Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Skip Fiction...

I promised myself some time ago that I would get off Skip Bayless’ case when it comes to the negativity that floods his weekly columns. I decided that this week I would suspend that notion due to the fact that Mr. Bayless has once again lost his mind.

In his latest desperate plea for attention, Skip highlights his concerns about the ultimate bore that the annual Big Game will turn out to be. He discounts everything that the Steelers have accomplished this season. I am still waiting for the day that Skip decides he likes something enough to use his public forum to promote. In reading his column today, for many reasons I am refusing to link to, he pinpoints exactly all the places where Pittsburgh’s season could have, and should have gone wrong. First in the Cincy game, where Mr. Palmer suffered a potential rule changing injury at the hands of Kimo Von Olhauffenslausenvanderlaufen. If Carson isn’t hurt on the first offensive play of the game, Pitt loses. Fair enough, I can make that leap, it was early in the game, it was obvious Cincy was in complete control …(???)

Then, if Nick Harper doesn’t allow Ben Ruengrueter to make the tackle on his Bettis fumble recovery, Indy defeats the mighty Steel Curtain as well. Sure, makes sense to me. Further, if Champ Bailey, who doesn’t even have the desire to run the entire length of the field against the defending champs, picks off one of Ben’s early passes and returns it for a touchdown, the Donks win that one as well. And let’s go one step further, if the Donks don’t defeat the defending champs, Pitt dumps to them as well. So, after all of that, you can see that Pitt doesn’t deserve to be in the Big Game, let alone favorites as a 6 seed. Conveniently, in the NFC, the one seed plays in the worst division out there, nearly dumps to a niner team that won enough games to be in the Bush Bowl, dumps to the Giants who’s kicker mentally made the three field goals that he actually missed, and slipped past the Cowboys thanks to the ever clutch Drew Bledsoe. I can see how they should be favored in the Battle For the Forty Ounce Trophy.

I don’t think I will ever get tired of making fun of Skip. But I am still amazed that he cashes a check for this drivel every two weeks. I make stuff up for free, while he gets paid. Nice work Skip. Nice work.

Oh, and check out Deadspin to see my third favorite player in all his glory. Big Ben doing what young football millionaires should be doing...it's worth it, I swear on Skip's career.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Report From Camp Brees...

It appears that in the most recent update available to me that our quarterback is in fact very optimistic about his recovery from his torn labrum procedure. It appears that he is ever anxious to get back to throwing a football and is “3 weeks” ahead of schedule. This is enough info to try to leverage the team back to the bargaining table for that ‘long term’ deal that Drew is seeking. Drew also mentioned that he is anxious to get back out onto the golf course. I’d say that in the legal community, their may be many who would be willing to take his civil case against Marty Schottenheimer for potentially ending his career.

Citing things like wanting to be a Charger for life and accomplishing the goals that he and Tomlinson have set for the team from day one dominated his little talk. Apparently they came to some sort of blood brother pact early on in their careers and neither will be satisfied until the Lombardi Iron is hoisted above a bolt helmet. I for one would like to see this more than most, preferably before I am hooked to a machine that feeds me and or keeps me from soiling myself in the public eye.

According to the report, Drew is only in a sling at night, or when he is having difficulty moving his shoulder in any way, shape or form that may resemble a football move. I hope that the optimism coming from Camp Brees is in fact contagious and well, true. I can only hope. I just hope that they used the extra strength super glue and duct tape when they repaired his shoulder so that he can withstand a hit from someone Phil Mickelson’s size on the football field. Who am I kidding? Phil could give Warren Sapp a run for his money in a scale breaking contest right now. Break out the truck scales and let’s get to the bottom of this. There may not be too many NFL’ers with Phil Nippleson’s girth right now. Sorry to harp on Phil in such a way, but man, the guy is even uh, ‘larger’ in person right now then on t.v., and they say that the cameras add some poundage. They must be filming him with about 12 lenses right now.

Expect more of the same from Camp Brees until the deal is signed. I am not holding my breath in the meantime.

Oh, and the big game this week? Frankly, I still can’t see Seattle winning this game. I expect most of them to take a detour out to four corners to sell the only remaining sunny day in Seattle and their souls to the devil himself for the Forty Ounce Championship. Steelers -4 looks good to me…

Monday, January 23, 2006

Oh the Progress...

Not too much happening on the home front in terms of the footballing team. It's no secret that Drew is still in recovery from his dislocated appendage, and the long term deal that was on the table, has yet to be mentioned again. A gesture of good faith? Still not sure, but it would seem to me to be a bit um, 'aggressive' to be talking about long term deals without proof of a professional skill set. I mean, you are going to have to at least audition and prove that you can make the ball go forward, preferably in the air for some distance. Hopefully something that resembles a spiral, not a wounded mallard.

The 'Transition' designation is of course a possibility. More than likely a reality. In the most basic sense, it is a form of a franchise tag that doesn't have any financial guarantee attached to it. For more explanation, find google and learn to use it.

