Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Great Moments in Super Bowl History

Nice trade, Raiders. Are any of the guys the Raiders received in the Gruden trade even on the roster anymore? But here is one of the greatest Peter King stories of all-time. Here is a taste.

Debate of the Week: Who got the better of the Jon Gruden trade?

Quick answer: The Raiders.

Smart answer: It's a classic trade-that-helps-both-teams deal.


How do you feel about that one, Pete? The Raiders ended up with Phillip Buchanon, Langston Walker and some other stiffs. They did end up with $8M that allowed the team to pay off Norv Turner and Art Shell.

And all the Buccaneers got was some stupid Lombardi Trophy.

Don't Forget About Marvin

Marvin Harrison is not your typical wide receiver. Harrison does not have a gold Mohawk or gold grill. He doesn't boast or perform choreographed touchdown dances. Nor does he overdose on pills. Harrison is a rare breed in a position that breeds outlandish personalities. It is easy to miss Harrison.

Especially when he disappears in the big game.

Gomer and Tony Dungy get a lot of heat for losing the big game, but realize that Harrison has done his fair share of going Copperfield in the big game.

Harrison has averaged just over 3 receptions for 46 yards and 0 touchdowns during his last six playoff games.

2006
Championship Game: 4 receptions, 41 yards, 0 TDs.
Divisional Playoff Game: 4 receptions, 45 yards, 0 TDs.
Wild Card: 2 receptions, 48 yards, 0 TDs.
2005
Divisional Playoff Game: 3 receptions, 52 yards, 0 TDs.
2004
Divisional Playoff Game: 5 receptions, 44 yards, 0 TDs.
Wild Card: 4 receptions, 50 yards, 0 TDs.

(And sports writers want to compare him to Jerry Rice. Harrison is more like Tim Brown.) When it comes to a team of chokers, you have to figure that Harrison stands the highest on the whole team.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Timeline of a Tragedy: A (Hater) Nation Mourns



As a plastic bobble head, I have a great respect for animals such as Barbaro who will be melted down into a suitable mate for me. No seriously, my brother was once Seattle Slew. True story. But here is a look at how the events went down yesterday.

From the Desk of Lil Hater, Tuesday, 9:24 am PST: Here's my take on the latest medical update on injured racehorse Barbaro: Just shoot the goddamn horse already.

From the Desk of NFL Adam, Tuesday, 9:54 am: Its done.

From the Desk of Lil Hater, 10:06 am. I didn't realize I had that much pull in the world. Here's my take on Al Davis' attempt at running the Raiders at age 143: Just cover the geezer's head with a pillow for a few minutes already.

From the Desk of NFL Adam, Tuesday, 10:30 am: Working on it.

Seriously though, if you're a horse doctor, all that means is that you have an NRA membership and friends at Alpo, right? How can you flunk the horse medicine course at vet school, the book is only 1 page long -- "In case of illness, shoot the horse", right?

What, is this too soon?

What I don't understand is why they didn’t do some of that animal testing on Barbaro before they put him into the ground. Like hey look, they are going to kill Barbaro, lets slap some of this toxic lipstick on him before he goes. Hey, how about giving him some of these cancer pills that caused brain tumors in mice. His life would have at least meant something then. These guys didn't even make a jacket out of that horse.

Seriously (I mean it this time), I feel real bad for the horse's owners right now. Here's hoping they got enough horse semen out of him before he croaked, to make a couple bucks. The same goes for Al Davis.

Great Moments in Super Bowl History

After vanquishing the dreaded Oakland Raiders in the playoffs, the Patriots cemented their status as Southern California's team by beating the St. Louis Football Team in Super Bowl 36. (Because of that, Adam Vinatieri has never had to pay for a beer in Sunset Beach.) Not only were both defeats crushing, but it absolutely took the soul from both the Raiders and St. Louis as neither have been able to get back over the hump after the 2001 season. The Raiders would go on to embarrass themselves in Super Bowl 37 and the St. Louis Football Team has played so bad in recent years, you wonder who Georgia is going to kill as she relocates again.

What To Make of the Colts arrival?

The Colts arrived late Monday night in Fort Lauderdale, and Peyton Manning was not made available to the already testy media. Further proof that something is seriously wrong with Gomer’s thumb? Maybe this is evidence that the pressure is mounting on the Colts.

Yeah, the pressure to find any reason to believe that the Colts won’t win on Sunday. (Yes, even yours truly and DAWUSS is looking for any sign of hope.) But the truth is that the Colts arrival time is a non-story. The media gripped when Jon Gruden arrived on Tuesday morning prior to Super Bowl XXXVII (as a member of the media frenzy that year, it was astounding how bitter these guys are). But how did that end up turning out for the Buccaneers? Pay no attention to small details such as arrival times and other trivial nonsense when making your case for either the Bears or Colts to win.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Cowgirl Generation

The Cowgirltrification of America keeps rolling along, because apparently America no longer rewards its admiration based on talent. Instead, to become really famous, all you have to do is show up to a game in a bikini top or shirt with a profanity or sell yourself over the Internets. And the race to kind the next Cowgirl is underway.

Maxim went out of its way to find the famed "(Expletive) the Eagles" broad from the New Orleans playoff game. Now she has her own photo shoot and video session on the Maxim website.

Then there is Sarah Spain who went from whoring herself out on eBay for Bears Super Bowl tickets, to becoming the pimp in a recent turn of events.

The two girls in question are lovely, but really, they aren't Cowgirl. Like when Motley Crue became popular and all of these other bands were signed that looked and sounded like them. Now, you might enjoy these new bands, but it is not the same as the original. So you have to ask yourself, does the world need another Cowgirl?

The short answer is, yes. So girls, you have your work cut out for you. The best bet would be to write an expletive on your bare chest and find a way to auction that on eBay.

Itching Questions

Itching Questions about the Super Bowl.

1. What stopped the Cowboys Leon Lett from scoring a touchdown in Super Bowl XXVII?

a.) The determination of Don Beebe.
b.) The ghosts of the Bills previous Super Bowl loses.
c.) A lack of breakaway of speed.
d.) Mustard dripping off the hot dog.
Answer: (a) There was actually a funny SNL skit (hard to believe, huh?) when one of the cast members accused Beebe of trying to keep a brother down.

2. Which of these Super Bowl quarterbacks did not earn a dubious distinction by throwing 4 interceptions in one game.

a.) Craig Morton
b.) Drew Bledsoe
c.) Kerry Colllins
d.) Tony Eason
Answer: (d)Eason earned his dubious distinction by failing to complete a pass, the only Super Bowl starter to do that.

3. Who was the most unlikely one-game wonder in Super Bowl history?
a.) Percy Howard
b.) Timmy Smith
c.) Jack Squirek
d.) The “Wazzzzzzzzzup” Guys.
Answer: Any of the above. But if you said the Wazzzzzzzup Guys, bless you.

4. What was the most intriguing Super Bowl accessory?
a.) Jim McMahon's headband.
b.) Joe Namath's mink coat.
c.) Jimmy Johnson's hair spray
d.) Thurman Thomas’s helmet.
Answer: (a) Speculation on what would be printed on McMahon's headband was more compelling than than the Bears’ Super Bowl XX opponents, the New England Patriots.

5. Who ranks as the best Suepr Bowl party coordinator?
a.) Max McGee
b.) Jim McMahon
c.) John Matuszak
d.) Barret Robins
Answer: (a) If you think you are too hungover for work, consider McGee who caught 2 touchdowns and totaled 185 yards in Super Bowl I, despite not sleeping the previous night. Let him be a hallmark for all boozers trying to get through work with a hangover.

6. Who made the most memorable Super Bowl grab?
a.) John Stallworth, Steelers (Super Bowl XIII)
b.) Lynn Swann, Steelers (Super Bowl X)
c.) John Taylor, 49ers (Super Bowl XXIII)
d.) Michael Jackson, halftime show (Super Bowl XXVII)
e.) Justin Timberlake, halftime show (Super Bowl XXXVIII)
Answer: (d) This was the last time that Jackson would be able to perform with thousands of children. In public, at least.

7. What was the best Super Bowl nickname for a losing team?
a.) Killer B’s (Dolphins)
b.) Three Amigos (Broncos)
c.) Purple People Eaters (Vikings)
d.) Bills
Answer: (d)

8. What was the worst green in the history of the Super Bowl?
a.) The Seahawks uniform
b.) The amount of money that the winning team made from Super Bowl I.
c.) The amount of money lost betting the Panthers on the money line.
d.) The contents of Donovan McNabb's stomach.
Answer: (d)

9. Which player holds the all-time Super Bowl scoring record?
a.) Emmitt Smith
b.) Jerry Rice
c.) Franco Harris
d.) Eugene Robinson
Answer: (d)

10. Who did Georgia Frontandrearie thank following his victory in Super Bowl XXXIV?
a.) Kurt Warner
b.) Dick Vermeil
c.) Jesus
d.) The dudes who drowned Carroll Rosenbloom
Answer: (a) Because d would be just too obvious.

Kobe Still Likes It Rough



For a regular season NBA game, Sunday's contest between the Spurs and the Lakers wasn't bad. And that's about the biggest endorsement the NBA will receive from THN.

Great Moments in Super Bowl History

Jason Sehorn captured the hearts and minds of (most) women when he proposed to Angie Harmon on the Tonight Show. Millions tuned in to see him play a fire fighter on Third Watch. But nearly a billion winced when he tried to play a defensive back on another popular show...

CBS's coverage of Super Bowl XXXV.

The Hater Nation will take a look this week at some of the best moments in the history of the Super Bowl. And no, like the moment above, it will not be all anti-Raiders. Alright, it almost certainly will, but it beats a week of crying about the Chargers.

Friday, January 26, 2007

The Weak Ender

Fear not Bridget Moynahan fans. Many have feared that the young actress is rapidly losing weight to compete with Gisele, who has been romantically linked to her ex, Tom Brady. But Moynahan's publicist put an end to the rumors.

“Bridget is fine. She’s just started a new workout regimen with a couple of her buddies, Lindsey Lohan and Mary Kate Olsen. (Or was it Ashley who was the fattie that had to lose all of that weight). So there is no cause for alarm.”

And let that be a lesson to you ladies out there. If you ever lose your man to a Brazilian supermodel with curves, make sure you spend extra time in the gym to get that broomstick-like body working.

Now it is time to move on to something we like to refer to as the worst sports week of the year. Just enough Super Bowl hype to make you wish it was this week. Not quite enough to make you forget that the NBA All-Star came is approaching. But we were able to overlook the NHL all-star game on Wednesday.

  • Looks like Jerry Jones is trying to be a rich man’s version of Al Davis. Jones has obviously taken a page from Davis by hiring an offensive coordinator (Jason Garrett) before a head coach. But where Jones loses points is that Garrett actually has some valuable NFL coaching experience. That’s not the way the Raiders roll. But what kind of offense would Garrett call for seeing that he doesn’t have Alvin Harper to lob the ball to. Hmm, sounds like he should be the offensive coordinator for Eli Messiah.


  • Speaking of Lane Kiffin, his name around the USC campus? Coach Lunch Money. And now that is how he will be known forever in these parts.


  • Remember that bogus interference call against Ellis Hobbs in the AFC Championship Game? Yeah, the NFL has finally admitted that the refs made a mistake. (This kind of thing wouldn't happen if Ed Hochuli was still alive. (Unfortunately, he was in the car with Terry Bradshaw when he died.)


  • Hey guess what, the NFL hates tailgating at the Super Bowl. Michael David Smith makes the point that the Super Bowl is a little different. But what he failed to mention is that the NFL takes up about half of the parking lot for its own tailgate party for the big wigs and staffers. So the NFL does like tailgate parties, it just doesn’t like you to tailgate.


  • Hey, Terry Bradshaw and Eddie Guns are still alive. Stupid Internets and their rumor mongering.


AND FINALLY


Congratulations to Angels third baseman Dallas McPherson who had successful back surgery and will likely be out of action for at least six months. Meanwhile, Troy Glaus is taking up juggling because his shoulder feels so great. But the news gets ever better. Darin Erstad signed with the White Sox to be a back up. Erstad has obviously lost a step over the years, but he couldn’t be a valuable back up for the Angels? Especially since the first base job is wide open and Gary Matthews Jr. is sure to flame out.

The Chargers Could Use This Guy

This video comes from the Wade Blogs.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Is Manning Pulling a Heel Turn?

Has winning allowed Peyton Manning to shed his "Aw, shucks," Gomer image? When asked about his thumb injury, Manning was able to get off a shot at his old rival, Bill Belichick.

"It's like I said earlier, I attended the Bill Belichick school (about) discussing injuries,'' Manning said, referring to the Patriots coach who seldom gets specific his team's about injuries. "There's my answer.''

Maybe being at the end of all of those Steve Spurrier zingers finally paid off for Manning. Or maybe winning has allowed Manning to take on a heel persona. When Manning shows up in Miami with a goatee (a sure sign) with Jessica Biel and Paris Hilton on each arm, you know that the transformation will be complete. (Hell, if the picture is to be believed, Manning has already dumped Chesney for Tommy Lee.) And you know what's funny? Some more shots like this at Hoodie and others would be enough to convince us that Manning is going to win the Super Bowl. In fact, look an account-balance wager on the Colts if Manning shows up to media day (Tuesday) with a cutoff sweatshirt.

Saints To Forfeit Playoff Victory

The New Orleans must forfeit its playoff victory after an investigation revealed that Reggie Bush received a "(Expletive) the Eagles" shirt from an agent. Saints coach Sean Payton denied any knowledge of the T-shirt and that there isn’t a lack on institutional control.

Actually, it is hard to get worked up by the current Bush situation. Are we supposed to care about this stuff? He took money from an agent. This wasn't a situation where a coach was funneling money or boosters were lining his pockets. The worst thing that will happen is that he will lose his Heisman Trophy. Oh no, you mean they are going to take away the Heisman curse, meaning he will be better next year? Some punishment.

Respect The Crown

A Michigan man was TASERed recently for failure to remove his Dodgers hat at the Saginaw City Council meeting. Charles Littleton refused to take off his hat that caused a scuffle with police that resulted in Littleton being carried away after being tasered by an officer. Not that he was the first person ever tasered while wearing a Dodgers hat.

"It means more than just a hat," Littleton said. "It's like my crown. It's like asking a king to remove his crown."

Sure thing your royal highness. You are just like that one guy, what was his name? Oh yeah, Jesus.

But listen your holiness, what kind of kingdom allows its subjects purchase a crown for $21.99 at the local Sports Authority? Dude, it’s a baseball hat. Unless the Saginaw City Council meeting was held at Tiger Stadium, you should have left the hat at home.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Kiffin Has Lost His Mind

No, not for taking the job. The Raiders job has become a great stepping stone for other gigs, like the NFL version of Boise State or something (but without the winning). Mike Shanahan and Jon Gruden have used this gig to advance their careers, so it would behoove any young coach to take this job.

No, where Kiffin lose a little bit of credibility is when he said that he contacted the Raiders ticket office to get tickets in the Black Hole for his wife, and his two young children.

Seriously.

