'L' no: Roman numerals won't be used for Super Bowl 50
X, V and I are nicely symmetrical, but with the unbalanced L in line for the 2015 season, the NFL decided to scrap the Roman numerals for a year.
The championship game in Santa Clara, Calif., on Feb. 7, 2016, will be known as "Super Bowl 50."
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The league has been contemplating this eventuality for nearly a decade, ever since the 40th edition ended with XL — which is not only visually pleasing but seemed an appropriate description of the extravaganza the Super Bowl has become.
Starting last April, NFL executives viewed more than 70 potential logos for the 2016 game. They found it's hard to build an attractive image around what league vice president Jaime Weston calls "the lonely L."
In 2017 in Houston, though, the game will revert to "Super Bowl LI." Adding that I to the end squares off the L and makes it more adaptable graphically, Weston said.
The NFL first started using Roman numerals for the fifth Super Bowl in 1971.
■ San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has received a $126 million, six-year contract extension through the 2020 season, the team announced Wednesday. The deal includes $61 million in guaranteed money, a person with knowledge of the contract said, speaking on condition of anonymity because terms weren't disclosed.
Durant stands alone in All-NBA selection
Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant has capped his MVP season by being the lone unanimous choice to the All-NBA first team.
Durant was a first-teamer on all 125 ballots, and made the top squad for the fifth time. Miami's LeBron James got 124 first-team votes on the way to being selected for the eighth time, while the Los Angeles Clippers' Chris Paul earned his fourth first-team selection. Houston's James Harden and Chicago's Joakim Noah are first-time first-team choices.
Second-team All-NBA selections were San Antonio's Tony Parker, Golden State's Stephen Curry, the Clippers' Blake Griffin, Houston's Dwight Howard and Minnesota's Kevin Love.
Portland's Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge, Phoenix's Goran Dragic, Indiana's Paul George and Charlotte's Al Jefferson were third-team selections.
Washington's John Wall finished 17th in the voting, 45 points shy of the 115 needed to make the third team. Fellow ex-Cats Anthony Davis (New Orleans) and DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento) finished 20th and 27th respectively, with each receiving one first-team vote.
■ Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling agreed Wednesday to sign off on selling the team he's owned for 33 years to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion, bringing the possibility of a resolution to weeks of rumors, uncertainty and looming possibilities for legal action.
Though the agreement had not been officially inked Wednesday afternoon, according to an individual with knowledge of the negotiations who was not authorized to discuss them publicly, Sterling's attorney, Maxwell Blecher, said he "has made an agreement with the NBA to resolve all their differences." Sterling gave his consent to a deal that was negotiated by his wife, Shelly Sterling, to sell the team, Blecher said.
Western Ky. adds Alabama to 2016 slate
Western Kentucky has added Alabama to its 2016 schedule, set to be played September 10 at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., the school announced on Wednesday.
The game will be a single game between the two teams who last faced off during the 2012 season when the Hilltoppers fell 35-0 to the eventual national champions.
With the addition of Alabama in 2016, Western Ky. will have played an opponent from the Southeastern Conference in seven of its eight seasons as an FBS member dating back to 2009. Over the past five meetings, the Hilltoppers have gone 2-3 with a pair of victories over in-state foe Kentucky. The Hilltoppers are also set to host Vanderbilt in the 2016 season, which will be the first time the football program has hosted an SEC opponent.
■ Former LSU reserve quarterback Stephen Rivers is enrolling at Vanderbilt, where he plans to compete for the Commodores' open job, the school announced Wednesday. Rivers, the younger brother of San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, has used only two seasons of eligibility after taking a redshirt year at LSU in 2011.
■ Marcus Fuggins, a 6-foot-9 post player with a 7-foot-6 wing span, has signed with the Morehead State men's basketball program. He has two years of college eligibility after transferring from San Bernardino Valley College (Calif.).
Louisville getting USL PRO franchise
USL PRO announced on Tuesday that the franchise rights owned by MLS-bound Orlando City SC have been transferred to Louisville and that the Orlando USL PRO franchise will relocate to the city, effective for the 2015 season.
The United Soccer Leagues Professional Division, or USL PRO, is sanctioned as a Division III Professional League by the United States Soccer Federation, placing it underneath Major League Soccer and the North American Soccer League.
The Louisville team — to be known as Louisville City FC — will be owned and operated by a group of local investors led by architect Wayne Estopinal, with Orlando City also retaining an ownership share. Additionally, Louisville will serve as Orlando's USL PRO affiliate, pending the approval of both USL PRO and MLS.
The team plans to play its home games at Slugger Field. Fans can register for season tickets and view the venue's soccer layout at Louisvillecityfc.com.
WADA won't appeal Gay's doping ban
The World Anti-Doping Agency won't appeal Tyson Gay's reduced one-year ban for doping, saying the American anti-doping authorities properly handled the former world champion's case.
Gay, a Lexington native who is expected to return from his suspension in July at the Diamond League meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, received a reduced ban for cooperating with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's investigation.
WADA said it was "satisfied" that Gay "provided substantial assistance to USADA in an appropriate fashion. WADA will therefore not appeal USADA's decision which is compatible with the world anti-doping code."
■ Thomas Bjorn of Denmark and Richard Sterne of South Africa have withdrawn from the U.S. Open because of injuries.
Bjorn is No. 23 in the world. Bjorn cited neck and shoulder injuries. He was replaced in the field by Andrew Dorn, an amateur from the Springfield, Ohio, sectional.
Sterne said he is recovering from an undisclosed injury. He was exempt through the world ranking. Sterne was replaced by Scott Langley, the first alternate from the Memphis, Tenn., sectional.
■ Jake Junis worked seven strong innings and the Lexington Legends ended their losing streak at four games with a 9-3 win over the Greenville Drive Wednesday night.
The last word
After a stop to watch the Detroit Lions practice, NASCAR driver Joey Logano felt confident he picked the right career. Said Logano:
"We may look crazy going 200 mph, but I would much rather hit the wall at 200 than have a 300-pound linebacker coming at me."