Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Davis: "I don't want to win the press"

And then he held a press conference trying to win over those same members of the press that he didn't care about. There is a mountain of information to try to digest after a bizarre day, where Al Davis read a three-page letter he gave to Lane Kiffin, outlining what an a-hole the guy had become.

Imagine being the commissioner of this league and one of your franchises -- and let's be honest, one of the most important franchises -- has come to this. A highly visible, he-said, he-said for the world to see.

Or at least the 16 people who get NFL Network.

But there is a lot of things to digest and here are a couple of the most important points to discuss.

Very early in the news conference, Davis quipped that he used to have a way with young people. And that the young guys that he had to let go, he knew they were going to go on to have fruitful NFL careers. Obviously referring to Mike Shanahan and Jon Gruden. However, he didn't come out and say that about Kiffin. In fact, he basically said that Kiffin was in over his head and was probably not going to be a good coach on any level. People aren't talking about that, but that stood out the most to me. There was some obvious contempt. Davis has a history of mining young, unheralded talent (two two previously mention guys, John Madden and Tom Flores), but he admits that he missed the boat on Kiffin.

What was his first clue? The fact that nobody from the USC staff followed Kiffin to Oakland. Nobody wanted to leave USC for Oakland. Although that says a lot about the Raiders, you would have figured that Kiffin could have picked up a video assistant or something.

This ultimately is going to fall back on Kiffin being a nozzle. Davis is a jerk to work for. The Raiders don't pay for coaches, which is why he typically hires young guys. The atmosphere is horrible and Davis is meddling.

But come on Lane, you have to play the game. You can either come in, do a great job and move on like Gruden did. Or you can take your lumps and find a Hall of Fame quarterback to gravy train like John Madden did.

Instead, you acted like a punk who was upset that his manager at Subway wouldn't give him Friday night off so he could go scam on chicks at the local AMC. He's a spoiled son of a coach, that's all.

But don't worry about the Raiders. Those problems laid out above will still dog them. No money, no power. Hell, college football has become such a big-time deal, that selling out to be the Raiders coach isn't exactly a winning option. The Raiders will continue to add guys like Tom Cable and the commitment to mediocrity will continue.

Kiffin fired

Figures the Raiders would be behind the curve again. The funny part is that Al Davis is not going to (or at least try not to) pay Kiffin the remaining money on his contract. That should be an awesome fight. The Raiders blow on the field, but they typically do really well in court. Good luck, Lane.

Tom Cable is reportedly going to be the guy. Cable is a former Cal State Fullerton assistant.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Linehan fired

Still liked the idea of the Raiders and St. Louis FC trading coaches, but this will have to do for now. St. Louis has looked about as lifeless as Georgia's rotting corpse, so a move had to be made.

Adam Schefter from NFL.com points out just how far St. Louis FC has to go.


Over their last 31 games, in which they're 7-24, the (St. Louis FC) have been:

  • Outscored by 32 points in first quarter (44-7 this season).
  • Outscored by 33 points in second quarter.
  • Outscored by 65 points in first half.
  • Outscored by 76 points in third quarter.
  • Outscored by 171 points in fourth quarter.
  • Outscored by 241 points in second half and OT (+6 in OT).
  • Overall outscored by 306 points overall.
So with futility like that, the only option is to promote the defensive coordinator. Seriously. Jim Haslett is going to be taking over the team now.

A good friend had a better suggestion in that the club should bring in Marty Schottenheimer to turn the thing around. And that's a good idea. Schottenheimer is a winner. His playoff record is mocked, but the guy would have the team back to respectability. Bring in Marty, have him get your team back to the playoffs, and then make a move. Or maybe you bring in Dick Vermeil to coach the playoffs.

That is smart thinking, so don't look for Chip Rosenbloom to make that move. His main objective this season was to get his dad, Carrol, back into the team's media guide. But seeing that he is going to have to eventually sell the team, maybe he should be concerned with increasing the team's value.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Post Mortem

The Last and Ten ways that Lane Kiffin is trying to get fired on your left is fiction. Kiffin ordering the Raiders to wear white jerseys at home was not. In fact, that seemed like such a reach, that Kiffin photoshopping Al Davis' head on a buxom bikini-clad body holding a rifle seemed more realistic. Because nobody would be so egregious as to wear white at home because that would be worse than anything on that list.

In fact, there was once an NFL editor who was upset that the Raiders photos in the Super Bowl 37 program had the Raiders in white jerseys. Or so the legend goes. (But was a common practice in most Super Bowl programs to show the team in the jersey they were going to wear in the game.) Mainly because Al loves the black jerseys.

And yet, there's Kiffin having the team in white uniforms at home. What's next, the flesh colored body suit?

However that Raiders commitment to choking is still evident no matter what color uniform the team wears. And we at The Hater Nation, need to offer a mea culpa. We ripped the Raiders last week for having JaMarcus Russell throw only three passes. We realize now that the Raiders were using him too much in the second half of the Bills game.

BTW, was Kerry Collins ever a Raiders quarterback? Because he seems to be doing pretty well. Not to say the Raiders would have been better off with Calvin Johnson, Adrian Peterson, Patrick Willis or Joe Thomas. Those players would have required coaching and there's no way they would get that in Oakland.

And speaking of coaching, Norv Turner was out there showing what he was made of. That dumbfounded look must have been too familiar to the Raiders. But mainly because he thought he was in San Diego when the Raiders rolled out in those white unis.

BTW, official explanation was that Kiffin wanted the team to wear white because of the heat. And hey it helped as the Raiders lasted all the way into the fourth quarter before melting down.

  • Another possible way to get fired THN overlooked -- attempting a 76-yard field goal attempt.

  • Congratulations to Scott Linehan. The moment you are fired in St. Louis, board a jet bound for Oakland -- they have a job waiting for you. Honestly, wouldn't that be awesome if the Raiders and St. Louis FC just traded coaches? That would be awesome.

  • The hit on Anquan Boldin and the players surrounding his lifeless body was a little too reminiscent of the day Avengers lineman Al Lucas died. That Jets guy who leveled Boldin is going to be in for the fine of a lifetime. Especially under Mr. Goodell's edict to take the violence out of the game. What's funny, if the NFL really wanted to curb head injuries, they would get rid of the helmets. Seems foolish, but watch a rugby match and notice that the players actually know how to make a tackle. Not blindly throw a helmet into a guy running full speed.

  • Kurt Warner treated my fantasy team much like he treated stem-cell researchers in the first half of that game. Negative points. But in pure fantasy value, he brought it back to respectability.

  • Did anybody see Brandon Lloyd try to fake an injury in the Sunday night game? Even soccer fans were embarrassed by that performance.

  • Hope the Chiefs win over the Broncos doesn't hurt all of the sports talkers in Denver making their Super Bowl plans.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Florida wasn't impressed by USC losing on the road to a conference opponent, so they lost to a mid-card curtain-jerker at home. That will show them. Georgia spent the first half debate whether they should be wearing red or black uniforms while Alabama built a 31-point lead.

And of course, they will try to sell this as the SEC being so tough.

What it means is that BYU is getting closer to No. 2, and USC was able to stay in the top ten. (Special thanks to Wisconsin for that, too.)

And here's a surprise, Oklahoma isn't bad. In fact, they are real good. They made a pretty good Texas Christian team look pretty foolish in the first half. Texas was so good against Arkansas, Bobby Petrino already is looking for a new gig. The Big XII is impressive so far.

AND FINALLY
Reader Matt P. points out that ESPN baseball preview has given the Angels no chance against the Red Sox. That they should pull the John McCain and try to pull out of the AL Divisional Playoffs. And there is a recent history of Angels failure that you can't deny.

However. The Angels have a couple of new components with Mark Teixeira, Torii Hunter and Garret Anderson. That's a huge upgrade over last season. On the flip side, Jason Bay is good player, but he's not Manny Ramirez. If there's ever a year the Angels should put it all together, this is it.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Weak Ender

Hef's girlfriend Kendra Wilkinson was rumored to be engaged to Eagles receiver Hank Baskett earlier this week. Thankfully, Kendra was able to clear up the mess on her Myspace page.

