Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NHL: Bruins at Islanders, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Canadiens at Rangers, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Ducks at Sharks, 10 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: Nuggets at Grizzlies, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Bulls at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Dayton at UMass, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Maryland at Ohio State, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: UConn at Cincinnati, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Kentucky at Missouri, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Eastern Kentucky at Murray State, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Colorado at USC, 9:30 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Utah at UCLA, 10 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: San Francisco at BYU, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)
Tennis: Australian Open, 3:30 a.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— A former Jets quarterback has come to the Patriots’ defense — sort of — claiming deflating footballs is such a common practice that “every team does it, every game.”

Jeff Blake, who started his career with the Jets in 1992 and went on to play for the Bengals, Saints, Ravens and Bears before retiring after the 2005 season, made his claim during a radio interview Wednesday with Nashville’s 104.5 The Zone.

“I’m just going to let the cat out of the bag, every team does it, every game, it has been since I played,” said Blake, who made the Pro Bowl as a Bengal in 1995. ” ‘Cause when you take the balls out of the bag, they are rock hard. And you can’t feel the ball as well. It’s too hard.

“Everybody puts the pin in and takes just enough air out of the ball that you can feel it a little better. But it’s not the point to where it’s flat. So I don’t know what the big deal is. It’s not something that’s not been done for 20 years.”

Blake said he used to order ball boys to let the air out of his footballs just before games throughout his time in the NFL.

“Well, I would say [to a ball boy], ‘Take a little bit of air out of it. It’s a little bit hard.’ ” Blake said. “And then he’d take a little bit out and I’d squeeze it and I’d be like, ‘OK, it’s perfect.’ That’s it.”

Added Blake: “I guess it wasn’t a big deal back then, but it is now.”

— While we’re on the topic of Deflategate, apparently the practice is not limited to football.

Knicks president Phil Jackson admitted in a 1986 Chicago Tribune article that his Knicks championship teams of the early 1970s used to deaden the basketballs in order to compensate for New York’s lack of height.

Jackson claimed it helped the team’s rebounding.

“What we used to do was deflate the ball,” Jackson said in the story. “We were a short team with our big guys like Willis [Reed], our center, only about 6-8 and Jerry Lucas also 6-8. [Dave] DeBusschere, 6-6. So what we had to rely on was boxing out and hoping the rebound didn’€™t go long.

“To help ensure that, we’€™d try to take some air out of the ball. You see, on the ball it says something like ‘inflate to 7 to 9 pounds.’ We’€™d all carry pins and take the air out to deaden the ball.”

Added Jackson: “It also helped our offense because we were a team that liked to pass the ball without dribbling it, so it didn’€™t matter how much air was in the ball. It also kept other teams from running on us because when they’€™d dribble the ball, it wouldn’€™t come up so fast.”

Asked about it Wednesday, Jackson tried to downplay the Knicks’ actions, insisting the balls were not deflated below the NBA-mandated minimum weight of 7 PSI.

Tweeted Jackson: joy of tweet is correcting errors. Knicks used under inflated balls. wrong! ball has7-9lbs psi. we wanted 7 psi softer but not illegal.

— Soccer star Ronaldo was suspended two games Wednesday for his behavior in a match over the weekend, when he received a red card for kicking an opponent.

Ronaldo, who earlier this month won his third Ballon d’Or as the top player in the world, will miss Real Madrid‘s next two games.

During his team’s 2-1 victory over Cordoba on Saturday, Ronaldo kicked defender Edimar in the leg (causing Edimar to grab his own face and flop on the ground) and put his arm in the face of Jose Crespo, whom he appeared to punch earlier in the game. Ronaldo later apologized for his actions.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Jan. 29, 1996, the Red Sox sent outfielder Lee Tinsley, reliever Ken Ryan and minor league outfielder Glenn Murray to the Phillies for which pitcher (and two minor leaguers)?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “You know why I’m here.” Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch‘s reply to every question but one during media availability Wednesday

STAT OF THE DAY: 55 – Points by Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving in Wednesday’s 99-94 victory over the Trail Blazers, Cleveland’s eighth straight victory — despite playing without LeBron James

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): 76ers forward Jerami Grant delivers the monster slam on Pistons big man Jonas Jerebko.

