<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - San Diego Sports News]]> Copyright 2016 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 Sun, 07 Feb 2016 00:38:25 -0800 Sun, 07 Feb 2016 00:38:25 -0800 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Broncos Player Surprises Fan With Super Bowl 50 Tickets]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 22:48:37 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/SICK+BRONCOS+FANVERNON+DAVIS+RAW+RBE+1605+PST+-+00582606.jpg

A Denver Broncos player dropped a bombshell on 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 visit him.

The Montana teen again was left dumbfounded Saturday when the tight-end stopped by to give 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."

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.
 



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Family Asks For Help to Find Lost Heirloom]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 23:23:16 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/214*120/Heirloom+Ring+Lost.PNG

This is one of those stories that, with a little luck and some help from the San Diego community, can have a happy ending.

Kathi Klein had a special wish for her 59th birthday.

“The only thing I wanted to do for my birthday was go to the San Diego State basketball game,” said Klein.

Kathi did not attend San Diego State but her husband John was the Aztecs golf coach for nearly a decade so she grew to love the school.

“All three of my daughters were born when he was coaching at San Diego State,” says Kathi.

One of her girls honored that birthday request, getting two tickets to the Aztecs afternoon game against New Mexico. The excitement of SDSU’s late comeback and overtime win over the Lobos had a bit of a painful side effect.

“I was cheering, cheering, cheering, and my ring was cutting in to my hand because I was clapping so hard,” said Kathi, who even hours after the game had a few cuts on her right pinky finger. “I took my ring off and I thought I put it in my purse. I noticed after the game that my ring was gone.”

This is not just an ordinary ring. This is a custom-made ring that carries with it a lot of history.

“My mother-in-law gave it to me right before she passed away,” says Kathi. “So we re-traced our steps. We went back to Viejas Arena. We went back to our seats to find it.”

Still they had no luck finding the ring, which looks like the side of a gold tree with a filigree and a few small diamonds.

“It’s a family heirloom. It’s one of a kind; it has so much sentimental value. We’re going to offer a reward for the return of it.”

Kathi and her daughter were sitting in Section C, Row 14, seats 5 and 6 at Viejas Arena. They’ve filed a report with SDSU Campus Police, as well, so if anyone finds it they’re asked to either take it to the campus police station at:

5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182

Or call the station at (619) 594-1991 (Ext. 1). The to discuss the reward … and a hearty thank you from the Klein family.

“It was custom-made for my mother-in-law, so I just want to be able to pass it down to my daughters as well.”


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<![CDATA[Aztecs Keep Streak Alive In Wild Game]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 15:47:27 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/Winston+Shepard+Finger+Roll.jpeg

San Diego State had won 160 consecutive basketball games when leading with five minutes to play. Number 161 might have been the toughest of them all.

The Aztecs beat New Mexico 78-71 on a wild afternoon at Viejas Arena. SDSU had a 2-point lead with 300 seconds left but let it get away when the Lobos went on a 7-0 run. San Diego State trimmed that lead to three with one possession left.

That was not a good spot for them to be in. SDSU only shot 4-27 from 3-point range. But, people are only going to remember one. Malik Pope launched and landed a 3-pointer with eight seconds left to tie the game at 66 and force the extra period. That shot was the only one Pope made for the entire game.

The Aztecs only had that chance to tie because the Lobos turned the ball over on an errant in-bounds play with 12 seconds left (Hey, if you’re going to keep a streak like this alive sometimes you need a little bit of good fortune).

In overtime freshman guard Jeremy Hemsley provided enough scoring punch. Hemsley scored eight of his team-high 23 points in the extra period. Senior forward Winston Shepard is the only other Aztec to score in OT, dropping four of his 15 points. Fellow senior Skylar Spencer also had a solid game with eight points, 10 rebounds and three blocks.

The Aztecs improve to 11-0 in the Mountain West Conference and have a 3.5 game lead on second-place New Mexico with just seven games before the MWC Tournament in Las Vegas. These teams will meet again on March 1 at The Pit in Albuquerque.

San Diego State’s next game is on Valentine’s Day at Fresno State.

]]>
<![CDATA[MJ Acosta Joins NBC 7]]> Fri, 29 Jan 2016 14:11:51 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/MJ-Acosta-bio-image-2016.jpg

Sports journalist MJ Acosta has joined the team at NBC 7, the NBC owned and operated television station in San Diego.

Acosta will be the sports anchor for NBC 7 News at 6 and NBC 7 News at 11 on weekday evenings. She will also be a significant contributor to NBC 7’s Sportswrap franchise both online and on air.

“I am very excited to join NBC 7 and look forward to diving in and sharing my passion for sports and journalism with my new community,” said Acosta.

As the daughter of a professional basketball player, Acosta grew up in a sports-focused household. Since then, she has fulfilled her inherent interest in sports by working as a sports anchor at Generation Next Youth Sports Network in Miami from 2011 to 2013 and most recently, as a sports, entertainment and breaking news reporter and anchor for the ABC affiliate in the Miami and Fort Lauderdale area.

When she isn’t covering the local teams, Acosta embraces her athletic nature by running a charity 5K race, pushing through obstacles at events like the Spartan Race, or exploring her adventurous side by sky diving. She also has a passion for philanthropy.

She has worked with several organizations including the “Wounded Warrior Project”, “Best Buddies” and Susan G. Komen’s “Race For The Cure."

Acosta earned a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism from Barry University and is a former Miami Dolphins Cheerleader.

NBC 7 is proud to have MJ on the team and is looking forward to San Diego getting to know the newest NBC 7 team member.

“I’m thrilled that MJ is part of the NBC 7 news team and family,” said Greg Dawson, NBC 7’s Vice President of News. “MJ’s vast experience as a sports journalist, coupled with her avid passion and dedication to the world of sports, will help us deliver the best sports coverage that San Diegans want.”

Acosta will make her on-air debut this Sunday evening. Get to know her by following her on Twitter or on Facebook.



Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Padres New Closer Leaves Game With Injury]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 22:43:33 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/192*120/Fernando+Rodney+With+Seattle.jpg

The last few years have not been kind to the Padres when it comes to injuries. So, of course, two weeks before Spring Training even starts it looks like they're dealing with an injury.

Relief pitcher Fernando Rodney, the man they just signed to a one-year contract in hopes he can compete for the closer job, is playing in the Caribbean Series for the Dominican Republic. He entered a game against Cuba in the 11th inning and took off on a wild adventure.

Rodney fielded a comebacker, then threw it away for a 2-base error then walked a batter and was visited by the team trainer. He stayed in only to have the bases get loaded when a sacrifice bunt was not played properly.

