A Bandwagon on a Roll Gathers No Moss
By Tony Kornheiser
MINNEAPOLIS -- Attention Bandwagon shoppers. The following items are available from The Bandwagon Catalogue at a special reduced rate. Some may be slightly damaged due to being crushed in a freak indoor accident:
Jim Kelly, that hoser.
Thurman "It's A Good Thing My Head Is Attached To My Shoulders Or I Might Have Lost That Too" Thomas.
Memo to The Bills: Do the words "Hellllloooo Denver" mean anything to you?
How 'bout Machine Gun Kelly, "The Michael Jordan" of the Bills' offense, huh? Way to get out of the box, Mr. January. His first pass of the game is picked off by Brad Edwards. And his first pass of the second half is picked off by Kurt Gouveia. I have watched the replay of that pass 28 times now, and I still have no idea what Kelly was thinking; he may as well have just handed Gouveia the ball. Forget about Kelly's records for most passes attempted and completed. He threw four picks! No wonder he doesn't use a huddle -- he's afraid somebody might ask him where he learned to aim like that, at the University of Scud?
And how 'bout Thurman "Hey, I'm Like Mike Too" Thomas? This is the best all-around back in the NFL? He got 40 yards the whole game. MVP? What, most visible pooch? Kelly, who is about as mobile as a dinner table, outgained him on the ground! And true to form, Thomas was whining after the game. "It seemed like they didn't want to use me. I felt I should have been used more in the first half," he said. Was this before, or after you found your helmet, Thurman? Can you imagine sending plays in with this guy? You'd have to pin them to his jersey.
The Bandwagon is proud to welcome both of Buffalo's Michael Jordans aboard. Someone show Thurman to his seat, in case he can't find it.
Excuse me, Tony. A few weeks ago the Style section ran its annual In/Out list, and The Bandwagon was Out. Would you care to comment about that?
The Bandwagon is a very serene and forgiving vehicle. It transcends petty attacks. It wishes you peace and love. Ommmmmmmm.
Where are The Detractors now? Are we going to hear that the only reason Washington beat the Bills was because Leonard Smith of the Canton Smiths didn't play?
Not to put too fine a point on it, but Buffalo Bob had a better chance. At least Clarabell would have found his helmet. Look, Buffalo is a gadget team, and the Redskins are Mr. Goodwrench. Go back over the Bills' schedule. You can't prepare for a big, strong, smashmouth NFC team like the Redskins by playing in a division with ballerinas such as New England, Miami, the Jets and Indianapolis. (Which brings us to our final Venturi Update: Rick "Oh, Mama, Can This Really Be The End?" Venturi rushed a copy of Super Bowl game film to Jim Irsay in hope of derailing the plan to name Ted Marchibroda head coach of the Colts. "You call that an offense?" Venturi said. "Hey, if it's interceptions you want, I can diagram them as good as Marchibroda.")
Before we convene this week's meeting of the Coach "Joe" Gibbs I Wish I Could Enjoy This, But After The Last Super Bowl We Went 7-9, And Philadelphia Has Cunningham Coming Back, And Phoenix Is Coming On, And You've All Seen The Cowboys, And We Know What To Expect From The Giants, So We'd Better Set Our Jaws Now, But Ain't Happiness Grand Orchestra, not to mention the Oh No, They're Coming After Our Coaching Staff Chorale (and yes, Coach "Joe" actually said all that yesterday; transcripts available, Call 1-800-HIGHANXIETY), we must deal with a more immediate question: What to do with The Bandwagon?
True fact: Just after the conclusion of the Super Bowl, Joe Jacoby asked me, "Tony, is this the end of The Bandwagon?"
"You're not going to drive it over a cliff, are you?" Jacoby said.
(Thelma and Louise?)
"We need The Bandwagon. Don't get rid of it," pleaded Raleigh McKenzie.
"I'll take it," Mark Rypien offered. "I'd love to have it."
(Perhaps an even swap for Mark's new MVP car. I mean, he gave the Hogs new Rolexes. For all the pub I've given him, the least he could do is give me that new Buick.)
"You have to enshrine it," said legendary wide receiver Russ "The Flea" Grimm. "I say, send it to the Smithsonian."
"I think you bronze it, like a baby's shoe," said The Flea's young ward, apprentice legendary wide receiver Mark "The Tick" Adickes. "That's what I'm doing with my Bandwagon Hankie -- I'm bronzing it."
"No, dip it in gold," Jeff Bostic said. "But before you gold-plate it, take Riggo to Canton with it. Take the whole 5 o'clock Club."
While we ponder that, The Bandwagon (copyright Anthony I. Kornheiser, U.S. Copyright Office 271742103724) would like to welcome Charles, Joanna and Adam Bier, who sent a pair of wool socks to me in Minnesota, Timothy Russert, who's now eating Buffalo crow wings, Mike and Barbara Maddox, Garry and Debbie Henson, who met in the Redskins Marching Band, politically correct Don Connolly, who suggests the Redskins keep their name, but change their symbol to a redskin potato ("this would be breaking new ground, so to speak; I can't think of another team named after a vegetable"), John H. Anders, Trish Krueger, "John" C. Kerins, Hawaii's Mike and Stacey Keating, Jay Rhodes, who offered AAA coverage for The Bandwagon, Tim Brewer, who printed Bandwagon business cards, Michael Hughes and Derek Daves, Leslie Manculo, Jeff Barbour and Don G. Weaver, founding members of the Millwood, Va., Bandwagon Club, and Karen Gilbride, who was so eager to get a ride she offered to sit next to Rick Venturi.
Okay, where were we?
I believe we were at: Hmmmmm.
The locker room was almost deserted now. The surviving original Hogs -- Jacoby, Bostic, Grimm -- remained, pondering The Bandwagon Question.
"The Bandwagon has pulled more than its share this season. You can't send it over a cliff," Grimm insisted. "I don't want to be one of the guys who has to go down there next year and lug the damn thing up the hill." Then, Grimm looked up with a broad, satisfied smile. "Even if nobody drives it, once a month you should wash it, grease it and groom it. Store it in a warm garage, and savor every moment, till the rest of time."
Okay. But will the last one off The Bandwagon please turn out the lights?