Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Tuesday 09/18 A.M. Quickie:
Campbell, McNabb, Big Hurt, NFL Cheating, More!

McNabb booed by Philly fans: Eagles fans seemed to jump the gun by booing in the first half, but that's their right. (I have to ask: Do they really want rookie Kevin Kolb to take over tomorrow?) I do think it's time for McNabb and Eagles fans to finally part ways, fulfilling the destiny that has been foreshadowed since the moment he was drafted.

Is McNabb's race a factor in the booing? Given Philly fans' long history with jeers, I think they are equal-opportunity booers. But, at the same time, I agree with McNabb from his HBO interview tonight that race is still a factor when it comes to NFL QBs.

(That said: Between Vince Young's spot on the cover of Madden '08 and JaMarcus Russell's spot at the top of the draft – and rookie-contract history – it's not as much of an issue as when McNabb was drafted into the league. Across the field last night, Jason Campbell – who looked terrific -- seems to have a lot of support from fans in DC. Meanwhile, Rex Grossman is just about as white as they come, and he's getting booed to holy hell right now. However, I'm sympathetic to McNabb's larger point.)

Redskins beat Eagles in Philly: I have no idea why I picked the Eagles to win the NFC East. It's coming dangerously close to a "rebuilding" season – and Donovan McNabb's swan song in the city…

More NFL Cheating?! Hardly. The tiresome Brian Billick claims the Jets illegally simulated snap counts that triggered offensive penalties on the Ravens.

First of all, the Ravens won, so Billick should really STFU. Second, this type of offense is much more like the old blissful low-tech gamesmanship than high-tech chicanery. Absolutely, it's against the rules. The question is: Where were the refs, if this happened as repeatedly as Billick claims?

The larger issue: Are we about to enter a phase in the NFL where every week there's a new claim about some form of cheating? That could get old in a hurry.

MLB Stud: Frank Thomas, who hit 3 HR on Monday. By the time the Big Hurt enters the Hall of Fame, there will be a way greater appreciation for his talent, which I think everyone agrees seems to be taint-free (a rarity for his generation).

Stud Team: Indians, who beat the Tigers in 11 innings to move their magic number to 7. (The Angels' magic number is low enough that clinching is within reach in the next week, too.)

MLB Dud: The Mets, who lost their fourth straight last night and have a very tenuous 2.5 game lead in the NL East. It's really not a big deal if they blow the division as long as they win the Wild Card; that said, if they blow the division, winning the Wild Card is no gimme either.

(Of course, if I'm going to say the Mets are in trouble being only 2.5 games ahead in their division, do I have to say the same thing about the Red Sox, who are now only 3.5 games ahead of the Yankees in the AL East?)

Bonds 756 Ball: Darren Rovell revealed that the guy who bought 755 will do a similar deal to Marc Ecko: Let fans vote whether the ball goes to the Hall of Fame or into outer space. But the 755 guy will make the online voting public and real-time, which is much cooler than Ecko, who seemingly won't. Rovell has all the details. (By the way, while I think the idea of launching it into space is funny, I'm voting for the ball to go to the Hall of Fame.)

Andre Johnson will sit out on Sunday: Having a fantastic season with new QB Matt Schaub, Johnson hurt his knee and will miss the next game, and we have no idea how it will affect the rest of his season.

Are the Falcons about to sign Byron Leftwich? (Uh: Will they let him wear his usual No. 7? Um: Will he even want to? And: Will any fans want to wear it, if the reaction from a distance will be "Are you wearing a Michael Vick jersey?!")

Did you like what you saw from Kellen Clemens in the 4th quarter on Sunday? Tuck that away: Looks like Chad Pennington will be returning as Jets starting QB... for now.

Steven Jackson explains his sideline rage at Rams coach Scott Linehan: Just a misunderstanding. But Jackson's fantasy owners have had similar reactions.

Rahula Strohl of the Chicago Tribune's excellent lead sports blog correctly disses me for not giving a nod to Devin Hester's performance on Sunday.