Zach Lavine takes a half court alley-oop pass from Timberwolves teammate Andrew Wiggins against the Celtics.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Heathcliff Slocumb

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Charlie Wilson, former lead singer of The Gap Band, was born on this day in 1953.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar

The entire WEEI contingent went out to a nice steak dinner in Phoenix Wednesday night. And when the restaurant seats Richard Sherman at the table right in back of me, I’m not gonna not give him the Richard Sherman treatment.

I’€™m the best blogger/radio host in the game! When you seat me next to a sorry cornerback like Richard Sherman, that’€™s the result you gonna get!!!

PS. It’s unbelievable that it’s 2015 and we still can’t break people of the habit of taking their cell phone videos vertically.

PPS. Thanks much to the nice law enforcement officer who politely led me out the door without taking me into custody. Go Patriots.

@JerryThornton1

Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton

Wednesday on Dale & Holley, we were joined on Radio Row by John Brenkus of ESPN’s “Sports Science.” And once those do-nothings in Stockholm get off their Smorgasbords and finally award a Nobel Prize in Football Air Pressure Physics, this interview will make John the unanimous choice.

I encourage anyone interested in the pursuit of knowledge and truth to listen to the interview by clicking here because he was a great guest. But if you can’t, allow me to superheat it into molten lead and forge it into a sword of facts you can use to cleave the head of the Flat Earthers who still want to believe the Patriots beat the Colts by five touchdowns and a field goal just because the footballs may have been down a PSI or two.

In a nutshell, there is nothing to the idea that an under-inflated football is easier to throw. Let me repeat that for the Luddites and Ray Lewises who are measuring all the Patriots’ accomplishments for an asterisk right now: NOTHING.

Assuming the reports about the footballs being two pounds per square inch less than the league minimum – a huge assumption at this point, but bear with me for the sake of our discussion –  few bullet points:

  • That ball leaving Brady’s hand at 50 MPH and traveling 20 yards would arrive at the receiver .003 per second slower. In other words, Advantage: Defensive back.
  • Abut that argument that the lower pressure makes the ball extra squishy and therefore easier to grip? The compression on a football measures one millimeter. Or approximately the thickness of Roger Goodell’s lips.
  • The weight difference between a 10.5 PSI and a 12.5 PSI ball is less than the weight of a dollar bill.

So there you have it. From John Brenkus, a neutral observer using the Scientific Method to pursue the irrefutable truth without the agenda of being hacked off that the Patriots cost him a Super Bowl ring or whatever.

Now the simple truth is that this evidence has been readily available to the NFL. Brenkus is on TV on a regular basis. He’s not some mad scientist creating this stuff in a secret lab hidden inside some mountain. He works for ESPN, a major broadcast partner of the NFL. If the league didn’t get this information from him, it’s because they didn’t want to know the truth. Witch hunts never do.

@JerryThornton1

Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton
We talk about four of our favorite Super Bowls (We only chose one Pats Super Bowl)

