Sunday, October 31, 2004

Raider Nation Not in Celebrating Mood

It's always Halloween for Raiders fans, who hide behind a cloak of anonymity in their spiked shoulder pads and face paint. And who could blame them following Sunday's nightmare performance by the Chargers who clobbered the Raiders, 42-10.

Raiders fans once again saw their season end at Qualcomm Stadium just like in Super Bowl XXXVII.

As much fun as it is to watch the humiliation of a middle-aged account trying to tap his inner badass by wearing a silver-and-black Pharaoh's head, there was still something missing.

Qualcomm Stadium was almost serene. There were only 38 arrests and 75 ejections from Sunday's game. And you thought the play on the field for the Raiders was bad. Even Jacksonville fans put up more of a fight than that.

Gone was the self-denial that has been the hallmark of Raiders fans everywhere. Gone was the boasting about the winningest franchise of the decades. Even in the local bars, the Raiders fans were defeated, choosing to slink in their chairs at the normally raucous Tustin Brewing Company instead of chiding Chargers fans about their inability to win the big one.

A caller on the Raiders postgame show even tried to pin this loss on Kerry Collins--who lost his tenth consecutive game dating back to last season--but you could tell that his heart wasn't into the typical Raider-like scapegoating. He knew his team is a lost cause.

The Raiders players, taking a cue of their morose fans wouldn't even engage in a war of words on the field.

"We're out there talking trash," Chargers linebacker Steve Foley said, "we're in their ears about everything and they would just turn and walk back the other way. I don't know what that meant."

It means the Raiders are done.

REMEMBER WHEN WINNING WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING?

Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis and Eagles receiver have developed quite a rivalry this year. The two exchanged a war of words in the summer over Owens blocked trade to Baltimore.

But you know the real hatred came from the fact that Lewis is the cover boy for Madden 2005, while Owens represents the NFL 2K5 video game.

On Sunday it escalated as Owens turned a football game into a remake of the epically bad movie, You Got Served as Owens stole Lewis' dances move following a touchdown reception.

You can beat the Ravens, but don't ever... ever steal Ray's moves.

"Don't be a coward and wait until you make one play to do something," Lewis said. "What's faltering is that he has me on his mind when he's at home. I expect that from women... "

And it's Jeff Garcia that has had his sexual orientation questioned?

But Lewis did raise and interesting point. Remember the quaint days when NFL players did manly things like cutting their car in half with a hacksaw? Now they are making like Gene Anthony Ray and practicing their dance moves. It's sad, really

What's next, Omar Epps stars as an NFL player who elicits the help of Jennifer Lopez to learn a few dance moves in Shall We Dance II? Terrell Owens singing, "I Love You Mannequin?"

Imagine how good TO might be if winning football games were his chief concern.

DEION WEIGHS IN

When it comes to excessive end zone celebrations, it's important to consult the expert, Deion Sanders.

"T.O.'s good for the game," Sanders said. "He brings a lot of flavor to a boring sport. I'm o.k. with it."

Thanks Deion. Don Hutson never danced in the end zone. Jerry Rice, for all of his faults, casually tossed the ball to the referee following a touchdown. Barry Sanders, after snapping the ankles of six defenders on the way to the end zone, followed suit.

They were not boring.

NEWS AND NOTES AROUND THE NFL

The Vikings look like they might have a relapse of last year's spin that took them from 6-0 to out of the playoffs. Look for Bill Murray to play Mike Tice in the movie, Ground Hog's Day 2.

And if you fantasy team is resting on the arm of Daunte Culpepper, good luck.

The Packers defeat the Redskins, and if history is any indicator, John Kerry will win the election on Tuesday. Look for Mark Brunnell to be at the inauguration.

And does a Philadelphia win bode well for Libertarian candidate Concrete Mike Bednarik?

The Patriots have their NFL-record winning streak snapped in Pittsburgh. Boston fans now have something to moan about again.

Ben Roethlisberger to be played by John Goodman in the movie of his life?

