|Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Colts coach Chuck Pagano makes inspirational return after battling leukemia||12.25.12 at 7:59 am ET|
TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Celtics at Nets, noon (CSNNE, ESPN; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Knicks at Lakers, 3 p.m. (ABC; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Thunder at Heat, 5:30 p.m. (ABC; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Texans at Bulls, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Nuggets at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Mississippi at Hawaii, 4:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Indiana State vs. Miami, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: San Diego State vs. Arizona, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Colts coach Chuck Pagano, recovering from a battle with leukemia, returned to the team Monday for the first time since taking an indefinite leave on Oct. 1. Pagano will prepare his 10-5 team for Sunday’s regular-season finale against the conference-leading Texans.
“I feel great,” he said. “My weight is back. My energy is back and again, it’s just a blessing to be back here.”
An emotional Pagano said Monday ranks as the second-best day of his life, behind only his wedding, and he thanked assistant Bruce Arians for leading the team to a playoff berth.
“When I asked for Bruce to take over, I asked for him to kick some you-know-what and to do great,” Pagano said. “Damn, Bruce, you had to go and win nine games? Tough act to follow. Tough act to follow. Best in the history of the NFL. That’s what I have to come back to.”
Said team owner Jim Irsay: “I know Chuck is ready for this challenge. In speaking to his doctor multiple times, I know that the time is right for him to grab the reins, get the head coaching cap on and begin the journey. It’s been a miraculous story. It really is a book. It’s a fairytale. It’s a Hollywood script. It’s all those things but it’s real.”
♦ Jets coach Rex Ryan, speaking to the media Monday, sidestepped the question of whether quarterback Tim Tebow asked to be taken out of the team’s wildcat package, but he did acknowledge that Tebow was not pleased about being passed over for the starting job following Mark Sanchez‘ benching.
“He was disappointed, there’s no question,” Ryan said. “He was disappointed that he was not named the starter, but with that being said, I’m not going to get into private conversations that I have with players, but it was my decision to use Jeremy Kerley in the wildcat, without question.
“But I’ll say this: I believe if Tim’s number was called, he would’ve went in and played. I don’t think there’s any doubt about that.”
Tebow is expected to be released or traded after the season.
Meanwhile, the Jets reportedly plan to demote general manager Mike Tannenbaum after the season and have started reaching out to potential replacement candidates.
♦ Former Pro Bowl linebacker Joey Porter — who did his best to get under the skin of the Patriots when he played for the Steelers and Dolphins — was released from a California jail Monday after paying a $70,000 debt to the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas. Porter, 35, had been arrested over the weekend for allegedly writing a bad check.
Porter played 13 NFL seasons, including the last two with the Cardinals, before retiring this summer.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Dec. 25, 1971, the Bruins played on Christmas Day for the final time (that was the last year the NHL had Christmas games), posting a 5-1 victory over the Flyers led by a goal and three assists from which forward?
|Colts shave heads to support ailing coach Chuck Pagano||11.07.12 at 4:42 pm ET|
The Colts are doing something special as a team to honor their ill coach Chuck Pagano.
As a sign of solidarity, about a dozen players shaved their heads after Tuesday’s practice. Pagano lost his hair while undergoing treatment for leukemia.
Players who shaved their heads included kicker (and former Patriot) Adam Vinatieri, defensive end Cory Redding, Pro Bowl safety Antoine Bethea and punter Pat McAfee.
Pagano gave an emotional postgame speech to players following their defeat of the Dolphins this past week.
On Monday, his physician, Dr. Larry Cripe, said Pagano was in “complete remission.”
|Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: NFL players vote Jets’ Rex Ryan most overrated coach||11.06.12 at 7:45 am ET|
TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Raptors at Thunder, 8 p.m. (NBA Network)
College football: Ball State at Toledo, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
UEFA Champions League soccer: Manchester City vs. Ajax, 2:30 p.m. (FSC)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ The Sporting News conducted a midseason poll of 103 NFL players from 27 teams to determine the most overrated coach in the league. Much to Patriots fans’ delight, coming in at No. 1, named on 35 ballots, is Jets coach Rex Ryan. However, in second with 16 votes is Pats boss Bill Belichick. Andy Reid of the Eagles is third with nine votes.
Said an anonymous AFC offensive player of Ryan: “His coaching style is over the top. Some of the things he does in front of the cameras are way over the top. You put that with the New York media and he has a pretty big reputation, I guess. I don’t even know if you’d call him overrated anymore because it’s going to be a couple of years since he was in the AFC finals. He’s pretty funny, and he’s a pretty good coach. But not THAT good.”
The players also were asked which college coach they would most like to see in the NFL. Alabama’s Nick Saban, who was a flop with the Dolphins in 2005 and ’06, came in at No. 1 with 32 votes, followed by Ohio State’s Urban Meyer (16).
♦ Chuck Pagano, on leave from the Colts while he battles leukemia, is winning that battle. Pagano’s physician on Monday said that the coach’s disease is in “complete remission.”
Pagano, who delivered an emotional locker room speech to his team after Sunday’s win over the Jets in his first return to Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium since his Sept. 26 diagnosis, is scheduled to start a second round of chemotherapy later this week.
“His [blood cell] count was great,” interim coach Bruce Arians told reporters after Pagano visited the team complex Monday. “He knows that this next [round] is going to be really tough and we’re praying for him, and he’s going to be fine.”
♦ Jim Durham, who was ESPN Radio’s top play-by-play caller for NBA games, died Sunday at his home in suburban Houston at the age of 65. Durham, who had broadcast games for ESPN since 1996, called the Celtics’ season-opening loss to the Heat last Tuesday.
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’s Curt Gowdy Media Award winner last year, Durham called Bulls games on radio and television from 1973-91 among his other jobs.
“The voice of champions,” Michael Jordan texted to ESPN. “I will miss him.”
♦ This being election day, Yahoo! Sports has a list of 10 athletes who could be president. Among the names: Drew Brees, Jeremy Roenick, Magic Johnson, Tim Tebow, Derek Jeter and Laila Ali.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Nov. 6, 1976, the Red Sox became the first team to sign a player who declared for free agency under baseball’s new contract rules. Which player signed a $1 million, four-year contract with the Sox?
|Monday’s Morning Mashup: Ailing Colts coach Chuck Pagano gives emotional postgame pep talk to team||11.05.12 at 7:01 am ET|
MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
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)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ 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?
|Ailing Colts coach Chuck Pagano e-mails team||10.08.12 at 9:59 pm ET|
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.
“My 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 NFL.com. “We 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.
“It means a lot across the board. He’s not just a coach; he’s a family member,” Freeney said on Monday’s ESPN SportsCenter. “And 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.
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