Roger and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Play
Lost in the shuffle of a more prominent announcement - that the NFL is considering additional regular season games for its "Backpacking Through Europe 2010!" tour - this week a Super Bowl trial balloon led to another "Whatchoo Talkin' 'bout, Roger?" Moment.
Dear Commissioner Goodell,
What color is the sky in your world? Is it a deep navy, silvered with the moonlit shimmer of an autumn-in-New England eve? A powdery blue, stretching toward the cornhusk horizon on a crisp Nebraska dawn? A peaceful white, blending with the winter snowfall that bends the boughs of Central Park? Or is it the drizzling gray - sorry, "grey" - of Britain, its skyline matched, dreary-for-dreary, by the cobble-stoned streets of London? These are the questions I've been asking myself ever since a trial balloon, leaden as it may be, gathered steam, resulting in the following headline, courtesy of Yahoo! Sports: "SUPER BOWL COULD BE PLAYED IN LONDON BY 2014"
Listen, kudos on the annual regular season game played in front of jam-packed Wembley Stadium crowds but, Roger, methinks you may be a little too focused on "selling out." A game here and there is, I suppose, fine. (Certainly not in the same league of foolish ideas as, say, spreading the draft over four days and kicking it off on a Thursday opposite "Lost.") But when word leaks that the NFL has quietly assured the London Mayor's office that they'll be exporting the biggest sporting event in America, a quasi-national holiday, to the UK in 2014...that's a different kettle o' fish.
The next move from the big wigs at the league office will be to make the little guy believe that we simply don't have the foresight to appreciate what a swell idea this is; that the magical aspects of personality we lack - moxie, know-how, vision - explain why we're on the couch, double-fisting Cool Ranch, while all those Masters of the Universe continue to manifest their billion-dollar destinies. We'll hear lots about "globalization" and "opening up revenue streams"; you'll tell us it's a win-win-win-win - players, ownership, fans, AMERICA. "This," you'll preach with a pat on the head, "represents The Next Step, the new frontier spirit that's made our country great!"
Far be it from me to get overly jingoistic and/or provincial about such matters. I'm all for the expansion of ideas and fan-bases, I'm pro-"growing the game," and when it comes to increasing revenue, put me solidly in the "let's!" category. But enough is enough. I mean, maybe it's just me, but here's our answer, Mr. Goodell: "No." (That's the short version.) "Hell No." (That's the semi-polite version.) "Hell no, you won't go." (That's the homage to the 60's version.)
Perhaps you haven't heard, sir, but this country kinda likes its traditions and, furthermore, whichever American city would be in line for a Super Bowl that year - New Orleans, L.A., Tempe, Tampa - could probably use the stimulus, even five years from now. (By the way, Detroit just called. They want in, too. They may not have cars by 2014 so it'd be a real pick-me-up if hoofing it became a viable option.)
Look, you deserve some credit for thinking outside the box, but kindly get back in, and tell the Brits that, while we're glad they like our sport, while we welcome them to the cheering section - and their "football" players to our place-kicker tryouts - I've got a couple extra letters to go with the U and the K. Here's hoping that in the next few weeks/months/lifetimes this silliness gets put to bed and, come 2014, we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief that the Super Bowl, made in the U.S.A., stayed in the U.S.A.
Out-Takes & Corduroy Pillows - they're making headlines!
Recently, Out-Takes referenced the Carolina Panthers' baffling decision to offer a long-term extension to quarterback JAKE "What's Creole for '5 picks in a playoff game?'" DELHOMME. If grade school math taught us anything - and, granted, that's up for debate - five is twice as many as two, and then some. Anyway, it got us thinking - what other NFL headlines could possibly go toe-to-toe with "Delhomme Gets Extension," nutso-for-nutso?
