According to a poll commissioned by The Hollywood Reporter, Sunday's Super Bowl is headed for record ratings, and while Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is the most disliked player in the game, Tom Brady surprisingly ranks higher on the list of most disliked NFL players.

 

Martin Luther King III, the 53-yard old son of the late civil rights leader, is part of a group trying to buy the Mets from the Wilpon family, which is being forced to sell at least a portion of its shares due to the Bernie Madoff debacle. TV executive Larry Meli noted that no MLB team has African-American ownership. "It's fitting with the legacy of Jackie Robinson essentially transferring to the Mets; what better place to have African-American ownership than with the Mets?" Meli told the New York Post. "The time and place are right for it."

 

A Maple Leafs fan avoided a fine for his waffle-throwing incident at a game in December despite his refusal to plead out and insistence that the team deserved the protest for its lack of success for many years. Joe Robb was charged with mischief after tossing the breakfast food on the ice during the Leafs' Dec. 20 game vs. the Thrashers in Toronto, mimicking another fan who lodged a similar protest earlier that month. On Thursday, Robb refused to refused to plead guilty, but charges were dropped in exchange for five hours of community service.

Religion played a key role in two top stories from Wednesday. In one, a Jewish hockey player sued the NHL's Ducks for religious discrimination because he said the team failed to prevent harassment by coaches of the minor league team he was assigned to in 2008-09. Jason Bailey claims he was the target of anti-Semitic comments by Bakersfield Condors head coach Marty Raymond and assistant Mark Pederson. After Bailey complained during the season, the coaches were suspended and wrote letters of apology to Bailey.

 

UConn booster Robert Burton is coming under fire after the publication of his six-page letter to athletic director Jeff Hathaway detailed Burton's displeasure with the hiring of new football coach Paul Pasqualoni. Burton said he want a portion of the $7 million he has donated to UConn returned because his advice was not heeded (he wanted to hire Steve Addazio). Burton, who sent a copy of the letter to Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy, also threatened to pull business from the state.

 

This past weekend in his Sunday Globe column, Dan Shaughnessy suggested all Patriots fans should join him in rooting for the Jets to win the Super Bowl.



JERRY THORNTON

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Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie, last heard around these parts blasting Tom Brady in the press and then helping his team knock off the Patriots in the playoffs, has a new target. While cleaning out his locker Monday following the loss to the Steelers a day earlier, the free agent expressed anger over the looming lockout.

 

Jets coach Rex Ryan got a sendoff from fans in the town where he lives before the Jets lost Sunday's AFC championship game to the Steelers. Fans were invited to show up outside his New Jersey house Saturday morning for an early morning pep rally. Invitations were sent by the mayor of Summit, N.J., as well as the local high school football coach. The event was approved by Ryan's wife, Michelle, who made an appearance.

 

The Patriots' loss to the Jets on Sunday was a blow to Boston sports' psyches. But it only falls in the middle of the pack in our list of Boston's 10 most devastating losses since 2000. To find out which humiliating losses rank ahead of it — inlcuding setbacks by all four of Boston's major professional teams — check out the entire list at the LEEInks blog.

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said his feelings were hurt by criticism from new Red Sox reliever Bobby Jenks last month, but Guillen admitted that his son Oney crossed the line when he tweeted details of a meeting in the manager's office with Jenks. Jenks had criticized his former manager's handling of the White Sox pitching staff, and Oney Guillen responded by suggesting Jenks had problems with his drinking and marriage, and that Jenks cried in a meeting in the manager's office.