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Kevin Love replaces Yao Ming on Western Conference All-Star team

02.05.11 at 11:01 am ET
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There was a mild outcry when Minnesota’s Kevin Love wasn’t named to the NBA All-Star team Thursday night, but the forward got his due when commissioner David Stern tabbed Love to replace the injured Yao Ming. West coach Gregg Popovich will determine who actually starts the game.

“I was totally shocked, I had absolutely no idea,” Love told the Star-Tribune. “I’m truly humbled. I’m truly blessed. It’s a goal of mine my whole life, and I’ve reached it. I was very happy.”

Read More: Kevin Love, Rumor Mill, Yao Ming,

Redskins DL Albert Haynesworth reportedly charged with assault in Virginia

02.04.11 at 1:14 pm ET
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Redskins defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth has been charged with simple assault for an alleged road rage incident in Virginia, according to The Washington Post.

Officer Shelley Broderick told the paper that Haynesworth got into a dispute with another driver, approached the driver at a stop light and struck the driver after a brief exchange of words. She said Haynesworth has not been arrested but that he is planning to turn himself in next week.

But Haynesworth’s agent, Chad Speck, said Haynesworth has not spoken to anyone yet and called the allegations “ridiculous.”

“Albert has yet to speak to the authorities at all on this matter,” Speck told the paper. “So only one side of this story has been told at this point in time. If contacted by the authorities, Albert will certainly cooperate in any way. This man, who actually provoked the situation himself, recognized Albert and is now simply trying to turn it into his 15 minutes of fame and get, we can only assume, some money. Albert did not assault this man and looks forward to his day in court to refute these ridiculous allegations.”

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Poll: Who will win Super Bowl?

02.04.11 at 12:45 pm ET
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Who will win Sunday's Super Bowl?

  • Packers (73%, 172 Votes)
  • Steelers (27%, 64 Votes)

Total Voters: 236

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Stars make their Super Bowl predictions

02.04.11 at 12:43 pm ET
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With the Super Bowl now just two days away, it seems like people are throwing out predictions everywhere you look.

On the Dennis & Callahan show Friday morning, ESPN’€™s Adam Schefter said he’€™s picking the Packers to win, 28-24. Schefter said one of the biggest reasons for making that pick is the play of Aaron Rodgers. “He has been the best quarterback in football over the last 5-6 weeks, period,” Schefter said. “He is as good as any quarterback in the game right now. He’s dominant.”

Schefter isn’€™t the only one picking that score. Former Red Sox pitcher and MLB Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley picked the same 28-24 result and also cited Rodgers in his explanation. “Packers defense can stop Big Ben easier than the Steelers can stop Rodgers,” he said.

Donald Trump disagrees, though. He’s taking the Steelers, 21-14, and thinks Ben Roethlisberger‘s experience winning big games will play a vital role. “Steelers will win because Big Ben is a winning football player,” Trump explained.

Golf legend Arnold Palmer also likes the Steelers and their experience, and predicted a 28-14 Pittsburgh victory. Said Palmer: “The Steelers have a very good team and a great bunch of guys. Terrific defense and lots of experience in big games.”

Actress Alyssa Milano, picking a 27-10 Steelers rout, agrees. “The Packers are going to have a tough time running on the Steelers defense,” she said. “The Steelers core team has not changed, and many of them are veterans to the Super Bowl stage.”

Of course, not everyone’s prediction is based on their knowledge of the game. Jets defensive tackle Kris Jenkins picked the Packers, 35-28, because his brother Cullen is on Green Bay, while poet and author Maya Angelou is taking the Packers, 27-7, “because of the wonderful cheese and butter.”

Here is what other analysts, athletes and celebrities are predicting.

Patrick Willis, 49ers linebacker: Packers, 24-21

Heath Evans, Saints fullback: Steelers, 24-20

Leigh Bodden, Patriots cornerback: Packers, 28-23

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Read More: Adam Schefter, Alyssa Milano, Arnold Palmer, Dennis Eckersley

Super Bowl XLV will be first without cheerleaders in 43 years

02.04.11 at 10:24 am ET
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Sunday’s Super Bowl will be the first without cheerleaders on the sidelines since Super Bowl II, according to USA Today.

The Packers and Steelers are two of six NFL teams that don’t use official cheerleaders. The Packers use cheerleaders from nearby colleges, but only for home games. They did bring cheerleaders to Super Bowls XXXI and XXXII in 1997 and 1998, though. The Steelers haven’t had a cheer squad since 1970.

The famed Cowboys cheerleaders have made appearances this week, but they will not be at the game Sunday.

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Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez won’t need shoulder surgery

02.04.11 at 9:49 am ET
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Mark Sanchez won’t need to rehab from surgery for a second straight offseason. The Jets quarterback said Thursday that doctors told him rest and mild rehabilitation would be enough to return his injured right shoulder to full strength.

Sanchez was injured in the Jets’ win at Pittsburgh on Dec. 19, but he was still able to help lead the Jets to the AFC championship game without missing any games.

Sanchez underwent knee surgery after last season, but he was able to avoid shoulder surgery this year when an MRI soon after the Jets’ playoff loss to the Steelers showed swelling and bruising in the shoulder had improved enough to make an operation unnecessary.

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Knicks fined $200,000 for draft workouts

02.04.11 at 9:49 am ET
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The NBA fined the Knicks $200,000 and team scout Rodney Heard $20,000 on Thursday for holding illegal workouts prior to the draft.

The league said Heard, the Knicks’ director of East scouting, illegally worked with draft-eligible players in May 2007 and May 2010.

League rules dictate that teams cannot work out players eligible for the draft before the NBA’s predraft camp in May.

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Poll shows only lukewarm reception from fans for NFL’s 18-game proposal

02.04.11 at 9:49 am ET
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It would seem that an 18-game schedule is something NFL fans would love. Wouldn’t everyone want to watch more football?

Not according to an Associated Press/Knowledge Networks poll released Thursday. The survey showed that only 27 percent of those polled favor adding two regular season schedules and cutting two preseason games. Among those who identified themselves as NFL fans, that number rose to 45 percent, but only 18 percent strongly favored it.

Steelers Hines Ward and James Harrison have both voiced their opposition to the proposal this week. Nine percent of those surveyed joined them in strongly opposing it.

“There’s plenty enough football as it is,” said Steven Keller, a a 43-year-old from Crystal Lakes, Ill. “Eighteen games is too many for the players. … Those guys get beat up.”

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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Packers DE Cullen Jenkins locates missing father

02.04.11 at 7:29 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

WHAT’S HAPPENING LOCALLY FRIDAY:
NBA: Mavericks at Celtics, 8 p.m. (CSNNE, ESPN; WEEI)

SATURDAY:
NHL: Sharks at Bruins, 1 p.m. (NESN)

SUNDAY:
NBA: Magic at Celtics, 2:30 p.m. (ABC; WEEI)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ Packers defensive end Cullen Jenkins used Super Bowl media day Tuesday to make public the fact that he was unable to reach his father, who had been out of touch for over a month. He continued to share his concern during the week and said he planned to leave his father a ticket for the game in hopes he would attend. On Thursday, Jenkins’ brother, Jets defensive tackle Kris Jenkins, told The Associated Press that Darome Jenkins, who raised his sons as a single father in Michigan, had been located by police at his home in Hawaii.

“It’s something where I’m just thinking that maybe he’s taking time to himself or something,” Cullen Jenkins had said a few hours before the call came from his father. “Maybe he just pulled back away from everybody right now. Maybe that’s what’s going on. There’s just a lot of questions and unknowns about it. That’s what makes it most difficult.”

‘™¦ With Andy Pettitte set to announce his retirement Friday and Cliff Lee having signed with the Phillies, the Yankees still are looking for help in their rotation. At MLB.com, Anthony Castrovince writes that it’s not time for panic yet in New York, but it might be soon.

‘™¦ Super Bowl advertisers who in the past would have kept their ads a secret until Sunday are offering teases online. In The New York Times, Stuart Elliott looks at this trend as advertisers seek to maximize their reported $3 million investment (for a 30-second ad).

‘™¦ Gilbert Arenas returns to Washington on Friday night with the Magic. Mike Wise of The Washington Post is curious to see the reaction the controversial guard will get from the crowd after failing to live up to the $111 million contract he received with the Wizards before he was traded this season. “You know, some people just can’t forgive,” Arenas said Thursday. “And that’s just the way life is. You know, I can’t forgive some things, either. At some point I hope they can forgive me as a person.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Feb. 4, 1990, which Bruin became the 32nd goalie in NHL history to record his 200th victory?

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Read More: Andy Pettitte, Cullen Jenkins, Gilbert Arenas, Kris Jenkins

Report: Andy Pettitte to announce retirement

02.03.11 at 1:12 pm ET
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According to an Associated Press report, Yankees left-hander Andy Pettitte will announce his retirement Friday at Yankee Stadium. Pettitte has indicated since the end of last season that he probably wouldn’t play in 2011 but has made no official statement.

Pettitte, 38, is 240-138 with a 3.88 ERA in 16 major league seasons.

Read More: Andy Pettitte, Rumor Mill,