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Each morning, Monday through Thursday (and sometimes Friday, schedule permitting), 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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Ravens safety Ed Reed traveled to Louisiana on Monday to spend time with his family. ... Ravens coach John Harbaugh said quarterback Joe Flacco "took over the game at times" against the Chiefs. ... Auburn beat Oregon in the BCS national championship game. ... Meanwhile, Maryland finished the season No. 23 in the AP poll and Randy Edsall added a few coaches to his staff.

Hitting the links:

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1. Ten questions for the divisional round [Yahoo!]

2. Four reasons the wild-card game offers hope of beating the Steelers [Baltimore Sun]

3. John Clayton previews Ravens-Steelers (and Patriots-Jets, too) [ESPN]

4. Mike Preston: The Ravens finally gave their fans a reason for optimism [Baltimore Sun]

5. What are home games really worth to the Steelers? [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

6. Ed Reed helps his other family [Boston Herald]

7. Will the Ravens try to sign Nnamdi Asomugha in the offseason? [ESPN]

8. Is the Ravens offense back? [ESPN]

9. Is Flacco's beard a hit or a miss? [Toy Dept]

10. Is Flacco's beard the key to beating Pittsburgh? [Baltimore Sports Report]

11. What has the Orioles' farm system produced? [Dempsey's Army]

12. Could Mark Reynolds do what Albert Belle once did in Baltimore? [MASN]

13. The Capitals are looking to climb back up the Eastern Conference standings [Capitals Insider]

You said it:

"Aside from the inexplicable off-season posturing for a new contract, I've always been impressed by Reed's sense of perspective regarding football and his professionalism overall. ... Baltimore fans have been privileged, in such a short time, to have witnessed several of the best players ever at their positions play out their entire careers as Ravens. Jon Ogden, Ray Lewis, Ed Reed. Watching Reed play is truly something to be remembered for a lifetime." -- Andrew responds to Monday's post about Ed Reed playing through personal tragedy against the Chiefs

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

Based on what you've seen so far, will the Maryland men make the NCAA tournament?

Video of the morning:

Scoring fail for this soccer squad

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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