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SUPER BOWL: Chiefs Beat Eagles 38-35 In Super Bowl LVII

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Super Bowl Winners The Chiefs

GLENDALE, Ariz. Patrick Mahomes was ethereal when the Kansas City Chiefs desperately needed him to lead them to another Super Bowl victory.

On an injured ankle, Mahomes threw two touchdown passes and scrambled 26 yards on the game-winning drive before Harrison Butker kicked a 27-yard field goal with 8 seconds left to give the Chiefs a 38-35 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night.

The Chiefs won their second NFL championship in four years, and two-time NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes was named Super Bowl MVP for the second time.

“I just thought guys just embraced the moment,” Mahomes said of the team’s comeback from a 10-point halftime deficit. “We played and did some good things in the first half, but I felt like the guys were getting consumed by everything around us.”

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Chiefs Win The Super Bowl

Mahomes and Jalen Hurt shone in the first Super Bowl featuring two Black starting quarterbacks. However, Mahomes turned it up in the second half after aggravating a sprained right ankle.

“It took everyone to win the game,” Mahomes exclaimed as red and yellow confetti rained down on the field.

Andy Reid, unable to win the big game in Philadelphia, defeated his former team to earn his second ring with Mahomes and the Chiefs.

“We wanted this for him,” Travis Kelce said. “His legacy in Philadelphia will live on forever… There’s a lot of pride in knowing he’s succeeded in two organizations, but this was the better one.”

With the score tied at 35-35, the Eagles attempted to allow the Chiefs to score a touchdown with less than two minutes remaining to regain possession after a defensive holding call on cornerback James Bradberry on third-and-8 gave Kansas City a first down. However, Jerick McKinnon slipped at the 2, forcing the Eagles to call their final timeout.

“It was still holding. I yanked on his jersey. “I was hoping they’d let it go,” Bradberry explained.

Butker nailed his kick after Mahomes took two knees, sending thousands of red-clad Chiefs fans into a frenzy.

“It feels amazing just to see the confetti,” Butker said after missing a 42-yard field goal in the first quarter. “I just tried to concentrate on one kick and the process.”

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Chiefs Won 50 Years After Their First Win

Following the 2019 season, the Chiefs won their second Super Bowl, 50 years after the first. In that game, Mahomes led them back from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter against San Francisco. It only took three years to secure another Lombardi.

The Chiefs fans outnumbered the Philadelphia fans in the stadium, but they did their part to quiet them down with the tomahawk chop chant.

With Mahomes limping and the Chiefs (17-3) trailing 24-14, Rihanna’s electrifying halftime performance was followed by a sensational offensive outburst.

Mahomes, who suffered a high ankle sprain in the divisional round, injured it again late in the second quarter on a 3-yard scramble. He hobbled off the field but had no negative impact on Kansas City’s next possession.

“I knew it was pretty bad when he got up limping, but I knew it wasn’t going to be bad enough for him to pull himself off the field,” said Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy. “If we had yanked him off, I would have had to fight him. He’d most likely fought me. As a result, it wasn’t entertaining.”

Jalen Hurts of the Philadelphia Eagles rushes for a first down (AP Photo/Ashley Landis).

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Several Players Lost Their Footing

Mahomes slipped in the pocket — several players lost their footing on the natural grass surface — but regained his balance and scrambled 14 yards to the Eagles 4, setting up Isiah Pacheco’s 1-yard touchdown run, cutting the deficit to 24-21.

Early in the fourth quarter, Mahomes threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Kadarius Toney, giving Kansas City its first lead, 28-27.

Toney returned a line-drive kick 65 yards to the Eagles 5 after the Chiefs tightened their defense, forcing Philly to punt. It was the longest punt return in Super Bowl history.

Mahomes connected with Skyy Moore on third down from the 4, extending their lead to 35-27. Moore was also completely open on the play.

But the Eagles refused to go away.

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“Fly Eagles Fly”

Hurts connected with DeVonta Smith for a 45-yard gain to the Chiefs 2 before running in for his third touchdown. With 5:15 remaining, he also ran in for the 2-point conversion to tie the game at 35-35.

