Friday, December 29, 2006

The Weak Ender



Everybody should have seen this coming. Barry Zito once dated Alyssa Milano who starred in the show Charmed, based in San Francisco. So it is only natural that Zito is now a member of the San Francisco Giants.

Damn, it was so obvious.

(And yes, if this wasn't the biggest stretch to get a hot chick to headline the Weak Ender, it certainly is close.)

JASON TAYLOR IS A FEMALE DOG

Jason Taylor has certainly gone into full whine mode when it comes to Shawne Merriman. Taylor doesn't believe that Merriman should be considered for defensive player of the year because of his steroid violation. That is sends a bad message to younger kids about the dangers of steroids.

Oh shut your trap, Taylor. Merriman served his punishment already. Having him pay for his mistake twice would send a bad message to kids. Right? Merriman missed four games (and four paychecks) if he is voted defensive POY or the Pro Bowl, he deserves.

But don't worry, Merriman got over on Taylor as he sent him a "Lights Out" hat and cap, and a bag of popcorn so he could watch the Chargers in the playoffs.

Do the kids still say, "Owned?"

WARNER TIME

Kurt Warner will start for the Birds this week against the Chargers. Warner told reporters this week that he will return next season to back up Matt Leinart. And that's good news. The number of people who believe that Warner could still be a viable quarterbacks is a short list that only includes Warner, Brenda Warner, Dick Vermeil and THN.

Although, Brenda is starting to hedge her bets.

Warner could still be a quarterback in this league. Imagine Warner playing for a competent team like, say, Chicago. He might not be what he was for the St. Louis football team in 1999, but the Bears would be in a much better position with Warner. In fact, the Bears should seriously consider Warner during the offseason. They need a veteran who can win in the short term. The window of opportunity is going to close really soon in Chicago and they need to make a move while they can.

  • Leonard Little said that he was a little upset that he didn't make it to the Pro Bowl. He said it kind of ruined his Christmas not to be recognized. You know who else's Christmas was ruined? The family of the woman he killed in 1999. The women's two children spent another Christmas without their mother, but you can imagine they likely had a lot of empathy for Little and his loss. Where is Jason Taylor’s outrage on this subject?

    And you might want to reason that Little shouldn't pay for his crime twice. And you would be right, if he actually, you know, paid for it the first time.


  • Lil' Hater is reporting that during the Cowboys and Eagles game, Jeff Garcia yelled, "Who's the (European cigarette) now, T.O.?" as the receiver short-armed another pass down the sideline. Please let that story be true.


  • Looking back at the NFL Network, we owe them a debt of gratitude for taking one of the worst games of the week and hiding on a network that nobody has. Maybe the Giants can have all of their games television on NFL Network next year. Is there any way to make this happen? Fourteen of the Giants 16 games were shown here in Southern California. Even with the Giants meltdown this season and Eli Messiah regressing into Rick Mirer, that is still too many games.


  • The Panthers are not going to make us believe that they can win this week. Totally not.


  • Despite what Pittsburgh did last season, there is no way to get fired up for the remaining ham-and-eggers struggling to reach the .500 mark and make the playoffs. Did you see the list of scenarios the Packers need to make it to the playoffs? They need a win and a strength of victory that would require that Arizona, Detroit, Miami, Minnesota and San Francisco all win and Carolina, Houston and Tampa Bay all lose. The Giants qualify as long as Joe Buck mentions Tiki Barber and the phrase "glorious career" at least six times. Alright, that last part was made up, though it sounded the most reasonable.


  • Congratulations to the Pac-10 for finally winning a bowl game this season. Maybe one of these days they can match the bowl record of the WAC and Mountain West conference. And really, if you had to take your pick on the one Pac-10 coach that was going to win its bowl, Jeff Tedford would be far, far, down the list. This will likely be the only win the Pac-10 gets into the bowl games.


  • Does something in the world of college basketball seem right to you today? It should because UNLV matters again. This really needed to happen.


  • Take the Panthers and the points.



AND FINALLY
Here is some career advice for Nick Saban: Take the Alabama job. Being over-hyped and failing to reach expectations would make you a perfect fit for the Crimson Tide. You clearly aren't cut out for the NFL game. And while you are at it, take Dennis Green with you. Have you noticed that Miami and Arizona have torn up the league once they started 1-5? Peter King has already penned in Miami and Arizona for Super Bowl 42.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Tiki Barber Model Teammate

With the playoffs still within reach, Tiki Barber has his mind on the White House? Really? Barber told DC reporters this week that football hasn't always been on his mind.

"During the week I am sitting in a meeting and instead of being solely focused on the Washington Redskins I will be thinking about other things. In the off season for instance I had a chance to come down your way for the White House Correspondence dinner. These things became more important to me than being up here working out." Barber said.

You must be thrilled with that comment if you are one of the few remaining players on the Giants who actually cares about, you know, football. At least Eli Messiah at least pretends to like football (but you know his brothers and father pushed him into it.) Barber has pretty much admitted that he doesn't really care that much about football. Brandon Jacobs probably cares. Why not give him the carries against Washington?

What's funny is that this isn't a bigger story. Allen Iverson was crucified for not wanting to practice, yet Barber gets a free pass. Iverson was a bad guy and a malcontent. Barber just has perspective. The media never gets on Barber's case. Well, except for Tom Jackson and Michael Irvin. Two guys Barber called "idiots" for saying that he would become a distraction.

Look at who the idiot is now.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Cowgirl Bowl Tonight



Can UCLA finally deliver a win for the Pac-10? Oregon and Arizona State were just embarrassing. The Bruins are actually playing better than any Pac-10 team right now. How bad is it for the Pac-10? The WAC and the Mountain West conferences are doing very well in its bowl games, going a combined 4-1.

Model Teammate Strikes Again

Remember when rumors were circling about Troy Aikman's sexuality? His handlers responded by putting him in a commercial where a hot chick sacks him during a pick-up football game. Peyton Manning's people did the same thing with his latest Visa spot, where he picks up the spirits of some movers, the Starbucks guy, the paperboy, etc.

But as much as Manning's handlers would like to foster his image as a model teammate, he just keeps sticking his foot in his mouth. Said Manning after the loss to the Texans:

"It is what it is, we are what we are. It's not like basketball where you can play on both sides of the ball. You can only control when you are out there. When you are out there, your job is to score more points. We needed to score more points today."

In other words Gomer is saying that if he was playing defensive back, the Colts would have like, the best defense ever. Manning obviously feels that it is nearly impossible to score the same number of points that his defense continues to give up on a weekly basis.

Yep, model teammate.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Post Mortem

Anybody else sick of Carrie Underwood? Holy hell, was there this much fuss about who Jeff Garcia was dating?

Alright, bad example. But you get the point.

There were enough storylines going on during the Eagles dismantling of the Cowboys that you didn’t need to focus on Underwood. Philadelphia was on the verge of winning its third consecutive road NFC East game, putting them in the driver's seat for the division. Bill Parcells is the most overrated coach in NFL history. He’s still living off the glory of those famed Giants teams. Pacells has regressed in each coaching stop, going from Super Bowl champ, to Super Bowl participant, to AFC Championship Game participant, to not winning a playoff game. Nice legacy. Luckily they have screwed up the Pro Football Hall of Fame so much, that he can’t tarnish his legacy.

The most refreshing storyline was Jeff Garcia proving to Terrell Owens who the real man is. It may have taken Garcia a few years, but he has finally gotten over on Owens. And wasn't it always ironic that Garcia dates a Playboy Playmate, while T.O. spends too much time in the gym, wears flamboyant suits and likes to strut around in full body tights?

