Friday, December 31, 2010

Just Add Southern Gentleman Voice, and Stir

If you think my impersonation of the bowl guys is over the top: you are wrong.

I love how Sugar Bowl CEO Paul Hoolahan had no qualms about doing all he could to preserve the ratings "sugar" in the Sugar Bowl.

Sugar Bowl CEO Paul Hoolahan lobbied Ohio State University to make sure five of its football players — including star quarterback Terrelle Pryor — would not be suspended for the game against Arkansas, The Columbus Dispatch reported Wednesday.

"I made the point that anything that could be done to preserve the integrity of this year's game, we would greatly appreciate it," Hoolahan said. "That appeal did not fall on deaf ears, and I'm extremely excited about it, that the Buckeyes are coming in at full strength and with no dilution."

Many Ohio State fans believe the suspensions should start immediately.

"I appreciate and fully understand the Midwestern values and ethics behind that," Hoolahan said. "But I'm probably thinking of this from a selfish perspective."

The five players apologized for their actions Tuesday at a news conference. A sixth player, linebacker Brandon Whiting, received a one-game suspension.

REACT: Make sure to punch up the "deaf ears" and "no dilution" when you do your Southern Gent impression.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Yep. Weird.

Okay, Rex Ryan and the foot fetish thing.

See, here' s the deal.

ALL fetishes are weird. All of them.

That's why they are fetishes.

Mature, super-busty, bondage, pregnant, shoes, feet, stockings, underwear, smoking, stomping, piercing, trannies, you name it.


Ewww. Unless it tickles that part of your cerebral cortex in a way that is beyond rational explanation.


Ha, yeah. Nice try. I have a fetish for the missionary position. That's all you people are getting out of me.


Speaking of Mrs. Ryan, she really is a firecracker, ain't she? Married to a fat mouthy slob with false choppers. Her? And she's a swinger? Good pull, Rex. Keeper.

I don't know, however, if she really does have "sexy" feet or not. Someone who is a foot fetish expert, will have to explain what to look for on that front.

Am I looking for nicely symmetrical arches? Smooth heel pads? Lovely svelte insteps? Help me folks, I'm lost here.


Nice win by Redskins, which means absolutely nothing other than slightly diminished draft position. Funny how when guys that haven't had a chance to play all year, actually start ballin' out!

Defensively, NT Anthony Bryant, CB Byron Westbrook, and LB Rob Jackson were making plays all over the place.

Rex Grossman was, well, Rex. 19-39-184 with 1 and 1. Not going to say "I told you so" like Shanahan basically did last week, because again, it's ONE game.

But, you give Rex Grossman 14 more starts with this team to make for a complete 16-game comparative set, and I will bet you a steak dinner that set of numbers looks almost exactly like the ones Rex has compiled so far in his career.


Goodbye, Mike Singletary. We will miss you.

Yet another tough sounding coach, who didn't really know HOW to coach. Sounding tough is easy. I could do it, you could do it. Let's pound the podium and demand "winners."

Okay, that's over. Now what?


Singletary join the ranks of Ditka (Saints version), Herm Edwards, Rod Marinelli, and various other NFL head coaches who SOUNDED great, but ultimately failed.


Also, Singletary changed QB's, alot. Coaches who switch QBs around alot for non-injury reasons, don't tend to last long.

Shanny might want to jot that down.


Best Christmas present? A Brookstone remote control indoor helicopter, with gyroscopic stabilizer and bitching lights.

Ridiculous fun.


Best Tweet of Sunday. "@appmy: When is color blindness awareness week in the NFL? I am a sufferer. Any color ribbon will do."


Aaron Rodgers has the most ridiculous 8-way joystick action in the pocket of any current QB. Match that with the ultra-sticky hands of Jennings and Driver, and that's an insanely dangerous offense without any kind of supporting run game that scares people.


Who do you fire, Alex Spanos? Your uninspiring, underachieving head coach? Or your insanely stubborn, win-every-contract-screw-winning-games GM?

How 'bout both?

You'd still have a very well stocked team, and likely a better game day coach.


The Ohio State suspensions just prove the NCAA is making shit up as they go along. Whatever. Make sure that Bowl Game shines, and the rest of you guys can scoot to the pros.


If you haven't seen the Chris Rock documentary "Good Hair" on HBO, you might want to search, record, and save. Wow. I thought the HBO special on teeny-tot beauty pageants was wrong on many levels, and so is this one. When black women call hair relaxer "the creamy crack" and others spend up to $2,500 or more on a hair weave? Some serious societal dysfunction.


