Show me, don't tell me, You've figured out the score...Show me, don't tell me, I've heard it all before...Show me, don't tell me, I don't care what you say...Show me, don't tell me...You can twist perceptions, Reality won't budge...You can raise objections, I will be the judge...And the jury...I'll give it due reflection, Watching from the fence...Give the jury direction, Based on the evidence...I, the jury...Show, Don't tell

Sep 28, 2004

Week 4 Matchups

Yes, I know that you probably came here with great anticipation looking for the promised in-depth discussion regarding the talents of Keanu Reeves and Andrew McCarthy. Believe me, I too am excited at the opportunity to simply speculate about what would happen if the two of them shared a screen together someday. Would they drag each other to all-new depths or would one of them look in the mirror and get the strength to rise above, up to the level of your typical Extra in a high school drama production? What kind of plot would it have to be? Who on earth would sign on to co-star? Who would be desperate enough to direct? Would anyone plunk down nine dollars to go see it in the theatre, or would it just go straight to DVD? Or would MTV, VH1 an E! hype it up like it was the next Godfather and con a few hundred thousand kids out of their allowance? All good questions that I desperately need to explore.

But not now.

Right now something's going on that supercedes even a good Keanu bashing. Something so disruptive that even Dennis Miller would have a hard time coming up with an obscure metaphor to describe it. Something that threatens to shift the entire balance of power in the NFL and throw all football logic as we know it right out the window. Something that is about to create an alternate universe, the like of which that have only been seen on old Star Trek episodes, Superman/Bizarro confrontations on Superfriends, and in the secret underground rooms of Siegfried & Roy's mansion. (Please, don't ask.)
What am I talking about? Well, I think David Lee Roth said it best on side one of Van Halen II when he screeched, "Somebody get me a doctor, .....Oh yeah!"

In case you haven't noticed, the NFL has suddenly turned into a WWE Battle Royale. Last team standing wins the belt!
The number of serious injuries so far this season is utterly staggering. I haven't seen this many guys go down so fast since the first fifteen minutes of Saving Private Ryan. All that's left is to see player wandering around the field shell-shocked, searching for his left arm. It's unbelievable. And if you don't believe me, let's take a look at the toe tags:

Rex Grossman, torn knee ligaments- out for the season
Rich Gannon, broken neck- out at least six weeks
Tommy Maddox, injured elbow- out at least six weeks
Charlie Garner, torn knee ligaments- out for the season
Deuce McCallister, severe ankle sprain- out four to six weeks
Stephen Davis, knee injury- out for the season
Kellen Winslow Jr, broken leg- out for the season
Courtney Brown, torn foot ligament- out for the season
Gerrard Warren, torm pectoral muscle- out indefinitely
Nate Webster, torn patella tendon- out for the season
Mike Brown, ruptured achilles tendon- out for the season
Kevin Jones, knee injury- out two to four weeks
John Ritchie, leg injury- out for the season
Todd Heap, sprained ankle- out two to four weeks
Lavar Arrington, knee injury- out two to four weeks
Charles Rogers, broken collarbon- out for the season

And those are just the high-profile players.
Now, I'm all for bone-jarring, snot-bubbling, violent collisions on the playing field but most of these injuries were caused by a simple change of direction or a cleat getting caught in the sod. That's not fun. I don't want to see the pecking order of the NFL determined by non-contact injuries. I want to see the stars duke it out each and every week. Who wants to watch the second-teamers? Hell, we just got done with the boring preseason & now we're back to the scrubs again. I don't want no scrubs. A scrub is a guy who won't get no love from me. God, how I do miss Left Eye. Anyway, you know what all of this calls for, don't you? It's obvious. Cloning.
Yes, cloning.
You clone every starting player on every team, send them all to a commune where they can eat, sleep, practice and excercise together. When a starter goes down, you go get the clone. No more waiver wire claims, no more grabbing guys out of UPS trucks, just a simple DNA Double chartered in by jet from Camp Clone and your team doesn't skip a beat. And there's no reason to relegate this only to players, we can also clone the best announcers, the best referees, and the best cheerleaders,...... I mean, why suffer through a game with Gus Frerotte, Don Criqui, and Jeff Triplett as referee when you could have Daunte Culpepper's clone at QB, Al Michaels in the booth, Red Cashion as head referee, and Redskins cheerleader Kristen on the sidelines? Oh, you don't know Kristen? Well, you're in luck because she just so happens to be our Pigskin Palooza Cheerleader of the Week! (check the link above).

Sure, the idea of cloning has plenty of ethical, moral and economical issues involved with it, but so do drinking, gambling, and excessive girl-ogling. And without them, I ask you, where would this great game be? Cloning is just a natural next-step for this league. It's a step that needs to happen and a change that needs to be made. To quote Michael Jackson, "Make that change."
And to paraphrase Barbara Streisand, "Send in the Clones!"
(And no, I'm not gay.)

Now, on with the Matchups.....

Purdue at Notre Dame-
Maybe Tyrone Willingham is the Black Jesus afterall.

Auburn at Tennessee-
Remember, that's pronounced Aww-burn at Tin-uhh-see.

Redskins at Browns-
The Butch Davis Farewell Tour swings back through Cleveland. Get your tickets now!

Bengals at Steelers-
Looks like our Black Jesus tried to turn water & fish into wine & bread but so far has only come up with grape juice and pork rinds. Ooh....yep, now I'm hungry.

Colts at Jaguars-
Watch out 1972 Dolphins, the Jacksonville Jaguars are 3-0!
No, but seriously....

Patriots at Bills-
Watch out 1972 Dolphins, the New England Patriots are 3-0!

Raiders at Texans-
The last time the Texans were favored over the Raiders was Week 3 of the 1962 season.
Both teams were in the old AFL,
The Texans played in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas,
A handsome 33 year-old Al Davis had just slipped into his very first white sweatsuit,
And....... JFK's head was still intact.

Yes, Hell, I know.

Eagles at Bears-
Rex Grossman is out for Chicago and Jonathan Quinn is in. But unless it's Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman with the ingredients for a paralyzation spell hidden in a bowl of Chunky Soup placed inconspicuously at Donovan McNabb's locker, then it really doesn't matter, does it?

Saints at Cardinals-
Wow, the the Saints won last week- on the road, without Deuce McCallister. I haven't seen it with my own eyes but apparently Aaron Brooks is playing like a clone of Mike Vick. I guess that means the loss of Jerry Fontenot hasn't had a devastating effect on him, huh? Strange.

Falcons at Panthers-
Speaking of Mike Vick, have you seen the new Nike commercial featuring the Mike Vick Experience amusement park ride? I mean, have you SEEN it?! Freaking awesome! This is one of those commercials that's so good, it makes you want to find the people who make bad commercials- like the ones for Old Navy- and punch their teeth right out of their head.

Jets at Dolphins-
Hey, I've got an idea for another one of those Nike commercials? The A.J. Feeley Experience. Yes!
You get strapped in, pulled back from the line, have your head turned to scan left and right, then BAM!, you get body slammed to within an inch of your life. Then you get picked up and go through the same sequence twenty nine more times before finally being elevated to a platform where you are released to lie in a puddle of your own blood, sweat and feces.

