This is the most Peyton Manning thing of all time. I’m not talking about the words of encouragement. I mean taking those words of encouragement and using them to sell high-fructose corn syrup drinks to the masses.

Leave it to Pay-me-a-ton to take his personal correspondence and allegedly innermost thoughts and turn them into a way to make a fast buck. It’s just so him. Because make no mistake, there are two messages here, and they are not “Keep grinding” or “I’m proud of you.” They are “Buy Gatorade” and “Peyton Manning is more than a quarterback. He is a brand that needs to continue to generate revenue.” Even if it means taking his private letters to the people he supposedly cares about and turning them into ad slogans.

I’d expect nothing less from a guy who is so fully invested in his career as a pitchman that he used the occasion of winning a championship on the last game of his career to plug beer and crappy pizza. His image is as manufactured as the products he shills to a gullible nation. And his popularity no less the result of slick marketing than this Gatorade ad. “Sincerely?” Yes. Sincerely exploiting everything he can.

P.S. It’s genuinely sad to see Chris Mortensen in such tough shape. I hope he finds a way to beat his cancer somehow so we can all go back to giving him the business like before. Thoughts and prayers.

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Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton


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In case you missed it Thursday night because you were watching the Celtics or Red Sox, or just observing the Patriots fans’ boycott of the NFL draft and watching “Big Bang Theory” instead, a subplot unfolded that was easily the most bizarre I’ve ever witnessed in the lifetime wasted watching the draft.

As Ryan Hannable reported on WEEI.com’s It Is What It Is blog earlier, 10 minutes before the draft began, the video above popped up on the Twitter account of Ole Miss left tackle Laremy Tunsil. Before we go any further I should point out that Tunsil is not your garden variety first-round prospect. As of a few weeks ago, before Tennessee traded out of the top spot, he was the presumptive No. 1 overall first pick. Most draft sites listed him as the best player in the draft at any position. In one of my draft previews I wrote of Tunsil, “He’s the best tackle prospect since Joe Thomas came out in 2007. Which is to say much better selection than your Brandon Scherffs, Ereck Flowers, Greg Robinsons or Luke Joeckels.” So to have every personnel staff in the NFL watching him do the old Ground Control to Major Tom on the most important night of his life was just surreal.

Ian Rappoport kept coming on NFL Network with reports of Tunsil’s agent frantically working the phone to assure everyone his client is a good kid. They played the “account was hacked” card. We heard the video is five years old, which would make him 16 when it was taken. As the round went on, more and more teams treated the supposed best prospect of 2016 like a piece of unexploded ordinance before the Dolphins finally tossed him a lifeline at the 13th spot.

Naturally, the plot has thickened. It’s long been public knowledge that Tunsil, like dozens of kids in Lifetime Original Movies before him, has had problems with his stepfather, Lindsey Miller. He got in a fight with the guy last year, and both were charged with domestic violence against each other. Tunsil’s side of the story was that he was protecting his mother. Miller’s side of the story was to expose his stepson for taking improper benefits, which led to Tunsil being suspended for the first seven games of last season. Miller also filed a defamation suit against Tunsil … two days before the draft. It doesn’t take Batman to identify the likely criminal mastermind behind the video is Miller.

Miller, for his part, denies the allegation with the airtight alibi, “I don’t know nothing about no video. I’m not even watching the draft. … I was a Red Cross volunteer of the year. I would never do anything like this.” Ordinarily, I’d say being a Red Cross volunteer of the year would exonerate you from any wrongdoing ever. But Lindsey Miller checks every suspect box from means to motive to opportunity, so I’m pointing all pointable parts at him.

But no matter what you believe happened, there’s no denying this a great story. Add to the fact Tunsil has outed his old school for giving him cash payouts, and you realize this kid is going to be endlessly entertaining. Welcome to the NFL, Laremy Tunsil. I look forward to the dozens of blogs and hours of radio you’ll provide.

P.S. It’s a sad commentary, but Tunsil would have gone to the Ravens with the sixth pick and made millions more dollars if five years ago he’d hit his girlfriend instead of a bong.

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Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton
Lucy calls in to talk about her podcast and the "More Than Mean" tweets. The guys are now big fans.

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Lucy calls in to talk about her podcast and the "More Than Mean" tweets. The guys are now big fans.

[0:06:01] ... on cares about is quietly to her what did you go to Wellesley College do you value of alternates sexual persuasion. I'm not a lesbian. By mom went there and I think it was the biggest ...
[0:06:39] ... porter's you're going to miss porter's and in that hurt it to Wellesley College yet again that you grow and graduate journalism school which is of these waste time and disease and jobs journalism. But because ...
[0:08:50] ... a biblical language sexuality and sexual. National has beaten the tourniquet I'm Ray Emery says he likes older man older in a married man in the seventh. It and it. Sixteen I mean little guys who ...
[0:11:08] ... what you're its portable once and that's important he said dividend on Internet savvy. Can you name all four Beatles. And I've ever seen the godfather and or animal house yeah. Over quell wail over and ...






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Draft prospect Laremy Tunsil had a tough night after a video of him was posted to Twitter smoking weed.

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The Hawks took care of the Celtics in six games. The guys discuss the dismal end to the season.

