Wakeup Call: Musburger's ogling creates a Webb sensation

978813.jpg

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)

THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Rams hold off 49ers for wild 41-39 win

ap_17265033973715.jpg

THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Rams hold off 49ers for wild 41-39 win

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Coach Sean McVay walked into the postgame news conference and immediately asked, "Anyone have a beer?"

He probably wasn't the only person who wanted a drink after watching a surprisingly thrilling Thursday night shootout between his Rams and the San Francisco 49ers that wasn't decided until Los Angeles prevented a potential game-tying 2-point try and then delivered a rare defensive stop after blowing the onside kick in a 41-39 victory.

"We talk about mentally tough, be your best regardless of the circumstance," McVay said. "I thought the players did that. They found a way in spite of some of the ups and the downs to come away with the win."

While the defense came up big late, it was the offense that carried the day for the Rams (2-1), who have gone from the lowest-scoring team in the NFL a year ago to a dynamic one through three games under McVay.

Jared Goff threw for 292 yards and three touchdowns, Todd Gurley ran for 113 yards and scored three TDs and Robert Woods (108) and Sammy Watkins (106) each topped the 100-yard mark receiving in Los Angeles' second 40-point performance of the season. The Rams have 107 points in all so far, the second-most in franchise history after three games to the 119 by "The Greatest Show on Turf" squad in 2000.

"Since I've been here we haven't been able to do that," Gurley said. "Hopefully we can keep putting points together, keep working together and keep learning from this. I think we left a lot more points off the board."

This win didn't come easy as the Rams nearly blew a 15-point lead, giving up two late touchdowns, fumbling a kickoff return and failing to recover an onside kick. But Los Angeles managed to stop a potential game-tying 2-point conversion on a deflection by Troy Hill and then used an offensive pass interference penalty against Trent Taylor and a fourth-down sack by Aaron Donald to stop the Niners after the onside kick.

The 49ers (0-3) scored five touchdowns after failing to get any the first two weeks but still came up short in part because a missed extra point by Robbie Gould forced them to try for 2 on their late touchdown.

"I just rushed it, I missed it, I made a mistake," Gould said. "Obviously, I wish I didn't do that, or we'd probably be playing in overtime right now.""

This time it was a tired defense that hurt San Francisco. After facing 79 plays in a 12-9 loss at Seattle on Sunday, the 49ers appeared to run out of gas on the short week as Goff frequently had wide-open receivers, especially on third down.

The Rams were 8 for 12 on third down, including all three of Goff's touchdown passes.

The Rams needed all that offense on a night where Brian Hoyer threw for 332 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score.

QUICK START: The Rams took just 12 seconds to get on the board as Nickell Robey-Coleman intercepted Hoyer on the first play from scrimmage and returned it to the 3-yard line. Gurley ran it in on the next play to give the Rams a 7-0 lead.

"I just told him to start over," 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. "Got to go back to work. We didn't change anything, went right on with the script. But it was a tough way to start out."

DROUGHT BUSTER: The 49ers came into the game without a touchdown on the season but broke through in the first quarter with some help from the Rams. After Blake Countess jumped offside on a punt, the Niners took advantage of the second opportunity and drove to score on Hoyer's 9-yard run 126:43 into the season. That was the longest it took a team to score its first TD since 2006 when both Tampa Bay (143:03) and Oakland (127:10) took more time.

FOURTH DOWN CALLS: Both teams drove to the opposing 1 on their opening drives of the second half with help from a Willie Mays-style basket catch by Watkins and a perfect toe drag on the sideline by San Francisco's Pierre Garcon. But the Rams opted to kick a short field goal, while the 49ers went for it and converted on Carlos Hyde's 1-yard run that cut Los Angeles' lead to 27-20. Hyde added a second 1-yard run on fourth down in the fourth quarter.

INJURIES: Rams S Lamarcus Joyner left the game in the first half with a hamstring injury. ... Los Angeles C John Sullivan injured his groin in the second half and Watkins and Tavon Austin left with concussions. ... 49ers S Jaquiski Tartt (concussion), FB Kyle Juszczyk (neck), DL Tank Carradine (ankle) and LB Brock Coyle (concussion) all left with injuries in the second half.

UP NEXT: The Rams travel to Dallas on Oct. 1. The 49ers visit Arizona.

Boston Sports Tonight Podcast: Is there a blueprint to beat the Patriots?

best_of_bst_podcast.jpg

Boston Sports Tonight Podcast: Is there a blueprint to beat the Patriots?

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE PODCAST.

0:41 - Tom E. Curran breaks down the ‘blueprint’ to beat the Patriots and if the Texans have the talent to do it.

5:27 - Michael Holley and Kayce Smith discuss Kyrie Irving’s comments that he made on Early Edition about going back to Cleveland for the opening game. 

9:52 - We take a listen to what Malcolm Butler had to say about his role on the team and discuss how the cornerback keeps saying all the right things. 

15:18 - Michael McCann, Legal Analyst for Sports Illustrated joins BST to talk about Aaron Hernandez’s brain found to have CTE and his family now suing the NFL and the Patriots.