Tuesday, January 31, 2006

alexander status in doubt

Members of the Seattle Seahawks, including quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, tried to laugh off an incident that occurred on Monday. Six players were jarred when a mechanical security fence hit their van. The incident seemed relatively minor at the time. But Seahawks officials learned late Tuesday that the jolt caused star running back Shaun Alexander to suffer another concussion, leaving his status for Super Bowl XL in doubt.

“We totally expect the dude to play,” Hasselbeck said. “I mean, it’s not like he has ever missed a huge playoff game with a concussion before, right? Oh yeah, we're screwed.”

Police said that there was no reason to suspect foul play regarding the incident, but did admit that they questioned gate operator Gladys Bettis extensively.

Talk about it in the Hater Nation Forums.

Lil' hater: ole!

Did anybody see the video of that bull rampaging through a crowd in Mexico City? You can see the video here.

It was a riot.

A freaking laugh riot, that is. If you are stupid enough to go to a bullfight (and sit in the front row), then you deserve to get trampled when a thousand pound bull decides that he doesn't like his nuts zapped with a cattle prod. Listen, if you are going to see Shamu, don't sit in the front row if you don't want to get wet. Likewise, if you don't want to get gored by a rampaging bull, then maybe the front row (or even the lower bowl) might not be the place for you, Sparky.

This reminds me of the people who were all upset when Shamu turned on one of its trainers years ago. The couldn't figure out why a killer whale would react the way he did. Same here with Pajarito (Little Birdie). He was just acting out because he was--oh I don't know--a bull!

My only regret is that they don't hold bullfights here:






Wait for it...





Media Day

It's Media Day, the final day before the teams start back to practice and get ready for the game. Not to go Steve Bisheff on all of you, but you really have to have been at a media day back a few years ago to really understand it.

Just kidding. Here are some stories and headlines we would like to see surface on Media Day:


The city of Detroit has turned into Pittsburgh West as part of a Seahawks evil scheme. "Have you ever seen the Steelers recent home playoff record? This is going to be huge for us," Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said while laughing maniacally. ...

Brett Favre calls a news conference Tuesday morning to announce that he is not sure what he wants for lunch. If he had to choose right now, he'd pick a salami sandwich. ...

Columnist refuses to label media day as a circus. "This story has been done to death in recent years. We get it. Pseudo celebrities show up and ask dumb questions. It’s a riot. Let’s leave this kind of obvious humor to less-talented guys such as the Orange County Register's Randy Youngman." ...

Seahawks players really don't care which uniform they wear. "Seriously, if it helps people forget that we haven't beaten anybody to get here, I am all for it," running back Shaun Alexander said. "Besides, it’s kind of gay to talk about uniforms. But that is Pittsburgh. They are gay." ...

The Association of Mustached American Coaches is torn over whom to endorse in the Super Bowl, but say it will be America’s greatest day since Magnum P.I. was on the air. ...

Columnist refuses to make a joke about the over-reporting of Jerome Bettis birthplace. The intrepid scribe notes that not only is the story surround Bettis's return to Detroit annoying, but reporting about the over-reporting has become worse. ...

The Pittsburgh Steelers do not have cheerleaders. So the NFL announced today that former Panthers cheerleaders Angela Keathley and Renee Thomas (left) will serve as the club's official cheer captains. Media members start stalking women's restrooms in cheesy clubs. ...

Brett Favre schedules an afternoon press conference Tuesday to let everybody know that he once tutored a young Matt Hasselbeck in Green Bay. "Remember that game-ending interception he threw in the playoffs a couple of years ago? I taught him that," Favre said. For the record, he is having Chef Boyardee for lunch. ...

Steelers turn to Tommy Maddox and his championship experience. As one of the few members of the Steelers with a professional football championship, linebacker Joey Porter says that the Steelers, now more than ever, will be leaning on Maddox. ...

Columnist: Detroit Not that Bad. The reporter is shanked on his way to the media shuttle after filing the story. ...

Barrett Robbins to host Super Bowl party in Windsor, Ontario. ...

Columnist refuses to rip on the cold of Detroit. "I know this may be hard to believe, but football fans generally don’t care about my warmth or convenience in getting around the Super Bowl city." ...

Bill Cowher refuses to give a reason why he turned on America and feuded with Hulk Hogan during Wrestlemania VII. ...

Columnist hilariously points out that Super Bowl XL could be viewed as Super Bowl "Extra Large." The columnist anxiously awaits word from Pulitzer Prize committee. ...

Both the Seahawks and Steelers admit that they get the respect they deserve. "If anything, they might be getting too much," Steelers receiver Hines Ward said. ...

NFL’s Man of the Year does not solicit prostitute. Eugene Robinson feels as though he is a failure as a role model.

Jerome Bettis’ parents ask to not be shown on television: Network to comply.

Bill Belichick turns down the chance to play backup guitar with the Stones at halftime of Super Bowl XL. "I think our team might be a little over-exposed," said the coach working with NFL Network.

Brett Favre schedules a news conference that evening to let the media know that he doesn't want to become a story during the Super Bowl.

NFL Adam to finally produce something funny on the Hater Nation; America will not hold its breath.

Talk about it in the Hater Nation Forums. Our man, Benny says it's cool. Although our friend, Zach, thinks the forums are for suckers. (Be sure to check out their sites this week.)

Monday, January 30, 2006

Blackmail

The man who caught the ball from Doug Flutie's historic drop-kick is using his lawyer to leverage the Patriots for a handsome payday. But only because he is a true fan of the team. It seems this fan has already had offers from other people, but seriously, he wants to stick it to the Patriots because he is a true fan.

Stacey James, media relations guru for the Patriots, received a fax from the lawyer of the fan detailing his client's demands for the return of the ball. They were published here in the Boston Globe:

1. Payment of ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND ($100,000.00) DOLLARS [lawyer's capitals] on delivery of the football.

