Redskins

Friday's Sports In Brief

Friday's Sports In Brief

CYCLING

LOS ANGELES (AP) Paramount Pictures and J.J. Abrams' production company, Bad Robot, are planning a biopic about disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong.

They've secured the rights to New York Times reporter Juliet Macur's upcoming book ``Cycle of Lies: The Fall of Lance Armstrong,'' due out in June. Macur covered the seven-time Tour de France winner for over a decade.

No director, writer, star or start date have been set.

During a two-part interview with Oprah Winfrey, Armstrong admits to using performance-enhancing drugs to reach his historic victories, something he'd defiantly denied for years. The International Olympic Committee stripped him of his 2000 bronze medal this week.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) - Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel recently got a speeding ticket near Dallas and a local judge thought it newsworthy enough to post something on Facebook.

Ennis City Manager Steve Howerton issued a news release saying Judge W. Lee Johnson's Facebook post was ``insensitive and inappropriate.'' He said Johnson could face disciplinary action.

Manziel, the Davey O'Brien winner and the AP player of the year, got the ticket in Ennis, a small city about 35 miles south of Dallas.

Manziel has drawn attention recently for Twitter photos that have shown him drinking champagne at a Dallas club and flashing cash at an Oklahoma casino. Last summer, Manziel was also arrested after police say he was involved in a fight and produced a fake ID.

FLORENCE, Ky. (AP) - The Kentucky-based Florence Freedom minor league baseball team is jumping on the Manti Te'o girlfriend hoax story, offering a bobblehead giveaway of the girlfriend - only the boxes will be empty.

And the New York Mets' Class A Brooklyn Cyclones will hold a ``Fictitious Friday'' on June 21. Sid Finch will make his professional debut against Roy Hobbs and the New York Knights - all fictional.

The Cyclones said they will have a petting zoo ``featuring a unicorn, a mermaid and a Minotaur,'' adding they ``are also in discussions with the Loch Ness Monster and Big Foot to throw out a ceremonial first pitch.''

The Freedom, a member of the Frontier League, said the boxes will go to the first 1,000 fans on May 23. They also will rope off a special section just for people to bring imaginary friends.

NFL

Alicia Keys is adding her voice to the Super Bowl show for the third time.

The Grammy-winning R&B singer will perform the national anthem before the NFL championship game on Feb. 3 in New Orleans.

The league said Keys' three performances at the Super Bowl will be the most in the event's history. She sang ``America the Beautiful'' in 2005 and was part of the 2008 pregame show.

The Super Bowl teams will be determined Sunday, when the San Francisco 49ers play the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC championship game, and the Baltimore Ravens face the New England Patriots in the AFC championship game.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Police are investigating a sexual assault allegation involving 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree.

The alleged assault occurred in a San Francisco hotel room early Sunday, after the 49ers' playoff victory over the Green Bay Packers, police said in a written statement.

Crabtree has been interviewed with his attorney present and has cooperated with the probe, the statement said. The receiver hasn't been detained or arrested, and he agreed to be available for more questions in the future.

The probe is being handled by the department's special victims unit. When the investigation is done, the findings will be forwarded to the district attorney's office, which decides if charges should be filed. Authorities didn't release any further details.

BOXING

Muhammad Ali had a knockout of a 71st birthday, celebrating with friends and family and watching a video of his ``Rumble in the Jungle'' win over George Foreman in Africa.

Ali's former business manager, Gene Kilroy, said the fighter - who has long suffered from Parkinson's - particularly enjoyed a big birthday cake in the celebration Thursday at his home in a gated community just outside Phoenix.

Kilroy said Ali's eyes lit up as he watched the video of himself knocking out Foreman in the 1974 fight in what was then Zaire. Foreman had been a big favorite in the fight, but Ali stopped him in the eighth round in one of the great upsets in heavyweight history.

COLLEGE SPORTS

BALTIMORE (AP) - The Maryland Attorney General filed a lawsuit against the Atlantic Coast Conference, saying its approximately $53 million exit fee for the University of Maryland's departure to the Big Ten is invalid and unenforceable.

Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler filed the suit on behalf of the school and its board of regents in Prince George's County Circuit Court.

