Speed Read: NFL Teams Can Learn From Calgary

Give it up for our northern friends, the Calgary Stampeders, for capturing the Canadian Football League’s Grey Cup with a 22-14 win over the Montreal Alouettes. The pride of Temple University, Henry Burris, was named the MVP by totaling over 400 yards from the QB position, while Sandro DeAngelis was named the top Canadian after kicking five field goals. Yes, Canadians get their own award, and yes, it’s probably also in French.

Grey Cup champion Calgary Stampeders

(A typical Calgarian)

So while the Canadian championship may be but a footnote in American sports blurbs, briefs, whirlwinds, and newspaper agate pages, the NFL teams could certainly learn from the Stamps to help further their franchises.

• Tennessee Titans — So you lost your first game? You got whacked by the New York Jets at home 34-13? No worries. The Stamps lost 37-16 at home to the Edmonton Eskimos back on September 1.
• Arizona Cardinals — Don’t worry about the loss to the 37-29 loss to the New York Giants. Like the Stampeders’ Burris, Kurt Warner also played in the NFL Europe for a year. And if that’s not enough solace, then I don’t know what to tell you.
• Bears, Broncos, Dolphins, Bills, Broncos, and whoever wins the Packers/Saints game tonight: You all have five losses. Aw, poor babies. Calgary’s regular season record? 13-5. (Oh, yeah, and the Giants lost six last year. But that doesn’t apply here.)
• Browns, Jaguars, Chargers, Eagles, and whoever loses the Packers/Saints game tonight — you all had high hopes this year, but it’s just not looking like it’ll happen this year. No sweat. Last year the Stampeders went 7-10-1.
• Detroit Lions — You guys, much like many of the players on the Stampeders, still have your health.

Bill Snyder

Know how your co-worker got an iPhone, so everyone else got one? In a trend of reverse cutting edge technology, college teams are now embracing old solutions to new problems having seen what’s going on in Penn State. Rather than get a trendy receivers coach to lead a big-time program, Kansas State will announce this morning that Bill Snyder, 69 years young, will return as the Wildcats’ head coach. Joe Paterno will now have someone to discuss what it was like to listen to Harry Truman’s speech.

Leather Football

Time once again for a lesson on non-tie NFL rules: A team is allowed to attempt a field goal without an oncoming rush if the team just made a fair catch off a punt. The Arizona Cardinals knew this, and with five ticks left in the first half of their game against the Giants in such a position, Neil Rackers attempted a 68-yard field goal, which would’ve been the longest kick in NFL history by five yards. Let’s take a look-see:

Hmm. Too bad that attempt didn’t make his famous “hit the post four times” commercial.

Thanksgiving Dinner

Yum. Can you fit in ten more Thanksgiving metaphors this week? How about links instead?

  • It’s another NFL Network Thanksgiving miracle, thanks to Sen. Arlen Specter, apparently chairman on the Subcommittee to Fix Sports Things. The Philadelphia Eagles-Arizona Cardinals game will be shown on local Pennsylvania TV stations, although perhaps after Sunday’s loss, this is more of a curse than a blessing.
  • THE DUGOUT isn’t a fan of Mike Mussina, but likes him enough to transplant him in an intergalactic war.
  • Old hat: Japanese veteran baseball player. New fedora: Japanese phenom baseball player. Old hat again: the Red Sox sign him, NPB TRACKER reports (or translates SPONICHI ANNEX’s report, which is the same thing). Jinichi Tazawa will get $3 million over 3 years, but will have to develop his Japanese-taught mannerisms in an American-style pitching system. Baseball purists ought to keep an eye on this project.
  • JOE POSNANSKI can’t seem to stop thinking about MVP arguments and how fun they are. Hey, they are fun!
  • THE MIAMI HERALD wonders what Tony Sparano should do with Joey Porter after the Dolphins linebacker refused to leave the field after being yanked by his coach.
  • More from the Fins/Pats game: Matt Light and Channing Crowder could be BFFs for the rest of us know, but at the worst possible time they got in kind of a fight. BALLHYPE has video proof.
  • Contrary to previous optimism in which the Detroit Lions could win a game this year: the DETROIT NEWS’ John Niyo is reporting the Detroit Lions probably won’t win a game this year.
  • Cliff Lee isn’t just the Cy Young winner, he also won “Cleveland’s Man Of The Year” as voted on by the local chapter of the BBWAA. Also some guy named Luis Isaac, who was with the Indians for over 40 years, won an award for getting fired and not being a bitch about it. The award, unfortunately, is not a new job.
  • The TORONTO STAR’s Rosie DiManno isn’t at all fooled at the Maple Leafs honoring Wendel Clark in a ceremony last night, since the Leafs haven’t won the Stanley Cup in 41 years because Clark isn’t seven people.
  • And finally, it’s time for your Iranian sports news update. The Grizzlies’ Hamed Haddadi will be sent down to the Dakota Wizards of the NBA D-League. Hey, it beats getting flipped off by your GM. Almost.

So, the BCS got a bit complicated over the weekend. Assuming Alabama stays undefeated, who deserves to play them in the BCS Title Game?

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(Note: I left Florida out because if Alabama stays undefeated, they will have to beat the Gators in the SEC Championship, putting them at two losses.)