2. A guarantee of eight (8) season tickets for 25 years in the end zone (preferably sections 142 or 143).
a. The season tickets will be paid for annually by my client at the then going price for season tickets. The Patriots would not be expected to pay for the tickets. (Hey that seems fair.)

3. Delivery by the Patriots to my client sometime in September, 2006, of a Tom Brady Patriots' football jersey signed by all the team members as of the beginning of the next football season.

4. Guitar lessons with Bill Belichick and an autographed hooded sweatshirt. Plus my client and Belichick will be partners in a fantasy football league.

5. Dinner with Bridget Moynihan, sans Visa's five layers of protection. (Tom Brady can attend if he wants.)

6. Matt Cassel to play quarterback for his intramural football team.

Alright, we made the last three up.

It might sound crazy for the fan to ask for all of this stuff. But then again, Robert Kraft did give away a ring to Vladimir Putin last year. So this guy might not be as dumb as we think. But odds are the Patriots won’t even part with a soda from the Diet Pepsi machine. The identity of the individual is being protected by the James and the Patriots, but who could do something like this?



Doug Mientkiewicz? Come on. That is too obvious.

It just has to be this guy. (Please let it be this guy.)



The ESPN's Bill Simmons. He said in his recent More Cowbell (don't ask), that he is working on a mystery project and can't go to the Super Bowl. Can't or won't go because he is ducking the Patriots? Maybe that mystery project is a new book, Now I Can Die in Peace, I Extorted the Patriots For $100K.

Hopefully the Patriots won't buckle under and negotiate. Remember guys, if you give in to these demands, then the football terrorist will have won. Talk about it here, in the Hater Nation Forums.

Make Up Your Mind

Brett Favre really loves attention. Favre announced in an ESPN interview that he is undecided about whether to retire or not from football. What he is certain of is that he loves to get reporters talking with the retirement tease.

Who does this guy think he is, Ryan Seacrest? You could imagine FOX televising Favre's big announcement and saying, "I have made a decision and that decision is...I'll tell you after the break."

Favre said that he was concerned about his image if he came back for one more season.

"I love the game too much and I love my legacy too much to have that just be OK," Favre said, "and I don't want to be just OK. I want to be good, and I don't know if I'm committed enough [right now] to be good on an everyday basis."

Too late. Favre wasn't good last season, as he threw 29 interceptions with a passer rating near Tiger Woods average round (70.9). Favre has already achieved the Willie Mays for the Mets stage of his career. Favre's decision-making skills have diminished so much his only option is to retire.

Or at least play for the Raiders.

What should Favre do? Talk about it in the message board a certain major newspaper in Orange County does not want you to see, the Hater Nation Forums.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

85 Bears: Best Ever

At least according to Illinois lawmakers. The Illinois General Assembly unanimously decided last week to designate the 1985 Chicago Bears the greatest football team of all time. The Chicago City Council passed a similar law last month. That will sure end the debate.

This is the kind of thing that is really going to piss off Nick Buoniconti and the 1972 Dolphins. Look for members of the two teams to rumble during the pregame show of Super Bowl XL. The winner gets a bottle of chamagne.

House Minority Leader Tom Cross was the lead sponsor and said, "Of course they were the best, didn't you see the Super Bowl shuffle?"

And here we thought only sports editors had that kind of time to waste.

Who was the greatest team of all-time? Talk about it in the Hater Nation Forums, voted too hot for the Internet by the Association of Humorless Poopy Pants.

career advice

Obviously we might not be the best authority to be dispensing career advice. But at least it beats sports editors practicing law. We would, however, like to encourage Mike Martz to pass up an offer to be the offensive coordinator for the Detroit Lions.

Martz will notify the Lions on Monday regarding his intentions to accept the Lions offer according to the Detroit News. Although Martz does have the arrogance to gamble his career on Joey Harrington, he should hold out for that Raiders gig.

Don't sell yourself short Mike. This marriage between you and the Raiders has been ordained by the football gods. Do not condescend to take this offensive coordinators position. It is beneath you. You are Mike "Freaking" Martz, offensive genius. Don't take this Lions job.

Talk about it in the Hater Nation Forums. Voted as a member of the axis of evil by the association of Orange County sports editors.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Martz Talks With Raiders

Mike Martz interviewed with Raiders owner Al Davis on Thursday about the Raiders' coaching vacancy according to the Mercury News. And to be quite honesty, we don't know if we have been good enough in our lives to receive such a blessing.

Davis had previously cast aside Martz earlier this month citing health concerns.

"I am a little concerned about Mike from another standpoint, physically, right now," Davis said. "But Mike has always been of interest because he is dynamic. He is not afraid. But there is a fear there right now (about his health)."

This coming from a guy that has cheated death for two centuries and can no longer move about without a walker. The Hater Nation will keep you up to date with this story.

CLARIFICATION

We received an anonymous comment on a recent story from somebody who wanted to clarify that Jon Gruden was traded from the Raiders. Somehow that makes things worse. The Raiders received a first and second round pick in 2002, a first round pick in 2003, and a second round pick in 2004. Plus $8 million in cash.

Tampa Bay gave Oakland the 21st and 53rd picks in the draft in 2002. The Raiders dealt third- and fifth-round picks to trade up from No. 21 to No. 17, when they took cornerback/returner Phillip Buchanon. With Tampa Bay's second-round pick, Oakland picked tackle Langston Walker.

Buchanon now plays for Houston. Walker has started 17 games

The Raiders selected defensive end Tyler Brayton with the Buccaneers first pick in 2003 (No. 32 after humiliating the Raiders in the Super Bowl) and center Jake Grove the following year. Brayton has registered 6 sacks in three years and Jake Grove has started 16 games in two seasons.

And for the money? The Raiders are nearly $30 million over the salary cap right now, meaning they will be paying a lot of money to guys no longer on the team this season.

So in other words, thanks to anonymous for pointing that out.

Talk about it in The Hater Nation Forums.

Chesney: All Man

At least according to one flight attendant for Southwest Airlines. Paula Jackson, 47, announced to a plane load of people—including FOX gossip columnist Roger Friedman—that she had been Kenny Chesney’s lover for 10 years before he met and married Renee Zellweger.

