Other Sports

Sports briefs: Jan. 6

Ted Williams became an Internet phenomenon after The Columbus Dispatch posted a clip of his voice-over skills.
Ted Williams became an Internet phenomenon after The Columbus Dispatch posted a clip of his voice-over skills. AP


Cavs offer golden-voiced homeless man a job

With a deep, refined voice, Ted Williams simply asked for help to get off the streets.

He's been heard.

Left homeless after his life and career were ruined by drugs and alcohol, Williams has been offered a job by the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers and is being pursued by NFL Films for possible work. He and his compelling tale became an online sensation after The Columbus Dispatch posted a clip of Williams demonstrating his voice-over skills by the side of the road.

Williams was contacted Wednesday by the Cavaliers, who have offered him a position that could include announcing work at Quicken Loans Arena, the team's downtown facility. Williams said the team has offered him a two-year contract and said they would pay his living expenses.

It's been a whirlwind for the golden-voiced man, who was recently living in a tent and whose past includes a lengthy list of arrests. He has served time in prison for theft and forgery and has been cited with numerous misdemeanors, including drug abuse.

Upon learning of Williams' criminal history, the Cavaliers said their offer still stands.

"We believe in second chances and second opportunities," said Tracy Marek, the team's senior vice president of marketing.

■ Grizzlies Coach Lionel Hollins has banned gambling on flights for Memphis after a fight between Tony Allen and O.J. Mayo on board an airplane during a return trip from Los Angeles.

Hollins was not immediately available Wednesday. But a team spokesman said no more gambling will be allowed on flights for the Grizzlies. The team confirmed Allen and Mayo had a "brief altercation" on the charter flight back to Memphis on Monday.


Individual Sparta tickets on sale

Individual tickets for Kentucky Speedway's inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 400-mile event and five additional 2011 races will be placed on sale Wednesday, Jan. 12, at www.kentuckyspeedway.com, by calling 888-652-7223, through speedway offices in Fort Mitchell, at 400 Buttermilk Pike, and at Sparta, off of Interstate 71, Exit 57.

The Saturday night Sprint Cup Series spectacular featuring five-time champion Jimmie Johnson, Kurt and Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and all of NASCAR's top-tier competitors highlights a two-weekend season featuring the most NASCAR and IndyCar Series action in Kentucky Speedway's 12-year history.


Elway Broncos' new chief football exec

Hall of Famer John Elway has been summoned by the Denver Broncos for one more comeback, this time as the team's chief football executive.

The beloved quarterback who led the Broncos to five Super Bowls and back-to-back championships before retiring in 1999 returned to the team's Dove Valley headquarters Wednesday to begin restoring the franchise's tarnished image and bring back its winning ways.

Team owner Pat Bowlen said he expects Elway to lead the Broncos to more Super Bowls and joked this time, Elway can tell him: "This one's for Pat!"

■ The New York Jets are appealing the $100,000 fine issued by the NFL last week for violating league rules when assistant coach Sal Alosi ordered players to form a sideline wall, then tripped Miami's Nolan Carroll during a punt return last month.

■ The defending champion Saints will have to try to repeat without their top two power running backs. Pierre Thomas, one of the stars of last season's Super Bowl run, was placed on injured reserve on Wednesday because of his injured ankle. The Saints made that move only one day after placing leading rusher Chris Ivory on injured reserve because of a left foot injury that occurred during Sunday's regular-season finale.

■ Stanford Coach Jim Harbaugh was meeting Wednesday with the San Francisco 49ers about their head coach vacancy, a person with knowledge of the situation said.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because the interview wasn't made public. The 49ers formally picked Trent Baalke as their new general manager Tuesday night and he is now looking for the coach to replace Mike Singletary.


Sharapova loses in quarterfinals

Top-seeded Maria Sharapova has been knocked out of the ASB Classic, losing 6-2, 7-5 to Hungarian veteran Greta Arn in the quarterfinals. The former top-ranked Sharapova, a three-time Grand Slam winner, looked sluggish in three matches in Auckland. She struggled with her serve throughout the week in her first tournament since October's China Open.

■ Top-ranked Rafael Nadal overcame a second-set collapse to beat Lukas Lacko of Slovakia 7-6 (3), 0-6, 6-3 Wednesday and join Roger Federer in the quarterfinals of the Qatar Open.


Women's soccer pioneer retires

Kristine Lilly, the last remaining player from the U.S. teams that transformed women's soccer from a fringe college sport into an international phenomenon, is retiring.

The 39-year-old midfielder is the only player to take part in all five Women's World Cups, helping the Americans win in 1991 and '99, and her 352 appearances for the U.S. set a world record. She also played on three Olympic teams, winning the gold medal in 1996 and 2004. She is second only to Mia Hamm in both goals scored (130) and assists (105).

■ Twelve stitches on his right index finger will hurt Geoff Ogilvy's chances in Thursday's Tournament of Champions. The golfer was injured in a swimming accident.

The last word

Georgia football coach Mark Richt said Wednesday he had been "freed up" from some administrative duties to spend more time on football. He said the moves give him more time to "study the game of football and be an expert and be on the cutting edge." Richt said:

"That revives me, that rejuvenates me, that excites me in a big way."