A Truly Chair-Raising Experience
By Tony Kornheiser
Kicking chairs at halftime! The Joe Man . . . poised for the snap and hold . . . Joe The Toe. What kind of chair was it? It was, after all, L.A., far too chi-chi for a folding chair. Was it a Queen Anne? A Roche-Bobois leather? A Bentwood rocker? A Barcalounger? And how far did he kick it? Did he really lay into it, and go for the back of the locker room? Or did he pooch it? The Joe-Meister . . . having a better day than The Chipster . . . Joe-O-Rama. I guess with the combination of Coach "Joe" Gibbs and Bobby Knight we'll be prohibitive favorites in the 1992 Olympics if they make chair propelling a medal sport.
I don't mind telling you I was pretty nervous at the half. Yes, folks, your Bandwagon Master was shvitzing like Albert Brooks in "Broadcast News." Come on, 7-6 over the Lambs? And all you heard from Dick Stockton was how the Lambs were playing "inspired football." Stockton wouldn't shut up about how "inspired" the Lambs were. Inspired, inspired, inspired. Man About Town Chip Muldoon, however, pointed out that as inspired as they were, the Lambs had managed only two dinky field goals. What would Stockton have called them had they actually crossed the goal line, "beatific"? I don't want Stockton doing Redskins games anymore. He's a jinx. He did the exhibitions, and they went 1-3. Dick, you're beautiful babe, but ciao. And take Mr. FTD with you. Give us Lesley instead.
Really, 7-6 ? To that old sad team that keeps Georgia on my mind? What was going on with the Chipster? His first one was so wide left, he could have been teeing off in the wind-wrecked Skins Game. That one landed in Pebble Beach. And who's designing the Redskins' game plan, Daryle Lamonica? What, short passes got no reason to live? Everything they threw was deep. Are they trying to win games or finish the Green Line? So much for reestablishing the run . . . NOT!
Then again, that's why they play halves. The Bandwagon emerged from the stall mode, jump-started by Wilber "Blaze Starr's Got Nothing On Me" Marshall's strip and the no-huddle. (I see where Mike "That Toddlin' Town" Wilbon says the no-huddle is for losers. Well, maybe if Ditka ran it once in a while, Da no-offense- altogether Bears wouldn't have lost to Detroit. Detroit! Gag me with a lug nut. It seems to me anytime you can program a microwave offense that will scoot down the field like the Florida A&M band, you ought to keep it in the playbook.) Not to put too fine a point on it, but did anybody notice what Ricky Ervins did with a couple of screen passes in the second half? And talk about time to throw. Rypien is safer with the Hogs than with the Witness Protection program. Rypien has enough time to sit back there and watch "Dances With Wolves."
It's fitting The Bandwagon got back on the road in L.A., where everyone has three cars -- one for work, one for the weekends, and one for drive-by videotaping. Special thanks go to courteous motorist Dale Hatcher for pulling The Bandwagon out of a ditch by punting low, short and right at Brian Mitchell. Dale, you're welcome on The Bandwagon just as soon you get those tire tracks removed. Oh, and see what you can do under there for Pete Sampras. For Dale's and Pete's Excellent Benefit, let's move to our weekly review:
Most points. She's real fine, my 409. Shut you down, Kelly.
Attention K mart shoppers! We're pleased to welcome a new category: Fewest points allowed. What happened New Orleans, another cha-choke?
Most shutouts. And Indianapolis isn't even on the schedule. (Whoa! Did you say Indianapolis? It's time for a Venturi Update: As predicted here, the Colts' offense went straight down the toilet with the return of Eric "It's Not If We Win Or Lose, It's How Many Yards I Gain" Dickerson, leaving Rick "Is There Any Advil Left?" Venturi staring at 2-42-1.)
Highest Point Differential, the original Z, 240.
My, my, Tony, you're feeling smug today. Aren't you even going to mention that Michael "Bandwagon, Bandwagon, Bandwagon, Hah!" Freeman correctly picked the Dallas upset? Or does The Bandwagon only blow its own horn?
Freeman? Freeman? Oh, you mean the guy who picked against the Redskins 12 straight times in the Upset Pick before finally getting it right? He had Harold Stassen winning the last five presidential elections. His Upset Special in the America's Cup was the Love Boat.
Before we convene this week's meeting of the Coach "Joe" Gibbs By The Time I Get To Phoenix I'll Be Panicked Orchestra featuring the dulcet tones of Joe Bugel's Second Time Around The Division Ain't Nothing But A Heartache, And We Have Two Weeks To Prepare singers, let's ask a few pertinent questions:
Is Atlanta's Red Gun on a last-second timer?
Is Steve Bono dating Cher?
When Jeff Hostetler comes back, will the Giants be so far out of contention it won't really matter whether he or Phil Simms is starting quarterback? Sorry, Ray, was that a ridiculous question too? Cincinnati, Ray? Cincinnati?
Okay, remembering that The Bandwagon (copyright Anthony I. Kornheiser, U.S. Copyright Office, 314159265) has limited seating capacity, and does not accept faxes -- particularly from lawyers, who'll take any shortcut possible, except when they're billing hours -- let's open the doors and welcome some new members: Dunham Bros., Barbara Thomas, Hughie and Mary Grace Kelly, Bandwagon chaplain wanna-be Peter Nassetta, Irv Molotsky, Frank Meenehan, Brian Evans, Marc Krasner, Obbie Kay, Kurt Lambrecht, Tommy Leverone and Randi Anderson, who offers to translate Minnesotan. You others who've applied, don't despair. We're working on a deal to get used seats from Eastern Air Lines; many are called, but flew are chosen.
In closing, let's bow our heads and take this "Minnesota Minute" (brought to you by Sudafed) to think about the snow and ice and sub-zero temperatures in Minneapolis, and reflect on how darn spunky it was of Pete Rozelle to place the Super Bowl there -- considering he wasn't going. And let's remember what Lou Grant said to Mary Richards when she first came to WJM: "Mary, you've got spunk . . . I hate spunk."