Simms out for a while; without his spleen …
How tough is Chris Simms?
We were still trying to figure out when his spleen was damaged because, you see, he played the whole game, unless you count when he dropped to one knee from cramps late in the third quarter and was helped out of the brutal heat and replenished by I.V.s.
It should be noted he'd already led his team back from a 17-0 hole for three scores.
Still, when he left, some Bucs fans, the true goobers, could only think to cheer Simms' replacement, Bruce Gradkowski.
He came back after the I.V.s.
He stood up until he could stand no more.
He had put the Bucs ahead for the first time this season at 21-20 by running in for a touchdown. He was smashed in the back by a Panther as he reached for the end zone.
Is that when it happened?
Or was it a little later, on that late hit by Carolina's Al Wallace that wasn't called?
It might have been earlier than that, a lot earlier. Before the cramps, before Simms vomited, before he left the field for the I.V.s and before he came back. Bucs receiver Michael Clayton said Simms was woozy quite early in the game.
The best guess is that Chris Simms led his team to those touchdowns, to that comeback, with the pain growing every play. He looked every bit as tough as he did last season. He was finally the Bucs quarterback again. A leader.
Media waited for Simms outside the Bucs locker room.
He always talks, win or lose, no matter what kind of day he has.
He was already at the hospital.
They were getting ready to operate.
Chris Simms isn't tough?
ESPN.com’s story To Hell and Back …
Lebreton on the return to New Orleans …
If you were anybody in anything, New Orleanians once proudly believed, you played the Superdome. Frank Sinatra sang in the Superdome. Muhammad Ali fought Leon Spinks there. The pope himself, John Paul II, spoke to 80,000 at the Superdome. And countless kings and queens -- albeit of the Mardi Gras variety -- held court there.
For 30 NFL seasons, the New Orleans Saints had called the Superdome home.
Suddenly, after Hurricane Katrina, the Saints were orphans. Owner Tom Benson's initial overtures to San Antonio, New Orleanians will tell you, were the unkindest cut of all.
How long, if ever, before the city could feel that it was coming back, locals and TV commentators alike wondered? How long before New Orleans could truly feel it was on the road to recovery?
Tonight, tonight, my dear aunt and cousins and ladies and gentlemen.
Tonight, the Saints come marching home. Tonight, the people of New Orleans can start to feel whole again.
Because of a football team. Silly, I know.
But New Orleanians are always doing silly things, like dancing at funerals and adding cayenne pepper to anything already called hot sauce.
The NFL Saints and New Orleans have long been a perfect match for one another. Both are likely to induce indigestion and a pounding hangover.
Can we play Detroit every week? …And Favre joins only Marino in the 400 club…
Brett Favre sprinted toward the end zone, signaled touchdown and then pumped his right fist. The 36-year-old quarterback had just become the second player in NFL history to throw 400 career touchdown passes.
He added two more scores to lead the Green Bay Packers to a 31-24 win over Detroit on Sunday for their first victory of the season.
Favre said he felt like a kid while celebrating after each TD, bouncing on his toes and leaping into teammates' arms, but his body quickly reminded him that he's not.
"I've got to stop doing that because I get so tired," said Favre, who turns 37 next month. "I have to be smarter. Mike (McCarthy) said, `Great job, but you have to quit running around like that,' because I couldn't talk to him, I couldn't breathe.
"I was able to recover a lot easier back in the old days, but there's nothing like throwing touchdown passes."
Favre would know.
With his first TD pass of the game -- a 75-yarder to Greg Jennings -- Favre joined Hall of Famer Dan Marino as the only quarterbacks to reach 400 touchdown passes. Marino has 420.
"We needed a win a lot more than I needed 400 touchdown passes," the three-time MVP said.
Here is the list of QB’s who have 300 or more Touchdown passes in their career: 1462 Touchdown passes and only 3 rings among them. Also, look who is at #12. Manning will break all of these records within five years, but will he get a ring?
1. Dan Marino 420
2. x-Brett Favre 402
3. Fran Tarkenton 342
4. John Elway 300
12. x-Peyton Manning 249
Meanwhile, in other sports news, The US cannot even make it competitive at the Ryder Cup …
Evidence that the Americans are getting a little wimpy by nature is the distressing play in yesterday's singles. It has become a given that the Europeans are superior in both forms of team play. But the US has fallen apart in the mano-a-mano Sunday matches, where the tally in '04 and '06 has been Europe 16, USA 8, and that's only because yesterday Ireland's McGinley graciously conceded a putt that created a ceremonial halve with J.J. Henry.