And people thought Garcia was gay.

The only thing left to say about Owens is that if looks like a malcontent and acts like a malcontent, it’s a malcontent.

And for the record, the notion that Donovan McNabb is one of the most valuable players in the NFL is a fallacy. But, as stated in this space a week ago, Garcia could win the Super Bowl this year (and really, why not?), and McNabb will still be the starter next year.

A RIVERS RUNS THROUGH IT

Whether you believe that Philip Rivers' game-winning touchdown validates him as a viable quarterback or not, one thing is for certain—this guy needs to learn how to celebrate better. Seriously, what was that? Rivers looked like Jim Valvano after North Carolina State won the NCAA title. Hey Philip, at least act like you weren't surprised to throw that touchdown pass.

But what does that all mean? Was that a coming-of-age moment that Chargers fans have been waiting for? Well, look at it this way. If that was the Giants, and Eli Messiah threw a similar type of touchdown pass, would you consider that a great play, or blown coverage?

Trick question. Eli would never have put his team into a position to win a game like that, this late in the season.

Rivers played an awful game, but he was there when it mattered most. Rivers has the highest fourth-quarter passer rating in the league, and it is not accident that the Chargers came back to win the game.

NFC PLAYOFFS

That's quite an impressive list of teams battling for the final playoff spot in the NFC. The Giants, Packers, Panthers, Falcons and St. Louis football team are all in the mix. A 7-9 record could take the thing (and that would be so great). So who should the nation be pulling for?

Giants: The immediate thought is to have the Giants out of the playoffs all together. But, having Eli Messiah mess himself during the playoffs again would be worth it.

Packers: Are you ready for week-long analysis on how Brett Favre gives the Packers a (all together now class), “Puncher’s chance” at the playoffs?

Panthers: (Expletive) the Panthers.

Falcons: Wouldn't it be cool to see Mick Vick give Ed Hochuli the bird? How long do you think it would take Eddie Guns to dismantle Vick?

St. Louis football team: What planet are you living on?

The obvious choice has to be the Giants. Tom Coughlin keeps his job if the Giants make the playoffs. And Art Shell and Coughlin need to be NFL coaches next season. It's a must, or sites like THN will die.



  • Advice for Garcia: Don't do any Chunky Campbell spots during the offseason.




  • Vince Young might not be bright, and he might not be able to throw a football, but the dude is showing that he can play. You just have to fear about how effective he will be if he loses a step. But if you are a coach living in the short term, who really cares, right? Besides, who would want to play the Titans in the AFC playoffs?




  • Congratulations to the New York Jets for clinching a playoff berth. What's that you say, the Jets still need to beat the Raiders to make it to the playoffs? Oh. Again, congratulations to the New York Jets for clinching a playoff berth.




  • NBC flexed the Bears and Packers game to Sunday night? Look for NBC to bill this game as one last chance to see John Madden perform on-air fellatio to Favre.




  • Congratulations to the Angels, who just had their left fielder Juan Rivera break his leg in winter ball in Venezuela. At least Bill Stoneman went out and got all of those much needed sluggers.




  • Reggie Bush, Rookie of the Year. We are not debating this anymore, right?


  • It is coming down to the wire for THN Sports Figure of the Year. Be sure to get your vote in. The official poll is on the left hand margin in the Hater Poll.


AND FINALLY

Taco Surf is The Hater Nation home of Monday night football if, for nothing else, they don't have the sound on. Obviously this is no new ground being broken here, but that crew is enough to almost make you long for Joe Buck. Who told Tony Maizeheiser that he was funny, anyway? Who didn't get the Maizeheiser joke the first time? Who thinks it wasn't funny the second time, either?

Why are you still here? Don't you have a sweater to return?

Friday, December 22, 2006

The Weak Ender



Is there anything more depressing than looking up at the television and realizing that you forgot to bet against Oregon in it's bowl game? Just painful. Here is the plan for next year. Start an online betting account. Conservatively build up a nest egg. And then put the entire account balance on Oregon's bowl opponent to cover.

Nice helmets, too. At least they haven’t screwed up the cheerleaders uniforms yet.

ALMOST FAMOUS

If you wonder why Joe Buck and Peter King are trying to put Tiki Barber into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, just watch Almost Famous. Buck and King likely grew up like the lead character William Miller, who was based on Cameron Crowe. The lesson in the movie, and something Crowe obviously learned, is that musicians will try to make you feel cool so you will write good things about them. It's only natural.

As Lester Bangs (Philip Seymour Hoffman) said: Aw, man. You made friends with them. See, friendship is the booze they feed you. They want you to get drunk on feeling like you belong. They make you feel cool. And hey. I met you. You are not cool.

The Miller character in the movie learns this lesson. Buck and King have not. (Having met King, it's true, he's not cool.)

Because Barber is cool to them, and because he makes the out-of-shape reporters feel like they belong, the two feel like they owe it to Tiki to put him in the Hall of Fame. Honestly, if Tiki acted like Barry Bonds towards these guys, there would be no such discussion for the Hall of Fame.

That should be a lesson to the young superstars out there. Be cool to the media, and they will make your average career seem better.

  • Do you think Tiki has ever stood on top of a house and yelled, "I am a Golden God?"


  • It’s also odd that New York fans arent more upset by this Barber for the Hall of Fame nonsense. Can you say that Tiki has had a better career than, say, Otis Anderson? You know, the guy who actually led the Giants to a Super Bowl. The Super Bowl MVP Otis Anderson. New York fans should care more about this.


  • Is this a big game for Philip Rivers? He's sandwiched two good games (at Buffalo, Denver) around two dreadful games (Oakland and Kansas City). But the perception is that he is starting to slip. The only way to answer those questions is to go out and perform. A bad game at Seattle would certainly raise the alarm. And one bad game is enough to derail your career. Just ask Ryan Leaf.


  • The real reason Oregon lost? Ryan Leaf was on the sidelines.


  • Tom Brady lost his girlfriend last week, and was snubbed for the Pro Bowl this week. You can imagine Drew Bledsoe crank calling Brady at all hours, screaming, "How does that feel, (expletive)?"


  • If the Chargers defeat Seattle, and San Francisco wins, the 49ers could conceivably win the NFC West at 8-8. Normally, the 49ers lead the second level of hate for THN, but there would be something cool about an 8-8 team making the playoffs. Not as cool as, say, a 6-10 team making the playoffs. But you have to start somewhere.


  • Terrell Owens did not get suspended for spitting on DeAngelo Hall. Did Opie Goodell consider ratings as T.O. would have missed the upcoming Cowboys and Eagles game on Christmas? Listen, the NFL would never consider television in any of its decisions. That is just preposterous to even think it.

    Hey, did you know that last night's game could have been Favre’s last at Lambeau Field?


  • Jeff Garcia is going to lead the Eagles to a victory on Christmas. Hey, doesn't anybody remember the Tony Romo era in Dallas? It didn't even last as long as the Steve Pelleur era.


  • Since it's Festivus, be sure to check out The Airing of Grievances. If you need another link as you mail in your final hours at work, check out the photos of Miss Nevada here. Between her an Miss USA, Donald Trump has one pretty cool contest going.



AND FINALLY

It looks like Andy Schefter will shame the Raiders into keeping Art Shell around. And for that, he should be commended. The Raiders indicated that Schefter was Mike Shanahan's buddy and was just spreading anti-Raider garbage. Now it's not hard to imagine that Al Davis will keep Shell around just to spite Schefter.

