*Doogie McHowser & those Buckin' Froncos *
Just when you thought it was safe to step out from the shadow of one living legend to "Go West, young man," and replace another...
It seems like only yesterday that Doogie Howser-ish Denver head coach Josh McDaniels, ex-wunderkind offensive coordinator, late of New England - was basking in the fiery glow of his skyrocketing career. But within the first 48 hours of free agency, due to mishaps from every corner of Bronco Nation, it's beginning to look like that skyrocket has experienced a failure to launch. (Yep, that's a gratuitous Sarah Jessica-Parker AKA Carrie Bradshaw-slash-TERRY Bradshaw movie-reference. You're welcome.)
McDaniels, who's been on the job all of seven weeks, is already hip-deep in the Jay-Cutler-found-out-he-almost-got-traded-for-Matt-Cassel-and-cried-to-the-media-about-it Fiasco, which the following heartfelt scene effectively dramatizes:
EXT. JAY CUTLER'S GAZEBO – AFTERNOON
JAY CUTLER, fervently quilting doilies and fashioning a hat for his TEDDY BEAR, the one over there by the rose-petal tea-cozy, fumes…
JAY: How DARE they entertain trade offers for me! I led this team to EIGHT wins last year, only one of which was Hochuli'd in our favor! And another thing - I went to Vanderbilt! That's a WAY better school than 'SC! And anyway, the Trojans stole my Offensive Coordinator! I HATE THEM.
He picks up the TEDDY BEAR, outfitting it with the handcrafted hat and, now, nuzzles it close.
JAY: Look, Teddy – Jay-Jay made you a floppy tea-time bonnet! Oh yes he did! Oh yes he did! *Wittle Teddy would NEVER twy to twade Jay-Jay to another team. Oh no he wouldn't. Oh no he wouldn't. Who's-a-good boy…
We have no problem with Cutler feeling less than a mile high when it comes to his possible rocky end in Denver. No one likes to feel expendable or unwanted, fine. But, Jay, come on. Here, take this brown paper bag and breathe into it a couple times. And if your nose is still bent out of shape, stuff the bag in your mouth, at least when reporters are within ear-shot. This is not how you get your face on the Wheaties Box.
So, okay – McDaniels is already having a tough go of it, opening-days-of-free-agency-wise. CUT TO: Monday. Josh wakes up to the news that Bad-boy wideout (is there any other kind?) Brandon Marshall has been arrested on disorderly conduct charges, stemming from an early morning rumble in the jungle of Atlanta. This being Marshall's fourth arrest since March 2006, odds are pretty good that NFL VP in Charge of Overreach, Roger "I'll Show YOU!" Goodell, will offer up a lengthy suspension.
But that might not be the worst news for the Broncos Pro Bowl wideout. Reports out of Atlanta are that Marshall was released after 5 hours, having posted the $300 bond. Five hours. Five hours for an NFL player to post 300 bucks. * Just how bad IS this economy?! Those numbers scare me more than the plummeting Dow, and almost as much as Brenda Warner's hair, circa those yellower Ram unis. But I digress (and shudder at the memory)…
What had seemed like the best coaching job on the market – by *miles – has suddenly become the third leg of the trainwreck-stool perpetually steadied by Dallas and Oakland. McDaniels' front office is springing leaks, his Pro Bowl QB is demanding a trade (not with a bang but a whimper) and, perhaps most disturbing of all, his mercurial, young receiver just inched the team ever closer to the following, increasingly harrowing reality: "Jabar Gaffney, starting wideout."
The horror. The horror…
Roy Williams, "Strong Safety" (the "Jumbo Shrimp" of Pro Bowlers)
On Tuesday, Roy Williams, the Dallas strong safety – and we mean "strong" only in the "he can probably bench press more than me" sense – approached Cowboys' (mis)management, and inquired as to what his future holds. The obvious answer ("continued blown coverages") is likely not what he was looking for, nor, presumably, what he heard.
On Thursday, Williams got his wish – the Cowboys cut him. The Pro Bowler's agent, Jordan Woy, whose name points to his being born sometime during the hey-day of the Chicago Bulls to people with not-so-much-Asian as Asian-ish surnames, has been told that the market for his client is slow. "How slow?" one wonders. From the looks of it, well…let's put it this way:
If Roy Williams and "the-market-for-his-services" raced each other in the 40, it would be a plodding dead heat, and he'd only win if he took the market down with a horse-collar tackle, which, let's be honest, is an entirely plausible scenario. (Except for that whole "the-market-for-his-services running the 40" part.)
