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, well...you 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?...

Friday, December 29, 2006

The Weak Argument For Merriman




The "enhanced" player of the year...








We posted the other day on Jason Taylor's comments regarding Shawne Merriman (IRT defensive player of the year voting).

Today, the hometown paper of the Charger's, the San Diego Union-Tribune, ran a column pretty much stating: i) Taylor was just trying to get himself the defensive POY and ii) that having a "convicted" performance enhancer as the player of the year was just fine. The homer writer of this column must be doing some extra sucking up to get on Merriman and the Chargers' good side.

"A data search of players who previously tested positive for steroids made no mention of critical remarks by Taylor, including in 2002 when Carolina end Julius Peppers was named Defensive Rookie of the Year despite serving a four-game suspension for violating the league's policy. Why no moral indignation from Taylor then? Could it be that the situation didn't directly affect Taylor, unlike this one?"

First of all, Julius Peppers didn't test positive for STEROIDS. He tested positive for phentermine. Phentermine is on the banned list, not so much for its performance enhancing effects, but moreso because it is (like ephedrine) a compound which is usually used in trying to burn body fat and can be very harmful to some people. Additionally, SO WHAT? What is wrong with standing up and pointing out the fact that the guy that is probably you closest rival for this particular award is..........A CHEATER? Whatsmore, this isn't a case of a rumor or behind the scenes stuff: Merriman tested positive for NANDROLONE (a steroid). Maybe Taylor's interest in casting the spotlight on this is selfish; but, the effects could benefit other players.

"Since Taylor is a candidate for the award himself, an alarm of suspicion began ringing. Might he be tearing down a colleague to prop up himself?"

Merriman tore himself down by using the steroids. If he hadn't, we wouldn't be having this conversation. Don't blame Taylor for this.

"When I submitted my All-Pro ballot to Pro Football Weekly, in conjunction with the Pro Football Writers of America, I listed Merriman as the Defensive Player of the Year. And when I enter the room of Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors in February for the first time, I will vote for former Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin.

And now, the argument itself gets so weak, one wouldn't be surprised if it got on some performance enhancers:

What does Michael Irvin's situation of having OFF the field recreational drug and law issues have to do with Merriman's using performance enhancing drugs (that are taken to elevate one's level of play ON the field)? Irvin's situation is about character and whether off the field life should be taken into account in evaluating a player's qualifications to make the Hall of Fame. Irvin never failed performance drug tests and was never called a cheater. Merriman's situation is about whether a guy who tested positive for using performance enhancing drugs should be the player of the year for the same period of time that it is PROVEN he was using performance enhancing drugs. Does anyone see ANY connection here? Didn't think so...

"In each situation, the guidelines implicitly or explicitly ask that we cast our votes based on a player's dominance. Irvin was a dominant performer then, and Merriman is now."

Agreed. Irvin was a dominant performer. And Frank Sinatra was a great singer. How does either relate to Merriman? They don't! The guidelines may implicitly or explicity ask that votes be cast based on a player's dominance. But they don't implicitly or explicity ask that voters dismiss the fact that a minimum of half the season's dominance (and, having a knowledge of performance enhancers and how long the effects can last, we would suggest the entire season) under the influence of documented steroid use be dismissed. Again, this has nothing to do with the debate about OFF the field issues, a la Irvin.

While, this homer columnist builds an incredibly weak agrument in support of Merriman, probably in an effort to gain points with Merriman and the Chargers, what if he is right? It begs the question: If voters are correct in disregarding PERFORMANCE enhancing drug usage and failed tests in deciding the player of the year; why bother testing at all?

In fact, I bet this guy would vote for Justin Gatlin as Track Athlete of the Year and Floyd Landis as Cyclist of they year...if they were from San Diego.

If we aren't supposed to care that the guy that gets player of the year is a juice monkey, then it is a complete charade and disservice to go through the motions of having a performance enhancement testing program in the NFL at all.

Give the Defensive Player of the Year Award to Shawne Merriman, if you must. But the next day, tear up the banned substance list and tell the boys they don't have to fill up anymore plastic cups.






Thursday, December 28, 2006

Props to Some of the Non-Mainstream Media from CNNSI.COM

From cnnsi.com's 2006 Media Awards:

THE NONCORPORATE SPORTS WEB SITE OF THE YEAR: Fire Joe Morgan (http://firejoemorgan.blogspot.com/). The sabermetrically inclined band at FJM hilariously deconstructs baseball writers daily. Outside of Joe Morgan himself, no one has been skewered more than MSNBC's Mike Celizic. (SI.com writers have been sawed up as well.) Best to stay on these guys' good side. Or avoid writing about the sport at all costs.

Honorable mention: Sports Media Guide (sportsmediaguide.com), The Big Lead (TheBigLead.com), SportsJournalists.com (sportsjournalists.com), Gelfmagazine.com (click for sports and leisure).

If you haven't checked these sites out, you should. Great info from a different perspective and different motive than the corporate sites.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Who is the Defensive Player of the Year?















Dolphins' DE Jason Taylor is having a monster season. He has taken his game to another level this year and is at or near the top of the list discussing the defensive player of the year.

During a press conference, Taylor did some lobbying for his cause by bringing up the suspension of his chief rival, Shawne "Tainted Supplement" Merriman.

"A performance-enhancing drug is, obviously, what it is," Taylor said. "You enhance your performance by doing that. You fail that test, I think it's not right, it's against the rules and ultimately I think it's sending the wrong message to the youth in America and the people who look at this game not only as entertainment but also to learn lessons from it."

Certainly, Taylor has an interest in voters snubbing Merriman because of his suspension. But, what if some feel that Merriman satisfied his punishment requirements during his suspension and that holding it against him further would be unfair? There is no specification stating that the player of the year can't be someone that was suspended.

"If I wasn't having the kind of season I'm having, this wouldn't even be a conversation," Merriman said. "The NFL will always have the level of integrity. That's what makes the NFL. In my situation, everything happened in an appropriate way. I sat out my four games, my money was taken away from me, my four games were taken away from me, and I came back and played my rear off."

Sounds like Merriman feels he is a viable candidate. And he is correct, if he wasn't having the kind of season he is, of course this wouldn't be a conversation. But, the fact is, the guy is having an amazing season AND tested positive for steroids. There is no getting around this. How can his performance not be questioned? He has stuck by his tainted supplement excuse, but so what? That changes nothing. It proves nothing. The only thing that has been proven is that he had nandrolone in his system.

Regardless of whether or not there is a written rule concerning suspensions for performance enhancers and player of the year awards: The folks that decide these awards have a responsibility to the rest of the players in the league. Yes, Merriman had to oblige by the league's ruling and serve the suspension. That was his punishment. That was the DIRECT result of his failing the drug test. That is what the collective bargaining agreement and league rules agree is the penalty.

Not getting the player of the year award? Well, that is the repercussion. It is not some sort of extra punishment. It is the INDIRECT result of his failing the drug test. And it is something that the folks that decide the player of year owe the players that are not failing drug tests.

The rules don't say that a proven doper can't be the player of the year. But they don't say that voters can't take his documented use of performance enhancers into consideration as well.




Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Joe Theisman: Brokers Peace Between Daunte Culpepper and Steve Young



Hey, Steve, you've got something on your lip...












Interesting event during the Jets-Fins Monday Night Football event. Apparently, during his visit to the booth, Steve Young made some comments questioning the work ethic of Dolphins' recovering QB Daunte Culpepper. Young stated that Culpepper was missing meetings and not stepping up. From his comfortable suite seat, Culpepper watched the proceedings and felt he needed to set the record straight.

Culpepper ended up heading to the ESPN booth to let Young know that he was mistaken in his characterization of Culpepper. In what was described as an amicable meeting, Culpepper let Young know that he received some incorrect info, and that the only meetings he missed were due to surgery.

And, thanks be to God for all involved, Joe Theisman sauntered up to the pow wow to ensure that everything stayed peaceful and to get the correct story. Which he later relayed on the air in an effort to clear things up. That Joe, such a diplomat.

Anyway, the part of the story that is of interest to us is this:

"Young said he would like to see Culpepper be more visible and vocal about his desire to take over the Dolphins' quarterback job. He wants to see him step forward, being more of a team leader during his rehabilitation. "

"I want Daunte to let us know,'' Young said. 'I want him to give us that, `I'm going to take this job.' I want Daunte to be that guy. But until he's healthy, he really can't be. I want to perceive him as the new sheriff in town.''