Jerry Rice has one reception in Seattle's victory over Carolina. Does Jerry get it yet? How many trades is he going to seek before he realizes that he's done? Call it the Steve Largent curse.

Chiefs improve to 3-4 with a victory over Indianapolis. Do you think that the Colts would be better served with Tee Martin as quarterback? Will that joke ever be funny? The answer to both questions, unfortunately, is probably not.

St. Louis does not lose to a winless team this week. Mike Martz was a genius on Sunday.

All of the Raiders fans, Violater, Darth Raider, GladiRaider, Parole-Escape Raider, all showed up in San Diego on Sunday. You would think, for Halloween they would try to dress up as real football fans.

Embattled Drew Brees throws five touchdowns against the Raiders Drew's your Daddy, Oakland.

AND FINALLY

Cowboys receiver Keyshawn Johnson said that he’d like to spank FOX reporter Pam Oliver with a ruler over a disputed sideline report last week in Dallas.

Oliver said that if Keyshawn ever tried to spank her she would "punch him in the face."

Can't these two kiss and make up like Joe Namath and Suzy Koebler?

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

From the Archives: Raiders Fans in the Mist

This story was originally intended for NFL Insider magazine in 2002, but the reporter did not return. Recently, a dog-earned notebook surfaced in Tempe, Ariz. Here is all that is left.

Some assignments take you to some of the most hostile places on Earth: Iraq. Somalia. Afghanistan. Any of those choices would have seemed like a day in Disneyland compared to eth assignment I recently received--consorting with Raiders fans. The Oakland Raiders and their traveling band of gypsy fans were making a road trip to Arizona and I was asked to assimilate and find out how the mind of a Raiders fan works.

This involved taking a huge leap of faith believing that Raiders fans actually possession the ability of cognitive reasoning. Undaunted, I still accepted the task.

To really understand Raiders fans, you must first distinguish between the Oakland Raiders fans and Los Angeles Raiders fans. Oakland fans are the cartoon characters that show up at games wearing their Halloween costumes. A creative bunch, they are led by Darth Raider, Pharaoh Raider, Gladi-Raider, and their minions.

Although this group looks gruesome, it is actually a fairly harmless bunch of frustrated accountants who lead such mundane real lives that to dress up for a professional football game rates as the highlight of their weekends. Darth Raider is likely some middle-manager in Chandler Bing's field--meaning nobody knows what he does for a living. The helmet-less Darth Raider must wake up each morning, put on his white shirt and tie, then drive his Ford Focus in rush-hour traffic cursing his life.

But he is Darth Freaking Raider come Sunday.

Los Angeles fans are some of the most dangerous people on Earth. One Los Angeles fan admitted that he was late leaving for Arizona because he had to pick up his mother in Chino ... Prison. She was the most respectable one in the bunch. She looked like the Church Lady compared to the rest of the face-painting, fight seeking, foul-mouthed fans who pounded a six-pack for breakfast and garnished their bloody Mary with pepper spray.

And that is just the children. One of the kids walked around Tempe with a sign that said, "My first Raiders game." He stabbed his first Cardinals fan in the second quarter.

It was this latter group of Raiders fans that I had to assimilate with and to do so, I had to do something to my appearance. I grew an ill-fated beard about two weeks prior to the game. Unfortunately, Al Gore can grow a thicker beard so I opted for a goatee.

Another surefire identifying mark is a tattoo. Raiders fans are proud of their tattoos. One fan had their entire back covered by the Raiders shield. She was a handsome woman. You had to admit that her movie theater sized back and tattoo looked pretty cool riding on the back of her husband's motorcycle. I opted for a temporary Harley Davidson tattoo ... on my neck because I am not ready to make that big of a commitment to the story. Even if it meant my life.

Clothing was easy--anything black was acceptable. I was hoping to score one of those white Al Davis jump suits, but Montgomery Ward went out of business a long time ago. So I went with a black No. 12 Raiders jersey. But it was not for Ken Stabler, rather Todd Marinovich.

