BC-AP Sports Digest,1699

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TOP STORIES

FBN--FALCONS-EAGLES

PHILADELPHIA — The NFL season opens, with Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles leading the defending champion Philadelphia Eagles against Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons in a rematch of a divisional playoff game. By Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos. Game starts 8:20 p.m.

— With:

— FBN--FALCONS-EAGLES-THE LATEST — Real-time developments throughout night.

TEN--US OPEN

NEW YORK — Serena Williams enters her U.S. Open semifinal against No. 19 seed Anastasija Sevastova knowing this is the round in which she's lost in her past two appearances in the tournament. Also, No. 14 Madison Keys, last year's runner-up, faces No. 20 Naomi Osaka. By Tennis Writer Howard Fendrich. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Women's semifinals start 7 p.m.

— With:

— TEN--US OPEN-THE LATEST — Real-time updates throughout day.

GLF--BMW CHAMPIONSHIP

NEWTOWN SQAURE, Pa. — Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth play together in the first round of the BMW Championship, both trying to be among the top 30 who advance to the FedEx Cup finale. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 7 p.m.

FBC--SIDELINE PROPS

College football sidelines across the country are featuring everything from wrestling-style robes to boxing gloves. Teams are trying to mimic the success Miami had with its turnover chain last season. By Steve Megargee. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 5 p.m.

ARM WRESTLING-OVER THE TOP

ATLANTA — Arm wrestling is usually seen as nothing more than barroom hijinks. But it's serious sport for Geoff Hale, a geologist by day who assumes a vein-popping persona as "Hale Raiser" when he competes in the World Armwrestling League. By Paul Newberry. UPCOMING: 850 words, photos, video by 5 p.m.

SPORTS SHOWCASE

OLY--MEDAL AND TORCH COLLECTION

The most complete collection of Olympic medals and torches has been donated to the U.S. Olympic Committee. Among the finds is a 1932 gold medal from the Lake Placid Winter Games. Some of the prized items will be displayed at an Olympic museum being built in Colorado. By National Writer Eddie Pells. SENT: 900 words, photos, video.

COMMENTARY

FBN--ON FOOTBALL-YOUTH HELMETS

The NFL is spending millions of dollars on finding ways to reduce injuries caused by helmets. The same research is going on at other levels of football. The company that has the top-rated helmets for the pros is getting into the youth market. By Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos by 5 p.m.

BASEBALL

BBN--FIRST-PLACE ROCKIES

DENVER — The Rockies, eyeing their first NL West title, haven't been in first place this far into the season since 1995. Coming up is a big test — two divisional teams in close range. They host the Dodgers for three games starting Friday and then the Diamondbacks. By Pat Graham. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 5 p.m.

BBN--BRAVES-DIAMONDBACKS

PHOENIX — Rookie Ronald Acuna Jr. tries to get the first-place Atlanta Braves off to another fast start against Arizona in a matchup of NL playoff contenders. Acuna hit his eighth leadoff homer Wednesday. Zack Greinke (13-9) goes for Diamondbacks, who are two games back in the NL West. By John Marshall. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 9:40 p.m.

U.S. OPEN

TEN--US OPEN-DON'T SWEAT IT

NEW YORK — Don't sweat the small stuff? Try telling that to Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and other players at this most uncomfortable of U.S. Opens. They've been dripping and drenched in the stifling heat at the year's last Grand Slam tournament. By Tennis Writer Howard Fendrich. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 5 p.m.

— With:

— TEN--US OPEN-MEN — Lookahead to Friday's men's semifinals. By Brian Mahoney. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 5 p.m.

— TEN--US OPEN GLANCE.

NFL

FBN--SEAHAWKS-MARSHALL

RENTON, Wash. — During his recovery, while testing the latest treatments in Europe, Brandon Marshall spent nearly as much time fighting doubt as he did trying to overcome his injuries. The wide receiver makes his Seattle Seahawks debut Sunday in Denver. By Tim Booth. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 7 p.m.

FBN--STEELERS-RANDY'S RISE

PITTSBURGH — Randy Fichtner is ready to be second-guessed. Good thing, because it's coming. The new offensive coordinator for the Steelers is ready to put his imprint on one of the league's most potent attacks, with or without running back Le'Veon Bell. By Will Graves. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 6 p.m.

FBN--TEXANS-WATSON

HOUSTON — Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson isn't overthinking things as he prepares to face the Patriots, his first start since season-ending knee injury last November. "Really just one thing," he says. "Be me. That's it." By Kristie Rieken. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 6 p.m.

FBN--COWBOYS-FREDERICK'S RECOVERY

FRISCO, Texas — Travis Frederick is out indefinitely with a neurological disorder. It's unlikely the four-time Pro Bowl center of the Dallas Cowboys will be able to pinpoint a possible return when he discusses his health for the first time since the diagnosis. By Pro Football Writer Schuyler Dixon. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 7 p.m.

