A big shout-out

ESPN shoutmeister Dick Vitale is out of commission for a few weeks.

Vitale is undergoing surgery to remove lesions from his throat. But he promises to be back in time for his glory walk, the NCAA Tournament.

Doctors plan to remove the lesions, eliminate pain and have him back in action by February, which Dickie V. allegedly proclaimed "the big trifecta, baby!"

Rubbing it in

When it comes to the Utah-BYU rivalry, it's never too late — or early — to start the razzing.

Hence, as the Utes warmed up for last week's Poinsettia Bowl, a plane circled Qualcomm Stadium for 20 minutes with a banner that said, "Harline is still open, and Collie, too."

Apparently so is the discussion as to which fan base can be the most annoying.

On second thought

Following an Emerald Bowl victory in 2005, Ute football coach Kyle Whittingham referenced an adage from his grandmother about urinating on your critics.

Grandma's wisdom came up again after last week's Poinsettia Bowl win.

"Like my grandma always said," Whittingham began, then hesitated, "... everyone's entitled to their opinion."

Heller's highwater

CBS Sportsline's Ben Heller on the Mitchell Report findings: "Outfielder Nook Logan reportedly bought some HGH before the 2006 season. So if you were wondering where his one homer that year came from, now you know."

Curtain call

Fans at last Saturday's Las Vegas Bowl were treated to "America the Beautiful," rendered by "Phantom of the Opera" star Brent Barrett. After that, Loren Nelson, the current Miss America, sang the national anthem.

Still, let's be clear on one thing: Considering the Cougars got just 265 offensive yards, it was no beauty pageant.


The executive board for the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association is debating whether to stick with plans to have Roger Clemens deliver a speech at this year's meeting, originally titled: "My Vigorous Workout: How I Played So Long."

Rumor has it they're still inviting Clemens, but he's decided to change the title of his speech to "My Vigorous Defense: How I Plan to Deny Everything."

Lyrical response

The Super Bowl wants the Eagles!

That would be the "Hotel California" Eagles, not the Philadelphia Eagles.

Rolling Stone magazine says the NFL was trying to get the rock/country band to sing at halftime of the Super Bowl, but the group was already scheduled to play the Grand Ole Opry.

Asked why they wouldn't want to sing before 95 million viewers, rather than at the Opry, band member Don Henley allegedly said, "I Can't Tell You Why."

E-mail: rock@desnews.com