Lifestyle & Belief

Sports Chatter: Seau tribute may draw 60,000


Surfers wade into the ocean for "paddle-out" ceremony for NFL star Junior Seau on May 6, 2012, in Oceanside, Calif. Seau, who played for the San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots, was found dead in his home on May 2 of an apparent suicide. As many as 60,000 people are expected on honor him May 11, 2012, at Qualcomm Stadium.


Sandy Huffaker

Need to know:
A tribute to Junior Seau later tonight in San Diego could sell out Qualcomm Stadium.

As many as 60,000 people – including NFL greats Dan Fouts, LaDainian Tomlinson and Rodney Harrison – are expected to attend and pay their respects.

Seau, a 20-year NFL veteran and likely Hall of Famer, died two weeks ago. It’s been reported as suicide, and many are asking if the violent hits football players endure led to brain damage.

Want to know:
England’s Premier League – the world’s most popular soccer league – heads into its final weekend with more than the usual intrigue.

Crosstown rivals Manchester City and Manchester United have identical records atop the table, and both are facing beatable foes on Sunday.

City enjoys the head-to-head tiebreaker, however, and simply has to match United’s result to claim its first league title in 44 years.

United manager Sir Alec Ferguson is well aware of the task that awaits him, and started early with the gamesmanship.

“We can only do our best and try to win the match and hope something stupid happens with City,” he told BBC.

He wasn’t finished there, either, and reminded City that it’s facing a Queens Park Rangers team led by manager Mark Hughes. City fired Hughes midway through the 2009-10 season.

“The attitude will be that City have to win, but it’s an enormous challenge for them, too,” the old master continued. “The disappointment of losing the game would be unbelievable. It’s untold what effect it could have on them.”

Man City hosts QPR, while United travels to Sunderland. Both games are at 3 p.m. BST.

Dull but important:
The Denver Nuggets basketball team has “excused indefinitely” Chris (Birdman) Andersen while police investigate child-exploitation case.

There are no charges, but police searched Andersen’s Denver home Thursday and seized property.

“At the end of the day, I am confident it will be shown that he did nothing wrong,” his lawyer, Mark Bryant, told the Denver Post.

The Nuggets face the LA Lakers on Saturday in Game 7 of their NBA playoff series.

Just because:
Usain Bolt is taking this summer’s Olympic Games in London very seriously. Just ask his girlfriend, Slovakian fashion designer Lubica Slovak. Er, make that ex-girlfriend.

The Jamaica Star reported the Jamaican star ended his relationship with the Slovakian Slovak to concentrate on winning gold in London. 

The relationship lasted about six months. As for the 25-year-old’s actual training, that’s going as well as expected.

Bolt won the Jamaican International, his first race this year, in convincing fashion last weekend. His winning time of 9.70 seconds was the fastest anyone has run this year. 

He’s trying to make up for his disqualification from last year’s world championship.

“It’s not difficult to get him to focus on his preparation,” said Bolt’s coach, Glen Mills.

No kidding; just ask Lubica.

Mills also made a bold statement, saying if the weather co-operates, Bolt could break the 9.50-barrier. He currently holds the world record (and three Olympic gold medals) at 9.58, set three years ago in Berlin.

“I don't believe it's impossible, but he would have to have the right conditions,” Mills said.

Strange but true:
Trust athletes to find any excuse for a loss.

Rafael Nadal blamed the blue clay at the Madrid Open after losing to Fernando Verdasco on Thursday.

The world’s No. 2-ranked player had won 22 straight clay-court matches, and hadn’t lost in 14 matches against Verdasco.

“The history of clay court was on red,” he said on Twitter. “It wasn’t on blue. Only one person wins – the owner of the tournament.”

Funny, on his Facebook page earlier this week: “I just played my first match at Madrid. ... Very happy for how I played.”

Madrid chose blue because you can see yellow tennis balls 15 percent better on TV.

Many of tennis’ top players are threatening a boycott next year if the blue clay stays.