Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Hard Knocks: The Subtext

HBO's Hard Knocks is inexplicably following the Kansas City Chiefs, a team that has had its head up its ass since Marty Schottenheimer left (Although, Marty pioneered the head up the ass style of football.) But it does raise an interesting question: How the hell does Gunther Cunningham still have a job? Cunningham made his rep on the back of the Derrick Thomas / Neil Smith / Dale Carter defenses of the mid-90s.
But over the last 9 years, the Chiefs haven't had a defense. But they still keep their longtime DC Gunther Cunningham around, I guess because he yells good.

Since he was hired back by the Chiefs in 2004, his defenses have been ranked 31, 25, and 16, respectively. During his 2 year tenure as head coach in 1999 and 2000, the Chiefs finished 14th and 18th.

I guess the story that the Chiefs didn't even tell him he got fired as head coach is true, because I don't know what else besides a sense of guilt that would keep him around.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Beating a dead horse

Steelers Punk, er, I mean DL Brett Kiesel was fined $12,500 for his cheapshot on Campbell. Though I think a more fitting punishment would have been to let LaRon Landry hit Kiesel below the knees after a running start (How you like me now Kiesel!), at least it's an acknowledgement that the hit was, in fact, cheap, illegal, and all-around no good. And that's all I got to say about that.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Steelers couldn't spell cat... yada yada yada

The Steelers may be the preeminent current practitioners of dirty, lowdown, possibly career-ending hits, but they certainly weren't the founders of the cheap hit. Like most lunkheads, Steelers are strictly followers, and the franchise seems to have been plagued by the stupidity virus since its very inception. You remember Hollywood Henderson's quote about Bradshaw's spelling ablities, of course.

So no, Steelers don't have enough brain cells to come up with the best way to utilize the dirty, cheap, a**hole hit. Apparently, it took a "genius". Check out who SI's Dr. Z thinks thunk up the whole hit 'em below the knees idea:

Tough question from Clay of L.A. Says he has great respect for Bill Walsh, but was Walsh the real architect of the vicious 49ers chop block scheme? "I would love it if you said this question was just silly, but it's bugging me, so I thought I'd ask."

You're not going to like my answer. My feeling is that yes, it was his baby. I mean, Bobb McKittrick didn't think this up all by himself. I'm guessing it was a collaboration of the two. I could never pin it down. The closest I came was I a conversation I had with Russ Francis, the tight end, the night before a Redskins game.

"You want to seem like a genius in the press box?" he said. I certainly did. "Before our first play, tell everyone that there's gonna be a fight."

What? Says which? How come?

"Our first play will be a run left, wide, and what they've got me doing is splitting out and coming back and cracking on Dexter Manley, at knee level." Low crackbacks were allowed in those days.

Sure enough, Manley and Francis went at it after the first play, but the difference was that Francis took him on high, not low. I talked to him about it afterward.

"When we came back to the bench, they all yelled at me," he said. "'We told you to cut him!' I said, "'Did he make the tackle?' There's no way in the world I would do it, and that's what I told Dexter when he jumped me. He calmed down."

"Who told you? Whose idea was that block?" I asked him, but all he would do was shake his head. "Who do you think?" he said. I've heard this from other sources, too.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

If The Score of Your Game is a Blowout Both in Your League and a Different League Entirely, then YES, It Is the Worst Shellacking of All Time

This guy seems to think that the 30-3 shellacking Baltimore received from Texas in a BASEBALL game was NOT the worst beatdown every in sports competition. I admit that the stakes weren't high, but for God's sake, a 30-3 football game is a BLOWOUT,and in baseball terms 30-3 is 4-0.

I am also considering writing a contrarian article called "I Love Steely McBeam" and I just KNOW Slate will publish it. Here's why. And here.

Take cover, T.O.

So I really don't have any delusions of grandeur that the Skins will be anything more than a .500 team this season - I could live with 8-8, as long as the team is consistently entertaining, a feat it never really managed with any consistency while Jurassic Mark Brunell was under center.

The offense has looked as awful as ever in the opening preseason games, but the defense has shown signs of returning to 2004/2005 form, when it was consistently good, and sometimes dominant. And if the offense doesn't entertain, the sight of Sean Taylor and rookie LaRon Landry hammering WRs as they cross the middle of the field will certainly be worth a few rewinds on Tivo over the course of the year. I image TO will simply assume the fetal position if Fatso Wade Phillips asks him to run a crossing pattern against the Skins safeties.

The only "Holy Shit" moment of the Skins preseason so far came on this play, when Landry came flying out of nowhere to take down the helpless Kerry Collins. Watch how fast he gets to the QB:

I'll say it again: Holy Shit.

Oh, and I like the Skins move today to trade for disgruntled Jets OT Pete Kendall, even if he's a BC guy. It shores up what was looking like an enormous hole in the O-line, as Post hack, er, beat writer Jason La Canfora pointed out the other day in his hatchet job on the Skins front office (JLC was particularly unkind to rookie LT Stephon Heyer in the piece, which is particularly unfair since the undrafted Heyer has done a serviceable job filling in for Chris Samuels this preseason). If Samuels is back for the opener, the addition of he and Kendall is a huge upgrade on the O-Line, and means JC might not end up spending 70% of the game with tuchus-on-turf, as it were.
Maybe 9-7 is a possibility, after all.

