Wednesday, February 28, 2007

This is the most amazing thing ever!

OK, not really.

Just trying to suck you in. Like that picture? Thought you might. I thought instead of putting some random actress there I'd search the web for an interesting looking stranger. There she is. I call her "Miriam."

Anyway, in doing some research for an upcoming CHFF piece, I came across a cool story on former NFL safety Jake Scott (Super Bowl MVP with the Dolphins during undefeated season).

I know that Jake Scott might not be the most compelling subject to read a lengthy feature on, but this is a cool one. STORY! STORY! RIGHT CLICK, OPEN IN NEW WINDOW!

The Jake Scott-related CHFF story we're working on, BTW, is about the most deserving defensive players that aren't in the Hall.

It's a good piece. To sum it up, let me say that the collective members of the Hall of Fame committee know more about football than I'll ever know. That being said, we are going to make them look very bad.

Sorry fellas.

BONUS: Fishing for feedback here. Who is your favorite semi-obscure NFL player from the 1970s?

I was six when I first fell for football, and I loved the Seahawks. This lasted until I was 13 or so, and I've bounced around to a few favorite teams since -- kind of the Andre Rison of NFL fans.

I used to love their punter, Herman Weaver, mostly because of his name and because he seemed like a nice guy. Like I say, I was six, so I hadn't quite mastered the game yet.

That's my story, I'm sticking to it.

Shula's Steakhouse ... with recipes!

Here's that Boston Herald piece today about Shula's new steakhouse in Providence.

For you tailgaters, the story has four recipes right from the restaurant.

Here's one of 'em:

1 c. Kosher salt
4 t. ground white pepper
4 t. paprika
2 t. granulated garlic
2 t. thyme
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Rub on room-temperature steaks just before grilling. Store unused portion in airtight container. Makes about 2 cups

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Steak with the Shulas

The Shulas just opened a new Shula's 347 Grill in Providence, R.I. and had a little media dinner last night (the "official" grand opening is tonight). I'm writing a story about the place for The Boston Herald (it will be in tomorrow's food section) and got a chance to have dinner with Don Shula and his son, David.

The food's great and the Herald will have that angle. But, of course, I was very excited to talk to the Shulas about football. Don was just a real cool, down-to-earth dude. We talked about Paul Brown (the subject of a major CHFF piece last month) and Shula's days coaching with Blanton Collier, the highly successful Brown coaching disciple.

"The guy who had the biggest influence on my career was Blanton Collier," said Shula.

Of course, as CHFF readers know (but few others), Collier is one of the most succesful coaches ever, despite his low name recognition. He has the fourth best winning percentage in NFL history -- one spot ahead of Shula on the all-time list. It was Collier who hired Shula as an assistant when he was coaching at the University of Kentucky.

But it all stemmed from the legendary Paul Bown, said Shula. "When I played (college football) at John Carroll, we had the Paul Brown playbook," he said. "That was the basis for my coaching career."

For the record, Shula is almost exactly 40 years older than me, but I'm fairly certain he could kick my ass. Real good shape for a guy his age. His wife is smoking, too. In fact, she could probably kick my ass.

I sat next to David Shula during the dinner and basically chatted about football and occasionally about food. David played football at Dartmouth and spent a year playing for the Colts before entering the coaching ranks. He didn't have quite the same success as his dad, winning just 19 of 71 games in four-and-a-half years heading the Bengals in the mid-1990s.

He was just 32 when he took over the Bengals in 1992. Today, he's 47 and runs the family's fairly lucrative restaurant business. The Providence location is the 26th restaurant in their chain.

Don was wearing one of his Super Bowl rings and when I asked which one it was, he said, "which one do you think?" - Yup, the undefeated 1972 season SB ring.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Best Unsupported Actress

As we mentioned in our recommendation of the Oscars, it is worth checking out the coverage just to see the lack of coverage on Hollywood's finest female forms. Last night's red-carpet poon parade didn't disappoint.

The beauty of awards ceremonies is that the real competition takes place among all of the hotties in attendance. Maximum cleavage is encouraged, and bras are entirely optional.

To wit, here is a picture of the stunning Jessica Biel. Thankfully, it appears to have been a nippy night in Los Angeles.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Google ads

I don't know if it'll still be there after this post, but my last post about Sharon Stone caused the automated google ad located to the right of the blog to be for "gay-friendly autos."

Previously this ad had been about football and shit, so this is an odd turn. I think how it works is that certain key words are pulled out by the computer and that determines what ad goes there.

Weird. Who knew?

Now, I'm gay-friendlier than Tim Hardaway, but I'm not sure that the gay auto buying demographic is what the CHFF blog was expecting. Just in case, I'm going to use a few of heterosexual terms at the end of this post, and we'll see if things change.

Hot snatch.
Massive jugs.
The Iron Eagle movies.

OK, let's see what happens ....

Sharon Stone: Please Stop Acting

Sharon Stone won the infamous "Razzie" award for worst actress this weekend, and there's good reason -- no legitimate movie star has ever been in a worse string of movies than this no-talent nut job.

On the Internet Movie Database, each movie gets a ranking based off user reviews. It's not perfect, but gives an idea. It breaks down like this:

8.0 or above: all-time great
7-8: pretty damn good
6-7: good
5-6: subpar
under 5.0: terrible.

Here's how Sharon Stone's career breaks down:

8.0+ -- None

7-8.0 -- Six movies
6-7 -- Seven movies
5-6 -- 15 movies
under 5 -- 19 movies

These numbers are unheard of. I looked at a bunch of other movie stars, and no one even came close to her in terms of total ineptitude.

For instance, Edward Norton has NEVER been in a movie with a rating of less than 6.0 (18 total movies), while Stone has managed to be in THIRTY-FUCKIN'-FOUR of them, including 19 total bombs of 5.0 and under.

How can you make 19 total bombs and still get more roles? If you were wondering, here they are:
  1. (4.86) - Deadly Blessing (1981)
  2. (4.81) - Intersection (1994)
  3. (4.81) - Cold Creek Manor (2003)
  4. (4.80) - Calendar Girl Murders (1984) (TV)
  5. (4.72) - Gloria (1999)
  6. (4.70) - The Specialist (1994)
  7. (4.66) - Scissors (1991)
  8. (4.52) - Cold Steel (1987)
  9. (4.51) - Sliver (1993)
  10. (4.42) - King Solomon's Mines (1985)
  11. (4.32) - Action Jackson (1988)
  12. (4.28) - Where Sleeping Dogs Lie (1992)
  13. (4.14) - Picking Up the Pieces (2000)
  14. (3.96) - Sangre y arena (1989)
  15. (3.95) - Simpatico (1999)
  16. (3.74) - Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold (1987)
  17. (3.71) - Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987)
  18. (3.71) - Basic Instinct 2 (2006)
  19. (3.21) - Catwoman (2004)
She has to be the worst major actress in the history of movies. That is all.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Toronto Bills ... from a reliable source

This is an e-mail making the rounds out of Buffalo ... you know, it comes from a friend of a friend ... of a friend.

And we all know how reliable that guy is.

In case you're not familiar with Buffalo social circles (and lucky for you if you're not), Tom Golisano is the owner of the Sabres, the gazzillionare who ran Paychex, and a perennial loser in the NY governor's race.

Here's the scoop ... you know, from a friend of a friend of a friend:

This guy I work with let me in on some information about the Bills future in WNY. Apparently, this person was at a dinner meeting with Tom Golisano in early September in Buffalo. At this meeting Golisano dropped a bombshell about the nefarious Ralph Wilson.

Golisano claims that Wilson's intentions all along have been to move the Bills to Toronto. Stay with me on this......there are businessmen in Toronto that are ready to plunk down mega-millions for the Bills and move them there. Wilson already let the NFL know of this (Apparently they can't stop him either).

