Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Mascots on Patrol

To Lead off today’s blog, we must all ask if there has ever been a better example of what a mascot could be. Somehow, the Chiefs Mascot understands what Rowdy will never know….

Also, to all of our faithful Ags, we are coming to you on Friday. So, bring your great hat or something. And despite what Tom writes below, you Baylor fans (all 4 of you) should feel welcome, too.

BaD Radio is Rolling into College Station this Friday, Sept 28
We are doing the show from the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity house (on 1401 Athens Dr in College Station- a couple of blocks behind The Tap) from Noon - 3pm. We want all of our A&M P-1s to show up as we get things rolling before the Ags BTHO baylor.

Ok, on to Romo love. First, Cowlishaw looks at Romo – Favre

If you've been awake in Dallas at any point in the last year, you probably have heard how Romo idolized Favre growing up, even tries to run onto the field the same
way Favre lopes out there.

This both helped make Romo what he is when he's going good, as he is now – eight TD passes, two interceptions in just 88 attempts – and delayed his arrival in the NFL because of what he could sometimes be.

Favre's creativity brought him trouble in the past. Trying at times to do too much for an outmanned team, Favre has thrown 275 interceptions, although his TDs-to-interceptions ratio isn't as bad as you might think (it's far better than Troy Aikman's, for example).

The Cowboys, namely Bill Parcells, had to work to get Romo to curb his enthusiasm, to accept a poor play rather than risk a really bad play. Of course, Parcells worked overtime in this regard, and by the end of last season Romo's substantial self-confidence had been whipped into submission.

Now, a risk-taking coordinator and a rejuvenated and powerful weapon at receiver have joined forces to bring out the good Romo and the better half of his Favre-ian nature in 2007.

Jason Garrett has been saying this since he was brought on board, but we wanted to see it to believe it.

We have seen it. Garrett is a risk-taker. He has the Cowboys' offense on the attack, which is why their three-game point total of 116 is the NFL's highest since the 2000 St. Louis Rams (119 points) from their "Greatest Show on Turf" days.

In a game that was 3-3 at the half, when some would have viewed it as a game "not to lose," Garrett went for the win. The Cowboys scored 17 points on their first three possessions to take a 20-10 lead before Anthony Henry's interception return for a touchdown basically gave them the win.

On those three drives, 19 of 25 play calls were passes.

On the two touchdown drives, six out of seven first-and-10 calls were passes.

Romo-mania lives.

Revo on Romo

Bill Parcells would never admit it, but there was something about Tony Romo that scared him to death.

Sure, Parcells uncovered the piece of coal that would become the "Hope" diamond now admired by every Cowboys fan around the globe, and for that we will always be grateful.

But Parcells, ever the conservative, play-it-close-to-the-vest, defense-first, old-schooler desperately feared Romo's gunslinger instincts and mentality.

The very thing that makes Romo special, his riverboat gambler approach to the game, is what Parcells tried to coach out of him.

It was his natural instinct. In the NFL that Parcells grew up in and conquered there were two rules: 1. Don't beat yourself (i.e., never trust a young quarterback); 2. When in doubt, see Rule 1.

On most teams, that's still true. But when you have a special talent, a quarterback with the ability to make plays with his head, with his arm and with his feet, you say a prayer of thanks and use him.

Thank heavens, Mama Garrett didn't raise any dummies.

Maybe I'm hallucinating, along with the rest of Cowboys Nation on a glorious 3-0 Monday morning, but it just may be that new offensive coordinator Jason Garrett is becoming to Romo what Norv Turner once was to Troy Aikman.

Mentor. Facilitator. Big brother. And the man who has devised an offense that emphasizes what Romo does best by giving him the latitude to improvise.

Rather than running from that part of Romo that Parcells seemed to fear, Garrett has embraced the wild child in his quarterback. He has turned that part of the Cowboys quarterback loose, for better or worse, and not many in America today would care to argue that it hasn't been for the better.

There's no better illustration of Garrett's confidence in his young quarterback than in the third quarter of Sunday night's eye-popping 34-10 destruction of the defending NFC champion Chicago Bears in their own back yard.

Tied 3-3 starting the second half, the defensive-minded Bears had the Cowboys exactly where they wanted them, ready to turn the game into one of those ugly Chicago grind-it-out, slug-it-out, Monsters-of-the-Midway, deep-dish specials.

Garrett and Romo were having none of it. Instead of allowing the Bears to pull them into that morass, Garrett simply quit beating his head against Soldier Field's storied brick walls and abandoned the run. Essentially, what he told Romo was to go out and win the game for the Cowboys.

