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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Magazine rates Philadelphia with worst fans in America, Red Sox rooters sixth

03.18.11 at 7:18 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: Celtics at Rockets, 8:30 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI)
MLB Preseason: Tigers at Red Sox SS, 1:05 p.m.
Red Sox SS at Rays, 7:05 p.m.

SATURDAY:
NHL: Bruins at Maple Leafs, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NBA: Celtics at Hornets, 8 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI)
MLB Preseason: Red Sox at Pirates, 1:05 p.m. (NESN)

SUNDAY:
MLB Preseason: Red Sox at Orioles, 1:05 p.m. (NESN)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ GQ magazine has a piece on the worst fans in sports. Red Sox rooters, described as “insufferable hypocrites,” came in sixth. Holding the top two spots are Eagles and Phillies supporters, with the Philadelphia residents termed “the meanest fans in America.” Others of note: Yankees fans are ninth, Canadiens fans are 11th, and Lakers fans are 15th.

‘™¦ With Tennessee set to begin play in the NCAA tournament, coach Bruce Pearl might be preparing for his final game with the Volunteers. In The Tennessean, David Climer looks at the predicament the Boston College product has gotten himself into.

‘™¦ Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is being cast as a villain in the NFL lockout. In the Forth Worth Star-Telegram, Randy Galloway writes about Jones’ tough year and how he deals with the hits on his legacy.

‘™¦ The New York Times has a piece on former racehorses that are starving to death because a charity designed to provide for them, the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, has been slow or delinquent to pay for their upkeep.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On March 18, 2000, Bruins legend Ray Bourque became the first defenseman to reach which goal-scoring milestone?

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Read More: Bruce Pearl, Jerry Jones, worst sports fans,

Ohio State’s Jim Tressel requests longer punishment

03.18.11 at 6:45 am ET
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Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel said he wants the same punishment as his players for his role in covering up their NCAA rules violations. On Thursday night, the NCAA denied the five players’ appeal, keeping their suspensions at five games. Tressel, who had been suspended two games by the school, said he will sit five games as well.

“Throughout this entire situation, my players and I have committed ourselves to facing our mistakes and growing from them; we can only successfully do this together,” he said in a statement. “I spoke with athletic director [Gene] Smith, and our student-athletes involved, and told them that my mistakes need to share the same game sanctions.”

Read More: Jim Tressel, Rumor Mill,

Ken Griffey Jr. speaks on retirement: ‘It was right for me’

03.17.11 at 12:05 pm ET
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Ken Griffey Jr. broke his silence Wednesday at spring training, where he addressed his abrupt retirement from baseball last June.

In a prepared statement, Griffey stated that he always wanted to retire from the game quickly and quietly and that he felt no obligations to explain himself to his fans.

“You want me to apologize for something that I felt was right? I had to do what I thought was right for me,” he said.

Griffey retired suddenly last summer after batting a subpar .184 for the first half of the season. His retirement also came after accusations of  sleeping in the clubhouse during a Mariners game in May.

Ending his career with 630 home runs, 2,781 hits, and 13 All-Star Game appearances should garner him a spot in Cooperstown. He has also accepted a position in the Mariners front office as a special consultant

Serena Williams battling depression

03.17.11 at 11:59 am ET
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In an interview with USA Today, Serena Williams discussed her recent health scare as well as her issues with depression.

“I definitely have not been happy,” said Williams. “Especially when I had that second surgery [on my foot], I was definitely depressed. I cried all the time. I was miserable to be around.”

Williams has been sidelined by foot injuries since last July after her victory at Wimbledon. Earlier this month she also suffered a pulmonary embolism and had to be hospitalized for treatment of the resulting hematoma.

When Williams will return to the court is still uncertain.

“I don’t know what’s realistic,” Williams said. “I really don’t know. I haven’t put a date on it yet. I know how to play tennis. I’ve been doing it for a long time — longer than I can say. So I figure that will work out.”

Read More: Rumor Mill, Serena Williams, tennis,

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Jenn Sterger sues ex-manager for return of texts, e-mails

03.17.11 at 7:53 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’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 THURSDAY:
NHL: Bruins at Predators, 8 p.m. (NESN)
MLB Preseason: Mets at Red Sox, 1:05 p.m.

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ Jenn Sterger , the alleged victim of the lewd Brett Favre text message, is suing her former manager, Phil Reese, to get back her e-mails and texts and to stop Reese from using the material in a book. Sterger filed suit Tuesday saying she never intended for Reese to have full use of the material.

‘™¦ Chargers linebacker Kevin Burnett appears to be fed up with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. In an interview Wednesday with San Diego’s XX Sports Radio, Burnett said, “Goodell’s full of it. He’s a liar. You’re a blatant liar.” Added Burnett: “What have you done for the players? What have you done, in all honesty, to improve the game, besides fine guys, besides take money away from guys, besides change a game that you’ve never played? … He’s done nothing to improve the game.”

‘™¦ Suns guard Grant Hill responded to the insults leveled at him and his black Duke teammates by the Fab Five in ESPN’s documentary about the Michigan stars of the early 1990s. In a thoughtful piece in The New York Times, Hill wrote that his “friends” calling him an “Uncle Tom” was a misguided an inappropriate insult.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On March 17, 1940, the Bruins finished the season with the NHL’s best record and the league’s top three scorers. Who were they?

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Read More: Fab Five, Grant Hill, jenn sterger, Kevin Burnett

Bengals receiver Chad Ochocinco to try out with soccer team

03.16.11 at 1:29 pm ET
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Bengals receiver Chad Ochocinco will participate in a four-day tryout with Sporting Kansas City of Major League Soccer starting next Tuesday. Ochocinco grew up playing soccer and said he’s “excited to be able to follow my childhood dream.”

The team said Wednesday that it would decide after the tryout whether to extend the trial period.

Read More: Chad Ochocinco, Rumor Mill,

Braves minor league manager Luis Salazar loses eye after being hit by line drive

03.16.11 at 12:48 pm ET
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Doctors were unable to save the eye of Braves minor league manager Luis Salazar, who was struck by a line drive while watching a spring training game March 9. Salazar, a former major league player, is expected to return as manager of Single-A Lynchburg.

Salazar had been serving as an extra major league coach when he was struck while standing on the top step of the dugout during a game against the Cardinals. A ball off the bat of Braves catcher Brian McCann struck him and he fell headfirst into the dugout. He was airlifted to an Orlando hospital, where he was treated for multiple facial fractures.

Read More: Luis Salazar, Rumor Mill,

NFL: Hits on defenseless players may lead to suspensions

03.16.11 at 12:39 pm ET
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NFL competition committee chairman Rich McKay and NFL executive vice president of football operations Ray Anderson said Wednesday on a conference call that they are planning to crack down ever further on players’ hits against defenseless opponents.

“When warranted, suspensions will be an effective discipline for us,” Anderson said. “We don’t want to go there, but we will do that. We need to be aggressive in disciplining.”

Added Anderson: ‘€œIn 2011, if there are repeat offenders or flagrant violators, we are going to hold them aggressively accountable, even if it means suspension ‘€” some folks believe that suspension is the real messenger in terms of serious enforcement. Some of the hits we had this year, particularly if it’€™s a repeat offender, that person and that club should know that having that person sit out a game ‘€” or multiple games in certain circumstances ‘€” is very much on the table.’€

Another topic of discussion was kickoffs. McKay said the committee is proposing moving the kickoff back to the 35-yard line (from the 30) and giving the receiving team the ball at the 25 instead of the 20 in an effort to encourage touchbacks and cut down on kickoff injuries.

‘€œThe injury rate on kickoffs remains a concern for us,’€ McKay said.

Another proposed change would be to have replay officials examine all scoring plays for review rather than rely on coaches to make a challenge.

The proposals are scheduled to be voted on by owners an next week’s annual NFL meeting.

Read More: NFL competition committee, Rumor Mill,

NCAA tournament bracket tips: What they’re saying nationally

03.16.11 at 10:19 am ET
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Picking your NCAA tournament bracket is anything but an exact science. You could put hours of research into your bracket only to have it completely destroyed by the end of the first weekend. Or you could pick based on jerseys or mascots and end up winning your pool. There are certain trends worth paying attention to, though, and there are plenty of resources where you can learn about those trends.

Unsurprisingly, ESPN.com has the most comprehensive guide to picking your bracket. The site says that in the first round, you should pick all the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds, pick one or two 12 seeds to upset a No. 5, and pick a No. 3 or No. 4 seed to lose.

Then you should pick one double-digit seed to reach the Sweet 16. You should also pick all the 1 seeds to get there, but ESPN says odds are that one of the 2 seeds will lose in the second round. The site says that if you still have any 12 seeds left in the Sweet 16, don’t pick them to continue on to the Elite Eight.

For the Final Four, ESPN says you should pick at least one 1 seed to get there, but not all four. It’s also a safe bet to pick all teams that are a 4 seed or better. And if you’re going to take a flier on someone, make it a No. 5 or No. 6 seed, but nothing lower than that.

ESPN isn’t the only site that can help you with your bracket, though. CBS gives us a list of dos and don’ts. The site says DO favor the big-name schools because they have more elite athletes who can help cover up weaknesses. They say DON’T fall in love with your upset picks too much, DON’T expect much from the Pac-10 and DON’T pick Ohio State to win it all because the Buckeyes are in the toughest region.

The Washington Times provides its own dos and don’ts. It says DO pick Texas A&M to get to the second round, but DON’T pick the Aggies to go any further. It also says DO pick at least one Colonial Athletic team to win in the first round and DON’T fall in love with UConn after its run through the Big East tournament.

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Read More: bracket tips, NCAA tournament,

Roger Goodell denounces draft boycott plan

03.16.11 at 8:40 am ET
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In an interview with ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Tuesday night’s “SportsCenter,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell denounced an NFLPA plan to keep prospects from attending next month’s draft.

“I just think it’s a shame for young men that are starting their careers in the NFL, that are having that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to come across the stage, become an NFL player for the first time [to not be able to attend the draft],” Goodell told Schefter. “It’s a really special moment and I hope they get to experience it.”

Multiple sources told Schefter about the plan Monday. According to his sources, the NFLPA contacted 17 of the top prospects who are likely to be invited to the draft and recommended that they not attend.

Read More: Adam Schefter, Roger Goodell, Rumor Mill,