8:45 PM Chicago Bears defensive end Jared Allen said he respects the emotion of Brandon Marshall after the receiver went off following Sunday's loss to the Miami Dolphins: "I mean there is always a fine line when someone is just spouting off and acting crazy. But that sure as heck didn't happen in our locker room."
Today Vikings quarterback Tarvaris Jackson not only spoke for me, he spoke for every last, god-fearing citizen living in the United States of America* and our brave, fighting men and women of the United States military serving around the world. (Including nearly 300 ships at sea.)
Brett Favre is turning into a door-to-door salesman, or possibly a Jehovah’s Witness. You see him coming up your street, so you run inside and hide in hopes that he thinks you’re not home and leaves you alone. But after awhile, you assume it’s safe to come out of your haven and finish mowing the lawn or whatever you’re doing. And just when you open the door - *WHAM!* - there he is, waiting to annoy you for the next half-hour or so.
I don’t know about you, but while I was watching Sunday’s playoff game between the Vikings and Eagles, one thought kept entering my mind. That thought was “How in the hell could the Chicago Bears lose the division to a team quarterbacked by Tarvaris Jackson?” Of course, I realize that the Bears actually once got to the Super Bowl with Rex Grossman, so maybe I had no right to complain. Still, Tarvaris Jackson really, really sucks.
You know how I know he sucks? Well, it wasn’t just because Tarvaris completed only 15 of his 35 passes for 146 yards and a pick-six. No, it was because after only two games this season he was pulled by his head coach Brad Childress in favor of Gus Frerotte. I’m not the only one who shares this opinion either apparently, because after the game Frerotte said that the Vikings would have had a better chance to beat the Eagles had he been playing instead of Jackson.
Boston, Cleveland and Orlando were a combined 82-17 headed into yesterday. The North Carolina Tar Heels and the White Gritty Hearty Tyler Hansbroughs, a subset of UNC, were a combined 13-0. Andtheyalllost to the Knicks, Wizards, Raptors, and Boston College. A matching game might be fun, but sadly all winners and losers were listed respectively.
The C’s, Magic and Heels losses were all about the same; great teams had OK days and their opponents rose to the occasion. The Cavaliers game, though, ended in much controversy. Apparently traveling is a rule in the NBA, and an astute referee discovered this deep within the rulebook and called out LeBron James on this very infraction. Were the traveling not ratified and therefore whistled, James’ basket would have counted and tied the game. Perhaps a foul call could’ve made it a three-point play. But it appears ‘Bron got enough calls his way over the years against the Wizards. Call it magi-karma.
I wish I could tell you what the heck this thing is, but it was a float in the Fiesta Bowl Parade this weekend. (Ohbytheway, they do a parade for the Fiesta Bowl. D’ya know that?) Ohio State could probably tell us what that balloon name is — for now we’ll christen it Tortilla Flotilla — but for now we’ll just stare and wonder how the heck Ohio State will hang with Texas, considering the Buckeyes amassed a total of nine points against both Rose Bowl combatants. If there’s hope, it’s in opposing coach Mack Brown’s analysis of how the game will unfold:
“If the teams are even, the team that wants to be there the most and has the edge and is more motivated usually wins.”
Let’s see. They got pulverized by two SEC teams in two consecutive championships. They got nailed by USC and Penn State in back-to-back manhandlings. Todd Boeckman is getting the sentimental senior decision to see time in the game, despite Terrelle Pryor’s messianic performances throughout the year. Yep. I can’t imagine which team’s more motivated.
Just so I have this all straightened out, ESPN considers the above stories “news.” They also notate news as hinging on “sources,” which is information they receive that they cannot divulge. They are completely accurate and news-making. They also like to share “rumors,” which — if you click through — are stories that aren’t reported by ESPN, and since they hinge on someone else’s veracity, cannot be trusted as “sports news.” Jon Heyman said it? Watch out, loyal reader! You could get sourceroll’d!
Or “slapped silly” by Russian hockey players:
GUNAXIN isn’t very impressed with the Capitals’ Alexander Semin’s fighting technique. Nor are the broadcasters on the Rangers side: “I’m gonna slap you silly!”
You can read Joe Posnanski for his meandering thoughts on the baseball Hall of Fame, or on his tangential rant about Barry Manilow covering lame ’80s songs. The decision … is yours.
I saw this on Saturday, but so did DETROIT FREE PRESS’s Drew Sharp also saw Matt Millen on TV taking responsibility for the Lions’ miserable failures, making him pretty much the last guy to do so. Oh, he said it was his fault. I guess we’re all even. Play ball!
THE OREGONIAN drank enough coffee to last through Portland State’s win over Northern Arizona. It took four overtimes. Oh, they’ll sleep tonight!
Sorry to harp on this further, but this Jay Mariotti to AOL thing is still a little too surreal. The CHICAGO TRIBUNE talked with him about the move. From a man who said the future of sports journalism “sadly is not in newspapers”is writing for … AOL. Have I showed you the mousetrap-powered car I made in high school? Wanna know what I made the wheels out of?
Want to watch Tarvaris Jackson get flattened over and over again by Chris Clemons in the middle of his interception-TD? Go over to THE 700 LEVEL and knock yourself out.
The LONDON TIMES has a list of 2009’s most anticipated movies, and sure enough, no sports flicks crack the half-century group. No Major League 4: Julio Franco’s Last Stand?
Fun with hot stove stats! FIRE JIM BOWDEN looks at intentional walks and which managers incorrectly make the call to purposely have the pitcher throw four balls
And finally, life imitates Norm McDonald’s Dirty Work after a robbery suspect was apprehended, thanks to the trail of popcorn leading from the store to the perp’s living room. No word if Isiah Thomas is an abettor.
Hey, remember when Donovan McNabb went from the laughingstock of the NFL after admitting not knowing the rules of overtime to the Eagles’ bench - replaced by Kevin Kolb! - after a horrible first half against the Ravens. And when Andy Reid was practically a dead man walking in Philadelphia, with the only questions being who would replace him and where he would eventually land.
(Kendra Wilkinson, fiance of Eagles WR Hank Baskett, enjoyed the win)
Well, who is laughing now? (Actually, I still am about the overtime tie thing, because that’s still ridiculous.) At the least, the Vikings have to deal with the realization that they lost to a team quarterbacked by a guy who doesn’t know the basic rules of football, after the Eagles marched into Minnesota and promptly manhandled the Vikings in a 26-14 victory.
So, all you people out there who picked the Vikes to win the NFC North — how you feeling right about now? It seemed odd, I thought, that so many people were willing to support a team that had, uh, a bit of a question mark at the quarterback position. A question mark that is now so big that he can’t even keep Gus Frerotte off the field.
Frerotte, the NFL’s equivalent to Ted McGinley, is coming off a stellar season with the Rams in which he posted a lofty 58.3 QB rating in eight starts. Apparently, that’s good enough for Brad Childress to send Tarvaris Jackson to the rails. And really, after you’ve been displaced by Gus, is there any future for you in the NFL?
Usually, when an employer offers a former employee, oh, say, $20 million to stay retired, that’s exactly what happens. Unfortunately for the Packers front office, Brett Favre isn’t just any “former employee,” he’s, well, Brett Favre.
Which is why he turned down the hush money and is currently in Green Bay ready to compete for the starting job with Aaron Rodgers.