So Romo, wearing that aw-shucks grin, did.

After swapping touchdowns to tie it at 10-10, penalties pushed the Cowboys back inside the 10, where Romo faced a critical third-and-11 with just six minutes left in the third quarter. There's no question that the conservative Parcells would have told Romo to stick the ball in Marion Barber's belly on one of those everybody-knows-it's-coming delayed draws and then punted to the ever-dangerous Devin Hester.

If there was ever a notice sent that this isn't Parcells' team anymore, it came when Romo, using his feet to buy some time, instead hit Terrell Owens for 35 yards, the key play in what would be a 91-yard touchdown drive that gave the Cowboys the lead for good.

A national sports radio talk show host was arguing Monday that the Packers are the best team in the NFL because Brett Favre is a proven quarterback and Romo is not.
I'm not sure at what point Romo becomes a "proven" quarterback -- maybe after he takes the Cowboys to the Super Bowl, or at least wins a playoff game or two -- but the very fact that his name is coming up in a debate about who's better, him or the rejuvenated Favre, tells you how far Romo has come in less than a year.

Sometimes the best way for a reporter to fully grasp what he's seeing on a regular basis is to read what others are saying about the team and the players he covers.
Certainly the Chicago press had a field day Monday comparing "Wrecks" Grossman with Romo.

Wrote Dustin Beutin of the Chicago Sports Review: "Romo worked all night at Soldier Field with the NFL's best defense in his face. He had one of the NFL's premier linebackers spying on him and on at least two occasions was knocked to the ground harder than a drunken cowhand in a saloon fight.... He had a running game that was stuck in the mud, unable to move the ball against the Bears' front seven, daring him to beat the Bears in the air.

"Despite all of that, he completed passes in the face of all this pressure. He danced around in the pocket.... Let's be honest about it, if we can bear the implications: Tony Romo put on a demonstration of how a premier quarterback should handle an elite defense."

One Chicago newsman wrote that Romo "looked like a more mobile Tom Brady." Another said Romo looks "like a young Brett Favre."

Wrote Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Tribune, "There are a lot of things Romo can do better than Grossman, but one stood out Sunday night. He can avoid a rush and make a play. By comparison, Grossman moves like a couch."


According to numbers scoured from somewhere by The Ticket's Norm Hitzges (and I don't argue numbers with Norm), Peyton Manning is averaging 13 yards per completion. So is Jon Kitna. Brady is at 12.5 and Carson Palmer at 11.5. They would be the cream of the NFL except for this:

Romo is averaging a whopping 17 yards per completion.

In other Cowboys news, Steven Jackson is out for Sunday

St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson will miss at least one week with a partial tear of his left groin, an injury sustained in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 24-3 loss at Tampa Bay.

Rookie Brian Leonard, a second-round pick from Rutgers, will get his first start Sunday at Dallas. Offensive coordinator Greg Olson was hopeful Jackson would be out only one game.

"He's one of our best players, if not the best player," Olson said. "As we tell our players, anytime someone gets injured the rest of us have to pick up the slack.

"We'll find a way to spread the ball around."

The 0-3 Rams learned they lost Jackson a day after guard Mark Setterstrom was lost for the season with a torn left knee ligament and cartilage damage. Setterstrom is the second lineman the Rams have lost this season, after seven-time Pro Bowl tackle Orlando Pace sustained a season-ending shoulder injury in the opener.

The Rams were in conservative mode against the Buccaneers, intent on protecting quarterback Marc Bulger. Olson disclosed Monday that Bulger was playing with two broken ribs, an injury likely sustained in the opener when he was sacked six times.

Will Wrecks Grossman start Sunday? Don’t Count on it

Rex Grossman still had his health when he walked off the field. But he may not have his starting job much longer after his latest meltdown.

Grossman threw three interceptions as the Chicago Bears fell to the Dallas Cowboys 34-10 on Sunday night, and he did not get a vote of confidence from his coach a day later. Now, the question is: Will he start this week at Detroit?

"Will Rex Grossman start Sunday?" coach Lovie Smith asked on Monday, repeating the question. "Well, our evaluation process is going on right now, and if you come out to practice Wednesday, you'll have a better idea of who will be starting at all positions."

Has Smith made a decision?

"I'm always thinking ahead," he said.

