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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Jets reportedly ‘can’t wait’ to cut LB Bart Scott 02.08.13 at 8:14 am ET
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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.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Clippers at Heat, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Bulls at Jazz, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: UNC-Asheville at VMI, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Siena at Loyola (Md.), 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
NHL: Ducks at Stars, 8:30 p.m. (NHL Network)
College hockey: UMass-Lowell at Boston College, 7 p.m. (NESN)
College hockey: North Dakota at Nebraska-Omaha, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Bart Scott

♦ Jets linebacker Bart Scott, who famously proclaimed “Can’t wait,” after his team upset the Patriots in the playoffs in 2011, will be sent packing as part of the Jets’ offseason purge, according to the New York Daily News.

The loud-mouthed linebacker reportedly will be part of the team’s move to trim $27.7 million from its cap number, with fellow linebacker Calvin Pace and offensive tackle Jason Smith also headed out.

Scott joined the Jets in 2009, following Rex Ryan from Baltimore, where they had teamed up on the Ravens. He has battled the media and even his own team’s fans the past two seasons while the Jets have struggled to live up their hype. Scott has averaged 74.8 tackles in his four seasons in New York, but he had only 60 tackles this past season.

♦ Duke’s homecourt fans, known as the Cameron Crazies, are known for their creative chants, but on Thursday night some of them apparently crossed the line. NC State guard Tyler Lewis, whose grandmother passed away a week ago, was at the free throw line when some fans reportedly started chanting, “How’s your grandma?”

It’s not completely audible on the video, as other fans were chanting “Past your bedtime” or “Bilbo Baggins” to the baby-faced guard. But some people who were there, including a couple of NC State players, insisted that a small group of students started the insensitive chant. Others in attendance, including some defensive Duke fans, denied hearing it.

♦ The saga involving the Arkansas football recruit whose mother wouldn’t sign his letter of intent continued Thursday. Alex Collins got around his mother’s blockade by going to his biological father to have him sign the papers. The mother, Andrea McDonald, responded by hiring a lawyer, which was news to Collins when he held a private event at a sports bar near his South Florida home.

“The last conversation was basically about why I chose Arkansas and why I felt the love at Arkansas. She understood and supported me behind it,” Collins said. “She always supported me, it’s just the fact from her standpoint she wants to make sure this is the right decision for me and I’m not just picking a school and not understanding what I’m getting into. I’m leaving the state and I’m going to be four to five hours plane ride away and she just wants to make sure this is what I really want to do.”

Collins ran for 1,275 yards and 14 touchdowns on 155 carries as a senior at South Plantation High School.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Feb. 8, 1960, who was named the first coach in Patriots history?

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Read More: Alex Collins, Bart Scott, Cameron Crazies, duke
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Spurs face NBA sanctions after sitting stars vs. Heat 11.30.12 at 8:06 am ET
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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.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Trail Blazers at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Wizards at Knicks, 7:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Nuggets at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Tennessee at Georgetown, 6:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Georgia at South Florida, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Syracuse at Arkansas, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: DePaul at Auburn, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College football: Northern Illinois vs. Kent State, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College football: UCLA at Stanford, 8 p.m. (Fox)

AROUND THE WEB:

♦ Spurs coach Greg Popovich sent home four of the team’s top players before Thursday’s night’s game against the Heat in Miami. Popovich acknowledged the decision was so that the players could rest as the team played its sixth road game in nine nights (and fourth in five).

It didn’t sit well with NBA commissioner David Stern.

“I apologize to all NBA fans,” Stern said in a statement. “This was an unacceptable decision by the San Antonio Spurs and substantial sanctions will be forthcoming.”

The short-handed Spurs still played the defending champion Heat tough, leading by five with 2:14 left before Miami closed the game on a 12-2 for a 105-100 victory. And the Spurs players are standing behind their coach’s decision.

“Pop is the coach of the San Antonio Spurs,” guard Gary Neal said. “He did what’s best for us.”

