Schilling not backing Thomas in skipping White House

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Schilling not backing Thomas in skipping White House

When you think of right-wing athletes, past or present, Curt Schilling should be one of the first that comes to mind.

But even Mr. Bloody Sock himself wouldn't back up Thomas in his decision to skip out on the White House visit last week.

"My biggest issue, from a personal perspective -- and again whether I question whether he went or not, I don't, he made the choice and he'll reap whatever he has to sow after -- I'm not a fan of our President I don't believe in a lot of the things he's doing, but I will always have respect for our office" Schilling said.

Thomas was pretty clear in his Facebook statement that he wasn't happy with the direction the government as a whole was heading. That feeling led to him not attending the event, while the rest of his team did.

But Schilling thinks that if Thomas had so many issues, it would have probably helped his cause further by going and stating some of his issues to President Obama himself.

"I would not have not gone," Schilling said. "And that's just me. Again, I think I would have had a better chance being at the White House than not and I certainly would have taken that chance."

Instead of a celebration of the Bruins being honored at the White House, it turned into a "Why didn't Thomas go?" event.

"I don't think the intent was to make it about him," Schilling said. "I don't think he sat out and said, 'I'll get attention if I don't go.'"

But that attention came. And while Thomas wouldn't speak on it, his teammates were forced to answer for him. That's something that Schilling himself says he realized once his career was finished, and wished he could act differently in that respect.

"The problem is that now you don't live in asylum," Thomas said. "His teammates are going to have go field questions and answer questions, and that's where so many times in my career I didn't factor that in. And that's just ignorance or immaturity, I'm not sure what, maybe both."

There's no room for "ignorance or immaturity" if you're the main reason the Bruins are what they are -- Stanley Cup Champions. Thomas has to realize what he means to the team.

"That guy is the Michael Jordan of the Bruins, and he is the face of that team whether he wants to be or not is irrelevant," Schilling said. "It's the thing I've always said, when you're the face of a franchise, fair or foul, right and wrong, they don't play in. You have a responsibility to your teammates, to the fans and the organization to represent them in a way that isn't counterintuitive to winning games."

Hawkins says he passed up more lucrative deals to sign with Patriots

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Hawkins says he passed up more lucrative deals to sign with Patriots

The Patriots went into Wednesday with what could have passed as the deepest receiving group in team history, yet by lunchtime they had added another. 

Former Browns and Bengals wideout Andrew Hawkins announced on Twitter (via uSTADIUM) that he had chose to come to terms with New England. He explained that the opportunity to work with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick proved to be enough to convince him that he should pass up more lucrative offers from other clubs.

"After giving it a lot of though, I've decided that I'm going to join the New England Patriots," he said. "Super excited about the opportunity, man, to join the reigning football champions. In Cleveland, I said it was about joining a contender, and the Patriots are the contender, the reigning champs.

"The program is top-notch, and you get the opportunity to play with the best quarterback and the best coach in NFL history, man, so it's super exciting. It was never really about the money. To be honest, I passed up on deals that were probably double the compensation . . . but it was all about winning for me at this point, and putting myself in the best position to do so."

Hawkins (5-foot-7, 180 pounds) may be a familiar name to Patriots fans as he caught four passes for a season-high 56 yards and one touchdown against New England in Week 5 of last season. He finished the year with 33 catches for 324 yards and three scores. The 31-year-old has recently seen his name in the headlines as he completed his Sports Management degree at Columbia and graduated last week. 

The Patriots have receivers room that's currently pretty loaded with talent. Brandin Cooks, Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan, Danny Amendola and Malcolm Mitchell figure to make up the top end of the depth chart, while former practice-squad wideouts Devin Street, Devin Lucien and DeAndrew White figure to compete for playing time as do undrafted rookies Austin Carr and Cody Hollister.

"Nothing's for sure. I got my work cut out for me. It's an opportunity," Hawkins said. "That's how I'm approaching it. Going there and seeing how I stack up with the best and try to earn my keep and prove my worth. I'm jsust excited to get there, get to work, and hopefully I can be part of something special and kind of join that Patriot legacy."