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09/02/2011 - 10:07am
Byers on D&C: Belak death 'sad coincidence'

Former Bruins enforcer Lyndon Byers, now a morning co-host at WAAF, joined sister station WEEI Friday morning for a discussion about problems with brain damage caused by repeated hits to the head in hockey.

Wade Belak died this week -- reportedly a suicide -- and became the third NHL enforcer of playing age to die in the last four months, joining Rick Rypien and Derek Boogaard.

Byers said he's not treating Belak's case the same as the previous two.

"Sad coincidence," Byers said. "I expected a knee-jerk reaction. It's very, very sad that Wade Belak hung himself. My thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family. I think it's completely separate from Rypien and [Boogaard]. To be honest, I think all three deaths are completely separate.

"The Boogaard incident, he was doing drugs with his brother and overdosed. His brother might be going to jail for that. Rick Rypien dealt with depression. Millions of Americans --...

09/02/2011 - 8:42am
Nowinski on D&C: NHL has CTE problem

Continuing a discussion about this week's death of Wade Belak, the third NHL enforcer of playing age to die in the past four months, concussion expert Chris Nowinski joined the Dennis & Callahan show Friday morning.

Belak's death -- reportedly a suicide -- followed those of Derek Boogaard (accidental drug overdose) and Rick Rypien (suicide), and it has raised attention to the dangers of hits to the head.

"I think the NHL is being forced to realize that the problem of CTE [chronic traumatic encephalopathy] absolutely exists among hockey players," said Nowinski, a Harvard alumnus and former professional wrestler who works at Boston's Sports Legacy Institute, which is partnered with Boston University's Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy.

"We have not had the same dialog with the NHL that we have had with the NFL," he added. "I'm hoping we get that dialog so they can appreciate it. As you can assume,...

09/02/2011 - 7:48am
Mashup: Artest credits Ochocinco for name

The NBA is stuck in a lockout, but Lakers guard Ron Artest continues to make headlines. In an interview with ESPN's Stephen A. Smith, Artest guaranteed the Lakers will win the 2012 NBA title. "Win it all," he said he asked how his team will do. "Win the whole thing. That's a guarantee."

Artest, recently named to the upcoming season of "Dancing With the Stars," wasn't as confident about being successful on the dance floor. "That's going to be a problem," he acknowledged.

Artest also said that new Patriots receiver Chad Ochocinco inspired him to change his name to Metta World Peace. "When Ocho did it, I was like, 'That's kind of dope,' I want to change my name," Artest said.

Artest's petition to change his name was put on hold due to unpaid parking tickets. Said Artest: "I don't know how to pay a parking ticket. I've never paid a parking ticket in my life. There's so much fine print. I...

09/02/2011 - 12:26am
A-Gon on strikeout: 'I should still be hitting'

Following the Red Sox' 4-2 loss to the Yankees Thursday night, Adrian Gonzalez was in no mood to elaborate on the called third strike he took with the bases loaded to end the game.

Gonzalez showed his displeasure with home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez after Mariano Rivera's 1-2 cutter was ruled a game-ending strike. 

The only statement issued by Gonzalez before leaving the clubhouse was, "That pitch was down. I should still be hitting. It's a 2-2 count."

Replays showed the pitch to be borderline, with catcher Russell Martin catching it on the low, outside portion of the strike zone.

Rivera had loaded the bases after walking both Jed Lowrie and Jacoby Ellsbury, while also giving up a two-out single to Marco Scutaro.

For more Red Sox coverage, go to the team page at weei.com/redsox.


09/02/2011 - 12:18am
Haynesworth: Patriots 'career-saving' to me

FOXBORO -- Albert Haynesworth made his Patriots debut Thursday night in the preseason finale against the Giants and then went out of his way to thank the Patriots for giving him a chance to save his career. He and fellow newcomer Andre Carter were together on the defensive line, as they were the last two seasons in Washington, when Haynesworth quickly fell out of favor with the Redskins, the team that gave him $41 million guaranteed as part of a seven-year, $100 million deal prior to the 2009 season. 

"We were talking about how different it is and how we really like this place," Haynesworth said of his in-game chat with Carter. "This is a career-saving place for me to come. I had no idea it would be like this but it's unbelievable. I wish I kind of took [a look at the Patriots] two years ago and came here."

The Patriots acquired him in a trade just before camp opened and reworked his contract to a two-year deal worth $8.7...

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