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    Masahiro Tanaka pitched seven innings of three-hit ball and the New York Yankees finally solved Houston Astros nemesis Dallas Keuchel, beating the ace lefty 5-0 on Wednesday for a 3-2 lead in the AL Championship Series. Gary Sanchez hit an RBI single off Keuchel and later homered to help the wild-card Yankees win for the third straight day at home and move within one victory of their first trip to the World Series since 2009. The teams head back to Houston for Game 6 on Friday night, when Justin Verlander and the reeling Astros will try to regain their footing following an off day and force a decisive Game 7. Luis Severino is scheduled to start for New York. Just days ago, Houston was up two games to none and appeared to be closing in on its second World Series appearance. But the Astros, like defending AL champion Cleveland before them, have been unable to put away these poised Yankees, who improved to 6-0 at home in this postseason in front of their cheering, chanting fans.
  • Tom Brady's expectations for himself have been high from the moment he made his first NFL start back in 2001. It reached its latest high watermark this past February when he became the most-decorated Super Bowl quarterback in NFL history, after leading the Patriots to a historic comeback win over the Falcons to earn his fifth ring. But as the Patriots prepare for Sunday's rematch with Atlanta, Brady believes he's yet to play his best this season, despite ranking among the league's passing leaders at age 40. 'This year I don't think we're really where we need to be,' Brady said Wednesday. 'We're certainly 4-2. I think there's a lot of things we wish we could know better and we're still working to improve. That's where we're at. We're focused on playing a great team.' After being forced to sit out four games to serve his 'Deflategate' suspension, Brady was virtually unflappable in his first six games last season, throwing for 1,915 yards, 16 touchdowns and only one interception. Through six games in 2017, he leads the NFL with 1,959 yards passing and is tied for second with 13 touchdowns. He's thrown two interceptions, but has a 106.9 passer rating that is second only to Kansas City's Alex Smith. That production, though, has come at the expense of Brady taking a lot more punishment. He's already been sacked 16 times and taken 37 hits in the pocket. In 16 games last season, the Patriots' offensive line allowed all three of its quarterbacks — Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett — to be sacked just 24 times and take a total of 73 hits. New England's line made progress in last week's win over the Jets by not allowing Brady to be sacked for the first time this season. But he is expecting to feel lots more pressure this week from a Falcons' team that is ranked 10th in the NFL in total defense. While the Patriots have found themselves playing from behind more this season, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said 'there's no one thing' that's holding the offense back. 'We've done some different things during the course of the year where we've executed well and had stretches where we've done a lot of good things and certainly have had stretches where we didn't,' McDaniels said. 'We talk a lot about our best football being in front of us, and we need to start playing that way.' One of the most promising signs that Brady and the Patriots could be turning a corner was how much tight end Rob Gronkowski was involved in Sunday's win. A week after sitting out with a thigh injury against Tampa Bay, he had a pair of touchdown catches. It was his first game this season with multiple scores. Brady and Gronkowski have combined for 71 touchdown passes, the second-most in NFL history by a quarterback and tight end. 'He's a big focal point of our offense,' Brady said of Gronk. 'When he gets going, it's great for everybody. ... He's obviously a guy that's been super consistent when he's been out there for us, and he's really played that same role this year.' James White, one of the key offensive stars from February's Super Bowl win, said that that the offense knows it has yet to execute at high level for a complete game. Their recent successes aside, Brady has made sure the pursuit of that has remained a priority. 'If we put together a solid 60 minutes, (and) execute well every single play — the sky's the limit,' Gronkowski said. NOTES: Cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore (concussion/ankle) and Eric Rowe (groin), and linebackers Harvey Langi (back) and Elandon Roberts (ankle) all sat out practice Wednesday. Receiver Chris Hogan (ribs), running back Rex Burkhead (ribs) and offensive lineman Shaq Mason (shoulder) were all limited participants. ___ For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL ___ Follow Kyle Hightower on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com.khightower
