Jeff Gordon, with a nagging back injury, a young family he wanted to spend more time with and a phenom waiting in the wings at Hendrick Motorsports, knew midway through last season that he had one more year in him.
NEW YORK (AP) - The NFL has fined Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch $20,000 for making an obscene gesture during last Sunday's NFC championship game, a person with knowledge of the fine told The Associated Press on Thursday.
LA QUINTA (AP) - Phil Mickelson got most of the attention in his return to competition after a four-month break. Blake Adams got a lot more out of his comeback round.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The University of California's governing board tabled a policy on Thursday that would have made the public college system the nation's second to tie bonuses awarded to winning athletic coaches to how well their players do in the classroom.
OAKLAND (AP) - Stephen Curry got involved in a rare altercation before finishing with 22 points and 10 assists, and the Golden State Warriors held off the Houston Rockets 126-113 on Wednesday night for their franchise-record 17th straight home win.
SAN JOSE (AP) - Patrick Marleau and Joe Pavelski scored power-play goals to send the San Jose Sharks into the NHL All-Star break on a winning note with a 4-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday night.
SACRAMENTO (AP) - Brook Lopez had 22 points and six blocks and the Brooklyn Nets defeated the Sacramento Kings 103-100 on Wednesday night for only their second win in the last 10.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Second baseman Marco Scutaro was designated for assignment by the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday as he recovers from back surgery.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Andre Ward wrote out his retirement speech a few times in the last two years. With his usual fastidious style, the super middleweight champion laid out every reason he felt he had to end his unblemished boxing career in his prime.
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - An agitated Roger Federer spat out the question that Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova easily could have asked the players who pushed them to the limits in the second round of the Australian Open.
PHOENIX (AP) - The NFL is taking its extra-point experiment to the Pro Bowl.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - The New England Patriots are brushing off and even finding humor in questions about whether they used under-inflated footballs in the game that put them in the Super Bowl.
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - As a first-time dad with a baby at home, Novak Djokovic could see merits in the tale of Serena Williams' mid-match espresso that has been brewing in the lead-up to the Australian Open.
The Chicago Bears hired Vic Fangio as their new defensive coordinator Tuesday, hoping the veteran coach who spent the last four seasons with San Francisco can breathe some life into the once-storied unit.
ALAMEDA (AP) - Jack Del Rio picked the same offensive coordinator to start his tenure in Oakland as he did more than a decade ago in Jacksonville.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - The first ticket has yet to be sold, but the richest fight in boxing history is getting richer by the day.
OAKLAND (AP) - Rick Barry has watched the Golden State Warriors try to accomplish what his team did 40 years ago. He has never seen a group with as good a chance to win another NBA title as the current club.
Adrian Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings have reached a standstill.
CHICAGO (AP) - The Chicago Bears agreed Tuesday to a one-year contract with former San Francisco 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald despite his having some brushes with the law.
PHOENIX (AP) - The Super Bowl turns 50 this year and the NFL is planning a golden yearlong celebration.
NEW YORK (AP) - Pittsburgh Pirates reliever Rob Scahill thinks his mound mates will do just fine at beating the new 20-second pitch clock that will be used at Triple-A and Double-A this season, one that could lead to balls and strikes as penalties.
MESA, Ariz. (AP) - Edwin Jackson might be thinking he wishes he never found his way to work.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Matt Every needed a victory at Bay Hill to get into the Masters, and he was only being honest when he shared what he was thinking as Henrik Stenson faced a birdie putt on the final hole to force a playoff.
Look out Dortmund, Firing Line may be running head to head with you again on Derby Day.
PHOENIX (AP) - Millions of viewers and thousands of fans saw a wobbly Julian Edelman remain in the Super Bowl.
PHOENIX (AP) - New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft says he believes the NFL will have two teams in the Los Angeles area within the next year.
PHOENIX (AP) - The NFL is saying bye-bye to blackouts. At least for 2015.
OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) - Now that the Ottawa Senators have moved into a playoff position in the Eastern Conference, they have a few weeks left to make sure they get to the postseason.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Jake Peavy pitched five innings, and the San Francisco Giants snapped a four-game losing streak with an 8-3 exhibition victory against the Kansas City Royals on Monday.
GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) - Carlos Santana hit a two-run homer and a sacrifice fly, leading the Cleveland Indians to an 8-3 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Monday.