Shabazz Napier makes the cover of Sports Illustrated

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff April 8, 2014 11:26 AM

As if it could be anyone else. UConn guard Shabazz Napier, who was named Final Four MVP following Connecticut’s 60-54 win over, has landed on this week’s cover of Sports Illustrated.

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John Henry and Robert Kraft visit Boylston Street firehouse

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff March 27, 2014 10:23 PM

Red Sox owner John Henry teamed up with Patriots owner Robert Kraft earlier today to pay a visit to the firefighters at the Boylston Street firehouse in Boston.

Wednesday's devastating fire on Beacon Street claimed the lives of firefighter Michael R. Kennedy and Lieutenant Edward J. Walsh of Engine 33, Ladder 15 on the corner of Boylston and Hereford Streets.

"Both John and I just wanted to thank these most unappreciated people in society, firemen, policemen and nurses," Kraft said.

FULL ENTRY

Jonny Gomes goes all-out America with gift to teammates

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff March 26, 2014 12:10 PM

Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes bought his teammates a little, um, treat.

No, the Red Sox don’t plan to wear the sports coats to the White House on Tuesday, but will instead don them whenever…well, who the heck knows. But they do intend to award President Obama with one of the garish offenses to fashion. You’ve been warned, free world.

The jackets are the creations of LoudMouth Golf, which offers a grand assortment of some of the ugliest, nay, most expressive outfits available. They will even custom create articles of clothing for you as well.

Gomes should have held out to get the Home Depot pants as well.

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Liverpool returns to Fenway Park for rematch with AS Roma

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff March 12, 2014 12:34 PM
Get ready for more soccer at Fenway.

Liverpool Football Club (LFC) will make another visit to Fenway Park for a preseason match against AS Roma on Wednesday, July 23.

The two venerable soccer teams faced each other at Fenway on July 25, 2012, when over 37,000 fans attended the match that saw Roma come away with a 2-1 victory. Tickets for the friendly rematch will go on sale Friday May 2, 2014 and additional information will be released in the near future.

“Liverpool FC and AS Roma are two of the most highly regarded clubs in all of football, and we’re thrilled to welcome them back to Boston and showcase some of the world’s top talent playing the ‘Beautiful Game’ right here on the pitch at Fenway Park,” said Fenway Sports Group Chairman Tom Werner in a statement. “The atmosphere at their first Fenway match was electric, and with both clubs’ passionate supporters, tremendous worldwide following and strong ties to the City, the rematch is sure to be memorable.”

Liverpool’s return to the Fenway Park marks the start of the team’s 2014 US preseason tour, which includes International Champions Cup matches in Chicago, New York, and Charlotte, S.C.

“I look forward to Roma returning to the U.S. for a third straight summer,” said AS Roma President James Pallotta. “In particular, I am excited for the rematch with Liverpool at Fenway Park - it will no doubt be an exciting match against a great opponent in a historic stadium.”

Is the NFL too flashy? Player retires at 26 due to 'business of entertainment'

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff March 10, 2014 06:02 PM

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Former Arizona Cardinals running back Rashard Mendenhall is giving up the game of football. (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

At first, it may be hard to understand why a relatively young player would walk away from the NFL. You work your entire life to get there, beating nearly impossible odds (0.2 percent of all high school seniors who play football make it to the league, according to the NFL Players' Association). The riches and spoils should be enough to keep you happy (pro football ranks fourth in pay among the four major sports, but players still average north of $1 million a year). All very compelling reasons to stay. But what if you're just old school? What if you can't stand the flashy touchdown dances and the nonstop promotion of stars over teams? Would that be enough to force your hand?

In a piece posted on the Huffington Post last night, Arizona Cardinals running back Rashard Mendenhall announced he was leaving the sport at only 26 not due to injury, not because he's unwanted by a franchise -- although he lost his starting gig to a rookie last season -- but because he feels like an outsider watching the "business of entertainment" in football. The RB writes about the shift in the professional game from a team sport that valued hardwork and commitment to a non-stop entertainment mega-package that promotes showmanship and individual stats.