Finally, I see where Obama reached out to Andy Reid to thank him for employing ex-con Michael Vick. On its face, I have no problem with the move. However, I think everybody is jumping into the Mike Vick Hot Tub of Societal Love just a bit quick. The guy has been out of jail for all of like 5 minutes in the big scheme of life. If he ends up doing something stupid again, then everybody who rushed to proclaim his continuing "redemption" story a sudden success, is going to look pretty stupid too.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Don't have a blue Christmas without Jimmy

Jimmy's taking the week off, but he's confident that you'll still be able to kick your man in the face:

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Falcon Way

From a Dirty Bird fan in Atlanta, on "The Falcon Way" under Blank, Smith, and Dimitroff.

TO: Czabe
FROM: Rick
RE: Falcons vs. Redskins

Having lived in ATL for 7 years ... I've had to watch and study the ATL Falcons. It's been interesting to say the least. Vick, Mora Jr, the Petrino experiment, etc, etc.
Here is what I think I've learned:

- Young, Talented, SMART Franchise QB is a must - check

- Talented, SMART (gymrat type) GM - check

- Owner who writes checks (likes to stand on the sidelines) but otherwise just owns and doesn't micro-manage- check

- Build ONE side of the ball per draft ... eg, year one - Offense, year two - Defense

- Select Few Impact Free Agents ... eg. RB Turner, CB D. Robinson

- Draft pick template ... Talent, Smarts, Character, Team Guy

- A coach who is personable and commands respect but keeps EVERYTHING in the locker room or behind closed doors - check

The Falcons are not only in position to go to the Super Bowl this year, they are positioned for the next 5 years. The are actually a year or two ahead of schedule but not nearly at their peak. Currently one of the youngest teams in the NFL.

A look at the key players:

Owner Arthur Blank - took his ego and put it on the shelf ... put his "learning" cap on and studied the Patriots and Steelers. Pats owner Bob Kraft is his best NFL "friend". Other than enjoying being on the sidelines during games ... really just owns and lets' coaches coach, GM's GM and players' play.

GM Dimitroff - absolute "gymrat" .. cut his teeth for years being a college scout for Belichek. Spending weeks on the road watching kids at Colorado State and Central Michigan, etc. First NFL job was an intern job painting the field lines in Cleveland. Has developed player "prototype" files for each position that are said to be as intricate and intense and anyone has ever seen for an NFL personel guy. Look at a guy like Brent Grimes .... nobody ever heard of him. Too small, etc.... he's an All-Pro CB this year. Undrafted Free Agent from Shippensburg Univ. .... Dimitroff signed him to the practice squad then sent him to NFL Europe before he allowed him to make the Falcon roster... now he's an All-Pro.

Coach Mike Smith - the Ultimate Players Coach ... but, you must respect him and do things "the right way". Players absolutely LOVE playing for the guy. They know he has their back and will bring a gun to a knife fight to battle for them. Defense + Run Game + limit turnovers and penalties. (Falcons went 4 games in a row this year without a turnover).

QB Matt Ryan aka *Matty Ice* - Ultra Competitive and a Never Say Never Guy. Stepped in as a rookie and immediately commanded respect in the huddle. How many 22 year old rookies get the attention of a Hall of Fame TE who says ... "trade me to ATL, I want to play with THAT guy". Gonzalez told KC "please figure out a way to trade me to ATL", I want to play there.

Anyway .... I don't think the Falcons will win the SB this year... they might get there but probably won't win. But the next 5 years might also see the "Road to the Super Bowl" go through ATL.

I know you love your Redskins ... I just wanted to shoot you a quick note on how it's getting done down here in ATL. Just in case you ever get to "bend" Mr. Snyder's ear :-)

Rick in Atlanta

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

CSI: Dongslinger

One And Done

Well, turns out the Steven A. Smith experiment has run it's course in morning drive for Fox Sports Radio.

One year, and out.

Shame. Who could have thunk it?

Oh well. I'm sure "Plan C" is well on it's way to success.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Into the Wilderness

Get ready for a long, cold, boring walk, Redskins fans.

Mike Shanahan, with the entire Shanahan family coaching future in the balance, decided to just say, "ahhh... never mind" about the whole McNabb Era we were all sold on last Easter morning.

If you are a Skins fans, you have a right to be bitter. This is not just having the rug pulled out from under you, it is like trading your TV and recliner for that rug, and having your wife one day just say: "Sorry. I just decided. It's ugly. Throw it out."

Like a TV show that will tease the audience along with multi-week plot lines, only to then suddenly, reveal that it was nothing more than a dream sequence.

It usually says the writers are just about out of ideas. Maybe the Shanny's have some killer ideas left.

