Wakeup Call: Musburger's ogling creates a Webb sensation

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Wakeup Call: Musburger's ogling creates a Webb sensation

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Wednesday, January 9:

BASEBALL
Today's the day we get a thumb's up or a thumb's down on the stars of the Steroid Era: The Hall of Fame balloting will be announced this afternoon. (AP)

Whatever names are called out at 2 p.m., no one expects Sammy Sosa's to be among them. (CSN Chicago)

Adam LaRoche's going back to the Nationals for the two years they offered, not the three years he wanted. (CSN Washington)

The latest on A-Rod: Hip surgery on Jan. 16, return after the All-Star break. (AP)

R.A. Dickey sounds pretty happy to have escaped the Mets. (AP)

Hard to believe Scott Kazmir's only 28, isn't it? But he is, and now the washed-up lefty's going to camp with the Indians. (AP)

MLB is rethinking possible. Oh, wait, that's AT&T's line . . . (AP)

Janet Marie Smith, the guiding force behind the renovations at Fenway Park, has brought her talents to Los Angeles. (AP)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
One of Georgetown's last memories of the disintegrating Big East won't be very fond. (CSN Washington)

Missouri may have lost Laurence Bowers again. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Brent Musburger's coast-to-coast ogling has made a celebrity out of Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron's girlfriend, Katherine Webb. (AP)

And she has Brent to thank for the number of her Twitter followers ballooning from 2,300 to 146,551. (NBC's Off The Bench)

After cleaning up the drool in the broadcast booth, ESPN apologized for Musburger's leering. (Yahoo! Sports)

Scott Shafer takes the big seat at Syracuse. (AP)

Today's list of college players heading to the NFL draft: Texas A&M's Luke Joeckel, Colorado's David Bakhitiari and Cal's Steve Williams. (AP)

Not Will Sutton, though; he's going back to Arizona State. (AP)

The first semifinal-round games in the new college football playoff system will be held in the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1, 2015. (AP)

The Pac-12 clears Washington State coach Mike Leach of allegations of physical or mental abuse of his players. (AP)

If the Big East had a nickel for every school that wants out . . . (AP)

GOLF
Annika Sorenstam really ought to hire a chef. (golfchannel.com)

Dustin Johnson is the PGA's first winner of 2013. (AP)

Those Rory McIlroy-to-Nike rumors just got stronger. (AP)

David Duval wants back in, and he's willing to do anything -- even play on the Web.com Tour -- to get there. (AP)

Welcome to the NBC Sports Group family, Notah Begay. (AP)

HOCKEY
Bobby Orr is finally telling his life story. (AP)

Forget the Bruins-at-Montreal opener everyone's been expecting; according to a leaked report, the Canadiens will play their first game against the Maple Leafs. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

Don Cherry apparently thinks that if you bring a bomb into a building, hold everyone hostage, and then, at the end, decide not to detonate it, you should be lauded as a hero for saving a bunch of lives. (Pro Hockey Talk)

The players aren't the only ones who have to get ready for the season. (Pro Hockey Talk)

Some NHLers who went to Russia want to stay there for the rest of the season, and the Russians say they'll help in any legal fight the NHL may pick. (Pro Hockey Talk)

But the Devils aren't worried that Ilya Kovalchuk is one of them. (AP)

Alex Ovechkin? He's already back. (AP)

Katie Moore, the wife of free agent forward Dominic Moore, died Monday after a nine-month battle with liver cancer. (AP)

PRO BASKETBALL
The Lakers turn a 14-point first-half lead into a 13-point loss at Houston, stretching their losing streak to four. (AP)

And now you start to wonder: Are these guys even going to make the playoffs? (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

So where's Kobe Bryant as all this is unraveling? Nowhere . . . which is why he'll never be like Mike. (nbcsports.com)

Don't expect Phil Jackson to come riding back in to save the day, in L.A. or anywhere else. (Pro Basketball Talk)

There may be a John Wall sighting this weekend. (CSN Washington)

But -- amazingly, considering they said he'd only miss a couple of games when he first got hurt -- we may have seen the last of Anderson Varejao this year. (AP)

That'll be another 50,000 to the NBA, Mr. Cuban. (AP)

The Pacers hold the Heat to a season-low 77 points. (AP)

Nets forward Andray Blachte is being questioned in a sexual assault investigation in Philadelphia. (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL
The final verdict on RGIII: Torn anterior cruciate and lateral collateral ligaments, recovery time of 6-8 months. (CSN Washington)

The Denver Post's Mark Kiszla goes all Shaughnessy on the Ravens. (CSN Baltimore)

And Cary Williams was ticked off even before that. (CSN Baltimore)

Rex saved his job, but not Rob. (AP)

Nor did Tony Sparano. (AP)

Now that the Jaguars finally have a new general manager, the fate of coach Mike Mularkey can be decided. (AP)

After interviewing a bunch of assistants, the Eagles are talking to Lovie Smith about their head coaching job. (CSN Philly)

Even though he's been in the CBS studios for the last six years, Bill Cowher says he'll probably coach again sometime. (AP)

Jay Gruden's name has popped up in a bunch of places, but he says he's staying in Cincinnati. (CSN Philly)

Has the troubled tale of Rolando McClain reached its final chapter, at least in Oakland? (CSN Bay Area)

Patriots To-Do List: Figure out what’s up with Cyrus Jones

Patriots To-Do List: Figure out what’s up with Cyrus Jones

Personally, I would buy a crapload of stock in Cyrus Jones. In part because – after his nightmarish rookie season – stock can be bought on the cheap. But also because he’s too talented, too committed and too smart to suck like he did in 2016 when he handled punts like they were coated in uranium and never made a big contribution in the secondary.

