Weekend's Sports In Brief


NEW YORK (AP) Pro Football Hall of Famer Frank Gifford, who led the New York Giants to a league championship in 1956 and later teamed with Howard Cosell and Don Meredith in the ''Monday Night Football'' booth, died Sunday. He was 84.

In a statement released by NBC News, his family said Gifford died suddenly at his Connecticut home of natural causes Sunday morning. His wife, Kathie Lee Gifford, is a host for NBC's ''Today.''

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Gifford was the NFL's Most Valuable Player in 1956 when he led the Giants to the championship. He played running back, defensive back, wide receiver and special teams in his career, a versatile star in a time of greater specialization, and went to the Pro Bowl at three different positions.

''We rejoice in the extraordinary life he was privileged to live, and we feel grateful and blessed to have been loved by such an amazing human being,'' his family said in the statement. ''We ask that our privacy be respected at this difficult time and we thank you for your prayers.''

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - Aldon Smith received second chance after second chance with the San Francisco 49ers. They finally had enough following his fifth run-in with the law.

The Niners parted ways with the troubled linebacker Friday, only three days after general manager Trent Baalke expressed his desire to keep Smith beyond this season, which would have been a contract year. Instead Friday, Baalke and coach Jim Tomsula met with Smith at team headquarters after he left jail to inform him he was no longer part of the team.

''It's a sad day,'' Tomsula said during an emotional news conference. ''This is a day that doesn't have anything to do about football.''

Smith was arrested Thursday night - on a day off from training camp for players - the fifth legal run-in since the team drafted him in 2011. Tomsula spoke to a couple of players but had a team meeting Friday afternoon.

Santa Clara police arrested Smith, and accused him of drunken driving, hit and run and vandalism.



NEW YORK (AP) - A teenage fan at Yankee Stadium showed off quite an arm Sunday - at the expense of All-Star outfielder Brett Gardner.

The New York left fielder was hit in the back of the head but not hurt when a fan threw back a ball that Toronto slugger Jose Bautista had launched for a home run.

Gardner immediately flinched after he was struck in the fourth inning, but stayed in the game without a problem.

''I just wore it. Didn't even turn around,'' he said. ''It wasn't like it was coming from the second row. It was a long ways away.''

Following the Yankees' 2-0 defeat, Gardner said he had a little bump on his crown.

''I've got a hard head, so it's all good,'' he joked. ''It's over with. Glad I didn't get hurt.''



WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (AP) - A week after running out of gas while leading at Pocono with three laps to go, Joey Logano passed Kevin Harvick on the final turn as Harvick ran dry to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International on Sunday.

Logano completed a weekend sweep after winning the Xfinity race on Saturday and gave Roger Penske his first Cup victory at The Glen. Logano also won the season-opening Daytona 500.

Kyle Busch finished second and moved inside the top 30 in points as he continued his remarkable surge. Harvick coasted home third, Matt Kenseth was fourth, and Kurt Busch fifth. Clint Bowyer, Brad Keselowski, Carl Edwards, Sam Hornish Jr. and Jimmie Johnson rounded out the top 10.

Tony Stewart, who qualified third, was competing at Watkins Glen for the first time after missing the previous two Cup races at the track in the Finger Lakes of upstate New York. He was nursing a broken right leg two years ago and sat out last year's race after the sprint car he was driving in a race at nearby Canandaigua struck and killed 20-year-old driver Kevin Ward Jr. the night before Stewart was scheduled to race at Watkins Glen.

Attorneys representing the Ward family have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Stewart.



TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - Lane Kiffin is back for Year 2 as Alabama's offensive coordinator, despite being up for at least one NFL job.

Kiffin faces a much different challenge this year with another search for a starting quarterback and no Amari Cooper. But for the Crimson Tide just having him back is good news.

Reportedly a candidate for the San Francisco 49ers' offensive coordinator job, Kiffin stuck with coach Nick Saban and the Tide.

He said Sunday at Alabama's media day that ''this chapter wasn't over yet.''

The former Southern California, Oakland Raiders and Tennessee Volunteers head coach guided one-year starting quarterback Blake Sims to a school record for passing yards en route to the national semifinals.

Gone are Sims, Cooper and seven other offensive starters.



AKRON, Ohio (AP) - With no mistakes and two great escapes from the trees, Shane Lowry of Ireland introduced himself on a world stage Sunday by winning the Bridgestone Invitational.

He locked up victory in this World Golf Championship with a shot through the trees from left of the 18th fairway that descended over a bunker and settled just over 10 feet away for one final birdie and a 4-under 66.

''I was trying to get it to the front right of the green, but I pulled it a little bit,'' Lowry said. ''Obviously, it went through the tree, and the rest is history. I couldn't believe I was seeing the ball coming down from there, coming down on the green.''

He won by two shots over Bubba Watson, who also shot 66.

Lowry won the Irish Open as an amateur in 2009, and he picked up his first European Tour victory in 2012 in Portugal.



CARSON, Calif. (AP) - Giovani dos Santos had a goal and an assist in an impressive MLS debut, leading the LA Galaxy to a 3-1 victory over the Seattle Sounders on Sunday.

Dos Santos set up captain Robbie Keane's tiebreaking goal in the 47th minute before the Mexican playmaker scored his first goal in the 64th minute, taking a beautiful pass from Keane and burying his shot past Stefan Frei.

Dos Santos started up front alongside Keane and took corner kicks as the Galaxy (11-7-7) officially unveiled the newest acquisition in their star-studded lineup. Dos Santos even lived up to the standard set by Steven Gerrard, who also had a goal and an assist in his winning MLS debut last month.

The sellout crowd gave a standing ovation when dos Santos left in the 69th minute.

Seattle dropped to 10-12-2.



SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Michael Phelps has answered the challenge from Chad le Clos.

After spending all day reading the South African's taunts from halfway around the world, Phelps beat Le Clos' time at the world championships to win the 100-meter butterfly at the U.S. national championships Saturday night.

Phelps churned through the water on the return lap, far ahead of anyone else, and touched in 50.45 seconds. He was nearly a second faster than his gold-medal winning time at the London Olympics and, more important to Phelps, he went faster than Le Clos' time about eight hours earlier in Kazan, Russia, where he won the world championship in 50.56.

After that race, Le Clos and his father both talked confidently of how they weren't concerned with what Phelps was doing in Texas.