was when cameras captured the reaction of Eli Manning to his brother's team the Denver Broncos scoring a critical touchdown in the win over the Carolina Panthers.

Everyone has an opinion of what's behind Eli Manning's not-so-pleased expression. Not to mention the hilarious memes that have been created because of it.

But on television Monday morning, Peyton Manning put speculation to rest, explaining why his brother didn't appear to be celebrating along with the rest of the Manning family.

“Eli’s just like me. Eli is analyzing the game. He’s thinking about whether we were going to go for two. Whether it was going to be reviewed,” Manning told CBS News.

“Eli’s kinda like me,” Manning continued. “He wasn’t gonna to relax until that final second ticked off. I’ve had a great chance to celebrate with Eli. He’s very happy and proud of me just like I’ve always been of him.”

Peyton tied his younger brother Sunday for two Super Bowl rings apiece, leading many to wonder whether sibling rivalry had anything to do with Eli's emotionless face.



Photo Credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Iapoce Sees Similarities Between Gallo, Bryant]]> Mon, 08 Feb 2016 14:53:51 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-477513586.jpg

The Rangers' new hitting coach is getting rave reviews from just about anyone worth asking.

Anthony Iapoce served as the minor-league hitting coordinator for the Chicago Cubs organization over the past few years and has taken guys like Kris Bryant, Javier Baez and several other top prospects under his wing and watched them become big leaguers. In Bryant's instance, he was the NL Rookie of the Year just this past season.

The comparisons between Bryant and Rangers power-hitting prospect Joey Gallo are easy to make. They're both young. They're both huge human beings. They both hit baseballs into orbit, and they're both from Las Vegas.

Iapoce discussed the similarities between the two in a discussion with the G-bag Nation on 105.3 The Fan, as well as their differences.

"I think everybody likes to compare them because they're in competition with each other because where they grew up. Kris is a little bit older. Kris turned down the Toronto Blue Jays actually when I was working with them. He turned them down in the 17th round and went off to college for three years. I think the comparison is at the Vegas thing [they both grew up in Las Vegas], that they know each other, they're both tall, they both hit the ball in the air extremely far, farther than a lot other people. It's just continually to learn for Joey. I got the chance to meet with Joey and hang with him. He hits the ball extremely hard. He's a great worker. The sky is the limit for Joey. That first year in the league is tough. One of the things that I talked to Kris about last year when I went up to the big leagues. I said, 'Hey. I'm going to Double-A next week. What do you want me to tell those guys?' He said, 'Man, I thought I was focused in Double-A and Triple-A. Up here, it's a way different type of focus pitch-to-pitch.' That takes learning. It takes confidence to battle and persevere through the down times. I think once you get beat up a little bit you get humbled and then bounce. Some guys go up and down for a bit. That's the thing about the big leagues. Nobody has the same time frame. Nobody knows when a guy is supposedly ready. I can remember being a coordinator and people would be like, 'Is he ready?' And you're just like, 'He's the best player in Triple-A. I don't know if he's going to be ready.'"

Like Iapoce said, Bryant is two years older and played college ball, so he was able to get a little more seasoning. But Gallo very well could find himself a day-to-day role at some point in 2016 with the Rangers after he undoubtedly will start the season in the minors.

One thing is for certain, the future for Gallo and Bryant is bright, and Iapoce will have his hand in both players' success.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Irvin on Newton: "I've Never Lost a Super Bowl, So I Can't Empathize"]]> Mon, 08 Feb 2016 14:49:22 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/michael-irvin-jimmy-johnson.jpg

As you’ve probably heard by now, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton didn’t have a lot to say after the team’s 24-20 Super Bowl loss to the Denver Broncos in Santa Clara on Sunday. By ESPN’s count, of the 13 questions he was asked before walking off, he answered 11 of them in three words or less.

Hall of Fame receiver turned NFL Network analyst Michael Irvin said when asked about the brief interview that he can’t really identify with Newton’s postgame frustration, for one key reason.

I’ve never lost in a Super Bowl, so I can’t empathize,” Irvin told Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News.

Deion Sanders, on the other hand, took Newton to task for his actions after the loss.

"You are the face of our brand right now," Sanders said, per FoxSports.com. "You can't do that. I understand the emotions of losing. You can't do that. A Manning, a Brady, all of those guys who have been prototypical [guys] would never do that.

"You can't be dabbin', smiling, styling and profiling when you win, so this is how you go out when you lose?"

]]>
<![CDATA[DeSoto Product Von Miller: "MVP is Great, But I'll Take the Ring"]]> Mon, 08 Feb 2016 14:31:57 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/von-miller-mvp-desoto.jpg

As a high school kid growing up in DeSoto, TX, Von Miller idolized then-Dallas Cowboys pass rusher DeMarcus Ware. On Sunday night, he won a Super Bowl with him, and Miller, not the veteran Ware was named Most Valuable Player.

To be sure, it was a well-earned honor. Miller finished with six tackles, 2.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. His two strip-sacks of Cam Newton led directly to 14 points for the Broncos, this on a night that they won 24-10. But afterward, Miller made clear that MVP award was just the icing on the cake—the Super Bowl win is the cake.

"If I could cut this award, I would give it to DeMarcus [Ware] and [Derek] Wolfe and all the other guys," Miller said, per Paul Gutierrez of ESPN. "That's what I would do. This is all great and stuff, but for me, I want to be with my guys. I would take the ring.

“The MVP is great, but I'll take the ring. I want to go in there with my teammates."

]]>
<![CDATA[Ware Wishes He Could Share SB Experience with Witten, Romo]]> Mon, 08 Feb 2016 14:14:50 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/demarcus-ware-sbchampion.jpg

Denver Broncos defensive end DeMarcus Ware was asked shortly after the clock ran out in Santa Clara if the victory wasn’t a little bittersweet given all the years of striving for the same goal (but falling short) with the Dallas Cowboys, the team that drafted him, and the future Hall of Famer didn’t shy away from acknowledging that there was some of that in there.

"Is this bittersweet? Yeah,” Ware said, per the Dallas Morning News. “You play for a team for a long time, and you think about, you know, you would really like to play for them. But now you went to another team and there is change. Every year, you always feel like you're going to make the Super Bowl, but you weren't able to finish it out. You have to cherish where your feet are, you have to live in the moment, and it's an experience for you.

