Morning State Sports Briefs: NFL lockout could end todayThe NFL labor dispute could end today. Numerous media reports say the players’ executive committee will vote on a new collective bargaining agreement after more talks with the league during the weekend.
The NFL labor dispute could end today. Numerous media reports say the players’ executive committee will vote on a new collective bargaining agreement after more talks with the league during the weekend.
And it won’t be long before the Green Bay Packers will find out who they’ll lose in a fast-flying negotiating-and-signing period for free agents. In the last 18 years, the Super Bowl champions lost 80 of their unrestricted free agents the following year – and every champion lost at least two. Defensive end Cullen Jenkins has generated the most buzz as a player the Packers could lose to somebody else – even though he’s 30, and has had injury trouble. There had been talk after last season that receiver James Jones would also sign elsewhere. Reports say the Packers are expected to keep free agents Mason Crosby, John Kuhn, and Daryn Colledge. Green Bay has 11 free agents in all. They are not expected to sign any free agents from other teams.
There are more rumors about Brett Favre returning to the NFL -- this time to Philadelphia, where quarterback Michael Vick says he'd love to have the former Green Bay gunslinger as his back-up. There have been no rumblings from Favre's camp or the Eagles that the 41-year-old would come out of retirement for a third time. But Philadelphia talk show host Howard Eskin says the Eagles are interested, as trade rumors swirl involving their current backup Kevin Kolb. And Vick -- whose last game was a loss to the Packers in the playoffs in January -- tweeted that it would be amazing to learn how to quote, "toy with defenses the way he, (Favre), did his whole career." Eskin said Favre would be a ready-to-use commodity as teams scramble to sign free agents and draft picks once the NFL owners' lockout officially ends. Favre has insisted that his playing days are over, after going through a rough season in Minnesota last year. He has played 20 years in the NFL, 16 with the Packers where he won a Super Bowl and three MVP awards.
Colton Barrett of North Saint Paul won yesterday’s final event of the International Cycling Classic near Milwaukee. Barrett out-rode Bobby Lea of Pennsylvania to win the Bravo Cucina Whitefish Bay Classic. Chad Hartley of Milwaukee took 19th. It was the 17th-and-final race of pro cycling’s Super-week series. Feng Chun-Kai of Taiwan hung on to win the overall championship in the top men’s division. Laurent Beuret of Delmont Switzerland took second. Cole House of Oneida was Wisconsin’s top overall finisher in 13th. Andrew Crater of Milwaukee was 15th, and Rob White of Brown Deer was 38th. The pro women’s competition ended last Sunday, and Nikki Wangsgard of Utah repeated as the overall champion.
A suburban Milwaukee native was part of a third-place relay finish for the U.S. in the opening day of the World Swimming Championships in Shanghai China. Garrett Weber-Gale of Fox Point was on the American team that won the bronze medal in the 400-meter freestyle relay. Australia took first, followed by the favored French. Michael Phelps swam the opening leg of the relay for Team USA. He left the team in second – but Weber-Gale, Jason Lezak, and Nathan Adrian slipped to a distant third the rest of the way. Weber-Gale – who starred at Glendale Nicolet High School – was part of the U.S. team that won gold in the 400-freestyle at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
West Allis gymnast Chellsie Memmel says she has a lot of confidence going into the national championships next month. The 23-year-old Memmel qualified by placing second in the all-around over the weekend at the Cover Girl Classic in Chicago. Her only serious flaw was a wobble on the balance beam. But after three years of not competing, Memmel said she was feeling the nerves in her stomach on Saturday night. The nationals will take place August 17th-through-20th in Saint Paul. Memmel -- who won the world title in 2005 -- hopes to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Injuries kept her off the 2004 U-S gymnastics team in the Athens Games -- and as a last-minute injury wiped her out of the individual events in the 2008 Games in Beijing.