The Bengals are 2-0? The Vikes are 0-2? Peyton Manning clocks in with a Chuck Foreman passer rating and the AFC's most explosive passer is ... Trent Dilfer? The Saints have a home game in New Jersey, a linebacker kicks an extra point in Philadelphia and the Chiefs have a defense? Two weeks into the 2005 NFL season and nothing makes sense anymore. It's downright paro-d-licious. To find out just how closely you've been paying attention, we've devised a FlemFile Quiz to test your knowledge.
1 -- John Elway once said the worst thing about getting old as a quarterback is that just as the game begins to slow down for you mentally you begin to break down physically, a statement that now seems to apply to:
A. Brett Favre
B. The Packers' quarterback
C. Hall of Famer, Brett Favre
D. Favre, Brett
E. All of the above
A. It looks as though the tape is stuck on fast forward.
B. You wonder why the 2002 Bucs are wearing white and blue.
C. You see Byron Leftwich getting twisted into a pretzel over and over and over.
D. Suddenly the whole "can't beat the Pats" thing doesn't seem like that big of a deal. 3 -- Since his idea to "help" the Saints with a "home" game against the Giants worked so well, NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue has also decided to:
A. Lend them Joey Harrington.
B. Force the team to hitchhike to its next game.
C. Stay at least 50 feet away from Jim Haslett the rest of his life.
D. Do away with all of the Saints' second downs. 4 -- The NFC North is to pro football what:
A. The remake of "The Longest Yard" is to movie making.
B. Nuts are to an ice cream sundae.
C. Diddy is to the MTV Music Awards.
D. Kenny Chesney is to matrimony. 5 -- So far, Donovan McNabb and Terrell Owens have proven:
A. This whole notion of team chemistry is a bunch of baloney.
B. Ab crunches in your driveway might just be the best way to prepare for the season.
C. What a genius offensive coordinator Brad Childress is.
D. Randy Moss is the best receiver in the NFL. 6 -- Bill Belichick's suggestion that the NFL needs goal-line replay cameras is:
A. Just more innovation from one of the game's great minds.
B. A way for a control freak coach to spy on his players in the red zone.
C. The Patriots looking for an updated version of the Tuck Rule.
D. Not nearly as disturbing as the thought that the Pats might be the fourth best team in the AFC right now. 7 -- E-mails from Bears fans in response to last week's Bears QB Carousel from Hell column tended to show:
A. A pretty healthy sense of humor that was rather refreshing.
B. That they forgot about the team's trading away its No. 7 pick in 1999.
C. A level of vulgarity I had heretofore considered unattainable.
D. The incorrect assumption that I was down on Kyle Orton, who might just prove the Bears' theory that No. 30 is the charm. 8 -- The guy next to me at a recent Coldplay concert ruined the whole experience because:
A. He sang the lyrics before the band did, just so everyone within 20 feet of him would know that he knew the words.
B. Two words: air piano.
C. It took all my energy just to refrain from ripping his "Buddy Holly" glasses off his face to confirm that they were not prescription.
D. It made me wonder just what I looked like at my last Pearl Jam concert. 9 -- The Vikings have announced plans to build a new stadium that will require $400 million from tax payers:
A. Which might work out to a hundred million for every win this season.
B. Something tells me Mike Tice won't be around to cut the grand-opening ribbon.
C. And the host city for Super Bowl XLX is ....
D. Which is where they'll hang the banner for the 2005 NFC North title the Vikes are still going to win this season. 10 -- After starting 0-2 for the sixth time in the last 10 seasons, the Arizona Cardinals should:
A. Give their unis back to the Arena League.
B. Expect about 10,000 fans in that new stadium they're building.
C. Check to see if someone snuck them on the cover of Madden '06.
D. Figure out how Kurt Warner led them in rushing in Week 1 with 11 yards. 11 -- Ravens quarterback Kyle Boller's missing six weeks with a hurt toe is kinda funny until you consider:
A. It forced the team to sign Kordell Stewart as a backup.
B. A toe injury ended the career of Steelers linebacker Jack Lambert.
C. A team without a quarterback is like a foot without a big toe.
D. It's the Ravens defense that has been playing footsy with opponents so far this season. 12 -- In kicking an extra-point on Sunday, Eagles linebacker Mark Simoneau:
A. Became the first defensive player to score an extra point since 1985.
B. Helped prove my theory that, with three weeks of practice, anyone could kick in the NFL.
C. Used a soccer-style kick, to impress the ladies.
D. Is so versatile, he is expected to be traded to the Patriots soon. 13 -- FlemFilers bugging me for an update on our longtime mascot, Raiders tight end Zeron Flemister, should know that:
A. The Patriots cut him last year after he blew out his Achilles but to avoid a Flem File curse, they still gave Z-Flem a Super Bowl bonus, but not a ring.
B. After figuring he was headed for retirement, our man gutted out a pretty intense training camp competition to win a roster spot for his old coach Norv Turner.
C. Yeah, that was him getting blown up by Mike Vrabel, who then steamrolled Kerry Collins.
D. He celebrated his 29th birthday on Sept. 8. 14 -- With 51 carries in the first two weeks, Tampa Bay's Cadillac Williams:
A. Should hit the rookie "wall" right around midnight Thursday.
B. Should just be glad he doesn't have to run against the Bucs defense, which has gone from old to ageless in eight days.
C. Could wrap up ROY by Week 8.
D. Then retire in Week 9. 15 -- The person who deserves the most credit for Willie Parker's 272 yards rushing is:
A. Fullback Dan Kreider.
B. Center Jeff Hartings.
C. Guard Alan Faneca.
D. Tackle Marvel Smith.
E. Tackle Max Starks.
F. Guard Kendall Simmons.
G. Steelers GM Kevin Colbert. 16 -- Of all the things Daunte Culpepper told me before the season started, this one seems the strangest:
A. "I'm happy because this is the best chance I've ever had."
B. "We've got the kind of talent now that can do something real special in Minnesota."
C. "The biggest thing we have now is one agenda, and that's to be world champions."
D. "Metaphorically speaking, my ribs are showing, I'm hungry, real hungry for a Super Bowl." 17 -- The quarterback with a 44 passer rating in Week 2 was:
A. Tom Brady.
B. David Carr.
C. Joey Harrington.
D. Peyton Manning. 18 -- That Joe Gibbs would get that worked up over a 14-13 fluke in Week 2 only proves:
A. How much he still cares about the game.
B. That dude sucked up way too many exhaust fumes at the track.
C. Just how much Bill Parcells has gotten under his skin.
D. He's the last person on earth who thinks the rivalry between the Redskins and the Cowboys is the least bit compelling. 19 -- After struggling mightily in the preseason, phenomenal Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger:
A. Has a slight lead of 41.3 points in the league's passer-rating stats.
B. Has now won 74 regular season games in a row (OK, it just seems like that).
C. Can't seem to decide which knee is hurt -- Cowher said it was his left, but he keeps icing and wrapping his right.
D. Is playing so well he might just bring the pencil-thin goatee back into style.
E. Offers the best evidence yet that we should abolish the preseason. 20 -- The most painful thing that Jags QB Byron Leftwich experienced last week was:
A. Getting bent backwards like the pop-top of a soda can by the Colts.
B. The news that Trent Dilfer has twice as many TD passes as he does.
C. A possible fine from the league for making an obscene gesture on TV.
D. A phone call from his mom, Brenda, who was watching the game at the time. ANSWER KEY: 1-E, 2-A, 3-C, 4-D, 5-A&C, 6-D, 7-A, 8-C, 9-D, 10-D, 11-B, 12-C, 13-A, 14-C&D, 15-G, 16-B, 17-D, 18-D, 19-D, 20-C.
David Fleming is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine. His book, "Noah's Rainbow," a father's emotional journey from the death of his son to the birth of his daughter, will be published in the fall of 2005 by Baywood. Contact him at Dave.Fleming@espn3.com.