If you're the American golfing powers-that-be, is there anything on which to hang your hat? Start with Tiger. He had his best Ryder Cup ever, winning three matches and losing two. Stewart Cink was phenomenal yesterday, burying Garcia with four birdies in the first five holes. Rookies Zach Johnson, Henry, and Vaughn Taylor had their moments, but do any of them have a Ryder Cup future?
World No. 2 (or 3, depending on the week) Phil Mickelson was next to useless, winning one half-point in five matches. The fact is the Euros came into this knowing they could count on Monty, knowing they could count on Sergio, and knowing they could count on Clarke. And so it was, the Big Three delivering nine individual points. The Americans came in counting on no one. Tiger's improved play was a bonus.
The whole thing was (yet another) struggle from Friday morning until yesterday afternoon.
Truly. The second shot of the 2006 Ryder Cup was a Woods drive into the water on the first hole. The last shot of the 2006 Ryder Cup was a Chris DiMarco shot into the water on the 18th. There's no need for me to supply a punch line.
Matt Hughes made me proud Saturday night …If you only see one MMA fight in your life, please try to find Hughes-Penn 2…
In the 2nd round, again Penn defended well against the takedown but eventually ended up with Hughes on top. The Miletich trained fighter moved cautiously inside Penn’s guard trying not to get caught in a submission and never really landed any solid shots but did eventually get caught in an oma plata shoulder lock that through numerous transitions ended with B.J. Penn on top of Hughes and then ended with a rolling triangle choke/armbar combination that looked to put the champion into some serious trouble.
Hughes survived the round but was now seemingly down 2 rounds to none to the last fighter to put a loss onto his record. The third round was pivotal for Hughes if he hoped not only to survive but to have any chance to win the fight by decision if it went that far. As the round started it looked like B.J. Penn had completely gassed and was out of energy. With his hands almost at his sides, Penn poked at Hughes while standing and eventually ended up on the ground with almost no effort to stop the takedown. While no one doubts Penn’s ground game, his cardio was his downfall as Hughes took minimal effort to pass his opponent’s guard and in doing so, trapped Penn’s arm in a similar position that he had Carlos Newton in during their rematch some years ago.
With Penn’s arm trapped and no easy way to defend or roll out of the position, Hughes started to reign down punches to a basically unguarded face and head of B.J. Penn. After multiple shots that saw Penn wince and shake trying to avoid, referee John McCarthy had no choice but to step in and stop the fight. Matt Hughes, once again proved his dominance and this time his perseverance, in winning his 6th fight in a row and another notch on his championship belt.
More on Hughes …
In what was eerily reminiscent of his bout with Carlos Newton at UFC 38, Hughes, from side-control, locked up Penn’s left arm with his legs and pinned his right arm with his left. This left Hughes right hand free to pound away at Penn’s head. After a number of powerful shots landed, referee McCarthy was left with no choice but to rescue the defenseless challenger. “Matt’s a gamer,” said Hughes boxing coach Matt Pena, “so I knew Matt was going to come back.”
Pena went on to detail the effects grappling with Hughes tends to have on his opponents and why they felt they could wear Penn down.
“I told people from the beginning, I mean if Matt has him on the ground … he puts a lead blanket on him. People don’t realize what its like to get back up and I think they kind of seen that as [Penn] started to go back to his corner at the end of the second round.”
“I still love competing,” Hughes stated. “I get to compete, I get to provide for my family. That’s why I do it.”
It seems Hughes will be back in there competing sooner than most anticipated, as it was announced that he will be facing UFC 170-pound No. 1 contender Georges St. Pierre on November 18 at UFC 65.
Here is a real odd tidbit in an NHL preview …
I was told to write an introduction to the NHL on TSN.ca season preview.
Before I get to it, this is a must mention:
Did any of you happen to see the Halftime Studio Show on ABC's coverage of the Ohio State/Texas game last week?
If you did, you may have caught a treat:
At one point ESPN College Football Analyst Lee Corso was doing his usual Lee Corso thing: Very animated and affable. Talking about the "key players". Suddenly I looked behind him and noticed someone holding a sign that said this:
"Lee Corso Has A Baby Arm"
It may have been the funniest thing I have seen on TV this year.
Hughes - Penn (Watch it quickly, because it won't be on Youtube for long):