Why stop there? Get the children a couple of "(Expletive) All Raider Haters" jumpers, some spiked shoulder pads and some face paint. This is akin to George Bush declaring that Iraq is safe and sending Laura and the twins to live in Baghdad. Somebody should have an intervention to help save the Kiffin children. (Will you think of the children?) This experiment will end quickly the first time Kiffin messes up and his wife and children are berated and harassed by the idiots in the Black Hole. And if you think that Raiders fans are above taunting children, you are kidding yourself. One bad preseason game and Pharaoh-Raider will have five too many beers and get in the face of Kiffin's wife and curse at the children, screaming, "I'm a better coach than yoursh dad." Instead of Sesame Street, just put in a copy of Scarface for the Kiffin kids, so they will at least know what to expect out there. Wow, what a bad idea.

You can watch the rest of the news conference here. Kiffin looks about as comfortable in front of the camera as Richard Nixon during the Kennedy debates. The whole press conference seemed incredibly scripted (especially the Black Hole part) and the acting was somewhere south of Showgirls.

Leinart Has Standards?

Apparently so. Matt Leinart has been (expletive)ing his way to the middle, being seen with Paris Hilton and Britney Spears. But even Leinart has some standards. The New York Daily News is reporting that Leinart rebuffed the advances of Tara Reid.

Good for Leinart, you don't want to be linked to any chick that has been with Kyle Boller.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Some Self Realization

How do you come to grips with the news that you have a little bit too much in common with Terrell Owens? Honestly, it's not funny, but it is also undeniable. Owens is a jerk, the most talented guy at his job, and thinks most of his co-workers are gay. Oh no, T.O. and THN are indistinguishable. The topper was when Owens compared his boss (Bill Parcells) to his grandmother. Yeah, that was enough to make yours truly spit out that mouthful of recently swallowed pain pills.

But what does all of this mean for Bill Parcells? Nearly 35 percent of voters in an ESPN Sports Nation poll believe that Parcells will coach again. Really? What, is he going to get divorced again to force him back into coaching? Besides, the law of diminishing returns have hit Parcells pretty hard. The Tuna won two Super Bowls with the Giants, lost a Super Bowl with the Patriots, lost the AFC Championship Game with the Jets and failed to win a playoff game with the Cowboys. What does he have left to do, go 1-15?

Not sure that the game has passed Parcells but both he and Joe Gibbs haven't done well in their comebacks. Two Hall of Fame coaches with nothing left to prove. Maybe it's time to move on and let a new generation of part-time college offensive coordinators take over.

Have We Been Too Hard on Manning?



Gomer Manning made a great stride in removing his choker label by finally getting over on the Patriots on Sunday. Sure, it was like the third season of the White Shadow version of the Patriots, but hey, it was a win and Manning deserves credit. (Hey, THN is nothing if not fair.)

However, a lot of people, including our man, MJD, over at FanHouse have presented the case that maybe Manning should have never received the choker label at all. Manning has been ridiculed for three playoff losses in his career, against the Jets in 2002 and the Patriots in 2003 and 2004. Here are the numbers in those games:

Against NY Jets in 2002: 14-31, 137 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT, 32.1 passer rating.
Against New England in 2003: 24-34, 237 yards, 1 TD, 4 INT, 35.5 passer rating.
Against New England in 2004: 27-42 238 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT, 69.3 passer rating.

Not so good, eh? Now some of you have pointed out that the last two losses came against the best team of this generation. Maybe, you might reason, that it is not fair to hold those two games against Manning because the Patriots were so good. And you know what?

That’s fair.

You can totally reason that Manning should not have been a called a choker because the Patriots were so good.

But.

Manning also played the Patriots during the regular season during the 2003 and 2004 seasons. What where his numbers like then?

Against New England in 2003: 29-48, 278 yards, 4 TD, I INT, 95.7 passer rating.
Against New England in 2004: 16-29, 256 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT, 93.5 passer rating.

So in other words, Manning passed for 6 TD and 2 INT with a passer rating of around 94 against the dominant team in the NFL during the regular season. But during the playoffs, Manning tossed 5 INT and only 1 TD. Isn't that the very definition of choking? Even if you want to throw out the 2003 regular season game because it was at home (but you shouldn't), Manning had his way with the Patriots defense during the regular season, but somehow couldn’t get it done in the playoffs. So yeah, it seems very fair and accurate to label Manning a choker.

And that enduring image will be entrenched if the Colts lose in the Super Bowl.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Lane Kiffin, Huh?

The Raiders apparently have their man, and it is USC offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin. Look for Kiffin to be a hot coaching property in a couple of years after he cuts his teeth with the Raiders and then uses that experience to win a Super Bowl... for another team like Mike Shanahan and Jon Gruden. Maybe if the Colts can't win the big one this year, Kiffin can replace Dungy in a couple of years to take that team to the Super Bowl. It worked for Tampa Bay.

The Post Mortem

Who is the happiest guy in America today? Gomer Manning? Tony Dungy? Adam Vinatieri? Nope, nope, nope. The happiest guy in America is…

Eli Messiah.

Really. Eli is 60 minutes of football away from walking away from the game forever. Sixty minutes away from singing as much karaoke as he would like to. Archie Manning is the biggest soccer mom in the country, living vicariously through his sons. And as soon as Gomer delivers a Super Bowl title to his dad's losing (donkey), Eli is free to go pursue a career on Broadway. Do you actually think that Cooper Manning couldn’t have rehabbed from his injury? Please. Cooper saw an easy way out and took it.

If Peyton wins a Super Bowl, look for Eli to have some sort of career-ending injury next year. You heard it hear first. (And that means that Sam Rubenstein is the hugest Colts fan right now.)

COLT WIN, NO SERIOUSLY

You have to give credit to Manning for staging such as epic comeback. Really. You could complain about the fictitious pass interference call against "the sorriest corner in the league" that led to a touchdown. You could complain about the blatant pass interference that wasn't called when Reche Caldwell was tackled in the end zone, forcing New England to take a field goal. And no, it serves no purpose to talk about the conjured roughing-the-passer penalty (after the Patriots defender was held on the play). Nope, Gomer deserves some credit for leading the Colts back to victory. Honestly, many of you likely thought the Colts were done following that interception run back. So does this change the perception of Manning and Tony Dungy as losers?

No. It was a nice win, but it came against the worst Patriots team of the decade. This game was like beating Muhammad Ali in a boxing match today. There are some bragging rights there, maybe. But nobody is really that impressed. Besides, this great win will be forgotten if he chokes in the Super Bowl.

BAD NEWS FOR BRADY FANS

If Manning wins the Super Bowl, he will vault past Tom Brady as the top quarterback of this generation. You don't think so? Alright, who was the top quarterback of the 1990s? Steve Young? John Elway?

Sure, but who had the most Super Bowl wins? Troy Aikman. But many discount Aikman because of the great Cowboys teams that included Emmitt Smith. The same thing will happen to Brady once Gomer wins a Super Bowl. Don't bother leaving comments that argue this point. You are preaching to the choir. What Aikman had better talent. Than the 49ers? Bah. Aikman won with Barry Switzer proving that he was the best quarterback of the 1990s. Just as Brady is the best quarterback of this generation. But one Super Bowl somehow is better than three, so get ready for it.

Hey, don't shoot the messenger.

CAN REX WIN THE BIG ONE?

The common theme over the next two weeks will be that Rex Grossman can't out-duel Gomer. And maybe that would be true if this was an NFL QB skills competition. But the truth is that Grossman is the perfect QB to win a Super Bowl like Trent Dilfer, Brad Johnson and Ben Roethlisberger. But don't worry, the key will be Thomas Jones and Cedric Benson. The Patriots showed that you could run on the Colts with three average running backs.

