<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - San Diego Sports News, Photos, and Scores for the Padres, Chargers and More]]> Copyright 2014 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 Fri, 24 Oct 2014 00:14:54 -0700 Fri, 24 Oct 2014 00:14:54 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Orange Crushed]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 22:28:39 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/457744516.jpg

Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers is not shy. So, his explanation of the Bolts' 35-21 loss in Denver on Thursday night sums everything up perfectly.

"They outplayed us," said Rivers, adding, "I just think they're better than us right now."

With all the injuries the Chargers are dealing with, the Broncos are certainly better than they are. Rivers and his counterpart, Peyton Manning, both threw three touchdown passes. All three of Manning's scores went to Emmanuel Sanders.

The difference is, Rivers also threw two interceptions. One of those came when Keenan Allen slipped on a route. The other came when Malcom Floyd wasn't quite able to outjump a pair of Denver defenders on a late, semi-desperation heave to try and make the game close.

Manning did throw one pick to Eric Weddle, but it was called off because of a penalty. The Chargers also recovered a fumble when Denver kick returner Andre Caldwell coughed it up, but that was overturned by a replay. Both calls were ... let's say suspect, at best.

One of the lone bright spots for the Bolts was tight end Antonio Gates. In the second quarter, he hauled in a 31-yard reception to pass Lance Alworth and become the franchise's all-time leader in receiving yards. That catch set up a touchdown pass to Keenan Allen, his first scoring catch of the season.

But, the Broncos were just too much for a depleted Chargers secondary. Cornerback Jason Verrett tried to play with his injured left shoulder but was ineffective and joined fellow injured defensive backs Brandon Flowers and Steve Williams on the sidelines for the second half. Without him, Richard Marshall was forced to play corner and was repeatedly beaten like a drum.

For a stretch in the second half, undrafted rookie Chris Davis took over defensive back duties while Marshall was on the sidelines.

The Bolts now have 10 days to get ready for their next game, on November 2 in Miami. With a 5-3 record, the pressure is on to win in South Florida, something they have not done since the 1983 playoffs.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Chargers at Broncos: Who To Watch For]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 16:44:29 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/173*120/457519442.jpg

We waited on this to see whether or not Jason Verrett was going to be able to play for the Chargers in their Thursday Night Football duel with the Broncos.

He is, which is a bit a surprise and a testament to just how tough this rookie out of TCU really is. Verrett has not played since making his first NFL interception at the end of San Diego's win in Oakland two weeks ago.

He's been limited in practice for two weeks, missing last week's game against the Chiefs. But since fellow CB Brandon Flowers can't play with a concussion, Verrett is going to give it a go, even though he's nowhere near 100-percent. healthy. That's not really the way you want to go in to your first career game against Peyton Manning.

You can bet the house that Manning is going to test Verrett early in the game. If he holds up to the challenge, it'll be up to another defensive back to play a whole lot better than he did a week ago, and that brings us to our three players to watch:

Richard Marshall, CB

There's no way to sugar coat this. Marshall was awful after he came in for the injured Flowers against Kansas City. Dwayne Bowe was open multiple times against Marshall, who had trouble with the more physical wide receiver. Fellow starter Shareece Wright will likely see a lot of Demaryius Thomas, so Marshall should be matched up on Emmanuel Sanders quite a bit. Sanders is only 5'11", not the kind of monster that Bowe or Thomas are, so Marshall will likely not have to be playing 10 yards off the line of scrimmage like he did against Bowe. Marshall also had a brain cramp with a holding penalty on 3rd down that extended a Chiefs scoring drive. If Marshall is not dramatically better in coverage, especially early in the game, Manning will exploit him and the Chargers might be forced to give undrafted rookie Chris Davis more snaps. Again, not the way you want to see Manning for the first time.

Corey Liuget, DE

Now, the best way to help out a struggling corner is to not let the quarterback have enough time to throw at him. Last year's 27-20 Chargers win in Denver was sealed when Liuget hit Manning, forcing a bad throw that was intercepted by Thomas Keiser. If the Chargers want to have any chance at all of keeping this game close, they'll have to force turnovers. Since Manning typically is not going to make bad reads, and the running game with Ronnie Hillman is used mostly as a change of pace to keep defenses honest, the best way to get the ball from the Broncos is to force Peyton in to bad throws by knocking him around. Liuget has been, by far, San Diego's most disruptive lineman this season, and he'll have to keep it up in Denver.

Ronnie Brown, RB

Branden Oliver will be the feature back again, and he could have a big game. But he can't carry it 30 times. I have a feeling Brown has a chip on his shoulder right now. The veteran played a majority of the playoff game in Denver last year with Ryan Mathews out with an injury, and was not terribly effective. But, he's still dangerous going bewteen the tackles (witness last year's monster TD burst in Cincinnati) when he has a bit of a hole. Plus, he's earned the trust of Philip Rivers in the passing game. Last week the Bolts were 3-for-10 on 3rd downs, well below their season average. They repeat that this week and they'll get boat-raced. If Rivers needs to find someone on 3rd down he'll be looking for Antonio Gates. But, so will the Broncos. So, Brown will be an important option to keep the chains moving, and keep Manning off the field.

Derek's Prediction

Realistically, given the injuries the Chargers are dealing with in the secondary and at linebacker (Melvin Ingram will be especially missed Thursday night), it's crazy to think the Broncos are not going to score a bunch of points. So, the only way for the Bolts to win is to outgun them.

Philip Rivers absolutely has the ability to do that. He has the weapons in the passing game. He has a brand new toy in Branden Oliver (by the way, all the folks saying Oliver had an off game against the Chiefs are just wrong. He only got 15 carries because the Chargers had to throw so often, but averaged just shy of five yards a rush, which I'll take any day). He has complete command of the offense and what to do when.

I know it's a completely different situation, but last year's Thursday night win in Colorado keeps popping up in my head. All logic says the Broncos win this game. All numbers and statistical analysis say the Broncos win this game.

However, football is a game of emotion. So forgive me if I let my heart get the better of me here. The Chargers keep it close enough to have a shot, and Nick Novak nails a 58-yard field goal late in the 4th quarter to win it.

Final Score: Chargers 41, Broncos 40

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Broncos Trample Chargers in Denver]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 20:38:21 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/457744034.jpg

The Denver Broncos out gained, out scored and out played the Chargers in a 35-21 win on Thursday Night Football.