Golisano & the people from Rich Products offered Wilson a similar financial package but Wilson demurred....when they offered him more, he demurred again...& said he wouldn't sell the team to them no matter how much they offered; it's not about money. Wilson wants it to be his legacy that he be the first person to bring international play to the NFL.

Still with me..? There's more.... Not to be dismayed, TG went to the NFL & has an agreement that when the Bills move, they cannot take their name with them, ala Baltimore Colts/Ravens.

After the move to TO, Buffalo will be granted an expansion franchise with the promise that they build a new stadium & sell it out for 5 consecutive years. (The NFL wants a franchise in Buffalo because it's one of the original teams & has history in the league) TG agreed to do this & will build a DOMED stadium on the waterfront in Buffalo with a capacity of 60,000. In addition, Buffalo will be granted a Super Bowl in the future.

The caveat to this is that Buffalo will be without a football team for 3-4 years. The wheels are already in motion & no one can stop it. TG says that RW is playing the game right crying the blues about money, saying enjoy the team while it's here, not signing/keeping star players, etc.

Next year or possibly the year after the Bills will be gone. Willis McGahee may have let the cat out of the bag with his recent TO talk in Penthouse. Star players don't want to come to B-lo because they know RW is a tight ass. TG also said that if he ran the team he will not be such a cheapskate & would turn things around in a hurry like he did with the Sabres. Now I realize how all this sounds & you probably let out a big laugh & said "bullshit" but this guy has no reason to lie to me. (I can read people pretty well too) I don't say much to him when I see him other than "hi."

We just happened to be proctoring an exam together yesterday when we started talking about sports. This guy is a sports nut who travels all over the country for various sporting events. We must expose the walking corpse that is Ralph Wilson. Send this to everyone you know & encourage people to call radio shows & expose this true. We may not be able to stop it, but we can let him know we will not be fooled & bamboozled. And when he dies, which I hope is VERY SOON; we can all fly to Detroit & take a big piss on his grave..... heard it here first....

Aaron Brooks, the New Jeff George

If you were Aaron Brooks in the winter of 2003, you were a happy guy.

You were one of the NFL's brightest stars -- at 27, you had been a four-year starter with a playoff win and 11 fourth-quarter comebacks.

Here were your career numbers, courtesy of

Year    TM |   G |  Comp   Att   PCT    YD   Y/A  TD INT
| 2000 nor | 8 | 113 194 58.2 1514 7.8 9 6
| 2001 nor | 16 | 312 558 55.9 3832 6.9 26 22
| 2002 nor | 16 | 283 528 53.6 3572 6.8 27 15
| 2003 nor | 16 | 306 518 59.1 3546 6.8 24 8

And just three years later, the guy is borderline unemployable. He was cut by the Raiders Thursday, and while he'll probably find a No. 2 job again somewhere he could well never see the field again.

Brooks never seemed as good as his numbers, probably because he didn't appear to give a shit. Maybe he just didn't project his emotions well, but every time I saw him play I had the same vibe: LOSER.

And going 3-13 in 2005 with NO and 0-9 with Oakland in 2006 confirmed that. I think he's a guy like Jeff George, who had all of the tools but not enough heart.

I'd be happy enough to be proven wrong about Brooks some day -- he's a nice man who helps children and charities -- but somehow I doubt it will happen.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Football or freakshow?

I don't want to get overly serious here, which is why I attach the picture of a monkey smoking a cigarette.

But the "celebrity" area of the NFL is creepy, and something that I wish would go away.

I thought us football fans, dumb as we are, would be above that shit.

I mean, have you ever watched "Extra" or "Entertainment Tonight"? If there is a better argument out there for serial killing, I don't know what it is. Why did Jeffrey Dahmer kill gay drifters when he could have disemboweled Mary Hart?

Celebrity culture is disgusting, and the less it comes into play in my beloved NFL, the better.

Celebrity is a drug, one of the worst ones out there. Look at what it did to Britney Spears. If she had bypassed a singing career and just started hooking at 16, she'd probably be in a similar spot at 25 -- strung out, with two fatherless kids,

It's sad, and although I would still probably do her in a desert island situation, my erotic thrusting would be tinged with regret and an air of depression.

Unlike Britney, Tom Brady has been able to avoid the drugs and weirdness that many famous folks are hit with, but we have found his weakness: celebrity tail.

Brady was crying out for a simple, down-home girl, but he wound up with actress/model types. And now, he's got to deal with a tough situation in the public spotlight. Knowing Brady, he'll turn it into a positive -- and a child, even one out of wedlock, is a positive. Brady will surely discover that soon.

All the "aw man, he gets to bang models!" stuff is predictable, but remember, no matter how beautiful a woman is there's someone who's so fucking sick of all her bullshit.

Anyway, good luck Tom. I'm sure you're looking forward to training camp to take your mind off all of this.

Join the club.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Quarterback, half-drunk, full advantage

The life of an NFL quarterback doesn't suck.

Not only do you play football for a living, but you enjoy the benefits of stardom. For bachelors (and those with permissive wives), parties and hotties come with the package. Super Bowls often have as well.

We previously discussed how QBs who play the field have had considerable success on it. Many have also taken full advantage of their single status by dating celebrities (although that perk isn't limited to quarterbacks).

Three-time champ Tom Brady of the Patriots is a prime example. A few months ago, he broke off a three-year relationship with smokin' actress Bridget Moynahan. She now claims to be pregnant with his child. Brady hasn't yet responded to the revelation because he has been vacationing in Europe with his new girlfriend, supermodel Giselle Bundchen.

Several of today's other young quarterbacks seem to be doing alright for themselves -- especially if these pictures are any indication. From top to bottom, that's Matt Leinart of the Cardinals, Eli Manning of the Giants, and Ben Roethlisberger of the Steelers. They all look pretty lit-up, but the chicks seem to be digging them.

So, in honor of Mardi Gras, we ask two questions: Which bachelor QB would be the most fun to party with? And who is able to pull the best wool?

Monday, February 19, 2007

Riley Odoms for the Hall of Fame!

Who is Riley Odoms?

Why, he's a should-be-Hall of Famer! At least if the recent election of Charlie Sanders is any indication.

I previously made the case for Sanders as the worst Hall of Famer ever, and will reinforce that notion by showing that the immortal Riley Odoms was a better player.

If none of this rings a bell, both players were good tight ends in the NFL.

Sanders played 10 full years (1968-77) for the Lions, Odoms played 10 full years (1972-1981) for the Broncos.

Here are their 10-year numbers:

Odoms: 384 catches, 5,511 yards, 41 TDs. 4 Pro Bowl selections

Sanders: 336 catches, 4,817 yards, 31 TDs, 7 Pro Bowl selections.

OK. Who had the better career? I'd probably take Odoms, who was on some very good Bronco teams, over Sanders -- who made the playoffs once (and saw his Lions get shutout).

But clearly, neither guy was a Hall of Famer. I'm still trying to figure out how Sanders could get in, even as an old timer. If anyone has a clue, please let me know.

Brady Should've Covered Up

Now that we've all had the weekend to let the news sink in, it might be reasonable at last to raise questions about Tom Brady's judgement.

Perhaps it was a momentary lapse, like forcing the ball into Champ Bailey's coverage on 3rd down in the red zone during last years Divisional Playoff. Maybe he just misread the situation, like when he didn't notice an uncovered Reche Caldwell in this season's AFC Championship Game.

But whatever happened, we can all agree that Brady forgot the quarterback's prime directive: don't make any stupid mistakes that will cost you.

You're the 29 year old bright, shining center of the sports galaxy. Your girlfriend is more famous for dating you than any of her movie roles, unless "I, Robot" has some huge cult following we've missed. And at 36 years old, her biological clock was tolling louder than Big Ben. No dummy herself, she had to know she was starting to get competition from a certain world-class lingerie model.

