April 11, 2010

Chicago Bears Introduce Jay Cutler I7JlbhZ9go0l

I had a dream last night.

It was a wondrous, surreal dream born on the outer-rim of the ethereal crust of an alternate reality, grounded in a far more palatable strain of realism where candy-coated wishes mate with tender porterhouse fantasies to produce offspring that can only be considered fantastic. Were they visions of what might have been, or were they whispers of what should have been? I don’t know for sure. All I can do is recount the events as they unfolded in my unconscious mind.

Chicago Bears Introduce Jay Cutler DXhZ2X--6Yul It was April of 2009, and Chicago Bears General Manager Jerry Angelo was preparing to desperately offer quarterback Kyle Orton, first-round picks in 2009 (18th) and 2010, and a third-round pick (84th) in 2009 to pick-up talented, but underachieving, malcontent, petulant douchebaggy dickface, Jay Cutler. (I’ll have to check my notes, but I’m pretty sure that’s his full name.)

But Bears Coach Lovie Smith killed the move, citing that this deal was essentially the equivalent of trading a fistful of money for the potential of a handful of magic beans. Angelo eventually backed off the deal, seeing his opportunity to cast Coach Smith as the scapegoat of the pending mediocre 2009 season, giving fans and owners the illusion that Angelo was actually working for his ridiculously lucrative salary.

fantasy_u_kortonts_300 The next season played out as expected. Cutler was eventually traded to the Washington Redskins where he broke their single-season interception record. QB Kyle Orton looked good, but not great, throwing for a career high 3,802 yards and 21 touchdowns while nursing three fractured ribs from all the sacks allowed by the Bears offensive line (After the Bears o-line broke the single-season record for sacks allowed, Bears center Olin Kreutz, despondent and inconsolable, donated half his annual salary to Orton’s medical bills and psychological therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder.)

But there were a few more offensive bright spots. With the 18th selection in the first round of the 2009 draft that was not traded to Denver, the Bears selected wide receiver Percy Harvin, who had such a strong first season that he was selected as rookie of the year. With the addition of Harvin, Devin Hester was moved from the primary receiver position to the slot, where he roasted slower nickel and dime backs for 1,027 yards and 10 touchdowns on 53 catches, a blistering 19.38 yards per catch. Essentially, every fifth time Hester touched the ball, he scored a TD.

bears1 Defensively, the Bears submitted one of the poorest efforts in recent memory, epitomized by the dreadful production of one-time defensive stalwart, cornerback Nathan Vasher. At one point, someone accidentally switched Vasher’s seasonal highlight reel with this clip from the film, The Naked Gun, and no one noticed. Brian Urlacher was lost for the season with a broken wrist, and defensive tackle Tommie Harris was lost for the season with a disconnected heart. Sure, Harris played through it, but it was clear to everyone that he’d much rather had spent the season watching his Iron Man Blu-ray from the back seat of his tricked-out Semi-cab with chrome rims.


(What does he get, like 5 miles per gallon in that thing? I don’t know why he doesn’t just go ahead and put spinners on it and drive it to the Arctic circle so he can go club baby seals and hunt polar bears into extinction.)

Throughout the entire ordeal, Coach Lovie Smith was a silent, stoic, majestic rock of near-consciousness. Bear-fans were practically bawling and flogging themselves up and down Lake Shore Drive, but Coach Smith was as placid as the eye of a hurricane. His post-season press conference speech rivaled that of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “Promised Land”. It was almost as if he knew his fate was sealed, but his steadfast determination had placed the Bears in prime position. Only, no one knew it but him.

On the very same day Lovie Smith was fired as Bears coach, another highly regarded Afro-American coach, San Francisco 49ers’ Mike Singletary, was being unceremoniously canned after being caught on camera using interpretive dance involving his naked buttocks and flatulence to show his QB Alex Smith exactly how he felt about Smith’s route progression and decision-making. Seizing the opportunity in a rare showing of executive brilliance, Bears GM Angelo wooed Coach Singletary into the Bears vacant head-coach position.

(I mean seriously; who would you rather have coaching your team…)

(this guy…)



(Or this guy…?)



(Again… and pay attention this time… would you rather have this guy here… )



(Or this guy… ?)



(One more time… this guy…)

bh2_Lovie Smith


(Or this guy!)


(Or this guy!)


(Or this guy!)



27744(I’m just sayin… and this is just my personal opinion … but to me… this guy to the right here seems… well…  slightly more emotionally vested in his team’s day-to-day activities.)


Once again, Samurai Mike was the toast of Second City.

During Coach Singletary’s first team meeting with the Bears, the team gathered to watch the lowlights of the 2009 defensive highlight reel. Before the film was started, Cornerback Nathan Vasher tripped over his own feet five times while making the seven-step trip from the juice bar to his seat. As he picked himself off the carpet to ring his spilled beverage from his sweatshirt, he locked eyes with Coach Singletary. Though no words were spoken, Vasher knew what was up.