"It's a big opportunity to be here. I'm looking forward to whatever comes at me.”

Ware, the Cowboys’ all-time sacks leader, had a pair of sacks of Cam Newton on Sunday, and five tackles. But celebrating after, Ware couldn’t help but think of a few former teammates he wishes could have been there with him.

"I wish Jason Witten was here," Ware said. "Or Tony Romo was here. Jay Ratliff. Chris Canty."

]]>
<![CDATA[Manziel's Ex Details Alleged Beating in Court Docs]]> Mon, 08 Feb 2016 23:07:15 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/JohnnyManziel-AP_324132097739.jpg

NFL quarterback Johnny Manziel hit his girlfriend Colleen Crowley so severely on Jan. 29 that she suffered a ruptured eardrum and still can't hear in her left ear, the woman's attorney said Monday.

"They expect (her ear) to heal but it'll take a while," Dallas attorney Kathy Kinser told NBC 5.

Kinser represents Crowley, who wrote in an application for a protective order that she and Manziel dated for two years and lived together for four months in Cleveland before the alleged attack in Dallas last month.

Dallas police re-opened the criminal case on Friday and NBC 5 has reported that police in Fort Worth are also investigating.

Manziel, the Cleveland Browns quarterback who became the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy while playing at Texas A&M, agreed to the order, which forbids him from seeing her for two years.

Crowley's version of what happened that night, including more alleged violence and threats that Manziel would kill himself, is detailed in a sworn statement she wrote to obtain the protective order. Manziel's attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.

She said the two went to dinner at Victor Tangos restaurant in Dallas with three friends, then went to two bars before going to an "after party" at Hotel ZaZa. The friends left Manziel and Crowley alone.

"We planned to spend the night together in his room there," Crowley said in the statement.

"We started having a discussion about things I had heard earlier in the week about him being with a girl who had caused us problems in the past," Crowley said. "I told (him) that if I was going to spend the night, it would be on the couch."

Crowley said Manziel threw her on the bed.

"He claimed it was 'playfully' but it frightened me and I took it seriously," she said.

Crowley said she decided to leave the hotel but he "restrained" her from leaving.

"I tried to fight him off," she said. "I became very scared that he was going to hurt me."

She said Manziel continued to restrain her and led her down a back stairway to the valet.

"When we got to the valet, I was crying and begged the valet, 'Please don't let him take me. I'm scared for my life," she wrote. "The valet replied, 'I don't know what to do,' and allowed Manziel to "literally throw me in the front passenger seat of his car."

In a statement to NBC 5, Avi Niego, manager at Hotel ZaZa said, "(It) is our policy not to comment publicly on any aspect of our operation."

Manziel and Crowley drove to a nearby bar where she had earlier parked her car, she said.

"I jumped out of the car and ran across the street and hid behind some bushes," she said. "He flipped a U-turn and pulled right in to where I was hiding. He grabbed me by my hair and threw me back into the car."

That's when Crowley said Manziel hit her in the head on her left ear.

Crowley said she tried to hit back but Manziel threw her off and she hit her head on the car window and fell on the floorboard.

"Still fearful for my life, I stayed in the floorboard motionless until (Manziel) pulled me back onto the seat. He was telling me to 'stop' and wouldn't let me have my phone.'"

The two drove down Interstate 30 from Dallas to Fort Worth, where Crowley, a TCU student, has an apartment.

Crowley said she at first told him she hated him but Manziel told her he was going to take her car and kill himself.

"I thought maybe he was on drugs or having a psychotic break so to keep him calm I began telling him, 'I love you. We can figure this out. We can talk,'" she said.

Manziel started laughing, she said.

"I started crying even more and he told me, 'Shut up or I'll kill us both,'" she said.

She said he responded by saying, "I would never kill you. You don't deserve that. I would only kill myself."

Crowley said they arrived at her apartment and continued to fight, which she described as "more verbal than physical."

"He then smashed my phone onto the tile in my apartment entry," she said. "I was in my kitchen so out of fear for my life, I pulled a knife out of my knife block and advanced toward him. He ran out of the apartment."

She said she screamed for help and a neighbor came out. He ran.

Fort Worth police have said officers searched for him with the help of a helicopter but couldn't find him.

"I continue to be extremely concerned for my health and well-being," Crowley wrote.

Manziel signed the protective order, agreeing not to be around Crowley for two years and pay Crowley's attorney's fees of $12,500.

Manziel's attorney, who is listed on the court documents as Brad Beckworth of Austin, did not return a telephone call seeking comment Monday.

Kinser said Crowley met with Dallas police on Friday.

Dallas police have released no new information on the case since announcing on Friday they were investigating.

Colleen E. Crowley's Application for Protective Order



Photo Credit: File – AP
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Lynch Retires in Lynchest Way Possible]]> Mon, 08 Feb 2016 13:07:12 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/191*120/marshawn1.jpg

Marshawn Lynch only spoke to the media at the Super Bowl last year so, famously, he wouldn't get fined. And he was sure to let the media know that, as his "I'm just here so I won't get fined" was his canned response to every question he got.

Annoying? Maybe. Ridiculous? Probably. But it was Lynch, and he stuck to his guns, and he isn't the type that sought attention when he was doing well and shut down when things were bad. It's just who he is.

So on Sunday night when Lynch decided to announce his retirement to the world, he chose the most #BeastMode way ever to do it, with one beastly tweet.

No words. Just a "peace out" emoji and a picture of his Seahawk green cleats hanging over a wire.

[[368065831,C]]

It was subtle, and it was pretty awesome.

Now we can officially put to rest any talk of Lynch coming to Dallas and we can just appreciate the greatness that was #BeastMode by reliving #BeastQuake by fast-forwarding to the 1:40 mark in this video and being in awe.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Mavs Fans Rejoice, Derek Fisher Fired]]> Mon, 08 Feb 2016 11:54:57 -0600 > at TD Garden on February 25, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts.]]> > at TD Garden on February 25, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts.]]> http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Derek-Fisher-back-Lakers.jpg

I’m so happy for Derek Fisher, because now he has more time to spend with his precious family.

But, let’s be honest, I’m even happier because he got fired.

