<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - San Diego Sports News]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/sports http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/KNSD+RSS+Feed+logo+blue.png NBC 7 San Diego http://www.nbcsandiego.comen-usThu, 30 Jun 2016 01:57:08 -0700Thu, 30 Jun 2016 01:57:08 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Padres React After Green Gets Tossed]]> Wed, 29 Jun 2016 23:52:43 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GreenEjectedWEBsound_1200x675_715639363557.jpg Padres manager Andy Green and players Brett Wallace & Christian Friedrich talked about what led to their skipper's ejection Wednesday and how they appreciate him standing up for his team.]]> <![CDATA[MJ's Minute-Sneak Peek of Tony Gwynn Collection for All Star Fan Fest Auction]]> Wed, 29 Jun 2016 22:01:17 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/MJsMinuteTonyGwynnAuction_1200x675_715686467749.jpg In this edition of MJ's Minute take a sneak peek into some of the items that will be up for auction during All Star Fan Fest in the Tony Gwynn collection, and Michael Phelps qualifies for a record fifth Olympics, the first for a male swimmer. ]]> <![CDATA[The Single Most Important Key to the Chargers Defense in 2016]]> Wed, 29 Jun 2016 11:40:45 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/Jason+Verrett+INT+in+Kansas+City.jpg

Of all the players on the San Diego Chargers defense, there is one man who will be far and away the most important piece of a successful 2016 season. In fact, other than Philip Rivers, it would be easy to argue that Jason Verrett is the guy the Bolts most need to have a monster year.

The third-year cornerback is coming off a Pro Bowl season where he had three interceptions and 12 passes defensed in 14 games. What was really impressive was the way he handled some of the best wide receivers in the game.

Just ask Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown and Chicago’s Alshon Jeffery how frustrated they got when they ran in to Verrett in a pair of Monday Night Football meetings. Verrett held Brown to three catches and 45 yards, Brown’s second-worst statistical game of the season. The Bears game against Jeffery was even more telling.

Through a quarter and a half Chicago QB Jay Cutler only threw at Jeffery three times with Verrett in coverage. Two of them were incomplete and the third was picked off and returned 68 yards for a touchdown. But Verrett injured his groin and had to leave the game. After his departure Cutler targeted Jeffery 13 times, completing 10 of them for 151 yards in a 22-19 comeback win.

The advanced statistical website Pro Football Focus had Verrett ranked as the 5th-best corner in the entire NFL in 2015, ahead of Seattle’ Richard Sherman and Arizona’s Patrick Peterson.  That is the level Jason Verrett can play to when he’s healthy. If he’s able to stay on the field for all 16 games he is going to make every Sunday like Christmas morning for Chargers defensive coordinator John Pagano.

Having a true shutdown corner is the dream of any defensive play caller. When you can take the other team’s best receiving threat and neutralize him with one guy you have lots of options. You don’t need to worry about moving a safety to help over the top of committing a linebacker to lend a hand underneath. So you know what you can do with those guys instead?

Blitz them. Or use them to help other corners who need it. Part of the Chargers problem in stopping the passing game in recent years is the safeties and linebackers had to spend so much time assisting the corners in coverage they couldn’t help the under-talented defensive line put pressure on the quarterback. No pressure on the QB gave him more time to find a breakdown in coverage. It was a vicious cycle of futility.

Verrett can help change all that. If he’s able to corral the other team’s WR1 then Pagano can get creative in his schemes to get after the QB. But this is not going to be easy. Verrett is going to be tested just about every week in the 2016 season. Here’s the list of wideouts he’ll face this year:

Jeremy Maclin = 87 catches, 1,088 yards, 8 TD

Allen Robinson = 80 catches, 1,400 yards, 14 TD

T.Y. Hilton = 69 catches, 1,124 yards, 5 TD

Brandin Cooks = 84 catches, 1,138 yards, 9 TD

Amari Cooper = 72 catches, 1,070 yards, 6 TD

Demaryius Thomas = 105 catches, 1,304 yards, 6 TD

Julio Jones = 136 catches, 1,871 yards, 8 TD

Thomas again or perhaps Emmanuel Sanders = 76 catches, 1,135 yards, 6 TD

A rare light week but don’t sleep on Dorial Green-Beckham = 32 catches, 549 yards, 4 TD as a part-time rookie starter

Jarvis Landry = 110 catches, 1,157 yards, 4 TD


DeAndre Hopkins = 111 catches, 1,521 yards, 11 TD


Mike Evans = 74 catches, 1,206 yards, 3 TD

Kelvin Benjamin = Missed 2015 with an injury but his 2014 numbers catch your eye: 73 catches, 1,008 yards, 9 TD

Cooper Part 2

Unless Josh Gordon is reinstated by the NFL there’s nobody on the Cleveland roster of note

Round 2 against Maclin to bookend the season (Remember it was Verrett who snapped Kansas City QB Alex Smith's streak of 312 straight pass attempts without an interception when he picked off a ball intended for Maclin last December. Smith was 46 shy of Tom Brady's NFL record)

That makes for a 1,000-yard receiver in every week except two. In 2015 the NFL only had 22 wide receivers top 1,000 yards and this year Verrett will line up against 12 of them. His ability to keep those guys from running wild and forcing Pagano to use resources to help him out will be vital to the Chargers defense improving enough to put San Diego back in the playoff hunt.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[All-Star Game Parade Planned in San Diego]]> Wed, 29 Jun 2016 15:02:38 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*146/2016+ASG+Red+Carpet+Map.jpg

It appears the MLB All-Star Game is the gift that keeps on giving to San Diego. On Wednesday Major League Baseball announced plans for a pregame parade through the streets of Downtown San Diego.

