<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - San Diego Sports News, Photos, and Scores for the Padres, Chargers and More]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/sports http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/KNSD+RSS+Feed+logo+blue.png NBC 7 San Diego http://www.nbcsandiego.com en-us Tue, 01 Dec 2015 14:04:55 -0800 Tue, 01 Dec 2015 14:04:55 -0800 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Devon Still: 'No Evidence' of Cancer in Daughter, 5]]> Tue, 01 Dec 2015 08:39:16 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/487634272.jpg

A lot of pro football was played on Thanksgiving, but last week's biggest win was earned a day earlier by the 5-year-old daughter of former NFL player Devon Still, according to "TODAY."

Doctors found "no evidence of disease" in Leah Still almost a year and a half after she was diagnosed with cancer, the 26-year-old former Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle announced Wednesday on Instagram.

"Thanks for all the support and prayers!" reads the caption accompanying an image of the words "Thank you," in cursive. "Just got the phone call that her scans showed NED (no evidence of disease)!"

Since June 2014, when doctors diagnosed Leah with Stage-4 neuroblastoma and gave her a 50/50 chance to survive, it's been a roller-coaster of emotions for everyone involved.

Photo Credit: File -- FilmMagic
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[New Starting Chargers Linebackers Shine]]> Sun, 29 Nov 2015 19:27:59 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*120/Teo+and+Perryman+Sidelines.jpg

Chargers linebacker Manti Te’o played arguably his best game of the season on Sunday in Jacksonville. Part of that is because he’s getting healthy after battling an ankle injury for most of the season. Another part of that is because he had Denzel Perryman next to him.

The Chargers defense has not been all that good for the majority of the season. The Bolts were next-to-last against the run for the first 11 weeks and fourth-worst in pass coverage against tight ends. Those two things are what linebackers and safeties are typically tasked with.

So, for the second time, the Bolts put Te’o and Perryman on the field together. The impact was immediate and apparent … these two guys make each other better football players.

“Those are two beasts,” said safety Jahleel Addae. “I’m really happy for Manti. He’s been battling injuries all year. He came back and he and Denzel had a great game. We feed off each other.”

Perryman had a team-high seven tackles (one for a loss) but the renowned big hitter also made his presence felt in the pass game. Jacksonville made four trips inside the Red Zone but was held to three field goals and one touchdown. On one particular drive Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles took off on a run from the seven yard line.

He was a full two yards past the line of scrimmage when he realized Perryman had him in his sights. That’s when Bortles decided to throw the ball in to the end zone, taking a penalty in the process. Perryman applauds the quick thinking.

“Yeah, I would have gotten rid of it, too, as a quarterback,” said Perryman. “Or, just anybody with the ball who has the intention of throwing it because I was getting ready to hit him, so getting rid of the ball was a great decision.”

Perhaps it was simple survival instinct or self-preservation that got the QB to do something new in that situation.

“I’ve never done that in my life,” said Bortles, “and I did it twice today. Running past the line of scrimmage and throwing it is kind of stupid.”

Throwing it right to the other linebacker might also be considered kind of stupid. Te’o jumped a route and made his second career interception, a juggling grab that reminded a few people of what made him a Heisman Trophy finalist.

“We saw the Notre Dame Manti today,” said Addae. “The one that’s flying around making plays, he was comfortable.”

And why, pray tell, was Te’o suddenly looking so confortable? Perhaps it’s because he has a perfect complimentary piece next to him now.

“The running game is my thing, so I was excited to face the run game,” said Perryman, who came in to the NFL with the reputation of being a run-stuffing machine and so far has not disappointed.

“We communicate before the play, after the play, when we get back on the sideline, back in the locker room, off the field, a lot of communication going on. A lot of chemistry,” said Perryman of his relationship with Te’o. “We constantly talk. I make sure he’s alright and he makes sure I’m alright.”

“We’re different players but we can play both situations (run and pass) so it’s good to have him out there,” said Te’o. “It’s good to be out there together.”

In a nutshell, here’s why these two are so good together. Perryman thrives on shutting down the run. Te’o thrives on dropping back and making big plays against the pass. When you put them in at the same time, you have all your bases covered because they already trust one another to do the jobs they do best.

Now, what has gone unspoken so far is this: Te’o and Perryman doing well together means they do better without Donald Butler.

San Diego’s highest paid linebacker and incumbent starter played his way out of the starting lineup because he lost the ability to cover tight ends and running backs and suddenly stopped tackling … well, anyone. Te’o’s best games have all come when Butler was not on the field.

After Butler went in Injured Reserve for the last two games of the 2014 season Te’o had the highest tackle totals of his career in the next two games. His first career interception, in a Sunday Night Football showdown with the Patriots, came against Tom Brady when Butler started … but was not on the field for the pick.

When Butler is on the field Te’o has to play a role he’s not suited to. When Perryman is on the field Te’o can be the playmaker the nation saw when he was leading the Fighting Irish to the National Championship game. So, perhaps Chargers fans should be happy Butler’s skills have declined so rapidly.

It's not often you bench your highest paid linebacker, who is still in his prime, and actually get better. But as it turns out Donald Butler's drop-off has actually been good for the Bolts defense.

<![CDATA[Going Long!]]> Mon, 30 Nov 2015 10:09:48 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Rocky_Long_Interview_1200x675_576373827841.jpg Heading into the December 5th Mountain West Conference Championship Game between San Diego State and Air Force, NBC 7's Todd Strain goes one on one with Aztecs Coach Rocky Long. ]]> <![CDATA[USC Hires Clay Helton as Head Football Coach]]> Mon, 30 Nov 2015 16:07:25 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-498202904-2.jpg

The University of Southern California announced Monday it has hired Clay Helton as permanent head coach of the football team.

The 24th-ranked Trojans (8-4, 5-3 Pac-12) beat archrival UCLA 40-21 to win the Pac-12 South title on Saturday, capping a seven-week surge under Helton, their interim head coach, with their first victory in the crosstown showdown since 2011.

USC advanced to the conference championship game against No. 7 Stanford and the chance to contend for a Rose Bowl berth — something that seemed highly improbable last month when athletic director Pat Haden fired Steve Sarkisian and promoted Helton to finish up a turbulent season for the second time in three years.

"After weeks of searching the collegiate and pro ranks, interviewing candidates, and speaking with head coaches, athletic directors, NFL executives, and very knowledgeable football people, and after observing Clay in action the past seven weeks, it became abundantly clear that what we were searching for in a coach was right here in front of us," USC athletic director Pat Haden said in a statement. "Clay Helton is the right man at the right time for the USC football program."

reward for that combination of success and stability is one of the most coveted jobs in college football.

"I totally understand that I am not a flashy name, but I don't want to be flashy," said Helton, who is in his first full-time head coaching job. "I never have been, and never will be."

Haden said Helton signed a five-year deal, and beating UCLA was not the reason he was hired.

"He was not hired because many current and former players voiced their support for him. And he was not hired because he is a Trojan. He is our choice because we believe he can win Pac-12 and national championships here. Clay Helton is the right man at the right time for the USC football program," Haden said.

Helton, 43, was named USC's interim head coach on Oct. 12 after serving as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

Helton has been at USC since 2010. Previously, he was an assistant coach at Memphis for 10 seasons.

"During my six years here, I have learned the standard of excellence that it takes to be a Trojan. I understand the expectations of this great university and welcome the challenge. I am so proud to have the chance to lead what I feel is the pinnacle of college football and to represent our Trojan Family," Helton said.

The move and the timing were surprising, but not a total shock.

There had been rumors and speculation that USC would make an attempt to lure Eagles coach Chip Kelly back to the Pac-12. Kelly helped turn USC rival Oregon into a national power before leaving for the NFL three years ago.