It spoiled the celebration for Chargers tight end Antonio Gates, who set the franchise record for receiving yards on a 31-yard catch in the second quarter.

Gates finished with 54 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He passes Lance Alworth's record of 9,584 yards.

Denver topped the Chargers by more than 100 yards, rushing for 139 yards in the win.

Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning threw for 286 yards and three touchdowns, all to receiver Emmanuel Sanders, who nearly gave up a fumble midway through the fourth quarter to let the Bolts back in the game. But Wes Welker fell on the ball and kept their drive alive.

Juwan Thompson added a pair of rushing scores for the Broncos, who improve their division-best record to 6-1. The Chargers drop to 5-3.

They could never get their running game going, gaining just 15 yards on 11 carries before a 17-yard Philip Rivers scramble in the fourth quarter.

The Bolts travel to Miami to play the Dolphins next Sunday at 10 a.m.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Niners' Second-Half Schedule Appears Softer]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 12:13:26 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/harrrbyeee.jpg

Depending on how it’s viewed, the 49ers' cup is half empty, or half full.

After getting roasted by the Broncos Sunday night in front of a national TV audience – and with so many key players missing in action with injuries – it would be easy to feel shaky about the 49ers future after this bye week.

The Niners are 4-3 and did little right against Denver.

But aside from the fact so many players may soon be back from injury, there’s another reason for optimism: the schedule.

As Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle pointed out this week, the final nine games of the 2014 season are a bit less foreboding than the first seven, beginning with the Rams on Sunday, Nov. 2 at Levi’s Stadium.

The cumulative record of the 49ers’ first seven opponents is 29-15. And, the 49ers gave the Cowboys (6-1) and Eagles (5-1) their only losses.

Over the second half of the season, just two opponents have a winning record, and the cumulative record of opponents is 22-29.

After the 2-4 Rams come the Saints (2-4), Giants (3-4), Redskins (2-5), Seahawks (3-3), Raiders (0-6), Seahawks again, Chargers (5-2) and Cardinals (5-1)

Of course, nobody before the season would have pointed to games against the Seahawks and Saints as being easy. Both have struggled but remain very dangerous. The Cardinals, meanwhile, might come back to Earth a bit and the Chargers benefited from a soft early schedule, so they may not be as strong as their record indicates.

After watching his team suffer its first loss in four games Sunday night, head coach Jim Harbaugh believes the 49ers will rebound, as they have so many times the past three seasons.

“Onward, we’ll rally,” he said. “Our team will be good at that.”


Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[War of the Words: Battle Heats Up Between SF, KC Librarians]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 13:07:42 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Juan+Marichal+and+Dan+by+Jim+Hart.jpg

The war of words is heating up between two public libraries 1,500 miles apart, as dueling librarians do their part to boost their hometown baseball team's quest to win the World Series crown.

Sounding a bit Shakespearean, Liesl Christman, the Twitter czar for the Kansas City Public Library, tweeted on Wednesday morning, hours after the San Francisco Giants crushed the Royals in Game 1 on Tuesday, 7-1: "'Tis but a flesh wound - @Royals will rally! Tonight, #LetsThrowFire!"

If the Giants win it all, Christman promised Wednesday her library will buy and shelve San Rafael author Dan Fost's book, "The Giants Baseball Experience: A Year-by-Year Chronicle from New York to San Francisco."

If the Royals win, Christman hopes the San Francisco Public Library will be forced to stock George Brett's "From Here to Cooperstown," which is about the Royals, on its shelves.

Michelle Jeffers, the digital guru at the library in San Francisco, said she'd consider the request, but from what's she's heard, that book is out of print.

"Even better!" Jeffers joked, adding that under different circumstances she and Christman might be very good friends.

Then Jeffers tweeted: "Guess we'll see what happens tonight when the Giants shhhhhhh-ut you down in Game 2."

No one is happier about the librarian smack talk than Fost, a former San Francisco Chronicle reporter who is now a full-time author and freelance writer. Each time the Giants make it to the World Series – this is third time in five seasons – he is asked to write a new edition. "This is a mutually symbiotic relationship," he said on Wednesday.

As for the baseball book bet, Fost is also genuinely enthralled Kansas City readers may be flipping through pages he wrote.

"What a great idea to promote reading," he said. "I'm so moved."

Photo Credit: Jim Hart
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<![CDATA[Survey Asks LA Residents About NFL Stadium]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:30:24 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/FARMERS+FIELD+-+INTERIOR+-+VIEW+OF+SEATING+BOWL.jpg

A survey sent to thousands of Los Angeles residents asks several questions designed to gauge interest in an NFL team and what kind of features recipients would like to see in a stadium if a team moves to the region.

An email titled "We Need Your Feedback: NFL Franchise in LA" includes a survey that is part of a market feasibility study as the league considers "the potential of an NFL team in the Los Angeles area."

The survey was conducted by a consulting firm on behalf of the NFL, according to the Los Angeles Times. Questions include how likely recipients are to buy luxury seats, clubs seats and season tickets, and what types of amenities potential customers would like to see in a stadium.

The survey was sent by the NFL to 2,000 potential customers, according to the Los Angeles Times, which cited an individual familiar with the survey but not authorized to discuss it publicly.

The market research might indicate heightened interest in a Los Angeles franchise, but the league has not announced plans to relocate a team or a timeline for such a move. Los Angeles has been without an NFL team since the Raiders and Rams left two decades ago.

Their departure has been followed by a 20 years of speculation that gained momentum with development plans around potential stadium sites. The survey sent Tuesday marks the first time the league has conducted a comprehensive survey of the market since the 1990s, the LA Times reported.

The more than 40-question survey includes the following questions:

  • Are you a fan of the National Football League?
  • Do you attend NFL games on an annual basis?
  • If a current NFL team relocated to the Los Angeles area, would the identity of the team change your attitude towards an NFL team in the Los Angeles area?
  • Would you be interested in attending other events at a new NFL stadium in the Los Angeles area?
  • How would you describe your (or your company's) interest in purchasing a loge box at a new NFL stadium in the Los Angeles area?

The survey also asks recipients to pick a favorite NFL team and express their interest other types of tickets and pricing plans.

At NFL meetings earlier this month, the New York Giants co-owner said officials discussed "a little bit" potential stadium sites in the Los Angeles area. Teams on short-term stadium leases include the St. Louis Rams, San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders.

Last week, the Los Angeles City Council extended for six months with AEG a deal proposed to bring an NFL team to a stadium that would be built in downtown Los Angeles. The sports-entertainment presenter agreed in 2012 to build the stadium and expand the nearby Convention Center, but that deal was scheduled to expire this month. As part of the extension agreement, AEG will pay for a study to expand the Convention Center with or without the stadium's construction.

Mayor Eric Garcetti said last week he "wouldn't bet the city on it," but expressed confidence that an NFL team will eventually move to Los Angeles.

Correction: An earlier verson of this article stated the LA City Council extended talks with AEG for six weeks, but the extension was for six months.

Photo Credit: AEG]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Fire Hitting Coach Phil Plantier]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 11:41:49 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/phil+plantier.jpg

An anemic Padres offense has cost hitting coach Phil Plantier his job.

The team is expected to announce his firing later today after Plantier guided an offense that finished last in runs per game (3.3), batting average (.226), hits (1,199) and a slew of other offensive categories.

The rest of Padres manager Bud Black’s staff is expected to return, including assistant hitting coach Alonzo Powell. There’s no word who will take over as hitting coach.

Plantier just finished his third season with the team. He was under contract through next year, according to MLB.com, which broke the story.

The Padres were shut out 19 times this season. Their .171 batting average in June was the lowest single month by a team in decades.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Chargers Goal: Keep Manning Off Field]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 08:32:17 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Chargers-Fan-Bolt-Up-155120.jpg

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is the subject of all the talk in the NFL after breaking the career touchdown passing record on Sunday night.

Now he and the league’s top-ranked offense get to pick apart a reeling Chargers D.

The Broncos lead the league in scoring, averaging 31.5 points per game. They are third in passing yards per game with 299. And there’s the whole 510 career touchdowns for Manning.

He has been as good as ever, throwing 19 scores and just three interceptions, completing nearly 69 percent of his passes.

“I never feel like I am playing the opposing quarterback,” Chargers signal caller Philip Rivers said. “But there are certain games and opposing quarterbacks that are more special than others. That’s just being honest.

Rivers said he enjoyed watching Manning break the record.

“That’s a credit to his consistency,” he said. “Being out there for his team, not only being out there, but at a high level.”

OK, but how do you beat this team?

“Players out-executing the scheme that presents itself to you,” Chargers coach Mike McCoy said. “That’s what it comes down to every play. It doesn’t matter who you’re playing against.”

That’s coach-speak for “Don’t give Manning any extra chances to beat you.”

Defensive coordinator John Pagano says one of the keys is doing better when the defense has the other team’s backs against the wall. The Chiefs converted 7-of-14 third downs in beating the Bolts on Sunday.

“We gotta get off the field,” he said. “Our last game was not our best performance.”

Getting the Chargers offense on the field – and, more importantly, keeping Manning off it – may very well be the biggest key. The Chargers have thrived this season when dominating time of possession.

The same was true in a Thursday night win over the Broncos last year. The Bolts converted half of their 12 third downs and had the ball nearly 39 minutes.

If they are unable to keep the Broncos’ offense on the sideline, it could be a long night in the Mile High City.

Rivers doesn’t deny the importance of matching up against one of the league’s all-time greats.

“Going against a Peyton Manning-led team, there’s no denying that there’s a little more uh, shoot, I don’t know what the word is -- awesomeness to those games,” he said.

As for getting over Sunday’s heartbreaker against the Chiefs, McCoy has no doubt his team has already put it out of their minds.

“We’ve got a lot of veteran players who have played a lot of big games,” he said. “They’ve played in plenty of games after a loss. It’s the next game you gotta play.”

<![CDATA["Polite" Librarians Talk World Series Smack]]> Tue, 21 Oct 2014 14:59:38 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/lib-th.jpg

You know things are getting intense when public librarians start talking smack about the World Series.

In a series of back-and-forth tweets, the city librarians in San Francisco and Kansas City began taunting each other – with book titles, of course – over which team is going to win Game 1 of the World Series Tuesday, the Giants or the Royals.

"We're polite but fierce!" the San Francisco library tweeted. "Get ready to cry some blue tears for @Royals when @SFGiants take the win tonight."

Michelle Jeffers, the social media guru for the San Francisco library and the mastermind of the tweets, had an obvious answer for why she was dissing the Kansas City library 1,500 miles away.

"Well, they started it," she said with a laugh.

In fact, they did. At 11 a.m., the Kansas City Public Library, tweeted: "Hey @SFPublicLibrary we have a book for you!" The link showed this title: "So, You Think You Know Baseball? A Fan's Guide to the Offical Rules," by Peter E. Meltzer.

"What? They think we don't know the rules?" Jeffers joked.

Liesl Christman, the digital contest specialist at the Kansas City library, happily admitted to "starting it." And she said she chose the baseball rules book while flipping through the catalog, trying decide what bibliophile zinger to fling.

"Yeah, I was hoping to get a response," Christman said from Kansas City by phone. "I just didn't realize it was going to go on so long."

The Twitter tete-a-tete went on for so long, partly, because Jeffers wasn't going to take it lying down.

She shot back: "Thanks, but maybe you should read this." And she sent them a link to Dan Fost's book, "The Giants Baseball Experience: A Year-by-Year Chronicle from New York to San Francisco."

Kansas City took aim again, pointing out that the Giants haven't always been in San Francisco - the team was once a favorite in the Big Apple. Christman tweeted a stack of "fairy tale" books with the hashtag #TaketheCrown.

Jeffers fired off another dig, albeit a courteous one, simply stating that the Giants history has been amazing "coast to coast."

"I didn't want to diss them too bad," Jeffers said. "I was trying to be polite because we're librarians here."

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<![CDATA[Cowboys Waive Michael Sam]]> Tue, 21 Oct 2014 13:37:30 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GERRY_MCCARTHY__1409761483_39578161-620x503.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys have waived defensive end Michael Sam, the NFL's first openly-gay player, from the team's practice squad.

Sam, 24, joined the Cowboys on Sept. 3 after being cut from the Rams. He was drafted by St. Louis in the 7th round and totaled nine tackles and three sacks in three preseason games before being cut by the Rams. 

He never played in a game for the Cowboys and the team has not released a statement on his departure.

After the announcement, Sam tweeted thanks to team owner Jerry Jones for the opportunity, as well as friends, family, teammates and fans.  He added he was disappointed, but looked forward to fight for an opportunity to play every Sunday in the NFL.

According to DallasCowboys.com, the release of Sam makes room for linebacker Troy Davis who worked out with the team Monday.

Sam is a Texas native who played high school football at Hitchcock High School before playing for Missouri.  While at Missouri, he was named SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year and had 11 1/2 sacks in the 2013 season.

The 6-1 Cowboys are off to their best start since 2007 when then finished the regular season at 13-3.  Monday night they'll face an NFC East rival, the 2-5 Washington Redskins, in Arlington.

Photo Credit: Gerry McCarthy / Dallas Morning News Staff Photographer
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<![CDATA[Clinic Helps Retired NFL Player Qualify for Settlement]]> Tue, 21 Oct 2014 10:06:11 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/boo+williams.JPG Retired NFL tight end Boo Williams is getting help from a San Diego clinic to qualify for the league's settlement with former players for conditions related to concussions. NBC 7's Bridget Naso explains on Oct. 20, 2014. ]]> <![CDATA[Now Comes the Hard Part for Winless Raiders]]> Tue, 21 Oct 2014 06:13:09 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/178*120/oakochsprno.jpg

Late in Sunday’s Raiders game against Arizona, the Cardinals’ Darnell Dockett held up a sign to the Oakland fans who’d been taunting him. 

“Worst team in NFL,” it said. “0-6.” 

Unfortunately, 0-6 might just be the start of the pain for Raiders fans this season. Except for the team’s next opponent, Cleveland – which lost to the previously winless Jaguars this past weekend – there doesn’t seem to be a winnable game on the Raiders’ entire schedule. 

In essence, the Raiders have gotten through the “easy” part of their season. They couldn’t beat the Jets, the Texans or the Dolphins, all of whom appeared vulnerable. And they let two good teams, the Patriots and Chargers, escape with victories when they were on the ropes. 

Now, after the 3-3 Browns this Sunday in Cleveland, come (in order): the Super Bowl champion Seahawks, the 5-1 Broncos who tore apart the 49ers Sunday night, the Chargers in San Diego, the Chiefs, the Rams (who just toppled Seattle), the 49ers, the Chiefs again, the 4-3 Bills and, finally, the Broncos in Denver.

Under new head coach Tony Sparano, the Raiders appear to be playing with more zest than they did under the now-fired Dennis Allen. But how much does zest count for when the defense is often overmatched and can’t come up with big plays in key late-game situations? 

“This is as bad as you’re going to et through the first part of the season,” veteran Raiders safety Charles Woodson told reporters after Sunday’s 24-13 loss to Arizona at O.co Coliseum. “We haven’t won a game. How much worse can it get than that, than not winning a game?” 

After the Raiders started 0-4, one number-crunching website, numberFire.com, gave the Raiders just a 2.14 percent chance of going 0-16. After all, it’s hard to go 0-16. Only the Detroit Lions of 2008 have been able to do it. At that time, the Jaguars (6 percent) were made the more likely winless team. 

But now the Jags are on the winning track and the Raiders are still searching. The website pointed to the Week 13 game in St. Louis as Oakland’s best chance for a win, giving it a 40.5 percent chance of victory.

For now, however, it looks like the Raiders are going to need some huge breaks to get that first victory. 

After watching his team lose for the 12th consecutive week, dating to the 2013 season, Sparano is staying positive. The schedule doesn’t look optimistic, but he is. 

“I’m going to work as long as I have to work to get this thing done the right way,” he said at his postgame news conference. “The team we play next week (Browns) got beat by a team today, to the best of my knowledge, that is in a similar situation. So we just have to work our tails off right now.” 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[2015 Amgen Tour of California Host Cities Announced]]> Tue, 21 Oct 2014 06:12:44 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AMGEN_RACE_HEAT_web_1200x675_258122819579.jpg

The largest professional cycling event in the United States is returning next year for its 10th anniversary, but this time only one Bay Area city will be on the route.

The Amgen Tour of California begins May 10, 2015, in Sacramento. Stage 2 will take racers to Nevada City in the Sierra Foothills, then Lodi, before heading to San Jose.

Next year's race marks the first time in four years the East Bay and Mount Diablo won't have a major role in the event.

It also marks the expansion of the women's race to a four-day event.

"We had the women do their finals last year around the downtown,” the Sacramento Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Steve Hammond said. “It was one of the most exciting aspects of the entire day."

The men's race concludes in Pasadena on May 17.

More information about the race is available at www.amgentourofcalifornia.com.

<![CDATA[Chargers: Nobody Likes Playing on Thursday]]> Tue, 21 Oct 2014 11:31:46 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/chargers+chiefs+nfl+6.jpg

There seems to be a consensus among NFL players and coaches when it comes to playing on Thursday night: Nobody likes it, but it’s a necessary evil.

After flirting with Thursday games in select weeks for years, the league has gone to a game every week this season.

The Chargers take their turn with a short week as they head to Denver to face the Broncos this week. Needless to say, nobody is pumped about having to play a division rival on short rest.

“It’s no secret that players aren’t super excited about Thursday night games,” said linebacker Jarret Johnson. “But the good news is it’s all equal. We’re all dealing with it. They’re sore too. So it’s just one of the many adversities of playing in the NFL.”

Of course, Johnson’s a seasoned veteran with a lot of games under his belt. Some of the younger players don’t seem too concerned about the physical aspect of the quick turnaround. Rookie running back Branden Oliver brushed off any questions of the effects of the short week.

“My body feels good. I’m ready to go,” he said.

Quarterback Philip Rivers is more concerned with getting over the injuries the team has been dealing with.

"It’d be nice to have about 2 1/2 weeks, with all we got going on," he said.

Coach Mike McCoy said the team’s system is in place, especially against a division rival they’ve seen plenty of times.

“Everyone in the league is doing it,” he said of the short week. “We have a good plan. I thought we had a great plan last year.”

The Chargers are wise to learn from the game plan from last year’s Thursday game – also on the road against the Broncos. They won that game, 27-20, the second of four straight victories to finish the regular season.

“It gives us some confidence,” Johnson said. “That was probably our best ball game last year. Now, that’s not going to help us on Thursday night. Just because you did it last year doesn’t mean you’ll do it again.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Scenes From Chargers Loss to Chiefs]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 10:40:11 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/chargers+chiefs+nfl+1.jpg The Chargers lost to Chiefs, 23-20, on Sunday to snap a five-game winning streak. Here are photos from the game at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Nick Canepa: Chargers Get a 4F]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 07:26:53 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Nick-Canepa-1020.jpg It's Monday morning, time for Nick Canepa's report card for the San Diego Chargers. He gives Jim Laslavic a preview on Sportswrap.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Best of NFL: Week 7]]> Sun, 19 Oct 2014 20:38:23 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/457509990.jpg Don't miss the most dramatic images from the seventh week of the 2014 NFL season.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Chargers Fall in Final Seconds to Rival Chiefs]]> Sun, 19 Oct 2014 16:46:45 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/chargers+1019.jpg

All during their five-game win streak, the Chargers were able to control the clock and the game.

On Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs were able to beat them at their own game, holding the ball for more than 38 minutes in a 23-20 win over the Bolts at Qualcomm Stadium.

It's the Chargers' first loss since Week 1, dropping them to 5-2.

The Chiefs (3-3) drove down the field on their final possession to win the game on a field goal with just 21 seconds left.

Cairo Santos made the decisive 48-yard kick, his third of the game.

Philip Rivers completed 17-of-31 passes for 205 yards and a pair of touchdowns, but was unable to engineer a game-winning drive in the final seconds.

Tight end Antonio Gates caught three passes for 61 yards and a touchdown. That leaves him 29 receiving yards shy of the all-time Chargers record.

He will try to break it on Thursday when the Bolts travel to Denver to face the Broncos in what will likely be a battle for first place in the AFC West.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Who To Watch For: Chiefs vs. Chargers]]> Sun, 19 Oct 2014 00:25:41 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/164*120/456757970.jpg

Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles is good.

Thank you, Captain Obvious!

I mean, he's a tremendous running back, just 53 yards shy of passing Priest Holmes and  becoming Kansas City's all-time leading rusher. But, you could argue that he's every bit as dangerous when he catches the ball out of the backfield.

In 84 career games, he has 16 touchdown catches. Now, let's put that in perspective.

In his entire soon-to-be Hall of Fame career, a span of 170 games, LaDainian Tomlinson (one of the greatest pass-catching running backs of all time) caught 17 touchdown passes.

Over the first 84 games of his Hall of Fame career, Marshall Faulk (THE greatest pass-catching running back of all time) caught 11 touchdown passes.

Jamaal Charles is on a pace to not only be good, but to be among the best to ever play the game, which is why he poses such a threat to the Chargers' 5-game winning streak on Sunday.

Of the 10 touchdown passes the Bolts have allowed in 2014, four have come from running backs. The Bolts are among the best teams in the league in guarding wide receivers, so the guys on the outside are doing just fine.

But, they're one of the worst teams in the NFL at covering running backs, so the guys on the inside need some work. And that brings us to this week's players to watch for:

Donald Butler, ILB

Butler has been one of the top offenders when it comes to running back assignments (just cue up the tape from the Seahawks game and you'll see what I mean), which is interesting because he's shown glimpses of being very good in coverage. Butler has picked off a pass in 2011, 2012 and 2013, plus one against the Broncos in the Divisional Playoffs. But, this year, he's been losing backs with alarming consistency. While Defensive Coordinator John Pagano will also use safety Eric Weddle to keep an eye on Charles, Butler will likely be the first option. If he can't stay close to the Chiefs' All-Pro back, this game will turn in to a shootout like last year's 41-38 slugfest at Arrowhead Stadium.

King Dunlap, LT

If it does get to a point where the team with the ball last wins, and the Chargers are having to pass 35 times, Philip Rivers will be in great peril. Kansas City linebackers Tamba Hali and Justin Houston are pass rush specialists who can wreck a game in a hurry. Both of them were hurt in the first game of 2013, and neither dressed for the season finale. Dunlap has played at a Pro Bowl level this season, and he'll have to maintain that to give Rivers a chance to get the ball off (and avoid having to drink all his meals for a month). Hali and Houston will rotate from side to side on occasion, but for the most part Dunlap will be tangling with Hali, who has 76.5 sacks in his career. If Dunlap can delay him long enough to give Philip Rivers three or four seconds to throw (and right tackle D.J. Fluker can do the same with Houston on the other side), the Chargers have a monster advantage, and here's why.

Keenan Allen, WR

Statistically speaking, Marcus Cooper is the worst cover cornerback in the NFL right now, and Keenan Allen is probably not the right guy to fix that against. I'll go back to that game in K.C. last year, where Allen caught nine passes for 124 yards, the majority of them on crossing routes where he lost Cooper either at the line of scrimmage (in press coverage) or in the middle of the field (in zone). While Cooper did show improvement in the season finale, the second-year CB seems to have regressed a bit. Allen leads the Chargers in catches, but has yet to get in the end zone, and while he is supportive of his team-mates scoring lots of touchdowns, the frustration has got to be mounting. Against the Jets, Philip Rivers made a few interesting throws late in the game that sure looked like he was trying to get Keenan a TD. This might be his best chance yet to do it.

Derek's Prediction

I am scared to death of this game. The Chargers offensive line has been beat up, and against the Chiefs front seven (linemen Dontari Poe and Allen Bailey are also having solid seasons), getting Rivers enough time to find an open man will be difficult. However, if they do, Philip will have no trouble dissecting the Chiefs secondary, especially with safety Eric Berry not playing.

On defense, the Bolts will benefit from getting Shareece Wright and Reggie Walker back, but if Brandon Flowers (groin) and/or Jason Verrett (shoulder) can't play, they'll be in deep trouble trying to handle not only Charles and fellow running back Knile Davis, but tight ends Travis Kelce and Anthony Fasano.

When you have this many variables, I like to look at two final factors: location, and quarterback. The game is at home. The Chargers have Philip Rivers. In a game between two teams that do not turn the ball over very much, expect a clean, close match where the Bolts hold the trump card.

Make it seven straight wins for San Diego over Kansas City at Qualcomm Stadium.

Final score: Chargers 27, Chiefs 24

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Olympian, Coach Steve Scott Battling Prostate Cancer]]> Sat, 18 Oct 2014 17:49:22 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/steve+scott+getty.jpg

The Carlsbad man who held the U.S. record for fastest mile for more than two decades is suffering from prostate cancer, according to Scripps Health. 

Steve Scott, 58, made the announcement Saturday at the Cougar Challenge cross country meet at Cal State University San Marcos.

The three-time Olympian is currently head coach of the cross country team and track and field team at CSUSM.

Between 1982 and 2007, Scott held the record for fastest mile among American men at 3 minutes 47 seconds.

About one in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA["War Machine" Attempts Suicide: PD]]> Sat, 18 Oct 2014 10:54:24 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/War-Machine-vegas-MMA.jpg

A professional mixed martial arts fighter accused of beating his porn star ex-girlfriend and one of her male friends tried to commit suicide in a Las Vegas jail, authorities said.

Jonathan "War Machine" Koppenhaver, 32, was found Tuesday in a cell at the Clark County Detention Center sitting on the floor with his feet resting on the bunk, Las Vegas Metropolitan police said in a statement.

The officer noticed what appeared to be a torn piece of linen around his neck that was tied to the leg of his bunk, police said.

The officer called to Koppenhaver several times, but he did not respond, according to police. When the officer went inside the cell he noticed that Koppenhaver was struggling to breathe, police said.

The officer cut the ligature from Koppenhaver’s neck and his breathing became less strained and he started to speak, police said.

Koppenhaver was moved to a medical isolation cell, where he was placed on suicide watch.

Police said they found a suicide note inside Koppenhaver’s cell.

Koppenhaver, a former porn actor, was booked into Clark County jail in August.

He's accused of beating adult film actress Christy Mack and her male friend at a Las Vegas home on Aug. 8 before fleeing to the Los Angeles suburb of Simi Valley, where he was arrested a week later.

Koppenhaver faces charges including attempted murder and dozens of assault counts.

Koppenhaver made his Ultimate Fighting Championship debut in 2007 and legally changed his name in 2008. He lost his only pay-per-view bout that same year.

He fought out of San Diego for a variety of promotions and had a 14-5 record as a welterweight. He lost his last fight, in Iowa, last October.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Simi Valley Police/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Chiefs Provide Interesting Challenge]]> Thu, 16 Oct 2014 23:43:48 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/187*120/456758080.jpg

I don't like to put too much stock in Fantasy Football's relationship to Reality Football, but there's one statistic that is intriguing, and seemingly true-to-life:

The Chargers defense is the best in the NFL against opposing tight ends.

Sure, they haven't played many (if any) really good tight ends in 2014, but that doesn't change the fact the Bolts have had a whammy against that particular position. I can come up with two reasons why:

1) They get to practice against Antonio Gates every day, and if you don't get really good going against that cat, you're borderline hopeless.

2) Eric Weddle.

Usually, teams think they've got a mismatch if they can isolate a tight end on a safety. However, the All-Pro has been extremely good in coverage against me who are routinely six inches and 60 pounds bigger than he is.

Guys like Chiefs monster Travis Kelce, who is emerging as one of the most dangerous weapons in the Kansas City attack. Kelce missed his rookie season with a knee injury, but he's figuring it out in his second year.

Kelce has made 20 catches with 17 of them ending with either a first down or a touchdown. He's already the favorite receiver of Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith, even though he's still only playing around half the team's offensive snaps.

He's caught a touchdown in three straight games, and it'll very likely be Weddle who's tasked with snapping the scoring streak. In out outstanding example, Week 4 of last year, Weddle spent a majority of his afternoon chasing around Cowboys tight end Jason Witten (a future Hall of Famer) and held him to one of his lowest yardage totals of the season.

This is the first real tight end test the Bolts will face this season, so it's logical to think Weddle has the right of first refusal in covering Kelce.

"Not to give everything away," said Chargers Defensive Coordinator John Pagano, "but I think there could be some situations where we'll put Eric in to cover a tight end."

That's about as close as a confirmation as an NFL coach will provide.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Aztecs Ranked No. 17 in Preseason Hoops Poll]]> Thu, 16 Oct 2014 16:26:09 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/SDSU-Aztecs-Mascot-2014.jpg

San Diego State's men's basketball program keeps rising to new heights.

The Aztecs were ranked No. 17 in the USA Today coaches poll, released today. That’s their highest preseason ranking ever and just the second time the program has been ranked in the preseason. SDSU was ranked 20th in the AP and USA Today polls in 2012-13.

Last year, the Aztecs were unranked in the preseason poll. They climbed as high as No. 5 and were in the poll for the final 16 weeks of the season, from Dec. 9 on. They finished No. 12 in the postseason USA Today poll.

Kentucky is ranked No. 1 in this year’s preseason poll, followed by Arizona, Duke, Wisconsin and Kansas.

The Aztecs’ regular-season opener is on Nov. 14 against CSUN.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Chargers D Line Gets Back to Basics]]> Thu, 16 Oct 2014 15:05:04 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/chargers+defense+chiefs.jpg

A week after getting torched for four touchdowns and 396 yards by the winless Oakland Raiders and rookie quarterback Derek Carr, the Chargers defense is hunkering down and getting back to basics.

“We worked on getting to the quarterback as a front four,” said defensive end Corey Liuget. “Last week, the guy did have more time than any other quarterback we faced, but they did a pretty good job protecting up front.”

Next up is a new challenge in a Kansas City Chiefs squad that favors the run, but still has a quarterback who can make plays in Alex Smith.

“He’s running the system the way it’s supposed to be run,” Chargers coach Mike McCoy said of Smith. “The success he’s had all last year and the success he’s had this year, he’s very efficient … and his ability to make plays with his feet when things aren’t there.”\

While the Chiefs rank 29th in pass yards per game (197), Smith still brings a mobility the Chargers have not seen much of this season.

“We gotta make sure we’re tight on coverage and when he scrambles, we gotta have good rush lanes to minimize his plays, not only with his arm but with his feet,” McCoy said.

Liuget is confident his line mates can step up and put pressure on a Chiefs offensive line that has allowed 13 sacks this season.

“(Last week) we didn’t play to our standards, definitely,” he said. “We just gotta get back to it. We came out here to practice and got the bad taste out of our mouth."

They are also preparing for a big dose of the ground game from a team that ranks fourth in the league in rushing yards.

“We’re expecting to see Jamaal Charles carry the ball at least 20 times,” Liuget said. “He’s a heck of a runner. He’s a downhill runner.”

As for a secret weapon, the Bolts downplayed the impact of cornerback Brandon Flowers, who spent his first six seasons in Kansas City.

“Anytime you have players that come from other places and things like that, at times you’ll see something,” McCoy said. “But we’re putting our plans in and doing what we do.”

Added quarterback Philip Rivers: “Anything he can lend to the normal preparation, but certainly I’m not overdoing it.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Win Game 4, Lead NLCS 3-1]]> Thu, 16 Oct 2014 06:20:53 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/457282342_8.jpg

The San Francisco Giants took Game 4 of the National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals with a 6-4 win.

Wednesday night's win at AT&T Park gives the Giants a 3-1 series lead over the Cardinals.

Game 5 is scheduled for 5 p.m. Thursday at AT&T Park and will feature a rematch of Game 1 starters Madison Bumgarner of the Giants and Adam Wainwright of the Cardinals.

Visit NBC Bay Area's San Francisco Giants page for more coverage.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Kamara James, U.S. Fencing Olympian, Dies in Modesto]]> Thu, 16 Oct 2014 08:52:48 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/KamaraJames.jpg

Kamara James, a former U.S. fencing Olympian, died suddenly in Modesto this month, USA Fencing announced.

James, a New York City native, was 29. The cause of death was not announced, but friends and former teammates noted that the Princeton graduate had battled mental illness.

James was an outstanding scholar, using near-perfect SAT scores to secure an academic scholarship to Princeton. She took a year off from college to qualify for the Olympics, and raised more than $50,000 to pay her own way there, according to USFencing.org.

She had retired from fencing after the 2004 Games.

According to friends, James had just settled down into a "stable drug regimen" to soothe her mental illness before her death.

Details of a memorial service are pending.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story used an incorrect photo to identify Kamara James.

Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Keeth Smart via www.usfencing.org]]>
<![CDATA[Tough Road Ahead]]> Wed, 15 Oct 2014 22:37:33 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/chargers+raiders+nfl+5.jpg

Having an extra week to prepare for an NFL opponent is an advantage. And for the second straight game the Chargers will face that challenge against a division opponent nonetheless. 

Last Sunday the Oakland Raiders, fresh off a bye, played the Bolts tough. This Sunday the Bolts host the Chiefs who, like the Raiders, will be well rested. Kansas City hasn't played since October 5th.

Seem a bit unfair? It gets worse for the Bolts. After the KC game on Sunday the Chargers have only a few days to prepare for yet another division opponent. They play at Denver on Thursday night.

Despite the scheduling oddities Philip Rivers doesn't seem too concerned, "Those kind of things that are out of our control really don't matter when you get down to it." Rivers added,"Come one o'clock on Sunday it isn't anything we'll be thinking about."

If there is a silver lining, after the Chargers game at Mile High next Thursday the Bolts have an extra three days to prepare and/or rest before traveling cross-country to face the Dolphins in Miami on November 2nd.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[McCoy: Fill Empty Seats With Chargers Fans]]> Tue, 14 Oct 2014 22:22:07 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/chargers+fans+chiefs+game.jpg

Heading into Sunday’s divisional showdown with the Kansas City Chiefs at Qualcomm Stadium, Chargers coach Mike McCoy doesn’t want to give any advantages to the visitors.

There are about 2,500 tickets available for the game, and McCoy hopes nobody wearing red will get their hands on them.

“We would love to have 2,500 go to all Chargers fans,” he said. “This is a team coming in from Kansas City that has one of the loudest, if not the loudest crowds week in and week out. So we need to have our loudest fan support, as many Chargers fans in their seats as possible.”

It’s a big game for the Bolts in more than one way. They’ll be wearing their powder blue alternate jerseys for the game – the first time this year fans will get to see them.

They will also induct all-time franchise sacks leader Leslie O’Neal into the team’s Hall of Fame at halftime, part of the team’s Alumni Day.

“It’s gonna be a great atmosphere,” McCoy said.

The Bolts go for their sixth straight win, sporting a 5-1 record that matches their best start since 2002. They lead the Denver Broncos by a half game in the AFC West and are tied for the best record in the league. The Chiefs are third in the division at 2-3.

The cheapest tickets for Sunday’s game on the Chargers website as well as secondary market ticket site StubHub.com are going for around $60.

“I say to the fans, look at the energy in the stadium,” McCoy said. “It’s not just the players. It’s big for us. It really helps our football team.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rookie Oliver Emerges in Bolts Backfield]]> Tue, 14 Oct 2014 12:46:15 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/branden+oliver+chargers+raiders+profile.jpg

Call him the reluctant superstar.

Chargers fans are calling rookie running back Branden Oliver a savior after he nearly single-handedly led Sunday’s comeback against the hated Oakland Raiders, scoring the winning touchdown with under two minutes left in a menacing road environment.

If he is the team’s next star in the making, we’re going to have to work on his interview skills.

“I mean yeah, kind of, sort of, I guess.”

That was Oliver’s first answer when he took the podium this week to talk about his newfound fame. Wait, what was the question?

Doesn’t matter. Oliver’s play on the field speaks for itself. That’s now two straight games with over 100 yards and a touchdown. On Sunday, his 101st and final yard was the most important. It came on a dive over the pile into the end zone, giving the Chargers a 31-28 that would hold up in the end.

Now the undrafted rookie from the University of Buffalo is getting praise from veterans and coaches alike.

“He’s a great player. He acts like a veteran,” 11th-year receiver Malcom Floyd said of Oliver. “He does a lot of extra stuff on and off the field to take care of his body.”

The praise isn’t lost on a guy who didn’t even know if he’d be on an NFL roster heading into training camp. He might not be here if it weren’t for a season-ending injury to Danny Woodhead and another that has kept Ryan Mathews out of the lineup for the past month.

“It feels great, honestly, to have the veterans talk like that,” Oliver said. “But I still have a lot of work to go.”

He put a full game’s worth of work into that last drive, which was a thing of beauty. The Chargers found themselves in a rare position this season: Trailing in the fourth quarter. In fact, the only other time they have been down in the final frame was the last two minutes of the season-opening loss to the Arizona Cardinals. Since then, it’s been smooth sailing … until Sunday.

That’s when Oliver took over, reeling off runs of 12, 10 and 7 yards before the final plunge put them up for good.

“Branden Oliver had an outstanding game running the football,” Chargers coach Mike McCoy said. “The last drive there, going in and punching a score, to score at the end was an outstanding way to finish the game. You always talk about running the ball in the end zone when you have an opportunity and we did a great job there.”

