Tuesday, September 30, 2008

It's official: Tony Mandarich reveals addiction

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that former first-round pick Tony Mandarich admitted to his addictions. The newspaper reports:
    Tony Mandarich, who was taken No. 2 overall by the Packers in the 1989 draft, says in an interview he was addicted to alcohol and painkillers the entire time he played in Green Bay.
    Mandarich also admits for the first time he used anabolic steroids while he played at Michigan State.
As was reported here last week, it appeared that Mandarich was ready to admit his drug use. Last week we revealed that he had a book coming out in March of 2009 called “My Dirty Little Secrets - Steroids, Alcohol & God.” The Milwaukee newspaper writes:
    Mandarich made these revelations during an interview with Armen Keteyian, the chief investigative correspondent for CBS News. That interview is to air Wednesday night on Showtime's "Inside the NFL," a program produced by CBS Sports.
On his web site promoting the book, Mandarich wrote:
    Tony Mandarich has lived a life full of controversy, allegations of steroid use & adversity. In his new book to be released in March 2009 the 20th anniversary of that infamous NFL draft, he tells all about what he did, what happened, and what he is doing today. The book title is “My Dirty Little Secrets - Steroids, Alcohol & God - The Tony Mandarich Story” Opt into the e-mail list to win an personalized autographed copy.

Here's a video promoting his book.

More than one needed at NBC to replace Tim Russert

With all its dysfunctionalization (that a word?) NBC News has realized that it may take more than one person to replace Tim Russert on "Meet The Press." The New York Times reports:
    Sometime between Election Day and early December, NBC News will make a final decision about who will replace Tim Russert and his interim successor, Tom Brokaw, at the helm of “Meet the Press,” Steve Capus, the president of NBC News, said in an interview. Mr. Capus refused to characterize the network’s intentions. But it is leaning toward an ensemble of hosts that would be led by Chuck Todd, NBC’s political director, and include David Gregory, a correspondent and MSNBC anchor, according to a person who had been briefed on the proposal but was not authorized to comment, partly because the plans were not set.
Russert (that's the bobblehead version of Russert holding a sign that says Buffalo, Buffalo, Buffalo) is probably up above, to distracted by his undefeated Buffalo Bills, to care who will replace him.

MNF crew recap the Steelers' win over Ravens in OT

The Monday Night Football crew recap the Steelers' win over the Ravens in overtime, 23-20.

A pillow fight royale: Maria Bartiromo vs. Erin Burnett

Maria Bartiromo vs. Erin Burnett. No one knows what to make of this CNBC battle. Is it a fist fight? Cat fight? Pillow fight?

Vanity Fair gives us an in depth look at the alleged battle. It's hard to decide what to make of their battle. It's probably part real, part media concoction. You gotta love Vanity Fair descriptions of the two women.

Vanity Fair on Maria Bartiromo, 41, aka “Money Honey”:
    At the sound of the closing bell, she checks the messages on her BlackBerry, adjusts the collar of her navy-blue Gucci suit, takes a deep breath, and begins her final hour of live reporting from the exchange floor. Looking at the camera with her enormous, smoky blue eyes and speaking at a rapid-fire clip, she will do the job that has made her famous. In that familiar voice, with its faint Brooklyn accent, she will deliver up-to-the-minute news on the forces moving the financial markets. . . .
Vanity Fair on Erin Burnett, 32, aka “Street Sweetie”:
    With sultry blue eyes, sharp, almost perfect features, dimples, and a lazy, bedroomy smile, Burnett not only was knowledgeable about financial issues but had a knack for translating them into plain English, and in contrast to Maria, who was more singularly focused on corporate news, Burnett was interested in broader policy issues—education, health care, how to pay for the repair of America’s crumbling infrastructure. She had a casual, breezy on-air persona. She was also a bit irreverent—and spontaneous.

Conventional wisdom beats Baltimore Ravens on MNF

It's 20-20 with the game headed to overtime last night, and ESPN's Ron Jaworski asks if the Baltimore Ravens win the coin flip whether they should kickoff rather then receive. All three guys in the Monday Night Football booth knew it was not going to happen. In fact, the MNF crew cited Detroit Lions coach Marty Morningwig, who made such a call and lost the game and later his job.

But should it have happened? The Ravens won the toss and chose to receive. A few plays later, they punted without getting a first down. The Pittsburgh Steelers returned the punt to their own 43. Gain 20-25 yards, and they can at least attempt a game-winning field goal. They gained 26 yards. It took a third-and-eight pass play (below) by the Steelers, but they did it. Jeff Reed kicked the 46-yard game-winner.

Conventional wisdom says Ravens head coach John Harbaugh made the right call, right? Take possession of the football first in overtime, right? Every coach in the NFL would have, right?

I wonder if Harbaugh, in his heart, was hoping the Steelers won the coin flip. I think every coach, if in Harbaugh's shoes, would have chosen to receive. But I wonder if every coach in the league had the Ravens' defense, would they have rather lost the coin flip?

Conventional wisdom beat the Ravens last night.

In defense of Tony Kornheiser

Many hate ESPN's Tony Kornheiser on Monday Night Football. Even The Zone Blitz has ripped Kornheiser for his man-crush on Brett Favre. But I have to admit I like him on Monday Night Football and hope he stays. One, he is funny. Yes, he can be stupid at times. His wisecracks can be funny at times. And then seconds later, his wisecracks can make you roll your eyes.

Let's take a quick look. After Ravens rookie quarterback Joe Flacco fumbled the football a second time in the third quarter (this time it was recovered by a teammate), Kornheiser said Flacco's "not playing Monmouth anymore." It was a year to the day, that Flacco was leading the Delaware Blue Hens past Monmouth 42-7. Seconds later, when the cameras flashed to a shirtless, heavy-set Steelers fan, Kornheiser, in the midst of talking about something else, said, "And please don't wear that no-shirt look." It was funny, though you probably had to be watching to see the guy's belly. And then just minutes later, Kornheiser asked, "Do you think it's possible that when Flacco made that scramble, that 12- or 14-second scramble, that he started to think that 'I'm invincible. That this is my night. I can do whatever I need?"' "

I am not sure about you, but I was wondering the same thing.

I guess I am saying that I am hope Kornheiser stays where he is. He's funny, and he says things that not all football announcers would wonder -- like was Flacco getting too confident against the Steelers? Flacco probably was. (He should have gotten rid of the ball more often.)

But, with that said, Kornheiser can lay eggs like this one early in the fourth quarter: "You know the only thing missing from this game? Snow. Snow would be great right now." You, the viewer, just sits there and says: okay.

But that's Kornheiser. He's not Howard Cosell. Not sure whether that's good or bad. He is better than Dennis Miller. He's better than most who have worked in that booth. Sorry, Joe Theismann (and every other Kornheiser critic).

Man's best friend (a dog) correctly picks Steelers over Ravens

Not sure how this happened. Or even if it is trick photography. Who knows? But this dog needs to be tested. Or at least taken to Las Vegas. You will be amazed. All you need to know is that the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Baltimore Ravens 23-20 in overtime last night. The dog in this 39-second video, which was posted prior to the game, does the rest of the work.