And if there is one segment of society that knows something about manly men, it’s flight attendants.

Jackson described Chesney as a capable lover, which really is more information than we really needed. Peyton Manning could not be reached for comment.

Did a former cab driver really say she was Tom Cruise's former lover? Talk about it in the Hater Nation Forums.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Who's Dancing with the Devil?

It is fair to say that Terrell Owens has been a pretty vocal critic of his quarterbacks. He insinuated that Jeff Garcia was gay and painted Donovan McNabb as a "sellout" who gets sick during the big games.

Whether Owens is right can be debated. But what can't be disputed is that it is all very entertaining. Be honest, Owens is the biggest non-Raider topic on this site. That is why we are excited about a recent report that has linked Owens with—wait for it—the Denver Broncos.

And there are even members of the Broncos who would be in favor of this.

"He's a great player," Broncos center Tom Nalen told the Denver Post. "Any team would be happy to have him. I think he'd do well here. With this locker room, I think he would conform to our standards and fit in well here."

Two things here: Either Nalen is an idiot, or he must really, really hate Jake Plummer.

But it might be worth the risk for Denver. They were only a game away from the Super Bowl and Owens is pretty much guaranteed to have one incident-free season with the Broncos. It might be worth it. And if things work out, Owens could lead the Broncos to the Super Bowl next year and the Avalanche could retire his number. Maybe they will even spring for a parade in San Francisco and Philadelphia. Talk about it in the
Hater Nation Forums.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Bryant Wolfs Out

Do you think Jelly Bean Bryant and Kobe have had a recent talk about turning into Teen Wolf? The elder Bryant may have wished that is skipped a generation, but it has finally manifested in Kobe, culminating with his recent 81-point performance. In a true life imitating art moment, Lamar Odom was seen eating an apple on the basketball court. It seems like Kobe would be a natural for Coach Flinstock's system: It doesn't matter how you play the game, it's whether you win or lose. And even that doesn't make all that much difference.

But who would you rather as your lead player—the enigmatic Kobe or the charismatic Teen Wolf? The Hater Nation stacks up the two basketball legends.





Kobe

Teen Wolf

Advantage

Claim to fame:

Three NBA titles; next Jordan

Beat Dragons for city title; snagged Boof

Teen Wolf

Idols:

Mussolini

Robin Williams; George ‘The Animal” Steele

Teen Wolf

Enemies:

Karl Malone; assists

Principle Thorne; Mick McAllister

Kobe

Dissed:

Shaq

Pamela Wells

Kobe

Eats:

McDonalds; Nuttella

Chickens

Teen Wolf

Can be stopped by:

A Lamar Odom pass

Sliver bullet

Teen Wolf

Fashion Statement:

Purple tights

Headband

Kobe

Also known as:

81

Wolf

Kobe

Anger management issue:

Too easy

Slashed McAllister’s shirt at the dance

Kobe

Ways to relax:

Lifting weights; jewelry shopping

Surfing with Stiles on the Wolfmobile

Teen Wolf

Turn ons:

High school girls

High school girlfriends of rivals

Teen Wolf

Turn offs:

Finishing himself

Making out in closets

Kobe

Appeared in:

NBA Finals; All-Star Game; Court TV

School production of "Gone with the Wind"

Kobe

Coach's words of wisdom:

Live in joy, in love, even among those who hate

Never get less than 12 hours of sleep; never play cards with a guy who has the same first name as a city; and never get involved with a woman with a tattoo of a dagger on her body. Now you stick to that and everything else is cream cheese.

Teen Wolf

Score

7

7

Tie



Imagine that. Both Teen Wolf and Kobe are deadlocked. True peas in a pod. But remember this. Teen Wolf did not win until he de-wolfed and included his teammates. That might be the lesson here for Kobe. Talk about it in the Hater Nation Forums.

Photos are courtesy of Wooda at Live1 Productions.

Anna Does Baltimore

Anna Benson continues to be in the news, this time telling the New York Daily News that she plans to christen Camden Yards by having sex in the stadium's parking lot. Benson seems a perfect fit for Baltimore which is best known for its crabs.

Orioles fan Brian Smith, for one, likes what he hears.

"I don't see anything wrong with that," said Smith, 32, a bartender at a spot a few blocks from the stadium. "I've dated a stripper or two myself.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Shall We Dance?

The NFL coaching dance has neared its conclusion and it should come as no surprise that Al Davis is still without a dance partner. As the final bars of Take My Breath Away plays, Davis stares longingly into the distance as he holds up the wall. But don't fret Al. There is somebody waiting for you. Since you seem to be inept at breaking the ice and have been burned by recent courtships (seriously, Al Saunders?), let me do the introduction.

Al, this is Mike Martz. Mike, this is Al Davis. You both are perfect for each other.

Martz has the arrogance to be a Raiders coach. You see, the Raiders have never lost a game. It has always been the referees, the league, or tuck rules screwing them. It is never the Raiders fault. Likewise, Martz has never made a coaching mistake in his life. Ever. He’s also not afraid to let you know that he is a genius.

Martz won't even care that you went ahead an already hired a defensive coordinator, either. The offensive guru would never condescend to ever look over a defensive game plan.

Al, you hate disciplined players. That should not be a problem for Martz. It’s not to say that he is a lenient coach, but he makes Captain Hazelwood look like Bud Grant.

Martz did miss most of last season with a heart condition, but Al, you have been finding a way to cheat death for years. Montgomery Burns could only hope for your own immortality.

And the Patriots? Rest assured that you both would have a lot to commiserate about.

Sure there is the temptation for going after a young, unheralded coach, but he will only end up leaving you to win a Super Bowl for another team—like Mike Shanahan and Jon Gruden. Martz gives you the best chance to maintain your commitment to mediocrity. The Raiders will finish 9-7, score a ton of points, and be out-coached each week (especially on defense), but at least your team would be interesting for a change.

