1. Jim Caldwell By starting 8-0 in his coaching career, Caldwell moved up in some pretty select company for most wins to start a career.
1. Wally Lemm: 10-0
2. Potsy Clark: 8-0
2. Jim Caldwell: 8-0
4. Barney Clark: 7-0
Of course, this also makes Caldwell kind of a loser. I mean, look at the other guys on that list Wally, Potsy, Barney. All great hobo names. And Caldwell is just named "Jim." Pathetic. He doesn't deserve to be on that list until he also gets a hobo name. Or at least gives his current name a hobo flourish. Like maybe Chowder Jim Caldwell. Why Chowder? No reason. There doesn't have to be. You think those other guys had a great reason to be coaching in the hobo leagues of the 1920s and '30s? They just did what they had to do.
2. Steve Slaton No fumbles this week. And it's all thanks to him trying the Tiki Barber method. That's where you create three pressure points on the ball. Slaton should know he can also use this holding method beyond football. For example, thanks to his approach, Tiki Barber himself somehow manages to hold onto his dignity every morning while interviewing chefs about shrimp stir-fry on the Today show. JOURNALISM!
3. San Diego Chargers Philip Rivers is now 2-0 lifetime against Eli Manning, the quarterback he was traded for after Elisha and his father whined their way out of San Diego. And Shawne Merriman, one of the three players the Chargers drafted with the picks they got along with Rivers in exchange for Manning, sacked Eli on the final play of the game. I think that's called irony. Or is it? I'm not sure. Sometimes I honestly forget exactly what irony is. If irony = hilarious, then that's what I mean here.
4. Bucco Bruce Great to see him again. Especially because the America of 2009 is a different place than the America of the '70s and '80s. Did you see Bucco Bruce and his partner have adopted a little Filipino boy? He's adorable. His name is Bucco Bitao.
5. Matt Leinart One pass, one interception, and pulled from the game. Well done, Matt. Well done. That should teach Ken Whisenhunt. YO, DICKWEED! DON'T INTERRUPT ME TO GO IN THE GAME WHEN I'M HITTING ON CHEERLEADERS, BRAH!
1. Jake Delhomme Yes, I know. Putting Jake Delhomme in the losers spot is getting tiresome. But this time it's not about his football skills, or lack thereof. No, there is something much more embarrassing about Jake Delhomme. I'll let Brian Billick explain with this audio from Sunday's game. My God. Jake Delhomme's testicles have yet to descend. Perhaps they were intercepted on their way down.
2. Andy Reid You fat turd. As though Philadelphia fans don't suffer enough at the end of games already. Why not just have Brad Lidge play quarterback in the final minutes?
3. other fat turds Andy Reid? Lost. Mike McCarthy? Lost. Charlie Weis? Lost. Mark Mangino? Lost. Ralph Friedgen? Lost. Not a good week for our heftiest coaches. I trust/hope that there is more than just one hot seat. And that they are reinforced. And, if not, for their safety, let's please replace the hot seat with a hot barge or hot cargo ship.
4. Steven Hauschka Baltimore's young kicker is making a habit of missing late-game kicks. He missed a kick that would have tied the game at the end of regulation in Minnesota, and then missed another on Sunday against the Bengals that would have kept Baltimore in the game. On the Ravens, that will get you cut. Literally.
5. New England Patriots Miami Dolphins linebacker Joey Porter said last week that there is "no question" that Tom Brady is getting favorable calls. After the game, Brady said those words motivated the Patriots all week. "It's really motivating," Brady said on WEEI Radio. "I think the guys take it to heart and the coaches take it to heart." Wait really? So let me get this straight the Patriots are motivated by the stating of fact? Huh. Well, suck on this Patriots: "The sun rises in the east." Oooooooh. Motivation. Now the Colts have no chance against them on Sunday.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was sacked six more times Sunday in Green Bay's disheartening loss to the Buccaneers, raising his total to an NFL-worst 37 sacks through just eight games.
But only four of the sacks were attributed to Tampa Bay.
"If Aaron is going to go down, I may as well do the hitting. It's more fun that way," said Packers left tackle Chad Clifton, who tallied two late sacks against his quarterback. "And more often than not, the guy I'm blocking is going to sack him anyway. This cuts out the middle man."
Clifton leveled Rodgers on each of Green Bay's final two drives, peeling off the line and driving through his quarterback from the blind side just moments after the snap.
"I didn't expect it. Chad hit me hard. And fast," said Rodgers. "But, to be honest, and no offense to Chad, I've actually been sacked a lot quicker this year. I was almost able to finish my drop when he got me. That's a rare treat."
Clifton hopes his two sacks can raise some eyes around the league.
"I'm obviously not cut out to be an offensive lineman in the NFL," he said. "None of us on this line are. That's quite apparent. But I have the body type of an NFL lineman and I hope I can get a look somewhere next season as a defensive lineman after I'm cut by the Packers. But I just have to keep racking up the stats."
Green Bay head coach Mike McCarthy isn't so sure Clifton has a future on the other side of the line of scrimmage either.
"Sure, he got those two sacks," said McCarthy. "But he tried to sack Aaron on more than 20 different plays. That's not a good rate. He always either tripped or got picked up easily by Ryan Grant blocking. He's happy about his performance, but I thought it was even worse than how he normally plays, if you can believe that."
Andy Reid's questionable clock management left the Eagles with zero time on the clock midway through the third quarter against the Cowboys, allowing Dallas to take the field without an opponent for the final 21:48 of the crucial divisional battle.
Thanks to the unique strategy, the Cowboys were able to overcome a three-point third quarter deficit and win the game.
"I'm not going to apologize," said Reid after the game. "You have to make those decisions in the moment. You know you can get second-guessed after the game, but that's the nature of the business."
In fact, a defensive Reid said he should be complimented if anything.
"No one mentions how I was able to use almost twice the amount of clock that Dallas was in the first half in the same amount of time," he said. "That's remarkably efficient. What other coach can do that?"
Reid used all of his timeouts and challenges during Philadelphia's first offensive series of the game, then set about having his team eat clock in hopes of preserving its four-point lead early in the second quarter.
"I'm not going to coach thinking we're going to cough up a lead," said Reid. "I have confidence in this team. So it's my job to keep that game clock moving as quickly as possible without any stoppages."
The Eagles went into halftime several minutes before Dallas, enabling a Cowboys' field goal before the scheduled half, and then set about blowing through the rest of the clock when they emerged for the second half.
"I learned my lesson at the end of Super Bowl XXXIX against the Patriots," said the Reid. "I'd rather be out of time completely than have to rely on some sort of two-minute drill. What team can possibly hope to do anything in two minutes? It's absurd."
Reid says he will not change his approach going forward.
"Unless they let me use timeouts and challenges I have in future games and I have petitioned the league about this numerous times," said Reid. "I see no reason to change. The league says it's to protect me from myself, but the suits in the league office clearly don't understand the intricacies of clock management."
1:00 p.m. ET
Washington at Atlanta (-10)
Thanks to a bye week, Jim Zorn has had two weeks to prepare for the Falcons. So yeah, I guess he's done nothing for two weeks.
My pick: Atlanta
Arizona at Chicago (-3)
Many thought the Bears would contend for a Super Bowl this season with Jay Cutler. They're not even close to that level. Lovie Smith, you're on the hot seat. (Note: his expression changed from this, to this after I put him on the hot seat. I think he got the message. I think. Or maybe he just thought of a really hilarious story. Or someone close to him died. Hard to tell with that guy.)
My pick: Arizona (and to win)
Baltimore at Cincinnati (+3)
Hey, I'll admit that I didn't have this game circled on my calendar at the beginning of the season. But that's partly because who uses a calendar anymore? I mean, really? Sure, I underestimated the Bengals. But you you still use a calendar. Dork.
My pick: Baltimore
Houston at Indianapolis (-9)
Bad news for the Colts: cornerback Marlin Jackson is out for the rest of the season with an injury. Good news for the Colts: it seems they have another defensive back with characteristics similar to the great Bob Sanders.
My pick: Houston
Miami at New England (-10.5)
Bill Belichick is going to be extra motivated to stop the Dolphins. Why? The man absolutely hates wildcats. Wildcats remind him of cougars. And cougars turn down his advances in favor of younger men.
My pick: Miami
Green Bay at Tampa Bay (+9.5)
You have to feel bad for Aaron Rodgers. I bet sometimes he wishes that he got drafted by the other Bay. Then all he'd have to worry about is Brad Johnson or Trent Dilfer or Vinny Testaverde trying to seek revenge against his team. And those guys suck. Although, to their credit, they could all start right now for the Buccaneers.
My pick: Green Bay***
Kansas City at Jacksonville (-6.5)
Often I make fun of the Jaguars for their inability to draw fans and for the tarped-off sections of their stadium. But, really, in this case the Jaguars in a game against the Chiefs I say tarp over the entire top of the stadium and save us all from seeing this.
My pick: Jacksonville
4:05 p.m. ET
Detroit at Seattle (-10)
What's more humiliating: that Lions fans wear bags on their heads? Or that the Seahawks marketing department probably thinks that's possibly a great look for an alternate helmet. "Hmmm a rectangular helmet made of paper a splash of radioactive green KA-CHING!"
My pick: Seattle
Carolina at New Orleans (-13)
Jake Delhomme is from New Orleans. This game is kind of like when a dog runs away from home, gets hit by a car and then hobbles back to his front door to die. In this analogy, consider Delhomme's turnovers in this game as the dying dog's loss of its bowels.
My pick: New Orleans
4:15 p.m. ET
San Diego at New York Giants (-4.5)
People get on Philip Rivers because, unlike fellow 2004 draft class members Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning, he has yet to quarterback his team to a Super Bowl. But consider this: the guy drafted two spots ahead of him, Robert Gallery, has yet to win a game. Oh, but you say: "Robert Gallery isn't a quarterback." Maybe not. But he has the same body type of Oakland's quarterback, so what's his excuse?
My pick: San Diego
Tennessee at San Francisco (-4)
I think Jeff Fisher really wants to get fired. Last night he showed up at a benefit for the charity Tiny Hands Across America in an Alex Smith jersey.
My pick: San Francisco
8:20 p.m. ET
Dallas at Philadelphia (-3)
This Philly crowd should be especially cantankerous following the Phillies loss. But they're going to need to step up their game to get noticed. Let's see, they've booed Santa. (Although that one has an asterisk because he was drunk.) They've cheered when Michael Irvin was possibly paralyzed. What can top those? Ooh! I know, booing a moment of silence. The gauntlet has been thrown down, Philly. Disappoint me.
My pick: Philadelphia
Pittsburgh at Denver (+3)
Steelers safety Ryan Clark could die if he plays at altitude because he has sickle cell trait. But he has been cleared by team doctors to play. I mean, it's the 6-1 Broncos. On Monday night. Big games need storylines.
My pick: Pittsburgh
The Eagles practiced this tackling technique all season with defensive coordinator Paul Bearer.
Picture Beer Football Uniform
She's more of a Busch girl.
Yes, the portly Boston Celtics backup says he plans to play in the NFL one day.
"I will try it," Davistold reporters. "When I become an All-Star in the NBA, when I become a great player in the NBA, then I'll try football. One of my dreams has always been to play football."
So there's no definite timeline there, outside of a plane carrying all the top 25 or 30 frontline players in the NBA has to first go down so Davis can make the All-Star team. But when that happens IT'S NFL TIME!
And this is what the NFL will get:
You know, that was actually pretty good.
Let's not let Boston fans get wind of this. They'll become even more unbearable. "We ahh so fackin good at fackin football, even owah beloved Celtics could beat yah football team full uh fackin queeahs."
The life of a modern professional athlete seems glamorous. Money, fame, women. But it's also very easy to shoot yourself.
If you are a professional athlete and suddenly find yourself the victim of a self-inflicted gunshot wound like Plaxico Burress or Vicente Padilla, what should you do?
1. Consider shooting someone else. You've just shot yourself. You're probably in a panic. And a great deal of pain. And quite embarrassed, too. I mean, you shot yourself. Your thoughts will be going a million miles an hour. But you need to calm down for a second and think. Is your gun still beside you? Yes. Is there anyone else near you? If so, shoot them, too. Really. Do it. Consider the facts: Plaxico Burress is imprisoned for shooting himself. Bob Knight and Dick Cheney? Both free. And they shot other people while "hunting." The message is clear: it's far better to "accidentally" shoot someone else than it is to accidentally shoot yourself. Just tell the cops that you saw a pheasant run behind your victim and you'll be golden.
2. Collect evidence. Not for some kind of cover up. You have nothing to hide. You were hunting, right?! (By the way, in case you don't know and in case someone asks, a pheasant is a medium-sized game bird.) No, you need evidence for eBay. Can you imagine if Plaxico Burress had auctioned off swatches of his blood-soaked sweat pants? He would have made a fortune. And then he could have afforded to hire a much better attorney than the one that he had.