[0:01:23] ... Wii I come up a consensus between us some are four. Favorite Super Bowl it's not up for best Super Bowls. If we if we went and we don't like so much our four favorite Super Bowl that's today's for a four let's go any. Parts of we've compiled a list of four favorites and we only have one patriots Super Bowl on the list and you'll get to that one little bit later we're gonna start. With Super Bowl 43. With two minutes and 37 seconds to go Larry FitzGerald got a 64 yard touchdown pass from Kurt Warner. With 35 seconds to go to the Steelers responded Santonio Holmes makes a great catch from Ben Roethlisberger. Cardinals moving left or right. Warner the past we it's time fires over the middle. Supported. It's very old. You got a pretty unique and Larry FitzGerald. Brought it close. You're Warner C hall booted a we sure do it's. A bold. Yeah it's this then he's back people. ...
[0:03:01] ... Are always when it was Steelers fan. Emotions and big plays Robert James Harrison. In the interception. At the start at around the cardinals were in the red zone. Harrison makes incredible play in Britain birds ...
[0:03:46] ... he. Within a position to be the first quarterback to win the Super Bowl with two different teams and gives his team leader at the end and wasn't enough to hold on that Roethlisberger role cred that pro colonial homes catch pole where absolutely. Filthy clutch are at and. Yes Martin yes we are we go back to Super Bowl 25 Johnny adverse bills. Two minutes and sixteen seconds to go on the game. The bills are down one they have the ...
[0:05:34] ... favored. They were favorite inactive if the giants. And their other three Super Bowl appearances. We say after that I blowouts at. And America's o.s that game a debt of gratitude because that inspired in a largely Ace Ventura pet detective. You know it is no I looked nowhere there's no ray Finkel is no then they chose the phrase Burkle and that those that are Kennedy. Oh mr. Thornton how wrong you can be sometimes Super Bowl 23. Was a very close game. Three minutes and four seconds ago the balls on the San Cisco 49ers eight yard line ...






We talk about four of our favorite Super Bowls (We only chose one Pats Super Bowl)

[0:01:23] ... Wii I come up a consensus between us some are four. Favorite Super Bowl it's not up for best Super Bowls. If we if we went and we don't like so much our four favorite Super Bowl that's today's for a four let's go any. Parts of we've compiled a list of four favorites and we only have one patriots Super Bowl on the list and you'll get to that one little bit later we're gonna start. With Super Bowl 43. With two minutes and 37 seconds to go Larry FitzGerald got a 64 yard touchdown pass from Kurt Warner. With 35 seconds to go to the Steelers responded Santonio Holmes makes a great catch from Ben Roethlisberger. Cardinals moving left or right. Warner the past we it's time fires over the middle. Supported. It's very old. You got a pretty unique and Larry FitzGerald. Brought it close. You're Warner C hall booted a we sure do it's. A bold. Yeah it's this then he's back people. ...
[0:03:01] ... Are always when it was Steelers fan. Emotions and big plays Robert James Harrison. In the interception. At the start at around the cardinals were in the red zone. Harrison makes incredible play in Britain birds ...
[0:03:46] ... he. Within a position to be the first quarterback to win the Super Bowl with two different teams and gives his team leader at the end and wasn't enough to hold on that Roethlisberger role cred that pro colonial homes catch pole where absolutely. Filthy clutch are at and. Yes Martin yes we are we go back to Super Bowl 25 Johnny adverse bills. Two minutes and sixteen seconds to go on the game. The bills are down one they have the ...
[0:05:34] ... favored. They were favorite inactive if the giants. And their other three Super Bowl appearances. We say after that I blowouts at. And America's o.s that game a debt of gratitude because that inspired in a largely Ace Ventura pet detective. You know it is no I looked nowhere there's no ray Finkel is no then they chose the phrase Burkle and that those that are Kennedy. Oh mr. Thornton how wrong you can be sometimes Super Bowl 23. Was a very close game. Three minutes and four seconds ago the balls on the San Cisco 49ers eight yard line ...






Rich Gannon tells the story of when he got drafted by the Patriots and gives his view of deflate gate.

