ESPN had an interesting poll on how the addition of Roger Clemens affects their postseason chances. A majority of voters (48%) said they’d miss the playoffs while 17% though they will be World Series Champs. What’s interesting is that only in 3 states do a majority of folks feel that the Yankees will be champions at year’s end: New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Delusion in a powerful force. (via be Recruited)
There’s a rumor speculating that Randy Moss’ ass could be calling the Green Bay end zone home after a trade would send Moss to the Pack for backup QB Aaron Rodgers. Green Bay’s 2008 7th round pick and Raiders tight end Courtney Anderson are also expected to be involved in the deal which could be signed by Friday.
It’s an interesting idea to kick around because of all the implications involved. If Oakland grabs Rodgers from the cheeseheads then what happens to their No. 1 draft pick? It appeared that the Raiders were set to select LSU’s JaMarcus Russell to become their franchise QB. The move could free up the team to go after other skill position players like wide receiver Calvin Johnson or running back Adrian Peterson.
The trade would also leave the Packers without a play caller for the future. Brett Favre isn’t going to play forever, is he? And if Favre thought that Javon Walker was a selfish person, just wait until he starts sharing the locker room with Moss. Then you have Moss’ whole mock mooning performance after a TD in the Vikings/Packers 2005 NFC wild card game.
While there are tons of question marks surrounding this possible trade, it will all be worth it if Green Bay inspires Moss to produce more classic quotes like this famous line after his sideshow in the 05 wild card game netted him a $10,000 fine.
No, cause it ain’t sh*t. Ain’t nothing but 10 grand. What’s 10 grand to me? Ain’t sh*t … Next time I might shake my d*ck.
In 1973: Heavyweight champion Joe Frazier lost the first fight of his professional career when he was knocked out by George Foreman in Kingston, Jamaica. It was also the first fight ever televised by a fledgling cable network called HBO. The fight is mostly remembered for commentator Howard Cosell’s stunned call, Down goes Frazier! Down goes Frazier! Frazier went down six times at the hands of Foreman in two rounds. Some boxing experts believe that Cosell’s famous call is what Frazier is unfortunately most remembered for. Frazier, it should be known, handed Muhammad Ali his first career defeat in 1971 and would go on to a career record of 32-4-1 with 27 knockouts.
You can watch the entire fight below but unfortunately the announcing is in German.
In 1984: In what had to be the lamest Super Bowl ever played, the Los Angeles Raiders defeated the Washington Redskins 38-9 in XVIII. It sucked on so many levels. First, the game was held in the party stronghold of Tampa, Florida at the old Sombrero. Second, Barry Manilow sang the national anthem. And of course, the game was awful, as the Raiders ran to a 21-3 halftime lead on a blocked punt for a touchdown. Then, the Redskins’ Joe Theismann threw the worst pass in NFL history. He tossed a little swing pass only to realize in horror that the closest receiver, Jack Squirek, was wearing silver and black. Squirek was so alone he could’ve done the Worm into the end zone. In the second half, Marcus Allen ran roughshod over the ‘Skins on the way to a then-record 191 yard performance, including a signature 74-yarder in which he changed direction about 236 times. No word if he celebrated by nailing another famous player’s wife.
In 2006: Kobe Bryant of the L.A. Lakers scored 81 points against the Toronto Raptors. It was the second-highest total ever scored in an NBA game behind Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 in 1962. Bryant had 26 in the first half, then exploded for 27 in the third and 28 in the fourth quarter. He only took 46 shots (he was also 18-20 from the foul line). Bryant’s performance did help the lethargic (his words) Lakers rally from an 18-point deficit to win the game 122-104. While it never touched Wilt’s performance 44 years ago (Chamberlain wasn’t able to chuck up threes every 5 seconds), it should be noted that Bryant scored 1.9 points per minute played to Wilt’s 1.6 because Bryant spent six minutes on the bench.
