BC-AP Sports Digest,1st Ld-Writethru

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 23, 2013 at 2:26 pm •  Published: December 23, 2013
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Eds: Raises North Korea-Rodman story to New/Developing.

The supervisor is Fred Lief, followed at 5 p.m. by Jay Cohen and at 1 a.m. by Pat Horne. The New York sports desk can be reached at 800 845-8450, ext. 1630; Sports Photos, ext. 1918; graphics, ext. 7636; agate, ext. 1635. Separate digests for Features and NFL Features have also moved. AP stories, along with the photos that accompany them, also can be obtained from http://www.apexchange.com. Reruns are available from the Service Desk (800 838-4616) or your local AP bureau. All times EST.

TOP STORIES

FBN--FALCONS-49ERS

SAN FRANCISCO — The 49ers, winners of four straight, play the Falcons and try to clinch a playoff berth while sending Candlestick Park out in style in the final regular-season game at the stadium. This is a rematch of the NFC championship game, although this year Atlanta is 4-10. By Janie McCauley. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos. With running copy. Game starts 8:40 p.m.

— With:

— FBN--Man Behind Candlestick. By Janie McCauley. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 6 p.m. Updated with pregame festivities.

FBC--AP COACH OF THE YEAR

AUBURN, Ala. — Gus Malzahn of Auburn is the AP's coach of the year after directing one of the biggest turnarounds in college football history. He transformed the No. 2 Tigers into Southeastern Conference champions and has them in the national championship game against No. 1 Florida State. By John Zenor. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

NEW/DEVELOPING

FBC--BEEF 'O' BRADY'S BOWL

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Ohio plays East Carolina in the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl. East Carolina won five of six down the stretch and can finish with 10 wins. Ohio of the Mid-American Conference was invited because the American Athletic Conference was unable to fulfill the league's bowl commitments. By Fred Goodall. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Game started 2 p.m.

FBN--CHIEFS-HEAD INJURIES

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Two Hall of Famers, cornerback Albert Lewis and defensive end Art Still, are among nine former Kansas City Chiefs players who have joined a lawsuit that contends the team hid the risks of permanent brain injuries from repeated concussions. By Bill Draper. SENT: 600 words.

BKO--NKOREA-RODMAN

BEIJING — Dennis Rodman leaves North Korea and plans to return next month — even if a key sponsor won't be with him. His short visit was aimed at completing plans to bring 11 other former NBA players to Pyongyang for a Jan. 8 exhibition game marking leader Kim Jong Un's birthday. SENT: 400 words, photos.

NFL

FBN--MANNING'S RECORD

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Peyton Manning says his 51-TD record will be short-lived, suggesting Tom Brady will take it back soon enough, especially if league owners get their way and the NFL season goes to 18 games. However, he can put it further out of reach with another big day against Oakland next weekend. By Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 6:30 p.m.

— With:

— FBN--Broncos-Miller Out. By Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton. SENT: 600 words, photos. UPCOMING: 700 words by 6 p.m..

FBN--PATRIOTS-DEFENSE

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. —The playoff-bound Patriots are coming up with big plays by their injury-plagued defense. They produced four turnovers and four sacks in Sunday's 41-7 win over the Baltimore Ravens. By Howard Ulman. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 6 p.m.

FBN--CARDINALS-BIG WIN

TEMPE, Ariz. — The Cardinals pulled off their biggest victory since 2009, winning in Seattle with a stifling defense and an offense that came through when needed most. Arizona, with only its second 10-win season since moving to Arizona, has a slim shot at the playoffs. By Bob Baum. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 7 p.m.

— Also:

— OWINGS MILLS, Md. — FBN--Ravens-Help Needed. By David Ginsburg. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 6 p.m.

— METAIRIE, La. — FBN--Saints-Crunch Time. By Brett Martel. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 6 p.m.

— PITTSBURGH — FBN--Steelers-Still Alive. By Will Graves. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 6 p.m.

— SAN DIEGO — FBN--Chargers Survive. By Bernie Wilson. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 8 p.m.

— CHARLOTTE, N.C. — FBN--Panthers-Smith's Injury. By Steve Reed. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 6 p.m.

— RENTON, Wash. — FBN--Seahawks Stumble. By Tim Booth. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 8 p.m.

— CINCINNATI — FBN--Bengals-Title. By Joe Kay. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 5 p.m.

— IRVING, Texas — FBN--Cowboys-Deja Vu. By Schuyler Dixon. SENT: 600 words, photos.

— ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — FBN--Bills-Manuel. By John Wawrow. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 6 p.m.

— HOUSTON — FBN--Houston's Last Shot. By Kristie Rieken. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 6 p.m.

— NEW YORK — FBN--Jets-Saving Coach Ryan. By Dennis Waszak Jr. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 6 p.m.

COMMENTARY

FBN--ON FOOTBALL: PRESSURE

With playoff berths within sight Miami, Chicago, Green Bay and even Super Bowl champion Baltimore succumbed to the pressure. Things will be even tighter next week in their season finales. By Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 6 p. m.

SOC--ON SOCCER: PREMIER LEAGUE PILEUP

MANCHESTER, England — With their six-figure weekly salaries, flashy cars and plush houses, sympathy is usually in short supply when it comes to English Premier League players. Except, maybe, over the Christmas and New Year period. That's when the league loads up on matches. By Steve Douglas. SENT: 750 words, photos.

OLYMPICS

RUSSIA-CONTROLLING THE MESSAGE

MOSCOW — President Vladimir Putin's move to pardon his foes has allowed him to seize the news agenda and temper criticism of his rule less than two months before the Sochi Games. Putin is generating a headline day after day in the media and seems to be controlling the message. By Vladimore Isachenkov. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.



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