What we watched: Cowboys at Giants. In case you were wondering, the Giants are a dangerous playoff team peaking at the right time, Eli Manning knows how to win this time of year, and Tom Coughlin is actually a great coach. Enjoy the playoffs.
What we're watching (all times EST, unless noted): New York at Philadelphia in the Winter Classic at 1 (NBC) [UPDATE: Moved to 3 p.m.]. Michigan State vs. Georgia in the Outback Bowl (ABC), Ohio State vs. Florida in the Gator Bowl (ESPN2) and Nebraska vs. South Carolina in the Capitol One Bowl at 1 (ESPN). Wisconsin vs. Oregon in the Rose Bowl at 5 (ESPN). Stanford vs. Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl at 8:30 (ESPN).
A colleague on Bill Conlin: "When the columnist was Bill Conlin, this was never a problem. I knew without asking that there would be no quotes from Dawkins at his locker, or from teammates about Dawkins and the key stop. There would be tanks defending Stalingrad in the snows of 1943, and ragged, dirty columns of infantry massing, and desperate bayonet charges, with the dying rays of the winter sun reflecting off . . . well, nothing that would have anything to do with what I was writing. Lately, I've been asked a lot about what Bill was like. Bill lived and wrote in his own peculiar, florid world. It was a world I enjoyed visiting from time to time, but I don't know anybody who wanted to live there, or even to tarry very long after dinner." [Philly Daily News]
Jan. 2, 2009: Tim Tebow Is Everywhere, And Has Many Different Names
Lamar Odom did nothing during the lockout: "Lamar Odom has been placed on the industrial-strength remedial course for improved physical conditioning, following in the footsteps of Peja Stojakovic and a few other players during the Rick Carlisle coaching tenure. It's not really anything special, but it is designed to get Odom back up to game speed, which he and the coach have said is lacking. 'There's an action plan in place, and he's working [hard],' Carlisle said. 'He came in this [Friday] morning and worked for an hour and a half. He's got a ways to go, but he's a willing worker. He was behind when he got here condition-wise. But we'll get him caught up.'" [Dallas Morning News]
HBO is probably pissed: "On Sunday evening, the Philadelphia Flyers announced that Sergei Bobrovsky would be their starting goaltender in the Winter Classic. Less than an hour later, Ilya Bryzgalov tweeted a photograph of a thermos. These two events are, in fact related. That morning, Bryzgalov announced himself - before his coach, before Bobrovsky - that he wouldn't be starting in the Winter Classic despite a 9-year contract and his being a featured character on 'HBO 24/7' leading up to the game. He then held court with the media for another 20 minutes, offering pearls like this when asked what his mindset would be for Monday's game at Citizens Bank Park: '[To] make sure I'm not forget early in the morning my thermos. Get some nice tea and enjoy the bench.' Hence, the tweeted thermos. For the record, he said his tea of choice would be 'Earl Grey' with 'lots of sugar.'" [Puck Daddy]
Your Popcorn Juice Interlude:
Dennis Rodman surprises no one: "Dennis Rodman is bouncing back into basketball, this time as a coach for a topless women's team he is launching for Headquarters Gentlemen's Club, the New York mammary mecca. The NBA bad boy dreamed up the team after hearing that rival strip joint Rick's Cabaret launched a league with former Atlanta Hawk Spud Webb, who runs the Texas Legends, an NBA Development League team. Rodman even is challenging Rick's Cabaret's topless team to a charity game. 'I don't know too many men that don't like a good-looking woman running up and down around the court,' Rodman said. Rodman, who said he has been a Headquarters customer for more than 30 years, is currently scouting for talent. He will be holding auditions soon at the jiggle joint for girls over 5'10" (1.78 meters) to join the team. 'You don't have to have too much experience, just know how to throw the ball into the hole,' was his advice to hopefuls." [Fox Sports]
Roy Halladay battles snakes: "Me and Doc Halladay even came across a local, sitting bare naked on a tree by the river. What we were able to figure out is that he was fishing in the river for tropical fish to sell for aquariums when he got attacked by an anaconda. The snake apparently bit him on the ass but he was able to free himself before the snake wrapped him up. Instead the snake wrapped around his motor on the back of his little 14 foot dugout canoe and tore it off the back of his boat. Doc and I helped him gather his gear and flip the boat back over and then towed him home. You could definitely see the bite mark on his ass, but he was able to fight it off; amazing." [Skeet Reese's Blog, via Big League Stew]
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