Cardinals Rule the NFC Roost, Migrate to Tampa

(Editor’s note: Yes, the Arizona Cardinals are your 2008 NFC Champions. Is this really true? Did this really happen? SbB correspondent Tuffy was there in Glendale to bear witness to the implausible. Here’s his story:)

As we left the site of the most unlikely outcome of this NFL season thus far (except perhaps “Cowboys Gel as Team, Go Miniature Golfing Together Often”), thousands of Arizona Cardinals fans chanted, “Su-per Bowl! Su-per Bowl!”  It was less of a declaration than an opportunity to hear the words aloud for the first time matched with the Cardinals team that just won 32-25 to take its first trip to the Big Game as a sand-based entity.

Arizona Cardinals rally

Last year’s Super Bowl took place in Glendale but applied to this franchise in 2008 as much as your roommate’s birthday party.  Sure, it’s at your place, but you’ll probably be down the road seeing a movie or getting drunk.  This year, we suspect Arizona would have invited the Eagles if they had been in charge of invitations.  They proved to be gracious partygoers, bringing their own gift: Andy Reid.

Philadelphia Eagles fan works the wedgie

(Not literally pictured: Andy Reid)

Our report from University of Phoenix Stadium (& more pics) after the jump. Read more…

Speed Read: Curry Wanted Gay Sex From Driver?

The best part about this headline, in truth, is that it’s not even the first time we’ve been able to connect Eddy Curry with a preposterous legal suit in the past month. Remember this? Still, as bad as a two-year-old Big & Tall clothing bill is, this takes the cake: According to this story in the NEW YORK POST, the oft-injured and always overpaid Knicks center is accused of trying to solicit gay sex from his chauffeur, whom he also made touch his penis, clean up towels he had ejaculated into and whom he called a, “f**king Jew”, “white slave”, “white devil”, and “grandmaster of the KKK”. Oh, and when the driver complained, Curry pointed a loaded gun at him and threatened to kill him if he spoke.

Eddy Curry hidden in towel
(Nothing is coming up Eddy anymore. That’s for sure.)

Yes, folks, that’s about as good a story lede as you can get. Just imagine the eyes on the reporter who tripped across this court filing. “Oh, look, a Knicks benchwarmer is getting sued. Hmm, wait a minute! Gay sex! Racial epithets! He makes $9 million!! Someone get me the executive editor!”

For your reading pleasure, here are the best lines from the suit, carefully culled by the POST:

The stunning court papers claim Curry, a married father of three, repeatedly approached chauffeur David Kuchinsky “in the nude,” allegedly telling him, “Look at me, Dave, look” and “Come and touch it, Dave.”

In a disturbing episode reminiscent of some of the evidence in the manslaughter case against former Nets star Jayson Williams, Kuchinsky further claims in his suit that Curry pointed a “fully loaded” gun at him on at least two separate occasions to keep him from complaining about his treatment. “Look, I have one in the chamber,” Curry allegedly said.

Exactly how many of the allegations Curry fulfilled is up for debate, but — as with the Duke rape case — at the very least he was doing things that weren’t advisable. Note to self: Don’t call any future butlers grandmaster of the KKK”. Oh, and don’t make them butlers if you’ve only hired them to drive you around.

However, what might be the most astonishing thing about the suit, is just how little David Kuchinsky, the driver in question, is asking for. The POST claims that he wants $98,000 — $68,000 in unpaid wages and another $25,000+ in unpaid expenses from Curry — and “compensatory damages” from the center. Look, we’re not genuises here, but $98,000 is chump change for a guy whose been making $9 million a year. Sure, it’s good money, but if you’re Curry, don’t you just settle that suit as fast as humanly possible? You whipped it out on the guy repeatedly and made him clean up your masturbatory mess, and all he wants is a measly $100G? Seems cheap at the price, if you ask us.

“Instead of paying him, they discriminated against him, figuring that it would keep him there,” said Kuchinsky’s lawyer, Matthew Blit. “Imagine going into your boss’s office … and he stands up and drops his pants and he asks you take care of him. Those actions are unacceptable whether it’s in a corporate office or a private home.”

