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PAGE 2 | Morning Briefing

Fan's fantasy becomes a reality

September 17, 2006|Mike Penner | Times Staff Writer

Celebrating touchdowns with a cellphone is outlawed by NFL no fun legislation, but using a cellphone to plan touchdowns worth celebrating is permitted.

During a Tuesday night book-signing for his new contribution to the world of literature -- "Chad: I Can't Be Stopped" -- Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chad Johnson was approached by one fan who had a special demand.

According to a report in the Dayton Daily News, Brian Fleming told Johnson to "tell Carson Palmer to throw you the ball more.

"I have both of you on my fantasy team."

Johnson pulled out his cellphone, dialed and handed the phone to Fleming with a suggestion: "Tell him yourself."

The number indeed belonged to Palmer, who did not answer. Fleming left a message, then started wandering the aisles of the bookstore. Soon, Johnson's phone rang and he asked Fleming to return.

Palmer was on the other end, listening to a stunned Fleming repeat his message.

Cincinnati plays Cleveland today. Browns, you have been warned.

Six of one ...

Before taking another stab at NFL picks, Briefing denies any affiliation with any University of Northern Colorado punter.

New York Giants over Philadelphia: Suffering post-Manning Bowl fatigue, New York tabloids go wild hyping "Feagles versus Eagles."

Dallas over Washington: T.O. to play for the winning team for the first time since last Oct. 23.

Carolina over Minnesota: Will Panthers' cheerleaders be invited to Vikings' next boat party?

Baltimore over Oakland: Raiders to log league-high 30,702 miles in plane travel this season, debunking notion that they can't move through the air.

Denver over Kansas City: Chiefs start backup quarterback in this one. Broncos fans green with envy.

New England over New York Jets: How much did Jets tamper? How much will Maroney scamper?

Trivia time

How many passes did Johnson catch in his last game against the Browns?

... Half-dozen of the other

While waiting for Philip Rivers to throw his 12th pass of the season, Briefing has more than enough time to make six more picks.

San Diego over Tennessee: Rivers averaging one pass every 5 1/2 minutes. He's Schottenheimer's kind of quarterback.

Atlanta over Tampa Bay: Chris Simms' newest leg tattoo reads: "6-10."

St. Louis over San Francisco: Jeff Wilkins last week: Six field goals. Jeff Wilkins today: Six extra points.

Miami over Buffalo: J.P. began the season getting sacked for game-losing safety. That was one huge eight-yard Los, Man. Seattle over Arizona: Madden jinx alert! Shaun Alexander held to 51 yards, 2.7 average in opener.

Cincinnati over Cleveland: Johnson, Palmer can phone this one in.

Trivia answer

In a game played in Cleveland last Dec. 11, Johnson caught two passes for 22 yards, one of the worst performances of his NFL career. Cincinnati still won, 23-20.

And finally

From David Letterman's "Top Ten Things Never Before Said By a NASCAR Driver:"

"10. Anyone know how to drive a stick?

"8. I don't care much for country music or beer.

"7. Switch the 'R' and the 'C' in 'racing' and you get 'caring.'

"4. A truly great driver doesn't mind asking for directions, am I right, ladies?

"3. It would be nice if the guys in the pits occasionally surprised me with a piece of carrot cake or something."

*

mike.penner@latimes.com

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