The Sandbox – NFL Week 2
by Sanders Lightfoot
Courtesy of
9/21/2004 2:00PM EST

The hardest thing to do as a syndicated columnist is to introduce oneself to new a city without shamelessly pandering to the new constituency. But make no mistake, I am not confronted with such a dilemma as I embark on my maiden voyage into the Midway, because I
am quite ashamed of my translucent attempts to win favor, but I realize the unmitigated value of such a tactic. So, with that said….

Helloooooooo Chicago! The center of the sports universe. The home of endless championships. The birthplace of this country’s greatest fans, bar none! Chicago. My kind of town. It’s good to be here.

While it has historically taken me a few weeks to get acclimated to my new readership (and vice versa), I do not anticipate such problems in Chicago. After all, I eat pizza, drink beer, and I too could have used a free car from Oprah. But most importantly, I love me my Bears!

I especially loved my Bears this weekend, getting eight points in Green Bay. Toss out the fact that the Packers were the public’s play of the week. Forget the fact that Green Bay was 7-0 in the last seven meetings between these two teams. Disregard the fact that Green Bay is a godforsaken city in a miserable state. Chicago was the big money game of the day.

[Note to Editor: Please review the Green Bay syndication schedule. In preparation for the Wisconsin launch, please remove above paragraph and insert the pre-approved “Hello Green Bay” insertion found on draft 5, note 3. Any questions, ask Dana. She’ll e-mail
final copy to your attention.]

This game was tailor made for Sports Insights disciples. There was no question in anyone’s mind that the Pack was going to roll. They have handled the Bears at Lambeau for the past seven years. Rex Grossman is the Bears’ starting quarterback. Chicago’s fourth quarter defeat at the hands of the Lions would leave any team with a second-week hangover, let alone a team with questionable talent and a rookie head coach; however, you just had the feeling that the public was following the wrong trend.

The average fan always fails to take into account things like week two letdowns after big opening wins, the bounce back factor after week one losses and the fact that a higher power smiles on Chicago. After all, if god isn’t a Bears fan then why is Lake Michigan murky midnight blue with of tint orange around the shores?

But this gem of an anti-public pick did not escape the more savvy sports fan and handicapper alike. Both should be applauded for their sticktoitiveness. However, don’t be surprised if I change my tune when the Bears visit the Vikings on Sunday. After all, we are getting syndicated in Minnesota this week.


Since the space is free, the generous folks at Sports Insights have allowed me to ponder some of life’s bigger queries with this week’s edition of….freaklently asked questions:

Did anyone catch ABC’s Primetime interview with androgynous tiger tamer Roy (sans Siegfried)? The dude was mauled by a tiger….what is Maria Shriver’s excuse?

BYU (-26.5) is T.B’s college football play of the week? And he has the nerve to suggest you buy it up to 27 or 28? Is he mental? (I’ve known T.B. for almost half of my life, but I’ve never understood his blind allegiance to the ghost of Robbie Bosco and the Cougars of the great white west. I think it goes back to his controversial BYU ‘84 win over Auburn ‘85 in a late night Playstation match-up back in 1995, but I can’t be sure.)

Ron Dayne gets the ball on a short yardage play in a crucial fourth quarter drive? Didn’t Tom Coughlin watch Ron Dayne run last year? Oh, he didn’t? Do you know why? Because Dayne, who was inactive in all sixteen games last year, didn’t have a single carry last year!

Jerry Rice didn’t catch a pass this weekend? For the first time in twenty years? Can you imagine doing something….anything….for twenty straight years?

Do you realize that the Lions are on pace to go 16-0? Hey, why is that every internet porn peddler and Viagra salesman can circumnavigate my email’s spam blocker, but the military can’t do an IP search and find the location of that Islamic webmaster that is broadcasting those executions?


For those of you who are gluttons for punishment, here this week’s pics, pans and props. Do with them what you wish.

Pick of the week: Pitt/Miami Under 34. “Please” this down to Under 28 in order to increase your odds. Final score: Pittsburgh – 4, Miami – 2 (double OT).

Pan: Dan Rather. Man, what’s the frequency Kenneth? Danno, I have a Bazooka Joe comic, a dozen tarot cards and a fig leaf. Wanna break a news story?

Props: United States Presidential election margin of victory: Under 1.5 votes (-240)

Props to me for picking 10 winner’s including my Indy “pick of the week” this past weekend. Boo ya!

Ok guys, see you next Tuesday.

Sanders Lightfoot, author and columnist, appears courtesy of 100 Proof Publishing and Sports Insights. Email your questions, comments and concerns to