"Marijuanavich (sic) was the man, dawg," screamed one Raiders fan as I walked by. I had past that test.

The most important step was to take any football knowledge and forget it completely. To be a true Raiders fan, rationality is strictly prohibited. Nobody ever beats the Raiders. It is always the NFL screwing the team. That is right, the NFL has a vendetta against the Raiders because the Raiders keep fighting the league (and winning) in court.

Rational NFL fans knows that if this were really true, the St. Louis football team (Georgia Frontiere) and the Baltimore Ravens (Art Modell) would not have ever sniffed the playoffs, let alone win a Super Bowl in the past couple of years. But when you are trying to occupy the mind of a Raiders fan, you have to ignore logic.

Confident that I looked the part, and sure I could pass the "intelligence" test, I approached my first group of Raiders fans in a small parking lot.

"[Expletive] the Cardinals," I shouted. "[Expletive] those mother [expletive] and let’s kick their [expletive] [expletives]!"

I was instantly accepted into the Raiders clique like Mo Vaughn at a strip club. I received free beers and food over the next couple of hours as I regaled tales about how the Raiders were screwed by that damn tuck rule. It did not matter that Charles Woodson hit Tom Brady in the head, or that the Raiders gagged four of their last six games of the 2001 season, it was the "tuck rule" that forced them to play in the snow in New England. It did not matter that the Patriots had to drive the length of the field—twice—to kick the game-tying and game-winning field goals in the snow; it was the referee's fault.

It is always somebody else's fault because nobody ever beats the Raiders.

I would have been elected mayor of Raider Nation if they held elections that morning. It would have been a landslide. We moved the party from the Tempe parking lots to inside of the stadium and it was just more of the same. My newfound comrades and I intimidated the local fans; insulted the state (the one that pays their welfare checks); and scared children. We taunted, we teased, and we overtook Sun Devil Stadium, and claimed it as our own.

As the game clock started to wind down on a Raiders blowout, we chided Arizona fans who feared for their safety. I secretly apologized in my mind with each expletive that I uttered. I felt for these people. I knew, as an old Los Angeles Rams fan what it was like to be on the receiving end of these insults. But I had to keep my cool. When you are Ken Wahl in Wiseguy undercover, you cannot let them know that you secretly are not one of them.

We descended upon the town of Tempe like a biblical plague of locust after the game, pillaging the bars and refusing to tip the bartenders. We were like the "Black Widows" from a 1970s Clint Eastwood movie. We were the kings of the day.

I put my arm around one of my fellow Raiders fan after the game and said, "As a true Raiders fan, I am so glad we win games like this because we always choke in the playoffs. These games are truly meaningful because we have not won a Super Bowl since the 1980s, but we are always good in the regular season. These wins over juggernauts like Arizona in the regular season more than make up for all of our recent choke-jobs in the playoffs."

The Raiders fan looked at me (and without a hint of irony) replied, "Amen, brother."

Yep, it was a great day to be a Raiders fan.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Terror Alert Level Raised in San Diego

SAN DIEGO Local jails are creating space as the terror alert has reached the silver-and-black level meaning that the Raiders are coming to town. Raiders fans around Southern California are asking for permission from their parolee officers in an attempt to get down to San Diego and wreck havoc on the beautiful city of San Diego.

But the biggest destruction has to be the Raiders themselves, who dropped another game to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. You would think that the poor performance of the Raiders this season would temper the enthusiasm of their fans.

But it won't.

If anything, it makes Raiders fans more prone to violence. It's like a word problem in math. Raiders losses are directly proportional to the number of beers that will be consumed in the parking lot before a game.

This week should be no different. The Raiders futility this season means that their fans will start tailgating around noon on Thursday to be in rare form for Sunday.

