The Atlanta Falcons signed kicker Giorgio Tavecchio to a contract, the team announced Monday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed for Tavecchio, who was released by the Oakland Raiders earlier this month. Tavecchio will battle Matt Bryant for the kicking responsibilities with the Falcons. The 28-year-old Italian replaced Sebastian Janikowski in 20...

As a kid, Rick Lovato was a fine pitcher and a good passer, but he was always too big to play quarterback. His teams needed him on the offensive line. Lovato knew he'd be too light to play lineman in the NFL, so he took his big frame and strong arm and become a long-snapper. Now 6-2 and 249 pounds, Lovato replaced magical fan favorite Jon Dorenbo...

Merritt Paulson knew something was up when he saw a new face manning the grill. Earlier this year, the Portland Timbers were hosting a cookout for players and their families at their training facility when the club’s owner/CEO – puzzled that someone other than team chef Richard Meyer was at the barbeque – asked why outside help had been hired for t...

College Gameday is the hub for all things college football every Saturday in the fall. From celebrity guests to hoards of fans clamoring for their wild sign to get on TV, it marks the start of another day of football around the country. With all due respect to guys like Rece Davis, Desmond Howard and Kirk Herbstreit, it is Lee Corso who stands abov...

Minnesota Vikings offensive line coach Tony Sparano has died unexpectedly at the age of 56, the team announced Sunday afternoon. "I am at a loss for words with Tony's sudden passing," Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said in a statement. "Tony loved the game of football and his players. More importantly, he was a strong man of faith who treasu...

Joe Tacopina has been considerably busy these days, and understandably so. The renowned lawyer has represented celeb clients that range from A-Rod to Jay-Z throughout his career. As one of Meek Mill’s attorneys in his most recent incarceration, they lost many battles along the way but won the war in April, a big W for hip-hop and prison reform than...

There isn’t much NFLPA certified agent and Salem native Sean Stellato didn’t accomplish during his athletic career. Stellato quarterbacked the Salem High football team to a Super Bowl appearance in 1994, helped lead the Witches boys basketball team to a state championship in 1995, earned a Division I scholarship to Marist and played professionally...

Philadelphia Eagle alumnus Joe Pagliei has released his debut book, titled Joe Pagliei: The Roast Master. A real-­life Zelig, Joe’s story begins during the Depression Era, in a humble steel-­mining town in Western Pennsylvania where he lived under the same roof as the local neighborhood numbers runner. From that colorful beginning, Joe went on to l...

Legendary Nantucket football coach Vito Capizzo, who led the Whalers in decades of Island Cup rivalry games against the Vineyard, died May 17. He was 78. His death was announced on Facebook by his son Scott Capizzo. “He was a legend, a living legend,” former Vineyard football coach Don Herman said of his friend and longtime rival. Mr. Capizzo coach...

In the attempt to be No. 1, Mike Candrea started his No. 2 pitcher in Sunday’s NCAA regional final. Boom. Home run I. Boom. Home run II. Boom. Home run III. “It was pretty great,” said Mississippi State catcher Mia Davidson, who hit the second home run. “(Sarai Niu) hit one that hasn’t landed yet.” This wasn’t a February freebie against Montana or...