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WHO'S Hot/WHO'S Not

Dec. 27, 2004
Dec. 27, 2004

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Dec. 27, 2004

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YEAR-END ISSUE 2004
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LIFE OF REILLY
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WHO'S Hot/WHO'S Not

WHO'S Hot

This is an article from the Dec. 27, 2004 issue Original Layout

Packers

You lose at home (to the Jags) and still make the playoffs in a season you started 1-4? Sounds like divine intervention, something the Pack is getting used to: Green Bay-area churches have altered Christmas Eve services in deference to game versus Vikings. "You're forcing people to choose between two American religions," said Steve Samuelson, pastor of Mount Pleasant Lutheran Church, explaining why he added a service that will end by 2 p.m. kickoff. "Did you watch the Packers against St. Louis [on Nov. 29]? It was like Saint Brett at the end."

12

As in days of Christmas ... Moviegoers kept Ocean's Twelve strong at No. 2 at the box office; Michael Vick reeled off game-saving 12-yard TD run on fourth-and-goal; Big Ben won his 12th straight for the Steelers; and Chargers Antonio Gates tied single-season record for TD catches by a tight end at, yep, 12.

New York

Hey, you couldn't expect Giants to actually beat the Steelers--but Big Blue got two-TD showing from QB Eli Manning a week after Lindsay Lohan (left) snagged his number at Manhattan club Butter. Jets rolled and metro-area teams keep landing stars: first Pedro, then Vince.

Takeo Spikes

In return to Cincy, Bills LB recovered fumble and returned pick 62 yards in 33-17 win for football's hottest team. Now it gets eerie: Spikes (right) said he had premonition he'd score, and linebacker London Fletcher dreamed the same thing Saturday night. Said Spikes, "In life ... you always want to be the cream of the crop."

WHO'S Not

Bears

With playoffs on the line Urlacher's boys got dominated 24-5 in their own element (frigid Soldier Field) by "a bunch of guys from Houston" (to quote Texans quarterback David Carr). Chicago QB Chad Hutchinson (right) said he's "not embarrassed" by team's four-turnover performance, but kicker Paul Edinger should be red-faced: He's missed 18 of his last 42 field-goal attempts and says, "Maybe I'm not concentrating enough."

Seahawks O-line

In early December, Seattle QB Matt Hasselbeck gave each of his mammoth protectors a cooler stocked with 100 pounds of meat. ("This is like a winter barbecue!" crowed tackle Walter Jones.) On Sunday they were what they'd eaten: Jets pulverized the unit--including Floyd (Pork Chop) Womack--for three sacks and bested it on a goal line stand.

Tennessee

Titans, losers of four straight and blinking into the twilight of Steve McNair's career, will play their third game in 13 days on Christmas, while NBA Grizzlies languish below .500. Looks like someone angered the gods: Lisa Marie Presley announced she's selling the lion's share of her daddy's estate.

Flaking Jakes

Delhomme dropped the ball twice in overtime loss to Falcons, and Plummer continued his errant ways, throwing two interceptions against Kansas City a few days after he was fined $5,000 for flipping off fans at Mile High. Life in Carolina and Denver sure ain't jake.

COLOR PHOTOJOHN BIEVER (FAVRE)COLOR PHOTOSTEVE GRAYSON/WIREIMAGE.COM (LOHAN)COLOR PHOTOOTTO GRUELE JR./GETTY IMAGES (SPIKES)COLOR PHOTOREINHOLD MATAY/WIREIMAGE.COM (HUTCHINSON)COLOR PHOTOCOURTESY OF ELVIS PRESLEY ENTERPRISES INC. GRACELAND