Welcome to Friday’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.

Welcome to Friday’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.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Yankees at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN, MLB Network; WEEI-FM)
NBA playoffs: Raptors at Pacers, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNews, NBA TV)
NBA playoffs: Heat at Hornets, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA playoffs: Clippers at Trail Blazers, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL playoffs: Blues at Stars, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL playoffs: Predators at Sharks, 10:30 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Reigning National League batting champion Dee Gordon became the latest player punished by MLB’s performance-enhancing drug policy, as he was suspended 80 games Thursday.

The news came after Gordon helped the Marlins complete an impressive four-game sweep of the Dodgers, Gordon’s former team.

“I’m shocked and surprised,” manager Don Mattingly said after the locker room doors were kept closed for about 30 minutes. “Obviously, it’s two different ends of the spectrum for us. You would expect all these guys to be in here all excited — and then we get this news. So it’s not quite the same feeling.”

Mattingly was manager of the Dodgers for Gordon’s first three major league seasons. Gordon, the son of former Red Sox pitcher Tom Gordon, was traded to Miami before the 2014 season, and Mattlingly rejoined him a year later.

“These guys love Dee, and we’re going to support him,” Mattingly said. “I feel like Dee’s one of my kids, to be honest with you, because I’ve known him so long. So we’re going to love him, and then we’re going to support him. He’s been a big part of the success that we’ve had.”

Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander, however, was not as supportive. He was upset that Gordon was allowed to play while appealing his ban. Gordon reportedly dropped the appeal Thursday.

Tweeted Verlander: This PED [expletive] is killing me. If u test positive u need to not play. You should be allowed to effect games while appealing.

— Offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil had quite the night Thursday.

The Ole Miss product, widely considered one of the draft’s top players, slid to 13th after a video was posted on his Twitter account that appeared to show him smoking drugs from a gas mask attached to a bong.

Then, while meeting the media after being selected by the Dolphins, Tunsil admitted accepting money from Ole Miss coaches in apparent violation of NCAA rules.

The smoking video was was posted minutes before the draft started, then deleted. Then Tunsil’s Twitter account was deactivated.

“Man, it was a mistake,” Tunsil said of the smoking. “It happened years ago. Somebody hacked my Twitter account, and that’s how it got on there.”

Tunsil said he wasn’t angry even though his drop in the draft was an expensive one.

“I don’t know why they hacked my account. I didn’t do nothing to nobody. I’m harmless,” he said. “I’m ready to play football, man. It’s a love for the game. It’s not all about the money.”

Tunsil missed the first seven games of the 2015 season after the NCAA ruled he received improper benefits. On Thursday on his Instagram account — which he also said was hacked — someone posted text messages that appeared to show Tunsil requesting money from Ole Miss staffers for rent and his family’s utility bills.

Asked about it by reporters after his selection, Tunsil at first denied any impropriety but later acknowledged he did take money from a coach, saying, “I’d have to say yeah.” The press conference then was abruptly ended.

Tunsil also reportedly faces a lawsuit from his stepfather related to an incident last June, when both men were charged with domestic violence against each other.

— Raiders owner Mark Davis, rebuffed in his efforts to move his team back to Los Angeles, announced that he wants to relocate to Las Vegas and is willing to commit $500 million to building a stadium there.

The NFL has been leery about Las Vegas mainly due to legalized sports betting in casinos there, but David is eager to move from Oakland, where there the team plays in an outdated, dilapidated stadium.

“We need a home. We need a stadium,” Davis said Thursday in Las Vegas. “That’s what Las Vegas is going to provide us and it’s going to be a great marriage.”

Davis’ fellow owners will need to support the move for it to happen, and Davis said he believes he can sway them.

“Let’s give them an offer they can’t refuse,” he said. “They’re going to approve it based on that.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On April 29, 1986, Roger Clemens set a major league record by striking out 20 Mariners. The Red Sox were in jeopardy of losing the game, however, as Gorman Thomas hit a home run in the top of the seventh inning. Which Red Sox player answered with a three-run home run in the bottom of the inning for a 3-1 Sox lead that would stand up as the final score?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Yes, its very emotional for me, just because we gave it our all. We never put our head down, like I said, this group of guys is something special. I mean, I played, I gave it my all, so that’s why it hurts that much more. I wish I could have done more, but it just happened to be like that. So, it is tough on me, though.” — Isaiah Thomas, after the Celtics were eliminated from the playoffs with Thursday’s Game 6 loss to the Hawks

STAT OF THE DAY: 0-5 — The Red Sox’ record in games pitched by Clay Buchholz this season, following Thursday’s 5-3 loss to the Braves that dropped his personal mark to 0-3

‘NET RESULTS: Rockies sensation Trevor Story sets a National League rookie record with his ninth home run in April, surpassing Albert Pujols’ mark of eight.

From a soccer game in Sweden on Wednesday, after someone throws a firework that explodes at the feet of Malmo substitute Tobias Sana while he’s warming up on the sideline, the player picks up the corner flag and throws it at IFK Gothenburg fans, and the game is suspended.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Dwight Evans

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Tammi Terrell, who died in 1970, was born on this day in 1945.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar