World Cup sites for North American bid in 2026 trimmed to 32

Published: Friday, October 06, 2017 @ 1:02 AM

North American World Cup Bid Cuts Down To 32 Cities

Organizers leading a North American bid to host the 2026 World Cup trimmed its list of potential host cities to 32 on Wednesday, and 254 cities in the United States remain in the running as venues for soccer’s showcase event,  The Washington Post reported.

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The U.S. front-runners include Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, the Post reported. Other American cities in the running were Baltimore; Charlotte, North Carolina; Cincinnati; Denver; Detroit; Kansas City, Missouri; Las Vegas; Minneapolis; Nashville, Tennessee; Orlando, Florida; Phoenix; Salt Lake City; and Tampa, Florida.

U.S. cities eliminated from consideration were Birmingham, Alabama; Cleveland; Indianapolis; Jacksonville, Florida; New Orleans; Pittsburgh; and San Antonio, Texas. The two Canadian cities dropped from the list were Regina and Ottawa.

The World Cup was last staged in North America during the summer of 1994.

If the North American bid is successful, the United States would stage 60 matches in about a dozen venues, the Post reported. Mexico and Canada would have 10 games apiece.

All three Mexican bidding cities (Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey) are widely expected to make the final cut. Canada will probably settle for two venues, with Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Edmonton in the running.

Representatives from the remaining cities will meet in Houston next month for a working session with the United Bid Committee. FIFA — soccer’s international governing body — will announce the winner in June, the Post reported.

 

49ers icon Dwight Clark, battling ALS, asks fans for ‘prayers and thoughts’

Published: Monday, October 23, 2017 @ 2:05 AM

San Francisco 49ers Dwight Clark (87) makes
San Francisco 49ers Dwight Clark (87) makes "The Catch" against the Dallas Cowboys on Jan. 10, 1982. The touchdown reception and ensuing extra point sent the 49ers to their first Super Bowl.(Bettmann/Bettmann Archive)

Former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Dwight Clark, whose iconic reception in the 1981 NFC Championship Game will be forever known as “The Catch,” gave an emotional speech Sunday as his team honored him during halftime of Sunday’s game against Dallas.

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Clark, 60, is fighting amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. “Dwight Clark Day” at Levi’s Stadium gave the former NFL star a chance to say thanks and reunite with his former teammates, the Mercury News reported.

“I think you all know I’m going through a little thing right now,” Clark told the crowd. “And I need your prayers and thoughts. I appreciate those that you’ve been giving me.”

Clark spoke from a private suite at Levi’s Stadium during halftime of the 49ers’ a 40-10 loss to Dallas, the team he beat for “The Catch.”

Clark is in a wheelchair because of the terminal neuromuscular condition that affects his ability to move, speak, eat and breathe, the Mercury News reported. Clark revealed in March that he was battling the fatal disease. The 49ers asked him what they could do, and Clark asked for a reunion with his teammates, “So I could see them one more time.” 


Thirty-seven members of that 1981 Super Bowl champion squad returned to pay tribute, along with former team owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr., the Mercury News reported.

Clark is best known for his 6-yard grab with 58 seconds left against the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Championship Game on Jan. 10, 1982. 

The 49ers would win five Super Bowls, but the catch and victory was the springboard for the team’s future successes.

“He’s very well known to all you 49ers fans and, oh, yeah, to you Cowboys fans, too,” said Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana, who threw that game-winning pass. “Any time you turn on the NFL and you’re watching TV, you’ll see him flying high in the back of that end zone and making one of the most iconic catches in NFL history.”

2017 World Series: 5 fun facts

Published: Sunday, October 22, 2017 @ 6:56 AM

The Houston Astros reached the World Series for the first time since 2005 by winning Saturday night.
Elsa/Getty Images
The Houston Astros reached the World Series for the first time since 2005 by winning Saturday night.(Elsa/Getty Images)

The Houston Astros punched a ticket to the World Series on Saturday night with a 4-0 victory in Game 7 against the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series.

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Game 1 is Tuesday night in Los Angeles, and already this will be a historic Fall Classic. Here’s how:

Astros complete unprecedented double

By winning Game 7, the Astros became the first major-league team to reach the World Series by winning pennants in both leagues.

In 2005, Houston defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in six games to win the National League pennant. The Astros entered the postseason as a wild-card team and defeated the Atlanta Braves in four games to reach the National League Championship Series.

That elusive win
The Astros' next win in the World Series will be their first. Houston was swept in four games by the Chicago White Sox in 2005.