  • The only consolation will be the upcoming endless backpedaling from the Sports Dork Bill Simpson who shamelessly stole the "Hater Nation" mark for his Friday column. (Female dog.)
  • Where the hell is Guns Hochuli? The playoffs have been terrible without him.
  • The fact that we have heard the last out of Joe Buck until the World Series is wonderful. Lil' Hater might be the happiest guy in America right now.
  • The Colts are early seven-point favorites. Does that line seem odd to anybody else? Look for that line to jump to at least nine or 10 points.
  • The media doesn't seem to be harping on the Patriots choke job enough. They are too busy congratulating Manning to point out that the Patriots folded like, well, the Colts.
  • Gomer seemed to injure this thumb during the AFC Championship Game. Wouldn't it be fitting if Gomer couldn’t go for the Colts in the Super Bowl and Jim Sorgi came off the bench to lead the Colts to victory? What is Tee Martin up to?
  • What an amazing run by Reggie Bush. Not so much the moves, but that he didn't try to pitch it off to a teammate.
  • It was hard to watch Sean Payton's press conference as he was obviously flooded with emotion.


AND FINALLY

Fans of class coaches area already winners as you probably can’t find a better pair than Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith. But you know what? Who cares how classy a coach is. But that's just (expletive). Are you trying to say that Lovie Smith isn't classy? It's like Clint Eastwood says in that one movie (not Heartbreak Ridge), "Deserves got noting to do with it." Sports isn't about nice guys winning titles, it is about the most talented winning the game.

Having perennial losers continue to lose is something that makes sports great. Having guys like Dan Marino, Karl Malone and Don Mattingly never win championships is one of the greatest things to ever happen to sports. And likewise, having Steve Young and the Boston Red Sox win titles is one of the worst things to ever happen to the world. So here is hoping that Gomer and Dungy never get that title. But it just seems like a forgone conclusion.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

The Colts Are In The Super Bowl



Uh, we are relying on Rex Grossman to save the world. Good luck, and start partying now.

Raiders Coaching Search Hits New Low

The Raiders search for a new coach hit an all-time low as James Caan turned down the position. Al Davis became enthralled with Caan after catching his performance as Coach Sam Winters in The Program. An embarrassed Caan had to explain to Davis that it was only a movie role.

"I don't care if it was just a movie, I liked the cut of his jib," Davis said. "I saw enough in that movie to know that Caan could really coach in this league and restore the greatness of the Raiders."

Other candidates for the job now include Hayden Fox and Bud Kilmer. (But if Davis wanted a real young hot shot, he'd go for Lance Harbor... after he graduated.)

For another spin on the Raiders coaching search, check this out.

Friday, January 19, 2007

The Weak Ender

Has America turned on Tom Brady? It seems more and more analysts and casual fans don't want Brady to win on Sunday. Chargers fans sure don't want. And it is just absolutely baffling.

Obviously there is some jealousy for Brady seeing that he always seems to win; he traded in Bridget Moynihan for Gisele Bundchen; and the Patriots are two wins away from another Super Bowl title. Jealousy is understandable. What is not understandable is all of the people who seem to be rooting for Peyton Manning to win this weekend. The $1M question in the THN inbox seems to be, "why so much hate for Manning?" Which is actually a dumb question.

Manning is like that guy in your office who has the highest salary, biggest office and is somewhat charming. He is your spokesman and on the cover of your corporate newsletter every month. The guy is great during the slow times of the year and when the pressure is off.

But the moment things get a little frenzied and you need your top producer to come through, he disappears. Disappears in horrific fashion. And what’s worse, he blames his you and your co-workers when things go wrong and starts to point fingers.

And this is the guy you want to win on Sunday. The question should not be why so much hate for Manning, but why so much love?

  • Everybody pilled on Marty Schottenheimer before last week’s game saying, "Same old Marty, he is going to choke again." And you were right. Marty lived up to his history. But what is with the absolute about-face on Manning this week? Instead of, "Same old Peyton, he is going to choke gain," people have already put his name on the Lombardi Trophy. Yeah, that makes sense. Calvin Cowherd and other ESPN talking heads have been defending Manning saying that you shouldn’t judge him on his playoff loses. Yet, many of those same people wanted to fire Marty because he lost in the playoffs again. Yep, that makes sense, too.
  • Andy Schefter on NFL.com has labeled the Colts and Patriots a classic rivalry. Shouldn't the Colts win one of these games to make it a rivalry?
  • Please stop comparing the Colts to this year's St. Louis Cardinals team. A better comparison would be the 1979 Los Angeles Rams who had, for years and years and years and years, lost to the Vikings and Cowboys in the playoffs. But the Rams reached the Super Bowl with probably their worst team of the decade, led by the brain-dead Vince Ferragamo. He was like Terri Shiavo with a better arm. Hey, could you imagine if the Colts finally broke through to the Super Bowl with Jim Sorgi at quarterback?
  • Maybe Manning should lose in the Super Bowl, just to make those comparisons to Dan Marino seem more apt. But Manning's current rotation of commercials are much better than Marino's old Isotoner spots.


THE NFC

The NFL decided late on Thursday night that it was still going to play the NFC Championship Game, though most people agree that the winner of Colts/Patriots is going to win the whole thing. Bears and Saints players took a vote early Thursday to decide if they even wanted to bother with the formality. Playing the games passed by the slimmest of margins. Good choice guys.

The NFC does seem to have a pretty good chance to win the Super Bowl this year. Why, the NFC is always in the game against the Patriots. All three of the Patriots Super Bowl victories have been by three points. (For that reason alone, gamblers should be rooting for the Patriots.) And if (God forbid) the Colts reach the Super Bowl, you know, Manning will do enough to lose the game.

  • How can the Bears allow a punter to wear No. 9? Sacrilege.
  • In honor of Dr. Doug, THN officially picks the Saints to win the game.
  • Reggie Bush might not have won the Rookie of the Year, but he is playing in the NFC Championship Game. The Saints probably wouldn’t be playing in this game without Bush. Drew Brees and Marques Colston have been great, but Bush takes the offense from good to scary. Just seriously Reggie, if you get in the open field against the Bears, don’t look to pitch the thing. Hopefully you have learned that lesson.


AND FINALLY

The Raiders are apparently on the verge of signing Steve Sarkisian to be the team's next coach. Sark will likely bring Lane Kiffin in to be his offensive coordinator. How much are the USC boosters paying to make this happen? What a great turn-of-events this would be for the Trojans. Then they could bring in an experienced OC like Dirk Koetter to run the offense.

And the Raiders, of course, would continue to suck.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Vick: NFL's Version of McGyver

Mike Vick is both extremely clever and really, really stupid at the same time. Vick was able to create a hidden compartment in his water bottle to allegedly hide some weed (right). And really, sometimes you can't beat stoner engineering. Vick should probably be building a space station or something.

Yet Vick is also one of the dumbest guys around, too, as he tried to sneak said water bottle onto an airplane. Now give Vick a break here because he probably doesn't fly commercial that often, but how did he miss that news that water bottles were banned from airplanes? He's aware that 9/11 happened right? Hey, you don't know.

Just like on the field, Vick can both amaze you and frustrate you with his talent. But look at the good news Mike, if you are suspended for drug's that will only increase your odds of being voted to the Pro Bowl. (And, from what they say, Hawaii has the best weed.)

Giants Have Buyers Remorse

At least it appears that way seeing that Bonds has not signed a contract with the club, nor is he on the team’s 40-man roster. The Giants are starting to give the indication that they might walk away from the deal. Like maybe they realized that they overspent money on a guy nobody wanted to sign during the winter meetings.

Yes, it is a funny story that is developing, until you remember that a certain American League team that lacks punch lost its left fielder during winter ball in South America. Yes, it doesn’t seem to funny now does it?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Marty Stays

And that must be good news for the rest of the AFC. As mentioned in this space the other day, the Chargers were really painted into a corner by this whole thing. Odds are that the Chargers made a few phone calls to some coaches looking to pull a Jon Gruden-to-Tampa, but could not find any takers.

