Friday, September 9, 2011

Sports Chowdah Update- Yaroslavl Crash Probe Continues, Two Survivors in Coma; NFL Season Opens up With Pack Attack; Woe Canada, Sox Drop 3 to Toronto

RUSSIA: Officials probing the plane crash site along the banks of the Volga river in Yaroslavl Russia have recovered the flight data recorder from the downed Yak-42 aircraft that was carrying members of the team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey team of Russia's KHL.

The team was enroute to the Belorussian capital of Minsk for their season opener against Minsk Dinamo when the plane went down on Wednesday. Russian investigators from the Moscow-based Interstate Aviation Committee have recovered the black box, but caution that the device had gotten wet after being submerged after the crash. Even with the damaged black box, officals said they had been able to recover some data.

So far it is known that the plane's engines were running at the time of impact and that the crash took place on a clear day. The runway at Yaroslavl's Tunoshna airport was about three times longer than necessary for a Yak-42 to reach takeoff speeds, but investigators are looking at insufficient takeoff speed as one of the factors. Early reports claimed that the doomed flight was overloaded and struggling to reach altitude shortly after takeoff before clipping a nearby communications antennae.

Officials allowed Tunoshna airport to reopen on Thursday, but planes were prohibited from purchasing local fuel as investigators haven't ruled out the possibility that low-grade fuel led to the crash.

In Minsk, a requiem mass was held on Thursday at the arena where the KHL season opener was slated to take place.

The deceased include the following:

Lokomotiv Players and Personnel:
Vitaly Anikeyenko
Yury Bakhvalov
Aleksandr Belyayev
Mikhail Balandin
Aleksandr Vasyunov
Josef Vasicek
Aleksandr Vyukhin
Robert Dietrich
Pavol Demitra
Andrei Zimin
Marat Kalimulin
Aleksandr Karpovtsev
Aleksandr Kalyanin
Andrei Kiryukhin
Nikita Klyukin
Igor Korolyov
Nikolai Krivonosov
Yevgeny Kunnov
Vyacheslav Kuznetsov
Stefan Liv
Jan Marek
Brad McCrimmon
Sergey Ostapchuk
Vladimir Piskunov
Karel Rachunek
Evgeny Sidorov
Karlis Skrastins
Ruslan Saley
Pavel Snurnitsyn
Daniil Sobchenko
Ivan Tkachenko
Pavel Trakhanov
Igor Urychev
Gennady Churilov
Maksim Shuvalov
Artyom Yarchuk

Flight Crew
Andrey Solontsev
Igor Zhevelov
Sergei Zhuravlev
Vladimir Matyushkin
Yelena Sarmatova
Nadezhda Maksumova
Yelena Shavina

There are two survivors of the plane crash include player Alexander Galimov and flight engineer Alexander Sizov. Both of them were airlifted to Moscow for further treatment, with Galimov sustaining burns on more than 80% of his body.

The KHL plans on resuming play on Tuesday, September 13. Officials from the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl organization say they intend to rebuild after Wednesday's tragedy and claimed to have already received calls from former players offering to come back and skate for the club once again. The KHL will fund the roster for Lokomotiv under the league's current option.

RED SOX: The Red Sox continued to limp through September, dropping the final two games of their 4-game series in Toronto.

Tim Wakefield's quixotic quest for elusive win #200 continues as the bullpen squandered an 8-5 lead on Wednesday night, with Toronto coming back in the 8th inning to score 5 runs before going on to win by a 11-10 final.

On Thursday, Andrew Miller allowed 5 earned runs and 8 hits and two walks in 5 innings of work against the Blue Jays. Toronto's Ricky Romero went 6 and ⅔ innings giving up 5 hits, 3 earned runs and three walks, striking out 7 for the win.

So far, the Red Sox have only won two games in the month of September and now 3B Kevin Youkilis was not posted in the lineup for this weekend's series at Tampa Bay. There was no immediate word on why Youkilis wasn't in the Friday night lineup.

Friday night's game at Tropicana Field will feature Wade Davis (9-8; 4.5 ERA) going up against John Lackey (12-11; 6.11 ERA). First pitch is at 7:10 PM and the game will be televised on NESN.

NFL: Are you ready for some football? So was I, as it turns out.

After a prolonged, contentious and highly public feud between the NFL players association and owners, the 2011 NFL season got underway Thursday night in a contest that pitted the previous two Superbowl champions against each other.

In a little noticed move immediately after President Obama's groundbreaking jobs speech, the NFL had scheduled their season opener for Thursday night in Lambeau Field, pitting the New Orleans Saints against the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers. Packers QB Aaron Rogers went 27 of 35 attempts with 312 yards and 3 TDs in Green Bay's 42-34 win at Lambeau.

New Orleans QB Drew Brees actually had the better night statistically (32-49, 419 yards and 3 TDs) but the Packer's D was able to limit a number of New Orleans drives deep into their territory to field goal attempts.

OTHER NFL NEWS- INDIANAPOLIS: Indianapolis Colts QB Peyton Manning underwent neck surgery, his third such procedure in 19 months and will miss the season opener at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Doctors and team officials from the Colts have been very ambiguous about a timetable for Manning's return. Some of the less optimistic (but still unconfirmed) reports claim he could miss the entire season.

Manning hasn't missed a start in 14 seasons, starting in 227 consecutive games for Indianapolis.

Veteran QB Kerry Collins, who most recently saw action with Indy's AFC South foe Tenessee Titans, will be starting for the Colts while Manning is out.

OTHER NFL NEWS- CHICAGO- The NFL has no plans to sanction or fine Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs for wearing cleats and gloves adorned with the colors of the US flag. Although technically a uniform violation, the league said that players could wear customized shoes and gloves for Week 1.

NCAA Football: Possible future conference-mates Oklahoma State and Arizona met at Stillwater, OK Thursday night. The 9th ranked Cowboys (2-0) handeled the Wildcats (1-1) fairly easily, winning by a 37-14 final.

Games on tap for Friday night include Arizona state vs #21 Missouri and Louisville hosting Florida International Univ.

ELSEWHERE IN THE BIG 12: After SEC presidents and chancellors welcomed a possible move to the SEC conference by Texas A&M, the move faces a roadblock in the form of Baylor university.

Bayolr is threatening to sue if the Aggies depart the Big 12 and the SEC must reportedly obtain waivers from each school before any such move, according to an e-mail from Big 12 commisioner Dan Beebe. One SEC chancellor said that Texas A&M must resolve any pending legal disputes within the Big 12 before becoming the 13th team in the SEC.

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