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Issue: "California's wall of fire," Nov. 8, 2003

Ravens coach Brian Billick is tired of wasting timeouts when his instant replay challenges go awry. His solution: Get rid of instant replay altogether. "Dump the whole thing. It doesn't work. I've tried."

As if Kobe Bryant's legal problems weren't enough, now he's got issues in the workplace. As the NBA season started last month, the Lakers star publicly feuded with teammate Shaquille O'Neal, restoring an icy nature to their relationship that had in recent times thawed. Mr. Bryant chided the star center for coming to camp "fat" in recent years while Mr. O'Neal suggested Mr. Bryant should opt-out of his contract after this season.

The federal grand jury probe into BALCO, a San FranciscoÐarea lab that produced designer steroids, has spread into the NFL. A handful of Oakland Raiders players were subpoenaed to testify. The NFL said last week it would rescreen its players' drug tests for THG, the steroid in question.

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Maybe giving pitcher Pedro Martinez the hook earlier would have saved Grady Little. But as it is, one game away from the World Series wasn't close enough for the Red Sox ownership, who declined to re-up the Boston manager after two seasons and 188 wins.

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