Broncos at Buccaneers-
Can we officially call them the Succaneers yet?

Giants at Packers-
This is my ironclad-rock solid-no doubt about it- absolute guarantee of the century game. There is no way, I repeat, NO WAY that the Giants go into Lambeau, improve to 3-1 and send the Pack to 1-3. If this happens, I will come to the Palooza Monday Night outing dressed in only a diaper with "I Love Tom Coughlin" scrawled on my back in red marker. Conversely, if the Packers win, Mama Squintz has agreed to come to the outing dressed in only a thong bikini bottom with "I Love Weiner" written across her chest. You know, like usual.

Titans at Chargers-
Steve McNair is most likely out with a bruised sternum. Billy Volek will take his place.
No, seriously.

Rams at Niners-
Damn the Niners. Damn them straight to Hell!!!

(Monday Night) Chiefs at Ravens-
Last year, the Chiefs began the season 9-0 and Dick Vermeil was crying at the drop of a hat. Thiis year, they're sitting 0-3 and we get no tears. This is one emotionally confused old man.

Sep 21, 2004

Week 3 Matchups

Well, here we are in Week 3 and I just realized that I've got no fucking clue about 28 of the 32 NFL teams. The Patriots and Eagles are kick-ass good & the Texans and Cardinals are shit-sucking terrible. That's it. I know nothing more, nothing less. Hell, isn't everybody else 1-1? Okay, the Lions, Jags, Jets and Seahawks are all 2-0 but the jury is nowhere near a verdict on any of them, right? The next couple of weeks will show us which surprise teams have legs for the long run and which of them will fade like my uncle Rob after Thanksgiving dinner. The next couple weeks will also tell us which of the expected contenders who are off to a slow start can turn things around & which of them will keep sinking like Dom Delouise in a big pool of chocolate pudding. (Can you tell that I'm loving the metaphors tonight? I love 'em like a supermodel with big cupcake breasts and red licorice nipples.)

So anyway, who will get legs? Who will start to fade? Who will sink? And who will sport the licorice nipples? Again, I have no fucking idea. But I do know that injuries don't help. That's the bad news for Cleveland (Winslow), New Orleans (McAllister), Baltimore (Heap), Washington (Brunell), Carolina (Davis and Smith) and Pittsburgh (Maddox). And these teams aren't the only ones with major problems. The Chiefs seem to have just realized that adding NO ONE to their putrid defense in the offseason was probably a bad idea. The Rams seem to have just realized that they're going to seriously miss Grant Wistrom. The Bills seem to have just realized that Drew Bledsoe's skills have deteriorated to that of a 14-year old mentally handicapped Vietnamese girl who's missing a leg and suffers from blurred vision brought on by malnourishment. And the Cowboys seem to have just realized that Vinny Testaverde is, well, Vinny Testaverde.

Meanwhile, the Lions, Jags, Jets, Bears and Seahawks all have optimism rushing through their veins. Their all swelled up like Barry Bonds after a ten minute sucking spree on a fire hose full of HGH. But these teams all have questions to answer, too. For example, can Harrington keep it together without Charles Rogers? Can the Jags keep winning without scoring more than 13 points a game? Can Pennington and Martin stay healthy for a full season? Can the Bears win with Grossman at quarterback? Can the Seahawks win if Shawn Alexander is injured worse than we think? Again, like I said, I have no fucking clue. I feel like Ducky in Pretty in Pink right after he realized Molly Ringwald was getting ready to go out on a date with Andrew McCarthy. I was all dancing around & lip-synchin' to James Brown, hair slicked up like Fonzie, just happy as a clueless teen when the NFL season kicked off. Just giddy with excitement and content with the world. Then, quickly and abruptly (those two words mean different things, right?), my mood has changed & I'm sulking in the back room of the record store trying to explain why this shouldn't be happening. The Giants should not have beaten the Redskins. The Browns had no business taking out the Ravens. The Jags couldn't have beaten the Broncos. And how in the hell could the Bears have crossed the tracks and stolen one from the Packers? They had no right! They're from the other side of the tracks. It's wrong! They're just gonna break your heart. And when they do, the ol' Duck Man's not going to be around to pick up the pieces this time! Honestly, it's all enough to make me want to punch James Spader in the mouth, then jump up and rip down a senior prom banner.

And while I'm on the topic, I don't know who I hated more- Jon Cryer as Ducky or Andrew McCarthy as, well, every character he ever played. As a matter of fact, didn't he always just play himself? I mean, was there any difference between his character in Pretty in Pink and the ones he played in St. Elmo's Fire, Mannequin, or Weekend at Bernie's? My God, what would happen if he co-starred with Keanu Reeves?
I think I have pre-ramble for next week's Matchups.
Now let's get on with Week 3!...........

Browns at Giants-
First, we heard that Jeff Garcia might be gay. Now I read that he not only has a girlfriend, but that his girlfriend is the current Playboy Playmate of the Year Carmella DeCesare! Great, just what I needed, more confusion. On the bright side however, Carmella did agree to be this week's Pigskin Palooza Cheerleader of the Week! (See above link)

Chargers at Broncos-
I know I joke about it a lot but I've got a new question on the same topic: Do Mike Shannahan and Martin Sheen share the same dentures? I mean, does one of them get 'em in the morning, say, until 2pm or so, and then hand 'em off to the other one? Do they soak them in-between? And what does the one who doesn't have them do? Stay in and eat noodles? I need to know.

Texans at Chiefs-
KC defensive end Eric Hicks went off on a female reporter Sunday. Apparently she had the nerve, after they'd just given up 62 points in their first two games, to ask him if the front office should have gotten them more defensive help in the offseason. While ranting, Hicks told her that her question was a slap in the face to him and his fellow KC defenders. He later apologized and said he should have never been that rude to someone who once gave him a world-class blowjob. That female reporter, of course,.......Mama Squintz.

Packers at Colts-
There is no question that Brett Favre is a modern-day iron man. But just in the off-off chance that he were to go down, Packer fans can rest assured that Tim Couch will not come off of the bench to fuck up their season. You see, the Packers cut Timmay! and now, ironically enough, it seems that the Colts are interested in his services. They're apparently interested because of his experience and also because he's a close personal friend of Peyton Manning. Can you imagine the conversations between these two O-kee-dokes? I'm thinking it sounds a lot like Forrest Gump talking to Cowboy from Big Brother 5.

Jaguars at Titans-
Two weeks ago in Vegas, the odds on the Jags starting 3-0 were someting like 2.2 billion-to-one, which was only slightly better than the odds of Pat Summerall being able to pronounce "Houshmanzadeh" on his first try.

Cardinals at Falcons-
Two weeks ago in Vegas, the odds on the Cards starting the season 0-3 was something like 1-1, which was only slightly better than the odds that the sun would indeed come out again the next morning.

Steelers at Dolphins-
Guess Tommy Maddox' negotiations with the Devil on a new contract hit a snag, huh?

Ravens at Bengals-
Think there's any Deion Sanders memorabilia in the new Reds Hall of Fame Museum? I bet there is. There's probably a large collection right in-between Rolando Roome's glove and Gary Redus' cleats in the Kalvosky Daniels Wing.