Smith gave his usual answer when asked Sunday night about Grossman -- "Rex Grossman is our quarterback" -- but his tone was different on Monday, fueling speculation Brian Griese might start Sunday against Detroit.

Grossman's supporters would have a hard time arguing against the move, considering he ranks 23rd in the league with 500 yards, has a 45.2 rating and is 47-of-89 (52.8 percent) with a league-leading six interceptions and just one touchdown.

But is Griese the answer?

A Pro Bowl pick with Denver in 2000, he has passed for 16,564 yards, but has also been released three times -- by the Broncos, Miami and Tampa Bay.

"I have confidence in our entire football team," Smith said. "Brian is a part of that. After you have a loss like that, we all feel bad. We should."

This is from Friday, but DMN blogger Tim McMahon had a good bit when he rated the QB class of ’03

Ranking the Class of '03 QBs

Undrafted Tony Romo looks like a Pro Bowler, and first-round pick Train Rex Grossman might be looking for a seat on the bench soon. With those two meeting Sunday night at Soldier Field, I figured this is a good time to rank the quarterbacks from the draft class of 2003.

1. Carson Palmer, Bengals (First round, first overall)
2. Tony Romo, Cowboys (undrafted)
3. Byron Leftwich, Jaguars/Falcons (First round, seventh overall)
4. Kyle Boller, Ravens (First round, 19th overall)
5. Rex Grossman, Bears (First round, 22nd overall)
6. Chris Simms, Bucs (Third round, 97th overall)
7. Seneca Wallace, Seahawks (Fourth round, 110th overall)
8. Brooks Bollinger, Jets/Vikings (Sixth round, 200th overall)
9. Brian St. Pierre, Steelers (Fifth round, 163rd overall)
10. Ken Dorsey, 49ers/Browns (Seventh round, 241st overall)
11. Drew Henson, Texans (Sixth round, 192nd overall)
12. Dave Ragone, Texans (Third round, 88th overall)
13. Kliff Kingsbury, Patriots (Sixth round, 201st overall)
14. Gibran Hamdan, Redskins (Seventh round, 232nd overall)

You could make a case that I've underrated Grossman on this list. He was the starter on a Super Bowl team last season. Leftwich has been cut, and Boller was demoted to a backup.

But the Bears would have made a Super Bowl with Leftwich or Boller under center. And they would have had a better chance of winning.

In College news, Texas Tech shakes up staff

On Sunday, defensive coordinator Lyle Setencich stepped down at Leach's suggestion. Setencich was replaced by defensive assistant Ruffin McNeill for the remainder of the season.

The news was greeted with surprise among the team, coaches and Tech fans, and prompted a banner A-1 headline in the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.

Leach admitted the decision was difficult. Setencich had once hired a young Leach as an assistant at Cal Poly SLO and has faced severe personal challenges. Setencich's wife, Kathy, suffered a stroke-like hemorrhage called a "brain bleed" and recently underwent further surgery.

"I just think we need a change in mentality," Leach said. "With that said, we wish him the best. For some years he's been trying to balance a lot of things and trying to take care of a lot of things at once. At some point, it just got to be too much."
McNeill received the news from Leach on Sunday afternoon, something he described as "bittersweet."

Monday, McNeill was busy watching film on the large-screen Sony in his office and meeting with assistants, a takeout lunch still untouched on his desk.

He said he wanted to build an aggressive, swarming defense as a counterpart to Tech's spread offense.

"They do a great job of moving the football and a great job of doing what they do," McNeill said. "We have to do a great job of upholding our end of the bargain."

McNeill acknowledged an emotional side that manifests itself in yelling, high-fives and even the occasional chest bump.

"Coach Ruffin is going to get in your face and he's going to yell at you a little bit more and make sure you do it right," cornerback Chris Parker said. "With cCoach [Setencich], it was more of that he would just expect you to know it."

McNeill acknowledges a difficult situation with a relatively inexperienced unit.
Setencich had shown solid progress after inheriting a unit that ranked 85th nationally in 2002. Tech's defense ranked a respectable 30th in 2005, the year the Red Raiders reached the Cotton Bowl. Tech's defense stands 74th this season.

The defense could determine how the season goes. The Red Raiders rank second nationally in total offense (606 yards a game) and fifth in scoring (49.5 points a game).

Leach's 10-minute postgame verbal dissection of his team has apparently left few lasting scars. Most of the veterans have heard variations before and understand it comes from playing for a coach who speaks his mind.

Texas prepares for Kansas State…the team that started this slide….