Monday, September 29, 2008

ESPN's Monday Night Football crew preview Steelers-Ravens

ESPN's Monday Night Football crew Tony Kornheiser, Ron Jaworski and Mike Tirico breakdown the Ravens Monday Night showdown with the Steelers

Ron Jaworski previews the Ravens-Steelers Monday Night Football game

ESPN's Ron Jaworski previews the Monday Night Football game between the Baltmore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Thespians look forward to play with Bear Bryant

Alabama thespians are eager to play Paul "Bear" Bryant, the late Alabama football coach. The Tuscaloosa News reports:
    The play 'Bear Country' is scheduled to open Jan. 9 and will feature eight performances a week through Feb. 15, said festival spokeswoman Meg Lewis. Casting starts in December in New York, Lewis said, so no one knows yet who will portray Bryant.
Former Alabama player John Mosley is among some players and coaches who are sharing their thoughts with the makers of this production. Mosley said, "You're truly skeptical of things like this. The concerns are they do it the right way and tell it the right way and not try to go off on their own mindset and not take what we say and turn it against coach Bryant and the university."

Tampa Bay Bucs cheerleaders to register voters

The Tampa Bay Tribune reports:
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Earnest Graham and the team's cheerleaders will be on-hand for a voter registration event in the parking lot of the team's headquarters at One Buccaneer Place on Monday.
That's all. Click on photo to get closer look, if you wish.

Ravens to Mendenhall: "Thanks for bulletin-board material, rookie."

Pittsburgh Steelers rookie running back Rashard Mendenhall apparently text messaged his buddy, Ravens rookie tailback Ray Rice. Raven blood runs thicker than water apparently, because Rice shared the message with his Baltimore teammates. It appears to be what some would call trash-talking.

Ravens linebacker Bart Scott said: "He said later that he was just joking, but it's too late. Thanks for the bulletin-board material, rookie." Mendenhall didn't offer a "Your welcome" to Scott and the Ravens, but he did tell ESPN he he "had nothing to do with that." Whatever that means.

Mendenhall gets his first start against the Raven on Monday Night Football. Steelers starting back Willie Parker is injured. The Ravens defense has not allowed 100 yards rushing in 21 straight games. Good luck, rookie.

Elway to marry ex-Raiderette; there's a little Raider in all of us

Former Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway will marry a former Oakland Raiderette cheerleader. The Rocky Mountain News reports:
    The quarterback and the cheerleader met three years ago during a celebrity golf tournament in Los Angeles, which Green, an actress, called home. But it wasn't until seven months later when Elway spotted the lovely lady on an infomercial that he thought to contact her.
Her name is Paige Green, 41. Elway, 47, proposed while the couple was vacationing in Venice, Italy.

It goes to show you that there really is a little Raider in all of us. "And on game day, we let it out." Enjoy the commercial.

Bookmark this site, if only because of Jessica Simpson

Friends, if you like this site, bookmark it. If you are a fellow blogger, I am always on the look out for another link to this site. Where else can you get photos/video clips of Jessica Simpson (Tony Romo's girlfriend). I guess you can say we are seeking more hits for this site and more bookmarks to this site. All the help is greatly appreciated. Hope you continue reading this site. And, oh, here is the best 32-second clip of Jessica Simpson you may ever see. Enjoy.

Friday, September 26, 2008

ESPN's Todd McShay breaks down the Alabama-Georgia game, which happens to be on ESPN Saturday night. Both teams have two freshmen receivers -- Alabama's Julio Jones and Georgia's AJ Green -- and McShay shares his thought about both receivers.

Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay on the colleges

ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay share their thoughts on this weekend's action.

Rams running back Steven Jackson on the Bulger situation

ESPN's Darren Woodson comments on Steven Jackson's comments on Marc Bulger.

There you go again: Debating the highlights of past debates

The Obama-McCain debate tips off at 8 p.m. EST. Check your local listings.

Michael Phelps hits nail on the head: Dan Le Batard's an idiot

With Dan Le Batard asking questions in a loud, rapid fire manner, Olympics swimmer Michael Phelps cut short the transistor radio interview. Apparently Phelps thinks his phone has been hung up and he says: “I didn’t say nothing. That guy was a idiot, that was ridiculous.” Awful Announcing has the whole story as well as the audio. So far, no one has challenged the veracity of Phelps' comments -- Le Batard being an idiot.

(NOTE: Veracity means accuracy or precision, for you idiots out there.)

Stiles Points' in-depth look at the Cowboys-Redskins matchup

Stiles Points takes an in-depth look at the Dallas Cowboys-Washington Redskins game.

Here's also a look at the history of the matchup.

Biden kids: 'Daddy, Rocky Bleier brought it for me.'

The kindness of former Pittsburgh Steelers owner, the late Arthur J. Rooney, moved Vice Presidential candidate Joe Biden to tears yesterday. After being introduced by the present owner of the Steelers, Dan Rooney, Biden spoke about the 1972 car accident that killed his wife, daughter and injured his two sons. He tells how he returned to their hospital room to find out they were given gifts from the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Here are his comments to the crowd after Rooney, an Obama-Biden supporter, introduced him to a crowd outside of Pittsburgh (Greensburg):
    “Sorry to take your time, but Mr. Rooney reminded me of this, Dan reminded me by just seeing him.”

    “They wouldn’t let us have a Christmas tree in, understandably, into the hospital because of concern about fire. So I went to K-mart to get a synthetic tree that would, you know, so I’d be able to bring it in and have something there at Christmas for the kids. One of the few times I was away from their bed for a couple hours, I came back and they looked like they had lighted up my Christmas trees.”

    “My one boy was in traction, and my other little boy had a fractured skull. And they were happy. They each separately had a football in their bed.”

    “Excuse me,” as Biden breaks down.

    “Anyway, and uh, I said guys, where’d you get the ball? And they said ‘Daddy, Rocky Bleier brought it for me,’ ”
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the local Fox channel in Pittsburgh each shared this moment.


  • And for more NFL news, check out the home page of The Zone Blitz.
  • NFL's Week 9 will decide America's future: Obama or McCain

    Circle it on the calendar: Week 9's Monday Night Football matchup of the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Washington Redskins. The date is Nov. 3, 2008. That's one day before the presidential election. Late that night is when the election will be determined. Not 24 hours later when NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox and CNN project Barack Obama or John McCain the winner. Nov. 3, 2008, is the presidential election version of Groundhog Day, only it comes every four years and we are somewhat confident that there is no evidence to show that a groundhog is used in any manner to determine the results.

    Since 1940, the Washington Redskins have determined who won the presidency. Well, except one time, and that was 2004 when George W. Bush beat John Kerry. Of course, maybe there should be a recount in Ohio afterall. Anyway, the Redskins' final home game before the election is the one that determines the White House. If the Redskins win, the incumbent party wins the election. If the Redskins lose, the party out of power wins the White House. Fairly simple. And this leads us to the Pittsburgh Steelers at Washington, Nov 3, 2008.
      Now remember, Redskins win, party in power wins; Redskins lose, party in power loses.

      2004: Redskins lose to Green Bay Packers 24-10.
    • President George W. Bush beats Mass. Senator John Kerry. STREAK ENDS.

      2000: Redskins lose to Tennessee Titans 27-21.
    • VP Al Gore (incumbent party) loses to George W. Bush.

      1996: Redskins beat Indianapolis Colts 31-16.
    • President Bill Clinton (incumbent party) beats Kansas Senator Bob Dole.

      1992: Redskins lose to New York Giants 24-7.
    • President George H.W. Bush (incumbent party) loses to Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton

      1988: Redskins beat New Orleans Saints 27-24.
    • VP George H.W. Bush (incumbent party) beat Mass. Governor Michael Dukakis.

      1984: Redskins beat Atlanta Falcons 27-14.
    • President Ronald Reagan (incumbent party) beats former VP Walter Mondale.

      1980: Redskins lose to Minnesota Vikings 39-14.
    • President Jimmy Carter (incumbent party) loses to California Governor Ronald Reagan.

      1976: Redskins lose to Dallas Cowboys 20-7.
    • President Gerald Ford (incumbent party) loses to Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter.

