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Nov 15, 2012 12:04am
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TORONTO —Now the reflection and soul-searching begins for Jim Barker. Vince Wilfork Jersey . Andre Durie scored two
touchdowns and registered his first career 100-yard receiving game (eight
catches, 144 yards) as the Toronto Argonauts ended a disappointing season with a
33-16 home win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Thursday night. Toronto (6-12)
earned its first win over Hamilton (8-10) since Sept. 11, 2009—a streak of
six straight losses—and ended the year with two straight wins. But the Argos
will finish last in the East Division and miss the playoffs for the third time
in four years before a Rogers Centre gathering generously announced at 20,833
spectators. The Argos head into an important off-season—Toronto hosts the
100th Grey Cup next year—with plenty of questions, not the least of which is
Barkers future with the CFL club. Barker has the dual role of head coach and GM
and there has been persistent late-season talk Barker, the CFLs coach of the
year in 2010, might have to eliminate one position from his business card this
off-season. While Barker admits he still has a burning passion to coach, being
the GM would give him much more job security and the flexibility to hand-pick
his successor on the sidelines. “The GM will sit down with the head coach and
well have a nice discussion about where hes at,” Barker said. “But I can tell
you this about our head coach: Hes going to do exactly what is in the best
interests of this organization to win a Grey Cup and if it means hes back
coaching then hell be back coaching and if it means hes not, then he wont. “That
is what you have to understand: Its about winning and when everything is
evaluated in the end and when everything comes down, you know what, I know what
we need to do. I know what has to be done and I will do what needs to be done to
get this franchise to where it needs to be.” That is, after taking a
well-deserved vacation, Barker added. Barker also praised Duries efforts after
the game, something Durie sincerely appreciated. “It means a lot to me,” Durie
said. “He has been mentoring me into this position.” Barker conceded the 2011
season was indeed a trying one for him, both professionally and personally.
Ultimately a coach is judged by wins and losses and 6-12 simply isnt good
enough. But Barker also had to cut ties this season with quarterback Cleo Lemon
and defensive co-ordinator Chip Garber, both individuals he recruited. “It was a
difficult year . . . just bizarre things that happened and it made it very
difficult,” Barker said. “But I honestly believe in every dark cloud there is a
silver lining. “I believe I am a better man and coach for having gone through
and maybe I needed to go through this. But I love coming to work every morning
and the day I dont, I will step down or the day I believe there is somebody
better in that position I will step down and manage the club. I love it
(coaching), love game planning and all those things . . . but I dont need to
coach. Again, Im going to look at it. Ive had both positions and Ill do whats
best for the club.” Durie and Cory Boyd saved their best for last, anchoring a
solid fourth-quarter outburst after Hamilton rallied to tie the score 16-16.
Duries 43-yard TD catch from Bell at 4:27 put Toronto ahead for good at 23-16
before Boyds six-yard run at 6:43 cemented the victory. It was set up Jasper
Simmons interception return to the Hamilton 12-yard line. Boyd finished with 105
yards, his 11th career 100-yard game, tying him with Bill Symons for fourth-most
in club history. “This sends a great message that we can finish,” Boyd said.
“Too bad it came at the end of the year but it shows we have character. “I
wanted my teammates to finish this year strong and set the foundation for next
year.” Hamilton (8-10) had already clinched third in the East and will travel to
either Montreal or Winnipeg for the conference semifinal next weekend. The
Ticats used all three quarterbacks—Kevin Glenn, Quinton Porter and Jason
Boltus—in the contest. “This game doesnt speak much for the playoffs,” said
Ticats head coach Marcel Bellefeuille. “We had two road games in five days so we
kept everything vanilla. “We almost treated it like an exhibition.” Glenn was
the most efficient of Hamiltons quarterbacks, completing 14-of-19 passes for 150
yards. He took a philosophical approach to having played twice in five days.
