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Monday’s Morning Mashup: 49ers fire coach Chip Kelly; President Obama appoints Ray Allen to Holocaust Memorial Council

01.02.17 at 8:39 am ET
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Good morning, here is your Monday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NHL: Boston at New Jersey, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Chicago at St. Louis, 1 p.m. (NBC)
NBA: Charlotte at Chicago, 8 p.m. (NBATV)
College football: Western Michigan vs. Wisconsin, 1 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Florida vs. Iowa, 1 p.m. (ABC)
College football: USC vs. Penn State, 5 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Auburn vs. Oklahoma, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Women’s college basketball: Seton Hall at Butler, 6:30 p.m. (FS1)
Women’s college basketball: St. John’s at Xavier, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
Women’s college basketball: Creighton at Marquette, 8:30 p.m. (FS1)
Women’s college basketball: Providence at DePaul, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

–The 49ers have officially fired head coach Chip Kelly and general manager Trent Baalke, the team announced on Sunday.

“Despite my feelings for Trent and Chip, I felt the decision to change our football leadership was absolutely necessary,” 49ers owner Jed York said in a statement. “The performance of this team has not lived up to my expectations or those of our fans, and that is truly disappointing. We all expected to see this team progress and develop as the season went on, but unfortunately that did not happen. That is why now is the time to find a new direction for this team.”

York will hold a press conference at 11 a.m. on Monday to address the moves.

Kelly was fired as head coach of the Eagles last season after three years in the position, making this the second time in a year he has been fired.

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Read More: Aqib Talib, Chip Kelly, Ray Allen,

Now they are both back, it’s time to rank Kirk & Callahan fill-in shows

01.01.17 at 9:21 pm ET
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After a holiday vacation, Gerry Callahan has returned

After a holiday vacation, Gerry Callahan has returned

Filling in on the most listened to sports morning show in New England isn’t the easiest task, which made the past week-plus on Kirk and Callahan fairly inconsistent in terms of delivering good radio. While Kirk Minihane and Gerry Callahan were on vacation, some new and old members visited 20 Guest St. and filled in for the duo. Here’s how the shows fared:

No. 7: Dec. 26 – Chris Villani and Ben Volin

Unless you’re an A-list radio host, it can be extremely hard to produce an effective show with just two hosts. Kirk and Gerry can do it. Dale and Holley can do it. But sometimes it doesn’t make for the best show. It’s even harder to do that when one isn’t a full-time host. Chris Villani has done shows alone and handled himself just fine, but I think Ben Volin even by his own admission would say this wasn’t a great show. Not a whole lot to talk about the day after Christmas and the Patriots played a putrid Jets team and won by 38 points. I actually think Villani is a decent host, but given the circumstances it was difficult to put together a real interesting show on this Monday. As Volin is a Patriots beat writer for the Boston Globe, the show focused mainly on the future of Josh McDaniels in New England, the dominance by Bill Belichick the GM and an MVP-caliber season from Tom Brady. An hour of basketball talk was mixed in as well, with both Villani and Volin dissecting what the Celtics need to do to contend for a championship. The two threw some shade at the guys with Villani saying he doesn’t even listen to K&C and Volin added that the show is “not very good.” Like most shows during the holidays, this one wasn’t winning any awards.

No. 6: Dec. 28 – Meter and Trenni

Jon Meterparel is great when he doesn’t have to be a true No. 1 host in the lead chair. He does a much better job answering the questions and adding insight when he doesn’t have to lead the direction of the show. When the 6 a.m. hour opened with talk about LASIX eye surgery, it was evident the show wasn’t going to be stellar. Trenni talked about her experience on the Change of Heart dating game show and Meter recapped his trip to Detroit for the Quick Lane Bowl. A lot of NFL talk filled the remaining three hours, with debate over whether or not the Patriots will trade quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and if Josh McDaniels will be a head coach again in the NFL next season. The two welcomed Atlanta Falcons’ play-by-play commentator Wes Durham, who offered up his opinion on MVP candidate Matt Ryan. Most listeners would think a deep dive on the Falcons’ season isn’t real compelling radio in Boston, but the Ryan connection with Meter being the Boston College football PBP man is the only thing I can think of to make this spot appropriate. The show had a great guest in the second hour with Adam Schefter, who said that a trade package involving Jimmy Garoppolo would start with a first and a fourth-round pick, the return for now Minnesota Vikings QB Sam Bradford. Aside from the first segment of the 7 a.m. hour, there wasn’t much must-listen audio to be found here.