Schottenheimer, in an interesting twise, refused to sign an extension that will likely fuel rumors that Bill Cowher will take over in 2008. That would be an improvement for the Chargers. Instead of losing in their first playoff game each season, the Chargers could lose AFC Championship Games at home. Hey, that would be an improvement, right? Still, that scenario seems far-fetched as A.J. Smith will likely pick his next coach outside of Schottenheimer's lineage.

Messiah Stars In Duets 2

Eli Messiah got his karaoke following a heart-breaking loss to the Bears on Christmas Eve. Not that Eli can't enjoy a night on the town, but after a gut-wrenching loss to the Bears? THN pokes a lot of fun his brother, Gomer. But give him credit, Gomer wouldn't be out singing karaoke following a tough loss. Instead, he's at home drawing fake mustaches and goatees on his extensive collection of Tom Brady photos.

This is just further proof that Eli just doesn’t really care about playing football. And once he gets up the courage to tell his father that he doesn’t want to play, he will retire.

Oh, and what song was Eli singing? Living on a Prayer. (Is he trying to put THN out of business?)

But wait, there is more. These photos are courtesy of Sam Rubenstein of SLAM Online. And he has more photos here.

Strict NFL Uniform Rules Strike Again

The NFL has said no to Britney Spears, who offered to appear in a promotional commercial for NFL Network. Obviously the league was afraid that Britney would have one of her famed wardrobe malfunctions again. When a league source was asked why they would turn down a flash-in-the-pan who topped out in 2001?

The source said, "We already have Kurt Warner."

You can read more at West Side Slant.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Even Fat Chicks Hate Raiders

Dennis Green, the proverbial coaching slump buster, has declined a chance to interview with the Raiders according to ESPN. What level of hell have you reached when Green won't even return your calls? The Raiders are like that dude at the bar who judges chicks by the number of Long Island Ice-Teas it would take to be with her. Meanwhile the girls wouldn't even touch them if they were on heroin.

The list of Raiders coaching candidates are down to Steve Sarkisian and James Lofton. And looking at the bang-up job Lofton did with the Chargers receivers, he would make the perfect Raiders coach.

Rivers Goes Off on Patriots



Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers had a few things to say to the Chargers after Sunday’s game.

Fire Marty

Or that should read Fire Marty? Fans of the San Diego Chargers want blood and Marty seems to be the most appropriate choice. But would firing Schottenheimer be the best possible solution? Consider the alternatives. The Chargers would almost be forced to promote one of the two coordinators to the top spot, Wade Phillips and Cam Cameron. Phillips struggled in stops in Denver and Buffalo, so a tenure in San Diego would likely not be much of an improvement. Cameron was horrible at the University of Indiana. So if guys like Nick Saban and Butch Davis couldn't win in the NFL after having much success in college, what chance does a coach from a lousy lower-level college conference have? Probably none.

The next alternative would be to hire out of the organization. So you are looking at guys like Jim Mora (if he's not already snapped up by Miami) or (God-forbid) Mike Martz. Not really much of an upgrade there. And if you did hire outside of the organization, what happens to the current coaching staff? So you either dismantle a coaching staff that won 14 games, or hire a limp-wristed coach who would be willing to inherit a new staff, like he was Barry Switzer or something. That's what the Raiders do.

The Chargers are forced to stick with Schottenheimer for one more year, even if it ends in disappointment again. But Chargers fans are used to that.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Police Called on Strahan

Police responded to a domestic disturbance call when Michael Strahan and an unidentified man had an argument in the driveway of Jean Strahan’s home. Now, don’t go thinking this was some lover’s quarrel between Strahan and some random dude. The guy in question was Jean Strahan’s live-in carpenter, who got caught up in the middle of the family’s custody dispute.

Hey, wait a minute. Strahan had a live-in carpenter? Well, Mrs. Strahan probably needed somebody to lay the wood.

But is the live-in carpenter a common occurrence? It sounds more like the plot of a typical porno flick. Cheesy music is playing, the live-in carpenter knocks at the door. And sure, he could have gotten a drink from the house, but he is invited in anyway...

Alright, the public is learning way too much about Strahan right now.

Lil' Hater: Look At The Bright Side

With the Chargers out of the running, this will give NFL Adam the chance to concentrate on what’s really important during THN’s Super Bowl Summit and that is drinking.

I thought about this a long time, and I've concluded that the 4th quarter interception/fumble/wasted challenge and timeout was, without a doubt, the hands-down, absolute stupidest play by an NFL team in the history of the game. Terrible, terrible decision making by both player and coach.

It's 4th down and forever, dude, just knock the ball down! Let it drop to the ground! You'll get the ball at the 40! You're winning the game, you don't need to be a hero and run the ball back 80 yards! Even if he didn't fumble, it was still a moronic play, they would have lost 20 yards on the play. But no, the jackass wanted to get the glory of an
INT, at the expense of the team. What is he thinking?

Normally, you could cut the dude some slack for making the play in the heat of battle, but pretty much THE EXACT SAME PLAY happened at the end of the SD-Bills game a few weeks ago. The only difference was that it was the Bills, who aren't good enough to take advantage of a gift like that. Didn't the coaches read them the riot act after the Bills game? Shouldn't they have learned their lesson already? Unbelievable. And then wasting a time out on challenging the play? Awful.

I disagree on NFL Adam’s anti-LT post-game fight stance. He was completely rightfor calling out the Pats for a lack of class. The problem is that his teammates include players like: Merriman (and his lame dance that got the Pats riled up in the first place); the receiver who thinks its a good idea in a tight game to celebrate an easy catch by flipping the ball away, even though he's not down yet (the Raiders game); linebackers who celebrate a crucial 3rd-down stop by head butting opponents, right in front of a ref; and defensive backs who would rather get the glory of picking off Tom Brady than winning the game, evidently. He plays with a bunch of selfish, me-first knuckleheads. He should be getting in their face, along with the Pats.

You'd think that if you were playing on the same team as LT, one of the classier players in the league (and the best team player), that class would rub off on the rest of the players, and that the coaches would demand that the others follow in his lead. That's the biggest failure of Marty's coaching job this year. For a "old-school disciplinarian," his team showed absolutely no discipline.

That is all.

The Post Mortem

Up early for all of you that need a place to bag on the Chargers.

What could have made the Chargers season worse? How about your star player running after an member of the Patriots after the game looking to start a fight? Listen, LaDainian Tomlinson is one of the best players in the league and, by all accounts, a pretty classy guy. But chasing after a member of the Patriots because he is doing the "Light's Out" dance is pretty weak. Actually pretty stupid. If anything, it made the Chargers look more like a second-rate franchise (as hard as that is to believe.).

As if blowing that game could have made it any worse. If you are going to be pissed about teams "showing your up" or dancing on your logo, the alternative was to, you know, win the game. That would have solved a whole lot of problems.

People will try to find a way to blame Marty Schottenheimer for this game. But there were too many drops, a stupid personal foul after stopping the Patriots on third down, and the fumble by Eric Parker. The Chargers made too many mistakes on the field and they deserved to lose. Having LT trying to start fights after the game didn’t help. The Chargers choked again. There is no way to really explain differently.

Hopefully Marty enjoys (forced) retirement. There is no way the Chargers bring him back next season. And it kind of sucks. If, for no other reason, the team will probably hire Mike Martz to run the team.

  • LT explains himself after the game: "When you go to the middle of our field, when you start doing the dance that Shawne Merriman is known for, that's disrespectful to me. And I can't sit there and watch that. And so, yeah, I was very upset. And just the fact that they showed no class at all. Absolutely no class. And maybe that comes from their head coach. So you know, there you have it.”

