4 at 4: Monday afternoon sports links

rblack@ledger-enquirer.comOctober 7, 2013 

AUBURN, Ala. — Far too many things happened in the sports world over the weekend for me to link to them all.

With that being said, I'll do my best to share some of the headlines that caught my eye during that span, from players who can't seem to stay healthy to others who are just plain disgruntled.

1. It's never a good thing when off-field stories overshadow actual production, but South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney has managed to pull that off. Seemingly every week, the Gamecocks uber-talented defensive end has a new injury surface. One week it's a stomach ailment, the next it's bone spurs in his foot or sore ribs. But Ron Morris, the fantastic columnist at The State in Columbia, S.C., says no one should be surprised by this turn of events. Like it or not, Clowney is simply saving himself for what should be lucrative first contract once he departs for the NFL at the end of the season. In the meantime, the Gamecocks will have to deal with his week-to-week indecisiveness whether he'll suit up and play. (A tip of the cap to my predecessor, Aaron Brenner, who astutely noted Clowney's litany of injuries is starting to resemble this memorable press conference from the 2008 US Open.)

2. It didn't take long for Josh Freeman to find a new home. The former Tampa Bay quarterback signed with Minnesota on Monday, reportedly agreeing to a one-year deal worth $3 million. However, he'll still hit the free agent market this winter unless he impresses the Vikings' brass enough in the last 12 games of the season that they decide to hash out a more long-term relationship.

(My take? I think it's a great move. Minnesota is 1-3 and going nowhere fast, and I never believed Christian Ponder was the answer at quarterback. Throw Freeman in there and let him see what he can do.)

3. There are quite a few irritated players in the sports world at the moment. Tampa Bay Rays ace David Price thinks media members who dare to criticize him are "nerds", while Chicago Bears receiver Brandon Marshall is far from pleased with his role in the offense, and expressed his thoughts loud and clear following their 26-18 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. And those two weren't even the worst offenders of the weekend. According to multiple outlets, Detroit Lions center Dominic Raiola repeatedly harassed members of the Wisconsin band prior to Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers. One would think after a similar report surfaced about Ole Miss football players misbehaving at a school play last week, others would learn. Raiola, apparently, is someone who prefers going through the school of hard knocks.

4. To end this on a positive note, let's hand it over to the folks at War Eagle Reader. Just click here to watch a GIF of Auburn defensive end Carl Lawson's post-sack dance (which involves a whole lotta skipping) of Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace on the Rebels' final possession Saturday.

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