I wouldn't hold your breath. This is going to be a long, brutal walk into the NFL woods looking for the next franchise quarterback here in DC.

It is something the Skins haven't had since Theismann.

No, really.

Theismann held the starting job for nearly 6 1/2 unbroken years back in the 1980s. Since then, nobody has come close. Even the Super Bowl winning QBs were just lucky spot, lucky time, veterans.

Theismann begat Schroeder, who begat Williams, Humphries, Rypien et. al. Heath Shuler was a stab at a franchise guy. We know how that worked out. Trent Green and Gus Frerotte were low risk flyers, who were either permitted to walk, or just fizzled.

Instability reigned after the Heath debacle, and no coaching regime since has ever really tried to get "the franchise" by drafting a guy high in the first round.

There have been decent veteran trades like Brad Johnson and coaches' pet favorites, like Mark Brunnell and Danny Wuerrfel. The owner has directly picked a few of them like Jeff George and Patrick Ramsey, each of them quickly despised by the coaches he paid to play them.

The team made an impulse purchase on one them, Jason Campbell. Shopping for a cornerback, they threw Campbell in the cart at the last minute, but then failed to play him, groom him, or develop an offense for him that played to his strengths.

The owner and his BFF/underling/radio host Vinny Cerrato made various runs at guys they suddenly got a crush on, like Jay Cutler and Mark Sanchez.

Those failed.

Which, in retrospect, might have saved us a lot of headaches and draft picks.

In the five head coaches I have welcomed to town on the radio here in D.C. since Dan Snyder bought the team, I have noticed a distinct pattern.

The new coach, ends up hating the quarterback the old coach left behind, and that guy ends up on the curb like a gaudy purple couch that doesn't match the new decor.

Only this time, Shanahan was sworn in, and it didn't seem like anything crazy was going to happen. Bruce Allen, we thought, was going to hunker down to do the real heavy lifting of an NFL GM.

Then.... boom. McNabb.

Just like that. Out of nowhere. With nobody really clamoring for such a move, it made Redskins fans step back and sorta, well, think about it.

And we had to talk ourselves into why it made sense to trade two picks for a guy this late in his career.

But most of us bought the whole wonderful, soft focus argument of "think about what kind of leadership he'll bring." And we stretched our hopes to tarp over the skeptical voices in our head that kept saying McNabb must really be just about finished.

And we imagined a window of "3-4 good years" in which to make a ham sandwich of a football team around this guy that, at least, didn't taste like a shit sandwich.

Some poor saps, even took a genuine McNabb #5 jersey as the final bribe to purchase expensive club seats out there at the Ginormous Plastic Tarp Gallery known as FedEx Field.

Well, they're collectors items now, folks!

Turns out, this new, wise, patient, no-nonsense regime, had goofed a bit on McNabb. Bounced balls. Too much improvising. Reduced mobility.

Wow. Really? You don't say! Geez, why didn't you guys shoot me an email? I had notes on all of this stuff, and I don't even work in an NFL scouting department.


In other words, given 11 years of NFL tape on this guy, they still fucked it up.

Now, they'll set about finding a new guy, based on just a few years of college tape as a guide.

Count me as pessimistic.


In the meantime, Shanny and Son plan to "see what they have" in Rex Grossman and John Beck before the season is out.

If I may, let me play spoiler on this, Mike.

You've got nothing.

You've got a barely serviceable backup, and a 29 year old practice squad player.

This is not my opinion, either. It's the opinion of the entire league. So if you think you've got something, then it'll be a bigger find than when Vasco De Gama found a direct route from Europe to India by way of the Cape of Good Hope.

And please spare me how Grossman can be "lockout insurance" in case there's little or no training camp next summer in which to spool up a new quarterback who "knows the system."

For one, trying to predict the shape and scope of this labor battle, is hopeless. You might as well try to predict the weather for every NFL playoff game - right now.

For another, actually making roster plans on such a hypothetical circumstance, is idiotic. What exactly, would you be "insuring" by keeping Grossman? Actual insurance, is intended to protect something of "value."

Next year has no win-loss value for this team.

Next year is a rebuilding year. Period. You can go 8-8 with Grossman, or 4-12 with Brian St. Pierre, fresh off his couch.

Next year, DOES .. NOT... MATTER.

It would be like buying fire insurance for your garbage.

Which, speaking of dumpster fires, let's gaze a moment at this defense. Stripped of the ongoing Haynesworth sideshow, you are left with a unit that's dead last in just about everything.

On Sunday, while everyone was playing "How's Rexy Lookin'", the defense was as accommodating as a Ritz Carlton butler.

Facing a journeyman backup under center, the Redskins allowed 434 total yards, 134 of them on the ground. The journeyman lit up the secondary, posting a 110.8 passer rating, while tight end Jason Witten went nuts.

Oh yeah, all this without starting wideouts Dez Bryant and Roy Williams.

The Cowboys didn't punt until deep into the 3rd quarter.

But I digress. Shanny's genius is on offense. And defensive shortcomings will be pinned to whatever sap coordinator lines up for the job. Jim Haslett, call your agent. Because it's not going to be him, it'll be you.

So the Redskins will be taking a QB with their first round pick this coming April.

That's a lock.

The three QB's worthy of that 6-9 range first rounder, are Luck, Newton, and Locker.

Only Luck seems to be a consensus pocket-passing stud. Newton holds the promise of a more accurate, less emotionally fragile Vince Young. Locker's accuracy took a nose dive this year.

I bet one of those three is sitting there at the Redskins natural pick. I hope it's the one they really, really, love.

Otherwise, they'll pay a brutal ransom of picks and players to just move up a few spots. And I bet it's a ransom they will surely pay.

If you throw away a 2nd and a 4th for a guy apparently nobody in the coaching department really liked anyway, imagine what slice of the future you'll push out the door for somebody who gives you the warm, coaching, squishies inside?

Yes, McNabb was treated shabbily.
Yes, the $3.5 million mid-season bonus was a waste of money.
Yes, he had a lousy season by his own standards.
Yes, the team's marketing department had no shame.

Yes, yes, yes, to all of that stuff.

It doesn't really matter now.

Shanny is leading a long walk into the woods. Keep your eyes open for that franchise QB, dress warmly, and pack a lunch.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

"The Yellow Line Is Undefeated"

Email of the day. Why do I even bother trying to write anything better than this?


TO: Czabe
FROM: Mike Hoffman
RE: Yellow Line

Dear Czabe,

On the 13th, following another comical loss by the Redskins, you wrote,

"Shame on FOX for badly botching the down situation at the end of the game. They were dead wrong, from the start. I went back on my DVR and noticed that the Fox yellow line was placed incorrectly at the TWO, and not the three yard line. This began the series of screw ups. How is it, that a veteran network announce team, with a PXP man, a color analyst, a sideline reporter, and I am sure at least ONE spotter with binoculars, misses this crucial fact so completely? They had three downs to realize the down marker on the field was out of whack with their own magical TV "lines." Fundamentals, folks. If network TV crews don't get it that telling viewers definitively what DOWN and DISTANCE it is on every play, then none of the other jib-jabbery means a thing."

I took great offense to this post, not because I care about Fox or Moose or your DVR, but because you went after the yellow line. The “magical” (as you put and I agree) yellow line could be the greatest addition to televised football that has ever occurred. I have never seen a time when it was wrong and I have always been annoyed by the commentators need to say that “the yellow line is unofficial” on a close measurement.

In my opinion, the yellow line could and should replace the chain gang and the clown show described as “stretching the chains.” Simply put, the yellow line is undefeated and this case is no different. Actually, I’m shocked that you missed it. Hell, a snowy Soldier field couldn’t even stop the yellow line.

Check out the picture I added that clearly shows where the ball was spotted on the play prior to the questionable first down. To err is human, the yellow line isn’t.

The Redskins did get 5 plays and my $100 bet turned into a push. Boo officials!

A big fan,


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Requiem for a Dongslinger

Somebody Call Mythbusters!

Since the Minnesota Vikings football team is too boring to examine in any cursory detail, let's probe a more pertinent question: could a man survive the Great Metrodome Snow Dump of 2010?

After looking at this video more than a few dozen times, from various sources, I think that's not a fatal snow dump we are looking at.

Oh, I wouldn't volunteer for an experiment. Not even with Mark Kelso's helmet on, and Tony Siragusa standing over me.

But I think you'd live.

Here's why.

People survive avalanches, don't they? Of course. All the time. How is this anything more than just a smaller, vertical avalanche?

Yes, the cumulative weight of all that snow is tons.

But what would actually hit a standing human being would be a mere fraction of it. Assuming you don't get your head gashed open by a massive ice chunk (let's call that 50-50) that snow dump would knock your ass down, fuck you up good, and leave you more groggy than Ke$ha the morning after a night out with the NY Knicks.

But you'd live.

I believe that. I've seen internet videos of dudes getting crushed and smoked by runaway cars, trapped in horrible train and elevator accidents.

Not fun. Not pretty. They won't be running marathons anytime soon. But they lived.

