Friday, October 31, 2008

The Weak Ender

The Chargers bye week came at the worst time possible. No, it's a perfect time during the season to have a bye week if you care about momentum, resting after a long trip and getting your new defensive coordinator acclimated to the team. But it's an absolutely dreadful time if you look forward to the Chargers girls in Halloween costumes.

In fact, it sucks.

The Titans cheerleaders did it on Monday night. Good luck trying to find those photos. You can't spend five seconds on the Internets without being overloaded with those unflattering pictures of Jennifer Love Hewitt's backside. But you try to find a few Titans cheerleaders Halloween costume picks and you end up slumped over like Gomer in the final minutes of that game. Seriously, where are the photos?

Thankfully the WWF Divas had a Halloween costume contest this week to pick up the slack. Let's talk some football.

  • The Cardinals game at St. Louis is a little scary. Arizona is far out front in the NFC West, but there is anxiety that something bad could happen. If the Birds want to be taken seriously, they have to start winning on the road. Hopefully St. Louis already blew it's wad in Jim Haslett's first two games and the reality of being losers has once again settled in with this the St. Louis FC. Steven Jackson is banged up. The defensive line is hurting. In other words, this is the perfect time for the St. Louis FC to actually play one of its four good games of the season. The only saving grace is that SLFC has already play two good games.

  • Patriots coach Bill Belichick had an interesting exchance during his press conference this week. When asked about Gomer's injuries, Belichick noted that the Colts quarterback hasn't been on the injury list. Once again, Tony Dungy can pretty much do whatever he wants and nobody says a word. Do you want to be a bigot and have people love you? Dungy knows how to get it done. And now he has failed to disclose an injury to Gomer, and the NFL doesn't care.

  • Not to defend Belichick and the cheating Patriots, but what would have happened if any other team had been playing games like this? Seriously, how does Dungy continue to get away with this? Back in 2001, we were forced to cheer on the Patriots over the forces of evil (St. Louis) and we have to do it again this week.
  • Not only that, but Dungy can jerk the Colts around with his employment and again, nobody cares. He's considered one of the good guys.
  • Be sure to take the Colts in the game, though. Indianapolis is in danger of falling behind further in the division. Especially with the Texans winning three consecutive games. Houston takes on the Vikings this week, and both teams can commiserate about how they let the Colts off the hook earlier this season. Imagine how far back the Colts would be if the Texans and Vikings could close a team out.
  • The Jets play at Buffalo, and Brett Favre is 0-3 at Orchard Park. And the way Favre has been giving the ball away, don't look for him to end that streak. Favre plays like a guy who doesn't care anymore. Like he's just churing out newsletters about the hotel industry or something. The Jets fans are starting to become restless, but, they've seen Favre play before right? This is what he does. He turns the ball over a lot. But he's going to end up winning a lot of games for this team, even some that he shouldn't. Will it be this week? No. The Bills have the luck on their side this week. The Bills easily could have lost to the Chargers and Raiders, but they are getting all of the breaks. You can't beat those teams in the regular season. The Bills will find a way to win this one.
  • The Kyle Orton story would be a lot more entertaining if there were current photos of him pounding a bottle of Jack Daniels. Having Orton turn his career around after he quit drinking sends a wrong message to children.
  • Punch yourself in the face if you want to watch the Bengals vs. Browns game. There is barely any fantasy value there. Also Tampa Bay vs. Kansas City; Jacksonville at Cincinnati ... you are very close. MJD makes you passably viable.
  • When the Packers brass are watching Aaron Rodgers get scraped up off the turf on Sunday, and Kerry Collins is leading the Titans to victory, maybe they will realize what it means to have a quality, veteran quarterback. Well, at least a veteran backup. Maybe they have been spoiled by having Favre there all these years.
  • How will you remember the 'Wildcat' era of the NFL? Ever since Ronnie Brown killed the Patriots and Chargers, he hasn't surpassed 50 rushing yards in his past three games. Don't worry, you'll torch the Broncos this week. Sorry Ricky Williams, poor choice of words. But you should blaze against them, too.

  • Hell, even Chad Pennington should have another good game. One publication that Pennington and the Dolphins haven't been this high-flying since Dan Marino. And if you count Ted Ginn Jr. catching a 6-yard pass and then taking it to the house, then they are spot on. But when you think about the Jay Fiedler, Scott Mitchell, Gus Frerotte and the other stiffs who have played quarterback for the Dolphins, it is sad but true.

  • The autumn wind is a Raider ... Pillaging just for fun ... He'll knock you around and upside down ... And laugh when he's conquered and won ... Oh wait, ow, ow, ow. I stubbed my toe. I can't play anymore. My shoes are too tight. Yeah, get well Darren McFadden.

  • The Cowboys felt they could just show up this season and the Super Bowl would be handed to them. But they have been a bigger disappointment than the Dukes of Hazard remake. Just kidding, everybody knew the Dukes of Hazard was going to blow.

  • The Steelers are 3-0 on Monday Night Football under Mike Tomlin. Is there a trend here? Who knows. The Slurs have been pretty good against the best competition, but they can't keep this going forever. Take the Steelers.

  • You know who is the worst agent in the world? Daunte Culpepper, who is own agent. He passed up a chance to sign with the Chiefs to instead try to latch on with Detroit. Well, maybe he wants to show the Vikings what a mistake they made. The trendy pick to go to the Super Bowl, the Vikings should take their own look at Pep. But what happened to retirement? Did you hate your tractor, too?

  • Joey Porter wants to become the single-season sack leader. And get this, the Dolphins play the Jets -- and Favre -- in Week 17. Could Favre make history again? Even if Porter is still stuck on 10.5 sacks that week, Favre should take 13 dives to give Porter the record.

  • Texas Tech is going to lose to Texas this week. Because really, even Red Raiders suck.

  • Anybody else annoyed by that "Yes on 8" commercial that is running here in California? The Mormons have a soundbite of the Mayor of San Francisco doing a Jm J. Bullock impersonation saying that gay marriage is going to happen, whether you like it or not. (Seriously guys, I'm with you, but could you butch it up a little bit? How about, "Vote No on Prop 8, or you never get to see this again. Seriously, you would win.) I was going to work in a vote about Joe Paterno making an ad about that and Penn State reaching the BCS title game, but I lost you at the clip, right?

    AND FINALLY
    Georgia is going to get boat-raced this weekend. There are those who think that Georgia should do a replay of that end zone celebration. Don't be that guy. That was awesome once and it worked ... once. Now if you try it again, it's just said.

    For instance. I was at a wedding last weekend and the DJ played REO Speedwagon's "Roll With the Changes" at the end of the night. Everybody was on the dance floor, singing and having a great time. One of the revelers suggested that we do it again, because honestly, the whole room was rocking. But that's the thing. It was awesome once, and you need to enjoy that moment and then, as the song says, roll with the changes.

    So Georgia, don't do it, and take your whipping like men.

    Somewhere, Bain is pissed that he missed that reception.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Let The Scapegoating Begin in San Diego

The Chargers pulled the first panic move of the season by firing defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell and replacing him with Ron Rivera. Not that it wasn't the right move. But the Chargers brass -- read: A.J. Smith -- was so arrogant to believe that anybody could coach this team, that removing Cottrell is actually the first step in admitting that there is a problem with this team.

The second step would be to elevate Rivera to head coach, bumping Norv down to the offensive coordinator position. But let's not hold our breath on that one. Besides, the Chargers offense is certainly not the problem. Philip Rivers has emerged as one of the top young quarterbacks in the NFL, and he's playing without LaDainian Tomlinson at full speed for most of the season.

Does a move like this suggest that Norv could be on the hot seat this season? Hard to tell. Norv looked pretty rattled during the team's press conference on Tuesday. Though, how that differed from his normal sideline demeanor is negligible. There certainly is hope that Smith can see the same effort from the owner's box and if this move doesn't result in a playoff appearance, maybe a move will be made.

Because a team with this talent, playing in this lousy division should be given much wiggle room.

Torain Doesn't Care Much for Maroney

Broncos rookie running back Ryan Torain doesn't care much for Laurence Maroney. Or, more to the point, doesn't even know who the guy is. Torain has been blogging for the Broncos this season (he's finally 100 percent), and fans were curious if he switched his number recently.

