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NFL season starts off with a night out

By By Tony Krausz/assistant sports editor
September 6, 2003
The NFL season is finally here, after trudging through a multitude of preseason games the real contests started Thursday with the Redskins edging out the Jets.
But we all know Thursday's game was just an appetizer, a pig in a blanket if you will, for the real start of the season on Sunday.
So what better time to preview the 2003 campaign set to quotes from the great movie Diner, a la ESPN.com's Page 2's Bill Simmons.
Let's dive right in.
Where's your date?
I gave her away.
What?
David Frazer said she was death. So I said, "If you like the way she looks take her."
To recent Buffalo Bill's acquisition Lawyer Milloy. The safety, who started 106 consecutive games for the New England Patriots, was cast out due to salary cap issues.
Only in the NFL will you see star players given away like Fenwick's date, but at least, he got five bucks out of his deal. New England only got a hole in its backfield.
Is he still sleeping?
What else? It's only 2:30 (p.m.). Wake him. I can't wait til he's out of the house.
To ultra-talented but slightly mental Rams defensive lineman Kyle Turley. After four years of turbulence with the Saints, that included a classic helmet-throwing incident, Turley has left the "Big Easy" for the "Gateway City."
A fried baloney sandwich is not a lot to ask for?
To Kansas City Chiefs' Priest Holmes. The 29-year-old running back got his contract extension from Kansas City, after battling with team management throughout the preseason to in his words, "get paid."
Who cares about what's on the flip side of a record?
I do.
To the NFL's ever present grab for higher ratings and money. The league kicked off the season with performances by Brittany Spears, Areosmith, Mary J. Blige and the legendary Aretha Franklin prior to the Jets/Redskins game.
What better way to start a season? When I think of football, I automatically think two words Brittany Spears.
On a side note, this scribe heard from unreliable sources that Aretha received a standing ovation and recorded three pancakes on the offensive line.
Do you ever get the feeling there's something going on we don't know about?
To Arizona Cardinals' Jeff Blake. The quarterback with a shot gun for an arm actually thinks that he, along with the NFL's all-time leading rusher Emmitt Smith, can turn Bill Bidwell's team into a winner.
The Cardinals' futility is only topped by the hapless Cincinnati Bengals, and with Marvin Lewis in charge in Cincinnati, Arizona should start lapping the stripped ones in no time.
Message to Blake, you have no receivers, Smith is not the running back he was in the 90s and the Cardinals' defense couldn't stop a Pop Warner football team. The only reason people go to Arizona games is because they can hit Las Vegas on Saturday, where they bet against the Cardinals.
What would a man probably have if he had a visible contusion near the upper part of his zygomatic arch?
…Black eye, you bozo.
To Oakland Raiders' Bill Romanoski The ageless linebacker went to new heights of idiocy in the preseason punching teammate Marcus Williams so hard he broke the reserve tight end's eye socket.
Who am I going to learn it from? Elyse? Elyse doesn't know anything. We could be in trouble.
To the Atlanta Falcons. After Michael Vick went down in the preseason with a broken leg, one of the sexy picks to win the Super Bowl in 2003 will rely on fourth-year quarterback Doug Johnson for the start of the season.
Dan Reeves hasn't had a decent night's sleep since Vick went down.
I give you an answer and you confuse it by bringing her into the problem.
To new Monday Night Football sideline reporter Lisa Guerrero. The FHM pin-up sports gal actually asked Redskins' quarterback Patrick Ramsey what he said to former teammate Laveranues Coles following his team's victory over the Jets.
Coles was acquired by the Redskins in the offseason from the Jets.
What am I watching? The movie just started and I don't know what's going on.
It's symbolic.
To St. Louis Rams quarterback Kurt Warner. The two-time MVP will either throw for 4,500 yards and 32 touchdowns, or he will be holding a clipboard by week 4. There's no in-between for the former grocery store clerk turned second coming of Joe Montana.
Who knows what will see?
You know what that is.
One, two. The whole left side of the menu. What a triumph, if he pulls it off.
To the Tampa Bay Buccanners. If Jon Gruden can actually get this team to repeat as champions, which isn't that big of a stretch, it will be a bigger triumph than Earl polishing off the entire left side of the Fells Point Diner menu.
Who do you pick, Sinatra or Mathis?
Presley.
There's the definitive answer. Sinatra or Mathis? It's Presley.
To the NFL as a whole. There is no predicting this league. The Super Bowl champion can come from anywhere, except Arizona. Which makes the 17-week season followed by the playoffs, one of the best times of the sports year.
These are just a few of the plot lines that will make the season intriguing again. And never forget, Diner 110 minutes well spent.

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