So when does he drop Johnny Rotten for L-Fitz’s Marley?
• The new Cowboys Stadium opens with a couple of embarrassing picks, courtesy of Tony Romo & Jerry Jones.
• Well, at least the fans had fun inside the new digs in Dallas - unless you had a “party pass” but weren’t allowed in.
• An angry Oregon fan wants his travel expenses back after watching the Ducks get plucked in Boise. So UO coach Chip Kelly sends him a check.
• Floyd Mayweather Jr. delivers a verbal beatdown to Max Kellerman during Floyd’s post-fight interview.
• The Dolphins held the ball for more than 30 minutes longer than the Colts, but it was Peyton Manning & Co. who left Land Shark Stadium with a 27-23 win on Monday night.
• It’s a Twitter trifecta: First, Redskins rookie LB Robert Henson takes “dim wit” Washington fans to task for booing at FedEx Field.
• Then Marcus Fitzgerald bitches on behalf of brother Larry about the lack of catches the Cardinals WR is getting.
• And Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema admits that one of his scouting techniques is following the Tweets of opposing players.
• A South Carolina man is sentenced to life in prison without parole for the vicious stabbing death of a high school cheerleader.
By now, you know our delight with the advent of Twitter; while 95% of athlete correspondence is stuff like “hey what’s up!!!” and “workin out lol,” there’s a small fraction of it in which everything that a player’s coached not to say to the media actually comes out. That, of course, is where the fun lies.
But while the NFL is cracking down on its players’ Twitter usage, just as we always feared, discord has found a way to circumvent the rules, because discord always finds a way. If order beat disorder, there wouldn’t have been any crime in the last 3,500 years. Here, our agent of mischief is the family of NFL players; specifically, Larry Fitzgerald’s brother Marcus, a football player himself at Marshall, has a few choice words for Kurt Warner after Sunday’s Arizona game. Isn’t that right, “old ass man”?
If anyone wanted to know the difference between college football and the NFL, you just needed to watch the two games last night. (At least the two that anyone cared about - sorry, Florda A&M at Winston-Salem State on ESPNU.) If you like offense, crazy plays and wild comebacks, then the Clemson at Georgia Tech game was for you. But if you prefer low-scoring, hard-hitting football that’s kind of not very exciting until the final five minutes, then the NFL kickoff game between Pittsburgh and Tennessee was for you. (Sorry, is my bias showing?)
First let’s talk about the Steelers’ 13-10 overtime victory. Plainly put, Pittsburgh had no reason to win this game. They could not run the ball, gaining a whopping 33 yards. (Note to the guy in my fantasy league bragging about “stealing” Rashard Mendenhall: eat it.) And between Jeff Reed almost shanking the game-tying 32-yard field goal into the offensive line’s backsides and Hines Ward fumbling after a reception took him inside the Titans’ five with a minute to go, they were teetering on disaster. Read more…
Do you want to put up with such sugary garbage that your teeth will fall out? We’d guess the answer’s no, but hey, some people have suicidal teeth. You never know. Anyway, you’ve got two options on that front. The first is to eat at IHOP.
The other option, which is closely related, is to read the press release that IHOP and the NFL just released to announce their partnership. It’s awful. It’s stupid. This is not a drill, Ironic Detachment Team; this is the real thing, and you’re going to have roll your eyes harder than you’ve ever rolled them before.
If Kansas City Chiefs fans thought that new head coach Todd Haley and GM Scott Pioli would bring new stability to the organization, they should think again. The KANSAS CITY STAR is reporting that Pro Bowl guard Brian Waters is asking to be released or traded after being “shocked” by the arrogance of the two in their first meetings - confirming what he has heard about Haley from Arizona Cardinals players at the Pro Bowl.
There were three Cardinals at the Pro Bowl this year: Anquan Boldin, Larry Fitzgerald and Kurt Warner, all of whom played under Haley’s direction as Arizona’s offensive coordinator, and all of whom have their reasons for bad-mouthing Haley to his new star lineman. But old grudges aside, Haley and Pioli did themselves no favors with Waters in terms of making good first impressions.
If you thought Super Bowl XLIII was exciting on its own, you should have seen it in Tucson.
(Hey! That’s not Larry Fitzgerald!)
According to the ARIZONA DAILY STAR, viewers in Tucson, right in the heart of Cardinals country, had the climactic moments of Sunday’s Super Bowl extravaganza co-opted by a cable porn network called CLUB JENNA, the pay-per-view TV station started by porn star Jenna Jameson. But wait, there’s more: The 30-second clip that ran over Pittsburgh’s fourth-quarter heroics showcased a woman unzipping a man’s pants and then, you know, some very athletic moves of a different sort.
