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December 29, 2002
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[Times photo: Toni L. Sandys]
Bucs quarterback Rob Johnson thinks the biggest misconception about him is that he is not competitive or doesn't care. Story
Playoff swagger is critical
Bucs' goal tonight is to regain attitude that got them into postseason.

Brad Johnson team's MVP
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Sometimes the only way to discover the value of a player is to try to win without him.

California attitude with a twist
He is as Southern Californian as you can get. Here is Bucs quarterback Rob Johnson on New Year's resolutions, people's perception of him, his body, his parents, bad toes and plumbers clothing.

High profile -- Brian Urlacher

Side line
With major renovations occurring at Soldier Field, the Bears have played all their home games at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill., on the campus of the University of Illinois.

Chucky's Chalk Talk
On the Bucs' 0-21 streak in games in which the kickoff temperature is colder than 40 degrees:

Gary Shelton: Nice job, Jon
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- His team still cannot run the ball from here to the end of the paragraph. The offense has not scored often enough to live up to its advance notices. Too much of the burden has been placed on the quarterback, which is perhaps the reason his back gave out.

Ramsay: odyssey on ice
Today is the 2,000th game as player or coach for the Lightning's associate coach.

Hubert Mizell
With Rays, Piniella will need patience above all

Lou Piniella is back home, packing a lifetime of accomplishment, with the heart of a champion, his gut churning still with competitive passion. But the old Tampa fireball will be managing Devil Rays all but sentenced to at least one more summer in American League East dungeon.

College basketball
Walsh scores 29 as Gators rout B-CC

Matt Walsh is 7-for-7 on 3-pointers in 99-64 win.
Bulls' balanced attack baffles LIU
South Florida rolls on both sides of the ball to its highest win margin since 1984.
Boston's 3-point barrage buries FSU
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Matt Turner, Billy Collins and Chaz Carr each sank four 3-pointers and Boston University pulled away to beat Florida State 84-69 Saturday in the opener of the Fiesta Bowl Classic.
Florida prevails over UMass in double OT
GAINESVILLE -- Sarah Lowe scored 17 as Florida outlasted Massachusetts 78-70 in double overtime Saturday in the State Farm Classic.
UConn win streak holds up versus USF
But the South Florida women play tough before a record crowd in the 72-56 loss.
UCLA skid at three as Michigan hits 11 3-pointers
LOS ANGELES -- Freshman Daniel Horton scored 24, including seven of Michigan's 11 3-pointers, and the Wolverines defeated UCLA 81-76 Saturday.
Manhattan guard gets second MVP in victory
NEW YORK -- Luis Flores joined an exclusive club Saturday.
SEC foe again tops Sooners
NEW ORLEANS -- Mario Austin did not have his usual game, but he had just enough.

College football
Buckeyes running back in a big hurry

Freshman Maurice Clarett doesn't waste any time making an impact for Ohio State.
Gators guard Snell won't forgo his senior season
TAMPA -- Florida's offensive line will not lose one of its most productive players next season, as offensive guard and Tampa native Shannon Snell said Saturday he will return for his senior season.
Gator bucks tradition, awaits Michigan
Growing up in Ohio somehow made Keiwan Ratliff a Wolverines fan. CB faces the team to which he once committed.
Miami has fun, but it's not all fun
PHOENIX -- Larry Coker said he wants to strike a balance between work and play as top-ranked Miami prepares for its title game with Ohio State.
O.J. pays a visit to his old team
MIAMI -- For the first time in more than eight years, O.J. Simpson attended a Southern Cal practice on Saturday, mingling and chatting with players, signing autographs and posing for pictures.
Athletic director puts Seminoles on notice to behave
NEW ORLEANS -- In the wake of a string of embarrassing transgressions by members of the football team, Florida State athletic director Dave Hart had a stern message.
Confidence catching on
Bulldogs WR Terrence Edwards no longer lets a big drop bother him.
Virginia runs over West Virginia
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Wali Lundy spent most of his life chasing Avon Cobourne. In their first head-to-head meeting, he finally passed him.
Season on the bubble: Saint Louis 71, Southern Illinois 60
Visiting Southern Illinois had 13 points and 12 turnovers in the first half, shot a season-worst 35 percent overall and had a season low for scoring Saturday. The Salukis (5-3) have lost three of four heading into conference play.

Dolphins fight against past

It's simple for the Dolphins. Win today against the Patriots in Foxboro, Mass., and they're in the playoffs. Lose and they face huge embarrassment.
NFL Game Day: Week 17
Bucs (11-4) at Bears (4-11)
Raiders clinch AFC's top seed
OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Raiders worked their "bad weather plan" to near perfection.
Overtime win lifts Giants into playoffs
INT sets up Matt Bryant's 39-yard field goal, beating Eagles 10-7.

Yankees cut payroll? Ha!

ST. PETERSBURG -- The new year is supposed to be a time for reflections and resolutions, for thoughts of hope and dreams of change.

2002: The Year in Review
Double winners, bizarre finishes and deadlocks

From the NFL playoffs to the Winter Olympics, from auto racing to baseball's All-Star Game, events in 2002 unraveled with layers of confusion, bumbling and grumbling, and sometimes sinister undertones.

Slap shots

Home is where the heart is, just not the wins
Straka strikes, Canadiens denied in 3-2 Penguin win
PITTSBURGH -- Martin Straka scored two of Pittsburgh's three goals in a second period in which an apparent Montreal goal was waved off, and the Penguins ran their winning streak to four with a 3-2 victory Saturday night.

Orlando breaks the Celtics' hold

ORLANDO -- Tommy Heinsohn has a fan in Magic coach Doc Rivers -- sort of.

Title game to be all-Pinellas affair

Seminole beats Decorah 58-51, and Boca Ciega outlasts Alachua Santa Fe 49-41.
Cowboys edge Chiefs
Gaither converts its free throws to beat Chamberlain 61-59 in the championship.
Lakewood can't stay with best 6A team
A 16-0 run during the second quarter helps Orlando Edgewater cruise into the final 82-64.
Bears outlast Eagles to win River Ridge title
NEW PORT RICHEY -- Even in Pasco County, Central proved it still is the best team in Hernando County.
Ridgewood earns another chance at Ram title
NEW PORT RICHEY -- Ridgewood's reward for its 10th consecutive victory is a berth in the William G. Hulton Jr. Rotary Ram Classic final.
Durant gets last shot to defend county's honor
The Cougars roll to a matchup against Kennesaw Mountain, which defeats its third Hillsborough team.
Good start turns bad for Barons
ST. PETERSBURG -- King pushed past St. Petersburg Catholic at the beginning of the second quarter and kept pushing until the Barons were beaten into submission 85-65 in a quarterfinal of the Blue Jacket Holiday Classic.
Lakewood can't stay with state's best
The Spartans' productive first quarter dissolves into a long second-quarter drought in an 82-64 loss.

Rays in limbo: How low can management go?

The Rays claim they were forced to cut payroll. How much lower does Vince Naimoli want it to go?

Sheepshead plentiful and they are tricky

You'll find convicts hanging around the bay bridges. You'll find them lurking around the local fishing piers. Sheepshead are the convict fish because of their distinct black-and-white-striped sides.

In brief
Poll: Georgians prefer to keep status quo at Augusta National

Georgians are more likely than other Americans to support Augusta National Golf Club's men-only membership stance.

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