"Touch" is in, "zip" is out
(until Jets prove otherwise)
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
The joke starts: "A long-snapper, a holder and
a wandering lineman walk into a bar ..." The punchline
is the Giants, who allowed the 49ers to deliver the
second-biggest playoff comeback ever and capped the
wildest day of wild-card games in NFL history.
Count some of the ways:
Shockey doused some kid in the stands with water;
Strahan taunted T.O. with an
ill-advised "Scoreboard!"; Garcia did his best Vick;
and the stratagem of the game - the Giants trying a
game-winning field goal on third down with enough seconds left for another try if things went wrong.
Things did go wrong. But instead of quickly throwing the ball out of bounds, holder/goat Matt
Allen wobbled right and threw a game-ending duck to an
o-lineman near the goal line. Whoops.
The new college national champs took a big
withdrawal from the Ohio branch of the Football Karma
Bank on Friday night, apparently leaving nothing for
the pro team from Cleveland on Sunday. Was it worth
it, Buckeye Staters? If nothing else, Browns fans
learned who their '03 starting QB should be --
and fans everywhere learned why the downstate Bengals
are hot to trot for Steelers offensive coordinator
Mike Mularkey, the architect of Pittsburgh's 22-point
More that we learned:
1) King Favre is dead, long live King Vick; 2)
Herman Edwards is playoff clutch (the best kind of
clutch), and Tony Dungy isn't; 3) The Steelers should
stop kicking extra points altogether and just run cool
trick plays for their QB-turned-WRs; 4) Young players
having to "learn the hard playoff lesson" through
losing before doing well is a myth.
Losing at home in the playoffs is a tough way
for Brett Favre to finish a season -- but to finish his
career that way? Athlete-retirement scrutiny is
almost entirely a media creation, but there's
something to be said for not going out on such a down
||"FOOTBALL HANGOVER" EDITION
|CONVERSATION TOPICS THAT ARE IN PLAY:|
1. The Comeback by the Bay: Wildest wild-card game
2. Stalled the last few weeks, Vick hype machine revs
3. "C-H-A-D ... Chad! Chad! Chad!"
|CONVERSATION TOPICS THAT ARE SO OVER:|
1. Kvetching about the BCS (just let it go -- 'til next
2. Packers ... playoffs ... at home ... ooh, scary!
3. East Coast bias for an all-New York "Subway Super Bowl"
note, particularly when Favre just finished an MVP runner-up season. He'll talk to the media on Monday
afternoon. What will he say? Various reports say
retirement is unlikely, though sources tell ESPN's
Chris Mortenson that Favre played with less fire than
usual in the second half of the season. Meanwhile,
Mort also says that the Packers have their eyes on a
successor in newly draft-eligible Rex Grossman from
More premature speculation:
Falcons over Eagles; Bucs over 49ers; Jets over
Raiders; Steelers over Titans. But that's probably
just wild-card giddiness; check back on Friday for a
Sure, Ohio State super-frosh Maurice Clarett
dislikes his school so much that he reportedly used
his talented legs to whisk himself as fast as possible
from the Fiesta Bowl postgame party. Yet, a story out
of Cleveland says Clarett wants to go both ways
next season, like WR/DB/team-player Chris Gamble.
Clarett's interest in playing outside linebacker is
admirable (he says he's too talented to only play one
way), but his mouth is writing checks his body has proven to be
unable to cash. What next: Craig Krenzel, nose tackle?
Looking ahead to the Buckeyes' 2003 schedule for the
biggest challenges to a repeat: 1) Home vs. N.C. State;
2) at Wisconsin; 3) at Michigan; 4) No Doss or
More Ohio Rumors
Can the Bengals afford to wait another week
(or more) for the Steelers' Mularkey, if that's their
target? He says the Super Bowl is a more important
goal than being a head coach. He interviewed prior
to yesterday's game, by the way ... Mike Brown
likes Tom Coughlin's experience, offensive-oriented
mind and reputation as a disciplinarian, but word is
that he's not as high on giving him "personnel guru"
status also (see "Holmgren, Mike") ... Speaking of talent evaluators, Vikes owner Red
McCombs denied he's looking for one; elsewhere, the
Jags interviewed the Bills' Tom Modrak.
Teams kick on third down precisely FOR the "do-over" option. Allen's a goat, yes, but blame the coaching, too ...
|Who would you rather start next week -- Vick or
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|Today on ESPN.com|
|NFL: Morning after|
|IN: Coaching rumors|
|MLB: Hall debates|
Shh ... hear those whispers of backlash from too much
LeBron? ... |
Murdoch might be selling the Dodgers. But is anyone
Top QB recruit Chris Leak will win at least one
national title at Florida ...
UConn-Tenn women's hoops: One of the top three rivalries in college
Damon "DNP" Stoudamire says he wants to go to the
Wayne Simien's shoulder injury could dislocate Kansas'
title hopes ...
Forget gambling: Next big NCAA scandal is
textbook-allowance fraud ...
Wishful-thinking USC fans: Ohio St. wouldn't need two
OTs to beat you ...
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