Now, we realize, Steve Young is a Hall of Fame QB, but...seriously; in what world do we live in that Daunte Culpepper has to live up to Young's expectations? If Culpepper is concentrating on getting back in the physical condition to play and meeting coach Nick Saban's expectations of what he expects a guy on IR to be doing: who gives a monkey turd about Young's input or what Young would like to see?

What really gets us is the "but until he's healthy, he really can't be" line. Umm, Steve, if you agree the guy can't be the team leader and can't project the attitude that he is going to take the job until he is recovered and fully rehabbed; then what the hell did you bring any of this up for? Why speculate about Culpepper's work ethic (particularly when you admitted you never checked the rumors out) and why demand that he be the "new sheriff in town" when YOU yourself admit that he can't do it until he is healthy?

Did you know Steve Young has a law degree? How'd you like to have a lawyer that exhibits this sort of logic defending you? Us either.

Bartender, we'd like to buy Steve Young a round. How bout a nice tall glass of "shut the fuck up".

Monday, December 25, 2006

King Me: Penultimate Edition

And it's time for our Christmas installment of this week in Peter King:

Let's see if Santa is giving Peter a lump of coal for his picks this week. We already know Peter is getting a lump of shit for the season thus far. (Peter in black, reality in red):


Lou Merloni called the other day. Remember Lou? He came up with the Red Sox as an infielder and went on to play for the Padres, Indians and Angels. Now he's trying to catch on with some National League team as a utility infielder. I got to know him a few years ago talking fantasy football in the Indians' clubhouse in spring training.

"Hey,'' he said, "I'm in the playoffs against Hafner.'' I knew immediately who he meant -- Travis Hafner. The Indians/Buffalo Bisons Triple-A team fantasy football league. I'm sure it has a more formal name, but he called out of the blue to shoot the breeze about who to play and who not to play. Since he knows more about the NFL than 99.9 percent of the human race, I was going to be of no good use to him.

Either Peter is making this up, or Lou Merloni has never read a Peter King column. Anyone that has ever read so much as one week of his fantasy advice would NEVER ask again...Let's change the "him" to "anyone" in Peter's last phrase; and put it on his tombstone.

Now onto the tips of the week:

1. It'd surprise me if Favre doesn't have a big night against Minnesota on Thursday. First of all, he's good at going to school on what other teams do to opponents, and Chad Pennington just had his best game of the year against the Viking secondary. Secondly, the Pack's not going to run much on these Vikes. Thirdly, it's going to be 35 and spitting a cold rain; the Vikes are not a cold-weather team. Just a hunch, but I think Favre's going to have a two-touchdown, 250-yardish night.

good at going to school on what other teams do to opponents?...what a bullshit "point"...unless he hasn't "gone to school" against most of his opponents the past two years when he has played like garbage, this is a bullshit thing to suggest as being a factor in him having a "big game" this week...Favre did his best to give the game away with two interceptions...in the end he threw for 285 and 0 TD...and overall was pretty crappy...

2. Something smells rotten about the Bengals in Denver on Sunday. Palmer's shoulder hurts. Chad Johnson's got a bad ankle. Denver might be frightfully cold. I don't know. I wouldn't recommend you bench Palmer unless you've got a cushy alternative, but if you do, you've got some thinking to do. Merloni's in his title game, and he has till Sunday to decide if he should play Palmer at Denver or Cleveland's Derek Anderson at home against Tampa Bay. I don't like either alternative much, but I told Lou to monitor the injury Web sites throughout the weekend to see about Palmer's wing.

I give Peter credit for suggesting that Lou get his information on injuries from a source other than Peter...Peter's history in that department has been that special type of shit that it takes an entire roll of TP to wipe clean...this is the BEST tip Peter has EVER given: go somewhere else for the information. FINALLY, a Peter King tip EVERYONE can implement without worrying about looking like a jackass later...

3. Play Ron Dayne if you're in a running-back pickle this weekend. He's going against the Colts at home, and Gary Kubiak's wary of putting the game in the hands of badly slumping David Carr.

the brilliance of Peter's previous tip has seeped into this one...Dayne rolled for over 150 yards and a couple of TDs....Go, Peter, Go!


4. I know the Patriots have been aces against the run this year, but with Fred Taylor either out or badly hobbled with the bad hammy, I think Maurice Jones-Drew is a solid play at home.

WOW! Peter is on a roll, after giving his greatest tip ever!...maybe that tip took all the pressure off?...I dunno...but this is the FIRST time he has EVER had two straight tips that were TOTALLY on point...we are off to buy a powerball ticket RIGHT now..

5. Go get Seattle wideout D.J. Hackett off waivers. You'll appreciate the advice when he catches six balls Sunday against the Chargers. No Darrell Jackson (toe) means lots of Hackett.

ohhhhhh...and the hottest streak of Peter's season ends...at two: 3 catches for Hackett.

6. Aaron Brooks is 1-15 in his past 16 starts. Do not play him unless you are threatened at gunpoint to do so.

...and Peter confirms that his run of brilliance is over...did you hear that?...all you guys that were gonna start Aaron Brooks in your playoffs...did you hear that?...Peter's tip was not to play him...Thanks, fuckstick...we are forced at gunpoint to stop being nice to Peter after a "nose on your face" tip like that...

7. I'm not saying LaDainian Tomlinson is going to be sitting a quarter or two against Seattle, but you could do worse than to play Michael Turner as well. He's back from his ouchy hamstring.

Tomlinson rushed for over 120 on 22 carries...Turner got the ball 4 times for 29 yards..the old Peter has reared his ugly head...and stuck it up his ass...

8. No way you can pick up Arnaz Battle this weekend, is there? He's Alex Smith's favorite receiver now, and he's going to make hay against Arizona.

if "hay" is a whopping 55 yards and 0 TDs...then Battle had a "hay" day...

9. Eddie Kennison will have a tough matchup this weekend, going against Oakland cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha. But the desperation of the Chiefs, plus the running-game struggles of the offense in the past couple of weeks, should result in six or eight balls being thrown at Kennison on Saturday.

was going to check the play by play and see how many times Kennison got thrown to...but then realized...who the fuck cares...you don't get FANTASY points for the number of times you are thrown to...and these are supposedly fantasy tips....Kennison: 1 catch for 6 yards..

10. I've told you good things about David Thomas, the New England tight end playing in the shadow of Ben Watson and Daniel Graham. This is the week, at Jacksonville, that Thomas could be the offensive factor he's been trained to be.

83 yards and a TD...this is hands down Peter's best week ever.

Peter roared to 4 correct tips this week. And gave his most worthwhile tip yet: Check with someone else.

Ladies and Gentlemen: Peter King, your football expert and fantasy guru.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

SAY WHAT?

ESPN announcer Mark Jones is Still Tippin' with Mike Jones...




Tell me this didn't happen:

While watching the Hawaii Bowl, the announcer on ESPN (Mark Jones) made this comment while talking about Arizona St running back Mike Jones:

"and just like the rapper, Mike Jones...back then, they didn't want him...now he's hot and they are all on him..."

SHOOT ME! Just SHOOT ME!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Zook: The Man is A Magician





Ron Zook, the coolest white man in college football, gives a pep talk to the Fighting Illini marching band: "And this one time, at band camp..."










Zook does it again! He pulled an oral commitment from another top 50 recruit. And, at the kid's press conference, yet another top recruit was in attendance watching. Is he going to be making an announcement soon also?

Martez Wilson, a two way star, said, "I like this dude. He wasn't an uptight white coach."

So, maybe, there we have have it. Ron Zook's secret for somehow convincing top high schoolers to attend a program that has been abysmal for the past few years: Not being an uptight white dude.

We are waiting for a white UCLA recruit to come out and say of Karl Dorrell: "I liked him. He wasn't a jive talking black cat."

Friday, December 22, 2006

At the Watercooler

Interesting week for USC: Norm Chow disses the offensive coaches, Keyshawn Johnson disses Dewayne Jarrett and senior offensive lineman Kyle Williams disses the team...

Everyone, everywhere has a connection to Marshall, it seems: FSU, Memphis, U of Buffalo, some high school coach... if YOU are connected in some why to Marshall, let us know...we care...really...

Maryland lineman chooses serving in Army over final year of eligibility...

The Nick Saban to 'Bama rumors refuse to go away...

Ken Griffey, Jr.'s injuries continue...even at home...

