Two cubes back to square one
By Ralph Wiley
Page 2 columnist

Was it just me, or did you notice how much Andy Reid began to resemble Rush Limbaugh during last Sunday's NFC finale, too?

Todd Pinkston, James Thrash
Time for Philly to throw out the Stinkston and Trash.
And did you notice how much Thrash and Pinkston ("Trash and Stinkston" -- give it up, ladies and gentleman, for the edgy comedy stylings of Mister Michael ... Irvin) began to resemble Rush Limbaugh during last Sunday's NFC finale?

So in honor of this unprecedented phenomenon, let us close out the yearly renditions of the NFL Uncensored Thought Balloons with an homage to the Kurosawa film "Rashamon" -- or, for our purposes, "Rushamon" -- which is either about (a) Rush Limbaugh, or (b) a certain ugly murder (in this case, a double-murder) of two innocent quarterbacks, the same murders, as seen through the eyes of eight different witnesses.

Only then will we offer up a Super Bowl "prediction." (Please, stop with the maniacal laughter ... that's so rude ... are you finished? ... I said, are you finished ... ?)


We interrupt this column to bring you a special Dub-bulletin. But first, we want to ask: When did Rush Limbaugh hijack the football season and this column?

Well, it was fun, but we must say last week, for a limited time, we wrote that Rush had questioned the selection of Steve McNair as co-MVP on his radio show. After what the Patriotics did to Peyton Manning in Sunday's AFC finale, stripping Peyton buck naked in broad daylight like that, we don't know why anyone would question McNair's selection as co-MVP, but we heard that Rush had done this, on the QT, on his radio show. Rush checked in to correct us, saying it was one of his callers who opined this; not him.

Big difference. Rush says he rebuffed his listender's speculation that Air McNair was named co-MVP only because he, too, was black and was also being propped up by the liberal media like that fraud McNabb. So. Score one for R-Limbaugh, who is no idiot. Apparently he's seen the error of his ways. Now it's his listeners who rant on, and who sound as if they come up to the kneecaps of our own pilgrims in terms of football knowledge. But then I guess they tune into Rush for that. For football knowledge, I mean. That's his long suit.

You think?


Andy Reid, coach, Philadelphia Eagles: "Donovan is putting a lot of pace on those throws. He's throwing the ball too hard. I asked him about it. He looked at me funny and said he was throwing with 'championship' pace. A likely story. I wonder if anybody can recognize me with this fake mustache on. Geez, even Roy Black can't help Donovan now. What, Your Honor? Did I hear Jimmy Johnson say, 'They have to get (McNabb) some help'? Like James 'Manos De Flubber' Thrash isn't enough? Your Honor, why does Donovan need a liberal media guy like Terrell Owens to prop him up? No, Your Honor, Mr. Jeffie and his checkbook were nowhere in the vicinity at the time of the ... well, I'd prefer to call it an accidental mugging that went a bit too far, Your Honor."

Donovan McNabb
McNabb's last words: "Mmmmmpf ... mpf."
Donovan McNabb, QB, Philadelphia Eagles: "What do I remember, Your Honor? Well, it was dark, it was light, it was dark, it was light, it was dark ... I was just lying there on the ground, sacked, minding my own business, when bam! It felt like somebody shot me with a size 7 5/8 bullet, right in the ribcage. And then I saw a big, pigeon-toed, buck-toothed angel appear before me, and he said he was the Angel of Life After Death, and that his name was El Way, and that he too had been cursed before, like I was, only he said his curse was named 'The Three Amigos,' and that they'd conspired to have him murdered, only in Super Bowls not conference title games. I wanted to say to this Angel, 'Well, if I die, let it be to the Patriotics in the Super Bowl.' But all that came out of my mouth was 'Mmpf ... mmmmmpf ... mpf.' And then I was dead, Your Honor."

John Fox, coach, Carolina Panthers: "My hands are clean, Your Honor. Yes, I put in a game plan to have a couple of my D-lineman hold there and wait for McNabb to run. Yes, I put in zone and corner blitzes off the slot. I did that, but, Your Honor, in the immortal words of Sugar Ray Robinson to the judge at the inquest, after Ray had killed Irish Jimmy Doyle, when the judge asked if he knew he had Doyle in trouble: 'Sir, they pay me to get them in trouble.'"

