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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Patriots fans in fight at MetLife Stadium charged with assault 10.23.13 at 8:05 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

World Series: Cardinals at Red Sox, 8:07 p.m. (Fox; WEEI-FM)
NHL: Bruins at Sabres, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA preseason: Nets at Celtics, 7 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA preseason: Bulls at Thunder, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Manchester City at CSKA Moskva, noon (FS1)


‘€¢ The female Patriots fan who was punched in the face by a male Jets fan at MetLife Stadium on Sunday was charged with simple assault and disorderly conduct Tuesday.

Boston resident Jaclyn Nugent, who can be seen in the video striking Kurt Paschke after a confrontation, was charged along with Marlboro’s Amanda McDowell and Boston’s David Sacco, because they “were observed kicking and punching Paschke in the body and head,” according to a statement from New Jersey State Police (via the New York Post).

Paschke, a Long Island resident and Jets season ticket-holder who served three years in prison in the 1990s for stabbing a 17-year-old to death, also was charged. All parties have a court date of Nov. 13.

The Jets said none of the individuals charged would be allowed into the stadium until the legal process has run its course and they take an online course.

“We have zero tolerance for this behavior,” the team said in a statement.

Paschke’s lawyer claims his client was the victim.

“It is clear that Kurt was defending himself, his mother and his friends from attack,” Bruce Barket said in a statement. “Kurt’s two friends were unfortunately injured by the group and, as a result, had to be hospitalized. After the police complete their investigation, we expect Kurt to be vindicated.”

‘€¢ Giants running back Brandon Jacobs tweeted a screenshot of a death threat he received on Twitter, as an individual using the handle Andre Rayner wrote to Jacobs that ‘it’s over for you and [your] family” if Jacobs did not rush for 50 yards and two touchdowns in Monday’s game vs. the Vikings. The individual followed with a second tweet that read: “Fulfill my orders stated in the previous tweet or that’s [your] life brush and I’m not playing.”

Jacobs, who sat out the game with a hamstring injury, wrote at the top of his tweet: “Look at what we deal with.”

After being called out, the man sent another tweet downplaying his comment:


NFL security reportedly is investigating.

Said Giants coach Tom Coughlin: “You’€™re always concerned about the player and his family. And for young people to have to worry about something like that, it’€™s not necessary. It’€™s not a part of what we do. I’€™m not going to speculate on social media. I’€™m just concerned about however this would be revealed, that it’€™s wrong and it has no business in our game.”

With the Jaguars in the midst of an historically bad season, Athlon Sports has a list of the worst NFL teams since the league last expanded in 2002.

Topping the list are the 2008 Lions, who went 0-16 and were outscored by 249 points. They’re followed by the 2009 Rams (1-15), the 2009 Lions (2-14), the 2007 Dolphins (1-15) and the 2008 Rams (2-14). The Rams own three spots in the top 10.

The 2011 Colts — who went 2-14 the year Peyton Manning was injured and got in position to draft Andrew Luck — check in at No. 8.

Meanwhile, National Football Post has a list of the NFL’s most underpaid players who are past their rookie contracts, and two Patriots make the list.

Tom Brady, who renegotiated his contract this past offseason, and Patriots teammate Julian Edelman, who has been the most dependable receiver on the team this fall, were recognized among the likes of Saints tight end Jimmy Graham, Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant and Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Oct. 23, 2004, the Red Sox opened the World Series with a 9-7 victory over the Cardinals after squandering a 7-2 lead. Who hit the game-winning two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning?

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Read More: Brandon Jacobs, Tom Brady,
Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: QB Mark Sanchez wants another shot at redemption with Jets 01.01.13 at 8:01 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

College football: Gator Bowl, Mississippi State vs. Northwestern, noon (ESPN2)
College football: Heart of Dallas Bowl, Purdue vs. Oklahoma State, noon (ESPNU)
College football: Capital One Bowl, Georgia vs Nebraska, 1 p.m. (ABC; WEEI-FM)
College football: Outback Bowl, South Carolina vs. Michigan, 1 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Rose Bowl, Wisconsin vs. Stanford, 5 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-FM)
College football: Orange Bowl, Northern Illinois vs. Florida State, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Clippers at Nuggets, 9 p.m. (NBATV)
College basketball: UConn at Marquette, 8 p.m. (ESPNU)


‘™¦ The Jets began their long offseason by firing general manager Mike Tannenbaum on Monday, and more changes to the organization are expected after a disappointing 6-10 season.

