Blackhawks

One lawyer wants Joe Paterno's wins vacated

584158.jpg

One lawyer wants Joe Paterno's wins vacated

From Comcast SportsNet
An attorney for the city of Grambling, La., has asked the NCAA infractions committee to vacate some of Joe Paterno's record 409 Division I victories. Grambling is the home of Grambling State University. Coach Eddie Robinson led Grambling to 408 victories during his career with the Tigers, a total that was passed by Paterno less than two weeks before he was fired as the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal broke. City attorney Pamela Breedlove said she filed the request with the approval of Mayor Edward Jones because the university is such a valued and important part of the city. The Shreveport (La.) Times first reported the request. Breedlove said she did not have an opinion about how many victories should be vacated. The three-page request she sent to the NCAA details the city's position, which says that the Freeh Report's conclusions are enough evidence to give the record back to Robinson. "We just believe that you would want to associate the record with someone who had the character of coach (Eddie) Robinson," Breedlove said. "Especially now that we've come to realize how bad things really were (at Penn State)." NCAA spokesman Amy Kudwa Dunham confirmed that the letter had been received, but added that the "issue is not before the infractions committee at this time." She declined additional comment. The school president at Grambling neither endorsed nor dismissed the idea. "Grambling State University is a proud institutional member of the city of Grambling, Louisiana and a proud member of the NCAA," Frank G. Pogue said in a statement. "We are as passionate about Coach Eddie Robinson's legacy as anyone. This is an NCAA matter." Robinson, who died in 2007, had 45 winning seasons during his career that spanned more than half a century. Grambling plays in the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA), a step below the Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A), which is where Penn State competes.

Blackhawks record 500th consecutive sellout at United Center

blackhawks_fans_usa_today.jpg
USA Today

Blackhawks record 500th consecutive sellout at United Center

The Blackhawks have had many ups over the last decade-plus, highlighted by three Stanley Cups. They've also had some downs recently, missing the playoffs for two seasons in a row after nine straight appearances.

But the fan support hasn't wavered.

On Monday against the Edmonton Oilers, the Blackhawks announced a crowd of 21,260, which became their 500th consecutive sellout at the United Center (436 regular season, 64 postseason). The NHL record is held by the Pittsburgh Penguins, who are at 572 games and counting. 

The Blackhawks have led the league in attendance for 11 straight seasons, which started during the 2008-09 campaign.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Blackhawks easily on your device.

Charles Leno says 'it's just gonna suck' without Kyle Long around

Charles Leno says 'it's just gonna suck' without Kyle Long around

Chicago Bears left tackle Charles Leno, Jr. has a fond place in his heart for right guard Kyle Long. He's probably not alone in the Bears locker room with his feelings for the seven-year pro and three-time Pro Bowler.

Since being selected in the first round of the 2013 NFL draft, Long has ascended into a leadership role with the Bears both on and off the field. And while his play in recent seasons has been negatively impacted by a variety of injuries (Long's been limited to just 29 games over the last four years), he still offered an experienced voice in the huddle and an enforcer's mentality after the snap.

But we may have seen the last of Long in a Bears uniform after the team officially placed him on season-ending injured reserve Monday (hip). It was news that Leno struggled to embrace.

“It’s the tale of the league for you,” Leno said from Halas Hall. “He’s been through the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, and that’s just how the league goes. You never know when that time is going to come. His happened so fast. So abrupt. It’s like, ‘Damn. He’s not going to be here.’ So it just sucks. That’s how I look at it — it’s just gonna suck.”

Long hasn't been great this season. His play was progressively getting worse, too. He has the lowest Pro Football Focus grade of any player on Chicago's offense (38.0) and played his worst two games of the year in Weeks 3 and 5 (he missed Week 4 with the hip injury).

It was time to shut him down. Maybe for good.

“This is his words — he said he’s a Bear for life,” Leno said of his conversation with Long. “[Those are] the words I remember him saying. That’s how he wanted to end things.”

That certainly doesn't sound like a player who expects to ever wear a Bears jersey again. It's a shame, but it's also the reality of professional football for an offensive lineman. No position absorbs as much wear and tear as the big uglies up front, and Long is a perfect example. He was once considered the most promising young interior offensive lineman in the NFL just a few years ago. Now, it's anyone's guess if he'll ever play another snap.

“When he was healthy and he was on, he was a dominant football player," Leno said. "I told him plenty of times, ‘Get back to that [2013, 2014, 2015] self.’ It just sucks because so many times he would try to get back to it and had to take a step back. When injuries compile, it’s just really [unfortunate].”

The Bears will look to fill Long's starting role with either Rashaad Coward, Ted Larsen or rookie Alex Bars. And while one (or all) of them will provide an upgrade on the field, none will be able to replace Long's larger-than-life presence everywhere else.