“I just figured it was another commercial until I looked up,” said Cora King of Marana. “Then he did his little dance with everything hanging out.”
“I was in a state of shock,” said Jeanene Piek, who was watching the game with her granddaughter. “I am totally disgusted.”
Before you think this was a freak cable-crossing that only hit a few homes, check out the Comcast data. The overlay affected all viewers in the cable provider’s reach that were watching the game on its regular definition feed (the HD version wasn’t effected, perhaps as another incentive to go buy a better set). Comcast provides cable to at least 80,000 homes in the Tuscon area, so it’s safe to say that some 40,000 Super Bowl parties got an pretty unhappy ending, both on the screen and then on the field.
(Yup. Still Jenna Jameson. Not Fitzgerald. Thought we’d check.)
Not surprisingly, Comcast has already dispatched customer service reps to handle a huge influx of calls. And what’s the company line right now?
The company had “no idea” at the time it happened how the porn may have gotten into its feed, said Kelle Maslyn, a Comcast spokeswoman.
Might want to get on that, Kelle. The word is out, and Comcast is about to have some explaining — and probably some firing — to do.
For the rest of the country, there was no porny ending to overshadow a terrific game. And for the second-straight year, the Super Bowl was an instant classic, handing the lucky American public a game will be remembered for an unbelievable, final-minute catch by a wide receiver.
A year after Plaxico Burress easily pulled down a game-winning grab moments after David Tyree pulled in the catch heard ’round the world, Santonio Holmes did his best Tyree impression, grabbing a fading ball in the corner of the end zone for the game-winner, capping Pittsburgh’s NFL record sixth title.
It was an amazing catch, yet even if he’d dropped it, a catch still would have defined Super Bowl XLIII. As Adam pointed out last night, Larry Fitzgerald Jr.’s heroics will likely be overlooked 50 years from now, thanks in part to a questionable call on the game’s final play. That doesn’t mean his fourth quarter was anything short of transcendent. That he and schmoopy-with-Jesus quarterback Kurt Warner stuck to their crossing pattern guns all game and eventually got the result they wanted and expected is a testament to them and their game plan (Editor’s note: Where were all the trick plays? What happened to that story line?).
Put it all together, and there’s a fascinating trend developing. Maybe, rather than hyping quarterbacks forever in the playoffs, we should really be focusing on wide receivers. Sure, qb’s have to get them the ball, but it’s no coincidence that the Giants, the league’s best team throughout most of ‘08, collapsed after their star pass catcher shot himself in the leg. It’s no surprise that the Cardinals really emerged when Fitzgerald became a world beater after an embarrassing loss in New England. It’s no surprise that the biggest factor in the Steelers’ Super Bowl win — for the second straight Pittsburgh Super Bowl, at that — was an overlooked wide receiver.
So, while there will be plenty of attention lavished on Holmes in the aftermath of Super Bowl XLIII, it’s important to reflect back on the ante-game, a time when people hardly talked about Santonio Holmes being a key receiver full stop. Maybe next year we can all look a little harder at the wide out depth charts when diagnosing what’s really going down.
Of course, the game is always only half the story with the Super Bowl. In fact, sometimes it’s the lesser half. If the game gone the way it looked like halftime, with Pittsburgh rolling to a rout, we might be spending a lot more time right now bemoaning the lack of decent commercials. Because as good as the game was, that’s how bad the record-setting expensive — $3 million for a 30-second spot — ads actually were. There was one pretty clever ad, the punching koala bit for CAREERBUILDER.com, but that would have been a mid-tier commercial in a funnier year. At best.
So what’s happened with advertisers? That’s a good question. It’s always possible that many have cut back on their creative budget, opting to save the money for one or two Super Bowl commercials rather than cleverly crafting their campaigns. Other firms, like Gatorade, launched their new ad campaigns earlier, targeting the BCS as a start date rather than the Super Bowl.
Nonetheless, something needs to be done to make the ads a heck of a lot more watchable. Where are the clever creators of cat wrangling when you need them? Where’s this year’s “Wassssuuuuuuuuup!” The answer, dear friends, is nowhere to be found.