Fisher was axed by the Phil Jackson and the New York Knicks this morning, in the wake of a 1-9 stretch and a disappointing 23-31 season, which is coming on the heels of last season’s 17-65 nightmare. Which, to me – a Mavs fan with a decent memory – still makes him a better coach than he is a human being.

It was Fisher, remember, who absolutely used and exploited the Mavericks back in 2012.

The move, in fact, earned him a place on my list of the Mavs’ Top 10 All-Time Villains.

In November of 2012 the Mavs needed veteran point guard help to compliment Darren Collison. Fisher, though 38 at the time, was a free agent looking for a job. He reached out to Mavs owner Mark Cuban, lobbying for a gig.

Cuban took the bait, the Mavs signed the five-time NBA champion and … after just nine games Fisher up and quit.

He asked for his release from Dallas, under the guise of “missing my family”.

But just two months later Fisher signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder, raising eyebrows and Cuban’s blood pressure.

Obviously Fisher pulled a scam, intent on buying time and earning money from the Mavs while searching for a role on a contending team. Either that or — as Cuban noted with sarcasm — Fisher got tired of his kids real quick.

Personally, I’m ecstatic Fisher failed in New York.

Now he can spend time more time with his family. Until, you know, a better offer comes along.

A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Wade Phillips Finally Wins His Championship]]> Mon, 08 Feb 2016 11:46:46 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/487111712.jpg

I was harsh to Wade Phillips during his time with the Cowboys.

Why? Because his team totally quit on him during a 45-7 loss to the Packers in mid-2010.

Because, despite an upset home playoff loss to the Giants in 2007, he ridiculously reminded fans that “being one of the last four teams (in the NFC) is an accomplishment we can proud of.”

And, mostly, because the self-proclaimed “Mr. FixIt” ambled aloof along the sidelines with not the demeanor of a head coach, but more a clumsy, dawdling employee just called out of some maintenance shed.

But, alas, in the wake of Sunday’s dominating Super Bowl 50 performance by his Broncos’ defense, I will hereby retire the moniker I used for Phillips in Dallas.

Then: Stumbledufus.

Now: Champion.

After 38 seasons in the NFL – his first job was with the Oilers in 1976 – Phillips finally has his first Super Bowl ring.

It was hard to not be happy for Phillips and former Cowboys’ defensive end DeMarcus Wade. And it was impossible to not be impressed at how Phillips’ defense shut down MVP Cam Newton and the NFL’s highest-scoring offense.

The guy that was fired by both Texas teams, and who was out of the NFL in 2014 without a job, found "Superman’s" kryptonite, holding Carolina to one measly touchdown.

The key? Phillips flooded the line of scrimmage, brought a variety of blitzes and dared Newton to be smart enough, and accurate enough, to beat Denver’s one-on-one coverage in the secondary. It was a mismatch.

The Broncos recorded seven sacks, forced four turnovers and proved that dabbin’ wins endorsements, but defense wins championships.

After the game Wade said he was thinking of his father, Bum, who raised him in righteousness and football near Houston.

“My dad,” Phillips said after the game. “He’s influenced everything in my life. I miss him. But we kicked the door in this time. I know he’d be proud of me.”

With a day to reflect on his accomplishment, Wade grew a tad more salty, evidenced by a post on his Twitter account:

A little Dab will do you, but too much Dab will undo you!

Okay, maybe from now on he’s Superdufus?

A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Scouting the NFL Draft: WR Laquon Treadwell]]> Mon, 08 Feb 2016 11:25:47 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-489226818.jpg

Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
Ht. 6020, Wt. 210, Arm: -, Hand: -, Bench: -
40 yd: -, 10 yd.: -, 3 Cone: -, Vertical: -, Broad: -
Games Watched: Alabama (2014), Florida, Auburn

If you think other games better reflect this player’s ability or you want to request a profile on a specific player, email me or hit me up on Twitter.

Ole Miss wide receiver Laquon Treadwell is yet another 5-star recruit to start producing immediately as a freshman at a Power-Five school. He led team with 72 catches as a freshman and was voted second team all-conference. He showed improvement as a sophomore until he broke his leg and dislocated his ankle against Auburn in 2014.

Treadwell rehabbed from injury and returned for his junior season to lead the conference in receiving yards and become the first WR in school history to be named a Biletnikoff Award finalist. Despite leaving school early and missing nearly a third of his second season, he ranks among the leaders in
school history in most receiving categories.

Strengths

• Hands - Sure hands and catches away from his body
• Catch Radius - Catches everything near him*
• Size - Physical X prototype
• Body Control - Ability to adjust to ball in air
• Route Running - Consistently separates from DBs in man coverage
• Understands Coverage - Finds space against zone coverage
• Shifty After Catch - Moves like a water bug, despite size
• Route Versatility - Can beat any coverage at any level
• Willing Blocker - Often pancakes DBs downfield

Weaknesses

• Injuries - Major leg injuries lead to durability questions
• Long Speed - I could see a slow 40 dropping his stock
• *Focus Drops - Tries to run before securing catch

Verdict: Top-5 Pick

"Baby Dez," indeed. If Ole Miss had a good quarterback, Treadwell might have been in consideration for the Heisman Trophy last season. He nearly always has a step on those covering and he's a nightmare when the ball is in the air and after the catch.

Wide receiver isn't high on the list of needs for the Cowboys, but there might not be more than a couple of players that can impact the team like Treadwell can right away. Dallas needs to land an elite player at No. 4 and Treadwell fits the bill. While it's way too early to stack the Cowboys' big board, it's not a reach to say he'd be a fine choice at that slot.

*Format for height used at the NFL Scouting Combine. First digit is height in feet, second two digits are inches and the fourth digit is eighth inches (e.g. 6052 is 6"5 1/4")



Photo Credit: Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers Barge Into Super Bowl With Brilliance]]> Mon, 08 Feb 2016 11:05:12 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/rangers-commercial-twitter.jpg

It wasn’t as funny as Beyonce almost busting her divine derriere. It wasn’t as weird as PuppyMonkeyBaby. And it was even the wrong sport, a slice of baseball crow-barred into football’s ultimate game.

Nonetheless, the Rangers’ 30-second commercial during Super Bowl 50 got us amped for spring training. And more.

The spot featured manager Jeff Banister, raising a toast to his team in the clubhouse after clinching the AL West in September.

