Woody Paige in the Denver Post, commenting on the departure of Bronco defensive coordinator Ray Rhodes: "The best thing [he] did was leave here.... The Broncos' defense had become Rhodes-kill, run over and left stinking and dead....
"And he seemed to have virtually no disciplinary control over defensive players who often acted like jesters, jokers and dumb jocks."
OK, Woody, what do you really think of Ray Rhodes?
Minor obstacle: Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel, noting that the Eagles -- who have ousted Tampa Bay from the playoffs the last two years -- play host to the Buccaneers again on Sunday, this time with a Super Bowl berth on the line: "This is a little like a hurricane getting to face a trailer park on its way to Corpus Christi."
The motivator: Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Tribune calls Buccaneer Coach Jon Gruden "the kind of rah-rah guy who could make a strand of spaghetti aspire to be a five-course meal."
Head in the sand: The NFL has refused to accept a Super Bowl TV commercial from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.
A league spokesman said: "The NFL has a long-standing policy that prohibits the acceptance of any message that makes reference to or mention of sports betting."
People familiar with the commercial told the Associated Press that there is no reference to gambling and don't understand why it was rejected.
Obsessed: Arizona forward Rick Anderson has an obsession about this week's games against USC and UCLA: "I want to sweep.... It's USC and UCLA. I'd die for a sweep," he told the Arizona Daily Star.
If Arizona should win both games, it would be the first time the Wildcats have done so at the L.A. schools' courts since the 1992-93 season.
Huck Finn of the high seas: Sebastian Clover, a 15-year-old British schoolboy, made history Sunday by becoming the youngest sailor to make a solo crossing of the Atlantic Ocean. He sailed the 2,700 miles from the Canary Islands to Antigua in 24 days.
Go ahead and look: Fox football analyst Terry Bradshaw, on the NFL repositioning the officials on field-goal attempts: "So when they kick the field goal, they now open their eyes. Is that correct?"
Ho hum: The Harlem Globetrotters reached another milestone -- 21,000 victories.
The latest one came Monday, a 107-58 win over the New York Nationals at Kalamazoo, Mich.
"I never thought I'd be around for 21,000, but hopefully I'll be here for 22,000," Globetrotter Herb "Flight Time" Lang told the Kalamazoo Gazette.
Trivia answer: Quarterback Norm Van Brocklin and Coach Buck Shaw.
And finally: Michael Ventre of MSNBC.com: "If you watch some of the battle scenes in the new 'Lord of the Rings' movie involving hordes of warriors fighting each other with swords, flails and crossbows, you realize it's no different than the beer line at a Raider game."
-- Mal Florence