In other football news, things went relatively according to plan. Pittsburgh made the Donkeys rue the day they put the old number 16 on the same old Jake. Two picks and two fumbles made for a household full of sad donkey fans. To say that the Charger fans in attendance were enjoying themselves is an understatement, as chants of 'IN-COM-PLETE' were echoing through the room, albeit when the Donks were dropping Jake's ducks. Text messages were being sent from five feet across the room to further drive the point home. At one point, when the game was in full embarrassment mode, I started to get angry at the Donks, they were beginning to embarrass the entire division, not just themselves. Someone inquired as to why I was cheering against the AFC West, since that is where we reside as well. Apparently if we can't be in, I should root for the teams in our division that are. Well, that's a bunch of Donkey turd and never, ever will I cheer for anyone in our division. Unless they get food poisoning, or stuck in prison for eternity.

The Hawks handled the crippled version of the Panthers that took the field on Sunday. After the motorcade of ambulances dropped off the team at Quest Field, it only got worse. The third string running back forgot who he was and the game was effectively over. The Panthers are tough and deep, but they couldn't even overcome this.

Super Bowl Fourty Ounce is in two weeks. The Steelers are favorites and rightly so. I have heard talk that a six seed shouldn't ever be a favorite, but I think the discrepancy between the two leagues is fairly evident by now. Pitt should handle the mandatory three point spread. The Hawks just still haven't done it for me, I haven't seen the championship form from them yet, and at this point I doubt I will. My ducats will be rolling on Ben and the gang. So it has been told...

Monday, January 16, 2006

Stupid is as Stupid Does...

As you have heard, the Chargers have withdrawn their desire to have a vote to have public funds allocated for a new stadium. I can’t really blame them since Bruce Henderson and Michael Aguirre are still on watch down here to snuff all of the fun out of the town. Even if the vote were to pass by a surprisingly staggering majority, Mr. Henderson would soil his diaper in a public forum and then whine and cry about it until he convinced a few people to get on his no fun wagon. Then we’d have some ridiculous construction delay causing us to lose a year or two of our new facility, thereby increasing the construction costs due to delays, and about $100 million of upgrades would have to come out of our new baseball park…. I mean football stadium. Football Stadium.

It now seems as if it won’t really make a difference, as the Chargers are seeking private investment dollars instead of public funds. Since the city’s lease with the team expires in 2007, we have less than two years to come up with oh, say, $450 million to keep our team, who is severely lacking in coaching leadership and now has a one armed quarterback, and a very capable backup that throws like a girl, I mean Dan Marino, he throws like Dan Marino.

So, in 2008, our team is going to move to Los Angeles to give that great market for football their third chance at a professional franchise. And the Los Angelesians will have a team to go not watch, again. PETA will have another spot to launch their wonderfully effective propaganda, I mean, protests about using the bacon flavored remains of a pig to play the game that nobody will go watch, again.

Any suggestions are welcome as to who I am going to be rooting for in 2008…as of now the Argonauts are the leading vote getters…

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

In for the Long Haul???

Well, tonight it is reported that the Chargers and Drew Brees are talking a 'long' term contract. Not that Mr. Brees could lift the pen right now to sign on the 'x' if A.J. and the boys put a contract out there on the table. Maybe that's their game, put out the long term deal worth bazillions of dollars and have a good laugh when he can't pic up the scribbling utensil. Cold guys. Just cold.

I have to say I was a bit shocked to hear this. I didn't think that the Chargers would pony up a barrel full of ducats for a one armed quarterback at the moment. I figured a franchise tag and an invitation to camp to see that he didn' t do his best Dave Dravecky imitation. So I guess the next natural thing is a long term deal. Is this a gesture of good faith? Or is it the real deal? I have no idea at this point. I guess we just wait and see.

And negative points go to the Union Tribune, and the signonsandiego.com website for not reporting that Drew's doc is in the hospital. You'd think that this would be important enough to talk about. This paper does more and more each day to improve their credibility. I love that paper. I wish I could pay for a subscription.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

It Keeps Getting Better...

Thanks to the Deadspin guys for having the report of one Dr. James Andrews of Birmingham, Alabama, suffering a heart attack. He is reportedly in intensive care doing well. If you haven't checked out their site yet, hit the link on the right you unadventurous sack.

Why is this important? He is the one who did the cut and paste on our quarterback's shoulder. He is also the man who has attempted to repair the damage to one Jeff Bagwell as well. We can now have the official, who will recover better from their surgery obligatory round of betting. Although, I am not sure what procedure Bagwell had done to his joint. And quite frankly I don't care. I just want to gamble on this, and this might be my only opportunity.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Festering Thoughts...

