Cheer up, Patriots fans. As rough as the last two weeks have been, at least your team is far better off than the once-proud Colts. Not only did Indianapolis fall to 0-9 with Sunday's 31-7 loss to the Falcons, team vice chairman Bill Polian went on a short postgame rant about those who are critical of his club. It's speculated that Polian was angered by a Sunday story from Indianapolis Star writer Bob Kravitz that quoted unnamed former Colts employees as questioning the competence of general manager Chris Polian, who happens to be Bill's son.

FOXBORO – There was a very telling moment in the Patriots locker room on the Thursday before the game with the Steelers. Tom Brady had his right shoulder and elbow heavily wrapped.



Jets coach Rex Ryan apparently will do anything for publicity. That includes pretending he's a Patriots fan. According to actor Adam Sandler, Ryan will make a cameo in Sandler's upcoming movie "I Hate You, Dad," which was filmed in Massachusetts last summer. Ryan plays a lawyer who also happens to be "a mammoth Patriots fan."

"We wrote it in the script," Sandler told NFL Network anchor Rich Eisen. "He was great enough to be loose and funny about it. He talks about [Tom] Brady. He talks about coach [Bill] Belichick. He's really cool."

Roger Clemens threw a bullpen session in Puerto Rico, and now a newspaper in that country is reporting that Clemens is considering suiting up for Indios de Mayaguez, the team his son Koby is playing for this winter. El Nuevo Dia quotes an unnamed player as saying Clemens "wants to pitch, that's 100 percent sure. I saw his desire to compete again. He was [at] the practice and said he wanted to play with his son."

After the Sharks lost on Monday to the Rangers, 5-2, Joe Thornton lamented San Jose's missed opportunity. "They were probably the softest team we played against on this road trip, and we should have had the two points," the former Bruin said.

Rangers coach John Tortorella initially brushed off the comments, but on Tuesday he responded with more vigor.

Shaquille O'Neal has written an autobiography (with help from Jackie MacMullan), and he pulls no punches when it comes to his feud with former Lakers teammate Kobe Bryant. Among the revelations: Kobe was upset that Shaq did not show more support when Kobe faced rape charges in Colorado, and the team stepped in and told both players to stop taking their beefs to the media. However, Kobe ignored the team's instructions and blasted Shaq in an interview with Jim Gray.

Dan Carcillo, in his first season with the Blackhawks after proudly serving as an instigator with the Flyers, was suspended two games by the league for a check from behind on Hurricanes defenseman Joni Pitkanen on Friday night. Rob Blake, from the NHL's Department of Player Safety, explained that Carcillo was suspended in part because "he has been fined and suspended multiple times in his NHL career."

The fan who caught David Freese's 11th-inning home run in Thursday night's classic World Series Game 6 returned the ball to the Cardinals player after making a quick deal for a signed bat and ball and a chance to meet the players.

Dave Huyette, a 39-year-old radiologist from Maryville, Ill., leaped a fence and snared the ball from the center field grass. He tucked it in his pants and escaped other fans looking for it. Then he was escorted to the Cardinals clubhouse, where he met Freese and struck his deal.

Well, now that I’ve caught my breath after a whirlwind return from the bye week in Ohio, here’s what’s been on my mind.

Somewhere Dan Duquette is smiling a very wide smile.



There were substantially fewer people at Saturday's UMass-UNH football game at Gillette Stadium than a typical Patriots game, but the event required more of an effort from police. According to the Attleboro Sun Chronicle, Saturday's "Colonial Clash," which drew a crowd of 19,800, ended with 64 people being placed into custody, compared with 48 at the previous Sunday's Pats game. Most of the fans were placed into protective custody for intoxication. There were 16 criminal arrests, including 10 for minors in possession of alcohol.