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[Late, Questionable Call Helps Cardinals Drive to Win Over 49ers]]> Mon, 30 Nov 2015 09:59:29 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/tomsula.jpg

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer is an MVP candidate this season, and he showed why on Sunday afternoon, taking his team on a long fourth-quarter drive for the go-ahead touchdown in a 19-13 victory over the 49ers at Levi’s Stadium.

But what many of 49ers fans will remember from this game is a controversial penalty call against San Francisco that helped Palmer pull off the game-winning drive.

After moving from their own 15 to their 32, the Cardinals faced a second-and-10 when defensive lineman Quinton Dial busted through the offensive line to drive Palmer into the turf for a sack and an 8-yard loss. But the officials ruled unnecessary roughness on Dial for leading with the crown of his helmet into Palmer’s chest.

The 49ers were docked 15 yards and Arizona received a first down at its own 47. Nine plays later, Arizona scored on an 8-yard Palmer scramble.

Perhaps the Cardinals would have earned a first down on their own on a third-and-18 play. But, nobody will ever know. The call proved to be a turning point on the drive and many NFL observers were surprised by what looked like a clean, though hard, sack by Dial.

Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group tweeted, “Terrible call.” Damon Bruce of 95.7 The Game tweeted, “Roughing the passer with a textbook hit? This is the poorest officiated game of the season. That was perfect.” Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee noted that the officials seemingly had taken over the game.

It was one of 13 penalties called against the 49ers on Sunday, resulting in 81 yards and several key changes in momentum. The Cardinals, meanwhile, were flagged just seven times for 47 yards.

And yet, the 49ers still had a chance to win the game. Arizona missed the PAT, meaning the 49ers could win with a touchdown and extra point.

Quarterback Blaine Gabbert moved his team from its own 21 to the Arizona 30 with 1:27 remaining. But then, Gabbert was sacked for a 10-yard loss and on fourth-and-20, he completed a throw to Anquan Boldin, but Boldin was stopped 2 yards short of a first down.

The Cardinals then ran out the clock to lock up the victory, their first in the Bay Area against the Niners since 2008. It improves their NFC West-leading record to 9-2.

The 49ers fell to 3-8, which mathematically eliminates them from an NFC West title – not that anyone expected them to win all of their remaining games, anyway.

The 49ers defense played well, holding high-scoring Arizona to just 19 points and 337 yards and twice forcing Arizona to settle for field goals.

At the half, Arizona led just 6-3. The Cardinals scored a TD in the third quarter, but the 49ers quickly answered with a Vance McDonald touchdown catch from Gabbert and a Phil Dawson field goal late in the third quarter to tie the game 13-13.

Then, aided by the questionable call on Dial, the Cardinals marched to their game-winning score.

Gabbert again played well in his third start since taking over for Colin Kaepernick, completing 25-of-36 passes for 318 yards and a TD, with an interception, posting a quarterback rating of 94.4.

Boldin had eight catches for 93 yards and McDonald had a strong game with six catches for 71 yards. Defensively, linebacker NaVorro Bowman led a fired-up front seven – that put constant pressure on Palmer (though he was sacked just once) – with eight tackles.

The 49ers next play at Chicago against the Bears this coming Sunday.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Weekly San Diego Sports Preview]]> Sun, 29 Nov 2015 16:31:59 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/170*120/GettyImages-499186382.jpg

Here’s a look ahead at what is going on in San Diego sports for the week of November 30th-December 6th.

CHARGERS: Looking to start a winning streak, the Bolts are back home with a Sunday 1:05 p.m. showdown against AFC West rivals the Denver Broncos.

GULLS: The Gulls are on the road this weekend. Friday they’re in Bakersfield and Saturday they head to Stockton.

SOCKERS: The road trip theme continues with the Sockers. They’re on the East Coast this weekend with a match in Baltimore Friday and one more in Harrisburg Saturday.

-MEN’S BASKETBALL: Wednesday vs. Bethesda at 7 p.m. and Saturday vs. San Diego State at Petco Park 2 p.m.
-WOMEN’S SWIMMING: Thursday-Saturday at the US Nationals (LC) in Seattle, Washington all day.
-WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Thursday at San Diego State 6:30 p.m. and Sunday vs. Washington State 1 p.m.
-WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL: Friday NCAA First Round TBA and Saturday NCAA Second Round TBA.
Go to usdtoreros.com for more information.

-WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Wednesday at Sonoma State 5:30 p.m. and Friday vs. Cal State Monterey Bay 5:30 p.m.
-MEN’S BASKETBALL: Wednesday at Sonoma State 7:30 p.m. and Friday vs. Cal State Monterey Bay 7:30 p.m.
-MEN’S WATER POLO: Thursday at Princeton (play-in) 5 p.m. in Los Angeles, Saturday TBA in Los Angeles and Sunday TBA in Los Angeles.
-WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL: Friday at Sonoma State (quarterfinal) 1 p.m., Saturday at Point Loma/Western Washington (semifinal) 7 p.m. and Sunday TBA all in Anchorage, Alaska.
Go to ucsdtritons.com for more information.

-WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Thursday vs. Azusa Pacific 5:30 p.m. and Saturday vs. Dixie State 4 p.m.
-MEN’S BASKETBALL: Thursday vs. Azusa Pacific 7:30 p.m. and Saturday vs. Dixie State 4 p.m.
-WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL: Friday vs. Western Washington 3:30 in Anchorage, Alaska, Friday-Sunday NCAA West Regional TBA.
Go to plnusealions.com

-MEN’S BASKETBALL: Tuesday at Long Beach State 7:30 p.m. and Saturday vs. USD at Petco Park 2 p.m.
-WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Thursday vs. San Diego 6:30 p.m.
-FOOTBALL: Saturday vs. Air Force at 4:30 p.m.
Go to goaztecs.com for more information.

Good luck to all our San Diego teams in action this week.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['Dear Basketball': Kobe Bryant Announces Retirement]]> Mon, 30 Nov 2015 01:26:19 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Kobe-Bryant-Madison-Square-Garden.jpg

Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers has decided to retire after this season.

The 37-year-old Bryant made the announcement in a post on The Players' Tribune on Sunday. The decision was not totally unexpected, given that Bryant has said many times in recent weeks that he was considering making his 20th NBA season his last.

There's no more wondering now.

After two decades, two Olympic gold medals, five championship rings, 17 All-Star selections, an 81-point game that ranks as the second-best in NBA history and more than 32,000 points, Bryant's career is officially winding down.

"This season is all I have left to give," Bryant said in what he called a letter entitled "Dear Basketball."

Bryant said in an interview on Sirius XM Radio just last week that "if something changes," he would come back and play next season. Only a few days later, that's apparently no longer an option.

"My heart can take the pounding. My mind can handle the grind. But my body knows it's time to say goodbye," Bryant wrote in the post. "And that's OK. I'm ready to let you go. I want you to know now. So we both can savor every moment we have left together. The good and the bad. We have given each other all that we have."

Bryant ranks third on the NBA's career scoring list, and only 13 players in league history played on more championship teams. Bryant helped the Lakers to titles in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009 and 2010.

This season has been a struggle for the five-time champion, whose young and rebuilding Lakers are mired at the bottom of the Western Conference standings while he's shooting a career-worst 32 percent. Injuries have dogged him in recent years as well, limiting him to 41 of a possible 164 games in the previous two seasons. And even this season, back issues have kept him from playing as much as he would like.

"It's tough to see one of the absolute greatest competitors go through this," Miami guard Dwyane Wade told The Associated Press on Sunday, prior to Bryant making his announcement. "You can put a team around a guy to help a guy, especially late in his career. They're just not in position right now to do that. He's won five championships, so no one feels bad for him from that standpoint. But from a standpoint of seeing one of this era's greatest players go out in a rebuilding process, it's tough."