"hiiiiii just wanna let yall know that i am not engaged! if i was id be very happy though n i wouldnt hide it..hahahahaha!!!!! rumors are sooooooooo (expletive) funny. yaa trickk yaaaaaa lololol!! Love is a beautiful thing n i think the world needs more of it. lol.."

Who knew that her writing could make you long for her annoying laugh? When you learn that the love between Hef and Kendra is anything but real, it makes you feel like a Trojans fan who just found out that his team was not going to win the national championship this year. Or that those reporters on TMZ are actually actors.

Actually, here's a pretty interesting find. Jean-Robert Bellande who was a contestant on Survivor: China was actually recruited to be on the show. The recent World Series of Poker telecasts revealed that Survivor wanted Daniel Negreanu to be on the show. Hope that puts to rest any disbelief that Danny was a plant during Gary Hogeboom's season. Like a radio talk show host from Kansas City would recognize a former Colts quarterback.

FAVRE VS. THE MACHINE
The Jets will wear their Titans throwback uniforms on Sunday. Oh joy. This will give some of the hacks such as Chris Berman the chance to make jokes such as, "Brett is so old, he wore these uniforms during his rookie season."

And then laughter will erupt in the studio. Those old jokes won't get, well, old at all.

(NFL.com got a jump on the old jokes, however.) Awesome stuff.

  • The Warner Machine is easily one of the bright spots in a dreary NFL season so far. The league just seems to be floundering, with Tom Brady out, the Colts and Chargers drifting listlessly and nobody really capturing the imagination. The Broncos could be a team to watch, if they could ever stop anybody. Right now, the league looks as though it has a case of the Mondays.
  • At least there are the Raiders, though. Can the Lane Kiffin saga carry us through?
  • Does LaDainian Tomlinson seem like an old man or what? He looks like he is still a step slow, and that toe injury still must be bothering him. Tomlinson has destroyed the Raiders during his career. If he can't get going against the Raiders this week, then there should be cause for concern.
  • Antonio Cromartie will likely have to do without making an interception this week as JaMarcus Russell figures to continue his pass-throwing boycott this week.
  • This week's slap yourself in the face if you want to watch these games: Cleveland at Cincinnati; Atlanta at Carolina; and a whole lot of others that are close. Talking about you Buffalo at St. Louis. That game only is interesting because St. Louis is taking aim at Tampa Bay's 0-14 mark. Lee Roy Selmon and the rest of the 1976 Buccaneers have to be getting nervous.
  • Kansas City is going to put a rookie cornerback on Brandon Marshall. Good luck with all of that. Maybe it's time to sell off Tony Gonzalez, Chiefs to further the rebuilding. How about a Gonzalez for Matt Leinart deal? But deadline deals never seem to happen in the NFL.
  • How bad has your life become when you need to look up to Kerry Collins for inspiration? So when do we get to see Vince Young stroll out of a court house smoking a cigar? (Easily one of the best images of the NFL in the 1990s.) BTW, has anybody noticed that the Titans are 3-0? Or that Collins has thrown for 35,000 yards in his career? There was a time in the NFL when 25,000 was magical number to get a quarterback in the Hall of Fame.
  • When is the Matt Schaub era going to take off? Mike Vick has had a better post-Falcons career than Schaub.
  • Frank Gore looks to become the latest player to notch 1,000 rushing and 1,000 receiving yards ... in one game when he plays the Saints this week.
  • Brian Griese makes only his second start of the season, but he has only one less pass attempt than pass-happy Aaron Rodgers. Oh, and long live the battle of the bays!
  • Want to make some money this weekend? The Redskins will beat the Cowboys. Don't feel like you need to share the wealth. But I prefer Dos Equis if you are buying.
  • You might want to sit down before you read this. But Donovan McNabb is hurt again. Yeah, if he's hurting, it must be serious.


COLLEGE FOOTBALL NEWS
USC's annual tank job can a bit earlier than expected, which means a huge shakeup in the polls. More importantly, how far up does BYU jump? Will they be ahead of the Trojans after this weekend? The Cougars have a bye this week, so it will be interesting to see where they end up. But before we get too excited about the Cougars, remember that games against TCU and Air Force will be on the road this season. Maybe even more daunting than the Utah game mentioned here last week.

  • Most teams likely celebrated USC's upset loss on Thursday night except for the Pac-10, which just saw extra millions in BCS revenue evaporate. And then there's Ohio State, who looks even worse now. But while all of you teams outside of the conference laugh at USC, realize that it's only conference teams who beat the Trojans. (And you, Vince Young.) Laugh all you want, Big Ten, but now you have another date with humiliation on Jan. 1.
  • Does UCLA respond to the challenge this week, or does Fresno State come down and snot-kick the Bruins all over the field? Take the Bulldogs. Pac-10 teams only seem to care when they are playing USC. Otherwise they seem content to tank the season.

AND FINALLY
Joe Torre was left out of the Yankees tribute this week. What happened, was there not enough time to fit him in during the 12-hour broadcast? No matter. While The Hater Nation doesn't much care for the Dodgers, there is something funny about Torre leading his new team to the playoffs (his 13th consecutive year in the postseason), while the Yankees will languish out of the playoffs.

Too bad Torre doesn't rap, or flow, or free style or whatever the kids are calling it these days.

Oregon State Worst Program For the Pac-10

They are not the worst program in the Pac-10. But they are the worst program for the Pac-10. Oregon State will rise up each season to screw one of the teams in conference. They did it to Cal last year. They've done it to USC in two of the last three years. And they did it to Oregon a number of years ago.

Of course, the Beavers will never ever put together a great season. But they will do just enough once a year to ruin somebody's season. Especially the way Oregon State went out and rolled over for Penn State earlier this season.

Thanks for playing USC.

The bad losses seemed to be a thing of the past once the shrimp went to Minnesota, but it appears that Mark Sanchez can still have the season-crippling loss, too.

Have fun guys, and go nuts.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Your Kiffin Employment Update

Unlike Matt Millen and Joey Harrington, Lane Kiffin still has a job. Not that he's not trying to get fired from his job. But from the home office in Temple Terrace, Fla., were have a new Last and Ten.

Nice Try, Jerks

The St. Louis FC is pulling a Raiders, as in they are still living in the past by elevating Trent Green to starting quarterback. Nice try, but Rodney Harrison is not here to injure Green again, and Kurt Warner is not walking through that door. Nice try, though.

Of course, Green could get seriously injured playing behind that line, and really, it's not even funny to talk about.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Raiders Team Flights Seem Fun

Maybe we are giving the Raiders too hard of a time. Because at the very least, these guys know how to party. This little nugget was stashed away in a Yahoo! Sports story. (They were obviously taking a break from trying to get USC on probation.)

On the way to the Super Bowl in the 2002 season, the Raiders would regularly fly on a Friday before a Sunday game. According to multiple team sources, the reason was that a large number of players would get drunk on the plane ride to a road game.

“We needed Saturday to get sober so we could play on Sunday,” one former player said.


Not that it did Barrett Robbins any good to spend a whole week in San Diego. But what were the Raiders doing there, flying Southwest? The airline that practically makes you do a beer bong before you get on the plane? You almost have to admire a team that treats a business flight the same way that guys treat a flight to Las Vegas for March Madness.

Maybe that's the secret. The Raiders went to the Super Bowl when they were drinking on the planes. Now, they are sober and look at the results. Al might know what he's doing.

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Cure for what ails ya

Brett Favre has often been called a franchise savior. And he is. But he doesn't necessarily save the franchise that he is playing for. There might come a time, if the Chargers can get back to winning, that Favre could be considered the MVP of the franchise.

If the Chargers make the playoffs, they should devote a full share to Favre.

When the Chargers needed a franchise player the most, there was Favre, generously giving the football to the Chargers. And there were times when the Chargers did not want to receive these generous gifts -- dropping sure pick six touchdowns -- but in the end, Favre was determined to but the Chargers back on the road to recovery.

Maybe Favre can don some referee gear later in the year to help give back some of those bad calls. But for now, the Chargers must be thankful for their teammate in a Jets uniform.

(BTW, if the NFL had any sense of humor, Ed Hochuli would have been working Monday night's game.)

