Thursday, November 30, 2006


Strahan yells at the media …for quoting him correctly?

In one bizarre hour - strange even by the standards the Giants have set over the past week - Tom Coughlin's crew unraveled once again. It started when Plaxico Burress delivered a subtle rip of teammate Michael Strahan, and ended with Strahan delivering a not-so-subtle rant at the media in general while trying to bully a female reporter from ESPN.

Asked about his comments regarding Burress, Strahan demanded that ESPN's Kelly Naqi step to the front of a media pack and "look me in the eye."

And the cause of all the turmoil was Strahan's own words during his regular spot on WFAN on Monday, when he appeared to chastise Burress for quitting on a play during Sunday's Music City Meltdown. When Burress heard that Strahan had said, "You can't give up and you can't quit, because you're not quitting on yourself, you're quitting on us, you're quitting on everybody," it was enough to trigger the latest round of discontent from the Bickering Blue.

"Wow, that's tough for a teammate to come out and say that about you," Burress said after he was read Strahan's comments, word for word, by Naqi. "But if that's the way he feels, that's the way he feels. I'll talk to him about that personally. I'm not going to get into a pushing or shoving match with you guys. I'll just talk to him personally because that's the type of person I am. I wouldn't go on TV or radio and criticize my teammates.

"If that's the way he feels, hey, that's sad."

That response was quickly relayed to Strahan by a member of the Giants' PR staff, and a few minutes later, the defensive end - who usually speaks to the media only on Thursdays - burst into the locker room and began his tirade. First, he singled out Naqi and berated her for not asking questions "in the appropriate manner" and, beckoning her with his index finger, loudly ordered her to come forward and "look me in the eye."

"I know you're going to ask it in a way that there's more division and more of a negative way than what it was, so come here, I want to see your face," Strahan said. "Are you a responsible journalist? Look me in the eye and ask me this question, please, the way that you want to ask it. Come on. Look a man in the eye before you try to kill him or make up something."

Eventually, Strahan was asked if he had spoken to Burress. Strahan said he had, even though Burress insisted he had not. Strahan added, "Do you think one play by Plaxico lost us the game? No."

Then he redirected his rage toward the media at large. "If you want to come here with the negative, you're coming to the wrong guy, because I'm not a negative guy," said Strahan, who is recovering from a sprained foot. "I don't kill my teammates. I'm a man and I talk to my teammates. So if you're going to talk to me, don't stand in the back behind 10 other people. You come here and look me in the eye. And if you're going to ask Plaxico about something, you ask him in the appropriate way, not the negative way so it seems like I'm attacking my teammates, because I don't do that.

"(The WFAN comments are) being portrayed that way because that's the way you guys portray them. We've lost three games in a row. You're not going to do anything positive. That's not how you guys operate. You don't sell papers by being positive. OK? You just don't - especially when a team has lost three games in a row."

Strahan's rage, of course, came seven days after Tiki Barber criticized the Giants' play-calling, six days after it was revealed that Barber was reprimanded by Coughlin, five days after Coughlin fired back at Barber, and three days after the Giants (6-5) blew a 21-point, fourth-quarter lead in Tennessee.

Meanwhile, more bulletin board material for the Cowboys

Plaxico Burress has more to worry about than just Michael Strahan.

Terrell Owens remembers how Burress called him a "coward" who purposely slipped on the turf to avoid a potential hit during the Giants' 36-22 win in Dallas last month. Owens says Burress will want to watch out this Sunday, particularly for hard-hitting safety Roy Williams.

When reminded yesterday that Owens had joked a few weeks ago how Williams would take care of Burress for him, Owens said, "Yeah, we'll get him this week. We'll get him this week. All I know is, everybody, that defense has been hitting some people, kind of laying the wood a little bit," Owens said after practice at the Cowboys' Valley Ranch base. "I'm pretty sure they have been watching the film so he better watch out."

The Cowboys' bulletin board should be overflowing with motivation for their rematch with the Giants at the Meadowlands. Bill Parcells already has Jeremy Shockey's "there is no way they have a chance in hell to beat us when we play our football" boast from a week ago to work with.

"He was just popping off at the mouth," Owens said of Shockey. "Whatever he needs to do to spark that team and probably try to get a rise out of us. He is not going to do it. Right now he is frustrated. What they should really be focusing on trying to do is get off that losing streak. And I don't foresee it happening this weekend."
Williams, who was not available for comment, has incentive to target Burress. After that Monday night Giant win, Burress criticized the Dallas safety for complaining about how he was impeded by an official from making a play on Burress when the Giants' receiver caught a 50-yard touchdown bomb. Williams collided with the back judge on the play. "He couldn't have made that play if he wanted to," Burress said after the game. "He can't cover and No.25 (rookie safety Patrick Watkins) can't cover. It wasn't a surprise. That's been (Williams') rap since he came in the league. He's a 250-pound ankle tackler. That's what he is. And horse collars, too."

"He wouldn't have made that play if he was on a skateboard," Burress added.

Lebreton on the case

Once they were giants...

But that was, like, six weeks ago.

Before the young quarterback went sour. Before the lame duck running back began to complain. Before the New York Giants began to topple and limp.

And before somebody turned up the heat in the head coach's office.

It was that noted philosopher/physicist, Jeremy Shockey, who put his finger to the wind -- presumably, the same thumb that he eats his peas with -- and recently declared, "There is no way [the Cowboys] have a chance in hell to beat us when we play our football, and that's the truth."

And I agree with Dr. Shockey wholeheartedly. The Giants proved as much when they outclassed the Cowboys 36-22 at Texas Stadium back in October. The Giants moved the football at will. The New York defense confounded quarterback Drew Bledsoe so much that night, he lost his job.

But the two teams turned out to be ships passing in the NFL night. The Giants veered left three weeks ago and have been taking on water ever since.

When the Giants whipped the Cowboys that night, they gave evidence that they were the best team in the NFC. Better than the Chicago Bears, even. Better than anyone.
Cowboys coach Bill Parcells admitted to the New York media this week that the defeat brought on its personal brand of pain.

"Sure, when you're on Monday Night Football and you get embarrassed, and your team looks like some ragamuffin team, it hurts," Parcells said Wednesday at Valley Ranch.

What does TO think of Vanderjagt being cut?

Don't count Cowboys wide receiver Terrell Owens among those in favor of Mike Vanderjagt being cut.

Owens was close to Vanderjagt and talked with him after his release Monday.
"Obviously, he hasn't played well, but I didn't think that warranted him to be cut," Owens said. "Personally, I don't agree with it."

Owens pointed to Vanderjagt's statistics of making 12 of 15 (80 percent) field-goal attempts before the Indianapolis game. But Vanderjagt , missed two kicks against the Colts and barely made a 22-yarder against Tampa Bay.

Owens supported Vanderjagt on Wednesday, unlike many of his teammates who agreed with the decision.

"I hope it doesn't come back to haunt us," Owens said. "Whoever made that decision, I'm pretty sure they're hoping the same thing. I hope he doesn't regret it."
Owens also pointed out he has cost the Cowboys in games this season and is still on the roster. He dropped a potential touchdown pass against the Washington Redskins.
"I feel like I have lost some games and I'm still here," Owens said.

Interesting tid bit

Fast Fact: The Cowboys have been swept in a home-and-home by the Giants in 10 different seasons (2004, 2002, 2000, 1997, 1990, 1989, 1988, 1984, 1963, 1962) and have never made the playoffs in any of those campaigns.

I heard this on Sportscenter this morning, and since they are the world-wide leader in sports I assume they got this right:

In the last 3 seasons, the Giants are 22-10 with Michael Strahan in the lineup, and 1-10 without him. He is not expected to play this Sunday.
In other news, not related to Cowboys – Giants:

Jevan Snead to TCU?

Texas freshman quarterback Jevan Snead has asked for a release from his scholarship in order to transfer, a source close to Snead said Wednesday.

Snead's availability for Texas' bowl game could be in question because Snead wants to enroll at a new school in January, the source said.

That would leave Texas with starter Colt McCoy and walk-on third-string QB Matt McCoy, who has never attempted a pass in a college game. The only other scholarship quarterback on the team is Sherrod Harris of Arlington Bowie, who is redshirting.
The source said TCU was a leading candidate to land Snead, a Parade All-American from Stephenville, although the source said Snead would like to take visits to other schools once he is released from his scholarship.

Snead completed 26 of 49 passes (53.1 percent) for 371 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions in backup duty this season. Snead will have to sit out a year after transferring, but because he played this season, he can use his transfer year as a redshirt season and still have three years of eligibility left.

Snead lost the battle for starting quarterback to Colt McCoy, who was getting consideration for Heisman Trophy votes before suffering a stinger in the first quarter of a loss at Kansas State.

Aggies big day in San Diego

The Texas A&M football team will spend Christmas in San Diego as a reward for its turnaround 9-3 season.

The 22nd-ranked Aggies accepted an invitation Wednesday to play the California Golden Bears in the 29th annual Pacific Life Holiday Bowl at 7 p.m. Central Time Dec. 28 at Qualcomm Stadium.

"It's a blessing to end the season like this to go away to California," said linebacker Justin Warren, one of the team's 13 scholarship seniors. "Most guys from Texas don't leave Texas or don't get to leave very often, [by] playing football all year. It's just a wonderful gift at the end of the season."

A&M, which played in the Cotton Bowl two years ago, didn't qualify for postseason last year with a 5-6 record.

This year's team became bowl-eligible in mid-October, capping off a four-win improvement with a 12-7 victory against the University of Texas Longhorns the day after Thanksgiving.

Most of the players were at the Bright Complex when the invitation was accepted. They were lifting weights or studying in the academic center, since the team didn't practice.

"The majority of our guys have never been to California, so they are thrilled," A&M head coach Dennis Franchione said. "I know the California Golden Bears will be a great challenge, and we look forward to the hospitality of the good folks in San Diego. Having coached in the WAC [Western Athletic Conference], I know that area is terrific, and I have always wanted to coach in the Holiday Bowl."

