Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Family Values

It's good to see that Archie Manning isn't the only media-whore trying to cash in on his son's NFL stardom. Drew Brees has asked his mother not to use his image in her campaign for a Texas appellate court. Obviously the reason is their opposition of stem cell research—on his huge facial mole.

But seriously, it's nice to see that some parent has taken over the (hefty) void left by Jerome Bettis' parents. (Although you would figure that NBC is going to find a way to work them into the Football Night in America broadcast.)

The funny thing here, that the relationship between Brees and his mother deteriorated because he wouldn't hire her as his player agent coming out of Purdue. Evidentially she wanted to keep him out of San Diego and force a trade to the Giants, but Drew actually wanted to honor the NFL's drafting rules.

AFC Looks Dominant

Just look at some of the scores from around the league. Raven killed the Saints, the Chargers creamed the St. Louis football team, Jacksonville bludgeoned the Eagles, etc., etc. Hell, the Patriots were so bored with the Vikings, the team decided to see how many points they could score without running a single running play. So that can mean only one thing.

The NFC is going to win the Super Bowl. At least if baseball is any indication.

We also need a catchier nickname for The Hater Nation Forums.

Monday, October 30, 2006

The Post Mortem

The Chargers Halloween game is the highlight of the year, if for nothing else, because of the cheerleader's getups. Beating the St. Louis football team so convincingly (at least on the scoreboard) was an added bonus, too. How come the broadcast never pans the camera on Georgia Frontandreare during the game, showing a pained expression? Although, with the amount of Botox likely in her system, she probably has about facial range as Nic Cage. And besides, do you think Georgia really cares about the St. Louis football team? She already made her money, so winning a football is the least of her worries. Instead she spends most of her time in the Sun preparing for her eternity in hell.

Thankfully, the camera was trained on the Chargers sidelines all day.

Marlon McCree returned a fumble 79-yards for a touchdown in the third-quarter that turned a potential tie-game into a runaway for the Chargers. But returning scores for touchdowns is such a Raiders thing to do. Really. The Raiders gained less than 100 yards in total offense yesterday, but turned two interception returns for touchdowns to lead the team to its second consecutive win. Watch out folks, the Raiders are back and they are going to the Super Bowl!

Give it up to the Raiders Inn Keeper who finally devised a game plan that made his team successful. Punting on third down might have been a bit of a stretch, but who can argue with the results?

Raven also used two-interception returns to cruise to a victory over Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints. Wasn't Brees being considered for NFL MVP last week? You should not write Brees off after one game. But performances like this in big games is one of the reasons why San Diego let him walk as a free-agent.

You figured the cosmic choking force of Tony Dungy and Peyton Manning would be enough to turn Adam Vinatieri into a mortal. No such luck. At least not for now. Vinatieri made just another clutch kick and Manning celebrated like he just won the Super Bowl. Hell, that might be the closest he ever gets, so we should let him enjoy it.

But can Bill Belichick again explain how letting Vinatieri goes was a good idea? You figure that next week’s Sunday night extravaganza is going to come down to a game-winning field goal, right? Either Vinatieri boots the game winner for the Colts, or Janni Gogolak misses a kick for the Patriots.

With all that being said, it is hard to take anything Peyton does during the regular season seriously until he finally wins that big game. Next week would be a good start.

  • Shawne Merriman should continue to take whatever supplement he wants after the way he abused Marc Bulger yesterday for three sakes. Not bad, considering that everybody was making all sorts of steroid jokes about him.

  • Has Eli Messiah made a good pass this season? Good lord, every time they show Messiah on a game break, he is overthrowing Plaxico Burress who then makes a seemingly impossible catch. It's unbelievable. He deserves some Isotones.

  • How soon until a potential Manning vs. Messiah Super Bowl begins to be hyped? You figure that if they can start playing Christmas commercials prior to Halloween, then it is not too early to promote a potential Manning Bowl.

  • Speaking of choking quarterbacks, the Eagles lost again. Donovan McNabb and the Eagles were held to 229 yards, but when you compare it to the 94 yards the Raiders offense generated, that's not bad.

  • Anybody else taking their time before jumping on the Mike Vick bandwagon? There has been no argument that he has a rifle for an arm. But he just hasn’t been able to put it all together. He is doing that now. Remember, the Falcons started 6-2 last season before finishing 8-8.

  • The Falcons trashed-talked Ben Roethlisberger a week ago and delivered a cheap shot to Chad Johnson on Sunday. Yeah, mark that up as another reason to not jump on the Vick bandwagon. Some team will eventually take a cheap shot on him in the open field.

  • (Expletive) the Panthers.

  • Brett Favre is not going to break the all-time interceptions record on his current pace. But with Favre, he always has that puncher's chance to pull out a six-interception game.

  • After beating the Steelers yesterday, how many Raiders fans are walking around today believing that they are the Super Bowl champs? Seriously.

  • Why is it, when a Pac-10 team loses its first regular season game in years, they fall so dramatically in the polls? The Pac-10 loses and its evidence that the conference is weak. The SEC teams lose to each other and it is a testament to the league’s toughness. Whatever. SEC superiority is indeed a myth. They might put the most players in the NFL (for now), but they will be exposed in the bowls again this year when they roll over like Atlanta did for General Sherman.

    USC's loss should have had a bigger impact on Boise State who defeated Oregon State earlier this season. So USC beat Arkansas (the best team in the SEC). Oregon State beat USC. Boise State beat Oregon State. So Boise State could win the SEC. Instead, they are No. 14 in the polls. The Broncos really need to beat up on Fresno State on Wednesday and hope that USC wins out the rest of the way.

  • Anybody else taking their time before jumping on the Tony Romo bandwagon? The guy looked impressive beating the Panthers, but he is one miss-thrown ball away from a Terrell Owens meltdown and complete turmoil.

  • Wait a minute, the Eagles stink, Dallas has a rookie quarterback and Bill Parcells is awful now and the Redskins are awful. Great, get that Manning Bowl promo ready.

It was nice to see David Eckstein and Scott Spiezio celebrating another World Series together. It would have been worse to see, say, Troy Glaus celebrating a World Series with another team. Is anybody else getting the feeling that Arte Moreno really wants to stick it to Angels fans by signing Barry Bonds?

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Weak Ender

Any Given Sunday was on television the other night. Of all the outrageous stuff in that move, the most glaring was the thought of Cameron Diaz as team owner. Maybe if Barron Hilton had held on to the Chargers, we could be looking at a similar situation and of course there is Jeanie Buss. But for the most part, professional owners range from old hookers (Georgia Frontandreare) and the mother from Goonies (Marge Schott).

Until now.

The ABA has a new expansion team—the Hollywood Fame—that includes a consortium of celebrity owners including Stacy Keibler.

Yes, two Keibler references in the past three weeks, don't worry, you'll live.


You media can talk about Tiki Barber; as long as it is a glowing tribute. Barber was none too pleased that Tom Jackson and Michael Irvin called Sir Barber a distraction to the team. Media whore? Sure. But don’t call him a distraction. In fact, Barber went on to call the ESPN duo a pair of idiots. And if you look closely enough, he stopped just short of calling Irvin a crack-head.

"I will call them idiots," Barber said. "That includes Tom Jackson on ESPN. That includes the ultimate character guy, facetiously speaking of course, Michael Irvin. Please get a clue on how to be a journalist. Don't make blanket assumptions about it (retirement). And obviously, as was evidenced (Monday) night, I am a huge distraction to the New York Giants."

Nice work, Sir Barber. And you know those people who say you belong in the Hall of Fame? They are idiots, too.

Warrick Dunn will surpass all of Sir Barber's numbers next season. But will Peter King and other members of the media stump for Dunn? No, but maybe they should. Dunn, like Sir Barber, is an upstanding member of the community and the ultimate scat back. If that's enough for Sir Barber, that should be enough for Dunn.