  • Kentucky opponents have trouble agreeing on what it takes to topple a program that annually brings in multiple future first-round NBA picks. Yet a few Southeastern Conference teams may have stumbled across a winning formula the last couple of years. Experience matters against the talented, but young Wildcats. 'I'd take five first-round picks every day of the week, but not all of us get to have five first-round picks on our team,' South Carolina coach Frank Martin said. 'Those of us that don't, we have to depend on experience.' The right kind of experience — that comes with some toughness and talent in its own right — can be Kentucky's kryptonite. The Wildcats are the preseason favorite to finish first in the SEC after winning at least a share of the league's last three regular-season titles. They're the favorites again despite losing three first-round draft pick from last year's squad: De'Aaron Fox, Marcus Monk and Bam Adebayo. 'Kentucky's No. 1 because they've earned the right to be No. 1 as long as John Calipari is still at the helm,' Mississippi coach Andy Kennedy said. 'People don't even really know who their players are (but) they know they're going to be good and they know he's going to have them ready.' They also know they're going to be young. Last season's South Carolina squad and the 2015-16 Texas A&M team countered Kentucky's freshman firepower with senior-laden rosters. SEC player of the year Sindarius Thornwell led South Carolina to the Final Four last season. Texas A&M tied Kentucky for the 2015-16 SEC regular-season title with a lineup that featured seniors Danuel House, Jalen Jones, Alex Caruso and Anthony Collins. 'Those four seniors were grown men,' Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy said. 'We knew what we were going to get every day and every night.' Plenty of SEC programs are hoping their own senior guards can enable them to challenge Kentucky for league supremacy. Arkansas has six seniors, including the backcourt duo of Jaylen Barford and Daryl Macon. Florida's Chris Chiozza, who made one of the most memorable shots of last year's NCAA Tournament with a buzzer beater to defeat Wisconsin in the Sweet 16, is back along with junior preseason all-SEC selection KeVaughn Allen. Mississippi added Memphis graduate transfer Markel Crawford to join a backcourt already featuring senior Deandre Burnett and junior Terence Davis. Vanderbilt has four-year starter Riley LaChance at point guard. 'I was a lot different as a 22-year-old than as an 18-year-old mentally, physically, emotionally a lot different,' Martin said. 'There's a difference there - a big, big difference. When you deal with 22-year-olds who have been through it, they handle moments differently than the 18-year-olds.' But experience alone won't get it done. 'If you say, 'OK, would you rather have talent or experience,' I want talent,' Kennedy said. Kentucky has plenty of the latter. The Wildcats signed seven of the nation's top 31 prospects in the 2017 class according to composite rankings of recruiting sites compiled by 247Sports : Hamidou Diallo (No. 10), Kevin Knox (No. 11), Jarred Vanderbilt (No. 12), P.J. Washington (No. 15), Nick Richards (No. 18), Quade Green (No. 26) and Shai Gilgeouos-Alexander (No. 31). 'Growing up, I always liked to be around players that compete and be around the best of the best,' Diallo said. 'When I found out a couple of the great players in my class were going there, I wanted to join them and wanted to help us all make our goals possible. That's what drove me to Kentucky.' That's why the teams that have challenged Kentucky lately have some potential NBA talent to go along with experience. Thornwell, a second-round draft pick, is on the Los Angeles Clippers' roster after his standout senior season with South Carolina. Texas A&M's 2015-16 team relied heavily on seniors but also featured Tyler Davis, a former top-35 recruit who was a freshman that year. Missouri's Cuonzo Martin cites another trait possessed by most conference title contenders. 'For me, one of the biggest things is you got to have a level of toughness,' he said. 'Of course talent is what it is, but you can kind of gauge talent what fits what you're trying to do. But I think you have to have a level of toughness.' Martin inherits a Missouri program that finished in the SEC basement each of the last three years. He appears to be mimicking the Kentucky approach in trying to help Missouri regain relevance. Missouri signed a heralded freshman class that includes Michael Porter Jr., ranked second in his class by the 247Sports Composite. Of course, LSU showed two years ago having the nation's top recruit isn't a sure thing when the Tigers failed to reach the NCAA Tournament despite having Ben Simmons, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 draft . Perhaps the person with the best insight on competing with Kentucky in the SEC is Calipari himself. He said any team that wants to win the SEC must have plenty of talent and toughness. Then he added one more factor. 'You can't be a team that scores 50-60 points a game in this league and do well in this league,' Calipari said. 'You've got to be a team that scores 70 or more in this league to have a chance to win games, because the other team's going to score that much, whether you're really good defensively or not.' Experience was not on Calipari's list. ___ More AP College Basketball: http://collegebasketball.ap.org ___ Follow Steve Megargee at www.twitter.com/stevemegargee
