Thursday, November 30, 2006

San Francisco 49ers Had Secret Stadium Talks With City of Santa Clara For One Year

Clear evidence that the 49ers were not working honestly with the City and County of San Francisco and like any lie, it's eventually revealed.

Newsom aides say paper trail shows the team was not honest with S.F.
Cecilia M. Vega, John Coté, Chronicle Staff Writers
Thursday, November 30, 2006

The San Francisco 49ers engaged in detailed talks with South Bay officials about the possibility of relocating the team to Santa Clara for more than a year before the team actually announced its intention to move there, records show.

Written correspondence between the 49ers and South Bay officials obtained by The Chronicle indicate that talks had taken place since at least October 2005 and remained active through this fall while the team simultaneously worked on brokering a deal to build a new $600 million to $800 million stadium at Candlestick Point in San Francisco.

Aides to San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom say the yearlong paper trail shows the team was not honest with the city during its stadium talks over the past year.

Niners representatives, however, say the documents simply illustrate how the five-time Super Bowl championship team explored all its options in Santa Clara to ensure that city would be an adequate stadium site in case San Francisco was not.

"The mayor's office, city attorney, developer and community leaders were all under the impression that the 49ers were committed to San Francisco," Newsom's spokeswoman Jennifer Petrucione said Wednesday. "It's clear from these documents that wasn't the case. ... The level (of detail) in the documents demonstrates that the 49ers were pursuing Santa Clara at a level that does not indicate good faith."

In the months leading up to the 49ers' Nov. 9 press conference announcing plans to relocate to a parking lot near Great America amusement park, there were confidential meetings between the team and South Bay officials, team requests for a soil report from land near the proposed stadium site and offers of game tickets to a Santa Clara County official, according to the documents.

But while San Francisco officials say the documents suggest the team was not negotiating in good faith with the city, the 49ers contend they were always forthright about their intentions and made it clear that Santa Clara was long considered the backup plan in the event that the San Francisco deal fell apart -- as it eventually did.

"As I look at backup sites around the Bay Area, I'm going to do my due diligence checklist and I'm going to see if a site works or doesn't work," said Larry MacNeil, the team's chief financial officer, who has been involved in talks with both Santa Clara and San Francisco.

The Chronicle obtained the series of e-mails between South Bay officials and the team from San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera's office through San Francisco's Public Records Act. Herrera had requested copies of the documents from Santa Clara officials in the wake of the team's announcement it would move south.

The written communication between the team and officials in the South Bay show a long-standing relationship, sometimes a light-hearted one, with 49ers officials anxious to learn more about the site and Santa Clara officials eager to woo the team.

In October 2005 -- as the 49ers publicly acknowledged their desire to build a stadium, housing and retail development at Candlestick Point -- the records show that team officials were at the same time engaged in secret discussions with a Santa Clara County official about the possibility of building a stadium there.

In an Oct. 5, 2005, e-mail marked "confidential," Santa Clara County Assessor Larry Stone wrote to MacNeil and suggested that "separate, confidential meetings" be scheduled with then-San Jose Mayor Ron Gonzales, Vice Mayor Cindy Chavez and officials from the San Jose Sports Authority.

On Wednesday, Stone said the team subsequently decided that official talks were premature and that no meeting with Chavez or Gonzales ever took place.

Still, he wanted the meetings to be kept quiet in part out of concern that the team could be perceived as unfairly negotiating a stadium deal with two different cities -- which is exactly how some in San Francisco interpreted the action after learning of the written exchanges.

"We didn't want to put the 49ers in a position where they were seen as playing one community off against another, which is absolutely not what they were doing," Stone said.

San Francisco Supervisor Tom Ammiano said he was "chagrined but not surprised" to learn the team had been communicating with South Bay officials about a possible stadium there since October, 2005.

"Was it disingenuous? Yes," he said. "But in my point of view, it's what's accepted as business practice and it's about the bottom line. That's the carnivorous part of it."

In the October, 2005, e-mail, Stone also declined an offer by the team for tickets to a game in San Francisco, but asked if MacNeil "could arrange a couple of tickets" to a 49ers game in Seattle, his hometown, and to "let me know the cost."

When asked about the request, Stone said he attended the Seattle game and paid for the two tickets.

"I paid for everything that I got from the 49ers. I don't take gifts," Stone said.

Though the written exchanges date back to 2005, communication between the 49ers and South Bay officials over a potential stadium move stretch back to at least Dec. 19, 2003, when Kevin Moore, a member of the Santa Clara Stadium Association who has since become Santa Clara's vice mayor, sent a letter to 49ers co-owner John York touting the advantages of moving the team to Santa Clara.

And Stone acknowledged he and 49ers officials have had about a dozen meetings or phone calls since the fall of 2005 about potential sites in Santa Clara County. The team looked at about six different sites and may have conducted a wind velocity test at a site in San Jose, Stone said Wednesday.

South Bay officials repeatedly echoed 49ers assertions that throughout all of the talks during the past year, the discussions were preliminary and meant to illustrate that Santa Clara would be the backup in case problems arose at Candlestick Point.

"They made it clear in the first meeting and they made it clear in every meeting after that that their first choice was San Francisco," Stone said. "But they said this was a problematic site, and it's only prudent for us to a have a backup site if the project feasibility study doesn't indicate that it's workable."

The team's announcement in early November to leave San Francisco caught Newsom and his top aides, who had been negotiating with the team for nearly a year, by surprise. Reeling from the shock of possibly losing a National Football League franchise founded in the city 60 years ago, Newsom said the day after the team's announcement that 49ers co-owner John York had not been a "straight shooter" during the talks.

On Wednesday, however, team officials challenged that assertion. MacNeil provided copies of his own e-mail exchanges showing that in July he warned San Francisco officials that Santa Clara was the backup site.

"I wanted everybody to be clear that we were ... working on backup sites because it's the prudent thing to do," said MacNeil, who also said he reminded San Francisco officials during numerous meetings that discussions about a possible stadium in Santa Clara were also occurring.