So for now, the former Cowboy awaits his Fate – ready, willing and able to get back on the gridiron in 2009, and continue taking terrible angles on the ball while making highlight-reel hits for whatever "Jacked Up!"/Top Plays nonsense The Worldwide Leader is dishing out that week.
Best of luck, Roy – give our regards to the totally undeserved hype!
Plaxico Caught with His Pants Down (A Retrospective)
On Wednesday, Jerry Reese, GM of "The New York FOOT. BALL. Giants" (Yo, Boomer! 'Sup?!) joined the ever-growing chorus of enablers, making it clear for all the world to see – NFLPA, this means you – that Plaxico Burress, Jersey's version of the Bad-boy wideout, may wind up welcomed back to the Meadowlands with open arms. (Given those "open arms," any guns on hand would, we guess, be tucked into one collective sweatpants-waistband, but, ya know, SECURED this time.)
For the uninitiated, senile or otherwise memory-challenged, a look back…
"Is that two guns and a pair of incriminating bloody sweatpants or are you just NOT AT ALL excited to see me?" authorities may have asked the suspended Burress upon searching his home this past December.
According to the pre-Christmas reports, in addition to the blood, sweats and (we can only assume) tears, the former Michigan Stater had in his possession a 9-millimeter handgun and a loaded rifle. What he reportedly didn't have in his possession? Permits. (That word you're looking for, #18, is "oops.")
Burress, whose wounds occurred at a club called the Latin Quarter, continues to limp around under the hilariously humiliating descriptor "still serving a team suspension for shooting himself," which apparently happened when he – quote – "fumbled a drink." (Note to Tiki: never pack heat at a cocktail party. Also, try not to be a total ass-hat when you're on televi – never mind. Baby steps.) But back to Plax…
Dude, we get not wanting to chuck the sweats for fear of legal repercussions. And apparently the cops already have the .40 Caliber Glock Antonio Pierce played "You're getting warmer" with. But why on EARTH were you keeping other guns – by which we mean other guns-without-permits – just lying about?
As for Jerry Reese's Wednesday announcement, it's hard to see how it constitutes anything but a moot point. You see, when it comes to gun crime, Michael Bloomberg, the tiny little mayor of the great Big Apple, has a real bee in his bonnet (TWO bonnet references in my first column – take THAT, Sports Guy!) and he's just achin' to make an example of Burris. ("Achin' to make an" – take THAT, Shakespeare!) Also, Bloomberg's a New England fan with a Napoleon complex (is there any other kind?) He's not gonna let this, or you, go.
So Jerry Reese can join Eli and anyone else in enabling yet another Bad-boy wideout, but, Plaxico, baby, odds are it'll take you turning yourself around – you know, with a real "Come to Jesus moment." And by "Jesus," we mean your cellmate. (Hint: It's not pronounced that way.)
- Did anyone tell Redskins owner Daniel Snyder that noted head-stomper and recent crazy-contract-getter Albert Haynesworth has appeared in more than 65% of his team's defensive snaps in exactly as many NFL seasons as my Mom & Dad combined?
- Also, Danny – that sound you heard on voice-mail Monday morning? The two hours of non-stop maniacal laughter? That wasn't DeAngelo Hall and his new contract calling. It was Karma.
- And finally…the recently released Terrell Owens. What's the over-under on the number of days before the 3-time-and-counting loser tells us that he – quote – "has no regrets" about his Dallas demise? Is this not the most irritating personality defect in contemporary life? The inclination of pro athletes, politicians, celebrities – even folks from the "Jerry Springer" set – to claim they "wouldn't do anything different?" Seriously? 'Cause it all ended really badly for you. It was a catastrophe. But that DUI, that profanity-laced tirade caught on tape (Hi, Ryan Leaf!), pulling a gun in a club and/or talking down your teammates – you'd "do it all over again." Got it. Congrats. I put T.O.'s "no regrets" over-under in hours, not days. Call it a lucky 13, and take the under.
- Oh, and one final T.O. take – it's kind of fun to harken back to that Monday Night game, when Owens scored a TD and did his little Sharpie routine? Let's picture him now, once more whipping that red pen out of his sock, but this time looking in every direction for a contract to sign. Frantically turning this way and that, every suitor scared off by his history of manic misbehavi – oh wait, I forgot. Oakland's still in the league. (I mean, ya know…technically.) T.O. won't be out of work long. Who knows – maybe the Dodgers can sign him to split time with Manny in Left. How great would THAT be? That's not a platoon. That's the next hit show for VH1.
John Cockrell is a screenwriter, whose other work has run the gamut from "Sesame Street Parents Magazine" to Playboy TV's "The Weekend Flash." (He figures everything else is pretty much in-between.)"