Favre also might have helped to save Antonio Cromartie's season, too. Just as Peyton Manning put Cormartie in the Pro Bowl last season with three interceptions, Favre was just as willing. (Only Cromartie dropped one of the gifts.)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Post Mortem

Lane Kiffin has done a bunch of shady things to get fired from the Raiders, but he really crossed a line when he had the Raiders purposely roll over on Sunday afternoon in Buffalo. And really, you almost hope that Kiffin was purposely trying to throw away the game, instead of just being that incompetent when it comes to managing a football game.

Seriously, only three passes in the second half? That hardly seems possible, unless it's the 1930s. Al Davis is old school, but that's pushing it. But why would the Raiders want to throw the ball? Especially when one of JaMarcus Russell's three passes was an 84-yard touchdown pass to Johnnie Lee Higgins.

Yeah, why not keep running it with a back on a gimpy foot? Not that we're arguing.

How bad has it become in Oakland? DeAngelo Hall longs for the day when his quarterback was involved in a dog-fighting ring and his coach wanted to go back to college.

The good news is that Kiffin does want to return to college (but probably should go back to high school where he belongs). And who knows, Davis might have already started the wheels in motion to let him return.

As of right now, though, Kiffin is the coach.

WHO IS THE NFL'S WORST TEAM?
If the St. Louis FC isn't the worst team in the NFL, they at least reside in the same state. The defense, long admires of the ineptitude of the offensive line, allowed the Seahawks to run wild on Sunday, to the tune of 245 yards. St. Louis has lost 16 of its previous 19 games, a Raiders-like level of ineptitude.

There was some good news on the offensive side of the ball. Marc Bulger was only sacked once. But he's become so skittish in the backfield, he often looks like a second baseman turning two when he takes a snap from the shotgun.

You sometimes wonder how a franchise could get so bad, then you look at the ownership. Who knew that the murdering showcorpse is a much better alternative.

  • Did you ever notice that Adrian Peterson's State Farm commercial has the Vikings taking the field at the LA Coliseum? Just saying.
  • Having Darren McFadden on the fantasy team just isn't happening. Having even the slightest inclination to root for the Raiders makes you feel like taking a shower. Or at least lowering your car. And when Russell poaches a touchdown, that's the worst of both worlds. Thankfully, Kiffin made sure that was at least some satisfaction.
  • One of these days, the predictions in The Weak Ender will match the GA picks. That New England pick was easy to see.
  • How did the Patriots fall for the same play twice? Ronnie Brown took a direct snap, faked a reverse and scampered into the end zone twice. Thought the Patriots only excelled against plays they have seen before.
  • The Patriots fans must be stunned that their team is playing so poorly. Especially since most fans didn't start watching games until 2001. Well, the 2001 playoffs following the Tuck Rule game.
  • Maybe Joey Porter wasn't so out of line by saying that Matt Cassel wasn't Tom Brady. Seriously, why were people upset by those remarks? And why does the Post Mortem suddenly look like a Sports Dork column?
  • Turns out Cassel isn't even the same caliber as Ronnie Brown, who just fired a touchdown pass after taking a direct snap. Unbelievable. One of the strangest sequences in the NFL. Nice way to have your regular season win streak snapped.
  • NFL Network's use of "Everyday is Like Sunday" is kind of dumb, seeing that they don't use the Morrissey version.
  • Tony Romo continues to rack up the wins in September. He seems like he would have been a perfect fit in the 1990s Bills teams. Though, in a world where Gomer and the Messiah are you last two Super Bowl MVPs, you never want to say never. But the Cowboys don't have the defense that the Colts and Giants had.
  • If you put 11 guys on Brandon Marshall, Jay Cutler would still try to force the ball to him.
  • The NFL is still having teams wear the G.U. on their helmets. Makes sense seeing that Gene Upshaw gave up his life to go defend this country.
COLLEGE NEWS
Ladies and gentlemen, pull up a chair because you are about to witness Internet history. The Pac-10 is down this year. That's not a surprise. But in a world where a college football fan would never admit to such things, this is huge. Honestly, there are still Big Ten fans who think that USC couldn't hang in its conference. The SEC fans? They are still fighting the Civil War. Do you think they would ever admit when their conference was down?

The Pac-10 is down this year, and that's cool. Mainly because we are getting to see some breakthroughs from the Mountain West and WAC. Both conferences, of course, have more members in the Top 25 than the Pac-10. Texas Christian joins BYU and Utah from the Mountain West. Boise State and Fresno State represent the WAC. This is going to be a great season.
  • A friend pointed out that USC is currently like UNLV basketball in the 1980s ... one great team in an average conference.
  • Prediction: BYU is going to worm their way to the No. 2 spot in the polls by the time they play Utah. But they will end up losing to the Utes. However, a USC vs. BYU matchup would probably be the most entertaining matchup of the year. BYU would probably have enough firepower to at least stay with USC. No other team currently in the Top 10 could probably stay close.
AND FINALLY
Yankee Stadium was finally put to rest on Sunday night. The flyover by the Thurman Munson family was especially touching. But frankly, were we supposed to care? The tradition of Yankee Stadium was taken out during the remodel in the 1970s.

The Yankees were given a proper marble washing during the All-Star game. Did they have to devote an entire Sunday for the sendoff? As a few buddies pointed out, what the hell is going to happen when they finally tear down Fenway Park? Andrew Jackson, err, Peter Gammons would probably commit suicide and be buried in the ashes.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Weak Ender

Eddie Guns feels bad about screwing the Chargers and is taking the time to answer disgruntled fan’s emails after his boneheaded call.

"I'm getting hundreds of emails – hate mail – but I'm responding to it all. People deserve a response," he wrote to several Chargers fans according to The San Diego Union-Tribune. "You can rest assured that nothing anyone can say can make me feel worse than I already feel about my mistake on the fumble play. You have no idea . . .

"Affecting the outcome of a game is a devastating feeling. Officials strive for perfection – I failed miserably. Although it does no good to say it, I am very, very sorry."

Good lord, how long do you think those emails are? The guy certainly doesn’t mind cutting loose when he’s rocking the microphone during an NFL game, what do you think the guy does when he’s on the email? That has to be quite lengthy. Like extended version of Almost Famous long. You can almost picture Eddie Guns, sitting around in a wife beater, sipping merlot and addressing the morons that actually would bother to a.) look up his email and 2.) actually send him one.

“Dear BoltMan420,

Thank you for taking the time to tell me how much I blow. Both literally and figuratively.

You know, in all my many, many years of being an NFL official, I have had but one ideal. Perfection.

I prefer perfection. Be it the perfect shrunken referee T-shirt that completely accentuates my perfectly sculpted guns. Or me, calling the perfect NFL game.

But unlike my perfect guns, I was not perfect on Sunday in the National Football League contest between the San Diego Chargers and the Broncos of Denver. A rivalry that has gone on since the glory days of the American Football League.

I remember watching those AFL games with my dad. He made me do 10 push ups for every touchdown scored. I did a lot of push ups during those games and ended up with my perfect physique.

But that’s beside the point. I want to apologize. I want to apologize for you to being a sorry sack of crap. I’m sorry that you care so much about a freaking football game that you would even bother to send me an email. Which, I might add, was not perfect like me. I’m going to tell you the same thing that I told Norv Turner.

Workout because you are looking flabby. And get over it. That was just a bad call. Besides, I’m not the one who hired Ted Cotrell. Jerk.

Yours,
Ed Hochuli.

And before we start with the sweep of the NFL, must admit THN pulled its own Eddie Guns by failing to link over to Blog Cabins' Cage Fest. And specifically, our love letter to ConAir.

  • The St. Louis FC should be able to continue it’s march toward perfection at Seattle this weekend. The Seahawks need to win this game so they don't fall further behind the Arizona Cardinals. No, seriously.

  • The Birds are 2-0 and in control of the NFC West. But this Redskins game seems like one of those games where Kurt Warner either gets hurt or throws 3 interceptions and the team loses. Or the team is for real and they win. Not that the season comes down to one game, but it’s close. The Birds play at New York next week and will be staying on the East Coast for the week. If KWM and the Birds win this game, they could be well on their way to the playoffs. (Yes, it is early.)

  • The Marc Bulger death watch has been moved up to Week 8.

