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Titans coach Mike Munchak fires offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger

02.09.11 at 11:07 am ET
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Mike Munchak promised change when he was named Titans coach Monday, and he didn’t waste any time following through on that promise.

On Tuesday, he fired offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger and two other assistants. Heimerdinger has been undergoing cancer treatment since November and was also interviewed for the head coaching job.

“We have worked well through the years, but I believe we need to go in a different direction at offensive coordinator,” Munchak told The Associated Press. “This wasn’t about his health ‘€” he is feeling good ‘€” it is a change of direction for us. This is not something that I take lightly and I wish him and his family the best.”

“It’s never easy to be fired,” Heimerdinger said. “He has to do what’s good for the Titans, and Munch will do what’s best for the Titans. I appreciate my time here, but it’s never easy to be fired.”

Read More: Mike Heimerdinger, Mike Munchak, Rumor Mill,

Report: Facebook comments may have cost Rocky Seto UCLA gig

02.09.11 at 10:31 am ET
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Seahawks secondary assistant coach Rocky Seto was all set to become the next defensive coordinator at UCLA, but then Bruins coach Rick Neuheisel rescinded the offer, according to ESPNLosAngeles.com.

One reason for the possible change in heart, according to the Los Angeles Daily News, were comments on Seto’s Facebook account saying that he had accepted the job. This reportedly “infuriated UCLA and also ignited a fan backlash.”

Seto told ESPNLosAngeles.com that he didn’t post anything on Facebook, but that some friends and family he had told the news to posted their congratulations on his wall.

“My intentions were not to get the news out,” Seto told the site. “Maybe I shouldn’t have told as many friends and family. I was just so excited. And we were scheduled for a press conference on Wednesday.”

Read More: Rick Neuheisel, Rocky Seto, Rumor Mill,

Report: Class action lawsuit to follow Super Bowl ticket fiasco

02.09.11 at 9:45 am ET
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The NFL offered fans who bought Super Bowl tickets but ended up without a seat tickets for a future Super Bowl, but that isn’t enough for some.

Michael Avenatti, a founding partner of Los Angeles-based law firm Eagan Avenatti, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette he is preparing to file a class action lawsuit representing approximately 1,000 people against the NFL, the Cowboys and team owner Jerry Jones.

“We think that this is a pretty straightforward matter,” Avenatti said. “People did not obtain what they were told they were going to get.”

The Cowboys and the NFL added 15,000 temporary seats for the Super Bowl, but many of them were not ready by Sunday. The league moved 850 fans to different seats, but another 400 were left without seats and forced to watch from standing room areas.

Eagan Avenatti is also investigating claims that the Cowboys deceived season ticket holders into buying $1,200 seats with obstructed views, according to the New York Daily News.

“These season ticket holders are rightfully irate at Jones and the Cowboys,” Avenatti said in a statement. “Jones sold the very fans that helped finance the construction of the stadium on the idea of attending the Super Bowl, took their money, and then put them in illegitimate seats with obstructed views. What team or owner on the planet would treat its best fans like this?”

Read More: Jerry Jones, Rumor Mill,

Super Bowl betting up, but Nevada casino profits down

02.09.11 at 9:35 am ET
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Wagers on the Super Bowl increased from $82.7 million last year to $87.5 million this year, but casinos did worse than usual, according to a Nevada Gaming Control Board report cited by ProFootballTalk.

Nevada casinos made a profit of just $$724,176, or less than 1 percent of what was waged. That made it the second worst Super Bowl of the last decade for casinos. The worst was the Giants‘ upset of the Patriots in 2008, when casinos lost $2.5 million on $92 million bet.

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Phil Simms ‘sorry’ for Super Bowl incident with Desmond Howard

02.09.11 at 9:05 am ET
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Following an altercation at the NFL Experience during Super Bowl week, ESPN college football analyst Desmond Howard posted a series of tweets saying Phil Simms threatened to hit him for being critical of his son, a quarterback at Tennessee.

On Monday, Simms said in an interview on Sirius XM Mad Dog Radio that he was upset with Howard for making the details public, but he also accepted responsibility for what happened.

“It is what it is and, again, like I said, it’€™s over,” Simms said. “And, you know, and I’€™m sorry. I really, I mean this, I’€™m sorry it happened. I really am because even if it remained private, there’€™s still nothing gained. So I’€™ve learned another lesson.”

Read More: desmond howard, phil simms, Rumor Mill,

Report: Lakers have talked to Nuggets about Carmelo Anthony

02.09.11 at 8:22 am ET
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After months of rumors that Carmelo Anthony was going to end up with either the Nets or Knicks, another team reportedly has entered the mix.

Chris Broussard of ESPN reports that the Lakers have had preliminary discussions with the Nuggets about acquiring the star forward. The Lakers’ package would be centered around center Andrew Bynum.

Broussard writes that the Lakers front office is in disagreement when it comes to trading Bynum, though. Jim Buss, the son of owner Jerry Buss, has repeatedly resisted attempts to move Bynum in the past.

The article says that a Lakers source told ESPNLosAngeles.com that the deal won’t happen. The New York Daily News cited an unnamed source saying the Lakers had already shot down an offer from the Nuggets that included Bynum. Still, Broussard reports the deal is not dead and quotes an unnamed source saying, “The Lakers are definitely an option.”

Meanwhile, the New York Daily News also reported that Knicks owner James Dolan was personally getting involved in the talks in an effort to move things along.

Read More: Andrew Bynum, Carmelo Anthony, James Dolan, Rumor Mill

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Baseball coach gives kidney to player

02.09.11 at 7:53 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’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 WEDNESDAY:
NHL: Canadiens at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN, VERSUS)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ Wake Forest baseball coach Tom Walter donated a kidney to one of his players, who is recovering after the Monday surgery. Freshman outfielder Kevin Jordan, a Yankees draft pick, suffers from ANCA vasculitis, a type of autoimmune swelling caused by autoantibodies. When none of Jordan’s family members proved to be a match, Walter stepped up to help.

“I would do anything to help any one of my players and any one of my family members,” Walter said in a story on the school’s website. “Anything that I could do in my power that I could do to give them a better quality of life, is something I want to do. Maybe it’s something as little as helping mentor them in their academic pursuits or help them choose a major, or something of a greater magnitude like this. But my number one priorities in life are my family and my team and I will do anything to help any one of those people.”

Walter, who was the coach of the Cape Cod Baseball League’s Cotuit Kettleers in 1997 and ’98, is in his second season as Wake’s coach.

‘™¦ Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez reportedly was not happy about his Super Bowl cameo, when he was shown receiving a mouthful of popcorn from actress Cameron Diaz. Rodriguez was booed by the Texas crowd when shown on the video screen.

‘™¦ Umpire Jim Joyce and pitcher Armando Galarraga have co-authored a book about the game last season in which Joyce’s blown call cost Galarraga a perfect game. At FanHouse, Ed Price writes that Joyce should not be allowed to ump any of Galarraga’s games now that the two are essentially business partners.

‘™¦ With the Super Bowl over, people in Washington are back to criticizing Redskins owner Daniel Snyder for his libel lawsuit against Washington City Paper. In The Washington Post, Jason Reid writes that the lawsuit “typifies the kind of self-inflicted public relation crises that have characterized Snyder’s 12-year tenure as owner.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Feb. 9, 1991, which Celtic won the slam dunk competition at the NBA All-Star Game?

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Read More: alex rodriguez, Armando Galarraga, Daniel Snyder, Jim Joyece

Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Christina Aguilera’s national anthem flub leads to betting flap

02.08.11 at 7:50 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’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 TUESDAY:
No games scheduled

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ Christina Aguilera‘s Super Bowl national anthem performance continues to cause controversy ‘€” this time with bettors. There was a betting line (offshore only) of 1 minutes, 54 seconds on how long it would take the singer to complete the tune. One betting website timed it at 1:53.7, but there were two issues. First, she may have included an extra “oh” at the end, extending it past 1:54. Second, she messed up a line in the song, causing some to question whether it should count. At least one website indicated it would pay off both sides of the bet because of the questions.

Meanwhile, Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie defended Aguilera and talked about her own shaky performance at halftime, saying the nerves were tough to control.

‘™¦ With Larry Drew II‘s curious decision to leave the University of North Carolina basketball team during the second semester ‘€” leaving him with one year of eligibility at whichever school he transfers to because the second semester already started ‘€” Sports Illustrated‘s Seth Davis delves deeper into the situation and finds a case of meddling parents. Davis rips Drew for having his father ‘€” former NBA player and current Hawks coach Larry Drew ‘€” be the one to tell UNC coach Roy Williams he was leaving, and he notes that Drew’s mother has a history of being obnoxious to coaches ‘€” going so far as to get her younger son temporarily kicked off his high school team because she tormented the coach so much.

‘™¦ Clippers star Blake Griffin has shown he can dunk with the best of them, but he shoots free throws like Shaq. In the Los Angeles Times, Lisa Dillman looks at the trend of opposing teams to foul the rookie hard and make him earn his points from the line.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Feb. 8, 1960, who was named the first coach in Patriots history?

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Read More: Blake Griffin, Christina Aguilera, Fergie, Larry Drew

Top-ranked BC beats BU in OT thriller, gets NU in rare Beanpot final

02.07.11 at 11:39 pm ET
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Tommy Cross scored on the power play at 3:17 of overtime to lift top-ranked Boston College to a 3-2 win over Boston University in the second Beanpot semifinal Monday night at TD Garden.

Cross fired a shot from the high slot just 16 seconds after Ryan Ruikka was whistled for a cross-check. The Eagles advance to next Monday night’s Beanpot championship game, looking for their second straight title – 16th overall – against Northeastern, a 4-0 winner over Harvard in the first game of the Garden twinbill.

It marks just the third time in the 59 years of the tournament that the two schools will meet in the Beanpot title game.

BC, the 2010 Beanpot champs, took an early 1-0 lead on a goal by Philip Samuelsson at 14:37 of the first. With the BC crowd in a frenzy, the Terriers came back just 38 seconds later to tie it on a goal by Wade Megan. BU took the lead, 2-1, on the only goal of the second period when Corey Trivino beat John Muse.

The Eagles appeared to tie it late in the second period when Pat Mullane came down the right wing and fired a shot on Kieran Millan. The BU goalie made the initial save but TV replays showed BC’s Jimmy Hayes appeared to poke the rebound across the line. The play was reviewed for several minutes but the goal was disallowed.

Hayes eventually got the equalizer five minutes into the third when his wrister beat Millan to the glove side. Samuelsson had a clean breakaway with 51.4 seconds left in regulation but Millan stopped the backhand shot.

BC, the No. 1 team in the nation, improved to 20-6-0 on the season and will play at Providence Friday night before taking the ice next Monday at 7:30 in hopes of defending their title. If they beat Northeastern next Monday, they will have captured three Beanpots in four years and will have claimed consecutive titles for the first time since the 1963-65 teams won three in a row.

Yankee fan Greg Cronin believes his Northeastern team, Red Sox have lots in common

02.07.11 at 10:55 pm ET
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The question posed to Northeastern coach Greg Cronin seemed innocent and straightforward enough. His team just beat Harvard, 4-0, to advance to the Beanpot final next Monday and a chance to end 23 years of frustration in the annual February Boston tournament.

So, what would it mean to finally win the Beanpot with a win on Feb. 14?

“It is funny you ask that question because I was thinking about two years ago in the final, and talk about goofy plays, pucks bouncing up in the air,” Cronin began. “The BU-Northeastern game was a great game. BU scores three shorthanded goals and a power play goal. That just doesn’€™t happen in the Beanpot. We end up losing that game. Last year, we played a terrific game against BU in the first round. Again [Alex] Chaisson shoots the puck and it squeaks through the shirt and trickles into the net, just as [Mike] McLaughlin’€™s did. Unfortunately, those are the memories for a lot of the Northeastern people over the last twenty years’€¦near misses.”

Then it got interesting.

“I will give you an example,” Cronin said in an effort to back up his comments about years of frustration. “When I got here six years ago, the program was’€¦ well it just needed a lot of work form inter-structurally and in addition to me getting the fans back. The fans come in when you win, so we have started to win incrementally. We started to fill the building and last year we had good crowds. Now this year, they have stopped showing up and I think you see a reflection of of the fans when you are on the bench and you look into that left corner, and there wasn’€™t nearly as many black shirts as there was a year ago.”

Well, you can understand a coach reaching out to his student body and imploring them to support their team through good times and bad. After all, Cronin knows his team is a still-disappointing 9-11-6 after having much bigger aspirations entering this season.

But then he finished with a bang. Or a thud, if you’re a Red Sox fan.

“I am not a baseball fan,” Cronin said. “Believe it or not, I like the Yankees over the Red Sox, don’€™t kill me now. But I liked the Yankees because they would always win and the Red Sox would lose. I think we have a little bit of the mentality of when are they going to win this damn thing. And they get sick of it and I don’€™t blame them.

“But, this is twice in the last three years that we are in the final, and I know we are going to have a tremendous opponent to play against. So to answer you are question with a period, they would have to get both the NUPD and the Boston police on our campus if we won.”

The police might actually be more useful for Cronin the next time he shows his face at Fenway.

Read More: Boston Red Sox, Greg Cronin, MLB, New York Yankees