Listopad 2012

Louisville's move to ACC a sporting miracle

29. listopadu 2012 v 1:21 | sports
To appreciate the giddy place where the Louisville Cardinals are today as the newest members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, you must understand where they were 15 years ago.
When Tom Jurich came to town as the new athletic director in October 1997, he inherited a department that was collapsing at an alarming rate.
The basketball program was on NCAA probation and under sanctions. The glory days of the 1980s, when the Cardinals won two national championships, were fading quickly as Hall of Fame coach Denny Crum aged.
The football program was playing its games in a minor-league baseball stadium, although a new football stadium was scheduled to open the following season. But before getting into that new facility, Jurich had to watch Louisville finish a 1-10 train wreck of a season - then he had to fire its young African-American coach.
The non-revenue sports were uniformly underfunded, and most of them were unsuccessful. Their facilities were embarrassing. The school was well behind in meeting gender-equity requirements.
Academics? Louisville was the subject of a "60 Minutes" piece earlier in the decade on its abysmal basketball graduation rate.
Things were so bad that even Louisville's mid-major brethren were appalled. Conference USA schools were actively seeking to boot the Cardinals from the league, citing all the above problems plus the difficulty in getting Louisville to work cooperatively with the rest of the membership. It took an intervention from C-USA commissioner Mike Slive to stop the eviction.
Jurich's hiring of coach Charlie Strong has strengthened Louisville's football program. (AP)So this bright and sunny Wednesday, as an urban school of modest academic credentials celebrated its inclusion in the prestigious ACC, feels like a sporting miracle here. Louisville was never a privileged university - its identity was formed as a gritty commuter school without an idyllic campus. It has lacked state flagship status and widespread affection or support outside the city limits. Rural kids don't grow up dreaming of going there and coal barons don't open their wallets for the school. Everything Louisville has gotten, it had to work for.
That's why this sporting miracle was more a matter of unstinting effort and unwavering vision than a karmic kiss. This has been a 15-year battle that Tom Jurich finally won.
The battle appeared to be won in 2004. That's when Louisville led a pack of five schools breaking away from C-USA for the Big East to replace Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College.
That was the original day of realignment celebration. After years of toiling outside the Bowl Championship Series big boys club, Louisville had gotten its invitation.
By that point, Jurich had already worked a startling makeover. And the most important part of that was upgrading the school's coaches - particularly on the football side, where Jurich excels.
After firing Ron Cooper, he hired John L. Smith and then Bobby Petrino in football, resulting in nine straight bowl bids. The new stadium helped recruiting, and so did the Cardinals' willingness to play whenever ESPN asked them to - Louisville football became as synonymous with weeknight viewing as "Law & Order."
In 2001, Jurich skillfully forced out Crum. It wasn't easy: The local legend still had vast support, didn't want to go and didn't want to make it easy on Jurich. A losing record helped give Jurich the leverage he needed, but the fan base wanted a big name to replace a departing big name.
That's when Jurich pulled off the stunning coup of landing recovering NBA coach Rick Pitino, four years after Pitino rebuilt archrival Kentucky down the road. The only thing more surprising than Jurich landing Pitino has been Jurich keeping Pitino - 11 years later, the formerly peripatetic coach is still at Louisville.
The athletic director had also tapped into booster Owsley Brown Frazier, a liquor magnate and champion of non-revenue sports. His funding of Owsley B. Frazier Cardinal Park - a row of modern facilities that basically serves as the school's front porch to visitors - dramatically changed Louisville's fortunes.
