Originally created 01/15/04

Elway leads Hall finalists



CANTON, Ohio - John Elway and Barry Sanders were among 15 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced Wednesday.

The Hall's board of selectors selected the finalists from a list of 25 semifinalists. The board decided once again to leave off Thomson native Ray Guy, a punter.

Two candidates, tackle Bob Brown and wide receiver Bob Hayes, were recommended by the Hall's senior committee. Other finalists: wide receiver Art Monk; defensive ends Richard Dent, Carl Eller, and Jim Marshall ; guard Bob Kuechenberg; safety Cliff Harris; cornerback Lester Hayes; tackles Rayfield Wright and Gary Zimmerman.

Linebacker Harry Carson and general manager George Young are automatic finalists because of their high finish in last year's voting.

Team owners Art Modell and Ralph Wilson Jr. also did not make the list.

The new class will elected in Houston on Jan. 31, the day before the Super Bowl.

49ERS: In San Jose, Calif., San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jeff Garcia was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving early Wednesday, a jail spokesman said.

Garcia, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, was booked into the Santa Clara County jail at about 3:30 a.m., spokesman Mark Cursi said. He was released six hours later, Cursi said.

He is scheduled to make a court appearance March 1, according to the Santa Clara County district attorney's office.

Garcia was pulled over by San Jose State University police near campus, Cursi said. He had attended the San Jose Sharks' game against the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night.

Campus police issued a statement saying Garcia had three passengers in his car and that the vehicle was pulled over for "erratic operation." The statement said preliminary results showed a blood alcohol level above the legal limit, but that final results would not be available for about two weeks.

PATRIOTS: In Foxboro, Mass., New England center Damian Woody was listed as doubtful for the AFC championship game amid published reports that he tore the medial collateral ligament in his right knee and will not play again this season.

Woody was hurt on the Patriots' first play of Saturday's game against the Tennessee Titans and played intermittently in the 17-14 victory.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick would not elaborate on the injury, but the official injury report gives Woody a 25 percent chance of playing against the Indianapolis Colts.

The Boston Globe reported Wednesday that Woody had a partial ligament tear that will not require surgery but will keep him out Sunday's game and the Feb. 1 Super Bowl, if necessary.

Russ Hochstein would start in Woody's place.

GIANTS: In East Rutherford, N.J., Tom Coughlin hired another of Bill Parcells' former assistants Wednesday, picking Mike Sweatman to be his special teams coordinator.

Sweatman was the Giants special teams coach under Parcells from 1985-92. He has been to three Super Bowls, winning two with the Giants in 1986 and 1990.

Coughlin also worked on Parcells' staff as did Mike Pope, who was retained Tuesday to work with tight ends.

Sweatman was the Chicago Bears' special teams coach the past three seasons.