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Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Von Miller lists 3 Patriots as toughest he’s ever faced; NBA, NBAPA reach new CBA 12.15.16 at 8:12 am ET
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Good morning, here is your Thursday 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.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS: 
NHL: Anaheim at Boston, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NBA: Chicago at Milwaukee, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: New York at Golden State, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
NFL: Los Angeles at Seattle, 8:25 p.m. (NBC; NFL Network)
College basketball: Appalachian State at NC State, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
Women’s college basketball: Texas-Rio Grande Valley at Texas, 8 p.m. (Longhorn Network)

AROUND THE WEB: 

Von Miller

Von Miller

— In his piece in The Players’ Tribune published on Wednesday, Broncos linebacker Von Miller lists “The Five Toughest Guys I’ve Ever Faced,” and three of them are Patriots.

Miller lists Tom Brady as the toughest quarterback, Rob Gronkowski as the toughest tight end and Bill Belichick as the toughest head coach.

“What makes him the best isn’t just his accuracy throwing the ball. His presnap vision is the best I’ve ever seen, bar none,” Miller wrote of Brady, adding: “The biggest challenge in playing the Patriots is simply getting off the field. You’re never worried about Brady hitting you for 70 yards, but he’ll chip away at you and keep drives alive, which wears you down. … Getting a consistent first step on a 15-play drive is pretty much impossible.”

Of Gronkowski, Miller wrote, “This term is almost overused in the media now, but Gronk really is a true game-changer. He’s almost like LeBron James in that his body type and skill set has never been seen before at his position. The NFL has never seen anything like his combination of size, speed and hands.”

As for toughest head coach, Miller said he likes Jack Del Rio, too, but “with Belichick, his genius comes from the fact that he always gameplans based on the personnel he has. He’s had Hall of Famers like Randy Moss, and he’s also had guys who you never heard of before, and no matter what, the Patriots are always contenders. Some of the packages we see from the Patriots, I’ve never seen before on a football field.”

Chris Ivory as toughest running back and Trent Williams as toughest offensive tackle round out the list.

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Read More: Bill Belichick, George Springer, rob gronkowski, Tom Brady
Winners crowned in South American Pole Dancing competition, World Pole Sports Championship up next 12.14.16 at 1:54 pm ET
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San Diego Union Tribune— Pole dancing is not just an activity that takes place only at strip clubs like the Bada Bing of Sopranos fame, it’s an international sport and over the weekend hundreds of athletes turned out to strut, or rather, twirl their stuff.

Some 250 (clothed) contestants from 11 countries, gathered in Buenos Aires Sunday for the South American Pole Dancing competition where their strength and gymnastic abilities were on display in front of an appreciative audience, according to Reuters.

Maria Eugenia Massei from Argentina, who was dressed in a two-piece camouflage outfit, won the women’s competition and Jose Garcia Lozada of Venuzuela took home the prize for the top male performance.

The two will go onto compete in next years’ World Pole Sports Championships which will take place in July in the Netherlands.

That’s after competitions involving countries from all over the world including Columbia, Israel, Sweden, Chile, Ukraine, Brazil, Greece, Spain, Japan, Poland and more, according to the website of the International Pole Sports Federation.

Members of the U.S. Pole Dancing Federation (yes, that exists) are even pushing for pole dancing to become an Olympic sport, which I think would do excellent things for Olympics ratings.

I’ve taken a pole dancing class and it’s hard work. Hard enough to be an Olympic sport. I’m guessing the arguments against it would be it is seen as scandalous and risqué but they wear more clothes than swimmers and it’s basically just ballet in the air.

So, if you didn’t know this existed before, here you go and you’re welcome.

Packers give Donald Trump his own custom jersey, Mike Pence gets Aaron Rodgers jersey 12.14.16 at 12:43 pm ET
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TMZ SportsThe 7-6 Green Bay Packers might have help comin’ their way … a 6’3″ player named …Donald Trump.

Trump was holding a rally in Wisconsin on Tuesday when the state’s political bigwigs, Paul Ryan and Gov. Scott Walker, gifted the Prez-elect a “TRUMP” Green Bay Packers jersey.

It’s almost like the Packers didn’t know Mike Pence was coming with Trump and they had to scramble to find something to give him too once he showed up. We’ve all been there.

They made Trump a nice customized jersey with the 45 and everything (since he’ll be the 45th president) and put thought into it and Pence just gets a plain old Rodgers jersey from the team store.

Sad!

Does Donald Trump think pro wrestling is real? 12.14.16 at 12:25 pm ET
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DeadspinBack in 2007, WWE ran a storyline that culminated with CEO Vince McMahon being blown up in a limo. You don’t need me to tell you that McMahon is still alive and was not actually blown to pieces, because you aren’t a moron who thinks wrestling is real. Apparently, the same cannot be said for our future president.

Last night, a 2008 clip from the Opie and Anthony Show began recirculating. In the clip, WWE wrestler/McMahon son-in-law Triple H briefly mentions the limo-explosion storyline, and then reveals that Donald Trump—a longtime pro wrestling performer, mind you—called McMahon’s office to find out if he had really died after the explosion aired. 

