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Sports

Elite thoroughbred race horses killed in California wildfire

Hundreds of elite thoroughbred race horses sprinted away from flames Thursday as one of California’s major wildfires tore through a training center in San Diego County. Not all made it. There was no official count of how many animals were killed in the hazy confusion as both horses and humans evacuated, but trainers at San Luis Rey Downs estimated that at least a dozen had died, possibly far more. Horses worth hundreds of thousands of dollars who are usually carefully walked from place to place were simply set free and encouraged to run away as flames engulfed the center near Bonsall, which is just a few miles from where the fire broke out. Mac McBride, who was working with the center’s trainers, said it was “total pandemonium when several hundred horses were cut loose,&#...

Brees: Saints’ injuries due to playing on Thu.

3:22 AM ET ATLANTA — Drew Brees joined the loud chorus of NFL players railing against playing Thursday night games after his New Orleans Saints lost six players to injuries during a 20-17 loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday night. “It’s 100 percent a product of playing on Thursday night,” Brees said. “Do you understand what guys’ bodies go through in a game? And then to have to turn around four days later and to play? Look at the injury studies, they’re off the charts. They’re off the charts. So is this smart as it pertains to guys’ health and safety? No, absolutely not.” Players around the league have been vocally critical for years about playing with just three days’ of rest between games. Last month, Seattle Seahawks ...

Brees: Saints’ injuries due to playing on Thursday

3:22 AM ET ATLANTA — Drew Brees joined the loud chorus of NFL players railing against playing Thursday night games after his New Orleans Saints lost six players to injuries during a 20-17 loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday night. “It’s 100 percent a product of playing on Thursday night,” Brees said. “Do you understand what guys’ bodies go through in a game? And then to have to turn around four days later and to play? Look at the injury studies, they’re off the charts. They’re off the charts. So is this smart as it pertains to guys’ health and safety? No, absolutely not.” Players around the league have been vocally critical for years about playing with just three days’ of rest between games. Last month, Seattle Seahawks ...

Brees: Saints injuries due to playing on Thurs.

2:32 AM ET ATLANTA — Drew Brees joined the loud chorus of NFL players railing against playing Thursday night games after his New Orleans Saints lost six players to injuries during a 20-17 loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday night. “It’s 100 percent a product of playing on Thursday night,” Brees said. “Do you understand what guys’ bodies go through in a game? And then to have to turn around four days later and to play? Look at the injury studies, they’re off the charts. They’re off the charts. So is this smart as it pertains to guys’ health and safety? No, absolutely not.” Players around the league have been vocally critical for years about playing with just three days’ of rest between games. Last month, Seattle Seahawks ...

Deion Jones, defense keep Falcons in playoff hunt

12:16 AM ET ATLANTA — A swarm of bright red submerged Deion Jones as he held the ball tightly in the end zone. The Atlanta Falcons linebacker, decked out in his all-red color rush uniform, gave the home crown an adrenaline rush in the final moments of Thursday night’s showdown with the New Orleans Saints. Deion Jones’s interception in the end zone with less than 90 seconds to play Thursday sealed a crucial victory for Atlanta. AP Photo/Danny Karnik Jones intercepted Drew Brees in the end zone with 1 minute, 25 seconds to play, capping a stellar defensive effort against a potent Saints offense in what no doubt was the biggest Falcons’ victory of the season, a 20-17 triumph over their biggest rival and the NFC South leaders. Now 8-5, the Falcons can continue the playo...

Jones, defense keep Falcons in playoff hunt

2:09 AM ET ATLANTA — A swarm of bright red submerged Deion Jones as he held the ball tightly in the end zone. The Atlanta Falcons linebacker, decked out in his all-red color rush uniform, gave the home crown an adrenaline rush in the final moments of Thursday night’s showdown with the New Orleans Saints. Deion Jones’s interception in the end zone with less than 90 seconds to play Thursday sealed a crucial victory for Atlanta. AP Photo/Danny Karnik Jones intercepted Drew Brees in the end zone with 1 minute, 25 seconds to play, capping a stellar defensive effort against a potent Saints offense in what no doubt was the biggest Falcons’ victory of the season, a 20-17 triumph over their biggest rival and the NFC South leaders. “It hurt coming down, too,” Jone...

Solo announces candidacy for U.S. Soccer prez

11:35 PM ET Jeff CarlisleSoccer Close Jeff Carlisle covers MLS and the U.S. national team for ESPN FC. no_source Hope Solo announced on Thursday that she is running for the presidency of the U.S. Soccer Federation. Solo made the announcement on her Facebook page, in which she laid out a four-pronged platform and detailed some of the struggles she and her family experienced in paying for her to play youth soccer. She also criticized what she described as the USSF’s approach of valuing profits above all else. A spokesperson for Solo confirmed that the former U.S. women’s national team goalkeeper has the required three nomination letters from voting members needed to formally enter the race. The deadline for filing the necessary paperwork is Dec. 12. “We need passionate and ...

Browns fan planning parade if team goes 0-16

12:05 AM ET For the second straight year, a Cleveland Browns fan is arranging a parade for fans should the team finish the season winless. Chris McNeil, who says he has had Browns season tickets in his family for at least 30 years, raised his required goal of $10,000 this week, when headache medication brand Excedrin contributed the final $7,683. McNeil was all ready to have the parade last year, but then the Browns won on Christmas Eve. The Browns matched the $10,000 McNeil had raised, and a few more donations brought the total to $50,000, which was given to the Cleveland Food Bank. The Browns have hired former Chiefs general manager John Dorsey to take over the same position in their front office. Dorsey, who also spent 21 years in the Packers’ scouting department, replaces the fir...

Browns name ex-Chiefs exec Dorsey as new GM

9:57 PM ET Chris Mortensen Close NFL reporter ESPN Senior NFL Analyst Joined ESPN in 1991 George Polk Award winner; Twice nominated for Pulitzer Prize Adam Schefter Close ESPN Senior Writer ESPN NFL Insider Joined ESPN in 2009 Former president of the Pro Football Writers of America and the author of four books On the same day the Cleveland Browns fired executive vice president Sashi Brown, the team reached an agreement with former Kansas City Chiefs general manager John Dorsey to take over the same position. Dorsey will be introduced at a press conference on Friday, where he will be handed the reigns to one of the NFL’s most historical but long-suffering franchises. “We are thrilled to have John Dorsey lead our football operations,” said team owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam i...

Lowe’s 10 things: Giannis, the Bucks and tough choices

9:50 AM ET 3:11 Zach Lowe examines the evolution of Steph Curry and how the two-time MVP has become the Warriors’ identity. Here we go: 1. The surging Bucks, at a crossroads Here come the Bucks, 9-4 since acquiring Eric Bledsoe, with a new starting five outscoring opponents by a gargantuan 17 points per 100 possessions. They were right to dismiss the concerns over pairing Giannis Antetokounmpo with another so-so shooter who needs the ball. Spacing can make up for a talent gap, but only so much. Talent wins. Bledsoe adds a needed dynamism in the half court and in transition: Antetokounmpo is a nightmare cutting along the baseline, but he can’t leverage that skill without another ball handler dangerous enough to draw attention. The Bucks are good. Their easiest path to something ...

Mayfield wins top QB to open awards night

8:11 PM ET Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Davey O’Brien Award, given to the best quarterback, on Thursday night to open this year’s college football awards. Mayfield beat out Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett and Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph. Mayfield’s win marks the 4th win in Oklahoma history, tying BYU for most Davey O’Brien winners (Sam Bradford won in 2008 and Jason White won in 2003 and 2004). His 129 career touchdown passes are second-most in Big 12 history, five behind Graham Harrell’s record of 134. Oklahoma’s Mark Andrews, who leads the nation’s tight ends with 906 receiving yards, won the Mackey Award on Wednesday. The other finalists were Wisconsin’s Troy Fumagalli and Penn State’s Mike Gesicki. Ba...

Mayfield opens, closes awards night with wins

9:16 PM ET Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield opened and closed the college football awards — first by winning the Davey O’Brien Award, given to the best quarterback, and then by winning the Maxwell Award, given to the college football player of the year. Davey O’Brien Award: Mayfield beat out Ohio State‘s J.T. Barrett and Oklahoma State‘s Mason Rudolph. Mayfield’s win marks the 4th win in Oklahoma history, tying BYU for most Davey O’Brien winners (Sam Bradford won in 2008 and Jason White won in 2003 and 2004). His 129 career touchdown passes are second-most in Big 12 history, five behind Graham Harrell’s record of 134. It’s a three-man race for the Heisman, as quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Lamar Jackson and running back Bryc...