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NFC in a blowout

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HONOLULU -- Sack-happy defensive end J.J. Watt went out for a pass as a wide receiver, retiring centre Jeff Saturday snapped to two Mannings on opposite teams and the NFC blew past the AFC 62-35 in a Pro Bowl that could be the league's last.

Whether the NFL's all-star game will return or not is a question league officials will ponder the next few months. And, the players gave plenty to consider on both sides of the argument Sunday.

The NFC was unstoppable on offence, with nearly each player putting up fantasy-type lines in limited play. The AFC, meanwhile, had five turnovers and scored most of its points well after the game was no longer competitive.

Minnesota tight end Kyle Rudolph was voted the game's MVP with 122 yards and a touchdown.

Watt, who had 20 1/2 sacks for Houston, lined up as a wide receiver on the AFC's third play from scrimmage, but missed a pass from Denver quarterback Peyton Manning.

 

Celtics lose Rondo

BOSTON -- Boston Celtics star Rajon Rondo has torn his anterior cruciate ligament and will miss the rest of the season.

The team made the announcement during Sunday's 100-98 double-overtime win over the Miami Heat. The victory in the nationally televised game snapped a losing streak that had reached six games despite back-to-back triple-doubles by the point guard who had been elected to start for the East in the Feb. 17 All-Star game in Houston.

"We've just got to rally around each other," Paul Pierce said after the game. "I feel for him. He was having such a good season. It's disappointing news."

Rondo injured his right knee in Friday night's double-overtime loss in Atlanta, a game in which the Celtics blew a 27-point lead.

 

Hirscher wins slalom

KITZBUEHEL, Austria -- Marcel Hirscher won a World Cup slalom for the 10th time in his career Sunday, drawing roars from a home crowd that included Austria-born Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Hirscher became the first Austrian since Klaus Kroell in 2009 to win a race at the Hahnenkamm event, one of the classic stops on the men's World Cup calendar.

Ivica Kostelic of Croatia won the combined, which adds the slalom results to those from Saturday's downhill. He became the first skier to win that competition four straight years.

Michael Janyk of North Vancouver, B.C., was the top Canadian in 14th.

 

Israeli fans arrested

JERUSALEM -- Israeli police have arrested three soccer fans for chanting anti-Muslim slogans at a game while protesting the Beitar Jerusalem team's intention to sign two Muslim players.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld says two suspects were fined and banned from the stadium for the rest of the season. The additional suspect was scheduled to appear in court Sunday.

Fans unfurled signs alluding to the team's unofficial tradition of not signing Arab or Muslim players. Beitar fans have been punished in the past for similar behaviour.

Parliament speaker Reuven Rivlin, himself a Beitar fan, told Army Radio the slogans were akin to a team in Germany banning Jewish players. He spoke on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Team owner Arkady Gaydamak told Army Radio he was determined to sign two Chechen players.

 

X-emplary effort

ASPEN, Colo. -- Montreal's Kaya Turksi earned a silver medal in ski slopestyle at the X Games on Sunday, while fellow Canadian Dara Howell earned bronze.

Norway's Tiril Sjastad Christiansen -- at 17 the discipline's youngest gold medalist -- pulled off an upset win against Turski, who was looking for a fourth straight gold medal at the event.

Turski crashed on her first two runs and was sitting in last place going into her final run. The 24-year-old needed to beat Christiansen's 92.33 score for a record fourth title, but only scored 90 with a run that included a rodeo 540, a switch 720, and a switch cork 540.

 

-- from the news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 28, 2013 C10

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