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Yes, Joe Flacco was surprised to see a giant picture of himself hanging outside the Broncos home stadium. The signage sparked outrage from fans, and a segment of the local news media, after the NFL and Pepsi erected the posters to promote Thursday's NFL Kickoff game between the Broncos and the Ravens. ... Flacco laughed when he heard several posters had been defaced with mustaches and duct tape. "I think it's all deserved. I don't know if it's deserved toward me, but I happened to be the guy they put up there," Flacco said on a conference call. "I don't think anybody here, or anyone in our city, would be too happy if we had somebody else from a different team on our stadium. I wouldn't expect anything different than the people in Denver being pretty upset about it." (USA Today) Comment
Now, Oakland had it rough down the stretch of 2012 -- this time around doesn't look so difficult for any playoff contender, but it's worth looking at their slates over the final weeks. And the dreaded (but far from dreadful) worst schedule goes to the ... 1. Boston Red Sox. ... At one point during this schedule ranking exercise, the Red Sox had the second toughest. Then it was third. Ultimately they landed in first because despite having the most off-days of any team in baseball during September, the Red Sox face such a large volume of games against good teams -- about 80 percent against teams at least eight games over .500 -- it would wear on even the best. Look at the first 16 games: vs. Tigers, at Yankees, at Rays, vs. Yankees, vs. Orioles. That is wicked. (Yahoo Sports) Comment
There's a new sheriff in Sacramento, one who was at one point nearly was a state trooper, and his name is Michael Malone. "When the players come back in September, they're going to get a sense that things are different when they're around our staff. They can see how hard we work, how committed we are. I'm running sprints last week with DeMarcus Cousins and Travis Outlaw, and they said, 'Coach, we've never had a guy run sprints with us.'" ... [Q:] You had DeMarcus running sprints? Where was this? [A:] "Right across the street, on the track at Inderkum High School. This summer, we had Isaiah Thomas, Jason Thompson, Jimmer Fredette, Marcus Thornton working out during the summer league, and we're all sweating, working." (Sacramento Bee) Comment
Avisail Garcia safely steals second as Stephen Drew applies the tag during the first inning of Sunday's Red Sox-White Sox game. (Winslow Townson/Getty Images)
As Jimmy Connors celebrates his 61st birthday, here's a look back at a few memorable points from the 1991 U.S. Open.