(By the way, as the Gainesville hangover wears off, let me say that the Gators have their own version of Hester – Brandon James, who is arguably the best kick and punt returner in college football. He might be even more of a game-changer than Tebow or Harvin. At any rate, they are the team's Big Three. How did I turn a mea culpa about my NFL coverage into a laudatory item about Florida football? And yet: There it is.)

NBA ref Joey Crawford has been reinstated, just in time to take a season of abuse from fans on, like, half-a-dozen topics.

CFB: Does it matter if Michigan QB Chad Henne is "day-to-day?" If Ryan Mallett beats Penn State and turns around the Wolverines' season, Henne won't/shouldn't get his job back; if Mallett and UM lose, the rest of the season should be about getting him game experience anyway. (Why am I giving so much space to an unranked team?)

Steve Spurrier gets it: He gave LSU his vote for No. 1 in the coaches' Top 25. By the way, a substantial amount of chatter in Gainesville this past week was about Les Miles leaving LSU for Michigan... and Spurrier replacing him at LSU, which I think he would in a heartbeat.

More CFB: Here's a link to my latest Deadspin weekly CFB guest-post.

Revision: I oversimplified the "quarterfinal" scenario in the Pac-10: USC could just as easily lose at Oregon as they can at Cal. (In fact, part of my reason for not picking the Trojans in my preseason Top 2 is because I thought they would lose to BOTH teams.) I didn't mean to dis the Ducks: Revise that to a three-way race, although – much like how I suspect the Big Ten will unfold with its own Big Three (Penn St, Wisconsin, Ohio St), there's a high likelihood that the three Pac-10 teams could knock each other off, round-robin style, effectively eliminating any of them from the national-title picture.

Must-Read: Clay Travis on his Saturday in Gainesville. We had a chance to run into each other. He's a really good guy with a great book out about the SEC, if you like college football.

Here's his lead: "I had the best seats of my life for the worst beating in my life as a Tennessee football fan. Which was sort of like getting the password to a free porn site and then finding out your daughter is an employee. Only worse." Read on.

The Women's World Cup is for pimps: Huge hat-tip to Awful Announcing for plucking what could be the best video clip of the month. Here's a link. Because nothing dovetails with the "female empowerment" theme of the Women's World Cup like a scene that puts former female soccer players in the role of hookers snuggling up to their "daddy."

Dane Cook vs. Bill Simmons: Apparently, this is a feud. I could take it or leave it. I'm simply laughing that Cook apparently enjoyed sloppy-seconds in my old top-of-the-morning chat hour slot on ESPN.com.

Varsity Dad: New post up about when autograph sessions go wrong.

-- D.S.

50 comments:

Matt said...

Hey Tigers fans...

How did it fell when casey blake and johnny peralta ripped your hearts right out of your chests last night?

go tribe

Stephe said...

I get it now Dan, you're a Jets fan! Jets cheat, cool. Cheat against the Jets, you rail about it for days. Now that I undestand your bias it's easier to wrap my head around your opinions. It's sort of like watching Fox News, easier to get once you understand the bias.

Sparty said...

"let me say that the Gators have their own version of Hester – Brandon James, who is arguably the best kick and punt returner in college football"

AYFKM? Hands down the best returner in the college game for the past couple years, including this year is DeSean Jackson. but hey, thats the patented Shanoff Homer Slurp

Sparty said...

hey Red Sox fans...any sense of panic yet in boston? or does that happen tonight when the yanks get it under 3.

nooch said...

re: mcnabb...race is only a (convienient) factor when you suck, especially in philly, where the fans ARE ruthless.

re: red sox, panic is a constant, not something that comes and goes with the standings. I do have to say, as exciting as this time of year is, I hate that I love baseball because I dont get any sleep watching every game, I'm grumpy as hell in the morning if/when the sox lose, and my family can't stand me. I really should get an apartment from sept-oct.

TF said...