It’s worth noting that Kuchinsky does have a checkered past — he served a three-year prison sentence for a 1992 burglary in New Jersey — and that Curry’s lawyer, Kelly Saindon, says that the suit is the culmination of a series of blackmailing threats from the former chauffeur.

Still, if any of these allegations are admitted to or proven true in a court of law, it will solidify one thing: Curry is the human equivalent of canine feces. Yes, we’re calling him dog crap. He can take his 2:38 of game action this entire season and shove it. Or maybe Kuchinsky can do that for him. He might like that.

There was more NBA news, but alas, it was much less inflammatory, degrading or insulting. Still, it was pretty entertaining. Following a second-straight win over Toronto, snapping the team’s previous elongated losing skid in the process, Celtics center Kevin Garnett felt comfortable enough to loosen up in a postgame presser and go Christopher Reeve on everyone. Here’s the video:

Is it just us, or does Paul Pierce always seem like KG’s red-headed step-cousin in the interview room? Garnett steals the stage even when he’s trying to deflect praise, all of which makes the dual-mic pressers even more awkward, and more entertaining in the process.

Also, if you haven’t seen him play yet this year, now might be a good time to check out Oklahoma’s Blake Griffin. Here’s a lowdown of what he does well: Everything inside the three-point line. Here’s what he does poorly: select earphones. Did anyone see the earbuds he was using during a pre-game shootaround before Monday night’s win over rival Texas, a victory which snapped a six-game Oklahoma hoops losing streak against the Longhorns? They were either A) really old iPod earbuds or B) ripoffs of iPod earbuds. We couldn’t see “COBY” on them, but they had all the tell-tale signs. What, he can’t afford any Bose or Sony in-ear headphones? And what about the Nike ‘phones that are allegedly “designed for athletics”. Nike sponsors OU and they won’t comp a future top-10 pick a pair of headphones?

blake griffin
(Hmmm. Blake Griffin. Think he’s from Quahog, R.I.?)

Here are the full highlights of Griffin’s 14th double-double of the year, this one worth 20 points and 10 rebounds against his school’s biggest rival, all while allegedly playing with some sort of a hip pointer/side injury suffered early in the second half. We’d also note that there’s a distinct irony in the fact that Oklahoma’s other big contributor Monday night is named Austin. Oh, and for good measure, Bob Knight’s a pretty big Griffin fan, too.

  • Things keep getting worse for the Panthers. First, they get blown out at home in the playoffs. Then their fullback throws the team’s coaching staff under the bus. Now? A nasty prostitution ring is going to ensnare at least one Panther in it’s web, according to PROFOOTBALLTALK.
  • You know all those horrible chick flicks they put out with a hot actress — say, Kate Hudson — who is torn between two perfectly affable potential lovers and friends? Well, in this one, the two guys are played by PGA stud Adam Scott on Alex Rodriguez. Oh, and it’s actually happening.
  • Remember the old codger of a Hall of Fame voter in Tuscon who openly forgot to vote for Rickey Henderson? Well, ol’ Corky Simpson is taking out his frustration on the interwebs. We’d give you his home address and email if we had it … so come back soon. We should have it by lunch (gotta love the interwebs, even if Corky doesn’t).
  • There is no way Ed Rendell will ever win another election in Pennsylvania; he just simultaneously jinxed both the Steelers and Eagles with one, ferociously stupid blow.
  • Rendell might get off easy if it’s really snowy in Pittsburgh and the Ravens slog out a gross game. That’s more than you can say for the Spanish soccer fans in the video below.

Will Eddy Curry be found guilty?

View Results

Dungy Decides To Depart From Coaching the Colts

Tony Dungy calls it a coaching career by cutting cords with the Colts.

Tony Dungy dunked

• After an early playoff exit, the New York Giants would consider bringing back Plaxico Burress.

• Was it really that cold in Charlotte & East Rutherford this weekend?

• Broncos hire a Patriots coordinator as their new head coach. And we know how well that’s worked out for the Browns & Notre Dame.

Read more…

Weakness Exposed, Giants Discuss Plax’s Return

It’s one thing to take the high road with a troubled player when things are going well. If you had asked any Giants fan while their team coasted to the NFC’s number 1 seed if they wished they had Plaxico Burress back, they would have laughed at you. “That bum? He’s a locker room cancer. The G-Men are a team, and one player’s not bigger than the team. Big Blue’s all about character.” But ask them about Burress after getting knocked out of the playoffs far too early, and they might whistle a different tune.

