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The next time you see a soccer player rolling around on the pitch like he’s been hit been with a straight right hand by heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko or shot by a bazooka, you may want to compare him to hockey player Kevin Klein. The New York Rangers’ defenceman recently lost a part of his left ear during an NHL game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The 30-year-old Klein took a high stick to the head from Zach Sill in the first period. While it looked like he suffered a nasty cut, the team trainers suddenly realized that part of his ear was hanging off.
The year is almost over so now’s a good time to take a look back at 2014 and see which North American cities were the most successful when it came to their professional sports franchises.
Some cities are fortunate enough to have teams in all of the top leagues, such as the NFL (football), NBA (basketball), MLB (baseball), NHL (ice hockey) and MLS (soccer). However, other communities may have just one or two pro franchises to cheer for.
For the 2014 rankings, cities have to have at least two pro sports franchises in their greater metropolitan area. The clubs’ records were all taken into account and divided by the number of teams to come to the city’s overall winning percentage. Of course, these numbers may change ever so slightly from now until the end of the year since the NBA, NHL and NFL are still all in action. The records used for the rankings were regular-season games only and no playoff contests.
It looks like Spanish striker Fernando Torres might have to find somewhere else to play once soccer’s January transfer reopens in January. He’s currently on loan with AC Milan of the Italian Serie A from Chelsea of the English Premier League, but neither club seems to want him. This will probably end up being Milan’s problem since they’re on the hook for Torres’ salary after agreeing to a two-year loan with Chelsea.
Fans shouldn’t feel sorry for the club or player though as he rakes in millions of dollars a year for sub-par performances on the pitch. AC Milan should have done their homework and should have bothered to scout Torres before agreeing to borrow him for two years. If they’d have taken the time to watch Torres in action with Chelsea over the past couple of years they would have realized he’s definitely not worth his paycheque.
Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers passed former legend Michael Jordan for third place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list on December 14. Bryant achieved the feat with a couple of second-quarter free throws in the Lakers game in Minnesota against the Timberwolves. The 36-year-old Bryant entered the game eight points behind Jordan, who racked up a total of 32,292 points in his 15 seasons. Bryant passed him when he sank two free throws after he was fouled by Minnesota’s Zach LaVine with 5:24 to go in the half.
The Timberwolves fans gave Bryant an ovation after he scored the points while traveling Lakers fans went wild. Bryant said that he appreciated the applause from the Minnesota fans as it was a little bit different since he’s usually treated like a villain by the home fans when the Lakers are on the road. The Lakers won the game 100-94 for their third straight victory and Bryant finished the contest with 26 points. He scored a three-pointer win about a minute left to break a 94-94 deadlock and then with 20 seconds left scored on another free throw.
There’s one record NFL quarterback Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos likely won’t break before he retires and that’s the mark of 54 straight games with at least one touchdown pass. Manning made it all the way to 51 consecutive contests with a TD toss, but his streak was then snapped by the Buffalo Bills on December 7. The record is held by Drew Brees and it looks like it’s going to be safe for a while longer. The Broncos managed to beat the Bills 24-17, but Manning wasn’t involved in the scoring as his team improved to 10-3 on the season.
Manning went 14 for 20 in passing, threw for 173 yards and was picked off twice. It was the first time he hasn’t thrown for a touchdown since November 14 of 2010 when he was still playing for the Indianapolis Colts. The Cincinnati Bengals were the last team to keep Manning off the score sheet back in week nine of the 2010 campaign. Manning went 20 for 26 in that outing and threw for 185 yards.
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