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Random Shots

Hi Folks,

Here's what happens when you sit an NFL Junkie down in front of
multiple big screens with Sunday Ticket and fresh batteries in the
remote.

A Twisted Look at The NFL Every Week And All That Goes With It

Shout out to our Jewish Friends out there as they observe Yom Kippur.
Shalom. (I hope I said that right.)

Note to my man Antonio Bryant: Wear a belt, Buddy. We Bryants have a
fairly long and distinguished history of shooting the moon in public
but I can't say I've ever performed the deed in front of 73,000 plus
people like he did after the touchdown Sunday. If you didn't see the
play, it wasn't intentional but it was still pretty funny. Antonio –
represent.

Best wishes to coach Mike Martz. As I'm sure you know, he's taking a
leave of absence to recover from the heart valve infection he's been
battling. I talk about tough guys and playing hurt here sometimes.
Here's a guy in Martz that was taking antibiotics through an IV drip
in his office before going out to coach the game on Sunday. That's
tough. Best wishes, Coach.

Thanks to the avalanche of Lions fans with insight into my question
last week about how the team chose their "Honolulu Blue" jersey color.
Thanks to Craig Barker for pointing me to the Lions website where they
write: "The Detroit Lions have worn "Honolulu" blue and silver ever
since WJR Owner G.A. Richards purchased the team and brought it to
Detroit in 1934. Cy Huston, the Lions first vice president and general
manager, was in charge of developing the team colors. His only
direction was to have a version of blue. "They had me looking at so
many blues I am blue in the face," Huston said about the selection.
"But anyway, it's the kind of blue, I am told, that will match with
silver." The team then got a refurbished bus and painted it blue and
silver and rode it to and from games at U of D and practice at
Chandler Park. Honolulu blue and silver have been the team's colors
ever since." I'll be honest, I was hoping for a little better story
than it being the kind of blue that matches with silver but sometimes
the truth isn't all that exciting. I'll make something up next week....

Patriots coach Bill Belichick does a great job with the "one week at a
time" and "this game is just like all the other games" thing but you
got a sense for how big the Falcons win was for him Sunday. As
Vinatieri nailed the game winner (again) he looked like he'd won the
lottery.

Everyone always talks about the "Triplets" of Aikman, Smith and Irvin
or the Colts' Manning, James and Harrison. I think it's time to start
talking about the New England Triplets of Belichick, Brady and
Vinatieri.

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said people were worrying him
after the knee injury. He said they were telling him, "Look at the
Jumbo-tron and see how bad it looks."

San Francisco rookie Alex Smith began his career Sunday with a
predictably shaky start against the Colts. He completed passes to 10
different players. 7 of them were on his team.

49er fans knew it was going to be a long day when mid way through the
1st quarter, their QB was their leading tackler....

Green Bay's Najeh Davenport scored the first two rushing touchdowns of
the year for the Packers. We're heading into week 6 and the Packers
have two rushing TDs? And both are by Davenport?

What does Mike Vick mean to Vegas? The line went from Atlanta giving
three to the Falcons being a three point underdog after it was
suspected that Vick would sit.

Vinny. That's it. Just Vinny.

I finally had to turn off Sports Radio Tuesday as the hosts squalling
and whining about the travesty of the Angels being "forced" to play
Tuesday night was just unbearable. To their credit, the Angels players
and fans were cool and just happy to be there. But the talk show hosts
were pathetic. Two things:  #1 - It's baseball and not a decathlon
we're talking about playing here. #2 – These talk show guys do realize
the players are allowed to travel in these new fangled jet airplanes,
right?

Have you seen the latest reality TV lamefest that Dick Butkus is
doing? It's called "Bound For Glory" and the premise is Butkus goes
back to Montour High School to coach. He yells at the kids and
questions their heart and basically plays for the camera. But wait,
there's more. According to the Pittsburgh Post –Gazette, Butkus bailed
on the team with two games left in the season citing he'd fulfilled
his contract for the show.  Nice lesson on heart there, coach.

I'm not sure what I think about Brian Cox on FOX Sports radio. I do
know the guy's nuts. I wouldn't believe it if I hadn't heard it myself
but last week he was talking about how his uncle was so crazy. Said he
was a former pimp and that once, he caught his wife in bed with
another man. And then "he cut her head off." The other guys on the air
didn't say a peep. And then Cox said, "But she lived." You could hear
the other hosts start to pack up their stuff and slink towards the
door.

I bet the 7,000 fans that would have showed up for the Braves NLCS
series if they'd won are pissed.