I have had a bit of time to reflect on the developments of Saturday a bit more thoroughly and I have for the time being, managed to push the nightmare that is the labrum procedure to the back of the line in what is becoming a laundry list of problems with that game. I sat thinking about this while reading Simmons’ a few minutes ago. He had a mailbag day, and the participants were giving out various fantasy awards for the players that most often ruined their game of Dungeon’s and Dragons, for adults of course. Yep, people complaining about their various fantasy football teams because someone that is actually in the NFL, didn’t have an exemplary day or year or worse suffered an injury, usually the season ending kind. These ‘GM’s’ actually whined and cried to Bill Simmons about it. Sorry, but I can rip these guys for about two days, I’ll move on. One guy wanted to give Tomlinson an award, the “Thurman Thomas Super Bowl Killer Award”. Which by definition is the award that goes to, “The player to whom without there would be no way your fantasy team would get to the Super Bowl, only to watch him kill you once you’re there.” Needless to say that the guy that wrote this is an absolute hose that needs to get out from in front of his computer a bit more than one weekend a month. He went on to mention that Tomlinson killed not one but two of his fantasy teams at the end of this season. Yep, this is a disease that most twelve year olds outgrew when their parents kicked them in the ass and sent them outside, not these guys, not one but two fantasy teams. Both with Tomlinson. Sorry I’m doing it again. Here is my question, as I know you are wondering if this is going anywhere. Why was Tomlinson so bad in the last quarter of the season, was it the injury that occurred in the Raider game? Was he hurt? What was going on?

How hurt was Tomlinson? He was ineffective the last four games of the season. Didn’t get over a hundred yards, didn’t score a touchdown until Saturday. We sure were throwing the ball a lot. 53 times against the Dolphins, 33 against the Colts, a week that found the Burner in the game with it on the line, not #21. 33 against the Chiefers in the rain. He didn’t get a lot of carries, he wasn’t scoring, he was relatively ineffective. How hurt was he? Was this more serious than we thought?

So we move to Saturday, against the Donkeys. Tomlinson and Brees are in the starting lineup. The boys want to get Marty his tenth win so he can hang his golf hat on that in January. So the starters start. A meaningless game. Truly meaningless to everyone but the Steelers, and if you think they were counting on us then you probably think our coach is good. If Tomlinson was showing any effects of a rib injury that had him sitting out one of the biggest games of the year with it on the line late in the fourth quarter, what the hell was he doing in the game against the Broncos? If he was hurt, he had no business being there. If he was 100% healthy, which you are going to have a very difficult time convincing me of, what the hell was he doing in there? Instead of #21 being the victim, it wound up being our Quarterback, who management has forced into a very expendable position due to some lingering performance issues. None of them should have been in the game. Now we have a dilemma. Not one that would make even the Jets envious. That’s good coaching. Ten wins. Ten wins. I can’t believe this has happened.

Best case scenario, we lose one year. This labrum stuff is a very big deal. It is a very big deal. Worst case scenario, we franchise our injured Quarterback, pay him $10MM for next year, and shuffle between him and the new guy while his injury is sorted out. If it winds up being the new guy, we lose three years. This is fun. I love football.

Monday, January 02, 2006

How a Season Goes Bad...

What was supposed to be an uneventful final week against the Donkeys has turned into something that is quite significant and not at all completely devastating. We are missing the playoffs, we are colossally inconsistent as a football team, and now we are staring at an enormous problem at the quarterback position. I don’t think people understand what happened on Saturday.

It has been revealed that Drew Brees has torn his labrum. The labrum is a very different type of cartilage in the joints. It was torn from the bone when Drew attempted to recover a fumble that was created when he was sacked from behind by John Lynch. This isn’t the time to talk about how poorly that side of the offensive line has been playing in the absence of Roman Oben. When Drew was landed on by 43 different Donkeys, his shoulder dislocated from the joint and the cartilage was torn from the bone. The problem that now presents itself is that this is not like a normal dislocation of the shoulder. The labrum deepens the socket and stabilizes the bone when it is in it’s normal position in the joint. For whatever reason, the procedure for repair of this type of cartilage does not fully repair the injury. In throwing sports, i.e. pitchers and quarterbacks, the surgery/rehab does not fully correct the problem. In fact, this can be career threatening. As far as I know, there have not been many success stories for people who have had this procedure who in fact have one of those jobs where throwing a ball is their main priority. In the past few years, there have have been two quarterbacks that I know of that have had this procedure, both are now out of professional football. Troy Glaus and Todd Greene have had this procedure and have recovered, although, neither are required to throw 100 pitches, or 40 passes per game.

Management’s assessment will now be more interesting. We do have a young top draft pick who is being paid significant amounts of money to hold a clipboard. We now have a quarterback who a) has no contract, b) has a very significant injury, and c) slightly regressed from his pro bowl 2004. I could already see some signs that management was not fully supporting Brees after we secured our January tee times. Now that his arm is in question, I cannot imagine seeing him in a Charger uniform next year. I am not sure I have completely registered this to date.

I don’t know if this could have been avoided. I did mention before the kickoff that I was a bit disappointed that the North Carolina State standout was not getting the start. I was hoping to see a lot of Phillip Rivers handing off to Michael Turner, and not a whole lot of #9 and #21. I didn’t think that anything like this would happen, but I would be lying if I said that I was happy to see Drew and Ladainian playing in this game. Ten wins be damned, look what happened. I have been making light of the coaching problems that we have. I did not expect this. I will have more to say when this really settles in.

Labrum info found here: