Thursday, August 31, 2006

Lil' Hater: History Awaits!

SEATTLE The Oakland Raider will seek some feeble, pathetic attempt at gridiron immortality this week when they take on the Seahawks.

According to the schedule, it is the fifth and final Raider preseason game of a preseason that, in one good-looking bobblehead's opinion, lasted about five weeks too long.

T.O. has it just about right. Preseason is for suckers. And Raiders, it appears.

Five preseason games. Christ. Even my angry German Cousin Dieter's never-ending World Cup didn't last this long. And there was more real solid hitting by Zidane's bald head than there was this preseason.

(Editor – doggone it Lil' Hater, stop the soccer references now! The Cup is Over! OVER! I said stop!)

But whatever. The Raiders can go undefeated with a fifth win here, which has to be some kind of record, right? I mean, I thought the preseason only went four games. And yet the Raiders could manage to sneak, steal or otherwise cheat their way to an extra win this August. How did this happen?

Truly, this is the Raider Way. Once upon the time, in the early 70's I think, the Raiders liked to call themselves the Team of the Century or some other similarly silly name.

Now, they're the Team of August. How the mighty have fallen.

I understand A-Rod, the Manning Brothers, and a bunch of ex-Duke hoops players will be addressing the team before the Seattle game, to motivate them to go out and over-perform at the least important time of the season.

Did Art Shell get the memo that the preseason doesn't mean squat? And now he’s gone out and showed the opposing teams the entirety of the Raider's playbook (6 pages long, written in crayon) with his win-at-all-costs-in-preseason strategy. What is he thinking?

Anyway, I guess the Raiders should savor any wins while they can. A quick glance at the schedule puts the likely date of Oakland’s fifth regular season win sometime in early December, against Houston, or maybe two weeks later against that other expansion football team, St. Louis.

Anyway, 5-0 has gotta be some kind of record. But the question remains: If Seattle wins and ends the Raider’s perfect preseason on Thursday, will the remaining living members of the '97 Packers (and Reggie White's widow) along with the '97 Steelers celebrate break open a bottle of Night Train?

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

USC Swim Team

Paris Hilton claims that she and Matt Leinart are only friends. Former USC basketball player Brynn Cameron cannot say the same thing. Cameron is pregnant with Leinart's baby, making it the most athletic USC offspring since Omar Epps knocked up Sanaa Lathan in Love & Basketball.

Sure the school mascot might be Trojans, but that doesn't mean that the star quarterback and his girlfriend have to use one. Mmm, smells like an endorsement deal.

News of the Leinart/Cameron love child has come as quite a shock. A shock that a women's basketball player actually has sex with men.

And a new Last and Ten is up! (Check out the Last and Ten archives for rejected entries.)

Super Bowl Buzz Kill

Why your team won't win the Super Bowl:



The Post Mortem was the only column to pick the Panthers to go to the Super Bowl in 2003, back when it was published on some other football site. So it hurts to say that they are not going to win the Super Bowl this year. But it's true.

Now, there was no first-hand knowledge that the Panthers were using steroids back then, as recent reports have suggested, it was just good foresight. The troubling thing about the Panthers recent steroid scandal isn't that the team was using steroids.

No, it is because the players keep getting hurt. Like all the time. Weren't steroids supposed to make you stronger? Wow, imagine how bad the injuries would be if the Panthers were not on the juice. Still, the injury questions continue to dog the club. Receiver Steve Smith is battling a hamstring problem, although that could probably be attributed Keyshawn Johnson stabbing him in the back of the leg.

If the Panthers were injury prone before when they were on steroids then now, as they are trying to play clean, they will probably get so far down the depth chart they will be reaching for guys like Jeff George. Just kidding, nobody would be that desperate.

(And really, this whole story is a huge leap of faith that NFL players are not using steroids. According to the new Commissioner, Opie Goodell, there is not a steroid problem in the NFL, at least not one he could find during his extensive probe of Paul Tagliabue's colon.)

Oh alright, and this will be the last time for jokes like this: Did you know that no team has ever won the Super Bowl after having two cheerleaders caught having sex in a Tampa restroom? It's true.


Other previews: Jets, Texans, Vikings, Jaguars, Bills, Eagles, Bears Buccaneers, Chiefs, Falcons, Raven, Titans, Lions, Giants and Saints.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Titans: Vince Young Is Not Good

At least that is the only conclusion you can draw after the Titans signed Kerry Collins. So let's see if we can trace this back a few steps. The Raiders didn't think Kerry Collins was good, so they let him go to sign Aaron Brooks of all people. The Raiders, in a panic move, signed Jeff George as an insurance policy. So the Raiders felt that Brooks and George gave them a better chance of winning than Collins, who just signed with the Titans because their quarterbacks are no good.

So in other words, Vince Young is worse than Jeff George.

In a non-related story, Raiders coach Art Shell has activated himself and will start his first game in 20 years on Thursday night against Seattle.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Proof that God Loves Us



The Raiders have signed Jeff George.

Vikings Starting to Grow

You have to give Vikings coach Ray Childress some credit—he certainly is cleaning up the organization. The Vikings "Love Boat" sexcapades made national news and ultimately led to the dismissal of quarterback Daunte Culpepper and coach Mike Tice. But those days are long gone.

Turns out the Vikings are taking its burlesque show off of the high seas and into stairwells around Minnesota. Safety Dwight Smith was cited for indecent conduct in a stairwell outside of a club with a 24 year-old woman. Many of you will look and say, "Hey, same old Vikings." But not only was Smith trying to be discreet, but it actually was consensual.

You can’t expect miracles over night.

The Post Mortem

History was made at Angels Stadium on Sunday. No, it wasn't that the Yankees managed to actually beat the Angels. Yankees manager Joe Torre went to closer Mariano Rivera with no outs and a six run lead in the eighth inning. Has this ever happened in Major League Baseball history? A manager going to his closer with a six-run lead in the eighth inning?

Nothing illustrates just how far the Angels have burrowed into the head of the Yankees then that panic move. Nice vote of confidence for the bullpen, too. It had been joked about that the Yankees are intimidated by the Angels. And it did seem like a joke. Until yesterday. Now it's the truth. So many teams are in awe of the Yankees, but the New Yorkers just curl up in the fetal position when it comes to the Angels.

Too bad the Angels can't play the Yankees more often, like the playoffs. But it appears that the Angels won't get a chance to represent in the playoffs as it appears a daunting task to catch Oakland. Especially since Boston has arrived in the Bay Area intent on getting swept by the A's. So the Yankees will now face the Twins and/or A's in the playoffs this year, meaning that only the Tigers (who are in New York starting Tuesday) to save humanity.

  • The Yankees are supposed to be such a class organization. Yet, they threw behind Juan Rivera on Saturday and also walked Vladimir Guerrero and Howie Kendrick to prevent either player from having an opportunity to hit for the cycle. Congrats on the Yankees for finally getting Kendrick out on Sunday.

  • Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter hit a home run in the eighth inning with his team leading by six runs. Will there be endless calls for how Jeter isn’t clutch and that he only hits meaningless home runs? Where is the outrage New York fans?