A QB of Brady's experience should have read the looks Moynahan was giving him in that situation and made the only intelligent call:

Max Protection.

Norv Turner: Why not?

The first reaction to Norv Turner getting the Charger job is easy: booooooring.

But, there's really no doubt that Turner is a top-notch NFL coach. He's been an assistant or head coach for 16 seasons, and while it hasn't all been peaches and cream it's been at least decent.

His career records:

1991 DAL (OC) 11-5
1992 DAL (OC) 13-3
1993 DAL (OC) 12-4
1994 WAS 3-13
1995 WAS 6-10
1996 WAS 9-7
1997 WAS 8-7-1
1998 WAS 6-10
1999 WAS 10-6
2000 WAS 7-6
2001 SD (OC) 5-11
2002 MIA (OC) 9-7
2003 MIA (OC) 10-6
2004 OAK 5-11
2005 OAK 4-12
2006 SF (OC) 7-9
TOTALS 125-127-1

His record as an offensive coordinator is clearly better than his head coaching record, but at this point in the game he was the safest pick in the universe. He's got the experience, and he's never had the talent (as a head coach at least) like he's going to have in San Diego.

And after watching the Raiders play football under Art Shell this year, Turner's two-year stint in Oakland starts to look like a smashing success.

Call him a two-time loser if you want, but don't expect a third losing stint this time around. Not a sexy choice, but for a team that's ready to win a Super Bowl, probably the right choice.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Samuel Gets Franchised

The New England Patriots have announced that they are putting the Franchise Tag on CB Asante Samuel, which at minimum will keep Samuel with the team through the 2007 season for guaranteed $7.79 million.

NFL Network's Adam Schefter broke the story, and immediately jumped to the conclusion that the move "sets the stage for another ugly mess between the Pats and one of the team's key players." A reasonable assumption, given the fact that Samuel's agent Alonzo Shavers made it clear that his client wouldn't be real happy if the team tagged him. No one should expect any other reaction from a guy who has a tattoo that says "Get Paid."

But a funny thing happened. Shavers and Samuel are both OK with this development. They released a statement Friday night saying "We don't look at it as a bad thing. This is a step in the process in working toward a long term deal." So what we've got here is a player agent having a reasonable, thoughtful reaction to a team using its collectively bargained leverage to keep a player that was about to cash in on his first big contract...Expect Congress to convene an emergency session to declare this a national holiday.

The big winner here is Buffalo's Nate Clement. Samuel is not the player Clement is, but he was the only free agent CB on the market in Clement's class. The price of poker on top CB's just went waaay up.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Long live the Beer King!

Well, folks, there are only so many people in the world you can envy.

This was one of them:

Oh, sure, the fact that I'm still alive and he's dead evens the playing field. But, let's face it: we all hope our obituary says "Beer King," don't we?

That's right, folks, beer anthropologist Alan Eames has joined the great big brewery in the sky. The sad part is that I actually knew this dude.

Like most people from Vermont, he wasn't exactly screwed together too tighly. But, hey, who am I to argue with the "Beer King."

Brady Quinn: Bust?

I love it when this stuff happens.

Notre Dame QB Brady Quinn, who hasn't thrown a pass in anger in two months, is all of a sudden a shitty player.

The Sporting News has a story out (right click to open in new screen) claiming that anonymous scouts say Quinn is a third- or fourth-round talent, and is the "biggest fraud in the draft." They compare him to Joey Harrington.

That's not good for Quinn, but I'm not buying it.

Scott Wright,
who is probably the best web source for draft news, has Quinn as the No. 1 prospect, and why not?

Here are Brady's numbers from 2005-06: 63.3 percent completion, 8.1 yards per attempt, and the kicker:


Folks, that's a 5-to-1 TD to INT ratio, and that's not commonplace -- especially when you're playing for a top-notch Division 1 team. Add the pro seasoning of playing under Charlie Weis, and Quinn as a bust just doesn't add up.

Rick Mirer, who got himself drafted No. 1 from ND 15 years ago, threw 33 TDs and 15 INTs his final 2 years.

Even Peyton Manning, who left college ball with the best INT-per-pass of all time, threw 23 INTs and 57 TDs his final two seasons.

I know college numbers don't always translate, but unless Weis is the greatest coach in the history of the world, Quinn is pretty damn good.

As a Vikings fan, I can only hope he slips to No. 7. Ah hell, the Vikings would probably be too dumb to take him anyway.

Bring back Tice!

All the strategery you could ask for

Whether you're pro-Bush or anti-Bush (the president, not Reggie), I think we can all agree that the man is a dream target for satire.

If you haven't heard the series of mock radio addresses that are featured on The Onion, please set aside the next hour to listen to them, one after the other, until you more or less shit yourself laughing.

Here is the link.

They're all pretty much funny, but start with "War is Not Civil."

Hope you're not wearing your best pants.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Cowher Gets a Job

CBS announced today that recently resigned Steelers head coach Bill Cowher will be joining The NFL on CBS as a studio analyst.

Before you break out the champagne, ask Nana to watch the kids and call the neighbors to come over and celebrate because you think The Chin will be replacing the indecipherable Shannon Sharpe or the opinionless, analysis-challenged Dan Marino, know thee this: Cowher isn't replacing anyone.

CBS is going with five guys at the desk. Read that again. Let it sink in. Five guys. F-I-V-E.

Is that possible? Can it be done? I mean, isn't the number of football analysts allowed in the studio set in stone? Isn't it some divine law like Ten Commandments, Seven Deadly Sins, Twelve Apostles or how much you count to when you're using the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch? "Thou shalt count to three. Thou shalt not count to four. Nor shalt thou count to two, unless thou then proceedth to three. Five is right out..."

Frankly I'm frightened and distrubed by this news. You just don't mess with Nature's Laws like this. Four guys in a studio. Joe, Terry, Jimmy and Howie. Boomer, TJ, Michael and Steve. Jim, Dan, Boomer and Shannon.

To try adding a fifth guy to an NFL studio is like a Jedi flying solo ("Always two there are") or forming a boy band with something other than five's messing with things that ought not to be messed with. Hopefully this won't break the Seventh Seal or something.

Da-na-na-Nah-nuh-Naaaaah ... Charge!

What coach wouldn't want to coach the San Diego Chargers?

Now, there are a few problems out there -- the Chargers were probably the second-most felonious team in the league last year, but the Bengals stole all their thunder.

Other than that, it's scary -- they've got the best offensive player in the league in LT and maybe the best defensive player too in Merriman. And they're both young

A coach would get to hire whoever he wanted (because there are no assistants left, basically), and you'd have to think that GM/dick A.J. Smith would make an effort to be nice.

Sick! I think a high school coach could conceivably win 10 games with this Charger team in 2007.

Here are five guys who should seriously consider this job.

1. John Madden. Wouldn't it be fun to see him on the sidelines, preferably in those tight old 70s shirts he used to wear? Bam!

2. Prince. Dearly beloved. We are gathered here today to ... KICK SOME FUCKIN' ASS AN TAKE NAMES! Awwww, think I wanna da-ance.

3. Bill Clinton. Great leader. If he could get us to believe he didn't fuck Monica Lewinsky, he could get the Chargers to the playoffs.

4. My Aunt Alison. She's a hearty football fan, and even though she doesn't know who plays what position (except for QB), she'd give it a good try. Plus, free sideline access for me.

5. Terrell Owens.
Who wouldn't want to see T.O. as a player/coach? Yelling at himself, renaming the team "San Diego T.O.s," eventually killing a teammate/player. Good times.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Get a grip: Limbaugh was joking!

Rush Limbaugh made a joke the other day about the media being too hard on Rex Grossman "because he's white."

It was clearly a joke ... he was goofing on the media and their obsession with race. You could tell it was a joke just by looking at the text of it, but especially if you heard it.

