With Super Bowl XLV approaching (albeit not nearly fast enough), Cowboys Stadium aka “Jerry’s World” is getting quite a bit of attention. According to the Dallas Morning News, however, all the wrong kind of attention this morning.
They report that a suspicious package was thrown out of a vehicle near Cowboys Stadium and the stadium has since been on “lockdown”. Police and fire officials, as well as a SWAT Team, hazardous materials crew, and bomb squad were dispatched to the stadium just before 8 a.m.
According to the story, witnesses say that a package was thrown out of a moving car into the street between the stadium and a Wal-Mart and the package fell down a drain in the median. A bomb technician is said to be examining it and, for now, the nearby streets are closed and security around the area has been increased.
For everyone’s sake, we just hope this was a stupid prank and that nothing dangerous is going on. No one wants or needs any security threats surrounding the biggest sporting event in America.
Steelers rookie Center Maurkice Pouncey had an incredible first season in the NFL. Not only did he earn a Pro Bowl bid, but he helped to stabilize a shaky Steeler offensive line and is headed to the Super Bowl in his rookie season. Unfortunately for Pouncey and the Steelers, he went down with an apparent ankle injury during the AFC Championship game against the Jets. At the time, it was thought that he suffered a sprained ankle.
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette, Pouncey also has a broken bone in his left ankle along with the high ankle sprain. This is a tremendous blow for the Steelers as he is now considered “highly doubtful” for Super Bowl XLV. Pouncey didn’t miss a game this season and despite going out in the first quarter of the AFC Championship game, the Steelers were hopeful that he would be able to recover during the 2 week layoff leading up to the Super Bowl.
The Steelers are publicly saying that he hasn’t been ruled out for the Super Bowl, but players have already indicated that he will likely not be able to play. According to the Post-Gazzette, Chris Kemoeatu told reporters earlier this week that Pouncey would not be playing in the Super Bowl. He then backed off those comments presumably after being talked to by Steelers brass.
For the Steelers, the biggest question beyond Big Ben’s suspension for the first 4 games of the season has always been if their O-line could hold up. They don’t have a strong line by NFL standards to begin with and they have suffered injuries which have caused them to shuffle players around all season. Despite the line’s inconsistency, the one anchor this season had been Pouncey. Losing him presents significant problems for the Steelers against Green Bay.
The first and “biggest” challenge is B.J. Raji. Raji is an underrated player at Nose Tackle for the Packers and even though he can take up space, he’s not the traditional “Space Eating” 3-4 NT like Gilbert Brown. Raji is athletic and can rush the passer and even drop back into coverage as we saw against the Bears. Raji is a handful for any NFL center, let alone a backup who has seen limited time this season.
Secondarily, the Packers have an extremely underrated defense and very complex blitz schemes. Dom Capers has transformed the Packers defense into one of the league’s best and Clay Matthews and company will present serious concerns for the Steelers offensive line. Pouncey is responsible for all the line calls and losing your starting Center who is the “quarterback of the o-line” is never a good thing. Obviously, Roethlisberger has a unique ability to get away from pressure, but the Steelers o-line’s ability to hold up against the Packers rush will play a huge part in this game.
Two weeks is a long time and medical staff’s can do an awful lot in that period of time. Ben Roethlisberger just recently played with a broken bone in his foot and it’s still possible that Pouncey will give it a go. Either way, even if he’s able to play, he will certainly be far from 100% and it will impact the game.
Detroit Lions rarely heard of linebacker, Zack Follett made some news yesterday due to an interview he did where he referred to his QB as a “China Doll”. Matthew Stafford has been plagued by injuries so far in his short career which lead to these comments by Follett.
I guess he got enough heat from the local media and fans that he felt compelled to respond with a video on his facebook page. Of course, he tells us that the comments were “taken out of context” and tells us how he praised his QB later on in the interview and never questioned his toughness. Ok, that can be expected.
But the real reason behind the comments and ensuing backlash was Satan. Yup… not too long ago we heard Stevie Johnson blame God for his TD drop and now Zack Follett is blaming Satan for the backlash he received when referring to his star QB as a “China Doll”.
Look, I don’t begrudge anyone their religious beliefs, but c’mon son! Really? Satan? He also goes on to babble about Satan sending women to lure him and that God helped him defeat lust… Ok Zack. They say you have to be a little crazy to play in the NFL… so this guy should have a long, long career!
Here is the Zack Follett Response/Rant/Sermon
Up until the sex-scandal involving dozens of porn stars and other women, leading to the media firestorm surrounding the former world #1, Tiger Woods was one of the most uninteresting and dry athletes off the course, court, field, ice, whatever. You could say that Tiger has no personality or sense of humor and that wouldn’t be close to accurate enough to describe him.
But perhaps this personal crisis has allowed him to loosen up a little bit and maybe because he’s no longer the world’s #1 or even #2, he doesn’t feel like he’s under quite as much pressure. Amazingly, Tiger Woods not only used his Twitter account… he not only responded to a fan, but he cracked a joke! Not to mention, he knew about the Dave Chappelle “Racial Draft” skit and apparently liked it!
Here is the twitter exchange:
I almost fell out of my chair to actually see Tiger respond to a fan and to make a pretty funny joke! I’m extremely impressed with his knowledge of the Chappelle Show…
Here is the original skit. This is the best version I could find:
Just a couple weeks removed from referring to Patriots QB Tom Brady as an A-Hole and following the Jets elimination from the playoffs at the hands of the Steelers, Antonio Cromartie is back at it once again. According to the New York Times, Cromartie had this to say about the current CBA negotiations:
“You’ve got our head union reps acting like an (expletive), and they got their guys acting like them (expletive).”
“They need to get their (expletive) together and get it done.”
“You don’t get no information about nothing from the union or owners. To tell you the truth, they need to get their minds together and get this (expletive) done and stop complaining about money. Money ain’t nothing.”
Despite his comments about money being “nothing”, Cromartie also said, “you’re basically dealing with people’s livelihoods.”
Look, I agree with him that both sides need to stop with the public negotiations and posturing and get this done, but Cromartie really needs to think about staying quiet for a while. Not only did he run his mouth incessantly about Tom Brady and Hines Ward, but now he’s calling out the people who represent his best interests in the CBA negotiations.
Cromartie will be a free agent next season and there has been much speculation over whether the Jets will attempt to re-sign him. I was personally shocked that they signed him in the first place given his awful and embarassing performance against the Jets in last year’s playoff game. Many believe the Jets will make a move for Nnamdi Asomugha which would make Cromartie expendable.
Now that the Super Bowl teams are set, Packers and Steelers fans are able to start buying tickets and grabbing up hotel rooms, if they haven’t already done so. Even though the Super Bowl has become mostly a corporate event rather than a pure football game for the fans, some fans still pay the exorbitant prices just to be a part of the spectacular experience.
The Super Bowl has long been associated with ridiculous prices from the actual tickets to the game, the hotel rooms, the commercial spots, the memorabilia, etc. I’m sure parking has not been cheap in previous Super Bowls, but I can honestly say that I’ve never heard of this type of price for game day parking.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that some parking lots close to Cowboys Stadium are asking nearly $1,000 for prime spots. They also indicated that those hotels I mentioned are going for roughly 4 times their normal value for the days leading up to the Super Bowl.
One parking lot, ParkWhiz has reportedly priced it’s reserve spots at $990 for spots that are officially listed at $140. But why are the prices so ridiculous? Other than the fact that it’s the Super Bowl and some people will spare no expense on this day, especially some of those corporate attendees, the official stadium parking is more than a mile away.
I don’t consider myself a lazy person and I don’t mind walking at all, but a mile away for official stadium parking is a bit ridiculous. Not nearly as ridiculous though, as the near $1,000 price tag on spots closer to the stadium.
So, let’s just price out what it would cost the average fan to go to the Super Bowl.
Airfare (Obviously, depends on where you’re flying from, but lets just say Ohio): $750 per person at the very least.
Hotel: According to this report, $75/night hotel rooms are going for $500.
Tickets: The cheapest tickets available per this report are $2,600 apiece ranging all the way up $16,000.
So not even counting meals, drinks, taxis, merchandise, etc. an average fan, getting the absolute bottom tier tickets, hotel, airfare and walking the mile to stadium is paying nearly $4,000 per person to attend the game.
And the NFL says this game is all about the fans? Please… I believe that about as much as I believe Goodell’s preachings on player safety.
B.J. Raji had one of the most athletic and incredible plays for a nose tackle perhaps in NFL post-season history. But that was the least impressive thing he did in this video. The big man “listed” at 340 pounds, who is probably closer to 4 bills than 3, picked the Bears QB, Hanie off and returned it all of about 9 yards for a TD.
The ensuing TD dance is legendary. Raji shows off some great dance moves and then flashes his championship belt. Of course, I remixed it a bit to spice it up…
Take a look:
News came out yesterday that Carson Palmer has requested a trade from the Cincinnati Bengals and if the team doesn’t comply he will consider retirement. I don’t believe Palmer would actually retire, but it’s the only leverage he has since he’s under contract. The only way the Bengals would feel compelled to trade him is if there is a threat that he can walk away from the game and they would lose out on any compensation.
Palmer was once considered one of the brightest NFL stars and he was quickly rising to top of the QB heap. Then he was hit by Kimo von Oelhoffen which blew his knee up and he hasn’t been the same ever since. I don’t personally put it all on Carson although he has been putrid because he happens to play for one of the top 5 most dysfunctional NFL franchises in my opinion.
But he has been awful and there is no sign that he will be able to get his career back on track with the Bengals, so I actually think a change of scenery would benefit both Carson and the Bengals. So with that being said, where are the best landing spots for the once great QB?
These are based on my opinion only and I have not heard anything regarding interest for either side. But I do believe that each of these spots would love to get their hands on Palmer and I think Palmer would love to play for each of these teams to a varying degree.
3. Arizona Cardinals:
The Cardinals have perhaps the worst QB situation in the NFL and despite being only a couple years removed from a near Super Bowl victory, their QB play was awful this season that they were one of the worst teams in the league. The offense, with even a competent QB, could be devastating with weapons like Larry Fitzgerald (who, oh by the way is about to be a free agent and the Cardinals need to make a move in order to keep him) and others.
The Cardinals, with even marginal QB play could have easily won the awful NFC West after we watched the Seahawks win the division with a 7-9 record. Carson Palmer may never again be an elite NFL QB, but what better opportunity for him than with one of the top 3 WR’s in the NFL, in a weak division, and with an offensive minded coach? I truly believe Palmer could thrive in Arizona with the offensive weapons that are in place.
2. Minnesota Vikings:
The Vikings put their entire hopes for success on Brett Favre for the last two seasons and after failing miserably, it ultimately cost Brad Childress his job. They were one awful Brett Favre pass away from the Super Bowl last season and the team is stacked on both sides of the ball. Childress unthinkably went into the season with absolutely no contingency plan should Favre get hurt or fail and it ultimately ruined the Vikings hopes of even competing for a division title, let alone making a Super Bowl run.
This team is absolutely stacked on offense with Adrian Peterson, Sidney Rice, Percy Harvin, and Visanthe Shiancoe. The defense, barring all the Favre turnovers, was still a top defense in the league. With reasonable QB play, this team could make a serious run for the Super Bowl. Again, it’s a great situation for Palmer as well to revamp his career with all those weapons and with such a strong supporting cast around him.
1. San Francisco 49ers:
Carson is obviously a west coast guy, growing up in California and playing at USC. Similarly to the Cardinals, the 49ers have a very good team and with marginal QB play they could have seriously contended for the division and beyond. The 49ers don’t have quite the offensive weaponry that Arizona does, but they’re not far behind them. Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, Michael Crabtree and others isn’t a bad supporting cast to start off with. If they’re able to add another weapon through the draft or free agency, they could get dangerous in a hurry.
Not to mention, the acquisition of Carson Palmer would remove the immediate need to draft a QB in the first round which would open up that pick to fill other needs whether it be another running back (which I think they desperately need), a WR, or a defensive player. Frank Gore can be great, but he is often injured. They can likely get a quality back later in the draft though to add depth and share the load.
The 49ers have a dynamic defense lead by the best linebacker in the NFL in my opinion in Patrick Willis. If Carson Palmer can regain his form or even get close to his former self, this can be a dangerous team. Add to the equation, the hiring of Jim Harbaugh who is likely to be perceived as a bonus for Palmer.