However, Mark Sanchez might still be the team’s quarterback, as his contract — he’s owed $8.25 million for 2013 — makes him difficult to move. Sanchez said Monday that he’s eager for another opportunity to prove his worth to New York fans.

“Until I’€™m told different, I’€™m a Jet,” Sanchez said. “I don’€™t see anything different. I just want another crack at this thing. ‘€¦ I had a good talk with Rex [Ryan], and I know we’€™re destined for greatness here and that we can be successful here, and that’€™s what I’€™m focused on.”

Added the QB: “In my opinion, I underachieved and didn’€™t play the way I’€™m capable of playing. Unfortunately, that led to some losses and some things like that. So I just have to get better and take some time to get away from the game for a little bit and come back strong for next year.”

Sanchez struggled with turnovers this season. He tied for third worst in the league with 18 interceptions and also lost eight fumbles. His most ignominious moment was the “buttfumble” against the Patriots in the Thanksgiving night blowout.

“There were some great plays, some great throws, and then there were some not-so-good things,” Sanchez said. “And those are things I need to focus on this offseason, try to fix those and put us in a better position to take care of the ball.”

‘™¦ Running back Brandon Jacobs, who was suspended for the 49ers‘ final three regular-season games after complaining about his lack of playing time on social media, was waived by the team Monday. By waiting until after the regular season to cut Jacobs, the Niners ensured that no playoff team could sign him for the playoffs.

Jacobs, 30, had five carries for seven yards in just two games for the NFC West champions after coming over from the Giants, where he played seven seasons. He is the fourth-leading rusher in Giants history, with 4,849 yards.

‘™¦ Terrell Owens couldn’t find an NFL team willing to take a chance on him this season, but the six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver apparently has found a way to remain in front of an audience. Owens reportedly will appear in a new reality show on Fox called “Stars in Danger: The High Dive.”

Owens is one of eight celebrities who will receive training from a former Olympic diving medalist and then attempt a series of Olympic-style dives. The show is slated to air on Jan. 9.

Owens previously had his own cable reality show, “The T.O. Show.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Jan. 1, 1979, John Y. Brown attended his first game as owner of the Celtics. Which franchise did Brown trade with Irv Levin to acquire the C’s?

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Read More: Brandon Jacobs, Mark Sanchez, Rex Ryan, Terrell Owens
Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Raptors’ Amir Johnson subject of strange NBA ejection 12.11.12 at 7:50 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NBA: Knicks at Nets, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Clippers at Bulls, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Binghamton at Michigan, 7 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: St. Joseph’s at Villanova, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: North Dakota State at Minnesota, 9 p.m. (Big Ten Network)


‘™¦ In one of the strangest NBA ejections ever, normally mild-mannered Raptors forward Amir Johnson was thrown out of Monday night’s game against the Trail Blazers when he tried to take the ball from referee David Jones after a Portland free throw and wouldn’t let go. After his ejection, an incensed Johnson fired his mouthguard at Jones and hit him in the back.

‘€œI think [it was childish] between both of us,’€ Johnson said. ‘€œWe were both wrestling with the ball. That was kind of childish. We both either could of let it go or anything. That part was childish. Plus, on my part for reacting that way. ‘€¦ It was something that didn’€™t need to happen. I lost my cool. I apologize on that part. I’€™ve never been kicked out of a game before or been T’d up like that.’€

There were no actions that precipitated the incident and Johnson said no words were exchanged, making it all the more bizarre.

