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Scoreboards, play-by-plays and analysis keep fans in the game

With the Green Bay Packers gracing the Metrodome today to face their most hated rival, the Minnesota Vikings, fans on both sides of the border are buzzing. Adding to the intensity of Sunday's matchup, Packers quarterback Brett Favre was on the brink of clinching the all-time touchdown pass record. With so much enthusiasm and interest generated by today's game, both Twin Cities newspapers took to the 'net in attempts to establish themselves as the go-to sites for up-to-the-minute game updates. In a world where sports coverage is among the most read and the Internet has emerged as a chief provider of news content, previously sought-after newspapers have been offered a chance to compete with live broadcasters. The Star Tribune offers a link on its homepage to a special Vikings report, complete with a scoreboard, lists of plays made thus far in the game and a brief news story about the larger context of the game -- Favre's new pass record. The Pioneer Press has similiar features on its Web site this Sunday, but assigns the Vikings even more prominence than its cross-river rival. The homepage of the Pioneer Press has a scoreboard, and Favre's record leads the story slideshow at the top of the page. The role of the Internet in news coverage is continually evolving, but in sports coverage, newspapers' Web sites have become competitive with the Web sites of the sports teams themselves -- and more notably, with television and radio coverage. Now, when the latter are not accessible, the news sites offer as good an understanding of the game's events and probably outcomes, analysis and play-by-play. This adaptation to the general readership's interest has helped newspapers transition to the World Wide Web of sports, but still maintain is long-standing role as the day-after commentator for those who choose to purchase the paper Monday mornings.