Let's get the obvious out of the way: 



KIRK MINIHANE

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The NFL appears ready to end its work stoppage, and the Bengals apparently are getting back into off-field form by running into trouble with the law. On Thursday, Bengals free agent safety Marvin White was arrested after arguing with management at his son's child-care facility in Louisiana. On Sunday, running back Cedric Benson was jailed in Texas and charged with repeatedly punching a man who had been living in his house.

The United States blew two leads, the second of which was in extra time Sunday, as Japan won the World Cup on penalty kicks. The score was 2-2 at the end of extra time.

Abby Wambach scored the only goal on penalty kicks for the Americans, as they failed to score on their first three kicks. Japan had three goals on penalty kicks, with the game-winner coming from Saki Kumagai in the fourth round.

Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland captured his first major championship on Sunday, firing a final-round 70 to win the 2011 Open Championship at Royal St George's Golf Club in Sandwich, Kent.

Clarke finished the championship at 5-under par, three shots ahead of Dustin Johnson, who saw his hopes for his first major end when he hit his second shot out-of-bounds at the 14th hole, leading to a double bogey.

Steelers linebacker James Harrison, who called NFL commissioner Roger Goodell "stupid," a "crook" and a "devil" in a Men's Journal article, apologized Thursday — but his apology was to people who might have been offended by his use of a gay slur. "It was careless use of a slang word and I apologize to all who were offended by the remark," he said. "I am not a homophobic bigot, and I would never advocate intolerance of gay people."

The Marlins, who plan to move into a baseball-only stadium in Miami next year, are closing the upper deck at Sun Life Stadium for all but two games the rest of 2011. The team, which ranks last in attendance in Major League Baseball at 17,101 per game, will open the seats for "Bark in the Park" night on Aug. 12, when fans can bring dogs to the game, and possibly for the Sept. 28 home finale.

Abby Wambach headed in a corner kick by Lauren Cheney in the 79th minute to break a 1-1 tie and lead the United States to a 3-1 victory over France Wednesday in the semifinals of the Women's World Cup in Moenchengladbach, Germany.

The United States returns to the World Cup final for the first time in 12 years, since the 1999 victory over China on penalty kicks.

Three minutes after Wambach's goal, Alex Morgan broke free and chipped a left-footed shot over sliding French goalie Berangere Sapowicz for a 3-1 lead.

Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, who recently signed an endorsement deal with Nike, is on the verge of a three-year, $1.55 million contract with MusclePharm, according to NFL Network's Jason La Canfora. Said MusclePharm director of team development Joseph Lawanson: "We don't have any problem considering him at all. And for us to consider him, we're confident that he has rehabilitated himself."

If you're under the age of, let's say 30, what you are about to read will literally make zero sense.

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There was a time when Chris Berman was a fresh, funny and very nearly revolutionary figure in television.



KIRK MINIHANE

BIO | ARCHIVE


Ravens running back Ray Rice and Steelers safety Ryan Clark engaged in a Twitter back and forth Monday. Rice started the battle when he speculated that Steelers receiver Hines Ward will miss the teams' Week 1 game due to his weekend DUI arrest. After a couple of exchanges, it ended with Clark writing: Thought we were all better than that. Wouldnt speak negative of you. I'll find you! It's not hard. God bless.