In the end, the 49ers rejected the San Francisco stadium plan because the team had so many concerns about the project, which included a plan to build 6,500 housing units around the stadium and a retail hub.

Insiders also say Newsom's failure to return York's phone calls during the negotiations did not make for a pleasant relationship between the two camps.

In Santa Clara, the dealings appear to have been friendlier.

More than 30 pages of e-mail and other communications between the 49ers and Santa Clara officials suggest that many of those involved developed a casual working relationship.

In one exchange, MacNeil and a city official joked about technical snafus, including how the official accidentally called a psychiatrist's office when he attempted to dial the 49ers phone number. MacNeil later responded: "I may need the number to that psych office. Hang on to that."

The exchanges, however, contain few details about how a proposed stadium deal would actually work or be financed.

On July 18, the 49ers went public with their preliminary stadium plans for Candlestick and excitedly showed off computer renderings of what a new 68,000-seat arena would look like. A spokeswoman for the team cautioned then that if the proposal fell through in San Francisco, Santa Clara was the backup.

The next day, a Santa Clara city official wrote in an e-mail that the 49ers had made it clear to Santa Clara that they were "committed" to building at Candlestick Point. But in the same note, the official acknowledged that City Councilman Moore, who initially helped lure the team to Santa Clara, "has been in conversations with the Niners for a number of months."

By September, the 49ers were fully engaged in discussions at San Francisco City Hall about the Candlestick plans, and the team even backed city efforts to host the 2016 Olympic Games and said the Games could be held in the new stadium.

But even though the team was pushing ahead with talks in San Francisco, on Sept. 11, MacNeil sent an e-mail to Santa Clara officials requesting soil reports and geological studies done on land across the street from the proposed Great America stadium site.

"One of the things about a stadium is it's a really heavy building," he said when asked about the exchange Wednesday. "The soil can be a really significant factor in construction costs."

That same day, MacNeil reportedly expressed concern about the Candlestick site development during a meeting with San Francisco officials. A few days later, his boss, John York, was so concerned about the future of the deal that he sent a letter to Newsom saying the city should not base the centerpiece of its Olympic plans on a stadium project that had not yet been finalized. Like the stadium project, the Olympic dreams also fell through.

Santa Clara officials, however, were happy to oblige the 49ers in their request for information.

"They are trying to figure out what the structural challenges might be in siting a stadium in the Great America parking lot," Assistant City Manager Ronald Garratt wrote in the Sept. 11 e-mail. "They are anxious to get the info."

Oct. 5, 2005
Santa Clara County Assessor Larry Stone indicates he and 49ers Vice President Larry MacNeil held "productive and informative" meetings. Stone suggests "separate, confidential meetings" with San Jose officials. The meetings never happen.

Oct. 9, 2005

The San Francisco 49ers publicly confirm they're contemplating building a major stadium development at Candlestick Point.

July 18, 2006

Niners go public with preliminary stadium plans for Candlestick Point and show off computer renderings.

July 19, 2006

Santa Clara Assistant City Manager Ronald Garratt writes that City Councilman Kevin Moore "has been in conversations with the Niners for a number of months," but 49ers have made clear they're "committed" to building at Candlestick Point.

Sept. 11, 2006

49ers officials are "anxious" to get Santa Clara soil reports or geological studies from the nearby convention center as they consider building a stadium across the street, Garratt writes.

Sept. 14, 2006

Team co-owner John York sends a letter to Mayor Gavin Newsom saying the city should not base the centerpiece of its 2016 Olympics plans on a stadium project that has not been finalized.

E-mail the writers at and jcoté

New York Giants G.M. Ernie Accorsi To Retire - reports on the retirement of NY Giants G.M. Ernie Accorsi


Though the recent disintegration of the New York Giants has prompted us to wonder whether G.M. Ernie Accorsi might feel obligated to abandon his plans to retire in order to clean up the mess (again) before riding off into the sunset with his jet black hair gleaming in the rays, a league source tells us that Accorsi definitely is retiring. We heard a few years back that Accorsi had wanted to call it quits, but decided to stick around as the team made the transition from Jim Fassel to Tom Coughlin.

Per the source, Accorsi is out the day after the team's last game. His office, we're told, is already in the process of being packed up.

A huge baseball fan, Accorsi plans to attend spring training, operating out of a new house he has purchased in Jupiter, Florida, roughly 100 miles north of Miami.

On Wednesday, we noted that there are rumors Accorsi ultimately will do some consulting work for the Dolphins. The fact that he'll have a place in the vicinity will do little to quell the scuttlebutt in this regard.

And while we have plenty of respect for Accorsi's lengthy NFL tenure (he crossed over after working as a sportswriter), we continue to believe that he deserves his fair share of blame for the state in which the team presently finds itself. In hindsight, why did he think that a collection of strong personalities like Tiki Barber and Michael Strahan and Plaxico Burress and Jeremy Shockey and LaVar Arrington would ever succeed, especially with a hard-nosed head coach and an aw-shucks quarterback who couldn't lead a turd out of a toilet?

In times of adversity, a "team" comes together. The team that Accorsi built has, to date, been coming apart under pressure.

Oakland Raiders' "Judas?" Mike Lombardi According to Oakland Tribune

I saw this post at the Oakland Tribune's site, which would not have seen the light of blogsphere -- given the Trib's design -- day were it not for this effort. Jerry McDonald of the Oakland Tribune points to Raiders Senior Assistant Mike Lombardi -- on the left in this photo -- as the cause of the organizational back-stabbing problems Art Shell pointed out on Wednesday. The link is here.

The weirdest place on earth
Posted by Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer on Wednesday at 8:15 pm
There’s an informer in the ranks.

That’s what Art Shell wanted to get off his chest Wednesday, the day after he reluctantly demoted his close friend Tom Walsh and made John Shoop his offensive coordinator.

