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Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Ray Lewis continues bizarre defense of role in 2000 brawl that ended with 2 dead 10.22.15 at 8:07 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.

NFL: Seahawks at 49ers, 8:25 p.m. (CBS, NFL Network)
College football: Temple at East Carolina, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College football: Georgia Southern at Appalachian State, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College football: California at UCLA, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA preseason: Knicks at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA preseason: Warriors at Lakers, 10 p.m. (TNT)
Soccer: UEFA Europa, Borussia Dortmund at Qabala, 10:50 a.m. (FS1)
Soccer: UEFA Europa, Tottenham at Anderlecht, 1 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: UEFA Europa, Rubin Kazan at Liverpool, 3 p.m. (FS1)


Ray Lewis finally is talking about the 2000 brawl in Atlanta that ended with two men dead and the then-Ravens linebacker arrested — later to cut a deal and plead guilty to obstruction of justice, and settle with the victims’ families.

Lewis has been mostly quiet about the incident, and perhaps now we’re seeing why. Because his claims as to why he wasn’t involved in the fight are strange, to say the least.

It was reported Tuesday that in his forthcoming book, “I Feel Like Going On: Life, Game and Glory,” Lewis insists he wouldn’t have fought because he was dressed too nice (clothes that he apparently discarded and have never been found).

“Remember, I was dressed out, had my jewelry on, my fine mink coat,” Lewis writes (via “I wasn’t about to start mixing it up looking like that. That’s the general rule of thumb when you’re doing the town and looking good. The nicer you’re dressed, the less inclined you are to get in a fight — that is, if you’re even inclined in that way to begin with.”

On Wednesday, in an interview with ESPN, Lewis again asserted his innocence in the brawl, saying he had too much of a height advantage to mix it up with the “gangbangers” who approached his entourage.

“First of all, they’re 4 or 5 freaking inches shorter than me, right? Why would I fight somebody anyway,” the 6-foot-1 Lewis asked.

Lewis also claims the fallout after the killings had “nothing to do with me, but everything to do with my skin color and everything to do with my name.”

Lewis spent one night in prison — a night in which he said he cried at length and spoke to God. He also said guilt was not what drove him to enter into a settlement with the victims’ families.

“Guilt is only when you feel guilty and you say, ‘Listen, I’m gonna slide this to you because I really feel bad,’ ” he said. “I don’t feel bad about that because I sat there and spoke to both families and I said, ‘Listen, what I’m doing, this ain’t about me. This is about because you let somebody confuse my name.’ ”

— Minnesota coach Richard Pitino spoke out in support of his father Wednesday, insisting Rick Pitino had “zero knowledge” that a former Louisville staffer paid women to have sex with recruits and players in a school dorm.

“I know, and I told him this, ‘Put your head on the pillow at night and know that you did nothing wrong and that you certainly had no knowledge of this,’ ” Richard Pitino said Wednesday. “That’s the biggest thing that I’ve told him and tried to comfort him with.”

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Read More: John Tortorella, Ray Lewis, Rick Pitino,
Monday’s Morning Mashup: Ray Lewis calls out Patriots again, questions ‘integrity of this game’ 01.26.15 at 8:15 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NBA: Celtics at Jazz, 9 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Trail Blazers at Nets, 7:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
College basketball: Syracuse at North Carolina, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Delaware State at NC Central, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Army at American, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Texas at Iowa State, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Prairie View A&M at Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
Tennis: Australian Open, 9 p.m., 3 a.m. (ESPN2)


Ray Lewis is at it again, criticizing the Patriots and questioning their integrity.

Lewis, now an ESPN analyst after retiring from the Ravens, said during Sunday’s NFL Pro Bowl pregame show that the Patriots should have an asterisk for their alleged role in Deflategate.

“Every time we talk about the Patriots, you have the Patriots fans … you get all the talk about the jealous of them and all that. I won two Super Bowls, I’ve been Defensive Player of the Year, I’ve been MVP of the Super Bowl, I’ve went to New England and won … so I’€™m not jealous of them at all,” Lewis said.

