Your morning roundup for Feb. 25. Got any stories or photos for us? Tip your editors.
What we're watching (all times EST): WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, fourth round (Golf Channel) at 12:00 p.m.. Tampa Bay at Pittsburgh at 1:00 p.m. and Chicago at Los Angeles at 8:00 p.m. (NHL Network). Missouri at Kansas (CBS) and North Carolina at Virginia (ESPN) at 4:00 p.m. and Syracuse at Connecticut (ESPN) at 9:00 p.m. in men's college basketball.
"It sounds like thunder when he's down there": "In professional bowling, that corner of the sports landscape where gray-haired and balding athletes can thrive, Kamron Doyle presents something different. He is 14 and he is winning prize money against the best bowlers in the world. Sipping a blue sports drink and eating a Milky Way candy bar for breakfast Friday morning, Doyle, a 5-foot-5, 105-pound eighth grader, prepared for the next round of the United States Open, an event with nearly 400 competitors and a top prize of $60,000. In advancing this far he had already become the youngest bowler to reach the prize-money level in a Professional Bowlers Association national tour event. 'We have no idea where he gets it,' said Sean Doyle, Kamron's father, an orthodontist who seldom bowls. Some family basements roar with the blare of a teen's loud music. In the Doyles' house in Brentwood, Tenn., the noise comes from Kamron's bowling. The family built two lanes in the basement in November. 'It sounds like thunder when he's down there,' Sean Doyle said." [NY Times]
Feb 25, 2009: The Babe Always Used Protection
Rob Gronkowski finally explains himself: "'Hard work and dedication, I always put my job first before anything, no matter what it is. I'm always just dedicating myself. Unfortunately, it just happened like that. I mean, it is what it is,' Gronkowski said on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia, as part of Mike Missanelli's celebrity call-in contest. 'I have a lot of fun with my family. It was the first time I got to see them in a while. We were just having fun with my brothers and stuff, friends I hadn't seen in a while. The chance to hang out with [the band] LMFAO, that was pretty cool, too. Unfortunately we didn't win and that was the number one goal. That's all we did, was work, for the two weeks from the Baltimore game to the Giants game, just to keep on grinding. I was in the training room 24/7 getting healthy. Same with everybody else. Fortunately we just came up short.'" [ESPN]
Zach Parise thinks Mike Emrick is the Devils' accountant: "The Devils honored broadcaster Mike (Doc) Emrick before the game. Radio play-by-play man Matt Loughlin was the MC. The Canucks remained in their dressing room until late in the ceremony but the Devils were on their bench throughout. Zach Parise, Patrik Elias, Ilya Kovalchuk and Martin Brodeur sat on chairs in front of the bench. After a video tribute, Chico Resch gave Emrick a vacation in Michigan and Zach Parise presented him with a watch from the players. Owner Jeff Vanderbeek gave Emrick a Doc 1 jersey and a black Lincoln MKZ SUV. Emrick picked the 2000 conference finals in May of that year (Devils-Flyers) as a favorite memory and thanked Larry Robinson, Scott Stevens, Patrik Elias, Martin Brodeur and Lou Lamoriello. He also said: 'This is to say it was an honor to be your announcer for 21 seasons.'" [Newark Star-Ledger]
Your Biden getting Bidened Interlude:
It's probably from lifting all those teacups: "The Indians' oft-injured, hard-luck outfielder is hurt again. Sizemore will likely miss Opening Day for Cleveland with a strained lower back, an injury the former All-Star suffered while fielding ground balls as he prepared for what he hoped would be a healthy season.'I feel awful for the guy,' Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said Friday. The Indians revealed Sizemore's injury one day before they hold their first full-squad workout. The club re-signed Sizemore as a free agent in November after choosing not to exercise a $9 million option on him. But the Indians, perhaps out of some loyalty to Sizemore, decided to bring him back with a one-year, $5 million contract loaded with incentives that could have earned him an additional $4 million." [SI]
NCAA tackles the real issues with college football: "Kickoffs in major college football will move from the 30 to the 35-yard line next season, a change intended to keep players safer. The change was approved this week by the NCAA playing rules oversight panel, which also said the running start by players on the kicking team will be limited to 5 yards. The NFL moved up kickoffs 5 yards this past season and touchbacks increased dramatically. Another new NCAA rule involving free kicks will move touchbacks from the 20 to the 25-yard line, a move intended to encourage more touchbacks. The panel also approved a rule that will require a player who loses his helmet during a play to leave the game for one play, and there are also new guidelines regarding blocking below the waist and blocking on punt returns." [ABC]
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