Yet somehow it got turned into another "Limbaugh is a rascist" thing. Peter King even commented on it in is MMQB column in SI. He called Limbaugh a "race-aholic."

Clearly, King didn't listen to the segment ... I'm guessing he's never listened to Limbaugh and, like most Limbaugh critics, has no idea what the guy stands for and talks about. Yet King had the audacity , the sheer fuckin' gaul, to chastise Limbaugh for turning everything into a race issue.

Hey, I like King. He's good at what he does.

But this came from the same guy who spent the last three weeks talking about the race of the two coaches in the Super Bowl. There was even what I would define as an openly rascist quote from Andrea Kremer in one of his recent columns. She said she got goose bumps whe she saw two black coaches with the Lombardi trophy.

Clearly, they're the ones who see color first.

Hey, I get goose bumps when I hear MLK speeches .... but not because of the color of his skin, but because of his message.

It's funny that people who clearly never listen to someone like Limbaugh are so quick to judge him and others like him. Nothing like gathering all the facts first.

Free beer is the best

One of the best parts of running this shady operation out of the comfort of the Cold, Hard Football Facts .com cardboard-box world headquarters is that I routinely get free shipments of beer ... often from parts unknown.

Today, the folks from Sam Adams wanted me to check out their new lager glass ... intended to accentuate the various qualities of their American classic. Essentially, it looks like a combination pint class/Belgian tulip glass, with a mouth that rolls open and out. Glasses that open like that are supposed to accentuate the aroma of the beer, in this case the German hops.

There is something of a science to beer glassses, and different styles often have an optimum type of glassware. In Europe, especially in Germany and Belgium, every single beer brand seems to come with its own special glass.
I don't know if this glass makes Sam Lager taste any better ... but it's a neat one to add to the collection. (One of the few pieces of furniture in the cardboard-box HQ is a large cherry hutch filled with mugs, steins, krugs and glasses from breweries all over the world ... oh, sure, I could have invested our pan-handled earnings in a toilet or a bed, but then we'd have nowhere to put all the beer mugs.)

At the very least, you got admire folks who make an effort to create new ways to enjoy their beer.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The cold, vengeful Chargers?

One CHFF reader, Greg Ferrara, proposed an interesting theory about the Schottenheimer firing: San Diego management is so pissed that they're willing to spite themselves just to screw the coach. Here's his theory:

You wrote in your article about Marty Schottenheimer being canned: "Why did the Chargers wait so long to drop the big one?"

Well, the article itself answered the question. Schotzy was hated by A.J. Smith. Look at the last line of your article: "and nobody but San Diego right now is looking for a coach." The effer wanted to get rid of him AND make sure he wouldn't land another coaching job.

Screwing your own team out of a top coaching candidate just to make sure the guy your booting doesn't get hired. Holy crapola that's cold! And I thought it was always 74 and sunny in San Diego. Of course there's always Norv Tur..dzxc,mngajh e.r Sorry, I fell asleep at the keyboard typing that name. Let me try again. Of course there's always Norv Tu.a,s..arkjo. Dammit! Of course there's always Norv Tuams.,gmje;;lk... ah hell, you know, that guy from the Skins and Dallas.

Monday, February 12, 2007

All Hail Sausage Maker

Just got the Spring 2007 Sausage Maker catalog.

These guys are my lifeblood. Check out the site if you can: These people are f'in brilliant.

Real, true-life story:

I was in Buffalo last year for a Patriots-Bills game. We were driving down the street, through some real shitty neighborhood in Buffalo ... shittier than your average shitty Buffalo neighborhood.

We're driving past crack houses and strip joints before we realized we were going the wrong way. So we turn around in this warehouse district, and NO FUCKIN' SHIT: there's the Sausage Maker warehouse right in front of us.

If it wasn't like 3 degrees out, and it wasn't, like, midight and they were actually open, I would have went in and introduced myself as their most loyal customer.

I love those goofy bastards.

Pigskin Depression

They need a name for the malaise, the borderline depression, that overcomes you at the end of the football season.

It really hit me yesterday when I had nothing to do on Sunday. Oh, sure, I could have gone out and experienced the world, tried new things, visited the gym, called up old friends.

But, really, all I wanted to do was watch football.

I'll come up with a name for this phenomenon soon.

It's worse in football, with its seven-month offseason, than it is in other sports. Hell, baseball barely even has an off-season. As I like to say, the boys of summer begin spring training in the dead of winter and play halfway into autumn.

Really, the only months without baseball are November, December and January. Baseball fans don't even have time to work up a depression ... plus, that's the height of football season anyway.

It's even worse if you're a college fan: three months (Sept., Oct., Nov.) that's really all you got and then, poof! It's gone for the rest of the year.

The college football season is quick and fleeting, but oh so delicious while it's here ... like a bowl of Buffalo wings.

A philatelist's nightmare

Wow. The new $1 U.S. coins are Susan B. Anthony bad.

Check them out at your own risk.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Who Is Colonel Comey?

It occurs to me that people might crave more information about me, "The Colonel."

Well, I have some more info on my little home page, which I inexplicably pay $22.95 a month to Yahoo! to maintain. This $22.95 is only slightly more than I make a month as a part-time palm reader/elevator operator.

Also, here are my vitals:

I'm 6-foot-10, 114 pounds.

Brown eyes, red hair and a large birthmark on my left shoulder that resembles Gary Coleman.

My favorite band ever is Animotion.

My hobbies include yelling at trains, farting to the tune of "New York, New York" and golf.

Get to know me! I'm Audi 5000, G!

Friday, February 9, 2007

Flags of our Fathers

First, I should say that the photo of the Marines in Iwo Jima is one of the few things that have ever moved me to the point of tears ... right up there with "Rudy."
And if it were up to me, the book "Flags of our Fathers" would be mandatory reading for every kid in America. Instead of brain-washing kids with the standard Noam Chomsky'"America sucks" fare of intellectually emtpy bullshit that passes for a college education, books like this might give kids a little perspective about their fat, cushy lives.

With that said, I meant to see the movie when it came out a few months back, but that would have involved leaving the cardboard-box world HQ during the football season.

So, I did go out and buy it Monday, the day it came out in DVD ... conveniently timed for the end of the football season.

The book is one of the greatest things ever written about WWII ... the story is compelling, of course, by itself. But it was also incredibly well told and powerful.

The movie?

Not so much.

I liked it, and glad I bought it, but there was no way they could tell the story of the book in a two-hour movie. That's often the case, but they didn't really capture much about the six individuals in the photo.

The book did a tremendous job bringing these six boys to life. That was the beauty of the book ... you felt like you knew the six kids in the photo. The movie glossed over it.

For example, one of the dramatic themes in the book is the fate of a guy named Iggy (a friend of John Bradley, one of the flag raisers and the father of the man who wrote the book). You find out what happened to him at the end of the book (kinda like the unveiling of "Snowden's secret" in Catch-22).

The movie never tells you what happened. In fact, it kinda gives a half-hearted effort to work Iggy into the script.

The movie does do a couple things well, like:

* showing the impact the photo had on the American public's view of the war ... which, by the way, most people were fed up with ... there's a feeling around today that WWII was somehow popular.

* showing what kind of dire financial straits the country was in toward the end of the war, and the difference between a democracy fighting a war and a dictatorship: the U.S. government basically had to beg Americans to fund the war, and the photo made it easy to do so.

* the actors look like kids, which is what they flag-raisers were. In a lot of old war movies, the actors they used were way to old -- think John Wayne in the Longest Day or the Green Berets. You get a feel in the movie for just how young these guys were.

* There's also a scene that takes place in a dark room where the photo, right after it was shot, comes to life before your eyes. It gave me the chills.