  • Reader Rob in Tampa points out that Irvin has been the center of controversy for the past couple of years and that can only mean one thing—they will soon be fitting Irvin with a gold jacket to be in the Monday Night Football booth. You sort of heard it here first. It will be like the O.J. Simpson/MNF era all over again. But the Juice went from the MNF to being a criminal, while Irvin will be doing it in reverse.
  • T.O. is happy to have Tony Romo as his quarterback. Yeah, of course he is. T.O. is like that high school girl that has a new boyfriend each week. She’s so in love with the new guy until, of course, something goes horribly wrong. And then that guy is a jerk. Or maybe he's gay or threw up in the Super Bowl. But will that girl ever look your way? Give you her number? No, that chick wanted the quarterback. That little… hey, um, moving on.
  • Be careful at the water cooler today. The wife of the Cowboys receiving coach found a rat in her McDonald's French fries. That will lead to endless "Wow, I didn’t know that T.O. worked in fast food" jokes. Heck, expect that from ESPN’s Bill Simpson. You have permission to punch anybody who uses that joke in the throat.
  • Has anybody noticed the laws of diminishing returns with Bill Parcells? Two Super Bowls with the Giants. A Super Bowl appearance with the Patriots. An AFC Championship Game with the Jets. And now a playoff birth with the Cowboys (in his first year). That makes him the perfect replacement for Dennis Green in Arizona at this rate.
  • Do you think Bill Bidwell was pissed that the custodian didn’t change the locks before Green returned from Oakland? Like there was an uncomfortable silence when the two ran into each other at Cardinals headquarters? “Oh, Dennis, you um, are still here. Hey, that’s great.” Green has won 17 games since the 2000 season.
  • We should finally get a good look at just how powerful the Broncos defense is this week against the Colts. And you have to figure, if the Broncos don’t play well, this could be the last game for Jake Plummer. Because if you can’t score enough to be one of the top AFC teams, what’s the point of keeping Jay Cutler on the bench?
  • Chad Johnson wants to be known as “ocheta y cinco” in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. Carson Palmer already took the nickname “Chewy.”
  • Ben Roethlisberger noted that the Falcons taunted him by saying that they wanted to smash his surgically repaired face. What, defensive players being jerks? But that was pretty low. You expect that kind of stuff when "The Swede gets out of the brig," but not on an NFL football field. And really, just imagine the things he is going to hear from the Black Hole when he takes the field on Sunday. Even the children will likely be running motorcycle crash jokes at Big Ben, while wearing "Stab Like a Champ" T-shirts. That was the one positive about last week's win for the Raiders. The idiots are revived and delusional like the first five games of the season didn't exist. We'll see if they are still around come Monday morning.
  • Snoop Dogg was arrested for suspicion of carrying a fire arm, as America says only our NBA stars are allowed to carry guns.
  • Presidents from the University of Georgia and the University of Florida have taken offense to the term, "World's Largest Cocktail Party" because it promotes alcohol. Well, they probably are not going to like the new name, "The World’s Largest Family Reunion." Cheap joke? You bet. Any chance to not use that? None. And it’s obvious that the university presidents will outlaw booze from their black-tie functions and fund raisers, right? Sure.
  • If you are going to see one movie about the Grenada Conflict, make it Heartbreak Ridge. BTW, this is what happens when TWE starts being composed on Wednesday night.
  • Congratulations to the Anaheim Angels of St. Louis for inching a game closer to the World Series title thanks to David Eckstein. Having Eck leave, while disheartening, was still the right baseball decision. It’s not like he was Troy Glaus. BTW, it looks like God hates Tony La Russa. His first title came during the Bay Area earthquake in 1989, and now rain threatens to postpone this celebration until November.
  • Your Boise State Broncos are taking the week off in preparation to play host to Fresno State. So you're best bet is USC this week.

The final days of The Bish regime are coming to an end, and he is going out with a bang. The Bish is playing all of his hits. This gem from his Wednesday column. Here is his timely take on the NFL never coming back to LA. Well, guess what, gentlemen? We've managed to get over it.

Ah, but wait for it folks…

It has been harder for some of us than others, especially those of us who grew up in the late 1950s, when the Rams were the most enthralling franchise in town, and their owner, Dan Reeves, was a visionary who pioneered the idea of putting pro football on television.

So your opinion means nothing if you grew up following the Rams in the 1970s and 1980s. And he wondered why people wanted him fired. What a pompous (expletive). BTW, the Chargers had better pound the St. Louis football team. Those of us who still like to watch football (which the Bish admitted he does not) demand it.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Who Were the Marketing Wizards...

An MLB advertisement for a New York Yankees holiday ornament featuring a plane-flying Santa Claus has irked some Yankees fans who felt it was a little insensitive after the death of Cory Lidle. Yeah, like the MLB was in a marketing session and thought, “How can we capitalize on Cory Lidle’s death? I got it, a flying Santa Claus in a Yankees plane. It will seem totally out of character because, you know, Santa Claus never flies.” Idiots.

Was it an unfortunate coincidence? You think? But good Lord, Yankees fan, it isn't always about you. Other teams likely have the same Santa ornament. You know, teams that had Lidle for longer than a month. It's time to get over yourselves Yankees fans.

Although, MLB did release a set of baseball urns, so you never know. But seriously, it is not the worst related sports items ever produced. Like what about the Steelers Santa riding a motorcycle? Now that might have been a little bit insensitive. Did you know that O.J. Simpson had endorsed a set of steak knives just days before he murdered his ex-wife and some dude. Shawne Merriman has had to delay the release of his own line of supplements. Or many people might not remember but Carroll Rosenbloom had endorsed a set of floatation devices like a month before he drowned. Now those might have been a little insensitive, but not this.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Chunky Curse Strikes Again

Add Matt Hasselbeck to the growing list of players affected by the Campbell’s Chunky Curse. The Hater Nation first discovered and has long trumpeted the Chunky Curse as the premiere sports curse, long since passing the Sports Illustrated and Madden Cover jinxes. The other may get the ink, but consider the impressive list of athletes that have been taken down by a brand of soup.

Terrell Davis: The former sixth-round draft pick went from the NFL’s most dominant back to out of the league in the blink of an eye. Made Gale Sayers and Bo Jackson seem durable.

Donovan McNabb: The Eagles quarterback went from being the golden boy of NFL quarterbacks to puking his soup at the Super Bowl. Lost to a 62-yard field goal. Yeah, of course he did.

Marcella Lowery: Had a promising career as “Miss Noble” on NBC’s The City Guys. Now she has disappeared quicker than the lady who played Miss Bliss on Saved by the Bell after appearing as McNabb’s mother in a few spots.

Michael Strahan: Garnered a bogus sack record when Brett Favre took a dive for him. It is hard to make Mark Gastineau look credible, but Strahan did it. He also was outted by his ex-wife during his divorce proceedings.

Brian Urlacher: Dated Paris Hilton, but didn’t star in any home movies. Remember that one big play Urlacher made last season to push the Bears to victory? Don’t feel bad, nobody does.

Kurt Warner: Two words—Brenda Warner.

Reggie White: The Minister of Defense morphed from perceived good guy to the black Rush Limbaugh with one trip to the Wisconsin state legislature.

Jerome Bettis: Tough call here. The dude did win a Super Bowl in his hometown recently. But remember that fumble against the Colts in the AFC Divisional Playoff Game? Tough call.

Ben Roethlisberger: Big Ben pulled a Super Dave Osborne on some lady’s windshield, had his appendix removed and miss Sunday’s game with a head injury. The ultimate curse? He has to live in Pittsburgh.

The Pittsburgh Steelers: The anonymous linemen also got some much-needed publicity this year thanks to Campbell’s. The team is now 2-4 and in danger of making the playoffs.

