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Random Shots - Week 8

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

You had to like Dick Vermeil's attitude when his team was asked to
move their game up to Friday. "If the New Orleans Saints can do what
they're doing, the Kansas City Chiefs can do this for one weekend...
These guys are professional athletes and represent the NFL. The league
tells us to go do it and we go do it. They pay us pretty well."

Cincinnati's Chad Johnson was funny before the game Sunday. Looking
across an empty playing field, Johnson said, "It's 11:25. Why aren't
they out here getting ready to play against such a dominant figure as
myself? It befuddles me." I love Chad Johnson. With Randy Moss and
Torry Holt banged up, Terrell Owens with a limping QB, and Marvin
Harrison with a running game, Johnson is my clear cut #1 WR in the
league.

I had to laugh when the head of the NFL referees, Mike Pereira, came
on Total Access and said with a straight face that the Ernie Conwell
call was correct. That's a joke.

Unlike Jim Haslett, I can criticize the refs without opening my wallet
for a $20,000 hit. That's a pretty steep fine considering you can
assault another player in a pre game fight and get off with a lighter
punishment.

Note to Vikings owner Zygi Wilf: Enough of the whining about how
everyone knows you inherited this terrible situation. It doesn't work
that way. This became your team and your watch the minute you signed
on the line. Guys messed up. We get it. But the buck stops on your
desk and things will go a lot better if you stop deflecting and
pointing to Red McCombs and accept responsibility. In other words, be
a leader and be a man and stop pointing fingers at other people.

My bowtie baseball buddies always squall whenever I say anything
remotely critical of the game. But even these guys should be
embarrassed by the baseball fans in Houston that have filed a class
action lawsuit against the Astros after they were "forced" to endure
the harsh outdoor climate because the roof was open. I don't make this
stuff up.

Along that line, it was a mockery that Bud Selig could tell Houston
how they will operate their retractable roof. Way to roll over there
Astros. On multiple levels.

Philadelphia's Terrell Owens was back in the saddle Sunday scoring a
TD. On the sideline he said, "You can hate me all you want but you
can't stop me. Put that in your pipe and smoke it."

Speaking of Owens, his house in Mooresville, NJ just went up for sale.

A little over four million, and it can be yours. Just because I know
you guys need to know this kind of stuff. Serious question: If you're
selling Terrell Owens' house, is the fact that it's Owens' house a
positive or a negative? If I were spending that kind of money on a
home, I'm not sure I'd want it known as "T.O.'s House".

Is it bad that I watched more of the Eagles  Charger Game of the Week
replay on the NFL Network than I did Game 4 of the World Series? I
kind of think it is. But I don't know what to do about it. Or really
care that much....

Because that Philadelphia game was great. Did you know that the
blocked field goal returned for a touchdown was the first time that's
happened in the Eagles 73 year history? I didn't. But now we both do.
Once again, education is fun.

Interestingly, ESPN's Mike Irvin said he was good with the NBA dress
code. Tom Jackson threw this jab in: "They should just dress like
they're going to court, they'll be fine."

One last thing on the dress code and I'm done there: ESPN radio host
Erik Kuselias had this zinger when describing Allen Iverson's comment
that the new dress code sent "a bad message to kids". Kuselias said it
was the dumbest thing ever said by an athlete. Which pretty much meant
it was the dumbest thing ever said by anyone....

How bad are things in Baltimore? People are calling it "great news"
that Kyle Boller is close to returning.

A good way to get some perspective on your life is to imagine what
people might say about you after you die. If that's the test, Giants
owner Wellington Mara, who passed away this week, is a shining example
for how to do it right. He obviously impacted a great many people in
very positive ways. In a non football note (although a bigger scale
and impact as she affected sports for sure), we lost another fine
American this week in Rosa Parks. God bless them both.

Steve Young was cool this week when asked about Peyton Manning and
Marvin Harrison breaking the passing record he and Jerry Rice held:
"Are you kidding me? These guys are young. They might double it."

Philadelphia has gone totally pass happy. Donovan McNabb ran through a
stretch Sunday where he threw 23 passes on 24 plays. And the one non
pass was actually a play where he spiked the ball.

Redskins QB Mark Brunell was modest this week:  "This whole 'Brunell 
Moss thing' is 80% Moss and 20% Brunell."

The radio announcers for the San Diego feed didn't care for Terrell
Owens' "waiter" touchdown celebration. "Gag me with a freakin' spoon"
were the exact words. "Gag me with a freakin' spoon"? Who still talks
like that?

One word for Joe Gibbs and the Redskins coaching staff:
WheresLaVarBeen? He inexplicably sits forever on the bench and then
when he finally gets in the game, he leads the team in tackles.

The Vikings were prepared for the "Love Boat" boos as they took the
field Sunday at home. Instead of individual introductions, they were
introduced as a team. But the team was greeted by mostly cheers.

As you know, Minnesota won the game with a dramatic last second kick
by Paul Edinger. Said the kicker, "I took off running after it, like I
was going to catch it or something," Edinger said. "I can't even
describe it. It's a great feeling. I wish you could experience it."

But the Vikings won almost in spite of themselves. Vikings fans were
going crazy as coach Mike Tice nearly let time expire at the end of
regulation. The Packers were preparing for a game tying field goal
with 1:10 left. Instead of calling timeout, Minnesota let the clock
run all the way down to :28 before Green Bay stopped it. The Packers
kicked the field goal and left Minnesota just 17 seconds facing first
and 10 from their 36. Fortunately, they made two great plays and then
kicked the field goal. But it didn't have to be that hard.

And shame on those fair weather fans who sprained ankles jumping off
the Vikings bandwagon. If I had a nickel for every "Vikes are D-O-N-E"
comment I heard, I wouldn't be writing this column at 2:30 in the
morning....

How volatile is the NFC East? The Cowboys entered week 7 in first
place and left it in last place.

San Francisco quarterback Alex Smith was three years old in Vinny
Testaverde's rookie year.

I told you last week about Steve Smith's "Rocking the Baby" touchdown
celebration and how it's a famous cycling victory move. Turns out, it
actually started with a Brazilian soccer player named Bebeto who was
saluting his new born baby and his wife. Learn something everyday....

How old is St. Louis Rams QB Jamie Martin? He started his career with
the Los Angeles Rams.

God Bless Philly Fans. Fire alarm sirens were wailing during the game
as the public address announcer instructed everyone to exit the
stadium. And not a single fan moved. As it turned out, that was fine
as it was a false alarm. I don't think I've ever seen a fire alarm at
a game like that.

Think Brandon Jacobs received the "do not fumble for me" message from
coach Tom Coughlin? After a costly goal line fumble in week 6, Jacobs
didn't see the field last week while Tiki Barber handled the goal line
carries.

I like Plaxico Burress. But he could take a lesson from Washington's
Champ Bailey. Manning threw a pass Sunday that looked "uncatchable" to
Burress. He stood by while cornerback Champ Bailey went after the ball
and made the interception.

Why doesn't Pittsburgh's Hines Ward have any original TD celebrations?
He's always mocking the latest celebration by someone else. I'm ok
with that I guess. I just find it interesting. And yes, I'm the first
to say if you don't like his celebrations, keep him out of the end
zone.

I'm not ashamed to admit it - whenever I feel a little bad when a
Jimmy Kimmel rips Fantasy Football fans as being dorks, or I see the
NFL athletes acting like tools, I flip over to ESPN covering a
professional poker game and realize it could be worse....

Like most people, I would have liked to have seen the Kansas City 
Miami game on Friday night. Props to the NFL though for honoring their
pledge to not interfere with High School Football and bypassing what
could have been lots of advertising dollars they left on the table.

The #3 TE in Tennessee is a more viable receiving threat than the #2
WR in Pittsburgh. I'm not sure what that says about either team.

Rams coach Mike Martz reportedly tried to call in a play to offensive
coordinator Steve Fairchild during half time. Martz called a team
official who was to relay the information to Fairchild. President of
football operations, Jay Zygmunt, wouldn't let the guy relay the
information which caused a pretty good ruckus. And you probably
thought that kind of goofy stuff only happened in your office....

Keep an eye on Chargers GM A.J. Smith. He pulled the very uncool move
this Summer of calling out agent Jimmy Sexton rubbing his nose in last
year's Phillip Rivers deal. This week, it was revealed that he traded
popular backup QB Cleo Lemon away and didn't bother to tell head coach
Marty Schottenheimer. That's even less cool.

Note to kicker Jose Cortez:  When you miss a field goal, don't run off
the field pointing to your holder trying to blame him for a bad hold.
That was enough to qualify him as a former Cowboy by Tuesday
afternoon....

Check out the last eight plays of the game for Oakland. This is how
you run out a game.

1-10-BUF42 (2:52) Jordan up the middle to BUF 40 for 2 yards
2-8-BUF40 (2:46) Crockett right tackle to BUF 31 for 9 yards
1-10-BUF31 (2:02) Jordan up the middle to BUF 24 for 7 yards
2-3-BUF24 (1:58) Crockett right tackle to BUF 23 for 1 yard
3-2-BUF23 (1:47) Crockett left end to BUF 11 for 12 yards
1-10-BUF11 (1:10) Crockett up the middle to BUF 8 for 3 yards
2-7-BUF8 (1:01) Crockett right end to BUF 2 for 6 yards
3-1-BUF2 (:18) Crockett right guard for 2 yards, TOUCHDOWN

Washington TE Mike Sellers doesn't catch many passes. But he's
productive. Of his five receptions this year, four have been
touchdowns including two on Sunday.

What's it like to be a Browns fan? Trailing 10-13, with 1:54 left in
the game, they were in pretty good shape with 1st and 10 from their
own 40. Two penalties, a sack and an incompletion later, they were
punting on 4th and 26.

Someone please tell Clinton Portis to stop the cartwheels. Just stop.

Because the Falcons play indoors, it doesn't sound so bad to say that
Michael Vick earned a room temperature passer rating Monday. Except
that it's room temperature in Celsius.

What are Jets fans down to? They're counting the days until Jay
Fiedler can save them.

It wasn't Buddy Ryan, but Bill Parcells swatting away his wide
receivers coach Todd Haley was kind of funny.

Do they charge full ticket prices for Kyle Orton vs Anthony Wright?

If he keeps this up, Cardinals kicker Neil Rackers is headed for the
Footballguys Magazine cover next year. He's unbelievable.

What is it with the crotch punching all of a sudden? Two players have
been ejected recently for punching below the belt. Yikes. Why not just
ask the guy's teammate to leg whip you on the next play?

Think it's any fun being David Carr? Here's a series from Sunday:

1-10-HOU34 Carr sacked at HST 34 for 0 yards
 2-10-HOU34 Carr sacked at HST 21 for -13 yards FUMBLES recovered by HST
3-24-HOU20 Carr sacked at HST 15 for -5 yards FUMBLES recovered by HST
4-29-HOU15 Stanley punts 44 yards to IND 41

Hard Luck Awards for Week 8 are named once again the Kevin Jones Hard
Luck Awards

KC QB Green 8 yard pass to TE Gonzalez to the 5 (Holmes TD)
KC QB Green 29 yard pass to WR Boerigter to the 4 (Johnson TD)
IND QB Manning 24 yard pass to WR Stokley to the 2 (James TD)
GB RB Green 1 yard rush to the 4 (Favre to Chatman TD)
STL RB Faulk 2 yard rush to the 1 (Jackson TD)
STL RB Jackson 19 yard rush to the 5 (Curtis TD)
WAS RB Portis 4 yard rush to the 2
WAS RB Portis rush for no gain from the 2 (Brunell to Sellers TD)
WAS QB Brunell 32 yard pass to TE Cooley to the 5 (Portis TD)
WAS RB Betts 22 yard rush to the 4 (Cartwright TD)
DET RB Jones rush for no gain from the 4
DET RB Jones 3 yard rush to the 1
DET RB Jones rush for no gain from the 1 (Garcia TD)
CIN QB Palmer 16 yard TD pass to WR Johnson reversed
DAL RB Barber 2 yard rush to the 5 (Bledsoe to Johnson TD)
SEA QB Hasselbeck 13 yard pass to WR Hackett to the 1
SEA RB Alexander rush for no gain from the 1 (Hasselbeck to Hannam TD)
DEN RB Bell 1 yard rush to the 4 (Anderson TD)
DEN RB Anderson 23 yard rush to the 4 (Plummer to Johnson TD)
NYG QB Manning 23 yard pass to WR Burress to the 4 (Barber TD)
NYG QB Manning 6 yard pass to RB Barber to the 2 (Manning to Toomer TD)
BUF RB McGahee rush for no gain from the 5 (Holcomb to Evans TD)
ATL RB Dunn 6 yard rush to the 1 (Vick TD)
ATL RB Dunn rush for no gain from the 1 (Vick TD)
NYJ RB Martin 2 yard rush to the 1 (Testaverde TD)
NYJ QB Bollinger 4 yard pass to FB Sowell to the 3 (Martin TD)

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

Thanks for playing along. I hope you have a gas with whatever you're
doing in your life. Here's to Football.

J

If you've got a Random Shot of your own, shoot me an email at
Bryant@footballguys.com.

Thanks to Footballguys Sean Grove and Madhav Chinnappa for the help on this one.


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