Once again parents will not bring their children to a Chargers game because the bullying fans of the Raiders will attempt to intimidate and harangue the local faithful. But don't worry Chargers fans. Those weeekend furloughs will expire at 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Keep checking Hater Nation this week as we celebrate Raiders Week in San Diego.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Mike Martz: Defensive Genius

The Dolphins were so desperate to jettison Jay Fiedler in the offseason, they spent a second-round draft pick on career backup A.J. Feeley. On Sunday, Fiedler made like Dan Marino in Miami's 31-14 victory over St. Louis.

It's easy to blame most Rams losses on the self-satistfied Mike Martz, who continually proves that he should have never been promoted to head coach. But you can't pin this defensive meltdown on Martz, can you?

The Dolphins faced a third-and-28 situation late in the second quarter. Martz overruled defensive coordinator Larry Marmie and called for an all-out blitz. Martz showed that he is equally inept as a defensive coordinator as Fiedler hit Randy McMichael on a 42-yard touchdown. Where was Jason Sehorn?

"That was the only defense I've called as a head coach, and we gave up a touchdown," Martz said. "How do you like that?"

At least his defensive calls produce touchdowns. Too bad it's for the other team.

But that call wasn't even the biggest coaching blunder of the series. The Dolphins were flagged for holding on the preceding play--an icomplete pass that would have made it fourth and 18 had Martz declined.

But the genius accepted the penalty and called a blitz. Obviously Martz thought (big assumption here) that they penalty would take Miami out of field goal range. But was he really worried that journeyman Matt Bryant (signed two weeks ago to replace Olindo Mare) was going to boot a 49-yard field goal?

The only saving grace for St. Louis fans is that Mike Holmgren also has the same affliction that drives him to show the world how smart he is, instead of winning football games. The first coach that gets serious about winning--and forgets about mugging for the cameras--is going to win the NFC West.

RICE COOKED

Jerry Rice received his pardon from the Raiders and made an immediate impact with the Seahawks. Rice had one recpetion for 10 yards. Hey, it was an improvement from his 2004 statistics with the Raiders.

It has almost come to the point where Rice Haters can't even enjoy his downfall anymore. Almost. But it's painful. Much like the famous scene from Can't Buy Me Love where Ronald Miller can't see the signs that Cindy Mancini has fallen for him, even though everybody else can.

Everybody who watches football knows that Rice is done, but he can't see the signs. Rice is only tarnishing his reputation. And sure, things worked out for Rondald Miller in the movie, but don't expect any happy ending for Rice.

Unless of course he goes for one of those deep-tissue massages he was famous for in San Francisco.

RICE THE INGRATE

It was quite a shock to see Rice wearing #80 for the Seahawks. That number belonged to Seattle legend and Pro Football Hall of Fame receiver Steve Largent. Rice (and his agent) asked Largent for permisson to take the number out of the rafters in order to tarnish two legacies. How awkward was that phone call for Largent? How could somebody have the audacity to even ask for such a thing? It must have been like when your neighbor asks you if you are busy on the weekend and then asks if you can help him move. What is Largent supposed to say in this situation.

Rice will likely ask to be dealt to Green Bay next so he can wear Don Hutson's #14.

ONE LEGEND STILL FIGHTING

Emmitt Smith was urged by many to hang up his cleats instead of suffering the indignity of playing for the Cardinals. His first season did nothing to dispel that notion.

But Smith, who rushed for 106 yards and a touchdown on Sunday, has been vital to the Cardinals running game this season in the absence of Marcel Shipp. The best part? Smith did not ask for Larry Wilson's retired number.

HAVE A BEER AND RELAX COLLINS

The parolees in the Black Hole section booed Kerry Collins during the Raiders 31-26 loss to the Saints. Collins, not know for making the best decisions, egged on the crowd by motioning to them.

Why doesn't Collins just hand those guys a shiv?

But this week it was the special teams that let the Raiders down. Colby Bockwoldt scooped up a fumble on a kick and returned it for the eventual game-winning score. Then the Raiders fans chanted for Jerry Rice.

NEWS AND NOTES AROUND THE NFL

* Jacksonville upsets the Colts at home. Peyton Manning said that he wanted to treat this game like a playoff game. He did, he lost.

