Today in sports: the GOP White House longshot hitches her wagon to the star of the worst quarterback in the NFL playoffs, Penn State is still trying to settle on a replacement for Joe Paterno, and ad time during the Super Bowl is all sold out.
It looks increasingly likely that Penn State will hire an unheralded NFL assistant coach to replace Joe Paterno. New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien, Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach Tom Clements, and San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinators Greg Roman are reportedly the three finalists, but none of those names are inspiring much enthusiasm with the school's backers, who believe the team can land a top-tier coach, even with the Jerry Sandusky prosecution still unfolding. There's apparently a theory making the rounds that the school is poised to hire a big-name, but has somehow managed to keep it totally under wraps. That's a somewhat unlikely scenario, writes New York Times college football columnist Pete Thamel unless the school has somehow managed to be "so calculated, exacting and secretive that it has had a big-name hire lined up for weeks" and is just waiting to spring him on the world. [The New York Times]
Michele Bachmann has a last-minute TV ad up in Iowa in which she compares herself to Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, who will play in his first career playoff game this weekend, despite the fact he only completed six passes last week and was unquestionably the worst quarterback over the last month of the regular season. The ad mentions none of that, choosing instead to note that Bachmann and Tebow both have "no baggage" and that "like Tebow, she keeps fighting and she just keeps winning votes." [USA Today]
David Beckham has spurned an offer to French Ligue 1's Paris Saint-Germain to play another year with the Los Angeles Galaxy. Even if you don't care for soccer, there's something thrilling about that, especially since it was just two weeks ago that various French newspapers were reporting that his move to PSG was a done deal. A source tells ESPN that Galaxy management persuaded Beckham to remain in the U.S. by offering him a one-year contract full of perks, including time off from the club if he plays for England in the Olympics this summer. That flexibility apparently made up for the fact Los Angeles offered him a salary $6.5 million less than what he would have earned in France. [ESPN]
Ad time for Super Bowl XLVI in February is totally sold out, even though a 30-second spot this year was going for $3.5 million, $500,000 more than the asking price in 2010. The increase is probably warranted, considering the last two games are the two most-watched TV broadcasts in U.S. history. According to NBC, most of the commercial time was booked by September, with purchases of stray spots coming in over Thanksgiving. [The Wall Street Journal]
The Texas Rangers still haven't reached a contract agreement with Yu Darvish, the 23-year-old Japanese ace-in-waiting they paid $52 million just to negotiate with last month. The sides have until 4 p.m. on January 18 to finalize a deal, and progress has been slow, but ESPN is reporting that the pitcher -- and his dad -- will be in Texas tomorrow for the very first time, because he wants to "take a look around," which seems reasonable. [ESPN]