MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Timberwolves at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Magic at Knicks, 7:30 p.m. (NBATV)
NBA: Thunder at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (NBATV) College basketball: Providence at UMass, 7 p.m. (CBSSN) College basketball: Sacred Heart at Northwestern, 7 p.m. (Big Ten Network) College basketball: Appalachian State at North Carolina, 7 p.m. (ESPN2) College basketball: Eastern Kentucky at West Virginia, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Chicago State at Marquette, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Oregon at Alabama, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Pepperdine at Gonzaga, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: North Texas at Creighton, 9 p.m. (FS1)
NFL: Lions at Saints, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
On one play, as Norman was trying to help tackle Giants running back Shane Vereen, Beckham raced in and launched himself at Norman’s head.
“The guy ran 15 yards down the field, dead-on collision,” the outspoken Norman said after Carolina’s 38-35 victory. “The play was all the way to the left side. He came back and was hunting, and it was just, like, malicious in every way.
“I hope the league office gets a chance to review the film and see what they can do, because players like that don’t deserve to be in the game.”
Added Norman: “It was ridiculous. I think it was personal. He was trying to come at me. I didn’t take nothing personal. I just went out and did my job.”
Beckham did not have a reception until midway through the third quarter, but he rallied late to finish with six receptions for 76 yards and caught a game-tying touchdown pass with less than two minutes remaining. However, according to Norman, the second-year receiver’s flaws were revealed for all to see.
“You going to get out here, and you’re going to dance around and prance around like you’re a ballerina, that goes to show you,” Norman said. “When you cut back layers, you see. Everybody saw that live on national TV. There’s nothing that I can show that he hasn’t already been exposed.
“The maturity level on him is just as a little kid. I think he needs to grow. I tried to do my best to respect people.”
Beckham said he’s not concerned about additional penalties from the league, implying Norman was the instigator.
“You never want to hurt your team like that, and I have learned throughout my life, always, second man gets caught,” Beckham said. “It is just unfortunate.”
Giants coach Tom Coughlin acknowledged that his second-year player did not have his finest moment.
“We had discussed prior to the game, going in, what the expectation would be, and he thought that that was all behind him,” Coughlin said. “But he did lose his composure. … I wanted him to play the game. He had to learn. He’s got to learn at some point how to deal with some things on the field.”
— All is not well in Buffalo, where the Bills clinched another season without a playoff appearance following Sunday’s 35-25 loss to Washington, and frustrated defensive end Mario Williams appeared to accept the likelihood that he’ll be sent packing soon.
“Of course there’s going to be changes. That’s obvious,” said the highly paid Williams, who also questioned some of the moves by his coaching staff. “You just wait and see if your number is called, that’s all.”
Rex Ryan insists his team continues to play hard — and the Bills did rally from a 21-0 deficit to make it a game before losing to fall to 6-8.
“As bad at as it was — there’s no question it doesn’t get much worse than this — it wasn’t [a] lack of effort,” Ryan said. “I’m telling you, there was no quit in anybody.”
Ryan said the final two games will be important for “every coach, every player” to prove they should remain with the team, as he acknowledged the season has become a disappointment.
Said Ryan: “Did it go according to plan? No, not this year.”
“I will fight,” a defiant Blatter said in a news conference. “I will fight until the end.”
The punishment is related to a $2 million payment to presidential hopeful Michel Platini, who also was banned eight years. Platini, a FIFA vice president who heads UEFA, also is expected to appeal his suspension.
Platini was paid $2 million in 2011 as uncontracted salary for advising Blatter from 1999-2002. Blatter approved the payment, insisting there was an oral agreement. FIFA’s ethics committee did not buy his explanation, noting that Blatter was not able to “demonstrate another legal basis for this payment.”
Responded Blatter: “I regret, but I am not ashamed. I am sorry that I am a punching ball. I am sorry for football. … I am now suspended eight years, suspended eight years. Suspended eight years for what?”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Dec. 21, 1996, in their final game of the regular season, the playoff-bound Patriots rallied from a 22-0 halftime deficit to beat the Giants, 23-22. Which Patriots receiver caught eight passes for 124 yards and finished the season with an NFL rookie record 90 receptions?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “My good friend loved the game of football, [he] loved being at all my games, always had my back,. I definitely dedicate that touchdown to him. I pointed up. I know he was up there watching. [I] just definitely made that score for him and I know he was going crazy knowing that it was dedicated to him.” — Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, on dedicating Sunday’s touchdown to friend and trainer Dana Parenteau, who died last week at the age of 42
STAT OF THE DAY: 6 — Consecutive seasons with 12 or more victories for the Patriots — one short of the league record — as they improved to 12-2 with Sunday’s 33-16 win over the Titans
‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): Hawks forward Paul Millsap powers through for a dunk over Magic center Jason Smith.
Panthers forward Jaromir Jagr moves into sole possession of fourth place on the NHL‘s all-time scoring list with his 732nd goal, coming in the first period against the Canucks.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Terry Glenn
SOOTHING SOUNDS: Ray Hildebrand, better known as “Paul” from Paul and Paula, was born on this day in 1940.
Fauria is on the field at Gillette and calls the boys to set the scene and preview today's Pats game with the Titans coming to town.
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Curran calls the guys to preview the Patriots and Titans at 1pm today. He discusses the fact that Brady will play and if it surprised him that he missed practice on Friday. He also talks about the other injuries hurting the Pats, the Panthers chances at 16-0, Steelers vs Broncos later today and more.