Retired football players angry with the NFL Players Association over disability and pension benefits said yesterday in Las Vegas that the executive director of the union may be ahead of himself in seeking their support during coming contract talks with the league.

The informal group of former football players lashed out at comments by NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith, who said Saturday that if there was a lockout by owners in 2011, retired player benefits would be reduced by 80 percent while it lasts.

Several players meeting in Las Vegas about their problems with the union said their benefits were protected by law, lockout or not.

"I think he might be putting the cart before the horse," said Marvin Cobb, a former defensive back who played six years in the NFL for Cincinnati, Minnesota, and Pittsburgh and won NCAA national championships with Southern Cal in 1972 and 1974.

Several former stars, including Hall of Fame members Mike Ditka, Green Bay's Herb Adderley and Buffalo's Joe DeLamielleure, have been increasingly critical of the union's health-benefits and pension plan, which pays some retired players only hundreds of dollars a month.

Horse racing

Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird will have his final workout today at Churchill Downs in Kentucky and then is scheduled to be shipped Wednesday by plane, not by trailer, to New York for Saturday's Belmont Stakes.

Trainer Chip Woolley will leave tomorrow.

Mark Allen and Leonard Blach, owners of Mine That Bird, stopped by the gelding's barn yesterday.

"For as hard as he has run and the shipping, I am real happy with the way he looks," Allen said.


Andre Berto retained his World Boxing Council welterweight title with a unanimous decision over Colombia's Juan Urango on Saturday night at Seminole Hard Rock Live Arena in Hollywood, Fla.

In another bout, former International Boxing Federation welterweight champion Kermit Cintron of Reading handed Alfred Angulo his first defeat with a convincing unanimous decision in their 12-round junior-middleweight bout.

All three judges scored the bout for Cintron, 116-112. There were no knockdowns.

Cintron (30-2, 1 knockout) and Angulo (15-1) both weighed 153 pounds.

Berto (25-0), of Winter Haven, Fla., won on two judges' scorecards by 118-110 and by 117-111 on the third over Urango (21-2).


Philadelphia University finished fourth behind Western Washington in the Division II Varsity Eights race at the NCAA Women's Row Championships at Cooper River Park in Camden County.

Stanford, which won the first Varsity Eights by less than a second over Virginia, claimed the Division I team title with 88 points in the field of 16 schools. California and Yale (85 points) were second.


Despite a fall on rain-slicked cobblestones within sight of the Coliseum in Rome, Denis Menchov of Russia still managed to capture the 100th edition of the Giro d'Italia 41 seconds ahead of Danilo Di Luca of Italy.

Lance Armstrong finished in 12th place overall, then jetted home to await the birth of his fourth child.


Alexandre Giroux scored 13 minutes, 33 seconds into overtime Saturday night to complete a hat trick as the Hershey Bears rallied from a 3-1 deficit to edge the Manitoba Moose, 5-4, in the AHL Calder Cup championship series opener in Winnipeg. It is a best-of-seven series.