“We overlook it as something children do. As adults, we view it as entertainment. But there is an intrinsic value to sport, not only in teaching teamwork,” says Anita L. DeFrantz, 61, president and a director of the LA84 Foundation. Above, DeFrantz holds an Olympic torch at the foundation in January.

The gig: Olympic medalist Anita L. DeFrantz, 61, is president and a director of the LA84 Foundation, the charitable organization that runs off an endowment of surplus funds from the Los Angeles Olympic Games. In the three decades since those games, LA84 has donated more than $214 million to more than 1,100 Southern California youth sports programs, providing opportunities for more than 3 million children. DeFrantz has spent nearly half her life with the organization, formerly known as the Amateur Athletic Foundation. She was named


Man with the luxury to say no to anyone: Donald Sterling.

So Donald Sterling, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, stands accused of having made remarks of unbelievable crassness and flavored with a racism that would bring a tear to the eye of Cliven Bundy.

Are you surprised? Me neither. Sterling’s record of difficulty with racial issues is well-documented, including two lawsuits (one from the federal government) alleging racially discriminatory rental practices at his real estate properties. He settled both for millions.

Then there was the lawsuit from long-term Clippers general manager Elgin Baylor accusing Sterling of racial and age discrimination; Baylor lost his case in a 2011 jury trial. Another accusation of racist rhetoric, attributed to veteran college basketball coach Rollie Massimino, dates back to the 1980s. And there’s more.

The fact that Sterling has survived all these prior dustups — and the betting here is that he’ll survive this one, too — says less about Sterling himself than it does about America’s unhealthy relationship with its pro sports tycoons and about the unhealthy structure of pro


American Legion Chaplain Bill Cook, right, is leading the charge for a veterans cemetery at the former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro. Pictured with him are, from left, Zeke Hernandez, Alex Diaz and Ken Jackson.

When American Legion Chaplain Bill Cook peered through the chain-link fence at the windswept landscape — a broken runway, scrubby fields and green foothills in the distance — he remembered the Phantoms.

The fighter jets were once a regular sight, slicing through the air over what was for decades a bustling military base.

“The jets would just roar,” he said on a recent afternoon at the old U.S. Marine Corps Air Station El Toro.

Now the Vietnam veteran is leading the charge to transform a small piece of that land into a final resting place for Orange County’s veterans.

Cook and others have been pushing for a veterans cemetery here since El Toro


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A top NFL official acknowledged for the first time on Monday a link between football-related concussions and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), the degenerative brain condition caused by repeated blows to the head.

The statement came from the National Football League’s senior vice president for health and safety, Jeff Miller, when he was asked during a hearing before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Committee whether a link has been established between football and disorders such as CTE.

“The answer to that question is certainly yes,” Miller said in testimony recorded in a video clip posted by the television sports channel ESPN on its website.

Miller’s comment marked the first time a senior league official has publicly conceded the sport’s connection to CTE, which medical research has closely linked with the repeated head injuries, often leading to aggression and dementia.

A high incidence of degenerative brain disease in former professional American football players has led thousands of NFL alumni to press for and win a settlement that could cost the league $1 billion.

The subject gained additional attention from the 2015 film “Concussion,” which starred Will Smith


We will go directly on the basics of snowboarding. Do not expect that this will be an expert explanation to do Garlands, Traversing on Heel side, Traversing on toes side, etc. This is for you who just start to get to know with the snowboard. Maybe you this winter is the perfect time to start your learning then here you go the snowboard tips.

First, good preparation will help a lot in beginning. What you need to prepare? The first is your snowboard, choose your snowboard in the mountain shop or big box store with the guide of someone who is able to advice you which snowboard for beginners is suitable for your first time on snow. The preparation also includes the clothes to keep you warm. When you were on the slopes it is warm but you will get cold easily when you take a break sitting on the snow, so make sure your clothes is waterproof and warm enough. Second, do not ask lesson from your friend, unless he is pro snowboard instructor. It is psychologically more comfortable for you to have a professional teacher to teach you how to do


Willie Richardson, an All-Pro receiver for the Baltimore Colts and their leading pass-catcher in Super Bowl III, when the Jets otherwise stymied their offense in a huge upset victory, died on Monday in Jackson, Miss. He was 76.

His wife, Earline, said that he died suddenly at their home and that the cause was not immediately known.

Richardson came from a powerful football family in Mississippi. He was one of six brothers to play for the historically black Jackson State College (now Jackson State University), and one of four to go on to the professional ranks. At Jackson State he was a small-college all-American receiver. The College Football Hall of Fame inducted him in 2003.