  • The Broncos are good, but it’s only a matter of time for Brandon Marshall once again “smacks a (female dog),” like Wayne Brady.

  • Mike Shanahan gloated this week that he was able to make it through one year and four games, noting that Lane Kiffin has to survive two more games to match is record. And then he has to find his own Hall of Fame quarterback to gravy train to two Super Bowls.

  • Punch yourself in the face if you want to see any of these games: Browns at Raven or Texans at Titans. Though, Bengals at the Giants looks awful, too. The NFL should really step in and remove Carson Palmer from the Bengals before his career is ruined. Too bad Palmer doesn’t have a dad who was an NFL loser who could demand where his son plays. That would be helpful.

  • The Patriots had one of those heroic games where they rallied around their fallen quarterback. But come on, you can’t buy this Matt Cassel stuff forever. You can’t just not play and then become a great NFL quarterback. He was lucky with Brady, but it’s not going to happen again.

  • Then again, can he be worse than Tyler Thigpen?

  • Or Gus Frerotte?
  • Free preview of the Mountain this weekend, the TV station of the best conference in college football. UNLV plays host to Iowa State, while Utah plays Air Force. How did we ever live before this station became available?

AND FINALLY
Arizona State is given no chance to defeat Georgia this weekend. And that’s pretty much how they would like it. The Sun Devils took some pressure off themselves by losing to UNLV. Now they can relish the underdog role and some are even giving the Devils a chance.

While the dreams of a 19-0 victory, like 1996, are dancing in the heads of the Tempe coeds, that just isn’t happening. This team doesn’t have Jake Plummer, the best college football player that season.

As much fun as it would be to rub the SEC’s face in it, this just isn’t happening. Everybody will just have to settle for USC running up the score on some overmatched SEC team in the title game. Provided one of them can get there.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Cheer up Vince, it's not that bad

Vince Young will watch this weekend's game from the coaches box. This seems like such a bad idea. A person on suicide watch should not be forced to watch a Titans game. Not unless Vince can take his shirt off.

But keep a stiff up lip Vince, because life is good. Especially with the return of The Hater Nation's Last and Ten. Check it.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Bad news for Kiffin: He's Still Raiders coach

Lane Kiffin's passive aggressive attempt to get fired from the Raiders has backfired. At least for one more day. Kiffin was given an extension on his career death sentence. Kiffin has been itching to be fired by the Raiders recently, going so far as to bash the owner publicly in the newspaper.

Sources close to Kiffin indicate that the embattled Raiders coach will take it up a notch this week by slamming Al Davis on his Myspace and Facebook pages. You can read it here.

At first, Kiffin seemed pretty cool for finally standing up to his boss. But some perspective, and words from a friend, helped shed some light on this. Kiffin is a lot like ESPN's Sports Dork Bill Simpson, who is trying to get fired from his gig. Hey, you guys signed the contracts. There is nobody to blame but yourself.

Kiffin, whose father is in the league, couldn't have had an illusions about how things are run in Oakland. Hell, Steve Sarkisian wouldn't even take the job. So don't act pissed now when it didn't turn out how you would like it.

This is on Kiffin. He should have acted like a man and kept his mouth shut. Now he's going to have trouble finding a low-level NCAA Division 1 job, like New Mexico State.

Loser.

Cowboys owner Jones bashes Guns

You have to admire the NFL's marketing machine. NFL referee and former THN hero, Eddie "Guns" Hochuli has been criticized for his heinous error in costing the Chargers a victory. But now the NFL has come to the rescue, in the form of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones who based Guns' performance.

"That particular official gets a lot of criticism. He's a highly criticized official in the NFL," Jones said.

How does that help Eddie Guns? Realize that when a scumbag like Jones starts making remarks about Eddie Guns, people are going to rush to his defense.

Honestly, that's brilliant.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Kiffin violates Raiders' code: He won

Lane Kiffin did the unthinkable this weekend: he won a football game. And that has Al Davis pissed off. To be honest, The Hater Nation is a little pissed, too. The Raiders' win ruined a perfectly-good running gag. (Although, THN is resourceful so this will only need a mere tweak.)

Davis, however, is despondent over the win. So much so, the owner is on the verge of firing his young puppet. Kiffin got in the owner's doghouse last season when he increased the Raiders win total from two to four. Now, with the Raiders winning so early in the season, there is a chance the Raiders could get up to five, six or maybe even seven wins this season.

Davis will not stand for that. You don't go to Oakland and start winning. That goes against the Raiders code. These cocky young bucks think they can do anything. And that might be true, but Davis is going to draw the line at winning.

That's just not something Raiders do.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Post Mortem

Eddie Guns is dead to The Hater Nation.

Of all of the guys who screwed the Chargers, it had to be Eddie Guns. Let's go over the ruling here.

The Chargers could not recover Jay Cutler's fumble because the whistle had blown. There is no arguing that, because that is the rule. However, Eddie Guns should have never blown the whistle in the first place. That was a complete whiff. And let's get this straight. The referees were afraid to blow a whistle when Chris Chambers fumbled.

But in the final minute, when all plays can be reviewed, Eddie Guns gets panicky and blows the whistle? Come on, you're not a rookie. Don't blame the rules, blame the guns. What a horrible mistake.

Philip Rivers was pretty classy after the game saying, "It shouldn't have come down to one play." And he's right, sort of.

Sure, it shouldn't come down to one play. But the referees don't need to give Denver extra downs. That would be akin to the referees giving the Patriots a few extra plays in the Super Bowl. The Chargers stopped them. They had won the game. Should it have been that close? No. But the Chargers did enough to win, and that's what is going to hurt the most.

Well that, and the Raiders being ahead of them in the AFC West standings.

But enough of the crying. And that goes for you, Norv Turner. The coach was livid in the locker room after the game. Not that you can blame him. But have some composure. Or at least be entertaining enough so you will end up on a Coors Light commercial in a few years.

KURT WARNER MACHINE ROLLING
If you had to vote today for NFL MVP, it has to be Kurt Warner, right? The KWM was on fire against the Dolphins on Sunday. What's weird is that the Birds have always been one of those teams that just kind of wins. They don't dominate anybody. They look like a K-Rod save, barely hanging on to survive. Which is probably the best way to put it. The Birds don't win, they just kind of find themselves ahead after 60 minutes.

But Sunday was different. The straight-up snot-kicked the Dolphins. Sure, it's just the Dolphins. But the Cardinals haven't had many wins like this where their fans are leaving early because they are winning.

  • Give credit to Mike Shanahan for going for the two-point conversion. Pure balls by the Orange Hobgoblin. But whoever won that coin toss was going to win in overtime.
  • A Hurricane finally hit Reliant Stadium. So now are there going to be people calling for the Texans to move to Los Angeles?
  • Chiefs' safety Bernard Pollard is receiving death threats after his season-ending hit on Tom Brady. Pollard, however, should feel lucky that he didn't hurt Keith Youkilis or Dustin Pedroia. Then there would be some actual threats.
  • Your local lineup on Sunday morning in Southern California: Raiders at Chiefs on CBS, Giants at St. Louis on FOX. Nobody would have blamed you if you didn’t get out of bed until noon. Double bonus, St. Louis game featured Joe Buck. Georgia is still haunting us from the grave.
  • Speaking of Georgia, this came from the Associated Press: The (St. Louis FC) (0-2) came up with another dud in their home opener, which also served as a tribute to late owner Georgia (Frontandrearie). If there was a more fitting tribute to Georgia than a team drowning in its own mediocrity, what else is there?
  • St. Louis dedicated Georgia Way outside of the football stadium this week. As a tribute to Frontandrearie, the street lights are red.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Let's not waste a lot of time talking about USC's domination over Ohio State. THN called it on Friday, though USC wasn't given enough credit because they won by 32, not 30 as predicted here.

The big story in college football this week is that the discussion of best conference has been tabled. There is no sense even arguing this anymore. The best conference in college football is the Mountain West, hands down. UCLA knocked off one of the top teams in the SEC a few weeks ago, Tennessee. BYU hammered UCLA, 59-0. That's unbelievable.

But it didn't stop there.