Bears at Vikings-
So let me get this straight; in Week 1, the Bears lost to the Lions in Chicago. That was Detroit's first road win in like 55 years. Then last week, the Bears beat the Packers in Green Bay, the first time that had happened in like 75 years. Wow, that's some impressive streak-busting. But not nearly as impressive as the fact that Vikings kicker Morten Anderson remembers the beginning of both of those streaks like it was just yesterday. Time really flies when you're a big-legged octogenarian from Denmark.

Eagles at Lions-
This is a Statement Game. If the Eagles beat this confident young team on the road & improve to 3-0, they will send the statement that they are the team to beat in the NFC. If the Lions can knock off the Eagles and improve themselves to a surprising 3-0, they will make the statement that they are officially a playoff contender for 2004.
Wow, got kinda serious for a minute there, didn't I. Sorry.

Saints at Rams-
When Jim Haslett learned that the Saints would be without Deuce for a few weeks, do you think he dropped a deuce in his pants?
I think it's safe to say that with one more Saints loss we can officially kick off the marketing campaign to announce the Jim Haslett Farewell Tour.

Bucs at Raiders-
Poor Jerry Rice, right?
Fuck Jerry Rice. Cryin' and carryin' on like a little baby. Grow up. Move on. I can't stand people who can't just accept dissapointment and move on.........

Niners at Seahawks-
Damn the Niners. Damn them straight to Hell!!!

(Monday Night) Cowboys at Redskins-
Is it just me or is the Tuna on the road back to obesity? It looks like he's not only in the car and on the road, but he's got the hammer down and a glove box full of Rallyburgers & Ring-Dings as Healthytown gets smaller and smaller in his rear view mirror.

And don't forget the college games...

Iowa at Michigan-
Ahh Iowa. I miss Hayden Fry with his dark prescription sunglasses and the ANF stickers he slapped on the Hawkeyes helmets.
America Needs Farmers.
How true. I mean, without farmers who would grow the food to feed the world? Plus, without farmers, where would we get all those beautiful big-boobed milk-fed farmer's daughters?

USC at Stanford-
This is an interesting matchup. Stanford's mascot is a tree and USC's is a Trojan, right? So then, this is how I see it: trees are where wood comes from, while Trojans are what wood cums in.
I'd rather be the tree.
Also, do you think the USC scoreboard operator plays the "TROJAN MAAAAN!" soundbyte whenever one of their players makes a good play? If not, he really should.

Sep 14, 2004

Week 2 Matchups

During the not-so-dramatic yet extremely predictable conclusion of the Packers destruction of the Panthers on Monday Night, I found my mind wandering trying to come up with angles for this week's Matchups. At the same time, I also found my boofer wandering from channel-to-channel. And what do you think I ran across on FX? Yep, you guessed it- Point Break. For those of you lucky enough not to have been force-fed my ramblings last season, you missed roughly two pages one particular week that were entirely devoted to this movie. Suffice it to say that I love the film. It is the epitome of something being so bad that it's good. With a cast consisting of three guys who couldn't act their way through an open door - Keanu Reeves as Johnny Utah, Patrick Swayze as Bodhi, and Gary Busey as Special Agent Pappas- as well as the "hot" surfer babe played by the extremely flat-chested Laura Petrie (you may recognize her as the uber-annoying Go Baby, Go! voice on those horseracing commercials)- it's a solid two hours of pure guilty pleasure. You've got Swayze walking around on the beach like he's got a large piece of coral jammed up his ass, talking about the spirituality of surfing while heading a crew of seasonal bankrobbers. There's Busey, apparently captured on film in-between large gulps out of a vodka bottle, further damaging his bad knees by running his fat ass around town and trying to say words like "Carnuba Wax" over his prized set of super-sized choppers while trying to pass himself off as a believable veteran FBI agent. And then there's Keanu, which I believe is Swahili for "Overrated Fuck Farmer". With acting so stiff he could pass for a telephone pole injected with liquid Viagra, he plays a former Ohio State quarterback-turned reckless young FBI hotshot and continually serves up such gems as "Via con dios" and "You've gotta go down Bodhi. You went over the line. People trusted you and they died." (It helps if you read it like Bill from Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. Keanu did. Go ahead, I'll wait.......)
Anyway, nothing stimulates the creative juices like two hours with Keanu, Swayze, and Busey. Well, maybe nothing except two hours with Squintz' mom. Did I mention that she made kettle corn and gave me a hummer during the movie? She's a good woman.
Now on with the Matchups!......
(By the way, they're extra dirty this week. Enjoy.)

Panthers at Chiefs-
This is an "Oh, Shit!" game. When the dust settles at Arrowhead Stadium, one of these two highly regarded teams will be off to an 0-2 start and their fans will be screaming "Oh, Shit!". Actually, in Carolina they'd be screaming "Aw, Sheee-itt!", but let's not split hairs.
This game comes down to one team with a great offense but a bad defense vs a team with a great defense but a bad offense. Which would you rather have? Well, let's put it this way: would you rather have a huge dick but also be constantly man-raped by a huge dick OR have a tiny wee-wee but only have your sphincter tickled a little?
Give me the cocktail frank and give me the Panthers.

Broncos at Jaguars-
Lord Byron tries to pull the upset and send the Jags to 2-0. Keep in mind that the weather could be a factor depending on where Hurricane Ivan decides to dock. Just a thought here, but if Ivan were to smash head on into Mike Shannahan's teeth, it would immediately downgraded to a tropical depression, right?

Colts at Titans-
Okay, has anyone else seen the "Got Milk?" magazine ad featuring Payton, Eli, and Archie Manning? They look like either they all just stood up after giving each other head or older brother Cooper just bukake'd on each of their upper lips. Maybe both.

Bears at Packers-
If the Vegas line on this one is any less than Green Bay by 17, I'm emptying the daughter's college fund and calling 1-900-BET2BET.

Niners at Saints-
Damn the Niners. Damn them straight to Hell!!!

Texans at Lions-
The Lions?
If this happens, check the sky for falling locusts, the valleys for flowing rivers of blood, and the nearest meadow for Kirk Cameron on a white horse. You know, just in case.

Steelers at Ravens-
"God Dammit Kyle!!!"

Redskins at Giants-
Clintportis, Clintportis, Clintportis, Clintportis, Clintportis, Clintportis, Clintportis.
That's still fun.

Rams at Falcons-
Hey bro', I know he's got mad flava' but I gots a feeling dat Mike Vick's 'fro ain't gonna' see trimmers any time soon.

Stuart Scott
(P.S. For the 812th time- Would somebody please find me a fake left eye that matches my good right one?)

Bills at Raiders-
Another "Oh, Shit!" game. It would be a pity if Warren Sapp played on a losing team this year, wouldn't it? Fat fucker.

Seahawks at Bucs-
That's one long-ass plane ride from Seattle to Tampa. They'll probably show two movies. I'd like to suggest Cannonball Run I and II. That stutterfuck Mel Tillis really cracks me up.
I'd like to see a new Cannonball Run, you know, to complete the trilogy. And if they use some football players again, I'm putting in a good word for the following pairs: Grammatica I & Grammatica II, Jeff Garcia & Kordell Stewart, Edgerrin James & Ricky Williams, and Deion Sanders & an extremely contagious black-plague-carrying wombat.