It will be A&M's second appearance in the Holiday Bowl. In 1990, the Aggies defeated Brigham Young, 65-14.

Mavs win #11; Suffer Dirk Scare

the biggest concern was Nowitzki, who suffered cloudy peripheral vision in his right eye from a bruise suffered in Monday's game against Minnesota. He left Wednesday's game with 1:46 left in the first quarter.

After a trip to the Mavericks' optometrist, Dr. Maurice Syrquin, it was determined that the injury was not serious and that Nowitzki could be back in action Friday against Sacramento.

But that didn't mean there weren't some anxious moments.

"I never had anything like that," he said. "I was a little nervous, so we got it checked out. And it was just a bruised eye, bruised retina. I'm clear for activity.
I can practice if I want to and play. So we'll go from here.

"Obviously, it was definitely a scary moment. Somebody on one play was driving baseline and I was looking where everybody else was, and I couldn't see the guy on the baseline driving. That was definitely a freaky moment. I couldn't see out of the right side of my eye."

Ironically, Nowitzki hit three of his first four shots, including a layup with 2:28 left in the first quarter when he couldn't see what he was shooting at.

"I kind of looked up at the rim and didn't really see the rim," he said. "Once I made the layup, I just tried to sub myself out as quick as I could. I had to get this checked out. Something's not right."

A battery of tests revealed the bruise, and Nowitzki returned to the arena.

Mavs Central looks at streaking!

It’s time to go streaking and no, we aren’t talking about Will Ferrell in Old School. After losing the first four games of the season, the Mavs have now reeled off 11 consecutive wins.

Dallas won game #11 tonight, 117-98, against the Raptors despite Dirk Nowitzki leaving the game in the first quarter with “blurred vision”. Hopefully it will not be anything serious.

But for now, the Mavs are still streaking along without their tall German and here are some fun facts/stats after tonight’s game:

+ Dallas has now won 11 games in a row, tied for their third longest winning streak in franchise history. They won 11 straight during the 1987-88 season, a season where they lost to the Lakers in seven games in the Western Conference Finals.

+ The more impressive part of their current 11-game winning streak is the fact that it came after a four-game losing streak. In the history of the NBA, the Mavs current streak is the fifth longest winning streak following a losing streak of four games or more. The 1993-94 Knicks lost four games in a row before winning their next 15 games. Dallas’ previous record was a seven-game winning streak after losing five games in a row during the 1989-90 season.

Stars do it again

For the Stars this week, taking a 1-0 lead into the third period on the road has been like taking a lighted match onto an oil tanker: One wrong move and you're sunk.
Wednesday night at the United Center, just as in Detroit on Monday, ungainly mistakes cost the Stars a 2-1 loss and gave the Blackhawks their first victory over the Stars in the past 16 meetings, dating to March 18, 2002.

The crucial miscue Wednesday came with less than two minutes left. Stars center Mike Modano grabbed the puck behind the Chicago net and carried it to the blue line -- where he slowed and turned it over, setting up an easy breakaway winner for Tuomo Ruutu at 18:12 of the third.

Cowlishaw wants some results from JD

The roster today looks to be worse than it was at this time a year ago.
The team is not gaining ground on Oakland. It's losing ground to Anaheim.

I don't think that makes Daniels a bad hire.

I just wish I could tell you why he's a good hire other than the fact that he returns phone calls more frequently than his predecessor.

If you are a Rangers fan and not a member of the media, being more accessible than John Hart really doesn't mean you're doing your job. Daniels needs to step up to the plate.

If not soon, then before it's too late.

Tony Romo love

10 minutes to get to know the Cowboys

Nice Jay-Z Remix (language)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Wednesday in Sportsville

Well, this qualifies as a slow news day…

How about a look at the bowl picture?

Barnhouse says

Dec. 19 Poinsettia San Diego TCU vs. Northern Illinois

Dec. 28 Texas Houston Texas Tech vs. Rutgers

Dec. 28 Holiday San Diego Texas A&M vs . California

Jan. 1 Gator Jacksonville, Fla. Clemson vs. Texas

Jan. 1 Cotton Dallas Nebraska vs. Arkansas

Jan. 1 Fiesta Glendale, Ariz. Oklahoma vs. Boise State

Meanwhile, it must be “write a story about Dampier” day:

Art Garcia

Dampier's primary responsibilities, reiterated by coach Avery Johnson, are rebounding, blocking shots, setting strong picks and being a force inside. That hasn't changed.

The offensive production isn't being ignored. Dampier is averaging 9.3 points -- 11.3 in the last eight games -- after averaging just 5.8 in his first two seasons with the Mavs.

One of the reasons is an emphasis in practice on building a rapport between Dampier and point guards Devin Harris, Jason Terry and Anthony Johnson. Developmental assistant Popeye Jones, a former power forward, has worked extensively with Dampier on footwork and hand-eye coordination.

"Damp is finishing better this year inside than he ever has here as a Maverick," Avery Johnson said. "He's becoming a little bit more of a presence down there. He's catching the ball, he's finishing better, he's a threat and guys are looking for him. That's something we didn't have last year."

Dampier doesn't have the best hands and is still prone to fumbling away bunnies under the basket. Once he does get control, his dunks are as menacing as any in the league.

"When I'm involved in the pick-and-rolls a lot, I know where to expect it," Dampier said "Guys are looking for me around the basket. I just try to catch it and finish."
Dampier does have limitations. Avery Johnson put it best: Don't ask him to nail a 3-pointer with the game on the line and don't expect Dampier to just make something happen with the ball.

"For years we never really had a post presence at the center spot," Johnson said. "That's why we brought him here. Not that we can throw him the ball like the Hakeem [Olajuwon] and [Kareem Abdul-Jabbar], but just be a presence. Guys are getting more confidence in him, he's getting more confidence in spots where I need him to be."

And, JJT

Finally, it appears Johnson is getting the player he lobbied Don Nelson and Mark Cuban to sign before the 2005 season. In doing so, he linked his future to the stoic, 31-year-old whose pride, not his paycheck, motivates him.

Dampier, benched for the first time in his career last year, downplays his strong performance this season. Says it's simply a matter of his teammates giving him the ball more often. Says his approach hasn't changed from last season. Says people have a short memory because he averaged 12.3 points and 12.0 rebounds in his last season with Golden State.

He's not telling the whole story.

Dampier has earned his teammates' trust by consistently catching the ball thanks to some technical changes suggested by assistants Popeye Jones and Del Harris. His teammates think good things will happen when he gets the ball, so they're giving it to him.

He leads the league in field goal percentage (67.9 percent), which is significant considering he's never shot better than 55 percent from the field. Teams often double-team Nowitzki and Terry when they're on the perimeter, so when Dampier catches their passes and converts it makes everyone's lives easier.

Tony Romo on the hype

Tony Romo made an odd admission Tuesday.

"I don't really like cheese," the Cowboys quarterback said.

Remember this is a man who grew up in Wisconsin, the land of cheese.

"It's an oxymoron, I know," he said.

And the brand of cheese Romo has zero affinity for is the kind that is available throughout Cowboys nation. It's the type of cheese that's aged about one month.

The winners of four out of their past five games, including the past three, the Cowboys are not only America's Team again, but a chic pick by an adoring national media to win the NFC.

The trick for the Cowboys is to not bite into it. Any of it.

blogging the Boys has this nugget

The Cowboys have five different players leading the NFC in statistical categories, including Romo, who tops all quarterbacks with his 110.8 QB rating. Marion Barber leads the NFC in touchdowns with 11, Terrell Owens is tied for first in receiving touchdowns with eight and punter Mat McBriar continues to lead the conference with a 48.8-yard average. And despite being on injured reserve, Tyson Thompson still leads the NFC with a 26.0-yard kickoff return average.

Eli played well; just ask him

Eli Manning says he has no doubts about his play of late.

In fact, the quarterback defended his performance Sunday, saying he had a good game until his disastrous game-costing interception at the end against Tennessee.

"I do not doubt myself," Manning said yesterday at Giants Stadium. "I thought I played pretty well for the most part and then had a bad last play. That is the way football goes."

Whether Manning has doubts about his top wide receiver is another matter. Manning subtly expressed disappointment in Plaxico Burress not going all out on a deep pass along the sideline that resulted in Manning's first interception in the fourth quarter. The play set up Tennessee's first touchdown in the Titans' shocking 24-21 win.

"You hope the ball gets knocked down or you fight for it a little bit," Manning said when asked about Burress stopping on the play when the ball sailed over his head. "The last thing you expect is an interception. (Burress) didn't want the guy to intercept it. The corner (Pacman Jones) did a good job of knocking him off his route and cutting him out. It is disappointing the way it happened."

Manning repeatedly credited Jones for making a play, but when pressed further about Burress, he said the Giants have to go all out to make plays of their own.

"It is a matter of everybody doing the right thing and competing and working hard," Manning said. "If one person does something just a little bit wrong or off it affects the whole play. You are not going to always call the perfect play but you can hope for perfect execution. You can expect guys to do the right thing.

"I don't know if it would have been a completion but hopefully knock it down or get called for interference," Manning added. "Do something - an interception is the last thing that you want."

While many were making a big deal out of Burress' play, it had nothing to do with Manning's interception with 23 seconds left and the game tied at 21. Inexplicably, Manning rolled right and dreadfully underthrew a pass intended for David Tyree. Jones made a leaping interception that set up the 49-yard field goal by Rob Bironas that completed a colossal meltdown by the Giants.

Manning has come under siege for not throwing the ball away. The quarterback has not thrown more than one touchdown in a game in his last five outings. During that stretch, he has four TD passes and seven interceptions.

"I don't think I'm in a slump," Manning said.

