Not perfect, but 10 isn't bad number

Times Staff Writer

Perhaps it doesn't carry the same weight as the recent New England-Indianapolis matchup, but when the Dallas Cowboys play host to the Green Bay Packers on Thursday, it will be only the second time since 1970 that two 10-1 teams have squared off.

It last occurred in 1990, when the New York Giants lost to the 49ers in San Francisco.

But the Giants returned to California that year to win the NFC championship game against the 49ers. New York then edged Buffalo, 20-19, to win the Super Bowl.

Dallas' start this year is the best in its 48-year history, and the team hopes to break its record of 13 wins in the regular season set in 1992.

Trivia time

Who was the first athlete to play in college football's Rose Bowl game and baseball's World Series?

His turn

Tony Stewart is quick to criticize other NASCAR Nextel Cup drivers when he feels they've messed up his race. But in looking back at this season, Stewart also points the finger at himself.

The two-time Cup champion won three races this year and easily qualified for the Chase for the Cup playoff in hopes of winning his third title for Joe Gibbs Racing.

But the driver of the No. 20 Chevrolet had a mediocre Chase and finished sixth in the points.

"I have never seen us have some of the stupid things that have happened this year," he said. "Some of them have been self-inflicted."

For example? "I have been busted for speeding on pit lane twice this year. I mean, I have sped twice in eight years."

Quiet says Boo

American golfer Boo Weekley said galleries at the World Cup team tournament in China this weekend have been appreciative -- but he could do without their constant chatter and the frequent ringing of their cellphones.

"There's a lot of movement out there, a lot of talking," Weekley said.

Another player, Colin Montgomerie of Scotland, called for quiet at the 17th green and then glowered at the grandstand when a phone went off, according to Reuters News Service.

"They appreciate the shots," Weekley said. "I'm just saying there's a lot of movement out there, some of it's distracting and some of it ain't."

Senior pass

When the Carolina Panthers' Vinny Testaverde threw a touchdown pass to Christian Fauria against Green Bay last week, it was the oldest touchdown-pass combination in NFL history.

Testaverde was 44 years and five days, Fauria was 36 years and 57 days.

The game also featured the oldest starting quarterback duo, with Testaverde and Brett Favre, 38. Testaverde last month at Arizona became the oldest starting quarterback to win a game.

Inspirational

It didn't last as long as the "curse" that supposedly kept the Boston Red Sox from winning the World Series for 86 years, but singer Neil Diamond has divulged a secret he held for decades that might hold interest for Red Sox fans.

Diamond, 66, revealed that the inspiration for his 1969 song "Sweet Caroline," which is played at every Red Sox home game, was a photograph of Caroline Kennedy, daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy.

"I think they consider [the song] good luck," Diamond told the Associated Press, adding that the Red Sox are now his favorite baseball team.

The Kennedy clan, of course, is based in Hyannis Port, Mass.

Trivia answer

Jackie Jensen. An All-American halfback at California, Jensen scored a touchdown on a 67-yard run in the 1949 Rose Bowl, although his team lost to Northwestern, 20-14. The next year, Jensen was a rookie with the New York Yankees when he was used as a pinch-runner during the team's four-game World Series sweep of Philadelphia.

Jensen peaked as an outfielder with the Red Sox when he was MVP in 1958. His 11-year big league career ended after the 1961 season when he retired because of his fear of flying.

And finally

The Baltimore Ravens might be 4-6, but they're first in terms of charitable contributions among the 32 NFL teams.

The Ravens have a team charitable foundation and 15 player foundations, according to a study by Game Day Communications, a sports and entertainment public relations firm.

The Kansas City Chiefs were second followed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Last on the giving list? The Oakland Raiders.

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james.peltz@latimes.com

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