THUMB THINGS TO PONDER

Thumbs up

* To Art Modell, former Cleveland Browns/Baltimore Ravens owner, who is one of the 25 semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the sixth time in the last 8 years. Modell's contributions to the NFL, which included 31 years as the league's broadcast chairman, should make him a shoe-in for Canton. But he has yet to make it beyond the final 15 because many of my fellow Hall selectors still consider him the personification of evil for moving the Browns to Baltimore in 1996 after he couldn't get the city of Cleveland to build a new stadium. Bottom line is Modell helped make the NFL what it is today. Here's hoping the selectors are a little more forgiving in the next round of voting in early January, because Modell deserves his bust in the Hall.

* To Jets quarterback Brett Favre, who has helped lead his team to an 8-3 record and first place in the AFC East. Forced to learn a new offensive system and change his gunslinger ways, the 39-year-old Favre is sixth in the league in passing and owns the NFL's best completion percentage (70.6). In the Jets' last three games, including last week's 34-13 win over the Titans, he's completed 77.4 percent of his passes and has thrown just one interception in 84 attempts.

Thumbs down

* To no one. I get all warm and fuzzy during holidays.

Panther draft pick watch

Record: 8-3

Last week: lost to Falcons, 45-28

This week: at 5-6 Packers

Next week: vs. 8-3 Bucs

Current draft position: 27-30th

- Paul Domowitch