— Also:

—FBN--RAIDERS-CARR — By Pro Football Writer Josh Dubow. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 6 p.m.

— FBN--JAGUARS-RAMSEY — By Mark Long. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos.

— FBN--TITANS-VRABEL — By Pro Football Writer Teresa M. Walker. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 6 p.m.

— FBN--CHIEFS-MAHOMES' ERA — By Dave Skretta. SENT: 700 words, photos.

— FBN--49ER-SHERMAN — UPCOMING: 600 words, by 7 p.m.

— FBN--STADIUM FOOD — By Pro Football Writer Teresa M. Walker. SENT: 750 words, photos.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

FBC--BIG 12-OLDER QBS

They don't exactly have AARP cards, but what is it with the Big 12 and older quarterbacks? At Oklahoma State, Taylor Cornelius' 23rd birthday is coming up. Kyle Kempt got a sixth season after taking over at Iowa State. West Virginia's Will Grier is 23 and married with a daughter. By Stephen Hawkins. UPCOMING. 750 words, photos by 6 p.m.

FBC--BIG TEN-FIRED-UP FOES

This is the Big Ten's week for games featuring teams from the same state but different conferences: Penn State-Pittsburgh, Iowa-Iowa State, Michigan-Western Michigan, Illinois-Western Illinois. Such games create lifetime memories for the underdogs. The favorites must be on guard. By College Football Writer Eric Olson. SENT: 800 words, photos.

FBC--T25-GEORGIA-QBS

ATHENS, Ga. — Jake Fromm is Georgia's starting quarterback. How much playing time, if any, does that leave for touted freshman Justin Fields? It looks as if that will be decided on a week-to-week basis. Coming up for the No. 3 Bulldogs is the SEC opener against South Carolina. By Paul Newberry. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 6 p.m.

— Also:

— Conference roundups on weekend games: ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC.

BASKETBALL

BKO--HALL OF FAME

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Ray Allen, Grant Hill, Jason Kidd and Steve Nash headline the 13-member Class of 2018 that will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday night. By Jimmy Golen. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 6 p.m.

BKL--WNBA FINALS

SEATTLE — Sue Bird has some advice for Seattle Storm teammate Breanna Stewart, who is 24 and the league MVP. Don't take for granted being in the WNBA Finals. That's surely not a problem for Elena Delle Donne and the Mystics. This is Washington's first trip to the finals, which begin Friday. By Tim Booth. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 8 p.m.

— Also:

— BKN--HEAT-HASLEM — Udonis Haslem, Heat agree on one-year deal for 16th season, the AP is told. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. SENT: 350 words.

TRACK & FIELD

ATH--IAAF-KENYA INVESTIGATION

Two senior Kenyan track and field officials are acquitted by the IAAF of extorting money from athletes in return for reducing doping bans or covering up positive tests despite "credible evidence." By Gerald Imray. SENT: 750 words, photos.

SOCCER

SOC--US COACH

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The next U.S. soccer coach will be announced by the end of the year, possibly ahead of November exhibitions against England and Italy. The coach will have to move to Chicago, work out of the federation's office and speak English. By Ronald Blum. SENT: 150 words, photos. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 5 p.m.

SOC--EUROPEAN ROUNDUP

Germany aims for a fresh start after its World Cup debacle, playing at World Cup champion France to mark the start of the new UEFA Nations League. Also, Wales faces Ireland, and Gibraltar plays its first competitive game at home. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 5 p.m.

NHL

HKN--OUTDOOR SAMES

CHICAGO — When the Blackhawks and Bruins meet in the Winter Classic at Notre Dame Stadium on New Year's Day, it will be the seventh outdoor game for Chicago and fourth for Boston. Eight teams have never played outdoors, a list the league aims to shrink the next several years. By Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 7 p.m.

SPORTS & POLITICS

SOC--SOUTH KOREA-EXEMPTION STATUS

SEOUL, South Korea — Forty-two athletes — among them a Premier League player for Tottenham — gained military exemption by winning gold medals at the Asian Games. Fans of a chart-topping band say such exemptions should apply to acclaimed pop stars. By John Duerden. SENT: 800 words, photos.

OTHER

— GLF--EUROPEAN MASTERS — Maximilian Kieffer up by a shot after first round of European Tour event in Switzerland. SENT: 130 words, photos.

— CYC--SPANISH VUELTA — Jesus Herrada takes overall lead at Spanish Vuelta; Alexandre Geniez wins 12th stage. SENT: 450 words.

CAPSULES

— BBO--BASEBALL CAPSULES.

___

Thursday's Time Schedule (EDT)

NFL

Atlanta at Philadelphia, 8:20 p.m.

Baseball

San Diego at Cincinnati, 6:40 p.m.

Chicago Cubs at Washington, 7:05 p.m.

Cleveland at Toronto, 7:07 p.m.

Atlanta at Arizona, 9:40 p.m.