<![CDATA[NBC 6 South Florida - Sports]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/sports http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC+6+LOGO+GOOGLE.png NBC 6 South Florida http://www.nbcmiami.comen-usTue, 17 Jan 2017 16:31:11 -0500Tue, 17 Jan 2017 16:31:11 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Obama Honors Victorious Cubs: 'Took You Long Enough']]> Mon, 16 Jan 2017 20:09:52 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-631831536.jpg

Coming from a Chicago White Sox fan, it may have seemed like President Barack Obama's comments at the White House Monday were proof he has been converted to North Side fandom -- and the Cubs certainly thought so.

"Do know, that among Sox fans, I am the Cubs' number one fan," Obama said as he honored the World Series Champions. 

The visit marked the last event to be held at the White House during Obama's preidency, he said. 

"I will say to the Cubs it took you long enough," Obama said. "I've only got four days left."

Though he may pledge allegiance to the team's longtime rivals, even Obama had to admit he was swept away by the Cubs' 2016 season.

"Even I was not crazy enough to suggest that during these eight years we would see the Cubs win the World Series, but I did say that there has never been anything false about hope," Obama said. "Hope -- the audacity of hope. Yes we can."

In a speech that was saturated with funny anecdotes and sincere appreciation, Obama noted that this World Series win may have meant more to fans than ever before.

"The truth is there was a reason not just that people felt good about the Cubs winning, there was something about this particular Cubs team winning that people felt good about," he said before honoring each player for their achievements in the historic season that ended a 108-year drought. 

In describing what was "widely considered one of the greatest Game 7's of all time," Obama ran through a play-by-play of the gut-wrenching moments that had Cubs fans on the edge of their seats that fateful November night. 
"Suddenly everything has changed," Obama said. "No more black cats, billy goats, ghosts, flubbed grounders – the Chicago Cubs are the champs."

Even though he made sure to honor the World Series champs themselves, he also noted the baseball legends who have made history with the team over the last century. Some of those players were also in attendance Monday, including Billy Williams, Ryne Sandberg, Fergie Jenkins and Jose Cardenal. 
Monday's visit was slightly unusual, as the reigning World Series champions normally make the traditional White House visit during the following MLB season. The Cubs were hoping to get to Washington, D.C., before Obama left office. Though the president is a White Sox fan, he calls Chicago home and rooted for the North Siders since his team didn't make the playoffs.
"I was in my hometown of Chicago on Tuesday for my farewell address and I said sometimes it’s not enough just to change laws, you’ve got to change hearts and sports has a way of sometimes changing hearts in a way that politics or business doesn’t," Obama noted. 
During the event, Cubs president Theo Epstein first pardoned Obama "for all your indiscretions as a baseball fan" and welcomed him "with open arms today to the Cubs' family." The moment marked what he called a "terrific conversion," celebrated with a series of gifts from the champions to the president himself. 
Among the gifts were two jerseys with the no. 44, shared by first baseman Anthony Rizzo. One jersey read "Chicago Cubs," but the second just read "Chicago," in case the president wasn't yet comfortable with displaying full Cubs pride. 
In addition, the president was given a tile from Wrigley Field's historic center field scoreboard, a W flag signed by the team, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley Field.  
"We also wanted you to know that as a new fan you have some catching up to do," Epstein said. 

The president invited the Cubs to the White House in a phone call to Joe Maddon following the team's victory, and with the club all assembled in Chicago for this weekend's Cubs Convention, arranging travel to Washington D.C. was a solution that worked out well for the team to see the president.

While the Cubs' visit to the White House comes just days before President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration, the team will still have a connection to the new administration. Trump has nominated Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts as deputy commerce secretary. Ricketts joined his sister, co-owner Laura Ricketts, brother and co-owner Tom Ricketts, and the team at the presidential reception.

The Cubs are the second Chicago team to visit the Obama's White House. The president also hosted the Chicago Blackhawks after their three Stanley Cup championships since 2010. 

After the ceremony, the Cubs were expected to visit patients at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington, D.C., before returning to Chicago, according to MLB officials.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[SD Companies Won't Move Chargers]]> Mon, 16 Jan 2017 20:23:55 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/176*120/Dean+Spanos+vs+Jacksonville.JPG

So the Chargers said they are going to move to Los Angeles. Now they actually have to move to Los Angeles.

Anyone who has ever moved before understands what an undertaking this is. You have to pack up the boxes, prepare the furniture, finally address all the junk that’s been accumulating in the garage … it’s not a small endeavor, and that’s just for a house.

The Chargers are moving offices and a practice facility. That means they have to pack up and transport all the tackling sleds, all the computers, all the files … basically 55 years-worth of stuff. For that they will have to hire a moving company.

Finding one, however, has proven to be a problem.

“We were just sitting there thinking about the physical move of the Chargers,” said Ryan Charles, head of sales and marketing for www.HireAHelper.com. “We were thinking we would not want to be a part of that, having been born and raised here and being a lifelong Chargers fan.”

Charles asked the companies within the Hire A Helper network if they would refuse to help the Chargers move and they all said yes. But the movement did not stop there.

“Other moving companies, our peers, might not want to, either,” said Charles, “and wouldn’t it be cool if we all banded together to say that we wouldn’t?”

So Charles started cold-calling his fellow moving companies to float the idea by them. The response was a bit surprising … in a good way.

“The feedback was immediately positive,” said Charles. “I got chuckles, people were laughing, there were guys saying ‘I wouldn’t move them for X amount of dollars.’”

That variable is likely in excess of $100,000, by the way. With all the offices and training equipment, plus the likelihood of having staff and players jump on board, this is a monster payday these companies are turning down to stick to their principles.

As of Sunday night 22 movers based in San Diego had vowed not to move the Chargers north and more are expected to sign on in the coming days. An email is being sent to as many movers as Charles can think of.

“It’s almost like the last line of defense. We were making this last statement of loyalty to the SAN DIEGO Chargers,” said Charles.

But it is not simply the San Diego moving companies that have pledged their resistence. Movers in the Los Angeles area are also joining the cause.

“Once we started hearing the sentiment from L.A., you know, the ‘We don’t want you,’ we thought maybe there are Los Angeles companies who wouldn’t want to move them in to their city. We reached out to them and we have five L.A. moving companies on board that have agreed [to not move the Chargers to Los Angeles].”

Not every moving company in San Diego will take part in this movement but enough will to let the Spanos family know just how disappointed Chargers fans are. Plus, this kind of camaraderie might be the proverbial silver lining.

“It’s an awesome statement of loyalty, that’s for sure," Charles added.

To see all the companies dedicated to not move the Chargers just visit www.wewontmoveyouchargers.com and see the list continue to grow.


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<![CDATA[Panthers Outduel Blue Jackets 4-3]]> Sun, 15 Jan 2017 11:29:49 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-630480966.jpg

The Florida Panthers beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 on Saturday for their third win in the last four games.

This was the second straight game for Florida that featured a combined seven points. Unlike the team's loss on Friday, Florida scored more this time around. The Panthers posted at least one goal in each of the three periods, and saw contributions from several different players.

With the recent solid stretch of play, Florida has 48 points and a 20-17-8 record this season. The Panthers have failed to win more than two consecutive games all season long, but have played slightly better thus far in 2017.

Shawn Thornton made some personal history with his goal in the first period. The goal was the first of the season for Thornton, and it gave him 100 points in his career. Assistng on Thronton's memorable goal was Aaron Ekblad.

After Columbus jumped out to a 2-1 lead, Vincent Trocheck tied the game up with his goal at the 8:24 mark of the second period. The goal was the 14th of the season for Trocheck and it came with an assist from Jason Demers.

Later in the second period, Florida took the lead with an unassisted goal by Jonathan Marchessault. The score was Marchessault's 13th this season, putting him only one back of the team lead.

Jaromir Jagr would add his eighth goal of the season early in the third period. At the time, the score put Florida up by two. When Columbus scored later in the final period, Jagr's goal ended up being the difference maker. Trocheck and Jakub Kindl assisted on the goal.

Florida will begin a four-game road trip on Tuesday in Calgary against the Flames.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Minnesota Wild Apologize After 'Violent' Mascot Skit]]> Sat, 14 Jan 2017 16:18:09 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/nordy+birthday+mn+wild+skit.png

Hockey fans are used to seeing some pretty brutal fights on the ice, but it’s usually between the players – not the mascots.

Not the case at Thursday night’s game between the Minnesota Wild and the Montreal Canadiens. During intermission at Minnesota's Xcel Energy Center, the Wild invited several other NHL mascots to celebrate Nordy’s "birthday."

In attendance were the St. Louis Blues’ Louie, New Jersey’s NJ Devil and the Chicago Blackhawks’ Tommy Hawk – who apparently shoved a birthday cake into Nordy’s face.

Nordy then exacted his revenge when Tommy held up a piñata and a blindfolded Nordy "missed," smacking the Hawks mascot, who fell to the ground. 

At the urging of the announcer, he continued to strike Tommy a total of 10 times as he theatrically writhed on the ice.

"Nordy! You hit the piñata! Keep swinging! Keep swinging!" the announcer shouted. "You almost broke it open!"

NJ Devil stepped in to restrain Nordy, who took off his blindfold in time to see a presumably unconscious Tommy dragged off the ice.

"Tommy, that’s what happens when you shove a cake in somebody’s face. Get him to medics," the announcer added.

The reaction of the crowd seemed to be mixed, as was the response on social media after the team tweeted a video of the encounter.

"Good thing to teach kids. Violence to people you dislike is the right thing to do," one response reads, while another called it "obviously a joke and for fun."

"I love the Wild and all but... I'm not really into simulated beatings, man," one fan tweeted, while another wrote, "Oh please. It’s Hockey. It’s a violent sport. Maybe stay home. Ridiculous."

A reporter for the Chicago Tribune decried the "violent" skit, saying it went against the NHL’s attempts to "promote a family atmosphere."

"I was glad I wasn't in the stands with my 7-year-old son having to explain why his favorite mascot was just apparently beaten with a baseball bat," Chris Kuc wrote.

According to the Tribune, the Wild issued a statement Friday saying, "We apologize to anyone offended by the mascot skit Thursday night. It was certainly not our intention."



Photo Credit: twitter.com/NHL
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<![CDATA[Heat End Trip With Loss to Bucks]]> Fri, 13 Jan 2017 22:55:47 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-631577198.jpg

The Miami Heat finished off their road trip with a 116-108 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday.

The loss gave Miami a 1-5 record in the difficult trip and made the team 11-30 on the season overall. The Heat will head home for a homestand next week, but have not had much success in Miami either this season. When playing at American Airlines Arena, the Heat are a paltry 5-13.

This has been a tough stretch for Miami and it started before the road trip. The Heat have now lost ten of the last 11 games played and are 4-18 since December 1st. The 30 losses for Miami has it near the basement of the Eastern Conference, with only Brooklyn below the team.

The Heat showed some fire and did not quit, but the large deficit proved to be too much. Miami was down by 22 at one point, before closing the gap to only eight during the fourth quarter. The Bucks would pad the lead a little from there to finish off the win.

Hassan Whiteside was just shy of a double-double in the losing effort with his 19 points and nine rebounds. Whiteside also had two assists and a steal, while going 5-6 from the free-throw line. The center did all he could to keep Miami in the game both offenisvely and defensively.

Goran Dragic also had 19 points to go along with three boards and three assists. While Whiteside had a rare game with no blocks, Dragic had a pair of blocks himself to make up for it.

Miami's bench played a big role as usual, with Tyler Johnson leading the pack with 14 points. The Heat lack depth due to injuries on most nights, but have consistently found production from the reserves. Johnson's 14 points were part of a grand total of 34 from the bench.

Miami will start a four-game homestand against the Houston Rockets on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Panthers Fall Behind Early in Loss to Islanders]]> Fri, 13 Jan 2017 22:25:58 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-637069428.jpg

The Florida Panthers allowed a pair of early goals in their 5-2 loss to the New York Islanders on Friday.

The Panthers were looking for the their first three-game winning streak of the season, but were unable to recover from those early scores. A win in this one would have also given Florida back-to-back wins over New York.

Florida has struggled with consistency all season long, and it is the reason that the team finds itself with a 19-17-8 record overall in 2016-17. The Panthers have had multiple two-game win streaks, but quickly find themselves back in the loss column after that. Florida remains in the playoff hunt with 46 points, but will need a strong run at some point this season.

After only 3:48 of play, New York was already up 2-0 in this one. The Panthers would score as the game went on, but trailed all game long. Roberto Luongo had 37 saves in his 41 opportunities in Florida's net. One of the highlights for Luongo and Florida came during the second period, when New York failed to score during a two-man advantage that lasted two minutes.

All-Star Vincent Trocheck's goal in the first period cut the deficit in half at the time. Trocheck had help from Keith Yandle and Jaromir Jagr on his 13th goal of the season.

Down by two in the third period, Reilly Smith brought Florida closer with his ninth goal of the season. Smith's goal came during a power play and had assists on it from Trocheck and Yandle.

The Panthers will be right back in action on Saturday for the second half of a back-to-back. The Columbus Blue Jackets will visit BB&T Center at 7:00 p.m.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Marlins Come to Terms With Five Players]]> Fri, 13 Jan 2017 17:24:01 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-541390276.jpg

The Miami Marlins signed five of their arbitration eligible players to one-year contracts on Friday.

A.J. Ramos, Adeiny Hechavarria, Marcell Ozuna, Tom Koehler and Derek Dietrich were the five players signed by the Marlins. Miami had six players up for arbitration this off-season and only David Phelps remains without a deal.

While the Marlins did not officially announce the value of the contracts, there are reports for all five. Ramos will earn $6.55 million while Koehler will take home $5.75 million. On the offensive side, Ozuna will receive $4.35 million and Dietrich will earn $3.5 million. Rounding things out will be Hechavarria with $4.35 million of his own. With these contracts, the Marlins now have $98.1 million committed to 17 players in 2017.

Miami has a team policy against negotiations once sides exchange figures. Friday represents the deadline to come to terms before exchanging offers. Due to this, Phelps will have his salary determined by an arbitrator. At the hearing, Miami will make a one-year contract offer and Phelps' agent will counter. The arbitrator will decide on a winner and the team and player are locked into the contract at that point.

Settling prior to the hearing allows the player and the team to avoid potentially negative feelings following arbitration. At the hearing, the team will highlight negatives in the player's history in order to try to save money. This could possibly have an adverse effect on future negotiations. Phelps earned $2.5 million last year, and that number could nearly double in arbitration.

In addition to Phelps, Miami will also need to renew the contracts of players not yet eligible for arbitration. These will mostly come in around the minimum salary. When all the ink is dry, the Marlins are expected to have a payroll that eclipses $100 million in 2017.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[The Internet Roasts the New LA Chargers Logo ]]> Fri, 13 Jan 2017 13:44:27 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/chargers-dodgers.gif

When the Chargers organization announced the move to Los Angeles Thursday, they changed their logo on social media, and fans unleashed an all-out blitz.

The letters "LA" in white are connected on a blue background with a lightning bolt shooting to the right of the logo.

The Dodgers logo has always connected the "L" with the "A" on a blue  background.

The NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning quickly jumped on social media to draw its own comparison. The tweet has gone viral.

In a radio interview Thursday, Chargers Chairman Dean Spanos was asked about the logo similarity. He said: "I don't know if this is going to be permanent or if it's going to be the introductory logo into the marketplace. My son is handling all that so I'd have to defer to him."

Check out some of the responses on Twitter:


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<![CDATA[Chargers Move to LA]]> Thu, 12 Jan 2017 20:40:08 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Chargers-Fan-Sad-GettyImages-630777752.jpg

Chargers Chairman Dean Spanos announced the NFL team’s move to Los Angeles on Thursday, a change that had been discussed for months and dreaded by many in San Diego.