[0:00:42] ... we go back to Oakland after that Jack group. Is traded to Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the dumbest things Al Davis ever did. Of course we played in the Super Bowl flawed hero lost. Of course the patriots go along to you know for the last fifty years be the most dominant team in the NFL and of course. You know Tom Brady is is. That's good hall of Famer Bill Belichick that relationship you know you marvel to be got that is marvel at the consistency. Of that organization and what they bill ...
[0:02:48] ... could stout defense. Rich what's been your take on. The grief that Tom Brady's taken over the last ten days or so week. The aspersions cast on his on his character and his integrity I think ...
[0:06:07] ... Pretty pretty but Ella quite frankly I think for a guy like Tom Brady its your party's all about quickly is got to make sure that the other match they want. You over to Germany got ...
[0:06:39] ... football. Got to deal with a football gets the scrutiny that's important Mike McCarthy wrote a play called Green Bay can amount to one notable to point second half. But he yet to be patient running game. The other side of the matchup that villagers about the Patriots defense against the CO office that makes a rose to August the Packers. But the ball over four times. I think. Bill Belichick has the ability to kind of a two dimensional they could stop or show Lance and Russell Wilson Robert as Russell Wilson ...






Stephen A Smith joins the show to end the deflate gate talk and preview the Super Bowl.

[0:05:27] ... ruled unnecessarily. Jerky or whatever the case maybe you wanna label. Law. Bill Belichick the fact remains. That he answers a question. If what he just he's just let you know I don't wanna be here. ...
[0:07:13] ... happened. With those footballs and what do you think should happen with Tom Brady Bill Belichick if. I am in the minority when I say I think Bill Belichick had to do with this could you can't convince you what it's C championship game. Haven't a plan and plot to go up against Indianapolis. That bill politics that concerned about oppression let's just got a got a house in knowing that I don't know about not over your right now reportedly annoyed at Augusta or Brett that's mind. But don't tell me Tom Brady knew nothing. Because of the quarterback you get the snap from then the slaughterhouse you handle that you handed off to running backs you throw it to receivers. I think Belichick have less to do it at that Tom Brady. It is that they. I don't give it. It's cause I'm concerned deflate we'll pool again if that's what he adds no ...
[0:09:46] ... and curious to yours why the coast to coast hatred for the New England Patriots in your opinion what preferable to operate a lot. That's the thing separating us that he that he has bolstered with relatives ...
[0:13:08] ... you need that would tell me act the Eagles that you know Donovan McNabb thrown up wanna football that. With all the stuff OK and by the way if David G all the easiest why to help the kind of be why maybe because it don't matter. The fact of the matter is you figure out how to get Tom Brady that might lend itself to a victory I don't want you all of these excuse that means absolutely nothing to me. The New England Patriots have been. By law it's the best team in football the past decade ago that that back when I don't know. I ...






The best sounds of Christian during the Media Day festivities.

[0:00:35] ... see and it looks like yard run across the way in some punk kid over there you know trying to use his cuteness to get ahead. I guess we'll. They should be allowed. Discourages young doesn't mean you're a better job than I am doing so that is us in the news and there's John Emerson on channel seven. Is that guys went. So I felt not excusable if I notice you don't push you away but. I get closer. How ...
[0:02:35] ... I'm right here this is the funniest thing I've run from the Renaissance. Hotel it's a lack. To the Providence airport and I'm listen in the Dennis and Callahan has the guy in the car you ...
[0:03:21] ... almost bought the wheat helped us tax audit that that I am. Rodney Harrison will be witness here the broadcast what case a lot greater role next actress seven WBI. ...





Gordie Gronkowski talks about his son's wild year and tells some stories about raising his sons.

[0:01:09] ... got great moments in the sky low moments like Greg not a Super Bowl we're on high and sky high right now but you take a Specter last year at this time and it was in ...
[0:02:35] ... get to school league no one knows what they're all on the honor roll. The net and even my sites into stated he was to install all academic big twelve plus he was all big twelve ...
[0:06:01] ... you just go to our that's our policy. I'd I'd I'd like Pete Carroll's comments back his Pete Carol they asked Pete Carroll talk about the current picture of evidently either watch any game films yeah ...
[0:06:53] ... these terrific at the same beliefs are grunts guys you know they teach kids hard work dedication commitment and that. And what their to a toward a military right now is it's going to be kicked ...