‘€œHe turned his back, I really wanted to know what happened,’€ Johnson explained. ‘€œNothing was said. I lost my cool right there. I never had any problems all the eight years I’€™ve been in the league. I never argued with a ref or did anything wrong. From there, I just lost my cool.’€

‘™¦ The 49ers suspended running back Brandon Jacobs on Monday after he complained on social media about his lack of playing time. Jacobs, in his first season in San Francisco after seven years with the Giants, will miss the final three games of the regular season.

Jacobs recently posted a series of photos of himself playing for the Giants and wrote on Instagram:

I am on this team rotting away so why would I wanna put any pics up of anything that say niners. This is by far the worst year I ever had, I’ll tell you like I told plenty others.

On Monday night, following the announcement of the punishment, Jacobs tweeted:

Thank you all for all your support, I am doing wonderful it’s not a big deal things happen, I am strong enough to get through this, again thank all of you for your support. #IWILLBEBACK.

Jacobs, 30, has five carries for seven yards in two games this season. He ran for 571 yards and seven touchdowns last season in New York, winning his second Super Bowl.

‘™¦ Bobby Petrino, fired as Arkansas football coach in April after his motorcycle accident that exposed an affair he was having with an athletic department employee, was introduced as Western Kentucky’s coach on Monday.

“At this point in my career, it’s about getting back and coaching players,” said Petrino, who has a four-year deal with an annual base salary of $850,000. “It just happened to open up at a place we love. I hope it can be as long as possible.”

Petrino, 51, said he won’t shy away from discussing his mistakes he’s made, especially when talking to recruits.

“I’m going to be able to sit down with mom and dad and the student-athlete and make them understand how this experience has made me a better coach, a better person and will make me understand their son better,” Petrino said. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity I’ll be able to give student athletes when they make a mistake.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Dec. 11, 1954, which Bruins goalie recorded his 27th and final career shutout with a 3-0 victory over the Canadiens?

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Read More: Amir Johnson, Bobby Petrino, Brandon Jacobs, David Jones
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Hockey players unimpressed by cramping LeBron James 06.21.12 at 7:59 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.

MLB: Marlins at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)
MLB: Rockies at Phillies, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA finals: Thunder at Heat, 9 p.m. (ABC)


‘™¦ LeBron James might have won over some fans for fighting through leg cramps in the final minutes to help the Heat defeat the Thunder in Tuesday night’s Game 4 of the NBA finals, but some hockey players were not impressed.

Tweeted Ducks center Nick Bonino: We get it Lebron, it doesn’€™t hurt when you’€™re running around but it looks unbearable when the cameras are close up during the timeouts.

Added Capitals minor leaguer Ryan Potulny: Lebron James is embarrassing himself and the NBA or actually all athletes.

Predators minor leaguer Scott Valentine tweeted with sarcasm: If Lebron somehow manages to pull off winning a ring after fighting through a thigh cramp.. it will be a story I tell my children’€™s children.

James, whose Heat look to close out the series Thursday night in Miami, hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 2:51 remaining and finished with 26 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds.

“I had cramps. I had it before. It’s not a pleasant feeling,” he explained. “Basically, your body shuts down. Your legs shut down and there is nothing you can do about it.”

‘™¦ A day after Rays manager Joe Maddon called out the Nationals for exposing Tampa Bay reliever Joel Peralta‘s excessive pine tar on his glove and getting him ejected — Maddon called the move “cowardly” — Washington manager Davey Johnson responded. Johnson insisted he was just following the rules when he asked the umpires to check Peralta’s glove, and he offered his opinion of Maddon.

‘€œI didn’€™t know [Maddon] that well, but I thought he was a weird wuss, anyway,’€ Johnson said. ‘€œI understand where he’€™s coming from. His job as a manager is to protect the players. Striking out at who ever he thinks is causing your players any grievance. So I understand where he’€™s coming from. But he doesn’€™t know me from a hole in the hill. Or I him, for that matter. But I do know the rulebook, and I do try to follow it.’€

Maddon, meanwhile, implied that the Nationals would have trouble attracting free agents because of Tuesday’s actions. Peralta pitched for Washington in 2010, so he apparently was sold out by a former teammate who tipped off Johnson.

Said Maddon: “To utilize information based on the fact that the guy had played here, I don’t know if that is a form of cheating or what, that is really underhanded I believe to use that kind of information.”

‘™¦ Knicks guard J.R. Smith is going after the Chinese team he played with last season for more than $1 million that was withheld from his $2.8 million salary for missed practices. The team, Zhejiang Chouzhou, produced a four-page list of offenses, including Smith skipping team meetings and practices to travel around the country and Europe, and blamed Smith’s sister, Stephanie, for being the root of the problems. Stephanie was involved in some incidents in the stands at games, including one in which she allegedly choked a Chinese fan.

Smith claims that he did not miss as many practices as the team alleges, and he noted that he played in all 32 games and led the team in scoring (36.4 ppg).

FIBA will rule on the dispute, likely next week.

‘™¦ Former Giants running back Brandon Jacobs made good on his promise to reward the New Jersey boy who sent him $3.36 in hopes of keeping him in New York. Jacobs, who signed as a free agent with the 49ers, took the boy out with his own son to a facility with inflatable bounce houses and gave him a $5 bill.

“He had some interest in there just for being a good kid,” Jacobs said. “He’s worth a lot more than that $5 bill I gave him.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On June 21, 1916, which Red Sox hurler pitched the first no-hitter in Fenway Park history, a 2-0 victory over the Yankees that included three walks? Hint: The player shares a name with an outfielder from Cincinnati’s Big Red Machine of the 1970s.

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Read More: Brandon Jacobs, Davey Johnson, J.R. Smith, Joe Maddon
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Jose Canseco off to frustrating start with Worcester Tornadoes 06.07.12 at 7:57 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 playoffs: Heat at Celtics, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI)
MLB: Orioles at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WRKO)
MLB: Dodgers at Phillies, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Rays at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. (MLB Network)


‘™¦ Jose Canseco‘s comeback bid is off to a slow start. The Worcester Tornadoes designated hitter is not impressing against Can-Am League pitching, hitting .171 with one extra-base hit (a double) and 15 strikeouts in 41 at-bats. To add to his indignity, Canseco was ejected from Sunday’s game after arguing a generous strike call.

Canseco has played in 12 games for the Tornadoes, who are 7-9 and in third place of five teams, a half-game out of last place. Worcester ranks second in attendance, averaging 2,252 fans per game.

Here’s the video of Canseco’s ejection, courtesy Eric Beato of New England Baseball Journal.

‘™¦ A 6-year-old Giants fan isn’t happy about running back Brandon Jacobs signing with the 49ers this offseason. So, the youngster sent Jacobs $3.36 in hopes of luring him back to New York.

“So, you could go to the Giants, here is my money. Love, Joe,” wrote the fan.

Jacobs posted the letter and money on his Twitter account, calling the gesture “the best ever.”

Wrote Jacobs: I almost cried, I am still trying to hold it in. I may have to pay him a surprise visit.

‘™¦ All-Pro linebacker Terrell Suggs continues to deny he hurt his Achilles playing basketball, despite witness accounts to the contrary, but Ravens coach John Harbaugh said he doesn’t care.

“That’s not a conversation we’re even having,” the coach said, looking to downplay the controversy. If it’s a non-football injury, the Ravens would have the right to deny Suggs some of the $4.9 million salary he is due this season.

“It’s not relevant to anything or has anything to do with what we’re trying to accomplish,” Harbaugh said. “If it were, I guess we’d think about it. The relevant conversation with Terrell Suggs is going to be rehab.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On June 7, 1968, the Red Sox drafted which two players who went on to have solid major league careers mainly as teammates with the Brewers?

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Read More: Brandon Jacobs, John Harbaugh, Jose Canseco, Terrell Suggs
Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Saints deny report of wiretapping opposing coaches 04.24.12 at 7:40 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NBA: Heat at Celtics, 8 p.m. (TNT; WRKO)
NBA: Suns at Jazz, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
NHL playoffs: Panthers at Devils, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
MLB: Red Sox at Twins, 8:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)
MLB: Yankees at Rangers, 8 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: White Sox at Athletics, 10 p.m. (WGN)


‘™¦ The Saints’ nightmarish offseason got a little worse Monday as the team denied an ESPN report that claimed general manager Mickey Loomis‘ booth in the Superdome was wired so he could listen to opposing coaches’ radio communications during games.

The “Outside the Lines” report said the system was in place from 2002 until it was disabled following damage to the stadium from Hurricane Katrina in 2005. There was no determination if it was ever used.

Loomis explained in a team statement that he watches the games on a small TV in his booth while listening to the radio broadcast through an earpiece.

“To think I am sitting in there listening and actually ‘€¦ doing something with the offensive and defensive play calls of the opposing teams makes this story and the unnamed sources that provided the false information that much more less credible,” he said. “It just didn’t happen.”

‘™¦ Two New Jersey state troopers were suspended without pay Monday while the attorney general’s office investigates accusations that they provided a high-speed escort for former Giants running back Brandon Jacobs‘ caravan of luxury sports cars on a trip to Atlantic City on March 30. Witnesses reported the cars — with tape covering up the license plates — were traveling at speeds over 100 mph and weaving in and out of traffic.

“We will not tolerate any conduct by a member of the State Police that puts the public in jeopardy, as this unauthorized caravan had the potential to do,” Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa said. “We are thoroughly investigating this incident, and those responsible will face serious discipline.”

‘™¦ The Nets played their final game in New Jersey on Monday, and Governor Chris Christie was not there to wish them luck in their new Brooklyn home.

“You don’t want to stay, we don’t want you,” he said earlier in the day. “I mean, seriously, I’m not going to be in the business of begging people to stay here. That’s one of the most beautiful arenas in America that they got a chance to play in. it’s in one of the country’s most vibrant cities, and if they want to leave here and go to Brooklyn, good riddance. See you later.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On April 24, 1983, which player scored 1:52 into overtime to give the Bruins a 3-2 victory over the Sabres in Game 7 of their Adams Division finals series at Boston Garden?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Everybody knows how tough it’s been on us, but nobody feels sorry for us. We’re going to keep having to go out there and grind it out.” — Red Sox outfielder Cody Ross, after hitting two home runs in Monday night’s 6-5 victory over the Twins that snapped Boston’s five-game losing streak

STAT OF THE DAY: 0-10 — The Royals’ record in home games this season, following their 11th consecutive loss overall, Monday night’s 4-1 setback vs. the Blue Jays

‘NET RESULTS: Flyers players Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds got loose for their game Sunday by playing basketball outside their locker room.


SOOTHING SOUNDS: Robert Knight turns 67 Tuesday.

Read More: Brandon Jacobs, Chris Christie, Cody Ross, Mickey Loomis
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Brandon Jacobs critical of former Giants teammates 04.12.12 at 8:01 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.

NHL playoffs: Capitals at Bruins, 7:30 p.m. (NESN, NBCSN)
NHL playoffs: Senators at Rangers, 7 p.m. (NHL Network)
NHL playoffs: Blackhawks at Coyotes, 10 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: Heat at Bulls, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Mavericks at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
MLB: Rays at Tigers, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Marlins at Phillies, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)


‘™¦ Running back Brandon Jacobs won a Super Bowl with the Giants two months ago, but now that he’s signed with the 49ers, he’s not showing a lot of respect for his former teammates. During an interview on San Francisco radio station KNBR, Jacobs said the New York offensive line deserved more criticism for his lack of production last season.

“We had issues. When I was with the Giants, we had issues down the line,” he said. “Of course, I took the blame for those [because I was] holding the ball. But ultimately, at the end of the day, it is my fault because I do have the ball and that’s what people see. But there’s a lot more than that going on.”

As for why he decided to leave New York for San Francisco, Jacobs said: “At the end of the day we go out and play this game for it being football, what we all love playing. But after you’ve been in the business a certain amount of time, and know that they’ve turned it into nothing but a business, that what-have-you-done-for-me-lately-type attitude comes. And that’s what we turn it into as players, and that’s when things happen.”