"let me say that the Gators have their own version of Hester – Brandon James, who is arguably the best kick and punt returner in college football"

AYFKM? Hands down the best returner in the college game for the past couple years, including this year is DeSean Jackson. but hey, thats the patented Shanoff Homer Slurp


DeSean Jackson is a WR, Brandon James is a undersized return man similar to Hester. I think that is what Dan is getting at.

Brandon James gives you almost 30 yards on a kickoff and 20 on a punt return.

Hands down it's the best number in college right now.

Sparty said...

give me a better body of work. jackson has been doing it since day 1 at Cal. and i hate the pac-10, but dude is unreal.

Matt T said...

Anyone else wonder if the OBC wishes he had never left Florida?

I'd love to see him go to LSU, just so Georgia wouldn't see him every year. He said earlier in the year he wouldn't leave SC, but I'd imagine the money and the big time recruits at LSU could change his mind.

Kurt said...

Dan,
Link inside your Varsity Dad post is broken. Figured I'd mention it here since you probably rarely check the comment section over there.

vinny said...

you guys, dan included, are wrong about spurrier, he wants to stay in the sec east and build the dominate program he did with florida at south carolina, hes set out to do what everyone told him was impossible, its the only challenge left for him at this point in his life/career, with the way things are going at sc hes not going anywhere, lsu should stop worrying about miles leaving and worry about that sc defense

Jen said...

matt~ You misspelled Jhonny's name correctly! ha The kid behind me last night was freakin' hilarious: He was screaming "J-honey, hit a j-homer! Get a j-hit!"

What a great ending to a snoozer. The Tribe had great hits right at guys.

TF said...

vinny said...
you guys, dan included, are wrong about spurrier, he wants to stay in the sec east and build the dominate program he did with florida at south carolina, hes set out to do what everyone told him was impossible, its the only challenge left for him at this point in his life/career, with the way things are going at sc hes not going anywhere, lsu should stop worrying about miles leaving and worry about that sc defense


Highly doubtful. Spurrier will go 2-3 more years at South Carolina. Get them to a solid national standing and retire.

He'll then come home to Gainesville, get the field named after him, get his statue (which is already designed) put outside the Swamp and be remembered as the person who made Florida football the juggarnaut it is today.

And South Carolina will be a thing of the past...

Matt said...

Jen-

how was the attendance there last night? the ysaid on 26k tix were sold but it looked packed on tv...must have been a big walk up crowd?

vinny said...

spurrier is never going back to florida as long as they require that he interview for the position, this after all is what kept him from coaching there right now, plus the gators have a good thing going with meyer, im sure spurrier will still get the field, statue, holiday, etc..but hes staying at south car, the man will be remembered for first and foremost always for what he did at florida, but before its all said and done he will win multiple sec titles and a NC isnt out of reach

CMFost said...

Sparty - Only the pink hat wearing fake Red Sox fans are panicking. The real true Red Sox fans have already resigned our fate that we will be the Wild Card Entry in the American League.

vinny said...

the last part was in regards to at south carolina

Josh said...

the Sex Cannon's as white as they cum alright.

Liz said...

Ok, I'm going to explain Philadelphia fandom to everyone, considering no one really gets it unless you live here, and everyone enjoys trashing us as much as possible. Look, nobody in Philly actually wants Kevin Kolb to start. I think most people realize that McNabb isn't the same, most likely due to his injury, but he didn't play well last night, and so he got booed. The reason Philly never took to McNabb isn't because he is black, it's because he was never deemed a "Philly guy" who wears his heart and emotions on his sleeve. (I don't buy into this btw, but I grew up in the suburbs, so that aspect doesn't bother me).

I can't speak for everyone, but I know my annoyance with the team lies more with management and Andy Reid, who are so arrogant they think they can plug in any old receiver and make it work in their system, rather than with McNabb himself. If his receivers aren't getting open, McNabb has no one to throw to. That was the bigger issue last night.

Boomhauertjs said...