Starting at Noon on Tuesday, July 12, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel a line of convertibles carrying all the members of the National League and American League All-Star teams will be making its way through the streets to Petco Park. At the head of the parade will be the Grand Marshals, Padres legends Dave Winfield and Trevor Hoffman.

The parade will run across West Harbor Drive and on to Market Street before turning right on to Union Street. From there the cars will turn left on Island Avenue and drive for six blocks before hanging a right on 5th Avenue. If you’re looking for a good viewing area, the stretch on Island is the best place to set up.

The caravan will head down 5th for a couple of blocks, turn left on K Street and go to the 7th Avenue entrance to Petco Park.

Parking for the event is going to be extremely limited so the Padres and MLB are encouraging fans coming to the parade and the ensuing All-Star Game to use public transportation. Free park-and-ride lots will be located along Trolley and Coaster lines, including 5,000 spaces at Qualcomm Stadium.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Hammered at Home]]> Wed, 29 Jun 2016 16:32:52 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/177*120/GettyImages-543635644.jpg

Padres manager Andy Green is not a hothead. But when he’s had his fill of frustration he can blow like any other human being.

Green lost his temper in the top of the 5th inning of a 12-6 loss to the Orioles on Wednesday at Petco Park. With the O’s up 4-0 and the bases loaded Baltimore slugger Chris Davis hit a dribbler up the first base line. Padres pitcher Christian Friedrich fielded the ball and threw to first, and that’s where the fun began.

San Diego 1st baseman Wil Myers missed the throw and the ball ended up in right field. Yovani Gallardo and Jonathan Schoop scored to put the Orioles up 6-0 but Green thought Davis was running too far inside the first base line and should have been called out for interference.

"I got down to 1st base and could see his footprint right there in fair territory, which is where you're not allowed to be," said Green. "With his footprint there and with the way it transpired it should have been an interference call."

Umpiring crew chief Bill Miller, who was at 1st base, disagreed and Green got hot. Really hot. Green started waving his hands and pointing angrily at Miller, who didn’t take too long to throw Andy from the game. After that Green stayed a while longer and really let the ump have it before heading to the clubhouse to watch the rest of the afternoon's proceedings.

"It's my job to fight on behalf of my players," said Green. "I recognize it's a difficult call. There's a lot spinning but the way I saw it in real time it very much looked like he interfered with Wil's ability to catch the baseball."

That was the last inning Friedrich threw on a day where he started off looking tremendous. The Padres lefty retired the first nine hitters he faced, throwing 20 of his first 26 pitches for strikes. But he walked Morse High School alum Adam Jones to lead off the 4th and things immediately unraveled.

Schoop followed with a double to left-center to score Jones … Manny Machado singled to score Schoop … and Mark Trumbo unloaded his 23rd home run of the season in to the second deck in left field to give the Orioles a 4-0 lead.

Meanwhile, Gallardo was cruising on the mound for the O’s. He didn’t allow a hit until the 5th inning when Poway native Alex Dickerson dropped a single into shallow left field. The only runs the Padres scored came an inning later when Brett Wallace ripped a 3-run home run to straightaway centerfield. At the time it brought the Padres to within 7-3, theoretically just one grand slam away from tying it up.

That hope evaporated in the 9th inning. Ryan Buchter, one of the most reliable relievers in baseball for much of the year, walked three guys and gave up three hits. Two of the hits were RBI doubles by Machado and Trumbo that put Baltimore up 12-3 and solidified their 2-game series sweep.

Wil Myers bolstered his All-Star resume with a 2-RBI double in the 9th inning. Myers finished June with 21 extra-base hits, tying Greg Vaughn's franchise record for most extra-base hits in a single month.

The Padres get a day off on Thursday then open a 3-game set at Petco Park on Friday night against the New York Yankees. Colin Rea gets the start against Nathan Eovaldi.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Local Martial Arts Team to Compete in World Championships ]]> Wed, 29 Jun 2016 13:36:05 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/martial+arts.PNG

Punching, kicking, spinning and flipping, a team from Freestyle Marital Arts in Point Loma is headed for their greatest battle yet.

The team, ten kids ranging in age from 11 to 17, is preparing for the U.S. Open ISKA World Championships at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

The team will present a choreographed program mixing traditional marital arts with acrobatics and artistry.

The group has been preparing for years to qualify for the elite tournament where they will compete against teams from over 100 countries.

“You really get an adrenaline rush. It's so exciting especially with a team with your friends doing what you love,” martial artist Casey Hall-Landers told NBC 7.

“You're on that top tier of one percent of competitors, and they’re going to be seeing lots of cool tricks, lots of cool forms and be able to pursue their martial arts in an aggressive way in competition,” coach Taylor Clark said.

The 43rd Annual U.S. Open ISKA World Martial Arts Championships are scheduled for July 8 and 9, 2016.

The competition will be broadcast live on ESPN3 Saturday, July 9 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. EDT.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Serena Williams 'Sad' Some Athletes Skipping Rio Over Zika ]]> Wed, 29 Jun 2016 09:59:58 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP_16133484327092.jpg

Tennis star Serena Williams said she will be attending the Olympics in Rio despite concerns about the spread of Zika and is "sad" some have pulled out because of the virus.

"[That’s] something that's been on my mind," Williams told USA Today over the weekend. "I'm really just gonna have to go super protected maybe. I don't know."

Last month, 150 doctors, scientists and bioethicists from more than a dozen countries wrote a letter urging the World Health Organization to put pressure on Olympic officials to move or postpone the games because of global health concerns over the Zika virus.