  • There is no excuse to leave 21 runners on base. The Angels should now run themselves out of every inning, because that would be less painful.

  • Phillip Rivers injured his shoulder after he fumbled for the third time on Saturday. That decision to get rid of Drew Brees is looking better by the day. The lack of a veteran back-up quarterback is going to cost the Chargers another season, and coach Marty Schottenheimer his job.

  • Jake Plummer did little to keep the Jay Cutler for President coalition off his tail with his recent performance.

  • Will be involved in a fantasy football draft tonight. Can’t wait until somebody drafts Koren Robinson. The bad jokes are already prepared.

  • Has Edgerrin James gained any position yards this preseason? No matter, the Cardinals are looking pretty sharp. Everybody is raving about Matt Leinart's performance (15 of 21 for 144 and 1 touchdown), but Kurt Warner also was impressive. Still not going to buy the hype this year for the Cardinals. Just won’t do it.

  • Just want to give a shout-out to all THN fans out in the great city of Buffalo. Sorry that your Bills are so terrible, tough. And really, Flash is not that angry of a person.

  • Peter King has openly wondered by Junior Seau received Willie McGinest's No. 55 jersey. Way to contiue to suckup to the Patriots.


AND FINALLY
Cris Collinsworth's weekly column has returned to NFL.com. But for some reason, the column doesn’t seem to be as well written as it has been for the past four years.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

T.O. Proving Doubters Wrong

All of the NFL experts said that Terrell Owens would give the Cowboys one faithful year of service before turning into, well, Terrell Owens.

But T.O. has proven all of them wrong. In fact, T.O. didn’t even wait for the regular season before becoming T.O. and ruining the Cowboys. Owens has been fined for missing some practices and not showing up to meetings. So, in other words, the Cowboys have received all of the grief of having T.O., without the benefit of his play-making abilities.

It looks like the Owens and Bill Parcells relationship is going to end as well as the relationship between George Allen and Long Beach State.

Friday, August 25, 2006

The Weak Ender



The Angels Jered Weaver had his winning streak snapped by the dreaded Boston Red Sox on Thursday night. There were a few times that Weaver could have been tagged for the loss this season (that start at Cleveland comes to mind). So it would not be fair to blame the Punch and Judy offense assembled by Bill Stoneman for this loss. But he can't find one guy who can clean up the bases? It has gotten pretty depressing in Anaheim.

But not as depressing to think that the NHL training camps are on the verge of opening. They might as well come to the point where they play NHL hockey year-round. It's not like they are going to hurt interest for the sport. In fact, they should just move to start the NHL playoffs right now. Start them today. Maybe the Ducks and the Kings could start a best of 21 playoff series. At least it would be exciting.

An adjective rarely used to describe hockey.

  • The biggest proof that Jered Weaver has arrived was evidenced by Josh Beckett's performance on Thursday night. Weaver is now going to have to deal with bottom-feeders of the American League rising up, having the games of their lives when they are matched against the phenomena. Hey look, Beckett lowered his ERA to under 6.00.

  • Your moment of Bish: On the mound at Angel Stadium tonight, Jered Weaver will be the epitome of California cool, with his surfboard-thin body, his blond, scraggly hair nipping at his shoulders and that funky, peekaboo delivery. Dude, they just don't get any cooler than this kid. You know, it was almost worth it to have Weaver lose if it will mean that the Bish will never write another column like this again.

  • The Raiderettes have gone downhill since the team moved to Oakland. But this is just ridiculous.

  • Do you think PacMan Jones got upset that the Cincinnati Bengals were stealing his spotlight on the police blotter and then went crazy? Although, it was hard to figure out what the beef was, seeing that he was just drunk and obnoxious in public. If that's the case, there should be around 4,000 Yankees fans arrested in Anaheim tonight.


AND FINALLY
Former 49ers running back Kevan Barlow drew some heat this week when he compared 49ers coach Mike Nolan to Hitler. This is really offensive. Not in PC-type of way, where just a name is offensive. Hopefully we have move far past that. No, the real injustice is that there are numerous dictators throughout history to use an example. Barlow is college educated.

Already, he took college classes.

Alright, he at least passed the library at Pittsburgh once on his way to football practice.

The point is, use a different example like Ivan the Terrible, Idi Amin or Nicolae Ceaucescu.

Super Bowl Buzz Kill

Why your team won't win the Super Bowl:



The Saints have made news for football reasons this offseason—and surprisingly some of that news was good. The club hired Sean Payton as coach, a move that could be perceived as either a plus or minus, depending on how you look at Bill Parcells’ protégés.

And give the Saints credit, they didn’t go the route of the Raiders and pulled a former coach like Bum Phillips out of the mothballs. Although, Phillips would probably be a better choice than Art Shell.

The Saints also acquired quarterback Drew Brees who is a marked upgrade over Aaron Brooks. Of course, the Raiders thought that the quarterback who wasn’t good enough to beat out Todd Bouman for playing time would be a great addition at the position.

The biggest news, of course, was that Reggie Bush fell into their laps during the NFL Draft. Even though running back was not the club’s biggest need, they—unlike Houston—would not pass up on the best player in the draft. And really, it’s not everyday that the Saints outsmart somebody.

So this makes it seem like the Saints could be poised for a run, maybe a dark horse, Cinderella-type of team. Yeah, right.

Do you think the NFL is going to allow the Saints to win the Super Bowl this year? Then how would the league be able to justify moving the team to Los Angeles next year? The Saints have no chance.


Other previews: Jets, Texans, Vikings, Jaguars, Bills, Eagles, Bears Buccaneers, Chiefs,Falcons, Raven, Titans, Lions and Giants.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Who's Your Padre?



Wasn't it a couple of days ago that the Dodgers were heralded as challengers to the Mets in the National League? And now the Dogs have lost their grip on the NL West almost as fast as Dilana blew her chances of winning Rock Star: Supernova last night.

The Padres completed a three-game sweep of the Dodgers with a 7-2 victory, to move a game within first place in the NL West. It all boiled over when Brad Penny (0-2 with a 9.00 ERA against the Padres this year) and Grady Little showed little composure, as both were tossed out. Tough break guys.

Some experts felt the division was over a week ago. And they are partly right. The only difference is that the Dodgers won’t be a part of it. They are way too streaky. The Dodgers had attracted national attention during their 17-1 run earlier this month. But reality has slapped the club in the face as they have dropped five of their last seven games. And remember, this was a team that lost 13 of its first 14 games following the All-Star break. When trying to find a balance to this team, the club that suffered long losing streaks is probably a better indication of where this team is, talent wise. The Dodgers will stick around near the top of the standings because the NL West isn't that good, but they can't be considered a serious player.

Especially if they ever have to face the Padres again.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Nice Scouting Department

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones held a closed-door meeting with his scouting staff today where he implored his crew to start looking for, you know, football players to play quarterback for the Cowboys. The club is now 0-for-3 in trying to convert baseball players into starting quarterbacks as the team released Drew Henson on Wednesday.

Chad Hutchinson and Quincy Carter had previously failed as Cowboys signal callers from 2001 to 2003. Both have fallen off the face of the NFL world. Luckily the Cowboys were unsuccessful in previous attempts to lure Tom Glavine, Randy Johnson and Roger Clemens to the NFL. Maybe somebody should tell Jones that not every quarterback who plays baseball will turn out to be John Elway.

