Sept. 22, 2003
Beyonce Sapp:
Warren's TD-catch celebration hop-n-twirl modeled after "Crazy in Love" video move. (Good thing he didn't try her trademark rump-shimmy.)
 
 
 
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
CARDS.  HOUSE.

A good tagline for NFL parity would be: Even the sun shines on a dog's ... some days.

In an office knockout-pool wrecker, the Cardinals took advantage of record 106-degree heat to escape the winless column with a huge 20-13 upset over the Packers.

From Cards' house to "house of cards": That "sun shines ..." motto goes for the 3-0 Seahawks, too. There's the definition of "mismanaged expectations." As for the three other 3-0 teams:

The Colts? Reggie Wayne is not Marvin Harrison.

The Vikings? Check "back" with Daunte Culpepper in six weeks. (No fibbing about injury status, please.)

The Chiefs? No team looks more like the real deal.

NFL Hot/Not
Un-something:
Hot: Seahawks (3-0)
Not: Chargers (0-3)

Juggernaut offense:
Hot:Chiefs
Not:Bills

Rams' blame:
Hot: Defense
Not: Bulger

NYC doghouse:
Hot: Jets
Not: Giants

What injury?:
Hot: Steve McNair
Not: Daunte Culpepper

Extreme MAC-over
The MAC's weekend football surge is an easy one to root for, but the league is a long way from BCS-worthy.

Remember, the BCS is about two related things: Generating a 1-2 title game and making money. The MAC should forget about the former; but for the latter -- the BCS cabal is always willing to talk.

If the MAC wants to be included, it should invest more in marketing itself. And don't try to

WINLESS JAX, CINCY, SD (OK) ... BUT THE JETS?
THE SET-UP: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR TODAY
1 MNF: Oak at Den. Will Broncos leave 'em panting?
2 NL playoffs key games:: Fla/Atl, SF/Hou
3 AL playoffs key games: Bal/Bos, Sea/Ana
THE SIT-DOWN: DROP THESE FROM YOUR HOT LIST
1 Chris Perry, Heisman frontrunner: Not with only 26 yds
2 Expos in P.R.: Players nix split home, may reconsider
3 K.O. pools: Only took 3 weeks; blast, those Packers!
 
sell it as the whiny "We belong!" Embrace the fan-friendly "Cinderella League" factor.

Pedro: Mr. September
The definition of denial: Qualifying top AL Cy Young contenders (Loaiza, Halladay, et al) with " ...besides Pedro."

Not enough innings, not enough wins: What bunk! In winning all four of his September starts (including Sunday's 11-K gem), he's carrying the Red Sox when it matters most. Martinez is the AL's best by far; give him the hardware to recognize it.

MNF: Raiders at Broncos
The best rivalry in pro football: 20-plus years of sustained loathing. As fans' short attention span changed the definition of "dynasty," the condition has also gutted the concept of "rivalry." Look at the weak crop this season so far:

* Bucs-Eagles? Certainly not in '03
* Shockey-Parcells? Jeremy backed off
* Favre-Hovan? Not even; all hugs now
* Holcomb-Couch? Not after yesterday

* Shanahan-Media? No one disagreed with him
* NFL-Clarett? Ah, now you're talking.

Clarett Watch
Since the NFL knows it's going to lose any draft-rules lawsuit, their strategy has got to be "prolong the inevitable."

So when Clarett's lawyers meet with league reps today, the NFL should simply offer Maurice an exemption. Let some other, less high-profile kid try a lawsuit -- in 2004.

Women's World Cup
The real Miss America? Mia Hamm. Bag resuscitating the WUSA -- Hamm remains the perfect headliner for a traveling team of U.S. soccer stars who can raise fan interest in women's soccer. (Oh, right! That's called the "U.S. National Team.")

Falcons uniforms:
Black on black? Less Johnny Cash tribute; more ugly target for Bucs D.
 
 
Today on ESPN.com
P2: What the Heck Were They Thinking?
NFL: Week 3 Wrap-Ups
CFB: Heisman Watch
 
Best End-Zone Celebrations:
The Sharpie
Will TO ever be topped?
 
The Fun Bunch
Points for group dynamic
 
The Salute
Defined Broncos' SB rides
 
Ickey Shuffle
A 1-hit wonder
 
The Six-Gun
Un-P.C. '70s maneuver
 

Ohio St. gets 5 first-place votes?! How about judging performance, not rep? If the name on the helmet was Toledo, they'd be unranked ...

Extremely rare to see modern pitchers set career records: Maddux's 16 straight 15-win seasons is awesome ...

Speaking of history: At this point, how can you NOT be rooting for the Detroit Tigers to lose? ...

NFL commish commands, "No more lying about injuries!" If he cared about game's integrity, he'd allow for "No comment" ...

With Cubs idle today, Wrigleyville rooting for Giants to beat Astros (and create first-place tie in NL Central) ...

The Emmys blew it when they decided they needed any more comedians than the brilliant Jon Stewart ...



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