Your morning roundup for Jan. 29, the day we got a little bit extra out of the ATM. Got any stories or photos for us? Tip your editors. Image via.


What we watched: The NHL Skills Competition. It's more fun than the NBA's version, which admittedly is not saying much, but all the same I was entertained last night.

Kane's superman routine was fun, as was the hardest shot contest. Although, I get the feeling the latter will soon get boring without the freak show, Chara. I always feel bad for the goalies during these things, though. They're just sort of along for the ride, in on the gag, but its always at their own expense. It pays off, in the end I guess. They get most of the credit come playoff time.


What we're watching (all times EST, unless noted): NHL: All Star Game at 4:00 p.m. (NBCSN) NBA: Chicago at Miami at 3:30 p.m. (ABC), San Antonio at Dallas at 6:30 p.m (ESPN). NFL: Pro Bowl at 7:00 p.m. (NBC). College Basketball: Notre Dame at Connecticut at 12:00 p.m. (ESPN3), Michigan at Ohio State at 1:00 p.m. (CBS)

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The Patriot way: How humble and bizarre were the Patriots' beginnings?
In one of their earliest games, a fan ran into the end zone to bat down an opponent's last-play, game-tying touchdown pass attempt. The fan then retreated, vanishing into the crowd with a Patriots victory assured. In another game, the stands caught on fire, interrupting play as evacuating fans congregated at the 50-yard line. Several other Patriots games were delayed by power outages, impromptu snowball fights or referees who refused to take the field until they were paid. In one memorable pregame sequence, an ex-player was plucked from the stands to suit up, then made the tackle on the opening kickoff. The team's practice site was a grassless high school field. For more than a decade, the Patriots' home field changed so often that tickets were sometimes printed without listing a location for the game. It could end up being any of the Patriots' 'home' sites: Boston University, Fenway Park, Boston College, Harvard Stadium, even San Diego or Birmingham, Ala. 'There were elements of Mel Brooks mixed with Knute Rockne,' said Richard Johnson, the curator for the Sports Museum in Boston. 'The Patriots were the underdog team in an underdog league. But there was also a Horatio Alger aspect to it all; they persevered and found their place.'" [NY Times]



49ers Linebacker Aldon Smith popped for DUI: "Miami-Dade County jail records show Smith was booked Saturday morning and held on $1,000 bond. Jail records did not show whether Smith was represented by an attorney. A Miami-Dade County Corrections spokeswoman said Smith was arrested by Miami Beach police. A police spokesman said he had no information immediately available about the arrest." [ESPN]

Tiger loses to something called Robert Rock:"Robert Rock of England held his nerve to hold off Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods and win the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship on Sunday. The 117th-ranked Rock shot a 2-under 70 for an overall 13-under 275 to beat the Northern Irishman by a shot and the American by two. Rock and Woods were tied for the lead going into the final round. After both players opened with birdies on two of the first three holes, Rock took the lead for good when Woods bogeyed the next two holes. Woods closed the gap to one after Rock's bad chip led to a bogey on No. 13. But the 34-year-old Englishman had birdies on two of the next three holes to seize control. McIlroy shot a 69 to steal second with Woods (72) in joint third." []


Your gag reel Interlude:

Crosby has (had?) a bum neck: "'The diagnosis of Dr. Robert S. Bray, a neurological spine specialist based in Los Angeles, is that Sidney Crosby had suffered a neck injury in addition to a concussion. Dr. Bray reports that the neck injur is fully healed. Those findings will be evaluated by independent specialists over the next few days. The most important goal all along has been Sidney's return to full health, and we are encouraged that progress continues to be made.' Crosby's agent, Pat Brisson, was at the 2012 Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Skills Competition and spoke to the media about Crosby's condition. He said that Bray's diagnosis will be examined by other specialists in the next 24 to 48 hours. Crosby visited Bray at the suggestion of Brisson, the agent said. 'Dr. Bray is a world-renowned spine specialist/surgeon that I have known for years," Brisson said. "He played hockey himself, understands the game, so I thought it was a good idea to bring Sidney there to have another set of eyes, another opinion.'" []


Oswalt to the Cards, maybe: "The Cards already have five starting pitchers under contract, so it's unclear exactly how Oswalt fits into the defending champions' plans for next season. The Red Sox have an open spot in their rotation, as John Lackey will miss the 2012 season due to Tommy John surgery. The Astros, the team that drafted Oswalt in 1996 and brought him to the big leagues, have not been major players in the sweepstakes for the 34-year-old hurler until now. Oswalt turns 35 in August. He posted a 3.69 ERA in 139 innings for the Phillies last year, but the Phillies declined to bring him back after he missed a significant part of the season with back injuries." [SI]

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