It is a sad chapter to the Cowboys quarterback legacy that has included Don Meredith, Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman. But it also shows how little Jones pays attention to scouting. One of his first orders of business when he took over the Cowboys in 1989 was to gut the scouting staff. It worked when Jimmy Johnson was in charge. But has been a miserable failure since that time.

Super Bowl Buzz Kill

Why your team won't win the Super Bowl:




Giants tight end Jeremy Shockey has been outspoken in his belief that the preseason is too long. But he will never be able to convince his quarterback, Eli Messiah, of that. The Messiah has proven to be one of the best preseason quarterbacks in the history of the league. Nobody thrives more against vanilla defenses, a lack of blitzing and non-pressure situations more than Eli. Well, at least not since his dad was in the league. If anything, look for Archie to petition the league for more preseason games so his son can really show what he’s got.

The sad part is that the Giants coaching staff realizes that Eli cannot thrive in pressure situations. That is why the club does not have a competent backup quarterback behind the Messiah. Instead they have Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Jared Lorenzen and Rob Johnson.

Yes, that Rob Johnson.

The guy who hasn't thrown a pass since 2003. The guy who hasn't started a game since 2002.

Wow, they really don’t want to put any pressure on Eli, do they? Nobody—in their right mind—is ever going to be screaming for Johnson to replace the Messiah. (Well, maybe Doug Flutie would just for fun. But no Giants fan certainly would. ) So Eli gets to survive in this cocoon where he is never going to be challenged for his job, no matter how poorly he plays. Kind of like how badly he played in the playoffs last season.

Just don't expect to see Eli back in the playoffs this year. And if he is, don't expect much.

Other previews: Jets, Texans, Vikings, Jaguars, Bills, Eagles, Bears Buccaneers, Chiefs,Falcons, Raven, Titans and Lions.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Willie McGinest: Froot Loop

It seems you can’t go any more than a few weeks than having a player complain about his jersey number. The latest is Willie McGinest, who is a little upset that Patriots management allowed Junior Seau to wear his old No. 55 in New England. McGinest was upset that Seau and coach Bill Belicheck called and asked permission to wear the number. McGinest felt that the Patriots front office should have refused from the get-go and not let it get to that point.

McGinest needs to realize that he was a good player on a couple of championship teams. It's not like when Jerry Rice strong-armed Pro Football Hall of Fame receiver Steve Largent to pull his No. 80 out of the rafters. (Even though Rice would not take No. 80 off Denver's Rod Smith the following year.)

Seau is destined for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. McGinest will be remembered as the Wilber Marshall of the Patriots.

McGinest said that it would have been awkward to turn down Seau on his request. Yeah, you want to know why? McGinest started wearing the No. 55 at USC in honor of Seau who had previously worn the number for the Trojans.

"He's the reason why I was wearing the number. He made it what it is today, and he passed it down to me. He had his legacy with it where he was, and I created mine where I was," McGinest said.

So McGinest wore the number to honor Seau and now, not only is he not honored, but he’s offended that Seau wants to wear the No. 55? The number Seau wore in the first place? Ah hell, have fun in Cleveland, idiot.

Story link. And the previous Froot Loop.

How About Paris Hilton Stadium?

It would at least have a better chance and mean virtually the same thing. The owners of the infamous Las Vegas hot spot, the Pink Taco restaurant, had designs on being the Birds' naming rights partner for the club's new stadium.

Unfortunately for the Morton’s Restaurant Group, the owners of the Cardinals are not a bunch of drunk 20-somethings who giggle when they hear the name of the eatery.

It could be a solid strategy because the Cardinals could actually become a laughingstock of professional sports for something other than their futility on the field. But you have to imagine that the stadium has about as much chance of being named the Pink Taco as Neil Lomax does of being the Birds starter this season (although he is a better option than John Navarre).

Restaurateur Harry Morton insists that the overture is not a publicity stunt. And really, you have to trust the word of Lindsay Lohan's boyfriend. It's hard to imagine that the Pink Taco could come up with $30M to secure the deal—unless there is a huge market for bland food and watered down margaritas. Which, of course, would kind of describe the concession operations for most stadiums.

Link.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Super Bowl Buzz Kill

Why your team won't win the Super Bowl:



Running back Kevin Jones may be one of the most underrated running backs in the NFL. So look for new offensive coordinator Mike Martz to refuse to run the ball with him as the Lions try to get the ball to receivers Mike Williams, Charles Rogers and Corey Bradford. Jones should look at the bright side, at least his career will be prolonged as he will only touch the ball about eight times a game. Heck, if he plays his cards right, he could end up like Marcus Allen who translated a part-time career into a Pro Football Hall of Fame induction.

The key on offense will come down to quarterback Josh McCown. No, not because he is going to beat out journeyman Jon Kitna. No, Martz has a tendency to get his quarterbacks killed. Hell, Trent Green didn't even make it out of the preseason during Martz’s first year in St. Louis in 1999.

It’s a shame for the Lions, too, considering that the defense should be improved under head coach Rod Marinelli's cover-two system. Damn, imagine how potent the defense could be if GM Matt Millen ever used a first-round pick on defense. (Well, at least before they drafted linebacker Huey Richardson this year…just kidding, it was Andre Wadsworth.)


Other previews: Jets, Texans, Vikings, Jaguars, Bills, Eagles, Bears, Buccaneers, Chiefs, Falcons, Raven and Titans.

I hate baseball

Dear ESPN/Baseball Broadcasting Jackasses,

Is it really, really THAT necessary to show a close up of a differing a-hole Red Sox fan in between EVERY freaking pitch? I made the mistake of flipping to the last two innings of the Boston-NY game Sunday night. I thought the game, like all baseball games the past 15 years, would put me to sleep. It did, but I fell asleep angry.

I can’t imagine a place I'd less rather be at that than a stadium full of Boston fans. Even a Packers game on a sweltering afternoon in August would be more pleasant by comparison. Every Sox fan thinks they have to wear a tattered hat and/or jersey to show how cool and trendy they are. Got it. You've been a fan forever.

Sox fans also think that the late innings of a mid-August game are the most important thing ever, and you need to get freaked out over every at-bat. Whatever, ladies. The 92nd Boston-NY game of the year is not that important to the rest of us. Really, it isn't. We get it ESPN, Boston's a bunch of trend-following, self-important, ugly-assed, neurotic losers. You really don’t need to keep reminding us with a different close-up of some ass-clown every five seconds. Please stop.

THE MF'ING BISH’S FRESH TAKE OF THE WEEK AWARD

Jim Nantz, on hearing that golfer Luke Donald went out to see Snakes on a Plane on Saturday night: “And now he’s got a Tiger on the golf course.” (Followed by total silence. Even the Irish a-hole was speechless.)

Dude, you suck.

You suck at golf with your patronizing, John Tesh-wannabe persona (without the musical chops) and you suck even more trying to come across as a man’s man when you do football games. You’re 100 percent phony.