At least Popovich kept his sense of humor during the game. Here is the coach — notorious for his Bill Belichick-like in-game interviews (short and testy) — teasing Charles Barkley for asking one too many questions.

♦ Indians president Mark Shapiro is taking some heat for his response to a fan who e-mailed wanting to know why he should renew his season tickets for 2013. During a television appearance last week, Shapiro told the fan that if the only reason for buying tickets was to see the Indians win, “Don’t come.”

Asked about the comment this week, Shapiro held firm.

“I told him if the sole reason, the only reason, for renewing is predicated on us winning, then they shouldn’t come,” said Shapiro, who recently selected former Red Sox manager Terry Francona to lead the club in 2013. “I stand by that. Baseball has to mean more than just being a fan when you win.

“No where are we spending more of our time, more of our energy or more money in trying to win. We all understand that the single-most important thing in baseball is winning and losing. But we are always going to have cycles to when we can win.”

♦ The zaniness continues with the Jets. Early in the week, a video emerged of Jets fans ripping the players as they walked off the field at halftime of the Thanksgiving humiliation vs. the Patriots. That prompted linebacker Bart Scott to offer this on Wednesday: “The person yelling at you probably was picked last in dodgeball all through high school. So do you care about the opinion of them? No.”

On Thursday, Scott was quiet following a meeting with coach Rex Ryan.

“I had a conversation with Bart,” Ryan told reporters. “The thing that makes this game so great is the players and the fans. And that’s the truth.”

Ryan, who swore at a heckling fan when leaving the MetLife Stadium field following last year’s loss to the Patriots, said he told Scott that the players need to “appreciate our fans.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Nov. 30, 1976, the Bruins’ 31-game home unbeaten streak ended with a 6-2 loss to which team?

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Read More: Bart Scott, David Stern, Greg Popovich, kevin garnett
Monday’s Morning Mashup: Linebacker Bart Scott tries, fails to organize Jets’ media boycott 11.19.12 at 7:56 am ET
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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:
NFL: Bears at 49ers, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Magic at Hawks, 7:30 p.m. (NBATV)
College basketball: Marquette vs. Butler, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Indiana vs. Georgia, 5:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: North Carolina vs. Mississippi State, 6 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Texas A&M vs. St. Louis, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: UCLA vs. Georgetown, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Texas at Chaminade, 9:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Kasas vs. Washington State, 10 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: USC vs. Illinois, midnight (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

Bart Scott

♦ Just when you thought it might be quiet in the Jets locker room following Sunday’s win over the Rams that ended a three-game losing streak, linebacker Bart Scott provided the controversy this team seems unable to avoid. Scott, unhappy about unnamed players criticizing backup quarterback Tim Tebow in a New York Daily News story last week, ordered his fellow defensive players to say nothing but, “Both teams played hard — anonymously,” to reporters.

Scott’s influence apparently isn’t as strong as he thought, as at least two players — safety Yeremiah Bell and linebacker Bryan Thomas — ignored Scott’s instructions. Scott yelled at Thomas, calling him “a [expletive] sellout.” Interjected Bell: “Stop it. Just stop.”

Scott then relented and spoke “calmly and openly to the media,” according to the New York Post.

Andrew Bynum, who has yet to play for the 76ers since being acquired from the Lakers in the offseason because of a bone bruise in his right knee, said Sunday that he injured his other knee bowling last Saturday night.

Bynum said the left knee swelled after the bowling, and on Tuesday an MRI revealed damaged cartilage.

“I didn’t twist it or fall or nothing,” Bynum said before his team played the Cavaliers. “It kind of broke off cartilage and it made the bone bruise bigger. Obviously [how] is the question, it’s relatively nothing, it’s three steps [and roll]. That’s the most important thing and why everyone is being so cautious. I can’t answer and [doctors] can’t now either, we’re trying to figure out what’s going on.”

Added Bynum: “Obviously in hindsight you shouldn’t go bowling, but it’s not more than anything I’ve done in my rehab.”