The NY Times spends time overthinking the Giants

The Giants are still in contention for the playoffs. They have a 6-5 record and can improve their fortunes with a victory on Sunday against the Cowboys, their chief division rival. But if they fail to snap their slump, Coughlin could lose his job and Manning could lose his standing among the game’s top young quarterbacks.

Manning, the son of the former New Orleans Saints quarterback Archie Manning and the brother of Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, was picked first in the 2004 draft and is being paid $54 million to lead the Giants regularly into the playoffs, if not to a Super Bowl.

No one questions Manning’s arm strength or his bloodlines, but his subdued demeanor has prompted concern about his leadership. In his third pro season, he still does not often come across as one of the guys.

“Manning is like a movie star,” Fiel said. “He seems sort of elite, detached, above everything. I think he’s an introverted, locked-up guy, not very connected to the others. Nobody speaks to him. He acts so alone.”

The Giants are not rushing to his aid. When Manning overthrew Plaxico Burress in the fourth quarter, Burress could have helped his quarterback by trying to make a play on the ball. But Burress stopped running his route, allowing the Titans’ Pacman Jones to intercept the pass.

Burress watched as the interception led to a touchdown and eventually a loss. “It was an indication he had given up,” Reiman said. “It was such a lack of effort, a lack of spirit. I didn’t understand it.”

DR Z on Eli

In other news, MCNabb may not be ready next year …anyone recall Culpepper stories along these lines last year?

Donovan McNabb could be sidelined between eight and 12 months after having surgery Tuesday to repair a torn knee ligament.

McNabb, a five-time Pro Bowl quarterback, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in the second quarter of the Eagles' loss to Tennessee last week. It was his third season-ending injury in mid-November in the last five years.

Renowned orthopedist Dr. James Andrews performed the reconstructive knee surgery in Birmingham, Ala. Head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder said McNabb also needed expected repairs to his meniscus. He added there was a "good" chance McNabb will be healthy for Philadelphia's season opener, which would be about nine months.

"Donovan, with all his injuries, he works hard and expedites it," Burkholder said. "We're setting it up so he can be back for training camp."

Romo rated #5 QB in the league

He has only started five games, but he looks like a 10-year veteran. He shredded a proud Bucs defense on Thanksgiving day. He threw a team-record five TD passes (mostly on short passes) and he continues to manage the game well. He is playing almost mistake-free football and he has energized this franchise.

If you have not read it, Here is a fabulous story on Bradie James from Barry Horn that was printed on Thanksgiving…

How did the Blue Jays agree with Barajas; agree with Zaun; disagree with Barajas? The Toronto scribe breaks it down

How Zaun's deal got done

Two weeks back, during the general managers meetings at Naples, Fla., the Jays, besides signing Frank Thomas, hold at least two sessions with representatives for Texas free-agent catcher Rod Barajas. They also have an offer on the table for their own free agent, Gregg Zaun.

A week ago Monday, Zaun confirms he has had two offers from the Jays for "a hair above" the $5.25 million (all figures U.S.) over two years the Cubs will pay Henry Blanco to be their backup catcher. The deal at the end is supposed to be worth $6 million.

The next day, Barajas' agent, Terry Bross, says he has received a two-year offer from the Jays, believed to be for $5.25 million.

Friday, Zaun tells the Star there's a lot of posturing going on and that it's too early to act on what he calls a still-emerging market.

Sunday, reports surface Barajas will accept Toronto's offer and fly in Monday for a physical to complete the deal.

On the weekend, Barajas has second thoughts, decides he's uncomfortable about the deal, fires his agents and replaces them with Dan Lozano.

Early Monday afternoon, Lozano advises the Jays that Barajas will not be coming to Toronto and would like to re-open talks.

The Jays refuse and re-open talks with Zaun, whose agent was headed to New York Tuesday for talks with the Yankees about Zaun becoming the back-up there.

By about 1 a.m. Tuesday morning, the Jays and Zaun agree on a two-year deal for $7.25 million with an option on 2009 for another $3.75 million.

Did Skin blog about little ol us? Don’t click here

Intern Phil ran the numbers of Longhorn vs. Aggie for the record books:

ok here's more...
overall Longhorn is 73-34-5.
college station---23-20-2
dallas--- 0-0-1
san antonio 3-0-1

Longhorn biggest road win was 1969 (49-12)
home win was 1970 (52-14)
road loss was 1925 (28-0)
home loss was 1984 (37-12)

Aggie beat Longhorn in all but 3 of the first 13 games (1915 to 1939) in
College Station (Longhorn won in 23, and ties in 21 & 33). Their longest
streak in Austin is 3 games (1984-88)

Texas won the first game in 1894 in Austin. they didnt play again till
1898. Texas won all austin games from 1916 to 1978 except 1922, 1956, 1976.
Their longest streak in CS is 7 (53-65)

texas' longest streak is from 1957-64. a&m's is from 1984-89.

hope you enjoy

Tell me this isn’t funny


Family Guy – Ding Fries are done

To Catch a Predator (careful)

Vick’s moment that cost him cash

Monday, November 27, 2006

Vander-Whacked (stolen)

On November 20th, I wrote the following about Vander-slice:

• Mike Vanderjagt reminds me of something Jim Cramer tells me during his show “Mad Money”. “We aren’t worried about where a stock has been, we are only worried about where it is going”. Well, I don’t care if this guy is the most accurate kicker in the history of the NFL. The fact is that right now he sucks. You can make the case that his missed kick in the playoffs last year against Pittsburgh screwed up his head and he has no way out of the mess. But, the Cowboys don’t have to roll with this any longer. I would start searching the waiver wire for a kicker because my kicker has used 2 strikes already.

Evidently, Bill Parcells is feeling the same way I did 8 days ago.

The Hammer dropped yesterday

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones called Mike Vanderjagt on Monday afternoon to inform him that he had been released. While Jones said he was sick about the decision, he told Vanderjagt that "some people in the organization lacked confidence in him."

"Some people" would be coach Bill Parcells, who clearly never trusted the most accurate kicker in NFL history.

The decision came 48 hours after Vanderjagt spoke with Parcells and told him he believed he had corrected some of the technical problems that caused him to make only 13 of 18 field-goal attempts this season.

"He is absolutely shocked. He didn't see this coming at all," a source said. "He is extremely, extremely disappointed."

Signing Gramatica is like getting rid of the chicken pox in exchange for the measles

Which, I'm sorry to have to tell you, isn't much below Gramatica's career percentage of 76.7 (138-180). What that tells you is that he's not that much better a kicker than Vanderjagt at his worst, but when he does make one, he celebrates with the best of them.

Five years ago Gramatica was one of the NFL's best kickers. Not anymore. In 2003-04 he hit just 16-of-26 and made only 6-of-12 from 30-39 yards and 4-of-13 from 40-49. Last season he didn't kick at all.

He battled fourth-round pick Stephen Gostkowski for the right to replace Adam Vinatieri as the Pats' kicker in training camp this summer and lost, but subbed for Vinatieri for the Colts for three games this season and hit his only field goal attempt.

He is annoying. He is a weasel. He over-celebrates. And, now, he is not even a very good kicker. According to This, Since 2003, Martin has been lousy. From 40-49 yards, (what got Vanderjagt cut) Automatica has only made 4-13 attempts. Sorry, but that is Cundiff-like. Just when you thought this team could not get crazier...

Gramatica’s wikipedia page

Madden 07 fun with Martin:

Bob, can anyone who was raised in Wisconsinin be a Jedi?


Yes, Dave. Evidently.

Tony Romo featured by Gary Myers in the New York Daily News

Tony Romo has rejuvenated Bill Parcells and energized his teammates and the city of Dallas, which loves its Cowboys, especially when they are winning.

He beat Peyton Manning nine days ago, will try to beat Eli Manning and the melting-down Giants this weekend, is the NFL's top-rated passer and even has been linked romantically to Jessica Simpson.

His first month of life as the starting quarterback of America's Team, the highest profile position in the NFL, has been pretty good.

But will it last?

Only Romo and Simpson know if there's anything to the speculation they're an item. The football part, well, Romo is one of the biggest stories of the season, but now must prove he can sustain it.

He got strong endorsements yesterday from two important precincts: Cowboys Hall of Fame quarterbacks Troy Aikman, who won three Super Bowls, and Roger Staubach, who won two. They believe Romo can keep this going. And not just this year. "For those out there being cynical and waiting for the wheels to fall off, I think they'll be waiting for awhile," Aikman said from Dallas. "This guy is pretty good. Bill thinks this kid is the real deal. I do, too. I think he can be here for a long time. He's a really good player."

Staubach, also speaking from Dallas, said, "I like everything I see about him. Tony is the real deal. He goes out there and makes plays. He's a talented kid and he's very competitive. He's got the command of his team. They are going to fight for him."

Romo signed in 2003 as a rookie free agent from Division I-AA Eastern Illinois, but took only one snap at quarterback his first three years — a knee on the final play of a blowout victory in Philly last year. But Parcells obviously saw something he liked, because even as he was starting Quincy Carter, then brought in Drew Henson, Vinny Testaverde and Drew Bledsoe, he kept Romo around. After Parcells tried to recreate his past with Testaverde and Bledsoe and was criticized for not developing Henson, it's an unknown who has bailed him out.

Matt Mosely on the Jessica Simpson developments

Some of you may have heard the rumors of a budding relationship between Tony and Jessica Simpson, who did her undergraduate work at Richardson Pearce High School.
The story gained momentum when we first revealed that Tony hooked up Jessica's Los Angeles-based father, Joe, with tickets to the Cardinals game.

Romo didn't deny the rumors, in part, because there are far worse things people could say about you.

But now he's decided to set the record straight.

"So I don't have to answer any more questions about this, I'm not dating Jessica Simpson, nor have I gone on a date with her," Romo said while laughing. "I appreciate everyone's interest in my social life, but I think I may try to play it close to the vest from here on out."

