Thursday, July 29, 2010

Super Bowl Buzz Kill: Pittsburgh Steelers

Anybody can pick winners. We at The Hater Nation like to predict the losers. And last year, who could match our accuracy? The Hater Nation went 31 for 32 in picking teams that would not win the Super Bowl. If you read through the lines, too, you would have saw that we were secretly picking the Saints to take the whole thing.

So here is the 2010 Super Bowl Buzz Kill. A feature so awesome, those (expletives) at Deadspin have blatantly ripped it off. Turns out the schmucks at the Bleacher Report did, too. Always imitated, never duplicated.

Why your team won't win the Super Bowl: Pittsburgh Steelers

You know, a lot of people sit around and ask, 'what is wrong with NFL players these days?' What happened to the good old days. Guys nowadays like Michael Vick and Ben Roethlisberger are just throwing away their lives by being stupid. Nobody would have ever done that in the past.

Just ask Lance Rentzel, Art Schlichter and Stanley Wilson.

Players have long been jackasses, Roethlisberger is not the first and he clearly will not be the last. But we are all having a good time at his expense right now.

But when you think of players who were at the top of their game throwing it away, well, Roethlisberger is clearly very high on that list.

Big Ben was seemingly an afterthought after Eli Messiah pouted his way out of San Diego, and Philip Rivers has become vilified. Roethlisberger just went on to win Super Bowls.

Or more to the point, he was the quarterback of teams who won Super Bowls. He was merely a passenger during the Steelers fifth Super Bowl win, though his last-minute drive against the Cardinals was pretty cool.

The only thing that could hold back Big Ben is college girls in the bathrooms of college bars. And hotel workers, though The Office showed that concierges are kind of slutty.

Ben's dalliance has certainly put the Steelers behind the 8-ball. Kind of like when he had a little headache and had to miss a game last year.

Truth be told, however, most people in Pittsburgh knew Ben was an a-hole, they have been bracing for this.

The Steelers have a pretty big question as to whom will replace Roethlisberger. Byron Leftwich is probably the most likely, but Dennis Dixon would probably be a better long-term answer, especially if Ben cannot keep it in his pants.

The bigger question might be who will replace LT Willie Colon who tore up his knee and is lost for the season. The Steelers need to transition from a passing team to a running team, and being without a left tackle can hurt just as much as losing Roethlisberger.

Rookie Maurkice Pouncey is the most likely to fill that spot. Good luck with that.

Bottom line: The Steelers have a lot of questions, and it is up to coach Mike Tomlin to figure it all out. Tomlin has been praised after replacing Bill Cowher, but are the wheels starting to come off the bus?

Tomlin was criticized last year for taking it easy on the Steelers following their Super Bowl win. Camp Cupcake, I believe, it was called. Did that lead to the Steelers downfall? Probably not as much as them cheating to win the Super Bowl.

Now what is Tomlin going to do to replace Roethlisberger, how is the offensive line handled and how will this team hold up to the scrutiny? The Steelers still have talent, but an improved AFC North and too many distractions means that the Steelers probably miss the playoffs.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Super Bowl Buzz Kill: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Anybody can pick winners. We at The Hater Nation like to predict the losers. And last year, who could match our accuracy? The Hater Nation went 31 for 32 in picking teams that would not win the Super Bowl. If you read through the lines, too, you would have saw that we were secretly picking the Saints to take the whole thing.

So here is the 2010 Super Bowl Buzz Kill. A feature so awesome, those (expletives) at Deadspin have blatantly ripped it off. Turns out the schmucks at the Bleacher Report did, too. Always imitated, never duplicated.

Why your team won't win the Super Bowl: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Buccaneers coach (Eric B. and) Raheem Morris had an interesting first season. He brought back the creamsycle uniforms. Which was not only cool, but totally fitting since he did everything in his power to make Buccaneers fans forget the glory days of the Tony Dungy-Jon Gruden eras. Morris fired his offensive coordinator and then scrapped the Tampa 2 defense to ensure that he dismantled any sense of winning in the West Coast of Florida.

Buccaneers fans do have some reason for optimism though. Teams that finish last in the NFC South make the playoffs the following year.

Except that will not happen this year.

