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Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Frustrated Kevin Garnett admits age might be catching up to him 01.02.14 at 7:56 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’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.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NHL: Predators at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN)
Hockey: World Juniors, United States vs. Russia, 6 a.m. (NHL Network)
Hockey: World Juniors, Finland vs. Czech Republic, 8:30 a.m. (NHL Network)
Hockey: World Juniors, Canada vs. Switzerland, 11 a.m. (NHL Network)
Hockey: World Juniors, Sweden vs. Slovakia, 1:30 p.m. (NHL Network)
NBA: Celtics at Bulls, 8 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Nets at Thunder, 8 p.m. (NBATV)
College basketball: Wisconsin at Northwestern, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Michigan at Minnesota, 7 p.m. (BTN)
College basketball: Washington at Arizona State, 8 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Saint Mary’s at Gonzaga, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: California at Stanford, 9 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Oregon State at Colorado, 10 p.m. (ESPNU)
College football: Sugar Bowl, Oklahoma vs. Alabama, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Kevin Garnett is averaging a career-low 6.5 points per game for the Nets. (AP)

Kevin Garnett is averaging a career-low 6.5 points per game in his first season with the Nets. (AP)

Kevin Garnett has mostly stayed quiet during the Nets’ disappointing season, but on Wednesday the former Celtic opened up to reporters about his frustration, indicating that he is unsure of his role on offense and that his age might be catching up to him.

Garnett scored two points Tuesday in a blowout loss to the Spurs that dropped the Nets to 10-21. The 37-year-old is averaging 6.5 points on 36 percent shooting — by far the worst averages of his 19-year career.

“The most frustrating thing about me is I could see if I wasn’t and I wasn’t in here working or taking [expletive] days off,” he said. “I put time into my craft for it to come out, but then that’s rhythm on offense. And I don’t have that right now.”

First-year coach Jason Kidd has limited Garnett to a career-low 21.5 minutes per game “to get him through the season,” but it doesn’t appear to be helping in the here and now.

“Honestly, I have no rhythm. I’€™m trying to establish some confidence and figure this whole, ‘Where I fit into the offense’ thing,” Garnett said. “Right now I’€™m just not even a priority. I’€™m trying to be more of a defensive-minded guy. … So I probably need to be a lot more aggressive. Right now my mental [focus] is more defensive right now than offense.”

Added Garnett: “Nobody likes to lose. I’€™m not a loser. But I show up every day and I try to be a professional and give everything I have. You put Father Time on top of that. It doesn’€™t help anything else. And knick knacks and injuries and stuff like that and guys going out. It’€™s just a frustrating time.

“But you know what? I’€™ve been through some harder times than this. I have a lot confidence that I’€™ll come out of this, and we’€™ll come out of this with some decency.”

– At PennLive.com, writer David Jones casts some light on Bill O’Brien‘s frustration with Penn State and why the coach appears set to leave the school to take over the Texans after two years in Happy Valley.

Said O’Brien in a recent conversation with the reporter about how Joe Paterno loyalists might view the departure of longtime assistant coach Ron Vanderlinden: “I don’t really give a [expletive] what the ‘Paterno people’ think about what I do with this program. I’ve done everything I can to show respect to coach Paterno. Everything in my power. So I could really care less about what the Paterno faction of people, or whatever you call them, think about what I do with the program. I’m tired of it.

“For any ‘Paterno person’ to have any objection to what I’m doing it makes me want to put my fist through this windshield right now.”

– An Associated Press photographer died early Wednesday morning, hours after he collapsed on the field while taking photographs following the Chick-fil-A Bowl on Tuesday night in Atlanta.

Dave Martin, 59, was taking photos of Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin following the Aggies’ 52-48 victory over Duke when he apparently suffered a heart attack. He was administered CPR on the field before being taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

“Dave Martin was an excellent photojournalist, a consummate and dedicated professional and a wonderful person,” AP vice president and director of photography Santiago Lyon said. “Wherever his work took him he made many friends and will be deeply missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Jan. 2, 1994, which Patriots player recorded his 100th and final career sack when he tackled Dolphins quarterback Scott Mitchell during New England’s 33-27 overtime victory?

