Friday, January 29, 2010

Make Him Contract Zero

The Washington Wizards - and the NBA, by extension - face a defining moment on whether they have the right to void the remaining $80 million of Gilbert Arenas' contract.

If you can't cancel payment on this one, then what does it take?

I for one, am hoping the Wiz have the balls to take this one all the way to the ends of the legal earth.

In fact, I hope the Wizards not only cancel the contract, but they slow-pay/no-pay Arenas if he ends up winning after all the appeals.

"What? Paycheck? Um, yeahhh. We'll send that out this week, promise."

Sadly, all accounts right now, say the Wiz have virtually no chance of winning this one. In NBA history two things have never happened. Ever.

1. A player has said: "You know, I've got enough tattoos already."
2. A guaranteed contract has been successfully voided.

Once upon a time, Latrell Sprewell choked his coach in a fit of rage.

The Warriors voided his deal. An arbitrator reinstated it.

Oh well....

That still shouldn't dissuade the Wizards. They need to make their case, press their case, and should they fall short anyway, I want them to bellyache publicly about it.

Layout the particulars, going all the way back to his knee injury.

Talk about how Gilbert ignored team doctors and rehab specialists to do his own thing, costing him two full years on what should have been a garden variety knee injury.

Talk about his open insubordination to coach Eddie Jordan, putting himself in and out of playoff games like there was a doggie door attached to the bench in front of his seat.

Talk about the juvenile "pranks" he pulled on team-mates, one of which involved shitting in a teammate's shoe.

Har, har.

Emphasize the direct, and widespread malaise that Gilbert's actions have inflicted on the team in particular, and the franchise in general.

Make the very specific point that bringing him back to play for his absurdly bloated contract, would engender such animosity from fans, that the team would absorb season ticket defections and sponsor boycotts.

Put it as plainly as possible, that this clown has wrecked the franchise. Not just wrecked it now, but wrecked it for the last two years, and most likely for several years to come.

His gun stunt cost the team 50 games worth of services, in a truly make or break season. One where the now deceased owner ponied up 79 million dollars worth of payroll to see if the roster that has been waiting for the $111 million prankster could finally be the missing piece.

His contract may not state specifically the implied leadership responsibilities of that much money, but it shouldn't have to.

Make him "Contract Zero." Fight it to the bitter end. And make no apologies for it.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

More Cowbell!

I didn't watch President Obama's State of the Union speech on Wednesday, but I did read one excerpt where he said this about the Democrats' proposed health care "reform."

"Still, this is a complex issue, and the longer it was debated, the more skeptical people became. I take my share of the blame for not explaining it more clearly to the American people. And I know that with all the lobbying and horse-trading, the process left most Americans wondering, "What's in it for me?"

Oh. Really? You didn't EXPLAIN it more clearly? That's it? That's IT????

You've got to be kidding, right?

Let me translate: "Hey, I'm so smart and wonderful, I'm sorry you greedy idiots out there didn't get it."

Yesssir! That's our President!

Sooooo, what to do now? More cowbell, more Obama!


Help Me Out On This One...

The internet can be a wonderful thing. It is a massive junk drawer of articles, videos, goof-sites, facts, stats, box scores, and a jillion other things - all available, in theory, at the click of a Google search.

Well, that's the theory, at least.

In advance of next week's Super Bowl, I was desperately looking for an ESPN The Magazine article that chronicled in awesomely minute detail, all the pre-snap shit Peyton Manning goes through in order to make a routine TD pass, look, well, routine.

For him, at least.

I think - THINK - I have narrowed it down to the following....

"Trust Me On This"
By Seth Wickersham

it is allegedly in the December 20, 2004 issue of ESPN the Magazine with the "ESPN 100" on the cover.

I have found this link already, but every time I find it, I get a 404 File Not Found error message.

This is driving me NUTS!!!

The article was the best I have ever seen on the subject, and I was hoping you may remember it as well. If only ESPN did a good job of archiving and saving this stuff, we'd find it easier to ... um... find.

If I recall, they used a two-page photo spread of the Colts vs. Broncos at various points before and after the snap. Boxes of text described how Manning read the defense both pre-snap, and after, and how his receiver made the adjustments as well.

I am ringing a bell here? Anybody? Bueller?

Hell, maybe the article was in Sports Illustrated. Or Good Housekeeping. Maybe I have several other facts wrong.

But dammit, this article exists!!

If you know what I am talking about, and if you know where you can read it on the web, and if you want to help a brother out so I can then SHARE IT with everyone else, then I would be eternally grateful.

And collectively, we would be resurrecting a piece of "must read" sports intel just before the big game, just in case somebody says: "I think most of that crap Manning does it just for show."

Some of it, sure. But alot of it is not for show. It is the workings of a QB Super Computer whirring away, the likes of which we have never seen before in the modern NFL.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Big Boned

Man, there must be some extra doughy biscuits down there in Alabama!

We knew that Terrance Cody was nicknamed "Mount Cody" but who expected such a horrific mudslide of fat once that shirt came off?

Then we had last year's "Crimson Tide Heart Attack Waiting to Happen" Andre Smith decide to run the combine 40 without a shirt. Nice. One scout looked up from his watch after that and said: "I can't believe it. It reads: "Gravy."

Oh, We're Not Done Yet....

If you thought that the humiliation of all things Vikings and Favre was going to be a one-day affair here at, then you are wrong, sir!

When the Football Gods deliver a meal of schadenfreude so juicy and fresh, it is at your own karmic peril that you dare push away from the table.

For starters, here's this from reader Eddie Malek...

10. Blame Jet’s medical staff for loss.
9. Wonder why Childress has not picked him up yet for ride to airport.
8. Pick up “Most Interceptions in Career” award.
7. Release statement that Deanna is actually his sister.
6. Take his brother for a car ride.
5. Tell the “Bi-Queens” he will give them an answer sometime in September.
4. Serve Cocktails on the Madden Bus wearing just a banana hammock.
3. Plan a hot tub party with Chmura.
2. Call Thompson & McCarthy @ 3:00 in the morning drunk to apologize.
1. Doing new TV ads for Vicodin.

And then there's photo-shop jobs making the rounds like this one...

From Wade Wundrock in Milwaukee.....


Interesting tidbit from local sportscast after the NFC Championship game;

If Favre retires, his last pass for Atlanta, Green Bay, NY Jets and Minnesota will all have been an interception.
I thought that was rather ironic.




And finally, as promised, the bullet pointed version of all things Minnesota Viking Misery...

- Four Super Bowl Losses
- Five NFC Championship Game Losses
- Korey Stringer's Death
- 4th and 28 Loss to Arizona on last play of season
- Gary Anderson's ONLY miss of the season, at the worst possible time
- The 41-0 loss to the Giants (when favored)
- Fred Smoot Boat Party
- Mike Tice Scalping Tickets
- Reggie Fowler almost buying the team
- Visanthe Shiancoe's schmeckpepper on TV
- Randy Moss's Ugly Unravelling and Trade
- Two Words: Sean Salisbury
- Two More: Tavarius Jackson

and I'm sure I've forgotten some.

Now you can throw this loss on the burning trash heap of sports misery. Enjoy, Viking fans! Ragnor will now let you cry on his shoulder!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Not Exactly An Immaculate Landing Like Sully

My man Johnnie Rhodes (aka: "The Greaser") was out with me last month for Monday Night Football at Buffalo Wild Wings in Frederick.

It started to snow, but it was light. So we said, "eh, no big deal."

Well, it wasn't a big deal to Rhodesie, until he came to the driveway of his house!

On a downward slope, the driveway quickly became a luge run.

He had a quick, hard decision to make, as his Saab SUV and it's four-wheel drive suddenly became useless.

Should he crash into his living room?
Should he crash into his wife's car in the driveway?

Or... "Plan C."

Rhodesie says he should be commended like Sully Sullenberger for his quick thinking that saved lives, notably his sleeping wife and 2 year old son.

I said: "Rhodes. You ain't no Sully. But nice work. Wings are on me, next time."

"Hey Ya'll... Watch This...."

For 4 months now, Brett Favre has been ridin' dirty on punks like me.

But ain't karma a bitch, Brett?

This is what you do. It's how you roll. Even your buddy (enabler) Tom Jackson said on ESPN: "Brett Favre is not afraid to throw picks. That's what I like about him."

Does that mean it's okay to say "Adrian Peterson is not afraid to fumble. That's what I like about him."

Or perhaps: "John Calipari is not afraid to put a program on probation. That's what I like about him."

The backbreaking INT by Favre - the hopefully concluding movement of the Favre Playoff Gaffe Opus - was certainly not the only reason they lost the game. But it was so typical Brett.

To riff off of the self-evident phrase "Big time players, make big time plays", I give you the Favreian version: "Narcissist quarterbacks, make narcissistic plays."

Why didn't Favre just throw the ball away? Or hobble ahead on his bum ankle for a valuable 5 extra yards and a shot by Ryan Longwell from distance?

You know why.

Guys who don't have to show up for training camp, never have to say they are sorry.

Completing that pass, across his body, on the run, with an 800-pound bag of beat-down given to him by the Saints during that game, would have set up the game winning field goal and a gusher of "can you believe this ol' legend did it again!?" commentary from his adoring media.

Would have been sweet for HIM, no?

But it didn't happen, so, um, sucks for YOU.

"By the way, fellas, please don't call me this off-season. I'll call you. And then not call. Then call and hang up. Maybe I'll call, imitate a voice, pretend I've got the wrong number, and then put you on hold for 4 hours while I go play golf.

Then I'll leak rumors to Peter King, Jay Glazer, and Ed Werder. Each one will be somehow triangularly contradictory. I'll leave all that up to wild speculation by everyone, and then pretend to not know or care what's going on as I live my simple agrarian lifestyle in Mississippi."

Hating Favre, post-Packer divorce, has been the easiest thing in sports. The guy has shown himself as an indisputably dishonest, manipulating, me-first diva, who carries a petty and vengeful streak that defies all common sense.

The full concerto is now complete. The overtime balloon-ball in Philadelphia in the "4th & 26" game, the overtime pick in the Ice Bowl II, and now this.

Ah, how sweet it is. Suck it, number four!

Maybe it's time to re-mix your favorite song with new lyrics...

"Balls on the ground.... balls on the ground..."
"Lookin' like a fool with those balls on the ground..."

"With the stubble on your face..."
"Hat worn out"
"Call yourself a gunslinger... looking like a fool."

Was that wrong? Because it felt so good.

Monday, January 25, 2010

00's Plays of the Decade Video Montage

Over the holidays, I spend a good deal of time pulling year-end and decade-end sports montages from various places. If you are a video nerd wondering exactly how, well here's the set-up.

I use a $99 capture device from Pinnacle Systems called their Video Transfer. It takes in analog video only, which is disappointing in today's Hi-Def world, but to my knowledge, there isn't any way to capture true HD video from say DirecTV and save it to your computer in an "unlocked" file format.

The networks and content producers in Hollywood, are rightly afraid of people pulling pristine hi-def copies of movies, shows and such, then releasing them to the internet wild like a profit eating virus.

So they deliver HD content to your DVR or receiver in an encrypted format, and the box itself does the decoding ju-jitsu as you watch it. They don't output any readable or understandable HD video codec to any capture card on the market.


Still, this little box does pretty well for web posting stuff, and YouTube.

The DirecTV output in analog, actually gives my Pinnacle Transfer a 16x9 (widescreen) picture, it's just smushed into a 4x3 box.

No worries.

I take that video, then "re-stretch" it to 16x9 dimensions by using Vegas Movie Studio Platinum.

The result, is a pretty nice wide aspect video, in a ample size for internet viewing without too massive a file size.

So go ahead, take a look at ESPN's awesome "Plays of The Decade" and enjoy.

Next Time, Just Take the Day Off

If you haven't heard by now, ESPN's Mike Greenberg nearly got hit by a career-ending train last Monday, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Or, perhaps, he almost stepped in front of that train on his own stupid accord.

Rattling off an intro, he said "Martin Luther CoonKING Day" and then plowed ahead hoping nobody heard.

Um, wrong. In this day and age, especially where he's simulcast on TV without a 7-second delay or dump button, everything gets heard.

Mortified, he issued a 5-sentence apology later in the day. ESPN accepted the apology, and moved on.

It was, I hate to admit it, the right call.

Sometimes, a slip is just a slip. Even though I have been rather shocked to hear some people raise an eyebrow like "heeeeyyy, wait a minute!"

One of the more common lines of argument goes like this: "Even if it's a slip, the mere fact that it came out of his mouth, MEANT THAT IT IS SOMEWHERE IN HIS HEAD!"


Well, I don't think Mike Greenberg is a racist. Weenie? Yes. Racist. No.

But let's just deconstruct the logic of those who think that this should be a "bigger deal" so to speak.

Do you really think that some white announcers can't wait for this annual federal holiday to "slip in" a little "oops" to make a racist joke? That guys who have worked their whole life to build a career in broadcasting, are willing to "let it ride" that they can pull this off?

Unless you believe that, you must then take the "it was intentional" theory off the table.

The fall back argument is that such a hateful word shouldn't ever be in a broadcaster's head, much less close enough to his lips to let it accidentally come out.

Well that's insane. Any adult has certainly heard of the word "coon" used as a racist slur. So by definition, it is IN your head. Even if you reject it, never use it, and abhor it being said by anyone, it is there.

Why then could it come out?

Because saying "Martin Luther King" involves the "oooh" in "Luther" and the hard "Kuh" in "King." And if you include the "Junior" there is another "ooh" waiting as a phonetic land mine on the other side.

Granted, the sounds aren't exactly right next to each other, but I can see how you can screw them up if you are especially sloppy.

Or ESPN has been paying, promoting, and harboring one huge racist with a great cover as a nebbishy metrosexual, and thank God this glitch finally revealed it!

I have joked to my colleagues in radio over the years, that MLK Day is the "most lethal broadcasting day on the calendar" for us white guys.

It seems like any screw up now, no matter how small, can be lethal. And forget being a white guy who actually wants to use a MLK related topic for discussion on this day.

Ohhhh, no, pal. What are you insane?

Anything you say, can and will be used against you.

My theory is that Greenberg knew this, and knew of another famous incident where a weatherman in Las Vegas by the name of Rob Blair LOST HIS JOB for the exact gaffe. Despite apologies on air, and elsewhere, and despite the station GM admitting it was just a slip of the tongue, he was gonzo!

Like a golfer on a nemesis hole with a lake down the right side of the fairway, all you can think of is "don't hit it in the lake." Greeny, probably had some nervous gremlin in his head that was saying "don'tsaycoon, don'tsaycoon, don'tsaycoon".

Sound ridiculous? Sorta. But arguing that he's a racist is even more ridiculous.

If you were told to walk down a 100 yard sidewalk without stepping on any cracks, you would probably do that with ease.

