New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan is trying to work his psychological magic again by declaring his team the heavy favorites for the World Series.
"We need to think big," says Ryan. "People might laugh at us, doubt us. But they don't know how good we are. This team is full of tough, amazing athletes."
Ryan says his team's toughness will give them the edge over any baseball team.
"CC Sabathia might have a hard fastball, but let's see how hard he throws after Bart Scott lays him out walking off the field," said Ryan. "Also, we have Mark Sanchez. All of those Dominicans are great at baseball. He just needs to work on his sliding."
Sanchez, the Jets rookie quarterback, was born in California and is of Mexican descent. He hasn't played baseball since Little League when he was 12, but appreciates his coach's confidence.
"I trust Coach Ryan because he trusts in me," says Sanchez. "It's great to know he thinks I can have success in another sport. A few weeks ago when I was really struggling and our fans were yelling stuff like 'Go get another job, you Puerto Rican!', I was worried about my future. Not now."
Ryan says he is just trying to prepare his team for their playoff game.
"It's all about confidence," he said. "I'm not a moron. I know we're not going to win the Super Bowl. But when we lose, I can tell them they went farther in the NFL playoffs than any baseball team ever. That's something to be proud of."
If you watched Green Bay play the Cardinals on Sunday and found yourself wondering how the NFL's No. 2 ranked defense could get torched like that, wonder no more!
Defensive coordinator Dom Capers was asleep.
Well, we can't know for sure that he was asleep, you say. We can't see his eyes.
Okay. Fine. If that sudden jerk his whole body did wasn't because he snapped out of sleep, the only other option is that he had explosive diarrhea. Or maybe explosive diarrhea in his sleep.
Let's agree that sleep was the least embarrassing possibility.
And let's also agree that Dom Capers should be fired. For sleeping, for his tricky bowels, for his hair or for his terrible defense. Take your pick.
New Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll had an introductory press conference that won't be forgotten for a long time.
The tearful admissions continue to flow from the McGwire Family. Hours after big brother Mark McGwire admitted to extensive steroids use during his record-setting 16-year major league baseball career, younger brother Dan McGwire admitted to extensive non-use of steroids during his failed 5-year NFL career.
McGwire, the 16th overall pick by the Seattle Seahawks in the 1991 NFL Draft, threw two touchdowns and six interceptions in 13 career games with Seattle and Miami.
The bust released this statement to the media:
"It's time for me to talk about the past and to confirm what people have suspected. I did not use steroids during my playing career and I apologize. I wish I had used steroids. It was foolish and it was a mistake not to. I truly apologize. Looking back, I wish I had participated in the steroid era."
"I'm sure people will wonder if I could have not thrown all those terrible passes had I taken steroids. I had bad years when I didn't take any steroids and worse years when I didn't take any steroids. But no matter what, I should have done it and I'm truly sorry."
McGwire followed that statement with a tearful interview on the NFL Network in which he apologized to former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue, former Seahawks head coaches Chuck Knox and Tom Flores, and Seahawks fans.
"It's very emotional, it's telling family members, friends and coaches, you know, it's former teammates to try to get ahold of, you know, that I'm coming clean and being honest," he said.
While McGwire's admission is not expected to help his Hall of Fame chances, he is reportedly in the running to become the quarterbacks coach for the Cleveland Browns.
1. Joe Theismann Annoying? Unbearable? Perhaps. But he is also making broadcasting history. Late in the Jets-Bengals game, Theismann compared Jets receiver Quan Cosby to Wes Welker. If you are unfamiliar with Mr. Cosby, he shares the same skin tone as Heathcliff Huxtable. Yes it's true. A national sports broadcaster compared a black receiver to a white receiver, a white receiver to a black receiver. First time ever. Joe Theismann: now breaking barriers like they were his leg.
2. Braylon Edwards The Jets receiver dropped a pass in the end zone that hit him right in the stomach. The drop was so bad, it could only be described as "Braylon Edwardsian." Thank you, sir. Thank you. Had you caught that pass, Mark Sanchez's stat line would have been that much better, leading to even greater media praise. We have faith that you will continue to help us in this area. Please, when SanCHEZ throws you the ball, keep dropping it like it's caliente! (GET IT?! MARK SANCHEZ IS OF MEXICAN DESCENT!)
