Wakeup Call: Visit to Foxboro 'biggest game in Texans' history'

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Wakeup Call: Visit to Foxboro 'biggest game in Texans' history'

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Friday, December 7.

BASEBALL
  I'm sure a three-year, 75 million offer from the Mariners isn't what Josh Hamilton had in mind when he hit free agency, but it may be the best one he gets. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

  Or is it? (Hardball Talk)

  The other crown jewel of this year's free-agent class, Zack Greinke, may soon have one less suitor. (Hardball Talk)

  The Phillies finally get their center fielder, but Ben Revere came at a pretty high price. (CSN Philly)

  Whether or not they get a new third baseman is entirely up to Michael Young now. (CSN Philly)

  Turns out Jason Bay's deal with Seattle isn't guaranteed. (Hardball Talk)

  The Indians have dropped out of the Justin Upton megatrade talks, which may be on life support, anyway. (Hardball Talk)

  Don't let the Orioles' offseason silence fool you. Dan Duquette still thinks he has "a pretty good ballclub". (CSN Baltimore)

  To paraphrase Robin Williams: Spending 756,000 on the uniform Don Larsen wore during his World Series perfect game in 1956 is God's way of saying you have too much money. (AP)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
  Maryland coach Mark Turgeon warns everyone not to be fooled by the Terrapins' 7-1 record; "our perception is a lot better than reality right now". (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
  Manti Te'o keeps bringing home the hardware. (AP)

  As expected, Barry Alvarez is climbing back into the saddle and will coach Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. (AP)

  But it's just for one game, as Alvarez -- now the Badgers' A.D. -- searches for a replacement for Bret Bielema. One name he's already crossed off his list: Former Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst, who's committed to his job as head coach at Pitt. (AP)

  I, for one, could have sworn Butch Jones was Colorado-bound. But no. (AP)

  The president of the University of Texas appears solidly in Mack Brown's corner. (NBC's College Football Talk)

HOCKEY
  There could be more -- a lot more -- to the latest breakdown in negotiations than meets the eye, especially since one unnamed player claims a) the majority of the rank-and-file was ready to accept the league's offer Wednesday until Don Fehr told them to hold out for more, and b) the same player echoed Michael Neuvirth's previous statement that "this lockout is not about the majority of players . . . but about several superstars with big contracts". (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

  The owners clearly sense a rift in the ranks, judging by comments like "there are some members of the players' association that understand our perspective" and "our proposal was rejected by the union's leadership". (Pro Hockey Talk)

  That being the case, Gary Bettman's dramatic rendering of the owners' anger and disappointment could be part of a bigger strategy to drive a wedge between Fehrsuperstars and the rest of the players. (Pro Hockey Talk)

  Just like Fehr's earlier sunshine-and-lollipops "peace is at hand" speech was probably a P.R. move designed to put public pressure on the league to come back to the table. Because, as Dale Arnold pointed out on Twitter, when you're close to an agreement you don't go to the microphones and talk about how close you are to an agreement; you keep negotiating and get it done. (Pro Hockey Talk)

PRO BASKETBALL
  So that's twice the Knicks have the played the Heat and twice the Knicks have won . . . and this time it was by 20 points, in Miami, without Carmelo Anthony. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

  And it had LeBron James channeling his inner Bill Belichick ("gotta play better") afterwards. (Pro Basketball Talk)

  Dirk Nowitzki's comeback is progressing a lot slower than expected. (Pro Basketball Talk)

PRO FOOTBALL
  If you're looking for someone to toe the Belichikian, don't-feed-the-noise line, Andre Johnson's not your guy. He's calling the Texans' Monday night visit to Foxboro "the biggest game in the history of this franchise". (CSN Houston)

  And Bradie James says he's playing in it. Period. End of story. (CSN Houston)

  That's eight in a row for Peyton Manning and the Broncos, as they made quick work of Oakland last night. (AP)

  Adding injury to insult, the Raiders lost Darren McFadden when he re-sprained his right ankle late in the game. (CSN Bay Area)

