Bob Kravitz of the Rocky Mountain News writing on subplots and story lines of Sunday's AFC championship game between the Denver Broncos and New York Jets: A sampling:
"Shannon Sharpe vs. Keyshawn Johnson. Or, 'Just Give Me The Microphone.'
"Once these two gifted orators get going, they're going to make the Lincoln-Douglas debates look like the Pillsbury Bakeoff. Henry Clay was Harpo Marx next to these pros.
"Bill Romanowski vs. Brian Cox.
"Do you realize you could put all their league fine dollars together and exceed the gross national product of many nations?
"This week's unanswerable question is, 'Who's more nuts--Cox or Romo?' "
Trivia time: Who holds the NBA record for most regular-season games played in a career?
Last roundup: Blackie Sherrod in the Dallas Morning News: "When Cowboy fanatics finally emerge from their decompression chamber, they may accept the obvious conclusion.
"This could be a roster afflicted by age, attitude, atrophy, apathy, arrogance. But most likely, Your Heroes have become an assemblage of average players with a few above-average players, not unlike 15 other NFL outfits."
Wishful thinking: Before Arizona played the heavily favored Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, Cardinal wide receiver Ronnie Anderson said: "They've made a lot of mistakes in the playoffs. They've choked in the past."
Not Sunday. Vikings 41, Cardinals 21.
Harsh treatment: Steve Rosenbloom in the Chicago Tribune: "Jacksonville Coach Tom Coughlin fined two rookies $500 for being late for a team meeting. They were late because they were in an auto accident in which their car flipped four times.
"They were lucky they didn't die. That's at least a one-game suspension."
And this from Rick Morrissey of the Tribune: "They escaped an early grave, but they were fined for being late. It's a little like going through chemotherapy, then being criticized for a bad haircut."
Zzzzz: Jay Leno, on the NBA's abbreviated 50-game schedule after settling the lockout: "The 24-second clock now has a snooze alarm on it."
Come again? New Jersey Devil Coach Robbie Ftorek, on why Denis Pederson was excused from practice last week: "He's been a little bit under the weather, sickwise."
Looking back: On this day in 1968, the Green Bay Packers won their second straight Super Bowl, defeating the Oakland Raiders, 33-14, in Miami.
Trivia answer: Robert Parish, 1,611, over 21 seasons with four teams.
And finally: Bob Verdi in the Chicago Tribune: "It's all over now but the pouting for NBA players, and one can only hope they perspire better together than they collectively bargain.
"Disenchanted fans will demand quality when the games begin again, which means our heroes must ignore all those floor burns while their flimsy union was squashed like a grape by management."