Browns at Cowboys-
Now warming up in the Dallas bullpen, righthander Drew Henson.

Patriots at Cardinals-
Belichek in the desert. Think he'll go Commando? Nasty.

Jets at Chargers-
J!-E!-T!-S! .....whatever. Hey, is it wrong to wonder why that goofy guy leading cheers with the fireman helmet on couldn't have been in one of the towers when they fell? I'll answer that. YES, YES IT IS WRONG TO WONDER THAT! YOU SICK FUCK! YOU'RE GOING STRAIGHT TO FUCKING HELL! HELL, I TELL YOU, HELL, YOU STUPID FUCKER!!!

Dolphins at Bengals-
Thank God Ricky Williams is lost in a hash cloud right now. But if Lamont Gordon and A.J. Feeley light 'em up on national television, Bengal fans should just commit mass suicide by willingly hurling themselves down one of the non-working PBS escalators to form a huge black & orange burial mound at the base.

(Monday Night) Vikings at Eagles-
McNabb. Culpepper. Owens. Moss.
What five things do these four guys have in common?
1) They're all NFC Pro Bowlers.
2) They were all first round draft choices.
3) They're all obscenely rich.
4) They're all black men.
5) They've all gotten hummers from Squintz' mom.

Sep 6, 2004

Week One Matchups

Outside of my family and friends, only a rare few things make me happy enough to wet myself. Here’s a quick rundown:
1) Ice cold beer and a plate of hot wings at Hooters
2) Seeing one of Tony LaRussa’s strategeries backfire on him
3) Watching middle-aged Asians dancing at wedding receptions
4) An ice cold Pepsi Vanilla accompanied by a bag of Sour Patch Kids
5) Tight button-up sweaters on well-endowed chicks in the freezer section of the local grocery
6) Being mistaken for Brad Pitt (almost didn’t make this list because it’s really just becoming commonplace now)
7) Replays of Carl Lewis’ rendition of the National Anthem
8) Catching Joe Dirt on cable just in time for the fireworks stand scene
9) Being on vacation
10)The start of a new NFL season

It just so happens that #9 and #10 are occurring concurrently for me this week and #’s 2, 3, 7, and 8 happened last week. Suffice it to say, I’m on a pretty decent run here. All I need to do is go to Hooters, then stop off at the grocery to pick up some Pepsi Vanilla & Sour Patch Kids, hang out in the freezer aisle and pray that yet another tight-sweatered puppy smuggler asks me, I mean Brad, for his autograph.
But first, the Week One Matchups. Let’s go!

Colts at Patriots-
Corey Dillon’s first big-exposure game of his career. I hope he shits his pants and coughs up the ball four times.
Ahh, I can hear it now……………….
Al Michaels: “Dillon gets the handoff up the middle, and I believe the ball is on the ground. It is, and the Colts have recovered! John, Dillon just didn’t seem to have a good hold on the ball there.
John Madden: “No he didn’t, and I don’t think he has a good hold on his bowels either. Take a look at his pants. (using the telestrator) There’s a couple of stains right here BOOM! and over here BOOM!

Jaguars at Bills-
Ahh, late summer in Buffalo. If I were the Jags I’d leave a day early to take in some of the sights.

Lions at Bears-
The two head coaches in this contest are nicknamed Moochie and Lovie. Seriously.

Ravens at Browns-
Worst thing about Deion Sanders return to the NFL:
CBS replaced him in the studio with Shannon Sharpe.
Guess they’re still sticking to that “One white bread host, two retired white quarterbacks, and the mouthiest nigga we can find” formula. Hey, good luck with that.

Chargers at Texans-
Twenty bucks says that Don Criqui gets assigned to this one.

Titans at Dolphins-
Ricky Williams and the hard-charging Miami Dolphins host Eddie George and the rough-and-tumble Tennessee Titans, - What? Oh, okay. Ahem…….…in 3,2,…”Jay Fiedler and the mentally fucked up Miami Dolphins take on Steve McNair and whoever else the Titans still have left, This week on CBS!”

Seahawks at Saints-
The Jim Haslett Farewell Tour kicks off at home against Wilford Brimley’s Seattle Seahawks.
(side note: Did you know that Wilford Brimley is younger than Robert Redford? It’s true.)

Bengals at Jets-

Raiders at Steelers-
Odds against the CBS announcers referencing Franco Harris’ Immaculate Reception during this one: 18 billion to one.

Cardinals at Rams-
What a nice, easy first test for that shaky Arizona defense. This one may create the formulation of a committee to explore a Mercy rule.

Bucs at Redskins-
Joe Gibbs first regular season game in DC after a long hiatus. Also his first regular season game coaching at FedEx Field.
Hey, that reminds me, how much do you think it’d cost to FedEx Grammatica One to go visit Grammatica Two? Just curious.

Cowboys at Vikings-
Vinny Testaverde, say hello to the regular season.

Giants at Eagles-
Official over-under on concussions this year for Kurt Warner: 2 ½
My guess is number one comes this Sunday.

Falcons at Niners-
The Niners Road to the Number One Pick Begins This Sunday on Fox!

Chiefs at Broncos-
Pat Summerall will be in the ESPN booth replacing the recovering Mike Patrick. This gives the added humor bonus of waiting for a “senior moment” from Summerall.
Which of the following do you think he’s more likely to do?
a) Mistakenly refer to Trent Green as “Len Dawson”
b) Mistakenly refer to Jake Plummer as “Craig Morton”
c) Turn to Paul McGuire and say “Hey John, when did the Broncos start wearing blue jerseys?”
d) See a forward pass & exclaim “When did they start allowing THAT?!”
e) Remind everyone to stay tuned after the broadcast for a brand new episode of Barnaby Jones

I’m putting my money on “a” but desperately hoping for “e”.

Packers at Panthers (Monday Night)-
Are you ready for some football!?!?!
What a great first Monday Nighter to kick off the year.
Favre and Ahman Green versus the defending NFC champs and their strong defense. I’ve got nothing smart-ass to say about this one. I’m just geeked. Seriously, I can’t think of one single reason why I won’t be glued to the screen for this one from start to finish.
What’s that?
Monday is Squintz’ Mom’s first night on the job at Bristol’s? Fellas, let me know how the game turns out.

Sep 2, 2004

The SmithMan Prophecies

As a general rule, I don’t mind preseason predictions when it comes to sports. But honestly, there are just too many human variables involved for anyone to accurately forecast how a season is going to play out. And with the NFL it’s even more of a crapshoot due to the current level of parity that exists. Nevertheless, every year without fail, dozens of blowhard tackling dummies crawl out from underneath blocking sleds to definitively tell us who’s going to “Run away with their division”, “Finally make the playoffs”, “Surprise a lot of people”, “Make a legitimate run at a wild card spot”, and of course, who’s going to “Win the Super Bowl!” Each one of these magical fortune tellers hoping to get lucky, guess correctly on at least one of the Super Bowl teams, then parlay it into a year’s worth of bragging rights or some advertising fodder for their Members-Only/Fast Track-to-Bankruptcy website.

