Testing Replaces Tailgating, As Bills Set To Welcome In Fans

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window),Guess who’s NOT going to the game….??? CuomoPetition was created to BAN him ….. The people ALWAYS win File image by Idibri / CC BY 2.0 ORCHARD PARK (AP) — Testing is replacing tailgating in the Bills Stadium parking lot, with a limited number of fans being allowed to attend Buffalo’s wild-card playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday.Before that can happen, New York state guidelines require the approximate 6,700 fans plus another 200 employees and members of the media first test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of kickoff. Each person must show their ID and proof of a negative test before being allowed in the outdoor facility, which seats about 70,000.The tests will be held Wednesday and Thursday, and conducted by New Jersey-based BioReference Laboratories.The company is converting a portion of the expansive stadium lots into a drive-thru testing site. Tests will be done over 14-hour periods both days, feature 30 lanes to accommodate the number of people showing up, and have the results returned within close to a 24-hour period. “We have approximately 150 staff who are in Buffalo to pull this thing off, who were arriving Saturday, Sunday, training and getting everything set up and ready to go,” BioReference executive chairman Jon Cohen said Tuesday.Though the company has conducted more than 10 million COVID-19 tests since May, including NFL and NBA players and staff, this will be BioReference’s largest drive-thru event and the first mandatory fan-testing program in the country, Cohen said.The state considers the program a test run in granting the Bills permission to have fans attend a home game for the first time this season. Should all go well, the program has the potential of being used in opening other New York venues, such as indoor sports arenas, music halls and even Broadway theaters.“Everybody’s focused on what should be the game and the fans and everything, but this is also focused on how testing programs like this help re-open the New York State economy. That’s a very important issue,” Cohen said. “So it’s a broader brush than it just happens to be a sports event.”Though a Bills’ win would guarantee them playing at home again the following week, there have been no discussions as to whether fans would be allowed to attend a second game, Cohen said.“Everybody’s totally focused on getting the job done at hand, and then we’ll figure out if there’s going to be next steps,” Cohen said.In Buffalo, there’s relief that members of the so-called “Bills Mafia” can finally see their AFC East champions in action up close. It will also be Buffalo’s first home playoff appearance since a 30-27 loss to Jacksonville on Dec. 28, 1996, in what proved to be Bills’ Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly’s final game.Not surprisingly, the limited number of tickets sold out shortly after being made available on Thursday.“It’s goose-bump material,” long-time season-ticket holder Barbara Babiarz told Rochester’s WHEC-TV after landing two tickets. “I mean just the thought of being part of this playoff game as a fan when I couldn’t go at all for the whole season I just, there are no words to describe it.”Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he also plans to attend, while stressing fans be safe by wearing facemasks, maintaining social distancing in the stands, and while entering and exiting the stadium.Receiver Stefon Diggs, acquired in a trade with Minnesota in March, was already amazed by how many fans turned out in the early hours of Dec. 20 to greet the team at the airport after Buffalo clinched its first division title in 25 years following a 48-19 win at Denver.“I got a little bit of a taste of it,” Diggs said. “I really look forward to it because we haven’t had fans all year, and that’s something that we can try to take advantage of in the postseason. I try not to think too far ahead right now, but I’ve kind of been focused on this.”last_img read more

Clippers’ 6-game win streak ends with loss to Bucks

first_img What the Clippers are saying the day after Luka Doncic’s game-winner tied series, 2-2 The Bucks led 79-69 before going on a 9-2 run capped by a 3-pointer by Pat Connaughton, putting them ahead 88-71 with 2:49 left in the third quarter.Middleton completed a four-point play late in the quarter and had 13 points in the period as the Bucks took a 100-77 lead entering the fourth quarter.Middleton finished 16 for 24 from the field, including a 4-for-7 mark from 3-point range.