UNLV knocked off Arizona State. TCU knocked off Stanford. New Mexico beat Arizona. And on, and on.

The biggest joke is that BYU is behind Ohio State in the polls. Seriously? The Cougars would beat the Buckeyes by at least two touchdowns. No doubt at all. Not that it matters. BYU will eventually jump Ohio State and hey, if they run the table, they could find themselves playing USC in the national championship game.

  • Sorry USC haters, Mark Sanchez is not John David Booty. Some team might test the Trojans this year, but Sanchez will end up pulling the game out. There will be no loses to Stanford, UCLA or Oregon State this season.
  • The BCS championship trophy was at the Coliseum on Saturday. No wonder Ohio State played so bad.
  • Curious comment from Kirk Herbstreit: "Terrelle Pryor doesn’t know where he is anymore and he's just out there playing football." Uh, when a guy gets whacked in the head, isn’t the first question, "Where are you?" Shouldn’t they have taken him out of the game? Maybe Ohio State gave him a concussion in the locker room before the game and said, "Go get 'em." Maybe Tennessee should try that with Vince Young. Maybe he’ll think he’s playing for Texas again.
  • Trivia question: Who were the two quarterbacks who kept Matt Cassel on the bench at USC? Brent Musburger said, "If any USC fan missed that question, turn in your season tickets." Well, if they had season tickets, wouldn't they have been watching the game from the Coliseum?
  • Just what Charlie Weis needed – more time off his feet. Is he going to gain 800 pounds and be perched on a bed right there on the Notre Dame sidelines? "I wash myself with a rag on a stick."
  • Bucky pointed this out in the comments, why even have replay in college football? There have been a lot of blatant calls not overturned in the first couple of weeks. That downed punt by Fresno State was obvious. The San Diego State non-fumble the previous week. USC’s interception return for a touchdown even looked a little questionable. That cost Sanchez a fifth touchdown pass. Although that beats recognizing a bad call and not being able to change the call.
  • Why can’t Oregon keep a quarterback healthy? They blew a chance at winning the national championship last year when Dennis Dixon went down. Now they lost two quarterbacks against Purdue. Why did Pryor waste his talent at Ohio State instead of going to Oregon?
  • How many games would Tennessee win if they played in the Mountain West? Two? Probably San Diego State and New Mexico. But they would give Colorado State a game. Sorry, Scott.

AND FINALLY
You are lucky that I needed some good karma today. Because the photo I was planning to use was so egregious, that it almost offended me. But have I put enough topics on the table? I expect an overflow of Ohio State fans to roll in here and give credit to USC.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Weak Ender

Did you know that you can rent your own USC Song Girl or UCLA cheerleader? Yes, that is without the cover charge. Our boys over at Rumors and Rants break down the tail of the tape. Link.

The Bruins cheerleaders have been vastly overrated for years. But have recently moved ahead of the Song Girls. And speaking of overrated, Ohio State is coming to the Coliseum on Saturday. (Did you think you were going to escape some Big Ten bashing?)

What's baffling is that the Trojans are only favored by 10.5, and the over/under is at 45. What, is that what they are expecting USC to score? You people have seen the recent Rose Bowls right? USC might have trouble against some lower-level Pac 10 teams, but they don't have trouble whooping up on the Big Ten. We'll see if this year's any different, but look for the Trojans to win this one by 30.

  • The big game, however, is UCLA vs. BYU. The Bruins looked pretty good in their rally over one of the softies from the SEC, but now they have to face the mighty Mountain West. If UCLA wins this game, they are for real.

  • Big props, however, go to Wisconsin. A team that isn't afraid to travel. The Badgers played at UNLV last year and now they will play at Fresno State. Easily one of the biggest home games in school history. Wisconsin deserves a lot of credit for spreading the love. Plus, it gets them out of Wisconsin, so it's a bonus. Fresno State has long been one of those teams that can pull off a shocker over a BCS school. Don't be surprised if they do it again. If they could combine a win over Wisconsin, along with the College World Series title, that's a nice calendar year.

  • UNLV's schedule continues to get tougher. They play at Arizona State this weekend.

Let's move on to the pros.

Vince Young
is having a hard time adjusting to the rigors of the NFL, while trying to keep it real. And people are surprised about this? There is a reason he scored a 6 on the Wonderlic test. The Titans have nobody to blame but themselves. And hell, they might be better off in the long run with Chris Simms.

The Titans are 1-0, though, and some teams don't have that luxury. There are a number of title contenders who started on the wrong foot in Week 1, who must avoid 0-2 this week. Of course, 0-2 doesn't carry the stigma that it once did. The Cowboys in 1993 and more recently the Patriots have rebounded from 0-2 starts to make the playoffs. (There might be one that I missed.) Here's a look at some of those teams who need to win this week.

  • Cleveland. The Browns figured to have a tough start with the Cowboys and Steelers right out of the gate. But if they start 0-2 at home, they might not make the playoffs.

  • San Diego. The Chargers have the luxury of playing in the AFC West. Denver obviously isn't as good as they looked against the Raiders, but a win over San Diego would mean something. Is this the slide the Chargers were supposed to have when they first hired Norv Turner?

  • Indianapolis. The Colts grip on the AFC South has slipped in recent years. If they can't win at Minnesota, they have a tough game against Jacksonville to avoid 0-3.

  • Tampa Bay. Jon Gruden loves quarterbacks. Just not Jeff Garcia, evidentially. The Bucs are going with Brian Griese this week. And you know, he's not as bad as you would think. Seriously.
  • Detroit. Just kidding, just seeing if you are paying attention.

There is one common theme in the NFL, the desperate teams always seem to find a way to win. At least the good ones. Oakland has been desperate for a number of years. However, don't be surprised to see these four teams win on Sunday. Cleveland being the long shot.

AND FINALLY
America took time to remember those who died during the terrorist attacks of 9/11. And some talking head had the audacity to say that 9/11 is starting to slip the minds of most Americans. Really, where?

Because what really is starting to slip the minds of Americans is other major events in our history that seem to go unnoticed. Each year, anniversaries of the Oklahoma City bombing, Pearl Harbor, D-Day, etc., seem to go unnoticed.

D-Day is especially troubling. Imagine being in the prime of your life, 18-25 years old, and being sent to take a beach where you will most likely die. Thankfully, those men have been given some recognition, thanks to Saving Private Ryan.

While 9/11 was a horrible tragedy, it seems magnified because it was New York. Did anybody mourn the passing of those who died in the Pentagon? Flight 93? (Again, another event that has been able to stay in our minds because of a movie.)

And then there are those who have signed up to sacrifice their lives for this country. I get it, a bunch of people who died just going to work on a Tuesday morning is tragic. But we are doing a disservice to those who have fought and died for us in our past when do take time to properly honor them. As one guy wrote yesterday, there's nothing wrong with running your fingers over your scars. America should just remember that we have a few them.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Mr. Goodell: I am here to help you heal

The tragic events of September 11 still continue to haunt us all, and have left an indelible scar on America. But in tragedy rises heroes. Your hero, Mr. Goodell rises to meet that call today.

Instead of reflecting, why not spend your time with me, Mr. Goodell, chatting on NFL.com.

A lot of you might feel that it’s in poor taste for me, Mr. Goodell, to hold this media-whoring event on the seventh anniversary of the September 11 attacks. But it’s not like I live in New York or anything. I knew nothing about it.

Besides, my public needs me. They need my calming presence. They also need to know that I continue to fight terrorists in my own way, suspending NFL players left and right. So please, hit me up with some questions. I look forward to seeing you.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Raiders or St. Louis FC, who goes 0-16?

The Raiders and St. Louis FC have the chance to do something very special this season -- go 0-16. Seems fitting that a team would follow in the footsteps of the 16-0 Patriots, somebody has to do the impossible right?

Of course, just like the Patriots in 2007, the Raiders and St. Louis FC will not win a Super Bowl title, either.

The tough part is picking which team has the best chance of finishing 0-16 this season. Both teams deserve it, but which one has the mental toughness and fortitude to actually pull it off? THN provides a breakdown of these behemoths. (Hopefully, we can milk this for a couple of weeks.)

Today we look at the offenses of these two teams. Hide the children.

