Single page view By Tim Keown
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There's not much to do but wait. Wait for the NFL playoffs, wait for (or ignore) the college bowl games, wait for the NBA to matter. It's a great time to be a prognosticator, but there's not that much happening right now.

Mark Cuban
AP
Can you imagine an NBA without Mark Cuban anymore?

That's why it's good to have Phil Jackson back in the game.

And it's always good to have Mark Cuban around.

The combination is good for a holiday-week diversion.

Last week the two -- Mr. Philosophy and Mr. Exuberance -- got into a little back-and-forth in the media. It wasn't a big deal, and you can't imagine either guy being particularly serious about any of it, but it was entertaining.

First, Jackson on Cuban, in the Los Angeles Times: Speaking of the Mavs' arena, Phil said it's "a place where the owner runs around, pumps up the volume, intimidates the referees and … has announcers as hired cheerleaders, which is an intimidating force."

Second, Cuban on Jackson, in the Dallas Morning News: "All he did was prove he doesn't know anything about marketing. And he probably should look up in the stands to see whether the fans are having fun, because those are the people who allow him to be overpaid."

You know the beauty of those two statements? They're both right.

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And if Holmgren calls for another quarterback sneak, you probably don't want to be in the same room: It looks like Tiki Barber (220 yards Saturday) and Shaun Alexander (172 yards Sunday, to put him 91 yards ahead of Barber for the rushing title) have an interesting competition heading into the final two weeks.

The news that Arkansas State linebacker Chris Littleton will be allowed to play in his team's bowl game despite a recent arrest for battering a police officer elicits only one appropriate response: Arkansas State is in a bowl game?

It doesn't happen often, but today we go underneath the chin strap and just outside the mouthpiece to give you incisive commentary on one aspect of the NFL experience: The Patriots' performance on Saturday was a bigger omen for the Colts than their loss to the Chargers.

Sure, everybody's been through the pleas to fire the coach or bench the quarterback, but this is breaking new ground: The ongoing "Fire Matt Millen" parade in Detroit has taken fan involvement into the executive suite in a way that's never been done before.

If it's any consolation: Millen was always pretty good when he was doing games on the radio.

Given the poor guy's position -- head down, butt up, hands on the ball -- it seems like an inaccurate and unfortunate choice of words: Does it bother anybody else when broadcasters insist on saying the quarterback is lining up "under center"?

Go down the list -- Warren Moon, Chris Chandler, Mark Brunell: If you're a quarterback and you want to hang around far longer than anybody could have predicted, you should go to the University of Washington.

Predictable: Here we go with the tired old argument that claims a loss is exactly what the Colts needed at this point in the season.

Continued...


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