The Texas Longhorns remember 45-42, when Kansas State's Jeff Snodgrass kicked a game-winning 51-yard field goal. They were supposed to beat Kansas State that day. They were supposed to celebrate a Big 12 South title in front of the Wildcats.

But it was the Wildcats celebrating as the Longhorns faded into oblivion.

One year later, as the teams prepare to meet Saturday in Austin, it's time for revenge.



For the Longhorns, revenge is a dish best served somewhere else.

"This is not a revenge game," offensive tackle Tony Hills said. "What happened in the past is in the past. We're just looking forward to opening up conference play and getting started on one of our goals: winning the Big 12. But this is not a revenge game."

Kansas State (2-1) might have been the team that derailed the Longhorns' 2006 season. They might have been the team that injured Colt McCoy, knocking him out, along with any thoughts of a national championship. They might represent the beginning of the end to the Longhorns' 2006 season.

The No. 7 Longhorns (4-0) aren't buying it.

"You sell every day on this being a different team. You're trying to build chemistry
with a different team," Mack Brown said on why revenge isn't a motivational tool the Longhorns use. "Last year's loss isn't about this team. I'm sure some players use revenge. If somebody wants to stay mad over last year, that's their deal. And some will. But that's not my deal."

It doesn't need to be.

Opponents might find a way to beat Brown's teams once, but it's rare to go back-to-back against the Longhorns.

Besides Oklahoma, which won five straight Red River Rivalry contests from 2000-04, only one Big 12 team has posted back-to-back victories over the Longhorns since Brown arrived — Kansas State in 1998-99.

That still doesn't play into Brown's philosophy.

So what does he use to motivate?

"We want to win the Big 12 championship," Brown said. "This is the opening game. We still haven't played our best game, and Kansas State is really good. I really feel like if guys can't get excited about playing in the opening conference game, they shouldn't be playing anyway."

That's how Texas is looking at Saturday's showdown at Royal-Memorial Stadium.

Weiss believes Mike Gundy should apologize

Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy didn't have time to talk about his team's 49-45 victory over Texas Tech on Saturday in Stillwater. Instead, he chose to use his postgame interview session with the media to go ballistic on Jenni Carlson, a columnist for the Daily Oklahoman.

Carlson wrote a piece critical of junior quarterback Bobby Reid, who had been replaced by sophomore Zac Robinson prior to the game, suggesting among other things the coaches had sacked Reid, the most talented quarterback on the team, because of his attitude. Carlson claimed Reid had not always handled his nerves well and was "nicked in some games and sat it out instead of gutting it out."

She also painted a disturbing picture of Reid as a coddled player, standing near the team charter buses, using his cell phone while being fed chicken by his mother out of a boxed meal.

Carlson obviously tweaked a nerve that sent Gundy over the edge after Reid's mother came to his office to complain.

He characterized Reid as "a good kid" who goes to class and is respectful of the media and was the victim of yellow journalism.

"Three-fourths of this is inaccurate," Gundy claimed, holding up a copy of the column. "It's fiction. And this article embarrasses me to be involved with athletics."

Then he started raising his voice, pointed his finger in Carlson's direction and appeared to be moving toward her in a threatening manner. Video of the entire meltdown is already available all over the Internet.

"That article had to have been written by a person that doesn't have a child," Gundy wailed. "And has never had a child that had his heart broken and come home upset and had to deal with a child when he is upset. ... He's not a professional athlete and he doesn't deserve to be kicked when he's down.

"If you have a child someday, you'll understand how it feels but you obviously don't have a child. I do. If your child goes down the street and somebody makes fun of him because he drops a pass in pickup game or says he's fat and he comes home crying to his mom, you'll understand."

Great, coach. Scream a little louder in what certainly looked like an effort to intimidate Carlson because she dared to fairly criticize a 21-year-old scholarship player. Under a little stress, are we? Not everyone in Stillwater is buying into this uncalled-for diatribe after the Cowboys' ugly loss to Troy the previous week, where Gundy looked so disinterested on ESPN. As for accusations that Carlson claimed Reid was scared, we don't remember reading that in her column.

Gundy, who claims he doesn't read Carlson's newspaper "because it's garbage" and went on to say "the editor who let it come out is garbage," left without taking questions, and was applauded by what must have been cronies as he stormed out of the room. The Oklahoman stands by its columnist and its story. We wonder if Gundy would have made those outrageous comments if a male columnist had written that. For most rational coaches, these things are best handled in one-on-ones behind closed doors instead of on a bully pulpit.

