Wakeup Call: It's grooming time among the legends

Wakeup Call: It's grooming time among the legends
March 8, 2013, 8:45 am
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Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy and/or interesting tidbits -- for Friday, March 8:

AUTO RACING

-- Well, well. A First Amendment fight is brewing in NASCAR! (AP)

BASEBALL

-- He hasn't made it official yet but already the accolades are pouring in for Mariano Rivera, who is expected to announce Saturday that he's retiring at the end of the season. (AP)

-- Here's a Tex message for ya: Mark Teixeira is sure the Yankees will be just fine while he's sidelined. (AP)

-- The White Sox think they have the Sale of the century. (CSN Chicago)

-- Rafael Furcal ruefully learns never put until tomorrow what you can do today. (AP)

-- So now the Cardinals are in the market for a shortstop, but reports are they haven't called the Rockies about Troy Tulowitzki. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

-- More things you never saw in the '50s: Josh Reddick being challenged, on Twitter, to a "beard-off" by the WWE's Daniel Bryan. I mean, Mickey Mantle and Bruno Sammartino never did this. (CSN Bay Area)

-- The present-day Orioles excite Cal Ripken, but not enough to induce him to work for them full-time. (CSN Baltimore)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

-- Now this is a rivalry: No. 10 Michigan State's victory over Wisconsin gives the Spartans a shot at the regular-season Big Ten title . . . but only if Michigan beats Indiana on Sunday. And Spartans coach Tom Izzo says that, no matter what, he can't bring himself to root for Michigan. (AP)

-- Maybe he can at least root for the Wolverines' Trey Burke, who is emerging as the clear favorite for Player of the Year honors. (NBC's College Basketball Talk)

-- Colorado emphatically stops No. 19 Oregon from clinching the Pac-12 title. (AP)

-- Louisiana Tech's 18-game winning streak is over. (AP)

-- It's beginning to look like Kentucky won't get the chance to defend its NCAA championship, as last night's 72-62 loss to Georgia pushes them further and further toward the edge of the bubble. And John Calipari says he's disappointed in himself . . . though it really sounds as if he's disappointed in the players. (AP)

-- Akron's dream season takes a big hit: Star point guard Alex Abreu is suspended following his arrest on charges of possession and trafficking of marijuana. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

-- Gunner Kiel, the highly touted quarterback prospect who spurned LSU and enrolled at Notre Dame last January, sees the handwriting on the wall with the QB-rich Irish and decides to transfer. (CSN Chicago)

-- Remember all that talk about Jadeveon Clowney sitting out the 2013 season to protect himself for the '14 draft? Well, he's not doing that . . . but he is taking out a $5 million insurance policy on himself as protection against injury while playing for South Carolina next season. (AP)

-- Further evidence that college football is TV's world and the schools are just living in it: The Big 12 is scheduling five weekday games this fall to fulfill a contractual agreement with television partners Fox Sports and ESPN. Gee, I hope all those "student-athletes" -- to coin the NCAA's phrase -- don't have to skip class to play . . .  (AP)

GOLF

-- As Tiger Woods surges, Rory McIlroy struggles in the first round at Doral. (AP)

-- Maybe Rory should listen to Steve Sticker. Tiger did. (AP)

HOCKEY

-- The players association signs off on the NHL's plan for realignment. (AP)

-- A professor of statistics says the Blackhawks' streak of consecutive games with at least one point isn't as improbable as it might seem. (CSN Chicago)

-- Some people are tacking on games from the end of last season to Chicago's run, and Bobby Clarke, whose 1979-80 Flyers hold the record the Blackhawks are chasing, thinks that's wrong. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

-- Disappointed at the Bruins blowing a three-goal, first-period lead the other night in Washington? The Flyers did the same thing last night against the Penguins and they didn't even get a point out of it, the way Boston did. (AP)

-- He may be 41, but Jaromir Jagr can still score goals. (AP)

-- The Devils beat the Sabres and snapped their six-game losing streak. (AP)

PRO BASKETBALL

-- LeBron James and Michael Jordan are both heading down the aisle. And, no, not with each other. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

-- Unlike the other night, the Knicks couldn't survive without 'Melo. Of course, this time they were playing the Thunder and not the Pistons. (AP)

-- Don't look now, but here come the Nuggets. (AP)

-- Impressed by the Heat's 16 straight wins? They're not. (AP)

-- It looks like Marcin Gortat's season is over. (AP)

-- Kyrie Irving probably could shut it down, too, but he says he's not doing that . . . though the Cavs are going to give him a little time off. (AP)

-- As for Ramon Sessions, he'll be out two to four weeks. (AP)

-- Maybe taking the Polar Bear Plunge will help Kevin Love heal his broken hand. (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL

-- It appears Aaron Hernandez and the Patriots poisoned the well for Percy Harvin and the Vikings. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

-- The Falcons are going to assume the bulk of the costs for a new $1 billion stadium to be built in downtown Atlanta. (AP)

-- The Broncos, seeking cap relief, are asking Elvis Dumervil to take a pay cut. Dumervil's agent says if it's a restructuring, maybe they can do business. If not . . . (AP)

-- A restructuring is what David Bass did with the Giants. But Corey Webster? He took a cut. (AP)

-- The most amazing factoid to emerge from the Chargers' release of Takeo Spikes? He's never been on a team that's made the playoffs in his 15 years in the NFL. (AP)

-- The free-agent period is about to start, and it looks like Brandon Moore will be looking for a new home. (Pro Football Talk)

-- Dannell Ellerbe wants to stay right where he is. (CSN Baltimore)

-- Which is what Brian Hartline . . . (Pro Football Talk)

-- and Rob Bironas are doing. (AP)

-- Ah, the power of YouTube. (AP)

TENNIS

-- The ITF is adopting the biological passport program and increasing the number of blood tests as part of a new anti-doping drive that players themselves have demanded. (AP)