The ACC sued Maryland in November in a North Carolina court to make the school pay the exit fee. Gansler also filed a motion to dismiss that lawsuit, saying a court in that state has no jurisdiction over Maryland.

The attorney general's lawsuit seeks, among other remedies, nearly $157 million in damages.

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Report says Redskins were chasing after Joe Flacco before he landed in Denver

Report says Redskins were chasing after Joe Flacco before he landed in Denver

Baltimore traded quarterback Joe Flacco to Denver last week, and things might have moved quicker between the Ravens and the Broncos because another team had interest.

That team? The Washington Redskins. 

That's the story presented by a pair of Denver radio hosts last week. 

There are a few important things to note.

Redskins team president Bruce Allen handles trades for the team, and it's possible he reached out to Baltimore on Flacco. That could mean just one perfunctory phone call, or a real conversation. 

The reality, however, is the Redskins don't have close to the cap space needed to add Flacco.

In 2019, Flacco's contract will count more than $26 million toward the salary cap. The Redskins are only $17 million under the cap. Just on the most basic level, acquiring Flacco wouldn't have worked. 

Can teams move salary around or cut players to add room? Sure. But keep in mind, Washington already owes QB Alex Smith more than $20 million this season even though he's unexpected to play. Between Flacco, Smith and Colt McCoy's $4 million salary, that would have been about $50 million in quarterback salary on the Redskins roster this season.

That's preposterous. 

If you want to believe the Redskins were seriously looking into the trade, there are some loose ends. When the team acquired Alex Smith last season, the number one reason provided was that Smith wins games. Well, the same can be said about Flacco. 

A 34-year-old quarterback with a Super Bowl ring and a long track record of impressive playoff performances, Flacco has a career 96-67 regular season record and a 10-5 record in the playoffs. 

There's also this: Reports show Denver sent a fourth-round pick to Baltimore to get Flacco.

The Redskins don't have a fourth-round pick this year after acquiring Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in mid-season. Is it possible the 'Skins talked about a fifth-round pick for Flacco, especially because the team holds two selections in the fifth round? In turn, maybe Denver offered a fourth to beat the Redskins offer? Sure, it's possible.

But again, adding Flacco's contract to the Redskins salary cap situation would be insane. In the end, follow the money.

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The Capitals head to Anaheim looking to avenge their most shocking loss of the season

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USA Today Sports Images

The Capitals head to Anaheim looking to avenge their most shocking loss of the season

December was a pretty good month for the Capitals. Out of 13 games, Washington won nine of them. Of the four games the team lost, however, the worst of those losses by far was the Dec. 2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks.

Five different Caps players scored as Washington jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the second period. It looked like the Caps were going to cruise to the easy win…until Anaheim rattled off five straight goals to hand Washington a stunning 6-5 loss.

Wait, are we talking about the same Anaheim team that has lost 20 of its last 23 games? Well, technically yes, but for a brief period, they were one of the hottest teams in the league. The win over the Caps was one of 11 wins in a 13-game stretch for the Ducks.

That, of course, is of little comfort to the Caps.

Anaheim is now struggling considerably. Head coach Randy Carlyle was fired and general manager Bob Murray has taken over behind the bench.

Sometimes when an opponent is struggling, a team may take its foot off the gas and play down to the competition. Given what happened the last time these two teams met, however, Washington likely is not going to be looking past the Ducks when they meet on Sunday (9 p.m., NBC Sports Washington).

Game notes

One away

Alex Ovechkin sits one goal away from No. 40 on the season. Once he scores, it will be the 10th time in his career he has reached 40 goals in his career. That puts him in pretty incredible company.

Ten seasons of 40+ goals would tie Ovechkin with Marcel Dionne and Mario Lemieux. Wayne Gretzky is the only player with more 40-goal seasons as he did it 12 times. That’s it. That’s the entire list.

Back-to-back

With the Caps playing in Anaheim on Sunday and Los Angeles on Monday, expect to see both Braden Holtby and Pheonix Copley in these two games. Whoever starts on Sunday, the other netminder is likely to go on Monday. With no morning skate scheduled in Anaheim, it’s anybody’s guess who will start for Washington, but there is at least a chance Copley gets the nod so that Holtby can get what will presumably be the tougher matchup against the Kings.

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