Please go the route of fellow pervert Pat O'Brien – leave the sports to others and go move to kissing ass on the entertainment TV circuit or something. Jerk.

The Post Mortem

Angels manager Mike Scioscia seems to have a quick hook with pitchers, always pulling them out one inning too early. So it should come as no shock that he pulled interim manager Ron Roenicke after a glorious three-game winning streak, not giving his old friend a chance to extend his streak on Sunday.

And it almost cost the Angels, too, had they not been playing the Seattle Mariners—a team the Rally Monkey could have managed to sweep. The Angels actually rallied from a two-run deficit to win on Sunday. Good thing, too.

How bad are the Mariners? They have lost 20 consecutive games against division opponents and, you know what, it’s kind of nice. The Yankees and Red Sox have feasted for years on some of the bottom feeders in the AL East. It’s nice for Seattle to be so considerate of its AL West compatriots.

  • Had a chance to see Jered Weaver live for the first time since he struck out the first 10 USC batters during his junior season at Long Beach State. (Yeah, seriously, what too so long, right?) In that game against the Trojans, the leadoff hitter fouled off Weaver’s first pitch. USC did not so much as touch the ball until the fourth inning after that. Blair Field was sold out that night, with about 500 extra people (including a Long Beach fire truck) on a hill outside of the park. Angels Stadium is starting to build that sort of must-see atmosphere when Weaver pitches. A kind of excitement that hasn’t been seen for a rookie since Wally World erupted in the 1980s. It will be a circus on Weaver's next start on Thursday against the Red Sox.

  • Great game by the Red Sox on Sunday night. Sure, the team might have lost, but at least they held the Yankees to single digits. Progress, right?

  • The Yankees have won the first four games of the series. And they couldn’t do that in the 2004 playoffs? It’s not hard to imagine that many Red Sox fans would trade in that World Series title in exchange for the Sports Dork never writing his, “So I Can Die in Peace,” book.

  • How bad are the 49ers right now, looking that awful against the juggernaut Raiders?

  • Reggie Bush looked awesome for the Texans this weekend. Oh wait, it wasn’t Bush, but sixth-round pick Wali Lundy. The former Virginia star dominated the St. Louis defense on Saturday night and looked pretty good, rushing for nearly 100 yards. The Texans had better hope that Lundy emerges as the second coming of Terrell Davis. The AP reported that Texans defensive end Mario Williams, the guy they drafted instead of Bush, had a great game by knocking down one pass against St. Louis. Hey, that’s great. Why Bush turns into the next Gayle Sayers, the Texans can celebrated a batted ball.


AND FINALLY
Heard on the radio this morning that Lions receiver Mike Williams is fined $400 for every pound he is over the Lions prescribed weight. Williams is believed to be about 10 pounds over his target goal, costing him $4,000. Could you imagine if the PGA had something similar? Maybe that could keep Phil Mickelson from going Mama Cass every time Tiger is leading a major.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Some Mystique

Remember when the Raiders were the most intimidating team in the league? Remember when the Raiders led the league in most penalties? Well, the Raiders still do lead the league in penalties, but only the offsides, false start and holding variety. Not the roughing the passer, roughing the mascot and general mayhem infractions.

Art Shell was going to change that. He was going to bring back the greatness of the Raiders through toughness. Nobody was going to be tougher than the Raiders.

Or so you thought.

It turns out the Raiders were punked by 49ers quarterback Trent Dilfer.

That’s right, Trent (expletive) Dilfer. The former Fresno State Bulldog was flagged for two personal foul infractions—one when he taunted former Buccaneers teammate Warren Sapp. The alleged quarterback killer said it was “the apocalypse is definitely on us when Trent Dilfer gets two personal fouls.”

Not really, it is just more dirt being shoveled on the myth of the Raiders mystique when the Jm J. Bullock of NFL quarterbacks is showing you up. The Raiders might have won its third consecutive preseason game (about how many games the team has won in the past three seasons), but all anybody is going to talk about is Dilfer getting over on the Raiders.

Link to the game story.

Super Bowl Buzz Kill

Why your team won't win the Super Bowl:



Don't worry, this preview is not going to be a bunch of jokes about Vince Young failing his Wonderlic test because his crayons kept bleeding over the lines. And there will not be any mention that Young tends to throw like a woman. Everybody is past that.

But if should be noted that the Titans are doomed if Young sees any significant playing time this season. Not because he has shown to have the same mental makeup as Jeff George. No, rookie quarterbacks typically don’t take teams to the Super Bowl unless they are Kurt Warner. And Young definately is not. Still, the Titans are expected to give Young a lot of playing time this season. It's almost as if Jeff Fisher has resigned himself to the fact that he will soon be fired, so why not add a little gallows humor by playing Young a bunch?

Speaking of quarterbacks, Billy Volek does not give the Titans much of a chance, either. Undrafted free agents don’t tend to lead teams to the Super Bowl. Unless, of course, they again are Warner. And he is not.

The Titans top receiver, Drew Bennett, is also an underdrafted free agent. Wow, it's hard to believe that an organization that has to rely undrafted free agents as a quarterback and receiver passed up on Matt Leinart and Jay Cutler. Actually it's not so strange at all. The Titans could be so bad this year, they might have to decide between sticking with Young and taking Brady Quinn with the first overall selection.


Other previews: Jets, Texans, Vikings, Jaguars, Bills, Eagles, Bears Buccaneers, Chiefs,Falcons and Raven.

Friday, August 18, 2006

The Weak Ender

Birds quarterback Matt Leinart has never been to an NFL game. His first NFL is going to be one that he will be playing in this weekend. Leinart thinks that is pretty cool. But that is kind of sad. No, not because a generation of young Southern California kids have never had the chance to see NFL football (thanks Georgia). No, the saddest thing is that his buddy, Paris Hilton, has been to more NFL games than Leinart.

And you can bet that Hilton has likely spent more time naked in an NFL locker room than Leinart, too.

Leinart will play the second quarter of the game against the Patriots on Saturday. So that means that your girlfriend will be rooting for Tom Brady and the Patriots in the first quarter, and Leinart and the Birds in the second. And nobody will be rooting for John Navarre who is kind of like John Cryer in Pretty in Pink.

  • Anybody still confident in picking Larry Johnson in their fantasy football league? Again, not to put too much stock in the preseason but the Chiefs are one bad football team. Herman Edwards said that his teams horrible performance was the result of poor coaching. No kidding. But at least Edwards was made to feel welcome in his return to Giants Stadium as he did what he always did in that house—lose to the Giants. That Chiefs defense is worse than it was before –as hard as that is to believe. Without Willie Roaf or Al Saunders, Johnson is just another running back.

  • How the hell is Frank Robinson competing in the Little League World Series?

  • Did you know that Snakes on a Plane is based on a true story? You can check that out here. But only after you finish reading this.


AND FINALLY
Here is a quote from the Sports Dork:

Now that Jackpot Jay has retired, nobody can write any more poker columns. Stop writing them, stop reading them, just stop. We all know how to play at this point. We know that you can get screwed over on the river ... it happens. We know that you can get lucky on the river ... it happens. But if I have to read one more column about how the writer had three jacks, and he thought they would hold up, but then somebody else was going for a straight, and then when he saw that 7 of hearts, he knew it was trouble ... for the love of God, who cares???

