Despite the Big Ten's expansion, Frank Deford says the conference will struggle to compete with pro football in the Northeast. The conference announced the addition of Maryland and Rutgers earlier this month. Patrick McDermott/Getty Images hide caption

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Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. speaks to constituents in Chicago in 2009. Jackson resigned from Congress on Wednesday, following a hospitalization and an investigation into misuse of campaign funds. Scott Olson/Getty Images hide caption

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Food Network star Guy Fieri just opened a new restaurant in Times Square. New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells isn't a fan, so why did he eat there in the first place? Jeff Christensen/AP hide caption

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From left, Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) await President Obama's State of the Union address in January 2011, when a bipartisan seating arrangement symbolically suggested a more cooperative spirit among lawmakers. Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images hide caption

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First responders rescue flood-stranded people from a sodden neighborhood in Little Ferry, N.J., on Tuesday. Craig Ruttle/AP hide caption

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Frank Tanabe votes via absentee ballot with the help of his daughter, Barbara (left) and wife, Setsuko, in Honolulu on Oct. 17. He died the following week. Irene Tanabe/AP hide caption

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C.J. Watson of the Brooklyn Nets dribbles upcourt in a preseason game against the Philadelphia 76ers. The New York City borough finally has a pro sports team to call its own, says Frank Deford. Bruce Bennett/Getty Images hide caption

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British pirate radio broadcaster Paddy Roy Bates with his wife, Joan, and daughter, Penny, in 1966. Evening Standard/Getty Images hide caption

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Voters cast their ballots during early voting in Bowling Green, Ohio. Early voting began Oct. 2 in the battleground state, five weeks before Election Day on November 6. J.D. Pooley/Getty Images hide caption

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Simon Says

Does Voting Early Prompt Hasty Choices?

Voting can be a chore, but getting more people to vote by allowing early voting may not be doing the candidates or the electorate any favors.

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Referee Walt Anderson makes a call in the Chicago Bears game against the Dallas Cowboys Monday, ending the NFL's first full slate of games with its regular officials. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images hide caption

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James Hoffa was last seen in the parking lot of a Detroit restaurant in 1975 CT/AP hide caption

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The emoticon turns 30 this week. hide caption

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Simon Says

The Emoticon Turns 30, Seems Happy About It :-)

Using three keystrokes to suggest a smile may not be a great scientific advance, but the emoticon has been simple, useful and enduring.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin prepares to pilot a hang glider to lead a flock of cranes to their winter habitat. AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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In recent years the word "curate" has been plucked out of museums and become ubiquitous. hide caption

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