The Lakers have 66 games remaining after Sunday and it will likely turn into a adoration tour of sorts for Bryant, who has already gotten long ovations from normally hostile fans on road trips this season, particularly in places like New York and Miami where crowds sensed that they might be seeing him as an opponent for the final time.

The Lakers' next road game is, perhaps not coincidentally given the timing of Bryant's announcement, on Tuesday in Philadelphia -- his hometown.

"Philly is where I grew up," Bryant told AP in an interview in Miami earlier this month. "It's always a different emotion there than anywhere else."

Bryant came into the NBA straight out of high school, won the dunk contest at All-Star weekend as a rookie, played in the All-Star game for the first time the following year and a star was fast born. The 81 points he scored against Toronto on Jan. 22, 2006, are second only to Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game in NBA history, and he's the only player to spend 20 consecutive seasons with the same team.

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[Chargers Ride Rivers to Road Win]]> Sun, 29 Nov 2015 14:02:20 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/170*120/GettyImages-499186382.jpg

 The enigma that is the 2015 San Diego Chargers continues to confound. The Bolts snapped their 6-game losing skid with a 31-25 win in Jacksonville thanks in large part to the feet of Philip Rivers.

Yes, I said the feet. Not the arm, the feet. In the fourth quarter the Chargers faced a 4th and 7 just inside Jaguars territory. Jacksonville had just scored a TD on a 4th and 7 okay of its own when quarterback Blake Bortles hit tight end Julius Thomas for a 21-yard score to cut the San Diego lead to 24-19.

Perhaps inspired by that success, head Coach Mike McCoy decided to go for it and Rivers, who had 10 rushing yards for the entire season, scrambled for 8 yards, diving out of bounds for a first down to sustain the drive. He finished it with a short touchdown pass to wide receiver Stevie Johnson to put the game away.

It was the final touch on a tremendous day for Rivers, who threw four touchdown passes, two to tight end Antonio Gates and one to wide receiver Dontrelle Inman, without a turnover.

The Bolts took control of the game late in the second quarter when Rivers hit Gates for a 9-yard touchdown. A few plays later linebacker Manti Te'o intercepted Bortles to set the Bolts up at the Jags 22 yard line. Just three plays later Rivers hit Gates again from 12 yards out to put San Diego up 21-9 at halftime.

San Diego's defense gave up its share of yards but played well close to the goal line. The Jaguars got in to the Red Zone three times but only came away with nine points.

Of course, in true Chargers fashion the Jags made it a lot closer than it should have been. A blocked punt with less than two minutes to play set up a Bortles TD pass to wide receiver Allen Robinson to make it 31-25 and give Jags fans hops for a miracle finish but their onside kick attempt was unsuccessful.

Jaguars kicker Jason Myers, a Chula Vista native, made all four of his field goal attempts for the Jaguars.

The Chargers improve to 3-8 while the Jaguars fall to 4-7 on the season.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Crazy Eights: SDSU Beats Nevada for 8-0 MW Record]]> Sun, 29 Nov 2015 00:28:25 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/Pumphrey.jpg

Despite an injury to their starting quarterback, the San Diego State  Aztecs won their regular-season finale 31-14 over Nevada to cap off a perfect run through conference play.

It's the first time the Aztecs football team has finished 8-0 in the Mountain West.

The Aztecs lost signal-caller Maxwell Smith midway through the first quarter.

It happened on a short pass play when he was hit low in the pocket. Smith fell to the ground and clutched his left knee in pain. He had to be helped off the field and did not return.

Smith was replaced by redshirt freshman Christian Chapman, who hails from Carlsbad. Chapman did a good job taking care of the football in relief and the Aztecs didn't miss a beat.

They mainly let their offensive line and running backs do most of the work and Nevada had no answer for the SDSU ground game.

Rashaad Penny scored a 14-yard rushing touchdown by rushing to the left side minutes after Smith was injured to help SDSU take the lead 14-7.

Running back Donnell Pumphrey scored twice - including on a 72 yard touchdown run to eclipse 4,000 rushing yards for his career.

Pumphrey is second only to Marshall Faulk in that category in SDSU history.

He finished the game with 154 yards on 23 carries. 

Chase Price also racked up 114 rushing yards as the Aztecs gashed the Wolfpack on the ground. In all, five different SDSU players combined to carry the rock for a total of 320 yards against Nevada.

San Diego State (9-3, 8-0)  will play the Air Force Academy (which was upset by New Mexico 47-35 Saturday) in the MW Championship game on Saturday, December 5th. The Falcons fell to 8-4 overall after losing to the Lobos on the road in their regular season finale.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Hood Sisters Help USD Go 6-0]]> Sun, 29 Nov 2015 00:12:20 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/215*120/MayaHood.jpeg

Only 17 women have scored at least 1,000 career points as basketball players at the University of San Diego.

USD senior Malina Hood joined that select group Friday in her team's win over Valpo.

Then against Akron on Saturday, she tallied 16 points to help lead USD to a 86-65 victory.

Apparently it runs in the family because her younger sister Maya wound up with a game-high 23 points against the Zips.

USD is 6-0 and off to the best start in team history.

The USD men's team also beat Drexel 62-59 on Saturday.

It's the first win for the Torreros under new head basketball coach LaMont Smith.

<![CDATA[Chargers at Jaguars: Who to Watch]]> Sat, 28 Nov 2015 11:34:54 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/169*120/Bond+Photo.jpg

If you’d have told me before the season started that the Week 12 game between the Chargers and Jaguars would feature a team in the playoff hunt and a team in the mix for the number one overall pick in the draft I’d have probably believed you.

If you’d have told me the Jags are the ones looking for a post-season spot and the Bolts have one of the NFL’s worst records I’d have probably had you committed. However, seeing the way this season has gone it makes perfect sense.

Jacksonville is trending up. This young team finally has enough pieces in place to win games consistently and sits just a game out of first place in the AFC South. San Diego is trending down. This team with a whole ton of talent has pieces in place to be contending in the AFC West but has been the single biggest disappointment in the NFL this season.

Here are three players to keep an eye one Sunday at EverBank Field, for they hold the keys to victory or defeat:

Ryan Carrethers, DT

Sean Lissemore is a question mark with an injury so there should be a lot of snaps for Carrethers. He’s showed signs of being a solid player but has also been a non-factor in games. The Jags have handed the keys of the offense to 2nd-year QB Blake Bortles, who has already nearly doubled his touchdown output from a year ago. But, Jacksonville also has a rookie running back that’s shown signs of being a good one. T.J. Yeldon has become their feature back, averaging 4.0 yards per carry. Carrethers will be counted on to get a push up the middle and pressure Bortles while also slowing Yeldon. If he can do that the Chargers defense that’s 31st in the NFL against the run will have a chance to stay in the game.

Melvin Gordon, RB

While we’ve been saying for a couple of months now that Gordon needs a breakout game to help QB Philip Rivers out, he’s on the list this week because he’s going to be needed in pass protection. The Jags have not been able to generate a fantastic pass rush with their front-seven. In fact, their sacks leader is Aaron Colvin, who has dropped the quarterback 4.0 times … and he’s a cornerback. So the Jags will blitz a lot to generate pressure and that means the running backs MUST be up-to-speed on picking up the pressures. We know Danny Woodhead does that. Gordon will have to be up to par to keep the defensive backs from teeing off on Rivers.

Bond … James Bond, MI6

I honestly could not thing of anyone else for the final spot in our three guys to watch and since I saw SPECTRE on Friday I figured the world’s greatest spy might be the only one who can save the Chargers season, and possibly Head Coach Mike McCoy’s job. I’m expecting a roster move to announce the signing of Bond some time on Saturday.