But if Schefter really is anti-Raiders (and who isn't?), then he could have purposely floated this rumor because he knew that Davis would react like this and then be forced to keep Shell in order to make Schefter look stupid. Wow, that was genius.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Art Shell To Be Fired?

It is hard to believe, but rumors say that Art Shell could be let go at the end of the year. Seriously. It's not like Al Davis to admit a mistake. Or to pay a coach for not working. But it looks like that is going to happen.

A lot of you are likely clamoring for a return of Norv Turner because if Shell deserves a second chance, why not Norv? But expect Rob Ryan to be the next coach because he will work cheap and because he will work cheap. Can this guy lead the Raiders? Probably not. But if he keeps John Shoop as offensive coordinator, he's doomed.

But with Shell likely gone, that makes the second person THN has gotten fired this year, following Steve "The Bish" Bisheff.

Not This Again

The NFL Network is plugging tonigh's Packers v. Vikings game as possibly Brett Favre's last game at Lambeau Field. (Now, a lot of you are probably thinking, "What and the hell is the NFL Network?" It's this little network buried on some cable company that evidentially shows NFL games. Though that's just a rumor right now.)

A couple of things, though. First, the tenuous nature of the NFL means that it could really be anybody's last game each Sunday. Especially if you are Ben Roethlisberger. And could you imagine that kind of campaign?

Tune in for the Steelers game this week, because, let's be honest, Roethlisberger has skirted death long enough and this could be the week that the Grim Reaper cashes in.

Seems kind of low, don't you think?

But the more important aspect is that Favre probably won't retire after this season. Especially since he’s this close to the all-time interception record. But seriously, he’s actually having kind of an alright season. His passer rating isn’t great, but there are at least a dozen teams he would start for, including the entire NFC North.

Favre should stick around. And if the NFL Network is really searching for an angle to play up, how about Brad Childress's mustache? That alone is enough to tune in for. That is, of course, if you could actually see the game.

If you don't get NFL Network, hang out at the FanHouse for some live-blogging of the Duke/Gonzaga game.

Gift Exchange

Office gift exchanges are the worst. Instead of drawing one of your buddies, you are typically stuck with Flo, the crazy cat lady. What kind of gift do you get for the mental defective that reeks of cat urine and sweaty bicycle seats?

But imagine the poor schmuck that draws Joe Buck in the FOX gift exchange. What do you get for the self-satisfied jerk that seemingly knows everything? Besides, his dad has given him everything in his life, including his job, so what is left?

Well, the perfect gift for Joe Buck is right here. And it is for sale here.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Mara Family: NFL Royalty

Somebody is not taking the Giants season so well. The son of Wellington Mara tackled and choked a 57-year old broker on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange after the man mocked the team. Stephen Mara then turned on the crazy, like Ralphie in A Christmas Story, reigning down the profanities .

"Mara started screaming, 'I'm gonna f- - -ing kill you! Don't f- - - around with my family! Don't insult my family!' " one broker said.

"[The victim] was like, 'Hey, what is your problem? It's just a game!' And Mara yells, 'No, it's not just a game, it's my f- - -ing family!' "

Right, that's why daddy didn't pick you to run the team when he kicked the bucket. The victim apparently walked past Mara during the morning and mockingly did one of those lame jump-shot things, maybe famous by Michael Strahan, and joked, "Maybe you have a basketball team instead of a football team."

That enough caused Mara to snap. (His old man would be so proud.) Just think of what would have happened if the victim had pointed out that all three players the Chargers received from the Giants in the Eli Messiah trade (Philip Rivers, Shawne Merriman and Nate Kaeding) all made the Pro Bowl. Too bad the rest of the Giants don't show this kind of fight. It was the best sack for the Giants all season.

Hey, what are the odds that this shows up on ESPN's "Jacked Up" segment?

Link to the story.

Thanks to AOL FanHouse for the story.

Pro Bowl Sham



Why do people get upset about the Pro Bowl rosters? Do you even bother to watch the game? Probably not. Still, a lot of Pro Football Hall of Fame voters use Pro Bowl selections as one of their criteria, so there is some merit. And when undeserving players are selected to the Pro Bowl, well then, you have a right to complain.

Of course, there is an annual selection of at least a few players who skate by on reputation alone (looking at you John Lynch). But they are typically defensive players or offensive linemen—positions where you can't debate merit by statistics.

That doesn't explain why some running backs are selected to the team. For instance, which running back would you rather have on your team:

Running Back A: 1,357 rushing yards (4.7 average), 2 TDs, 52 receptions for 429 yards and 0 receiving TDs.

Or

Running Back B: 1,092 rushing yards (5.1 average), 7 TDs, 74 receptions for 664 yards and 4 receiving TDs.

Running Back B has the advantage in rushing average, rushing touchdowns, receptions, receiving yards, receiving touchdowns and total touchdowns. Basing your selection on numbers, Running Back B is the overwhelming choice. Not only does he have the statistical advantage, his team is also in control of its division.

Oh, but Running Back A does numerous national commercials so he's an automatic selection. So Running Back A, Tiki Barber, gets the Pro Bowl selection while Running Back B, Brian Westbrook gets nothing. (Until, of course, Barber figures that he is too good to condescend to play in a Pro Bowl.)

It doesn't seem like a big deal now, but wait until they try to shove Barber into the Hall of Fame and they use Pro Bowl selections are part of the criteria.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Free The Bengals

Why does everybody give the Bengals such a hard time for having so many off-the-field troubles? ESPN, Joe Buck and the rest of the morality police continue to look down their noses at the Bengals. Even going so far to call them an embarrassment.

You want to know what was a real embarrassment?

When the Bengals were 4-12 every year during the 1990s. Monday was the first time anybody had ever looked forward to a Bengals game since Super Bowl 23. Who cares if they are getting arrested at a clip typically reserved for Raiders fan, they are relevant again. Well, until last night, at least. Still, let the Bengals have their fun as be it driving drunk or brandishing weapons. And let Chad Johnson wear whatever footwear he wants. Seriously.

What was more surprising to you last night, that Johnson was fined for his footwear or that Merton Hanks was the compliance officer? Yes, the same Merton Hanks who was fined every week because his neck was too long. The guy who couldn’t wear a turtle necks, so they forced him to wrap himself with a cutoff tube sock. The guy who had the worst end zone celebration in NFL history is now a compliance officer. That makes about as much sense as having Bill Romanowski investigate the Terrell Owens spitting incident.


WHAT IS up with Steve Young's hair? He looks like Jerry Seinfeld in the low-flow showerhead episode. Are Mormons forbidden to use hair gel, too? At least he is better than Chris Berman, who looks like Grandpa Munster after a (expletive) experiment.

WHY DOES Tony Maizheiser think that America is clamoring to see Peyton Manning win a Super Bowl? Nobody out of Indianapolis or Tennessee really cares. In fact, most people are likely so sick of Manning, they hope that he never wins. Do you think New England fans want to see a Manning Super Bowl? Probably not.

In fact, there is nothing greater than seeing a high-statistical quarterback never win a Super Bowl. If for nothing else, it really pains guys like John Madden, Buck, Berman, et al, who are openly rooting for these guys to win the big one. (Although, Buck has hitched his wagon to the wrong Manning.) They all cry, "Oh, this quarterback deserves to win a Super Bowl." Really? You know who deserves to win a Super Bowl? The quarterback that actually wins the game. Winning Super Bowls are tough to do. That is why they are held in high regard. If they gave out a Super Bowl to every Tom, Dick and Marino, it wouldn't mean as much.

