Parcells hopping mad about the rumor from New York …
Cowboys coach Bill Parcells was so angry about reports that he had expressed interest in the Giants GM job that he called team co-owner John Mara yesterday to put out the fire.
"There is absolutely nothing to it," Parcells said from Dallas. "Absolutely nothing. There has been no contact, either directly or through an intermediary. Whoever said it is a liar."
Parcells is trying to decide whether to return for a fifth season as the Cowboys coach, but he's not ready to make that decision so soon after Dallas' crushing wild-card loss to the Seahawks last weekend.
He has until Feb. 1 to inform Cowboys owner Jerry Jones if he will be back but is expected to make his decision much earlier.
Parcells served as the Jets coach/GM from 1997-1999 and GM only in 2000, but he said he has no desire to be a GM again. One report said Parcells was interested in being the Giants GM, but the team told him it was not interested.
"There is absolutely no truth to that report," Giants spokesman Pat Hanlon said.
Adrian Peterson is going to the NFL …
Oklahoma junior running back Adrian Peterson will skip his final year of eligibility and enter the NFL Draft, according to two sources close to the situation.
An official announcement could come as early as Thursday.
Peterson, who is projected in several mock drafts as a top 10 pick, met with Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops on Wednesday to notify Stoops of his intention to turn pro, according to one source.
Another source said Peterson has met with agents, including Eugene Parker, Drew Rosenhaus and the Creative Artists Agency, whose NFL division is headed by agents Ben Dogra and Tom Condon.
The deadline for underclassmen to declare themselves eligible for the NFL Draft is Monday.
Ho-hum. Mavs win again ….This wasn’t even interesting…
Jason Terry scored 20 points and Josh Howard added 17 as the Dallas Mavericks beat the Portland Trail Blazers 99-74 on Wednesday night.
Devin Harris had 14 points and Erick Dampier added 10 rebounds for the Mavericks, who have won 15 of their last 16.
Reserve Austin Croshere had 13 points for the Mavericks, who extended their winning streak against the Blazers to 12 games, matching the longest in the series.
Mavericks top scorer and rebounder Dirk Nowitzki, who had a season-high 38 points against Utah on Tuesday night, played only 25 minutes and finished with 11 points. He took only six shots and sat out the fourth quarter.
Zach Randolph scored 21 points and rookie Brandon Roy added 15 for the Trail Blazers, who were held to their lowest points total this season and lost for the seventh time in eight games.
Rookie LaMarcus Aldridge, who played high school basketball in the Dallas suburb of Seagoville and starred at the University of Texas, added 14 points for Portland.
Both teams were playing their second game in a 24-hour span.
The Mavericks were 108-105 winners in Utah on Tuesday night and improved to 9-0 in the second game of back-to-back situations.
Michelle Wie has a tired bit …
Beneath Woods there are the usual suspects: Phil Mickelson ($44.3 million), Arnold Palmer ($27.5 million), Vijay Singh ($24.8 million) and Greg Norman ($22.6 million).
Then you hit No. 6. Checking in at $20.3 million is Michelle Wie. She pulled in $19.5 million of her total off the course, mostly from endorsements. She must be doing serious damage hitting the malls, her favorite activity after golf.
So consider this: When the Sony Open begins Thursday in Hawaii, the high school girl will be the second-highest earner in the field of 144 PGA Tour professionals, trailing only Singh. On the Golf Digest list, she is ahead of Ernie Els ($18.4 million) and Jack Nicklaus ($17.7 million).
You may have heard of those guys.
Wie, now all of 17, is receiving that money because after Woods and maybe Mickelson, she is the most compelling figure in golf. She performs feats that are staggering given that she only is a teenager.
In fact, Wie raised the bar so high for herself that she was criticized in some circles because she failed to win a tournament in her first year as a pro. Yet she had two third-place finishes and a fifth in the majors.
An underachiever at 16? Get serious. Woods, remember, didn't make his first cut in a major until he was 19.
I've always been a big supporter of Wie. We are watching a true prodigy develop before our eyes. Much like Woods, she is going to be a transcendent player. It baffles me that some people can't see that.
Yet watching Wie play against the men is getting old.
I didn't have a problem with it before, mainly because she can only play a handful of events on the LPGA Tour until she turns 18.
She made a bold bid to qualify for the men's U.S. Open, remaining in contention until late in the 36-hole qualifier.
But my perspective began to change after watching her at the John Deere Classic in July. The two previous weeks she had played in the U.S. Women's Open and the HSBC Match Play, two taxing events.
The Quad Cities event was her third in three weeks, and it was too much. She had to withdraw during the second round from heat exhaustion. The pictures of her being carted away in an ambulance showed the fragility of a 16-year-old girl.
