GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

January 24, 2013

Crunch Time


Gloucester Daily Times

---- — Super Sabotage

A pair of Hall of Fame wide receivers dished out some serious accusations against former Raiders head coach Bill Callahan this week.

Hall of Famer Tim Brown said that Callahan sabotaged the Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who were coached by Callahan’s friend and former Raiders coach Jon Gruden by changing the team’s game plan late in the week.

“We all called it sabotage, because Callahan and Gruden were good friends. And Callahan had a big problem with the Raiders, you know, hated the Raiders. You know, only came because Gruden made him come. Literally walked off the field on us a couple of times during the season when he first got there, the first couple years,” Brown said.

To make matters worse ESPN analyst and Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice agreed with Brown’s theory.

Callahan called the allegations “ludicrous.”

Napoli has AVN

The Red Sox officially announced the Mike Napoli one-year deal yesterday.

The original three-year deal he received on the first day of the Winter Meetings was shortened to one year because Napoli’s MRI revealed he has avascular necrosis in both his hips.

Avascular necrosis, also known as osteonecrosis or AVN, “is a bone death caused by poor blood supply to the area. It is most common in the hip and shoulder, but can affect other large joints such as knee, elbow, wrist and ankle,” according to ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.

Former NFL and MLB star Bo Jacksonsuffered avascular necrosis, and his hip eventually was replaced with an artificial one.

“As of now, I don’t have any symptoms from it,” Napoli said. “I’m on medication to help me get through it. I haven’t had any symptoms from it. I played with it last year and there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be able to be there Opening Day and be a starter Opening Day.”

Napoli, who has caught the majority of his career, will be the Red Sox primary first baseman heading into spring training.

“The more reps I get over there, the better I know I can be,” Napoli said. “It definitely is going to be a lot easier on my body, you know, being on first base — physically, mentally. So I’m confident that I can stay healthy all year.”

-Compiled by Nick Curcuru and Christopher Smith