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  A Bumper Crop Sticks With the Bandwagon

By Tony Kornheiser
Washington Post Columnist
Tuesday, December 10, 1991; Page D01

Tony Kornheiser Bandwagon Bumper Stickers!!! Bandwagon Bumper Stickers!!! Bandwagon Bumper Stickers!!! (There are Bandwagon T-shirts too, but I want to hold off on them in case I get stuck for a first paragraph next week.)

Coming this Friday: easy-to-apply Bandwagon Bumper Stickers. Just add hot water and stir. (No, you idiot, that's the recipe for instant oatmeal.) Sorry. Just scratch and sniff. (Wrong again, lukefish-breath, that's perfume.) Right. Just peel away the backing and attach to your car bumper. (And if I don't have a car? There's a recession going on, you know.) So put it on The Squire's white stretch limo. There's room for 3,000 bumper stickers on that thing, it's as big as the QE II.

Weren't the Cardinals supposed to be a walkover? I don't mind telling you I was pretty nervous at the half. Whoops, I wrote that exact line last week after it was 6-7 against the Lambs, didn't I? (John "Coo-Coo-Ca-Thud!" Robinson: Call your service. Hotel California is about to make an exception. You can leave.)

But 0-14 at the half against Phoenix? What are they feeding the Redskins in the pregame meal, Nembutol?

Another missed field goal. Another muffed punt. Letting Bugel's Boys score two rushing touchdowns when they'd had only four all season. Hmmm, was that Coach "Joe" Gibbs, or his evil twin Rick? (Venturi Update: Rick "Honey, I Shrunk The Colts" Venturi, after tasting the agony of defeat in OT against the stunningly improved Patriots, now staring at Buffalo and 2-43-1.)

The dilemma at halftime: Since Garo Gibbs was ineligible after last week's performance, who kicks the chair? Well, as they say in hockey, Matt Millen came up large. (Should the need arise next week, Weird John Brandes has volunteered to eat the chair.) Mark "Excuse Me, Aren't You Albert Einstein?" Rypien quickly completed nine of 11 passes -- mostly to Gary Clark and Ricky Sanders -- tying the score before the end of the third period. Meanwhile, Phoenix unveiled its Conga Line offense: one, two, three, kick. Total third-quarter yardage, Fahrenheit and Celsius: 0. The Cardinals fell apart like the Soviet Union. A Brad Edwards pick and two Chip "Did Scott Norwood And I Eat From The Same Plate?" Lohmiller field goals later, it was 20-14.

Man About Town Chip Muldoon thought the turning point came at halftime. "We make adjustments," he said smugly. "Other teams just go in, and shower and play Nintendo." Personally, I thought the turning point occured when Buges showed up for the second half sans mousse. This lack of follicle lubrication clearly caused the mental lapse that persuaded him not to try fourth and 11, inside the 50, with 3:38 left, and instead punt the ball to the Redskins. Buges apparently hoped that his defense would hold. Unfortunately, he was playing with Phoenix's defense and not Philadelphia's. The Bandwagon always has room for Buges, wet or dry. And in his honor we make our weekly review:

Most points scored. But Kelly still had a swell game.

Fewest points allowed. Roll over Wes Hopkins, tell Seth Joyner the news.

Most shutouts. Will somebody please give the Saints CPR.

Largest point differential, 246. That's what Steve Buechele batted, and he's about to become a multi-millionaire.

Excuse me, Tony. It's obvious that you've turned this stupid column over to your advertising department. Bandwagon Bumper stickers? Bandwagon T-shirts? What's next, a Bandwagon Christmas Catalog? What happened to that old carefree spirit of The Bandwagon? What happened to the sarcasm and the self-mockery? You haven't even mentioned Mike "That Toddlin' Town" Wilbon yet. You've really sold out, haven't you?

Mr. Kornheiser isn't in. Your call is being answered by the automatic voice mail of Bandwagon Enterprises. Please leave a message at the beep.

Okay, before we convene this week's meeting of the Coach "Joe" Gibbs Didn't I Tell You We Weren't That Good Orchestra featuring vocalist Ray Handley asking the musical question, "Will You Still Need Me, Will You Still Feed Me, When I'm 7-9?" we turn to this week's Bandwagon Poll:

Should The Bandwagon stay in the garage for the last two games?

Home field is clinched, and the undefeated season (Coach "Joe" and Don and Phil's dre-e-e-e-eam, dream, dream, dream) is gone. Okay, beating the Giants -- especially with that blond hoser Simms -- and the Eagles would be nice. But do the risks outweigh the benefits? Remember, the Giants' strength is always on defense, and the Eagles are undoubtedly stitching up those Bandwagon Body Bags; they'd like nothing more than to knock Rypien and Clark out of the playoffs. If you're coaching the Redskins, do you go all out to win those games and maintain momentum, or do you play them like exhibition games:

1) hand the ball off quietly.

2) show nothing new.

3) use your essential starters for a half or so, then yank them.

4) play only Johnsons.

Bandwagoneers are invited to write in with their opinions -- play hard, or play easy -- bearing in mind Bandwagon Rules: No phone, no pool, no pets. (Sorry, those are Roger Miller Rules.) No faxes. No lawyers. Particularly no faxes from lawyers.

I apologize for not having a 900-number. I tried to get 900-FOOD, but John Williams had it. I tried for 900-PUNK DOOFUS, but Jim McMahon had it. I tried for 900-BURNSY, but it's going out of service. And I tried for 900-DOWNY SOFT SKED, but it was registered to John Thompson. I should've gotten 900-DIXON, it's available now.

Okay, you've waited long enough. The Bandwagon (copyright Anthony I. Kornheiser, U.S. Copyright Office 602252X1023) is happy to welcome Ed Rose and Edie Wallace, Kevin Gleadall and Rick Maines, Melinda S. Johnson, Andrew Wade, Lloyd Kaufman, Cathy Fermo and Steve Palmeter, M.L. and J.G. (going incognito to avoid the IRS?), Debbie Whetzel, Sally Kern, Pat Nelson's class at Mannheim Middle School, Daniel Ciment, Dean M. Bryant, Vaishali and Toni and Dr. Gregory Fisher, who has promised all Bandwagoneers free coronary by-pass surgery. In keeping with our wind-chill Minnesota theme, let me close by quoting from this Dec. 8 front page headline of the St. Paul Pioneer Press: "Super Bowl Planners Prepare For Winter's Worst." So honk if you see the Abominable Snowman -- unless he's wearing No. 66. That's Joe Jacoby.

© Copyright 1991 The Washington Post Company

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