Mahomes and the Chiefs returned to work as “Fly! Eagles! Fly!” chants echoed throughout the stadium.

Mahomes, 27, became the third player in NFL history to win his second MVP award before 28. He was also the youngest quarterback to start three Super Bowls. Mahomes finally broke the MVP curse, becoming the first player in nine years to win the Super Bowl in the same season.

Only five years after winning the franchise’s first Super Bowl, the Eagles (16-4) came close with a new coach and quarterback. In 2021, Nick Sirianni took over for Doug Pederson, and Hurts took over for Carson Wentz in late 2020.

Hurts set a Super Bowl record with 70 yards rushing and tied another with three touchdowns on the ground. He also passed for 304 yards and one touchdown.

“We use this pain, this failure, to motivate us so that we can turn it into a strength,” Sirianni explained.

Hurts, who missed two games late in the season due to a shoulder injury, scored on 1-yard and 4-yard runs in the first half and a 45-yard TD pass to A.J. Brown.

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The First Super Bowl Between Two No. 1 Seeds

On the other hand, Hurts made a rare error when he fumbled while scrambling away from pressure. Nick Bolton scooped it up and raced 36 yards for a 14-14 tie. Hurts only had eight turnovers this season, six interceptions and two fumbles.

Mahomes finished 21 of 27 for 182 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions. He gained 44 yards on the ground.

In the first quarter, Mahomes connected with Kelce on an 18-yard TD pass in the right corner to tie the game at 7-7. The Chiefs’ All-Pro tight end and Eagles’ All-Pro center Jason Kelce became the first brothers to face off in a Super Bowl.

Their mother, Donna Kelce, wore a half-red, half-green jersey with Travis’ number 87 on the front and Jason’s number 62 on the back. She was seated in the same suite as NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Damar Hamlin.

After each score, Eagles fans turned State Farm Stadium into a sea of green, chanting “E-A-G-L-E-S!” and singing the team’s fight song. They were, however, let down.

During his 14 seasons with the Eagles, Reid won more games than any other coach in team history, but the one knock against him was that he couldn’t win the Super Bowl. Reid received his ring during his seventh season with the Chiefs. They returned the following year and were defeated by Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Reid, who turns 65 next month, has ended any speculation about his retirement.

“If they want me, I’ll stay,” he explained.

The first Super Bowl between two No. 1 seeds since the Eagles defeated the Patriots 41-33 in February 2018 lived up to expectations. The Eagles scored the most points by a losing team in the third-highest-scoring Super Bowl.

SOURCE – (AP)

 

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Zack Wheeler And Phillies Reach $126 Million, 3-Year Deal For 2025-27

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Philadelphia — Ace Zack Wheeler and the Philadelphia Phillies agreed on a $126 million, three-year contract for 2025-27, with the fourth-highest average salary in baseball history of $42 million.

The Phillies have set an 11 a.m. EST press conference at their spring training facility in Clearwater, Florida.

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Zack Wheeler And Phillies Reach $126 Million, 3-Year Deal For 2025-27

Wheeler will earn $23.5 million this year in the final season of a $118 million, five-year contract, one of the greatest free agent contracts in Phillies history.

The new contract for the 33-year-old right-hander increases his annual salary to $42 million. He receives a hotel suite on road trips and agrees to make a $100,000 charitable donation each year.

Wheeler’s average trails only Los Angeles Dodgers two-way star Shohei Ohtani ($70 million), Texas ace Max Scherzer ($43.33 million), and Houston pitcher Justin Verlander ($43.33 million), the latter two of whom signed contracts with the New York Mets.

ESPN was the first to report the new contract’s amount.

Wheeler has led the NL in strikeouts and innings over the last four seasons after losing time with ailments with the Mets from 2013 to 2019. He also leads all pitchers in wins above replacement (WAR) while with the Phillies with 19.3, according to FanGraphs.

After missing the 2015 and 2016 seasons due to Tommy John surgery, Wheeler has made 90 starts over the last three seasons.