“Here’s one to ya,” he says. “We ain’t done yet.”

Never mind that Mavs owner Mark Cuban uttered that same phrase after his team’s win in the 2011 Western Conference Finals and en route to the NBA title. Never mind that watching DeMarcus Ware win a trophy invoked the same, bittersweet feelings we had when Pudge Rodriguez was cut by the Rangers only to win a ring in Florida. And never mind that this morning’s bone-jarring wind chill isn’t exactly sprouting images of our national pastime.

The Rangers’ commercial was a happy, hope-infused dose of baseball. And even during the Super Bowl, it felt just right.

A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.



Photo Credit: Texas Rangers/Twitter
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Moreland Hearing Set for Wednesday]]> Mon, 08 Feb 2016 10:59:54 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/492376936.jpg

Back in the year 2000 (cue Conan O'Brien bit), the Texas Rangers went to an arbitration hearing with Lee Stevens. It was surely uncomfortable as all arbitration hearings are for both sides, really, in what basically amounts to something similar to divorce court.

Players argue their case and why they deserve X amount of money, while the team counters and argues why said player doesn't deserve that much money, but X amount, instead.

That's where the Rangers are headed with first baseman Mitch Moreland, who is second-year arbitration eligible before hitting full-fledged free agency after the 2016 season. Time is running out for the two sides to reach a settlement before their hearing, which is scheduled for Wednesday.

The sides are a decent amount of money apart coming off Moreland's career year in which he was able to stay healthy for the first time in a couple of years and made the move to being the full-time first baseman after he and Prince Fielder agreed on an early-season switch to make Fielder the full-time designated hitter.

Moreland's WAR (wins above replacement) was one of the highest on the roster with his plus glove and his 25-homer power as he was second on the team in RBIs, as well. He has a strong case, and it would most likely be in the Rangers' best interest to settle before trashing a key player and probably losing a hearing.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Owens Misses Hall Cut, For Now]]> Mon, 08 Feb 2016 11:13:32 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/769695411.jpg

In somewhat of a shocker, Terrell Owens took the news of his Hall of Fame exclusion on his first try of getting in pretty well, and instead of bellyaching, he actually took the gracious approach.

The former Dallas Cowboys nemesis, turned Cowboy, tweeted out his congratulations to the 2016 class, including fellow wide receiver great Marvin Harrison.

It was a near certainty Owens wasn't getting in this time around, not with Harrison still waiting in the wings and with his reputation as a locker room cancer throughout his career.

But make no mistake, Owens will be in sooner rather than later after putting up ridiculous numbers in what was definitely a Hall of Fame career.

Also, as crazy and wacky as he was, he never got in trouble off the field other than being divisive in locker rooms and not being the best teammate in the world.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Elliott Would Love to be a Cowboy]]> Mon, 08 Feb 2016 10:34:11 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/AP200545913554.jpg

Although the Cowboys' draft position doesn't really match up with Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott, the back-to-back 1,800-yard rusher has made it be known he'd love to be running the ball for the Cowboys next season.

The Cowboys have the No. 4 overall pick, and Elliott is projected to go somewhere in the 10-15 range as the top running back on many draft boards, so he'd be quite a reach for the Cowboys at No. 4, and the Cowboys have bigger needs than drafting a running back, anyway.

But, it's still flattering to hear Elliott's reason for wanting be in Dallas so badly.

"I want to go and play behind that great offensive line that they got down in Dallas," Elliott told NFL.com, also suggesting he'd like to end up in Chicago.

It's easy to see why. The Cowboys had three Pro Bowlers up front who before 2015 were three straight first-round picks by the club.

Pro Football Focus ranked the Cowboys as the league's best in its run-blocking grades while the team averaged 4.6 yards per carry, the fifth-best in the league, even after they letting DeMarco Murray walk in free agency and cutting ties with Joseph Randle and leaning on injury-prone vet Darren McFadden, who ended up having a great year well beyond expectations.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Manning Has Weirdest Postgame Ever]]> Mon, 08 Feb 2016 10:30:03 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-508990854.jpg

Peyton Manning had some things on his mind after winning his second Super Bowl title on Sunday night in what was most likely the final NFL game he will ever play.

You ready? It was a pretty succinct list.

Here goes nothing: Kiss his wife, see his family, drink a ton of Budweiser and say some prayers to the man upstairs. That was his to-do list after winning Super Bowl 50 with the Broncos on Sunday night as he stopped short of announcing his retirement on national television.

But before that, he had to kiss the owner of Papa John's.

Yep, it happened.

Manning reeled off his odd to-do list, seemingly cementing himself a new deal as a pitch man for Budweiser, not just once immediately after the game to the CBS sideline reporter, he did it again with Jim Nantz on the podium in the middle of the field at Levi's Stadium.

Is Peyton Manning finished? I mean, he has to be, right? He is such a shell of his former self and he just went out on top ala his boss, John Elway. And if he is, he had one of the oddest, most memorable postgame routines in the history of man.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Good, Bad, Ugly from Super Bowl 50]]> Mon, 08 Feb 2016 08:33:50 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/CHOPPER+LEVIS+DAY+AFTER+-+06093426.jpg NBC 5's David Watkins discusses the good, the bad and the ugly from the Denver Broncos' 24-10 Super Bowl victory over the Carolina Panthers.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area chopper]]>
<![CDATA[Newy Scruggs Breaks Down Super Bowl 50]]> Mon, 08 Feb 2016 07:21:03 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy-Scruggs-Cropped-2015.jpg NBC 5's sports director Newy Scruggs breaks down the Broncos win over the Panthers at Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara, California.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News ]]>
<![CDATA[Tweet From Seahawks' Lynch May Indicate Retirement]]> Sun, 07 Feb 2016 22:28:56 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/MarshawnLynch-AP_324019937170.jpg

Leave it to Marshawn Lynch to be at the center of attention in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl.

Except this time, Lynch may have given the surest sign he's on the verge of retirement.

Lynch, the mercurial Seattle Seahawks running back, sent a tweet during the fourth quarter of Sunday's Super Bowl with a pair of cleats hanging from a power or telephone line, along with an emoji depicting a peace sign. It certainly wasn't a definitive statement that Lynch is ready to call it a career, but it would fit with a mounting stack of evidence that the bruising running back is ready to move on from football.

