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Monday’s Morning Mashup: Patriots Malcolm Butler, Julian Edelman make cameo at Grammys

02.09.15 at 8:17 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NBA: Clippers at Mavericks, 8:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
College basketball: Boston University at Lafayette, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Duke at Florida State, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Oklahoma State at Baylor, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
NHL: Coyotes at Blackhawks, 8:30 p.m. (NBCSN)


— Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler made a cameo on the Grammys Sunday night, joining teammate Julian Edelman onstage to help present one of the awards.

The Super Bowl hero appeared nervous as he stood alongside Edelman and actor Josh Duhamel. As Duhamel was about to announce the winner of the award for best rock album, Butler (after getting a subtle nudge from Edelman) reached over and took the envelope from Duhamel.

“Once again, another interception by Malcolm,” Edelman deadpanned.

In a backstage interview, Butler said he’s starting to recover from the emotional high of the Super Bowl and its immediate aftermath.

“I’ve been coming down,” he said (via the New York Daily News). “I’ve been coming down lately, but coming back here brought me back up. But I’m managing it well. You’ve got to get over that. I don’t want one play to define me as a player, so back to work, sooner or later.”

As for the actual play, Butler admitted that he was concerned the Patriots might not be able to pull out the win.

“I’m not going to tell a story,” he said. “Me and the whole Pat Nation felt that way. But never give up, keep playing hard, and things like that happen.”

— Knicks owner James Dolan, no stranger to embarrassing himself, is back in the spotlight again for his obnoxious response to criticism from a longtime fan of the team.

The fan, 73-year-old Irving Bierman, emailed Dolan to complain about the team’s poor performance under his guidance and requested that he sell the club. “You have done a lot of utterly STUPID business things with the franchise,” wrote Bierman, who said he has been a fan of the team since 1952. “Please NO MORE.”

In his response, Dolan got personal with Bierman and suggested he takes his allegiance elsewhere.

Wrote Dolan: Why would anybody write such a hateful letter. I am.just guessing but ill bet your life is a mess and you are a hateful mess. What have you done that anyone would consider positive or nice. I am betting nothing. In fact ill bet you are negative force in everyone who comes in contact with you. You most likely have made your family miserable. Alcoholic maybe. I just celebrated my 21 year anniversary of sobriety. You should try it. Maybe it will help you become a person that folks would like to have around. In the mean while start rooting for the Nets because the Knicks dont want you.

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Read More: Dean Smith, James Dolan, Julian Edelman, malcolm butler

Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell gets 15 months probation, faces NFL suspension for marijuana

02.06.15 at 1:44 pm ET
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A week after Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount had his marijuana possession charge dropped after completing 50 hours of community service, Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell faces 15 months of probation for marijuana passion and DUI charges. Bell’s sentence was imposed on Friday.

Bell, who finished the regular season with the second most rushing yards in the league, likely also will face a suspension of up to two games, according to defense attorney Robert Del Greco Jr.

Blount and Bell were arrested together on Aug. 20 of last year when they were teammates in Pittsburgh. Blount was released by the Steelers later in the season and signed with the Patriots soon after.

“I think it would be fair to say that [Bell] was relieved to have the hearing, eager to comply with the court’s conditions, and hopefully he will do so in a way that he’ll earn a dismissal and his expungement,” Del Greco said.

After completing his probation, paying $2,000 in court costs, and forfeiting a portion of his salary for each game he is suspended, Bell will be able to petition to have his record expunged.

Read More: Le'Veon Bell, LeGarrette Blount,

Rangers G Henrik Lundqvist reportedly out at least a month with neck injury

02.06.15 at 1:29 pm ET
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After missing a game against the Bruins on Wednesday, Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist will miss at least one month due to a neck injury, according to a New York Post story.

Lundqvist was hit in the throat by a Brad Malone shot on Saturday in the team’s victory over the Hurricanes. Lundqvist finished the game and played in the Rangers’ win over the Panthers two days later, but he sat out against the Bruins after suffering headaches since the incident.