Derek’s Prediction

The Jags are playing meaningful games late in the season for the first time in years. The Chargers are playing out the string. The team with something to play for plays like it and gets its 3rd straight victory, handing the Chargers their longest losing streak since 2001 when they lost nine straight to finish the year (by the way that was the last season under Mike Riley, who was replaced in 2002 by one Marty Schttenheimer).

Bond will not arrive in time to save the day on this one. Perhaps next week.

Final score: Jaguars 20, Chargers 16

<![CDATA[Aztecs Fall To West Virginia In Las Vegas]]> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 23:47:05 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*124/GettyImages-499008378+%281%29.jpg

The Aztecs needed a lot more than some Vegas luck against West Virginia in the Intercontinental Tire Invitational Championship. The Mountaineers defense crushed the Aztecs, to claim the tournament title with a 72-50 win.

It was a tale of 21 turnovers for the Aztecs that lead to 30 West Virginia points. The Aztecs had just seven points off 15 Mountaineer turnovers. But turnovers were not the only problem. SDSU shot 34.2 percent, making just 13 field goals. None of which came from their nine attempts from beyond the arc. 
Freshman Jeremy Hemsley was the only Aztec to reach double figures in scoring with 14 points. He also led in rebounds for the Aztecs with four and tied for most assists with one. That’s right, just one assist was needed to lead the Aztecs. The Aztecs had three compared to the Mountaineers 12.
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, and the Aztecs may want to leave this loss there as they prepare to travel to Long Beach State on Tuesday. The Aztecs drop to 4-3 on the season. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Pet Predictions: Chargers at Jaguars]]> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 16:44:59 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Todd_Chargers_McCoy_Monday_pkg_1200x675_572912707972.jpg

The Chargers aren’t taking the holiday weekend off as they head out east to face the Jacksonville Jaguars this Sunday at 10 a.m. local time.

Since the pets of San Diego were in holiday mode, I put tortoise Voldetort to the test to see who will come out victorious Sunday. We also got a must see video from our friends at the Helen Woodward Animal Center (AnimalCenter.org) with alpacas Kuzco and Kronk.

Does your pet want to be featured next week? Just send a video of them predicting the AFC West showdown between the Chargers and Broncos by December 4th to Becki.Schildhouse@nbcuni.com or tweet/intagram it to @BeckiSSD.

*NBC 7 will not use any video where it appears an animal is being forced to do something it does not want to do.

<![CDATA[WATCH: Tom Brady Dresses Up for Turkey Day Surprise]]> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 15:47:43 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Tom+Brady+102915.jpg

Looks like the New England Patriots' star quarterback couldn't resist having a little bit of fun on Thanksgiving.

Tom Brady posted a funny video of him hiding in a pile of leaves in a turkey costume, and then popping out to surprise his young children.

We can't decide what's more precious: his children's reactions or the fact that Brady goes "gobble gobble." 

[[355824691, C]]

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[A's Pitcher Hosts Syrian Refugees]]> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 11:09:51 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/172*120/DSC_15321.jpg

Oakland A’s pitcher Sean Doolittle and his activist girlfriend Eireann Dolan, both natives of Illinois, hosted 17 Syrian refugee families for a Thanksgiving meal in Chicago on Wednesday night with Mayor Rahm Emanuel as a special guest.

The idea of whether to accept Syrian refugees has become controversial as of late, as some critics fear that terrorists could slip in as desperate families seek safe shelter from their war-torn homeland.

But the couple shunned those worries, and instead decided to act how they think all Americans should.

“Chicago is so lucky to have 17 Syrian refugee families now officially calling it home,” Dolan wrote on Instagram. “We thought we'd officially welcome them with one of our greatest American traditions, Thanksgiving.”

Her photo shows women in hijabs and a young boy wearing a Cubs baseball cap seated around a festive table, dotted with Pepsi, flowers and cranberry sauce.

[[355927721, C]]

A’s spokesman Ken Pries told NBC Bay Area on Friday the power couple hosted the dinner on Wednesday and have no personal connection with the refugees. The city of Chicago and the mayor helped put them in contact with the group, he said.

“It was obviously a very nice gesture," he said.

The couple has made nice gestures before.

[[324964541, C]]

The A’s kicked off LGBT Pride Night in June, which sparked some homophobic reaction, such as season ticket holders indicating they wanted to sell their tickets.

Dolan, who said she has two “super gay” moms, and Doolittle offered to buy any unwanted tickets up to $3,000, and donate the tickets to the Bay Area Youth Center’s Our Space community for LGBTQ youth.

Photo Credit: Walter Mitchell, City of Chicago
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Great-Grandma, 102, Plays Ball With MLB Family]]> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 11:33:57 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/102-year-old-grandma-baseball.gif

“Keep your eye on the ball.”

A San Diego cul-de-sac has been transformed into a concrete baseball diamond, home to the Zimmer family’s annual Thanksgiving game for about 22 years.

The instruction comes from the team’s oldest and feistiest player, 102-year-old Ann Sellaro.

But she’s not satisfied with acting as batting coach. Putting aside her walker, the great-grandmother steps up to the imaginary plate with a blue, plastic bat in hand.

One, two, three swings at bright yellow wiffle balls and Sellaro strikes out. But for her family, the misses don’t detract from her baseball chops and a love of the game that helped inspire two of her great-grandsons to become Major League Baseball players.

"I taught them everything they know," Sellaro says.

Kyle and Bradley Zimmer, La Jolla High School graduates, were both first-round draft picks out of the University of San Francisco. Kyle now pitches for the Kansas City Royals, and Bradley plays center field for the Cleveland Indians.

But long before they were playing in the big leagues, their training began in a quiet La Jolla cul-de-sac. Sellaro was there dealing out advice “since the first time we picked up a bat, I think,” said Bradley.

“I think that was about two days after we started walking,” quipped Kyle. "It’s been a long time."

Back then, the Zimmers and their friends would keep the wiffle balls within easy reach. However, as they grew, the balls soon started flying across streets, over fences and into neighbor’s yards.

“We've had to extend the home run line,” said Eric Zimmer, the players’ dad. “It used to be the curb, and then it was the sidewalk, then it was the neighbor’s roof.”

The annual Thanksgiving game has become less competitive with fewer rules, but their favorite part remains the same.

“Anytime you can say you have a grandma who's 102 years old and showing you how to hit a wiffle ball in the backyard, it's pretty special,” said Bradley. “So having her down here has been awesome. It's something that we really cherish and look forward to every year."

Sellaro used to travel long distances to watch her great-grandsons play, but as traveling becomes harder, she shows her support by watching their games on TV or online.

In person, though, the batting coach instincts kick back in.

“Keep your eye on the ball,” she says, pointing at Kyle. “And that goes for you, too.”

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Brett Favre’s Number Retired]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 19:37:00 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/179*120/GettyImages-56396130+%281%29.jpg

The Chicago Bears will head into a hostile Lambeau Field Thursday night to face the Green Bay Packers, and even though they won’t have to face Brett Favre, the legendary quarterback’s presence will still be a big part of the evening.

That’s because the Packers are retiring Favre’s jersey at halftime of the Thanksgiving showdown.

The honor has been a long time coming for Favre, who spent the vast majority of his Hall of Fame-caliber career wearing the green and gold, and it’s especially appropriate that he is receiving the distinction during a game against a Bears team that he routinely tortured in his NFL career.

In 36 career starts against the Bears, Favre racked up a 23-13 record and some incredible passing numbers. He threw for 8606 yards in those 36 games, tossing 60 touchdowns and rushing for three more against Chicago during his career. Those 60 touchdowns are the most he threw against any team, and even though he did throw 42 interceptions against the Bears (also the most he’s thrown against any team), he still represented the Bears’ ultimate nemesis during his time in Green Bay.

