Wakeup Call: 'Roll Tribe!' is the new rallying cry

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Wakeup Call: 'Roll Tribe!' is the new rallying cry

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Friday, January 4:

AUTO RACING
Yes, that's the same Travis Pastrana who won all those gold medals in the X Games. (AP)

BASEBALL
It's just a lovefest between the Indians and their newest outfielder, Ohio native Nick Swisher . . . who may have coined a new rallying cry ("Roll Tribe!") at his introductory press conference. (AP)

Need an outfielder? Looks like Justin Upton's available. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

So why are big names like Michael Bourn, Rafael Soriano, Kyle Loshe and Adam LaRoche still on the market? Let Theo Epstein explain. (CSN Chicago)

Yeah, yeah, he signed a contract and all that. But Darren Oliver says he won't return to the Blue Jays unless they give him a raise. (Hardball Talk)

The best part of Sergio Romo's arrest? His promise "to conduct myself in the future in the 'San Francisco Giants Way'." (Hardball Talk)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Arizona's still unbeaten . . . (AP)

. . . thanks to the refs, who -- according to College Basketball Talk's Rob Dauster -- blew a last-second call that should have given Colorado the upset. (NBC's College Basketball Talk)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
There was a brief time this fall when it looked like an Oregon-Kansas State bowl matchup would decide the national championship. Unfortunately for the Ducks, their 35-17 victory over the Wildcats last night only got them a Fiesta Bowl trophy. (AP)

Was Oregon's win Chip Kelly's going-away party? (NBC's College Football Talk)

If it was, expect boyhood friends Jeffrey Lurie and Joe Banner -- a.k.a., owner of the Eagles and CEO of the Browns -- to be squaring off over who gets to hire him. (College Football Talk)

Looks like Oregon's already chosen Kelly's replacement. (College Football Talk)

We lead off today's college-to-NFL exodus with Florida State's Bjoern Werner, regarded as a potential Top 10 pick. (College Football Talk)

Next up: Michigan State's Le'Veon Bell (with Dion Sims about to follow). (College Football Talk)

Pitt lineman Arthur Doakes has been suspended for the BBVA Compass Bowl -- never heard of it, but it's the third straight year the Panthers have played in it -- because of a violation of team rules. (College Football Talk)

Ron Turner, who's been out of college coaching since being fired by Illinois in 2004, is leaving the NFL to become head man at Florida International. (AP)

GOLF
Don't expect to see much of Steve Stricker on the PGA Tour this year. (AP)

HOCKEY
If you're still interested . . . (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

As nightmarish as it is for the rest of us, the NHL lockout's been a dream come true for this kid. (CSN Washington)

Kimmo Timonen is worried how his 37-year-old body, coming off back surgery, will respond to a condensed 48-game schedule. (Pro Hockey Talk)

The Penguins think they'll respond quite well, thank you. (AP)

PRO BASKETBALL
Phil Jackson's finally taking Jeanie Buss to the altar, 13 years after their first date. (AP)

The Knicks snapped the Spurs' seven-game winning streak in pretty convincing fashion. (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL
Elbow, schmelbow. Justin Smith says he's playing when the 49ers host their NFC semifinal-round game on Jan. 12. (CSN Bay Area)

So that explains it! (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

If last year's coin toss is any indication, Sunday's Seahawks-Redskins game could be pretty interesting. (Pro Football Talk)

And Brandon Browner, back from his four-game suspension, is lookng forward to it. (AP)

That's six career Offensive Player of the Month awards for Peyton Manning, yet another NFL record. (AP)

Didn't take long for Ray Lewis to line up his next gig. (CSN Baltimore)

Count John Madden among those who thinks Chuck Pagano's experiences in Baltimore give him an edge as he prepares the Colts for Sunday's game against the Ravens. (CSN Baltimore)

Speaking of Colts' coaches -- assistants, anyway -- Indianapolis has given the Bears permission to interview Bruce Arians. (AP)

Guess there really were no hard feelings: Andy Reid's set to hire Juan Castillo, whom he -- or at least the Eagles -- fired as defensive coordinator in October, on his next staff. (CSN Philly)

And it looks like that reunion will take place in Kansas City. (AP)

The Cardinals, thought to be the odds-on favorite in the Reid Sweepstakes earlier this week, have moved on; now they're getting ready to interview ex-Chiefs coach and current Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley . . . who, incidentally, was also Arizona's offensive coordinator during its 2008 Super Bowl run. (AP)

The Eagles head West in their search for a new coach. (CSN Philly)

Lovie Smith to Buffalo? Maybe. (Pro Football Talk)

Josh Brent was drunk when he got into the accident that killed Cowboys teammate Jerry Brown Jr., but the Medical Examiner's Office says Brown was sober when he died. (AP)

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.