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Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Broncos exec John Elway says Peyton Manning not getting enough credit 01.16.14 at 8:04 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.

NHL: Bruins at Stars, 8:30 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Kings at Blues, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: Nets vs. Hawks, 3 p.m. (NBATV)
NBA: Knicks at Pacers, 7 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Thunder at Rockets, 9:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Providence at St. John’s, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: UConn at Memphis, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Missouri at Vanderbilt, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Houston at Louisville, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Belmont at Eastern Kentucky, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Ohio State at Minnesota, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Arizona State at Arizona, 9 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: BYU at San Francisco, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Long Beach State at UC Santa Barbara, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)
Tennis: Australian Open, 11 p.m. (ESPN2)


John Elway, the Broncos legend who now serves as the team’s executive vice president of football operations, knows a thing or two about trying to win a championship to secure a legacy.

However, Elway — who quarterbacked the Broncos to two Super Bowl wins at the end of his illustrious career — says Peyton Manning shouldn’t have to beat Tom Brady‘s Patriots in Sunday’s AFC championship game and win a second Super Bowl to prove anything.

“He’s won a Super Bowl,” Elway said of Manning. “For some reason he doesn’t seem to get the credit for having won one Super Bowl already. I think maybe the comparison is Tom going to five and Peyton having been to two and winning one, that may be it.”

Added Elway: “There is no question, having been through that, I understand where Peyton is. He doesn’€™t have the monkey that he hasn’€™t won one. He has been there two times and won one. This is all about at this point in time trying to win a Super Bowl and then what that does for the organization as well as it just adds to Peyton’€™s legacy and where he is.”

Brady has a 10-4 record vs. Manning, including a 2-1 mark in the postseason. With the 2013 Broncos setting NFL records for the most prolific offense ever, it’s put added pressure on Manning to deliver a title.

“Fair or not, that’€™s the way it is,” Elway said. “As a quarterback, especially the level you’€™re at with Peyton, that’€™s what they are going to look at. If we can win a championship this year, it’€™s going to help with Peyton’€™s legacy. Even if we don’€™t, I think the year that he’€™s had this year is going to still help with his legacy. He’€™s had a tremendous year. For some reason, Peyton is not getting the credit — he’€™s been there twice and he got one. You get to the point where Peyton is, the greatness that he’€™s had, there is always someone trying to put chinks in the armor and that’€™s what they go after.”

– Lakers guard Nick Young was ejected from Wednesday’s 121-114 loss to the Suns in Phoenix for throwing a punch during a second-quarter fracas. After being hit in the face by rookie center Alex Len while going in for a layup, Young shoved Len and then swing at guard Goran Dragic‘s face. Len also was ejected.

“I just reacted and got caught up in the moment. Like anyone would have,” Young said. “It was a tough foul.”

Young also wasn’t pleased with his own team, as no one came to his defense.

“What I’m mad about is it was 1-on-5,” Young said. “I felt like if someone would have gotten in the middle of everything it wouldn’t have escalated as much. I felt bad for Dragic. He was right there. I didn’t throw [a] punch. I was trying to shove people out of my way. I was getting pushed further back. It was more trying to get out.”

– A Little League coach in California is suing one of his own players because the player threw his helmet while celebrating a home run and it hit the coach in the heel.

“At first I thought it was a joke,” the boy’s father, Joe Paris, told KCRA-TV. “Now I think it’s absurd.”

Alan Beck, who coached a Lakeside Little League team in Roseville (outside Sacramento), filed papers that the boy “carelessly threw a helmet, striking Plaintiff’s Achilles tendon and tearing it.”

Beck is seeking $500,000 for pain and suffering, and more than $100,000 for lost wages and medical bills.

“I don’t think the boy meant to harm him,” acknowledged Beck’s attorney, Gene Goldsman. “But this wasn’t a part of the game. A guy who volunteers his time to coach should not be subjected to someone who throws a helmet in the manner that he did. What the kid did, it crossed the line.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Jan. 16, 1974, which Bruin became the eighth player in NHL history to record 450 goals when he scored in a 5-5 tie with the Blackhawks in Chicago?

