MichiganAs pediatric cardiologist Dr. Ronald Grifka showed 10-year-old Ivan Applin the wire-framed device that would be used to fix the holes in his heart, the Toledo fourth grader had just one burning concern.

“He asked if the Michigan doctors were going to make his heart love University of Michigan instead of Ohio State,” his mother Jennifer laughs.

No, he would wake up loving the Buckeyes just as much as he ever did, Dr. Grifka, assured him.

I don’t pretend to be the world’s foremost college football junkie by any stretch. But I’ve always kind of wanted to be, in that way that George Costanza always wanted to be a Civil War buff. I’d like to be that, just not enough to actually become it. Part of the problem is I went to state college so I don’t have any skin in the game, so to speak. So I envy the people who have a school with a major football program they can care about.

That said, while I don’t follow college football as much as some, I am really big on hatred. I love the major rivalries. Put a game on Saturday where the two programs despise each other, where careers will be made and reputations tarnished and accomplishments will be celebrated forever and it’s on like Donkey Kong.

Take Michigan-Ohio St. That’s a rivalry I can get behind. It literally goes back to a actual border war over the strip of land that includes the valuable port of Toledo in which real shots were fired. In it, the Ohioans called the Michiganders “wolverines,” which was meant to be derogatory but they considered it a badge of honor and it stuck. That’s the kind of hatred you can’t invent. It’s real.

Which is why, as of this moment, Ivan Applin is my favorite 10-year-old in the world. Any kid who’s more concerned about preserving his irrational, obsessive loathing of Michigan than his own heart health can drink from my canteen any time.

Now you might think that because Tom Brady went to Michigan I’d be a fan, but no. My own Beguiling Irish Rose is a Notre Dame girl and I’ve got in-laws who are ridiculously over-the-top Wolverines fans so Brady aside I’ve got plenty of reason to hate them. And with all due respect to my broadcast partner Michael Holley, I have no love for Ohio State either. But regardless of which team my boy Ivan is into, I respect his game.

So best of luck to young Mr. Applin here, although he won’t need it. Any kid with a heart like his is going to be fine.


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Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton



Inside TrackThere’€™s been some trouble in paradise for Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen, and ‘€œDeflate­gate’€ is to blame, according to People magazine, but rumors that the couple is headed for divorce appear to be out of bounds.

“There have been a lot of stresses in their marriage in the last year, especially during football season,” a source close to Brady told the magazine, adding that 12 can be ‘€œnasty and cold’€ when engrossed in his own problems.

“€œTom is singularly focused on his career and sometimes Gisele feels left out. There have been arguments,” the source said.

Added a source close to Gisele: ‘€œThe biggest challenge they’€™ve been facing is dealing with the stress of the Deflategate situation.’€ …

“This summer was just a bit different,”€ a source close to Bundchen told the magazine. “Gisele had a lot going on, so they weren’€™t always in the same place at the same time.”

There. Are you satisfied now, human race?

Isn’t this what you wanted? Look I’m not buying the whispers out there that Brady and Gisele’s marriage is in trouble and all that. Those are just rumors spread by the kind of warped, joyless, soulless wretches who could find something ugly in a picture of an angel riding a unicorn over a rainbow. They look at the world’s most glamorous couple through the prism of their own charcoal briquette-like hearts and see only strife where the rest of us see only marital bliss.

But they’ve succeeded in one thing. And that’s causing problems with all this Deflategate nonsense. Tom and Gisele’s holy matrimony has endured the strain of the paparazzi, countless gossip columns, Tom’s injury in 2008, their various business enterprises and the butterfingers of Asante Samuel and Wes Welker. And through it all they’ve not only survived, but thrived. Happy to be together and raise their genetically perfect children.

But there’s only so much a marriage can take. Even with as much happiness and ideal bone structure as theirs has. And this Deflategate witch hunt has finally succeeded where all the other stresses and strains have failed. It’s a lot to endure, having one spouse being vilified, slandered and libeled in the press every day, no matter how close a couple is. And those malicious little succubi in the NFL and their execrable media lackeys who’ve carried this out because they wanted to do harm to Brady’s career are doing it to his personal life. Congratulations. I hope your proud of yourselves.

I have all the faith in the world Tom and Gisele will triumph over this the way they have every other challenge in their lives and their blessed union will go on forever. It’s just a sin to think they have to put up with this because the Ravens don’t know how to defend an ineligible receiver and the Colts can’t tackle anybody.


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Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton
Sean discussed his own firing from the Red Sox broadcast booth.

[0:01:35] ... who's next. I assume it's. You know a bunch of players as John Farrell a bunch of players the manager and and Steve got police got a column. Today endorsing Farrell that's all well and good ...
[0:04:19] ... on. Oh which is where we're ducky would do a better the Curt Schilling we're doing better than Donnie oh I remember the day. That. You were released by Nixon. Touched the curb unceremoniously. And Donna ...
[0:11:22] ... Dugard and hire somebody else reflects both very ripe all over the World Series because. Jackpot tonight so I really feel bad debut in the top spot in. They've been in addition to being enormous account that is really want to you guys know one of the really nice and clap on purpose that. Our games he's a great guy and you'd it's certainly not his fault he has to take it. Sorry to cut jobs their before she Sean McDonough but the other store were talking about this morning is Curt Schilling. ESPN has temporarily pulled him off the broadcast. Want to ask you you're thoughts on this because you are and he has been a broadcaster you know how politics work. I'll re surprised at all with the decision to its appall Curt Schilling off after he retreated dat who what's your take on that situation. You know I at December religion they're not much attention ...
[0:13:44] ... that radio announcers can make in a year you can still do college basketball he could still do. Because she couldn't do the British or on him masters but you know maybe could would you like ...

