Leading Off

Bert leaves NFR with more than $68,000

Bull rider Ted Bert of Modesto didn't score Saturday aboard Lights Out as the National Finals Rodeo concluded in Las Vegas, but he won $68,485.57 at the rodeo -- including two go-rounds and $19,831.73 for finishing fourth in average -- and ended the year fifth in bull riding with $172,250.52. Wesley Silcox of Payson, Utah, won the go-round for the second night in a row -- scoring 91.5 aboard Wolf Can Do -- and won the bull riding world title with $228,941.78. Trevor Brazile became the first triple-crown winner since 1983, earning the tie-down roping, steer roping and all-around crowns -- he finished the season with a PRCA-record $425,115.29.

Russell to get time against the champs

JaMarcus Russell, the No. 1 overall draft pick, will get a chance to show what he can do against a quality opponent. He won't start today when the Oakland Raiders host the Indianapolis Colts, but Raiders coach Lane Kiffin said that Russell, who had 16 plays against Denver in Week 13, will get more plays against the defending Super Bowl champions.

Man who helped in Kerrigan attack dies

Brian Sean Griffith, a former bodyguard to figure skater Tonya Harding who admitted a role in the attack on her rival Nancy Kerrigan during Olympics tryouts, has died. He was 40. Griffith died Wednesday of what his doctor reported as natural causes, according to the Washington County medical examiner's office in Portland, Ore. Griffith was Harding's bodyguard when the skater competed for a spot on the U.S. Olympic figure skating team in 1994. That January, an assailant clubbed Kerrigan in the knee, forcing her out of the competition. Days after the attack, Griffith confessed, detailing a plan that he and Harding's ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, had hatched.

Smith earns honor that'll last 100 years

Emmitt Smith is the NFL's career rushing leader and has three Super Bowl rings he won with the Dallas Cowboys. Now he has a new honor: Florida prep player of the century. His Escambia High team won state titles in 1984 and 1985 with Smith running the ball. His career record of 8,804 yards rushing still stands. He also set a record with 45 100-yard games, which ranks second nationally.