Posted 12/27 by Joe Bryant, Exclusive to Footballguys.com
I think it's fitting that the regular season wraps up this time of year. Because
for me, the NFL season is sort of like Christmas: Tons of anticipation and then
it seems to be over before I know it.
I think this has been my favorite season ever. But then I say that every year.
I admit it, I'm an NFL junkie. And I'm guessing the fact you're reading this
in late December puts you pretty far up the NFL Junkie scale too.
It's OK. They say Recognition is the first step...
Seriously, part of the fun in writing this column is that every week, I know
I'll get to share some thoughts with folks like yourself who love football as
much as I do. And that strikes me as a very good thing. I've had a blast throwing
out my goofy thoughts this season. And I've chuckled at the emails from people
telling me they've thought some of the same things as they were watching the
games. (the fact these people are having the same thoughts as me should probably
Before this turns into a Hallmark card / Winston Wolfe scene, let's get on
with this. As I wrap up the regular season in this week 17, I've pulled up some
of the more interesting things I remember seeing during the year.
Bottom line is this thing has been an absolute gas to create for you guys.
It's my sincerest hope that you've enjoyed reading it 10% as much as I enjoyed
writing it. We'll do it again next season. If you've got thoughts and ideas
on how this thing can be better, or just want to yell at me about Randy Moss,
feel free to shoot me a line at Bryant@footballguys.com.
Here's to Football,
Another draft thought. What exactly am I supposed to learn from a video of
USC's Winston Justice pancaking a 200 pound guy from Fresno State that'll be
working for IBM next summer?
From the How To Win Friends and Influence People department: Last week, disgruntled
wide receiver Jerry Porter thought he might make a point when he reportedly
decided to park in Al Davis' personal parking spot. Monday night, Porter was
reported (and disputed) to be laughing it up on the sidelines as his QB was
repeatedly sacked. Some are even saying he was cheering for San Diego. That
is not gold, Jerry....
I like Phillip Rivers as much as the next guy. But I'm telling you right now
that Charlie Whitehurst as your #2 QB is a bad idea. (Joe's note: Apparently,
A.J. Smith felt the same thing and obtained Billy Volek from Tennessee)
John Madden had a great description of Willie Parker - "He was a kid that
was never 'it' in tag".
Tiki Barber described the normal look on Eli Manning's face: "It's kind
of a blank, searching, the world is coming to an end face. But it works."
(In hindsight, it didn't work all that well)
Is it a bad sign for Raider fans that Tony Mandarich was spotted Tuesday sporting
a Robert Gallery jersey?...
I've been trying to think of something more stupid than the NCAA College Football
Coaches Poll and I've got nothing. Which is fairly significant as I know a lot
of stupid things.
The coaches can say all they want but if I'm Jake Plummer or Drew Bledsoe,
I'm holding off a bit on remodeling the kitchen. Both these guys could be looking
for real estate agents soon....
In a move that was not widely publicized, the entire Raiders team was deactivated
for Sunday's game.
Have you heard the ads for Focus Factor that run on ESPN Radio? As best I can
tell, this product is supposed to make you smarter and more attentive. So I'm
pretty excited as this could be something I'd need. The ads claim "many
people say it's the best brain supplement they've ever tried." I started
wondering just how many "brain supplements" there are on the market.
And what about the people who said this stuff wasn't the best they've ever tried.
And then I started thinking about Clinton Portis and Kid
Bro Sweets and forgot all about it....
Running backs have always taken care of their offensive lineman. Gold watches
and steak dinners used to be the ticket. San Diego's LaDainian Tomlinson says
times have changed though. "These days, taking them out to eat isn't enough
for them. They're high maintenance."
College Football note of the day. I live in Knoxville, Tennessee and Air Force
was in town to play a couple of weeks ago. My twelve year old son and I were
talking about the game when out of the blue he asked me, "Dad, do they
fly themselves down for the game?". I don't know the answer there. God
College Football note of the day II. To Oklahoma fans: Stop whining. You got
screwed. But stop whining. To Oregon fans: Act like you've won something before.
Especially since you didn't really win this one. To the NCAA: With a gazillion
dollars coming in and no salaries going out (except for USC guys apparently)
why have a Mickey Mouse Radio Shack instant replay equipment setup with a guy
making $400 a game (seriously) working the replay booth?
That's a disgrace to be that greedy. Do this right and spend a little money.
Marty Schottenheimer turned his young QB loose a little bit Sunday. In Week
1, Philip Rivers was 8 for 11. In Sunday's game, he was 8 for 11 at one point
in the first quarter.
Nice start for Houston's David Carr. Sack on the first play. Fumble on the
Someone tell Tom Coughlin he doesn't have to do the Rain Man thing and button
the top button on his coaching shirt.
