Packing a Punch
Redskins defensive tackle Marc Boutte earned a game ball for his fourth-quarter interception of the Jaguars' Mark Brunell on Sunday, but in the locker room the 320-pound sixth-year player isn't even the most heralded member of his family. That distinction belongs to his wife, Tananjalyn, known affectionately as "Ms. Ali" since Sept. 14, when she decked a woman believed to be a stripper during the inaugural game at Jack Kent Cooke Stadium. Try this for family entertainment: The stripper stood up in a section filled with players' wives and said, "I don't know what y'all are doing here," explaining that after the game their husbands would be viewing a certain part of her anatomy. That set off Tananjalyn, who was whisked away by security and missed the end of Washington's 19-13 overtime victory over the Cardinals. "My baby doesn't back down to anyone," Marc Boutte says.
The Packers allowed 3.5 yards per rush last season. But in the past two weeks, the Vikings' Robert Smith ran for 132 yards and the Lions' Barry Sanders for 139, leaving Packers' opponents with a 4.4 yard average through five games this year....
Arizona held unbeaten Tampa Bay to six first downs and 147 yards, and only Kevin Butler's missed 47-yard field goal prevented the Cardinals from winning. "I watched more film this week than I ever watched in my life and could not get a feel for them," said Buccaneers quarterback Trent Dilfer....
The Eagles-Vikings game was the first prime-time matchup in NFL history to feature two African-American head coaches. "That doesn't mean s—- to me," said Philadelphia coach Ray Rhodes, who is good friends nonetheless with Minnesota's Dennis Green. "We're out here trying to win a f———game, and I wouldn't give a s—- what was over there. You think I give a s—- who's on the sideline? That could be my mom over there, I'd want to whip her ass."...
Former Bears defensive tackle Steve McMichael and his old defensive coordinator in Chicago, Buddy Ryan, don't stay in touch the way they used to. "He fell out of love with me when I wouldn't go in on some horses with him," McMichael says. "He said it would be a great tax deduction. When somebody says that, it means you're going to lose money."
The End Zone
Replacement games—those three weeks of faux football while the players were on strike—began 10 years ago this week. Oilers general manager Floyd Reese was the club's linebackers coach at the time. "We'd heard a lot of talk about the unions choosing our first game in Denver as one to picket," Reese recalls. "On the team bus, I usually sat in the first seat on the left behind the driver, but when I got on that day, there was a guy in my seat. He had a newspaper under his arm. He looked suspicious. I asked him who he was. He opened his paper, showed me a small machine gun and said, 'I'm with the FBI.' I said, 'Oh, please, sit anywhere you want.' "