The letter's authors wrote that Rio's public health system is too weak to make a serious push to rid the city of the mosquito that transmits the virus.

Since the letter was sent, several athletes have announced they will be skipping the Rio games over Zika fears, including golfers Rory McIlroy and Vijay Singh and cyclist Tejay van Garderen. Other athelets have pulled out, citing injuries, need for rest and other reasons. 

Williams told USA Today it's "sad" that some athletes are choosing to stay home.

"At the same time I obviously understand where they're coming from and how they feel," she said. "Part of me feels that way, too, which is why I'm going in, you know, with a whole mindset of how do I protect myself, how do I prevent and also raise awareness for this. That's kind of how I'm looking at it."

Zika, though primarily transferred through mosquitoes, can be sexually transmitted. The virus has been found to cause serious cognitive defects in newborn babies when contracted during pregnancy. It has also been linked to neurological disorders in adults.

This will be William's fourth time competing in the Olympics. She will be defending her champion title in both singles and doubles. Williams also won doubles gold with her sister Venus in 2000 and 2008.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Nike Tennis Dress Courts Controversy at Wimbledon]]> Wed, 29 Jun 2016 10:02:16 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-543416436.jpg

Nike has come under fire over the tennis dress it designed for its sponsored female athletes at this year's Wimbledon tournament.

The Championships at the All-England Club started Monday, and the dress named "Premier Slam" immediately courted controversy after players were spotted wearing them.

The dress, retailing for $100 on Nike's website, is standard Wimbledon white, but its loose fit and length has some players and fans complaining it reveals too much. Some players have also complained that the dress flies above the waist and gets in the way during plays, NBC's  "Today" show reported.

During qualifying rounds, Britain’s Katie Boulter used a headband as an impromptu belt to try to keep the dress in place. 

German player Sabine Lisicki, speaking at a press conference Tuesday after her 6-1, 6-3 win over Shelby Rogers, said she didn't feel comfortable "showing that much" and opted to wear a more conventional skirt-and-shirt set.

"For me, the most important thing is to feel comfortable and not to think about anything, and with this I feel great," Lisicki added.

But not all players were concerned with the mini. Eugenie Bouchard posted a photo of herself in the garb, with the caption "Short & Sweet." 

According to "Today," Nike has set up an alterations shop at Wimbledon so that players can make adjustments to their dress.

In a statement to "Today" Nike spokesman Matthew Kneller said the alterations are not part of a "recall" to the dress.

"The product has not been recalled and we often customize products and make alterations for athletes as they compete. We work closely with our athletes to provide them with product that helps them perform and feel their best on the court," Kneller wrote.

Wimbledon's famously strict dress code — which defines white as not inclusive of "cream or off-white" — does not specify a length for female players' skirts or dresses, only that it adhere to "common standards of decency."

Photo Credit: Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Pippen Lists Highland Park Mansion]]> Wed, 29 Jun 2016 07:31:34 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/pippen+house+0628.jpg

The north suburban home of former Chicago Bulls player Scottie Pippen is now on the market.

The Hall of Famer and his wife, Larsa, listed the five-bedroom, 10,000 square-foot home on a 2.9-acre lot in Highland Park Monday for just under $3.1 million.

Built in 2003, the Pippen family purchased the home for a little over $2.22 million in 2004, according to real estate site Redfin.com. The house boasts an outdoor pool, a wine cellar, and of course, a basketball court with a large rendering of Pippen’s Bulls jersey on the wood floor.

Pippen joins former teammate Michael Jordan in having a home on the market in Highland Park. Jordan originally listed his home in the northern suburb for $29 million in 2012. But four years later, the asking price for the 9-bedroom, 17-bath estate with ‘23’ on the front gate has dropped to $14.9 million.

Photo Credit: Redfin.com]]>
<![CDATA[Faces You Won't See in Rio]]> Wed, 29 Jun 2016 09:01:43 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/skipping_rio_header.jpg Some athletes are opting out of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, citing injuries or concern about the Zika virus, among other reasons.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Orioles Fly Past Padres 11-7]]> Wed, 29 Jun 2016 00:33:17 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/214*120/UptonJrCatch.jpg

The final score at Petco Park Tuesday was actually a little bit misleading. 

The Orioles led 11-1 after six frames thanks to a seven-run explosion in the 6th inning and wound up winning 11-7. 

Morse high school alum Adam Jones only needed to see two pitches from Padres starter Erik Johnson to lace a solo home run over the right-field wall. 

It was the first time in his career that the San Diego native led off a game with a homer. 

The five-time All-Star immediately put Baltimore in front 1-0, but after that, Melvin Upton Junior hijacked the spotlight for a few innings.

Upton launched a solo shot of his own off on offering by Ubaldo Jimenez in the bottom of the first inning. His blast covered 462 feet and tied the game 1-1.

Upton started in centerfield for the injured Jon Jay - who was placed on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with a right forearm fracture (retroactive to June 20th).

Jay was seen wearing a camouflage cast over his right wrist and manager Andy Green said he is expected to miss at least four to six weeks. 

Expect Travis Jankowski and Poway’s Alex Dickerson (who was called up Tuesday) to see more playing time in the outfield as a result this July.

In the second inning, Upton sprinted to the warning track when J.J Hardy sent a screamer to deep center.  

It would have been a two-run homer but Upton reached over the wall to rob Hardy and then proceeded to gun the ball to first base to double up Mark Trumbo.

So in a span of about ten seconds, Upton prevented two runs from scoring and provided an inning-ending double play.  

