It's a time for giving, and Jim Armstrong of AOL Sports offers these gift suggestions:
* For Eli Manning: A jacket to keep him warm in his brother's shadow.
* For Johnny Damon: A razor. On second thought, make it a hedge trimmer.
* For Curt Schilling: A new pair of socks.
* For Red Sox Nation: Nothing. You've already gotten everything you asked for.
Trivia time: Which two colleges produced four of the 32 quarterbacks currently starting in the NFL?
Closing ground: Researchers at Oxford University, comparing winning times from Olympic finals over the last 100 years, have determined that female sprinters are closing the gap on their male counterparts.
"If current trends continue, women will overtake men," Oxford's Andrew Tatem told Bloomberg News.
According to data from the research, the winning time in the women's 100 meters in 2156 will be 8.079 seconds. The winning time in the men's 100 will be 9.098.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Wednesday December 22, 2004 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 3 inches; 101 words Type of Material: Correction
Morning Briefing -- A trivia question in Morning Briefing in Sunday's Sports section asked which two colleges produced four of the 32 quarterbacks starting in the NFL. The answer -- Fresno State (David Carr of Houston and Billy Volek of Tennessee) and Marshall (Byron Leftwich of Jacksonville and Chad Pennington of the New York Jets) -- was incomplete. Three other colleges have produced two current starting quarterbacks: Miami (Vinny Testaverde of Dallas and Ken Dorsey of San Francisco), Oregon (A.J. Feeley of Miami and Joey Harrington of Detroit) and Michigan (Brian Griese of Tampa Bay and Tom Brady of New England).
"Men will be interested in this, but they may not believe it," Tatem said of his research.
Go, girl, go: If you ask Talib Humphrey, a fullback for the University of Miami, women are already faster than men.
Humphrey, who recently raced his girlfriend, Lauryn Williams, told Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "She beat me, and it wasn't pretty. There will be no more of those."
Williams won the silver medal in the women's 100 at the Athens Olympics.
Striking back: Humphrey said he found a way to get even. He took their dispute into the alley. "We went bowling, and I beat her bad," he said.
High-priced flea agent: Britney Spears treated Bit Bit, her pet Chihuahua, to a $180 steak at the Bellagio Hotel during her recent Las Vegas stay, the Mirror of London reported.
"Some people were shocked," wrote Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times. "No, not that Britney would spend such an amount on dog food -- rather the realization that Bit Bit must have Scott Boras as an agent."
Points galore: Regarding Reggie Bush's first touchdown against UCLA, in which he did a flying somersault into the end zone, comedian Alex Kaseberg says, "It marked the first time anyone scored six points and a nine from the Russian judge."
Looking back: On this date in 1984, Wayne Gretzky of the Edmonton Oilers, in his 632nd NHL game, scored his 1,000th point with an assist in a 7-3 victory over the Kings.
Trivia answer: David Carr of the Houston Texans and Billy Volek of the Tennessee Titans played at Fresno State, Chad Pennington of the New York Jets and Byron Leftwich of the Jacksonville Jaguars at Marshall.
And finally: There's a simple reason Illinois women's basketball Coach Theresa Grentz has more than 620 victories: "I don't accept losing," she said. "I think it might be one of the most stupid things in the world to do."
Larry Stewart can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.