Rodney struck out the next two hitters but was then pulled from the game after another visit from the trainer. Rodney took the loss when Raphael Soriano gave up a 2-run single but more important is his health. The Dominican team says Rodney was removed as a "precautionary measure" because he'd been experiencing leg tightness during the week.

Representatives from the Padres were reportedly at the game watching Rodney but the team has not yet commented on just what Rodney's ailment is.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Olympic Medalist Lochte Training in Chula Vista for Rio]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 18:15:00 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Ryan+Lochte+0205.JPG

As the six-month countdown to the start of the Summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro hit calendars across the world, one of Team USA’s biggest stars quietly wrapped up a training session in San Diego.

Swimmer Ryan Lochte spent the past three weeks living at the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center while training at several high school pools across the county with his teammates on Swim Mac Elite based out of Charlotte, North Carolina.

Lochte, who turns 32 in August, aims to represent the U.S. in his fourth Olympics.

“I remember when it was my 1st Olympics and I was one of the youngest guys on our USA team, and now I’m the oldest guy on the USA team, so it’s weird” said Lochte.

An 11-time Olympic Medalist, Lochte finds himself working harder than ever to compete against the next generation of swimmers emerging around him.

“I can’t be going out all the time partying, getting four hours of sleep and then going to practice and being fine,” said Lochte. Since the 2012 Olympics in London, he has embraced a regimented training schedule built on good sleep and a good diet.

“I hate greens. I’ve never been the one to really eat them and now for the past year -- year and a half -- I have a cook back home who is making greens and I’m starting to love eating salads,” said Lochte.

Team USA’s Olympic Swimming Trials, set for late June in Omaha, Nebraska, will determine who makes the 2016 Olympic Team.

Lochte is as close a lock to making the team as anyone in a Speedo, but still hasn’t decided whether to compete in the 400 individual medley, which earned him gold in London.

“I think it increases the chance of the U.S. to get a medal in that event, so we’re hoping that is something he and I can end up coming to as far as what he should do there at the meet,” said David Marsh, Swim Mac Elite Head Coach.

Lochte could opt to skip the 400 individual medley to conserve energy for later races since it is the meet’s first event.

He is the first to admit he can’t go “all out” like he used to, but proved at last year’s World Championships that he still has the physical tools to win Gold.

He also knows he has something the younger swimmers don’t have.

“It doesn’t get any easier, but you know, one thing we do have on them is confidence and experience”.



Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Goodell Talks San Diego Chargers, Las Vegas Raiders?]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 16:07:54 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/Roger+Goodell+2016+Super+Bowl.jpg

The Chargers have an option to go to Los Angeles if things don’t work out in their San Diego stadium search. If you’re to believe NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, he hopes the Bolts never leave America’s Finest City.

“It is very much a priority for us. We want to work to try to keep our teams where they are,” said Goodell during his annual Super Bowl news conference.  “My issue is, and my pledge to (Chargers Chairman and co-owner) Dean Spanos, to the mayor of San Diego is to do everything possible we can to support them, to try to get the right kind of facilities long-term.”

Goodell shared that in his conversations with San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer the local political powers agree that San Diego’s professional football facility is not up to the level the NFL wants in today’s day and age and praised both Faulconer and Spanos for coming (back) together to try and work something out.

“Our pledge is to try to help them get that done,” said Goodell. “I think it’s great that Dean Spanos and his family said we want to make this work in San Diego.  They have an incredibly attractive option in Los Angeles, but they decided we’re going to go and try to make this work in San Diego.  We will do everything we can to support them.”

Goodell also included Oakland and Raiders owner Mark Davis in his address, saying Davis is fighting a similar battle in the East Bay Area but without similar progress.

“The league supports both these teams, but we’re working very hard with not only the teams but the communities to find a solution that works for everybody.  This has to work for the community and it has to work for the teams long term.”

Perhaps not coincidentally the NFL announced on Friday that the Raiders will give up a home game to play the Houston Texans in Mexico City, Mexico on November 21, 2016. Davis also made waves when he addressed a recent trip to Las Vegas to speak to casino owners about the possibility of building the Raiders a new stadium in the Nevada desert.

“It’s an international city,” Davis said. “It’s a global city. Again, the Raiders are a global brand, so it’s got potential. It’s absolutely an NFL city.”

The sentiment makes sense in one regard. The Raider Nation is, indeed, global. But the NFL is quick to talk about protecting the integrity of “The Shield” and long stayed away from adding Vegas to the list of potential landing spots for one of its 32 franchises. You’d have to figure a team in a city where gambling is as big as it is in Las Vegas, in a stadium that would likely be built at least partially with private funds from casino owners, would be a non-starter for the league.

But, if we’ve learned anything about the NFL it is this: the 32 owners REALLY like money. If Las Vegas comes in with a way to improve the bottom line they just might take a serious look at it.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Time-Lapse: Watch the Demolition of Candlestick Park]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 13:24:11 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/CANDLESTICK+GIF_18147279.gif

As the San Francisco 49ers’ new home, Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, gets ready to host Super Bowl 50 on Sunday, the development company building a new mixed-used complex released time-lapse video of Candlestick Park being torn apart.

The video, provided on Thursday to NBC Bay Area by Lennar Urban and shot by OxBlue, shows about two minutes of the ‘Stick being taken down, seat by seat, and 19 seconds of what the future site should look like, including sweeping views of the San Francisco bay.

The eight-month demolition of Candlestick Park was finished in September to make way for a new urban mixed-use project at Candlestick Point in the southeast corner of San Francisco. More than 95 percent of the materials used to build Candlestick were recycled by the demolition firm, Silverado Contractors, according to Lennar Urban spokesman Dave Satterfield. The entire project should take 20 years and $8 billion to complete, thought the retail mall portion is expected to open in 2018, Satterfield said.

The complex, being built by Macerich Corp., will include an Africa diaspora-themed shopping marketplace, a hotel, movie theaters and 12,000 new homes at the site and nearby at the former naval shipyard of Hunter’s Point.

The 49ers left Candlestick Park after the 2013 season for a new $1.2 billion stadium in Santa Clara. The Super Bowl will be played there on Sunday between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers.
 



Photo Credit: Lennar Urban]]>
<![CDATA[Road to Rio's Olympics: Six Things to Watch ]]> Thu, 04 Feb 2016 14:07:51 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/RioAthletesZika-AP_469134667784.jpg

The first Olympics to be held in South America will take place in August, when 10,500 athletes from 206 countries will compete in Rio de Janeiro.

