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Hank Williams Jr. apologizes for Hitler-Obama analogy

Hank Williams Jr. is apologizing for using an analogy to Adolf Hitler in discussing President Barack Obama that prompted ESPN to pull his classic intro song to “Monday Night Football.”

Williams said in a statement posted on Facebook and his website Tuesday that his passion for politics and sports “got the best or worst of me.”

In an interview Monday on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends,” Williams, unprompted, said of Obama’s outing on the links with House Speaker John Boehner: “It’d be like Hitler playing golf with [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu.”

Asked to clarify, Williams said, “They’re the enemy,” adding that by “they” he meant Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

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ESPN had no further comment. It is not known if the intro, synonymous with “Monday Night Football” since 1989, would be used again.

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The Chicago Blackhawks have given Stan Bowman a three-year contract extension through the 2015-16 season, rewarding the youngest general manager in the NHL with more opportunities to bring home another Stanley Cup championship.

Terms were not disclosed.

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University of Missouri curators voted to consider leaving the Big 12 instead of committing to the troubled league for the long term.

The governing board’s members agreed unanimously after a four-hour closed meeting at the system’s St. Louis campus to give Missouri Chancellor Brady Deaton authority to look elsewhere.

Speculation has centered on a possible Missouri move to the Southeastern Conference, which recently agreed to accept Texas A&M from the Big 12 starting next year

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Top-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki advanced at the China Open at Beijing. Tsonga reached the second round by edging Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria, 7-6 (7), 7-5, and Wozniacki cruised past Jarmila Gajdosova of Australia, 6-2, 6-3.

Tsonga will face Chinese qualifier Zhang Ze, who beat Li Zhe, 6-1, 6-3.

Third-seeded Vera Zvonareva of Russia defeated Klara Zakopalova, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, and Maria Kirilenko of Russia stopped U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur, 7-5, 1-6, 7-5.

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Top-seeded Rafael Nadal eased past Go Soeda of Japan, 6-3, 6-2, to reach the second round at the Japan Open at Tokyo.

Nadal will next play Milos Raonic of Canada. Raonic beat Japanese Yuichi Sugita, 6-7 (4), 6-3, 7-6 (1), to advance.

In earlier first-round action, American Alex Bogomolov Jr. beat Jarkko Nieminen of Finland, 6-4, 6-4.

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Fredy Montero collected a loose ball off a corner kick scramble and slid it past Chicago goalkeeper Sean Johnson in the 78th minute, and the Seattle Sounders FC won the U.S. Open Cup for the third straight year with a 2-0 win over the Fire at Seattle.

Seattle is the first club in more than 40 years to win three straight titles in the oldest competition in American soccer.

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About 25,000 runners are expected to compete in the 27th Long Beach International City Bank Marathon on Sunday. The marathon starts and finishes on Shoreline Drive. There will also be a half marathon, 26.2-mile bike tour and 5K. Registration is open through Saturday. Details: runlongbeach.com.

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Senior guard Casper Ware of Long Beach State, in addition to UC Santa Barbara’s Orlando Johnson and UCLA’s Reeves Nelson and Joshua Smith, is among the 50 players named to the preseason list for the John R. Wooden Award, presented to the nation’s outstanding college basketball player.

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Utah Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko has signed a three-year contract with Russia’s CSKA team that he can terminate if the NBA lockout ends. Kirilenko grew up in Russia but gained dual citizenship recently.

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Barcelona says Pau and Marc Gasol will practice with the Spanish basketball club during the NBA lockout. Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol was to start practice on Tuesday, with his older brother Pau set to join Thursday. Barcelona said the Gasols can practice with their former club “while the NBA lockout lasts.”

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Longtime NBA coach Del Harris is the new coach of the Texas Legends in the NBDL, replacing Nancy Lieberman, who will move the front office.

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Houston Astros’ outfielder Jordan Schafer was arrested in Florida and charged with felony possession of marijuana.


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