Volume 96, Issue 61
Friday, January 17, 2003

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Why society should believe in the beard

With the NFL Conference Finals upon us, The Gambler decided to analyze the key aspects of the final four contenders competing for a birth in this year's Super Bowl. He also decided to drink three bottles of red wine and try to throw rocks at airplanes. Here are his insights into Sunday's action:


Tennessee @ Oakland
Tampa Bay @ Philadelphia


Player intangibles –

Titans: No one knows why, but every player on the Tennessee Titans keeps a framed picture of Tony Danza on his bedside dresser for inspiration.

Raiders: The Oakland Raiders' veteran QB Rich Gannon used to seduce women in college by offering them a night of unforgettable passion involving konola oil, a bottle of Jack Daniel's and a bearskin rug.

Buccanneers: To relieve stress, during halftime of every game, the team takes turns throwing footballs at backup QB Rob Johnson's groin.

Eagles: Four out of five Eagles players love pancakes and say they'd "probably 'do' Aunt Jemima if she wasn't a cartoon character on a bottle of maple syrup." I agree with them – she is a hottie. Oddly enough, I feel the same way about the Green Giant.



Coaching intangibles –

I'm a natural pessimist and have little faith in anything other than the fact that television star Ray Romano deserves a good solid beating. However, there is one ultimate truth about this universe – men with beards can be trusted. I believe in men with beards. Titans coach Jeff Fisher has the coolest beard in the NFL playoffs right now – Raiders coach Bill Callahan looks like a two-bit chump. The Eagles' portly coach Andy Reid has a mustache, which is sub-par, but still enough to give him the edge on the clean-shaven bottle of suppressed rage that is Bucs coach John Gruden.

PICKS: TITANS AND EAGLES



Season record: 28-17, last week 2-2

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