Archive for December, 2010

Rex Ryan on new photos of his wife: ‘a personal matter’

Friday, December 31st, 2010

Jets coach Rex Ryan was asked Friday about a set of photos that were made public on the Internet earlier in the day, but he declined to address the matter. As he said when asked about the foot-fetish videos that became widely publicized last week, Ryan stated: “It’s a personal matter, and I’m not going to discuss it.”

The photos that hit the web Friday show a woman who appears to be Michelle Ryan with an unidentified man who is not Rex Ryan smelling and rubbing her bare feet. Two other photos show the woman posing on a bed in a suggestive manner.

Panthers fire coach John Fox

Friday, December 31st, 2010

In a move that was widely expected, the Panthers announced that coach John Fox will not return after Sunday’s season finale against the Falcons. Fox is 78-73 in nine years with the Panthers, who are 2-13 this season.

‘€œI told John today that I appreciate everything he has done for us over the last nine years, but as happens in this business, it is time for both sides to move in different directions,’€ Panthers owner Jerry Richardson said in a statement. ‘€œWhile we haven’€™t accomplished all of the goals we set as an organization when we signed him in 2002, we have certainly had our share of high moments ‘€” the Super Bowl, two NFC championship games, and a division title in 2008. We wish John and his family the best going forward.’€

Said Fox in a statement: ‘€œI appreciate the opportunity Mr. Richardson gave me to be a head coach in the National Football League nine years ago and to be a part of this organization. I have formed many close relationships and I have many great memories. I particularly want to thank the players for their efforts throughout the years. Working with so many great people has been a rewarding experience.’€

Report: Charie Weis will join University of Florida to run offense

Friday, December 31st, 2010

According to an ESPN report, the University of Florida is interested in having Chiefs offensive coordinator Charlie Weis take the same position with the Gators under new coach Will Muschamp. The report indicated Weis, the former Patriots offensive coordinator who more recently served as Notre Dame’s head coach, is expected to take the position, although no agreement is in place.

Chiefs coach Todd Haley said Friday he did not know of any deal between Weis and the Gators. “It’s news to me,” Haley said.

Son of former NBA star Nick Van Exel charged with murder

Friday, December 31st, 2010

The son of former NBA guard and current Hawks assistant coach Nick Van Exel was charged with capital murder for allegedly killing his friend and neighbor and dumping the body in a Dallas-area park. Nickey Van Exel, 20, is accused of shooting Bradley Bassey Eyo and then wrapping the body in plastic and dumping it on the shore of a nearby lake.

Van Exel said he thought the shotgun was unloaded when he pointed it as his friend, according to police documents. Van Exel turned himself into police Wednesday and was released on $25,000 bail late Thursday.

Nick Van Exel played 13 seasons for six teams in the NBA, including stints with the Lakers, Nuggets and Mavericks, before retiring in 2006.

Jenn Sterger’s father ‘absolutely furious’ with Brett Favre’s punishment

Friday, December 31st, 2010

The father of former Jets game-day hostess Jenn Sterger criticized the NFL for it’s failure to adequately punish Brett Favre. On Wednesday, the NFL announced that Favre was being fine $50,000 for failing to cooperate with the league’s investigation into his alleged pornographic text messages.

“I better not meet that guy down a dark alley,” Leo Sterger told Radar Online. “Their decision is a complete travesty to women, and they are just treating him this way because he is the NFL’s golden boy.”

Leo Sterger said he was “absolutely furious” with the punishment, but he said his daughter is doing fine.

“Jenn is doing well, all things considered, and if anything she feels vindicated after the NFL’s decision,” he said. “She’s a strong woman and she is going to be OK, personally.”

Top stories of 2010, No. 1: Tom Brady’s MVP-caliber season

Friday, December 31st, 2010

For the final 10 days of 2010, WEEI.com has counted down the top 10 stories of the year. The countdown ends with No. 1: Tom Brady’s MVP-caliber season.

Check out our previous entries:
No. 10: Kevin Garnett’s return to form
No. 9: Patriots’ playoff meltdown vs. Ravens
No. 8: Marc Savard-Matt Cooke incident and aftermath
No. 7: Red Sox derailed by injuries
No. 6: Bruins’ playoff collapse vs. Flyers
No. 5: Patriots’ Randy Moss saga
No. 4: Red Sox’ signings of Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford
No. 3: Patriots’ resurgence
No. 2: Celtics’ playoff run

Also, make sure to cast your vote in WEEI.com’s poll for the 2010 Boston Athlete of the Year.

The Patriots exit a frigid Ralph Wilson Stadium, having just defeated the Bills, 34-3, to clinch the AFC East title, home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, and a first-round bye. Tom Brady, who has just broken former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar‘s record by 11 after attempting his 319th consecutive passes without an interception, enters the bus. He lets the win marinate for a bit, yelling and clapping with his teammates. But after a half-hour of enjoyment, the quarterback takes out his laptop, pops in some film of Miami, and begins studying for the next game.

According to tight end Alge Crumpler, who was on the receiving end of one of three Brady touchdown passes that day, this is probably how the trip         home unfolded for Brady. It’s also why Crumpler, and many other players and football experts, have pegged Brady as the favorite to win the 2010 NFL MVP award.

“Because when we get on this bus, headed out of here, he’ll have his computer on and he’ll be studying Miami,” Crumpler said after the win. “Nobody works harder than Tommy.”

Sure, the stats have been nice. His 34 touchdowns and 109.8 passer rating are the second best of his career, trailing only the absurd, record-setting 50 TDs and 117.2 rating he posted in 2007, when he won his first and only MVP award so far. The four interceptions this season are a career low, and he’s thrown 24 touchdown passes since the last time he recorded a turnover back in Week 6 against Baltimore.

The embarrassing loss to Cleveland clearly stung Brady, as he’s played arguably the best football of his career since. He’s thrown 20 touchdown passes in those seven weeks. His passer rating hasn’t dipped below 107. But most importantly in the quarterback’s eyes, his team has gone undefeated in that span. Four of those wins ‘€” against the Steelers, Colts, Jets and Bears ‘€” came in matchups against teams atop their division at the time. Yes, his play in these games has been nothing short of phenomenal.

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Timberwolves reportedly look to acquire Grizzlies guard O.J. Mayo

Friday, December 31st, 2010

CBSSports.com reported that the Timberwolves plan on making a significant push to acquire Grizzlies guard O.J. Mayo. The 2008 first-round pick, whose rights were traded to Memphis by the Wolves in a deal that brought Kevin Love to Minnesota on draft night in 2008, is coming off the bench for the Grizzlies and reportedly isn’€™t happy with his role on the team.

The Wolves would like Mayo to start alongside Ricky Rubio next season. A source familiar with the situation told Wolves team officials that Rubio will play with the team in Minnesota next season.

Sources also say that Minnesota is targeting forward Anthony Randolph, a player sitting on the bench now for the Knicks who was originally designed to directly replace David Lee, now with the Warriors.

Friday’s Morning Mashup: Suggestive photos purportedly of Rex Ryan’s wife on web

Friday, December 31st, 2010

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: Hornets at Celtics, 3 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI)

SATURDAY:
NHL: Bruins at Sabres, 7 p.m. (NESN)

SUNDAY:
NFL: Dolphins at Patriots, 1 p.m. (CBS)
NBA: Celtics at Raptors, 6 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ Graphic photos that claim to be of Michelle Ryan, wife of Jets coach Rex Ryan, surfaced on the web Thursday, a week after foot-fetish videos apparently featuring the couple were made public. In some of the photos at the celebrity gossip site mediatakeout.com, an unidentified man (not Rex) is rubbing and smelling the woman’s feet. In others, the woman is on a bed in suggestive poses. According to the New York Daily News, the Jets coach will remain silent on the matter. “Coach Ryan considers this a personal matter and will have no comment,” a Jets spokesman told the paper.

Meanwhile, in The Los Angeles Times, Chris Erskine paints a picture of Rex as no different than most men, but he wonders what “the enlightened and thoughtful” Patriots fans will do the next time the Jets visit Foxboro.

‘™¦ Houston Press blogger Jeff Balke breaks down the Nine Most Annoying Types of Sports Radio Callers.

‘™¦ Stanford ended the UConn women’s record college basketball winning streak at 90. In the San Jose Mercury News, Tim Kawakami writes that the Cardinal were the bullies Thursday night.

‘™¦ The NCAA’s defense of its curious rulings concerning Ohio State and Auburn star Cam Newton only served to get more people wondering about the seemingly inconsistent punishments. In The Washington Post, Sally Jenkins writes that the system is in jeopardy of breaking due to the NCAA’s lack of enforcement.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Dec. 31, 1978, the Patriots hosted their first-ever playoff game in Foxboro. Which team did they play, losing 31-14?

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WEEI.com’s Thing of the Year: How Twitter changed everything

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

What can be said in 140 characters?

Well, apparently enough to cause a shift in how the media, professional athletes and sports organizations go about their everyday business.

(For those counting, these last two sentences accounted for 147 characters without spaces.)

Twitter, the social media site that launched in 2006, has crept its way into the sports world and caused a massive explosion.

Beat reporters now have to keep their smart phones in the palm of their hands just in case breaking news needs to be reported to the masses. Front offices all over the country, and in every business sector for that matter, have had their ability to control the message of their respective organizations almost stripped away. Players can share what they ate for breakfast, what shoes they are wearing and what feelings they are feeling before and after games to millions of fans with a click of a button.

On a local scale, Shaquille O’€™Neal caused a mob to form in Harvard Square with a simple tweet. Kevin Garnett and Charlie Villanueva got into a he-said, he-said battle due to a tweet from the Villanueva camp.

Adrian Gonzalez was coming to the Red Sox. Then he wasn’€™t. Then he might be. Finally, after all the speculation and Twitter buzz, there he was on Yawkey Way donning a Red Sox home jersey.

And maybe the biggest Twitter story in New England history came on an accidental tweet by ESPN’€™s Bill Simmons about Randy Moss being traded to the Vikings. Now Randy Moss is so far off the grid that maybe even Twitter can’€™t find him. Well, that’€™s probably not true ‘€” that sentiment might only be for Titans quarterbacks.

These stories are just a minute percentage of the news that is being spread across Twitter on a daily basis. Whether it’€™s LeBron James or Tiger Woods tweeting about who knows what, or Colts owner Jim Irsay poking fun at Rex Ryan‘€™s alleged foot fetish, things are happening on Twitter.

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San Francisco 49ers eye Jim Harbaugh as coach

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

The San Francisco 49ers fired Mike Singletary last week and appear to be leaning toward promoting former Bill Parcells protege Trent Baalke as their general manager. While Baalke is relatively unknown, CSN Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco writes that there is another factor in Baalke’s likely elevation: Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh.

Maiocco writes:

“But there is a firm belief among NFL insiders — and some folks at Stanford — that Baalke will be able to deliver Jim Harbaugh to be the 49ers’ head coach.”

Harbaugh has been highly successful at Stanford, taking the Cardinal to an 11-1 record and a berth in the Orange Bowl.