Seattle DB Ken Hamlin had a deflected pass bounce right up to his hands and
he muffed it. Another Seahawk dropped a sure interception in the play before
that. Further proof that if defensive backs could catch, they'd be wide receivers.
You knew it wouldn't take long. Kellen Winslow II found a microphone and someone
willing to listen to him Monday. "Some of the coaches might just be holding
us back a little. ... We've got nothing to lose... We're losing and I'm not
on the field. I just don't get it." This is a guy who's made a career out
of holding himself back. I'd agree he doesn't get it. But I have a feeling Romeo
Crennel is going to help him understand.
Any of you guys that questioned Tampa quarterback Chris Simms' toughness need
to check yourself. Guy finished a game with a ruptured spleen and led his team
down the field in the 4th quarter. Said wide receiver Michael Clayton, "In
the huddle, he was gasping for air. He'd call part of the [pass] routes, then
gasp for air and finish it. ... You could tell he was fighting it." This
of Simms picking himself back up again vaults to one of my favorite sports photos
Thanks to our friend Gary Wolverton, I think I figured out a way to clean up
this Reggie Bush / Money Under The Table business. Why not just have Atlanta's
Warrick Dunn give Bush's parents a house? Everyone wins.
This has to be the funniest animation
anyone's sent me this week. I never knew Vince Young was in Napoleon Dynamite....
Minnesota wide receiver Troy Williamson would be a fantastic wide receiver.
If he could just catch the ball. Which is sort of important for a wide receiver.
Speaking of Jacksonville, there isn't a pitcher in Major League Baseball with
a windup bigger and slower than Byron Leftwich's. It's nearly comical.
I don't mean this in a bad way, but Angry Denny Green makes me think of Red
Kool Aid Guy bursting through the wall. Oh Yeahhhhhh. That might go over the
head of you younger guys.
Clipped from the Boston Herald this week: Bengals Linebacker Odell Thurman,
who was already serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance
abuse policy, was pulled over at a sobriety checkpoint in suburban Cincinnati
and charged with DUI. Thurman had a 0.17 blood-alcohol level, more than twice
the legal limit in Ohio. In the car with Thurman were teammates Reggie McNeal
and Chris Henry. Thurman told police he was the least drunk of the trio, which
was why he was driving. Henry was reportedly throwing up out a rear window during
the traffic stop.
This is the same Chris Henry that's been arrested four times in three states
December and now has to blow into a breathalyzer device before he is allowed
to start his car. If you can run real fast and jump real high and catch touchdowns,
they'll find a spot for you.
I won't go on about the Monday Night Game in New Orleans other than to simply
say that game epitomizes what I love about sports.
Overheard on the radio: Terrell Owens has been upgraded from suicidal to questionable.
Should I be surprised that Terrell Owens' publicist, Kim Etheredge, doesn't
have enough public relations sense to take the gum out of her mouth before addressing
the media at a press conference?
Joe Theismann had the line of the weekend talking about a ref throwing a flag:
"He must have seen something to make him pull it out of his pants."
I thought Kornheiser was going to lose it.
New England and Seattle will play in Beijing next year in the inaugural..."China
Bowl". I'm not making this up. See
for yourself. They made a big deal at halftime of the Patriots - Broncos game
as it's tied into the 2008 Olympics somehow. They even had the "Five Friendlies"
there, the 2008 Beijing Olympic mascots. Here's what I don't understand: Why
do the Olympics need official mascots? Events don't have mascots. Teams and
schools have mascots. And further, why do the Olympic mascots have to look like
some mutant Pokemon / Telletubbie thing. What's wrong with a bull dog or a cougar
or a sweat shop worker for a mascot?
Chicago's Rex Grossman won the NFC Offensive Player Of The Month for September.
Yeah, I saw that coming....
But help me out here. Grossman posted these stats for September: 61-94, 829
yards, 64.9%, 6 TD. 3 INT, 8.82 YPA, 100.9 QB rating
The Eagles' Donovan McNabb posted these numbers: 69-113, 960 yards, 61.1%,
7 TD, 1 INT, 8.50 YPA, 105.3 QB rating
Has anyone told Rush Limbaugh about this?
Even the Nike people know Mike Vick isn't the guy you want throwing the football.
In their Briscoe High commercials, they let LaDainian Tomlinson throw the game
winning pass. Steve Young's, "Keep your eye on the ball, Ryan" along
with Lee Corso as the mascot make these for me.
I see lots of guys drooling over the "Rrrrest stop in Raleigh?" girl
in the Verizon ad. I don't get it. She's blonde, appears to have most all her
teeth and isn't fat. But I need a little more than that. Sorry.