Dane Cook sucks. The Sports Guy better be careful. Cook and Isiah might jump him on the street, though Gus Johnson's got Bill's back.

Stretch said...

McNabb plays in Philly, where fans are vocally critical of all their sports franchises and stars. He plays in a tough city, and needs to deal with it. (Anyone hear Barkley saying the same thing last night during the game?). Eli Manning and Jeremy Shockey are constantly being scrutinized, also part of the market they play in. If anything, the critics are treating him with the very equality he desires.

Todd said...

McNabb's problem is less about his skin color and more about the fact that he has to realize that he is not, and never really was, an elite QB. He has always been somewhere between slightly and highly overrated, although as someone pointed out his WRs are always garbage. In any case, if you suck you will be booed no matter where or who you are.

GuyInTheCorner said...

I was quite proud of the Skins last night. Coming through on MNF in Philly with Campbell behind center was great.

The interesting play of the night was...

When Randle El ran the ball down to the 2 yard line and the Redskins spiked because they had no timeouts left with 14 seconds left to go in the first half.

Here is where the classic "Joe Gibbs Geniusness" comes in to play. After all the penalties the Skins have 2nd and Goal on the 17 yard line. The real problem was that with 14 secs you have plenty of time to take 1 or 2 shots to the endzone and kick on 4th or run and spike and kick on 4th.

But Gibbs wanted to set up a play. So he sent out the kicking team. Some fans at home were probably thinking: "What is he doing? They have time and downs! Take a shot!" But what they didn't know was that Gibbs WAS GOING TO TAKE THAT SHOT.

He knew that Reid had 2 timeouts left and would try to ice the kicker. Reid did call timeout. Gibbs put Campbell and the guys out there and they ran that perfect play to Cooley for the score.

There are times when it pays to have a HOFer at the wheel. That was one of them.

jhawkjjm said...

McNabb is going to talk about how race is still a factor when it comes to NFL QBs? What?!?! I'm curious to see what he has to say since I think he's actually benefited from being black in terms of his popularity and his perception. Yes there's idiots who probably don't like him cause he's black, but that's not what I'm talking about.

Rush Limbaugh years ago got fired by ESPN for his comments that McNabb was a mediocre QB and it was the media that hyped him because he was black. (I think its more because he seems like a nice intelligent person) But to a point he was right, the media does continue to make a big deal about race. Whenever there's a story that can have some sort of race angle they (media) tend to emphasize it. Example: anyone know that Tony Dungy is the first black coach to win a Super Bowl? That was the major storyline heading into the SB last year and one of the first questions asked afterwards. That became the story the same way that Jerome Bettis being from Detriot was the story. And to me that's sad.

Race will only continue to be an issue as long as people make it an issue. And it doesn't help when athletes and the media covering them continue to bring it up.

CycleDan said...

jhawkjim, I agree. The media and especially ESPN make everything into a race issue if they can.

Sad how McNabb will get booed in Philly despite being one of the better QBs in Philly history. I guess if he won that one superbowl, he would never be booed again. When healthy, he is not a Brady or Manning but he is one of the 2nd tier QBs which is the same category as most of the NFL QBs. There are really only a small handful in that elite category.

Precourt said...

"let me say that the Gators have their own version of Hester – Brandon James, who is arguably the best kick and punt returner in college football"

Absolutely not. I am in Gainesvill and even I know it is DeSean Jackson like Sparty said. 6 TDS in 32 punt returns. 18.75 percent. No question there. That is like when Dan said Reggie Nelson was the best defensive player he has ever seen. Mike Peterson, Kearse, and Sheppard at UF alone were better. Not to mention any other school.

tf, Hester is 5-11 186 Jackson is 6-0 172 James is 5-7 173, so I doubt that is where Dan was going.

Also here is a list of people with a better Kick Return average than James.

Dorien Bryant - Purdue 46.5
Jay Thomas - Minnesota 37.8
Jerome Murphy - USF 37.0
Weldon Brown - La Tech 36.4
Marcus Herford - Kansas 34.8
Felix Jones - Arkansas 33.3
Lavelle Hawkins - Cal 33.17

So not by far the best number there. Now, I am not saying those guys are better than James just counter-pointing your argument.