"After much deliberation, I have made the decision to relocate the Chargers to Los Angeles, beginning with the 2017 NFL season," the letter posted to Chargers.com reads.

The move comes after years of failed negotiations between the city of San Diego and the owners of the NFL franchise.

The letter was posted on Twitter by the Chargers main account, which has since been renamed "Los Angeles Chargers."

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell issued a statement more than an hour later describing how the team worked tirelessly to find a way to stay in San Diego.

"As difficult as the news is for Charger fans, I know Dean Spanos and his family did everything they could to try to find a viable solution in San Diego," Goodell said.

The Chargers have been in San Diego for 56 years, since moving from Los Angeles in 1961, and fans began expressing their anger over losing their team.

[[410539675,C]]

Here is the entire memo:

After much deliberation, I have made the decision to relocate the Chargers to Los Angeles, beginning with the 2017 NFL season.

San Diego has been our home for 56 years. It will always be part of our identity, and my family and I have nothing but gratitude and appreciation for the support and passion our fans have shared with us over the years.

But today, we turn the page and begin an exciting new era as the Los Angeles Chargers.

[[410528915,L,300,311]]

LA is a remarkable place, and while we played our first season there in 1960 and have had fans there ever since, our entire organization knows that we have a tremendous amount of work to do. We must earn the respect and support of LA football fans. We must get back to winning. And, we must make a meaningful contribution, not just on the field, but off the field as a leader and champion for the community.

The Chargers are determined to fight for LA and we are excited to get started.

NBC Sports reported Spanos informed Goodell and several owners of his decision after a meeting of the league's stadium and finance committees had ended Wednesday.

Bitter and disappointed fans gathered outside the team's headquarters in Murphy Canyon. One egged the front door late Wednesday as reports of the move surfaced. By Thursday, several fans left their team jerseys on the ground in front of the building. One man said, "I'm done" as he walked away.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and other local officials expressed frustration over the Chargers' decision.

"The Chargers were ultimately never willing to work with us," Faulconer said adding that the team wanted more taxpayer money than officials could spend.

He was informed of the team's decision Wednesday night by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The mayor did not receive a call from Spanos until after the announcement was made public.

County Supervisor Ron Roberts, who was moved to tears at one point, admitted there may have been some missteps by officials in the past but that they always tried in good faith to keep the team in town.

Also, the City of San Diego would be owed a $12 million termination fee.

The Chargers can provide termination notice anytime between February 1 and May 1 of each year and provide the following termination amount each year:

2017: $12,575,000

2018: $9,760,000

2019: $6,740,000

2020: $3,390,000

That doesn't pay off the remaining bond debt that financed the expansion, according to the NBC 7 Investigates team.

The Chargers' possible relocation has been a hot-button issue for years.

At the center of the problem is the Chargers dilapidated home stadium. Since 1967, the Chargers have played at Qualcomm Stadium in Mission Valley. Multiple efforts between the Chargers, NFL, city and county officials have failed to provide a stadium solution, either a new stadium or a remodeled Qualcomm Stadium.

Chargers fans expressed their anger even before the move was official. Police had to surround the administrative offices at Chargers Park Wednesday night after one heated fan egged the front of the building.

Dan Wellington filmed himself on social media hurling about a half-dozen eggs at the team’s headquarters.

“Why go? This is such a bad deal," he said. "You're going to have to spend so much to move and you’re not willing to put it here. As a lifelong Chargers fan it’s a total kick in the stomach.”

[[410483535,C]]

Another fan also showed up at Chargers Park Wednesday night, saying he was fed up and frustrated.

“I hate you guys, I can't wait to burn everything I own of you guys from shoes, to canopies, to jerseys, to sweaters, to junior Chargers Girl uniforms," Frank Sesma said. "I don’t make that much money and I've dedicated a lot of money and soul to these guys.”

[[410530325,C]]

Spanos made no secret he preferred a downtown stadium site and asked San Diegans to keep an open mind regarding a proposed ballot measure.

In November, San Diego voters rejected the latest stadium proposal, a ballot measure that would have raised hotel occupancy taxes to help pay for a proposed $1.8 billion downtown stadium project. Measure C needed a two-thirds vote to pass but it received only 43 percent approval.

The Chargers will play at the StubHub Center in Carson and later join the Rams at their stadium in Los Angeles, which is set to open in 2019. 

Rams Owner and Chairman E. Stanley Kroenke also released a statement regarding to move: 

"We welcome the Chargers and look forward to working with them to provide NFL fans in the region and throughout the world with an unparalleled experience at the LA Stadium and Entertainment District at Hollywood Park. Our mission is to create a year-round global sports and entertainment destination and this is another important step in achieving that goal."

ESPN's Adam Schefter, who cited league sources, first tweeted about the move Wednesdayn night, just hours after NBC 7 SportsWrap reported that the NFL had extended the deadline for the team's decision from Jan. 15 to Jan. 17. 

The team joined the National Football League in 1970 as part of the NFL-AFL merger.

[[335522221,C]]



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Miami Heat's Charter Plane Slides on Runway, No One Hurt]]> Thu, 12 Jan 2017 07:49:59 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/235*120/011217+miami+heat+plane+slides+on+runway.jpg

A charter plane carrying the Miami Heat experienced a scary moment Wednesday night as they arrived in Milwaukee, WI.

The aircraft slid on the runway due to icy conditions around 9 p.m. local time. No one was injured on board the Boeing 737 and the team tweeted a message that everyone was able to get off the plane without a problem.

Several flights were cancelled or delayed into the airport due to the weather. The Heat flew in from Oakland, CA – where they lost Tuesday night to the Golden State Warriors – in advance of their game Friday against the Milwaukee Bucks.

They are the second professional sports team to have an issue with a flight into Wisconsin. A private charter carrying the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings slid off the runway during snowy conditions December 23rd when landing in Green Bay ahead of their game with the Packers.



Photo Credit: WTMJ-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Cubs to Visit White House Before Obama Leaves Office]]> Wed, 11 Jan 2017 20:13:50 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-621152150.png

President Barack Obama will welcome the World Series champion Chicago Cubs at the White House on Monday, just five days before he leaves office.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest confirmed the visit Wednesday and said Obama “is really looking forward to it.”

The move is slightly unusual. The reigning World Series champions normally make the traditional White House visit during the following MLB season.

The Cubs, who ended a 108-year title drought in Game 7 against the Cleveland Indians, were hoping to get to Washington, D.C., before Obama left office. Though the president is a White Sox fan, he calls Chicago home and rooted for the North Siders since his team didn't make the playoffs.

NBC 5's Mary Ann Ahern first reported the visit on Tuesday.

The president invited the Cubs to the White House in a phone call to Joe Maddon following the team's victory, and with the club all assembled in Chicago for this weekend's Cubs Convention, arranging travel to Washington D.C. was a solution that worked out well for the team to see the president.

While the Cubs visit to the White House comes five days before president-elect Donald Trump's inauguration, the team will still have a connection to the new administration. Trump has nominated Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts as deputy commerce secretary. Ricketts will join his sister, co-owner Laura Ricketts, brother, co-owner Tom Ricketts, and the team at the presidential reception.

The Cubs will be the second Chicago team to visit the Obama's White House. The president also hosted the Chicago Blackhawks after their three Stanley Cup championships since 2010. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dolphins Hopeful For Next Season After Making Playoffs]]> Wed, 11 Jan 2017 18:23:08 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/011117+miami+dolphins+season+ender.jpg

After the Miami Dolphins' unexpected trip to the playoff, Vice President of Football Mike Tannenbaum is hopeful, but that doesn't mean their future is guaranteed.

He spoke at the team's end-of-season press conference Wednesday. "I’m really happy we made the playoffs and won 10 games. That’s a great accomplishment and again, Adam [Gase] and the players deserve the credit for that. I’m really excited about the future, but we have a lot of work to do," said Tannenbaum.