Secondary point, what it is about Las Vegas that turns relatively normal people
into complete dorks? The one guy with his "VEGAS, BAY - BEEE" (accompanied
by the apparently mandatory hand jive) along with the other dweeb is just sad.
Random funny Eagles note of the week. I don't know if it's legit, but Philadelphiaweekly.com
is reporting that the guy chosen last week as the Lincoln Financial Fan Of The
Game was handcuffed and ejected during the game. Here's the story.
One more and I'll stop burying the Raiders (one of my favorite teams so please
save the emails) Running back Lamont Jordan averaged almost twice as many yards
per carry as QB Andrew Walter posted in average yards per pass attempt. I may
not know much, but I know that's not good.
If I were Jerry Jones, I'd have the team doc ready every time Mike Vanderjagt
attempted a field goal. Not for the kicker, but for Bill Parcells. I'm not sure
how many more 26 yard misses the Big Guy can stand.
Last week, I wrote: "Chad Pennington's looking like the guy they gave
all that money to. Pennington now has 44 career touchdown passes without an
interception in the red zone. Sorry Jets fans, I'm sure that'll jinx him. He
did look kind of funny Sunday lining up as a wide receiver."
On cue Sunday, he threw an interception from the Indianapolis two. Don't doubt
The Seahawks are pushing it on the jinx front, don't you think? It wasn't enough
that Shaun Alexander had to go out and do the Madden thing. Now Matt Hasselbeck
is flirting with disaster promoting Campbell's Chunky soup. What's next, Mike
Holmgren on the cover of Sports Illustrated?
We get it. Every human in the world thinks the Chargers throwback uniforms
are great. I like them too but please, you people stop it. You're embarrassing
The NFL league leader in pass receptions? That would be Reggie Bush with 34.
I want to know what marketing genius picked out the 85 year old woman to be
in the Cialis ads? Old people still have sex. I accept that. But grandma and
grandpa in matching bathtubs watching the sunset does not make me want to buy
On the bright side, I am loving the new children's book by Terrell Owens. The
title is "Little T Learns To Share". I'm not kidding. I bet the Barber
twins are nervous.
Watching the Pittsburgh game, I'll admit the overriding thought bouncing around
my head was "Apparently, one does need an appendix." Something is
wrong with my brain.
We're friends here so let's be honest. Oakland sucks. Nobody denies that. But
please will you people stop with the "Will the Raiders win a game?"
talk. I can't tell you which game, but it'll happen. At least once. The Bears
have a better chance of going undefeated than do the Raiders of going winless.
But neither are going to happen.
If you're an aspiring NFL QB heading off to college, forget about the PAC 10
or SEC, head to the Mid American Conference. Five of Sunday's starting QBs were
MAC guys. Chad Pennington and Byron Leftwich from Marshall (from when Marshall
was in the MAC), Ben Roethlisberger from Miami of Ohio, Charlie Frye from Akron
and Bruce Gradkowski from Toledo. That's pretty cool.
Marshall Faulk has been outstanding on the NFL Networks Total Access show.
Last week, he and Rod Woodson discussed the tough Philadelphia fans. Faulk said,
"Man they booed Santa."
Woodson made a pretty good point with, "He was a skinny Santa."
Faulk came back, "I don't care, Man. Even if he only had on his coat and
no pants, whatever. You don't boo Santa. You can't boo Santa."
It took until week 6, but Ben Roethlisberger has now thrown for more touchdowns
this year than I have...
I received an email this week from a nice lady in Ireland that informed me
I was a "Googlewhack". I'm not hip enough to know what that is so
I asked our Tech Genius, Keith Overton and he gave me the "For Dummies"
version (which he normally does for me). Keith explained that Googlewhacking
is a game where one tries to enter two words into Google with the goal of returning
only one page found for the search result. Keith has to tell me what is cool
and what is not cool in the tech world and Keith said that it was cool to be
a Googlewhack. So party on.
The mascot for the Buccaneers is the big headed Pirate guy that runs around.
His name is officially "Captain Fear" and he's pretty cool I guess.
Tight end Alex Smith scored Sunday, and Captain Fear was the first guy to greet
Smith in the endzone. But now they're thinking of changing his name to "Captain
Get Knocked On Your Butt".
New Orleans WR Joe Horn asked Saints defensive end Charles Grant to slap him
a couple of times in the face before Sunday's game. Grant obliged. John Henderson
does the same thing in Jacksonville when he asks the trainer to slap him before
the game. But Henderson is a defensive tackle. Note to Horn: Pay closer attention
to Big John. This slapping thing almost always works best when the big guy is
the one BEING slapped.
