College Blog
WEEI.com Blog Network

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Soccer world celebrates Sepp Blatter’s decision to resign

06.03.15 at 8:08 am ET
By   |   Comments

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.

WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Twins at Red Sox, Game 1, 1:35 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Twins at Red Sox, Game 2, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Yankees at Mariners, 3:30 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Dodgers at Rockies, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
NHL: Stanley Cup finals, Blackhawks at Lightning, 8 p.m. (NBC)
College softball: World Series, Michigan vs. Florida, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: Exhibition, Mexico at Peru, 9 p.m. (ESPNews)
Tennis: French Open, 8 a.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

Sepp Blatter

Sepp Blatter

— Sepp Blatter’s decision to step down as FIFA president just four days after his re-election came as a surprise, but the news was welcomed by many in the game.

“Wholesale changes need to be made,” former U.S. World Cup goalie Tony Meola, who now hosts a soccer show on SiriusXM, told the New York Daily News. “What’s been going on for years and years is nothing short of disgusting. I don’t want to sound naive and say no one knew about it. We knew about it. But now it took Loretta Lynch and the FBI to uncover things.

“It’s terrible what’s been happening for years where fans of the game — and I’m including myself — have just been slapped in the face with these guys, and I’ll call them criminals, laughing at us the entire time. In one sentence we call this the beautiful game, and in another sentence it’s been about as ugly as it could be.”

U.S. women’s national team midfielder Megan Rapinoe was even more direct, tweeting: Ding dong the witch is dead. Daddy got his hand caught in the cookie jar.

Added former U.S. star Julie Foudy: Hallelujay! Sepp Blatter is out. #adiosSepp

Blatter said he plans to stay on until a successor is named.

Meanwhile, Interpol added six men with ties to FIFA to its most-wanted list for racketeering and corruption. The list includes former FIFA vice president Jack Warner, who already was arrested and released in his home country of Trinidad. Also on the list are former FIFA vice president Nicolas Leoz of Paraguay, Brazilian broadcast executive Jose Margulies, and Argentinians Alejandro Burzaco, Hugo Jinkis and Mariano Jinkis, who stand accused of paying more than $100 million bribes for media and commercial rights to soccer tournaments.

— Joey Gallo, the top prospect in the Rangers organization, lived up to his hype Tuesday in his major league debut, recording a single, a double, a home run and a walk in Texas’ 15-2 rout of the White Sox.

Gallo set a franchise record for RBIs in an MLB debut with four.

“I definitely did not think this was going to happen the first game,” Gallo said. “I was just going to be happy to get on base the first game, so I definitely overachieved my goals there.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Bryce Harper, Joey Gallo, Sepp Blatter,

President of FIFA Sepp Blatter to resign

06.02.15 at 1:01 pm ET
By   |   Comments

Sepp Blatter

Sepp Blatter

Four days after being re-elected as President of FIFA, Sepp Blatter announced Tuesday he will resign.

At a surprise press conference he called for “extraordinary congress” of FIFA to convene to elect his successor. He plans to continue serving in his role until his successor is named.

Blatter had 133 votes to 73 for Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan in the vote last Friday. Since no candidate won two-thirds of the vote, there was to have been a second vote in which the winner would only need a majority. However, Prince Ali, a FIFA vice president for the past four years, conceded defeat and withdrew.

Two FIFA vice presidents and a recently elected executive committee member remained in custody during Friday’€™s election. They are fighting extradition to the United States, where they would face corruption charges related to tournaments held in North America.

Blatter denied having any role in the alleged bribery, blaming others for embarrassing the sport and saying it was impossible to be responsible for everyone’€™s behavior.

Read More: Sepp Blatter,

Adalius Thomas will attend NFL broadcasting boot camp

06.02.15 at 10:41 am ET
By   |   Comments

Retired linebacker Adalius Thomas is participating in the NFL’s annual broadcasting boot camp. The ninth rendition of the four-day workshop begins Monday at NFL Films in Mount Laurel, New Jersey.

Thomas, 37, was a two-time Pro Bowl selection drafted in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft out of the University of Southern Mississippi. Though the $35 million man holds a legacy in New England for his tardiness, he remains one of the most respected players around the league. He retired with 53 career sacks and one first-team All-Pro selection in 2006, when he recorded 11 sacks and one fumble return touchdown.

The former Raven and Patriot joins 24 current and former players attending the boot camp, including Mike Adams, Greg Camarillo, Braylon Edwards, Antonio Cromartie, Ronnie Brown, Ike Taylor and others.

The program includes instructors from all of the major NFL broadcasting agencies and hosts personalities like Kenny Albert, James Brown, Greg Cosell, Curt Menefee and Solomon Wilcots.

The workshop educates participants on tape study, editing, show preparation, radio production, studio preparation, production meetings, field reporting and game preparation. Each participant tapes segments as a game analyst and as a field reporter. Additonally, each of them will serve as a live guest host on SiriusXM NFL Radio.

“You can turn on your television at home and see how beneficial Boot Camp: Broadcasting has been for the players who have participated in the past,” NFL vice president of engagement Charles Way said. “Broadcasting is a competitive field to break into, and we’€™re thrilled that this program has assisted so many players with achieving their career goals.”

Read More: adalius thomas, NFL,

Mark Sanchez takes back Tim Tebow comments

06.02.15 at 9:36 am ET
By   |   Comments

After the Eagles signed Tim Tebow, Mark Sanchez called the former Patriot and Jet a “camp arm.” Now, he has taken back these comments, calling them misleading.

“I think that kind of came off the wrong way,” Sanchez said, via ESPN. “At least it was not exactly what I intended to say. It took on a life of its own. Listen, everybody’€™s here for a reason. We’€™re all working hard, trying to make each other better. Coach wanted specific guys here for specific reasons. That’€™s up to coach. We just plug in and play.”

Despite the negativity of the comments directed at him, Tebow has nothing but good things to say about his teammate.

“We had that relationship for a year,” Tebow said. “I think it’€™s deeper, it’€™s more evolved. I think it’€™s a good relationship. I have a lot of respect for him. I think you just try to make each other better.”

Sanchez deemed Tebow as “another guy to throw,” and he’s not very far off. Tebow will compete with Matt Barkley for the third-string job, while Sanchez will challenge new addition Sam Bradford for the top spot on the depth chart.

Read More: Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow,

Adrian Peterson will participate in Vikings’ OTAs Tuesday

06.02.15 at 8:57 am ET
By   |   Comments

After nearly nine months away from the team, Adrian Peterson will return to the Vikings for OTAs on Tuesday.

“I’m returning because I want to. I’m a part of this football team and I owe it to the guys I play with and to our coaches,” Peterson told ESPN. “I was planning on coming in this week, and I’m looking forward to getting back on the field. It’s what I love to do.”

Following Week 1 of the 2014-15 NFL season, Peterson was indicted on child abuse charges after allegedly disciplining his child with a switch. He missed the remaining 15 games of the season and speculation abounded that he would be traded this offseason. Peterson previously skipped the first two phases of the Vikings offseason program in hopes of making his $12.75 million 2015-16 salary fully guaranteed.

The 2012 NFL MVP went on a highly publicized Twitter rant Sunday morning regarding the viability of NFL contracts.

Peterson did not discuss whether he and the Vikings had begun restructuring his contract.

“I’ll leave those discussions to my agent, but any player wants to guarantee his future as much as possible,” Peterson said. “I’m focused on what I need to do on the field, what I need to do to prepare for the season.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings,

Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Aaron Hernandez’s lawyers reportedly will argue that juror was tainted

06.02.15 at 8:04 am ET
By   |   Comments

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.

TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Twins at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Cubs at Marlins, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Mets at Padres, 10 p.m. (MLB Network)
College softball: World Series, Michigan vs. Florida, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: Exhibition, New York Cosmos at Cuba, 5 p.m. (ESPN2)
Tennis: French Open, 1 p.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

Aaron Hernandez is accused of orchestrating the murder of Odin Lloyd. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Aaron Hernandez is serving a life sentence for first-degree murder. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

— Aaron Hernandez’s lawyers plan to argue that a juror was improperly influenced by outside information before the ex-Patriot was convicted of first-degree murder in April, according to a report from Fox 25.

The station reports that Hernandez’s lawyers recently filed four motions in his appeal, although the defense team requested the documents not be made public. One of the motions is said to be titled, “Defense Motion for post verdict inquiry respecting a juror’s exposure to extraneous matters.”

Hernandez’s defense said in its appeal last month that “no rational jury” would have convicted Hernandez based on the evidence presented, accusing the jurors of using “improper speculation, conjecture and guesswork” in reaching their verdict.

Hernandez, who last month pleaded not guilty to a witness intimidation charge related to an incident in Florida when he allegedly shot his friend in the face, is due to go on trial later this year for a 2012 double murder in Boston.

— The football program at the University of Alabama-Birmingham is back, only month after the school controversially decided to eliminate the team due to funding concerns.

UAB president Ray Watts made the announcement Monday, explaining that donors have pledged $17.2 million to cover the projected deficit over the next five years. The school won’t be able to field a team this fall — many of last year’s players already have transferred — but perhaps as soon as 2016.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Aaron Hernandez, Rick Brunson,

Giants P Steve Weatherford survives major car wreck

06.01.15 at 11:56 am ET
By   |   Comments

Steve Weatherford

Steve Weatherford

Giants punter Steve Weatherford made it out of a major car crash on the New Jersey turnpike early Monday morning.

Weatherford was attempting to make it to OTAs after flying from San Diego following the birth of his daughter. With poor weather causing his flight to ground in Washington D.C., Weatherford rented a car in hopes of making it to Monday morning practice. However, driving down the New Jersey Turnpike at 3:30 a.m., he hit water and hydroplaned across the median. His airbags deployed during the crash, but he was left without any serious injury.

“I walked out without a scratch,” Weatherford wrote on Instagram. “I am feeling so incredibly blessed. Not only has God given my family and I a beautiful, healthy 10-pound baby girl. He sent his guardian angels to keep my car from flipping and possibly dying.”

Following the accident, New Jersey state troopers drove Weatherford 45 miles to his house.

“Now I’m home shaking like a leaf, trying to pack my bag to go to practice,” Weatherford added after the help from the policemen. “I’m so thankful to even be walking right now.”

Eventually Weatherford did reach the Giants’ practice facility.

Read More: Steve Weatherford,

Monday’s Morning Mashup: Cavaliers F Kevin Love ‘all good’ with Celtics’ Kelly Olynyk

06.01.15 at 7:54 am ET
By   |   Comments

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.

MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Twins at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Brewers at Cardinals, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
College softball: World Series, Michigan vs. Florida, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

Cavaliers forward Kevin Love has softened his stance toward Celtics forward Kelly Olynyk, who yanked Love’s left arm from its socket during the first round of the playoffs, causing Love to miss the remainder of the playoffs.

Love was very critical of Olynyk in the aftermath of the injury, and he had refused Olynyk’s attempts to apologize.

“I initially was very emotional about the play,” Love said Sunday, his first public comments since having surgery. “I think everybody thinks, ‘Oh, he’s going to be able to come back, pop it right in,’ but at the time when it happened, I kind of knew. And about a week went by, I reached out to Kelly, sent him a text and said, ‘Hey, it’s all good. It was a tough play.’ And we just move on from there.”

During the Cavs’ on-court celebration after sweeping the Hawks in the Eastern Conference finals, Love almost had a setback when one of his teammates was a little over exuberant.

“The first moment I walk out there — the teammate will remain nameless — I go up and give him a big hug and say, ‘Congratulations!’ And he takes his arm and goes, ‘Oh yeah, man,’ and just hits me right on the shoulder,” Love recalled. “Some of the front-office staff out there with me kind of had to grab me and say, ‘Are you OK?’ I had one of those moments where I was like I might have to go back to the locker room. I just tried to take deep breaths, calm myself and got home and iced as quickly as I could.”

Love also said he expects to be ready for next season’s opening game, and he expect to be wearing a Cavaliers uniform, despite having the option to become a free agent.

— Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel ended a confrontation with a fan by throwing a water bottle at him during a run-in at the AT&T Byron Nelson golf tournament in Irving, Texas, on Sunday.

According to police, Manziel had turned away the fans’ autograph requests for a couple of hours, and the two eventually had a confrontation at the pool area of the Four Seasons Resort that ended with Manziel throwing a water bottle that missed the 18-year-old man. Someone with Manziel then pushed the man before officers intervened.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Johnny Manziel, Kelly Olynyk, Kevin Love, Stephen Drew

Thinking Out Loud: Rhode Island loses legend with death of George Duffy

05.29.15 at 5:37 pm ET
By   |   Comments

Rooke_JohnThinking out loud … while wondering whatever happened to Dick Pole?

— Rhode Island sports lost a true shining star in George Patrick Duffy this past week. He was 94 years young, and every time I’d see him and ask how he’s doing, he’d always reply, “I’m still vertical!” Mr. Duffy (and he was NEVER “George,” by the way) spent a part of four decades working for the Rhode Island Reds AHL hockey club as an announcer and PR man, and his radio work for the Reds helped him gain induction into the RI Radio Hall of Fame in 2009. But it was his work as a coach and mentor in Pawtucket, where he touched the lives of so many students and athletes for more than 70 years in various youth sports — and at St. Raphael Academy as well — that he really left his mark.

— One of my friends, Davies softball coach Scott Cooper, told me Mr. Duffy coached him on the 1980 Pawtucket Darlington American Little League team that reached the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Cooper says, “As a player, he made us feel like we were 9 feet tall and we could do anything!” If you ask me, that’s a heckuva legacy.

— Through his extraordinary 71-year run as a coach, it seems only fitting that one of his former American Legion players, former St. Ray’s, University of North Carolina and current Los Angeles Angels catcher Chris Iannetta, hit a home run for the Angels while Mr. Duffy listened to the game the night before he passed away. Here’s a man who served in the Coast Guard during World War II, stayed married to his bride Helen for 71 years, called Reds games on local radio for another 25 years and had such an impact on local sports that Pawtucket’s Slater Park Athletic Complex and baseball fields were re-named the George Patrick Duffy Athletic Complex. Whoa.

— Godspeed, Mr. Duffy. His signature radio sign-off phrase, “Keep the sports parade moving by being a good sport,” is legacy enough for everyone to remember.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: David Ortiz, Dick Pole, George Duffy, John Rooke

Despite turmoil, Sepp Blatter re-elected FIFA president

05.29.15 at 2:00 pm ET
By   |   Comments

Sepp Blatter

Sepp Blatter

As expected, Sepp Blatter was re-elected as president of FIFA for a fifth term during Friday’s election in Zurich, although there was enough opposition that Blatter did not win on the first vote.

Blatter had 133 votes to 73 for Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan. Because no candidate won two-thirds of the vote, there was to have been a second vote in which the winner would only need a majority. However, Prince Ali, a FIFA vice president for the past four years, conceded defeat and withdrew.

Two FIFA vice presidents and a recently elected executive committee remember remained in custody during Friday’s election. They are fighting extradition to the United States, where they would face corruption charges related to tournaments held in North America.

Blatter denied having any role in the alleged bribery, blaming others for embarrassing the sport and saying it was impossible to be responsible for everyone’s behavior.

Blatter, 79, has been president for 17 years.

Read More: Sepp Blatter,