Now the job of lead back is his for the taking, at least until Mathews is healthy enough to get back on the field.

The big question everyone in the league has to be asking themselves is, why did nobody draft this guy? He set the school rushing record with 4,094 yards at Buffalo, leading them to a bowl game against San Diego State last year.

Oliver says he uses the slight it as motivation.

“Everybody wants to get drafted,” he said. “I’d be a liar to sit up here and tell you I didn’t want to get drafted. I wanted to be first pick. But it didn’t happen. But at the same time I woke up with a purpose every day. This was my desire since I was a kid.”

The diminutive star has found motivation his whole life. When you’re only 5-foot-6 ½ -- Oliver says he stopped growing somewhere around his junior year in high school – you gotta be quick and elusive.

“Since I was a little kid, I was chased around by my older brothers in the back yard,” he recalled. “They were older than me, and faster, so I had to learn how to duck underneath and cut different ways.”

Now the Bolts, who are tied for the best record in the league at 5-1, have Oliver to thank for a lot of their success.

“I ended up in the right place, and just continue to (be in) the right place and time,” he said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Randle Faces Shoplifting Charge]]> Tue, 14 Oct 2014 17:31:13 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/joseph-randle-mugshot-inset.jpg

Frisco police say they arrested Dallas Cowboys running back Joseph Randle for allegedly shoplifting $123 in underwear and cologne Monday night at Stonebriar Centre Mall.

According to police, Randle, 22, was stopped by Dillards loss prevention employees and detained at about 8:15 p.m. after they saw him make a purchase at a counter and then walk to another part of the store where he allegedly put a tester bottle of Gucci Guilty Black cologne ($84) and a 2-pack of black Polo underwear ($39.50) into his Dillards bag.

When he left the store and into the parking lot, he was stopped by store employees.

After Frisco police compared the contents of Randle's Dillards bag with his receipt and watched surveillance footage of him in the store, he was placed under arrest on a Class B misdemeanor for theft between $50 and $500 and put into a Frisco police car.

While there, the officer said Randle said if he knew he was going to be arrested he would have just kept walking to his car.

According to the police report, Randle told officers that he didn't pay for the merchandise because he did not want to take the time to do it.

After being booked into jail, Randle posted $350 bond and was released at about 1:20 a.m. Tuesday.

Randle, a second-year player out of Oklahoma State who was drafted by the Cowboys in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL Draft, is a backup running back for the team. In six games this season, Randle has carried the ball 16 times for 113 yards. In 2013, the back carried the ball 54 times in 13 games for a total of 164 yards.

According to RotoWorld, in 2013 Randle signed a four-year $2.39 million contract that included a $188,820 signing bonus.  His base salary in 2014 is $495,000. He is set to make $585,000 in 2015, $675,000 in 2016 and is a free agent in 2017.

At this time, there has been no statement from the Dallas Cowboys.

NBC 5's Catherine Ross contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Report Links GoPro to Brain Injury]]> Tue, 14 Oct 2014 17:12:17 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP886669197394.jpg

The French commentator whose reported remarks had sparked reports that a GoPro camera may have played a role in Formula 1 racing legend Michael Schumacher's brain injury is now urging everyone to "stop all speculation."

Schumacher, 45, has been immobile and unable to speak after he fell and hit a rock in a skiing accident last year while he was wearing a GoPro camera mounted on his helmet.

European news outlets had reported that racing commentator Jean-Louis Moncet told Europe 1 radio that Schumacher's son Mick told him the placement of the camera contributed to the brain injury — but Moncet denied that Tuesday on Twitter.

"The problem for Michael was not the hit, but the mounting of the GoPro camera that he had on his helmet that injured his brain," Eurosport had earlier quoted Moncet as having said.

But Moncet appeared to contradict that suggestion in a tweet Tuesday.
"STOP ALL SPÉCULATION," he tweeted. "Mick could not say something about camera or injury of Michael because we did not speak together."
Following the initial report linking the GoPro to Schumacher's injury, shares of the Bay Area-based company plummeted, losing as much as 10 percent in trading Monday, Business Insider reported.

A GoPro spokesman declined to comment on the report linking the camera to Schumacher's injury but said the company was monitoring the situation closely.

Schumacher emerged from a medically-induced coma in June but remains in serious condition.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Air Force Captain Proposes to Cheerleader During Game]]> Tue, 14 Oct 2014 10:05:30 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/212*120/457130192.jpg

The Arizona Cardinals may have defeated the Washington Redskins on Sunday, but Cardinals cheerleader Claire Thorton, 23, was the big winner when her Air Force Captain boyfriend got down on one knee during a break in the game and proposed.

Eric Straub, 26, dressed in his flight suit, completed a successful mission when Thorton said “Yes!” in front of thousands of screaming NFL fans who watched the proposal on the stadium’s Jumbotron.

"It was pretty amazing,'' Thornton told TODAY.com. "I was shaking really bad. He's like 'Put the ring on!' And I'm like, you put it on me!'

Thorton thought that Straub, an F-15 pilot in the Air Force, was getting a special welcome home from the Cardinals during the game since he had just returned from a deployment in the Middle East the night before.

Meanwhile, the airman had already organized with Cardinals officials that he would propose to his cheerleader girlfriend when he came out on the field.

“It was so loud you couldn't hear anything. I had all these things I wanted to say, but once I got down on my knee, I had no idea what to say. I think all I said was, 'I love you marry me!' It was funny.''

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Scenes From Chargers Win Over Raiders]]> Tue, 14 Oct 2014 12:24:32 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/chargers+raiders+nfl+3.jpg It took a comeback and a huge interception on defense for the Chargers to pull off a 31-28 win over the Raiders in Oakland. Here are scenes from Sunday's game.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Oakland Raiders Fans Egg San Diego Chargers Bus]]> Mon, 13 Oct 2014 08:39:21 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/raiders_bus_image.jpg

It was a rude welcome Sunday by Oakland Raiders fans when the San Diego Chargers' team bus showed up at the Coliseum.

Cameras captured fans pelting the Chargers' bus with eggs. Of course, the Chargers and Raiders have a deep and heated rivalry.

In the past, the fans have too.

No response yet from the Raiders on what happened, but the Chargers did get the last laugh by coming back late to win the game 31-28.

Photo Credit: Jordan Beane]]>