The 2016 Summer Games will feature such iconic venues as Copacabana Beach for beach volleyball and Maracaña Stadium for the opening and closing ceremonies and medal soccer matches. (The most successful World Cup nation with five titles, Brazil has never won a men’s or women’s Olympic soccer title.)

Golf and rugby will return, golf for the first time since 1912 and rugby since 1924. But it will likely be the last Games for American Michael Phelps, who enters as the top-ranked swimmer in the 100-meter and 200-meter butterfly and the 200-meter individual medley, and for Jamaican Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world, who swept the 100-meter dash and 200 meter dash at the World Championships in August.

Brazil is in a financial crisis and costs have been a problem. Organizers have cut $500 million to balance an operating budget of $1.85 billion, and the number of seats in some venues has been reduced.

And the appearance of the Zika virus has added a new anxiety.

So six months out, here are six ways to follow the 2016 Summer Games now:

The Olympic Torch will be lit from the sun’s rays on April 21 in the Greek city of Olympia, the birthplace of the ancient games. It will tour Greece before the relay officially begins on May 3 in Brazil’s capital, Brasilia. About 12,000 torchbearers will cover more than 22,000 miles by road and air. The torch itself — made from recycled aluminum and resin — expands as it is passed to reveal the colors of Brazil. The relay will end on Aug. 5, when the last torchbearer will light the Olympic cauldron during the opening ceremony at Maracaña Stadium.

How does the flame remain burning throughout? The torch itself is extinguished at night or while on planes but the flame is still lighted in enclosed lanterns, which are closely guarded.

Will Rio be ready to host the Games?

One worry is the sewage-infested water that athletes will be swimming and boating in — near Marina da Gloria in Guanabara Bay, off Copacabana beach and in Rodrigo de Freitas Lake. Tests commissioned by The Associated Press -- the results of which were released in July and again in December -- discovered high levels of viruses and bacteria from human feces, up to 1.7 million times what would be considered dangerous on a Southern California beach. The contamination was found not only close to land but also offshore, where sailing will take place. In August, some athletes participating in pre-Olympic rowing and sailing events became ill with vomiting, fevers and diarrhea. 

Olympic and World Health Organization officials have not followed through on promises to do their own viral testing, according to the AP. WHO says Brazil needs only to test for bacterial “markers” of pollution.

Adding to the health concerns is the mosquito-borne Zika virus, which arrived in Brazil last year and is now “spreading explosively” across the Americas, according to WHO. Brazil reported a surge of babies born with microcephaly — marked by unusually small heads and severe brain damage — though exactly how many is in flux. The virus may also be causing another serious condition, Guillain-Barre syndrome, which leaves some patients unable to move.

Brazil’s health minister said the country would send 220,000 troops to eradicate mosquitoes but he also was quoted this month in the country’s major newspapers as saying the country was badly losing the battle.

Transgender athletes should be able to compete without undergoing sex reassignment surgery, according to guidelines announced by the International Olympic Committee in January. 

The guidelines were changed to reflect current scientific, social and legal attitudes about transgender issues, the committee’s medical officials told The Associated Press.

Previous guidelines, approved in 2003, required transgender athletes to have surgery followed by at least two years of hormone therapy before they could compete.

Now, female-to-male athletes are eligible to compete as males without restriction. Male-to-female athletes must show a testosterone level below a certain cutoff for at least a year before their first competition.

The guidelines, not regulations, are meant for international sports federations to follow.

Accusations of doping by Russia prompted U.S. Olympic athletes to call for officials to broaden their investigation, the AP reported. The Americans wrote to the IOC and the World Anti-Doping Agency the week of Jan. 25 in response to a two-part report detailing doping inside Russia’s track team, allegedly with the state’s participation.

The Americans want the investigation to be expanded to sports beyond track and field.

Follow along as athletes earn their way to Rio, beginning with the U.S. marathon trials in Los Angeles on Feb. 13. Trials for other popular events: diving, June 18 to 26 in Indianapolis; men’s gymnastics, June 24 to 26 in St. Louis; swimming, June 26 to June 3 in Omaha, Nebraska; track and field, July 1 to 10 in Eugene, Oregon; and women’s gymnastics, July 8 to 10 in San Jose, California.

The U.S. women’s soccer team will compete in Olympic qualifying matches to be held from Feb. 10 to 21 in Dallas and Houston, while the U.S. women’s water polo team will be competing for a berth from March 21 to 28 in Gouda, Netherlands.

A surfeit of talented players in some sports will make it tough to finalize Olympic teams.

Superstars LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony are among the 30 finalists for the U.S. men’s basketball team. The list features 18 players who have won 29 Olympic or World Cup gold medals. Other marquee names vying for the 12-member roster: Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, Kevin Durant of Oklahoma City Thunder and Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers.

Likewise, the qualification system for golf will eliminate some top players. The 60 men and women will be chosen from the top official world rankings, but there is a limit of four players per country. The cutoff for qualifying is July 11.

Refugee athletes will have the chance to compete in the Games. Three potential athletes have been identified so far and up to 10 are expected to qualify, according to the IOC. A group of refugees will march together in the opening ceremony, a refugee will carry the torch during the Greek leg of the relay, and the torch will make a stop at a refugee camp in Athens, the president of the IOC said on Jan. 28 during a three-day trip to Greece, the AP reported.

The IOC has pledged $2 million to help refugees.

Nick Zaccardi contributed information for this article.
 



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Trade Despaigne to Orioles]]> Thu, 04 Feb 2016 19:12:50 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-488079210.jpg

The Padres traded right handed-pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne to the Baltimore Orioles Wednesday for 19-year old pitcher Jean Cosme. San Diego also officially signed reliever Fernando Rodney to a 1-year deal.

Cosme, 19, went 3-5 with a 4.74 ERA (30 ER, 57.0 IP) and 53 strikeouts against 18 walks over 12 starts for Single-A Aberdeen in 2015. The right-hander signed with the Orioles as a 17th-round selection in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft out of Puerto Rico and made his professional debut with the Rookie-Level Gulf Coast League Orioles that year. Over his two professional seasons (2014-15) he has gone 5-5 with a 4.73 ERA (38 ER, 72.1 IP) and 70 strikeouts against 26 walks over 21 games, 13 starts.

Despaigne, 28, went 5-9 with a 5.80 ERA (81 ER, 125.2 IP) and 69 strikeouts against 32 walks over 34 games, 18 starts, for San Diego in 2015. The right-hander signed with the Padres in May 2014 as a minor league free agent and made his Major League debut later that year for San Diego. A native of Havana, Cuba, he has gone 9-16 with a 4.74 ERA (117 ER, 222.0 IP) and 134 strikeouts against 64 walks in 50 games, 34 starts, over parts of two Major League seasons (2014-15) for the Padres.

