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.
PHOENIX (AP) - Chris Heston pitched six effective innings in a combined five-hitter for his first big league win, Casey McGehee hit a two-run homer and the San Francisco Giants beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-2 Wednesday night
OAKLAND (AP) - Scott Kazmir struck out 10 and was backed by a couple of rookies getting their first big league hits, and the Oakland Athletics beat the Texas Rangers 10-0 on Wednesday night.
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) - Already, it's a Masters unlike any other for Tiger Woods.
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) - Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth were already on the 18th green, ready to hit a few putts. Ben Crenshaw was back down the fairway, still 100 yards or so away, after driving his tee shot into a tree.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Derrick Favors scored 18 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked three shots to lead the Utah Jazz to a 103-91 victory over the Sacramento Kings.
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) - Kevin Streelman beat Camilo Villegas on the third hole of a sudden-death playoff Wednesday to win the Par 3 tournament on the last day to relax at Augusta National.
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) - Now Duke waits to find out if any of those star freshmen will go won and done.
NEW YORK (AP) - The NFL has its first full-time female game official.
STORRS, Conn. (AP) - UConn President Susan Herbst calls the school's basketball teams the university's front porch - it's the first thing the outside world sees.
NEW YORK (AP) - Two Atlanta Hawks players have been released after their arrest on charges they blocked officers from setting up a crime scene following the stabbing of a fellow NBA player.
ANAHEIM (AP) - Patrick Eaves scored two goals and Jordie Benn added his first goal in three months, leading the Dallas Stars to a 4-0 victory over the playoff-bound Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Geno Auriemma and his UConn Huskies are a perfect 10.
OAKLAND (AP) - A healthy Prince Fielder hit a pair of run-scoring singles to help Jeff Banister earn his first victory as a major league manager, and the Texas Rangers bounced back from being shut out on opening day to beat the Oakland Athletics 3-1 Tuesday night.
PHOENIX (AP) - Jake Lamb and David Peralta each hit three-run homers to power the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 7-6 win over the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday night.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Anthony Davis doesn't want to carry the Pelicans into the playoffs just so they can get unceremoniously bounced in the first round by NBA-leading Golden State.