With no prompting other than a question about the difficulty of making the change, Shell began a lengthy monologue in which he blamed a person in the Raiders organization for trashing his tenure as coach and Walsh’s work as offensive coordinator.

Shell defended Walsh as a man and as a coach before launching into his indictment of an insider he wouldn’t name.

He talked about “bleeding silver and black'’ and named others who feel the same way such as CEO Amy Trask, Mr. Raider, Jim Otto, and executive John Herrera.

Then he got to the point.

I’ll edit these quotes only a little because it’s pretty remarkable stuff:

“There has been an attack on my family. And when I say my family, I mean the Raider family. When the fox is in . . . your hen house, under the guise of football sources in the National Football League making statements and not being part of this thing, not just making statements about me but ownership, how can you accept a paycheck from somebody that’s given you a job and given you an opportunity to try and excel in life,'’ Shell said.

“Then (you) turn around and call your cronies around the league and it gets back to me and I’m tired of it. It’s coming back to my desk. I’m a fighter. I sit back and I watch things happen and then it gets to the point where you cross the line. That line has been crossed and I won’t sit back and allow it to happen any more. When you root against me, you’re rooting against the Raiders. When you root against Tom Walsh, you’re rooting against the Raiders. And for someone to do that is unconscionable. It’s detestable and I think it’s an outrage. But that’s what has happened since I’ve been here. Tom has taken a lot of the brunt of that.

“You know when you . . . leave fingerprints and the law finds your fingerprints, you can tell who they are? When you make statements with your voice and your words you can also tell who’s making those statements because you know the people. I wanted to say something because I’m a fighter and I refuse to allow anybody to try to take away from what I’m doing here.

“I’m trying to win football games for the Raiders and I expect everybody in this organization to be on teh same page with me. Right now, everybody is not.'’

Shell said he has not confronted the mystery snitch,but may in the future. When asked if he had spoken to Davis about it, Shell said, “I have talked to people, and I’m going to leave it right there. I just wanted to make that statement, I wanted to get that off my mind, because it’s been bothering me for awhile now, and I wanted to say something.'’

It was suggested to Shell it sounded a little bit like 1994, when he and Walsh were fired by Davis, and he said it did except the problem that year was on his coaching staff and “I don’t have that problem on my staff now.'’

That year, Mike White ended up with Shell’s job when the team returned to Oakland.

Then there was a line that will make Davis’ head explode.

“Every organization should be here on the same page, from the bottom up, from the groundskeeper up . . . I went to Kansas City, that’s the way it was. Every individual was on board. Atlanta, every individual was on board. And it should be like that here.'’


The Raiders need to be more like the Chiefs.

Let’s attempt to sort out the latest bit of dysfunction from Raider Central.

First, it’s pretty clear Shell thinks the informer is personnel executive Mike Lombardi. It was Lombardi who lobbied hard for Bobby Petrino as head coach. Davis thought enough of Petrino to offer him the job, Petrino turned it down.

When Shell was hired, Davis made it sound as if the whole Petrino offer was Lombardi’s doing _ as if anyone else but Davis would hire the coach of the Raiders.

Lombardi is rarely with the team anymore when the Raiders come off the field. Instead, it’s Sean Jones who has Shell’s ear. Lombardi is usually out taking a walk on the streets iin the area of the Raiders facility around practice time.

I was told in the offseason that it was Lombardi who brought in guard Tonio Fonoti to be signed, with Shell sending him away, flunking him on his physical because of excess weight.

Shell also said it wasn’t a former player who was doing the talking, so that leaves out Tim Brown, Rich Gannon and Lincoln Kennedy, all of whom have been critical of their former team in their new roles as media analysts.

It isn’t anyone on the P.R. staff. Mike Taylor would drink poison from a Mike Shanahan mug before he said anything negative about the Raiders.

Admittedly, you couldn’t convict Lombardi in a court of law with any of that evidence. If Shell believes it’s Lombardi, he should meet the issue head on and talk to him directly and with purpose.

The fact the Shell has to make his case the media at all underscores one of the fundamental flaws with the Raiders. The organization is in constant chaos because there is no clear chain of command after Davis in terms of football.

If Davis really wants Shell to be the man to return the Raiders to something respectable, he should give him the power to do it. Short of Amy Trask, he should be able to say the word and fire anyone he suspects of failing to get with the program or telling secrets to the media.

The Raiders aren’t run that way.

It’s great to be a player. Davis loves the players, pays them well, puts them on a pedestal. As for coaches, front office and support staff, Davis is capable of the act of kindness for someone truly in need. But as daily work environments go, it’s tough. You talk to some people who get out, find other jobs, and they act as if they escaped a mental hospital and joined the real world.

What a strange place.

Wednesday’s news and notes

– Offensive players seemed genuinely excited by Shoop’s ascension to offensive coordinator, believing he will bring a sense of energy and tempo to a unit that sorely needs it.

More on that Thursday.

– Place kicker Sebastian Janikowski as seen walking stiffly to his car at practice time. Shell announced he had a sore back and the Raiders will look at place kickers in case Janikowski can’t play.

– LT Robert Gallery did not practice and will not play, missing his third game with a dislocated elbow.

– LG Barry Sims got in some limited reps, but isn’t expected to face Houston.

– C Adam Treu was placed on the injured reserve list and is out for the season. Chris Morris was elevated from the practice squad and will handle long-snapping duties.

Just in case Morris looks shaky, Joe Condo, a long-snapper with NFL experience in New England and Dallas was signed to the practice squad. QB Kent Smith was released from the practice squad.

– The Raiders announced a “significant'’ amount of tickets remained for the Houston game. It was a departure from their weekly announcements expressing optimism about selling out and having the blackout lifted.

Bottom line? If you don’t have at ticket, you’ll be listening on the radio. The Raiders were spared the indignity of becoming the first team to have a blacked out game when a Buffalo home game was blacked out last week.

Art Shell - Raiders Head Coach Points To "Character Assassination" Problem In Organization

The person who did this could be a combination of people in the organization, not just one.