With today’s transactions the Padres currently have a full 40-man roster. But don’t be surprised if general manager AJ Preller keeps tinkering this month with spring training on the horizon.
 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Snoop Dogg, Super Bowl Reporter]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 09:13:15 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/snoop5.jpg

Rapper Snoop Dogg turned into a Super Bowl 50 “reporter” during the Broncos and Panthers press conference in Santa Clara Thursday, chatting up Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning and telling Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis to “go to work” with a broken arm.

"That's your spirit. Go to work. And when you get a sack, dab with your broken one, for me," he told Davis, referring to the "dab" dance move newly popular with football players and other athletes.

The rapper tweeted a photo of him shaking hands with Manning: “Legend. #TurfdUp,” he wrote, referring in the hashtag to his YouTube sports show. His next tweet was a selfie, followed by a photo of himself acting as a reporter for DirectTV's "The Rich Eisen Show."

Snoop also sent out a couple of tweets promoting Merry Jane, his Marijuana lifestyle platform he hopes will act as an icebreaker for people who take pride in their love for marijuana.

One said: “ganja proving 2 help athletes with sports related injuries,” with a photo of a rolled up ball of weed.

The tweets were removed from his timeline after some time. It wasn’t immediately clear why the rapper took the tweets down.

The NFL has a strict drug policy, but many question whether it is out of date. According to media reports, marijuana is coveted by NFL players as an invaluable painkiller, and for younger players, smoking weed is normal.

"There are so many people in the closet, and we are giving them an opportunity to come out of the closet and just admit they like to smoke," Snoop said at the Merry Jane launch at TechCrunch Disrupt in September. "I’m a smoker, my name is Snoop Dogg, and I’m a stoner."



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Golden State Warriors Honored at White House]]> Thu, 04 Feb 2016 12:27:02 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/214*120/AP_82877935622.jpg

In a season of memorable moments for the Golden State Warriors, the 2015 NBA Champions can add a White House visit to that list.

President Obama welcomed the team to the East Room Thursday and honored them for winning the championship title. [[367690421, C]]

"Dub Nation is well represented here," the president said, noting Warriors' fans House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, were in attendance. 

"It's a bipartisan affair," Obama said.

The president also praised interim coach Luke Walton, who led the Warriors to a record-setting 24-0 start this season — none of which will count on Walton's officials record due to NBA rules that credits wins and losses to head coaches only.

“You defied the cynics, you accomplished big things, you racked up a great record and you don’t get enough credit. I can't imagine how that feels," Obama quipped, drawing parallels between his presidency and Walton's leadership.

The Warriors were already in D.C. for a game against the Washington Wizards Wednesday night, where reigning NBA MVP Stephen Curry lead the team past the Wizards 134-121 for their eighth straight victory.

Obama took the chance to mock Curry’s celebrations during his 51-point performance.

“For those of you who watched the game against the Wizards last night, he was — to use slang — he was clowning,” Obama said, mimicking Curry's jumps. [[367711371, C]]

This wasn't Curry's first White House visit, nor the first time meeting President Obama. The star guard swung by 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in support of the president's Malaria Initiative last year, and the two also played a round of golf with Curry's dad and former Boston Celtics captain Ray Allen. [[367690921, C]]

“It will be fun, I’m looking forward to it,” he told reporters Wednesday evening after the game. “Everybody, besides Coach Kerr and Luke Walton, it’s their first time [at the White House] so we’ll be excited.”

Celtics forward David Lee, who spent five years on the Warriors roster, joined his former team in D.C.

“It’s certainly a thing that I definitely can’t pass up, especially since we have the off day, and it’s a chance, one of the final times to kind of celebrate what was accomplished last year,” Lee told the Boston Globe earlier this week.



Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[San Diego Ranked 35th Best Football City]]> Wed, 03 Feb 2016 16:53:18 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Chargers+1221.jpg

NBC 7's Derek Togerson defends San Diego as a football town in this commentary

I'm not one to play the "San Diego gets no respect" card. But when the offense is as egregious as this the tongue simply cannot be held.

A company called WalletHub did something it's calling a "study" where it tried to identify the best and worst football cities in America. They claimed to look at 18 metrics like performance of the local NFL and college football teams, average price of games and for some reason, Sports Bars per Capita.

Green Bay was number one on the list. It's hard to argue with that. The Packers are an institution in Green Bay and they can claim a large contingent of Wisconsin Badgers there, as well.

But to find San Diego you have to go all the way down to 35. That would be understandable if you did not see some of the cities that showed up with a higher score. Places like DeKalb, IL, which showed up in 23rd place. DeKalb is the home of Northern Illinois University and sits about an hour and a half away from Chicago.

No NFL city. A fringe-major college program. Twelve spots in front of San Diego.

What's really sickening is the face Washington, DC is directly in front of San Diego in 34th place ... but sitting right behind America's Finest City at 36 (and only 2-hundredths of a point back) is Fargo, ND.

Sure, North Dakota St. has won five consecutive FCS Championships. But let's be honest, if it weren't for the Coen brothers most Americans would not know Fargo exists. Don't try and tell me that spot is on the same level for football as San Diego, a town that's produced four Heisman Trophy-winning running backs.

By the way, if you'd like to see the entire list from WalletHub, you can see an interactive map that tries to sell its faulty "research" here:

[[367590011,C]]

Sure, the Chargers were putrid in 2015. There is no denying that. But both San Diego State and the University of San Diego won their conference championships last year. Rancho Bernardo High and Mater Dei Catholic High both won California state championships last year.

Football fans have it pretty darn good in San Diego. But, one of the very few things I did agree with in this "study" is Los Angeles ranking as the 211th best football city. I hope the Chargers keep that in mind as they're negotiating a new stadium deal in San Diego.


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<![CDATA[Aztecs Recruiting Class Rivals Power Conferences]]> Wed, 03 Feb 2016 14:49:58 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/Rocky+Long+MWC+Championship+Aztecs.jpg

The San Diego State football program officially announced its 2016 recruiting class on Wednesday. As you’ll hear every coach say at every program across the nation, the Aztecs think they have a solid group of players coming to the Mesa.

"We signed a pretty good class," says assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Tony White. "You're always trying to upgrade your talent level. We met our needs in this cycle."

The Aztecs look for a couple of very specific things when they recruit. Right near the very top of the list is size.

"I love big guys," says head coach Rocky Long. "I mean giants. I love giants. These kids want to be NFL football players. We run an NFL offense."

