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Sports briefs for Jan. 3, 2013

By BDN Staff and Wire Reports, Special to the BDN

Sea Dogs begin 13th annual food drive

PORTLAND, Maine — The Portland Sea Dogs have started their 13th annual food drive which will run from now through Feb. 1. All the collected food items will be donated to the Good Shepherd Food Bank.

As in the past, this year’s food drive will be “Buy One, Bring One, Get One.” For every ticket purchased and every donated food item you bring, you will receive a free Sea Dogs ticket to the same game.

Non-perishable food items can be delivered to the Hadlock Field box office, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The Sea Dogs open their 20th season at 6 p.m. April 4 against the Trenton Thunder (Yankees). Tickets can be purchased by calling the Sea Dogs office at 207-879-9500 or by going online at

Giants’ Romo handcuffed at Las Vegas airport

San Francisco Giants closer Sergio Romo was handcuffed New Year’s Day at the Las Vegas airport for allegedly becoming difficult with a TSA officer, according to a TMZ report.

Romo was detained by cops because he couldn’t provide the proper identification to get through the security checkpoint.

Romo, 29, posted a 1.79 ERA and a 0.85 WHIP for the World Series Champions in 2012, and recorded 14 saves in 23 chances. He was part of a closer-by-committee with fellow relievers Jeremy Affeldt and Santiago Casilla, but enters the 2013 as the full-time closer.

Bills interested in Lovie Smith, Chip Kelly

Recently fired Chicago Bears Lovie Smith is expected to interview with the Buffalo Bills soon, according to multiple reports. said Smith has been speaking to the Bills, but hasn’t received an official interview for their vacant head coaching position. Smith has received interest from a few teams. The Bills’ search also reportedly includes Oregon’s Chip Kelly, fired Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt, Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton, Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and Syracuse’s Doug Marrone.

An report said the Bills had scheduled a Friday interview with Oregon State head coach Chip Kelly. He will meet with Buffalo in Arizona, a day after the fifth-ranked Ducks play Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl.

The Bills has also interviewed Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton and former Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt, according to the team website. Multiple reports also said they are scheduled to interview Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy on Saturday.

Kelly has a 45-7 in four years at Oregon, and is known as an offensive-minded coach. He has also been linked with the Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles.

Watson reveals having panic attacks

Golfer Bubba Watson revealed to reporters Wednesday that he’s suffered from panic attacks three times over the years.

Watson is preparing to play at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, which starts Friday. He was asked about fellow golfer Charlie Beljan, who also admitted to having similar attacks.

“I’ve had a lot of panic attacks off the golf course,” Watson told reporters. “I actually went to the hospital three times thinking I was having something wrong with my heart and my wife is like, ‘What is wrong with you?’”

Each time, Watson said doctors didn’t find anything wrong.

“I’ve done everything,” he said. “I’ve done EKGs, we’ve done tests, all kind of things. (The doctor) told me, basically, I need medicine. I need medicine that calms me down.”

Watson said that his last panic attack was in Los Angeles at the 2011 Northern Trust Open, when he withdrew after a first-round 76.

Ravens’ Lewis set to join ESPN

Soon-to-be-retired Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis will shift to the ESPN broadcast booth next season, according to a report.

Citing multiple sources, said Lewis is close to signing a multiyear contract with the sports network. He would have a large role on the Monday Night Countdown program, and would be featured on multiple platforms, including ESPN Radio.

A formal announcement isn’t expected until after the Ravens season. Baltimore hosts the Indianapolis Colts Sunday in the AFC Wild Card round.

On Wednesday, Lewis announced that he planned to retire at the end of the season.

Lewis made 12 Pro Bowls during a 17-year NFL career and twice won the AP Defensive Player of the Year award.

Indians announce Swisher signing

The Cleveland Indians officially announced the signing of free-agent outfielder Nick Swisher to a four-year contract on Thursday.

The deal includes a vesting option for 2017.

Among switch-hitters, Swisher is second with a 186 home runs from 2006-12, behind former New York Yankees teammate Mark Teixeira. The 32-year-old has batted .256 with 209 homers in 1209 games over nine seasons with the Oakland A’s, Chicago White Sox and Yankees since 2004.

Also, the Indians signed second baseman Matt Antonelli to a minor-league deal, according Baseball America. The 27-year-old was had a poor season in Triple-A for the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles, but batted .297 with a .393 on-base percentage in 2011 for the Washington Nationals’ Triple-A affiliate. He was a first-round pick on the San Diego Padres in the 2006 draft.

McIlroy may turn down chance to play in 2016 Olympics

LONDON — World number one Rory McIlroy may reject the opportunity to compete at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro to avoid any controversy over which country to represent.

Twice major winner McIlroy, 23, said he was mulling whether to play for Britain or Ireland and he told the BBC that he might opt out of playing altogether.

“I just think being from where we’re from, we’re placed in a very difficult position. I feel Northern Irish and obviously being from Northern Ireland you have a connection to Ireland and a connection to the UK,” McIlroy said.

“If I could and there was a Northern Irish team I’d play for Northern Ireland.

“Play for one side or the other — or not play at all because I may upset too many people Those are my three options I’m considering very carefully.”

Golf will return to the Olympics for the first time since 1904 and McIlroy said in 2009 he would “probably play for Great Britain”.

He echoed those feelings in an interview with the Daily Mail newspaper last year but regrets saying so.

“It was a moment, I don’t want to say of weakness, but a moment of frustration with it all,” he said.

“People tune in to watch me play on TV and feel like they are connected to me in some way. I don’t want to repay them for their support with something they don’t want me to do.”

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