Dustin Brown pulls off the greatest tennis shot of all time

Remember Dustin Brown?

The dreadlocked tennis player shot to universal fame last summer when he recorded a shock victory over two-time Wimbledon champion Rafa Nadal.

With his unconventional style and unique appearance, the German enjoyed the support of the nation, becoming the cult figure of of SW19 before Viktor Troicki ended his fairytale story.

The 30-year-old has once again shot to fame with a contender for shot of the year.

Brown was competing in the Bergamo Challenger tournament in Italy where he faced Bosnia’s Aldin Setkic for a place in the quarter-finals of the ATP tournament.

After luring Setkic into the net with one of his trademark drop shots, the Bosnian attempts to pass the advancing Brown, crunching a back hand to the German’s left.

Brown miraculously manages to volley the ball with a no-look, behind the back shot, for an unlikely winner.

Dustin Brown in action in Bergamo

Despite going onto lose the match in three sets, Brown can take solace from the fact his shot will go go down in history as one of the greatest tennis shots

Pressure mounts to strip Sheikh Mohammed’s Dubai venue world championship endurance event

The International Equestrian Federation is under pressure to strip Sheikh Mohammed’s Dubai International Endurance City of the 2016 world championship event, as the horse welfare crisis in the United Arab Emirates sport escalates.

The FEI and Emirates Equestrian Federation halted all UAE long-­istance race-rides last Wednesday until at least Feb 11 while further solutions were sought. The flogging of five exhausted horses by riders and their grooms during in a 120-kilometre youth ride at Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi on Jan 30 was witnessed by thousands of horrified viewers on the event’s live-stream.

• Endurance stables fined $100,000 each for abuse

Now, the American Endurance Ride Conference – pioneers of the “classic” sport since 1972 – is demanding that the FEI relocate the 2016 world title event, and imposes a new, minimum one-year suspension on the EEF.

• Endurance racing in UAE brought to halt

The Swiss federation has suggested a boycott, while the Dutch announced on Friday that if the FEI could not wrest back control, it would consider its own measures.

A Change.org petition launched on Friday, also requesting reallocation of the championship event,

Former Australia captain Michael Clarke in talks to join Middlesex next summer for two months

Michael Clarke could resume his first-class cricket career at Lord’s with the former Australian captain in talks to join Middlesex for two months next summer.

The former Australia captain retired from all cricket after the Ashes series last summer but has recently announced a comeback.

He is due to play for his Sydney club team, Western Suburbs, next weekend as he looks to return to the professional game.

Brendon McCullum has already signed up with Middlesex

If he joins Middlesex then the club will be able to field both World Cup final captains in the Natwest T20 Blast with Brendon McCullum already confirmed as one of their two overseas signings in Twenty20 cricket.

Middlesex have a two-month window at high summer when they are without an overseas player in four-day cricket. Adam Voges, Clarke’s Australian team-mate last summer, is the club captain in championship cricket but unavailable for two months due to international commitments.

Angus Fraser, the Middlesex director of cricket, spent two winters playing for Western Suburbs and the club’s links with Clarke

Zenyatta Can’t Retire After Saturday

For years, horse racing has been irrelevant to the general public, save for the three days the three legs of the Triple Crown are run each year.

The sport, which fell much in the way boxing did, achieved great relevancy for a month at a time when horses over the years have won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness and entered the Belmont with the chance to win the Triple Crown last accomplished by Affirmed in 1978.

But when the trifecta fell short, the conversation about horses like Real Quiet, Funny Cide, Smarty Jones and Big Brown halted. When a Triple Crown wasn’t on the line? Well, just look at last year, when neither the Kentucky Derby winner nor the Preakness winner even raced in the Belmont, ABC saw record low ratings.

What makes this Saturday so surprising is that it’s the first weekend in November and the Kentucky Derby is still five months away. But on the very same track where that race will take place, Churchill Downs, a horse that never ran in a Triple Crown race has arguably become the biggest star in the sport in three decades. That

Ultimate Fighting Championship Takes Aim at World’s Biggest Sports Market

Long before martial arts got mixed together, put in a cage, and elevated to a billion dollar business in North America, they enjoyed a certain stature in Asia in culture, tradition and mythology.

AFP | Getty Images AFP | Getty Images
UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre (L) of Canada spars with Philippine boxing star Manny Pacquaio’s trainor Freddie Roach during a visit to Pacquaio’s training at a gym in Manila on September 24, 2010.

Now, the Ultimate Fighting Championship, or UFC, is hoping to tap into those centuries old legacies of traditional martial arts and market them back to Asian audiences with its own brand of mixed martial arts, or MMA.

“The potential is enormous,” said the UFC’s executive vice-president and managing director for Asia, Mark Fisher, in an interview with CNBC.com. “The growth in Asia will be exponential, and this is a great opportunity for us to bring this back to where it all began.”

Fisher’s new to the job, hired just over two months ago to run the UFC’s brand new Asia office in Beijing. Previously, he was the National

L.A. brands have an inside track on sports clothing

Given the sunny, body-conscious atmosphere of Los Angeles, it’s no surprise to find a thriving field of locally based fitness-wear brands; many of the companies design and produce their lines from start to finish in the city. These new or growing collections, fashionable enough to work over time, range from high performance to high style, geared to lower-intensity, California-centric pastimes such as hiking, beach cycling and yoga.

Splits 59

From paint-splattered leggings inspired by artist Jackson Pollock to jackets inset with glossy printed python fabric, the latest collection by Marina del Rey-based Splits 59 is on track with looks from spring fashion runways. Taylor Swift, Kim Kardashian and Miranda Kerr are all fans of the label, named for that last second on the stopwatch. It was co-founded in 2008 by Jonathan Schwartz, an Ironman athlete whose father founded Calvin Klein Inc., and Keith Peterson, formerly in public relations for Tommy Hilfiger and Dolce & Gabbana. With a blend of quick-dry performance fabrics and plush materials, such as terry, fleece and supima cotton, the pieces are designed to layer from gym to street. Out later this month are two styles

Cam Newton, Sacked Six Times, Brings Himself Down

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — There was no humiliation to be found in Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton’s performance on the field at the Super Bowl. The Denver Broncos’ defenders charged like banshees and werewolves, coming over and under and hurtling around the Panthers’ blockers.

The young quarterback was sacked six times, and he fumbled when the man-mountain known as Von Miller tossed him to the turf. He scrambled gamely and tossed some brilliant javelin throws. But if his was a less than stellar night, that can happen on the grandest of stages.

His humiliation came after the game, however, and it was self-imposed.

Newton, 26, an ebullient, intelligent, gifted quarterback, decided to act in his moment of truth like a 13-year-old. He slouched into the interview room late, well after many of his teammates — rookies and veterans alike — who gamely answered painful questions.

He took a seat, a blue sweatshirt hood pulled low over his face. He made eye contact with no one. What did he make of the game? Was he surprised? How

He’s all-Madden, and maybe some Allen too

Just as he did so many times when he played for USC, Marcus Allen ran determinedly out of the Coliseum tunnel and onto the field.

Tre Madden was not far behind.

Allen, the 1981 Heisman Trophy winner, had donned his retired No. 33 jersey to serve as honorary captain for the Trojans’ home opener against Washington State. So Madden and his teammates enthusiastically followed him out of the tunnel.

Though USC lost that night, Madden honored Allen’s tailback legacy by rushing for 151 yards in 32 carries. It was the second consecutive game that Madden eclipsed the 100-yard mark, a streak he extended with his 102-yard effort in last week’s 35-7 victory over Boston College.

Madden is the first USC player to begin a season with three consecutive 100-yard games since Allen’s remarkable 1981 season, one of the greatest in college football history.

Allen has been impressed by the third-year sophomore from Mission Viejo High, who switched from linebacker to tailback and came back from major knee surgery to start for the Trojans.

“He’s just sort of scratching the surface of his potential,” Allen said. “The more

College football players have right to form a union, NLRB rules

Northwestern University football players have the right to form a union, a regional director of the National Labor Relations Board ruled Wednesday, setting the stage for potential dramatic change to the college sports landscape.

Peter Sung Ohr, in Chicago, ruled that “players receiving scholarships from the employer are ’employees'” and ordered that an election be conducted to determine whether Northwestern players wanted representation by the College Athletes Players Assn. for the purposes of collective bargaining.

Northwestern will appeal the decision to the NLRB in Washington. That probably will not be the final step in a process, that could eventually be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

If the ruling stands it could affect other private universities such as USC. The NLRB does not have jurisdiction over public universities.

Ramogi Huma, president of CAPA, which has pushed for changes in college sports and was the petitioner in the case, said, “Obviously, we’re very pleased” and that he was confident the Northwestern players would prevail. The players’ case has been underwritten by the United Steelworkers union.

“Sixty years ago, the NCAA invented the term ‘student-athlete’ to avoid this day,” Huma,

NLRB says Northwestern football players can unionize. Will others follow

It’s hard to imagine how the National Labor Relations Board could become any less popular among Republicans, but it certainly seems to be trying. On Wednesday, Peter Sung Ohr, the board’s regional director in Chicago, ruled that football players at Northwestern University were employees of the school with the right to unionize, and he pledged to schedule a vote on unionization at a later date.

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), a former president of the University of Tennessee, quickly denounced the ruling in a statement. “Imagine a university’s basketball players striking before a Sweet Sixteen game demanding shorter practices, bigger dorm rooms, better food and no classes before 11 a.m.,” Alexander said, showing that he’s lost track of college students’ priorities. “This is an absurd decision that will destroy intercollegiate athletics as we know it.”

The next step almost certainly will be a review of the ruling by the full NLRB. But Northwestern’s prospects seem little better there, considering that the board (most of whose members are Democrats appointed by President Obama) has been notably more sympathetic to unionization than the NLRB was under President George W. Bush.

Ohr found that Northwestern football

Fixing college sports In free agency we trust

The NCAA must be feeling a bit like Dr. Frankenstein these days: assailed by college football and men’s basketball players who reject the NCAA’s precious, but mostly mythic, notion that they are student-athletes.

At Northwestern University, a group of football players scored a first-round victory before the National Labor Relations Board in a campaign to be recognized as “employees” eligible to unionize. For some college football fans, this evokes disturbing images of burly 18- to 22-year-old player-proletarians marching on picket lines instead of lined up on offensive or defensive lines, much less seated in classrooms.

Meanwhile, the lawyer who helped bring free agency to the NFL now seeks to do the same for college football and men’s basketball. Jeffrey Kessler filed suit in federal court last month. Jenkins vs. NCAA charges the association and its five “power conferences” with price-fixing and restraint of trade in violation of the 1890 Sherman Antitrust Act. College sports have “lost their way far down the road of commercialism,” according to the complaint.

But rather than undoing commercialism, Jenkins merely calls for making more room for players to come along on the road trip to riches. The

Players COLLEGE FOOTBALL NOTES Former Penn State official says football players received special treatment

A former Penn State official charged with enforcing discipline at the school said Tuesday that Joe Paterno’s players got in trouble more often than other students, and got special treatment compared to non-athletes.

Vicky Triponey, who resigned her post as the university’s standards and conduct officer in 2007, confirmed that she sent a 2005 email to then-president Graham Spanier and others in which she expressed her concerns about how Penn State handled discipline cases involving football players. The Wall Street Journal published excerpts from the email on Tuesday.

Paterno “is insistent he knows best how to discipline his players … and their status as a student when they commit violations of our standards should NOT be our concern … and I think he was saying we should treat football players different from other students in this regard,” Triponey wrote in the Aug. 12, 2005, email.

“Coach Paterno would rather we NOT inform the public when a football player is found responsible for committing a serious violation of the law and/or our student code,” she wrote, “despite any moral or legal obligation to do so.”

The

Hueneme Football Players to Be Punished

Larry Miller, Hueneme High’s first-year football coach, promises stiff punishment for members of his team following a brawl during the post-game handshake of Thursday’s season-ending game against Dos Pueblos at Hueneme.

In addition, in the final minute of the game, two Hueneme players fought among themselves.

On Monday, Miller said he will recommend that at least two Hueneme players be suspended from school for an undetermined amount of time. One of those players will face a possible ban from Hueneme athletics for the rest of the academic year, Miller said.

“We’re going to take a stand against this,” said Miller, whose team lost the Channel League game, 35-28. “We’re trying to turn this (program) around and we don’t want opposing teams or fans to think they can’t feel safe at our football games.”

Miller estimated the scuffle lasted only three to four minutes, but added that “in a situation like that even a minute or two seems like an eternity.”

Miller admitted there was talk among Hueneme players of starting a fight before the team even took the field. However, Miller said his players told him the postgame fight

Matt Kemp on wall crash ‘Now I know how football players feel’

Matt Kemp was back in the Dodgers clubhouse Wednesday morning, still sore from his head-on crash with the center-field wall at Coors Field the previous night.

“Now I know how football players feel, when the wide receivers come up the middle and get hit and not know,” he said.

Kemp was relieved by the results of the tests he underwent Tuesday night. A CAT scan on his jaw came back negative and an MRI exam on his left knee showed nothing more than a bruise.

“It could have been way worse so I’m definitely lucky,” Kemp said. “I feel pretty blessed.”

Kemp was out of the lineup and said he didn’t know when he could play again.

“I don’t know how much time,” he said. “I just know that my knee … it’s sore right now. … Hopefully, just a day. We’ll see how everything goes.”

Kemp joked about the crash, which happened in the first inning of the Dodgers’ 8-4 loss.

“Hey, I made it on ESPN, I think,” he said. “That’s going to be ‘Not Top 10 Plays.’”

Kemp remained in the game for two more plays. Both

Football players are smart, in their own way

Christian Tupou is a student-athlete. He plays football, and more specifically he plays defensive tackle.

The combination of these simple traits traps USC’s Tupou in a series of stereotypes that thrust him to the bottom of the intellectual scale at a top-tier university.

But listening to Tupou talk and watching him show his football skills muddies the water. The starting redshirt senior has boatloads of athletic intelligence in addition to school smarts.

With fall camp fast approaching, he’s studying Pacific 12 Conference centers and guards to see which hand they use to snap the ball, and to see how far apart their feet are. In games he’ll use his off-season studying to help him shoot his gaps. Then when the ball is snapped, he’ll let his experience and athleticism take over.

It’s all a part of the intelligence athletes build over time that fans and students sometimes take for granted.

Some wonder about the balance between student and athlete, or about how a particular player could have gained admittance to a specific school. At their core, these questions assume that some student-athletes aren’t smart — or

Study finds chronic brain damage in retired football players

Doctors have discovered a way for professional football players to see how much damage their brains have suffered through a bruising career before it’s too late, according to a new study.

UCLA researchers led a team of scientists that used a chemical marker called FDDNP to measure the degree of brain damage in five retired football players. That marker latches onto the tau proteins that build up in the brain when someone suffers from Alzheimer’s or other cognitive impairments like chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Doctors can then perform a routine positron emission tomography (PET) scan to see those chemical markers, highlighting how many tau proteins there are and where they end up.

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, also known as CTE, is caused by repeated head trauma. In the case of football players, CTE can be brought on by helmet-to-helmet collisions and hard tackles. The condition can lead to memory loss, depression, suicidal behavior and dementia, among other symptoms.

Over the last few years, doctors and football players have become particularly concerned about the risk for CTE among athletes. Players who have had three or more concussions are three times more likely to

Klingler Has NCAA-Record 11 TD Passes

David Klingler threw an NCAA-record 11 touchdown passes and tied the NCAA season record of 47 scoring throws in a season, leading No. 12 Houston to an 84-21 victory over Eastern Washington on Saturday.

A week ago, the Texas Longhorns beat Houston, 45-24, knocking the Cougars (9-1) out of a chance to win the national championship and ending their 12-game winning streak. Klingler wanted to put that behind them in a hurry.

“That (the record) is nice, something I might look back on, but what’s important is the won-loss and I wish we had that one last week,” Klingler said. “I wish we could switch weeks, but this is the best week I’ve had as far as accuracy.”

The Cougars scored on their first six possessions on passes by Klingler, who extended his NCAA record of most 400-yard passing performances in a season to eight.

“It was pretty much like practice,” receiver Tracy Good said. “We’ve had harder practices. Their defensive backs weren’t too fast. It was like a scrimmage, really.”

Eastern Washington hadn’t been beaten so badly in 68 years. Coach Dick Zornes was not too happy after

Auburn football players among six shot, three killed at party

A manhunt is underway for the suspect police say shot and killed three young men and injured three more at a Saturday night party near Auburn University in Auburn, Ala.

Former Auburn football players and current students Edward Christian and Ladarious Phillips were pronounced dead along with Auburn resident Damario Pitts. All were 20.

Current player Eric Mack, 20, was still being treated at an area hospital, and John Robertson, 20, was “fighting for his life” and undergoing critical surgery at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, Auburn Police Chief Tommy Dawson said at a Sunday news conference. A 19-year-old man was treated and released.

“I don’t believe they were targeted; I believe there was a fight and someone got carried away and things went too far,” Dawson said.

Police are hunting for Montgomery, Ala., resident DesMonte Leonard, 22, who has been charged with three counts of capital murder.

“We plead with anyone who knows his location, just call 911, wherever you’re at,” said Dawson, who believes Leonard is in the Montgomery area.

The Sunday news conference broke more than 12 hours of official silence after shots were reported at 10:03 p.m. Saturday.

High temperatures, big football players are dangerous combination

The risk of heat-related illnesses for high-school football players is higher than ever due to record high temperatures around the country and the fact that football players these days are bigger than ever.