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Isaiah Thomas celebrates 52-point game by smelling LeGarrette Blount’s sweatshirt

12.31.16 at 11:13 am ET
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It’s not every day that you score 52 points, hit nine three-points and come two points shy of tying Wilt Chamberlain’s NBA record for most fourth-quarter points (31).

So, when you accomplish all of that, like Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas managed Friday night, you are going to get the celebrity treatment. In this case, it came from Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount, who was attending the C’s win over Miami with fellow Pats running back James White.

While we don’t know what words of wisdom were passed along, we do know that Thomas really, really likes the smell of Blount’s sweatshirt.

Thinking Out Loud: Reflecting on good, old days of Big East basketball

12.31.16 at 9:40 am ET
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Rooke_JohnThinking out loud…while wondering what the top local sports story was in 2016?

• For 38 years, the Big East Conference has been a cultural phenomenon within our sports world. Before Dave Gavitt got those small, relatively insignificant Catholic schools together with a few of the bigger boys in 1979, it was “to each his own” and teams were left to fend for themselves.

• But together through the years, this conference – in the past and again in the present – has helped mold the madness that we see in March at the end of every season. This year won’t be any different – in fact, it might be better. Of the 50 starting players on the 10 Big East teams, 34 of them return from last season. Yes, the play might be better.

• If you’ve ever wondered what it might be like in the south, where college football is crowned “king” every fall Saturday, the Big East’s passion, pressure and performance is on par with that kind of pageantry. Not as many in numbers, perhaps, but emotionally? It’s off the charts, just like in Alabama, or Texas, or Florida.

• I grew up in that football culture, and spent many a fall Saturday in crowds of 80,000-plus screaming maniacs. I was one of them. But those maniacs then – have nothing over today’s partisans in Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Omaha or Providence.

• I would even go so far as to say eastern hoop fans are generally a smart lot, perhaps smarter than their southern football brethren as a whole, whose passion can often overwhelm their sensibilities.

• The Big East season is back with us, again, and it is just as power-packed and emotionally-charged as it has always been. So let’s just hope we’re a part of the party, huh?

• The Friars’ start was about as miserable as it can get. Overwhelmed and outperformed by a very good Xavier team – which is also in a state of transition – the younger Friars have a lot of work to do to before climbing back up the ladder within the nation’s top conference.

• Three takeaways from the 82-56 defeat at 17th ranked Xavier – one, Rodney Bullock can’t go 1-for-11 shooting the ball for this team to win; two, this team needs to learn how to rebound, or at least block out the other guys better; three, defend someone like their lives depend on it.

• Because their basketball lives this year will depend on it. Just sayin’.

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Celebrities react to Serena Williams posting poem on Reddit announcing engagement to Reddit co-founder

12.30.16 at 11:55 am ET
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Yahoo— Serena Williams has announced her engagement to Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit, via, naturally, a Reddit post.

On the site’s “/r/isaidyes” forum, Williams wrote, “I came home. A little late. Someone had a bag packed for me. And a carriage waited. Destination: Rome. To escort me to my very own ‘charming.’ Back to where our stars first collided. And now it was full circle. At the same table we first met by chance. But by choice. Down on knee. He said 4 words. And I said yes.”

Williams and Ohanian had been dating for about a year, and were relatively private about their relationship prior to this announcement.

Williams, one of the greatest tennis players of all time and one of the premier athletes in American history, holds 38 Grand Slam titles, including 22 won in singles. Her most recent major victory was at Wimbledon earlier this year.

Ohanian is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and in-demand speaker. The happy couple did not disclose a wedding date. Williams is, at present, preparing for the Australian Open next month.

They went to Rome by carriage?

A picture of the ring would have been just fine, but Serena is already proving to be a ride or die by using her engagement announcement to drive viewers to her future husband’s website.

Here is how her celebrity friends reacted on Twitter:  

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Friday’s Morning Mashup: LeBron James grades himself ‘F’ in Cavaliers’ win over Celtics; Rob Gronkowski parties on yacht in Miami

12.30.16 at 8:20 am ET
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Good morning, here is your Friday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS: 
NBA: Miami at Boston, 7:30 p.m. (CSN)
NBA: Milwaukee at Minnesota, 8 p.m. (NBA)
College football: Georgia vs. TCU, 12 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Stanford vs. North Carolina, 2 p.m. (CBS)
College football: Nebraska vs. Tennessee, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Michigan vs. Florida State, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: West Virginia at Oklahoma State, 4 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Valparaiso at Illinois-Chicago, 5 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: La Salle at Dayton, 6 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Texas Tech at Iowa State, 6 p.m. (ESPNews)
College basketball: Baylor at Oklahoma, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: URI at Saint Louis, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Texas at Kansas State, 8 p.m. (ESPNews)
College basketball: VCU at George Mason, 8 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Kansas at TCU, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: South Carolina at Memphis, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: USC at Oregon, 10 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Arizona at California, 11 p.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

— LeBron James and the Cavaliers beat the Celtics, 124-118, Thursday night, but James didn’t think he played well at all. He blamed himself for Cleveland almost giving up a 20-point lead in the second half of the win.