I'm all for players wearing long hair. No problem from me. Just understand
that what happened with Larry Johnson saving a touchdown by pulling Pittsburgh
safety Troy Polamalu down by his hair is part of the deal. Johnson was flagged
on the play but that was because he chose to pull Polamalu UP by his hair as
well. The tackle was totally clean.
Deion Sanders and Steve Mariucci had this exchange on the tackle:
Sanders: "I saw that happen to a guy in college and he was never the same."
Mariucci: "Who was it?"
Sanders: "Matt Hasselbeck."
Cardinals head coach Denny Green fired offensive coordinator Keith Rowen Tuesday.
I wonder if he made Rowen dress up in the sacrificial lamb costume before he
let him go?
More on Matt Leinart: He's lost as many games in the last eight days as he
did in his USC career. That's nuts.
No sense wasting any time, let's get right to the type of hard hitting football
information you expect out of Random Shots: Things are now much more clear in
Kansas City. One might chalk up the great game against San Diego last week and
the terrible game against Pittsburgh the week prior to inconsistencies or parity
or some of that "any given Sunday" talk. Turns out the Chiefs were
just distracted in Pittsburgh. And not by the Steelers...
Jason Whitlock of the Kansas City Star reports this week that some of the Chiefs
players were socializing with the women from Passion Parties Saturday night
before the Pittsburgh game. Passion Parties is a company that sells "premier
sensual products" through parties that are hosted by consultants and a
group of friends are invited. Sort of Tupperware meets sex toys. 200 all female
Passion Parties consultants held a seminar at the Airport Hyatt Friday and Saturday.
According to Mr. Whitlock who interviewed a Passion Parties spokeswoman, seven
to ten Chief players joined 30 of the consultants in a simulated "sales
party" Saturday night before the game. Coach Herm Edwards had some fairly
stern words after the Pittsburgh game and stressed a renewed pre game "focus"
before the Chargers game. The results were pretty favorable.
These guys have obviously never seen the Rocky movies. In the immortal words
of Mickey, "Women... weaken... the legs!" I swear I don't make this
Sorry folks, it's all downhill from here...
I love the talking heads when they discuss Favre. The exact same pass thrown
into double coverage will be "fearless" when the WR comes down with
the catch and "reckless" when it's intercepted.
Did you bury the Cadillac? Many did. He rolled again Sunday with a pretty good
game posting 82 yards on 23 carries. In one of those chicken or the egg stats:
Tampa Bay is 8-0 when Williams sees 20 or more carries in the game. I hate those.
(OK., we should have left him buried...)
Ronde Barber has two more touchdowns than Tiki. That's got to hurt.
Speaking of kickers, Pittsburgh's Jeff Reed made a tackle by tripping the returner.
Those wacky kickers. Even tackle with their legs...
Cardinals note: Everyone thinks Anquan Boldin is great. He's better than that.
The temperatures in Tampa were over 100 on the field. The brain trust at FOX
decided they'd show just how hot it really was with a visual aid as they put
out a Philly Cheese Steak without the cheese melted along with a block of Philadelphia
cream cheese on a big piece of aluminum foil in the sun. I'm not sure what they
expected to happen but the Cheese Steak just sort of turned a nasty shade of
brown and the cream cheese never moved. I mean didn't move at all.
They should have listened to my favorite food show guy, George Duran from "Ham
On The Street". He says, "Cream cheese isn't real cheese but it's
damn good." It also doesn't melt on TV.
I'm starting to like the Steve Mariucci / Deion Sanders interaction on the
NFL Network post game thing. Mooch asked Deion if he ever kicked. Deion said,
"I kicked 'it'. But I never kicked."
How bad is Pink on the Sunday Night intro song? Monday Night's Hank Williams,
Jr. was in the booth for a (thankfully) few minutes in the second quarter. Tony
Kornheiser asked Williams if he thought about asking Pink to join the huge group
of musicians Williams put together for the Monday Night music. Williams was
straight to the point, "Not at all. Never did." That's funny.
Later in the broadcast, Jeremy Shockey caught a TD and Mike Tirico had this
gem, "Sweet move by a stud player." You could hear both Joe and Tony
scooting their chair over away a little.
Overheard this one: How do you tell the Barber twins apart? Tiki is hoping
to catch a TD pass from Eli Manning. Ronde catches TDs from Donovan McNabb.
Speaking of Tiki, he had this to say to ESPN analysts Tom Jackson and Michael
Irvin after he made a point to call both men out by name on his radio show:
"...I will call them idiots, because they have neither spoken to me, nor
any one of my teammates or any of my coaches," Barber said. "Yet all
they do is criticize me for being a distraction with this retirement thing."