Morris has done way too much damage to have any notion of winning this year. QB Josh Freeman could be a good one. But who is he going to throw to? Can any of the casual NFL observers even name one Buccaneers receiver. The Bucs will start too rookies at receiver, Arrelious Benn and Mike Williams. Rookies don't typically make the adjustment from the college to the pros immediately, and are typically the slowest of any positions to make an impact. So hopefully the Buccaneers can rely on the fragile body of Caddy Williams and disappointing 2009 free-agent Ahmad Bradshaw Derrick Ward.

And yes, I am purposely forgetting Kellen Winslow because he will play, what, six games this year?

This inexperienced cast cannot help the development of Freeman who at times looked brilliant last year. Then there were the other times that he looked like an inexperienced rookie, throwing 18 interceptions. Freeman does have the tendency to lock on one receiver, which should remind Buccaneers fans of the glory days of Craig Erickson.

Or not.

So it will come to the defense. The Jeremy Bates era can be a distant memory if rookie DTs Gerald McCoy and Brian Price are able to step up this season. And hey, the Bucs fans can always rejoice in the fact that they have proper Barber brother. So you have that.

Bottom line: Nobody can say that Morris does not learn from his mistakes. But is he still in over his head? Going to the Tampa 2 scheme is a good start. So there is some hope there. Offensive coordinator Greg Olson should help with Freeman's development, but will he have enough? There is a real lack of playmakers on this team and guys who can put the ball in the end zone. And if I am not mistaken, the goal in this league is to score points.

The NFC South is one of the tougher divisions in the league, so it is asking a little too much to ask for this team to leap over the Falcons and the defending Super Bowl champions.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Super Bowl Buzz Kill: Arizona Cardinals

Anybody can pick winners. We at The Hater Nation like to predict the losers. And last year, who could match our accuracy? The Hater Nation went 31 for 32 in picking teams that would not win the Super Bowl. If you read through the lines, too, you would have saw that we were secretly picking the Saints to take the whole thing.

So here is the 2010 Super Bowl Buzz Kill. A feature so awesome, those (expletives) at Deadspin have blatantly ripped it off. Turns out the schmucks at the Bleacher Report did, too. Always imitated, never duplicated.

Why your team will not win the Super Bowl: Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals are switching from Kurt Warner to Matt Leinart. That would be akin to, well, going from Kurt Warner to Matt Leinart. Honestly, I am stumped for a better, glaring example.

One is a Hall of Fame quarterback who resurrected two morbid franchises. The other looks good in a suit. I guess.

One quarterback made headlines for his rag-to-riches story of stocking grocery shelves to being Super Bowl MVP. One makes negatives headlines, one beer bong at a time.

But jokes aside, lets not wash away the Cardinals just yet. At least not offensively. Give coach Ken Whisenhunt a lot of credit here. He probably wanted to install a run-based offense, a smash-mouthed version of what he did in Pittsburgh.

However, when you have a Ferrari in the garage, you are going to drive it. And that is what he did with Warner, winning consecutive NFC West titles and an NFC championship. Now Whisenhunt can play a more ball-controlled offense. The Cardinals spent some resources on improving the offensive line during the offseason. Alan Faneca being the most noteworthy acquisition. A revamped offensive line should be good news for running back Beanie Wells and Tim Hightower.

And the Cardinals will need to keep defenses off the field.

The Cardinals allowed, what, 900 points in the final six quarters (and overtime) of their season.

The Cardinals looked at this deficiency and said, "You know, we should let one of our bright young defensive players go," in Antrel Rolle.

Not that you should not make changes on a team that had more leaks than a fraternity brother on $1 drink night, but Rolle was not the problem. The team took on Kerry Rhodes who wore out his welcome in New York, and Joey Porter.

Oh well, at least they are characters. When you think of Rhodes, think of this. The Jets took on Antonio Cromartie. The Jets are coached by Rex Ryan. And he was still a problem child.

The Cardinals also took on Paris Lenon, too, as Whisenhunt's defense is apparently still trying to win the 2006 Super Bowl with the Steelers. Honestly, where is Greg Lloyd?

Then there is trouble on the corners, too. Greg Toler or the diminutive Michael Adams will line up opposite of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Why again did they trade Bryant McFadden? Where do you think quarterbacks are going to go?

Another big departure that bears mentioning is that Anquan Boldin is in Baltimore. The fact that the Cardinals got anything for that guy should make the fans happy. Boldin is decent, but when he's injured in Week 3 for Raven, he will not be doing much good. But we will have more time to talk about that down the road.