So starting in 2005, when the Cardinals entered the Big East, a comfortable course appeared to be set for the next 50 years. School president James Ramsey had given Jurich the green light to aggressively upgrade athletics, and he did the job.
Instead, that stability lasted for five.
By 2010, the tectonic plates of college sports were shifting again. With everyone looking to grab football inventory and hike television revenue, the Big East suddenly looked very vulnerable - and the membership was deeply divided over how to respond.
Jurich championed Big East expansion to solidify football, knowing that basketball would be fine. But while the conference dithered, other leagues acted. And eventually, the ACC picked off Pittsburgh and Syracuse.
The Big East's instability coincided with the one bad hire Jurich has made: Steve Kragthorpe to replace Petrino as the Louisville football coach. Given the importance of football in every realignment decision, the timing was nearly catastrophic.
Louisville's three-year slump without a bowl bid took away one of its primary attributes during the 2005 realignment. Not even the resurgent basketball program, which was moving into a 22,000-seat, $238-million downtown arena, could overcome the loss in football stature.
Suddenly, with the Big East splintering and the Big 12 needing a school to get back to 10 after the departures of Colorado, Missouri and Texas A&M, West Virginia improbably outflanked the Cardinals last year for membership in that conference. TCU also left the Big East for the Big 12 before it had even played a game.
Louisville kept working back channels - Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell made some calls, and a Jurich trip to Texas appeared to win over Longhorns athletic director DeLoss Dodds - but ultimately couldn't convince the Big 12 why it needed to add an 11th school.
After the euphoria of getting to the Big East, it now looked like a dead-end destination. Even after Jurich corrected the Kragthorpe error by hiring Charlie Strong and watching him revive the football program - which led to a stadium expansion from 42,000 to 55,000 - security was slipping away from the Cardinals. Would BCS status slip away? Would Strong want to stay? Would recruits still want to come?
That feeling only got worse in recent weeks, when Rutgers bolted for the Big Ten. It was joined by Maryland, which opened the door to the ACC.
For two years, since the ACC took Pitt and Syracuse, the widely held assumption was that Connecticut was next in line to join that league. UConn had the stronger academic profile, had been to the Fiesta Bowl following the 2010 season, won the 2011 men's basketball title and had the nation's dominant women's basketball program.
But then it was UConn's turn to slip in football, regressing after Randy Edsall left for Maryland. And then Jim Calhoun's tenure at UConn ended ingloriously, with NCAA sanctions for rules violations and academic underachievement. The future of a program built on a single man is in doubt.
Mostly, though, Louisville's return to football prominence - and massive financial commitment to it - won the day. Jurich worked his football-first allies in the league, advertising the upgraded stadium and a team that should start 2013 in the national top 15, at least. The fact that he made Louisville embrace football has turned out to be instrumental.
Basketball sold itself - the addition of future Hall of Famer Pitino to match wits with current HOFers Mike Krzyzewski and Roy Williams was enticing. The broad-based success (a women's Final Four in 2009, a College World Series visit in 2007) didn't hurt.
Athletically, Louisville was a tangible upgrade from Maryland. The sticking point was academics, with the school 160th in the most recent U.S. News & World Report rankings.
Ultimately, the ACC dropped academic pretense and made an athletic decision. Louisville was the best choice.
That's hard to believe, given the department Tom Jurich took over 15 years ago. From C-USA outcast to the Big East to the ACC, he dragged a once-troubled program to where it never could have dreamed of being.

