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NFL roundup: RB Rashard Mendenhall explains retirement 03.10.14 at 11:08 am ET
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Rashard Mendenhall loves the game of football, but after six years in the NFL, the 26-year-old running back is ready to retire.

Mendenhall, who penned a piece titled “Why I Retired at 26” for Huffington Post on Sunday evening, originally planned to not publicly announce his retirement.

“The fact that I was done playing would’ve been clear once some time had passed, and I hadn’t signed back with the Cardinals or any other team,” Mendenhall wrote. “Either way, I was OK with the idea of fading to black, and my legacy becoming ‘What ever happened to that dude Rashard Mendenhall? He was pretty good for a few years, then he just vanished.'”

After those around him showed shock at his decision to walk away from millions of dollars at such a young age, he decided to write the piece, one of five that he has written for the site.

Despite his appreciation for the game, Mendenhall said the business of football was difficult for him to understand. He wrote of his admiration toward the athletes that he grew up watching — those who worked together with their teammates to win and gave the ball to a ref after a touchdown — as opposed to the ones he sees today who wind up on “Dancing With the Stars.”

“I’ve always been professional,” Mendenhall wrote. “But I am not an entertainer. I never have been. Playing that role has never been easy for me. The box deemed professional athletes is a very small box. My wings spread a lot further than the acceptable athletic stereotypes and conformity was never a strong point of mine.”

Overall, Mendenhall, who has suffered a shoulder injury, a torn ACL and turf toe during his five years with the Steelers and one season with the Cardinals, wrote that he does not want to put his body at risk for entertainment.

“As for the question of what will I do now, with an entire life in front of me?” Mendenhall wrote. “I say to that, I will LIVE! I plan to live in a way that I never have before, and that is freely, able to fully be me, without the expectation of representing any league, club, shield or city.”

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Read More: Davin Joseph, Everson Griffen, Rashard Mendenhall, Sam Shields
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Lakers’ struggles ‘baffling,’ ‘extremely frustrating’ to Kobe Bryant 12.12.12 at 7:52 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: Mavericks at Celtics, 8 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Spurs at Jazz, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Savannah State at Ohio State, 7 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Green Bay at Wisconsin, 9 p.m. (Big Ten Network)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ Mike Brown is just a memory for the Lakers, but the team’s losing ways have continued under new coach Mike D’Antoni. The Lakers are 4-8 under D’Antoni and 9-12 overall following Tuesday night’s 100-94 loss to the lowly Cavaliers in Cleveland.

“This is one of the most challenging stretches of my 17 years, and the most baffling, too,” Kobe Bryant said. “We have the talent and personnel to do it, but we’re not, and it’s baffling. It’s extremely frustrating. It doesn’t make any sense. We’re still finding ways to lose games.”

Said D’Antoni: “The state that we’re in, that’s inexcusable, and we’ve got to figure it out.”

Lakers legend Magic Johnson said D’Antoni’s style doesn’t appear to be a good fit with the current lineup. Pau Gasol, who has missed five straight games with tendinitis in his knees, has been criticized for not adapting, but Johnson said the 7-foot Spaniard shouldn’t have to change.

“You can’t run with these guys,” Johnson said. “There’s one guy who can get up and down the court, and that’s Kobe. You’ve got to take that ball inside. That’s how you win games.”

Ultimately, though, it’s the team’s defense that is getting the most blame.

“We can score points but the defense is breaking down,” Johnson said. “We have to correct our defense. Every night guys have to come with passion and urgency.”

Following Tuesday’s loss, Los Angeles Times columnist T.J. Simers, who takes pleasure in antagonizing coaches at press conferences, got under the skin of D’Antoni by accusing him of not focusing enough on defense. Responded D’Antoni: “You’re starting to piss me off because you’re saying something that’s not factually correct.”

‘™¦ One week after he called Jets management “idiots,” wide receiver Braylon Edwards was claimed by New York off waivers from the Seahawks.

