- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 28, 2008


The Redskins facing the 49ers doesn’t appear to be a San Francisco treat, so check out the last game of the NFL regular season with the AFC West title on the line. Broncos at Chargers, 8:15 p.m., Chs. 4, 11


The Capitals will retire Mike Gartner’s No. 11 on Sunday night at Verizon Center against the Maple Leafs, another of his former teams. The Caps will wear No. 11 jerseys in warmups as a tribute. Gartner is sixth all-time with 708 goals; that’s what got him to the Hall of Fame, but here are some tidbits about Gartner that may not be front and center when his number is raised to the rafters:

— Gartner has played the second-most games (1,432) of any player who hasn’t won a Stanley Cup. Only Phil Housley - arguably the best retired defenseman not in the Hall of Fame - has more without lifting Lord Stanley’s Cup.

— This was after his career with the Caps, but Gartner proved he was fast. Really fast. He won the fastest skater competition at the 1991, 1993 and 1996 All-Star Games.

— Gartner scored 30 or more goals 15 times, a record he shares with … cough … Jaromir Jagr. Caps fans, take solace in this: Gartner’s in the Hall of Fame, and Jagr is playing in the middle of nowhere in Mother Russia.

— In Gartner’s nine full seasons with the Caps, they were 338-282-100. That’s definitely a better track record than Jagr.


Here’s a look at the best bowl matchups from now to New Year’s Day:

1. Chick-fil-A, Wednesday: Georgia Tech vs. LSU - Paul Johnson shows off his spread option against a team that played for the national title last season.

2. Alamo, Monday: Missouri vs. Northwestern - Underrated teams, but they can play. They’re also the two best journalism schools in the Midwest.

3. Holiday, Tuesday: Oklahoma St. vs. Oregon - Let the offense fly. And the Cowboys’ Zac Robinson is pretty fun to watch all by himself.

4. Music City, Wednesday: Boston College vs. Vanderbilt - No one gives Vandy a shot, maybe for good reason as BC has been great in bowl games.

5. Papajohns.com, Monday: N.C. State vs. Rutgers - The argument here is more for ordering pizza online than it is watching the Wolfpack vs. the Scarlet Knights.

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