“I think I was horrible tonight,” James said. “In every facet of the game, I was just pretty bad, and it’s unacceptable. I can’t do that if I want to help this team get to where we want to get to. So if there was a report card, I’d give myself an ‘F’ for tonight’s performance. I’ve just got to be better.”

James committed eight turnovers in the game, two in the fourth quarter, one of which was a pass to Kyrie Irving that Avery Bradley stole before scoring to put the Celtics within three.

“I just didn’t see him, and definitely got to pay attention to what’s going on in the flow of the game,” James said of Bradley and the turnover. “So I was just throwing it back in to Kyrie, and he just jumped it, so if I was paying attention to him, with Avery being the defensive-minded guy he is, I should have seen him. So, big mistake.”

Cleveland’s coach Tyronn Lue called James’ pass “lackadaisical” and said James talked to the team about how badly he played.

“He came to the locker room and the bench and said, ‘My fault. I was terrible tonight. It won’t happen again,’ ” Lue said. “He took credit for it and took blame. And we moved on.”

James blamed his lack of concentration for his subpar play.

“My concentration at different parts of the game [was poor],” James said. “I had eight turnovers, and some of them were just plain stupid turnovers, especially the one that Avery Bradley got in the backcourt. I was just not concentrating on the game, so it’s not always about the statistics or not. It’s about how I go out and I approach the game. So, I was happy that I got two All-Stars alongside me, and I was able to carry us to a win.”

Friday is James’ 32nd birthday.

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2016 Review: WEEI’s most popular columns, blog posts and audio clips of the year

12.29.16 at 4:56 pm ET
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Since everyone has some sort of year-end list, we figured we should probably get in on that. These are the WEEI columns, blog posts and audio on demand clips all of you clicked on the most in 2016. Enjoy.

Top 10 columns

10. Kirk Minihane – Analyze this: Phil Simms worst announcer ever

Remember when Kirk used to write columns? He was quite good at it, as evidenced by this evisceration of a truly terrible announcer.

9. John Tomase – First it was Don Orsillo — will fan favorite Jerry Remy be next to take fall at NESN?

Remy is still standing for now. Let’s see what happens in 2017.

8. DJ Bean – The horrifying (and graphic) story of Jake DeBrusk’s injury

Apparently people really like horrifying (and graphic) stories about testicle injuries. Weirdos.

7. Christopher Price – Industrial justice: Could Deflategate ban ultimately lead to Patriots regaining first-round pick?

Deflategate remained a popular topic in Year 2 of its ridiculous existence. Here Chris explores whether Jimmy Garoppolo played well enough in fill-in duty to bring back a first-round pick in a potential trade.

6. Christopher Price – NFL’s lax cybersecurity shows Tom Brady did right thing not turning over cell phone

I had forgotten about the NFL’s Twitter account getting hacked and announcing that Roger Goodell had died. Classic.

5. Kirk Minihane – Jessica Moran, John Farrell and 3 burning questions

Prediction: Kirk will see this post, be inspired by how well his columns have done and start writing for us again. … Haha, yeah right.

4. Christopher Price – In response to latest PSI rumor, Patriots right to question NFL’s defensive double standard

This is from just a couple weeks ago, after the NFL somehow managed to bring an end to Deflategate II in about 45 minutes.

3. Rob Bradford – Inside story of David Ortiz’s injury: ‘He was essentially playing on stumps’

Everything you’d ever want to know about Big Papi’s feet.

2. John Tomase – Jamie Collins deal latest reminder it’s pointless to question Bill Belichick

As someone who questioned the Collins trade at the time… yep.

1. Kirk Minihane – Enough is enough, Chris Mortensen has to go

Please note that this was published before we all found out about Mort’s cancer. Obviously everyone is glad he’s doing better now, but he’s still a sore subject for Patriots fans.

Was this the year we finally learned our lesson about questioning Bill Belichick? (Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports)

Was this the year we finally learned our lesson about questioning Bill Belichick? (Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports)

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Alcohol delivered to your door?!?!

12.29.16 at 4:55 pm ET
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With New Years Eve and the pro football playoffs almost here, it sure would be great to have the ability to have alcohol delivered right to your door. Wouldn’t it? Well, now you can with Drizly. Isn’t life is all about convenience now — shopping for clothes, groceries, furniture — and shopping for alcohol should not be different. Why couldn’t we get beer delivered when nearly everything else had become so readily available through technology. Enter Drizly.

Drizly works with local stores so you can shop their shelves using your smartphone or computer to order beer, wine and liquor at the touch of a button. You still have to drink it the old fashioned way, though. Check out the quick video below from Rich Keefe to learn more about how easy it is to get alcochol delivered to your door:

You can also watch Rich save the office party:

 

Visit Drizly.com or download their app now.

 

 

THE SERVICES ARE INTENDED SOLELY FOR USERS WHO ARE 21 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER, AND ANY REGISTRATION, USE OR ACCESS TO THE SERVICES BY ANYONE UNDER 21 IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED AND IN VIOLATION OF THESE TERMS. THIS IS A PAID ADVERTISEMENT.

Reporters ask Jim Harbaugh about bikinis, oranges in odd press conference

12.29.16 at 3:25 pm ET
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DeadspinThe questions for Harbaugh during his media availability were of course thematically appropriate given the name of the game, but some dumbass reporter decided to take the jovial nature of the presser too far, and asked Harbaugh if he had any thoughts on his players not seeing women in bikinis. Harbaugh refused to engage with her line of questioning, which concluded his presser.

Q. I want to get your thoughts on this because you have mentioned that the fun is in the football work and the team unity with the guys being down here with the practicing and everything, but your players are a little disappointed they haven’t seen any bikinis. I’d like to get your thoughts on that.

JIM HARBAUGH: I don’t have any thoughts on that.

Q. They would like to see some bikinis before they leave.

JIM HARBAUGH: I don’t know about that. I don’t know anything about that. I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Q. See the beach.

JIM HARBAUGH: I do not know what you’re talking about.

Q. The beach, the bikinis.

JIM HARBAUGH: Yeah. I don’t know anything about that.

Q. Not on the itinerary?

JIM HARBAUGH: Don’t know what you’re talking about.

This sounds just like a man who knows exactly what that reporter is talking about.

As for the oranges: 

Jim Harbaugh on the #OrangeBowl …….Literally…..#Michigan #FSU #TeamSideline@FCN2go pic.twitter.com/Hvm3MFXIzk


I don’t like the lady who said “I think we’re done with the orange questions.” I could have listened to another ten minutes of that.

Bill Walton wears another tie-dye shirt, gets mad after Oregon fans storm court twice after UCLA upset

12.29.16 at 10:36 am ET
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MediaiteRushing the court has become ridiculously commonplace in college basketball these days. It’s become so common, in fact, that on Wednesday night, Oregon fans did it twice in the same game — much to the chagrin of Bill Walton, who was calling the action for ESPN2.

With his team down 87-86 in the final seconds of their game against No. 2 ranked UCLA, Oregon’s Dillon Brooks pulled up at the top of the key and nailed a 3-pointer with the clock showing no time remaining.

The Oregon fans, believing the game was over, stormed the court in celebration. Only, the game wasn’t over. The referees put nearly a full second back on the clock after a video review of Brooks’s shot.

Walton, meanwhile, was livid about the fans being on the court.

“This is unacceptable and not safe,” Walton said.

The discussion between Walton and play-by-play man Roxy Bernstein centered around whether a technical foul should’ve been called on Oregon. Bernstein seemed to assert that because UCLA’s player had not inbounded the ball, play hadn’t been interrupted. Walton wasn’t having it.

“If you can call a technical, I mean, the ball doesn’t have to be in bounds!” Walton said.

The rule would seem to say that Walton was right and wrong. The ball didn’t have to be inbounded, but again, the clock showed no time left. The game appeared to be over.

Eventually, the court was cleared. UCLA failed to score when play resumed, and the Ducks were finally credited with the victory.

“The PAC 12, conference of champions, cannot let this happen. They’ve instituted new rules and procedures to prevent this,” Walton also said, and he would know because he was wearing a pink PAC 12 “Conference of Champions” tie-dye shirt on national television.

This is nothing new, though. Here is a quick tour of his previous tie-dye shirts:

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