^Sunday's games<

(TNS)

Tribune News Service

Sports Budget for Sunday, December 29, 2019

Updated at 8 a.m. EST (1300 UTC)

This budget is now available at http://www.TribuneNewsService.com, with direct links to stories and art. See details at the end of the budget.

^TOP STORIES<

^P.J. Fleck stirred waters for the Bucs before he rowed Minnesota's boat<

FBC-MINNESOTA-FLECK-BUCS-SPORTSPLUS:PT ? Ordinarily, assistant coaches in the NFL don't wear football cleats to practice. P.J. Fleck doesn't do ordinary.

If a Bucs receiver, tight end or running back beat his man to make a play, or if a defensive back intercepted a pass, Fleck was off to races, running down the unsuspecting ball carrier from behind with deliberate speed.

If he caught him and stripped the football, it meant wind sprints for the fumbling player after practice.

1550 by Rick Stroud in Tampa, Fla. MOVED

PHOTO

^BASEBALL<

^The 2010s were the best of times for the Cubs, the worst of times for the White Sox<

^BBO-CUBS-WHITESOX-DECADE:TB—<The 2010s wasn't the greatest decade in Cubs history in terms of winning percentage, though it certainly felt that way for most Cubs fans, most of whom weren't around in the 1930s, the last time they played as well over a 10-year stretch.

And while it might not have been the worst decade in White Sox history, the Sox's .459 winning percentage in the 2010s was as bad as most of their fans have experienced and the worst for the franchise since the '30s, when they won at a paltry .446 clip.

1350 by Paul Sullivan. MOVED

PHOTO

^Record-shattering contracts and dirty deeds: 12 major storylines from the 2019 MLB season<

^BBO-STORYLINES:NY—<Distilling a hyperlocal sport like baseball into a handful of universal themes was more challenging than originally anticipated. The lack of national exposure of the games' best and brightest, magnified by the constant pace of games and the lack of practical (legal) access to teams across the league meant that more than a few standout narratives were overlooked by the masses.

And while there were individual accomplishments so exceptional they couldn't help be recognized, this recap largely focuses on the ones that impacted every team in some capacity.

1450 by Bradford William Davis. MOVED

^NFL<

^Dave Hyde: Sorry, Dolphins' plight mandates Chris Grier be desperate for QB<

^FBN-HYDE-COLUMN:FL—<Hasn't everything the Miami Dolphins have done this past, painful year — from deconstructing the roster to accumulating draft picks — been because they're desperate for a franchise quarterback?

So why is general manager Chris Grier backing off that idea now?

Why did he tell The Ringer this past week: "Mistakes are made because you have to have it. You say, 'We're going with this guy,' and you put all your eggs on this one, even though, in the back of everyone's mind, it's 'Well, maybe it's not quite the guy.' "

No, no, two decades of a failed franchise no.

750 by Dave Hyde. MOVED

PHOTO

^Arash Markazi: Repercussions of billionaires' shortsightedness haunt Chargers' old San Diego home<

^FBN-MARKAZI-COLUMN:LA—<I drove to San Diego on Friday to say goodbye to an old friend.

While the name on the outside had changed, the inside remained mostly the same since my initial visit almost 25 years ago.

I first went to Jack Murphy Stadium in 1995 after Los Angeles lost the Raiders and Rams. My father used their departure as an excuse to make an annual trip down to San Diego for a Chargers home game. We went to see the Chargers play the Dallas Cowboys that first year, and it didn't take me long to fall in love with "The Murph," which was later renamed Qualcomm Stadium.

My expectations weren't high as when I was a kid.

900 by Arash Markazi. MOVED

PHOTO

Sunday's games

TNS expects coverage from the following games:

NY Jets at Buffalo, 1 p.m. EST

Cleveland at Cincinnati, 1 p.m.

Green Bay at Detroit, 1 p.m.

LA Chargers at Kansas City, 1 p.m.

Chicago at Minnesota, 1 p.m.

Miami at New England, 1 p.m.

Atlanta at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.

New Orleans at Carolina, 1 p.m.

Washington at Dallas, 4:25 p.m.

Oakland at Denver, 4:25 p.m.

Arizona at LA Rams, 4:25 p.m.

Philadelphia at NY Giants, 4:25 p.m.

Indianapolis at Jacksonville, 4:25 p.m.

Pittsburgh at Baltimore, 4:25 p.m.

San Francisco at Seattle, 8:20 p.m.

^NBA<

^Ira Winderman: Is being built for Bucks key to East for Heat?<

BKN-WINDERMAN-COLUMN:FL — A Christmas Day loss to the Philadelphia 76ers notwithstanding, only one team in the Eastern Conference has been able to separate itself from a tightly bunched pack of playoff contenders.

In many ways, that not only makes the Milwaukee Bucks the targeted team in the East, but potentially one best avoided until as late in the process as possible.

With that in mind, we contacted a long-time NBA advance scout for perspective on what is needed to beat the Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

800 by Ira Winderman in Miami. MOVED

PHOTO

Sunday's games

TNS expects coverage from the following games:

Sacramento at Denver, 8 p.m. EST

Dallas at LA Lakers, 9:30 p.m.

^NHL<

Sunday's games

TNS expects coverage from the following games:

Winnipeg at St. Louis, 3 p.m. EST

Chicago at Columbus, 5 p.m.

NY Islanders at Minnesota, 6 p.m.

Detroit at Tampa Bay, 7 p.m.

Montreal at Florida, 7 p.m.

Dallas at Arizona, 8 p.m.

Philadelphia at Anaheim, 8:30 p.m.

^COLLEGE BASKETBALL<

Sunday's games

TNS expects coverage from the following games featuring teams in the AP top 25:

No. 22 West Virginia vs No. 2 Ohio State, noon EST

Bryant at No. 13 Maryland, noon

UMass Lowell at No. 11 Michigan, 2 p.m.

No. 5 Kansas at Stanford, 3 p.m.

Western Michigan at No. 14 Michigan State, 8 p.m.

^HUMOR<

^Sideline Chatter: Half the time they're bad, and after halftime, worse<

^SIDELINECHATTER:SE—<Past performance is no guarantee of future results, stockbrokers warn us, but then there's the Dallas Cowboys.

The Cowboys have trailed at halftime in seven games this season — and lost all seven.

800 by Dwight Perry. MOVED

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