Friday, September 29, 2006

NFL Week 4 Predictions

My record for the season is currently 30-16. Again, there were some tough picks for this weekend. New Orleans is playing really well, and Carolina is not, but I had to go with the Panthers at home.

Miami at Houston is another battle of the bad, but David Carr is playing extremely well despite the Texans getting stomped week in and week out. I'm going with Houston at home.

New England at Cincinnati should be a good game. I like Brady and the Pats, but I don't think they've got what it takes to beat Cincinnati at home.

The toughest game for me to pick was Seattle at Chicago. Seattle totally thumped the Gnats, but with Alexander out for 2-4 weeks and Da Bears defense playing strong I'm picking Chicago.

The team in bold is the predicted winner.

My 30-16 record matches that of the best of the "NFL Expert Picks" from the guys at ESPN. Merrill Hoge and Mark Schlereth both lead the ESPN group with 30-16 records. Chris Mortensen and Joe Theismann are the cellar dwellers with 26-20 and 26-17 records respectively.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Terrell Owens' Greatest Moment

In and NFC playoff game in 1998, Terrell Owens caught one of the most spectacular catches to ever win a football game. The 49ers were playing the Packers, and Owens had been dropping passes and fumbling the entire game. With 8 seconds left in the game, the 49ers had one last shot at the end-zone to win the game. Quarterback Steve Young hit Owens at the goal line, and Owens was violently sandwiched by two Packer defenders. Owens held on to the pass, the 49ers won the game, and Terrell Owens became TO.

The play was later called "The Catch 2" in reference to the TD pass caught by Dwight Clark in the 1982 NFC Championship game in which the 49ers beat Dallas to make it to the Super Bowl. The Catch 2 is actually more spectacular in my opinion for reasons I won't get into now.

It's a good one. As TO would say, "Get your popcorn ready."

Terrell Owens Bull $#!%

Around 8:15 AM today, I started writing a post for my other blog, A Word with Culinary Herb. The piece was about how the media overreacted, in my opinion, to the news of the discovery of the ivory-billed woodpecker in 2004, a bird that had been thought to be extinct for sixty years. I worked on the post off and on between other projects and was about half way finished by the time I had to attend a quality meeting at 10 AM. Immediately before I left for the meeting, I got a message that Terrell Owens tried to committ suicide. I frantically Googled for the first story I could find and printed it out to inconspicuously read while I sat through the weekly snorefest.

The article painted a dark image of Terrell taking thirty-five pain killers in an attempt to snuff out his own life. The article rattled me, but the whole situation didn't make any sense either. I had doubts about the validity of what happened. All of the articles were based on a police report that was half blacked out and didn't contain any names.

When I got back to my desk, had a big picture of Terrell on the top of their homepage and "Owens Attempted Suicide" in a font size larger than I have ever seen on a professional website. The ESPN story was the same exact story I read from a newpaper website I printed before my meeting. ESPN had not done their own research.

Bill Parcells made his typical, "I don't know anything", press conference around 1:30 PM. No news there. Unbeknownst to many journalist, Terrell was outside catching passes from quarterbacks Drew Bledsoe and Tony Romo. Huh? The guy tried to kill himself just last night, and he is out catching passes trying to prepare for Sunday's game?

Terrell held his own press conference at 2:30 PM and denied any allegations that he had tried to kill himself or that he had his stomach pumped. His explanation made sense and he didn't look like a guy that was lying. He was the same person he always is. I believed him, and I still do. Trying to committ suicide is no longer a crime in the state of Texas, but there is still a mandatory 72 hour psychological evaluation required after any suicide attempt. Terrell was released in less than 12 hours. Anyone that thinks Texas authorities would wave this mandate for a professional athlete is nothing less than an ignorant ass. Also, I have read that no matter how much charcoal a person gets pumped into their stomach, a person does not recover very quickly from a pain killer overdose. If Terrell had taken the alleged thirty-five pills, there is no way he could have been as coherent and energetic as he was during the press conference, much less catching passes on the practice field.

As I finished my piece about the woodpeckers not long ago, I realized that the message I was conveying in that post sort of fits with what happened today. A bunch of journalists grabbed a story without any factual evidence and started posting articles on the internet as fast as their servers would upload. If Terrell really had attempted suicide, where was the compassion? Is using a huge picture of the guy looking despondent after breaking his hand and the word "suicide" in 72 pt. font compassionate? No, it isn't. It is tacky and horrible journalism though.

Brett Favre used to eat Vicodin remnants out of his own puke when the fifth of Jack Daniels wouldn't stay down. The wonderful didn't use large font for that story. I guess ESPN didn't want a bunch of farmers hopped up on Old Milwaukee flooding them with emails. The idiots at ESPN didn't even realize that Wisconsin doesn't have the internet yet.


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Glenn Cuts Hand but Appears to be OK

Terry Glenn cut his hand while taping up for practice yesterday, but he returned to practice today, and it appears he will play Sunday. The Cowboys cannot afford to lose Glenn, especially before Owens returns. Owens was reported to have caught some passes in practice today, and coach Bill Parcells said that Owens may play against Tennessee on Sunday if he can withstand the pain of catching the ball.