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Read More: John Elway, Nick Young, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady
Top Boston Sports Stories of 2013, No. 5: Patriots lose to Ravens in AFC championship game 12.28.13 at 9:24 am ET
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Over the final days of the year, WEEI.com will count down the top 13 stories of 2013 in Boston sports. This is No. 5: Patriots lose to Ravens in AFC championship game. To see the previous entries, click here.

The 2012-13 postseason looked like the Patriots’ opportunity for redemption.

One year after New England lost the Super Bowl to the Giants for the second time in five seasons, the path to Super Bowl XLVII looked relatively unobstructed. The Patriots blew away the competition in the regular season, as they finished 11-1 vs. the AFC (12-4 overall) and finished first in the AFC East for the fourth consecutive season.

After a first-round bye, the Pats began the postseason with a 41-28 trouncing of the Texans at Gillette Stadium.

More good news came when the Ravens stunned the top-seeded Broncos in overtime in Denver, meaning the Patriots would host the AFC championship game. The bad news? The game was against Baltimore, the one AFC team that beat the Patriots in the regular season.

The Ravens and Patriots faced off in the AFC championship game on Jan. 20 and Baltimore emerged victorious, 28-13, ending the Patriots’€™ hopes of their first NFL title since the 2004 season.

“They made more plays than we did,” wide receiver Wes Welker said after the game. “At the end, it just wasn’t enough for us. That’s the way it goes.”

“We’ve lost before. It takes a while to get over,” quarterback Tom Brady said.

Baltimore used a dominant second half to upset the Patriots. New England led 13-7 in the first half. Stephen Gostkowski kicked field goals of 25 and 31 yards, and Welker and Brady hooked up for a 1-yard touchdown pass. On the other side, Ray Rice scored a rushing touchdown from two yards out.

But the Ravens shut out the Patriots in the second half, while exploding for 21 points. Joe Flacco threw three touchdowns, the first to Dennis Pitta and the final two to Anquan Boldin, and the defense forced three fourth-quarter turnovers. Brady tossed a pair of interceptions and Stevan Ridley lost a fumble.

“It was pretty awesome,” said Flacco, who outplayed his counterpart, completing 21-of-36 passes for 240 yards and three touchdowns. “We were here last year and thought we had it, but came up a little short. Guys came out in the second half and made plays. … We put pressure on them like that, and it worked pretty well.”

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Read More: Anquan Boldin, Boston Sports Stories of the Year 2013, Dennis Pitta, Joe Flacco
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 WEEI.com 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: Jets fan who hit female Patriots fan ID’d as ex-con who killed man 10.22.13 at 8:07 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.

NHL: Predators at Wild, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA preseason: Wizards at Pistons, 7:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA preseason: Jazz at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
College football: Louisiana-Lafayette at Arkansas State, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Barcelona at AC Milan, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)


‘€¢ The Jets fan who was caught on videotape punching a female Patriots fan in the face was identified as an ex-con from New York named Kurt Paschke.

The New York Daily News reported that Paschke, 38, served three years in prison in the 1990s for fatally stabbing another man in 1992 outside a pizza parlor. Both Paschke and the victim were 17 at the time.

An unidentified relative of stabbing victim Henri Ferrer told the paper that Paschke’s father is a Long Island-area policeman.

“He’s dangerous and he thinks he’s untouchable because he’s the son of a police officer,” the relative said. “He got away with murder.”

Added Ferrer’s father: “Anybody else would probably get arrested for that fight [at the Jets game]. As far as I’m concerned, he should spend quite a few years in jail. That’s what he deserves.”

In the video that made the rounds on the Internet Monday, Paschke is seen punching a woman the Daily News identified as Boston-area resident Jaclyn Nugent.

Paschke’s mother claims her son, who has Jets season tickets, was protecting her during the fight at MetLife Stadium. She blamed the Patriots fans for antagonizing them throughout the game and starting the brawl.

“He’s the victim, really,” Colleen Paschke said. “He was just concerned for his mother and himself.”

‘€¢ A Forbes magazine poll of 1,100 people 13 and older determined that Eagles quarterback Michael Vick remains the most disliked NFL player, while Patriots QB Tom Brady checks in at No. 8.

Vick, who was released from prison four years ago after serving 19 months for his role in a dog-fighting ring, was named by 53 percent of respondents to finish 5 percentage points ahead of Chargers rookie linebacker Manti Te’o, the Heisman Trophy runner-up from Notre Dame who was involved in a bizarre story involving a fictitious girlfriend. Next on the list is oft-penalized Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh at 43 percent.

The rest of the top 10 consists of Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger (40 percent), injured Jets QB Mark Sanchez (40), Bears QB Jay Cutler (33), Cowboys QB Tony Romo (32), Brady (25), Cardinals QB Carson Palmer (24) and Lions running back Reggie Bush (22).

‘€¢ New 76ers coach Brett Brown said Monday that he doubts first-round draft pick Nerlens Noel will play at all this season. Noel, who hails from Everett, tore his ACL during his lone season at Kentucky. Four months later, he was drafted sixth overall by Philadelphia, which apparently is willing to be patient.

“I doubt, everybody doubts that he’s going to play this year,” Brown said. “We don’t want to waste this year. I think from a skill perspective, it’s an opportunity for us to break down his shot, really work on his free throws and start a little bit from ground zero.”

Noel’s agent, Andy Miller, insisted Noel’s plans are undetermined for this season.

“There have been no decisions made at this time,” Miller said. “He has been doing his rehab vigorously.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Oct. 22, 1975, the Red Sox lost Game 7 of the 1975 World Series to the Reds, 4-3 [Editor's note: corrected score]. Which rookie pitcher surrendered the game-winning run in the top of the ninth?

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Read More: Manti Te'o, michael vick, Nerlens Noel, Tom Brady
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Ravens LB Terrell Suggs doesn’t like Tom Brady’s ‘smug attitude’ 10.02.13 at 7:48 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.

MLB playoffs: Rays at Indians, 8 p.m. (TBS; WEEI-FM)
NHL: Sabres at Red Wings, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: UEFA Champions League, Manchester United vs. Shakhtar Donetsk, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)


‘€¢ Terrell Suggs is at it again. The Ravens linebacker, who has a long history of criticizing the Patriots, was interviewed recently for an ESPN “E:60″ feature that aired Tuesday night, and he didn’t hold back when discussing his disdain for Tom Brady.

“I don’t like him. He don’t like me,” Suggs said, as part of the same interview in which he accused NFL commissioner Roger Goodell of orchestrating the power outage during last season’s Super Bowl in an attempt to take away momentum from Baltimore. “I don’t like his hair. I don’t know. I don’t like his smug attitude. But then again, he probably doesn’t like my [expletive] attitude. ‘€¦ Everybody just seems to worship the guy, not me, though.”

Suggs was at his most obnoxious following the Ravens’ victory over the Patriots in the AFC championship game in January. The following month, he said that he “guarantees the other 31 teams hate the New England Patriots.”

The Ravens, off to a 2-2 start, host the Patriots in the penultimate week of the season.

‘€¢ Canadiens enforcer George Parros suffered a concussion in Tuesday’s season-opening loss to the visiting Maple Leafs when his chin hit the ice as he and Colton Orr lost their balance during a fight.

Parros was motionless on the ice for several minutes before being taken off on a stretcher and going to the hospital. He later tweeted: Thanks for the well wishes everyone #classyfollowers

“You never want to see a guy get hurt like that,” Orr said. “It was a scary situation. I just hope he’s all right.

“It happened fast. I slipped, and he came on top of me. The ice isn’t going to give.”

The incident revived the debate about fighting in hockey.

“I don’t think saying because a player got hurt in a fight that now we have to talk about taking fight away,” Canadiens defenseman Josh Gorges said. “I bet that if you ask George, he’ll be the first to agree with me on that one, too.”

