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Wednesday October 18, 2000

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You're joking... right?

Headline Photo

By Keith Carmona

Arizona Daily Wildcat

What the hell is going on?

Is it just me or is the entire sports world living in some sort of parallel universe? Mighty heroes are falling while the unknown and long-suffering, pitiful teams are emerging as menacing threats.

Let's look a little bit closer.

Fact: The New York Mets, that other baseball team from the Big Apple, have danced their way into the World Series.

Reality: Isn't it about time for 2000's version of the Amazing Mets to revert back to utter mediocrity? Mike Piazza, whose history of playoff blundering is only rivaled by Barry Bonds, has helped carry the Mets into the Fall Classic. The boys from Shea haven't been serious contenders since the days of Doc Gooden and Darryl Strawberry, yet they find themselves contending for a World Championship because of the remarkable play of... Benny Agbayani? Puh-lease! Go to Vegas, it's gonna be the Yanks in the Subway Series.

Fact: Miami Heat center Alonzo Mourning will be sitting out the 2000-2001 season due to an unexplained kidney disease, while Atlanta Hawks center Dikembe Mutumbo will be sidelined for two weeks with a mild case of malaria.

Reality: Mourning's and Mutumbo's ability to contrive creative excuses is certainly noted, but basketball fans ain't buying it. The two came to the harsh reality that they've got no chance at stopping Laker bigman Shaquille O'Neal and needed to think of excuses quickly. The Eastern Conference might as well cease to exist this season. The Magic and the Heat are favored in the East, but lack any sort of chemistry to knock off the Western powers of Los Angeles, Portland and San Antonio.

Fact: In a game with flowery (Note: the absence of a certain word beginning with R) implications, the Arizona Wildcats travel to Eugene, Ore. this weekend to face the Oregon Ducks.

Reality: Wildcat and Duck fans would both like to start making plans for their holiday vacations, but neither team is even bowl-eligible yet. Arizona's next four games may be the toughest month in all of college football. If Arizona wins at least three from Oregon, UCLA, Washington and Oregon State, then maybe UA fans can start checking flights into LAX. The same goes for Oregon, which must travel to Corvallis, Ore., for this year's Civil War against Oregon State. Dennis Erickson's overachievers at OSU play with more spirit than any other Pac-10 team. The Beavs would like nothing more than to cap off their dream season with a defeat of their intra-state rivals. Throw Washington into the mix and you have a Pac-10 race as exciting as, well, last weekend's game at Arizona Stadium.

Fact: Aside from some guy in St. Louis, 49er Jeff Garcia boasts the NFL's highest quarterback rating.

Reality: Garcia is the greatest NFL quarterback to ever come out of San Jose State. I guess that list is probably pretty short, though. But under the supreme guidance of Bill Walsh and Steve Mariucci, even I could triumph for the Niners. While my 5-foot-10, 155 pound frame isn't impressive, Terrell Owens and a rejuvenated Jerry Rice make up the best receiver tandem in the league. The 49er defense couldn't stop Tucson High School from scoring, but that's a good thing. San Francisco fans should want their team to lose, so they have a better chance at drafting Michael Vick. NFL scouts are calling Vick the "Michael Jordan" of football and believe he'll reinvent the QB position. 49er fans are calling Vick their key to another dynasty, while Jeff Garcia is a temporary sideshow.