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Chargers reveal new logo before move to Los Angeles; fans react

The former San Diego Chargers will become the Los Angeles Chargers as the team leaves the city it has called home for the last 56 years and moves north, Chargers CEO Dean Spanos confirmed Thursday.

>> Read more trending stories  

"After much deliberation, I have made the decision to relocate the Chargers to Los Angeles, beginning with the 2017 NFL season," Spanos said in a statement. "Today, we turn the page and begin an exciting new era as the Los Angeles Chargers."

A letter from Dean Spanos pic.twitter.com/rTNIvrsN1A— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) January 12, 2017 <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

The Chargers revealed a new logo later in the day, which caused a buzz from both fans and critics.

Many people said they didn't like the new logo, and many compared it to the L.A. Dodgers' logo.

<iframe src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/chargers-logo/embed?header=none&amp;border=false" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe> <script src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/chargers-logo.js?header=none&amp;border=false"></script> [View the story "Chargers logo" on Storify]

But Spanos is determined to make the best of the changes. 

"We must earn the respect and support of LA football fans," he said. "The Chargers are determined to fight for LA, and we are excited to get started."

Chargers confirm move to Los Angeles

The San Diego Chargers will move north to Los Angeles, Chargers CEO Dean Spanos confirmed Thursday.

The move will end the team's 55-year stay in the city.

>> Read more trending stories

The Chargers notified NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and other league owners of their intent to move to Los Angeles for the 2017 season, ESPN reported. Annie Heilbrum of the San Diego Union-Tribune tweeted Wednesday that the team was expected to make an announcement sometime Thursday.

I'm told by a #Chargers source that the team is expected to officially announce tomorrow. Still getting the word "expected."— Annie Heilbrunn (@annieheilbrunn) January 12, 2017

The Chargers are expected to share the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum with the Rams for the next two seasons before moving into a $2.6 billion stadium in Inglewood, which is expected to open in 2019, ESPN reported. 

The move gives Los Angeles two NFL franchises after two decades without a team. The Rams returned to Los Angeles last season, going 4-12.

The Chargers were established in 1960 and played their inaugural season in L.A. for the old American Football League before moving south to San Diego in 1961.

Vincent Bonsignore of the Los Angeles Daily News tweeted that the Chargers will consider rebranding but noted it wouldn't be done in time for the 2017 season, if it's done at all.

"More than anything I'm shocked," Chargers defensive tackle Corey Liuget told ESPN. "I didn't think it was going to happen. I thought we were going to stay in San Diego. I thought something would've got done and worked out...So I guess L.A. is our new home then." 

An NFL source told ESPN on Wednesday night that Chargers chairman Dean Spanos had yet to send a formal relocation letter to the NFL or notify public officials in Los Angeles or San Diego of the team's move. 

"At first, I hoped it was fake news. It's something that is unfathomable, but it is reality," Chargers quarterbacking great Dan Fouts told ESPN. 

Chargers wideout Keenan Allen told ESPN that "It's different to hear the Los Angeles Chargers, but it should be dope." 

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported the front of Chargers Park was egged amid reports of relocation.

How's San Diego taking news of imminent relocation? Front door of Chargers Park egged tonight. San Diego police monitoring facility now. pic.twitter.com/t0gYwfpauF— Michael Gehlken (@sdutGehlken) January 12, 2017

During the Chargers’ time in San Diego, they won the 1963 AFL championship and made Super Bowl XXIX, losing to the San Francisco 49ers.

Spanos has unsuccessfully tried to land a new stadium with taxpayer funding for more than two decades, according to Bleacher Report. Qualcomm Stadium, which opened in 1967, is the fifth oldest among current NFL stadiums. 

In November, San Diego citizens voted against funding for a new Chargers stadium.

Dallas Cowboys now accepting bandwagon fans

The Dallas Cowboys are welcoming all fans, even those who are just now jumping on the bandwagon.

At 13-3, the NFC top seed is preparing to play the Green Bay Packers in a divisional playoff game on Sunday. The Cowboys have a dynamic offense this season, led by a pair of rookies, quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott.

>> Read more trending stories 

To make it easy for bandwagon fans, the Cowboys posted an application on the team’s official Twitter page. The humorous document asks about any previous experience in being a Cowboys fan, and if the applicant has ever talked trash about the Cowboys. The document asks whether the applicant has ever cheered for any of the Cowboys’ adversaries, which, the application notes, could lead to further questioning. As a nod to the Cowboys’ schedule, which traditionally includes a Thanksgiving game, applicants are asked if they mind working on Thanksgiving.

Thanks for your inquiry about the Dallas Cowboys' bandwagon. Spots are filling up fast, don't miss out! Download: https://t.co/RljLeEaqHo pic.twitter.com/2euKnUZ30N— Dallas CowboysJanuary 10, 2017

The team said bandwagon spots are filling up fast.

Young cancer patient gets personal video from Patriots’ Gronkowski

A plea on Twitter took less than 24 hours to go viral and get a response from New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.

>> Read more trending stories

The Twitter campaign is for 13-year-old Hunter Pietrowski, who is battling cancer and about to undergo his final treatment.

"What's up, Hunter, it's your buddy Rob Gronkowski here," Gronkowski says in the video's opening.

Hunter was hoping for a meet and greet with Gronkowski, but said the video was just as special.

"I was excited and speechless,” Hunter said.

Hunter was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in June. It already had spread to his spine when doctors found it.

Treatment began a short time later at Duke University Hospital in North Carolina, where his family now lives.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady visited the hospital, but Hunters’ favorite player, Gronkowski, wasn’t able to join him.

After that, the family began a Twitter campaign to get Hunter a meet and greet.

"Just hearing about your story Hunter so I just want to say congratulations on your last chemo session coming up on Thursday,” Gronkowski told him in the personalized message. 

It seems what kept the tight end off this playing field put him on the same one as Hunter.

"We're both going through a little setback right now, but we're both gonna come back with major comebacks, Hunter, so let's do it. Stay strong and let's fight through this, let's go,” Gronkowski said.

Hunter couldn’t be happier.

"Just getting something from your favorite player, it's just something you wouldn't expect,” he said.

The video has been playing on a loop in Hunter’s room.

"It's really nice to see that twinkle and that smile and I think we've probably played it 50 times last night just over and over so we'll continue to keep playing it over and over,” said Hunter’s mother, Tiffany Pietrowski.

@PatriotsUnite12 ⚡️ “Gronk RTs” by @DanversPolicehttps://t.co/5VcAo7bZbD — PatriotsFan-Mom (@Tedybruschifan) January 11, 2017

J.J. Watt visits hospital bedside of boy injured in crash, replaces destroyed jersey

He has the looks. He has the skill. And apparently, he has the heart.

Houston Texans star J.J. Watt answered a social media call when one his fans was injured in a New Year's Eve crash.

Noah Fulmer was injured when a driver hit two parked cars in Houston. One of the cars hit Noah, his younger sister and two other family members, KPRC reported.

Noah was injured, and as paramedics attended to the 8-year-old they had to cut off his favorite football jersey.

The jersey was Watt's number 99.

Noah's father, Cory, said his son was fighting the paramedics to save his beloved jersey.

>> Read more trending stories  

Noah's cousin took to Twitter to give the boy hope while he was recovering, telling Watt what happened.

To their surprise, Watt responded, telling the family that he'd personally deliver a new jersey to Noah's hospital room, ESPN reported.

That is terrible, is he ok? Tell him I'll bring him a new jersey tomorrow. https://t.co/jSYhbhxU1H— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) January 3, 2017

Last week, he did.

@JJWatt @HoustonTexans JJ Watt surprised Noah after surgery. Thank you Watt #Nfl #JJWATT #thankyou #teamnoah #prayfornoah #hejustwokeup pic.twitter.com/d68wMhDelT— Marc (@carapia116) January 3, 2017

Watt actually showed up with several jerseys, including his game jersey. Watt autographed that one with a message of hope for Noah. The jersey is as big as Noah, blanketing him before he headed to the operating room.

Noah went in for his 3rd surgery. He will be having more to prevent infections since he was hit at a beach. #TeamNoah #PrayForNoah #JJWatt pic.twitter.com/haUiwOk3hH— Marc (@carapia116) January 6, 2017

Noah is recovering from two broken legs and a damaged foot. He's already had at least three surgeries to fix the damage.

Nick Saban reacts to Alabama's heartbreaking national championship loss to Clemson

Nick Saban coached the Alabama Crimson Tide to the brink of his sixth national championship, but a last-second touchdown from Clemson spoiled those plans.

The Tigers beat the Crimson Tide 35-31 in the College Football Playoff national championship game on Monday night.

>> WATCH: Clemson wins national championship with dramatic touchdown pass on final drive

Here’s what Saban had to say in the moments following the heartbreaking loss for the Crimson Tide, as told to ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi:

“I told the players that I was really proud of what they were able to accomplish this year. One game doesn’t define who you are and I think we have a team of winners. They’ve represented themselves that way all year long, and I’m proud of their accomplishments. For our seniors, they’ve won three SEC championships in a row, been to three straight playoffs, won the national championship.

>> PHOTOS: Clemson beats Alabama to win College Football Playoff national championship

"It was a tough way for the team to lose, but we had our opportunities to stop them and didn’t do it. They made some plays down the stretch and some great catches. We didn’t make the plays we needed to make.”

>> Read more trending stories

Rinaldi asked him what the difference was in the game:

“I think they made some really good plays at the end of the game and Deshaun Watson was an outstanding player and played fantastic. They were a good team in two-minute. We needed to make a play and didn’t. Getting a penalty in that situation doesn’t help either.”

Nick Saban on changing offensive coordinators the week of the title game: pic.twitter.com/nNJkZJlsao— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) January 10, 2017 <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Nick Saban to ESPN: "One game doesn't define who you are."— Marq Burnett (@Marq_Burnett) January 10, 2017 <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Saban: "Give credit to Clemson. We had our chances and we couldn't get done what we needed to do."— Cecil Hurt (@CecilHurt) January 10, 2017 <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Nick Saban to Terry and his family in the press conference, "Sorry, guys."— Chris Kirschner (@ChrisKirschner) January 10, 2017 <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

WATCH: Clemson wins national championship with dramatic touchdown pass on final drive

Clemson won the national championship with a clutch final drive.

>> Nick Saban reacts to Alabama's heartbreaking national championship loss to Clemson

Quarterback Deshaun Watson connected with wide receiver Hunter Renfrow for a 2-yard touchdown pass with one second left to beat Alabama 35-31 on Monday night at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.

>> PHOTOS: Clemson beats Alabama to win College Football Playoff national championship

On the previous drive, Alabama took the lead with a wild drive of its own, capped by an athletic touchdown run by quarterback Jalen Hurts. But it wasn’t enough for the Crimson Tide to claim a second consecutive national title.

>> Read more trending stories

Alabama looked to be in good shape entering the fourth quarter with 24-14 lead. But it wasn’t meant to be, and Clemson earned the right to celebrate during a memorable night in Tampa.

>> Click here to watch the video

Ball. Game. pic.twitter.com/duegg5jcAN— Danny Kanell (@dannykanell) January 10, 2017

College Football Playoff Championship 2017: What time, what channel, who is playing

The College Football Playoff National Championship game is set for Monday night with No. 1-ranked Alabama taking on No. 3-ranked Clemson in what looks to be an exciting match-up.

It will be a rematch of last year’s championship game. Alabama goes into the game undefeated – the same as Clemson did last year. Alabama won last year’s game by five points, 45-40.

Here’s what you need to know about tonight’s game.

Who is playing?

The University of Alabama from the Southeastern Conference plays Clemson University from the Atlantic Coast Conference.

What time does the game start?

Kickoff is at 8 p.m. ET Monday.

Where is it being played?

Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.

What channel is it on?

ESPN will broadcast the game.

Can you watch it online?

Of course. You can catch it on WatchESPN.

Who are the coaches?

Nick Saban coaches Alabama, and Dabo Swinney coaches Clemson.

Who is favored to win?

Alabama is favored to win by 6 points.

Have these colleges ever won a National Championship?

Alabama has won 16 of them – Saban has four championships at Alabama; Clemson won one championship in 1981.

How much are tickets going for?

As of Monday morning, tickets on the ticket-selling website Stubhub were listed from $1,750 to $18,691. The $18,000 tickets are for lower-level sideline tickets. 

Fun facts:

  • Clemson’s coach’s name is pronounced Dab-o Swee-nee. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama.
  • According to The Weather Channel, at game time in Tampa the high will be 67 degrees, the low 50. There is a zero percent chance of rain. Winds will be northeast at 5-10 miles per hour.

  • Alabama quarterback, Jalen Hurts, is a freshman at the school.

  • Clemson’s quarterback, Deshaun Watson, has played in three bowl games, including last year’s championship game, and was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy.

  • Monday’s game marks the first time two teams will met for a rematch of a Division 1 College Football Championship since the title game was introduced at the start of the BCS (Bowl Championship Series) era in 1998.

Pittsburgh's Primanti Bros. declares 'no-fish zone' ahead of Steelers-Dolphins matchup

An iconic restaurant chain in Pittsburgh will be serving up plenty of its signature sandwiches this weekend ahead of the Steelers' wild card playoff game against the Dolphins, but one item will be missing in action: fish.

Primanti Bros. has declared a "no-fish zone" this weekend at its 37 locations, and won't serve fish until the Steelers-Dolphins game is over.

The restaurant posted on Twitter that it realizes that dolphins are not fish, but that it is still banning anything from the sea.

>> Read more trending stories

@primantibros #NoFishFriday #Southside pic.twitter.com/OV3UttkWE0— Mia (@MissinInActionn)

Great news! We DO know that dolphins aren't fish! But this weekend, #TrustNothingFromTheSea #HereWeGo #NoFishFriday #SpiritNotScience— Primanti Bros (@primantibros)

Toni Haggerty, a longtime Primanti Bros. cook, told The Associated Press that she just couldn't bring herself to make a fish sandwich while the Steelers are playing the Dolphins. The NFL wild card game takes place Sunday afternoon at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, with kickoff scheduled for 1:05 p.m. ET.

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