In 1976: The Dallas Cowboys became the first Wild Card team to reach the Super Bowl with a 37-7 drubbing of the Los Angeles Rams on the road. Roger Staubach, who had tortured the Vikings the week before with a miracle Hail Mary pass in the final seconds, threw for four touchdown passes in the blowout victory. The Cowboys were unable to complete the dream, as they lost in the Super Bowl to Pittsburgh.
In 1981: What does Sportscolumnhave against the Cleveland Browns? Nothing really — but when the Daily History writer is from Pittsburgh, these things get mentioned. Another January Sunday, another Cleveland Browns colossal playoff failure. This time, Browns’ quarterback Brian Sipe, kicker Don Cockcroft and coach Sam Rutigliano did the honors as the Browns blew another one they could’ve had. The warm weather Oakland Raiders were greeted with minus 37 degree wind chills (and snow balls from the Cleveland fans). But it was the Browns who were frozen, as Cockcroft missed three field goals and an extra point and Sipe threw three interceptions in a 14-12 loss. Cleveland drove to the Raiders 13 yard line in the final minutes, but Rutigliano elected not to have Cockcroft kick the game-winner (he did make two earlier) and called the infamous Red Right 88 Sipe’s pass was intercepted by Mike Davis, and the Raiders went on to become the first Wild Card team to win a Super Bowl.
In 1980: President Jimmy Carter announced that the United States Olympic Team would be boycotting the Summer Games in Moscow later that year. In a highly criticized reaction to the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan a few months earlier, hundreds of American athletes were not allowed to compete in their only chance to win an Olympic medal. The Soviets responded by not boycotting the upcoming Lake Placid Winter Games (we’re thankful for that- there wouldn’t have been a ‘Miracle On Ice’) but instead by skipping the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. Both boycotts backfired, as the Soviets went unchallenged in 1980 and the U.S. had no competition in ’84. Really, it was just stupid, silly politics getting in the way of some great athletic contests. Carter wasn’t re-elected that year.
On Dec. 23, 1972: The Pittsburgh Steelers first-ever home playoff game ended with an absolute miracle. The Steelers were hosting the Oakland Raiders and had just fallen behind 7-6 with less than a minute left. On 4th and 10 at their own 40 yard line, Steelers’ quarterback Terry Bradshaw dropped back to pass but had nobody to throw to, so he just tossed the ball up for grabs. The ball reached Steelers’ back John Frenchy Fuqua and Raiders’ safety Jack Tatum at the exact same time. Tatum was too selfish to just knock the ball away, and was more concerned with knocking Fuqua out. The ball ricocheted away and the instant before it hit the turf, Steelers rookie fullback Franco Harris grabbed it and raced the rest of the way for a 60-yard touchdown, much to the shock of everyone inside Three Rivers Stadium. The Raiders and coach John Madden protested that the ball had touched Fuqua, which, according to rules at the time, would have made it an illegal catch because a pass was not allowed to touch two offensive players. The Immaculate Reception (the term was originally thought of by some fans at a bar after the gamenot by anyone on TV or in the newspaper) stood and has been called the greatest play in NFL history. (Shame on You Tube for pulling a video down of the original broadcast of the play, which debunked many myths about its illegality). The Steelers lost in the AFC title game the following week to Miami.
On Dec. 24, 1977: The Raiders were on the other end of a classic playoff game, this time beating the Baltimore Colts 37-31 in double overtime. The game see-sawed back and forth, with the Raiders methodically moving the ball and scoring while the Colts thrilled the home crowd with big plays, including a long interception return and a kickoff return for touchdowns. Both teams bogged down in the first overtime and couldn’t get into scoring position. In the second overtime, Oakland’s Ken Stabler found receiver Dave Casper in the end zone on the famous Ghost to the Post play, which was Casper’s third touchdown of the day. It was the third longest game in NFL history. Oakland lost to Denver the following week in the AFC Championship game.