I write this -- and do more so -- because I have been told by several people that the way to rise in the Raiders organization is via character assassination. I don't write this with glee, but with sadness. It's good for Art to point this problem out in the open. It needs to go away.

Moreover, Amy Trask, who's the CEO, needs to really pay attention to this complaint and alter the Raiders climate, as this crit has been active for much of the time under her watch. I like Amy a lot, but this cultural problem must go away.

It's not a problem at the Intern level of the organization, but it exists for those who want to stay in the system and advance. It's a virus that can -- and has -- weakened the Raiders organization's structure.

Shell lashes out at unnamed critic within Raiders camp
Associated Press and ESPN

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The Oakland Raiders' soap opera season took another strange turn Wednesday when coach Art Shell accused a member of the organization of trying to undermine the coaching staff and rooting against the team.

Shell did not name the person, but he said it was not a coach or a player. He said the person has been calling media members around the country and criticizing coaches.

"I'm a fighter," Shell said. "I sit back and I watch things happen and then it gets to the point where you cross the line. That line has been crossed and I won't sit back and allow it to happen anymore."

Shell's latest comments came in response to questions about his decision Tuesday to demote Tom Walsh from his role of offensive coordinator to tight ends coach and replace him with John Shoop.

"When you root against me, you're rooting against the Raiders," Shell said. "When you root against Tom Walsh, you're rooting against the Raiders. And for someone to do that is unconscionable. It's unconscionable. It's detestable and I think it's an outrage."

The drama is the latest for a lost season in which star receiver Randy Moss has gone on the radio nearly every week with criticisms of the team and receiver Jerry Porter was suspended for insubordination after clashing with the coaching staff.

"How can you accept a paycheck from somebody that's given you a job and given you an opportunity to try to excel in life, and then turn around and call your cronies around the league and it gets back to me and I'm tired of it," Shell said.

Shell said the "character assassination" began soon after he was hired in February to begin his second stint as Raiders coach. He said the attacks have also been directed at owner Al Davis.

The internal strife is reminiscent of Shell's first stint as Raiders coach, which ended after the 1994 season when he believed he was being undermined by one of his assistants, Mike White, who ended up replacing Shell.

Shell went on to work as an assistant coach in Kansas City and Atlanta and never saw those sorts of problems.

"It shouldn't be like that," Shell said. "Every organization should be here on the same page, from the bottom up, from the groundskeeper on up. Everybody should be on the same page, trying to do the right things, trying to help this organization win. I went to Kansas City, that's the way it was. It was like that. Every individual was on board. Atlanta, every individual was on board. And it should be like that here."

But it hasn't been since Porter made public his trade demands and criticisms of the coaching staff at the start of training camp. Porter was inactive the first four games of the season despite leading the team in receptions a year ago and then was suspended for two games for insubordination after getting kicked out of practice.

Some players publicly questioned Shell's handling of the Porter situation, especially since the offense was struggling without him.

Moss went on his radio show days before the season opener complaining that things are "fishy" around the Raiders. He's also suggested that he would be better off if the team traded him and blamed his many dropped passes on being unhappy with the situation.

Oakland (2-9) has scored a league-low 132 points this year and is assured of a fourth straight losing season for the first time in franchise history.

The Raiders were last in the league in passing offense and total offense, 21st in rushing offense, and have allowed a league-high 53 sacks.

Walsh had come under criticism because he had been out of the NFL since 1994 and spent the past seven years running a bed and breakfast and serving as mayor of Swan Valley, Idaho.

Shell said it was very difficult to demote his friend.

"You have to be patient," Shell said. "I'm a very patient man so I'll take my time always before I make a rash decision. I felt at this time the decision needed to be made. It was very hard, very hard for me to do because I have a lot of respect for Tom Walsh. Tom Walsh has taken a lot, a lot of abuse from a lot of people and that has disappointed me."

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press


NFL-PER-13 11/29/06


An NFL quarterback has passed for more than 400 yards in four consecutive weeks and with another such performance in Week 13, the active string will tie the longest stretch in league history. The past four weeks have seen the following quarterbacks surpass the 400-yard mark, respectively:

Pittsburgh's BEN ROETHLISBERGER (433, Week 9), Cincinnati's CARSON PALMER (440, Week 10), New
Orleans' DREW BREES (510, Week 11), and Arizona rookie MATT LEINART (405, Week 12).

The record of five consecutive weeks with a 400-yard passer was achieved in 1986 during Weeks 8-12, a list that includes two Pro Football Hall of Famers in DAN MARINO and JOE MONTANA. The 1986 list: JAY SCHROEDER (420, Washington, Week 8); TOMMY KRAMER (490, Minnesota, Week 9); KEN O'BRIEN (431, N.Y. Jets, Week 9); BERNIE KOSAR (401, Cleveland, Week 10); Marino (404, Miami, Week 11); Montana (441, San Francisco, Week 11), and Kosar (414, Cleveland, Week 12).