Matt Hasselbeck: It’s not to say that E.J. Henderson’s hit was a touch late, but even Charles Martin was offended. Well, he would have been if he wasn’t dead. (And really, it is too soon to pull another Kimo van Oelhoffen joke.)

Steve Bisheff: The Bish signed a six-figure deal with Campbell’s days prior to being released by the Register.

Check out The Hater Nation Forums.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Giants Get All the Breaks

At least the NFL is no longer trying to mask its favoritism for the Giants now that back judges are throwing themselves into opposing players to give the Giants a touchdown. Like what happened to the Cowboys Roy Williams on the Giants opening drive. Obviously giving the Giants an extra home game last season was not enough, the refs are really taking it to an extreme this year.

The situation had gotten so far out of control; you figured that one of refs was going to jump on Tiki Barber’s errant fumble. It is surprising that the officials didn’t rule a “down by contact” because you know the thought at least crossed their mind.

And what about the replay challenges? The Giants have never lost a replay challenge, like ever. Never, never, never. Anytime a referee sticks his head underneath the hood to review the video, they are greeted with a picture of Opie Goodell giving them the finger and threatening to sleep with their wives. How on Earth could a referee look at Eli Messiah clearly fumble a football and rule it an incomplete pass? Oh yeah, he plays for the Giants. That would have been ruled a fumble for 90 percent of the quarterbacks out there. Luckily, until the league learns how to surgically give Eli a pair, we won't have to worry about the Giants making it to the Super Bowl.

  • Note: Tiki Barber is set for a career in acting after his performance following the fumble. Nice of him to lay on the ground for a few extra minutes during a prime time game so the booth could rave about him. Somebody has been well-trained in the Rod Tidwell School of Performance Art.

  • Lil’ Hater’s addendum: Hey look, the Giants might not get an extra home game this year (but don’t bet against it), but they also will get the advantage of a home night game as NBC has exercised one of it’s “flex picks.” Great, more Tiki in prime time. I would like to mention the big upside of Barber retiring this year; hen he gets his totally undeserved, laughable HOF induction, we’ll be able to see the modern game’s Interception King (Favre) and Fumble Leader inducted on the same day. Why not induct Norv Turner, the Biggest Loser Coach Ever, that day too.

Check out The Hater Nation Forums.

Monday, October 23, 2006

The Post Mortem

Apologies for the tardiness of the Post Mortem; spent the weekend celebrating with the surviving members of the 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers who uncorked many bottles of champagne as the last winless team finally won. The Cardinals would be making a push to be the first-ever 0-16 team if they had not won the season-opener against San Francisco. What a horrible, horrible team the Cardinals are.

So it figures that the Raiders would beat them.

But give the Raiders credit for finding a team that is bad as they are. And yes, there are certain sects of Raiders fans who are now planning to make it down to the Super Bowl because the Raiders are back baby. Nobody beats the Raiders six times in a row. Nobody!

Congratulations Raiders. But nobody is going to be impressed until you beat, you know, an actual NFL team.


What's with all the cheating?

Sunday was a day for cheating as the Tigers Kenny Rogers and the Chargers Shawne Merriman were involved in cheating scandals. Rogers was beaten up on sports radio today (in particular Dan Patrick’s radio show) for allegedly having pine tar on his palm. Yeah, what a moral outrage. But what do you expect Tony LaRussa to do? He turned his back when Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco were injecting each other with steroids when he was the manager of the A’s. You think he is going to make any noise when Rodgers is using a little bit of pine tar? If anybody is going to be cool with a little cheating, it has to be LaRussa. He did the right thing. If he raised a fuss, Jim Leyland could have ran out of the dugout and demanded Albert Pujols to submit a urine sample.

Did anybody note that the controversy occurred in the first inning and Rogers still pitched seven scoreless after he washed his hands?

Merriman’s situation is disturbing. Remember, this is Merriman’s second failed drug test. Players do not receive a four-game suspension until you fail a drug test for a second time. Needless to say, if Merriman had gone to the Giants, Tiki Barber would have found a way for him to circumvent the NFL’s drug test. The most surprising thing is that a 270-pound guy can’t naturally run a 4.2 40-yard dash. Yeah, that is shocking. Really, why is everybody surprised by this? But leave it to the Chargers to get their best guy suspended while the entire league is juicing. Well, except for Randy Moss, of course.

  • The Chargers are 0-9 in games decided by four points over less over the past two seasons. That’s a bang-up job that Marty Schottenheimer is doing in San Diego. Art Shell is a horrible coach, but at least he isn’t squandering the career of LaDainian Tomlinson. Is is almost criminal.
  • Donovan McNabb is a loser. Seriously. Who else but McNabb and the Eagles would lose to a team on a 62-yard field goal? Alright, other than the Mannings? It would be McNabb. They always talk about people being snake-bit, but you create your own luck. Like when you are golfing and you always seem to be stuck behind a tree. You think that you are the victim of bad luck. But in actuality you are just a bad golfer. Same deal with McNabb here. Three losses in the NFC Championship Game, a loss in the Super Bowl and now this. McNabb puts up good numbers and the Eagles win games, but he is not the ultimate winner.
  • Props to the guys at the Wynn who started a B-U-C-S, Bucs! Bucs! Bucs! chant after Matt Bryant’s game-winning field goal in response to the loud-mouth Eagles fans who cheered each first down like it was the Super Bowl. It must have seemed like the Super Bowl to Eagles fans because they lost.
  • Ben Roethlisberger has had so much bad luck this year, it is like he is playing against Kimo von Oelhoffen each week. Or maybe it is like Carson Daly said, it is karma. The Steelers look like a better team with Charlie Batch, though. And hey, Mike Vick can throw a little bit.
  • (Expletive) the Panthers.
  • Nice game, UCLA on a great team effort to come from ahead to lose. The offense pulled a Schottenheimer/Shanahan to give Notre Dame one last chance to win the game. Why doesn’t the team bootleg when Notre Dame was expecting run? The quarterback can fall to the ground if his receiver is covered to keep the clock running. That was bad, but going to a three-man rush on defense might have been worse. Notre Dame switched to a max-protect in that final drive, but the Bruins did not make an adjustment for that. Not like they had a chance, seeing that the game-winning drive was, what, three plays?
  • Aztecs, baby! San Diego State notched the first win of the Chuck Long era with a depleted roster, to beat Air Force 19-12. Nobody beats the Aztecs six consecutive times! Nobody! You could really feel that the crowd at the Iron Maiden show was excited about the news, too. Boise State had another mad cover. And what about Washington State over Oregon? It just goes to show just how good the Pac-10 is.

“Here is something from our new album.” Nothing inspires a mad-dash to the beer line than that phrase. But if you would have spent the entire night in the beer line if you went to the Iron Maiden show on Saturday. The heavy-metal legends played their entire new album during their show, bypassing hits such as "Number of the Beast", "The Trooper" and "Run to the Hills." It would be like reading a Steve Bisheff column that wasn’t condescending or said, “You really needed to be there…” Just awful.

At least Elton John played his hits on Sunday night, after NFL Jennifer kidnapped your host following the Maiden show. She was a trooper. You know, like the song Maiden didn't play.

Friday, October 20, 2006

The Weak Ender

Congratulations to the Anaheim Angels of St. Louis for reaching the World Series. Jeff Weaver deserves to be the most valuable player in the American and National Leagues. Weaver is the only player in baseball this year that determined the fate of two teams. Weaver's pitching was the reason the Angels (the Los Angeles of Anaheim variety) didnt make the playoffs in the AL, but his game 5 start was the reason the Angels (of the St. Louis kind) will open at Detroit on Saturday. Yeah, baseball if pretty fair.