The Jets chose him in the third round of the American Football League draft in 1963, and the Colts selected him in the seventh round of the N.F.L. draft. He signed with the Colts, and played for them in eight of his nine pro seasons.

Richardson’s best season was 1967, when he set career highs with


Most soccer players are ecstatic if they score one goal in a major tournament. So you can only imagine how Carli Lloyd must have felt after she managed to put away three goals, within a span of just 16 minutes in the biggest game of all – The 2015 World Cup Final against Japan.

The excitement began a few minutes into the game when the U.S. midfielder who was also team captain, deftly snuck a ball past Japanese goalkeeper, Ayumi Kaihori. And then to Japan’s dismay she did it again! In addition to establishing a strong lead for the U.S. team, Lloyd also made history by scoring the fastest back-to-back goals in FIFA history.

But with over 85 minutes left in the game, there was still plenty of time for Japan to even the score. At least that was the consensus during the few minutes it took U.S. midfielder Lauren Holiday to score yet another goal bringing the score to 3-0.

Then, in what can only be described a surreal moment, both on and off the field, Carli Lloyd did it again – this time all the way from


THE HAGUE — A new Chinese owner arrived at the Dutch soccer club ADO Den Haag in early 2014, promising multimillion-dollar investments and better days ahead. Fans of the club liked the sound of that.

Yes, the money to buy the team arrived a few months late, but it did arrive in the end, along with firm deadlines for further investments and a handful of new signings. Even if the most ardent fans were wary of the new owner’s intentions, they held their tongues.

ADO, a 110-year-old club, has not won the top Dutch league, now known as the Eredivisie, since the end of World War II. But the new owner, a wealthy businessman named Wang Hui, promised to turn the team into a powerhouse — one that could challenge the likes of Ajax, P.S.V. Eindhoven and Feyenoord, clubs that have long dominated Dutch soccer, and play well enough to qualify for top European competitions like the Champions League.

Wang seemed like fun, cheering wildly for goals from his box at ADO’s Kyocera Stadium and throwing up his hands in disbelief whenever the team conceded a penalty. At least once, he even took part in


FRISCO, Tex. — Jerry Jones does not do small. He took the money-losing Dallas Cowboys and turned them into the most valuable team in America. He built AT&T Stadium, the biggest venue in the N.F.L. With the help of lucrative licensing and sponsorship deals, the Cowboys generated $620 million last year, the highest revenue in the league, according to Forbes.

Now Blue Star Land, a real estate development company owned by the Jones family, is building what will be the largest team headquarters in the league. For the past two years, Jones and his children, Stephen, Charlotte and Jerry Jones Jr., have overseen the construction of Ford Center at the Star in Frisco, a sprawling complex that will include the team’s training facility and offices in a retail and entertainment district about 20 miles north of the team’s current headquarters in Irving.
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The Gooding and Company classic-car auction is usually dominated by post-World War II European sports cars from Ferrari, Porsche and Mercedes-Benz, or prewar classics from the likes of Rolls-Royce and Duesenberg.

But at this year’s auction on Jan. 29 in Scottsdale, Ariz., bidders will find an even more unusual item for sale: Lot 47 is the Dallara-Honda racecar driven to victory in the 2014 Indianapolis 500 by Ryan Hunter-Reay.

Andretti Autosport, a leading IndyCar team, currently owns the car and is offering it with a catch: The new owner must allow Andretti Autosport to continue racing the car through the 2018 season. After that, the new owner can take delivery of the car. Or what is left of it.

The rough-and-tumble sport of IndyCar racing is generally not too kind to the machines that race in it. Most end up crashed before the projected end of their useful lives.

Still, David Gooding, the auction house’s president, said, “The sale of this lot is unprecedented in modern motorsports.


The Giants continued to work through their list of potential candidates for a new coach Thursday when they interviewed Steve Spagnuolo, their defensive coordinator last season, and Teryl Austin, the defensive coordinator for the Detroit Lions the past two seasons.

On Friday, the Giants are expected to meet with Adam Gase, the Chicago Bears’ offensive coordinator. The Giants have already interviewed Ben McAdoo, their offensive coordinator the last two years. McAdoo and Gase, a former offensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos, are also candidates for the Philadelphia Eagles’ head-coaching position.

Under Austin, the Lions’ defense ranked 18th last season, although it was second in 2014 when defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh was on the team. Austin has been an assistant coach with the Arizona Cardinals, the Seattle Seahawks and the Baltimore Ravens. He also was a college assistant coach at Penn State, Michigan, Syracuse, Wake Forest and Florida, where he was the defensive coordinator.

