HOUSTON - Should J. Baron Davis Jersey .J. Watt be the NFLs Most Valuable Player?Many who are paid to find ways to slow down the overpowering defensive end for the Houston Texans say yes.Id vote for him, Cincinnati offensive co-ordinator Hue Jackson said. Ive never had a game in my coaching career when I basically had to plan to run one way all day, and he forced me to do that. Even running away from him, he made plays.No defensive player has won the MVP since Lawrence Taylor in 1986, joining Alan Page in 1971 as the only defenders to pick up the honour. Only quarterbacks and running backs have won since Taylor had 20 1/2 sacks for the Giants in 1986 to win it.Colts coach Chuck Pagano has had to plan for Watt twice this season, and perhaps Watts best game this year came against Indianapolis in Week 6. Watt had two sacks, swatted down three passes and returned a fumble by Andrew Luck 45 yards for a touchdown.Hes a nightmare, Pagano said. Its like a scary movie ... hes near unblockable. And his motor never stops. Hes got great instincts, a great skill set, what can you say? Hed get my vote for MVP right now.Watt leads the NFL with 25 tackles for losses and 47 quarterbacks hits. His 17 1/2 sacks are second most in the NFL and he needs 2 1/2 to become the first player in NFL history with at least 20 sacks in two seasons. He leads the NFL with five fumble recoveries and is the first player since Bill Golding in 1948 to have three offensive touchdowns and two touchdowns on takeaways in a season.Scott Linehan, the passing game co-ordinator and play caller for the Cowboys, said you cant stop Watt, but the focus is to keep him from wrecking the game. He doesnt see why Watt shouldnt win MVP.Its hard to argue against it, Linehan said. I dont vote for that stuff so my vote doesnt count. But the things hes done are so rare. I think rare things make people MVP candidates.The 25-year-old, in his fourth NFL season, has sparked a Houston defence that leads the NFL with a franchise-record 34 takeaways this season.Some can be attributed to his pressure or sometimes interceptions come from tips and overthrows, and hes got his hand on the ball quite a few times, Jacksonville coach Gus Bradley said. Hes just a guy that I think really elevates everybody around him.Another highlight for Watt came in a win over Buffalo when he got both of his oversized hands on a pass thrown by E.J. Manuel, batted it down and intercepted it before running 80 yards for a touchdown.And his contributions arent just limited to defence. The 6-foot-5, 289-pound Watt, who started his college career as a tight end, has caught three touchdown passes for the Texans, who host Jacksonville on Sunday and are still in the playoff hunt. Watt practices one-handed catches during the week and in pregame, but puts both hands on the ball when hes grabbing TD passes.He looks like (Rob) Gronkowski out there right now running, Pagano said, comparing him to New Englands Pro Bowl tight end. The catch he made from the fullback spot in the flat was phenomenal.The Texans, of course, are impressed with Watts work, but coach Bill OBrien isnt doing any campaigning for the award.I understand the question, but I could care less about the MVP, OBrien said when asked if he should win it. I really could. I know that he could care less about it, too. I think its about the team.That doesnt mean Watt doesnt enjoy hearing coaches say he should win it.Its special, he said. Its very humbling to hear that from other coaches and players around the league, because those are the guys that you work hard to earn the respect from. ... Theyve seen you, and they know what theyre talking about, so those are the guys that youd really like to have the respect of.Some in the NFL dont like that defensive players are rarely in the conversation for MVP. Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, Luck and Dallas running back DeMarco Murray are other top contenders to win this years award. None plays defence.Pagano would argue that Watts importance to the Texans is as high as that of any quarterback.Like a quarterback touches the ball every single play, J.J. affects the game that way, Pagano said. I know he doesnt play that position. You normally dont see it from a position at the defensive line, but hes as good as or better than anybody thats ever played on that side of the football.Watt also plays on special teams, using his huge mitts to get in the face of kickers and punters, and he blocked an extra point attempt in a win over Washington in September.With everything he does Jackson believes Watt is the epitome of an MVP.You take him off that football team, thats a different football team, Jackson said. The fact hes out there playing gives them a chance to win every football game.___AP Sports Writers Joe Kay, Michael Marot and Schuyler Dixon contributed to this report.___Online: AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL Stitched Pelicans Jerseys . Long snapper Patrick Mannelly announced Friday that he is retiring after a 16-year-career with the Bears, a span in which he played in a team record 245 games and snapped the ball 2,282 times. New Orleans Pelicans Shirts . The Toronto Blue Jays star won his second consecutive Hank Aaron Award as the most outstanding offensive performer in the AL on Monday after votes by fans and a panel of Hall of Famers were tallied.MONTREAL -- Former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre welcomes the decision by the Nevada Athletic Commission to ban mixed martial arts fighters from using testosterone replacement therapy. He says so-called TRT is only one problem and he wants to go even further than the ban. "Its about time," St-Pierre told reporters at a promotional event in Montreal on Friday. "I think its a good thing." The commission voted unanimously in Las Vegas on Thursday to quit granting