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Marvin Miller, a trailblazer in pro sports unions, had a lasting effect on NHLPA head Don Fehr

28. listopadu 2012 v 1:34 | sports
"Let me back up," Don Fehr began, sitting in a conference room at the NHL Players' Association headquarters in Toronto. "Marvin Miller …"
Marvin Miller, Major League Baseball's first players' union boss, died Tuesday at age 95. (AP)This was back in January, long before the lockout. I sat down with Fehr to discuss his preparations for collective bargaining, to see if there were parallels to his approach in baseball.
Fehr had spent a quarter century leading the Major League Baseball Players Association before becoming the executive director of the NHLPA. He had amassed his own experience and credentials. He was his own man with his own mind.
But the fifth and sixth words he used were Miller's first and last names, and he kept coming back to Miller, his predecessor and mentor at the MLBPA. He had worked under Miller as the MLBPA general counsel from 1977-82 and remained close to him afterward. He spoke of him with not only respect, but reverence.
Miller died Tuesday. He was 95. In a statement released by the MLBPA, Fehr said: "Without question, Marvin had more positive influence on Major League Baseball than any other person in the last half of the 20th century."
In short, during his tenure from 1966-82, Miller helped the players stand up to the owners for the first time. He helped them build the strongest union in sports. He helped them win free agency, higher pay and better benefits. He did it all while the MLB painted him as a troublemaker. Though the business has thrived, he is not in the Hall of Fame.
But his influence reached beyond baseball, and it goes directly to hockey right now as Fehr leads the NHLPA through this lockout. Fehr learned much from Miller, like simple skepticism of the owners' claims, the importance of player involvement and who works for whom in a union. Fehr is still fighting for many of the same things, like free agency eligibility, arbitration rights and pensions.
I asked Fehr about a quote attributed to him in John Helyar's book "Lords of the Realm: The RealHistory of Baseball": "You go through The Sporting News for the last hundred years, and you will find two things are always true. You never have enough pitching, and nobody ever made money."
Fehr said he didn't remember the context, but generally, from the 1890s until about 15-20 years ago, baseball owners constantly cried poor. He mentioned two things said by MLB commissioner Bowie Kuhn, Miller's old counterpart.
"I'll never forget when Marvin told me this," Fehr said. "He had the most mischievous look on his face. He said, 'Bowie just gave a speech that said, 'Unless we find oil wells under second base, we're all going broke.' He wants everybody to dig. That was the first one.
"And the second one was that if free agency existed in baseball, the American League would go out of business and the National League would be reduced to six teams, and it would be like the NHL. And of course, the entire history of baseball is completely the opposite. Free agency is in many respects what made the sport what it is today.
Don Fehr (right) worked under Miller (center) from 1977-82 and spoke of him with reverence. (AP)"So every once in a while in baseball, I would get frustrated when people repeated the same old litany, as if the mere fact that somebody said it meant it mattered."
These are different times, and this is a different sport. The NHLPA has access to NHL financial information. But that doesn't mean the players trust the owners' accounting, and that doesn't mean Fehr accepts the status quo or conventional thinking.
I asked Fehr why he made it a point to have players at the bargaining table in baseball and why he would do the same in hockey. That was actually my starting point.
This was his starting point: "Let me back up," he said. "Marvin Miller began the process in baseball of making sure that the constituents - the members, the players - were involved in the bargaining and were present during the meetings. And he did that because, first of all, they have a right to be there.
"There's nothing like the education you get listening to the actual exchanges rather than somebody summarizing the exchanges sometime later on. Players will very often pick up issues that staff won't, because they're out there on the ice, and in my case now, that's even more likely because I don't have a longtime hockey background.
"You can make compromises, you can make counterproposals, and it's really, really important. So when we came in, one of the things that I started talking to players about was how important it is for them to be informed, for them to talk to one another, and to participate in the process. And that means, among other things, being physically at the table and in the bargaining."
That's especially interesting now.
Fehr has been accused of creating the illusion of inclusion and transparency, while actually diffusing dissent and driving his own agenda. Because lots of players have rotated through bargaining sessions and the negotiating committee includes about 30 players, that means there is no small group with the power to set the course.
