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Originally published Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 6:01 PM

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Time to invent a 'comeback program of the year' award?

Let's hear it for the football coach at ... Penn State? "Into the teeth of the worst college football scandal in American history, into...

The Seattle Times

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Let's hear it for the football coach at ... Penn State?

"Into the teeth of the worst college football scandal in American history, into a sex-scandal mess the National Guard couldn't have cleaned up, Bill O'Brien pulled off a football miracle: He made you forget Penn State was radioactive," wrote Rick Reilly of ESPN.com. "O'Brien went 8-4 in the middle of nuclear winter. He kept popping open umbrellas while it rained bowling balls. He made a numb town feel again.

"That's why he's either the coach of the year in college football this season or you melt down the trophy."

Headlines

• At SportsPickle.com: "Report: Michael Jordan out $12.6 million in gambling losses thanks to Charlotte Bobcats' surprising 7-7 start."

• At TheOnion.com: "Matt Schaub releases exhaustive list of who deserves to be on Texans' roster."

Czech that

"Anyone trying to figure what's wrong with the Washington Wizards, losers of their first 12 games before getting a win this season, might want to start with the team's choice of Jan Vesely of the Czech Republic as its 2011 lottery pick," wrote Bob Molinaro of the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot. "As I type this, Vesely has more fouls than points this season."

Paging Chief Brody

Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel had to slap himself after opining that the NBA was correct in fining the Spurs $250,000 for resting their top four players against the Heat.

"Did I really just side with David Stern?" Bianchi wrote. "Isn't that like rooting for shark in 'Jaws'?"

Talko time

• Ex-Titans offensive coordinator Chris Palmer, to The Tennessean, when asked how he responded when coach Mike Munchak told him he was fired: "I gave him his Christmas present, said 'Merry Christmas,' and then left."

• Ian Hamilton of the Regina (Sask.) Leader-Post, wondering whether Trail Blazer guard Damian Lillard's fear of historic monuments might affect his play: "Consider it a statue of limitations."

• CFL Alumni president Leo Ezerins, to The Hamilton Spectator, on this year's Grey Cup get-together at a Toronto bar: "Some of these guys haven't seen each other in decades. There's a lot of old faces with new teeth."

Sunburned

Phoenix — the country's No. 1 move-to destination from 2000 to 2009 — is suddenly experiencing a dramatic falloff in people wanting to relocate there, Forbes magazine reported.

Especially top-notch NFL quarterbacks.

Dwight Perry: 206-464-8250 or dperry@seattletimes.com

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