I'm Getting Fired Up for Philly

It is two weeks before the Cowboys face the Eagles in Philthadelphia, but I'm already busting at the seems. I'm not discounting the Tennessee Titans game or expecting that the Cowboys will walk all over them, but I just don't hate the Titans. I hate the Eagles, and I cannot emphasize the word "hate" enough.

Over the next two weeks, I will be posting little nuggets from the past showing Dallas triumphs over the scumbag team from Eastern Pennsylvania. This clip is from Bill Parcell's first year as the Dallas head coach in 2003. In 2001, Philthy had kicked an onside kick on the opening kickoff against the Cowboys and recovered the ball. Parcell's had a gut feeling that Eagle's coach and classless asshole, Andy Reid, might try the same play again. Parcell's told his players to be on the lookout. The result was the fastest touchdown ever scored in NFL history when Randall Williams caught the onside kick in mid air and took it to the house in only 3 seconds.

The crowd busted into a roar when they realized Williams had the ball. Parcells even smiled for about ten seconds. Asshole Reid just looked stunned, because he knew he had been outsmarted and revealed as a complete dumb ass on national television.

Monday, September 25, 2006

I ended up 9-5 for my game predictions this week. That puts me at 30-16 for the season so far. Not too shabby.

I won my second consecutive fantasy football game, putting me at 2-1 for the season. One of the other undefeated players lost, so I am now firmly in second place in my league, and still have the most points scored in the league with 215. I made a mistake and played Hines Ward this week, or I would have well over 220 points for the season with the next closest player in my league having less than 200. I stand a good chance to move into the #1 position next week when San Diego and my main RB L. Tomlinson return to action.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

A Big Day for Old Dudes

Wow! It seemed like 1996 today with the way Redskins' quarterback Mark Brunell and Packers' quarterback Brett Favre played this afternoon.

Brunell set a single game record by completing 22 consecutive passes to start the game against Houston. Brunell also had 261 yards and a TD.

Brett Favre had a heck of a game throwing for 340 yards, 3 TD's, and NO INTERCEPTIONS. Dang it, Brett.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

NFL Week 3 Predictions

There are some tough games to pick this week, including several battles between "bad" teams. I'm not expecting to repeat the success of my 14-2 picks from last week.

The key matchup is probably Cincinnati at Pittsburgh. I think Cincy will take this one from Pittsburgh. Unfortunatley, the AFC game being broadcast in my area is Jacksonville at Indianapolis. Should also be a good game, but I see enough of Peyton Manning on stupid commercials every night. I hate when the Cowboys have a bye week.

As always, the team in BOLD is the predicted winner.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Bye Week Factoid

From the Dallas Cowboys Official Website:

September 21, 2006 Cowboys quarterback Drew Bledsoe bounced back from a three-interception performance in Week One against the Jaguars by throwing for two touchdowns to lead the Cowboys past the Redskins on Sunday night. Bledsoe raised his QB rating from a 45.3 to a 68.0 and could have had it much higher had it not been for about eight dropped passes by his receivers. However, while the Cowboys have a 12-5 record coming off the bye week, Bledsoe's personal mark is not as impressive. The veteran quarterback is just 4-8 in the 12 games he has started following a bye week.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

OT: Man's Lost Gnome Attends Steeler's Game

I actually heard about a story similar to this about ten years ago, but instead of a gnome it was the smallest of a set of plastic ducks a woman had displayed in her yard. The duck was returned a year later with a stack of photos of the duck at the Statue of Liberty, The Great Wall of China, the Eiffel Tower, and several other world landmarks. Can't people be original anymore?

September 21, 2006 (MORGANTOWN, W.Va.) - Allen Snyder's garden gnome is apparently out of jail and now traveling the country. The 14-inch tall red-and-white statue disappeared from Snyder's Morgantown yard in the spring, and Snyder has since received three letters claiming to have been written by "Gnomey."

The latest letter, which Snyder received this week, included photos of the gnome in the company of Steelers fans attending Pittsburgh's football home opener. "You never took me to any games," the note said. The letter ended: "Have to go now. Boarding a plane. Now, finally, broadening my travels."

An earlier letter included a request for bail money and included what appeared to be booking photos of Gnomey and another of the gnome in the back seat of a police car.
Snyder has no idea who's pulling this prank but said his short list of suspects includes several gag-loving friends.

The plight of his gnome has gotten a lot of attention. Snyder says people are always asking if he's heard from Gnomey.

"I never thought it would go this far," he said.

The story has even caught the attention of officials at Travelocity, which uses a roaming gnome in the online travel agency's advertising.

"While we know that your dear friend, Gnomey, can never be replaced, we're sending the enclosed Roaming Gnome to keep you company in his absence," wrote Michelle Peluso, president and chief executive officer of Travelocity, based in Southlake, Texas. "Hopefully your friend will find his way out of trouble and back to your front yard soon, although we can't help but admire his sense of adventure and love of travel."

Dallas Cowboys Go Through Mini-Camp With Two-Time Cup Champion Terry Labonte

FORT WORTH, Texas — What do Dallas Cowboys players do on their off day following a Sunday night win over the Washington Redskins? They go to Texas Motor Speedway to get driving tips from two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Terry Labonte.

Four Dallas Cowboys players received hands-on instruction from Labonte on racing the Team Texas High Performance Driving School cars around the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway on Tuesday evening. Labonte, a life-long Cowboys fan, showed the driving line to Cowboys quarterback Drew Bledsoe, cornerback Terence Newman, center Andre Gurode and linebacker, Ryan Fowler. In addition, PGA Tour player Ben Crane participated in the session.

“The Cowboys are no strangers to speed and quickness,” Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage said. “They are part of that every Sunday in the NFL. But I think the players enjoy coming out here and experiencing what NASCAR is all about from a driver’s perspective.”
The players were tutored by driving instructors in the classroom before climbing into the cars for laps around “The Great American Speedway!”

“My hands aren’t generally shaking when I am on the field, but I have adrenaline flowing right now,” Bledsoe said after stepping out of his car following his laps. “To think about what these guys do when they have all those other cars out there when they are actually racing each other is pretty crazy. The track gets pretty small when you are going that fast.

“I like going fast. It is my one time to come out here and be faster than Terence Newman. I don’t know how fast we were going, but we were over the speed limit. I do know that.”
Newman, who spends his weekends covering some of the fastest receivers in the NFL, enjoyed the rush of speed behind the wheel.

“I love speed and love to go fast,” Newman said. “But this is something totally different from what I am used to doing; but I sure could get used to it. I had it floored a couple of times around the track.”

At 6-4, 312 pounds, Gurode takes on some of the biggest defensive linemen in the trenches every week. Sliding through the window to the driver’s seat of his race car was his first challenge Tuesday night.

“It was a great experience, but the hardest part was getting in (the car),” Gurode said. “But once I got in and situated, it was pretty cool. Just the power of the engine was amazing. I will take this as experience, and next year I think I will be ready for them [Bledsoe and Newman]. I have a Cadillac SDS, but after driving this car I need something else – something with more horsepower.”

And what words of wisdom did Labonte have for the Cowboys before they climbed into the cars?
“The bleachers are always on the right side,” Labonte joked. “If at any point during your lap they are on your left side, you need to put your brake on and shut your eyes. But be careful out there, I don’t want Coach Parcells calling me.”


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

OT: Chad Johnson Got "Jacked Up!"

Flamboyant Cincinnati Bengals' wide reciever, Chad Johnson, took a massive hit from Brian Russell of the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. Johnson had his helmet knocked off and had to have twelve stitches under his chin.

I didn't see the game, and I don't have video of the hit, but I do have a clip of the post-game interview. You know Chad is seeing stars when he doesn't have the gold grill in for the cameras. The full story from is below the video.

You will probably have to turn the volume up on the player to hear the video.

Cincy's Johnson: Browns were out to get me. wire reports

CINCINNATI (Sept. 20, 2006) -- Chad Johnson says the Cleveland Browns were out to get him from the very first snap.

The Pro Bowl receiver had his helmet knocked off by Brian Russell on the Cincinnati Bengals' last pass play during their 34-17 victory Sept. 17 at Paul Brown Stadium. Johnson was groggy and needed about a half-dozen stitches to close a gash in his chin after the hit.

The chatty receiver said Russell had warned him that the Browns were out to get him.

"He told me last year, and he told me before the game (Sunday) that him and Andra Davis, they had one job to do," Johnson said. "It wasn't about trying to stop me, but they had to hit me. At every TV timeout, I would be in their huddle talking trash: 'Nobody's hit me yet, what's going on?'

"Finally, I think, in the last three minutes he finally got that hit. He let me know ahead of time."

Johnson said he has no hard feelings over the hit, which he described as a clean shot.

"I mean, it's the first time I've been hit in six years of playing the game," Johnson said. "It's about time someone's gotten a lick."

Johnson has aggravated opponents over the years by guaranteeing wins, wearing a Terrible Towel as a bib, sending Pepto-Bismol to Browns defensive backs and denigrating cornerbacks with his who-covered-me list. He said he's not surprised someone went after him.

"I've always been a target because of what I'm doing right now, talking trash," he said. "The hard part is trying to hit the target. I've always been able to avoid everything coming my way. I left myself vulnerable by jumping in the air at that present time, which is the only reason he was able to get that clean shot."

Matt McBriar Currently Best Punter in NFL

Saying you have the best punter in the NFL is sort of like saying you own the nicest trailer in the park. It's not something to brag about in most cases. When a punter gets a lot of playing time and racks up a lot of stats, it typically means the team's offense is sputtering. That's partially true of Mat McBriar and the Cowboys but not completely.

McBriar has twelve punts in two games for an average of 50.8 yards per kick and a long kick of 62 yards. McBriar's average is a full two yards more than the next closest punter and a full eight yards above his averages for the 2004 and 2005 seasons. That's a good thing, because he is currently on pace to punt 96 times before the season is over. If a team has to punt that many times, then the punter had better be able to boom it deep.

The Cowboys offense has shown flashes of greatness this season, but it has also sputtered at times which is why McBriar's kicking stats are through the roof. Hopefully, the team can get some of the glitches worked out during this upcoming bye week, because there are two road games in the following weeks against the Tennessee Titans and the hated Philthadelphia Iggles. The time off will also hopefully give TO enough time to heal from the broken bone in his hand.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

My Fantasy Team and Week 2 Picks

Not only did the Cowboys beat up on the Skins, I also did much better this week on my Fantasy Football team and Week 2 predictions.

In my predictions, I went a whopping 14-2. Buffalo over Miami and San Francisco over St. Louis were the two games I missed. Who knew Miami would be so crappy this season, or that Frisco would actually put some offense together? After two weeks, I stand at 21-11. Not bad after starting the season 7-9.

I kicked some major butt in fantasy football this week and moved into third place, and I have 24 more points than my next closest opponent after two games. Next week may be a struggle, because the Chargers have a bye week, and L. Tomlinson is my feature running back.

Monday, September 18, 2006

That's Better

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It wasn’t a perfect game, but it was a victory over the Redskins, and that’s always a good thing. Bledsoe had a much better performance than last week. He completed 19 of 38 passes for 237 yards and two touchdowns, including a 40 yard strike to Terry Glenn in the fourth quarter. Julius Jones also stepped up his game with 20 rushing attempts for 94 yards. The defense held Washington to only 3 points; however, Rock Cartwright returned a kickoff 100 yards for the Redskins only touchdown of the game. I expected a closer game, but I’ll take it. Final Cowboys 27, Washington 10.


  • The offensive line did a good job protecting Bledsoe and gave up only one sack.
  • The defense looked much better than they did in week one. Santana Moss was held to under 70 yards.
  • TO broke his finger sometime early in the game, and only had 3 catches for 18 yards. He’s out 2-4 weeks, which I do not think will be the end of the Cowboys, but Patrick Crayton will need to step up.
  • Still too many penalties. Another 9 flags for 90 yards.
  • It was great to see the Cowboys win, but the Redskins don’t look like a very good team. Hopefully, the Boys will continue to play as well against the likes of the Eagles and Giants.

Friday, September 15, 2006

It's Time for the Redskins

Thanksgiving Day, November 23, 1978, was the first time I ever watched the Dallas Cowboys. I was seven years old. My uncle turned on the game which was a matchup of the Cowboys and Redskins at Texas Stadium. My uncle watched with enthusiasm, and I joined him to watch the game and root for his Cowboys. After that day, they were my Cowboys too.

If for no other reason, the fact that the Redskins were the first team I ever watched the Cowboys play and beat, the matchup between the two would be special. However, this rivalry goes so much deeper than that and has a history spanning back far beyond that game in 1978. Cowboy fans love to hate the Redskins.

I didn't hate the Redskins when I watched the game with my uncle. I didn't really know I was supposed to at the time, but that would change quickly. I watched many close matches over the following years and began to pick up on the fact that the players from each team actually didn't like the opposing players. It wasn't just a game to them. If the Cowboys could only win one game in a season, it had damn well be against the Redskins.

In 1982, the Cowboys played the Redskins during the strike-shortened season, and beat them quite handily. The two teams met up again in the NFC Championship game for a trip to the Super Bowl. Early in the game, the Redskin's Dexter Manley hit Dallas quarterback, Danny White, and put him out of the game. The inept Gary Hogeboom took the reigns for the Cowboys, and the Redskins won the game 31-17 and went on to win Super Bowl XVII. After suffering a heartbreaking loss to the 49ers and "The Catch" just one year earlier, I was devistated.

The opening game in 1983 matched up the Cowboys and Redskins on Monday Night Football at RFK Stadium. The game started as a total blowout, and I began to get a sick feeling in my stomach. The Redskins held a 23-3 lead at halftime. At that time, not team had ever recovered from that large of a margin on MNF. In the second half, the Cowboys scored four unanswered touchdowns before Washington got one last desperation score, and the Cowboys won 31-30. It was the first time I realized that anything can happen and to never give up hope.

Later that same season, the Cowboys met up again in Texas Stadium, but this was for the NFC East Title. Anyone that followed football very closely could tell you about the infamous "No, Danny! No!" game. The Cowboys trailed in the game, and were lined up to snap the ball on 4th down and 1 in their own territory. The Cowboys only lined up to try and pull the Redskins off sides for a cheap first down, but Dallas coach, Tom Landry realized that QB Danny White was going to run a play. The always stoic Landry was filmed standing on the sidelines yelling at his quarterback. It was impossible to hear what he was saying, but a blind man could have read his lips: "No, Danny! No!" The Redskins went on to win the game 31-17, and my hatred for the Redskins was permanently seeded. I relished in the Redskins defeat to the Raiders later that season in Super Bowl XVIII.

