This weeks featured game: Arizona (9-7 last season) at Philadelphia (3-13)

Arizona update: Arizonans remain divided about whether to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but they're nearly unanimous when it comes to deviant sexual activity: celebrate good times! Last month, a Mesa woman admitted she'd lied about being raped in an elementary-school bathroom. The woman had slugged herself in the head, scratched her crotch, and cut up her bra but couldn't fool local police; they're experts when it comes to sex in confined spaces: the next day, six Mesa cops were suspended with pay for having sex with one another in their patrol cars.

Philadelphia update: This summer, 25 kids from Northern Ireland visited Philly for six weeks to escape violence at home. What? Belgrade was all booked? Let's hope the little blokes weren't reading the papers the day the area's annual Labor Day pigeon shoot was canceled. Animal-rights activists argued that the 65-year-old event is cruel, pointing out that wounded birds are killed by tearing off their heads and smashing them against the ground. The shoot organizer disagreed. "It isn't that we hate pigeons," he explained. "We treat them well until they get shot." Highlight reel: Mesa's most recent cop scandal brought back memories of a few years ago when one of the city's most decorated officers was found to have shot nude photos of a 16-year-old girl and arranged for a 14-year-old boy to have sex with his wife. Key matchup: Philadelphia is still wetting itself over getting the 2000 Republican Convention, which has produced a frenzy of pothole filling and tree planting, as well as suggestions that the state pay to sweep away the homeless—or, as one newspaper referred to them, "eyesores." Perfectly suited for this matchup is Arizona Senator John McCain, presidential candidate and more than a little snake-bitten. In 1967, preparing to take off from an aircraft carrier, his bomber was accidentally struck by a missile from a nearby plane. The resulting fires killed 134 in the worst noncombat accident in American Naval history. Three months later, McCain was shot down over North Vietnam and taken prisoner. Released in 1973, McCain escaped bad times for 25 years—until last month, when Dan Quayle's South Carolina campaign leadership switched loyalties to McCain. Holding:Pennsylvania prison officials want to change conditions that recently led to two breakouts and the escape of three inmates (two murderers and an arsonist). Perhaps they should study Maricopa County, Arizona's get-tough policy, which includes chain gangs and a take-no-chances attitude that included hauling a paraplegic prisoner out of his wheelchair and shackling him for hours in a device that compressed his spine. Effective, but expensive: Maricopa County was ordered to pay the man $800,000. Consensus: Oh, how we wish it was the Mesa Cardinals. Even then, it would still be Arizona, so we'll root for Philadelphia because, all things considered, it's not Arizona.
 
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