New Orleans Saints backup quarterback Mark Brunell had his teammates doubled over with laughter when he did his famous Peyton Manning impression at practice today.
"Oh, man! Mark! Mark! Do that one again where you throw an incompletion, wrinkle your face all up and then yell to the coaches something about the receiver running the wrong route," requested Saints safety Darren Sharper.
Brunell immediately complied, throwing a pass behind a scout team receiver, slumping his shoulders and storming off the field, angrily gesturing towards the intended receiver.
"Aaaaahhhhh! So funny, man. So funny!" yelled Sharper. "Stop. I'm going to pull something laughing. Just stop!"
Brunell next ran a series in which he audibled out of every play he was told to run by head coach Sean Payton.
"Run the plays I give you!" yelled Payton. "We need to prepare our defense for what Indianapolis runs."
But Brunell insisted he was checking to better plays and used a folksy drawl for added effect. Payton didn't laugh, however, and only became more enraged when Brunell stopped him to take a fake phone call from his "little brother".
"No, Eli. Mommy is not being mean to you," said Brunell. "It's not good to eat glue."
As more Saints broke into laughter around him, Payton said he understands that Brunell is doing Manning and that he appreciates the skill to pull it off.
"I'm just not that big into people who do impressions. It's not all that funny to me," said Payton. "Like, Frank Caliendo. Eh. Doesn't do it for me. You know what I would like? If Brunell could actually throw like Peyton Manning. Then we wouldn't be screwed if Drew Brees ever gets hurt."
Who cares about the players!
Here are the hottest cheerleaders in Super Bowl XLIV.
There is a lot more than the Lombardi Trophy on the line next Sunday. There are also some 12,000 homeless people up for grabs, too.
A friendly Super Bowl wager between the mayors of New Orleans and Indianpolis means more than 10,000 homeless will find a new "home" based on the outcome of Super Bowl XLIV. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard placed the bet on Thursday, and the losing city will be sent the winner’s entire homeless population.
“We wanted to make a meaningful bet,” said Nagin. “None of this: ‘We’ll give you New Orleans gumbo if we lose and you give us whatever Indianapolis has if we win' crap. That’s been done a thousand times before and it’s all meaningless. We wanted to make a bet with some consequence.”
While Ballard originally had the idea of swapping wives, he says he thinks Nagin's idea has more political upside.
“Can this city support or afford to take on the influx of 12,000 homeless people bussed up here from New Orleans?” posed Ballard. “Of course not. That would decimate our resources and our streets would be choked with the urine-soaked rift raft. But we’re four-point favorites. That's almost a lock. I’ve already started loading up our homeless into garbage trucks to ship them down there. I’m going to become governor off of this bet. Maybe even senator.”
Nagin acknowledges his Saints are underdogs, but feels the risk is worth taking.
"With the economy the way it is, the homeless population is only going to keep rising," he said. "So this is my shot to get a clean start. If the Saints lose and we get all the Indianapolis homeless? Hey, no harm no foul. They can all huddle together for warmth.”
Muskrat Mike, a vagabond who has roamed the streets of New Orleans for 20 years, says he would welcome a change of scenery and hopes the Saints win so he can be shipped off to Indianapolis.
“The world is a big place. There are so many more park benches to sleep on, so many more stairs to cower under during a rain storm,” said Muskrat Mike. “I want to get out of New Orleans. But I don’t know if I can leave because of the microchip the government put in my brain. In my brain! The government is trying to kill us all! Conspiracy! Conspiracy! Conspiracy!” he added, reaching into his pants to fling a log of feces at a passerby.
Let's focus on the keys to the game for each team in Sunday's conference championship games.
3:05 p.m. ET
New York Jets at Indianapolis (-7.5)
>>> Colts key to the game: Limit the destructive influence of Donald
"Goddamit, Donald! What the hell are you thinking?"
"How could you not expect our left tackle to get beaten immediately by legendary Ravens linebacker umm it says here that No. 95 on Baltimore roster is Jarret Johnson. How could you not expect that?! It's Jarret Johnson! He's great! You've ruined the play, Donald. You've ruined EVERYTHING. If Marvin Harrison was still here, I'd have him shoot you right in your stupid face."
>>> Jets key to the game: Help Mark Sanchez
Yes, the Jets can't put the game in Mark Sanchez's hands. That's obvious. But he needs way more help than that. Let's start with his diet. Check out this article from the New York Post:
"10 things you didn't know about Mark Sanchez:"
"6. Eats at Taco Bell every chance he gets."
What the? Taco Bell?! Sanchez's great-grandparents moved to the United States from Mexico. He probably grew up around great, authentic Mexican food. And he likes to eat at Taco Bell???
This is not good. Not good at all.
Take a look at this Twitter post from John Calipari. Olive Garden?! Really? Olive Garden? An Italian guy digging Olive Garden.
We have a serious problem on our hands. Americans with Mexican heritage love Taco Bell. Americans with Italian heritage love Olive Garden.
Jeez. I'm more ethnic than these guys.
My pick: Indianapolis***
6:45 p.m. ET
Minnesota at New Orleans (-3.5)
>>> Saints key to the game: Get the ball to Reggie Bush
Bush finally exploded in New Orleans' divisional round win against the Cardinals. So the Vikings have had to come up with a game plan for how to stop him. So far it doesn't sound like the have much:
"We'll have a plan that doesn't involve us pooping our pants." Chris Kluwe, P, Vikings
Sooooo I guess that's a place to start. Be on guard, Bush. If the Vikings realize that they can still poop themselves, only after removing their pants, allowing the poop to fall onto the field, which will then cause you to slip and fall on their feces as you cut across the field, you are doomed. It's Football 101.
