ESPN’s Marc Stein is reporting that Stephon Marbury’s falling out with the New York Knicks could lead to him playing for the Green. With the losses of James Posey and PJ Brown, and the free agent pool quickly dwindling; Marbury could be a low-cost veteran precence off of the bench. Despite recent failures in buyout discussions with the Knicks, Stein’s source says that “it will happen” in due time. “I didn’t want to be a distraction for the team first and me second” Marbury wrote on his New York Post Blog. “I honestly came to help the team win. Real talk. I was willing to put in the work necessary to earn my starting spot and humble enough to accept coming off of the bench.”
The Knicks beat the Celtics 100 to 88 on Saturday in New York. Boston shot just 29.5% in the second half, and failed to capitalize on late chances to take the game back.
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Al Skinner’s Boston College basketball team pulled off a stunning upset of undefeated and unanimously no. 1 ranked North Carolina. BC had a slim 4 point leave at the half, and hung on to beat the Tar Heels on their home turf. BC guard Tyrese Rice put up 25 points, sophomore Rakim Sanders scored 22, and freshman Reggie Sanders had 17 points off of the bench. BC held NC superstar Tyler Hansbrough to only 21 points, and kept the NC bench in single digits. The Tar Heels were held to just 25% shooting in the second half.
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With Tom Brady’s 2009 season still a question mark, the New England Patriots are looking to get some insurance at the quarterback position. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen is reporting that the Pats will franchise tag Cassell. This will guarantee him $14 million next year (just $1 million less than Tom Brady). The NFL salary cap is set to be raised, so the Pats will still have $94 million to work with for the rest of the team.
Cassell had a solid season, who threw for 3,693 yards, 21 touchdowns and only 11 interceptions while leading the Patriots to a 11-5 record; barely missing the playoffs.
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RollingStone.com has heard from multiple sources that newly reunited Phish may be headlining the Bonnaroo Festival in Manchester, TN on June 11th-14th. Phish is rumored to be headlining Friday and Saturday night, and rock legend Bruce Springsteen may be closing the final night. The full schedule will be released some time in February.
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The first round of the NFL Playoffs are over, and the divisional round match-ups are set.
Saturday, January 3rd
Arizona 30, Atlanta 24
The slumping Cardinals beat the surging Falcons to move to the divisional round for only the second time in a decade.
San Diego 23, Indianapolis 17 (OT)
Peyton Manning and the Colts have been knocked off in the first round of the playoffs for the sixth time in their last eight appearances.
Sunday January 4th
Baltimore 27, Miami 9
Chad Pennington threw four interceptions right to the solid Baltimore defense. The Ravens even managed to block the PAT on Miami’s only touchdown.
Philadelphia 26, Minnesota 14
Brian Westbrook’s highlight-reel 71 yard reception put the Eagles out of reach.
Divisional Week Matchups
Saturday January 10th
4:30pm – Baltimore at Tennessee8:15pm – Arizona at Carolina
Sunday January 11th
1:00pm – Philadelphia at Giants4:45pm – San Diego at PittsburghNFL Playoff Tickets are available now!
During the broadcast of the Toronto Maple Leafs New Year’s Day game, announcers reportedly mentioned rumors about next year’s Winter Classic matchup. Seemingly having inside info, the broadcast team said that NHL was going to continue to match up original Six teams, and that a Leafs/Bruins matchup at historic Fenway Park was a no-brainer. The involvement of a Canadian Original Six team could also mean a Bruins/Canadiens match up as well.
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For the third time in his career, Peyton Manning has been chosen by the Associated Press as the NFL’s Most Valuable Player. Manning put the struggling Colts on his back and helped them to secure a playoff spot with a spectacular run in the second half of the season. During their current nine-game winning streak, Manning has a passer rating of 109.7, has thrown for 17 touchdowns and only three interceptions; helping overcome their NFL second-worst running game.
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The Boston Bruins beat the Pittsburgh Penguins on the road and at home to extend their winning streak to ten games. On Tuesday night in Pittsburgh, Marc Savard led the Bruins to a win in a very physical game. First Star Savard racked up a goal a two assists on the way to a 5-2 victory. Milan Lucic and Tim Wallace dropped the gloves in an exciting third period fight.On New Year’s Day, the Bruins hosted the Penguins at the Garden. Pittsburgh rookie Dustin Jeffrey got the scoring started with his first NHL goal, but the Bruins answered back quickly. Red hot David Krejci scored the first Boston goal, and PJ Axelsson scored on a power play to give the B’s the lead. Boston netminder Manny Fernandez made 30 saves to remain perfect at home.Boston’s next six games are at home, where the Bruins have won their last 13 straight. Forward Patrice Bergeron has been put on injured reserve, and center Martin St. Pierre has been called from Providence.
On January 1st, 40,818 fans piled into Wrigley Field to watch the Blackhawks take on the Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings. Unlike last year’s bitterly cold and snowy affair, the skies were clear and the temperature was a relatively balmy 32 degrees. The Blackhawks jumped out to the early lead, leading 3-1 after the first period. Jiri Hudler, who jump-started the Red Wings offense by scoring two of the three Detroit goals in the second period, was impressed by the atmosphere at Wrigley. “I kind of had my mouth open in the beginning,” Hudler told the AP’s Rick Gano. “We were all looking at each other during the anthem—‘Wow, this is awesome.” The Wings’ 6-4 win gives them an eight point lead over the Blackhawks in the Central division.
The Pats may have temporarily taken some heat when they selected Jerod Mayo with the 10th pick in this year’s NFL Draft, but it certainly paid dividends. Mayo led the team with 137 tackles, and was a constant presence on a depleted New England defensive unit. “He’s smart, makes a lot of defensive adjustments and calls for us there” Pats coach Bill Belichick told the AP’s Barry Wilner. “He runs well. He’s tough. He’s a good all-around football player, very mature, very professional. For a rookie, he’s probably as professional as anybody I’ve coached.” Mayo had an experienced group of veterans to learn from, including fellow linebacker Tedy Bruschi. “Ever since I came in on the first day Tedy has taken me under his wing and showed me the ropes,” Mayo said. “He’s like an older brother to me.”