Giving half the story at the NFL's halfway point   

Updated: November 2, 2007, 10:34 AM ET

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WE WANT HALF! The battle cry of every divorce lawyer, which is the first thing I think of when I hear Arthur Blank is going after $20 million of the signing bonus he gave his former pampered BFF, Mike Vick.

HALF THE TIME: On third-and-8, QB David Carr runs the ball 5 yards.

WAIT HALF A SEC: With nine TDs, Browns receiver Braylon Edwards already is tied for the most scoring catches in a season by a modern-day Cleveland wideout.

HALF-DOZEN: Apparently, this is how many more touchdown catches Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel (who already has 10) will have to catch before someone in the NFL DECIDES TO COVER HIM IN THE END ZONE. I'm so sick of hearing how complicated and intricate the game is today, when, I swear, if 11 beer'ed up guys in sweat pants and ear muffs lined up near the goal line of a pick-up football game, at least five of them would yell: HEY, SOMEONE COVER NO. 50!

HALF THE TIME: When we talk about great teams that almost went undefeated, we leave out the 1998 Broncos, who started 13-0, finished 14-2 and won the Super Bowl.

HALFHEARTED: The Bengals, who are 0-5 on the road dating back to 2006. You realize, of course, that the Bengals still have had only ONE winning season in the past 17 years.

HALF THE CREDIT THEY DESERVE: Randy Moss, Green Bay's Aaron Kampman, Keith Bulluck (an annual selection in this category), the Steelers' offensive line (ditto) and Dick Jauron.

TAKE HALF AN HOUR: And e-mail me about your great family football games over the holidays. Seriously. All e-mails must include 1) mud or snow; 2) at least one pulled hammy; 3) turkey vomiting (you, not the bird); 4) trick plays pulled on new members of the family that resemble something Trinity University would have cooked up; 5) tales of near fisticuffs between siblings.

DOING TWICE AS MUCH WITH HALF THE TALENT: Buffalo, Kansas City, Cleveland, Green Bay and Detroit.

DOING HALF AS MUCH WITH TWICE THE TALENT: Chicago, New Orleans, Cincinnati, Houston, San Francisco and Denver.

HALFWAY TO MVP: Randy Moss, Adrian Peterson, Osi Umenyiora, Bob Sanders, Peyton Manning ... Oh, who are we kidding? The ballot's closed. It's Tom Brady.

HALF A STEP FASTER: What Joey Galloway is at 35 compared to 30.

HALF HOPELESS: What Philadelphia would be on Sundays without Donovan McNabb and Andy Reid. Careful what you wish for in the (missing) Linc.

HALFWAY TO THEIR COLLAPSE, RIGHT? The Giants started 5-2 for the 42nd year in a row. Tell me, again, what do they have to show for it? But don't worry, I'm sure things like Tom Coughlin calling his kicker a liar won't contribute to the wear-down factor with the Giants.

HALF THE CREDIT HE DESERVES: For overcoming incredible odds to get to the NFL, for not playing it safe once he got there, for being a warrior and a stand-up guy, always brave enough to speak his mind: T.J. Houshmandzadeh.

HALFHEARTED: The league's ongoing commitment to the debilitated players who wrecked their bodies and their minds to make the NFL what it is today.

HALF AS SAD: As the revelation that one-time darling Marion Jones is a drug user, a cheat and a liar, is that, because we're all suffering from steroid story fatigue, her recent downfall hardly moved the needle.

HALF THE LEAGUE: In all of 2006, half the teams scored fewer points than the Patriots already have racked up in 2007 (331). The Pats are either really great, or the NFL really stinks.

HALFWAY HOME: The Lions are halfway to Jon Kitna's prediction of 10 (or more) wins. Go ahead and laugh, but if this actually happens, this bold revelation will rank right up there with Namath and Messier.

HALF: The amount of Gatorade I spit out of my mouth this summer at the Manning Passing Academy after watching Eli Manning demonstrate his brother Peyton's dork-o-ramma running style.