A couple of you asked if I switched my number from 42 to 39. No, I didn’t. Actually those red jerseys we throw on on top of our practice jerseys represent the scout team. Some players actually wear numbers representing players on the opposing team for that week. I was wearing No. 39 to represent whoever wears that for the Patriots. I’m not even sure. It might be Maroney.


That's hilarious, Ryan. Almost as funny as the Broncos performance at New England prior to the bye week. Maybe next time, you should double check that before you post it.

Who is your MVP?

NFL Network's Adam Schefter has released his list of MVP candidates with many of the names that you would expect: Drew Brees, Clinton Portis, Kurt Warner and Vince Young.

Wait, Vince Young? But he's got a point. If Young is still the quarterback for the Titans, there is no way the team is undefeated. In fact, did any of you think of the Titans as a playoff team with Young? True, they reached the playoffs last season with Young, but they have found another level under Kerry Collins.

No, seriously. Collins has been a life-saver for that organization. Still, do you believe that The Hater Nation is going to endorse anybody other than the Kurt Warner Machine himself? Warner has saved football in Arizona and if it wasn't for him, you are looking at the leaders of the NFC West clocking in around 3-5 right now, with six wins taking the division.

Funny, thinking back to the 2006 Rose Bowl. But the two quarterbacks in that game would go on to have their most valuable contributions in the NFL being that they are sitting on the bench.

Edit to add: Schefter actually has changed the language of the blog. This passage:

And an argument even could be made that the NFL midseason MVP is Vince Young. If Young doesn’t get hurt, Kerry Collins doesn’t enter the lineup, and the Titans might not be the lone remaining unbeaten team in the league with a stranglehold on the AFC South division.

Now reads:

And an argument even could be made that the NFL mid-season MVP is Kerry Collins, who never even plays if Vince Young doesn’t get hurt.


Evidentially, Vince Young wanted to kill himself after reading the original paragraph, so Schefter rightly changed it.

Monday, October 27, 2008

How Will You Remember the Gomer Era?

Well, other than Gomer making a bunch of bad commercials.

The Titans seemed like an easy pick on Monday, being undefeated and playing host to the Colts. But that was the kind of game that Indianapolis needed to win. The kind of game that they used to win. Now they are just another football team. There is a very real possibility that the Patriots, Chargers and Colts might not make the playoffs this season. In fact, if the playoffs started today, only the Patriots would be in.

And it doesn't look like it will be getting better any time soon. The Colts have a -13 point differential and the defense is looking worse each week. The next three games for the Colts include the Patriots, Steelers and suddenly resurgent Texans.

The way the Colts are playing, it's as if Tony Dungy is already spending his time campaigning against gay marriage.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Post Mortem

Congratulations to the NFL for picking a pair of teams who could light up the scoreboard. But why did they pick an officiating crew that wanted to make their own mark on the game. The NFL officials called nearly 20 penalties, not the kind of showmanship that you want to highlight while trying to brand your sport worldwide.

Mr. Goodell and company do know that soccer hooligans have been known to rough up officials right? They are lucky that the English fans didn't have a better understanding of the game, or maybe they would have been crucified for it.

Though, give the English fans some credit for jeering the officials after a Saints receiver performed a perfect, soccer-style of celebration of scoring. (Though, it's hard to recall if Vincent Jackson was flagged for the same thing.)

If the Brits weren't dumbfounded by a sport where the team scored multiple times, then they must have really wondered what was going on when Drew Brees took a safety. Although most fans at Wembley would like say that the Saints and Chargers defenses should be subjected to relegation. Brees and Philip Rivers combined for 81 pass attempts -- with no sacks to either guy.

The Saints were able to keep up with the Panthers who defeated the Cardinals, while the Chargers will fly 13 hours thankful that the Broncos can't stop anybody, either. Seriously, a 7-9 mark is going to win the AFC West. This is the year.

  • The Cardinals should be saying that Sunday's game was the kind they normally do. But, they did lose it in Cardinals fashion. A fumble, a bounce off a receiver's hand and a failed fake field goal doomed the Birds. Oh, and they missed an extra point, too. The Kurt Warner Machine is having a season for the ages and this franchise is destined to make him blow it.
  • Anquan Boldin is one tough S.O.B. Hard to believe this is the first time that he has ever worn a mouth piece. Manny Ramirez wears a mouth piece, for crying out loud. And the dude didn't even take pain pills after having surgery.
  • The Mike Singletary era is off to a swinging start. The good news is that Samurai Mike will do enough to keep his job for another year. Especially since the 49ers will want to take a run at Mike Holmgren. Still, Singletary showed some huevos rancheros by benching starters J.T. O'Sullivan and Josh Morgan while sending Vernon Davis to the locker room. And the post-game press conference was even better. Coors Light can't wait to get their hands on that tape.
  • The Dallas Cowboys celebrated like they won the Super Bowl on Sunday. And why not? That might be the closest they get to actually win the Super Bowl. Hell, maybe even making the playoffs. What happened to Terrell Owens? The guy has disappeared in front of our eyes. T.O. had 33 yards on Sunday, marking the 11th consecutive game in which he has failed to reach 100 receiving yards. No wonder they felt compelled to get Roy Williams.
  • Jason Campbell might not be the flashiest quarterback out there, but you have to admire a guy who doesn't turn the ball over. And O'Sullivan, take heart, Campbell couldn't hold on to the ball last year, either. There is hope.
  • How many fantasy football points were wasted on Leonard Weaver on Sunday? He had to have close to 25 points in most basic-scoring formats. Does T.O. even have 25 points on the season?
  • Brett Favre threw three interceptions for the first time since a 17-9 Packers win over the Lions on Dec. 17, 2006. Favre had two-plus interceptions for the third consecutive game and fourth time in last five games. This is the first time Favre's had at least two interceptions in three consecutive games since 2005. But wait, does it seem possible that Favre hasn't had a three-interception game since 2006? That's goofy.
  • Congratulations to Penn State for reaching the BCS title game. This is going to end well. The Big Ten is the lone holdout for the Plus 0ne system (a friend says that the Pac-10 could be talked into it). And why shouldn't they be? Their teams get to escape to the title game because their conference stinks. Utah would have a better chance against the SEC. But give them credit for not losing a horrible game like USC does every year.
  • Nice high school field, Arizona. Why is it, every time you see a night game from Tucson, it looks worse than the average high school game they show on FOX Sports West?

AND FINALLY

Does there seem to be an excessive number of unnecessary roughness penalties called on offensive players lately? Maybe the league is paying special attention to them because of Hines Ward. But here's the deal, why don't you just go ahead and put a skirt on the defense, then? Any defensive player who allows his coach to take an unnecessary roughness penalty isn't a man at all, and likely sits down to urinate.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Weak Ender

Tom Brady is convalescing at home, fighting an infection in his wounded knee, and his girlfriend Gisele is taking off her top for an ad to save the Atlantic forest. Hey, don't anybody tell her that the Atlantic is an ocean. You have to give props to these scam artists for getting her to strip for a bogus charity. Quick, somebody try to get Gisele to show up at THN headquarters for a nude photo shoot to save the Sahara Sea that is being over-fished right now.

There were reports that the Patriots were upset at Brady for having his surgery in California, instead of going to see Dr. James Andrews like all of the other athletes. The Patriots, of course, deny this. And if you can't trust the Patriots to be forthright and honest, then really, who can you believe?

The Browns actually. GM Phil Savage ripped Kellen Winslow for being upset with the team, saying that he and the club stood by him after that idiotic motorcycle accident, so he can shut up right now. The soldier, you may remember, was upset because the Browns GM didn't call him when he was in the hospital.

Speaking of the Browns, what's up with all of the staph infections coming out of that place. Only a in city where the lake catches on fire, could the football team be considered unsanitary. And what exactly is staph anyway? Though, it looks like Gisele could have caught it in that picture.

WHAT'S ALL THIS THEN?
Good thing the Chargers are out of the country this week. That way they won't have to watch the Giants and the Steelers this week. The two teams have quarterbacks from the 2004 NFL Draft who have actually won Super Bowls. So at least Philip Rivers doesn't have to be upset about missing the party. Eli Messiah -- the worst quarterback to ever win a Super Bowl -- was once property of the San Diego Chargers. And the Chargers were never seriously considering Ben Roethlisberger anyway.

The biggest insult will be the quarterback across the line from them, Drew Brees. The Chargers were a little too quick to get rid of Brees and it's end up costing them. Imagine if the Chargers had still drafted the Messiah in 2004, rapped the Giants for a bunch of picks, and instead drafted Sean Taylor.

Of course, Taylor wouldn't have had to deal with thieves in San Diego, but the local cops have been known to cap a Chargers player now and then. And if you watched Guy Pearce in Time Machine, you would be led to believe that he would have still died in a different way. But imagine if he did survive. The Chargers would have a pretty impressive defense with Shawne Merriman and Taylor.

Not that it would matter if Norv Turner was still the coach.

  • Terrell Suggs is a little upset that a receiver, Hines Ward, is knocking out player. Suggs bragged when Raven snuffed out Rashard Mendenhall's season, and now says that Ward is next. Why are defensive players the biggest "pansies" on the field? First that long-haired chick for the Steelers complained about the fines, and now Suggs is talking about bounties. These morons have no qualms about loading up and hitting defenseless players, but they sure take exception when the shoe is on the other foot. BTW, Raiders and Raven face each other in a matchup of the 2000 AFC Championship Game. Hard to remember when the Raiders were good, right?
  • Hard to get a read on the Cardinals this week. The Panthers looked dominant, shutting down Brees and the Saints last week. So what chance does the KWM have, right? But come on, the Panthers have not shown any consistency under John Fox. This seems like a letdown game for the Panthers, but don't have the guts to actually make the call.
  • The Cowboys can't loose this week. They will find a way to get it done. Same with the Colts. Don't be fooled. The season is too young for the Cowboys and Colts to fall this far behind.
  • Punch yourself in the face if you are looking forward to these games: Kansas City at the Jets; Buffalo at Miami; Cleveland at Jacksonville. You are safe with the Bengals at Texans, but only because of Steve Slaton.
  • The Redskins should be more worried then they probably are against the Lions this week. The Slurs look like they are going to be one of those teams that beat up the big boys, but struggle against the, well, Lions of the world. Seriously, getting excited for a potential 0-16 year from the Lions would be cool, but they are going to pull one out.
  • LSU loses at Georgia this week, but Two Loss Miles still tries to convince the world that his team should be playing in the national championship game. Texas and Penn State remain undefeated. Sorry Ohio State, you can't sucker people in anymore. Texas Tech smokes Kansas.
  • Can UNLV breakthrough to get bowl eligible? Probably not. The Runnin' Rebels are only good on my xBox.

AND FINALLY
Arizona will beat USC his weekend. The Wildcats beat No. 2 Oregon last year, beat No. 8 Cal in 2006, No. 7 UCLA in 2005 and No. 18 ASU in 2004. These a-holes, much like Oregon State, get up for one game a year for Mike Stoopes. This is the one.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Watch the World Series ... if you love America

Watching the 2008 World Series is probably the most patriotic thing you could do, other than voting and pulling a pizza delivery guy out of the path of a speeding bus. Only terrorists are boycotting this World Series.

Terrorists, of course, meaning Red Sox and Yankees fans.

The majority of you that read these pages often lament how sick you are of the Red Sox, Yankees, East Coast bias, etc. The only way to fight the power is to tune into the World Series -- one without the douche bag twins. If the ratings fall into the dumper, it will give ESPN more reason to shove the DBT down our throats next season.

Game 1 provided enough drama and good baseball to keep you interested. There was no minute delay between pitches and guys at the plate who actually wanted to hit. There is no excuse to not watch these games.

If you love America, you will watch these games. If not, enjoy more the Northeast baseball comrades.

WSJ Takes Shot at Messiah

First, who knew that the Wall Street Journal wrote about sports? And b.), who knew that they were so dead-on about the Giants. This passage about the Giants-Steelers seems to have come straight out of the pages of THN.

An even bigger mystery is how the Giants have been able to maintain the league's second-most potent offense with a quarterback as mediocre as Eli Manning. He ranks 15th in the league in quarterback rating and 13th in the vital statistic of yards per throw. (Though it's an improvement from last season, when he ranked 25th and averaged a truly dismal 6.31 yards per throw.) That may not seem fair considering Mr. Manning's stellar postseason performance, but statistically he's only a few bad games away from reverting to the passer everyone was ready to run out of town most of last year
.


Wow it seems to dignified to say, "Yes, Mr. Manning sure sucks the moose (expletive)." Like you can almost hear it in a British accent. The WSJ will likely get brained in the comments section for its political leanings, but they were spot-on with this analysis of the Giants.

Monday, October 20, 2008

LJ the Next OJ ... And Not in the Good Way

Larry Johnson was suspended by the Chiefs on Sunday and is under league investigation for assaulting a woman. So he celebrated this by going out and spitting in a woman's face. He then told the woman that he wanted to kill her boyfriend. Relax, LJ, it's just a pair of sunglasses, and she only let him drive your car a few times. Oh wait, wrong murdering running back. Johnson hasn't quite stepped up his game to murder.

Yet.

This is the fourth time in five years that LJ has been accused of hitting a woman.Hard to believe a guy who played for Joe Paterno would treat women like (expletive) right? Further, why couldn't this guy have played for the St. Louis FC, where his disrespect for women could have come in handy.

The league and the team need to pull this a-hole out of the league and get his butt into counseling. This guy is already showing the signs and it's only a matter of time before Will Shields is leading a slow-speed chase while LJ is in the back of a Bronco with a gun to his head.

Only LJ, you aren't a movie star. A jury is going to have no problem giving you life in prison, or worse, the death penalty after you go nuts.

Seriously, why isn't there more outrage about this?

ESPN Internal Memo Found

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Post Mortem: Good Guys Do Win

Bobby Knight once said that if rape was inevitable, you might as well sit back and enjoy it. Baseball fans entertained a similar thought when it became clear that the Boston Douche Nozzles were going to win the American League. Besides, if it's not the Angels, does it really matters who wins?

Honestly, could Boston fans be bigger a-holes than they already were? Might as well keep the damage contained to one area and one group of obnoxious, a-hole, "there's no way we will live in New England" fans.

The Rays, however, would not have any part of that. And you know what, it's pretty awesome that the Red Sox will have to think about choking the ALCS away. Oh that's right, Boston choked. Because ESPN's Sports Dork Bill Simpson must have been thinking that the Red Sox were in "dead man walking" mode after the Rays gagged a 7-0 lead in game 5. This was a choke.

In fact, with the Sox choke, New Englanders ignoring the Patriots because they suck again, Boston is only one dead Celtic away from rightfully reclaiming its title as Loosertown, USA.

Congrats to the Rays, you made us proud. See what happens when you hire a former Angels skipper, instead of a former Yankees manager?

WHO GETS IT FIRST, PHILLIPS OR TURNER?
Jerry Jones was kicking around the names Norv Turner and Wade Phillips when he was looking to hire a coach. Not that this should be a surprise. Jones once said that 500 coaches could lead the 1994 Cowboys to a Super Bowl.

Jones, of course, hired coach No. 501 -- Barry Switzer. So Jerruh, picking the wrong coach is, well, a given. And the guy he really wanted to hire, Jason Garrett, is not any closer to being a head coach, either. So Jones will likely bite the bullet on this season. But how long before we start hearing the names Bill Cowher or Marty Schottenheimer tossed around for the Dallas gig? Maybe Mike Holmgren. Let's be honest, Jerruh is going to go after a big name.

And he needs an ego to make this circus work.

Jerruh was the guy who had to undress his team following a disappointing loss to the St. Louis FC. Philips is not that guy. But then again, only people with football acumen and the ability to look at pro-football-reference.com could have told you that Philips wouldn't have worked out.

The Chargers are a different story. The ego of A.J. Smith will not allow him to can Turner this year. Or next year, either. The Chargers already are loafing off the, "We started slow mantra" this season. They have built in excuses with injuries to the offensive line, LT and Shawne Merriman. Smith and the Chargers will write this season off as just one bad year. They will compound the mistake by keeping Turner around for an extra year.