I don’t know if Palmer will end up getting moved and if he does I’m not sure where he’ll go. But I do think both he and the Bengals need to part ways immediately. He is regressing each year and no one is benefitting from this relationship any longer. The 3 teams I laid out fit in my opinion on both sides. They are great opportunities for Palmer to get his career back on track and Palmer, even at the level he played this season, would be an upgrade to the QB’s these teams had last season.
Other teams I considered were the Miami Dolphins, who are desperate need for a QB, but I’m not sure that’s a great situation for Palmer. The Dolphins catapulted into one of the most dysfunctional teams after their horrific handling of the Jim Harbaugh interview and how they treated Tony Sparano. They undercut Sparano and set him up for failure.
The Oakland Raiders are another possibility because they need a QB and they’re a west coast team, but if I were Carson, I wouldn’t want anything to do with the Raiders. They are a team that made great strides this season, but as long as Al Davis is involved, I wouldn’t go anywhere near that team.
People in Cleveland will immediately call for a trade to bring Palmer to the Browns, but I don’t think it’s a good fit on both sides. For Palmer, why would he want to go to the Browns and be in a similar position where he was in Cincinnati. For the Browns, why would you want a veteran QB who has regressed each year for the last 5 years or so and hurt the development of Colt McCoy.
The Washington Redskins need a QB badly after the McNabb experiment appears to have failed. It’s still a possibility that they bring McNabb back and give him a chance to succeed, but given Shanahan’s treatment of McNabb, it’s unlikely. Shanahan doesn’t want McNabb there and McNabb likely doesn’t want to be there. Palmer will likely be desired by Dan Snyder and the Redskins, but I don’t think it would be a good situation for Palmer. They could throw a big extension at him though to seal the deal and I wouldn’t rule them out. This is likely Palmer’s last chance to revive his career and earn a big extension or new contract.
Tennessee is another possibility that I seriously considered. The Titans are in desperate need of a quality QB and they seem to have enough pieces in place to make a serious run for the post-season, if not the Super Bowl. They are a good team and they do have weapons in place that could help Palmer revive his career. Jeff Fisher is also a USC guy so there’s definitely a connection there. After parting ways with Vince Young, they certainly need a veteran QB that can help them win now. I would actually consider them on the same level as the other 3 teams I mentioned and I have them as my sleeper right now.
It’s been years since anyone cared or took Tom Jackson and Chris Berman seriously. There was a time when they were actually liked and respected and people looked forward to watching and listening to them break down all the action of the day’s games. Boy was that a long time ago. They have long moved past useful, relevant, and even comprehensible, but it is clear now that Tom Jackson has completely lost his mind.
I’m sure you have all seen the Bart Scott post-game interview oh… maybe 30-40 times by now. It’s epic, why not, right? As you know, the rant by Scott was at least, in part, initiated by ESPN’s Tom Jackson. Scott begins the rant by specifically calling out Jackson for “disrespecting” him and the Jets. Why? In the pre-game show that day, Jackson predicted the Jets to lose 30-10. No big deal, right? Nearly everyone thought the Patriots, who looked previously unstoppable, would knock off the Jets.
But after being called out by Bart Scott, Jackson went on ESPN’s Mike and Mike radio show the very next morning. You would think that an “analyst” who takes himself so seriously and honestly believes that he’s an important and influential figure in the NFL and in the media, would have the courage to stand by his predictions, right?
Wrong. And I’m sure everyone has heard this part, but it leads up to the most ridiculous part of this story. So, Jackson did a complete 180 that next day on the radio saying that “he certainly thought the Jets might win” and that his pick was a “premeditated move in a psychological game to put the Jets in a bunker mentality of us against the world.”
Seriously, Tom? You were DEAD WRONG on your prediction, which I believe actually genuinely upsets you because you truly believe you know what you’re talking about and Bart Scott called you out on national TV and on one of the most epic, viral videos of recent memory. So this caused you to immediately backtrack and try to say that your predictions were a “premeditated” ploy to try to fire up the Jets? Puhleeze!
I would love to hear what Keyshawn Johnson (who picked the Jets to win) and Chris Carter were saying and thinking after this asshat went on the radio and said this! Those picks are discussed in production meetings before hand and IF those comments by Jackson were premeditated, everyone on the set would’ve known about it. And IF Jackson lied the next day to try to cover up for his idiocy, then every single person on set would know that as well. Jackson has long lost his credibility if you ask most people, but this was the nail in the coffin.
