Shaq and Charles Barkley were at each other again. Rob Gronkowski has a restructured contract that encourages more participation. And more rule changes from the NFL!
Tawdry details about Aaron Hernandez's life and suicide continue to be released. (The Sun Chronicle/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports)

Tawdry details about Aaron Hernandez’s life and suicide continue to be released. (The Sun Chronicle/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports)

When Aaron Hernandez was alive, he was viewed as a murderer who would likely spend the rest of his existence behind bars. But the disgraced ex-NFL star is suffering an even worse fate in death. He’s become a tabloid sideshow, with salacious details and rumors about his life getting leaked with little regard on seemingly a weekly basis.

It’s been more than one month since Hernandez hanged himself in his cell at Souza Baranowski Correction Center in Shirley, five days after he was acquitted of double-murder charges. Since then, an avalanche of documents pertaining to his time in prison have been released, painting the portrait of a tortured soul who frequently clashed with officials.

The revelations range from troubling to downright sad. One batch of records shows Hernandez racked up multiple serious offenses while he was incarcerated, including at least three for fighting and one for possessing a nearly six-inch metal shiv. Another set of prison documents recount an evening in which Hernandez devoured 20 honey buns from a mistaken jail commissary delivery, because he was so hungry. The former Patriots tight end also once ate a letter, so guards wouldn’t be able to read it.

All the while, sordid hearsay about Hernandez’s sexuality continue to circulate. Last month, Boston-based investigative reporter Michele McPhee said on Kirk & Callahan investigators were looking into Hernandez’s sexuality as a possible motive for the 2013 Odin Lloyd murder. According to McPhee, Hernandez was carrying out an intimate relationship with a male high school classmate, and Lloyd had knowledge of the romance.

Around the same time, the Daily Mail also started publishing stories about Hernandez’s alleged prison boyfriend. He was identified as Kyle Kennedy, a 22-year-old armed robber who reportedly had grown close to the one-time NFL star while they were imprisoned together. The story reached a fever pitch late last month when Kennedy’s lawyer held a press conference, claiming Hernandez left his client a $47,000 watch and addressed one of his three suicide notes to him. Lawrence F. Army Jr. didn’t address reports about the nature of their relationship, saying Kennedy would tell the story himself one day.

All the while, Hernandez’s fiancee has engaged in a public campaign of her own, seeking to dispel rumors about his sexuality. In an interview last week with Dr. Phil, Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez called the gay stories a “crock of bull.” She also denied Hernandez had left Kennedy anything.

It’s difficult to have sympathy for Jenkins-Hernandez, considering her apparent complicity in her fiancee’s purported evil deeds. She testified in both of his murder trials, claiming ignorance to his lifestyle and actions. In the Dr. Phil sit-down, she said she “more or less cooked and made food” for Hernandez’s friends, and then got out of the way.

But still, there’s something unsavory about watching a widow be confronted with tawdry rumors about her fiancee’s alleged secret sex life. Further compounding this feeling of uneasiness is the fact that the couple’s four-year-old daughter, Avielle, will be exposed to all of this one day.

That’s not to say Hernandez’s sexuality isn’t a worthwhile story. It may have been motivation for a murder, which makes it paramount to the public interest. The details involving his rumored relationship with Kennedy are less relevant, but inevitable. Hernandez killed himself in spectacular fashion, leaving blood on his cell’s walls and writing the biblical verse “John 3:16″ in red marker on his forehead. Palace intrigue surrounds every high-profile suicide, especially when it involves an NFL star-turned-murderer.

The Hernandez interest likely won’t dissipate any time soon, either, considering we still don’t know the contents of his three suicide notes. The letter he purportedly left for Jenkins-Hernandez was released earlier this month, though she questions its legitimacy. There was also one addressed to his daughter.

The intended recipient of the third note is unclear, however. Jenkins-Hernandez denies it was left for Kennedy, saying it was meant for Hernandez’s attorney. Jose Baez, who says he’s conducting an investigation into Hernandez’s death, has been peddling that claim for weeks.

At this point, everybody surrounding Hernandez seems to be focused on protecting their own self-interests. For his fiancee, it’s about resuscitating her reputation and perhaps making a little coin, since Hernandez’s estate is reportedly worthless. Baez, a shameless publicity hound, probably wants to milk the high-profile case for all its worth.

Hernandez’s brother spoke out of the first time Tuesday, too, promising to “tell Aaron’s truth.” In other words, he appears to be begging for his own highly paid appearance on a syndicated daytime talk show.

Since Kennedy’s attorney refused to say whether his client was romantically involved with Hernandez, one can assume that Kennedy is also holding out for a pricey tell-all interview. Recently revealed documents in which Hernandez asked to bunk with an inmate whom he calls his “heart” lend credence to the notion he may have been bisexual or gay.

The drip-drop of Hernandez revelations will probably continue to come out . The bloodthirsty media –– WEEI.com included –– will be there every step of the way.

The possibility of spending the rest of his life locked up in relative anonymity may have been too much for the 27-year-old Hernandez to stand. But this alternative is far worse.