♦ Red Wings defenseman Ian White is the latest player to check in with some negative comments about NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, and his might be the harshest.

“I’ve got to be honest: I personally think he’s an idiot,” White said. “Since he’s come in, I think he’s done nothing but damage the game.”

This is the NHL’s third lockout during Bettman’s tenure. The last one forced the cancellation of the 2004-05 season.

“If you think of all the moves he’s made, teams that are all struggling seem to be the teams that he put in places where there’s not viable markets for hockey,” White added. “Three work stoppages — I don’t know if he’s in control of the owners or what he’s saying, but I think it’s only seven of the owners that have to agree on something to have something pass. You’d think it’d be at least 50 percent. It just doesn’t seem like they’re running a democratic process, if you will.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Nov. 19, 2000, who became the Patriots’ all-time leader in games played when he started his 207th career game?

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Read More: Andrew Bynum, Bart Scott, Bryan Thomas, Gary Bettman
Jets CB Antonio Cromartie denies accusation of being anonymous critic 11.16.12 at 3:15 pm ET
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LaDainian Tomlinson

Retired running back LaDainian Tomlinson said on Wednesday that he knows who attacked Jets backup quarterback Tim Tebow with anonymous quotes in the New York Daily News this week: Antonio Cromartie and Bart Scott.

“Cromartie has never had a problem putting his name on things,” Tomlinson said on SiriusXM radio, adding: “Once you start talking to the media about teammates, Rex [Ryan] is going to address it. He’s not going to let it go. And so, now you have guys that don’t want to put your name on it because, obviously, Rex Ryan has said something about it.”

Tomlinson, who spent the final two seasons of his career playing for Ryan and the Jets, said he believes Cromartie was the unnamed player who called Tebow “terrible” in the report.

Cromartie on Thursday denied the accusation.

“I heard it but I have no response for a retired player,” Cromartie said. “Y’all know me, if I say something I put my name to anything I want to say. I really don’t care if I hurt anybody’s feelings, that’s not me and for me to sit here and say I’m going to talk about a teammate? If I’m going to talk about a teammate I’m going to tell him personally.

“I’m not going to get into the media and say I’m anonymous, I’m not that type of cowardly person.”

Tomlinson also said he thinks Scott is the anonymous player who claimed the Jets offense won’t work with Tebow running it.

Ryan addressed the unnamed comments earlier this week with the Jets and called the comments “cowardly.”

Read More: Antonio Cromartie, Bart Scott, ladainian tomlinson, Rex Ryan
Monday’s Morning Mashup: Jets LB Bart Scott says he doesn’t want son to play football 05.28.12 at 6:42 am ET
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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:
NBA playoffs: Celtics at Heat, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI)
MLB: Tigers at Red Sox, 1:35 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)
MLB: Cardinals at Braves, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Padres at Cubs, 2:10 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Yankees at Angels, 9 p.m. (MLB Network)
College lacrosse: NCAA championship game, Maryland vs. Loyola (Md.), 1 p.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Bart Scott

♦ Jets linebacker Bart Scott, never one to shy away from voicing his opinion, joined the youth football safety discussion by saying he would prefer that his son not play the game. Scott’s son, B.J., is 7 years old, and his father said he wants to keep him from getting concussions, fearful of the effect it would have on him later in life.

“I don’t want my son to play football,” Scott told the New York Daily News. “I play football so he won’t have to. With what is going on, I don’t know if it’s really worth it.”

Added Scott: “I can’t stop him from doing what he wants to do, but I would advise him and try to push other things in his face that may interest him. The more you tell him not to, the more he’s going to do it. I would support it, because he’s my son, but I also would try to push baseball in his face.”

♦ Look out, Patriots. Dolphins linebacker Karlos Dansby has high expectations for the Dolphins, despite their 6-10 record last season.

“As a team, I’m expecting us to win the AFC, period. Point blank,” Dansby told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “We’ve got the talent. We have the coaching. We’ve just got to put it all together. It’s going to come down to us as players going out and excelling and making sure we do everything we possibly can to win every game.

