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Sports Lite

Nice to be back with you, sports fans. The Chiefs lost their playoff opener to the Ravens, their NFL-record seventh straight playoff loss since the early ’90s. Things got so bad that fans began chanting “Let’s go Royals!’’ early in the fourth quarter. …

Las Vegas handicappers have installed the over/under at three for the number of wedgies that will be given in the pile during the Ravens-Steelers game. …

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Athlon Interview with outgoing WNBA president Donna Orender

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Donna Orender succeeded Val Ackerman as WNBA president in 2005. Only the second president in the 15-year history of the league, Orender saw increases in attendance and television ratings during her tenure. She guided the WNBA through a number of successful business ventures, including an extension of its television contract with ABC and ESPN and a marketing initiative that introduced company logos on player jerseys.
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Sports Lite

A light-hearted view of the world of sports
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The Big Ten renames one of its divisions, the Cable guy is out in Oakland and the Gateway tot he West is now known as St. Albert.

Not that the Colts aren’t serious contenders, but when asked the other day if he were ready for the postseason, Peyton Manning said yes, he knew all the lines to his next commercial. …

Memo to New Yorkers digging their way out of two feet of snow: If it makes you feel any better, LeBron is really upset that he took his talents to South Beach instead of the South Bronx. …

Free-agent first baseman Derrek Lee has signed with the Orioles, but just so you know, it’s not about the money. It’s about a chance to be 10 games out by early May. …

By the way, have you seen Blake Griffin play? The kid jumps faster than the price of gas. He’s so good, the Clippers are thinking of skipping the formalities and letting him go free agent at halftime of their next game. …Not that the Clips are the only L.A. team with issues. We haven’t seen anything as old and slow as the Lakers since O.J.’s white Bronco was rolling down the 405. …

Chris Bosh says he deserves to be an All-Star. And LeBron and D Wade must agree since he has to get their permission to say anything. …

Sure enough, the fallout from Jayson Werth’s ridiculous seven-year, $126-million contract has begun. Henceforth, they’ve agreed to be known as the St. Albert Cardinals. …

The Broncos, coming off their first-ever 12-loss season, are putting John Elway in control of personnel decisions. Shows you what I know. I thought the Broncos needed a quarterback in his 20s. …

One final thought: TCU is headed for the Big East, Dallas is leading the NHL’s Pacific Division, the Big Ten has 12 teams and the Big 12 has 10. And we’re worried about the economy?

Jim Armstrong
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Sports Lite

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Lee's signing with Philly is bad for checkbook baseball, the Fridge is not bitter in Maryland while Auriemma is.

The University of Maryland announced that football coach Ralph Friedgen is retiring after a decade on the job. Retiring? They should have had Donald Trump yell out the announcement. …Believe it or not, Friedgen isn’t bitter about being forced out. He says it will give him more time to devote to his family and his first salad. …

The U of Tennessee hoops team started 7-0 before losing back-to-back games to Oakland and Charlotte. Asked how his team could have lost to such lesser lights, Vols coach Bruce Pearl said he didn’t know anything about any party with recruits at his house. …

Bad news for the Raiders. They beat the Broncos Sunday, but afterward Tim Tebow bypassed the water and changed the loss to a win. …

The Brewers acquired former Cy Young winner Zack Greinke from the Royals. Great. Just what people in Wisconsin needed, another excuse to drink in the middle of December. …

The Knicks were tied late in the game with the Cavs Saturday night and Mike D’Antoni drew up a play for Carmelo Anthony. …

Talk about a strange way to forfeit a game. The Magic traded half their roster away on Saturday. The other half went to Disneyworld. …

People in Minnesota apparently are upset about the end of “don’t ask, don’t tell.’’ Now they have to let everyone know  what the Vikings’ record is. …

Word out of Denver is that John Elway is rejoining the Broncos. For the life of me, I don’t see why. He can’t rush the passer any better than the guys they have. …

I see where Joe Smith was traded the other day for the 12th time. Twelve trades? Now we know who owns that Winnebago the ESPN guys drive around in.

Jim Armstrong

Goal Line Stand

J-E-T-S win at Blitz-burgh thanks to late goal line stand.