QUARTERBACK
Raiders: The monster JaMarcus Russell might not be the biggest bust of a No. 1 overall selection. At least not as long as Tim Couch roams the Earth. But Russell is certainly making his case. His passing motion makes Vince Young seem masculine. This is why you don't holdout to start your NFL career. Compare where Russell is currently, compared to Matt Ryan who signed on time and was able to actually participate in his first training camp.

St. Louis FC: Shaken starter Marc Bulger was once a Pro Bowl quarterback under Mike Martz. No, seriously. No he's shell-shocked, like a Vietnam veteran. You can almost imagine Bulger sitting around at home, bolting out of his chair for no reason, breaking out in cold sweats and hiding under a blanket. That's what the St. Louis FC line will do to you. Bugler has happier feet than Fred Astaire.

Disadvantage: Raiders.

RUNNING BACKS
Both teams have excellent running games. The only problem is, running is hard to do when you are trailing by 20 points. So in other words, neither team gets to use the best part of its game. Hopefully you didn't select Steven Jackson in your fantasy draft.

Disadvantage: Push.

THE LINE
These teams put the offensive in offensive lines.

Raiders: High schools and colleges rarely use zone blocking schemes, like Tom Cable uses, mainly because it's too advanced and should be left for professional teams. So why are the Raiders using it? The Raiders don't seem too bright, so the coach should keep the thinking to a minimum.

St. Louis FC: Part of the reason for Bulger's struggles is the lack of an offensive line. Heck, St. Louis was so hard up for lineman last year, they brought in actor Adam Goldberg. Orlando Pace no longer can protect anybody, either. And he's the best guy on the line. If Bulger continues to play behind this line, he's going to end up looking like Michael J. Fox on a Red Bull bender.

Disadvantage: St. Louis FC.

RECEIVERS/TIGHT ENDS:
Honestly, both teams have a couple of good tight ends, Zach Miller and Randy McMichael. The receivers? Not so much.

Raiders: The team's receiving corps are so bad, they had to convince Javon Walker not to retire. They are so bad, they have Ashlie Lelie. Things are getting to be so bad in Oakland, they recall Jerry Porter fondly. Things could be worse, however. They could be the Seahawks, who are wasting a good quarterback's efforts with bad receivers. In Oakland, bad quarterbacks and receivers go hand-in-hand. So at least there's that.

St. Louis FC: Former ace, Torry Holt, was once the first receiver taken in fantasy drafts. Now he's fallen off the radar. Even his own quarterback ignores him. The team could have drafted DeSean Jackson -- the guy who torched them on Sunday -- but instead went to Donnie Avery who was inactive for the game because of an injury

Disadvantage: Raiders.

When you break it down, the Raiders actually are worse on offense than the St. Louis FC. The are the leaders in the clubhouse right now.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Super Bowl Buzz Kill: Raiders

Do you think your team is going to the Super Bowl? Ha. Your team sucks. Why put yourself through the aggravation every year? The Hater Nation is here to bring you back to reality with the award-winning series, The Super Bowl Buzz Kill.

Why your team won’t win the Super Bowl: Oakland Raiders.


You're analog players in a digital world. – Roman Nagel (Eddie Izzard), Ocean’s 13.

Nothing seems to describe the Raiders better than that. Al Davis continues to run the Raiders like he’s competing for Super Bowl 3, instead of Super Bowl 43. Some great football minds such as Joe Gibbs and Bill Parcells had to admit that they could no longer compete in the modern NFL. Davis is defiant, insisting that things can be done the Raiders way. You almost can envision Davis, sitting in a bathrobe, hunched over his Commodore 64, trying to figure out how log on to the internet.

Of course, that cord is plugged into a banana instead of the outlet in the wall. And much like that outdated computer, the Raiders don’t have much hope of working, either.

The Raiders way is no longer commitment to excellence. It's a commitment to the 1970s. If the Raiders were a Simpsons character, they would be Disco Stu. And Disco Stu says only four wins for you. But when compared to the Raiders most recent records, four wins is a high-point.

The most amazing thing about the Raiders is this: there are annually bad teams in the league. The Lions. The Cardinals. The Bengals.

None of them seem to care. Mike Brown probably doesn't care if the Bengals ever make the Super Bowl again. Hell, given that their two attempts ended so badly, he probably doesn’t want to experience that again.

Even the fans of the Bengals don’t care. They just don’t want their players to get arrested or change their names anymore. If the Lions or Cardinals had fans, they probably wouldn’t care either.

Raiders fans care. They are delusional, too. Raiders fans made their predictions here. Most picked a winning season. Some predicted a losing season. Only one person predicted a realistic 3-13 mark, but he was going for the reverse jinx.

But nobody wants to win more than Davis. Winning consumes him. The Raiders long streak of futility in the wake of Super Bowl 37 has to be killing him. Among other things.

Davis has now gone on tilt. Davis won a number of championships serving as a halfway house of near-do-wells and other trouble makers in the NFL. The only problem was, guys like Ted Hendricks and Lyle Alzado were immensely talented and committed to winning.

Do you think Javon Walker is committed to winning? Is DeAngelo Hall committed to anything other than running his mouth? Walker nearly retired during the summer, but Davis had to convince him to stay. (Does anybody wonder how that conversation went?) Hall is one of the most overrated cornerbacks in the NFL. Opposing quarterbacks are going to be picking on him, thanks to Nnamdi Asomugha being lined up on the opposite side. Sorry DeAngelo, you can’t line up against Steve Smith every week.

But let’s pretend – like Raiders fans tend to do – that Walker and Hall have great seasons. Maybe JaMarcus Russell gets it. Maybe Darren McFadden is the second coming of Adrian Peterson. Maybe the offensive line grows under Tom Cable. And hell, maybe the defense is as impressive as it was two years ago.

That’s a lot of ifs. Much like the number of cons that the Ocean 11’s had to pull off to win. Even if everything goes well for the Raiders, there’s Lane Kiffin standing on the sidelines.

The only reason he still has a job is that he didn’t want to walk away from his guaranteed contract. He’s just a place holder until they can get Dennis Green in there.

Watching the Raiders extend it’s playoff boycott may not be funny to you, but it sure as hell ain’t sad.


THE GOODELL SCALE

(The odds of your team winning the Super Bowl, based on 1-to-5 Goodells. One being worst, five being best.)


Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Post Mortem

You don't want to believe that the arrogance of a fan base could get a player injured. And it doesn't. But the Patriots arrogance in not having a credible backup behind Tom Brady certainly is going to come back and haunt them. Of course, Cassel looked decent against the Chiefs. But so would the Avengers.

Seriously, Patriots. You put Brady's name on the injury report every week. Do you think you could continue to mock the system and get away with it? Good luck defending your second-place title.

The Patriots, Chargers, Jaguars and Colts – the one time elite of the AFC – look like ordinary teams. The Steelers, Jets and Bills suddenly look like championship contenders. So what are we to make about the suddenly shaken up AFC?

Not much.

There were some big surprises on Sunday, no doubt. But let's not panic right now. The only thing we can conclude is that New England’s season is over. All of you Boston scumbags who recently cheered the season-ending injury to Carlos Quentin (and you frigging know that you did), can go eat a bag of (expletive). And don't think that you're even with the universe yet, either. We're still waiting on an arrest of Paul Pierce and for Keith Youkilis to get hit by a bus. Then we might be even.

But hey, you don't want to root for injuries, but having Brady out for the season will make those $1 tacos at Taco Surf seem a little tastier today.

Boston fans, however, should rejoice. At least now, they don't have to pretend that they like football.

As for the rest of you, don’t be so quick to dismiss the Chargers and the Colts. Both teams will struggle without their starting centers, Nick Hardwick and Jeff Saturday respectively. The Chargers are in no danger of losing ground in the AFC West. San Diego could likely start 1-5 and still end up reaching the playoffs. And hey, you know Gomer is going to be there in the end. There can’t be an NFL season where Brady and Gomer don’t make the playoffs.

Don't make too much of the Jaguars losing at Tennessee. The Titans beat them to start 2007, too.

The Bills fooled us once before in 2003 (JD corrected us) when they crushed New England in Week 1. How did that end up? Beating the Seahawks without any credible receivers isn't that big of a deal.

