Chicago Sun-Times
A hearty stew of offbeat sports and pop culture.

Sun-Up: Jacksonville Jaguars win on Hail Mary; Eric Johnson and Jessica Simpson engaged; Santonio Holmes' OT winner; Antonio Margarito's broken face; Todd Haley won't shake Josh McDaniels' hand; Lung transplant from chain smokers?

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The Jacksonville Jaguars had their prayers answered yesterday in the form of a game-winning Hail Mary as time expired in a 31-24 win over the Houston Texans.

David Garrard's 50-yard heave was batted down by Glover Quin ... right into the waiting hands of receiver Mike Thomas.

It was just the fourth time in league history that a game has ended in regulation on a touchdown pass of 50-plus yards.

"It was the Thank You, Jesus play," Garrard said. "My wife's name is Mary so I always love to call the Hail Mary, but really when it works like that, it's beyond words."

Perhaps it's time to update the whole "bat it down" mantra employed by defensive backs in these situations. It's a good idea, sure, but if it's just as simple to catch the ball, that's not an entirely poor strategy either .

Anyone with me on that ... 
Nice catch
What do Jessica Simpson and Peyton Manning have in common?

Tight ends serve as their security blanket.

The blond singer and former Tony Romo paramour is engaged to former NFL pass-catcher Eric Johnson. The happy couple has been canoodling since May.

Johnson, 31, posted 240 catches and nine touchdowns in his career.

This clearly is his biggest one ever.

Hands off



The following three things happened in Denver yesterday.

1. The Broncos absolutely rolled the Kansas City Chiefs, 49-29.

2. Chiefs head coach Todd Haley refused to shake his counterpart Josh McDaniels' hand.

3. Haley refused to comment on it, saying it was a "private" moment.

Another game-winner


Mark Sanchez hit Santonio Holmes in stride on a slant, and the wide receiver did the rest, scampering 37 yards to the end zone in the final minute of overtime to lift the New York Jets over the Cleveland Browns, 26-20.

Rex Ryan's crew won in extra time for the second consecutive week.

Last Sunday, Holmes, a onetime Super Bowl MVP, set up Nick Folk's game-winning field goal in overtime with a clutch reception on a similar route.

Eye of the Tiger

margarito-eye.jpg
Antonio Margarito remains in a Dallas-area hospital after he took a beating Saturday night at the hands of Manny Pacquiao.

Margarito will have surgery Tuesday to remedy a broken orbital bone in his right eye.

Anyone who saw the fight was probably surprised that the referee didn't stop it sooner, considering the swelling and general malaise exhibited by Margarito in the later rounds.

Some, too, are saying perhaps his handlers should have thrown in the towel for him.

"I was surprised how tough he was," Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach said. "He has the worst corner. They probably ruined his career by not stopping the fight."

And finally ...
In an ideal world, your lung transplant wouldn't come courtesy of a chain smoker. We apparently don't live in this ideal world.


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