Hulk Hogan has stood up to many a challenge during his 25 years in the ring. But this week the legendary pro wrestler stands alone in USA TODAY's Five-Star Challenge. Despite his defensive lineman-type size (6-7, 275), Hulk didn't play football growing up in Tampa, instead turning to music as a teenager. On his first day of training to be a wrestler in 1977, he broke his leg. But things obviously went uphill from there. Hogan, 49, is a fan of his hometown team, the Buccaneers. His autobiography, Hollywood Hulk Hogan, is due in bookstores Tuesday.
By John Bazemore, AP Hulk Hogan
***** Like the return of Hulkamania runnin' wild in 2002!
**** Like a Smackdown at Madison Square Garden.
*** Like a blind date: maybe good, maybe not.
** Like being on the receiving end of a pile driver. It hurts to watch.
* Turn it off, grab a copy of Hollywood Hulk Hogan and start reading.
New Orleans at Atlanta, 1 p.m.
Hulk: A battle of teams that can score a lot of points. Look for the Saints to heave Atlanta out of the building the way I did to Andre (the Giant) in Wrestlemania III. New Orleans 38-27.
New England at Oakland, 8:30 p.m.
Hulk: It's young vs. old in this matchup. Like watching Spider-Man against Macho Man Randy Savage. Pats 34-31.
San Francisco at San Diego, 4:05 p.m.
Hulk: San Diego is like Shawn Michaels and will have to cheat to win. Niners 27-21.
Buffalo at Kansas City, 1 p.m.
Hulk: The crowd will dictate this one. The better team doesn't win. Chiefs 31-30.
Baltimore at Miami, 4:15 p.m.
Hulk: This one is like Brutus Beefcake fighting his wife — who cares? OK, Ray Lewis and I have the same car. Baltimore in a defensive battle 16-9.
Washington at N.Y. Giants, 1 p.m.
Hulk: Steve Spurrier is in over his head. The Giants win this one 20-10.
Green Bay at Minnesota, 1 p.m.
Hulk: Maybe Minnesota can borrow Triple H's sledgehammer. That's the only way this team can beat Favre. Packers 35-13.
Pittsburgh at Tennessee, 1 p.m.
Hulk: One thing I can predict in this matchup is inconsistency. Steelers 20-13.
Chicago at St. Louis, 9 p.m. Monday
Hulk: Warner coming back is like Kevin Nash putting nWo (New World Order) back together to crush WWE. Rams 41-20.
Dallas at Indianapolis, 1 p.m.
Hulk: No match. It's like Dick the Bruiser demolishing the entire Von Erich family. Colts 28-10.
Arizona at Philadelphia, 1 p.m.
Hulk: The Eagles have something to prove, just like Rocky against Clubber Lang in Rocky III (my personal favorite movie — I played Thunderlips). Philly 38-21.
Carolina at Tampa Bay, 4:05 p.m.
Hulk: Ric Flair vs. Hulk — the real Carolina vs. Tampa — I'll take my home team. Bucs 21-12.
New York Jets at Detroit, 4:15 p.m.
Hulk: Joey Harrington just may be the "Next Big Thing." Lions 28-27.
Jacksonville at Houston, 4:15 p.m.
Hulk: This one is what we call in the biz a "dark" match. Not quite ready for TV. Houston 19-17.
Denver at Seattle, 4:15 p.m.
Hulk: Mike Holmgren is like Vince McMahon. The Broncos are Stone Cold Steve Austin. Watch out, Vince! Broncos 28-24.
Cleveland at Cincinnati, 1 p.m.
Hulk: Cincy can only win if Pete Rose dresses up like a chicken and bets against the home team. Browns 27-10.
"HHH, you should probably do the job here to put RVD over for the good of the company." "Vince, I'm just a caveman! I was out hunting when I fell in some ice and was unfrozen by your scientists. Your future world frightens and confuses me. You say these words like "job" and "put over" and "good of the company" but my primative mind can't grasp these concepts!"---Vince Mcmahon/Unfrozen Caveman Wrestler, Dr. Unlikely 17.9.02
Shaun Alexander, Fantasy rookie of the year? I think so. His week at Oakland screwed me out of a 1 loss season. I was pissed. Oh well, weeeee are the champions, my friends... "In our short film, we've come long ways..."