Folks, we'll continue to monitor this situation for you. For now, it would appear that John Mayer is safe.

Meanwhile, in Non-Cowboys news, The Mavs streak hits 10 …despite an untidy 4th Quarter…

Ferociousness may be the best way to describe the Mavs for about 40 minutes Monday night against Minnesota. Those last eight minutes, much of that ferocity seemed to exit with those fans in American Airlines Center looking to beat traffic.

Needing a couple huge blocks from the surging Erick Dampier, a driving Josh Howard basket and a few free throws, the Mavs withstood the Timberwolves' furious rally to post a 93-87 victory.

"When it came down to it, we made a couple plays when we needed to," Jerry Stackhouse said. "We deserved to win. Whether we won by 20 or won by two, it's still a win."

Whatever way they got there, it still added up the Mavs' 10th consecutive win -- tied for the fourth-longest streak in club history and four short of the all-time mark.

The Mavs' 10-4 record matches their start of last season when they tied the franchise record with 60 wins. They go for win No. 11 Wednesday at home against Toronto.

Stars cough up the lead and lose again in Detroit

Goalie Marty Turco can't win on what passes for his hometown rink. Third-period leads, normally as secure as Swiss banks for the Stars, disappear quickly. And power plays can actually be a bad thing.

Monday night, those unusual circumstances all manifested themselves, as the Stars gave up two short-handed goals in the third period to let a lead slip away and lose 2-1 to the Red Wings.

In 11 games this season in which it led after two periods, Dallas was undefeated. In fact, the Stars hadn't lost a regular-season game when leading after two since -- wait for it -- the last time they came to "The Joe," when they blew a 2-0 lead on April 17.

This time, the Stars squandered all five of their power-play opportunities -- although they were just one game removed from their best performance of the season, when they tallied four power-play goals against the Kings on Friday.
Kris Draper and Mathieu Schneider scored short-handed at 3:03 and 12:13 of the third, respectively, to erase the lead Dallas built on Antti Miettinen's early second-period goal.

"You're looking for your power play, even if you don't score, you're looking for momentum," Stars coach Dave Tippett said, "and it took all the momentum away from us tonight. The only soft spot in a strong game."

As I wrote last time the Stars lost to Detroit , the numbers are looking horrible. Updated through last night, the numbers now look like this:

• Marty Turco is now 1-8-5 against Detroit in his career. This is the only Western Conference team he has a sub .500 record against.

• In 15 games, he has given up 3 goals or more 9 times vs. Det.

• Ken Hitchcock was 13-13-3 versus Detroit in his stay here; Dave Tippett is now 2-7-5.

Nascar’s popularity dropping?

Whether it's just a pit stop, or whether the rubber has finally worn off the racing league's popularity remains to be seen. But its easy ride appears to be over, as average TV ratings for the 10 final races of the season, dubbed the "Chase for the Cup," dropped 10% from 4.8 to 4.3, and some 31 of the 36 races drew lower TV ratings this year than in 2005. And while Nascar doesn't release attendance figures at its tracks, there were clearly empty pockets of seats at several recent races.

Combine the ratings falloff with the sport's freshly inked eight-year, $4.48 billion TV deal with ABC/ESPN -- some 40% higher than the previous agreement with NBC and Fox -- and this week's traditional annual post-season celebration of cocktail parties and driver appearances start to look more like work for Nascar. In fact, it may well be as big a marketing week for the league as its season-opening race in Daytona, Fla., its version of the Super Bowl.

Halen 88, Drunk?

5’9 vs 7’6

And, just when you thought the blog was done....EMAIL!

Some College Gameday follow up from Ohio St-Michigan. Jason wrote in and although we did not get screen shots, here is his sports humor:

His Email:

Here are a few shots of the signs after the fact; I forgot to Tivo, so no screenshots from the TV. Sadly, we did not get there until about two hours beforehand, and we were only visible during wide shots of the four hosts, or the Herby/Corso two-person shots.

Also, the anti-Corso sign police were out in full force. My fave sign that got pulled was a picture of Corso in a Michigan helmet from a few years ago, and the text read “Corso = Craftsman: a tool guaranteed for life.” They yanked that around 10:45am.

And now, some additional emails:

My husband and I are going to have a charity drive this year, starting the day after Thanksgiving through New Years Eve. We would like to include you in our fundraiser.
We are going to have a fantastic Christmas Light/music show. (Go to to see an example of what we are doing.) It should be fantastic.

We are planning on including The North Texas Food Bank, Toys for Tots and KiddsKids. We would love any help/advice you can give us. We were hoping for a guest appearance from you or someone from your establishment, or maybe a shameless plug on your station, once we get the website up.
Please let me know what you think.
Best regards,
Lynn Zephries



I thought you and Dan might find this funny. I work for the TSA in Terminal A at DFW. On Thursday morning, an older couple, maybe in their late 50's, brought their luggage to me for inspection. I'm suppose to ask 3 questions. The man was wearing a Cleveland Browns cap, a Browns sweatshirt, and a Browns jacket. Instead of asking the 3 questions, I greeted them with WWWWEEEEELLLLLLLLLLL youre going to CLE. They both busted out laughing. The woman asked me how I could tell, with out looking at the bag tag. It was simple. Then she asked me why I said WWWEEELLL. So I explained to her who you and Dan were and why that is said on the show and that Dan was from CLE. Both of them busted a gut laughing. I never did ask the questions. Just thought you might like to hear that.........P1...Brian


Thanks for the blog, as a former P-1 who now lives in Missouri, I rely on it every day.

As for GM Jon Daniels, I don't get to listen everyday, but is he taking any heat for any of his failed deals:

Eaton for Young - Eaton never wanted to be here and Chris Young won a playoff game in STL.

Padilla for Dellucci- Padilla walks for Dellucci, the great "clubhouse" guy who hit over 20 hrs in his last year in TX

Wilkerson for Soriano - Brad Wilkerson for a 40-40 guy? That's all you could get for Soriano? (The sad thing is that the Rangers basically traded A-Rod for wilkerson, not all Daniels fault, but extremely sad.)

Lee and Cruz for Mench, Cordero and Nix. The sad thing about this trade is Lee walks away for three semi-decent players. Once again, the Rangers get very little in return.

Is he failing or am I overlooking some of his good deals?

Thanks for the blog, I catch the show when I can.
Bill Victor
Springfield, MO

I think you are spot on, Bill, but the question is what is the sum total of his moves? If Nelson Cruz can play, then that trade swings back in Texas' direction. If, Otsuka closes all year again, then that trade doesn't hurt as much. Of course, if Adrian Gonzalez plays 1B for San Diego for the next decade....Well, face it. The Padres trade was horrible.

Padilla and Dellucci were not in the same deal. Tejada was for Dellucci, and frankly, I still support trading a bat for an arm that should be more than capable again next summer.

As for Daniels, any GM needs 3-5 years to get a read on their performance. That is quite a leash, but every GM is going to miss plenty. You just have to get a few right, and when you do, they could be franchise changers.

And now an email from an Aggie who wants to fight Longhorns:

Brace for it, because it's coming. Excuses galore are about to head your way from the entitlement-having whorn. Austin residents/football fans have very little to no exposure to football other than Longhorn football. So any football opinion has to be taken in stride. That being said, I'd like to make a few preemptive rebuttals:

1. Pass interference in the end zone - it would have been a good no call, but Sweed pushing the defender off in the facemask calls for a legitimate pass interference flag.

2. 1st late hit on McBoy - McBoy should not have been jogging to the sidelines, oblivious to the defense as early as he did. The defender that smashed him was playing as if the guy who intercepted the ball was still returning the ball. It wasn't an intentionally dirty play. The defender didn't know the play was over, and if the "interceptor" was still returning the pick, it would have been a completely legit hit.

3. 2nd late hit on McBoy. As the outstanding commentating team pointed out on tv, if that was hit took place in the NFL it would have drawn a flag. But there is no per se rule against helmet to helmet contact with the quarterback.

4. Mack not sitting McBoy. After taking the first smash during the pick, Mack had to have at least considered not running him back out there. If not at that point, after the duck he threw on his first throw on the next drive, it had to have been apparent to Mack that McBoy was likely seriously injured. But my guess is that whorn won't blame Mack since he is now immunized from criticism. Mack might have seriously cost McBoy some playingtime next year.

5. Woulda coulda shoulda. If whorn wants to run those scenarios out there, the first extra point SHOULDA been made, so it SHOULDA been 14-7 after the second touchdown. So UT COULDA taken care of business in overtime, if at all.

Yours truly,
Aggie Whip

Yesterday, I made the claim that I detest the NFL pass interference rule as it allows for a spot penalty meaning that the penalty can be 40-50 yards on deep passes. I think this is crazy. Here is someone who disagrees with me:

if it is just 15 yards then every time someone is beat for a huge gain, much less a touchdown they will just take the receivers legs out from under him, thereby giving up 15 yards instead of 20,30..... touchdown. The answer is you need officials that know how to call it, for some reason when it becomes a question of pass interference all the officials magically transform n2 NBA officials.

Mike Massey

My response: If this was going to happen, why doesn't it happen in the college game? If they would just tackle all Wide Outs, surely in college they would figure this out...

11/27: Big Weekend

Giants complete the Cowboys perfect weekend

This was a collapse so massive, so gargantuan, that they don't even have a name for it. This meltdown is so corrosive that it has the ability to eat away at the rest of the season, burn a hole into those remaining five games on the Giants' schedule and leave New York's playoff hopes in a smoldering heap on the floor.

The Giants gave up 24 points in the fourth quarter to lose to the previously hapless Titans, 24-21, yesterday. They are now 6-5, the exact record the Jets have. But the Jets, who entered the season with no expectations, are feeling good about themselves. The Giants, losers of three straight, are feeling lower than the belly of a pregnant snake.

"It's a terrible shock to everybody in the organization," Tom Coughlin said. "It's a ridiculous thing to try to reassess. ... We're going to be sick about this one forever."

