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BY DANIEL GASKIN
Do yourself a favor. Take a quick smell of the air
around you. No, that smell isn't your roommate's dirty
laundry sitting suspiciously in the corner. That faint smell
permeating the air is the odor of blood, sweat and tears,
and that can only mean one thing. The NFL is back, and
now there is something to do on Sunday besides being
forced to enjoy the fall weather that has beset us.
With the new season come new story lines, and perhaps
the most interesting one is the return of the most cerebral
player in football. Peyton Manning is back and wearing
the number 18 jersey, but no longer in blue and white.
He is now a Denver Bronco, but switching teams doesn't
change the fact that he is still Peyton Manning.
This past Sunday, the Broncos torched the Steelers
in their opening game 31-19. Manning completed 73.1
percent of his passes for 253 yards while throwing two
touchdowns and zero interceptions.
"I was not at all surprised by Manning's excellent
performance," said Associate Professor of Sport Studies
Robert Malekoff. "He is one of the all-time greats, and few
prepare for an opponent as effectively as he does."
Manning wasn't the only big story this week as two of
most highly touted rookies in recent memory had their
starts last Sunday. The much-talked-about quarterbacks
Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III made their debut
"All in all, it was not the greatest debut for
four of the NFL's five rookie quarterbacks...
but virtually nobody noticed."
Pablo S. Torre, Sports Illustrated columnist
shocking some people while disappointing others.
"All in all, it was not the greatest debut for four of the
NFL's five rookie quarterbacks — Andrew Luck, Brandon
Weeden, Russell Wilson and Ryan Tannehill threw for a
combined two touchdowns and 11 interceptions — but
virtually nobody noticed," wrote columnist Pablo S. Torre
in last week's issue of Sports Illustrated. "Why? Robert
Griffin III turned in a dazzling debut in his NFL debut,
going 19-26 for 320 yards and two touchdowns anci
leading the Redskins' 40-32 stunner over the Saints."
A rookie class has taken over the NFL and history was
made as the five rookie quarterbacks started for their
franchises this past Sunday.
"This is the most decorated rookie quarterback class the
league has seen," said ESPN analyst Adam Shefter in an
article for ESPN.com. "It doesn't mean these quarterbacks
will turn out to be as productive as the class of 1983, which
had John El way, Dan Marino, Jim Kelly, Tony Eason, Todd
Blackledge and Ken O'Brien. But it does mean this class
is rewriting the rules of how rookie quarterbacks are
There were many more story lines this past Sunday, but
this article won't be mentioning those. Instead, follow this
advice; get your homework done on Saturday. Don't make
plans with your friends or significant other on Sunday,
and get ready to watch something that provides more
drama than any TV show, more reality than any contest,
and more entertainment then the greatest concert ever.
It's the NFL and it's back in full swing.
PROGRAM CO-SPONSORED BY
THE Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and Guilford College
GLOBAL GOODS, LOCAL COSTS:
Emmy Award-winning journalist Steve Sapienza reveals how the
global consumption of goods impacts precious resources in
Peru, Thailand, and Bangladesh. Sapienza examines these
issues through his collection of reporting for PBS NewsHour
with support from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.
With gold prices hitting historic highs, some Peruvians are
cashing in on the bonanza at the expense of virgin rainforest.
"Fair mined" gold cooperatives offer an environmentally