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Friday Out-Takes:Things that Make You Go 'Duh...'

Things that Make You Go "Duh..."

Recently, while scouring the series of tubes that indicted crank/ex-pol TED STEVENS no doubt refers to as "the interwebs," Out-Takes spotted the following headline: "Raiders teammates seem just fine with Marshall's benching." This got us thinking. Has the NFL offered up a more Onion-ish headline this year? More to the point, what retro reference can we exhaust to make this a truly gimmicky column? Enter: The guy who famously said his late-night show would "kick Jay's ass," only to end up with the gut-punchiest IMDB credit ever, "Flavor of Love 3 (2008) - Himself."

Back in the heady days of Harlem Nights and that "Straight Up!" video of former American Idol judge-slash-boozy trainwreck PAULA ABDUL, a young ARSENIO HALL managed to befriend legendary Laker MAGIC JOHNSON, their bond strengthened, we're guessing, by swapped war stories from the awkward talk show circuit. The Other Guy from Coming to America and his mildly successful program also inspired a signature "whoop-whoop" gesture and the presidential (or not) word-picture, "Bubba blowing Elvis on the Sax." Add to those highlights the commandeering of EDDIE MURPHY's coattails, a staunch, if questionable, advocacy for the "Hi-top fade" (it's a haircut, not a pass to RANDY MOSS), the miracle of making SINBAD seem cool by comparison, and it's a wonder this A-Hall found time for anything else. But find time for anything else he did (!), coming up with a one-line bit that pervaded the pop-culture with the staying power of a Ditka-sponsored Levitra overdose. Yes, decades later, "Things That Make You Go 'Hm...'" remains a late night comedy touchstone, if only as the standard-bearer of bygone catch-phrases once wildly popular, and now easily mocked. But it brings us, at long last, to the

point:

Of course JAMARCUS RUSSELL's teammates are fine with his benching! Why wouldn't they be? That powerful, erratic arm, the iffy attitude - the man's a garter-less NUKE LALOOSH. Meanwhile, according to one Raider running back, his replacement, BRUCE GRADKOWSKI, has "a passion" and "a love" for the game, not to mention an attention to detail, that JaMarcus, by insinuation, does not. What's more, Russell has led Oakland to yet another disastrous season, despite a glaring lack of LANE KIFFIN for Al Davis to pin it on! Honestly, at this point LOLA OUT-TAKES is better than the former # 1 overall pick out of LSU, and that's saying something since, even compared to other narcoleptic Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, her 40 time is for crap.

While the aforementioned headline (by the way, thanks, FLORIO-type flunky) was, as intended, amusingly dry, it was hard not to reflect upon the unintentional comedy stylings of reigning Super Bowl MVP JAMES HARRISON. It was he, you may recall, who refused to join his Steeler mates at President Obama's Rose Garden ceremony because, "as far as I'm concerned, he would've invited Arizona to the White House if they had won." (So true, James...so true.) Add it all up and how could Out-Takes not be inspired to present the following exercise in fictional headline writing and vast understatement? So without further ado - "Things That Make You Go 'Duh...'"

LARRY JOHNSON unlikely to receive Welcome Wagon basket from Cincy Junior League

MANGENIUS's career highpoint cemented: Tony Soprano shout-out at Vesuvios

MERRIMAN appears to regret interest in "pounding some Tequila"

It's possible OCHOCINCO would like your attention

BRUSCHI & HARRISON leap at chance to appear objective

DEION SANDERS thinks that feathered, purple hat is really "him"

And last but not least...

BOOMER & *NFL Countdown *Gang consider honeymooning between FAVRE's thighs

Blooper Reel

~ We believe MATT DILLON, in Cameron Crowe's underrated rom-com Singles, put it best: "For a lot of people, living alone is a nasty hang. Not for me. My music is all the juice I'll need. I'm a self-contained unit. I'm a solo artist." And so it is with Titan CHRIS JOHNSON. Following yet another stellar performance - this time in the white hot glare of Monday night - Tennessee's all-world RB laid claim to the title of undisputed Head Runner in Charge by channeling Dillon's grunge-rocking stoner, Cliff Poncier. Shoving aside his tag-team partner, the not-as-hefty-as-before-but-not-exactly-Olive-Oyl LENDALE WHITE, Johnson's declaration of independence (with a subtle side of "No Fat Chicks") went a little something like this:

"Smash and Dash have had a divorce - that's official. I have to be my own guy, so no more Smash and Dash, that was last year. I can't be noticed as a group any more. I am my own guy.''

That you are, Chris. You're also the NFL's best running back, Minnesota's AP included.

~ Will the party who had Cleveland-Detroit in our "Game of the Week" pool, please report to whatever bizarro, TIM BURTON-ish realm is vast enough to hold FORT KNOX times WARREN BUFFETT's wallet to the power of AVOGADRO'S NUMBER? Meanwhile, so much for dissing MATTHEW STAFFORD. The kid can play. (Even with a separated shoulder.)