    Listen, does Bill Belichick (expletive) around with other guys wives? Sure, but don't insinuate that he has no class.
  • Quote of the Day: "Anytime you're in the playoffs and lose, and certainly I have plenty of experience at it, there's a disappointment," Schottenheimer said.
  • When did LT turn into Redd Foxx? Hold me back, hold me back! What a tragic end for such a magical season. What will you remember more, the 31 touchdowns or the fight? What a sad ending.
  • Marty did make one mistake when he went for it on fourth-and-80 during the first half. Why not try the field goal there? If you had confidence in Kaeding to hit a 54-yarder, why not go for the FGthere?
  • To add insult to injury, Belichick’s son sold a bunch of Chargers fans $200 worth of oregano after the game. That’s just cold, man.
  • Who wants to be the top seed in the AFC anymore?
  • You want to hate Tom Brady and the Patriots for winning, but why? Brady is a Patron Saint of THN for his 2001 playoff season. But if the Chargers can’t beat him on the field, then so be it. Don’t start acting like a jilted teenager because you lost. You lost. Don't start talking (expletive) about the other team's coach or anything. You lost.




PEYTON MANNING CLASSY AS ALWAYS

LT wasn’t the only one embarrassing his fan base after the game. Said Peyton Manning after the Colts victory. "It seems like for so long it's been 'Colts win', but then 'Peyton Manning loses. Either give me all the credit when we win or give the team the blame when we lose.

Thanks, there will be no temptation to root for the Colts next week.

  • You have to admit that you are relived a little bit when the Colts win because that means that Tony Dungy’s kids survived the weekend. Just saying is all.
  • One of the kickers is choking next week. It has to happen. ngy's kids Speaking of choking, did you notice that (Lil' Hater's note: This will end right here. Sorry for you guys that read this far.)


The NFC Playoffs

Congratulations to Rex Grossman for redeeming his career by beating the Seahawks. Oh wait, didn’t the Bear destroy the Seahawks 37-6 earlier this season? So didn't he regress a little bit on Sunday? Is anybody picking the Bears to win at home against the Saints? Well, except for Dr. Doug?

Conrad Bain, who is 7-1 in the playoff, has long said this is the NFC’s year to win the Super Bowl. And it is hard to pick against the Saints who would probably have little trouble scoring points against the Colts or Patriots. But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

  • How many Subway commercials are we going to be enforced to endure until Michael Strahan has paid off his divorce settlement? Strahan is the only guy who can make Jared seem butch. And did anybody else notice that Strahan was wearing jhorts? Jeans/shorts?
  • Hey 24 is back on FOX. What, you don't care either? Sweet, neither do we.
  • Is there any way to really describe how Baltimore feels today after the Colts just punked them? Sand Diego is pretty bummed, but you can’t top Baltimore right now. Even the ghost of Johnny Unitas is depressed.



AND FINALLY

The Patriots seemed pretty cocksure following their defeat against San Diego. But be warned, Patriots, losing to the Colts would pretty much render all of that meaningless and actually ruin your three-Super Bowl dynasty. Don’t blow it now. Alright, that's pissed Chargers fan talking, please, just beat the Colts.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Nice Shirt

Was that broad at the Saints game wearing a shirt that said (Expletive) the Eagles? It's true, and you can see it here. Expect a hefty fine for this one.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Dillon Fails Cholesterol Test



Shawne Merriman
might be abusing steroids, but at least he cares about winning. Corey Dillon (above) is eating McDonalds French Fries and getting fat. Dillon looks better suited for the Gridiron Apocalypse awards dinner in Las Vegas.

The Weak Ender



Have you ever wondered why they didn't let Junior Seau judge for Chargers Girls tryouts?

WHAT PATRIOTS MYSTIQUE?

Do the Chargers really have a chance this weekend with Marty's history of failure and Philip Rivers inexperience? Will they be able to beat the Patriots led by the inventor of pro football, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady?

Yes. Yes, they will.

You remember that the Patriots lost to the Denver Broncos in the playoffs last year, right? The Broncos led by Jake Plummer. The guy who was benched in favor of a rookie during the playoff stretch. The Chargers have a much better team than last year's Broncos and present a bigger challenge offensively. That Patriots mystique will finally be put to rest on Sunday.

But we will always have the 2001 playoffs, Tommy.

  • Enough about Philip Rivers inexperience. It is way overrated. Just look at the Super Bowl winning quarterbacks over the past couple of years: Kurt Warner, Trent Dilfer, Tom Brady, Brad Johnson and Ben Roethlisberger. (And don't bring up the 2004 AFC Championship Game. That was a much better Patriots defense with Rodney Harrison back there.)
  • Would your average Baltimore fan rather have a victory over the Colts this week or another Super Bowl? Well, other than both, you have to figure that a victory over the Colts would mean more. Ask John Elway if Baltimore fans hold grudges.
  • Some Indianapolis Colts fans are suggesting that Baltimore fans don’t have room to talk because the Raven franchise came from Cleveland. And that’s true. But the Browns logos, marks and records were left in Cleveland. (After a court battle.) The Colts should have done the same.
  • The ghost of Johnny Unitas will haunt Peyton Manning this weekend.
  • Your upset of the week: Seattle will beat Chicago. It defies all logic, but the Seahawks will win this game. The Bears haven't won a home playoff game since the Red Grange era.
  • The winner of the Saints v. Eagles game should be able to walk to the Super Bowl next week. Pity the Eagles. Remember what the Saints did to the Falcons in their return game to the Super Dome? Imagine that atmosphere combined with a playoff intensity. This can't end well for the Eagles.
  • Thank you to the New York Giants organization for keeping Tom Coughlin around for another season. It is as if the Giants are just trying to spite Eli Messiah. Not that anybody minds.
  • The Dodgers are going to have an all-you-can-eat buffet in the right field pavilion. Does that mean no more Fight Club? The Dodgers must want their fans too fat to fight.
  • Speaking of fat people who like to take swings, can somebody explain how Cal Ripken got more Hall of Fame votes than Tony Gwynn? Didn't Ripken seem like a borderline Hall of Fame player? He showed up for work everyday, neat. Does that get you into the Hall of Fame?


AND FINALLY
The most appalling thing about the Barry Bonds isn't that he lied about using drugs (again) or that he threw a teammate under the bus so badly that even Kobe Bryant was ashamed. No, the worst part of this story is that Bonds takes amphetamines and he is still that lazy in the outfield.

The irony of Bonds turning on Sweeney? Bonds' trainer is sitting in jail because he is not a squealer.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Oh, were we supposed to care?

Sorry about that. The LA Galaxy’s owners hope that the acquisition of David Beckman will finally put soccer on the map in this country. Yeah, like maybe some day every kid in America will play soccer or something.

The owners of the Galaxy are banking ($250M to be exact) that Beckman will be to the Galaxy what Wayne Gretzky was to the Kings. But in the end, Beckman will probably be to the Galaxy what Emmitt Smith was to ballroom dancing.

THN Sports Figure of the Year

Nobody in the history of the internet has garnered as much notoriety for as little discernable talent than the Cowgirl. Well, maybe the Sorts Dork, But did he ever render Brent Lushberger speechless while strutting around in a bra at a football game? More than once?

That is what makes Cowgirl so special and that is why she is THN's Sports Figure of the Year.

Cowgirl is a glowing example for strippers the young women in America. No matter how hard you work, how talented you are, or how smart you are, the chick with the fake rack always wins. Unless you are Andrea Kramer. (Somebody explain that.)

But no, Cowgirl represents what it right with America. The only question is when she will make the inevitable track back to the middle so Matt Leinart can date her.

THN tried to contact Cowgirl, but then something donned on us—what is her name? Seriously. Anybody know? So Zach from The Big Picture, probably the net,s foremost authority on Cowgirl, was asked to step in and deliver the address as Cowgirl. Zach, take it away.

Wow! I just don't know what to say. I'm overwhelmed! Wow!

Thank you all for voting for us (looking down at breasts). It's a wonderful accomplishment being The Hater Nation Sports Figure of the Year.

It's so funny. I don't even play sports! (Laugh track). But ever since Brent Musburger recognized me and my friends at a Florida State football game (GOOOO NOLES!!!), I've become the symbol of Florida State football. Not Lorenzo Booker, not Bobby Bowden, certainly not Drew Weatherford. Me. And my friends (again, grabbing breasts). We're the symbol of FSU football (GOOO NOLES!!!!) and now THN is recognizing me for my achievements...

So many people I'd like to thank:

-NFL Adam. Couldn't have done this without you. (Blows a kiss).
-My doctor (giggles).
-Chrystal and Fabi. What's better than one cowgirl? Three!
-THN readers and voters. I couldn't have done this without you.
-My parents, my siblings, my friends. You've been there with me through the hardships of fame.
-All the sports bloggers out there. You've help me gain even more attention.
-And finally, the Academy. You've been great.

Thank you all for voting me The Hater Nation Sports Figure of the Year!
I'm soooo happy! I'm going to go write an article now for SIOC.

OK, bye!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Colts Are Real Haters

The Hater Nation has a lot of respect for the Colts. The Baltimore Colts. Former players like Johnny Unitas, Lenny Moore and Tom Matte wrote off the organization when it bailed on Baltimore.

Like they should have.

They didn't suck up to Robert Irsay, playing the victim to his folly, the way some members of the Los Angeles Rams did to Georgia Frontandrearie. (Not to throw anybody under the bus, but looking at you Jackie Slater and Jack Youngblood.) Colts players were as pissed as the fans when the team moved to Indianapolis. So much so that Matte is the Ravens' radio color guy and there is a statue of Unitas outside of the Raven Stadium.

The hate runs so deep that Johnny Unitas Jr. is suing the team for producing a series of license plates with the numbers of Unitas, Moore, Raymond Berry and Gino Marchetti. Moore is even thinking of joining the lawsuit.

Damn you really have to respect that hate. And some of you former LA Rams should take note. The teams belong to their cities. Except for the Raiders. Oakland can have the entire legacy of the Los Angeles Raiders.

Ginn Named Honorary Gramatica

Lost in the shuffle of Florida's domination over Ohio State was the fact that Ted Ginn Jr. was injured during his touchdown celebration. Not that it was completely Ginn’s fault, but it just goes to show the stupidity of players celebrating by tackling each other. Has anybody ever understood that practice? The surprising thing in all of this is that this wasn’t a bigger story. (Not that Ginn would have made much of a difference with Troy Smith channeling his inner Aaron Brooks. The Buckeyes couldn't have done worse if they were coached by Joe Paterno in drag.)

But the question of the day is which celebration injury is the bigger bone-head move; Ginn and teammates or Bill Gramatica celebrating a field goal?

Is Pete Miami Bound?

Pete Carroll met with Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga in Costa Rica over the weekend and faced reporters today. When asked about the job, Carroll said the he doesn’t “know where it sits.” Which, you know, is kind of vague. He might even be interested, but that doesn't mean he is gone.

That, however, didn’t stop ESPN 710 in Los Angeles from packing Carroll's bag and anointing him as the Dolphins new head coach.

If Carroll can get a contract that pays him $7M/a year, then he would be crazy not to take the job. Even with a quarterback combination of Daunte Culpepper and Joey Harrington. The window of opportunity for these coaches closes pretty quick. Another two or three-loss season and Carroll is Bob Stoops. If they offer Carroll ridiculous money, he needs to take. It's not like he couldn’t get another college job if it doesn't work out.

But you really have to question what Huizenga is thinking in this situation. Didn’t he just go through this with a college coach? Carroll did pretty well in his stint with New England, but there is no guarantee that he will have similar success in Miami. Hiring Carroll doesn't make sense. Huizenga should concentrate on hiring an NFL assistant, or better yet, how about Jim Mora who has proven that he can coach in the league? Carroll would be a risky hire for the Dolphins and they would likely find themselves in a similar position in two or three years.

A couple of more college notes.

No wonder Boise State wanted a shot at Ohio State. Is there any doubt that the Broncos also would have beaten the Buckeyes, too? Boise State finished fifth in the AP poll. That figures. This vote would have gone to the only undefeated BCS bowl winner. (So much for fair and square.) But Ohio State as the No. 2 team? There is no doubt that Boise State, USC and possibly LSU would have abused the Buckeyes. What game where the AP voters watching?

Michigan was right, they did deserve that rematch with Ohio State—in the Humanitarian Bowl. It's time to treat undefeated Big Ten teams in the same vain as an undefeated team from the WAC, Mountain West, etc.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Monday, January 08, 2007

Raiders Have Their QB

Troy Smith exhibited all of the attributes that will one day make him a great Raiders quarterback on Monday night. Smith look rattled, was flushed out of the pocket and rarely made a good pass in an epic loss to Florida.

If that doesn't equate to being a Raiders quarterback, nothing will. Aaron Brooks himself had to be impressed with what he saw out of Smith. Of course, there are still those who believe that Brady Quinn should be the next Raiders quarterback and there is some merit there. Quinn has shown a propensity for losing to his chief rivals, which makes him the perfect record. The only knock on Quinn is that he ran a pro-style offense during his final two seasons at Notre Dame, meaning he would have to regress to learn the Raiders play book.

No Smith has to be the man.

Lil' Hater's Breaking News

Hey, I think I might have a breaking news story for THN. According to my contacts -- and this is very speculative -- I've heard that Tiki Barber might be retiring. Really! You may want to check into that, 'cause I haven't seen the news anywhere else yet.

Joe Buck in the first quarter: "I don't think the average football fan realizes how good the Eagles were doing when McNabb was lost for the season." Hey, you condescending a-hole, they were 5-5 after they lost to the Titans the week he went down. Shut the f up, jerk.

At that point, I made a futile attempt to figure out the "SAP" button on the
TV remote. No luck getting the Spanish-language broadcast of the game, though. Crap. Then I spent 15 minutes trying to find a radio station broadcasting the game. No luck there, either, due to lousy reception. So I watched the game for the next 2 hours with the sound muted. Much, much better.

I mistakenly turned the sound back on late in the game, just to hear Joe use the words "Hall of Fame career" and "Tiki Barber" at least three times in a five-minute period. Evidently, because he had three statistically good years in a row, in a period in which his team won a grand total of zero playoff games, that's enough for enshrinement into Canton now, according to Buck's logic.

I'm sure Christian Okoye, Jamaal Anderson, Stephen Davis, Ricky Watters, Charlie Garner, Terry Allen, Ahman Green, and Robert Smith -- all of whom were just as good, if not better than Barber in their prime -- are all excited about the new, less-stringent guidelines, and are all looking to sign those feel-good one-day contracts with NY, to retire as a Giant, just to make sure they get the HOF call.

The Post Mortem

"I don't want to throw anybody under the bus."

Has there been a more over-used phrase in American sports over the past couple of years? Because invariably, the person that utters that phrase does just that. Like Peyton Manning last year, who didn’t want to be a bad teammate and throw anybody under the bus, and then he blamed the offensive line for his struggles.

The latest is Nick Saban who, when asked what went wrong in Miami said, "I don’t know how to say this because I don’t want to throw anybody under the bus. [But] when you look at the teams that have really good personnel people, that are doing what the coaches want them to do, finding the kind of players the coaches want them to find."

Right, Nick. And who was the guy who signed Daunte Culpepper instead of Drew Brees? Enjoy college life, it is better suited for you seeing that you aren’t cut out for the NFL.

But, in the spirit of Saban, let’s throw some people under the bus for their performances over the weekend.

