There are still two weeks left in the 2003 National Football League season but it will be a playoff atmosphere this weekend as six postseason spots are still up for grabs. \nThe half dozen spots are being sought by 11 clubs and 14 games this weekend have playoff implications in the next-to-last week of the season. \n"It's tournament time," says the head coach of one of those vying clubs, Bill Parcells of the Dallas Cowboys. \nFour division titles have to be determined and in one of those divisions the leader has a two-game cushion. In another a club has a one-game lead while two divisions are deadlocked at the top. \n"I don't care if you've been in the league one year or 20 years," says Tennessee Titans head coach Jeff Fisher. "If you don't make the playoffs, it's not fun. That's the bottom line." \nIn a switch from the previous weeks, there are three games slated for today, including Michael Vick's Falcons wading into Tampa Bay to play the Buccaneers. \nNew York' Curtis Martin faces his former team today when the Jets host the New England Patriots in a battle of AFC East rivals. \nDivision champions for the second time in the last three years under coach Bill Belichick, the Patriots have established a franchise record with 12 wins. \nThey extended their winning streak to 10 games with a 27-13 victory over Jacksonville last week. \nNew England can clinch homefield advantage throughout the playoffs with wins in its last two games. The Pats host Buffalo in their season finale on December 27. \nLast week, Martin became the second player in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards in each of his first nine seasons. \nMartin dashed through the snow for 174 yards in the Jets' 6-0 win over Pittsburgh, giving him 1,127 yards for the season. \nSince joining the Jets in 1998 after three years with the Patriots, Martin has rushed for more yards (7,689) than any other back in the NFL and is 11th all-time with 11,488 yards. \nRiding a nine-game winning streak, the Philadelphia Eagles are in the driver's seat for homefield advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. \nTheir opponent tomorrow, the San Francisco 49ers have yet to win on the road this season. \nThe teams meet with the Eagles on the verge of clinching their third straight NFC East title and the 49ers eliminated from the playoff race. \nPhiladelphia has a two-game lead over the Dallas Cowboys in the division with two to play. \nThe Cowboys will host the New York Giants tomorrow. The Eagles close the regular season at Washington. \nThe St. Louis Rams are tied with Philadelphia for the best record in the NFC, but the Eagles will get home field throughout the playoffs with wins in their final two games on the basis of a better conference record. \nThe Eagles didn't even need star quarterback Donovan McNabb when they rolled to a 38-17 rout of the Niners last season. But they're happy to have him back. \nAfter struggling for most of the first half of the season, McNabb has returned to his Pro Bowl form. \nHe has thrown for 1,749 yards, nine TDs and only two interceptions in the last seven games, and was the NFC's Offensive Player of the Month in November. \nPeyton Manning appears to be making the most of an opportunity to prove he is the league MVP. \nManning's Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos engaged in one of the best games of the 2002 season. \nThe teams meet again tomorrow in what could be a prelude to the playoffs. \nManning is on the verge of winning his second division title with the Colts - the first came in 1999. \nIndianapolis, which has already clinched a playoff berth, needs one win or one loss by Tennessee over the final two weeks to clinch the AFC South title.
Uncertainty grips next year’s postponed Tokyo Olympic Games: Will there be fans or empty stadiums in 14 months? How will thousands of athletes, staff members and technical officials travel, be housed and stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic? And the Tokyo Games are not the only event. China, where COVID-19 was first detected, is to hold three mega-sports events in the year after the Tokyo Olympics are set to close. The World University Games in Chengdu, China, are to open, with up to 8,000 athletes, only 10 days after the Tokyo Games close. Next come the Beijing Winter Olympics beginning on Feb. 4, 2022,
When South Korea’s domestic women’s golf tour held its premier event last week — without spectators because of the COVID-19 pandemic — no fewer than three of the world’s top 10 players took part. The country of 52 million people has a disproportionate share of the women’s world golf rankings, providing eight of the current top 20. In a demonstration of their prominence, South Korean women have won at least one major every season since 2010, with coronavirus cancellations perhaps the biggest threat to their run this year. The phenomenon, players and commentators have said, results from driven parents, intense training, a highly
The COVID-19 pandemic has stalled young Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas’ burgeoning career, but he remains philosophical about the tennis shutdown. The world No. 6 would have been preparing for the French Open that was originally scheduled to start this weekend, but was postponed to September. While he is missing life on the ATP Tour, Tsitsipas believes that the lockdown has given the planet a breather. “I actually think they should put us in lockdown once a year — it’s good for nature, it’s good for our planet,” Tsitsipas said in an Instagram Live conversation for At Home With Babsi on Eurosport’s Instagram page. “I
PANDEMIC HYGIENE: Players had their temperatures checked, carried their own equipment and towels, and tapped rackets to congratulate the match winners Alison Riske and Danielle Collins of the US and Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic were among the winners on Friday, the opening day of a women’s tennis mini-tournament in Florida that offered professional players an opportunity to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The WTA women’s tennis tour canceled four more events this week and is not to resume until at least July 20. However, four women ranked in the top 60 in the world turned out for the UTR Pro Match Series event in Palm Beach, which followed a similar event for men two weeks ago. World No. 51 Collins toppled 28th-ranked compatriot Amanda Anisimova