C’mon guys, seal this deal with a kiss already.

BILLS NEW COACH

How bad is the coaching job in Buffalo when Mike Mularkey would rather quit and go work for the biggest control freak in the NFL? It is so bad that they had to settle for Dick Jauron.

With octogenarians Ralph Wilson and Marv Levy running the show in Buffalo, it is a surprise they didn’t hire Steve Guttenberg as head coach.

Talk about it in the Hater Nation Forums.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Kobe Sets Ball-Hogging Standard

Kobe Bryant scored 81-points against the Toronto Raptors on Sunday night. The highest total for a professional player against a non-NBA team. The Lakers went on to beat Toronto, 122-104.

Bryant was at a loss for words after the game.

"It just happened," Bryant said. "It's tough to explain. It's just one of those things."

Not surprisingly, that was the same explanation that Kobe gave when he was accused of raping a woman a few summers ago. At least he didn’t blame this on Shaq, either.

And this, in no way, looks fishy either. There is no way the NBA would encourage one of its lesser franchises to back off and let Kobe score 81 points on a day the Super Bowl teams were decided (watch the highlights. Kobe is never doubled). We know the NBA, and especially its officials, are on the up-and-up.

STAT OF the day: The Lakers had 18 assists as a team. Toronto had 20. Does anybody besides Kobe handle the ball on this team? How does Lamar Odom not have at least 20 assists on his own?

Fun With Jason Sehorn

Jason Sehorn took some time on Sunday to answer some questions from fans during the NFC Championship Game. Sehorn was very gracious with his time, but he would not answer any of our questions. But we have provided them here. No idea why he would not take the time to answer these relevant questions from one of his biggest fans. Here they are:

  • Jason, you were burned badly by Brandon Stokley in Super Bowl XXXV? How badly would Steve Smith burn you?

  • Jason, scratch that last question. You were burned by a Panthers receiver in the playoffs a couple of years ago when you played for St. Louis. Who was that? Any help would be appreciated.

  • Jason where does Jake Delhomme rank among quarterbacks who have burned you? Above or below Trent Dilfer? Ever been burned by Matt Hasselbeck? Anxiously awaiting your answer.

  • Jason, is it worse to be burned in college or pro? Please discuss the pros and cons of each.

  • Jason, was their a bigger media whore moment than when you proposed to your wife on the Tonight Show? Is it true Elton John (who was there) told you to butch up? And is that marriage ever going into the pooper?

  • Jason, where do you believe you rank among the most overrated players in sports? Can’t wait for your take.

  • Jason, is your biggest regret in sports begging to play special teams and suffering a season-ending injury, getting burned by Stokley, or your appearance on Third Watch?


Maybe it was sitting down to do that chat session. What would you have liked to have known from Sehorn? Talk about it in the Hater Nation Forums.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

It's the Steelers and Seahawks

Both the Steelers and Seahawks advanced to Super Bowl 40 and that means only one thing: Who in the heck will Franco Harris root for?

The former Steelers great ended his career with the Seahawks in a bitter attempt to extend his career and surpass Jim Brown for the all-time rushing lead. But don’t worry, when the media is tired of talking about Jerome Bettis returning to Detroit for his final game, they will eventually turn to this angle.

That’s the joy of having two weeks between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl. It also ensures that one team will win in a blowout. Most Super Bowl blowouts occur when there is a two-week pause between games.

The Steelers were installed as an early 4-point favorite at the Stardust on Sunday. Who is the Hater Nation leaning towards with two weeks of endless hype? Are you joking? THN tabbed the Broncos and the Panthers as our Super Bowl picks. How did that turn out?

STEELERS vs. BRONCOS

I really believed in Jake Plummer. The fact that The Replacements was on TBS prior to the games actually cemented my belief that the Broncos would win. Plummer and Shane Falco seemed to have a lot in common; both dated cheerleaders; both were considered losers; both wore #16; and let’s be honest, Jake isn’t far away from scrapping barnacles from the bottom of boats.

Still, there is the nagging suspicion that if this game was played in Pittsburgh, the Broncos would have won.

PANTHERS vs. STEELERS

The announcers kept comparing Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck to Brett Favre. Even Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren called Hasselbeck during the pregame show. So I kept waiting for one of those Favre-like, game-crippling interception from Elisabeth Filarski’s bother-in-law. But it never happened.

It’s still going to take some getting used to hearing Seahawks and Super Bowl in the same sentence. And those damn uniforms ... please, in the name of Jim Zorn, wear the throwbacks.

Make your Super Bowl picks in the Hater Nation Forums.

Anna Benson Traded to Baltimore

Yeah and her husband, Kris, also was part of the package sent to Baltimore on Saturday for a couple of other journeymen pitchers. A deal like this would not be big news if Anna was not the Paris Hilton of Major League Baseball wives. Instead, every sports log and website will make a Baltiwhore joke and treat this like it is big news.

Why? Anna once famously promised on the Howard Stern show that she would sleep with the entire Mets organization (including the bat boys) if she ever caught Kris cheating on her. Mets players will now save countless dollars not taking Kris to Scores now. (Which, incidentally is where Kris found his blushing bride in the first place.)

The burdern of getting Kris to cheat now falls into the hands of his new Baltimore teammates. (Insert your own B.J. Surhoff joke here.) At least now Miguel Tejada has a reason to stay with the team.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

What's Up for the Title Games?

Award season is alive and well in Hollywood. If you ever want to make a sure-fire critically acclaimed movie it needs to revolve around somebody who is either hideously ugly (Monster), retarded (My Name is Sam), or gay (Brokeback Mountain). You'll have a real winner if you subject is ugly, retarded and gay.

Hey, that sounds like Peyton Manning’s life story.

It's a shame that we won't have Manning to kick around anymore—other than their insipid commercial appearances. This weekends games seem to lack a villain to root for. As we wrote about a long, long time ago, villains are everything.

Nevertheless here is what's up for Championship Weekend.

WHO DO YOU ROOT FOR?