HALFWAY DONE: This column.

HALF A LIFETIME AGO: How long it's been since T.O.'s return to Philly mattered.

NOT HALF BAD: After a slow start, Larry Johnson has 100 yards rushing in three of his past four games.

I HALF FALL OUT OF MY CHAIR: Everytime Leon opens his mouth on "Curb Your Enthusiasm." Never in a million years did I think someone could approach Krazee Eyez Killa, but he's getting there.

YOU 'HALF' TO BE KIDDING ME: Got an urgent message from a producer in Hollywood who is helping bring "Breaker Boys" to the big screen. Thought maybe we had landed Tom Hanks or something. Nope. Turns out, he just needed fantasy football advice.

HALF CRAZY: Any player who whines about the Patriots running up the score. My god. Is there no shame or pride left in the world? If you don't like it, do something about it. If not, cash your check and be quiet.

HALF-WIT: All those idiots out there who said Brett Favre had lost arm strength. Oh, yeah, right, that was me. How can a guy throw a flock of downfield ducks against the Redskins and then chuck it into the upper deck his next game? Spite is a very powerful tool, I guess. You're welcome, Green Bay.

HALF SORRY: Based on their coverage, it appears the Broncos defensive backs believed every word I wrote about Favre's noodle arm.

CUT THAT CONTRACT IN HALF: Britney Spears and Ryan Cabrera? If Romo is going to lead America's Team, he needs to start hanging out with much cooler people.

ANYONE WITH HALF A BRAIN: Busted a gut when seeing Kitna's hilarious and harmless Halloween sense of humor. In the end, sports are supposed to be fun, which makes teams, players, fans and media types who can't laugh at themselves enemy No. 1.

ONLY HALF JOKING: Ladies and gentlemen, your 2007-08 NHL Stanley Cup Champions: the Boston Bruins. Face it, it's a Boston sports world, people. We're all just chillin' in it. Shoot me now and leave me nothing but Marky Mark DVDs to watch while I recover.

I'M ALMOST HALF SERIOUS: Brad Childress should grab a helmet and play quarterback for the Vikings before even considering Jeff George.

HALF SHOCKED: That Al Davis actually found someone interested in buying 20 percent of his franchise. What's one-fifth of last place cost? Raider Nation couldn't be less intimidating right now if the entire Black Hole section drank out of juice boxes during games.

HALFWAY TO L.A.: What I think every time I see those massive tarps in Jacksonville.

HEY, NOT HALF BAD: Separated at birth: Tom Brady on a bad hair day and the title character from "Dexter" on Showtime, the second-best show on cable, after "Californication."

HALFWAY HOME: With 740 yards, what Vikes back Adrian Peterson is to Eric Dickerson's rookie rushing record of 1,808 yards.

HALF: Number of math classes I've passed in my life, skills I put to work on the previous item.

MORE THAN HALF OF US: Think 0-16 is way more interesting than 16-0.

HALF A GENIUS: Anyone who dresses up for Halloween this year in the scariest possible costume: the woman who runs the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders on that reality show. Yikes-a-ma-gypes-a.

CARRYING HALF HIS TEAM: No wonder Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher has an arthritic back; he and the rest of the Chicago defense have been lugging around the Bears' O for the past five years.

HALF A LITTLE CLASS: If you think the 1972 Dolphins' ritual of celebrating another team's loss is undignified, you should read the e-mails from fans who support their silly champagne toast.

HALFWAY TO A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN: Whose gonna blow first: Bobby Petrino or Scott Linehan?

HALFWAY TO THE PLAYOFFS: The New Orleans Saints. Honest.

HALF MY ITUNES MONEY: Went to old-school Van Halen this week.

David Fleming is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine. His latest book, "Breaker Boys: The NFL's Greatest Team and the Stolen 1925 Championship,", published by ESPN Books, has been optioned as a movie. In addition, he is the author of the memoir "Noah's Rainbow."The Flem File will run each Thursday during the NFL season.


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