By David Fleming
Page 2

Well, I hope you were paying attention during what has become the second most hyped week of the season (just behind the Super Bowl) because, as it turns out, there is going to be a quiz after all.

Books on the floor. Eyes on your own papers. Please use only well-sharpened No. 2's.

Best of luck to you all. And … begin.

1. Detroit Lions wideout Roy Williams recently guaranteed (sort of) a W for the Motor City Kitties against the Bears in Week 2. My reaction to this is:
A. Hey, at least the guy was wearing pants at the time, that's major progress for the Lions;

B. Yeah, after defensive line coach Joe Cullen's recent naked NASCARin', the only thing the Lions should be guaranteeing is a season full of Wendy's drive-thru puns and late-night TV jokes;

C. After opening the season with three catches for 36 yards, two costly flags and the worst make-believe blocking this side of Briscoe High, Williams might want to start a bit smaller with something like, "After my 22 catches and nine special teams tackles, I promise to shield my teammates from Halley's Comet after the Super Bowl in Miami by deflecting the rays with both the Lombardi Trophy and the engagement ring of my fiancee, Jessica Alba."

D. This kind of bulletin board material can mean only one thing for Bears fans … MORE FREE FURNITURE!


2. What I like the most about Carson Palmer is:
A. He's the only one in the world who can actually get Chad Johnson to shut up;

B. The guy is still so accurate, he aims for either the upfield nipple or the downfield nipple, honest;

C. He's refreshingly candid. When he was unsure of himself as a rookie, he admitted it. When he was unsure of his knee in the preseason he admitted it. Honesty and humility, what an interesting concept;

D. His knee is held together by the donated Achilles tendon of Julie De Rossi, an organ donor who was killed in March 2004 by a drunk driver.


3. The most amazing thing I saw in Week 1 was:
A. Fergie's over(under)alls;

B. My neighbor Jak, a Purdue grad, learning that he'd have to mow my lawn in a Speedo after my Lil' RedHawks from Miami of Ohio covered against the Boilermakers;

C. An eye-popping 72-yard punt return for a TD by Wingate's Donald Brown against my new hometown team, Davidson;

D. Steelers running back Willie Parker's ability to learn, in one offseason, how to rechannel his explosive speed from a more instinctive, natural outside burst to one right up the gut and into the heart of the defense.


4. The thing that scares me the most about Jake Plummer is:
A. He's looking over his shoulder so hard now he might start throwing it sideways;

B. If this keeps up he might, gulp, grow another beard;

C. Brad Johnson throws a better ball … with his left hand;

D. In an era of the game when the throws you don't make are becoming more important than the throws you do make, this guy is a square peg in a round hole.


5. Brett Favre is to quarterbacking what:
A. Joe Cullen is to leather car seats;

B. Nick Saban is to red flag tossing;

C. Jerry Porter is to camaraderie;

D. Home-field advantage is to the NFL. (The last time three road teams won in shutouts was 1926, when Jeff George was a rookie and Duke Ellington did the opener for MNF.)


6. Bart Scott. Hmm. Bart Scott. Oh yeah, isn't he:
A. A weatherman on the Simpsons;

B. A former undrafted rookie free agent from Southern Illinois who got a $500 signing bonus and yet another example of Ozzie Newsome's genius;

C. An outside linebacker with 119 tackles last year who now may be the best player on the Ravens' defense;

D. Nicknamed Mad Backer because the guy makes Ray Lewis seem shy.


7. The thing I still can't shake from my mind during the preseason is:
A. How is it that Dane Cook can become a famous comedian without actually being the least bit funny, insightful, interesting or entertaining?;

B. Watching myself in the Invincible DVD "making of" featurette on a monitor above the urinal at the Times Square ESPN Zone. (I actually said this out loud, "Oh God I think the universe has just folded in on itself'";

C. Seeing new Miami Dolphins GM Randy Mueller furiously thumbing his Blackberry just outside the team's locker room;

D. Just how advanced knee surgery and recovery have become in the last 10 years. You got nothing but skin holding your shin to your thigh? No problem, we'll have you ready to play in 10 days, maybe nine. Guys today fear an Achilles blowout more than a triple knee ligament shred.


8. I could watch a 0-0 tie in triple overtime -- and I might have to if seven more teams get shut out of the end zone this week -- as long as this guy was playing:
A. Joey Porter;

B. Zach Thomas;

C. Shaun Rogers;

D. John Abraham.


9. I'm happy for Donte' Stallworth and his great start in Philly, because a year ago he was actually:
A. Living in the shadow of Joe Horn;

B. Living out of a hotel in San Antonio;

C. Living with Aaron Brooks as his quarterback;

D. Spending his days off delivering stuff to displaced Katrina victims at an air force base in San Antonio.


10. Drew Bledsoe under pressure reminds me of:
A. Vinny Testaverde, only less composed;

B. A statue, but with less accuracy;

C. A respectable, stand-up guy and a warrior who has done nothing but honor the game and battle through horrific injuries for the love of the sport you son of a biscuit, I mean, it's not his fault the position's requirements changed from cement-shoed and cannon-armed to pocket-mobile and hyper-accurate on short routes just as he reached his prime;

D. How we never hear how the pear-shaped "genius" Tuna has twice missed badly on several high draft picks spent on lineman.


