Around the Nation (Dec. 17): Hall of Fame to get Prater's coveted cleats from 64-yard kick

Associated Press Published:

ASSOCIATED PRESS

FOOTBALL

Pro Football HOF to get Prater's cleats

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The Pro Football Hall of Fame will get the right cleat that Matt Prater wore when he kicked the longest field goal in history.

Just not for a while.

Prater says he'll give his cleats up after the season.

If the Denver Broncos (11-3) and their strong-legged kicker can help it, that package won't be arriving in Canton until after the Super Bowl in February.

Hall of Fame collections curator Jason Aikens said it's not unusual for kickers who set records to wait until after the season to give up their cleats because there's a lot involved in breaking in a new kicking shoe and kickers aren't fond of changing shoes during a hot streak or following a record-breaking kick.

Arena Football, ESPN agree to deal

CHICAGO -- ESPN and the Arena Football League have agreed to a multiyear deal beginning in 2014.

The network will be granted rights to more than 10 regular-season and postseason games each year, including the ArenaBowl and one conference championship game.

Also, 75 or more games will be available online on ESPN3.

The relationship between the league and ESPN dates to 1987 when the network televised the first ArenaBowl live.

ICE HOCKEY

Blue Jackets' Boll has ankle surgery

COLUMBUS -- Columbus right wing Jared Boll will be out three to four months after surgery to repair a torn tendon in his ankle.

The club says the 27-year-old, longest-serving Blue Jacket had surgery Monday. He has 1,001 penalty minutes in 409 NHL games.

They Blue Jackets also recalled forward Jack Skille and sent goaltender Jeremy Smith to their American Hockey League affiliate in Springfield, Mass. Skille has two goals in seven games with Columbus and two goals and an assist in six games with Springfield.

Smith was an emergency recall from Springfield. He did not play for the Blue Jackets.

Defenseman Ilari Melart was reassigned to Ugra of the Kontinental Hockey League. Melart, with one goal and two assists in 24 games in Springfield, can be recalled after the KHL season.

AUTO RACING

Labonte to enter Daytona 500 with Phoenix Racing

SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- Bobby Labonte will attempt to qualify for the Daytona 500 for Phoenix Racing.

The 2000 NASCAR champion will be making his attempt in a second entry for the team recently acquired by Harry Scott from long-time owner James Finch. Scott is fielding one full-time car for Justin Allgaier.

No car number was announced for the Labonte entry. Finch made a deal with Scott to get Labonte into the second car for the February season-opening race.

Labonte is not guaranteed a spot in the Daytona 500 field. But he's eligible to use a past champion's provisional if he is slow in single-lap qualifying and then does not finish high enough in qualifying races.

SOCCER

Toronto FC acquires Morrow from San Jose

TORONTO -- Toronto FC has acquired defender Justin Morrow from the San Jose Earthquakes for allocation money.

The move beefs up Toronto's backline, with Morrow able to play fullback and center back. In four years with the Earthquakes, the 26-year-old American has played in 71 games with 63 starts.

Morrow started for the U.S. last January when the U.S. and Canada played to a 0-0 draw in an exhibition game.

San Jose selected Morrow in the second round of the 2010 MLS SuperDraft.

BASKETBALL

Short-handed Knicks recall Chris Smith from Erie

NEW YORK -- The New York Knicks have recalled guard Chris Smith from Erie of the NBA Development League after yet another injury to their backcourt.

Pablo Prigioni broke his right big toe in Monday's loss to Washington, joining fellow point guard Raymond Felton among the injured. The Knicks are hoping Tyson Chandler can return from a broken leg Wednesday at Milwaukee, but forward Kenyon Martin (abdominal strain) remains out and Amare Stoudemire won't make the trip to rest his knees.

So Smith, who hasn't played for the Knicks this season, will return to the team. Smith, younger brother of Knicks guard J.R. Smith, has averaged 11.3 points in six games for Erie.

Stoudemire wrote on his Twitter page that he was not injured. "Body & Knees feel great!" he wrote.

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