Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Super Bowl Buzz Kill: Carolina Panthers

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: Carolina Panthers

You always hear about players in a contract year performing above expectations. Does the same go for coaches, too? Because the Panthers are going to try it with John Fox this year.

Fox is in the final year of his contract and everybody seems to be making a big deal about it. But why should the Panthers be committed to a ton of money when there might not be a season in 2011.

But doom and gloom aside, why should Fox be so indignant about his contract? Sure people tend to say that he is one of the best coaches in the NFL. But aside from one great year in 2003, his career has been about expectations and wild disappointments. Remember, the Panthers were the home team when the Panthers were smoked by the Cardinals in 2008.

So what would the Panthers be walking away from? One good year followed by one bad? Yeah, again, I don't see why they are not breaking the bank for this guy.

The Panthers do have some talent. QB Matt Moore finished really good last year. Steve Smith is brittle but is poised for a bounce back. DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart look pretty good. But who knows about the defense.

There has to be hope that the team will rally around Fox this year because of his contract situation. But even that seems like a stretch.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Super Bowl Buzz Kill: Indianapolis Colts

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: Indianapolis Colts



The Colts are upset because they are not allowed to cheat anymore. The new position of the umpire behind the quarterback means that Gomer cannot try his cheating, quick snapping that has made him so successful.

Well, it is not cheating per se. Although it is in the same vein as pretending to be your opponents teammate in pickup basketball. You know, the "oooh, oooh guy." That is a chicken (expletive) play that is not technically illegal, but just poor form.

Which is why many of us enjoyed that game-crippling interception that Gomer threw in the Super Bowl. I do not believe in karma, but that interception that Gomer threw almost swayed me.

Which leads me to the reason why the Colts will not win this year. Teams coming off a Super Bowl loss tend to struggle the following season.

Over the last, what, 10 years only the Seahawks and Cardinals were able to rebound after losing the Super Bowl. But what is important to note is that the Seahawks and Cardinals were jobbed by the officials in losses to the Steelers. And further Pittsburgh struggled the year after winning it all, proving that the trend is real.

Now, I am not predicting a complete meltdown of the Colts. Gomer will bend enough rules to keep the team competitive, but how long can the Colts good fortune last?

There have been injuries to Jeff Saturday and Dallas Clark, and these injuries are the ones that tend to have the biggest impact. Sure, Tom Brady being out for an entire year following a loss in the Super Bowl is a blow, but when these little injuries to the supporting cast start to mount ... there is trouble.

So look for the Colts to do what they normally do. Strong regular season and spectacular meltdowns in the postseason. But at least the new rule change will give Gomer a new excuse to explain away his latest loss.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Weak Ender: So Long Leinart




I will admit this, there is no reason to for me to have this photo up here. None at all. Although I will say that Oliva Munn was forced to pull this photo off her website because I guess there was a copyright issue at GQ. So there you go, that sounds like a good reason to go with that here.

I wish I had more for you. I know WCT is going to accuse me of taking another "vacation." But the truth is that I am working a lot. If you want to find more of my writing, you can find it if you look really hard.

Other than that, enjoy the photo. The Super Bowl Buzz Kill is going into a fever pitch next week. I hope you stick around. Much love for you guys. I appreciate you stopping by. I wish I had more to say this week. I really do.

But real quick, how bummed is Matt Leinart right now? If Derek Anderson is the answer, I am not sure I want to know what the question is. Where is Jeff Garcia? He has to be a better option at this point, right? I don't understand how the Cardinals have not looked to him.

My guess, Leinart gets cut, and then the Cardinals find somebody else after other teams are forced to make a move. Otherwise, we could be starting the Matt Hall era.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Super Bowl Buzz Kill: Tennessee Titans

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: Tennessee Titans



Jeff Fisher seems like an affable fellow. Fisher looks like the kind of guy who looks like he would be fun as hell to party with. You can almost see Fisher sitting on a cooler trading barbs during a family cookout. Or maybe Fisher would be the guy who would be dragging you over to participate in a round of flip cup.

So he seems like a cool guy for sure.

But how does he still have a job?

There was speculation that Fisher was going to be dumped by owner Bud Adams and the world went bat crap crazy. How could anybody dare think that Fisher was not the man to lead the Titans to the Super Bowl. Because, well, Fisher has led the Titans to a Super Bowl only once in his career.

Fisher has had his team at or near the top of the AFC South seemingly every year, but where are the playoff wins? Take away the Titans run to the Super Bowl in 1999, and he holds a career playoff record of 2-5. That is rather Marty Schottenheimer –like. Good regular season teams, but lousy playoff teams.

So what can we expect from the Titans this year? For one, Chris Johnson will have a bad season. Look at the guys who reached 2,000 rushing yards in a season. Not one of them has topped even 1,500 yards the next year. And the touchdown numbers go way down.