How about if you were told that stepping on a single crack, however, would cause you to be fired, and likely end your career?

Well then, it would be a pretty nerve wracking 100 yard walk, no?

All that said, it would be better to just take the day off if you are a white dude on the radio. The only problem, is that the holiday takes place smack dab in the middle of the NFL playoffs, not to mention winter. Aside from skiing, what are going to do with that day off?

So I always work that day, if that's okay with everybody.

And I rarely, if ever, say the words "Martin Luther King Jr," just to be extra safe and all.

I hope that too, doesn't make me a racist.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Smokin' Aces

Allow me to make an obvious, although sort of stupid statement: "Is anybody aware of the fact that the New Orleans Freaking Saints are poised to make the Super Bowl?"

Perhaps it was just me, but I sensed this week a bit of collective sleeping by us in the media about how monumental this would be.

The franchise that INVENTED the bag-over-the-head-in-shame move in sports, is favored to go to the Super Bowl!

This franchise has been plagued in almost biblical fashion over the years. If not hurricane induced flooding and refugees in their stadium for weeks, then it was man made disasters like Danny Wuerrfel at quarterback or Mike Ditka trading his entire basket of draft picks for a reclusive Ricky Williams.

Nothing against the Vikings and their (almost as suffering) fans. But I'm rooting for the Bag Heads here.

Reggie Bush probably won't have the same kind of nuclear game as last week, but I am excited at the thought of him and Percy Harvin on the same fast track in the same game.

As for Favre and Brees, I hate the former and love the latter. But I can at least admit that #4 has played phenomenal football this year. He stuck it up my ass real good. I figured there was no way he a) would last a whole season un-injured and b) keep the picks under 20, much less 10!

He'd be insane to retire after this season, even if they win it all.

I'm not even sure he'll string the Vikings out this off-season either. It's too perfect of a fit.

In the AFC, I'll just be blunt: no fucking way I can stomach listening to Mark Sanchez for a whole week at the Super Bowl. So Peyton is just gonna have to git-r-dun here.

When you think about it, what are the purely statistical chances of Manning getting beat by a rookie QB - at home - in a stakes game this high? Especially when Manning has had a chance to see this defense once already this year, albeit for a little more than a half of play?

No rookie QB has ever started a Super Bowl, while Big Ben and Dan Marino are the only 2nd year guys to do it.

I have tremendous respect for the way Rex Ryan has his defense tuned up and set to "Seek and Destroy." And I know that if you can run and stop the run, you can be in just about any game.

But this is where closers, close. Peyton and the boys are gonna say: "We let you in this thing, and now we're going to let you out."

As for the schedule Sunday, I must admit I'm not a fan of the late skewing 3 and 6:40 starts. While I think that works great for us married dudes with families on the previous two Saturdays - those being the "honey do" days - I think it's un-necessary on this most glorious Sunday.

I'd love to invite some fellas over for the games, but that late game is gonna wrap at 10 p.m. minimum. Knowing how fellas like to get a little tuned up on Leinie's when they are over at the 5-hour dome, that could make for a rough Monday.

Let's push these back to 1 and 4:30, or better yet, 12:30 and 4 and give us a chance to cool down the BAC jets on our way to a crappy two week wait until the Big One itself.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Enemies of The State

The following, is awesome!

It succinctly, and powerfully reduces the tyranny of modern statism to a quick and understandable read.

While Mark Levin's recent best seller "Liberty and Tyranny" is a thicker, more nuanced read, this is a good start for anybody who seeks to finally "get it" about the evils of modern liberalism.

If you are too lazy to read the whole thing, here's the original link from

It’s clear that the middle class is the great enemy of collectivism. Only they have the combination of voting power, money, and economic self-interest to see the growth of government as undesirable, and provide effective resistance. They generally view their interactions with government in a negative light – they’ve all spent time in the Department of Motor Vehicles mausoleum, spent hours wrestling with tax forms, or been slapped with a traffic citation they don’t think they deserved. They understand the inefficiency and emotional instability of government, and instinctively resent its intrusion into their lives. A health-care takeover is the best chance collectivists will ever have of persuading the middle class to vote itself into chains… but for the better part of a century, they’ve been able to hear the hammers of the State ringing on the metal of those chains, in the forges of taxation and regulation.

The middle class is a vast group in a capitalist society, which is one of the things collectivists really hate about capitalism. Its upper reaches include the entrepreneurs and small business owners that bring economic vitality. Virtually every aspect of Obama’s agenda is designed to injure or burden small businessmen, and this is no accident. Despite their angry rhetoric about giant corporations, leftists have little trouble controlling them. They often do business directly with the government, as vendors… and, through lobbyists, as customers. They generally employ members of labor unions, which serve as a de facto arm of Big Government, injecting the agenda of the State directly into the corporate bloodstream. It’s the small business owners and self-employed, along with those who aspire to join their ranks, who are the most difficult to control, and the most likely to muster effective electoral resistance to the statist agenda. The middle class is filled with people who pay attention to the second page of their paycheck stubs.

The President says “I have every interest in seeing a unified country solving big problems.” The rest of us have an interest in being allowed to pursue our individual solutions to those problems, according to the liberties our Constitution says belong to us as absolutely as our souls. We can see the wreckage of those “unified” solutions strewn through our past, and littering the rest of the world. Our frustration is born of intelligence and moral strength, not stubborn blindness.

This post should be a bookmark page, for when anybody asks you: "So what do you have against Obama, anyway?"

Email the link and say: "Here it is. Read it, and get back to me with any questions."

Paul Revere Lives!

In the bloodsport of modern American politics - Elephants vs. Donkeys - the special election of Scott Brown to Ted Kennedy's Senate seat in Massachusetts is the greatest upset ever.

Evah, you chowds!

Now I know about the infamous "Dewey Beats Truman" headlines. But that was due in large part, to ancient polling practices of the time.

This was a shocker on about 20 different levels.

For starters, let's be honest. IT WAS Ted Kennedy's seat. Brown was shrewd to point out that it was technically not, but that's like saying UNC getting a sub-regional #1 seed in Greensboro is technically not a "homecourt" advantage.

This was like Coastal Carolina rolling into Cameron Indoor and bitch-slapping Duke with a mother of a 30 point second half rally.

But unlike an early season non-conference game, pretend that Coastal somehow kept Duke out of the tournament with the win.

Now, we're getting closer to a better sports reference for an upset like this.

For the record, I don't look at politics like it is merely sport for fat and ugly people. It affects the food people can put on their table. It affects quality of life. It affects the future of our country.

It ain't no joke.

So when a miracle happens like this, to prevent what you think would have been a generational mistake of massive proportions, well then you run around the house in your socks and pump your fists until your elbow nearly dislocates.

Well, at least I did.

Ted Kennedy's fucking seat. Wow. Suck on THAT, Olbermann!

God Bless America, a country where a guy can do what Brown did: accept an assigment that is "mission impossible" - and then pull off THE IMPOSSIBLE!

The guy got in his truck, hit the road, and started shaking hands.

And he just kept plugging away.

Awesome. has this post, referencing some similarly miraculous campaign upsets and last minute rallies in recent memory. I still think this one trumps them all.

When it comes to sports upsets, I have this as my short list in order:

1. USA over Soviet Union - Lake Placid 1980
2. Texas Western over Kentucky - 1966
3. Francis Ouimet over Harry Vardon and Ted Ray - 1913
4. Joe Namath and the Jets over the Colts - Super Bowl III

You can of course, throw in Buster Douglass over Mike Tyson, Villanova over Georgetown, and Rulon Gardener over Alexander Karelin in the Olympics.