Do me a favor, raise your hand if you picked the Carolina Panthers to win the NFC last year. Liar. How ‘bout the Chargers in ‘97? Big fat liar.
The Falcons in ‘99? Liar and a cheat. How about the Rams in 2000?
Uh, to quote Tanya Harding’s ex-husband, “You’re a liar and a felon!” The Bengals or Niners in ’81? Liars, liars, liars, Damn Liars, every last one of you!!
Those out-of-nowhere runs were virtually unfathomable before each of their respective seasons began. And for every rags-to-riches story there are even more stories of teams that underachieved, stumbled, and choked their way from expected greatness to disappointing mediocrity due to injuries, suspensions, bad calls, bad coaching, bad bounces, etc, etc, etc… -all human elements that affect how a team performs yet can’t be predicted with any semblance of certainty whatsoever.

And just for the record, anyone who tells you that they KNOW who’s going to win the Super Bowl is also a person who has no problem uttering phrases like “I can get you in a good car for real cheap”, or “I absolutely guarantee a return of twenty five percent on your money”, or “Ma’am I assure you, this is not a pyramid scheme”. Run away from that guy. Correction: check to make sure your wallet is still on you, then, run away from that guy.

Forecasting an NFL season before it begins is almost as difficult as trying to predict the mood of Anna Nicole Smith after a late night trip to the medicine cabinet. That’s why you won’t see the NFL mentioned in any of Nostradamus’ quatrains. Here’s a guy who, hundreds of years ahead of time, predicted such events as the rise and fall of Napoleon, Adolph Hitler’s reign of terror, the Great Fire in London, the assassination of JFK, and the disturbing yet surprisingly successful career of Andy Dick (see quatrain 346). Yet even Nostradamus didn’t have the stones to fire out a guess on anything NFL-related. As far as I can tell, the only person to accurately pick Super Bowl champs on a regular basis was Biff in Back to the Future II, and he had the help of the Sports Almanac he snagged while joyriding in Doc Brown’s DeLorean.

So, I don’t spend time reading or making preseason predictions on the NFL. I’d rather gargle grease from a pan of chicken wings that read why Joe Hack in Toledo says the Browns will go 7-9. Not 6-10, not 8-8, 7 AND 9! Why? Because Joe says so. Well, if it’s all the same to Joe, and he doesn’t mind, I say we let the teams play the full schedule anyway & see what happens.
And I’ve never wanted to play the role of prognosticator, either.
I can think of way better ways to lose credibility. Ones that involve Jagermeister shots, small-town strippers, and cleverly folded $2 bills.

No one has ever told me that making predictions had to necessarily involve win-loss records and final standings.
Plus, no one’s ever told me that making predictions had to be backed with even a trace of any of pesky factual information.
And most importantly, no one’s ever told me that it couldn’t be a simple-yet-therapeutically refreshing rambling rampage of unfair ridicule directed at all 32 teams. And you know, I’m strangely comfortable with that. So at the risk of becoming what I despise, here are what I like to call The SmithMan Prophecies.

(I know, The Mothman Prophecies was a crap movie and it starred Ashton Kuthcher who I would really like to hit in the face with a shovel. Hell, I about ditched the SmithMan idea several times for those reasons. However, that film also starred Amy Smart, who is clearly the hottest blonde B-cup in Hollywood right now plus it’s a semi-decent play on words, so I finally decided that I’m okay with it. Thanks Amy. Let’s go.)


Mr. Garcia, Welcome to Cleveland! I’d like you to meet our first-round draft choice, Kellen Winslow, Jr. He’s very tall, very strong, very fast, and is very outspoken. You might say he’s a lot like a young Terrell Owens. Yes, well um, I think I’m going to excuse myself now and let you fellas get acquainted. Oh and if there’s anything you need, just ring the bell or yell “Gimp!” and the fat guy with the dog mask will come right in.
SMP: Surprisingly, these two wind up hitting it off famously. Their friendship really blossoms after several trips by Kellen to visit Jeff in the hospital. The hospital? Yeah, I forgot to mention- the Browns’ offensive line kinda’ sucks.

Word on the street is that Tommy Maddox is trying to work out a new deal with the devil. Sources tell me that Maddox’ agent has tried to contact Satan but apparently the King of Darkness is very busy working on an extension for Jake Delhomme and has just finished inking Vinny Testaverde to a one-year deal.
SMP: If you don’t see a bandage on the back of Maddox’ neck by the end of training camp, assume Big Ben will be mopping up the season by Week 9.
And if you didn’t get that reference or the earlier one about the Gimp, do yourself a favor- grab a bag of Big Kahuna burgers and go back & watch Pulp Fiction one more time.

Well, it seems as if the Ravens have a few things working against them. First of all, there’s that little Jamal Lewis drug trafficking trial thingy. Then there’s the fact that Ray Lewis is defying the football gods by appearing as the latest coverboy for the EA Sports Madden video game. If that isn’t enough, second-year quarterback (God-Dammit Kyle!) Boller is coming off of an injury as well as a pretty shaky first season. And of course there’s also the constant issue of Brian Billick’s out of control ego. However, the Ravens still have the best O-line, the best linebackers, and the best secondary in division, if not the conference.
SMP: At the risk of sounding like Jackie Chiles, I’d have to say that this team’s upcoming season can be summed up in four words: Probation, Deterioration, Trepidation, and Overinflation.

There’s nothing quite like a good stadium chant. It’s like listening to a beautiful church choir, only without all the religion and avoidance of sin & stuff. And finally, FINALLY there’s a star football player named Rudy (or at least Rudi).
Roo-Dee!, Roo-Dee!, Roo-Dee!
It’s been eleven years since that movie came out & I’ve been waiting patiently ever since (almost giving up hope on several occasions) for a player who would give a crowd the reason to revive that one. Thank you, Rudi Johnson. And God bless you sir.
By the way, I’m still waiting for chant-worthy players with the following names: Rocky, Reggie, Jerry, Attica, and Toga.
SMP: The Swami, a.k.a. Chris Berman, a.k.a. ESPN’s Fat Hack Comb-Over Bastard Who Loves Deep-Fried Foods and the Sound of His Own Voice More Than Life Itself, has picked the Bengals to finish last in the AFC North. Last. Well, when Cincinnati wins the AFC North, I shall submit his prediction as Exhibit J in a motion to not only have him removed from the air but also to be beaten mercilessly with dead catfish and dumped into the Ohio River.


Quick, name three starters for the Texans. ……Any positions. I’ll give you one- David Carr. ……Okay, I’ll give you two- David Carr and Andre Johnson. ………Anybody?…………Bueller?
And another thing; I know that it’s supposed to be in reference to the Texas state flag, but doesn’t the dead cattle scull on the side of the Texans’ helmets look like it’s a really big fan of Paul Stanley from KISS?
SMP: Gene Simmons threatens legal action against the Texans unless they agree to sell KISS memorabilia in the souvenir stands at Reliant Stadium and also allow his skanky Skinemax girlfriend Shannon Tweed to be an honorary cheerleader.
The team flounders amidst the turmoil.

