Herschel Walker takes stand against national anthem protests

Herschel Walker, the ex-NFL luminary, is firing on all cylinders for America’s military heroes and first responders — hot on the heels of his recent criticism of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for not quelling the national anthem protests.
'Truth Exchange' host Kathy Barnette weighs in on 'Fox & Friends First.'

NFL announces no change to national anthem policy

‘Truth Exchange’ host Kathy Barnette weighs in on ‘Fox & Friends First.’

Herschel Walker, the ex-NFL luminary, is firing on all cylinders for America’s military heroes and first responders — hot on the heels of his recent criticism of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for not quelling the national anthem protests.

Walker’s latest patriotic fervor comes with a super prize for a hero of the US uniformed and emergency services: a free customized, hand-painted, American-made 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, worth $80,000.

“I absolutely think the protests are so upsetting, and I blame the commissioner,” he said.

“I know people are going to be angry when I say it, but he should have stopped the protests at the very beginning.”

The Heisman Trophy winner doesn’t beat around the bush. “Guys, let me tell you this,” he said. “Our flag is very special, and black lives matter, but what we should do is go to Washington after the season and protest there instead. We have young men and women fighting for the flag. And we have to respect the White House.”

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‘Annie’ star Andrea McArdle recalls impressing Mary Travers with powerful singing voice

Andrea McArdle’s life would forever change when she was just 13 years old after she was given the chance to take on one of the most iconic roles in Broadway history.
Andrea McArdle played the first-ever "Annie."

Andrea McArdle played the first-ever “Annie.” (Children of Song)

Andrea McArdle’s life forever changed when she was just 13-years-old after she was given the chance to take on one of the most iconic roles in Broadway history.

The child actress was swept away to replace Kristen Vigard, a girl who was slated to take on the title character in the 1977 original production of “Annie.” McArdle, who was expecting to be just another voice in the orphan chorus, was given the role of star.

“At the time I was barely in the business and I got very lucky very soon,” the now-54-year-old revealed on the podcast “Children of Song.”

“My mom saw an ad in the trade papers saying [they] were looking for kids for this musical, ‘Little Orphan Annie,'” she added. “It turns out I was the first kid they ever saw for the show. And I’ve since found out I was the first kid hired… I was hired at the time to play the toughest orphan.”

Ahh the 70’s

A post shared by Andrea Mcardle (@mcbwaybaby) on May 15, 2017 at 9:30pm PDT

“Annie,” based on the beloved Harold Gray comic strip, tells the story of a spunky dreamer whose marinara-hued curls were as bold as her voice. While McArdle described herself as “abnormally small and short,” her powerful pipes easy melted the hearts of anyone who heard them for the first time.

In fact, that’s how McArdle received an unlikely job promotion to play the very first Annie on stage.

“We would have 17 or 30 pages of rewrites in a day,” she said. “We knew everybody’s part. And that’s kind of how they heard me sing alone because we were playing… by the orchestra pit… We would switch around and we knew everybody’s parts… They heard me singing down there.”

Mary Travers of Peter, Paul and Mary fame, who was dating director-lyricist Martin Charnin at the time, was shocked by what she encountered.

A post shared by Andrea Mcardle (@mcbwaybaby) on Oct 31, 2017 at 8:46pm PDT

“She heard me sing and she was like, ‘This kid’s got this crazy voice!’” said McArdle.

The producers themselves heard McArdle’s voice and she soon replaced Vigard, a move the star called “a happy accident.”

However, McArdle insisted there was zero rivalry to be found between the pair. In fact, Vigard would go on to become McArdle’s understudy on Broadway before embarking on her own successful stage career.

“There was never [a sense of rivalry],” she explained about her former cast-mates. “You’re so lucky to have kids around you when you’re working with a bunch of adults and you’re young. To have a posse like that, you know, it’s like a constant slumber party – it really is [a] fantasy world. And we’re still close.”

As for McArdle, she continues to impress audiences with her voice as a performer — and is all too willing to surprise new, curious listeners today.

“I get so excited when my mic goes out,” said McArdle. “Let me show you how it’s done.”