Have you ever noticed that players are "old" and "washed" up when
they're struggling but the same guy shows "veteran leadership" when he
plays well? I love that.

Terrell Owens if nothing else, is definitely his own man. On the
flight home after a 33-10 drubbing in Dallas, Owens wore a Michael
Irvin throwback jersey.

New England's Bethel Johnson made the most of his one target Sunday.
He caught the ball and scored on a 55 yard reception.

Mark it down now – Matt Schaub will be a starting QB in this league.
And probably sooner rather than later. He walked into a pressure
packed situation against New England and looked outstanding. Most
importantly, he looked great in the fourth quarter leading his team
back from a 15 point deficit and nearly pulling off the win.

If the Bears don't play the theme from "The Love Boat" when the
Vikings take the field Sunday, they're missing a golden opportunity.

Note to J.P. Losman: Don't buy the new furniture just yet. You are
four Holcomb touchdowns away from becoming Phillip Rivers.

Without Ahman Green, Javon Walker and even Najeh Davenport for much of
the day, Green Bay scored 52 unanswered points. Yeah, we saw that
coming....

Riddle me this one. Jeremiah Trotter and Kevin Mathis were ejected
from the Monday Night game in week one for throwing punches before the
game started. Sunday, Tampa Bay's Ronde Barber threw a punch at the
Jets Kevin Mawae which accidentally hit umpire Butch Hannah in the
face. Hannah went down like a house of cards. Yet Barber stayed in the
game. He should have been ejected. They missed that one but they made
up for it with a $30,000 fine.

Truth be told – reputation counts. Ronde (and his brother Tiki) are
NFL poster guys. They're not in the Donovan McNabb / Tom Brady /
Peyton Manning tier but they're up there in the Tony Gonzalez / John
Lynch / Dhani Jones neighborhood. If any Raven or Raider player did
what Barber did Sunday, they're tossed on the spot.

Barber's agent, Mark Lepselter issued a response saying the fine was
excessive and that "Ronde immediately apologized to Mr. Hannah." He
apologized? Oh man, that changes everything. That's the beauty of this
column – I don't have to make up anything funny. I can just tell you
guys what really happened and these guys provide the comedy.

Thank you to nfl.com and Visa for listening to me and losing the pop
up audio ads.

Sorry if I'm a little distracted today. Can't pull myself away from
that preseason NBA action.

Speaking of the NBA, this was too good to pass up. The league has
instituted a new dress code rule where players will have to wear a
coat and heaven forbid, maybe a tie while traveling. Nuggets center
Marcus Camby says the only way players will go along with the dress
code is if they receive additional compensation. Said Camby, "I don't
see it happening unless every NBA player is given a stipend to buy
clothes." In case you were wondering, Camby has a 45 million dollar
contract with Denver. In maybe the stupidest quote I've heard in quite
some time, Philadelphia's Allen Iverson said players wearing coats and
ties "sends a bad message to kids." I swear I don't make these up.

How bad is Arizona's rushing game? Their leading rusher Sunday totaled
29 yards on the ground. And he's their quarterback.

Here's the official play description from a pass in the first quarter
of the Saints – Packer game: Pass intended for Zach HILTON, broken up
by PARIS Lenon. It was the first official Paris Hilton connection in
the NFL....

I've watched enough football to know anything can happen on any
Sunday. I'm mildly surprised when Green Bay explodes or the Eagles get
drilled. But if/when Houston wins a game, I'm going to be shocked.

I don't know what Mark Brunell's been drinking, but I'd like some of
it. On the last play of the first half, Brunell threw a Hail Mary to
the back of the end zone some 60 yards away.

Would you have thought in August that after four games, the Redskins
would be 3-1 and Clinton Portis would have zero rushing TDs? Me
neither.

Speaking of "would you have thoughts", did anyone see the Eagles
holding down last place in the NFC East heading into week 6? I didn't.

Seriously, was there a football fan in America that had any doubt Adam
Vinatieri's field goal would be good?

That's it. Blackeyedjoe.com All Name Team FB Obafemi Ayanbadejo is off
the team. He said, "Fantasy football is lame. Period. It's stupid as
hell." He'd probably like it more if everyone didn't think he sucked.

Cleveland's Romeo Crennel was incredulous when asked if his team was
overconfident heading into Sunday's game:  "Overconfident? Against
who? Gosh a mighty."

The Cardinals will try again Sunday to win their first game in the
United States. That just sounds funny to me.

Jacksonville defensive tackle Marcus Stroud was killing me on the
sidelines. The 312 pound Stroud told kicker Josh Scobee right before a
field goal attempt, "Gimme three. At least."

