My Two Cents
Here are my award winners for the 2000 season.
MVP: Eddie George, RB, Titans. No man epitomizes the personality
of his team better than the workhorse George (below). He had 25
or more carries in eight games, and Tennessee won all eight.
COACH: Jim Haslett, Saints. In his first season he overhauled a
team that had won three games in 1999 and led it to the playoffs.
December 25, 2000
OFFENSIVE PLAYER: Marshall Faulk, RB, Rams. He's one of the five
best runners in the league and one of the five best receivers.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER: Keith Hamilton, DT, Giants. "He's more valuable
to the Giants than Ray Lewis is to the Ravens," one scout says of
Hamilton, who is tied for the team lead with 9 1/2 sacks.
OFFENSIVE ROOKIE: Mike Anderson, RB, Broncos. He rushed for 1,415
yards in his first 15 games as a pro. Even more impressive: his
average of 5.2 yards per carry.
DEFENSIVE ROOKIE: Darren Howard, DE, Saints. An impact starter
from Day One, he leads all rookies with 10 1/2 sacks.
COMEBACK PLAYER: Dimitrius Underwood, DT, Cowboys. A year after
an apparent suicide attempt, he emerged as a valuable role
player, with four sacks and 14 quarterback pressures.
TIME TO GO In his last home game as a 49er, 38-year-old Jerry
Rice had seven catches for 76 yards in a win over the Bears. His
successor as the team's go-to guy, Terrell Owens, had 20
receptions (for 283 yards), breaking Tom Fears's 50-year-old NFL
record of 18. Afterward Rice, who will be a salary-cap casualty
in the off-season, took a victory lap around 3Com while Owens,
27, sat on the bench, deep in thought. "I was trying to visualize
what that day will be like for me, when it comes," Owens said of
REQUIEM FOR A STADIUM With the spirit of Art Rooney and past
Super Bowl champs hovering over the final game at 30-year-old
Three Rivers Stadium, how could the Steelers lose to upstart
owner Daniel Snyder and his Redskins? They couldn't. Pittsburgh
24, Washington 3.
RECOUNT Eagles rookie defensive tackle Corey Simon admits he
voted for Redskins kicker Scott Bentley to represent the NFC in
the Pro Bowl. Why? Players can't vote for teammates, and Simon
was trying to help his kicker, David Akers, make the squad.
Bentley, the team's kickoff specialist, hasn't attempted a field
goal or an extra point this year.
When asked if he had gone online to the polling site for fans and
cast a Pro Bowl vote for himself, which player replied, "I don't
know how to get on the Internet"?
A. Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher
B. Redskins cornerback Deion Sanders
C. Bucs defensive tackle Warren Sapp
THE LAST WORD
"We have found just about every way we can to lose a game."
--CHARGERS COACH MIKE RILEY, after a 30-22 defeat by the
Panthers, in which Carolina returned a punt and a blocked field
goal for touchdowns, and San Diego turned a first-and-goal from
inside the one in the closing minutes into fourth-and-15