Sunday, November 14, 2004

Martz, The Smartest Man Alive!

Mike Martz might not be a good football coach, but he does have a pretty good stand up act to fall back on when his NFL career is over. Martz called out his team this week and said that he wasn't "going to take a bullet" for their underachievering.

But that was only the beginning.

Martz, when asked if his players were going to have a problem with his comments, launched into one of the best "bits" in NFL history.

"No. Nobody is going to say anything to me," Martz said. "We don't hold hands, get in a seance and (sing) 'Kumbaya, my Lord.' I'm not into that."

Wow. That's not bad. But Martz will always be the Carrot Top to Jim Fassel's Jerry Seinfeld.

When Fassel "put his chips on the table" a couple of years ago, a legend was born. The Fassel mid-season melt down and subsequent chips on the table became a yearly tradition in the mold of the Thanksgiving Day game. The phrase never gets old. And you can count on one player in your fantasy football league dropping a "chips on the table" reference every season.

Martz has not reached that level yet.

But you have to give credit to Martz (which pains the Hater Nation) as he did two things right this week. First, he didn't guarantee a victory. That has become as contrived as rappers in throw back jerseys (more on that later) or trucker hats. Fassel can get away with a guarantee as he is a legend. Martz is one the cusp but he is not quite there yet.

Martz also made a wise calculation by having his well-conceived blow up before St. Louis played host to the Seahawks and Mike Holmgren, who always finds a way to blow a big game. Any coach that plays host to a Holmgren team indoors is bound to look like Paul Brown.

So Martz picked a game he was sure to win; had his temper tantrum; and now the St. Louis and national media will praise him for it.

But just before you think, "maybe he's not that dumb" wait until St. Louis folds at Buffalo this week.

MARTZ GETS SMART

These two things might not be related, but is there any coincidence that St. Louis won as Marshall Faulk rushed for a season-high 139-yards? The response to Martz's tirade will generate the headlines, but St. Louis ran the ball and it ended up winning.

This game isn't as hard as Martz, Holmgren, and the other geniuses make it out to be.

ONE COACH WHO ISN'T

Paul Hackett, who must be tortured by the success that Pete Carrol is having at USC, isn't having a much easier time as offensive coordinator of the New York Jets. The New York media has figured out that Hackett is about as exciting as a new season of the Simple Life, and they have blasted him for it.

So how does Hackett respond?

With the Jets leading by 14 points, and about to punch the ball into the end zone, Hackett calls for a halfback option. And it gets intercepted and leads to the Ravens 20-17 overtime victory. Quincy freaking Carter was a perfect seven-for-seven before that play. But Hackett had to show the world how smart he is.

Anybody notice a theme here?

It's like that line from White Men Can't Jump, "You'd rather look pretty and lose, than look ugly and win."

Hackett should remember that when he's unemployed next season.

FANTASY ADVICE

The Hater Nation is not in the business of handing out free fantasy advice. (Look for a sister site next year.) But if you have Daunte Culpepper on your team--start him. Culpepper and his 42 points will not do you any good sitting on your bench.

Don't ask how this information was obtained.

WHERE IS OLIVER STONE?

Atlanta's Chris Draft said returned a fumble for a touchdown, but the play was nullified by a coach's challenge that gave the ball back to Tampa Bay. Draft was livid after the game, despite the Falcons huge victory.

"It's a conspiracy," Draft said. "They saw me working hard, and they didn't want to give me that thing."

Most fans then asked, "Who the hell is Chris Draft?"

Yeah, the NFL conspired to keep Draft out of the end zone. Like anybody in the league office would set its sights on a nondescript linebacker from on of its non-marquee franchises.

Stupid Draft.

Doesn't he realize that the NFL only screws the Raiders, not some marginal linebacker from the Falcons? The NFL spends far too much of its time and resources to ensure that the Raiders don't win a Super Bowl. That's why the Raiders have only won four games this year. If Draft doesn't believe us, he can ask any Raiders fan.

Bill Parcells though he had some of the "stupidest" players in the NFL.

AROUND THE NFL

The Packers hang on to beat Minnesota, 34-31. Mike Sherman had better start working on his comedy material if this keeps up.

The Chargers are considering using the franchise tag on Drew Brees. This move is only surprising because it seems like the right thing to do. What happen to the Chargers we all knew and loved?

Browns running back Willie Green and Steelers linebaker Joey Porter are ejected because of a pre-game brawl. It turns out that Porter, a Kerry backer, was upset that Ohio gave the election to George W. Bush.

And it's nice to see an actual rivalry in the NFL. The league has gotten too lovey-dovey for the Hater Nation's taste. It's time the fist-fights shouldn't be limited to the Raiders fans.

The Raiders have a flawless week. How do the Raiders go a full week without embarrassing themselves? They take the week off.

The Bears win again! Quarterback Craig Krensel seen wearing a headband that said "Tagliabue."

Moments after the Saints beat Kansas City, Joe Horn said, "To those that said good-bye to us, we ain't' done yet. The Saints play host to Denver this week and at Atlanta next week. They trail the division-leading Falcons by three games.

Bye, bye.

Colts quarterback Peyton Manning tossed five touchdown passes in a 49-14 victory over the Texans. Make up your own Tee Martin joke here.

The Radskins fall again, 17-10, to the Bengals. Chris Cooley is no John Riggins and this isn't 1982. Should have stuck to NASCAR, Joe. Maybe Tommy Lee Jones could star as Gibbs in a new movie, Space Redskins.

What's next for Dan Snyder? Will he exhume the body of George Allen?

The 49ers squandered a 17-point lead and lose to the Panthers, 37-27. And they chased Steve Mariucci away for this? Bill Walsh sure isn't that smart when Joe Montana isn't around. And too bad there isn't a franchise out there to donate a player of Steve Young's caliber to save them.

AND FINALLY

A Jack Youngblood jersey at Sports Treasures in the Westminster Mall will run you well over $100. Why?

Because rappers decided that throwback gear was the new fashion trend of the millennium. A fan can't buy a Vince Ferragamo jersey without missing a rent payment because guys like Old Dirty Bastard (RIP) and the rest of his buddies thought it would be cool to wear one. And how many of them even know the history of the player they are wearing?

Does Coolio wake up in a cold sweat thinking about the interception Ferragamo threw to Jack Lambert? Probably not.

In any event, here is a list of what would be the coolest throwback jerseys that nobody has.

Green Bay #14 -- Don Huston's old jersey. Yeah, who didn't see that coming?

Cleveland #76 -- Before there was Jim Brown, Marion Motley was punishing defenders for the Browns.

Philadelphia # 60 -- Chuck Bednarik. Just for fun, you could wear it to a Kathie Lee Gifford concert.

Chicago #14 -- Willie Thrower, the first black quarterback in the modern era.

LA Rams #39 & #13 -- Woody Strode and Kenny Washington, the first black players in the modern NFL. They both played for the Rams a year before Jackie Robinson crossed the color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

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