Does Trump think all television is reality television, like his shows?

In Trump’s defense, it does look like McMahon was involved in an explosion and it’s nice to hear Trump is such a good friend that he worried enough to call and check on McMahon.

 

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Richard Sherman blasts Thursday Night Football as ‘poopfest'; Lakers will not stay at Trump SoHo hotel 12.14.16 at 7:43 am ET
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Good morning, here is your Wednesday 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.

WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Boston at San Antonio, 9:30 p.m. (CSN; ESPN)
NBA: Indiana at Miami, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Boston at Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Philadelphia at Colorado, 10 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: Saint Joseph’s at Princeton, 5 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Chicago State at Northwestern, 7 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Southern University at Baylor, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: UIC at DePaul, 8 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Green Bay at Wisconsin, 9 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: UAPB at Oklahoma State, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Grand Canyon at Arizona, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)

AROUND THE WEB:

Richard Sherman

Richard Sherman

— The Seahawks and the Rams will face off in Thursday Night Football this week, and Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman did not hold back on his feelings about TNF when talking to reporters on Tuesday.

“Poopfest. It’s terrible, we got home like 1 o’clock in the morning, something like that on Monday, and then you’ve got to play again,” Sherman said. “Congratulations, NFL, you did it again. But they’ve been doing it all season, so I guess we’re the last ones to get the middle finger.” 

The Seahawks played the Packers in Green Bay on Sunday and Sherman said his body will only be 50-60 percent recovered by Thursday.

“Because it’s just no regard, it’s hypocritical, as I’ve stated before. They make this huge stance about player safety. Then you put the players in tremendous danger,” Sherman said. “We’ll be well aware come the next CBA negotiations about things like this. There’s really not much you can do right now. It’s part of the revenue, etc., etc. And the league probably has something else up their sleeve. They might have a Friday night game planned. Who knows?”

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Read More: Los Angeles Lakers, Richard Sherman, Steph Curry,
Britt McHenry plays victim in ‘Marie Claire’ interview about towing company rant video 12.13.16 at 12:07 pm ET
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NY PostA year and a half since a video of her verbal attack on a towing company employee went viral and cast a pall over her reputation and career, Britt McHenry wants her detractors to know her side of the story.

Reliving the moment those “hurtful words” came out of her mouth and recalling each online post that threatened her life or insulted her character make the 30-year-old ESPN reporter regret her “embarrassing” behavior all over again.

In a first-person feature published in Marie Claire on Monday, McHenry tried to soak up every bit of a reader’s sympathy. She related her life story, as well as her parents’, in an attempt to show who she is beyond the ugliness of the words she snarled at a towing-lot employee — who’s glossed over in her appeal for pity. Her blowup has come to represent her, and she expands on the many apologies she delivered following the video’s release and her one-week suspension from ESPN on April 16, 2015.

“I blame myself for all of this,” she wrote. “But the video is not who I am. I’m telling this story because I want people to know the real me, to understand the true story about my upbringing, and how that night changed everything. It’s my hope that someone reading this can learn from it and avoid the same pitfall.”

Oh, please. It’s really hard to feel sorry for McHenry after watching that video.

But the real kicker is when she gets into this in the interview:

It’s hard to describe how it feels to have people dislike you when they don’t even know you. It takes a toll on your mind and body alike. In fact, in dealing with all the stress, the vision in my right eye grew cloudy. I could no longer see clearly; everything was a blur. I went to a retinal specialist, who diagnosed me with CSR, a condition in which vision is impaired, often due to trauma or extreme stress. Neither medication nor time helped alleviate the problem. I had no choice but to start a series of injections directly into my eye to try to regain my vision and prevent further damage. The first time I watched the needle approach my eye (yes, you’re awake for this!), I broke down, halting the process until I could regain my composure. I was a wreck, not so much because of the injection, but because of what had brought me to that point.

Wait, “It’s hard to describe how it feels to have people dislike you when they don’t even know you” ???

Britt, you don’t even know that tow company employee and you dislike her and insulted her. Ask her how it feels to have someone dislike you and not even know you. Maybe she can describe it.

Yes, it is understandable that McHenry was stressed after getting her car towed because that sucks. Complaining about the towing company just wanting to take people’s money is also understandable. But she should’ve stopped there.

If you want your life to be less stressful so you don’t lose your eyesight, maybe don’t insult people like that.

It’s fine that McHenry is taking the blame and admitting she was wrong, but it’s difficult to feel bad for her because she had to be awake while a needle was injected into her eye.

Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: MLB’s new hazing rule bans dressing players like women; former teammates serve as pallbearers at Joe McKnight’s funeral 12.13.16 at 8:14 am ET
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Good morning, here is your Tuesday 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.

TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Minnesota at Chicago, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Oklahoma City at Portland, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Chicago at NY Rangers, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball:
South Carolina State at Clemson, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Temple at Villanova, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Central Arkansas at Michigan, 9 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
Women’s college basketball: Seton Hall at Rutgers, 7 p.m. (Big Ten Network)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Major League Baseball has created an anti-hazing and anti-bullying policy that bans the baseball tradition of hazing rookies by dressing them up as women and making them wear offensive costumes.

The Associated Press reported this change in policy Monday night. The new policy forbids “requiring, coercing or encouraging” players from “dressing up as women or wearing costumes that may be offensive to individuals based on their race, sex, nationality, age, sexual orientation, gender identify or other characteristic.”

Forcing players “to consume alcoholic beverages or any other kind of drug, or requiring the ingestion of an undesirable or unwanted substance (food, drink, concoction)” is also prohibited under the new bargaining agreement.

So this is no longer allowed:

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Read More: Joe McKnight, LeBron James,
America’s 1st penis transplant recipient gives exclusive interview to Boston Magazine 12.12.16 at 8:51 am ET
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Thomas Manning, a Massachusetts native, probably has the greatest attitude about life of all time. The guy LOST HIS PENIS to cancer and persevered enough to get a new one.

I know guys who would rather die than live without a penis and this guy pushed through like a champ.

Manning is the perfect person to receive this country’s first penis transplant. When you hear someone underwent a surgery of this nature, you automatically have questions and want details. Others would naturally be uncomfortable talking about it, but not Manning. He will tell you anything you want to know.

Here are some excerpts from the interview. Notice how the interviewer is subtly trying to get Manning to talk about his sex life now, knowing that’s what readers will care about most, before finally outright asking him.

How did you pee?

They sent me home with a catheter and I became rather comfortable with it. I think it made it easier for me to learn to accept the position that I was in. Without the catheter, I just had a wound, and you couldn’t expose that wound. The only way to deal with it was with a catheter.

Did you still think about sex?

 I didn’t think there was going to be any more of that. I just came to terms with it. I didn’t dwell on it.

Were you resigned to living the rest of your life without a penis?

Oh, yeah. I wasn’t getting anywhere with the doctors for a long time. Your whole life is upside down. I was dealing with it, but I kept thinking there were [other patients in the hospital] all around me who were much worse.

How does it work? What is a successful outcome in the eyes of your doctors, and what is a successful outcome in your eyes?

The first milestone was, could I use the toilet? They didn’t think that would happen for a while, but they were very, very happy with the progress because it happened so fast. They say I’ll be able to do everything I’m supposed to do—go to the john, have a sex life, and regain full sensation. In my eyes, if I have to live without one of those things, then I learn to live without. I’ll learn to live with what I have. I expect to be in and out of the hospital for a long time. There are so many things involved here.

Based on what you’re telling me, I assume you’re not able to masturbate or have sex with your new penis?

Not yet, and I’ll tell you up front, I’m not even going to attempt to do that until March, maybe longer.

Are you nervous about that?

I’m not dwelling on it. You know, it’s important to me that I can do that. If [sex or masturbation] does happen, it would be a miracle, if you really think about it. I mean, when you think about what I had four years ago compared to what I have now—that’s a lot. It’s emotional for me. I get emotional about this. I sometimes want to be alone to think about how I really feel about this. I belong to a very exclusive club.

Monday’s Morning Mashup: Two Louisville football players shot at Heisman after-party; Johnny Manziel attends Heisman ceremony, celebrates with Lamar Jackson at hotel 12.12.16 at 7:53 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:
NFL: Baltimore at New England, 8:30 p.m (ESPN)
NHL: Boston at Montreal, 7:30 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Arizona at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m. (NHL)
NBA: Washington at Miami, 7:30 p.m. (NBATV)
NBA: Portland at LA Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (NBATV)
College basketball: Auburn vs. Boston College, 6:30 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Jacksonville St. at Maryland, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: South Carolina vs. Seton Hall, 9 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Two University of Louisville players were shot early Sunday morning at a party celebrating teammate Lamar Jackson’s Heisman Trophy win.

James Harries, a junior linebacker, and Henry Famurewa, a sophomore linebacker, were shot along with an unidentified Louisville student at an off-campus apartment complex.

Their injuries are non-life threatening and the police are still looking for suspects.

— Meanwhile, troubled former Browns quarterback and 2012 Heisman winner Johnny Manziel showed up at this year’s Heisman Trophy ceremony to see Lamar Jackson’s win.

say what you want, but this thing lasts forever #HEISMAN

A photo posted by Johnny Manziel (@jmanziel2) on

  Manziel stood alongside Tim Tebow and other Heisman winners and gave a thumbs up as his name was announced.

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Read More: Johnny Manziel, Lamar Jackson,
Is Erin Andrews engaged? 12.09.16 at 2:17 pm ET
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Based on this tweet, I would say yes. Based on her replies to people asking if she is engaged, I would say definitely yes.    

 

Also, this guy tweeted on Wednesday he thinks he witnessed the engagement actually happen.

So there you go. I’m not a professional detective but it seems to me these are pretty solid clues pointing to Erin Andrews being engaged. If not, then that original tweet is a little weird. 

She and current NHL free agent Jarret Stoll have been dating since 2012 and are now, we can assume, engaged.