Falcons coach Mike Smith handed the keys to the offense to rookie Matt Ryan
(above). Smith said Ryan—who's 32 of 52 for 277 yards with two TDs and one
interception in the preseason—is his starter for the whole season: "We feel
that Matt gives us the best opportunity not only against Detroit [in the
opener] but in the long run."
Who needs Carl Crawford? Returning after a 15-month battle with a mysterious
illness that sapped his strength, Baldelli hit two homers in his second week
back as injury-depleted Tampa Bay caught the Angels for the best record in the
Boom Goes the
Remember Brian Collins, the Ball State student whose campus sportscast
catchphrase made him an Internet phenom (and not the good kind)? He stuck with
his dream and got an on-air job at KXXV-TV in Waco. "I'm very happy with
where I am right now," said Collins.
The Bump 'n'
Carl Edwards used the ol' chrome horn on Kyle Busch at Bristol, knocking him
aside to pass with 30 laps left. Busch, who led the previous 415 laps, griped,
but Edwards said, "I just had to ask myself, Would he do that to me? And he
has before, so that's the way it goes."
When the Cardinals' season opens, Matt Leinart will be carrying a
clipboard—assuming he doesn't turn it over. Against the Raiders last Saturday,
Leinart was 4 of 12 with three picks and a 2.8 passer rating. "It wasn't
all Matt," said coach Ken Whisenhunt, who nonetheless named Kurt Warner,
37, his starter.
Rock and Roll
At the closing ceremonies Brit singer Leona Lewis joined bad boy Jimmy Page on
Led Zep's Whole Lotta Love. But many of the racy lyrics were excised, leaving
fans dazed and confused. Whatever happened to rebellion?
Talk about your embarrassing moments. The Japanese synchronized swimmer fainted
during the competition and had to be pulled from the pool by two officials. The
upshot: She was fine, but Japan was penalized for touching the bottom of the
pool and finished fifth. Somewhere Martin Short smiled.
The Kick to the
Someone needs to explain the Olympic spirit to Cuban judoku Angel Matos (left).
After a call went against him, he kicked the ref in the chops. Where did he
learn such bad sportsmanship? Perhaps from his coach, who called the ref
"too strict" and accused his Kazakh opponents of offering him a