“I’m feeling good,” Middleton said. “The Houston game was just a dud. I had a lot of great shots and air-balled most of them, I felt like (on Tuesday in the Bucks’ victory). Tonight, I came out with the same mentality, just being aggressive and pick my spots. I was just trying to find a rhythm.”TIP-INSClippers: Veteran guard Patrick Beverley was out with a right hip pointer suffered in the Clippers’ 122-111 victory over Minnesota on Tuesday night. Bench stalwart Lou Williams also was out for rest. Coach Doc Rivers called Beverley “unstat-able” because his box score numbers do not always do justice to his impact on the court. Rivers pointed to a game in which Beverley did not score but was plus-22 during his time on the court. “You really can’t quantify what he does at times,” Rivers said. “He gives us our heart and our soul, for sure.” … Landry Shamet returned to the lineup after missing Tuesday’s game with a left ankle injury. … Luc Mbah a Moute, who played in just four games with the Clippers this season, underwent surgery on his left knee Wednesday in New York and will not return this season. He will not be able to return to basketball activities for eight weeks.Bucks: The NBA announced Thursday that the Bucks will face the Charlotte Hornets in Paris on Jan. 24, 2020, marking the first regular-season league game in France. Milwaukee last played in Europe in January 2015 when it beat the New York Knicks in London. … Tony Snell missed his second straight game with a left ankle sprain. Budenholzer said Snell is expected to be ready for the playoffs. … Rookie guard Donte DiVincenzo will not play again this season (heel bursitis). His total of missed games will be 43 due to injury/illness. “It’s certainly not easy for him, what he’s going through,” Budenholzer said. “But for now, this is the best thing. Just get him healthy and moving, and hopefully have a great summer of development and move on to a great second year.”UP NEXTThe Clippers host Cleveland on Saturday afternoon. Kristaps Porzingis ruled out as Clippers, Mavericks set for Game 5; Follow for game updates Clippers coach Doc Rivers was impressed with Antetokounmpo’s play and joked that the Bucks star and Houston’s James Harden should share the league’s MVP award this season so “everybody in the world is happy.”“The thing I like about Giannis the most is his temperament,” Rivers said. “He is not messing around. He is not there to put on a show. Every game is a competition for him. I love that. For me, of all the things he does, that is the No. 1 thing that stands out with me.”The Bucks led 67-46 at halftime as Antetokounmpo had 23 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Middleton added 15 points and Brown 10 as Milwaukee shot 55.8 percent from the field (24 of 43).The Clippers went on an 8-1 run to open the second half, cutting their deficit to 14 and leading Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer to call a timeout.Related Articles Clippers vs. Mavericks Game 5 playoff updates from NBA beat reporters “I’m definitely working on it, trying to get it healthy, stronger,” Antetokounmpo said. “I’m trying to get my mobility back. It’s not going to be easy.“Usually when you sprain your ankle, you stay out for two, three, four games. But I don’t like missing games. I’ve got to work through it while playing. I’ll be ready to play until Coach (Mike Budenholzer) tells me not to play.”Sterling Brown, in the starting lineup with the Bucks’ rotation thinned by injuries, had 15 points.“I was able to get to my spot and my teammates were just finding me,” Middleton said.Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the Clippers (45-31) with 21 points, and JaMychal Green added 16 and Wilson Chandler 15.center_img Clippers hope they can play to their capabilities, quell Mavericks’ momentum PreviousLos Angeles Clippers’ Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) drives to the basket against Milwaukee Bucks’ Ersan Ilyasova and George Hill during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, March 28, 2019, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo dunks during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Thursday, March 28, 2019, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsMilwaukee Bucks’ Brook Lopez reacts after making a three-point basket during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Thursday, March 28, 2019, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)Los Angeles Clippers’ Shai Gilgeous-Alexander shoots past Milwaukee Bucks’ Brook Lopez during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, March 28, 2019, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)Milwaukee Bucks’ Khris Middleton (22) drives to the basket against Los Angeles Clippers’ Landry Shamet during the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, March 28, 2019, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)Milwaukee Bucks’ Eric Bledsoe (6) drives against Los Angeles Clippers’ Shai Gilgeous-Alexander during the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, March 28, 2019, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)Los Angeles Clippers’ Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) reacts after fouling Milwaukee Bucks’ Eric Bledsoe, bottom right, during the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, March 28, 2019, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)Los Angeles Clippers’ Danilo Gallinari drives to the basket against Milwaukee Bucks’ Brook Lopez during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, March 28, 