“Aw, come-on man!” Vasher protested in vain. “I can still play safety!”

Singletary’s normally wide-eyes narrowed, intensely focused on Vasher.

Vasher continued his plea; “Coach! Try me out at safety! Please! You won’t be sorry!”

Singletary furrowed his brow and stroked his chin thoughtfully. He even kept his pants on. “Alright Nate,” Samurai Mike warily concluded. “We’ll see what you’ve got at the safety position this season.”

Turning his attention to quarterback, Coach Singletary observed that Kyle Orton had developed the habit of immediately dropping to the fetal position whenever he heard footsteps behind him, even when in the shower. Though Singletary knew that Orton had done a yeoman’s job under harsh conditions, he also knew that a change was needed moving forward.

donovan-mcnabb-wants-to-retire-an-eagle-secretly-wants-to-leave Just then, a beaming Jerry Angelo burst into Singletary’s office, brimming with excitement. With the rapid-fire cadence of a caffeinated second grader explaining why his new Yugio deck is the best thing ever, Angelo exclaimed, “The Redskins are offering the Philadelphia Eagles a 2010 second-round pick (No. 37 overall) and either a third- or fourth-round draft pick in 2011 for Donovan McNabb! That’s way less than what I offered the Broncos for Jay Cutler a year ago… and McNabb is a classy, proven asset at QB! No wonder Lovie thought I was a total idiot last season for trying to mortgage our future on a whiny dickface! We can totally match the Redskins’ offer! Let’s up the ante by offering a 2010 first round pick and a conditional third-or-fourth round pick in 2011- hey, wait a second… I didn’t know we could make our picks conditional! Did you know that Mike? You did? Holy shit… I really do suck at this job! I don’t know how I didn’t get canned last year… OK… well anyway… oh, and let’s throw in Kyle Orton too!”

Coach Singletary paused for a moment to consider this implausible windfall. “Your plan has great merit,” he conceded. “However, let’s not include Orton.”

Angelo looked puzzled. “But I don’t understand. Clearly more is better, right?”

kyle-orton-stoned-medium “Not always,” Singletary countered. “Consider this; Rex Grossman has already agreed to sign with the Redskins as a backup. Reuniting Grossman with Orton would be worse than combining Corey Haim and Corey Feldman with a luxury hotel suite full of hookers and blow. I won’t be held responsible for their training camp turning into something from Animal House. My conscience won’t allow that.”

And so the pieces fell into place for a run at the 2010 season and destiny:

During McNabb’s final three seasons as Bears QB, he led them to an improbable three-peat as champions of Super Bowls XLV, XLVI, and XLVII, and earned league MVP honors in 2011 and 2012. The Chunky Soup Curse was converted to a rite of passage similar to, “I’m going to Disneyland!” During an interview, Bob Costas asked John Madden who would win in a knife fight; McNabb, or Favre, causing Madden to go into a five-day coma.

Vasher’s success at safety earned him the comeback player of the year award in 2010. Commissioner Roger Goodell ordered all footage from Vasher’s 2009 season at cornerback immediately destroyed. The NFL Players Association did not protest.

olin Kyle Orton filled in admirably when McNabb was sidelined for three weeks with swine-flu contracted by receiving snaps from Olin Kreutz’s unwashed hands.

Devin Hester broke a single-game touchdown record with 7TD’s, then broke it again the following week by scoring 8TD’s in a single half versus the Detroit Lions led by Jay Cutler. In fact, two of Hester’s TD’s came from intercepting Cutler, as Hester was tapped to fill in for cornerbacks who were succumbing to heat-stroke from intercepting so many Jay Cutler passes. It is rumored that in California, John Madden’s orgasm from watching this game could be heard from a radius of five miles.

nfl_rice_195 Percy Harvin’s 2012 performance drew comparisons to Jerry Rice, which angered Harvin because he never considered himself to be that slow or nerdy. Plus Percy claimed to have better tango moves.

The NFL Coach of the Year award was renamed the Mike Singletary award. The statuette is of a man pointing and yelling with his pants at his ankles. Pantsless motivational halftime speeches by coaches become vogue, traumatizing little-league athletes across America.

Lovie Smith became an analyst for NBC’s Football Night in America. His in-depth “analysis” (“Anytime a defense makes tackles, that’s a good thing.”) frequently causes Tony Dungy to nod-off while on the air, and puts Bob Costas on the verge of tears nearly twice each Sunday.

Jerry Angelo became Executive of the Year in 2010 and 2012.

