Agent tweets Horton should 'stay out of the way' next time

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Agent tweets Horton should 'stay out of the way' next time

Congrats to hockey agent Scott Norton for the lunk head hockey tweet of the weekend, and it had nothing to do with the NHL lockout.

On its face all seemed well when the Chicago-based player agent retweeted an ESPNBoston.com story reporting that Bruins winger Nathan Horton was healthy and ready to resume his career once the lockout is over. Thats encouraging news given that the Bruins forward suffered a pair of serious concussions over a seven month period.

Horton missed the final three months of the regular season and the playoffs after getting blindsided by a Tom Sestito hit in a January game against the Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center. Sestito has been suspended for delivering vicious head shots at the AHL level, and is represented by Norton.

The fringe Flyers forward wasnt suspended or punished by the NHL for the hit on Horton last season, but it raised more than a few eyebrows in Boston given video evidence that Sestito attacked Horton from behind and was clearly targeting the Bs forwards head.

The lack of punishment emboldened Sestitos defenders to claim it was a clean hit, which leads us to Norton's tweet from over the weekend:

Good news! Stay out of @tomsestito23 way next time @murphyslaw74: Agent: Nathan Horton healthy, ready to play espn.go.comblogbostonbr

Scott Norton (@NortonSports) November 10, 2012

Seriously?

Nothing like blaming the victim of a blindside hit and making light of a player battling through major concussion problems in a sport plagued by them in recent years.

When challenged for his comment, Norton bravely tweeted:

@hackswithhaggs PREFACE - I don't want ANYONE to ever get hurt, but once upon a time in land called NHL, guys had to keep their head up

Scott Norton (@NortonSports) November 10, 2012
The only problem with Nortons once upon a time in a land called the NHL scenario? Anybody that saw the actual hit or watched the video -- which admittedly wasnt the greatest angle of the hit and might have played into the lack of punishment from the league -- saw that Horton had his head up the entire time. Sestito clipped him above the neck after charging in from way behind the play while Horton was watching the puck behind the net.

It wasnt as severe as the Matt Cooke hit on Marc Savard, but it was eerily similar to the way that collision took place far behind the play after the puck had been flipped toward the net.

Norton went on to make his case to Bruins fans haranguing him on Twitter after his series of offensive tweets. The agent started with a welcoming tweet to his new admirers in Boston:

Good to see @nhl fans are still excitable...hope this CBA gets resolved soon and we get em back on the ice! HelloToFollowersInBoston

Scott Norton (@NortonSports) November 10, 2012

Then he tried to divert attention away from his tweet by shifting the blame to a common hockey villain in Boston circles, Jeremy Jacobs:

If Bruins fans vented this much on their owner, maybe lockout would come to an end! Jacobs 1 of owners leading their charge. @nhlpa

Scott Norton (@NortonSports) November 10, 2012

Then when all else failed he attempted to gain Boston sympathy by stating that deep, down inside he really likes the Bruins style of play. But then he couldnt help himself by taking another shot on Twitter:

Gonna go do some work. Wanna thx Bruins fans remember - Lucic, Chara, Cashman, O'Reilly, Jonathon, etc have never hurt anyone in a game

Scott Norton (@NortonSports) November 10, 2012

Heres a memo for the agent after his regrettable Twitter exchanges: Remember the cavalier approach to somebody elses head injury the next time one of your clients is tragically suffering the same fate. Then envision the agent of the player that delivered the head shot crowing about it on Twitter. Its an action that takes poor form to a new level.

Rule 48 was put into place because there are too many hockey people that talk a good game about head shots and concussions, but want a different interpretation when it comes to their own clients or players.

Norton later apologized if he had offended anybody with the tweet, and thats probably a good thing. But the once upon a time in the NHL you had to keep your head up mindset is exactly what is wrong in a league where players are retiring prematurely and their lives are being ruined by brain injuries that dont go away after their careers are over.

Norton should know better than to be so callous about it. Hopefully hell "stay out of the way" next time. That would probably be best for everybody involved.

Clayborn beats out Seymour, Vrabel to enter Patriots Hall of Fame

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Clayborn beats out Seymour, Vrabel to enter Patriots Hall of Fame

Raymond Clayborn has been voted into the Patriots Hall of Fame, beating out both Mike Vrabel and Richard Seymour for the honor. The corner, who is tied for the franchise record for interceptions with Ty Law (36), will be the 26th person inducted to the Hall. 

Clayborn was a three-time Pro Bowler (1983, 1985, 1986) during his 13-year Patriots career from 1977 through 1989. He was drafted by the Patriots in the first round (16th overall) out of Texas in 1977, and chipped in both in the secondary and as a kick returner. As a rookie in the return game, he averaged 31 yards per return and brought back three for touchdowns. 

Clayborn reacted to the news on Twitter soon after the announcement was made. 

"I was fortunate to be a season ticket holder during Raymond's entire Patriots career," Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft said in a statement. "For the first half of his career, he teamed with Michael Haynes to form one of the best corner tandems in league history. Throughout his career, Raymond was a physical, shutdown corner.

"One of my favorite memories was watching the 1985 team advance to the Super Bowl after Raymond helped us break the Orange Bowl curse when he stymied future Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino with a dominant performance against Pro Bowl receivers Mark Duper and Mark Clayton. Raymond had six passes defensed and an interception to help us claim our first conference title. It was the greatest upset victory in franchise history at the time and one the entire New England region celebrated. It is a well-deserved honor and I look forward to presenting him his hall of fame jacket."

Clayborn has been a finalist for each of the last four years but was not able to generate enough support in the annual online vote to beat out Ty Law (2014 inductee), Willie McGinest (2015) or Kevin Faulk (2016). Clayborn was eligible to be voted in by the senior committee since he's now been retired for 25 years, but he did not receive the requisite eight of 10 senior committee votes to be elected in that way. 

As it turns out, he didn't need to be. When Kraft called Clayborn with the news, he said Clayborn received over 40 percent of the vote to beat out the pair of three-time Super Bowl champs.