2019, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)Members of the bench react after a three-point basket by Milwaukee Bucks’ Khris Middleton (22) during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Thursday, March 28, 2019, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers reacts during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks Thursday, March 28, 2019, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo reacts after making a basket during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Thursday, March 28, 2019, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)Los Angeles Clippers’ Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, left, shoots after being fouled by Milwaukee Bucks’ Sterling Brown (23) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, March 28, 2019, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) celebrates with Pat Connaughton (24) and Khris Middleton (22) during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Thursday, March 28, 2019, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)Milwaukee Bucks’ Brook Lopez (11) dunks against Los Angeles Clippers’ Danilo Gallinari during the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, March 28, 2019, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)Milwaukee Bucks’ Khris Middleton (22) drives between Los Angeles Clippers’ Jerome Robinson (10) and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander during the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, March 28, 2019, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)Los Angeles Clippers’ Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) drives to the basket against Milwaukee Bucks’ Ersan Ilyasova and George Hill during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, March 28, 2019, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)NextShow Caption1 of 15Los Angeles Clippers’ Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) drives to the basket against Milwaukee Bucks’ Ersan Ilyasova and George Hill during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, March 28, 2019, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)ExpandMILWAUKEE — Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 34 points and grabbed nine rebounds before leaving after aggravating a right ankle injury in the Milwaukee Bucks’ 128-118 victory over the Clippers on Thursday night that snapped the Clippers’ six-game winning streak.Antetokounmpo went to the floor and held his right ankle after dunking the ball with 7:46 left in the game, and he immediately went to the bench and didn’t return. He missed two games last week with a sprain to the same ankle.Khris Middleton had a season-high 39 points with eight rebounds and five assists as Milwaukee won its fourth straight. Eric Bledsoe added 15 points, seven rebounds and eight assists as the Bucks (57-19) cut their magic number to two to clinch home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.Antetokounmpo wants to fight through the ankle injury, which has hampered him over the last two weeks. But the Bucks forward might need some rest to get fully healthy before the playoffs start in mid-April. For Lakers’ LeBron James, Jacob Blake’s shooting is bigger issue than a big Game 4 victory Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

A guide to college football’s conference championship weekend & reasons to watch all 10 games

first_imgAAC championship gameCincinnati (10-2) vs. Memphis (11-1)  When: 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, Dec. 7  Where: Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis, Tenn.TV broadcast: ABCReasons to watch: It’s a rematch of the Black Friday matchup the Tigers won 34-24. Memphis broke that game open in the fourth quarter, and this is a chance for coach Mike Norvell to push this team into the New Year’s Day Six. Luke Fickell and the Bearcats will have to adjust. The difference in the first matchup was turnovers. Cincinnati committed three while Memphis had just one.  Conference-USA championship gameUAB (9-3) vs. FAU (9-3) When: 1:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, Dec. 7Where: FAU Stadium, Boca Raton, Fla. TV broadcast: CBS Sports NetworkReasons to watch: The Owls and Blazers have split the last two C-USA championship games, and it’s an excellent coaching matchup between Lane Kiffn and Bill Clark, Sporting News’ 2018 Coach of the Year. Florida Atlantic averages 34.1 ppg., which is more than the Blazers are 25.0. This could be an audition for both coaches for bigger jobs, too. Mountain West championship gameBoise State (11-1) vs. Hawaii (8-4) When: 4 p.m. ET on Saturday, Dec. 7Where: Albertsons Stadium, Boise, Idaho  TV broadcast: ESPNReasons to watch: Boise State still has a chance to reach a New Year’s Day Six bowl, but the Broncos will need help from Cincinnati in the AAC. Boise State is led by one of the best defensive players in the FBS in linebacker Curtis Weaver. Hawaii is making its first appearance in the MWC championship game and will try to avenge a 59-37 loss to the Broncos in the regular season. Cole McDonald