The Giants' locker room was so quiet it was like there was a wake going on. Maybe there was for their doomed playoff hopes.

"Shock, if that is the right word, is omnipresent," said center Shaun O'Hara.
This loss will rank up there with the one the Giants suffered in that 2001 NFC wild-card game against the 49ers. They had a 38-14 third quarter lead and lost, 39-38.
The game against the Titans yesterday wasn't a playoff game, but it may have playoff implications.

Eli begins taking some blame

Blame the quarterback instead.

Blame the quarterback because he threw the momentum away and eventually threw the game, and maybe even the Super Bowl dream, away.

Tom Coughlin played scared of his quarterback for most of the game, with a game plan seemingly devised by Tiki Barber . . . smashmouth football designed to keep the heat off Manning, and a passing game that featured checkdowns, screens and safe throws, short and intermediate only.

With 40 seconds and all three timeouts left, he played scared of his defense, and scared of overtime, and who could blame him?

Manning with the ball in his hands at his 19 was the lesser of two evils.

If you don't think your quarterback can win the game, if you don't show your team you believe in him, then you have no quarterback, and no hope.

Meanwhile, Rex Grossman and the Bears are looking vulnerable

The thread that binds Super Bowl champions is defense and quarterback. Yes, Trent Dilfer and Brad Johnson were quarterbacks on championship teams just a few years ago, but they were low-mistake quarterbacks backed by defenses that were among the best ever.

Chicago's defense may prove to be among the best in history, but quarterback Rex Grossman simply is too mistake-prone to carry a team in January.

I know we're getting ahead of ourselves here, but let's say the Bears do make it to the Super Bowl. Do you really think a team with Rex Grossman at quarterback would beat a team with Tom Brady or Peyton Manning at quarterback? Or even Steve McNair, who almost won a Super Bowl once before? Or Philip Rivers, even as bad as he was against Oakland, but backed by LaDainian Tomlinson, arguably the game's best player?
Don't think so.

With four turnovers -- three interceptions and a lost fumble -- against the Patriots, Grossman now has lost 15 turnovers in the last six games (11 interceptions, 4 fumbles). His passer rating was 23.7 against the Patriots, continuing a downward spiral.

Arguably, the most revealing statistic about the Bears is their 2-2 record against AFC competition. They now have lost to New England and Miami. They beat the Jets 10-0 but were in a death struggle until the Jets opened the second half with a failed onsides kickoff that led to the game's first points.

With Sunday's results, by the way, AFC teams extended their lead over the NFC to 31-20 in this year's interconference competition. That's a winning percentage of .608 for the AFC teams, the third-highest percentage of the last 15 years in interconference competition.

Certainly not lost in the shuffle was the Aggies shocker that was administered to the Longhorns in Austin. There is light at the end of the tunnel in College Station.

The physical way the Aggies won was most impressive

"It's been a great run," Mack Brown kept saying, and he sounded like a man taking his final bow.

But he's not going anywhere. The Texas that went to Southern California the past two Januarys, the second time for an affordable DVD worth of glory. That's gone.
The Texas that seemingly had a hold on its rivals. The Texas that had more talent, the Texas that had gotten calls when it needed them, the Texas that had finally broken through to a status it always thought it deserved. That's gone.
And the aspect of Friday that signaled the clear and definitive end of this run?
The run itself.

When the Aggies went 16 plays, throwing only two passes along the way, to win their biggest game of the century, did they start their own run?

The end of Texas' run is softened because, after all, the mob is still happy about the run itself. In any other year losing to the Aggies in Austin, potentially coughing up a conference title berth to the other rival, Oklahoma, would incite a few people.

The defending champs, instead, get a break. That's a reason fans chose to boo the referees in this one.

But it sure was a short run, wasn't it? The Longhorns still haven't swept Oklahoma and A&M in consecutive seasons since the late '60s. If OU wins today, then Texas' lone Big 12 title under Brown doesn't exactly constitute a dynasty.

Brown acknowledged how well the Aggies played while he also argued a couple of plays decided everything. One of them came after UT took the opening kickoff and drove, as Brown said, "at will." For a brief moment the Longhorns appeared to be precisely what Vegas thought they were.

Then Brown opted for what Dennis Franchione has avoided lately. Brown went for it on fourth down, sending an overweight and overrated runner named Henry Melton into the Aggie muscle. Had Brown known he would score only seven points the entire day, he would have opted for a Fran-like field goal.

Worst signings so far this season? Have you seen what Big Ben has done in Chicago?

Ben Wallace, Bulls: Big Ben signed a $60 million deal to go to the Bulls from the Pistons. He played 19-plus minutes Friday night without grabbing a single rebound. Sheesh. It was his first zero-rebound game in nearly 500 regular-season games. He is still averaging 9.4 rebounds, but he is supposed to be among the league leaders. The four-time Defensive Player of the Year is averaging only 1.6 blocks per game, well below his career average of 2.2.

Fun with Zambonis

BOISE, Idaho -- The roads weren't even icy.

Two employees have been fired from the city's ice skating rink after making a midnight fast-food run -- in a pair of Zambonis.

The ice-groomer jockeys, both temporary city employees whose names and ages weren't released by Boise Parks and Recreation, had to negotiate at least one intersection with a traffic light on their late-night creep from Idaho Ice World.

An anonymous caller who alerted a telephone hot line set up by Boise Mayor Dave Bieter was gassing up his car at a nearby service station at about 12:30 a.m. on Nov. 10 when he saw the Zambonis roll through a Burger King drive-through, order food, and then return to the skating rink. The rubber-tired vehicles, whose top speed is about 5 mph, drove about 1.5 miles in all, said Parks Department Director Jim Hall.

Tonight, in HD (if you have the means) the Stars play in Detroit on Versus (Channel 95 in HD on Directv). And Dave Tippett is trying his best to make it a playoff situation for Marty Turco and his bag in Detroit - pressure dumped on Marty

Turco has a 2.97 goals-against average, an .892 save percentage and a 1-7-5 record in 14 games against the Red Wings. But coach Dave Tippett believes it's important to see how his goalie responds to the situation.

"I'm more for throwing him into challenges than take him out of challenges," Tippett said. "Challenges build people."

In his NHL career, Turco is 0-4-2 at Joe Louis Arena, where he excelled when playing there as a collegiate goalie at Michigan. But Turco said playing close to his hometown of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, and even closer to his alma mater is getting passé, and waiting for a win there is just getting old.

Meanwhile, The Mavs big men are getting it done

these days, Diop and Erick Dampier are playing well every game, which is a big reason the Mavericks are on a nine-game winning streak.

Dampier and Diop combined for 15 points and 15 rebounds Saturday in a routine win over New Orleans. During the streak, the tandem has averaged 13.2 points, 14.6 rebounds and 3.2 blocks. The two are never on the court at the same time.
Any team north of Houston would take that sort of production out of its center position.

So the question is whether the Mavs can rely on consistency from the position that has been the wart of the franchise since it came into existence.

Shocking developments with the North Texas Coaching change aftermath that I didn’t know about

According to parents of current players, right before Saturday's game Coach Dickey snuck new black uniforms onto the team without the school's permission. The rec-league quality jerseys, pictured here, didn't contain the names of players or the school and conference logos. They weren't cleared with Athletic Director Rick Villareal or announced to the press before the game and might violate agreements with the school's uniform supplier.

During halftime of the game, offensive coordinator Ramon Flanagan allegedly started a physical fight with wide receivers Coach Chip Garber after being told he should play seniors because it was their final home game. The incident got so out of hand the offense received no instruction before going back out to start the third quarter.


Ronaldinho amazing goal this weekend:

Terence Newman’s K-State highlight film:

Suspensions from Caps-Thrashers fight

Washington forward Donald Brashear was suspended for three games by the NHL on Thursday, stemming from a fight a day earlier between the Capitals and Atlanta Thrashers.

Brashear, teammate Brian Sutherby and Atlanta forward Scott Mellanby were automatically suspended one game while coaches Glen Hanlon of the Capitals and Bob Hartley of the Thrashers were fined $30,000 and $10,000, respectively.

Brashear was suspended for an additional two games under a rule that allows the commissioner to tack on additional games. He will be eligible to return Nov. 30 against Dallas.

With 1:22 left in the Thrashers' 4-2 victory, Atlanta defenseman Andy Sutton was penalized for a hard check along the boards.

Three fights broke out simultaneously. Brashear went after Vitaly Vishnevski. The Thrashers' defenseman resisted, but Brashear kept hitting him and blood eventually flowed. Jon Erskine went after Atlanta forward Marian Hossa while Matt Bradley fought Thrashers defenseman Greg de Vries.

On the next faceoff, Sutherby instigated a fight with Brad Larsen. On the ensuing faceoff, Mellanby provoked a fight with Jamie Heward.

Here is the fight:


Ernie your soccer buddy from Fort Worth here with a highlight you have GOT to find on youtube.

In today's Champions League match between Spartak Moskow and Bayern Munich, the second goal by Spartak is scored by Radoslav Kovac in the 72nd minute.

As UEFA describes it on their site:

"Spartak are back on level terms as a corner hits Radoslav Kovác in the mid-drift before he reacts quickest to turn the ball in at close range at the second attempt."

The thing is, it didn't hit his "mid-drift," it hit him in the nuts.

He flinches momentarily before putting the ball in the net. Then to celebrate, he runs to the corner, only he's holding his sac with a look of agony the whole time. When he gets to the corner, he collapses to his knees while his teammates pat him on the head before a trainer is called
over to tend to him.

Funniest goal celebration EVAR!

- Ernie

Nicely done: Here is the goal!

Finally, the comments are back on here on my blog. Just know this: I WILL NOT BE POSTING ON THE COMMENTS SECTION. IF YOU EVER SEE ME POSTING THERE, IT IS NOT ME. DON’T FORGET. Also, keep the language and personal attacks off, and I will keep the comments on.