Read that, and then check out the Sports Dork, Bill Simons latest column about losing in the World Series of Poker. To save you the trouble, he whines on for about 1,200 words about getting a bad beat.

Thanks to the Sons of the Sports Dork for finding that quote. Have you heard about the Gridiron Apocalypse yet? Check out the Hater Nation Forums for details.

Don't Worry T.O.

Deion Sanders has your back. Sanders defended T.O. in a radio interview on Friday morning, and really, why shouldn’t he? Sanders is kind of an expert in this field. Sanders missed the first-half of the 1995 season with a toe injury when he signed a lucrative deal with the Cowboys. Not that it didn't work out well for the Cowboys who went on to win Super Bowl 30. Sanders not only came out and defended Owens, he actually bashed Bill Parcells as he said that coach Parcells needs T.O. more than T.O. needs Parcells. And you want to know the scary thing?

Deion is right.

Why is Parcells still regarded as such a legend? Parcells won two Super Bowls with the Giants (and Bill Belichick as coach) and has not reached those heights again. Parcells led the Patriots to an AFC Championship crown, the Jets to the AFC title game and the Cowboys to a first-round defeat. Anybody else noticing the diminishing returns here? Parcells is still viewed as a Hall of Fame coach and a guy like Tom Flores—who won two Super Bowls with the Raiders—is doing a radio talk show in Mono County.

Deion is right on. Parcells does need Owens a lot more. Without Owens, the Cowboys are a 5-11 football team. Who is going to catch the ball, Terry Glenn? Owens makes them a playoff team. If Owens doesn’t play, and the Cowboys struggle and prove Deion's point.

Damn, Deion Sanders—voice of reason. Who though you would see the day?


Wikipedia Fun Fact: Everybody knows that Sanders played football and baseball at Florida State, but not many people know that Sanders is an accomplished water polo player. Sanders led the FSU water polo team to the national title game in 1988, where it lost to UCI.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Seau Sets Retirement Record

It looks like the fist pumping is back…and Tom Brady couldn’t be happier. Days after announcing his "graduation" from the NFL, Junior Seau is set to return to professional football with the New England Patriots. Seau's retirement lasted about as long as McLean Stevenson’s Hello Larry series.

A lot of bitter Chargers fans and bitter sports writers will get in a twist over this, but it’s not that big of a deal. If you have a chance to play for a Super Bowl contending team (and they want you), it seems like a no-brainer.

But you kind of have to question the wisdom of the Patriots right now. Maybe the focus of the club should be on signing receiver Deion Branch and shielding Tommy Boy away from the BALCO investigation than signing a linebacker whose effectiveness has diminished measurably.

But good luck to Junior.

You're Next

It's hard to believe that the Texas Rangers were involved in another bean ball incident. Especially when you consider that Texas pitchers are typically so off the mark, it’s surprising they can actually hit somebody. Even a little guy like Adam Kennedy who isn't exactly Richie Sexson.

The Rangers were involved in a bean ball war with the Chicago White Sox (and who can forget manager Ozzie Guillen berating a former UCI pitcher Sean Tracey for not being able to retaliate) earlier this season. Now it's the Angels and Rangers who have, to use a wrestling expression, legit heat.

It all started 10 days ago when the Rangers Adam Eaton threw behind Juan Rivera, either pissed at Garret Anderson's home run or because Rivera crushed a home run against the Rangers the night before.

Vincente Padilla hit Vladimir Guerrero on Tuesday night because Big Daddy Vlady tends to treat Rangers pitching like it is, well, Rangers pitching. Vlade had his 40-someodd game hitting streak end recently against Texas when the female dogs walked him three times in one game. Padilla buzzed the tower on Guerrero one more time on Tuesday before he hit Rivera.

The Angels Kevin Gregg and Brendan Donnelly finally protected their top two hitters by going after a few Rangers to settle things on Wednesday night—which should have ended it. But Texas just couldn’t leave well enough alone. Six-foot-six Scott Feldman went after one of the smallest Angels, Kennedy, after refusing to hit Rivera who led off the inning. Come on Feldman, if you want to be a big man and bean players, why not make it Rivera? (Kitty cat.)

Angels manager Mike Scioscia does not believe in bean balls and reportedly kicked over a couple of trash cans during a 25-minute team-only meeting following the game. But it's about (deity) damn time somebody on the Angels pitching staff did something like this. Sliding hard into second base and things like that are a good way to send a message (something Scioscia would prefer), but the Angels should be doing that anyway without being prompted by bean balls. The Angels, especially in the absence of Darin Erstad, play a little soft. They don't bean hitters and they don't light up catchers at plays at the plate. Hopefully this latest incident will give the Angels a little toughness down the stretch.

Wikipedia Fun Fact: Scioscia spent his first six major league seasons with the Rangers before joining the Dodgers. Scioscia is still the Rangers all-time club leader in home runs.

Thanks, Coach

Coach Mike Krzylkmadfladski—as those numerous American Express commercials told you—wants his players armed for life. But when it comes to Team USA, he doesn't want to be armed with his best defender. The coach, with the worst hair in sports next to The Bish, cut Bruce Bowen from whatever tournament Team USA is getting set to embarrass itself in.

Wasn’t Coach $100K brought in to restore some pride in USA basketball? And to do that, wasn’t he supposed to rely on that good old fashion Coach $100K approach?

No, not media whoring and making bad commercials. Solid defense.

Team USA had long assembled its national team the same way kids collect trading cards. They would gather a group of disinterested big-name standouts, roll out the ball and expect to win a gold medal. But the rest of the world caught up and Team USA started losing to countries such as Nauru. Those in power responded by selecting Coach $100K to lead the team, because—let’s face it, the coach’s Duke teams never underachieve in tournaments. There also was a new emphasis put on team players instead of big-name stars. Guys who can actually make a defensive stop. Guys willing to do the little things to help their team win.

Guys like Bowen.

Instead, Coach $100K responded by cutting the former Cal State Fullerton standout in favor of one of his own kids, Shane Battier. What a (expletive) shock. This ensures that Team USA will again have an early tournament exit. But at least they will get a chance to see Coach $100K's latest commercial.

Wikipedia Fun Fact: Bowen actually participated in the 1992 Olympic basketball player as a member of the Lithuania national team. Bruce’s mother was a Lithuanian citizen. Bruce scord 31 points in Lithuania's victory over Team USA, the only squad that beat the "Dream Team."

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

USC Faces Sanctions

The USC football team will face an NCAA investigation following an appearance by Ricky Bobbby (Will Ferrell) who appeared at a team meeting and gave a pep talk to the team. A source in the NCAA office indicated that the team received an extra benefit that was not offered to other students. The appearance also violated Title IX statutes as well.

Every member of the USC football team at the meeting will be required to pay restitution or face losing eligibility for the upcoming season. The NCAA has ruled that Ferrell's visit was worth $46,361. Except for Dwayne Jarrett. The NCAA ruled that it was worth $123,497 for Jarrett to see Ferrell in person. Players and coaches were not available for comment.