The World's Most Dangerous Job: Steeler Mascot

The Steelers have disgraced themselves with a new mascot, a Cowher-chin-esque steel worker named Steely McBeam. He has earned much disapproval and mockery here. and here. and here. and here. and here.

My guess is that Steely McBeam will be removed from the Steeler consciousness by midseason. The only real question is:

Will he be yanked by management (who, rumor has it, didn't want the thing but were told to by the NFL)
Will he actually be killed by the Steeler Nation?

So which is it? Leave your votes in the comments. If you think he will be killed, do describe the manner of death you anticipate befalling him.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

You don't even need Caruso

to solve these crimes

Stay classy, Steelers fans

Apparently, they don't like the deaf in Steel City

Friday, August 17, 2007

This Week in Non-Sports News: Pacman Goes Hip-Hop

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Serving a season-long suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy for being arrested six times, Titans cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones continues to look for ways to stay busy. Last month, there was his pro-wrestling career. This month: hip-hop. According to the AP article on

[Pacman’s] National Street League Records, based in Atlanta, announced Wednesday that Jones will team with producer Spoaty in a duo called Posterboyz with their first single "Let it Shine" being released Aug. 27. The song talks about big money, cars and jewelry.

The hip-hop community responded with understandable outrage. “How dare Pacman attempt to sabotage our industry by writing songs about the three subjects we have yet to cover,” an industry rep told Vibe. “We feel that we have done everything possible to diversify our subject matter to the point where no two hip-hop songs are about the same thing. Clearly, to achieve this diversified goal, we had to cover a lot of subjects. Nearly all of them, in fact. We only had three left: big money, cars and jewelry.”

“It’s true,” fellow rapper Lil’ Embryo echoed. “Just the other day Nas released a new track. It was about, quote unquote, ‘livin’ it up gangsta style.’” He said, using “bunny ears” to emphasize the quotes. “It was the first hip-hop song of its kind. Revolutionary.”

The industry is unsure how it will bounce back from such a devastating blow, which it is viewing as a proverbial slap in the face. “We always attempt to cover new ground in hip-hop, but Pacman? How dare he,” the industry rep said. “He’s got a lot of nerve covering our last three subjects—and to do it all in the same song? That’s just criminal.”

The industry is hoping that the NFL steps in to stop Pacman’s musical ambitions by filing a lawsuit alleging that the name of the former first round draft pick’s record label, National Street League Records, infringes on the league’s trademark. Otherwise, there might be no hope for the struggling industry.

“Honestly,” Lil’ Embryo said, “Who’s gonna buy a hip-hop record that’s about the same subject matter as one that came before? That’s not what hip-hip is about.”

It is still unclear where Pacman’s wrestling league, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, stands on the athlete’s musical career.

Friday, August 03, 2007

This Week in Non-Sports News

Now the World Don’t Move!

Gary Coleman Cited for Disorderly Conduct

PROVO, Utah – Former child star Gary Coleman was cited for disorderly conduct after witnesses said they saw him in a heated argument with a woman in a parking lot.

Gary Coleman, 39, and the woman were in his vehicle discussing their relationship Friday night when two eye witnesses reported seeing him hit the steering wheel with his hands.

When police arrived on the scene, Gary Coleman was noticeably excited and loud. “At one point he exited his vehicle, waving his arms, yelling, ‘No, seriously! What are you talkin’ ‘bout, woman?!’” Capt. Cliff Argyle said.

With vehicles unable to exit the parking lot due to Gary Coleman’s actions, motorists became irate, and were like: “Honk, honk! Get out the way, Gary Coleman!”

Once officers were on the scene, Gary Coleman cooperated, moving his car. When officers pointed out that he cannot block traffic “like he owns the place,” Coleman responded, “Hey, what might be right for you, may not be right for some.”

Shortly thereafter, Gary Coleman’s female companion blurted out several obscenities, to which Gary Coleman responded, “I’ma man of means, baby! You got nuttin’ but your jeans!”

The disorderly conduct citation is a misdemeanor punishable by up to three months in jail and a $750 fine.

Gary Coleman moved to Santaquin, about 55 miles south of Salt Lake City, in 2005, around the time he starred in “Church Ball,” a comedy based on basketball leagues formed by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Coleman once fought a bitter legal battle with his parents over whether he was fit to handle his own affairs. In 1999, he pleaded no contest to disturbing the peace after he punched an autograph-seeker he claimed insulted him.

With that, let’s take a stroll down memory lane with Gary Coleman.

(A special thanks to Alan Thicke, who co-wrote the theme to “Diff’rent Strokes”—guess we know where his son Robin gets his musical genius.)

Jay Mohr Gets His Own Sports Column

I don't know quite yet what to make of this. Judge for yourself.