Z-Mail: Picking an all-animal team and why coaching matters in NFL
Emailer of the Week creates football roster with animals
An update on the Flaming Redhead's long vacation in Venice
What the Titans should do at quarterback in 2009 and much more
My editor loved the following email so much he nearly fainted. Last time I noticed, the ladies from the eighth floor were up there fanning away, furiously. So the correspondent who carries the near-anonymous tag of Bill of K.C. gets the Emailer of the Week Award this trip for the following:
"The ultimate football question: How would you compose an All-Animal Kingdom football team, assuming the species could be trained? My own team would be as follows:
"It's still incomplete and has a few question marks yet. Can you do better?"
Hmmm, how about a scorpion for an owner? My trainer would be a snake, to help guard against a reptile dysfunction. And if I'd choose from the creatures of the sea I'd have a shrimp returning punts. But on to serious things.
Bill's little fable reminded me of the story about the annual game between the big animals and the little animals. Early in the game the big animals get a drive going, right down the field for a score. Later in the half they get off another one. Down they come, right down to the little animals' five-yard line.
First down, they run the lion off tackle and the centipede stops him cold. Second down, they run the zebra on a pitchout and the centipede breaks through and spills him for a loss. On third and long, the bear goes back to pass and the centipede sacks him. They call time out and kick a field goal just before halftime. On the way to the locker rooms, the bear catches up to the centipede.
"You're the one who stopped the lion and the zebra on the first two downs, aren't you?"
"Yeah," says the centipede.
"And then sacked me, right?"
The centipede nods.
'So where the hell were you while we were marching up and down the field?"
"In the locker room," the centipede says, "getting my ankles taped."
Now on to personal stuff. Paul of Bridgeport, Conn., misses the Flaming Redhead. "Not even a mention?" he says of the Power Rankings, wiping away a tear with his sleeve. She's in Venice, that's the one in Italia, not California. She is, as I've explained, an artist, and she goes there for her annual art fix. "I'm pretty tired," she said via phone this morning. "Last night they threw a dinner for my friend and me that started at eight and lasted till a quarter to two."
Gosh, what a shame. Personally, I'm having just a swell old time here in Jersey, heating beans on the radiator.
Aaron of Spartanburg, S.C., who is, I presume, an Eagles fan, is nervous about Andy Reid late in games. The screw up factor, in other words. Oh, I've seen instances in which he wasn't real sharp with clock management, but most of them are weak in this area. They just have too many other things on their minds. I will say, though, that I see more innovation on defensive coach Jim Johnson's side of the ball.