Thursday, January 11, 2007

Merriman: The Funny Juicemonkey

Apparently, Shawne Merriman has a pretty good sense of humor. Despite Jason Taylor coming out and verbally undressing Merriman for his steroid suspension (even going so far as suggesting positive test results should lead to banishment from the league) and beating him out for the Defensive Player of the Year; Merriman got the last laugh.

Merriman gets by blockers as well as he brushes off criticism, and there really hasn’t been much with the exception of the reaction of Miami Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor, who beat out Merriman for NFL Defensive Player of the Year and received a Lights Out T-shirt, hat and box of popcorn for game-viewing courtesy of Merriman, “so he could watch us in the playoffs.”

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

UNC: Pro Football Player Factory

Pro Bowl Center Jeff Saturday, one of several UNC alums on this years roster, signs an autograph enroute to last year's Pro Bowl.

Looking at the Pro Bowl Roster, looks like after the "U", North Carolina produced the most pro-bowlers. Although the Tar Heels' won loss record for the past few years doesn't show it; Carolina clearly is a football factory.

(Number of Pro Bowlers followed by college)

6- Miami (Fla.)
4- North Carolina
3- Southern California, Georgia, NC State
2- Oregon State, California, LSU, Purdue, Tennessee, TCU, Penn State, Texas, Oklahoma State, Maryland, Arizona, Clemson, Iowa, Florida State, Oklahoma, Virginia

Additionally, eight of the twelve playoff teams had Tarheels on their rosters. John Bunting didn't do much winning, but (and we never really payed much attention before) seems to have put a lot of guys in the league.

Mea Culpa: When You are Wrong, You are Wrong

Wow, Florida knocked the spit outta THEE Ohio State University.

As has been brought to our attention through a few comments and emails, we posted previously that our money was on the 'Bucks. Our Buckeye backing was based mostly on a report that Charlie Strong was going to pick Ron Zook's brain to gain the knowledge necessary to shut down the Bucks powerful offense. Now, come on. That sounds crazy to any logical mind!

Of course, the Gators completely stymied the Buckeye O and rammed Troy Smith's Heisman where the sun don't shine. And, in turn, served yours truly (author of the Zook post) a huge helping of crow. Well, not just served it; but rather, jammed it down my throat and held my mouth shut 'til I choked it down.

Hey, when you are wrong: You are wrong. We're the first to admit it.

What we find funny about the abuse we have taken for making our prediction based on UF seeking insight from Zook is this: The abuse didn't come from Gator fans! Nope.

Sitemeter is cool. It lets you see where people visit your site from and which posts are linked. Someone posted a link to the Zook post on an Illini board. And the kind words insulting our intelligence, our mother and our appearance have been flung to our inbox by ILLINI fans!

"You dumbass! Bet you feel pretty stupid now after putting down Zook, don't you!"

"Looks like the only thing stupider than asking for Coach Zook's advice is listening to YOUR prediction, asshole"

And our favorite:

"Fuck you, you are a moron."

Who knew that Illini fans had such allegiance to Zook? Who knew that Illini fans are taking pride and revelling in the fact that their coach has a connection (regardless of the fact he was run out of town and asked never to return) to the National Champions.

Well, we can get into the spirit of that:

Here is a very nice article about Zook which references Chris Leak calling him after the game to thank Zook and let him know that everything Zook promised when he recruited Leak came true.

Congrats to the Fighting Illini and their "connection" to the NCAA Football Championship!

Your coach was run out of Gainesville and two years later UF won the National Title. If you guys act quickly and get rid of him; it'll be the ILLINI's turn in 2008!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Saban: Does He Believe His Own Lies?

Want some of Nick's homemade lemonade?

We all know that Nick Saban jumped ship in Miami after weeks of denials of interest in the Alabama job. Nobody is surprised, and most aren't even indignant over the ongoing lie. Heck, looking back, the press conference in which Saban feigned being hurt and insulted by the question is now just a wonderful example of Saban's on camera ability to act with the best of them. They guy has a future in Hollywood when he finally burns every possible bridge in the football world.

Saban isn't the first coach to flat out lie about another job, and he sure won't be the last. Coaches have successfully conditioned us to accept that they will job hop in the most obscene of ways. And then act like nothing happened.

This Saban incident is a bit different, though. Not so much for the lie or the fact that he is heading back to college to supposedly help instill values in his players (cough, cough), but for the fact the he believes that he is above the truth and that he is some sort of victim in all this.

''I'm disappointed that I'm being victimized a little bit here,'' Saban said . ``That's really not the person I am. If you look at 35 years of work that I've done in this profession and my marriage and everything else, that's not who I am. That's not what I've done."

''When you lie to somebody, you're trying to deceive them,'' Saban said. ``I wasn't trying to deceive anybody. I was focused on the season, and I was working.''

Interesting stuff. So, basically, Saban didn't "lie" to the world, because he wasn't trying to deceive anyone? Really?! His saying that he wasn't interested and wouldn't take the Alabama job was not an act of deception? It wasn't an attempt to make people believe that he actually wasn't going to take the job, so they would leave him alone? And he is a victim because he is being portrayed as a liar after being untruthful? I guess in his mind it's all good, since the untruth that he told was something done in support of the job at hand.

''I really do regret that I was pinned into the corner,'' said Saban, who vehemently denied having any conversations with Alabama officials before the end of the season. ``I regret that there was not some kind of way that I could answer a question [like] that.''

Pinned into a corner? The implication is that he was forced to lie. No alternative. He couldn't say he was interested in the job. Obviously, that would be the incorrect thing to do, from a political standpoint. So, like a trapped animal fighting for his life, Saban was forced to go against everything he stands for and everything he has built the last 35 years upon...and lie. How painful it must have been for him! The pain is clear in his regrets: that he was pinned into a corner and if only there was some way he could answer the question. No regret that it tarnished those 35 years you worked so hard at, Nick?

What about just saying that he only wants to discuss THIS season. Not commenting. I mean, why not? He knew that the lie wasn't going to stop the questions. If the guy isn't a liar, if the guy really has built the last 35 years on not lying; then it should have been easy to just say no comment, right? Unless...well, unless the lie actually felt pretty natural for him.

And maybe it does. Saban didn't leave Michigan St or LSU in completely upfront circumstances either.

Either Saban is delusional and really doesn't believe that what he does is "lying"; or he just doesn't care and believes it will all wash under the bridge.

Either way, how can fans or recruits take him seriously when he says, "My next stop will be Lake Burton. That's where they made 'Deliverance' and they don't have a football team there."

The implication being that 'Bama will be his last stop.

We all know that big time college football is a sordid game. We all have seen coaches stretch the truth to its very limits when it was to their team's or their own benefit. No surprises here whatsoever. Hypocrisy abounds when these same guys demand loyalty from those above them and their players.

We accept the fact that it probably wasn't in Saban's best interest at the time to admit that he was flirting with Alabama. Everyone gets that. But Saban isn't satisfied with it. Nope. Nick has to absolve himself of responsibility and portray the situation as being limited to one choice: the lie. That it is not his fault he had to lie. And that it is unfair to call him a liar...after he was forced to lie. He is the victim here. And that is where Nick loses us.

It's one thing for him to piss on us and tell us it's raining. Hell, we get pissed on everyday. It's quite another for him to hand us a glass full of piss and tell us "it's lemonade, drink up!"

The only "victims" here are going to be the recruits that buy into Saban's line and are asked to give him their loyalty.

In return, they very well might be served up a nice glass of Saban lemonade.

On The Wire

Bobby Bowden pilfers WVU offensive line coach...and Nick Saban pilfers FSU linebackers Saban also going to ruin Bowden's plan to hire Jimbo Fisher?....

The Dolphins may have lost Nick Saban...but Ricky Williams says he is on his way back...praise be!!....

Tank Johnson is getting some competition from Colts' backup DeDe Dorsey...who was arrested on gun charges after a traffic stop...guess the Darrant Williams shooting isn't having much of an effect on the boys in the league...don't they know that stats show that your chances of getting shot increase exponentially if you carry a weapon?

Drew Bledsoe is doing just case you were wondering...oh, you don't care?

and the Browns begin the process of building a keeping their head coach and players and purging the assistants....

Jason Taylor weighs his or Hollywood?

Cris Collinsworth thinks that Dolphins fans are actually MUCH better off without Saban...

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Is Michael Vick a Coach Killer?

Ron Mexico: Did he play a role in Killing the Coach?

Awhile back, Jim Mora (the elder) made the comment that Michael Vick was a coach killer. Of course, this ruffled the feathers of Vick, and strained his relationship with Mora the younger. But, now that the scenario in ATL has played out, and Mora has been let go: Did Vick help kill him?

Obviously, the team's underchievement and Mora's comments on the radio about the University of Washington being his "dream job" were heavy factors in the equation. But, certainly, if Mora had Vick's support or endorsement, that would have meant a lot as well.

Vick has had an enigmatic career. Sometimes showing the brilliance of his potential; but, often looking flat out terrible. Even after the poor outings when the critics came calling, Mora always gave his full support.

When prodded towards the end of the year about his opinion on Mora's future, Vick stated, "Honestly, I really couldn't tell you what I'd say right now. I'd have to give it some thought and really evaluate what went down and what happened." Not exactly a ringing endorsement.

Vick has been outspoken about his dissatisfaction with the way the offense has been run, and his conflicts with the offensive coordinator are well known. So, it is not a huge surprise that he was unwilling to lend his support to the coaching staff.

It's interesting that, despite his complaints about the offensive not working and despite his relatively pedestrian passing statistics, Vick says, "I've accomplished a lot of good things this season and I feel like I've had one of my best seasons," he said. "Exactly where things went wrong, I really don't know."

So, Vick basically absolves himself of any responsibility for the Falcons' offensive struggles. I think anyone who checks his passing numbers and breaks down some film on his decision making would have some clear cut counterpoints to Vick's point of view on this.

The reality is that Vick is a huge investment for owner Arthur Blank, and he really hasn't gotten a whole lot back on it in the wins column. And if the franchise player doesn't give the impression that he is going to perform at a high level for the coach, well, that is a clear nail in the coffin.

"I wasn't frustrated or upset and didn't have a frown on my face when I said it. We have too much talent to be sitting in this position. I was just keeping it real.'' Vick made that statement after Mora tried to sugarcoat some of Vick's unhappiness with the offense. Once again, though, he accepts no responsibility for the poor play of the offense...even though he supposedly runs it on the field. Also, isn't it a bit hypocritical of Vick to say that the team has too much talent not to be at the top, while at the same time complaining that his passing stats aren't that good because he DOESN'T have enough quality receivers? So, when it comes to the coaching staff running the team; they don't do a good job and there is a ton of talent. But when it comes to Vick not being an effective passer; the receivers aren't good enough. Got it?

In yet another response to a coaching staff question, Vick said, "It's a question that needs to be answered," Vick said. "We're too good to be losing these games. We should be up there among the elite."

Jim Mora's team didn't perform to expectations and he made some dumb comments on his future job interests (even though it was certainly a joke). Clearly those things were the impetus behind Arthur Blank cutting Mora loose. But the lack of support and continued critical comments by Vick certainly were something that factored into the decision.

We aren't contending that Vick is obligated to support his coach. Particularly if he was unhappy with the direction the team was going. But we do think Vick bears some responsibility in the poor offensive showing of the Falcons. The guy IS the quarterback.

What we contend is this: Jim Mora, Sr. was correct. Michael Vick is a coach killer. He takes no responsibility for his own poor performances and blames it all on the system. While he is under no obligation to vocally support a coach if he doesn't believe in what the coach is doing; he does bear responsibility for his own level of play. To suggest that he personally had a great year and that whatever went wrong with the team is strictly the coaches' fault, might not be murder. But it sure is manslaughter.

On The Wire:

Fans and sleuths around the country have been using website to track activity of airplanes to gather info on which coaches are travelling to which an effort to figure out coaching hirings and to article...

Don Shula on Nick Saban leaving Miami for his son's old job at 'Bama: "My reaction to Nick Saban is that he was 15-17 with the Dolphins. I don't think that is any great loss."

Chicago Bears' DT Tank Johnson apparently had some interesting things going on at his house...authorities reveal that they found mucho marijuana and pills believed to be hydrocodone...a loaded semi-automatic rifle in his bedroom....550 rounds of ammo...a load .45 under a leather chair in the basement...four unloaded weapons...oh, and he has two little kids running around the house, too...Johnson might not win defensive player of the year, but he gets our vote for NFL father of the year...

Looks like Central Michigan is unable to match 'Bama's offer for Nick Saban...and has narrowed it's search to two other choices...

Anyone surprised that LSU fans are a little ticked off over the new Saban-'Bama marriage?...I mean...the guy did break a contract with LSU and is now back in the conference only two years later...

and, looks like Bill Cowher and Pete Carroll head the Dolphins' wish list for a new coach...good luck getting them, Wayne...

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Pacman George Jones

George and Pacman: The Jones's

Pacman Jones. You hear the name and the reflex action is to assume: In trouble with the law, again!

Well, not this time. Jones was the recipient of complaints. But it was a minor issue involving riding an ATV on land that was thought to be owned by country legend George Jones.

And the resolution of the issue lead to a meeting at Pacman's house between himself and George! Does anyone believe that Pacman had ANY clue who the Possum was when he showed up at his house?

The Butch Davis Era

Mack Brown's teams may have kicked UNC's butts when John Bunting was the coach...but Butch Davis has already beaten Mack in their first battle...

The Butch Davis Era is getting underway at North Carolina with some fairly impressive happenings.

Davis has announced that Chuch Pagano, the secondary coach of the NFL's leading pass defense (the Raiders) is heading to Chapel Hill to be the defensive coordinator.

Additionally, Davis has swiped a top 20 recruit, tight end Zack Pianalto, from the University of Texas. Pretty impressive when a coach can steal recruits from Mack Brown. Pianalto said it was difficult to explain withdrawing his commitment to Texas coach Mack Brown. "He was pretty upset," Pianalto said, "but it's understandable." Sure it is. But hey, Mack: Remember back in 1997 before you left North Carolina for Texas? Remember? Yeah, you remember. When you told your team you weren't leaving and then the next day you were on ESPN at a press conference in Austin accepting the job. know...don't get TOO upset at the kid.

