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Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Andrew Luck top pick in Pro Bowl draft 01.22.15 at 8:31 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.

NBA: Celtics at Trail Blazers, 10 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Spurs at Bulls, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Nets at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: South Florida at Temple, 6:30 p.m. (ESPNews)
College basketball: Notre Dame at Virginia Tech, 7 p.m. (NESN)
College basketball: Ohio State at Northwestern, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Alabama at Arkansas, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Coast Carolina at UNC-Asheville, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: DePaul at Seton Hall, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: George Washington at Fordham, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: Maryland at Indiana, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Arizona at Stanford, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Washington at Colorado, 9:30 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: St. Mary’s at Gonzaga, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)
Tennis: Australian Open, 11 p.m., 3 a.m. (ESPN2)


Andrew Luck, fresh off his loss to the Patriots in Sunday’s AFC championship game, was selected first overall by Team Carter in Wednesday’s Pro Bowl draft. It was the second straight year Luck was tabbed No. 1 overall for the game.

It’s nice, I guess,” Luck said of his selection. “The reality is that everybody is deserving of it. There’s a bunch of No. 1 picks in there, but it’s nice, I guess.”

Team Irvin has a decidedly Dallas flavor, as alumni captain Michael Irvin loaded up on players from his former club, including quarterback Tony Romo, running back DeMarco Murray, tight end Jason Witten and offensive linemen Tyron Smith, Zack Martin and Travis Frederick.

Romo and fellow Team Irvin QBs Matt Ryan and Matthew Stafford will throw to the likes of Odell Beckham Jr., Golden Tate, Emmanuel Sanders, Randall Cobb and Jimmy Graham. Panthers linebacker (and former Boston College star) Luke Keuchly is one of the anchors of the defense.

Team Carter features QBs Drew Brees and Andy Dalton, running backs Jamaal Charles, Justin Forsett and Alfred Morris, and receivers A.J. Green, T.Y. Hilton, Jordy Nelson and Antonio Brown.

Defensively Team Carter has Texans defensive end J.J. Watt and cornerback Aqib Talib.

— The first meeting between the Bills and Jets next season should be interesting, with former Jets coach Rex Ryan now at the helm of the Bills. The talk already has begun, as a former Jets assistant now working for the Bills spoke candidly about Jets QB Geno Smith’s issues this past season.

David Lee, who was the Jets quarterbacks coach before moving to Buffalo with Ryan, assigned some blame for New York’s issues on the second-year signal caller.

“Rex and I talked about it, he had some inconsistency, and the up-and-down part is what killed us,” Lee said. He would get loose with the football. We played good enough defense over there to win both years, but his play, it’ll cost you, and it cost us.”

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Read More: Andrew Luck, David Lee, Geno Smith, Hope Solo
Monday’s Morning Mashup: Ailing Colts coach Chuck Pagano gives emotional postgame pep talk to team 11.05.12 at 7:01 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: Eagles at Saints, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Timberwolves at Nets, 7:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
Premier League Soccer: Southampton at West Bromwich Albion, 3 p.m. (ESPN2)


‘™¦ The surprising Colts are 5-3 after Sunday’s win over the Dolphins, and the fact that they’re doing so well while their coach is off battling leukemia is even more impressive.

Chuck Pagano, weakened by chemotherapy treatment, paid a visit to the locker room after Sunday’s game and delivered an emotional pep talk.

“As I mentioned before the game, you guys are living a vision, not circumstances,” Pagano told the players. “Because you know where [the prognosticators] had us in the beginning, every last one of them, but you refused to live in circumstances. And you decided consciously as a team, as a family, to living a vision. And that’s why you bring things home the way you brought it home today. That’s why you’re champions, and well on your way.

“I’ve got circumstances. I understand it. You understand it. It’s already beat. ‘€¦ My vision, I’m living to see two more daughters get married, dance at their weddings and hoist the Lombardi Trophy several times.”

‘™¦ Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams helped his team to a victory in Washington on Sunday, and he explained that part of Carolina’s motivation was Washington’s decision to make the contest a “homecoming” game, welcoming back 150 former players and wearing throwback uniforms.

