The NFL hates Latinos.
It's true. The NFL has fined Chad Johnson $5K for his “Ocho Cinco” stunt as he wore that nameplate during pre-game warm-ups. If you really wanted to fine somebody for its pre-game antics, why wasn't FOX fined for its Joe Buck experiment? If anything pushed the boarders of good taste, it was that move. (The rumor is that Buck will be returning to his hosting duties. America loses.)
You have to give Johnson credit, though. You knew he was going to get fined. Chad knew he was going to get fined. But he did it anyway. And hey, it is just a write off anyway.
NFL DOES LOVE MANNING
People often wonder why there is so much backlash about Peyton Manning. And then you read things like this from NFL.com's Adam Schefter.
Super Bowl winner -- Indianapolis Colts: When Pittsburgh was 7-5 last season, few thought the Steelers finally would nab one for the thumb. This year, despite one of the worst run defenses in the history of football, the Colts will. And in the last snap shot of the 2006 season, Manning finally and fittingly will get to kiss the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
Fittingly? It would seem so if, say, it was not Manning's fault that they have never reached the Super Bowl. Manning has never lacked for an adequate running back or wide receiver during his tenure. Yet the Colts have scored a combined 17 points in two playoff loses to the Patriots, so don't blame the defense, either.
Fittingly? Yeah, maybe for one of his teammates that have been denied the opportunity because of Manning's ineffectiveness during the playoffs.
And the Sport's Dork constant harping on the Manning's big-game failures has taken some of the enjoyment of out said big-game failures. It's like people that use Joe Pesci's "I amuse you like a clown?" act from Goodfellas a little too much. Not that THN should admonish anybody for beating a joke into the ground, but still.
STRANGE PREGAME RITUAL
Manning has an odd pre-game ritual of rubbing his balls. His footballs, sickos. On Saturday night, Manning has his ball boy, Kenny Chesney, rub down his balls before the big game.
And then the Colts ball boy does the same thing to the footballs.
Previously, the visiting team did not get access to the game balls, often times playing with a "slick ball." Manning, along with Tom Brady, spearheaded a campaign that led the NFL to change that rule. Anybody else get the feeling that Brady kind of went along with this gag to make Manning look like a bigger rube?
It's funny. The league will change this rule because Manning complained about it. Yet, Johnson gets fined for wearing a different nameplate during practice. Fitting.
WINSLOW JUNIOR STILL AN IDIOT
Kellen Winslow achieved fame with the San Diego Chargers, but that doesn’t mean that Chargers fans won’t mind Junior being exposed for the female dog that he is. Junior has called himself the best tight end in the game, but he won't even be the best tight end on the field on Sunday when the Chargers play host to the Browns. Antonio Gates is clearly miles ahead of Junior, and as an added bonus, he is not a crack head. He's never ridden his motorcycle into tree; he's never compared himself to a solider. Gates is actually pretty mature.
"I don't care about him saying he's the best in the league," Gates said. "It's cool to be competitive. But when you disrespect guys who have done it over a decade like Tony Gonzalez – I mean, you have to learn to embrace the game and respect the guys who have proved it. I think that's the part of his game he lacks. He lacks respect for guys who have done it before he was even in college, guys like Tony Gonzalez. I don't care if he respects me or not.
"I guess he feels like he has something to prove," Gates said. "You don't have nothing to prove until you prove it to yourself and play a whole year. I can't get caught up with a guy talking about him being the best tight end and it's a heavyweight fight. . . . I don't see it that way. You have to have credibility to say that."
- Terrell Owens has reportedly had trouble staying awake during the Cowboys film study. Yeah, but who didn't during the Drew Bledsoe era?
- Rumors persist that Dolphins coach Nick Saban could be looking to leave the NFL to possibly return to college football and possibly Michigan State. Who the hell does this guy think he is, Larry Brown? Rick Pitino?
- Speaking of Louisville, nice putdown of West Virginia last night. Of course, this leads to people like ESPN's Calvin Cowherd to say that the Big East is overrated and that West Virginia is soft. Cowherd said that "big boy" football is played in the SEC. Funny, isn't this the same Mountaineers squad that beat Georgia in last year's Sugar Bowl? When Georgia was playing in front of a home-crowd at the Georgia Dome? No, Louisville proved last night just how good they are. SEC apologists can spin it anyway that they like, but that is the truth.
- Boise State sure helped itself out with a convincing victory. At some point, NCAA officials are going to finally realize that fans would rather see Boise State, Louisville and Rutgers in bowl games instead of one of the anonymous, average teams from the SEC. Many have said that the Louisville/West Virginia game was devoid of defense, but it was a refreshing change from those 7-3 snoozers in the SEC. Anybody who has watched an SEC game immediately feels like T.O. in film study.
- The NBA now has a zero tolerance rule that allows referees to T-up any player who so much as gives the stink eye to an NBA ref. Too bad they can't take a zero tolerance approach to players who cannot shoot the basketball. Namely Shaq and his alleged free-throw shooting.
Angels general manager Bill Stoneman called Adam Kennedy and told him that he was not going to be retained, and that Howie Kendrick will be given the starting job at second base. Or maybe Kendrick will remain at first base and the Angels will sign Alfonso Soriano at second base. Soriano, like Kennedy, played a key role in the Angels World Series championship in 2002. Soriano’s horrible defense allowed the Angels to mimic a Bugs Bunny cartoon during the decisive game four of the ALDS.