Note to Mike Irvin:  Gary Coleman called and wants his tie back.

Did you see the ads? "Watch this week's Survivor. It's the BEST
SURVIVOR EVER!" Seriously?

How old is Vinny Testaverde? The Jets quarterback coach, Jeremy Bates,
was a ball boy for the Browns when Testaverde was in Cleveland. You
gotta like that.

Warrick Dunn wears a pretty big necklace that's often outside his
jersey. I'd be worried tacklers would grab that.

How demoralizing do you think it was for Deion Sanders to be outrun in
a straight ahead foot race by former college full back Shawn Bryson?
To be truthful, it's no shame to be outrun by Bryson. When he was in
college here in Knoxville, he was the fastest guy on the team. Still
though, I'm not used to Sanders losing footraces to guys weighing 230
pounds.

Sunday was a bad day for running backs named Jones. Thomas, Julius and
Kevin all suffered injuries in week 5.

Bills coach Mike Mularkey was goofy Sunday. All week long, he played
coy with the media refusing to name a starting quarterback. He kept
that up all the way to kickoff refusing to name a guy on the official
starting lineups that are submitted before the game.

ESPN's Tom Jackson played the role of Pittsburgh's Troy Polamalu
Sunday with Ron Jaworski, Mike Irvin and Stuart Scott on the Monday
Countdown show. Jackson and Polamalu represent the two ends of the
spectrum for hair styles.

Note to Jim Mora:  Please don't say anything about the Patriot players
this week and how they've battled injuries and adversity. I can't take
another week of Tom Brady whining.

Ok, the big headed Burger King guy behind the tree is just wrong. No
way does that guy keep all his limbs intact if he pops up from behind
a tree while I'm sporting a chain saw.

Forget the drinking game where you take a shot every time James Brown
says "paydirt". Try taking a shot every time Ron Jaworski says
something about "the juice" and you'll not make it through pre game.

Cowboys tackle Rob Petitti was asked who he'd most like to be stranded
with on a desert island and he said, "Bill Parcells". That's pretty
funny.

Hard Luck Awards are renamed the Kevin Jones awards this week with
four rushes from the 1.

GB QB Favre 11 yard pass to RB Fisher to the 1 (Davenport TD)
GB QB Favre 9 yard pass to RB Fisher to the 4 (Davenport TD)
DET RB Jones rush for no gain from the 1
DET RB Jones rush for no gain from the 1
DET RB Jones rush for no gain from the 1
DET RB Jones rush for no gain from the 1 (Pinner TD)
DET RB Pinner 7 yard rush to the 2 (Harrington to Fitzsimmons TD)
CHI QB Orton 9 yard TD pass to RB Jones nullified (Gould FG)
BUF RB McGahee 1 yard rush to the 2 (Holcomb to Moulds TD)
BUF QB Holcomb 49 yard pass to WR Evans to the 1 (McGahee TD)
MIA RB 28 yard rush to the 1 (Frerotte to Heller TD)
ATL RB Duckett 1 yard rush to the 5 (Schaub to Griffith TD)
TEN RB Brown 3 yard rushing TD Nullified by penalty (McNair to Troupe TD)
TEN QB McNair 12 yard pass to WR Bennett to the 4 (Payton TD)
TEN RB Brown rush for loss of 1 yard to the 2 (McNair TD)
HOU RB Davis 13 yard rush to the 3 (Carr to Bradford TD)
HOU QB Carr 16 yard TD pass to RB Davis nullified by penalty (Brown FG)
IND RB James 1 yard rush to the 1 and fumbles
WAS QB Brunell 38 yard TD to WR Patten nullified by penalty (Brunell
to Sellers TD)
DEN RB Bell 3 yard rush to the 5 (Plummer to Lelie TD)
WAS DEF recovered Plummer fumble for safety challenged and reversed
PHI QB McNabb 75 yard sure TD dropped by RB Westbrook
JAC RB Taylor 41 yard TD nullified by penalty (Leftwich to Wrighster TD)
PIT QB Roethlisberger 47 yard TD to WR Ward challenged and reversed
(Roethlisberger TD)
PIT QB Roethlisberger 1 yard rush to the 1 (Bettis TD)

Sometimes it's better to just not know...

Thanks for playing along and I hope you have a gas with whatever
you're doing this week.

Here's to Football.

J

Thanks to Jeff Pasquino for the help on this one. If you've got a
Random Shot of your own, shoot me an email at Bryant@footballguys.com
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