Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe reluctantly suggests that New England Patriot owner Bob Kraft should fire Coach Pete Carroll, whose team is reeling with a 5-5 record:
"By nature, NFL head coaches are social misfits, deranged maniacs full of threat and self-importance. Players fear them. They are like sacks of inner tubes and have no interest in schmoozing with corporate sponsors.
"Carroll, to his credit, is none of the above. But that's why he's probably not cut out to be a head coach in the NFL."
So it's the old nice-guys-don't-win routine.
Trivia time: What is the record for the fewest points by a winning Pacific 10 team in a bowl game?
The "oof" D: Northwestern center Evan Eschmeyer is 6 feet 11 and has some talent, but he thinks other basketball teams were able to contain him with an odd defense.
"They put three guys on me--one on each shoulder and had another guy punch me in the stomach when I caught the ball."
Put down: From comedy writer Alan Ray: "It's weird not having a pro basketball season. Normally by now, Michael Jordan is averaging 30 points a game. And so are the Sacramento Kings."
Ego trip? Craig Kilborn of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" on Keith Olbermann moving from MSNBC to Fox Sports News:
"Olbermann said he came to the decision after undergoing psychotherapy, which he enjoyed because it gave him one more hour a week to talk about himself."
Bumbling birds: Tony Kornheiser of the Washington Post on the Washington Redskins beating the Philadelphia Eagles, leaving each team 2-8:
"The Eagles are hideous. Their own owner called them 'pitiful.' If Bobby Hoying is an NFL quarterback, I'm Prince Charles. The Eagles have the worst offense I've ever seen.
"They allowed the Redskins defense to look like the Steel Curtain after everybody else in the league made them look like the Shower Curtain."
Set 'em up: Virginia men's basketball Coach Pete Gillen on 6-foot-8, 217-pound walk-on senior Raleigh Harbour, who was tending bar before he joined the team:
"He's a fifth-year bartender. We might not win the game, but we'll win the parties afterward."
Looking back: On this day in 1976, USC defeated previously unbeaten UCLA, 24-14, at the Coliseum.
Looking back again: On this day in 1977, Walter Payton rushed for an NFL record 275 yards as the Chicago Bears beat the Minnesota Vikings, 10-7.
Trivia answer: UCLA defeated Illinois, 6-3, 1991 John Hancock Bowl.
And finally: John Eisenberg of the Baltimore Sun, bemoaning the Ravens' 14-13 loss to the San Diego Chargers:
"There are no excuses when you lose to a quarterback named Craig Whelihan, who had lost all seven of his previous pro starts and threw so many sinkerballs into the dirt that the Orioles should consider signing him and putting him in their rotation."