Thanks! Now time to prepare for the Pack getting smashed in Seattle.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Cowboys 38, Bucs 10 (7-4)

7-4. At 3-3, we all would have taken 7-4. And now we are there. The Cowboys find themselves in the driver’s seat for the NFC East Divisional Crown with their recent run of form. This team is good. And when they play teams that are not good, they generally get blown out of the stadium.

Here come the Bob’s Blog notes of review from Cowboys-Buccaneers:

• 5 Touchdown passes! And we all know he could have had 6 or 7 had his coach allowed him to throw a pass in the final 25 minutes of the game. Tony Romo is a guy who Darth Vader would say: “The Force is strong in this one”. That’s right. He is a Jedi. I spent last week saying he was special, but that doesn’t sum up his 5 games as the Cowboys starter. But, he is a QB Jedi. And no, I am no longer overreacting.

• Bruce Gradkowski is what you expect from a young QB. Some decent moments, but more than anything he misses wide open WRs. He missed Galloway at least twice with under thrown balls that bailed out Cowboys defensive backs. But that is what you expect from these young guys. They are not supposed to be as perfect as Romo has been.

• Speaking of Joey Galloway, was that his best game ever at Texas Stadium? 2 first rounders for Joey Galloway rates right up there with 5 years/$65 million for Chan Ho Park, Detlef Schrempf over Karl Malone, and Dallas announcing the Mavericks parade as the biggest sports mistakes in recent history in this city.

• Terrell Owens is afraid to get hit. There I said it. He is dropping balls. He is running out of bounds. And he is hitting the ground like a QB. He doesn’t want to get hit.

• Another week without any drastic developments in the kicking department. 11 games done, and we still have no idea if the Cowboys are prepared to win a game with a kick. Vanderjagt’s toughest kick was 22 yards. But, Jerry Jones did tell the pregame show that he was hitting his kicks in practice. Nice.

• DeMarcus Ware is the biggest no-brainer to be in the Pro Bowl on this team. I know his stats may not get him there, but he is the only real threat on the pass rush and they still cannot block him. He is a monster. And they hold him nearly every play.

• Marion Barber – Touchdown Maker.

• Who has the worst bit on Thanksgiving? Is it the ridiculous CBS police-escorted Thanksgiving trophy that nobody cares about? Or is it the Fox Turkey trophy that nobody cares about that they insisted on making viewers vote on. Incidentally, there is no way Fox was going to let the viewers vote it down. Both networks are trying to keep Tur-Duck-en alive. Madden is gone. Give it up!

• Romo has 10 Touchdowns and 2 Interceptions as a starter. Shocking.

• Roy Williams with another week that tells you he is worth the trouble. The dude may not cover well, but honestly, he has made high impact plays on a regular basis this season.

• The Giants now must go to Nashville, and then it will be time for the Cowboys and Giants to tangle. This is going to be fun.

I humbly realize that this is a shorter version, but I am taking today off for Aggies/Longhorns so I must now get back to morning yell.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

11/22: Wednesday

Mavs dominate the Wizards for 7th straight win

At a time when they should have been gasping for air, the Mavericks somehow found enough energy to blow out the Washington Wizards.

Buoyed by a combined 25 points off the bench from Austin Croshere and Greg Buckner, the Mavs captured their seventh straight victory Tuesday with a convincing 107-80 spanking of the Wizards.

So thorough was the victory that the Mavs (7-4) jacked up a season-high 34 3-pointers, making 14 of them. That provided some comic relief after the game.

"He felt that we should get to the basket on them a little more, because we had shot 15 threes in the [first] half," Jerry Stackhouse said of coach Avery Johnson. "So we responded by coming out and shooting 19 more.

"But when they go in, it's all good."

Here are some “did you know” stats from the Mavs PR Dept:

• Dallas has now won seven straight. The Mavericks only had two stretches last season in which they won seven or more games.

• Washington scored just 29 points in the SECOND-half, two shy of tying the franchise low by a Maverick opponent. The Wizards scored 30 points in the first quarter, marking the first time Dallas allowed 30+ points in a first quarter this season (3-5 when allowing 30+ in the first last season). The Mavericks have held their last three opponents below 85 points after not allowing fewer than 96 the first eight games of the season. Dallas was 32-2 when allowing fewer than 90 points last season.

• Dallas made a season-high 14 3-pointers on a season-high 34 attempts. It is the second time this season that the Mavericks have attempted 30+ 3-pointers and the fifth time they have attempted 20 or more. Last season, Dallas never had more than 26 3FGA in a single game and only attempted 20 or more seven times. The Mavericks had twice as many 3FGA as FTA tonight. It is the fifth time this season the Mavericks have had as many or more 3FGA as FTA after doing so just five times in all of 2005-06.

Here is some Tampa Bay Buccaneer reading for you:

talk about the Cowboys 3-4

As if a three-day turnaround isn't complicated enough, the youthful Tampa Bay offense had to get a crash course Tuesday in how to attack a 3-4 defense.

The Buccaneers (3-7) leave this afternoon for Dallas, where they'll face the Cowboys (6-4) Thursday in the first Thanksgiving Day game in franchise history.

"We got to make adjustments,'' Coach Jon Gruden said.

While QB Tony Romo is getting the bulk of the credit for the turnaround -- and deservedly so -- don't sell short a defense that is ranked sixth overall and has forced the third-most turnovers in the NFL (23).

"They have great personnel,'' OT Anthony Davis said. "They have big guys. I think every guy up front is 6-foot-3 or taller, [and] they're 300-pounders and big, strong two-gappers. Their personnel is perfect for the 3-4. We just have to execute."

None of Tampa Bay's first 10 games was against opponents that work from a base 3-4. Interestingly, the Bucs' next two opponents -- Dallas and Pittsburgh (Dec. 3) -- will do so.

Bucs DB’s are thin

Terrell Owens and Terry Glenn have a combined 22 seasons of NFL experience, nearly
20,000 combined career yards and hours of highlight tape apiece.

And whom, exactly, do the Bucs plan to match against those Cowboys receivers in Thursday's Thanksgiving matchup at Texas Stadium? At times, journeyman Torrie Cox and a player some consider a first-round bust, Phillip Buchanon.

It's not the ideal situation for a 3-7 team entering a game against one of the hottest passing teams in the NFL. But it's all the Bucs have, considering cornerback Brian Kelly's season-ending surgery last month and the injury to his replacement, Juran Bolden, who sustained a bruised fibula against Washington and looks like a long shot to play against Dallas.

So, on deck are Cox and Buchanon, who will play alongside Ronde Barber as the left cornerback Cox and nickel back (Buchanon).

Rice unlikely to play

Bucs defensive end Simeon Rice likely won’t play against Dallas on Thursday and appears to be done for the season. Given his high cap figure for next year, it also seems likely Rice has played his last down as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer.

Rice, who is listed as doubtful for the Cowboys game, has missed the past two games with a serious shoulder injury. Surgery seems to be the best option for Rice at this point.

“I think the longer this goes on it’s inevitable that we’ve got to take a look at what the final analysis is,” Coach Jon Gruden said. “It’s been very frustrating for him. He’s tried to go, he’s wanted to go, he wanted to play last week. Medically, we chose not to let him play, and we miss him. We miss him, certainly.”

Aggies hope to make it a rivalry again

Football fans in the state of Texas might wistfully look back to the era when the Texas-Texas A&M game was actually a real rivalry.

You know, the kind of game where both teams had a legitimate shot to win.

The arrival of Mack Brown has turned the rivalry decidedly in UT's favor. Now, the Aggies are being nipped from behind as both Texas Tech and Baylor have had enough success in recent years where those games have been more competitive than the UT-A&M game.

UT has notched a 7-1 record in the series since Brown took over.

The Longhorns' current six-game winning streak over the Aggies is their longest since 1968-74. And Brown's one loss to the Aggies had a bunch of mitigating circumstances. The horrific bonfire tragedy came several days before. Major Applewhite had an upset stomach, and Brown later said some creative revelry by A&M fans the night before at the Longhorns' College State motel didn't help UT's cause.
Since then, a Longhorns victory has become almost as much a Thanksgiving weekend certainty as leftover turkey and crowded malls.

"A lot of people talk about the emotional edge of a team that's winning, and the momentum helps them keep winning, and it puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the teams that have lost," Brown said. "We felt that with the Oklahoma rivalry until we turned that back around two years ago."

But with parity being here, it makes UT's recent success against the Aggies even more striking.

Aggies coach Dennis Franchione will be looking for his first victory against the Longhorns — which would be a statement that could silence much of the recent criticism about his direction of the A&M program.

"I think these games have a life of their own and an identity of their own. I know that they touch your fan base very deeply. I think as a player and a coach, you have a sense that this game means more than just about any game," said Franchione, who calls the UT contest a "365-game" because it's talked about by A&M fans every day of the year.

In soccer, The US National team falls further down the rankings …likely to where they belong…

The United States is not ranked among the top 30 in soccer rankings for the first time in more than seven years.

The U.S. team, ranked as high as fifth in May before a poor showing at the World Cup, fell two points to No. 31 in November's FIFA rankings Wednesday. The last time the U.S. was not in the top 30 was June of 1999, when it was also No. 31.

Lebreton on the Rangers CF spot

Matthews, in other words, is probably gone. When the Los Angeles Dodgers elected this week to give center fielder Juan Pierre a reported $45 million over five seasons, bells and whistles must have gone off at the Matthews household.

He had a remarkable, fairy tale of a season. An All-Star season. Matthews batted .313, with a .371 on-base percentage, 44 doubles and 19 home runs.
Given the November market, he deserves to be paid as much per season as Pierre will be getting.

But not here. And not tying up $36 million or more over four or more seasons. Let the Angels make that commitment.

