• Old School
When I asked Buccaneers rookie defensive tackle Gerald McCoy to name the slowest quarterback he's faced, he said it was Steelers backup Charlie Batch. The two go way back—sort of. "He's been in the league 17, 18, 25 years," McCoy said. (Actually, the 37-year-old Batch has been in the league for 13 years.) "I remember playing with Charlie Batch when Dreamcast first came out, when he played for Detroit and Barry Sanders was still there. He was the quarterback. I was in middle school."
Mark Wahlberg underwent rigorous training for The Fighter, which hits the big screen on Friday, Dec. 17. With him so toned for the role of real-life boxer Mickey Ward, I asked Wahlberg how he'd fare in the ring against Manny Pacquiao. He didn't rule out his chances—with a catch. "Well, I've got size on him," Wahlberg said. "Manny, I think, is by far pound for pound the best to ever do it.... But if I catch him with a sucker punch, he's out."
• Line of the week
Charles Barkley on fellow Auburn Tiger, embattled QB Cam Newton: "If he doesn't win the Heisman Trophy, that should be investigated. That will be the biggest rip-off since we stole everything from the Indians."
Now Hear This
Listen to the podcasts at danpatrick.com/interviews
1. Chargers tight end Antonio Gates on his hoop dreams.
2. Michael Strahan discusses pro football's hottest stories.