It was a remarkable play that even made it on to Sportscenter's top 10 plays of the evening. 

Ladies and gentlemen, we now have at least one entry for the 2016 Padres highlight of the year.

As great as that catch was, the middle innings that followed were rather deflating. 

Johnson struggled to keep the ball in the park, as Hyun Soo Kim and Chris Davis homered to give the Orioles a 5-1 lead.

The wheels came off for San Diego in the sixth when Baltimore racked up seven runs to open up a ten-run advantage. 

Johnson fell to 0-4 since joining the Padres and allowed four runs and seven hits in five innings.

Wil Myers added a three-run homer in the seventh to give him 18 on the season. 

His 11 home runs this month are the most by a Padres player in the month of June in franchise history.

San Diego scratched together three more runs in the ninth on a two-run double by Adam Rosales and a RBI double by Yangervis Solarte. 

The rematch is Wednesday in a 12:40 p.m. matinee. Christian Friedrich takes the mound for San Diego and opposes Baltimore’s Yovani Gallardo.



Despite a great all-around effort by Melvin Upton Jr, Baltimore's Adam Jones went yard and the Padres could not climb out of an 11-1 hole.The final score at Petco Park Tuesday was actually a little bit misleading. The Orioles led 11-1 after six frames thanks to a seven-run explosion in the 6th inning and wound up winning 11-7. Morse high school alum Adam Jones only needed to see two pitches from Padres starter Erik Johnson to lace a solo home run over the right-field wall. It was the first time in his career that the San Diego native led off a game with a homer. The five-time All-Star immediately put Baltimore in front 1-0, but after that, Melvin Upton Junior hijacked the spotlight for a few innings.Upton launched a solo shot of his own off on offering by Ubaldo Jimenez in the bottom of the first inning. His blast covered 462 feet and tied the game 1-1.He started in centerfield for the injured Jon Jay - who was placed on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with a right forearm fracture (retroactive to June 20th). Jay was seen wearing a camouflage cast over his right wrist and manager Andy Green said he is expected to miss at least four to six weeks. Expect Travis Jankowski and Poway’s Alex Dickerson (who was called up Tuesday) to see more playing time in the outfield as a result this July.In the second inning, Upton sprinted to the warning track when J.J Hardy sent a screamer to deep center.  It would have been a two-run homer but Upton reached over the wall to rob Hardy and then proceeded to gun the ball to first base to double up Mark Trumbo.  So in a span of about ten seconds, Upton prevented two runs from scoring and provided an inning-ending double- play.  It was a remarkable play that even made it on to Sportscenter's top 10 plays of the evening. Ladies and gentlemen, we now have at least one entry for the 2016 Padres highlight of the year.As great as that catch was, the middle innings that followed were rather deflating. Johnson struggled to keep the ball in the park, as Hyun Soo Kim and Chris Davis homered to give the Orioles a 5-1 lead.The wheels came off for San Diego in the sixth when Baltimore racked up seven runs to open up a ten-run advantage. Johnson fell to 0-4 since joining the Padres and allowed four runs and seven hits in five innings. Wil Myers added a three-run homer in the seventh to give him 18 on the season. His 11 home runs this month are the most by a Padres player in the month of June in franchise history. San Diego scratched together three more runs in the ninth on a two-run double by Adam Rosales and a RBI double by Yangervis Solarte. The rematch is  Wednesday in a 12:40 p.m. matinee. Christian Friedrich takes the mound for San Diego and opposes Baltimore’s Yovani Gallardo.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Adam Jones is Back in San Diego as the Padres Face the Orioles]]> Tue, 28 Jun 2016 23:47:00 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-543798240.jpg

Before San Diego fans watched the Padres start their final home stand of the first half of the season, we caught up with a hometown favorite. San Diego product Adam Jones is back in America’s finest city with the Baltimore Orioles for a two game series against the Padres. The Morse High School alum says even though he’s playing for the other team, his old school friends and fans greeted him with open arms. “Upon landing here Sunday night my phone probably had two or three hundred text messages. Just family and friends saying hey we’re coming out to support you” says Jones. “On my fan page on Facebook we have a class group discussion of our 2003 Morse High alumni and a lot of them have responded to that page. A lot of them should be out here tonight and hopefully tomorrow. It’s just good. The only thing I don’t like about it is we’re only out here for two days.”

Despite the brevity of the trip, Jones says he was instantly transported to his childhood and the days he watched Padres legend Tony Gwynn. “I don’t think you understood or appreciated it while you’re watching it, I think it’s once everybody retires or passes away that you appreciate what they’ve done more for you” says the outfielder. “Watching him and then getting to hit with him at San Diego State over the last decade was just a treat; something that you couldn’t pay for. Money can’t buy those types of things.”

The five time all-star is also looking forward to having the All-Star Game come to his hometown. He shared a family memory during his pre-game interview today about his parents bringing home a beach towel which he believes was the giveaway souvenir at the 1992 All-Star Game. Jones says family is very important to him. In 2014 he took his son, who was only four months old at the time, to the All-Star with him. “I had him in a Bjorn [carrier], so I wore him on my chest. He was my accessory.”

This year’s All-Star game is right around the corner but Jones says he still remembers his first time in the all-star clubhouse saying, “It was just a great experience being around [Derek] Jeter, getting to meet President Obama his first year in office, just being in that club house and the atmosphere around all the big boys in the game. From that moment on it was just something inside of me that made me feel like I belong here, I belong around these guys. I know their names are big, let me make my name just as big as these guys.”

