A spectator pleaded not guilty to charges of trespassing and assault and battery for tackling New England Patriots linebacker Junior Seau on the sideline during the team's 47-7 win over visiting Arizona on Sunday.
Todd Kobus, of Attleboro, Mass., appeared in Wrentham District Court yesterday. A pretrial hearing was set for Feb. 17.
"I'm just a big fan of Junior Seau," the 31-year-old Kobus said in court. "I meant to give him a big hug. I absolutely did not mean to tackle him or anything along those lines. It was a stupid lapse in judgment."
The ticket account that includes the seat Kobus occupied was revoked by the Patriots, team spokesman Stacey James said. He said he did not know if Kobus was the owner of the account.
The club had no comment on whether it would review its security procedures, James said.
Seau, a 12-time Pro Bowler, had sat out the season before rejoining New England for its game at Seattle on Dec. 7. He was their leading tackler Sunday in his third game with the team this year.
* Add this to the growing list of Plaxico Burress' problems: getting in a car crash and not having insurance on his nearly $140,000 Mercedes-Benz.
The suspended New York Giants wide receiver was sued last week in Florida's Broward County Circuit Court for rear-ending a woman in May.
Compounding the Super Bowl star's defense, according to a document provided by the woman's attorney, is the fact his car insurance lapsed 3 days before the crash. A letter from Allstate says Burress neglected to pay his premiums.
Burress' attorney, Adam Swickle, declined comment.
Burress is still serving a team suspension for shooting himself Nov. 29 in a nightclub with an illegally carried handgun.
* Sidelined Cleveland Browns quarterback Brady Quinn and defensive end Shaun Smith reportedly had a physical altercation last week. According to WKYC-TV's Jim Donovan, who is also the team's play-by-play radio announcer, Smith punched Quinn in the face following a heated verbal exchange inside the team's weight room. Browns tight end Darnell Dinkins confirmed the fight during a radio interview on WQAL, saying Quinn's face was marked.
* The NFL wants an appeals court to reconsider a federal judge's order that blocked the suspensions of five players for violating the league's anti-doping policy, according to court documents filed in U.S. District Court in Minnesota. Attorneys for the NFL filed notice they were asking the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals to take up the issue after U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson in St. Paul, Minn., earlier this month cleared the way for Kevin Williams and Pat Williams, of the Minnesota Vikings, and Charles Grant, Deuce McAllister and Will Smith, of the New Orleans Saints to continue playing. Magnuson had said he needed more time to consider the dispute between the NFL and the NFL Players Association.
* Sammy Baugh, the NFL's original gunslinger, was given a cowboy send-off. The last surviving member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's inaugural class of 1963 was remembered by family and friends, 5 days after he died at age 94. Baugh was laid to rest in Rotan, Texas, beside Edmonia Baugh, his wife of 52 years, who passed away in 1990.
* Jay Zygmunt, the St. Louis Rams' president of football operations, resigned in the fallout from another terrible season. Longtime team president John Shaw also is expected to scale back his activities as part of a restructuring.
* Denver's already dinged-up backfield took two more hits as P.J. Pope (hamstring) and Selvin Young (neck) were added to the long list of injured tailbacks. Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said both are expected to be placed on injured reserve. Denver is expected to bolster its depth at tailback by activating Cory Boyd off the practice squad and signing Alex Haynes, who was waived by the Broncos on Nov. 22.
* Coy Bacon, a fierce pass rusher during a 14-year NFL career with Los Angeles, Cincinnati and Washington, died at 66 in his hometown of Ironton in southern Ohio, the Cincinnati Bengals said. The cause was not disclosed. *