Wakeup Call: Star power returns to Slam Dunk event

Wakeup Call: Star power returns to Slam Dunk event
February 7, 2014, 7:00 am
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Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy and/or interesting tidbits -- for Friday, February 7:

AUTO RACING

Duck Dynasty and a NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Texas: A match made in heaven. (AP)

BASEBALL

Did Matt Wieters just sign his last contract with the Orioles? (CSN Baltimore)

The Rays' latest attempt to catch lightning in a bottle: Wilson Betemit. (AP)

They're going to need a new closer, too, as Fernando Rodney signs with the Mariners. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

And maybe a backup catcher, since the Nationals are trying to trade for Jose Lobaton. (CSN Washington)

No one will ever wear No. 17 in Colorado again. (AP)

There were whispers the Red Sox were interested in Carlos Marmol. Thankfully, the Marlins beat them to the punch. (Hardball Talk)

R.I.P., Ralph Kiner. (AP)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

They may be flying a little under the radar now, but watch out for No. 3 Florida come tournament time. (Yahoo! Sports)

It looks like No. 2 Arizona will have its issues without Brandon Ashley, though the Wildcats were able to squeeze out a victory last night. (AP)

No. 7 Cincinnati has won 15 in a row. (AP)

Adreian Payne returns from his foot injury and plays 18 productive minutes as No. 9 Michigan State rolls past Penn State. (AP)

No one was seriously hurt when the bus carrying the Army women's team was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer while traveling back to a hotel in Bethlehem, Pa., after a victory at Lehigh. (AP) 

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Jameis Winston sparks great joy in Seminole Nation as he says he plans to play two more years at Florida State before turning pro. (AP)

There's a new sheriff in charge: New Washington coach Chris Petersen suspends two projected 2014 starters, quarterback Cyler Miles and wide receiver Damore'ea Stringfellow, for a violation of team rules. (AP)

Signing letters of intent with two schools is probably as violation of NCAA rules, but Ole Miss says it will release recruit D.J. Law from his commitment to them so he can play at Utah, the other place where he said he'd go. (AP)

Starting safety Cody Riggs says he wants a fresh start, so he's transferring out of Florida. He doesn't know where he's going just yet, but, because he's on pace to graduate in May, he can play in his final year of eligibility next season. (AP)

James Strong's new staff at Texas gets a little job security. (AP)

GOLF

Tiger Woods figured he'd be in Sochi watching girlfriend Lindsey Vonn compete in the Winter Olympics, so he wasn't planning on participating in the Match Play Championships in two weeks. Then she got hurt and had to withdraw . . . but Woods won't be at the Match Plays, anyway. (AP)

For all the Peyton Manning/Bill Belichick/Tom Brady buzz at Pebble Beach, it's easy to forget there's an actual tournament going on. Well, there is, and Andrew Loupe is the first-round leader. (AP)

HOCKEY

You'd think watching his Flyers win for the fourth time in five games would make team chairman Ed Snider happy. But he's too irate about the three-week Olympic break to enjoy it. (AP)

Alex Ovechkin reaches the 40-goal plateau in the Capitals' 4-2 win over the Jets. (AP)

Even though he missed two (!) penalty shots, Max Pacioretty gets the hat trick as the Canadiens beat the Canucks, 5-2. (AP)

The Oilers snap the Rangers' four-game winning streak. (AP)

A rough day for the Predators: General manager David Poile is hit by a puck during morning skate and is hospitalized . . . (AP) 

. . . and long-time play-by-play announcer Pete Weber suffers a heart attack. He reports on Twitter that he's "resting comfortably." (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk) 

How far had Peter Regin's and Pierre-Marc Bouchard's stock fall with the Islanders? The Isles traded them both to the Blackhawks for a fourth-round draft pick, Yes, that's one pick . . . in the fourth round. (AP)

OLYMPICS

Vonn may be gone -- see above -- but Bode Miller gives the Sochi Games the star power they need. (Yahoo! Sports)

So who's the favorite to take home the most hardware from Russia? Well, not the U.S. (Yahoo! Sports)

And after watching the Americans tumble in team figure skating, you can see why. (Yahoo! Sports)

Ovechkin is sick of people trashing Sochi. (CSN Washington)

First the course played like a mine field. Now there's an officiating controversy. What's up with slopestyle? (Yahoo! Sports)

Pinch-hitting for Steven Stamkos: Martin St. Louis. (AP)

Now Slovakia is looking for a pinch-hitter for Marian Gaborik. (AP)

And Sweden's looking for one for Henrik Sedin . . .  (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

. . . and it looks like they found it in Marcus Johansson. (nbcolympics.com)

PRO BASKETBALL

And speaking of star power, the slam-dunk competition at NBA All-Star Weekend has it again, what with Paul George, John Wall and Damian Lillard agreeing to compete. (Yahoo! Sports)

The Nets improve to 12-4 in 2014 with a win over the short-handed Spurs. (AP)

The Clippers survived their month without Chris Paul, and now they're getting him back. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

The Lakers were due for an injury -- they'd gone without one for, oh, a week or so -- and so, on schedule, Nick Young goes down. (Pro Basketball Talk)

Losing to a team with only four eligible players at the end of the game was as much as the Cavs could stand: They fired general manager Chris Grant yesterday. (AP)

Mario Chalmers gets nailed for flopping for the second time this year, and it costs him $5,000. (Pro Basketball Talk)

J.R. Smith is worried Mike Woodson is going to get fired . . . and, considering how Woodson uses him, well he should. (Pro Basketball Talk)

PRO FOOTBALL

Apparently, Peyton Manning blew off the governor of Washington when he tried to console the Broncos' QB after the Super Bowl. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio put it best: Yes, defensive lineman Michael Bennett wants to stay in Seattle. No, he's not going to take a pay cut to do it. (Pro Football Talk)

Nice to know Pete Carroll kept his game face on even when the Seahawks were in complete control last Sunday. (Pro Football Talk)

His troops may have crumbled against Carroll's Seahawks, but that doesn't stop the Broncos from giving defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio a two-year contract extension. (AP)

What was this guy thinking? (Yahoo! Sports)

Jadveon Clowney says it's "very important" to him that he be the No. 1 overall selection in the draft . . . and he thinks he will be. (Pro Football Talk) 

But after watching Matt Schaub cost both him and Gary Kubiak their jobs, Wade Phillips says the Texans -- if they keep the pick -- should take Johnny Football. (Pro Football Talk)

Bill O'Brien was the Patriots' offensive coordinator back in the day. Now he plans to take on the same role with the Texans, even though he's also the head coach. (CSN Houston)

Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer, the target of a discrimination complaint by one of his former players, is retained by the Vikings. (AP)

One of his new staffmates, Norv Turner, says "everyone is in agreement" that the Vikes are looking for a young quarterback. (Pro Football Talk)

The Steelers' Ryan Clark agrees with Antonio Cromartie: NFL players are going to smoke pot whether the league wants them to or not, so Goodell and Co. might as well just take it off the list of banned substances. (Pro Football Talk)

Kyle Shanahan admits life with RGIII wasn't always easy, especially when the team goes 3-13, but he insists they maintained a good relationship. (CSN Washington)