The Magic and the Heat ended the first week of the season unbeaten. Vince Carter (15.5 points per game) looks like a good fit in Orlando, where things are going so smoothly that J.J. Redick has been able to devote time to his hobby. The point guard (right) announced he'll release a rap CD later this year. Yes, a rap CD.
Midfielder Shalrie Joseph slid up to striker when Edgaras Jankauskas went off sick in the second half of New England's MLS playoff game against Chicago. Within minutes Joseph found the net, giving the Revs a big 2--1 win heading into Saturday's second leg.
With 158 yards in a 34--21 win over Arizona (which had the NFL's top run D), DeAngelo Williams became Carolina's career rushing leader. "He's been running his butt off," said backfieldmate Jonathan Stewart, who added 87 yards. No wonder they call 'em Double Trouble.
The 5--3 Texans aren't H-town's only hot team. The run-and-shoot Cougars improved to 7--1 with a wild 50--43 win over Southern Miss. "Craziness is a good word for it," said Houston QB Case Keenum, who threw for 559 yards in the shootout.
BIG CITY HOOPS
The Knicks, Nets, Lakers and Clippers lost 11 of their first 12 games. The lone win was by the Lakers—against the Clippers. "We're going to accentuate the positive," Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni said after his team gave up 141 points in an OT loss to the Sixers. Not surprisingly, he didn't specify where he'd find it.
The struggling Galàcticos lost 4--0 to Alcorcon, a team with 1/400 of their budget. Real has been hit hard by injuries, most notably to Cristiano Ronaldo's ankle. Why? Tabloids said last week that jilted lover Paris Hilton confessed to hiring a witch named Pepe to put a hex on her ex.
Steven Jackson's 25-yard TD run with 1:38 left gave St. Louis a 17--10 victory and made 1--6 Detroit the first team to lose to the Rams this year. "There's no such thing as an ugly win," said Jackson. Um, Steve, you guys were winning 3--2 at one point. In the second quarter.
The Division I-A newbies had their best chance for a win last Saturday, against 1--6 North Texas. But the Mean Green tied a school record for points in a 68--49 win. "We made mistakes," said coach David Elson, following the Hilltoppers' 16th straight loss.
SI PLAYERS NFL POLL
WHO IS THE DIRTIEST PLAYER IN THE LEAGUE?
Hines Ward, Steelers WR 11.6%
Albert Haynesworth, Redskins DT 6.0%
Joey Porter, Dolphins LB 6.0%
Roy L. Williams, Bengals S 5.1%
Kevin Mawae, Titans C 4.6%
Last year Ward broke the jaw of Bengals LB Keith Rivers with a surprise downfield block. (No flag was thrown.) "That's what he's known for," Cincy S Chinedum Ndukwe said. "He's a blind-side guy."... Neither the Bills nor the Packers, the most penalized teams in the NFL, had a player among the top 20.... Former Patriots S Rodney Harrison, who retired last summer, received three votes; the poll was conducted in September.
Based on a survey of 296 NFL players
BILL FRAKES (REDICK)
VICTOR LERENA/EPA (RONALDO)
DAVID BERGMAN (WILLIAMS, HAYNESWORTH)
WILF THORNE/CAL SPORT MEDIA (KEENUM)
ANDY LYONS/GETTY IMAGES (WARD)