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I can't dive into the NFL without leaving you with some sort of Orioles tidbit.

They want to sign Brian Roberts to an extension, but it's not close to happening yet. At least that's my understanding. But it's on the to-do list.

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I also should clarify something Jim Duquette said concerning Carlos Lee, since it led to some VP bashing: When he noted how Lee's first preference was Houston, "as we found out in the end," he didn't mean the Orioles suddenly discovered this as Lee was signing a contract. He was referring to how it became obvious to everyone. The Lee-to-Houston speculation started before the playoffs did.

The sight of Ben Roethlisberger flat on his back after a Bart Scott sack reminded me of how a boxing trainer, seeing his overmatched fighter knocked down again, begins yelling from his corner, "Stay down, stay down!"

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Roethlisberger is taking quite a beating. I hope the Steelers have a good cut man.

Last weekend's Pediatric Oncology Friends Gala at the gorgeous Hillendale Country Club, which benefitted Johns Hopkins Pediatric Oncology, raised close to $150,000 through donations and live and silent auctions.

The most touching speech was given by Phoebe McCarthy, who was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor seven years ago and treated at Hopkins. Dr. Ben Carson, head of Johns Hopkins pediatric neurosurgery, performed two operations on McCarthy. Dr. Allen Chen and Dr. Ken Cohen were the lead physicians during her radiation and chemotherapy treatments.

McCarthy, 17, has been cancer-free for six years and is a three-sport standout at Bryn Mawr. She's also a shining example why people like Orioles broadcaster Jim Hunter and his wife, Bonnie, devote so much time and energy to the cause.

It's a beautiful thing.

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