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January 17, 2003
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Bucs
NFC CHAMPIONSHIP
Bucs at Eagles
Sunday, 3 p.m., Fox-13
WQYK-1010AM, 99.5 FM
Wish them well
Fans are invited to send the Bucs off from RJS at 3 today. Parking lots open at noon.
Expected weather
Sunday in Philly: High of 32; low of 20.
Line: Eagles by 4
Fine examples
[AP]
Eagles fans attend a pep rally before last week's Falcons playoff game.

Faithful fans call on
a higher power

"We believe God is an Eagles fan," says a Philadelphia pastor, adding, more seriously, "God is not interested in game-winning." Story

Respect alludes Bucs secondary
But Sunday's NFC Championship Game against the Eagles gives players a chance to show the world who's the NFL's best.
NFC notebook: Jurevicius may miss game for personal reasons
TAMPA -- Receiver Joe Jurevicius, who missed practice Wednesday to deal with a family matter, returned for Thursday's morning session, only to be excused again for the afternoon session.
Sideline: The Dan wasn't exactly The Man
A stinking hostile dump
This place has a vibe. A definite historical tone. Stand on the field and you can sense it. Sit in the bleachers and you can feel it. Walk into the corridors and, whew, you can smell it. John Romano
Howard Troxler: Philadelphia, N.J.: Iggles, cheese steaks and cheese steak eaters
NFL nixes draft picks for coaches
Eagles secondary focuses on task, not accolades

Rays
Free-agent 2B will give Rays more options
ST. PETERSBURG -- The Devil Rays signed free-agent second baseman Marlon Anderson to a one-year contract Thursday, creating competition for Brent Abernathy. Manager Lou Piniella said he also plans to try him elsewhere.

Lightning
A happy All-Star, he thinks bigger
Lightning's Martin St. Louis feels honored, but stays focused on teammates and playoffs.

Tonight: Lightning vs. Penguins
WHEN/WHERE: 7:30; St. Pete Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa.

Instead of sitting, Keefe is sent down
TAMPA -- Sheldon Keefe appears to be a casualty in the Lightning's attempt to get more size and speed into the lineup.

Sports on the air
Local ratings could reach new high

The magic number for the Bucs this weekend is 50/75.

NFL
Some Raiders may be old, but so what?

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- It's understandable if Oakland backup quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo views star receiver Jerry Rice as a father figure. Tuiasosopo's father, Manu, played with Rice when both were with San Francisco in the mid 1980s. Now Marques, who's 22, is teammates with Rice.

Middleton still bitter about breakup with Bucs
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Guard Frank Middleton said he'd love to face his former Tampa Bay teammates, and his ex-Oakland coach, Jon Gruden, in the Super Bowl.

Del Rio set to coach Jaguars
The Jaguars hired Panthers defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio as their coach Thursday, the Associated Press reported.

College football
McPherson's plans take another twist

Ex-FSU quarterback will withdraw from Murray State.

Seminoles face tough schedule
TALLAHASSEE -- For a team looking to rebound after its first five-loss season since 1981, next season's Florida State schedule that was released Thursday looks daunting.

Baseball
Owners approve All-Star tie-in to World Series

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Owners unanimously approved commissioner Bud Selig's proposal to have the league that wins the All-Star Game get homefield advantage in the World Series.


NHL: Senators stifle Ducks, barely missing a shutout
OTTAWA -- Martin Prusek came within 5:41 of recording the Senators' fourth consecutive shutout and Marian Hossa scored his 29th and 30th goals in a 3-1 victory over the Anaheim Mighty Ducks on Thursday night.

College basketball
UT's play in SSC remains streaky

TAMPA -- In the first game of an almost eight-week Sunshine State Conference schedule, the University of Tampa men's basketball team was dominated by Eckerd Jan. 8.

Arizona averts USC's upset bid
LOS ANGELES -- Freshman Hassan Adams scored 21, and No. 2 Arizona played superb defense down the stretch Thursday in rallying for an 81-72 victory against USC.

Arkansas shuts down Florida in 39-point win
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Shameka Christon, Ruby Vaden and India Lewis scored 14 in No.10 Arkansas' 84-45 victory against Florida on Thursday.

In brief
Kwan edges out strong field in short program

DALLAS -- Michelle Kwan, the most dominant skater of her generation, added another memorable performance to her career Thursday night when she beat a loaded field in the short program at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

NBA
Jordan starts strong, lets kids finish Magic

WASHINGTON -- Michael Jordan's 28 first-half points showed he can't win a game by himself. In fact, his teammates put together the decisive run while he was taking a rest.

Tennis
Injured Seles out in second round

Venus Williams rallies in a wild second set to defeat Anca Barna.

Golf
Goosen, Perry share Sony lead

HONOLULU -- Retief Goosen went from steady to spectacular with one shot, a 3-iron into 12 feet for eagle on the 18th hole that gave him 6-under 64 and a tie for the lead with Kenny Perry on Thursday in the Sony Open.

Preps
Slow and easy is better than being out cold

TAMPA -- Before I get to the part about passing out on a gym floor and thinking I might die from a heart attack, let me explain a few things.
Mitchell finishes off Zephyrhills
TRINITY -- Two teams raced to the halfway point Thursday night, trading baskets and the lead in a non-district Sunshine Athletic Conference battle.
TBT ends jinx at Armwood
BRANDON -- Tampa Bay Tech, fueled by its suffocating defense, never trailed and remained perfect in Class 4A, District 9 with a convincing 51-28 victory at Armwood on Thursday.
Brandon coach faces FHSAA investigation
The governing body sends a letter of inquiry to the Eagles concerning recruiting violations against boys basketball coach Mark Hermann.
Just in the nick of time
SEMINOLE -- It was not the classic closing-seconds sequence, but a confused Seminole team got it right enough. With a game on the line, find Jen Hansen.

Outdoors
Keller event returns Saturday

It has been a little more than a month since area anglers have been able to participate in a fishing tournament, but that changes Saturday with the 13th annual Johnny Keller Inshore Fishing tournament sponsored by the Old Salts Fishing Club.

Target fish that best fit the climate
To have a successful fishing trip target species that don't seem to mind the cold water. Trout, mango snapper and sheepshead are the easiest to catch when the water temperature hits the low 60s or colder. Grouper are available if you are patient.

Fishing rods are more than just poles
PINELLAS PARK -- I used to think about custom fishing rods the same way I thought about model cars.

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