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the football Beat
Peter King
October 29, 2001
?WORD ASSOCIATIONWith 41-year-old Redskins cornerback Darrell Green
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October 29, 2001

The Football Beat

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Green: We have a problem in this nation with the poor and how they're educated. I want to be in on the dialogue when important issues for the poor are discussed.

SI: Epitaph.

Green: Darrell cared about the purpose of God in his generation. And he played football pretty good, too.

?MATCH GAME
Saints versus Rams: The NFL's nastiest new rivalry

"I guess we just don't like each other," Rams coach Mike Martz says. The Saints think Martz runs his mouth too much; in fact, their players hate Martz. Members of the St. Louis front office think New Orleans coach Jim Haslett tampered with Rams assistant John Bunting before Bunting was let out of his contract in February 2000 and joined the Saints. The teams' three meetings last season raised chippy play to a new level. New Orleans won two of the three, including the game that mattered most, a 31-28 decision in the wild-card playoff round. If Marshall Faulk is healthy enough to play, look for the Saints to go after their old friend, gimpy right knee and all.

?HISTORY BOOK

Oct. 31, 1966: Monday Night Football debuts—but not on ABC

NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle was hot for prime-time football, and he thought Monday was the perfect night, reasoning that it wouldn't be too inconvenient for teams and was a dead evening for TV networks. So he persuaded CBS to experiment with a Monday game, a precursor to ABC's weekly package, which would begin in 1970. In the first trial run the St. Louis Cardinals, with three interceptions from All-Pro safety Larry Wilson, beat the Bears 24-17. "We were guinea pigs," Wilson, now an Arizona Cardinals vice president, said last week. "I take pride in having played in the first Monday-night game, but at the time the players looked at it as just another game." As did America. One show that was preempted by the Cards-Bears matchup, Family Affair, averaged a 21.1 rating in November and December. The game earned a 16.3. Imagine, Mr. French outdrawing Gale Sayers.

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