Wakeup Call: Giants get a hand in beating Cowboys

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Wakeup Call: Giants get a hand in beating Cowboys

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Monday, October 29:

BASEBALL
Hail to baseball's new kings. (CSN Bay Area)

And they weren't good and lucky; they were just good. (CSN Bay Area)

The Tigers are left muttering two familiar words: Wha' happened? (NBC's Hardball Talk)

And just to add injury to insult, Tigers second baseman Omar Infante suffered a broken hand when he was hit by a pitch in the ninth inning. (AP)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Just like old times: Indiana is ranked No. 1 in the AP preseason poll . . . and that hasn't happened since 1979-80. (AP)

Minnesota assistant Saul Smith, the son of head coach Tubby Smith, will keep his job despite a DUI arrest. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Marcus Lattimore suffered a gruesome leg injury Saturday -- as anybody who saw it knows -- but South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier, for one, believes his star running back will eventually play again. (AP)

Notre Dame is now No. 3 in BCS standings. (AP)

But where will the Irish be when the season ends? It could wind up being, in JJ Stankevitz' words, "the most controversial year in BCS history". (CSN Chicago)

Mama, don't let your babies grow up to be Maryland quarterbacks. (AP)

GOLF
Nice work if you can get it, eh Tiger? And Rory? (AP)

HOCKEY
Yes, it's true: The NHL season is in serious jeopardy. (CSN Philly)

And why? Well, one of the reasons is that Bettman and crew fatally underestimated who they were up against in the NHLPA's new executive director, Donald Fehr. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

Ryan Suter has two words for Wild owner Ted Leipold: Never mind. (Pro Hockey Talk)

PRO BASKETBALL
No such luck, Celts: LeBron James' bum ankle won't keep him out of Tuesday's opener. (AP)

But Kobe Bryant's fortune isn't as good. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

The Rockets are thrilled that James Harden's on their side now. (CSN Houston)

The Thunder say they made an "extraordinary effort" to keep Harden, but ran up against the financial limits of small-market franchises. (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL
Somebody wake up Mercury Morris and Don Shula for the 2012 revival of 'Grumpy Old Men': The Falcons are 7-0 after their whipping of the Eagles. (AP)

Man, people can be so touchy: He trash talked 'em all week and danced all over the field when Atlanta was way ahead late in the game, but Asante Samuel doesn't think that's any reason for Andy Reid to have snubbed him afterwards. (CSN Philly)

Think it might have been the Eagles' lack of pride? (CSN Philly)

Or maybe their (soon to be ex?) quarterback? (CSN Philly)

If this is what Peyton Manning is like at less than 100 percent, the NFL better pray he never gets healthy. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

Hey, Steve: Imagine how bad they would have beaten you if they were at your level. (CSN Chicago)

How long can you keep this up, Rex? (Pro Football Talk)

Were Dez Bryant's hands just a smoodge smaller, the Cowboys would have had an incredible come-from-behind victory over the Giants. (AP)

SOCCER
And in a bit of shameless self-promotion: NBCUniversal will soon be your exclusive home for the English Premier League! (NBC's Pro Soccer Talk)

Report: Ainge could prefer George to Butler with Nets pick

Report: Ainge could prefer George to Butler with Nets pick

Will the Celtics part with the right to Brooklyn’s 2017 first-round pick in order to get a star before Thursday’s trade deadline? 

MORE TRADE TALK

Citing a pair of NBA executives, Frank Isola of the New York Daily News wrote this week that Danny Ainge’s willingness to trade the pick should be in doubt.

Sola named Chicago’s Jimmy Butler and Paul George as potential targets, adding that the C’s might include the latter.   

Wrote Isola: 

Two executives doubt that Ainge, who historically plays it close to the vest, would give up the Nets pick in a deal for Butler. However, Ainge might consider it in a trade for George, the Pacers-free agent-to-be who has expressed doubts over re-signing with the Pacers.

‘With Danny, no one ever knows what he might do,' said the executive. ‘He's one of the best. If he thinks he can make a run at the Cavs this season, considering all the injuries Cleveland has had, I can see him making a move.

‘Everyone is talking about Butler to Boston but Danny and Larry Bird go way back. Paul George could be the sleeper.’

This season, the 26-year-old George is averaging 22.3 points 6.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists a game. 

Blount on free agency: 'I definitely want to go back to New England'

Blount on free agency: 'I definitely want to go back to New England'

LeGarrette Blount knows where he wants to be for 2017. Ever since he re-joined the Patriots in 2014 following a short stay in Pittsburgh, the 250-pound back has been very open about how he wants to play out the rest of his career in New England. 

Those feelings haven't changed, even as he faces free-agency after having recorded the best season of his seven-year career.

"I just want to make sure that I go to this free agency with an open mind, knowing that I definitely want to go back to New England," he told NFL Total Access on Monday. "I love it there. I love the culture. I love the players. I've become close with a lot of the guys. Obviously you know how my running back group is.

"We'll cross that bridge whenever we cross it. On that point, I feel great. I'm in amazing shape. I feel like I could play 100 more years if I have to."

Blount finished 2016 with career-highs in attempts (299) yards (1,161) and touchowns (18). His ability to help the Patriots close games in the fourth quarter was notable throughout the course of the season, and he was among the most effective goal-line backs in the league. His 18 rushing scores are a franchise record.

Toward the end of the season, as Dion Lewis worked his way back into the Patriots offense, Blount had his workload cut into, and his fumble in the Super Bowl was a near-catastrophic moment -- his devastated reaction to which was caught expertly by NFL Films. But a big-picture view of Blount's year would reveal that he  posted the most prodictive "big back" season the Patriots have had in more than a decade.

Blount signed a one-year deal with the Patriots last offseason after seeing his 2015 prematurely ended by way of a hip injury. He turned 30 in December.