For those scoring at home ...
By Ralph Wiley
Page 2 columnist

    If a woman isn't married at 27 or by 29, she
    begins to quietly go nuts until she proves herself
    as "master tactician" and "gets one."

    -- R-Dub's NFL Proverb No. 167

Like many women, NFL football people, which is the rest of us, endure a subtle mental desperation if our teams of assignment or choice haven't given us a Super Bowl ring by the time we're 30.

Randy Moss
Randy Moss has disappointed a lot of people this week.
This year, Philadelphians get out from under the hammer of Pete (Rozelle) envy and great expectations, unless New Orleans trips them up on the way to the NFC altar. In the AFC, the pressure's off up in New England, which means Miami, Denver or Oakland might slip by; but those three have already won rings, maybe even in your lifetime. As for me ... well, let's just put it this way. I'm well-seasoned, ring-wise, have been around the track a few times. Zsa Zsa, La Liz and J-Lo combined should have so much jewelry and track record. Let's save the pillow talk for another session. Philly and New Orleans, pretty much guaranteed one of them's going this season, out of sheer desperation, and just to shut everybody up.

As for the following Week 3 NFL Uncensored Thought Balloons, here they are, and remember, they are everything but true:

Daunte Culpepper, QB, Minnesota Vikings -- "Randy's WHERE?! Overnight? Oh man, gotta get down there. Get off Randy. I got Randy. It's Randy plus everything around Randy I can't handle. Randy trying to live up to this image. Clownmaker. Randy trying to live up to the graphics on Madden 2003. Got Randy doing them commercials, them egging him on, telling him how to do, be, act, talk, outrageous, for Madden 2003, then, watch and see, everyone will be ripping Randy. Once we get Randy outta jail, anyway. This is crazy. I'm there for Randy. But Randy got to be there for me. That one-handed catch mess? That's how Video Randy catches on Madden 2003! Randy feels like he gotta do it in a REAL game! You KNOW this, man! Wake up Randy! Randy!"

Randy Moss, WR, Minnesota Vikings -- "WHAT?! I DO NOT HAVE NO PROBLEMS WITH NO ANGER! ARGH! I'm going where? Jail!? Seriously? Black man in a do-rag can't drive a nice car where he want?! Traffic person MESSING with me. Trying to hold me back! Nobody holds me back! I'm the only one who can hold me back! (scowls) I'M THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN HOLD ME BACK! ... Uh ... oh. am I holding me back? HELLLLP! I NEED HELP! No. Can't cry. Can't go out like that. NO PUNK-ASS CRYING IN RANDY MOSS. (hot tears coming) DAUNTE! DENNY! MIKE! ... NOBODY LOVES ME. NOBODY STAYS. Can't beg. Korey died, and I can't even stay out of jail. Damn. They should trade me. Wherever I go, there I'll be. Stinks in here. Everybody ogling me, asking for autographs, even in jail. This ain't keeping it real. But I'm NOT .... GONNA BEG. No TV. No PlayStation. No Madden 2003. No Korey. . .what would Korey say? 'Damn, Randy. Damn. You screwed up bad. My son looks up to you Randy.' That's what he'd say ... (breaks down crying)."

Red McCombs, owner, Minnesota Vikings -- "Don't know why, but right now Denny Green is looking incredibly sexy to me. Maybe because he lost so much weight. You think? Nah. I'm not caught up in physical beauty. Maybe it's because we're 0-3 and Mike Tice looks like he's undergone electroshock. Maybe it's because Moss has gone off his nut -- what little nut he had -- and may be trying to box me into trading him. I'll trade that contract in a heartbeat. My grandkids can find another jersey to wear. They'll get over it. Get 'em a CD by, what's that boy's name, M&Ms? He's a candy-ass, but I'll be a hero to them again. Where can I stick this For Sale sign? And who's this Vladimir Harkonnen people say I resemble? Vladimir, that's a Russkie name, idn't it?"

LaVar Arrington
LaVar Arrington might run faster with Marvin Lewis chasing after him.
LaVar Arrington, LB, Washington Redskins -- "Why's Marvin Lewis looking at me with a facial tic? Well, maybe I know why. I am not the most overrated player in the league. I just play like it, is all."

Steve Mariucci, head coach, San Francisco 49ers -- "... OK, Steve, steady as she goes ... don't laugh until you get in the car. Make sure the media knows how sick everybody was, make sure they know we took a knee, how it could've been worse, much worse. But I ain't no butcher ... feel sorry for Spurrier now ... but, not that sorry ... if I could just get a message to Mr. Ford ... could run that whole shop up there. Too many cooks around here ..."