Then in the fall, the Wie camp entered her in men's tournaments on the European Tour, the PGA Tour and the Japan Tour. She undoubtedly commanded significant appearance money for the overseas events. But what was the price? Wouldn't it have been better for her to spend that time being a teenager in high school?
Again, Wie didn't appear ready to play, parachuting into those events after a long layoff. Her lowest score in six rounds was 77.
For the year, Wie made the cut in one of six men's tournaments, finishing tied for 35th in the SK Telecom Open on the Asian Tour. Otherwise, she wasn't close.
At some point there's a law of diminishing returns. All these failures are detracting from her amazing talent.
"She should just let it go for now and come back when she has a more accomplished game," PGA Tour pro Stuart Appleby said. "She's just not ready for it. She's certainly not proving anything except that she can't play with the men at her level right now."
Payton Manning = playoff killer? ….Not so much…
Asked yesterday about the criticism he has received for his team's lack of postseason success, Manning said: "I've always looked at it like, when we've won a game, the Colts won, and when we lose, the Colts lose. Usually the times we've lost in the playoffs, the cut and dry of it is, I don't think our team was good enough."
Said Colts coach Tony Dungy, who has his own critics despite twice taking teams to a conference championship game: "I think we're all in the same boat that every year is different and every year you have an opportunity to succeed. We've got a game against the Ravens that's a huge game, and I think that's what he's zeroed in on."
Now in his ninth season, Manning is at the stage of his career where he needs to at least reach the Super Bowl, if not lead his team to victory, to silence those who have questioned his ability to win championships dating back to his years at the University of Tennessee.
Is Manning simply the Dan Marino of his generation, destined to break as many hearts as he does records?
Marino, the NFL's all-time passing leader in nearly two dozen categories, reached pro football's biggest game in his second season with the Miami Dolphins, and lost, and reached only one more AFC championship game in his 17-year career. His 8-10 playoff record is similar to Manning, who is 4-6.
Are you on the Sidney Crosby train? You should be …
When you arrive with the kind of hype that surrounded Sidney Crosby, there's going to be a degree of skepticism. With the buildup he received, there will be those looking for ways to tear him down. Perhaps it's just human nature to believe, "Hey, no one can be that good."
Well, let me tell you, Sidney Crosby is that good. He's more than that good. Six months shy of his 20th birthday, Crosby is the very best player in the NHL.
Judging by the recently completed All-Star voting, many of you agree. Crosby received a league-high 825,783 votes, nearly 200,000 more than any other player. That's a pretty significant statement of support for a player of his age and experience.
The stats certainly back up the argument for Crosby. He leads the league in scoring (65 points in 38 games through Tuesday's games) despite playing in fewer games and averaging fewer minutes per game than anyone else in the top five.
But, with Crosby, it's more than a numbers game.
At his tender age, he's already adept at a lot of the important little things that often go unnoticed. Yeah, he can pull you out of your seat with a highlight reel play. (Did you catch his diving goal against the Lightning on Sunday?) But he constantly impresses with his hockey smarts and competitiveness in all three zones. As one scout put it, "Crosby excels in all areas of the game."
Now, there remain a few skeptics. There will always be those who are looking for reasons to hate. After all, some people hate for no reason. In the early '80s, there were several seeking to shoot holes in the game of a young Wayne Gretzky. Like Crosby, Gretzky was labeled a "whiner" and "diver" by some critics early in his legendary career. Maybe those slings and arrows are just part of the price you pay for greatness. Like Gretzky, Crosby eventually will silence those voices. He's too good not to.
Crosby is like Gretzky in another way. Upon arrival in the league, they were both tasked with the difficult job of propping up the NHL. They were handed that extra burden whether they wanted it or not. In Crosby's case, he has been asked to do so at a time when the league continues to heal from some self-inflicted wounds. As such, he gets the thrill of dealing with many of us in the media. He does so with maturity beyond his years, as well as professionalism that isn't easy to find. Plus, he hasn't let the attention alter his focus.
But perhaps the best thing I see in Crosby is his desire to be better. We place high expectations on our stars. In many cases, those expectations are higher than their own. That isn't the case with No. 87. His expectations of himself far outreach ours.
The kid is better than the hype. It's rare that we can say that about anybody or anything. As hockey fans, we're going on a long ride with Crosby.
If you haven't gotten on the bandwagon, there's still plenty of room.
The ESPN experts pick the NHL All-Star teams …
Urkel blogged last in 2004 …
Stop by and enjoy my buddies at Titan Home Theater …These guys are good…
Instead of Youtube comedy today, here are some of the various Tony Romo items being emailed to me. Enjoy, if you can keep from vomitting in your mouth.
Romo Action Figure
Alas, it was the Burger King
Caveman Humor is top shelf
Classic to finish. See you Friday.