The Starting Lineup

By Dan Steinberg and Desmond Bieler
Monday, February 6, 2006

The Oscar nominations are out, and forget Russell Crowe, Willie Parker has every right to feel snubbed after his bravura performance last night. Meanwhile, Steelers/Seahawks fans are just wishing that Jerramy Stevens knew how to quit them. But why should we monopolize the Oscars talk when so many are ready to tout their favorite flicks?

"Paradise Now," Pittsburgh Steelers: Fooled the defense so badly on Parker's run, it was almost as if they'd had a spy in the Seahawks' locker room. In fact, some are fingering Aaron Neville as a likely mole.

"Pride and Prejudice," Donovan McNabb: Interrupts Super Bowl Week with public diatribe against Terrell Owens. According to sources, McNabb continued to diss T.O. right up until the fourth quarter of the Big Game, when he got tired.

"Hustle and Flow," Grant Bowman: Lehman Brothers financial analyst joins Steelers' practice squad. Daniel Snyder smirked at the move, telling friends he would never allow some suit with a background in business to meddle in football affairs.

"King Kong," the Rolling Stones: Rock Super Bowl halftime show. Apparently, though, Mick Jagger is starting to look pretty old to some people -- recently he was invited to join the Bills' front office.

"Six Shooter," Epiphanny Prince: New York schoolgirl scores 113 points in a game. Making the feat even more impressive, she wasn't facing the Raptors at the time.

"The New World, " Jalen Rose: Traded from Toronto to New York. Rose sounds like a good fit, since his experience as a Raptor should leave him perfectly prepared for the Lost World of the Knicks.

"North Country," Antonio Davis: Traded from New York to Toronto. As if he doesn't already have enough loonies in his life.

"Crash," The Kings: Go 0 for fourth quarter en route to a loss to the Jazz. Newest King Ron Artest said he was shocked to see so many people go so long without hitting anything.

"War of the Worlds," Seahawks Fans: Embroiled in a dispute with Texas A&M fans about who can be called "the 12th Man." And here we thought Andray Blatche had a stranglehold on that nickname.

"Good Night, and Good Luck," Scott Stevens: Becomes first New Jersey Devil to have his number retired. Thousands cheered in a moving ceremony as Stevens's No. 4 was buried beneath a Giants Stadium end zone.

"Cashback," Tom Meeker: Churchill Downs official announces the first-ever sponsor of the Kentucky Derby: a fast-food company. In a related story, horse racing will henceforth be known as "The Sport of Burger Kings."

"Cinderella Man," Rep. John Boehner: Upsets Rep. Roy Blunt to win post of House Majority Leader. Ricky Williams wished Boehner well but wondered how on Earth Republicans could pass up a Blunt.

"One Man Band," Rahm Emanuel: Democrat suggests that Boehner offers a continuation of the old regime, which could lead to more partisan bickering. Emanuel said Republicans should have chosen a more conciliatory figure, such as Joey Porter.

"Batman Begins," Royce Clayton: Shortstop signed by Nats to compete with Cristian Guzman. In the event that he can't oust Guzman from the starting job, Clayton has agreed to accept a utility role and the title of "Worst Baseball Player Ever."

Benched: Michael Irvin to Canton, T.O. to Washington, Lance and Sheryl, Heather and Richie, any reason not to start obsessing over the NFL draft.

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