Did Dan Fouts deserve to win a Super Bowl? No. Otherwise he would have. He might have more passing yards than Ken Stabler, but look who has the Super Bowl ring. So it is time to put away this notion that quarterbacks deserve to win. Deserve has nothing to do with it.

Monday, December 18, 2006

The Post Mortem

The only drawback to being at an NFL game is that you miss all of the day's contests. (Then you read about most of the snooze fests like the Broncos/Cardinals and are actually happy about it.) The only taste of the NFL weekend comes from the select highlights they show on the scoreboard. And what do you figure was the select highlight at Jack Murphy Stadium on Sunday?

Eli Messiah tossing a game-crippling interception that was returned for a touchdown.

That highlight easily received one of the biggest ovations of the night. The interception came in an otherwise decent statistical night for Messiah. Outside of those two interceptions. It was the kind of game where America’s Soccer Mom, Archie Manning, was likely consoling his boy, telling his boy that it wasn’t his fault.

Yeah, if Plaxico Burress had only tackled Trent Cole before he got into the end zone. Blame Burress, because you can’t blame the Messiah.

Philip Rivers has the Chargers closing in on the No. 1 seed in the AFC. The Jints? Are they even going to make the playoffs? Even the Packers are breathing down their necks. But you want to know who is closing in on the playoffs?

FLY LIKE AN EAGLE

The Eagles are now in a position to win the NFC East. They win out (which would include a victory over Dallas next week) and they are the division champs. The odds would be stacked against them if Donovan McNabb was still the starting quarterback. But with Jeff Garcia, it looks like a distinct probability.

The Eagles could be faced with a pretty interesting dilemma next season if Garcia leads the team to the playoffs. Hahaha, just kidding. Garcia could win the Super Bowl and the Eagles would still bench him in 2007. McNabb has somehow duped the Eagles coaching staff and front office into believing that he is a winning quarterback.

MOVE OVER HORNUNG

Let's now put those Drew Brees for MVP notions to rest, finally. It would be a little reactionary to do it after one poor performance and Brees does deserve a mulligan for yesterday. But LaDainian Tomlinson is having one of the best seasons as a running back, ever, as he broke Paul Hornung’s single season points record. The 46-year old record lasted longer than Babe Ruth’s homerun record. The list of accolades are staggering when talking about LTD.

  • Maybe Conard Bain is right, though. The Chargers do seem to be getting every call going their way. But it was cool for David Binn, the long snapper to make the recovery on the play. Binn is now the longest-tenured player in club history. Forget about teaching your kid to pitch left handed, teach them how to be a long snapper.


  • Nice job by the San Diego Union Tribune to have only one lousy photo of the Chargers Girls in Santa uniforms. And that photo still got triple the views of any other photograph.


  • Can anybody imagine a scenario where Kyle Boller leads Raven to the Super Bowl? Don’t feel bad, nobody can. You know, the surprising thing about Raven’s victory wasn’t that Boller came off the bench to lead the team. But that it has taken McNair this long to get seriously hurt again. Boller played significant minutes for Raven in Week 6 against…


  • (Expletive) the Panthers. You have to fire John Fox now, right? How many years are they going to let him squander away the best talent in the NFC?


AND FINALLY
A ridiculous new basketball and now a huge brawl at Madison Square Garden. You have to hand it to David Stern, he really is a marketing genius. Imagine how much publicity he could garner if the NBA was actually watchable.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Thanks Flex Schedule



NBC is treating football fans in Southern California the same way that Terrell Owens treated DeAngelo Hall last night. Instead of watching the Chargers in beautiful 70 degree weather, we will be freezing our (expletives) off in Hoth Ice Planet conditions. Look for THN in Plaza 3, watching the game under a slashed Tonton.

Thanks to The King for hooking THN up with the tickets.

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Weak Ender



Tom Brady and Bridget Moynahan have split up. Bad news for Brady, great news for Michael Strahan. Look for Strahan to seek a trade to New England in the offseason and switch to center.

Just kidding. He wants to be Brady's tight end.

RAIDERS VS. ST. LOUIS FOOTBALL TEAM
There is nothing nearly as satisfying as having these two teams being the worst in the NFL. Some might think that a Chargers Super Bowl would be the perfect season. Nope, having the Raiders and St. Louis football team finish one-two in the 2007 NFL Draft order would be a thing of beauty. Unfortunately, that is not possible this season. But it is close.

The obvious question, in a situation like this, is "who do you root for?" Our man Grant M. gave us that answer in 2004:

"If the Rams play the Raiders, you cheer for the Blimp to crash into the stadium, enveloping the players, coaches, and fans in a horrific fireball. You also hope that Georgia Frontandrearie dies last, her lungs filling with puss as her withered, charred hand attempts to pull a quarter from the pocket of the lifeless body of the season ticket-holder next to her."

WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH ROMO?
Some have suggested that Tony Romo is on a bit of a slide and are searching for answers. Look no further than Jessica Simpson. Is there a man that Simpson has been involved with that has had their career furthered by being involved with her?

Nick Lachey's solo career is about as successful as Michael Richards' solo career. He was pretty successful as a boy-bander, but he can’t make it on his own. Justin Timberlake has shown that it is possible to make the leap. Instead, Lachey has turned into a USC sideline lackey.

Johnny Knoxville co-started with the Rock in Walking Tall, starred in that Special Olympics movie. But after getting tangled up with Simpson, he has had to go back to making Jackass movies.

Nice work Yoko Simpson.

  • The dude filling in for Calvin Cowherd today had a nice straw-man argument, busting the myth that the Bears are not a good home football team. You mean like last week's Weak Ender that indicated that the winner of the Giants/Panthers match-up would go on to beat the Bears in the divisional round of the playoffs? Nobody believes that the Bears are a legitimate playoff team. Nobody.


  • Does anybody else feel like they could just start the NFL playoffs today? Do we need to drag this thing out for three more weeks? The best teams in the AFC are San Diego, Baltimore, Indianapolis and New England. Just let them start playing right now and get it over with. The NFC should just have Dallas play at Chicago with the winner going to New Orleans.


  • Drew Brees is approaching Dan Marino's single-season record for passing yards (5,084). Brees could do it if he averages 350 passing yards in the final three games. Or if he gets to the play the Cowboys three more times.


  • Anybody who considers Brees the MVP is doing a disservice to rookies Marques Colston and Reggie Bush. The former Heisman Trophy winner might not be putting up the rushing numbers most thought he would get, but the dude has nearly 80 receptions. It's hard to consider Brees the most valuable player on his own team right now. Much less in the league.


  • People who think Devin Hester is the rookie-of-the-year are completely nuts. Bush is at the top of the list, followed very closely by Vince Young. Yes, the dude is just a winner. Hester probably goes in the slot below Colston. And yes, THN hates defensive players. It's where they put dumb players who can't catch.


  • How did the Seahawks become worse once Matt Hasselbeck and Shaun Alexander returned? The saddest thing is that the NFC West is so bad, it deserves a 7-9 division winner. It really does.


  • Most ironic nickname: Tank Johnson being arrested on weapons charges. Much more so than Peyton, the Gay Cowboy, Manning. Who is writing these jokes, Joey Porter?


  • The accuser in the Duke lacrosse rape case has given birth. The defense asked that a DNA test be performed on the baby. Turns out the father is Coach Kryzkjadjhghleaski.


  • Allen Iverson should come to the Clippers. That would be about the only thing that would make disinterested NBA fans tune in for at least a few regular season games. Like Lakers v. Clippers games. Hey, that would be a start, right?


