Short hops

Bouncin’ around the room while avoiding sparkles….

Meghan!

Clearly the biggest story leading up to Sunday’s AFC title game between the Patriots and Ravens is Ed Reed’s criticism of Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco. But really, it was Flacco’s response that seemed more damaging. “I don’t care, I’ll have a ring and we’ll be holding a trophy,” Flacco said. “The perception won’t change but it doesn’t really matter.” Oh. OK. The Sports Hub’s Mike Felger deftly compared those comments to ones made by Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo last spring, when he crowed about being one win away from the Stanley Cup. How’d that work out?

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That goes for you too, Charles Dolan. 

Fan anthem showdown. Who you got?

When asked about his history being intertwined with Tom Brady, Bernard Pollard said, “That’s the pretty boy. That’s the man of the NFL. That’s Mr. Do-It-All,” he said. “So everybody is going to hold that against me but I don’t care. I don’t play for men. I don’t play for no woman. I play because I’m given the gift to play this game. And in this sport, you can’t say, ‘Go out there and hit somebody full speed with equipment and everything else on,’ and say, ‘Be careful.'” So, there you go.

LaDanian Tomlinson on Inside the NFL. Class act, as always.

Rob Lowe breaking the “news” that Peyton Manning is going to retire caused quite the stir in the Twittersphere yesterday. Of course, Daddy Manning denied the story, but it’s interesting to note that Lowe is apparently friendly with Colts owner Jim Irsay. Of course, Irsay is nuts, so who knows what he might have told the actor.

I have no idea what it has to do with cars, but it doesn’t dilute the brilliance.

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Over/under on how many of these we see Sunday?

A new report states, “A group of Penn State University trustees say they decided to fire legendary football coach Joe Paterno in part because he didn’t do enough after learning of an alleged child sex assault involving a former assistant. They also cited concerns Paterno couldn’t effectively lead the team in the face of the scandal.” In other breaking news, yellow and blue make green.

Welcome back, Wikipedia. I now know today is Confederate Heroes Day in Texas. (Allegedly.)

Seven days with no sniping from the Pacific Northwest. Wonders.

Maybe not a perfect parallel, but anyone who doesn’t think Danny Ainge should explore trading Paul Pierce probably thinks Nomar Garciaparra is still playing in Boston.

Mental note to all those attending the game Sunday: No sparkles!