“It’s going to be a challenge, no doubt. But that’s what you live for. You live for opportunities to have those challenges, and we’ve got the opportunity of a lifetime here in Miami and we’ve got to take full advantage of it.”

♦ Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley was arrested in his home state of Alabama for the second time in two months, this time for DUI and attempting to elude police. Alabama state troopers said Fairley, 24, was driving 100 mph when spotted by a trooper. He initially refused to stop but relented and was arrested without incident.

Fairley, who helped Auburn win the 2010 national title before becoming a first-round draft pick of the Lions, was arrested April 3 on a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On May 28, 1986, Larry Bird was named NBA MVP, joining which rivals from the 1960s as the only players to win three straight MVP awards?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Inevitable. It’s the matchup the game of basketball wants.” — Heat guard Dwyane Wade, on the Eastern Conference finals matchup with the Celtics

STAT OF THE DAY: 5 – Times this season the Red Sox have had a chance to move over .500 but failed, with the latest occurring Sunday when Alfredo Aceves blew a ninth-inning save in a 4-3 loss to the Rays

‘NET RESULTS: At the SEC baseball tournament, Vanderbilt pulls of a triple steal in its victory over Florida.

Lower Columbia College outfielder Derrick Salberg jumps over the fence to catch what would have been a game-tying home run for Everett Community College with two outs in the ninth inning of their NWAACC playoff game.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Gladys Knight turns 68 Monday.

Read More: Bart Scott, Karlos Dansby, Nick Fairley,
Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Jets reportedly give LB Bart Scott permission to seek trade 02.28.12 at 7:52 am ET
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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:
NBA: Celtics at Cavaliers, 7 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI)
NBA: Hornets at Bulls, 8 p.m. (NBA TV)
College basketball: Michigan State at Indiana, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Duke at Wake Forest, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Florida at Vanderbilt, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Senators at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Kings at Wild, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Bart Scott

♦ Just when it appeared the Jets were ready to move on from all the controversy of the past two months, linebacker Bart Scott reportedly has been given permission to seek a trade after the 31-year-old became frustrated with his diminishing role in the team’s defense.

When we last heard from Scott, who has three years left on a $48 million deal, he was giving the middle finger to a reporter in the Jets locker room on departure day in January. That followed a season in which Scott was routinely taken off the field on third down and played fewer snaps than his first two seasons in New York since coming over from the Ravens to be reunited with Rex Ryan.

Now, Scott’s agent reportedly told the team that it was “destroying him” to be given a lesser role on the squad.

♦ The NBA’s Kings struck a deal to keep the team in Sacramento, pending a vote by the City Council. After three days of negotiations in Orlando over All-Star Weekend, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson (the former Suns All-Star), NBA commissioner David Stern and the Maloof family (which owns the team) announced that the city will contribute between $200 million and $250 million toward a new arena that is expected to cost $387 million.

“I think it’s great for our community,” Gavin Maloof said. “I’m glad it’s finally coming to an end after 13 years. It’s been a long road.”

♦ Following speculation that the Wilpon family would sell the Mets because of financial troubles related to the Bernie Madoff scandal, principal owner Fred Wilpon announced Monday his family plans to own the team “for a very long time” after selling some minority shares.

“There shouldn’t be concern about us owning the franchise,” Wilpon said from spring training, adding: “Whether [fans] are happy about that right now or not, I don’t know. As as I can, I plan to be the owner here.”

♦ The Angels and new slugger Albert Pujols came to an agreement about the team’s use of the nickname “El Hombre” in its marketing campaign. Pujols does not want to use the term out of respect to Stan “The Man” Musial, whom he befriended in St. Louis. The Angels have 20 billboards around Southern California with the phrase, but that will be the extent of the campaign.

“If it caused embarrassment for Albert out of respect for Stan Musial, that’s the only concern of ours,” Angels president John Carpino said. “Stan is a baseball icon.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Feb. 28, 1965, which Bruins defenseman’s playing career was ended when a skate severed a muscle in his leg during a 5-4 victory over the Blackhawks?