Listen to Andrea McArdle’s entire “Children of Song” episode.You can download or stream the podcast from the Children of Song homepage or become a subscriber on the Apple Podcasts, TuneIn, Google Player or Stitcher.

Former Wimbledon champion Jana Novotna dies at 49

The WTA says 1998 Wimbledon champion Jana Novotna has died at the age of 49.
July 4, 1998 file photo, Jana Novotna, of the Czech Republic, displays the women's singles trophy after her victory over France's Nathalie Tauziat in the final on Wimbledon's Centre Court.

July 4, 1998 file photo, Jana Novotna, of the Czech Republic, displays the women’s singles trophy after her victory over France’s Nathalie Tauziat in the final on Wimbledon’s Centre Court. (AP)

The WTA says 1998 Wimbledon champion Jana Novotna has died at the age of 49.

The women’s tennis body says Novotna died Sunday after a long battle with cancer.

The WTA made the announcement on Monday. Her family confirmed her death to the Czech Republic’s CTK news agency.

During a 14-year professional career, Novotna won 24 singles titles and reached No.2 in the singles rankings.

She won Wimbledon in 1998 for her only singles Grand Slam but also collected 12 doubles and four mixed doubles Grand Slam titles.

Novotna was a three-time Olympic medalist and win the Fed Cup with Czech Republic in 1988.

Musicians unite at AMAs in wake of tumultuous year

The 2017 American Music Awards marked a night of unison, positive vibes and American pride as musicians spoke about coming together in a year dominated by natural disasters, violence and divisive politics.
Nov. 19: Selena Gomez performs "Wolves" at the American Music Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

Nov. 19: Selena Gomez performs “Wolves” at the American Music Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (AP)

The 2017 American Music Awards marked a night of unison, positive vibes and American pride as musicians spoke about coming together in a year dominated by natural disasters, violence and divisive politics.

Kelly Clarkson and Pink kicked off the three-hour show Sunday with a performance honoring those affected by tragic events of the year, from hurricanes to hate crimes. First responders stood behind Jamie Foxx, who gave a heartfelt speech before the pop stars sang R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts.”

This year “was a year that tested our faith. In these moments of crisis, heroes emerged,” he said. “As this year comes to a close, we look forward to 2018 with hope … together we can unite as a people and a nation.”

“Black-ish” actress Tracee Ellis Ross said the show — taking place in the wake of multiple sexual allegations against powerful men in Hollywood, the media, business and politics — would honor women who “own our experiences, our bodies and our lives.”

“This is the country I know, which is of powerful women, talking about our women, talking about empowering our LGBTQ youth,” said Dan Reynolds of the band Imagine Dragons, which won favorite pop/rock duo or group. “May we continue to progress as a nation as one of love and equality. No divide. There’s been way too much of that this last year.”

Before her performance, Demi Lovato said, “There’s so much hate in this world. We have to rise above and never say sorry for who you are.” And while Lady Gaga performed “The Cure,” a song about healing, she told the audience: “Who’s gonna be there? We got to be there for each other America. Hands up!”

Gaga sang from her concert in Washington, D.C. Later in the show, she was in tears when she was named favorite female pop/rock artist.

“If you feel different … don’t you dare give up on who you are,” she said.

Bruno Mars was also not in attendance at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Mars, who on tour in South America, picked up seven awards, including artist of the year.

“I wish I could be partying with y’all,” said Mars, who appeared in a video.

Iconic entertainer Diana Ross was honored with Lifetime Achievement Award, and she received touching video messages from Barack and Michelle Obama, and Taylor Swift.

The 73-year-old was cheerful and energetic as she ran through well-known songs onstage like a veteran, singing “I’m Coming Out” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” among other hits, with her signature big hair. Foxx, Berry Gordy, Smokey Robinson and others sang along, while some of Ross’ grandchildren danced onstage near the end of the performance.

“This is all about love,” said Ross, who had several members of her family standing behind her. “This says it all. This is my family.”

Pink was also impressive as she continued to show her athleticism and acrobatic skills during a second performance at the AMAs, performing from the side of a high-rise building alongside aerial dancers. The K-pop group BTS, who have a feverish and fanatic social media following, earned the night’s loudest applause after they performed their song, “DNA.”