Tough question when there is nobody to root against. But we're pulling for Denver because of one person who has never even put on a Broncos uniform—Pat Tillman. The immense media scrutiny will force this story back to the surface, thanks to Tillman's friendship with Jake Plummer. And rightly so. Tillman's story, along with the military's cover-up, should not be buried. Peole need to be reminded.

There is also a rooting interest for the Panthers seeing that they were the Hater Nation's (and everybody's) pick to win the Super Bowl. Of course, we also picked a break out year for the Houston Texans and look how well that turned out. And don't forget about the Seahawks uniform factor.

STEELERS vs. BRONCOS

This game would not be close if this was played in Pittsburgh—the Broncos would obviously win. It's just still hard to imagine that Bill Cowher is going to have his team prepared for three consecutive playoff games. The Steelers Super Bowl was last week. They will not have enough left in the tank. It won't be close. Jake Plummer is going to the Super Bowl. The pick: Denver.

PANTHERS vs. SEAHAWKS

You wouldn’t be the first to doubt Jake Delhomme. Mel Kiper Jr. said that the Panthers should take Aaron Rodgers in last year's draft. Remember that when Kiper projects USC's LenDale White to fall all they way down to No. 17 in this year's draft. Jake is the reason that the Panthers are going to their second Super Bowl in three years. Delhomme comes up big in the playoffs. He's like the anti-Manning. Delhomme shredded the Bears defense and holds a 5-1 all-time playoff mark. That one loss, of course, came in the Super Bowl to the Patriots. That won’t happen again. The pick: Carolina.

Pick 'em pal in the Hater Nation Forums.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

The Bish Keeps Rocking the Hits

If you ever see the Black Crowes in concert you want to hear them open with the song Remedy; close with Remedy; play Remedy at least one other time; followed by an encore of Remedy.

Play your damn hits.

Sports writers are the same way. You want to read the classic take. Orange County Register columnist Steve Bisheff (affectionately known as The Bish in the Hater Nation Forums) really delivered on Thursday. He hit all of his classic fallbacks in his typical heavy-handed, over-dramatic prose about Jerome Bettis.

Witness the brilliance of the Bish.

Excuse some of us if we're feeling a little sentimental about Jerome Bettis, who could be playing his last football game Sunday.

You see, we knew him before he was "The Bus."

This is classic Bisheff: You had to know "The Bus" back in the day to really appreciate him. It is the sports writers equivalent of a music snob saying, "I remember seeing the Stones back in Chelsea before they got really popular." We get it; you're old, you've seen it all.

Back in 1993, Bettis, the frisky, young power runner from Notre Dame, was a rookie with the then Los Angeles Rams. In the midst of a fine first season, he enjoyed a bust-out game in New Orleans, rushing for 212 yards in 28 carries in a 23-20 upset of the Saints.

Caught up in the drama of the moment, your humble correspondent noted this was the same town where Tennessee Williams first made a name for himself with "A Streetcar Named Desire." Then, obviously impressed by Bettis' thundering runs, I added: "Here comes 'A Streetcar Named Jerome.'"

This is a classic, "Damn am I fresh" move from the Bish. Not only is he congratulating himself on a joke he wrote a dozen years ago, but he reiterates the joke here and blows it completely.

Hey, streetcar, bus, at least they're in the same general family.

The Bish goes for the kill midway through his story (we'll spare you the details. You don't want to read it) where the Bish expounds on Bettis' trade from St. Louis to Pittsburgh.

As career moves go, this was the football equivalent of George Clooney leaving the cast of "ER" to take a crack at making movies.

This is actually the saddest part of the story. This is where the Bish tries desperately to prove that he is still viable. That The Bish still has his finger on the pulse of pop culture. Despite the bad rug on his head along with a suit that looks as though it was purchased as Sears and slept in the night prior to Register photo day, the Bish wants to show that he is cool. That is so sad, we wish we could cook up some Remedy to cure him.

Get it? Remedy? That fresh reset was our homage to the Bish.

Panthers Cheerleaders Are Back

Our favorite newstory of 2005 is back.

Angela Keathley (the Sea Hag) has settled out of court in the Panthers cheerleaders sexcapades. Renee Thomas (the hot one) will not go down without a fight (pun intended). Not only did Thomas knock the snot out of kill-joy and lesbian sex blocker, Melissa Holden, but now Thomas is suing her for deformation of character.

This is a point in the story when the Bish would pull out a Yakov Smirnof quote and claim, "What a country."

Thomas obviously doesn't like being known as the lesbian cheerleader. But maybe Thomas should be more upset that she never took the Penthouse offer and cashed in while she had a chance. Oh well, maybe Playboy will add them in a pictorial when this story is forgotten about and irrelevant in five years.

And was this update really a reason to post those pictures again? We plead guilty. Talk about it in the Hater Nation Forums.

NFL's Soccer Mom Rips Terry Bradshaw

It didn't take Archie Manning too long before finally going after Terry Bradshaw for ripping his son, Peyton, following the Colts playoff loss. Bradshaw was critical of Manning for putting the blame on his pass protection instead of own notorious choking ability.

"I know Terry well, and this isn't the first time," said Manning, who was passing out orange slices and "Squeeze-Its" in the Colts locker room when he heard Bradshaw's comments. "He's taken shots at me, he takes a lot of shots -- he seems to like to take shots at Peyton. He wore me out two years ago on Eli's deal [whining about playing in San Diego forcing a draft-day trade to the Giants]. He wore me out.

"[Bradshaw] is not a bad guy. He's in a high-profile spot there. Maybe that's what he's supposed to do up there, get after people. I don't know. You just move on."

Archie then jumped into his Aerostar minivan and drove away.

The one who seems to have trouble moving on is Archie as he always meddles in his sons' affairs. Joe Simpson looks merely supportive by comparison. One of the boys needs to cut the cord from Papa or this relationship could end like Marvin Gaye and his father. Or at the very least end up like that one unheard of sibling, Jon Bonet Manning.

At least Archie was able to report some good news for one of his boys.

