Steelers’ Harrison honored
James Harrison slams down the current version of the Steel Curtain better than any Pittsburgh Steeler, earning him The Associated Press 2008 Defensive Player of the Year award. The linebacker who had a career-high 16 sacks, setting a team record, and led the NFL with a career-high seven forced fumbles, beat Dallas’ DeMarcus Ware in balloting by a nationwide panel of 50 sports writers and broadcasters announced on Monday. Pittsburgh’s defense was the league’s stingiest in total defense, pass defense and points allowed. Harrison was its main hammer. Harrison earned 22 votes to 13 for Ware. Baltimore safety Ed Reed, the 2004 winner, got eight votes. Tennessee defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth had five and Harrison’s teammate, safety Troy Polamalu, got two.
Antoine Walker arrested
Former NBA player Antoine Walker was charged with suspicion of drunk driving in Miami Beach early on Monday morning, further hurting his chances of playing again this season. Walker was driving a black Mercedes without the lights on when he was pulled over at 5:39am, according to the arrest report. Officers detected a strong odor of alcohol and wrote in the report that Walker had a sleepy look on his face. He refused a breathalyzer test. Walker was being held on Monday on a US$1,000 bond and jail officials said they did not immediately know if he had an attorney.
Suns guard faces charges
Suns guard Jason Richardson is facing charges of driving under the influence in an American Indian tribal community in metropolitan Phoenix. Richardson was stopped by a Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community police officer in the early morning of Dec. 21, according to a citation filed in court. The NBA player was pulled over while driving a 2008 Mercedes. A hearing date had not been set.
Packers clean house
The Green Bay Packers have cleaned house, releasing defensive coordinator Bob Sanders and five other assistant coaches. Also let go on Monday were: defensive ends coach Carl Hairston, defensive tackles coach Robert Nunn, secondary coach Kurt Schottenheimer, nickel package/cornerbacks coach Lionel Washington and strength and conditioning coordinator Rock Gullickson. Linebackers coach Winston Moss is the only major defensive coach to keep his job.
Romero to miss 50 games
The Philadelphia Phillies will launch their World Series title defense in April without relief pitcher JC Romero, who has been banned for 50 games for using a banned supplement, ESPN.com reported. The 33-year-old lefthander has been ruled guilty of “negligence,” although Major League Baseball did not say that Romero cheated, according to the report posted on the sports Web site on Monday. Romero said he bought a supplement from a GNC store in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, last July — and that the Players Association had told players that the product was acceptable. “I still cannot see where I did something wrong,” Romero told ESPN.com. Three months after Romero was tested before a game on Aug. 26, the Players Association sent a letter to players revising their advice on some over the counter supplements.