However those upsets all involved a certain element of "lucky punch" to them. The Top-4 all had impact and shockwaves beyond the actual upset itself.

The Miracle on Ice was a prelude to the fall of communism, Texas Western broke down racial barriers in college basketball, Ouimet began the American ascendancy in the game of golf, and Namath's Jets struck a mighty blow for the upstart AFL.

The shockwaves for Brown's Massachusetts Miracle are just being felt now. Ka-boom! Is there a truly "safe" Democrat anywhere in this 2010 cycle?

With the one year anniversary of Obama's inauguration, there are some pundits with some serious buyers remorse.

Notably, Mort Zuckerman who crushes year one of the Age of Obama thusly:

In the campaign, he said he would change politics as usual. He did change them. It's now worse than it was. I've now seen the kind of buying off of politicians that I've never seen before. It's politically corrupt and it's starting at the top. It's revolting.


Meanwhile, the Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett, is starting to re-think things, although not as drastically. He properly laments the idiotic notion of a special punitive tax on big banks that have paid the US treasury back - in full, with interest!

“If you’re really looking for the people who benefit from the government losses you’d have to look at Fannie or Freddie. Are you going to tax the member of Congress who ran Freddie and Frannie,” he said. “….I just think a tax that’s enacted with the idea that the headlines will be appealing and that a certain amount of vengeance will be achieved. I don’t think that’s the greatest form of tax policy.”

Yeah. Exactly, Warren. Welcome to the party. Where have you been?

I thought I never would see anything as jaw-dropping, holy-shit, did-that-really-just-happen amazing politically in my life as a virtual "tie" in a presidential election (Gore-Bush, 2000).

I was wrong.

Thanks Senator Brown. You are a hero to millions. Drive that truck right up the steps of the Capitol, throw it in park, and flip the keys to Harry Reid and say: "Park it, bitch."

Pretty soon, Nevada voters willing, he'll be doing that at Ceasars for a living.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Favre, Leno, and Corporate Succession Planning

Skip Oliva from the website has an interesting take on the similarities and differences between what happened to NBC and the Green Bay Packers when it came to finding a smooth succession plan for their franchise players.

Here's a snippet, you can read the entire post here.

Publicly, Leno and Favre cleared a path for their successors. Leno spoke on his "Tonight Show" about the importance of keeping O'Brien at NBC and the need to avoid a repeat of Leno's own problematic transition from Johnny Carson. Favre never publicly supported Rodgers, but in 2008, after many years of wavering on the subject, Favre finally announced his retirement.

Both men then changed their minds. Leno decided he still wanted to tell jokes on television every night, and Favre wanted to continue throwing a football. NBC and Green Bay had already installed their successors, but no matter. The question now was how would each organization's management respond?

Green Bay stuck to its guns. Rodgers was their starter going into the 2008 season. When Favre realized he couldn't simply have his old job back, he demanded his unconditional release (he was still under contract even after retiring). Green Bay said no, primarily because they did not want Favre to sign with Minnesota and compete against the Packers in their division. Instead, Green Bay traded Favre to the New York Jets on the condition that New York didn't turn around and re-trade Favre to Minnesota. That didn't stop Favre. A year later, he lied about his retirement a second time to secure his unconditional release from New York, whereupon Favre signed with the Vikings.

In contrast to Favre, Leno was perfectly free to sign with another network after his contract expired in 2009. He was under no ethical duty to retire. But once word got out that he might go to ABC or Fox, NBC management panicked. Zucker and his lieutenants offered Leno a new contract that would revive his one-hour program - sans the "Tonight Show" name now contractually obligated to O'Brien - to air during the prime-time hour of 10 p.m. NBC spun the new "Jay Leno Show" as a revolutionary idea that would cut the network's programming costs - talk shows are cheaper then scripted dramas - while keeping both of its popular hosts in the NBC family.

NBC's refusal to "move on" proved disastrous. Leno's 10 p.m. show tanked in the ratings and destroyed the lead-in for the affiliated stations' local news - their major revenue source. Leno's program also diluted the "Tonight Show" brand, as Leno and O'Brien were now directly competing for guests and viewer attention.

Skip and I are also in agreement that NBC has made a MAJOR mistake by backing Leno, and letting Conan go. Even if you prefer Leno now, the reality is that he's more likley to need replacing - again - in the not so distant future.

And with the Tonite Show "brand" permantly damaged/compromised by this fiasco, there's no use in trying to put the toothpaste back in the tube.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Eagle Fans, Stay Classy

"Hey, does anybody have a C or D cell I can put in my snowball?"

Guard These Things Like Gold

Much ado has been made of the end-game decision by Norv Turner to on-sides kick with 2:16 in regulation, trailing by 3 points.

In particular, Phil Simms and Boomer Esiason essentially declared it a bad move.


I'd say it was risky, but not insane. Let's take a moment to break down Norv's multiple bad options, and to once again remind people why 2nd half time outs MUST be treated like precious gold.

With just 1 timeout remaining, the Chargers would need to stop the Jets on 3 downs, and get the ball back with whatever time is left. Even then, you would have to rely on Nate Keading one last time to kick the overtime forcing field goal.

Given that Keading was in bad need of a diaper change at that point, I'd call those prospects officially: "dicey."

If you on-sides kick, you have a chance (league average: 26%) to recover immediately. If you fail, you MUST stop the other team on 3 downs.

But then again, if you kick the ball deep, you MUST stop the other team on 3 downs.

So if you need a stop either way, it does make some sense to take the 26% chance of a successful on-side recovery, IN EXCHANGE for field position.

Some sense, I said. It's not a lock. But the basic proposition is: "On-side chance FOR field position."

The Jets, once stopped on 3 downs, had the luxury of going for it on 4th down, due to field position. This was the other downside of a failed on-side kick. However, if the Jets faced a longer 4th down try - say 5 yards, not 1 - would they go for it?

I say, not likely. It would have also been a somewhat risky field goal attempt. With the ball at the 29, you're talking a 46 yard attempt that would NOT put the game away.

A Feely make, only makes it a 6 point game, with 1:09 left. No bargain there, for the Jets. A miss is even worse. Ball spotted at the 36, and Rivers has just 35 yards or so to go, to set up Nate's suicide inducing 4th miss of the day.

The bigger point, however, is the fact that NFL teams and coaches STILL fail to properly revere the value of 2nd half timeouts.

They are, GOLD! Treat them as such.

The Chargers had to burn two timeouts on defense the previous Jets possession, as they were already in extended run-out-the-clock mode. So those were understandable.

But what Rex Ryan did in the 2nd half was inexcusable. He used a 2nd half timeout JUST TO DECIDE TO KICK A FIELD GOAL!


Even though there was confusion about the spot of the ball, this was an egregious waste. Had the Jets been trailing late in the game, they would have sorely missed that timeout.

If you have all 3 timeouts remaining in the final 3 minutes of a game, and you are trailing, you are basically GOD. You can slow the game into what I call "matrix time" where everything suddenly goes slow motion.

Imagine if the Chargers had ALL 3 timeouts, instead of just one.

Assuming the kickoff and return would have lasted less than 14 seconds (which I admit, would be a close call, unless you can boot a sure touchback) then you would force the Jets to get a first down like this.

1st Down: (2:04 to go) Run, 2 minute warning.
2nd Down: (1:56 to go) Run, Timeout #1.
3rd Down: (1:52 to go) Run, Timeout #2.

Chargers would then (hypothetically of course, based on the above scenario) have the ball with 1 timeout, almost 2 full minutes, at their own 30-ish (based on an average sorta-punt).

Pretty good deal.

But that scenario is not available if you have less than your 3 full timeouts.

For the Chargers, they used them when they had to. I don't fault that. But moves like Rex Ryan, are idiotic.

I would never, ever, ever use a 2nd half timeout before 3 minutes were left in the game.


Ooooh. Five yard delay of game? So freaking, what. Not worth a precious timeout, that can save a full 40 seconds of game time.

If I have all 3 timeouts at the end of the game, I have essentially TWO extra minutes in my pocket.

I am God.

I would lock timeout coupons in a chest on the sideline, and not let my coach anywhere near them until the game was coming to a close.

Monday, January 18, 2010

If Mark McGwire Grew Vegetables...

Is anything really “real” in the Obama administration?

We know his appointees don’t really pay their taxes. But then again, it only happened to 8 of them, so it may have been coincidence.

Doctors being given white coats to wear while on the front lawn of the White House.

Stimulus jobs that don’t exist, or are from non-existent congressional districts.

Promises to hold health care negotiations on CSPAN that evaporate into thin air.

Party crashers with fake invitations.

The teleprompter. Always by his side, the teleprompter.

Now, even the vegetables are fake.

The Jan. 3 “Iron Chef America” drew 7.6 million viewers was the highest-rated show in network history. In it, superstar chef Mario Batali teamed with Emeril Lagasse, and Bobby Flay with White House chef Cristeta Comerford to cook five dishes using the secret ingredient: produce from the White House garden.

Except for one thing: As first reported on AOL’s Politics Daily blog, the fruits and vegetables used on the show weren’t from the White House. They were stunt produce. Ringers.

At the beginning of the two-hour special, the chefs were shown picking sweet potatoes, broccoli, fennel and tomatillos from the White House garden. Then the chefs were seen walking into Kitchen Stadium, produce in hand. One problem: The show is filmed in New York City.


But now we are supposed to believe that the “savings” in Medicare to help pay for Obamacare is going to be real. Sure it is. The tooth fairy will deliver it, using Santa’s sleigh in the Christmas off-season.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Style Over Substance

Can somebody please give me a good reason why Lane Kiffin, 35, has now been given an NFL head coaching position, and TWO blue chip college jobs in the last 24 months?

Can somebody show me the resume that merits this?

Was there a football innovation - until now, undiscovered - that Kiffin formulated in his wunderkind mind and brought to the game?

Does anybody say anything good about this kid, other than the obvious fact that he married well, and his daddy was once a fabulous NFL d-coordinator?

So far in this Kiffin-back-USC story, the focus has been on his hasty and tacky retreat out of Knoxville, and the possibly dirty pool dealings of recruiting ace Ed Orgeron.

Is telling UT recruits not to step on campus so they can possibly join Lane in LA sleazy? Sure. But the whole business is sleazy at this level. This is like complaining about how you get dirt under your fingernails after a 12 round mudwrestling bout.

The bigger question to me remains this: "what has this kid done!?"

What kind of svengali-like hypnotic effect must he have on AD's and owners to make him seem like a good choice as coach?

And if - god forbid - his old man Monte wasn't still around, drawing up zone-dog-fire-blitzes for his kid, would Kiffin have a chance at a gig like USC?

Maybe the important thing to take out of this story, is that college ADs have realized just how un-important actual COACHING is from the HEAD coach at this level.

If it's all about recruiting the studs - then get a young brash kid who can connect with the studs, and deliver the studs.

Provided he's got a good staff of proven coaches around him, you then start the season at 8 wins, and build from there.

This doesn't mean I wouldn't prefer a proven game-day tactician with experience on my sideline in a tight game: (Meyer, Saban, Tressel, et. al.)

But perhaps Kiffin knows just enough to not completely fall apart while running a game with the headsets on.

I know this much: if his name was Lane Klepchowski and his dad was a steel worker, he wouldn't be the hottest 12-21 coach in America.

Which brings me to Heidi Montag.

This poor tortured blonde, 23, has decided to let LA's finest plastic surgeons go all Edwards Scissorhands on her already smokin' hot body and face.

She claims, it is only because this is the professional world of hyper-perfection she chooses to work in, and that it was only after much soul searching to realize that she's okay with the person "inside" as well.

Uh.... huh.

For those people entirely un-hip-enough to know: "Who the hell is Heidi Montag?" it raises another Lane Kiffin like question: "What does she do, and why do I care?"

I suppose if her boobs are big enough, and her face perfect enough, then nothing else really matters.

Just like if Lane can bring 5 blue-chippers with him to campus, so what if he never spent 20 years grinding out a career touching all the standard rungs of the career ladder?

Move over, Spencer Pratt. It's Lane and Heidi who belong together, especially in LA.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Give A Monkey A Blog and .....

Somebody once asked me: "What do you have against Peter King, anyway, Czabe?"

That's a fair question.

He's never wronged me personally, and as such, I have no personal animus against him. In fact, he's supposedly one of the nicest sports media "stars" in the business.

Yet my professional animus for King seethes like a white hot fire.

He sucks.

If you gave a chimp a laptop and a sideline pass, it would have a fighting chance to outreport King during a game.

But I'm not the only one who thinks this. The boys at Kissing Suzy Kolber produce perhaps the 2nd best read every week during football season (1st, has to be Gregg Easterbrook's TMQB column on's Page 2).

It is a scathing - but oddly, fair - dissertation of King's weekly MMQB column. When King isn't being an insufferable narcissist, he's quite often failing to grasp even the obvious things going on in the NFL.

But at the very least, you would hope King could be a minimally competent reporter. If nothing else, the man is easily the most connected national reporter in the NFL. A long tenure at SI, along with his role on NBC's FNIA show, means getting the facts, when needed, should be a chip shot.

Not so much.

One big story in the Jets-Bengals game was the sudden unavailability of punter Steve Weatherford due to "illness."

Did King nail it? Um, no.

From his column this week, with comment by KSK.

My dumb comments about Jets punter Steve Weatherford on Twitter. I apologized on Twitter, and I’ll do so here. I called out Weatherford for not taking the field Saturday — it was said during the game that he was “ill” — even as cameras showed him jogging on the sidelines at one point. What I didn’t know is that moments before the game he was found to have a racing heartbeat and irregular heartbeat, and Jet medics forbade him from playing. I was kneejerk and shouldn’t have been. I should have refrained from commenting until I knew more about what ailed Weatherford. I owe him one.

KSK: Someone’s getting a free meal at Capital Grille!

Fucking.... idiot.

The notion that kickers and punters are - generally - pussies, is well established. At the same time, however, they ARE professional athletes. They didn't end up in the NFL just because their parents drove them to practice every week.

They fought their ass off to get there. And they fight their ass off to stay there.

Because being a current kicker/punter in the NFL, is about 50 times as awesome as being just another ex-kicker/punter in the NFL.

The pay is a lot better too.

So the notion that a punter would voluntarily beg out of a playoff game with an upset tummy is ludicrous if you have any basic understanding of sports.

When I heard about it, my FIRST thought was: "Wow. That's weird. I wonder what the fuck is REALLY going on?"

King, with all his "reporting" skills, and myriad contacts and access, should have been able to get to the bottom of this, and REPORT the truth. Instead, he decided to twitter away like a dope on his cell phone.

Great work.

And the douchebaggery continues.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

So Long, "St. Pete"

Well, that was fun.

The decade of dominance at Southern Cal, while immensely entertaining to watch on TV, is about to experience a Lehman Brothers-like collapse.

Their current recruiting class in tatters, with NCAA investigators closing in with sanctions, Pete Carroll - the smiling, gentle, classy, go-into-the-ghetto-to-help-at-risk-kids - has pulled the rip-cord on his golden parachute.

Must be nice. For him.

For student athletes who can't as much talk to Deion Sanders about the NFL without losing their entire college career, their deal isn't so sweet. USC players helped put millions in Carroll's bank account while in LA, not to mention the millions more he has now extracted from fan-boy owner Paul Allen.

I wonder if he even had the guts to stand up in front of the team to say "Hey, thanks! I'll write when I get to Seattle. Love ya!"

This doesn't make Pete Carroll any worse than any other major college coach these days - grid or hoops - it just makes him the John Calipari of the gridiron. He's proven that if you push the envelope on recruiting, win big, and get out before the house burns down, life is good.

I just resented Pete's media sainthood the last 10 years. The uncritical eye from TV pundits. The feature stories showing him in the inner city. The "we are family" vibe on the running back who dropped the weight bar on his neck and almost died. The latest tear jerker angle on the blind kid.

Enough already.

Pete knew how to get the studs. He looked the other way when convenient. Won a lot of games. Looked great on TV.

But it's over, people. Go home.

Monday, January 11, 2010

AirTran Has Your Vegas Connection!

Better jump on this one fellas. As you know, we are holding our second annual "Czabe's Field of 64" promotion at the insanely awesome Palazzo (and Venetian) during Sweet 16 Weekend.

Mark your calendars, save your pennies, and get your plans in motion!

Dates are Thu and Fri March 25 and 26, with extended stays available through the weekend.

The rates we have for this resort, are freaking insane! For about $80 per night, per person, you and a buddy can chill in what I think is one of the 3 best hotels on the strip.

Sure, you can slum it in Vegas. I have. But why???

Any place you stay, is gonna cost about $40 a night minimum. So why not just upgrade yourself, and hang with us!

But this is available to the first 64 reservations only, and you MUST book by clicking through the link here on

You've got more flexibility than last year, since you can trim or extend your stay as you wish.

Best of all, we have partnered with AirTran, to help provide some good flights out to Sin City.

Like this flight here, folks! Round trip, non-stop, perfect times, for about $250! Can't be that.

And while you are at it, sign up for a chance at a free airfare from AirTran in our upcoming drawing!

So jump on board, get ready for an awesome time, and if you have any questions, just shoot me an email!


The Simple Excellence of Miles Austin

Wide receivers, are the shiny objects of professional football. They are like “The Precious” in Lord of the Rings.


Yet as often as not, it is the workmanlike wideouts who end up making the most impact. See Miles Austin. See Wes Welker.

I’ll admit my own inability to see sensibly on this matter. I once wanted the Redskins to take Peter Warrick over Chris Samuels.

Yeah. Uh.. huh. (cough).

But it’s not just me, and the rest of the couch-bound football nation. Supposedly “smart” football minds make the same mistake. Jerry Jones traded multiple picks (including a 1st rounder) and then paid a boatload to Roy Williams.

Yet Austin has been the game changer.

We’re constantly told that despite Jones’ meddling, AT LEAST HE PLAYED THE GAME! (years ago). He “knows what it’s like to be in a locker-room.”

But he’ll still over pay, over-reach, and over-hope on a bum.

Funny how last year at this time, the Cowboys had a supposedly “tough” call on whether to keep or release high maintenance primma-donna Terrell Owens.

Jones finally made the right move.

The Cowboys won the NFC East, Romo set career highs and team records in completions and yardage.

And they didn’t spend one news cycle trying to untangle whatever the hell Owens just spewed to the press about his team/catches/the playbook/quarterback/coach.

I was listening to my esteemed replacement Steven A. Smith on FSR last Friday. He had a different take. “Think how good the Cowboys would be with BOTH Austin and T.O.!!!!!” He then went on to flatly state that Owens “wuz robbed!”

Sure. Sure he was.

I think had the Cowboys stayed with Owens, they would have wasted another year trying to prop up the 35 year old’s sagging production and constant excuses.
At the expense of….well.. everybody!

The reason for Miles Austin’s excellence is simple.

He’s exactly WHERE he is supposed to be, WHEN he’s supposed to be there, catches EVERYTHING, and can run LIKE HELL!

Owens, by contrast, is seldom where he should be, usually late, drops as many as he grabs, and stopped being electric-fast about 2 years ago.

You can’t help but enjoy watching Austin play. His routes are crisp. He snatches passes out of the air like a kung-fu master grabbing a fly with chopsticks. And he’s got a 6th gear in the open field.

The Cowboys at some point will have to pay him. How much, is a tough call. If you found one undrafted Miles Austin out of a nowhere school, chances are you could find others.

Will the money change him? Will he start demanding a certain number of looks a game? I don’t know him well enough.

But I do know that wide receiver continues to be the most over-rated position in the game.


PS: While google-image-searching, I found this one with Miles and the ladies! Niiiicceee.

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Stubbornly Un-sympathetic "Stosh"

Philosophical question: “When is it acceptable to ‘whine’ in sports?”

In general, I think you are not allowed to whine about: the weather, the referees, the schedule, the fans, or the announcers.

But an injury, if significant enough, you bet.

So I am watching the game last night at Buffalo Wild Wings in Urbana, MD with some of my boyees: Rhodesie (aka “The Greaser”), J.P. and another friend of theirs who goes simply by “Stosh.”

Stosh was hilarious. Claims to be a huge Ravens fan, but is also a Redskins fan. Claims he was once a Patriots fan (when Steve Grogan played) but isn’t a fan now. Guy works for the Baltimore Orioles, but is a big hockey player.

Oh, and he’s a huge Ocho Cinco fan. Massive.

Stosh’s proudest Christmas gift, which he was wearing, was a t-shirt ordered from Ocho Cinco’s own website that said “Child Pleeeze…” on the front in orange, with “Ocho Cinco 85” on the back.

Stosh claims he’s “great for the game of football.”

Stosh is white.

I feel compelled to say that, because he smashes every preconceived stereotype of a fan you would ever expect.

So anyway, with Texas getting drilled 24-6 in the second half, with their true freshman back-up to Colt McCoy struggling to even get a ball airborne, Stosh says:

“Now, I don’t wanna hear Texas fans whining about losing their quarterback after this game….”

To quote Jimmy Football in the Bud Light commercials: “Whhhaaaaahhhhaaaaa???”

I said: “Stosh, the dude was their All-American stud. He’s won more games than any QB in Texas history. They were looking really strong before he went out. What the hell are you saying? Of course Texas fans can whine. That changed the entire game!”

Stosh, undeterred simply said: “That’s why you need depth on your team.”

“Depth!” I said. “How many All-American quarterbacks do they need to carry at one time? Three? Some guys are just irreplaceable.”

Stosh wasn’t giving it up. He says they should have let this kid play more in blowouts to get him ready.

“Stosh, I don’t know if you are aware of this, but this is THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP game! Alabama is ridiculously good! The kid was playing HIGH SCHOOL football about 10 months ago! I’m amazed he hasn’t pooped himself yet.”

Well, it was a good natured exchange, and I didn’t really change Stosh’s mind. Maybe he’s correct on some level. I just didn’t see it. While Texas fans can’t honestly claim they would have surely won that game with McCoy, they can at least enjoy a little “woe is me” about it.

That’s when about 5 minutes later I said: “Hey Stosh, what did you say about Pearl Harbor? ‘I don’t want to hear the US Navy whining about losing all their battleships and stuff. They should have had another Pearl Harbor somewhere nearby, like on Maui.”

Much laughter amongst the fellas. ‘Tis why it’s great to get out of the house, and enjoy some free flowing “manversation” – as I like to call it – every now and then.

“Spoken like a Ravens fan,” I said, “whose only Super Bowl is due entirely to the fact that Tony Siragusa FELL on Rich Gannon’s shoulder on the 3rd play of the game.”

The trash talking resumed. The true freshman almost pulled off a miracle, although it was sadly only AFTER Stosh had headed for the snowy roads home.

All hail Alabama, and that joyless prick Nick Saban. With our without McCoy, they are deserving Champs, and the program looks like a juggernaut running at full power.

Woe to the rest of the SEC and, of course, Auburn fans.

The Tide, oh, it is rollin’!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Agent Less-Than-Zero

While everybody and their mother is busy killing Gilbert Arenas, allow me to focus on the real issue.

David Stern.

The AWOL Commissioner continues to prove (to me, at least) that he has become the do-nothing, see-nothing, useless hood ornament of a league that continues its PR death spiral.

Stern hit him with an “indefinite” suspension, that “will ultimately result in a substantial suspension, perhaps worse.”

Ooohhhhhh. Shaking.

Why did Stern suspend Arenas? Not for bringing guns into an NBA arena/lockeroom and “jokingly” urging his pissed off team-mate to “pick one” to use to shoot him.


Stern suspended Arenas for clowning.

“His ongoing conduct has led me to conclude that he is not fit to take the court in an NBA game” said the commish in a statement.


The court might be the only place he’d be “fit” to appear right now. At least you can’t hide a gun in your game shorts. (I think.)

Dan Steinberg of the DC Sports Bog, has a detailed chronology of how many times, and how many ways, Arenas seemed to be taunting the league’s inaction on this issue.

Stern tried to claim he was protecting the legal process by urging restraint on the league’s part, and the Wizards. This is idiocy. Sitting Arenas down – even as a “healthy scratch” – while still paid, and still on the roster, was the easy MINIMUM the team should have done.

It would not have impeded any legal proceedings. It would not have violated the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement. It would not have been any rush to judgment because Arenas had already admitted to the embarrassing (and yes, criminal) act!

Stern’s duties as commissioner are multi-fold. But certainly one of the most important, is to be the guardian of the league’s image.


If Gilbert isn’t suited up and playing, then he can’t become the new poster-boy for spoiled, idiotic, overpaid, criminal NBA athletes. That photo would have never happened.

That photo, now out there FOREVER, in the bloodstream of the world wide web and beyond, happened because David Stern was asleep at the switch.


Funny, because Getty Images which took the photo, is merely a distributor of the image. The NBA still owns the liscense. At about 3 p.m. yesterday, as and other outlets were picking up on it, the NBA directed Getty to remove the photo from their archives.

Good job, boys. Little late, don’t you think?

Somebody (probably not Stern) soon realized the league SUPPRESSION of a photo like this, would then become a major story, called Getty back and asked them to please restore access to the photo.

It was the first smart thing the NBA has done. Let’s see if it is the last.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Now That's What I Call "Internet Famous!"

You can file this one under: "That's nice, but it won't exactly pay my bills!"

On Monday morning, I was at one point the 5th most searched "thing" on a little website you might have heard of, called um... GOOGLE, MOTHERF***ERS!

Now, sadly, it was because my morning sports radio show had been unceremoniously, and shockingly yanked from over 186 terrestrial affiliates and also XM 142 after 7 years of fun and jackassery.

I tried to warn everybody, but being the holidays, I suppose news travels slow.

Now, would I have liked to surpassed "cisco cotto" (WTF!)? Sure. Maybe next time.

When my web guru Kirk told me about this, I was floored. Google? THE Google?

I'm 5th! Whooo hoooo!

Never mind that I was already "famous" for being a (formerly) nationally syndicated radio host, with a popular local radio show in market #8, and a 13 year stint on the most popular morning radio show in Milwaukee, and a very popular website visited by over 45,000 unique visitors daily.

Nah, never mind all that. I take that for granted.

Google. Fucking, google!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Redskins Intervention

Have you ever seen how they start meetings at addiction support groups?

“Hi, my name is Bob, and I am an alcoholic (drug user, porn addict, etc.).”

It’s that simple.

They don’t want to know where you work, what school you went to, how nice your car, house, wife might be. Because it doesn’t matter.

You are in that room, in that circle, because you have a problem. And the only thing that really matters, is you admitting that problem loud and clear, without any “ifs, ands, or buts.”

The Redskins need to pull up a chair in that circle and do the same.

“Hi, my name is the Washington Redskins, and I am a laughingstock.”

When the Shanahan Regime gets fully installed, there will be inevitable hope for immediate turnarounds, and another “quick fix” springtime of free agents and draft picks.

This will be fools gold, again.

The Redskins have been a mediocre franchise on their best days the last ten years under Dan Snyder, an abject joke the rest of them.

Turning things around – truly, “changing how we do business” as Bruce Allen said on Monday – will require the following three things…

1. Realism
2. Control
3. Focus

Let me elaborate.

This is perhaps the hardest part of the equation for both fans and Snyder. We suck. We are a joke. Look around us, who are our NFL neighbors? I’ll tell you who.

Head Coaches the Last 10 Years
1. Redskins (7)
2. Raiders (7)* once they fire Cable
3. Lions (7)
4. Falcons (6)
5. Dolphins (6)
6. Rams (6)

Scoring Average in 2000’s
32. Browns (16.0)
31. Lions (16.2)
30. Redskins (18.1)

Redskins Quarterbacks Since 2000 (10)
Brad Johnson, Jeff George, Tony Banks, Patrick Ramsey, Danny Wuerrful, Tim Hasselback, Mark Brunell, Todd Collins, Jason Campbell.

In the NFL, if you win 10 games, you’ve had a “nice” season. If you win 11, you’ve had a very good year. If you win 12, you have had a great year. If you win 13 games you have had a sensational year. If you win 14, 15 or 16, then you haven’t just had a phenomenal year, but you can say with relative conviction that you are an elite franchise, not just a good team that season.

The Redskins have won 10 games or more exactly ONCE since 1991.

The Redskins have won their division, exactly ONCE since 1991.

By comparison, the Eagles have won the NFC East 5 times in the last 10 years, the Patriots the AFC East 7 of the last 10, the Colts have won the AFC South 6 of the last 7.

As I say to my buddies: “Unless you win 12 games in this league, you ain’t shit.”

We’re not shit.

There’s one Pro Bowler on this current roster.


So let’s stop saying “there’s enough talent here to win.”

Pro Bowl caliber salaries? Sure. All over the place. And that’s most of the problem.

Until we as Redskins fans – and more importantly, ownership, coaches and players – realize how fucked up we are, we won’t have the ability to get better.

Realism: “Hi, my name is the Redskins, and I am a laughingstock.”

This part is relatively simple. Who has the hammer on this team? It better be Shanahan. Because the days of going around coaches backs to the owner need to end. Now.

The days of the owner having lunch on a weekly basis with certain players? Over.

The days of the owner going to Las Vegas for a hi-roller party with the star running back? Over.

The days of injured linebackers watching the game from the owner’s box? Over.

There needs to be a clear and unbreakable chain of command, and it needs to be an Allen-Shanahan partnership. A mommy and a daddy.