The NHL feels its message isn't getting through Fehr's filter, which is why it posted one of its proposals on its website and gave team executives a brief window to discuss it with players. The NHL feels the players have no mechanism to steer in a different direction. Deputy commissioner Bill Daly has suggested publicly that Fehr doesn't share the players' desire to get a deal done.
Fehr's strategy of including players in CBA talks with the league is something he learned from Miller. (Getty)At the same time, veteran players - guys who have been through these things before - will tell you they have never been better informed than they are now. Fehr's door is always open. The PA holds conference calls. It even has a smartphone app.
And the view within the league is that the players pushed Fehr to make the PA's last proposal, which linked the players' share to hockey-related revenue for the first time in these negotiations. If that view is accurate, was he pushed by the players - or was he listening to them?
Another quote from January:
"There is this … I was about to say mythology, but this perspective out there about the baseball players' union, which basically says that Marvin Miller came in at a point in time in which there was nothing and had to build from scratch, and so whatever changes there were were revolutionary all the way through," Fehr said. "He was regarded by a lot of people, mostly in the media, as a revolutionary leader.
"Players will tell you he was the most practical person alive. What most people forget is the first strike - [during] which everybody was calling Marvin a communist - was something that the players voted to do over his specific recommendation to the contrary. That was in 1972, on a pension issue."
It is true that Fehr has rebuilt a broken union, and it is true that his job is to make recommendations to the players, and it is true that the players likely will choose from the options he gives them. They will follow his lead. That's why they hired him.
It is also true that Fehr loathes the salary cap system, was unafraid to fight with baseball owners and has no personal investment in hockey.
But Fehr will tell you he did not rebuild the NHLPA from scratch, despite all the problems he inherited and all the Union 101 work he did to educate the players on how the organization should operate. He will tell you hockey is a bigger business now than baseball was back then. He will tell you he works for the players. He will stress it.
Miller at his New York apartment in 2003. (AP)And when I asked Fehr in September 2011 if he wanted this to be a revolutionary agreement or an evolutionary one, Fehr said: "Everybody understands that trying to change something radically, unless both sides start from the premise that they want to, is much more problematic in terms of getting an agreement done than not."
In other words, he understands the situation on a practical level. He inherited the salary cap. Challenging it would come at a high cost to his constituents.
There is a fear that Fehr wants to become another Marvin Miller, a revolutionary leader. There is a fear that all this was orchestrated, so he could challenge the salary cap, so he could be the first union boss to get rid of one. Why else would Fehr take this job? What's in it for him?
I have no doubt Fehr is using his aura to his advantage, and I think it's possible he could go all the way. If mediation fails, if the PA disclaims interest or decertifies, this could blow up. He could go to court, challenge the cap and try to establish the free market in which he believes. The owners better calculate whether it's worth the risk, especially when the sides are so close on so many issues.
But what if Fehr wants to be another Marvin Miller, the "most practical person alive"? Is he really misleading the players about the owners' proposals, when other staff members and players are in the room, when memos aren't the only form of internal communication? If the players want to decertify, or if they want their leaders to disclaim interest, it will happen. But if the players really want to make a deal, will Fehr really not make it - even if he disagrees? Really?
What if what's in it for him is the satisfaction of helping players who had been pushed around stand up for themselves? What if it's helping them build a strong union so they can fight for their interests as effectively as possible? It took years of struggle for Miller and the MLBPA to make so much progress. What if Fehr is helping the NHLPA take its first steps?
"When I started in baseball, Marvin was there, and I was 29," Fehr said in September 2011, pointing out he was in the same age range as the players then and needs to work harder to relate to them now. "I'm 40 years older than some of these guys, so it's different.
"They've got to see that I'm not just some Dutch uncle that's telling them how to live their lives, another old fart, and that's what makes it hard to get them to understand that I work for them and not the other way around."

