AP NEWS

AP Sportlight

January 1, 2020 GMT

Jan. 2

1961 — George Blanda passes for three touchdowns and kicks a field goal and the extra points to give the Houston Oilers a 24-16 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers in the first American Football League championship game.

1965 — The New York Jets sign Alabama quarterback Joe Namath for a reported $400,000, the most lucrative rookie contract in football history.

1966 — Jim Taylor and Paul Hornung gain 201 yards on four inches of snow at Lambeau Field to lead the Green Bay Packers to a 23-12 victory over the Cleveland Browns and their third championship in five years.

1977 — Atlanta Braves’ owner Ted Turner is suspended one year by Major League Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn for tampering in the free-agent signing of Gary Matthews.

1980 — Gordie Howe, age 51, becomes the first NHL player to play in five decades when he takes the ice for the Hartford Whalers in a 3-3 tie against the Edmonton Oilers. The game comes more than 33 years after Howe’s first NHL game.

1982 — Rolf Benirschke’s 29-yard field goal at 13:52 of overtime ends one of the wildest and highest-scoring playoff games as the San Diego Chargers beat the Miami Dolphins 41-38. The Chargers blow a 24-0 first quarter lead as the Dolphins rally to tie the game 24-24 in the third quarter. The Dolphins take a 38-31 in the fourth quarter and the Chargers tie it to force overtime. San Diego’s Dan Fouts completes 33 of 53 passes for 433 yards and three TDs. Miami quarterback Don Strock completes 29 of 43 passes for 403 yards and four touchdowns. Kellen Winslow has 13 catches for 166 yards and a touchdown for the Chargers.

1984 — Miami defeats Nebraska 31-30 in the Orange Bowl to win the national championship.

1985 — Nevada-Las Vegas beats Utah State 142-140 in triple overtime as both teams set an NCAA record for total points. The Runnin’ Rebels score a record 93 points in the second half, and coach Jerry Tarkanian gets his 600th victory.

1986 — Mike Bossy of the New York Islanders becomes the 11th NHL player to score 500 goals. Bossy scores No. 500 on an empty netter with 17 seconds remaining to clinch a 7-5 victory against the Boston Bruins at Nassau Coliseum.

1987 — No. 2 Penn State beats No. 1 Miami 14-10 in the Fiesta Bowl for the national championship.

1989 — Notre Dame beats West Virginia 34-21 in the Fiesta Bowl to finish the season at 12-0.

1996 — No. 1 Nebraska demolishes No. 2 Florida 62-24 in the Fiesta Bowl, making them the first repeat champions in 16 years.

2002 — Carolina’s Ron Francis becomes the fifth player in NHL history to record 500 goals and 1,000 assists when he scores in the Hurricanes’ 6-3 loss to Boston.

2005 — The Pittsburgh Steelers win their 14th straight to match the record set by Miami in 1972 and become the fourth team in NFL history to finish 15-1.

2009 — Utah finishes 13-0 with a convincing 31-17 win over No. 4 Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. The Utes are the first team from a non-BCS conference to win two BCS bowls.

2011 — Seattle becomes the first sub-.500 division champ in league history with a 16-6 win over St. Louis. The Seahawks finish as champs of the NFC West at 7-9, the first playoff team with a losing record — sans the 1982 strike-shortened season — since the merger in 1970.

2015 — Greg Ward throws three touchdowns in the final 3:41 of the Armed Forces Bowl, two after Houston recover onside kicks, and completes a game-winning 2-point conversion as the Cougars beat Pittsburgh 35-34 with an improbable comeback. Pitt led 31-6 with 14 minutes left in the game when Houston goes on to the biggest comeback in an FBS game this season, and the third-largest in a bowl game.

2016 — Bram Kohlhausen’s 8-yard touchdown run in the third overtime carries No. 11 TCU to a wild 47-41 victory over No. 15 Oregon in the Alamo Bowl as the Horned Frogs storm back from a 31-0 halftime deficit behind a backup quarterback. The 31-point comeback to win ties the record for a bowl game, matching Texas Tech in the 2006 Insight Bowl against Minnesota.

2017 — Matt Boermeester kicks a 46-yard field goal as time expired, and No. 9 Southern California rallies from a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter for a 52-49 victory over No. 5 Penn State, in the highest-scoring Rose Bowl ever played.

Jan. 3

1920 — Boston Red Sox owner Harry Frazee sells pitcher-outfielder Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees for $125,000 plus a $350,000 loan.

1931 — Nels Stewart of the Montreal Maroons scores two goals four seconds apart in the third period of a 5-3 victory over the Boston Bruins.

1946 — George Woolf falls off head first from his mount, Please Me, as he rounds the clubhouse turn in the fourth race at Santa Anita Park. Suffering from a concussion, the 35-year-old jockey, is taken to the hospital where he dies the following day. Woolf, known as “The Iceman” for his coolness in the saddle, has 3,784 mounts, 721 wins, 589 seconds and 468 thirds, with earnings of $2,856,125 in his 18-year career.

1973 — A 12-member group headed by George Steinbrenner buys the New York Yankees from the Columbia Broadcasting System for $10 million.

1991 — Wayne Gretzky scores three goals, including his 700th, as the Los Angeles Kings beat the New York Islanders 6-3.

1993 — The Buffalo Bills stage pro football’s biggest comeback to beat the Houston Oilers 41-38 in overtime in the first round of the NFL playoffs. The Oilers take a 35-3 lead 1:41 into the third quarter on Bubba McDowell’s 58-yard interception return. Kenneth Davis starts the Bills’ rally with a 1-yard touchdown run. Quarterback Frank Reich throws four touchdown passes to give Buffalo its first lead of the game 38-35. Al Del Grecco’s 26-yard field goal ties the game. Steve Christie kicks the game-winning 32-yard field goal in overtime.