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Zack Wheeler And Phillies Reach $126 Million, 3-Year Deal For 2025-27

The NL Cy Young Award runner-up in 2021, Wheeler also won a Gold Glove last season.

The Phillies, who have reached the NL Championship Series in each of the last two years, now have their top two starters anchoring the rotation for the foreseeable future. Philadelphia signed fellow right-hander Aaron Nola to a seven-year, $172 million contract.

In 11 postseason games, Wheeler’s ERA is 2.42.

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Zack Wheeler And Phillies Reach $126 Million, 3-Year Deal For 2025-27

The Phillies have continued to spend money in their pursuit of their first World Series championship since 2008. Team owner John Middleton has been open about spending money to recruit free agents such as Bryce Harper, Trea Turner, and Kyle Schwarber while also signing hefty deals with Nola, Wheeler, and catcher J.T Realmuto.

Wheeler has an 87-63 record and a 3.45 ERA in 227 career starts, dating back to his Mets debut in 2013.

SOURCE – (AP)

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Chris Mortensen, Longtime NFL Insider For ESPN, Dies At 72

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The network reported that Chris Mortensen, an award-winning journalist and longtime NFL insider for ESPN, died. He was 72.

Mortensen worked for ESPN for three decades, appearing on “Sunday NFL Countdown,” analyzing the NFL Draft, and contributing to “SportsCenter.”

“Mort was highly regarded as an industry pioneer and greatly adored as a helpful, hardworking coworker. He covered the NFL with exceptional skill and passion and remained at the top of his game for decades. “Colleagues and fans will sorely miss him, and our hearts and thoughts are with his family,” ESPN chairman Jimmy Pitaro said in a statement.

mortensen

Chris Mortensen, Longtime NFL Insider For ESPN, Dies At 72

Mortensen joined ESPN in 1991 and rapidly became known as one of the most trusted football insiders. He formerly worked for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, covering the Atlanta Braves and Falcons from 1983 to 1990. While at the newspaper, he received the 1987 George Polk Award for a 110-page article titled “Ignoring the Rules” regarding amateur sports and collegiate players.

He disclosed in January 2016 that he had been diagnosed with Stage 4 throat cancer. Mortensen returned to ESPN after declaring that his cancer treatments were successful.

In September 2023, Mortensen said he would leave ESPN “to focus on my health, family, and faith.”

Mortensen joined ESPN in 1991 and spent years shaping the network’s NFL coverage as it expanded to year-round coverage. He appeared on numerous network shows and also wrote for ESPN.com.

In 2016, the Professional Football Writers of America honoured him with the Dick McCann Award. It was renamed the Bill Nunn Jr. Award in 2021 and is given annually during the Pro Football Hall of Fame ceremonies to a reporter who has made a long and notable commitment to game coverage.

Mortensen previously worked for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution from 1983 until 1989. He covered the Atlanta Falcons from 1985 to 1986 and the league from 1985 to 1989. He departed for The National in 1989, where he worked for over two years.

He was an NFL columnist for The Sporting News and a contributor to Sport magazine. He also consulted on CBS’s “The NFL Today” in 1990.

mortensen

Chris Mortensen, Longtime NFL Insider For ESPN, Dies At 72

“I join the millions of hearts across the country, including those in journalism and the sports community, in mourning Chris Mortensen.” “I’m grateful to have had the privilege of knowing Chris through his incredible work beginning at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and, like so many others, being blessed by his professional excellence and personal grace over the many years that have followed,” Falcons owner Arthur Blank said in a statement.

“I considered Chris a personal hero, and it is difficult to imagine sports journalism without him.” His ability to face life’s challenges with tenacity and drive was always truly inspiring, and his immense influence on so many people, including myself, will continue via this work and unwavering friendships.”

Mortensen, a Torrance, California native, attended El Camino College. He spent two years in the Army before starting his journalism career at the South Bay (Calif.) Daily Breeze in 1969.

mortensen

Chris Mortensen, Longtime NFL Insider For ESPN, Dies At 72

“A completely awful day. “Mort was one of the greatest reporters in sports history, and an even better man,” wrote ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter on social media. “Mort was the absolute finest. He will always be missed and remembered.”

