The Justice Files

What do you think A.J. Smith's favorite early 80's song is, "Don't Pay The Merriman" by Chris DeBurgh? Yeah ,me too. I took a road trip to Philadelphia this week for the Springsteen show and am happy to report that there are oversized Chargers hats on the rough streets. It's refreshing to know that we've become "thug-worthy." . . . . . WARNING: Strong language

On my way past Lincoln Financial Field, I gave the bird and screamed out "T.O. is a bitch!" almost as a reflex.

I'm still not sure if I will attend the game there in October. Sam cannot STAND Eagles fans, especially in their own habitat. As he aptly put it during the Super Bowl, "I just cannot understand supporting a team that pretends to flap its wings and they're being serious about it."

The more I read about Shawne Merriman, the more I like him. I'm still not convinced that it's necessary for him to skip minicamp. I understand him not wanting to risk injury after pulling himself out of poverty and all, but going from rags to riches doesn't justify being an asshole.

See: Terrell Owens.

It seems like both The Organization and The Poston brothers have made their stance even if they might not have been prepared to defend it to this degree. I like A.J. Smith's attempt to preserve the team concept.

I also respect Antonio Gates, who is clearly playing under a bargain basement contact, for joining Steve Foley in calling Merriman out. I don't think this standoff will leave any lasting marks nor do I think that this is like the holdouts of Tomlinson, Jammer and Rivers.

Speaking of my favorite target (as well the favorite of all 32 NFL offenses), I found this snippet on QJ in Pro Football Weekly. In their analysis of the '02 draftees, they described Jammer thusly: "Imposes his will on receivers, but lacks great quickness and gets beat by double-moves too often. Struggles matching up with speed and appears to lose confidence at times. Would like to see more hits on the ball. A starter with limitations. Conversion to safety could come sooner than later." Does that characterization seem that far-fetched?

Does that sound like a player taken at #5, with a subsequent holdout and big contract to boot? I'd answer no on both counts.

My friends joke that I am the only person who subscribes to PFW that isn't a compulsive gambler. But it's always filled with little nuggets of information and insight. For instance, did you know that beginning with our Monday Night game against the Steelers, four of our next five opponents will be coming off a bye and three of those are road games?

The USA Today's Sports Weekly predicts that we won't go 12-4 again, but still win the division. I could certainly live with that. I'm sure you could too. It won't be easy. I keep reading these pieces on Courtney VanBuren being this year's Fonoti and reviving his career. I sure hope so, although Pine Bluff isn't exactly the University of Nebraska.

Hudson Houck did a great job with the line all season, but they were clearly pushed around in the Jets game. I'm glad that we drafted some depth up there.

A lot has also been written lately about Drew Brees' record against playoff teams last season. But that stat applies to the entire team, doesn't it? The Bolts won't be playing a last-place schedule this season-quite the contrary. This is why The Organization is making Brees prove himself one more time before making a final decision at quarterback.

I think we should be more concerned with Marty's record (and conduct) during the playoffs throughout his career.

I am happy to report that FOX has brought back "Arrested Development" for another season. I urge you to check out the second season in reruns this summer.

Between the Star Wars geeks and the Yankees/Mets games at Shea, Manhattan is turning into a circus. I'm sure it won't surprise you to find out that I'm a Mets fan. And yes, I am going to see "Revenge of the Sith" this weekend.

In closing, I'd like to dedicate this week's "Justice Files" to the late Frank Gorshin. We all know him as "The Riddler," but he apparently did a great job playing George Burns on Broadway not so long ago.

In the words of The Boss, ‘at the end of every hard-earned day people find some reason to believe.'


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