This story has become a national emebarrassment for the program, the university and the Big 12. Gundy owes Carlson an apology for his outrageous behavior. And Oklahoma State needs to review whether this is someone it wants representing its school.

2 new, nice, strong blogs from our audience:


And DFWProsports.blogspot.com

I have been asked by John Winchester and Lauren Greenhaw (of your Promotions Dept) to be Team Captain for The Ticket Team’s Race for the Cure.

I’m sure you all know what the Race for the Cure is – but I didn’t know if you were aware that The Ticket has a team.

I would like to invite you all to be a part the Race For The Cure by joining The Ticket Team.

If you would like to make a donation to Komen, you may do so at the same link:
There is a direct link to the team on The Ticket’s website.

Or if you want to go directly to the registration/donation page, go here:

Race Info:
The 5K is on Saturday, Oct 20th at 8:00 AM at NorthPark Center.


Directions to NorthPark: http://www.northparkcenter.com/directionsmap.html

Online registration closes at 11:59 pm on October 15, 2007!
Pledges and donations will be accepted through November30, 2007.
Feel free to forward this email to anyone who may be interested.
It would also be great if you could mention it on the air.
If you have any questions for me, please ask!
Laron Cheek


I love hearing you boys talk college football, and I always appreciate some good Aggie ripping. Anyway, I hear the comment thrown out every now and then (not from you) that the 2005 Longhorns were "just Vince Young", and while I agree that he was maybe the single greatest college football player ever, that team was far from a one man show.

Case in point, after only 2 graduating classes since the National Championship, there are 16 members of that team currently on an NFL roster. With Limas Sweed and Frank Okam certain (barring injury) to be high draft picks next April, this number is likely to hit 18 and could go higher if any of Quan Cosby, Billy Pittman, Robert Killebrew or Rashad Bobino also make an NFL team.

This may also be a big reason why the team currently seems so green. Many top players have left for the pros over the last couple of years, leaving the younger guys to fill in. Of course, without Vince the team doesn't win in Pasadena, but there were a few other good players on that team too.

Here are the current NFL Longhorns.

Justin Blalock - OG - Atlanta Falcons
Tarell Brown - CB - San Francisco 49ers
Tim Crowder - DE - Denver Broncos
Cedric Griffin - CB - Minnesota Vikings
Michael Griffin - S - Tennessee Titans
Ahmard Hall - FB - Tennessee Titans
Michael Huff - S - Oakland Raiders
Brian Robison - DE - Minnesota Vikings
Aaron Ross - CB - New York Giants
Jonathan Scott - OT - Detroit Lions
Lyle Sendlein - C - Arizona Cardinals
Kasey Studdard - OG - Houston Texans
David Thomas - TE - New England Patriots
Rodrique Wright - DE - Miami Dolphins
Selvin Young - RB - Denver Broncos
Vince Young - QB - Tennessee Titans

Take care and have a great day.

P1 - David in Dallas


Hey Bob, heard you talking Friday about how the front office spent so much on Defense and Draft picks that havent worked out. I know hindsight is 20/20 but this boggles my mind what kind of team we could have if they made a few different decisions:

Julius Jones (43rd 2004)
Sean Ryan (144th 2004)
Marcus Spears (20th 2005)
Instead of
Steven Jackson(24th 2004).
Think St. Louis would do this trade?

Kevin Burnett (42nd 2005)
instead of
Lofa Tatupu (45th 2005)
(Response to Parcells liked his LB's bigger argument:
Tatupu is 10 lbs heavier than Burnett, Tatupu's the
same weight as Bradie James and 2 inches shorter than
both (6 foot even))

Anthony Fasano (53rd 2006)
instead of
Devin Hester (57th 2006)

Pat Watkins (138th 2006)
instead of
Dawan Landry (146th 2006)

Bobby Carpenter (18th 2006)
Instead of
Antonio Cromartie (19th 2006)(Personal Hunch he'll
develop to be better than Carpenter)
Tamba Hali (20th 2006)
Santonio Holmes (25th 2006)

Longhorns Crank that Soulja Boy

Ibis Cranks that Soulja Boy


Jake said...

The Tap's still open? I thought someone burnt that place down. Failed attempt, wait.

19 games out, thank mr. deity that this Rangers season is almost over, sincerely, rangers fans against Torii Hunter.

MK said...

When I was in Aggieland, fraternities were frowned upon. Has that changed? If not, broadcasting from the Pike house doesn't seem very Aggie. Nothing available on Northgate?