Hey, it’s early August, so it’s that time of year to get really fired up about football and be let down again and again by the abyss of suck that is the preseason. The Hall of Fame Game was last night, and it was billed as Terrell Owens‘ big debut for the Bills against the Titans. It’s exciting and all since it’s football, but it’s lame because even before halftime you’re watching guys that even the UFL would reject. Owens was fine in limited action, and both teams only used their starters briefly. By the end of it, guys like Gibran Hamdan and Alex Mortensen (both of whom I think I just made up) were playing quarterback. There was even a Patrick Ramsey sighting.
(I don’t even know who I am)
This particular rivalry is well-known for the “Music City Miracle” back in 2000, and Tennessee pulled another fast one on Buffalo in last night’s games — though the stakes were just slightly smaller. It all started when Titans punter AJ Trapasso took a long snap, and then pulled off one of the best fakes I’ve ever seen:
It’s too bad they can never run that again, since every team has now seen it. Well, except for the Raiders, who I’m sure haven’t figured out this whole “videotape” concept yet.
And how about the jerseys? Both are old AFL teams and were wearing throwbacks that will be brought out periodically during the season. Though for the Titans, the oil derrick image has some uncomfortable connotations. While the Oilers certainly had their moments of success, to the younger generation the logo serves as a reminder of the team’s ugly divorce from Houston (when a couple of thousand people would show up to see the lame duck team during their last year), and their odd welcome in Tennessee (when they played a season in Memphis, wearing the Houston unis and not exactly packing in the fans). When the team switched looks (and the nickname), things started to head the right direction and the Titans have been one of the better teams in the regular season over the last decade.
It’s officially the time in the baseball season when things start getting weird. The Red Sox were held scoreless for 31 innings by the Yankees over the weekend before finally breaking through with a go-ahead homer in the eighth inning last night by trade deadline prize Victor Martinez. But even that wasn’t enough, as Johnny Damon and Mark Teixeira went back-to-back in the bottom of the inning to finish off a 5-2 Yankee victory and a four-game sweep of the suddenly hapless Sox.
The Yanks now lead the AL East by 6 1/2 games with roughly 50 to play. Boston, meanwhile, has allowed half of the AL to creep back into the wild card picture. The Rangers are now tied for the lead with the Rays lurking just a game and a half back. Heck, Seattle, a team that traded away Jarrod Washburn and his sub-3.00 ERA, is only 4 1/2 out and have re-appeared as a contender.
But nothing is as odd as what’s going on in the District. The Nats, a team left for dead in early April, have now won eight games in a row after beating the D’Backs yesterday. Quite an accomplishment for a team that only won 32 of its first 104 games. In fact, it’s the third-longest run ever for a team that started a streak at least 40 games under .500.
• So you know that guy the Raiders drafted first that everyone says they were totally crazy to pick that high? You’re not going to believe this, but it seems as if he’s not really very good. Like, the Niners are still glad they took Crabtree over this guy.
At first blush, we’re all thinking ‘Vince Young, as crazy as ever.’ (Exception, Mike Greenberg: ‘I really like pie.’). And truthfully, I’m not really ready to let him do my taxes or babysit the kids. But could it be, perhaps, that the Titans quarterback is on the road to recovery?
The man has had his ups and downs to be sure. In an article that appeared on ESQUIRE.COM on Tuesday, Young talked about his life, his tribulations, and his belief that he will rise from the ashes. And not only did he give notice that he will win a Super Bowl title, but he also had another, bigger prediction. Read more…
I’ll have to admit that the case against former NFL placekicker Tony Zendejas, who went to trial on four felony rape and sodomy charges last year, looked fairly compelling. As well as gruesome. But once the judge in the case began throwing out some of the charges, we knew that an acquittal might be in the air, and indeed, Zendejas was found not guilty in March. Now he’s suing the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for harassment and deprivation of civil rights.
Zendejas, a native of Mexico, made name for himself as a kicker with four NFL teams from 1985-’95, most notably the Houston Oilers and LA Rams. But he has continued to be a household name in the Los Angeles area, where his Zendejas Mexican Restaurant — one of seven LA-area restaurants owned by his family — has thrived. Well, it was thriving until the rape charges surfaced. Read more…
WADE NOT BUMMED ABOUT DAD’S DALLAS TURKEY DAY WIN: Dallas is gearing up for its traditional Thanksgiving game, hoping to knock the stuffing out of the 2-8 New York Jets. But COWBOYS BLOG notes that this won’t be the first time Wade Phillipsspends his Turkey Day at Texas Stadium:
The current Cowboys coach worked on the defensive line for his dad, Bum Phillips, when Houston came to town in 1979. After coming out with a 30-24 win, the Oilers coach exclaimed, “They may be America’s Team, but we’re Texas’ team.”28 years later, Wade says his pop “probably changed his mind since then,” especially since the former Oilers are now Tennessee’s team.