  • Celtics forward Gordon Hayward sent a video message from his hospital bed before the team's home opener on Wednesday night, telling Boston fans: 'It's hurting me that I can't be there.' The crowd at the TD Garden for the Celtics' game against the Milwaukee Bucks cheered when Marcus Smart directed fans' attention to the scoreboard, where Hayward appeared wearing a hospital gown and sitting up in bed. The arena hushed to hear the brief message, then erupted in another cheer when it was over. 'What's up, everybody? Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who's had me in their thoughts and prayers,' Hayward said in the 30-second message, which was also sent out by the team on Twitter . 'I'm going to be all right,' Hayward said. 'It's hurting me that I can't be there for the home opener. I want nothing more than to be with my teammates and walk out on that floor tonight. But I'll be supporting you guys from here, and wishing you the best of luck.' After signing with Boston in the offseason as a free agent, Hayward was injured in the sixth minute of his first game for the Celtics, crumpling to the floor Tuesday in Cleveland with a gruesome ankle injury. Players on both teams reacted in horror on at the site of Hayward's leg bent unnaturally, but coach Brad Stevens said he did not see the injury live and has avoided watching replays. 'Having known him as long as I've known him, it's tough to see him go through this,' said Stevens, who was also Hayward's college coach at Butler. 'We'll make sure he knows that we've got our arms around him.' Stevens said doctors confirmed that Hayward has a dislocated left ankle and broken tibia. Surgery will be necessary but it hadn't been scheduled, Stevens said. Hayward was expected to make a full recovery, but the coach did not know if it would be this season. 'It's definitely been tough,' said rookie forward Jayson Tatum. 'We're just keeping Gordon in our prayers, hoping everything is all right.' Fans who never got to see Hayward in a Celtics uniform lined up before Wednesday night's game to sign a banner imploring him to get better and 'come back stronger than ever' from the injury. Other fans held up hand-made signs wishing him well. Celtics forward Daniel Theis wrote 'GH20' on his shoe, and a fair number of Hayward's No. 20 jerseys were visible in the crowd, which began chanting his name late in the first half. After playing his first seven years with the Utah Jazz, Hayward signed a four-year, $128 million contract this offseason to rejoin Stevens in Boston — part of a near-complete roster overhaul for the team that finished first in the Eastern Conference last season. The team also traded fan favorite Isaiah Thomas to Cleveland for fellow All-Star Kyrie Irving and shipped out regular starters Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder. In all, just four players on the roster finished last season with the team. Taking Hayward's minutes, Smart scored 12 points and had nine rebounds on Tuesday night. Smart moved into the starting lineup on Wednesday night against the Bucks. 'He put a lot of effort into starting his career well in Boston,' Stevens said of Hayward. 'This is a setback, but there's going to be a full recovery.' ___ More NBA basketball: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball
  • Here are the top 20 finishers in this year's Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Iditarod officials said several dogs on a team tested positive for a prohibited drug, but officials are not identifying the team, saying they likely could not prove legally prove intent on the affected musher's part. Only the first 20 teams are tested in Nome, where the finish line is located. 1 Mitch Seavey, Seward, Alaska 2 Dallas Seavey, Willow, Alaska 3 Nicolas Petit, Girdwood, Alaska 4 Joar Leifseth Ulsom, Mo i Rana, Norway 5 Jessie Royer, Fairbanks, Alaska 6 Wade Marrs, Willow, Alaska 7 Ray Redington Jr., Wasilla, Alaska 8 Aliy Zirkle, Two Rivers, Alaska 9 Peter Kaiser, Bethel, Alaska 10 Paul Gebhardt, Kasilof, Alaska 11 Jeff King, Denali, Alaska 12 Ramey Smyth, Willow, Alaska 13 Michelle Phillips, Tagish, Yukon Territory, Canada 14 Ryan Redington, Wasilla, Alaska 15 Hans Gatt, Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada 16 Ralph Johannessen, Dagali, Norway 17 Ken Anderson, Fairbanks, Alaska 18 John Baker, Kotzebue, Alaska 19 Katherine Keith, Kotzebue, Alaska 20 Linwood Fiedler, Willow, Alaska
  • Tom Jurich was loyal to the coaches he hired at Louisville almost to a fault, supporting them through good and bad times during 20 years as the Cardinals athletic director. None more than men's basketball coach Rick Pitino. Jurich and Pitino faced many embarrassing transgressions during the coach's 16-year tenure, but the negative attention generated by a federal investigation of college basketball was the last straw for Pitino — and ultimately Jurich. Louisville trustees fired Jurich Wednesday in the wake of the school's involvement in a national federal investigation of college basketball. The Board of Trustees voted 10-3 to part ways with Jurich. The 61-year-old administrator had been placed on paid administrative Sept. 27 by interim university President Greg Postel, who placed Pitino on unpaid leave at the same time. Louisville's Athletic Association fired Pitino in a unanimous vote on Monday. Two days later, Jurich was shown the door. Postel did not take questions about Jurich's firing with cause after more than three hours of meetings behind closed doors. 'We want to thank Tom for his years of service and many contributions to the university,' Postel said from a prepared statement. 