Tom Brady announces retirement

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(NEW YORK) — Legendary quarterback Tom Brady announced his retirement from the NFL via Instagram Tuesday morning following days of speculation.

“I have always believed the sport of football is an ‘all-in’ proposition — if a 100% competitive commitment isn’t there, you won’t succeed … I have tried my very best these past 22 years. There are no shortcuts to success on the field or in life,” he wrote on Instagram. “This is difficult for me to write, but here it goes: I am not going to make that competitive commitment anymore. I have loved my NFL career, and now it is time to focus my time and energy on other things.”

As for his future, Brady said it’ll be “exciting.”

“I’m fortunate to have cofounded incredible companies like @autograph.io @bradybrand, @tb12sports that I am excited to continue to help build and grow, but exactly what my days will look like will be a work-in-progress,” he wrote. “I am going to take it day by day. I know for sure I want to spend a lot of time giving to others and trying to enrich other people’s lives, just as so many have done for me.”

The 44-year-old quarterback played 22 seasons in the NFL. Brady spent 20 seasons with the New England Patriots, winning six Super Bowls. He then spent two seasons playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, leading them to a Super Bowl win in 2021.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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Why Russian athletes are competing under the ROC at Olympics

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(BEIJING) — When the Olympic athletes take the field during the 2022 Games opening ceremony in Beijing, there will be one group that won’t show off their national pride.

Russian athletes are only able to compete under the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) flag due to an ongoing ban over the country’s previous doping violations.

Doping regulators contend this punishment is justified, given the country’s cover-up.

There are 204 Russian athletes competing in the 2022 Winter Games as “neutrals” under the moniker ROC as part of ongoing sanctions imposed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Russia cannot officially send any athlete to an international sports competition until December 2022.

While WADA’s ban on the country was severe, the agency and International Olympic Committee have made special arrangements for athletes who have proven to be clean.

Under the IOC’s rules, Russian athletes are prohibited in any form from showing any representation of the country, including its flag or national anthem.

“All public displays of the organization’s participant name should use the acronym ‘ROC,’ not the full name ‘Russian Olympic Committee,'” the IOC rules state.

In any event where a ROC athlete is awarded a medal, a Tchaikovsky song piece is played instead of the Russian national anthem, and the ROC flag, which features the Olympic rings and red, blue and white stripes, will be flown.

This is the third Olympics in a row where the country’s athletes couldn’t officially represent Russia.

The Russians were banned from competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, however, athletes that passed doping screenings were allowed to compete under the Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) delegation.

Russian athletes competed as the ROC during last summer’s Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The punishments date back to 2015, after athletes came forward to WADA and provided evidence of a decade of state-sponsored doping. The Russian government has denied any involvement and has blamed several coaches.

However, in 2016, whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of Russia’s anti-doping laboratory in Moscow, provided evidence that he, other lab officials and Russia’s FSB security service worked to hide hundreds of positive doping tests.

While the Russians appealed WADA’s sanction, the agency found more evidence of doping cover-ups. A WADA compliance report in late November 2019 said it had found that hundreds of likely positive doping tests had been deleted from a database of results held by Russia’s anti-doping lab given to the agency that year.

In December 2019, WADA’s executive committee voted unanimously to ban Russia from fielding any athletes at international sporting events, including the 2020 summer Olympics in Tokyo and the 2022 winter Olympics in Beijing.

“Russia was afforded every opportunity to get its house in order and re-join the global anti-doping community for the good of its athletes and of the integrity of sport, but it chose instead to continue in its stance of deception and denial,” Sir Craig Reedie, WADA’s then-president, said in 2019.

WADA’s ban, which was reduced from four years to two years, also prohibits Russia from officially participating in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Other nations have been banned from competing in past Olympics. The IOC banned Afghanistan from the 2000 summer Olympic Games in Sydney because of the Taliban’s discrimination against women.

In 2016, Kuwait was banned from officially sending athletes to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio due to a national law that conflicted with the Olympic Movement. Athletes from that country took part in the 2016 games under the moniker “athletes from Kuwait.”