AND FINALLY
Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt passed away recently. Figures it would be when the Chargers are playing for them. THN gave a heartfelt tribute on its AOL FanHouse page.

Lil' Hater also has his own stirring tribute to Hunt.

I'm assuming the San Diego-Chiefs game will get moved to Kansas City now, right? And that the Chargers will get screwed over on all of the calls in the game. And Dale Carter will be enshrined into the Hall of Fame, right? Oh wait, it’s only important if a Giants owner dies. Sorry, forgot about that.

Oh quite down, like you knew him.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Joey Porter Didn't Mean to Offend Erasure

Remember when Joey Porter called Kellen Winslow a (European cigarette)? Well, he didn't mean to offend any, you know, honest-to-goodness homosexuals. He was just trying to call Winslow's manhood into question.

"You know, that was probably a poor choice of words. So if I offended anybody, I apologize for that...I don't know ... I guess because how we used that word freely, me growing up using that word, I didn't think anything of it. Like I said, I apologize to anyone I may have offended. I didn't mean to offend anybody but Kellen Winslow. That's pretty much that. I don't want to put any more into it...Whatever I say is going to be on an extra level anyway. But like I said, I didn't think it was that big of a deal when I said it anyway. So it's over with it."


When asked for a comment, Michael Strahan said he was cool with it.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Dolphins Pretty Shady

The Miami Dolphins were convinced that the Patriots were stealing defensive signals during their previous match-up. The Dolphins responded by purchased films (where do you buy these films, eBay?) that had audio of the signals Tom Brady gives at the line - specifically the Patriots' signals to the offensive line that control Brady's protection. Armed with that information, the Dolphins listened to Brady's calls Sunday and adjusted where they brought pressure. Miami shut-out the Patriots.

Brady, upon hearing this news, said this was the worst thing an opposing team has ever done to him since the quarterback from Central was dating his sister, Marcia, in order to steal his play book.

Link to the story.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Palmer: Pretty Fly For A White Guy

Let's hope that Carson Palmer was kidding here, when he told the Cincinnati Enquirer that all he wanted for Christmas was, uh, a K-Fed CD. Seriously. "A lot of people don't like K-Fed, but he's alright." Check the link, he really was quoted as saying that.

Palmer also would like a new crossbow, because evidentially being the Ted Nugent of NFL quarterbacks is something Palmer is going for.

The best Christmas wish comes from T.J. Houshmandzadeh who said that he wants gas prices in California to come down. Because when he fills up his Range Rover, it costs him damn near $70. Poor baby.

Lil' Hater: Too Much Giants

Note to the NFL: NY Giants owner Wellington Mara is dead. He's been gone a year now. So you can stop sucking his (expletive) already. I thought last year was bad, when it came to sucking up to the Giants: bonus home games, blatant referee homerism, shameful attempts at "Win One for the Gipper" motivation, and sneaking the hopelessly mediocre Harry F'ing Carson into the Hall of Fame.

This year is worse.

I live 2,840 miles away from New York, about as far away as you can get. And that's for a reason -- NY can suck it. But for some reason, the NFL seems to think that I give a rat's ass about the Giants, like they're the local team, or my favorite team, or something.

Hey a-holes: they're not, and as a matter of fact, no one else on the West Coast likes them, either. So stop shoving their crappy games down our throats every f'ing week. Stop ruining our Sundays.

Despite just a basic cable package, with a maximum of five games to watch every week, I've been forced to watch all but two -- two! -- of the Giants' games this season. Eleven out of 13. Unbelievable. (Of course the one game I would've like to seen, when they crapped the bed against Vince Young, wasn't shown).

Even worse, Joe Buck announced most of these games. Christ.

It's not like the Giants are good either. In a best-case scenario they squeak in as a wild card team and get de-pantsed again in the first round, just like last year. They aren't the Super Bowl Shuffle-era Bears or anything, so stop pretending that we should care about Eli, Tiki, Michael Gayhan or any of these other under-performing media whores. We. Don't. Care.

Why can't they find other games to show? There are plenty of other mediocre NFC teams out there. I've seen Atlanta twice, Seattle two or three times, and New Orleans and Chicago a handful of games. They're all just as good, if not much better, but the powers that be seen to think we'd rather see Eli bounce passes to no-one, and for Shockey to prove that he's maybe the 15th best tight-end in the league, each and every Sunday.

It's not even a New York thing. I still haven't seen the Jets play on TV this season, and they have as good a shot as the Giants as making the playoffs. I don't get it.

Hey NFL, if I wanted to see the same lame-ass team week in and week out -- one with a useless QB, an overmatched coach who gets thrown under the bus by his players, and underperforming 'stars' making stupid penalties time and time again, I'd watch the Raiders.

Boy I can't wait to see that scintillating match-up of 7-6 Philly and NY teams next week. I'm sure Joe Buck will be there, too. Jerks.

Monday, December 11, 2006

The Post Mortem

The Chargers are your division champions, LT sets the single-season touchdown mark, but first (expletive) the Panthers. Has there ever been a more befuddling team than the Carolina Panthers? This team has seemed cursed ever since it lost the Super Bowl to the Patriots. Each season after that, the Panthers are tabbed to be the NFC representative in the Super Bowl and ever year it’s a bigger letdown than an Iron Maiden concert.

The Panthers are now just one big slump buster for the rest of the NFC. They are like an overweight chick sitting at the end of the bar in a halter-top, fishnet stockings and wearing too much makeup. (No, not that girl in the picture, her friend.) Philadelphia and New York have gotten back into the playoff race by getting a piece of that action. Thanks a lot Carolina. Now Eli Messiah is walking around with that goofy grin, again.

CHARGERS WIN THE WEST

The Chargers also control their own destiny for home field advantage, too. But brace yourself for the upcoming weeks. You are going to hear a lot about Marty Schottenheimer's failures in the playoffs. It is inevitable. And it’s fair, too. Everybody from Peyton Manning to Dan Marino are scrutinized for their playoff failures. So Marty is no different. But this feels much different from your typical Marty Schottenheimer-led team. Trick plays and running up the score is what Martyball is all about.

Seriously, didn't that game seem close for like a minute? Like a lot closer than that Michigan v. Ohio State game. But you couldn’t make it through one beer before the Chargers went from a somewhat close game to a four-touchdown advantage.

This is going to be Marty’' best chance to rid himself of those playoff ghosts. He has never had a running back like LaDainian Tomlinson and Philip Rivers is much better than a lot of people (us included) could have anticipated.

  • Great job, LT, in breaking that record. But you couldn’t wait another week so THN could have been there live to capture it?


  • Is there a lonelier place right now than the Dallas Cowboys bandwagon? What a fraud. A Super Bowl contender a week ago, now its grasp on the NFC East title is in jeopardy. Unbelievable. It is also time to start giving Drew Brees some credit. Letting Brees walk away was the right thing to do for San Diego. You never got the feeling that Brees was the guy who was going to take your team to the title. That perception is starting to change. Of course, whispers about a Chargers/Saints Super Bowl will heat up. Don't fall for it. Not with the way NFC teams jockey for position. You would be better served just to pull a name out of a hat. Oh wait, this one says “CAROLINA,” never mind.


  • Bummer for all of you that had a Lance Alworth Cowboys jersey. You won't get much use out of it now.


  • Of the three quarterbacks the Chargers have had over the past couple of years, who would you rather have: Rivers, Brees or Messiah? Messiah would definitely be the last one on the list.


  • Longtime producer Bob Daly passed away recently, and Joe Buck was waxing poetically while the camera was focused on some clouds. But what if the guy went to hell? Like, if he was a bad dude, would they have shown a BBQ pit or something?