Lynch's teammates in Seattle were certainly taking his tweet as a statement of retirement. Doug Baldwin, Bruce Irvin, Paul Richardson and Richard Sherman were among the many teammates to pay tribute to Lynch on social media.

"Salute to my guy @MoneyLynch ... It was an honor sharing the field with you," Sherman wrote on Twitter.

"To one of the greatest teammates I've ever had the pleasure of suiting up with. Salute. #Beastmode," Baldwin posted on Instagram.

Messages left for Lynch's representatives were not immediately returned.

The tweet from Lynch also backed statements from Jan. 22 by Seattle general manager John Schneider in a pair of radio interviews that indicated Lynch was leaning toward retirement. Schneider said in separate interviews with two Seattle radio stations that he believes Lynch is leaning toward calling it a career after an injury-filled 2015 season.

Schneider first appeared on KIRO-AM, the team's flagship station, saying the team was going to give Lynch time and leeway to decide what he wants to do, but added he was "under the impression" Lynch was leaning toward retirement.

Later on KJR-AM, Schneider hedged his comments slightly, but reiterated that he thought Lynch was considering stepping away.

"I really, honestly don't know at this point," Schneider said on KJR. "If you put a gun to my head I would say he is leaning toward retirement. But I think with Marshawn you never really know. He's a fierce competitor. We just have to handle it the right way in terms of showing him as much respect as we possibly can for everything he's done for this organization."

ESPN reported earlier Sunday without identifying its sources that Lynch had been telling close friends he was planning to retire.

Lynch will turn 30 in April and is coming off an injury-plagued 2015 season where he was limited to just seven games in the regular season and one of Seattle's two playoff games. Lynch was bothered by hamstring and calf issues early in the season and later missed the final seven regular-season games with an abdominal injury that required surgery. Lynch returned for the NFC divisional playoff game at Carolina but was mostly a non-factor with the Seahawks falling behind 14-0 in the opening moments of the loss.

Lynch was limited to just 111 carries and 417 yards in the regular season, the first season of his career where injuries have been a significant factor.

Lynch would cost the Seahawks $11.5 million against the salary cap for the 2016 season, a massive number for a running back of his age, but Schneider had indicated changes would be needed if Lynch wanted to return. 



Photo Credit: AP
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Levi's Stadium Turf Causes Issues for Super Bowl 50 Players]]> Sun, 07 Feb 2016 20:50:43 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/levi-stadium-turf-new.jpg

Players on the Broncos and Panthers were forced to change cleats during the first half of Super Bowl 50 due to footing issues with the Levi's Stadium sod.

[[367984631, C]]

About halfway through the second quarter, CBS sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson said, not only were Carolina and Denver players changing cleats mid-game, they were complaining about slippage in the Levi’s Stadium turf.

The 2-year-old stadium has a history of turf troubles. The field was replaced at least six times this season, SI reports.

But Sunday’s problems can’t be blamed on the 49ers. The NFL took over the stadium prior to the Super Bowl and new turf was installed last month ahead of the Sunday's game.

Field issues had the stadium in the spotlight back in October when Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker slipped during a field goal attempt.

During the preseason, the San Francisco 49ers were forced to move the team’s open practice off the turf due to "poor field conditions."

[[334406511, C]]

CSN Bay Area's Scott Bair contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: Getty
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Celebrities at Super Bowl 50]]> Mon, 08 Feb 2016 08:44:40 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/AMBRO_GettyImages-508985750.jpg Famous faces dotted the crowds at Super Bowl 50 as A-list celebrities flocked to see the Carolina Panthers take on the Denver Broncos at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[PHOTOS: Super Bowl 50]]> Mon, 08 Feb 2016 08:58:36 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-508990588.jpg

Photo Credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[What Could Have Been for SMU Basketball]]> Sun, 07 Feb 2016 15:33:13 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Tolbert_Jordan+-+game+3+-+photo+2.JPG

You got to feel for someone like Jordan Tolbert.
The Fort Worth native transfers to SMU from Texas Tech, where he was the best player on the court for the Red Raiders. The move to The Hilltop was a chance for Tolbert to shine.
The Mustangs looked like a team that could do some damage and make a run in the NCAA Tournament. Adding someone like Tolbert, who can put points on the board and clean up the glass, can make SMU a Final Four team.
Then the bottom fell out.
The Mustangs basketball program gets hit with a NCAA postseason ban for multiple rules violations, taking away what could have been one of the fun teams to watch in March.
Hall of Fame head coach Larry Brown’s squad showed the potential, starting out the season 18-0 and landing in the Top 10 before tasting defeat at Temple. Basketball in the American Athletic Conference is no joke.
But you got to give it up to the Mustangs, those kids go out there and put on a show despite the fact their season ends early this time around. High-risers like Sterling Brown and Ben Moore throwing down nasty dunks, Tolbert and Markus Kennedy bringing a tough presence down on the blocks. The backcourt of Nic Moore and Shake Milton (how great is it that Shake is the name of a guard) is probably one of the more underrated tandems in the nation. Moore has been a difference-maker in the last couple of games, lighting it up from the three-point land. 17 points, eight assists in Sunday's 92-58 win over USF, just another day at the office for Moore.

It’s a shame we won’t get to see more of this in March. It would have been all sorts of fun watching this team do its thing come tourney time. 



Photo Credit: Vladimir Cherry]]>
<![CDATA[Cannabis Activists: Pot Could Help Cure 1 of NFL's Ills]]> Sun, 07 Feb 2016 08:03:00 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/CTE-split-stabler-seau.jpg

With much of the NFL world camped out in the San Francisco Bay Area in the days before Super Bowl 50, researchers released sobering news: late Oakland Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler had a degenerative brain disease associated with repeated blows to the head.

Later Wednesday, another late, great QB, Earl Morrall, also was revealed to have had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which is associated with memory loss, impaired judgment and progressive dementia. Dozens of former players have been diagnosed, some who died in old age, like Frank Gifford, and a few who took their lives, like Junior Seau.

There is no known treatment for CTE, not least because there's no test that can point it out in the living — it's detected in post-mortem brain scans. But to one former player who's sure his nine-year career gave him the disease, there's an obvious treatment that isn't allowed in the NFL, even though it would be easy to score not far from Levi's Stadium on Super Bowl Sunday for anyone with a doctor's note: medical marijuana.