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Scoreboard roundup — 1/31/22

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(NEW YORK) — Here are the scores from Monday’s sports events:

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Indiana 122, LA Clippers 116
Cleveland 93, New Orleans 90
Philadelphia 122 Memphis 119 (OT)
Boston 122, Miami 92
Toronto 106, Atlanta 100
New York 116, Sacramento 96
Oklahoma City 98, Portland 81
Golden State 122, Houston 108

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE
Florida 8, Columbus 4
Vancouver 3, Chicago 1
Detroit 2, Anaheim 1 (OT)
Toronto 6, New Jersey 4
Ottawa 3 Edmonton 2 (OT)

TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Baylor 81, West Virginia 77
Duke 57, Notre Dame 43

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Scoreboard roundup — 1/30/22

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(NEW YORK) — Here are the scores from Sunday’s sports events:

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Atlanta 129, LA Lakers 121
LA Clippers 115, Charlotte 90
Chicago 130, Portland 116
Detroit 115, Cleveland 105
Denver 136, Milwaukee 100
Orlando 110, Dallas 108
Phoenix 115, San Antonio 110
Minnesota 126, Utah 106

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE
NY Rangers 3, Seattle 2
Los Angeles 4, Pittsburgh 3
Carolina 2, San Jose 1
Dallas 6, Boston 1
Columbus 6, Montreal 3
Minnesota 4, NY Islanders 3
Colorado 4, Buffalo 1

NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE PLAYOFFS
Cincinnati 27, Kansas City 24 (OT)
LA Rams 20, San Francisco 17

TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Purdue 81, Ohio St. 78
Wisconsin 66, Minnesota 60
Providence 65, Marquette 63

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NFL legend Tom Brady will retire: Report

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(TAMPA BAY, Fla.) — Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady is retiring after 22 years in the NFL, ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Jeff Darlington reported.

Brady, the most successful quarterback in NFL history, has won seven Super Bowls — six with the New England Patriots and one with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — and won five Super Bowl MVPs and three NFL MVP trophies. He went to 15 Pro Bowls and was an All Pro in each of his MVP seasons.

“I understand the advanced speculation about Tom’s future,” Brady’s agent, Don Yee, told ESPN’s Schefter in a statement. “Without getting into the accuracy or inaccuracy of what’s being reported, Tom will be the only person to express his plans with complete accuracy. He knows the realities of the football business and planning calendar as well as anybody, so that should be soon.”

Brady’s last season came to an end with a loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the divisional round of the playoffs. In true Brady fashion, the quarterback led his team back from a 27-3 deficit, only to lose 30-27 on a field goal by the Rams as time expired.

Brady, 44, played two seasons with the Buccaneers after leaving New England in 2020. In his first season in Tampa Bay, he led the Bucs to their first Super Bowl win since 2003.

He holds virtually every career record by a quarterback, including most passing yards (84,520), pass completions (7,263) and passing touchdowns (624).

While Brady himself has yet to announce the move, his company, TB12 Sports, tweeted the star’s accomplishments and wrote “Thank you for it all, @TomBrady.” The account later deleted the tweet.

Brady has delved into several off-field endeavors in recent years, including his TB12 Sports, a health and wellness company, and the Brady Brand clothing line, which he launched earlier this month and will be sold in Nordstrom stores.

He told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that he has been “very involved” in the clothing line.

“I’ve always kind of, you know, loved fashion and apparel, and I wanted to be as hands-on as possible,” he said.

Following the 2021-22 season, he had said he would talk with his family about whether he wanted to return for another season. Brady is married to supermodel Gisele Bundchen, with whom he has two children. He also has a son with actress Bridget Moynahan.
MORE: Tom Brady forays into fashion with new apparel brand that highlights college athletes

Brady was far from a highly touted prospect as a sixth-round pick out of Michigan by the Patriots in the 2000 NFL draft. But a hit by New York Jets linebacker Mo Lewis on Patriots starting quarterback Drew Bledsoe in Week 2 of the 2001 season launched Brady into stardom in his second season. He ended up starting 14 games, leading the team to an 11-3 record and an upset win against the St. Louis Rams in the Super Bowl.