The guys discussed the latest on Orsillo.
Dean gave his thoughts on Schilling's tweet.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Gary Tanguay.
Callers gave their thoughts on Schilling.
Ben, Gerry and Gary talked about Schilling's tweet.

Welcome to Thursday’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 Thursday’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.

MLB: Orioles at Royals, 2:10 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Twins at Rays, 7:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
Little League World Series: Mexico vs. Venezuela, 4 p.m. (ESPN)
Little League World Series: California vs. Texas, 8 p.m. (ESPN)


Ahmad Brooks

Ahmad Brooks

— The 49ers‘ miserable offseason continued to get worse Wednesday, as linebacker Ahmad Brooks was charged with misdemeanor sexual battery for an alleged assault related to an incident in December involving former Niners defensive lineman Ray McDonald.

McDonald, who was charged with one count of rape of an intoxicated person, faces up to eight years in prison. He also was indicted by a grand jury for violation of a restraining order in May, when he allegedly broke down a bedroom door to get to his former fiancee and their infant. He was released by the 49ers in December, then signed with the Bears in March but was released after his May arrest.

Brooks faces a maximum of six months in jail for his alleged assault of the victim in the December incident. A woman filed a civil lawsuit in May against both men.

Brooks was sent home from Colorado, where the team is having joint practices with the Broncos leading up to Saturday’s preseason game.

“The organization is aware that a misdemeanor charge has been filed against Ahmad Brooks stemming from a December 2014 matter. We take any charge against a member of this organization seriously and are in communication with the NFL,” 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement.

Brooks, 31, has some discipline issues last season that led to his benching after 60 straight starts, but he promised that he had turned things around this offseason, including changing to a healthier diet and cutting out alcohol.

The 49ers have been reeling this offseason, parting ways with coach Jim Harbaugh, losing a handful of players to free agency (Mike Iupati, Frank Gore, Chris Culliver, Michael Crabtree and Perrish Cox), seeing four key players retire (Chris Borland, Anthony Davis, Patrick Willis and Justin Smith) and releasing pass rusher Aldon Smith earlier this month following his latest arrest.

— Recently retired offensive lineman Jonathan Martin opened up about his problems, saying that the challenges of being a football player — along with longstanding issues of trying to fit in — led him to attempt suicide multiple times.

Martin, who was the focus of the Dolphins’ bullying scandal as a second-year pro in 2013, played for the 49ers last season. He signed with the Panthers in the offseason but quit after injuring his back in the offseason.

Wrote Martin on Facebook: It nearly destroys you, many times, not fitting in. Your talent & accomplishments on the field never seem to be able to overcome the demons that you carry with you.

Martin, who said his problems started during his childhood in California, admitted abusing alcohol and smoking marijuana in an attempt to make it easier to feel like one of the guys.

Wrote Martin: You see football as the only thing that you are good at, your only avenue to make the shy, depressed, weird kid from high school “cool.” Your job leads you to attempt to kill yourself on multiple occasions. Your self-perceived social inadequacy dominates your every waking moment & thought. You’re petrified of going to work.

Concluded Martin: You let your demons go, knowing that, perhaps, sharing your story can help some other chubby, goofy, socially-isolated kid getting bullied in America who feels like no one in the world cares about them. And let them know that they are not alone.

— Investigators continue to work on determining how a construction worker fell to his death from the Vikings’ new stadium Wednesday, a tragedy that put a halt to the job in Minneapolis.

The victim, who worked for Berwald Roofing Co., fell from the edge of the roof into a snow gutter. Another employee was seriously injured on the roof but did not fall.

“This is a very tragic day in the life of the stadium construction project,” Mortensen Construction senior vice president John Wood said at a press conference. His company is the general contractor overseeing the job.

Added Wood: “Our priority is to ensure that we know exactly what happened and ensure that it never happens again. A man lost his life on this project today and that simply never should happen.”

U.S. Bank Stadium is expected to open next August, in time for the preseason.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Aug. 27, 1967, in another memorable game during the Impossible Dream season, the Red Sox held off the White Sox, 4-3, in the first game of a doubleheader after which Sox right fielder threw out Ken Berry at home in the ninth inning?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “He said, ‘You make $300 million in a night, then you can give me a call.’ … I think I actually make two to three times more than he does per second. So when he learns to read and write, he can text me.” — MMA fighter Ronda Rousey, continuing her feud with boxer Floyd Mayweather

STAT OF THE DAY: 6 — Weeks between wins for Red Sox pitcher Rick Porcello, who returned from a triceps injury and pitched seven shutout innings in Wednesday’s 3-0 victory over the White Sox

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): Holy Cross football players go wild as two of their coaches recreate a professional wrestling match during practice.

Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander loses a no-hitter in the ninth inning when Angels batter Chris Ianetta lines a single that hits the chalk on the left-field line.

Blue Jays outfielder Ben Revere skies to catch a fly ball at the wall against the Rangers.

A fan at the Cubs-Giants game in San Francisco drops his French fries trying to catch a foul ball, while another fan spills his beer but celebrates after coming up with the ball.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Jose Tartabull

SOOTHING SOUNDS: The late Edward Patten, a member of Gladys Knight & the Pips, was born on this day in 1939. He’s the one in the middle.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar