All four Boston teams can boast some of the most loyal fans in sports, according to a new survey.

According to Bloomberg, New York-based Brand Keys Inc., recently put together the 19th annual Sports Loyalty Index, which surveys 250 fans in each team’s market and assesses the data based on factors driven by on-field success, fan bonding with players and the franchise’s history and tradition. (A club’s effort and sense of teamwork also can have an effect.)

A New Hampshire sportswriter pleaded guilty Friday to running a prostitution ring in Massachusetts and was sentenced to a term of between one and 2 1/2 years in state prison. Kevin Provencher also was fined $5,000 and ordered to be placed on probation after his release. Provencher, 52, worked for the New Hampshire Union Leader for 23 years and won four New Hampshire Sportswriter of the Year awards from the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.

 

One man's completely uneducated guess at five headlines you'll be reading this week …

1. Pierce scores 25, Garnett adds 18 in win over Knicks



KIRK MINIHANE

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University of New Hampshire football player Todd Walker was shot and killed Friday while on spring break in Boulder, Colo. According to police, Walker was walking home from a party with a female friend when they were accosted by a masked man with a gun. After a verbal and physical confrontation, Walker stepped in front of his companion and was shot in the heart.

 

"He was shot in the chest at point-blank range," Walker's father, Mark, told the Daily Camera. "I'm really proud of him. He would just sort of instinctively act that way."

GQ magazine has a piece on the worst fans in sports. Red Sox rooters, described as "insufferable hypocrites," came in sixth. Holding the top two spots are Eagles and Phillies supporters, with the Philadelphia residents termed "the meanest fans in America." Others of note: Yankees fans are ninth, Canadiens fans are 11th, and Lakers fans are 15th.

 

Jenn Sterger , the alleged victim of the lewd Brett Favre text message, is suing her former manager, Phil Reese, to get back her e-mails and texts and to stop Reese from using the material in a book. Sterger filed suit Tuesday saying she never intended for Reese to have full use of the material.

 

NBA referee Bill Spooner is suing an Associated Press reporter over a tweet that reported Spooner promised a makeup call to Timberwolves coach Kurt Rambis. The league said Tuesday that it investigated and cleared Spooner after the accusation but advised against the defamation suit. Nonetheless, Spooner went ahead, and some legal analysts say he might have a chance to win.

 

TNT analyst Charles Barkley went off on the Knicks Monday, calling ownership a "disgrace" for raising ticket prices and then putting a damper on fans' excitement over the acquisition of Carmelo Anthony by saying, "In the history of all basketball, they may be the worst defensive team ever."

 

Meanwhile, Barkley wasn't himself during his appearance on CBS' NCAA selection show Sunday, bringing up the question of if the network is trying to tone down the act that made him so popular on NBA broadcasts.

 

ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit moved his family from Ohio to Tennessee last week, blaming the departure on some rabid Ohio State fans who apparently think the former Buckeye should never criticize the school. "Eighty to 90 percent of the Ohio State fans are great," Herbstreit told The Columbus Dispatch. "It's the vocal minority that make it rough. They probably represent only 5 to 10 percent of the fan base, but they are relentless."

 

Magic coach Stan Van Gundy, in defending suspended center Dwight Howard, on Monday criticized the NBA and David Stern, saying the commissioner doesn't "tolerate other people's opinion or free speech or anything." Stern fired back Thursday, saying he would talk to the team's owners about the coach's comments and that he does not expect Van Gundy to criticize him again. "I have a feeling that some modicum of self-restraint will cause Stan and the team for which he works to rein in his aberrant behavior," Stern said.