Sunday’s pending 1pm AFC playoff encounter between the Patriots and Jets affords the Boston and NYC papers multiple opportunities to focus on the curious relationship between two dynamic, effervescent public figures.

Or failing that, they’ll stay fixated on Bill Belichick and Eric Mangini.

The Lawrence Eagle-Tribune’s Hector Longo
, while warning that beating a Casanova/Brady led team twice in a season “has been nearly impossible,”, is far from impressed with Belichick allowing Vinny Testaverde to have a moment of glory at the end of Sunday’s defeat of the Titans.

If Doug Flutie’s closing-day drop kick in last year’s finale put a sour taste in your mouth, then you had to be turning the TV off when Vinny Testaverde hit the mushy turf at LP Field late in the fourth quarter.

Why would the coach, who is 99.99 percent of the time worried about riling up an opponent, rub it in like this?

Remember, this game ultimately meant little or nothing to the Patriots. If padding Vinny’s record was a Belichick priority, then he should have gone to the 43-year-old earlier. Start him. Play him in the first half, but don’t use him to run up the score in the last two minutes.

It says here that Belichick deserves any heat he gets for this move. In fact, the decision to run it up on Tennessee will eventually come back to haunt his team.

Despite prior vehement denials he’d be leaving the Dolphins to take over at Alabama, speculation continues to mount concerning Nick Saban and a bank-breaking offer from the Tide. The Miami Herald’s Armando Selguero mused, “the Alabama offer has a chance to succeed because Saban does not particularly embrace South Florida or its lifestyle,” elaborating that the former LSU coach “rarely eats out locally, preferring his wife’s cooking.”

I’m sorry, but the euphamisms are a little too heavy.