I am not an entertainer. I never have been. Playing that role was never easy for me. The box deemed for 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. My focus has always been on becoming a better me, not a second-rate somebody else.

So if not a pro, what's his plan to become a "better me"? Well, Mendenhall just wants to "travel the world and write," so maybe the HuffPo thing was a good start. And hey, the dude earned $15.1 million over six seasons, not a bad nest egg to kickstart those travels. And for anyone questioning his commitment, he makes sure to note that his love of the game should not be doubted, even if he devotes time to dance, art, and literature. That's probably where the whole "my wings spread a lot further than the acceptable athletic stereotypes" part comes from.

But if anything, Mendenhall's piece reads less like an indictment of the NFL and more like an affirmation of life. "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," he writes, adding, "I do have a plan going forward, but I will admit that I do not know how things will totally shape out. That is the beauty of it!"

Hey, the choice is his to make. If he no longer wishes to "put my body at risk for the sake of entertainment," those are his millions he's leaving on the table. What do you think: Has the business of the NFL lost its way? Enough to the point that, like Mendenhall, you would walk away?

Shane Victorino offers contest for spring training trip

Posted by Robert Burgess March 7, 2014 04:25 PM

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Admit it, you wish you could be in Fort Myers with all that sun and green grass, maybe even rubbing elbows with one of the players from the 2013 World Championship team.

Well, Shane Victorino is giving you that chance, along with an opportunity to do some good along the way.

Fans participating in Victorino's Fame4Good fundraiser are entered into a contest with the winner heading to spring training as the center fielder's guest. The campaign is raising money and awareness for the Shane Victorino Foundation, which benefits underprivileged children.

“Partnering with Fame4Good allows me to shine a light on our foundation’s incredible efforts to support kids in need and it does so in a way that fans can have fun with and really get engaged,” Victorino said in a statement. “I am grateful for the opportunity to give back to the communities that have given so much to me and I look forward to meeting the lucky winner.”

The winner will get round trip airfare, a meeting with Victorino at Jet Blue Park, and tickets to a spring training Red Sox-Rays game on Sunday, March 23.

Tom Brady works out on California beach

Posted by Robert Burgess March 7, 2014 02:34 PM

Tom Brady is not known for winning games with his feet. The Patriots quarterback is all about thinking and throwing quick.

But that doesn't mean that Brady gets to skip out on running workouts. The above video from x17online.com shows the three-time Super Bowl champion recently doing some sprints on a beach in Santa Monica.

At one point he seems to replicate a receiver's route. At another moment in the sand he seems a bit winded. But he's got time until New England meets for training camp in August to get up to Brady speed.

Manny hopes to be 'Manny' again in MLB

Posted by Staff March 7, 2014 10:47 AM

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Manny Ramirez, seen here with the Red Sox in 2008, hopes to get back to the big leagues this season. (Jim Davis/Globe Staff)


Manny Ramirez hasn’t given up hope on a return to the major leagues.

In a Thursday interview with “Grandes en los Deportes” on ESPN Radio 104.5 in the Dominican Republic, the 41-year-old said he has been training during the spring in Hialeah, Fla., just outside Miami, and is hoping to get the chance to show a club that he can still perform in the big leagues.

"My qualities are still there, and I just need an opportunity to continue showing that the 'Super Manny' can help a team," he said on the radio from his training headquarters. "For now, I have no team interested, but I'm still working. Maybe I don't have anything this week, but who knows? Maybe next week I could get a call."

Ramirez signed contracts with the Oakland A’s and Texas Rangers over the past two seasons, but never made it to the big league clubs. He hit .259 with three home runs and 13 RBIs in 30 games for the Rangers’ Triple-A affiliate Round Rock before being released in August.

Ramirez said he believed he could help a team out offensively, similar to how Jason Giambi helped the Cleveland Indians last season, when, at 42 years old, Giambi hit nine home runs and drove in 31 runs in 71 games for the Indians on their way to their first playoff berth since 2007.

Ramirez hit 555 home runs and drove in 1,831 runs in his 19-year MLB career. With the Red Sox from 2001-2008, he hit .312 with 274 home runs and 868 RBIs. He was named an American League All Star ever year he was in Boston and won the 2004 World Series MVP award for his contributions to the club that broke the Red Sox’ 86-year championship drought.

Follow Jeff Pini on Twitter @JeffPini

Chat with New England Revolution president Brian Bilello

Posted by Matt Pepin, BostonGlobe.com Staff March 6, 2014 03:13 PM

100bilello.jpgThe Revolution open their 2014 MLS season on Saturday at Houston, so we'll have team president Brian Bilello on Friday at 11 a.m. to talk about the outlook for the team.

The home opener is March 22 vs. Vancouver at 2 p.m. Tickets are available on the Revs' website.

 

Don Orsillo takes batting practice

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff March 6, 2014 11:13 AM

Red Sox broadcaster Don Orsillo took some big cuts in the cage Thursday in Fort Myers. Guy's got a swing bigger than Pedroia's.

The moment was documents in a Vine posted by the Red Sox on Twitter. According to the Globe's Peter Abraham, it was part of a social media skit for the team.

Watch: Runners give amazing, spontaneous tribute to 95-year-old veteran

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff March 5, 2014 09:19 AM

As hardened veteran journalists, we don't often get goosebumps here at Boston.com, but this video caused some eyes to well up in the newsroom. San Diego Mercury News reporter Julia Prodis Sulek captured the scene as 95-year-old Joe Bell, a World War II veteran, was greeted by runners during the 408k road race benefiting the Pat Tillman Foundation. One runner came over to shake Bell's hand, and many more followed.

Local Olympic medalists to be honored Tuesday night before Bruins-Panthers

Posted by Staff March 4, 2014 01:30 PM

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Alex Deibold, who hails from Manchester, Vt., won bronze in the snowboard cross at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. (Andrej Isakovic/AFP/Getty Images)



The TD Garden will be shining with gold, silver, and bronze before the Bruins take on the Florida Panthers Tuesday, and it won’t just be because of Patrice Bergeron, Loui Eriksson, and Tuukka Rask.

The Bruins will honor local Olympic medalists prior to the game, as athletes from across New England made their mark in history at the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

The list of honorees includes snowboardcross bronze medalist Alex Deibold, from Manchester, Vt.; team figure skating bronze medalists Marissa Castelli, from Cranston, R.I., and Simon Shnapir, from Sudbury; and bobsled double-bronze medalist Steve Langton, who is from Melrose.

Several members of the silver-medal-winning women's hockey team will be honored as well, including Kacey Bellamy, from Westfield; Alex Carpenter, from North Reading; Meghan Duggan, from Danvers; Michelle Picard, from Taunton; Molly Schaus, from Natick; and Kelli Stack, who played at Boston College.

One locally-trained Olympian who won’t be present is Boston University’s Marie-Philip Poulin. For those American fans who decided to block the memory out of their minds, Poulin scored the game-tying goal with 54 seconds to play in the third period, as well as the gold medal-winning overtime goal for Canada in their Sochi gold medal game against the United States.

However, no other international Olympians with local ties will be honored before the game, so it doesn’t appear there were any hard feelings when it came to the guest list for this event. They're honoring strictly Americans.

Your Red Sox starting lineup ... Travoltified

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff March 4, 2014 10:34 AM

The internet came apart at the seams when John Travolta called singer Idina Menzel "Adele Dazeem" during the Oscars Sunday night.

Slate.com took the frenzy to a whole new level with The Adele Dazeem Name Generator widget.

We thought it might be fun to see how Travolta might butcher the Red Sox players names if he were asked to announce the starting lineup at Fenway Park. Here's one version of the batting order Travoltified:

Ladies and gentlemen, now batting for the Boston Red Sox ...

1. Skye Knight (with a hard K)
2. Dawson Pozorter
3. Donald Orteez
4. Mark Nelseem
5. Danyal Nicheems
6. Braiden Brazent
7. Wayne Migiller
8. Alfred Parkinsmack
9. Jamie Berzy

Starting pitcher: Jan Lezwis

Translated back to the correct pronunciations:

1. Shane Victorino
2. Dustin Pedroia
3. David Ortiz
4. Mike Napoli
5. Daniel Nava
6. Xander Bogaerts
7. Will Middlebrooks
8. A.J. Pierzynski
9. Jackie Bradley Jr.

Starting pitcher: Jon Lester

Shane Battier's hilarious reaction to LeBron's 61 points

Posted by Staff March 4, 2014 08:54 AM
LeBron James had historic night on Monday, setting a Miami Heat franchise record when he scored 61 points in their game against Charlotte.

Across social media, there were many reactions and congratulatory posts about James, but none may have been better than one of his own teammate, Shane Battier:

It’s great to see Battier has a sense of humor, poking fun at his own offensive struggles while simultaneously complimenting James. Other sports reactions across Twitter included San Francisco 49ers running back Anthony Dixon expressing his awe in the feat, while Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch took the opportunity for a jab at ESPN’s Skip Bayless, who, despite James’ accomplishments, has been highly critical of James his entire career.

The NBA record of 100 points, scored by Wilt Chamberlain in March of 1962, remains untouched, with the closest coming at the hands of Kobe Bryant, when he put up 81 points against Toronto in January 2006.

Report: Boston College receiver Alex Amidon may skip NFL to join Navy SEALs

Posted by Staff February 28, 2014 09:11 AM

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Alex Amidon led BC in receiving in 2012 and 2013 and was named to the All-ACC team both seasons. (Barry Chin/Globe Staff)


Boston College’s Alex Amidon, who ended his college career at The Heights with three school records, is considering leaving his football career behind to serve his country.

The former Boston College wide receiver and Greenfield, Mass., native may try to become a U.S. Navy Seal instead of pursuing a potential NFL future, but hasn't decided which direction he'll go, according to a BC athletic department official.

BC Interruption first reported Amidon's interest in the military on Thursday. But on Friday, Chris Cameron, BC's associate athletics director, said it was premature to suggest Amidon had made up his mind.

"It's something he might want to do," Cameron said of Amidon's interest in the SEALs.

In 2012, Amidon finished 11th in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision with 1,210 receiving yards and was named to the All-ACC first team. He led the Eagles in 2013 with 1,024 receiving yards and was named to the All-ACC third team.

He finished his BC career with 191 receptions for 2,792 yards and 15 touchdowns. Amidon set school records for receiving yards in a season, as well as most receptions and receiving yards in a career.

Amidon had the potential to be picked in the later rounds of the 2013 NFL Draft, according to NFL.com’s Mike Huguenin.

Amidon, along with Heisman Trophy finalist Andre Williams, shared the 2013 Thomas Scanlan Award, given to the BC senior who is most outstanding in scholarship, athletic ability, and leadership. It is considered BC’s highest football honor.

Jason Collins signs with Nets, becomes NBA's first openly gay player

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff February 23, 2014 01:07 PM

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Jason Collins has agreed to a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets, making him the first openly gay athlete in the four major North American team sports leagues.

Collins was available to play for the Nets Sunday when they facd the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center. The Nets decided to move on Collins when their first choice, free agent Glen Davis, chose to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers.

"Jason told us that his goal was to earn another contract with an NBA team," NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. "Today, I want to commend him on achieving his goal. I know everyone in the NBA family is excited for him and proud that our league fosters an inclusive and respectful environment."

A 12-year NBA veteran, Collins last played for the Washington Wizards and Boston Celtics last season. The center has career averages of 3.6 points and 3.8 rebounds. The 35-year-old Collins came out as gay last spring but failed to catch on with an NBA team for the current season. Collins played for the Nets between 2001 and 2008; his then-teammate Jason Kidd is now his head coach. Former Celtics and current Nets players Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett have also played with Collins.

On February 10, Missouri Tigers defensive end Michael Sam announced his was gay ahead of the upcoming NFL draft. If drafted, he could be the first openly gay player to play in the NFL.

Richie Incognito back on Twitter

Posted by Staff February 18, 2014 08:47 AM
Just days after deleting his account, Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito is back on Twitter, but this time with a distinctively different tone, as was shown by his tweets on Monday:

Incognito also tweeted that he was thinking positively and continues to believe he will one day play in the NFL again.

He also apparently attempted to mend bridges with Jonathan Martin, whom he called out last week for bringing his allegations against Incognito to light, saying to Martin that “the truth is going to bury you and your entire ‘camp’,” and also saying to Martin that “you started all of this when Kenny Zuckerman released the VM to ESPN.”

An investigation report on the Dolphins by attorney Ted Wells was released last week and concluded that Martin’s claims of abuse by members of the Dolphins were valid.

In another tweet, Incognito apologized to Dolphins owner Steve Ross and Wells.

Watch: Texas sports anchor's inspired speech in support of gay football player

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff February 13, 2014 09:25 AM

A sports anchor at an ABC affiliate in Dallas spent two minutes of his broadcast Monday night delivering a speech in support of Michael Sam, the Missouri defensive end and NFL prospect who came out as gay Sunday night. Takes both critical and supportive of Sam have dominated the airwaves this week, but Dallas anchor Dale Hansen's take stands out for its simplicity and blunt, reasoned logic.

"You beat a woman and drag her down a flight of stairs, pulling her hair out by the roots? You're the fourth guy taken in the NFL draft. You kill people while driving drunk? That guy's welcome. Players caught in hotel rooms with illegal drugs and prostitutes? We know they're welcome. Players accused of rape and pay the woman to go away? You lie to police, trying to cover up a murder? We're comfortable with that. "You love another man? Well, now you've gone too far!"

Hat tip to the Huffington Post for surfacing the video. Hansen told HP he's received more than 700 "overwhelmingly positive" e-mails following his broadcast.

Richie Incognito goes off on Jonathan Martin on Twitter

Posted by Anush Elbakyan, Boston.com Staff February 12, 2014 03:24 PM

Richie Incognito, the offensive guard from the Miami Dolphins who was suspended indefinitely because of bullying allegations by teammate Jonathan Martin, lashed out at Martin on Twitter today.

Icognito's rant started when Omar Kelly, a NFL beat writer and columnist for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, brought up the impending Ted Wells investigation into the situation.



Things escalated from there.






Incognito even got Outkast involved.















Former NFL QB Jared Lorenzen still playing pro football at 320 pounds

Posted by Staff February 4, 2014 10:43 AM




Patriots fans may remember Jared Lorenzen as a backup quarterback to Eli Manning when the Giants defeated the 18-0 Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.

The former University of Kentucky and NFL quarterback is still playing pro football, with the Northern Kentucky River Monsters of the Continental Indoor Football League, though not exactly at the same size he was during his days with the G-men.

He is listed at 320 pounds on the River Monsters roster, and as this tweet from LEX10 Weekend Sports Anchor Kyle Scott shows he is still out there on the gridiron (he’s No. 22).

Several Vines of Lorenzen’s play have also been making their way around the internet, including these from Barstool Sports of the River Monsters' Feb. 3 game against the Bluegrass Warhorses:

Lorenzen appeared in four games over two seasons with the Giants from 2006-2007. He completed four passes on eight attempts for 28 yards in 2007, earning a Super Bowl ring that season.

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