'To our students, faculty, staff and Cards fans, this is our opportunity to demonstrate the unity and integrity that define being a Louisville Cardinal.' Jurich's legal team said in a statement afterward that it was 'disheartened' by the trustees' decision, and stressed his adherence to NCAA rules and the law. 'Their vote to terminate his contract was done in haste with inaccurate information that should have had no bearing on continuing his employment,' the statement said. 'He has done nothing illegal, nor violated any NCAA rules.' Jurich has played a major role in Louisville's success on the field, and how the school has handled issues off the field. He shepherded Louisville's 2014 entry into the Atlantic Coast Conference. Jurich also was responsible for facility upgrades and saw numerous sports thrive under coaches he hired. Vince Tyra was named acting AD on Oct. 3, a move the athletic association approved on Monday before firing Pitino. The former University of Louisville Foundation board member said he doesn't have a timetable for how long he'll have the job. Louisville's acknowledgment of being part of a federal probe into bribery of college recruits proved to be Jurich's undoing. Postel's Sept. 27 disciplinary letter to the AD called allegations in the complaint 'disturbing and unprecedented.' His letter also called 'unacceptable' the level of misconduct, alleged criminal activity and the negative attention it has brought to Louisville. Postel also criticized Jurich for failing to update or consult the athletic board about his negotiation of the department's sponsorship extension with Adidas. Several Jurich supporters carrying signs urging trustees to retain the AD gathered Wednesday outside the Grawemeyer administration building and briefly inside the meeting room. Jurich's lawyer, Alison M. Stemler, and members of Jurich's legal team joined the meeting shortly after it began. Trustee board secretary Brian Cromer was among those that opposed the motion to fire Jurich. Before the vote he said, 'There are major issues in basketball, we all know that. .... What I would favor doing is trying to pursue discussions with Mr. Jurich to address concerns, maybe have a revamped arrangement.' Trustees ultimately followed the same path as the ULAA, deciding to part ways with Jurich and move forward. Jurich departs as construction continues on a $63 million expansion of the football stadium due for completion by next season. He had a long record of accomplishments that helped Louisville build one of the nation's top athletic programs. Jurich hired Pitino as coach in 2001 and celebrated Louisville's third NCAA men's basketball championship trophy 12 years later in perhaps the school's most successful year in athletics. The Cardinals' women's basketball team reached the NCAA championship game that same season and has remained a perennial NCAA Tournament contender. Both programs play in a 22,000-seat downtown arena that opened in 2010. Lamar Jackson became Louisville's first Heisman Trophy winner last year when the Cardinals flirted with a berth in the college football playoff. The Cardinals in 1998 began playing in Papa John's Cardinal Stadium, which is undergoing its second expansion from its original 42,000-seat capacity. The baseball team is coming off its third College World Series berth in five years and is also preparing to expand its stadium. Jurich was scrutinized for his decision to re-hire football coach Bobby Petrino in January 2014, less than two years after Arkansas fired Petrino for misleading school officials about a motorcycle accident in which his passenger was later revealed to be his mistress. ___ For more AP college basketball coverage: http://collegebasketball.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25
  • For the first time in the history of the world's most famous sled dog race, several of the high-performance animals have tested positive for a prohibited drug. But race officials have refused to name the musher involved. Several dogs tested positive for the opioid pain reliever Tramadol, the governing board of the nearly 1,000-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race said in a statement. The team was tested six hours after finishing the nearly 1,000-mile race in Nome in March, officials said. They estimate the drug could have been administered between 15 hours before the test and right before it. Iditarod spokesman Chas St. George said in an email that the musher's name is not being released based on an attorney's advice. He said the musher also has not been named because of the unlikelihood that race organizers could prove the musher intentionally administered the drug. St. George said the musher will be allowed to participate in next year's race and will not face any disciplinary actions. Iditarod board member and musher Aaron Burmeister said Wednesday he doesn't know the musher's identity. However, only the first 20 teams to reach Nome are tested, he noted. Everyone seems guilty as long as the affected team remains unknown, said Burmeister, an Iditarod contender who sat out the past two races. 'It's not a good situation,' he said Wednesday. 