  Roger Goodell says the NFL will do what it can to help the Raiders get a new stadium in Oakland. (AP)

  It's official. Ben Roethlsberger will start Sunday. (AP)

  We repeat: Don't invite Payton Hillis and Joe Thomas to the same dinner party. (AP)

  At least one media member doesn't think this latest train wreck of a Jets season will cost Rex Ryan his job. Mike Tannenbaum, on the other hand . . . (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

  49ers CEO Jed York has Jim Harbaugh's back in the Great Quarterback Debate. (CSN Bay Area)

  As part of ongoing domestic disputes involving Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs and the mother of his two children, Suggs was required last month to surrender several firearms. (Pro Football Talk)

Charlie McAvoy tweeted he hates the Bruins 'so much' in 2013

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Charlie McAvoy tweeted he hates the Bruins 'so much' in 2013

Tweet hunters dug up an old message from a Charlie McAvoy proclaiming his hatred for the Boston Bruins. McAvoy, of course, was drafted 14th by the Bruins in the 2016 NHL Draft.

The tweet read, "I hate the bruins so much" before it was quickly deleted.

I'm sure this will go over well for Bruins fans, even though you really can't blame McAvoy. He was just 15 at the time and a fan of the Rangers, who went down 3-0 in the playoffs against the Bruins.

As fans, we can all relate to that feeling.

Bruins take BU defenseman Charlie McAvoy with the 14th pick in 2016 NHL Draft

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Bruins take BU defenseman Charlie McAvoy with the 14th pick in 2016 NHL Draft

BUFFALO – The Bruins took their highest-rated defenseman when the pick came to them at the No. 14 spot, and they selected Boston University defenseman Charlie McAvoy, who tore up Hockey East as the young player in college hockey last season.

The 18-year-old Charlie McAvoy had three goals and 25 points in37 games for the Terriers while skating in a pairing with Bruins prospect Matt Grzelcyk, and showed off the kind of elite skating and offensive skills that will play well at the NHL level. It was thought the Bruins would take McAvoy or fellow BU-recruit Dante Fabbro at the 14th spot when they held onto the pick, but that was perhaps shaken a little bit when Jakub Chychrun fell all the way down to their spot.

The Bruins stuck with their scouting instincts and took the offensively gifted McAvoy, who profiles as a next generation NHL player with his sturdy six foot, 208-pound frame and ability to skate like the wind. He was understandably excited, and even said that he’s come around from hating some of the Boston teams as a native New Yorker after spending the year at Boston University.

“I’m at a loss for words. It’s an unbelievable feeling, and I’m just so happy to be a part of the Bruins. I’ve gotten close to [the Bruins] in the past year. I’m sure some of my friends back home aren’t happy I’m cutting the ties with New York sports, but Boston is an unbelievable city with great sports and great people. I’m glad to be staying there,” said McAvoy. “You grow up and taught not to like [Boston teams] because of the rivalry. But I've got a Red Sox hat and that’s the first step. Now I'm got that Bruins jersey and it’s pretty cool. I’ll just keep going, but I don’t know if I could ever be a Pats fan, but we’ll see."

Give McAvoy a little time and perhaps he’ll come around to the right side of the New England Patriots argument after some years spent with the Black and Gold.  

Joe Haggerty can be followed on Twitter: @HacksWithHaggs

OFFSEASON

Northeastern's Walker, Ford sign with NBA teams after going undrafted

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Northeastern's Walker, Ford sign with NBA teams after going undrafted

The NBA will have more of a Northeastern flavor this season.

The Huskies' star guard David Walker is joining the Miami Heat for the NBA's summer league in Orlando and Las Vegas, according to Sports Illustrated's Jake Fischer.

Walker averaged 17.9 points and 4.0 assists per game as a senior at Northeastern.

Quincy Ford is heading to the Utah Jazz with a partially guaranteed three-year contract after averaging 16.4 points, 7 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game as a senior. That deal was first reported by The Vertical's Shams Charania.