“But the integrity of this game. Marshawn Lynch … the league clearly said to him, ‘If you come out of the tunnel with those shoes on, we will not only suspend you for this game, but we will suspend you for the Super Bowl.’ Now we’€™re back at another place where we let a team go into an AFC championship, and if it’s proven that they played with deflated balls … because if it’€™s not cheating, then the Colts should have had the same option to play with the same balls. So we’€™re at a place now where we’€™re going to celebrate an organization once again, put an asterisk by it, because they went into a championship game.

“The integrity of this game! That’€™s not the way you go into games trying to win football games.”

Lewis was criticized earlier this month when he claimed that the tuck rule is “the only reason we know who Tom Brady is.” He later issued a “clarification” in which he praised Brady’s accomplishments and called him “one of the all-time greats.”

— After reportedly failing another drug test, troubled Browns receiver Josh Gordon could face a one-year suspension from the league.

“Clearly we are very disappointed to hear the latest report regarding Josh,” the Browns said in a statement Sunday. “At this point, due to the confidential nature of the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, we have not been made aware by the league of a failed test. We are in the process of gathering more information and will provide further comment at the appropriate time.”

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Read More: alex rodriguez, Josh Gordon, Ray Lewis, Tom Brady
Monday’s Morning Mashup: Adrian Peterson reportedly in denial about NFL future 09.22.14 at 8:05 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NFL: Bears at Jets, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB: Pirates at Braves, 7:10 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Cardinals at Cubs, 8 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Giants at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m. (MLB)
NHL preseason: Devils at Rangers, 7 p.m. (NHL Network)


Adrian Peterson reportedly is in denial about his future — both this season and with the Vikings, who apparently plan to move on without the standout running back.

Peterson faces a child abuse charge for disciplining his 4-year-old by whipping him with a tree branch, leaving scars that lasted for more than a week. Peterson has acknowledged the whipping, saying that it was a form of discipline and that he did not intend to injure the boy.

Peterson tweeted Friday that he passed a lie detector test. According to ESPN, a team source said that’s another indication that he “really doesn’t get it.”

MASHUP POLL: How long should Adrian Peterson be suspended?

  • One season: He needs a year away from the game to change his mindset (52%, 227 Votes)
  • Forever: A guy like this should never be allowed to play in the NFL (23%, 100 Votes)
  • A few games: He should be punished, but his alleged crime is not as serious as the other incidents in the news (20%, 86 Votes)
  • No suspension: He didn't do anything worthy of being punished by the league (6%, 27 Votes)

Total Voters: 440

Loading ... Loading ...

The Vikings activated Peterson after he missed last Sunday’s game against the Patriots, but the team reversed course following an outpouring of criticism, placing him on the commissioner’s exempt list while he deals with his legal issues. Now the team, which continues to pay his $11.75 million salary, is said to be looking for ways to cut ties with Peterson.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said at his Friday press conference that players will be harshly punished for off-field violations including child abuse, and that apparently changed the Vikings’ expectations about Peterson’s return to the team.

Ray Lewis turned some heads with a comment he made during his appearance on ESPN’s “Sunday NFL Countdown” show while talking about former Ravens teammate Ray Rice, who was suspended indefinitely after video emerged of him knocking out his wife in a hotel elevator.

“Sometimes I think we get lost in trying to find out whose head to go after and who to attack now about what they didn’t do,” Lewis said. “Sometimes we forget why we’re here. We’re here for one reason and one reason only. We’re here for domestic violence. We’re here because we saw a friend of mine brutally hit his wife in an elevator. There’s some things you can cover up and then there’s some things you can’t.”

Lewis, of course, faced a murder charge in 2000 but had the charges dropped as part of a deal in which he testified against two co-defendants and pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice.