      1972: Redskins beat Dallas Cowboys 24-20.
    • President Richard Nixon (incumbent party) beats South Dakota Senator George McGovern.

      1968: Redskins lose to New York Giants 13-10.
    • Senator Hubert Humphrey (incumbent party) loses to California Governor Richard Nixon.

      1964: Redskins beat Chicago Bears 27-20.
    • President Lyndon Johnson (incumbent party) beats Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater.

      1960: Redskins lose to Cleveland Browns 31-10.
    • VP Richard Nixon (incumbent party) loses to Mass. Senator John F. Kennedy.

      1956: Redskins beat Cleveland Browns 20-9.
    • President Dwight D. Eisenhower (incumbent party) beats former Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson.

      1952: Redskins lose to Pittsburgh Steelers 24-23.
    • Illinois Governor Adlai (incumbent party) loses to General Dwight D. Eisenhower.

      1948: Redskins beat Boston Yanks 59-21.
    • President Harry S. Truman (incumbent party) beats New York Governor Thomas Dewey.

      1944: Redskins beat Cleveland Rams 14-10.
    • President Franklin D. Roosevelt (incumbent party) beats New York Governor Thomas Dewey.

      1940: Redskins beat Pittsburgh Pirates 37-10.
    • President Franklin D. Roosevelt (incumbent party) beats Wendell Willkie.
    What does all this mean? If Redskins win, McCain wins. If Steelers win, Obama wins. Who will you be rooting for? Redskins? Steelers?

  • NOTE: For more NFL news, check out the home page of The Zone Blitz. How many times do I have to remind you people?
  • ALSO: LeAnn Rimes says Jessica Simpson has assets to be big as Dolly Parton
  • Newspaper ombudsmen not worth warm bucket of spit?

    Was John Nance Garner talking about the vice presidency or newspaper ombudsmen when he said the office wasn't worth a "warm bucket of spit." It's appearing more and more like he was talking about your friend the ombudsmen, aka the person who takes phone calls from cranky readers complaining about how lousy today's newspaper was. Unfortunately, ombudsmen are losing their jobs. So says Editor & Publisher:
      Newspaper ombudsmen have often been among the first targeted for cuts. But since the start of 2008, the axe appears to be falling more than ever on these public editors and reader representatives, who contend their work is as important as any staff writer or editor — perhaps more so as the industry faces some of its toughest challenges, prompting a need for someone who can handle reader concerns.
    Since the start of the year, the following newspapers have lost their ombudsmen to cutbacks: The Sacramento Bee, the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, The Sun of Baltimore, the Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram, the Orlando Sentinel, The Hartford (Conn.) Courant, and The Palm Beach (Fla.) Post.

    Where will cranky readers turn?

    Stiles Points lands Interview of the Century with The Zone Blitz

    He has interviewed some of the greats -- Furman Bisher of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Jerry Izenberg of the Newark Star-Ledger and a Playboy model -- but today Stiles Points lowers the bar a bit and interviews yours truly, The Zone Blitz.

    It's a feature he calls "Beers with Bloggers." Just this year, for the feature Stiles Points has interviewed Girls Gone Sports, The Big Picture, Complete Sports, The Money Shot, Insomniac's Lounge, One Dying Quail and Signal to Noise Blog. And now The Zone Blitz. Enjoy.

    Is Drew Rosenhaus the Batman of Super Agents?

    The USA Today interviewed Drew Rosenhaus about his new book "Next Question, An NFL Super Agent's Proven Game Plan For Business Success." Rosenhaus, a comic book nutball, admitted his superhero worship of Batman.
      You talk about still reading comic books. What superhero would you have wanted to be?

      "It is a slam dunk. Batman. Because of the fact is what I admire most about his character he doesn’t have any superpower and everything he accomplishes is based on his hard work and discipline and drive. Those are the things I admire."
    Rosenhaus answers nine questions, including these: Why is it that you only represent football players? What player in NFL history would you have wanted to represent? What don't we understand about agents?

    Will Michael Vick watch the Iditarod on Discovery Channel?

    The Anchorage Daily News asks: "Can Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race mushers Lance Mackey or Bruce Linton become household names across the nation like Captain Sig Hansen on the Discovery Channel's 'Deadliest Catch,' recently nominated for five Primetime Emmy Awards?"

    Come Oct. 14, we shall see. That's when the Discovery Channel will begin airing six one-hour programs. The Anchorage Daily News reports that the programs were shot at last year's Iditarod. So if you haven't heard who won last year's event -- like most of us -- this will be an adventure. The Anchorage Daily News reports the following about "Toughest Race on Earth: Iditarod."
      To bring the race into focus, producers focused in on eight mushers:
      Lance Mackey, the defending champion who shattered prevailing notions of what was possible by winning the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race and Iditarod back to back two consecutive years.
      Jeff King, the four-time champion who battled Mackey to the finish line in March.
      Martin and young Rohn Buser, with dad a four-time champion and his son an 18-year-old rookie.
      DeeDee Jonrowe, the popular Willow musher and breast cancer survivor who's started 26 Iditarods, finishing as high as second.
      Darin Nelson, a rookie from Kotzebue and the son of popular rural musher Louie Nelson.
      Rick Holt, a rookie from Willow and teacher who finished 58th in March.
      Bruce Linton, who moved from Vermont to Kasilof and who's committed to inspiring fellow diabetics that they, too, can achieve their dreams.
    So what is the Iditarod? Here's one view from the race's web site:
      From Anchorage, in south central Alaska, to Nome on the western Bering Sea coast, each team of 12 to 16 dogs and their musher cover over 1150 miles in 10 to 17 days.

      It has been called the “Last Great Race on Earth” and it has won worldwide acclaim and interest. German, Spanish, British, Japanese and American film crews have covered the event. Journalists from outdoor magazines, adventure magazines, newspapers and wire services flock to Anchorage and Nome to record the excitement. It’s not just a dog sled race, it’s a race in which unique men and woman compete. Mushers enter from all walks of life.
    Here's the Discovery Channel's commercial for the show.

    Thursday, September 25, 2008

    Wife seeks some advice over troubling problem.

    Solid advice to one woman's problem:

    Nina Reyes finds herself in The Big Picture

    The Big Picture landed a big interview with Nina Reyes of Playboy's Girls of the Big 10. Okay, it wasn't an in-person interview, and he feels bad about that, but it's still a Playboy interview. She's a 22-year-old University of Illinois graduate, Reyes major was Media Studies.

    It's a nice interview. I will not even share any of the answers she provides. I'll sell the interview by posting a few of his questions:
  • Hypothetical situation (sort of). You're out a bar. You have like 20 guys approach you throughout the night:
      a. Which ones will you let buy you a drink?
      b. How do you let them know you're not interested?
      c. Which one are you going home with?
  • You're stuck on a tropical island. You can have two people with you and three objects. Who and what are they?
  • Quick Hitters (here's a few): Favorite drink? Favorite late-night food? Favorite position? ESPN or E!? Your preference: all natural or fake it?

    This is must reading. Great job. And don't forget to check out the link to the Southpark clip that refers to one of her answers.
  • McGruff and Time Warner seek help on the George Brett video

    Time Warner wants to know how the raw George Brett video landed on YouTube. You know, the video where he is telling two Kansas City Royal players about a trip to Las Vegas where he, uh, crapped his pants. He said he is good for this at least twice a year. Okay, we are sure it was all a put on, because two sounds kind of low. Anyway, Time Warner wants to know how this video escaped its vault. In fact, a Time Warner spokesman uses the word "investigation." The USA Today reports:
      The video of the Hall of Famer was shot several years ago during spring training, when Tony Pena was the Royals’ manager. Kansas City Star blogger Jeffrey Flanagan reports that, "Brett was shown joking around with some players while talking graphically about how overeating can cause, shall we say, a certain undesirable bodily function."

      The video has been removed, but a Time Warner spokesman told the Star the company still wants to know how the footage got lifted from its archives and that, "The matter is still under investigation by us."
    Anyway, if you have any information about who released this video, it probably would be a great idea to call your local Time Warner Cable provider, have the automated voice walk you through a series of levels and then sit tight on hold for 15 minutes, waiting for the most available operator. Then have them promise a call back.

    Walter "Wally" Hilgenberg dies at age 66

    Walter "Wally" Hilgenberg died the morning of Sept. 23 at age 66. Hilgenberg, a former Minnesota Vikings linebacker, died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which is also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. It was reported that Hilgenberg was surrounded by his family in his Lakeville, Minn., home when he passed away. Hilgenberg played college football at the University of Iowa. He once told the Des Moines Register:
      “The fact that I played 16 years of pro football against Gale Sayers and O.J. Simpson and Walter Payton and those kinds of guys was thrilling to me,” Hilgenberg told The Register in 1987. “I look back now at what kind of great athletes they were, and the fact that I was competitive against them amazes me.”
    Hilgenberg played in four Super Bowls with the Vikings. In played in the NFL 16 seasons with the Vikings and the Detroit Lions. Hilgenberg was drafted by the Lions in 1964 in the fourth round. In 1968 was traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers and was then waived by the team. He landed with the Vikings.

    Earlier this year, Scout.com wrote a story about Hilgenberg:
      During the twilight of his career, he recalls re-entering Met Stadium shortly after a win that helped get the team into the playoffs once again. Forty-five minutes previous, he said the stadium was so lively and now when he went back to sit in the bleachers to think about the win, the stadium was not just cold and empty.

      “I looked at my wife (Mary) and said, ‘That’s a lot like my life,’” Hilgenberg recalled.

      Mary said she had been trying to tell him that feeling was because he was missing Christ in his life. She had come to faith six months before and prodded him to start thinking about it. Wally recalled sitting in a hotel room during a road game and finally getting out his King James Bible and started to really feel connected to his faith.
    Added this video Sept. 28, 2008.

    Eli Manning, Tom Coughlin on Plaxico Burress' suspension

    New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin and quarterback Eli Manning share their thoughts on the Plaxico Burress' suspension for one game.

    Wednesday, September 24, 2008

    Steve Nash and Baron Davis video

    Not sure what this is all about but here is a Steve Nash and Baron Davis video. Sort of like watching the Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates commercials and wondering what the heck this is all about. Only Nash and Davis are more entertaining. It appears to be part of a competition for Best Movie Trailer Spoof.

    Reading is all right in Las Vegas

    So you go to Las Vegas for the weekend. Bet a few college games on Saturday. A few more NFL games on Sunday. In between you head to the craps table. Maybe some Blackjack. And then where do you go to blow you winnings? No, not a strip joint, but you can if you wish. No, now on the Strip, you can buy a few books. And not just some ordinary book from Barnes and Nobles. We're talking rare book. That's right, in Vegas. On the Strip. Rare books. LA Times Vegas blogger Richard Abowitz shares this story:
      Here, collectors can find a $375 paperback of Ian Fleming’s “Octopussy,” one of the store’s low-priced offerings, for pool reading. Or if you hit on roulette, for $250,000, you can purchase a first edition of the account of Lewis & Clark’s expedition.

      Bauman Rare Books sticks out like either a guiding light or a sore thumb amid the Palazzo’s retail shops, with their designer handbags and dresses. On the Strip, even chain stores such as Borders and Barnes & Noble have not found placing an outlet in a resort's mall worth doing. After all, people don’t generally come here to read books, nor is Vegas known for its book collectors.

    After 3-0 start, Tom Coughlin speaks

    New York coach Tom Coughlin talks about the Giants' 3-0 start.

    Fantasy football chatter can be very boring


    Hearing about someone else's fantasy football league is about as boring as watching the fourth quarter of the New York Jets' game against the San Diego Chargers on Monday Night Football. Remember, by the fourth quarter, it was all over -- unless you normally pray to St. Jude. A conversation about fantasy football is only semi-interesting if you are talking to someone in your league or you are talking to someone outside your league while sharing thoughts on who to draft. After that, all conversation about your stinking league is booooooooooooooooooooooooring. That brings us to the super bloggers, with their standings listed above. No offense, guys, but remember how your eyes glaze over when you hear others talk about their team? Those are our eyes glazing over right now. Post the standings and move on. And keep posting links to my site. What does a guy have to do to get his stuff posted on your site? I need hits, hits and more hits. Come on. By the way, I am 1-2 in my league and I think my team is about to turn the corner.

    Tom Brady shops as Rome, er, New England burns

    New England's injured quarterback Tom Brady was out shopping with his one-year-old son, Jack, as his teammates were getting pounded by the previously hapless Miami Dolphins (38-13) on Sunday, reports NFLJuice.com. The site reports:
      “He had a bandanna tied around his forehead under his hat,” said a spywitness. “He was definitely keeping his hat low, and the bandanna low, but he’s hard to miss. I think once the word was out, he tried to get out of there rather quickly!”
    Always a good day when someone uses the word spywitness. Interestingly, the previous Sunday (Sept. 14), Bridget Moynahan, Brady's ex, had their son out shopping, too. According to "In Touch" magazine, she was shopping at Tales & Toys in Venice, Calif. According to reports:
      "One of the sales clerks jokingly asked, 'So, you ladies aren't watching Sunday football?' " a source told the mag. "Bridget looked disgusted and replied, 'We hate football.' "

    Ford Jr.'s comments about Millen popular topic in Detroit

  • At last, Ford Jr. goes public with it -- Free Press columnist Michael Rosenberg
  • Lions' Williams, Hanson weigh in on Millen situation -- George Sipple's blog
  • Ford Jr. said it, but he didn’t say it all -- Free Press columnist Mitch Albom
  • Ford Sr. turns deaf ear to dissent -- Free Press columnist Drew Sharp
  • Lions fans owed answers, Mr. Ford -- Detroit News columnist Rob Parker
  • Ford Jr. is right, Millen should walk away from Lions -- Detroit News columnist Bob Wojnowski

    And if it isn't bad enough for the folks in Detroit, they receive a shot from an Arizona Republic front page headline in Tuesday's paper. The news story is about a report out that lists the greenest cities in the country. It appears to be the ultimate slap in the face for a city to be listed behind the Motor City.

    The newspaper reports: "Portland came in first; Phoenix was No. 32, dropping 10 places from its ranking just two years ago. Adding more insult to injury: Detroit has topped Phoenix as the more "sustainable" municipality, having jumped 12 places to claim the 31st spot." Jeez, the Arizona Cardinals open the season at 2-1 and the folks out there apparently get a chip on their shoulder.
  • Sarah Palin's twin broadcasts in Bangor, Maine

    A Sarah Palin look-a-like works in the media. She is Cindy Michaels, an anchor, reporter and producer for WVII ABC-7/Fox 22 in Bangor, Maine. The Bangor News reports:
      Michaels doesn’t deny the similarities, but says she has been wearing glasses and her hair up for years — long before the look became popularized by the Alaska governor.

      “If you’ve seen me on the news for the past few years, you’ve seen that I wear my hair up regularly,” said Michaels. “I’ve been wearing it like that all my life. That’s what I keep telling people.”

      One viewer even called in to inform Michaels that she was sure she was trying to blatantly emulate Palin — but that she was doing a bad job of it.

      “A woman actually called one night and said ‘What, is this the Kmart version of Sarah Palin, with your cheap plastic glasses?’” she said.
    In the video, sometimes she looks like Palin. Sometimes, she doesn't. You be the judge.

    Tuesday, September 23, 2008

    Remember Jimmy the Cab Driver?

    Stiles Points will be taking an in-depth look back at MTV's Jimmy the Cab Driver. His first selection is of Jimmy carting an old lady around and telling her that MTV does the thinking for ya. They don't make them like Jimmy the Cab Driver anymore. Jimmy calls MTV, "The MTV." It's almost like George W. Bush was hanging out with Jimmy when he called Google "The Google." We need more Jimmys and maybe a few less Dubyas.

    NFL: Everyday is like Sunday

    The NFL is using Morrissey's song "Everyday is like Sunday" in a commercial. No biggie, right? Well, that's because it's the only line (Everyday is like Sunday) from the song used in the 30-second commercial, which promotes NFL.com, NFL Mobile Live and the NFL Network. If any one bothers to seek some of the lyrics in the song, you find lines like these:
      Trudging slowly over wet sand
      Back to the bench where your clothes were stolen
      This is the coastal town
      That they forgot to close down
      Armageddon - come armageddon!
      Come, armageddon! come!
    And this one:
      Hide on the promenade
      Etch a postcard :
      How I dearly wish I was not here
      In the seaside town
      ...that they forgot to bomb
      Come, come, come - nuclear bomb
    And if the use of words like armageddon and nuclear bomb aren't enough, how about the refrain:
      Everyday is like sunday
      Everyday is silent and grey
    Silent and grey? Not the kind of Sunday the NFL is selling. And as it is with most fans of a popular artist, Morrissey fans are not happy with the NFL using the song in the ad. And for those of you who don't know who the heck Morrissey is, he was the singer and lyricist for the The Smiths, an alternative rock band during the 1980s. The song "Everyday is like Sunday" came after he left the band.

    Here's the NFL commercial.

    Here's Morrissey's video for the song "Everyday is like Sunday."

  • And for more NFL news, check out the home page of The Zone Blitz.
  • About last night (ESPN style): Chargers 48, Jets 29

    ESPN's Monday Night Football crew Mike Tirico, Tony Kornheiser and Ron Jaworski recap the Chargers' 48-29.

    Killing all those dirty rats on Rat Island

    No one likes a rat. No one. But when you, Joe Q. Public, are trying to get rid of a rat problem, you usually do it one at a time -- with a rat trap. Heck, maybe even dab a little peanut butter on the trap to entice the little creatures. Not in Alaska. They do things a bit different. On Rat Island, they getting rid of all of them -- at once. No messing around in Alaska. And all of this, despite the island being named in their honor. So much for Alaskan hospitality. Anyway, here is the report from the Anchorage Daily News:
      Last week, a crew of 18 left Homer aboard the crabber Reliance, bound for little Rat Island at the end of the Aleutian chain on a mission of devastation.

      By coating the island with tiny toxic pellets in an operation that begins this week, scientists hope to exterminate Norway rats, which jumped off a shipwrecked Japanese ship in the 18th century and colonized the 6,871-acre island 1,700 miles from Anchorage.
    The size of the island is about 10 square miles and it has no permanent population. The newspaper has a series of photos of the island, the rats and a helicopter that has a spreader bucket hanging from it that will be used to drop the pellets to eliminate the stinking rats.

    This will cost $3 million and has been in the works for years. It was reported, "Rats have been removed from some 300 islands around the world, including islands in New Zealand and atolls near Hawaii. But it will be the first time rats have been removed from an Alaska island." Steve Mclean, Bering Sea program manager of the Alaska Nature Conservancy in Anchorage, said: "To put it in its simplest form, a single breeding pair left alive is essentially a failure."

    Good luck on your mission. They will return to the island in two years to find if they were successful.

    Mary Garber, a pioneer among women sportswriters, dies at 92

    Mary Garber, a pioneer among women sportswriters, died Sunday at age 92. In 1940, Garber started her career as the society editor at the Twin City Sentinel. In 1946, Garber joined the sports department. Then later Garber worked for the Winston-Salem Journal. She was the winner of the 2005 Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) Red Smith Award. In reporting her death, the Winston-Salem Journal wrote:
      For nearly 30 years, Mary was the only woman in the state on the sports beat full time. She will go down in history -- big American history, not little local history -- as a newspaper pioneer who represented the simple truth that everyone deserves a fair shot.

      She lived that way. She treated others that way, just like her mother taught her. Race didn't matter. Religion didn't matter. Money didn't matter. Gender certainly didn't matter. She would warm up to folks if they acted right, and she would chide them if they behaved badly -- although seldom to their faces and almost never without awarding a second or third chance to demonstrate a modicum of civility.
    Of her pioneering ways, she said in 1986, "Jackie Robinson was breaking in with the Dodgers about then. He had to take a lot of crap when he came up. His philosophy was: ‘Do the best job you could and keep your mouth shut. People will eventually respect you.' In my case, eventually, people would say, ‘She's all right.' That's all I really wanted."

    In an editorial, the Winston-Salem Journal wrote:
      Much has been written in praise of Mary Garber, in her latter years when she finally got the recognition that was her due, and now to mark her death Sunday at the age of 92. All of it -- about how she was the pioneering female sportswriter in America, about her work ethic, about her egalitarian outlook that considered everyone worthy of interest and fair treatment -- is true and well deserved.

      Every woman in journalism today, not just those who cover sports without anyone's thinking their doing so is remarkable, owes her a debt of gratitude.
    Among those reporting her death was the Los Angeles Times ('Miss Mary' Garber, longtime sportswriter who paved way for women in the field, dies at 92).

    Oakland exec gets in reporter's face

    San Jose Mercury News' Tim Kawakami asked this question of Lane Kiffin at a press conference Monday and the result of this question is what is seen on this video below:
      "Given that there are reports (that Kiffin earlier didn’t deny) that Raiders officials have told him he’s going to be fired, given that we all know a Raiders official distributed printed copies of an espn.com article critical of Kiffin, given that Kiffin came to today’s news conference without a single item of Raiders garb… How isolated does Kiffin feel in this organization?"
    The dispute is between Kawakami and Oakland administrator John Herrera.

    Kawakami later blogged about the incident under the headline "The Raiders’ John Herrera vs. me in front of the cameras today: Well, THAT was fun." Kawakami writes:
      It’s fairly entertaining when you can step back and see it from far away. It’s illustrative and it’s a little sad, again, in an always entertaining way. This is what the once-great franchise is reduced to?
      But when it’s running up to you and screaming in your face and calling you a liar and apparently intimating that I was dabbling in counter-culture activities with a national NFL writer? HUH? In front of every local TV station, to be shown at 6 and 11 I would guess? Well, now!

    Monday, September 22, 2008

    Jay Glazer: Oakland's Lane Kiffin gone sometime today

    It appears Jay Glazer, Senior NFL Writer for FOXSports.com, has scooped everyone again. This time he has Oakland Raiders head coach Lane Kiffin getting fired today.
    Here's a bit of Glazer's report:
      Kiffin has been informed by Raiders officials that Al Davis intends to remove him as the team's head coach as early as Monday, FOXSports.com has learned.

      Davis blamed Kiffin for the Raiders' 24-23 loss on Sunday to the Bills, and told his underlings that he will make the move on Monday. However, word was leaked out last week in a similar fashion and Kiffin survived. Players reached out to FOXSports.com to express hope that the move would not be made, and with Davis you can never be certain.

    Photographer of the "Johnny Bright Incident" dies at 91


    Don Ultang, 91, died in his sleep on Sept. 18, 2008. He, along with John Robinson, won a Pulitzer Prize for a series of photos (above) that show a brutal attack on Johnny Bright, an African-American football player, during the Drake University-Oklahoma A&M football game on Oct. 20, 1951, in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The photo was shot for the Des Moines Register. The attack became known as the "Johnny Bright Incident." The photos describe a hit by a white defensive tackle from Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State) on Bright, who was Drake's halfback/quarterback. Bright broke his jaw on the play but was able to remain in the game for a few more plays, including a 61-yard touchdown pass to teammate Jim Pilkington. The hit on Bright occurs right after he hands off the ball to Drake fullback Gene Macomber.

    The Des Moines Register reported that Drake withdrew from the Missouri Valley Conference after the conference's officials failed to discipline the Oklahoma A&M player. Upon reporting Ultang's death last week, the Des Moines Register wrote:
      The photographs highlighted the racial tension in the years preceding the civil rights era, made the cover of Life magazine and won Ultang and Robinson the Pulitzer Prize, journalism's highest award.

      The photographers "didn't really know what they had until they got back to the photo lab," said Paul Morrison, a Drake sports historian who witnessed the Bright incident.
    Bright was seen as the country's first black Heisman Trophy candidate. The injury ended any hope of a Heisman Trophy for Bright, who later was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the first round in 1952. Bright, however, opted for the Canadian Football League, where he played for the Calgary Stampeders. Bright was later quoted about his decision: "I would have been their (the Eagles') first Negro player. There was a tremendous influx of Southern players into the NFL at that time, and I didn't know what kind of treatment I could expect." Bright spent most of his career in the CFL with the Edmonton Eskimos. Bright, who became a citizen of Canada in 1962, died of a heart attack in 1983 at age 53 in Edmonton. Drake named the football field Johnny Bright Field in 2006. Bright was named first-team All-American in 1951 and he is the only player to have his jersey (No. 43) retired.

    As for Ultang, his daughter Joanne Ultang said, "He would say he was just in the right place at the right time."

    Tony Mandarich's dirty little secret -- book on steroids, alcohol & God

    Former Green Bay Packer Tony Mandarich has a book coming out in March of 2009 called “My Dirty Little Secrets - Steroids, Alcohol & God.” But for now, we have to settle for his book trailer (at bottom). I guess this is like a movie trailer, but no movie. Never heard of a book trailer, but he has one. His web site for his book lists the following note:
      Tony Mandarich has lived a life full of controversy, allegations of steroid use & adversity. In his new book to be released in March 2009 the 20th anniversary of that infamous NFL draft, he tells all about what he did, what happened, and what he is doing today. The book title is “My Dirty Little Secrets - Steroids, Alchohol & God - The Tony Mandarich Story” Opt into the e-mail list to win an personalized autographed copy.

    And before going any further, note to Tony: you have the word "alcohol" spelled wrong in your note to your site's readers. It is spelled right in the video, though. In a story Sunday in the San Diego Union-Tribune, the newspaper listed NFL steroid users team-by-team. Of Mandarich, the Union-Tribune wrote: "OL Tony Mandarich (late 1980s/early '90s) allegedly confessed to others of having used steroids, according to sources in Sports Illustrated. He denied it." By the title of the book, maybe he is ready to admit something.

    Anyway, if you go to Mandarich's book site, there are links to his other sites:
    Mandarich Mediagroup
    Mandarich Models
    Mandarich Photography
    Mandarich Studio Buzz, which is an honest to God business blog by Mandarich that is just a week old. If you like the ladies, his models site is just for you. In fact, here's a shortcut. The video below is his book trailer. Enjoy.

  • Also, I blogged earlier today about the San Diego Union-Tribune's NFL version of the Mitchell Report.
  • And for more news and oddball items, check out the front page of The Zone Blitz.
  • Ron Jaworski previews Jets-Chargers MNF matchup

    ESPN's Ron Jaworski previews the Monday Night Football matchup between the New York Jets and San Diego Chargers. How many times will Tony Kornheiser mention Brett Favre's name? The over-under number is 35. Good luck.

    San Diego Union-Tribune releases NFL version of Mitchell Report

    San Diego Union-Tribune published Sunday what it calls the NFL version of Mitchell Report.
      Like the Mitchell Report, the Union-Tribune relied on hundreds of media reports, archives, plus public records and interviews with players and league personnel. There are no bombshell names unveiled for the first time, nor is it considered comprehensive or proportional, just the best snapshot that could be provided through those sources.

      It is believed to only scratch the surface of actual usage in pro football during that time, according to doping experts.

      “If I had to venture to guess, you're touching the tip of the iceberg,” said Charles Yesalis, a Penn State professor emeritus and anabolic steroids expert. “Because of the secretive nature of all of it, it's very difficult to come up with any kind of solid handle.”
  • Another story touches on the lack of interest in the NFL's drug problem. It's called: "Why less outrage over drugs in the NFL?" The newspaper answers the question with several possible reasons, but no definite answer. It's probably a mix of all the newspaper's possible reasons, but their final possibility seems to resonate.
      Individual recognition: Fans don't get as disappointed in those they don't feel they know very well. In baseball, you can see players' faces and recognize them individually when they bat or pitch. In football, players' faces are covered by helmets, and many of those who have used steroids are linemen who labor in relative anonymity.

      “There's a greater ability to see and relate to baseball players,” said David Carter, executive director of USC's Sports Business Institute. “So the disappointment and outrage is slightly different.”
  • The Union-Tribune also lists a detailed history that goes team-by-team.
  • The problem may have started before Aug. 29, 1989, but that's when the NFL's problem became public.
  • Sunday, September 21, 2008

    New NFL buzzword? Bubble screen

    Was it last year or the year before, everyone started using the words "Trap game?" This year's buzz word is "bubble screen." Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times explains:
      It's a pass thrown behind the line of scrimmage to a receiver or running back who's already in an extended formation. The term "bubble" refers to the pass catcher bubbling back away from the line of scrimmage to give the quarterback a better angle to throw to him.

      The goal is to have the receiver catch the ball in front of him, with his shoulders facing forward. At the same time, the receivers outside of him are blocking down the field.

      The timing is crucial, because those outside receivers cannot start blocking until the ball has been caught. Otherwise, it's offensive pass interference. (Typically, officials won't call that as long as the ball has left the quarterback's hand.)
    Farmer said it's a play that is used to pick up 4 or 5 yards. I just Googled it, he's right. It's all over the place. Feel free to use it today in conversation before it becomes last year's buzz word. It's getting use in the college game, too.

    NFL to Ed Hochuli: Stop e-mailing fans!!!

    NFL referee Ed Hochuli admitted his bad call in the San Deigo-Denver game that cost the Chargers the game. Upset fans fired off e-mails to Hochuli, who in turn wrote back not to tell them to shut the @#$% up, but to apologize. Now, in a strange twist, the NFL is telling Hochuli to shut the @#$% up. AOL's Fanhouse writes:
      Surprisingly, Hochuli replied, telling fans that he was sorry, that he agrees that he screwed up royally and that he feels terrible about it. But now the NFL has told Hochuli to knock it off. Chris Mortensen reported on ESPN (via PFT) that the league office has told Hochuli to zip it.
    Today, Hochuli is in Baltimore officating the Ravens-Browns game.

    Should Takeru Kobayashi hang up his buns?

    Takeru Kobayashi ate 89 Krystal hamburgers in eight minutes Saturday prior to the Alabama-Birmingham/Alabama State football game. It was in 2006 when Kobayashi ate 97 Krystal hamburgers in eight minutes. Kobayashi lost his hot-dog eating crown to Joey Chestnut, who has won the past two Nathan's hot-dog eating contests. Through an interpreter, Kobayashi told the Alabama Birmingham News, "I'm just going to try to eat as many as possible as fast as possible."

    My question: Is Kobayashi becoming the Brett Favre of hot dogs and hamburgers? He has dropped eight hamburgers in two years. That's more than a 10 percent drop in performance. Is it time for Kobayashi to exit stage right?

    No pressure, but Kobayashi has one last chance to gain our respect. The fifth annual hamburger eating championship is slated for Sept. 28 in Chattanooga. Joey Chestnut will be there. So will Kobayashi. Maybe it's time for the Tokyo native to hang up his buns.

    Stay tuned. Fox Sports Network is slated to televise the event.

    Interesting fact of the day: Krystal made 1,000 of its square hamburgers for the competition and there will be 1,500 prepared for the Sept. 28 event.

    Redskins' Vinny Cerrato and the radio: A bad mix?

    washington Redskins executive vice president Vinny Cerrato has a new radio show. Is this good or bad for the Redskins? ESPN.com's Matt Mosley has an opinion:
      I'm the last guy who can criticize someone for moonlighting (7-10 p.m. ET on XM 141), but (Washington Post beat writer Jason) La Canfora brings up some good points. Monday is a huge day in the personnel business because you're having to evaluate how your players looked and whether you need to make roster moves to respond to injuries. Cerrato has Bristol in his blood (did some college football TV analysis), so it's no surprise that he's open to doing radio.

      That said, I'm not sure what to expect from him this fall. If his second round-picks Malcolm Kelly and Devin Thomas continue to disappoint, will Cerrato take part of the blame? I've spent time in the guy's office and can testify to the fact that he's an engaging storyteller. But he's also opening himself up to even more criticism than normal.
    So what does all this mean? Not sure, but if you want to listen to Cerrato, tune into ESPN 980 in Washington D.C. The program, "Inside The Red Zone With Vinny Cerrato," airs on Mondays and Fridays from 10-noon.

    Eagles' Jamaal Jackson Played vs. Cowboys after brother's death

    Philadelphia Eagles center Jamaal Jackson (right) played last Monday night with a heavy heart. He lost his brother, who was killed by a drunk driver in Miami last Sunday. Several of his teammates were at the services Saturday. Jackson missed all of the practices this week, after the team had earlier said he was out due to "personal reasons."

    According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Kamar Jackson, 29, was the father of four. He was crushed by another vehicle.

    Some things never change: college coaches rarely succeed in NFL

    College coaches rarely make it in the NFL, reports the Sacramento Bee. The newspaper writes: "In the past 14 years, Dennis Erickson, Mike Riley, Steve Spurrier, Butch Davis, Nick Saban and Bobby Petrino have fit that profile." And now there is Lane "Dead Man Walking" Kiffin, the Oakland Raiders head coach. Kiffin, 31, came straight from the sidelines of USC. But not as the head coach of the Trojans. No, he was the offensive coordinator for Pete Carroll. He also coached the wide receivers, which probably explains his great relationship with Javon Walker. Gil Brandt shares a few thoughts about the lack of success by the college coaches:
      "The difference between college and pros is monumental," said NFL scouting guru Gil Brandt, architect of Dallas' powerhouse teams of the 1970s. "Now, that doesn't mean that college coaches aren't as smart, but they have that 20-hour week (limit for practice and meetings with players). They don't do as many exotic things as they do in the NFL.

      "It takes a while to learn if you've never coached in the NFL – all the different coverages, the (salary) cap. It really makes it hard if you've never been an assistant."
    Oh, but then there's Jimmy Johnson with the Dallas Cowboys. Uh, okay, now name another. Take your time.

    Okay, time's up. Tom Coughlin. Yes, the New York Giants' Super Bowl winning coach last season. He came to the NFL straight from Boston College. He had a rough start with the Jacksonville Jaguars, though. And then, he barely survived in New York before last season. He was almost destined for the road traveled by Petrino, Spurrier, Davis, Saban and, heck, even Pete Carroll.

    Okay, okay, now come up with someone other than Jimmy Johnson and Tom Coughlin. Good luck. And good luck to Kiffin. We hardly knew ya.

    Are you, or have you ever been, a douchebag?

    Everyone knows one. Some of you may even be one. A douchebag. A douchebag is a guy who, well, you know, is a douchebag. Sort of hard to put into words. You sort of know one when you see one. Well, stop wondering. The b (a free tabloid put out by the Baltimore Sun) is here to aid you. They researched the topic well beyond anyone's expectations and have come up with in-depth article titled "Anatomy of a douchebag."
      The b offers examples of "entry-level douchebag," which includes:
    • You’ve officially dubbed your friends “my boys.”
    • You name your dog after a character from “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
    • Polo shirts are two times too small.
    • Celeb soul mates: Wilmer Valderrama; Keith Olbermann; Colin Farrell; Brody Jenner; Mario Lopez

      The b offers examples of Mid-grade Douchebag
    • Tattoos include a bald eagle, Chinese characters you can’t translate.
    • You wear sunglasses indoors
    • Two words: trucker hat.
    • Celeb soul mates: Carlos Mencia; John Mayer; Matthew McConaughey; Ty Pennington; Ashton Kutcher

      The b offers examples of the Extreme Douchebag
    • You have a Bluetooth headset. When people look at you inquisitively as you talk to yourself, you point quickly to the headset and mouth, “I’m on the phone.”
    • You use the word gay in a derogatory sense — after doing a workout with your heterosexual life mate.
    • Celeb soul mates: Spencer Pratt; Dane Cook; Donald Trump; Ryan Seacrest; Adam Levine; Criss Angel; Nick Lachey
    For the full list, check out The b. So, in review, odds are great that you know a douchebag who identifies with Keith Olbermann, has a tattoo with Chinese characters and uses a Bluetooth headset.

    Now this all leads to another story. Was it right for the Baltimore Sun's publication (The b) to use the word "douchebag" in a headline? The b's editor (Anne Tallent) wrote a memo defending the use of the word douchebag, which she describes as meaning " a particularly lame type of guy." Part of her defense included:
      The conclusion that our readers find the term commonplace is borne out by the feedback we've gotten outside the Sun newsroom -- complimentary/amused. b's readers aren't contesting the appropriateness of the term in general, but rather, "Does it apply to Dane Cook fans? Yankees lovers? Bluetooth users?" The term is part of their media diet: Gawker has a douchebag hall of fame; sites such as douchewatcher.com, douchebagalert.com and bigdouchebag.com let users identify and/or rate douchebags; Details magazine quizzes readers on douchebag tendencies.
    Uh, she forgot to mention Deadspin, The Big Lead and many, many more bloggers. And, to make matters worse, Tallent ends here memo with the words "Cheers, Anne." Now, if she were a guy, using the word "Cheers" would make her a douchebag.

    John McIntyre, an affiliate faculty member at Loyola College of Maryland, responded with the following:
      I asked my copy-editing class today about douchebag, with these results: They gasped and snickered; they know the origin of the term as well as its contemporary use; they would not have used the word in a headline. Not a significant sampling, I concede, and it’s possible that they were telling me what they imagined I wanted to hear. But still.

      I don’t think that we have got quite so far beyond shock as Ms. Tallent thinks.
    So what does all this mean? Well, one could say if you weren't offended by the use of the word douchebag, then maybe you are one. Or maybe you're one if you were offended. Or maybe everyone has a little bit of douchebag in them. The latter is probably the most true.