Maybe he was saying the best returner who returns both kicks and punts....possibly. Just sick of this instant history greatest ever bullsh*t.

Jen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jen said...

matt~ the announced attendance was 28,850+...it sure looked like a lot more. The only empty seats were those two upper deck ends and the last rows in the upper deck. The Tigers had their share of fans there. HAHAHAHA to them

TF said...

vinny said...
spurrier is never going back to florida as long as they require that he interview for the position, this after all is what kept him from coaching there right now, plus the gators have a good thing going with meyer, im sure spurrier will still get the field, statue, holiday, etc..but hes staying at south car, the man will be remembered for first and foremost always for what he did at florida, but before its all said and done he will win multiple sec titles and a NC isnt out of reach


Vinny, I'm not saying as a coach, but as a status figure. South carolina can lay 100 claims to Spurrier, but he'll NEVER be remembered as a Gamecock. Just like Lou Holtz, he'll finish his tenure and be remember for the school where his success was the brightest.

Spurrier bleeds Orange and Blue and while he might be at South carolina now. 5-6 years there is not going to replace the fact that he's the most celebrated person in the history of our school.

You cannot replace the fact that he was a Heisman trophy winning QB at UF, you cannot replace the fact that he got his start in coaching (late 70s, early 80s) at UF, that does not replace the fact that he took a program that was at a very low point because of multiple NCAA violations by multiple coaches and turned it into one of the best programs in the country.

South Carolina is renting Spurrier, like they did Holtz...enjoy it, because when it is all over he'll be welcomed home to the Swamp...just like he was last year (TWICE) for his Ring of Honor induction and to celebrate the 1996 National Championship

Sparty said...

"Only the pink hat wearing fake Red Sox fans are panicking. The real true Red Sox fans have already resigned our fate that we will be the Wild Card Entry in the American League."

now thats funny.

The heroin sheik said...

The funny thing with James is that it seems half the time he breaks a big return the special teams commits some lame ass penalty negating his return. I can think of at least two td's he has had called back because of this. Still I think he is equally as good as Desean Jackson. Dan does have a problem with hyperbole. The eraser was great but the saying he was the best ever is pretty far fetched. I would take a guy like Monty Grow or Will White. The INT for a td that White had against UT at the swamp in like 95 was the catalyst for the loudest noise I have ever heard in my life. That might be the the single greatest play in Gator history. Ranks up there with the Button Hook and juke that Quez had in the 97 UF/FSU game or the hit Monty Grow put on the qb at WVU during the Sugar Bowl in 92.

The heroin sheik said...

I forgot that the Ole Ball coach was a qb coach at UF and GT in the late 70's. My dad makes the strongest point for why people have to consider Spurrier to be the greatest college coach ever. He won the ACC with DUKE! He might be an arrogant prick, he definitely is not someone I would want to hang out with for very long, but I definitely would want him to coach my team.

Brian in Oxford said...

Yeah, didn't he make Dave Brown an NFL draft pick at Duke?

Generik420 said...

I think there should be a 3rd option in the voting for the 756 ball.. blow the damn thing up LMAO!

Who wouldn't vote just to see if someone would actually do it after spending the money on it.

Robut M. Nixon said...

Be afraid, AFC East. Kellen Clemens is coming. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow. But soon.

TBender said...

Re: Spurrier

I'm still surprised that Coach K didn't have him killed for attempting to make football relevant at the school.

The heroin sheik said...

Actually Spurrier was at Duke before Coach K. Spurrier was hired as an asst coach about three months before Coach K. However after two years Spurrier left to coach the Tampa Bay Bandits who were owned by the Bandit himself before returning in 86 or 86 as Dukes head coach. I think that is the only reason Captain K spared his life.

PACpoon said...

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Visit the Pac-10 poon and submit your best sfw pictures.

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Sparty said...

did you have to bring up Dave Brown. ugh, killed the Giants for years

Raoul Duke said...

"The larger issue: Are we about to enter a phase in the NFL where every week there's a new claim about some form of cheating? That could get old in a hurry."

Hmm, it seems a lot of blogs, possibly this one, and the national media have been pretty shrill about the Pats cheating. Ron Jaworski categorically stated last night that a majority of teams each week are trying to steal signals (e.g. cheat) and even told a funny story about how his team cheated during a 75 game. I appreciate the moral relativism on which cheating it's okay to be sanctimonious about and which cheating is good ol'fashioned gamesmanship.

Sparty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BLT said...

Dane Cook vs. Bill Simmons? Somebody please explain the "feud".

And this is my only beef with Dan. Now I have to visit the WWL or another blog to get the whole story...

GuyInTheCorner said...

blt-

Simmons has said numerous times that he doesn't understand why people think Dane Cook is funny.

Yesterday Dane Cook was hosting a chat on espn.com and pretended not to know who Simmons was until he kept getting questions and asked people to "ask Bill Simmons what is funny cause he is the authority on that" or something.

I'm siding with Sports Guy because I also find it annoying that people thin kthat Dane Cook is funny.

pv845 said...

Dane Cook is like the guy you knew in High School that made one funny joke and 20 years later still thinks he is funny.

durbin said...

i knew heather mitts in high school (she went to an all-girls school, and i went to an all-boys school, so we all hung out). she has always been really hot, even when she was like 14. i remember when she first got to high school (she was a year younger than us), all of us guys wanted her. but she was not the kind of girl to get around at all, and none of us had any luck. she was really cool and down-to-earth for being so beautiful and such a great soccer player. i don't know if that's changed with the fame, but i wish her the best. looks like she's doing pretty damn well for herself.

am i the only one who thinks bill simmons need to shut the hell up? he's the worst kind of obnoxious fanboy, and his obsessive pop-culture references are so tired at this point. i hate dane cook too, so i can only hope that this feud (which i know nothing about) ends in both of them disappearing from the public eye forever....

carlivar said...

Bill Simmons is orders of magnitude more funny than Dane Cook.

Anyone heard Dane's new song? I'm still waiting for the punchline... but apparently it's a serious attempt. It's really lame.

Dane Cook is a joke right now anyway. Yeah maybe he had some stand-up cred, but he jumped the shark at Blade 3.

Brian in Oxford said...

If Belichick's got the balls, I think he should have Tom Brady, instead of using signals....just yell out stuff like, Moss, you go deep. Welker, 10 yard slant. On two. And then run it just like they say it.

GuyInTheCorner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
GuyInTheCorner said...

brian-

What's funny is that this is a possibility in the 2nd half of the 2nd Jets game when the Pats are up by like 40. But here's what I would do.

3rd and 2 after a touchback
Brady: Wes! Just jab step the cornerback and I'll hit you on a one step drop!
Welker: Gotcha Tom!
They run the play and the cornerback doesn't buy it for a second. Welker goes for 10 where it might have been 5 if not for the fact that the defense thought it was a hoax.
Brady: Randy! Slant over the middle to the 1st down marker!
Moss: No problem, these guys suck!
Moss starts the slant and everyone bites. He then turns up field and goes 60 yards as Brady throws it over his shoulder.

Then they all high 5 in the endzone and Bellichik is seen pointing and laughing at Mangini from across the field.

Robut M. Nixon said...

carlivar said...

Dane Cook is a joke right now anyway. Yeah maybe he had some stand-up cred, but he jumped the shark at Blade 3.


I can't decide if you're serious or joking, but either way it made me laugh.

Kevin said...

Steve Spurrier gets it: He gave LSU his vote for No. 1 in the coaches' Top 25.

Imagine that - an SEC coach voting for an SEC team in a tight vote! What a shocker! Why is it "obvious" to you that LSU is better, btw?