Wakeup Call: Visit to Foxboro 'biggest game in Texans' history'

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Wakeup Call: Visit to Foxboro 'biggest game in Texans' history'

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Friday, December 7.

BASEBALL
  I'm sure a three-year, 75 million offer from the Mariners isn't what Josh Hamilton had in mind when he hit free agency, but it may be the best one he gets. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

  Or is it? (Hardball Talk)

  The other crown jewel of this year's free-agent class, Zack Greinke, may soon have one less suitor. (Hardball Talk)

  The Phillies finally get their center fielder, but Ben Revere came at a pretty high price. (CSN Philly)

  Whether or not they get a new third baseman is entirely up to Michael Young now. (CSN Philly)

  Turns out Jason Bay's deal with Seattle isn't guaranteed. (Hardball Talk)

  The Indians have dropped out of the Justin Upton megatrade talks, which may be on life support, anyway. (Hardball Talk)

  Don't let the Orioles' offseason silence fool you. Dan Duquette still thinks he has "a pretty good ballclub". (CSN Baltimore)

  To paraphrase Robin Williams: Spending 756,000 on the uniform Don Larsen wore during his World Series perfect game in 1956 is God's way of saying you have too much money. (AP)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
  Maryland coach Mark Turgeon warns everyone not to be fooled by the Terrapins' 7-1 record; "our perception is a lot better than reality right now". (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
  Manti Te'o keeps bringing home the hardware. (AP)

  As expected, Barry Alvarez is climbing back into the saddle and will coach Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. (AP)

  But it's just for one game, as Alvarez -- now the Badgers' A.D. -- searches for a replacement for Bret Bielema. One name he's already crossed off his list: Former Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst, who's committed to his job as head coach at Pitt. (AP)

  I, for one, could have sworn Butch Jones was Colorado-bound. But no. (AP)

  The president of the University of Texas appears solidly in Mack Brown's corner. (NBC's College Football Talk)

HOCKEY
  There could be more -- a lot more -- to the latest breakdown in negotiations than meets the eye, especially since one unnamed player claims a) the majority of the rank-and-file was ready to accept the league's offer Wednesday until Don Fehr told them to hold out for more, and b) the same player echoed Michael Neuvirth's previous statement that "this lockout is not about the majority of players . . . but about several superstars with big contracts". (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

  The owners clearly sense a rift in the ranks, judging by comments like "there are some members of the players' association that understand our perspective" and "our proposal was rejected by the union's leadership". (Pro Hockey Talk)

  That being the case, Gary Bettman's dramatic rendering of the owners' anger and disappointment could be part of a bigger strategy to drive a wedge between Fehrsuperstars and the rest of the players. (Pro Hockey Talk)

  Just like Fehr's earlier sunshine-and-lollipops "peace is at hand" speech was probably a P.R. move designed to put public pressure on the league to come back to the table. Because, as Dale Arnold pointed out on Twitter, when you're close to an agreement you don't go to the microphones and talk about how close you are to an agreement; you keep negotiating and get it done. (Pro Hockey Talk)

PRO BASKETBALL
  So that's twice the Knicks have the played the Heat and twice the Knicks have won . . . and this time it was by 20 points, in Miami, without Carmelo Anthony. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

  And it had LeBron James channeling his inner Bill Belichick ("gotta play better") afterwards. (Pro Basketball Talk)

  Dirk Nowitzki's comeback is progressing a lot slower than expected. (Pro Basketball Talk)

PRO FOOTBALL
  If you're looking for someone to toe the Belichikian, don't-feed-the-noise line, Andre Johnson's not your guy. He's calling the Texans' Monday night visit to Foxboro "the biggest game in the history of this franchise". (CSN Houston)

  And Bradie James says he's playing in it. Period. End of story. (CSN Houston)

  That's eight in a row for Peyton Manning and the Broncos, as they made quick work of Oakland last night. (AP)

  Adding injury to insult, the Raiders lost Darren McFadden when he re-sprained his right ankle late in the game. (CSN Bay Area)

  Roger Goodell says the NFL will do what it can to help the Raiders get a new stadium in Oakland. (AP)

  It's official. Ben Roethlsberger will start Sunday. (AP)

  We repeat: Don't invite Payton Hillis and Joe Thomas to the same dinner party. (AP)

  At least one media member doesn't think this latest train wreck of a Jets season will cost Rex Ryan his job. Mike Tannenbaum, on the other hand . . . (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

  49ers CEO Jed York has Jim Harbaugh's back in the Great Quarterback Debate. (CSN Bay Area)

  As part of ongoing domestic disputes involving Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs and the mother of his two children, Suggs was required last month to surrender several firearms. (Pro Football Talk)

Ohio State LB on Belichick: 'When you first meet him, you're scared'

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Ohio State LB on Belichick: 'When you first meet him, you're scared'

Even for some of the nation's top athletes, confident 20-somethings with the rest of their (perhaps very lucrative) lives ahead of them, there's a feeling you just can't shake when Bill Belichick walks into the room. 

"When you first meet him, you're scared," said Ohio State linebacker Raekwon McMillan, per WBZ. "He's quizzing you. It's like a little test. But after you get done with the test, the quiz or whatever, drawing up the defense, it's pretty cool. They're real down to earth people. Really cool."

Belichick was spotted at Ohio State's pro day getting a closer look at McMillan and his teammates on Thursday. He then headed off to Ann Arbor, Michigan for the Wolverines showcase Friday.

During various scouting trips across the country, the Patriots appear to be showing significant interest in the incoming class of linebackers. Belichick spent some extra time with Vanderbilt's Zach Cunningham -- who's projected to be a first-rounder -- at his pro day. The team reportedly scheduled a meeting with a speedy linebacker from Cincinnati. And Matt Patricia caught up with Notre Dame linebacker James Onwualu once his workouts finished up on Thursday. 

As for McMillan, the 6-2, 240-pounder was a second-team All-American and a first-team All-Big Ten choice. He's instinctive, but there's some question as to whether or not he has the strength to hold up inside at the next level.

PODCAST: Dan Wetzel on the Aaron Hernandez double-murder trial

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PODCAST: Dan Wetzel on the Aaron Hernandez double-murder trial

Tom E. Curran has Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports as a guest to discuss the Aaron Hernandez double homicide trial. Wetzel has been in the courtroom, and wrote this piece about the day Hernandez’s former friend Alexander Bradley testified in court. 

After speaking with Wetzel, Curran has Tim Rohan of MMQB.com on to discuss his day with ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

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