October 20, 2008

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Football, politics, baseball compete for headlines.

Whatever other news is breaking, on Mondays in the fall you can expect front pages across the country to tackle pro football. Yesterday the National Football League played 13 headline-grabbing games.

In St. Louis the Dallas Cowboys played without their starting quarterback, Tony Romo, and, man, did they look lost. The Rams battered them 34-14, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch heralded the win with the headline, “Suddenly Potent Rams Stun Cowboys.” The Dallas Morning News sang of “St. Louis Blues.”

The Carolina Panthers shredded the New Orleans Saints, 30-7, and The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer boasts with a front-page banner that plays on a New Orleans nickname: “Big Easy Win.”

In Chicago the hometown Bears outgunned the Minnesota Vikings, 48-41. “O” is for Offense and this morning, on the cover of a 12-page “Bears Extra” section, the Chicago Sun-Times exclaims, “‘O’ My!” Da Bears intercepted Vikings quarterback Gus Frerotte four times, and the Duluth (Minn.) News Tribune announces above its nameplate that “Vikings Crumble.”

“Chargers Short-Circuited in Buffalo,” reads The San Diego (Calif.) Union-Tribune after the local team lost to the Bills. With the 23-14 win, Buffalo improved its record to 5-1.

The NFL’s only undefeated team, the Tennessee Titans, rushed for a franchise-record 332 yards on Sunday and destroyed the Kansas City Chiefs, 48-10. “Mighty Titans stay perfect,” notes The Tennessean of Nashville. The team moved to 6-0.

Oakland Raiders placekicker Sebastian Janikowski bombed a 57-yard field goal to beat the New York Jets in overtime. Across the Bay, the San Francisco Chronicle has a clever headline: “Raiders Give Jets the Boot.” But not so sure-footed were the Cleveland Browns, who missed a late field goal to hand a 14-11 victory to the Washington Redskins. The ‘Skins were led by Clinton Portis’s 175 yards rushing and improved their record to 5-2. It was their fifth win by seven or fewer points, and The Washington Post duly calls it a “Close Encounter of the 5th Kind.”

Washington is also home to NBC's long-running program "Meet the Press," where on Sunday morning former Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama. Obama’s biggest Republican endorsement to date paired with news of his biggest fundraising haul yet — $150 million in September. Fittingly, then, The Washington Times couples the two items with the headline “Obama Gains $150 million, Powell’s nod.”

But the election is far from over, said Republican nominee John McCain: "I love being the underdog."

So, it seemed for a while, did baseball’s Boston Red Sox. They fell behind three games to one in their American League Championship Series with the Tampa Bay Rays and pushed the series to a Game 7 before losing last night, 3-1. The Nashua, N.H., Telegraph bemoaned that, for the Sox, the “Magic runs out,” while in Florida reality trumps magic. The Tampa Tribune proclaims: “It’s For Real!”

The Rays advance to play the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series, which begins Wednesday.

Hicks Wogan is a staff assistant at the Newseum.

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