Fill up the tank this weekend? Didn’t feel too good. Well, the sticker shock at the pump should have zapped a little more if you’re a hockey fan in Silicon Valley. The San Jose Sharks just happen to be flying more miles this season than any NHL team in the past three years, according to the Nashville Predators’ fan site On the Forecheck. The Sharks will fly 56,254 miles this season. The New Jersey Devils, by comparison, will travel a little more than 27,000 miles. Put simply, the Devils will fly their team plane around the world barely once, while the Sharks will do the equivalent of circling the globe more than twice. The Sharks will spend twice as much on gas as the Devils.

According to the International Air Transport Association, the price of jet fuel is nearly $2.84 per gallon, up 39 percent from a year ago. So let’s do some back-of-the-napkin math: A jumbo jet burns roughly five gallons of gas per mile, according to the Boeing website, so the Sharks will use 281,270 gallons of gas this season. At $2.84 per gallon, the Sharks’ plane will cost them $798,806.80 in gas this season. So San Jose would spend around $400,000 more in gas this season than the Devils.

Yes, the fuel spike just hit last week, and half the season is gone, but a return to the oil prices of just three years ago may push jet fuel prices much higher, as jet fuel is more oil-rich than car fuel. In baseball and football, $400,000 is pocket change. But in the NHL, every penny counts: The minimum salary for a player is only $500,000.

So if you’re a Sharks fan and your team loses in the Stanley Cup Finals because of an overtime goal by a fourth-liner, don’t blame the coaching staff.

Blame Libya.

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Many ex-players will talk about their Super Bowl experiences, but few do it as eloquently as ex-Giants running back Tiki Barber. Barber was attending Super Bowl Media Day and contributed his thoughts on his own Super Bowl XXXV experience with the Giants.

While Barber agreed that events like Media Day are obvious interruptions to game focus, he said that players who think that all this will end come Sunday are mistaken.

"Media Day is an enormous distraction that can get overwhelming at times," Barber said, "but I think the game is as big of a distraction because there's so much hype the day of ... many more people than you're used to seeing on the sidelines, media outlets ... you think about where it's going to be broadcast and it can make your head spin."

That might be a reason why the superstars aren't always the players who have the best performances in the big game. "It's easier for guys who don't care about the outside stuff to play this game," Barber said. "You try to enjoy it, but it's hard."

Barber said that for some players, the spectacle that is Media Day can actually help them. "When Kerry Collins was with us, it was a cathartic moment for him ... getting comfort from telling his story about (his quarterbacking career) in Carolina," Barber said. "It was a great moment for him."

Naturally, the focus shifts to another quarterback who might use this Super Bowl week to explain himself to a nation that wonders about his character, but Barber won't put words in Big Ben's mouth.

Instead he talked about the spectacle itself, which Barber says is only getting larger since he witnessed it as a player: "It's the same and growing ... much more interest worldwide ... huge interest internationally in this game. The sport is growing."

According to Barber, the Super Bowl is only going to get bigger, and Media Day is only going to get zanier in the future.

What's your take?

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To his credit, Redskins owner Daniel Snyder appears to have turned over the keys to his team to GM Bruce Allen and coach Mike Shanahan. That duo is apparently in charge of making team decisions nowadays, rather than Snyder and his former figurehead Vinny Cerrato.

But that does not mean Snyder has changed his approach to bad reviews in the press. The owner is now demanding the firing of a writer for the City Paper, a weekly publication in Washington, D.C.

In November, City Paper writer Dave McKenna wrote a piece titled “The Cranky Redskins Fan’s Guide to Dan Snyder,” which was highly critical of the owner. Snyder is now planning to sue the paper.

The episode is just another distraction for this embattled franchise. Instead of putting his time and energy disparaging journalists, can Snyder please start looking for a quarterback? Or at least find a way to reduce FedEx Field traffic? But then again a congested road can't write a story.

What’s your take?

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