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.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Davis Love III is getting another shot as U.S. captain in the Ryder Cup.
SAN DIEGO (AP) - With one eye on the developing NFL situation up the freeway in Los Angeles, the San Diego Chargers issued their sternest warning yet to City Hall in their long-running effort to get a new stadium.
NEW YORK (AP) - The Yankees are retiring the uniform numbers of Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada and Bernie Williams and will honor the trio with plaques in Monument Park this season along with Willie Randolph.
DOVER, Del. (AP) - NASCAR driver Kurt Busch was ordered by a judge to stay away from his ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll and not communicate with her.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - Defending champion Venus Williams beat an opponent half her age on Monday, winning 6-1, 6-2 against 17-year-old Belinda Bencic of Switzerland in the first round of the Dubai Tennis Championships.
Javier Hernandez (138 pounds), Gabe Barnett (152), Dyllan Heald (160) and Tristan Smith (285) brought home gold medals from the Trans Valley League wrestling championships on Saturday at Hilmar High School.
SAN JOSE (AP) - Steven Stamkos knew his team needed to start the first of a five-game road trip with plenty of energy.
PEBBLE BEACH (AP) - Coming off the worst season of his career, Brandt Snedeker's mission was to become relevant again. He was eligible for only one major and none of the World Golf Championships, and he hated the idea of the world's best players competing without him.
Lathrop held visiting Oakdale to single digits in three periods Saturday and defeated the Mustangs 43-26.
NEW YORK (AP) - Mixing Broadway and basketball, this NBA All-Star Game was a West Side Story.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - All the big names from Bjorn Borg, Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe to Pete Sampras, Michael Chang and Andy Roddick are on the list of past champions.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - The qualifying session for NASCAR's biggest race of the year was lambasted by Tony Stewart as "a complete embarrassment" and called a "cute show" by Clint Bowyer.
BEAVER CREEK, Colo. (AP) - Bode Miller crashing and slicing his leg in what possibly could be his last race. Lindsey Vonn breaking into tears with all the pressure weighing on her. Ted Ligety and Mikaela Shiffrin coming through with gold medals as expected.
OLYMPIC VALLEY (AP) - Another dry winter in the Sierra Nevada has prompted the cancellation of World Cup skicross and snowboardcross races at the Squaw Valley resort in early March.