‘€¢ Former NFL quarterback Bernie Kosar was arrested for DUI on Sunday in Solon, Ohio, and he blamed football injuries for his inability to perform parts of a field sobriety test.

According to the arresting officer, Kosar said he could not perform the one-leg stand or walk-and-turn tests because of surgeries on his knees and ankles due to the fact that his offensive line “couldn’t block.”

Kosar, 49, is due in court for a pretrial hearing on Dec. 9. He previously has blamed head injuries from his NFL career for affecting his speech and making him slur his words on occasion. He also battled an addiction to pain medication.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Oct. 2, 1978, the Red Sox lost to the Yankees, 5-4, in a playoff game to decide the American League East champion. Who was the losing pitcher for the Sox?

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Read More: Bernie Kosar, Colton Orr, George Parros, Terrell Suggs
Ex-Pats QB Brian Hoyer to start again for Browns 09.25.13 at 2:03 pm ET
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After leading the lowly Browns to their first win of the season on Sunday, former Patriots quarterback Brian Hoyer will start again at home against the Bengals on Sunday.

Hoyer defeated the Vikings, 31-27, in his second career NFL start to move Cleveland to 1-2. Hoyer passed for 321 yards and three touchdowns with three interceptions.

However, Browns coach Rob Chudzinski did not commit to Hoyer as the team’€™s starter for future weeks.

“We’ll just approach it from a week-to-week basis and see where everybody’s at and we’ll make the best decision for what I determine gives us the best chance to win,” said Chudzinski.

Hoyer started in place of Brandon Weeden, who sat out with an injured thumb.

The six-year pro spent his first three seasons backing up Tom Brady in New England. He played in 13 total games, often coming in in blowouts. Hoyer signed with the Cardinals late last season and started in Arizona’€™s final game of the season, throwing for 225 yards and a touchdown along with an interception against the 49ers.

Hoyer reportedly heard from Brady after his first career start.

Read More: Brian Hoyer, Tom Brady,
Former Patriots quarterback Brian Hoyer to start for Browns 09.18.13 at 11:08 am ET
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Former Patriots backup quarterback Brian Hoyer will receive his second career regular-season start this week when the Browns take on the Vikings in Minnesota.

The Browns (0-2) picked Hoyer, a Cleveland native, over fellow backup Jason Campbell after starter Brandon Weeden sprained his thumb in the Browns’€™ 16-14 loss to the Ravens.

Hoyer, 27, served as backup to Tom Brady between 2009 and 2011. He played in 13 games for the Pats, all in relief, and accumulated 273 passing yards on 27-of-43 passing with a touchdown and an interception.

Hoyer played two games last season with the Cardinals. He replaced starter Ryan Lindley in the second half of Arizona’€™s Week 16 loss to the Bears. Hoyer went 11-for-19 with 105 yards and an interception in the team’€™s 28-13 loss.

In the season finale the following week, he became the fourth Cardinals quarterback to start a game in 2012. Hoyer played well in his first career start, a 27-13 loss to the 49ers. He completed 19-of-34 passes for 225 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

Sunday will be Hoyer’€™s first regular-season action of 2013. He started Week 4 of the preseason and threw for 307 yards and one touchdown, but he also had a pair of interceptions.

Read More: Brandon Weeden, Brian Hoyer, Jason Campbell, Ryan Lindley
Titans DB Bernard Pollard fined $42K for hit to head at 11:03 am ET
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Titans safety and noted Patriots villian Bernard Pollard was fined $42,000 by the NFL for his hit Sunday that concussed Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson. On the play, Pollard led with his shoulder but contacted the defenseless receiver’s head. He was not penalized by the on-field officials.

The eight-year pro tweeted his fine this morning, writing:

So @nfl said I did “everything right” but 42k later I still get fined. Wow! It’s called football but they want 2 hand touch. #TitanUp#

In Tennessee’€™s first two games, Pollard has 15 tackles and one interception.

He also was fined $10,000 for a late hit out of bounds in Tennessee’s first preseason game.

Pollard is infamous in New England for his role in a number of key injuries and plays.

As a member of the Chiefs, Pollard delivered the low hit that tore Tom Brady‘€™s ACL in 2008. The then-Texan was preparing to tackle wide receiver Wes Welker when Welker’€™s knee gave out, resulting in a torn ACL during the 2009 season. With the Ravens, his tackle on Rob Gronkowski in the 2012 AFC championship game led to a severe ankle sprain that hampered Gronkowski in New England’€™s Super Bowl XLVI loss to the Giants. And in last season’€™s AFC championship game, Pollard knocked Stevan Ridley out of the game with a brutal hit to the head that also forced a decisive turnover.

Fortunately for the Patriots, the Titans are not on the regular-season schedule this year.

Read More: Bernard Pollard, rob gronkowski, Stevan Ridley, Tom Brady
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Tiger Woods regains top spot on Forbes’ highest-paid ranking; Tom Brady 11th 06.06.13 at 7:53 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.

MLB: Rangers at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Rays at Tigers, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA playoffs: Spurs at Heat, 9 p.m. (ABC)
NHL playoffs: Blackhawks at Kings, 9 p.m. (NBCSN)


‘™¦ One year after being dethroned from the top spot in Forbes magazine’s list of the 100 highest-paid athletes in the world, Tiger Woods regained his lofty ranking. Woods had been No. 1 from 2001 through 2012, but boxer Floyd Mayweather was on top last year.

Woods is estimated to have made $78.1 million over the last year through prize money, endorsements, appearance fees and golf course design work. His winnings totaled $13.1 million, double his prize money from the previous year.

Following Woods on the list is tennis player Roger Federer ($71.5 million), NBA stars Kobe Bryant ($61.9 million) and LeBron James ($59.8 million), and quarterbacks Drew Brees ($51 million) and Aaron Rodgers ($49 million).

Boston is represented by Tom Brady (11th at $38.3 million) and Paul Pierce (82nd at $18.8 million).

‘™¦ Incoming Rutgers athletic director Julie Hermann met the media Wednesday and acknowledged that her job got more difficult following allegations that she was an abusive coach close to two decades ago.

“I believe it is going to be a tough challenge,” Hermann said. “Has it been made harder? No doubt. Am I going to have to work double-time to connect with the people who are passionate about Rutgers? I am.”

Hermann admitted that she considered withdrawing from the job.

“Who wouldn’t?” she said. “But the truth is, I was interested in this job because I believe that Rutgers is truly a special place that is so uniquely positioned to do something great.

“I’€™ll go to the mat. I’€™ll deal with it, I’€™ll put up with it. I’€™ll deal with a national embarrassment.”

After previously claiming she had no recollection of a meeting with her volleyball players at Tennessee in 1996 in which they criticized her aggressive style, Hermann tried to spin things Wednesday, claiming that the situation makes her the right person to clean up the mess left by former Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice, who repeatedly abused his players in practices.

“What I would say about that is that it was a difficult time,” Hermann said. “There were so many things going on with the team, and when you’€™re a young coach you may not be equipped to manage a lot of what we were managing as a team at that time.”

Added Hermann: “So, that lesson of 17 years ago was honestly part of why I felt I was not only very qualified but uniquely qualified.”

‘™¦ Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith will miss Game 4 of the Western Conference finals after being suspended for his one-handed high stick to the head of Kings forward Jeff Carter during Tuesday’s Game 3 in Los Angeles. The retaliation move left Carter with a 20-inch gash on his face and three cracked teeth.

Keith, who attempted to apologize to Carter on the ice, met with the NHL’s department of player safety Wednesday.

“I said my piece,” Keith said. “Said the same thing [Tuesday] night, that it was an accident, and I didn’t mean to get him where I got him.”

At Wednesday’s practice, Carter chose to focus on tying the series.

“There’s bigger things to worry about right now,” he said. “We’re in a fight here, down two games to one. I don’t think that’s on our minds.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On June 6, 1977, which pitcher won his 100th game with the Red Sox?

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Read More: Duncan Keith, Julie Hermann, Tiger Woods, Tom Brady
Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Steelers’ Ryan Clark predicts problems for Patriots, Tom Brady 05.07.13 at 8:01 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.

NBA playoffs: Pacers at Knicks, 7 p.m. (TNT)
NBA playoffs: Grizzlies at Thunder, 9:30 p.m. (TNT)
NHL playoffs: Canadiens at Senators, 7 p.m. (CNBC)
NHL playoffs: Penguins at Islanders, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL playoffs: Canadiens at Senators, 7 p.m. (CNBC)
NHL playoffs: Blackhawks at Wild, 9:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL playoffs: Canucks at Sharks, 10 p.m. (CNBC)
Hockey World Championships: United States vs. Russia, 1 p.m. (NBCSN)
MLB: Twins at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Tigers at Nationals, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Cardinals at Cubs, 8 p.m. (WGN)


‘™¦ Steelers safety Ryan Clark, no stranger to Patriots bulletin boards, offered his analysis of the New England offense during an appearance on ESPN’s “NFL Live” Monday and said Tom Brady‘s job got a lot more difficult this offseason.

“I think what’€™s really underestimated is Wes Welker‘€™s importance to not only the New England Patriots, but Tom Brady,” Clark said. “A lot of what they do is timing. A lot of what they do is option reads, when you’€™re working inside against that nickel back or against those linebackers. Losing him is huge.

“I know they think Danny Amendola can come in and have the same type of numbers he had with the Rams, but we also have to remember, he’€™s fragile. He’€™s not a guy who has completed a whole season, especially playing inside in what can be a physical AFC East. You also think about [Rob] Gronkowski and the injury; that is going to be bigger than anything for the New England Patriots coming in this year. Also Aaron Hernandez.”

Clark also took a shot at Brady, insisting that the veteran QB can be rattled by pressure.

‘€œIn 2010, we saw it start with the Jets in the playoffs. When Tom Brady gets pressure and when you’€™re man-to-man and bumping those guys and making it hard for him to throw, he sees ghosts,” Clark said. “Even when guys aren’€™t around him, even when he’€™s not about to be sacked, when his clock goes off in his head that the ball should be out, we’€™ll see him duck, we’€™ll see him flinch. When you get Tom Brady doing that, the whole New England Patriots mystique goes away.”

The Patriots host the Steelers on Nov. 3.

‘™¦ Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez returned to the field Monday for the first time since having surgery on his left hip Jan. 16, working out at the team’s minor league complex in Tampa, Fla.

“It feels good to be back out in uniform,” Rodriguez said. “It’s been a rough stretch with the rehab, obviously. It’s small bites at a time.”

Rodriguez said he’s focused on getting back and redeeming himself for the embarrassing finish to last season, when he was benched during the Yankees‘ four-game sweep at the hands of the Tigers in the ALCS.

“I have a lot of unfinished business,” Rodriguez said. “I’m really looking forward to getting back on the field close to 100 percent and being who I am.”

As for the latest controversy — A-Rod reportedly had ties to a since-closed clinic in South Florida that allegedly was dispensing performance-enhancing drugs — Rodriguez offered no insight.

“I can only control what I can control,” Rodriguez said. “I’m really focusing on all the great things that have happened in the game. I’m really focused on getting healthy, and just getting back and helping the Yankees win a championship.”

‘™¦ Forbes magazine released its list of America’s most influential athletes, and Tim Tebow ranks No. 1. The free agent quarterback, who has 2.2 million Twitter followers, was judged as influential by 29 percent of poll respondents.

Tebow is followed on the list by swimmer Michael Phelps, sprinter Usain Bolt, injured Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. The second five consists of Saints quarterback Drew Brees, gymnast Gabby Douglas, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, NBA MVP LeBron James and soccer icon David Beckham.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On May 7, 1997, which Red Sox catcher — who would go on to greater fame as a member of the Athletics’ “Moneyball” team in 2002 — hit his first career home run (along with his second) in an 11-3 rout of the Twins?

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