That's one of the reasons the Aztecs are suddenly getting access to a higher quality recruit while not having to work too hard to get them. As signing day crept forward several Big 10 and SEC schools jumped on some of the Aztecs recruits. That caliber of player used to be out of SDSU's reach.

"What's happened over the last few years is they're calling us," says Long. "We canvas California, Arizona and Nevada. We call every single high school in those states. Outside of that, we're not looking for them, they're calling us."

The Aztecs signed players from Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania and Georgia in this year's class. Even more important than their style, San Diego State's recent run of success, including last season's MWC championship and demolition of Cincinnati in the Hawaii Bowl, is selling the program across the country.

"I think we're getting in more homes because of our reputation," said Long.

Aside from being large (both in number and sheer bulk) the Class of 2016 is versatile and physical, two more things Coach Long covets.

"As you guys watch these recruits you'll see these guys are a physical group," said coach White. "These linemen are physical in the trenches. The linebackers are hitting guys; they're putting their face on guys. They're also pretty instinctive. A lot of them are two-way players. Great job by the staff identifying our kind of guy."

The recruits break down like this:

OFFENSIVE LINE (6): Derrick Achayo (Roseville, CA); Yasir Durant (Philadelphia, PA); Donnell Greene (Atlanta, GA); Tyler Roemer (Fernley, NV); Zachary Thomas (Carlsbad High School); Douglas Tucker II (Dallas, TX)

WIDE RECEIVERS (2): Isiah Macklin (Las Vegas, NV); Timothy Wilson, Jr. (Plano, TX)

TIGHT ENDS (2): Parker Houston (Sparks, NV); Kyle Spalding (McKinleyville, CA)

RUNNING BACK (1): Chase Jasmin (Agoura Hills, CA)

DEFENSIVE LINE (3): Jondarius Gardner (Pensacola, FL); Forrest Hanlon (Helix High School); Chibu Onyeukwu (Pittsburg, CA)

LINEBACKER (2): Troy Cassidy (Carlsbad High School); Dru Mathis (Ventura, CA)

DEFENSIVE BACK (4): Dwayne Johnson, JR. (Vista Murrieta High School); Keoni Stallworth (Elk Grove, CA); Trenton Thompson (Palm Springs, CA); Kyree Woods (Mesa, AZ)

ATHLETE (3): Parie Dedeaux, Jr. (Los Angeles, CA); Tayler Hawkins (Palm Springs, CA); Will Stricklin II (Mission Hills High School)

The Athletes are guys who played multiple spots well in high school and will find a permanent positional home in college.

You may notice that there's no quarterback in this year's class. That's OK with Rocky. The Aztecs already have eight QB's on their roster and expect five of them to play the position in Spring practice (which begins on February 19).

Coach White also mentioned San Diego State's football program being a "sleeping giant." A few more seasons like this and the giant just might wake up. Big-5 conferences, ye be warned.

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<![CDATA[Jerry Rice Poses as Lyft Driver]]> Wed, 03 Feb 2016 12:01:08 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/jerry-rice-lyft-driver-super-bowl.jpg

A handful of lucky Lyft riders got a huge surprise in the Bay Area recently.

The rideshare service used hidden cameras to capture reactions when Hall of Famer and 49ers legend Jerry Rice went undercover as a driver.

Introducing himself as simply J, Rice didn't let on to his riders who he was, but he still managed to charm them before revealing his true identity.

In an interview Wednesday with NBC Bay Area, the "greatest wide receiver of all time" said: "I was just curious to see if a hat and pair of shades and people wouldn’t recognize me."

He recounted one ride with a customer, where he joked around and pretended he was simply an actor.

"I think one guy – he was in the car with me he – said something about his favorite team is the San Francisco 49ers," Rice said, "and I looked at him and said,' You know, I really don't even like football.' "



Photo Credit: Lyft / YouTube
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<![CDATA[Broncos Player Sent Home After Questioned in Prostitution Sting]]> Tue, 02 Feb 2016 23:31:48 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/ryan-murphy.jpg

Ryan Murphy, a member of the Denver Broncos' practice squad, was questioned and released by Bay Area sheriff's deputies during a prostitution sting Tuesday.

Authorities determined Murphy was not involved in illegal activity at the Motel 6 off Brokaw Road in San Jose and he was released, according to the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department.

The Santa Clara County Human Trafficking Task Force was conducting the sting, authorities said. 

Sources tell NBC Bay Area Murphy was seen with his brother and a female passenger in a vehicle at the Motel 6. The woman went into the motel and then returned to the car, sources said. At that point, members of the task force swooped in on the car and its passengers.

Murphy's brother and the female were cited for alleged prostitution activity but were not arrested. The brother and woman allegedly knew each other.

Sheriff’s spokesperson Sgt. James Jensen said there have been several stings conducted over the last few days in which 10 men were cited and released, and 20 women acting as prostitutes were offered help.

Broncos Head Coach Gary Kubiak in a statement late Tuesday said the team sent Murphy back to Denver.

"Although practice squad safety Ryan Murphy was not cited by police, we decided it was best for the team if we continued our preparations for Super Bowl 50 without him," Kubiak said in a statement. "Ryan is returning to Denver but his status as a practice squad player has not changed at this time."

Murphy, a Bay Area native who attended Oakland Tech, was drafted 248th by the Seattle Seahawks in the 7th round of the 2015 NFL Draft.

The Broncos will face the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 in nearby Santa Clara on Sunday. Coincidentally, former NFL safety Eugene Robinson, who was arrested the night before the Super Bowl in 1999 for solicitation of a prostitute, spent part of the day Tuesday warning Panthers players "not to do what I did."



Photo Credit: Getty/file
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<![CDATA[SDSU Bounces Rams 69-67]]> Wed, 03 Feb 2016 17:08:13 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-507723742.jpg

It wasn’t pretty but it was a pretty good game.

The San Diego State Aztecs somehow pulled another rabbit out of a hat and *poof* – just like magic – their opponent’s chances at an upset disappeared.

The Aztecs extended their winning streak to 10 games (all against conference opponents) with a closely contested 69-67 home victory over Colorado State.

The Rams fell to 4-5 in the Mountain West while the Aztecs sit firmly entrenched in first place with a sparkling 10-0 record (17-6 overall).

Freshman guard Jeremy Hemsley converted a crucial bucket late when SDSU trailed 65-64. He worked his way into the paint and hit an off-balance leaner with 1:07 to play to give the Aztecs a 66-65 lead.

Despite multiple missed free throws, SDSU benefited from CSU’s sloppy execution and held firm on defense to hang on for the narrow victory.