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Monday’s Morning Mashup: Peyton Manning named Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year 12.16.13 at 7:46 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: Timberwolves at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
College basketball: Gardner-Webb at Duke, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Mississippi Valley State at Northwestern, 7 p.m. (BTN)
NFL: Ravens at Lions, 8:40 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-FM)
NHL: Maple Leafs at Penguins, 7 p.m. (NHL Network)

AROUND THE WEB:

Peyton Manning's Broncos jersey was the top seller at NFL.com for April and May. (AP)

Peyton Manning has the Broncos in line for the top seed in the AFC. (AP)

‘€¢ Peyton Manning, in the midst of a standout season with the Broncos at age 37, was named Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year.

Manning, in his second season in Denver, has led the Broncos to an 11-3 record and the No. 1 seed in the AFC (helped by the Patriots’ loss to the Dolphins on Sunday). He has thrown 47 touchdown passes, three short of Tom Brady‘s single-season record with two games to play.

The 2012 NFL Comeback Player of the Year after missing the previous season while recovering from neck surgeries, Manning is the first Bronco — and first Denver athlete — to win the award.

LeBron James won last year’s honor, then went on to lead the Heat to their second straight NBA title.

“At first, when I knew we were considering Manning, I thought: good choice. Lifetime-achievement-award choice,” said SI senior writer Peter King, who announced the winner on NBC at halftime of Sunday night’s game between the Bengals and Steelers. “But if you isolate this year, you’€™re looking at a player two years removed from four neck procedures that would have prompted many 35-year-old legends to choose retirement. He has his Super Bowl. He has his MVPs. Now he’€™s on the verge of breaking the most important single-season quarterback records [touchdown passes and passing yards] in the 94-year history of the game. He threw seven touchdown passes against the defending Super Bowl champs. And he’€™s got his team set to win the top seed in the AFC. Who plays his best’€”wounded, with so many great young guns chasing him’€”at 37?”

‘€¢ The Giants were eliminated from the playoffs last week, and that’s not sitting well with team legend Lawrence Taylor. The former linebacker said he thinks coach Tom Coughlin‘s time has come, despite his two Super Bowl championships.

Tom Coughlin has done wonders for the Giants. Personally, I don’€™t know if I could play for him, but the guy is a winner, he is a fighter. But I think it is time for him to take his talents on the road,” Taylor told the New York Post on Saturday night at David Ortiz‘s charity golf tournament in the Dominican Republic. “He’€™s done all he can do for the Giants. If he wants to coach, I think he needs to take his philosophies to another team.

“After a while, the players just stop listening. I respect the man, but it’€™s time. As much as I like Coughlin and the job he has done, it’€™s time for a shakeup.”

On the other hand, Taylor had kind words for Ortiz.

Big Papi has a big heart and he cares,” Taylor said. “A guy like that with that notoriety, with that status, he could easily say kiss off and do his own thing. He genuinely loves people and things he does for the city of Boston and the Dominican Republic.”

‘€¢ Penn State coach Bill O’Brien, the former Patriots assistant who was put in charge of restoring the Nittany Lions to prominence following the Jerry Sandusky scandal, reportedly has been approached by two NFL teams and is considering returning to the pros.

O’Brien was said to have been close to leaving Penn State for the Eagles job last year, but he decided to return to Happy Valley for a second season mainly out of loyalty. This time, he appears to be more willing to make the jump, especially after the school received more punishment than expected for its handling of the Sandusky situation. Also, his buyout is less financially restrictive than last year.

The Texans and Vikings are the teams said to have contacted him already, with Washington another possibility.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On. Dec. 15, 2003, which Celtic had his number retired to the rafters?