Tweeted Edwards: It feels great to be going home. Thanks to all of jet nation that continuously supported me and pushed for me. I’€™m back and it’€™s go time.

Edwards, who played for the Jets in 2009 and 2010 before leaving as a free agent, previously had criticized the team in an attempt to defend quarterback Mark Sanchez, tweeting:

Don’€™t blame Sanchez. I played there. Blame the idiots calling shots. Mark is a beast and will [prove] it when given a proper chance.

Edwards later tweeted: I would like to apologize to the Jets family and my fans for my emotional outburst. Mark is a friend and former teammate, who I wholeheartedly support. Nonetheless, I have disrespected and insulted an administration that I have the utmost respect for.

‘™¦ Running back Rashard Mendenhall‘s fall from grace in Pittsburgh continued on Tuesday when he was suspended for conduct detrimental to the team. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Mendenhall did not show up for Sunday’s game vs. the Chargers after being told he would not be active.

“What’s happened, happened,” Mendenhall’s agent, Mike McCartney, told the Post-Gazette. “When I spoke to Rashard, I know he is very excited next Monday to rejoin his teammates. He’s going to come back with great energy to do everything he can to help the Pittsburgh Steelers win football games.”

Mendenhall, who rushed for more than 1,000 yards in 2009 and 2010 and was on target again last season before tearing the ACL in his right knee in the regular-season finale, has struggled to regain his form. He returned on Oct. 4 and played well, recording 101 total yards and catching a 13-yard touchdown pass in a 16-14 victory over the Eagles, but he strained his right Achilles four days later against the Titans and lost his starting spot. He was demoted to third-string following a fumble against the Browns on Nov. 25 and has not dressed for the last two games.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Dec. 12, 1975, the Red Sox traded Roger Moret to the Braves for which pitcher, known in part for the fact that he caught Hank Aaron‘s 715th home run ball in the bullpen in 1974?

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Read More: braylon edwards, kobe bryant, Mike D'Antoni, Rashard Mendenhall
Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Steelers’ Rashard Mendenhall reportedly sues Champion for ending endorsement deal after controversial tweets 07.19.11 at 7:57 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.

WHAT’S HAPPENING LOCALLY TUESDAY:
MLB: Red Sox at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall came under fire in May after sending messages on Twitter criticizing Americans for celebrating the death of Osama bin Laden and insisting there’s no evidence bin Laden was behind the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. As part of the fallout, athletic clothing company Champion canceled a sponsorship deal. Now, Mendenhall is suing the company, according to Pittsburgh’s KDKA-TV.

‘™¦ The controversy at ESPN involving writer Bruce Feldman and his reported suspension for writing a book with former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach ‘€” who is suing ESPN ‘€” has become even more convoluted. Kelly McBride of the Poynter Review Project, in a story on ESPN.com, tries to break it down. She insists that Feldman never was suspended but rather that managers asked him not to write anything until they decided how they were going to handle the matter. Meanwhile, #freebruce continues to be a trending topic on Twitter, and Feldman continues to be mysteriously silent.

‘™¦ The New York Daily News has the court transcript from the Roger Clemens trial to better explain what the prosecution, defense and judge were thinking when a mistrial was declared last week. An interesting tidbit is that the defense did not initially object when the offending video was show, and that apparently caused Judge Reggie Walton to hesitate before declaring the trial over.

‘™¦ The USC football team suspended leading rusher Marc Tyler after the senior tailback joked with TMZ that he was getting paid to play in college. Tyler, caught on camera outside a West Hollywood nightclub, also made distasteful comments about reality TV star Kim Kardashian, the ex-girlfriend of former USC running back Reggie Bush. Tyler, son of former NFL running back Wendell Tyler, said he had sought counseling this summer after two incidents in the spring involving misbehavior toward women.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On July 19, 1983, a seven-day trial to determine ownership of the Red Sox ended in Suffolk Superior Court. Jean Yawkey, John Harrington and Haywood Sullivan prevailed over which former trainer turned businessman?

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Read More: Bruce Feldman, Marc Tyler, mike leach, Osama bin Laden
Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall responds to criticism of Osama bin Laden tweets 05.04.11 at 2:07 pm ET
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Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall, who came under fire after criticizing Americans for celebrating following reports of Osama bin Laden‘s death, posted a blog entry Wednesday in attempt to minimize the damage.

Wrote Mendenhall:”I apologize for the timing as such a sensitive matter, but it was not meant to do harm. I apologize to anyone I unintentionally harmed with anything that I said, or any hurtful interpretation that was made and put in my name. It was only meant to encourage anyone reading to think.”

Mendenhall’s representative at Priority Sports, Rob Lefko, insisted that the apology came from the player himself, telling ESPN, “This was truly, word for word, Rashard’s thoughts. It was not written by anyone else and not crafted by anyone else.”

Mendenhall explained his thinking in Wednesday’s post.

“This controversial statement was something I said in response to the amount of joy I saw in the event of a murder,” he wrote. “I don’t believe that this is an issue of politics or American pride; but one of religion, morality, and human ethics.”

Added Mendenhall: “I wasn’t questioning Bin Laden’s evil acts. I believe that he will have to face God for what he has done. I was reflecting on our own hypocrisy. During 9/11 we watched in horror as parts of the word celebrated death on our soil. Earlier this week, parts of the world watched us in horror celebrating a man’s death.”

Read More: Osama bin Laden, Rashard Mendenhall, Rumor Mill,
Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Chris Douglas-Roberts, Rashard Mendenall criticize U.S. celebrations over Osama bin Laden’s death 05.03.11 at 7:46 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.

WHAT’S HAPPENING LOCALLY TUESDAY:
NBA Playoffs: Celtics at Heat, 7 p.m. (TNT; WEEI)
MLB: Angels at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WRKO)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ Bucks swingman Chris Douglas-Roberts was not impressed by the celebrations in America after the announced death of Osama bin Laden, comparing them to Taliban celebrations after 9/11. “We just looked like the Afghan people, a decade later,” he said. “That’s not what we should be doing, celebrating with beers and all that. I didn’t agree with that. That’s just me.”

Douglas-Roberts acknowledged that bin Laden deserved to die, but he didn’t agree with the cost to America. “Was the search for bin Laden truly worth so many American military deaths, over so many years?” Douglas-Robert wondered, saying it took 919,967 deaths and $1,188,263,000,000 to catch the terrorist.

Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall took it a step further, implying that there was a conspiracy to bring down the World Trade Center on 9/11. “We’ll never know what really happened. I just have a hard time believing a plane could take a skyscraper down demolition style,” he tweeted.

Of America’s reaction to bin Laden’s assassination, Mendenhall tweeted: “What kind of person celebrates death. It’s amazing how people can HATE a man they have never even heard speak. We’ve only heard one side.”

‘™¦ The Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy at the Boston University School of Medicine released its findings on the brain of former Bears defensive back Dave Duerson, and there were signs of a “moderately advanced” case of CTE. “It’s my greatest hope that his death will not be in vain and through research his legacy will live on so others won’t have to suffer in the same way,” said Duerson’s son, Tregg.

‘™¦ At National Football Post, Joe Fortenbaugh has 10 burning questions from the NFL draft. Two of them involve the Patriots: Is Tom Brady pissed off after the team drafted Ryan Mallett? And, was it a reach to draft cornerback Ras-I Dowling 33rd overall?

‘™¦ Real Clear Sports has a list of 10 diminished sporting events. No. 1 is heavyweight boxing, followed by the World Series, the Kentucky Derby and the Indianapolis 500.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On May 3, 1999, which Red Sox player ripped a grand slam for his first hit in the major leagues during a loss to the A’s?

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Read More: Chris Douglas-Roberts, Dave Duerson, Osama bin Laden, Ras-I Dowling