GIANTS DEFENSIVE END
The All-Pro led his team with 12 sacks
Dan Patrick: Did you notice Donovan McNabb picking up the phone on the Giants' sideline late in your divisional playoff with the Eagles?
Justin Tuck: I didn't find out about it until after the game.
DP: Would you have popped him if you had seen it?
JT: More than likely. I wouldn't have looked highly upon it.
DP: What are the chances Plaxico Burress plays for the Giants again?
JT: I'd say it's 50-50.
DP: Do you want him back?
JT: I do, but there would have to be some changes made on his part. He's made some mistakes, and hopefully he's learned from them. If that's the case, then I'd love to have him back. If he hasn't, then obviously not. He can really help a football team, and he can also hurt one. But you cannot deny how talented he is.
DP: That's the frustrating part, right? That he's that selfish?
JT: Luckily for me I don't get paid to make those decisions. The Giants are an organization that doesn't look highly on low character. I think I speak for the whole team when I say I'd like to have him back under certain circumstances.
DP: If Plaxico goes to trial on illegal gun charges, is there any chance you will get called as a character witness?
JT: I haven't been contacted by any authorities.
DP: When you're trying to pick up on whether the other team is going to run or pass, are you looking at a lineman or the quarterback for the tell?
DP: What ways would I show you it's going to be a run or a pass?
JT: Some linemen place their hands differently. They'll have more pressure on their hand if it's a run or lighter pressure if it's a pass.
DP: Who's the fastest QB you faced this year?
JT: Flat-out speed, it's [Minnesota's] Tarvaris Jackson or [Washington's] Jason Campbell.
DP: Who's the slowest of the quarterbacks left in the playoffs?
JT: I'd say Kurt [Warner].
DP: In a 40-yard dash between you and Warner, what's the result?
JT: I'd beat Kurt by at least 15 yards.
Stop the Music
IN THE AFC Championship Game, Pittsburgh safety Ryan Clark laid out Baltimore running back Willis McGahee with the kind of hit that usually hushes a stadium. But as McGahee lay on the field, music blasted from the Heinz Field sound system. Worse, the song was Down on the Corner. Bad joke or bad judgment, it doesn't matter. A situation like that calls for one thing: silence.
LAST WEEK, when expectant father Drew Brees was on the show, the Saints' QB said he'd been doing the wet-ball drill to prepare for holding his first child, a son. He also said he'd heard plenty of suggestions for names that work with the surname Brees, such as Stiff, Spring and Autumn. "They didn't pass the first round," he said. When the baby was born last Thursday, Brees and his wife, Brittany, went with Baylen. If they have another, here are a few names they might consider:
• SUMNER Summer Brees would be great for a girl. For a boy, this is the next best thing.
• KOOL It worked out for Robert Bell, who went with the new name and sang Jungle Boogie with his Gang.
• APPLE Going with the name chosen by Gwyneth and Chris Martin all but guarantees the tyke an endorsement deal with a certain restaurant chain.
• DREW JR. Naming a child after oneself is a big decision. Drew Brees or not Drew Brees, that is the question.
THE CONTINUED backlash against steroid-era sluggers in Hall of Fame voting—Mark McGwire was named on only 21.9% of the baseball writers' ballots—is great news for guys who played before the mid-1990s. Their numbers might not be as gaudy as the tainted stars', but they're presumably legit. Jim Rice finally got in this year (his 15th on the ballot), and Andre Dawson, whose numbers compare favorably with Rice's, edged closer (67%). Rice didn't sit by his phone waiting for the results; he just killed time watching TV. And what was the notoriously surly Rice watching? Cool Hand Luke? Dirty Harry? No, The Young and the Restless.
THE FINE PRINT: Topps has released a set of Barack Obama trading cards. Each pack comes with a stick of nicotine gum.
Go to DANPATRICK.COM for more from Justin Tuck and other recent interviews, and hear live audio of Dan's radio show, 9 a.m.-noon ET, Mon.-Fri.
ILLUSTRATION BY KEITH WITMER
BOB ROSATO (MCGAHEE)
MIKE SEGAR/REUTERS (RICE)
RICH KANE/US PRESSWIRE (TUCK)