  • Old school gamesmanship: The St. Louis FC forcing the Cowboys to wear the dreaded blue uniforms. There was a team that played in Los Angeles called the Rams that did that to the Cowboys once in the 1978 NFC Championship Game. The Rams lost 28-0.
  • The Raiders have a kid zone where children can learn some great Raiders activities such as throwing interceptions, missing fields and missing assignments on the offensive line. The longest line is for the "learn how to commit a boneheaded penalty" drill. Well, next to the "stab a Chargers fan" line. Hey RJ, these jokes are funny now, right?
  • Speaking of coaches on the hot seat, Mike Nolan is doomed. The 49ers have failed to improve on the defensive side of the football. One of Nolan's strengths. But come on, are we really surprised? Nolan wanted to wear suit to emulate his father. Now he's losing a bunch of games in San Francisco like his old man, too.
  • Roy Williams must believe like he never left Detroit. Be careful what you ask for.
  • Terry Bradshaw -- and who wakes up for this stuff -- was spot-on when he said that the NFL doesn't care about the average fan in regards to the rising Super Bowl ticket prices. But corporate America will still buy the tickets. What's weird, the FOX morning show is simulcast on 570 Sunday mornings. And it's just as unfunny on the radio, too.
  • What does it say about the league when a tough guy like Brodie Croyle continues to get hurt. Oh wait, he's never been healthy in his career, going all the way back to his days at Alabama. No wonder the Chiefs blow. They draft guys like this and expect them to do well in the NFL.
  • Have you noticed how dependent you have become on the constant score being available? Watching the Chargers-Bills was like watching a game in 1985. Was anybody else waiting for them to break in with the 10-minute ticker?
  • Great moment in the Sunday night game: Mike Holmgren, holding the red challenge flag in his hand, was clapping when Ike Hilliard was able to walk off the field after a jarring collision. And then Holmgren promptly challenged the play, saying that Hilliard fumbled. Kind of like, 'Hey, I'm glad you aren't dead and can still walk. But you fumbled.' The Seahawks did win the challenge.

AND FINALLY
USC really clubbed Washington State this weekend. But what you won't notice in the box score is that the Trojans actually took their foot off the gas. Especially in the second quarter. USC was inside the 10-yard line with time running out, but instead of running up the score, the Trojans were content to let the clock run out. Hard to imagine many coaches doing the same thing.

If the Big XII is for real, then Texas is a frightening team. However, Missouri might have been a little bit overrated.

Boise State or Utah. Have to give the nod to the Broncos getting into the BCS. Utah won't be able to run the table.

And Ohio State, not buying it. Not at all. Just hope you get to play Arizona in the Rose Bowl.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Weak Ender

Most members of the BYU football team are saving themselves for marriage. And that's too bad because the whole team was violated by Texas Christian on Thursday night. Good lord, that game wasn't even close. The BYU fans must be crying in their 7up tonight as they soil their sacred undergarments.

Not that TCU isn't a very good team, they are ranked No. 23 in some polls. And yes, they dropped a game in Norman this year, but Oklahoma was looking for a measure of revenge on the Horn Frogs for an upset win a few years ago.

However, fans of Mid-Majors looking to make it to a BCS game took a huge wallop on Thursday. BYU likely will turn around and clock Utah to take them out of the running, leaving Boise State as the only chance for the good guys.

And before moving on, here's some full disclosure. The Weak Ender's opening was a touch different when the Rays were leading the Red (rhymes with bunts) 7-0. The picture of Cowgirl in the Rays uni was ready to go. Instead, we got this Mormon hottie (thanks to the SOTSG) and a Phillies vs. Red Sox World Series.

Let's talk some football.

  • Before claiming that the Chargers are back, you should realize that there is a good chance that this team goes 0-2 on this next world tour that will take them from Buffalo to London (against the Saints) to the bye week. The only hope is remember that the Raiders actually had the Bills on the ropes in Buffalo, and the Cardinals absolutely boat-raced the Bills in Arizona. Somebody is going to take a huge hit in the playoff race.
  • The Colts are playing at Green Bay and we should be lucky that Brett Favre now plays for the Jets. Otherwise, Peter King and the broadcast teams would be fighting over themselves to see who they could pleasure the most, Farve or Gomer. And speaking of announcers falling for a team. David Ortiz might as well sit in the broadcast booth with his pants around his ankles the way the TBS crew was carrying on during the Red (rhymes with bunts) rally. Good lord, how about a TV rating of M or NC17, because it's hard to explain to the six-year old why those grown men are verbally (expletiving) Boston and their baseball team. And really, there should be no blame put on the Rays. The Angels should have finished the job.
  • Punch yourself in the face if you are looking forward to these games: Baltimore at Miami; 49ers at Giants (just because); and Tennessee at Kansas City. The Titans are a great team, but oh so boring. Chris Johnson's fantasy value, however, almost makes it worthwhile.
  • Houston and Detroit almost made the list, but Steve Slaton is on my fantasy team. Then again, Johnson is on my opponent's team. (Other league, Reader Matt P.) So you can scratch Tennessee and Kansas City off the punch list, but just barely.
  • There is no way this Roy Williams trade works out for Dallas. This is an awful lot like that Anthony Miller deal all over again. Williams seems to be the same-type of receiver that Terrell Owens is. Meaning, he talks a lot, has a lot of hype, and drops a lot of balls. The Cowboys would be better served with a DeSean Jackson-type of receiver who could stretch the field. Plus, Jason Witten is better than both of those suckers. If the Cowboys were going to panic, maybe they should have picked up a defensive player. At least they are doing their part to keep fantasy leagues moving. In fact, the Cowboys have become the world's most expensive fantasy league team.
  • USC is favored to beat Washington State by 40 points. Oh no, anybody scared for the Trojans? Doesn't anybody remember the Stanford game? (Thanks to Dr. Doug for the correction.) And speaking on that, what was Jim Harbaugh doing, saying that he would love to work for the Raiders? The Stanford administrators paying your salary must love to hear that. And what indictment is that of the Stanford athletic department? That your football coach would rather work with crazy old Al, rather than the Trees? He might get his chance.
  • BTW, did you know that NFL.com now has commenting? And it's easy to use (meaning you can use fake email addresses) and not monitored after 9 p.m. PT.
  • The Red Sox might live on, but the Patriots will be dealt a quick death by the Broncos on Monday night. Mike Shanahan has had his way with Hoodie in recent years. Look for that to continue. If there is a football God, then the Broncos will actually run up the score on the Pats.

AND FINALLY
Sad news to report, but Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal has died. The name might not be familiar to you, but his story is. Rosenthal was the inspiration for the movie, Casino, and the "Ace" Rothstein character.

Rosenthal created the sports book, having opened the book at the Stardust. He moved sports gambling from seedy off-track betting type of joints, into legitimate operations. Though the people at the Tropicana could upgrade their sports book. So the next time you are placing a wager at a sports book, pour one out for Lefty.

Rosenthal, was one-of-a-kind, but when he was running houses in Las Vegas (Stardust, Hacienda, the Fremont and Marina) were all top-notch in customer service. Any fan of Las Vegas will certainly miss him.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Romo wants to play

Tony Romo wants to play. Sure he does. Or maybe he was just excited for the World Series, only to find out that it's going to be the Phillies vs. Boston/Tampa Bay. So why bother sitting out? That would be like taking a sick day when it's raining, instead of when the Angels are playing a day game.

So with that in mind, from the home office in Temple Terrace Florida, The Last and Ten reasons why Romo wants to come back and play.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

NFL Owners Want Spring Football

But not the cool kind of spring football, like the XFL. The NFL is kicking around the idea of having a college-like spring football game, according to NFL Network's Adam Schefter.

As the NFL continues studying ways to spice up its preseason, one idea that garnered discussion at Wednesday morning’s fall meeting in St. Petersburg, Fla., was the idea of a spring preseason game.

"It is interesting," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said. "That (idea) was raised by a few clubs. It is more in the context of what colleges do with their spring game. It can be in the form of a scrimmage. It was an interesting concept that has been raised before and was discussed this morning by a number of people."


Seems like a cool idea ... for owners looking to make more money. The league could now charge full-game prices to see a bunch of scrubs workout in a scrimmage. Yes, that is a wonderful idea. Although, if they could make a line for it, that might be interesting.