For the third consecutive year Petco Park will host the Perfect Game All-American Classic which will feature some of the best high school players in the country. Jones said he never had an opportunity to play at “Jack Murphy Stadium” (now Qualcomm Stadium), but hopes this next generation knows how lucky they are. “These kids now a days are getting spoiled. They get to come in and get the opportunity to sit in the dugouts that we sit in, sit in the club house that we’re in, sometimes eat the spread, and get on these fields where if you spit out a sunflower seed there’s someone there to pick it up for you. These kids are getting spoiled now. But at the end of the day if they’re out there working their tails off and they deserve it and they’ve earned it then more power to them.”

The Padres lost game one against the Orioles 11-7. They’ll face off again Wednesday afternoon to close out the series. The Friars will take on the New York Yankees in a three game stretch which starts Friday night at Petco Park.

<![CDATA[MJ's Minute-Remembering Pat Summitt]]> Tue, 28 Jun 2016 20:42:25 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-805690431.jpg In this edition of MJ's Minute long-time women's basketball coach Pat Summitt has died at the age of 64, five years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease; and San Diego native Adam Jones is back in America's finest city as the Padres take on the Baltimore Orioles.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Pat Summitt's Storied Coaching Career in Photos]]> Tue, 28 Jun 2016 11:33:13 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-73800271.jpg

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[NFL Coach Buddy Ryan Dies at 85]]> Tue, 28 Jun 2016 09:48:51 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Buddy+Ryan.png

Longtime NFL head coach and defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan died of cancer at the age of 85 Tuesday morning, according to NFL.com.

During his 35-year career, James David "Buddy" Ryan was the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles and Arizona Cardinals and the defensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears and Houston Oilers.

After playing college football at Oklahoma A&M University, Ryan accepted his first coaching job at Gainesville High School in Texas. He also spent one year as athletic director at a high school in Marshall, Texas.

From 1961 to 1965, Ryan was a defensive line coach for the University of Buffalo before moving on to the New York Jets, where he won his first Super Bowl ring.

Ryan kept the same position for two years with the Minnesota Vikings, where his "Purple People Eaters" terrorized opposing quarterbacks.

The Chicago Bears named Ryan defensive coordinator in 1978. After a few years in Chicago, Ryan perfected the "46 Defense," which carried the Bears to a Super Bowl win following the 1985 season. That Bears defense is widely considered to be the greatest in NFL history.

Ryan's success with the Bears turned into a head coaching opportunity with the Philadelphia Eagles in 1986. He was fired after going 43-38-1 in five seasons, including an 0-3 playoff record.

The Houston Oilers brought Ryan on as defensive coordinator in 1993. He only lasted one year there, though, and is most famous for punching his team's offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride on the sideline during a game.

Ryan's final NFL job was to serve as head coach for the Arizona Cardinals, where he amassed a 12-20 record in two seasons.

Ryan's twin sons Rex and Rob, the head coach and assistant head coach of the Buffalo Bills, respectively, also have spent decades coaching in the NFL.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[A Look Back at the Legendary Basketball Career of Pat Summitt]]> Wed, 29 Jun 2016 06:26:01 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-136040800-summitt.png Pat Summitt was the winningest coach in Division I college basketball history and during her 38-year career at Tennessee, she brought the Lady Vols to eight national championships. She died at age 64 after fighting Alzheimer's Disease.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[MJ's Minute-Day 2 of U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials]]> Mon, 27 Jun 2016 22:16:07 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/MJsMinuteOlympicTrials_1200x675_714076227529.jpg In this edition of MJ's Minute we take a look at day two of the U.S. Olympic Swimming trials and the U.S. Men's Basketball Team is announced. ]]> <![CDATA[Is San Diego Ready To ADD Pro Sports Teams?]]> Mon, 27 Jun 2016 17:08:34 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/192*120/Embarcadero+Arena.jpg

NBC 7’s Derek Togerson takes a look at the potential for San Diego to add more professional sports teams in this commentary

Downtown San Diego is suddenly home to some of the most prime real estate on the planet. The San Diego Unified Port District has informed Terramar Retail Centers that it will not renew their lease on historic Seaport Village and opened it up to ideas for redevelopment.

That means as of September, 2018, the Port District can completely reshape that land, something they’ve thought for a long time about doing. So why is the sports guy interested in this?

Because one of the six ideas the Port District will consider includes an 18,000 seat sports and entertainment venue. Basically that means it’s a new Sports Arena and if that is the proposal that is eventually chosen it opens up a whole new world of possibilities.

There are other things included in the proposal by real estate company OliverMcMillan, including three hotels, several restaurants, office space, new performance space for the San Diego Symphony and even tide pools for the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (of the 70 acres the Port District is making available, 30 are submerged).

But the anchor would be that new arena, and that just begs the question … Why would someone build a new sports arena if there’s no team to play in it?

The most obvious answer is to hold concerts, special events and smaller conventions like Kansas City’s Sprint Center does. Even though there is no major professional sports franchise committed to playing there it hosts a myriad of different events. In July alone it will have performances from such diverse acts as Louis C.K., Drake and Dolly Parton. Sprint Center has hosted 540 events in a little more than five years.

Now, that might be enough for a new facility downtown but what really sticks out to me is the fact AEG Worldwide is on board with OliverMcMillan to design and run the proposed new facility. Having that sports and entertainment entity in the mix is like having Vegas lights going off when someone hits the jackpot.