Cam Talbot, who started in place of Lundqvist on Wednesday, stopped 18 shots as the Rangers beat the Bruins. Talbot will be the team’s top goalie until Lundqvist’s return.

The Rangers have not specified what the injury is.

Read More: Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers,

Doug Marrone ‘not looking back’ on decision to leave Bills

02.06.15 at 11:11 am ET
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Doug Marrone

Doug Marrone

When Doug Marrone quit his head coaching job with the Bills, many were under the impression that he had bailed. However, Marrone says he didn’t quit on Buffalo, but rather he just took the option written into his contract.

“I had an opportunity that was in the contract to opt out,” Marrone told Tim Graham of The Buffalo News. That opportunity also included taking $4 million from the Bills, which upset the locker room a bit.

Marrone was hired as the offensive line coach for the Jaguars on Jan. 20 after opting out of his Buffalo contract on Dec. 31.

“At the end of the day, I had two outstanding years in Buffalo and I think [new owners] Terry and Kim Pegula are going to be outstanding,” Marrone said. “I really can’t say enough about the people within the organization, from the trainers to the public relations department to the equipment people. They were outstanding.

“I had a three-day window in my contract, which was obviously difficult because of the time aspect of it. My family and I made a decision to leave. … And we’re not looking back. We’re looking forward, and it’s that simple.”

According to Ryan O’Halloran of, it was clear that Marrone was “avoiding any specifics for why exactly he wanted out of Buffalo.”

Read More: Buffalo Bills, Doug Marrone, Jacksonville Jaguars,

Thinking Out Loud: Providence’s victory at Georgetown a monumental one

02.06.15 at 10:49 am ET
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Rooke_JohnThinking out loud … while wondering whatever happened to the real Tiger Woods

— Providence’s win Wednesday night at Georgetown brought out a couple of firsts. It was PC’s first win in Washington over the Hoyas since 2005, and it was the Friars’ first win on the road against a ranked team since a 2004 win at UConn.

— Even more impressive was the comeback from a 13-point second-half deficit. Do-everything guard Kris Dunn was on the bench in foul trouble, and the outcome looked to be all but decided in favor of a tough, physical Hoyas team. The effort over the final 10 minutes of the game was as gritty a performance for a PC team as we’ve seen in the last 10 years — every bit as good as the second-half performance at Butler earlier this year — and is as good a win as any team has had in the Big East this season.

— Balance has been, and will remain the key to any Friars success this season. When they get balanced scoring, it’s difficult for an opponent to pick their poison. When they get a balanced defensive effort, the Friars can be suffocating in their 2-3 zone, and that was a major problem for Georgetown in the last 10 minutes of Wednesday’s game. Now if PC could just figure out how to do this against St. John’s. Just sayin’.

— Freshman forward Ben Bentil came up with his first career double-double (16 points, 11 rebounds), and grew up quite a bit against the physical Hoyas. His body is already strong, and his basketball ability is beginning to catch up to his strength.

— The physical nature of Wednesday’s matchup brought out the best — and maybe a little bit of the worst — in both teams. So physical was the finish that the Hoyas — who did their own pushing, shoving and clubbing throughout — had a hard time getting through the handshake line at game’s end. Sensing potential trouble and possible emotions getting out of hand, Ed Cooley quickly sent his team to the locker room before words, or anything else, could be exchanged. Such is life in the always-emotional, always-physical Big East.

— If the Friars could learn how to shoot with any consistency, or accuracy, they’d be a real handful for anyone they face come tournament time. As it now stands, the Friars’ defense will carry them as far as they can go — and that still might be enough on most nights, when they extend the zone and plug the middle.

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Tigers lineup uncertain after Victor Martinez injures knee again

02.06.15 at 10:26 am ET
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Tigers veteran Victor Martinez needs surgery after tearing the medial meniscus in his left knee. Martinez hurt the same knee three years ago during an offseason workout, but then it was his anterior cruciate ligament.

“It’s not the same injury, but I’m still holding my breath,” manager Brad Ausmus said.

No timetable has been announced for Martinez’s return, but the Tigers are hoping he isn’t out for a lengthy period of time. The last time Martinez his knee, the Tigers signed Prince Fielder to a nine-year, $214 million contract that January. Fielder was traded to the Rangers, though, after two seasons in Detroit. For now, the Tigers’ plans for this offseason haven’t been severely affected, general manager Dave Dombrowski wrote in an email to The Associated Press.

“There are no changes in our plans at this time,” Dombrowski added. “We will evaluate that after his surgery.”

Last year, Detroit relied on the duo of Martinez and Miguel Cabrera for offensive power, but with Martinez’s injury and Cabrera returning from right ankle surgery, that might not be a surefire combo.

However, Ausmus said he has players like Yoenis Cespedes and J.D. Martinez he can slide into the designated hitter slot if Victor Martinez is still not 100 percent.

In terms of first base, if Cabrera needs more time, Ausmus said catcher Alex Avila can log time at first in the spring, as can infielder Andrew Romine.

For right now, Detroit will have to wait and learn more to see what its lineup with look like for the season.

“You try to make the best of it,” Ausmus said.

Read More: Brad Ausmus, Detroit Tigers, Miguel Cabrera, victor martinez

Clippers PG Chris Paul speaks out about female referee after technical foul

02.06.15 at 10:10 am ET
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After being given a technical foul in the third quarter by referee Lauren Holtkamp, Clippers guard Chris Paul was not happy.

With 10:17 left in the penultimate frame, the Clippers tried to inbound the ball quickly after a Cleveland free throw and Holtkamp said no. When Paul questioned her, he was assessed the technical. It was one of Los Angeles’ five on the night, four of which came in the third quarter and three in a 52-second span.

“The tech I got was ridiculous,” Paul said. “That’s terrible. There’s no way that can be a technical. We try to get the ball out fast every time down the court. When we did that, she said, ‘Uh-uh.’ I said, ‘Why uh-uh?’ and she gave me a technical. That’s ridiculous. If that’s the case, this might not be for her.”

Holtkamp is one of two active female officials in the NBA.

Coach Doc Rivers and forward Matt Barnes also got technicals. Barnes had two on the night and so was ejected in the third after his second in complaining to the ref about his teammate, Jamal Crawford, receiving a charging foul. He implored referee Eric Lewis to not “give [Cleveland] the game.”

“It keeps happening,” Barnes said. “Some of these I earn, some of them I don’t.”

Read More: Chris Paul, doc rivers, Lauren Holtkamp, los angeles clippers

Friday’s Morning Mashup: Family says Seahawks’ play call contributes to man’s death

02.06.15 at 8:15 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NBA: 76ers at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Clippers at Raptors, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Heat at Spurs, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Dartmouth at Yale, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Dayton at George Washington, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Siena at Iona, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: High Point at Coastal Carolina, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
NHL: Blackhawks at Jets, 8 p.m. (NHL Network)
College hockey: Notre Dame at Maine, 7 p.m. (NESN)
College hockey: Denver at Colorado, 9:30 p.m. (CBSSN)


— A 53-year-old Seahawks fan had a heart attack and died a few hours after Sunday’s Super Bowl, and according to his family, the team’s poor play call in the final minute contributed to the man’s passing.

With the ball at the 1-yard line and time ticking away in Sunday’s game, the Seahawks chose not to give the ball to standout running back Marshawn Lynch and instead throw a pass. Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler intercepted it, securing the Patriots’ 28-24 victory.

Michael Sven Vedvik died a few hours later while sleeping at his home in Kent, Washington.

“We blame the Seahawks’ lousy play call for Mike’s untimely demise,” the paid obituary in The Spokesman-Review read.

In a follow-up interview with the Spokane newspaper, Stephanie Vedvik said that her husband — who had been not been feeling well but thought it was only indigestion or stress — didn’t actually watch the game, as he recorded it with plans to watch it later. She said Michael would have enjoyed the line, which originated with his brother-in-law.

“My husband would have thought it was hysterical,” Stephanie said. “If I had read this obituary to my husband about somebody else, he would have had a laugh.”

