Herm Edwards, head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs during the worst two-year span in team history, was fired yesterday. Edwards goes out with a three-year regular-season record of 15-33 and with one year remaining on a four-year, $12 million contract. As head coach of the New York Jets from 2001 to 2005, he had a regular-season mark of 39-41 and was 2-3 in the playoffs. ESPN.com reported that former longtime Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan, fired by that team after this past season, was being sought by the Chiefs as Edwards' replacement. Edwards had been waiting to learn his fate since president and general manager Carl Peterson resigned Dec. 15. When former New England Patriots vice president of player personnel Scott Pioli was introduced as Peterson's successor Jan. 13, he was noncommittal. Bob Moore, a team spokesman, said all the assistant coaches still with Kansas City are under contract.
Lions:: New head coach Jim Schwartz (Mount St. Joseph) hired Scott Linehan as offensive coordinator. The Rams fired Linehan as head coach after the team opened this season 0-4. Linehan became St. Louis' coach in 2006.
Cardinals:: Running back J.J. Arrington sat out practice for the second day in a row but said, "I'll be fine," when the team plays the Steelers in the Super Bowl on Feb. 1 in Tampa, Fla. Arrington injured his right knee in Arizona's 32-25 victory over Philadelphia in the NFC title game.
Packers:: Mike Trgovac, who turned down a contract offer this week to remain Carolina's defensive coordinator, was hired as Green Bay's defensive tackles coach.
S. Williams advances after wild day in Australia
Serena Williams didn't have to deal with any unexpected distractions today, advancing to the fourth round at the Australian Open in Melbourne. The second-seeded Williams, who won the Australian title in 2003, 2005 and 2007, started play on the sixth day at Rod Laver Arena with a 6-1, 6-4 win over No. 41-ranked Peng Shuai of China. The nine-time major winner's victory was routine compared with the previous day at the first major of the season. A half-naked streaker ran onto the court during Williams' doubles victory with sister Venus. Then ethnic violence flared after Novak Djokovic of Serbia beat Bosnian-born American Amer Delic, leaving a woman injured, two men charged with riotous behavior, 30 people ejected by police and broken chairs scattered over the lawn area at Melbourne Park. Serena Williams next faces No. 13 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, who ousted 2006 Australian Open and Wimbledon champion Amelie Mauresmo, 6-4, 6-2. Carla Suarez Navarro, who had an upset win over reigning Wimbledon champion Venus Williams in the second round, beat fellow Spaniard Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, 6-1, 6-4. Suarez Navarro, ranked 46th, will next play No. 21 Anabel Medina Garrigues - who ousted 12th seed Flavia Pennetta of Italy, 6-4, 6-1 - in an all-Spanish fourth-round match. Yesterday, Ana Ivanovic's hopes of a return trip to the final fell apart in a 7-5, 6-7 (5), 6-2 loss to Alisa Kleybanova of Russia. The fifth-ranked Ivanovic lost her serve nine times. The afternoon violence also overshadowed the night match between second-ranked Roger Federer and former No. 1 Marat Safin. Federer won, 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 (5).
Installment plan offered for Nats season tickets
The Washington Nationals have come up with a recession-friendlier way to pay for season tickets: the installment plan. The Nationals announced the creation of the Grand Slam E-Z Payment Plan, which allows fans to pay off their season tickets in monthly installments on their credit cards over six months. The move is the latest among several measures the team, which finished with the worst record in baseball last season at 59-102, hopes will attract fans to Nationals Park during the tough economic climate. In September, the Nationals announced they were lowering season-ticket prices for 7,500 seats, and Thursday they lowered individual-sale ticket prices on 14,000 seats.
Et cetera:: First baseman Prince Fielder and the Brewers completed a two-year, $18 million contract. ... The Mets agreed to a one-year, $600,000 contract with outfielder Cory Sullivan, a minor league contract with outfielder Rob Mackowiak that would become a one-year, $600,000 deal if he is added to the major league roster, and a minor league deal with pitcher Freddy Garcia, who would get a one-year, $1.5 million contract if he's added to the 40-man roster. ... Red is out, black is in, and the sleeves are attached again to Pittsburgh's jerseys. The Pirates are restoring sleeves to all jerseys except the white pinstriped tops worn for Sunday afternoon home games.
Constellation Energy donates tourney money
Constellation Energy gave $400,000 to four Maryland charitable organizations this week, money that resulted from the 2008 Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship, held at Baltimore Country Club. Organizations receiving funds were The First Tee of Baltimore, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Union Memorial Hospital and the Baltimore Community Foundation/BGE Community Assistance Fund. The company contributed the same amount to those charities from last year's tournament.
More golf:: Pat Perez shot a 5-under-par 67 to remain two strokes in front at the PGA Bob Hope Classic in La Quinta, Calif. Perez was at 25-under 191 in the 90-hole tournament. Steve Stricker (61) was in second at 23-under. ... Bernhard Langer had seven birdies on the back nine on his way to an 8-under 64 and a share of the first-round lead with Brad Bryant in the season-opening Champions Mitsubishi Electric Championship in Kaupulehu-Kona, Hawaii.
Figure skating:: Jeremy Abbott reminded everyone that there's more to the American men than Evan Lysacek and Johnny Weir with a commanding performance in the short program at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Cleveland. His score of 86.40 points was almost three points better than that of Lysacek (83.59), the two-time defending champion. Weir, the U.S. champ from 2003 through 2006, popped his triple axel into a single and is in seventh place.
More figure skating:: Alissa Czisny will take a five-point lead over reigning world junior champion Rachael Flatt into tonight's free skate at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Czisny's score of 65.75 late Thursday was more than seven points better than her previous personal best. Flatt scored 60.19 points, followed by Caroline Zhang, who won the world junior title in 2007. Kimmie Meissner of Bel Air, the 2007 national champion, is not competing because of a hip injury.
Varsity:: Senior Zach Sullivan of Archbishop Spalding was selected as the 2008-09 Gatorade Maryland Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year. Sullivan won his second straight Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championship this past season.
Boxing:: Ricky Hatton and Manny Pacquiao will fight May 2 in a 12-round junior welterweight fight at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas in a bout that appeared scuttled earlier in the week.
NHL:: The executive board of the NHL Players' Association turned down an opportunity to reopen the collective bargaining agreement with the NHL, ensuring hockey labor peace through the 2010-11 season.