‘™¦ Former NFL executive Charlie Casserly admits in an article for that he used to use certain media members’ mock drafts to get a better idea of what other teams were thinking in the days leading up to the draft. He also writes that he used the media to determine teams’ needs and player visits, paying special attention to what team personnel told reporters. Somewhere, Bill Belichick is smiling.

‘™¦ On the heels of the Magic’s Dwight HowardStan Van Gundy controversy, Real Clear Sports has a list of the top 10 coach-killers. The list includes Michael Vick, Reggie Jackson, John Elway and, at No. 1, Magic Johnson for helping to put in action the dismissal of Paul Westhead in 1981 and usher in the Pat Riley era.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On April 12, 2000, which Red Sox player recorded a sacrifice fly for the 1,341st RBI of his career in what would be his final major league game?

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Read More: Brandon Jacobs, Charlie Casserly, John Elway, Magic Johnson
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Giants’ Brandon Jacobs says Gisele Bundchen should ‘stay cute and shut up’ 02.08.12 at 7:47 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NHL: Bruins at Sabres, 7:30 p.m. (NESN; NBCSN)
NBA: Knicks at Wizards, 7 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Rockets at Trail Blazers, 10 p.m. (NBA TV)
College basketball: Florida State at Boston College, 7 p.m. (WEEI)
College basketball: Georgetown at Syracuse, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Kansas at Baylor, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Duke at North Carolina, 9 p.m. (ESPN)


‘™¦ Giants running back Brandon Jacobs offered his take on the Gisele Bundchen controversy, after Tom Brady‘s supermodel wife was videotaped criticizing Patriots receivers following Sunday’s Super Bowl. Bundchen was responding to a heckling Giants fan when she said that her husband could not catch the ball as well as throw it.

Said Jacobs to reporters at Tuesday’s Giants victory parade in New York: “She just needs to continue to stay cute and shut up.”

‘™¦ A Nielsen poll determined that Eagles quarterback Michael Vick is the most disliked athlete in America, ranking ahead of golfer Tiger Woods. Jets receiver Plaxico Burress is third and Lions defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh is fourth. Then it’s three NBA players: Nets forward Kris Humphries, Heat star LeBron James and Lakers guard Kobe Bryant. Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez is ninth.

‘™¦ Lakers star Kobe Bryant will not face charges for an incident at a San Diego church last year. A man had accused Bryant of grabbing him aggressively and taking his phone after thinking the man had taken a picture of the player, then returning the phone after seeing no photos. Bryant denied the allegations. The city attorney’s office said Tuesday that it could not prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.

‘™¦ The University of Memphis is the latest school to switch conferences, as the Tigers will be joining the Big East starting in 2013-14. In The Commercial Appeal, Geoff Calkins runs down the list of reasons why Memphis fans should celebrate the move from Conference USA.

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

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Read More: Brandon Jacobs, gisele bundchen, kobe bryant, michael vick
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Giants RB Brandon Jacobs annoyed by Cowboys fans 12.30.11 at 7:50 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.

NBA: Pistons at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI)
NBA: Bulls at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (NBA TV)

NHL: Bruins at Stars, 8 p.m. (NESN)
College basketball: Louisville at Kentucky, noon (CBS)
College basketball: Yale at Florida, 2 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Providence at Georgetown, 2 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Ohio State at Indiana, 6 p.m. (ESPN2)

NFL: Bills at Patriots, 1 p.m. (CBS)
NBA: Celtics at Wizards, 6 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI)
NFL: Cowboys at Giants, 8:20 p.m. (NBC; WEEI)


‘™¦ Giants running back Brandon Jacobs has directed his anger at Cowboys fans instead of players heading into Sunday’s NFC East championship-deciding game.