The combination is leading to a rise in the number of heat-related illnesses and deaths, said experts from the Union of Concerned Scientists in a news conference Thursday.

The death rate during football practice was about one death per year from 1980 to 1994 but has risen to 2.8 deaths per year since then, according to climatologist Andrew Grundstein of the University of Georgia. In recent days, one high school football coach and three players have died.

Grundstein studied 58 fatalities in detail and found that most of the deaths were among kids age 18 and occurred in the Eastern U.S. and during the first few days or weeks of practice. The majority of fatalities were among youths who were overweight or obese — usually linemen.

A warming planet appears to be a factor. Summer temperatures this year have been among the warmest on record in many U.S. cities, said Deke

13 football players ill after workout The culprit Rhabdomyolysis

Rhabdomyolysis triggered by too much exercise is thought to be rare. But the diagnosis of 13 cases of rhabdomyolysis among University of Iowa football players in January has shaken the world of sports training and taught coaches and trainers that the illness can arise out of “normal” high-intensity workouts.

In a report released Wednesday, independent experts who reviewed the Iowa case confirmed that the 13 players, all of whom recovered after several days of hospital care, became ill due to overexertion. In this type of rhabdomyolysis, muscle tissue is so overworked it breaks down and floods the bloodstream with a protein that can impair kidney function.

The report concludes that the players’ illnesses were caused solely by overexertion and that neither illicit drugs nor supplements played a part in the illnesses. The players were returning from a winter break and endured an “ambitious” workout, which made created the conditions for the illness to occur.  A squat exercise was cited as the exercise that likely pushed the players’ muscles over the edge. The athletic staff was not faulted for the workout regimen, but the report noted that the staff was poorly trained

Going Deep–Into a Hell Former Cowboy Richards Has Seen Life Become Anything but Golden Because of Drugs

On his knees, his head aching, his body shaking, his stomach churning, Golden Richards, in a cold sweat, would hover in his bathroom over the toilet in desperate search.

He had to do something. There were no more painkillers–no more Percodan pills–in the medicine cabinet or under the bed or in whatever hole he had chosen as the latest hiding place for his drugs.

His demons demanded immediate satisfaction.

He had consumed the last of his stash. But it was morning and, as was its habit, his body was in the throes of rebellion. He couldn’t keep the damn capsules down.

So after retching, he would clutch the toilet bowl and search and pick for traces of the drugs he had taken minutes earlier. When he had salvaged what he could–sometimes he would be fortunate enough to find whole capsules–he would rinse his reclamation in the sink, pop it in his mouth once more and pray his stomach would not reject it again.

Then, when the aching and shaking and churning subsided and he felt whole and ready to face the world, Golden Richards

Now He Smiles From Ear to Ear

“I don’t know if you can see the scar,” Ryan Nece says.

Barely.

“It goes from here to here.”

He stretches his right hand over to his left ear, extending the thumb inside the closely cropped dark hair as a pointer, then drags it over the bend of the skull to the other side.

“I had an operation,” he says. “They cut me open from ear to ear.”

For the reconstruction.

“They pull down your skin, they cut underneath my eyes. I have titanium plates all through here.”

He motions to the bridge of his nose and up to eyebrow level.

“They think it was the steering wheel or the side of the car, like the door.”

During the crash.

“This part of my face just caved in.”

Suddenly being an undersized freshman starter at a new position and being second in tackles on the No. 2 football team in the nation doesn’t seem like such a big deal.

“He’s not one to boast or brag,” said his mother, Cathy Thomas. “But I think he’s pretty amazed.”

UCLA’s Ryan Nece has not

Gabriel ha s taken his share of blind-side hits

The way Roman Gabriel tells it, the same characteristics that made him a great football player — bullheadedness, combativeness, stick-to-itiveness — served him less favorably in his personal life.

Three times divorced, the greatest quarterback in Los Angeles Rams history is estranged from his daughter and four sons and says he has not seen two of his three grandchildren in years. The other, he has never met.

“I haven’t been very good excelling as a father,” Gabriel says, describing himself as “too grouchy and too ignorant for anybody to stick around.”

The NFL’s most valuable player in 1969, when he led the George Allen-coached Rams to an 11-0 start and their second division title in three seasons, Gabriel is now 67 and lives alone in an apartment in Wilmington, N.C., about a 15-minute drive from where he grew up, the strapping son of a Filipino immigrant.

A two-time All-American at North Carolina State and the second pick in the 1962 NFL draft — he was the top pick in the AFL draft that year — Gabriel proudly calls himself “the only Filipino-Irish quarterback to play