3. Get to the hospital Shooting yourself is serious. It's no laughing matter. Well, it is a laughing matter. In fact, it's kind of hilarious. But only for everyone else. Not you. Anyway, at the hospital you'll want to get fixed up. And do your best to get the doctor to prescribe you some steroids for "muscle regeneration" in the limb you shot. Your league won't suspend you for steroids use if they've been prescribed by a doctor. This gunshot just might give your career new life! Well done!
4. Apply for a gun license Yeah, I'm just going to assume you didn't have one. But you're going to want to be able to produce a gun license when the cops show up. A little bribery should get you one. The person at the licensing office is a state employee. They make crap money. A few thousand in cash should be enough for them to backdate your license. If they really drive a hard bargain, offer the piece of clothing that shows the bullet hole. That would have earned the most on eBay.
5. Call your agent Agents don't just help you negotiate your contract. They provide other services, too. Remember that time he disposed of that dead prostitute for you? Really, you don't? It was in 2003 after the first round of the playoffs, you were at the Tropicana, she got mouthy and oh, okay,now you remember. Yeah, that dead prostitute. Anyway, agents can be a big help in situations like this.
6. Go public Okay. All of your bases are covered. It's time to leak the story to the press. Who is the most friendly reporter that you know? No, it's not necessarily that one female reporter who clearly wants to hook up. What about the team beat writer who cheats on his wife during every road trip? Yeah, he's your guy. Call him, tell him what happened, hint that you know about his extramarital activities, and then say: "I know you'll do the right thing with this story." In tomorrow's paper you're going to be portrayed as the hero in an epic gun battle for the very survival of freedom.
7. Start a charity Charitable people, even charitable people who are packing heat, are loved by the general public. So a few days out from the incident, once you have stopped bleeding completely, you'll want to hold a press conference. At the end of the press conference, announce that you are starting a charity to help athletes who are victims of gun violence. Specifically, from their own guns. It will be a small charity to start. But, trust me, the numbers of those in need will continue to grow rapidly. Athletes are getting bigger, not smarter.
The New Orleans Saints won again on Monday night, running their record to a league-best 7-0 and giving them a commanding lead in the AFC South. Despite that, the team remains determined to stay humble, saying they have a lot of room for improvement and even referring to themselves as the “worst team ever.”
“7-0 doesn’t mean anything if you don’t win the Super Bowl,” said quarterback Drew Brees after the game. “And we haven’t won the Super Bowl yet. We haven’t won anything yet. We barely even squeaked out this Monday night win against the Falcons. In fact, I will go so far as to say we are the worst team ever. If we win another game this season I will be shocked.”
Brees refused to acknowledge the stellar play of the offense, calling it “meaningless.”
“The offense? You want me to talk about the offense?” Brees asked one reporter. “Yea, we’ve scored a lot of points so far. Big deal. Defense wins championships. And when it comes to offense, the only number that matters is how many Super Bowl rings you have and right now that number is a big, fat zero. God, I’m so embarrassed. We should all be ashamed of ourselves.”
Coach Sean Payton acknowledges that 7-0 “is a pretty good place to be” but cautioned against overconfidence, saying that the Saints are just another deeply flawed team scratching and clawing for a playoff spot.
“7-0 is better than 0-7,” said Payton. “But this is a long season and you don’t win Super Bowls in November. You win them in February. Everything up until February is completely meaningless.”
Immediately following the victory over the Falcons, coach Payton told his team to enjoy the victory tonight, but be prepared for a hard week of practice and a tough opponent next Sunday in the Carolina Panthers.
“Pat yourselves on the back. You’re 7-0,” Payton said to a roomful of cheers. “But we haven’t done anything yet. We haven’t won a Super Bowl. We haven’t won the conference, division or wild card. We’re nothing. I spit on our accomplishments. See? I just spit all over this game ball, and you know who’s going to get it? Nobody, because you all suck. I’m going to give it to the retarded ball boy because he’s more worthy than you. And better at football, too.”
Payton then stormed out of the room, leaving his team in stunned silence.
“That was a bad one,” said receiver Devery Henderson. “Coach is really trying to keep us humble right now, trying to show us that we still have a lot of work to do. And of course he’s right. We still have a lot of work to do and – say it with me now – we haven’t accomplished anything yet. Yes, you’ve heard this one before, right? I don’t even know why you guys bother talking to all of us. You really just need to get one quote and then attribute it to everyone on the team.”