Thursday, September 27, 2007

Well, Did You Send Him a Care Package?

If there was anything I learned from the ESPN town hall meeting on Michael Vick, it was that we're all enablers. The team. The media. The fans. We all did our part to steer Michael toward the predicament he finds himself in.

So when I heard Michael Vick had tested positive for marijuana use by the federal courts, I blamed myself. What healthy choices was I enabling Michael Vick to make? Was I offering him chocolate milk instead of soda? Little Dannon yogurts instead of fries? Did I say, "Mike, have these apple slices with caramel dip instead of weed." No, I did not. So when I heard that Mike had turned to the cheeba, I was not surprised. What the fuck else is he supposed to do? His life is falling apart! He has no means to unwind. Can he turn on ESPN like the average sports fan to escape his life problems? Uh, no. He is on blast. He is getting mental health care according to the court paperwork. He is sad, alone and depressed. Even if I had some on hand, carrot sticks might not make the pain go away like a blunt.

So, Mike, you still gotta do what needs to be done to stay out of trouble. You've lived in the A long enough. Install your stripper poles at home. Stock up on your liquor on Saturdays. Keep it legal. Keep it in the subdivision. Stop smoking. Drink, instead! It's not against the law and, if it worked for Brett Favre, it can work for you. Good luck, Mike. And I'll have celery sticks with ranch dressing (no wings, cuz you're a bad boy) on hand next time you come around.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Fashion Round Up - Noticing Those Who Dress To Be Seen

Awwww, snap! It was the battle of sexy this week. The Unrated Mike and Mike challenged each other to a sunglasses duel this week. I prefer Tomlin. Plus, Nolan is shirking his suit wearing responsibilities by wearing the nylon parka over the tie.

I'm going to be honest with you. I'm trying to start beef between the Stewart brothers. Ryan Stewart of The 2 Live Stews is an instant classic. Doug needs to step it up. Ryan brings the heat with the no tie look. Notice how the collar of the shirt is elongated to hold its own with the suit. Love it!

But Ryan is not an out of pocket little brother. He allows big brother Doug to lime green shine with a little bit of color while Ryan fakes like he's not flashy.

Stuart Scott did a couple of nice things this week. He rocks a gray suit with a true shawl collar. Shoulder pads bring the suit to a perfect proportion.

Stu also rocked a little bit of trendy color for Monday Night Football.

Tony Kornheiser felt krispy in his lilac PTI blazer. Mike and Jaws mocked him, but they don't have the confidence to wear this. Do you, Tony.

Throwbacks were worn. I found the Washington Redskins' reintroduction of the feather on the logo to be very classy. And what about those Iggles throwbacks? Did your TV bleed? Cry?

Donovan liked his throwback so much, he matched his post game press conference suit to the colors.

And Brian Westbrook was feeling his new Fruit of Islam role so much, he brought the style with the stunna shades inside. "We got your back." Nuff said.

Desmond Howard brings a little purple and gray and teefuses to College Gameday.

The Yankees forced their rookies to dress up as characters from The Wizard of Oz. Ian Kennedy was the one with the gonads to dress up as Dorothy.

Dancing With the Stars has started. Floyd can dance, but he is frenetic and lacks chemistry with his partner. Mark Cuban's specialties include the unnatural use of his tongue and patches. Not sure at all what the patches are about. He was in the bottom two this week. His tongue is not all that.

Another week... Another week Deion does too much. The gold and blue was fine, but the blue pocket flaps are too much. Stop smiling, punk.

Vince Young keeps it real with some ghetto lines in the haircut.

Curt Menefee tries a little color this week.

And Jillian Reynolds' new mommy boobs almost see the light of day. Damn you sheer fabric! The menfolk want to enjoy motherhood too.

The Vick Divide. If You Say So.

ESPN, unifying force that they are, held a town meeting in Atlanta on issues surrounding Michael Vick's treatment by the legal system and the media.

