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Weird stuff

By MARC TOPKIN, Times Staff Writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 26, 2003

Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon is about as meticulous, regimented and serious about his work (or, in a word, boring) as they come. While he has little sense of humor, he does have (albeit a bit odd) some sense of pop culture. A few things you might not know about the 37-year-old Philadelphia native:

-- He loves the bleeping MTV show The Osbournes, based on the life of bleeped-up rocker Ozzy Osborne and his dys-bleeping-functional family. Sensors bleep out about every third bleeping word. "I'm a big fan of The Osbournes," he said just before detailing his Christian beliefs. (Odd juxtaposition alert?) His favorite? Matriarch Sharon.

-- He believes heartsick teen pop icons Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake should end their feud and get back together. "Absolutely," Gannon said.

-- He is heavily into classic rock and a huge fan of Styx, who were pretty big -- during the 1970s and '80s. Gannon could barely contain himself talking about the band during Tuesday's media day and delivered what now would be a considered a shout-out to their Chicago-based lead singer, Dennis DeYoung. "If you're out there, we love you, bro."

-- He picks outfits (intentionally, we can only hope) for road trips so garish (tight jeans, multitoned leather jackets) that former coach Jon Gruden took to calling him "Greased Lightning" after John Travolta from his Grease era. "Dude tries to be down," running back Tyrone Wheatley said. "But it ain't happening."

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