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Read More: Albert Pujols, Bart Scott, Fred Wilpon, Rex Ryan
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Ex-teammate says Jets QB Mark Sanchez ‘got caught up’ in NY glitz 01.06.12 at 7:35 am ET
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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.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Pacers at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI)
NBA: Bulls at Magic, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Trail Blazers at Suns, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Butler at Wright State, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College football: Cotton Bowl, Kansas State vs. Arkansas, 8 p.m. (Fox)

SATURDAY:
NFL playoffs: Bengals at Texans, 4:30 p.m. (NBC; WEEI)
NFL playoffs: Lions at Saints, 8 p.m. (NBC; WEEI)
College football: Compass Bowl, SMU vs. Pittsburgh, 1 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Canucks at Bruins, 1 p.m. (NESN, NHL Network)
NBA: Bucks at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
College basketball: Duke at Georgia Tech, noon (ESPNU)
College basketball: Kansas at Oklahoma, 2 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Boston College at North Carolina, 2:30 p.m. (WEEI)
College basketball: Notre Dame at Louisville, 4 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Miami (Fla.) at Virginia, 6 p.m. (ESPNU)

SUNDAY:
NFL playoffs: Falcons at Giants, 1 p.m. (Fox; WEEI)
NFL playoffs: Steelers at Broncos, 4:30 p.m. (CBS; WEEI)
NBA: Spurs at Thunder, 7 p.m. (NBA TV)
College basketball: Wisconsin at Michigan, 1:30 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: Maryland at NC State, 6 p.m. (ESPNU)

AROUND THE WEB:

Former teammate Kris Jenkins says quarterback Mark Sanchez did not do enough to avoid the team disharmony that led to the team's late-season collapse. (AP)

♦ The Jets’ blame tour continued Thursday with former Jets center Kris Jenkins assigning blame to quarterback Mark Sanchez for not speaking up earlier in the season about selfish teammates. Earlier in the week, rookie quarterback Greg McElroy said there was a “corrupt mindset” in the locker room.

Said Jenkins: “The No. 1 quarterback should have said that a long time ago. It would have been all part of the process of him growing a pair, standing up and being a man. But the thing is, he lost his because he got caught up in the wash that is New York, the spotlight, taking pictures in the magazines and doing all that stuff. That’s just what everybody has seen with Mark Sanchez, they got tired of it.”

Former Jets backup QB Erik Ainge (nephew of Celtics boss Danny Ainge) was not pleased that a third-stringer was criticizing his teammates.

Wrote Ainge on Twitter: Someone tell McElroy to keep his mouth shut about the NYJ ‘Locker Room’ speaking in the media about your teammates, entitled brat!

Meanwhile, linebacker Bart Scott was fined $10,000 by the team for swearing at and giving a New York Post photographer the middle finger in the locker room Monday.

“Bart’s actions were inappropriate and unacceptable,” the team said in a statement.

♦ In a college basketball game in Bowling Green, Ky., Thursday night, Louisiana-Lafayette beat Western Kentucky on a layup in the closing seconds. The only problem was Louisiana-Lafayette had six players on the court for the deciding play, a fact the officials did not realize until after the game was over. Now, the officials could be suspended by the Sun Belt.

“This probably happens more than we realize,” retiring Sun Belt commissioner Wright Waters said. “Coaches are on the court, too. If the official had stopped it then it upsets the flow of the final seconds of the game. But we wish it wouldn’t have happened.”

Fran Rosa, who worked for The Boston Globe for more than 50 years as a hockey writer and sports editor, died Wednesday in Lexington. In 1987, Rosa joined the Hockey Hall of Fame as winner of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association’s Elmer Ferguson Award.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Jan. 6, 1989, which Patriots player was named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year?