Austin, an African-American, is the first Giants coaching candidate to satisfy an N.F.L. regulation, known as the Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview


When it comes to Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, it’s time to ratchet things down a little bit.

Another year of Hall of Fame voting has passed, and despite some early indications that their candidacies might gain real momentum this time around, both ended up falling well short of election.

Bonds and Clemens are the two most accomplished baseball players not in the Hall of Fame by any number of measures — including the most Most Valuable Player Awards (Bonds), the most Cy Young Awards (Clemens) and wins above replacement — but neither came anywhere near the 75 percent required for induction.

That, of course, is because of their links to the use of performance-enhancing drugs. It is an issue that continues to make Cooperstown very much off limits to them.
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Ken Griffey Jr., at left in 2009, slammed 630 home runs in his career.


It was spring training 1998, a time when the Yankees were ascendant and the Mets were a dull portrait of mediocrity. Todd Hundley, the Mets’ biggest star, was out with an injury, and three little-known catchers — Todd Pratt, Vance Wilson and Tim Spehr — were competing to replace him.

On a particularly quiet day in March (they all seemed quiet that spring), a Mets official mentioned that the team yearned to grab Mike Piazza from the Dodgers. Nelson Doubleday Jr., one of the team’s owners, was said to want “someone with pizazz.”

Piazza would not join the Mets for another three months, finally coming in a trade with the Florida Marlins, but over the next seven years in New York, he burnished his legend as perhaps the best-hitting catcher ever. On Wednesday came the announcement that he had been elected to the Hall of Fame.
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Consider the honor roll of Baseball Hall of Famers who were not elected unanimously.

Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb. Bob Feller and Ted Williams. Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Joe DiMaggio. Mickey Mantle. Greg Maddux and Randy Johnson. And many more.

No player has been named on all the ballots of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America in the nearly 80-year history of Hall of Fame voting.

Ken Griffey Jr., who was elected along with Mike Piazza on Wednesday, was the latest candidate pegged as a possible unanimous selection. He had everything that would merit a perfect vote: stellar statistics, a joyous personality and no suspicion of using performance-enhancing drugs.

Minutes before the Hall’s announcement, the online BBHOF Tracker reported that Griffey was the unanimous choice of 213 members of the group who had publicly divulged their choices. But the tracker, which is run by Ryan Thibodaux, was an imperfect leading indicator of perfection.
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Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza, two of the most prolific sluggers of the high-scoring 1990s, were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday. Griffey, who slammed 630 home runs, was elected on the first ballot with a record 99.3 percent of votes cast by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Piazza, whose 396 homers as a catcher are the most for anyone at the position, got in on his fourth try, with 83 percent.

Griffey, who was named on 437 of 440 ballots, eclipsed Tom Seaver’s record for highest voting percentage of any player elected by the writers. Seaver received 98.8 percent of the votes when he was inducted in 1992. Candidates need 75 percent to be elected and can remain on the writers’ ballot up to 10 years, as long as they maintain at least 5 percent of the vote.
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Ken Griffey Sr., proud veteran of the Big Red Machine, likes to say that his son got the records, but he got the rings. Fair point: Ken Griffey Jr. was elected to the Hall of Fame this week but never did play in the World Series. Mike Piazza, who will share the stage in Cooperstown this summer, made it there once and lost.

Yet Griffey and Piazza each hit a defining home run with deep emotional impact, for very different reasons. Their moments left indelible imprints and stand today as essential threads in their Hall of Fame stories, unlikely to be duplicated, impossible to forget.

For Piazza, it came at Shea Stadium on Sept. 21, 2001, in the first New York game after the Sept. 11 attacks. His two-run, eighth-inning homer off Steve Karsay gave the Mets a stirring 3-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves.
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RIO DE JANEIRO — On a narrow, steep street about five miles from where the Olympic judo competition will take place in August, near a pile of unused bricks alongside Rua Agostinho Gama, 31 concrete steps hugged the outside of a building, rose and turned out of sight.

The stairs had no railing, and rebar stuck out several feet in a few places. Like so much of this dichotomous city, away from the beaches and into the hills and into the favelas, things seemed both under construction and crumbling.

A rooster in a cage sat at the landing at the top, and through the door where Rafaela Silva grew up and her family still lives, she shared a chair with her older sister, Raquel.
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RIO DE JANEIRO — In 50 days the best athletes in the world’s most popular sport will convene in Brazil, one of soccer’s sacred spiritual homes, for the game’s most important tournament.