Weaver's presence on the AAoSL has made it necessary to root against David Eckstein, Scott Spiezio, Jim Edmonds and the Molina brother who never played in Anaheim. Of course, watching 50,000 New Yorkers eat a piece of humble pie is kind of cool, too. Especially when you consider that the Mets most celebrated fan, ESPN’s Sports Dork Bill Simons must have been agonizing inside, it was kind of a pleasant evening.

Pity, though, for Alyssa Milano who really, really loves the Mets.

  • The notion of Tiki Barber being elected to the Hall of Fame has picked up steam. Peter King has said that he would likely vote for Barber. But a mocha latte will garner King's vote. And really, let this be a lesson to all budding sports superstars. If you remember reporters names, they will support you for the Hall of Fame or to be the NFL commissioner.

    Barber has had five solid seasons with the Giants, after shaking off an early career platoon. But have you ever considered Barber one of the best backs in the game? Really? He has never achieved the class of say LaDainian Tomlinson? Do his five season really stack up against a guy like Terrell Davis who was the undisputed best back during his (albeit short) era, won two Super Bowls, one Super Bowl MVP and rushed for more than 2,000 yards in a season? No. Barber has benefited from playing in a major media market, combined with an engaging personality. Barber really is a good guy. But the Hall of Fame is about being better than your peers. Barber has never reached that status.

    But as you are likely aware, THN are Hall of Fame snobs.

  • How pissed are you right now if you are an Art Monk fan and King will vote Barber into the Hall, but won't give Monk any consideration?

  • The Giants are believed to be in the market for Chargers back up Michael Turner, should Barber retire. The Chargers received Philip Rivers and Shawne Merriman the last time the two clubs got together for a trade. And they got rid of Eli Messiah, too. Can't wait to see who the Giants would give up this time. Frank Gifford's stewardess?

  • Who do you pick in the Cardinals and Raiders game? It is hard to imagine the Cardinals rising to the occasion after that Monday night debacle. But it is even harder to imagine the Raiders actually winning a game. Matt Leinart is not going to lose to the team that he grew up idolizing and passed on him in the draft for some defensive back he torched in the Rose Bowl. Leinart is a winner. And the Raiders are not. Besides, you don't want to get into the game of picking the Raiders each week, thinking this is going to be the one that turns them around. As bad as the Cardinals are, at least they have talent and are trying to win. You don't always get that impression from the Raiders. THN pick: Cardinals.

  • Rumors had it that the Raiders were interested in Jim Fassel as their head coach. What a great match for the Raiders. Not so much from the coaching aspect. Fassel is a good coach, but he is no miracle worker. No, Fassel would be a perfect fit for the Raiders because his weekly meltdown of "putting the chips on the table" would make Dennis Green's rant look tame by comparison.

  • Remember when Mike Shanahan was considered an offensive genius? Now he has turned into Marty Schottenheimer as the Broncos are now employing "Shannyball" to keep the ball out of Jake Plummer's hands. Shanahan is now turning into a defensive coach, just like Brian Billick before him. That is what Plummer will do to you.

  • But if you want real Jake Plummer bashing, you need to check out Divealanche.

  • Brett Favre criticized the NFL drug policy this week saying that Koren Robinson should be allowed to hang out at the Packers complex. Uh, sure. The last place Robinson should be is hanging out with a group of enablers. Remember how Favre circumvented his drug suspension? By renting out a private room during the Super Bowl so he could have a few beers. It’s hanging around with NFL players that led Robinson to believe that he was above the law. Maybe Robinson should be allowed to hang out with the St. Louis football team so he and Leonard Little can crack jokes.

  • Florida State will wear its all-black uniforms this weekend. No word on how this impacts Cowgirl's wardrobe. The only college pick you need this week is that Notre Dame is going to boat race UCLA. Badly. Alabama (+12) and Boise State (-21) are worth a look, too. If you are feeling saucy, try Tulane also. Poor Fresno State is going to get murdered on Saturday at LSU.

Analyst and player columns tend to be a little bit on the boring side. Cris Collinsworth's was great for years, but has really fallen on hard times this season. Although, this was a refreshing change. Still, these player blogs are about as entertaining as a Cowgirl mailbag column. The lone exception might be Dat Dude, Marcellus Wiley. When pressed for the best interviews during the NFL.com era, Wiley was always at the top of the list. Funny, creative and as a DJ, he was a hell of a defensive end. It should come as no surprise that his blog on NBC is the best players blog, like ever. It's that good.

Say your goodbyes to the Bish in The Hater Nation Forums.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Bish Quits

Sources indicated that columnist Steve Bisheff has decided to shelve the dog-eared notebook and accepted a buyout from the Orange County Register. The news has sparked celebrations from Seal Beach to San Clemente that lasted far into the night. Orange County, your suffering is over.

NFL Stadiums A Terrorist Threat?

An Internet web site has posted a threat indicating that “dirty bombs” would be detonated this Sunday at NFL stadiums around the country, including Oakland—to which the league said, “We dare you to blow up Oakland. In fact, we will remove all security because we know you don’t have the balls to blow up the Coliseum at 1220 Stadium Way (be sure to take Hegenberger Road from the airport). We know you terrorist punks would never think to blow up the support beams on the East side of the stadium to take out Mount Davis. We dare you, you jerks! In fact, we'll leave some parking for you.”

Government officials were quick to denounce the threat as not credible. Still, Arizona Cardinals coach Dennis Green was taken in for questioning, as some law enforcement officials have speculated that he was calling in a bomb threat to get Sunday’s game in Oakland canceled. Likewise, the San Diego police offered Steve Foley as a suspect. The threats also were used to explain why the Dolphins signed Marcus Vick to their practice squad.

"We need to protect overselves," Dolphins coach Nick Saban said. "And you know Marcus will be packin."

The league, however, is takign the threat seriously. The NFL is considering playing all of Sunday’s games at Giants Stadium.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Tiki Barber to Retire?

Tiki Barber has suggested that he will retire at the end of the season. Hopefully, this will end any notion that he is deserving to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. However, people are wondering why he would pull a Robert Smith and step away from the football field. But after watching him perform the "Running Man" and "Start the Lawnmower" on those DirecTV ads, it is obvious that he is going on to better things such as Dancing with the Stars.

Obviously with Eli Messiah entrenched as the Giants QB, he realizes that he has a better chance of winning that show than he does of winning a Super Bowl.

Have a chat in The Hater Nation Forums.

Proof that God Loves Us

That man about to receive the "F-U" from John Cena? That's Kevin Federline. And it was the highlight of the WWF's Monday Night Raw. The only thing sweeter would have been to have him on a harness that malfunctioned as he fell 100 feet into the ring. Steve-O and Chris Pontius also were destroyed in the ring by Umaga.

The UFC could learn a lesson here. This is what people want to see. Quasi celebrities getting beat. Nobody wants to see that fake martial arts stuff. That is what Bruce Lee movies are for.

Reader B Spears sent in the You Tube Video. You can catch it here.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

You're Fired

Or he should be.

Dennis Green has ended Kurt Warner's career and turned Matt Leinart into a loser. If there is a coach in the league who makes Art Shell seem confident and composed it is Dennis Green. There is no excuse for the way the Cardinals folded down the stretch. Yes. Players make plays. Neil Rackers missed a field goal. Edgerrin James had a costly fumble. But as the saying goes, you can’t fire the whole team.

But you can fire the coach.

This loss was inexcusable. Green has done nothing to change the culture of losing in Arizona and it has to stop. The Birds need to dismiss him right now and move on. Because that loss was painful.

Much more painful than the abortion that he forced his secretary to have in Minnesota.

Monday, October 16, 2006

The Post Mortem

God Bless Eddie "Guns" Hochuli. Is there a better official in the game?

