Wakeup Call: Will Rex jump from the Jets?


Wakeup Call: Will Rex jump from the Jets?

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Friday, December 28.

Yankee fans called him Godzilla, but up here his resemblance to another celebrity led some of us to give him a different nickname. And now we say: So long, Shemp. (AP)

The Red Sox failed in their John Maine reclamation project. Now the Marlins are going to give it a try. (AP)

Carlton Fisk "steps up to the plate," in the words of his attorney -- really, can we put aside the baseball comparisons in a court of law? -- and pleads guilty to DUI. (AP)

You can cross off Cincinnati from the list of unbeatens, thanks to New Mexico. (AP)

Your winners on Thursday night: Baylor (over UCLA) in the Holiday Bowl . . . (AP)

. . . San Jose State (over Bowling Green) in the Military Bowl . . . (AP)

. . . and Cincinnati (over Duke) in the Belk Bowl. (AP)

Matt Barkley's USC career ends with a whimper, not a bang, as a nagging shoulder injury will force him to miss the Sun Bowl. (AP)

Alabama center Barrett Jones still hasn't practiced after spraining his foot in the SEC championship game against Georgia, leaving his status for the Tide's all-the-marbles matchup with Notre Dame up in the air. (AP)

Been enjoying Bowl Week? Probably more than the folks at Ohio State, that's for sure. (AP)

The Capitals' Jason Chimera compares the NHL labor "negotiations" -- if you want to describe whatever it is JacobsBettmanet al are doing as "negotiating" -- to "chasing a chicken around and around and around". Funny, the barnyard creature that leaps to mind is a rat, not a chicken. But that's just me. (CSN Washington)

Remember Rich Costello, who starred at Natick High and went to Providence College before a brief (12-game) career in the NHL in the 1980s? Nah, I didn't think so. Anyway, he and former DucksCoyotesCanadiens forward Jean-Francois Jomphe were arested at a Laguna Beach Jack In The Box for getting into an altercation with a car full of kids in the drive-through line. Surprisingly, "alcohol is believed to have played a factor in the incident". (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

Wait a minute. Wasn't Avery Johnson the NBA's Eastern Conference Coach of the Month in November? And now he's out? (AP)

Deron Wllliams insists Johnson's blood isn't on his hands. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

The Nets' losing ways continue, as both Phil Jackson and Stan Van Gundy say they're not interested in replacing Johnson. (Pro Basketball Talk)

We were all pretty upset locally when the Thunder and Mavs went into overtime and, because TNT wouldn't switch away, forced us to miss the beginning of the Celtics-Clippers game. Turned out to be a blessing in disguise. (AP)

The good news: Raymond Felton won't need surgery on his broken finger. The bad news: He'll still be out a month. (AP)

Dwyane Wade, meanwhile, will be out a game for an ill-advised kick at Ramon Sessions. (AP)

And Dwight Howard is out 35,000 for his flagrant foul on Kenneth Faried. (AP)

Sounds like Rex Ryan is as exasperated with this circus as the rest of us. Only difference is, we get great enjoyment out of it. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

What circus, you ask? Well . . . (AP)

Greg McElroy's a smart guy -- he scored in the 40s on the Wonderlic -- but the way he tried to hide his concussion from the Jets shows the difficulty the NFL faces in getting players to come forward when they're injured. (Pro Football Talk)

Now we know what's wrong with Justin Smith's elbow, and his status for the playoffs is uncertain. (CSN Bay Area)

Ed Reed ought to just set up a direct-deposit account with the NFL and be done with it. (CSN Baltimore)

The Bears have more to play for Sunday than just Lovie Smith's job status . . . but they might be playing for that, too. (CSN Chicago)

As for Jason Hanson's job status, he's not sure if he wants to come back for a 22nd season. But if he does, it'll be with the Lions -- the only team he's ever played for -- and nobody else. (Pro Football Talk)