The rivalry died down as the Cowboys were really bad while the Redskins were good and the other way around. The Cowboys found new rivals in the Philadelphia Eagles, but it never matched the intensity of the old Cowboys/Redskins matchups.

Now, the rivalry may be back. Until last season, the Cowboys had beaten the Redskins about 15 out of the past 16 meetings. That's like eight years of ass whoopin'. It appeared the streak would continue during the second game of the season last year, again on Monday Night Football. Dallas lead 13-0 with barely more than 2 minutes to play. The Cowboys lost the game 14-13, and some of that old hatred started to well up inside of me again. The Redskins beat Dallas again later in the season, making it the first time the Redskins had beaten the Cowboys twice in one season since Neanderthals roamed the Earth or thereabouts.

There are high hopes for the Cowboys this season. It's Bill Parcells fourth year as head coach, the leagues best wide reciever joined the team, and there is just a lot of talent all the way around. Some analysts are picking the Cowboys to make the Super Bowl. Well, the road to the Super Bowl begins on this Sunday night against the Redskins.

Both teams looked bad in the season opener, so I expect this to be a heated game, and some of that rivalry to be brought back to life. Both teams have weapons. It's going to come down to which team executes and which doesn't.

I have to go with my Boys. Final 24-27, possibly in OT.

NFL Week 2 Predictions

So, things didn't exactly go my way during the first week of the NFL season. The Cowboys lost a tough game to Jacksonville, my fantasy football team lost by one point even though I scored the second highest number of points in the league, and I went 7 for 9 in my game predictions. That is all going to change this week.

I have made some roster moves on my fantasy team, and I look to be 1-1 after this week. With players like Ladainian Tomlinson and Donte Stallworth, I should be in good shape. I expect to score 80 fantasy points.

The Cowboys are playing the hated rival Redskins on Sunday night. Neither team looked particularly good in week 1, but the Cowboys showed flashes of possible greateness. I'm looking for the team to gel this weekend and take a close game from the Skins at Texas Stadium.

Now, here are my picks for the week. I hope to go 12-4 or better. As usual, the team in BOLD font is the predicted winner.

Why Not The Jags?

I originally posted this article about the NFL requesting that teams quit playing Gary Glitter's "Rock 'N' Roll Part 2" on August 11th, and most stadiums have compied. I don't know if there are other teams still play the convicted child molester's tune, but the Jacksonville Jaguars definitely are. During the game against Dallas this past Sunday, Glitter's anthem could be heard playing through the stadium as I watched on TV.

What are the Jags trying to say? They support Gary Glitter and child molestation? They aren't creative enough to pick a new song to celebrate TD's? The Kansas City Chiefs used "Rock N Roll Part 2" for years as their TD celebration song. It was a big deal this summer for them to find a replacement song, but they went through extensive efforts to do just that.

Why not the Jags?


Disgraced British rocker GARY GLITTER's sports anthem ROCK & ROLL PART 2 is to be removed from the playlists at NFL stadiums following protests from fans. National Football League officials have chosen to advise all teams to cease playing the tune after learning the song's 62-year-old author is a convicted paedophile. Glitter, real name PAUL FRANCIS GADD, is currently serving a three-year sentence in a Vietnamese prison after being found guilty of child molestation. Rock + Roll Part 2, which was written in 1972, has become a familiar anthem at sports stadiums across America. NFL officials hope the governing bodies of other sports like baseball and basketball follow their lead and ban the song.

This dude is lucky to only be serving three years. If the British government hadn't been involved, he would have been sentenced to a firing squad -- the normal punishment for child molestation in Vietnam. Although, he may wish he was dead after sitting in a Vietnamese prison.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

OT: Favre is Going for the Record

In a career that spanned some 27 years in the NFL, George Blanda threw an all-time record 277 interceptions. It was a record that many thought to be unbreakable like Roger Maris' 61 home runs in a season, but records were made to be broken. Maris' record was shattered by Mark McGuire during the 1998 baseball season, and now Brett Favre is on a quest to break Blanda's record for all-time number of interceptions thrown in a career.

Brett Favre's football career hasn't lasted anywhere near the 27 seasons that Blanda played. The 2006 season is Favre's 16th and final year in the NFL, yet he managed to throw 255 interceptions in just fifteen seasons. Brett is statistically No. 2 all-time in almost every passing category in the NFL behind Dan Marino. Brett could play another 5 or 6 years and probably never reach Marino's records. However, the one lifetime record that will be attainable for Favre is the record for all-time interceptions thrown, and he is on pace to break it in his final season.

Many fans suspected that Favre would retire after last season when the Green Bay Packers had a 4-12 record, and Brett threw a league high 29 picks. However, after a lot of thought, Brett decided he wanted to come back for another season. Why? Did he think the Pack had a chance at Super Bowl glory or even a playoff appearance? The answer is no. He wants to attain the one all-time NFL record that Marino doesn't have.

In week one this season, Favre threw two interceptions. That leaves him with a total of 257 and needing 20 to tie Blanda and 21 to break the record outright. That's a lot of interceptions to have to throw in one season, but after throwing 29 last season I believe he can do it.