The Jets might be pretty good. Brett Favre is playing well. Love Thomas Jones. Playing Miami tough isn't the end of the world. The Dolphins were surprisingly competitive last year, even though they had a horrible record. The Jets also have Cowgirl.

The Steelers, though, are the most credible team of this bunch. Remember when Willie Parker was going to lose his starting job to a rookie? Don’t worry, nobody else does, either. Ben Roethlisberger can bring it, and Hines Ward is still awesome. If you really care about who is the best team in the AFC after Week 1 (and Raiders fans probably do), then it’s the Steelers.

  • Does anybody think that the Chargers gave away the wrong running back? Me neither. But it was good to see Michael Turner so impressive in the Falcons huge win. But before you get too excited about the Matt Ryan era, remember that Ryan Leaf looks all-world in his first two games before that disastrous third game against the Chiefs. Ryan, however, seems a touch smarter than Leaf and he's drawing comparisons to Gomer. As if you need a reason to root against him. When does his first commercial come out?

  • The St. Louis FC has so many patches on their jerseys that they look more like a NASCAR team, instead of an NFL team. St. Louis FC might make another bid at 0-16. Wow, that is a fitting tribute for Georgia Frontandrearie.

  • Donovan McNabb looks healthy again. There were some, alright me, who scoffed at the drafting of McNabb in recent fantasy drafts. But hey, looking good against the St. Louis FC is easy. Let’s see how he holds up against the NFC East. Place your bets, McNabb suffers a season crippling injury by Week 6.

  • Everybody is honoring Gene Upshaw with those GU patches this season. However, it would have been a nice touch if the Chargers, Chiefs and Broncos refused to wear them. That would have likely been a bigger compliment. Raiders fans would probably have gotten a kick out of that.

  • All white uniforms are completely underrated.

  • Edgerrin James is not dead. He had 100 yards for the Cardinals (on 26 carries). Believe it or not, the Birds are the best team in the NFC West right now. Although, that’s like being the hottest chick in St. Louis.

COLLEGE NEWS
San Diego State was robbed in its game at Notre Dame. Aztec running back Brandon Sullivan scored a touchdown. Or at the very least, he was down at the 1-inch line. But not only did the homer refs give Notre Dame the ball, the Irish got it at the 20. There are terrorist being waterboarded in Guantanamo Bay who believe that was obscene. Citizens in Darfur who will never know the suffering the Aztecs must feel right now. Hopefully our presidential candidates will weigh in on this injustice today.

Of course, the Aztecs always have a handful of these noble losses each season. Not that losing to Notre Dame carries a sense of pride anymore. Nice program, Irish.

  • Congratulations to Penn State for its huge whooping of Oregon State on Saturday. The Nittany Lions now have something in common with Stanford.

  • UNLV hung tough with Utah, but they just don’t have a deep roster. But they are moving in the right direction. The difference between 9th and 4th place in the Mountain West isn't that large.

  • BYU was very fortunate to defeat Washington. The Cougars were definitely wearing their magic underwear. But this just shows that nobody pushes the Mountain West around.

AND FINALLY
The Angels are going to clinch against the Yankees this week. Wow, suddenly feeling kind of ill. Hope I can make it to work on Wednesday. *COUGH.*

Don't Mess With Me, Chad

The former Chad Johnson changed his name to Ocho Cinco, thinking that he was going to get one over on me, Mr. Goodell. Not so fast, my friend. Nobody gets over on me. That's why, I have forbid Ocho Cinco from wearing his new surname on his jersey this week.

Suck on that, Johnson.

Friday, September 05, 2008

The Weak Ender

Football is finally back. Though, if you like the college game, it returned a week ago. The Giants, however, arrived just in time to make fans long for those glorious days when teams could actually break the 20-point mark. You know it's getting ridiculous when your average football over/under looks like a MLB score.

The Giants used the formula that worked so well for them last year. Have Eli throw a bunch of passes that fall out of the hands of opponents. A smothering defense. And Michael Strahan mugging for the camera.

Hey, that formula has worked before.

For those of you lucky enough not to leave work early enough for the ridiculous 4 p.m. start, feel fortunate. You didn't miss anything. Eli did, though, make the world's longest 1-yard run. That was pretty impressive. You almost begin to wonder when the lucky is finally going to leave his side.

Here's a rundown of this weekend's NFL action, which can only promise to get better. Because really, it can't get much worse.

And as a special bonus. The Raiders (and final) Super Bowl Buzz Kill will be launched on Sunday morning. You probably want to miss it because THN exhausted its resources on the Hat, St. Louis FC and Giants SBBK. Just ask the guy who hated the Redskins SBBK.

  • Hit yourself in the face if you are looking forward to any of these following games: Detroit at Atlanta or Cincinnati at Raven. You can pretend that you are looking forward to the Matt Ryan/Joe Flacco eras. But you are not. Don't pretend.

  • How fitting would it be if Brett Favre suffered a season ending injury and noodle-arm Chad Pennington ended up leading the Dolphins to a win over the Jets?

  • Plaxico Burress is a rarity in sports, in that he signs a huge contract moments before his team's home opener, and then actually goes out and performs. He's obviously not a baseball player. Why did the Giants jerk that guy around so much anyway? Plaxico is the MVP of the NFL. If he makes the Messiah look like a credible quarterback, he is actually the true miracle worker.

  • People might have forgotten how dominant the Patriots were during the 2007 regular season. They will likely remind many of us when they snot-kick the Chiefs, who could be the worst team in football. The Patriots will win that game huge, maybe even 70 points or something. Bill Belichick is going to be out to prove something and running up the score on the hapless Chiefs will do it.

  • Did anybody else think that Hurricane Gustav was kind of a let down? Like the biggest let down to hit New Orleans since Reggie Bush? But watch what Jeremy Shockey's presence does for Bush in New Orleans. He's going to have a crazy day against the Buccaneers. And did anybody else notice that Motley Crue's latest album could be a precursor to our next NFL team? The Saints of Los Angeles. Sweet, we already have our theme song. Nikki Sixx is a genius.

  • Add Jacksonville at Tennessee as another one of those games you don't want to see. Not that the teams aren't good. Watching Vince Young throw a football is like watching Robin Williams trying to do comedy. Some people find it funny, but it's mostly just painful.

  • The Chargers just seem poised for a letdown. Jake Delhomme is returning from Tommy John surgery. Steve Smith is suspended for two games. This seems like a perfect opportunity for the Chargers to have a meltdown that many predicted a year ago. It won't be Philip Rivers fault though. Ron Borges ripped him in a recent article by claiming that Rivers is on the hot seat. Where is that Billy Volek lobby coming from? Rivers is the least of their worries. LaDainian Tomlinson has something to prove. Shawne Merriman has something to prove. Eric Weddle has something to prove. Antonio Cromartie needs to prove that last year wasn't a fluke. And really, Norv Turner still has a lot to prove, too.

  • Kurt Warner is going to be even better than expected against the 49ers. What more does this man have to do to cement his Hall of Fame candidacy? A Super Bowl run? MVP? He's in if he gets the Cardinals to the playoffs. And be ready to beat the rush to add J.T. O'Sulllivan to your fantasy roster. Mike Martz is not a good head coach. But he's been wonderful to fellow journeymen such as Warner, Marc Bulger and Jon Kitna. Having him choose O'Sullivan over Alex Smith should have been no surprise. These are the kind of guys that he is comfortable with. And the offense is going to be decent.


  • One lucky blogger was able to land an interview with Cowgirl. Quite a scoop because it seems that Cowgirl is the kind of lady who doesn't like a lot of publicity. The second half of the interview should run today.

  • Chad Johnson has officially changed his name to Chad Ocho Cinco. Congratulations to Yahoo! Sports who already have changed its players page to reflect No. 85's new name. NFL.com, the league's official site has yet to make the switch. Maybe it is the doing of Mr. Goodell himself. Seriously, does anybody else believe that Mr. Goodell is going to end up fining Ocho Cinco for having his own name on his jersey?
  • San Diego State plays at Notre Dame this week. If the Irish drops this one, maybe it's time to pull the plug. On the other side, nice knowing you Chuck Long. Your college coaching career mirrored your pro quarterbacking career.