1995 — Nebraska, the fourth team to finish 13-0 in Division I-A football history, wins its first national football title since 1971 as the Cornhuskers are the overwhelming choice in The Associated Press poll.

1998 — Michigan wins its first national championship since 1948 as the Wolverines are officially declared No. 1 in the final Associated Press poll. The coaches poll jumps Nebraska to the No. 1 spot, creating a split national championship for the third time in the 1990s.

2003 — Ohio State completes an unlikely, unbeaten run to their first national title in 34 years with a 31-24 double-overtime win over Miami at the Fiesta Bowl. The Buckeyes’ upset ends the Hurricanes’ bid for a second straight title and their winning streak at 34.

2010 — Jamaal Charles rushes for a Chiefs-record 259 yards in Kansas City’s 44-24 win over Denver. The Broncos join the 1978 Redskins and ’03 Vikings as the only teams since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger to miss the playoffs after a 6-0 start.

2011 — Connecticut’s nearly three-year hold on the top ranking ends when they were overtaken by Baylor and drop to No. 2 in The Associated Press women’s basketball poll. Connecticut, which had it’s 90-game win streak snapped by Stanford on Dec. 30, had been the top team for a record 51 straight weeks, beginning Feb. 18, 2008.

2016 — Alex Smith throws two touchdown passes, the Chiefs sack Raiders quarterback Derek Carr six times, and Kansas City holds on for a 23-17 home win over Oakland. The Chiefs (11-5) make the playoffs after a 1-5 start and is the only team in NFL history to win 10 consecutive following a losing streak of five or more games.

Jan. 4

1970 — The Minnesota Vikings become the first expansion team to win the NFL title by beating the Cleveland Browns 27-7 in 8-degree temperatures in Bloomington, Minn.

1970 — Kansas City’s defense, highlighted by four interceptions, three in the final quarter, carries the Chiefs to a 17-7 victory over Oakland Raiders in the last AFL title game.

1976 — The Dallas Cowboys become the first wild-card team to make it to the Super Bowl with a 37-7 rout of the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC title game.

1986 — Eric Dickerson shatters the NFL playoff record with a 248-yard rushing performance and two touchdowns to lead the Los Angeles Rams to a 20-0 win over the Dallas Cowboys.

1992 — Mike Gartner of the New York Rangers scores his 1,000th NHL point with a power-play goal in the third period of a 6-4 loss to the New Jersey Devils.

1997 — The Jacksonville Jaguars, in their second year, beat the Broncos in Denver to advance to the AFC Championship game.

2000 — Top-ranked Florida State, the preseason No. 1, holds off Virginia Tech 46-29 in the Sugar Bowl to finish 12-0 and win the national championship. Florida State is the first team to go wire-to-wire in The Associated Press’ poll since preseason rankings began in 1950.

2002 — Michael Jordan becomes the fourth player in NBA history to score 30,000 points, reaching the milestone for the Washington Wizards in an 89-83 win over his old team, the Chicago Bulls.

2003 — Bode Miller wins his second straight World Cup giant slalom in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia to move into first place in the World Cup overall standings. It’s the first time an American man has held the overall lead since Phil Mahre in 1983.

2005 — Matt Leinart throws five touchdown passes and Southern California overwhelms Oklahoma 55-19 in the Orange Bowl. USC (13-0) is the first team to repeat as AP national champions since Nebraska in 1994-95 and joins Florida State in 1999 as the only teams to go wire-to-wire — from preseason to post bowls — as No. 1.

2006 — Second-ranked Texas ends Southern California’s 34-game winning streak, beating the two-time defending national champion 41-38 in the Rose Bowl. The Longhorns also snap USC’s record string of 33 consecutive weeks as the No. 1 team in The Associated Press Top 25. The Longhorns, a unanimous choice, wins a national championship for the first time since 1969.

2012 — Geno Smith ties a record for any bowl game with six touchdown passes, including four to Tavon Austin, and West Virginia sets a bowl scoring record by beating Clemson 70-33 in the Orange Bowl.

2013 — Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel runs for two touchdowns, passes for two more and has a Cotton Bowl-record 516 total yards as Texas A&M wraps up its first SEC season with a 41-13 win over Oklahoma. Manziel sets an FBS bowl record with his 229 yards rushing on 17 carries, and completes 22 of 34 passes for 287 yards.

2013 — Mikaela Shiffrin becomes the first American woman to win two World Cup races before turning 18. The 17-year-old captures the slalom in Zagreb, Croatia by a massive 1.19-second margin. Her first victory came last month in Sweden.

2014 — Andrew Luck throws four second-half touchdown passes and scores on a fumble recovery, leading the Indianapolis Colts from a four-TD deficit to an historic 45-44 comeback victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in a wild-card game. It was the second time in playoff history a team rallied from a deficit of 28 or more points to win.

2016 — Perry Ellis has 27 points and 13 rebounds, Devonte Graham hits the go-ahead free throw in the third overtime and top-ranked Kansas outlasts Buddy Hield and second-ranked Oklahoma 109-106. Hield has a career-high 46 points for Oklahoma, but makes two crucial turnovers in the final extra session, then misses a potential tying 3-pointer at the buzzer.

2016 — Colorado’s Jarome Iginla becomes the 19th member of the 600-goal club, scoring a power-play goal in the third period, and the Avalanche beat Los Angeles 4-1.