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McGinley appears favorite for Ryder Cup captaincy

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McGinley appears favorite for Ryder Cup captaincy

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) Paul McGinley appears to be the front-runner to become Europe's Ryder Cup captain for 2014 after Darren Clarke raised doubts about taking on the responsibility.

McGinley also has received the endorsement of world No. 1 Rory McIlroy

``RC captaincy should be a 1 time thing... Everybody deserving gets their chance and moves on... Would love to play under Paul McGinley in `14,'' McIlroy tweeted late Sunday.

McGinley clearly has the credentials. The 46-year-old Irishman has been on three winning Ryder Cup sides and was vice captain for Europe in 2010 and for its improbable comeback win last year.

Clarke was the favorite until last week when he raised concerns about the impact the captaincy would have on his career, which he feels is on the rebound after a difficult 2012.

Clarke and McGinley have long been the two main candidates to replace Spain's Jose Maria Olazabal, with the European Tour's tournament committee expected to vote in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday. Others mentioned in recent months have included the 1999 British Open winner Paul Lawrie as well as the 2010 Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie.

Most, though, have seen it as a two-man race that appears to be becoming McGinley's to lose.

Clarke, the 2011 British Open Champion, said this week at the Volvo Champions in South Africa that he was wary of taking on the commitment necessary to be the next captain. ``I am exempt for another three years (for major events) and, if I was given the opportunity to do the captaincy, I'd effectively be throwing two of those years away.''

The Americans last month picked Tom Watson to lead its team at the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles. Watson will be 65 when the event starts, making him by far the oldest man to fill the role and the first repeat captain for the U.S. since 1987. But he's also the last American to lead the team to victory on the road in 1993, and he knows how to win in the blustery Scottish weather.

The Europeans have insisted the choice of Watson won't influence whom they pick.

``As a committee voting for a new European captain we don't have to react to Tom Watson's appointment as Europe's record in past years is pretty impressive,'' Thomas Bjorn, the longtime member of the European Tournament Players Committee, said last week in South Africa.

Still, Bjorn acknowledged that Watson has the potential to overshadow anyone Europe chooses.

``If Tom Watson is in the room or he's in a press conference, he will clearly have the edge and that is different compared to someone who has competed in your own generation,'' Bjorn said. ``But then Tom Watson deserves that right and that respect for everyone to listen to what he says. But as far as needing to be seen appointing someone to match Tom Watson, that will not happen.''

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Antonio Brown reveals even the Steelers agree it's time he moves on

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USA TODAY SPORTS

Antonio Brown reveals even the Steelers agree it's time he moves on

Antonio Brown won’t play for the Pittsburgh Steelers next season.

You may have thought this scenario already existed since the Pro Bowl wide receiver often publically airs his desire for a trade and frustrations with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Tuesday’s news pushed assumption to reality.

Brown met with Steelers owner Dan Rooney Tuesday. The NFL’s top receiver posted a picture of the two via his Twitter account with a summary of their conversation.

“Had a great meeting with Mr. Rooney today we discussed a lot of things and we cleared the air on several issues!” Brown explained. “We both agreed that it is time to move on but I’ll always have appreciation and gratitude towards the Rooney family and @steelers organization! #CallGod#Boomin

Multiple media reports soon followed, including one from Pro Football Talk, stating the Steelers “have agreed to trade” Brown. However, permission for Brown’s camp to speak with other teams was not initially granted.

The cost won’t be cheap despite Pittsburgh essentially backed into a corner. Considering Brown’s tremendous talent and Hall of Fame production, he’s the rare non-quarterback capable of positively altering a team’s projections. 

Green Bay, armed with two first-round picks, and San Francisco, a team Brown mentions as a future destination on social media, are among the teams likely excited by Tuesday’s reveal.

As for the Redskins, we know the need is real. Washington’s offense lacks playmakers especially at wide receiver. The team also has major concerns under center, so acquiring a top receiver before solving that passer issue feels a bit like putting the cart before the horse. There are also salary cap fears for a team without much wiggle room and a lengthy list of holes.

If, however, Washington desires a return to its off-season champion days, adding Brown is the splashy move. Now we know for sure that’s an option. 

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Tom Wilson gets into fiery back-and-forth with LA Kings mascot

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USA Today Sports Images

Tom Wilson gets into fiery back-and-forth with LA Kings mascot

Washington Capitals right winger Tom Wilson is used to getting into it with NHL players, but now he's moving on to NHL mascots?

During Monday's 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings, Wilson was sent to the penalty box after taking an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty with Kings' Kyle Clifford. Conveniently, the Kings' lion mascot Bailey was stationed right next to Wilson and the two started to engage in some fun back-and-forth.

As pointed out by Russian Machine Never Breaks, Wilson appeared to tell Bailey that the mascot and Clifford were twins and he was hanging out at the wrong penalty box. While Wilson and the Capitals walked away with the win, Bailey won the fiery Twitter response award. 

Back in December, Vegas Golden Knights' Ryan Reaves injured Wilson with a late blindside hit, and after the game said Wilson 'ran into a lion in the jungle.' While the controversial hit got Reaves ejected, no suspension became of it and Reaves even signed pictures of the hit that he had later removed from being sold by local memorabilia company.

No wonder Bailey's Twitter bio says he's, "the world's sassiest Lion with a little attitude on the side!"

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