therapeutic use exemptions for fighters undergoing TRT. "Its not the UFC (thats) the problem," said St-Pierre. "I believe its the sport, the system." St-Pierre added he thought the ban is a move in the right direction. "I believe theres a lot more things to do. I believe they need to allow testing too -- testing by an organization that doesnt have any interest in the money surrounding the fight." St-Pierre said the decision by Nevada state regulators is "great for a lot of guys -- good, honest guys will be happy." The decision by the commission that regulates boxing and mixed martial arts in Nevada came several weeks after the Association of Ringside Physicians labelled so-called "unmerited testosterone" a health risk for athletes who practise combat sports. UFC president Dana White said he also supported the Nevada ruling and encouraged all athletic commissions to adopt the ban. "We believe our athletes should compete based on their natural abilities and on an even playing field," he said in a statement. White also said the UFC would honour the ruling in international markets, "where due to a lack of governing bodies, the UFC oversees regulatory efforts for our live events." Several UFC fighters have been granted exemptions in recent years to use testosterone before their bouts, ostensibly for medical reasons. The decision is already having effects on UFC. Vitor Belfort, who usedd TRT, dropped out of his upcoming middleweight title shot against Chris Weidman. JJ Redick Jersey. As for his own future in the UFC, St-Pierre wasnt telling reporters much, except to say that hes in the best condition hes ever been in his life. The 32-year-old suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder and did not sleep much for about a decade. "Whats changed is that Im sleeping better," he said. "Before I slept around five hours a night because of stress, but now Im around seven hours and thats made a big difference in my life." St-Pierre said hes living a more healthy lifestyle, the stress is gone and hes happier. He took a break from UFC last December for personal reasons and still hasnt decided whether he will return to the octagon. "I dont know if Im going to stop," St-Pierre said. "I dont know what Im going to do. I need a bit of time to decide what Im going to do." But he hasnt completely ruled out a career in the movies, after getting a small part as the villain Batroc the Leaper in the upcoming "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." "I dont know if Im ready to do that full-time," he said. "I dont know if Im a good actor." St-Pierre said he may have to come on as a bad guy in the ring, but thats whats necessary in his sport. "I dont believe in bad persons," he said. "I believe people are shaped by their genetic environment. "Some people say they look at a serial killer and say hes a bad person. Hes not a worse person than you are because he had been shaped by his genetic and social environment and that makes him what he is -- thats what I believe." The former champ may have hinted at his future Friday as he spent almost an hour coaching a group of 18 enthusiastic amateurs in the finer arts of ultimate fighting. The group included a number of winners of a cross-Canada contest by Bacardi Canada, one of St-Pierres main sponsors. ' ' '
DETROIT -- Doug Weight recalled his father putting him on skates at the age of 2 because he could barely walk due to a childhood condition that relegated him to wearing braces on his legs. Vlade Divac Jersey . "He started putting me on the ice to strengthen them at the suggestion from a doctor," he said. Weight said it wasnt a pretty sight at the rink in St. Clair Shores, Mich. "I looked like Forrest Gump," he joked. Four decades later, Weight was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame. The Stanley Cup champion, three-time Olympian and four-time NHL All-Star was inducted Monday night at the Motor City Casino -- in the city where he grew up. "Its ironic," the Detroiter said. "Pretty special." Weight was honoured along with former teammate Bill Guerin, a two-time Stanley Cup champion, three-time Olympian and four-time All-Star. "Its very special, three different NHL teams and nine teams in all," Weight said about the number of times he teamed up with Guerin. "Its a pretty incredible run together. "Its icing on the cake to go in with Billy." Weight and Guerins wives and children have become friends over the years, going on vacations together and sharing holidays as families. "It couldnt have worked out any better," Guerin said. Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos, former college coach Ron Mason and Cindy Curley, one of the pioneers in womens hockey, also were inducted. USA Today Hockey Writer Kevin Allen was also given the Lester Patrick Trophy for outstanding service to hockey in the U.S. at the event. Weight and Guerin began their friendship before they were in the NHL and grew closer while playing together for the Edmonton Oilers, St. Louis Blues and New York Islanders. They also teamed up to play for their country on more than once occasion, including the 2002 Winter Olympics when they helped the Americans take the silver medal. Weight, who won a Stanley Cup in 2006 with the Carolina Hurricanes, had 278 career goals and 1,033 points from the 1991-92 season through the 2010-11 season. He is an assistant coach for the New York Islanders. Guerin hoisted Cups in 1995 with the New Jersey Devils and in 2009 with the Pittsburgh Penguins. The native of Massachusetts had 429 goals and 856 points in his career that started during the same season as Weight and ended one year earlier. Guerin is a player development coach for the Penguins. Karmanos fell in love hockey when his children began playing the sport, but laments that a lot of kids cant afford to play the game. He said ice cost about $40 an