But Dick LeBeau is sure he wants to come back for a 55th season. And if he does, he hopes it's with the Steelers. (AP)

Remember last week, when the Packers asked for your help to shovel snow? Now the Bills are calling. (Pro Football Talk)

Richard Sherman fought the law, and the law lost. (AP)

But the law beat Cam Newton, even though it was a much lower-level fight. (AP)

Matt Leinart may get another shot at proving he can play quarterback in the NFL. (AP)

When everything was swirling, the Saints insisted they wouldn't be distracted by Bountygate. Now, they say they were. (AP)

Josh Brent had a blood-alcohol content twice the legal limit at the time of the car crash that killed teammate Jerry Brown. (AP)

Don't you wish American sports teams would do this? (NBC's Off The Bench)

It's all uphill from here in 2013 for Andy Murray. (AP)

Belichick, Patricia observe huge draft-eligible crowd at Michigan pro day


Belichick, Patricia observe huge draft-eligible crowd at Michigan pro day

There are so many players coming out of Michigan this year who could be drafted that it made sense for the Patriots to send two of their top football minds to take in the proceedings.

Both Bill Belichick and Matt Patricia were in Ann Arbor to watch coach Jim Harbaugh's massive crowd of draft-eligible prospects, acording to NFL Network. Between draftees and undrafted rookies there could be as many as 24 Wolverines on training camp rosters this summer, according to NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah, and the school has a chance to best Ohio State's whopping 12 players drafted last year. 

It's already been a busy week for the Patriots when it comes to the pro-day circuit. Belichick was at Ohio State on Thursday, while Patricia was at Notre Dame. The team also had representatives at Stanford, Utah and Missouri. 

Here's a quick look at some of the top players Belichick and Patricia were watching Friday . . . 

Jabrill Peppers, LB/S:  A Swiss Army knife type who at the next level could play as a linebacker/safety hybrid, compete in the slot and return kicks, Peppers is one of the more dynamic athletes in the draft. At 5-foot-11, 213 pounds he may fit best with the Patriots as a box safety.

Taco Charlton, DE: Strength, length and athleticism . . . Charlton -- who has drawn comparisons to Chandler Jones -- has all the tools necessary to become a game-changing edge defender at the next level. If there's a team out there who thinks they can get his best effort on a snap-to-snap basis, he'll easily be worthy of a first-round pick. 

Jake Butt, TE: Projected as one of the top tight ends in the draft class until he tore his ACL in late December, Butt still has a chance to be selected on Day 2. He told NFL Network's Mike Mayock that he believes he'll be ready to play by mid-July. Should the Patriots want some depth behind Rob Gronkowski and Dwayne Allen, Butt may represent good value if he's still available in the third round. 

Chris Wormley, DE: A three-year starter who has an NFL-ready build (6-5, 298 pounds, 34-inch arms, 10.5-inch hands), he looks like a strong edge-setter who could rush from the interior in sub situations. 

Jourdan Lewis, CB: Quick, competitive and another three-year starter, Lewis is just one of many talented corners available in this draft. Teams at Michigan's pro day will undoubtedly want to meet with Lewis in order to ask him about an incident that led to a misdemeanor domestic assault charge. He has a pretrial hearing scheduled on April 12. 

Ryan Glasgow, DT: For teams interested in tough, physical, early-down defensive tackles to hold up against the run, Glasgow could be worth a mid-round selecton. He measured in at 6-3, 302 pounds with 33-inch arms at the combine. 

Ben Gedeon, LB: Gedeon may not hear his name called until Day 3, but he has the feel of a prototypical Patriots draft pick. He had very good production in a good conference (106 tackles, 15.5 for a loss), and though he may not be the kind of athlete Belichick wants playing three downs in the middle of the field, he looks like someone who could contribute immediately on -- you guessed it -- kick-coverage teams. 

5 reasons the Celtics will get the No. 1 seed


5 reasons the Celtics will get the No. 1 seed

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