Who's Hot Who's Not

October 02, 2005

 

WHO'S HOT

Cowboys

When Bill Parcells's bunch came roaring back to nip the 49ers, Candlestick was rocking with Dallas fans in blue-and-white. Cowboys players aren't the only ones providing a thrill away from home. Dallas's cheerleaders are spending this week entertaining the troops at Guantanamo Bay.

Tony Dungy

Now this is Dungyball: The Colts are winning with the kind of tough defense Dungy inspired while leading the Bucs from 1996 to 2001. The NFL's best coach since '99 (67-32), Dungy has Indy at 3--0 and just inked a three-year contract extension that makes him a $15 million man.

Jorge Cantu

The D-Rays infielder deserves a kiss. En route to setting a team RBI record (114 and counting), he has helped play spoiler to the Yanks, Red Sox and Angels. Next month he'll have lunch with Vicente Fox, president of Cantu's native Mexico.

Chargers Fans

The faithful at Qualcomm reveled in the whupping their team put on the Giants and QB Eli Manning, who refused to play for the Chargers after he was drafted in 2004. Best sign: HEY ELI, WILL YOUR DADDY LET YOU PLAY TODAY?

WHO'S NOT

Jets QBs

Besides the pain of Chad Pennington misfiring all year with his bum shoulder, Jets fans got this: Backup Jay Fiedler entered last week's loss to the Jags and bruised his throwing arm. Third-stringer Brooks Bollinger has thrown just nine NFL passes.

Dennis Green

His Cardinals don't look like the Vikings he coached to five straight playoffs from 1996 to 2000. After high preseason hopes Arizona is 0--3 and struggling on both sides of the ball. Says Green, "The whole thing is not working. I'm just surprised that I am not doing a better job."

Brian Urlacher

Rough month, and not just because the linebacker's Bears fell to 1--2 after being shredded by the Bengals. He has been court-ordered to pay medical expenses to a woman who bore his child in May, and he has reportedly gotten the boot as a Cadillac pitchman. Ah, well, he'll always have Paris.

Michigan Football

The Wolverines (2-2) lost a nail-biter to Wisconsin and slipped out of the AP Top 25 after 114 ranked weeks (the nation's longest streak). They've also seen rival Michigan State soar (page 46) and must play at State on Saturday.

SI PLAYERS POLL

Who has the best curveball in the major leagues?
[ Based on a survey of 450 MLB players ]

Barry Zito 35%
A's lefthander

Ben Sheets 8%
Brewers righthander

Roy Oswalt 8%
Astros righthander

Mike Mussina 7%
Yankees righthander

For an expanded version of the poll go to SI.com/scorecard.

FAST FACTS
Zito, the lone lefty to get more than 1% of the vote, got just 24% of the vote in the AL West.... For more on Zito's curveball, see page 40.... Oswalt is in line to pitch wild-card-leading Houston's season finale on Sunday.... Injured Dodgers closer Eric Gagne (seventh with 3%) finished in the top seven of each of this year's SI Players polls for best fastball, best curveball and best changeup.

PHOTOHEINZ KLUETMEIER (PENNINGTON) TWO PHOTOSBOB ROSATO (2, GREEN AND COWBOYS CHEERLEADER) PHOTOBRAD MANGIN (OSWALT) PHOTOSTEPHEN GREEN (SHEETS) PHOTOCHRIS GOTSHALL/SEAWORLD/AP (CANTU) PHOTOAL MESSERSCHMIDT/WIREIMAGE.COM (DUNGY)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)