Plaxico Burress

Going into Sunday, all you heard from the team was how they didn’t miss Burress, how he was a distraction, how they could win without him. Now that the Giants’ clear lack of a receiving threat has been exposed, there are rumblings from the front office that, barring legal troubles, they’d like the “locker room cancer” to return. So not only did the Giants lose the game yesterday, but they might lose the moral high ground, too.
Read more…

Cards & Vikes Face Local Blackouts This Weekend

How bad is the economic situation in the country right now? So bad, that both NFC playoff games this weekend are currently not sold out and may be blacked out in their respective home regions. That’s just a tad bit embarrassing. Especially considering that the Cardinals have never hosted a playoff game since the team moved to Phoenix.

Blackout Vikings

Things are even worse in Minnesota, where 8,000 tickets were still available as of noon today, and no corporate sponsors have lined up to buy tickets to avoid a blackout, which will happen if the game isn’t sold out by 3:30 p.m. tomorrow. The lesson here? If you don’t have the money to buy tickets, live as far away from your favorite NFL team as possible.

Read more…

Jets, Browns, Lions All Cut Their Losses, Coaches

Eric Mangini, Romeo Crennel & Rod Marinelli get to join all the other out-of-work folks on the unemployment line.

Eric Mangini Romeo Crennel Rod Marinelli

• Meanwhile, it took until the very last weekend of the season, but the NFL playoff picture is finally set.

• Guilt by association: A fan says he was removed from an NFL stadium just because he was rooting for the Raiders.

• A one-armed basketball prospect is hoping for a chance to jump onto an Ivy League roster.

Read more…

Speed Read: NFL Follows The Playoff Brick Road

It’s not every year that the final regular season of the NFL game means something. NBC flexed their way to the Chargers eliminating the Broncos in a semi-playoff game to capture the AFC West berth into the playoffs. The Dolphins, Vikings, Eagles, and Ravens were the other teams to punch their tickets in the 11th hour, and you know how airlines hate it when you check in late. This leaves our 12 teams arranged for your graphic pleasure as such:

NFL Playoff matchup

The four divisional games will skip hand in hand toward the Emerald Cigar City in hopes of overcoming the evil flying monkeys known as “losing in the playoffs.” Those swell games begin Saturday. That’s six days. I hope you’ve already found a couch in which to park your butt.

Tomlinson and Manumaleuna go for ball

A telltale sign your team is on a roll: two people are open for the same pass. When LaDainian Tomlinson wasn’t going long for the pass, he was passing San Diego native Marcus Allen for career touchdowns, finishing the regular season with 126 for second most all time.

The 52-21 rout of the Broncos creates an 8-8 playoff team for the eighth time in NFL history, and the first time in the AFC since the 1991 New York Jets. While the Chargers are rollin’ like James Brolin, only twice have 8-8 teams won a playoff game, and they both happened in 2004 (Minnesota over Green Bay, St. Louis over Seattle). They will host the 12-4 Colts. Hmm. I wonder if these two teams have played each other in the playoffs before.

Lonnie Cooper

This man is Lonnie Cooper. You’ve never heard of him, unless he was your Secret Santa, or if you are one of nine NBA coaches that called him “my agent” at the start of the season. The NBA called six of those coaches “fired” in a span of 24 days:

The firings began Nov. 22, when P. J. Carlesimo was dismissed by the Oklahoma City Thunder. Two days later, Eddie Jordan was fired by the Washington Wizards. Sam Mitchell (Toronto) was the next to go, then Randy Wittman (Minnesota) and Maurice Cheeks (Philadelphia). The purge continued Dec. 15, with the Sacramento Kings firing Reggie Theus.

His active clientele still includes Doc Rivers, Jim O’Brien, and Nate McMillan, and Kings interim coach Kenny Natt is his client, too. But to have three of nine coaches make it. Three of nine. Three of nine. Hmm. Maybe Shaq should inquire about his services.