“That was definitely motivating,” Williams said. “I mean, you don’€™t say you’€™re going to have a homecoming in the National Football League. I mean, you do it in college. It’€™s [against] one of those teams that’€™s just terrible. You don’€™t book a good team for homecoming. ‘€¦ I don’€™t know if they had a dance or anything; I just know you don’€™t give a team extra motivation by putting that on your program, just blatantly coming out and saying, ‘You’€™re our homecoming game.’ ”

Added Williams later on Twitter: I’ve never been more insulted in the nil until today!

‘™¦ The New York City Marathon was canceled due to the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, but that did not deter thousands of runners, who showed up Sunday morning in Central Park to run an adjusted version of the 26.2-mile race.

“A lot of people just wanted to finish what they started,” explained Lance Svendsen, who organized an alternative marathon called Run Anyway that drew about 600 participants.

Meanwhile, other would-be marathoners took a ferry to Staten Island to help people in the neighborhoods that suffered the most damage.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Nov. 5, 1946, the newly founded Celtics played their first-ever home game, which was delayed after which player damaged the backboard during warmups?

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Read More: Andrew Luck, Chuck Pagano, DeAngelo Williams, New York City Marathon
Jets to stick with Mark Sanchez at QB 10.10.12 at 3:16 pm ET
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It still isn’€™t Tebow time, according to Jets coach Rex Ryan. The 2-3 Jets look to rebound this week against the Colts and will continue to start quarterback Mark Sanchez.

‘€œYeah, no question,’€ Ryan told reporters Tuesday on a conference call when asked if he’€™s sticking with Sanchez.

‘€œI think when you look at it [Monday] night I thought he played pretty good,’€ Ryan said. ‘€œI think he was accurate with the football.’€™’€™

Sanchez was off to a promising start in Week 1 against the Bills when he completed 19-of-27 passes for 266 yards, but he has been terrible since. He’€™s completed just 44 percent of his passes since Week 2 and thrown three touchdowns and five interceptions.

Team owner Woody Johnson said Sanchez ‘€œplayed great’€ in Monday night’€™s loss to the Texans. He said he had not discussed a change of quarterbacks with Ryan.

Johnson also confirmed that the Jets would keep Tim Tebow for the duration of his three-year contract. Tebow hasn’€™t been used much by the Jets. He was on the field for just seven offensive snaps Monday.

The Jets play rookie quarterback Andrew Luck and the Colts at home this week. They’€™ll head to New England for a game and then play the Dolphins at home before a bye week.

Read More: Andrew Luck, Mark Sanchez, New York Jets, Rex Ryan
Ailing Colts coach Chuck Pagano e-mails team 10.08.12 at 9:59 pm ET
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Colts coach Chuck Pagano, who was diagnosed last week with leukemia, sent an emotional e-mail to his team as it prepared to take on the Packers on Sunday.

‘€œMy condition will not determine my position. I understand the condition but choose to focus on my position. That is to stay positive and serve,’€ wrote Pagano in the e-mail, published on ‘€œWe will, we can, we must. We have no choice. By any means necessary. We will overcome. It’€™s all in the proper state of mind.’€

The Colts did, in fact, overcome with a comeback victory against the Packers after an 18-point deficit. A 4-yard touchdown from quarterback Andrew Luck to receiver Reggie Wayne capped the victory for the Colts.

Colts linebacker Dwight Freeney described how emotional things were this week with the big win while the team’s coach was in the hospital.

‘€œIt means a lot across the board. He’€™s not just a coach; he’€™s a family member,’€ Freeney said on Monday’s ESPN SportsCenter. ‘€œAnd that’€™s the kind of culture we have around our building. When one hurts, we all hurt.’€

Pagano will continue to undergo treatment and is out indefinitely. Bruce Arians, the team’s offensive coordinator, will serve as interim head coach.

Read More: Andrew Luck, Chuck Pagano, dwight freeney, Indianapolis Colts
Andrew Luck signs four-year, $22.1 million deal with Colts 07.20.12 at 12:44 pm ET
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The Colts have made the finishing touches on their preparation for the new era of football in Indianapolis, signing Andrew Luck to a four-year, $22.1 million deal on Thursday.

Colts owner Jim Irsay broke the news via his twitter account, tweeting ‘€œ12 is officially signed !!!!!!’€ while adding a picture of the 2012 NFL draft‘€™s first overall selection.

The terms of the deal are very similar to those of last year’€™s first overall pick, Cam Newton, who signed a four-year, $22 million contract. Robert Griffin III, who was selected directly after Luck in the draft, signed a $21.1 million contract on Wednesday.

The former Stanford quarterback threw for 35 touchdowns last season while topping John Elway‘€™s career record of 77 touchdown passes at the school with 80 career scores.

Luck will be taking over the Colts, who went 2-14 last season without the injured Peyton Manning. Manning was signed by the Broncos in the offseason to make room for Luck, who is expected to take over as the quarterback in Indianapolis for at least the next decade.

Read More: Andrew Luck, colts, Rumor Mill,
Colts close to signing Andrew Luck according to owner Jim Irsay 06.03.12 at 12:46 pm ET
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The Colts are close to signing quarterback Andrew Luck after snagging him with the NFL draft’s first overall pick, Colts owner Jim Irsay said.

On Saturday Irsay tweeted, Talks with A Luck’s agent,Will Wilson(the brother of Andrew’s mother) have been productive. Team Counsel Dan Emerson n Will r getting close!

According to, Luck is looking at a potential four-year contract worth $24 million, a signing bonus of around $16 million with a fifth year option.

Read More: Andrew Luck, Jim Irsay, Peyton Manning,
After taking his job, Peyton Manning takes Tim Tebow’s top spot in jersey sales 05.30.12 at 4:57 pm ET
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As if taking over Tim Tebow‘€™s job as Broncos quarterback wasn’t enough, Peyton Manning also has stolen Tebow’€™s top spot for the best-selling NFL jersey.

According to sales figures released Tuesday, Manning’€™s Broncos jersey has sold more than any other between April 1 and May 28. Tebow’s Jets jersey ranks second. Rookies Robert Griffin III of the Redskins and Andrew Luck of the Colts round out the top four.

The Washington Post, however, points out that rookie jerseys did not go on sale until April 26. According to the Post, Griffin owns the NFL’€™s top selling jersey in May, with Luck close behind.

Either way, the numbers are a confirmation that the NFL is indeed a quarterback-driven league, as QBs made up eight of the top 10 most popular jerseys over the full two-month period. Niners linebacker Patrick Willis (7) and Steelers safety Troy Polamalu (10) were the only non-quarterbacks to make the list.

The full list, according to

1. Peyton Manning

2. Tim Tebow

3. Robert Griffin III

4. Andrew Luck

5. Eli Manning

6. Aaron Rodgers

7. Patrick Willis

8. Tom Brady

9. Cam Newton

10. Troy Polamalu

Read More: Andrew Luck, Denver Broncos, New York Jets, NFL
Colts GM: Team to work out Andrew Luck 03.26.12 at 4:09 pm ET
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Just a week removed from seeing the face of the franchise for the last 14 years, Peyton Manning, join the Broncos to much fanfare, the Colts are prepared to take a look at what many presume to be the team’s quarterback of the future.

New Colts general manager Ryan Grigson informed reporters in a conference call Monday that the team is planning on bringing in Andrew Luck for a workout sometime in the next few weeks.

While Luck will be making the trip to Indianapolis, one player who will not be doing so is Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III. Grigson said that team officials did travel to see Griffin work out at Baylor’s pro day but were not able to schedule an individual workout.

Luck, the former Stanford quarterback, is widely presumed to be the Colts’ selection as the first pick in the draft, with Griffin expected to be taken right behind him with the second pick. With Manning sidelined by a series of neck surgeries, the Colts finished 2-14 last season. The team released Manning on March 7.

In his senior season with the Cardinal, Luck completed 71.3 percent of his passes for 3,517 yards and 37 touchdowns, leading his team to an 11-2 record and an appearance in the Fiesta Bowl.

Read More: Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning, Robert Griffin III, Rumor Mill
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Jets coach Rex Ryan plays Patriots fan in Adam Sandler movie 11.04.11 at 7:19 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.

