Well, I'll be filing all weekend and all next week, if you want to stick with me, but if not -- Merry Christmas to you and yours. Briefly:
*Nick Saban to the Browns? I heartily endorse this. Saban has nothing left to prove as a college coach. He has built a dynastic juggernaut at Alabama. He doesn't need money. He is already a Hall of Famer. So why not try to conquer the one thing he has yet to: Success in the NFL?
(BTW: Can you imagine the scrum to replace him if he leaves for the NFL? I can't even begin to think who might replace him. Will Muschamp seems unlikely to leave Florida, even for Alabama. Dan Mullen? He's not part of the Saban family. Chip Kelly? He has his own eye on the NFL -- meanwhile, does anything seem more fun than Kelly teaming up with Cam Newton in Carolina? The upshot is this: Is it possible that Nick Saban is irreplaceable at Alabama?)
*NFL Storylines I'm Intrigued By: (1) Is 49ers-Seahawks even more interesting than 49ers-Patriots? (2) RGIII returns vs. the Eagles. (3) The log-jam at the top of the NFC East -- not quite must-win for the Skins, Giants and Cowboys, but close to it. (4) Can the Bengals knock the Steelers out of the playoff picture? Not quite as impressive as Tim Tebow knocking the Steelers out of the playoffs in January, but close. (5) Greg McElroy.
*Bowl Mania: No bowl name makes fans smile like "Beef O'Brady's." So there's that. Meanwhile: Washington vs. Boise State in Las Vegas on Saturday should be a fun one.
*Jabari Parker picks Duke: Can't help thinking that there's a parallel universe where Northwestern fired Bill Carmody two years ago and hired Duke assistant Chris Collins, and yesterday Parker picks Northwestern. Alas.... (Meanwhile, is using Paul Pierce as Parker's comp a coded way of labeling him as unathletic?) Prediction: Parker stays two seasons at Duke, not one.
*NBA: And just like that, the T'wolves' bandwagon is filling up again. All it took was snapping the Thunder's massive winning streak.
*CFB: Steroids in college football? You don't say! Spencer Hall captures the smart reaction here.
*ICYMI: The New York Times put together a really terrific package of storytelling with "Snowfall." My only gripe: It seems unfair that reporter John Branch gets sole credit, when clearly so much of the piece's impact comes from the impressive graphics. Would have been cool for the story's producers to get top billing, along with its writer. Still: Well worth the 30 minutes to consume this.