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Chubb’s TD in OT gives Brissett, Browns 23-17 win over Bucs

Source image: https://apnews.com/article/cleveland-browns-tom-brady-tampa-bay-buccaneers-nfl-sports-ab58db821505f118ee12135abf1cd29b

CLEVELAND (AP) — Jacoby Brissett wasn’t seeking sympathy and he didn’t want any ceremonial sendoff.

After all, he’s not leaving.

The Browns gave him one anyway.

Nick Chubb scored on a 3-yard touchdown run with 19 seconds left in overtime and Cleveland rallied Sunday to stun Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23-17 in Brissett’s final start before Deshaun Watson returns from his 11-game suspension.

Afterward, the Browns gave Brissett a game ball before the popular 29-year-old channeled Brady, his former teammate in New England.

“I mean this in no disrespect,” Brissett said when asked how he felt after the comeback win. “But in the words of Tom Brady, that was (expletive) awesome. That was (expletive) awesome.”

Chubb powered through a pile of bodies at the goal line as the Browns (4-7) sent Brissett off with a win as they transition to Watson, who was banned by the NFL for sexual misconduct allegations. He’ll start next week in Houston, which traded him to Cleveland in March.

So this was a special one for Brissett, who has been invaluable to the Browns during another turbulent season.

“I’m obviously grateful for this opportunity and grateful for those men in that room,” said Brissett, who also threw a key block on receiver Anthony Schwartz’s 31-yard TD run. “This was a great game to kind of end it on, but we have to stack them.”

Chubb’s short TD was set up when Brissett c onnected on a 45-yard pass to wide receiver Amari Cooper, who found himself wide open when Bucs cornerback Carlton Davis III slipped and fell near midfield.

The Browns forced OT on tight end David Njoku’s remarkable, one-handed TD catch with 32 seconds left in regulation. Njoku extended his left arm to haul in Brissett’s 12-yard scoring strike in the back of the end zone.

“I threw it, and I thought I threw it too high and I was about to start crying,” Brissett said. “I saw him pull it down, and I was like, ‘I could have ran up and kissed him.’ Clearly I didn’t.”

Brady threw two touchdown passes, but couldn’t get anything going in the 10-minute OT as the Bucs (5-6) were unable to keep their momentum going following a bye.

“Seventeen points isn’t going to do it,” Brady said. “It’s been the same thing all year. We’re not scoring enough points. Every play is an individual win or loss, and we’re losing too many. There were too many plays where we were not on the right page, and we’ve got to correct that.”

Led by All-Pro end Myles Garrett, who had 1 1/2 sacks, the Browns held Tampa Bay without a point on its final seven possessions.

Garrett played the final minutes of regulation and OT in extreme pain after aggravating a shoulder injury sustained in a car crash.

“It hurt really bad,” said Garrett, who intends to put off surgery until after the season. “I thought I had broken something.”

Brady completed 29 of 43 passes for 246 yards and was sacked three times.

Brissett went 23 of 37 for 210 yards with one TD and an interception. Chubb finished with 116 yards on 26 carries.

Brady opened the second half by completing his first six passes, including a 28-yarder to Mike Evans, who became the first Tampa Bay player to reach 10,000 yards receiving.

The Buccaneers took a 17-10 lead when Brady connected with rookie Ko Kieft on a 5-yard scoring pass. It was the 638th TD pass for Brady, and No. 1 for Kieft, who is listed as the team’s fourth-string tight end.

LITTLE STINKER

Stadium security personnel caught a skunk that was on the loose inside FirstEnergy Stadium during the game.

The critter was searching for food and hid under a step in the lower bowl section above the tunnel leading to Cleveland’s locker room. The skunk was trapped with a box and released unharmed.

LAWN JOB

Large circular rings of tire tracks were still visible on Cleveland’s field after an intruder broke into the stadium earlier in the week and drove a vehicle on the turf.

The unknown suspect, who broke into the stadium on Monday night, caused superficial damage and divots.

Police are investigating the incident, which forced the stadium’s maintenance crew to make repairs to get the surface game ready.

INJURIES

Buccaneers: RT Tristan Wirfs was carted off the field in OT after sustaining an apparent serious leg injury. He favored the leg while walking in the locker room. “You hope it’s not as bad as it looks,” coach Todd Bowles said.

Browns: CB A.J. Green (head) left the field after making a low tackle late in the first quarter. An official noticed Green staggering and escorted him off.

UP NEXT

Buccaneers: Host New Orleans on Dec. 5.

