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GAMEDAY / WEEK 2

Raiders' Return Would Be a Moving Experience

September 10, 2000|STEVE SPRINGER

Times Staff Writer Steve Springer poses--and answers--the burning questions for this week's games:

Question: Is there a reason to encourage the Oakland Raiders to come back to L.A.?

Answer: Yes, the Lakers could repeat as NBA champions without having to worry about riots in the streets. Those people smashing and burning cars outside Staples Center on the June night the Lakers clinched the title looked suspiciously like frustrated Raider fans staying in practice in case their beloved team returns. If it does, the fans will finally be off the streets.

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Question: If the Raiders really intend to return to Los Angeles, when can they be expected to arrive?

Answer: Assuming they would have to drive all their equipment down here, and knowing that quarterback Rich Gannon directs their drives and remembering how ineffective he was at the controls last week against the San Diego Chargers, figure the Raiders will stall nine or 10 times and probably not get here until 2003 or 2004.

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Question: With the Pittsburgh Steelers' Kordell Stewart losing his starting position at quarterback, are his days of being known as Slash (quarterback/running back/receiver) over?

Answer: Not at all. True, Stewart has struggled in the NFL, but he may well continue to be known as Slash, although it will now stand for XFL/NFL Europe/Arena Football.

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Question: The Cleveland Browns will face the Bengals today in the first regular-season game played at Cincinnati's Paul Brown Stadium. Why is that fitting?

Answer: Brown founded both teams. And if he could see them now, he'd probably ask that his name be removed.

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Question: At least for one week, Miami Dolphin quarterback Jay Fiedler has proved Dan Marino wrong. Did Marino, now a television analyst, really believe that Coach Dave Wannstedt erred in starting Fiedler over Damon Huard?

Answer: Perhaps. Or perhaps Marino just heard that his former coach, Jimmy Johnson, was backing Fiedler. Having never agreed with anything Johnson said during his stormy tenure as coach, Marino isn't about to agree with him now.

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