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Read More: Adrian Peterson, Ray Lewis, Ray Rice, Rob Bironas
Monday’s Morning Mashup: Knicks’ J.R. Smith guarantees title, warns Paul Pierce of ‘consequences’ for talk 09.02.13 at 7:48 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Tigers at Red Sox, 1:35 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: White Sox at Yankees, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Marlins at Cubs, 2:10 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Orioles at Indians, 4 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Rays at Angels, 9 p.m. (MLB Network)
College football: Florida State at Pittsburgh, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Tennis: U.S. Open, 11 a.m. (CBS), 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
Golf: Deutsche Bank Championship, 11:30 a.m. (TGC), 1 p.m. (NBC)


‘€¢ Knicks guard J.R. Smith brushed off Paul Pierce‘s comments about the Nets becoming New York’s team and guaranteed a title this season for his club.

“I’m 100 percent sure,” the 2013 NBA Sixth Man of the Year said when asked about the Knicks ending their championship drought.

Smith, speaking at a charity event in New York over the weekend, said that despite the loss of some key players, the Knicks are positioned to make a run at the team’s first title since 1973.

“I feel comfortable,” he said. “People ruled us out last year early, too. We added some great pieces. Unfortunately, we got rid of some good pieces. But we added Andrea [Bargnani], Beno [Udrih], Metta [World Peace]. We have to consistently play like we did the first 20 games last year the whole season. We can’€™t have a middle-of-season lapse. We have to consistently play the same way.”

As for Pierce, Smith said the former Celtic doesn’t know what he’s talking about when he says the Nets can be the city’s top team. Pierce also said last month that his hatred for the Knicks has “grown to another level” since he was traded to Brooklyn.

“I just look at him as a bitter person just getting out of Boston,” Smith said. “He doesn’t really know what New York is all about. He’s been playing in Boston his whole career.”

Added Smith: “He just knows, just know that his words have consequences and he’s going to have to pay for them.”

‘€¢ The University of Georgia had injury added to insult when it was confirmed that receiver Malcolm Mitchell tore his ACL celebrating a touchdown by a teammate during the fifth-ranked Bulldogs’ 38-35 loss to No. 8 Clemson on Saturday.

Mitchell, the team’s top returning receiver, leaped to celebrate with Todd Gurley following the running back’s 75-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.

“He went to congratulate his teammate and I think they jumped up and chest-bumped or whatever and it ended up that he landed in a bad way,” Georgia coach Mark Richt told reporters in a conference call Sunday. “So he knew something happened.”

Mitchell is slated to have season-ending surgery soon and will apply for a medical redshirt so that he can retain two more years of eligibility.

Here’s the video, in which Mitchell (26) doesn’t appear to do anything out of the ordinary.

‘€¢ Super Bowl XLVII is remembered in part for a half-hour delay caused by a power outage, which preceded a 49ers rally before the Ravens held on for 34-31 victory. Ray Lewis isn’t convinced it was an accident.

“I’m not gonna accuse nobody of nothing — because I don’t know facts,” the recently retired Ravens linebacker told NFL Films, via USA Today. “But you’re a zillion-dollar company, and your lights go out? No. [Laughs] No way.

“Now listen, if you grew up like I grew up — and you grew up in a household like I grew up — then sometimes your lights might go out, because times get hard. I understand that. But you cannot tell me somebody wasn’t sitting there and when they say, ‘The Ravens [are] about to blow them out. Man, we better do something.’ … That’s a huge shift in any game, in all seriousness. And as you see how huge it was because it let them right back in the game.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Sept. 2, 2001, with Yankees pitcher Mike Mussina one strike away from a perfect game, which Red Sox pinch-hitter singled to center field?

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Read More: J.R. Smith, Malcolm Mitchell, Paul Pierce, Ray Lewis
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Pacers angry about Heat’s aggressive play heading into Game 2 05.24.13 at 8:03 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.

MLB: Indians at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Yankees at Rays, 7 p.m. (MLB NEtwork)
MLB: Cubs at Reds, 7:10 p.m. (WGN)
NHL playoffs: Senators at Penguins, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA playoffs: Pacers at Heat, 8:30 p.m. (TNT)


‘™¦ The Pacers were frustrated after their Game 1 of their series vs. the Heat on Wednesday and it wasn’t just because they lost in overtime. Indiana players weren’t happy with some aggressive/dirty play by Miami, and they let their feelings be known.

Shane Battier was the primary target of the complaints, in part due to one play on which he drove on Roy Hibbert and kneed the Pacers center in the groin area, earning an offensive foul.

Tweeted Hibbert: U can knee or kick me every time u drive 2the rim. I’ll be there 2protect the rim. That wasn’t inadvertent. Battier knew what he was doing.

Battier also scuffled with Tyler Hansbrough, at one point appearing to throw an elbow while the two were battling for a rebound.

Meanwhile, Pacers coach Frank Vogel insisted his team took plenty of positives from the heartbreaking loss as they prepare for Friday night’s Game 2.

“Very encouraged,” he said. “Our belief in our ability to beat this team has strengthened after Game 1. Our familiarity in the playoffs, in the playoff series grows with each day, grows with each game, and there’s a lot of things we can definitely do better.”

‘™¦ Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez didn’t impress much with his three-interception effort at Wednesday’s OTAs, and now comes a report from CBS Sports’ Mike Freeman that Sanchez’ teammates are ready to move on. An unidentified Jet estimated that 80-90 percent of the team wants someone else taking snaps.

“Everyone on the team likes Mark personally, but there’s a general feeling among some of the players that maybe it’s time to give someone else a chance,” the player said.

‘™¦ Retired Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis announced plans to climb Mount Kilimanjaro — the world’s tallest freestanding mountain at more than 19,000 feet above sea level — next month to raise awareness for clean water projects in East Africa.

“I am so FIRED UP for this adventure, but until then, I need your help to bring clean water wells to thousands of children and families,” Lewis said in a statement.

The 38-year-old Lewis will be an NFL analyst for ESPN this season.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On May 24, 1988, a power outage forced the suspension of Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals between the Bruins and Oilers at 16:37 of the second period with the score tied at 3. Which Oilers player set a record when he opened the game by scoring the quickest goal in finals history, 10 seconds into the game?

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Read More: Mark Sanchez, Ray Lewis, Roy Hibbert, Shane Battier
Ravens plan to build Ray Lewis statue 02.08.13 at 8:42 am ET
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Less than a week after his final game, the Ravens are planning to build a statue of Ray Lewis, Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said Thursday.

Bisciotti said he doesn’t know where the statue would be built, but that it could be in progress soon.

“I think he set himself apart in Baltimore sports history,” Bisciotti said, “and we will certainly look into it and I would not be surprised if there is one there in the next year or two.”

Lewis, a two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and a 12-time Pro Bowl linebacker, has no plans to come back as part of the coaching staff, according to Baltimore coach John Harbaugh.

“I have asked him, but he’s not interested,” Harbaugh said.

Read More: Baltimore Ravens, Ray Lewis,
Ray Lewis’ son signs with Miami 02.07.13 at 8:15 am ET
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Despite having an NCAA investigation hanging over the program, the University of Miami football team landed a strong class of recruits on national signing day Wednesday. Among the new players is the son of retiring Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis.

Ray Lewis III , a 5-foot-9 athlete (college position unclear) who scored 93 touchdowns as a running back at Lake Mary Prep in suburban Orlando, follows his father and mother to Miami.

“It’s almost overwhelming to try to understand what I’m feeling as a father,” Lewis said. “You have to keep your emotions in because it’s the unreal part about it, that I walked two days from retiring and winning a Super Bowl to walking in and seeing my son following me to my alma mater. Who writes a storybook ending like that?”

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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Kevin Youkilis finally responds to new Yankees teammate Joba Chamberlain 02.06.13 at 8:02 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 Canadiens, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: Celtics at Raptors, 7 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Spurs at Timberwolves, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: UConn at St. John’s, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Marquette at South Florida, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Minnesota at Michigan State, 7 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Baylor at Oklahoma State, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Saint Louis at Fordham, 8 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Iowa at Wisconsin, 9 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Kansas at TCU, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Stanford at Arizona, 9 p.m. (ESPNews)
College basketball: Colorado State at Nevada, 10 p.m. (CBSSN)


‘™¦ Joba Chamberlain said Tuesday that new Yankees teammate Kevin Youkilis finally responded to the pitcher’s December voicemail, answering with a text message, although Chamberlain wouldn’t reveal what the message said, indicating he wants to minimize the issue.

“I don’t want him to have to talk about [the feud],” Chamberlain said. “He’s going to have enough to worry about over here. He’s really the only acquisition we’ve made as of now.”

Added Chamberlain: “We’re two grown men. We’re playing on the same team and our one goal is to win. I hope he came over here for that, and I would assume he came over here for that. ‘€¦ I’m glad to have him on our side.”

Chamberlain and Youkilis famously feuded when they were on opposite sides of the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry, with Chamberlain making a habit out of throwing pitches in the direction of Youk’s head.

Chamberlain reached out to Youkilis after the free agent agreed to a one-year deal to fill in for Alex Rodriguez at third base, and the pitcher seemed annoyed when Youk was slow in responding. Now Chamberlain seems ready to move forward when they meet up at spring training.

“We’ll hug it out,” Chamberlain said.

‘™¦ Baltimore held a parade Tuesday to welcome home the Super Bowl champion Ravens, and an estimated 200,000 purple-clad fans turned out for the event.

“The city of Baltimore — I love you for ever and ever and ever and ever,” the retiring Ray Lewis told fans in front of City Hall, where the players loaded into military vehicles for a ride to M&T Bank Stadium to greet a capacity crowd.

At the stadium, the team held a short ceremony that was highlighted by Lewis doing his “Squirrel” dance.

‘™¦ Ray Lewis might have been the star Tuesday, but he was a bit player in the Super Bowl, according to an ex-teammate.

Trevor Pryce, who was a defensive lineman for the Ravens from 2006 until 2010, questioned Lewis’ play during a radio interview with Jim Rome.

“I think he played with a case of the nerves. I think he had the yips. I really do,” Pryce said. “He had it bad. He didn’t look like himself, even his new self. That guy’s gone, that guy’s named Patrick Willis. But even the guy he was last week, he wasn’t that guy. He had a case of it bad, badly. It was almost like he was just hoping, ‘Let’s get this over with.’ ”

Although Lewis led all players with 51 tackles in the postseason, he struggled in coverage on 49ers tight end Vernon Davis on Sunday.

“Half of his check should go to [fellow Ravens linebacker] Dannell Ellerbe for making that last play on that last fade route,” Pryce said. “The other half to Greg Roman, the 49ers offensive coordinator.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Feb. 6, 1988, Larry Bird won the 3-point competition during All-Star Weekend in Chicago, famously holding his right index finger in the air before his final shot went through the net to clinch the victory. Which player did Bird beat for the title?

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Read More: joba chamberlain, kevin youkilis, Ray Lewis, Trevor Pryce
Monday’s Morning Mashup: Ray Lewis blames ‘system’ for failing to investigate double murder 02.04.13 at 8:04 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NHL: Stars at Avalanche, 9 p.m. (NBCSN)
College hockey: Beanpot, Boston University vs. Northeastern, 5 p.m. (NESN)
College hockey: Beanpot, Boston College vs. Harvard, 8 p.m. (NESN)
NBA: Kings at Jazz, 9 p.m. (NBATV)
College basketball: Notre Dame at Syracuse, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Oklahoma at Iowa State, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: George Mason at Old Dominion, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: Seton Hall at Pittsburgh, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Texas at West Virginia, 9 p.m. (ESPN)


‘™¦ Ray Lewis ended his career a champion Sunday night when his Ravens held off the 49ers to win the Super Bowl, but the tarnish on his legacy remains. During an interview with CBS’ Shannon Sharpe that aired during the pregame show, Lewis addressed the controversy surrounding his role in a double murder outside an Atlanta nightclub in 2000.

Lewis, who pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and testified against two companions who were eventually acquitted, claimed “the system” needed to better investigate the case.

“It’€™s simple,” Lewis said when asked what he would say to the victims’ families. “God has never made a mistake. That’€™s just who He is, you see. And if our system — it’€™s the sad thing about our system — if our system took the time to really investigate what happened 13 years ago, maybe they would have got to the bottom line truth. But the saddest thing ever was that a man looked me in my face and told me, ‘€˜We know you didn’€™t do this, but you’€™re going down for it anyway.’€™ To the family, if you knew, if you really knew the way God works, he don’€™t use people who commits anything like that for His glory. No way. It’€™s the total opposite.”

After the interview, Sharpe told fellow hosts that the fact Lewis had come so far “is a testament to how this man has transformed his life,” and he got defensive when fellow host Boomer Esiason questioned Lewis’ “complex” issues.

“How is it complex?” Sharpe demanded to know from Esiason.

Responded Esiason: “He was involved in a double murder and I’€™m not so sure he gave us all the answers we were looking for,” Esiason said. “He knows what went on there. He can obviously just come out and say it. He doesn’€™t want to say it. He paid off the families — I get all that, that’€™s fine. But that doesn’€™t take away from who he is as a football player. I appreciate you going down there and asking him that direct question. I’m not so sure I buy the answer.”

‘™¦ ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Sunday that the Jets still are looking to trade Tim Tebow, but there isn’t any interest. New York is asking for a mid- to late-round draft pick, but apparently other teams have no confidence in Tebow’s ability to lead a team.

Said one NFL general manager: “I think his career is over without playing another position.”

‘™¦ The family of Muhammad Ali denied a report that the boxing legend was near death and posted a photo of him sitting in a chair wearing a Ray Lewis T-shirt. Daughter May May Ali said her father was watching the Super Bowl at home in Arizona.

Ali, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, turned 71 on Jan. 17. A British tabloid quoted his brother Rahman, who acknowledged having no contact with the family since last summer, as saying Ali was in bad health.

“He’s fine, in fact he was talking well this morning,” May May Ali said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. “These rumors pop up every once in a while, but there’s nothing to them.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Feb. 4, 1990, which Bruin became the 32nd goaltender in NHL history with 200 victories following a 3-2 victory over the Quebec Nordiques?

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Read More: Muhammad Ali, Ray Lewis, Tim Tebow,
SWATS owner Mitch Ross discusses Ray Lewis controversy on M&M: ‘The education’s not there’ 01.31.13 at 12:49 pm ET
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Mitch Ross, owner of the SWATS supplement company that allegedly provided Ray Lewis with a deer-antler spray that contains the banned substance IGF-1, joined Mut & Merloni on Thursday to talk about this week’s Sports Illustrated story that put him in the spotlight.

“You know what I’ve learned about print media, media in general? They do their best to destroy whatever they find that is good,” said Ross, who added that he plans to travel to New Orleans and hold a press conference Friday. “They say antler velvet doesn’t have IGF-1 in it. Then they say it does. Either it does or it doesn’t. Which is it? Well, we know it does. Should athletes be able to use natural things to recover their body, or should they do it the Lance Armstrong way, or the Barry Bonds way. Which way should they do it? The government, the Mitchell Report, wanted alternatives and education — alternatives, that’s what this is. That’s what my company is all about, providing alternative performance enhancing. And do you think I got to this stage by lying, giving things that don’t work?”

Ross insisted that the deer-antler spray he sells does not deserve the bad name it’s getting. He agreed that HGH should be banned by the NFL, “in its synthetic form, absolutely.” But he compared his product to getting IGF-1 from eating venison.

“If you eat steak you get creatine in steak. ‘€¦ It’s the same exact process,” he said. “They couldn’t ban it. It’s a naturally occurring substance. That’s the whole problem here, where you cross hairs with synthetic and natural. That’s the problem. The education’s not there.”

Ross said he worked with then-Devil Rays first baseman Carlos Pena in 2009 after his product was tested and cleared.

“[MLBPA assistant general counsel] Bob Lenaghan tested this in 2009 for Carlos Pena. I worked with Pena in 2009. Lenaghan says, ‘Fine, use it.’ In 2010 1/2-11, they banned it. I’m currently suing the Major League Baseball Players Association as we speak.”

To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

Read More: Mitch Ross, Ray Lewis,