Nationals

Titans RB: Called to lift Newtown family's spirits

201212172035741404085-p2.jpeg

Titans RB: Called to lift Newtown family's spirits

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Chris Johnson first wrote the names of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims on his cleats. Now the Titans running back has sent gifts to the family of Grace McDonnell after speaking with them by telephone.

He had the names on his cleats for Monday night's game against the New York Jets, and he scored on a franchise-record 94-yard touchdown run. The family reached out to Johnson through the Titans, and the running back spoke Tuesday with the McDonnells and Grace's older brother, Jack.

``You get a whole sense of it and just him and the kids ... that he was trying to be strong, but it's a situation I can tell how he feels,'' Johnson said Thursday after practice. ``I lost my grandmother earlier in this year and just knowing how that feels I just kind of wanted to do something to at least try to lift his spirits.''

Johnson also became a father earlier this year too with the birth of twin boys. He said that just made him appreciate his sons even more. He said he sent over a few Christmas gifts to Jack McDonnell and the family, and he also shared his telephone number in case they need anything that he might help with in the future.

The Titans running back said he still plans to auction off the shoes to help families. But he sounded reluctant Thursday as he discussed the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

``I kind of what to step back. ... I kind of did it for the kids and the family. I really don't want to make it about me,'' Johnson said.

---

Online:http://pro32.ap.org/poll andhttp://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Quick Links

The Nationals unofficial mascot is back for Game 4

The Nationals unofficial mascot is back for Game 4

The shark effect was in full force for Game 4 of the NLCS. 

There were shark-inspired celebrations.

The stuffed shark - which appeared for the first time in Game 3 of the NLCS and became a big story - was back.

There were shark-inspired costumes.

And even a shark outside the park.

If you have been following this team, you already knew the power of the baby shark. Dating all the way back to June

It has worked all season long, becoming a rallying cry for the team. 

As the saying goes...if it ain't broke don't fix it.

Well, Gerardo Parra feels the same way. 

MORE NATIONALS NEWS:

Quick Links

Cardinals pull Dakota Hudson after just 15 pitches in first inning

Cardinals pull Dakota Hudson after just 15 pitches in first inning

The Nationals are on fire. Eight Nationals batters put up eight runs and only recorded one out — which was a sacrifice fly that scored a run — before the Cardinals pulled starter Dakota Hudson and turned to veteran Adam Wainwright.

Hudson's start is the shortest in Cardinals' postseason history.

Hudson's seven earned runs are tied for the most by a pitcher in a start that was 1/3 of an inning or shorter. He's tied with Mike Foltynewicz, the Braves' starter who the Cardinals knocked out to get to the NLCS.

There's probably not much he could have done against these Nationals' bats, though.

Oh, and Patrick Corbin has five strikeouts on 23 pitches through two innings.

MORE NATIONALS NEWS: