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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Jets fans plan protest during game vs. Patriots

12.05.14 at 7:49 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NBA: Lakers at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Nuggets at Wizards, 7 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Pacers at Kings, 10 p.m. (NBA TV)
College basketball: Providence at Boston College, 7 p.m. (WEEI-FM)
College basketball: Texas at Kentucky, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Wyoming at SMU, 7 p.m. (ESPNews)
College basketball: Florida International at Louisville, 7 p.m. (NESN)
College basketball: Florida at Kansas, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Missouri at Oklahoma, 9:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College football: MAC championship, Northern Illinois vs. Bowling Green, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College football: Pac-12 championship, Oregon vs. Arizona, 9 p.m. (Fox)
College hockey: Boston College at New Hampshire, 8 p.m. (NBCSN; WEEI-AM)
College hockey: Penn State at Wisconsin, 9 p.m. (ESPNews)


Jets fans plan to wave these towels during the team's game against the Patriots on Dec. 21.

Jets fans plan to wave these towels during the team’s game against the Patriots on Dec. 21.

— With one home game remaining on the Jets’ schedule — Dec. 21 against the Patriots — angry fans of the team are eyeing that date to again make their feelings known about the poor performance of general manager John Idzik and the front office.

The group behind has partnered with the anonymous group that rented a plane to fly over Jets practice last month calling for the GM’s job, and they announced that they will distribute yellow towels that include a message to owner Woody Johnson imploring him to “clean house” by firing Idzik, team president Neil Glat and scouting director Terry Bradway.

The idea for towels came after the group saw fans get ejected for bringing signs into MetLife Stadium. Some 10,000 flags will be distributed at sports bars throughout the New York City area to anyone who has a ticket to the game.

Said the group in an announcement, “If Steeler fans can wave their ‘Terrible Towels’ in our building, then Jets fans surely have their right to wave our ‘Penalty Flags.’ ”

— Meanwhile, Jets wide receiver Eric Decker again was forced to come to his wife’s defense, after country singer Jessie James Decker went on Instagram to deny that Decker left the Broncos as a free agent in the offseason just for the money.

Jessie noted that the Broncos never made an offer, writing, “So for all the people that have accused Eric of choosing money. You don’t know anything.” The post later was deleted.

Earlier in the week, she said Decker was “depressed” about the Jets’ miserable season.

“She’s obviously unfiltered, which is comical,” Decker said Thursday.

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Read More: Eric Decker, Jessie James Decker, John Idzik, Ryan Suter

Johnny Manziel on starting at quarterback: ‘Maybe next time it will be a yes’

12.04.14 at 9:39 am ET
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Johnny Manziel

Johnny Manziel

After relieving quarterback Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer on Sunday in Buffalo and going 5-for-8 passing for 63 yards, it was not enough for Johnny Manziel to get the start this week against the Colts. Head coach Mike Pettine announced earlier in the week Hoyer would be the starter.

“[Pettine]’s answer is no,” said Manziel, via “Hopefully moving forward, whatever transpires, maybe next time it will be a yes.”

The rookie is focused on getting better each week and isn’t changing his attitude because he isn’t starting this week.

“I want to show even through practice, even after this, that my mood hasn’t changed,” Manziel said. “I’m not taking this lightly. All this is going to do is motivate me to come in here to work every day, come to practice, continue to try and elevate my game to where next time in a situation like this maybe there’s no doubt.”

Read More: Johnny Manziel,

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Ravens deny encouraging Janay Rice to apologize

12.04.14 at 8:18 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NHL: Bruins at Sharks, 10:30 p.m. (NESN)
NFL: Cowboys at Bears, 8:25 p.m. (NFL Network; WEEI-FM)
College football: Central Florida at East Carolina, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Cavaliers at Knicks, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Hornets at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: LSU at West Virginia, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Baylor at Vanderbilt, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Arkansas at Iowa State, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: TCU at Mississippi, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: San Diego at San Diego State, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)


— The Ravens responded to Janay Rice’s claim that the team pushed her to accept some responsibility for the February domestic dispute with running back Ray Rice by denying talking to her prior to the controversial May 23 press conference.

Janay said in an interview with NBC’s “Today” show that the team “suggested” she apologize for her role in the incident that ended with Ray knocking her out in an Atlantic City hotel elevator.

Ravens senior vice president of public and community relations Kevin Byrne responded to that assertion Wednesday.

“There have been some discussions in the media about the Ravens providing a ‘script’ or ‘suggested script’ to Janay and Ray Rice prior to a May 23 press session,’ Byrne said in the statement. “After conversations with Ray about what he wanted to say, we did provide talking points to Ray for this event. After Ray informed the Ravens that Janay wanted also to speak at the event, I asked Ray on two different days if Ray wanted me to speak with Janay in advance of the press session.

“Both times, Ray declined and said: ‘She’s good. She knows what she wants to say.’ At no time prior to the May 23 session did we provide talking points, a script or suggested script to Janay or speak with her about the press event. We did not recommend or suggest to Ray or Janay that she apologize in any way. We understand that the NFLPA also provided Ray talking points and that he repeatedly looked at these on his phone during the May 23 press event.”

NFL Players Association executive George Atallah acknowledged that the union worked with Rice.

“We absolutely sent him notes and we tried to help guide him. That’s what we do,” Atallah said. “That’s what a union does to support the players.”

— The 76ers finally ended their season-long losing streak, beating the Timberwolves on Wednesday night for their first win in 18 tries. Perhaps it was a good omen that the game had to be restarted 16 seconds in, when the referees realized the teams were going in the wrong direction.

Henry Sims was fouled and was at the free throw line when the officials stopped the game and determined their mistake. They called for the teams to switch sides and start from the beginning.

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Read More: Janay Rice, Michael Sam, Ray Rice,

Canadiens great Jean Beliveau dead at 83

12.03.14 at 8:23 am ET
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The NHL and Canadiens lost a legend Tuesday night when former player Jean Beliveau passed away at 83 years old.

The Hall-of-Famer had an illustrious 18-year career with the Canadiens, as he scored 507 goals and was named league MVP twice. Beliveau was not just revered for his career statistics but for the respectful way in which he played the game.

“Jean Beliveau was such a great person, a great hockey player and a real gentleman off the ice,” said former Bruins player John Bucyk. “He was very well-respected around the league. He was a Hall of Famer, an All-Star, what can you say? He was always the top centerman in the National Hockey League for many years.”

Beliveau, a captain of Montreal for 10 years, was member of some of the greatest Canadiens teams hoisted the Stanley Cup 10 times. His 97 goals and 176 total points in 162 playoff games are some of the best numbers in team history. Beliveau’s former teammates said he was unlike others who played during his era.

“Meeting him is not like meeting other stars from the old days,” said Beliveau’s former linemate Gilles Tremblay. “When people see Bobby Hull, they say: ‘Hi, Bobby.’ When they meet Big Jean, it’s always: ‘Hi, Mr. Beliveau.’ He commands respect.”

After his historic career, Beliveau joined the Canadiens front office as a executive. As an ambassador for the team, Beliveau was seen at almost every home game signing autographs for fans. Team owner Geoff Molson did not have enough good things to say about Beliveau as a player and person.

Said Molson: “Jean Beliveau was a great leader, a gentleman and arguably the greatest ambassador our game has ever known.”

Read More: Jean Beliveau, John Bucyk,

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Olympic icon rips Charles Barkley for comments about Ferguson rioting

12.03.14 at 8:06 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NHL: Blues at Blackhawks, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: Michigan State at Notre Dame, 7:15 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Virginia Tech at Penn State, 7:15 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Iowa at North Carolina, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Virginia at Maryland, 9:15 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Georgia Tech at Northwestern, 9:15 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Duke at Wisconsin, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Wichita State at Utah, 11:15 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: Premier League, Tottenham at Chelsea, 2:40 p.m. (NBCSN)


— John Carlos, who become iconic for his black power salute after winning a bronze medal at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, criticized Charles Barkley for the TNT NBA analyst’s recent comments about the police shooting in Ferguson, Missouri.

The outspoken Barkley last week called some of the people who rioted in Ferguson “scumbags” and made comments supportive of the police.

“He’€™s just looking for political votes down the line,” Carlos told the New York Daily News. “If you don’€™t have anything good to say, you should keep your mouth shut. I don’€™t know where Mr. Barkley gets his reports. He’€™s a basketball commentator. It’€™s not like he’€™s in the legal field. He shouldn’t be saying derogatory things.”

MASHUP POLL: Should more athletes speak out about issues like the one in Ferguson, Missouri

  • Yes, they should take advantage of their public stature and push for social justice (52%, 241 Votes)
  • No, they're athletes, not politicians, and they should keep their focus on the game (48%, 222 Votes)

Total Voters: 463

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Carlos also voiced support for the five Rams players who raised their arms in the “hands up, don’t shoot” style before Sunday’s game, saying, “These men are giving voice to the voiceless. They’re doing the right thing and taking a stance.” He called on more athletes and entertainers to speak out about racial and social injustice.

“Not just athletes,” Carlos said. “Puff Daddy, Snoop [Dogg], we haven’€™t heard much from those individuals or our black movie stars out there. They chose to take the back seat. How many millions of dollars do you have to have in your bank account before you speak your mind?”

Adrian Peterson read a statement but did not testify at his appeal hearing Tuesday in New York, according to an Associated Press report.

Peterson, suspended for the rest of the season by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for violating the league’s personal conduct policy, was at the hearing for more than three hours. The hearing resumes Thursday, when NFL executive Troy Vincent reportedly will testify.

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Read More: Adrian Peterson, Charles Barkley, Jameis Winston, John Carlos

Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Rex Ryan ‘sick’ after latest loss to Dolphins drops Jets to 2-10

12.02.14 at 8:14 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NHL: Lightning at Sabres, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Flyers at Sharks, 10 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: Pittsburgh at Indians, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Minnesota at Wake Forest, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Stephen F. Austin at Memphis, 7 p.m. (ESPNews)
College basketball: Niagara at St. John’s, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Syracuse at Michigan, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Illinois at Miami, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Northern Illinois at DePaul, 9 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: NC State at Purdue, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: BYU at Utah State, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Ohio State at Louisville, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: Premier League, Stoke City at Manchester United, 2:40 p.m. (NBCSN)


— Geno Smith returned as the starting quarterback — although he wasn’t announced to the home crowd during player introductions — and the losing continued for the Jets, who dropped a 16-13 decision to the Dolphins on Monday night.

“I can’t believe we’re 2-10,” despondent coach Rex Ryan said. “A joke.”

Smith, who said after the game that he wanted to run out with his team rather than be introduced individually, only attempted 13 passes (completing seven for 65 yards) as the Jets tried to take the pressure off the young QB by focusing on the ground game (49 rushes for 277 yards). Smith only attempted eight passes before his team’s final drive, which ended with a game-closing interception.

“It’s gut-wrenching,” said Smith, whose insertion into the lineup ahead of Mike Vick reportedly was not well received by all the team’s coaches. “I can’t tell you how heartbroken I am.”

Added Ryan: “I feel sick. We played great for the most part, in a lot of areas. … Everybody in [the locker room] is hurting. Hurting for each other, for our fans. We’ll do anything for a win.”

Meanwhile, Jessie James Decker, the singer and wife of Jets receiver Eric Decker, said her husband has had a tough time dealing with all the losing.

“It’s been a really hard season,” she said in a radio interview with 95.5 WPLJ. “He’s been, I don’t want to say depressed, but he’s been depressed. He has been. It’s been really hard, and my heart breaks for him.”

— An examination will be done on the brain of former Ohio State football player Kosta Karageorge to determine if he had a traumatic brain injury.

Karageorge, a senior walk-on who had wrestled his first three seasons at the school, is believed to have shot himself after texting his mother, “I am sorry if I am an embarrassment but these concussions have my head all [expletive] up.”

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Read More: Darryl Talley, Geno Smith, Kosta Karageorge, Rex Ryan

Report: Mariners, Nelson Cruz agree to 4-year contract

12.01.14 at 11:44 am ET
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Outfielder Nelson Cruz looks to have found a new home on the West Coast.

According to a report in the Dominican Newspaper El Caribe, the 34-year-old has agreed to a four-year, $57 million contract with the Mariners.

Last season with the Orioles, Cruz batted .271, drove in 108 runs and hit an American League-best 40 home runs, helping Baltimore win its first American League East title since 1997. The three-time All-Star finished seventh in the AL MVP voting for his career year at the plate. He also belted two home runs during Baltimore’€™s playoff run to the ALCS.

Cruz had declined Baltimore’€™s $15.3 million qualifying offer earlier this offseason. The Orioles will receive Seattle’€™s first-round pick (No. 21) in this year’€™s upcoming draft as compensation for losing Cruz.

Seattle finished 2014 at 19th in all of baseball in runs scored and did not have an outfielder that hit more than 14 home runs.

Read More: Nelson Cruz,

Monday’s Morning Mashup: Missing Ohio State football player found dead

12.01.14 at 8:09 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NFL: Dolphins at Jets, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Marist at Boston College, 7 p.m. (WEEI-AM)
College basketball: Nebraska at Florida State, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Rutgers at Clemson, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: South Carolina at Marshall, 7:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Texas Southern at Baylor, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)


Kosta Karageorge

Kosta Karageorge

— The Ohio State football player who went missing on Wednesday was found dead Sunday near the campus with what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Ohio police said.

According to The Columbus Dispatch, Kosta Karageorge’s body was discovered in a dumpster not far from the two-story house in which he had been living. He had told his roommates he was going for a walk early Wednesday, and he had texted his mother that he was having issues dealing with concussions he had suffered. He apologized “if I am an embarrassment, but these concussions have my head all [expletive] up.”

A three-year wrestler at the school, Karageorge walked on to the football team this year. He played in one game.

Karageorge was scheduled to be honored along with the team’s other seniors before Saturday’s final home game, a 42-28 victory over rival Michigan.

“It’s hard to move on through the week knowing we don’t know where he is,” defensive tackle Adolphus Washington said Saturday. “He’s one of our brothers and it’s just hard.”

— Nets forward Kevin Garnett appeared to attempt to bite the finger of nemesis Joakim Noah during Sunday’s game in Brooklyn, although both players had a laugh about it afterward.

The incident happened during the fourth quarter of the Bulls’ 102-84 victory, when Noah was on defense and put his hand near Garnett’s face. Garnett, who earlier in the game got a technical foul for throwing an elbow at Noah, snapped at Noah’s fingers. The former Celtic did not appear to be joking around at the time, although he downplayed it afterward.

“I know how to bite somebody,” Garnett said (via the New York Daily News). “Obviously I was messing around in that moment. I wasn’t serious. I’m not worried about that. If I wanted to bite him, I would. Shout out to Mike Tyson.”

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Read More: Joakim Noah, kevin garnett, Kostas Karageorges,

Friday’s Morning Mashup: Family of missing Ohio State football player appeals for help

11.28.14 at 8:29 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NHL: Jets at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Rangers at Flyers, 1 p.m. (NBC)
NHL: Blackhawks at Ducks, 4 p.m. (NHL Network)
College hockey: Minnesota at Boston College, 6 p.m. (WEEI-AM)
NBA: Bulls at Celtics, 1 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Clippers at Rockets, 8 p.m. (NBA TV)
College basketball: Tennessee vs. Kansas, noon (ESPN)
College basketball: Butler vs. Georgetown, 2 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Santa Clara vs. Rhode Island, 2:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: UTEP vs. Xavier, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Yale at Providence, 4 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: James Madison at Ohio State, 4 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Missouri State at Alaska-Anchorage, 4 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Minnesota vs. Georgia, 4:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Oklahoma vs. Wisconsin, 4:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Rider vs. Georgia Tech, 6:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: St. John’s vs. Gonzaga, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Monmouth at Maryland, 7 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Vanderbilt vs. Rutgers, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: Bradley vs. TCU, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Memphis vs. Indiana State, 8 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Michigan State vs. Marquette, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: UNC-Greensboro at Indiana, 9 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Baylor vs. Illinois, 1:30 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Long Beach State vs. Washington, 11:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College football: Northern Illinois at Western Michigan, 11 a.m. (ESPNU)
College football: Nebraska at Iowa, noon (ABC)
College football: Central Florida at South Florida, noon (ESPN2)
College football: Western Kentucky at Marshall, noon (FS1)
College football: Houston at SMU, noon (CBSSN)
College football: Arkansas at Missouri, 2:30 p.m. (CBS)
College football: Stanford at UCLA, 3:30 p.m. (ABC)
College football: Arizona State at Arizona, 3:30 p.m. (Fox)
College football: Colorado State at Air Force, 3:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College football: Virginia at Virginia Tech, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: East Carolina at Tulsa, 8:30 p.m. (ESPNU)


— Ohio State is preparing for Saturday’s rivalry game against Michigan, but the Buckeyes have something else on their mind: One of their players is missing.

The family of senior defensive tackle Kosta Karageorge reported him missing after he left his apartment shortly after midnight Tuesday night and has not been heard from since.

Karageorge, a walk-on who wrestled at Ohio State his first three years, told his roommates he was going to take a walk.

“He did not take his motorcycle, and he does not have his car on campus,” his sister, Sophia, told The Columbus Dispatch. “So he was either picked up, went on foot or took public transportation. He does not have his wallet or any identification on him that we know of because his girlfriend has his wallet.”

Added Sophia: “He had some extenuating circumstances that night that lead us to believe he was upset.”

Karageorge, who stands 6-foot-5, 285 pounds, missed Wednesday’s practice. He was slated to be recognized on Saturday at Ohio Stadium along with the team’s other seniors before their final home game.

“He never misses practice,” Sophia said. “I’€™ve seen him go to wrestling practice with a broken foot. I’€™ve seen him sick as a dog go to practice. He’€™s always on schedule. He always has somewhere where he checks in.”

His sister said that Karageorge has a history of concussions, including one from a month ago, and sometimes the effects are delayed.

“We’re very concerned that he’s not himself and that he maybe doesn’t know what’s going on,” she said.

— The 49ers laid an egg in Thursday night’s showdown against the Seahawks, and the team isn’t shy about admitting it.

CEO Jed York tweeted an apology after the game, writing: Thank you #49ersfaithful for coming out strong tonight. This performance wasn’t acceptable. I apologize for that.

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Read More: Jed York, Jim Harbaugh, Kostas Karageorge, Robert Talley

Report: Robert Griffin III benched in favor of Colt McCoy

11.26.14 at 11:43 am ET
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Times already have been tough for Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III and they continue to get more difficult.

The team is expected to start Colt McCoy over Griffin this Sunday against the Colts, a person close to the team told The Associated Press. The Redskins have yet to make an official statement but are expected to announce the change Wednesday.

Against the 49ers last week, Griffin fumbled on the team’s last drive of the game, ending any hope of a comeback in a 17-13 loss. He threw for only 106 yards before the fumble.

Since he won 2012 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, Griffin is a combined 4-14 as a starter in 2013 and 2014. After he already suffered a serious injury when he tore his ACL during the NFC wild card round his rookie season, Griffin suffered an ankle injury early on this year and missed six games. Since his return, he has an 0-3 record.

Kirk Cousins and McCoy combined for three wins when Griffin was on the injured reserve list. McCoy’s biggest victory came in Dallas when he rallied the Redskins to a 20-17 overtime win over the Cowboys on Oct. 27.

This season McCoy has completed 85.7 percent of his passes for one touchdown and 427 yards. For his career, the quarterback has 22 touchdowns to 21 interceptions.

Read More: Colt McCoy, Robert Griffin III,