* Philadelphia beats Clevland 27-24 in overtime. Lost in the Terrell Owens/Jeff Garcia saga is the fact that the Browns passed on the chance to draft Donovan McNabb in the 1999 NFL Draft. Cleveland had narrowed its choice down to Tim Couch and Akili Smith. And you wonder why this team hasn't won a Super Bowl.

* Cowboys coach Bill Parcells said this was the low point in his Cowboys coaching career after a 40-21 loss at Green Bay. And this is a guy that saw Jerry Jones post surgery. But expectations were a little too high for a team that has had Quincy Carter and Vinny Testaverde at quarterback. And where's the running game?

* The Lions have turned into road warriors this season with three consecutive wins away from Detroit. Any excuse to get away from Detroit is a good one. Mariucci has told his team that if they win, they don't have to go back to Detroit on Tuesday.

* San Diego wins again, 17-6, over fading Carolina. Chargers fans have seen this before; the hot start followed by the cold fade. If LT's injury is serious it will start in two weeks... after the Raiders game.

* New England wins its 21st consecutive game. Do Boston fans deserve to be this happy? As Clint Eastwood said, "Deserves got nothing to do with it."

* Kansas City wins, 56-10, over Atlanta. Trent Green does not figure in eight Kansas City scores much to the dismay of fantasy owners everywhere.

* Orange County Register columnist compares Carson Palmer's first season with Troy Aikman's first season as a starter in Dallas. But the Cowboys weren't coming off a near playoff season. The Bengals have written off 2004, but not before they secured a berth on Monday Night Football. Where's Steve Walsh when you need him?


And Finally...

Ashlee Simpson, who has the honor of being the most skilless of the untalented Simpson family, had a snafu on Saturday Night Live over the weekend. Evidentally Simpson can't sing live and had lip-synched her performance. The only problem was, the producers played the wrong song.

Look for Ashlee to team up with the surviving member of Milli Vanilli (is it Rob or Fab?) for a tour in the New Year.



Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Breaking News: Crybaby Rice Gets His Way

OAKLAND--Jerry Rice got his wish when the Oakland Raiders traded the fading super star to the Seattle Seahawks. Rice apparently won out over Raiders management when he threatened to hold his breath until he turned blue unless he was traded.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Paternity Results in for Raiders

It turns out that Mike Shanahan is indeed the Raiders daddy--the same Mike Shanahan that Al Davis fired years ago. Now Shanahan has a 15-4 record against his former employers. Even Boston Red Sox fans admitted that no team owns another franchise like the Shanahan's Broncos own the Raiders.

You would think that it would get old to watch the Broncos whip the Raiders again. You would think that but you would be wrong.

How bad did it get for the Raiders? CBS sideline reporter Armen Keteyian interviewed revered Raiders fan Violator in the stands during the blowout.

Seriously, aren't we giving a little bit too much love to the Raiders fans for their outfits? Now serious journalists (or as serious as a television sideline reporter can be) are going to them for comments? Do they really expect a parolee in a pirate costume to give serious analysis of a game? What do you ask they guys? How does it feel to dress up like an idiot to support a team that rolls over faster than Jennifer Jason Leigh in Fast Times at Ridgemont High?

It's a bad sign when the fans overshadow the team's performance, but maybe Keteyian had the right idea. Maybe it is better to interview Violator, GladiRaider, PharohRaider, and the other band of idiots than to dwell on the fact that Kerry Collins should start drinking again. Better to catch up with Darth Raider than to ponder on about Warren Sapp, one of the biggest free agent busts this season.

Think about Sapp for a second. The Raiders have needed help on the defensive line since they made Michael Pittman look like a Pro Bowl running back in the Super Bowl. The team signed Sapp and Ted Washington to remedy the situation. So what happened?

Reuben Droughns (a converted fullback) rushed for 103 yards.

In the first half.

The Raiders did hold Droughns to only 73 yards in the second half so fans have something to hang their spiked helmet on. But don't worry Raiders fans, there is nothing else that could make the situation worse.

RICE WANTS OUT OF OAKLAND

Have you ever had a party guest that hung around the house, even though you had the contacts out, changed into sweats, and was ready for bed? That's how the Oakland front office must feel about Jerry Rice right now. While the rest of the world can recognize that the game has finally passed Rice by, the one guy who did not receive the memo is Rice himself.

It has been reported that Rice has asked for a trade to a team he can help out. But what Rice doesn't understand is that another team would need him. And nobody does.

Football is kind of tough when you don't have a Hall of Fame quarterback throwing you the ball, eh Jerry?

WHO IS YOUR DADDY, PART TWO

Boston Red Sox fans love to bemoan the misfortune of their beloved baseball team. But it rings hallow as the Patriots commenced their 20th consecutive victory over the Seattle Seahawks. It's hard to imagine which New England personality is worse, the world-weary baseball fan, or the pompous football fan.

VICK VS. TOMLINSON

One of the most heavily contested debates in the NFL revolves around the trade that sent Michael Vick to Atlanta and LaDainian Tomlinson to the Chargers. Push the advantage to Vick after the Falcons held on for a victory on Sunday. Vick showed that he can put a team on his shoulders and carry it to victory. And don't forget, he's also the only non-Packers quarterback to win a playoff game at Lambeau Field.

Tomlinson seems destined to be the Barry Sanders of the NFL. The Chargers have looked good in three wins this season and did nothing to embarrass themselves against the Falcons. But the truth is San Diego is not good enough to compete for the AFC title this season. Does the team want to win a bunch of games this year and face a decision about Brees and first-round draft pick Phillip Rivers next season?

The smart money would be to deal Brees before Tuesday trading deadline and give Rivers the chance to play this year. It's a dicey situation for the Chargers who are still in the process of negotiating a new stadium deal. Public support is at a premium right now. But for the long-term health of the franchise they need to give Rivers as much playing time as possible.

In other words, don't expect the Chargers to trade Brees. Instead they will keep him and they will have the inevitable quarterback controversy next season. It's the Chargers way.

NEWS AND NOTES FROM AROUND THE NFL


  • Ricky Williams will meet with the NFL this week to discuss his comeback with the league. Williams, who may not be welcome in Miami, has expressed interest in playing for the Raiders this season. That makes sense seeing that the Raiders have already quit this year.

  • The Buffalo Bills win the impossible against the Miami Dolphins. Congratulations Buffalo, you just eliminated yourself from the race for Matt Leinart.

  • Ben Roethlisberger leads Pittsburgh to a victory at Dallas. Can Tommy Maddox get a break here? The best player in XFL history deserves better.

  • Favre and the Packers beat the Lions. Do you ever get the feeling that the Packers do just enough for Mike Sherman to keep his job? It's like the guys in your office that read the internet all day, but manage to push enough papers to get a paycheck. That's the Packers.

  • Jeff Garcia throws four touchdowns in the Browns win over Cincinnati. Is there a more maglined quarterback than Garcia? Terrell Owens called him a homosexual (even though it makes Owens look like a closet case). Browns coach Butch Davis called him skittish. Yet the guy is one of the top quarterbacks in the league every season. And speaking of quarterbacks, you have to admire the Bengals for sticking with Carson Palmer, but how many games could this team have won with Jon Kitna?

  • The Houston Texans defeat the former Houstonians, the Tennessee Titans. Rams fans will still have to wait decades before ever getting that satisfaction.

  • Daunte Culpepper has another big day. Culpepper is going to make a lot of fantasy football owners rich this year. The guy is worth about 45-50 points each week. Years from now guys will be talking about the year that Culpepper had in 2004. Not because they are Vikings fans. But because Culpepper single-handedly won their fantasy league.


AND FINALLY

Former Raiders and USC kicker Cole Ford is wanted in connection with a drive-by shooting of Siegfried and Roy's house. Sure nobody likes the show, Father of the Pride, but this is just ridiculous.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Rams spoil perfect Sunday Afternoon

The Raiders and Rams bailed from Southern California a decade ago, but you wouldn't know if from the NFL broadcasts in the region. NFL fans (both of them) in Southern California are reminded of its biter divorce as both CBS and FOX show Rams and Raiders games each week.

Most of the time it's a painful reminder of what could have been. Long gone are the days of $50 tickets, $10 parking, and a $100 tab at The Catch before and after the game.

That's why this week's games looked so appetizing. The Raiders and Rams were both road dogs this week. Big road dogs. It looked like it would be a perfect Southern California day--sunshine, cool breeze, and a Rams and Raiders loss on the same day.

Who could ask for anything more?

The morning game was a great delight. The Raiders were completely undressed by the Colts. While it's great to watch the Raiders self-destruct on the field, you could only imagine what a Raiders fan goes through on a typical day like this.

Raiders fans are not, what you would call, realistic. They have not lost a single game in their entire existence. It's either the referees fault, the broadcasters, or worse--it's the damn NFL conspiring against them. So you know that Raiders fans absolutely believed that they were going to beat the Colts. Raiders fans, pissed by the point spread, probably took their team on the money line.

Raiders fans don't need no stinking points.

Raiders fans are up by 8 a.m., pounding Schaeffer beer, and putting on their Halloween costumes ready for battle. They were likely beating their wives by 11 a.m.

FOX should make that into a reality show. My Big Fat Obnoxious Raider Fan.

The Rams, however, continue to be quite a source of discomfort. Nobody--with any intelligence--was really sad to see the Raiders leave. To most Raiders fans, the move of the team didn't really matter to them. Most watched the game from Chino prison anyway, so it's not like they were going to be attending a game in 10-12 years anyway. And those that are out on parole just go to Dodgers games anyway to act like a street thug.

But losing the Rams hurt. Watching them win a Super Bowl in St. Louis was a lot like watching your ex-wife win an Adult Film Academy Award. And Sunday's victory over the Seattle was just another in a long line of Rams successes that haunt their former fans. Seattle had one of the biggest melt-downs in recent NFL history. That really hurt.

And all before the glow of a Raiders loss at started to diminish.

The Seahawks not only blew a 17-point lead. They blew a 17-point home lead against a division rival they have tried to pass for the past couple of years.

A special congratulations goes out to Seattle coach Mike Holmgren for making a complete fool out of himself once again. Many of you will remember Holmgren as the cowardly nerd that was beaten by the big bully Cowboys during the 1990s.

Now Holmgren is getting beaten up by fellow nerd, Mike Martz. Seriously, when Martz out coaches you, it's time to reconsider your chosen profession. This was supposed to be the year that Seattle broke through and made it to the Super Bowl. It's not going to happen. And Holmgren is the reason why.

San Diego Super Chargers
Answer this SAT question: The Chargers are to good public relations as Georgia Frontiere is to ___________.
a. A smart owner.
b. An attractive woman.
c. A murdering showgirl.
d. Both a & b.
The correct answer, of course, is d.

The Chargers don't a lot of things right. The Spanos goofs (as named by LA Times columnist T.J. Simers) are not good owners. They have turned the Chargers into the Cincinnati Bengals. The Chargers annually languish near the bottom of a league that is based on parity.

The one move that the Chargers could do to at least give an impression they care about the fans would be to switch (full time) to the powder blue uniforms. Everybody loves the powder blue.

But will the Chargers switch?

No. It's the Chargers. You know that eventually they will find a way to do the wrong thing. So expect the Chargers to be in navy blue for some time to come.

Or at least until they move to Los Angeles.

Chargers Uniform Note
The only knock against the Chargers uniforms is Chris Berman's gushing over them. When Berman talks about the Chargers powder blue uniforms, you get that same uncomfortable feeling as when you uncle starts talking about how attractive a 16-year old girl is.