I like Barber. And I fully support his decision to do whatever he wants to
do with his life and career. But there's not a lot of future in calling Tom
Jackson an idiot like that.
How 'bout that Tony Romo? I loved Tom Jackson's line this weekend: "Did
you see Jerry Jones when they made the change? He looked like someone took his
I'm not sure one of the Dallas trainers didn't slip something into coach Parcells'
Gatorade. Did you see toward the end of the game how he was kissing Keith Davis
and turning Terrell Owens' cap sideways?
It didn't take him long to get back to normal though. He was vintage Parcells
at the press conference not wanting to let Romo get too high: "It was a
big decision to make. It was a hard decision to make. But I'm glad it worked
out, temporarily anyway."
Raven linebacker Bart Scott knocked Saints RB Reggie Bush out of the game with
an ankle injury. Scott said he was responding to a cheap shot by Bush.
"The media darling, aka the golden boy of the NFL, tried to take a cheap
shot at me, so I told him I was going to put some extra on it," Scott told
the Baltimore Sun. "He can do all those shakes he wants, but I wasn't going
anywhere. I put a little hot sauce on that ankle."
Tuesday, Scott said he has the utmost respect for Bush and by hot sauce, he
was talking about New Orleans food, not putting something extra on his tackle.
Seriously, I don't make these up.
Nike rules again. The new "The LeBrons" commercials are instant classics.
Especially the one at the swimming pool. If I'm Pete Coors, I can my agency
right now, open the vault and call the guys responsible for these spots.
They say it's important for new leaders set a tone early and apparently new
NFL Commish Roger Goodell intends for that tone to be tough. Steelers owner
Dan Rooney was angry over what he felt were blown calls in the Atlanta game
and commented, "Those officials ought to be ashamed of themselves.''
The usual penalty for criticizing officials is in the $10,000 range. (unless
you're Mike Holmgren after the Super Bowl and then it's $0 but that's another
story) Goodell levied Rooney's punishment at a cool $25,000. It's even a little
more interesting as Rooney was the co-chair of the commissioner search committee
that selected Goodell.
I was looking at the standings Sunday, and four players caught my eye: Jon
Kitna, Jake Delhomme, Damon Huard and Tony Romo. What do they all have in common?
All were passed over in the draft. That's four pretty good undrafted QBs right
there. And to think Tom Brady was almost in that group as well.
I heard John Cougar Mellencamp has a commercial out for trucks. Anyone seen
I love Al Davis. I love High Definition Television. However, I do not love
seeing Al Davis on High Definition Television.
My one political thought from Election night. Former University of Tennessee
standout and Redskins quarterback Heath Shuler won his race to represent North
Carolina in the House of Representatives. Good for him. I only hope he works
out better in Washington this time than he did the last time he was there...
I believe we as a television audience pretty much get what we deserve. Here's
what NBC thinks we deserve. This is the graphic displayed before halftime of
the Sunday Night Game with the sole purpose of making folks hang around after
the commercial break:
Toyota Halftime Show
Bob, Cris, Sterling and the Bus
*Dallas vs. Washington Highlights
WE WILL HEAR FROM T.O.
*Cincinnati vs. Baltimore Highlights
WE WILL HEAR FROM CHAD JOHNSON
I don't know about you, but I drop everything if I think I might somehow be
fortunate enough to
"HEAR FROM CHAD JOHNSON"...
John Madden got a kick out of it. He said, "Why wouldn't we want to talk
to players from the winning side?"
Of course I had to watch. You know, for you guys. I don't expect Jerome Bettis
to really be fluent in Spanish but it was kind of funny hearing him talk about
Chad Johnson as "OOO-cho cinco". "OH-Cho" there Big Guy.
Then Peter King blew everyone away as he revealed the secret to stopping Rex
Grossman: "There's a tip for the New York Giants - hit Grossman early and
often." New York fans can only hope that Tom Coughlin was tuned in.
Riddle me this. Why do the powers that be running the ads for CBS News "60
Minutes" program think I would care about Russell Crowe's temper?
Winner of the "Sucks To Be Me" Award this week: Minnesota RB Artose
Pinner. Pinner nullified a 105 yard kick return by his teammate Bethel Johnson
with an illegal block to the back. Then he nullified a successful Minnesota
onside kick recovery with an offside penalty. The Vikings were unsuccessful
on the second attempt. Ouch. (Of course, Pinner got his revenge winning the
"Definitely Does NOT Suck To Be Me Award later in the year)
Watching the advertisements for movies, I can't get this question out of my
head: Has Peter Travers ever in his life seen a movie that he didn't think was
fantastic? You watch.
