Today in sports: Speculation about why hockey fights are down 25 percent this year, Ohio State will still get its bowl check next year, and the World Boxing Association orders a rematch of last month's "dodgy" welterweight title fight.
If you're at loose ends in northern Wisconsin on Sunday and are over the age of 15, the Green Bay Packers would like to pay you $10-an-hour to shovel the four inches of snow expected to fall prior to the team's playoff game against the New York Giants. The club is looking for 450 people to help clear aisles and seats at Lambeau Field, and will supply the shovels.. The last time the Packers enlisted locals for a snow-clearing effort, they only paid $2 an hour. [Green Bay Press-Gazette via PFT]
The World Boxing Association has ordered a rematch between Amir Khan and Lamont Peterson, who fought last month for the WBA and IBF welterweight title in Washington, D.C. Peterson won that fight (held in his hometown) after referee Joseph Cooper docked Khan two points for minor infractions. Khan claimed the bout was "dodgy" almost immediately after it was over, an argument that was strengthened last week when footage surfaced of an unknown man in dressed in black (seriously) who appears to be fiddling with the judges' scorecards at ringside. [Reuters]
Sally Jenkins of The Washington Post has scored the first sit-down interview with Joe Paterno since Penn State fired him in November. The interview won't be posted online until 4 p.m. tomorrow, but the paper is already trying to build up buzz for Paterno's "nextensive comments on the Penn State scandal and its fallout" via the Twitter hashtag #paternospeaks. [The Washington Post]
Fighting in NHL games is down 25 percent from where it was last season, even though the league hasn't made stopping brawls a point of emphasis. How to explain the drop-off? Theories abound: Former Calgary Flames general manager Craig Button says the speed of the game has increased, which means fewer players "lingering around" and getting into scraps. St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong argues that teams are increasingly reluctant to use roster spots on "single-dimension players" like the designated enforcers of yesteryear. Phoenix Coyotes general manager Don Maloney seconds Armstrong's point, and goes one step further, declaring that enforcers are "a dying breed." Of course, it was just two years ago that USA Today warned that fighting was "back with a vengeance," so it could just be a natural adjustment. [USA Today]
Ohio State won't be playing in a bowl game next year, thanks to the various NCAA violations committed under former football coach Jim Tressel, but the school will still receive its usual share of the Big Ten conference's bowl payout money. A conference spokesman admitted that the Big Ten has "no policy or precedent set in regards to financial penalties on conference bowl revenue" and that the revenue from a common pool established by member schools will be distributed equally next year as per usual. The AP expects Ohio State's share to worth "around $400,000" and ESPN college football blogger Brian Bennett notes that all of it will be profit, citing the tendency of schools to "spend so much money on travel, tickets and other expenses on their bowl trips that they are lucky just to break even." [AP]