Vince Young still does not know how to throw the ball. And even if he did, the receivers are awful.

The defense is alright, but the team has been bleeding superstars left and right. First Albert Haynesworth left to cash in with the Redskins. Now Kyle Vandenbosch is going to make the Lions legitimate. The Titans have become one of those teams that no longer keeps its established players.

But Fisher is there, so it is likely that this team will be 9-7 or 10-6, but will flame out again. Just like they always do. Maybe Fisher should just wear that Gomer jersey.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Super Bowl Buzz Kill: Seattle Seahawks

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: Seattle Seahawks

I have long been torn on the NFL coaching career of Pete Carroll. There is a misrepresentation that Carroll was some kind of bust with the Patriots but he never had a losing record. Carroll also never was given a chance with the Jets, either.

However, Barry Switzer has a winning record in the NFL and he has a Super Bowl.

Carroll, like Switzer, took over a team coming off a Super Bowl appearance but did not reach the ultimate prize.

Is Carroll to rah-rah for the NFL? Too aloof? Maybe. But many of the players in the NFL right now either played for Carroll, or competed against him. So my guess is that Carroll has respect in the NFL. Something he did not have during his first two stints in the league.

So let's put that to rest.

The real questions for this team is can Matt Hasselbeck stay healthy for an entire season, and who is going to run the ball?

Hasselbeck will not stay healthy. The Seahawks have already dubbed Charlie Whitehurst as the quarterback of the future. The only real question is how long it takes Charlie to get in there, and what kind of quarterback will he be?

Whitehurst does have a chance to be really good. He is respected in the league, as evidenced by the somewhat steep sum the Seahawks handed over to a guy who was never going to supplant Philip Rivers.

Running back is a different story. Julius Jones has never really done must, and has made Dallas regret passing on Steven Jackson for a long time. Justin Forsett is one of those guys that you will always find on the sleeper list of fantasy cheat sheets, but has never been able to translate that to the real world of football. Leon Washington, well, is he able to walk?

Oh, and who is going to play receiver? Mike Williams -- yes, that Mike Williams -- is being talked about as a contributor this year. If this team does not get Vincent Jackson, as rumored, they are (expletive).

I would talk about the defense here, but the only thing I really know about them is what I read on the police blotter. They are either taking PEDs, beating up girl friends or dealing drugs.

Bottom line: I probably have more confidence in Carroll than most, but even if Carroll does come through, there are still a long ways away from filling in some key components of this team.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The WEak Ender: Brett Makes Us Feel Dirty




ESPN sideline reporter Jenn Brown has been linked to Gomer's ex- Kenny Chesney, at least according to published photos (via Sports By Brooks). Now the surprising thing here is not that Chesney was seen with a woman -- come on, that is too easy.

Rather, Chesney is actually taller than a woman.

Flimsy? Sure.

Is WCT going to call it gratuitous? You bet.

But lets move on.

THIS WAS my favorite story of the week. Well, at least my favorite story that did not involve Brett Favre. Two women in Paris have been working as a team, knocking of local ATMs. But here is the kicker. The duo wait for an unsuspecting man to enter his pin code into an ATM, and at that time, one of the women jumps out and flashes her breasts, while the other broad unloads the man’s ATM account.

Or at least what his daily limit is.

So this is kind of like what they do at a strip club, just you do not have to buy them a drink.

Here is one of the questions I have. How does this work in a country where they have topless beaches? And I thought it was customary in France to have casual sex on the first meeting. So merely flashing some bare breasts does not seem like enough to distract a guy.

The whole story seems fishy. And then you find out that the girls were 14-years old, and it makes you dirty. But not as dirty as Favre saying that he is coming back for one last chance to win a Super Bowl.

Dude, have you not blown enough chances during your 19-year career? You want to kick your teammates in the junk one more time? I thought you were supposed to be cool. You did enough damage and gave false hope last year.

The real story has to be the money, right? Favre is reportedly going to get an extra $20 million for this gig. And to think, Favre did not even have Jared Allen flash and distract us.

VIKINGS WR Percy Harvin collapsed and was rushed to the hospital on Thursday. Drama queen. Me thinks somebody was a little jealous of all of the coverage that Favre was getting.

YOU KNOW people are bored with baseball when the biggest news on Thursday was Wes Welker running around before the game against the Falcons. The Twitter universe was buzzing, making me wish for a world much like what was promised in the final scenes of Escape from LA.

FORMER COLTS coach Tony Dungy said that he was put off by Jets coach Rex Ryan’s colorful language during Hard Knocks. So the homophobic Dungy is scared of the f word?

Maybe Ryan should have told Dungy, hey, at least I did not go on Costa Live in 2007 and said that I would berate a gay player and try to convert him.

Because as we all know, trying to make a gay person straight often leads to suicide. Just saying.
Dungy has shown enough bigotry in the gay rights era that he might want to take a step off his high horse.

