From the Sandbox
By Sanders Lightfoot
11/03/2004   1:30 PM EST
Courtesy of

It has been about eight years since I have had a good night’s sleep.  Maybe even longer.  Exactly when was the last time Dennis Erickson was a successful football coach?  Oh, never mind.  Let’s just say it has been a long time.

You see, I am sleep walker.  Actually, it’s even worse.  I am a sleep walk-eater.  I get up in the middle of the night and sleep walk around the house.  It is not so much “around the house” as it is “into the kitchen.”  More specifically, I sleep walk to where I keep the peanut butter.

I am not kidding.  Just ask any one of the twenty-two friends, family members, girlfriends, flight attendants, nannies, bookies, junkies, gamblers, thieves, degenerates or politicians that I have lived with over the past ten years.  Every single one of them can attest to the fact that I suffer from this rare condition.  Many medical professionals have tried to diagnose the cause but have failed to do so.  It is one of the great psychosomatic mysteries of all time.

In fact, it ranks right up there with “Why does Drew Bledsoe still get ‘happy feet’ in the pocket after 12 years as a starting quarterback?”  Or “Why do NFL coaches have a mental block against running a naked bootleg run-pass option play inside the ten yard line?”  Or “Jillian Barberie.”

After nearly a decade of sleepless nights and countless mornings of peanut butter smeared pajamas, I decided to take matters into my own hands and force a good night sleep upon myself, much the same way the NFL keeps forcing primetime 49er’s games upon us.  So, I took a couple of Xanax at 4:00 PM Sunday afternoon, and I was out like a light before the opening kick off reached the end zone, or the ten yard line to be more precise.

What followed was the craziest, most disturbing fourteen hours of sleep I have ever had.  I dreamt that the Colts, a 1.5 point underdog to start the week, flipped to a 1.5 point favorite by game time, scored 35 points and still lost to the not-so-lowly-anymore Chiefs.  I dreamt that you still can not put the Arizona Cardinals into a 13-point four team super teaser, because they are still super bad.   I dreamt that Bill Cower and Bill Belichick had a disturbing Nathan Lane/Matthew Broderick-esq embrace at mid-field after Ben Roethlisberger proved that he is for real.  And the most disturbing image came when I dreamt that we are halfway through the NFL season and people are still pretending that Dennis Erickson should not be fired.

Thank god I did not take three Xanax or I may have dreamt that the NHL owners ended their lockout and the 2004 hockey season was actually going to be played.


Week after week, I pose life’s little questions in the space that follows, but this week the folks at Sports Insights decided to turn the tables on me when they opened up the mailbox and allowed you, the fans, to pose this week’s inquiries in a section they’ve aptly titled From the Sandbag:

How bad can it be in Miami if Michelle Tafoya is reporting that Marty Booker lies awake crying at night wishing he was back in Chicago?  (Bill M., Forrest Hills, IL)


Ken Dorsey and Craig Krenzel are good enough to be starting quarterbacks in the NFL, but I can not keep a third-string job in this league? (Akili S., Portland, OR)

It could be worse, you could be Marty Booker.

Can someone get Charlie Sheen back into a major motion picture?  Please?  (Jon F, Los Angeles, CA).

Seriously, I’ve been waiting for “Judgment Day” 2 for about 10 years now.

You mentioned NYC’s bid for the West Side Stadium in last week’s article.  Did you happen to catch Mark Gastineau’s impromptu celebration at the stadium rally a few weeks back?

I did and even Brigitte Nielsen was embarrassed.

With this being Election Day, can you take a few minutes to explain the difference between the Popular Vote and the Electoral College?

Yeah…well.  You see.  Um.  Not really.


Alright, almost two pages of nonsense, but you’ve finally arrived to this weeks much ballyhooed picks, pans and props:

Pick of the week:  Whoever is playing San Francisco, no matter what the spread.  All kidding aside, the 49ers are a joke.  Hey, wait….oh never mind.

Pan:  Ben Affleck in “Surviving Christmas.”  When will the world learn?  When will it learn?

Prop:  The number of cross promotions involving Kelly Ripa ABC will conduct during any given Monday Night Football game: Over 6 (-750)

Props to the winner of the lawsuit that will decide this year’s Presidential Election.

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