Another highlight of the night came when Linkin Park — whose lead singer Chester Bennington killed himself earlier this year — won favorite alternative rock artist.

“We want to dedicate this award to him, to his memory, to his talent, to his sense of humor, to his joy,” band member Mike Shinoda said onstage. “I want you guys to take a moment to appreciate what you’ve got and make Chester proud.”

Selena Gomez, who had a kidney transplant this year due to her struggle with lupus, sang “Wolves” while lying on the floor in a short nightgown. Her knees, hands and forehead covered in faux bruises and blood.

Christina Aguilera was shaky when she sang a medley of Whitney Houston’s songs to honor the 25th anniversary of Houston’s film, “The Bodyguard.” The band Portugal. The Man, who sang their pop hit “Feel It Still,” opened their performance with the words: “No computers up here, just live instruments.” And rapper Macklemore gave his grandmother a birthday shout out at the end of his performance.

Like Mars, Keith Urban also won multiple awards, including favorite country album, country male artist and country song.

“Absolutely you should be sharing these, my love,” the country singer said as “This Is Us” actor Justin Hartley passed two of the trophies to Urban’s wife, actress Nicole Kidman, who sat in the audience.

Shawn Mendes won favorite adult contemporary artist, beating Mars and Ed Sheeran.

“Ed and Bruno are basically the two reasons I started singing,” he said.

Former One Direction singer Niall Horan won new artist of the year; the Chainsmokers were named favorite electronic dance artist; and Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber won collaboration of the year for the hit song “Despacito.”

DJ Khaled won favorite rap/hip-hop song for “I’m the One,” his No. 1 hit featuring Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper and Lil Wayne.

While the performers at the AMAs were evenly split between men and women, the nominees were not — a reflection of the year in pop music where male acts dominated.

Dak, Cowboys can’t keep up with Wentz, Eagles in 37-9 loss

Wentz, Eagles roll over Cowboys 37-9 after losing kicker

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — No kicker, no problem for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Carson Wentz threw for two touchdowns and three 2-point conversions after Philadelphia lost kicker Luke Elliott to a head injury, and the Eagles all but wrapped up the NFC East with a 37-9 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night.

The Eagles (9-1) outscored the Cowboys 30-0 in the second half while extending their winning streak to eight games, their longest since 2003-04 and tied with New Orleans for the best current run in the NFL.

Philadelphia leads the second-place and defending division champion Cowboys (5-5) by four games with six to play after handing Dallas its worst home loss at 8-year-old AT&T Stadium.

Dallas’ Dak Prescott threw a career-high three interceptions and lost a fumble that was returned for a touchdown in his second straight loss without star running back Ezekiel Elliott, serving a six-game suspension for alleged domestic violence.

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Gallery:

PHOTOS: 2017 Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports | Matthew Emmons

Luke Elliott’s injury wasn’t a factor for nearly a half because the NFL-leading Eagles couldn’t get in scoring position. They failed to get a first down on five straight first-half drives, starting with one at the Dallas 15 when Elliott missed a 34-yard attempt and soon after left the field.

Trailing 9-7 at halftime, Wentz led the Eagles on scoring drives of 75, 90 and 85 yards, the middle one boosted by Jay Ajayi’s 71-yard run against his hometown team in his second game since getting traded by Miami.

Ajayi had 91 yards on seven carries and LeGarrette Blount added 57 on 13 carries, including a 30-yarder leading to the last offensive touchdown.

Eagles coach Doug Pederson declared at halftime that he would go for every fourth down and try 2-point conversions after every touchdown.

It came into play right away when Corey Clement scored on an 11-yard run to open the second half and ran in a screen pass behind three blockers for the 2-pointer.

The first fourth-down try was Wentz’s 17-yard touchdown pass to Alshon Jeffery for a 29-9 lead. That 2-point pass failed. Torrey Smith had the other TD catch, an 11-yarder.

After Derek Barnett hit Prescott’s leg and arm as he was throwing, Nigel Bradham picked up the loose ball and ran it 37 yards for a touchdown. Wentz’s pass to Trey Burton provided the final margin.