The list of Favre’s best games against the Bears is a long one, but there are a few that certainly stand out.

Few will forget the masterful performance he had at Soldier Field in a November 1995 game, where he threw five touchdowns and racked up 336 passing yards despite playing the game with a severely sprained ankle.

A 2002 tilt against the Bears in Champaign was another Favre classic as he threw for 359 yards and three touchdowns in an emphatic 34-21 victory.

Unfortunately for Chicago, Favre’s replacement in Green Bay hasn’t been an easier opponent, as Aaron Rodgers holds a 12-3 record and throws for an average of 242.5 yards per game against the Bears in his career. Oh, and he’s thrown 34 touchdowns and just eight interceptions too.

<![CDATA[WATCH: McCoy Walks Out of News Conference]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 10:31:30 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-498702480.jpg

NBC 7's Derek Togerson takes a look at Chargers head coach Mike McCoy's dealings with the media in this commentary

Chargers head coach Mike McCoy has never had a deft touch with the media. In fact he's handled most of his news conferences with the delicacy of a bull in a china shop.

McCoy does not like to share information about anything. He has a standard script of answers he goes to when he does not want to touch on certain subjects. One of his absolute favorites is, "We'll do what we think is in the best interest of the football team."

On Wednesday afternoon we reached a new level of absurdity. McCoy was addressing the media with his usual deflections. Eric Williams, a reporter for espn.com, asked about Javontee Herndon and his job as a punt returner. Here's how the exchange went:

Let me tell you that I know Eric and he is one of the most measured, level-headed, kind people I've met on the Chargers beat, so this was not in any way expected. McCoy simply did not want to answer the question and he didn't like being pushed on something. I took to Twitter to share the incident and received an email from Chargers Director of Public Relations Bill Johnston. Here's how that exchange went:

Bill: "Derek, Asking what player may or may not play a specific role or position is a question about strategy.  Mike is not going to divulge strategic information that could be helpful to our opponent."

Me: "Bill, he has told us multiple times that Philip Rivers is the starting quarterback. Wouldn't that be a question about strategy that Mike has no problem answering?"

Bill: "A starter is a starter until he is not.  Mike is not going to say if he is or is not considering a change. Rivers is our starting QB and Herndon is our starting punt returner until there is a change made."

Now, that would be fine if he would have confirmed that Herndon is the starter. Which he didn't. Had he even said what Bill wrote, a starter is the starter until he's not, that would have been an answer since it at least implies Herndon is still their guy. Plus even when Philip was on the injury report last year McCoy was saying he's going to be out there.

If it really was a strategy concern he would have dangled the possibility of Clemens starting out in the open to give teams something else to prepare for. So using it as an excuse now just rings hollow.

A lot of people ask me about McCoy's job security beyond this season. To that I'll just say this: The head coach is the head coach until he's not.

<![CDATA[Top Sports Photos 2015]]> Mon, 30 Nov 2015 18:18:47 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/topNews-AP_263253371568.jpg Click to see dramatic game action photos from professional football, hockey, basketball, baseball and more.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Julio Cortez]]>
<![CDATA[Durant's New Sneaker Is Taboo to Some in Prince George's]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 19:09:24 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/KD8+PG+County.jpg

With his latest Nike sneaker, Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant attempted to pay homage to the Maryland county where his journey to NBA all-star and MVP began, but some find it offensive.

The $180 sneaker, which goes on sale Wednesday, is called the KD8 ‘P.G. County,’ and that abbreviation of “Prince George’s” upsets some in the county. For years, using “PG” has been considered taboo.

“We would certainly prefer that it was ‘Prince George’s County,’” said Barry Hudson, the county executive’s spokesman.

The county reached out to Nike when it learned of the name.

“Actually sent a letter to Nike kind of giving them some idea of the nature of the term ‘Prince George’s County’ versus ‘PG County’ just to let them know that it is, to many in the county, a pejorative,” Hudson said.

Melvin McCray, who once coached Durant at the Seat Pleasant Activity Center, said the name of the shoe makes perfect sense. Durant has donated tens of thousands of dollars to the facility where a room is named in his honor.

“Whether it’s ‘PG County,’ whether it’s ‘Prince George’s County,’ I just think we all should just enjoy the moment and just embrace it,” McCray said.

Photo Credit: Nike]]>
<![CDATA[Warriors Beat Lakers, Set Record]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 22:44:18 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/178*120/Lakers-lose-to-Warriors-record-nba.jpg

The Golden State Warriors made history against the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night. The Warriors went to 16-0 with the 111- 77 win is an old-fashioned game of blowout basketball, which marked the best ever start to an NBA season. Previously, the 1993-94 Houston Rockets held the record at 15-0.

Surprisingly, the Warriors came out shooting cold against the visiting Lakers. Not so surprisingly, the Warriors still managed to take a massive lead on a Lakers team that has the habit of falling flat on its face. For the 12th time in 14 games, the Lakers lost. This time, though, the purple and gold trailed by 19 points before the first quarter was up.

Kobe Bryant had had an awful night. He shot up air balls, he shot up bricks and he even shot up one thud-worthy attempt that stuck in between the backboard and the rim. The 37-year-old shot 1-14 from the field and looked worse than he has all season, and Bryant has not looked good this season.

No Laker scored over 10 points, so Bryant can hardly take all the credit in the loss. Jordan Clarkson went 2-11, Nick Young shot 3-10 and Roy Hibbert went 0-4. This was a game where the Lakers' best punch would possibly give them a chance against the world champs, but the Lakers seemingly slipped and fell as the opening bell rang out.

"They're a better team than we are," Lakers coach Byron Scott said on TWC SportsNet after the game. "It's pretty much that simple."

The Warriors only needed one quarter to decide the outcome, so the game never looked in doubt. However, the Lakers did show positive signs in the second period. Lakers rookie D'Angelo Russell and almost-rookie Julius Randle combined to help cut the 22-point lead down to only 16 points by halftime. Russell hit shots, while Randle bruised his way to buckets. Both players shot 50 percent from the field for the night.

Along with the other starters, Russell and Randle did not play in the fourth quarter because the Warriors led by 34 points after three quarters. Stephen Curry had already received his sendoff ovation at that stage, and the game called for emptying the bench for guys like Tarik Black and Larry Nance Jr. to get extra minutes.

Curry finished with 24 points and nine assists on 10-21 shooting. By his standards, he had a bad night in that the league's Most Valuable Player only hit four of his 12 attempts from beyond the three-point line. However, Curry sat the whole fourth quarter because the game was simply not competitive. The Warriors' largest lead on the night was 41 points.

Draymond Green also had a positive night in more ways than one. Green had a +/- of 36, which tied Curry for the best net-positive players on the team. Green finished with 18 points, seven rebounds, five assists, two blocks and one steal in 30 active minutes on the court.

"It's just another loss for us, another win for them," Scott said. "That's how I kind of look at it and just go back to the drawing board."

Next, the Warriors look to extend their record to 17 games in Phoenix on Friday night. The Lakers look to snap a four-game losing streak in Portland on Saturday.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[NFL Vetting City Proposal for New Chargers Stadium]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 19:27:40 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/new+chargers+stadium+rendering+2.PNG

San Diego’s term sheet for a new Chargers stadium recently underwent a threshold review at 345 Park Avenue in New York, headquarters of the National Football League.

NFL executives Jay Bauman and Chris Hardart addressed their impressions of the 24-page “confidential draft” to Chris Melvin, the New York attorney who heads the negotiating team retained by the city and county.

Bauman and Hardart were members of the league’s traveling squad on last month’s listening tour of fans in the “home cities” – San Diego, Oakland and St. Louis – that one day may no longer be home to NFL franchises.