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Read More: Bart Scott, Fran Rosa, Kris Jenkins, Mark Sanchez
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Jets call Bart Scott’s behavior toward media ‘unacceptable’ 01.04.12 at 8:02 am ET
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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:
NBA: Nets at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI)
NBA: Wizards at Magic, 7 p.m. (NBA TV)
NHL: Bruins at Devils (NBCSN)
College football: Orange Bowl, West Virginia vs. Clemson, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Duke at Temple, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Marquette at Georgetown, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)

AROUND THE WEB:

Bart Scott

♦ On Tuesday we told you about the Jets’ messy breakup day Monday, which included linebacker Bart Scott flipping off a photographer (who snapped a photo of the obscene gesture). The NFL was not pleased, and a league spokesman said there will be an investigation. The team also expressed disappointment.

“What he did was unacceptable,” Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum told ESPN Radio. “We’re going to address it. We’ll certainly talk to him.”

Coach Rex Ryan — who himself was fined $50,000 by the Jets for giving the middle finger to fans in 2010 — added that Scott’s behavior was “not acceptable in dealing with the media.”

Scott’s actions could make it easier for the Jets to part ways with the veteran. There have been reports that they would like to drop him, although Scott has three years remaining on his contract and is due a guaranteed $4.2 million next season.

Matt Ryan‘s former Boston College teammates on the Giants had high praise for the Falcons quarterback, but they warned that they don’t plan to let up on him in Sunday’s NFC playoff game.

Asked how they could slow him down, linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka said: “Hit him. You can be the best quarterback in the world, but if your head’s ringing, it’s hard to throw the ball.”

Kobe Bryant injured his right wrist in the preseason, but he’s been giving it plenty of work since the regular season began. The Lakers star has put up 75 shots over the past three games, including 29 in Tuesday’s 108-99 victory over the Rockets in which he scored 37 points. Bryant hit almost half his shots Tuesday, but he shot just 26 percent in the two previous games, both vs. the Nuggets (the Lakers split the pair).

New coach Mike Brown acknowledged talking to Bryant, but he sounds hesitant to be too firm for fear of alienating the mercurial star.

“This is a players’ league,” Brown said. “Your best player has to allow you to coach him.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Jan. 4, 1985, the Celtics honored Red Auerbach by retiring which number for him?

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Read More: Bart Scott, kobe bryant, Matt Ryan, Rex Ryan
Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Dysfunctional Jets say teary, expletive-laden goodbyes 01.03.12 at 6:45 am ET
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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:
NHL: Red Wings at Stars, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
College football: Sugar Bowl, Michigan vs. Virginia Tech, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Michigan State at Wisconsin, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Louisville at St. John’s, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Alabama at Georgia Tech, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)

AROUND THE WEB:

A silent Santonio Holmes leaves the Jets practice facility Monday. (AP)

♦ After Sunday’s forgettable performance in a season-ending loss to the Dolphins, the Jets made a memorable exit from their practice facility in Florham Park, N.J., on Monday. The day featured a crying coach, an obscene linebacker and a silent receiver being trailed by a media horde after being stripped of his captaincy.

Coach Rex Ryan admitted that he was both angry and tearful while meeting with the team. Ryan also announced that the team no longer would have any captains, after his awarding of a ‘C’ to Santonio Holmes backfired when the receiver alienated some of his teammates during the season and especially in the final game, culminating with his benching for the final drive.

“Normally, I’m a guy that really has the pulse of this team, and I don’t think I had the pulse of the team the way I’ve done in the past,” Ryan said after the meeting. “When I met with players, I think that became clear to me.”

Ryan said he expects Holmes will return to the team. The receiver has three years remaining on a $45 million contract he signed last offseason. Holmes did not speak to the media Monday, gathering his belongings and departing with a PR official while reporters trailed him.

Said one Jet: “He’s been a problem all year. He’s not going to change.” Added another: “He’s a cancer. It’s like dealing with a 10-year-old.”

Cornerback Darrelle Revis also avoided the media. Linebacker Bart Scott, rumored to be on the way out despite having a guaranteed contract, gave the middle finger to a photographer and told him to take a picture of it (which the photographer did) and then told him, “Get out of my [expletive] face.”