Head coach Adam Gase shared the same sentiment at Wednesday's press conference. "When we start up next year in the spring, nobody is going to care what we did last year. That’s just the brutal fact of the NFL."

It's been almost one year since the Dolphins announced the hiring of Gase. The biggest takeaway from the past year, the Fins finally have a coach that players and management both believe in.

"Everyone talks about that ‘it’ factor. You just couldn’t describe it. I think that transpired on the field," said Gase.

The Dolphins were counted out after a terrible start to the season, but Gase kept them confident. He said that's his proudest accomplishment.

"Things weren’t always perfect, especially at the beginning of the year. We started off in a rough spot. That first month of the season wasn’t easy. We played some good teams and had some tough trips on the road and guys fought and competed and stuck with it for four quarters," said Gase.

Ryan Tannehill finished the season on the sideline after the quarterback suffered a knee injury in December. His status moving forward is uncertain.

"We’re still collecting information. Doctors are still giving us what possibly could be down the road. So, it’s hard for us to really pinpoint anything as of this moment right now," explained Gase.

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<![CDATA[Dolphins' Landry and Ajayi Headed to Pro Bowl]]> Wed, 11 Jan 2017 18:06:33 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-497293964.jpg

The Miami Dolphins will have four players at the Pro Bowl after Jarvis Landry and Jay Ayaji were added to the roster on Wednesday.

Cameron Wake and Ndamukong Suh were already headed to the NFL's All-Star Game for their impressive defensive seasons. With two offensive players now going as well, the Pro Bowl will show Miami's success on both sides of the ball.

This will be the second consecutive Pro Bowl appearance for Landry and the first visit for Ajayi. Landry is off to a great start in his NFL career and only missed the Pro Bowl in his rookie season. Ajayi meanwhile became one of the NFL's best running backs this year with multiple 200-yard rushing days.

Landry and Ajayi were considered by some as snubs when the original Pro Bowl rosters were revealed. Both men had already enjoyed solid seasons, but lost out on in a numbers game. At the time, Miami was still not considered a playoff team and had two representatives already headed to Orlando.

This season, Landry ended up with four touchdowns and over 1,000 receiving yards. Those numbers almost duplicated his stats from his successful 2015 campaign, though Landry did it with far fewer receptions this time around. Landry's contributions on the field allowed quarterback Ryan Tannehill and new head coach Adam Gase to open up the playbook. Landry also drew some extra coverage which helped out other recievers on the team such as Kenny Stills.

Ajayi began the year as a backup to Arian Foster, but quickly took over the job for good. The 23-year old ran for over 200 yards three times this season, including twice against the Buffalo Bills. The second of those games came on the weekend that Miami clinched a return to the playoffs. The RB also found the end zone eight times this year, and rushed for a total of 1,272 yards.

The Pro Bowl will be held at the Orlando Citrus Bowl on January 29th.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Panthers' Trocheck Named to All-Star Game]]> Tue, 10 Jan 2017 12:44:29 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-636601404.jpg

Florida Panthers forward Vincent Trocheck was named as a member of the All-Star Game roster on Tuesday.

The All-Star selection is the first of Trocheck's career and it comes along with an invitation to the All-Star Skills Competition as well. The skills event will take place on January 28th, with the game being held a day later. Trocheck was the only member of Florida's roster that was selected to participate in the game.

Trocheck has enjoyed a consistent season in what has been an otherwise inconsistent campaign for the team. The forward has 12 goals which is tied for the team-lead, and also has 12 assists for a grand total of 24 points. The 23-year old has continued the momentum from a strong 2015-16 season, with a similar pace this time around.

In addition to his points, Trocheck has contributed in other ways as well. The forward leads the team with 453 faceoff wins and has been involved in many of Florida's scoring opportunities this season. Even when he wasn't credited with an assist, Trocheck has often helped out.

Last year, Florida sent four men to the All-Star Game including head coach Gerard Gallant. With Gallant dismissed earlier this year and a mediocre record, the Panthers find themselves with fewer representatives this year. One player who went to the game last year was Jaromir Jagr. The 44-year old is enjoying a fine season, but not quite at the same rate as he did a year ago.

The 2017 NHL All-Star Game will be held at Bridgestone Arena in Los Angeles, California.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Biles, Raisman Ditch Leotards for Bikinis in New SI Issue]]> Mon, 16 Jan 2017 15:17:27 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/allysimone.jpg

Get ready to see Simone Biles and Aly Raisman like you've never seen them before.

The two gold medal-winning Olympians are ditching their leotards for slightly more revealing attire. Both women will appear in the next Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.

"I am thrilled to include the gold medal-winning, U.S. women's gymnasts Aly Raisman and Simone Biles in this year's Swimsuit issue," said MJ Day, SI Swimsuit editor.

"Aly and Simone represent all that is beautiful and strong and inspiring in women today. Women that are not only elite athletes, that are captivating and impressive in their own professional accomplishments (lots and lots of Olympic gold medals between them), but strikingly sexy and beautiful in front of photographer James Macari's lens. I love seeing them shine in an entirely different way in the Swimsuit issue and being able to share these gorgeous and powerful images with the world."

The swimsuit edition hits newsstands in February.



Photo Credit: Patrick McMullan via Getty Image
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<![CDATA[Steelers Bring High-Powered Offense to Kansas City]]> Fri, 13 Jan 2017 15:30:58 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/SteelersChiefs.jpg

A recovered Ben Roethlisberger brings a Steelers offense doing almost everything right into Kansas City on Sunday for a shot at the AFC championship game.

The Steelers quarterback aggravated an old foot injury last week when an opponent landed on it late in a blowout win over Miami in the Wild Card round, but he expects to be fine against the Chiefs.

The winner of what could well be an entertaining and closely matched divisional round playoff game will probably get to travel to New England to face the Patriots, who face an overmatched Houston Texans team this week.

The Chiefs-Steelers game will be broadcast Sunday on NBC at 8:20 p.m. ET.

Kansas City is trying to atone for a quiet exit from the playoffs last year, and will be looking to get Travis Kelce involved in the game plan. The tight end had a career season and presents matchup difficulties for any defense — especially when that defense also has to account for receiver Tyreek Hill, who caught nine TD passes this season.

Meanwhile, Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston will also be looking to make up for last year against New England, when he was mostly ineffective due to injury. He missed the first 10 weeks of the season this year, but tallied four sacks in five games.

The Steelers’ offense has been unstoppable lately. In winning eight straight games, it has averaged almost 27 points. Running back Le’Veon Bell scored twice last week against the Dolphins and so did receiver Antonio Brown.

On defense, Pittsburgh’s linebackers turned in an impressive performance against Miami, led by 38-year-old stalwart James Harrison, who has 1.5 sacks and set the tone for his younger teammates.

Players to Watch

-- Pittsburgh LB Ryan Shazier spent last week eluding Miami’s blockers and causing havoc against the Dolphins, and could easily be just as disruptive against the Chiefs.

-- Pittsburgh LB Lawrence Timmons had eight solo tackles, including two sacks, against the Dolphins.

-- Kansas City QB Alex Smith is coming off a strong season finale and he and his line will have had a week to rest and recover before taking on the Steelers’ defense.

-- Kansas City LT Eric Fisher will be key to helping the Chiefs protect Smith and give him time to find Kelce, Hill and others. 

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<![CDATA[Dolphins See Bright Future After Adam Gase's First Season]]> Mon, 09 Jan 2017 12:04:03 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-598577926.jpg

The Miami Dolphins have finally found their coach – and that should soften the sting of a playoff beat down in Pittsburgh.

In the moments after a season-ending loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, players were still frozen in the locker room. Not from cold, but because they truly believed they could win.

That's all because of Adam Gase.

The Dolphins first year head coach turned a team that hadn't been to a playoff game in eight years into believers. He convinced them that after a disappointing 1-4 start to the season, they could still be a winning team.

He was right – and he earned their respect.

"I'll ride with that guy all day, every day," said running back Damien Williams, who scored Miami's only touchdown in Pittsburgh.

"We walked in here (the locker room) together, he was teary eyed, I was teary eyed," Williams said. "It hurt. But hey, we're coming."

The pain was visible on the face of running back Jay Ajayi, who also appeared to have teared up after the finality of the season hit him.

"I don't know anyone that is just content with being in the playoffs," he said. "We wanted to win the whole thing. I know I did. It hurts."

After sitting hunched over at his locker, dejected about the loss, wide receiver Jarvis Landry was ticked off when asked about this season being a successful one.

"I don't look at this as an accomplishment, just to make the playoffs," Landry said. "I wasn't just happy to be here today."

The truth is that this season was absolutely a successful one. The Dolphins overachieved and found young players who they can develop for the future while overcoming injuries. But the fact that they're not content, not satisfied - a direct reflection of Gase.

Even the Dolphins owner was on the same page when asked if this season was a successful one.

"I'm disappointed," said Stephen Ross. "But I think the seeds are there for something that could be terrific. Everybody here will be happy when we win the Super Bowl."

Ross said he congratulated Gase for a good first season. A season that ended with a thudding loss, eerily reminiscent of the Dolphins last playoff appearance in 2008.

However, this time the future is brighter. And that's thanks to Gase.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Panthers' Luongo Shuts Devils Out in Return]]> Mon, 09 Jan 2017 21:42:05 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-631360084.jpg

Roberto Luongo returned to help his Florida Panthers to a 3-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Monday.

Luongo missed the last two games for Florida with an upper body injury, but appeared to be in top form for this one. The goalie stopped all 28 attempts that were sent his way and showed no signs of a lingering issue. The Panthers went 1-1 while Luongo was out.

The Panthers have been winning every other game as of late and are now 18-16-8 on the season. If Florida is going to contend for a playoff spot, this could end up being an important win. The Devils are four points back of the Panthers following this game.

The first goal of the game came towards the end of the first period during a Florida power play. It was Reilly Smith who found the back of the net with his eighth goal of the season, and the score came with help from Vincent Trocheck and Jussi Jokinen.

With New Jersey running out of time late, it pulled goalie Cory Schneider from the ice. The Panthers took advantage of the empty net with two additional goals. The scores came from Trocheck and Jokinen and were both unassisted.

Florida had plenty of chances to increase the lead before those late goals, but did not take advantage of the chances. The Panthers were only 1-6 on their power play advantages.

Florida will stay in the Northeast and will take on the New York Islanders in Brooklyn on Wednesday.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Carli Lloyd Wins FIFA Best Player Award]]> Mon, 09 Jan 2017 15:03:35 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-631342200.jpg

Carli Lloyd of the United States has won her second straight FIFA's best woman player award.

Lloyd beat Olympic gold medalist Melanie Behringer of Germany and five-time winner Marta of Brazil.

Lloyd says "I honestly was not expecting this."

Germany did win the women's coaching awards as Silvia Neid earned her second FIFA prize. She also won the 2010 award.

Neid beat two previous winners: Pia Sundhage of Sweden, the Olympic silver medalist, and last year's winner, Jill Ellis of the United States.



Photo Credit: FIFA via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cristiano Ronaldo Wins FIFA Best Player Award ]]> Mon, 09 Jan 2017 14:53:11 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-631342524.jpg

Cristiano Ronaldo received FIFA's best player award for the fourth time on Monday, after Portugal and Real Madrid won both major European titles in 2016.

He beat runner-up and great rival Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann to complete a sweep of top individual awards.

"2016 was the best year of my career," Ronaldo said in Portuguese in his acceptance speech, which he began by exclaiming "Wow, wow, wow."

Ronaldo got 34.54 percent of total voting points in a 23-candidate ballot. Messi received 26.42 percent, and third-place Griezmann got 7.53 percent. Voting was by national team captains and coaches, selected media, and fans online.

Ronaldo's fourth FIFA award closed the gap on five-time winner Messi, the runner-up to each Ronaldo victory, who did not attend the ceremony.

Ronaldo's 2016 trophy haul included the European Championship, Champions League, and Club World Cup, plus individual best player awards from UEFA and France Football magazine.

Messi's Barcelona won the Spanish league and cup double, though he captained Argentina to lose the Copa America final.

Griezmann's France and Atletico Madrid lost both finals to Ronaldo's teams.

Ronaldo's coaches for club and country were beaten by Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri, who earned the men's coaching prize for a stunning English Premier League title.

"What happened last year was something strange. The God of football said Leicester must win," said Ranieri, who was in his first season at the unfashionable provincial club widely tipped for relegation.

Ranieri collected his trophy from Diego Maradona, who earlier Monday played in an exhibition match with other retired greats at FIFA headquarters.

Like Ronaldo, Carli Lloyd of the United States won a FIFA player prize for the second year in a row.

Lloyd won despite Germany midfielder Melanie Behringer playing on the Olympic gold medal-winning team. Five-time winner Marta was runner-up and Behringer was third.

"I honestly was not expecting this," Lloyd said. "I know Melanie did fantastic in the 2016 Olympics."

Germany did win the women's coaching prize as Silvia Neid earned her second FIFA prize, after also winning the 2010 award. Neid beat two previous winners: Pia Sundhage of Sweden, the Olympic silver medalist, and last year's winner, Jill Ellis of the United States.

The Puskas Award for best goal was won by Mohd Faiz Subri, who scored with a wildly swerving long-range free kick for Malaysian club Penang.

A players' vote organized by international union FIFPro gave a World XI of: Manuel Neuer (Germany, Bayern Munich); Dani Alves (Brazil, Barcelona/Juventus), Sergio Ramos (Spain, Real Madrid), Gerard Pique (Spain, Barcelona), Marcelo (Brazil, Real Madrid); Toni Kroos (Germany, Real Madrid), Andres Iniesta (Spain, Barcelona), Luka Modric (Croatia, Real Madrid); Messi, Luis Suarez (Uruguay, Barcelona), Ronaldo.

The First FIFA fan award was chosen by fans and was made to supporters of Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund, who joined in singing the English club's anthem "You'll Never Walk Alone" before a Europa League quarterfinal. The other nominees were Iceland fans at Euro 2016, and Dutch club ADO Den Haag, whose fans brought soft toys to children supporting rival team Feyenoord.

FIFA made its Fair Play Award to Atletico Nacional, the Colombian club which was scheduled to host Chapecoense in the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final on Nov. 30.

After most of the Brazilian team died in a plane crash flying to the match, Atletico Nacional asked the South American soccer confederation to present the title and trophy to Chapecoense.



Photo Credit: Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Top Images From the 2017 NFL Playoffs]]> Mon, 16 Jan 2017 10:23:44 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-631697042.jpg Check out some of the best images from the playoffs of the 2016-2017 NFL season.

Photo Credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Heat Fall for Eighth Time in Nine Tries]]> Mon, 09 Jan 2017 05:15:29 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-630926832.jpg

The Miami Heat continued to struggle with their 98-86 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday.

The loss was the ninth for Miami in the last ten games played by the team. In the past 20 games overall for Heat, they are a paltry 4-16. The stretch of losses can be attributed in part to an extended list of injuries for the team. Miami has suffered numerous blows over the past couple weeks including the loss of Justise Winslow.

Miami is now 11-28 this season and 6-15 on the road. The 28 losses for the Heat are tied for the most in the NBA. Miami is also close to landing in last place overall in the Eastern Conference.

Goran Dragic had a busy night with a team-leading 42 minutes on the court. Dragic was productive in that time with 24 points which also led the team. The guard had five rebounds, five assists and a steal in the loss.

Hassan Whiteside also had himself a good game with 15 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks. Whtieside's double-double was just one of many for the center this season. This was the first game for Whiteside since December 30th, as the 27-year old has been out of action with an eye injury.

Willie Reed who filled in admirably for Whiteside had ten rebounds off the bench. Reed did a solid job while Whiteside was sidelined and should see an uptick in action with limited experienced big men on the roster.

Things will not get any easier for Miami as it will next to head to Golden State on Tuesday to take on the Warriors.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dolphins' Playoff Run Ends in Pittsburgh]]> Sun, 08 Jan 2017 17:55:34 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-631227582.jpg

The Miami Dolphins were eliminated with their 30-12 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.

Miami was taking part in the team's first playoff game since 2008 and things ended with a whimper. The Steelers posted two quick touchdowns and opened up a 14-0 lead in seemingly a blink of the eye. The Dolphins seemed flustered and over-matched with a daunting comeback attempt ahead of them.

The Dolphins would have some brief success, but the first half ended on a big down note. Miami converted two field goal tries and also picked up an interception as the first half was winding down. Matt Moore had the team driving towards the end zone with under a minute to go, when he fumbled the ball away. The turnover allowed Pittsburgh to maintain a 14-point lead as the teams went into the locker rooms.

In his first career playoff game, Moore took some hard hits and had some solid production mixed with poor play. Despite having little time to work with often, Moore ended up with 289 yards in the air during a 29-36 day. The veteran also was sent to the ground early and often during the first half, but bounced back quickly. Moore ended up being sacked five times in the game for 36 yards.

Down by 24 in the fourth quarter, Moore would find the end zone for the first time in the game. The quarterback connected with Damien Williams on a four-yard touchdown pass. The Dolphins would fail to convert on the two-point try and still trailed by three scores despite the TD.

While Moore did not appear rattled most of the time, there were moments where Pittsburgh appeared dominant. On three straight possessions, Moore fumbled twice and was then picked off. The 32-year old will likely return next season to backup Ryan Tannehill once again in the second year of a two-year deal.

After rushing for over 200 yards in a win over Pittsburgh during the season, Jay Ajayi was held to only 33 yards in this one. The Steelers did a terrific job of keeping Ajayi out of the game, and at the same time disrupting Miami's offensive game plan. The Dolphins had relied on Ajayi for most of their 9-1 stretch in the season, but he was not able to get anything going in this one. Ajayi's day came to an end early as well due to lingering issues with his shoulder.

The Dolphins have some needs in the off-season and will also make roster decisions on a number of veteran players.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dolphins Quarterback Returns After Violent Hit]]> Sun, 08 Jan 2017 15:42:56 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-630769150.jpg

Matt Moore is tougher than we are. But should he have returned to the game?

The Dolphins Quarterback took a hit to the helmet that was so vicious, the entire stadium in Pittsburgh thought he was done for the day, and maybe longer.

Moore got leveled by Bud Dupree, his helmet jerking back, before his body slammed to the ground, during the second quarter of Miami's playoff game at Heinz Field.

But after getting treated on the field for a few minutes, Moore went to the sideline where he was looked at by a team physician.

One play later, he returned to the field to quarterback the Dolphins.

It's a courageous act, but there will be questions about how wise it was. Moore struggled from that point forward, even though it wasn't completely his fault.

He had 2 fumbles lost, and an interception that allowed Pittsburgh to extend their lead against an overmatched Dolphins team.

Did Moore go through the NFL's concussion protocol and pass? Head Coach will likely have answers after the game. Stay tuned



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Pittsburgh Restaurant Bans Fish for Playoff Game]]> Sun, 08 Jan 2017 12:25:24 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/fish+ban+in+pittsburgh.jpg

A large number of Dolphins fans have invaded Steeler country for Miami's first playoff game in 8 years.

And when they visit Pittsburgh's iconic restaurant Primanti Brothers, the city's allegiances are clear.

The sandwich shop has banned all sales of fish this weekend, in what they're calling a "show of solidarity" for the Steelers game against the Dolphins.

However, there's one problem— dolphins are mammals.

"You can't fix ignorance," laughed a Dolphins fan at the restaurant who calls himself "Dapper Dan."

On social media, Dolphins fans mocked the restaurant and Pittsburghers for the confusion.

But to be fair, Primanti Bros. says they were aware that dolphins aren't fish, and the fine print on their flyer proves it.

"Yeah...we know dolphins are mammals, not fish. Have fun with it."

"If it doesn't walk on street, can't hold it on a leash, we can't trust it in Pittsburgh," said Primanti Bros. Director of Marketing, Ryan Wilkinson. "We don't care that it's a mammal, no fish, no dolphins this weekend!"

Wilkinson says Primanti Bros. has 2 fish sandwiches on the menu, but who would order fish over that delicious meat at Prmanti Bros. anyway.

The fins are facing off against the Steelers in some brutally cold temperatures. Backup Matt Moore is in line to start, while starter Ryan Tannehill nurses a sprained knee he suffered back in December. Game kickoff is set for 1:05 p.m. on Sunday.



Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Bruins Blow Out Panthers in Sunrise]]> Sat, 07 Jan 2017 22:01:41 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-631167716.jpg

The Florida Panthers were beaten 4-0 by the Boston Bruins on Saturday at BB&T Center.

The loss closed out a three-game homestand for Florida, where the team ended up taking only one of three. The Panthers are now 17-16-8 on the season, which gives the team a total of 42 points.

Due to an upper body injury, Roberto Luongo was once again unavailable for the loss. Luongo injured himself during warmups for Friday's game and his status should be considered day-to-day at this point. Florida called up Sam Brittain from the ECHL prior to the game to serve as the backup goalie.

With Luongo out of action, James Reimer was in net for a second consecutive day. The extra workload may have taken a toll on Reimer, as he was not at his best. Reimer ended up with 33 saves on 37 chances. Boston's two goals in the second period put the game out of reach and the Bruins scored at least one goal in each period.

Florida also struggled with penalties in the loss, as Boston found itself with six power plays. The Panthers did kill five of those penalties, but failed on all three advantages they had themselves.

Overall the Panthers made things relatively easy on Boston goalie Tuukka Rask. Florida had 25 shots on goal total in the game with Rask stopping every one of them.

After a day off, Florida will begin a short road trip with a game in New Jersey against the Devils on Monday.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[NFL Playoffs: Thomas Rawls Leads Seattle Past Detroit 26-6]]> Sat, 07 Jan 2017 23:57:27 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/AP_302614932023-SEA-DET-NFC.jpg

The formula that has led the Seattle Seahawks to unmatched success over the past five seasons returned.

A healthy dose of Thomas Rawls rumbling on the ground. A few timely throws by Russell Wilson helped by some remarkable catches. And a defense that never allowed Detroit a sniff of the end zone.

Rawls rushed for a franchise playoff-record 161 yards, Paul Richardson made one of the catches of the year for his first career postseason touchdown, and the Seahawks beat the Lions 26-6 on Saturday night in an NFC wild-card game.

"It kept the chains going," Rawls said. "We want to end like this. We want to end with a great mark running the football, which is our identity, playing tough hard-nosed Seahawks football, and that's exactly what we did."

Seattle won its 10th straight home playoff game, continuing Detroit's miserable conclusion to the season that finished with four straight losses. Detroit's long playoff history without postseason success continued: no playoff wins since 1992. No road playoff wins since 1957. 

Rawls was the workhorse as the run game the Seahawks became known for when Marshawn Lynch was in the backfield finally found consistency that was missing all season. Rawls bettered Lynch's 157 yards in the 2014 NFC championship game against Green Bay. Rawls had runs of 12, 14, 26 and a 32-yarder late in the third quarter, when Wilson ended up being his lead blocker. 

Rawls capped his night with a 4-yard touchdown run that gave Seattle a 19-6 lead. He was the first player with at least 150 yards rushing in a playoff game since Lynch's performance against the Packers.

While Rawls did the grunt work, Richardson filled the highlight reel with a trio of catches. None was better than his 4-yard touchdown in the second quarter to give Seattle a 7-0 lead.

Richardson went horizontal reaching out with his left hand to cradle the pass as he was being interfered with by Tavon Wilson. What wasn't called on the play was Richardson's right hand yanking on the facemask of Wilson as he reached to make the catch.

Richardson had another one-handed catch in the fourth quarter, and Doug Baldwin got into the act of amazing catches, pinning a 10-yard reception to the back of his leg late in the fourth quarter to continue a Seattle drive. Two plays later, Baldwin's 13-yard touchdown reception put it away. 

Wilson finished 23 of 30 for 224 yards, while Baldwin had 11 catches for 104 yards.

SHUTDOWN D

Overshadowed by the offensive performance was Seattle's defense shutting down the Lions. Hampered by a handful of dropped passes and some untimely penalties, the Lions could only manage a pair of long Matt Prater field goals.

Matthew Stafford was 18 of 32 for 205 yards. He was sacked three times and Detroit never ran a play inside the Seattle 33-yard line.

"We definitely knew if we came in and focused, we'd be fine," All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner said. "We knew they got some great players on the other end, but we were just locked in all week and we prepared very well. We knew were going to play well."

FOURTH-DOWN SUCCESS

Seattle was 4 of 11 on fourth downs during the regular season, but got two big conversions on its first touchdown drive. On fourth-and-1 at the Detroit 39, Rawls bounced for 4 yards; the drive was capped by Richardson's catch on fourth-and-goal from the 2. 

Detroit wasn't so successful. On its third possession, it went on fourth-and-2 from the Seattle 38. The oddly designed play had Stafford throwing behind the line of scrimmage to Matthew Mulligan. The play was blown up by Wagner and K.J. Wright for a 2-yard loss.

KICKING IT 

Prater became the first kicker with multiple 50-yard field goals made in the same playoff game, and Seattle's Steven Hauschka was true on both of his field goal attempts. But Hauschka missed his seventh extra point of the season after Rawls' touchdown with 8:43 remaining. 

UP NEXT

Detroit: The Lions will lament the end of their season. After getting its record to 9-4, Detroit lost its final four games.

Seattle: The Seahawks will face the No. 2 seed Atlanta Falcons next Saturday. Seattle beat Atlanta 26-22 in October.

"We're expecting a fight," Wagner said. "They're going to come in rested. They're going to be hungry, but we're hungry, too. We're going to come out and give 'em everything we got."



Photo Credit: Elaine Thompson, AP]]>
<![CDATA[Panthers Beat Predators on Jagr Night]]> Fri, 06 Jan 2017 22:53:06 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-628635786.jpg

The Florida Panthers honored Jaromir Jagr and then went on to beat the Nashville Predators 2-1 on Friday.

It was Jaromir Jagr Night at BB&T Center, as the Panthers recognized the veteran for his recent historic achievement. In December, Jagr moved into second place on the NHL's All-Time points list. The 44-year old has been a leader for Florida and one of the team's most productive players since joining the team in 2015.

Prior to the game, the Panthers held a moment of silence as a tribute to the victims of the tragic shooting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport earlier in the day. Mike Matheson and Mark Pysyk both had the initials of the airport on their skates as well.

Gregg McKegg wasted little time in giving Florida a 1-0 lead with his goal at the 2:24 mark of the first period. Assisting on the goal were Derek MacKenzie and Paul Thompson.

Nashville would tie the game during the third period, before Florida went back ahead for good. The go-ahead goal came courtesy of Jonathan Marchessault with assists from both Jagr and Vincent Trocheck.

James Reimer was in net for Florida with Roberto Luongo unavailable. The goalie ended up with 26 saves on the 27 opportunities that he had in the win.

The homestand will wrap up on Saturday when the Panthers host the Boston Bruins at 7:00 p.m.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Wild Card Preview: Dolphins at Steelers]]> Sat, 07 Jan 2017 12:31:44 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-615046786.jpg

The Miami Dolphins will take part in their first playoff game since 2008 when they face the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.

Miami clinched a playoff berth towards the end of the regular season, after a tremendous 9-1 run. The beginning of that surge can be found in the sixth week of the season when Miami beat this same Pittsburgh squad. The Dolphins entered that game with a 1-4 record, and seemed destined for a losing season.

While the Dolphins may know they can beat the Steelers, there are some differences going into this one. For one, that aforementioned win came at Hard Rock Stadium. In addition, the Dolphins had Ryan Tannehill behind center for that game and he posted 252 yards in the air. This time around, it will be Matt Moore running the offense.

The Steelers and their quarterback Ben Roethlisberger have a good deal of playoff experience. Pittsburgh is also a terrific team when playing at home this season. The Steelers went 6-2 at Heinz Field, while Miami was a respectable 4-4 in road games. Roethlisberger has led the Steelers to two Super Bowl titles in his NFL career. Moore had not started a game in several years, before taking over for Tannehill in the final weeks of the season. This game will also mark the first time that Moore ever takes a snap in a playoff game.

Pittsburgh is entering the playoffs on a seven-game winning streak. Miami meanwhile is coming off a lopsided loss to the New England Patriots in the final week of the season. Momentum and history is clearly on the side of the Steelers, but the Dolphins have proven they can succeed in the underdog role.

The quarterbacks get most of the focus, but there is another man that could be more critical to Miami's success on Sunday. Jay Ajayi rushed for over 200 yards when the Dolphins beat the Steelers in October. That was just the first of multiple 200-yard days for the running back. Ajayi has turned into one of the NFL's best backs this season, and will have his first chance to shine in the postseason in this one.

While there may be a clear contrast in playoff experience between the two clubs, there is still some on the Miami sideline. Ndamukong Suh for instance has been to the playoffs twice in his career. While with the Detroit Lions, Suh had 2.5 sacks in his two postseason games. The veteran also had three tackles during Detroit's 2014 playoff loss.

Head coach Adam Gase also has some experience in the NFL's second season. The first-year head coach was part of the staff for the playoff-bound Denver Broncos in 2011-2014. The time in Denver also included a trip to the Super Bowl where the Broncos fell to the Seattle Seahawks. Gase has seen some success and some failures in sudden death games, and that experience could pay off for Miami on Sunday.

Suh grabs headlines for his aggressive play, but Miami also enjoyed a spectacular season from Cameron Wake on the defensive line. Wake is headed to the Pro Bowl after picking up 11.5 sacks this season. Roethlisberger is not easily rattled, but Wake and Suh have been known to change games with their play. Getting Pittsburgh's quarterback antsy early could lead to an upset victory for the Dolphins. It will be up to Wake and Suh to set the tone quickly and give Miami that chance.

Playoff games often come down to the kicking game and Miami has to feel somewhat confident with what it has. Andrew Franks had a solid season and ended things on a high note. Franks drilled a 55-yard field goal with the clock winding down in Buffalo in Week 16. That kick sent the game to overtime, and Miami eventually won on another kick from Franks. Miami's coaching staff will likely not hesitate to turn to Franks for a pressure kick in Pittsburgh after that experience.

While Miami made the playoffs in 2008, it has not actually won a postseason game since 2000. The franchise has endured many losing seasons and 2016's regular season was a step in the right direction. Beating Pittsburgh would be a tremendous leap forward for the Dolphins.

Sunday's AFC Wild Card contest will begin at 1:05 p.m.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dolphins Preparing For Cold Weather Ahead of Sunday's Game]]> Fri, 06 Jan 2017 07:56:21 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/163*120/GettyImages-454302823.jpg

Sunday afternoon, the Miami Dolphins will be battling more than just the Pittsburgh Steelers in their Wild Card Round playoff game – they will be dealing with relative inexperience in the postseason and some bitter cold temperatures.

The 1 PM kickoff will see partly cloudy conditions and a high between 10 and 15 degrees. With a light wind of between five and 10 miles per hour, the wind chill factor will make it feel like zero to five degrees for those inside Heinz Field.

It will be quite the atmosphere for many on the Dolphins active roster, as just ten members of that group have played in a playoff game before. Included in that list is defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, wide receiver Kenny Stills and cornerback Byron Maxwell.

Someone making their first ever appearance will be quarterback Matt Moore – who was named the starter after it was reported that Ryan Tannehill won’t be able to play while still recovering from a knee injury suffered in a December 11th win over Arizona.