Reading between the lines of their two-page letter to Melvin, it seems the league harbors no shortage of concerns about the Mission Valley project, and how it might be viewed by the league’s 31 owners besides San Diego’s Dean Spanos.

Indeed, before elaborating on four major points, they spelled this out: “Please note that the following is not intended to be a comprehensive list of comments and observations.”

A response on behalf of Mayor Faulconer to the issues they raised is still pending, but early indications are that the process of reaching an eye-to-eye, same-page outcome would take some time to unfold.

Meanwhile, NFL observers say the league soon may be inclined to “punt” L.A. franchise relocations decisions into late next year.

But slowing down the speed of the game figures to prolong the angst that’s rife among fan bases and public officials in the three cities whose teams are itching for greener pastures.

The NFL’s game is hardball, and it’s played for keeps – at whatever cost the losers might bear.

Read the full term sheet and letter below.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Mike McCoy’s Chargers: Lost In Translation]]> Mon, 23 Nov 2015 20:29:16 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/mike+mccoy.JPG

You may not want Mike McCoy to be the Chargers head coach. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion on that matter, but in the end the final decision for that topic would come from the Spanos family.

You may not agree with some of the decisions McCoy and his coaching staff have made – especially this season and during the team’s current 6-game losing streak.

But you have to admit he is consistent. Win or lose, McCoy refuses to point the finger. It would be easy to blame certain players or injuries or lack of depth. You could say how newly signed free agents have not lived up to expectations and how many high draft picks have failed to contribute consistently to the Bolts the past few years.

His Chargers went 9-7 in his first two seasons. And while that will not be replicated in year 3 of the McCoy era, one thing you can take away from the current state of the Chargers is this:
McCoy won’t throw his own players or coaches under the bus.

That is to be commended and I respect that. Not every pro athlete or coach operates that way.
Especially in this day and age with social media in 2015 and 24-hour sports networks where one sentence of a soundbite taken out of context can be run 144 times in a news cycle and put up on Twitter or a vine in minutes.

In his daily press conferences, McCoy has a game plan. He’s not going to tell you very much.
Most NFL coaches are this way. They get paid millions of dollars to help their team win games and in this ‘what have you done for me lately’ business, I understand if you want to be very cautious to reveal any information.

So he may speak in sentences at his press conferences, but as any member of the media that regularly covers the Chargers, McCoy doesn’t really say much even though he is technically talking to the media.

You have to put on your Sherlock Holmes hat or your Encyclopedia Brown shoes to translate or unearth what he actually means – by what he doesn’t say or when he actually does mention something out of the ordinary.

It was pretty obvious McCoy was grasping for positive straws Monday.

“Whatever good things we did yesterday, there were too many negatives that overlooked all those things,” admitted McCoy. “The one thing I will say on the positive side of it in the kicking game, Josh’s 52 yarder was huge. One thing we talked to [Lambo] about all week was starting the game with a touchback.”

Really?!?!? The kicker had a good day? In a 33-3 loss? Wow.

“And then Mike [Scifres] had to be the leader in the coverage units this week,” continued McCoy, “and punting the football he had his best game of the year.”

So to recap, the kicker and the punter had great days. Yikes.

But let’s play devil’s advocate. What do you say after your team gets blasted by 30 points? On it’s home field against a division rival – despite extra days to prepare for the Chiefs.

All this after a bye week – where players can clear their heads, get extra rest and have more time to tweak the game plan.

As sportswriter Bill Simmons would say, you need to 'throw the kitchen sink' at an opponent. It’s desperation time. This is when you break out a couple new formations, a half-back toss, a double-reverse, a Stevie Johnson pass on an end-around. Maybe even a fake punt. Pick a gadget play – any gadget play - or three! If it doesn’t work – it’s not different than what happened using the same draw plays and shotgun formations with limited depth and backups thrust into starting roles due to injuries.

The two highlights from Sunday’s humiliating 33-3 loss consisted of LaDainian Tomlinson’s halftime induction ceremony and the moment when his wife LaTorsha sang the national anthem. That was it.

The Chiefs game was definitely an opportunity for a 'kitchen sink game.' Well you could technically say the Bears game, or maybe even the Ravens the week before that were the real kitchen sink games, too.

Right now, most Chargers fans probably just want to throw the kitchen sink at their television.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Serve it Up!]]> Sun, 22 Nov 2015 22:36:36 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Tennis_Carlsbad_Classic_1200x675_572336195825.jpg Women's professional tennis returns to San Diego this week. The WTA's Carlsbad Classic is November 22nd through 29th. NBC7's Todd Strain has the story.]]> <![CDATA[Weekly San Diego Sports Preview]]> Sun, 22 Nov 2015 16:41:26 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-498319304.jpg

Just because it’s a holiday week doesn’t mean the sports world is taking any time off. Here’s what’s going on in San Diego sports for the week of November 23-29th.

CHARGERS: The Bolts hit the road to face a Jacksonville Jaguar team that’s in the playoff hunt (seriously). Game time is 10 a.m. local time this Sunday.

GULLS: In the mood to watch some hockey? You’re in luck! The Gulls hit the ice three-times this week, two of those matchups taking place at the Valley View Casino Center. Wednesday Texas is in town for a 7:05 match to start a quick two-game home stand. Friday Ontario hits the VVC ice at 7:05 before the Gulls head to their place Saturday for a 6 p.m. meet up.

SOCKERS: The Sockers may want to hitch a ride with the Gulls to Ontario Saturday when they face the Fury at 1 p.m.

-MEN’S BASKTETBALL: Tuesday vs. California Baptist 7 p.m., Friday at Holy Names 5 p.m. and Saturday at Notre Dame de Namur 7 p.m.
-WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Friday vs. Domincan 5 p.m. and Saturday vs. Azusa Pacific 3 p.m.

-WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL: Tuesday vs. Loyola Marymount 6 p.m.
-WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Tuesday at Montana State 7 p.m., Friday vs. Valparaiso 4 p.m. and Saturday vs. Akron 4 p.m.
-MEN’S BASKETBALL: Wednesday vs. Loyola 11 p.m., Friday vs. either SJSU or Toledo TBA and Saturday vs. TBA all in Anchorage, Alaska.

-WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Tuesday vs. Seattle Pacific 5:30 p.m., Friday vs. Cal State Dominguez Hills at noon in Riverside and Saturday vs. Cal State Los Angeles at noon in Riverside.
-MEN’S BASKETBALL: Tuesday vs. Young Harris 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at Cal State Los Angeles 5 p.m.

-MEN’S BASKETBALL: Monday vs. East Carolina 7 p.m., Thursday vs. California in Los Vegas 9 p.m. and Friday vs. either West Virginia or Richmond in Las Vegas TBA.
-WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Monday at Washington 7 p.m., Friday vs. North Dakota State 6:30 p.m. and Sunday vs. Wisconsin 2:30 p.m.
-WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL: Tuesday vs. Nevada 6 p.m.
-FOOTBALL: Saturday vs. Nevada 7:45 p.m.

Good luck to all our local teams in action this week and on behalf of the NBC 7 SportsWrap family, Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels!

<![CDATA[Chargers Embarrassed at Home]]> Sun, 22 Nov 2015 16:04:34 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/162*120/GettyImages-498319312.jpg

 As it was so many times during is soon-to-be Hall of Fame career LaDainian Tomlinson gave Chargers fans at Qualcomm Stadium their biggest reason to cheer. Part of that was because his number 21 was officially retired by the team.

Another part of that is the current Chargers played arguably their worst game of the season against the Chiefs, and that is really saying something.

The Bolts were outplayed in every aspect of the game in a 33-3 loss. This game was like the first half of the loss to the Raiders, except there was never any good play late to dress it up.

For the first time all season it looked like the Chargers were simply uninspired. Kansas City was more physical and more creative on offense, defense and special teams. Basically there was zero doubt which was the better team.

The Chiefs let everyone know how they were going to approach this game on their opening drive. On 4th and goal from the 1-yard line KC head coach Andy Reid sent in 346-pound defensive tackle Dontari Poe, not as a blocker, but as a running back. Poe pounded in for his first career rushing TD, making him the heaviest man in NFL history to score a touchdown. Former Bears defensive lineman William Perry was a svelte 335 pounds when he scored in the 1980's.

If Poe had gotten in again he would have the same number of rushing scores as the entire Chargers roster. It was sad to see a team that honored the man who scored more touchdowns than anyone in its history be kept out of the end zone.

The Chiefs defense made life miserable for quarterback Philip Rivers, who could not get in to any kind of rhythm with both Keenan Allen and Malcom Floyd out with injuries. Rivers made one awful throw that was intercepted and returned for a 17-yard touchdown by linebacker Justin Houston.

So the Bolts fall to 2-8 on the season and are still going in the wrong direction. Is it too late to talk LT out of retirement?

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Top NFL Photos: Week 11]]> Mon, 23 Nov 2015 21:17:01 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP_386456190580.jpg Get an up-close look at all the best NFL plays and players from Week 11.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Chargers vs. Chiefs: Who to Watch]]> Sun, 22 Nov 2015 12:13:02 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/6PM_VO_CHARGERS_RIVERS__KNSD7DMD_1200x675_539109955608.jpg

OK, let's just get right down to it. The Chargers can't make the playoffs so, as we mentioned before, it's time to start tinkering. Here's the list of inactives for Sunday's game against the Chiefs:

S Adrian Phillips
CB Greg Ducre
ILB Kavell Conner
DT Damion Square
OT Tyreek Burwell
WR Malcom Floyd
OLB Cordarro Law

That means tight end Ladarius Green is active. So here are, not so much players to watch, but players I'd like to see get a long look in certain roles on Sunday against Kansas City:

Ladarius Green, WR

No that is not a typo. Green is 6'6" and might be the fastest player on the Chargers offense. He can jump, he can run, but he has trouble getting himself open against bigger defenders (the safeties and linebackers a tight end is usually matched up agaisnt). With Malcom Floyd retiring at the end of the season and Green in the final year of his contract I'd love to see if Ladarius can be successful on the outside. It would be great to have him line up at wide receiver, split wide for half the snaps and let him be a matchup nightmare for the KC defensive backs. The four WR the Bolts have active, Stevie Johnson, Dontrelle Inman, Javontee Herndon and Tyrell Williams, have a combined 44 catches this season, 31 of those from Johnson. Philip Rivers needs another deep target anyway so let's see if the answer is in-house and deserves a new contract moving forward.

Kyle Emanuel, DE

No that is not a typo. Emanuel has been solid as a rookie outside linebacker but not gotten all that many snaps due to the fact Melvin Ingram and Jerry Attaochu are entrenched as starters. Emanuel played with his hand on the ground all four years at North Dakota State so he's used to playing on the line. The Chargers have gotten zero from Kendall Reyes and Corey Liuget is dinged up (although he is active) so why not see if Emanuel can make something happen? He's 6'3" and 255 pounds, making him just about 10 pounds lighter than Chandler Jones, who is among the NFL leaders in sacks as a defensive end. Plus, if Emanuel shows the ability to create plays as a lineman it might get the Chargers thinking about switching to a 4-3 in the off-season like so many people have talked about.

Kellen Clemens, QB

No that is not a typo. At this point it is imperative to protect the health of Philip Rivers. The Chiefs have a pass rush that can be outright scary so I would have no problem with letting Rivers take a few series off and get Clemens in there to run the offense.

Derek's Prediction

The Chiefs have something to play for. The Chargers don't. Kansas City has won three straight. San Diego has dropped five in a row. The Chiefs have Andy Reid. The Bolts have Mike McCoy.

Final score: Chiefs 27, Chargers 20

<![CDATA[Chula Vista FC Bows Out of U.S. Open Cup Early]]> Sun, 22 Nov 2015 11:39:33 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/soccer-generic722.jpg

 The stage was set at Eastlake High School for Chula Vista FC to make another deep run in the U.S. Open Cup in their first ever home game of the tournament, but a 4-0 loss to tournament newcomers, La Manquina, in the second round of the qualifiers sent them out of the running early.

Chula Vista headed to the locker room down 1-0, but after a huge comeback win in the last qualifier, the team came out fighting. Head Coach Hector Diaz was impressed with his team’s effort in the second half and said his team played better and had better possession.

Without captain defender Luis Alvarado, due to an injury, La Manquina found the holes in the backfield and slipped three more goals into the net in the second half.

Chula Vista FC was eliminated from the U.S. Open Cup, but continues its season in the SoCal League.

They look to improve on their eight place position in the premier division against Artesia FC on Sunday December 6.

<![CDATA[Aztecs Earn Spot In Championship Game]]> Sat, 21 Nov 2015 23:39:41 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/Donnel+Pumphrey+Aztecs+at+UNLV.jpeg

Before they even kicked off in Las Vegas, the Aztecs football team knew they were the winners of the Mountain West West Division.

Nevada lost in the afternoon, handing San Diego State a spot in the conference title game. But did they take it easy against UNLV? Negative, Ghost Rider.

San Diego State dismantled the Rebels. The Aztecs forced four turnovers (two interceptions and two fumbles) and running back Donnel Pumphrey went bonkers, rushing 14 times for 139 yards and two touchdowns in a 52-14 Aztecs win.

If SDSU beats Nevada next week, they will very likely host the Mountain West Conference Championship game. We do know they'll play that game against Air Force on Saturday, December 5.

<![CDATA[Chargers Collecting Non-Perishable Food at Game]]> Sat, 21 Nov 2015 20:56:20 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/Aerial+Shot+Qualcomm+Statdium.jpg

 Heading to Sunday's Chargers game? 

Fans attending the game are asked to bring a non-perishable food item to donate to San Diego families in economic distress for the team's annual food drive. The food will help fill the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank's dangerously low food supply. 

Food collection bins will be placed around the parking lot when the parking lot gates open at 9 a.m. and entrance gates open at 11:35 a.m., prior to the game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Bright red barrels and Food Bank volunteers will signal drop-off locations. 

Canned meats, peanut butter, canned fruits and vegetables, pasta and soup are most-needed items, officials said. If you forget a perishable item but would still like to donate, volunteers will be collecting cash donations at Plaza Level Gates C and F. 

If you donate a food item or cash at the game, you will be entered to win a LaDainian Tomlinson autographed football.

VONS supermarkets across San Diego County will be collecting food items for fans that cannot make it to the game but would still like to donate. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Chargers Sign Another Wide Receiver]]> Sat, 21 Nov 2015 17:50:18 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/191*120/Tyrell+Williams.jpg

The Chargers have signed wide receiver Tyrell Williams from the practice squad. He'll be on the active roster for Sunday's game against the Chiefs at Qualcomm Stadium.

Williams got the call because Malcom Floyd is out with a shoulder injury. Tyrell showed potential in the pre-season, leading San Diego in receiving yards. He made the club out of training camp and appeared in the season-opening win over the Lions on special teams. Williams has yet to make his first NFL reception.

That's likely the biggest problem with Floyd and Keenan Allen being out; the Chargers are severely lacking in experience on the outside. The four wideouts the Bolts will have available against Kansas City ... Williams, Stevie Johnson, Dontrelle Inman and Javontee Herndon ... have combined for 44 catches this season.

