Wakeup Call: Will Rex jump from the Jets?

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Wakeup Call: Will Rex jump from the Jets?

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Friday, December 28.

BASEBALL
Yankee fans called him Godzilla, but up here his resemblance to another celebrity led some of us to give him a different nickname. And now we say: So long, Shemp. (AP)

The Red Sox failed in their John Maine reclamation project. Now the Marlins are going to give it a try. (AP)

Carlton Fisk "steps up to the plate," in the words of his attorney -- really, can we put aside the baseball comparisons in a court of law? -- and pleads guilty to DUI. (AP)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
You can cross off Cincinnati from the list of unbeatens, thanks to New Mexico. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Your winners on Thursday night: Baylor (over UCLA) in the Holiday Bowl . . . (AP)

. . . San Jose State (over Bowling Green) in the Military Bowl . . . (AP)

. . . and Cincinnati (over Duke) in the Belk Bowl. (AP)

Matt Barkley's USC career ends with a whimper, not a bang, as a nagging shoulder injury will force him to miss the Sun Bowl. (AP)

Alabama center Barrett Jones still hasn't practiced after spraining his foot in the SEC championship game against Georgia, leaving his status for the Tide's all-the-marbles matchup with Notre Dame up in the air. (AP)

Been enjoying Bowl Week? Probably more than the folks at Ohio State, that's for sure. (AP)

HOCKEY
The Capitals' Jason Chimera compares the NHL labor "negotiations" -- if you want to describe whatever it is JacobsBettmanet al are doing as "negotiating" -- to "chasing a chicken around and around and around". Funny, the barnyard creature that leaps to mind is a rat, not a chicken. But that's just me. (CSN Washington)

Remember Rich Costello, who starred at Natick High and went to Providence College before a brief (12-game) career in the NHL in the 1980s? Nah, I didn't think so. Anyway, he and former DucksCoyotesCanadiens forward Jean-Francois Jomphe were arested at a Laguna Beach Jack In The Box for getting into an altercation with a car full of kids in the drive-through line. Surprisingly, "alcohol is believed to have played a factor in the incident". (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

PRO BASKETBALL
Wait a minute. Wasn't Avery Johnson the NBA's Eastern Conference Coach of the Month in November? And now he's out? (AP)

Deron Wllliams insists Johnson's blood isn't on his hands. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

The Nets' losing ways continue, as both Phil Jackson and Stan Van Gundy say they're not interested in replacing Johnson. (Pro Basketball Talk)

We were all pretty upset locally when the Thunder and Mavs went into overtime and, because TNT wouldn't switch away, forced us to miss the beginning of the Celtics-Clippers game. Turned out to be a blessing in disguise. (AP)

The good news: Raymond Felton won't need surgery on his broken finger. The bad news: He'll still be out a month. (AP)

Dwyane Wade, meanwhile, will be out a game for an ill-advised kick at Ramon Sessions. (AP)

And Dwight Howard is out 35,000 for his flagrant foul on Kenneth Faried. (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL
Sounds like Rex Ryan is as exasperated with this circus as the rest of us. Only difference is, we get great enjoyment out of it. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

What circus, you ask? Well . . . (AP)

Greg McElroy's a smart guy -- he scored in the 40s on the Wonderlic -- but the way he tried to hide his concussion from the Jets shows the difficulty the NFL faces in getting players to come forward when they're injured. (Pro Football Talk)

Now we know what's wrong with Justin Smith's elbow, and his status for the playoffs is uncertain. (CSN Bay Area)

Ed Reed ought to just set up a direct-deposit account with the NFL and be done with it. (CSN Baltimore)

The Bears have more to play for Sunday than just Lovie Smith's job status . . . but they might be playing for that, too. (CSN Chicago)

As for Jason Hanson's job status, he's not sure if he wants to come back for a 22nd season. But if he does, it'll be with the Lions -- the only team he's ever played for -- and nobody else. (Pro Football Talk)