AND FINALLY
The Angels are going to clinch the AL West against the New York Yankees this week. The Angels won't get a chance to eliminate the Yankees from the playoffs again, so this will have to suffice.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Super Bowl Buzz Kill: Giants

Do you think your team is going to the Super Bowl? Ha. Your team sucks. Why put yourself through the aggravation every year? The Hater Nation is here to bring you back to reality with the award-winning series, The Super Bowl Buzz Kill.

Why your team won’t win the Super Bowl: New York Giants

Guest Hater: Mohammed Atta

Greetings American Swine!

True story – Originally I wanted to crash another plane into the Meadowlands. But then we heard Joe Buck wasn’t there, so we really didn’t see the point.

Just kidding! Actually, we were worried that another errant Eli Manning pass might knock us off course.

What?

Besides subverting democracy, getting your civil liberties eroded, and goading your country into losing two wars, I’m most amazed that by boss’ actions managed to completely ruin your country’s most beloved sporting pastime last year, by forcing the government to make the Giants the least-deserving team ever to win the Super Bowl.

I mean, it must have been a government conspiracy, right? Because the Giants were borderline dreadful last year.

I know, because all our sleeper cells in SoCal had to watch them play on TV every f’ing week, at the expense of actual good games, and good teams. And you wonder why we’re so angry at America.

My friends in Guantanamo are always saying, “Yeah, we’re getting waterboarded every Sunday, but at least we don’t get Giants games shoved down our throat every week, like the chumps on the West Coast. Now that’s torture.”

Watching the Giants play offense last year was a travesty. Run for 2 yards on first down. Illegal motion - five yard penalty. Incomplete pass that should have been intercepted on second down. Heave the ball up the field 30 yards and hope for a miracle reception, penalty, or lame video replay decision on third down – that was the Giant’s playbook all season long! And it ended up working! Unbelievable.

And now that they’re champs, it will keep on happening. And other teams will try to emulate their lame style of offense. Your long national nightmare isn’t over!

I’d like to say a few words about the Giants players, but other than Eli and the great receivers who’ve saved his job over and over again, I literally can’t name any of them. I don’t have time to look at the roster either, I’ve got a busy schedule of blimp flying lessons this fall. Oh whoops, maybe I shouldn’t have said that out loud.

Anyway, now that prima donnas like Tiki, Strahan, Seehorn and Shockey are all long gone from the Giants, it’s just a matter of time before another media-whore player or two are found on the roster, and all NFL fans outside of NY/NJ can rally around hating the Giants again this season.

If hating the Giants, and all that they stand for, can’t bring America together, nothing will.


THE GOODELL SCALE

(The odds of your team winning the Super Bowl, based on 1-to-5 Goodells. One being worst, five being best.)











Missed a team? You can click the Super Bowl Buzz Kill 2008 label to see the entire list.

Super Bowl Buzz Kill: Redskins

Do you think your team is going to the Super Bowl? Ha. Your team sucks. Why put yourself through the aggravation every year? The Hater Nation is here to bring you back to reality with the award-winning series, The Super Bowl Buzz Kill.

Why your team won’t win the Super Bowl: Washington Redskins

Clinton Portis has made a career of coming up with goofy characters that he trolls out during press conference to great hilarity. NFL.com recently held a contest to see which character Portis would use this season.

Fans got to choose if he was going to be a dentist (Isaac Yankem anybody?), failed wrestler (again, Isaac Yankem), and environmentalist or prime minister.

Too bad fans didn’t have the option to vote for a fifth Portis character – a Super Bowl-winning running back. You know, Terrell Davis.

His characters, however, would be an upgrade over the current nickname used by the Redskins. Or as our own, The Hatriot would put it, The Racial Slurs. In fact, THN turned to the expert on the Slurs and The Hatriot came up with this synopsis.

They’re still the Slurs. They still have more questions than answers on the field. They’ll still be staring up at the collective sweat-stained crotches of the Jints and Boys at the end of the year. SlurFan will pin up that pre-season banner and grow misty eyed as thinks about the courage his franchise shows by standing up for all the old white men who can’t say “tar baby” or “kike” in public without fear of unjust recrimination.

You can understand, as an NFC East guy, deciding what team you hate the most is an almost Talmudic undertaking of scholarship, self-examination, and metaphysical revelation. A team that represents the most powerful men in America and uses its moniker to degrade the least powerful makes a pretty damn good case for itself…


THE GOODELL SCALE

(The odds of your team winning the Super Bowl, based on 1-to-5 Goodells. One being worst, five being best.)













Missed a team? You can click the Super Bowl Buzz Kill 2008 label to see the entire list.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Super Bowl Buzz Kill: St. Louis FC

Do you think your team is going to the Super Bowl? Ha. Your team sucks. Why put yourself through the aggravation every year? The Hater Nation is here to bring you back to reality with the award-winning series, The Super Bowl Buzz Kill.

Why your team won’t win the Super Bowl: St. Louis Football Club.

As a special treat, a woman who made breast cancer seem cuddly, the former owner of the St. Louis FC. (Last warning, too.)

By Georgia Frontandrearie.

Greetings The Hater Nation Fans I am Georgia Frontand … dog damn it, now you have me saying it. I have had so many dog damn husbands, though, you can’t blame me for getting confused.

Don't think I haven’t noticed that you bastards have been using that phase. Not that I care that much. Looking over this crowd, there isn't a one of you who would be worth marrying and then killing. I haven't seen this many limp (expletives) since I walked into the locker room following the 1985 NFC Championship Game. You sissies make Jim Everett seem butch.

There are a lot of you who have suggested that I am a murderer. I won't come clean on that charge, but I have given some tips to my gal, Sarah Palin, in case she gets elected to Vice President. I really admire her. She was able to get to the top without having Pete Rozelle's (expletives) on her chin.

Don't be surprised if John McCain goes wading into the surf and never returns again if she ends up getting the VP gig. Her job will be a lot easier though. It's not like McCain is an Olympic swimmer, whose drowning would be highly suspicious.

And really don't be surprised if the White House is moved to some (crap) hole in the Midwest, either. What, you look surprised that I would dump on St. Louis. That place is a dump. St. Louis is the gateway to the west, because nobody wants to stay there. The city of St. Louis is the birthplace of many, many, many filthy whores and sluts.

(Editor’s Note: Georgia Frontandrearie is from St. Louis.)

You (expletives) do realize that when I folded the Rams and moved a team to St. Louis, I never moved to that dump. I stayed back in Los Angeles. I may have killed two of my husbands and gotten a third thrown in jail, but even I have my standards. The only thing I wanted from St. Louis was my money. So while your schools lack funding, your infrastructure is under disrepair, realize that my estate is still pocketing like $25 million a year. Do you think your dirt town could use that money?

Don't for a minute think that any of that money is going back into the team, either. I spent more money getting my (female body part) tucked than I ever invested in the team. It's no coincidence that the St. Louis offensive line typically played like (said female body part).

St. Louis FC is bound for a sequel this year. The offensive line still blows so hard, it reminds me of my relationship with Joe Kennedy. Orlando Pace is ailing, and that offensive line is going to get somebody killed.

In a year that is dedicated to my memory, it seems only fitting that the team will succumb to penny-pinching and tight fisted money policies. And speaking of tight-fisted, well, I don’t really want to talk about those Hollywood parties that I once hosted or how I treated the citizens of Orange and Riverside county. As the saying goes, a dirty skank never (expletives) and tells.

I must admit, however, that I’m disappointed that the team resigned Steven Jackson. That's not the Frontandrearie way. You trade outstanding running backs in their prime. You don’t pay them what they are worth. Morons.

So enjoy your final season St. Louis. If my idiot son, Chip Rosenbloom has any common sense, he will sell the team following this season. He said he's committed to keeping the team in St. Louis. But the only thing he’s committed to is receiving favors from bus loads of Midwestern kids coming to Hollywood looking to get into the movies.

Enjoy your season, because you will suck.


THE GOODELL SCALE

(The odds of your team winning the Super Bowl, based on 1-to-5 Goodells. One being worst, five being best.)












Missed a team? You can click the Super Bowl Buzz Kill 2008 label to see the entire list.