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Post-Gazette sports reporter Paul Zeise blogs about the world of sports, and Pittsburgh sports in particular, with an assist from Seth Rorabaugh and his Morning Links. Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulZeise and Seth @emptynetters.
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-Former Chargers/Dolphins/Patriots linebacker Junior Seau died after a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 43.
-“It’s hard to put to words how I feel right now. I learned how to be a pro because of him. I learned how to start a foundation and work in the community because of him. I learned how to relate to people because of him — fans, signing autographs. I’m just hurt. He’s an icon I looked up to my entire life before I got to San Diego. Even to this day. It’s a numb feeling in my heart right now.” - Former Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson on Seau.
-"He brought a sense of renewed energy and a spirit to the field, off the field, in the weight room, just everywhere that Junior went and everyone that Junior was associated with. He instilled a belief that we hadn’t reached our potential and that we could be better and he would find a way to help make that happen." - Bills defensive coordinator and former Dolphins head coach Dave Wannstedt.
-Eight members of the Chargers 1994 AFC Championship team have passed away.
-Linebackers Jonathan Vilma (entire season), Scott Fujita (three games), defensive ends Anthony Hargrove (eight games) and Will Smith (four games) were suspended by the NFL for their roles in the Saints' bounty program. Fujita (Browns) and Hargrove (Packers) are no longer members of the Saints.
-"I INTEND TO FIGHT THIS INJUSTICE, TO DEFEND MY REPUTATION, TO STAND UP FOR MY TEAM AND MY PROFESSION AND TO SEND A CLEAR SIGNAL TO THE COMMISSIONER THAT THE PROCESS HAS FAILED, TO THE DETRIMENT OF ME, MY TEAMMATES, THE NEW ORLEANS SAINTS AND THE GAME." - Vilma (right) who was apparently really mad or doesn't know how to use Caps Lock.
-"I am disappointed the NFL has punished me with a four game suspension. I have never in my career, nor as a Captain asked others, to intentionally target and hurt specific opposing players. I was in no way involved in establishing or assisting Gregg Williams with implementing a bounty program. The accusations made against me are completely and one-hundred percent false, and I plan to appeal the decision along with the help of the NFL Players Association." - Smith.
-Several of the Steelers weren't happy with the suspensions.
-The Steelers cut running back Chad Spann and cornerback Antonio Smith.
-“The only problem is, he was so quiet — people weren’t talking about him. And quite honestly that made me uncomfortable.” - Seahawks general manager Bruce Irvin on drafting former West Virginia defensive end Bruce Irvin with the No. 15 overall pick.
-Former Redskins nose tackle Ma'ake Kemoeatu signed with the Ravens. He is the brother of former Steelers guard Chris Kemoeatu.
-The Patriots signed former Redskins wide receiver Jabar Gaffney (right).
-The Buccaneers signed former Rutgers defensive tackle Eric LeGrand. LeGrand, who was paralyzed two years ago, played for new Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano at Rutgers.
-A.J. Burnett is hammered as the Pirates are routed by the Cardinals, 12-3.
-Nate McLouth is working on a new swing.
-The minor league report.
-Angels pitcher Jared Weaver threw a no-hitter in a 9-0 win against the Twins.
-Evgeni Malkin, Lightning forward Steven Stamkos and Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist were named finalists for the Ted Lindsay Award.
-The second part of an evaluation of the Penguins' forwards.
-Brad Thiessen made 22 saves for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins who defeated the St. John's SeaCaps, 3-1, in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series. Cal O'Reilly recorded two assists for the Penguins. The series is tied, 1-1.
-"It was just, let's go out and get a split. Let's play our game. All the X's and O's, we already know those. We came in prepared. Just play a certain way and give ourselves the best chance to win." - Eric Tangradi on the win.
-Highlights courtesy of @EricP55:
-In response to Rangers fans chanting "Ovie Sucks" at the 8:00 remaining marks of each period in Games 1 and 2 in Madison Square Garden, Capitals fans responded at the Verizon Center last night with simple "Ov-ie!" chants at the 8:00 marks.-Flyers forward and former Penguins captain Jaromir Jagr (right), 40, suggested he could play until he's 50.
-Pekka Rinne made 32 saves for the Predators who shut out the Coyotes, 2-0, in Game 3. Phoenix has a 2-1 series lead.-A catfish was thrown onto the ice during the first period. One of the Predators' icegirls retreived it with her bare hands:
-With the hiring of Marc Bergevin as new general manager, the Canadiens announced interim head coach Randy Cunneyworth (right), a former Penguins forward, would not retain his position.
(Photos: Seau-Tom Pidgeon/Allsport/Getty Images; Vilma-Jamie Squire/Getty Images; Gaffney-Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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