Monday, November 08, 2004

Weekend Update, Vol. I

We begin the inaugural Weekend Update with a shout-out to Gwyneth Paltrow. Why, you ask, do we praise the sometimes-blonde-sometimes-not waify actress in a sports blog?

Three reasons:

1) Certain scenes in “Shakespeare in Love” were beautifully, uh, acted.
2) Her uncanny ability to ride family coattails to individual stardom
3) If not for her movie “Sliding Doors,” Ed Reed’s 106-yard interception return Sunday night for the Ravens would be just another 106-yard interception return Sunday night for the Ravens.

“Sliding Doors” looks at how Paltrow life goes after not making a subway train and explores how her life would have been had she made that ride.

What would have happened if Ed Reed didn’t scoop a tipped pass from Cleveland’s Jeff Garcia one inch before it hit the ground with less than a minute left, his Ravens already leading 20-13, and run it back an NFL-record 106 yards for the touchdown and 27-13 victory?

I would not have covered the 7.5-point spread in the office pool and would not have guaranteed myself third place.

I would not have covered the 7-point spread in, uh, another “pool.” It would have been a push, which is worse than watching most Paltrow movies.

My fantasy football team, the Fryburg Antonellis (unofficially renamed the Fryburg Fibulas due to eight season-ending injuries for my players) had one more point. This is crucial because I’m going up against Peyton Manning, Dallas Clark, The Idiot Kicker and Marcus Robinson on Monday night. Sure, I have Marvin Harrison and a 40-point lead, which means Reggie Wayne will catch three touchdowns and Manning will run for two more and beat me by two points.

The Reed Runback put another team in my league ahead of my division’s leader. However, the division leader has Daunte Culpepper left and the other team was stupid and started Duce Staley when Bill Cowher decided not to.

But there’s still hope.

So, with Reed making the play he called on radio “A miracle in the making,” I’m up $50 bucks, have a chance to eek out a fantasy football win and perhaps move a game closer to first place in the division.

For the record, Kenny Wheaton of the Toronto Argonauts had a 116-yard interception return for a touchdown in a CFL playoff game, but the exchange rate makes it only 94 American yards.

Some other happenings from the weekend:

* (Turn on Joe Beningo voice now) You just knew that when Herm Edwards won the coin toss and elected to kick, they were going to lose the game. (Turn off Joe Beningo voice, unless of course you prefer it to your own voice. Either way, keep reading.)

* Lawyer friend Steve, a Jets fan by trade, got engaged to Jamie the Eagles fan this weekend. Here’s hoping the Jets and Eagles don’t play in the same Super Bowl for at least the next 50 years. Herm Edwards said he was unsure of which side to sit on at the ceremony.

* The U’s Brock Berlin could very well be the worst quarterback in the state of Florida. Impressive when you realize Jay Fielder, A.J. Feely, Chris Rix and Jeb Bush are all in Florida.

* The Knicks treated their faithful to a crapola home opener. Fans were heard outside the Garden saying, “That was worse than a Spike Lee movie.” Ouch. The body of evidence to support fans’ theories is outstanding. I’d rather slam my unit in the glove compartment of my car than watch “Summer of Sam.”

* The huevos rancheros belonging to Texas A & M head football coach Dennis Franchione are beyond comprehension. Against the No. 2 Oklahoma Sooners, Franchione calls a fake punt AND a fake field goal in the same f-bombing game. Both go for touchdowns. Huevos!

* Willie Randolph began his tenure as Mets manager. Ticket prices are expected to drop since operating costs at Shea will go down now that “Windmill Willie” is powering the team.

* Pat LaFontaine completed an Ironman Triathlon in Florida. 13 hours, 6 minutes, 49 seconds. 0 concussions. Some things travel beyond the realm of comprehension.

* Hockey still on strike! America rejoices. Liquor stores in NHL cities file for bankruptcy.

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