Hey, Oregon coach Mike Bellotti: want some whine with that cheese? BYU kicked his team's butt...and all Bellotti can do is pout...

Boston College's rabble rousing kicker is suspended again...

Is Art Shell's second go round as head coach with the Raiders one and done?....

Rex Grossman in the Pro Bowl? Boy, Brian Urlacher sure is trying to boost his QB's confidence...

We all know that Chris Weinke isn't real good...but did you know he has lost 17...yes 17...straight games as a starter?...how the hell does this guy have a job?...

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

ESPN: Please Stop The McConaughey Whore Parade







Mateo, living in his world of delusion, tells real Marshall Coach Mark Snyder, "Go sit over there in the stands, I'm running the show from now on."











Ok, it was bad enough that Mateo McConaughey was the special entertainment guest on MNF this week. Trust us: IT WAS BAD ENOUGH!

Just watching SportsCenter, something we only normally do in bits and pieces, but today got off work early and watched the whole thing. To our horror: MATEO. In his hideous montgomery green Marshall sweat jacket that he seems to be wearing everywhere he goes.

The segment was on an Ohio St. walk-on football player who was paralyzed, and is now struggling to try to walk again. Touching story: the team gave him a jersey and he is still considered part of the team. But there was Mateo. In super serious voice, hamming it up. This is completely unfair and unnecessary. "We Are Marshall" is NOT even a Disney movie, for Christ sakes! Why is the WWL forcing Mateo and the movie down our throats? Is this marketing or is ESPN deluded enough to think football fans want to hear what that fruitcake has to say about football?

Please, we are begging you ESPN. You can dress Mateo in all the burnt orange you want and plop him on the sideline of every UT game. We don't care. You can clothe him in that hideous shade of green from head to toe and have him write a thesis on Cover 2 or the merits of a verticle offensive philosophy. We don't care. We are on to the fact that the guy has never played a down of football and is NOT really a coach, mmkay? Put him back in the deluded green room of stars that can't tell their movie roles from reality. You know the room, the one with Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes and the young Bert Reynolds. Put him in that room and lock the damned door! Then set it on fire. We can't take it anymore. Mateo isn't even featured on perezhilton.com as often as he is on ESPN: PLEASE SHOW SOME MERCY!

Dancin' Mormons in Vegas










Apparently, during a pre-game rally for the Las Vegas Bowl (between BYU and Oregon) the Cougars decided to give a demonstration of their pregame ritual. The Cougs like to do a Haka, a Maori war dance (if you have ever seen the New Zealand national rugby team play, they do it pre-game), before their games. A member of Oregon's team, who is of Polynesian descent, apparently took offense and jumped the barrier between the teams and started a minor incident.

We said all along it was a dangerous mix: Mormons and Vegas. Now you know why Joseph Smith and the founding elders outlawed dancing. Nothing good can come of it.

On The Wire

Carmello Anthony suffers his first "endorsement" repercussions because of the fight...

'Bama just not taking "no" from Nick Saban...

Who will fill Bill Cowher's shoes if he leaves Pittsburgh after this season: "the Steelers did not become an elite NFL franchise, the winner of five Super Bowls, by looking around the corner for their next coach"...um, the Steelers have had TWO head coaches since 1969. They haven't exactly been real involved in coaching searches at all...

Sounds like former Pats' linebacker Ted Johnson is lobbying for a job...

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Stevie Francis: Shut Up!













Steve Francis thinks there is a racial aspect to why the Knicks' brawl with the Nuggets has gotten so much coverage and why the penalties were so severe. "In other sports, there are incidents that are way worse than basketball," the Knicks guard said. "But because there are more black players in the NBA, it's under the microscope more than baseball or hockey." -- New York Post

Would someone please remind this dipshit about the fight between the Pacers and Pistons that ended up involving fans and a full blown riot on the court. If he wants to know why the punishments were so "severe", he need look no further than that. Commissioner David Stern made it clear that fights would be dealt with severely. If the NBA clowns choose to push their luck and guys like Carmello Anthony want to have slap and run fights; hey, tough shit. You were all warned! Oh, and Stevie, try earning the money in your contract and shutting that mouth of yours. Nobody cares what washed up never reached their potential superstars have to say about this stuff anyway....

Monday, December 18, 2006

What Does Peter King Think When He Isn't F'ing Up Fantasy Tips?

Ok, it's well documented that Peter King sucks at giving fantasy tips. It's pretty well known that he is a melba toast columnist, supposedly with a pipeline to inside info, but rarely telling us anything we don't already know. Well, Peter has a section of his Monday Morning QB column that he calls "my non-football thoughts of the week". We figured we'd take a look at it this week and see if maybe Peter is just a crappy football guy...if maybe his non-football thoughts are relevent, insightful or on-point...you know, everything his football thoughts are not..



I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:

a. I see Prince is set to sing at halftime of the Super Bowl. What, Bobby Vinton wasn't available?

ok, he starts off with an attempt at humor...we like that...but who is Bobby Vinton?...oh an old time matinee idol singer, you say?...ok, good one Peter...way to be in tune with pop culture...

b. If there was a better two hours of TV last week than the two-hour House episode with Foreman near death, I didn't see it. Of course, I didn't watch much TV other than that.

nice...kinda playing on the Sports Guy's schtick...bringing tv into his column...oh, and then some irony...it was the only show he watched....giggles for everyone...see, Peter IS funny...and Peter IS with it...

c. Upon further review re Borat: I laughed more at Best in Show. Don't get me wrong. Borat is a good movie. It's just not the funniest movie of all time.

well, with comedy credentials like Peter's, how could we dispute this?...I mean, Peter is the guy that came up with this classic on the Jaguars performance this week: More turnovers than a Betty Crocker cookbook...deal with that zinger, Borat!

d. Coffeenerdness: I've got to tell you, Joe Torre and Phil Simms selling the green tea makes it really easy for me to have a big mug of it every afternoon. Smart ad strategy,Bigelow.

No doubt, Peter...who knows tea like Joe and Phil?...and if those guys say it's good...well, shit...sign me up, too!..hell, I'd buy dried elephant dung and make tea out of it if Joe and Phil said I should...

e. I am not the biggest NBA guy, as readers of this column must know. In fact, I'm not an NBA guy at all. But these Phoenix Suns are amazing to me. Imagine looking at the NBA schedule when it comes out if you're a Sun or Suns exec, and seeing a five-games-in-seven-nights East Coast trip (Thursday-Friday-Sunday-Monday-Wednesday), starting in the swamps of Jersey and ending in the home of the NBA champs, Miami. You'd sign for a 3-2 trip, wouldn't you? And when the first game is a double-overtime thriller (161-157 over the Nets), you wonder how much energy the team will have to play three games in the next four nights. Well, I guess the East is pathetic right now, but what Phoenix did on this trip is something special. Win by four over New Jersey, win by five in Boston, win by 30 in Charlotte, win by 14 in Orlando, win by 10 in Miami. Then they fly cross-country. One day off. And Friday they beat Golden State at home by four, and fly after the game to Sacramento to play the Kings on Saturday night. Win by seven. The final ridiculous tally: seven games in 10 nights, seven wins.

eh?...what?....oh...Sorry, any thought of Peter's that takes more than three sentences to get across...well, we certainly can't be bothered to read it...

f. Steve Nash. Drew Brees.

Umm, like, yeah..except Nash has won two straight MVPs...but other than that, they are one in the same...

g. The Daisuke Matsuzaka deal seems fair for both sides. The Red Sox pay $16.7 million a year for the best pitcher in free-agency (combining the fee to the Japanese team with the pitcher's salary). Good for them, in this crazy baseball economy. And Matsuzaka gets $8.5 million a year, knowing he's going to make millions more in endorsements (in two countries) if he's as good as he thinks he is. Re the $16.7 million a year ... Gil Meche got $11 mill. Barry Zito's going to get $16. Don't the scouts all think Matsuzaka's a can't-miss guy? Maybe not can't-miss ace, but at least can't-miss 15-game winner.

yes, I'm sure Red Sox management is hoping that Daisuke pans out to be the next Gil Meche...

h. Bill Parcells to me after the Cowboys-Falcons game: "You must be pretty happy. You signed the Japanese pitcher.'' Well, uh, shucks, I don't deserve all the credit for the signing.

and now you know why Parcells is always in such a foul mood at press conference...who can blame him...the fucker has to talk to PETER after coaching football games...

i. Sox rotation April 2-4-5 in Kansas City to open the season: Schilling, Beckett, Matsuzaka.

ummm...does Schilling know the Sox are going with that old time favorite...the three man rotation this year?...his old ass can't be happy about that....

j. Finally saw March of the Penguins. Can't believe I avoided it all these months. A terrific movie. Those penguins are heroes, as are the French filmmakers who risked their lives to tell their story. And great, understated narration by Morgan Freeman.

we have a strange suspicion that actually, March of the Penguins was the one avoiding Peter...and Peter loses even more points for calling anything French a hero...

k. I could listen to Morgan Freeman read a list of ingredients for cream of broccoli soup and be captivated.

agreed, Freeman is a wonderful narrator...although we'd wager that if he were forced to read your "coffeenerdness" entry...his wonderful voice would end up sounding like nails on a chalkboard...