He is survived by his wife, Micki, and their son Alex.

SOURCE – (CNN)

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F1 Champion Max Verstappen Wins Season-Opening Bahrain Grand Prix Amid Red Bull Turmoil

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SAKHIR, Bahrain – The continuing turbulence surrounding Red Bull had little influence on their three-time reigning world champion, Max Verstappen, who led the field by 22 seconds in the season-opening Formula One race on Saturday.

Verstappen started the Bahrain Grand Prix on pole and was never truly pushed on his route to a dominant one-two victory for Red Bull alongside teammate Sergio Perez. Christian Horner, the embattled team principal, was joined before the race and during the podium celebration by his former pop star wife, Geri Halliwell.

“Today went even better than expected,” Verstappen stated. “It was a lot of fun.”

Carlos Sainz Jr. finished third for Ferrari, fighting hard with teammate Charles Leclerc.

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F1 Champion Max Verstappen Wins Season-Opening Bahrain Grand Prix Amid Red Bull Turmoil

Verstappen is already on track to match his near-perfect record from 2023, when he won 19 of 22 races, as the longest F1 season in history begins with 24 races.

Verstappen’s ninth consecutive victory, dating back to September last year, came in Bahrain. Last season, he achieved a Formula One record by winning ten straight races.

The F1 paddock has firmly focused on Horner, with Verstappen claiming on Saturday that his boss was “probably a little bit distracted.”

“Obviously, it’s not been pleasant, some of the unwanted attention, but the focus is now very much on the cars,” Horner told reporters. “My focus has very much been on what’s going on on track and the result today, I think, demonstrates where the whole team’s focus is and we move onwards.”

verstappen

F1 Champion Max Verstappen Wins Season-Opening Bahrain Grand Prix Amid Red Bull Turmoil

Horner arrived on race day with Halliwell, better known as Ginger Spice of the Spice Girls, and they celebrated together as Verstappen was presented with his trophy. The race came after FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem told the Financial Times that Horner’s controversy was “damaging the sport.”

On Wednesday, the club’s parent corporation dropped a complaint against Horner for alleged misconduct toward a team employee. A day later, during practice in Bahrain, a file purportedly containing evidence against Horner was emailed to over 200 persons in the F1 paddock, including Liberty Media, F1, the FIA, the other nine team principals, and several media agencies.

The Associated Press did not verify the files’ legitimacy; the file originated from a generic email address.

In another indicator that Red Bull is substantially faster than any other team, Perez surged from sixth to second on the grid and encountered little opposition afterwards.

Sainz’s third place was his first podium finish since the October United States Grand Prix, as George Russell’s Mercedes challenge faded.

After qualifying second, Leclerc stated that Ferrari had taken a “step forward” compared to its disastrous 2023. However, the Italian team needed help to reduce the gap with Red Bull on race day.

Leclerc’s challenge to Verstappen ended as the Dutchman took the inside line at the opening corner. Russell, Perez, and Ferrari teammate Sainz overtook Leclerc in rapid succession.

verstappen

F1 Champion Max Verstappen Wins Season-Opening Bahrain Grand Prix Amid Red Bull Turmoil

Sainz, in particular, fought closely with his teammate and then repeated the effort after Leclerc briefly regained the lead at the pit stop. It was Sainz’s first race after being confirmed that he would lose his Ferrari spot to Lewis Hamilton in 2025.

Leclerc’s day went from bad to worse when he protested to Ferrari that the car was pulling rapidly to the right under braking in a “dangerous” manner, leaving him unable to maintain his position. However, he recovered to pass Russell and finish fourth.

Russell finished fifth, Lando Norris sixth for McLaren, and seven-time winner Lewis Hamilton seventh following an unremarkable race in the second Mercedes. McLaren’s Oscar Piastri finished ninth, ahead of Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll.

SOURCE – (AP)

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