The Cowboys appeared to have fixed the problems of missing injured left tackle Tyron Smith and 2016 All-Pro linebacker Sean Lee from a week earlier, when they allowed eight sacks of Prescott along with three Atlanta scoring drives following Lee’s injury in a 27-7 loss to the Falcons.

But after protecting Prescott fairly well before halftime, Dallas allowed three sacks and 180 of Philadelphia’s season-high 215 yards rushing in the second half.

Prescott was 18 of 31 for 145 yards for a career-worst 30.4 passer rating before backup Cooper Rush took mop-up duty.

BRING A JACKET

The Cowboys had their retractable roof open for the first time this season despite a game-time temperature of 54 degrees, chilly for the Texas types. It was just the sixth time the roof was open while the huge sliding glass doors behind each end zone were closed since $1.2 billion AT& Stadium opened in 2009.

JERRY’S RING

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, embroiled in what has become a public dispute with fellow owners over a contract extension for Commissioner Roger Goodell, received his Hall of Fame ring in a halftime ceremony. He shared the stage with wife Gene Jones and Pro Football Hall of Fame President David Baker.

INJURIES

Eagles: After missing wide right on the 34-yard field goal in the first quarter, Jake Elliott was evaluated for a head injury. He was in on the tackle on Switzer’s long return on the opening kickoff, but made an extra point and kicked off again before the missed field goal.

Cowboys: Already missing Lee, replacement Anthony Hitchens left with a groin injury.

UP NEXT

Eagles: Home against Chicago next Sunday.

Cowboys: Los Angeles Chargers visiting for annual Thanksgiving game.

Panthers drop road trip finale with narrow loss to Ducks

The Florida Panthers close out their road trip with two straight losses.

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — John Gibson stopped 50 shots and the Anaheim Ducks held on to beat the Florida Panthers 3-2 on Sunday night for their first winning streak in three weeks.

Josh Manson, Rickard Rakell and Brandon Montour scored for Anaheim. The Ducks hadn’t won consecutive games since Oct. 28 and 29.

Vincent Trocheck and Keith Yandle scored for Florida. Roberto Luongo made 25 saves.

Yandle’s slap shot 17:01 into the third period pulled the Panthers within one.

Anaheim went up 3-1 early in the third on a power play. Corey Perry’s shot was deflected by Luongo but drifted only a few feet outside the crease, where Montour flicked it in.

The Panthers had four power plays in the second period, cashing in on one to cut Anaheim’s early lead to 2-1.

Florida was shut out for the first time this season Saturday against the Los Angeles Kings. It broke its scoreless streak when Trocheck’s wrist shot went top shelf for his ninth goal.

The Ducks went up 2-0 at the 5:22 mark in the second period on a power play. Chris Wagner passed across the ice to Rakell, alone on the other side, whose shot beat Luongo.

The Panthers thought they had ended their scoreless streak with a power-play goal in the second period. Yandle fired a shot from outside the circles and Jonathan Huberdeau deflected it in midair and into the net. A video review determined he tipped the shot in from above the crossbar, and the goal was disallowed.

The Ducks opened the scoring late in the first period when Manson stole the puck from Huberdeau near center ice and was immediately free on a breakaway.

Manson faked Luongo into committing right and slipped the puck by his other side for his second goal of the season. The Ducks led 1-0 at the end of the period despite being outshot 16-6.

NOTES: Florida D Aaron Ekblad matched a career high with nine shots on goal.

UP NEXT

Panthers: Return home on Wednesday to play Toronto.

Ducks: Travel to San Jose Monday to meet the Sharks in a one-game road trip.

Warren leads balanced Suns past hapless Bulls

Devin Booker and Mike James added 15 points apiece for Phoenix.

PHOENIX — The Phoenix Suns — the starters and the guys off the bench — piled up the assists against Chicago and sent the Bulls to another loss.

T.J. Warren scored 27 points to lead six Phoenix players in double figures and the Suns handed the Bulls their sixth loss in seven games, 113-105 on Sunday night.

Rookie Lauri Markkanen, the former University of Arizona standout, scored a career-best 26 points for the Bulls in a matchup of the NBA’s youngest teams.