The league needs to consider creating another development league, but make the teams committ actual players to it. Especially quarterbacks. Take a look at some of the quarterbacks who will be running teams this week. The NFL's biggest problem isn't Adam Jones fighting in the bathroom. The biggest problem is the lack of skilled players.

Look at what the XFL did for Tommy Maddox. He developed into a servicable NFL quarterback. And if it hadn't been for a paralyzing injury, he probably would have had a decent enough career. The league needs to start investing in its product because nobody is going to pay huge money to see Matt Cassel, J.T. O'Sullivan and Dan Orlovsky play games for much longer.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Messiah Returns

The Eli Messiah we all know and hate returned to the NFL. After nearly a year of looking like a credible NFL quarterback, the old Eli returned. Throwing interceptions, getting run over by defensive backs. And pretty much, just being the sniveling twerp that we all grew to despise. Hopefully this is the start of something special for the Messiah, where he goes from Super Bowl champion, back to his rightful spot as the worst starting quarterback in the National Football League.

So buck up all of you NFL teams using backup quarterbacks because life could be worse. You could have Eli as your starter.

Romo Out With Broken Finger

This is why you don't feed Jessica Simpson with your throwing hand. Stuff like this happens. Instead of paying body guards to keep Pacman Jones out of jail, how about hiring a couple of guys to make sure their quarterback is well guarded? Instead, you have a bunch of injured players.

There seems to be a lot of gripping coming from the Cowboys because Brad Johnson figures to be a huge distraction for the team. The collection of stiffs that liter the Cowboys roster likely won't know how to deal with a quarterback who has actually won a Super Bowl. The bling from the ring might blind Terrell Owens as he is trying to drop another pass. Hell, these guys might not be able to wrap their heads around the fact that their current quarterback has actually won a playoff game.

Only this collection of losers could see gaining a former Super Bowl champion, while losing a, well, loser, would see this as a bad thing.

The Post Mortem

Don't feel too bad Raiders fans, Lovie Smith could be your coach. That gut-wrenching, kick in the groin style of losing is typically reserved for the Raiders. Tom Cable and the Raiders, however, took it easy on their fans by rolling over and soiling themselves like the beaten dogs that they are. Rightfully retaking their spot in the NFL’s dog house.

The Raiders lack of effort and other bewilderment of actually having to play a game of football is one of the biggest atrocities to the game. Pacman Jones and his body guard could beat up a brothel full of adult entertainers, and it couldn’t do more damage than what the Raiders did to the game in recent weeks.

This game was just a culmination of that and more damaging than any press conference. The Raiders had two weeks to prepare for the Saints, and they were as unprepared for the forward pass as the 1950 Eagles who were taking on Paul Brown’s, uh, Browns.

At one point, Cable pulled a referee aside and said, “Can that guy really throw the ball forward like that? Is that play real?”

And the referee said, “It is, now get your big butt out of here.”

Hopefully for Cable’s sack, Lane Kiffin will get a sweet gig and he can latch on to him again.

BOSTON MASSACRE
Something interesting happened towards the end of the Chargers beatdown of the Patriots on Sunday night. Coach Bill Belichick seemed content to take his beating, and run the clock out. But why?

The Patriots sure had no problem throwing the ball when they were up by 40 points last season.

There might be some who will suggest that beating the Patriots without Tom Brady isn’t very satisfying. And those people are on glue. Injuries happen. New England had no problem fielding a team when Philip Rivers was playing on one-leg last season. (Some thing Brady might want to take a cue from.) And the Chargers are Rivers’ team now. Maybe it stems from him playing hurt in last year’s AFC Championship Game, but you can tell that the team has rallied behind him.

  • Can this also be the defining victory that ends Southern California's long losing streak to Boston teams? Maybe Jon Lester can go out and pull a hammy or something tomorrow.

BIRDS WIN
The Cardinals tried everything they could do to lose that game on Sunday, short of putting on Raiders uniforms. The Cowboys rallied from 10 points down in the final three minutes to tie the game thanks to a call that didn’t seem to make much sense. (Why wouldn’t the referees charge the Cardinals with a timeout because of an injured player?) And then the Cowboys got the ball in overtime. Only to lose on a punt block.

Amazing.

The key play though, occurred on second down when Chike Okeafor (I think) knocked Tony Romo into next week. He really pounded Romo worse than what Johnny Knoxville does to Jessica Simpson in the luxury box. (Thankfully Bain doesn't swing low enough to take that joke.)

And you have to give the referees credit on that play for not throwing a flag. The officials followed Mr. Goodell’s objectives to a T, trying to give the Cowboys the game, but even that – in a league brimming with crooked officiating – would have gone too far. That would have been like watching ConAir and saying that the flying car was just too unbelievable.

Romo looked like a JV quarterback on third down, throwing a bounce pass to Terrell Owens, which ultimately set up the winning punt block by Sean Morey.

Morey once played for the Los Angeles Avengers, however, he went to Brown. Be cognizant of that fact when you watch the Monday night pregame show with Chris Berman.

  • The St. Louis FC almost impressed me with the way they hung tough with Washington. But that was more the Redskins letting them hang around, more than anything. A fluke fumble return in the second quarter changed the game. But give credit to Donnie Avery for a nifty one-handed grab to set up the winning field goal. Amazing what happens when you hire a coach with a little credibility and experience instead of promoting the next available puppet. St. Louis FC played hard, they just aren't very talented.

  • Florida did jump USC in the AP poll, as college football writers have amnesia when it comes to SEC teams losing to bad games. But it shouldn't be a surprise. USC was able to overcome its horrible home loss to Stanford last season to get another crack at the BCS ttile, before losing to Oregon a few weeks later. So instead of being outraged, you just have to be confident that Florida will lose another game this season. And they will.

  • What does BYU have to do to move up in the polls? They beat Tennessee by 62 points. Let them play. Unfortunately, all of the "big-time" schools will point to the Hawaii game as the reason why teams like BYU can't join the fun. Though, the real reason is they don't want to end up like Oklahoma two years ago.

  • Joke floating around: Who is having the worst nine 100 days in office, George Bush or Mike Holmgren? Elisabeth Filarski, however, will tell you that both are doing a great job.
  • Did Eagles DE Juqua Parker seem fast to you? Mike Martz will soon be taking over that gig.
  • Dan Orlovsky will feel much more comfortable when his career path eventually takes him to the CFL and its 20-yard end zones.

AND FINALLY
Leave it to the Dodgers to try to throw at somebody’s head. The Phillies have owned the inside part of the plate for the entire series – even when losing in Game 3 – and the Dodgers took the coward’s way out. The Phillies could close this one up in Los Angeles. Unless Jamie Moyer pitches again.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Post Mortem

The Dodgers lost last night, now is your chance. And before you email or call to say, "Not Alyssa Milano again," ask yourself this question. Was I unable to go to the Raider Image last week to meet Alyssa because I was helping you move? If the answer is yes, then don't email, don't call.

THE WARNER MACHINE
Funny, if you ever look at the NFL.com fantasy section, it seems that they are using the "Warner Machine" in a lot of their headlines. They must be big fans.

The Cardinals have a huge game against the Cowboys on Sunday. If there ever was a chance for the Birds to finally make a name for themselves, this is it. The Cowboys are banged up, distracted (more on that later) and have a porous defense that should be taken advantage of.

Arizona has been incredible on offense, especially when the Kurt Warner Machine holds on to the ball. Cardinals fans, you hate when Cowboys fans take over your stadium. (Cowboys fans were forced to buy extra tickets to future games to get single game tickets for Sunday.) So do something about it. A win will not only legitimize your candidacy for the NFC West crown, but give you a chance to shut those obnoxious fans up for a change.

Take the Cardinals.

SAN DIEGO FIGHTING FOR GOOD
Forget playoffs. Forget Super Bowls. The Chargers season comes down to just beating the Patriots. San Diego can finish the season 3-13, but it will be a success if they can beat New England.

Seriously, somebody from Southern California has to beat a New Englander.

This is going to be the time. The Chargers are a desperate football team. Which, in NFL terms, means that they will most certainly win. If not, that quick hook they used on Marty Schottenheimer should be used on Norv Turner.