3. Rex Ryan He got to spend the weekend in Cincinnati. Cincinnati where they put chili on top of noodles! HOW GREAT IS THAT?! Noodles are way more filling than stupid little rice! Also, the Jets won. But that was kind of a down part of the trip, because that was three hours away from NOODLE CHILI.
4. Aaron Rodgers The Packers wanted you to be the next Favre. But you didn't pull it off. You played great. You were blowing it! But then on the last play a game-ending turnover! What a save.
5. Donovan McNabb After yet another playoff defeat, many Philadelphia fans want the Eagles to be handed over to backup quarterback Kevin Kolb. Is Kolb as good as McNabb? Remains to be seen. But Kolb will never achieve as much as McNabb has in the world of dorkdom.
1. America and the world The Patriots aren't good. And haven't been for a while. Their quarterback is past his prime, their star receiver doesn't care, their defense is devoid of talent, and their head coach has no more clue than any other sideline chunker. Watching them get embarrassed in the postseason isn't quite as fun as it used to be. Our high-fives aren't as high. Our belly laughs not as deep. Our tears of joy not as pure. Let's admit it: We enjoy the Patriots being good. Let's pray that they return to dominance in 2010 and lose in the Super Bowl to go 18-1.
2. Wes Welker Julian Edelman scored New England's only two touchdowns. Looks like running across the massive area of the field that Randy Moss clears out isn't so hard. You may be out of a job, Lil' Wes. But have no fear. We saw you on those crutches. You definitely have a chance to get some work on Broadway as Tiny Tim. If only Bob Cratchit was as scrappy as you, Tiny Tim could have afforded surgery long ago. You're a pussy, Cratchit.
3. Joe Flacco Where to begin? According to Jim Nantz and Phil Simms, Flacco stays at his parents' house in New Jersey in the offseason. In their house, he still sleeps in his boyhood bedroom. And in that bedroom, still upon the wall, is a poster of one Tom Brady. How incredibly sad. Flacco is really hanging onto his childhood. Consider his left eyebrow his childhood and his right eyebrow his adulthood. The unibrow keeping them joined is this little boy's room. Time to shave the unibrow, Joe. Don't be scared. Enjoy being rich and single. You don't want to spend your time sleeping at your parents' house under Tom Brady. You might be able to sleep under women even prettier than him. (Maybe not in Baltimore. But other places, definitely.)
4. God Kurt Warner might be retiring. Or not. Who knows. What we do know is that Warner is going to challenge Favre this season to an indecisive-grizzled-old-man-off. And Warner's going to pull you into, Big Guy. He'll say that he's praying to you for advice. Don't participate! Don't let him slander you! It will hurt your image! Smite him! SMITE HIM NOW!
5. Jets fans Stay classy, Jets fans. Stay classy.
Oh, relax, you say. Don't be so politically correct. Fine. Whatever. But I seriously doubt these guys would find it funny if I dressed up in stereotypical Douchebag garb.
New England's stay in the postseason was brief thanks to a 33-14 first round playoff defeat at home to the Baltimore Ravens. But it's impressive the team even made it that far, say the Patriots and their fans, considering they've were stuck starting backup quarterback Tom Brady.
"Drew Bledsoe is our franchise quarterback has been since we drafted him No. 1 overall in 1993," said Patriots owner Robert Kraft. "He's been to four Pro Bowls. So when you lose someone like him to injury and have to start a sixth round compensatory draft choice well, that's tough to overcome. With Drew in there, I'm confident we would have won the Super Bowl."
Bledsoe went down to injury on September 23, 2001 on a brutal hit by Jets linebacker Mo Lewis, forcing the untested and lightly regarded Brady into the lineup. Despite flashes of good play, Brady was only able to win three Super Bowls in his nine seasons, failing almost 67-percent of the time. Sunday against the Ravens he proved again that he is not up to the challenge, going 23-for-42 for 154 yards, three interceptions and a lost fumble.
"Tom can't be expected to do more than what is realistic," said head coach Bill Belichick. "There's a reason someone is drafted in the sixth round. If we thought he was better than that or expected him to be great, we wouldn't have risked drafting him that late. I think he has done fairly well considering his obvious limitations."
Patriots season ticket holder Billy Flanigan, who left Sunday's loss halfway through the third quarter to go home and watch the Celtics, says New England would have crushed Baltimore if Bledsoe was in there.
