tight-rope artist Fletcher Runyan, | Forum

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DETROIT -- William Clay Ford, the last surviving grandchild of automotive pioneer Henry Ford and owner of the Detroit Lions, has died. Tiago Mendes Atletico Madrid Jersey . He was 88. Ford Motor Co. said in a statement Sunday that Ford died of pneumonia at his home in Grosse Pointe, Mich. Ford helped steer the family business for more than five decades. He bought one of his own, the NFL franchise in the Motor City, a half-century ago. He served as an employee and board member of the automaker for more than half of its 100-year history. "My father was a great business leader and humanitarian who dedicated his life to the company and the community," William Clay Ford Jr., executive chairman of Ford Motor Co. and Lions vice chairman, said in a statement. "He also was a wonderful family man, a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him, yet he will continue to inspire us all." Ford was regarded as a dignified man by the select few who seemed to know him well. To the masses in Detroit, he was simply the owner of the Lions who struggled to achieve success on the field despite showing his passion for winning by spending money on free agents, coaches, executives and facilities. Fords first full season leading the Lions was in 1964, seven years after the franchise won the NFL title. The lone playoff victory he enjoyed was in 1992. The Lions are the only team to go 0-16 in a season, hitting rock bottom in 2008. After an 11-year drought, the Lions improved enough to make the playoffs in 2011 only to lose a combined 21 games over the next two seasons. "No owner loved his team more than Mr. Ford loved the Lions," Lions President Tom Lewand said in a statement released by the team. "Those of us who had the opportunity to work for Mr. Ford knew of his unyielding passion for his family, the Lions and the city of Detroit. His leadership, integrity, kindness, humility and good humour were matched only by his desire to bring a Super Bowl championship to the Lions and to our community. "Each of us in the organization will continue to relentlessly pursue that goal in his honour." Born into an automotive fortune in 1925 bearing what was already a household name, Ford was 23 when he joined the Ford Motor Co. board of directors in 1948, one year after the death of his grandfather, Henry Ford. He maintained as low a profile as his name would allow, serving on various executive committees and spearheading the design, development and introduction of the Continental Mark II in 1956. He was elected a Ford vice chairman in 1980 and retired with that title in 1989. Ford remained a company director until 2005, later taking the title of director emeritus. "Mr. Ford had a profound impact on Ford Motor Company," Ford CEO Alan Mulally said in a statement. "The company extends its deepest sympathies to the many members of the extended Ford family at this difficult time. While we mourn Mr. Fords death, we also are grateful for his many contributions to the company and the auto industry." He helped institutionalize the practice of professional management atop the company that began with the naming of Philip Caldwell as Ford CEO in 1979 and as Ford chairman in March 1980, without relinquishing the Ford familys control. As a board member, Ford helped bring the company back under his familys control in 2001, when the directors ousted former CEO Jacques Nasser in favour of William Clay Ford Jr. The youngest of Edsel B. Fords four children, Ford Sr. was first elected to the Ford Motor Co. board in June 1948. He rarely spoke publicly but was reflective during the companys centennial year in 2003. At the annual meeting, he told stories about his grandfather teaching him to drive at age 10, and of being taken for his first airplane ride in a Ford Tri-Motor by Charles Lindbergh. "I just want you to know that we have tremendous pride in the Ford name," he told the shareholders more than a decade ago. "We have a spirit of working together, and we have a passion for cars. And we also have a great desire to see the Ford name in the forefront of world transportation." Ford always kept the Lions close to his heart. He knew how much the team meant to people who lived in or grew up in Michigan. "I think sports are a wonderful diversion," Ford told The Detroit News in 1980. "People can relate to sports very easily. Its a quick study." But while each of the Motor Citys other three professional franchises -- the Red Wings, Pistons and Tigers -- won at least one championship, the Lions were synonymous with losing under Ford. He seemed to lead the Lions with a light touch, leaving most decisions up to administrators such as Russ Thomas, Chuck Schmidt, Matt Millen and current general manager Martin Mayhew. Even though the franchise rarely produced a successful product, the stands are usually filled with fans desperate to witness a winner. "Detroit, and Im not blowing smoke at anybody, is probably the greatest fan sports town in the country," Ford told The News in 1980, the year after a 2-14 team set a franchise attendance record. "Theyll support anything." Ford moved the club from Tiger Stadium in Detroit to the Pontiac Silverdome in 1975 before bringing his team back downtown. Ford Field -- a spectacular 65,000-seat, $315 million indoor stadium -- opened in 2002 that, coupled with a state-of-the-art team headquarters in nearby Allen Park, gave the Lions the best facilities money could buy. But a blueprint for consistently winning was elusive. From Fords first season as team owner to his last, the Lions won 310 games, lost 441 and tied 13. Ford was married to the former Martha Parke Firestone, an heiress to the Akron, Ohio, rubber fortune. Her grandfather, Harvey Firestone, was a close friend of Henry Ford. They had three daughters, a son, 14 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Funeral services will be private. Nolito Jersey . Most important, perhaps, it went off without a hitch. Organizers poked a little fun at the now-infamous opening ceremony gaffe that saw only four out of five snowflakes open up into rings, leaving the Olympics logo one ring short. Ross Barkley Jersey . Johns 2 Portland 1 (OT)Albany 2 Springfield 1 (OT)Utica 4 Grand Rapids 2Milwaukee 4 Hamilton 1Rochester 6 Texas 5---NBAToronto 100 Philadelphia 84Orlando 120 Houston 113San Antonio 98 Charlotte 93New Orleans 105 Detroit 94Memphis 103 Brooklyn 92Atlanta 105 Boston 91Washington 105 Chicago 99Denver 114 Dallas 107Golden State 104 Miami 89L.NEW ORLEANS -- Tony Parker was causing the Pelicans so much trouble with his dazzling dribble drives that New Orleans best defender, agile big man Anthony Davis, stepped out to challenge the shifty San Antonio point guard on the perimeter during the critical final five minutes. With a shoulder fake to his right and a cross-over dribble to the left, Parker wrong-footed Davis and exploded down an open lane for yet another easy layup. Parker scored 21 of his 32 points in the second half and also doled out nine assists, and the Spurs overcame a 14-point deficit en route to a 102-95 victory over the Pelicans on Monday night. "Tony pretty much carved them up," said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, referring to Parker as "a monster" down the stretch. Tim Duncan scored 16 of his 21 points in the second half, and Marco Belinelli added 13 against his former club. Davis had 17 points, 16 rebounds and four blocks, Anthony Morrow added 20 points and Eric Gordon scored 19 for the Pelicans, who appeared in line for their fifth win in six games when they led by 14 near the end of the third quarter. The Spurs had other plans, outscoring New Orleans 38-19 in the final period. "Finally, in the fourth quarter, we were more physical and played better defence," Parker said. "And we just know how to win. ... In the fourth quarter, when its tight, we know how to execute and we know what we want to do on offence." Duncan had a difficult first half, hitting only two of his first eight shots and even missing a dunk, but looked like his usual self when it mattered. He opened the third quarter by making 5 of 7 shots. Parker added 10 points in the quarter, and his scoop shot had San Antonio as close as 65-62 with 3:13 left in the period. But New Orleans regained its rhythm once more while the Spurs briefly came unhinged. Shortly after Morrows 3 made it 70-62, Parker and Duncan were called for technical fouls on the same offensive possession. Morrow made both free throws, then got fouled and made two more free throws, and New Orleans went back up by 14 on Greg Stiemsmas tip-in. San Antonio simply wouldnt go away, suffocating New Orleans shooters and forcing four turnovers in the first six minutes of the final quarter. Juanfran Spain Jersey. "We had some costly turnovers," Pelicans coach Monty Williams said. "A number of our guys, you look at our numbers, we just did not shoot the ball well across the board, in the fourth quarter for sure." The Pelicans has 16 turnovers in all, leading to 18 San Antonio points, and New Orleans made only 8 of 21 shots (38 per cent) in the final period. That, combined with Parkers clutch play, was too much to overcome. "Tony Parker got it going and we didnt corral him enough when he got in the paint," Morrow said. "He just made more plays down the stretch." The Spurs, meanwhile, took over the game with a 12-0 run that began when Patty Mills hit a 19-foot jumper and followed that with a 3. Then Danny Green, back from a broken left hand to play for the first time in 10 games, made his first shot -- a 3-pointer -- on his seventh attempt with 7:24 to go to pull the Spurs to 82-78. Parker completed the comeback a few plays later with his driving floater that tied it at 82 with 5:48 to go. "We played badly for 24-plus minutes -- made a lot of mistakes and finally put a stretch together," Duncan said. "We finally made some shots, honestly. We made, I think, two 3s in a row during the run that were big for us. We just needed something. We needed some kind of spark, some kind of stop-and-score. ... We had a crew in there that did it well." The Pelicans shot nearly 57 per cent in the first half (21 of 37) and led for most of it. Morrow made five of his first six shots and Gordon had 12 early points, including a 3 that put the Pelicans up 54-42 at halftime. NOTES: Green finished with 7 points in 30 minutes in what was his first action since Jan. 12. ... Pelicans G Tyreke Evans played only five minutes, leaving the game for good shortly after hurting his right ribs in a collision with Matt Bonner. ... The halftime performer, tight-rope artist Fletcher Runyan, drew empathetic groans from the crowd when he fell and straddled the rope. After sitting on the rope with a pained expression on his face for several seconds, he gingerly got back up, landed a successful backflip, then smiled and waved as he walked off the court to applause. cheap nfl jerseys cheap jerseys cheap jerseys cheap jerseys cheap nfl jerseyswholesale jerseys ' ' '
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