The Bills, who should've beaten the Patriots in Week 1, will win Sunday's rematch -- or begin an irrevocable collapse ... The loser of the Cowboys-Giants game (and we're picking the Giants to win on Monday night) will be in for a very tumultuous week... If Denny Green gets fired by the Cardinals and has any desire to go back to coaching the Cardinal, he'll find a way to win at Stanford -- which is currently the worst team in football, period.
Please, Boss, Send Me To ...
Indianapolis, where the most unimpressive undefeated team in recent memory hosts the NFL's biggest underachiever of 2006 (Washington) in a game the Skins really have to win, somehow, some way. If Sean Taylor is as great as everyone tells me he is, he'll find a way to mess with Peyton Manning on Sunday.
World's Simplest Pool
After enjoying the Cowboys' blowout of the Texans last Sunday, I'm scared to death of this week's games, so I might as well just close my eyes and pray that Denver, which has no discernible offense, posts a road shutout at Cleveland.
Lies, Lies, Lies
1) Brian Urlacher is the most indispensable player on the Bears' defense. (The truth is, it's safety Mike Brown, and we're going to be reminded of that -- again -- now that he's out indefinitely after foot surgery.)
2) When Chiefs tackle Kyle Turley sharply questioned Gene Upshaw about the process of applying for and receiving disability benefits during a union meeting earlier this week, the NFLPA president offered a poised, coherent defense of the status quo.
3) You're so right, Doug Gabriel: Randy Moss would have been a great fit for the Patriots, "because he's a guy who loves to work."
Let's Do Some Patron Silver Shots For
Lions director of security Ricky Sandoval. Back when I covered the 49ers daily in the late '80s and early '90s, I had this habit of breaking the rules dictated by the team -- and Sandoval, a very patient security official, generously refrained from impaling me upon a goalpost. His physical prowess was obvious, but it is his inner strength that stands out now as he battles pancreatobiliary cancer, a rare form of the disease.
Even while undergoing chemotherapy that has caused him to lose more than 50 pounds, Sandoval has continued to work -- and travel to road games. Doctors have been encouraged by his progress thus far, and his co-workers have been blown away by his positive attitude, which helps explain why the team selected him as its 2006 recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award. The honor usually goes to a player, but this was a very justifiable break from tradition.
We fully expect to keep doing shots for him -- and with him -- in the years to come.
Oxygen-Deprived Thought From Above
If Jeremy Shockey, rather than fellow ex-Miami star Lamar Thomas, had made the same supportive comments about the Hurricanes' brawl with Florida International, would Comcast Sports Southeast general manager Mark Fuhrman (that's his real name) have been a bit more lenient? And if Thomas wants to file a wrongful termination suit, should he ask Robert Shapiro and Barry Scheck to be part of his legal team?
Hidden Surf Spot
He's not leveling quarterbacks with the same frequency as he once did, but Jaguars defensive end Marcellus (Dat Dude) Wiley can still drop one-liners with the best of them.
This Week's Proof That The University Of California Is The Center Of The Universe
It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that sling. That's what Cal fans were saying last Saturday at Memorial Stadium as the university, hamstrung by the Pac-10's awful TV deal and its maddening restrictions, found a way to provide video coverage of the Bears' 21-3 victory at Washington State. The school turned to Sling Media -- co-founded by Cal alum Jason Krikorian -- to bring the scoreboard feed from Washington State's Martin Stadium directly to the Memorial Stadium scoreboard via Slingbox technology, which redirected the feed via the Internet.
The 11th-ranked Bears, who are 4-0 in the conference for the first time since 1950, will try to keep it going on Saturday against Washington at Memorial. And yes, this one will be televised the old-fashioned way, by Fox Sports Net.
Trippin' On E(Mail)
"Hi, my name is Frank. I'm a hurricane victim from New Orleans and we really love the Saints. When you write about the Saints, can you please call Deuce n' Reggie 'Bash N' Flash'? Deuce (Bash) McAllister, he just bash bash with his power runs, and Reggie (Flash) Bush, just flash in and out of space until he flashes for a TD ... Everybody is calling them 'Bash N' Flash' ...Thank you ..." -- Frank from New Orleans
How about if I just call them by their real names? You know, Dulymus and Reginald.
"LOL ... I got two extended belly laughs out of your column this week on a day when I badly needed them. The Stephen Jackson thing about getting stuff done, and the first e-mail from the Cowboy fan. I'm sure I'm not the only one to access your FREE column and LMAO, so thanks Michael!" -- Mike from Main St. USA
I appreciate it, but it is with deep regret that I must inform you my column is not, in fact, free. Please send a check for $1.99 per belly laugh to my accountants, Cash N' Stash, and tell your friends to do the same.
"I'm a NY-based screenwriter and I wanted to take a minute to thank you for making me hunt down Campo's in Santa Monica. Every time I come out from New York I never know where to eat or what to do with all the time I'm putzing around in a rental car in between important meetings where nothing ever happens (although I get free Diet Cokes) ... so after reading your April 7 column, I made it a point to find this mecca of Mexican goodness. Yes, I had the avocado burrito and yes it was Nirvana. It's now one of my places (although it's really your place) to hit up on every 'business' trip. I'm heading out to LA again soon and would love more restaurant tips. If this whole SI thing ever falls through, I'll put in the good word for you at Zagats. Thanks. Yours in stomach ..." -- Joe Lovero from New York
Reading this e-mail is almost as satisfying as scarfing down an avocado burrito. ALMOST. If you don't mind waiting in line, I encourage you to sample Tito's Tacos as well.