Last year, Jags head coach Jack Del Rio put a symbolic ax and wood stump in the locker room with a sign reading “Keep Chopping Wood”. Cute, right? Cute until punter Chris Hanson accidentally clanked the ax off of the stump and directly into his left shin, requiring a four-hour surgery to repair the damage.
This year, no more axes. Although he briefly considered the idea of having some exposed live wires & a sign reading “Shock the World”, coach Del Rio is instead just going to go with a sign above Hanson’s locker that reads:
This is That Guy.
Don’t be That Guy
SMP: Hanson will hurt himself tearing down the sign.

You’ve heard that joke about country music, right? The one that goes, “What do you get when you play a country song backwards?
- You get your wife back, your truck back, your dog back…….”
Well, in Music City, they’re probably wishing they could play this offseason backwards & get Jevon Kearse, Justin McCareins, Robaire Smith and Eddie George back. Sure, Jeff Fisher is a very good coach and yes, he does have a world-renowned cookie duster above his upper lip, but losing that many good players may be a little too much for even him to overcome.
SMP: Long season in Nashville spurs dozens of young, aspiring country songstresses/honkytonk hosehounds to pen more sad ballads which will someday be performed in the “Here’s a couple of songs I wrote myself” portion of twice-daily performances from a stage in-between the log flume and the sno-cone cabin in Dollywood.

Whoooh………..deep breath………

The Dolphins aren’t the only team that no longer has a running back named Ricky Williams. The Colts said goodbye to their own Ricky Williams this past offseason. This Ricky Williams does not have dreadlocks, does not smoke weed (as far as we know), and did not leave his team so that he could “find himself” while hunting for ganja in the mountains of Asia. No, this Ricky Williams is 5’7” 195 lbs., a graduate of Texas Tech University, and a Virgo who likes long walks on the beach, white wines, and quietly relaxing with family & friends. The Colts released him and he’s available for any team to sign. Any team. Such as, oh, say, the Dolphins should they so desire.
SMP: The Colts will not miss either Ricky Williams.


Speaking of Ricky, is it really any surprise that a guy who came into the league with Master P. as his agent winds up leaving the league to smoke the ganja? Ricky’s retirement leaves Miami’s offense about as potent as a 6-pack of O’Doul’s with a Diet Rite chaser. And to make things worse, the Dolphins next-best offensive player is David Boston who, now that Ricky is retired, is one of five finalists for Biggest Head-Case in the NFL. Oh, and by the way, this just in: David Boston is out for the season with a shredded left knee.
(You know, every time I hear someone say “David Boston”,
I immediately think of David from The Real World: Boston.
SMP: No running game, no passing game, and Dave Wannstedt gets fired before Week 14. But not before his mustache resigns first, leaving Wannstedt and the Dolphins to join the rest of its’ family in the adult film industry.

The good news: Chad Pennington’s healthy.
The better news: He’s got Curtis Martin, Santana Moss, and newcomer Justin McCareins along with him.
The best news: Their owner’s name is Woody Johnson.
(you were expecting something different?)

Here’s a riddle for ya’: How do you have the 2nd best defense in the NFL in 2003 & only win six games?
Answer: Your quarterback is Drew Bledsoe.
Bledsoe tossed twelve interceptions to only eleven touchdown passes and was pulled down for a league-high 49 sacks, ten of which resulted in lost fumbles. You can be sure that their new coach won’t stand for that kind of mularkey. ……….sorry.
SMP: The defense will get tired of losing games 10-6 and watching Bledsoe continue his flawless impression of a statue. Drew mysteriously disappears in what appears to be a somewhat curious snowmobile accident. J.P. Losman takes over in Week 10 and sparks the team while Bledsoe’s family waits anxiously for CBS to open up a CSI office in upstate New York.

This is as well-oiled a machine as we’ve seen in the NFL in a long time. As a matter of fact, one could argue that it’s the best well-oiled machine seen anywhere since Pam Anderson first rubbed on the Coppertone and squeezed into that red one-piece.
The Pats have an excellent head coach, the best big-game QB, the best big-game kicker, a top-notch defense,…..so there’s really only one question here: How long before Corey Dillon officially changes his name to Disgruntled Patriots Running Back Corey Dillon and disturbs a once-harmonious locker room?
SMP: After they lose to Cincinnati in Week 14.


So let me get this straight; the Chargers wind up with the worst record in the league last season & get the first pick in the draft. The guy they want (Eli Manning) says he doesn’t want to go to sunny San Diego but the Chargers draft him anyway. Then they trade him for the fourth overall pick in the draft (Rivers) and say that this is the guy they wanted all along. He then proceeds to miss the first four weeks of training camp in a contract holdout because he wants to be paid as if he was the number one overall pick. All this, and the best QB in the draft (Roethlisberger) slides to the Steelers. Charger fans, I weep for thee.
SMP: The Bolts will put themselves in prime position to pick up the third-best wide receiver with the first pick in next April’s draft.

They always said Al Davis could clear a room. I took it to mean that he could do it with some gnarly gingivitis-breath rolling over his yellow teeth, but apparently he can also do it with a few pink slips.
Gone is Bill Callahan who was about two weeks away from getting a shank in his back, and in to replace him is Norvelous Norv Turner.
Also gone are twelve of last year’s starters, including Rod Woodson and long-time Raider Tim Brown. This kind of employee turnover is usually only seen in college bars and Asian massage parlors.
SMP: The 1280 combined pounds of newcomers Warren Sapp & Ted Washington will help the defense while rookie offensive linemen Gallery & Grove should help the offense. Now, if someone would help Rich Gannon to a rocking chair & let Kerry Collins sling the pigskin, they just might coax some smiles out of Ol’ Yeller Teeth.

Dickie V’s squad led the league in points last season, scoring at a pace usually reserved only for porn stars who are trying to break gangbang records. On the flip side however, the KC defense ranked 29th in the league & spent their last eight games giving up 220 points, culminating in an embarrassing 38-31 loss at home in the playoffs to the Colts- a game in which Indy didn’t have to punt even once in the entire game.
So, how did the Chiefs front office decide to tackle (pun intended) this problem?
Well, they signed one, count him, one defensive free agent.
His name? Lional Dalton.
Sure, that should do the trick.
SMP: By Week 8, teams will start deactivating their punters for games against the Chiefs.

People I talk to are divided on three topics concerning this team:
1) Uniforms- The old orange ones or the newfangled navy ones?
2) Mike Shannahan’s teeth- Is he the long lost son of Fire Marshall Bill or is he just riding out some poorly fitted dentures?
3) The Portis/Bailey trade- Better for the Skins or for the Broncos?

For the record: I like the old Orange Crush unis, I suspect a bad set of fake choppers, and I’ll always, ALWAYS take a great cover corner over a great halfback.
SMP: Champ Bailey has another Pro Bowl season, the Broncos front office regrets trading Deltha O’Neal to move up in the first round only to pass on Stephen Jackson, and Coach Shannahan gets reunited with Fire Marshall Bill on a very special Oprah.