"Probably the only good thing that's happened to a Manning boy in the last week is Eli killed an 11-point buck last Friday," Archie said.

Of course, Eli had originally intended to kill an 12-point buck but was intercepted by the 11-point buck. Laugh at the Manning family in the Hater Nation Forums.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Isn't That Special



Watching Shaq and Pat Riley come to town is a lot like watching David Lee Roth in his post Van Halen days. Sure he wasn’t what he once was, but if the team had stayed together who knows what could have happened. You can say that the Lakers made the right choice in keeping Kobe. But if the a-hole could have been a better teammate than say, Peyton Manning, the choice shouldn't have presented itself.

Kobe is a good guy, today. But it won't be long before he punches a teammate, rapes a girl, or does something else to et on our bad side. Talk about it in the Hater Nation Forums.

NFL to Steelers: Our Refs Suck

The NFL said the referee made a mistake: Troy Polamalu caught the ball.

The league acknowledged Monday that referee Pete Morelli erred when he overturned on replay Polamalu's interception of Peyton Manning's pass attempt late Sunday in the playoff game between Pittsburgh and Indianapolis.

Mike Pereira, the league's vice president of officiating, said in a statement that Morelli should have let the call on the field stand.

"He maintained possession long enough to establish a catch," Pereira said. "Therefore, the replay review should have upheld the call on the field that it was a catch and fumble."

Pereira also noted that Jerry Porter's comments about the ref's cheating were "spot-on" and that it was "our bad."

The only question, where was Ed "Guns" Hochuli when the nation really needed him?



Figures. The NFL's most self-absorbed referee couldn't pry himself from his Sports Illustrated appearance to make it out to a game. Check out the Hater Nation Forums.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Colts Get Their Tuck Rule

Unbelievable. Good luck Denver, you have no chance in Indianapolis next week. None.

Update: What a game. We were going to take down this headline, but we will leave it up as our own little, "Dewey Defeats Truman."

This Just In: Lil' Hater Hates the Refs

Lil' Hater has no problem with a little Home Cooking, especially in the NFL Playoffs. All things being equal, teams that win home field advantage usually deserve the benefit of the doubt from the refs. (Except for the Giants, who deserve nothing but scorn for their crap-the-bed performance last week.)

But it's getting out of hand.

Yeah, every jackass commentator (like NFL Adam) will note the symmetry of the Pats Dynasty ending by a gutless no-call on the Champ Bailey play, just as the Dynasty started in the Tuck Rule game. But literally giving Denver 14 free points (that wasn’t close to interference) is going a little too far. (But if it ends up making the Sports Dork cry, then who is to say what’s right and what’s wrong…)

And having the refs assess all of TWO whole penalties (both 5-yarders) to the Seahawks in their game is just transparently lame. C'mon already. Yeah, the clearly tense Seahawks can't go two plays without fumbling the ball, but they’re so composed in a big game that they don’t commit one big penalty all game long. Right. ...

When Matt Hasselback gets seven seconds in the pocket for every pass play, it isn't because his O-line is great, it’s because that very same line is clearly holding the 'Skins, and is getting away with it. It's OK, refs, to call one out of every 15 holding calls. Really, it is.

And by the way, I think we all saw the true character of Shaun Alexander today. Any other man in that postion, with a mild headache in a must-win game, would have kept playing. Not Shaun, though. He's already got his big-money deal set for next year.

For a guy with a game-ending concussion, he sure seemed plenty able to jump and run around like a jackass on the sidelines when his teammates were picking up the slack for him.

And don't worry Shaun, you looked really manly jumping around, clapping your hands in your widdle rain-coat, widdle mittens and ski cap.

Meanwhile, Clinton Portis was playing with a shoulder that requires surgery, Shaun Springs was playing with a torn groin (ouch) that needs surgery, and even 94-year-old lineman Ray Brown was able to summon the courage to re-enter the game after being told he shouldn't. None of them are in a contract-year, either.

With characters like Alexander – who value setting NFL records in pointless late-season games more than doing what it takes to win in the playoffs – it’s pretty clear that Seattle doesn't need to worry about Super Bowl victory parades any time soon. They’re done next week.

Other notes of a slightly inebriated Bobblehead:

WORDS OF advice to CBS, and the makers of Love Monkey: Your show might come off more realistic to Joe Public if you casted guys that at least appear to be heterosexuals for the main roles in this show. The show would be more butch if it cast Sean Hayes, Elton John, Kenny Chesney, and Peyton Manning.

WAS THE Family Guy's Glen Quagmire modeled after Jim Nance? I’m guessing Nance is more perverted in real life than Quagmire, based on those longing looks at Phil Simms. Or maybe it’s the booze talking.

THOSE LAME Pepsi Machine/NFL ads would almost be funny if a drunken Pepsi Machine hit on Suzy Kolber. Yeah, maybe the booze is taking a toll.

CHECK OUT the lame message board (they make me do this) known as the Hater Nation Forums.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Bryant Upset Over Latest Loss

LOS ANGELES Star player Kobe Bryant exploded at his teammates moments after the Lakers beat the Cavaliers, 99-98, at Staples Center on Thursday night. Bryant was heard screaming in the clubhouse and allegedly broke a television monitor and tossed a couple of chairs—one projectile narrowly avoided Chris Mihm as he walked out of the shower.

Bryant had assembled the team to notify them that the Lakers actually lost on Thursday night, despite what the scoreboard said. Bryant informed that team that because LeBron James personally outscored him, 28-27, he was going to petition the league to have the game counted as a Lakers loss.

"I don't know why these guys are so giddy," Bryant said. "They had a good view of the scoreboard from the bench, and they could see [James] had more points. I’ve told these guys, if you want to win a ring, go play for somebody else. I have three. This is all about me and winning a scoring title."

The Lakers captain then motioned over to Lamar Odom and said, "It is hard to win a game with idiots on our team. Not only did [Odom] he shoot the ball too much, but that moron was celebrating after I made that last second shot. I mean, he needs to commit a foul so I can get one more chance to beat James. But he was out mugging for the crowd.

