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For Father Battling Cancer, a Graduation to Victory Lane | Sports News

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By MICHAEL MAROT, AP Sports Writer

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Jacob Foxworthy and his parents waited patiently as their car crawled through pit road at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on this most unusual of graduation days.

When his turn came, the Speedway High School senior climbed out and walked across the race track’s iconic yard of bricks, his mother and father holding hands as they watched. He crossed the finish line like his 121 classmates to wrap up a school year like no other — without in-person classes, without a senior prom and without the traditional pomp and circumstance.

The Foxworthys didn’t need a cap-tossing celebration to express what this day meant.

Seeing Jacob in a cap and grown with his father in tow Saturday meant Ted Foxworthy had achieved a milestone of his own after a 4 1/2-year battle with a rare form of cancer.

“I had one daughter graduating college and one daughter getting married, and I knew I’d be around for those two things,” Foxworthy recalled, explaining his thoughts when he was first diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma in 2016. “I knew my wife was going to be OK. She’s a fighter. So most of my focus was on Jacob. He was 14 and I didn’t want him to grow up without a dad. I wanted to be there when he walked across the stage. I didn’t want him going, ‘I wish my dad was there.’“

He was there Saturday, behind the wheel of the family car, driving through Gasoline Alley, and he was there for the family photo with the old race car that had been brought to the speedway from the high school lobby six blocks away.

And then, as school officials whisked other families on and off the track, he grabbed his son’s arm, pulled him tight and gave him the hug of a lifetime.

School principal Luke Zartman and speedway officials came up with a plan that worked within the state’s social distancing guidelines to give these seniors an unforgettable moment.

“When we realized we weren’t coming back and we realized the seniors would miss out on so many things at the end of the year, to imagine them not being properly celebrated at the end was heartbreaking,” Zartman said. “It just adds a bright spot to an otherwise dark time to to send them out the way they deserve.”

Sporting venues certainly have played their part in the coronavirus fight, from testing sites at major league ballparks and NFL stadiums. Field hospitals were constructed at stadiums in California and Washington state and Texas Motor Speedway and Daytona also have held graduation ceremonies.

But this one felt different.

The silent speedway roared back to life during what is usually its biggest month, bringing the tiny enclave of Speedway along for the ride.

Residents lined Main Street and Crawfordsville Road for a parade. Some stood in front of race shops with handmade signs bearing the names of seniors. One by one, the cars came into the speedway, forming a three-car front row at the yard of bricks — for all the world looking like the front row for the Indianapolis 500, postponed this year to August.

“This has been amazing,” said Cindy Foxworthy, Ted’s wife. “For the whole town of Speedway to come out for these kids the way they did really is a dream come true.”

In an email sent to Zartman a few days ago, Ted Foxworthy thanked school officials for finding a way to stage graduation during a global pandemic.

“What you have provided means more to my family than just the ceremony,” he wrote. “This has become a victory for my family.”

What he left out was the part about his first challenging summer four years ago, undergoing chemotherapy, and how his 14-year-old son cared for him.

“Jacob had to go through this with us, he and Cindy. She was still working and he was taking care of me,” he said. “That’s asking a lot for a 14-year-old kid to spend your summer getting stuff when you’re dad needed it. I was like a pickle that summer. I was sitting in the recliner or laying on the coach, I was just gone,I lost a summer.”

They grew closer, and Ted began counting the birthdays and the days tol graduation amid a sobering prognosis. Those who survive the first six months with this aggressive form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Foxworthy said, still face about an 80% fatality rate after five years. For now, the 55-year-old accountant is working from home and savoring every special moment.

Like the one with his 18-year-old son.

“That (my dad) is the most important thing about today,” Jacob said.

A few minutes later, the family got back in the car and sped off down victory lane.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Washington Redskins appear destined to join list of NFL teams that have changed names

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The Washington Redskins, under mounting pressure from the outside, will consider changing the team’s name. Team owner Daniel Snyder is reviewing the team’s name while considering possible replacements, and lists detailing new possible names for Washington’s franchise have already been created, including this one by CBS Sports NFL writer Jared Dubin

Although Washington would become the first NFL team this century to change names, they wouldn’t be the first franchise to do so. In fact, more than a fourth of today’s NFL teams changed names at some point during their existence. Here’s a look at the notable NFL team name changes that have taken place over the years. 

Boston Braves became Washington Redskins 

After just one year as the Braves, the franchise was renamed to the Redskins in 1933, four years before the team moved from Boston to Washington. The reason for the name change was simple: Boston’s new coach, Lone Star Dietz, and several of his Native American players disliked the name Braves and lobbied for the team to change its name to the Redskins. The franchise has kept the Redskins as its name until now. 

Upon moving his team from Cleveland to Baltimore in 1996, then-team-owner Art Modell decided to host a contest to determine the franchise’s new name. After whittling their options down to three names, the Ravens — an ode to the late poet Edgar Allan Poe — beat out the Americans and Marauders. The franchise not only changed its name but it also retired all of the franchise’s old records from its time in Cleveland. Those records were transferred over to Cleveland’s expansion team in 1999, which called themselves the Browns. 

One of the AFL’s first franchises, the Dallas Texans, led by Hall of Fame coach Hank Stram, won the league title in 1962. But despite their on-field success, the Texans were struggling to attract large crowds, as the team was competing with the crosstown Cowboys for fans. With his team struggling to make ends meet, team owner Lamar Hunt moved the franchise to Kansas City, where it changed its team name to the Chiefs. The franchise continued its winning ways in its new city, capturing a second AFL title in 1966 before becoming the second AFL team to win the Super Bowl at the end of the 1969 season. 

