For the final 10 days of the year, WEEI.com takes a look at the top stories in Boston sports from 2010. On Wednesday, we started the list with No. 10: Kevin Garnett's return to form for the Celtics. Thursday brings No. 9: The Patriots' playoff meltdown against the Ravens at Gillette Stadium. Check back each day for the next story in our countdown.

Some Ohio State football players reportedly are being investigated for allegedly trading signed memorabilia for tattoos from a parlor near the campus in Columbus. The players' eligibility for the Jan. 4 Sugar Bowl against Arkansas could be in jeopardy, although the investigation might not be completed by then. Quarterback Terrell Pryor denied being involved, writing on his Twitter page: I paid for my tattoos. GoBucks.

 

Beginning Wednesday and continuing for the final 10 days of the year, WEEI.com takes a look at the top stories in Boston sports from 2010. Starting us off at No. 10 is Kevin Garnett's return to form for the Celtics. Check back each day for the next story in our countdown. And make sure to vote in our poll for the 2010 Boston Athlete of the Year.

Former NBA star Steve Francis is finding the going rough as a professional in China. The 33-year-old Beijing Ducks guard is struggling, and his frustration is showing. He reportedly entered his first game with an ice pack still on his ankle — and played (albeit only 17 seconds) with the ice. And on Tuesday he received a "serious warning" from the Chinese Basketball Association for making an obscene gesture on the bench. The league also ordered Francis' team to "educate and criticize" the player for his "uncivilized behavior."

 

I have a platonic female friend who has everything a woman could ask for: good looks, her health, nice career, great husband, a new baby who’s so cute that looking directly at her could cause temporary blindness. She’s got everything she could want with the exception of me, since I only have eyes for my own Sweet Irish Rose.



JERRY THORNTON

BIO | ARCHIVE


Patriots fans might get a chuckle, but Giants coach Tom Coughlin is not dealing well with his team's disastrous loss to the Eagles on Sunday. At Monday's press conference, he told reporters: "What did I do? I sat in a room with the lights out for about two and a half hours. It’s not funny. It’s not the way it’s supposed to be." Coughlin said he is moving forward with punter Matt Dodge, despite berating him on the field for not kicking the ball out of bounds as instructed on the game-winning touchdown that completed a fourth-quarter meltdown.

Jets coach Rex Ryan returned to his emotional ways, tearing up before his team in a meeting Saturday night, and it helped inspire the Jets to a victory over the Steelers in Pittsburgh on Sunday. Said receiver Jerricho Cotchery: "To see that passion from Rex shows you how much he cares about it. It has an effect on you as a player. You want to go out there and give it all for our coach who's up there crying. 
Our coach is a very passionate guy. To see how much he cares, to see him pulling it out up there, there was a sense of, 'Let's go.

Ron Artest takes honest introspection to a new level for a professional athlete. Before his Lakers met his former team, the Pacers, on Wednesday, Artest was frank about his immature behavior when he played in Indiana from 2002-06. "A coward, I was a coward," he said. "When you do coward stuff, you feel like a coward. I don't care if it was done intentionally or by mistake, you're still a coward. I don't care how young I was. That's not an excuse."

 

With the Knicks losing another game to the Celtics but claiming they've earned respect, New York moves on to prepare for Friday night's arrival from LeBron James and go back to complaining about how the superstar spurned New York to sign with the Heat in the summer. James explained yesterday some of his thinking about choosing a more established team over a struggling franchise. "Winning appeals to me. And it's all about winning. I'm not about saving franchises or saving this or that," he said.

Michael Vick said he wants to get a dog. The Eagles quarterback, who spent 18 months in prison for his role in allowing the fighting and abuse of dogs on his compound, said in an interview with NBC News on Tuesday that having a pet would show that his transformation is complete. "I would love to get another dog in the future," he said. "I think it would be a big step for me in the rehabilitation process.