Roy Williams, DB, Dallas Cowboys -- "Dear Sooner Nation. Wish y'all was here. So I could find somebody I could catch. It's a blur, dog! It's starting to slow down ... a little ... the pace of the passes, I ... can't recover ... McNabb, McNair, Carr, can they all throw like that? We ain't in Norman no more, Campo. I mean, Toto."

Kurt Warner
Kurt Warner recalls simpler times, like a vacation in Disney World he could use right now.
Kurt Warner, QB, St. Louis Rams -- "Was that a disaster, or what? Like the ball was magnetized and the Bucs wore iron underwear. Sometimes all you can do is laugh. Funny, though ... nobody's laughing. Not even Martz. Martz will forgive me. Can I forgive myself? Yes. Film at 11. Looking forward to that, watching me throw four picks right at defenders. Guys shifting in their seats, sighing audibly, my ears burning. Like I need that on a Tuesday. What I need is a new thumb, elevator lifts, or a vacation. Soon."

Chucky Gruden, head coach, Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- "What is it with prima donna wide receivers today? Keyshawn haranguing my ass with the game in the balance, making sure everybody sees him all mad because he didn't get the rock on that last third down ... Hey, Key, maybe the Rams figured you might be primary too, genius. Anybody else notice Malc Glazer resembles a brownie, or an elf? Nice going, Kurt. We needed you tonight, big guy. Figured us in a walkover over in the NFC South. Now Brooks has New Orleans all fired up, Vick is stupid good in Atlanta. Look at Vick. Man. Now look at Brad Johnson. Geez. And Carolina, 3-0? Bastards!"

Chad Pennington, QB, New York Jets -- "Herm's grinning like the dickens at me, so I get a feeling I'm gonna play; sure, now, when Curtis is dragging a leg. D won't even sniff at my play fakes. We need Moss. Not Santana Moss. Randy. Not Laverne and Shirley, Laverneus Coles and Santana, they're kinda small. Wayne? Can't even see Wayne. Coles, Santana and a No. 1 for Randy? Throw in Wayne, too. I love you, Wayne, but that's life in West Virginny."

Oronde Gadsden, WR, Miami Dolphins -- "Randy Who? Which? If I could run, I'd make y'all forget about Moss, and the hoss he rode in on. They time me with a sundial, but I can pick it. I got handles. What do you mean, love handles? Well, yeah, them too."

Aaron Brooks
Aaron Brooks wonders about making some cast changes.
Aaron Brooks, QB, New Orleans Saints -- "So let's do this. Could do it easier with Randy Moss, true dat. But I couldn't betray Joe Horn, and Pathon. Hey. Who'm I kidding? Me? Sure I could. I just met them, really. Trade everybody, but Deuce, Donte and my O-line. Tell you what. Get me Randy Moss. I'd take him to Philly."

Jim Miller, QB, Chicago Bears -- "Look at that clown, trying to catch balls with one hand, getting his quarterback picked off. Now everybody on the entire roster will be trying to do it too (sigh). Moss? Yeah. Him too. If we had him? Oh, I think he'd suit up."

Lamar Smith, RB, Carolina Panthers -- "Who cares if Culpepper flips out Moss? How bout a buck-fifty rushing from scrimmage? Told Mijammi I wasn't done. Ricky this. Ricky up on this here."

Ed McCaffrey, WR, Denver Broncos -- "Whoa! Barely ducked in time. Dude, where's my earhole? If you get up like no problem after being blown up like that, takes it out of the defense. When I try to get out of bed tomorrow, and fall twice, who does that take it out of? ... oooh, lookit all the colors ... Gotta tell Elway, get it there quick. What year is it? 1998, whaddya think? Why are all three of you asking me these questions? Does one of you have Tylenol?"

Pierson Prioleau, DB, Buffalo Bills -- "OooWEEE! My man knocked 87 four years back into the past! What you say? Can't move your legs? Don't be sticking your head in there. Feeling comin' back? Good. Coach say get off the field or hit somebody else. He talking to me? It's my legs won't move? Oh doctor ..."

Donald Driver, WR, Green Bay Packers -- "I know we aren't supposed to date our cheerleaders, but what about the other team's cheerleaders, nobody said anything about them ... we're in Green Bay six months, man. Throw me a bone or something."