 

Blog Author: 
Alex Reimer
After a strong first half showing from Boston, Kyrie Irving saved the collective asses of his Cleveland team mates. Marcus Smart didn't bother checking his heat and "Average" Al is born.But regardless of series outcome, this team deserves praise.

In an EPIC VIDEO, @Omaze has launched a campaign with @DavidOrtiz to join him for his jersey retirement ceremony: https://t.co/LZf5T7cFYZ pic.twitter.com/T8BreKa1Nf

David Ortiz is partnering with Omaze in a video campaign to get people to donate to win a trip to Boston to join him for his jersey retirement night at Fenway in June. Entries support the David Ortiz Children’s Fund.

He jokingly says in the video he will then come out of retirement to become an actor before showing a reel of him reenacting scenes from Boston movies. And it is glorious.

David Ortiz in a blonde wig might be the funniest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.

I am laughing so hard at the way he says, “Yes” in the Good Will Hunting scene I can hardly type this. In the movie, Matt Damon walks to the bar window but in this version Ortiz walks up to a house window as if someone coming up to the window of your house and knocking on the window out of which you are already staring and asking if you like apples is totally normal.

Spot-on Boston accent and Drew Barrymore impression.

Blog Author: 
Lucy Burdge
Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley got a little personal with each other Tuesday night. (Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports)

Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley got a little personal with each other Tuesday night. (Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports)

The playful bickering between Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkely seemed to get a little personal Tuesday following the Cavaliers’ victory over the Celtics in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

The exchange started when O’Neal dissed Barkley for only reaching the Finals once in his career –– a familiar refrain. But then Barkley went all in, accusing Shaq of riding Kobe Bryant’s and Dwyane Wade’s coattails to multiple championships. The partial transcript is below:

Shaq: Chuck, you have no idea what we’re talking about because you’ve only been to the Finals once.

Barkley: I wasn’t riding on Dwyane Wade’s and Kobe’s coattails.

Shaq: It doesn’t matter, Chuck. I got the same thing you got and I passed you up 10 years ago.

Barkley: If I had been riding on Kobe’s coattails and Dwyane Wade’s and Alonzo Mourning’s too, I forgot about him, and Rick Fox.

Shaq: People question why you’re in the Hall of Fame anyway, bum.

Later in the argument, O’Neal told Barkley he would “punch him right in the face” if he kept interrupting him.

With that one segment, the TNT crew may have supplied more drama than the NBA playoffs as a whole up to this point.

Blog Author: 
Alex Reimer
Hour 4: Pete Sheppard has taken over Fort Myers.
Hour 3: Gerry and Kirk talked about a big win for Cleveland and a rough night for LeBron.

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.

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:
MLB:
 Miami at Oakland, 3:35 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Kansas City at NY Yankees, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Texas at Boston, 7:10 p.m. (NESN, WEEI)
MLB: St. Louis at LA Dodgers, 10 p.m. (MLB Network)
WNBA: Washington at Chicago, 12:30 p.m. (NBA TV)

AROUND THE WEB:

— The family of Pete Frates, former Boston College baseball player and founder of the Ice Bucket Challenge, revealed they are struggling to pay the mounting bills for Frates’ medical treatment for ALS. The cost for Frates’ in-home treatment is an overwhelming $85,000-$95,000 per month.

“Any family would be broke because of this,” said Frates’ father, John. “After 2.5 years of this type of expense, it’s become absolutely unsustainable for us. We can’t afford it.”

Frates, who helped raise over $25o million for ALS through the Ice Bucket Challenge, is on life support at home and is able to remain there with his wife, Julie, and daughter, Lucy, because his bedroom has been converted into an ICU.

Julie said “Pete’s life would be over” if he had to leave his home for care in an outside facility. But now that the cost of keeping him at home has reached $3,000 a day, the family is asking for help.

“He’s in the advanced stages. He’s very sick. It’s costing us $3,000 a day for specialized nursing,” John said. “If we put him in a home, which is something that would be paid for by his insurance, he would last a day.”  

Rob Griffin, a philanthropist and Frates family friend, is collaborating with the family and ALS on a new initiative to raise money to help the Frates family and those in the same position. His goal is to raise $1 million through Home Heath Care Initiative.

“We hope to start an initiative to help the Frates family and all families that are going through that,” Griffin said. “And hope it takes off on national basis. We’re trying to kick it off here in Boston.” “I’m just extremely grateful that they are recognizing how significant Pete has been in this community,” Julie said. “We just want to keep him at home with his family.”

A fundraiser for the Frates family will be held on June 5 in Boston. For information on this and to donate, visit PeteFrates.com.

— It was a happy day for Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith and his wife, Jewel, on Tuesday as they were finally able to bring their newborn daughter, Dakota, home from the hospital.

Dakota was born five months premature in January and has been in the neonatal ICU at Hillcrest Hospital in Ohio since then. She weighed one pound when she was born and now weighs in at 7 pounds, 5 ounces.

Smith started for the Cavs Tuesday night when they beat the Celtics 112-99 in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “That stings when you can’t pull those out. We put together a lot of good basketball here. We didn’t put enough of it together tonight to win the game.” — Brad Stevens, on the Celtics’ 112-99 loss to the Cavaliers Tuesday night 

Blog Author: 
Lucy Burdge