'I'm hoping that we can turn a positive light on it and the musher steps forward.' The Iditarod began testing sled dogs for prohibited substances in 1994. Dogs on all teams are subject to random testing between pre-race examinations and along the race trail. Testing in Nome for top finishing teams, however, is not random but expected. As a result of the positive test findings, the race rule dealing with canine drug use was revised earlier this month to hold mushers liable for any positive tests in future races unless they can prove the results occurred outside their control. Previously, the rule could be interpreted to require that race officials provide proof that a musher intended to administer the prohibited substance. The doping is a hot topic among fellow mushers, Burmeister said. As to why a musher would give dogs prohibited drugs when testing is expected in Nome, there has been speculation that perhaps a competitor could have administered the drug. Mushers fly their team's dog food to checkpoints along the trail up to two weeks in advance, and it sits there until mushers arrive at the checkpoint and use it. But Burmeister isn't buying that theory. 'As a musher, why would another musher give their competitor a performance-enhancing drug?' he said. Burmeister said several times in a phone interview that no other dogs have ever tested positive in the race. 'I just hope that people look at the big picture and realize that mushers out there are not doping their dogs,' he said. 'This is an isolated incident.' ___ Follow Rachel D'Oro at https://twitter.com/rdoro
  • A pay dispute involving the Danish women's national team has forced the country's soccer federation to cancel a World Cup qualifying match against Sweden. The DBU said Wednesday it has informed UEFA and FIFA and 'expects now a disciplinary decision,' including being excluded from 2019 World Cup qualifying. The match had been scheduled for Friday in Goteborg. The federation had set a Wednesday morning deadline for the women's side to come back to the table. 'Many things are dividing us,' DBU spokesman Kim Hallberg told Denmark's TV2. In Sweden, the country's national soccer federation said its women would continue to prepare for the match hoping it would eventually take place. 'It is a really special situation in which we never have been before,' Swedish federation general secretary Hakan Sjostrand said. The DBU said it had offered to increase the annual investment to the women's team by 2 million kroner ($316,000) to 4.6 million kroner ($727,000) to be used on higher salaries, among other things. In September, the DBU canceled a friendly rematch of the Women's European Championship final between Denmark and the Netherlands after wage talks collapsed. The Netherlands beat Denmark 4-2 to win its first European women's title. Denmark knocked out six-time defending champion Germany in the quarterfinals and reached its first final after losing in five previous semifinals. After cancelling the friendly, the two sides reached a partial agreement, allowing the women to play a World Cup qualifier against Hungary. However, differences between the DBU and the Danish Football Players' Association remain. It was uncertain whether the Danish side would play Croatia on Tuesday in another World Cup qualifier. In neighboring Norway, the soccer association became the first national federation to say their women's team will now be paid the same as their men's side. In April, the U.S. women's team struck a new collective bargaining agreement with its federation, ending more than a year of at times contentious negotiations, with players seeking comparable compensation to the men's team. UEFA, which is responsible for European qualifying games for the women's World Cup, said any disciplinary case could only be opened after Friday's match date. World Cup regulations allow for punishments including disqualification — wiping previous Denmark results from the group — withholding of payments from TV rights and paying compensation to opponents. ___ AP Sports Writer Graham Dunbar in Geneva contributed to this report
  • In the face of fan unrest and accusations from the president about the league being unpatriotic, the NFL is not changing its national anthem policy to require players to stand. Commissioner Roger Goodell and several owners said Wednesday at the league's fall meetings that altering the policy language from 'should stand' to 'must stand' was not discussed. New York Giants owner John Mara noted that the Cowboys' Jerry Jones 'spoke at length' to the other owners about the anthem issue. Jones has said any Dallas player who doesn't stand for 'The Star-Spangled Banner' would not be playing. Goodell reiterated that the league and its 32 clubs 'believe everyone should stand for the national anthem. It's an important part of our policy and the game. It's important to honor our flag and our country and I think our fans expect that.' Asked about any owners who threatened discipline for players who didn't stand, Goodell said the owners didn't discuss it. 'It wasn't necessary,' he said. 'We had a real focus on making sure all of our teams understood the kind of dialogue that took place and the kind of things that they were interested in getting support. 