Kamara on COVID-19 list, could miss Saints' playoff opener
(AP Photo/Butch Dill)NEW ORLEANS – The New Orleans Saints have placed running back Alvin Kamara, who leads the club in both yards rushing and receiving, on their COVID-19 reserve list. The move means Kamara is unavailable for Sunday's regular-season finale at Carolina and also could miss the Saints' first playoff game if New Orleans is unable to move up to the NFC's top seed. Kamara has 932 yards and 16 TDs rushing to go with 756 yards and five TDs receiving this season. His touchdowns rushing and 21 total touchdowns from scrimmage are Saints single-season records. Murray has 656 yards and four TDs rushing this season and in 2019 had 100-yard rushing performances in both games Kamara missed with leg injuries.
From Kobe to Maradona, a year of staggering losses in sports
Not long after came a seismic jolt, the helicopter crash of Kobe Bryant in the fog-shrouded California hills that reverberated across sports and across continents. Deep into the year, a bookend to Bryant, Diego Maradona died from a heart attack in Argentina weeks after brain surgery, the waves of grief rippling across soccer. The losses, of course, came against a backdrop of a pandemic, its number of fatalities rolled out daily on TV screens. Niekro won 318 games and pitched until he was 48, his knuckleball dancing and mystifying batters across the decades. Kurt Thomas in 1978 became the first U.S. male gymnast to win a world title but lost an Olympic shot in 1980 because of the boycott.
Curious calls by Sean Payton, Jon Gruden highlight Week 16
Let’s start with:PAYTON’S PLANOn Christmas night, Saints running back Alvin Kamara tied a 91-year-old NFL record by rushing for six touchdowns in a 52-33 wipeout of the Minnesota Vikings. “I was thinking about our best play there,” Payton explained afterward. Payton wasn’t talking about Nevers’ record six TD runs. “A lot of these players — I’d say most of these players — have no idea how good Gale Sayers was,” said Payton. “It was a great moment.”Brees said Payton mentioned Sayers’ mark before the Saints’ last touchdown drive.
Final goodbye: Recalling influential people who died in 2020
The world also said goodbye to U.S. Rep. John Lewis, a lion of the civil rights movement who died in July. Other former political figures who died this year include Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak, New York Mayor David Dinkins, Arizona Gov. Here is a roll call of some influential figures who died in 2020 (cause of death cited for younger people, if available):___JANUARY___David Stern, 77. The guitarist who supplied the scratching, seething sound that fueled the highly influential British punk band Gang of Four. He fused African rhythms with funk to become one of the most influential musicians in world dance music.
Cousins, Vikings overcome Patterson return, beat Bears 19-13
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins throws during the first half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears Monday, Nov. 16, 2020, in Chicago. Cousins threw for 292 yards and two touchdowns, and the Minnesota Vikings overcame a 104-yard kickoff return by Chicago’s Cordarrelle Patterson to beat the Bears 19-13. “We’ll try to keep building on it now, and it’ll be so important to keep stringing these together if we can. It was the longest kickoff return in franchise history, surpassing Gale Sayers’ 103-yarder against Pittsburgh on Sept. 17, 1967. Cousins completed 25 of 36 passes with two touchdowns to Thielen, who has nine on the season.
Sayers, Piccolo friendship lives on in 'Brian's Song'
FILE - From left are 1970 file photos showing Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers. “It just amazes me,” Joy Piccolo O’Connell said in an interview from her Wisconsin home. You flatter me by giving me this award, but I tell you that I accept it for Brian Piccolo. … I love Brian Piccolo, and I’d like all of you to love him too. But Joy Piccolo O’Connell, who has remarried, thinks the biggest obstacle to the friendship between Piccolo and Sayers had to more to do with personality than color.
Gale Sayers, Bears Hall of Fame running back who inspired the movie ‘Brian’s Song’, dies at 77
FILE - This is a 1970 file photo showing Chicago Bears football player Gale Sayers. Nicknamed “The Kansas Comet” and considered among the best open-field runners the game has ever seen, Sayers died Wednesday, according to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. “People who weren’t even football fans came to know Gale through the TV movie ‘Brian’s Song,’ about his friendship with teammate Brian Piccolo. He earned his place as a first-ballot Hall of Famer.”Sayers was a two-time All-American at Kansas and inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as well. “I played football a long time and I never saw a better football player than Gale Sayers,” said Hall of Fame tight end Mike Ditka, Sayers’ teammate from 1965-66.