I don’t want Shanahan giving Allen a grocery list of player needs and sending him out the door. I want true collaboration. I want some creative GM-Coach tension. I want some healthy fights about what players to keep, what players to draft.

I also don’t want Snyder flying around on his jet, having dinners with agents and players this off-season. Enough dinners already. Having dinner with a player doesn’t tell you shit about him. It just sets the wrong tone for the entire negotiation. We want you here as a player. We think you are worth this much. Are you interested?

No? Fine. Move on.

The wine and dine culture, then translates into the corrosive locker-room that helped sink this season.

This is the most under-rated quality of any successful person, or company.


The ability to train your mind on a goal, and to keep relentlessly pursuing it until it is achieved. Not letting distractions, setbacks, or additional burdens slow your pursuit.


Does this new Redskins brain trust have the focus to endure what will certainly be a transitional (read: no playoff) year in 2010? Do they have the focus to then press ahead with a growing year (maybe playoffs) in 2011? If all goes well, then maybe they could have a contending year in 2012.

Can this current regime, actually go through 3 non-playoff seasons, and not make any panic moves? Can they say: “Well, we went 5-11 in year 1. But we cleared out many bad apples and started restocking our talent. We went 7-9 and showed some promise in year 2. And in year 3 we went 9-7 but could have easily won 11 games except for a few bad breaks. Let’s not make any sharp moves. We’re doing fine, and with a little bit of help on the injury front next year, we think we’re gonna have a really good football team.”

Can they actually do this? Can we as fans be patient along the way?

Can we focus?

Remember, the “let’s win it all NEXT year!” philosophy has been the primary cause of this decade of misery. We’ve had a bad decade, on top of another bad decade before that!

These things don’t get turned around easily.

Realism, Control, and Focus.

It’s simple, but difficult. Like recovery, one day at a time.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Playing for the T-Shirt

Well, that Wes Welker injury ought to shut everyone up about Jim Caldwell and the Colts not going for the win last week against the Jets.

If not that, how about the absurd snowstorm the Colts would have been obliged to chase history through?

Are we done yet?

The banter from NFL talking heads on this issue was nothing short of comical. It was like Caldwell had robbed a bank. The consensus seemed to be that you simply HAD to go for “history” by trying to win even meaningless late season games. Even though Bill Polian correctly pointed out that going 16-0 was not historic. (See Patriots, 2008.) Nor was it ever one of their goals.

Polian, correctly saw the regular season and winning the Super Bowl as two separate things. The pundits wanted him to see it as one great tapestry upon which Peyton Manning could have painted a masterpiece.

The fans, well, they seemed to be rooting for the t-shirt.

“The Colts: 19-0! The Greatest Team Ever!”

Except that would be highly debatable. Perfect is not greatest.

The Colts had many games this year in which they were dead to rights. Greatest escape artist team ever, perhaps.

The Dolphins out-time-of-possessioned them 45-15 in minutes, and they still needed a 48 yard Pierre Garcon catch and run in the final minute. Joe Addai throws a gadget pass for a TD to escape the Niners 18-14. Kris Brown chokes on a 44 yarder at the gun. A two point squeaker against the Ravens.

Bill Belichick gets nutty.

These Colts are mighty good. A juggernaut, no.

Yet former players who now get paid to talk on TV, almost never pass up a chance to sound tough, get outraged, or second guess a coach. You’ll never hear one say: “Eh, big deal. It’s the smart thing to do.”

Now, Roger Goodell, one of the dimmest bulbs to ever land on top of a major sporting league, has said the league is going to investigate ways to give teams an incentive to play all their starters to the bitter end of a season.

Yeah. Sure. Good luck with that.

Compensatory draft picks? Get real. How many 3rd rounders would it take for the Colts to risk Peyton Manning getting creamed in the snow? Would the Saints have played Drew Brees for a half, and then walked over to the commissioner on the sideline and ask for their draft pick coupon?

And please don’t start with the “fans are getting ripped off” angle. Fans get ripped off all the time. They are very much aware of the rip offs out there (parking, $8 beers). When you arrive at Week 17 and you have tickets to see Peyton play your Bills, and he sits, that’s bad luck. Not a ripoff.

Besides, fans would be elated if the Bills were playing for their own playoff spot.
There is no way for things to be perfectly equitable for every team as the season unravels in the final weekend. It is a sloppy buffet of the-bus-is-running-outside-already (Giants), skeleton rosters (Redskins), and no-thank-you portions of playing time (Chargers).

Next time, win more games.

And you guys on TV, find something more interesting to talk about.

There might be a Super Bowl parade in Indy this year, but you can cancel the t-shirt.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


Lately, checking my email has been like shoveling snow in Buffalo.

Your job, is never done.

But for this, I am deeply grateful. Since you guys are just burying me in kind words for the show you once loved, I will try not to let it get to my head.

In they come, 10, 20, or more per hour. Even during odd hours of this past Christmas week. Well written, passionate, personal emails about the show, and what it meant for you as a listener.


Here's a little snapshot of what my collected emails look like. I want to assure everyone, that when you say "I'm sure you'll never read this..." you are WRONG! I read them all.

And it was my plan, to respond to every one. Well, I don't think that's going to happen. Doing the simple math (and let's face it, ANY math for me is NOT simple) if I knocked out 60 emails an hour, that's 10 hours right there. And even though my vacation has been relaxing, I would rather spend that time writing for the blog, improving the site, and producing actual content you guys can still enjoy.

But let me summarize some interesting points that keep coming across in many of your emails.

1. "Thanks." I am humbled that so many of you would "thank" me for just doing my job. The thanks was all mine, folks.

2. "I happened to find you (X years ago) while flipping around..." This reinforces another sad reality of my tenure with the network. Zero promotion. You would think that Fox, might carve out 30 seconds on their football pre-game - that's all I would want, a 30 second on-screen graphic! - which lists their M-F radio show lineup. Nope. Given the insane amount of "company push" those other guys get, no wonder it often felt like a losing battle.

3. "I laughed so hard, I had to pull over..." Humor is a tricky thing. Those who THINK they are funny, most often are not. I always felt the show had it's funny MOMENTS, but I had high standards. Maybe the show was funnier than I realized. I know this, Scotty, Solly and Galdi could all knock it out of the park with their own twisted takes, and that's why they were with me.

4. "You are the only reason I have XM, I am now cancelling XM..." Look, again. I know these are tough economic times. Do what you want. But like I said before, the concept of XM/Sirius is a radio lover's dream, and one that we could only fantasize about 10 years ago. Have faith in the concept, and support the cause, if you can.

5. "Like my dog died..." Okay, not everybody used the dog dying reference, but alot of you said the feeling was like losing a friend - or friends. I get this. You let us join you on your morning rides. We let you in on what most called a "conversation among buddies" you know at the local watering hole. Still, the depth of connection many of you expressed to the show, remains something I treat with the utmost of respect.

6. "Let me know where you end up next, you won't be gone long..." As always, this website is a great place to check in periodically, and I will be updating via the Czabe Fans facebook page. That said, nobody knows what will happen next. So let's just expect things to take a while, and if we're wrong, we'll all be pleasantly surprised.

This will be the last post about, well, what once was. Too much has happened while I was gone, that needs to be teed off on! My preliminary list...

Urban Meyer and his waffling
Mike Leach's idiocy
Gilbert Arenas & his gunplay
Mrs. Bowden sucking face with Bobby
Brandon Marshall (again!)

and on and on!

Gonna be a busy year folks! We're back at it on Monday!