It’s that time again: time for your Friday afternoon delusion. This week it’s courtesy of Detroit running back (and only good player on the team) Kevin Smith, who confidently predicts the Lions will make the playoffs.
I’ll type that again so you’re sure it’s no typo. Kevin Smith says the Lions will make the playoffs in 2009. And what’s worse is that it isn’t even his most unbelievable statement, since he follows that up by saying, “We weren’t far off last year.”
The Worldwide Leader dropped the bomb around midnight that Terrell Owens, whose given name could be Mercurial T. Owens, has been let go by the Dallas Cowboys. Clearly, anticipated chemistry issues with Jon Kitna forced the move. Kitna is on the record as preferring Sweet’n'Low while Owens is all about the Equal.
(”Ha ha ha ha… pack your stuff.”)
On SportsCenter last night, ESPN’s Michael Smith reported there would be significant financial penalties for the Cowboys to cut Owens as much of his 4-year, $34 million contract signed less than a year ago is guaranteed cash. We hope this means Owens will continue to have at least twenty million reasons to come back to camp this summer.
(Note to ESPN: Neil Everett is monumentally awful at ad-libbing. Never tell us how cool it is to be the one on the dais when news breaks. When a big story hits, break the glass on Bob Ley. Surprisingly good: Stuart Scott. Also, how did Ed Werder not break this story?)
(Note 2 to ESPN: Please remind Keyshawn Johnson that Charlie Manson comparisons may be a bit dated, not to mention a little racy.)
In brighter news, the Cleveland Cavaliers claimed the first musical chair in the Longines Symphonette that is the NBA playoffs with a 91-73 triumph at home against Milwaukee. The Cavaliers move to 48-12, which is exactly how LeBron James hopes his Knicks career starts in two years. (We kid, Cleveland, we kid.)
Then, when the Van Gundy with the honest living fussed about the sad little move, there was a Shaqhissy, captured on Miami’s 790 THE TICKET by Jorge Sedano and reproduced below in the popular MP3 format:
None of this, of course, helped the Suns win in Orlando or Miami. The Suns dropped their second Florida game in the “He Hate Me” series of former O’Neal teams last night in Miami, 135-129. No defense in here anywhere.
We feel compelled to note again that Shaq’s a complicated fellow. We recently saw him encourage his kids post-game to say hello to a fragile 7′ 6″ teen that sat near courtside after being featured on the local news the previous night. This was done under the stands with little fanfare, maybe a few dozen witnesses and none from the media.
When his young son was too shy to do so and tried to hide under Dad’s massive jacket, Shaq gently insisted until his son shook the adolescent hand. Shaq could relate to the teen’s condition better than nearly anyone on the planet and made sure that young man felt welcome. Also, Shaq showed his own son the importance of graciousness.
Shaq makes that gesture damned near every day of his life, often without credit. He’s also the same man that made the comments to the media above. He may have been compared to a meteorite by this author yesterday, but not in the most important way: Shaquille O’Neal is a force of nature. Try to comprehend him at your own risk.
Same for Terrell Owens. Same for LeBron James. Maybe not so much for Jon Kitna.
The biggest news out of the NHL trade deadline: Olli Jokinen moves from Calgary to Phoenix for a pretty bauble or three, allowing him to work for a team that has a half-decent chance of being solvent next season.
Let no one say that Roy Williams doesn’t have a sense of humor, and is likely a lot funnier than you. The Cowboys WR showed up in Detroit at a Halloween party wearing a costume that has the internet rolling on the floor with laughter, and one free agent running back likely fuming (while not looking for a job.)
The Lions QB wasn’t the only one off with his predictions. After Pittsburgh’s AnthonySmithguaranteed victory against AFC East champs New England, the Pats made the Steeler eat his words (and the turf) in a 34-13 shellacking.More importantly, the pursuit of perfection everyone’s keeping a eye on continues. Yes, Miami now falls to 0-13 after getting stampeded by Buffalo.
It has now been a full calendar year since the Dolphins had a taste of triumph. The Fish’s last league victory came on December 10, 2006, in a 21-0 shutout of…New England?!But one football streak did come to an end this weekend. Northwest Missouri State took care of Grand Valley State in the NCAA Division II semifinals. (Yes, there are actual playoffs in college football. What a novel concept.)
THE WORLD OF ISAAC throws over word from the DALLAS MORNING NEWS about Cowboys cornerback Terence Newman predicting bad things for Detroit’s Jon Kitna.The Lions QB made some remarks a few days after last season’s 39-31 win in Big D that rubbed the Cowboys’ D the wrong way. Kitna had said that he wasn’t “scared to throw” at Newman, and that he didn’t feel Dallas LB Bradie James “knew where he was at.”
A year later, Newman still remembers, telling a satellite radio audience on Wednesday, “Basically, what it boils down to is you’ve got to watch what you say.”
And in Terence’s case, he’s not afraid to pay the piper - or the NFL: “He better just hope I don’t blitz off the edge because I’ve got 15, 25, 30 (thousand dollars), however much it would be for a fine.”James also remembers Kitna’s comments, and also has some ominous words for the Lions’ signal-caller: “I don’t know him, and I don’t want to know him. (But) he’s going to get to know me“.
And if he can’t crunch Kitna, James will be more than happy to “take someone out to lunch” if they lay out the Lion.Newman’s words have already gotten the attention of league officials. USA TODAY reports that the NFL sent a letter to Terence warning him of any illegal actions.
The note notified Newman that the league would “carefully monitor your activities in this weekend’s Cowboys-Lions game, and suggesting to Terence that he “conduct yourself accordingly.”
If the Cowboys CB doesn’t want the league to watch him, he can try to get the game shown on the NFL Network.
The getup was an apparent jab at Lions defensive line coach Joe Cullen, who you may remember early this year was caught by police going through a drive-thru in his car while completely naked.Since Kitna stole our costume idea (who wasn’t planning a Detroit-themed Halloween?), we’re instead thinking of going as The Invisible Man (dressed as Matt Millen).