Sophomore Trey Kell led SDSU with 19 points. SDSU senior Winston Shepard chipped in with 14 points and 9 rebounds and Malik Pope added 10 points off the bench.

San Diego State also outrebounded CSU by 10. That statistic was a big point of emphasis for the coaching staff since the Rams won the battle of the boards in the team's first meeting this season back in Fort Collins, Colorado.

New Mexico visits Viejas Arena on Saturday at 1 pm.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Manning Calls HGH Allegations 'Complete Junk']]> Tue, 02 Feb 2016 18:46:17 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/199*120/0201peytonmanning2.jpg

With Super Bowl 50 week upon us, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning wants to make it clear that the allegations made against him in an Al Jazeera documentary about sports doping are "complete junk."

Accusations regarding the superstar NFL athlete first surfaced in "The Dark Side," a documentary that investigates "the secretive world of doping in sports and raises questions about whether medical professionals are linked to some of the greatest sports heroes." Al Jazeera reported that Manning's wife received human growth hormone (HGH) from an Indianopolis clinic in 2011.

During Super Bowl Media Night in San Jose, Calif., on Monday, according to NFL.com, Manning said, "I welcome this NFL investigation, because I know the rules of the NFL and I respect the rules, they're important to me. And so what this report alleges that I did is simply not true. It's fabricated. It's junk. It's garbage. I could give you a long list of other words for it. I can guarantee this investigation, what it will find is an absolute big, fat nothing. That's how I feel about it."

When asked if he would let the league have his records from the Guyer Institute, where he and his wife were both patients, Manning told reporters in attendance, "I haven’t got any of them. They can have whatever they want to have. Like I said, it’ll all take place after the season. Whatever they’ve got to do, I welcome it 100 percent."



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Eric Weddle Live Tweets Shaving His Beard]]> Tue, 02 Feb 2016 15:12:23 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/WeddlebeardREAL.jpg

Mourn the loss, Chargers fans: Eric Weddle’s scruffy, signature beard is gone.

The pro bowl safety for the Bolts live tweeted his transformation after shaving the facial hair on Monday night.

He first surreptitiously tweeted: “I’m thinking of doing something crazy!!!!”

That tweet was followed up by a photo of Weddle with the long beard fans have become accustomed to:

Then, the transformation began. His next photo showed Weddle’s beard skinnier:

Then, he rocked the 'stache:

And finally, he showed the clean-cut finished product:

In cutting off his facial mane, Weddle alluded to changes in his life. "The beard will never dieeeeeeee," Weddle tweeted. "Haha. Love you guys. New beginnings baby. Edub is running the show from now on."

Weddle played for the Bolts for a decade, but said earlier this month that he expects to move on from the NFL team, as his contract expired at the end of the season.



Photo Credit: Eric Weddle/Twitter
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<![CDATA[Chargers Plan for San Diego Stadium Comes to Light]]> Mon, 01 Feb 2016 11:32:13 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Qualcomm-Spanos-Faulconer1.jpg

In 2015, Carson became a 4-letter word to Chargers fans. But in an ironic twist of fate, now the same strategy the Chargers used to try and make their jump to Los Angeles is likely going to be used to try and build a new stadium in San Diego.

A lot has been made of the Chargers “coming back to the negotiating table” with Mayor Kevin Faulconer and County Supervisor Ron Roberts. If the Chargers plan plays out, local politicians will still have significant input into the process because the team will want and need their support. But, in the end, the content of the citizen’s initiative and the campaign to win support for it will be decided on and funded by the Chargers.

Through a review of financial disclosures in Carson, NBC 7 SportsWrap has learned the members of the team the Chargers put together to fully entitle the land in Carson via a citizen’s initiative. A source close to the Chargers, speaking on the condition of anonymity, confirmed the team’s desire to have a citizen’s initiative be their course of action for whichever site is chosen, be it Mission Valley or Downtown San Diego.

“No matter which site is selected — Mission Valley or downtown — the quickest and most legally defensible way to gain the necessary local environmental entitlements will be through the citizen’s initiative process,” said the source. “That process will also involve all interested parties — community groups, fan organizations, organized labor, and the private sector — helping to provide the effort with real momentum in the way that would not be possible as the result of months of quiet, behind the scenes negotiating.”

In reality, the team feels citizen's initiative might be its only option. The Chargers still fear the so-called "quickie" EIR the City did for the Mission Valley site will not stand up to legal challenges and miss the August certification window, making it impossible to put on a November ballot. One more reason to believe the Bolts will be focusing their efforts on Downtown.

Chargers owner Dean Spanos has said publicly he prefers the Downtown stadium idea. To get that done, his best bet is to assemble the same team that got the Carson site entitled in a mere two months.

That team, according to public disclosure forms, consists of the law firm of Latham & Watkins; the political law and lobbying firm of Nielsen Merksamer; the law firm of Munger, Tolles & Olsen; global investment firm Goldman Sachs; and of course Chargers Special Counsel Mark Fabiani, and the campaign and signature-gathering team that Fabiani and his partner Chris Lehane assembled. Together they were able to push a citizen’s initiative through in Carson.

Fabiani and Lehane were also able to help Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson secure a new arena for the Kings when it seemed they were destined to move away from the California capitol. The Chargers may have lost out with their Carson proposal, but it’s not because the team working on the legal aspects did not do their jobs.

So with that success in their back pocket, the Chargers’ A-Team is about to be re-assembled for a run at a citizen’s initiative in San Diego, and the Bolts plan on starting that process soon.

NBC 7 SportsWrap was granted access to internal team documents that detail the timeline for putting the citizen’s initiative on the November ballot.

The first major deadline is March 24. That is when the measure must be drafted and ready for filing because the very next day a Notice of Intention, the full proposed legislation and an explanation of it, must be posted for the public to review.

Then on April 15 the public gets involved. That’s the day the petition can be circulated and the signature drive can begin. The Chargers paid for the signature drive in Carson and plan on doing that again in San Diego. This time they’ll need nearly 67,000 people to sign within an eight-week period in order to submit it to the City Clerk for verification.

The next major fencepost is July 18, when the City Council (assuming the signatures are verified) will have options on whether to adopt the initiative by Council action (which is what occurred in Carson) or to put it on the ballot. Assuming the Council chooses to place it before voters, the last possible day to place the citizen’s initiative on the November ballot is August 12.

All that leads up to the November 8 election. If all goes according to the Chargers plan November 8 will also be the day they find out if they can go ahead with a new facility in San Diego or if they take the deal to move in with Stan Kroenke in Inglewood.