Whatever it takes, I want to say that I am rooting for you Brett. I hope you shatter Blanda's record like McGuire shattered really Maris'. I'll be keeping a counter on the sidebar that will be updated each week. There will be the pic of Brett holding a card with the number of interceptions he still needs to break Blanda's record outright and be the #1 interception throwing quarterback of all time.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

So, What Happened?

The Dallas Cowboys looked like the team to beat in the NFL during the preseason. The piled up a 3-0-1 record, their first unbeaten preseason since 1985 when the team was a perfect 4-0. Had it not been for two missed field goals in the overtime tie with Minnesota, this years team would have matched that 4-0 record.

Sure, preseason doesn't count and doesn't really mean anything, but it's not like the Cowboys were playing their first team against everyone else's third string backups. The team looked good, even with Terrell Owens only making one catch in the whole preseason. I couldn't have been the only fan waiting on the edge of my seat for the regular season to begin.

During the first quarter of the Cowboys season opener in Jacksonville, it looked like the team had picked up right where they left of in the preseason. Bledsoe was hitting his targets, Julius Jones broke a nice touchdown run, and the defense held Jacksonville to 16 yards on their first 15 plays.

So, what happened?

I'm not 100% sure why the wheels fell off, but there seemed to be more than one reason. The first problem was that Bledsoe began throwing errant passes. Two overthrown passes would have likely gone for touchdowns and put the Cowboys up at least 20-0. Did Drew just get cold all of a sudden? In between possessions, Drew was throwing passes on the sideline. He never does that. The announcers reported that his back had tightened up. From that point forward, he continued to struggle and didn't get it back together until less than two minutes remained in the game.

Why didn't Parcells attempt to put Tony Romo in the game? Instead, Bledsoe hurt the team by continuing to play in less than perfect health. I always talked about how Donavan McNabb was too stupid to realize he was hurting his team by playing hurt, and here's ol' Bledsoe doing the same thing. Bledsoe was struggling to throw the ball and threw three interceptions in the game. Two of them gave Jacksonville touchdowns, and the third ended all hopes of the Cowboys chances for tying up the score to get to overtime.

The next problem is that the defense began to give up plays to the Jacksonville recievers. So, what happened? Did Jacksonville get warmed up, or did the Dallas D go flat? I'm not sure of the answer to any of those questions, but I know that I'm worried about it. The defense gave up 24 points, and when the offense can't score 20, the team will lose every time.

Ever since Parcells has been in Dallas, the team has shown flashes of greatness but has never had the ability to close out and win big games. I'm not saying it is all of Parcells' fault. Jerry Jones played a large part in dismantling one of the greatest teams of all time. The team that Jimmy Johnson built. That team was so good that it took Jones several years to finally destroy it. Parcells had his work cut out for him trying to work with Jerry's draft busts and following in the footsteps of Barry Switzer, Chan Gailey, and Dave Campo.

Parcells does do certain things that I don't understand however. Like the "Run and Punt" offense. When a team runs up the middle on EVERY first and second down, the defense can usually figure that out. Also, when the team has a running back that cannot run up the middle, a.k.a. Julius Jones, it makes it even easier for the defense. Then, on third down and long the pass rush comes and if the quarterback is immobile (Drew Bledslow), he either takes a sack or makes a bad pass that ends up in the hands of a defender. This formula hasn't worked for the three years Parcells has been in Dallas, and I don't see it working this year. Is he too set in his ways? I'm starting to think he might be. I realize that type of offense helped Parcells win two Super Bowls with the Giants, but there is no player named Dave Meggett on the Cowboys' roster.

As I have mentioned before. There has only been one game this season, and I'm not giving up on the Cowboys yet. It just seems like I've seen this movie before, and I know how it is going to end. I'm hoping this version turns out to be the director's cut with deleted scenes and an alternate ending.

Too Little, Too Late for the Cowboys

Originally posted 9/10/2006

The Cowboys faced the Jaguars in Jacksonville this afternoon and just couldn't get the job done. Dallas started out with a bang, taking a 10-0 lead after the first quarter. Then the wheels fell off. Jacksonville went on to score 24 unanswered points. The Cowboys scored a late touchdown on a 21-yard pass to Terrell Owens with 1:54 left on the clock to bring the score to 17-24, but it was too little too late. Dallas failed to recover the ball on the ensuing onside kick attempt, but they managed to keep Jacksonville from getting a first down and regained possession with less than a minute on the clock. The game ended when Drew Bledsoe threw an errant pass to the middle of the field for his third interception of the game.

