News item: Former major league outfielder Curt Motton, a member of the great Orioles teams of the late 1960s and early 1970s, died Thursday after a yearlong bout with stomach cancer. He was 69.
My take: The testimonials from his former teammates speak for themselves. Curt was a nice player, but - more importantly - he was one of the nicest people ever to wear an Orioles uniform. Godspeed.
News item: During his season-ending news conference Tuesday, Ravens coach John Harbaugh would not rule out the possibility that the team would bring back kicker Matt Stover next season.
My take: No, I don't view that as an admission that the decision-making process was flawed when the Ravens failed to bring back Stover last summer. It was the outcome of the decision that was flawed.
News item: New York Jets Super Bowl hero Joe Namath applauded Rex Ryan's brash attitude at the start of the NFL postseason and said this week that he sees similarities between this upstart Jets team and the one that shocked the world by beating the Colts in 1969.
My take: Here's one thing that isn't similar. Most Baltimore fans won't be broken-hearted if the Jets win this time.
News item: The Dallas Cowboys have extended the contract of coach Wade Phillips through the 2011 season.
My take: If this keeps up, Jerry Jones is going to start looking like a patient man ... instead of one of the patients on " Nip/Tuck."
News item: In his first mock draft, ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper has the Buffalo Bills choosing Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen with the ninth pick.
My take: This would be a huge break for Clausen, since the Bills are - geographically - one of the farthest NFL teams from USC.
News item: The Angels traded former Orioles outfielder Gary Matthews Jr. and $21.5 million to the New York Mets for pitcher Brian Stokes.
My take: Boy, this Stokes guy must really be something.
Bonus take: Actually, the Angels were so anxious to dump the final two years of Matthews' five-year, $50 million contract - one of the most ill-advised in the history of baseball free agency - they paid almost all the remaining salary to get him out of the organization.
News item: The artist formerly and currently known as Prince has written a new fight song for the Minnesota Vikings. You can check it out on the Vikings' Web site.
My take: I'm pretty sure that after you do, you're going to be rooting for the New Orleans Saints tonight so you don't have to hear it for two more weeks.
News item: Land Shark Stadium is no more. The Pro Bowl and Super Bowl will be played in the newly renamed Sun Life Stadium.
My take: Sad to say, I never attended a game there during the Land Shark era and I haven't tasted the like-named lager, so I'll just have to wax nostalgic about the 1970s "Saturday Night Live" skits that popularized the term.
News item: The San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos are scheduled to play in London on Oct. 31, and the NFL is considering scheduling a second game there next season.
My take: I haven't asked anybody, but I'm pretty sure the Ravens would be willing to play their road game against the Steelers there.
Listen to Peter Schmuck when he hosts "Sportsline" on WBAL (1090 AM) and check out "The Schmuck Stops Here" at baltimoresun.com/schmuckblog.