That is the timeline we are working with but there is one more factor. Expect a big P.R. push from the Bolts as they try to win back fans and win favor from local decision-makers. The team understands having as many community leaders as they can on a united front makes what they’re about to attempt a whole lot easier.

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<![CDATA[Six is Enough for Snedeker]]> Mon, 01 Feb 2016 15:23:11 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-507921232.jpg

After finishing the fourth round of the Farmers Insurance Open on Sunday with a spectacular 69 and taking the clubhouse lead at 6-under par, Brandt Snedeker was not sure if that would be low enough to win. Most of the field did not get a chance to finish the final round due to nasty weather.

He thought six might be good enough to get him in to a playoff but with so many good players still in contention, and a night to let the weather subside, Snedeker went to sleep on Sunday night thinking he had a small chance to end up the winner.

“I went from thinking I had no chance of winning to feeling pretty good about it to thinking a playoff might be a best-case scenario,” said Snedeker.

At the end that six was just enough. Snedeker won the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines for the second time, even though he did not have to hit a single shot on Monday. Jimmy Walker, who was leading Snedeker by a shot when play halted on Sunday, had issues with a windy back-9 on the South Course and struggled to a final-round 77.

K.J. Choi, who was tied with Snedeker what play continued on Monday, was only one better, finishing with a 76 to put him one shot back of the champion.

“Those last 30 minutes were kind of killing me,” said Snedeker, who also won this tournament in 2012. “K.J. gave me about a heart attack on those last couple of holes. It was good enough to get the job done but it was still nerve-racking up until the last couple of minutes.”

Snedeker’s final-round 69 was truly a phenomenal achievement. He was the only player in the entire field to break par in the 4th round. That’s the kind of thing you usually see at a wicked U.S. Open course, not a normal tournament in San Diego.

Snedeker is from Nashville and went to school at Vanderbilt but he sure seems to like California. Four of his eight career PGA Tour wins have come in the Golden State (two at Torrey Pines, two at Pebble Beach).

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<![CDATA[3 Broncos Buses Collide in Bay Area]]> Mon, 01 Feb 2016 23:14:07 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/2016-02-01_14-54-41.jpg

Three Denver Broncos team buses collided with each other in Sunnyvale shortly after leaving a Super Bowl 50 practice session Monday.

California Highway Patrol motorcycle officers were providing a security escort for the team when they encountered slow moving traffic around 1:45 p.m. on southbound U.S. Highway 101 near State Route 237, according to the CHP.

A preliminary investigation shows that a Toyota RAV-4 driver may have made an unsafe turn. The two vehicles leading the motorcade were able to avoid colliding, but the three buses that followed them were not. 

None of the players were injured but one bus was disabled and had to be towed from the scene, the CHP said. The passengers on that bus hopped aboard one of the other team buses and the Broncos players continued to their hotel.

A CHP motorcycle officer, who was involved in the collision, was taken to an area hospital with minor injuries. He was clipped by one of the Broncos' buses as a result of crash, according to the CHP.

Players from both the Broncos and the Carolina Panthers are slated to attend Super Bowl Opening Night at SAP Center in San Jose later Monday evening.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Winds Blow Over Iconic Torrey Pines Golf Course Eucalyptus]]> Mon, 01 Feb 2016 19:47:47 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Damage+at+Torrey+Pines+Golf+Course-MCDS-PIC_0.jpg

 One of Torrey Pines Golf Course's most iconic trees, seeded at the 15th hole, collapsed during a strong winter storm Sunday.

Sunday afternoon's strong winds, which reached gusts of up to 60 miles per hour, blew down the massive eucalyptus after the golf course had been closed for the day. 

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Due to the El Nino-fueled storm, playing at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course was suspended Sunday afternoon and the course evacuated. Playing resumed Monday, but spectators were not allowed on the course as a safety precaution. 

The eucalyptus tree was an iconic part of the golf course for five decades. Over time, it grew so big the tree had an impact on the shot to the green from just about every single approach from almost any angle.

Some of the pros at the field who had played on the course multiple times said they were sad to see the old tree gone. 

Monday morning, crews chopped up the tree and cleared it for the final day of the Farmers Insurance Open. 



Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Hernandez Prison Letter Talks Pats]]> Mon, 01 Feb 2016 06:37:31 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/aaron+hernandez1.JPG

Another alleged prison letter from former New England Patriots star player and convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez has come to light. 

The note, first posted by TMZ Sports, praises Hernandez's former teammate Tom Brady while showing contempt for Patriots owner Robert Kraft. 

According to TMZ, Hernandez sent the letter Dec. 10 from the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center to a female pen pal he's exchanged notes with in the past.

READ THE LETTER HERE.

After accusing the recipient of "talking crazy" about him and suggesting ways to kill herself, Hernandez explains he has a TV in his cell and watches all the Patriots games.

"And yes I still root for my squad and still love all the ones I loved," the letter reads. "The closest I was with was probably Brady in whom I love to death and always will and only hope the best for them." 

Hernandez says he still supports the team even though some — including Kraft — no longer support him.

"And fake a-- non loyal Kraft who told me he loved me everytime he seen me but obviously shows his word ain't s--- but my love was real and still love all them cuz I'm not a phony like many of them!" the letter says. "But I watch every game faithfully cheering them on and always will cuz I have love for so many of them!"

Hernandez is serving a life sentence after being convicted last year of the 2013 murder of semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd. 

He has also been indicted in the 2012 killing of two Boston men, whom Hernandez is accused of gunning down after a chance encounter at a nightclub. He has pleaded not guilty. A trial date has not yet been set. 



Photo Credit: AP/File]]>
<![CDATA[El Nino Forces Farmers Finish to Monday]]> Mon, 01 Feb 2016 07:14:27 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-507777464.jpg

The final round of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines was suspended due to extreme weather conditions. That’s what happens when the day turns in to a scene from Caddyshack.

Wind gusts up to 50 mile per hour and heavy rains had the South Course on the San Diego coast looking a lot more like something you’d see in Scotland.

“This is like a British Open. This is not like California weather,” said Brandt Snedeker, the 2012 champion of this event. “The British last year at St. Andrews got pretty bad, kind of like this. There were guys hitting 5-irons from 120 yards today. It’s crazy stuff you can’t practice for. You just have to get lucky and hopefully get the right wind gusts.”

You might recall last year heavy rain and 40 mile per hour winds forced the Open Championship to finish on a Monday for only the second time in its 144 year history. To compare sunny San Diego to that is nothing short of astonishing.

“You don’t think about anything out there,” said Snedeker. “Throw the swing thoughts out. You’re just trying to play golf and get the ball in the hole as fast as possible.”

