Somewhere, somehow, somebody must have kicked you around some; Tell me why you wanna lay there, revel in your abandon
- Tom Petty
Last week on trash day Joe Horn of the New Orleans Saints walked up to me and asked, "Hey, you gonna use that?"
"What?" I asked.
"All that," he said emphatically. "Man, we'd love to have all of that there."
"But it's just chicken bones, pizza boxes and a used stick of deodorant," I declared in case he was a member of Homeland Security. And then I remembered the rule change regarding roadside trash. "Oh," I said, "And scissors."
"Really? That's perfect. Please!" he said.
"What in the world would an NFL team use those things for?" I asked.
"Gosh, thanks for calling us an NFL team," said Horn. He wore a New Orleans Saints shirt but I swear I heard a distinct San Antonio drawl, and he even had a bit of a New York attitude.
"Here's the thing," he said. "The chicken bones will lure a critter that we can kill for our training table. That's why scissors will help. Plus we can write our plays on the pizza boxes and then cut them up and give them out to each of our players - you know, as a playbook. And as for the deodorant stick, if we get enough of those and some used gum, we can make our first tackling dummy."
I spit my gum at him. He showed he was grateful by spitting back at me.
BUCCANEERS AT PATRIOTS - Phil Simms shows up at halftime in the announcer's booth acting like a drunk, irritable dad at a Little League game. Dick Stockton tells Phil he's on the wrong network and Phil tells him to "say nice things about my boy." So Stockton praises Tom Brady, or Doug Flutie, as the case may be. Patriots 28, Buccaneers 13
CHIEFS AT GIANTS - Before the game, Jay Feely practices by kicking the ball into the gap between Michael Strahan's teeth but then Strahan eats spinach and messes everything up. Meanwhile, the Chiefs continue their charity tour of the NFC East. Last week, Bill Parcells picked up the free cheese. Giants 28, Chiefs 27
BRONCOS AT BILLS - Champ Bailey has intercepted a pass in five straight games and word is he is Kelly Holcomb's primary receiver this week. But to confuse things, Eric Moulds is upset so I smell an upset. Bills 24, Broncos 20
CARDINALS AT TEXANS - Players unanimously agree to play poker because it's more exciting than a game between these two teams. Cardinals 14 with a pair of sevens, Texans 3
CHARGERS AT COLTS - History is such a funny thing because when it is happening it just looks like news. That's why the Chargers will win the biggest game that doesn't matter. Chargers 33, Colts 24
49ERS AT JAGUARS - Last week Alex Smith completed nine passes for 77 yards and he fumbled three times for an official quarterback rating of "Akili Smith." Jaguars 23, 49ers 7
JETS AT DOLPHINS - Gus Frerotte throws the ball to Chris Chambers in the first seconds of the game to clinch it. Then the Jets settle in getting ready for the upcoming college bowls. Dolphins 21, Jets 13
STEELERS AT VIKINGS - So I was remembering how Daunte Culpepper threw a pass and, oh, I'm sorry. I thought I was writing for a fairy tale website. Oh yeah, welcome to Meltdown, Act II. Steelers 30, Vikings 10
PANTHERS AT SAINTS - Help Wanted: Janitors who can sweep, clean toilets as well as move large furniture, relocate frequently, play a bit of football, and swim. Generous pay, September to January work, benefits lacking but adulation offered if you can find it underneath the paper bags. Panthers 28, Saints 9
SEAHAWKS AT TITANS - Pacman Jones proves that if your best weapon is your punt returner, you need more weapons. Shaun Alexander proves that's it's not bad to have Shaun Alexander as your best weapon. Seahawks 26, Titans 10
EAGLES AT RAMS - Donovan McNabb, who was surprised to learn that his footwork has racial implications, discovers that the way he uses his spoon in those soup commercials is being watched very closely by scouts. Rams 30, Eagles 10
BENGALS AT LIONS - More bad news on Matt Millen's report card. Another "F" in chemistry. Bengals 40, Lions 14
BROWNS AT RAIDERS - On the first play of the game, Charlie Frye throws Red Right 88 for a touchdown because ghosts must be vanquished. And speaking of ghosts, late in the game Keith Richards shows up wearing a jumpsuit and most people think he is Al Davis. Browns 32, Raiders 19
COWBOYS AT REDSKINS - Last time we saw Drew Bledsoe, he was hugging Keyshawn Johnson. Hmm. Two cowboys hugging…sounds like the plot to a groundbreaking movie. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Cowboys 24, Redskins 21
FALCONS AT BEARS - Kyle Orton calls into a Chicago radio station demanding that Rex Grossman start. The next caller is Rex Grossman demanding that Kyle Orton start. Nobody wants the blame, just like nobody wants to play the Bears in Chicago. Bears 21, Falcons 17
PACKERS AT RAVENS - It's Monday Night Football and, like the rest of America, Ray Lewis dies of boredom. Ravens 6, Packers 3
If you were Tony Dungy, would you play everybody in these final two weeks of the season in order to try for a perfect season? Or would you fear injuries before the playoffs and rest everyone? I asked Drew Rosenhaus at Terrell Owens' birthday party and he answered, "Next question."
This column is sponsored by Julio Franco and The Fountain Of Youth.
Brian Tarcy lives in Falmouth, MA. www.briantarcy.com