And if that weren’t bad enough, on another interview Tuesday, Jackson did yet another 180. During this interview he relented and said that he really thought the Patriots would win big and “thought it could have been worse”.
He also went on to add that he’s “not arrogant enough to think that I can affect the outcomes.”
“I was shocked and stunned by Bart’s comments, that they were directed at me. So in an effort to make an excuse for the comments, I made comments I shouldn’t have.”
Wow! Tom Jackson literally felt so stupid, impotent, embarrassed, and useless that his prediction was wrong and he was called out by Scott that he went on air the next morning and blatantly lied about a “premeditated psychological game”! Seriously!? It was a PREDICTION! No one cares what you think despite what Bart Scott said.
Yes, a lot of people watch that network and that pre-game show, including players. But it goes on to show just how batshit crazy “Tommy” really is that he thinks that people care that much that he would need to blatantly lie like that!
So going forward, every time he guesses right on his predictions, he’s a football genius. And every time he guesses wrong, he was just trying to pump up the other team to get them ready to play. After all, he’s SO influential that he can actually affect the outcome of the games!
“Tommy”… JUST SHUT UP!
But this is nothing new on this network. For years, the hacks on College Gameday have done this type of thing. Herbstreit and Corso have pulled this unprofessional crap multiple times where they “pick against a team just to get them ready to play”. Those guys are equally delusional enough to think that they influence the game and affect the outcome.
My guees is that someone got to Tom Jackson, knowing that he went on air on Monday and flat out lied to everyone and told him that he needed to come clean. That’s fine, but the damage was already done. For the 4 people left in the world who actually take him, Berman, and that network seriously, this just about blew any chance at professionalism, credibility, and ethics.
I honestly cannot believe that he was legitimately upset enough by Scott’s comments that he found it necessary to go on air the next day and lie about his motives for his predictions. It’s a damn prediction! A billion people make them each week and half of those people are wrong, on average! So what!?
He actually takes himself so seriously that he couldn’t handle the world knowing that he was dead ass wrong on a prediction. He actually takes himself so seriously that after being called out for being wrong that he felt the need to make up an entire story to justify his prediction! And he actually takes himself so seriously that he then said the very next day that made the whole thing up and that he was only doing it because he was so shocked that a player would directly single him out!
If he was so upset because a player called him out and felt disrespected by him and therefore my not respect him, he did NOTHING to help his cause. If he was that upset because a player might think less of him, what’s he going to do now that NO ONE respects him or takes him seriously, including NFL players and the guys on the set with him!? I can’t wait to hear what this lunatic says tomorrow on the show!
Tom Jackson… JUST…. SHUT….. UP!!!
Tiger Woods has certainly suffered an incredible hit to his image due to his sexual escapades while married to Elin Nordegren. Last Thanksgiving, we witnessed one of the most amazing and rapid falls from grace in American history and even despite Tiger’s track record, many of his sponsors have distanced themselves.
Actually, the only sponsor who has really stood by his side has been Nike. Nearly ever other sponsor has at least significantly distanced themselves, if not completely severed the relationship. EA Sports, makers of popular sports gaming titles such as Madden NFL Football and Tiger Woods PGA Tour, even went so far as to remove Tiger from the cover of the game for the first time ever.
Despite their efforts to distance themselves slightly from the golf mega-star, his influence apparently cannot be removed from the game. According to a Deadspin article, a British woman who created a player within the game to match her appearance was startled when she finally teed it up to play with her own likeness. According to this woman, after hours of creating her own image, she found that the player wore only short shorts. Yep, the female player within the game was topless and appeared with incredible anatomic accuracy!
Check out the The Sun which is the original source of the story for the NSFW pictures and more details about the story. According to The Sun, it is believed that a programmer of the game put this little “glitch” into the game as a prank to mock Woods following his sex-capades last year.
EA Sports has apparently stated that this was the work of an independent hacker and that there is no way that this could have been a part of their release. But with my experience with games, there are so many hidden tricks and glitches that developers and programmers add that it wouldn’t surprise me in the least bit if this was a little “hidden trick” placed in the game for some fun. I’m not sure that it was meant to be included in the public release, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it was placed in the game for some fun by the development team.
Either way, it appears that even though EA Sports tried to distance themselves from Tiger, it’s clear that his fingerprints are ALL OVER this game!