Added Stephanie: It was just so true because my husband would have said, ‘What a dumb-ass.’ ”

— Downhill skier Bode Miller‘s season is over after he tore his right hamstring tendon while crashing during a world championship super-G race Thursday in Beaver Creek, Colo.

Miller had posted the fastest time through the first part of the course before crashing and suffering a large gash on his lower right leg. He had surgery later in the day.

Tweeted Miller after the operation: Out of a successful surgery for a severed hamstring tendon. Feeling lucky since things could have been way worse.

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Read More: Amar'e Stoudemire, bode miller,

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Seahawks CB Richard Sherman welcomes son

02.05.15 at 8:16 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NBA: Clippers at Cavaliers, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Suns at Trail Blazers, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Richmond at La Salle, 6:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: Colgate at Holy Cross, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Mount Saint Mary’s at Bryant, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Iowa at Michigan, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Auburn at LSU, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Tulsa at Houston, 7 p.m. (ESPNews)
College basketball: Cincinnati at SMU, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: UCLA at Stanford, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Belmont at Eastern Kentucky, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Louisiana Tech at Alabama-Birmingham, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Gonzaga at Santa Clara, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: USC at California, 11 p.m. (FS1)
NHL: Red Wings at Avalanche, 9 p.m. (NBCSN)


Richard Sherman‘s girlfriend delivered the couple’s child Thursday morning, welcoming a son into the world.

There had been concern that the child would come this past Sunday, while Sherman was playing the Patriots in the Super Bowl, but the outspoken cornerback expressed confidence that the baby would time his arrival better than that.

“I think he’s going to be a disciplined young man and stay in there until after the game,” Sherman had joked last Thursday. “He’s going to do his father a first favor and stay in there for another week or two.”

Sherman, who wears No. 25, noted the coincidence of the boy’s birthdate.

Tweeted Sherman Thursday morning: My son sure does know how to make an entrance! 2/5/15 … Is it a coincidence or is he just that clever?! Either way I’m ecstatic.

— Following years of reports about NCAA violations at Syracuse, the school finally acted Wednesday, imposing a postseason ban on its men’s basketball team for this season. The Orange will not compete in either the NCAA tournament or the ACC tournament.

“I believe the university is doing the right thing by acknowledging that past mistakes occurred,” coach Jim Boeheim said in a statement.

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Read More: jim boeheim, Richard Sherman,

Top 10 plays in Boston sports history: Is Malcolm Butler’s interception the best?

02.04.15 at 4:55 pm ET
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Where does Malcolm Butler’€™s interception at the end of Super Bowl XLIX rank among the greatest plays in Boston sports history? It seemed like a question worth asking and a top 10 list worth making. Here we go:

10. Flutie’€™s hail mary – Nov. 23, 1984
The game itself didn’€™t really mean a ton. Neither Boston College nor Miami were in contention for the national title, and BC had already accepted an invitation to the Cotton Bowl. But it was a great game with a great finish. Doug Flutie and Bernie Kosar combined for more than 900 yards passing, and Flutie’€™s 48-yard hail mary to Gerard Phelan on the final play will forever be one of the most memorable and most incredible finishes in college football history. Dan Davis’€™ radio call and Flutie winning the Heisman Trophy that year add to the play’€™s legacy.

9. Ortiz’€™s grand slam – Oct. 13, 2013
Going into the bottom of the eighth in Game 2 of the 2013 ALCS, the Red Sox trailed the Tigers 5-1 and were in serious danger of falling into an 0-2 hole in the series. They had scored just one run in the first 16 innings of the series. But then Will Middlebrooks doubled, Jacoby Ellsbury walked and Dustin Pedroia singled to load the bases with two outs. On the first pitch he saw, David Ortiz ripped a changeup just out of Torii Hunter‘€™s reach and into the Sox bullpen to tie the game at 5-5 and give us that iconic photo of Officer Steve Horgan throwing his hands up in celebration as Hunter flipped over the wall in front of him. The Sox would go on to win the game, win the series and win their third World Series in 10 years. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: adam vinatieri, Bobby Orr, Carlton Fisk, Dave Roberts