Chicago Bears Introduce Jay Cutler rnAaz-4B3AKl

As The Boondocks Huey Freeman once said, it’s fun to dream.


2010 Free Agency: Julius Peppers, Bitches! What!

March 5, 2010

 Saints Panthers Football

Can you feel the excitement? It’s Christmas Day, my birthday, The Fourth of July, and Thanksgiving all rolled into one! Of course, I’m speaking of the beginning of the 2010 season’s free-agent market. With so many voids to fill on a near-comically uncompetitive 2009 Chicago Bears squad, success-starved Bears fans like myself are eyeballing all the high-priced talent like glazed ham. The Bears front office has already made drastic moves prior to, and during this season’s free-agent market. Most moves appear to be consistent with what I believe are the team’s best interests, while others I’m suppressing the urge to rush to failure (Mike Martz as the offensive coordinator? Really?)

Let’s take a look at today’s moves:

Read the rest of this entry »

Game 5: Blown Call or Blown Game?/What’s Brett Up To?

April 29, 2009

Yes, the foul committed by Rondo against Brad Miller in the last second of game 5 between the Bulls and Celtics should have been a flagrant, but so what? The Bulls lost that game because they suffered a meltdown during the last seven minutes and allowed an 18-8 Celtics run to erase their lead. They lost because a still-dazed Miller missed the first free throw and failed to draw iron on the second attempt.

They lost because, even if the refs made the right call, with two seconds left, “Coach” Vinny Del Negro would have diagramed a half-cocked half-court play that would have been promptly ignored by Ben Gordon as he dribbled in place for 1.5 seconds before jacking up a low percentage shot, but everyone knows that .5 seconds isn’t enough time for Gordon to rub the magical rabbit’s foot he keeps in his pocket to wish all of his horrible shot-selections into the basket.

The refs blew the call, but the Bulls collectively blew the game (And that’s coming from a fan who is openly rooting for an improbable Bulls win, and who has enjoyed the Bulls’ display of heart and effort.) End of story.

brett-favre-si-cover In other news… Brett Favre has negotiated his release from the Jets. Well, actually, according to Brett, his agent has negotiated his release, since we all know that Brett could never be complicit in any alleged shady dealings that might tarnish his golden-boy image. Oh brother.

You know what that means right? Last time I checked, the Minnesota Vikings were choosing between Gus Frerotte and Tavaris Jackson to lead their team at QB, which is like choosing between Michael Moore and Fat Bastard as Weight Watchers mentors. The Vikes need a QB, and I don’t care what Brett says, he’s still dying to stick it to Green Bay. Come on back Brett!

favre_urlacher_061231_wideIA Why am I so geeked about Favre’s (alleged) pending comeback? Well, in the Coach Lovie Smith era, one of these three things must have transpired; (a) the Bears have him figured out, (b) Favre has completely lost his mojo, or (c) there’s a gentlemen’s agreement for Favre to throw at least three passes directly into Brian Urlacher’s chest per game. As a Bear fan, I will always loathe the greatest Bear-Killer in the modern era, and now that he no longer scares me, I welcome him back with open arms.

Chicago Bears 2009 Draft Analysis by a Psychotic Bear Fan

April 28, 2009

clearance_rack I suppose that I really should get around to analyzing the Bears 2009 draft, or as I like to call it, Raiding the Clearance Rack. So why did the Bears essentially shop for Armani-quality players at the Thrift Store that is the third round and beyond? The answer is simple once the numbers are crunched (And I hate crunching numbers.)

The Bears recently signed all-pro left-tackle Orlando Pace to the tune of 5 million per year. Then they traded Kyle Orton (subtract 2.8 million) for Jay Cutler (add 6.5 million). I won’t go into the other players salary because frankly, some of them make no sense to me (How in the hell is Tommy Harris getting 12 million a year, which is almost the combined annual salary of Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs?!? I don’t get it. No wonder Briggs wrapped his Lamborghini around a light pole! He was probably blinded by his tears.)

But according to foxsports.com, the Bears currently have the fourth highest payroll in the league, and this is during an era of financial freefall. Looking back at the Bears history of being notoriously frugal spenders, even way back when we had a strong economy, does this make sense? Of course not.

ToastedOats I’m no financial genius (hence the free blog here) but even I can detect unusual trends. Virginia Halas McCaskey opened her wallet one day while at the supermarket, realized that she could only afford the off-brand Toasted Oats instead of the yummier Cheerios brand, and then immediately called the Bears GM and said, “Young man, we must trade down to the third round. I’m not eating Toasted Oats just for a tenth of a percent lower time in the 40-yard dash. No deary, that’s not happening.”

So here we are, at the clearance rack. Now before I proceed, I’m not saying that all players drafted in the third round or below are garbage. In fact, all are gifted athletes. Shopping these rounds doesn’t automatically mean we’re getting low-quality talent, only that we’re seeking decent quality at affordable prices, or maybe even a fixer-upper or two.

