MIAMI (AP) — Chants of "Kobe! Kobe! Kobe!" broke a moment of a silence that kicked off a more subdued Super Bowl media night. The NFL opened the most hyped week in professional sports with mixed emotions Monday night, one day after retired superstar Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others died in a helicopter crash. The Chiefs took the stage first on what typically is a wild evening filled with zany antics by quasi-media members. One television reporter wearing a white dress and sailor's cap asked a few players to do the Floss dance with her but the atmosphere was mostly deflated.
MIAMI (AP) — Dee Ford agrees with the pass rusher who replaced him in Kansas City that his blunder that cost the Chiefs a Super Bowl trip last season is inexcusable. Ford was called for lining up in the neutral zone in last year's AFC title game against New England. The penalty negated an interception that would have sealed the win for the Chiefs. New England instead drove down and scored and eventually won the game in overtime.
MIAMI (AP) — Bam Adebayo got his third triple-double of the season in his last opportunity to impress Eastern Conference All-Star voters, Duncan Robinson scored 21 points and the Miami Heat eased past the Orlando Magic 113-92. Adebayo finished with 20 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for Miami. He’s a candidate to be a reserve selection for the All-Star Game; coaches pick those teams, and their ballots are due at the NBA office on Tuesday for an announcement on Thursday. Nikola Vucevic had 13 points and 12 rebounds for Orlando. Aaron Gordon scored 12, Markelle Fultz had 12 and Terrence Ross had 11 for Orlando.
MIAMI (AP) — Roman Reigns went from the Royal Rumble to the Super Bowl. The WWE star was in Miami for the opening night festivities at Marlins Park a night after wrestling in the Royal Rumble match in Houston, where he was the last competitor eliminated by eventual winner Drew McIntyre. Reigns also earlier Sunday night defeated King Corbin in a falls-count-anywhere match.
MIAMI (AP) — Right-handed reliever Brandon Kintzler has agreed to a $3.25 million, one-year deal with the Miami Marlins, pending a physical. Kintzler has a 3.37 career ERA in 10 seasons with four teams. He had a 2.68 ERA last year for the Cubs in 62 games. Kintzler had 28 saves for the Twins in 2017, when he made the American League All-Star team.
UNDATED (AP) — The most compelling dramas in the NFL this season unfolded on the field, not off it. And any thought that the league was in jeopardy of losing its spot as America's favorite sport has been set on the back burner. Headlines about domestic violence, kneeling during the national anthem and player injuries largely faded into the background this season. They were replaced by stories about the Cleveland Browns, New England Patriots and a young stable of stars. They include 24-year-old quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who leads the Chiefs into the Super Bowl on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers. The big game will wrap up a season in which the NFL enjoyed its second straight gain of 5% in TV ratings after two seasons that saw ratings go down.
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — The Atlantic Coast Conference has fined Notre Dame $20,000 and publicly reprimanded Fighting Irish basketball coach Mike Brey for his comments about officiating after Saturday’s loss at Florida State. The league announced the penalties Monday. The ACC says Brey’s comments “were in direct violation” of the league’s sportsmanship policy that states that public criticism of officiating “is not in the best interest of intercollegiate athletics.” Brey referenced several issues after the 85-84 loss to the Seminoles, including a technical foul called on the Irish bench with 2:31 left. He also mentioned game official John Gaffney by name.