Shanoff's Wake-Up Call: Broncos, Brady, BCS

Today's Calls: Jay Cutler vs. Brady Quinn, Brandon Marshall vs. Chad Johnson, Utah vs. BCS, Alabama vs. Penn St, Brandon Roy vs. T-Mac, Jake Peavy vs. Matt Holliday and More. ↵
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↵The Opening Pitch:
The most interesting thing in last night's Broncos win over the Browns didn't happen. ↵

↵Jay Cutler's 447 yards (more than Elway ever had) and 3 4th-quarter TDs? Brady Quinn's more-than-solid starting debut? Both great. ↵

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↵But when Brandon Marshall caught the game-winning TD with just over a minute to play, that's when things got really interesting: ↵

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↵He appeared to prepare to do some sort of pre-planned celebration -- he pulled something out of his pants -- but his teammates stopped him. ↵

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↵I would have liked to have seen it happen: ↵

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↵After the game, Marshall said he planned to pull out a black-and-white glove and hold it above his head, Carlos/Smith-style. ↵

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↵He wanted to present a tribute to the new national unity signified by the election of Barack Obama. ↵

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↵(His teammates stopped him, figuring no tribute was worth the excessive-celebration penalty in a close game.) ↵

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↵What would have been interesting would have been seeing how the NFL would have penalized him -- and the resulting conversations. ↵

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↵It wasn't showboat-ish, entirely. His intentions were sincere, spinning one of the most iconic images in sports history, 40 years later. ↵

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↵I'm not sure Marshall was the guy to do it, but it would have been an atypical celebration, rare for its political and social consciousness. ↵

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↵I wish his teammates had let him do it, if only to hear the conversations that happen next. Maybe we can have them, regardless. ↵

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↵Utah busts TCU: It wasn't pretty, but it was gritty. The Utes vanquished the next-best non-BCS team, remain unbeaten and are now THE BCS-buster; if they win out (at San Diego St., home vs. BYU), they're in. ↵

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↵CFB Weekend Preview: It's a big weekend for BCS jockeying. ↵

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↵The Big 12 has the marquee game (again), involving 2 of the 8 remaining teams with BCS hopes: Texas Tech hosts OK State. It's playoff-ish: The winner remains in the BCS hunt; the loser is out. ↵

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↵And 2 of the Top 3 BCS contenders face their toughest remaining games of the season: Alabama has to get through LSU in Baton Rouge and Penn State has to avoid a trap at Iowa. (All eyes on Darryl Clark.) ↵

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↵(FWIW, USC has its toughest remaining game of the year -- it's all relative -- hosting Cal. It won't help USC's cause that beating Cal will eject the only other Pac-10 team in the Top 25.) ↵

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↵NFL Week 10 Top 5 Story lines: ↵

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↵(1) The Giants are in the GOTW for the 2nd straight week, another division clash vs. the rising Eagles. ... ↵

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↵(2) Think the Colts broke through with that win over the Pats? Is beating the Steelers the same with Pittsburgh's injuries? ... ↵

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↵(3) Huge NFC North game between the Packers and Vikings, especially with the Bears facing the unstoppable Titans. ... ↵

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↵(4) Perhaps the most intriguing team is the one NOT playing: Dallas. A bye beats losing. Maybe. ... ↵

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↵(5) By Sunday's end, with studio shows yammering and yakking about it incessantly, the Brady Quinn bandwagon will be overloaded. ↵

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↵NBA Instant History: Great game in Portland last night, where Brandon Roy's buzzer-beater carried the Blazers over the Rockets in OT. (T-Mac had 30, with 7 reb and 8 ast, but there isn't a ton of balance within Houston's Big 3: Artest and Yao combined for 22 and 9.) ↵

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↵(What to watch for this weekend: The debuts of Allen Iverson and Chauncey Billups on their new teams.) ↵

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↵NBA Rumor Mill: Is Gerald Wallace about to be traded off the Bobcats? This Free Darko and fantasy GM favorite could blossom into a superstar on another team. Charlotte would regret trading him. ↵

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↵MLB Hot Stove: Where is Jake Peavy going? The Padres say it is either the Cubs, Braves or Dodgers. (But does anyone really think they would be stupid enough to trade Peavy within the division? And what happened to the Yankees?) ↵

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↵Meanwhile, can you imagine if Matt Holliday ends up on the Phillies? The champs would be the favorite to repeat. ↵

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↵CBB Countdown: Gonzaga. Does the Zags' No. 4 ranking mean that SN thinks that this will finally be the year Gonzaga breaks through to the Final Four? High rankings have never portended good things for the prototype Cinderella of the last decade. ↵

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↵(Wow, Lute Olson's ex-wife is a few balls short of a rack. Here's hoping she gets some help. Serious help.) ↵

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↵The Last Word: There has been plenty of tension between Buzz Bissinger and bloggers, but at last night's Varsity Letters reading event in NYC, all was harmonious. And I think all in attendance recognized what a unique thrill it was to hear Bissinger himself read from "Friday Night Lights," one of the Top 5 sports books of all time. ↵

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↵Dan Shanoff writes The Wake-Up Call every weekday morning for SportingNews.com and blogs daily at DanShanoff.com. Got any comments, questions or feedback? Email Dan at shanofftsn-[at]-gmail-[dot]-com. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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