>>> Vikings key to the game: Try to be less loathsome
As though rooting for Brett Favre to fail wasn't enough, there's your stupid dome, your stupid Viking horn, your pederast coach and your douchebag defensive lineman. Then you inspired Prince to compose the worst song ever. Oh, wait. Breaking news. This just in. Prince's song somehow isn't the worst song ever. It's this one (h/t KSK):
Sweet Lord. In all of that FAIL, the worst part may be at the 1:00 mark. Oh. Wow! You hit Drew Brees after he got a pass off. That's the best clip you could pull from Madden, a game you have full control over? Yeah, this is a fan base used to failure.
One last thing. Despite all I said about the Vikings and their fans, please refrain from making personal attacks about the people in that video. They can't help the way they look. And they don't even look that bad. The lead singer doesn't even have man boobs. At least I don't think he does. Man boobs don't sit that high. I think those are collarbone tits. Very rare. Cherish them.
My pick: New Orleans
US Weekly is reporting today that the boyfriend of international celebrity Kim Kardashian has become jealous of his beautiful girlfriend's fame and is trying to earn attention for himself.
"You see this all the time in relationships in which one person is a talented celebrity and the other is just a regular person," says star watcher Sheila Kemp. "It's why these relationships rarely last. Kim needs someone who understands the pressures of fame."
Kardashian's boyfriend, Reginald Alfred "Reggie" Bush, is a seldom used player for a foot-ball team in Louisiana. In his team's recent game, which was broadcast on television, the diminutive Bush scored many points.
Star expert Rhonda Shandor says Bush's display was sad and desperate.
"You can't blame him for feeling overshadowed by Kim, who is as big a star, as big a talent as we have," said Shandor. "But it really showed the difference between the two and why this guy she's with will never be a star. Everything Kim does is effortless, whereas he was covered in sweat. On television! Kim has a new perfume out. Being with this guy hurts her brand."
And that wasn't the worst of it.
"Who did his wardrobe?" asked Shandor. "I know Kim would never let him go out in those horrid, gold tights with the stripes. He is getting bad advice. She needs to rein him in or end the relationship. Now."
According to sources close to Kardashian, she wants to stay with her boyfriend, but is insisting on complete control of his career.
"First, she's working a deal where he wins that big game they have, the Super Game," said the source. "That will get her some camera time and hopefully get him off this sports kick. And then she wants to dress him up nicely and take him to awards shows and photo shoots and benefits. Her plan is to follow the model Gisele took with her boyfriend. Gisele's guy has almost completely forgotten about his sports career and is instead content to be her accessory. That's the way to do it. And it's Kim's goal for 2010."
New England Patriots running back Sammy Morris sounded off today, openly admitting that he hopes the now one-loss New Orleans Saints don't match the 18-1 record his Patriots achieved back in 2007.
"We are remembered as the only 18-1 team," said Morris, who joined the Patriots before their historic 2007 season. "Even with the three Super Bowls the Patriots won this decade, when the average fan thinks of this franchise, they first think of 18-1, not championships."
Morris said championships are actually probably fourth, behind 18-1, asterisks and cheating.
"The Patriots would really be a great Family Feud topic," he said.
With the New Orleans Saints now 13-1 following a loss at home to the Cowboys, some have said they are now even more of a sure bet for the Super Bowl.
"This loss can refocus them and remotivate them now that 19-0 isn't a possibility," said NFL Network analyst Steve Mariucci. "I expect them to emerge from this loss stronger than before and win the Super Bowl."
Morris doesn't think that will happen.
"Let me know when they're in my neighborhood, when they're on my street, when they're on my block," he said. "13-1 is a long way from 18-1. Trust me on this. Once you lose once, it's easy to start losing again and again, as our last two seasons have shown. Plus, the Saints' 18-1 wouldn't be the same as ours, because that would mean they won the Super Bowl. We did not, as you may remember. Even if they do get there, I think fans will still think of our 18-1 much more fondly."
The New England Patriots sent a strong message to the rest of the NFL Monday night, scoring just 17 points in a 21-point blowout loss the Saints that saw them pull their starters with 5:26 remaining in the game.
"I don't know why they would do that," said Saints head coach Sean Payton. "Leaving our receivers wide open time after time after time, pulling their starters. People expected a great game, and then they come out and do that. I found it disrespectful. Disrespectful to us and the NFL. No team should perform that way on a football field."
Saints safety Darren Sharper echoed his head coach's sentiments.
"Our defense is much better than it's been in recent years, but still only 17 points?" said Sharper. "And they only went for one on their two touchdowns. As much as people are pinning the blame on Belichick, I think it's on Tom Brady. Did you see his two interceptions? Terrible. Just terrible."
Belichick said it's simple why the Patriots didn't go for two following their touchdowns.
"I was pretty sure we wouldn't be successful. The Saints are a far superior team to us and I was just happy to take the one point and be on our way," he said.
But Saints wide receiver Devery Henderson wasn't buying it.
"Of course that's how Belichick will describe it. But then he's a liar," said Henderson. "They were running down the score on us and they know it. Did you see how wide open I was all night? No team does that unless it's on purpose. It's impossible to leave someone that wide open unless you're trying to. If we meet this team again in the Super Bowl, we won't let this happen a second time, mark my words."
Belichick says that is unlikely and continued with his denials of intentionally running down the score on the Saints.
"I don't see us meeting the Saints in the Super Bowl," he said. "Really. Because we're not a very good football team. At all. You saw how we played. No way we make the Super Bowl. We won't even get close."
November 20, 2009 Column
Tweet of the Week
Tweet of the Week
From @reggie_bush AKA New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush
It's okay, Reggie. Those are definitely some birthing hips. Everything will be fine.