By Will Graves AP Sports Writer PITTSBURGH – Troy Polamalu’s career now belongs to the ages. The Pittsburgh Steelers announced the star safety’s retirement on Friday following a spectacular 12 seasons in the NFL that included eight Pro Bowls, four first-team All-Pro selections and two Super Bowl rings. Polamalu’s retirement was first reported by the […]

By Rachel Cohen Associated Press NEW YORK – Sarah Thomas saw the New York City area code pop up on her phone and started praying it was the NFL calling to say she’d been hired as a full-time game official. Not because that would make her the first woman to hold the job. The Mississippi […]

JACKSON Starkville’s Jack Vaughn was an outstanding football official, so proficient he officiated three Super Bowls and more playoff games than he could count. Jack died last December of a heart attack. A funny, smart guy with so many stories, he will be missed. When Vaughn retired from the NFL, he became a replay official […]

By Steven Wine AP Sports Writer MIAMI – Even before Dee Gordon went face down leaving the batter’s box, the Miami Marlins looked like a flop in their season opener against the Atlanta Braves. The sellout crowd’s mood soured in the second inning when the game was halted for 16 minutes because of rain – […]

By Ben Walker AP Baseball Writer No team lost more games in spring training than the champion San Francisco Giants, hardly any pitcher struggled more than World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner. So what? Throw out those stats – it’s time to play ball for real. Come Monday, Clayton Kershaw and Masahiro Tanaka will be on […]

By Jay Cohen AP Sports Writer CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs had Joe Maddon in the dugout, and Jon Lester on the mound. Wrigley Field had a new look, with a giant videoboard in left field and pictures of Ernie Banks draped over the closed bleachers. The St. Louis Cardinals had Adam Wainwright, and a […]

By Andrew Seligman Associated Press CHICAGO – The new videoboard looms large beyond the left-field wall, a gigantic symbol of a new day and a new era at Wrigley Field. The 101-year-old ballpark got a high-definition upgrade. So did the team that plays there. The Chicago Cubs will be tested right from the start when […]

By Aaron Wilson The Baltimore Sun (TNS) In a groundbreaking move, the NFL is hiring Sarah Thomas as its first female permanent official for regular-season games, according to sources. A former official for Conference USA football games, Thomas joins the NFL as along with seven other officials for next season. The Mississippi native has previously […]

JACKSON Jim Gallagher Jr. of Greenwood, who just turned 54, has made the successful transition from playing golf for a living to commenting about golf on television. The least surprised people of all are his family, especially his wife, Cissye. “For years it’s been the same way at our house,” Cissye says. “We’ll be sitting […]