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MIKE PENNER

Rams '93 / Season Preview : Let's See ... 49ers, Cowboys and, Uh ... Well, There's, Uh ... Hmmm

September 05, 1993|MIKE PENNER

Ten-second NFL preview:

Two teams have the ability to win the Super Bowl this season (San Francisco and Dallas).

Two teams have the ability to lose it (Miami and Houston).

Twenty-four teams have the ability to play 16 regular-season games from start to finish, giving the Patriots the benefit of the doubt.

Beyond that, there's nothing else you need to know.

Oh, the standings?

Make that a 60-second NFL preview:

1. San Francisco: When Steve Young wins his first Super Bowl, they will say, "Joe won four." When Young wins his fourth Super Bowl, they will say, "Joe won them quicker." And when Young wins his fifth Super Bowl, they will say, "Joe was blonder."

2. Dallas: Too bad the Cleveland Gary trade fell through. Was looking forward to the highlight film--"Cleveland Does Dallas . . . and Then He Drops It."

3. Miami: Finally, for the first time in a decade, the Dolphins have a better chance at winning a national championship than the Hurricanes. Don Shula kept the faith. He knows these things can happen when your quarterback is named Marino and not Gino.

4. Houston: If this was Houston in the 1860s, Jack Pardee and Buddy Ryan would be holstering up for a showdown at high noon. In 1993, Bud Adams puts Pardee and Ryan on the same payroll and now the two spend their days smiling at one another, having lunch together and patting each other on the back--all the while making sure that neither one is toting a knife. Has civilization been advanced?

5. San Diego: Alex Spanos owns a professional sports franchise in this "small media market," and he's spending millions upon millions to send it to the Super Bowl. Explain that one for us, Tom Werner.

6. Kansas City: Every time I see Joe Montana in that cherry-red helmet, I see Willie Mays as a New York Met, hobbling under the sun, wrinkling up his eyes and dropping another ball in center field.

7. Green Bay: Two great Packers, two timeless quotes: "Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing"--Vince Lombardi. "Vince never met my agent"--Reggie White.

8. Buffalo: Pep Talks That Didn't Quite Work, No. 1,012: Marv Levy tells the troops on the flight back from Pasadena, "And we're going to keep going to the Super Bowl until we get it right! Are you with me?!" Plane lands; Shane Conlan, James Lofton, Carlton Bailey, Will Wolford and Mitch Frerotte immediately sign free-agent contracts with the Rams, Raiders, Giants, Colts and Seahawks.

9. Washington: He waffles, he is indecisive, he tries to please too many people at once, he has disappointed millions. Despite that, Mark Rypien beat out Cary Conklin and again will open this season as the Redskins' starting quarterback.

10. Philadelphia: Unfortunately, Reggie White, Keith Byars and Mike Golic left town. More unfortunately, Herschel Walker didn't.

11. Denver: The Pope will break bread in Colorado before the Broncos win a Super Bowl.

12. Detroit: Half the fans want Andre Ware. The other half wants Erik Kramer. The coaching staff likes Rodney Peete. Still Searching for Bobby Layne.

13. New Orleans: This year, the Saints have no one to pass the football, no one to run the football and no one to catch the football. At last, Jim Mora's Dream Team.

14. Pittsburgh: "Mean Kevin Greene" just doesn't have the same ring.

15. New York Giants: Big news in the Apple this week: Letterman debuts with CBS, Reeves debuts with the Giants. Critics say both shows are better than Jay Leno.

16. Phoenix: Garrison Hearst, Gary Clark, Steve Beuerlein. If he doesn't win with this group, rest assured, Joe's Bugel will be playing "Taps" in December.

17. Atlanta: Jerry Glanville, Deion Sanders, Eric Dickerson. Supply your own punch line.

18. Rams: Jim Everett calls himself "the Rams' all-time best passer." I'd love to be a fly on the cloud Bob Waterfield and Norm Van Brocklin are sharing this morning.

19. Minnesota: No, it was called the Black and Blue Division long before Jim McMahon arrived.

20. Raiders: Pride and Poise and Gaston Green. Commitment to Expelling Writers from Training Camp. Just Go 6-10, Baby.

21. Indianapolis: Regarding those fines accumulated by Jeff George during his holdout: In essence, George paid $144,000 for the right not to quarterback the Colts. Both sides considered it money well-spent.

22. Cleveland: So far resisting a proposed address change from "Ohio" to "Gary."

23. Chicago: Dave Wannstedt caught one break--the White Sox should divert attention through at least mid-October--but not two. Mike Ditka has his own radio show.

24. New York Jets: They could have used Boomer sooner.

25. Seattle: For years, young Seahawks have roamed the streets of Seattle dreaming of growing up big and strong and one day earning the same salaries as Huskies.

26. Cincinnati: David Klingler used to roll up 70-0 scores every weekend in college. Now, he sees the other side.

27. Tampa Bay: How bad is it? Vinny Testaverde left a starting job, blue skies and good pay to become a bench-warmer in Cleveland. Think about that.

28. New England: Bill Parcells, 52, overweight, former chain smoker, undergoes bypass surgery and is given clearance to coach the Patriots. Who's his attending physician, Dr. Kervorkian?

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