It might be Thanksgiving, but there are some sports people who don't seem to be in a holiday mood this week. Magic coach Stan Van Gundy came to the defense of his division rival, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, before Orlando beat Miami on Wednesday night. One day earlier, Lakers coach Phil Jackson said in a radio appearance that Spoelstra could eventually be replaced by Pat Riley if the Heat continued to struggle, making reference to when Riley replaced Van Gundy as Heat coach and led them to the 2006 championship.

 

New England played host to the longest Division 3 basketball game in history Tuesday night as Southern Vermont fell to visiting Skidmore, 128-123, in seven overtimes. The game broke the previous Division 3 record by two OTs and tied the Division 1 mark (1981 Cincinnati-Bradley game). Skidmore hit a tying basket near the end of four of the overtimes, and Skidmore had an advantage in bench scoring of 65-9 . Southern Vermont guard Lance Spratling played all 75 minutes.

Two of the things to be thankful for this year: Undersized local sports stars such as Danny Woodhead, and the Patriots' resurgence. (AP)There can be no doubt that Thanksgiving in the greatest holiday ever invented. There’s minimal shopping involved, no gifts, no wrapping or running around. It consists of nothing but football, drinking, eating to excess, more football and leftovers.



JERRY THORNTON

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Elite agent Scott Boras is in the middle of a controversy involving baseball prospects in the Dominican Republic, and he could face sanctions from the Major League Baseball Players Association. Boras' company allegedly provided tens of thousands of dollars in loans and payments to families of teenage prospects in an effort to secure them as clients. However, there are restrictions on such behavior, and it's up to the players union to determine if Boras crossed the line.

Last week, Jets coach Rex Ryan challenged fans to get to their seats by kickoff and help his team get off to a fast start. Apparently, the fans didn't realize Ryan also would like them to stay until the finish. Thousands of fans headed for the exits after the Jets squandered a fourth-quarter lead Sunday vs. the Texans, and they missed the Jets' game-winning touchdown drive engineered by Mark Sanchez. Meanwhile, the news got worse for five Jets fans who were sent to the hospital after an escalator accident at the Secaucus train station.

Red Sox owner John Henry has hired Damien Comolli, a friend of A's general manager Billy Beane, to do a "Moneyball"-style analysis of his new soccer team, but there is skepticism that it will work with Liverpool FC. "I don't think there's a business anywhere in the world which is not using metrics, not as a template for success but as a tool," Beane insisted.

The Jets are 5-0 on the road but just 2-2 at home. Rex Ryan hopes to change that trend, starting with Sunday's game vs. the Texans, and he's asking for the fans' help. The Jets coach on Wednesday said he wants his team to get off to a fast start, and the crowd can help by ending the tailgating early enough to be seated in the stadium before kickoff. "I’m just asking that we start tailgating earlier so by the time the introductions come out, we’ve got a butt in every seat," he said.

 

Congratulations, Pete Carroll. USC's victory over Boston College in the 2009 Emerald Bowl made your team champion of ... the Emerald Bowl. And nothing else. (AP)Generally speaking, I consider myself to be a guy with fairly middle-of-the-road, mainstream tastes. The stuff I like tends to be widely popular and the stuff I don’t usually isn’t.



JERRY THORNTON

BIO | ARCHIVE


The UConn women edged Baylor, 65-64, in a thriller Tuesday night in Hartford to improve their record winning streak to 80 games. UConn's surprise savior was Bria Hartley, who was playing in just her second college game and missed her first six shots before hitting two 3-pointers and an inside basket down the stretch. Read more about that story, plus check out videos, trivia and more, at Wednesday's Morning Mashup.

Jets offensive lineman Damien Woody was not pleased after perusing the Internet following his team's overtime victory over the Browns on Sunday. The former Boston College and Patriots blocker did not appreciate people implying the Jets were more lucky than good. So, he tweeted: "Lots of haters out there calling us lucky ... will y'all please check tha stats of the game b4 drinkin tha Haterade."