Patriots

Wakeup Call: No gain, plenty of pain for 'Skins and RGIII

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Wakeup Call: No gain, plenty of pain for 'Skins and RGIII

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Tuesday, January 8:

BASEBALL
The Rocket's rehabilitation continues. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

It's finally official (or will be once he passes his physical): Lance Berkman's a Ranger. (AP)

The D Train is pulling -- or is that limping? -- into Chicago. (AP)

Jose Lopez' long, steady decline from 2006 All-Star to 2012 minor-leaguer is now taking him to Japan. (AP)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
At least Notre Dame won something last night. (AP) See below for sadder details.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
No controversy over the national champion this time, is there? (AP)

Eddie Lacy may leave Alabama for the NFL; he'll decide in the next few weeks. If he goes, we'll all remember his last game as a member of the Crimson Tide as a doozy. (AP)

There's a new Bear in Alabama, and his name is Nick. (nbcsports.com)

Barrett Jones played the game despite torn ligaments in his left foot (AP), though he was healthy to shove his own quarterback when they had an argument after being unable to get a play off on time.

There were lessons to be learned from last night's blowout; here are five of them. (NBC's Inside The Irish)

Another lesson -- as Manti Te'o goes, so goes Notre Dame -- was painfully evident, as well. (CSN Chicago)

And adding injury to insult . . . (CSN Chicago)

If you answered "everything" to this question, you were probably in the ballpark. (NBC's College Football Talk)

But the Irish say they're here to stay, and they certainly seem to be building the foundation of a program that can consistently compete for the national championship. (CSN Chicago)

Bill O'Brien "can't think of a better place to be" than Penn State. (AP)

Stanford's losing two of its tight ends. (AP)

GOLF
Underway at last! (AP)

HOCKEY
And now the fence-mending begins. Good luck, boys. You'll need it. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

When all is said and done, it looks like it'll be a 48-game schedule. (AP)

The Blackhawks don't agree with Kevin Paul Dupont. (CSN Chicago) In case you're wondering what the Dupes reference is all about, click here. (CSN New England)

Once they finally get back on the ice, Vegas says the Penguins are the team to beat. (CSN Washington)

But the Devils hope that what happened once, will happen again. (AP)

PRO BASKETBALL
I know we all hate the Lakers up here, but after a while you have to start feeling sorry for them, don't you? No? (AP)

On any give Sunday (or Monday) . . . (AP)

Attention, Mark Cuban: Dirk Nowitzki's not crazy about your team-building strategies. (NBC's Pro Basketball)

And the Bucks aren't crazy about Scott Skiles' coaching. (AP)

Sixers, meet Andrew Bynum. Andrew Bynum, meet . . . (CSN Philly)

PRO FOOTBALL
To quote Archie Bunker on RGIII's knee: It don't look, eh, whaddya call, good. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

And to quote Ricky Ricardo, Mike Shanahan's got some 'splainin' to do. (CSN Washington)

Guess there were no postgame tea and crumpets for the Redskins and Seahawks. (Pro Football Talk)

Nor for Bernard Pollard and a member of the Colts' coaching staff. (CSN Baltimore)

Speaking of the Seahawks, their worst fears were confirmed when Chris Clemons was ruled out for the rest of the playoffs. (AP)

Maybe it's me, but counting on Billy Cundiff to save the day doesn't seem like an optimal strategy. (CSN Bay Area)

Don't expect to see Willis McGahee on the field Saturday when the Broncos play the Ravens. The AFC Championship Game, now that's another story. (AP)

The latest name on the Eagles' checklist: Jay Gruden. (CSN Philly)

The Bears apparently hope that what the 49ers felt about Mike Singletary -- can't win with 'im; can't do it -- isn't true. (CSN Bay Area)

Bruce Arians is out of a Baltimore hospital and back in Indianapolis, though no one's saying what's wrong with him. (AP)

Old friend Matt Cavanaugh -- remember his days as the Patriots' backup QB, way back when? -- is out of a job, another victim of the SanchezTebow madness. (AP)

TENNIS
Australian Open officials, apparently feeling that past actions are the best indicator of future performance, make Novak Djokovic and Victoria Azarenka the top seeds. (AP)

Somewhere in the world, it's "too hot to play tennis". (AP)

Trump calls on NFL to suspend Marshawn Lynch for season

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Trump calls on NFL to suspend Marshawn Lynch for season

WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump says the NFL should suspend Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch.

