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ANCHORAGE, Alaska - A lack of snow in south-central Alaska has organizers of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race pondering whether to move the start of the gruelling 1,609-kilometre competition from Willow to Fairbanks. James Daniels Bears Jersey .The event begins with a ceremonial start March 7 in Anchorage. Dog teams carrying passengers make a leisurely 17.7-kilometre run from downtown to an airstrip on the citys east side.Actual racing begins a day later and usually starts in Willow. The trail takes mushers and dogs through the Alaska Range, down the Yukon River and along the Bering Sea coast to the old gold rush town of Nome.Race organizers in 2003 moved the start of the race to Fairbanks on the north side of the Alaska Range because of low snow and poor trail conditions. They were criticized for not doing so last year.Norwegian musher Robert Sorlie, who won the race in 2005, survived a harrowing trip through the Dalzell Gorge and Farewell Burn in the Alaska Range.They should not send people out there. Its not safe, said Sorlie, a firefighter, while in Nikolai. Ive never been so scared before in my life.Race marshal Mark Nordman is watching current trail conditions closely, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported (http://bit.ly/15sCMKr). One big storm could change everything, he said.Plan A is going over the Alaska Range. Thats still what were working on, he said. And with the reception we had in 2003, we would hope Fairbanks would be excited if Plan B would need to happen.The Dalzell Gorge and the Farewell Burn need more snow, he said. There also might be open water on the Yukon River above Galena, Nordman said. From Unalakleet on the Bering Sea coast, theres a thin snowpack too, he said.Temperatures rose last year after the decision was made to use the traditional route, Nordman said.The Iditarod Trail Committee will decide in mid-February whether the race will follow its normal route or restart in Fairbanks. Lead time is needed because mushers drop off food at checkpoints and race officials must plan logistics, Nordman said.Theres pressure from locations along the traditional route to keep it, Nordman said.Cities and businesses along the traditional route want organizers to stick to the usual trail, Nordman said.When we dont come through a village, itll be a big hit, he said. But they all realize. They see it every day. Their travel is harder because of the lack of snow in some places.Nordman added his ultimate responsibility is to the dogs and mushers.___Information from: Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner, http://www.newsminer.com Roquan Smith Jersey . -- Floridas smothering defence returned to form just in time for the third-ranked Gators to keep their winning streak going. Chicago Bears Jerseys . No pretty goals on this night, just get to the front of the net and fight for a chance. http://www.bearsrookiestore.com/Bears-Anthony-Miller-Jersey/ .com) - Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price is set to return Tuesday against Nashville after sitting out the past two games because of a minor upper body injury. ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Jim Schwartz was hired to turn around the Detroit Lions and he did it for three seasons. He failed to keep the Lions going in the right direction the next two years -- and it cost him his job. The Lions fired Schwartz on Monday, one day after their late-season slide ended with a loss at Minnesota. He had two years and nearly $12 million left on his contract. Schwartz informed the players of the decision during a team meeting. "I feel awful for him," Lions centre Dominic Raiola said. "I feel like we let him down." Team President Tom Lewand said the search has begun for what he thinks is one of the most -- if not the most -- attractive opportunities for a head coach in the NFL. "I can verify that by the number of calls we have already gotten since the announcement was made," Lewand said. "Going through a thorough process is extremely important. That doesnt necessarily it has to be a long process." San Diego Chargers offensive co-ordinator Ken Whisenhunt is among the potential candidates. Whisenhunt led the Arizona Cardinals to the Super Bowl during a six-year run as their coach and Lions general manager Martin Mayhew is a former Washington Redskins teammate. The Lions also let offensive co-ordinator Scott Linehan and wide receivers coach Tim Lappano seek other jobs, saying the rest of the staff is under contract, including some assistants for the 2014 season. Detroit flopped to a 7-9 record this year after a 6-3 record start put the franchise in a position to win a division title for the first time since 1993. "That is the reason we are sitting here having this conversation," Lewand said. Schwartz was 29-51 over five seasons, including a 10-6 mark in 2011 that lifted the Lions to their only post-season appearance this century. The former Tennessee Titans defensive co-ordinator was hired in 2009 when Detroit was coming off the NFLs first 0-16 season. "Jim inherited a very tough job," Mayhew acknowledged. Schwartz led the Lions to two wins in his first year, six the next and to double digits in victories two years ago for the first time since 1995 to help them end an 11-year post-season drought. The Lions lost their last eight games last year after a .500 start. They collapsed again this season with four straight losses and six in a seven-game stretch -- blowing fourth-quarter leads in each setback -- after they took control of the NFC North race. Detroit and the 2000 San Diego Chargers are the only NFL teams since 1940 to lose fourth-quarter leads in seven games in a season, according to STATS. "From where we were in 2008 to where we are now its a big diffference," quarterback Matthew Stafford said. Taylor Gabriel Bears Jersey. . "We owe a lot of that to him. Hes a really smart guy and helped us get to where we are. Obviously, we didnt win as many games as we needed to or as we should have this year." The Lions took on the personality of their demonstrative and emotionally charged coach and that wasnt always good news for them. When Detroit ran the ball instead of having turnover-prone Stafford throw late in regulation of its 23-20 overtime loss to the New York Giants in Week 16, the crowd reacted with a loud chorus of boos. Schwartz responded by looking away from the field and screaming something toward the stands. Schwartz negated a video review and was called for unsportsmanlike conduct by angrily throwing a challenge flag last season when Houstons Justin Forsett scored after two Lions tackled him, leading to a defeat during an eight-game, season-ending slide. The previous year, Schwartz had a heated exchange with San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh and had to be separated following their postgame handshake. "The stuff that happened with Harbaugh just was an incident," Detroit guard Rob Sims said. "The stuff with the fans just was an incident. Thats not an everyday occurrence." Schwartz was 12-32 in games in November or later for a .273 winning percentage that was the worst for a coach in five-plus straight seasons with a team since Denvers Lou Saban won one-quarter of those late-season games from 1967-1971, according to STATS. His .363 winning percentage overall with the Lions is the worst by an NFL coach in his first five full seasons since John McKay won fewer than 30 per cent of his games with the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1976-1980. The Lions gave Schwartz an extension entering the 2012 season, when he had one year left on his four-deal worth about $11 million. The second contract made him the longest-tenured coach the franchise has had since Wayne Fontes led the Lions from 1988-96. Bobby Ross, Gary Moeller, Marty Mornhinweg, Steve Mariucci, Dick Jauron -- on an interim basis -- and Rod Marinelli all had a chance to lead a franchise with only one playoff victory since winning the 1957 NFL title before Schwartz got a shot to be a head coach for the first time at any level. The Lions would like to hire someone, who runs a 4-3 defence and has head coaching experience, but theyre not going to overlook assistants who fit the profile theyre looking for. "The goal isnt to hire the biggest name or the most popular candidate and win the next press conference," Lewand said. "Its to win football games in 2014 and to win a championship." 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