"If cannabis is implemented and (the NFL) can lead the science on this, they can resolve this brain injury situation in a big way," Kyle Turley said.

Turley is at the forefront of a vocal movement arguing that medical marijuana's pain-suppressing and possible neuroprotective benefits make it the only effective treatment for the effects that chronic concussive blows to the head have on football players. As co-founder of the Gridiron Cannabis Coalition, Turley is the movement's most outspoken member, but it also includes other retired players and rapper/marijuana entrepreneur Snoop Dogg.

More players' brains are found to show signs of CTE with each year that passes. Researchers at Boston University have found evidence of CTE in 96 percent of the NFL players' brains they examined. At the same time, more states are allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana as a medicine – 23 so far, according to National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

California was the first state to legalize medicinal marijuana, and remains the only medical marijuana-legal state so far to host the Super Bowl. Nearly half of the medical marijuana identification cards issued in California were prescribed in the Bay Area, according to the Department of Public Health.

A small body of research suggests marijuana can heal head trauma, yet Turley wonders why the league isn't investigating the drug as a medicine. To advocates, hosting the Super Bowl in the region is almost hypocritical, given what they see happening to the heads of NFL players and the spiraling lives of some former players.

"The NFL's policy against medical marijuana is stupid and counterproductive," said Dale Gieringer, director of the California chapter of NORML, in an email calling the NFL out of touch with the laws of the state. "There's no doubt NFL players would be better off with medical access to marijuana."

The NFL did not comment for this story.

Jump to: 
>>
Science, the Brain and Medical Marijuana
>>
The NFL, CTE and Medical Marijuana

Hard-Knock Lives

Turley is a former defensive lineman who has been extremely outspoken about his medical struggles after playing for three NFL teams in nine years.

A New Yorker article from 2009 describes him blacking out at a Nashville concert, feeling much the same way he did when he was kneed in the head during a game years earlier. The former lineman had recently retired and was taking painkillers. He wound up in the hospital, where he said he briefly lost nearly all control of his body.

"Before quitting all the pills and committing to cannabis ... my life was a train wreck, plain and simple," Turley told NBC Owned Television Stations.

Today, Turley has eliminated all other chemicals from his system, from Aleve to Zoloft, he said. The San Diego resident has found strains of marijuana that relieve pain and other strains with effects comparable to the psychiatric pill Vicodin, but without the narcotic effects.

Medical marijuana has fairly well known, though not conclusively proven, pain relieving benefits. But to Turley, the drug also treats mental anguish he believes comes from CTE. There is very little research on that front, but the 40-year-old father insists marijuana has given him stability after recently feeling despondent and suicidal.

"The reality is I don't think about those things anymore. And if it wasn't for cannabis, I wouldn't be where I am mentally," Turley said.

Turley swears that marijuana use is rampant in the NFL – "from players to coaches to owners, marijuana is in the National Football League" – but only a handful of players have spoken out about using it. They emphasize the mental clarity it offers as much as the pain relief.

"I always healed fast, ahead of schedule; was never really very swollen; my mind was very sharp, and after concussions medicated with it," Nate Jackson told marijuana magazine High Times this week, discussing how marijuana helped him in his days with the Broncos in the 2000s.

It's not just young players who swear by pot, either. Jim McMahon, one of the heroes of the Chicago Bears' 1985 championship, revealed last month that he weaned himself off pharmaceutical drugs that left his head feeling fuzzy.

"This medical marijuana has been a godsend. It relieves me of the pain – or thinking about it, anyway," he told The Chicago Tribune.

But there isn't much medical research to back up their claims.

Science, the Brain and Medical Marijuana
Most medical marijuana advocacy is directed at the drug's pain-relieving qualities, which may be recognized by many states, but not the federal government. The FDA has not approved marijuana as a drug, though it notes there is widespread general interest in its potential as a less addictive alternative to painkillers.

But last year, the Journal of the American Medical Association found only some evidence that medical marijuana and similar drugs help chronic pain, less evidence for help with nausea and brain disorders and a risk of adverse effects, including nausea, fatigue and confusion. The National Institute on Drug Abuse says long-term marijuana use can affect learning, thinking and memory, and has been linked to mental illness and depression.

Advocates dispute those claims, and in the case of brain trauma, their case is bolstered, in some sense, by the fact that little research has been done on medical marijuana's effects on the brain.

The psychoactive chemical in medical marijuana, THC, was associated with a significantly improved mortality rate in patients who sustained traumatic brain injuries, according to a 2014 UCLA study. A study by Michigan State University researchers found that, in test tubes, THC reduced tau deposits, which indicate CTE and Alzheimer's.

Marijuana advocates cite these and some other studies when describing the drug's purported neuroprotective effects, saying it may be able to protect and heal brain cells in a way no other drugs can.

Other supporters only go as far as saying they intoxicate and sedate patients less than opiates do, and are easier on the stomach than anti-inflammatories, like Berkeley Dr. Frank Lucido, who says he has prescribed marijuana to two former NFL players. Asked about any neuroprotective effects, he noted they were unproven in humans.

Turley and others who do believe the drug can protect or restore neurological function mainly argue that more research needs to be done, and soon. A federal study found in 2012 that retired players were three times likelier to die of neurodegenerative diseases than the U.S. population on the whole.

"NFL pockets are deep enough to support a crash research program to determine that this combination of cannabinoids is effective in preventing the consequences of concussion," Harvard emeritus professor of Psychiatry Lester Grinspoon wrote in an open letter to the commissioner of the NFL in 2014.

For now, marijuana remains a problem in the NFL, subject to fines and suspensions during the season for repeat offenders, just as the federal government continues to classify marijuana as one of the most dangerous drugs.

Turley hopes his Gridiron Cannabis Coalition will help change that position, as much for the players as for Alzheimer's patients and others he thinks can benefit from cannabis.

"The attitude of the active players is the attitude of police forces around our country," Turley said. "It is absurd that this continues to be a reason for a player to be suspended or someone is arrested. We don't want to deal with this anymore."

The NFL, CTE and Medical Marijuana 
On Saturday, the NFL announced that Ken Stabler will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. If last year's ceremony is any indication, CTE will hardly be mentioned at all when he is honored.