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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Bill O’Brien says he’s staying at Penn State 11.28.12 at 8:07 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-FM)
NBA: Rockets at Thunder, 8 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Timberwolves at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Boston College at Penn State, 9:15 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Virginia at Wisconsin, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Purdue at Clemson, 7:15 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Michigan State at Miami, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: George Mason at Rhode Island, 8 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Georgia Tech at Illinois, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Ohio State at Duke, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Bill O'Brien says he wants to be back to lead Penn State in 2013. (AP)

♦ Former Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien guided Penn State to an 8-4 record in his first season at the helm of the Nittany Lions, no small feat given the school’s troubles related to the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Now there are rumors that O’Brien has other opportunities — college and pro — should he want to jump ship while the program serves three more years of NCAA punishment that includes reduced scholarships and a bowl ban. O’Brien, who has eight more years left on his contract, said Tuesday he’s not going anywhere.

“I plan on being the head football coach at Penn State [in 2013],” he told Atlanta’s 790-AM “The Zone.” “That’s my plan and that’s what I intend to do.”

His agent, Joe Linta, was even more adamant. “[O'Brien] is staying, and we’ve had no conversations with anyone else,” Linta said. “In fact he’s leaving at 6 in the morning [Wednesday] to go out on the recruiting trail.”

O’Brien also was in the news this week for apparently uttering an obscenity during a live TV interview after Saturday’s victory over Wisconsin. O’Brien seems to say a swear word that begins with the letter ‘f’ when referring to the effort of his players, although he denies it.

“You know I’m not a choir boy, but I said ‘fighters,’ ” he said.

“Fireman Ed” Anzalone, who announced on Sunday that he is stepping down as the team’s unofficial cheerleader because he’s tired of the behavior of fellow fans, is getting no sympathy from his counterpart with the Dolphins, Thomas Phillips, aka Big Papa Pump.

In a Tuesday appearance on South Florida radio station Sports Talk: The Ticket, the longtime Dolphins superfan called out Fireman Ed.

“If you’re stepping down because of what you see, getting your butt whupped week-in and week-out and you haven’t been to the Super Bowl since Super Bowl III, that is a wuss. That is a wuss,” he said. “You don’t back out of your team like that. That’s something you don’t do. You don’t step down from being a superfan. You don’t do that. Fireman Ed, you’re a disgrace, man.”

Added Big Papa Pump: “This team is looking up to him and this is what he’s telling them? You quit? You just give up? If you’re winning and you quit, it’s another thing. But you’re losing and you quit, that’s even worse.”

♦ At GQ, writer Drew Magary has a list of the 25 least influential people of 2012. The list is not limited to sports, but there are a number of sports figures on it, including ex-Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine at No. 15. Mitt Romney is No. 1. Lakers center Dwight Howard is the top athlete, at No. 4 overall.

At Sports Illustrated, Tom Verducci has a column on nine baseball rules that need to change. Among them are a call for more replay and fewer timeouts (such as the catcher walking out to the mound).

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Nov. 28, 1938, the Bruins traded legendary but aging goaltender Cecil “Tiny” Thompson to the Red Wings and called up which rookie to replace him?

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Bill O’Brien ‘doesn’t have support’ of prominent Penn State alums 01.06.12 at 12:47 pm ET
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Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien could be in for a rude awakening if reports are true that he will be named head coach at Penn State. A number of former Nittany Lions, including former All-America linebacker Brandon Short, aren’t happy with the school’s apparent choice.

“It’s unfortunate that coach O’Brien … has not been made aware of the implications of him being in this position,” Short told ESPN. “I don’t envy him at all. He doesn’t have support of the vast majority of former Penn State players and the vast majority of the student body and faculty won’t support him. I feel sorry for him.”

Added Short, an investment banker who is a member of the school’s influential Lettermen’s Club: “It is the view of the vast majority of the Lettermen that they’ve been marginalized and their family is being destroyed.”

Another former All-America linebacker, LaVar Arrington, told BlueWhite Illustrated that he would sever ties with the school if a Penn State alum wasn’t chosen for the job.

“By these people making the decisions the way that they are making them, basically coinciding with everything that’s being written about our university, if they get rid of Tom Bradley, that means they in essence have accepted the fact that we are all guilty,” Arrington said. “You might as well call it all the same thing.”

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