First some notes about the panel:

Terrence Mathis: Former Vick teammate. Clearly playing the role of the friend and Christian. Well received by the crowd.

Neil Boortz: Conservative local radio talk show host. Had enough sense to stay quiet for most of the show, lest his Lexus get keyed in the parking lot.

Terence Moore: AJC Columnist. Booed at introduction. Why? Because he hates the Falcons and everybody in Atlanta knows it. For years, he has seen everything about that team as "half empty."

Selena Roberts: NY Times Columnist. The yankee became a crowd favorite for her intellectual neutrality. And, yes it's weird that a White female from up top resonated the most with the crowd just by being intelligent and balanced in her statements. The other panelists could barely manage so much.

Chuck Smith: Former Falcon. Used to be a midday sports talk host at 790 the Zone. (BTW, the show has sucked ever since he left.) Booed by the crowd several times. Probably because he is much better explaining himself when he has four hours to kill. He did not do well explaining himself in the soundbite format.

The town hall wasn't terrible, but ESPN is playing the race card. The audience was overwhelmingly Black, pro-Vick and many were wearing 7 jersey and "Free Vick" shirts. Atlanta is Black, but it ain't THAT Black. People of all different races and backgrounds and cultures have all different opinions on Vick. ESPN could have worked harder to cull a more representative audience. The Associate Press claimed that ESPN handlers were still rustling people to join the audience while the event was in progress. There was a smattering of White people there, but one group they kept focusing on looked like Kip and his girlfriend Buffy. I swear he had sunglasses on his head and a sweater tied around his shoulders. If they had a Black guy with a shower cap on, it would hae been a perfect set.

ESPN is determined to insist that The Vick divide is based solely on race. That is not true. I have written about that before. And speaking of Wright Thompson, he was an invited guest of the panel. He elaborated on the article he wrote a while back on ESPN. He clarified that people in the south have a "world view" based on history and experience. I much prefer the term "world view" instead of "race card".

So ESPN is playing the world view card.

They would be better off paying attention to one of their SportsNation polls. Race is a factor oftentimes, but it's not 100 percent of the issue all the time. I don't know why that nuance can't be grasped by many entities. One of the polls featured on the show said 22 percent of the people who felt Vick had been treated unfairly felt race was the issue. That's a much more realistic proportion of the reason for the piling on than scapegoating 100% of the people of Atlanta with the world view card.

ESPN hosted the event but failed to directly address ESPN's piling on. That's quite disingenuous of the worldwide leader. I, for one, had to literally stop watching several ESPN programs for a couple of weeks because the coverage on Vick was so excessive and negative. ESPN was relentless. It didn't matter if it was anybody's favorite player, your favorite team or even if it was because I had a certain world view. ESPN couldn't help but pound the story into the ground. Which is exactly why they held a 90 minute town hall program weeks after most of the public was completely exhausted from it. They could barely find people off the street to fill the auditorium. Only a few hundred people constituted the audience in an auditorium in the local convention center.

So, in the end, panelists assembled. Audience members asked questions. One particularly interesting one was about the difference in how Michael Vick and Bill Belichick have been treated. Vick is a face of the league. Belichick and the Patriots are a face of the league. One is in present exile. One is just another asshole who gets to prove his greatness on the field despite his transgressions. I hope Vick gets to be just another asshole who ultimately gets to redeem himself on the field.

But that could just be my world view talking.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

State of the Falcons

Welcome to Atlanta, Byron Leftwich. I really have been remiss in formally welcoming you on this blog. Frankly, I'm so bitter about the Falcons I can't see straight. Anyway, hey. Don't forget to open doors for ladies, wait for ladies to get off elevators first and drink Coke, never Pepsi.

But you see what kind of mess you've got into, Byron?

The Falcons are terrible. We lost to the Carolina Panthers in the home opener that only featured about 70% occupancy. (B, can you save us from blackouts next year?) The media blames DeAngela Hall. Hooray, the nickname is out of retirement! But I think the media is being unfair to DeAngela. DeAngela is not responsible for the Falcons loss. Because, the odds are, the Falcons were going to lose anyway. And what kind of ship is Petrino where a player feels like he can scream on the head coach and assistant coaches on the sideline? DeAngela was out of control well before the 67th yard of penalty. If Petrino was paying attention, the coach might have pulled him before hand. But I guess he's been too busy being a offensive genius.

But I have sympathy for DeAngela. Youngsters often lash out when their quarterback figures are absent from the Dome. DeAngela misses Michael Vick. Whether DeAngela is fined and/or suspension, he just needs understanding.

The real number 7, Michael Vick (no, not you, B-Money), was the best quarterback in the world. No, I'm not just saying that out of romantic revisionist wistfulness. It's true.

Michael Vick isn't doing much this week, except stressing over a local indictment. Well, not really stressing. He's finding new ways to relax. In his down time, he's been getting mani pedis to unwind and destress. When you haven't been putting the football wear and tear on the footsies, regular pedicures do wonders. Plus, those massage chairs are fucking awesome. Michael has been experimenting with toe color. Black toe polish is de rigeur for men who are willing to try such things, but a little color never hurt anybody. Mike is just experimenting with one of those Chanel deep reds. Yeah, dark colors chip alot, but a polish change is just another excuse to get in those massage chairs. They are fucking awesome. And who will know? Michael used to be worried about what his friends thought. But friends snitch. A good mani pedi is a little over $30, but the joy of staring at pretty toes before you fall asleep is priceless.

Looking back, I can't remember a single misthrown pass, a single interception, a single bad scramble, a single injury or any bad decisions at all on Michael Vick's part. He was perfect. Now he's gone. Good luck with that, Byron. See you soon!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Donovan Feels Pretty

It doesn't matter what you thought about those blue and gold throwbacks, Donovan loved them. Right down to the powder blue knee socks.

Okay, maybe it wasn't the knee socks that allowed McNabb to throw for 380 yards at an over 80% completion rate for four touchdowns. The removal of Donovan's knee brace probably had something to do with it. The brace affected McNabb's hip movement, which directly impacted his ability to throw accurately. Brace removed. Problem solved. If Donovan is really injury prone, no piece of plastic is going to save him. The removal of the brace signifies Donovan's willingness to embrace the risks of being excellent. Donovan could not keep that brace and simultaneous perform as the premier quarterback that he is. So Donovan bid adieu to the plastic.

Or maybe it was Donovan's new fight the power outlook on life. Donovan damn sure showed a little "extra" on Sunday. Hey. It's his plight in life. Football is a team sport. And maybe the team saw fit to rally around a once "company man" who sought redemption. Brian Westbrook told the media that amidst the so-called distraction of last week, "We've got his back no matter what." That kind of pronouncement of loyalty on Donovan's behalf is not oft heard. Perhaps it wasn't a knee brace, but some heartfelt support from his teammates that Donovan needed.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Donovan's Statement Was Not That Interesting

Much ado has been made over Donovan McNabb's statement that Black NFL quarterbacks have to do "extra." Why? He's only stating the obvious.

Anyone would know that, for example, after watching the ESPN post game summary of the Eagles-Redskins game Monday night. The "game" summary seemed to focus solely on how terrible McNabb was. Not how inadequate any other coach or player of the Eagles was. There was hardly any commentary about how why the Redskins won - except for the fact that McNabb sucked. There was no admiration about how McNabb pushed himself back on the field from serious injury to lead his team. It was meekly mentioned that the head coach might be responsible for some questionable play calling, but most commentary for Andy Reid was saved for a lengthy segment in which the play callers went on and on about his family situation. They had nothing but sympathy for Reid although if your sons are drug addicted criminals you might, in fact, be a bad father. And to top it all off, ESPN had a montage of all of McNabb's terrible throws ready for the six o'clock SportsCenter the next evening. Brett Favre, Eli Manning and Rex Grossman don't get that sort of treatment. Genuine critique is one thing, but piling on is another. McNabb is not above criticism, but he doesn't deserve the piling on he receives.