In fact, this year’s ads were nowhere near as interesting or cool as the halftime show. For once, a performance lived up to the hype, with Bruce Springsteen attacking a miniature four-jam set with much of the gusto and zest that he’s been known for throughout his career. You could feel it coming from the moment our fearless leader leaked the Boss’s set list earlier in the day and there was no “Born in the U.S.A” to be found on it. Clearly, this was the act Springsteen wanted to do. He was going to rock the Super Bowl, but he was going to rock it on his terms.
The lesson, as always, is to trust in Bruce. Not only was Springsteen so captivating that you couldn’t take your eyes off him, he transmitted the energy from his live shows over to TV. That’s quite a trick. And nothing can top his half-stage power slide right into a cameraman, a move which decked an unsuspecting film crew member without slowing Bruce for a second.
Now for the bad news: That’s probably the last we’ll see of Bruce in a Super Bowl. The NFL had begged him to steal the league’s biggest halftime stage for years, and he took a solid decade to accept the pulpit, and only grabbed it then (in all likelihood) to pimp his new album. You know what? With Bruce, we’ll take it. Still, with the E Street Band rapidly reaching their golden Metamucil era, it’s unlikely Springsteen and co. will be willing to take such public jaunts in the spotlight in the future, which just means everyone should try to commit as much about yesterday’s halftime to memory as humanly possible. Hey, we know that we will.
- The game hadn’t even started before the first free agent rumors and rumblings got going, and not surprisingly one of the hot names was Kurt Warner. So what will the near two-time Super Bowl champ be asking for? Try a two-year deal with a cellar of $18 million. Ouch.
- The Georgia job has been open less than a week, and Bobby Knight is not denying his interest. Oh God.
- There’s suddenly evidence that UFC champion Georges St. Pierre, coming off a truly dominant win over Brian Penn, may have gotten an edge from his trainer to win the bout. What did the cut man do? Slather him with vaseline. That’s gross, unsanitary and illegal. Ewwwww.
- Does anyone understand this Jack In The Box ad? We didn’t, and neither did FANHOUSE.
- The campaigns have already begun: Please Cardinal fans, don’t be the new Seahawks. It’s not worth it.
- Remember the magician who almost drowned at an Oklahoma City Thunder game? Here’s the video of the near disaster.
- The results you were all really waiting for: Choose your own Puppy Bowl V winner!
- The mainstream American media delay on the Michael Phelps bong hit? Yeah, it was only a single day. Oh, and according to THE WASHINGTON POST, the swimmer won’t face any sanctions, despite basically admitting he smoked. Seems like a double standard, doesn’t it?
- If there was any question that the Barcelona-backed Miami entry is your clubhouse leader for MLS expansion, here’s your proof: the team already has a logo.
- Speaking of soccer, today is the official finale to the transfer window in England. Think of the trade deadline, except 10 times more random and expensive. Good times. You can follow all the craziness here.
Well, those last 10 minutes were some kind of insane, weren’t they? In a game that went from snoozefest to slugfest down the wire, the Steelers were the last team standing, winning 27-23 after a last-minute touchdown grab by Santonio Holmes that will undoubtedly rank among the best plays in Super Bowl history.
Holmes’ grab, seen above, came with just 35 seconds on the clock, wiping out a remarkable comeback by the Cardinals that had been capped by an insane 73-yard touchdown pass from Kurt Warner to Larry Fitzgerald Jr. Now, we assumed that would be the final score, since we and the Warners always thought that comebacks were kind of Jesus’s “thing,” you know. And really, the comeback card was still in play… until game officials took it off the table with just five ticks on the clock. Read more…
These days the media want to report on everything there is to know about Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald on and off-the-field.
Or do they?
For the past few weeks, we’ve been pummeled by the hit-you-over-the-head angle on Fitzgerald and his
fake sportswriter father, Larry, Sr. But besides that, there’s been radio silence from all media on the biggest recent event (late last month) affecting Fitzgerald off the field: allegations of abuse directed at him by the mother of his young son, Angela Nazario. Not to mention previously fighting Nazario tooth and nail over the (now-obvious) paternity of their son.
(Dad taught his (alleged) baby mama-beater son all about “class”? Thanks Jason!)
While most of the football reporters at the Super Bowl I’m sure are somewhat aware of the restraining order slapped on Fitzgerald to stay away from Nazario, who is raising his son, they don’t seem to have an appetite to ask him about it now.
And we all know that there are a ton of media at the Super Bowl who don’t know about Fitzgerald’s alleged off-field transgressions. (I doubt the folks from Telemundo are prep wizards.)
So why isn’t anyone asking? I think I know the answer.