Take the Chargers.

THE GREATNESS OF THE RAIDERS
The Tom Cable era begins this week. And for those of you who follow trends, realize that the last time the Raiders replaced a coach four games into the season (Mike Shanahan in 1989 with the same 1-3 record as Lane Kiffin) and replaced him with an offensive line coach (Art Shell), the Raiders won their next two games and finished 8-8.

Can this year's Raiders do it?

Not so much.

The Raiders are guaranteed at least one more win (Kansas City) and there is some decent talent on this team. Tight end Zach Miller is a stud. The running attack is good. JaMarcus Russell might not be as good as Al wants us to believe (and I won't get over it), but he's not as bad as some of the guys are there playing quarterback. So there are some capable players. And be honest, not many teams could be successful playing under the conditions that Davis has fostered in Oakland.

Don't expect the Raiders to pull an "us-against-the-world" mantra on the way to a Super Bowl title. But they should be able to pull it together enough to win at New Orleans. (And it's booked in the GA.)

  • Kiffin can't seem to quit the Raiders. The former coach is mentoring Russell in preparation for the Raiders game at New Orleans. Wait a minute, didn't Davis try to spread the rumor that Kiffin didn't want Russell, and didn't think he could win with him? That is awfully curious that the quarterback and former coach are still tight.


  • St. Louis FC's best chance to win a game might be this weekend against the Redskins. Seems strange to say after the team defeated the Cowboys and Eagles on the road. But that's the rub. The Redskins are due for a trap game against the happless St. Louis FC. Just don't expect it. The Redskins might struggle at first, but they will likely pull it together to beat this team.



  • Raven has such a badass defense, but it sure seems to get turned out by Gomer a lot. Gomer has seven touchdown passes and no intereceptions in his past seven games against Raven. Somewhere, Johnny Unitas is rolling over in his grave, knowing that this dip(expletive) is getting over on Baltimore.


  • Gus Frerotte is a fantasy option this week. That's because they are playing Detroit. Don't let them say that Matt Millen never developed a quarterback. He's developed plenty of opposing quarterbacks. BTW, Millen for Raiders GM? How come this hasn't been brought up sooner?


  • Slap yourself in the face if you are looking forward to these games: Actually don't go James Dungy for wanting to see the Bengals at Jets. There is going to be a lot of points scored, so don't be ashamed. Sure, it's the NFL-equivalent of wanting to see Crossroads, but don't be too down on yourself.


  • The Panthers are the best team in the NFC right now, reminding many of that magical 2003 season. A big help was the suspension of Steve Smith, which forced this offense to find some other playmakers. The key is the defense though. The Panthers have faced Adrian Peterson, Michael Turner, and Larry Johnson in recent weeks, holding them all in check.


  • Seems that Adam Jones took Wednesday's post seriously. No Adam, just because you spent some time repainting a youth center does not mean you can go slap your body guard around. The Hater Nation is sorry if it gave the impression that the story was legitimate. That's on us.


  • Anybody else sick of hearing about the 'Wildcat' formation? What we really want to know about is all of the Cougar formations.


  • The Bears and Falcons game seemed like -- at least at the beginning of the year -- to be one of those 'slap yourself in the face' games. But this one might not be horrible. Kyle Orton is really disturbing because he's attributing his great start to being sober and settled down. Now who are us drunks supposed to look up to? Brian Griese?


  • Jacksonville is really in danger of falling behind in the AFC South. And here's the deal, they aren't going to win at Denver. The Orange Hobgoblin won't forget that playoff loss in 1996 to the upstart Jaguars. He's going to make Jack Del Rio pay, and it wasn't even his fault.


  • Were you really planning on doing any work today?


  • Donovan McNabb said he was embarrassed by the Eagles performance in recent weeks. Quick, make sure he doesn't have a copy of his Super Bowl performance. he might puke again.


  • Wade Phillips must be really happy that he took the Cowboys job.


  • People waiting for the Seahawks to "turn it on" will be waiting a long time. You don't want to chuck the season after one bad loss, but they just have too many issues. Mike Holmgren's final regular-season game against his former team just won't have the same zip it should have had if all of his receivers didn't get hurt.


  • How happy is ESPN that they do not get to flex the Browns out of their three Monday night games?


COLLEGE FOOTBALL
No. 1 Oklahoma plays No. 5 Texas. No. 3 Missouri plays host to No. 17 Oklahoma State. No. 6 Penn State is at Wisconsin. No. 4 LSU is at No. 11 Florida. There is a chance that USC could be back in the Top 5 by the end of this weekend. BYU could be right on their tails.

But here is what is going to happen.

Oklahoma beats Texas. This is a no-brainer, keeping the top spot. Texas falls to No. 10, behind BYU. Missouri will roll past the Cowboys. Penn State will lose, falls to No. 11. Florida will beat LSU. The Tigers will move to No. 9 ahead of BYU. Florida will jump past USC in the rankings.

Go ahead and book that.

AND FINALLY
You hung tough this long? Bless you.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Do You Speak Pterodactyl?


Remember when Ricky Williams used to talk to reporters with his helmet on? He's got nothing on Tennessee running back Arian Foster. The school's all-time leading rusher refuses to speak to reporters unless they speak Pterodactyl.

For real. This actually offended most of the media who cover Tennessee because being southern-bred, they refuse to believe that dinosaurs exist.

Of course, many of you would are likely still wondering why he picked Pterodactyl, but it should become quite obvious when you check out his mugshot by clicking on this link.

Makes sense now, right?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

NFL Players in the Community

A number of members of the Dallas Cowboys joined players from around the NFL -- including Mr. Goodell himself -- by participating in the United Way's Hometown Huddle program. Think of it as a way for the NFL players to give back to the community that they ravage for stadium deals. Hey, it's the least they could do.

Too bad those players participating in the Hometown Huddle couldn't bank that community service for future transgressions. In fact, all NFL players should be allowed to accrue community service time for the crimes they will eventually commit.

For a guy like Adam Jones, for instance, it could be really useful. Jones could donate a lot of times for months, banking valuable time until he feels the need the go slap an adult entertainer at a strip club. Then he could whip out his community service debit card and have the police complete the transaction on site. And think, this would free up valuable court time that the NFL players take up each year. Hell, it would be like making it rain with community service hours.

Really, it's win, win. Too bad Mr. Goodell doesn't hang out any more, he could steal this idea for himself.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Sunday, October 05, 2008

The Post Mortem: I Ain't Heard No Fat Lady

"Tell that (female dog) to sit down and shut up." -- The Reverend in regards to the Fat Lady.

The Angels live to see another day. Though, with the way Howie Kendrick's postseason was going, that didn't seem possible. The Angels went ahead, fell behind, tied, went ahead, and tied before finally winning. (I think that's right.) Now it's time to pound a bottle of The Glenlivet in order to just go to sleep tonight.

The Angels obviously have a long way to go before this series is over. But would there be a more fitting way for the end of the Blowsox dynasty to end? Sure, you might reason that having Donnie Moore's widow throw out the ceremonial first pitch as the Angels finish off a comeback from an 0-3 deficit in the American League championship series.

This would be close enough. The Boston fans have gone from gutty underdogs to conceited, ringer-T wearing, spoiled a-holes like Omega House. And to quote Senator Blutarsky, "Nothing is over until we decide it is."

THEY PLAYED SOME NFL TOO
The Kurt Warner Machine -- sent back in time to help you win fantasy leagues -- has a pretty interesting training method to cut down on his turnovers. "I was actually chasing my kids around and I had two hands on the football," the father of seven said, "or they were chasing me around trying to simulate the Buffalo Bills."

KWM and the Birds boat-raced the Bills. Sorry Buffalo, this is a typical Dick Jauron, save-my-job kind of team. He went 13-3 one year with the Bears before getting rolled in the playoffs. This team will do enough to make the playoffs -- maybe -- but they aren't a serious contender. At least their ridiculous undefeated streak is done.