The Hater Nation has its first sponsor, Wikipedia, who will sponsor a "Wikipedia Fun Fact” after various posts. THN has resisted advertising in the past, but this was just too lucrative to pass up.



Wikipedia Fun Fact: USC was founded in 1787 by patriot Paul Revere who fled New England for fear of being captured by the British in retaliation for his role in the revolution. Revere was a quarterback on the first USC football team in 1791 and won the first ever Heisman Trophy (USC has won 37). Of course, the award was called "Trophy for the Best Player" back then.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Super Bowl Buzz Kill

Why your team won't win the Super Bowl:



You have to wonder what Raven coach Brian Billick was thinking when he sent a fourth-round draft pick to the Titans for Steve McNair. That’s not a knock on McNair. He should have a fine season. It's actually a perfect situation for backup Kyle Boller. McNair, sometime around week four (of the preseason) will become too injured to practice. That means that Boller will get all of those valuable practice snaps without the embarrassment of having to play quarterback for the Raven. McNair surpassed 3,000 passing yards last season and could match those numbers after being reunited with Derrick Mason and paired with rising star Mark Clayton.

And that's the problem. If Raven gets solid play from the quarterback position, how is Billick going to explain how his team underachieved again? His title of offensive genius could be in jeopardy.

And everybody knows what a sham that is.

Billick came to Baltimore as an offensive guru after riding Randy Moss to a 15-1 record in 1998 and has ushered in the worst offensive era in NFL history. After Raven won a Super Bowl by employing a strategy of punting on third-down and letting its defense score its points, other teams copied that strategy. Just look at the Steelers last year. It has to end here.

And that is not even the worst part of the Raven legacy. This is. That's just wrong. Isn't there a Van Halen tribute band he can front?

Other previews: Jets, Texans, Vikings, Jaguars, Bills, Eagles, Bears Buccaneers, Chiefs and Falcons.

Owens Fitting In

Bill Parcells does not believe in injuries. But he believes in Terrell Owens. And the coach knows that his season rests in the hands of the talented receiver. But that doesn't mean that Owens Cowboys teammates need to like it.

Terry Glenn complained to the Star Telegram that he is not allowed to take time off because he has blisters on his feet. Yeah, way to shake that moniker of being a woman, Teri. What Glenn needs to realize is that he is Terry Glenn and he is not Terrell Owens. Receivers like Glenn are a dime a dozen. While his diminished skills would be in high demand in say, Philadelphia, he is not really all that important to the offense in Dallas that boasts of Owens and tight end Jason Witten.

In fact, it's hard to believe Glenn is complaining at all. He should want to be on the field as much as possible to keep his spot on the team ahead guys like Patrick Crayton. Like Skyler Green couldn't take over Glenn's role as brooding malcontent.

But if the Cowboys do need somebody to give T.O. a jolt, maybe they could ask this guy.

Moss In Mid-Season Form

Raiders receiver Randy Moss made waves last preseason when he admitted that he smokes pot "once in a blue moon."

So far, it seems as though the Raiders game plan is to get Moss the ball "once in a blue moon." Moss had one reception (hey, that was one more than last week), one temper tantrum and one helmet tossed during the Raiders victory on Monday night. Moss stomped his feet like a petulant child after Aaron Brooks didn't see him wide open in the end zone.

Why did he care? Brooks just would have overthrown him anyway.

Moss also tossed his helmet and stewed on the bench after he was removed from the game by coach Art Shell—during the middle of a drive. Maybe Moss should be applauded for wanting to play in an exhibition game. After listening to Clinton Portis and Jeremy Shockey, he appears to be the only one who does. Hell, he should be applauded for not wanting to take any plays off. Moss, however, will be singing a different tune when the Raiders start the season 1-7.

Brooks continued his mastery of the quarterback position by completing one pass in six attempts. Brooks has now completed two passes in the entire preseason. In a related note, Raiders Brady Quinn jerseys are selling at a brisk pace. (Just kidding. If the Raiders land the first overall selection, they will pass one Quinn to take a defensive tackle.)

The only logical solution for the Raiders right now would be to start Andrew Walter and have him throw at least a half-dozen jump balls to Moss down the field each half. But logic and the Raiders are as synonymous as winning and the Raiders so look for Brooks to be the starter for the majority of the season.

Monday, August 14, 2006

I'm back

Greetings, it's me, Lil' Hater, back from a summer siesta. I just wanted to drop a couple of notes on you before getting back into the swing.

Why Your Team Won't Win the Super Bowl: Redskins Edition (click)...

Without Portis and a running game, it could get ugly, quick. Brunell will be expected to do things that he can't (like win). Welcome to Turnover City. The defense will try to make the big play to overcome a non-existent offense, and get burnt. Danny Snyder will cry. The story pretty much writes itself now...

Portis is upset about all of the preseason games. But think of this. Pretend last night's game was the first in an 18-week season. Portis would miss the first four regular season game, instead of missing four meaningless preseason games. Likewise, Jeremy Shockey's current hangover would have caused him to miss two regular season games instead of two preseason games...

I didn't watch too much of the game, after the injury I went straight to the booze. What I did see was Chad Johnson auditioning for Demolition Man II, with a lame blonde mohawk. That was funny 20 years ago when Dennis Rodman did it...

Also, the announcing crew wasted time later in the game by giving their best "if you were commisioner for a day" idea.

Jesus, these guys are idiots.

Madden: Make the refs full-time employees.

Yeah, because that's really helped the NBA improve the quality of their refs. The laziest, fattest, and most clearly preferential refs in any sport are NBA and MLB refs, specifically because they have job security and get an inflated ego. Terrible idea.

Michaels: Make the season 18 weeks long.

Why - so the Raiders have even more games to play out the string when they're eliminated from playoffs in October? To ensure the a-holes from the 1972 Dolphins never see another undefeated team? Terrible idea. C'mon, that's two more weeks Ricky Williams has to go without weed - not going to happen. This isn't the NHL, with a 11-month long schedule. This is a real sport, Al.

An aside to Al Michaels: It's been 26 years since Lake Placid, you've covered every freaking sporting event since then, and you've said a grand total of zero interesting things since your Miracle Quote. Who else gets a quarter-century free pass for sucking?

Collinsworth: Let's have instant replay for even more plays every game (for pass interference calls).

Uh-huh. We need less 10-minute reviews that end up going in New York's favor no matter what ever week, not more. Terrible idea. We expect more from you, Cris. (Please, reunite with your ghost-writer again.)

Sissy Boy Costas: Eliminate Sudden Death overtime, because it's unfair for the team that loses.

He actually said this. Jesus. Yeah, Bob. maybe we should get rid of the most exciting part of the game, that's just brilliant. How about eliminating scoring so nobody gets their feelings hurt, you sissy! Here's a thought for the team that loses the OT coin flip, and sees their opponent walk down the field and score a field goal: maybe a better option is to either a) play some defense in overtime, or b) win the f'ing game in regulation.

What a moron Costas is. Even Jim Nance isn't as annoying. Maybe. Go back to covering baseball and figure skating, midget. Yeah, that's right, a bobblehead just called you a midget...