And with the $20 million or so saved by not handing a full-time job to Matthews, the Rangers can go after the 2008 free-agent class of center fielders, a list that includes, among others, Vernon Wells, Torii Hunter, Andruw Jones, Aaron Rowand and Mark Kotsay.

Who would you rather have playing center field at the ballpark in 2008 -- Gary Matthews Jr., or one of those first three?

The big footnote, of course, is whether Daniels can sign one of them. But as of Thanksgiving week, he still has the budget to think so -- and in Catalanotto, a career .297 hitter, Daniels has just filled both the leadoff and designated hitter roles.

Tonight, Marty Turco gets a good seat for the game

Stars coach Dave Tippett said during the preseason that he hoped having rookie Mike Smith as a backup goalie would push starter Marty Turco to be even better.

For the first time this season, Tippett will use Smith in that role.

Smith, who relieved Turco on Monday and took a 5-4 win over Colorado, will start tonight against the Nashville Predators.

"He's a young goalie who came in and gave us a little spark, and he's earned this start," Tippett said. "The time is right for Marty to work on a few things, so we'll take advantage of that."

Turco has a goals against average of 3.93 and a save percentage of .838 in his last four appearances. He was pulled after giving up two goals on five shots in six minutes Monday. That said, the 31-year-old backstop in his fourth season as a No. 1 goalie still is tied for second in the NHL in wins at 11, sixth in goals-against average at 2.23 and ninth in save percentage at .914. He has been the team's MVP for the first seven weeks of the season.

"Marty is fine. He's just had a little dip," Tippett said, adding that Turco will work with goalie coach Andy Moog this week. "Andy is here for his scheduled time to work with the goalies, so we're going to let Marty get some work."

Predators come to town without Arnott

They made it through almost 20 games with hardly a limp, but the Predators are now experiencing their first injury wave of the season.

The big blow on Tuesday came when the team learned it will be without the services
of center Jason Arnott for three to six weeks.

He'll undergo arthroscopic surgery today to repair torn meniscus cartilage in his right knee, an injury suffered in Monday's victory at Columbus.

Arnott was the team's prize free-agent signing during the offseason. He had 16 points (seven goals, nine assists) in 19 games.

"He was just starting to get on a roll, so we'll miss him,'' Coach Barry Trotz said. "But people go out all the time with injuries.

"It's a fact of life in the NHL and you just have to move forward.''

Giants wonder what happened to Eli

At the center of the sputtering attack is Eli Manning, who started the season playing well but has since looked more like a lost rookie than the third-year cornerstone of a franchise.

Manning was 19 of 41 for 230 yards and a touchdown with 2 interceptions against the Jaguars. But this is no longer about his most recent game. Increasingly, it is about his ability to lead a team consistently toward a championship.

Manning had a passer rating of 97.1 through four games. With a completion rate that has fallen and a renewed propensity for throwing interceptions, he has not come close to matching that average in any of the six games since.

In the past two games, losses to the Chicago Bears and the Jaguars, his combined rating was 41.5.

From the Cowboys dark side

Indianapolis Star focus on 1920’s Reporter Guy

'23 skidoo' to you

The most bizarre moment of a long Sunday took place in the locker room, where Colts quarterback Peyton Manning was taking questions.

"The Dallas defense gave your boys the 23 skidoo all night long," observed a Dallas radio reporter. "What were they doing to play like the cat's pajamas?"

Manning gave the inquirer a long look before turning away. Manning said nothing. No need. Everyone understood.

Next question.

Here is some email:

Exercise bully - yes, you are one. And worse, an ignorant one.

Walking a mile and running a mile burn up exactly the same amount of calories. When you run they just burn faster.

Reasons to walk and not to run: a) Walking doesn't negatively impact your joints. bones, and spine - jogging does. b) Medical research has shown no health benefit from running as opposed to brisk walking. The only benefit of running is that it makes you a better runner.

I know an orthopedic surgeon who says he makes his living from over 40's who run and refuse to take his advice to find an aerobic exercise other than jogging. The results: lots of treatments and operations he makes money from. In his words, "the human body wasn't designed to be running after 40." If you are one of the lucky ones who can do it with no negative side effects, great. But don't put down others who find other types of exercise more suitable for them.


Danny Hoffman


Vanderjagt = 70%

Cortez = 75%
Suisham = 75%
Cundiff = 62.5%

Cundiff = 77%

Cundiff = 79%

Stats don't lie.


Mike Hunt from


Hola Bob.

I haven't heard anyone talking about it yet, but do you realize that the win over the Colts shouldn't have been that surprising? I think it was the Chargers that broke the streak last year against them and then the Steelers did it in the playoffs. Know what those teams have in common on defense? The 3-4. The Colts struggle against it for some reason.

Who did you have going into this last UFC event in the Hughes - GSP bout? I was pulling for GSP but I think it was a pick 'em. When they fight again I think it'll be another pick 'em bout. GSP has devastating stand up but there is no one better in the UFC at ground and pound than Matt Hughes. Excellent match.

Baby arm bar -



More Fran numbers:
20-21 Overall record

Record against OU: 0-4, TT: 1-3, NU: 0-2, t.u.: 0-3
11 losses of 20 or more points

Lost to every Big 12 team, except for KU/KSU at least once
Lost to every Big 12 team, except for KU/KSU/Baylor by at least 20 points

Overall Big 12 record of 10-14 with an average margin of loss of 22 points
Big 12 South record of 5-10 with an average margin of loss of 21 points

Worst loss in Texas A&M history (77-0)
Worst loss to Texas Tech in Texas A&M history (56-17)
Worst bowl game loss in Texas A&M history (38-7)
First loss to Iowa State in Texas A&M history
First losing season since 1982
First loss to Baylor since 1985

As a great man almost once said,

Mark: They're making a mockery of my University, man. This whole thing is turning out to be a theatrical mockery. You understand that, Mike?
Mike: No,
Mark: Well, you will.

Class of '99


Cowboys fan breaks down Manning’s pick

Hughes – St Pierre 2

Gilbert Arenas

If you are having trouble with the Ticket podcasts, resubscribe using these addresses:

top 10:

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Tuesday Blogging

Reasons that support the quest for the 2 seed

With 9-1 Chicago in control of the NFC, the Cowboys can realistically set the No. 2 spot in the conference as attainable.

The path has been cut. All the Cowboys have to do is take it. Here's why:

The quarterback

The Cowboys say they knew Tony Romo could be good, but no one expected this. In his first four career starts, Romo is 3-1 and has completed 70.2 percent of his passes for 1,088 yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions. "It's unbelievable," nose tackle Jason Ferguson said.

The schedule

Four of their final six games are at Texas Stadium, where the Cowboys are 3-1. Those four visiting teams are a combined 5-13 on the road. "It's good, but it doesn't really matter home or away," linebacker Bradie James said. "We have to win."


In winning three of the past four games, the Cowboys are plus-8 in turnovers. The defense scored a game-tying touchdown Sunday against the Colts on linebacker Kevin Burnett's 39-yard interception return in the third quarter.

Few injuries

Unlike the two previous seasons when running back Julius Jones battled injuries, he's fine now. Jones needs 187 yards to become the first Cowboys running back to rush for 1,000 yards since Emmitt Smith in 2001. Other than receiver Terry Glenn, no offensive player has missed a game due to injury. The only major injury, and it was big, was the torn Achilles' tendon suffered by linebacker Greg Ellis.

Getting the breaks

Donovan McNabb is out for the season. The New York Giants are dealing with serious injuries to left tackle Luke Petitgout, defensive ends Michael Strahan, Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora and linebacker Carlos Emmons. New Orleans has lost back-to-back games. Atlanta has lost three consecutive games. Seattle is 6-4, but its quarterback is hurt and Shaun Alexander has yet to regain his pre-injury form.

Jim Reeves with the column about Today’s NFL…As you know, this beats me…

Oh, sure, the Cowboys got a couple of key breaks, such as the pass interference call that should have been made on Roy Williams' goal-line interception, and the fact that Kevin Burnett would probably have been ruled down on his touchdown interception return if Tony Dungy wasn't using his red challenge flag to blow his nose at the time.

But let's not quibble over semantics. Those are plays that happen in games every Sunday, the kind the Colts had overcome in their first nine games of the season. The best team on Sunday won the game. That's today's NFL.

The Colts won't be perfect this season, but I'd still bet we'll see them in South Beach on Feb. 4, so this wasn't a make-or-break game for them.

It very well may have been for the Cowboys.

Oh, even sitting at 5-5 you certainly couldn't write them out of the postseason picture, not in this NFL. There may yet be a 3-7 team out there that can ooze itself back into contention over the season's final six games.

I love Revo, but stop doing this! All writers do it, but unless you can tell me about the year in which 10 teams were 9-1 after week 10, then I don’t want to hear this. It is absurd to suggest that the race for the playoffs (which includes 12 teams) would be exclusive to only top tier teams. If you only want top teams in the playoffs, then change the format to the top two teams in each conference. Otherwise, if you are going to include 40% of each conference, expect some middle-tier mediocrity. It has nothing to do with “today’s NFL”.

Above, Sturm Hot Button issue #213.

Colts-Cowboys Ratings Winner

The Cowboys’ 21-14 win over Indianapolis on Sunday, televised on CBS, was the highest-rated NFL game on any network this season.

Tony Romo passed for 226 yards and Marion Barber rushed for two touchdowns as the Cowboys upset the previously unbeaten Colts, who were on a nine-game winning streak,
in front of a crowd of 63,706 at Texas Stadium.

The game scored an overnight household rating/share of 15.8/29. The game, which CBS Sports protected under the new NFL flexible scheduling, out-rated Sunday’s San Diego-Denver game, which was moved to prime time on NBC, by 52 percent (15.8/29 vs. 10.4/16).

The Cowboys host Tampa Bay on Thanksgiving Day. Kickoff is 3:15 p.m. on FOX.

Gruden to Dallas?