The 2015 induction of Junior Seau, who was 43 when he killed himself, was marred by the league's initial refusal to let his family speak at the ceremony. The league cited a long-standing policy, but many noted that the family had sued the NFL, saying his suicide was at least partially caused by repeated hits to the head sustained in his playing days. His daughter eventually did speak, and did not mention Seau's brain.

Though the league settled concussion-connected lawsuits last year involving thousands of former players, about 200 opted out, including Seau's family. The suits claimed players weren't properly protected from concussions or informed of their risks.

The NFL did not admit liability in settling the suits. Since CTE has become associated with football, the NFL has also donated a substantial amount of money to research, including $30 million to the National Institutes of Health – its largest-ever donation to any organization.

As for medical marijuana use, there are signs that the league's position could change.

A representative for the the NFL Player's Association told NBC Owned Television Stations it is reviewing medical-marijuana policy, though didn't comment further. The union works with the NFL to set the league's drug policy.

And the league that doled out four drug-related suspensions to Ricky Williams – the electric running back whose career is now synonymous with marijuana in the game – has recently expressed more openness toward medical marijuana, if not the drug on the whole.

Commissioner Roger Goodell briefly addressed the issue in the run-up to last year's Super Bowl, saying the NFL could one day condone cannabis as a treatment but that its medical experts didn't yet consider its use proper.

If the league did decide to reverse course on the issue, it would still face a major hurdle: the federal ban on marijuana would mean players without contracts might gravitate to teams in states where medication was legal.

Not that that should stop the league from trying, said Turley, a fiery speaker about the cause.

"It would have been an amazing opportunity for the NFL to have dealt with this proactively, instead of allowing this to be another thing that shows their desire to really change things is very lackluster," Turley said.

Turley, Williams and McMahon will all talk about their experiences with marijuana this month at the Southwest Cannabis Conference and Expo in Dallas, the first marijuana conference in a state that hasn’t legalized marijuana medicinally, according to Rory Mendoza, the event’s organizer.

Their goal, for now is to slowly raise awareness about how the drug helped them, like a football team grinding out a long drive a few yards at a time.

And on Sunday, Turley will be watching the Super Bowl at home with family and friends, avoiding intoxicants and drugs – except the one he believes can save his life, which he long ago dedicated to football.  



Photo Credit: Getty Images, File
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Broncos Player Surprises Fan With Super Bowl 50 Tickets]]> Sun, 07 Feb 2016 12:22:35 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/vernon+1.jpeg

A Denver Broncos player visited a cancer and heart transplant patient the night before the Super Bowl and was moved to tears by the encounter.

Alex Walter, who is undergoing treatment at Lucile Packard Children Hospital Stanford, is an ardent Broncos fan who had long dreamed of meeting a team player.

His surprise came in two parts.

Walter, 18, was first bowled over Tuesday when Vernon Davis decided to stop by.

The Montana teen again was left dumbfounded Saturday when the tight-end handed him two tickets to watch Super Bowl 50 between Davis' Broncos and the Carolina Panthers.

Walter said he has been a Broncos supporter since he was 2 years old and is particularly in awe of wide-receiver Demaryius Thomas as well as Davis, for whom he made a bracelet out of his Beads of Courage.

Deeming the experience "cool," Walter said he was excited for the Broncos to defeat the Panthers and to be able to watch them do it. He said he plans to give his second ticket to a friend who is also a patient at Lucile Packard.

Meanwhile, Davis teared up looking at the beaming teenager.

"It brings joy to my heart ... to be able to give him the tickets," he said. "It means a lot to me … to see everything come to fruition for him."

[[367953961, C]]

Davis said also that he makes a conscious effort to be compassionate and uplifting and found himself filled with gratitude at being able to "share this experience" with Walter.

Pediatric oncologist Sheri Spunt recalled Walter predicting that he would "freak out" if he ever met the Broncos, prompting hospital officials to take to social media earlier in the week to get the team’s attention.

Walter, who attends classes at Lucile Packard, has to undergo chemotherapy for a year and also been through radiation therapy, she said.

"He was born with congenital heart disease and had multiple heart surgeries and, ultimately, required a heart transplant," Spunt said. "Then unfortunately several years after that he was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, which is a relatively uncommon type of childhood cancer."

A lifelong Broncos fan herself, Spunt quipped that she was jealous that Walter would be at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara on Sunday.

"Going to the Super Bowl is awesome and I know that he is going to be very excited," Spunt said."He’s the kind of guy who comes even during the off-season wearing his Broncos gear. So I know he will be absolutely thrilled to go to the Super Bowl and see his favorite team."

For her part, Walter’s mother Ronda also shared in her son’s amazement.

"He is so excited about the whole experience!" she said.

NBC Bay Area's Robert Beasom contributed to this report.

[[247269581, C]]



Photo Credit: Robert Beasom]]>
<![CDATA[Inside High School Sports: Segment 4]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 21:00:27 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/IHSS_Segment_4_1200x675_617855043979.jpg February 6, 2016: NBC 5's David Watkins and Plano West guard Natalie Chou break down this week's 3 to C top plays.]]> <![CDATA[Inside High School Sports: Segment 3]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 20:58:13 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NEW_IHSS_Segment_3_1200x675_617877059516.jpg February 6, 2016: Plano West guard Natalie Chou and head coach Kristen Perry are in studio as Chou receives the Last Week's MVP bobblehead.]]> <![CDATA[Inside High School Sports: Segment 2]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 20:28:51 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/IHSS_Segment_2_1200x675_617853507785.jpg February 6, 2016: Highlights from Cedar Hill at Duncanville, Allen at Plano West, Colleyville Heritage at LD Bell, Trinity at Southlake Carroll and McKinney at Wylie East.]]> <![CDATA[Inside High School Sports: Segment 1]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 21:01:00 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/IHSS_Segment_1_1200x675_617857603624.jpg February 6, 2016: Highlights from the Game of the Week between DeSoto and South Grand Prairie, plus Richardson at Mesquite, Irving MacArthur at Skyline, Richland at Coppell, Rockwall at Rowlett and a look at Wednesday's National Signing Day.]]> <![CDATA[Pat Doney's Ultimate Super Bowl Snack]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 21:06:32 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Doney_Dip_Recipe_1200x675_617301571639.jpg The Doney Dip has been a family tradition for 28 years.]]> <![CDATA[How To Be an Olympics Nerd]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 23:02:15 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/topNews-GettyImages-484524786.jpg

With just six months to go until the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, here are six quirky facts you can drop into casual conversation:

1.  Rio will be the first Olympics with athletes born in the year 2000. 

2.  Rugby Sevens will make its Olympic debut. It's similar to rugby, but teams have fewer players and matches are shorter.