The national media, not just the fickle fans of individual markets, are often highly critical or indifferent to the handful of Black quarterbacks around the league. Michael Vick won't be given retroactive credit once the world is exposed to how crappy the Falcons are without him. They'll just go on about how the Falcons should have kept Matt Schaub. And although most agree Vick will be back in the NFL, many have no respect for him at his position. Idiots suggest that he should come back as a running back or a punt returner. Vince Young will be figured out, but Drew Brees is the next big thing. Steve McNair was literally locked out by his former team. Groans are elicited at the mention of Byron Leftwich's name. The nation sits on the edge of its seat awaiting the fulfilled potential of Matt Leinart and Alex Smith, with seemingly little interest in youngsters David Garrard and Jason Campbell.

It's not Donovan's statement that was interesting, but the progression of his statements over the years. Donovan has been a pleaser, actively courting the middle. Predictably, that path has had mixed results. It's interesting that Donovan is gradually becoming more outspoken, recently speaking his mind about Michael Vick and the overall plight of Black quarterbacks.

The interview on HBO Real Sports was an insightful look into Donovan's background and upbringing, not an excuse to play the race card. When Donovan was young, his parents moved to an all white suburb of Chicago. Their house was vandalized with racist motivation immediately after the closing. Donovan spent his childhood with the challenge of fitting into a majority environment. Donovan was not raised with a "bite your tongue" mentality. Rather, his parents described it as a "twist your tongue seven times" mentality. That is, think long and hard before you respond to your antagonists. And, at Donovan's age, he has had an opportunity to think on a lot of things.

So, I'm intrigued to see that Donovan is becoming confident enough to speak the truth and not back down, even if he has to walk out of his own press conference. Even if younger Black quarterbacks Vince Young and Jason Campbell allegedly disagree with Donovan. It's not Donovan's statement that was interesting. The interview was really about the progression of events that has gotten him to this point. It will be interesting to see where the sequence of things leads Donovan ultimately.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Fashion Roundup - Noticing Those Who Dress to be Seen

Pam Oliver is back looking the cutest this week rocking the peach trench coat. Still love the bangs. Too bad Vince Young can't do the same thing for his forehead.

Sage Steele did something different this week and wore her hair sleek and straight. Greenie tried to take credit for the new hairstyle, but Sage said the 'fro would be back later this week. A friend remarked that Sage looks like a stalk of broccoli with the curly fro. That still makes me chuckle to this day.

Is this how Dwyane got his big head? Hanging with Kanye? Now he's running around without his ring, chasing chicks that aren't his wife and wearing clothes with his name on them? Shame. At least it's not a lightning bolt this time.

Jillian Barberie Reynolds has new mommy boobs.

Howie Long's buzzcut makes any pastel color look masculine.

Carson Palmer is a disappointment on the field and at the podium. This whole look is just awkward.

Bill Parcells tries to be stylish matching his pocket square to his tie.

Keyshawn Johnson offers up his digits just in case you need a wide receiver, but looks smooth as hell in his mauve ensemble. The no tie look works for him.

Deion does too much with this gold get up. Shirt collar trim, solid tie knot, horizontal tie stripes, shawl collar and fabric covered buttons. Ugh. Save some for next week.

The Boston Red Sox might want to focus more on closing out the season instead of indulging their furry fetish.

Don't forget Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Mark Cuban will be on Dancing With the Stars next week.

And, let's close this week with a fashion winner. The often dapper Curtis Martin is killin' it. Everything is perfect on him. And I like the contrast stitching in the lapel button hole just for a little bit of sexiness.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

You Need More People

I don't believe the New England Patriots. They lie.

Robert Kraft, the owner of the liars, went on NBC Sunday night and stated that he had no knowledge that Bill Belichick was brazenly videotaping opponents' signals from the sideline. I guess he missed the memo.

