Arena Football League adds 4 new teams
TULSA, Okla. — The Arena Football League will add new teams in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Jose, Calif., and Kansas City, Mo., and expand its schedule to 18 games next season.
Commissioner Jerry Kurz announced the changes Monday, raising the league's membership from 15 to 19 teams.
All four of the cities had AFL teams before the league folded following the 2008 season. The league was reconstructed earlier this year with teams from the original Arena Football League.
The schedule expansion will mark the longest season ever in the arena league. Teams have played a 16-game schedule since 2003.
Due to the schedule change, there will now be nine home games for the Utah Blaze at Maverik Center. Season ticket holders who have renewed for 2011 will now have tickets for an additional home game at no extra charge.
There were no ticket-price increases for the 2011 season, and ticket prices will either be frozen or reduced, the team said Monday.
Polamalu's hair is shampoo insured
PITTSBURGH — Just call Troy Polamalu the man with the million-dollar hair.
The long, flowing black hair that tumbles out of Polamalu's helmet and down his back — it's nearly three feet long — has been insured for $1 million by Head and Shoulders, the shampoo brand that is endorsed by the Pittsburgh Steelers safety.
The insurance was obtained through Lloyd's of London, which did not reveal what must be done to Polamalu's hair for anyone to collect on the policy.
Polamalu's hair has been targeted by an opposing NFL player at least once — the Chiefs' Larry Johnson tackled Polamalu by the hair during a 49-yard interception return in a 2006 game.
Polamalu, a five-time Pro Bowl player, wears his hair long as a tribute to his Samoan heritage.
96 go through minority coaching program
NEW YORK —A record 96 minority coaches have taken part in this summer's Bill Walsh NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship.
The program, named in honor of former San Francisco 49ers coach Walsh, attracted former Washington tackle Chris Samuels, former Tampa Bay linebacker Derrick Brooks, and ex-Rams receiver Isaac Bruce, all of whom retired this year."Everything was great," said Samuels, who played 10 NFL seasons and was one of five former players to intern with the Redskins. "I learned from a great group of coaches who are experienced in the NFL. I was in a great situation to learn how to coach football. I have always known that I wanted to coach football once I retired. This is always what I wanted to do, so now I'm just going to the second phase of my life."
Current head coaches Marvin Lewis of Cincinnati, Mike Tomlin of Pittsburgh, Lovie Smith of Chicago and Raheem Morris of Tampa Bay went through the internship program.
Lewis, last season's coach of the year, interned with the San Francisco 49ers (1988) and Kansas City Chiefs (1991).
"My opportunity with the fellowship was a great exposure to new ideas," says Lewis. "It was just so valuable to coach alongside the San Francisco 49ers staff on a daily basis, seeing the quality and expertise that go into every aspect of NFL coaching. The things I learned then that I still apply today are most notably in the areas of scheduling and attention to detail. I hope the coaches that we've hosted in the fellowship learned some of the same valuable things from our staff."
Hall of Fame coach Walsh conceived the idea of the internship, which exposes talented minority college coaches to the methods and philosophies of summer NFL training camps. In 1987, Walsh brought a group of minority coaches into his 49ers training camp.
The program has mentored more than 1,500 minority coaches through the years. This summer, such former NFL stars as Terrell Davis, Dermontti Dawson, Will Shields, Greg Lloyd, Sam Madison Steve Atwater and Hall of Famer Rod Woodson participated.
Clarett begins football comeback in UFL
OMAHA, Neb. — Wearing the same No. 13 he wore so well as an Ohio State freshman eight years ago, Maurice Clarett began his bid to return to football Monday night on a high school field where the minor-league Omaha Nighthawks practiced before a handful of onlookers. Clarett signed a one-year contract with the United Football League team earlier in the day after meeting with team officials and UFL commissioner Michael Huyghue, who gave his blessing.
Bradley to lead U.S. soccer through 2014
CHICAGO —Bob Bradley will remain coach of the U.S. men's soccer team through the 2014 World Cup.
U.S. Soccer announced late Monday it had agreed to a four-year contract extension with Bradley, whose current deal expires in December. Bradley is 38-20-8 over the last four years, including a victory over then-No. 1 Spain at last year's Confederations Cup.
—Deseret News staff and wire reports