Weekend Sports In Brief
A little more than two years ago, a pair of teams gambled on quarterbacks who had all kinds of potential but were far from a sure thing.
Both teams guessed right.
The Kansas City Chiefs will meet the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl on Feb. 2 in Miami. Oddsmakers opened the line at pick ’em in a title game featuring one franchise, the Niners, trying to win a record-tying sixth Lombardi Trophy against another, the Chiefs, making their first appearance in the big game in 50 years.
Their quarterbacks: Patrick Mahomes (KC) and Jimmy Garoppolo (SF).
Mahomes, whose gaudy college stats (his 5,052 passing yards led the country in 2016) were a byproduct of playing at pass-happy Texas Tech, was generally viewed as no better than the second-best quarterback in a 2017 draft that wasn’t considered strong on quarterbacks to begin with.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid disagreed. He gave up a first-round pick in the following year’s draft to move up to select Mahomes in 2017. Now, in his third season, Mahomes is a Super Bowl quarterback.
Garoppolo, a second-round pick by the Patriots in 2014, was considered the quarterback-in-waiting in New England, despite a limited resume as Tom Brady’s backup. But with the Patriots not ready to part ways with their franchise cornerstone, and with Garoppolo’s contract running out, the quarterback became expendable. San Francisco acquired him in the middle of the 2017 season for a second-round pick.
CHICAGO (AP) — Patrick Kane’s 1,000th career point created one big party for the Chicago Blackhawks.
Everyone was invited.
Kane reached 1,000 when he picked up an assist on Brandon Saad’s third-period goal, and the Blackhawks beat the Winnipeg Jets 5-2 on Sunday night for their season-high fifth straight win.
Kane became the 90th player in NHL history to reach the milestone with 5:46 left. The All-Star winger passed from behind the net to Ryan Carpenter in the right circle. Carpenter then fed a wide-open Saad at the left side of the net for an easy tap-in before goalie Connor Hellebuyck could slide across the crease.
The 31-year-old Kane got an extended ovation from the crowd of 21,487 and was mobbed by his teammates after extending his point streak to 10 games. Captain Jonathan Toews, who has 799 points himself, checked with the referees before the game to make sure it was all right for the team to take the ice to congratulate Kane after he hit 1,000.
“That was special,” Kane said. “What a moment. Obviously, everyone coming on the ice and sharing that moment with me. You see some faces in that pile that have been a big part of a lot of those points.
“The team’s rolling right now, too. There’s a lot of good things happening. We’re playing well. Nice to have it come in a win.”
LA QUINTA, Calif. (AP) — Andrew Landry was reeling after blowing a six-stroke lead on the back nine Sunday in The American Express.
“I don’t want to be a part of something like that ever again,” the 32-year-old Texan said.
He regrouped — telling caddie Terry Walker, “Let’s go get this job done, like, quit messing around” — to win his second PGA Tour title with a shot to spare.
Landry broke a tie with Abraham Ancer with a 7-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole, the jagged rock-ringed, island-green par 3 called Alcatraz.
“That was probably the shot of the tournament for me,” Landry said. “Just to be able to go over there and, to that right hole location, and just hold one up and hit a good distance and have a 7-, 8-footer to look at. ... Thankfully, it went in and kind of made 18 a little bit easier.”
He closed with a 6-foot birdie putt on the par-4 18th for a 5-under 67 and a two-stroke victory, winning two years after losing a playoff to Jon Rahm at PGA West.
ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) — A third horse died in three days at Santa Anita when it collided with another horse during training hours on Sunday.
Tikkun Olam, a 4-year-old gelding trained by Eric Kuljac, was euthanized because of his undisclosed injuries. The other horse apparently wasn’t injured.
Santa Anita has had five horse deaths since Dec. 26, two days before the winter-spring meet began. Last year, 37 horses died at the Southern California racetrack.
Tikkun Olam had one win in nine career starts and earnings of $40,743. His death was the first on the main dirt surface.
On Friday, Harliss, a 6-year-old gelding, broke his ankle after running in a race. On Saturday, Uncontainable, a 5-year-old gelding, suffered the same ankle injury in the stretch. Both were running in turf races.
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