Don't underestimate the human body, people. It is one resilient mo-fo!


Of course, not everyone agrees.

Dear Czabe:

Let me just start by saying I love your show. That is equivalent to someone saying "No offense" right before calling someone's mother a whore.

Your comments this morning about being able to survive standing directly underneath the MetroDome's collapsing snow might have been the dumbest thing I have ever heard anyone utter on your show. Keep in mind you do provide Al Galdi a microphone that he can actually speak into. You don't have to look this up on Wikipedia, but science tells us that snow is made out of frozen water. Anyone who understands physics would be able to surmise that TONS of a falling object, no matter what it is, descending several hundred feet through a FIBERGLASS roof would cause you an extreme case of DEATH. Your argument that the snow would be a dissipating impact on your bald head as it fell makes about as much sense as one of Paul Charchian's jokes (and is actually more laughable).

By the time the snow has reached you, it has achieved close to terminal velocity, which would cause a severe impact of a nearly solid material - causing massive trauma to your head, internal organs and also suffocating you as you lay unconcious in a pile of pure white Minnesota snow. Please do some moderate thinking before you make such a bold prediction of survival, then again, your record when it comes to stone cold, lead pipe locks is indicative of the lack there of.

Adam in Richmond

Monday, December 13, 2010

Awful Weather, Awful Finish

Just a quick few thoughts on the Redskins game yesterday.

a. I am not in the least bit "mad" about how they lost, because winning and losing has become secondary right now, as this team needs to begin a long, sustained, assault on rebuilding from the ground up. I want this team playing good football right now, and improving. I didn't really see that yesterday, even before the final pie in the face.

b. How can any rational observer have much faith in Shanahan? If Jim Zorn had done what Shanny did at the end of the half, we'd be screaming bloody murder. But what? Just because Shanny has two Elway led Super Bowl trophies from the 90's we're supposed to genuflect? Screw that. Judge this coach, like you would any other coach. By what you see, not the resume.

c. And speaking of what you see, I see a guy in Shanny is not much of a "coach" on the sidelines. Maybe I just miss all of his episodes of teaching and coaching, but all I really see is a lot of "bossing" and scowling. I guess that's his style. We'll see if it works.

d. So far, Shanny has shown that he's not very good at player personnel (examples cited already, ad nauseum), he's not much at motivating players for big games (witness Divisional souffles vs. Philly and New York as of late) and he certainly is not very good at game tactics (witness Sunday, as well as some other examples from this year). So what then, is he good at? I have yet to see anything major about Shanny as a Skins boss that has even mildly impressed me.

e. All of that said, please do not mistake my criticism as a recommendation that he be fired. Not at all. He needs a full 3 years to show me something. My point, is that right now, I have zero confidence in him. It doesn't mean he can't build that confidence. But any faith one has in Shanahan has to be of the blind variety.

f. When I hear that McNabb had to split reps with Grossman on Friday in practice, and when Moose Johnston referred obliquely to how "McNabb clearly had something weighing on his mind" when they held the typical game announcer meeting before Sunday - it means some dark storm clouds are on the horizon. I don't like the feel of this.

g. And for the record, AGAIN. I am 100% in favor of bringing McNabb back next year at his insanely steep price of 12.5 mil (plus the non-refundable $3.5 deposit already paid). Because when you make this kind of move, you are committed. To bail on it now, would be a disaster. Yes, even with McNabb's bounce passes. Does anybody who watches the NFL think that would magically disappear? Grow up. It comes with the package.

h. Shame on FOX for badly botching the down situation at the end of the game. They were dead wrong, from the start. I went back on my DVR and noticed that the Fox yellow line was placed incorrectly at the TWO, and not the three yard line. This began the series of screw ups. How is it, that a veteran network announce team, with a PXP man, a color analyst, a sideline reporter, and I am sure at least ONE spotter with binoculars, misses this crucial fact so completely? They had three downs to realize the down marker on the field was out of whack with their own magical TV "lines." Fundamentals, folks. If network TV crews don't get it that telling viewers definitively what DOWN and DISTANCE it is on every play, then none of the other jib-jabbery means a thing.

i. Danny Smith for the Skins is a very likeable, gum chomping fella. I believe he knows how to coach special teams. But seeing how he was the only major holdover from the old regime, and seeing how uneven-to-god-awful the specials have been this year, I wonder if he's teflon coated. Again, I am not saying he should be fired. I am just wondering, at what point does he pay the price? Never? Wondering.

j. True, Orakpo is getting held damn near every passing play. But complaining about it like the Skins did, both Shanny and #98, after a loss like that, just makes you look weak. Make your point, and move on.

k. Ryan Torain is an awesome runaway dump truck going downfield. But I think he's way too injury prone to depend on him as a #1 back. I'd still keep him on the roster, but you just can't go into a season with him on top of the RB depth chart.

l. Final, hypothetical, philosophic question. The stadium appeared to be (generously) 60-65% full yesterday. Which given the season, and the weather, was understandable. But I was wondering: if the team was itself 7-5 and fighting for a wildcard berth, how many more fans would actually GO to the stadium and risk pneumonia before Christmas, knowing they could watch on TV, and how many would simply say: "I can't wait to root like crazy for this team... from HOME!"

Thursday, December 9, 2010

NFL Committed To Cramming Home 18 Games

It doesn't matter if you hate the thought of an 18 game NFL season.

The league is going to shove it down your throat, whether you like it or not.

I am constantly amazed at how little actual support there is among fans for this league obsession.

Here, read this quick blurb headed with "NFL negotiator says 18-game season key to labor talks."

Now, skip down to the comments, and just get a feel for how many fans absolutely HATE this idea. This is not a skewed sample of opinion, either.

In all of my hours on the radio taking calls, both national and local, I have yet to hear any broad, coherent, or passionate support for 18 games.

The league will say, "but of course, who WOULDN'T want to turn two bad pre-season games into real ones?"

The NFL is assuming that demand for their product is infinite, and that the financial will of their customers to finance schedule expansion is a fait accompli.

I think if they get their way on 18 games, they may be in for a shock.

To my view, the average NFL fan is already more than satisfied with the level of consumption available for the NFL "product" as a whole.

Because even though schedule expansion is still the league's goal, they have already engaged in aggressive television expansion for years.

They pried open a Thursday "opening night" game before the first Sunday.
They have a full second half slate of Thursday games.
They have a late December run of Saturday games.
They added a third game on Thanksgiving day.
They even have a double-header MNF game during Week 1.

All of this, with the popular explosion of the NFL's own "Red Zone Channel" by way of cable systems, means that the average NFL fan is well sated with the product as it currently stands.

The demand for 18 games, is much weaker than the league thinks.

Obama's Anger Management Technique

It's rare that you can post a political spoof, in which both sides of the spectrum can actually laugh, and nobody would consider it a "cheap shot." But I think this one qualifies.

Meanwhile, the Wall Street delivers the eulogy for Obamanomics:

Does President Obama like or loathe the two-year tax deal he has struck with Republicans? It was hard to tell from his grudging, testy remarks Monday and yesterday, but perhaps that's because he realizes he is repudiating the heart and soul of Obamanomics as the price of giving himself a chance at a second term.

In accepting the deal to cut payroll and business taxes and extend all of the Bush-era tax rates through 2012, Mr. Obama has implicitly admitted that his economic strategy has flopped. He is acknowledging that tax rates matter to growth, that treating business like robber barons has hurt investment and hiring, and that tax cuts are superior to spending as stimulus. It took 9.8% unemployment and a loss of 63 House seats for this education to sink in, but the country will benefit.

LAST ADD: The most aggravating element of the current tax debate, is the phrase "how are we going to pay for these tax cuts." Pay for them? PAY for them? It's not your fucking money, government! There's no "paying" for something that doesn't BELONG to you in the first place!

Plus, the media keeps referring to these as the "Bush Tax CUTS" or the "Bush Era Tax Cuts." Funny, because when Bush cut taxes, I never recall the media harping on the "Clinton Era Tax Raises" or the "Clinton Tax Raise".

The current tax rates, are just the current fucking tax rates. That's all. Think of tax rates like the thermostat in your home. If you think it's too cold, and you have the votes, turn up the heat a bit. If you think you can save money and be a bit cold in the house, turn it down just bit.

It's not more complicated than that.

There is no magically perfect tax rates, nor any "correct" tax rates.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

See Ya, Fatso

Albert Haynesworth has taken his last on-field nap for the Washington Redskins.

He has been paid $35.7 million since landing here.

Fans are angry.

And in a masterful stroke, the organization that paid Haynesworth – a player of known, ill-repute – have turned the fans almost entirely against him, not them.

Witness this email, which is representative of the majority of opinion amongst fans.

FROM: Mike Thompson RE: 9 in 10 disagree with you

Czabe, The Washington Post has a poll up and nine out of ten respondents think the Redskins did the right thing with Fatso. Albert represents everything that was wrong with the pre-Allen/Shanahan regime. Bravo, Bruce & Mike!

I just don't see how over-paying players, and then engaging in contractual grudge matches is a conduit to winning football.

Deion Sanders, overpaid, then a grudge match between him and Marty that chased Prime Time off to the Cincinnati Reds.

Laveranues Coles is threatened by Snyder with a big screen TV, because "that's where you'll be watching the games next year" if you holdout for a new contract. Traded to the Jets for Santana Moss, and incurring a whopping $9m "dead cap" charge for the knee jerk move.

Lavar Arrington, overpaid, then a grudge match between him and Gregg Williams ensued over Lavar not playing his position properly.

Now Albert.

It goes on and on.

But then again, the Redskins seem to be a marketing machine, that just happens to play football 16 Sundays every fall.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Southern Gentleman weighs in on Cam Newton

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Monday, December 6, 2010

Circles of Shanahan Hell

Sometimes, you readers and listeners say it, and write, better than me.

I defer my time, and space, to the honorable Jim Mercury.

TO: Czabe
RE: Shanny


Early this year I emailed youze celebrating the long overdue whacking of Vinny, but also saying 'get prepared for a new circle of hell' - meaning another Buckles extravaganza of Big Names and High Hopes.

Congrats now to Czabe, perceptive and flexible in his thinking on this team (unlike his politics).

Andy - you and Kevin Sheehan keep blowing off Shanny's post-Elway years in Denver (yes, he didn't win a Super Bowl with Reeves, but he was in 3 of them, unlike Shanny without Elway). It wasn't 3 or 4 years with limited control. It was a DECADE, with COMPLETE control with the support of his buddy the owner.

It featured all kinds of wonderments, like hiring and firing 3 or 4 defensive co-ordinators in 4 years. The bottom line was familiar to Skins fans - 4 playoff games in 10 years, 1 victory (okay - we've only had 3 playoff games). Now he's here,with a talented CPA as alleged GM (who was on NOBODY's short list of sought-after GMs, although clearly he is the closest Danny could get to bringing back the Old Man hinself).

And what we got is increasingly indistinguishable from what's come before, or maybe just variations on a theme. A few highlights: Yes, they're not close, and a true rebuild is long hard work. A successful one does do not involve squandering valuable draft picks on fading stars like Donovan and Jamal. In fact, that is utterly at odds with a rebuild - it's about trying to win now (unlike, say what Leonsis did with the Caps and is trying to do with the Wiz - honestly stink for a while, to get better).

First draft: 6 picks, of which - 2? are still with the team?

An inscrutable series of hirings, firings, re-hirings, suspensions, etc, with a high-level of Bingo drama, neglecting youth while giving time to the likes of Johnson and Galloway who are now unemployed and likely to remain so.

Hiring his son. Yes, he's got talent. That's beside the point. What if he doesn't work out for whatever reason - Shanny's going to fire his son?

- They started 3 and 2; they've gone 2 and 5 since. They're getting worse by any metric, including two of the worst blowouts in awhile (not including the end of last year when the team had clearly quit on a clearly fired coach).

- Just heard the Sonny recap: Shanny didn't know what he was getting into? I thought he spent the last year studying the league and this team in particular?

- Remeber the 'no hard tackle practices'? How's that working out?

- So they cut the dead wood and did some financial restructuring - spiffy - destruction is easy. Construction is not.

And anybody not living in the state of denial could go on and on.

Face it - Coaching is a high-stress profession, requiring constant adaptation. Some guys, like Parcells, Johnson, Madden, get it, know that they can't or don't want to keep up with it and leave on their own, 'early'.

Some like Shanny don't - he peaked sometime after Elway retired, and there are NO signs, in Denver or here, that he's getting it back. And really how many once-successful coaches who fade, do go on to another franchise and get it back again?

NO NO NO - I don't want the Vindog and El Zorno back. Can that Spam, please. In the name of fairness and stability and the ability to attract future management talent, you have to play out the string with Shanny. But this 'win now' stuff has got to stop immediately, and Buckles needs to do what Doc Walker advised a couple years ago - troll that checkbock around the front offices of the likes of New Enlgand, Pittsburgh, Bawlmore and so one, looking for either GM talent in its prime or up and coming assistants, and turn the keys over to them (even if they don't have a sexy name), including the selection of a head coach. No I don't have a name - it's not what I do for a living.

But, aside from the perennial winning franchises, look at Kansas City, Tampa Bay, maybe St Louis and Cleveland, maybe even Detroit. It can be done. And until it is done - well, get prepared for still more circles of NFL hell (although, unlike hell, it is entertaining in its own demented way).

- Jim Mercury

And Now, Time For A Fairy Tale

The BCS has worked again.


