West Coast defense is all the rage

This is not the view of the National Lieutenant Governors Association, which declares, "The nation's lieutenant governors directly impact states in profound ways." Profound! The very notion that an organization with just 45 members requires a national headquarters with an executive director and four annual national meetings seems like a Monty Python sketch. Note that the next two meetings are in expensive hotels -- the Westin City Center in Washington D.C. and the magnificent Alyeska Resort. Lieutenant governors may have nothing to do, but they live well -- and sell corporate advertising.

The Football Gods Chortled: Seattle leading 16-0 late in the third quarter, punter Jon Ryan dropped the snap. It might have been a huge loss for the Seahawks and a momentum swing for New Orleans. Except -- the Saints had called a return, so no one rushed the punter. Ryan got the kick away.

Hosting San Diego, the Broncos rarely huddled, starting their cadence with plenty of time on the play clock, then fussing and calling out checks till the play clock was nearly exhausted. Though Denver enjoyed a significant edge in time of possession, the Broncos snapped just 70 times -- relatively low considering the time of possession difference. Peyton Manning employed the hard count so often that five times he drew the Chargers offside. And twice, got his own team to jump.

Today's Teenagers Carry Technology the Cold War CIA Would Have Envied: The accompanying photo shows an IBM computer being loaded into an aircraft in 1956. The computer shown had 5 megs of memory. The latest iPhone has 13,000 times as much.

A Player Who Can't Read Could Pass the NCAA Enrollment Requirement Only If Documents Were Faked: TMQ's big complaint about football factories is not that players aren't paid, it's that only 55 percent of them graduate. A bachelor's degree is more valuable (adds about $1 million to lifetime earnings) than any amount most big universities could pay the typical college player. I focus on graduation rates because they are a hard number -- a person either graduates or doesn't -- and a number that's attainable. But what if college football and men's basketball players have no hope of graduation because they can barely read? This disturbing CNN story documents athletes with very low reading skills being used up and thrown away by big universities.

If We Actually Do Know 1 Percent, That's Awesome: The astronomer Halton Arp died on Dec. 28 at age 86. He devoted much of his professional life to trying to prove there is a basic flaw in the understanding of redshift -- light from an object moving away from an observer is redshifted, light from an object moving toward the observer is blueshifted. The flaw, he thought, creates an illusion that the galaxies are rushing outward from a Big Bang point when actually the universe is static, as the ancients believed.

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