Joey Harrington
Harrington has gone 3-3 as a starter for the Lions.
Joey Harrington, QB, Detroit Lions -- "Maybe I'm stupid, but it was fun to me, playing in Motown. Only thing is, I'd rather drive an Escalade than a Ford. But I'll drive one, an Expedition, if that's what it takes. If Mike Ricks hadn't been gassed at the end ... I can't throw it any better than that ... that was there. Guys are calling me Eminem. That's good. I think. They like me. What can I say? They said don't get too used to Coach Morny or Mr. Millen. I said I'm not used to nothing. It's all new to me. Brett Favre told me good luck and shook my hands. I'm not washing them tonight."

Priest Holmes, RB, Kansas City Chiefs -- "So, the Patriots are the defending Super Bowl champs, right? So they got the Yoda of D-coordinators in Belichick, right? So I go for a buck-eighty from scrimmage with three TDS on 'em, right? So what does that make me? The hottest thing in Fantasy Football? Oh, whoopee, yippee, yay. I wanna be the hottest thing on a bowl of Chunky Soup. Where's my commercial spot? Where's my guest shot on 'The Bernie Mac Show'? How come it's not 'My Wife and Priest Holmes' Kid'?"

Richard Seymour, DL, New England Patriots -- "Priest Holmes. Not bad. I'm better. I'm better than all the bleepers. Bring 'em all on. Doing my share of crushing. K.C. had this Brian Waters boy. Not bad. He'll get his hands on you, get up under your chin. He may turn out. I'm 22 and I feel like a vet. Feel like spreading me some running back on whole wheat toast. That Priest Holmes, he just wouldn't spread. Bring me some Ricky Williams. He'll do."

Mike Holmgren, head coach, Seattle Seahawks -- "Sunny side up, Michael; maybe the new unis will take your mind off the fact that very few guys here seem to be able to play. The defense can play. Some. The offense blows. Who assembled this crap? Don't answer that. Study Bobby Valentine. The new unis resemble a stormy day over Puget Sound, rising toward the Wenatchees to the east, don't they? Is one of my guys gay? Do a couple smoke weed? Is there anything else that'll make this disaster seem to be less my fault?"

Michael Strahan, DL, New York Giants -- "Poor Tiki. Mr. GQ, all busted up. I'd never say serves him right for doggin' me out during my salary talks. I'd never say it. But I'd sure as hell think it."

Marcellus Wiley
Marcellus Wiley's got the name and the game.
Marcellus Wiley, DL, San Diego Chargers -- "Maybe they'll let me play tight end. See my interception runback? Got wiggle, don't I?"

Dave McGinnis, head coach, Arizona Cardinals -- "Go out there and kick asses, boys! (kicks over plastic laundry tub) We're tail-kickers! (knocks over blackboard) Now let's go! ... Ah, we suck. I feel a Mora meltdown coming on. Hold on, Dave. Gotta think."

Dick LeBeau, head coach, Cincinnati Bengals -- "We can't possibly be this bad, and yet, somehow, incredibly, we are."

Brian Finneran, WR, Atlanta Falcons -- "Drop Vick's passes? Can you drop a nail shot out of nail gun? Don't have much choice. I'm wearing a Kevlar vest and still have Vick star-shaped wounds all over my upper body, from being impaled by the point of the football. My girl thinks they're hickeys; thinks I'm screwing around. Uh-oh. He comes another one. Oof! Yeaaah."

Dennis Northcutt, KR, Cleveland Browns -- "I am a leprechaun, look at me Riverdance, la-la-la-la-la-la. Did we see me? Did we see how beautiful I was? Are we not vogueing our behinds off? Are we not insect-quick, slick as hot grease? Do we not move us to our very core? We do. Do we like our earrings? Some of the DBs say they'll shove them into our eardrums, but they're all talk."

David Carr
David Carr's in for the mother of all punishing years.
Jeff Fisher, head coach, Tennessee Titans -- "Special teams coach? The guy calls himself a coach? And then got the nerve to show up Monday, looking for a check. He's got big ones, I'll give him that. Need to leave him a f&#%@! bill. If he costs me one more game -- gone. I'm not complaining, Lord, but I'm fixing to complain."

Chad Bratzke, DL, Indianapolis Colts -- "Um, spring lamb, rookie QB filet hocks, and squash, all shish-kabobed then slow roasted on an open George Foreman grill. Hey, Houston! Yum-dilly-icious!"

David Carr, QB, Houston Texans -- "... Mommy ..."

Ralph Wiley spent nine years at Sports Illustrated and wrote 28 cover stories on celebrity athletes. He is the author of several books, including "Best Seat in the House," with Spike Lee, "Born to Play: The Eric Davis Story," and "Serenity, A Boxing Memoir."



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