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Cowboys legend Don Meredith dead at 72

12.06.10 at 2:04 pm ET
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Don Meredith, who starred for the Cowboys in the 1960s and later became famous as an original member of ABC’s “Monday Night Football” announcing team, died Sunday in Santa Fe, N.M., at the age of 72. Meredith’s wife, Susan, said her husband had suffered a brain hemorrhage and lapsed into a coma before dying.

Meredith, a quarterback, played nine years for the Cowboys, earning NFL Player of the Year honors in 1966 after leading Dallas to its first-ever winning season (10-3-1). He threw for 2,805 yards with a career-high 24 touchdown passes. He was the second player inducted to the Cowboys Ring of Honor.

“Don Meredith was one of the most colorful characters in NFL history. He was star on the field who became an even bigger star on television,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said. “He brought joy to football fans, from his play in historic NFL games like the Ice Bowl to his great personality that helped launch the success of ‘Monday Night Football.’ “

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Marvin Miller on election snub: Hall of Fame ‘sought to bury me’

12.06.10 at 12:13 pm ET
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Former head of the Major League Baseball Players’ Association Marvin Miller, considered one of the most significant figures in the history of the game, mocked Major League Baseball and the Hall of Fame for its failure to elect him. Miller needed 12 votes from the Hall of Fame Expansion Era Committee to be elected; this year, he received 11, failing to join long-time executive Pat Gillick as an electee.

The MLBPA released the following statement from Miller:

The following statement was issued today by Major League Baseball Players Association founding Executive Director Marvin Miller regarding the Hall of Fame Expansion Era Committee election results.

‘€œThe Baseball Hall of Fame‘€™s vote (or non-vote) of December 5, hardly qualifies as a news story. It is repetitively negative, easy to forecast, and therefore boring.

‘€œMany years ago those who control the Hall decided to rewrite history instead of recording it. The aim was to eradicate the history of the tremendous impact of the players’€™ union on the progress and development of the game as a competitive sport, as entertainment, and as an industry. The union was the moving force in bringing Major League Baseball from the 19th century to the 21st century. It brought about expansion of the game to cities that had never had a Major League team. It brought about more than a 50% increase in the number of people employed as players, coaches, trainers, managers, club presidents, attorneys and other support personnel, employees of concessionaires, stadium maintenance personnel, parking lot attendants, and more.   It converted a salary structure from one with a $6,000 a year minimum salary to a $414,000 a year salary from the first day of a player’€™s Major League service. The union was also the moving force for changing the average Major League salary from $19,000 a year to more than $3 million a year, and the top salary from $100,000 to more than $25 million a year. The union was a major factor in increasing the annual revenue of all Major League clubs, combined ‘€“ from $50 million a year before the union started in 1966 to this year’€™s almost $7 billion a year. That is a difficult record to eradicate ‘€“ and the Hall has failed to do it.

‘€œA long time ago, it became apparent that the Hall sought to bury me long before my time, as a metaphor for burying the union and eradicating its real influence. Its failure is exemplified by the fact that I and the union of players have received far more support, publicity, and appreciation from countless fans, former players, writers, scholars, experts in labor management relations, than if the Hall had not embarked on its futile and fraudulent attempt to rewrite history. It is an amusing anomaly that the Hall of Fame has made me famous by keeping me out.’€

Current MLBPA Executive President Michael Weiner added the following thoughts:

“On behalf of members past and present of the Major League Baseball Players Association, I express my frustration, disappointment and sadness that Marvin Miller today was again denied his rightful place in the Baseball Hall of Fame.  Every person who has benefited in the past half century from baseball’s prosperity — player, owner, executive, manager, coach, or member of the media — owes a debt to Marvin. Marvin’s legacy is undiminished by this vote; the Hall, by contrast, once again squandered a chance to better itself as an institution.”

Weiner’s predecessor, Donald Fehr, also expressed disappointment in the decision:

“‘€œOnce again, Marvin Miller has been denied election to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

‘€œThere can be no question as to the extraordinary contributions that he made to Baseball.  In the last half of the 20th Century no one had a greater or more meaningful positive impact on the Game than did Marvin Miller.

‘€œGenerations of players are already in his debt, as all future players will be.  The fact that a few members of the Expansion Era Committee saw fit to continue to deny recognition to the representative of the Players – who are the reason that the Hall exists in the first place – says more about them than it does about Marvin.

‘€œThis is a sad day for anyone who is or has been a Major League Player.’€

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Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger needs nose surgery

12.06.10 at 9:49 am ET
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Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will need surgery to repair a broken nose suffered in Sunday night’s contest with the Ravens, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  The injury occurred in the first series when he was sacked and hit in the face by Ravens defensive end Haloti Ngata. Roethlisberger’s nose became bloody and disgustingly disfigured on the play (watch below). Roethlisberger is not expected to miss any time with the injury.

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Report: Dez Bryant set to undergo ankle surgery

12.06.10 at 9:28 am ET
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Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant‘s rookie season is over after he fractured a right ankle when returning a kick Sunday against the Colts. Bryant underwent surgery Monday to repair the damage, which affected the same ankle that had plagued him in the preseason.

“That sets us back,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. “That sets us back. I really feel bad for him, but it really sets us back. The good news is we’ve got some depth there. That’ll give [Kevin] Ogletree and guys like that a little more play time.”

The talented receiver finishes with 45 catches for 561 and eight total touchdowns ‘€” six receiving, two returning.

