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.

NHL: Bruins at Sabres, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Islanders at Capitals, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Ducks at Kings, 10 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: Knicks at Pistons, 7 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Lakers at Pelicans, 9:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Ohio State at Wisconsin, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Texas A&M at Vanderbilt, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Tulsa at Temple, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Central Florida at Tulane, 8 p.m. (ESPNews)
College basketball: South Florida at Cincinnati, 8 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: UConn at Memphis, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Colorado at Oregon, 9 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Murray State at Southeast Missouri State, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Utah at Oregon State, 11 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Portland at Pepperdine, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)


Josh Norman

Josh Norman

— The Rodney Harrison-Josh Norman feud took an ugly turn Wednesday — at least as far as Patriots fans are concerned.

After Harrison suggested that the Broncos try to injure Panthers quarterback Cam Newton in order to gain an advantage, Norman, the controversial Panthers cornerback, responded by bringing up the Patriots’ loss to the Giants in the Super Bowl XLII.

“You would have to ask [David] Tyree about that one. Remember [No.] 85, when he caught it over his head?” Norman joked, referring to the incredible catch by the Giants wide receiver during New York’s game-winning drive while Harrison tried in vain to dislodge the ball. “Rodney’s been saying a lot of things this year, he really has. To comment on something like that … I don’t know.”

Added Norman: “It’s something I don’t think this game would want. I don’t think it’s something the Panthers would want, and I know it’s nothing that me, as his teammate, would want. I don’t want it to happen, period.”

Harrison, known for his physical — critics would say dirty — play during his career, started this week’s back-and-forth when talking about Newton’s skill with the ball.

“If I see Cam Newton running the ball and he’s a quarterback and I’m on defense, I’m trying to hurt him,” the NBC Sports analyst said. “I’m trying to knock him out of the game.”

Added Harrison: “I guarantee you that as many compliments that Denver’s defense is giving Cam Newton, those guys are in the background saying, ‘If we can knock him out of the game, that’s the difference between us winning and losing the Super Bowl.’ ”

Meanwhile, if Norman is unhappy with Harrison (with whom he also feuded in December), he must really be upset with former NFL linebacker Bill Romanowski. The Boston College product — also known for his aggressive, sometimes over-the-line play during his 16-year career — told Bleacher Report on Wednesday that he would take a similar approach to Harrison in an attempt to slow down Newton.

“I’d hit him as hard as I possibly could, and probably at the bottom of the pile I’d try to get him by the neck and choke him,” Romanowski said to laughs. “And hopefully he can’t breathe for a long time.”

— The Flames are not pleased after the NHL handed defenseman Dennis Wideman the second-longest suspension for physical abuse of an official in league history, a 20-game ban.

Wideman, a former Bruin, was skating back to the bench after taking a hard hit during a game last month when he encountered linesman Don Henderson and knocked the official to the ice from behind. Wideman, who later apologized, was diagnosed with a concussion after the game, but the NHL called the hit “a forceful blow that was no accident.”

Responded Flames president of hockey operations Brian Burke: “[We] maintain Dennis’ collision with the linesman was unintentional and accidental. We agree that our officials’ safety and well-being is of extreme importance in order to allow them to perform their duties. They perform an invaluable but underappreciated role in our game. We support sanctions against players who make deliberate contact with any official. However, unintentional and accidental contact does occur at times in our game.”

Wideman, who had a chance to explain himself during a hearing Tuesday, had an appeal filed on his behalf by the NHL Players Association.

“Dennis has played in 11 NHL seasons and almost 800 games without incident,” the NHLPA said in a statement. “The facts, including the medical evidence presented at the hearing, clearly demonstrate that Dennis had no intention to make contact with the linesman.”

— Raiders legend Ken Stabler, who died of colon cancer in July, was diagnosed with Stage 3 chronic traumatic encephalopathy, Boston University researchers confirmed Wednesday.

Dr. Ann McKee told The Associated Press that Stabler had “quite severe” damage to the regions of the brain that affect learning, memory and regulation of emotion.

“We’ve now found CTE in former NFL players who played every position except kicker,” said McKee, a professor of neurology at BU. “While we know on average that certain positions experience more repetitive head impacts and are more likely at greater risk for CTE, no position is immune.”

Chris Nowinski, founder of the Concussion Legacy Foundation, said Stabler asked his family to have his brain studied.

“What is interesting about Ken Stabler is that he anticipated his diagnosis years in advance,” Nowinski wrote in an email to the AP. “And even though he’s a football icon, he began actively distancing himself from [the] game in his final years, expressing hope that his grandsons would choose not to play.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Feb. 4, 1990, which Bruin became the 32nd goaltender in NHL history with 200 victories following a 3-2 victory over the Quebec Nordiques?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “We did spot checks throughout the year and we measured PSI levels and recorded that information. Right now we’re evaluating the information. We didn’t have any violations this year, but again, we’re still in that evaluation phase to look at the information and then we’ll see what that tells us.” NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino, during a Wednesday appearance on SiriusXM Radio

STAT OF THE DAY: 24-12 — The Celtics‘ record this season when they score 100 points, following Wednesday’s 102-95 victory over the Pistons

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): Warriors star Steph Curry toys with two Wizards defenders and hits a floater in the lane.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Reggie Lemelin

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Florence LaRue of The 5th Dimension was born on this day in 1944. (She’s on the left in this video).

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar
Dale, Michael and Jerry speak with our favorite legal expert on our least favorite topic, deflategate. Michael McCann of UNH Law and Sports Illustrated helps us understand why the NFL didn't reveal any PSI numbers that it claimed it was gathering.
Dale, Michael and Jerry speak with our favorite legal expert on our least favorite topic, deflategate. Michael McCann of UNH Law and Sports Illustrated helps us understand why the NFL didn't reveal any PSI numbers that it claimed it was gathering.

[0:00:53] ... the NFL doesn't wanna share information that. Could potentially be used by Tom Brady not in the appeal but it Tom Brady where pursuant defamation lawsuit against the NFL. He would have to show that the NFL has actual malice but it's not only ...
[0:02:00] ... makes it clear that the commissioner has final authority it's not like Tom Brady or Tom Brady had a union to protect them has a collective bargaining agreement. Kraft is really limited by the contract that he signed the ...
[0:03:56] ... though you're not necessarily dismissing. Well throughout latest that the likelihood that Tom Brady collapsing you want to do is spend months if not years going to court against the NFL. Over an issue that I'm ...
[0:05:19] ... they do it and in what would that look like. They could Michael Vick to withdraw the appeal they could petition the second circuit in the federal appeals court and say we have decided to which ...

We check in one more time this football season with Peter King from the MMQB/SI. Peter is the NFL's pool reporter for the Broncos this week.
We check in one more time this football season with Peter King from the MMQB/SI. Peter is the NFL's pool reporter for the Broncos this week.

[0:03:24] ... let's be addressed he said Vicki I'm sure well I mean. Albeit Denver Broncos practice on Friday at the tires burst outwards but. There's no question that's going to be this upon last night. I'll be ...
[0:06:46] ... a year or worse. A year's worth of two good players. When Tom Brady still. You know playing well and I remember it getting it picks back. Obviously would be you know in in a future year would be would be good but it wouldn't be the same as using now. I don't know if it were purity that it probably were weaker but in my opinion. If I were the patriots are I would be working on because it's the only clear thing. Well be a while I don't question that Roger Goodell has a lot of respect and admiration for Tom Brady because he said so. Not enough to stop dragging him to court but he respects and admires him com where having a debate on our show and all around New England over whether or not Brady should show up. So that. MVP ceremony what the reaction be if he snubbed believe what what color depth player on the country. On the surprising to me I mean. If you're Tom Brady have to be thinking you'd you have to be just simply asking yourself. Should I show up at some leaks functions. To ...
[0:08:17] ... there were story with that is. You under sold the Yemen QBs. Peyton Manning peace a little bit because I thought there was a bomb shell in there and I am surprised more hasn't been made of it. The idea that. Ari Fleischer. Was working on behalf of Peyton Manning an agent Tom Condon got some investigators together. And they went to the diary institute and were given free access to Peyton Manning's records. Immediately leads this cynic to say how do we know that what was in the records before is still there are ...
[0:11:47] ... Of Wade Phillips. Putting his guys in position to. Maybe just turn Cam Newton to a pastors good passer but there's another obvious element to his game that. If you take that away if it could be a distinct that epic about Shula on the other side for Cam Newton going against. That Denver defense I'd still like this has got to be a competitive game and I don't think people are ...

We talk some Celtics as the trade talks heat up with the mention of Dwight Howard amidst trade rumors.
We talk some Celtics as the trade talks heat up with the mention of Dwight Howard amidst trade rumors.
Based off a poll of NFL players, we do some Super Bowl dreaming of our own.
We close out our show with the best soundbites of the day.

[0:01:31] ... well burn my name by huge ratings it was the lowest rated TV show in the history of the networks a lower than. Some like fourth of July re Rondo. Like the animal or super trade ...
[0:02:51] ... record though before we do suspicions about what may have happened before Super Bowl 36 is there anything anyone can say to you to get you to say OK it was claim there was nothing that ...
[0:03:57] ... out which means round and keep him. Except there I. The court Super Bowl week that means daily press conferences all remember both teams. Now a lot of questions are often repeated and indicates that the ...
[0:05:20] ... record some liners are Broncos team meet island soured it eagerly anticipated Super Bowl. BP paid AFC champion Brock god I'm here obviously the time in quite focus. The. Am free now they say we got ...

Based off a poll of NFL players, we do some Super Bowl dreaming of our own.

[0:00:47] ... NFL players like. If you had one pass to throw and a Super Bowl to win the game which quarterback would you want throwing that pass and by the way Tom Brady won me the polling ...
[0:02:21] ... it sent portal like what I at all like to see. Winner Super Bowl most of us very confused by the way it loud and I've got an eagle would you trust who would you like ...
[0:04:00] ... you're hurting here. February 3 2016. Chip Kelly. We'll be in a Super Bowl so it does. Say good things about me but I think Bruce variance because I pictured Jimmer seats at exploding at the ...
[0:07:43] ... know it yet I don't know arrived there with guys such a Bill Belichick player. But of all over the field telecheck we have so much fun Belichick Patricia. We're cool don't match. Tremendous. Brain and I just I just happy to see. You would I would not lose with any of our three our choice now you'll and a guy with any of that I'm gonna say that right now Luke equally is the best Boston College player. Ever in the NFL. I mean at night and awhile what would Doug Flutie Diddy Diddy. Bloody nose tackle. They're urging you to automate five probable survived it all pros that is correct about it I ...