In Buffalo, Alan Pergament wrote ESPN "MNF" analyst Booger McFarland has been a "lightning rod for criticism this season," including some from former and current NFLers, but McFarland has "brought some of the criticism on himself." Still, he takes all of it "in stride." McFarland said, "I got accustomed to criticism early on. ... Criticism has not and will never bother me" (BUFFALO NEWS, 1/2).
HARD KNOCKS LIFE: In Phoenix, Jeremy Cluff noted the Cardinals are "currently among five NFL teams that could appear" on HBO's "Hard Knocks" next season. Teams "can be chosen for the show if they haven't been in the playoffs in the past two seasons, don't have a first-year head coach and they haven't appeared on the show in the past 10 years." This leaves the Jaguars, Broncos, Lions and Steelers as the other teams that "fit the criteria to be on the show" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 1/2).
GOOD CALL: In N.Y., Phil Mushnick writes Wednesday's Stars-Predators Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on NBC was a "good telecast of a good game." The entire telecast was "similarly well-shot and spoken" by NBC's Doc Emrick (N.Y. POST, 1/3).