Brady posts record 40 time
Singletary Loses Staring Contest
Polian Sits Quietly in Press Box
Bengals on the Straight-and-Narrow
Strahan Visits Dentist
Lawrence Phillips Receives "World's Best Boyfriend" Mug
Matt Light Sobe Ad Fails to Elicit Cringe
Ryan Leaf, Media Darling
Fireman Ed Voted Favorite Anything
Dawg Pound Goes Gluten-Free
Dillon Named Miss Congeniality
Pacman Swears Off Strip Clubs
Andre Smith Fast
Andre Smith Fasts
~ On Wednesday JASON TAYLOR blew up the old adage "You can't go home again" and added the descriptor "once and future" to his reclaimed Dolphin-hood. Taylor re-signing with Miami was newsworthy on a number of levels, but was perhaps most notable for making the ironically nicknamed John "The Professor" Clayton, who predicted this outcome earlier in the week, appear savvy and prescient. (What's next, Keanu perfecting an accent? A clutch post-season hit from A*Roid? An Emmy for Emmitt?) Sounds like someone's hearing Adam Schefter's footsteps, not to mention those moving trucks, closing in on Bristol...
~ The latest chapter in the saga of BRETT FAVRE - aka Roger Clemens minus the steroid charge and the massive denial (but with extra annoying!) - centers on shoulder X-rays and the Minnesota Vikings. In less than three months, Vikes owner ZYGI WILF, whose name sounds like a race between a Japanese game show and an awesome Scrabble word, has downshifted from "no way" to "no* comment*" on the chances of landing the oscillating fan of NFL QBs. Stay tuned. Or don't. Either way, the Favre drama continues...
~ THE FAVRE DRAMA CONTINUES. (See?) According to *Minneapolis Star-Tribune *writer JUDD ZULGAD, "the twists and turns make you feel like you're on a ship and the waters aren't exactly settled." (Fill in own "Love Boat Scandal" joke here.) By the way - "Judd Zulgad?" What is up with Minnesota and its Scrabble-worthy white pages? Must be something in the unsettled waters.
~ Uber-agent DREW ROSENHAUS - or as we like to call him, "Chubby Calipari" (Caliportly?) - has made the jump to Twitter, which, on a purely existential level, represents one step beyond the Twit he was a week ago. (I know - too easy. Had to do it.) Filing near constant, 140-characters-or-less updates on his vast stable of clients, Rosenhaus has fully embraced the technology du jour, not to mention a writing style perfected by high school sophomores everywhere. The sheer exclamatory élan of phrases like "Coach Tomlin told me..." and "expects to have a monster year!" and "he likes Coach Ryan's style!" suggests there's more Rosenhaus to come...
~ MORE ROSENHAUS! (See?) Prior to the draft, in an apparent bid to go "all in" on that whole Patriots Way thing, Scott Pioli's Kansas City Chiefs signed yet another old linebacker, catching in their net former Dolphin, late of Dallas, ZACH THOMAS, a Rosenhaus client. ("Zach is happy to be playing middle linebacker again!") Call him a "high-motor guy" or a "film-room rat" or a player with "tons of want-to!" Even call him "a Pro Bowl David Eckstein" - 'though that one, frankly, isn't even close to fair. In any case, Out-Takes likes this move.
If the Chiefs have anything, it's youth on defense and time to build. Adding a Zach Thomas to the Ego that landed in MIKE VRABEL (we kid because we love) should help establish an SOP in KC that can only help, on and off the field. If those in the Kansas City front-office "kitchen" can stand the heat - "The average age of your linebacking corps is dating Betty White!" - odds are they'll be vindicated by young playmakers like DERRICK JOHNSON, who will likely flourish by Osmosis. (Just keep his eyes off Monty Beisel's work.)
Goin' (Big) Easy on New Orleans
After starting with a story that got lost in the shuffle, we end with one, as well. (Out- Takes and symmetry are, as Brad Childress would put it, "Besties!!! OMG!!!")
Shortly after the draft, the New Orleans Saints announced that they're staying put through 2025. According to Kenneth the Page-ish GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL - who showed that you, too, can go from rising star to laughingstock in 10 short minutes. All you need is a spot-on Mr. Rogers, an antebellum backdrop and a tough act to follow - the new deal will save Louisiana tax-payers nearly 300 mill over the old one. More importantly, it'll reward a fan-base and populace that deserves as much good news as we can shovel their way.
THE PEOPLE OF NEW ORLEANS have taken enough hits in recent years. The least Fate can hand them is the chance to watch their beloved Saints dole out a few of their own. So, congrats! (Now. Which one of you ladies wants these beads?)
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.)"