As we gust our way to the finish line:

  • If you watch closely, you can actually see the string Bill Belichick pulls that gets Matt Cassel’s punt down to the 1-yard line. It’s so nice to see cheating coaches get back to the fundamentals of impish tomfoolery. Funner fact: the last time a Patriots quarterback punted it away: Tom Brady in 2003. And where did his land? Why, the 1-yard line, of course (last item).
  • LOSER WITH SOCKS notices that Charter Cable subscribers in Montgomery, Alabama will tentatively be without FOX on January 2, but all they’ll miss is the Sugar Bowl. But it’s Friday night. Go and get some friends or throw a Boggle party. Expand your mind, ya’ ingrates.
  • DEADSPIN has video of Eagles owner Jeff Lurie. He is so jazzed to have his team in the playoffs, he’s willing to slap his wife in the face in the form of a high-five.
  • STEROID NATION has news of a notable baseball player taking steroids. Just kidding, I said “baseball player” to get your attention because there’s no other way to get people to care about non-baseball players taking steroids. BALCO bigwig Victor Conte details “Sugar” Shane Mosley’s purchases of EPO and anabolic steroids. Would it help your interest if I photoshopped a baseball on top of Mosley’s pectoral muscles?
  • Oh, it looks like Brad Penny is eversoclose to a one-year deal with the Red Sox, so sayeth FOX SPORTS’ Ken Rosenthal, who can quietly add another point into the non-white player to Boston category.
  • Sportswriters who cover the Cotton Bowl get their own swag, HUNTSVILLE TIMES’ Paul Gattis notes. When ‘Bama was in the Cotton Bowl in 2005, this valiant sportswriter received, among other things, get free tickets to Frank Caliendo. Ooh, I wonder if he did his John Madden impression? Have you seen it before? OF COURSE YOU HAVE. YOU OWN A TV.
  • Thanks, OREGON LIVE, for writing the headlines that need no explanation:

    Hotel sausage

    Hey, it’s better than motel bologna.

  • Staying with the OREGONIAN motif, rich nerd Paul Allen doesn’t let his Blazers sleep in his executive bedroom, except for Greg Oden because he’s taller and therefore better than everyone else. Fun fact: Sam Bowie was the only one allowed to play with Larry Weinberg’s Rubik’s cube.
  • It’s best to just let THE DUGOUT spin out as much as they can on Kyle Farnsworth, for we are all better off for it, even if not everyone knows this.
  • And finally, a bowl game happened last night. In the Independence Bowl, Northern Illinois fell 17-10 as Louisiana Tech wins their eighth game of thzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Which NFL team with playoff dreams going into Week 17 blew it the worst?

View Results

Broncos And Chargers To Play For “Division Title”

After San Diego rolled the Bucs today, the Broncos needed to beat the Bills at home to avoid a winner-take-all AFC Worst matchup next week at Qualcomm. But they couldn’t even pull that off. The Bills overcame an injury to Marshawn Lynch and the fact that Dick Jauron is their coach and still beat Denver 30-23. I know one guy who’s going to sleep much easier tonight:

Ed Hochuli

You’re off the hook, Ed.

If San Diego wins next week, they will make the playoffs at 8-8, while the Patriots could still go 11-5 and be left out if the Dolphins also win.

Meanwhile, Eagles fans are not having a very good evening right now. Video of that crazy ending after the jump.

Read more…

Guessing How Brett Favre Is Spending This Week

This isn’t a recent photo of Brett Favre from BUSTED COVERAGE, but you get the idea. We do know he isn’t in Green Bay (thank god, it’s -9 there today).

Brett Favre Needs A Ball Washer

(”Anyone seen a ballwasher?“)

Our money is on him currently nipping at some Old Granddad, while crouched in a duck blind in some southern Mississippi bog.

Chargers Say LT’s Knee Was A-OK; LT Says WTF?

Was LaDanian Tomlinson really hurt? Or was he afraid to get pummeled by the Pats?

LaDainian Tomlinson Patriots

During Sunday’s game, LT left in the 1st quarter after aggravating his sore knee. But by the 2nd quarter, the Chargers had sent word to the Gillette Stadium press box that Tomlinson “can return”.

Which was news to LaDainian. He argued, “It’s obvious that I couldn’t play. If I could have played, I would have been in there.” And coach Norv Turner defended his running back after the game, telling reporters, “The doctors and trainers said he couldn’t go.”

So, who’s telling the truth here?

Read more…