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Report: Stanford makes Jim Harbaugh an offer to stay as coach

12.06.10 at 9:20 am ET
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Stanford athletic director Bob Bowlsby has offered coach Jim Harbaugh a contract raise before the coach gets offers from other organizations. Harbaugh, who originally inherited a 1-11 club, has helped the Cardinal achieve a 11-1 record and No. 4 national ranking. The Cardinal will be playing in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 3 against Virginia Tech.

Harbaugh’s success has led to rumors that the coach will receive offers from NFL and higher-profile college organizations. Bowlsby, however, believes that will be a non-issue. “We have a proposal in front of Jim and he’s indicated he plans to accept it,” Bowlsby said Sunday. “He’s got this year and four more on his contract. I expect that he will be our coach in the foreseeable future.”

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Monday’s Morning Mashup: Redskins’ Albert Haynesworth in middle of controversy again

12.06.10 at 7:48 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’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 MONDAY:
NFL: Jets at Patriots, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ Defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth was deactivated by the Redskins before Sunday’s loss to the Giants. No stranger to controversy, Haynesworth admitted he was late to practice on Friday and did not practice because he said he was sick, but he still wasn’t happy with being held out Sunday. ‘€œI was sick, so I did show up a minute late, but I don’€™t think that’€™s a reason to sit out,’€ he said. Asked if he was shocked he was deactivated, he said: ‘€œYeah, I am [shocked]. I thought it was a do-or-die situation and we needed to do whatever it takes to win.’€

Teammates admitted that the situation caused a distraction in the locker room before the blowout loss. In The Washington Post, Thomas Boswell writes that coach Mike Shanahan needs to cut ties with Haynesworth so he can moved forward in his efforts to rebuild the team.

‘™¦ With Kyle Orton struggling again in Sunday’s loss to the Chiefs that dropped the Broncos to 3-9, Denver Post columnist Mark Kiszla writes that it’s time to give Tim Tebow some starts behind center.

‘™¦ Comedian Bill Cosby will be honored by the National Football Foundation at a dinner in New York on Tuesday. In The New York Times, Cosby recounts his time playing college football at Temple.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Dec. 6, 1976, the Red Sox traded young slugger Cecil Cooper to the Brewers to bring back which two former Sox players?

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Read More: Albert Haynesworth, Bill Cosby, Kyle Orton, Tim Tebow

Report: NBA has deal to buy Hornets

12.06.10 at 6:39 am ET
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According to an Associated Press report, Hornets owner George Shinn has agreed to sell the team to the NBA, allowing the league to oversee the sale of the team to a more permanent owner.

Louisiana native Gary Chouest, who owns 35 percent of the team, has been in talks to take over the team since last spring, but the negotiations reportedly have been stalled for months.

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LEEInks List: Memorable moments in Jets-Patriots rivalry

12.06.10 at 6:34 am ET
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For Patriots and Jets fans, Monday night can’t come soon enough. With the two teams tied for the best record in the NFL  at 9-2, the Monday Night Football tilt between the AFC East rivals could decide which team gets home-field advantage throughout the playoffs and which team ends up as a wild card.

With so much attention being paid to this game, we started thinking about some of the other memorable moments in the rivalry. Over the past 15 years, there have been major personnel switching places, career-changing injuries that reshaped the faces of the franchises, and claims of cheating between the two teams. Here are 10 memorable moments in the rivalry.

10. Sept. 20, 2009: Rex Ryan enters the rivalry

The outspoken coach of the Jets has not backed away from any challenge. When hired by New York last year, he said: ‘€œI never came here to kiss Bill Belichick‘€™s rings.’€ Ryan backed it up in the teams’ first meeting as the Jets won 16-9, their first home victory over the Patriots since 2000. Mark Sanchez outplayed Tom Brady, throwing the only touchdown of the game without turning the ball over. While the Jets won the game, the Patriots would go on to win the second meeting in 2009 and capture the AFC East.

9. Oct. 24, 2004: Pats beat Jets in matchup of unbeatens

The Patriots and Jets both entered the Week 7 matchup at 5-0, the first time two undefeated teams had met that late in the season since 1973. In a defensive showdown, the Patriots scored the only touchdown of the game with 11 seconds left in the first half and fought to hold off the Jets. With 2:14 left and the Jets trailing 13-7, New York decided to go for it on fourth-and-8 from the Patriots’ 30. Chad Pennington‘€™s pass was broken up by Rodney Harrison, giving the Patriots the NFL’s regular-season record for wins with 18 (the Pats broke their own record four years later with 21 in a row).

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Read More: Bill Belichick, Bill Parcells, Eric Mangini, Tom Brady

Brett Favre knocked out of Vikings game following hit from Arthur Moats

12.05.10 at 1:48 pm ET
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After starting his 297th consecutive game, Vikings quarterback Brett Favre was knocked out of the team’s contest against the Bills when he took a hard hit from Buffalo linebacker Arthur Moats.

Moats hit Favre on the Vikings’ third play of the game, a pass that was intercepted by Bills cornerback Drayton Florence. Tarvaris Jackson replaced the 41-year-old at quarterback after Favre’s exit.

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Report: Jets signing wide receiver Laveranues Coles

12.05.10 at 6:19 am ET
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According to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter, the Jets are re-signing wide receiver Laveranues Coles. New York had waived Coles on Aug. 29. The 32-year-old isn’t expected to dress for the Jets’ game Monday night against the Patriots. He played last season for Bengals and has 674 catches and 49 touchdowns for his career.

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