Why Do We Bother?

A confused Nick Saban is told that, no, Alabama is the team that was the highest bidder.

Nick Saban is getting some sort of guaranteed contract in the vicinity of $32M to leave the Dolphins and take over the football program at Alabama. That's all well and good, and not entirely unexpected. Wave $32M guaranteed in front of most folks, and their knees certainly will at least buckle...if not completely hit the ground. The reality is, there is nothing wrong with him leaving the Dolphins after only two years. The question is: Why do we bother ASKING coaches what their plans are before the season is over? And...why do the coaches bother answering?

'Bama probably has been having wet dreams about Saban from the day the Tide first lost this year. They were like a kid in third grade with his first pitched tent in his pants. Afraid to get up out of his seat for awhile. But eventually, passing notes and trying to catch the eye of his first love.

Saban was bombarded with questions about his interest in 'Bama. Was he going to take the job? Had he interviewed? Was he staying? And on and on. And on and on. In an effort to make the noise go away, Saban predictably said he had no interest and wasn't going anywhere. But in this case, and 'Bama being 'Bama, the noise didn't go away. The administration at 'Bama made it clear that they wanted Saban regardless of what he said. The press corps in Alabama never let the story die down. And of course, everyone has their price. It's doubtful that ANYONE batted an eye at Saban leaving. Regardless of the "I'm not going to be the coach at Alabama" mumbo jumbo that came out of his mouth previously.

But, WHY all the media storm from the day Shula was fired until today? We are all reasonable people (HA, just kidding) and know that a coach is not going to give us details in the middle of the season as to what his plans are for future jobs. We have seen (too many times to count) coaches say they are staying; and leave. Now, of course many stay, but we don't get the hard, naked truth until the schedule is complete. So, why bother? Why even ask when we KNOW damned well that chances are we aren't getting the full story? Logically, what coach is going to say (in the middle of the season), "I'm planning on leaving for a different job." We have never been a coach, but we do guess that saying such a thing might get you fired. And you might not be ready to go, just yet.

Understanding that the media loves to throw gas on a fire and never let such things die down, why do the coaches allow themselves to be turned into liars?

Why not just say: "I'm not addressing anything that doesn't have to do with THIS season." Now, obviously, that leaves the door open for speculation and for the media to continue to hammer the issue. But, at least it doesn't turn the coach into a liar. And, as we have seen, if the coach says he isn't leaving...that doesn't seem to slow down the media speculation either. So again, why bother?

We know damned well the answer to whether a coach is staying or going (unless he is fired mid-season) isn't going to be answered until the season is over. But it seems the sportzaratzi media is no different than the folks that follow Britney and K-Fed. The story simply becomes the proliferation of the story.

(Here is a column by Dan LeBatard in Miami's paper...see, this is what happens when these coaches stand by their pat "I'm not going anywhere" answers during the season and then jump ship without looking back when it ends...apparently, SOME people believe them and get their feelings hurt)

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Michael Irvin's carnivorous suit

Did you catch the suit Michael Irvin was wearing today? WOW!

Mike Ditka had this to say: "and those are great words...coming from a man in a carnivorous suit. I think I saw that thing out in my yard earlier this week."

This is Irvin's BEST effort to offend viewers eyes YET!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Holiday Cheer, From NC: Merry Castration To All!

In North Carolina, to enjoy the holidays with family. A perusal of local news brought this item to light. Just thought we'd share it. Kind of let you see how North Carolinians celebrate the holidays and get down at Christmas Parties.

A woman was charged with malicious castration for allegedly attacking a man during a Christmas party, police said. Rebecca Arnold Dawson, 34, is accused of grabbing the genitals of a 38-year-old man during a fight that erupted early Tuesday morning at a party hosted by the man's girlfriend. All three were heavily intoxicated, Lillington Police Chief Frank Powers said.

The full story didn't mention if this took place under the mistletoe...because then, know, then it would be understandable.

At the Water Cooler

Well, good news for Alabama (we guess)....someone wants the head coach job there..."I don't know where we're going from here," said Joe Kines, the interim coach and defensive coordinator for Alabama. "I would give anything to be the head coach at Alabama."

Jason Taylor isn't the only defensive player of the year candidate speaking out against Shawne Merriman...Champ Bailey has some choice words on the issue, too...

Funny, a punter has the cajones to own up to testing positive for a banned substance...too bad a certain toughguy linebacker doesn't... “I took (ephedra),” said new Patriots punter Todd Sauerbrun, before saying that he knew it was banned. “I made that choice, I made that mistake, I paid for it."

Is Tiki Barber paying attention in team meetings, or is his mind on his post football plans...hey, at least the guy isn't falling asleep in there, right TO?...