Brad Childress is gone, one season after he famously picked up Brett Favre at the airport, got a contract extension and came within a field goal of reaching the Super Bowl. The Vikings fired Childress on Monday, ending an eventful and often tumultuous run with the team marred recently by player unrest, livid fans and a boss angry over everything from the coach's abrupt personnel decisions to a 31-3 loss at home to rival Green Bay on Sunday that dropped Minnesota's record to 3-7. Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, who has interviewed seven times for NFL head-coaching jobs, will serve as interim head coach for the remainder of the season and he wasted no time in answering a big question: Favre is still the starting quarterback despite a subpar year.
Joey Votto was overwhelmingly elected the National League's Most Valuable Player on Monday, ending Albert Pujols' two-year reign. A first baseman who helped the Reds reach the postseason for the first time in 15 years, Votto received 31 of 32 first-place votes and 443 points in voting announced by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
After reflecting on the messy events during and after Sunday's loss to the Washington Redskins, quarterback Vince Young said his biggest issue with Jeff Fisher is that the Tennessee coach lacked the confidence in him to return to the game when Young thought he could have played with his thumb injury. "It was very frustrating," Young said in a Sunday night telephone conversation. Fisher said Monday that Young will need season-ending surgery on the torn tendon on his right thumb. Fisher said the team will bring in QB Chris Simms on Tuesday to back up Rusty Smith until Kerry Collins is healthy.
Oakland Raiders defensive lineman Richard Seymour has been fined $25,000 for striking Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in the helmet. Seymour was fined Monday by the NFL for unnecessary roughness in the second quarter of the Steelers' 35-3 victory on Sunday. Seymour turned and struck Roethlisberger as the quarterback ran up behind him while celebrating a TD pass that put Pittsburgh ahead 21-3. Roethlisberger fell to the ground when hit, but was not injured and stayed in the game. "I apologize to my teammates," Seymour said Sunday. "I never want to do anything to hurt the team. You always want to protect yourself, but there's no excuse." Seymour said he was confused by Roethlisberger approaching him after the score. "I'm not sure why he [Roethlisberger] ran up on me. I just turned around and it was a natural reaction," Seymour told media.
After a long wait in free agency, Erick Dampier is closing in on getting what he wanted all along -- a contract from the Miami Heat. Sources close to the situation told ESPN.com that Dampier, who spent the past six seasons with the Dallas Mavericks, has emerged as the Heat's top choice to replace Udonis Haslem in the wake of Haslem's foot injury and could join Miami as soon as this week. Haslem went down with a torn ligament in his left foot Saturday in Memphis that will sideline him for at least six weeks and likely much longer, with one source close to the situation saying Sunday that Haslem is potentially out until at least the All-Star break in February.
The New York Giants suffered more than a heartbreaking loss in Philadelphia as the team announced that wide receiver Hakeem Nicks will be out for the next three weeks with swelling in his lower right leg. Nicks was hit in the leg sometime during the 27-17 loss to the Eagles on Sunday night and is being treated for compartment syndrome, swelling in the lower leg which compresses nerves and blood vessels.
X-rays on Tony Romo's broken left collarbone show that it's still fractured, and the Cowboys starting quarterback remains at least three weeks away from returning, a source told ESPNDallas.com on Monday. Romo underwent X-rays Monday morning to see how the injury to his non-throwing arm is healing. Romo was injured on Oct. 25 in a loss to the New York Giants at Cowboys Stadium when he took a shot on his shoulder by linebacker Michael Boley. Romo has been out about four weeks and doctors have told him it takes six to eight weeks for the collarbone to show any real healing.
Nebraska coach Bo Pelini apologized for his sideline tirades during a loss at Texas A&M and also quashed rumors that Taylor Martinez had quit the team in the wake of an animated exchange he had with the quarterback that was seen on national TV. Pelini said he believes it's OK to let an official know he disagrees with a call, but it's wrong to "make it personal." Pelini said he "let it get personal."
Duke (3-0) and Michigan State (2-0) remain the top two teams in the latest ESPN/USA Today's men's basketball coaches poll, which saw a significant amount of jockeying among teams which remained unbeaten last week. The Blue Devils picked up 29 of 31 first-place votes to easily outdistance the Spartans, who earned the other two top spots in voting of 31 NCAA Division I men's basketball coaches. Duke and Michigan State will meet each other Dec. 1 (9:30 PM ET, ESPN) in the final game of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Ohio State (3-0) climbed from fifth to third, thanks to an impressive win at No. 14 Florida. Kansas State (3-0) and Pittsburgh (5-0) both slipped behind the Buckeyes despite maintaining unblemished records.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.