Sled hockey is a cool sport. For athletes with physical disabilities, sled hockey is a second chance. Military wounds, car accidents and other tragedies cannot halt these individuals from finding a niche on ice.

For a sled hockey team in Canada known as the Cruisers, their experience with the sport got even better when some NHL superstars surprised them with a visit. In a series of videos just released by Gatorade Canada, Sidney Crosby, Claude Giroux, Scott Hartnell, Ryan Miller, Logan Couture and Nathan MacKinnon all tossed aside their normal sticks and skates for sled hockey equipment one day in August to create lifetime of memories.

The game highlights show the NHL stars, while adjusting to their sleds, are on a rather level playing field with the Cruisers. The NHLers split teams with Crosby and Giroux wearing C's for both teams. Crosby knocks in an empty netter to cap off a 4-2 win for his team.

Gatorade Canada also unveiled some great interviews:

Sled hockey is known as sledge hockey nearly everywhere outside of the United States, thus the text of the videos in Canada. The U.S. Sled Hockey Team won the last two Paralympics gold medals in 2010 and 2014. In 2014, in Sochi, Russia took the silver medal and Canada the bronze.

These videos show a more tender side to a sport sometimes known more for hitting, fighting and slashing. At the very least, hockey fans will enjoy a reunion of Giroux and Hartnell, who played seven seasons together with the Philadelphia Flyers.

Peyton Manning thrives on making adjustments, so when he came across a fan letter that he wanted to answer, he didn't just drop the matter when it came without a return address. Manning and the Broncos public relations staff worked three months to track down Kristen Patterson and her husband, Army Sgt. Ryan Patterson.

The search ended in North Pole, Alaska, and resulted in a face-to-face meeting between Manning and the Patterson family, as reported by Corey Elliot of the Indianapolis Star.

The story began Sept. 21 when Kristen wrote a letter to Manning to ask if he could meet with Ryan, a die-hard Colts fan. As the Star put it, "During his two tours in Afghanistan, Patterson would set alarms to wake up at odd hours of the night just to stream Colts games."

Kristen asked Manning if they might be able to meet Dec. 22 in Cincinnati when the Broncos were playing the Bengals and the family was in the area visiting relatives for the holidays. But Kristen forgot to include a return address, and since the Patterson live in North Pole, Alaska, where Ryan is stationed at Fort Wainwright, Manning and the Denver PR crew had a lot of legwork ahead of them.

"He seemed genuinely tickled that we lived in North Pole, Alaska," Ryan told the Star. He said, 'You guys are really hard to find.' Before he left he shook my hand and thanked me for my service one more time and I thanked him for being my quarterback."

Here's the text of Kristen's letter, again via the Indianapolis Star:

Dear Mr. Manning,

My name is Kristen Patterson. I am writing to ask a question. You see my husband is a HUGE fan, and when I say HUGE I mean it. He is currently serving our country in the United States Army and has deployed twice to Afghanistan. He would set alarms to wake up at odd hours in the night just to listen to your football games. We recently had to move across the country for the Army and he tried to get us stationed in Colorado just so he could ensure that he would never miss your games.

We will be attending the Bengals vs. Broncos game on December 22, 2014, while home for the holidays, and it would mean so much to my husband if you might be able to find the time to just even say hello, not to mention it would make me to coolest wife ever of all time. I know you are a busy man, and if you can't, it will be ok. I just thought I might ask in the rare chance that you might agree to this.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Sincerely,
Kristen Patterson

Lauren Hill's inspirational story captured a national audience and brought much-needed media attention to the fight against cancer.

The 19-year-old has used that national spotlight to raise awareness and promote activism against cancer. The Cure Starts Now Foundation announced Tuesday that Hill's fundraising drive had reached its goal of raising $1 million to put toward the fight against cancer, including seeking a cure for the disease.


Hill's work once again drew the attention of Devon Still, whose 4-year-old daughter, Leah, is battling pediatric cancer. Still and Hill have previously exchanged gifts and words of support.


Hill first rose to prominence earlier this year through his inspirational determination to play college basketball -- this despite her inoperable brain tumor. While she wasn't able to participate in a full season, Hill did suit up in a college basketball game.

Since then, Hill has stopped playing basketball, but she continues to use her time to benefit others suffering from her condition. She's as brave as they come.

During last year's NBA Playoffs, a man who helmed the sidelines for 30 years quickly disappeared. Craig Sager, the man of many multi-colored suits, was diagnosed with leukemia and forced to enter treatment immediately.

Sager's absence was felt throughout the league, with players and coaches offering their support for him as he battled cancer. Seven months later, there's good news: Sager received a successful bone marrow transplant from his son, and the NBA broadcast legend figures to make a full recovery.

During the NBA's day-long slate of games, TNT took time out to air an 18-minute special on Sager's journey -- one Sager admits he was harder and longer than he expected.

Sager also shares how he first discovered something was wrong.

"As I was going back and forth to the locker rooms I just felt like, not myself, "Sager says. "I had a hard time getting back and forth, and I ran into Dr. Souryal from the Dallas Mavericks, who had operated on my knee in a skiing accident a few years earlier, and I said, 'Doc, I just don't feel good.' And he did some initial tests and said, 'You gotta go to the hospital. I'll drive you.'

"They took me to the emergency room to do the blood work, and they said that my hemoglobin was 4.6. According to their standards, that was 'walking dead.'"

But Sager fought hard, and appears well on his way to victory. his treatment process isn't over, but his wife already termed the ordeal "a miracle."

It's a long video, but well worth watching. You don't have to be a basketball fan to enjoy the story.

The best surprise in Memphis isn't the Grizzlies' 21-6 start to the season.

Rather, the team with the third-best record in the Western Conference did something so nice for one of its interns that it'll have you forgetting all about the Grizzlies' strong start.

Brandon Henderson, a 24-year-old team personnel intern, had his 1993 Chrysler New Yorker stolen while on a date in downtown Memphis. Upon finding out about Henderon's misfortune, the team's players chipped in to buy Henderson a new car.

"I don't know how the guys found out," Henderson said. " ... I try to keep stuff that happens at home away from work. It didn't seem real. It seemed like a dream. It’s like stuff you see on TV. They’d didn’t have to do it, but it’s a blessing."

Here are some videos of the heartwarming moment when the players surprised Henderson with a new Nissan Altima:


From guard Courtney Lee:

Kevin Love is one of the NBA's best passing big men. In particular, he is known for his outlet passes that trigger fast breaks.

Love started different sort of scoring play to celebrate the start of the holiday season in early December. He made a surprise visit to Scranton Elementary School in Cleveland to help Dick's Sporting Goods launch its #HolidayHoops.

Dick's is giving basketball hoops to two organizations every day in December, and Scranton Elementary was the first.


How is @kevinlove spreading love on #GivingTuesday? By teaming up w/ @dickssportinggoods launch #HolidayHoops!

A video posted by Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) on

In advance of the giveaways, Dick's took a novel approach of piquing the public curiosity by placing hoops in various spots in New York, Los Angeles and Cleveland. Here's what happened:



Andrew Luck is so good that the third-year Indianapolis Colts quarterback has developed a unique weapon that is invisible to the fans watching his games on television.

The Wall Street Journal interviewed 12 defenders who have recorded a sack or a knockdown of Luck, and each said the Pro Bowler gave them some sort of congratulatory message after the hit.

Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Nolan Carroll told the Journal that it is somewhat unnerving to hear a compliment from a quarterback, because that means he wasn't rattled by the hit.

“You know if you hear a quarterback get mad, you are in his head,” Carroll told the Journal. “With Luck, you thought you hurt the guy, you hear 'good job' and you just say ‘aw, man.'"

The Journal's Kevin Clark writes that Luck will often respond to a bone-shattering hit with a positive response like "great hit" or "good tackle." Sometimes Luck will even throw in the nickname of the defender, as he did when he was taken down by Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs during a recent game.

"Great hit, Sizzle," Luck says at the 40-second mark of this video:

Most quarterbacks either remain silent or complain to the referee about the nature of the hit.

"In all the years I’ve played football I have never heard anything like it,” Washington Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan told Clark. "Nothing even close."

Luck's tactics are so unusual that some players suggested his niceness is strategic; that's he congratulating opponents as a way of getting in their heads. But Luck's father, former NFL quarterback Oliver, says Andrew's sportsmanship is reflective of the way he was raised.

"My wife and I raised all four of our kids with appropriate values, with respect for other people and to be kind and generous and I guess that carried over to the football field," the elder Luck told the Journal.

Of course, Luck isn't the first quarterback to have nice words for his opponents. As evidenced by this game against the Chicago Bears in 2011, Tim Tebow also sung the praises of defenders after they took him down.

The only minor difference between Luck and Tebow is that Luck is "talking the talk" and "walking the walk." Considered by some to be an MVP candidate this season, Luck leads all passers with 4,492 yards through the air and 38 touchdowns. His Colts clinched the AFC South division title Sunday title with a victory over the Houston Texans.

Among the numerous benefits of playing alongside Tom Brady, perhaps most overlooked is the opportunity to rack up a closetful of UGG boots.

The New England Patriots star quarterback is one of the company's most visible endorsers, and he has shouldered the considerable challenge of singlehandedly changing the image of the boots.

As part of his effort to get more men wearing the brand, Brady has made it somewhat of a tradition to give his teammates UGGs each year for Christmas. In the first year of the partnership Brady, who was introduced to the boots by his three sisters, gave each of his lineman a pair.

The next year, Brady gave everyone on his team a pair.



While Brady admits his teammates teased him when he initially signed the deal, after they received their first pair their opinion quickly changed.

"Once they tried them on, any thoughts of jokes stopped," Brady told the Wall Street Journal in 2011. "The warm boots are perfect during the cold New England winters."

Slowly but surely, through generous gifts like these and commercials like the one below, Brady is shifting the perception of the Australian brand.


The gifts keep flowing in for Devon Still and his inspirational daughter Leah, who continues her battle against pediatric cancer.

On top of a number of donations the father and her daughter have received during the NFL season are two jackets donated by North Face, with the phrases "Leah Strong" and "Still Strong" stitched into the arms.


Leah Still's inspirational story has drawn attention across the country this year. Her father, who was cut earlier this season by the Cincinnati Bengals only to be brought back -- in part so his daughter had access to the NFL's excellent insurance -- has used social media to keep fans and supporters updated on Leah's battle.

Not long after posting photos of the North Face jackets, Devon Still also shared a Christmas picture he took with his daughter:


She brings out the smile in me #Christmas2014

A photo posted by Devon Still (@man_of_still75) on

Leah's cancer treatments are done for the moment, but there is no word yet on how the treatments have impacted her condition.

With a heartwarming act of kindness before a recent game, Kevin Durant proved once again he is one of the most charitable and self-aware superstars alive.

Before his Oklahoma City Thunder squared off against the Detroit Pistons on Sunday, the 2014 MVP was introduced to 13-year-old Anthony Cupp. An eighth-grader from outside Detroit, Anthony had mowed lawns in his neighborhood to earn enough money to buy a pair of Durant's signature shoes. But shortly after purchasing the sneakers, Cupp was jumped by some older kids and had to hand over his prized kicks.

"It was horrifying," Anthony's mother, Janiesa, told reporters. "He's such a good kid. All the teachers tell me what a good kid he is in a school that struggles with discipline. What he worked so hard for was stolen for him. It was heartbreaking."

Janiesa herself has faced adversity recently. She recently had a tumor removed and is still undergoing therapy.

The Pistons heard about Anthony's misfortune and told Durant. Before the teams' matchup Sunday, Durant invited Anthony on to the floor and spoke with him. Then Durant gave the youngster two pairs of shoes -- one in Anthony's size and one in Durant's size, signed by the man himself. Durant also gave Anthony a jacket and a backpack.


"We got such a big platform, man, and kids look up to us," Durant said of meeting Anthony. "To set a good example, we just have to show them that we're human, too. They look at us as superheroes sometimes. So just to sit and talk to them, ask them how their day went, ask them where they're from, make them feel like they are where they belong. We may seem untouchable, but we aren't. That's the biggest thing I wanted to show him. I'm a human just like you. I go through things just like you. Even though I play in the NBA, I'm here for you."

This is just Durant's latest good deed. The 26-year-old has done everything from handing out free ice cream to donating $1 million to disaster relief in the Oklahoma City area.

After meeting Anthony, Durant proceeded to put on a show. He led all scorers with 28 points on 10-of-19 shooting and propelled the Thunder to a 96-94 victory.

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