    The all-time greatest NFL players to be cut

    Here's the all-time greatest NFL players to be cut. The top one can arguably be called the greatest NFL player ever. Here's a teaser to the two-minute clip: teammates Trent Green and Kurt Warner are on the list.

    Saturday, September 20, 2008

    Pick'em: Eli Manning, Philip Rivers or Jay Cutler?

    AOL's Fanhouse asks -- So Who Ya Got: Eli Manning, Philip Rivers or Jay Cutler? I watched the Denver-San Diego game last weekend. Ed Hochuli may have been the star of the game, but Cutler is going to be the next star in the NFL. Denver is a potential Super Bowl team -- this season. And I think Mike Shanahan knows it. Why else would he boldly predict the playoffs for this 2008 team?

    "The NFL FanHouse brain trusts" share their thoughts. Of their comments, I agree with Stephanie Stradley.
      I think you go with Cutler. The Denver system is kind to quarterbacks, and clearly they were still chasing their post-Elway quarterback. Think of how many QBs he outplayed last year while he had undiagnosed diabetes.

      Mike Shanahan says it takes a quarterback three years in his system to really get it. We are in Year 3.

    I think Cutler will put up the best stats of the three and maybe win a Super Bowl. Manning will win the most Super Bowls and destined to a Troy Aikman-like career, where the stats are decent but the Super Bowl trophies are his forte. As for Rivers, he's a loud mouth. He'll have a decent career. Sort of reminds you of Ryan Leaf with some talent. Manning and Cutler can hope for the Hall of Fame some day. Rivers not so much.

    NFL like the Ivy League? Nice try.

    Mike Ogle of The New York Times' college football blog "The Quad" allows Princeton Coach Roger Hughes to present his case why he thinks the Ivy League is more like the NFL than any other conference in college football. Yeah, right. Here's Hughes' view:
      “If you look at this league, because of the way it’s designed, the way we recruit, we’re more like the N.F.L. than any other conference,” Hughes said. “The N.F.L. has a salary cap. We have, quote, an education cap. We have very strict guidelines as to who we can recruit and how many we can recruit at different academic levels. And so, much like the N.F.L. they have to decide who to give all the money to, we have to decide who’s going to get those lower academic slots, and there’s only so many of those for each team, which means every team gets good players. The difference between us and the N.F.L. is we can’t go to the waiver wire. Once a kid gets hurt or decides to leave the team, we’re stuck with what we have.”
    Not sure how many Ivy leaguers are in the NFL, but Princeton has three former players there -- Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Jonathan Dekker, San Francisco 49ers running back Zak Keasey and Jacksonville Jaguars center Dennis Norman.

    How important is your time in the 40?

    Hall of Fame coach Paul Brown basically invented the importance of the 40-yard dash. Mike Herndon of the Alabama Press-Register writes, "College and pro scouts gather 40 times on all their prospective recruits or draftees, from the swiftest receiver to the biggest offensive tackle, even though it's clearly not a one-size-fits-all measurement. Linemen rarely run more than 10 yards on a play and a 40-yard sprint is rare even for a running back." All that doesn't matter. The 40 is important. Deal with it. Herndon writes:
      (According to Jamie Newberg, a college recruiting analyst for Rivals.com): "I think too much emphasis is placed on it. There are a lot of kids who look like Tarzan, but they play like Jane."

      There are also cases where it's the other way around. The histories of the NFL and college football are full of examples of players who excelled despite slow 40 times. The two biggest examples are Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith, both of whom were generally credited with times of about 4.7, slow for an NFL receiver or running back.

      Smith, of course, is the NFL's all-time leading rusher, and Rice owns most of the league's receiving records.

    Sunday Conversation preview with Brett Favre

    Get ready for more Brett Favre. He's on Monday Night Football. This means all Brett Favre all the time. Here's a preview to ESPN's Sunday Conversation where Favre discusses the move to the Jets, Aaron Rodgers and his Packer career.

    Friday, September 19, 2008

    George Brett and other bowel movements

    George Brett loves talking about crapping his pants. Let's say this really happened. Why would you bother to re-tell it?

    Todd McShay's Top 5 Junior Class QBs

    Todd McShay looks ahead to the 2009 NFL draft and the talent coming out of this year's junior class at the quarterback position.

    ESPN.com's Matt Mosley backs Ed Hochuli

    In his post titled "Should Hochuli have been suspended?" ESPN.com's Matt Mosley defends Ed Hochuli. Mosley writes that some are saying the NFL should suspend Hochuli. Here is a brief take on Mosley's response:
      Oh really? With so many close games, is it wise to sit down one of the league's most respected (and best) officials? I don't think so. I don't recall the league suspending a certain coach who was caught cheating last fall. But some people think Hochuli should be suspended for making a human error. Transparency? Give me a break.

    Norv Turner rips Hochuli. Turner, who appears so mad he could cry, said, "(Hochuli) said he blew it. And that is not, to me, acceptable. This is a high-level performance game, and that is not acceptable to have a game decided on that play."

    And was I the only one who was impressed how Hochuli openly admitted the call was bad. Question: How many refs, let alone anyone, admit to a mistake so publicly? Answer: Not many.

    By the way, the Chargers are not that good. They will finish at 8-8 at best. They blew the game with Carolina. The ref made a bad call or two, but the Chargers had their chances to rise up and stop the Denver Broncos on that last drive. The Chargers could have stopped the two-point conversion and did not. They may be without Tomlinson this week against the New York Jets. And as a non-Brett Favre lover, I can see Favre topping the Chargers on Monday Night Football.

    Whatever happened to first-round pick Ted Ginn Jr.?

    Ted Ginn Jr. isn't a bust -- yet. But the clock is sure ticking. Sure, receivers seem to take a season or two before everything starts to click for them, but if you are a Dolphins fan, you have to start wondering. The Miami Herald's Armando Salguero takes a look at the Ted Ginn-Chad Pennington alliance.
      I simply don't think these two guys are well-suited for one another.

      Ginn is a developing player but we all know his strengths are speed and stretching the field. He is a long-strider who seems most comfortable running 9 routes and deep posts and skinny posts. He needs to go down the field in a straight line, outrun people, and get the ball thrown over the top of the defense.

      Pennington, meanwhile, is a quarterback more comfortable working with his receivers on timing. He wants to know the ins and outs of their route-running so he can anticipate them coming out of their breaks and have the ball delivered to them as they come clear.

    A.J. Hawk sits down with Jim Rome

    Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers -- as well as former Packers quarterback Brett Favre -- gets most of the attention from the media. But here is an interview with linebacker A.J. Hawk. Jim Rome conducts the interview.

    Ben Roethlisberger on Pardon The Interruption

    Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on Pardon The Interruption (9-18-08).

    Thursday, September 18, 2008

    Walter Payton's daughter interviews Chicago Bear Anthony Adams

    Brittney Payton, Walter Payton's daughter, interviews Chicago Bears defensive tackle Anthony Adams about playing against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and his former teammate Brian Griese this weekend. It appears a very good looking Brittney Payton is working for Mouthpiece Sports. In another clip, Payton talks with Adams about his favorite music. This clip is less than one minute. In it he laments about his wife listening to Justin Timberlake. Mouthpiece Sports describes itself as "The Voice of the Athlete." Her Mouthpiece Sports bio states:
      Daughter of the legendary Walter Payton. I am the newest member of the Mouthpiece Sports.com team. When I am not working I am involved in our various family charities including The Walter & Connie Payton Foundation, The Walter Payton Cancer Fund, and Youth For Life. Check out our foundations at Payton34.com!!