Lovie Smith becomes the most famous “Lovie” since Mrs. Thurston Howell III hobbled off of the S.S. Minnow with her shade umbrella and reading glasses. Speaking of hobbling, Brian Urlacher a.k.a. The Human Tackling Machine may be nursing a sore hammy all season. And speaking of nursing, wasn’t there a dream sequence on one of the Gilligan’s Island episodes where Ginger wore a nurse’s uniform? That’s right up there with Brooke Shields in Blue Lagoon, every Chrissy Snow tube top scene on Three’s Company (more on that in just a minute), Farrah Fawcett’s swimsuit poster, whenever the lovely Diane wore a bikini for the Showcase Showdown on The Price is Right, and Daisy Duke in her, well, Daisy Dukes.
These are the kind of things that should be collected and put into a Greatest Moments of the ‘70s for Horny Male Teens DVD.
SMP: Speaking of DVDs, word has it that NFL Films already has a working title for the Bears 2004 season in review:
Zzzzzzzzz…. The Hibernation Continues.

Quarterback Joey Harrington suddenly finds himself surrounded by some talent on offense. Charles Rogers is back at wideout across the field from first-round pick Roy Williams, while Detroit’s other first-rounder, Kevin Jones, is in the backfield to tote the pig. You know, this could be the best collection of young talent since Aguilera, Spears and Timberlake teamed to raise the roof on The Mickey Mouse Club circa 1994.
SMP: M-A-R,… Are you ready? I-U-C,… See you in the playoffs?
Uh, I don’t think so.

Could be the last hurrah with Favre before the Tim Couch Era begins in Green Bay. Talk about a heavy case of dread, that’s gotta’ be one right there, boy. When Favre is gone I imagine it’ll be like the first Three’s Company season after Chrissy left. Everyone else was still there but it just wasn’t as funny or, okay I’ll say it, it just wasn’t quite as jiggly without her in the apartment. And while we’re on the topic, has there ever been a worse casting decision in sitcom history than following up Cindy with Teri? At least Cindy was pleasing to look at. They essentially went from Chrissy, a jiggly/busty/dingy blonde, to Cindy, a busty/dingy blonde, and then finally to Teri, a flat-chested/frigid/angry-at-the-world blonde.
How is that good for anyone? I mean, there must have been a producer’s wife behind this, right? And to make things worse, this happened at exactly the same time that Janet decided to start wearing Pat Benetar’s hair. What a tragic ending for that show.
SMP: Favre tries to rally the team for one last glorious run at a title, but a freak injury suffered by Ahman Green involving a Thigh Master is too much to overcome. Wait….wait…..ahh, there it is.

According to the official Merriam-Webster dictionary, the term “Viking” is defined as: “one of the pirate Norsemen plundering the coasts of Europe in the 8th to 10th centuries”. Sounds like some pretty tough traveling salesmen with ships full of fury, right? And how about their namesakes, the Minnesota Vikings? Well, these Vikings are just 1-16 outside on the road since 2001.
Please go back and read that last sentence again………..
That’s absurdly horrible. A few more bad trips outside of their dome and the league should force them to officially change their name to the Minnesota Agoraphobics.
(If you need it- http://www.phobialist.com/)
SMP: Culpepper, Bennett, and Moss (a.k.a. Teck from The Real World: Hawaii) finally get some help from their defense to get what they desperately need- home field advantage in the playoffs.



Think you can’t go from “top of the world” to “bottom of the barrel” in less than two years? Just talk to The Backstreet Boys, O-Town, N’Sync, 98 Degrees, or ……….the Tampa Bay Bucs.
Much like Justin Timberlake & Nick Lachey, Warren Sapp and John Lynch made it out before the complete collapse.
(And no, I’m not gay)
But speaking of gay, who was a gayer puffy-shirt wearer:
the orange-faced guy on the old Bucs helmets or Johnny Depp’s character in Pirates of the Caribbean? When once discussing his Oscar-nominated performance, Depp said he was attempting to come up with a cross between a pirate and Keith Richards. Personally, I think he threw a little bit of Boy George in there, too.
SMP: Brian Griese takes over for Brad Johnson by Week 10 while angry fans show their displeasure by kidnapping Grammatica One and firing him out of a cannon aboard that end zone pirate ship.

What’s black & gold and has very little talent?
Mr. T. …………and, of course, the 2004 New Orleans Saints.
Except for Deuce McAllister and a couple wide receivers, there’s not too much to get excited about here. And am I the only one surprised that Jim Haslett still has a job? How many times does this guy have to have a team quit on him? It’s beyond me.
And while we’re talking about the Saints, have you seen the movie Boondock Saints? If not, just trust me and go rent it. Especially if it’s your turn to pick the flick and you want to piss off your woman. Unnecessary violence, vulgar language, biting humor, Russian mobsters, Italian mobsters, strippers, exploding cats, and…. Willem Dafoe.
The fact that Dafoe wasn’t nominated for an Oscar or sat at the right hand of DeNiro for this performance is nothing short of a felony. Dafoe is the modern-day king of portraying a whack-job. Kevin Spacey is really good at it, Christopher Walken is great at it, Anthony Hopkins is unbelievably great at it, but Dafoe is in another stratosphere all to himself. Play a homosexual who hates gays? No problem. A scientist mutated into a green goblin? No problem. A horny Jesus Christ? Really, no problem.
The man is fearless.
The New Orleans Saints could use a guy like this as head coach. Or, as I take a look at their roster, even at cornerback.
SMP: Deuce McAllister puts up another 1,600 yards rushing as Coach Haslett leads them to, well, nowhere. Jimmy Hasbeen finally gets canned & is replaced by Jim Mora Sr. Upon arriving for his second tour of duty in New Orleans, Mora scans the roster & alerts the media not to expect "diddly-poo" out of this team until he can overhaul the defense.

speaking of the Mora Family....

Two interesting story lines going on here.
1) Apparently, Mike Vick has decided not to get his hair cut until he wins a Super Bowl, and 2) Jim Mora Jr. takes over for Dan Reeves as head coach this season.
And I propose that if Junior busts out with even one “diddly-poo” reference, he should immediately be nominated for an ESPY. Shouldn’t this be an ESPY category- Best Quote, or Best Postgame Press Conference, or maybe Best Meltdown? Why hasn’t this been done already? What in God’s name are we waiting for here?
SMP: No ESPY for Mora Jr., but Vick shows up at the awards sporting a Versace suit and Oscar Gamble’s 1978 afro.

Was I dreaming, or was Carolina in the Super Bowl last year? Everything’s a bit hazy after the vision of the bare nipple pierced my soul. Speaking of souls…….
SMP: As long as Jake Delhomme keeps placing pieces of his soul in an envelope and mailing them to Satan’s P.O. Box, the Panthers should run away with the NFC South.



Thanks to Eli Manning’s draft day antics, he can now find himself ranked right in-between Osama Bin Laden and Tony LaRussa at the top of my People I Hope To See Fail Miserably list.
SMP: Eli meets brother Payton at the Super Bowl!
……….in the hotel lobby to wish him luck and remind him to tug his ear & point to him and Daddy up in the stands during the game.

