* Go out a winner and quit when you’re on top. Tom Brady ignored the memo. Bruce Arians didn’t.

* I’m not a soccer fan. And that won’t change until there’s a prominent working clock that periodically stops for injuries, fake injuries and referee-call challenges and eliminates the need for the approximating “stoppage time” add-on. But I liked that the U.S. delayed its World Cup elimination with that 1-0 win over Iran, and I watched all of it.

It made me recall the early ‘70s days of the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the North American Soccer League. Tampa Bay finally had a pro team (1975), and I attended some games at Tampa Stadium and got to know one of the players, Farrukh Quraishi, a native of Iran. I asked him during the Iran-hostage crisis if he were getting any pushback because of his Iranian birth. Not really a problem, he said. When asked, he replied that he was Persian. They had no idea. Next question.

* Liberty University Athletics Director Ian McCaw said he was looking for a football coach willing to “train champions for Christ.” What would Jesus say? Probably not: “Go, Liberty. Kick some infidel ass.”

* The ever-evolving NFL: It now has, in David Highhill, a vice president/general manager of sports betting. The NFL, says Highhill, is focused on “responsible gambling,” which sounds like an oxymoron.

* If we could remove one word from the football lexicon, it should be “swagger.” It’s a euphemism for boorishness and punk attitudes. Expressing enthusiasm and celebrating are part of the game; look-at-me arrogance shouldn’t be. But it’s what happens when a sport of elite athletes morphs into a media-enabled lounge act.

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