Speaking of Vegas, it’s AEG Worldwide who helped with the new facility in Las Vegas that attracted an NHL expansion team. That arena was privately financed. In fact, here is just a partial list of the facilities AEG helped find private financing for:

T-Mobile Arena (Las Vegas)
Staples Center (Los Angeles)
American Airlines Arena (Miami)
StubHub Center (Carson, CA)
Citizens Bank Arena (Ontario, CA home of the AHL Ontario Reign)

That is a key component here. The development plan set forth by OliverMcMillan and AEG is estimated at about $1.4 billion and they say they can do the whole thing with private money. No tax increases. No cash from the general fund.

Do I have your attention yet?

Part of the reason they can do it is the Port District would offer a long-term land lease on the 70 acres on the Embarcadero. The developers would operate as a private entity and pay rent based on either a fixed rate or a percentage of profits (the Port District will make this offer to any of the six plans they are considering).

This way they don’t have to worry about the costly and often contentious “land acquisition” portion of a real estate deal. But, back to the big question of who gets to call the new arena home.

First thought would be the San Diego Gulls. The new hockey franchise had a wildly successful inaugural season in the American Hockey League playing at Valley View Casino Center, which is also operated by AEG. People I’ve spoken to with the Gulls say they would move to a new facility on the Embarcadero “in a heartbeat.”

The Gulls have a lease at the VVCC that runs for another four years, which would potentially line up nicely with when the proposed new facility Downtown could be set to open. Plus, with AEG as the manager of both facilities it would be easy to move to a brand new spot.

The Samueli family that owns the Gulls and NHL’s Anaheim Ducks loved their first experience with San Diego hockey fans and would be willing to move their team down I-5 to a new facility if it makes good business sense. However there is little likelihood they would bring the Ducks down to American’s Finest City full-time.

As for another NHL expansion team? The league will have to look at the possibility now that they have an odd number of teams but putting three franchises in Southern California, plus one in Las Vegas, would be a hard sell.

So how about the National Basketball Association? I know, we’ve had the NBA come and go (twice) but that was a different era of professional sports. Plus there was never a billionaire San Diego family that wanted to own a team here and keep it around for a while. Now there is.

The Jacobs family really likes basketball. They also run Qualcomm Incorporated and have more than enough cash to own an NBA franchise, something they have long wanted to do. A trio of brothers … Paul, Jeff and Hal Jacobs … even helped buy in to the Sacramento Kings to help keep the team in California’s capital city.

The number one reason the Jacobs boys have not brought a pro hoops team back home is the cost associated with building a new arena. If that part is already taken care of, the road has been cleared for them to make their longtime dream come true.

In March NBA Commissioner Adam Silver spoke about the possibility of the league expanding and said he doesn’t see it happening in the next couple of years but offered this caveat:

"Organizations all grow over time, and on an optimistic note," Silver said. "I don't think the there is any doubt that at some point we will turn back to looking at whether we should grow the league.”

A brand new arena with a wealthy and committed ownership would certainly grab Silver’s attention. If expansion is not in the cards there is always to possibility of a team relocating. Silver admitted that not all 30 current franchises are performing at the level he would like.

“At the moment we are not in the position, putting even aside profitability, where all 30 teams are must-see experiences,” said Silver. “That's not a secret."

But even putting all that aside a Downtown sports arena could be just the first domino to fall. First off it opens up the Sports Arena land where Valley View Casino Center now sits. The City of San Diego has identified that parcel as an underperforming asset and would very likely jump at the chance to have it redeveloped, which brings us to the San Diego Chargers.

The Bolts’ citizens’ initiative (CI) is 100% separate from any development that would happen on the Port District land. So if the Chargers get their plan on the November ballot and have it approved and City Hall does not throw up 2,000 road blocks to try and keep it from happening then BOTH the new convadium and the new sports arena could go up a few blocks from one another.

But in the event the Chargers don’t get what they want Downtown, they could then attempt another CI and go after the 100 or so acres at the Sports Arena. I asked Chargers Special Counsel Mark Fabiani if that is a spot the team would be interested in.

“No,” said Fabiani in an email.

But that’s OK! We still have lots of possibilities because AEG is now fishing in our waters and AEG, traditionally, does not get skunked.

If another development plan is chosen to redevelop the Embarcadero then AEG could still very well look to the City and offer the same kind of a setup. Legally they could do the same kind of land lease the Port District is offering its new tenant, tear down the Sports Arena, and start fresh with a L.A. Live kind of experience closer to Point Loma. Where the Gulls would play during that time is an issue that would have to be looked in to.

That would give San Diego TWO brand new redeveloped areas and start pulling us in to the 21st Century. Plus don’t forget something is eventually going to happen with Mission Valley. Either the Chargers will leave to go Downtown; leave to go to Los Angeles; or have a change of heart and commit to building a new stadium at the Qualcomm Stadium site.

If they go then we have the JMI Realty proposal to expand San Diego State University and build a 35,000 seat stadium for the Aztecs that could also hold a professional soccer team. Regardless of which new stadium is potentially constructed, Major League Soccer will strongly consider putting an expansion team in San Diego.

So, to recap, what if we go from the doorstep of losing our NFL team because it plays in an ancient stadium to having an NFL, MLS, and NBA team playing in a pair (perhaps trio?) of brand new, state-of-the-art facilities, all because somebody decided it was time to change Seaport Village?

It’s amazing to consider what might happen when someone engages in some forward thinking, isn’t it?

<![CDATA[2016 Rio Olympic Games: Swimming]]> Wed, 29 Jun 2016 10:14:44 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP_16117516881811-rio-olympic-park.jpg

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[San Diegan Named To US Olympic Team]]> Mon, 27 Jun 2016 12:21:39 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*120/Equestrian+Steffen+Peters.png

The United States Olympic Team will have a familiar face in Rio. San Diego’s Steffen Peters has earned a spot on Team America for the fourth time.