The bottom line: I am probably more optimistic than most when it comes to Leinart. Which means that I am still down on him, just not as much as other people. But the Cardinals running attack could be very good. And with Larry Fitzgerald and Steve Breaston still around, the Cardinals have the right skill players. Leinart could probably be a good game manager. But will he be able to rally the team the way Warner could when the defense lets them down? That is the rub.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Weak Ender: Geeks Gone Wild

I am not sure what is going on this week, but comic book geeks are freaking out over Olivia Munn. And who can blame them. How come comic book guy got her, and sports dorks got stuck with Erin Andrews.

Not cool.

I had always wanted to get down to Comic Con, but the thing has gone hipster. So kiss those dreams good bye.

ALABAMA COACH Nick Saban called agents "pimps" this week during the SEC media day. NFL Network's Jamie Dukes said that the root of the problem was money. Colleges and universities are making a mint on college players who are helpless to earn more money.

A small entity making a profit off an underpaid work force? Well, that would never work in the private sector, let me tell you.

Get off the high horse. If Reggie Bush and his family was really having money problems, he could have gone out and got a job instead of playing college football. Quite whining. There are plenty of talented people who are working 9-to-5 jobs, joining the military or finding ways to make ends meet. So get over yourselves.

WE HAVE not seen the last of the Kurt Warner Machine!

Well, we have on the football field. Do not expect to see Warner tossing footballs to high school kids in the near future.

Warner is enjoying the retired life. The future Hall of Fame quarterback said that he does not have the itch to return to the NFL in a recent interview with XTRA 910 in Phoenix (via Sports Radio Interviews) .

But the opportunities are starting to line up.

There has been talk of a reality television show (guessing not Survivor), and the inevitable Kurt Warner movie.

"Right now we’re just kinda weighing everything, trying to juggle things, and trying to figure out what the career path is going to be moving forward," Warner said. "From there, we want to take advantage of some of the neat opportunities that are out there."

Warner said that he was in Los Angeles to talk about some of the "neat" opportunities. But here is the pressing question we should all kick around as we wait for training camps to open.

Who plays Warner in the Kurt Warner story? Matthew Fox seems almost too obvious, right?

So who do you guys have?

Kurt answered the question on Twitter and said that anybody but a lefty could play the part.


Former Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson has never been afraid to swim with the sharks. He worked for Jerry Jones for crying out loud.

Johnson is now going to be swimming with a different set of sharks as he reportedly will be taking part in the upcoming season of Survivor, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Johnson is a huge fan of the show and was reportedly going to be part of the previous season, but had to back out last year because of health issues.

Johnson would be the second ex-Cowboy to appear on the runaway CBS hit, as former QB Gary Hogeboom competed a few seasons ago. Hogeboom chose to keep his identity a secret, but Johnson will not have that luxury. Johnson is a former high-profile coach who is still on television as an analyst and has been known to endorse some interesting products.

That will obviously make him a target. But he has a few things working in his favor.

Certainly the Cowboys fan boys are everywhere -- even in Nicaragua, where the series is being filmed. So that could help. Johnson's strategy should be to form an alliance with one of the cast members, and convince that cast member to take him to the final two because nobody would vote a rich former NFL coach for the $1 million prize.

But Johnson could then argue that he overcame his celebrity and that the final vote is not for the most needy, but the best player -- in this case, Johnson.

And it is entirely possible that I have thought way too much about this.

Super Bowl Buzz Kill: Cleveland Browns

Anybody can pick winners. We at The Hater Nation like to predict the losers. And last year, who could match our accuracy? The Hater Nation went 31 for 32 in picking teams that would not win the Super Bowl. If you read through the lines, too, you would have saw that we were secretly picking the Saints to take the whole thing.

So here is the 2010 Super Bowl Buzz Kill. A feature so awesome, those (expletives) at Deadspin have blatantly ripped it off. Turns out the schmucks at the Bleacher Report did, too. Always imitated, never duplicated.

Why your team will not win the Super Bowl: Cleveland Browns

How bad was the Browns quarterback situation last year?

Jake Delhomme is seen as an improvement.

And realize that Delhomme got huge, huge money to come to Cleveland.

It has been this kind of decade for the Browns. At times, you would think that Browns fans would rather the team had just left altogether and never come back.