“The good thing about playing so close is getting more rest before we play the
next one,” he said. “The record doesnt really matter too much going into the
playoffs, its about ranking.” Dalton Bell took the majority of snaps for
Toronto, replacing the injured Steven Jyles. Bell, slated to become a free agent
this off-season, was 12-of-22 passing for 216 yards and two TDs but also had two
interceptions. In 101 pass attempts this season, Bell surrendered 10
interceptions while throwing just three TD strikes. Toronto slotback Jeremaine
Copeland became the 15th player in CFL history to surpass 10,000 all-time
receiving yards with a 32-yard catch in the first. But the 11-year veteran
finished the year with no TD receptions, a career first. Porter, who replaced
Glenn to open the second half, pulled Hamilton into a 16-16 tie with a five-yard
TD strike to Aaron Kelly at 2:42 of the fourth. Torontos Noel Prefontaine added
three converts and four field goals. Hamiltons Justin Medlock booted three field
goals and a convert. NOTES: Kick-returner Chad Owens (hip) was among Torontos
scratches. He will finish the season 56 kickoff yards short of Ian Smarts league
record of 1,805 set in 2008 with B.C. Hamiltons scratches were halfbacks Avon
Cobourne and Marcus Thigpen, linebacker Renauld Williams and offensive lineman
Jason Jimenez . . . Ticats general manager Bob OBillovich spent nine seasons as
Torontos head coach (1982-90, 93), twice being named the CFLs top coach (1982,
87) and winning the 83 Grey Cup. Tom Brady Jersey . Humphries, from Calgary,
and Valouis, from Wakaw, Sask., finished with a two-run time of one minute 56.53
seconds. “We were close to pushing a start record for this track so it was a
really good day for us,” said Humphries, following her fourth national title. Aaron Hernandez Jersey . ESPNs Marc Stein
reported early Tuesday afternoon that the Raptors have reached a verbal
agreement on an offer sheet with Fields, a restricted free agent of the New York
Knicks, for $19 million over three years. http://www.prostorepatriots.com/wes-welker-jerseys
. Still, it was worth celebrating. Carlos Santana hit two home runs on his 26th
birthday, Derek Lowe pitched seven strong innings and Clevelands bullpen finally
held a lead—barely—and beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-3 Sunday. Rob Gronkowski Jersey Elite . —Nate McCoy
shot a 1-under 71 Saturday to hang on to a one-shot lead heading into the final
round of the Canadian Tours Syncrude Boreal Open. Nike Tom Brady Jersey .J. —Kyung Kim won
the U.CONCORD, N.C. – Welcome to the Hendrick family, Kasey Kahne. Kahne pulled
away to victory in the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday night, winning NASCARs longest
race for the third time and gaining his stripes for Hendrick Motorsports the
only way that matters—taking the checkered flag. Kahne wondered earlier this
year when that might happen. The self-imposed pressure grew this week before
Charlotte Motor Speedway at a party Hendrick threw to celebrate the owners 200th
career win Jimmie Johnson earned at Darlington Raceway two weeks back. Kahne was
introduced as part of the current team—after the 15 drivers who won races for
Hendrick took a bow. Kahne said the gathering showed him what Hendrick has meant
to the sport—and how much he wanted to add to that legacy. “Its something Ive
been looking forward to for a long time,” Kahne said. And it was a popular
triumph. Teammate Jeff Gordon rushed up to hug Kahne and told him, “Proud of
you.” Hendrick saw that Kahne and crew chief Kenny Francis were frustrated by
their early struggles when their best finish was a 14th in California. “You
could see it was bothering him,” Hendrick said. “I tried to reassure him that
were in this for the long haul.” Things began to click soon after, and Kahne
entered the week with five straight top-10 finishes. What a roll for Hendrick
Motorsports. The program was stuck on 199 victories since October. Then came
Johnsons milestone win at Darlington. The five-time champion followed that with
a victory in the All-Star race at Charlotte last week. Kahne led four Hendrick
cars in the top 11. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was sixth and Gordon was right behind in
seventh—only his third top 10 finish of the year. Johnson came in 11th. He
was vying for more but fell from contention with a mistake on the final pit stop
as he left the stall with his gas can still engaged, dragging crew member
Brandon Harder behind him. Harder was not hurt in the tumble. Johnson was docked
with a stop-and-go penalty that ended his chances at winning a third straight
week. “I think were showing the consistency from all of our teams,” Hendrick
said. “I cant wait for the second half of the season.” Kahne crossed the finish
line nearly 5 seconds ahead of Denny Hamlin. Kyle Busch was third and series
points leader Greg Biffle fourth. It was Kahnes 13th career win and first since
last November in Phoenix. Kahnes a racing gym rat who cant stay away from
competition. He drives in NASCAR Truck races when the Sprint Cup series is off
—as he did at Darlington in 2011 and Rockinigham this spring—and raced this
weekend in the World of Outlaws dirt track contest across the street from
Charlotte Motor Speedway. Kahne led 96 laps, including the final 42. He doesnt
see why the winning cant continue. “I just know that the cars and the people we
have that Mr.. Tom Brady Jersey Elite. Hendrick gives us is
everything that we need to win,” Kahne said. Danica Patrick, the first woman to
drive in the race since Janet Guthrie in 1976, was five laps down in 30th—her
best finish in three career Sprint Cup races. Car owner Chip Ganassi flew to
Charlotte after celebrating Dario Franchittis win at the Indianapolis 500
earlier Sunday. Ganassi, part of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, had hoped to double
up with drivers Jamie McMurray and Juan Pablo Montoya. But 250 laps in, McMurray
was a lap down and Montoya two behind after needing an extra pit stop to tighten
a loose wheel. “The minute I walked into the garage, people were high-fiving
me,” Ganassi said. “Right now, weve got to get our cars up the grid.” It didnt
happen as Montoya finished two laps down in 20th and McMurray right behind in
21st. For much of this race, it looked as if Biffle wouldnt be caught. He led
204 laps to dominate early and was clearly best as the race began in the hot,
bright sunshine. Once the night cooled off the track, Biffle was no match for
Kahne. “Kaseys car was just better at night,” Biffle said. An early crash took
Patrick out of contention in the season-opening Daytona 500 and she finished
38th. Patrick returned to Sprint Cup two weeks ago at treacherous Darlington and
lasted throughout at the track considered “Too Tough to Tame” and crossed the
line in 31st. Patricks goals this week were simply to be running at the end—
and that she was. Starting 40th after a poor qualifying effort, Patrick quickly
fell top laps down. But she held on throughout the long, long night. Patrick
also kept her humour. When she was cautioned by her team to keep hydrating,
Patrick cracked, “Copy that. Every time you dont get an answer to a question,
thats what Im doing.” Patricks next Sprint Cup race will be at Bristol on Aug.
25. She promised to be more aggressive upon her return. “Now that Im getting
more comfortable in certain situations, its time to start testing those waters
and freeing the car up a little bit and seeing what we can get out of it,”
Patrick said. Earnhardt had hoped to avenge last years heartbreaking loss when
he ran out of fuel 700 feet from the finish line while leading. Earnhardt came
as close to second and was drag-racing Hamlin for the lead on the final restart
before as the large crowd at Charlotte Motor Speedway howled. Earnhardt, too,
couldnt keep up with his teammate and his winless drought grew to 141 races.
NASCARs king, career victory leader Richard Petty, had both his entries starting
1-2. But polesitter Aric Almirola quickly fell back and finished 16th. Marcos
Ambrose, who started second, broke a wheel hub and ended up 32nd. The race was
the quickest ever for the 600 at 3 hours, 51 minutes, 14 seconds, nearly 5
minurtes faster than the mark set in 1995. ’ ’ ’ 

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