hour when his children were growing up and now costs $300 for the same period of time. Sticks and skates, he said, also are much more expensive. "One of the things that holds us back as a sport is it costs too much," Karmanos said. "Were pricing a lot of people out of the game." Mason led Michigan State and Lake Superior State to national titles and also coached at Bowling Green. He also was an athletic director for the Spartans. "This isnt something you dream about," he said. "If youve put a lot of years in, like I did, as a player and a coach and of course AD, its nice to be rewarded at the end of it." Curley had a record 23 points in the International Ice Hockey Federations first world championship for women in 1990. "The womens game is way behind the mens game and it hasnt been around as long," she said. "We are all, as women, patient for the opportunities that the guys have had. The fact that the Hall is considering women is exciting to me. I know theres so many great players that deserve to be in here that will be. Im just honoured that they considered me." DaQuan Jeffries Jersey . Mike Babcock has turned to the Montreal Canadiens goalie over Roberto Luongo, who backed Canada to a gold medal in Vancouver in 2010, for Canadas final preliminary round game against the ailing Finns. Francisco Garcia Jersey . The Hockey Canada Foundation is donating $50,000, with Hockey Quebec contributing $15,000. Hockey Canada also announced it will hold a skills camp for all levels of minor hockey in Lac-Mégantic during the 2013-14 season. Representatives from Hockey Canada, the Hockey Canada Foundation and Hockey Quebec were on hand Tuesday night at a meeting of the AHM de Lac-Mégantic to make the announcement and presentation.MANCHESTER, England -- Valencia and PSV Eindhoven slumped to humiliating home losses as the Europa League threw up some early surprises in the opening round of group-stage matches on Thursday. Languishing near the bottom of the Spanish league, Valencias woes deepened by losing 3-0 to Swansea in Group A, sparking a brief walkout by a section of fans midway through the match in protest at the teams poor performances. Swansea secured its greatest ever result by capitalizing on the 10th-minute sending-off of Valencia centre back Adil Rami to score through Wilfried Bony, Michu and Jonathan de Guzman at the Mestalla. "I am so pleased for everybody because now they know they can play against the biggest clubs in the biggest stadiums without any problem," said Swansea manager Michael Laudrup, who fielded six Spanish players in his lineup -- more than Valencia. Bulgarian minnow Ludogorets Razgrad provided a second upset of the night by scoring twice in the final half hour to win 2-0 at PSV, which was European champion in 1988 and also won the UEFA Cup 10 years earlier. Tottenham, among the favourites this season having embarked on a summer spending spree, restored some normality by cruising past Tromso 3-0 thanks to two first-half goals by Jermain Defoe, while Fiorentina beat Pacos Ferreira 3-0, Lazio defeated Legia Warsaw 1-0, two-time former champion Sevilla won 2-1 at tournament debutant Estoril, and Real Betis drew 0-0 with Lyon. All 48 teams were in action across 12 groups in Europes second-tier competition, but there was no doubt where the standout scoreline was. Valencia went down to its biggest home loss in Europe since a 5-1 defeat to Inter Milan in 2004, adding another chapter to Swanseas remarkable rise from a financially troubled fourth-tier club in the English league 10 years ago to a first major trophy (last seasons League Cup) and then this famous European win. The writing was on the wall as soon as Rami was given a straight red for pulling back Bony when the striker was through on goal. Swansea toyed with the hosts at times with its easy-on-the-eye passing game and Bony finished off a flowing move in the 14th minute to put the Welsh team ahead. Clyde Lovellette Jersey . A group of Valencia supporters emptied the stand in the bottom tier behind one of the goals for 10 minutes at the start of the second half in protest, returning just in time to see Michu -- one of Swanseas Spanish contingent -- add a second in the 58th from compatriot Ajejandro Pozuelos through-ball. De Guzman completed the scoring with a fabulous, curling free kick from long range in the 62nd. "I am the same as the players," said Valencia coach Miroslav Djukic, whose club has sold many of its best players over the past couple of seasons. "I am responsible for the situation, it is not just about the players. The performance was not good enough." Valencia, traditionally one of the biggest clubs in Spain, has lost three of its first four matches in La Liga to lie 16th. It was a good night for English Premier League clubs, with Tottenham able to rest a number of its leading players but still easily overcome Tromso at White Hart Lane in Group K. Defoe started ahead of Roberto Soldado, who left Valencia over the summer, and made the most of a rare opportunity by chipping the goalkeeper for the first goal in the 21st minute then sliding another good finish into the corner in the 29th. Substitute Christian Eriksen curled a 20-yarder brilliantly into the top corner for a late third but the win was tarnished by injuries to Mousa Dembele and Danny Rose. Gonzalo Rodriguez, Ryder Matos and Giuseppe Rossi were the scorers for Fiorentina, which wasnt too hindered by the absence to injury of prized striker Mario Gomez, while fellow Italian side Lazio relied on Brazilian midfielder Hernanes goal in the 53rd minute to see off Legia at home. Kevin Gameiro scored Sevillas winner in Portugal after Bruno Miguel cancelled out Victor Machins opener for the visitors. Eintracht Frankfurt crushed Bordeaux 3-0, Genk won 1-0 at Dynamo Kyiv and there were also victories for Salzburg, Rubin Kazan and AZ Alkmaar. ' ' '