Sports

Steelers’ Polamalu wins defensive player of year

Pittsburgh safety Troy Polamalu has won the Associated Press 2010 NFL Defensive Player of the Year award, edging Green Bay linebacker Clay Matthews.

Polamalu received 17 votes from a nationwide panel of 50 media members who cover the league, edging Matthews by two votes.

Despite missing two games, in which Pittsburgh went 1-1, Polamalu becomes the sixth Steeler to win the award. He had seven interceptions along with 63 tackles, but made his mark with big plays. In a late-season victory at Baltimore, his leaping tackle forced a fumble that set up the winning touchdown.

That victory catapulted the Steelers to the AFC North title. Now, they are in the Super Bowl – against Matthews’ Packers.

Sponsorship deal boosts L.A. bid

Backers of a plan to build a football stadium in downtown Los Angeles are set to announce today that they have reached a naming-rights deal worth $700 million, which would be the most valuable such agreement ever and a significant step toward bringing an NFL team to Los Angeles.

AEG, the huge entertainment company that, among other holdings, owns Staples Center and the L.A. Live complex, plans to announce a 30-year agreement with Farmers Insurance. The stadium would be named Farmers Field.

Announcing a naming-rights deal for a stadium that has not been built, on a site that has not been approved, for a team that has not been acquired is unheard of. No money will change hands unless each of those wishes becomes fulfilled.

Ad promoting CBA rejected by CBS

The NFL Players Association said its TV ad, set to run during a college football all-star game this weekend, was rejected by CBS College Sports Network because the message was connected to labor negotiations.

The 30-second commercial, which can be seen on YouTube, includes shots of empty seats and a padlocked gate at a stadium. After voice-overs say, “Let us play,” and “Let them play,” union president and former NFL player Kevin Mawae says: “We want to play.”

The ad also promotes a union website and urges viewers to sign a petition.

Quick kicks

The Tennessee Titans have started their search to replace Jeff Fisher as head coach by staying in-house for their first interview with Hall of Fame lineman Mike Munchak.

The Titans confirmed they completed the interview of the offensive line coach. Munchak is considered the top candidate for the head coaching vacancy.

Munchak, who turns 51 in March, has worked for Titans owner Bud Adams since the then-Houston Oilers made him the eighth overall draft pick in 1982 out of Penn State.

• Sal Alosi has resigned as strength and conditioning coach of the New York Jets, less than two months after he was caught tripping an opposing player during a punt return.



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