Bottom line: read the book, even if the movie didn't do it for you.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Anna Nicole Smith is slutting it up in Heaven

Wow. An insane, money grubbing idiot with the parenting skills of a dust mite (but huge jugs) died and it's the lead story on every newscast.

Tough loss.

Oh, wait, I'm over it.

Peyton Manning is incredible

I'll make this brief. Peyton Manning has been in the NFL for nine years.

Here is his average regular season. Ready?

4,176 yards.
64.0 completion percentage.
30.6 touchdowns
15.4 INTs
94.37 passer rating.


Manning's "average" season passer rating of 94.37 would be the 88th best all-time -- and he's basically done it nine times.

Incredible stuff. Still didn't deserve Super Bowl MVP, but man.

HOF discrimination

Talked yesterday with Peter King of SI about the obvious disparity between the number of offensive players and number of defensive players in the HOF.

He seems legitimately concerned, and was happy to share his insight. We'll also be talking to several other HOF voters in the coming days and publishing a report on it in the very near future.

Most CHFF readers know the numbers:

109 offensive players in the two-platoon era, to just 63 defensive players. And, in the Live Ball Era (since 1978) the count is now 19 offensive players and 6 defensive players.

A few more nuggets I passed along to King and will send to the other HOF voters:

Among all the players who have joined the NFL since 1971, there are just 2 DBs in Canton: Ronnie Lott and Mike Haynes. That's it. Few others have even been among the finalists.

The good news is that King and others seem legitimately concerned about the issue.

My personal opinion is that HOF voters, like most of us, just find it easier to look at offensive stats and pick your HOFers that way. The problem, of course, is that there are few stats for defensive players. Tackles isn't even and official stat, for example, and sacks only became a stat in 1982.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Great receivers, no results

Close your eyes for a minute and reflect on the Colts' run to glory this year. Do your images include Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne doing anything special?

Well, of course there was the one huge pass play to Wayne in the first quarter of the Super Bowl -- the one that ended whatever kind of magic the Bears were feeling.

But other than that the Colt WRs did nothing all playoffs.
Projecting their 4-game stats to a full 16-game season, here's how the two did:
  • Wayne (reg. season) 86 catches, 1310 yards, 9 TDs
  • Wayne (playoff projection) 68 catches, 872 yards, 8 TDs
  • Harrison (reg season) 95 catches, 1366 yards, 12 TDs
  • Harrison (playoff projection) 60 catches, 772 yards, 0 TDs.
We've mentioned in other pieces on the main CHFF site that Harrison had terrible playoff numbers, and Wayne was similarly bad this year after having big games in 2004 and 2005. But fortunately for the Colts, the defense played well and the opposition generally didn't. And Bob Sanders made "the leap" into the upper echelon.

What it's got me wondering is why the Manning-to-Wayne/Harrison combo that was money in the bank in the regular season suddenly failed miserably in the playoffs.

Wayne was excellent against quality opponents in the regular season: he had 4 catches for 67 yards in his worst game against over-.500 teams. Harrison struggled in a loss to Philly, but had 145 and two TDs against the Patriots in New England. His numbers against winning teams were slightly off, but not as bad as they've been in the playoffs. Harrison also torched the Jags, Pats and Chargers in 2005, when all three teams were excellent.

So, the combo works in the regular season against good teams. This suggests that there's something more to the postseason struggles than simply tougher opposition.

Perhaps the three players are so consistent and prepared over the course of the regular season that they simply take what's given them and succeed. But in the playoffs, when everyone's focus is at its best, they lose the edge.

Or maybe they just choke a bit.

Either way, they're the Super Bowl champions, and deservedly so -- they played four fantastic defensive football games and dominated the offensive lines. When you do that, the passing game can be just average, and it was.

Ah football. You never know what the f--- is going to happen. But you know it's going to be fun to watch.

Is it August yet?

Monday, February 5, 2007

The Bob Sanders mystique

I saw a great signature from a poster on the message boards:

It said: "75 percent of the world is covered by water. The rest is covered by Bob Sanders."

The "Rex Throw"

Rex Grossman is a pretty good QB for 92 percent of his dropbacks. Throws a good ball, can move around in the pocket a bit, has good leadership abilities.

But in the weeks leading up to the big game, my friend Spooch the Bears fan and I talked a lot about "The Rex Throw." If he could avoid "The Rex Throw," the Bears might just win it.

And then, at the worst possible time: "The Rex Throw." It's when he gets pressure and just throws it up for grabs toward the sidelines -- I'd have to say 75 percent of his picks come that way, not on stuff he's trying to force into coverage.

In this case, it turned a winnable Super Bowl into a Colts win, and quite possibly means the end of his tenure as a starting QB in the NFL.


Race and the SB

This is just off the top of my head, so may have to update this, but while everyone's still on the subject.

Super Bowl results
Black head coaches: 1-1
Black QBs: 1-2
Jewish QBs: 0-1
Coaches named Weeb: 1-0

The End of the World Cometh

Manning actually won a Super Bowl. Looks like we'll be "Armageddon It" any day now. ..

Sunday, February 4, 2007

The Case for the '72 Dolphins

Last night (Saturday before the Super Bowl) I was watching a lot of ESPN Classic's "football marathon" programming, and I viewed with great interest their feature on what they feel were the 20 greatest teams of the Super Bowl Era.

While the 1972 Dolphins were the only team to go undefeated during the Super Bowl Era, they sometimes get overlooked when ranking the greatest teams of all time, perhaps because they accomplished this incredible feat 35 years ago, when most modern sports fans were either not born yet or barely out of diapers. In fact, the CHFF site has correctly pointed out that the Dolphins' schedule that season wasn't exactly a Murderer's Row lineup, as they only faced a handful of teams with above .500 records during the regular season.

But while watching the feature on that team--which ESPN ranked at #1--it really struck me as to how difficult a feat it was to pull of that 17-0 season.

Think about it: the greatest team in 49ers' Super Bowl history probably was the 1984 team which went 15-1, and they lost a regular season game, at home, to the 9-7 Steelers that season (9-7 is the 16-game season equivalent of 8-6 in 1972, with 8-6 being the best record any of Miami's regular season opponents had that year); the greatest team during the Patriots' Super Bowl runs of the early 2000's was the 2004 juggernaut, but that team lost to a 4-12 Miami team late in the season; the 1986 Giants lost to two mediocre, non-playoff teams (Dallas and Seattle) on their way to a 17-2 romp to a title.

In other words, going undefeated is pretty damn hard to do, which is probably why no other team has done it since the 1972 Dolphins.

Consider how difficult it is to win a Super Bowl in any normal year. You have to be a very talented team; you have to stay fairly healthy; and you have to catch a few breaks along the way, either from the zebras or by getting an easier playoff draw than originally anticipated, or by simply getting some lucky bounces.

Now multiply how hard it is to win a Super Bowl by about 100 times, and you begin to understand just how hard it is to win a Super Bowl by winning ALL of your games, both regular season and post-season.

While the 1972 Dolphins' regular season schedule may not have been that tough, they still had to go on the road to cold Pittsburgh for the AFC Championship Game, because at the time the league used to rotate home field for the conference championships. Despite this potential pitfall, the Dolphins prevailed in a tight game on a cold day in front of a hostile crowd.

Then prior to the Super Bowl, the Vegas bookmakers STILL made 16-0 Miami an underdog against a Washington team that had destroyed the defending Super Bowl champs from Dallas in the NFC title game two weeks earlier.

Miami went out and dominated a very good Redskins team, and would have pitched the only shutout in Super Bowl history were it not for Garo Yepremian's famous blooper reel gaffe after having a field goal blocked late in the game.

Those '72 Dolphins certainly proved their worth in those final two post-season games, and at the end of the day, they're still the only team in the Super Bowl Era to win all of their games.

