Starting Lineup

By Dan Steinberg and Desmond Bieler
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, February 5, 2007

Super Bowl squares are fine, and the money line is dandy, but we were looking for slightly more compelling action last night. Like, for example, whether Billy Joel's National Anthem rendition would be shorter or longer than 102 seconds (answer: shorter). Also, whether the total number of points scored would be lower or higher than the average age of Billy Joel fans (answer: way lower). But while the Piano Man might have been a better Super Bowl choice XV or XX years ago, a bit of hard work can still unearth a few enduring favorites.

"Leave a Tender Moment Alone," Brett Favre: Announces he will return for 17th NFL season. In a related development, John Madden announced there was now no need to get him a gift for Valentine's Day.

"The Longest Time," Art Monk: Passed over yet again for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Distraught Monk fans settle on a new quest: getting Tony Shalhoub onto the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

"Don't Ask Me Why," Coy Gibbs: Leaves Redskins to start a motocross team. Gregg Williams points out that motocross and the Redskins' locker room have certain similarities; plenty of mud throwing, for example.

"The Entertainer," Prince: Performs during halftime of the big game. Here's hoping Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith got to ask Prince what it was like to be temporarily reduced to a symbol.

"Shameless," Vince Carter: NBA star honored with a statue outside his old high school. This could become something of a trend; we understand Kwame Brown's high school plans to honor him with a bust.

"Light as the Breeze," Eric Musselman: Sacramento coach suspended two games for October DUI arrest. Musselman claimed he was merely following up on a tip about a local product with tremendous hops.

"An Innocent Man," O.J. Mayo: High school hoops phenom may serve suspension for knocking down ref, although video seems to show a barely touched official diving to the floor. The controversy won't stop Mayo from moving on to USC, but it did earn the ref a scholarship to Duke.

"And So it Goes," Turner Broadcasting execs: Apologize to city of Boston for causing panic by installing electronic devices that showed Cartoon Network character with raised finger.The company said the devices were harmless and the character was merely indicating the Celtics' expected draft position.

"Pressure," Brenda Frese: Her Terps fall at unranked Georgia Tech. And we thought national championship Maryland teams were supposed to wait a year or two before losing to random ACC teams on the road.

"Honesty," Crystal Langhorne: Terps star says the loss made her angrier than any other game. Gary Williams advises Langhorne to save all her anger for the Missouri Valley.

"Movin' Out," Dolphins and Giants: Will play regular season game in England next season. It's an appropriate matchup for the U.K. -- Miami will provide the Fish, and Giants QB Jared Lorenzen the Chips Ahoy.

"I Go to Extremes," Garrett Reid: After car crash, son of Eagles coach admits to being heroin user. Asked what he himself might do in the grip of such a habit, Andy Reid said his first impulse would be to kick it away.

Benched: Antawn Jamison, Nick Saban's Cajun lingo, Carmelo's all-star spot, Super Bowl blogs.

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