Sept. 16, 2003
Cowboys K
Billy Cundiff:

NFL record-tying SEVEN field goals, including the game-winner in OT, in Dallas' wild 35-32 OT win in New York.
 
 
 
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
11.  SECONDS.

Don't call Bill Parcells a miracle worker; that devalues the way he got the Cowboys to execute in last night's sick final seconds of regulation.

OK, so he needed one miracle: The Giants' seemingly game-ending squib kickoff squib dribbles out of bounds, putting the ball at the 40-year-line. (For you kids: There's an example of poor execution.)

Then, Tuna time: Cowboys quickly pick up a chunk of yards on a slick pass play never seen in the Hard Knocks Era, then Cundiff nailed a game-tying FG from 52.

OT was, frankly, inevitable: The Cowboys' win is credit to a coach who properly teaches a basically terrible young team how to execute.

Playoffs: H2H
Scoreboard watching is so unsatisfying; head-to-head September series rule. There's nothing like making up games on a playoff rival by beating them directly. In the NL, the Wild Card-leading Marlins play the Phillies (1.5 games back). Florida has beaten Philadelphia eight straight; if that continues this week, the Phillies are toast.

Then there's the De La Hoya-Mosley of MLB matchups: The White Sox and Twins, resuming their two-week slugfest in Minnesota with the Sox back a half-game. Considering their tougher remaining schedule (KC, Yankees, KC again while the Twins have two series against Detroit), Chicago has to come out ahead on Friday morning.

Little White Lie
Does this dress make me look fat? To self: Oh sweet jiminy, yes! To her: No way! Right there, you've used a reasonable lie to give yourself a chance to avoid the loss.

Broncos coach Mike Shanahan's lie was also reasonable: If he felt telling the truth compromised his team's chance to win, Jake Plummer's injury status was need-to-know

MONDAY NIGHT, MUST-SEE; TUESDAY MORNING, MUST-SLEEP
THE SET-UP: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR THE WEEKEND
1 NL WC: Marlins at Phillies (This time it counts?)
2 AL WC: D-Rays at Red Sox; Mariners at Rangers (No fair)
3 AL Cent: White Sox at Twins (Round 4 of 7-rd slugfest)
THE SIT-DOWN: DROP THESE FROM YOUR HOT LIST
1 Kurt Warner: Bulger keeps Rams starting QB job in Week 3
2 Nets sale real; Jersey, Long Island, Brooklyn rivals for bids
3 '39 StL Browns: Tigers match 111 Ls; next: '65 Mets' 112
 
only. Any teams' fans would appreciate the same from their coach.

There's a simple solution here to avoid the whole conflict: Like colleges, NFL teams shouldn't give out any injury information during the game.

Women's Sunk-Her
The irony of the folding of the U.S. women's pro soccer league the same week the U.S. will host the Women's World Cup is that it was World Cup mania in '99 that fooled investors into thinking the WUSA was actually a viable idea. Maybe in 15 years. For now, try a barnstorming squad of ex-WUSA all-stars.

Clarett Watch
(1) Amazingly, reportedly still considering a return to Ohio St. New nickname: Maurice the Masochist (a.k.a The Maur-quis de Sod) ...

(2) Pled innocent to misdemeanor falsification charge. If he's not convicted, will Ohio State reduce his season-long suspension? They could conveniently run it through the end of 2003, making him eligible ... for a January bowl game.

(3) NCAA prez Myles Brand said the NCAA will steer clear of NFL draft-rules morass. While balancing on a fine line, he alluded to favoring a free market, which should build some Brand equity with fans.

Bulletin Board Myth
Babe Ruth may or may not have called his shot, but Jamal Lewis' on the record prediction was the best sports guarantee since Namath in Super Bowl III.

Where are my SABR guys? There's probably "Moneyball"-type analysis that blustering "bulletin-board material" has no real effect on a game's outcome. (Need more proof? Arkansas whupped Texas on Saturday, even though UT had a board full of anti-Longhorns shots.)

New York Giants
special teams:

New season, still cursed: All K Matt Bryant had to do was squib the ball in bounds to seal the W. Whole "in bounds" thing the problem.
 
 
Today on ESPN.com
P2: Tuesday Morning Quarterback
IN: A-Rod for MVP
CFB: Maisel's Notes
 
"CD/DVD Release" Edition
13th Step
Parcells has "Perfect Circle"
 
Erykah Badu
WUSA buried "Underground"
 
DMX
"Grand Champ": No MLB clarity yet
 
David Bowie
"Reality": K Warner brought back
 
Anger Management
Jim Fassel may need a session
 

Bonds hit HR 655 last night, putting him a tidy 100 from Aaron; let the "Countdown" craze officially begin ...

Cubs' choke in '69 kept Ron Santo from the Hall of Fame, but the team will rightfully retire his No. 10 ...

AOL confirmed the buzzless sale of the Atlanta Hawks and Thrashers; new owner will hopefully move them to better sports city ...

Michelle Wie outshot N Lopez and J Daly in charity round Monday; plays course Thurs for keeps as first female junior amateur in PGA Tour-sanctioned event ...

Another great rule of lying: George Costanza's best line ever -- "It's not a lie if you believe it."


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