But Dick LeBeau is sure he wants to come back for a 55th season. And if he does, he hopes it's with the Steelers. (AP)

Remember last week, when the Packers asked for your help to shovel snow? Now the Bills are calling. (Pro Football Talk)

Richard Sherman fought the law, and the law lost. (AP)

But the law beat Cam Newton, even though it was a much lower-level fight. (AP)

Matt Leinart may get another shot at proving he can play quarterback in the NFL. (AP)

When everything was swirling, the Saints insisted they wouldn't be distracted by Bountygate. Now, they say they were. (AP)

Josh Brent had a blood-alcohol content twice the legal limit at the time of the car crash that killed teammate Jerry Brown. (AP)

SOCCER
Don't you wish American sports teams would do this? (NBC's Off The Bench)

TENNIS
It's all uphill from here in 2013 for Andy Murray. (AP)

Brown knows there's a lot he can learn from Celtics teammates

Brown knows there's a lot he can learn from Celtics teammates

WALTHAM, Mass. – It was the first official day of Jaylen Brown’s NBA education.

So like most youngsters on the first day of school, he wanted to make a favorable impression.

Showing up three-plus hours early? Yup. That’ll help. But punctuality will only take you so far.

As eager as he is to play, Brown is well aware that much of what he’ll be doing the first few days will be centered around learning.

“It’s a lot of stuff I have to learn,” Brown admitted in an interview with CSNNE.com. “We have a lot of experience on the floor. I want to be a sponge to these older guys as long as I am here. And keep adapting, keep growing every day in practice and get better.”

Having a steady thirst for improvement is an essential for any player coming into the NBA, but especially for a 19-year-old like Brown.

Avery Bradley was the 19th overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft and like Brown, he was just 19 years old coming into the league.

When I asked him what he wishes he knew as a rookie that he eventually learned over time, Bradley was succinct with his answer.

“Confidence,” he told CSNNE.com. “Just having more confidence. I wish I had more confidence in myself.”

Of course if you recall, Bradley spent his rookie season coming off the bench behind Ray Allen, one of the best shooting guards of his era who will someday wind up in the Naismith Hall of Fame.

There were others Bradley had to outperform just to get a shot at playing behind Ray Allen.

“There was Ray Allen, and Delonte West and Von Wafer,” said Bradley who added, “I was behind everybody and then we got Nate Robinson too.”

While the depth chart isn’t quite that deep for Brown, there’s no question he will have to hold his own and probably outplay a couple bodies in order to get a steady diet of playing time as a rookie.

“I love challenges,” Brown said. “This game is a beautiful game. I have a lot of people to compete and challenge me every day.  It’s exciting. I’m looking forward to the challenge and looking forward to coming out on top.”

Celtics forward/center Amir Johnson was 18 years old when the Detroit Pistons selected him straight out of high school in the second round of the 2005 NBA draft.

Johnson said he has been impressed with what he has seen from Brown the past couple of weeks during pick-up games and workouts.

And while it helps to have veterans around, Brown’s growth in this league will ultimately come down to how much he’s willing to listen and learn.

“If you’re a teen that wants to work and listen, sit back and be quiet,” Johnson told CSNNE.com. “I was that teen willing to listen and learn, willing to do whatever anybody told me to do. I listened to my veterans and my coaches, come in the gym early and stay late. I had a lot of help to get where I’m at today.”

That said, Brown will still have his naysayers who will focus on his youth, inexperience along with Boston’s depth as reasons for him to not do much early on his career.

Bradley knows a thing or two about that.

In Bradley’s second year with the Celtics he was in the starting lineup ahead of Allen which was one of many roles Bradley has been able to play surprisingly better than anticipated.

Bradley recalls how opposing players often think he is either shorter or doesn’t have as long a wingspan as they would expect.

“That plays to my advantage,” he said. “Everybody thinks I’m short or I’m not long. People are going to say the same thing about Jaylen. A lot of people think he can’t do this, can’t do that. That’s the part about this game I love; you can surprise people and that’s what I think he’s going to do.”