From the Sandbox
9/14/2004  7:35PM EST
by  Sanders Lightfoot

In preparation for my first column of this NFL season, I was doing a little research, brushing up on hot stove topics, analyzing free agent acquisitions, and figuring out which pop culture references’s Bills Simmons has already beaten to death.

Truth be told,  I actually spent my time surfing for amateur porn; but nonetheless, it was during this time that I stumbled across the Sports Guy’s August 28th mailbag article.

Now, as a matter of full disclosure, I have been a Bill Simmons fan since he launched  I have always admired his humor and style.  But nowadays, I read his column for the same reason most women still have sex with their husbands:  out of habit.  But in the aforementioned column, Simmons tackles Jason Whitlock’s use of the “race” card (when rooting against the US Olympic Dream Team).  It was a sharp commentary on a sensitive subject.  And dare I say, it was funny.

The only thing that could have been more satisfying was if Whitlock followed up with a counter-argument criticizing Simmons’ perpetual use of the over-played “Boston is the hub of the sports universe” card.  But considering the Patriots handled my Colts to open the 2004 professional football season, I have decided to scrap the Simmons commentary all together.

The only good thing that came out of the NFL opener was that I was able to deduce some answers to the following burning questions:

1)      I’m pretty sure Lenny Kravitz would play bar mitzvahs and birthday parties if the price was right.

2)      Mary J. Blige would be his opening act.

3)      If you don’t think that Tom Brady is one of the top three quarterbacks in the NFL, you are higher than Ricky Williams.

4)      It took exactly 290 words before the first played out “Ricky Williams smokes pot” reared its ugly head.

Just in case you haven’t paid attention to the past three seasons, Tom Brady has proven himself as the “clutchiest quarterback in the business,” according my old pal the Buckster, Oasis Casino’s linesman and resident wordsmith.

All Brady has done in the past three years is rack up two Super Bowl MVP awards to go along with his two championship rings.  The only reason he did not add some more hardware during this current run is because he took a flyer on the 2002 in order to bang Tara Reid.  If he’d only realized that no one needs to take a flyer in order to bang Tara Reid, he’d have three Super Bowl rings under his belt.  He’s the “Can’t Miss Kid.”

Now, everyone knows Boston fans thrive on the “us against the civilized world” mentality.  (Well, that and beer.)  And holding a Boston athlete (other than Pedro) in such high regard is the kiss of death.  In fact, it’s akin to slicing his ACL with a dull butter knife.  But you know what?  It doesn’t matter.  You could call him Marsha, and Brady is still going to go 13-3 and 16-0 against the spread this year.

With the start of every NFL football season, there are many unanswered questions.  With the space provided to me by the generous folks at Sports Insights I’d like to add to that list with…”freaklently asked questions”.

At what point on Sunday did San Francisco fans realize that there quarterback was Ken Dorsey?  Was it before or after they realized that Eddie DeBartolo’s deal with the devil had officially come to an end?

Speaking of deals with the devil…do you think Ashton Kutcher gets some type of referral fee for Ashlee Simpson?

With Joe Gibbs’ triumphant return to the Redskins, how many games will it be before Bill Walsh fires Dennis Erickson and inserts himself as the head coach?

Wasn’t anyone else hoping that New England Patriots center and Boston College alum Dan Koppen pulled a Joe Namath and put the moves on Lynn Swann during their sideline interview in ABC’s Saturday night coverage of Penn State at Boston College?  No one?  Really?  What’s wrong with you people?

Who bets against Brett Favre?  Getting points?  On Monday night?

For those of you with a strong stomach and an iron will, here are this week’s pics, pans and props.  Do with them what you wish.

Pick of the week:  Indianapolis (+1.5).  Brady doesn’t play for Tennessee right?  No?  Ok, we’ll stick with Indy on the road.

Pan: Toby Keith is headlining the NFL Kickoff concert ?  Which begs the question:  Do we really need a kickoff concert to start the NFL season.  Isn’t the NFL opening weekend pretty much the year’s most anticipated television event save Ben Affleck accepting the role of Scott Peterson in the “Laci Peterson Story?”

Prop:  Will ABC’s Bachelor/Giants’ third-string quarterback, Jesse Palmer start at least one game this regular season?  Yes +120.

(By the way, which collective gasp was louder:  The gasp that occurred when they realized that the Eli Manning Era was underway only one game into the season OR the gasp that occurred when they watched Manning get decapitated by Jerome McDougle.)

Props to Jake Plummer for throwing at least a few passes with his right hand.

Ok guys, see you next Tuesday.

Sanders Lightfoot, author and columnist, appears courtesy of 100 Proof Publishing.