~ When Ravens QB JOE FLACCO kicked off the year posting big numbers, everyone thought his promising rookie campaign was a case of "You ain't seen nothin' yet!" Well, according to the waning moments against Indy last Sunday, we have officially seen "nothin'," and it comes in the form of literally THE worst interception in Ravens franchise history. A Bledsoe-like (sorry, Drew) off-the-back-foot floater into red zone traffic, snatching defeat from the jaws of likely victory with less than five minutes to go. Against the Colts. (And you thought SIRAGUSA was ugly.)

~ So...Rams back-up QB KYLE BOLLER is dating canned (we don't mean fired) Miss California-cum-anti-gay-marriage activist and, according to the tapes, bestest member of the A / V club ever CARRIE PREJEAN? Who knew getting take-two at being a # 1 would be the second-biggest news of Boller's Thanksgiving week? Typically this time of year, we follow up "hot and spicy" with phrases like "Jalapeño Cornbread" and "Southwestern Chipotle Turkey," rather than "sex tape scandal," but hey, different strokes. (So to speak.)

In any case, Kyle, it's good to see you getting another shot. This could be just the push you need to make it all the way back. Failing that, maybe take a page from your girlfriend's book. Given what we've heard from her lately, it sounds like she's a real self-starter. Here's hoping you blow the top off the place this weekend, if for no other reason than making Carrie feel right at home.

~ Listening to REX RYAN after his (oddly still cocky) team's loss to the Patriots, did anyone else wonder how he'd choose to follow up last week's locker room waterworks? Would it be...getting the hiccups? Asthma? An old-school case of the mumps? Nope, he went the more traditional PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE WHINING route. (Just one more thing that makes him the NFL head coach most like his fan-base.) Hey, Cry-annosaurus Rex, maybe a little less "I did feel a bit disrespected" and a little more "I'm grateful the crowd didn't start a "KISS. THE. RINGS." chant.

~ While one hopes Jets DB DONALD STRICKLAND is no longer concussed from Left Tackle MARK LEVOIR's monstrous, blind-side smack-down, on some level one hopes he is. How else to explain his asinine comments following New England's drubbing of everyone's favorite bunch of baselessly mouthy pussycats? According to the Newark Star-Ledger, Strickland "guarantee[s] you the next time we play...it's going to be a different story. I'm making a point of emphasis to retaliate.'' (Got that, Commissioner Goodell?)

Listen, we understand the frustration, especially given all the chirping Gang Green did over the off-season, and before-during-and-after their whopping 16-9 defeat of the Welker-less Pats earlier this year. (Oh riiiiiiight, who could forget - it was their "Super Bowl.") But how exactly is the Jets's 6th-best DB going to "retaliate" against the Pats third-string Left Tackle? Especially considering YOU DON'T EVEN PLAY EACH OTHER AGAIN THIS YEAR. By the way, for those who have yet to see the footage of Levoir's colossal ear-holing, feel free to stop by. We've got it projected on a loop, over and over in HD slo-mo, and, trust us, that is one hilarious entire-wall-of-our-living-room you don't want to miss. (Psst...Donald - look out! Incoming!!!)

~ In the seventh week of FRIDAY OUT-TAKES, we took a look at the NFL schedule, including:

Week 12: Aptly named Turkey Week. One Google Generation compound word of advice: NetFlix.

Given yesterday's trio of blow-outs, here's hoping you had Star Trek or Funny People or whatever in the queue. Frankly, we would've settled for Paul Blart: Mall Cop.

And finally...

Out-Takes won't pretend we're the first to acknowledge the 25th anniversary of the Hail Mary heave from Natick's Own™ DOUG FLUTIE to GERARD "Did you know they were roommates?!" PHELAN. Frankly, we're pretty sure we're the last to do so. We just wanted to get it down, all official-like, that we were watching the game "live" with Best Friend Out-Takes while getting trash-talked to death by an older, Flutie-hating friend, who got in our faces with a gleeful, "Ohhhhh, Bernie Bro!!!" after Kosar's seemingly game-winning TD drive. The set-up for those miraculous, last six ticks and a play called Flood Tip, in other words, could not have been more perfect. The trash-talker dashing in from his kitchen, shell-shocked to find two teens celebrating, tables turned-style, remains to this day one of the most vivid, sweet memories of our youth.

So here's to you, 22, and to you, Best Friend Tim Out-Takes and, of course, to you, Flutie-hater and your legion of fellow travelers. BC-Miami '84 was a long way off from the cornucopia of the Snow Game and the night RICKY PROEHL only kind of got it right in declaring, "a dynasty is born!" A long way off from the bloody sock and "Why Not Us?" and the back-to-back Lombardis of '03 and '04. The oasis of Flutie-to-Phelan - one year shy of getting Super Bowl shuffled, 46-10, and two years shy of a brutal Game 6 - was a Wonder Years moment for many of us; a moment to look back on, and forward from, in light of all that's come since, with the spirit of Thanksgiving.* *

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.)

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