(Reuters) – With Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson set to make playoff debuts, the year of the rookie continues in the National Football League (NFL).
But defense and experience win championships and few know the road to the Super Bowl better than longtime quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.
(Reuters) – Blair Walsh booted a 29-yard field goal as time expired to earn the Minnesota Vikings a heart-stopping 37-34 home win over the Green Bay Packers and a playoff berth on a pulsating final Sunday of the National Football League regular season.
The Vikings’ victory denied the Packers the second seed in the NFC and a first round bye leaving the stage to East division rivals the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins, who will clash later on Sunday in the last game on the schedule that will decide the final piece of the playoff puzzle with the winner advancing.
(Reuters) – The Chicago Bears held on to beat the Detroit Lions 26-24 to keep their post-season hopes alive and end the New York Giants’ Super Bowl defense as the National Football League playoff picture came into sharper focus on the final Sunday.
With head coach Chuck Pagano back on the sidelines for the first time in three months after undergoing cancer treatment, the Indianapolis Colts posted a 28-16 win over Houston that may end up costing the Texans a first round bye.
TORONTO (Reuters) – National Hockey League (NHL) Commissioner Gary Bettman kicked off 2012 toasting the New Year at the lucrative outdoor Winter Classic game, painting a glowing picture of a league whose stock was on the rise.
But as the year draws to a close, a dour Bettman is painting a much gloomier portrait of a league bleeding cash in the midst of a labor dispute with locked-out players that could wipe out the entire 2012-13 season.
TORONTO (Reuters) – Two of the chief figures in the NHL labor dispute were doing a lot of talking on Wednesday but not to each other as the lockout dragged into a fourth month and hopes of salvaging the season continue to slip away.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and Donald Fehr, head of the NHL Players Association (NHLPA), defended their positions during a media blitz, each side blaming the other for stalled negotiations and offering little hope of a quick return to the bargaining table.
TORONTO (Reuters) – The snow has just started to fall in the National Basketball Association’s most northern outpost and all signs are pointing to a long, bitter winter for the Toronto Raptors.
A 94-88 loss to the Brooklyn Nets sent the nose-diving Raptors to their sixth straight defeat and 12th in 13 games on Wednesday, not the type of results that will have Christmas shoppers rushing out to snap up tickets as stocking stuffers.
OAKLAND, California (Reuters) – The surging Denver Broncos pounded the Oakland Raiders 26-13 on Thursday, stretching their winning streak to eight games as Peyton Manning reached another career passing milestone.
Having already clinched the AFC West crown and established their credentials as legitimate Super Bowl contenders, the Broncos arrived in Oakland with their sights set on securing a first round playoff bye.
TORONTO (Reuters) – The Toronto Argonauts tamed the Calgary Stampeders 35-22 to claim the 100th Grey Cup on Sunday, allowing Canada’s biggest city to shed its Loserville reputation and celebrate a Canadian Football League (CFL) championship.
The week-long Grey Cup party reached a roaring climax inside Toronto’s domed stadium as 53,208 CFL fans, most of them wearing the Argos double-blue colors, basked in victory 100 years after the University of Toronto Rugby Football became the first to hoist the trophy.
TORONTO (Reuters) – Ice hockey may be Canada’s national obsession but for 100 years the Grey Cup has thrown a massive party, a gridiron celebration that unites a country often divided by language and cultural sensibilities.
The Grey Cup, the name of the Canadian Football League’s (CFL) championship game and the trophy awarded to the winner, will be carried onto the Rogers Centre turf by Royal Canadian Mounted Police on Sunday and hoisted high by either the host Toronto Argonauts or the Calgary Stampeders.
AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Lewis Hamilton claimed the victory and Red Bull clinched the constructors title but the biggest winner at the U.S. Grand Prix was Formula One with commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone immediately calling for more races in America.
“The future of F1 in the USA? I think we’ll finish with three races here within the next three years,” a beaming Ecclestone told reporters. “The race was fantastic wasn’t it? Really was a super race.