"Because of [Odom], even Zydrunas Ilgauskas scored more than me [29]. Ain't nobody coming to the Staples Center to see that cracker Ziggy Iguana.”

Odom nearly missed a triple-double finishing with 20 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists. Odom had plenty of opportunities, but Bryant missed twelve shots—a couple that looked a little fishy.

Asked if he would miss a shot to keep Odom from a triple double, Bryant just smiled and said, “That would learn him.”

Is Kobe Bryant a jackass? Give us your take in the Hater Nation Forums.

What's Up For the Playoff Weekend?

The weather channel says there is a good chance of snow in Denver for Saturday's Divisional Playoff Game between the Broncos and Patriots. The snow, the Patriots against an AFC West opponent ... it is like a tribute to the Tuck Rule game.

While that game launched the Patriots dynasty, Saturday’s game will officially end New England’s run at the top. The NFL is likely praying for a Patriots versus Colts match-up in the AFC Championship Game.

It is not going to happen.

Before you say fix, remember the NFL would have loved for the Cowboys to go to Lambeau for the 1996 NFC Championship Game. But Kerry Collins and the Carolina Panthers did something Brett Favre and the Packers could never do—beat the Cowboys in the playoffs.

Fittingly, this version of the Patriots reminds me of that ill-fated Cowboys team. Both defending champions started 3-3; both had huge injuries on both sides of the football; the Cowboys, like the Patriots this year, went on a big winning streak at the end of the season only to lose its regular-season finale to a division rival; both snot-kicked their opening round opponents. The similarities are striking.

True, Robert Kraft did not fire Bill Belichick and replace him with an over-matched, retired college coach (what is Terry Donahue doing these days?), the injuries on the offensive line and on the defense (Rodney Harrison) will just be too much for New England. The Pick: Denver.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"They don't want to just sit there, line up and play football. They want to try to catch you off guard. They don't want to play smashmouth football, they want to trick you. They want it to be a thinking game instead of a football game." -- Steelers linebacker Joey Porter.

In other words Porter knows that the Steelers aren't as good as the Colts in the talent department, coaching department, or in the scoring points department. So he is going to call the Colts cheaters for trying to score on each possession instead of doing the cool thing and punting on first down at least three times a game. And be honest. When Peyton Manning isn't playing New England or Florida in the playoffs, he is good.

STEELERS V. COLTS

Did anybody watch this game on Monday Night Football a few weeks back? How do people even give the Steelers a chance in this game? Bill Cowher is such a one-and-done coach. The pick: Indianapolis.

BATTLE OF THE BEARDS

What a season for beard fans. Who do you think has the best playoff beard: Jake Plummer, Kyle Orton with the neck beard or Tom Brady with Bridget Moynihan?

Still not funny? It is still better than the Sports Dork, Bill Simmons, continually harping on Pete Carroll.

He stops, I stop. But asking the Sports Dork not to beat a joke into the ground is like asking the Raiders to hire a competent coach.

Like asking Kobe Bryant to pass the ball.

Like asking the Iron Sheik to not be upset at the fans for chanting, USA!

Like asking Will & Grace to be funny.

Like asking Brett Favre to not throw a game-crippling interception.

Like asking Steve Bisheff to not be pompous.

Nothing?

REDSKINS V. SEAHAWKS

You had all better be rooting against the Seahawks. Do you really want to spend the better part of your Super Bowl Sunday listening to your wife/girlfriend talk about how ugly the Seahawks uniforms are? Do you? Thank goodness Matt “We want the ball because we’re going to score” Hasselbeck is still leading the Seahawks. There is still a chance, but it will not be this week. The pick: Seattle.

PANTHERS v. BEARS

I know, using the same logic as the Colts/Steelers this should be a route for the Bears. But remember that Jake Delhomme is only a few years removed from going to a Super Bowl. The Panthers have lost a road playoff game in the John Fox era. And you think Rex Grossman is going to end this run? Think again. The pick: Carolina.

Enter your picks in the Hater Nation Forums. Or if you want to read some picks from somebody who knows what they are talking about, be sure to check in with the Sports Pulse or with Zach.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Teammates Shocked to Learn Lakers Lose

PORTLAND Members of the Los Angeles Lakers were shocked to learn that their team lost to the Portland Trailblazers on Wednesday night. Most Lakers experienced surprise when coach Phil Jackson announced the loss in a team meeting following Kobe Bryant's one-on-five display in Portland.

Kobe couldn't even bring himself to speak with the media. So you know he was bummed.

Point forward Lamar Odom excused himself from the Lakers locker room to go double-check with the scoreboard in the Rose Garden and couldn't believe what his eyes had seen. Odom, along with the other ten players on the Lakers roster, spent most of the game in the visiting clubhouse.

"When I went into the locker room, Kobe was leading those guys by eight points," Odom said. "I looked up at the monitor a few times during our poker game and figured that Kobe would just rally them back."

Even Jackson could not believe it.

"I was upstairs having coffee with [Lakers executive] Jeanie [Buss] and I saw that he was down in the fourth quarter," Jackson said. "I made my way down to the sidelines during a timeout to see if he wanted my help, or to at least get four other guys out from the locker room. But he just waved me. Kind of like he has done all season."

Bryant will play host to LeBron James tonight at Staples Center. Odom said that he is planning a backyard barbeque for both his Lakers teammates and the visiting Cavaliers.

"We will have a lot of food, and then kick back and watch this game on my new plasma," Odom said. "Kobe told me that he doesn't even want us in the building for this one."

OTHER NBA NOTES

The Clippers are rumored to be acquiring the enigmatic Ron Artest. If that happens, the Hater Nation will actually take a great interest in the NBA for a change. Talk about it in the Hater Nation Forums.

Congratulations From the Panthers



The Carolina Panthers would like to recognize Denise for being the only member of the Top Cats to not be arrested or make her way to the front page of the newspaper this season.