Three words: Vinny. Testa. Verde.
Three more words: Key. Shawn. Johnson.
And three more words: Key. Lime. Pie. What? It’s late, it’s in the fridge, and I’m kinda hungry.
Last time Vinny and Keyshawn were together was 1998 in Jersey and the Jets went 12-4, losing the AFC Championship game in Denver.
That season, Vinny had 3,256 yards passing, 29 TD passes to only 7 INT’s, a QB rating of 101.6, and was elected to the Pro Bowl. Keyshawn had 1,131 yards receiving, scored ten touchdowns, and was also elected to the Pro Bowl.
The coach that year? Yep, it was the Tuna.
SMP: This ain’t 1998. Vinny’s old rag arm leads the NFC in interceptions, Keyshawn sets a career-high with twenty tackles (after said interceptions), Tuna gains 47 pounds due to depression-induced eating binges, and Jerry Jones tries to ease all the pain by getting yet another lift, thus pulling his face tighter than the sheets on a basic training army bunk.

Andy Reid’s Iggles have lost the last three NFC Championship games. That sucks. And I imagine it’s probably left a very bad taste in his mustache. That’s why they went out and signed two big-name free agents in the offseason.
The Freak and The Freakin’ Jackass.
The addition of Jevon Kearse and Terrell Owens is either going to send them over the top or go down as a horrible cap-crippling mistake. Kearse has seemingly been, well, uh, kearsed. He’s always just one step away from another serious ankle injury, and T.O. has been amassing a whole overhead compartment full of bad karma baggage. From getting Mariucci fired in San Fran, to the taunting display on the midfield star in Dallas, to the Sharpie shenanigan in Seattle, to whining his way out of a trade to Baltimore, to accusing Jeff Garcia of anti-heterosexual activity, this guy has some serious wrath forming in a cloud above him.
SMP: T.O. will turn out to be worse luck than that tiki idol on The Brady Bunch Goes to Hawaii. Look for Vincent Price to be sitting in a nearby cave eating baked beans out of a pot and guarding a tied-up Donovan McNabb by Week 12.

I was on the phone with my buddy Jason the other day, talking some football, when he asked me which of several running backs I liked best. I responded with the following sentence:
“I like Washington’s Clinton Portis.”
My wife, barely overhearing, says to me in a shocked tone:
“You like washing whose clitoris?”
And right at that moment I realized why he doesn’t go by “Clint”.
Go ahead, say it…….. Fun, huh?
SMP: New head coach Joe Gibbs will be a busy little beaver trying to clean up the mess left behind by Steve Spurrier, owner Dan Snyder will continue to do some fishy things behind the scenes, LaVeranues Coles will snatch a lot of passes from new QB Mark Brunell, LaVar Arrington will lead a defense that’s as tight as a clam, and…………….okay, I’m done.


Jeff Garcia. Gone.
Terrell Owens. Gone.
Garrison Hearst. Gone.
Dennis Erickson. Still the head coach.
I’m taking this as a sign that there is indeed a kind & just God.
SMP:The 49’ers road to the Number One Pick begins in just two weeks, right here on Fox!”

You know, I thought the heat would get to Denny Green. In fact, I commented on draft day that the Arizona equipment guys should start fitting him for an outfit made entirely out of sponge.
But I was talking about the desert heat, not the heat from the Phoenix media. And apparently he’s already melting like a Fudgesicle under the scrutiny of the beat writers out there for some of his decisions, such as the release of popular offensive lineman Pete Kendall. One of the writers, implying that Green is a personality cross between Buddy Ryan and Buck Showalter, has dubbed him “Buddy Showalter”.
That’s not good.
I’ve interviewed Buck Showalter. Buck Showalter has the temperament of a wild boar with a hot coal jammed up its ass. And he has black eyes. Not brown. Black. You know when you get an eye exam and they fully dilate your eyes & for a couple of hours afterwards you look like some sort of demon spawn? Well, that’s Buck Showalter. It’s a special kind of spooky. And apparently Denny Green is just like him, only with a splash of Buddy Ryan. Sounds charming.
SMP: Buddy Show is working with a young quarterback, a young offensive line, injuries that will keep Anquan Boldin and Marcel Shipp out for at least the first few weeks, and not to mention, quite possibly the crap-crap-crappiest defense in the league. Thanks again for your league fees Mr. Bidwell.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; there’s just no good reason why this team isn’t called the St. Louis Cardinals.
Let’s finish the cycle already and move the Arizona Cardinals to L.A., change their name to the Los Angeles Rams and give “Cardinals” back to St. Louis where it belongs.
And while were at it, let’s give the name “Colts” back to Baltimore, changing the Baltimore Ravens to the Baltimore Colts. Then, the Indy team can change their name to the Indianapolis Crazy Horses.
No, wait, that might upset some sensitive types. Let’s make it the NativeAmericanapolis Crazy Horses. Furthermore, I submit that the league should issue a mandate forcing the Texans to change their name to the Houston Oilers and for the Titans change theirs to either the Tuxedos, Pride, Waltz, or Ernie Fords.
SMP: It’s gonna’ be fun watching Mike Martz in a transition year. Most of the fun will be in watching him assigning the blame to everyone else. By Week 10 he’ll be slinging it around like a hash cook in a mess hall, blaming his quarterback, the offensive line, the defense, his coaching staff, the referees, the fans, the turf, the cheerleaders, the end zone pylons, the scoreboard operator, a 54 year-old immigrant beer vendor named Luis, the trainers, the equipment manager, his mailman, his proctologist, the homeless, the elderly, sick children, sick orphaned children, abandoned pets, his own mother, and the letter “Q”.

Was there a more beautiful scene last season than the one at midfield in Green Bay during the overtime coin flip of the Packers/Seahawks playoff game? You remember; Seattle QB Matt Hasselbeck correctly calls the coin toss, then, not knowing there’s a boom mike positioned directly above his head, tells the official (and the 60,000-plus Packer fans in attendance) “We want the ball, we’re gonna score!” Forget the XFL, this was as close to a football-meets-pro wrestling moment as there’s ever been. All that was missing was for Hasselbeck to realize what he had done, turn to the crowd with an over-the-top horrified look on his face, then over to a cackling Vince McMahon holding the boom mike as Reggie McKenzie cracks Hasselbeck across the back of the neck with a folding chair.
SMP: Should you read anything into the fact that I saved the Seahawks as the last team? Does this mean I think they’ll be the last team standing? Maybe. Maybe not. Unless you’ve forgotten, I’m not into predictions.

Well there you have ‘em, The SmithMan Prophecies for the upcoming NFL season. I feel dirty. And yes, I do know that I’m rapidly approaching the 5,300 word mark. And yes, I also know that if you’ve read through this entire article from start to finish, you probably have kids ringing your doorbell yelling “Trick or Treat!” right about now.
So, let me quickly wrap things up by expressing my hopes for yet another entertaining NFL season and by offering up my sincerest wishes with this abbreviated variation on a popular Irish blessing:

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your favorite team,
Or at least on the team on which you bet the most Jack.

Thank you for your attention. You may now go back to your regularly scheduled lives, already in progress.
(Unless of course you’re at home and didn’t sell out by 5pm on Thursday. In that case, you’ll have to watch the life of someone in a neighboring region. Enjoy.)