Wade Wilson, the Dallas Cowboys quarterback coach suspended for using HGH, also is confused. He has confirmed that he is attempting to get an explanation from the commissioner's office on the disparity in punishment between him and the Patriots organization. Wilson received a 5 game suspension for using HGH to treat his personal medical issues, while the Patriots were only fined and docked draft picks for illegally and repeatedly taping signals. To date, he still hasn't heard back.

And I assume Michael Vick, Chris Henry and other players sitting at home not collecting paychecks are confused as well. Not only was Belichick slapped on the hand, his owner rewarded him with the game ball and an extension through 2013. Belichick's owner effectively paid his $500,000 fine many times over, while the players who put the fans in the seats and sell the authentic replica jerseys are docked without a second thought.

If it doesn't seem fair, it's because it's not.

State of the Falcons (Still Holding On To the Past)

The Falcons are very, very bad. The offensive genius Coach Petrino has amassed a total of 10 points for the season. Joey Harrington still can't read the defenses and holds the ball for an eternity. He got sacked 7 times for his trouble. That's the only stat he improved on from last week. Well, actually 7 sacks instead of 6 is not technically an improvement. In the end, we lost 13-7 to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

And our trip to Jacksonville comes full circle as it was announced today that the Falcons signed former Jaguars quarterback Byron Leftwich to a two year deal. Leftwich is better than Harrington, but he is merely a faux number 7.

The real number 7, Michael Vick, was the best quarterback in the world. No, I'm not just saying that out of romantic revisionist wistfulness. It's true. Now, our real quarterback is sitting on his ass making an audition tape for I Love New York 2.

It's not easy to get on reality TV, especially a show as classy as I Love New York.
But Mike is desperate for a woman to hold him down. If he had a, ahem, passionate woman such as Tiffany a/k/a New York, Mike might not have found himself involved in that dogfighting mess. But it won't be easy to get to a pearl like New York. You've got to be a "character". You've got to have a catch phrase. You've got to emulate the greats like Pumkin. You've got to spit. You've got to overdramatize. Mike is committed to making his mark on celebreality.

"You're a whore. Peace!"

No, Mike thought. You've got to put a little bit of umph in it.

"YOU'RE a whore. Peace!"

"You're a WHORE. Peace!"

"You're a whore. PEACE!"

Aw, shit. Too much talk about "peace" makes Mike think of that mofo Purnell who snitched on him. But Mike is determined to do something positive with his downtime. He doesn't care that there's a midget in the cast. He'll hurl that runt out of the house almost as fast as Mike scrambled out of the pocket in the Georgia Dome.

Looking back, I can't remember a single misthrown pass, a single interception, a single bad scramble, a single injury or any bad decisions at all on Michael Vick's part. He was perfect. Now he's gone. We had Eminem. Now we've got Vanilla Ice.

No, this is not a tall tale. It's just a sad story about the state of the Falcons.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Are the Ladies In the House?

Ballhype hosted a lady bloggers roundtable where myself, Miss Gossip, Ladies..., Need 4 Sheed, and Babes Love Baseball discussed the highs and lows of being a female sports blogger. It was an honor and a privilege to be included. Please check it out ---- HERE!.

In case you didn't know, there are some other talented lady bloggers out there that weren't included in the forum. Please check them out at your earliest convenience.

The Vent
The 2 Michelles
Gridiron Goddess
This Suit is Not Black
You'll Never Blog Alone

Friday, September 14, 2007

Feeling Dominant

I'm heading into Week 2 feeling good about myself. A few days ago, I didn't know what "DST" stood for. Now I'm doing great in fantasy football. I won my match up with ease and am just 2 points off the league leader. I'm also doing great in pick 'em. Correctly picking 11 games put me at the top of one league and just one pick from the top in another league. The sprightly young fellow who runs Oh No Romo! challenged me personally and was defeated. Ha ha!

I figure I better get my shit talking in now while I still can.