The leader when play stopped was Jimmy Walker, who’s 7-under par after 10 holes. K.J. Choi, who also played 10 holes, is one shot back. Snedeker is tied with Choi, one shot off the lead, but he’s in a unique position.

Snedeker is one of just a handful of golfers who actually finished their round on Sunday, making him the clubhouse leader. He’s also the only one to go under par for the day, shooting a phenomenal 3-under 69 that gets a spot on the short list of his best days on a golf course.

“This is one of my best rounds on tour by far,” said Snedeker. “It’s better than shooting 61 here my rookie year. I’ve shot some 63’s to win tournaments before but under these conditions to shoot anything under par or even around par is a good round. To shoot 69 when you need to is really special. It’ll go down as one of the best rounds I’ve played because of how awful it is out there right now.”

Snedeker was speaking with the media when the final warning horn of the day sounded, pulling golfers once again off the course.

“I don’t want to hear that,” he said. Snedeker knows a Monday finish means the course is going be much more playable.

“I want them out there playing because that’s what I had to play through all day. I want them out there going through the misery that I had to go through,” Snedeker said with a smile. “If they come back tomorrow it’s not going to help my cause if it’s nice, not windy and fine.”

Snedeker is also in the interesting position of having to stick around for another day. He was planning on going to Arizona on Sunday night to get ready for the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Now he has to wait around in San Diego to see if he’s needed for a playoff … or perhaps to hoist a trophy on Monday.

Play will resume at 9:00 a.m. Monday on the South Course. Due to safety concerns spectators will not be allowed to watch the conclusion of the event.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Weekly San Diego Sports Preview]]> Sun, 31 Jan 2016 16:00:02 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/Paul+Arriola+Xolos.jpg

Here’s a look ahead at what is going on in San Diego sports for the week of February 1st-7th.

GULLS: It is a double dose of hockey this week at the Valley View Casino Center. Friday the Gulls host Stockton and Saturday Milwaukee comes to town. Puck drops at 7:05 p.m. both nights.

CLUB TIJUANA XOLOS: The Xolos host Cruz Azul Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Estadio Caliente in Liga MX play.

SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY AZTECS:
-MEN’S BASKETBALL: Tuesday vs. Colorado State 8:00 p.m. and Saturday vs. New Mexico 1:00 p.m. both at Viejas Arena.
-WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Wednesday at Colorado State 6:00 p.m. and Saturday at New Mexico 1:00 p.m.
-WOMEN’S SWIMMING: Friday and Saturday at Air Force Diving Invitational all day in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
-MEN’S TENNIS: Saturday vs. Saint Mary’s 12:00 p.m. and Sunday at Cal Poly 12:00 p.m. both days in San Luis Obispo.
-WOMEN’S TENNIS: Saturday vs. UC Davis 12:00 p.m. at the Aztec Tennis Center.
-WOMEN’S WATER POLO: Saturday vs. Chinese National team (exhibition) 2:00 p.m. at the Aztec Aquaplex.

UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO TOREROS:
-WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Thursday at Saint Mary’s 6:30 p.m. at Saturday at Pacific 2:00 p.m.
-MEN’S BASKETBALL: Thursday vs. Pacific 7:00 p.m. and Saturday vs. Saint Mary’s 6:00 p.m. both days at the Jenny Craig Pavilion.
-MEN’S TENNIS: Friday at UCLA 3:00 p.m.
-WOMEN’S ROWING: Saturday vs. Minnesota (scrimmage) all day at Mission Bay.
-WOMEN’S TENNIS: Saturday vs. Pacific 11:00 a.m.

POINT LOMA NAZARENE UNIVERSITY SEA LIONS:
-MEN’S TENNIS: Wednesday at UCSD 2:00 p.m. and Saturday at Redlands 2:00 p.m.
-WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Wednesday vs. Cal State San Bernardino 7:00 p.m. and Saturday vs. Hawaii Pacific 2:00 p.m.
-WOMEN’S TENNIS: Thursday vs. UCSD 2:00 p.m.
-BASEBALL: Friday and Saturday at Chico State 2:00 p.m.
-MEN’S BASKETBALL: Saturday vs. Hawaii Pacific 4:00 p.m.

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SAN DIEGO TRITONS:
-SOFTBALL: Monday at Azusa Pacific 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. Friday vs. Metro State 2:30 p.m. and Western Oregon 5:00 p.m. both at UCSD and Saturday vs. Metro State 10:00 a.m. and Western Oregon 12:30 p.m. at UCSD.
-MEN’S TENNIS: Wednesday vs. Point Loma 2:00 p.m. and Saturday at Azusa Pacific 11:00 a.m.
-WOMEN’S TENNIS: Thursday at Point Loma 2:00 p.m., Saturday at Azusa Pacific 11:00 a.m. and Sunday vs. UC Davis 11:00 a.m.
-WOMEN’S WATER POLO: Friday at USC 5:00 p.m.
-MEN’S VOLLEYBALL: Friday vs. California Baptist 7:00 p.m.
-TRACK & FIELD: Saturday Blue-Gold 11:30 a.m. at UCSD.
-BASEBALL: Saturday The Master’s College 2:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. at UCSD.
-FENCING: Arizona State/Caltech/UC Irvine 2:30 p.m. at UCSD.

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<![CDATA[Aztecs Smother Rebels, Remain Perfect]]> Sat, 30 Jan 2016 21:52:23 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/Trey+Kell+at+UNLV.jpeg

San Diego State’s basketball team is following the same pattern as its football team: have a few struggles early in the non-conference schedule then put a stranglehold on the Mountain West.

SDSU went undefeated in MWC play on the football field and is halfway to doing the same thing on the basketball court.

The Aztecs beat UNLV 67-52 on Saturday night in Las Vegas to improve to 9-0 in conference play. San Diego State had four players score in double-digits, led by a game-high 14 points from sophomore guard Trey Kell.

The game was tight in the first half. The Aztecs led by a single point when senior forward Skylar Spencer tipped in a miss at the buzzer to put SDSU up 30-27. I don’t know if that did anything to jump-start them for the second half but after the break Steve Fisher’s guys were dominant, especially on defense (as is usually the case).

In the second half the Aztecs held UNLV to just 36% shooting and really locked up the 3-point line. The Rebels went 1-11 from the Land O’ Plenty.

“We created a little separation,” said Coach Fisher. “We got that eight-point lead and didn’t let them jump it back to two. I think that was important.”

The Aztecs open up a 2.5 game lead on New Mexico in the Mountain West. They’ll host Colorado State on Tuesday before getting their first shot at the Lobos on Saturday at Viejas Arena.

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