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MORNING BRIEFING : TOTALLY RANDOM

McNabb isn't the only player tied up

November 20, 2008|Mike Penner

Donovan McNabb took a lot of flak for admitting he didn't know NFL regular-season games could end in ties, but it turns out the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback is not alone among NFL players.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger told the Associated Press he guessed half the league's players didn't know. Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward, an 11-year veteran, said he is one of them -- and he played in a tie game only six years ago.

The Eagles tied the Cincinnati Bengals, 13-13, last Sunday for the league's first tie game since 2002. The Bengals play the Steelers tonight and Pittsburgh Coach Mike Tomlin was asked if he was confident his players knew the game could end in a tie.

"I assume they do," Tomlin replied, "but obviously that's a dangerous assumption."

Trivia time

The Eagles' tie with the Bengals was the first in the NFL since Nov. 10, 2002. Which teams played in that 2002 game?

Zoned out

The NFL's four West Coast teams -- the Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks -- are 0-11 in games played in the Eastern time zone this season, USA Today notes.

The newspaper discusses the pitfalls of traveling cross-country and losing three hours and players being worn out by the time they arrive on the East Coast.

One other thing: The West Coast teams are 11-29 playing anywhere this season.

Zoned in

Revving up the obligatory trash talk required to hype their junior welterweight championship fight in Las Vegas, Paulie Malignaggi and Ricky Hatton have not disappointed.

Malignaggi: "All I know is Saturday night, I am going to beat his . . . !"

Hatton: "I should beat him and if I don't beat him, I'll have to start looking at things a little closer."

Malignaggi: "Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face. He'll use his plan until I punch him in his."

Hatton: "Sure, my fans are coming over -- 8,000 to 10,000 of them will be here even with the credit crunch we're having over in England."

Malignaggi: "Look at his resume. Other than [Floyd] Mayweather and [Luis] Collazo, the rest of the guys he fought were at least 100 years old."

Parking zone

The "ultimate tailgating vehicle" was recently auctioned off on EBay -- a bus Penn State used to transport its football players to Beaver Stadium for home games from 1980 to 2007, the first of several to be put up for sale.

The winning bid for the first bus on the block: $4,050.

"Entertain friends in style at next season's tailgates with a vehicle steeped in Penn State football history," read the promotional copy.

Or will it get an initial call-out at this year's Rose Bowl, should Penn State, as expected, get a bid? If so, it shouldn't be difficult to spot in the parking lot. The bus is painted blue . . . and blue.

Trivia answer

The Atlanta Falcons rallied for 17 fourth-quarter points to tie the Steelers, 34-34.

Battle zone

Headline in the South Bend (Ind.) Tribune, after Notre Dame's reserves nearly blew a 27-7 lead against the Midshipmen in the final 10 minutes: "Leave the subs to Navy."

-- Mike Penner

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