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Each morning, Monday through Friday, I'll hook you up with some reading material to skim through as you slug down coffee and slack off at the start of your workday -- that way I'll have an excuse to do the same at the start of mine.

Running it back:

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The Ravens face some tough tests in the season's second half. ... Pro Football Talk is reporting that Donte' Stallworth will play against the Dolphins. ... The Saints' win over the Steelers highlighted Sunday's slate of games in the NFL. ... The Giants are one win away from a World Series title.

Hitting the links:

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1. John Eisenberg's report card for the Ravens' first half [CSN Baltimore]

2. Ravens rookies have yet to start a game [Ravens.com]

3. The Ravens look better in Peter King's eyes without even playing Sunday [SI]

4. The 49ers are going to continue forward with Troy Smith [S.F. Chronicle]

5. Kevin Cowherd: Bruce Laird, Ravens' uniform officer, keeps players on their toes [

]

6. Peter Schmuck: Expanding the MLB playoffs is not an exceptional idea [Baltimore Sun]

7. Which bowl could land Maryland? [Terrapins Insider]

8. Three reasons for the Terps' turnaround [Baltimore Sun]

9. There are simply no more excuses for the Capitals this season [Hockey News]

You said it:

"Why would the man who was second most responsible for that Super Bowl victory, behind Ray Lewis, be booed? Marvin Lewis was certainly a great coordinator, but without Billick, the Ravens would not have held together and gone all the way that year, period." -- Ravens_Flock sticks up for Brian Billick, who participated with me in a lengthy Q&A on Friday morning

Today's water cooler question (your response could be published in b):

How will the Donovan McNabb situation shake down in D.C.?

Video of the morning:

The Oregon mascot teaches a USC cheerleader how to "duckie"

Send me your funny and/or interesting links, photos, YouTube videos, blogs, Tweets, comments, emails, ideas, leads, etc. If I deem them to be worthy for the blog, I'll give you a plug. You can reach me at matt@bthesite.com, twitter.com/mattvensel and facebook.com/VirtualVensanity.

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