They apparently have a plan in Cleveland, but nobody is quite sure what that plan is. Mike Holmgren was brought in as team president, and Eric Mangini survived for some reason. Well, the team did end 2009 with a four-game winning streak, but still.

The Browns were one of the few teams that had some money to spend on free agency. Turns out the Browns were on the wrong end of this decision, too.

The Browns have three good players in the entire organization -- T Joe Thomas, WR/Do everything guy Josh Cribbs, and NT Shaun Rogers. And that is pretty much it.

CB Eric Wright is pretty good, too. But not at an elite level.

That is it. Right there. Four decent players.

This is hard to imagine considering all of the decent draft positions the team has been in recently. But you can just look at the blown first-round picks like litter floating on Lake Erie.

Brady Quinn (2007),Kamerion Wimbley (2006), and Braylon Edwards (2005) are no longer with the team. Hell, Quinn was traded for a white running back, Peyton Hillis.

The team had no first-rounder in 2008, so thankfully that saved them the embarrassment.

You like to give teams the benefit of the doubt, especially in a league driven by parity. But what is the best case scenario for the Browns? Delhomme finds his old magic to be merely a mediocre quarterback? Hillis becomes the next John Cappellitti? A group of no-name defense becomes dominant? Mangini becomes the next Belichick and his second chance spawns an NFL dynasty?

None of that seems realistic.

The best case scenario for this team is that it struggles and gives Colt McCoy a chance to get some valuable playing experience. Perhaps Joe Haden can become a shutdown corner. RB Montario Hardesty could be a steal.

But what have we learned about the Browns previous draft picks?

That is how sad it is for the Browns; the best case scenario is that the the team might be competitive in 2011. That is no way to live.

The situation is so bad, that a feature designed for hating on a team is actually drawing sympathy. I almost want this team to be good. But there is just nothing there. No glimmer of hope.

And to make it worse, the Browns fans cannot fantasize about LeBron and the Cavs starting in the fall. But at least you can say you are no longer the saddest team in Cleveland.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Super Bowl Buzz Kill: New York Jets

Anybody can pick winners. We at The Hater Nation like to predict the losers. And last year, who could match our accuracy? The Hater Nation went 31 for 32 in picking teams that would not win the Super Bowl. If you read through the lines, too, you would have saw that we were secretly picking the Saints to take the whole thing.

So here is the 2010 Super Bowl Buzz Kill. A feature so awesome, those (expletives) at Deadspin have blatantly ripped it off.

Why your team will not win the Super Bowl: New York Jets

Does anybody remember Major League 2? The Indians won their division, flamed out in the playoffs, but returned the next year like they were big shots. Willie Mays Hayes fancied himself a power hitter. Ricky Vaughn shed his 'bad boy' image. The team went Hollywood.

I hope you can see the parallels with this year's version of the New York Jets.

The Jets will appear on HBO's Hard Knocks. Rex Ryan had cosmetic surgery to go from like 500 pounds to merely 350. And QB Mark Sanchez, well, he has always been a little (or a lot) Hollywood.

Everybody makes a big deal about the Jets moves this offseason. The team acquired Santonio Holmes from the Steelers. Wonderful move. Holmes will start the season suspended for being a knucklehead.

But the team acquired Antonio Cromartie and LaDainian Tomlinson. And they have a point here. Both players helped the Jets reach the AFC Championship Game last year. Though they were members of the Chargers at the time.

Cromartie has been one big headache and cannot seem to keep it in his pants. Tomlinson's best days are clearly behind him. And then he decided to leave town by throwing his offensive line under the bus -- which was very Gomer-like of him.

But consider this about the Chargers offensive line. Tomlinson had 24 yards on 12 attempts in that playoff loss. Darren Sproles had 33 yards on 3 carries. Nice try, Sandy Tomlinson. Joe McKnight will be more of a threat for the Jets this year than you can ever be.

Good thing you got that Jets logo tattoo on your leg, Tomlinson. What kind of female dog move is that?

Continuing on the Jets moves, the team let guard Alan Faneca go. Not the kind of move that grabs headlines, but a serious ding into the team's impressive offensive line from 2009.

The experts are already touting Shonn Greene as the next big thing at running back. But something about Greene screams Matt Forte. Which could very well be the case seeing that the team will be starting Division 1-AA star Vladimir Ducasse in Faneca's absence.

Sanchez has worked hard on his -- tan this year. Sanchez has missed workouts this offseason while recovering from knee surgery. Instead opting for long walks on the beach. Sanchez still has a lot to learn and spending time in rehabilitation and not working on his game really puts him further behind guys like Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan who were solid -- though not spectacular -- in their second seasons.

And if the running game falters and Sanchez is forced to win some games with his arm, look out.

Bottom Line: The Jets were a perfect example of a team that finished hot, rolled past a soft playoff opponent and reached the AFC Championship Game. Not bad for a team coach Ryan wrote off during the season.

The whole experience has Jets fans thinking big things. But Jets fans are typically idiots. The Jets could improve a lot this season, finish 8-8, miss the playoffs but still be heading into the right direction.

The Jets were the champions of April. No doubt, but that does not mean they will be playing past December.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Post Mortem: Russell Would Rather Be Fat, Drunk and Stupid

JaMarcus Russell is no longer is on the Omaha Nighthawks’ provisional roster. That could only mean two things. Russell already has disappointed the Nighthawks’ coaching staff. Or Russell is quitting football altogether.

Of course, there is the possibility that Russell believes he is above the UFL and he will find an NFL job. Remember, this is the same guy who made a public appearance in Oakland shortly after being released by the Raiders. So self-awareness might not be one of his strong suits. And it’s likely the most reasonable explanation.

In fairness to Russell, former Raiders QB Andrew Walter was listed on the Nighthawks’ roster, too, and his name also was removed.

But considering the enormity of Russell’s failure in Oakland and his recent arrest, he probably should embrace any opportunity to be a professional football player.

Does anybody doubt that Russell will end up living in a car some day, poor and drunk on cough syrup?

REDSKINS QB Donovan McNabb has invited some of his new teammates to visit Arizona for workouts that he has dubbed “Hell Week.” McNabb told The Washington Post that the sessions will be so rough and so intense, it will feel like playing in the Super Bowl.

So all participants should expect to throw up in the fourth quarter.

All right, McNabb didn’t say that exactly, but he did call it “Hell Week” because of the hot temperatures in Arizona and the demanding nature of the workouts. But really, anybody who has played any level of organized football knows exactly what “Hell Week” is.

Redskins WRs Devin Thomas, Santana Moss and Malcolm Kelly are among those expected to participate starting Monday. This is a last-chance opportunity for McNabb to work with his new receivers before training camp, which begins July 29.

“I think it’s important for the specialists on the offense to have that chemistry, to have that bond,” McNabb said, “where they can trust me and I can trust them.”

The players will conduct a grueling workout in the morning, then finish by running routes in the afternoon. The Redskins receivers will have a chance to work opposite Jets CB Darrelle Revis, a regular to the program. No word on if embattled Chargers WR Vincent Jackson, who has worked out with McNabb, will be in attendance, too.

Thomas, who’s entering his third NFL season, believes the experience will be invaluable.

“You want to get on that same page where he knows where I’m going to break out at when we’re running certain routes,” Thomas said. “Just so you can get that confidence to where we’ve done it before without the pads on and without the pressure on. So when we get in those clutch situations in games, you have that comfort level you need.”

And after a hard day’s workout, the players will get together and study the NFL rule book. Specifically the new overtime rules. And after that — air guitar! And a quick lesson on how to look stupid taunting fans just prior to getting your ass handed to you in the playoffs.

DIMINUTIVE WR Antwaan Randle El is happy to be back with the Steelers. Or more to the point, away from the circus known as the Redskins.

The Redskins were a team in transition during the receiver’s four years in Washington. Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs came and went, and Jim Zorn seemingly was a lame-duck coach from the get go. Zorn’s employment status was one of the most deliberated topics inside the Beltway during his tumultuous two years, falling somewhere between health care and immigration reform.

Zorn never seemed to be the apple of Redskins owner Daniel Snyder‘s eye, and that was the problem, according to Randle El (via the Northwest Indiana Times).

“When Jim Zorn was there, he was hands-on,” Randle El said. “He had great potential, but Dan Snyder was too involved because he didn’t trust coach Zorn as much as he did coach (Joe) Gibbs, and those were things that prevented us from success as a team.”

The good news for both sides is that Randle El is where he wants to be after giving consideration to the Ravens and Patriots. And Snyder has found his man, Mike Shanahan.


How unpopular has Terrell Owens become? Even BP refuses to lobby for his return to the NFL.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Weak Ender: Is This Broad Worth Six Figures?

Would you give up a six-figure contract to be with Kim Kardashian. Because that is what Cowboys WR Miles Austin is doing. Allegedly.

Terez Owens is reporting that Miles turned down Red Bull's six-figure offer because he was going to be shooting a commercial with Kardashian's ex-Reggie Bush.

That seems smart:

The Dallas Cowboys Miles Austin likes following in Reggie Bush’s footsteps..but apparently he won’t follow Reggie on his latest endorsement deal.Miles has turned down a six-figure endorsement deal with Red Bull..According to my source, the reason Miles said no to Red Bull is because Reggie Bush already has a contract with the energy drink company..Kim did not want Miles to walk down that path..I hope Kim is gonna pay him the hell does a dude turn down six figures..truth be told, he would have never gotten the offer if he was dating Kim Kardashian..-TO

Well, Austin is the top receiver on the Cowboys. So it is not fair to say that he would not be receiving this deal without Kardashian. From what I hear, the Cowboys are rather high-profile.

Still Austin should have told this chick to pound sand. Seriously, pull out any issue of Playboy and Austin is frolicking with playmates. None of them carry the baggage of Kardashian.

If this is a ploy to ride the winning streak of the Kardasian sisters, well, you have to respect that. Otherwise this is kind of sad.

WE ARE coming to the point where the closest Terrell Owens will come to catching a pass from an NFL quarterback this year would be if he masqueraded as an Oak Grove High School student.

Owens removed himself from consideration by the Chiefs on Wednesday. Which assumes, of course, that the Chiefs had any interest in the enigmatic receiver. But a high-profile coach and a high-profile linebacker took their teams out of the running for Owens’ services Thursday.

Panthers LB Jon Beason told NFL enthusiasts during his chat that there was “no way” that T.O. could play for Carolina.

“There’s no way T.O. could be a Panther,” Beason wrote. “Based on the fact that our ownership and coaches believe that the locker room is important and based on T.O.’s history, for whatever reason, he’s been a distraction in the locker room.”

That’s a pretty strong statement, considering Panthers WR Steve Smith once broke a teammate’s nose during a training-camp fight.

Earlier Thursday, Redskins coach Mike Shanahan made it very clear that he wouldn’t take a chance on T.O. That’s a real slap in the face, considering the Redskins are reinventing the “Over the Hill Gang” by signing a gaggle of veteran running backs, and they also have shown interest in Brian Westbrook.

The team even took on troubled Larry Johnson. How worthless are you as a person if Larry Johnson is a better alternative.


SOMEBODY IN America believes Brett Favre will retire this offseason.

Ha, ha. Just kidding. That’s crazy talk. Nobody believes that.

Favre will play for the Vikings in 2010. I don’t believe America has been this united on a subject since we unanimously agreed that the ending of The Sopranos was really lame.

The only thing certain in life, other than death and taxes, is that Favre will return to the NFL. Or at least we’ll keep talking about it.

But good lord, did you have to spend so much of the red carpet asking about Favre's return? Good lord.

And speaking of the ESPY's Seth Meyers' monologue was awesome. Not sure he will ever top Norm MacDonald's classic performance over a decade ago. I mean, when you tell Charles Woodson that your Heisman will live forever unless you kill your ex-wife and a waiter, nobody is touching that blast.

Meyers was really good.

The best part was that Deadspin was moaning that ESPN would never be daring (the ESPY's crushed 'The Decision') and the monologue would never be good (Meyers owned). But at least Deadspin admitted its mistake.

Yeah, right. You would be more likely to find somebody who believes that Favre is retiring before Deadspin would ever admit to being wrong.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Al Davis Still Thinks He Is Relevant

Al Davis released a statement on the passing of George Steinbrenner, falling well behind The Hater Nation who was bailed out by The Hatriot in the post below.

"He was a friend and a warrior," Davis said in a statement Wednesday. "We not only shared a birthday, but also an unyielding will to win and an unparalleled commitment to excellence."

And while Al Davis was chagrined by the signing of Javon Walker, and derided for taking JaMarcus Russell, Steinbrenner had Andy Hawkins and Brien Taylor.

"I judge sports figures based on individual achievement, team achievement and contributions to the game," Davis said. "George was right up there with me at No. 1 -- bright, aggressive and, most of all, not afraid."

Uh, No. 1? No offense Al, but the Yankees won in 2000 and 2010, following a flourish of titles in the 1990s. That is relevant. And the Raiders?

Oh wait, he talked about that.

"When the Yankees were going through the lean times in the '80s and after we beat the Redskins in the Super Bowl in Tampa, George and I would talk and I would pep him up," Davis said. "Later on, he did the same for me when Tampa beat us in the Super Bowl."

And apparently, the Raiders became such a lost cause, he felt it was better to just to succumb to the sweet release of death rather than trying to hang on.

There's One Less Convicted Liar in the World

Not to interrupt the LeBron Tribute Network's 24 hour a day ball-washing of MLB's Boss Hogg, but let me go out on a limb here. If you gave me a virtually unlimited budget, the largest media and merchandising market in the world, and three decades of baseball free agency, I think could achieve a barely-above-.500 record as a Major League Owner too.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

The Weak Ender: Another Weak, Another Proposal

Too bad the World Cup is coming to an end. What with offers of stripping and streaking, the World Cup has offered up titillating proposals. The most indecent coming from Dutch porn star Bobbi Eden who offered to pleasure her entire Twitter followers if her beloved Orange won.

And she went from like 3,000 to 75,000 followers. Did not realize that there were that many people in the world willing to catch an STD.

I guess we should never underestimate people's willingness to whore themselves out.

Which of course brings us to LeBron James.

Let's be honest, James is not the first person to leave Cleveland for Miami. He will not be the last. James is the only person who would have a one-hour special to announce his decision. One of those most self-important moves typically left for the D-listing reality TV media whores.

Or Tim Tebow.

I am, of course, partly to blame because I watched the whole thing. I also will admit that I watched it because it will be even more satisfying if he ever becomes broke and smoking crack in the back of a Buick after his playing days.

I find it a coincidence that I am currently reading a book about Pat Tillman and I simply marvel at the two men's differences. Tillman once turned down millions from the St. Louis FC to take $500,000 from the Cardinals because it was the right thing to do. Tillman also refused to do any interviews when he joined the military because he did not want the media hype. Tillman also rebuffed an offer -- from his agent -- to take an early combat discharge from the military to rejoin the NFL. And Tillman hated being in the army. Tillman had grown disillusioned with the whole process. Especially with the war in Iraq.

And here was James sitting in some Boys Club and talking about going to the Heat.

Again, his choice, his right. But no matter how much James makes over his life, he will never come close to leading a richer life than Tillman. Never.

James also says that he wants to win. So did the Cavaliers. An organization that had to be awfully disappointed when James folded up like a French soldier during the last two Eastern Conference playoffs. James always likened himself as the next Michael Jordan. But apparently to win a ring, he needs to be the next Scottie Pippen.

Although Toni Kukoc might be a better analogy.

But it is clear that James has gone from being a king to a queen, with Cleveland as the court jester. Not only is James a king without a crown, he is a king without a ring.

These collection of high-priced players always seem like a good idea. At first. Nobody has to remind Los Angeles fans how the Karl Malone-Gary Payton ERA ended with the Lakers. So nothing is guaranteed. And really, James has never done much in crunch time that has ever proven that he is a winner.

So congratulations James. When it comes to self-glossing nicknames, and getting your name out there without the hardware to back it up, you have proven to have no peer. But your blatant disregard for tact makes even that couple from the Bachelor think you are sleazy.

The only thing I can say you did right is that you did not offer up your mother Gloria James to Chris Bosh or Dwyane Wade. Not that either would want Delonte West's sloppy seconds.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Can a Meteor Hit LeBron?

I know it is uncouth to wish for an athlete to get hurt, but I cannot be the only one who would love to see LeBron James rip his ACL while signing his contract on ESPN Thursday night.

And yeah, you might not have heard. James is going to sign his contract on live television.

If James decides to jump ship, Cleveland should be contracted. No, not the Cavaliers organization ... the entire city of Cleveland. Honestly, Cleveland would have no reason to exist from that point going forward. You could contract the Indians and then move the Browns to Los Angeles. Not like it would be the first time a Cleveland football franchise moved to Los Angeles.

Not sure what to do with the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame. Maybe move it to Jersey or something. But honestly Cleveland, this will be the end of your town if James leaves.

I Will Take Least Surprising News for $200 Alex

I have been -- unsuccessfully -- trying to avoid sports news during my vacation. Especially football, but there is JaMarcus Russell being busted for 'Purple Drank.' Which, in case you do not know, is a mixture of codeine, 7up and a Jolly Rancher. And the Jolly Rancher is my favorite part.

Sure you might be pounding prescription cough syrup, but it is the Jolly Rancher that makes it really cheesy. Like those people who dropped Jolly Ranchers in their Zima back in the day.

The sad fact is that Russell does not even care enough to let his career vanish for something spectacular. Michael Vick went out with a a flurry. Dog fighting is a despicable act and he never deserves the benefit of the doubt for anything, but he is making an effort to be an a-hole. Killing dogs, shooting people at his birthday party. This is a significant effort to blow up his career.

But even Russell's crimes are lazy -- just like his football career. Cough syrup? Really, is that the best you could do? Why not smoke crack. Be found in a hotel room minutes before the Super Bowl all cracked out. (Though, the odds of the Raiders being in the Super Bowl is not good.)

Mel Gibson is really going out of his way to destroy every thing he has worked for over the years. That is work ethic.

None of this is a surprise to those around the league, and the Raiders had knowledge of Russell's abuse of 'Purple Drank' dating back to last year. I would probably take more delight in this if it was not just so sad. Because honestly, JaMarcus Russell is sincerely a loser.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

The Weak Ender: Reason to Watch the World Cup

For you Americans who have given up on soccer, there is a reason to watch. Larissa Riquelme will run nude if Paraguay wins.

Now, I have no idea who Riquelme was before the World Cup. But now she has become the most talked-about object outside of the Vuvuzelas. And all by a promise to streak.

If Paraguay team keeps their winning streak their fans would get to see something else as well apart from their team lifting the FIFA 2010 World Cup.

Paraguay Hottest Fan & Lingerie Model Larissa Riquelme who gained incredible popularity recently has made an public announcement which say that she would run naked with colors of Paraguay flag painted on her body on the streets of Paraguay if the team wins the cup.

Argentina's coach Diego Maradona has also made the same promise, and to be honest, I almost want them to win. Mainly because you can see plenty of nudes of Riquelme on the internets. None of Maradona. I am just going for the rare feat here.

THEY SAY that the Fourth of July weekend is the unofficial start of summer. But to me, summer does not officially start until Brett Favre starts tossing the ball to receivers at Oak Grove High School in Hattiesburg, Miss.

Well get out your sparklers, illegal fireworks and cut-off T-shirts, because Favre is back throwing to some of the luckiest kids in Mississippi again.

But is it a coincidence that news of Favre working out in Mississippi comes on the same day that the LeBron James dog-and-pony show begins in earnest? We are just a Vuvuzela sighting away from combining the three biggest (and some would argue annoying) stories of the summer.

Thankfully, the Vuvuzelas will — hopefully — be a thing of the past once the World Cup is completed on July 11. Of course, if you are like a lot of Americans, the World Cup ended when Team USA was knocked out by, uh, that one team.

But does anybody think there will be a swift conclusion to the Favre or James drama? The celebration of ego will likely continue for some time. And what is more maddening is that both Favre and James are likely to have predictable conclusions.

Favre is going to play for the Vikings this year. Cris Carter even said so.

James is going to sign with the Cavaliers. Well, I am not an NBA expert, but he has to go back to Cleveland, right?

I am looking forward to watching the way James and Favre will try to one-up each other while the drama unfolds, however.

Maybe James shows up at a Cleveland-area high school to shoot hoops with some high schoolers. Maybe Favre shows up at a Twins game wearing a Yankees cap. Perhaps James is seen riding a tractor on his property. Or how about Favre in a rap video?

These two men obviously love the attention that comes with free agency/retirement, so I would like to see them get creative with it.

So, here is the question to all of you NFL enthusiasts, who is going to be the first to crack? Will Favre end up announcing his comeback, or will James actually decide where he is going to play next season?

That seems too close to call at this point. Although, I would sit in a room full of Vuvuzelas for an entire day if James and Favre would just cut to the chase and have this taken care of by the weekend.


Maybe the Angels should have held on to Vlade. But at least the team came out with a 2-1 series win. Small miracles. And who would have thought it would be Briant Fuentes who would be so clutch?