So while it is a tad annoying every year to see the members of that team raise a champagne toast when the last unbeaten NFL squad finally loses one, it's also very understandable.

The 1972 Dolphins are the only team that can say that they were perfect.....that's enough evidence for me to agree with ESPN's assessment that it was the greatest team of the Super Bowl Era.

Live Commentary for Super Bowl XLI

Postgame. Final score: Indianapolis Colts 29, Chicago Bears 17.

A few random thoughts:
  • We're all happy for Tony Dungy. But there's not a man among us that wasn't having un-Christian thoughts when we saw what Mrs. Dungy looks like. No wonder he never yells or swears; what would he have to be mad about?
  • You know this game is a big deal when Roger Goodall presents the Lombardi Trophy to the Colts in the same hovering saucer thing that Senator Palpatine used to address the Imperial Senate.
  • Hopefully now that he's won a championship and a SB MVP, Peyton Manning can climb out of the obscurity he's labored under, get some recognition from the network pundits and finally pick up an endorsement deal or two.
  • Apparently all the other problems in the universe have been solved; both Colts' owner Jim Irsay and Dungy made it clear that God was on their side. In fact, the only one who got more mentions tonight than the Almighty was Charlie Sheen.
  • If I'd known the Creator of Heaven and Earth was on Indy's side, I would've laid the points.
  • I can't wait to wake up tomorrow knowing that all of soceity's problems have been solved.

Live Commentary for Super Bowl XLI

5:30. Chicago is happily taking what the Colts give them, which is two yards at a crack. 4th & 9 at their 46, Desmond Clark hauls down the best pass Grossman has thrown all night, gets hit, and can't hang on. Not good, but still not enough to replace Rex as "Guy Who Cleans Up After K-Fed" in the next "Life comes at you fast" ad.

This thing is over. Now, unless you had money on it, or you're a Colts fan, all you can do is take perverse pleasure in the fact that all the Beautiful People who bitched about having the Super Bowl in places like Jacksonville, Houston and Detroit, finally got what they wanted...a certified Beautiful Person place, only to get rained on all day while you sat in the comfort of your living room. Take that, Bill Simmons.

Live Commentary for Super Bowl XLI

9:55. Another Grossman INT. No one's gonna wrestle the anti-MVP award away from him now. After the game he's going to say "I'm going to EuroDisney!!!"

Right now, the hacks in the press box are struggling to come up with the lamest one liner:
  • "Rex put the 'gross' in 'Grossman.' "
  • "This game featured more turnovers than a French bakery."
  • "The '85 Bears called William Perry 'The Fridge,' but the '07 Bears could've called Rex 'The Freezer' because he was ice cold."
You don't need to quote your source, Borges. Those are our gift to you.

Personally, though, I'd go with:
  • "We saw more balls turned over than in a Tera Patrick compliation video."
Don Shula was Grossman'd by Jay-Z..

No point in taking Grossman out of the game now, but do you think Lovie Smith will throw up in his mouth a couple of times tonight?

The fans of Chicago must be hoarse from screaming "You suck!!!" at their tv screens.

Live Commentary for Super Bowl XLI

12:00 Chicago is pinned deep in their own end. The game is in Grossman's hands. If you're a Bears fan, you'd rather have your Ming vase in the hands of your ADHD 3 year-old after he downed a quart of Red Bull and five espressos.

Grossman, INT. Colts 29, Bears 17. First career INT for Kelvin Hayden. Just an awful, awful pass by Grossman. Phil Mickelson wishes he could get that kind of loft with his 60 degree wedge. If a Boston College QB threw that pass in the Dan Henning era, the FBI would launch an investigation.

Is it me, or do you get the feeling Don Shula and Jay-Z don't really hang out a lot?
Quack, quack ...

... I've shot ducks with one wing that flew better than that pass.

Remember the scene in "All the Right Moves" where they trash the Coach Craig T. Nelson's house after he screws up the big game?

That's kinda how I picture Rex Grossman's house in Chicago right now.

This is gross, man.....

New terminology...
When someone pulls disaster from the jaws of opportunity..
They just Grossman'd...

For instance...

Jerry got Grossman'd when Indy kicked the field goal before the end of the 3rd quarter.


Rex Grossman Grossman'd himself when he threw that last interception...

Paging Dr. Orton ...

... Dr. Kyle Orton.

Live Commentary for Super Bowl XLI

3:25. FG. Colts 22, Bears 14. Nance just told us that Indy has 370 yards of total offense to the Bears 93. The only way that's right is if they're measuring the Bears in centimeters. Chicago has been teetering on the brink of disaster all game, but managed to hang around enough to make you think they might actually have a shot to pull this thing out.

The Colts pull off just the hat trick CBS is praying for: poor kickoff, bad coverage and a penalty. Chicago ball on the Colts side of the 50. With the first short field they've had all game, Grossman yells to the sideline "I can do this thing...Please! Let me fumble it away!" but Lovie wisely overrules him. FG.

Colts 22, Bears 17. All those people who bitched about pulling "2-7" in the squares...kiss my ass.

Driving school ...

... no offense to our readers overseas, but I've seen 16-year-old Asian girls who could drive better than the Bears offense.

Just one march ... just one, is all they really need to make a statement in this game.

They can't even do that.

Channelling Will Ferrell


Live Commentary for Super Bowl XLI

It's a really simple formula really. I mean, I'm no marketing major, but I know what I like. Like Homer Simpson said, "I'm a simple man, Marge. I like my beer cold and my TV loud..." If you're trying to get my attention so I'll buy your crap, if you want me to sober up enough and stop talking long enough that I'll stop and listen your sales pitch:
  • Forget the cute animals
  • Ditch the computer animation
  • 86 the guys in the business suits acting like their careers are something other than drudgery
  • Bag the doofusy guys who always choose the beer instead of the girl and then they do something stupid that makes them look like...doofuses
Just show us breasts. Like I said, "simple". Less dalmations, fewer talking gorillas. More girl. I have no idea who they are or what product or service they provide, but they have my attention.

And for some strange reason, Robert Goulet has the same effect.

Deja vu

Looks a lot like the AFC title game ... just one long drive after another.

Good teams make big long drives. Good teams stop drives quickly.

And, right now, there's no doubt who's the better team.

Impressive, gutty performance so far for the Colts.

Good news pour moi: if they get a TD here and go up 23-14, I can win one of my squares at the end of the third.

I could really use that $8.

If not Brian Greise, where's Kyle Orton?

We know that defense wins championships, but is that still true if the defense happens to be on the same team with a quarterback of Rex Grossman's ilk?

I've seen Trent Dilfer... and you, Sir, are no Trent Dilfer....

Live Commentary for Super Bowl XLI

3rd Qtr. 9:02. Apparently Chicago Defensive Coordinator Ron Meeks lacks Marino's football acumen because they're not pressuring Manning. It's possible that at this point, the Colts haven't had a play that didn't go for positive yardage all day. The only hope for the Bears to slow Indy down is to cover the Colts side of the field with electronic "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" signs.

7:30. FG. Colts 19, Bears 14.

Live Commentary for Super Bowl XLI

Halftime. In an amazing development, Dan Marino shocks the world and completely reverses a century of conventional football wisdom by saying that what the Bears need to do in the second half is "put pressure on Peyton Manning." One wonders if the Bears have ever considered such a dramatic and revolutionary approach to defense.

Halftime show: Prince? How did that meeting in the NFL offices go? "We need someone current. Someone who'll interest the young kids, but will be wholesome enough to satisfy Grandma and Grandpa as well...Wait! I got just the guy!!!" I mean, if you're going to go for a perverse, twisted 80's leftover, why not go all the way? What, did Ron Jeremy not answer the phone? Why not just bring Michael Jackson back and surround him with kids again? Or let us get a look at Janet's other nipple. "Let's Go Crazy"..."Purple Rain"...a couple of cover tunes. I think we were all holding out hope he would've dusted off "Head" or "Jack U Off." No such luck though...I think "Up With People" did those numbers back in the day.