Hero of the Week: A-Rod, for his dramatic, ultra-clutch home run yesterday, with two outs in the bottom of the 9th. Oh, wait, his team was getting blown out at that point by the Angels, so his HR meant nothing. But his double-play earlier did mean something. It meant the end of a Yankees scoring threat. That at-bat pretty much epitomizes his choking-dog career.

The Post Mortem

Preseason causes people to do crazy things. For instance, there was once a guy who traded Marvin Harrison straight up for Ryan Leaf back in 1998, all based on preseason performance. While the Leaf pick looked good for about two weeks (until his career ended in Kansas City the following week), let's just say that guy did not win his fantasy league that season.

The lesson is that you cannot put too much stock into preseason performances of quarterbacks. Phillip Rivers, Jay Cutler and Brian Griese all looked solid this weekend. But don't get too excited. These guys are playing against vanilla defenses, with virtually no blitzing. It would be almost impossible to not have a good game at quarterback during the preseason.

Unless, of course, you are Rex Grossman or Vince Young.

Grossman, according to a radio report, was so off the mark this weekend that his passes couldn't even be intercepted. And this guy is supposed to be the second coming of Jim McMahon? Young was equally as awful—although he looks to have patented Brett Favre's "Ill-advised toss over-the-shoulder" pass. Young had not looked this overwhelmed since he held a No. 2 pencil in his hand and grabbed his Wonderlic test.

Titans coach Jeff Fisher was undaunted, however, as he said that he would like to start Young much earlier than anticipated this season. That shows that Fisher either wants to be fired immediately or he really wanted to make the Titans Super Bowl Buzz Kill super easy.

  • Do, however, buy the preseason hype for running backs. Reggie Bush is the real deal. But most people outside of former Houston GM Charlie Casserly already knew that. Bush rushed for 59 yards on six attempts. Hopefully there is truth to those rumors that Casserly was paid off by the NFL to pass on Bush so he could land to the Saints who will be relocating to Los Angeles in 2007. For Casserly, that would make a lot more sense than the truth. (But Roger Goodell would never be involved in anything shady.)

  • Hey, how did Texans defensive end Mario Williams do this weekend? You remember him, the guy the club selected instead of Bush. Williams had one tackle in one quarter and was abused by Chiefs tackle Kyle Turley, who played in his first game since 2003. Solid pick, Texans.

  • The news wasn’t all good for the Saints. "T-Rac," the Titans raccoon-like mascot, hit quarterback Adrian McPherson with a golf cart as he walked onto the field for the second-half on Saturday night, knocking him out of the game. It was later learned that "T-Rac" was a former client of McPherson's former college book-making operation, and was looking to collect on a debt.

  • Titans running back LenDale White was suspended from the game for allegedly spitting on his defensive teammates. But Bush treated those Titans defenders much worse.

  • New Panthers receiver Keyshawn Johnson showed that he was already in mid-season form as he caught a lot of passes, but still could not find the endzone in the team's exhibition opener.

  • Did the Yankees clone Rick Cerone? That was the second question asked behind, how is Sal Fasano still in the league? Figured he would retire after having a cup of coffee with the Angels championship team in 2002. And for the record, watching a Angels game at Taco Surf on Friday is cool. Watching the replay is depressing. Cheering the replay is clinical.


AND FINALLY
Horse racing has to be the most corrupt sport ever. Never going back to a race track after the "Del Mar Screw Job" on Saturday. A high-paying trifecta was erased in the ninth race after the No. 9 horse was disqualified for running too fast. It was enough to make somebody want to break a couple of TV monitors and punch the owner of the track.

It would also figure that "The Bish" is kind of horse-racing expert.

Congrats Jered

Forget the 7-0 start—you aren't officially a member of the Angels until you punk the New York Yankees. Jered Weaver showed that he was ready as he struck out the side to open Sunday's game and it didn’t get much better for the Bronx Bummers after that. Weaver's deceptive motion and command of his pitches turned Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Johnny Damon and Jorge Posada into a bunch of whining (female dogs).

Oh wait, the Yankees always act like that when they don’t get every call. Seriously, Jeter and A-Rod act like an umpire insulted their mothers when he calls a strike.

But it didn’t matter. Weaver was dealing, as he struck out eight to win his eighth game. More importantly, Weaver passed the initiation of treating the Yankees like a frat boys treated sheep in the 1950s. Turn in that pledge pin Jered, and pick up your letter sweater. You are a member.

The Angels have now won eight of its last 12 games at Yankee Stadium, and continue to be the only team with a winning record over the Yankees during the Joe Torre era. The Angels, unlike the rest of the American League, have no fear of the alleged mystique the team killed in 2002 and continue to this day. Weaver's mastery of the Yankees was reminiscent of the way "Yankees Killer" Chuck Finley owned the Yankees.

The only problem is that beating the Yankees directly helps the Boston Red Sox. While it's fun to punk the Yankees repeatedly, they need to make the playoffs so the Angels can send them home.

Again.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Super Bowl Buzz Kill

Why your team won't win the Super Bowl:



A lot of wise guys will note that the Falcons have a very legitimate shot at the Super Bowl if Michael Vick gets hurt and the team is forced to do with Matt Schaub at quarterback. But that is just stupid. The Falcons could very well win a Super Bowl starting Michael Vick.

At running back.

If the Falcons used Vick the way the Saints are anticipated to use Reggie Bush, they could be on to something. (And it’s not so crazy as Jim Mora is developing DeAngelo Hall as a two-way player.)

Vick is a kindred spirit with embattled Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer. Both mobile signal callers seem to win a bunch of games, but neither seem to get over the hump. Fans tend to hold out hope that the breakthrough will come, and hey, it worked for perennial loser John Elway so there is hope. But reality dictates that the Falcons will struggle for another season as Vick injures fans in the first couple of rows with errant passes.

Vick effectively ended the career of Peerless Price and is on the verge of thwarting the development of budding stars Roddy White and Michael Jenkins. The experts also wonder why the Falcons can never find solid receivers. (Here is a hint, maybe it’s actually the quarterback.) The Falcons also have a Warrick Dunn-clone in Jerious Norwood who could have a productive season. And luckily for him, Vick cannot overthrow Norwood on a handoff.

But then again, you shouldn’t overestimate Vick who probably could. The only thing Vick doesn’t seem capable of is leading his team to the Super Bowl.

Other previews: Jets, Texans, Vikings, Jaguars, Bills, Eagles, Bears Buccaneers and Chiefs.

Friday, August 11, 2006

The Weak Ender



It's inevitable each preseason. At least one quarterback will suffer a catastrophic injury. And this year is no different. It appears that quarterback Jenna Jameson will not be able to play in the upcoming Lingerie Bowl. (Insert your own lame "receiver" joke here.) Actually Jameson will miss the game because she can't get insured to play in the game and her bosses fear that she will be hurt.

Yeah, because banging a ton of dudes is totally safe. And Dave Navarro.

But don't worry, horn dogs, Jameson will be in charge of the game commentary, which she insists she'll do in her sexiest underwear. The biggest surprise is not that Jameson actually owns underwear, but that people still buy this thing. Who are these losers? Any Super Bowl party showing the Lingerie Bowl is not a party you would want to attend, lest they be calling for "The Gimp" by the third period. It makes the chick fight in the parking lot of Moose's Beach party three years ago seem less undesirable. (So you have no excuse to not be in Vegas this year for that.)