Jake Delhomme, QB, Carolina Panthers: "Well, Your Honor, ze zydeco music was so loud all in my head, I cain't be sure what I zee, but zeemed like to me Donovan, he zcream once, but zen I realized I AM A SUPER BOWL CUBE!! Zen I don't care what happened to Donovan, zuh. Donnie nice guy, Your Honor, but next time, if he's gon get in a runnin' gun battle, I'd zay he best wake up and smell the jambalaya and bring some bullets, I'd zay, for true ... "

Tony Dungy, coach, Indianapolis Colts: "Deep down inside, Your Honor, I figured we were a year early, anyway. I asked Peyton, since he wanted to check off, to check off to Edge in the running game. But Peyton had just watched an early screening of 'The Alamo' and I guess that whole 'Davy, Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier' thing appeals to him; and the next thing I knew, he was lying there. Bill Polian and I'll be drafting some defensive reinforcements, Your Honor. Of course, I realize that won't bring Peyton back to life. But I imagine that something like a $20 million signing bonus ought to do the trick ... "

Peyton Manning
Proof that the ball wasn't always in Ty Law's hands when the Colts were on offense.
Peyton Manning, QB, Indianapolis Colts: "Belichick? Belichick had nothing to do with it, Your Honor, except for looking like a monk and making what looked like the sign of the cross over there on the sidelines. That was a little distracting, Your Honor, I will admit that. But as far as I could see, I got knifed in the back by Ty Law. See, he just didn't look to me like he had that kind of vertical, or like he had those kinds of soft hands, or like he was smart enough to come off his coverage and get back on Marvin. It was like he could cloud and then read my mind, instead of the other way around, for a change. I mean, how would I know anyone would ever suspect that I'd try to force it in to Marvin Harrison, of all people? Guess I thought wrong, Your Honor. But did I have to pay for it with my life?"

Bill Belichick, coach, New England Patriots: "I'd like to answer that question from the deceased if I could, Your Honor. Yeah, Peyton, it meant you'd have to pay for it with your life. We kinda gave you room to run the ball on two out of three plays with Edge. We figured you'd never do it, that's you'd be like a kid on Christmas morning with the ball, and you'd inadvertently play Santa Claus, and we'd pop all your receivers in the mouth. Yeah, we did that, Your Honor. We didn't kill Peyton. We sort of just let Peyton kill himself. Now if you'll excuse me, Your Honor, I have to go work on my Hanging-Judge-At-The-Spanish-Inquisition look. How's this for grim? How's this for dour? How's this for 'I may be the happiest man on the face of the earth'? Can you tell that's what I am? Can you?

"Wha-what do you mean, guilty?"

Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots: "Well, Your Honor, if you'll excuse or recuse or bemuse me, or whatever you guys do, I've got some young maidens to sacrifice. I didn't notice what happened to Peyton. I was too busy looking up in the stands at people screaming that they wanted to bestow bizarre sexual favors on me. I saw nice-looking ones to choose from, too. The women looked even better. Excuse me, Your Honor, but I've got to run from that mob chasing me. Catch me in Houston. I'll be the one with lipstick and Chapstick kiss traces all over my body."


Tom Brady
Carolina's good, but Tom Brady's on the verge of greatness.
With all due respect to the Carolina Panthrax (and to Stuart Scott, who is the only person I know to pick the Carolinas to go to the Super Bowl before the season -- say what you want about the comedy stylings of Stuart Scott, but he did pick them, notwithstanding that perplexing interview with Ricky Proehl about the "Incredible Whiteness of Being A Wide Receiver"; just guessing here, but Stu being schooled at Carolina and being in love with Carolina and always mentioning Carolina had nothing to do with it; nahhh ... )

So, as I was saying, with all due respect to Carolina, the Super Bowl will be a tremendously physical football game, classic in its dimensions, riveting in its scope. Both bold quarterbacks will earn the total of four touchdowns scored. It will be an epic struggle between the two best money Cubes in the game. Despite an entertaining, fearless, vampire-killer of a desperation drive by one of them, while playing through injury, a fourth-down heave will wind up on the ground and the Patriotics will prevail, 17-14.

Oh, wait. They already played that game?

Yep. Final score: Bradyos 17, McTites 14.

I suspect they'll play this other one, too, though.

Ralph Wiley has written articles for Sports Illustrated, Premiere, GQ, and National Geographic, and many national newspapers. He was one of the original NFL Insiders on NBC. His many books include "Serenity, A Boxing Memoir," "Why Black People Tend To Shout," "By Any Means Necessary: The Trials and Tribulations of the Making of Malcolm X" with Spike Lee, "Dark Witness," "Best Seat in the House" with Spike Lee, "Born to Play" with Eric Davis, and "Growing Up King" with Dexter Scott King and the children of Martin Luther King Jr. He contributes to many ESPN productions, and bats cleanup on a weekly basis for Page 2.



Ralph Wiley Archive

Wiley: Rubik's cubes

Wiley: Killer coaches and playoff hunches

Wiley: Colts in command

Wiley: Fools Rush In

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