NBC 6 will have you covered with all the action this weekend. Adam Kuperstein will be in Pittsburgh and will bring you all the highlights, insights and recaps from the Dolphins’ first playoff game since 2008 this weekend right here on NBC 6.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Orlando City SC Honors Pulse Shooting Victims in New Stadium]]> Thu, 05 Jan 2017 15:41:14 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/orlando-united-soccer-team-rainbow.jpg

Less than seven months after tragedy ravaged their city, one of Orlando’s pro sports teams is honoring the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting.

The city’s Major League Soccer franchise, Orlando City SC, unveiled Wednesday 49 seats in their new stadium done in the colors of the rainbow flag – done in memory of the 49 people killed in the June 12 incident on the popular gay nightclub.

Five rows of eight seats in the colors red, orange, yellow, green and blue go along with another row of nine seats in purple. Each has a plaque on it with the hashtag #OrlandoUnited. The seats are located in Section 12 of the new stadium, in memory of the deadliest mass shooting in American history.

The team first honored the victims during their game against the San Jose Earthquakes days after the shooting, stopping the game for a moment of silence during the 49th minute as fans flew a rainbow flag to remember those lost.

Orlando City’s new stadium is located just over two miles north of the nightclub, which remains closed after the owner didn’t sell the building to the city, which sought to turn the building into a memorial.

The Lions will play thier first game in the new stadium on March 5th.



Photo Credit: Courtesy Orlando City Soccer]]>
<![CDATA[Heat Forward Justise Winslow to Undergo Shoulder Surgery]]> Wed, 04 Jan 2017 21:54:59 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-629860788.jpg

Miami Heat forward Justise Winslow will undergo shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum on Thursday.

The surgery will likely put an end to Winslow's season and is a major blow for Miami. The team is already dealing with numerous injuries and has relied on the second-year player's production this season. Winslow has been out of action since December 30th with this injury.

Without Winslow on the court, Miami will need more minutes from players such as James Johnson. The Heat will also have to go with smaller lineups at times, due to a lack of big men on the roster. Complicating matters for Miami on the current road trip is an eye ailment for Hassan Whiteside. The center did not join the team on the trip, but is still expected to so.

Winslow this season was averaging nearly 11 points a game along with 5.2 rebounds. The 20-year old represents a big part of Miami's future and will now miss a chance to gain valuable experience in a likely non-contending season. Miami will have to hope Winslow is able to regain his full form and make a full recovery ahead of the 2017-18 season.

The Heat will continue their road trip on Wednesday evening in Sacramento against the Kings. Miami has already lost six games in a row, and it may be difficult to halt that skid with this latest development.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Harlem Globetrotter Sinks 100-Foot Shot From Oracle Roof]]> Thu, 05 Jan 2017 07:17:34 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/0104-2016-Globetrotter.jpg

It's tough to top some of the highlights Stephen Curry and the rest of the Golden State Warriors have provided fans over the years at Oracle Arena, but the visiting Harlem Globetrotters did just that with an unbelievable trick shot.

Video posted online by the exhibition basketball team shows Harlem Globetrotters star Buckets Blakes hitting a 100-foot basket from the rooftop of Oracle Arena.

The Globetrotters are in the Bay Area preparing for a seven-game stretch from January 14-22.



Photo Credit: Harlem Globetrotters]]>
<![CDATA[Panthers Drop Fifth Straight Home Game]]> Wed, 04 Jan 2017 21:55:30 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-630982886.jpg

The Florida Panthers suffered another defeat at home with their 4-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday.

The Panthers have now lost their last five games at BB&T Center and are 7-9-5 at home overall this season. Florida has lost five of the last six games it has played overall, with the lone win coming in Dallas on Saturday.

Florida has had a relatively relaxing schedule as of late and has played only five games over nearly a two week span. The off days have not helped the Panthers however and the team remains inconsistent overall. Florida has 40 points and is 16-15-8 thus far in 2016-17.

Trailing by two goals late in the third period, Gregg McKegg put Florida on the board with his first goal of the season. McKegg's goal came with assists from Jaromir Jagr and Aaron Ekblad.

Roberto Luongo was in net for Florida and had some good moments, but also allowed the four goals to slide by him. Luongo ended up with 35 saves on his 39 chances. Florida had the game within one going into the third period, before Luongo allowed another two goals in the final period of play.

Power plays were an issue once again for the Panthers in the loss, as the team failed on all three opportunities that it had.

The Panthers will be back in action on Friday when they host the Nashville Predators at 7:30 p.m.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dolphins, Steelers Prepare to Add to Playoff History Sunday]]> Wed, 04 Jan 2017 13:28:03 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/172*120/dolphins+steelers+line+of+scrimmage.jpg

Sunday, the Miami Dolphins will renew a playoff rivalry against the Pittsburgh Steelers – one that has had “super” results for the winner.

The Wild Card round game inside Heinz Field will be the fourth time the teams have met in the postseason, with the Dolphins holding a 2-1 edge. Each time they have met, the game’s winner has gone on to play for the Super Bowl.

The first meeting took place in the AFC Championship Game for the 1972 season, as Miami traveled to Pittsburgh and held on for the 21-17 win on their way to a win in Super Bowl VII and the only undefeated season in NFL history.

Pittsburgh got their revenge seven seasons later, traveling to the iconic Orange Bowl stadium and leaving with a 34-14 divisional round win on their way to a convincing win in Super Bowl XIV. Five seasons later, the teams met again in the AFC title game with the Dolphins and quarterback Dan Marino winning 45-28 before losing in Super Bowl XIX.

If the Dolphins do come up with the win Sunday, they will travel to take on AFC East foe New England in the divisional round on Saturday, January 14th. The two teams have been in the same division since Miami’s first season in 1966, and have also met three times in the postseason, with the Patriots holding a 2-1 series edge.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Miami Dolphins Announce Opponents For 2017 Season]]> Tue, 03 Jan 2017 09:57:43 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-621516884.jpg

While the Miami Dolphins still have at least one game left in the 2016 NFL season, fans of the team now already know who the team will face come 2017.

The NFL announced Monday the opponents each team will face during the upcoming season. Exact dates and times will be announced in mid to late April.

The Dolphins will play each of their AFC East divisional foes – the New York Jets, New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills – twice next year as usual.

As for the remaining home schedule, Miami will host the Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tennessee Titans – as well as being the home team against the New Orleans Saints in a game being played in London, England.

The remaining away game schedule includes trips to take on the Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers and Balitmore Ravens. The Dolphins made trips to play both San Diego and Baltimore this past regular season.

Miami makes their return to the playoffs this weekend as they travel to face the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday at 1 PM.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Heat Open Trip With Sixth Straight Loss]]> Tue, 03 Jan 2017 23:30:44 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-630920518.jpg

The Miami Heat extended their skid to six games with a 99-90 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday.

The loss came in the first game of a six-game road trip for the Heat. Miami has been struggling mightily and has also battled numerous injuries at the same time. The Heat are now 10-26 on the season and have the most losses in the Eastern Conference.

Goran Dragic returned to the Heat lineup after missing time with an ailing back. The news wasn't as good for some other players however as Hassan Whiteside, Justise Winslow, Tyler Johnson and James Johnson were all unavailable. Miami was forced to use only eight men and had another makeshift starting lineup.

The lack of depth became a problem for Miami in the second half. While the game was close at the half, Phoenix ran away with the win in the third quarter. The Suns outscored the Heat by 13 in the thid quarter alone to pad the lead going into the final 12 minutes.

Dragic appeared to be in top shape with a team-leading 24 points. The guard scored 22 of those points in the first half alone. Dragic also added nine assists in the losing effort.

Willie Reed made the most of his opportunity to play in place of Whiteside. The center had a double-double with 22 points and 18 rebounds to go along with two assists and two blocks.

Miami will continue the trip on Wednesday when it visits Sacramento to take on the Kings at 10:30 p.m.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>