By Dan Shanoff
Page 2 columnist

Whether it's bantering with your office-mates about the weekly pool, swapping the skinny with your friends at the sports bar or trying to impress that hottie on your first date, spouting last season's conventional wisdom about the new NFL season is going to make you as popular as Akili Smith.

So check out the "What's Hot, What's Not" List below for the scoop on the names, trends and fads that are at the forefront of Kickoff Weekend and the 2003 season. We promise: That first-date hottie really wants to know:

WHAT'S HOT, WHAT'S NOT IN THE NFL
Category Hot Not Hot
Kickoff Weekend star
Britney Spears

Steve Spurrier
Football on TV "Playmakers" "Hard Knocks"
Cover jinx Madden SI
Barstool debate Can the Bucs repeat? Rather have healthy Lewis or healthy Vick?
Rookie bandwagon
Kyle Boller (Ravens)

Carson Palmer (Bengals)
Whatever happened to ... Joey Galloway? Antonio Freeman?
QB necessity Depth MVP skills
Season-crushing injury Chad Pennington (Jets QB) James Stewart (Lions RB)
Jersey Kelly Holcomb Brian Urlacher
Baby name LaDainian Priest
Water-cooler stat Yards-per-catch allowed Yards-per-catch
Position Defensive end Tight end
MVP bandwagon
Ricky Williams

Michael Vick
Coaching mastermind Jon Gruden Mike Holmgren
Style statement Extra-wide headbands Helmet visors
Fantasy 1st Rd sleeper William Green Tiki Barber
Philly Stadium complaint Fans still stink Turf stinks
Reason to skip camp Fear of Romo Fear of injury
Sideline presence Lisa Guerrero All-access cams
Complaint in Cleveland Courtney Brown's health Worrying about Tim Couch
Mike Shanahan's biggest problem Jake Plummer will wash out What to do with all the RBs
Detroit fan favorite
Joey Harrington

Matt Millen
Next Ryan Leaf Chris Redman (Ravens) Jon Kitna (Bengals)
Conventional wisdom Coaches win championships Players win championships
QB controversy Rams (Warner vs. Bulger) Jags (Anyone better than Brunell)
Comeback Vinny Testaverde Rodney Peete
Overhyped Giant Jeremy Shockey Whoever's snapping
Power Division NFC South NFC East

PAGE 2 PICKS
Category Hot Not
NFC East Eagles Giants
NFC South Bucs Saints
NFC North
Packers

Bears
NFC West Rams 49ers
NFC Wild Card Falcons, Redskins Seahawks, Vikings
AFC East Patriots Jets
AFC South Colts Jaguars
AFC North
Browns

Steelers
AFC West Chiefs Raiders
AFC Wild Card Ravens, Dolphins Bills, Broncos
Super Bowl champs Bucs over Patriots Dolphins over Falcons

Dan Shanoff is a columnist for Page 2. His "Daily Quickie" commentary appears every weekday morning.




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THE HOT LIST