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When Redskins, Eagles fall, day is anything but a loss


IT DOESN'T GET ANY BETTER than this. I spent six straight hours on the couch yesterday, and it was the best therapy session I've had since I sought counseling last year for my unhealthy obsession with Teri Hatcher and the rest of the female cast members of a certain very popular Sunday night television show.

Didn't cost me a cent. I just sat in my basement and watched the Redskins and the Eagles get beaten like a pair of PETA protesters at an NRA pig roast, and it was a cathartic experience the intensity of which I have not experienced since Sylvester Stallone pounded the bejesus out of that commie Dolph Lundgren in Rocky IV.

Like you, I've been rather angst-ridden about the Ravens, who are to be sacrificed in Pittsburgh tonight on Monday Night Football. It only made things worse that the Redskins were still having delusions of adequacy and the Eagles appear to be on their way to the playoffs yet again (though we all know how that usually turns out).

So, you can imagine the therapeutic effect of watching the New York Giants skunk the 'Skins at the Meadowlands and then seeing the Broncos run up a 28-0 first-half lead on the Iggles in Denver.

They say that winning cures everything, but since that doesn't appear to be an option with the Ravens anymore, I'll be content to watch for the occasional camera shot of Dan Snyder looking disgusted in his luxury suite or Terrell Owens staring bullets at Donovan McNabb after another three-and-out.

McNabb certainly didn't disappoint in the first half, missing with his first 12 passes as the game quickly slipped out of reach, but it probably was preferable to spending the afternoon with Michael Strahan and his friends lying on your chest. Redskins quarterbacks Mark Brunell and Patrick Ramsey were sacked five times in a game that wouldn't have included a moment of suspense if not for the frequent promos for last night's CBS Sunday movie - Vampire Bats.

(For the record, I have nothing against blood-sucking rodents. I even considered becoming a boxing promoter at one point in my life.)

The Eagles, at least, made a run in the third quarter after T.O. gave them a spark with an electrifying 91-yard touchdown catch, but nothing could pry me out of my reverie ... except maybe the game tonight.

Who said Fox is shameless? I'm sure those Denver Broncos cheerleaders decided on their own to dress up in prison garb - or at least what prison garb might look like in one of those Showtime movies where all the inmates look like NFL cheerleaders - to shill for the new Fox drama Prison Break during the Broncos-Eagles telecast.

I think it would have been more effective if they had gone for realism and dressed up the players instead.

Gotta give credit where credit is due. Fox sideline reporter Pam Oliver pointed out very early in the game that the Eagles lacked intensity when they took the field, and the Fox production crew reinforced the point by panning the Eagles' sideline to show McNabb and Co. looking very dispirited. It was a very revealing moment at a critical juncture in the game.

Could the Ravens be what former Sun sportswriter Jim Henneman loved to call a "reverse lock"?

Henneman is credited with developing the theory, which he generally applied to baseball, that there are some teams that are so overmatched that they are destined to pull the miracle upset.

The Ravens are playing in Pittsburgh on Monday night without their starting quarterback and their two best defensive players. They are an 11 1/2 -point underdog coming off an ugly loss to the Chicago Bears and another week of controversy. In other words, they can't miss.

My favorite sports story of the week comes from Canada, which is an upset in itself. Mechanical engineer Brian Diesbourg drilled a 50-yard field goal at halftime of Thursday night's Canadian Football League game between the Toronto Argonauts and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to win $1 million, leading to the obvious joke that he immediately became the highest-paid kicker in the history of the league.

Well, it gets even better. Winnipeg Blue Bombers general manager Brendan Taman quickly placed Diesbourg on the team's negotiation list and might just give that 25-year-old fan a contract.

Somewhere, Rex Barney is smiling.

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