And I leave you this week with my obsession with all things soulja boy. Check out Travis Barker going bananas on the drums (Hat tip to The Smak). Have a good weekend. Yuuuuuah!

Is That How They Know Us?

The NFL has tallied up all the pink jersey sales and determined that the Pittsburgh Steelers have the most female fans.

The article is not crystal clear that they only counted up the pink jerseys to reach this conclusion. Apparently, they also took some kind of survey.

Thirty four percent of women living in the Pittsburgh Steelers' markets identify themselves as Steelers fans. Furthermore, over three hundred women pay good money each year to go through a simulated Steelers training camp complete with blocking and running drills and a trip to the training table (which sounds cool as hell). They also get to go to a football knowledge camp. No word on whether this service is provided to ignorant male fans as well.

The team with the next largest amount of female fans is the Green Bay Packers with a little over 29% of women identifying themselves as fans. Buffalo was third with 23.7 percent, followed by Cincinnati (22.8 percent), Kansas City (22.4 percent), Jacksonville (21.7 percent), Baltimore and Boston (21.5 percent) and Denver, Tampa-St. Petersburg and Washington, D.C. (20.9 percent).

It seems a curious mixture of cold weather and facial scruff tweak the interest of the female fan, if not the pink jersey.

Not Impressed

I'm rolling my eyes at you, Roger Goodell.

And when Ben Roethlisberger was on Pardon the Interruption on Wednesday, he rolled his eyes at the mere mention of your name. And it's not every day you can cajole a White boy to roll his eyes.

So, it is what is, Goodell. Ebony and ivory, living in perfect harmony, unanimous in agreement that you're lame. Too chickenshit to punish the New England Patriots the way they deserve to be punished.

Fines? $250K for the Patriots, $500K for Belichick. Oooooh. Big money. For the Patriots, that's barely a day of beer concessions and for Belichick, that's a few speeches on the lecture circuit. Why fine Wade Wilson a third of his salary and fine Belichick his mistress budget? Formula One fined a team $100 million for cheating. I might reconsider driving as a sport if they have cajones to stand up for the integrity of what they do.

First round draft pick? Oh well, I guess the Patriots will be forced to do all their picking in the 6th round where they can settle for gems like Tom Brady.

Furthermore, contingencies? What difference does it make if the Patriots make the playoffs? And since when is the almighty Commissioner concern himself with contingencies? Were Odell Thurman, Michael Vick, Chris Henry, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera, extended contingencies for transgressions that had absolutely nothing to do with the substantive integrity of the game?

(BTW, any team that needs video cameras, holla at your girl. You know the price. And I can get the hook-up! Championships are just $750,000 plus $500 or so for the camera and the tripod.)

Perhaps the Commissioner is growing weary of playing dictator. I know how it went. You're kicking back at home watching the talking heads complaining about all the off the field distractions in the league. You think to yourself that I'm going to lay the smackdown on a couple of knuckleheads nobody cares about and I will be praised for my leadership.

But the distractions didn't stop.

Then the distractions became all anybody is talking about. Then the distractions branched out beyond anonymous knuckleheads to legitimate superstars. You convinced yourself that the death penalty was a deterrent to crime. But it's not.

And the incidents didn't stop.

And now the people are muttering "dictator" under their breath when you fancy yourself a skilled politician. You go gladhanding to the media and the players.

Still, the incidents don't stop.

Somebody's committing a crime, doping up or cheating every day it seems. You quietly cut back on the severity of suspensions, writing long letters about why you didn't do this and why you instead did that.

But it's gone too far at this point. You've made the players and media suspicious, you've eroded the value of the fans' season tickets and now you've finally gotten the owners attention. I'm sure some AFC owners know where they stand after you've so severely punished the team that dashed so many championship dreams. And the group you sought to please in the first place - the media - will turn on you. They'll complain about how soft you went on the Patriots.

Belichick will haunt you all season instead of Vick.