The cheating St. Louis football team tried to pull a fast one over on Guns Sunday afternoon. Seattle was flagged for an illegal formation after quarterback Matt Hasselbeck spiked the ball with four seconds remaining in the game. And cheating St. Louis coach Scott Linehan tried to pull the A.J. Pierzynski and started celebrating because of the 10-second runoff. Or so he thought.

That kind of nonsense might fool Doug Eddings. It isn't going to fly with Eddie Guns, who correctly pointed out that there isn’t a 10-second runoff rule on illegal formation. Nice try, cheaters. You know what happened next. Josh Brown booted a 54-yard field goal to win the game. So long Cinderella season, St. Louis. This is what happens to cheaters.

Although that hardly explains why the White Sox were able to win the World Series last year and Pierzynski was able to gloat about it on FOX this weekend.

  • Boy the SEC is impressive isn't it? No, not in the caliber of the teams. But the way the SEC annually fools the pollsters into believing that their conference is better than any other conference. This is not to say the Pac-10 is the best, or Big XII or Big Ten, but please enough with this nonsense of SEC superiority. It is a bigger fraudulent myth than the "Commitment to Excellence."

    Florida, as predicted here last week, blew their cakewalk to the BCS title game, losing to another of the anonymous teams in the conference. Face it SEC fan, you conference is just as mediocre as any other conference. It is like the SEC is filled with a bunch of Peyton Manning-like teams. They are decent enough in the regular season, but they are not going to be in the mix for a championship.

    But look for the pollsters to tab Kentucky as the No. 2 team in the country.

  • The Miami Hurricanes have gone back to the basics of being the biggest a-holes in college football. But nobody cares seeing that Miami can't beat anybody of note. Remember when Miami had epic battles with Notre Dame and other national powers? Don’t feel bad, nobody else does either. Now they are resigned to “regain their swagger” by pushing around lowly Florida International.

    Way to go, tough guys.

    You really showed them. Is Florida International even a D1 school? Miami had tried something similar against Louisville earlier this season. Of course, the Cardinals came out and pounded them for it. It is just sad. Kind of like former hard-core rappers who participate in not one, but two Bachelor-style dating shows on VH1.

  • Commentator Lamar Thomas openly cheered on the brawling Hurricanes players from his broadcast position. Thomas urged the fight to continue in the parking lot and even fought back the urge to jump in the elevator to go down to the field and join in himself. All of this, of course, was on the air. Thomas, of course, was on the Miami team that tried to fight the San Diego State mascot in the early 1990s. No wonder the Hurricanes are about as relevant as the 2 Live Crew.

  • What happens first, the Bears lose a game or the Raiders win a game? The Broncos fans seem so disinterested in last night's game, they couldn’t even muster the strength to throw garbage at the Raiders sidelines.

  • Boise State did not cover. The college betting streak has ended.

  • So much for the Chargers platoon of LaDainian Tomlinson and Michael Turner. Chargers offensive coordinator Cam Cameron must have remembered that L.T. is the best running back in the business as he racked up four touchdowns in a beating of the 49ers. L.T. even stayed into the game really late. Obviously he was showing the world what he thought of the platoon. Or maybe he wanted to throw a bone to those fantasy players.

    Marty Schottenheimer also has taken that "Martyball" criticism to heart as he morphed into Steve Spurrier on Sunday. The Chargers were throwing the ball well into the fourth quarter, even though the game had been decided some time earlier. And hey, nobody is complaining.

  • Terrell Owens can be taken off suicide watch now, after notching three touchdowns in the Cowboys romp over the Texans. T.O. is like your golf buddy that complains and curses when he is getting double bogeys, but becomes as glib as Ty Webb when he nails his first par.

  • Has the NFL passed by Joe Gibbs? Probably not. He did guide the Redskins to the playoffs last year. But how did he think he could get any further with Mark Brunell will remain a mystery. Ditto for the Atlanta Falcons and Mike Vick.

  • When the Tigers clinched the AL pennant on Saturday, one of the announcers proclaimed, "This town has been starved for a winner." Which is true because neither the Pistons nor the Red Wings have won anything in recent memory.

The FOX network has long had the reputation of canceling television shows before they even have a chance to prove how good or bad they are. Jay Mohr's series, Action, is evidence of this, as is the over-hyped Vanished that will vanish from your televisions because it has been canceled. Hopefully FOX will have a similar quick-hook with the Joe Buck experiment. Yesterday's studio show was the best pregame show of the season and hopefully FOX will realize that and cancel the traveling road show with Joe Buck. At least FOX has the common sense to keep Buck calling the National League series, where he has no chance of being seen by anybody. Kind of like how Ronald Miller was banished after his scheme with Cindy Mancini was uncovered in Can't Buy Me Love.

Talk about it in the Hater Nation Forums. They are personally endorsed by the fake Steve Bisheff. (Of course, it could really be him if he takes the Register's buyout.)

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Why Does This Seem Familiar?

Oh that's right. Scott Spiezio again comes through in the clutch as the Anaheim Angels of St. Louis have pulled even with the New York Mets in the NLCS. Spiezio was at it again with an early triple as the AAOSL have climbed out to an early lead on the Mets. Having highlights of that 2002 blast will never get old.

But does anybody get the impression that the Mets or the AAOSL are going to be nothing but a mere speed bump for the Detroit Tigers?

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Weak Ender

Have there been two more perplexing teams in the NFL right now than the Baltimore Raven and Carolina Panthers who meet on Sunday? Raven is 4-1, but the team just can't score, no matter who the quarterback is. Is there a least impressive 4-1 team than Raven?

Alright, St. Louis. But people expected Raven to make the playoffs.

Maybe Brian Billick should try to make a trading-deadline deal for Randy Moss and Daunte Culpepper who could likely be landed for a couple of seventh-round draft picks and some Stacy Keibler Raven cheerleading trading cards.

The Panthers have been playing so badly this season, you should probably check to see if any of the stewardesses on the team charter are pregnant. The team is often the victim of injuries to which, at some point, you have to question the training staff and conditioning drills of the team. Like they need some Erin Brockovich to investigate the club's training site and stadium. Maybe the team’s headquarters are built on top of an old Indian burial ground, at which point hiring Craig T. Nelson as coach might not be a bad idea.

  • The St. Louis football team is off to a tremendous start. And those who picked them as a sleeper team are busy patting themselves on the back. St. Louis plays Seattle (twice), San Diego and Carolina in four of the upcoming five weeks. Enjoy the sunshine while it lasts. Anybody remember Rich Brooks in 1995?

  • Everybody is getting worked up over the Buccaneers team page that has a spoof of "Deal or No Deal" in its intro. (The Bucs staff has been doing stuff like this for years.) The cartoon is sort of funny, and it is not as objectionable as some people have made it out to be. However, if your quarterback had say, lost his spleen during a game, maybe you wouldn’t be so cavalier about jokes like this. Just saying is all. Thanks to Flash and Sports By Brooks.

  • The NFL picks were horrible last week, so bless anybody with the good sense to go the opposite way. But take this advice, the Saints will cover at home against Philadelphia this week. Ah hell, take the Saints to win this thing.

  • As your college football expert, take Boise State without even looking at the spread. Boise could be at (-100) and that is still a good bet. The Broncos have been unbeatable against the spread in recent weeks, and like they do in Las Vegas, don't bet against a streak. Unless of course you are one of those card-counters who sees doom and gloom around every corner. You don’t mess with a streak even if you "feel" that a team can’t keep doing it forever. Make Boise State steer you the wrong way.

  • Kurt Warner indicated that he might step down this year if he continues to be a back up. Warner has just been unable to catch a break since leaving St. Louis a few years back. The Giants were cruising towards a playoff berth when they benched Warner in favor of the Messiah. Then he goes into Arizona with a clueless Dennis Green. It’s a shame because Warner would seem like a better alternative to the quarterbacks situations in Denver, Miami and Dallas who could use a winner. On a side note, the Wade Blogs has a note on the top No. 13 players of all time.

  • Somebody pointed out that Corey Lidle would likely be alive if the Yankees were still in the playoffs. You just knew that they would get around to blaming A-Rod for Corey Lidle's death. Yeah, if A-Rod hadn’t choked in the playoffs again, Corey Lidle would still be alive. You people are sick.

  • The baseball playoffs have been fun. Not having the Yankees or the Red Sox out of the playoffs really eases the anxiety level of watching the playoffs and rooting against them. Luckily there is no anxiety about waiting for Tony LaRussa to win a title as he gets his smug ass handed to him. You know what would have made it better? If the Mets had kept Kris Benson, meaning the camera would be trained on Anna Benson sitting in the stands.

Cowboys receiver Terrell Owens said this week that he has yet to find his rhythm with the team thus far. That is kind of hard to imagine seeing that he spent most of the preseason on an exercise bicycle. Catching errant passes from Drew Bledsoe takes a lot of getting used to.

There also seems to be a lot of debate lately asking which receiver you would rather have—T.O. or Randy Moss. The enigmatic Raiders receiver sure has more upside, but his penchant for quitting is kind of troublesome. There are those Randy apologists who will reason that Randy is only quitting because the Raiders are so horrible. That is true. But does that also mean that Moss will be giving back all of that money he is earning from the Raiders? Hardly.

Nice Game, Jeff

If your team needs a huge home run, you had better hope that Jeff Weaver is on the mound. Nobody does just enough to lose a game like Weaver. (Although Kelvim Escobar comes close.) Weaver was cruising along in Game 1 of the NLCS, but a two-run home run by Carlos Beltran ended that and was the only scoring the Mets would need. But that was just Weaver being proficient. The Mets needed only two runs, so he gave up two runs.

Now, there will be those who will point that allowing two runs in just under six innings is not bad. And that is exactly the point. If you need Weaver to protect a one-run lead, he will give up two. If you need him to protect a five run lead, he will give up six. That is just the way that he works. Weaver giving up two runs when his team cannot score is no surprise.

And really Weaver’s start in Game 1 a testament to just how bad the NL is. Talk more about it here.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Stephen Neal: Froot Loop

Patriots lineman Stephen Neal has contemplated joining the UFC when he is done in the NFL. And going to the UFC would just be smidge above raising roosters for cock fighting. But Neal, a former collegiate wrestling champion, wouldn’t be the first NFL player to dabble in sports entertainment. Bill Goldberg, Lawrence Taylor, William Perry, Kevin Greene and Steve "Mongo" McMichael all participated in the WWF and WCW. But that was professional wrestling. UFC is a whole other brand of idiots.

Not to say that professional wrestling fans are a high class of individual, but your typical UFC fan makes a WWF fan seem like a Wimbledon spectator. UFC fans generally fall some place between Raiders fans and Chaka on the evolutionary scale. Scientist are always looking for the missing link. He’s been found; it is Chuck Liddell and Frank Trigg.

And is there a more ironic name than Frank Trigg? He looks like the kind of guy that sat in the back of your math class and said, "I'm not going to need to know this (expletive)" while cracking his knuckles and eating some kid's stolen lunch. (A kid that would eventually go on to be a huge UFC fan.) And Trigg is considered one of the smart guys, as he does color commentary and radio. He is about as eloquent as you could expect an offspring of Vin Diesel and a polar bear to be. Like he is the Pepper Brooks of the UFC.

If you need any further proof that UFC fans are stupid, consider this. Most wrestling fans understand that wrestling is fake. Or that it is scripted with the outcomes predetermined. Metal folding chairs to the head are real, the finishes are not. Fans enjoy it with as they are able to suspend belief for a few hours.

Try telling that to a UFC fan. Tell a UFC fan that their sport is fake and they will look at you like you are the crazy one. Yes, they still potato each other and the punches might be real, but the matches are more scripted than a Robin Williams movie. Why would Ken Shamrock go from the UFC to the WWF to the UFC? To learn the trade secrets on how to dupe the uneducated and NASCAR fans into believing that their sport is real.

Ask a UFC participant if their sport is fake and they will threaten to kick you ass. Which is ironic, considering that is the same way that professional wrestlers would act if you asked them that same question.

In the 1970s. You know, when people thought professional wrestling was real.

There were countless instances where wrestlers appeared on talk shows and roughed up the host for suggesting that wrestling wasn’t on the up-and-up. Or how about the famous incident where Jerry Lawler staged a fight with Andy Kaufman on the David Letterman Show? It’s all a gag. And UFC hasn't reached that level of sophistication yet, despite having a reality TV show that directly mirrored the WWF's Tough Enough.

Maybe Neal could be that Kaufman for the UFC. But he should aim a little higher. If Neal is going to do the fake stuff, he might as well step up and go for the real thing, like the WWF.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Endorsements Gone Too Far

Stadiums and arenas named after corporation has become as commonplace as the Raiders losing or a star receiving pouting about not getting the ball enough. It is inevitable. But leave it to the Chicago White Sox for taking it one step further. The White Sox will start all of their 2007 night home games at 7:11 after signing a deal with the convenience chain, 7-Eleven. Wow, isn’t that clever?

Not that there isn’t a history of this in Chicago. Announcer Harry Carey called games bombed on Budweiser in a clever cross-promotional scheme.

It is almost a shame that old Harry still isn’t alive and calling games for the Sox. He could ramble on about picking up his latest six-pack from 7-11 and then tell us what Guillen spelled backwards means. That was baseball announcing. Now we get Rex Hudler talking about his and Steve Bisheff's hair implants from Bosely. If this move gets baseball announcers drinking again, than it is a good thing.

Wikipedia Fun Fact: The Portland Trailblazers had a similar deal with High Time Magazine a few years back, when they would start their Saturday afternoon home games at 4:20.

Check out the Forums. It is not like you are going to work today.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Randy Moss: Froot Loop

It seems as though Randy Moss has either become criminally insane, or he is trying to be his best George Costanza impersonation in order to get traded away by the Raiders. This week, Moss takes on the co-star of Broken Arrow.

No, not him. But Randy lashing out on John Travolta would have been kind of cool. Instead, Moss is lashing out at Howie Long for taking too many pills during his playing days. Seriously.

Other Froot Loops: Willie McGinnest, Ozzie Guillen and Jim Otto.

T.O.: Receiver, Teammate, Children's Author

Terrell Owens is writing children's books. For real. And who better to teach America's youth that fake suicides are cool, than T.O.? It is not much a stretch really. Lord knows that Hans Christian Anderson was kind of a primadonna. Judy Blume and Astrid Lindgren both had kind of an unsavory reputations. And you really don’t want to know the true story of Roald Dahl.

Alright, that last part was made up. And speaking of made up, there is a new Last and Ten.

Thanks to our man here for the link.

Monday, October 09, 2006

The Post Mortem

RIP Martyball.

It is amazing what happens when you let your quarterback throw the ball, right Marty? Listen, Marty Schottenheimer is not a dumb guy. He knows this is his last chance to win and likely his last chance to coach. So what does he have to lose now? But you know, at the first sign of trouble, Marty is going to have to fight the temptation to sit on the ball again when the Chargers have a big lead. So maybe the club should play behind each week, and then pour it on in the fourth quarter.

It might be time to put the Steelers to bed (even though the schedule is easier). Ben Roethlisberger is not the same quarterback he was last year. It is eerily similar to the way Tommy Maddox had his career unravel when he was carted off on a stretcher a few years back. Touchdown Tommy never recovered from that brief paralysis and now he is out of football. Roethlisberger will be given a little bit more time, obviously, but he has that same glazed over look that Tommy had and Kurt Warner has developed down in Arizona. And it is not good.

Speaking of Arizona quarterbacks, Matt Leinart was rather impressive in his debut. Obviously the Raiders are very happy today that they passed over him for some defensive back. But before we get too giddy over Leinart, remember that the Cardinals will play host to the Bears on Monday night. Maybe the Cardinals should offer up Warner as a sacrificial lamb. Or maybe the Cardinals might want to install Martyball for one week.

  • While Marty has abandoned Martyball for at least a week, at least that didn’t stop him from killing your fantasy team by running Michael Turner nearly as many times as L.T. It’s like Bill Cowher had L.T. on his fantasy team and Marty really wanted to stick it to him by beating the Steelers and Cowher’s fantasy squad.

  • You have to figure that Roethlisberger hates Luis Castillo. First, Castillo nearly pulled a "Kimo" on his knee during the Monday Night game last year. Castillo again got to him last night (pictured above). And then today, it turns out that Castillo's grandmother was the one driving that car that hit Roethlisberger. What are the odds, eh?

  • The Eagles fans were pretty disappointing on Sunday. No major disturbances. No reports of violence. Nobody pulling an Robert De Niro from The Fan. Nobody hanging Joe Buck in effigy. Just a couple of "O.D." chants and some T-shirts. Ooh, look at me. I'm a big, bad Philly fan and I am wearing a mean-spirited T-shirt. Colorado Divelanche fans are tougher. Just a weak effort, Eagles fan. Even T.O. himself was disappointed by the lack of creativity and viciousness. A couple of burned jerseys? You fans are a disgrace to the courthouse and jail that was once encased in your stadium.

  • It didn’t take long for Terrell Owens to start digging in on Drew Bledsoe. "You tell me, who’s pulling the trigger?" Owens asked in a press conference after the game. "I'm just out there doing my job. I'm not trying to point the finger at anybody." Yeah, sure you are not. But T.O. is right. Bledsoe lost that game for the Cowboys. Maybe somebody should have asked if the Cowboys would have won if Donovan McNabb was the team's quarterback.

  • Congratulations to Brett Favre for finding a new way to lose. Instead of the game-crippling interception, Favre introduced the game-crippling fumble. Sadly, Favre finished with no interceptions, leaving his magic number at 17.

  • Your college football expert is now 6-0 in the last two weeks. Let’s just ignore that THN was dead wrong in its two NFL picks of the week. Would you believe that the Steelers pick was an attempt at a reverse jinx? Yeah, nobody is buying that either.

  • Somebody needs to explain how Florida is the No. 2 team in the country? How many SEC patsies are the voters going to build up? The SEC is not superior to any conference in America. And if those teams ever traveled for their non-conference games, they wouldn’t be as unbeatable as they seem. But go ahead, Gators, take the No. 2 spot. You can keep it warm for somebody else until you lose to Vanderbilt or South Carolina or something.

  • Nice unifoms, Cal. Seriously, it was kind of cool. Like the Elroy Hirsch-era Rams or something.

  • Who do you pull for in the baseball playoffs now that you don’t have the Yankees to root against? The Mets. Nothing would make Yankees fans feel worse than having "Those jerks from Flushing" win the title. Of course, they will claim victory through Willie Randolph, just like Dodgers fans try to do with the Angels.

  • The Cleveland Browns might have lost yesterday, but their meaningless field goal at the end of the game helped them cover the spread. All NFL coaches should be required to play for the spread when the game dictates.

  • Everybody made a big deal about Reggie Bush finally scoring his first touchdown. Some even speculated that Bush was a bust. Morons. Bush has made the Saints a much better team and it just hadn’t manifested itself in touchdowns until yesterday. The Saints has a winning attitude thanks to Reggie. While Drew Brees deserves some credit, too, Bush has changed the face of that franchise.

Members of the 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers are getting nervous that Oakland is going to make a legitimate push at 0-16 this season. The Buccaneers, of course, went 0-14 in 1976 and started the franchise with an 0-26 mark. Not that this year's version of the Buccaneers is that much better (losers again on Sunday), but you get the feeling that Jon Gruden will lead his team to a victory. Art Shell on the other hand? No. You would figure that the Raiders would get one of those sneaky wins, catching a team the week after a huge victory. But you know, the way everybody hates the Raiders, that might not happen. Typically a Monday night winner is vulnerable the following week, but do you see Mike Shanahan overlooking the Raiders next week? Hardly.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Nice Investment

How much did the Yankees piss away on those guys? It almost calls for one of those “priceless” jokes if, you know, they were still funny. Those jokes were in style back when the Yankees were serious World Series contenders.

And that seems like a lifetime ago.

America can breathe a sign of relief that the Yankees have been eliminated from the playoffs. Again. There was a lot of anxiety and fear that the Yankees would waltz to its first World Series of this century, but the Tigers took care of that before the A's could pull their typical choke job to the Yankees. A grateful nation thanks you, Detroit.

So where do the Yankees go from here? There are a lot of questions. The first is the fate of manager Joe Torre who will reportedly be fired this week and replaced with Lou Pinella. Was Art Shell not available? Pinella is still living off of one championship in 1990 and the world seems to ignore his failing stints with the Yankees, Mariners and Steve Irwin Killers.

The identity of the next over-the-hill slugger the team will sign (while again ignoring its lack of pitching) has yet to surface. This actually screams for Barry Bonds. What could be more fitting than to have Yankees fans swallow their pride to have to root for Bonds? Or for the baseball Gods to strike him down in a Yankees Stadium left-hand batter's box?

And finally, there is the A-Rod, the Yankees scapegoat. There are rumors that he could be heading to the Angels. And that’s fine. But the Yankees are desperate to get rid of him, so anybody on the Angels 40-man roster should be off limits. But here is a better idea, Yankees; just ship Derek Jeter to the Angels and be done with it. Jeter can actually play baseball and doesn’t fit in with the collection of heart-less and gutless stiffs you have collected. Jeter should at least be given the opportunity to win another title, don’t you think? It isn’t going to happen with the Yankees.

Friday, October 06, 2006

The Weak Ender

Hockey season has started. Seriously. It started on Wednesday or something. Typically, that would lead to numerous attempts at humor like, "Hey it is hockey season again, and it is time to start ignoring it again." But something worse happened.

People forgot.

For real.

It is one thing to be the butt of jokes, but hockey has slipped so far off the national consciousness that nobody can even bother to joke about it. It's kind of sad, too. As a high schooler, it was cool to go to the Forum to take advantage of $5 student tickets. (Though it would have been cooler to have been liked by girls.) And then Wayne Gretzky arrived and your couldn't get a hockey ticket. Now, the LA Times won't even staff away games. But buck up hockey fans, you still have Elisha Cuthbert and Erin in Ottawa, so it's not all bad.

  • It looked like T.O. picked the wrong week to not O.D. on drugs. Outside of a lover's spat over a missed text message, this week has been pretty tame. It is kind of a letdown. Paris Hilton and Shanna Moakler have a better feud going. Hopefully the Eagles fans will do something so perverse, that it will redeem the lack of action this week. The Eagles fans have long prided themselves on being worse human beings than Raiders fans (if that is possible), so let's see if that is true.

    The THN pick:
    Dallas. Donovan McNabb still seems to have trouble getting over the hump in big games. Losing three NFC Championship Games is evidence of this. As is losing (his lunch)in a Super Bowl. McNabb only won an NFC Championship Game when T.O. was on the team. True, T.O. missed that game, but he changed the attitude of the Eagles from hapless losers to winners, whether he was on the field or on the sidelines.

  • It's time for the Steelers fans to take over Jack Murphy Stadium again. Way to represent San Diego. But you know why the Chargers fans never take over Heinz Field? No self-respecting person would ever move from San Diego to Pittsburgh. Enjoy the sun, Steelers fans.

    The THN pick: It is hard to imagine the defending champions starting 1-3, especially coming off a bye. It is not hard to imagine the Chargers and Martyball starting at 2-2.

  • MLB Jennifer made a great point the other day. Isn't it ironic that the guy who is partly responsible for the Angels not making the playoffs just shutout the Padres. It is ironic. Who knew that Bill Stoneman had so much left in his arm?

  • J.J. Manning loves Cowgirl. When asked for his most memorable moment of the past four years when it came to FSU, Redick smiled and responded without hesitation, "Jenn Sterger." Well, you knew it couldn't have been any of his NCAA appearances. (And you should applaud the restraint for this not being the top story of TWE. But word is, she is answering questions in The Hater Nation Forums.)

  • The college picks have been on fire lately. In other words, heed this advice at your own risk. The call for Saturday includes Washington (+19), Tennessee (-2) and Boise State (-36). But try to wait for the Broncos line to fall a bit, but don’t worry, they will beat Louisiana Tech by 50.

  • Shaq does not like the new NBA basketball because it will make it tougher to shoot. If there is any player in the NBA who will be effected the least, it will be Shaq. What, is it going to hurt his free throw percentage?


It seems that nobody is really coming to the defense of Albert Haynesworth, the head stomping fool of the Tennessee Titans. It is pretty bad when Keyshawn Johnson is the voice of reason.

"I would have asked for him to be kicked out of the league permanently. Even if I was his teammate I would ask that he was kicked out of the league. I don't want any idiots on our team that would embarrass themselves. If they want to fight then go do Ultimate Fighting. They have a sport where you are allowed to kick someone in the face and it's not football." Yeah, if UFC was real.

And lord knows Keyshawn would never do anything stupid, on or off the field. Nor would he write a book about it.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Secret Lovers

The Terrell Owens and Donovan McNabb saga has evolved into a junior high tryst. McNabb sent T.O. a text message to "wish him well." Yes, a text message. T.O. said that he didn't get the message, insinuating that it was never sent . McNabb then threw out the photo album they made together, trashed the mix tape he was working on and dropped T.O. from his Myspace “Friends” list.

Does anybody remember the days when NFL players were men? Instead, these guys are acting like a couple of the cast members from Laguna Beach. And McNabb sure does reach out to T.O. a lot, especially for a guy who claims that he is over the whole ordeal. McNabb obviously can’t deal with unrequited love. Hopefully he doesn’t suffer a sports hernia fretting over it.

Donovan McNabb hatesThe Hater Nation Forums.

Super Bowl Buzz Kill: Finale II

Wow, this is what Matt Parker and Trey Stone must have felt like after the famed “Cartman’s Dad/Terrance and Phillip April Fool’s Day” fiasco a couple of years back. It was just a joke people. But thank you for the comments, they were all, um, amusing. Very funny. But don’t fret, this thing has been prepared for a while (as far as you know).

Why your team won’t win the Super Bowl:

God bless the Oakland Raiders. The team stuck in a time warp. Watching the Raiders is like going over to your grandparent’s house to find a rotary phone on the wall and a television with no remote. If the Raiders offense was a piece of clothing, it would be a Member’s Only jacket.

Or do you have any friends that refuse to change with the times? Like their favorite band is Van Halen?

David Lee Roth’s Van Halen?

Odds are they are a Raiders fan.

The Raiders are that rotary phone. Literally. True story, the Raiders don’t have wireless headsets on the sidelines—they use a telegraph. Maybe that is why they didn't bother to challenge that Ronald Curry spot on Sunday—their TV upstairs didn’t get that channel. The Raiders do'’t change with the times. Nothing has changed since the early 1980s when Tom Flores was running the team. Except of course for that whole “Commitment to Excellence” thing. That is about as meaningful today as the name Datsun. Even Volkswagen had the common sense to redesign The Beatle.

The Raiders have tried to adjust with the times. Al Davis twice went outside the box to pick up two young hot shot coaches, Mike Shanahan and Jon Gruden. Both coaches went on to win Super Bowls.

For the Broncos and Buccaneers, respectively.

Each time Davis has been jilted by a coach, he always ended up with Art Shell. An NFL coaching version of a booty call. Shell doesn't care if you use him one night, and don't call him back for a dozen or so years. He will still be waiting. It's not like anybody else wanted him during that time. But each time you are with Shell, you are dazed the morning after, wondering what the hell you were thinking.

And if Al Davis isn't wondering that right now, he never will. But what choice does Davis have anyway? Sean Payton turned him down. So did Bobby Petrino. Rumor has it that Fresno State coach Pat Hill wasn’t even interested in an interview. The coach of Fresno State did not even want to interview with the Raiders. Is that what the Raiders have been reduced to?

The Raiders are in no danger of reaching the playoffs, let alone even sniffing the Super Bowl as long as Shell is the coach. Some Raiders fans bought in to the myth that is Art Shell. They have become nothing but a bunch of enablers, allowing the Raiders to wallow in mediocrity because they continue to buy merchandise and give the Coliseum the occasional sellout. They act like the team has won a Super Bowl for the past 40 years. (Sorry, shouldn't have gone there.)

The Raiders are in no danger of winning football games as long as Art Shell is in charge. The Raiders are now synonymous with losing.

You know, that never gets old.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Nice Base Running, Dodgers

It is a pretty surreal experience following a baseball game on stat tracker and trying to figure out how a single by Russell Martin turned into an unassisted double play.

It was even worse on the replays.

Jeff Kent and J.D. Drew were both gunned out at the plate as Dodgers third base coach Rich Donnelly apparently channeled the spirit of Dale Sveum, the former Red Sox third base coach who drew criticism fduring Grady Little’s tenure in Boston. You had to imagine that Paul Lo Duca enjoyed sticking it to his former team. Even more so if he had a bet on it.

It is a shame that baseball fans in Southern California didn’t get to hear Joe Morgan’s expert commentary. It was likely something along the lines of, “Wow, you don’t want to get two people thrown out at the plate at the same time.” Thanks Joe, you are a big help.

  • What is Major League Baseball thinking starting the Mets/Dodgers game at 1 p.m. Pacific and saving the Yankees for the night cap? Yeah, why would you want to have the Mets in prime time and the Dodgers at a time that would afford their fans a chance to see their team at a reasonable time? Most Dodgers fans would likely have only missed the first couple of innings (in a perfect world, without a rainout). Watching the game from the third-inning on would have been like being there for most Dodgers fans. They could have even turned off the game early for the full effect.
  • The Yankees had better be constructing a retractable roof for its new stadium. That is two rainouts in two seasons.

ESPN Hates You

ESPN, obviously inspired by FOX's failed Joe Buck NFL Today experiment, is doing one better by having Joe Morgan broadcast both baseball games emanating from New York on Wednesday. Are there strange pockets of the country that actually enjoy commentary from Joe Buck or Joe Morgan? Who are these people? But more importantly, why do FOX and ESPN insist and shoving the same people down our throats each day?

University turn out thousands of broadcasting students each year, and yet the networks are still content with sticking with the same tired faces. Stuart Scott, Chris Berman, Buck, Morgan, et al would have been fired a long time ago if they were MLB managers/NFL coaches. But not only do these guys survive, the networks find more work for them.

So much so that the NYPD is going to give Morgan a police escort to go from Shea Stadium to Yankee Stadium. Seriously. It is as if the networks don’t want you to watch baseball. The MLB should consider a class action suit because you could likely prove that the decline of baseball’s popularity has nothing to do with the time of the game, the lack of inner city ballparks or steroids. It is likely the announcers charged with promoting the game are actually turning off viewers.

Joe Buck is a regular reader of The Hater Nation Forums.