Another way to say that is, the four WR that quarterback Philip Rivers will have available have combined for one fewer catch (44) than running back Danny Woodhead (45) in 2015. Also keep in mind tight end Ladarius Green is questionable with an injury, so Rivers will have to make due with some untested weapons.

If ever there was a week for Head Coach Mike McCoy and Offensive Coordinator Frank Reich to commit wholeheartedly to the running game, it would appear this is that week.

<![CDATA[Aztecs Shocked at Home]]> Sat, 21 Nov 2015 15:40:18 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/Aztecs+Shepard.jpeg

The single most consistent factor that determines success in sports (most team sports, at least) is the ability to take care of the ball. Turnovers can kill a team’s chances to win while handing a victory to the other guys.

San Diego State got a hard lesson in that on Saturday at Viejas Arena. The Aztecs lost to Arkansas-Little Rock 49-43, snapping a streak of 27 straight home wins against unranked, non-conference teams. SDSU turned the ball over 16 times and only made 13 shots from the floor.

The Aztecs finished 13-46 from the field, a dismal 28.3% shooting. Here’s how their starting five fared against the Trojans:

Skylar Spencer, F – 0-1 shooting, 0 pts.
Winston Shepard, F – 0-6 shooting, 0 pts.
Malik Pope, F – 2-6 shooting, 4 pts.
Trey Kell, G – 0-3 shooting, 1 pt.
Jeremy Hemsley, G – 3-10 shooting, 11 pts.

Add it up and that makes 16 points on 5-26 shooting for the starting lineup. Hemsley, the freshman point guard, tied with Dakari Allen for the team lead with 11 points. Fellow freshman Ben Perez provided a scoring spark off the bench, hitting a trio of 3-pointers to finish with nine points. Perez is a walk-on from San Marcos High School who turned down scholarship offers from other programs to attend San Diego State.

The Aztecs had plenty of chances to win because they once again played stellar defense. Arkansas-Little Rock was led by guard Josh Hagins and his 14 points but the undefeated Trojans (3-0) only shot 35.3% from the floor.

The Aztecs fall to 2-2 on the year. Their next game is Monday night at home against East Carolina and SDSU is in a strange position. A loss drops them below .500. The last time this program had a losing record (other than being 0-1 after losing the 2012-13 opener to Syracuse before running off 11 straight wins) was at end of the 2004-2005 season.

<![CDATA[Chargers Star: LaDainian Tomlinson]]> Sat, 21 Nov 2015 14:42:47 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/LT-as-Charger-95637154.jpg Images of the Chargers super star on and off the field. LT's No. 21 jersey will be officially retired by the Bolts on Nov. 22, 2015.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: The Chargers are Feeling Salty]]> Fri, 20 Nov 2015 21:11:22 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-496463246.jpg

NBC 7's Derek Togerson looks at the current mind-set of the Chargers in this commentary.

The Chargers have lost five games in a row. In fact, when they kick off against the Chiefs on Sunday afternoon at Qualcomm Stadium, they will not have won a game in 49 days.

For a team that just about every NFL expert on earth thought had a legitimate playoff shot heading in the to season, this has been a staggering underachievement. So, you would imagine the guys in the locker room are a bit upset. Or as head coach Mike McCoy put it this week (repeatedly) the Bolts came back from their bye week feeling a little bit salty.

Hey, that's great. It's nice to see them feeling bad after the season they've had. The only question I have is ... WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG!?!?

Letting a game get away against the Steelers is enough to get a team feeling ticked off. Falling at Lambeau Field is nothing to be ashamed of, but still tough because they had their chances to win. Getting dismantled by the Raiders at home is downright embarrassing, and that's where I would have thought the salty attitude would have really come out. But then they failed to finish a game they had to have against the Ravens and blew a 13-0 lead at home to the Bears, which was ridiculous.

So now, finally, the Bolts would seem to be properly motivated to end their 5-game losing skid. If they lose to Kansas City I suppose we should expect them to be enraged. At least I hope they would be.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Pet Predictions: Chargers vs. Chiefs]]> Fri, 20 Nov 2015 20:56:48 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/BearsChargers-GettyImages-496457768.jpg

After a week off the pets of San Diego are back in action to predict who is going to win the AFC West showdown between the Chargers and Chiefs at Qualcomm Stadium this Sunday.

We have a first with Runey the Betta fish and his human Lauren. Not to ruin your daydreams about any upcoming Thanksgiving feasts, but Runey picked between blood worms in front of the Chargers and Chiefs logos. Let’s just say things are looking swimmingly good for the Bolts.

Our friends at the Helen Woodward Animal Center (AnimalCenter.org) had a very special prognosticator this week. LT the dog was adopted from the shelter two-years ago but came back to help honor Chargers great LaDainian Tomlinson who gets his number 21 retired at the game Sunday. While LT isn’t up for adoption, they have plenty of other animals looking for forever homes at HWAC.

Want to be part of next week’s Pet Predictions? Send a video of your pet predicting the showdown between the Chargers and Jaguars by Friday 11/27 4 p.m. via email to Becki.Schildhouse@nbcuni.com or Twitter/Instagram @BeckiSSD.

On behalf of the NBC 7 SportsWrap family I want to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels.

*NBC 7 will not use any video where it appears as though an animal is being forced to do something it does not want to do.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[L.T. Ready To Take His Place Among Chargers Greats]]> Fri, 20 Nov 2015 17:27:44 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*125/LaDainian+Tomlinson+Touchdown+Run+Raiders.jpg

When the Chargers signed safety Bob Sanders before the 2011 season it sparked a bit of a controversy.

Sanders had established himself as a star with the Colts. A 2-time All-Pro, the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year and a Super Bowl champion, Sanders was certainly a well-known name. The problem was, in Indianapolis he wore the number 21.

With a resume like his, Sanders had every right to ask to wear 21 with the Bolts. It was available at the time. But instead Sanders chose to go with the number 31. During training camp he was asked why he did not wear number 21 in San Diego. His answer was what Chargers fans hoped it would be:

"I know what that number means here."

Sanders knew because he spent a few Sundays trying to run down a man named LaDainian Tomlinson. L.T. was with the Jets at the time but still, nobody who came to Mission Valley wanted anything to do with following that performance.

So #21 was retired before it was really retired, but on Sunday it will become official. At halftime of their game against the Kansas City Chiefs the Chargers will hang L.T.'s digits from the top of Qualcomm Stadium next to those of Lance Alworth, Dan Fouts and Junior Seau, the only other players to have their numbers retired by the franchise.

Tomlinson owns 15 Chargers records (16 if you count most smiles). Yet this honor is something he sees as being greater than just the on-field accomplishments.

"To me, in order to get your number retired, it goes beyond the football field," said Tomlinson. "There's more to just being a football player. There's more than just scoring touchdowns. I think it's more about, also, the impact you have others around you. This says I made a big impact on this organization as a whole and I'm proud of that."

Much like the community of San Diego is proud to have called him one of our own. L.T.'s former teammates shared thoughts on the Chargers great, as well, which you can watch here:

[[352388971, C]]

We could go on for days taking about our favorite L.T. memories, there are so many to choose from. So, we want to know yours. Feel free to share in the comments the L.T. moment that stands out most to you.

After all, it's the Chargers fans and the city of San Diego who turned LaDainian Tomlinson in to the player and that man that he became.

"I lived in this community for nine years," said Tomlinson. "I got to know the people very well. I was out in the community a lot. I'm from Texas, born and raised, but this is my professional home. I became a man in this city and a lot of it is because of the community and the things we did in the community, and the support that we got from the community as well."

I think I speak for the vast majority of Chargers fans when I say this:

Congratulations, L.T. Thank you for the memories and enjoy the honor you so richly deserve.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>