He won two more Super Bowls in the next three seasons, establishing himself as a star and the Patriots as a dynasty led by head coach Bill Belichick.

Brady also won Super Bowls with the Patriots in 2015, 2017 and 2019. He’s the only player to win Super Bowls in three different decades.

For years, Brady’s only kryptonite appeared to be the New York Giants and their quarterback, Eli Manning. The Giants defeated Brady’s Patriots in 2008 and 2012. New England had entered the Super Bowl in 2008 with an undefeated record and was looking to become the first team with an unblemished record since the 1972 Miami Dolphins.

Brady’s only other loss in a Super Bowl came in 2018 against the Philadelphia Eagles — despite throwing for over 500 yards and three touchdowns.

The reaction to Brady’s retirement was swift. Former Patriots teammate Julian Edelman tweeted, “Thanks for the memories, babe.”

Several of his Tampa Bay teammates also tweeted about the news. Wide receiver Chris Godwin tweeted, “The best ever. Congratulations bro @TomBrady grateful to have gotten to share the field with you!” Bucs linebacker Devin White shared, “Congrats to the greatest QB to ever lace em up on a helluva career.” Wide receiver Cyril Grayson wrote, “Happy Retirement! THANK YOU FOR ALL THE GAME!”

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Scoreboard roundup — 1/27/22

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(NEW YORK) — Here are the scores from Thursday’s sports events:

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Philadelphia 105, LA Lakers 87
Golden State 124, Minnesota 115

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE
Los Angeles 3, NY Islanders 2
Florida 4, Vegas 1
Seattle 2, Pittsburgh 1 (OT)
Anaheim 5, Montreal 4
Tampa Bay 3, New Jersey 2
Columbus 5, NY Rangers 3
Carolina 3, Ottawa 2 (SO)
Final Vancouver 5 Winnipeg 1
Final St. Louis 5 Calgary 1
Final SO Edmonton 3 Nashville 2

TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Gonzaga 89, Loyola Marymount 55
Purdue 83, Iowa 73
UCLA 81, California 57
Wisconsin 73, Nebraska 65
Ohio St. 75, Minnesota 64
Stanford 64, Southern Cal 61

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Scoreboard roundup — 1/26/22

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(NEW YORK) — Here are the scores from Wedneday’s sports events:

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Cleveland 115, Milwaukee 99
LA Clippers 111, Orlando 102
Charlotte 158, Indiana 126
Atlanta 121, Sacramento 104
Miami 110, New York 96
Chicago 111, Toronto 105
Denver 124, Brooklyn 118
Memphis 118, San Antonio 110
Dallas 132, Portland 112
Phoenix 105, Utah 97

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE
San Jose 4, Washington 1
Calgary 6, Columbus 0
Toronto 4, Anaheim 3 (SO)
Chicago 8, Detroit 5
Colorado 4, Boston 3 (OT)

TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Providence 65, Xavier 62
Tennessee 78, Florida 71
LSU 70, Texas A&M 64
Marquette 73, Seton Hall 63
Iowa St. 84, Oklahoma St. 81
VCU 70, Davidson 68

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Jamaica’s 1st alpine skier gears up to compete in 2022 Winter Olympics

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(NEW YORK) — British-born Benjamin Alexander had never put on a pair of skis until the age of 32. Only six years later, and he’s now going for gold next month in Beijing as Jamaica’s first Olympic alpine skier.

It didn’t come easily, he said.

“I hit the ground like 20 plus times on my first time skiing. I absolutely was not a natural,” Alexander told ABC News Live Prime on Tuesday. “But I was tenacious, and I had grit and determination. I really wanted to get good enough to ski with my friends. And so I just kept trying, and little by little, one step at a time, I got better and better.”

Alexander said he was inspired by the legendary 1988 Jamaican bobsled team, which marked the first time the Caribbean nation had ever competed in the Winter Olympics. He said former Olympian Dudley Stokes, who was the pilot of the 1988 team, became a personal mentor of his.

“It’s just incredible to have someone who basically wrote the book ‘I’m Doing Outlandish Things for a Caribbean Nation in the Winter Games’ … just giving me advice along the way,” he said.

For the past two and a half years, Alexander said he’s been training as a full-time athlete in thanks to sport sponsorships. He said that despite some setbacks, such as mountain closures due to the pandemic, he’s ready to compete.

“I’ve been planning meticulously to get to this point, and sometimes when you actually get to the place you’ve been looking at for so long, it feels weird to have arrived, so surreal is the one word I’ve been using,” he said.

Alexander said his identity as a mixed-race skier is what motivated him to represent Jamaica instead of the U.K.

“You always represent the minority of any group you’re in, at any given time. That can change, second by second, room by room. So if I’m with my white friends, I’m the Black guy, and with my Black friends, I’m the white guy,” Alexander said. “As a skier, in the predominantly white sport of skiing, I was always the Black representative.”

Along with representation, Alexander said he also wants his story to prove that it’s never too late to start something new.

“You think something has passed you by, that you should have started it when you were younger … I call you on that,” he said. “You can do that thing that you thought was impossible. At least give it a try.”

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Rob Gronkowski reflects on an “incredible” season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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(NEW YORK) — Rob Gronkowski says it’s “unfortunate” the Tampa Bay Buccaneers didn’t make this year’s Super Bowl, losing 30-27 to the Los Angeles Rams in the divisional playoff, but he tells ABC Audio he’s not dwelling on it.

“It was a good season.  There’s no doubt about it. It’s unfortunate it didn’t end the way that we wanted it to end, obviously,” the tight end stressed, noting the team’s 13 wins “was the most wins in the franchise history in a single season, which is pretty incredible.”

Gronk also had an incredible season because he’s close to breaking 100 receiving touchdowns in regular season play.  He currently has 92.  When asked about that upcoming milestone, he cryptically replied, “That’s another season away — I would have to play another year, no doubt about that, to get over 100.”  Gronk cheekily noted that he technically did hit that mark “if you include playoffs.”  

Ninety of those receiving passes were thrown by Tom Brady, but Gronk says “it took a while” to build the chemistry fans see on the field.

Gronk detailed the hard work he put in during his rookie year with the Patriots to become the player Brady needed him to be. “We would throw 10 more routes after practice to get that connection, build it up every single week, and it was kind of struggling at first. I didn’t really know the plays, didn’t know my routes that well, didn’t know how Tom wanted me to run them… Then, finally, it just clicked.”

The duo have played in six Super Bowls together, winning four, the last being on their home turf in 2021.  Will the two try again for a fifth Super Bowl win?  On Monday, Gronk flirted with the thought of “year 12” on Twitter, but only time will tell….

As for who Gronk thinks will play in this year’s Super Bowl, he says, “It will be the 49ers versus the Kansas City Chiefs,” noting the latter team’s “offense is red hot.”

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Scoreboard roundup — 1/25/22

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(NEW YORK) — Here are the scores from Tuesday’s sports events:

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Philadelphia 117, New Orleans 107
Toronto 125, Charlotte 113
Denver 110, Detroit 105
Boston 128, Sacramento 75
LA Clippers 116, Washington 115
LA Lakers 106, Brooklyn 96
San Antonio 134, Houston 104
Golden State 130, Dallas 92
Minnesota 109, Portland 107

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE
Pittsburgh 6, Arizona 3
Ottawa 5, Buffalo 0
Dallas 5, New Jersey 1
Carolina 4, Vegas 3 (OT)
NY Islanders 4, Philadelphia 3
Florida 5, Winnipeg 3
Edmonton 3, Vancouver 2 (OT)
Nashville 4, Seattle 2

TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Auburn 55, Missouri 54
Baylor 74, Kansas St. 49
Duke 71, Clemson 69
Illinois 56, Michigan St. 55
Kentucky 82, Mississippi St. 74
Villanova 67, DePaul 43
UConn 96, Georgetown 73
UCLA 75, Arizona 59
Wisconsin at Nebraska (Postponed)

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