(Listen above to hear Tom E. Curran and Phil Perry discuss Cyrus Jones on the Quick Slants podcast.)

Because of his disappointing year, Jones is an overlooked player on the Patriots roster, but he’s in a pivotal spot. With Logan Ryan and Duron Harmon approaching free agency, Malcolm Butler’s contract expiring after 2017, Pat Chung on the edge of 30 and a free agent after 2018 and the other corners being Justin Coleman, Eric Rowe and Jonathan Jones, Cyrus Jones is going to get his shot.

The reason I included safeties Harmon and Chung in the discussion is that when the Patriots go to six DBs, roles are less stringently defined. And because of Jones’ size (5-10, 200), powerful build and short-area quickness, he can be the kind of versatile player who covers inside against quicker slot receivers as well as being on the outside if necessary. Kind of like Chung can cover on the back end or drop down to cover tight ends.

The Patriots are confident that Jones will get it right. His teammates in the secondary are unanimous in saying he’s got all the talent he needs.  

PATRIOTS TO-DO LIST:

But as 2016 wore on, it was apparent that Jones was miserable and let his failures consume him. Jones muffed or fumbled five kicks in the 2016 season.
 
By the time the Patriots played the Ravens on a Monday night in December, he was so inside his own head that he stalked a bouncing punt he had no business being near (for the second time that game) and had it bounce off his foot setting up a Ravens touchdown. That night, Jones exited the Patriots locker room and made his way to the players parking lot before the field was even clear of equipment.

Jones either expected things to come as easily in the NFL as they did at Alabama and wasn’t prepared to deal with adversity. Or the mistakes he made caused him to wonder if he really was good enough to play in the league.

Either way, Cyrus Jones was all about Cyrus Jones in 2016. And his comments to the Baltimore Sun over the weekend were evidence that the world he’s concerned with ends at the end of his nose. 

"I honestly felt cursed," he said. "I reached a point where I didn't even want to play. I just didn't have it...What I did this year was not me," he said. "I don't care how anybody tries to sugarcoat it. Yes, I was a rookie. But I feel I should always be one of the best players on the field, no matter where I am.
 
"But honestly, it was hell for me," he said. "That's the only way I can describe it. I didn't feel I deserved to be part of anything that was happening with the team. I felt embarrassed that these people probably thought they wasted a pick on me."

The first thing Jones needs to do this offseason is get over himself. He can look one locker down and talk to Devin McCourty about getting crushed for shaky play in 2012, battling through it and then turning into a Pro Bowl-level safety. He can talk to fellow Alabama product Dont'a Hightower about Hightower’s being benched in the 2013 season against the Broncos and labeled a bust before flipping his season around and being the team’s best defender by the end of that year.

But he’s going to have to figure it out. Draft status means nothing to New England and, as it now stands, undrafted corner Jonathan Jones out of Auburn has more demonstrated value to the team that Cyrus Jones does. In two months, the Patriots are damn sure going to add more secondary players.

This offseason, Jones needs to check his ego, simplify his game and simply ban outside perceptions from fans, media or coaches from infect his on-field decision-making.

His conversation with the Sun didn’t really indicate he’s ready to do that. Asked about criticism, Jones said, “It pisses me off. You can say shut it out or don't listen, but I know people are talking, and it's negative. I'm not a dumb guy. It definitely affects me. What it should do is piss me off in a way that I want to shut them all up."

From the limited number of times I spoke with him and from his teammates regard for him, I can confirm Jones isn’t a dumb guy. That doesn’t necessarily make life easier though. In 2016, Cyrus Jones’ brain got in the way. The Patriots need him to shut that thing off in 2017. 

Brady lists suspects in jersey theft: Edelman, Lady Gaga, Game of Thrones villain

Brady lists suspects in jersey theft: Edelman, Lady Gaga, Game of Thrones villain

The case of Tom Brady's missing Super Bowl jersey got a tad more serious on Tuesday as the Houston Police Department's report on the stolen No. 12 was published by TMZ. In it, police estimate the value of the jersey at a cool half-million dollars

Brady clearly took notice. 

Though he'd probably like to have the jersey back in short order, he took to Instagram on Wednesday to make light of the search. 

His investigation seemed to lead him toward a familiar face, Julian Edelman, who he describes as a "sneaky lil squirrel." 

To let his teammate know he means business, Brady pulled a quote from Good Will Hunting.

"Ya suspect, yeah you! I don't know what your reputation is in this town, but after that s@?# you pulled, you can bet l'll be looking into you!"