It will be a powerful, uplifting tribute to the “beautiful game” that Brazilians have shaped for decades and the new status of a confident, rising global power in Latin America. Locals and foreigners will marvel at shiny new stadiums and glide across the continent-sized country on upgraded infrastructure.

That, at least, is what the government and organizers are hoping will happen given that the price tag for their six-week World Cup party is expected to top $11 billion, a figure local media estimates say is extremely conservative.

And although it’s still likely that things will go well overall, officials and other observers are keenly aware of three types of risks that have emerged: protests, an overwhelmed transportation infrastructure and soccer stadiums that remain incomplete more than seven years after Brazil was awarded the right to stage the World Cup.

There appears little chance that any of these three could interfere with where the real action is, on


Hours after learning of his death on Monday, WWE paid homage to Motörhead bassist and singer Lemmy Kilmister during Raw with a short tribute to the legendary rocker’s on- and off-stage heroics, and close ties to the world of wrestling.

“Lemmy was so important to everything we’ve done here from an entertainment standpoint over the past number of years,” said commentator Michael Cole, who also called the rocker a “longtime member of [the WWE] family.”

As his cohort John “Bradshaw” Layfield noted, Motörhead performed at several WrestleManias, while Kilmister was also a close friend WWE star Triple H, who has used Motörhead’s “The Game” and “King of Kings” as his entrance themes over the years. “Lemmy, you lived life your way,” Layfield added. “We should all be so lucky.”

Raw then ran a short-but-sweet montage comprising photos of Lemmy and Motörhead on stage — including some scenes from those WrestleMania performances — and Twitter remembrances from Ozzy Osbourne, Chris Jericho and Triple H.

Triple H tweeted, “One life, lived your way, from the beginning, till the end. See you down the road my friend… Thank you for the gift of your sound.”

Earlier this month, Motörhead’s classic “Ace of Spades”


You didn’t think we’d be able to make it through the final days of 2015 without one last Floyd Mayweather story, did you?

After all, this year, the man they call “Money” fleeced America out of millions by slow-dancing with Manny Pacquiao for 12 rounds, feuded with Ronda Rousey, dropped $50,000 at a Miami strip club, sparred while holding stacks of $100 bills, bought the most expensive car in the world, had the club going up (to his condo) on a Monday, sang karaoke in Bora Bora with Justin Bieber and didn’t share any of his crystal cake.

Oh, and he also supposedly retired.

Now, he’s found a fitting way to cap off a year of excess and asinine behavior: By spending $10 million on jewelry. At least. Hey, it is the holiday season, after all.

According to TMZ – who went through the trouble of contacting Mayweather’s rep for this – one of his new pieces is a 50-carat pinky ring, which looks big enough to fit on someone’s first. (Seriously, just look at it). The second is a 74-diamond necklace, which is ridiculous in and


For the second time this month, a New York Knick has been the target of a robbery. But this time, things got violent.

Shortly after leaving CityScapes Gentlemen’s Club in Queens on Wednesday morning, Knicks forward Cleanthony Early was reportedly held up by a group of six individuals wearing ski masks. He had entered an Uber car around 4:15 a.m., but the vehicle was boxed in a mile away from the strip club in a coordinated robbery. According to the Daily News, the thieves made off with a gold necklace, the gold caps on his teeth and some cash.

Early, 24, was also shot in the right knee during the stick-up and was taken to Elmhurst Hospital, where he is in stable condition. New York’s WABC-TV reported that the Uber driver and the woman Early was with also escaped serious injury.

The Knicks released the following statement on Wednesday morning: “We are aware of what occurred with Cleanthony Early this morning and are relieved that he is not in a life-threatening situation. We will not comment any further until we receive


Saying Ronda Rousey was devastated after her loss to Holly Holm would be an understatement.

In an interview with ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne earlier this month, Rousey spoke about her shocking defeat to Holm for the first time. While it was clear that the only loss of her UFC career hit her hard – “I’m just really fucking sad,” she said – Rousey may have been underselling the impact of the defeat just a bit. Because according to sister Maria Burns Ortiz, part of Rowdy died that night in Australia.

“I haven’t rewatched [the fight],” Ortiz wrote on Vice Sports. “I haven’t read about it. I won’t. I don’t see a point in reliving the moment when a part of my loved one died, when I saw someone I cared about have her soul crushed.”

What angered Ortiz the most was the reaction from people following Rousey’s loss. Other than the regular flood of trolls, it didn’t help that a number of high-profile fight fans – Lady Gaga, Donald Trump and 50 Cent (or was it actually Floyd Mayweather?) to name a few – basically laughed