Colts center Jeff Saturday described Peyton Manning's running style: "A
giraffe with his head cut off, mixed." Wide receiver Reggie Wayne said,
"We always laugh in film when he's running."
It's a little tedious sometimes but the ESPN guys have their moments Sunday
morning. Peyton Manning had said that he could hear the crowd when playing and
that sometimes let him know a defender was close to him. Ron Jaworski commented
that he'd never heard a player mention hearing the crowd. Mike Ditka said, "The
reason Jaws didn't want to hear the crowd is because they were booing."
The first three Bengal TDs were scored by Jeremi Johnson, Rudi Johnson and
Chad Johnson. That's a lot of Johnsons scoring. I'm here all week.
The two oldest QBs in the league faced off Sunday with Brad Johnson going against
Brett Favre. It was the Geritol Bowl. Do young people even know what Geritol
is these days? I haven't thought of that in years.
The best part of the Jets - Patriots game was the "handshake" at
the end between Eric Mangini and Bill Belichick. Mangini, the former Belichick
pupil seemed like he might do a semi hug but Belichick was having no part of
it. That one's a little tough to understand. I've said repeatedly Belichick
is the greatest coach of all time. Right now. What's he's done in this day and
age is beyond everyone else. But there's no need to go out of your way to be
like that with a guy like Mangini.
Mike Golic from ESPN radio made a great point regarding Chicago's 108 yard
field goal return: Think about the guys on the field goal kicking team. It's
offensive lineman, maybe a defensive tackle or two, the holder who's probably
a QB or punter, and the kicker. I like my chances for an athlete like Devin
Hester to score against that bunch.
Sitting at 5-3, Kansas City coach Herman Edwards was talking up Damon Huard
as he stressed team "chemistry" and how the QB was the team's "conductor".
Edwards was asked point blank if Green would be the starter when he was medically
cleared to play. Edwards would not commit: "At this point, I don't have
to make that decision."
An ugly loss to Miami in the following week where Huard played very poorly
was enough to jog Edwards' memory: "We're going to go with Trent as our
starter. This has been his football team for a long time."
Glitch in the Matrix Sunday: Buffalo's Lee Evans scored TWO 83 yard touchdowns
in the first quarter. His jersey number: 83 of course. Yeah, I saw that coming.
Tennessee's Vince Young missed the team flight to Philadelphia. I wonder if
Jeff Fisher made the "Home Alone - We Forgot Kevin" face when they
realized Young wasn't on the plane.
From the "Getting That Out Of The Way Early" department: Houston's
David Carr threw an interception on the third play of the game. Then completed
22 consecutive passes.
That's not a misprint: Drew Brees threw for 510 yards Sunday. And it could
have been more. By our count, there were at least three dropped passes that
would have added 70+ yards.
Speaking of Brees: This was his sixth 300 yard game. That tied the Saints record
with Archie Manning. It took Manning 10 years to reach that mark. It took Brees
More bad news for the Titans: It's going to be a tough game when a running
back is your leading receiver. And it's Ahmard Hall. And he had 28 yards. On
one catch. In the fourth quarter.
But they beat the Eagles so what do I know?
The Gaston Gazette had this blurb for you folks placing bets at home: "The
Panthers are 2-0 in games in which Steve Smith vomits in the third quarter."
I like Shannon Sharpe a lot. His "you can't cover me in a phone booth"
is an all time classic. Sharpe had this on the Colts defense: "There is
a reason why the Colts are last in rushing defense. They cannot stop anyone."
NJ.com had an interview with Giants tackle Bob Whitfield recently.
"Steve from Roosevelt" asked Whitfield "Whose backfield would
you like to see in motion (and we're not talking football here)?"
Whitfield said, "What's her name? Oh, Suzy Kolber. I know why Joe Namath
made a pass at Suzy. Yeah. I mean, she's a very, very excellent reporter. Knows
her stuff. Knows her sports. Really does. And she's kind of thick in the britches.
She's got a nice saddle. She's got a very nice saddle. You don't have to be
drunk to make a pass at that saddle.
For all you single guys looking for the smooth line tonight there you go -
"thick in the britches". I'm sure that will just absolutely slay them.
Don't say I never gave you anything.
Tampa kicker Matt Bryant was flagged for a personal foul for a late hit on
a kickoff. Penalties are never good but you have to like a kicker that will
take a personal foul there.
I used to think differently, but I'm beginning to think Giants RB Tiki Barber
isn't much different from any other player. After the Giants loss to Jacksonville
where they focused on the pass, Barber had this when talking about the Jaguars
tough rush defense forcing the Giants to throw more: "So I think you put
yourself halfway to failure to say we can't do something because of another
team's personnel," Barber said. "It's a slap in the face of me and
a slap of my front five guys. We don't take to that very kindly."
A slap to his "front five guys" when they pass instead of run? Do
they not pass block? Is it an insult to ask them to pass block? I hope none
of the "idiots" from ESPN question him about this...
Shannon Sharpe didn't mince any words for Falcons owner Arthur Blank who likes
to roam the sidelines: "Tell Arthur Blank to stay up in the booth. You
barely know the difference between a screen porch and a screen play." I
tend to agree with him.
Much has been made of Mike Vick's obscene gesture to fans as he left the game
Sunday. Said Vick: "That's not what I'm about. That's not what the Atlanta
Falcons are about. I simply lost my cool in the heat of the moment. I apologize
and look forward to putting this incident behind me."
Works for me. Next.
I think he'd be crazy to consider it, but I'm hearing the Pete Carroll to the
Cardinals whispers again. In hushed and reverent tones, you hear "The Cardinals
have a lot of young talent". That's the same thing they told Dennis Green.
ESPN's Mike Irvin was on Dan Patrick's Radio Show this week and had these gems
regarding Dallas QB Tony Romo's athletic ability:
"Somewhere, there are some brothers in that line," Irvin said. "I
don't know who saw what, where. His great, great, great, great grandma ran over
in the hood, or something went down."
Dan Patrick said: "That's the only way to be a great athlete?"
"No," Irvin replied, "that's not the only way. But it's certainly
one way. Great, great, great, great grandma pulled one of them studs up outta
the barn. 'Come here for a second.' You know, they go out and work in the yard.
You know, back in the day. Something like that."
Love him or hate him, you can't say he's boring...
The Lions organization set a new low mocking their former quarterback Joey
Harrington in the pre game announcements with a "Piano Man" reference.
Harrington is an accomplished piano player and some in Detroit felt piano playing
contributed to Harrington's "soft" reputation. Early in the game with
the Lions trailing, it seemed like old times for Harrington. He was losing and
the Lions fans were booing him. The QB had the last laugh though.
Raise your hand if you've got Baltimore's Jamal Lewis figured out. Not me.
He struggled early in the year. Then came on strong like the player we remembered.
His first rush Sunday went for 15 yards. Then he gained just 46 yards on the
next 16 carries.
NBA thought: (pay attention as I don't have many of these) Stephon Marbury
has created a pretty good buzz with his Starbury One shoe. According to Marbury,
the shoe is "Exactly the same as the most expensive kicks on the market,"
and retails for $14.98. I love the LeBron James commercials but with James'
shoes at $149, it's an interesting comparison.
Cadillac Williams is exactly one touchdown ahead of me for the season. I'm
thinking it's just about time we went back to calling him Carnell. Seriously.
The Bad News: Chicago's Rex Grossman only completed nine passes Sunday.
The Worse News: Three of them were to Minnesota players. Ouch.
I'm way past the point of being happy I was right about the guy. Now I'm starting
to feel sorry for him.
I caught a little flak for ripping the Bears' schedule last week. Are you kidding
me? They finish with this gauntlet: St. Louis (5-7), Tampa Bay (3-9), Detroit
(2-10) and Green Bay (4-8).
Antonio Bryant was so wide open on his touchdown reception, this Bryant could
San Francisco's #1 overall pick Alex Smith and New Orleans #2 overall pick
Reggie Bush both played on the same La Mesa High School team. Did they ever
lose a game?
Denver punter Paul Ernster ran onto the field to punt Sunday but had only his
skull cap on with no helmet. He quickly ran back to the sideline and grabbed
his helmet in time to sprint back out to line up. Kickers
I wonder if we'll ever see the pictures Rex Grossman has of Lovie Smith?
Has there ever been a player out of the state of Florida any more pale than
Rex Grossman? Didn't he get any sun when he was down there? Dude glows in the
Speaking of Grossman, here's my serious Bears hypothetical question of the
week: Let's assume I could wave the magic BlackEyedJoe 8 Ball and guarantee
that for every game left in this season, Rex Grossman would throw for 175 passing
yards, zero touchdowns and zero interceptions. Would you take it? I think I
You people on the "Devin Hester is Deion Sanders" talk. Please. Stop
it. You're embarrassing yourself. I don't ever remember seeing a WR start laughing
when he realized Deion Sanders was going to try and cover him one on one. Hester's
return skills are obviously there. But he's got a long ways to go defensively.
Right now he a lot more Dante Hall than Deion Sanders.
Speaking of Prime Time, he was great after the Thursday night game on NFL Network
(in a game that was painfully bare of great things). In the post game wrap up,
the analysts were offering their parting shots trying to find a silver lining
to the ugly game. Rich Eisen congratulated the Steelers. Steve Mariucci praised
the young Cleveland quarterback, Derek Anderson.
