Wakeup Call: Fourth-and-29? Really?

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Wakeup Call: Fourth-and-29? Really?

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Monday, November 26:

BASEBALL
The Phillies have made B.J. Upton their top offseason target, and he may decide who he'll sign with this week. (CSN Philly)

My question: What in the world are the other 13 percent thinking about? (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Too late now, Mayor Henderson. Too late now. (Hardball Talk)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
It's bad enough to lose to unranked Cal Poly. But to blow an 18-point lead -- at home -- in the process? Tough night there, UCLA. (AP)

Louisville will be without senior center Gorgul Dieng for a while. (AP)

Colgate continued playing Wile E. Coyote to Syracuse's Roadrunner with its 47th straight loss to the Orange. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
It's been a long time since Notre Dame was on top of the world, and the Irish are enjoying the view. (AP)

Now it's just a matter of seeing if they'll play Alabama or Georgia for the national championship. (AP)

Frank Spaziani's wasn't the only head on the chopping block yesterday. Also out are Gene Chizik at Auburn, Tom O'Brien at North Carolina State and Danny Hope at Purdue. (AP)

But the most embarrassing firing may have come at Colorado, where, just two days ago, Jon Embree -- fresh off a 1-11 season, and a 4-17 mark in the last two years -- told one and all that athletic director Mike Bohn assured him he'd be returning in 2013. (NBC's College Football Talk)

HOCKEY
These are dark days indeed on the NHL labor front if the best hope for a breakthrough is for someone on the Board of Governors to stand up to Jeremy Jacobs and Gary Bettman. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

Fans and media aren't the only people astounded by the JacobsBettman suicide pact. (Pro Hockey Talk)

Um, players? That decertification idea? Don't. (CSN Philly)

PRO BASKETBALL
Some of the Rockets tweet their support for Kevin McHale after the tragic death of his daughter. (CSN Houston)

Even the broadcasters are into "Not in my house!" blustering. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

Now, the Knicks; they now how to protect this house! (AP)

Rashard Lewis has become a missing person in Miami, but it's not like he didn't know it might happen. (Pro Basketball Talk)

Remember how excited the Sixers were to get Andrew Bynum? Seems like a lifetime ago, doesn't it? (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL
Fourth-and-29? Fourth-and-29? (CSN Baltimore)

Alex Smith = Wally Pipp. (CSN Bay Area)

Remember all that talk out of Green Bay last year? About how the Giants didn't win their NFC semifinal matchup against the Packers as much as the Pack lost it? Looks kind of foolish now, don't you think? (AP)

Jay Cutler looked none the worse for wear in leading the Bears over Minnesota. (CSN Chicago)

Not for nothing, but it's easier to be urgent against the Vikings than it is against the 49ers and Texans. (CSN Chicago)

Matty Ice does it again, and now the Falcons are 10-1. (AP)

Peyton Manning does it again, and now the Broncos are 8-3. (AP)

Karma's a you-know-what, Carson. (CSN Bay Area)

You can't beat anyone when you turn the ball over eight times. Not even the Browns. (AP)

And now, with five weeks left, the playoff picture is beginning to take shape. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

It's not bad enough that the Seahawks lost to Miami; it looks like they're also going to lose their two starting cornerbacks for violation of the league's PED policy. (AP)

Oh, Reuben. You haven't been watching the Patriots much, have you? (CSN Philly)

Wright-Phillips scores 16th goal, Red Bulls beat Revs 1-0

Wright-Phillips scores 16th goal, Red Bulls beat Revs 1-0

HARRISON, N.J. - Bradley Wright-Phillips scored his 16th goal of the season in the 55th minute and the New York Red Bulls beat the New England Revolution 1-0 on Sunday.

Revs goalkeeper Brad Knighton saved Alex Muyl's shot and Wright-Phillips put back the deflection with a half-volley into the right corner. Wright-Phillips has 61 goals in 100 career MLS games.

The Red Bulls (11-9-7) extended their undefeated streak to nine games and moved into a third-place tie in the East with the Philadelphia Union. The Revolution (6-12-9) are winless in their last six.

Has Brissett removed Patriots' need for veteran quarterback help?

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Has Brissett removed Patriots' need for veteran quarterback help?

FOXBORO – Talked to Jacoby Brissett on Sunday. His session with the media was as efficient and frills-free as his Friday night performance against the Carolina Panthers.

Brissett, the third-rounder From NC State, keeps improving. From 7-for-13 for 63 yards in the first game of the preseason to 9-for-13 for 87 yards Week 2 to a 9-for-9, 85-yard, one touchdown performance against Carolina.

He’s completed all manner of passes – inside, outside, checkdowns, tight windows – and looked preternaturally comfortable doing so.

Maybe I have a little recency bias working, but I don’t recall a drafted quarterback looking as poised and in command in his rookie preseason as Brissett has so far. Jimmy Garoppolo may have had more impressive game-by-game numbers, but Brissett oozes composure that that I don’t think Garoppolo matched.

Encircled by a media horde Sunday, Brissett was pleasant and perfunctory when asked about his performance.

“Definitely it was progress,” he said, adding that he’s, "still learning. I’m sure I’ll be learning until I leave here."

 Even though he was 9-for-9, Brissett said that watching film he could see “things you messed up on and could have done better.”

Asked for an example, Brissett talk about speed. At the line of scrimmage, going through progressions and delivering the ball, Brissett said all of it can improve.

The interesting question the Patriots face now is whether they are prepared to allow Brissett to be the lone backup to the still relatively green Garoppolo. Or does the team need an experienced backup to call on if Jimmy melts down?

Thursday night could be a telling evening for that. With Garoppolo unlikely to play a ton so the team can make sure he’s good to go for the opener, it comes down to who benefits more from reps against the Giants, Tom Brady or Brissett?

It shouldn’t be close. Brissett needs the reps.

Meanwhile, we made mention of Brissett’s relationship with Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells after he was drafted and I figured revisiting that on Sunday wouldn’t hurt.

Brissett said he’s circled up with Parcells “here and there” but smiled knowingly and said, “He’s not the head coach here so you kinda need to listen to what your coach here is saying.”

Sunday's Red Sox-Royals lineups: Holt in for Pedroia at second base

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Sunday's Red Sox-Royals lineups: Holt in for Pedroia at second base

The Boston Red Sox close out their three-game series against the Kansas City Royals without second baseman Dustin Pedroia. 

Brock Holt will be at second base for Pedroia who will miss the game, reportedly attending to a family matter.

Eduardo Rodriguez (2-5, 5.11 ERA) will be on the mound for the Sox, facing off against Yordano Ventura (9-9, 4.27 ERA).

The lineups:

ROYALS
Paulo Orlando CF
Cheslor Cuthbert 3B
Lorenzo Cain RF
Eric Hosmer 1B
Kendrys Morales DH
Salvador Perez C
Alex Gordon LF
Alcides Escobar SS
Raul Mondesi 2B
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Yordano Ventura RHP

RED SOX
Brock Holt 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Mookie Betts RF
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Travis Shaw 3B
Chris Young LF
Sandy Leon C
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
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Eduardo Rodriguez LHP