An opportunity for Neuheisel to get bashed by this USC fan

The Baltimore Sun

News item: Ravens offensive coordinator Rick Neuheisel yesterday was named coach at UCLA, replacing his longtime friend, Karl Dorrell.

My take: This is a terrific opportunity for Neuheisel, and Ravens fans should wish him well. Since I am a lifelong Southern California fan, the best I can offer are condolences for what he's going to go through every year late in the season.

News item: The Ravens close out a disappointing regular season against the Pittsburgh Steelers this afternoon at M&T; Bank Stadium.

My take: Don't despair. Orioles pitchers and catchers report to Fort Lauderdale in just six weeks.

News item: The NFL fined official Jim Quirk one game check - $8,150 - for "inappropriate physical contact" with Green Bay Packers linebacker Nick Barnett.

My take: The NFL needs a lesson in semantics. When I first read that, I thought they were dating.

Bonus my take: Veteran NFL officials make eight grand per game, which works out to something like $150,000 (including playoffs) for working about 20 days per year. Upon further review, I picked the wrong business.

News item: Replay officials ruled during Thursday night's Holiday Bowl that the stepson of Texas coach Mack Brown illegally touched a live ball on the sideline, leading to an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that set up a momentum-shifting touchdown for Arizona State.

My take: That would have been fine if there was one bit of conclusive video evidence that the kid actually touched the ball. Instead, another replay official made a mockery of the flawed NCAA system. At least this time, the momentum swung back in a hurry, and the bogus decision didn't affect the outcome of the game.

News item: The Ravens confirmed Friday that they will not be raising ticket prices for the 2008 season.

My take: That's nice, but before you go off on a Ravens vs. Orioles riff, remember that the Ravens raised prices by an average of $16 per ticket last year. There are thousands of seats at Oriole Park that don't even cost $16.

News item: The lawyer for Roger Clemens announced he would commission his own investigation of charges in the Mitchell Report that The Rocket used illegal performance-enhancing drugs.

My take: I've said this before, but wouldn't it be cheaper for Roger to undergo a polygraph examination? That is, if he's really innocent.

News item: The Maryland men's basketball team routed Delaware on Friday night to improve its record to 7-6 and lift the spirits of Terps fans after surprising home losses to Ohio and American.

My take: When was the last time the Terps had six losses before the ACC schedule got into full swing? Meanwhile, eight other ACC teams have lost no more than three games.

News item: The Washington Redskins can clinch a playoff berth with a victory over the Dallas Cowboys at FedEx Field.

My take: You have to like the Redskins' chances, because the Cowboys will be short four starters (including Terrell Owens and cornerback Terence Newman) and Tony Romo will probably stay just long enough to see the coin toss.

News item: Carolina Panthers quarterback Vinny Testaverde announced he'll retire after today's game at Tampa Bay.

My take: I'll alert the Social Security Administration.

News item: The "Goof on the Roof," who vowed to stay atop a Canton bar until the Ravens win a game or Brian Billick gets fired, has come back down to earth. He was arrested Friday for unpaid child support.

My take: They obviously don't make warrant hoppers like they used to. I mean, the only way the guy could have made it easier for the police was if he took up his vigil on the roof of the Baltimore County Sheriff's Office.

Listen to Peter Schmuck on WBAL (1090 AM) at noon most Saturdays and Sundays.

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