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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Fox sideline reporter Pam Oliver gets in digs at New Yorkers at Super Bowl business breakfast

10.25.13 at 8:04 am ET

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.

NHL: Ducks at Senators, 7:30 p.m. (NHL Network)
College hockey: UMass at Maine, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA preseason: Nets at Heat, 7:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA preseason: Kings at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
College football: Boise State at BYU, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: Liga MX, Guadalajara at Morelia, 8:25 p.m. (ESPN2)


‘€¢ Fox Sports NFL sideline reporter Pam Oliver might not be welcome in New York anytime soon after her performance at a Super Bowl breakfast for regional business leaders Thursday in Times Square.

Oliver asked New York-New Jersey Super Bowl Committee chairman Al Kelly how his group would make sure people dressed warm enough for the February game at MetLife Stadium, and Kelly said there probably would be “a couple of idiots” who are underdressed.

Responded Oliver: “Probably Jets fans.”

Oliver later asked Jets owner Woody Johnson, “How does Rex [Ryan] keep his job,” despite the team’s 4-3 start.

Oliver, who suffered a concussion when she was hit by a wayward pass before a preseason game in August at the Meadowlands, also got in a dig about the 1-6 Giants, asking co-owner Jonathan Tisch to explain “what in the hell is the matter with the Giants?”

The loudest groans (and boos) from the crowd came when Oliver asked members of the panel how they would “instruct people of this area, particularly New Yorkers, to be nice? To say, ‘please,’ ‘thank you,’ and, ‘I’ll get that.’ ”

Qualified Oliver: “I’m sorry — I’m from the South.”

Responded Tisch: “I’m from New York City, and I take exception with that. New Yorkers are unbelievably hospitable.”

‘€¢ For the third time in three years, Stephen A. Smith is denying he used the N-word during an appearance on ESPN’s “First Take.” During a debate with co-host Skip Bayless on Wednesday, Smith appeared to say, “That’s the way it goes. That’s all! [N-word], please. Please.”

As he did the previous two times, Smith has insisted he did not use the offensive word. ESPN apparently agrees — at least publicly.

“We have concluded no inappropriate language was used after closely reviewing the segment several times, including physical aspects of speech and speaking to Stephen A., who maintains he jumbled his words,” an ESPN spokesperson said.

Following the controversy in 2012, when he appeared to say the word in a similar manner, Smith insisted people misunderstood him.

“I did not say the things reported that I said,” he explained then. “Hopefully I will not have to address this again. ‘€¦ If I were to have said anything like that, I would have instantly issued an apology.”

‘€¢ In ESPN’s recent annual player rank, the media entity tabbed Lakers star Kobe Bryant as the 25th-best player in the league, dropping him 19 spots from a year ago. Another ESPN poll had the Lakers 12th in the Western Conference.

That’s not sitting well with Bryant, who last week changed his Twitter avatar to “1225.”

On Thursday, Bryant made it clear he hasn’t softened his stance, telling reporters that anyone who thinks he’s only 25th best in the NBA needs drug testing.

“The way I look at it, 25 is pretty silly,” he said. “Still and all, it’s a challenge that I willingly accept.”

Bryant, 35, tore his Achilles’ tendon in April and missed the postseason after averaging 27.3 points and 5.6 assists in 78 games. He appears doubtful for the team’s regular-season opener Tuesday night after acknowledging pulling back on his rehab to “let it heal up a little bit more.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Oct. 25, 1986, the Red Sox famously lost Game 6 of the World Series to the Mets despite having a two-run lead in the 10th inning. Which Mets pitcher — who later played for the Red Sox — got the win even though he surrendered two runs in the top of the 10th?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “We’re human. It happens. We saw them do the same thing last night. They shook it off and came out tonight and played well. That’s what we’re going to do.” — Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, on Thursday’s 4-2 loss to the Cardinals in Game 2 of the World Series

STAT OF THE DAY: 7 — Seasons in franchise history in which the Buccaneers have lost their first seven games, which they have done this season following Thursday’s 31-13 loss to the Panthers

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): Northwestern kicker Jeff Budzien, punter Brandon Williams and long snapper Pat Hickey show off their special skills in a “trick shot” video.

Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig stops by a Little League practice near Dodger Stadium to play with the kids.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich teases sideline reporter Craig Sager during Thursday night’s preseason game against the Rockets.

Heat star LeBron James plays catch with a young fan during Wednesday night’s preseason game against the Pelicans.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Rick Aguilera

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Chris Norman was born on this day in 1950.

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