IN WHAT could only be viewed as one of the most surprising developments of the summer, former Cowboys and Dolphins coach Jimmy Johnson went a month without hairspray. Johnson, you may remember, was a contestant on Survivor 21: Nicaragua.

Johnson joined ESPN 1080 in Orlando with Marc Daniels and Jerry Greene to talk about the ordeal (via Sports Radio Interviews).

“We had no hair spray, had no combs, didn’t have a mirror so I have no idea what it’s going to look like,” Johnson said. “We didn’t even have a toothbrush. I cut off a little piece of palm frond to scrape the tartar off my teeth. We had nothing. I had the shirt on my back, a pair of shorts, a pair of shoes and that was it. I got a bathing suit my third day, so I couldn’t even change out of wet clothes and wet shoes.”

Johnson said that it was an adventure and tougher than he imagined but he was glad that he did it. Which, incidentally, sounds like what he would probably say about coaching the Cowboys.

Johnson also talked about another popular reality series — Favre Watch. Johnson said that he could not have dealt with a situation like Favre and the Vikings. And I would imagine that former Dolphins QB Dan Marino would concur.

“I’m really uncomfortable with that,” Johnson said. “I’ve always been a team-oriented guy. Having said that, without question, Minnesota’s a better team with Brett Favre. But who’s to say if he’s going to have the magical season this year that he had last year? Who’s to say if that ankle is going to be 100 percent? I don’t think it is right now. And you sacrifice so much of the team concept when you make so many concessions for one player. It’s almost like he’s the savior and if he doesn’t carry us to the promise land, then the rest of them aren’t going to be able to do it. Some of the other players have to be saying, ‘What about me?’”

Yeah, Favre was totally acting like some reality TV show diva.

WITH ALL due respect to Pete Townshend and the Who, I won’t be fooled again when it comes to Darren McFadden. A perennial names on the, “No, this is his year to breakout” list. McFadden has had more stops and starts than your average Christian Slater television pilot.

McFadden has been all promise and practically no delivery during his time with the Raiders. Things do not appear to be changing this year. McFadden has missed his 10th consecutive practice though he insists it is not a big deal.

“At this point, it’s something I just need to take care of just so I don’t have to deal with it all season,” McFadden said. “So I’d rather get it healthy now, and then it won’t bother me all season.”

Well, I will get on my knees and pray, that we won’t get fooled again. But come on, this guy just sucks.

And Finally …
There is a lot of opposition to a proposed Muslim neighborhood center just blocks from Ground Zero. In fact, I have not seen opposition this intense since they tried to build that Benehana’s at Pearl Harbor.

Super Bowl Buzz Kill: Houston Texans

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: Houston Texans



Forgive me if I have grown rather bored with the Texans. Year after year it's the same refrain. No really, this is the year that the Texans break through and advance to the playoffs. Just getting to the playoffs is that Sword of Damocles over this franchise in its limited run.

Every year, the experts are excited about a strong finish, a near miss and a set of skill players that are finally gelling together.

Because this is the year that the Texans put everything together.

So what happened last year? Well, the Texans actually had a winning record for the first time in club history. Modest goals, right? But that was a hurdle that was cleared.

QB Matt Schaub was able to stay healthy for a change. The Texans paid a steep price to pry him from the Falcons and finally, he played up to his potential.

The defense was good last year. Hey, the Texans deserve credit for taking Mario Williams, who has turned out to be a stud.

So what went wrong? It was the running backs. Coach Gary Kubiak could never settle on one running back. One week it was Steve Slaton, and then he would fumble and then he was on the bench for an extended period of time.

Arian Foster would look at times, but again, one fumble and he was out of the game.

Imagine if Kubiak coached Adrian Peterson? That guy would never see the field.

The Texans thought they had the answer when they went out and drafted rookie Ben Tate. The kind of one-gap runner who would thrive in the Texans system.

But then Tate went out and injured himself for the season. So much for that.

So again, the Texans are going to rely on Foster (early reports are good) and possibly Slaton. So in other words, the Texans are in the same spot there were in last year.

For the sake of argument, let's say that Foster does become the running back they were looking for. There suddenly is a big hole in the middle of the defense, thanks to the estrogen-abusing Brian Cushing.

The defensive rookie of the year could not find a better way to mask his steroid abuse. I admire that Cushing was offering up lame excuses to shield the inevitable conclusion that he was, indeed, juicing. Forget that Cushing is going to miss four games, are we going to see Cushing's effectiveness decline like Lattimer from The Program after he got cleaned up?

Is Cushing going to paint his face, only to have Joseph Addai run over him for a winning touchdown in a crucial game? Sorry, we have seen how that has played out. Too bad the NFL is not like MLB where you test positive for steroids one time, and then they never test you again. Right Andy Pettitte?

Good luck with all of that.

Bottom line: This is a talented team. The Colts figure to take a tiny step back at least, but can the Texans live up to it? The Texans surely are talented and the team seems to be gelling. But where have we heard that before?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

C'mon Cowboys



(via Bare Knuckles)

Super Bowl Buzz Kill: Miami Dolphins

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: Miami Dolphins



For those of you worried that WR Brandon Marshall was going to change once he went to Miami, don’t worry, he seems to be the same guy. That is both good and bad.

Marshall started his tenure with the Dolphins on the right foot. The Dolphins do not hold press conferences for players who are acquired via trade. So Marshall held his own.

Fitting.

At least Davone Bess had the balls to stand up to him and not yield his No. 15 jersey. Of course, that was big news in Miami for a number of weeks.

Marshall was somewhat disappointing during his playing debut with the Dolphins on Saturday, and that extended into practice on Tuesday. Marshall dropped two very catchable passes in his debut. Sure, it might have been raining in Miami on Saturday, but you are paid to catch the football. The word receiver is in the name of your position. You need to be able to catch.

But it gets better.

Marshall dropped a pass on Tuesday, but rebounded with a reception on his next target. But then, and Broncos fans might remember this, Marshall punted the ball after racing into the end zone, according to the Sun Sentinel.

You can take the a-hole out of Denver, and he is still an a-hole in Miami, too.

Remember that when LeBron James takes court in Miami.

And speaking of basketball. You might remember a couple of days ago, I shared a link that Marshall thinks he can play in the NBA. Not with those hands. Hey Brandon, you are not that great at your current job. Maybe you should try to hone your skills in football before going into basketball.

This is a shame, too.

The Dolphins have a pretty good team going. Chad Henne should develop into a nice quarterback. The defense appears solid. But there is something about Marshall that just screams loser.

Marshall was on these Broncos squads that folded at the end of the year. I am not saying that it is all his fault. But Marshall has never struck me as a guy who will put a team on his shoulders and say, "follow me."

Bottom line: The Dolphins probably feel like they got a final piece of the puzzle by getting a true No. 1 receiver, but his attitude threatens to sink this team. Otherwise, there would be a lot to look forward to in Miami.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Super Bowl Buzz Kill: Detroit Lions

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: Detroit Lions



By Bucky

You can take the Detroit Lions away from Matt Millen, but you can’t take Matt Millen away from the Detroit Lions. . . .

Yes, Millen may be gone, his dream of a roster compiled of 53 wide receivers unfulfilled. But his legacy lives on. One year after drafting their quarterback of the future in Matthew Stafford, the Lions once again selected perhaps the most prized jewel of the 2010 draft in Ndamukong Suh. The only problem is they can’t get him to show up for work. I think I’ve seen this movie before. . . .

Look, compared to the Millen years, things are looking up in Detroit . At least on the football field. Then again, BP is having a better year than the Lions ever had under Millen. Even Tony Hayward thinks Millen did a lousy job.

Okay, cheap shots at Millen are easy, but he hasn’t been there in several years, so we need to find new material. While I’m trying to think of something, maybe I’ll pick up a Wendy’s burger at the drive-up window. Ok, so Joe Cullen is old news as well.

Things really are getting better in Detroit ; like I said, it’s hard for them not to. Stafford seems to be on his way to becoming a pretty good quarterback, and he’s got Calvin Johnson to throw to, which is more than the Bears can say about either position. The backs are Silent Bob from Clerks (no, not really) and rookie Jahvid Best. But it remains to be seen if anyone on the aging offensive line can still block.

The defense has also been upgraded. Former Badger DeAndre Levy is going to be a star at LB, and the Lions have upgraded their Dline significantly with former Packer Corey Williams and (hopefully, eventually) Suh joining Kyle Vanden Bosch. Unfortunately, the secondary is dreadful, with Louis Delmas being the only player worth a damn back
there. Maybe if Matt Millen hadn’t spent so much time drafting WRs, the Lions might have someone whose coverage is tighter than Lindsay Lohan.

Man, it’s not easy to find material on the Lions. It’s not easy kicking these guys when they’re down. But maybe that won’t be the case forever.

How Did I Miss This?




Eli Messiah gets all bloodied and this is the first that I am hearing about it? This is a great day.

Monday, August 16, 2010

First Look: Gilbert Gottfried Takes It

The roast of David Hasselhoff seemed like one of those things that had no chance of living up to the hype, yet somehow it did. And maybe even exceed expectations.

That is saying something considering that this was an edited version of the show and the unleashed version will not come out for a couple of weeks or so.

The highlight of the night, at least for me, was Gilbert Gottfried who won the night. Nearly all of the performers were great -- though I wanted a little bit more out of Jeffery Ross -- but Gottfried nailed it.

There was one of the comics who did the, "Hey (Roast Master) Seth MacFarlane, South Park called, they want their everything back." Which was nice. But Gottfried really nailed when he said to give MacFarlane a break, because the Simpsons have not done a roast yet.

And then Gottfried made fun of the Holocaust and was the leader in the clubhouse.

Whitney Cummings would probably get the second spot for asking Pam Anderson to drink a gallon of Magic Johnson's blood and saying that the same went for Brooke Hogan, too. Wonderful.

Greg Giraldo was good, but Lisa Lampenelli might have taken the bronze for starting the show so hot.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Weak Ender: So Long Chipper



Chipper Jones made have played his final professional baseball game. This is a blow to Hooters girls everywhere dreaming of getting knocked up by a Major League ballplayer.

I never understood the appeal of professional athletes landing Hooters girls. Can't you leave the easy ones for the rest of us? You are supposed to pull the strippers out of the strip club. I mean, that would be like Chipper going down and ripping it up in Single A, when was already a Major League veteran.

But do not fret Hooter girls in search of a baby daddy, there is always John Daly. (Fingers crossed for you.)

DOES BRANDON Marshall have game?

The Dolphins receiver certainly thinks so.

There is no doubting Marshall’s prowess on of the football field, he is one of the best in the game at his position. But what if football was taken away?

As players ponder what to do in case of a work stoppage next year, Marshall has a totally realistic backup plan — he is going to play in the NBA. Not trying out for the D-league (which he would not make, either), but the NBA. As in National Basketball Association.

Marshall told ESPN that he will play in the NBA next season if the NFL players are locked out. He is following in the footsteps of Terrell Owens and Randy Moss, who both attempted to play professional basketball, although at a lower league, the USBL. Apparently, basketball is the preferred vocation of the troubled receiver.

“My first team will be the Nuggets and my second team will be the Heat — I’m serious,” Marshall said.

“There’s not going to be any football. If there’s a lockout, I have to find a job. I figure the Nuggets will be a better choice because of the welcome-home cheer I’ll get — a couple of boos at first. I’m gonna get with a basketball coach and get to work, prepare for the lockout.”

What was Marshall’s third option, having Bernie Madoff invest his money? Safety inspector at Toyota? CEO of British Petroleum?

Marshall sounds like one of those guys you typically see when you play pickup basketball. The guy who thinks he is good enough to play in the NBA, but cannot dribble with his off-hand, blows layups and often cherry picks. And if I had to venture a guess, he looks like the kind of guy who does not play defense in pickup games, either. But that’s just a guess.

So maybe he would fit in with the Clippers.

But somebody also might want to clue Marshall into the fact that the NBA is facing a labor dispute of its own. So, you have to ask, can Marshall hit a curve ball?

TELL ME if this sounds familiar to Cowboys fans … Tony Romo and the game look flawless moving into the red zone and then, once there, you might as well cue up the Yakety Sax as the Cowboys look more like a junior varsity squad than a Super Bowl contender.

Romo looked great directing the Cowboys on the team’s first drive. TE Jason Witten and Miles Austin had a couple of nice catches. But again, once they got into the red zone, there was a sack, futile screen and then another sack with a fumble, which the Cowboys recovered. Squandering these fantasy opportunities will be no laughing matter when the regular season starts.

But on the bright side Cowboys fans, you got a chance to watch David Buehler kick a field goal. And with the way the Cowboys have looked in the red zone so far this year, he might be the best fantasy player of the lot.

Tell me why Jason Garrett is a shoe-in to be a head coach some day? BTW, Garrett turned down the Saints job, if I am remember this correctly.

RAIDERS FANS have seen this before. Here is how the Raiders first-team offense fared on Thursday night:

Three-and-out.
Three-and-out (thanks to a false start on third-and-5, classic Raiders).
Six-and-out (hey, that’s progress).

Here is the line for the Raiders first team offense: 12 plays, one first down, and 25 yards.

That is the kind of line that would make QB Jason Campbell long for those idyllic days in Washington.

To the Raiders discredit, Dallas did have one preseason game under its belt. And let’s be honest, you cannot expect the Raiders to suddenly become the 1998 Vikings on offense after a few practices. Especially after some years of futility. But come on guys, we needed a better show than this.

Or maybe we were expecting too much.

AND FINALLY ...

This should be very telling about the Angels season, we were pulling for the Rangers to beat the Yankees on Wednesday night. Ugh.

Super Bowl Buzz Kill: Chicago Bears

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: Chicago Bears



By Bucky

Last year at this time Bears’ fans were talking about Jay Cutler being the missing piece of the puzzle that would lead them back to the Super Bowl. No more Rex Grossman, Cade McNown, or Peter Tom Willis -- the Bears finally had a franchise quarterback that could hang with the rest of the league. Right?

Then it came time to actually play. Cutler opened with a 1-TD, 4-int performance at Green Bay , and didn’t look back, posting 26 picks and a 76.8% passer rating. Fans who thought they were getting the Bears’ version of Brett Favre were right-only it was the 2006 version of Favre, not the 2007 version. Crappy quarterbacks are ubiquitous in Chicago as the Polish dog, but Cutler puts the mustard and kraut on it. But what else are the Bears gonna do at that position? Cutler may have been called a [cat] by teammate Brian Urlacher, but when your alternatives are Mike Teel, Dan LeFevour, Caleb Hanie and Bret Basanez, you pretty much need to stock up on the Feline Pine.

While this may be the last stand for Jay Cutler, it is clearly the last stand for Lovie Smith and Jerry Angelo. And they are going all in. The Bears have brought in Julius Peppers, Chester Taylor, and Mike Martz in their attempt to salvage Angelo and Lovie’s careers. Ideally, Peppers will make the Bears’ pass rush fierce again, and with 25 sacks the past two seasons, he may in fact do that. But last season opposing QBs had a 92.3 passer rating against this defense, and the Bears have brought nobody in to help their secondary. They’ve got a guy named Alfalfa playing safety, for crying out loud. The Bears still have Gruppenf├╝hrer Urlacher, of course, but what has he done lately, besides picking a fight with Gayle Sayers?

Chester Taylor was a nice pickup, but now instead of sitting behind Butterfingers Peterson, he’s sitting behind Matt Forte, who seems to have a big day only when playing the Lions. Mike Martz? Yes, he is the genius behind The Greatest Show on Turf. But that offense featured the Kurt Warner Machine, Isaac Bruce, Torry Holt, Marshall Faulk, Az Hakim. . . You get the picture. Those Rams’ teams were loaded with offensive talent. The Bears’ offense is loaded with Earl Bennett and Johnny Knox. No, not the clown from Jackass, the WR from Vanderbilt. The Show also had one of the best offensive lines around to give Warner plenty of time to find Bruce and Holt on their sluggo routes. The Bears’ Oline put Cutler on his back 35 times, a number only Aaron Rodgers would envy. Bringing Isaac Bruce back to help coach the WRs is only going to highlight the differences between then and now.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Super Bowl Buzz Kill: Jacksonville Jaguars

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: Jacksonville Jaguars



David Garrard maybe be the worst Pro Bowl player in the history of Pro Bowl players. The AFC representatives – starting with Gomer having to bow out because the Pro Bowl was played before the Super Bowl for the first time ever – started falling like Mob bosses at the end of The Godfather.

Things got so bad, Garrard was finally selected as a Pro Bowl quarterback.

Which is kind of a shame because Garrard sucks.

And he has for some time, too. The Jaguars remain committed to Garrard who has never truly lived up to the fat contract extension he was given after the 2007 season. I cannot believe that the Jaguars had 30 touchdowns in mind when they extend Garrard’s deal. That’s 30 touchdowns combined in two seasons. Gomer does that in one year. But again, the Jaguars are committed.

Even turning away from Tim Tebow in the draft.

"You would never turn away talent at (the quarterback) position," Del Rio said before the draft. "But we do like David. We do think we can win with David. We're not a team desperate at that position. There are a few (critics) that maybe feel that. We don't feel that way."

Part of me believes that it is admirable that the Jaguars are sticking with Garrard. Even though he has done nothing to deserve it in recent years. But passing on Tebow will forever stick with me. Especially for a franchise that desperately needs to sell tickets. Drafting Tebow might not have made huge football sense – because the team needs help on the field right now, too – but the Jaguars would sell out the stadium if Tebow was just standing on the sidelines wearing a visor.

So now I am wondering if the Jaguars are going to pull the Major League. Make the team so bad, there is no choice for them to leave Jacksonville. Not like this has not been done before. But I feel for the Jaguars fans here. There is no discernable effort to improve the key areas of the team. So do you pass on tickets to show your displeasure for the team’s lack of moves? That will end up with the team playing in the City of Industry or London.

Purchasing tickets to support the team only puts more money in owner Wayne Weaver’s pocket. And eventually, the team is leaving.

Tough call guys, I do not envy you at all. But it is obvious that your club is not trying to win a Super Bowl.

Monday, August 09, 2010

The Post Mortem: Give Us Bad Football

America has made it official ... we would rather watch bad football rather than watching another sad, Yankees vs. Red Sox game. The Cowboys and Bengals had the highest rated preseason game in six years, even going up against the greatest baseball rivalry in the history of civilization.

Part of the reason has to be that the football game was really only a handful of meaningful series which only seemed as long as a Derek Jeter at-bat.

And it is just so great to have football back. Kind of like when spring training games come on, I cannot avoid watching them.

I bet when the NFL has a lockout next year, that will likely get higher ratings than the Yankees and Red Sox, too.

Super Bowl Buzz Kill: Minnesota Vikings

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: Green Bay Packers



By Bucky

Those of us who own cats know what it’s like. They stand by the door for hours waiting to go out; when you finally open the door, instead of bounding through, they hold their ground and peer outside, while 500 mosquitos race into the house. You finally get all frustrated and kick ‘em out, and two minutes later they’re back, crying to come back in.

And so the latest word is that, despite everyone (including his Vikings teammates) believing that Brett Favre would return to play a 20th season, Brett has decided to hang it up. Apparently his ankle injury, sustained in the NFC Championship Game loss to the Saints in January, hasn’t sufficiently healed for him to play this season. So the Vikings will go with Tarvaris Jackson. Or Sage Rosenfels. Good luck with that.

Or so he says on August 3rd. Let’s see what happens when training camp is winding down; when the practices start getting shorter and the guys who have to do something spectacular to get a look are gone. The smart money says that Brad Childress will be playing the role of Hoke Colburn once again come late August.

But what sort of team will Miss Daisy be returning to? Well, the Vikings came within one ill-advised Favre pass of the Super Bowl last season, a situation Packer fans could empathize with were they not overfilled with schadenfreude.

The defense sports one of the best mullets in the NFL, with Jared Allen, and the Williams Wall, who have dodged the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug testing cops for two years now. But EJ Henderson is struggling trying to come back from a gruesome injury last season, and the Vikings’ secondary was soft even before losing Cedric Griffin (who started training camp on the PUP list, and won’t be back until midseason).

Minnesota has excellent skill players on the offensive side of the ball, starting with Adrian Peterson, who might be great if only he could learn to hang onto the football. Sidney Rice, Percy Harvin and Bernard Berrian are not a bad stable of targets, either. We’ve all seen that Visanthe Shiancoe swings a big bat, too. So what’s not to like?

Well, their offensive line began to go soft late last season. Favre got the living crap kicked out of him in late season games against the Cardinals, Panthers, and Bears, as well as the NFC title game, and Peterson’s YPC dropped to 3.3 in December. Peterson still drops the ball too much for an elite back. And Favre- assuming he changes his mind yet again- will be 41 in October. There’s a reason that Favre is the only 40-year old QB to ever start a playoff game; the bodies of even great signal callers begin to break down as they age. For the Vikings to win it all this year, they need Favre to repeat his heroics from last season. However, it’s just as likely that we’ll see Joe Namath ’76-77, or Johnny Unitas ’73.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Whose Side Are We On In This?



We have all heard about Brett Favre allegedly sending Cowgirl some photos of his junk while both were under the employ of the Jets. Well take it from me, Brett, she does not go for that kind of thing. Trust me.

To be honest, Cowgirl has nothing to gain from making up this story. You can bash her for using her buxom disposition for getting ahead in life, but she has not proven herself to be a liar. Can you say the same about Favre?

What we can blame Cowgirl for is talking to that moron over at Deadspin. What did she think was going to happen?

So the real question here, whose side is Diane on? Honestly, that was my first thought when I heard about this.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Super Bowl Buzz Kill: Green Bay Packers

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: Green Bay Packers



By Bucky

Apparently there’s a new Broadway show opening this fall called “Lombardi.” It stars Dan Lauria (the dad from “The Wonder Years”) in the title role, and is based on David Maraniss’ book “When Pride Still Mattered.” Why do I mention this? My wife was online the other day seeing what it would take to go see the show this fall. They go for $125 on up. Now, I don’t know much about Broadway prices and how this compares to other shows, but I do know I can get tickets to see the real Packers for less when they come to Foxboro this fall.

Or I could go hang out at Cruisin’ Chubbies in Wisconsin Dells, where (allegedly) Packers’ safety Brandon Underwood picked up two “professional” women while hanging out with his teammates earlier this summer. After Underwood brought them back to a rental cabin in Lake Delton to party with the teammates, they claimed they were sexually assaulted. Underwood appears to have dodged these accusations, as it turns out that the women were actually trying to rob him; however, he may still face solicitation charges.

Or perhaps I need to hang in the ‘hood in Houston , where Packer DE Johnny Jolly (pictured) was popped in Houston some time ago for sipping on purple. Purple Drank- also called sizzurp, purple jelly, Texas Tea, and the Flaming Moe- is a concoction of cough syrup with codeine, 7-Up, and a Jolly Rancher candy. Seriously. JaMarcus Russell has nothing on the Jolly Rancher. His trial had been rescheduled about five times in the last three months, but on August 3 he copped a plea that would keep him out of the joint and into a diversion program. Unfortunately for him and the Packers, he has also been suspended by Opie for the 2010 season;

But enough extracurriculars. We are entering Year 3 of the Aaron Rodgers Experiment. The results are largely positive- ARod is getting a lot of love from all quarters, including from our host- but there’s one problem: he has yet to win a postseason football game. As we saw in the Packers’ last game last year, the offensive line has a lot of problems keeping defenders out of the backfield, and Rodgers has a tendency to hang onto the ball too long. The addition of Brian Bulaga is designed to help the former problem, but only Rodgers can fix the latter. Of course, it does help to have weapons such as Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, and up and coming star Jermichael Finely.

On the other side of the ball, the Packers do have the defensive player of the year in Charles Heism- err, Woodson. But even with Woodson and Al Harris (on the PUP list until he fully recovers from an ACL tear), this secondary got carved up by experienced QBs such as the Kurt Warner Machine and Old Man Judas. One solution is more pressure on the QB; Clay Matthews stepped up last year, but A.J. Hawk played softer than Brady Quinn’s sister.

Despite these problems, expectations are high in Green Bay this season, but beware this Kiss of Death: Peter King has predicted the Packers to face the Chargers in the Super Bowl this season.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Super Bowl Buzz Kill: Cincinnati Bengals

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: Cincinnati Bengals



I had an interesting conversation about what type of fantasy football team Jesus would construct. Would he pick all-stars and guys he knew who could get the job done? My mother-in-law suggested that Jesus would take everybody, but especially the wayward prodigal sons who may have lost their way.

So in other words, he would be the Bengals.

The Bengals have been harboring some of the more colorful characters in recent years and that was before they got into the Pacman Jones and Terrell Owens business.

But do not lump me into the camp who believes that the Bengals are going to implode with all of the combustible personalities on the field. Because hidden in all of the baggage is the fact that most of these guys can play.

Owens may not be the T.O. of five years ago, but he is enough to get Carson Palmer back to what he was. When you are the third-option in a group that includes 85 and Antonio Bryant, that is pretty good.

Not that it will stop the less informed from making the lame, tired jokes about Owens' attitude. Say what you will about Owens, but do not expect to read a story about him jumping out of the back of his girlfriend's pickup truck.

Partly because he probably does not swing that way, and partly because he has done the suicide thing only to fail in the same vein as his quest for a Super Bowl has failed.

Owens will be on his best behavior in Cincinnati. He wants one last chance to play for a title before he starts pumping out B-movies.

His partner 85 has predicted it. And in some ways I am inclined to believe him. The offense should be on fire. The defense is in pretty good hands with Mike Zimmer calling the shots. Some believe that he will eventually be the head coach.

But where does the leadership come from? Ochocinco is a clown. He is talented, works hard and is driven. Nobody can take him seriously. Owens is only in it for himself and his work ethic does not spread to his teammates.

So it comes down to Palmer, who has never shown much as a fiery leader that this team desperately needs. Palmer has tried to call out 85 for missing workouts to be on reality TV. But 85's actions usurps any authority that Palmer could possibly have. This team needs a take-charge kind of guy, and I do not believe that he is there.

Just yet.

Bottom line: The Bengals should be one of the more entertaining teams to watch. They certainly should score enough points. The defense is good under Zimmer's blitz schemes, but the pass rush is still lacking. This team needs a lot of help in terms of leadership. Asking for the cosmos to align for this team is a big request. The Bengals look like they have enough fire and conviction to ruffle the feathers of a laced-up team like the Colts.

Yet they seem undisciplined to lose to a team like the Browns.

This is a fun team, but I am not going to take them quite seriously just yet.

Super Bowl Buzz Kill: Buffalo Bills

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: Buffalo Bills



Oh to be a fly on the wall in the Bills draft war room this year. You could just imagine Bills coach Chan Gailey and GM Buddy Nix really looking over their roster and having this exchange.

Buddy: Hey Chan, what do you think is the best position on the team?

Chan: No doubt, running back. Fred Jackson is nice. Marshawn Lynch can still play in this league, that is clearly the best position on this football team.

Buddy: You are dad gum right, Chan. Let's draft C.J. Spiller.

Come again, guys?

Get ready for a long season, Bills fan.

This is not really a pan of the Bills drafting of Spiller. He will be better than Jackson and Lynch. Spiller could be the most exciting rookie in the NFL this season. Spiller had 50 touchdowns in college, 21 of them of over 50 yards.

That is the kind of game changer the Bills have needed in quite some time.

But the Bills really only made their best position stronger while the rest of the team implodes around them. And that's the rub. You don't get ripped for taking a player like Spiller if you actually went out and improved your other positions. But the quarterback and the receivers on this team are just dreadful.

The offensive line is so hobbled, that Gailey is forcing his team to workout in knee braces.

Knee injuries took their toll on Buffalo's offensive linemen last season. Eric Wood, starting left tackle Demetrius Bell, starting right tackle Brad Butler and backup tackle Seth McKinney all finished the season on injured reserve after hurting their knees or legs.

Are those guys going to be able to hold up this season? That is one of the biggest questions.

Bottom line: Let's say that everything goes well for the Bills. Spiller becomes the rookie of the year. The offensive line can stay healthy. This is something to be excited about, right?

Well, until you remember that Trent Edwards is going to be the quarterback.

Oh well, there is always next year's draft. And probably another running back the Bills could take.