Update on the latest sports
Titans desperate to keep playoff hopes alive against Jaguars
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans host the Jacksonville Jaguars in the Thursday night NFL game.
The 4-8 Jaguars have fallen quickly, from being a win away from their first Super Bowl berth in January to last in the AFC South in December. The 6-6 Titans desperately want to avoid joining Jacksonville as a one-and-done playoff team, especially after sweeping the Jaguars last season.
Tennessee likely needs to win out and get some help, with four teams between the Titans and the second AFC wild-card berth they earned last season.
The Jaguars may not be mathematically finished just yet after snapping a seven-game skid with a 6-0 win over Andrew Luck and the Colts last weekend. But the Jaguars have lost three straight and five of the last six to Tennessee.
The Titans have won 14 of their last 17 at home.
NFL-MAN OF THE YEAR
Peppers, Miller, Davis among 32 NFL Man of Year finalists
NEW YORK (AP) — Julius Peppers, Von Miller and Vernon Davis are among the 32 nominees announced Thursday for the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year award.
Unlike in the past, when three finalists were selected before a recipient was chosen, one player from every NFL team is a finalist. All will be recognized and participate in NFL functions during Super Bowl week. The Man of the Year will be revealed at NFL Honors, when The Associated Press’ individual NFL awards are announced Feb. 2 in Atlanta.
The Man of the Year is honored for outstanding community service off the field, as well as excellence on it. It was established in 1970 and renamed in 1999 for the Hall of Fame running back.
A total of $500,000 will be donated in the name of the 2018 recipient, with $250,000 going to Character Playbook, the NFL and United Way’s digital character education program. An additional donation of $250,000 will be made to the charity of his choice.
The other 31 finalists will receive a donation of $50,000 in their name to expand Character Playbook, and an additional donation of up to $50,000 to their charity of choice. All donations are courtesy of the NFL Foundation, United Way Worldwide, and Nationwide, the presenter of the Walter Payton Award.
GEORGE HW BUSH-ATHLETES
Sports figures among guests at 41st president’s funeral
HOUSTON (AP) — Former basketball star Yao Ming and Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt are among a handful of sports figures attending the Houston funeral for former President George H.W. Bush.
Baseball Hall of Famers Nolan Ryan and Jeff Bagwell also arrived Thursday morning for the service at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, where the Bush family worshipped.
Bush was a fan of his hometown teams. He joined his son, former President George W. Bush, on the field before Game 5 of the 2017 World Series in Houston.
Astros owner Drayton McLane and former Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda are also in attendance.
Bush died last week at age 94.