Life is mmm-mmm good for the Eagles QB, the NFC's top-rated passer who has his team at 3--0. He and wife Racquel had their first child last Thursday. Baby Alexis is also first grandkid for Donovan's mom, soup-commercial superstar Wilma McNabb. "She is beautiful," Wilma crowed. "To me, she looks like her daddy."
Rebounding from racially charged remarks last March, the Golden Boy is poised for literary success. Publishers Weekly predicts his new autobiography, Golden Boy, will go beyond its entire 100,000 first printing. Coming soon: Sandy Sullivan's Green Bay Love Stories and Other Affairs, in which the author tells how, at 19, she sneaked into Hornung's room for late-night X's and O's.
Dissed by his own offensive lineman ("Do you want to go work with some little young kid that just got out of college?" asked guard Alan Faneca), left in the dark (Hurricane Jeanne sacked the power at the Steelers' Fort Lauderdale hotel), picked off on his first pass, the big kid from Miami (Ohio) and the first Steelers rookie QB to start in 34 years, rallied to beat the Dolphins with a fourth-quarter drive.
Raven says nevermore to early season slump--and quiets questions about whether a Nov. 1 court date (drug charges) is haunting him--by romping for 186 yards and a touchdown against the Bengals. And check out what he did in this week's SI Players' Xbox matchup (page 37).
Cleveland is winless since Week 1, Winslow-less since Week 2 and decimated by injuries such as the season-ender to defensive end Courtney Brown. Bears safety Mike Brown is also done for 2004; Buccaneers wide receiver Tim Brown lost his rematch with the Raiders; and with Ichiro charging hard, the greatest St. Louis Brown of them all, George Sisler, may get wiped from the record books after 84 years.
Before he held out, the cornerback should have talked with Erik Estrada or David Caruso. The team fined him for skipping training camp; he lost $161,765 more for missing Game 1. Mad Mike said he'd never play for Green Bay again--then caved and came back. mckenzie returns? o.k., fine, whatever, said a Green Bay Press-Gazette headline. He got booed in the Packers' home opener, then sat last week with a leg injury and saw Peyton Manning take apart GB's depleted secondary.
The NFL's biggest crybaby--he weeps more often than Michael Irvin changes suits--admonished running back Larry Johnson to "take the diaper off and go play" against the Texans. Then Vermeil failed to try an easy field goal (K.C. turned the ball over on fourth-and-two) and called a timeout that helped Houston score late in the first half ("Bad decision," he later said) en route to a 24--21 win that dropped the Chiefs to 0--3.
The pot-stirring NFL agents Kevin D. Poston and Carl C. Poston III may be pleased to be featured in Business Week, but they probably aren't happy about developments with their star clients: Injured Kellen Winslow Jr. may be out a $5.4 million bonus, which hinged on first-year performance; LaVar Arrington is in arbitration that could cost $6.5 million because of a Poston oversight; and Orlando Pace has moved to fire them.
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SIMON & SCHUSTER (GOLDEN BOY)
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TOM HAUCK/ICON SMI (VERMEIL)