  • Readers of THN weren't surprised that the Chargers lost at Miami on Sunday. But they looked even worse than first feared. Denver's defense isn't, well, good. But San Diego is in a lot of trouble. Thankfully, Bill Belichick is taking a cue from the Cardinals and staying in California all week to avoid the travel of back-to-back West Coast trips. (Who is doing the scheduling anyway?) That just seems like a bad idea. The Chargers should even up next week, but it doesn't look promising after that.
  • Norv Turner's press conferences after losses are getting pretty good. Yep, Coors Light territory. At least then he would be earning his money. Though, the Chargers have a lot more problems then just Turner. But her certainly doesn't help.
  • Did you enjoy watching the Eagles-Redskins game Sunday morning? Probably not, because FOX once again gave us the Giants. Hard to believe that FOX went away from the Giants, even with the blowout. Obviously, the announcers had to work overtime to squeeze in all of their pro-Giants initiatives. You know, the NFL has so many partners, GMC, State Farm, etc. The sales staff for the league should start selling stuff like, "This Giants hand job is brought to you by Bud Light. Joe ... "

  • Why were the Giants running up the scores on the Seahawks? Did they want to make a statement by beating the Seahawks? Yeah, you guys are tough guys. Congratulations.

  • Why doesn't Isaac Bruce wear No. 80 for the 49ers? The easy answer would be that Jerry Rice wore No. 80. But Rice had no problem with Steve Largent pulling the No. 80 out of the rafters for him in Seattle. How about returning the favor?
  • The worst game on your schedule must be, playing USC the week after it looses to an unranked opponent. Yikes.
  • Utah did not move into the Top 10. There is an interesting race heating up between BYU, Utah and Boise State, all angling for that final BCS spot. There is an easy way to settle this whole mess. But that's for another day.
AND FINALLY
You have your orders, go Angels!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Another Angels Pep Talk

The Angels typically gather around and read The Hater Nation every day. And if the Reverend's speech yesterday didn't get them moving, nothing will. And if this does not get them motivated, then they do not have a pulse.

The Weak Ender


The NFL season certainly has lost some of its luster. The Raiders finally fired Lane Kiffin because Al Davis didn’t want to pay him the money admit that he had made a mistake. The St. Louis FC tried to appease its 50 remaining fans by firing its coach, Scott Linehan.

Although, if Georgia was still alive, she wouldn’t be paying him because she just would have sent him wadding into the Mississippi river.

So what is there to look forward to this weekend?

  • Not getting the warm fuzzy feeling from the Chargers this week. Playing so poorly in Oakland, combined with flying cross-country to play an early game does not bode well for this team. Don’t be shocked if this team ends up losing.

  • This week’s lineup of “smack yourself in the face if you are looking forward to it matchups,” well, you are safe. There really aren’t many games that jump out at you. Nothing that you must wake up early on Sunday morning to watch. But hey, if you find yourself jonesing to see Kerry Collins, knock yourself out. No, not literally. Well, maybe a little bit.

  • Bad news for Linehan. He didn’t really have that one moment that he can turn into a Coors Light commercial. Certainly not at the level of Brian Billick or Jim Mora. Billick seemed like the kind of guy who was going to do real well as a commentator – you would have to be an idiot to not see that. But he’s really making his mark with those Coors Light commercials. He’s at a Hall of Fame level right now.

  • The Lions are really sneaking under the radar as a team that could go 0-16 this season. Do they play the St. Louis FC?

  • Aaron Rodgers is hurt. But really, Packers fans should be amazed that he’s lasted this long into the season. You want to get rid of Brett Favre, that’s cool. Moving on was probably the right thing to do. But backing up an injury-prone quarterback with a pair of rookies? You might as well have Lindsay Lohan as your designated driver.

  • The combined record for the Colts and Texans is 1-5. That just seems strange. Who gave the Texans the text book on how to build an NFL franchise? The Tampa Bay Buccaneers first played in 1976, and went 0-26. They went to the NFC Championship Game in 1979. The Jaguars and Panthers were players early in their existence. The Texans, however, don’t really want to get anybody’s hopes up.

  • Plaxico Burress will finally prove his worth to the Giants this week by not playing.

  • How did the Redskins go from looking horrible, put in Colt Brennan squad to the NFC’s top team? Thinking that they can win back-to-back road trips at Dallas and Philadelphia seems impossible, though. Seriously, who made up that schedule? Sitting Bull?

  • The Broncos had their lunch handed to them last week by the Chiefs defense. What will the Buccaneers do to them this week? BTW, Al Davis was right … the Broncos cheated for their Super Bowls. (Seriously, is THN suffering the Stockholm syndrome?)

  • The Birds were sitting on top of the NFC West with a 2-0 record. But now the Seahawks will probably win, followed by another Cardinals loss. They will loose all momentum with a loss. Look for the Kurt Warner Machine to rebound because the Bills can't fly cross-country and go 5-0, right? Although, Dick Jauron has this sixth sense on how to keep his job. Enjoy this right not Bills fans, because the playoffs are going to be a female dog for you.
  • Hello, America’s Most Wanted? Yeah, I found them all. They are on the field right now at Texas Stadium. Yep, Bengals at the Cowboys. Don’t worry, Cedric Benson is there, too.

  • Tom Brady was hurt way too early in the season, before we got to use any gay jokes for the Patriots visit to San Francisco. Way to ruin a gag.

  • How are the Steelers getting so many primetime games? At least the Browns aren’t on Monday Night Football like three times this year. Oh wait.

  • How is everybody’s Super Bowl pick, the Vikings, working out? The Saints were another trendy pick, and they are tied with the Falcons.

LINKS
Haven’t been doing enough to hook up people kind enough to send us links. Here’s some stuff to read over the weekend.

Al Davis is Colonel Kurtz
. (Thanks, Jeff.)

Are you the next Raiders coach. Genius.

THE ANGELS
What the Reverend said, down below.

AND FINALLY
Utah deserves to be ranked ahead of USC. No lie. The Utes capped one of the most amazing rallies on Thursday night. Trailing by 8 with under 4 minutes left and they still end up winning in regulation. In other words, Oregon State proved everything that was said about them last week. They do enough to make on upset, but can never do anything outside of the conference.

That's right, WCT, THN is advocating that Utah jump USC in the polls. Fair is fair.

And why this particular Chargers Girl? It's Hispanic Heritage Month.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Reverend Preaches

Ladies and gentlemen, I'll be brief. But let me say, if cancer can't beat John Lester, what chance did the Angels have? So today, we will turn this over to a couple of fans, The Reverend and The Principal who will be laying the smack down.

The Reverend:
Dear Fellow Fan’s,

Do not go quiet into the night. Rage, rage on and wear your colors proudly. For these are the times that truly test one’s soul. My only regret is I have but one season to root for. For if the Angels are eliminated by the savage Huns from the east our season’s demise is but a small price to pay. It is a far, far better thing than I’ve ever done before. We will fight them on the beaches, from the shores of San Clemente , to the breakers at Sunset Beach . We will fight them on the freeways, at every gore point we hold dear. We will fight them at The Block, The District and any other The’s that we cherish so dearly. They will have to pry my Halo pennant from my dead cold hands. So stand up and be counted. Look them in their watery eyes and say no Chowder, put it down and back away slowly. For this playoff series is not over and certainly does not belong to your pasty, Goodwill Hunting white ass. It’s time to show the cut of our jib. I’m not going to stand by and take it like Ned Beatty in some backwoods southern hell hole. No means no and enough is enough! We got four games left and there is no reason to back down to those Kennedy electing, Barney Frank supporting, Leonardo DeCaprio idolizing sodomites. For I am the Angel of Death and you will walk through the valley of the dead Southey and you will feel my wrath!! Its vengeance time in Anaheim . You tell them you shook down the thunder and now you got it. I see a Red Sox I kill it! You tell them Hells coming and I’m coming with it!!!

Awesome. And the follow up:

The Principal:
Goodness! I think there are only a few movie or patriotic speeches he left out. How about “I’m angry as hell, and I’m not going to take it any more!” Or, “One day we may die, but not today! Not this series! Not this year!” (That’s a paraphrase of course, but so were his.) Or, how about: “Hello, our name is “THE ANGELS”. You beat us last year. Prepare to die!” Oh, and another from one of Adam’s favorite movies: “I didn’t hear no fat lady sing!” And finally, who can forget Scarlet O’Hara as she stood on the hill at sunrise, “We will rise from these ashes! We swear by God Almighty, we will not lose again!”

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Davis Is A Rambling Man

Al Davis really let loose after the cameras stopped rolling yesterday. Here are the highlights from Tim Kawakami at the SJMN. This is really outstanding. But it looks like the Kurt Warner Machine will never be able to play for the Raiders.

Stick with this. This stuff is awesome.

-Q: Kiffin had that reputation at USC as a tough personality to like. Do you think you didn’t vet him well?

-AL DAVIS: No, I think he conned me like he conned all you people.


-Q: Why not fire Kiffin in training camp?

-DAVIS: Because I still thought there was hope. I’ve got a young quarterback. I still thought there was hope that he could see the light. Where he really popped off and started, it was Rob Ryan after the Denver game.


-Q: Who did Kiffin want to draft instead of JaMarcus?

-DAVIS: There were several. Every day it was different, that’s the thing. He didn’t want Russell. At one time he wanted Brady Quinn. At one time Calvin Johnson. At one time to trade it.

-Q: Why did you trade Moss if you knew he was good?

-DAVIS: They didn’t want him.
-Q: They?

-DAVIS: Not the coaches. They were coming in brand new. That was a big thing on their minds.


Plus, you know how many teams turned him down. That guy in Green Bay thought he couldn’t run any more. Even Denver, where they’ll take anybody, turned him down.

But what’s his name knew he could run, he’s a friend of Belichick’s. Mike Lombardi. Mike sold what’s his name, Belichick, on the idea that he could run. They tampered with him. I remember Bob Kraft saying that he had to look him in the eye and all that. They went down and worked him out, he could run. He’s their team, of course, with the quarterback.



-Q: Mike Lombardi was a loyal guy for years…

-DAVIS: Mike Lombardi? Yes, he was all right.

-Q: And he’s taking shots at you…

-DAVIS: That’s part of life. You just live with those things. He was with me eight years. Mike Lombardi has been fired from every job he’s had. Every job. He can’t get a job. Last year he was fired from a job he was working for for nothing. He was fired from Denver. But he does have ability. He does have some ability.

But he was bad to Shell. Not necessary. You can’t get that in an organization, somebody in the organization bad-mouthing the coach.

-Q: Nobody can do that?

-DAVIS: Well, you can do it a little bit, seriously. But it’s tough, you know. It just wasn’t right. Shell was… been here all his life. I just… would stick up for him, so both of them had to go.

-Q: You’ve also got Lofton, Rathman, Knapp, Ryan… A lot of guys you passed over for Cable. What was the main reason you picked him and not those guys?

-DAVIS: Because I think he can do a better job. With the team.

-Q: With the organizational structure, is all you need is a new head coach to fix things?

-DAVIS: No. No, I’ve got to one or two other things. I mentioned some other things, Jerry, that are coming up here. Possibly a work stoppage. Possible an uncapped year in 2010. We have to prepare for that.

Stadium. There’s a lot going on. Trask is involved in a lot of that stuff, Amy Trask. There’s a lot going on in the business side of football today. We have the negotiations with the players, that was a blow that hurt me personally, because he was a close friend, Gene Upshaw.

And I’m running into that quite a bit now, losing people. I lost Jack Faulkner the other day. I don’t know if any of you know him. He was with the Rams. I had to talk to him while he was on his deathbed. I guess there’s no one left but me. Maybe I’m the only one left who can talk to these guys.

-Q: Do you think this organization have a need for any more football people?

-DAVIS: Yes, I do. There’s one guy I’m looking at now.

-Q: A senior executive?

-DAVIS: It would be an executive role, yeah.

-Q: Would you wait until the off-season before making the move?

-DAVIS: Yeah, I’d wait ‘til this off-season. Yeah, I’ve talked to the person, pretty much. It’d be unique. He’s local.

-Q: Can you give us a name?

-DAVIS: Local.

-Q: Your son Mark has been around a lot more recently. What aspect of the organization is he involved in?

-DAVIS: He’s business and perhaps he’s doing some work on stadium. Business and stadium. He doesn’t want to get involved in football. He used to know all the players. He still does. They were his vintage—Cliff Branch and all those guys, Fred Biletnikoff, all those guys.

He never understood how I could let someone go. He just doesn’t want to get into that part of it.

But he will own it some day. That is… if they let me go to my maker.

-Q: You said to somebody that you wanted to win two more Super Bowls and then retire…

-DAVIS: I didn’t say retire. I just want to win two more.

-Q: But could you retire?

-DAVIS: All joking aside, sure.

-Q: It keeps coming up, so Al, how’s your health?

-DAVIS: Other than the quadriceps and a little trouble with the walking, based on total balance, I’m fine. I’m healthy. You’re going to have to have me around for a while.

I’m fine, really. I take all the tests four times a year. I get a check up on everything, echo and all those things. All the blood work, I do that four times a year.

My mother, you know, she lived a long time, 103. I hope nothing happens. Because disease is the one thing, boy I tell you, it’s tough to lick. It’s tough to lick those goddamn diseases. I don’t know why they can’t.

It bothers me they wont let us use… and it doesn’t mean that I’m Republican or Democrat… the stem-cell. I think it could help.

-Q: I don’t think we’ve talked to you since last year when you sold a 20% stake to outside investors for the first time. Can you explain why you did that?

-DAVIS: You should’ve called me. The fact (is that it wasfor)… estate planning.

-Q: For Mark?

-DAVIS: Well, obviously.

In 2011, that rule comes back. You know it’s down to about 10% in 2010 or no estate tax and then I think in 2011 or 12, right in there, the estate comes back… you have to correct me, does it go back to about 48%?

-Q: You’ve had other coaches who’ve gone through the Raiders to future success. You think that could happen with Kiffin?

-DAVIS: Here’s what I would say: When Shanahan left me, he went to Denver. He was there for about four or five years as an assistant and they fired him for insubordination. Dan Reeves and he had a big battle. He went to the 49ers and he learned their style of football and when Dan Reeves failed in Denver, the first guy they had was Wade Phillips, I think… then he brought Shanahan back. And Shanahan had success. But Shanahan has an asterisk next to those two Super Bowls, because they were caught cheating.

Now Norv Turner does a good job as a coordinator and he’s doing a good job as a head coach. Now let’s see what he does. He’s got a good team. Let’s see what he does. I might have been impetuous with him. But he was a good guy.

If you remember with Norv, the first thing Norv did was let Tim Brown go. And I had to have a press conference up in Napa about Tim Brown leaving. And then about two games into the season, he forgot that Jerry Rice caught a pass in every game. He forgot to throw him the ball and he broke his streak. They threw him the ball, it went through his hands and then they didn’t come back to him. And so Jerry Rice said he wanted to be traded.

I’m not making excuses here. And then the next year I got him Kerry and Randy and it was pretty good. But we couldn’t win so that thing didn’t go.

Now who else was here?

-Q: Gruden?

-DAVIS: Jon. You’ve got to make your own decision. Jon was a good coach. But don’t forgot, I took Jon, no one else even knew who he was.

Jon’s first two years, he was in tough. He won a big game that kept him alive. You know which game that was? Kansas City… that’s pretty good. You ought to be over here with us…

The Tuck Game was the undoing of a lot of things.


-Q: Was it accurate that you talked Javon Walker out of retirement during training camp?

-DAVIS: I don’t know. See, that’s the problem. I’m pretty close to some of the players and I try to stay away from them. I stay away because I don’t want the head coach to be upset.

Javon can play. He can play.

-Q: Do the new minority partners have any option to buy in the future?

-DAVIS: Everyone has an option to buy a limited. But not to buy the… no… No, I have options to buy a limited. Everyone has that option.

No, as long as we’re alive, and then there’s the possibility of Trask. I think I want to do something for her. That’s Amy Trask. Other than Carol and Mark, no… other than maybe her.

-Q: Are you looking for more investors?

-DAVIS: No. I could have them in a minute. I want to see where we’re going to end up with the stadium.

-Q: How is the stadium stuff going?

-DAVIS: We’ll see. We’re working with the city of Oakland. We’re working.

-Q: Could you stay at the Coliseum after the lease expires in 2010 the way it’s set up currently?

-DAVIS: Of course we want a new one. I wouldn’t negotiate with you right now or with the media. I don’t know if the newspapers will be in existence (in 2010).