The Latest – October 20, 2011 20 Oct 11

Here is the latest sports news: Ponder to start for Vikes. Wild on the ice. NFLPA not ready for HGH blood testing. NBA mediation to resume today. NBA All-Stars finalizing two-week exhibition tour.

Ponder To Replace McNabb As Vikings Starting QB
(Eden Prarie, MN) — Off to a 1-and-5 start, the Minnesota Vikings are making a change at quarterback. Head coach Leslie Frazier has named Christian Ponder the starter for Sunday’s game against the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers. The Florida State rookie replaces veteran Donovan McNabb, who was sacked five times in Sunday night’s 39-10 loss to the Chicago Bears. Ponder made his NFL debut in relief of McNabb Sunday, completing 9-of-17 passes for 99 yards.

Wild On The Ice
(Edmonton, Alberta) — The Minnesota Wild are back on the ice this evening as they open up a brief two-game road trip against the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place. The Wild have dropped back-to-back games and are coming off a 4-2 setback to Pittsburgh on Tuesday to fall to 2-2-and-2 on the season. Minnesota wraps up the road swing on Saturday at Vancouver.

NFLPA Not Ready For HGH Blood Testing
(Washington, DC) — The NFL Players Association is not ready for blood samples to be collected for human growth hormone testing, it said in a statement Wednesday. The sides had agreed to blood testing for the performance-enhancing substance as part of the new collective bargaining agreement struck this summer. Last Friday, after officials for the NFL and NFLPA met with members of Congress to discuss the league’s plan to start testing for HGH, the league said that it was prepared to implement testing within a few weeks. But after the league notified the union that it was ready to start collecting blood samples Monday, the union balked. The union only agreed to testing once a reliable method was developed, but did not make a specific reference to that in its short statement.

NBA Mediation To Resume Toda
(New York, NY) — A second day of mediation between the NBA’s owners and players is over, with the two sides scheduled to resume talks today with federal mediator George Cohen. The league’s board of governors met Wednesday night and this morning with day three of talks set to start at 2 p.m. Eastern. The two sides met for more than 24 hours in a 32-hour span Tuesday into Wednesday morning. Two huge issues have mostly divided the two sides. The division of revenues and the structure of the salary cap system. Without a deal this week, NBA comissioner David Stern might have to cancel more regular season games. The season was supposed to start November 1st, but all games through November 14th have already been scrapped.

NBA All-Stars Finalizing Two-Week Exhibition Tour
(Atlanta, GA) — Even as the NBA lockout continues, basketball fans might soon get to see some of the game’s top stars in action. ESPN The Magazine reports more than a dozen NBA players are finalizing a two-week exhibition tour that would take place during what is now the cancelled first two weeks of the regular season. Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose are just some of the players reportedly expected to participate. The tour is being put together by Atlanta business mogul Calvin Darden and would consist of six games to be played in Puerto Rico, London, Macau and Australia. The players will be paid anywhere from one-hundred-thousand-dollars to a million-dollars, with some of the tour’s proceeds to be donated to charity.