  • The Boston Red Sox were swept by the Kansas City Royals, as savior Curt Schilling was roughed up on Thursday. You could almost imagine Schilling trolling the Royals message boards the following day, challenging Royals fans to fights.

  • Congratulations to Browns tight end Kellen Winslow who competed in a preseason game and did not get hurt. Winslow is celebrating this accomplishment by skydiving today. Hey, what could go wrong?

  • The Madden player ratings are out. Not like it matters to most of you jerks, seeing that you likely create your own player and max him out. THN does not do that. Instead, a running back named Zach Landres Whatever is created with a rating of 99.



AND FINALLY
Sports Illustrated columnist Rick Reilly was outraged (what else is new?) about Little League baseball. To summarize, it's a Little League game, team the Red Sox best hitter is up with a chance to win the game and first base open. The kid on deck is one of the worst hitters on the team. So the opposing manager walks the team’s best hitter and faces the weak hitter.

Oh, and the weak hitter is a cancer survivor or something.

Anway, the weak hitter ends up striking out to end the game and Reilly is pissed. But not for what you think. He is upset that the manager called for the intentional walk. What? If anybody should be lambasted, it should be the guy who is protecting his best hitter in the lineup with a cancer survivor.

Oh, and the manager of that losing team is Bill Stoneman.

Alright, just kidding, but barely.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Super Bowl Buzz Kill

Why your team won't win the Super Bowl:



If the Chiefs aren't careful, they could very well be challenging the Raiders for worst team in the AFC West. Everybody is raving over running back Larry Johnson, but very few are paying attention to the fact that left tackle Willie Roaf has retired. Kyle Turley was the first-ever THN Hater of the Year, but the dude hasn't played football since 2003. If Turley can regain his magic, the Chiefs might have something; but that's a big if. So the running game could be in trouble. The club has the worst receiving corps outside of Philadelphia (seriously, Eddie Kennison?) and Trent Green tossed his fewest number of touchdown passes since 2001 (17).

And the offense is the strength of this club.

The defensive secondary of Patrick Surtain and Ty Law could be one of the league’s best—if this was 1998. The defense has more holes than a donut shop.

But none of that matters seeing that the Chiefs have Herman Edwards as their head coach. There is no denying that Edwards is one of the most colorful personalities in the NFL. There is no denying that his tirades are legendary right next to the elder Jim Mora.

"You play to win the game. Hello, You play to win the game." You can see the video here.

There is aslo no denying that Edwards just isn't a good coach as he has notched a 41-44 carer record with the Jets, including the playoffs. Edwards has been notoriously bad at clock management, but that pales in comparison to his dismal playoff appearances. The Jets advanced to the second-round of the 2004 AFC playoffs after Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer got conservative (well, he's always been conservative) and sat on the ball. So what did Edwards and the Jets do the following week at Pittsburgh with a bid for the AFC Championship Game on the line? He got conservative and sat on the ball as the Jets lost.

If Edwards is this good at mimicking coaches, then expect to see many Dick Vermeil-type tears when the Chiefs finish 5-11.

But they will play the game to win! So that should be a relief to all of your Chiefs fans.

Other previews: Jets, Texans, Vikings, Jaguars, Bills, Eagles, Bears and Buccaneers.

As Winger Said...

The Paul Lo Duca divorce case has surpassed nasty and is quickly heading downhill. When Lo Duca was considered one of the good guys, a clean-cut All-America type during his tenure with the Dodgers. But now Lo Duca has proven to be just another Steve Garvey as the seedy details of his divorce have made for some entertaining reading.

Sonia Lo Duca fired the first salvo, claiming that Paulie was spending too much time at the track. Hard to imagine a guy named Lo Duca spending too much time at the track. Or strip club. Or working in the sanitation industry.

So the Mets catcher said, "Oh yeah, remember how I claimed that Sonia was in a Playboy cyber shoot? I lied, she was in a couple of videos and she's a dirty, dirty (expletive)." (And if you think you are going to see those photos on this family site, you are mistaken. Although rumors persist that you can see them on "The Wade Blogs". They are listed in the links on your left. But proceed at your own risk.)

Now it turns out that Lo Duca was carrying on with the pictured 19-year old Long Island broad. Nice. Let's see, an adult male carrying on with a teenager from Long Island. What could possibly go wrong?

And yes smart guys, the Winger song was "She's Only 17," but close enough.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The Jerky Boys

Bengals fans annoyed by bad behavior in the stands can now report it by cell phone. The hot-line number is (513) 381-JERK.

Seriously.

Can you imagine how jammed that line is going to be when 65,000 people report Chad Johnson on any given Sunday? Is there anyway that fans could use this phone number to report a member of the Bengals committing a crime? There is a bigger need for a line like that rather than a phone line for a few rowdy fans. As Sam Wyche would point out, it's not like they are in Cleveland.

Still, the complaints of a few parents have vilified people who like to go to games and have some fun. Not everybody is into the "family experience." In fact, kids are often time the biggest nuisance at a sporting event—going up and down the isle numerous times for kettle corn or knocking over your beer because they have no courtesy. Where is the phone line to report an unruly child who stuck his cotton candy stained hands on your Reggie Jackson throwback jersey? Like (513) 381-Your kid is an (expletive) hole.

Sports events can sometimes have cursing or people consuming beers. If you don't want to deal with that, take your kids to see Lindsey Lohan's breast in the latest Disney movie.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Super Bowl Buzz Kill

Why your team won't win the Super Bowl:



The image of patron saint Jon Gruden is starting to tarnish. And it has nothing to do with his decision to start Chris Simms at quarterback. Gruden has always been seen as a forward thinker. As somebody who is a little bit ahead of the curve.

Then you read a story like this:

The Bucs have tried to keep things fresh during a sweltering camp by sprinkling their audibles with pop-culture references right out of People magazine.

"As soon as you get them [players] maybe one time on an audible, it's in a file forever," Gruden said.

"So we've got to change names. Halle Berry? Let's be honest, she is a fox and our players never forget that one. That one's used up, so we're on to Jennifer Aniston, J-Lo and Pam Anderson. We like to use girls once in a while, but in the regular season we have our basic audibles that we'll continue to use."


Uh, sure. Way to keep things fresh. Way to have your finger on the pulse of pop culture. Even Steve “The Bish” Bisheff would be embarrassed by these pop culture drops. Even calling Halle Berry a “Fox” would be beneath the Bish. Who still uses that phrase? And really Jon, could you think of some different or fresher "birds?" Although they are more relevant than the girls the Raiders use—Loni Anderson, Charlene Tilton and Joan Van Ark.

Besides, the audibles are also pretty easy to decipher. A J-Lo is obviously an end-around; a Jennifer Aniston is a pass out in the flat; and a Pam Anderson is obviously a fake.

With audibles this bad, it’s obvious that Gruden has lost his touch. It’s a shame, too.

Other previews: Jets, Texans, Vikings, Jaguars, Bills, Eagles and Bears.