"We're just not getting any breaks," he said. "Bledsoe had a rocket arm. He wouldn't be throwing those weak interceptions off his back foot like this scrub from Michigan. And of course the Jets tried to hurt Drew because they knew they might have to face us in the playoffs. The Patriots would never cheat like that."
With Bledsoe's status up in the air for the 2010 season, Flanigan says he knows what the Patriots need to return to their rightful home atop football.
"We need a few more of these Julian Edelman guys," said Flanigan. "I've been saying all along that he's awesome."
The Dallas Cowboys made history on Saturday night with a decisive 34-14 win over the Philadelphia Eagles, the franchise's first playoff victory in 13 years. But it turns out it will also be the team's last for 57 more years.
"That is disappointing to hear," said quarterback Tony Romo. "But I'm still going to try to enjoy this win because playoff victories are hard to come by. As this news illustrates."
After a narrow, heartbreaking loss this coming weekend in the divisional round of the playoffs, the Cowboys will embark on a string of postseason failures that will dwarf their most recent run, and establish a record for major professional sports.
Next year the team will be the No. 1 overall seed in the NFC playoffs, but suffer an upset loss at home in the divisional round. 2011 will see the team squeak into the playoffs as a wildcard team and go down to defeat in the first round. That will lead to a massive overhaul of the team by owner Jerry Jones highlighted by foolish and panicked free agent signings and draft picks.
By 2017, Jones will convince Brett Favre to come out of retirement and the aging gunslinger will lead the Cowboys back to the playoffs, only to lose in the first round again. This will be the last the team sees of the postseason again for decades. Losses will pile up. Each free agent signing will be more foolish than the last. Jones will start a woman at quarterback for much of the 2030s.
"This sounds incredibly awesome," said Philadelphia Eagles fan Jeff Monroe.
The Cowboys will fold for much of the 2040s, before Dallas is awarded another team for the 2048 season. The rebooted franchise will play like an expansion team much longer than it should, and will compile three consecutive winless seasons from 2054 to 2056. But by 2065 the team will be back in the playoffs and, in 2067, that elusive playoff win will come.
"So not again until 2067, huh? Ouch," said team owner Jerry Jones, 67. "It's unlikely I live that long. I'd be 124. Hopefully plastic surgery on internal organs improves in the next few years."
Following the 2067 victory, the team will hold a rally before its second round game, during which Cowboys Stadium will be struck by a meteor and destroyed.
Picture A goat cuddles a goat.
Picture "FORT SOUND!"
4:30 p.m. ET
New York Jets at Cincinnati (-2.5)
Rex Ryan says he thinks the Jets should be the Super Bowl favorite. Crazy, right? Here's what Ryan said: “You know the way I feel. I think we have the best defense and the best rushing game. That’s two factors in our favor." So wait he didn't say anything about Mark Sanchez being good or a factor in their favor? Oh, jeez. This is nothing. Rex Ryan isn't "crazy" crazy. He's just really dumb. Here I was trying to find a straight-jacket for the guy. And failing miserably, I might add.
My pick: Cincinnati
8:00 p.m. ET
Philadelphia at Dallas (-3.5)
An Eagles team employee filmed himself spitting on the midfield star at Cowboys Stadium last week. Many people were upset by this. Ridiculous. Wait until this week when Donovan McNabb vomits on it.
My pick: Dallas
1:00 p.m. ET
Baltimore at New England (-3.5)
The Patriots are DOOMED! How can they ever replace the great Wes Welker?! How can they ever find someone who after Randy Moss takes half the defense deep down the field with them can step into that massive open space in the middle of the field and catch a pass thrown from as far as eight or nine yards away? It's HOPELESS! There are literally millions of paraplegics in the world, so they can't use the (unless they're the kind who have motorized chairs like Stephen Hawking). Then you add all the people who don't have hands and are unwilling to be coated in stick'em. And then you add in babies and, well the Patriots only have about five billion people to pick from to fill this important role. It's unfayuh!
My pick: New England
4:40 p.m. ET
Green Bay at Arizona (PK)
Last week's win was huge for Aaron Rodgers' confidence. Until beating Kurt Warner and the Cardinals, he had an 0-2 career record against grizzled old men.
My pick: Green Bay