  • The Cowboys looked like a solid team at the beginning of the game, but the offensive line started to break down, and Bledsoe's stats went south quickly thereafter. The score could have easily started 17-0 or 24-0 in favor of Dallas if Bledsoe had not overthrown a wide open TO and underthrown a wide open Julius Jones. One more game like today, and Bledsoe may lose his starting job to Tony Romo.
  • Too many penalties. 9 for 90 yards.
  • Terrell Owens had a solid game with 6 catches for 80 yards and a TD. He didn't pull any stupid antics, and there was no celebration after his first TD as a Cowboy.
  • Mike Vanderjagt didn't even make the trip to Jacksonville because of a nagging groin injury, but Shaun Suisham managed to miss a 36 yard FG in Vandy's absence. At least Suisham managed to dink the ball off of the right upright and not float it 10 feet wide like Vandy has been doing lately.
  • Parcell's insistence on running up the middle on every first and second down is baffling. Why does he continue with the "Run and Punt" offense when Owens, Glenn, and Witten are all Pro Bowl caliber receivers.
  • Jaguars reciever and former University of Arkansas QB, Matt Jones, is simply so big and fast that every team is going to have problems with him. The guy is 6'-6" and runs a 4.3 second 40 yard dash.
  • Despite the Cowboys' poor performance, one Dallas player had a spectacular game. Matt McBriar had five punts with an average of 53.2 yards per kick. That's probably good enough to lead the league. Congratulations Matt.

NFL Week 1 Predictions

Originally posted 9/07/2006

The official kickoff of the 2006 NFL season happens tonight in Pittsburgh. The 2005 World Champions are hosting the Miami Dolphins who barely missed the playoffs last season despite finishing with six consecutive victories. It should be an exciting game.

Here are my predictions for Week 1. The team in BOLD font is the predicted winner.

Please keep in mind that I am a Dallas Cowboy fan and not a professional bookie. Please don't bet on any games based on my predictions, because I am just doing this for fun. I usually get better at picking games after Week 4. By then, I usually get a feel for each team. My picks now are strictly based on what I know about each team from last year. I will try to be objective, but there is no rule that I have to be, right?

Houston over Philthy is my upset pick of the week. Maybe wishful thinking, but a guy can hope can't he?

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What the @#!% Was That?

Originally posted 8/31/2006

I just got finished watching the Cowboys play Minnesota in Texas Stadium for their final preseason game of 2006. The game went into overtime and ended in a 10-10 tie after Mike Vanderjagt missed his second field goal of the evening, both going wide right. What the hell? Of all of the hype about TO going on and his injury and his missing practice, nobody seems to have paid attention to the real issue. Vanderjagt has been sidelined with a groin problem during all of training camp, and he has missed about as much practice as TO. This is a bigger story in my opinion.

Anyone that watched the game tonight should realize that the Cowboys are no longer hurting at the wide reciever position like they have been since Michael Irvin had to retire. Some guy wearing No. 17 with the last name Hurd had well over 100 yards tonight. Who? Also, what about this kid named Jamaica Rector? He has had a huge preseason. These are guys that may not even make the team, because they are fighting for a position below Terry Glenn, Patrick Crayton, and TO. If TO suddenly drops off of the face of the earth, I don't think it will cause the Cowboys too much grief.

Now, this Vanderjagt situation is a whole different problem. For anyone that doesn't know, the Cowboys lost three games due to missed field goals last season. If they had won those games, they would have been a 12-4 team. Tonight, Vanderjagt missed as many field goals as he did in all of last season with the Colts. Vanderjagt is known for having chronic groin injuries, and his latest one is supposedly healed, but is it? I don't know. I am concerned.

For any of you sweating out whether or not Terrell Owens will play in the opener against Jacksonville, take a deep breath and sit down. Now, start worrying about what is going to happen when there are three seconds left on the clock and Dallas is down by two at the Jacksonville 22 yard line, and Mike Vanderjagt is up to attempt a 39 yard field goal. Are you nervous? I am.

Does anyone else think Vanderjagt looks a little like Brian Regan sans the wind tunnel tested hairdo? Brian Regan should have been kicking tonight, and the Cowboys may have won.

Terrell Who?

Originally posted 8/31/2006

The Cowboys close out the preseason tonight against the Minnesota Vikings. The big buzz with the Cowboys is that Terrell Owens finally attended practice this week, and Bill Parcells said that he may have Owens suit up for the game tonight. He said he'll leave it up to TO whether or not he gets into the game for a few plays, depending on how his hamstring is doing.

Meanwhile, while the media is focused on the TO saga and making mountains out of mole hills, there has been this guy named Terry Glenn putting up some huge preseason numbers. Terry's name might sound familiar to you, because he led the NFL with 18.1 yards per catch last season. So far this preseason he has nine catches for 189 yards and two TD's. Yep, that's 21.0 yards per catch and two TD's in nine catches.

Sure, it's only preseason, but how can a Dallas fan not be excited. The first team offense has dominated their opponents, and the first string defense has not allowed a TD. It looks like there could be good things to come.

Sure, I'd like to see TO in the game tonight, but I doubt I'll miss him too much if he doesn't play.

Bledsoe the Man, At Least for Now

Originally posted 8/24/2006

Ever since Bill Parcells started Tony Romo and let him play the entire first preseason game this year, a lot of people are speculating that Romo is about to take Drew Bledsoe's job as the starter of the Dallas Cowboys. It ain't going to happen. Not right now anyway.