  • How will you remember the Patriots dynasty? Because it is done. Buck could have eulogized that while he was at it. It serves New England right. Their dynasty was similar to the 1990s Cowboys, where they just felt that if they kept Tom Brady there, it would be enough. But role players are important, too. As New England is finding out.

    Pats fans pointed out that, unlike the Cowboys, the Patriots didn’t fire their coach. That’s true, but it seems like Bill Belichick is doing a mighty fine Barry Switzer impersonation. If Belichick is the genius that everybody believes he is, he will hopefully see the value in keeping some of these role players and realize that Brady needs to be surrounded by talent.


AND FINALLY

Why can't FOX switch from a blowout to a competitive game? (Yes, get a dish.) The suspicion is that Joe Buck would probably throw the biggest female-dog fit if they ever switched out of one of his games. It is likely in his contract or something. And if you don’t want to switch, that’s cool. But don’t taunt the audience.

"Wow, the Eagles and Redskins are having the game of the century right now, but we won’t switch to that because I’m Joe EXPLETIVE Buck.”

Go to hell, Joe Buck.

Friday, December 08, 2006

The Weak Ender



Admit it, you had that Farrah Fawcett poster on your wall as a kid. (Although some of you likely still do.) It was cool for the time. When you were 10. But Fat Head (the makers of those lame life-size peel and paste cutouts) have taken it one step further by adding a line of Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders to its collection. But be warned, if you purchased a life-sized cutout of Becca Gambel (above), it will start you down a slippery slope that can only end with the purchase of a Real Doll.

And don't pretend you don’t know what that is.

A PRANKSTER'S DREAM

You know what would be a cool gag? Sneak into Drew Bledsoe's house and line it with Fathead posters of Tony Romo. Maybe you can even mix in a few copies of Tom Brady for good measure, too. (Provide, of course, that he doesn't sue you for it.)

Is there a player in America rooting against his team more than Bledsoe? He is like the modern day Steve DeBerg. Tony Banks also had a good run of being replaced and then having his team win the Super Bowl (St. Louis and Baltimore). But at least he still wasn't on the St. Louis team. Bledsoe has a chance to win two Super Bowl titles, the year after being replaced as the starting quarterback. Bledsoe can take a little pride in the Patriots title because he came off the bench to lead New England to victory in the AFC Championship Game. But this Dallas thing would really be too much.

If the Cowboys win, expect the Raiders to sign Bledsoe next season. Seriously, that is happening.

Zach, over at The Big Picture, also had a take on this subject. The cheerleaders thing. You didn't expect him to talk about sports, did you? Zach, of course, is in talks with Fathead to have a Cowgirl wall poster.

  • Becca's parents are lucky because with a name like that, they destined their kid to be a stripper or Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. They were really fortunate.
  • How long do you think it is going to be before Sean Payton grows to hate Bill Parcells like Bill Belichick does?
  • It just doesn't seem like a Terrell Owens birthday party without Freddy Mitchell. You can check out the pictures here.
  • The Chargers can win the AFC West if they defeat Denver (San Diego hasn't swept the season series since 1982) and Baltimore beats Kansas City. One of the more interesting storylines will be the match-up between defensive tackle Igor Olshansky and cheap-shot artist Tom "Fat Chick from Silence of the Lambs" Nalen. How many yards would the Chargers be penalized if Olshansky hits Nalen with a sack full of nickels prior to the snap? Is that a personal foul or just offsides?
  • The Houston Texans have taken a lot of criticism for passing on Reggie Bush. But the fans in Houston will likely remind the team that it passed on Vince Young, too. Young has actually been impressive, stringing some victories for the Titans. Just think how good Young could be if he could ever learn how to throw the football. Don't fret Texans, you should be stoked on David Carr.
  • Don't forget to vote in THN's Sports Figure of the Year, located in the Hater Poll.
  • The Hot Stove league is heating up and it figures that the Angels have not made any moves. Scot Shields is a pretty good set-up guy. He really is. But is that what is preventing the Angels from getting an impact bat like Adam LaRoche? Holy lord, put Kelvim "Pablo" Escobar in the bullpen if its that big of deal. Escobar would have less arm troubles in the bullpen.
  • The San Francisco Giants get the honor of being the dumbest franchise in baseball after agreeing on a $16M deal with Barry Bonds. Way to bid against yourself on that one, Frisco. The St. Louis rumor was an obvious smokescreen. The team should have played hardball and only offered the league minimum. Nobody would have signed him.
  • The NBA regular season is underway. Not that anybody watches. Want to make the NBA regular season interesting again? Put Kevin Garnett on the Lakers. Then you can start folding up some of these franchises until they get down to around 24. how about going back to the days when each NBA team had at least two stars. And the way David Stern always gets over on the players, this could actually happen. Unlike baseball.
  • Joey Porter channeled his inner Jeff Spicoli when he was asked by Stu Nahan what he thought about Kellen Winslow's late hit.

    "It was late, that's what (European cigarettes) do," Porter said. "He's soft. He wants to be tough but he's really soft. And hey Stu, where did you get this jacket?"

    God bless Joey Porter.
  • The winner of the Heisman Trophy on Saturday will have a huge smile on his face. Until he realizes that he will be playing in Oakland next year.


AND FINALLY
Can't wait for the Carolina and Giants game this weekend. Not because it is going to be good or anything. But we can officially write one of these teams off for the playoffs. You might reason that neither the Panthers or Giants have much playoff hopes, but actually they do. The winner of these two will get to play the Bears in the second round. It seems odd, huh? But one of these teams is still going to manage to sneak into the NFC Championship Game.

The playoffs will end up with the Bears as the top seed, followed by New Orleans and Dallas (in any order). The Saints and Dallas (Sunday night's game) will play each other in the divisional round, while the top-seeded Bears get Carolina or the Giants. The Panthers have the talent to beat the Bears. And as bad as Eli Messiah is, he is not as bad as Rex Grossman. So the winner of the Panthers/Giants has a legitimate chance to go to the NFC Championship Game. Unbelievable.

Checking In With The Raiders

It has been a great season for the Raiders. The special team’s coach pushes an intern, yells at people and tries to start fights with players. And nobody cares. Not until that coach kills somebody. Although there is no guarantee of that.

But here are a couple of stories for you to enjoy. The sad thing? Raiders fans have rolled over and no longer care about their team. The pride is gone. It’s almost not any fun anymore. Almost.

Links: The Raiders and Bengals change address. The Raiders draft preview: Brady Quinn.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Bonds to St. Louis? No Brainer



Why didn't anybody think of this before? Barry Bonds is a natural fit for St. Louis. You can't imagine a better place for Bonds to be. St. Louis is a perfect town for enablers. They gave a murdering showgirl millions of dollars to bring the NFL back to town. Sure the streetlights don't work and the schools suck, but they have NFL football back! There is no doubt, the self-described best fans in baseball would embrace Bonds with open arms.

Tony LaRussa is the perfect manager to deal with Bonds. Not because he is some master motivator, but who, other than LaRussa, has been a bigger conduit to steroids? LaRussa not only caused the steroids outbreak, he drove the monkey to the airport. LaRussa allowed Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco to shoot-up under his watch, brought McGwire to St. Louis and has now allowed to Albert Pujols to consume steroids like Wade Boggs drinks beers. No, St. Louis is perfect place for Bonds.

And the best part? That self-satisfied (expletive) Joe Buck would have to become a Bonds defender because he would never dare say anything negative about the Cardinals.

