Sick of hearing how tough Steve McNair is? The title of Mark Bluadschun’s article is a perfect example “McNair pushes away pain, pulls in respect” It’s only beginning, folks. Tom Curran says a few of the Patriots who have had injuries of their own might be getting tired of hearing about the Titans quarterback playing with pain. . Yes, he is tough. No doubt about it. But the fact of life in the NFL is that at this time of year, everyone is hurt and playing in pain. Many are playing well. You just don’t hear about it. Ty Law is one of the Patriots who has battled through injuries all season long. Lenny Megliola has a look at Law and his season thus far. He and the rest of the Patriots are eager to get out on the field Saturday night. We’ve all heard the Tom Brady comparisons to Joe Montana. Most get dismissed after a moment or two. Michael Smith takes the comparison head on, and notes what Brady can do to make the gap between the two smaller, quickly. Michael Felger says don’t expect to see the Patriots repeat their success at the running game against the Titans. Michael Parente looks at the Titans receivers, a big, fast, yes, tough group. Nick Cafardo has Chris Palmer weighing in on McNair and Brady. Jim Donaldson has a look at the other deity on the Titans, running back Eddie George, of whom he says “If Michaelangelo (sic) and Vince Lombardi combined to sculpt the ideal running back, he’d look just like Eddie George.” Joe Burris has a look at Tom Ashworth. Christopher Price has a peek at Antowain Smith, who needs to be a factor Saturday night. Ron Borges has a look at the Colts Brandon Stokley. Smith’s notebook looks at the Giants filling their vacant head coaching position with Tom Coughlin, and what that means for Patriots assistants. Mike Reiss also looks at the effect of the Giants announcement on Crennel and Weis. Curran’s notebook says Mike Cloud is staying prepared, just in case. Felger’s notebook looks at Tom Brady lusting for another Super Bowl, and drawing on his past playoff experience. Parente’s notebook says the Patriots reward for getting home field is to face the best road team in the NFL. The Inside Track today reports that there are hard feelings in the Patriots locker room towards the Red Sox.

The Eck is in the hall. Jeff Horrigan and Bob Hohler look at the election of Dennis Eckersley and Paul Molitor to the baseball Hall of Fame. Nick Cafardo loved the Eck because he looked good and talked to the media. Tony Massarotti looks at how far Eckersley has come in his life. Horrigan’s notebook says Jim Rice’s chances for the Hall are just about cooked. In a somewhat interesting development for conspiracy theorists, has taken down the images of Manny and Nomar that were in the site header. Now the pictures are of Pedro, Wakefield, Ortiz and Schilling. Does it mean anything? Who knows. Dan Shaughnessy says Pete Rose doesn’t get it. He also makes this comment:

The motivation for his admission is obvious: He wants to make money. He has 500,000 books waiting to be bought. Rose needed a good hook to command that kind of press run. Admitting he bet was certain to capture our attention. Distasteful as this is, the timing is even worse. Making a splash this week guaranteed Rose ultimate exposure because yesterday was the day the newest Hall of Fame inductees were announced. Nice of Pete to upstage brothers Eckersley and Molitor.

As pointed out by a reader, I hope the irony of this statement is not lost on Dan.

Ryen Russillo and AM 1510 deserve some props for breaking the Vin Baker story yesterday. This is the second time they’ve scooped WEEI in recent weeks, the other time being when they had the Celtics/Cavaliers trade before the Entercom giant. On the latter occasion, Pete Sheppard credited news of the trade to “broadcast reports.” While not many people may be listening to 1510, at least we know WEEI is listening. Celtics links from the Baker story can be found at Fox Sports Net New England.

Steve Conroy looks at the Bruins heading into the second half of the season. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell looks at the rising intensity level of rookie coach Mike Sullivan. Conroy also has a short bit on Mike Knuble.

John Molori’s Media Blitz has Steve DeOssie comparing Parcells and Belichick.

Mike Shalin and Michael Vega look at B.C. opening the Big East schedule with a 72-64 win at previously unbeaten Georgetown.

FSNNE has Celtics/Magic at 7:00. NESN has Bruins/Red Wings at 7:30. ESPN has Warriors/Mavs at 9:00. At 7:30 ESPN2 is showing the NFL Films highlights from the Patriots/Rams SuperBowl.