According to Ryan, the frustration is understandable.

“For whatever reason, I don’t think we were as close as a football team as we were the first two years, and now we’re sitting on the outside looking in,” Ryan said. “We’re watching the other teams in playoff games, and we think we should be in. I think that’s painful. Beyond belief, that’s painful.”

♦ The Giants have been successful the past two weeks after trading verbal jousts with their opponents, so apparently they’ve decided to stick with that strategy leading up to Sunday’s playoff game against the Falcons. On Monday, Giants defensive end Justin Tuck was asked about the Falcons offensive line’s reputation for dirty play.

“Yeah, we’ve seen it,” he said. “We know they have that quote-unquote ‘reputation.’ Most people, you would call them dirtbags.”

As for the rest of the Falcons, Tuck offered this backhanded compliment: “They’re a balanced attack where they do a lot of things pretty good, [but] I wouldn’t say they’re great at anything.”

Real Clear Sports has its list of the top 10 games of 2011. No. 1 is the Cardinals’ victory over the Rangers in Game 6 of the World Series on David Freese‘s 12th-inning home run. No. 2 is the Mavericks’ comeback against the Heat in Game 2 of the NBA finals.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Jan. 3, 1998, the Patriots lost to the Steelers in the divisional round of the playoffs, 7-6. Which Patriots receiver set a team record with nine receptions for 104 yards?

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Read More: Bart Scott, Darrelle Revis, David Freese, Justin Tuck
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Former Red Sox OF Carl Everett arrested for family violence 09.09.11 at 7:35 am ET
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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:
MLB: Red Sox at Rays, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)

SATURDAY:
MLB: Red Sox at Rays, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)
MLS: FC Dallas at Revolution, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)

SUNDAY:
MLB: Red Sox at Rays, 1:40 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)

AROUND THE WEB:

♦ Former Red Sox outfielder Carl Everett was arrested last week on family violence charges in Texas. The 40-year-old, who was arrested in April for allegedly pointing a gun at his wife’s head, was taken into custody last Friday morning at the home he shares with his wife in Colleyville, Texas. He was charged with assaulting and injuring a family member.

Everett, no stranger to controversy, played in the majors from 1993-2006 with the Marlins, Mets, Astros, Red Sox, Rangers, White Sox, Expos and Mariners. He played for the Newark Bears of the independent Atlantic League in 2010.

♦ Jets coach Rex Ryan on Wednesday cautioned Cowboys fans planning to attend Monday night’s opener in New Jersey that they might not want to show their colors. On Thursday, he explained that he wasn’t trying to threaten opposing fans, and he clarified his comments. “If somebody else comes to enjoy a game, that’s fine. I’m not calling for our guys to do anything,” he said. “The safety of every fan is important to everybody in this organization, including me. But would I prefer not to see another color jersey, another team’s jersey? Absolutely. I would love to see our stadium just in our color.”

Linebacker Bart Scott backed up his coach and called on Jets fans to stay focused as the team begins its second season at the newly renamed MetLife Stadium. “I think the last stadium was a lot louder and maybe some of the diehard fans can’t afford tickets any more,” Scott said. “We have to challenge the people that’s in the stadium now to get off their iPads and tweets and represent the stadium and get loud and make it a home-field advantage for us.”

ESPN signed an eight-year extension with the NFL that will keep “Monday Night Football” on the cable giant through the 2021 season. The deal reportedly is worth $1.9 billion per season, an increase of $800,000 over the current pact. “Five hundred new hours of programming, right now, starting today,” ESPN/ABC Sports president George Bodenheimer said Monday during a conference call. “From our point of view, this is a great deal for the company. It really fuels our company 24-7.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Sept. 9, 1960, the Patriots played the first regular-season game in franchise history, losing to the Broncos 13-10 before a crowd of 21,597 at which area stadium?

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Read More: Bart Scott, Carl Everett, ESPN, Monday Night Football