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Browns suspend O-line coach during assault probe

Andy Moeller, offensive-line coach of the Cleveland Browns, is the latest NFL employee to be tainted by domestic violence.  The team suspended him while a police investigation focuses on his alleged assault on a female guest.  Joe Thomas, Browns All-Pro left tackle, did not minimize the effect this development could have on players.   “Offensive linemen live in their offensive-line bubble,” he said.  “When things happen in our room it kind of makes waves.  Losing Andy for the foreseeable future is big news.”


Texas high-schoolers in blindside hits on referee

YouTube video captured two defensive players for San Antonio’s John Jay High School delivering blindside hits that knocked a referee to the ground.  One player ran full speed into the back of the ref, tackling him and knocking him to the ground.  A second player then piled onto the ref as he lay prone.  Sophomore linebacker Victor Rojas and senior defensive back Michael Moreno have been suspended by Northside Independent School District pending an investigation.  A spokesman for NISD said:  “Northside will not tolerate this type of behavior.”


Patriots cut Jonas Gray, last season’s hero

Jonas Gray was Sports Illustrated cover boy after rushing for 201 yards and four touchdowns against Indianapolis last November.  But the following week he overslept and missed practice and lost his starting job and has been losing ground ever since.  He was one of the final cuts by the Patriots last Saturday, and no one wanted to pick up his contract even though it’s modest by NFL standards.  Still, he has been offered a tryout by the Tennessee Titans and could be on their practice squad by Sunday.


Wayne leaves Patriots because they’re ‘not fun’

Reggie Wayne quickly tired of the New England Patriots.  The 36-year-old receiver signed a one-year contract on Aug. 25, but he was gone within two weeks.  Scott Zolak, who works on the radio broadcasts and formerly played for the team, said Wayne told him he was quitting because “the work environment is tough” and “it’s not fun.”  Players who leave the Patriots have spoken of an environment in which there can never be enough loyalty or work ethic, that everyone – as Teddy Johnson put it — “is walking on eggshells.”


Boras tries to limit Mets’ use of Harvey

The New York Mets’ front office erupted in anger when Scott Boras, agent of Matt Harvey, threatened to have the star pitcher withheld from the playoffs because of a heavy workload in the aftermath of Tommy John elbow surgery. Harvey has pitched 166 innings, and his surgeon, Dr. James Andrews, recommended a limit of 185.  Harvey tried to bring clarity to the picture by going to the Players’ Tribune, the website run by Derek Jeter, to write:  “I will pitch in the playoffs.  I will be healthy, active and ready to go.”  He has asked Boras to work with Mets general manager Sandy Alderson to devise a schedule for limited work prior to the postseason.  Boras is not well liked by the baseball establishment for the hard bargains he drives for his clients.  Mike Lupica of ESPN’s Sports Reporters, said of Boras: “We have to take some air out of him.”


ESPN benches Schilling after Muslim commentary

Curt Schilling, retired All-Star pitcher of the Boston Red Sox, has lost his job with ESPN because of controversial statements in social media that suggested Muslim extremists are as threatening as the Nazis were in the 1930s.  ESPN pulled Schilling from broadcasts of the Little League World Series and later announced that he will not be commenting on the remainder of the big-league season or postseason.  The network released a statement saying “Curt’s actions . . . have not reflected well on the company.”  Schilling apologized, saying he had made “a bad decision.”


Sinatra still popular for walk-up music

LA Times columnist Mike Downey posted on Facebook that young baseball stars of today are fond of Frank Sinatra, that Cincinnati’s Todd Frazier chooses “Fly Me to the Moon” as his walk-up music, while Bryce Harper’s song is “The Best Is Yet to Come.”

Just wondering:  What would Babe Ruth have chosen?  “Beer Barrel Polka” of course.


Confederate flags return to NASCAR at Darlington

NASCAR billed Sunday night’s Bojangles Southern 500 at Darlington, S.C., as “Thowback Week.”  The idea was to bring back the vivid colors of the 1970s and ’80s – the orange Tide, the Days of Thunder Mello Yellow.   But they inspired something they did not want: a flurry of Confederate flags, more than had been seen near a NASCAR race since, well, the 1980s at least.  In promoting itself as a coast-to-coast sport – not just Gulf Coast – NASCAR has tried to ban the controversial battle flag from its races.  The promoters of the Darlington race did not allow any images of the flag to be sold at the racetrack, but downtown Darlington had no such prohibitions.  After the Charlestown shootings in June, NASCAR chairman Bill France said, “We want to go as far as we can to eliminate the presence of that flag.”

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