And I would feel sorry for you, but you brought it on yourself. Commissioner, were you the only person that didn't know this would end badly?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Do It. What You Waitin' For?

Their fall from grace is remarkably similar. Two men among the elite in professional football - only to be snitched on disgruntled ex-employees. But will Bill Belichick be punished with the same heavy hand as Michael Vick?

I doubt it. The only way to really punish the Patriots and take away the competitive advantage they gained over teams is to suspend Belichick for multiple games. And I don't know if Goodell has the fortitude to do it. Forfeiture of games would be nice, but highly impractical. I don't think there are enough lost draft picks in the world to punish the Patriots. They have long ago proven that they can scout talent where no one else looks and they won't have a problem signing quality veterans eager to get a taste of championship promise.

As far as players go, Goodell prefers to discipline off the field issues than come down hard on cheaters. Too many misdemeanors earns the death penalty. However, players that actually do things that negatively affect the game on the field get a slap on the wrist. Rodney Harrison is out now, but he'll be back in 3 games. Shawn Merriman sat out a few games, went to the Pro Bowl and is already back in Nike commercials.

As far as non-players go, curiously, Goodell came down hard on Cowboy coach Wade Wilson for using performance enhancing drugs. Although Wilson didn't really derive any competitive advantage from them. Wilson claims he used HGH solely to treat various medical issues, yet Goodell suspended him for 4 games and fined him 1/3 of his annual salary. Wilson should be held responsible for being a positive example for his players, but Belichick's transgression undermined the game far more than Wilson. Belechick brazenly cheated. And did so in a manner that likely directly resulted in more points for the Patriots and less points for their opponents.

So, logically, it should follow that Goodell should come down like a ton of bricks on the Belicheater. Supposedly, he's not afraid to banish superstars. Supposedly, he's not afraid to punish non-player personnel. There's no other choice but to banish Belichick from the Patriots facility for several games. That's the only way to give back the points he stole. Does Goodell have the stones to make Belichick a Vick-tim. There's no other choice. Is there?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A Fine Line

Is there actually a difference between Terrell Owens and Chad Johnson? Except for the fact that one is much more likely Hall of Fame bound than a celebration prop indicates.

I was struck by Tony Kornheiser's contrast of Terrell Owens and Chad Johnson. He declared on Monday Night Football that Owens was a narcissist, but Johnson was all about fun. There was no substantive proof offered. Just as there is no ready explanation for why Johnson is embraced by the league, practically starring in all the commercials on NFL Network, while Owens does his promotions for free. Owens is certainly no less appealing. He seems to lead or tease various sports broadcasts during the season. ESPN recently saw fit to milk one interview he did with Jim Gray for over a week. And as creative as Chad Johnson is, Owens is a showmanship pioneer.

But to infer that Chad Johnson is not a narcissist? That is preposterous. Chad Johnson doesn't want to be seen? He has become increasingly desperate in his plies for attention. He is overwhelmed by the pressure and restrictions of coming up with a creative celebration in the endzone. Consequently, he has taken his antics to the sidelines - which is just desperate. He is changing first down markers and altering jerseys. As much as I love a good endzone celebration, I find it disturbing that Chad Johnson is frequently making the whole Bengals sideline his accomplice in horseplay. He has had his quarterback playing his straightman in his "Ocho Cinco" skit. And, on Monday, it seemed the whole Bengals staff were tripping over themselves to fetch Chad's black plastic bag and pat him on the back and mug for the cameras over his Hall of Fame craft project.