Lynch sat during most of the U.S. anthem and stood for the Mexican anthem before Sunday's game against the Patriots at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City.

Lynch hasn't stood for the national anthem since returning from retirement this season.

Trump tweeted early Monday: "Great disrespect! Next time NFL should suspend him for remainder of season. Attendance and ratings way down."

Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started the movement last season when he refused to stand during the anthem to protest racial inequality and police brutality.

Patriots hit heights in altitude of Mexico City against Raiders

Patriots hit heights in altitude of Mexico City against Raiders

In a conference call last week, Raiders coach Jack Del Rio wondered if Sunday's game in Mexico City with the Patriots might show how two contrasting approaches to handling the altitude could impact the outcome. 

Bill Belichick, Josh McDaniels and Tom Brady made sure of it. 

The Patriots utilized a hurry-up attack during their first drive -- a 16-play sequence -- that tested Oakland's conditioning early. Who would handle it better? The team that spent the week training at altitude in Colorado Springs? Or the team that wanted to beat the effects of the altitude by training at sea level and traveling to Mexico City the day before the game?

PATRIOTS 33, RAIDERS 8

Judging by how Raiders rookie defensive back Obi Melifonwu asked to come out of the game, and seeing linebacker Nicholas Morrow doubled over on the sidelines during the series, the Patriots initially looked like the more well-conditioned club. 

Stephon Gilmore and Danny Amendola had to leave the game briefly because they were dehydrated, but the final score, 33-8, suggested that the Patriots were better prepared.

Brady certainly had no issues playing at Estadio Azteca. He finished the game having gone 30-for-37 for 339 yards and three touchdowns. He had a quarterback rating of 131.9. 

At various points, Brady's name was chanted at the stadium, which he said caught him by surprise. He recently watched the television copy of last year's Texans-Raiders game just to get a sense for what the crowd would be like, and he remembered hearing Raiders fans dominating the crowd.

"That was very much a surprise," Brady said of the cheers. "Especially since seeing some of last year's game; they were very pro-Raider. But it seemed like we had a lot of Patriots fans here too, so that was great to see."

Rob Gronkowski said that the interaction with the fans in Mexico -- which included walking from the locker room through the stands to the sidelines -- was one of the things that made the trip a memorable one. 

"We really didn't get to do that much, explore around or anything, but we got to interact with the fans and everything coming out of the tunnel," he said. "That was a cool experience, seeing all the fans go wild and everything, giving them high-fives, so that was super neat.

"I wasn't sure what to expect, never played down here. It was a great experience, though. The way the fans were interacting was actually unbelievable. They were super loud. They sounded proud, and it was just a great experience overall coming here. Having that type of experience definitely makes it worthwhile and awesome."

Stephen Gostkowski, who turned in one of the plays of the day with a 62-yard field goal at the end of the first half, was similarly grateful to play in such a unique environment. 

"It was just an unbelievable atmosphere," Gostkowski said. "The stadium was great. The fans were unreal. Just a fun experience. To have a hand in a win, see the excitement from all the guys, it was really cool."

"That was pretty cool," Brady added. "I've been around a long time so if you're a fan of the NFL, you've probably seen me at some point, but it's still an incredible experience to come here and play football and see the reception and hopefully there's more games here, and the game continues to grow, and other people get to see it in person and experience it because it's a game that I love and so do a lot of other people around the world."

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