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Compelling evidence

Ute football coach Kyle Whittingham is looking for rings, both old and new.

The new rings would be the future championship variety. The old rings are those stolen last week from the Dee Glen Smith Athletic Center.

Police say someone forced open a display cabinet in the building and took eight rings belonging to Whittingham. Half were earned while coaching at Utah, the other half were from his days at BYU.

I'm no Sherlock but here's a clue, free of charge: the culprit wasn't a Ute fan — even if the crime did occur on campus.

A Utah fan would have left the BYU rings in the case.

Order to go

Although BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall received a game tape of TCU early last week, he didn't rush to review it.

The reason?

"Thursday night is date night and I plan on taking my wife out," said Mendenhall.

Smart move. It never hurts to keep the Director of Football Operations happy.

But there's one thing Bronco should know: fans are expecting wins. If the Cougs start losing on a regular basis, he may want to change Thursday from "date night" to "order-out" night.

Flippantly offensive

What is it with Broncos quarterbacks and middle fingers?

Denver backup Bradlee Van Pelt showed up at the CU-CSU football game recently with a T-shirt that had an obscenity. He then proceeded to give the finger — both hands, no less — to the Colorado crowd.

He later apologized, admitting his move was "classless."

Starting Bronco quarterback Jake Plummer was fined $5,000 last year for making a similar move following an interception.

Two Denver quarterbacks, two finger incidents.

Which makes me wonder: When they do that, are they showing how many games they expect to win this year, or their IQ?

Big red machine

Despite previous denials, tennis star Maria Sharapova is now reportedly set to play in next year's Fed Cup in her native Russia.

Federation executive Shamil Tarpischev said, "Sharapova is success-oriented regardless of anything. Money, relationships are all less important. The main thing for Sharapova is to overcome her opponents."

Or, to quote another famous Russian, "We will bury you."

Getting a buzz

ABC play-by-play announcer Brent Musberger ran afoul of the law in Lincoln, Neb., last Saturday, after being picked up for having an open container of beer in a vehicle.

Reports say Musberger was merely a passenger in the car but had popped a can of Budweiser. That's against the law.

It's just a good thing he wasn't in Provo.

Last time I was in there, I got cited for having an open container of Mountain Dew.


E-mail: rock@desnews.com