The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) revealed its four-member Olympic Dressage Team on Monday. The team consists of:

Allison Brock
Laura Graves
Kasey Perry-Glass
Steffen Peters

Brock, Graves and Perry-Glass will me making their first Olympics appearance so they will be looking to Peters for advice. He competed in the 1996, 2008, and 2012 Games and was an alternate in 2004.

In case you're wondering, Dressage is a competition based on training of the horse to develop its natural athletic ability and willingness to work with the rider.

Peters is a native of Germany. He came to America in the summer of 1984 to work at the San Diego-area barn of Laurie Falvo and fell so in love with the area he moved to America’s Finest City the very next year. In 1992 Steffen became a U.S. citizen.

He won a bronze medal in the team competition at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games aboard Udon. In 2008 in Beijing he rode Ravel to a fourth-place finish, narrowly missing his first individual medal. His current mount, Legolas 92, will be with him in Rio. Those two won team and individual gold medals at the 2015 Pan American Games.

Peters is an eight-time USEF Grand Prix Dressage National Champion and three times was named USEF Equestrian of the Year. He and his wife, Shannon, operate Arroyo Del Mar, a training facility in San Diego.

<![CDATA[Padres Leave Their Brooms In The Closet Again]]> Sun, 26 Jun 2016 13:54:18 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-543160768.jpg

Ten times now the Padres have had a chance to sweep a series. Ten times they have failed.

The Padres lost to the Reds 3-0 on Sunday at Great American Ballpark, making them 0-10 in games where they’ve been in position to sweep the other team. It’s also the 11th time they’ve been shut out this season (but the first since May 23). Cincinnati starting pitcher Anthony DeSclafani looked a lot like an early 1990’s version of Jose Rijo.

DeSclafani tossed 8.0 innings, striking out five without a single walk. All five of the Padres hits were singles and when they did get on base they had a lot of trouble staying there.

The Friars had three runners thrown out on the basepaths. One of them came in the 2nd inning when Melvin Upton Jr., who had been hit by a pitch, got a good jump in his attempt to steal second base. Reds catcher Tucker Burkhart made about as good a throw as a catcher can make, putting the ball right on the bag an instant before Upton slid in to the inning-ending tag.

The other two, however, were simply bad baseball plays. Alexei Ramirez singled in the 1st inning but then decided to try and steal second before DeSclafani started his move to the plate. Ramirez was thrown out easily trying to return to first base. In the 5th inning Upton was picked off first after his leadoff single.

Padres starter Luis Perdomo made one of the better starts of his young career. Perdomo went 6.0 innings, allowing just three runs and striking out five. What’s really promising is he was able to avoid the big inning.

Perdomo’s main struggle has been getting runners out when they reach base and preventing the dreaded snowball effect. Of the 10 baserunners he allowed only three of them scored and one was on a solo home run by Reds slugger Jay Bruce.

Right fielder Matt Kemp was not in the lineup in Cincy. Padres Manager Andy Green decided with a day off on Monday and another one on Thursday he’d like to let Kemp get a long rest. Alexi Amarista started in right field and made a nice defensive play on a fly ball against the fence in foul territory but at the plate went 0-for-3 with a strikeout.

The Padres start a 2-game series against the Orioles on Tuesday at Petco Park. Erik Johnson goes for his first win as a San Diego starter against Ubaldo Jimenez.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Local Boxer On Brink Of National Championship]]> Sun, 26 Jun 2016 12:44:45 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*120/Lizzette+Corrales+GIF.gif

Lizzette Corrales is a 15-year-old student at La Jolla High School. She weighs barely 100 pounds but don’t let the size fool you. This girl packs a wallop.

“I’ve always liked the concept of fighting,” said Corrales. “Boxing allows me to throw punches so it’s a perfect fit.”

Just three years ago Corrales found her way to Mongoose Gym, part of the ABC Youth Foundation. That’s where, under the watchful eye of long-time trainer Billy Moore, she found she has a certain affinity for a certain aspect of the Sweet Science.

“Throwing the jab in their face.”

That’s a good attitude for a fighter but if you’re going to hit, you’re also going to get hit. The first time that happens a fighter typically reacts one of two ways: get mad, or shy away.

“I got angry,” said Corrales, solidifying she’s in the right sport. “And then I started throwing a lot of wild punches but my coach said to calm down. So I just danced around the ring a little bit to calm down.”

Interesting she would describe it that way because before taking to boxing Lizzette was in a slightly different competition.

“I did ballet.”

Because the natural transition from ballet is, of course, to boxing.

“I never really liked ballet. I found boxing and thought it was a perfect match; going from gracious to furious.”

Believe it or not, starting in pointe shoes probably helped a lot once Corrales put on the boxing gloves.

“Actually I think it did. My coach said if I didn’t do ballet my footwork wouldn’t be as good as it is now. So I kind of thank my mom for that.”

Lizzette’s mom originally enrolled her in ballet because her older sister did it but now her parents are supportive of her sporting choice. The fact she’s an honor student doesn’t hurt her, either. Her coach Arthur Wilson has been training fighters for 45 years and has trained four national champions. He thinks Corrales has what it takes to be number five.

“Yes she does,” said Wilson. “She works hard, she’s disciplined, she doesn’t play around … those things make champions. She can become a professional world champion if she wants to. She can become an Olympic champion if she wants.”

So, what exactly does she want?

“I just want to be really good,” says Corrales.

Lizzette is really good already. She’s entered two tournaments and won them both, earning a spot in the Women’s National Golden Gloves tournament in Florida in July. If she wins that, she might want to pursue the Olympics. Or maybe go pro. But there is one thing that is absolutely, 100% going to happen.