Spoop Jackson: AI Can't Get Traded Because He's BLACK?

Spoop Jackson, up to his race baiting again; albeit a bit more subtly. In this week's installment of Spoop's tripe, he brings up the issue of race in the AI trade saga, says it isn't necessarily based on color; but then decides that of course it has SOMETHING to do with color: what doesn't, right?

"Why are Iverson's services not being embraced? By anyone."

Dunno, Spoop, you tell us. We know it couldn't be the contract, his age, his problems with authority, etc. It has to be his race, right? I mean...white owners and black players. Trades. It reeks of slavery and institutional racism. The "man" doesn't want Iverson playing just to show the brothas who run shit, right?

"Ask yourself the question: Would it take Steve Nash this long to be traded if he were on the block? Your honest answer would be, No. Now the question you must ask yourself is "Why?"

Because Steve Nash is WHITE!!! Gotta be that. Gotta be! We all know, whenever a black superstar is on the block or wants traded, it never happens. Ask Vince and Shaq. If they were white, they would have gotten their wish and been traded, and they'd be out of Toronto and LA! What? Oh, they were traded when they demanded to be? Oh, well...that must be some kind of reverse racial preferential racist patronization.

"And before anyone goes there, the analogy is not necessary based on color (although I'd be a hypocrite to say that this has nothing to do with color). I could pose the same question about Gilbert Arenas or Kevin Garnett. Carmelo Anthony, for that matter. But even that's not it. The question of "Why?" with AI is not a question of him being black, but the type of black person he is."

Umm..."before" anyone goes there? Spoop, ya dipshit, YOU already WENT there. And you wouldn't be a hypocrite to say that it has nothing to do with color. Being black and not constantly throwing the race card on the table DOESN't make one a hypocrite, ya heard, Too Short? Ahh, but there it is. It is the TYPE of black person AI is. Funny, since you gave us all those examples of other black guys that probably would be traded in a heartbeat: maybe it really is more the type of PERSON AI is. Leave the black out of the equation. If you can use other examples, and they are black players, then the rules of logic dictate that you can leave the black on the side. Type of person. Let's leave it at that. We wouldn't want to say "type of black person" and reinforce those stereotypes YOU work so hard to breakdown, Spoop.

"His Cablinasian is that of Michael Vick, Barry Bonds, Ray Lewis, Jeremy Shockey and Mike Tyson … with something extra."

Cablinasian? Umm...that is someone of caucasian, black, (American) Indian and Asian ancestry. Tiger Woods is the person that coined the word. I'm not even going to pretend to understand WTF Spoop is getting at with that one. Must have been on his word of the day calendar and he decided to force it into his column no matter what.

"And that extra has everything to do with who he is as a person. And that extra is what most of the NBA teams are afraid of."

Fair enough. And if NBA teams are afraid of who he is as a person (and by the way, thanks for changing the "type of black person he is " to "who he is as a person") then what is the problem? NBA teams aren't allowed to consider character and personality when they make trades?

"But mostly they're afraid that the words "mercurial" and "magnet for trouble" that have followed him throughout his career will follow him to their team."

Gotchya, Spoop. Teams shouldn't be concerned with reputation, perception, character or any of those things. They should just sign 8 digit checks and STFU, right?

"And even with all that, we have to ask whether it should have taken this long?"

Agreed. As followers of the NBA, we are the litmus test for deciding who teams should trade for and how long it should take to turn a deal. Oh, you don't mean "we" as in fans? You mean "we" as in brothas? Oh...ok. Sorry, us white fans will stay out of this one. We'll let the brothas decide how teams should spend their millions.

"At the end of every day, every day Iverson remains untraded, a sociological issue in sports goes unanswered. Further reminding us that professional sports is not a game."

Clearly, there is something sinister amidst when an aging superstar, with a checkered past and an enormous contract, can't get traded the very second he demands it. It must be a deeply rooted sociological issue that transcends sports and is symptomatic of our culture (American culture, not hip-hop culture, Spoop...). The idea that the Sixers won't trade him at the drop of a hat for pennies on the dollar. The idea that other teams won't mortgage their future on him. The notion, that NO, sports isn't just a game: it's a billion dollar business and the folks that are at the top of the food chain feel obligated to protect their interests. And in protecting those interests, sometimes people don't get what they want when they want it.

The NBA is not about "type of black person", it is about the color of money.

This has nothing to do with the type of "black person" AI is, Spoop. Plenty of black folks with shadier pasts, more ghetto connections and bigger issues have been traded and picked up by other teams. This has to do with the contract, with the issues with authority, with the attitude and with the NEEDS of the teams involved. As a person, AI's past makes many wonder about his future with their team.




King Me: Weak 15

On to Peter King's Weak 15 tips (as always, Peter's "tips" in black, reality in red):


With my advice being as sketchy as it's been -- the Dallas-New Orleans game was 10 seconds old when Julius Jones, who I'd told you to sit, bolted from Irving to San Antonio on the Cowboys' first series last week -- I'm amazed you're logging on for this. But I'll try to do better this week. Promise. My 10 tips:

I assure you Peter, no one is logging in for your "tips"...we are logging in to laugh our asses off at the fact that you get paid for this...and we don't...wait, actually...that isn't all that funny...

1. I like Matt Leinart a lot playing at home against Denver. Three straight weeks of completing over 60 percent, and now he faces a once-formidable Denver defense, which is starting to look like it's playing out the string. Play Leinart.

And Leinhart promptly throws for 214 yards, 0 Tds and 2 INTs...woohoo...off to a typical Peter King start...a guy doing perfectly fine...until Peter zaps him...

2. Speaking of the Cards on offense, the Broncos will be all over Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald. I like Bryant Johnson's fit in this offense, and you can tell Leinart's looking for him more and more each week.

Boldin and Fitzgerald shared the team lead for catches, with 5, for the day...and Johnson hauled in 2 catches from Leinart...let the Peter King crapfest keep on rollin'...

3. I know they're at home, but I don't like much about the Falcons this week. You're not going to know until Saturday if Warrick Dunn's strained calf will allow him to play, and Michael Vick is sore and beat-up, so much so that Jim Mora doesn't want him to run any more than he has to. Plus, Bill Parcells will not be kind to his team in practice this week. It all adds up to frustrating day for the Atlanta offense on Saturday.

actually, the ATL offense outgained Dallas, rushed for over 100 yds, and Vick threw for 4 TDs...Vick ran 8 times for 56 yards, also...Dallas won...but the ATL offense did have a decent day...

4. Steve McNair has thrown two interceptions in the seven weeks Brian Billick has been calling offensive plays for Baltimore. In other words, with Cleveland coming to town, play McNair -- unless you've got Peyton Manning or Drew Brees on your roster.

in theory, this is a reasonable tip...BUT, remember the FECAL TOUCH...you know, everything that Peter touches turns to shit...McNair hurt his hand and ended up going 0-4 with 0 yds...and yes, THIS IS PETER'S fault...

5. If you scout the Buffalo Bills, you know the ball's going deep to Lee Evans once or twice every Sunday, minimum. Yet J.P. Losman's still able to get it to him. Moral of the story: Don't be scared off by defensive player of the year Jason Taylor chasing down Losman on Sunday in Orchard Park, play Evans at any cost this week. And if you can slip in Roscoe Parrish, you know how much I like him.

Roscoe didn't put up any numbers...but, as far as a Peter King tip goes, I guess this was as good as it gets: Evans 3 catches, 67 yards and 1 TD...not a lot of fantasy points, which goes without saying when Peter gives a tip...but at least he didn't come up completely empty...hats off to Peter...he wiped his ass and came out with a dingleberry...nicely done!