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Olympic Games - Sports Personality of the Year shortlist announced

27. listopadu 2012 v 1:59 | sports
Athletes Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis, cyclists Bradley Wiggins and Sir Chris Hoy, rower Katherine Grainger, boxer Nicola Adams and sailor Ben Ainslie represented Britain's efforts at the Olympic Games.
Meanwhile, paralympians Sarah Storey, Ellie Simmonds and David Weir also made the list for the award ceremony on December 16.
World number one golfer Rory McIlroy and US Open and Olympic tennis champion Andy Murray completed the line-up.
Three double Olympic champions, cyclists Jason Kenny, Laura Trott and dressage rider Charlotte Dujardin, did not make the list.
Equally, Ryder Cup hero Ian Poulter, Olympic triathlon gold medallist Alistair Brownlee and numerous other star performers from the Olympic Games and beyond missed out on the incredibly competitive list.
Three former Sports Personality nominees were on an expert panel that decided the shortlist, with the winner set to be decided by a public vote on the evening.
A capacity crowd of 15,000 is expected at the Excel Centre in London, making this year's edition the largest in the event's 59-year history.

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49ers return two Drew Brees interceptions for touchdowns

26. listopadu 2012 v 1:36 | sports
San Francisco's defense has the ability to make anyone look bad, even the great Drew Brees.
Brees doesn't often make mistakes, much less throwing a pair of interceptions that are returned for touchdowns in the same game. San Francisco got the Saints quarterback twice in the span of a few minutes on Sunday.

Just before the end of the first half, Brees made the kind of misstep you won't see too often. He never seemed to see linebacker Ahmad Brooks on a short throw over the middle. Brooks made a pretty easy interception, and ran it 50 yards for a touchdown with 22 seconds left in the first half. That tied the game 14-14.
After San Francisco's offense scored first in the third quarter, the 49ers defense scored again. Brees threw high to Marques Colston, who jumped and had his legs taken out from underneath him by safety Dashon Goldson. Colston landed hard, mostly on his head, and was dazed and down on the field while Donte Whitner picked the pass off and returned it 42 yards for a touchdown. That came with 11:30 left in the third quarter and gave the 49ers a two-touchdown lead.
While Colin Kaepernick getting the start at quarterback was the biggest 49ers story this week, San Francisco's defense will always give the team a chance to win, no matter who is playing quarterback.

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Jets' Ryan insists Tebow (ribs) could've played

24. listopadu 2012 v 1:44 | sports
Tim Tebow had no real shot at playing against the New England Patriots.
The New York Jets' backup quarterback has two broken ribs, and coach Rex Ryan insisted Tebow still could've played, but he had no intention of putting him on the field Thursday night unless it was an emergency.
Apparently, a 49-19 blowout didn't qualify.
The Jets found out two days before the game that Tebow's sore ribs were actually fractured when results from an MRI exam and CT scan were released. Tebow was active for the game, but Ryan kept him on the sideline.
''I think people have played with cracked ribs,'' Ryan said during a conference call Friday. ''Guys have played, and it was told to me that he could play. But I wasn't going to play him unless it was an absolute emergency and that was when I would play him. It was never told to me that he could not play. In fact, it was just the opposite.''
Tebow was hurt at Seattle two weeks ago, but initial X-rays were negative. He played three offensive snaps at St. Louis last Sunday, and Ryan said that was a product of the Rams showing certain defensive looks.
But Tebow continued to experience soreness, which intensified Tuesday morning. Tebow was a full participant in practice that day, but an MRI exam and CT scan later that night revealed the fractures, of which Ryan was then informed.
Tebow was questionable for the game, and Ryan made him active against the Patriots after speaking with him, and having the quarterback undergo a pregame evaluation. Tebow also refused any pain-killing injections before the game.
''I've always said this: Mighty men play this game and there are guys that play where some people wouldn't even think about stepping on the field,'' Ryan said. ''A lot of guys will play. In this case, there was a thing about he could protect himself and he could've played in that game.
''He absolutely 100 percent could've played in that game.''
But Tebow took no snaps on offense or special teams, and third-stringer Greg McElroy was inactive - leaving the Jets with just one healthy quarterback in their biggest game of the season.
Starter Mark Sanchez had two costly turnovers early in the game that the Patriots turned into touchdowns, and left many in the crowd at MetLife Stadium chanting for Tebow to replace him. But the backup stood on the sideline throughout, with a cap on his head and his hands in his pockets as the Patriots quickly turned the game into a laugher.
The fact he was even in uniform took some convincing by Tebow.
''I had to do a little bit of talking just to dress, but I just want to be there for my teammates in case they needed me in an emergency situation,'' Tebow said after the game.
Tebow told Ryan he once played with a broken collarbone, and also broke a rib in Denver's playoff game against New England last season. He acknowledged Thursday night that his ribs ''need a little time to get better,'' adding that his breathing has been affected by the injury and he isn't sure how long he might be hindered by the injury.
''It's like, if we absolutely 100 percent had to have him, then I would've played him,'' Ryan said. ''But like I said, I'm not the trainer. I'm not a doctor or anything else, but I'm a human and that's why I felt for him. It was to the point where I know when the doctors are telling you he can play, the young man's telling you he can play and knowing that he was going to be in the role he was as the backup quarterback, he had gotten reps the entire week, that was why I had him active.''
Tebow is 6 of 7 passing for 39 yards and has rushed 29 times for 87 yards while averaging about seven offensive plays per game. He also plays regularly on special teams as the personal punt protector, but said he thinks he was injured on an offensive play against the Rams.
Ryan ''considered'' making McElroy active against the Patriots, and the third-stringer was warming up vigorously about an hour before kickoff. Ryan would only say that ''we'll see how the week progresses'' as to whether McElroy might be the backup instead of Tebow in the team's next game against Arizona on Dec. 2.
''I'm not going to get into the 'what-ifs' or all that stuff,'' Ryan said of keeping Tebow active against New England. ''Obviously, if he was not cleared to play or they thought he could be in serious jeopardy to himself, then he never would have been activated. He never would have been cleared to play. Tim was cleared to play. He wanted to play and that's just the way it is.''

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Henrik Lundqvist finally found a game to play.

23. listopadu 2012 v 2:44 | sports
It won't be under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden, or in front of a hostile crowd in Philadelphia trying to rattle the man in the red, white and blue mask. But it will be meaningful and rewarding in a unique way.
Like players and fans all across North America and the world, the New York Rangers goalie misses the NHL. Lundqvist has run the gamut of emotions as the long lockout lingers. His thirst to get back on the ice will be quenched Saturday night - however briefly - as he joins other hockey stars in giving back to people who were ravaged by Hurricane Sandy.
Lundqvist will step on the ice in storm-damaged Atlantic City, N.J., along with Rangers teammates and foes from the Flyers and other teams to lend a helping hand to those recovering from the devastation. It won't have the intensity of a regular NHL game, but it will be filled with emotion and enjoyment.
"Absolutely. It's not only the hockey fans. You want to pay back to people working in the community around New York and people that got hit by this storm," said Lundqvist, last season's Vezina Trophy winner as the NHL's top goalie. "I was not there, but obviously I have a lot of friends who were still there, and I had people move into my place. ...
"I hope it's going to be a positive day, and that people who come in to watch the game get some energy and give the people some hope who need it."
"Operation Hat Trick" will be held at famed Boardwalk Hall on Saturday. All proceeds from the event will go directly to the Empire State Relief Fund, the New Jersey Hurricane Relief Fund and the American Red Cross, which is aiding New York and New Jersey families affected by Hurricane Sandy.
Brad Richards of the Rangers joined Flyers forward Scott Hartnell and partnered with Caesars Atlantic City to stage the event. Richards and Hartnell will serve as captains of the two teams that will feature other NHLers such as Martin Brodeur, Bobby Ryan, Steven Stamkos, Kimmo Timonen, Braydon Coburn, James van Riemsdyk and Simon Gagne.
As of Monday, 28 players had signed up to play.
"We are all overwhelmed by the damage and destruction caused to our area by Hurricane Sandy, and as professional hockey players we wanted to come together to help those who were victimized," Richards said.
The mere idea that Rangers, Flyers and other rivals could come together for a common goal is special in itself.
"To have the opportunity to be able to raise money for the relief effort by participating in this game is an honor," Hartnell said.
Lundqvist has been spending time at home in Sweden. His Thanksgiving plans included an international flight back to his hockey home that hasn't had hockey since the Los Angeles Kings captured the Stanley Cup in June.
This trip should be well worth it for the seven-year NHL veteran.
"I'm trying to stay busy," said the 30-year Lundqvist, who joined the Rangers in 2005 after an earlier lockout forced the cancellation of the previous season. "I've been skating every week, trying to stay ready in case something happens. I'm not sure if things are going to open up in the NHL or here in Sweden. Right now I'm just trying to stay ready, but it's tough, though.
"Just a couple of nights skating. It's not ideal, obviously, but it is what it is."
A glimmer of optimism that arose this week when the NHL and the players' association got together twice for negotiations was dashed on Wednesday when the league quickly rejected an offer it said it was eagerly awaiting. The NHL has already canceled all games through November and the highly popular outdoor Winter Classic. All-Star weekend is very close to being lost along with another round of games.
"I'm kind of tired of hearing that they're getting together," he said. "We need progress here. I don't know what to say now. The first couple of weeks you hope it's going to end fast, and now you've had two months of talking.
"It doesn't really matter. We just have to figure it out here with the owners and come to a solution. Everybody is suffering, from the fans, the players, people working with the game. It's not necessary. The game is strong enough that we should be able to figure it out."
Lundqvist has rolled with the ups and downs of the lockout that began in September, when the previous collective bargaining agreement between the players' association and the NHL expired. He hasn't signed up to play in Europe or anywhere else, but if a deal isn't reached soon, he might have to change his plans.
He just never thought the lockout would be going on this long.
"It's important that we try to give back to different communities and to the fans, but to us players, we miss the game a lot. We do," Lundqvist said. "This is our lives. There is a business side to this sport; there is no way around it. When it comes down to just playing the game, I miss the lifestyle, I miss traveling and playing the games and having the adrenaline.
"It's just such a big part of my life. It's definitely been a weird two months here not having that. That's why it's a lot of fun to get together and play the game."
The NHL generated record revenues of $3.3 billion last season when Lundqvist and the Rangers reached the Eastern Conference finals. Instead of being back on the ice to shoot for another run at the Stanley Cup, the star goalie is in a holding pattern he can't escape.
"I have all the emotions," Lundqvist said. "I have some anger, disappointment, some embarrassment, too. I understand that the fans are disappointed, and it's hard to explain the whole situation. I don't think a lot of people know all the details and how much we really sacrificed to try to come closer to the owners. It doesn't really matter. They deserve the game out there to be played right now. I definitely feel a little embarrassment that we can't figure it out sooner."

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23. listopadu 2012 v 2:43 | sports
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Boxing champ Hector Camacho on life support after shooting

22. listopadu 2012 v 2:56 | sports
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (Reuters) - Hector "Macho" Camacho was on life support on Wednesday after he was shot in the face and neck and doctors treating the three-time world boxing champion conducted tests to determine whether he was brain dead.
"This is the toughest fight in the life of Macho Camacho," Ernesto Torres, director of the Rio Piedras Medical Center, told reporters.
Camacho, 50, was gravely injured in a drive-by shooting in Puerto Rico on Tuesday night. Torres said Camacho suffered a heart attack early Wednesday, worsening his condition, and at one point his heart had stopped.
Torres said an initial test showed Camacho had a low level of brain activity and two more tests were being carried out.
"We are keeping him alive with medicine. He is a strong guy," he said. "We can maintain him several days like this to see if there is an improvement. Macho's situation is very delicate. The prognosis is very poor," Torres added.
The boxer's mother, Maria Matias, arrived in Puerto Rico and was discussing Camacho's medical condition with doctors.
Camacho, was a passenger in a car driven by his lifelong friend, Alberto Yamil Mojica. They were sitting in the parked car outside a bar when someone opened fire, killing the driver. Camacho was shot in the jaw by a bullet that fractured two vertebrae and lodged in his shoulder, doctors said.
The shooting occurred near a popular shopping mall on Highway 167 in Bayamon, a suburban town west of the capital of San Juan. Police have yet to make arrests or determine a motive in the attack.
Relatives and fans held a prayer vigil outside the hospital where Camacho was being treated.
(Reporting by Reuters in San Juan, Editing by Jane Sutton, Kevin Gray and Todd Eastham)

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22. listopadu 2012 v 2:55 | sports
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