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October 17, 2011
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October 17, 2011

For The Record

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From ESPN's Monday Night Football telecasts, the program's opening sequence that featured Hank Williams Jr. (above) singing an adapted version of All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight (including MNF's signature line, "Are you ready for some football?"), after Williams came under fire for comparing Barack Obama with Adolph Hitler on Fox News's Fox & Friends on Oct. 3. Both Williams and ESPN issued statements claiming as their own the decision to remove the song, a staple of MNF since 1991. On Monday, before the Bears-Lions game, ESPN substituted an introduction narrated by former Detroit running back Barry Sanders, and a network spokesperson said that a new song for the telecast was unlikely to be used during the current season.


From the Big East barely a year after announcing its move there and before ever having competed in any Big East sports, TCU, which announced on Monday night its intention to join the Big 12 for the 2012--13 season instead. The Fort Worth school has bounced around in recent years from the Southwest Conference to the WAC (1996) to Conference USA (2001) to the Mountain West ('05), where it now plays, and had pledged last November to move to the Big East in '12. But an invitation from the Big 12, which is looking to replace departing Texas A&M (SEC), proved too tempting. There, the Horned Frogs will rekindle rivalries with such SWC foes as Baylor, Texas and Texas Tech. While TCU may have to pay a $5 million exit fee to the Big East, it will benefit from a revenue-sharing deal struck last week by Big 12 chancellors and presidents, entitling the school to an equal share of profits from the conference's TV deals. Meanwhile, the Big East, left with only six BCS football schools following the departures last month of Syracuse and Pittsburgh (for the ACC), is said to be considering adding six new teams, with Air Force, Army and Navy believed to be among the candidates.

| WON |

By the Minnesota Lynx, the team's first WNBA championship, with a three-game sweep of the Atlanta Dream, capped by a 73--67 win last Friday. Rookie of the Year Maya Moore scored 15 points for Minnesota, and teammate Seimone Augustus (below) added 16 en route to being named series MVP. Center Taj McWilliams-Franklin, who started the series winner despite having left Game 2 with a sprained right knee, pitched in with another seven points, including four crucial free throws in the last 1:07. The Lynx's triumph, after a 27--7 regular season and six straight playoff wins, including a conference finals sweep of the Mercury, ended a streak of six straight losing seasons.


Under suspicion of conspiracy to defraud, as part of an investigation into alleged betting irregularities surrounding a Scottish Premier League soccer match, nine men, including Wayne Rooney Sr., father of the Manchester United striker. The allegations stem from a Motherwell versus Hearts match last December on which several bets were placed, at odds of 10--1, that a red card would be issued. Also among those detained was Motherwell midfielder Steve Jennings, who saw red for arguing a penalty late in the same game. Jennings and Rooney Sr. denied wrongdoing. Last Friday, a day after his father's arrest, the younger Rooney received his own red card, for kicking a Montenegro player while playing for the English national team.

| WON |

By Sebastian Vettel, with a third-place finish in the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday, his second consecutive Formula 1 world championship. The German driver, who at 24 became the youngest two-time champion in F1 history, held the lead at the Suzuka circuit until Lap 20, when he was passed by the race's eventual winner, Jenson Button (who had nearly collided with Vettel at the first corner), but his finish was enough to clinch the title with four circuits remaining this season. Vettel has claimed nine wins so far in 2011. In '10 he didn't seal his title until he placed first in the final race of the season, at Abu Dhabi.

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