On Dec. 25, 1971: It was a long Christmas in Kansas City, as the Chiefs and the Dolphins played the longest game in NFL history in the first round of the playoffs. The defending champion Chiefs and the upstart Dolphins traded scores on their way to a 24-24 deadlock at the end of regulation. As brilliant as the first 60 minutes were, the next 24 were just as sloppy. Each team’s kickers missed easy field goals that could have ended it. Only when Miami’s Garo Yupremian connected on a 37-yarder midway through the second overtime did it end. Miami went on to lose to Dallas in the Super Bowl.
Last night on the NFL Network pregame show, Adam Schefter reported that a “high-ranking Raiders official” informed him that Art Shell would be fired after the season. About half an hour later, the Raiders immediately issued a press release that refuted the report.
ADAM SCHEFTER HAS ALWAYS BEEN A FALSE RUMOR MONGERER WITH RESPECT TO THE RAIDERS AND ANTI-RAIDER BASED UPON HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH DENVER AND WITH MIKE SHANAHAN.
NO DECISIONS HAVE BEEN MADE RELATIVE TO THE 2007 OAKLAND RAIDERS NOR WILL THEY BE MADE FOR SOME TIME.
ADAM SCHEFTER COULD NOT HAVE GOTTEN HIS INFORMATION FROM A “RELIABLE SOURCE” BECAUSE THERE’S ONLY ONE RELIABLE SOURCE AND HE DOESN’T TRUST ADAM.
Shefter at halftime said that he sticks by his story and said that if Al Davis wanted to attack his credibility, all he had to do was say that Art Shell would be the coach of the Raiders next season but failed to do so.
And the press release probably was sent directly from Al Davis’ computer because it was typed in ALL CAPS. We get the feeling that a crotchety old Al Davis will keep Art Shell on next season just to spite Adam Schefter and his “bias”. Nevermind that Shell is absolutely wrong for the job and the Raiders will go 3-13 next year.
Are you having trouble deciding who to root for in the uber-hyped Game of the Century between Ohio State and Michigan this weekend? Well, maybe this will sway you in the direction of the Buckeyes.
Steve Snapp, associate athletics director for communications, turned down a ticket request from the band Nickelback.
“I told them, `Not that I don’t appreciate your music, but even if you were John Lennon and calling for four for the original Beatles, I couldn’t do it,'” Snapp said.
Actually, Nickelback, if it was anyone but you guys, he would have found some tickets. He simply has enough good taste to not allow the worst rock band in the history of the world to be in the stadium and mar such an exciting event. (Thanks to The Hater Nation)
In other news…
[Inside Bay Area]: Art Shell ponders, “Is Prozac in the substance abuse policy?”
[Yahoo]: Patriots pay 51 cents for the rights to Vinny Testeverde
[NY Post]: Is backing from Isiah Thomas a good or bad thing?
Last night, the MNF crew predicted that this video clip of Tyler Brayton kneeing Jerramy Stevens in the groin would be all over the blogs and news reports today. Surprisingly, it hasn’t been that big of a topic — perhaps because by the time the man foul happened, only 4 people were still watching.
Stephen Jackson will get off relatively scott free for his strip club shooting incident because his actions “appear to be on safe legal ground” but today it was announced that he will get another year of probation on the charges he faced for the brawl in Detroit. However, the extra year of probation has nothing to do with the shooting as no charges were filed in the incident. Meanwhile, an Indianapolis man was arrested in connection with the incident and Reggie Miller is ripping Pacers players for standing by Jackson.
You shouldn’t stand behind a player that is someone slapping you guys in the face during the middle of training camp being out at a strip club at 3 o’clock in the morning shooting it up like it’s the Wild, Wild West.
In other news…
[SFGate.com]: Art Shell says Walter will remain the starter until Aaron Brooks comes back
[Baltimore Sun]: Ravens team plane makes emergency landing. Ivy in stable condition with kidney tear