Bucs coach Jon Gruden responded angrily to a report in Sunday's Tampa Tribune that said he is actively seeking work elsewhere and could wind up coaching the Dallas Cowboys in 2007.

"Whoever wrote that story is an idiot," Gruden said after the Bucs' 20-17 victory against the Redskins. "I'm committed to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers; it's the only job I've ever wanted."

Gruden's remarks came in response to a column written by Ira Kaufman, who covers the NFL for the Tribune and quoted an NFL source who said it's possible that Gruden could leave the Bucs before his contract expires in 2008.

"That's not implausible," the source said of Gruden engineering his departure from Tampa Bay. "Ten years ago, it couldn't happen. Now, it's not a crazy idea."

Gruden vehemently disagreed with the notion that he would seek to leave the Bucs after this season, saying he thought the report that also suggested he could replace Cowboys coach Bill Parcells, was "laughable."

"I'm here as long as the Glazers will have me," Gruden said, referring to the family that owns the Bucs. "This is the greatest franchise in football, and we're on the way up.

"Somebody pointed that [column] out to me, and it's laughable, really. I like The Tampa Tribune. I subscribe to it. But whoever wrote that needs to have his head examined. I don't like it."

Mavs win 6th straight

Dirk Nowitzki isn't mad about the way the Mavericks are playing.

After all, they've won six in a row after Monday night's 93-85 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats.

But Nowitzki looks ahead and sees a tough back-to-back situation tonight against Washington at American Airlines Center, then a trip to San Antonio on Friday. He knows those games are closer to the measuring stick that this team needs than a banged-up Memphis team or a not-ready-for-prime-time bunch of Bobcats.

"We know if we want to do anything against the really good teams, we got to start playing better than this sooner or later," Nowitzki said after piling up 24 points, 14 rebounds and four assists. "After an 0-4 start, we'll take wins however we can get them.

"But to be honest, we haven't really played that well. We're lucky to get these wins."

And, also to be honest, the Mavericks haven't exactly been beating up on elite squads during their winning streak.

The combined record of the six victims: 16-43. None of the opponents is over .500.
So it's a little early to say the Mavericks are on a roll. But at least they are as good as they can be after the dreadful start.

Stars win; Turco yanked for being a sieve

The Stars had a shaky start. A quick penalty led to the Avalanche's first goal, as Marek Svatos' shot hit Marty Turco's right pad and slowly dribbled across the line. Svatos struck again about five minutes later, sneaking one between the post and Turco.

That was it for Turco, who made three stops on five shots in just under seven minutes. Mike Smith played the remainder, stopping 16 of 18 shots.

"In that position you just gotta be ready to go at all times," Smith said. "Not that Marty was playing bad, but it just shook the team up a bit, and we rebounded. That was probably one of the better games we've played in a couple of weeks."

Tippett said he was just looking for a spark.

"Turk's numbers haven't been very good, his save percentage numbers over the last five games," Tippett said. "Turk is best when he gets into a groove. You give up two early, now you just need to change momentum in the game."

Morrow injured after scoring 2 goals

With his two goals at the end of the first period, Brenden Morrow gave the struggling Stars new life.

But Morrow's night came to an early end.

Morrow suffered a leg injury late in the second period Monday, and coach Dave Tippett said it was similar to what Jere Lehtinen suffered last week against the Islanders.

Tippett said the team will evaluate Morrow this morning.

"That's one of those ones where he tweaked it a little bit," Tippett said. "It's a little bit like Leht's. We don't want it to turn into a long-term thing. We'll be precautionary."

When asked how he felt after the game, Morrow said "I've been better." He said he couldn't pinpoint exactly what happened when he got hurt.

"It wasn't really a pop or anything," Morrow said. "I was trying to jump into the play. I took three strides and my fourth one was no good. I didn't feel a collision or anything. It was just a freaky thing on the ice."

If it is the same injury as Lehtinen's, the Stars may practice the same type of caution. Lehtinen has skated in recent practices, but he has missed the last three games.

We discussed the NHL not using Hull on a national basis last night on the post game show; unbeknownst to us, they were going to use him

For years, people have been telling Brett Hull he could become the Charles Barkley of the NHL if went in front of the TV cameras.

Now he'll get his chance.

Hull, the Stars' ambassador and special assistant to the president, has agreed to terms on a contract that will have him doing studio work for NBC throughout the regular season and Stanley Cup playoffs. He confirmed the agreement before Monday's game.

TR Sullivan’s mailbag is good this week ….

Colt McCoy is back

Texas fans, you may now exhale.

UT quarterback Colt McCoy has been cleared to play Friday against archrival Texas A&M, the school announced Monday. And offensive guard Justin Blalock has been cleared to join him.

Both were knocked out of the Longhorns' loss at Kansas State on Nov.11, McCoy with a shoulder stinger and Blalock with a twisted left knee.

McCoy, the Longhorns' freshman phenom, was injured plunging for a touchdown on a goal-line sneak in the first quarter.

Below, find the two coaches that know how to dress like a coach should:

They are allowed to do it twice

Mike Nolan and Jack Del Rio are ready to suit up.

The San Francisco coach and his Jacksonville counterpart have the NFL's permission to wear dress suits designed by Reebok during two games this season.

Nolan is expected to debut his old-school outfit -- consisting of a black suit, a white shirt and a red-and-gold-striped tie -- at the 49ers' home game against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. Del Rio also will wear a suit-and-tie ensemble in Monday night's home game against the New York Giants.

Nolan wouldn't confirm his plan Wednesday to wear the suit he first requested last year, saying, "I'm just focused on the opponent, not what I'm wearing."

But NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the 49ers coach has permission to "test-drive" the suit at two games this season.

"Working with Reebok, they were able to come up with something that should work for him," McCarthy said.

Nolan first broached the idea of wearing a suit and tie during games shortly after he was hired by the 49ers in 2005. He believes the ensemble will project an image of authority while also honoring his father, Dick, the 49ers' coach from 1968-75, and legendary coaches such as Tom Landry and Vince Lombardi.

But the NFL couldn't immediately give permission, citing its lucrative outfitting contract with Reebok. Nolan has worn pullovers and polo shirts so far during his tenure, but has worked with Reebok's designers to come up with the natty ensemble he's expected to show off Sunday.

Dan Reeves is thought to be the last NFL coach to wear a suit on the sideline. Coaches have been required to wear team-issued clothing since 1993.
Del Rio is expected to wear his suit again at the Jaguars' game against Indianapolis on Dec. 10, and Nolan will suit up again at a game still to be determined.

Eagles Great Andre Waters kills himself

To the shock of Ryan and everyone else who knew him, Waters, 44, ended his life early yesterday. He put a gun to his head in his north Tampa home and shot himself. His girlfriend discovered his body at about 1:30 a.m.

Waters is the third prominent member of those Eagles Gang Green defenses of the late 1980s and early '90s to die. Defensive tackle Jerome Brown was killed in the prime of his life - and career - in a 1992 automobile accident in Florida. He was 27. Defensive end Reggie White died in his sleep 2 years ago at the age of 43. Another former Eagle from that era, safety Todd Bell, who played for the Eagles in '88 and '89, died of a heart attack last year. He was only 47.

Steve Spalding sets another record

An American man caught 116 tossed grapes in his mouth in three minutes in what he hopes will become a new Guinness World Record, his publicity team said Thursday.
Steve "the Grape Guy" Spalding, 44, of Dallas, Texas also set a personal record for endurance grape catching, using his mouth to catch 1,203 grapes thrown from a distance of 15 feet over half an hour, according to publicist Deanna Brown.

No Guinness World Records officials were present at Spalding's grape-gobbling attempt, carried out Thursday in Australia overlooking Sydney's iconic Opera House.
But Brown said observers had filmed Spalding's attempt and would be submitting forms to Guinness officials in the hopes of creating a new record for speed grape-catching — the most grapes caught in the mouth over three minutes.

No current speed grape catching record exists, she said.

Guinness World Records has no offices in Australia, and the organization could not immediately be reached for comment.

ight&lid=tab3pos1> Athletes love the Wire

With all due respect to the good people who hand out the Emmys, the best show on television has nothing to do with horny housewives, castaways or Jersey. It's "The Wire"

-- HBO's gritty depiction of Baltimore's war on drugs. It's dripping with so much political corruption and unsettling social commentary that it's hard to tell whether you're watching a TV show or the news.

The series has been the darling of critics since it debuted four years ago. It has also become one of the most-watched programs among black athletes.

Carmelo Anthony loves the show.

As does Steve Francis.

Larry Hughes is also fan.

The Baltimore Ravens? Half the squad TiVo's it.

"The things in the show are some of the things I saw growing up in Detroit," says the Ravens' Derrick Mason. "Maybe not that drastic, but it's pretty real."

It should be. David Simon, the show's creator, was a police reporter for the Baltimore Sun. His writing partner, Edward Burns, taught social studies for seven years in the Baltimore school system after serving for 20 years as a city police detective. If those two can't get it right, no one can.

"A lot of black athletes like the show because it really tells it like it is," says Hughes, who grew up in St. Louis. "It goes beyond just who got shot, which makes it more interesting, because life in the 'hood is more complicated than that."

Creepy story of the day

A 68-year-old man who almost accompanied Cory Lidle on his fatal flight in New York City last month died in a plane crash in California on Tuesday.

According to the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Bob Cartwright, whose friend and personal pilot died in the plane crash that also killed the New York Yankees pitcher, and two other men died when their private plane crashed into the shoreline of Big Bear Lake, near Cartwright's mountain home in Sugarloaf, Calif.

Last month Cartwright's friend, Tyler Stanger, invited him to a playoff game between the Yankees and Detroit Tigers, but Cartwright couldn't make it. Lidle and Stanger died Oct. 11 when their plane crashed into an apartment building in New York City.


Robbing the Liquor store

Dwarf fights midget

Smash my PS3