Live Commentary for Super Bowl XLI

1:30. Bryan Fletcher leaves the ball on the ground when Charles Tillman looks at him cross eyed. Chicago ball, and they still have life.

One play later. Not to be outdone, Grossman says "Oh, no you don't" and hands the ball right back. No one out stupids Rex Grossman when he sets his mind to it.

Several plays later: Vinatieri misses from 36 yards. The Sixth Seal is broken. The Nile turns to blood. The sun turns black as ashcloth.

Halftime: Colts 16, Bears 14. I retain my perfect record of futility in Super Bowl squares and all is returned to normal. The Apocalypse is put on hold.

Live Commentary for Super Bowl XLI

6:09 TD Domanick Rhodes. Colts 16, Bears 14. Jim Nance takes time out from plugging unwatchable CBS sitcoms and giving the Nobel Peace prize to the Head Coaches to actually say something interesting: The Colts have scored in every quarter in the post season. An absolutely amazing statistic for any team, but the Colts had to play on Wild Card weekend as well.

Anyone who watched the AFC Championship game (and why are you reading this if you didn't) knows that this is a critical posession for Chicago. Indy's offense is getting traction, and if the Bears don't answer with long drive, the only thing that will stop the Colts will be another tornado.

One first down. Punt. Rex Grossman is coming to the realization that he's still Rex Grossman.

Live Commentary for Super Bowl XLI

2nd Qtr. This has to be the most erotically disturbing series of ads in Super Bowl history. Two mechanics kissing each other in the middle of a candy bar, then pulling out their chest a hair. A movie about a male swim team. Letterman canoodling with Oprah. But at the start of the 2nd quarter, they finally reward football fans everywhere with Super Bowl legend girl. Being hosed down in a tank top, no less. And the genitalia of millions of American men retract from their body cavities.

Damn.... The kid can play..

We knew Prince had skills, but the great ones step it up in the Superbowl. Prince brought his A game and didn't let the elements dictate his effectiveness.

Amazing performance... And, as an added bonus, Prince is ALSO black..

Live Commentary for Super Bowl XLI

4:34 Bears 14, Colts 6. Rex Grossman throws a ridiculous pass into quadruple coverage at the goal line to Mushin Muhammed. Four DBs were in the area, but were apparently terrified by the strange water falling from the sky, stand by and watch. Bill Polian immediately orders sprinklers be installed into the roof of the RCA dome.

Live Commentary for Super Bowl XLI

6:43- Hester fumbles the kickoff. Joseph Addai fumbles the first play from scrimmage. Both teams are treating the ball like it's an Improvised Explosive Device. To paraphrase the great Dan Jenkins, the ball is "slicker than cum on a gold tooth."

Live Commentary for Super Bowl XLI

7:00 Manning to a wide open Reggie Wayne for 53 yd TD. How could Chicago possibly have left him so all alone? Bear Gryll has more people around him on "Man vs. Wild."

But unbelievably, Hunter Smith muffs the extra point. Somewhere, Tony Romo snuggles into the comfort of Carrie Underwood's soft, round bosom.

Live Commentary for Super Bowl XLI

Kickoff: New Super Bowl records:
  • Fastest Touchdown
  • Earliest appearence of "Manning Adversity Face"
  • Russ Purnell, First Special Teams Coach Fired in Mid-kick return

Rapid Fire Fun and Excitement

I expect very little time to post on here. You blink during this game and someone coughs up the ball...

Couple of notes

1. Billy Joel's rendition of the Anthem was moving.. I had my doubts about him as the chosen performer but he came through in a big way.

2. Is there any more awesome sight than a flight of fighter jets soaring over the stadium at 500 mph?? My nipples got hard.. I know, too much information.

3. I doubt kicking to Hester to open the game was in the game plan. Was that Indy throwing caution to the wind? I get the impression they felt like they wanted to prove something. Everyone gave the Bears the edge on special teams. Well, it appears they did prove something.

I'm weepy ...

Few things make me shed a tear ... "Rudy," the national anthem, a perfectly crispy Buffalo wing, and when teams run out on to the field for the biggest game of their lives.

I have to admit, a I get a little choked up wondering what it might feel like.

And, is it just me, or does every team in the Super Bowl now come out all at once, introduced as a team. That's pretty neat.

OK, that's pretty much it for me ... JT's going to run most of the show here tonight.

Live Commentary for Super Bowl XLI

Coin flip: Is there a surer sign that you're getting old than thinking "Geez, I'd do Lamar Hunt's widow" and you don't even have your beer goggles on yet?

Vegas was offering prop bets on everything this year. The over/under on how many correct notes Billy Joel will hit was 12. If you had the "under," start counting your money. Peyton Manning better hope Marvin Harrison holds the ball better than Billy held "gallantly stream-ing."

Pregame II: It's an amazing feeling, seeing coaching history being made. For the first time in the history of the Super Bowl, we have a coach who's named after a "Gilligan's Island" castaway. Though Major League Baseball would like to point out that they're way ahead of the NFL in this area, as they've had 75 World Series managers who've answered to the name "Skipper."

Pregame: This is the first blog I've done for Cold, Hard Football Facts, and I'm going to try to attempt to post constant updates of random nonsense that occurs to me throughout the game. For example, I just tuned in to find...Cirque de Soleil?...some group of about 500 fresh-faced multicultural youth in elaborate costumes, flipping on trampolines, walking on stilts, and dancing around to either Salsa or Samba rhythms. Frankly it was hard to tell what it was over the sound of George Halas clawing at the top of his casket.

Charlie F***ing Sanders?

No offense to new Hall of Famer Charlie Sanders, who certainly played the game of football 1,000 times better than I ever did, but what in the name of Jim Thorpe is he doing in the Hall of Fame?

Sanders was a tight end who played for the Lions from 1968-1977. He was pretty good. Made seven Pro Bowls.
But ...
  • His best receiving season was 656 yards.
  • He was on four winning teams.
  • His only playoff game was a 5-0 loss.
  • He scored 31 touchdowns in his entire career.
So ... how is this guy possibly a Hall of Famer? Because he was one of the two best tight ends in the NFC several times? That's not doing it for me.

Maybe the worst Hall of Famer ever, pending further investigation.
I apologize for negativity directed toward Mr. Sanders, who would be a first-ballot "All Very Good Hall". I just don't understand how he qualifies for the real Canton.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Class of 2013

Speaking of future Hall of Famers, CHFF has been pretty rough on Brett Favre over the past couple of years. He was God awful in 2005, and just OK in 2006.

I wouldn't pretend to predict how Brett Favre would perform as the Green Bay Packers QB next year. Probably fairly well -- maybe a bit better than 2006, maybe a bit worse. He'll be a slightly below average QB in the NFL.

So, is he holding the Pack back?

I don't think so. If Aaron Rodgers is really looking great in training camp 07, the Pack wouldn't hesitate to give him the job -- i really believe that. But Rodgers has shown no such flashes of greatness. And so why not another year of Favre? It's not like it's impossible to find a good new QB in a pinch in the NFL.

Consider these new starters in 2006 --
  • Steve McNair (regardless of his playoff flop, the Ravens went 13-3)
  • Drew Brees NO
  • Vince Young TEN
  • Matt Leinart AZ
  • Jay Cutler DEN
  • Jon Kitna DET
And others who played great off the bench ...
  • Damon Huard KC
  • David Garrard JAX
  • Jeff Garcia PHI
  • Tony Romo DAL (has he stopped puking first thing every morning yet?)
That's 10 guys, and there were also breakthroughs like Alex Smith (SF), Jason Campbell (WAS), Phillip Rivers (SD), even JP Losman (BUF)

The point is this: there are plenty of good QBs left in the world -- you can build a winning team and find a QB to fit into it, it doesn't always have to be the other way around. It's not a one-way street.