  • The Kansas City Chiefs offensive line. Way to make the Colts rush defense seem competent. Larry Johnson was stuffed on the first two plays of the game, setting the tone for the Chiefs offensive woes. Just pathetic runs. Now, some might reason that you should have tried to mix it up in the beginning, seeing that everybody in the world was expecting run. That thinking is run. That is the kind of thinking that ruined New England in Super Bowl XX, who got scared away from the Bears run defense. The calls were solid, the Chiefs just couldn't execute.
  • The Cowboys special teams coach. There was a reason why the Cowboys had Jay Novacek and Eric Bjornson as holders during the 1990s. Having a receiver back there to catch the ball just makes sense.
  • Tony Romo. Dude, seriously, you still need to catch that ball. There is no excuse.
  • Jets secondary. Jabar Gaffney lit you up. Yes, the same Gaffney that the Eagles didn't want.
  • Eli Messiah. Oh sure, you might look at the numbers and think, Eli didn't play so bad. And what about leading his team to the tying score? Yeah, that's great. But the Giants started three first-quarter drives from around midfield and did not score a single point. The Giants should have put this game away early, instead they are done.
  • Joe Buck. Dude, it's Tiki Barber's last game and nobody cares. Barber might be one of the nicest guys in the league, but most of America has turned on him because you have shoved him down our throats. Kind of sucks for Tiki. BTW, everybody realizes that Brian Westbrook was much better than Barber on Sunday, right?
  • Bobby Petrino. Maybe we shouldn't hate him for taking the money because really, who can blame him? But after watching so many college coaches flame out, expect to see him back in the college game in three years. Especially since he comes from the Tom Coughlin coaching tree. Oh, and enjoy Mike Vick in the meantime.
  • Tom Coughlin. His offense makes stupid penalties, the quarterback makes dreadful decisions. Maybe it’s time to take a little bit of the heat. Trying to "talk about the positives" in a season where you finish 8-9 is just foolish. You lost (female dog) because you can't coach.
  • Joe Paterno in Drag. Single-handedly trying to take down THN. Many have tried, all have failed.
  • Jamarcus Russell. Dude, you are going to get drafted by the Raiders. Dumb ass.


COLT WIN

Anybody else notice the the Colts turned Peyton Manning into Trent Dilfer on Saturday? Maybe Tony Dungy has the right idea treating Manning the same way that Lovie Smith treats Rex Grossman. Try to limit Manning’s mistakes, or at least don’t let his mistakes hurt the team too bad. Manning had a Manning-like playoff performance with three interceptions, but the Chiefs just couldn’t move the ball.

WE GET IT, MARTY CHOKES

Get ready for a week of hearing about the playoff failures of Marty Schottenheimer. That's fair. Schottenheimer has won a lot of games without winning the big one. But take a look at the recent Super Bowl winning coaches. Bill Cowher lost three AFC Championship Games at home. Bill Belichick got fired in Cleveland. Jon Gruden could never win the big game in Oakland, losing one AFC Championship Game at home and the "tuck rule" game. Maybe history is on the side of the Chargers.

  • Do the Chiefs require all quarterbacks to have grey hair? And to those of you who feel that Damon Huard would have made a difference, get over yourself. Green didn't have a chance to get comfortable because they couldn’t run the football. Not many quarterbacks would have helped the Chiefs, not in the least being Huard. Besides, the Chiefs receivers had a number of drops. If you wanted to make a change, you should have put Ty Law at receiver.
  • The Romo play was horrible. But really, will anybody care in a month? The Cowboys, despite a great stretch during November, were not a threat to win the Super Bowl. But you know who is the happiest guy that he dropped the ball? Martin Gramatica, because you just could feel that missed field goal was coming.
  • The new Coors Light commercials with Jim Mora are genius. Absolutely genius.
  • But where was Eddie Guns this weekend?



AND FINALLY
Has Ohio State taken a hit in everybody eye’s seeing that USC dismantled Michigan? Kind of, huh? Like maybe the Gators will keep it within two touchdowns or something?

Actually, with everybody dumping on Florida and because of the Reggie Nelson story, it just seems that the Gators will come through. And remember that six of the last eight BCS championship games have been won by the underdog.

Friday, January 05, 2007

The Weak Ender

What has gotten in to Jessica Alba, playing football on the beach? Is the lesson of Robert Edwards already forgotten? What a shame. But what if Alba, like Edwards, tore her knee up playing football on the beach causing her weight to swell? Then she would have to get by on her acting ability, and people, that is just too horrific to think about.

Now some of you might have thought that Jim Lampley's punching bag would have been an obvious choice here. But sometimes (albeit rarely) THN does not do the obvious thing. Besides, it is playoff weekend.

You can find more Alba pictures here.

SABAN IS SMART

Nick Saban would have been fired if he led the Dolphins to another losing season. And honestly, that was entirely possible. Would there have been any outcry from the media or casual fans because the Dolphins didn’t honor their contract? Anybody upset that Art Shell was fired?

It is exactly the opposite. Firing coaches is big news and oftentimes, fans relish the new firings. So what’s with the outrage when the coach pulls the plug and walks out? Saban knew as well as anybody that he wasn’t cut out to be an NFL coach and there is no shame in that. A lot of good college coaches can’t make the leap to the NFL. Dolphins fans should be happy that Saban pulled the plug. It beats another season of Saban over promising and under delivering.

  • The popular theory is that Larry Johnson is going to run the ball down the Colts throats on Saturday. Don’t count on it. The Chiefs, whether they kick or receive, will drive down the field on their opening possession and settle for a field goal. But then the Colts will quickly open a 14-point lead and the game will quickly be over. People are failing to realize that nobody dominates the opening round of the playoffs like Peyton Manning. This is his time to shine. Kind of like that high school kid that dominates the junior high kids in basketball, but has problems competing against people his own age. Manning is a first-round nightmare for teams. The second and championship rounds, however, are a little tougher.


  • The Cowboys and Seahawks have the recipe for a high-scoring game. The Seahawks might be starting Kenny Easley in the secondary. And the Cowboys safeties can’t cover anybody. So look for this game to be a 16-9 snooze fest in favor of the Cowboys. Seriously. When the whole world is predicting a shootout, go the other way.


  • The sharks are circling the Patriots franchise looking for an end to the dynasty. And many of them are thinking that the Jets might be the team to knock them off seeing that they won the previous match up. Don’t buy that. Yes, Eric Mangini might be the second coming and the Jets won the last game, but that kind of stuff become irrelevant come playoff time. The fading dynasty always has one last dominating performance left before fading away. The Cowboys had it over the Vikings in 1996 before losing to the Carolina Panthers. So the Patriots will cruise past the Jets in this one. Of course, with an impending Patriots v. Chargers match up looming, this will give the Sports Dork Bill Simpson ample time to run the “Marty Schottenheimer is a choker” joke into the ground. Really, it never gets old.


  • The Giants and Eagles game is a little tougher to handicap because are the Eagles playing on borrowed time? Is Jeff Garcia really that good? Just when you talk yourself into believing the Giants can win, you picture that dopey look on Eli Messiah's face and forget all about it. The Eagles have dominated this series recently, save one game where the Messiah was throwing jump balls that Plaxico Burress was able to jump up and get. So it appears the Giants had their one miracle victory. And really, shouldn’t Tiki Barber end his Hall of Average career with a flameout in the playoffs? Maybe even a couple of fumbles for old-time’s sake.


  • Jake Peavy should have known better. Airport police officers have quicker fuses than home plate umpires. But the main rule is that you don’t show them up.


  • Keep dreaming Raiders fan, you are not getting Jim Mora. Don't even pretend.



AND FINALLY
Who were the guys who voted against LaDainian Tomlinson in the MVP voting? Fred Hickman? The only explanation for not voting for LT is either you don’t understand the concept of football or you have untreated syphilis.