Unprofessional Thoughts

RaiderPower's own Trent Wycoff takes a lighthearted look at professional sports and the big stories happening this week around the NFL.

Maddenism -  There is no Maddenism this week, because unfortunately, there was no Madden and no Sunday night game.  I know; I was just as sad as you guys.  However, during the Washington/Indianapolis game, one of the announcers made a reference to "Fitty Cent."  And yes, he said "fitty."  The conversation that followed was quite possibly the most awkward moment between announcers in history, which digressed into one of them confusing a touchdown with a first down and an eventual discussion of whether 2pac was pronounced "Tupock" or "Tupack."  For me, this was the pinnacle of NFL commentary for this week, but it's just not the same without Madden.  John's bumbling, stuttering incoherence returns for the Cowboys/Panthers game next Sunday, so we have that to look forward to.  And...and...and...it's gonna...gonna...gonna be fun.

Matt Bryant kicks ace - Tampa Bay's kicker made the third-longest field goal in the history of the NFL to win the game for the Buccaneers.  Bryant had three FGs in the game.  However, he may not even deserve the game ball for that effort.  Ronde Barber had not one, but two interceptions that he returned for touchdowns in the game.  Barber's effort kept Tampa Bay in the game despite the struggles of their offense.  Furthermore, the Gradkowski > Simms theory continues to hold, as the Bucs are 2-1 under Bruce and 0-3 under Chris.  Also of note in this game was Donovan McNabb puking between plays, which raises the question of whether or not someone slipped a mickey into his Campbell's Chunky soup.  Mama McNabb needs to keep a closer eye on things.  I suspect that dastardly T.O. for the crime against his former teammate.  He knows his drugs.

The MLB is not my bag - I don't really enjoy baseball, and I remembered why during a pregame John Mellencamp "show."  First of all, the old fogey is late showing up, which results in a minute or two of uncomfortable silence, and then the song he plays is lame.  Also, I swear I saw John pulling a Ashlee Simpson-esque lip-sync.  Okay, so none of this is baseball's fault.  The strike was baseball's fault.  The Yankees were baseball's fault.  Tainted records were baseball's fault.  And that is how the sport lost me.  If you ask me, the pinnacle of the MLB was when Nolan Ryan put Robin Ventura in a headlock and started punching him in the head.  Ever since then, it's gone downhill.  Still, I found myself watching this World Series game because NBC decided to not have a football game on Sunday, and the USF-Cincinnati high school game did not intrigue me.  Thanks, NBC.

Shawne Merriman should play baseball - Merriman tested positive for steroids.  Yay for honest competition.  Mr. "lights out" will be in the dark, so to say, for the next few games.  The Chargers might as well change their name to the "charges" to at least parallel what is going on with their team off the field.  Steve Foley was shot by the cops last month, and former Fightin' Texas Aggie Terrence Kiel has apparently been "sippin' on some sizzurp."  Actually, shippin' would be the more accurate term, considering he is being brought up on charges of distributing a controlled substance.  That's cough syrup, for those of you not familiar with the old school rap scene.  You can redeem yourself if you know how to pronounce Tupac.  As for the Chargers' crimes, that's what San Diego gets for doing something as ridiculous as cutting Wes Welker.  Karma 1, Chargers 0. 

Chad Johnson catches my attention - Chad Johnson is one of the few players who celebrates often that I don't hate.  Other than looking like Wesley Snipes when he played a criminal, I have nothing against CJ.  There's a difference between the "look at me" Terrell Owens nonsense and a player like Johnson or Steve Smith, who are just having fun.  This is evidenced by Chad's comments after today's game.  In the postgame, he thanked his coaches for trusting him to make a key 4th down catch on the final drive, and stated his compliance with the coaching staff's wishes that he tone down his showmanship.  Johnson and Smith both had good games against each other today, but it was CJ that got the win.  It's all about the team, and Johnson and Smith seem to understand and appreciate that, even though they are both the biggest weapons on their respective teams.

Morten Anderson has a awesome facemask - The old guy is still keeping it real with the 2-bar look.  I'm trying to decide if this is more awesome than the 1-bar face mask.  Remember those little plastic helmets next to the candy machines from the early '90s?  Well, those things are on par with the protection technology of Morten's helmet, except in a slightly smaller scale.  Anderson should just bust out the leather helmet next game.  I know he has one somewhere.  I wonder if he spends his time on the sidelines trying to figure out what this new fangled "forward pass" is that everyone keeps referring to.  Still, at least Morton believes in helmets.  *cough* Roethlisberger *cough*  Speaking of Big Ben, he suffered a head injury today.  At this point, the only human body part taking more punishment than Roethlisberger's skull is Paris Hilton's happy place. 

ATL/PIT Shootout - Well, this was a fun one.  The Falcons pulled a surprise onside kick, which I thought would be the highlight of the game.  Then, the Falcons and Steelers kept exchanging scores, and it became one of the better NFL games that I have seen in a while.  It looked like Atlanta was going to win on a long FG near the end of regulation.  However, after three attempts, the Falcons failed to convert.  Then, the Steelers had their chance, as they got in range to attempt a long FG of their own.  Unfortunately, a false start ruined their chance and sent the game into overtime to be decided by the dumb NFL OT rules.  Seriously, the winner of the coin toss has a huge advantage, and the game can end in a tie.  How lame is that?  An otherwise great game ended in anti-climactic fashion with a chip-shot FG and the Steeler offense never took the field.  Hooray.

Everybody hates T.O. - It's been a great week, partly because everyone is so sick of T.O. that they are abandoning the political correctness that dominates the football world.  Charles Barkley solidified his status as the best announcer ever by saying that if he was Owens' teammate, he would "hit him in his head."  Then, during the Georgia Tech game, one of the announcers burned Owens in a comparison to Calvin Johnson.  Add in LaVar Arrington's refusal to acknowledge Owens as the Cowboys' threat receiver and giving Terry Glenn credit instead, and I am very pleased.  The only way this could get better is if Terrell drops a pass in the end zone that loses the Cowboys the game and breaks his leg in the temper tantrum that follows.  Then, he starts a fight with a Miami Hurricanes player which ends in T.O. being stabbed and the 'Canes player being thrown back in prison.

Marvin Harrison is a role model - Harrison is the guy that should get the media coverage that is instead wasted on an idiot like Owens.  Not only is Marvin quite possibly the best receiver in the league, he is one of the best people as well.  Try and find a time when Marvin Harrison was whining about not getting the ball enough, or doing a ridiculous celebration in the end zone, or calling out his teammates when they struggle.  Harrison is the type of guy who makes everyone around him better, and is a guy you can't help but like.  Outside of Wes Welker, who played well despite being injured today, Marvin is probably my favorite NFL player.  On a slightly related note, during the Colts' game against the Redskins Sunday, I learned that former Red Raider Montae Reagor is recovering from minor injuries suffered in a car accident, so my prayers are with him this week.

NY Infinitesimals vs. Dallas Cowgirls - Tonight's MNF game is already the Tiki/T.O. show.  One of them is supposedly retiring soon, and the other is someone we all wish would retire.  If the Cowboys were smart and not under the tyranny of The Cryptkeeper, then they would show up to the game wearing Texas Tech jerseys.  If they were to employ this ingenious tactic, Eli Manning would most likely wet his pants and cry.  That is basically the synopsis of what happened in 2002 and 2003 against our Red Raiders.  Here's what I'm wondering.  I don't even think Ole Miss fans would dispute that Eli was outplayed by TTU QBs in both of those games.  Yet Symons and Kingsbury were labeled system guys and had limited chances in the NFL, and Eli gets drafted #1 and is handed a starting job.  What's in a name?  Apparently better opportunities and a few million dollars.


-Trent Wycoff

(Questions, comments, praise, and constructive criticism can be directed to Trent within the forums or through email at trent@raiderpower.com

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