But enough about trying to gather champagne talent on beer money. On to the picks.

Round 3, Pick 4 (68th overall) (From Seahawks) Jarron Gilbert DE 6’5″ 288lbs San Jose State

Pick Analysis: Analysts say that Gilbert is a bit of a slacker, but has the physical tools to be a playmaker with the right mentoring. Speaking of slackers, did you know that last year, the Bears DE’s totaled 16 sacks? I’m not talking about one person, or even two people. FOUR DE’s combined for 16 sacks. That averages out to four sacks per DE, and just know that two of those four had to come because the QB tripped on himself. Grade B-

Round 3, Pick 35 (99th overall) (Compensatory selection) Juaquin Iglesias WR 6’1″ 210lbs Oklahoma

Pick Analysis: Iglesias is listed as an exceptional kick returner with great hands. If needed, he can replace Hester as our primary returner. Analysts say he’s comfortable catching bad balls, which means that we drafted him two years too late. He would have been Rex Grossman and Brian Griese’s best friend. Grade B+

Round 4, Pick 5 (105th overall) (From Seahawks) Henry Melton DE 6’3″ 260lbs Texas

Pick Analysis: I read his 40-yard time and thought it was a typo. 4.65! For a freakin DE! Does he have a fricken jet-pack or something? (Please, oh please let him test clean for PED’s!) He transitioned to DE from running back! Alex Brown and Ogunleye have officially been put on notice. Did I mention that they averaged four sacks apiece as a unit last season as the starting DE’s? No, not four sacks per game, because that would be amazing. Four sacks per SEASON. I’m just sayin. Grade A

Round 4, Pick 19 (119th overall) D.J. Moore CB 5’9″ 192lbs Vanderbilt

Pick Analysis: Moore is a short, slow corner with exceptional instinct, which means that Peanut and Vasher’s starting positions are safe. But Moore would make an ideal nickelback, lining up against the slot receiver in a three-receiver formation. Coach Smith may even have designs on moving him to safety since we’re still extremely thin there. We need someone to fill the void left by Mike Brown, and I’m slightly geeked that this will be the fourth, and hopefully final time I ever have to address Mike Brown’s void. Grade C+

Round 5, Pick 4 (140th) (From Seahawks through Broncos) Johnny Knox WR 6’0″ 185 Abilene Christian

Pick Analysis: At long last, we have found a speedy counterpart to Devin Hester, I guess. Like Hester, Knox is an unpolished receiver with breakaway speed. When lining-up, it will be like looking into a flawed mirror of raw, unrefined talent. Hopefully, one of them will figure out how to run routes while the other works on learning how to catch. Otherwise, get accustomed to hearing “Cutler to Olsen for four, maybe five yards” right now, and plan on hearing it at least 20-60 times per game. Grade C.

Round 5, Pick 18 (154th overall) Marcus Freeman LB 6’0″ 239lbs Ohio State

Pick Analysis: Freeman has played extremely well at all three LB positions in college, excelling as the “Will”, or weakside linebacker. The Bears current WLB, Lance Brigs, happily tallied 110 tackles last season after brokering a new contract. Aging, oft-injured veteran “Mike”, or middle linebacker Brian Urlacher gamely logged an impressive 93 tackles and 2 picks. The “Sam”, or strongside linebacker tandem of Hunter Hillenmeyer and Nick Roach split-time and combined for a total of 51 tackles. Hmmm… I wonder where Freeman will end up playing? Grade B.

Round 6, Pick 17 (190th overall) Al Afalava FS 5’11” 213lbs Oregon State

Pick Analysis: Afalava was a three-year starter at strong safety in college. He is a safety with a linebacker build. He is nasty and loves to hit, making him an ideal special teams heat-seeking missile. Also, having a big, beefy, physical safety will contribute to hopefully bringing a close to the Annual Mike Brown Void. Grade A

Round 7, Pick 37 (246th overall) (Compensatory selection) Lance Louis OG 6’2″ 303 San Diego State

Pick Analysis: Again, I read the position, then read his 40-time, and had to double-check. An offensive guard running a 4.76 and benching 30 reps?!? Granted, games are won on the field, not at the combine or college pro-days, but… damn! He also played some tight-end in college, and though the Bears are set at TE, Louis remains an eye-raising prospect. As a guard, he’s pretty raw, so he’d be wasted trying to figure out the O-Line. I’d be tempted to switch him to defensive tackle to take full advantage of his raw physical gifts and put pressure on Tommy Harris to put down the biscuits, get out of his 12-million dollar bed and put in some work in lieu of dropping on the depth chart. Grade B-

Round 7, Pick 42 (251th overall) (Compensatory selection) Derek Kinder WR 6’1″ 210 Pittsburgh

Pick Analysis: Kinder gave a great pro-day workout, but little is known about his ball skills. He recently recovered from a torn ACL in 2007, and he spent last year essentially running pointless wind sprints on a power-run, cold-weather team lead by a QB who sucked and couldn’t get the ball to him (Sound familiar?) We don’t know if he’s fully back from the ACL repair, and we don’t really know if his athleticism will translate to the football field. But I look at Bobby Wade, Bobby Ingram, Curtis Conway, and Bernard Berrian — all former Bears WR’s who ran wind sprints for sucky Bears QB’s, but found successful careers with competent QB’s on new teams — and I have hope for this kid’s future. I hope… I hope… Grade Incomplete

(Well, OK so the Jury’s still out on Berrian since the combination of Vikings QB’s Tavaris Jackson, Gus Frerotte, and two nickels don’t add-up to twenty cents. But still, the potential is there.)

So what have we learned?

1. The Bears coaching and staff are all fed-up with the defensive line’s “fat-cat” complacency, lethargy and overall underachievement. Step forward or step aside, gentlemen.

2. At long last, there may finally be an end to the Annual Mike Brown Void.

3. Marcus Freeman may be groomed as the long-term heir-apparent to the great Brian Urlacher, but his short-term task will be to play at the “Sam”, freeing-up Hillenmeyer and Roach to pursue new sideline hobbies like thumb-wrestling one another.

4. Though we still haven’t the slightest idea who will bookend Hester as the second receiver, we damn-near filled-out every number on the Keno card with our draft prospects. One of these guys has to win the jackpot, right?

5. Toasted Oats are just as filling and nutritious as Cheerios.

Overall Grade: B

Random Observations from the First Round of the 2009 NFL Draft

April 27, 2009

(Presented by Facebook, NFL.com, Char-Broil Grills, The Idiocy of Marriage, and Henry Willard’s Private Reserve)

m_stafford_090101_blogThanks to the Chicago Bears wheeling-and-dealing their way out of the first two rounds, I didn’t have a vested interest in day one of the NFL draft. But the first half of the first round did entertain me enough to annoy my Facebook friends with constant updates of my thoughts, which most likely compelled all but the most loyal friends to either de-friend me or remove my updates from their newsfeeds.

Of course, my wife kept me on her FB list, but only because she was too busy preparing for her favorite annual event; shopping-away the tax-return. She specifically targeted a new gas grill that I unwittingly agreed to assemble during day one of the NFL draft. I say unwittingly because I vaguely recall agreeing to assemble the contraption in exchange for a case of beer, but she knows that I’ll agree to almost anything to keep her from blocking the television or drowning-out the announcers with her drama-riddled mom’s group gossip. So basically, I’m claiming that I was tricked into cutting my draft-coverage short, but at least I got booze as a consolation prize.

But enough about my whining. Here are my random observations. Actual FB feeds in bold font:

Matthew Stafford to the Lions, 1st overall. Only time will tell if he’s capable of continuing the Lions’ long and rich tradition of sucking-ass. – Sat at 1:06pm – Before this pick I pondered to my wife, “You know… the Lions need an infusion of talent in nearly every position. I wonder if they will be smart enough to trade down so they can gather more picks?”

While pulling on her favorite shopping shirt, she replied, “That’s the team that hired Matt Millen and stuck with him until they developed enough ‘talent’ to become the first 0-16 team, right? And you’re expecting them to do something smart?” I cut our conversation short because I suddenly had to go potty (Ever since the Matt Millen era, pondering the Lions plight always results in an urgent need to release my bowels. They’re like psychological dietary fiber.)

After I returned from the bathroom, my wife told me that a reporter posed my question to the current Lions GM after the pick was made. Apparently, the Lions GM made a face as if to say, “Wait a sec. You mean we can do that?” Then he threw a smoke bomb and ascended to the rafters with a concealed grapple-gun to make his escape. Well, OK, not really, but wouldn’t that be cool if it actually happened?

Matthew Stafford: “I love a challenge…” Uhm… Yeah… good luck with that. – Sat at 1:07pm – Other notable trailblazers who loved a challenge: General Custer, David Koresh, the designer of the Hindenburg, Matt Millen.