The Jets defense stood strong in the franchise's first ever win on the road at Pittsburgh, taking a 22–17 victory in what could be a playoff preview.

New York veteran pass rusher Jason Taylor sacked Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in the end zone for a safety before New York's Rex-ecutioner stop unit forced two incomplete passes from Big Ben to end the game. Rex Ryan's usually aggressive defense did allow Big Ben to move the chains by rushing only three for most of the final drive. But the bend-don't-break philosophy ultimately paid off.

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Mark Sanchez didn't throw away the game and the Jets' D stood strong at Pittsburgh.

Sports Lite

Is it bowl season already?
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Snow collapses the Metrodome, bowl season is here and Mike Vick signs an autograph.

John King of CNN

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CNN's chief national correspondent, and Boston sports fan, talks about who would be on his sports panel, who he would love to interview and the questions he would ask.

Q. Can sports play a role in national and international relations?
King:
Sure. I spend some time at NBA charity events with people like Dikembe Mutombo, who goes home and helps build hospitals and schools. The celebrity, whether it’s in Hollywood or in sports, gets you some access and entrée and recognition. That can then lead to discussions about other issues, whether it’s the AIDS crisis in Africa or education issues around the world or hunger in inner-city America or some city in Africa. Sports is the glue that draws people together. When you have a community that’s organized for some reason, that’s a great opportunity to have other conversations about local or world affairs.

Q. Would you trade your job for any job in sports?
King:
Yes, to be the catcher of the Boston Red Sox. You bet your ass.

Q. There could be an opening this year.
King:
(laughing) You know, I see Larry Lucchino every now and then and I always tell him, “I’m ready.” When I was a kid growing up, at first I wanted to be Carlton Fisk. But then I wanted to be Bob Montgomery. He got paid a decent paycheck and he only had to hurt his knees 20 or 30 times a season. Otherwise he got to catch out in the bullpen and watch baseball every day and get paid for it. That’s my dream job.

Q. Where’s the imagination today in politics and sports and in the media?
King:
I don’t think there’s any lack of imagination. Once something gets set, whether it’s a team or a league or a structure, once you have a set of rules and an organization — in sports it’s the leagues; in politics it’s the parties; in the media it’s the networks or the newspapers — like in everything in life, you get habits. But then new people come along with imagination.

Q. For example?
King:
Dr. J started dunking the ball and made it acceptable, and the game changed. You have some people in politics who are challenging the orthodoxies of their parties because they know that some issues are big and that they need to think outside the box. And everybody in our business, whether it’s print or TV, is struggling at the moment to try to figure out how to deliver our product in this world of new technology. The thirst for information is greater than ever, and yet you have broadcast and cable networks and print organizations all struggling.

Q. Why is that?
King:
Because the technology has been growing by leaps and bounds and we’ve been stubborn in defending our old ways of doing things because they’re comfortable to us. Some people tend to resist change and, therefore, new ideas at first. But if they’re good ideas, they will ultimately win out. You see it when sports are transformed. The power of imagination will overcome any obstacle in time.

Sports Lite

Ugly throwbacks, Padres chances in 2011 and a bad Werth contract
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Just so you know, superagent Scott Boras says Jayson Werth’s seven-year, $126-million deal wasn’t about the money. It was an opportunity to lose 100 games a year with the Nationals.…


Nice effort by the Cavs for LeBron’s homecoming. Did Bingo Smith get a game ball?…

How ’bout them Spurs? They’re on such a roll, Tim Duncan recently was credited with his first career smile.…


This just in. ESPN’s Hank Goldberg says to take the NFL owners and give the points to the Players Association. …The union, in case you haven’t heard, has told players to save three weeks worth of table-dance money in anticipation of a lockout in 2011. …


Wow, the Rams have a chance to be really good. Last time I typed those words, Kurt Warner was just coming off back-to-back employee of the month awards at Safeway.…


Just as I suspected. One day after saying he enjoyed the “good chemistry’’ on his team in Istanbul, Allen Iverson demanded to be traded to Baghdad.…


George Steinbrenner was denied entrance to the Hall of Fame, but his son, Hal, vowed that his dad would get in the old-fashioned way in 2011 — by buying votes.

Jim Armstrong

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