Po­la­malu, At­wa­ter head­ing to Hall of Fame

Times-Herald (Vallejo) - - SPORTS -

He grew his hair so long, it flowed out of his hel­met and ob­scured the name on the back of his jersey.

Didn’t mat­ter. Ev­ery­one knew where to find Troy Po­la­malu on Sun­days.

The Steel­ers great earned a spot in the Hall of Fame on Satur­day along with an­other hard-hit­ting safety, Steve At­wa­ter of Den­ver. Also mak­ing it were re­ceiver Isaac Bruce, run­ning back Edger­rin James and guard Steve Hutchin­son.

Se­lected in his first year of el­i­gi­bil­ity, Po­la­malu was a four-time All-Pro, was voted to eight Pro Bowls and fin­ished with two Super Bowl rings in three trips.

“He’s wak­ing peo­ple up to the im­pact a safety can have in to­day’s game,” an­other safety, John Lynch, said in an in­ter­view while Po­la­malu was in his prime.

There were no se­niors an­nounced Satur­day, as they were folded into the hall’s spe­cial cen­ten­nial class of in­ductees who are be­ing hon­ored as part of the NFL’s 100th an­niver­sary. Among the old-timers who were an­nounced last month were Harold Carmichael, Don­nie Shell and Alex Kar­ras.

JACK­SON WINS MVP AS RAVENS TAKE 3 AWARDS >> La­mar Jack­son’s stun­ning sea­son not only earned him The As­so­ci­ated Press NFL Most Valu­able Player Award, but he won it unan­i­mously.

That’s right: The sec­ond-year quar­ter­back of the Bal­ti­more Ravens joins Tom Brady as the only play­ers to re­ceive every vote for MVP.

Jack­son drew all 50 votes from a na­tion­wide panel of me­dia mem­bers who reg­u­larly cover the league.

The Ravens were big win­ners at NFL Hon­ors. John Har­baugh won coach­ing hon­ors, and his of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor, Greg Ro­man, took best as­sis­tant coach hon­ors.

Ten­nessee’s Ryan Tan­nehill earned the Come­back Player award by one vote over Jimmy Garop­polo, who will quar­ter­back the 49ers in Sun­day’s Super Bowl. New Or­leans’ Michael Thomas took top of­fen­sive player hon­ors, while New Eng­land’s Stephon Gil­more grabbed the de­fen­sive player award.

Golf

FINAU SHOOTS 9-UN­DER 62 TO TAKE PHOENIX OPEN LEAD >> Tony Finau and Webb Simp­son crashed golf’s big­gest party with some back-nine fire­works.

Finau shot a 9-un­der 62 to take a one-stroke lead over Simp­son in the Waste Man­age­ment Phoenix Open, mak­ing an ea­gle on the par-5 13th and then, switch­ing to a Kobe Bryant jersey for one hole, a birdie on TPC Scotts­dale’s sta­dium par-3 16th.

Simp­son had a hole-in­one on the par-3 12th in a 64.

Sec­ond-round leader J.B. Holmes and Hud­son Swaf­ford were two strokes back. Holmes shot 70 and Swaf­ford had a 66.

Base­ball

ROCK­IES, STORY FI­NAL­IZE $27.5M, 2-YEAR DEAL >> The Colorado Rock­ies and All-Star short­stop Trevor Story fi­nal­ized a $27.5 mil­lion, two-year deal Fri­day, avoid­ing ar­bi­tra­tion.

His agree­ment leaves 18 play­ers still headed to ar­bi­tra­tion hear­ings, which run from Tues­day through Feb. 21.

Story re­mains el­i­gi­ble to be­come a free agent fol­low­ing the 2021 World Se­ries. The 27-year-old hit 35 homers and swiped 23 bases last sea­son.

CUBS FI­NAL­IZE 1-YEAR DEAL WITH JEF­FRESS >> The Chicago Cubs and reliever Jeremy Jef­fress fi­nal­ized an $850,000, one-year con­tract.

The 32-year-old Jef­fress was one of base­ball’s most dom­i­nant re­liev­ers in 2018, go­ing 8-1 with a 1.29 ERA and 15 saves in 73 games for Mil­wau­kee. But the right-han­der strug­gled with in­juries last sea­son be­fore he was cut by the Brew­ers on Sept. 1.

Soc­cer

LLANEZ SCORES IN DE­BUT, U.S. MEN BEAT COSTA RICA 1-0 >> Ulysses Llanez scored in his U.S. na­tional team de­but near his home­town, and a young Amer­i­can ros­ter opened the Americans’ 2020 sched­ule with a 1-0 ex­hi­bi­tion vic­tory over Costa Rica.

Llanez, an 18-year-old na­tive of nearby Lyn­wood, buried a penalty kick in the cor­ner in the 50th minute, slot­ting the ball to the left of goal­keeper Este­ban Al­varado, who dove the other way.

The U.S. opens against Costa Rica on March 20.

DAVID RICHARD — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS, FILE

For­mer Steel­ers strong safety Troy Po­la­malu earned a spot in the Hall of Fame on Satur­day.

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