When it was Deion's time to talk, he was the only guy that kept it real. He
looked right into the camera, smiled, and said, "We'd like to apologize
for this game. When we picked it, it was a good idea - Super Bowl Champions.
But we understand. Give us another shot Thursday, we promise you it's going
to be a good game." You gotta like that.
Deltha O'Neal. You are the weakest link. I mean seriously, if you're sitting
around the Bengals locker room, how many guys need to be handcuffed before you
start to pay attention? Apparently, the answer is "more than seven"
as O'Neal was the eighth Cincinnati player this SEASON to be arrested.
I think I'm with ESPN's Erik Kuselias on this. If I'm Marvin Lewis, I call
a meeting for all the players, all the coaches, and everyone else associated
with the team that I had authority over. I tell them that for the next guy that
gets arrested this season, it will be "Pack your bags, Skippy".
And I'd look right at Carson Palmer and Chad Johnson and Chris Henry and say,
"that means you too." But that won't happen. Because they're winning
and they won't upset the apple cart. And we as fans will keep buying Coors Light
and Ford trucks and being glad that Monday Night Football is almost here. Baaaaaa.
Bill Parcells gave us one for the ages this week. When asked if he was worried
about Terrell Owens claiming he didn't hear Parcells' "championship"
speech because T.O. Was preoccupied with his upcoming birthday party, Parcells
blessed us with this: "No. Because he sucks you guys in. He hears everything
I say. OK.? And he can tell me three weeks from now, what I said today. So he
sucks you guys right in. So consider yourself sucked."
I know one thing. This league won't be as interesting the day that Parcells
isn't in it.
I've never really understood the Lexus commercials where the guy is all geeked
up that his wife bought him a new Lexus. Don't most couples pay for the car
together? Isn't it really more a situation that they bought themselves a Lexus?
Which for most people, means they took out a loan to buy themselves a Lexus?
"Merry Christmas, Hon. I signed us up for 60 payments of just $982 a month
so you can look like a Trophy Wife / Soccer Mom in that oh so rad GX470? That's
What size helmet does Adam "Pac Man" Jones wear? Look at him the
next time the Titans are on TV. He looks like a bobble head out there.
Al Michaels summed it up pretty well Sunday night on a day when Reggie Bush
and Vince Young were spectacular: "Every Texan fan has to be saying, 'What
the hell did we do?" It is no coincidence that former GM Charlie Casserly
thought retirement sounded awfully good after the draft.
Bengal quarterback Carson Palmer shared his Christmas list with the Dayton
Daily News recently. #1 on the list was the new Kevin Federline CD, Playing
with Fire. According to Palmer, "A lot of people don't like K-Fed, but
he's all right." I promise I'm not making this up
Just last week I wrote: "If I were in charge of Terrell Owens' future,
the first thing I'd do is immediately ban all interviews. Immediately. None.
Nada. Zip. Take the fines the league doles out for it. They won't cost him as
much money as actually talking to the media does."
Not three days later, he's talking to Rich Eisen and admitting he spit on DeAngelo
Hall which cost him $35,000.
When Charger RB LaDainian Tomlinson speaks of legendary running back Jim Brown,
he calls him "Mr. Brown". Said Tomlinson, "I looked forward to
meeting him. He's 'Mr. Brown' to me. I don't feel like calling him by his first
Talk about moving up the charts. Tomlinson entered this season at #32 in career
TDs. Heading into week 15, he'd moved up to #12.
Congrats to Packer QB Brett Favre who passed Dan Marino this weekend for the
most career completions. I'll have to admit, I don't mind seeing Marino passed.
On the CBS studio show, Boomer Esiason tried to compliment Marino saying "If
you played in this day and age, you would have all the records, believe me."
Marino quipped back, "I do have them all except for that one."
I love Mike Shanahan. It's Week 16 and we still don't know who the starting
running back will be.
Quick NBA note. I think Carmelo Anthony had a few extra games tacked onto his
suspension for running like a little girl after he slapped the guy. That was
I would like to see one game where Chad Johnson is able to stay on the field
the entire game and not cramp up. Coach Marvin Harrison had this on Johnson's
cramps: "He's just a guy that needs to hydrate. It's part of him. It's
from talking too much," Lewis said. "He hyperventilates himself, he
dries out, and he needs an I.V."
Thanks for playing along. I hope you have a gas with whatever you're doing
in your life. Here's to Football and we'll do this again next season.
Shoot me an email at Bryant@footballguys.com
if you've got an idea on how to make this better and thanks for reading this