Sports

Sports Talk: I've been nice, Santa; really, I have

Less than a week before Christmas, and the Big Guy in the red suit is making his list and checking it twice. He's going to find out who's naughty or nice.

Uh, sorry, Tiger.

But I'd like Santa to know that I've dutifully compiled the sports headlines all year, and not once did I make a crack about Rudolph's feed reportedly being laced with steroids. So that should help me find the only present I want under the tree Friday morning.

(What did I ask for? Tiger's cell phone.)

Until then, here are this week's top headlines:

Virginia tops Akron on penalty kicks to win NCAA men's soccer title. Maybe the BCS title game between Alabama and Texas can be decided with a field-goal kicking contest.

Global consulting firm Accenture is first major sponsor to dump Woods. But that's OK, because he picked up an endorsement from Match.com.

USC assistant football coach Eric Wolford takes head coaching job at Youngstown State. Steve Spurrier didn't think much of the move, but Jim Tressel gave it a big thumbs-up.

Carolina Panthers drop lackluster decision to New England to fall to 5-8. You know things are going bad in Charlotte when fans start looking forward to the Meineke Car Care Bowl.

Dallas Cowboys continue December struggles under embattled coach Wade Phillips. Remember when folks in Dallas used to blame those late-season losses on Jessica Simpson?

Patriots receiver Randy Moss draws criticism for lack of effort. He ran the hook, but he decided against running the go.

Clemson struggles to sell Music City Bowl tickets. Tiger fans aren't a-pickin' and a-grinnin' about this matchup.

UNC basketball coach Roy Williams has Presbyterian fan booted out of Dean Dome. Williams insists only Tar Heel fans have the right to be obnoxious.

Philadelphia 76ers snap a 12-game losing streak with victory against Golden State. They won simply to avoid the embarrassment of being passed by the New Jersey Nets in the standings.

Penn fires men's basketball coach Glen Miller. The Quakers turned around and hired Tommy Dorsey. (What? A guy can't tell a big-band joke?)

Phillies, Mariners, Blue Jays pull off big trade involving Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay. And somehow the Braves still can't unload Derek Lowe.

Canadian doctor who treated Tiger Woods is being investigated for providing performance-enhancing drugs. I'm not sure I want to know how Tiger's performance was being enhanced.

Carolina Hurricanes entrenched as the NHL's worst team this season. This would really make me mad if I knew anything about hockey.

Big Ten explores expanding conference again. When it adds a school to go to 12 teams, it will then change its name to the Big 11.

U.S. basketball team to play Iran in world basketball championships next year. Roy Williams already is planning on having Iran president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad removed from behind the U.S. bench.

USC basketball team steamrolls Richmond in the second half in 76-58 win. Well, that certainly makes up for the 1998 NCAA tournament.

Gamecock fans are buying up Papajohns.com Bowl tickets. It helps that every seat comes with a free pizza.

Top national high school basketball teams hit town for Chick-fil-A Classic. Those cows may not be able to spell, but they really know how to sell a tournament.

Tiger Woods is named AP's Athlete of the Decade. It's hard to argue with that; he's clearly got the ability and the stamina.

Indianapolis Colts stay unbeaten with close win over Jacksonville. It was interesting to watch Peyton Manning play with one hand tied behind his back.

Many Russians now are declining to play in the NHL. Call it the Ice Cold War.

Former Kansas football coach Mark Mangino gets $3 million settlement. I've been telling my bosses that I'd gladly go away for the same kind of settlement.

Ex-NBA player Chris Dudley is running for governor of Oregon. Are you listening, Xavier McDaniel?

USC's Stephen Garcia will leave video games at home for Papajohns.com Bowl. And he promises not to use Twitter in the huddle, either.

Eric Norwood, C.J. Spiller grab first-team All-America honors and college diplomas. Now that's the best sports headline of the year.

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