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TODAY'S THOUGHT

Jesus said, "It is finished" from the cross, and it is. Satan can't undo that.

- Michael Horton

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 K-Heart Sports

K-HEART SPORTS - THURSDAY - 01/11/18 - PM EDITION

Kai Forbath has helped the Minnesota Vikings move forward from the struggles of Blair Walsh...

     EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) - Kai Forbath has helped the Minnesota Vikings move forward from the struggles of Blair Walsh, who infamously missed a 27-yard field goal in the closing seconds in defeat in the team's previous playoff game two years ago. This week, the Vikings face Forbath's former team, the New Orleans Saints in the Divisional round of the playoffs.

    The Saints cut Forbath right before the 2016 regular season in favor of then-rookie Wil Lutz, who has performed up to coach Sean Payton's hunch over the past two years. Forbath has made 32 of 38 attempts this season with a long of 53 yards three times.
     
    Kickoff is set for 3:40 pm on Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

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      UNDATED (AP) - A person familiar with the situation says the Carolina Panthers are interviewing Norv Turner for their vacant offensive coordinator position. The person spoke to The Associated Press Thursday on condition of anonymity because the team does not discuss potential coaching candidates.
 
     The Panthers fired offensive coordinator Mike Shula and quarterbacks coach Ken Dorsey Tuesday, two days after a playoff loss to the Saints.
 
     If the 65-year-old Turner is hired, he's expected to bring in his son Scott as quarterbacks coach. Scott Turner is an offensive analyst at the University of Michigan and previously worked for the Panthers as an offensive quality control coordinator from 2011-12.
 
     Norv Turner's brother, Ron, is an offensive consultant for the Panthers and his nephew Cameron is the team's assistant quarterbacks coach.
 
     In other NFL news:
 
     - A group that promotes diversity in NFL hiring wants the league to investigate whether the Oakland Raiders violated the "Rooney Rule" when they hired Jon Gruden as coach. The Fritz Pollard Alliance is asking whether Raiders owner Mark Davis reached an agreement with Gruden before the team interviewed any minority candidates. Davis met with Gruden on Christmas Eve, fired coach Jack Del Rio a week later and hired Gruden on Jan. 6. Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said Tuesday he interviewed two minority candidates before Gruden's hiring was announced.
 
     - The Oakland Raiders will host the Seattle Seahawks in the first NFL game at the new London stadium of English Premier League club Tottenham. The game will be played in week six of the season on Oct. 14. There will be three consecutive games in London. The other two will take place at Wembley Stadium, English soccer's national stadium, on Oct. 21 or 28. The Philadelphia Eagles will play the Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Tennessee Titans will take on the Los Angeles Chargers.
 
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     UNDATED (AP) - Two people familiar with the negotiations say free-agent outfielder Jay Bruce is set to return to the New York Mets after agreeing to a $39 million, three-year contract. The people spoke on condition of anonymity Wednesday night because the deal is pending a physical and no announcement had been made. Terms of the agreement were first reported by ESPN.
 
     A three-time All-Star, Bruce batted a combined .254 with 36 home runs and 101 RBIs for the Mets and Cleveland Indians last season. After falling out of playoff contention, New York traded him to the AL Central champions on Aug. 9 for minor league pitcher Ryder Ryan.
 
     In other baseball news:
 
     - Closer Cody Allen and the Cleveland Indians have reached agreement on a $10.575 million, one-year contract. The 29-year-old righty had been eligible for salary arbitration before Wednesday's deal. He made $7.35 million last season. Allen was 3-7 with 30 saves and a 2.94 ERA for the AL Central champions.
 
     - Reliever Zach McAllister and the Cleveland Indians have agreed to a $2.45 million, one-year contract, a raise from the $1.825 million he earned last season. The 30-year-old right-hander was 2-2 with a 2.61 ERA in 50 relief appearances last year, striking out 66 in 62 innings. He has been with the Indians for his entire seven-season big league career and is eligible for free agency after this season.
 
     -The White Sox have agreed to a $4.75 million, one-year contract with pitcher Miguel Gonzalez and are bringing back the right-hander after trading him late last season. The 33-year-old was 8-13 with a 4.62 ERA in 27 starts last season for Chicago and Texas, which acquired him on Aug. 31 for infielder Ti'quan Forbes. He was 7-10 with a 4.31 ERA in 22 starts for the White Sox.
 
     - Outfielder Jake Marisnick has avoided arbitration by agreeing to a $1.9 million, one-year contract with the Houston Astros. The deal includes award bonuses and is up from the $1.1 million he made last season. The 26-year-old hit .243 with a career-high 16 homers and 35 RBIs in 109 games last year. He broke his right thumb in September and missed the rest of the regular season and Houston's World Series run.
 
     - Reliever Blake Parker has avoided arbitration by agreeing to a $1.8 million, one-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels. The 32-year-old Parker's deal also includes award bonuses. He gets a raise from $560,000 last season.
 
     - The Atlanta Braves have released third baseman Adonis Garcia so he can play overseas. Garcia hit .273 with 14 homers and 65 RBI in 134 games in 2016. His playing time decreased in 2017, when he hit .237 with five homers in 52 games. He missed about three months while recovering from finger surgery. The 32-year-old likely would have entered spring training behind Johan Camargo and Rio Ruiz in Atlanta's competition at third base.
 
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     TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - National champion Alabama is losing four more underclassmen to the NFL draft, including All-America safety Minkah Fitzpatrick.
 
     Fitzpatrick, safety Ronnie Harrison and tailback Bo Scarbrough announced Thursday they're skipping their senior seasons. Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban says defensive tackle Da'Ron Payne is also entering the draft.
 
     Wide receiver Calvin Ridley previously announced his departure.
 
     Leading rusher Damien Harris is also eligible for the draft.
 
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     BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Buffalo Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian will miss between four and six weeks with an injury to his lower left leg.
 
     Coach Phil Housley provided the update Thursday morning before the Sabres' home game against Columbus. Bogosian was hurt in practice a day earlier while battling for the puck along the boards with forward Evander Kane. Bogosian fell awkwardly in the corner and had difficulty placing any weight on his left leg while being helped off the ice.
 
     He has one assist and is averaging a little more than 19 minutes of playing time in 18 games since missing the first two months of the season with a lower body injury.
 
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     MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - Top-ranked Rafael Nadal and defending champion Roger Federer have been seeded first and second for the Australian Open. That means they can only play each other if they set up a rematch of last year's final.
 
     Grigor Dimitrov, a semifinalist last year, is seeded third. Six-time champion Novak Djokovic, who's coming back from a six-month injury layoff, is 14th.
 
     Two-time French Open finalist Simona Halep is seeded No. 1 in the women's draw, with Caroline Wozniacki at No. 2 and Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza at No. 3.
 
     Serena Williams has opted not to defend her title, four months after giving birth to her first child. Venus Williams, who lost the all-Williams final last year, is seeded fifth. U.S. Open winner Sloane Stephens is No. 13.
 

 

   (Copyright 2018 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

 

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