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Valley will be watching locals in the Super Bowl

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And on conference-championship day, touchdowns were scored by Logan Mankins (Mariposa) and Bernard Berrian (Atwater).

Stacking the odds, Part II: Mankins was one of three linemen in the same game to log touchdowns.

Bet he'd trade that touchdown ball for a trip to the Super Bowl.

Take your pick on which was worse: Patriots coach Bill Belichick brushing off Peyton Manning's handshake, or Belichick insulting both himself and the media with a worthless press conference.

Memo to Belichick: You're not the first coach, or the last, to lose a heartbreaker in the AFC final. You own three rings. Be a pro. And dump the hoodie.

And on the flip side: Manning, when his day of deliverance arrived, smiled and put on his ball cap. Classy reaction by a classy QB.

The early line on XLI: In a close game, lean toward the better quarterback (Manning).

The valley will watch XLI extra-close: Berrian, Fresno's Ricky Manning and Chowchilla grad and special-teams standout Cameron Worrell (Bears) and Fresno's Matt Giordano (Colts).

Add Indy receivers coach Clyde Christensen, a 1975 JC All-American quarterback at Fresno City.

Most fans remember Reggie Bush's taunting of the Bears' Brian Urlacher. I remember Urlacher not losing much ground chasing one of the NFL's fastest players.

If Norv Turner takes the Cowboys job, he forces the 49ers to seek their third offensive coordinator in three seasons. Goodbye, momentum.

Turner's option: I'll do what I do best and groom Alex Smith with the 49ers, or I jump into the Terrell Owens-Jerry Jones circus as a caretaker-coach before Jason Garrett takes charge.

Which means he's Dallas-bound, of course.

Regardless of how you stand about Al Davis: He might be the most fascinating person in NFL history.

At this rate, prisons will announce their new expansions thus: "Here is the Bengal wing."

Looking forward to a comfortable year off and, if he chooses, a top-tier NFL job in 2008: Bill Cowher.

Question: The Kings (17-23) play and act unhappy, a 180-degree flip from five years ago.

Just a guess: Mike Bibby or Ron Artest, soon to be an ex-King.

The bookstands feature two biographies on "Pistol" Pete Maravich but, to those old enough to remember, there was only one Pete Maravich.

Impressive fact: Roger Federer dominates tennis more than Tiger Woods dominates golf.

The Modesto Nuts 2007 staff brings together former JC rivals: manager Jerry Weinstein (Sacramento) and pitching coach Butch Hughes (Merced).

It was Monday morning, the day after one of the wildest championship games in history, and Bill Parcells sucks all the air out of the NFL room.

The drive that graduated Manning to the next level: Traffic at his feet prevents him from stepping into all three passes, yet he hits on all three to set up the Colts' winning touchdown.

Wonder if Parcells taught Nick Saban the basics of Football Diva 101.

The Super Bowl fight already has begun because, like all qualifiers over the years, both teams feel like they don't get enough respect.

Commence the debate for respect.

Bee sports columnist Ron Agostini can be reached at 578-2302 or ragostini@modbee.com.

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