The Suns had a season-high 32 assists on 45 baskets. Their season best had been 28 in each of the previous two games.

“Got to give credit to our guards for making the right play.” — T.J. Warren, who had 27 pts, on the @Suns‘ 32 assists and 64 pts in paint. pic.twitter.com/pHqd0oKkLj

FOX Sports Arizona (@FOXSPORTSAZ) November 20, 2017

“We’re moving from side to side and everybody’s touching the ball,” Warren said. “Everybody’s getting the ball.”

Devin Booker and Mike James added 15 points apiece for Phoenix. Eight of James’ points came in the final 10 minutes.

James, who is coming off the bench after starting most of the young season, said the team’s chemistry is getting better.

“I think it’s really high,” he said. “It shows in our assists and how we’re sharing the ball, and how we’re playing defense, how we’re helping each other.”

Troy Daniels added 14 for the Suns, including four of seven 3s. Centers Greg Monroe and Alex Len had 10 apiece.

“We’re getting that camaraderie.” — Troy Daniels on the @Suns‘ second unit getting used to each other & how it helps him feel comfortable. pic.twitter.com/BuMH6AaAUY

FOX Sports Arizona (@FOXSPORTSAZ) November 20, 2017

Phoenix interim coach Jay Triano stuck with bench players, including James at point guard, down the stretch. Reserves scored 24 consecutive points for the Suns in an 8:24 stretch in the third and fourth quarter.

“I think we’re getting better, we’re getting more familiar with each other,” he said, “and I think our guys are understanding that it could be a variety of players in there. … I think everybody is starting to figure out where they’re supposed to be, therefore we’re passing the ball a whole lot better.”

Kris Dunn scored 17 points and Robin Lopez 16 for the Bulls. They were coming off a Friday night victory over Charlotte that snapped a five-game losing streak.

Markkanen made 10 of 18 shots, 4 of 9 from 3-point range, and grabbed 13 rebounds.

“I thought Lauri was phenomenal,” Chicago coach Fred Hoiberg said. “But when he is open, we got to get him the ball. When he has got it rolling like he did tonight, guys were switching and we had him a couple of times with the point guard buried in his back and we didn’t get him the ball.”

T.J. Warren isn’t having any of that, Robin Lopez. pic.twitter.com/AiWIC08INT

— FOX Sports Arizona (@FOXSPORTSAZ) November 20, 2017

The Suns scored the first seven of the second quarter to tie it at 37 and neither team led by more than six the rest of the half. Warren’s basket capped a 10-0 run that gave Phoenix a 54-48 lead with 2:42 left in the half and the Suns led 61-56 at the break.

Chicago outscored Phoenix 16-5 over a five-minute span to take an 84-79 lead with 2:17 left in the third. But the Bulls didn’t score again in the quarter while Daniels and Josh Jackson each sank 3-pointers to put the Suns up 85-84 entering the fourth.

Phoenix took the lead for good 87-85 on Len’s dunk. James scored six and Warren the final four in a decisive 15-5 surge that put the Suns up 106-95 with 3:37 to go.

Chicago cut it to 108-103 on Markkanen’s fourth 3 with 1:37 to play and got the ball back. But Dunn threw it away and the Suns held on for the win.

“It was a two-possession game with a minute 20 left and we throw a behind the back pass. That can’t happen with two guys open, two of our better shooters and we throw it out of bounds,” Hoiberg said. “Then next possession down we throw the ball away. We had two key turnovers late that just can’t happen if you want to win a game on the road.”

T.J. Warren beats the off the jump ball. pic.twitter.com/3yIFzp3uOM

— FOX Sports Arizona (@FOXSPORTSAZ) November 20, 2017

TIP-INS

Phoenix won consecutive games for the third time this season. … Suns had a season-high 32 assists on 45 baskets. Their previous season high was 28 assists in each of the two previous games. … Booker, who has seven 30-point games this season, was just 5 of 15 from the field. … Phoenix is in midst of stretch when nine of 10 games are at home.

UP NEXT

Suns host Milwaukee in the return to Phoenix of Eric Bledsoe on Tuesday night.