“It’s their fans,” he said. “Some of their fans are loud, obnoxious and just bad. Just everywhere you go, you’€™ve got them Dallas fans running their mouth about Dallas. They keep going. It’€™s not really the team and the star and all that. They’€™re just like any other team in the National Football League if you ask me. But their fans are the ones that have me really just feeling the way I feel.’€

Jacobs even ranks Cowboys fans as worse than the notoriously bad Philadelphia fans.

Yeah, they are [worse],’€ Jacobs said. ‘€œI’€™m not talking about being actually at the game and doing the type of stuff they do in Philly. I’€™m just talking about in everyday life. Cowboys fans get on my nerves.’€

‘™¦ Earlier this week, in the lead-up to Sunday’s Jets-Dolphins game in Miami, Dolphins receiver Brandon Marshall insinuated that Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis gets favorable treatment from the officials.

“Both sides do things all the time,” Revis responded Thursday. “One thing that Brandon Marshall does on routes is he pushes off. But I’m not going to use that as an [excuse]. It’s just something I know in his game he does. He’s a big receiver, so he pushes off sometimes. That’s just part of the game. And some DBs, we hold. It goes [both ways].”

Added Revis: “I have had a number of pass-interference penalties called on me this year,” he said. “The game is fast on both sides of the ball, and you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.”

‘™¦ ESPN baseball writer Keith Law interviewed for a front office job with the Astros last week, according to Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal. Law, a Harvard alumnus who got his start writing for Baseball Prospectus, has some front office experience, as he was a special assistant to Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi for 4 1/2 seasons before joining ESPN in 2006.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Dec. 30, 1973, which Bruin became the first rookie in team history to score four goals in a game?

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Read More: Brandon Jacobs, Brandon Marshall, Darrelle Revis, Keith Law
Monday’s Morning Mashup: No fine for Rex Ryan after shouting match with Brandon Jacobs 12.26.11 at 8:02 am ET
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NFL: Falcons at Saints, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI)
NBA: Rockets at Magic, 7 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Lakers at Kings, 10 p.m. (NBA TV)


‘™¦ The NFL will not investigate the on-field incident after Saturday’s game between the Jets and Giants, in which Rex Ryan exchanged some words with Giants running back Brandon Jacobs.

Ryan, who was fined $75,000 for swearing at a fan who mocked him at halftime of the Jets’ loss to the Patriots earlier this season, met Jacobs at midfield after the Giants’ 29-14 victory.

Said Jacobs: “He told me, ‘Shut the [expletive] up, wait until we win the Super Bowl.’ I told him I would punch him in the face. I told him that out of all these Giants on this football team, you’re talking to the wrong one.”

Jacobs also reportedly said to Ryan: “Time to shut up, fat boy.”

‘™¦ The Bengals are closing on a playoff berth, but many Cincinnati fans apparently have not noticed. There was an announced attendance of 41,273 at Paul Brown Stadium for Saturday’s victory over the Cardinals — one of the smallest crowds in the stadium’s history.

The team’s streak of 57 sellouts, dating back to 2003, ended last season. There has been only one sellout in the last 11 games (vs. the Steelers), meaning no local television for the other 10 home games.

The Bengals host the Ravens on Sunday, with a win earning them the No. 6 spot in the AFC. The team is offering a two-for-one special to season ticket-holders, and players are imploring fans to show up and support them.

‘€œWe’€™re going to put all we’€™ve got into it to get this ‘€˜W,’€™ ‘€ defensive end Robert Geathers said. ‘€œIt’€™s Baltimore, we’€™re playing at home; it’€™ll be a great atmosphere. I know the fans will come out. We need them to come out and give us an advantage.’€

Added cornerback Adam Jones: “We need all of you this week.”

‘™¦ With the arrival of Chris Paul, the Clippers have finally stolen the spotlight from the Lakers. The proof comes in the form of tickets, as Clippers tickets are being resold at a pace of more than twice that of the Lakers o StubHub.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Dec. 26, 1919, the Red Sox sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees, a deal that would not be announced until the following month. Who was the Red Sox manager who encouraged owner Harry Frazee to take only money and no players for Ruth, then a year later joined the Yankees as general manager and helped build the dominant New York teams of the 1920s?

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