THN Sports Figure of the Year

The Hater Nation participated in Mr. Irrelevant's survey of the Top 40 sports figures of 2006. Yeah, a bunch of Internet dorks trying to be funny with their list. So of course this site was involved.

The following is THN's ballot and hey, we want to be like the cool kids too, and ask you to vote on the THN's top sports figure of the year. The list has been narrowed down to 10 personalities. Please vote in the poll in the left-hand margin. Vote as often as you would like, results will be read on New Year's Eve.

But, knowing this site, it will be more like March.

Dishonorable mention: Paris Hilton, Bono, Kelly Monaco, Joe Buck, Dude that head butted that guy in the World Cup, Kobe Bryant, Ben Roethlisberger, Anna Benson, Terrell Owens, Brenda Warner, Stacey Keibler, the Japanese Baseball team, Michael Strahan, Caps-lock comment guy and Matt Leinart.

  • Cowgirl. The Sports Dork if he had just a pair of fake boobs.
  • Jason Juiceambi. If Lattemer from The Program was an NFL player. And seriously, what steroid causes the film?
  • Kenny Chesney/Peyton Manning. Who can forget this?
  • LaDainian Tomlinson. There are still people who think the Chargers got ripped off in the Mike Vick trade. They are Raiders fans.
  • Archie Manning. The NFL's version of a soccer mom.
  • Brett Favre. Admit it, your heart skipped a beat when Tony Kornheiser mentioned the all-time interception record on Monday Night Football. It was either that, or Taco Surf's carnitas tacos.
  • Steve Bisheff. THN forces "The Bish" into retirement. What other Internet site has forced a columnist to pull the hair out of his head?
  • Eli Messiah. So the Giants gave up Merriman, Rivers and Kaeding for this guy. Nice trade. Why do teams still deal with San Diego?
  • J.J. Manning. The long lost Manning brother surfaced during another Duke choke.
  • Art Shell. This guys carried THN during the bleak February months. He has given birth to the golden age of the Hater Nation.


Be sure to vote.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Brady Speaks: SEC Sucks

Tom Brady, one of the patron saints of The Hater Nation, does not believe that Florida deserves to be in the BCS title game. And if there is one thing Brady is against, it is a team reaching a championship game under shady circumstances. Brady unleashed on Florida and the SEC.

"Anyone who has seen (Florida) play realizes it is a no-brainer. Florida is not very good. I watched that game (Saturday) night and that other (Arkansas) quarterback completed like three passes the week before. They have 18 guys out there throwing passes for Arkansas," Brady said. "Besides, the SEC produced losers like Peyton Manning. While the Big Ten had me, Tom Brady. Now who has the best conference?"

Alright, that last part was made up. But just barely.

When a reporter countered that Michigan already had its shot at beating the Buckeyes, Brady said, "But that's not the way the BCS works. It is supposed to be the two best teams in college football. I would vote for Michigan to play Ohio State if I had a vote."

Brady does have a point. And because of that, there is a new Last and Ten! Thanks to the Last and Ten crew, Lil' Hater and Rob in Tampa.

Grossman Must Be Stopped

You have to figure that most Chicago Bears fans are wondering when Rex Grossman is going to suffer that horrific, season-ending injury that he is famous for. Like maybe he can spend a weekend tutoring under Ben Roethlisberger to figure out how to head-butt a car at 80 MPH or have his appendix burst. Because that seems like the only way that Lovie Smith is going to bench him.

Smith said that for Grossman to get better, he needs to play more. Yeah, that's it. Grossman can only get better by throwing more wounded ducks into the air. Kind of like how Shaq improved his free throw shooting by repeatedly hoisting up those bricks.

If the Bears know what is good for them, they would start this guy. Otherwise, the Bears are destined for another early exit in the playoffs. The Bears are leading the NFC right now, but Sunday's game between Dallas and New Orleans is likely going to be a preview of the NFC Championship Game.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

More BCS Mess

Ohio State coach Jim Tressel is getting some heat for not filling out his ballot for the NCAA coach's poll. Because that thing is like, totally scientific. If you are going to upset about anything, be upset that the poll even exists. Tressel spends so many hours breaking down film on his opponents, it is obvious he is not kicking around to watch a late-night Arizona State v. Nevada game.

To be truthful, it's not much worse than the writers, who are likely well into their cups or fourth bowl of pudding by the time your average Pac-10 game starts.

Some Michigan fans might be upset with Tressel for abstaining, hoping that a conference coach would throw its team a bone. Fair enough. But you know who you should really be pissed at? Lloyd Carr. What the hell is he thinking? Carr has as vote in this coach's poll, right? So why didn't Carr vote Michigan No. 1 and then leave Florida and the rest of the SEC off the ballot? Sure, it's kind of a chicken (expletive) thing to do, but he can worry about that after he plays in the national championship game. What a weenie. A coach needs to do this to show what a farce the notion of a coach’s poll is. And really, Tressel should have done the same thing, too, because he would rather play Michigan anyway.


WHAT's THE deal with Urban Meyer? This guy was campaigning to get Florida in the title game. What? Why wasn’t Meyer stumping for undefeated Boise State? This is the same coach who felt that his undefeated Utah team deserved a shot in the championship game. Why did he change his mind here?


THE BEST part of this, is all of those people who still like the BCS system because a playoff would ruin the sanctity of the bowl games. Yeah, because USC and Michigan both seemed thrilled to be going to the Rose Bowl. Look for fans of both sides to avoid the game, leaving only those LSU fans who pre-bought non-refundable Rose Bowl tickets with their Katrina money, thinking that USC was good enough to hold off UCLA. Yeah, at least the sanctity is still in tact.

(Expletive) The Panthers



It seems as though NFL teams are really going out of their way to find new ways to blow games recently. Take the Raiders, for instance. The team held David Carr to -5 passing yards and still lost. But Carolina takes top honors for this week. Now, you might want to argue that Carolina should have played for the tie. Conventional wisdom indicates that you play for the tie at home, and the win on the road. The Panthers had to go for the win in that situation. Jake Delhomme threw a bad pass. Actually, Keyshawn Johnson's helmet toss was much better.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Mississippi Doesn't Care Anymore



Mississippi, America's Member's Only jacket, is making it too easy to poke fun at it. The state, in their latest ad campaign, has finally said, "Look, we are poor rubes, but hey, we have given birth to some famous football players. We aren't all bad."

Noticeably absent from this campaign? Archie Manning. As if Mississippi is trying to say, "Look our state sucks, but even we are trying to forget that Archie was born here."

The Post Mortem

The NFL seems like a better place with a Gramatica brother in it. It was nice to see Martin Gramatica win at the Meadowlands, the same place where his brother, Bill, blew out his knee celebrating a made kick.

Welcome back Martin.


TROJANS BREAK
It's funny, sometimes a game looks so lopsided, so mismatched that you can eventually talk yourself into picking the underdog. But you never got that feeling with UCLA. Never. The Bruins play the Trojans tough at the Rose Bowl, USC might overlook UCLA, etc. all seemed like desperate rationalizations from Florida and Michigan fans who were grasping for anything.

Turns out they were right. What an unbelievable game. So what does this all mean for USC?

To be fair to USC, they lost an unbelievable amount of talent in last year's draft. To advance to a BCS bowl during a rebuilding year, coming five points away from playing in its fourth national championship game, well, that is a pretty remarkable accomplishment. The Trojans loss seems much bigger because, quite frankly, they seemingly never lose. USC will have another great recruiting class and will be gearing up for another run for the national championship.