11. Randy Moss' huge 'do on Monday night?
A. New 'do? I thought he was going old school with his granny's pillbox hat;

B. Man, don't criticize, moisturize;

C. That Darth Vader helmet 'fro is so big, it actually counts against the salary cap;

D. Say what you want about Randy's elephantine locks, but it has more personality than Don Shula in those Nike ads.


12. I think the Dolphins, Bucs and the Panthers just proved:
A. Looking tough in orange, teal and pewter is like trying to road rage on someone while drinking from a juicebox;

B. The last place teams want to spend money on, the interior line, is always the first thing that defenses attack;

C. Defensive ends get all the pub, but pressure up the gut is what really rattles quarterbacks;

D. If a guy wound up as dangerously tight as Nick Saban didn't freak out then, trust me, no one else should be freaking out right now.


13. This is my new all-time favorite thing:
A. Minnie safety Dwight Smith, who politely invited me to light my hair on fire during training camp, has now added the word "stairwelling" to our lexicon, a term second only to naked NASCARin' if you ask me;

B. TIE: Frisbee golf and the new Budweiser Real Men of Genius ad on fantasy football;

C. "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia";

D. The NFL's leading passer, Charlie Batch. He was a MAC QB long before it was cool to be a MAC QB.


14. 71 sacks in one week means:
A. There are a lot of anonymous defensive tackles, guys you'll never hear about, like Casey Hampton, Luis Castillo and John Thornton, doing great jobs with the dirty work inside;

B. Maybe the new trend of keeping only two QBs isn't such a good idea after all;

C. Right now the NFL suits are discussing a new rule that would require defenses to get written permission in triplicate from the league to touch a quarterback, no seriously;

D. A cause for celebration if you're a member of the Texans' offensive line.


15. I used to think our culture's obsession with celebs such as Tom Cruise and his offspring was far weirder and uglier than anything he had done, but that was until:
A. He wore a business suit to a football game;

B. On Monday night I collapsed on the floor in front of my TV in the fetal position, convulsing in tears while yelling at the TV, "LET GO OF KATIE'S HAND ALREADY, JUST LET GO, LETGOLETGOLETGO, SHE'S NOT A HELIUM BALLOON … AHHHHHH."

C. Dan Snyder paid more attention to him than his kicking game;

D. I realized he makes a lot less money than Al Saunders.


16. This will help you put all the Week 1 hype in perspective. If the season ended today:
A. The Rams would be Super Bowl champs;

B. Brad Childress would be Coach of the Year, which would be cool;

C. Warrick Dunn would be league MVP, which would also be cool;

D. I would have just gotten in from the Playboy Super Bowl party.


17. The Panthers shouldn't be worried at all because:
A. Keyshawn Johnson is one of the all-time greats at his position, just ask him;

B. They always start slow;

C. If they become the Barry Bonds of NFL franchises, that would be a lot worse than losing a home opener;

D. Like the Carolina fan who got a truck in exchange for getting him's whittle feelwings hurt on national TV, maybe they too can extort a win or two from FOX.


18. Is it me, or:
A. At the quarterback position, does good old-fashioned dim-wittedness often get mistaken for poise?

B. With the Manning Bowl behind them, don't the Colts seem like they're gonna fly under the radar?

C. Did John Mayer break up with Jessica Simpson because he was jealous of her musical talent?

D. Is new Minnie guard Steve Hutchinson the most dominant player in the NFL? No. I'm serious. Watch the film.


19. Bill Belichick:
A. Wore, like, an actual shirt on the sidelines;

B. Is trying to prove he can win the Super Bowl with a CFL roster;

C. Will always be OK because he has a quarterback who is the best all time at making the hardest throw in the game: a 7-yard down and out on third and 6.

D. Should at least be given credit for saving Junior Seau from "Dancing With the Stars."


20. I wrote this column while listening to:
A. My new favorite authoritative, honest and non-condescending announcer, Dick Vermeil;

B. Death Cab for Cutie's "Soul Meets Body";

C. Andy Reid's 10 simple steps to mega-explosive abs DVD;

D. The Who, which seems like a natural progression back to basics after all the time I spent enjoying the last Townsend-inspired Pearl Jam album.

David Fleming is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine. His first book was "Noah's Rainbow: a Father's Emotional Journey from the Death of his Son to the Birth of his Daughter". His next book, based on the controversial 1925 NFL Pottsville Maroons (ESPN Books 2007) has been optioned as a movie by Sentinel Entertainment. Contact him at Dave.Fleming@espn3.com




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