My decision for which blowhard pundits to watch has been made for me by Keyshawn Johnson and Steve Young beginning their broadcast by shouting their opinions at one another. Dude, take it easy! You two are going to be on-air for the next two hours! I’m switching from ESPN to NFL Network. – Sat at 1:14pm – Speaking of which, did you know that as of May 1st, Comcast cable will no longer carry the NFL Network? Frankly, I’m outraged at the greed and inflexibility of both the NFL and Comcast for failing to compromise and come to some form of solution. I should boycott them both out of principle, but in reality, I’m destined to follow the NFL to Direct TV. Yes, I have no shame. I am a sports junkie, and pro-football is my crystal meth.

noah 1st round, 2nd pick: The St. Louis Rams select OT Jason Smith. This kid looks like he’s ready to ditch the suit, grab his pads, and start playing right now. He scares me. – Sat at 1:20pm – Smith literally went from weeping tears of joy to thanking God to looking as if he would pulverize the first thing that moved — within the span of about 12 seconds. I haven’t seen this level of intensity since Kevin Garnet appeared poised to decapitate Joakim Noah from the stands while in a business suit.

3rd pick: Kansas City Chiefs select DE Tyson Jackson from LSU. Cut to LSU stock-footage of Jackson slamming opponents to the ground and angrily stomping around afterwards. I’m going to go out on a limb and say this is a good pick. – Sat at 1:30pm – Well, let’s just say that I wouldn’t want to witness him battle Jason Smith in a “rock/paper/scissor” contest.

4th pick: Seattle Seahawks select LB Aaron Curry from Wake Forrest. The Seahawks LB crew just went from good to scary good. – Sat at 1:34pm – Curry joins a deep crop of LB’s anchored by perennial pro-bowler Lofa Tatupu, while Tatupu gets an additional physical presence on the field and a much-needed designated driver.

5th pick: New York Jets (Traded from Cleveland for 2 picks, 2 players, and fuzzy dice) select QB Mark Sanchez, USC. Elated obnoxious Jet fans ejaculate all over Radio City Music Hall. – Sat at 1:58pm – Say, whatever happened to that other QB who led the Jets to a 9-7 record while throwing 22 touchdowns and 22 interceptions? I forget his name, but I remember that he was comfortable in jeans that last. I’m sure it will come to me later.

6th pick: Cincinnati Bengals select OT Andre Smith, Alabama. Apparently, Bengals coaching staff is buying into the radical concept of actually protecting their QB. – Sat at 2:01pm – Carson Palmer was sacked so often last year that his offensive line should’ve donated a portion of their checks to his psychological counseling. They should probably throw-in a kick-back to fund Chad OchoCinco’s Zoloft prescription since he’s chained to this putrid offense for the remainder of his career.

7th pick: Oakland Raiders select WR Darrius Heyword-Bey, Maryland, perplexing many pundits. Apparently, Al Davis values speed over skill or talent, which explains the state of the Raiders in recent years. – Sat at 2:05pm – If there’s ever a drill created for the fastest team to Christmas and offseason vacation, I’m putting my money on this one. Seriously, I really am mystified by this pick. I mean… I’m not a Raiders fan, but what the hell, man? I asked my flag football QB and die-hard Raiders fan Trevor for additional insight, but all I got was a swear-word that rhymes with truck.

8th pick: Jacksonville Jaguars select OT Eugene Monroe, Virginia. – Sat 2:07pm – At this point, my wife texted me that she’s on her way home with a new grill and a case of beer. Yeah, so I was about to be inconvenienced. I suppose it could’ve been much worse. It’s not like I was sitting outside of a department store dressing room holding a purse while slowly losing the will to live.

NFL Network is now treating us to regular footage of WR Michael Crabtree seething/pouting in the green room after falling at least 8 picks (and counting).- Sat 2:10pm – Never one to pass-up an opportunity for shameless self-promotion, NFL Network analyst Deion Sanders interviewed Crabtree to see if his feelings were hurt after falling so far in the picks. Crabtree’s attempt at maintaining professionalism was commendable, if not very convincing.

Commercial break: The sham-wow/slap-chop guy: “You’re gonna love my nuts!” After his arrest for battering a prostitute, nearly every time I hear this commercial, I giggle. – Sat 2:24pm – Ironically, and my wife can attest to this, the very first time I saw him peddling his magical rags, I said to Bookie, “Look at that guy… he just doesn’t track right with me. Just looking at him makes my skin crawl. He looks like the kind of guy who might end-up getting caught beating-up a hooker in an expensive hotel…” And verily, it came to pass

9th pick: Green Bay Packers select DT B.J. Raji, BC. Queue the weird “Go Pack Go!” chant/porn music. Packer fans are odd-ducks. – Sat 2:17pm – Important note: My wife is almost near the parking lot. This meaningless update has been brought to you by the “Slap-Chop” on my lapsing sanity. Marriage: Because you’re way too rational and comfortable with yourself to remain single. Just put the ring on and watch the craziness instantly soak into your pores! You’ll be batshit-insane in minutes, or your money back!

10th pick: San Francisco 49ers select WR Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech. Remember: Al Davis passed on him at the 7th pick, opting to pick for speed instead of talent. I’ll pause while Raider fans commit ritual suicide. – Sat 2:28pm – Speaking of which, I should probably check-up on Trevor to make sure he’s not driving down I-5 from Seattle to Oakland wearing an adult-diaper with the purpose of taking a monkey-wrench to Al Davis’ cranium.

11th pick: Buffalo Bills select DE Aaron Maybin, Penn state. The city of Toronto will love him once the bankrupt Bills are forced to move there. – Sat 2:31pm – The grill is here! It’s in the car, waiting to be brought up. That’s what my wife said. The grill is “waiting to be brought up”, you know, as if it has the cognitive abilities to form feelings of abandonment while languishing in the trunk of the car. A more accurate statement would have been that she is waiting for me to get off my ass and haul that contraption into the apartment and do her bidding instead of, you know, enjoying myself. I got moving pretty quickly though, since everyone knows it’s rude to keep a grill waiting in a car.

12th pick: Denver Broncos select RB Knowshon Moreno, Georgia. – Sat 2:33pm – My friend John left a comment regarding Moreno: “Wuss. Can’t win unless his opponents are injured.” Full disclosure: John is a Florida Gator alumni and die-hard Gator fan, so there might have been a smidge of collegiate bias in his statement. Just a wee-bit.

15th pick: Houston Texans select LB Brian Cushing, USC. The Texans defense just got a lot scarier. – Sat 2:46pm – Wait a sec… what happened to picks 13 and 14? Well, I posted them between reading the grill assembly instructions, and this is right about where my rational, higher-brain functions melted into “F#$K YOUR GRILL!” mode. Something had to give, so I abandoned my Facebooking, grabbed a brew, and settled into my task in earnest.

So what have we learned?

1. Facebook is the Devil.

2. Women sneak tasks upon their husbands while distracted by sports, basically just to screw with their heads and assert their dominance.

3. Al Davis is officially insane and should be chained within the pig-fecal/methane refinery like Master after Blaster was killed in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.

3. Almost anything can be smoothed-over with a cold beer.

Cutler-Mania Makes for Shaky Mojo

April 23, 2009

090401_JayCutler_v.widec Though I hate to admit it, I’m slightly miffed and concerned by all the national media attention the Bears have garnered after acquiring quarterback Jay Cutler from the Broncos.

Normally, I’m indifferent to media hype or the lack thereof, but the Brett Favre-like fawning over a talented, but thus-far unaccomplished malcontent — who forced a trade because he didn’t appreciate being suggested as a prospect for trade like any other normal NFL athlete — is really starting to grate, and this is coming from a die-hard Bear-fan. Hell, at least Favre won a Superbowl before the poll-jocking really got going.

I understand the old adage that defense wins games while offense sells tickets, and prior to the Cutler era, the Bears were largely overlooked because their offense has been historically offensive. The last time we had a decent QB was Jim McMahon back in the 80’s, and though he was largely hyped by the media, he wasn’t a primadonna. McMahon displayed that cocky, smash-mouth persona that can only come from a cold-weather, power-run team accustomed to earning every inch of real-estate in an “eff-you, pay me” manner.

(I should point out that QB Jim Harbaugh also acquitted himself nicely as a Bear from ‘87 to ‘94 before achieving greater heights with the Indianapolis Colts. In his prime, he was the poor-man’s Steve Young. The reason why folks overlook his efforts with the Bears is because during this stint he was handcuffed, scolded, and humiliated by Coach Mike Ditka with such frequency that he more often resembled an animal shelter rescue victim than an elite NFL athlete. I’ll also point out that between ‘89 and ‘92, Coach Ditka had reached the point in his coaching career where he probably should have been listening to Journey on the jukebox while carefully peeking out the diner window, scanning for potential hitmen gunning for him.)

I understand “Cutler-Mania”, but that doesn’t mean I like it. I mean, as a result of it, we get five primetime appearances this year. As a Bear-fan who was transplanted into a rain-soaked, latte-sipping, largely bandwagon-based Seattle Seahawk fanbase, I can appreciate the fruits of the hype (I’m in too crummy a location for Direct TV’s NFL Ticket.)

I get it, but dammit, while largely unsatisfied, I was at least content with our low-profile, quiet workman-like approach to football. If this Cutler deal turns into a bust under the glare of the national spotlight, even Detroit Lions fans will be making Bear-jokes and crackin-wise on our mammas. Hell, even Coach Lovie Smith appears to be slightly unnerved by this new primadonna hype, and for good reason.

