Wakeup Call: Will Rex jump from the Jets?

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Wakeup Call: Will Rex jump from the Jets?

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

BASEBALL
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)

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

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
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)

HOCKEY
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)

PRO BASKETBALL
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)

PRO FOOTBALL
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)

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

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

Haggerty: Jacobs may not be beloved, but he's Hall of Fame-worthy

Haggerty: Jacobs may not be beloved, but he's Hall of Fame-worthy

If it was based solely on his 42 years as owner of the Boston Bruins, it might be debatable as to whether Jeremy Jacobs would have been selected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

The Bruins have won one championship and been to a handful of Stanley Cup Finals during Jacobs' long stewardship, of course. They also enjoyed the longest running playoff streak (29 years) in NHL history, though it began before he purchased the franchise. Altogether, the B's have won one Cup, four conference championships, two Presidents' trophies, 15 division championships, and 35 Stanley Cup playoff berths during the Jacobs Era.

MORE BRUINS

But Jacobs didn't make the Hall of Fame solely on his accomplishments with the Bruins organization. He's being inducted in the "builder” category, which is defined as "coaching, managerial or executive ability, or ability in another significant off-ice role, sportsmanship, character and contributions to his or her organization or organizations and to the game of hockey in general.”  In addition to overseeing the Bruins over the last four-plus decades, he has been a power broker at the league level for just as long.

"I am flattered to be included in with this great group of 2017 inductees, and I am humbled to be included with the legends of hockey that went before me,” said Jacobs. "Owning the Boston Bruins for 42 years has been one of the most rewarding honors of my life. I am indebted to our team's leaders and players, but most of all, to our fans, for giving me a broad and deeply appreciative perspective of the game."

The 2011 Stanley Cup victory was the overriding on-ice moment in his stewardship of the team, and the Jacobs family has had a major, altruistic impact in Boston. No one should overlook the Boston Bruins Foundation, which has touched so many lives with the $28 million that's been awarded to those in need since its inception in 1993.

Unfortunately, Jacobs will always have a reputation with a large portion of the Bruins fan base that his ownership wasn't willing to spend enough for truly competitive teams. At times he was viewed as an absentee owner living in Buffalo, overseeing the team from afar while Harry Sinden ran the operation. Those fans hold that grudge even today, despite the Bruins consistently spending to the salary cap ceiling while fielding competitive teams. They view Monday's Hall of Fame announcement as something akin to Montgomery Burns being inducted into the Springfield Hall of Fame.

Cam Neely disagrees.

"As a player, I knew of Mr. Jacobs' passion for the Bruins,” said Neely, who has served as Bruins president for nearly a decade after a Hall of Fame playing career highlighted by his years in Boston. "Over the past decade while in the front office, I have seen firsthand his dedication to winning, by consistently providing the Bruins the resources that we need to compete for Stanley Cup Championships and also his unmatched commitment to growing the game of hockey."

That commitment to hockey is a key factor in Jacobs' Hall of Fame selection.

Jacobs was unanimously voted in as chairman of the NHL Board of Governors in 2007, and he's been a major driving force in each of the last couple of oft-contentious CBA negotiations. While Jacobs clearly had a hand in the cancellation of the entire 2004-05 season due to a labor dispute, and in the lockout-shortened season of 2013, those CBA negotiations ultimately led to the imposition of a salary cap and a pathway for small-market NHL teams to survive as the cost of doing hockey business continues to go up.

Without Jacobs as an often hawkish, hard-line owner, there's a chance that a team like the Western Conference champion Nashville Predators might not have been able to survive in the NHL, and it's highly doubtful they'd be able to be as competitive as they are now if teams like Toronto, New York and Chicago could outspend everybody else. So there's no denying the seismic impact that Jacobs made at the league-wide level with his leadership and commitment to growing the game, and that the NHL is better off for the battles waged in collective bargaining while he's been in a position of power.

If you polled every single Bruins fan on the street, it's unlikely he'd be a populist choice for the Hall of Fame. The lean budgetary years durinhg the playing days of Neely, Ray Bourque and others will always be part of the Spoked B history. Some will hold those grudges forever, which is part of makes us who we are as a fan base.

But faithful, rabid fans continue to stream into TD Garden, continue to spend money to support their favorite hockey team, and continue to provide the kind of support that's led to a 338-game home sellout streak. It's a sign Jacobs and Bruins ownership continue to do things very right, even if we shouldn't be scheduling any popularity contests anytime soon.

O'Connor: If C's get George, would Griffin be a better fit than Hayward?

O'Connor: If C's get George, would Griffin be a better fit than Hayward?

The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor discusses the potential decision the Celtics could have in free agency between Gordon Hayward and Blake Griffin. If the Celtics are able to sign Paul George, is Griffin a much better fit?