Wakeup Call: A Pyrrhic victory . . . or is it just a sprain for RGIII?

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Wakeup Call: A Pyrrhic victory . . . or is it just a sprain for RGIII?

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Monday, December 10.

BASEBALL
Looks like there'll be no TitoYouk reunion, as the Indians -- who reportedly grew tired of waiting for Youkilis to make a decision -- have reached agreement with Mark Reynolds to play first base. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Nor are Francisco Liriano and the Twins getting back together. (Hardball Talk)

The way A-Rod sees it, the last time he had hip surgery he made it back and the Yankees won the World Series. So . . . (AP)

It's a deal between the Phillies and Rangers, and Michael Young's now in Philadelphia. (AP)

Hardball Talk's Matthew Pouliot says the Royals-Rays trade is a case of "a general manager putting his own best interests ahead of those of his team", since Dayton Moore a) knew he'd probably be fired if the Royals didn't show improvement in 2013, and b) the price tag was waayy too high for two players who will only lift K.C. into the 82-85 win range.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Undefeated, and No. 1, Indiana received its first bit of bad news, as sophomore forward Austin Etherington is lost for the season. And because of an injury suffered against Central Connecticut State, no less. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
They say when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. Things must be pretty weird at Temple, then, because the Owls -- in attempting to fill the head coaching vacancy created when Steve Addazio bolted for Boston College -- are looking at Eagles defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. (CSN Philly)

And Giants assistant Matt Ruhle. (NBC's College Football Talk)

The theme continues: Is anyone weirder than Nick Saban, who's now being linked to the Browns? (College Football Talk)

And more weirdness: Going from a Big 12 school to one in the Big East? But that's what Tommy Tuberville's doing, as he's leaving Texas Tech for Cincinnati. (AP)

Manti Te'o's Heisman snub didn't go down too well at Notre Dame. (CSN Chicago)

Jerry Sandusky's "fight is 100 percent back", says his lawyer, and they're pressing ahead with his appeal. (AP)

HOCKEY
Let's start the merry-go-round once again. (AP)

PRO BASKETBALL
They may not be winning, but at least the Lakers are hustling and working hard. Oh, wait . . . (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

It's 180 degrees different in the Big Apple. (AP)

Pretty sure Steven Jackson himself wrote the first Twitter post, and -- 25,000 later -- his representatives wrote the second. (AP)

Also 25,000 lighter these days: Cavs coach Byron Scott. But it was for a more traditional, postgame bashing of the refs. (AP)

Derrick Rose gives an update -- of sorts -- on his ACL rehab. (CSN Chicago)

When Kevin McHale returned, Jeremy Lin's playing time shrank. But Lin says he understands. (CSN Houston)

PRO FOOTBALL
It may have been a pyrrhic victory, but it was a victory nonetheless -- and a big one -- for the Redskins. (AP)

Hard to believe RGIII has just a sprained knee. Yet that's the story . . . for now. (CSN Washington)

Now that the games are big, the Ravens are coming up small. (CSN Baltimore)

But what, them worry? (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

It was an emotional win for the grieving Cowboys. (AP)

Desperate times call for desperate measures: The Eagles broke their eight-game losing streak with a play Nick Foles drew up in the dirt. Figuratively, that is. (CSN Philly)

The Bears ran up "perhaps the most meaningless 438 yards of total offense in recent memory" in their 21-14 loss to the Vikings. (CSN Chicago)

And they're now in second place in the NFC North as a result, as the Packers beat the Lions and took over the top spot. (AP)

Now this is the Brandon Jacobs we know. (CSN Bay Area)

David Wilson had a nice coming-out party -- and at the right time, too -- for Jacobs' former team. (Pro Football Talk)

I guess Greg Hardy was right. (AP)

Quite the story unfolding in Indianapolis, isn't it? (AP)

Arizona's humiliating meltdown at Seattle -- eight turnovers, 154 yards total offense, a 58-0 loss -- was one for the ages. (AP)

Interesting fallout from the Jovan Belcher murdersuicide: Peter King reports that at least seven NFL players have turned in their guns to team security personnel, with one player telling his team that he doesn't trust himself. (Pro Football Talk)

Freeman, Coleman lift Falcons past Saints, 45-32

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Freeman, Coleman lift Falcons past Saints, 45-32

NEW ORLEANS - Devonta Freeman practically wore out the Superdome turf with one long gain after another, Tevin Coleman wouldn't be denied near the goal line and the New Orleans Saints hardly looked like the team that made an emotional homecoming nearly 10 years ago to the day.