3.  There will be a group of athletes who've been forced to flee their countries. They will compete under the Olympic flag.

4.  Rio's mascot is named "Vinicus." It's a blue and yellow creature that represents Brazil's wildlife.

5.  Golf returns for the first time since the 1904 Olympics in St. Louis.

6.  Rio's taxi drivers, known as "taxistas," are being offered free online English lessons.   

Congrats!  Now you are an official Olympics nerd -- like me. The Summer Olympics from Rio begin Aug. 5 on NBC.

Sourcenbcnews.com



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[USWNT's Road to Rio Starts in Frisco]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 17:45:43 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/womens+soccer.jpg

Many fans of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team are still riding the World Cup Championship wave, but for the players that moment in history is behind them.

The group of athletes is now focused on what’s ahead -- the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio.

"As a captain it’s my job to make sure everyone is ready and focused,” said Carli Lloyd.

The team is in Frisco for two weeks as they try to qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.

"It’s magical,” said head coach Jill Ellis. “It’s another major world event for us and it comes around the heels of the World Cup.”

The fans that live in town couldn’t be happier.

"Pretty exciting because they are actually I believe the best team in the world for women,” said Rene Sanchez, who works a nearby Soccer City.

But the road to Rio won’t be a walk in the park, said 2015 FIFA player of the year Lloyd.

"We know that we have to take care of business, we know that there’s only two spots, we just have to take it one day at a time,” said Lloyd.

The U.S. team has a rare opportunity this year to be the first women’s team to win a world cup and then a Olympics back to back. They are also hoping to take home a fourth gold medal in a row.

This year includes a mix of veteran players, many young players and some new faces.

"This is the first time I’ve been in an actual international tournament with the team so I’m just so stoked to be here and be a part of this team right now,” said Lindsay Horan.

The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team has a long history of success at the Olympics, it’s a tradition this group hopes to continue.

"That’s why I go out and work every day, because I want to make that possible,” said Lloyd.

The U.S. team takes their first step toward qualifying for the 2016 Olympics in a tournament Feb. 10 at Toyota Stadium with a game against Costa Rica.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Place Your Bets: Super Bowl 50]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 15:32:11 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newton-AP_839441988800.jpg

If you live in Nevada, Oregon, Montana or Delaware, you're in luck. Otherwise, go to Canada or Europe and get your bet on for the NFL weekend! All games are Sunday unless otherwise noted.

1. Denver vs. Carolina (-5.5) — Give the Broncos credit. They did just shut down one of the game's most prolific quarterbacks with a dominant pass rush and overall stellar defensive effort. Now, they get THE most prolific quarterback of this season and a Panthers team that has consistently been the best in the NFL this year. I've been riding the Panthers all season, and they've only disappointed once. This game won't be a blowout, but it's going to be at least a touchdown game.

Last week: 2-0. 2015 season: 37-40-3.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Antti Niemi Getting Lion's Share of Work in Net]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 15:13:12 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/212*120/GettyImages-491895134.jpg

Thursday night’s win over the Avalanche at the Pepsi Center in Denver marked Antti Niemi’s fifth straight start in goal.

On a team that boasts not one but two starting goaltenders in Niemi and Kari Lehtonen, we don’t get the feeling coach Lindy Ruff is about to come out and declare that Niemi has won the starting job indefinitely and that Lehtonen will back him up. But he acknowledges that the arrangement allows the Stars to play the hot hand, and right now, that’s Niemi.

"I like what he's done so far," Ruff told the team’s official website before the 4-3 OT win. "I thought he gave us a heck of a game in Winnipeg. It's come to the point now where the guy who is playing the best—if we're not fatiguing him—will play.”

Niemi is now 20-9-5 on the year. Lehtonen is 13-5-0, but he’s gone winless and allowed 14 goals in his last four starts.

"I think we have to live in the present," Ruff said. "Both goalies are good goaltenders, they've both been No. 1 goaltenders, but I think we've got to treat it that if one guy grabs the ball and runs with it, it's good for the team. The other guy is going to have to compete and make it tough for me to take him out again."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dez Welcomes Murray to Return to Cowboys]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 15:05:42 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-500378506.jpg

The talk of a reunion between the Dallas Cowboys and DeMarco Murray just won't fully die, and even though Murray won't come out and say he wants to be traded or released from the Eagles, all reports suggest he isn't happy with the Eagles even with Chip Kelly getting relieved of his duties.

After he won the NFL rushing title in 2014 with the Cowboys, Murray sought a big payday and got it from the Eagles.

But the results in Philly never came as Murray just barely topped 700 yards on the ground while falling to third on the running back depth chart and having a difference of opinion with Kelly before his firing.

Now, some of Murray's former teammates in Dallas are trying to talk him into coming back to Dallas, which would of course require a trade or for the Eagles to release the highly paid running back, and none have spoke more loudly than Dez Bryant.

So there you go, now we just have to wait and see what happens.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Deion Sanders Thinks Jerry Will "Probably" Sign Manziel]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 15:06:10 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/4888459211.jpg

Despite a series of reports that would suggest the exact opposite, on Friday, Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders told Cleveland.com that Jerry Jones will “probably” sign embattled Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel.

Why, you ask?

"Jerry will probably pick him up because Jerry has been a haven for players with tribulations. Jerry has saved lives that he does not get the credit for," Sanders said. "Jerry could help Johnny. There's so many different instances that this has happened, that Jerry has really helped guys. If it wasn't for Jerry Jones, Dez Bryant probably wouldn't be in the league. So this has Jerry written all over it, and he has the infrastructure to really help this kid.’'

Sanders is right that Jones has always loved reclamation projects, but at this juncture, we’d say “probably” is a huge stretch.

Manziel was already almost certainly going to be released by the Browns at the earliest juncture they’re allowed to release him, in March, but after a series of reports that detail some ugly incidents involving his girlfriend, it could be awhile before Manziel will be on a football field again at all.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>