FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH:
■ They grew up in the same Portsmouth neighborhood.
The mother of one of them works for the father of the other one.
In short, they have known each other forever.
And the best part, the part that seems to come out of some TV movie of the week script?
They are both freshmen, on athletic scholarships, in big-time college basketball programs — Cole Swider at Villanova, and Chris Herren Jr. at Boston College, the Big East and the ACC, respectively — something that's very, very rare around here.
■ Mama, don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys. Let them grow up to be NFL placekickers.
■ Better yet, have them grow up to be guys who sit in the owner's box, the guys who win no matter what the scoreboard says.
■ The highest grossing movie of 2018? "Black Panther."
■ There are now three sure things in life: death, taxes, and the Pats always winning the horrible AFC East.
■ That, and people who want tickets to the annual PC-URI basketball game.
■ QUIZ OF THE WEEK: Who holds the record for the most quarterback sacks in the NFL's postseason? (Answer near the bottom of the column)
■ LINE OF THE WEEK comes from Gisele you-know-who in Dan Shaughnessy's column in the Boston Globe: "After 12 years, I feel I could be a ref."
■ This from several media outlets: Two-thirds of all Americans say they get their news from social media.
■ And I have only one response: WOW.
■ But there's no truth to the rumor that too many of us get our news from the guy we talked to last.
■ Colts placekicker Adam Vinatieri is 46, and said the other day he wants to play for 10 more years.
■ P.S. He already has a white beard.
■ I don't trust cars with drivers, never mind cars without them.
■ This from the New York Post: Tom Brady had $5 million in performance bonuses written into his contract, and didn't make any of them.
■ Not that you're going to see him in a soup kitchen, Bunky.
■ Kris Dunn, the former Friar great now with the Chicago Bulls, has come into his own in the NBA.
■ Then again, we always knew he was just a jump shot away, right?
■ Amazon has eclipsed Microsoft as the most valuable publicly traded company.
■ The word in New York is that Eli Manning's future with the Giants is about as up in the air as a Hail Mary pass.
■ Then again, I always liked Archie better anyway.
■ Sears is fighting for its life, and who would have believed that a generation ago?
■ Remember when the 3-point shot in basketball was all but viewed as a circus shot? No more. Either drive to the rack, or hoist up a 3.
■ No one ever said change is always for the better.
■ I have never read a writer more talented than James Lee Burke, whose new novel is "Robicheaux."
■ Speaking of the Celtics, they have a roster full of good young players, a tribute to Danny Ainge's ability to spot young talent.
■ Is Duke still the college basketball team everyone loves to hate?
■ Did you see where Major League Baseball has reached agreement with MGM Resorts as its official gaming sponsor, as the sports industry is changing right in front of our eyes?
■ Narragansett's Tomas Murphy, son of former NBA player Jay Murphy, is playing for Northeastern.
■ Look up "awful" in the sports dictionary and the Jets' offense stares back at you.
■ QUIZ ANSWER: The Patriots' Willie McGinest with 16 (set in 18 games).
■ Just six corporations control what most Americans see and hear. In 1983 it was 50.
■ Brady is now 30-3 against the Bills. If it were a prizefight, it would have been stopped a long time ago.
■ The UConn women's basketball team lost its first regular-season game in more than four years the other day.
■ Is the Independent Man back from the holidays yet?