It was hard to imagine Carroll leaving for the NFL on Friday. But now it might not be a bad idea. Carroll's stock will never be higher than it is right now. Why not cash with a lucrative contract right now while it is being offered? College football will still be there if he flames out. Just look at Bob Stoops. He was the hottest college coach when Oklahoma won the national championship. But now, while he could probably still get a decent NFL gig, there is a little luster off his star. So Carroll, if he is ever going to make NFL money, needs to make that move right now.

And it is time to end the Lane Kiffen experiment. He has great bloodlines and might one day be an excellent offensive coordinator, but let him learn on the job at Nevada or San Jose State. You should not be cutting your teeth while trying to win a national championship. That move cost USC at least one national championship.

  • Florida deserves to be in the BCS title game for all of the reasons spelled out for USC last week. But why is it, that there seems to be less outcry for the Gators than there was for USC? It is obvious now that most of the controversy last week stemmed from an-anti USC bias.


  • A lot of people are pleased in Southern California today that USC fans have been shut up. But the Bruins fans were pretty insufferable during their 20-game win streak during the Cade McNown era. If you really want to find a blow hard, spend five minutes with a UCLA basketball fan.


  • Anybody else get the feeling that Boise State is going to let us down? It's coming. You can feel it. But if the Broncos do defeat Oklahoma, then Boise should start next season in the Top 5. Not that anybody will have to worry about it.


  • Props to the Midshipmen for disposing of Army.


  • LaDainian Tomlinson could sit out the remainder of the season and he would still be the overwhelming MVP. There are some who would reason that Drew Brees is the MVP of the league. Those people are idiots.


  • The Chargers and the Colts are tied for the top spot in the AFC ,but Indy would get the nod for home-field advantage, based on a better conference record (8-1, 7-2). The Chargers will likely finish the season 13-3, while the Colts play Jacksonville, Cincinnati and Miami down the stretch.


  • Were Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush taking out a little frustration on Sunday? Bush had four touchdowns in a move that will ensure that he will become the league’s highest-paid decoy again. Leinart and the Birds pounded the St. Louis football team. That had to sit well with the St. Louis faithful, to watch their former team comeback and win a huge game.


  • What was up with the pants that Ed Hochuli and crew were wearing during the Chargers/Bills game? It looked like the getup that the Brady Kids wore during their "Silver Platter" performance. You got to keep on, keep on, keep on, keep on dancing all through the night! Good luck trying to get that song out of your head. And please, stop doing that dance, somebody might see you.


  • Nobody believes that New England is a threat to win the AFC, right?


  • It seemed that Denver called a better game for Jay Cutler than it did for Jake Plummer this season. Like they wanted Plummer to fail all along. But why did Mike Shanahan wait until now to start Cutler? And it's funny, Cutler is probably better off that the Broncos lost last night. If Cutler had led the Broncos to a come-from-behind victory, then his already lofty expectations would have reach impossible proportions. Right now, anything less than the second-coming of Otto Graham/Joe Montana will be viewed as a failure.





AND FINALLY

Eli Messiah didn't lose the game for the Giants on Sunday, but he sure didn't do anything to help them win. Good numbers and a nice drive at the end, but his performance seemed lackluster. Maybe a non-biased observer would feel differently, but it didn't seem like he did much. In fact, his numbers were kind of a surprise.

The play calling was just awful for the Giants. On fourth-and-one, the Giants called a sweep for Brandon Jacobs. A sweep, for one of the most bruising running backs in the NFL. That totally played into the hand of the Cowboys speedy defenders. It was as if Tom Coughlin wanted to lose that game.

Friday, December 01, 2006

The Weak Ender



This is the girl that Derek Jeter has been seen canoodling with in Las Vegas, Jessica Biel. Oh, did you not need another reason to hate Jeter? Sorry.

A GIANT MESS

Is anybody else enjoying the meltdown of the New York Giants right now? Oh don't worry, they will rally one last time to beat the Cowboys this week. But this team has put the "bunch of idiots" in dysfunctional. It is hard to figure which is more enjoyable, Eli Messiah turning into Kelly Stouffer or former media darling Michael Strahan pretty much ruining his post-NFL career.

The Messiah insists that he is not in a slump. That's true. He is just not a good quarterback. The Messiah would be benched if he had a different last name, or the Giants carried a reputable backup. Fans in Carolina have asked for Jake Delhomme to be benched and he is having the same season as the Messiah.

Strahan criticizes Plaxico Burress on his radio show on Monday. An ESPN reporter goes to ask Strahan about it, but is rebuffed. Said reporter talks to Burress and prints the story. Strahan, then goes nuts when he sees the story. The whole situation could have been avoided if Strahan would have kept his mouth shut or at least talked about it when asked.

This is all disappointing. Not that Strahan would snap, but that he would play into the stereotype that all homosexuals are impulsively angry. At least he didn't cry on the Best Damn Sports Show...oh wait, he did.


  • Somebody might want to let Mathias Kiwanuka know that the referees aren't likely to call an "in-the-grasp" rule on Vince Young. He is kind of a big deal. They might call it when you wrap up Koy Detmer, but not Young. You would think, after watching Jacksonville's David Garrard scramble out of trouble the previous week, all Giants defenders would take the quarterback to the ground.


  • All the BCS talk will finally be over this week. Michigan, Arkansas and Florida fans are praying for a miracle that UCLA will overcome USC. This is a huge rivalry game for the Bruins, who always play USC tough at the Rose Bowl. But there is just no way the Trojans lose this game. It is hard to imagine a world where Karl Dorrell is going to out-coach Pete Carroll. But then, you would have figured the same thing with Mike Riley, right?


  • Carroll is not going to be the coach for the Arizona Cardinals. Carroll might someday want to prove that he can coach at the NFL level, but don't look for that to happen this year. Especially for a team like the Cardinals, even if Matt Leinart is the quarterback.


  • Romeo Crennel received a vote of confidence from the Browns ownership. Why are they giving up on this guy so soon? Less than two years in, and he is already getting the "vote of confidence."


  • Heard there was an NFL game on Thursday night. Would have been nice to see it. The LA Rams were the first team to televise all of its games in 1950. Imagine how sad this would be for people who remember when the Rams played at the Coliseum. Guys like Steve Bisheff. Glad he didn't live to see that happen.


  • The Colts apparently have signed Ricky Proehl to replaced the injured Brandon Stokley because Peyton Manning refuses to take the field unless he has at least one white wide receiver. Did you notice that Manning is not in that commercial where Tony Dungy is calling the signals of a Colts quarterback on a date. Manning refused to do the commercial unless Kenny Chesney was involved.


  • Jack Del Rio is not interested in coach Alabama. You have to give the Southern schools credit for their arrogance in believing that NFL coaches will leave their gigs to go to a school like Alabama that has unreasonable expectations. Yeah, why not leave your high-pay NFL job to take a position where you will get fired one year removed from a 10-2 season. Jacksonville is likely not the highest paying coaching job in the NFL, but it has to be better than coaching at Alabama.

    But why did Alabama stop short at Del Rio? Why not go after Bill Belichick? Don't sell yourself short, Alabama. Everybody wants to coach there.


AND FINALLY

You have to feel sorry for Jay Cutler right now, who is the most popular man in Denver, only because he is not Jake Plummer. But it seems that expectations are going to be a little high. Denver fans aren’t exactly realistic when it comes to their teams. And they are going to expect the Broncos to win the Super Bowl without Plummer in the game. It is not going to happen. Sure, you can point to Ben Roethlisberger and the job he did as a rookie, but that is not going to happen again.

And Guest Hater, Conrad Bain, had this to say about The Chargers.