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Feb. 6, 2010 at 11:09 PM
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Rice, Smith among Hall of Fame nominees

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Wide receiver Jerry Rice and running back Emmitt Smith were elected Saturday to the NFL's Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

The two first-year Hall eligibles were joined by offensive tackle Russ Grimm, linebacker Rickey Jackson, defensive tackle John Randle, cornerback Dick LeBeau and running back Floyd Little.

LeBeau, the longtime defensive coordinator for Pittsburgh, and Little, a running back with Denver from 1967-75, were senior nominees.

The original list of 131 modern-era players was reduced to 25 semi-finalists in November and to 15 finalists in January.

Rice is the NFL's all-time leading receiver with 1,549 receptions for 22,895 yards, scoring 197 touchdowns in 20 seasons.

Smith played 15 seasons with 164 touchdowns on 4,409 carries for 18,355 yards, most with Dallas, where he, like Rice, played for three Super Bowl winners.

"Nobody could have written a script like this," Smith told NFL.com before the announcement in Fort Lauderdale.

LeBeau's 62 interceptions put him third in NFL history among cornerbacks.

U.S. has 2-0 lead over France at Fed Cup

LIEVIN, France, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Singles victories Saturday by Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Melanie Oudin gave the United States a 2-0 lead over France at the Fed Cup quarterfinals.

The event at Lievin could end Sunday if the United States gets one more win.

Saturday, Mattek-Sands captured the opener with a 7-6 (9-7), 7-5 win over Alize Cornet.

Oudin, the darling at the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament in New York last September, downed Pauline Parmentier, 6-4, 6-4 in the nightcap.

France can stay alive Sunday with a Julie Coin-Stephanie Cohen-Aloro win over the American tandem of Mattek-Sands and Liezel Huber.

If necessary, Oudin faces Cornet, while Mattek-Sands meets Parmentier.

The Americans, who are without sisters Serena and Venus Williams, have captured the Fed Cup 17 times, but last won it in 2000 and were the 2009 runners-up to Italy.

France is 1-10 lifetime against the United States in Fed Cup play.

Toronto GM's son killed in car crash

Toronto general manager Brian Burke's youngest son, Brendan, and another young man were killed in a traffic accident near Economy, Ind., police said.

Brendan, 21, a student at Miami-Ohio University from Massachusetts, and Mark Reedy, 18, of Missouri, were in a sport utility vehicle that slid head-on into another vehicle in snowy conditions Friday, WHIO-TV, Dayton, Ohio, reported.

The 24-year-old driver of the other car apparently was uninjured in the crash on U.S. 35 just north of Richmond.

"The National Hockey League grieves ... for the family and friends of Brendan Burke, a young man of courage and character," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. "Words simply cannot express our sorrow over his loss. We send our deepest, most heartfelt condolences to Brendan's father, Brian; his mother, Kerry; everyone in Brendan's family and all who were inspired by his love for hockey."

Brian Burke will be the GM for Team USA at the Vancouver Olympics.

"We know the prayers of the entire hockey family, including our Olympic team, are with the Burke family," USA Hockey Executive Director Dave Ogrean said.

NFL to honor Len Dawson at the Super Bowl

MIAMI, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Former Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Len Dawson will be honored Sunday at Super Bowl XLIV in Miami, the NFL said.

Dawson, 69, the MVP of Kansas City's 23-7 Super Bowl IV victory over Minnesota Jan. 11, 1970, will carry the Vince Lombardi Championship Trophy to a stage at midfield and hand it off to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell before it is presented to the game's winning team.

The first-round draft pick in 1957 by the American Football League's Dallas Texans earned the MVP Award after not playing a down for either Pittsburgh or Cleveland following the 1970 AFL-NFL merger.

"I wanted the chance to prove I could play professional football," Dawson recently told the Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Dawson, 69, just finished his 25th season as a color commentator on the Chiefs Radio Network and has been a sports anchor at Kansas City's KMBC-TV the last 43 years.

Sunday's match-up at Miami's Sun Life Stadium pits New Orleans against Indianapolis.

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