Of course, Terrell Owens is less "fun" than Chad Johnson because he talks back. Flash your golds and do your dance, but nobody wants to hear a surly malcontent talking back. Chad Johnson hardly says anything of consequence except for delivering football versions of "yo momma" jokes. He is excellent, but untested as far as professional adversity. He is not yet battling injuries and able to have free reign on a team that has misdemeanors and felonies to worry about moreso than excessive celebration fines. Johnson has been able to coast on his natural talent and on a winning team, even if it is a team mired in the mediocrity of success. Owens is not a narcissist, but perhaps a reflection of the adversity (even self-created) that a mature player has had to overcome. Owens fought uphill to join the NFL with a University of Tennessee-Chatanooga pedigree. He was forced to develop his skills in the shadow of Jerry Rice. He's been on losing teams. He's endured quarterbacks of varying skill levels. Owens has battled injury. T.O. works hard to keep himself in superior shape (Johnson prefers fast food). Owens knows labor strife and has had to speak up to get what he deserved. On some level, Terrell had to be noticed in order to survive. What's Chad's excuse?

I don't deny that Owens and Johnson both enjoy attention. For sure, they are both narcissists. And they have both put the "fun" in the NFL. But opening weekend may have put forth the tale of the tape on who's more of the self-promoter. One guy dedicated his offseason to rehabbing an injured hand coming off a year full of drops. He debuted with a startlingly efficient 2 touchdowns on 3 receptions, one of those receptions being a spectacular one handed catch on an overthrown pass. The other guy "prepared" by commissioning a craft project. Which guy was more attuned to the substantive task at hand and which guy was attuned to self-promotion? Think about it before you distinguish one as a greater narcissist than the other.

Fashion Round Up - Week 1!!!!

First off, I want to give a shout out to Fox Sports for the locker room shots they were running during "The OT." There were a lot of scantily clad men in those locker rooms. And I say it's the best execution of Fox's homoerotic tendencies since a camera was dedicated to T.O.'s leotard.

It wouldn't be a fashion round up if it did start with Michael Irvin. Michael Irvin reemerged on "Costas Now" last week talking retired players and Tiki Barber. Of course, he was sporting the wide tie knot. And, of course, he looked spectacular. The wide tie knot always looks best when he's otherwise traditional. Fawn over the purple paisley on the gray suit. Fawn, dammit!

But I may have to move on from my number one like I did number 7. There is a new fashion sheriff at ESPN. And his name is Ryan Stewart. He is one half of The 2 Live Stews, a syndicated radio duo. And they regularly appear on "First Take" to give Skip Bayless the smackdown. Ryan isn't afraid of a taking chances and wearing a little color. This week, he's got on pink and white stripes on a gray suit. The suit has very distinctive lapels, almost mimicking a shawl collar. Stew-pendous.

Coaches wore suits. You're next, Belichick. Although you won't be as sexy as Mike Nolan.

Keyshawn Johnson makes his week 1 debut in a pink shirt with a vest with a patterned back. Yeah, Key, I don't know either.

Jillian Barberie returned to the airwaves this week. That sexy beast just had a baby 8 weeks ago and is already back in her stripper shoes.

But why did my girl, Pam Oliver, come back from the half with something on her teeth? I thought Joe had her back. Her new 'do looks cute though, especially after she was roasted across the board for her preseason style.

Jay Glazer made his in studio debut with curious facial hair looking like a loan shark. Peak lapels for real.

Who knew T.O. was so shy? He continues to rock the stunnas during the press conference this season. Otherwise, I like the brown striped tie on brown shirt underneath the light sweater.

America's favorite baby daddy, Tom Brady, starts the season off with a new haircut. It looks pretty fancy, like Gisele talked him into it.

Deion is rocking a coat in the summertime. It's a little hot for a vest and a duster jacket, bruh.

Stuart Scott rocks his lime green and gray check best for Monday Night Football.

Who most resembles the orange roundie? Donovan McNabb?

Or Bonnie Bernstein?

Tony Kornheiser wears Chad Johnson's prop. The jacket is cheap, questionable and terrible executed, just like the celebration itself.

And to close, MOOOOOOOSE! Daryl Johnston has apparently never met a pattern or color he couldn't put together. What is that? A nubby linen? Love it.

P.S. Tennessee Titans Vince Young and Chris Brown were stuntin' this week, but a screen cap eluded me. Does a fabulous outfit actually exist if there are no cameras to record it?