Cheers turned to boos, and many fans filed out early.

Coleman rushed for three touchdowns, Matt Ryan passed for two TDs and Deion Jones returned an interception 90 yards for a score to help the Atlanta Falcons beat the winless New Orleans Saints 45-32 on Monday night.

"It was real fun. Everybody was doing their job and everybody was playing for each other," Coleman said. "Everything clicked, and we got it done. It's a real big win for us to beat this team here."

The game coincided with New Orleans' celebration of the 10-year anniversary of the Saints' memorable return to the Superdome on Sept. 25, 2006, 13 months after Hurricane Katrina. But there would be no reprise of New Orleans' dominant and emotional 23-3 triumph over Atlanta a decade ago.

The Saints' depleted defense struggled to slow Freeman, who rushed for 152 yards and caught five passes for 55 yards. Coleman also was effective in the passing game out of the backfield, with three receptions for 47 yards to go with his 42 yards rushing.

"We have to stop the run better," Saints coach Sean Payton said. "They were over 200 yards in situations where you knew the run was coming, even at the end of the game."

Ryan finished with 240 yards passing for Atlanta (2-1), which did not turn the ball over and moved into sole possession of first place in the NFC South.

Drew Brees put up his usual big numbers - 376 yards and three TDs passing - and hit tight end Coby Fleener seven times for 109 yards and a TD. But Brees' tipped pass that resulted in Jones' TD return early in the fourth quarter gave the Falcons a 45-25 lead that proved too much for New Orleans to overcome.

Hayes knows he's a good player, wants to silence the critics

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Hayes knows he's a good player, wants to silence the critics

BOSTON, Mass. – There’s a long way to go toward a complete resurrection from last season’s misdeeds, but Jimmy Hayes made a nice little statement that he’s learned some lessons in Boston’s preseason debut. The Bruins lost the game, 3-2, in the shootout to the Columbus Blue Jackets, but Hayes scored one of the two goals for the Black and Gold as one of the few veterans in a very youthful lineup for Boston.

The Hayes goal was a nice give-and-go with Jake DeBrusk at the end of a nice transition play in the second period, and was the highlight of a night playing on the right wing with DeBrusk and center Austin Czarnik. The score and a team-high four shots on net for Hayes represent a good start for what he hopes is a gigantic rebound season after last year’s disappointment.

Clearly Hayes heard some of the unflattering chatter about him on sports talk radio and otherwise last season, and may even understand how his difficult season in his home city of Boston -- whether he actively expressed it to him or not -- might have been a factor in his buddy Jimmy Vesey ultimately choosing New York over Boston.

It appears the former Boston College standout is looking to change the conversation in Boston. 

“Yeah, sure am. I’ve got a lot to come out here and…[there were] a lot of comments about myself, but I know I’m a good player. I got to this level for a reason,” said Hayes, who dropped from 19 goals and 35 points with the Panthers to 13 goals, 29 points and a career-worst minus-12 for the Bruins last season.

“To be able to play at the NHL level and continue to play at that level on a consistent basis is what I expect out of myself. I do it for myself and our teammates, and to help our team win. I’ll continue moving forward.

“It’s funny being the old guy on the line. It’s nice to see those young guys and see how excited they are, and how excited I am to get back out there. That’s what I said to the guys, they still have the jitters and they still have them for the first preseason game. It shows that these guys want it and it’s been a lot of fun skating with those guys. They’ve got a lot of speed and to keep pushing the pace. Trying to keep up with them has been a lot of fun.”

There is still a long way to go for the 26-year-old winger, and his willingness to stick around the danger areas on Monday night was a welcomed one for a Bruins team that needs his 6-foot-6 body in front of the net. Hayes paid the price with stitches and a fat lip after taking a Dalton Prout high-stick to the mouth in front of the Columbus net that went uncalled on a Bruins PP at the end of the second period.

That’s all part of the big man’s game on the ice, however. It’s also the kind of battle and determined fight that Hayes will need to show much more consistently in his second season with the hometown Bruins if he’s truly looking to bounce-back from last year’s mediocre performance.