6. Antsy about playing Ben Roethlisberger because of all the receiver problems with the Steelers? Don't be. Not this week, anyway. The Panthers host Ben, and Hines Ward is likely to return after two weeks rehabbing a 'scoped knee. Play Ben, and play Santonio Holmes. I'm not sold on Holmes, but he gets the start against some lousy cornerbacks this week.

Big Ben put up 141 yards and 1 passing and 1 rushing TD...this is Peter's once a week winner!...ding ding ding...Holmes did nothing, so that kinda hurts the overall tip...AND, we thank Peter for not mentioning Fast Willie Parker's name...as willie had a great game as a result...

7. I'll tell who's slumping. David Carr. One TD pass in his last seven games. If you play him, Bruce Gradkowski must be your other quarterback. And what are you doing in the playoffs with David Carr as your guy? The only Texan worth a look this week, with the battered Pats' defense, is battering ram Ron Dayne.

I'll tell you who sucks at fantasy tips...Peter King...wtf?...who the hell is playing David Carr at this point in the season...this is Peter's weekly "nose on your face" tip...telling us NOT to play the shitty guy...thanks...any other nonperforming also rans we should avoid, Petey?

8. Hmmm. Cincinnati-Indy. Don't be so sure Rudi Johnson will rush for 240. Tony Dungy and defensive coordinator Ron Meeks will put an eighth body down in the box often Monday night -- even if it's softer sub safety Matt Giordano -- to make sure the Bengals running game doesn't gash the Colts like Jacksonville did last week.

Not gonna bother to wait for this game to post...obviously, Peter gives us NO reason for any confidence in his tip...we can assume, based on the results from what he has "heard" in the past...that Giordano will be cut before the game and never see the field...

9. The Eagles' run defense is killing them lately, and it isn't helping that Brodrick Bunkley is playing so sparingly. The coaches don't like his practice effort. It's a given you'll play Tiki Barber if you have him, but look for the Giants to try to wear down the Philly defensive front with Brandon Jacobs more than usual on Sunday.

and right on cue...Jacobs gets 3 carries for 13 yards...that inside info is gold, Peter...pure gold...

10. With the Saints sure to be blitzing rookie quarterback Jason Campbell, look for lots of throws to H-back Chris Cooley, who already leads the 'Skins with five touchdown catches.

4 catches and 80 yds for Cooley...no TDs...eh...is that lots of throws?...naw...but, shit, this is Peter...and Cooley did lead the team in catches...we'll get into the holiday spirit and give this one to Peter...


For those of you who have been keeping tabs on Peters performance up to this week, the stats breakdown and look like this:

Peter sucks.


Ladies and Gentlemen: Peter King, your fantasy guru and football expert.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

UAB: Second Rate Football Program Doomed to Devices of 'Bama?







Interesting blog entry by Stewart Mandel on cnnsi.com. Apparently, UAB was all set to offer Jimbo Fisher, the highly talked about offensive coordinator at LSU who has had his name come up in many of the coaching hunts this year, their head coaching job. The salary offer was going to be 600K, which is inline with other ConfUSA coaches, AND half the salary was to be funded privately by some local boosters. So, essentially, UAB was gonna get an up and coming NAME coach for 300K a year. Pretty nice deal, right?

Sounded nice, until the Board of Trustees nixed the deal, saying that 600k was fiscally irresponsible. They never mentioned that half was going to be privately funded. But, that isn't the interesting part.

The interesting part: the BOT has over site of all the schools in the Univerisity of Alabama system. So, it is the very same BOT that ok'd buying out Shula's contract with 4M still on it. And the same BOT that OK'd over 2M a year for Rich Rodriguez. Seems kind of weird that they would nix what would amount to a measely 300K a year for a coach that might make UAB competitive. Or does it seem weird?

As Mandel points out, Bear Bryant's son is on the board...along with several other high powered Bama folks. Is it possible that the Bama contingent on the BOT decided to sabotage UAB's rebuilding efforts? That they didn't want a name coach in state competing for recruits and possibly booster dollars in Birmingham?

This is pretty sordid stuff. And it gets interesting again as UAB just announced that they are hiring UGA offensive coordinator Neil Callaway. Details of the salary are not available yet, but it is between 300-400K. Which is what it would have cost the school to bring in Fisher.

So, basically, the 'Bama friendly BOT decided to shit on the hiring of Jimbo Fisher in the name of "fiscal responsibility" (after having given Shula 4M to go away). And to top it off, they approved the hiring of a coach that no one else has seriously been looking at and was even relieved of his play calling duties at UGA this year, for roughly the amount of money it would have cost UAB to go with Fisher.

Hard not to believe that UAB got screwed in this deal.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Somebody Please Keep The Moras Off The Radio



Someone please get those microphones away. That man is a Mora...nothing good can come of this.







Atlanta Falcons' Coach Jim Mora is taking some heat for a radio appearance, just a few weeks after his father took heat for radio comments about Michael Vick being a coach killer.

Mora the younger is taking heat for an interview on a Seattle radio station in which he was asked about his interest in the coaching job at University of Washington if the job should open up. The interview was conducted by former Mora college roomate and fellow UDub alum, Hugh Millen. Mora said it was his dream job and that he would leave Atlanta in a heartbeat for it.

Obviously, it's horrible judgement to joke about leaving your job in such a public forum. Especially when you are having an up and down season. Giving ownership any reason to lose confidence in you is a bad, bad move.

Mora took a lot of heat on Sunday Countdown on ESPN. TJ brought up that if TO ever made comments like this, he'd be grilled. They also insinuated that there was a serious tone to his voice in the interview, and played the interview.

The portions that they played would actually make one wonder, because Mora did sound serious, and the guys interviewing him sounded more surprised than amused.

Most interesting, is that ESPN for some reason, chose not to play an important line from the interview. At the end of the segment on the UDub job, Mora said, "As I'm sitting here, I'm looking at a Huskies helmet."

Now, that is something that really could loosen up the serious tone of the interview, up to that point. That comment really makes it clear it was a joke. But ESPN hasn't been playing that on TV.

Mora made an ill conceived joke, poorly delivered at a bad time. But ESPN seems to be doing all they can to shovel more shit on Mora.

Joke or not. We think Mora's job was in jeopardy with the way this season and Michael Vick have progressed (or lacked solid progress). This only gives Arthur Blank more doubt.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Ok, Our Money is DEFINATELY on Ohio St.!




Zook, game planning for the BCS title game.







Would you follow this man's advice???







After reading this, we are taking the Buckeyes for sure in the BCS game.

"Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong planned to call a key source in about how to beat Ohio State, so I thought I'd beat him to it. I found Ron Zook on the recruiting trail Wednesday and asked him the same general questions Strong will, minus a few dozen X's and O's: How in the world did you come within seven points of the Buckeyes? How did you hold them to only 17 points? "

Oh my. If Florida is going to turn to Ron Zook for anything that doesn't involve recruiting...well, they deserve what they get. And, Strong realizes: Zook LOST to OSU, right? Now, if Strong wants advice on how to keep the game respectable and claim a moral victory, then step on up!

Typically, Zook was modest: "Ohio State probably played a little down and we played up. That happens in the game of football."

Modest? Umm...what exactly does the guy have to brag about? Anyway, if you strike the "probably" from his statement, we agree 100%.

Look, Florida is a good team. They have film of all the games OSU played. We beg you Florida: Just watch the film. Stay the hell away from Zook and any "insight" he might give you. The Buckeyes were sleep walking that game. The Illini played the game of their lives. So, unless Zook's advice is to ply the Bucks with Ambien and put them to sleep...PLEASE, disregard it.

As fans, we want a great game. Let's just give Zook some credit for getting a lot of those players to UF...and walk away from him. Please, for the sake of the fans!

(We KNOW, "definitely" is spelled wrong in the title....but can't change it now or the link won't work...)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

More Zook: Credit for This Year's Team at UF?

"When Ron Zook was fired at Florida two years ago, he and his supporters pointed out that he had recruited a young team that would blossom into a national championship contender." article

As we said in an earlier post, no one can argue Ron Zook's ability to cajole high school athletes into following him. This is not even a point of contention. However, what about his ability to COACH these athletes and develop the resources necessary in a program to support the improvement of these athletes? Is the performance of Florida's football team this year and their earning a spot in the BCS Title game a vindication of Zook's performance at UF?

Only three of the Gators' probable starters in the national championship game are not Zook recruits.

''Even though we don't get to coach them, I'm proud of them,'' Zook said Wednesday. ''We told them when we recruited them, they were going to have a chance to play for a national championship. It's good to see their goals and dreams come true.''

Does anyone believe that if Zook were still there, those guys would be playing for a national title? Anyone?

Realistically, there was some reasonable talent at FL when Zook got there, not the best of Spurrier's recruiting efforts, but the number of guys that got drafted substantiates that the cupboard was not bear. And Zook brought in solid talent from day one.

What was damning for Zook was this: Improvement. Not only did the team's records not improve over the Zook years, but performance did not either. The same mistakes were made in game situations and the development of the players was woefully lacking and obvious. That reflects on the head coach and on the staff he puts together.

Over the course of his years at UF, there was no evidence that the program was improving. Can you fault the administration for looking at the talent that was there and saying, "We need to get someone in here that can do something with this talent."

The same sort of thing happened at UNC in basketball. Matt Doherty brought in great talent. And the administration realized, he just wasn't the man to mold that talent into a championship.

Do guys like Doherty and Zook deserve some credit for what the team did after they were canned? Sure, their tireless recruiting layed the ground work. They were the bricklayers.

Can we say with any certainty that those teams would have played for championships if they stayed? No way. It takes an architect to plan and design the finished product.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

T.O.: Please, Just Take Your Money and Go Away





Please, STFU, fruitcake!








Remember last year, when Terrell Owens played his little hold out game with the Eagles? He claimed that it was about that horrible contract he had been forced to sign. He said that if he got a contract which made him happy, all would be good and he would be a wonderful asset to the team. Remember the Eagles said the hell with that, and Jerry Jones rolled in and gave TO the type of contract that was supposed to make him happy?

Well, it's clear: the problem isn't the Eagles, the coaches, the contract or the money. The problem is that TO is a bitching, snivelling diva. A man, in gender only. TO is Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston and Rupaul rolled into one. He is a psychotic, selfish, outlandish, nonsensical refugee from reality. He has the mental toughness of a chubby 13 year old girl and Lindsay Lohan laughs at his work ethic.

"While discussing the drops, Owens brought up the snitch again, saying he's lacked focus sometimes because he "was consumed by a lot of things going on here."

Owens can't concentrate because someone has been "snitching" on him. The revolting part of this is that Owens doesn't dispute that the leaks about him are true! He is simply mad, like a little school girl, that someone is talking about him. And because of this, he can't concentrate on Sundays and catch the damn ball. Even tho Jerry Jones GAVE him the contract that he so desparately wanted. You know, the contract that last year made it impossible......impossible to concentrate and play.

It's clear to see: Owens doesn't want to play. If a professional athlete can't clear his mind for 3 hours a week to perform at the level he is being played millions of dollars to perform at...If a professional athlete doesn't have the self discipline and will power to block out distractions for a few hours a week...well, that athlete is a disgrace to himself. With every dropped pass and every whiney excuse, Owens proves the Eagles were 100% right!

The Worst Job at ESPN?



Creme, espn.com's women's hoops bracketologist: He must have done something horrible in a previous life.



ESPN covers a lot of sports. Virtually any competition that people play and keep score. It got us wondering: What is the worst gig at the WWL? The answer, we think, is Charlie Creme's job.

As if having "Creme" next to your face on every piece you have on espn.com isn't bad enough; Creme is the Women's basketball bracket guru. At first glance, that doesn't seem so horrible. Tennessee, UNC, UConn, LSU, Duke...etc. Elite women's teams actually do have reasonable followings. The part of the job that has to make it excruciatingly painful is following the small conferences. Ivy League, Big West, Mid-Con, MAC, MEAC, Horizon, Big South, Big Sky, Patriot League, American East, MAAC, OVC, CAA and Southland conferences all have women's teams. Who the hell has heard of most of these conferences, let alone the teams that compete in them. Can you imagine the task of being familiar with South East Lousiana's women's basketball squad? University of Hartford? Marist College? Shoot me. Just shoot me NOW.

Having to watch the young ladies that aren't even good enough to ride the bench at major conference schools? Charlie is a certifiable masochist.

We're betting that even Nancy Lieberman said, "Dude, that is a SHITTY job."

Northern Illinois: Just Happy to Be There



Nope, no chance the Poinsettia Bowl would invite a doormat to their "game".







Northern Illinois and TCU will get it on in less than a week in the opening game of the 2006 bowl season: The Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego. This match-up pits an also ran from the MAC conference against the Mountain West runner-up. Not exactly the type of match up that has football fans across the nation salivating; but hell, it's football and it will have been a few weeks since we had any.

Despite the fact that the rest of the nation collectively said, "who gives a shit", when this pairing was announced; Coach Joe Novak of NIU doesn't care.

"A bowl game to a team like ours is something special," coach Joe Novak said. "There is no bad bowl game. For teams like ours, it's a great opportunity. Our fans are excited. We have a lot of people coming with us."

Now are you pumped? Are you ready for some football? We sure are. And we can't agree more: A bowl game for a 7-5 team from the MAC is something special. Hell, The Poinsettia Bowl is the SECOND best bowl named after a red flower. That is the type of thing that makes those 4 years of hard work the seniors put into the program so worthwhile.

So, a tip of the hat to NIU and their special season. Their dream of a third place finish in the MAC Western Division has been achieved. And the complete over proliferation of meaningless bowls has ensured that they are properly rewarded for such a feat.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Is The Zooker Setting Himself Up For Failure?




Ron Zook shows off the legs that recruits just can't turn down.









Illinois is in good position to land three of the nation's top football prospects within the next 10 days, a Christmas present that would give coach Ron Zook one of the top 20 recruiting classes in the country. -- Chicago Sun-Times


Ron Zook. Chased out of Gainesville by an angry mob of backwoods Gator fans (trust me, I lived in Gainesville for a year...the University of Florida might be there, but THAT place is NOT Florida...south Alabama, maybe...) wielding torches and pitchforks. Somehow, he quickly found refuge in the Midwest at a program with pretty low expectations. A perfect fit! He is JUST the man for the job.

Despite Zook's shortcomings in clock management, offensive game planning, offensive play calling, organizational control, hiring of high quality assistants, teaching fundamental football skills, winning over the good will of alumni and booster and etc...etc...etc...One thing, and maybe the only thing, Zook does as well as any top coach (caveat: the term "top coach" is used as a point of reference and should in no way be construed as characterising Ron Zook) is recruiting. Somehow Zooker is able to bamboozle young minds and their parents into signing on the dotted line and entering a pact for a minimum of 3 and maximum of 5 years of frustration, shattered hopes and broken dreams.

Despite the mediocre (by UF standard) results, he always had gangbuster recruiting classes. Clearly, this was a huge mistake. And, Zook doesn't seem to be learning from it at Illinois.

By bringing in high profile recruits and having highly ranked classes, Zook essentially tied the knot in the hangman's noose. Zook is a mediocre coach. He surrounded himself with mediocre assistants. By bringing in top ranked classes, he raised expectations to levels that he couldn't reach.

Now, given the reins at Illinois, a guy like Zook is in the perfect job. Losing tradition. Low expectations. Mediocrity would be a step up and he would be a hero of sorts. But, instead of allowing his borderline coaching skills to be the focus of the program; that dadgum ability to recruit rears its ugly head. His plan should be simple:

-surround himself with a solid cast of assistants
-recruit tough players that are under the national radar
-hold press conferences and give pep talks while you let those solid assistants teach the kids how to play
-go 5-7 or 6-6 and be able to claim that the team is performing above expectations
-retain job

But, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Zook goes out and brings in some top players. The media of course touts this as big news. And now, you are going to have alums and fans of Illinois expecting big things. A few top 20 recruiting classes in a row should equate to some 20 rankings, right? And those are expectations that Coach Ron Zook will just not be able to meet.

Ron, if you are going to be a marginal X's and O's coach and INSIST on bringing in great recruiting classes: Follow the example Mack Brown has set. Mack began it at UNC and perfected it at Texas. Be the chairman of the board: Raise money and make the recruiting trips to talk ma and pa into letting junior play for you. Leave the football operations and coaching to guys that know how.

We predict this class is the beginning of the end of the Ron Zook era at Illinois.

King Me: Week 14

On to Week 14 in the world of Peter King...Peter's "wisdom" in black...reality in red:

Most of you still playing this fantasy game are into your playoffs by now, so I don't know how much you can benefit from anything I might hear during the week.

I'm sure it can't be of any less benefit than tips from what you "heard" every week so far...cause after all...what is less beneficial than worthless?

1. Chicago offensive coordinator Ron Turner is a smart man. He knows how to find short- and intermediate-route holes for his offense. But I think the psyche of Rex Grossman is too far gone right now. If you have any option at quarterback better than, say, Bruce Gradkowski, I'd use it now.

Ron Turner may be a smart man...but Peter King is not...Grossman tossed for 200 yds 2 TDs and 0 INTs...Grossman had a better fantasy week than several QBs...Vick, Brady, Kitna, Romo, Carr, McNair, Harrington, Pennington, Garcia, Leinart, Losman, Garrard, Green...and a few others...off to a rousing Peter King start...you'd think Peter's psyche would be gone, too...and he'd stop passing out the tripe in his columns and pretending it was inside info...

2. Big night for Steven Jackson Monday. With Bears defensive tackle Tommie Harris missing at least this week, look for the Rams to be able to run and control the ball for at least 30 minutes.

Good nite for Jackson..81 yds rushing and a TD and 58 yds receiving and a TD...and the Rams did hold the ball for more than 30 mins...BUT, they were out rushed 172-101 and outscored...and only rushed 22 times...maybe the reason the Rams controlled the clock was actually due to the Bears scoring so damned quick...two 90+ yard KO returns..and 4 scoring drives all less than 5 minutes...so yeah...Peter was right...but for the WRONG reasons...but hell, at least he was right for a change...

3. I don't like the Browns to win, and I don't like Derek Anderson to have a fairy tale first start in the NFL. I don't think the Browns can block the Steelers, even the beat-up Steelers.

Anderson tossed a TD and had 276 yards...not a story book start, but not a bad first start, stat wise....BTW...does Peter think that a bunch of fantasy owners out there PICKED Anderson up this week or something?...what a bullturd tip...another of his "you have a nose on your face" deals...thanks for the advice, Peter...is the sky blue, too?...jerkoff...

4. Chester Taylor looks like he'll be nursing a bum knee the rest of the year. Normally I'd say play him against Detroit, but I wouldn't be too excited about playing him, even with Shaun Rogers being out for the year with the Lions. If you've got rushing alternatives, I'd use them.

I give Peter MAD props for this one...telling us not to play a guy that is listed as doubtful is a HUGE improvement for Peter...remember the week before last....when fatass told us to play not one, but TWO guys that were on the inactive list that week...so...while most of us would naturally take it as a given to leave a guy listed as doubtful off the roster...when PETER realizes it is a good thing to do...well, when Peter realizes it, we have to give him props...it's like when your retarded little brother manages to eat a meal without stabbing himself in the eye with his fork...Way to go, PeteyPete!....

5. I don't like Laurence Maroney's chance to bust out this week, for two reasons: New England ALWAYS struggles offensively against the Dolphins, and Maroney strained his back against the Lions last week. Be careful in assuming he'll do much in Miami.

And we didn't like Maroney's chances to bust out this week for ONE reason: HE WAS INACTIVE...but, again...Peter is improving...two weeks ago he told us to PLAY the inactive guys...it's week 14...and PeterPeterthePieEater seems to finally be figuring out how this works...

6. If I had one quarterback to play this week, it'd be Matt Leinart against Seattle ... not Peyton Manning against Jax, or Drew Brees against the 'Boys.

Leinart: 232 yds 2 TD 1 INT...And, the Cards got a nice win...BUT...let's have a gander at the guys ole Peter didn't play...Peyton Manning 313 yds 0 TD 1INT, 1 rushing TD...yeah, the Colts were beat down by J-ville...however, Manning outperformed Leinart fantasy wise...and Brees, well...5 TDs and 384 yards...hehehe...sorry...can't help giggling...even when Peter gives a tip and the guy has a decent day and his team wins...fantasy wise...Peter loses yet again...

7. Sit Terrell Owens this week. For spite.

and Peter "spites" himself out of a TD reception...which, normally isn't a big deal...but if you followed most of Peter's other "tips"...that TD might have been your only chance at points this week....

8. If you follow the Jets, you see how Eric Mangini is one of the biggest what-have-you-done-for-me-lately coaches on earth. Therefore, play Cedric Houston in your backfield because he has done an awful lot for Mangini lately.

Cedric responds to Peter's confident endorsement with 50 yds and no TDs...the infamous Peter King Fecal Touch...


9. Play Marion Barber. Bench Julius Jones.

And Jones let's us know what kind of tip (hint: it rhymes with shit) this was on his first carry of the game with a 77 yd TD jaunt...and totalled 116 yards on just 10 carries...and the guy he wanted us to play : Barber?...umm....-1 yard....thanks Peter!...how bout a reach around next time, pal!

10. Is there any warm-blooded receiver Green Bay hasn't tried out this year? Now it's 2004 Notre Dame QB Carlyle Holiday. The 49ers will blitz Brett Favre from the time he gets off the bus Sunday. I don't like Green Bay's offense to do much in this one.

We admit...we take GREAT pleasure in this one...because it is a double dose of Peter shitting the bed...first...the Pack rolled up 30 points and 420 yards of total offense...Favre threw for 293 yds 2 TDs and 0 INTs...Driver racked up 160 yds and a TD reception...AND...a few weeks ago PeterthePieEater told us to take the 'Niners D for the playoff run...since that tip...the Niners D has been HORRID...sorry, we giggle like little girls when Peter gives us tips like this one...tips like this are the personification of what a Peter King column is usually all about...crap, crap and more crap...

Ladies and Gentlemen: Peter King, your football expert and fantasy guru.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Hey..

We got a few emails asking where our usual Peter King Fantasy Picks update was....well, Peter gave a few tips that involved the Monday Night game...so we will be posting on it tomorrow AM...

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Do Their Weather Forecasts Suck, Too?










Kinda sucked being the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette yesterday. In an effort to be at the front of the line with coaching news, they reported that WVU coach Rich Rodriguez was 'Bama bound. Done deal.

"After attending a news conference in Jacksonville, Fla., promoting the 13th-ranked Mountaineers' appearance in the Jan. 1 Gator Bowl, Rodriguez flew home to Morgantown to tell his wife, Rita, and family of their impending Alabama adventure. Now it's unlikely Rodriguez will coach in that bowl.

All along, he reiterated that he planned to finish his coaching career at West Virginia "if they'll have me." Apparently, he didn't believe they would have him at the price of the facilities and BCS-maintaining pace that he desired."

The photo of Rodriguez accompanying the article was entitled "West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez finally threw his hands up and decided to take the Alabama coaching job."

Heck, they even ran another column weighing coaching options for WVU: "Top candidates mentioned to replace Rich Rodriguez"....ummm...they never did say who "mentioned" the candidates.

And then...well, and then Rodriguez actually made his decision. And this morning the Post-Gazette had an article entitled "Rodriguez will remain coach at WVU"...DOH!

For some reason, they didn't mention friday's articles. Can't imagine why!

For those of you wondering about the weather forecasts. Do yourself a favor and don't check the forecast in the P-G!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Bowl Rundown: Installment I














The crap fest that is the first week of Bowl season is just around the corner...and we thought we'd help by letting you know who was doing what and where...here are the games that will be played during the first week...also known as the beginning of college basketball conference play...

San Diego Country Credit Union Poinsettia (Dec 19)

The bowl season kicks off with this choice match up in beautiful Sand Diego. The official flower of Christmas, the poinsettia, has its very own bowl game...and the featured teams are: Mountain West runner-up TCU (10-2), a team that would be undefeated if it wasn't for that damned Mormon state of Utah...a stomping at the hands of BYU and a beating administered by Utah..and their opponent: Northern Illinois (7-5) the third place finisher in the MAC-West Division...that is correct we have so many bowls this year that the THIRD place team in a DIVISION of the Mid-American Conference gets to go...N. Illinois features that midget running back everyone was so excited about and pumping in the Heisman race back in September...Garrett Wolfe...we can't name any of the other players in this game...and doubt (unless you are a Horned Frog or a..umm..a...whatever N. Illinois team is called...fan)...

Prediction: TCU gets the win and the potted poinsettia.

Pioneer PurVision Las Vegas (Dec 21)

Sin City! What better spot to send the Cougars of BYU and their fans? Those wild and crazy Mormons are gonna have the time of their lives. And I bet there will be standing room only with all the polygamists at the wedding chapels...BYU (10-2) somehow was able to go undefeated in the Mountain West...a nine team conference in which only 3 teams managed winning records...the Cougs are matched against Oregon (7-5), a team that started the season as contenders for the pack 10 title...but finished with a losing conference record...

Prediction: BYU rolls...all that pent up frustration at not being allowed to partake in any of the Vegas fun boils over on the field...

R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl (Dec 22)

Is this a cruel joke? The citizens of New Orleans deserve FAR better than this...The Sun Belt Conference runner ups, Troy (7-5) take on the second place team from the Conference USA West, Rice (7-5)...how much longer will the Sun Belt be allowed to masquerade as a conference...two teams finished the year with winning records...TWO...

Prediction: R&L Carriers doesn't sponsor a bowl next year.

Papajohns.com Bowl (Dec 23)

South Florida (8-4) comes in fresh off their upset of West Virginia...the opponent is East Carolina (7-5)...among the teams that beat ECU this year: Navy, UAB, Tulsa, and Rice...impressive...

Prediction: The Bulls (that's S. Florida) stampede the Pirates (that's ECU).

New Mexico (Dec 23)

New Mexico (6-6) vs. San Jose St (8-4)...give the bowl promoters here credit...sure a 6-6 team from the Mountain West deserves to be in a bowl about as much as Lindsay Lohan deserves an Oscar...BUT, having the home state team in the game might sell some tickets...oh, who are we kidding...there are gonna be even less people in the stands than at the Blue-Gray Game...

Prediction: Spurred on by pride, New Mexico pulls it out and proves once and for all: They DO belong in the New Mexico bowl.

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces (Dec 23)

Tulsa (8-4) had a decent record overall, but actually finished third in the Conference USA-West...behind Rice...Utah, rolling in at 7-5, finished third in the Mountain West...so this is a battle of second rate conference 3rd place teams in a bowl sponsored by the armed forces...yup, be all that you can be!

Prediction: A bitter coach Steve Kragthorpe, who was passed over for numerous better job openings the past few weeks, whips his team into a frenzy and Tulsa gets the nod.

Sheraton Hawaii (Dec 24)

Another bowl that invites the home team...Hawaii (10-3)...how come they get to play 13 regular season games, anyway?...versus Arizona St. (7-5)...ASU had a dissappointing season...the kid that Dirk Koetter let his team talk him into starting at QB shit the bed and cost him his job...but on a bright note...the Sun Devils get to spend a week in Hawaii...before the Warriors drop 60 on them...

Prediction: Sunshine, warm breezes...and a lot of TD passes by Colt Brennan...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Come On, Fellas...I kid...I kid!











If you are the star running back on a football team that has won several Florida state championships in a row and has been ranked in the USA Today Top 5 for the last few years, it's probably not a good idea to unveil certain things during a televised interview after a big win. Those "things" being that you have been the recipient of many, many gifts.

''I didn't even count it,'' player Chris Rainey said in a taped interview regarding a wad of cash a woman gave him. "When I walk around, people are buying me food, giving me money. I'm like, 'Damn, I'm glad I'm Chris Rainey. It's real nice to be me.' ''

"My cousin came and was like, "This man want to meet you. He wants you to sign this ball. And he'll give you free clothes,' " Rainey said on the tape. "And I was like, 'What?' So I signed a ball and he gave all kinds of free watches, necklace, shoes, clothes."

Of course, this is triggering an investigation to determine if gifts actually were accepted. If so, the Lakeland team could be forced to forfeit their 15-0 season.

Like any up and coming High School star these days, Rainey has a lawyer. And apparently, his lawyer is invoking the "He was just joking" defense.

"Anyone listening to or reading his comments should be able to hear or see the hyperbole in those comments," said attorney Robert Puterbaugh. "Chris unequivocally denies having accepted any remuneration, gift or donation for participating in any sports activity."

No doubt, barrister! It's clear as the ambulances you chase: Rainey is a prankster. And a funny one. I mean what is funnier than being all jazzed after your state semifinal win, amassing 340 some odd yards, and then telling the world about all the benefits you have received. Wonder why the reporter didn't fall out laughing on the spot?

A lesson for all you big time players on big time High School teams: Keep ya moufs shut!....oh and keep a lawyer on retainer, too...just in case people don't get your wacky sense of humor.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Hollis Thomas: Claims clenbuterol is reason for positive test









Hollis Thomas claims that a compound in his inhaler is responsible for his positive test. Clenbuterol is used for obstructions of the airway and chronic breathing disorders, like asthma.

It is listed as a banned substance by the league. Most probably because it has been used by athletes for a long time as a performance enhancer due to its ability to enhance air flow, its anit-catabolic effect (ability to decrease the rate of protein reduction at a cellular level) and its fat burning effect.

Clenbuterol's performance enhancement effects are most applicable to bodybuilding (and it's ability to enhance breathing is beneficial to mid-distance runners and cyclists), not so much to football. So, if clenbuterol is truly what Thomas popped for, chances are that his story is true, and Thomas really could be a victim of the rule. Of course, the other way of looking at it is: He should have checked what was in the inhaler and whether it was banned and asked his doctor to prescribe him something else. Other medications can, and are, frequently prescribed in place of clenbuterol because a lot of folks have bad reactions to it. Ephedrine is another bronchodialator that is on many banned lists that is common in medications.

We have seen some misinformation about what clenbuterol actually is. It is NOT a steroid compound (anabolic or cortical). Clenbuterol Hydrochloride is a beta-2-symphatomimetic. It is not a hormone. The reasoning behind its banning has nothing to do with whether or not it is a hormone. It has to do with the fact that in cycling, clenbuterol in liquid form is combined with a painkiller and the drug EPO to increase the production of red blood cells. Remember, the NFL's list of banned drugs is based on those in other sports and the Olympics, so compounds included on the list are NOT limited to just hormones.

Chris Simm's Little Brother Leads Team to State Title













During our usual morning perusal of thebiglead.com, we came across an item that had plenty of personal interest. There was a link to a video with some highlights of the Don Bosco Prep (this poster is an alum) victory over St. Peter's Prep in a NJ state championship game. It was really a pretty big game nationally in high school ball, as both teams were in the Top 15 in almost all the major high school polls.

Anyway, the video shows the end of the game when Matt Simms, Bosco's Louisville bound QB, sauntered over to heckle the fans of the opposing team after the game. And of course, the ensuing posturing by both teams.

There is a little more to the story than Simms simply acting like a jerk and the Bosco squad acting like the "U". Although, clearly, Simms made a bad move, and the coaches from both squads acted poorly; refusing to shake hands. There is even a report that the St. Peter's coach threw a football at the Bosco cheerleaders (wonder if Mr. DeLillo is still the cheer and dance team coach).

Apparently, a few days before the game, the Bosco players walked out to their practice field and there was a flag planted in it with "SPP" painted on it (St. Peter's Prep). Which, obviously, the Bosco squad took as pretty disrespectful. Prior to the state final matchup, the two teams shared a small indoor warmup area. The Ironmen (Bosco) marched the flag in with them. This lead to some pregame posturing and obviously added fuel to the fire.

During the week prior to the game, one of Bosco's players discovered a message painted on his car, "Will Hill (St. Peter's quarterback) is your daddy. State champs last year and again this year."

Now, Simms certainly should not have gone and taunted the fans ON the St. Peter's sideline; however, he is a kid who has endured a lot. Losses in the previous two state championship games and constant heckling from fans. The crowd chanted at him all game long: "Not your brother" and"Daddy's better". Earlier this season, one crowd chanted, "Where's your spleen?", a reference to older brother Chris' surgery earlier in the year.

The teams refused to shake hands and New Jersey State Police had to break up a shoving and shouting match at midfield.

After the game, Simms was given a box that had been delivered to the school Wednesday from a UPS Store in Bayonne. The box contained a pair of cleats with "SPP" and "Hunt for two" scribbled across them, along with a letter from "your friends at the Marauder Nation." The note also said, "Good luck Friday, hope the shoes fit," referring to the ones Simms wore all season, with scores from the past two State finals written on them.

In spite of all the pre-game nonsense, Bosco dominated the game and won 41-0. Completing a season in which the Ironmen not only dominated the state of NJ (the polls had Bosco and St. Peters 1 and 2), but took 3 powerful out of state teams down as well.