“Graduating from college because I’m not going to leave out college.”

A National Championship belt would be a pretty cool thing to show admissions offices. Or, in Lizzette’s case, a whole bunch of title belts.

ABC Youth Foundation has set up a gofundme page to help Lizzette’s trip to the Golden Gloves. To help her on her journey and make a donation, click here.

<![CDATA[Pomeranz Leads Padres to Third Straight Win]]> Sat, 25 Jun 2016 19:14:59 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/178*120/GettyImages-533870008.jpg

Before the Padres and Reds kicked off a Saturday matinee match up, Cincinnati honored Pete Rose by enshrining him in the Reds Hall of Fame. Of course on the day the all-time hits king is honored it’s a pitcher that shines.

Padres starter Drew Pomeranz had the day pitchers dream of.

On the mound the southpaw was solid going seven shut-out innings giving up just three hits, striking out six with only one walk. Pomeranz got the win and improved to 7-7 on the season.

In the batter’s box he was just as solid. Matt Kemp gave the Padres a 1-0 lead in the first with an RBI ground out to third that scored Travis Jankowski but after that it was all Pomeranz. In the top of the fifth he sent a Brandon Finnegan offering into the right field stands for his second career home run doubling the Friars lead to 2-0.

But he wasn’t done.

Top of the seventh, Derek Norris on second with two outs Pomeranz sent a single into center scoring Norris making it 3-0 Padres. He finished 2-3 with two-RBI on the day.

Padres won 3-0 improving to 12-3 against Cincinnati over the last three years. San Diego goes for the sweep Sunday with Luis Perdomo (2-2, 9.00 ERA) facing off against Anthony DeSclafani (1-0, 2.30 ERA).

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Hit 4 Home Runs in Win]]> Fri, 24 Jun 2016 20:39:47 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-542888342.jpg

If hitting truly is contagious then the Padres needed to wear Hazmat suits on Friday night in Cincinnati.

San Diego scored a run in every inning but the 9th en route to a 13-4 win over the Reds at Great American Ball Park. The Friars line score looks kind of like a social security number:


They got a single run in each of the 1st through 6th innings, two more in the 7th and hung a five spot in the 8th. The Padres had 15 hits, including four home runs.

The first long ball was also the first run of the night. Wil Myers continued his torrid June with a solo home run in the 1st inning. For the month Myers has hit 10 homers, driven in 28 runs, scored 22 runs, and rolled up 1.176 OPS. That’s Babe Ruth territory.

Myers had three hits and drove in five runs, making him possibly the only man in a San Diego uniform that had a better night than Melvin Upton Jr. The Padres left fielder also had three hits, two of them home runs, and drove in four. Upton’s first long ball came in the 7th inning, a 2-run blast to right field to put the Padres up 8-4. His second dinger, another 2-run shot in the 8th, capped the high-scoring night.

Adam Rosales also went deep for the Padres, who unleashed a 15 hit attack against five Reds pitchers. San Diego starting pitcher Colin Read had really only one bad inning. Rea gave up four runs, all of them coming in the 3rd inning, when Cincinnati took their only lead of the night at 4-3. Rea ended up going 5.0 innings with seven strikeouts to get the win.

The Friars have won five of their last six games, including the first two of their 4-game set in southern Ohio. They can win the series on Saturday if Drew Pomeranz can beat Brandon Finnegan.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Diamond Gems?]]> Fri, 24 Jun 2016 18:08:13 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Todd_Padres_Mike_Dee_All_Star_Interview_1200x675_712493635723.jpg San Diego Padres President Mike Dee sat down to talk baseball with NBC 7's Todd Strain. Among the topics covered the July 12th MLB All-Star Game at Petco Park, the Padres play this season and the recent blogger campaign attempting to get Dee fired.]]> <![CDATA[Shaq Is US Sports Envoy to Cuba]]> Fri, 24 Jun 2016 13:16:33 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-508873874.jpg

Months after President Obama's historic trip to Cuba, 15-time NBA all-star Shaquille O'Neal will visit the island nation.

The State Department announced Friday that O'Neal will be part of a U.S. Department of State Sports Envoy to promote sports to the Cuban youth for four days starting this weekend.

The retired NBA star will be joined by Dallas Mavericks Assistant Coach Kaleb Canales to lead basketball camps for youth and demonstrate how sports can serve as a means of developing academic, leadership, and teamwork skills, according to a State Department news release. He is expected to visit historically significant cultural sites in Havana and further promote positive ties between the United States and Cuban people.

O'Neal played in the NBA for 19 seasons and retired following the 2011 season. He played for the Miami Heat from 2004 to 2008, winning his fourth championship, after many years with the LA Lakers and Orlando Magic.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[2016 SoCal Showdown for Archery Opens in Chula Vista ]]> Fri, 24 Jun 2016 20:57:22 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/archer1.PNG

Competition started Friday for the SoCal Showdown for archery in Chula Vista.

400 to 600 archers are expected to compete, including archers who will compete in the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

"It's proving to be a sport for all,” Robert Romero of the Eastern Sports Development Foundation told NBC 7. “Not just for the able-bodied as you can see, you see young people, old people, small, big, fast. It's for everybody. We can adapt equipment to anybody."

Opening rounds began Friday and the gold medal finals are scheduled at the San Diego County Fair on Sunday.

Archers will compete for gold and a spot on the U.S. National Archery Team.

The event is free and open to the public.

Competition takes place at the Easton Archery Center of Excellence & the Olympic Training Center at 2800 Olympic Parkway.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>