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THE INSIDE TRACK | THE HOT CORNER

A consumer's guide to the best and worst of sports media and merchandise. Ground rules: If it can be read, played, heard, observed, worn, viewed, dialed or downloaded, it's in play here.

October 04, 2000|LARRY STEWART

What: "21st Century NFL Follies" videotape

Price: $14.95

Follies have been around for years, but there has never been a collection quite like this one, which just hit video outlets courtesy of NFL Films and USA Home Entertainment. With microphones and cameras everywhere, NFL Films picks up the darndest things, and the result is a hilarious 45-minute videotape.

One segment toward the end of the video shows the confusion among coaching staffs when trying to figure out if they have the right number of men on the field. Bill Parcells, then with the New York Jets, yells at an assistant, "We got enough guys out there?" Then, from another game, Cincinnati's Bruce Coslet is shown counting heads. Then back to Parcells. "How many men we got out there?" he yells. An assistant, apparently not too sure of himself, says, "We're supposed to have 11."

Coaches are big in this video. In a segment on training camps, Mike Ditka, then with the New Orleans Saints, is shown welcoming a new player. Then he turns to a group of players and says, "Knock him on his butt."

There are plenty of shots of muffed fumbles, catches and kicks, players falling down and running into each other, players trash talking and celebrating. There are also some specially produced segments. One is with long snapper Mike Rodenhauser, most recently with the Seattle Seahawks. He's in a high school gym shooting baskets by snapping a football. "And you wonder what NFL players do in the off-season?" he says. He makes one from three-quarter court, then, as the grand finale, makes a full-court shot, or snap.

A segment on kickers opens with Deacon Jones being interviewed at NFL Films headquarters in Philadelphia. "Who is the greatest kicker you have ever seen?" Jones is asked. Jones: "You mean to tell me that you invited me all the way here to Philadelphia to ask me about a lousy kicker?"

San Francisco 49er Coach Steve Mariucci says of kickers: "They're all good golfers. They all have a lot of free time."

NFL Films dug deep to find former Ram kicker Mike Lansford talking with Ram coach John Robinson, explaining he can kick better in one direction than the other. Robinson appears perplexed.

There's a segment on fans, there's one on cliches, and another on the officials and what players and coaches say to them, before and during the game. Parcells--again--is shown yelling at an official, over and over, "Give me a number, give me a number." After a while, he says, "You want me to tell you the number? It was No. 22."

Ram assistant coach Jim Hanifan, shown holding up a confusing-looking diagram, tells his linemen, "It's simple. You take this guy, you take that guy . . . "

This video is simply fun.

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