News item: Joe Flacco said this week on a national radio show that he considers himself a top-5 NFL quarterback.
My take: Glad to hear that, because confidence is everything when you're standing in the pocket and a bunch of 300-pound muggers are trying to burrow into your chest, but Joe Cool needs to take one more big step — into the Super Bowl — to back that up.
News item: The University of Miami football program could possibly face the NCAA death penalty after sleazy booster Nevin Shapiro detailed in a Yahoo Sports! expose giving improper gifts and benefits to 72 Hurricanes players over an eight-year period.
My take: Don't see how that can be avoided after the NCAA painted itself into a big corner with its heavy-handed treatment of the Reggie Bush/O.J. Mayo situation at Southern California. The USC coaching staff, at least, could claim some plausible deniability and the infractions gave the Trojans no competitive advantage.
News item: The NFL declared former Ohio State quarterback Terrell Pryor eligible for its supplemental draft, but announced that he will be suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season for actions as a collegian that "undermine the integrity of the eligibility rules for the NFL draft." Pryor's lawyer and the NFL players union are expected to fight the suspension after he signs with an NFL team.
My take: It'll be an interesting case, since this is an extension of the controversial "Goodell Doctrine" that seems to go well beyond the boundaries of the league's jurisdiction over unsigned players and could even have anti-trust implications.
News item: The Georgetown basketball team got into an ugly brawl with China's Bayi Rockets in Beijing during the Hoyas' 10-day goodwill trip that continues with a rematch on Sunday in Shanghai. The trip coincides with Vice President Joe Biden's diplomatic mission to China.
My take: Apparently, these things go a lot smoother when you send a ping-pong team.
News item: Alex Rodriguez finally commented on his latest scandal, claiming that reports of his participation in high-stakes poker games with other millionaire celebrities are "inaccurate and unfair," according to ESPNNewYork.com.
My take: I'm already on record saying that the big-money poker part of it — if true — shouldn't raise that many eyebrows. Everybody plays poker these days and A-Rod can certainly afford to play with the big boys, so the notion that he might fall into debt and become beholden to gangsters is a bit silly.
Bonus take: I know, I know. Technically, it's illegal — unless it takes place somewhere politicians can get a piece of the action — but so is betting on golf and buying squares in the office Super Bowl pool.
Related news item: Rodriguez also claimed that he is eager to meet with officials from the commissioner's office "as soon as possible" to clear the air.
My take: Really? MLB officials said two weeks ago that they wanted to question him about the allegations. He must be so deep in poker debt that his cell phone got turned off.
News item: The Chicago Cubs announced the firing of general manager Jim Hendry on Friday after a nine-year run that included three division titles but ended with the Cubs falling apart this season. He has been replaced temporarily by interim GM Randy Bush.
My take: Maybe it was time for a change, but Hendry had as much success as anybody in that seat over the past 60 years or so.
News item: Michael Vick said in an interview with GQ Magazine that the Philadelphia Eagles were not his first choice when he returned to football after doing time for his role in an illegal dogfighting operation.
My take: I'm pretty sure prison wasn't his first choice either, but things have turned out pretty well for him anyway.
News item: Orioles starter Jeremy Guthrie has been dealing with some shoulder stiffness that could push back his next start.
My take: I guess he was feeling left out.
News item: Tiger Woods was rated the "Worst Celebrity Tipper" in a recent ranking by the Miami New Times, and it's not the first time he has been recognized for his reluctance to spread a little bit of his massive wealth around to the people who wait on him.
My take: Well, at least he's still No. 1 at something.
Listen to Peter Schmuck when he hosts "The Week in Review" Fridays on WBAL (1090 AM) and wbal com.Orioles Insider | Live scores | Photos | Baseball app