Here’s one more reason why I find Cutler-Mania tough to swallow. I’m not a superstitious guy, except for when it comes to football, and where the neutral fan swings, so swings the mystical hand of fate. Think about it. For whatever reason, either you’re a die-hard Dallas Cowboy fan, or you hate their rotten guts (I align myself with the latter crowd.) We’ve all seen how fate has treated them recently, from Tony Romo’s playoff field goal fumble, to the Terrell Owens Saga. In baseball there’s the new-millennium New York Yankees, a multi-million dollar payroll of otherwise talented choke-artists. In Basketball there’s the 2004 Los Angeles Lakers, a team of future hall-of-fame free-agents selling their souls to the devil for one final shot at a ring. Sure they were talented individually, but karmic-wise, they might as well had been the Legion of Doom, led by Lex Luthor himself. How did those guys fare against the workmanlike team effort of the eventual NBA champ Detroit Pistons?

Remember when the 2001 New England Patriots were destiny’s darlings, with a nation of neutral fans gleefully aligning themselves with the no-name underdogs? On paper, the 2007 Pats were far superior to the 2001 team, but the 2001 team can call themselves World Champions, while the 2007 team went undefeated, except for the game that would have made them World Champions. Sure, call it resiliency and determination, but don’t dismiss a fickle karmic bounce or two.

So what does any of that have to do with the Bears? While the addition of Cutler (allegedly) swings our talent-level into the positive range, our team’s karmic-level is inversely affected. Neutral fans who would normally back the Bears and laud their hardnosed, and often futile attempts to make diamonds from coal, will undoubtedly root against us after Cutler’s baggage is repeatedly rehashed by the media… and that’s before Cutler starts with all the snarky on-field sneering and pouting that made me root against him so vehemently when he was a Bronco. Don’t get me wrong; I’m still giddy about our chances, but I’m calling on all die-hard Bear-fans everywhere to unite and help elderly women with their groceries. Donate generously to the charity of your choice. Buy a meal and a hot cup of cocoa for someone who looks like they could use it. Floss.

Do these things not just because they’re the right things to do or you’re trying to get into heaven. Do them because we’ll need all the help we can get to offset the negative energy brought about by Cutler’s media hype.

This Just In…

April 16, 2009

Here are two news bulletins I can’t ignore:

610x 1. John Madden hangs up the mike! Wha-wha-what?!? But wait… how in the hell is Frank Caliendo supposed to eat now?

The undisputed Big Dog of NFL color analysts has decided to retire after a 40-year broadcasting career. I’m slightly bummed, but it’s probably for the best. He’s been barely coherent since about 1993. But even during his waning years as a broadcaster, no one could tell me about what I already just saw on the television screen with his throaty vigor and enthusiasm. Even now, he’s better prepared and more knowledgeable than any current color guy that’s not named Ron Jaworski or Chris Collinsworth.

Speaking of Collinsworth, my wife consoled me by prognosticating that Chris would obviously replace Madden on NBC Sunday Night Football just minutes before ESPN officially confirmed her intuitive forecast. While I’m glad that Collinsworth will finally get a chance to flex his underrated chops in front of a national audience on a full-time basis, Sundays just won’t be the same without the big guy delivering his “BOOM! WHAP!” one-liners and waxing-nostalgically about Brett Favre, bratwurst, Brett Favre, Philly cheese steaks, and Brett Favre.

So does this make Al Michaels the Big Dog of NFL broadcasters now?

Other notable achievements by John Madden:

  1. As head coach of the Oakland Raiders, he holds the NFL all-time highest winning percentage, with a record of 103-32-7 (76.3% win percentage)
  2. Coached the Raiders to a victory in Super Bowl XI
  3. Never had a losing season as a head coach
  4. Youngest coach to reach 100 wins, only needing ten seasons to accomplish this feat.
  5. Enshrined into the NFL Hall of Fame as a coach in 2006
  6. Indirectly responsible for the infliction of Frank Caliendo’s one-trick pony upon millions of unsuspecting Americans

nba_g_garnett_195 2. Celtics forward Kevin Garnet may miss the entire playoffs due to complications with his strained knee. I’m filled with mixed emotions here. My disappointment at not being able to watch my favorite NBA athlete grind-out another playoff run is mitigated by how his loss lifts my Chicago Bulls chances of escaping the first round. I’ll solemnly take the playoff advantage, but ultimately, this rings as a loss for both me and any true fan of the NBA (After listening to ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith’s uncharacteristically somber tone, I almost thought he was announcing the assassination of a head-of-state.) 

I just know that the trainers most likely had to spike KG’s Gatorade with Zoloft before breaking the bad news to him. Have you ever seen KG play? Yikes. He’s easily one of the most frighteningly intense competitors I’ve ever seen. I probably couldn’t play hopscotch with him without taking a vicious elbow to the chest and having him glare about wide-eyed while furiously pounding his own chest and barking at no one in particular, but in my general direction, “Stand up! Be a man! This is f#@king hopscotch, muthaf#@%er!”