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The Palm Beach Post c SECTION C n 1 INSIDE Plenty of punch Greg Vaughn homers and Cincinnati beats Florida 7-4 for fpurgame sweep. RAGE6C Jets look on bright side Maybe Rick Mirer is next Vinny Testaverde; Bills' Thurman Thomas out six weeks. PAGE 2C CLASSIFIEDS: Pages 9-15C i Mi 38 1 21 BRONCOS DOLPHINS TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 1999 SPORTS K TTT T i - . -. -. M th rr o T eroiDiu jl W 11 p i Lr .' ' 3P ,,...-.-JLL"""l"""l"l-lm,",,ll"l"l)l """JJ"" ; t i ! 77" ,v . J J' - i . is w ' f ft " '? - 'J t 1 A 'I I 7 j3 .l . -v - J r,..., ,.. - .. ..... , .a. , a,-.J.. . - -., ..,J.. . ... SCOTT WISEMANStaff Photographer Karim Abdul-Jabbar lands in the end zone for a 1-yard touchdown run to tie the score at 7. Abdul-Jabbar finished with 60 yards on 16 carries, 1 yard fewer than Denver's Terrell Davis. They don't break without 'the breaks' Newcomers Konrad, Martin help Dolphins rout Super Bowl champs NEXT UP Arizona Cardinals DENVER Don't make more of the win, though undeniably big, than what it is. But don't make too little of the manner in which the victory was achieved. t Miami 38, Denver 21. s - The Dolphins, so fragile for so S3 INSIDE LONG, HAPPY TRIP: Hurricane Floyd alters flight plans, with the team flying to -: Fort Myers, then busing home. 3C WHERE: Pro Player Stadium WHEN: , , , hX w -ill ; - l u ' .. k j j 1 p.m., Sunday TV: WFLX-29, WSVN-7 (pending blackout) t long, demonstrated a long-missing resiliency and did so Monday night in a nasty place. Miami rescued itself from an early deficit in Denver's raucous (s)Mile High Stadium all partied up for John Elway's retirement farewell. And the most noteworthy thing about it was how easily the Dolphins could have revealed themselves to be without resolve and to be without a shot, like they were last season in a 38-3 playoff loss here. By Mark Woods Palm Beach Post Staff Writer DENVER It's not hard to pinpoint the moment when the Miami Dolphins managed to pull off a 38-21 victory Monday night at Denver, ending a Mile High streak that had grown to three years and 24 regular-season games. That moment is called ... the off-season. Eight months ago, the Dolphins came to Denver for the second round of the playoffs and left with a 38-3 loss, the worst in franchise history. Dolphins coach Jimmy Johnson spent the off-season making changes. Nothing too dramatic. Still, he kept insisting those changes would make a difference. Monday night, in the 1999 season opener, they did. Rob Konrad, a rookie fullback from Syracuse, caught a 12-yard touchdown pass with 3:02 remaining in the second quarter, giving the Dolphins the lead for good. Tony Martin, the former Atlanta receiver signed as a free agent to be a deep ' Greg Stoda threat, caught a 40-yard pass that set up Kon-rad's touchdown catch. Martin finished with four receptions for 101 yards a 25.3-yard average. "He's a better football player than I thought," Johnson said. "He's very smooth." JJ. Johnson, a rookie tailback from Mississippi State who had missed the entire pre-season with a hamstring injury, ran for a 1-yard touchdown to open the second half. : "I just wanted to hold onto the ball and run," JJ. Johnson said. "You've got to re; ?The last time we played here we didn't really have a chance, Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino said. 1 knew if we played the way we wanted to we did have a ehance this time. I don't look at it as revenge. It's two different years, man, two different years." SCOTT WISEMANStaff Photographer Brian Griese took the pressure from Trace Armstrong (right) and the Dolphins, throwing for 270 yards. Please see STODA, 4C Please see D01PHHS; AC Canes and hurricanes - again handler's kicking job was sealed with a miss By Craig Dolch Pulm Beach Post Staff Writer 15 GAINESVILLE Jeff Chandler knows how quickly life can change as a kicker. He was standing on the No games today Because of Hurricane Floyd, nearly all local events have been postponed or canceled: HIGH SCHOOLS: Today's and Wednesday's events have been postponed. Although they haven't been postponed yet, Friday's football games may be rescheduled for Saturday. COLLEGES: Today's and Wednesday's events have been postponed. PANTHERS: Today's pre-season opener against Carolina in Fort Myers has been postponed. PARIMUTUELS: All outlets are closed today, including the Palm Beach Kennel Club. As scheduled, Calder is closed today and Wednesday. .DETAILS, 2C, 7C Last year it was Georges and UCLA; now it's Floyd with Penn State coming to town. By Jorge Milian Palm Beach Post Staff Writer CORAL GABLES With Hurricane Floyd rushing toward the Florida coast, the University of Miami continued preparations for Saturday's showdown against No. 3 Penn State. The Hurricanes practiced Monday normally a day off and were planning to practice at 7:30 a.m. today in order to get work in before weather conditions deteriorate. No decision has been made on the status of the game at the Orange Bowl, which is scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m. "Our goal is to try to play the game if at all possible," UM Athletic Director Paul Dee said. Last year, UM's game against UCLA on Sept. 26 was postponed because of Hurricane Georges. Following monthlong negotiations with UCLA officials, the game was rescheduled for Dec. 5. Miami beat the third-ranked Bruins 49-45. Dee said the circumstances are different this year. Last year, Hurricane Georges was scheduled to reach South Florida the day of the game. If Hurricane Floyd reaches land, it is expected to do so no later than Wednesday, giving UM officials a two-day cushion before a decision has to be made. Penn State is set to leave State College, Pa., at 1 p.m. Friday. "We'll know where we are sooner with (Hurricane Floyd)," Dee said. "Last year, we were trying to project where (Hurricane Georges) would go." If the UM-Penn State game had to be rescheduled, the only available dates both teams have are Oct. 2 and Dec. 4. It's unlikely UM would play Penn State on Oct. 2 with the Hurricanes' game 7 Please see HURRICANES, &C Florida sideline last season when Collins Cooper's 32-yard field-goal Attempt hooked 2 yards left, setting off- a wild celebration after Ten-aessee's 20-17 Byertime victory in Knoxville. That was tough to see him never play again," Chandler said Monday. "But that's what we face as kickers. You just try and hope you never put yourself in a position where the coach doesn't play you again." Which brings us to Saturday night's game against Tennessee. With so little separating the nation's second- and fourth-ranked teams, it could be Chandler's turn to decide the outcome of the game or deal with Cooper-like ramifications. Chandler, a sophomore, said he's had a chance to win a game once, in high school. He needed to make an extra point so Jacksonville-Mandarin could beat Tallahassee-Leon in a triple-overtime game. ) Please see GATORS, 8C PENN STATE at MIAMI ; WHEN: 3:3Q p.m. "-Saturday. TV: WPEC-12, WFOR-4. TICKETS: Fewer than i1 2,000 n reserved v tickets remain. Allj . general Sly admission v: tickets have T;. been sold. .-.. For more information, H, call (800) ' 462-2637. TENNESSEE at FLORIDA WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday TV:WPEC-12, WFOR-4 Cha n d 1 e r dh't know it at the time, but he talked off that field as the Gators' ittew kicker. Cooper, a senior who appeared dazed in the sea of Vols fans, never had another meaningful kick as a coBfegian.