had 251 passing yards and three TDs in the first meeting. Here’s Sporting News’ guide to conference championship weekend, including start times, TV channels and a reason to watch every game.MORE: SN’s updated college football top 25SEC championship gameLSU (12-0) vs. Georgia (10-1)  When: 4 p.m. ET on Saturday, Dec. 7  Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta  TV broadcast: CBSReasons to watch: This is a huge piece of the CFP puzzle that will generate interest from all corners of the college football world. It’s Joe Burrow’s chance to wrap up the Heisman Trophy and propel LSU to its first conference championship since 2011. The Tigers won that game against Georgia 42-10 The Tigers could still get in with a loss to the Bulldogs, who will try to win their second conference championship in three seasons.  ACC championship gameClemson (12-0) vs. Virginia (9-3)  When: 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, Dec. 7Where: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, N.C.  TV broadcast: ABCReasons to watch: The Tigers are trying to win a fifth straight ACC championship and clinch a fifth straight College Football Playoff berth. Clemson has won 27 consecutive games, and Trevor Lawrence has yet to lose as the starting quarterback. They’ll face a confident Virginia, which lived up to the preseason billing to win the ACC Coastal and snapped a 15-game losing streak to Virginia Tech on Black Friday. Bryce Perkins is a dynamic dual-threat quarterback, too. Clemson has won the last title games by an average of 20.5 points per game. Will the Cavaliers offer a rare challenge?  Big Ten championship gameOhio State (12-0) vs. Wisconsin (10-2) When: 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, Dec. 7  Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, IndianapolisTV broadcast: FoxReasons to watch: The Buckeyes and Badgers will meet for the third time in the conference championship game in the College Football Playoff era. Ohio State won the regular-season meeting 38-7, and the Badgers will have to be multi-dimensional to have a chance to pull off the upset. The Buckeyes might be able to afford to lose this game and still get in, but that is not something to leave to chance knowing what happened the last two seasons. This is the last Heisman Trophy statement for Justin Fields, J.K. Dobbins and Chase Young. Chances are one lands in New York.Pac 12 championship gameOregon (10-2) vs. Utah (11-1) When: 8 p.m. ET on Friday, Dec. 6Where: Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, Calif.TV broadcast: ABCReasons to watch: The Pac-12 championship has intrigue, and it’s mainly on the Utah side. The Utes are trying to make their case to the CFP committee, and a convincing victory against a two-loss Oregon team could do the trick. Utah lost this game 17-3 to Washington last season, and the Pac-12 South champion is 1-7 in this matchup. Oregon will look to clinch a berth in the Rose Bowl with its first conference title since 2014. The quarterback matchup between Justin Herbert and Tyler Huntley should go as advertised.  Big 12 championship gameBaylor (11-1) vs. Oklahoma (11-1) When: Noon ET on Saturday, Dec. 7Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TexasTV broadcast: ABCReasons to watch: It’s a rematch of the 34-31 thriller on Nov. 9, and both teams still have a chance to get in the CFP. Oklahoma has the advantage with the first victory, and a convincing victory by the Jalen Hurts-led Sooners would resonate more with the committee. The Sooners still have a chance to make the CFP for the fourth time in six seasons. Baylor would need more help, but winning a conference championship under third-year coach Matt Rhule would be a remarkable achievement for the program.  Sun Belt championship gameAppalachian State (11-1) vs. Louisiana (10-2) When: Noon ET on Saturday, Dec. 7Where: Kidd Brewer Stadium, Boone, N.C. TV broadcast: ESPNReasons to watch: The Mountaineers beat Louisiana 17-7 on Oct. 9, and it’s a rematch of last year’s conference championship they won 30-19. Louisiana quarterback Levi Lewis and Appalachian State quarterback Zac Thomas combined for 41 TD passes and just 10 interceptions this season. It should be an entertaining start to championship Saturday.  MAC championship gameCentral Michigan (8-4) vs. Miami (7-5) When: Noon ET on Saturday, Dec. 7Where: Ford Field, Detroit TV broadcast: ESPN2Reasons to watch: Jim McElwain has the Chippewas back in the MAC championship game in his first season, and Central Michigan did that by averaging 47.3 points per game in its last three games. It’s a remarkable turnaround for the former Florida coach. Miami is back in the MAC championship game for the first time since 2010 under sixth-year coach Chuck Martin.   College football’s conference championship weekend has arrived, and it’s the final chance for schools to make their College Football Playoff or New Year’s Day Six case.  Each of the 10 conference championship games bring various levels of intrigue, and the two-day event will put the cap on the college football regular season.  last_img read more