This is an article from the Nov. 30, 2009 issue
Patriots at Saints
The Pats are going to the Superdome on Monday night (ESPN), a venue that gets New England thinking Super Bowl. The team has played there six times: thrice in the regular season (all wins) and in three Super Bowls (a win and two losses). Is this a preview of Super Bowl XLIV? The NFL's top two offenses will go at it as the Patriots try to hand the Saints (10--0) their first loss.
Thanksgiving weekend, a time for gratitude, gathering with family and friends ... and hating on your rivals down the road. Backyard feuds are this week's theme for college football: There's Texas--Texas A&M, Florida--Florida State, Ole Miss--Mississippi State, Georgia--Georgia Tech, USC-UCLA and Oklahoma--Oklahoma State, among others.
College hoops tournaments
Pity poor college ballers: Because of March Madness, they miss out on spring break. But they do get to exotic locales, thanks to Thanksgiving-week events like the Maui Invitational, the Canc√∫n Challenge, the Great Alaska Shootout, the Preseason NIT and the Legends Classic—which is in Atlantic City. Not exactly exotic, but No. 2 Michigan State will be there.
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The Wildcat? Sooo 2008. The NAIA's Bethel College pulled out a fresh gimmick for a TD against Sterling College. (Search "Bethel College trick" on YouTube.) With the ball on the Sterling one, QB Garrett Hiebert turned to pitch to the halfback but instead lobbed a no-look pass over his head to the tight end. Add the Bridal Bouquet to the list of cool trick plays.
The first UFL champs
Football's latest upstart league concludes its inaugural season in Las Vegas on Friday. It's the Jim Bowl! The Florida Tuskers (who finished 5--0) are coached by former Saints and Rams coach Jim Haslett. The Las Vegas Locomotives (3--2) are led by ex-Giants head man Jim Fassel. Combined, their NFL postseason record is 3--4, but one will soon be a UFL champ.
Fans learning to share
After scoring an OT winner against the Lightning last week, the Ducks' Scott Niedermayer tossed his stick over the glass. One guy caught the blade, another caught the shaft ... and a brawl broke out over the souvenir. (Search "stupid Ducks fans" on YouTube.) Watch Niedermayer's reaction; even an NHL player thought this scrum was absurd.
The Pop Culture Grid
Inside the Grid
"It was so MJ," O'Reilly says of the film that documents the late King of Pop's concert rehearsals. "It made me want to get up and dance." Harvin is more a fan of whodunits. "I've always been into mysterious, investigative kinds of movies," he says of Russell Crowe's thriller. "This one kept you guessing."