Thanks to our boys at the Sports Frog for alerting us to the news. Know of any other cheerleaders who did not have drunken sex in a bathroom stall? Talk about it in the Hater Nation Forums. More pictures, too.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Paterno Feels Vindicated with Award

Penn State's Joe Paterno was named coach of the year by the American Football Coaches Association on Tuesday, marking the record fifth time his peers have chosen him for their highest annual honor. Paterno used the award as an opportunity to take a shot at those who had criticized him in recent weeks.

"I hope this shuts those mouthy broads up," Paterno said in regards to the National Organization of Women who had disparaged the 79-year old coach recently. A leader from NOW has asked Paterno to resign over comments made prior to the Orange Bowl about an alleged sexual assault.

"Those broads need to loosen up a little bit and have a good time," said the popular coach who led his team to a victory over Flordia State. "What they probably need is a good swat on the tush.

"I won't tell them how to clean house or cook dinner as long as they don't tell me how to run a football team. If you look at all of the solid citizens I have turned out recent years, you would see that I do not condone sexism. Look at guys like Kerry Collins and Larry Johnson. These are guys that really know how to treat a lady."

Do You Remember This?



Jon Gruden doesn't seem to remember because the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have gone a courting Terrell Owens.

That's one way to get fired, I guess.

Those who fail history are doomed to repeat it. Then again, the Buccaneers won a Super Bowl with Keyshawn Johnson so maybe Gruden knows what he is doing. The New York Jets also are among the contenders for Owens.

This would actually be a good move for the Bucs. Owens is going to be a model citizen for one year in an attempt to stick it to the Eagles. Just like he did in his first year in Philadelphia. Owens will smile while he is having his picture taken during his press conference and talk about how great of a quarterback Chris Simms is.

But the Bucs had better win a Super Bowl immediately. Because in year two, Owens will say that Gruden mugs too much for the camera, Simms has a noodle arm and is a little too laissez fair with the women (if you know what he means), Phil Simms is a boring announcer, and then say that his bad contract stems from the Glazers' religious heritage.

Still signing Owens can’t be a worse idea than Clerks 2.

Would you take T.O. on your team? Discuss it in the Hater Nation Forums.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Be Gentle, It's My First Time

Maybe we were a little too hard on Eli Messiah. After all, it was his first playoff game. And it's not like he held the league and the San Diego Chargers hostage during the 2004 NFL Draft.

Oh wait.

But even though Eli and his family pulled a power-play with the league, it is too much to expect for a quarterback—in his first playoff game—to go out and make a difference. No quarterback has ever done that. Just look:

Tom Brady completed 32 or 52 passes for 312 yards and no touchdowns as the Patriots defeated the Raiders in 2002. New England would eventually win the Super Bowl. But this is not a fair comparison, seeing that Brady was a sixth-round draft pick

49ers quarterback Joe Montana completed 20 of 31 passes for 304 yards and two touchdowns as San Francisco defeated the New York Giants in 1981. The 49ers would win the first of four Super Bowls under Montana. But Montana's daddy was not famous.

Tony Eason was a first-round draft pick. The Patriots quarterback completed 12 of 16 passes to defeat the Jets in the 1985 playoffs. But while Eason would lead New England to its first Super Bowl, they would not win it. However, Eason wasn't the first overall selection in the 1983 draft.

Troy Aikman was a first-overall selection in 1989. Aikman completed 15 of 25 passes for 200 yards and two touchdowns as the Cowboys routed the Eagles in the former Bruin's first playoff start. Aikman would defeat the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game and beat the Bills in Super Bowl XXVII. Aikman also was named Super Bowl MVP.

Does anybody remember Kurt Warner? The former NAIA Division XII quarterback completed 27 of 33 passes for 391 yards and five touchdowns in his first playoff game as St. Louis went on to roll to the Super Bowl. But Warner was a former grocery clerk and AFL quarterback. He didn't have the family pedigree like Messiah. Besides, the Giants could never find a quarterback like that.

Then there is Archie Manning. Oh wait, Archie was never in the playoffs.

There has to be at least one first-round pick that absolutely stunk up the joint in his first playoff start? Oh yeah, Peyton Manning completed only 19 of 43 passes in his first playoff start, a 16-19 defeat to the Tennessee Titans in 1999. But at least Peyton has gone on to do some decent commercials. Maybe he can ask a shelve-stocking Warner for his autograph in the next one and say, "My little brother loves you."

But wait; there is one more for you Giants fans. How about the much maligned Chad Pennington? The fair-haired bomber completed 19 of 25 passes for 222 yards and three touchdowns in his first ever playoff game. The opponent? Peyton Manning and the Colts, who were drubbed by the Jets, 41-0.

Talk about the Messiah's failures it in the Hater Nation Forums.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Lil' Hater Predicts: The 2006 NFL Draft

With the No. 6 overall selection in the NFL Draft, the Oakland Raiders select ... Marcus Vick, Quarterback, Virginia Tech.

Think that they won't? It was cemented this afternoon as Vick was charged with pointing a gun during an altercation with three teenagers. Vick pointed a gun at the teenagers after an alleged dust-up at a McDonalds in Virginia. It is unclear if Vick was at McDonalds turning in an application for employment. But a Raiders spokesman did say they were intrigued by Vick's upside. And seriously, it's not like he shot the kids or something.

Details are sketchy, but if you will allow us to go Marg Helgenberger on this crime scene: The incident occurred when the three youths approached Vick and asked for an autograph. One of the 17-year old boys point out to Vick that the autograph was misspelled with Marcus, instead of Michael. When Marcus pointed out that he was the brother of the Falcons quarterback the youths then poured their ketchup on the autograph, which enraged Vick. Or maybe the teens pointed out that Marcus will never have the career of Vick and will instead be converted to defensive back. Or maybe they said that if Marcus did become a quarterback he would be the worst little brother of a quarterback since Eli Manning. Vick will likely be let off with a misdemeanor if that is the case.

Discuss your own theory in the Hater Nation Forums.