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Thursday's Sports in Brief

Friday - 2/1/2013, 7:28am  ET

The Associated Press

DENVER (AP) -- Caleb Moore, an innovative freestyle snowmobile rider who was hurt in a crash at the Winter X Games in Colorado, died Thursday morning. He was 25.

Moore was being treated at a hospital in Grand Junction since the Jan. 24 crash. Family spokeswoman Chelsea Lawson confirmed his death, the first in the 18 year history of the X Games.

"He lived his life to the fullest. He was an inspiration," Lawson said.

GOLF

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Phil Mickelson missed a 59 by a fraction of an inch in the first round of the Phoenix Open.

Mickelson had a chance to become the sixth player in PGA Tour history to break 60 with a 25-foot birdie attempt on his last hole, the par-4 ninth at TPC Scottsdale. The putt looked good all the way, and Mickelson pointed his putter at the cup as he prepared to celebrate.

Right at the end, though, the ball caught the right edge of the cup, curled 180 degrees to the other side of the hole and stayed out.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Vijay Singh withdrew from the Phoenix Open a day after saying he used deer-antler spray and was "absolutely shocked" that it may contain a banned substance.

Singh cited a back injury in pulling out before the first round.

The 49-year-old Fijian first revealed he used the spray in an interview with Sports Illustrated. The magazine said Singh paid one of the owners of Sports With Alternatives To Steroids $9,000 last November for the spray, hologram chips and other products.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- Richard Sterne nearly broke the course record at the Dubai Desert Classic on Thursday, shooting 10-under 62 in the first round to finish one shot ahead of Stephen Gallacher.

PRO FOOTBALL

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Three black former NFL head coaches say the league needs to rethink its Rooney Rule for promoting minority hiring after 15 top vacancies -- eight head coaching jobs and seven general manager positions -- were all filled by white candidates since the regular season ended a month ago.

"Obviously, it's not working the way it should," said Tony Dungy, who was with the Indianapolis Colts during the 2006 season when he became the first black coach to win a Super Bowl.

Former New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs coach Herm Edwards and Jim Caldwell, who succeeded Dungy in Indianapolis, also say the rule implemented in 2003 and named for Pittsburgh Steelers chairman Dan Rooney needs to be revisited.

Before the rule went into effect, the NFL had had only six minority head coaches in more than 80 years. Since it has been in place, 12 have been hired.

But none were hired this year to replace the two black coaches who were fired -- Romeo Crennel in Kansas City and Lovie Smith in Chicago -- and the one fired black GM, Rod Graves in Arizona.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver apologized for anti-gay comments he made to a comedian during Super Bowl media day, saying "that's not what I feel in my heart."

"I'm sorry if I offended anyone. They were very ugly comments," Culliver said during an hour-long media session. "Hopefully I learn and grow from this experience and this situation."

He said he would welcome a gay teammate to the 49ers, a reversal of his remarks to Artie Lange two days earlier during an interview at the Superdome.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Donald Driver, the Green Bay Packers all-time leading receiver, announced his retirement, with a public ceremony planned for Feb. 6 at the Lambeau Field Atrium.

"I've always said I never want to wear another uniform. I've always said that I owe it to the fans to retire as a Packer," Driver said. "I feel like I can still play, but if I can't play for my organization, then I can't play for anyone else."

Driver finishes his 14-year career as Green Bay's all-time leader in yards receiving (10,137 yards), catches (743) and 1,000-yard seasons (seven), and is third behind Don Hutson and Sterling Sharpe with 61 touchdown receptions. A four-time Pro Bowler, he was Green Bay's MVP in 2002 and was part of the team that won the Super Bowl following the 2010 season.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Beyonce answered critics of her Inauguration Day performance the best way she could -- with another sterling performance of the national anthem.

The difference?

On Thursday, it was live: She admitted during her Super Bowl news conference that when she performed for President Barack Obama and the nation, she decided to sing to a prerecorded track because she didn't have time to practice. Calling herself a self-proclaimed "perfectionist," she said wanted the day to go off without a hitch.

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