The Bears’ original name was the Staleys, named after Augustus Staley, the team’s original owner and founder. After playing their inaugural season in Decatur, Staley and coach George Halas agreed to have the team play games in Chicago in order to draw bigger crowds, securing a lease with Wrigley Field. The Chicago Staleys had immediate success in their new home, winning the franchise’s first championship in 1921. The following season, Halas, following Staley’s departure from the organization, renamed the franchise the Bears, which has remained the team’s name over the past 98 years. 

The AFL’s first champion, the Oilers won back-to-back titles before losing in the AFL championship to the Dallas Texans in 1962. The Oilers made the playoffs 12 more times (including three trips to the conference title game) before the franchise moved from Houston to Nashville in 1997. The franchise kept its team name until 1999 when then-owner Bud Adams picked the name Titans among a list of options. The Titans enjoyed immediate success, advancing to the franchise’s first Super Bowl that season. 

New York’s AFL team, founded in 1960, was named the Titans because owner Harry Wismer believed that titans were superior to the Giants, the city’s established pro football team. The Titans were anything but superior, however, as the franchise lost money while failing to post a winning season during its first three seasons. Things turned around in 1963 when Sonny Werblin headed a group that bought the franchise. That year, Werblin changed the team’s colors to green and white in honor of his St. Patrick’s Day birthday. He also renamed the team the Jets in honor of America’s space age. Fittingly, the same year Neil Armstrong became the first man to land on the moon, the Jets became the first AFL team to win the Super Bowl, as Joe Namath and his teammates shocked the Colts in Super Bowl III. 

Team founder Art Rooney initially gave his team the same name as Pittsburgh’s baseball team. But after seven unsuccessful years as the Pirates, Rooney — after promoting a “name the team contest” in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette — chose to rename his team the Steelers. Outside of two seasons, the franchise has continued to be referred to as the Steelers, an ode to Pittsburgh’s steel mill history. 

Philadelphia/Pittsburgh Steagles

During World War II, the Eagles and Steelers merged together for one season. Known as the Steagles, the team went 5-4-1 during the 1943 season. The Eagles returned to their original form the following season, while the Steelers merged with the Chicago Cardinals for a year before venturing back out on their own in 1945. 

Portsmouth Spartans became Detroit Lions 

Despite their on-field success (the Spartans posted an 11-3 record in 1932, their second season), the franchise was struggling financially after four seasons. in 1934, a group that was headlined by radio executive George Richards purchased the franchise for $8,000. Richards immediately moved the franchise to Detroit where he renamed the team the Lions, an ode to the city’s baseball team, the Tigers. 



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Yankees Pitcher Tanaka Hit in Head by Stanton Line Drive | Sports News

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By JAKE SEINER, AP Sports Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka was hit in the head by a line drive off the bat of slugger Giancarlo Stanton during live batting practice Saturday, a frightening scene during the team’s first official summer camp workout.

Tanaka’s hat flew off and he immediately collapsed to the ground, cradling his head at Yankee Stadium. Trainers quickly ran to Tanaka, who stayed down for a few minutes before sitting up.

Trainers tended to his head and appeared to check his vision. Tanaka was helped to his feet and walked off the field with help.

Stanton, who had his jaw broken by a high fastball in 2014, bent over at home plate and watched motionlessly. New York star Aaron Judge repeatedly waved behind home plate and asked a video journalist to stop taking images.

Yankees players, some still stretching at the start of the club’s first official practice since Major League Baseball set a truncated 60-game schedule last month, stood or knelt silently.

Stanton was the third batter Tanaka faced to start the session, and no protective screen was in place.

The music that was playing over the sound system was turned off and a screen was put in front of the mound. Pitcher Jordan Montgomery began warming up and started to throw to hitters about five minutes after Tanaka walked off. The music was turned back on a few minutes later.

The 31-year-old Tanaka was 11-9 with a 4.45 ERA last season. The Japanese star is 75-43 in six years with the Yankees.

Follow Jake Seiner: https://twitter.com/Jake_Seiner

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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Jofra Archer’s easiness reminds me of Michael Holding: Ian Bishop | Cricket News

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NEW DELHI: Former West Indies pacer Ian Bishop has said that Jofra Archer‘s easiness while bowling reminds him of Michael Holding.
Bishop was speaking at an interaction with Nasser Hussain and Elma Smit as part of the ICC podcast titled ‘Cricket Inside Out’ and it was then that the Windies pacer was asked to name a bowler with a good bowling technique.
“In terms of modern guys, when I talk about bowling techniques, Jofra Archer’s easiness reminds me of Michael Holding, Holding and Archer’s bowling actions are two of the easiest, orthodox actions I have ever seen. I rate Archer’s potential very highly,” Bishop said during the podcast.
Archer has played 7 Tests, 14 ODIs and 1 T20I in his career so far, managing to take 55 wickets.
The fast bowler made his international debut last year and immediately made headlines because of his pace and aggression.
The 25-year-old bowled the ‘Super Over’ in the finals of the 2019 World Cup and England was able to lift its maiden 50-over World Cup title.
A month later, he also represented England in the Ashes, and in the second Test at Lord’s Cricket Ground, he was involved in a fierce on-field battle with Steve Smith.
All international cricket has been suspended since March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
England and West Indies are gearing up to play each other in three-match Test series, slated to begin from July 8.
This series will mark the return of international cricket. Archer has been named in England’s 13-member squad for the first Test against Windies.

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