Browns: Watson plays his first game in 700 days against the Texans, who drafted him in 2017.

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AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Source: https://apnews.com/article/cleveland-browns-tom-brady-tampa-bay-buccaneers-nfl-sports-ab58db821505f118ee12135abf1cd29b

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Tokyo Olympic official, 3 others held in bid-rigging probe

TOKYO (AP) — A senior official with the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee and three company executives were arrested Wednesday in an ongoing bid-rigging scandal related to the Games.

Yasuo Mori, the Olympic official, was arrested along with Koji Henmi, who headed the sports division at Japanese advertising giant Dentsu. Two other business executives were also arrested on charges of violating anti-monopoly laws, the Tokyo District Prosecutors said in a statement.

Prosecutors have also been investigating a separate bribery scandal centered around former Dentsu executive Haruyuki Takahashi, who was a member of the organizing committee.

The bid-rigging probe in general involves the choice of venues for Olympic test events as well as for the actual Games. It is a joint operation of the Japan Fair Trade Commission, which looks at violations of anti-monopoly laws.

Prosecutors said the officials secretly agreed on the bids in 2018.

Some of the contracts had only one bidder, according to Japanese media reports. Prosecutors say the bid-rigging scandal arrests have just begun and could embroil more companies.

Upon conviction of violation of anti-monopoly laws, individuals can be sentenced to up to five years in prison.

The sprawling corruption allegations surrounding Tokyo have caused the bid by the northern Japanese city of Sapporo for the 2030 Winter Games to be placed “on hold.” Sapporo was considered the favorite before the scandal.

Salt Lake City is the only other known bidder that might consider taking 2030. Salt Lake officials have said they favor a bid for 2034.

The Tokyo Games were postponed for a year and held in 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The official price tag is $13 billion, though a government audit suggests it might be twice that much.

Takahashi and officials at several other companies were earlier arrested in the bribery scandal. Plans for those trials are beginning. Takahashi was released on bail after being held for several months.

Among the companies embroiled in the scandal involving Takahashi are Aoki Holdings, a clothing company that dressed Japan’s Olympic team; Sun Arrow, which produced the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic mascots named Miraitowa and Someity; and Kadokawa Group, the publisher of the Games program and guidebooks.

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Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

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Jessica Pegula reveals her mother Kim Pegula’s health crisis

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Pro tennis player Jessica Pegula has revealed that her mother, Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres co-owner and president Kim Pegula, went into cardiac arrest in June and is still recovering while dealing with significant language and memory issues.

In an essay that The Players’ Tribune published Tuesday, Jessica Pegula detailed for the first time the medical crisis that abruptly removed her mother from the public eye and suggested that her mother may not resume the same level of involvement in the family’s sports franchises.

Kim Pegula, she wrote, went into cardiac arrest while sleeping and received lifesaving CPR from another daughter until paramedics arrived and restored her heartbeat. The family previously said only that Kim Pegula was receiving medical care for “some unexpected health issues” that arose shortly after she celebrated her 53rd birthday.

“My mom is working hard in her recovery, she is improving, but where she ends up is still unknown,” Jessica Pegula, 28, wrote.

She said she decided to write about her mother’s ordeal after Bills player Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest on the field during a Jan. 2 game in Cincinnati in what Pegula described as “some bizarre, messed-up, full circle moment.”

“My stomach sunk because it felt like the exact same thing all over again. I was sitting on the bench for a tennis event in Sydney, Australia. I wanted to throw up,” wrote Jessica Pegula, who is No. 4 in the WTA’s singles rankings. “I was supposed to go on for mixed doubles in 15 minutes and I remember telling one of my teammates, `I am a little freaked out right now, this is too close to home, and I feel like I am going to have a panic attack.’”

As Hamlin began his recovery, Jessica Pegula joined in an outpouring of support from fans and the NFL and wore a white screen-printed patch with Hamlin’s uniform number while playing at the Australian Open. “It didn’t feel like it was just for him, it felt like it was for my mom as well,” she said.

Jessica Pegula had been home in Florida months earlier when she got a call from her sister, Kelly, around midnight on their mother’s birthday and learned that their mother was being rushed to the hospital.

“My mom was asleep when my dad woke up to her going into cardiac arrest and she was unresponsive for quite a while,” she wrote. Kelly Pegula, who was staying with their parents, performed CPR — just three months after telling her family that she planned to become certified in the procedure for a job.

“I remember her telling us what she was doing in our family group chat,” Jessica Pegula wrote, “and my mom even responded, `Nice Kells! Now if we have a heart attack you can revive us.’”

Today, Kim Pegula “can read, write, and understand pretty well, but she has trouble finding the words to respond,” Jessica Pegula wrote. “It is hard to deal with and it takes a lot of patience to communicate with her, but I thank God every day that we can still communicate with her at all. The doctors continue to be blown away by her recovery, considering where she started, and her determination is the driving force of that.”

As the first woman to serve as president of an NHL and NFL team at the same time, Kim Pegula “lived it and loved it, and it was felt by everyone she met,” Jessica Pegula wrote. “Now we come to the realization that all of that is most likely gone. That she won’t be able to be that person anymore.”

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Mat Ishbia to AP: Suns ‘will be one of best places to work’

Mat Ishbia said his first major project as owner of the Phoenix Suns will be to listen to employees and figure out what problems they’ve faced.

After that, he’ll start fixing.

The tenure of embattled Robert Sarver as owner of the NBA’s Suns and WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury officially ended Tuesday, when Ishbia — the chairman, president and chief executive of United Wholesale Mortgage, plus a member of Michigan State’s NCAA championship team in 2000 — took over. He will be governor, while his brother, Justin Ishbia, will be alternate governor.

Justin Ishbia will be the team’s second-largest shareholder, behind his brother. They acquired more than 50% of the franchise, which includes all of what was Sarver’s stake as well as some holdings of minority partners, and the sale valued the Suns and Mercury at $4 billion.

“I’m going to spend a lot of time listening and learning, then make the adjustments to make this not only one of the best organizations in the NBA but also one of the best places to work,” Mat Ishbia told The Associated Press. “That’s a huge part of my success here in Michigan and it will be a big part of our success now in Phoenix. I don’t have enough information to know what exactly it’s been like, but I will dig in and roll up my sleeves and figure it out over the next three, four, five months-plus.”

The 43-year-old Ishbia was announced as the owner-in-waiting of the Suns on Dec. 20, and the last hurdle before the purchase became official was cleared Monday night when it was revealed that the NBA’s board of governors approved him as the next owner.

The transaction was completed Tuesday. Ishbia will hold a news conference in Phoenix on Wednesday.

Sarver was suspended for one year by the NBA in mid-September after an investigation found he engaged in workplace misconduct that included racist speech and hostile behavior toward employees. About a week after NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced the suspension and $10 million fine — the most allowed by league rule – Sarver said he would start the process of finding a buyer.

Ishbia’s name had been linked to other potential sales of pro sports teams in the past, including the NFL’s Washington Commanders. And the self-described basketball nut jumped quickly to acquire the Suns and Mercury.

“This is what I wanted the whole time,” Ishbia said. “My name got linked to a lot of things. That doesn’t mean it was actually necessarily right. The Phoenix Suns, in my opinion, is one of the elite franchises in one of the elite cities in America. To have a chance to be one of the owners of the Suns and Phoenix Mercury is a dream come true.”

Ishbia’s company, UWM, employs about 7,000 people. It had over $226.5 billion in mortgage originations in 2021, which the company says is a record for wholesale volume.

“We’re all about culture,” Ishbia said. “We’re all about people. We’re all about the word ‘team.’ It’s almost like a match made in heaven — the city, the location, the NBA, my love of basketball. And I can come in, take some of the really good things they’re doing but maybe make some changes from a culture perspective.”

There is one immediate order of business: The NBA trade deadline is Thursday.

The Suns — who went to the NBA Finals in 2021, losing a 2-0 lead and falling to Milwaukee in six games, had the best regular-season record in the league last season — are in a muddled Western Conference playoff race this season.

Ishbia said he and team president of basketball operations James Jones, who is also the general manager, have talked and will keep talking while Jones gauges the market to see what moves, if any, are right for the Suns.

“We’ve got to make sure we put ourselves in a great position,” Ishbia said. “I think we have an amazing team and I think we’re in a great position right now. Will I be involved? Yes. Are we highly active? Yes. But at the same time, I think we have a championship-contending team without doing anything over the next two days.”

Ishbia played for Tom Izzo at Michigan State, and he got into the 2000 title game against Florida at the end. He knew he was out of bounds when he picked up a loose ball in the final moments, but no referee blew the whistle. Sensing opportunity, Ishbia tried a reverse layup at the buzzer; it missed, but he celebrated anyway.

He senses another opportunity now.

“For me, this is a lifelong dream,” he said.

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AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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