The century club

The Dodgers won 104 games during the 2017 regular season, while the Astros captured 101 victories. It’s the first World Series showcasing a pair of 100-game winners since 1970 when the Baltimore Orioles (108-54) defeated the Cincinnati Reds (102-60) in five games.

Playoff history
The Dodgers and Astros have met in the playoffs before, but both as members of the National League.
In the 1981 season, a 50-day players strike erased nearly 40 percent of the schedule. Major League Baseball decided to split the season and declared that the champions of each half meet in a first-round of the playoffs. In a weird way, this postseason was the ancestor of the divisional series now employed by MLB.
In 1981, the Dodgers, who won the first half of the NL West Division, faced the Astros, who took the second half. The Dodgers qualified for the postseason with a 36-21 record in the first half of the season and went just 27-26 in the second half. Houston, meanwhile, went 28-29 in the first half but took the division title in the second half with a 33-20 mark.
The two teams met to determine the overall NL West champion, and the Dodgers prevailed in a five-game series.

Rookie influence

If the Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger wins NL Rookie of the Year honors as expected, he will become the first award winner to play in the World Series as a rookie since San Francisco’s Buster Posey competed in 2010.

Florida State football coach trades verbal jabs with fan after loss

Published: Sunday, October 22, 2017 @ 1:12 AM

Florida State and coach Jimbo Fisher have struggled to a 2-4 start this season.
Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Florida State and coach Jimbo Fisher have struggled to a 2-4 start this season.(Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

It has been a frustrating season for Florida State football coach Jimbo Fisher, who has watched his team stumble to a 2-4 start, including its first 0-3 start at home since 1974.

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That frustration boiled over Saturday after Fisher and a fan at Tallahassee’s Doak Campbell Stadium got into a verbal altercation after the Seminoles’ 31-28 loss to Louisville.

As Fisher exited the field, the fan yelled that the Seminoles needed to make changes to their staff. “Get new coaches!” the fan yelled from the first row, The Tallahassee Democrat reported. Fisher walked over to the stands and yelled back, inviting the fan to “walk … down here and say it,” the Democrat reported.

In his postgame news conference, Fisher said he should not have argued with the fan but felt obligated to defend his Seminoles.

"Just support, you know what I'm saying," Fisher said. "There's no reason to be nasty. But at the same time, defending players and people you're with, I'm in charge of them. I love them like a father. When they say something to your family, you take up for it."

FSU is now in danger of missing a bowl game for the first time since 1982, ESPN reported.

“I mean, I understand (the frustration),” Fisher said. "That's what's part of this. If you're a fan, are you going to be a loyal fan or not? Just keep fighting with us. We ain't quitting on you. Please don't quit on us. We're going to keep fighting, scratching, coaching, playing, and you see the heart and desire of those kids. And understand something: What if that's your kid? If that was one of your kids or your nephew or your cousin or your friend, keep supporting them, you know what I mean? Just keep supporting because it ain't that.

“When success happens, (fans) put you too high, and once failures happen, they put you too low. That goes with the territory,” Fisher said. “We're going to keep coaching the same way because there's no quit in us, either.”

World Series tickets for Dodger Stadium games soar in price

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 12:00 PM

The Dodgers celebrated after clinching their first World Series berth since 1988.
Harry How/Getty Images
The Dodgers celebrated after clinching their first World Series berth since 1988.(Harry How/Getty Images)

Emotions among fans in Southern California were sky-high after the Los Angeles Dodgers nailed down their first World Series berth in 29 years.

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Also rising are the cost of World Series tickets.

According to TicketIQ, a firm that tracks ticket sales and availability, the average asking price for games in Los Angeles are $3,164 per ticket. Only the Chicago Cubs last year, with an average asking price for games at Wrigley Field, had a higher amount, at $3,480, ESPN reported.

StubHub had several large sales for Game 1 of the World Series, which will be played in Los Angeles for the first time since 1988. One fan paid $37,804 (including fees) for a pair of front-row seats behind the Dodgers’ dugout, ESPN reported. Another paid $72,008 (also including fees) for four seats in the second row behind the Dodgers’dugout.

According to reseller Vivid Seats, the cheapest ticket available for Game 1 on Tuesday night is a standing room-only pass for $1,002, before fees. There was only one of those tickets available as of late Saturday morning.

Prices could even jump higher if the New York Yankees defeat the Houston Astros in tonight’s Game 7 of the American League Championship Series. The Dodgers and Yankees have met 11 times in the World Series since the two longtime rivals faced each other for the first time in 1941, when the Dodgers were based in Brooklyn. The Yankees have beaten the Dodgers in eight of those World Series.