'And they were seeking support for the NFL, each club supporting its players and continuing the dialogue that they have had at the club level. I would tell you this, it's unprecedented conversations and dialogue going on between our players and our owners, between our club officials and between our league, and that is a really positive change for us.' Reminded that President Donald Trump tweeted again Wednesday about the demonstrations during the anthem, Goodell said there was nothing unpatriotic about his league. 'Everyone feels strongly about our country and have pride,' he said, adding the NFL is 'not afraid of tough conversations. 'What we are trying to stay out of is politics.' On Tuesday, in an unprecedented move for a league meeting, a group of 11 owners and more than a dozen players met for more than two hours at NFL headquarters. Among the topics discussed was enhancing the players' platforms for speaking out on social issues. The league and players say they have seen their messages getting lost because their demonstrations were misconstrued by the president and by fans. 'I understand the way they feel about these issues,' Goodell said Wednesday. 'We feel the same about patriotism and the flag and I believe our players feel that way. We have a great deal of support for the efforts of our players.' Several players said after Tuesday's discussions that progress had been made in not only explaining their positions, but in how the 32 teams and their owners could support initiatives. 'I think we all have mutual interests,' Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins said. 'I think players are a part of this league, so we want to make sure the quality of product that we put out on the field is great. But at the same time, we have a responsibility to the communities that we live in, the communities that we come from, and so I think we all share that interest in really talk more in collaboration than an us-against-you type of situation.' Like many owners, Mara has told Giants players that they should stand during the anthem, but that if they have a reason that compels them not to, the team won't prohibit it. He also expects more talks between players and owners in the next few weeks. 'I think there's a consensus to keep having dialogue,' Mara said. 'That's where our hope is, and we hope over time, few players will kneel.' Mara said he expected the criticism from Trump to continue. NOTES: The 2018 draft will be held at the Dallas Cowboys' stadium in Arlington, Texas, from April 28-30. It will be the first time the draft has been staged at an NFL stadium. Since leaving New York, the draft has been held in Chicago (2015, 2016) and Philadelphia (2017). ... Goodell said the initiatives to enhance the pace of games have worked, including 40-second clocks after touchdowns, use of the Microsoft Surface tablets for replay reviews, and the centralization in the New York headquarters of officiating calls that are reviewed. ___ For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
  • Former NFL quarterback Joe Theismann saw Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward's broken left ankle and immediately felt a kind of empathy few could. Theismann says he's available to chat with Hayward if the NBA player wants. 'It sickens me every time I see a young man get hurt. It's just such a shame,' Theismann said in a telephone interview Wednesday, the day after Hayward was hurt in the first quarter of his first game with Boston. 'And I seem to be the guy they compare everything to when it comes to that sort of injury.' When Theismann tweeted , 'Felt so bad for Hayward,' it resonated in a different way than the thoughts expressed by so many others. On Nov. 18, 1985, Washington Redskins quarterback Theismann's right leg was broken when he was sacked by New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor in the second quarter of a game on 'Monday Night Football.' Theismann was 36 at the time and didn't appear in another NFL game. The TV replay, aired over and over, showed Theismann's leg bending unnaturally — much like photos and video of Hayward's injury. Theismann watched the sequence involving the 27-year-old Hayward in Boston's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on the NBA's opening night Tuesday just once. 'I'm like most people — curious as to what has happened, and then I look away,' Theismann said. 'I don't look at it again.' Theismann understands why, on such occasions, folks think of what happened to him all those decades ago. He also is willing to share his thoughts about dealing with this type of injury. The former QB said, for example, that he had a conversation, and traded texts, with Kevin Ware, the Louisville basketball player who broke his leg during an NCAA tournament game in 2013. Theismann also mentioned a doctor who contacted him after a skiing accident. 'It doesn't bother me, because I hope that, in some way, shape or form, if someone reaches out to me, I hope I can help with the physical and psychological challenges that take place. You try to take what can be a really negative experience and make something positive out of it. There are doubts for any athlete. For a basketball player: Will I be able to cut? Will I be able to jump? What happens when I land?' Theismann said. 'For me, if I can help somebody through the experience that I had, then I don't mind at all.' ___ For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL ___ For more NBA coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball