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 Lions' bye gives Harrington chance to see brother play 
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Post Lions' bye gives Harrington chance to see brother play
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Lions' bye gives Harrington chance to see brother play in college

BY GEORGE SIPPLE

DETROIT - (KRT) - Joey Harrington will get a break this weekend.

Nobody will take shots at him during a football game - on the field or during a telecast.

Instead, he will get to see his younger brother play Saturday when Idaho faces Eastern Michigan in Ypsilanti.

Michael Harrington is the starting quarterback for the Idaho Vandals, who will take an 0-4 record into Rynearson Stadium. Joey Harrington, the Lions' top quarterback, will be there watching with his parents, who are visiting from Portland, Ore.

Joey has gotten a lot of unwanted attention this week after TV sideline reporter Tony Siragusa called him a "champagne and caviar" and "strawberries and chocolate" kind of player during Sunday's Lions-Eagles game. The Lions don't play this Sunday, allowing Joey to escape the zings and pass rushers for at least one weekend.

The stage will be a lot smaller Saturday for Michael, but he will be trying to earn his first victory as a starter. The Vandals haven't won since they beat Utah State in the final game of 2003 before a crowd of 9,846 at the Kibbie Dome in Moscow, Idaho.

"Mike was kind of the screwball of the family," Joey said. "Mike was kind of the class clown for a little while, but we're all raised the same way. He's become a very classy, very well put-together young man. I'm very proud of him."

Michael, 21, and Joey, 25, talk on the phone each week, although they don't talk as much about football these days.

"I asked more advice last year," said Michael, who calls his brother Joe because everyone else calls him Joey. "We both ran the West Coast. We could talk about the offense that we ran."

The Lions run the West Coast offense, but first-year coach Nick Holt scrapped it at Idaho, so the brothers no longer have that in common. But Michael finds a way to see his brother play each Sunday.

"We got a little pizza joint that has the game," Michael said.

Joey Harrington was an All-America quarterback at Oregon who went 25-3 as a starter before the Lions made him the third pick in the 2002 draft. Michael has lost more games than that this season.

"Seemed like everything went right during his college career," Michael said of Joey. "The adversity we've experienced at Idaho has been different."

Michael Harrington, a 6-foot-4, 210-pound junior, has completed 62 percent of his passes this season and thrown for 450 yards and two touchdowns, with five interceptions. He and his teammates are coming off an emotionally draining week. Redshirt freshman cornerback Eric McMillan died a week ago Monday after being shot in his apartment the previous afternoon.

After attending McMillan's funeral last Wednesday, Harrington prepared to face his brother's former college team at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Ore. Michael played his best game of the season, going 20-for-32 for 192 yards and a touchdown, with two interceptions, but the Vandals lost, 48-10.

"All sorts of emotion with what happened earlier in the week with our teammate," Michael Harrington said. "You can never plan for something like that. Go from one extreme to another, playing at Oregon, where I grew up. A tough week. A draining week. But, you know what, there's always the next week."

If nothing else, Michael shares his brother's optimism.

"There's eight more games, and we're excited," said Michael, a business administration major.

He's excited to know Joey and his parents, John and Valerie, will be watching in the Rynearson stands Saturday. Michael said Joey has used the Lions' bye week to see him play each year.

Although Joey and his brother didn't play together much growing up because of their four-year age difference, Joey said Michael was an excellent passer and enjoyed more success than he did at Portland Catholic Central High.

"I'm telling you, Mike always had a better arm than I did - still does," Joey said.

As he has matured, Michael has become comfortable with his own athletic achievements and doesn't try to match his older brother.

"It's taken me awhile, as I've gotten older," Michael said of dealing with the comparisons. "It just comes with the territory. When people want to talk about him and know about him, it's not a bad thing.

"It doesn't bother me. I don't feel I need to live up to anything."

Asked if he thought about joining his brother in the NFL, Michael said: "Right now, all I'm worried about is winning college football games."


Anyone else possibly going to go to Ypsilanti and see Joey's brother Satuduray? Only a 10 minute drive for me![/b]


September 30th, 2004, 11:28 pm
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