Oregon will meet Auburn for the “National Championship” - in a matchup that would have never happened in the “old days” where the Ducks would be locked into the Rose Bowl, and the Tigers to the Sugar.

What a great system. If only the NFL would consider a version of their own. Too bad they are stuck with that antiquated thing called a “playoff.”

In other news, Villanova will meet Appalachian State in the FCS (or as I still insist on calling them, Division 1-AA) playoffs next week. These are the schools a bit more committed to true student-athlete competition, where a running back might end up being your doctor or airline pilot.

They seem to do okay playing a structured, organized, actual playoff. Hmm.

The reasons for not having the “big boys” of college football compete in an actual playoff, are like a Whitman's Sampler of weak excuses.

A playoff would hurt academics.

A playoff would still not be perfect.

A playoff would kill all the other bowls.

A playoff would hyper-professionalize the sport.

There are plenty of good rebuttals to all of these (a. it won't b. nobody said it had to be perfect c. with 35 bowls now, we need some herd thinning), but why bother. The BCS was not founded on logic. It was founded on money and exclusion. Our money, for our schools. Everybody else, piss off.

About the only argument that made any sense to me, was that a true NFL-style playoff format, would make already desperate football programs and athletic departments, even more desperate to cut academic and admissions corners in seach of wins and losses.

Because as it stands, there is immense pressure to not just have a winning season, but to have a winning season tainted by no more than (gasp!) two losses – most.

Believe it or not, but a 9-3 season can actually land some coaches, at some programs, in deep water.

Which of course, is insane.

The expectations of college football fan bases, administrations, and athletic directors are easily the most delusional in all of sports. Usually, because a school has a robust DVD collection of glory days teams, and glory days coaches, they fully expect that the natural ebb and flow of sporting success and failure will never afflict them.

These fan bases always fail to account for the fact that the glory days of their programs were forged in a non-cable-TV world, without the internet or recruiting videos on YouTube, and amidst of a sea of maybe just 30-40 decent programs around the country.

The pool of Division 1 programs is getting deeper every year, and upstart mid-majors like Boise State and TCU have figured out a formula for success that is driving the Michigans, Nebraskas, and Miamis crazy.

So imagine a playoff bound world, where a coach like Jim Tressel might put his Buckeyes into the precious 4 or 8 team smash-em-up every year – BUT then loses in the first round every time!

The radio chatter calling him a playoff bum, and the alumni pressure to get a coach who can “finish the job” will be immense.

This world, would really make the Buckeyes, Gators, Longhorns and others essentially pro teams.

And the pressure to cheat would get cranked up to 11.

So I get that argument against a playoff. It is the only one that resonates and makes sense with me.

But I believe that argument just suffered a mortal wound last week, when the NCAA decided to look the other way on Cam Newton's “pay-for-play” scandal.

The NCAA now wants us all to actively believe in fairy tales. Because the fairytale they spin in the Newton saga goes something like this.

Cam's father, completely on his own, began shopping his son to SEC schools for upwards of $180,000. When Mississippi State turned down this offer, and reported Newton to the NCAA, then Newton ended up at Auburn.

The fairy tale they are peddling, is that Newton's dad, a preacher, suddenly “found God” and no longer asked Auburn or anybody else for money. That rebuffed by MSU, preacher “Creflo” Newton just decided to drop the whole “my son is an athletic prostitute and I am his pimp” routine altogether.

Yep, that's about it.

Nobody disputes Creflo asked MSU for hard, cold, cash. They just can't “prove” that Auburn either asked, gave, or even knew about the cash part.

To which I ask: If “proof” of Auburn's knowledge or involvement in pay-for-play existed, what form exactly would it take?

A notarized admission of guilt? Are we at the point where only canceled, traceable bank checks count as “proof.”

How do you “prove” Gene Chizik knew nothing? He's like Sgt. Shultz in Hogan's Heros.

Proof of knowing Cam and Creflo wanted money, is only slightly harder to prove than love.

Creflo Newton suddenly going from a modern day collegiate Jesse James playing stick-em-up, to a square and honest broker of his son's future college team is a miracle conversion that defies belief.

So back to the whole fear of a playoff “professionalizing” the game thing.

Can we just be done with that one now, too? I mean really. I had to watch a smiling, laptop stealing, honor code flunking, money seeking quarterback run around and dominate during a SEC championship game sponsored by a major soda company.

I wanted to feel good for Auburn, since Alabama has been crapping on them for some time now. I want to feel good for Newton, whose abilities are indeed breathtaking and undeniable.

But somehow I can't feel good.

I just feel slimy.