It's official: HOF voters have their heads up their ass

The CHFF issued a challenge to the HOF voters over the past two years: vote in some fucking defensive players for once, will ya?

As CHFF readers know, offensive players have entered the Hall at a rate of nearly 2 to 1 over offensive players throughout the modern history of football, and at a remarkable 3-to-1 rate here in the Live Ball Era (since 1978).

We thought 2007 would be the year in which things would start to change. Sadly, amazingly, stupidly ... it's only gotten worse.

On Saturday, the HOF announced its six 2007 HOF inductuees. Their list includes FIVE offensive players and just ONE defensive player. Here's the list:

  • DB Roger Werhli (Cardinals, 69-82)
  • RB Thurman Thomas (Bills, Dolphins, 88-00)
  • OL Bruce Matthews (Oilers, 83-01)
  • WR Michael Irvin (simply does not belong ... and we'll crush anyone who dares challenge us on this) (Cowboys, 88-99)
  • TE Charlie Sanders (Lions, 68-77)
  • G Gene Hickerson (Browns, 58-73)
Like we said, that's 5-to-1 offensive players to defensive players.

For those of you keeping track at home, the count is now:

  • 109 modern era offensive players in HOF
  • 63 modern era defensive players in HOF
  • That's 1.7 offensive players for every one defensive player in modern history (i.e., in two-platoon era)
Among Live Ball Era players, the count is now:

  • 19 offensive players
  • 6 defensive players
  • That's 3.2 offensive players for every one defensive player
You tell us the HOF voters don't have their heads up their ass.

We wrote to SI's Peter King, a HOF voter, about this back in November, when the semifinalists were announced. His response:

"Good points. I will consider them. This has come up on several occasions. I'm in the Tippett camp." - Peter King

Apparently, King in the boys didn't consider things long enough. Otherwise, they would not have fucked up so royally and sent five offensive players to Canton and just one defensive player. It's unacceptable to anyone who takes football seriously.

Tippett, of course, is the former NE Patriots OLB whose stats compare farely well against those of Lawrence Taylor, the man who set the standard for the position, and one of just a handful of defenders we mentioned who obviously deserve consideration for the HOF (all of our defenders absolutely deserve to be in the HOF ahead of Irvin).

Let's just put it this way: relative to the standards set by the greatest players at their respective positions, Tippett deserves HOF consideration long before Michael Irvin. It's not even a question that AT is more deserving than Irvin.

Plus, AT hasn't been busted like 203 times for various drug offenses like Irvin.

See the full story on the idiocy here.


I pick up my Starbucks coffee this morning and on the side of it is a bit of philosophy from ... Apollo Ohno? The speed skater?

Whatsammata? Paris Hilton wasn't available?

Friday, February 2, 2007

Amazing coincidences

A man named Pong Unitas played two games for Washington in 1921. He was a 180-pound guard, which is pretty good sized for Pop Warner. That's not him at the right, but I bet he had similar slacks.

Anyway, Pong Unitas is not in the Hall of Fame, but Colts great Johnny Unitas is. They are the only two Unitases to play in the NFL.

The coincidence?

Pong Unitas died on October 28, 1972 -- in Baltimore. Five weeks later, on December 3, 1972, Unitas played his last game for the Colts in Baltimore and was traded to the Chargers.

25 days later, Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri was born ...

In Baltimore!

No, I'm shitting you, Vinatieri was born in Yankton, South Dakota.

But still ... insert spooky music here.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Patriots fans are babies

I'm sorry to say it, but it's true: Patriots fans, on the whole, are a petty bunch.

The scoop: is offering a poll on its main page: "How Many Super Bowl Rings Will Peyton Manning Win?" (right click to open ESPN on a new page and leave this one open).

Being a rational sort, I entered "2," figuring he was 60 percent this year and should have 6-7 shots left with the Colts.

Most of America agreed -- "2" was the No. 1 answer, followed by "1." But 22 percent said "None," and can you guess where the biggest doubters were? New England.

44 percent of Massachusettsians and 46 percent of Mainies voted for "none," totally out of proportion to the national averages. So, let's get this straight. The Colts beat your team fair and square in the AFC title game, but you're so unable to accept defeat that you deny that Manning will ever do anything special. Classy. Man, those are some sour ass grapes.

The only other place to vote None was Illinois, and they have a better excuse.

At least their team still has a chance to keep Manning in the "none" club -- unlike the Pats.

Mmmm. Portuguese liquor.

My friend "Hose" (pictured at right, drunk) knows his shiznit. He's been the commissioner of my fantasy league since 1991, and loves the Pittsburgh Steelers in a loyal and proud fashion.

Watching Super Bowl XL with him was one of the most enjoyable moments of my life. After every big Steeler play, he came rushing at me like a strong safety, hurling himself at my massive man frame and nearly knocking the wind out of me.

Eventually, I said "Dude, Hose, you're going to hurt me."

He looked at me for a second, confused, then broke into a huge smile, attacking me again.


This year, I'm looking forward to a similar experience with my friend Spooch (we all have nicknames, sorry) -- he's a Bears fan, all the way down to the tattoo on his leg. I watched about eight Bears games with Spooch this year, and one thing I've come to appreciate about the team is their ability to find ways to win.

The Bears have won games with offense/special teams (the Monday Night win over the Rams), defense (10-0 over the Jets) and defense/special teams (the infamous Monday Night win over the Cardinals), which is pretty rare. I think they're an underappreciated bunch, and although they might well lose to Indy I'd be shocked if it was a blowout.

Plus, the thought of watching poor Spooch see his Bears go down is a bummer -- although as long as there's enough Chinese food and Portuguese liquor, I think it'll still go pretty well overall.

Mmmm. Portuguese liquor.

The Hall of Shame, I say!

One more bit on the Hall of Fame.

There are 235 men in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and from my count about a third of them (85) were either elected in their first year of eligibility or in the early (1964-1969) stages of the Hall, when there was no finalist system.

I guess you'd call them the Super Hall of Famers, the 85 men about which there was no doubt that they belonged in Canton. It's an interesting distinction, this notion of a two-tiered Hall, and there are some surprises.

Willie Davis, Packers.
Watching the NFL Network's piece on the 1966 Packers, it seems plain wrong that Davis was passed over seven times, and wasn't even a finalist his first year. This defensive lineman played every game for 10 years in Green Bay, and on five title teams. Want to hear the most amazing stat you'll hear today? Over Davis' 10 year tenure, the Packers' scoring defense was never worse than fourth in the NFL -- and they were 1st or second his first seven years. Not a no-brainer? Hey, I didn't see him play, but I think if was around back then Davis wouldn't have had to wait so long.

Fran Tarkenton.
I know the poor guy lost the big ones for the Vikings, but he was one of the best QBs in the league for an incredibly long time -- 18 years as a starting QB. His numbers are incredible -- he's still fifth all time in passing yards despite playing in a non-passing era, and ran for 3,674 more. It's sick that he had to wait three years.

Jim Kelly.
See Tarkenton, above. If Fran wasn't good enough his first year, neither was Kelly, who freakin' signed with the USFL out of college and lost all four of his Super Bowls. Warren Moon could fit this category too, but I give him more credit for his work in the CFL, back when black QBs were truly discriminated against.

Earl Campbell. Look, I was nine when Earl was playing, and the guy certainly impressed me then. He was something special, even my young eyes knew that. But he only had three great years and three OK years before he was done. And the Oilers didn't win anything. First-ballot Hall of Famer? No.

Dan Fouts. He was kind of the Drew Bledsoe of his day -- slow, passed for a lot of yards, a lot of INTs, never really won the big game. A good player, but definitely not a first-shot HOF.