No games scheduled

NHL: Bruins at Maple Leafs, 7 p.m. (NESN)

NFL: Giants at Patriots, 4:15 p.m. (Fox)


‘™¦ Jets coach Rex Ryan apparently will do anything for publicity. That includes pretending he’s a Patriots fan. According to actor Adam Sandler, Ryan will make a cameo in Sandler’s upcoming movie “I Hate You, Dad,” which was filmed in Massachusetts last summer. Ryan plays a lawyer who also happens to be “a mammoth Patriots fan.”

“We wrote it in the script,” Sandler told NFL Network anchor Rich Eisen. “He was great enough to be loose and funny about it. He talks about [Tom] Brady. He talks about coach [Bill] Belichick. He’s really cool.”

‘™¦ During a recent episode of “Inside the NFL,” Phil Simms speculated that injured Colts star Peyton Manning would not allow his team to draft Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck. Asked about it Thursday by members of the Indianapolis press, Manning got in a jab at Simms.

“Yeah, I don’€™t talk to Phil. Phil doesn’€™t talk to me,” Manning said. “He did text me after that, saying ‘€˜Hey, sorry to drag your name into this.’€™ I wrote back, ‘€˜Phil I don’€™t know what you’€™re talking about.’€™ He said, ‘€˜Well on my show, “Inside the NFL,” I made this statement.’€™ I said, ‘€˜Phil, I hate to break it to you, but I don’€™t watch your show, along with a lot of other people that I don’€™t think watch that show.’€™ Giving himself a little more credit than probably was merited.”

‘™¦ Bryan Stow, the Giants fan who was beaten outside Dodger Stadium on Opening Day, wrote his name and continued to show improvement in his recovery, his family wrote on his website. “His memory, while often times off, is incredible for his type of injury,” his family stated. “His answers are sometimes wrong, but the fact that they are right most of the time is amazing. Sometimes, we see a difference in his personality but other times, his old self shines through.”

Meanwhile Stow’s lawyer responded to accusations by the Dodgers’ attorney that Stow might have some culpability in the attack on him. “How you are judged in life is how you react after mistakes,” attorney Thomas Girardi said. “Oh so here it is: Let’s blame the innocent guy for the lack of security at Dodger Stadium.”

‘™¦ Sharks captain Joe Thornton apologized for calling the Rangers “soft” after Monday’s loss in New York. “Every couple of years you have to say some sort of bone-headed thing,” Thornton told the San Jose Mercury News. “Usually I’m pretty good, but I say the wrong word once in a while. But no harm done. I just used the wrong word.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Nov. 4, 2001, the Patriots beat the Falcons, 24-10, behind a strong defensive performance that included nine sacks from eight players, one short of the team record. Which player led the Pats with a pair of sacks?

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Read More: Adam Sandler, Andrew Luck, Bill Belichick, Bryan Stow
49ers nose tackle: Stanford QB Andrew Luck’s stock will fall if he plays SEC team 10.26.11 at 12:36 pm ET
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Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck is the consensus to be the No. 1 pick in the 2012 NFL draft. Luck’s talents are so coveted that some are convinced the Dolphins started tanking for the the top pick weeks ago. But 49ers nose tackle Ricky Jean-Francois isn’t as impressed with Luck as most others.

Asked about a potential Stanford-LSU national championship game, Jean-Francois said he thinks the matchup won’t materialize.

“That will never happen. If it happens, Luck’€™s draft stock will fall. If he plays an SEC team, his stock will fall,” Jean-Francois said. “I ain’€™t got nothing against him. He’€™s a Pac-12 guy. I’€™m not a Pac-12 fan at all, I’€™m an SEC guy. But if he ever plays against an SEC school, Alabama, LSU, that draft stock is going to fall. That will be one game they just don’€™t show the scouts.”

Jean-Francois played on the 2007 LSU national championship team and was the defensive MVP in the BCS title game. In his third season in the NFL, Jean-Francois is positive Luck would not be the No. 1 pick if he played an SEC team.

“He won’€™t. I can say that hands down,” Jean-Francois said. “Andrew Luck — good quarterback. Good guy in the Pac-12. But playing against an SEC school — that won’€™t work too well for him.

Read More: Andrew Luck, Ricky Jean-Francois, Rumor Mill,