JOE WILLIE NAMATH will receive his degree along with more than 900 others when the University of Alabama holds its winter commencement ceremonies on Saturday.

And he won't be receiving one of those honorary sheepskins. Namath is getting his bachelor's

degree the old fashioned way: He earned it.

Namath, who played at Alabama under Bear Bryant, left college about 15 credits shy of a degree. The Hall of Fame quarterback, most famous for predicting the New York Jets' upset over the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III, completed his studies over the past 5 years through Alabama's External Degree program.

No word on whether he'll be wearing panty hose under his graduation gown. And, it's only a rumor that his degree is in women's studies.

Those who want to check out the ceremony

can do so on the Internet. The graduation will be broadcast live from the Coleman Coliseum at

9 a.m. Saturday. To watch, go to www.ua.edu and click on the Webcast link.

Sleeping can be harmful to your health

NBA players suffer injuries all the time. Usually it's during a game or at practice.

But Boston Celtics center Kendrick Perkins might miss tomorrow's game against Sacramento due to a sore toe that he suffered . . . well . . . in a unique sort of way. Perkins hurt his right big toe after his bed collapsed while he was asleep.

"Man, [it's] a weird story," Perkins said yesterday. "I guess whoever put my bed together didn't put it together right."

Music to their ears

Walking out of Lincoln Financial Field after the Eagles' heartbreaking loss to the Giants on Sunday, one could hear a lone trumpet player soliciting donations by serenading departing fans with songs of the season. Suddenly, the Christmas music stopped, replaced by a familiar tune that brought forth loud laughter from the sullen fans.

The horn player had mischievously switched from "Winter Wonderland" to "Taps." *

- Tom Mahon