Bledsoe is a proven NFL quarterback. Sure, he has had a few problems with getting sacked in his career, but he did make it to the Super Bowl in 1996 and he also won the AFC Championship game for the Patriots in 2000 when Tom Brady was sitting on the sideline. Tony Romo has never thrown a pass in an NFL regular season game, and anyone that thinks Bill Parcells will just up and throw Romo in as the starter this season is crazy.

Here is the deal: the Cowboys had a very suspect line last year after Flozell Adams went down for the season with a knee injury. Drew Bledsoe was among the top three QB's in the NFL up to that point. Once Flozell went down, Drew started having problems but still carried the Cowboys to some great wins. If the Dallas O-Line is struggling this year and Bledsoe begins to have problems, then Romo might get his chance, because he is more mobile than Bledsoe.

The Cowboys and the Cowboy fans have always turned their backs on the starting QB when times got rough, whether it was the QB's fault or not. Don Meredith had Craig Morton in the wings, Morton had Staubach, Staubach had Danny White, White had Hogeboom (or Hogenbloom as Tom Landry used to call him), and even Troy Aikman had to fight for his job against Steve Walsh early in his career. Cowboy fans are not happy without QB controversy, and those fans are trying to stir it up again this year.

Bledsoe had one of the best years a Dallas QB has ever had last season, despite the 50 sacks. Just because Romo has thrown a few good passes against third team defenses does not mean he is God's next gift to the Cowboys. I would ask that you people just settle down and let the season play out.

2005 Philly at Dallas

A Final Look at George Teague

Originally posted 8/08/2006

Before the Cowboys play their first pre-season game with Terrell Owens on the roster, I wanted to pay one last tribute to George Teague. I have made my peace with TO being on the team, but he most likely will not play on Saturday, so I figured it couldn't hurt to live the memory one last time.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Originally posted August 6, 2006

Troy Aikman, long time quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys, was inducted into the Hall of Fame on August 5, 2006. I am a lifelong fan of the Dallas Cowboys, and I have experienced the highs and lows of the team since the late 1970’s. I’m a little too young to vividly remember the glory days of America’s Team with Roger Staubach. I am old enough to have suffered through three consecutive NFC Championship losses in the early 80’s, the team’s first losing season in 21 years in 1988, and the 1-15 season in 1989. I also enjoyed watching the team win three Super Bowls in four years during the early 1990’s. Troy was the team leader during those Super Bowls.

My first exposure to Troy was during the 1989 college football season when he played for UCLA. I never followed college football, but the Arkansas Razorbacks made it to the Cotton Bowl that year for the first time in a decade. The Cotton Bowl was like the Super Bowl for Razorback fans, so it was a big deal with the locals. The Razorbacks met up with Troy and the UCLA Bruins in Dallas for the game. I went to a friend’s house to watch the game and it was the first of many games that I would watch Troy Aikman pick apart an opposing defense.

Troy was the number one selection in the 1989 NFL draft, and he went to my Dallas Cowboys – a team that had a suffered a 3-13 season the previous year. Troy’s career in Dallas started out very shaky, and he went 0-11 as a starter that season. As the years passed, Troy’s confidence grew as the team became stronger, and he became the first quarterback in the NFL to win three championships in four years. During the end of his career, the team started to fall apart, and Troy suffered several injuries that put him on the sideline. His career ended with a concussion and several so called fans of the Cowboys booing him off of the field.

Troy’s acceptance speech this afternoon was a lot like his career with the Cowboys. It started out shaky, and his voice cracked with emotion while he talked about his friendship with Norv Turner. Norv was the offensive coordinator of the Cowboys that helped turn Aikman from a potential draft bust into a three time world champion. Then Troy began to talk about the “Triplets” and the Super Bowl victories of the 1990s'. His voice became strong, and an air of confidence resonated from the podium.

Troy went on the thank every person that ever supported him during his life and football career. "I'd also like to thank the many friends, family and fans who traveled great distances to share this moment with me," he said toward the end and his lips started to quiver. But the Cowboys fans rallied and cheered him on. They began to whistle and yell, standing one more time for No. 8. They bought him some time. He expressed true humility and gratefulness for having been inducted into football immortality as a member of the NFL Hall of Fame.

"A high school coach once told me, 'In life you have a lot of acquaintances but very few friends.' For most, that's probably true, but not for me. The many friendships in my life are what made me feel every single day like I'm the luckiest guy in the world, and I thank all of you for being here today."
A man that was always stoic on the football field could barely speak the words to accept an honor that he so greatly deserved.

I’m not a person that typically regards professional athletes as heroes. Hero is a title that should be reserved for people that save lives or sacrifice themselves for the good of others. Troy Aikman sacrificed himself on and off the field. He doesn’t have huge statistics like Dan Marino or Peyton Manning, because Troy was asked to play in a manner that benefited the team and didn’t pad his personal statistics. Troy also contributed large amounts of his time to charities like the United Way and he formed the Troy Aikman Foundation which benefits less fortunate kids. He also brought excitement and happiness to a poor kid from Arkansas on countless Sunday afternoons, and at least for today, I think that’s enough to make him hero.