Following is a list of quarterback injuries for Week 13 Games:
Jacksonville Jaguars Out Byron Leftwich (Ankle)
Miami Dolphins Out Daunte Culpepper (Knee)
Green Bay Packers Probable Brett Favre (Right Elbow)
New England Patriots Probable Tom Brady (Right Shoulder)
New York Jets Probable Chad Pennington (Calf)
Philadelphia Eagles Probable Jeff Garcia (Right Forearm)
Pittsburgh Steelers Probable Ben Roethlisberger (Chest)
Seattle Seahawks Probable Matt Hasselbeck (Left Hand)
St. Louis Rams ms Probable Marc Bulger (Ribs)
Following is a list of injured players for Week 13 Games:
Baltimore Ravens
OUT DT Justin Bannan (Toe); LB Dan Cody (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE TE Todd Heap (Back); RB Jamal Lewis (Foot); LB Adalius
Thomas (Ankle); G Keydrick Vincent (Hip); TE Daniel Wilcox
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
TUES Justin Bannan; Dan Cody; Todd Heap; Jamal Lewis; Adalius
Thomas; Keydrick Vincent; Daniel Wilcox
WED Justin Bannan; Dan Cody; Todd Heap; Jamal Lewis; Adalius
Thomas; Keydrick Vincent; Daniel Wilcox
Cincinnati Bengals
OUT T Levi Jones (Knee); G Bobbie Williams (Appendix)
DOUBTFUL DT John Thornton (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE C Rich Braham (Knee); CB Deltha O'Neal (Shoulder); TE Tony
Stewart (Hip); WR Kelley Washington (Hamstring)
PROBABLE DT Sam Adams (Knee); LB Brian Simmons (Neck)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
TUES Levi Jones; Bobbie Williams; John Thornton; Rich Braham;
Deltha O'Neal; Tony Stewart; Kelley Washington; Sam Adams
WED Levi Jones; Bobbie Williams; John Thornton; Rich Braham;
Deltha O'Neal
Minnesota Vikings
QUESTIONABLE G Steve Hutchinson (Knee); CB Cedric Griffin (Neck); G Artis
Hicks (Ankle); T Marcus Johnson (Foot); TE Jermaine Wiggins
(Knee); RB Chester Taylor (Wrist); DT Pat Williams (Knee)
PROBABLE S Dwight Smith (Shoulder); LB Napoleon Harris (Wrist); WR
Marcus Robinson (Ankle)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Steve Hutchinson; Cedric Griffin; Artis Hicks; Marcus Johnson;
Jermaine Wiggins; Chester Taylor; Pat Williams; Dwight Smith;
Napoleon Harris; Marcus Robinson
Chicago Bears
DOUBTFUL LB Leon Joe (Hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE S Todd Johnson (Ankle)
PROBABLE RB Thomas Jones (Groin)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Leon Joe; Todd Johnson; Thomas Jones
New York Jets
QUESTIONABLE RB B.J. Askew (Foot); CB David Barrett (Hip); WR Tim Dwight
(Thigh); RB Cedric Houston (Knee); DT Rashad Moore (Hand);
S Eric Smith (Foot); DE Bryan Thomas (Shoulder)
PROBABLE RB Kevan Barlow (Calf); LB Matt Chatham (Foot); WR Jerricho
Cotchery (Chest); CB Andre Dyson (Neck); G Pete Kendall
(Knee); WR Justin McCareins (Foot); QB Chad Pennington
(Calf); DT Dewayne Robertson (Foot)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED B.J. Askew; David Barrett; Tim Dwight; Cedric Houston; Rashad
Moore; Eric Smith; Bryan Thomas
Green Bay Packers
DOUBTFUL T Mark Tauscher (Groin); LB Ben Taylor (Hamstring); S Nick
Collins (Hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE TE David Martin (Ribs); RB P.J. Pope (Hamstring); LB Nick
Barnett (Hand)
PROBABLE QB Brett Favre (Right Elbow); DT Cullen Jenkins (Illness); CB
Charles Woodson (Shoulder); T Chad Clifton (Hamstring); RB
Ahman Green (Knee)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Practice Not Complete
San Francisco 49ers
QUESTIONABLE T Jonas Jennings (Ankle); CB Shawntae Spencer (Ankle); RB
Frank Gore (Shin)
PROBABLE LB Jeff Ulbrich (Thumb)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Jonas Jennings; Shawntae Spencer; Frank Gore
New Orleans Saints
OUT TE Ernie Conwell (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE WR Marques Colston (Ankle); LB Mark Simoneau (Hand); WR
Joe Horn (Groin); DE Will Smith (Knee); RB Aaron Stecker
PROBABLE CB Fred Thomas (Thumb); S Bryan Scott (Foot)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Ernie Conwell; Marques Colston; Mark Simoneau; Joe Horn; Will
Arizona Cardinals
DOUBTFUL DT Kendrick Clancy (Ankle)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Kendrick Clancy
St. Louis Rams
OUT DE Victor Adeyanju (Forearm); LB Isaiah Kacyvenski
QUESTIONABLE RB Paul Smith (Hamstring); G Adam Timmerman (Ribs)
PROBABLE QB Marc Bulger (Ribs); CB Tye Hill (Thigh); G Richie Incognito
(Foot); DT Claude Wroten (Hamstring)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Victor Adeyanju; Isaiah Kacyvenski
Indianapolis Colts
OUT TE Dallas Clark (Knee); DT Montae Reagor (Head)
QUESTIONABLE DT Raheem Brock (Chest); T Ryan Diem (Abdomen); LB Gilbert
Gardner (Rib); S Bob Sanders (Knee); WR Brandon Stokley
(Knee); CB Nicholas Harper (Groin); LB Keith O'Neil (Ankle); CB
Antoine Bethea (Shoulder); TE Ben Utecht (Knee)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Dallas Clark; Montae Reagor; Ryan Diem; Gilbert Gardner;
Nicholas Harper; Keith O'Neil; Antoine Bethea
Tennessee Titans
OUT DE Antwan Odom (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE RB LenDale White (Hip); DE Travis LaBoy (Concussion); DE
Josh Savage (Hamstring); TE Bo Scaife (Quadricep); DT
Robaire Smith (Hamstring)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Antwan Odom; LenDale White; Josh Savage; Robaire Smith
San Diego Chargers
QUESTIONABLE DE Derreck Robinson (Foot); RB Michael Turner (Hamstring);
LB Shaun Phillips (Calf); S Marlon McCree (Calf); WR Keenan
McCardell (Calf); LB Randall Godfrey (Hamstring); DE Luis
Castillo (Ankle); G Kris Dielman (Ankle)
PROBABLE WR Malcom Floyd (Ankle); DT Jamal Williams (Ankle); S
Bhawoh Jue (Knee)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Practice Not Complete
Buffalo Bills
QUESTIONABLE LB Keith Ellison (Knee); WR Josh Reed (Kidney)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED All Players Participated
Kansas City Chiefs
OUT DT James Reed (Groin); T Kevin Sampson (Back)
PROBABLE TE Tony Gonzalez (Shoulder); LB Derrick Johnson (Ankle)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED James Reed; Kevin Sampson; Tony Gonzalez
Cleveland Browns
DOUBTFUL DE Orpheus Roye (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE CB Leigh Bodden (Ankle); DE Nick Eason (Ankle); RB Reuben
Droughns (Foot); LB Mason Unck (Groin); TE Kellen Winslow
(Knee); LB Willie McGinest (Pectoral); S Justin Hamilton (Back);
S Brian Russell (Elbow)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Orpheus Roye; Leigh Bodden; Nick Eason; Reuben Droughns;
Mason Unck; Kellen Winslow; Justin Hamilton
Jacksonville Jaguars
OUT QB Byron Leftwich (Ankle)
DOUBTFUL CB Terry Cousin (Groin)
QUESTIONABLE RB Montell Owens (Shoulder); S Nick Sorensen (Hamstring); CB
Brian Williams (Hamstring)
PROBABLE LB Jorge Cordova (Hamstring); P Chris Hanson (Left
Hamstring); LB Clint Ingram (Shoulder); LB Kenneth Pettway
(Groin); LB Daryl Smith (Shoulder); DT Marcus Stroud (Ankle);
RB Derrick Wimbush (Ankle); TE George Wrighster (Head); CB
Ahmad Carroll (Groin); G Vincent Manuwai (Wrist); WR Cortez
Hankton (Hamstring)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Byron Leftwich; Montell Owens; Nick Sorensen; Brian Williams;
Marcus Stroud; Vincent Manuwai
Miami Dolphins
OUT RB Ronnie Brown (Hand); QB Daunte Culpepper (Knee); G
Jeno James (Knee)
DOUBTFUL CB Michael Lehan (Nose)
QUESTIONABLE LB Keith Newman (Shoulder); S Travares Tillman (Hand); CB
Will Allen (Groin)
PROBABLE CB Eddie Jackson (Hamstring); DT Keith Traylor (Knee)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Ronnie Brown; Daunte Culpepper; Jeno James; Michael Lehan
Detroit Lions
QUESTIONABLE DT Shaun Rogers (Knee); WR Devale Ellis (Shoulder); T Rex
Tucker (Knee)
PROBABLE WR Corey Bradford (Illness); DT Tyoka Jackson (Foot)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Shaun Rogers; Rex Tucker; Corey Bradford; Tyoka Jackson
New England Patriots
OUT S Rodney Harrison (Shoulder)
QUESTIONABLE TE Daniel Graham (Ankle); CB Ellis Hobbs (Wrist); LB Corey
Mays (Hamstring); CB Chad Scott (Groin); S Eugene Wilson
(Hamstring); T Ryan O'Callaghan (Neck)
PROBABLE QB Tom Brady (Right Shoulder); DE Richard Seymour (Elbow)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Rodney Harrison; Daniel Graham; Ellis Hobbs; Corey Mays;
Chad Scott; Eugene Wilson; Ryan O'Callaghan
Atlanta Falcons
OUT CB Jason Webster (Groin)
QUESTIONABLE CB Jimmy Williams (Ankle)
PROBABLE DE John Abraham (Groin); DT Grady Jackson (Knee)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Jason Webster; John Abraham; Grady Jackson
Washington Redskins
QUESTIONABLE LB Khary Campbell (Hamstring); S Troy Vincent (Hamstring);
WR David Patten (Hamstring); T Jon Jansen (Calf)
PROBABLE RB Mike Sellers (Shoulder)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Khary Campbell; Troy Vincent; David Patten; Jon Jansen; Mike
Houston Texans
DOUBTFUL DT Thomas Johnson (Hamstring)
PROBABLE DE Antwan Peek (Knee); DE Anthony Weaver (Knee); DE Mario
Williams (Foot); RB Jameel Cook (Knee)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Thomas Johnson; Mario Williams; Jameel Cook
Oakland Raiders
OUT T Robert Gallery (Elbow); RB LaMont Jordan (Knee)
DOUBTFUL WR Jerry Porter (Hip)
QUESTIONABLE LB Isaiah Ekejiuba (Foot); K Sebastian Janikowski (Back); G
Barry Sims (Abdomen)
PROBABLE LB Robert Thomas (Heel)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Practice Not Complete
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
QUESTIONABLE S Will Allen (Ankle); CB Juran Bolden (Shin); RB Michael
Pittman (Hamstring); LB Shelton Quarles (Knee); TE Alex Smith
(Ankle); DT Ellis Wyms (Ankle)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Michael Pittman; Alex Smith
Pittsburgh Steelers
OUT S Troy Polamalu (Knee); WR Hines Ward (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE WR Willie Reid (Foot)
PROBABLE LB James Harrison (Ankle); C Jeff Hartings (Knee); WR Sean
Morey (Toe); LB Joey Porter (Elbow); QB Ben Roethlisberger
(Chest); CB Ivan Taylor (Concussion); LB Clark Haggans (Hip)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Troy Polamalu; Hines Ward; Jeff Hartings; Clark Haggans
Dallas Cowboys No injuries to report.
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED All Players Participated
New York Giants
OUT T Luke Petitgout (Fibula)
DOUBTFUL DE Michael Strahan (Foot)
QUESTIONABLE LB Carlos Emmons (Groin); CB Sam Madison (Hamstring); WR
Sinorice Moss (Quadricep); LB Brandon Short (Quadricep); DE
Osi Umenyiora (Hip Flexor); CB Corey Webster (Toe); S Gibril
Wilson (Shoulder)
PROBABLE LB Antonio Pierce (Knee)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Luke Petitgout; Michael Strahan; Carlos Emmons; Corey
Webster; Gibril Wilson; Antonio Pierce
Seattle Seahawks
OUT C Robbie Tobeck (Hip)
DOUBTFUL LB D.D. Lewis (Toe)
QUESTIONABLE T Sean Locklear (Ankle); TE Itula Mili (Concussion); DT Rocky
Bernard (Foot)
PROBABLE WR Darrell Jackson (Knee); QB Matt Hasselbeck (Left Hand);
WR Bobby Engram (Illness)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Practice Not Complete
Denver Broncos
QUESTIONABLE T Adam Meadows (Hamstring); TE Chad Mustard (Shoulder)
PROBABLE S Hamza Abdullah (Hip); RB Tatum Bell (Toe); CB Darrent
Williams (Shoulder); WR Javon Walker (Foot); LB Al Wilson
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Practice Not Complete
Carolina Panthers
QUESTIONABLE RB DeShaun Foster (Elbow); G Mike Wahle (Shoulder); LB Na'il
Diggs (Chest)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Mike Wahle; Na'il Diggs
Philadelphia Eagles
QUESTIONABLE LB Shawn Barber (Knee)
PROBABLE QB Jeff Garcia (Right Forearm); G Todd Herremans (Finger);
CB William James (Knee); T Jon Runyan (Hamstring); LB Matt
McCoy (Shoulder); LB Jason Short (Ankle); WR Donte'
Stallworth (Hamstring); RB Brian Westbrook (Knee)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Practice Not Conducted

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Wally Matthews: New York Giants On Path of Self-Destruction

Wallace Matthews
Maybe this is as good as Eli gets
November 29, 2006

In the three seasons since the Giants traded away their future in order to rewrite their GM's past, we have seen Ben Roethlisberger win a Super Bowl, Philip Rivers develop into a Pro Bowl-caliber quarterback, Tony Romo throw five touchdown passes in a game and Vince Young play like a seasoned veteran after only five pro starts.

Either those guys are ahead of schedule or Eli Manning is way, way behind.

In an era in which the learning curve for quarterbacks seems to be accelerated, Manning's career is stuck decidedly in neutral and may be slipping into reverse.

He is the one who was born and bred to be a quarterback. He is the one with the pedigree. He is the one whose father would have been great and whose brother has been for a long time. Roethlisberger, Rivers and even Young were gambles, but Eli Manning, Archie's kid and Peyton's brother, couldn't miss.

Except so far, he has.

He was expected to develop into one of the best quarterbacks in the game, but now, three years and 34 starts into his pro career, it always feels as if Eli Manning is the second-best quarterback on the field.


This week, there was no shortage of scapegoats in the Giants' locker room to deflect attention from what is becoming an elephant in the room. The quarterback around whom they expected to build a franchise is instead helping to drag it down.

The Giants traded Rivers along with three other draft picks - one of whom became star linebacker Shawne Merriman - to get Manning. We were told this would be a franchise-changing move, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, the kind of bold pick with which a GM could cement his legacy and a team could secure its future.

Judging by Manning's current performance, so much for outgoing GM Ernie Accorsi's legacy and so long to the Giants' future.

It is one thing to be outplayed by big brother Peyton, quite another to be owned by the Rex Grossmans and David Garrards of the league. And when Vince Young reminds you of everything you once expected to see in Manning, it is time to start worrying.

It makes you wonder what Accorsi saw in Manning aside from the name, and his own bitter history. Somehow, he convinced himself that to let Manning slip away would be repeating the heartbreak of allowing John Elway to strong-arm the Baltimore Colts when Accorsi was their GM in 1983.

By throwing draft picks at the Chargers to get Manning, Accorsi thought he was correcting a mistake that had haunted him for more than 20 years. Instead, it looks as if he has only compounded it.

You will have to wait awhile for the official explanation, because right now, Accorsi is not talking about Eli Manning. He wouldn't come to the phone yesterday to answer the most basic question there is regarding Eli, which is, "When exactly will he get here?"

The answer, of course, is long after Accorsi is gone. If ever.

And it's not as if he hasn't been surrounded by a strong supporting cast. This isn't Archie Manning, soldiering on with a succession of miserable Saints teams, or Peyton Manning, being asked to rescue a woeful Colts squad, or even Phil Simms, whose leading receiver his rookie year, Earnest Gray, had all of 28 catches.

Eli's got Tiki Barber, one of the best all-purpose backs in the league, and Jeremy Shockey, a stud when healthy, and Plaxico Burress, whose astonishing athleticism has saved Manning numerous times this year, at least in those moments when Burress feels like playing. The loss of tackle Luke Petitgout, Manning's blindside protector, hasn't helped, but still Manning has been sacked just 20 times in 11 games.

Really, there is no outside excuse for Manning's lack of production. He has no one to blame but himself for constantly throwing behind receivers, or forgetting Shockey is even on the team until three quarters of the game have dribbled away, or flipping the ball blindly into double and triple coverage, as he did at the end of the Giants' 24-21 loss to the Titans. Defensive backs seem to read him a lot more easily than he reads them.

And yet, in a way that monumental collapse was the best thing that could have happened to Eli Manning. By the time we all got done blaming Burress, blaming Tom Coughlin, blaming and absolving Mathias Kiwanuka, it was easy to overlook the frightening realization that, even allowing him a slow learning curve, Eli is not gradually getting better, but progressively worse.

For three years now, the Giants have been assuring us, "Eli's coming."

But that raises another, even more disturbing question.

What if he's already arrived?

Note: I never used to give Mr. Matthews his just due until i heard him on the air a few times. Still, he's more of a boxing Guy then a football guy,......but he has the take on this. It could take Eli a long time to get over this.....He might be with another team by the time he does get over it. NY is a tough town and Giant fans are the most critical as well as the smartest fans in all of Pro Football.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Super Bowl XXXIX - Vlog Of My First Day In Detroit

This is a video of my first day in Detroit for the Super Bowl. It started at 5 AM with a flight out of Oakland, through Chicago with my friend Colleen, and to the Motor City. Then I got a rental car and drove from the airport to my hotel in Warren, Michigan. There, I changed clothes and went into the city and to the parties. I finally wound up at the EA Sports party, then on the way back to the hotel, stopped to look at a neighborhood of what appeared to be show homes in the backdrop of Ford Field, where the game was played that Sunday.

Jets OL Jones Arrested for DWI near Team HQ

This is Priceless see my commentary at the end!

From the AP sportswire.....
Police charge Jets offensive lineman Jones with DWI
By FRANK ELTMAN, Associated Press Writer
November 28, 2006

GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (AP) -- New York Jets offensive lineman Adrian Jones apologized to the team and his family Tuesday, three days after being charged with driving while intoxicated.

Jones, 25, was fined $20,000 by the team and will be monitored by the NFL as a result of being a first-time offender of the league's substance abuse policy.

Jones was arrested at about 4:45 a.m. Saturday after he was stopped by police on on Merrick Avenue near Hempstead Turnpike -- about a mile from the team's training facility -- for allegedly driving slowly and making an unsafe lane change, said Eric Phillips, a spokesman for Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice.

He was charged with driving while intoxicated and had his license suspended after refusing to take a blood-alcohol test at central testing, Phillips said. A preliminary field sobriety test when Jones was arrested revealed a blood-alcohol reading of 0.22, police said. After being released by a judge on Saturday morning, Jones was ordered to return to court on Dec. 15.

In a police complaint, Jones told officers he had been in an accident about 20 minutes earlier; the front end of his Chrysler 300 was damaged and smoke was emanating from under the hood. Nassau County police didn't immediately have information about the traffic accident, although a spokesman noted that if both parties agreed to settle the issue privately, police might not have been called.

Jones, in his third season with the Jets, was on the inactive list and didn't play in Sunday's 26-11 victory over the Houston Texans. Coach Eric Mangini said Monday it was a "just a coaching decision."

"I apologized to my family, my teammates and my coaches for my behavior," Jones said in a statement issued Tuesday. "I used poor judgment and will be held accountable for it."

An attorney for Jones did not immediately return a telephone call Tuesday seeking further comment.

The Jets said in a statement the team was "extremely disappointed Adrian would put himself in this situation, and we take these allegations very seriously. ... Adrian has apologized to his teammates, the organization and the fans, accepting full responsibility for his actions and the consequences that follow."

Jones, a 6-5, 296-pound lineman from the University of Kansas, was drafted by the Jets in 2004. He has played both left and right tackle positions.

On Thanksgiving weekend 1999, Jones suffered a serious head injury when his car blew a tire and rolled. He spent three days in the intensive care unit at Wichita's Wesley Medical Center. Alcohol was not a factor in that accident, officials said.

Jones was returning to Lawrence, Kan., from his home in Dallas with his brother Christopher and Jayhawks teammate Derick Miller. Jones, who had just removed his seat belt to take off his sweater at the time of the accident, was thrown from the car and landed headfirst.

Jones' brother and teammate had only minor injuries.

Now you know i have something to say about this right?? It just so happens that that intersection is one of the busiest on all of long Island. Besides being close to the Jets HQ and Hofstra university, the Nassau Colusiem, the County Community college, County Medical Center, County Jail, and 2 major shopping centers are all in the vicinity, as well as a Police station and a Firehouse. Smart move to be driving erratically there at close to 5 am on any day. I know the area's all of 7 mins from where i live, and i'm there at least 2 times a week because that's where my mother in law lives. So now we know why Mangini Benched Jones Sunday!

Raiders OC Tom Walsh Replaced By John Shoop - Who Is Target Of

The Oakland Raiders just fired their offensive coordinator Tom Walsh, but replaced him with John Shoop, currently the Raiders' tight end's coach, but formerly the offensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears.

Shoop was the target of a campaign and website called "Fire John Shoop" at According to the website, Shoop was quoted as saying "I don't care if we had gotten shut out. I don't care if we wouldn't have gained a yard, I promise you … there's going to be the same plays in the future."


The site continues...

"John Shoop is a fantastic Offensive Coordinator. By fantastic, I mean horrible. He couldn't move the football against a high school team.

John Shoop has wanted to coach football since he was in 7th grade. Like all boys his age he imagined his team losing game after game because his offense was about as daring as The Cowardly Lion. Just think of the comedy potential if John Shoop was the Detroit Lions Offensive Coordinator. And just think of how much better the Bears would be if that were the case. Depressing, isn't it?

John graduated from the University of the South (Sewanee) in 1991, where he played quarterback for 4 seasons. Sewanee athletic records are hard to come by, but I'd be surprised if Shoop ever completed a pass longer than 20 yards. Do you want to be the Bears next offensive coordinator? Become an athletic prospect at Sewanee or whatever they call themselves. Make sure to tell them that you know John Shoop.

Shoop learned a lot at Sewanee, saying, "Those are the lessons I learned at Sewanee. Work and care are the only two things you can control.” I'm not sure what that means, but it's clear that John is wrong. If the Bears care more than the other team, and work harder, then maybe Shoop is calling bad plays. It's also Shoop's fault if they don't care more than the other team and don't work hard.

After leaving Sewanee, Shoop spent 4 seasons working as a volunteer and graduate assistant for bad college teams (Dartmouth and Vanderbilt) before becoming the offensive quality control coach and later quarterbacks coach for a bad NFL team. Since January 22, 2001, Shoop has been the Offensive Coordinator of the Chicago Bears. I think the question here is, where is the Bears offensive quality control coach on this one? In fact, the quality control coach is Charlie Coiner, who is much more qualified than John Shoop, but this is, not Sorry, Charlie."

The website also has a message board, which has a thread entitled "The Raiders must want to suck."

Also I found this quote on the website: "John Shoop is the worst Offensive Coordinator in the history of the NFL."
~ ~ Michael Wilbon, Washington Post. I can't find the actual quote, but it may be contained in a post article that was not web archived at the time.

Basically, the "crit" against Shoop is that he calls "run after the catch" pass plays but such that the catch may be for 3 yards on 3rd and 16 yards for a first down. To me, that's a much milder issue that the entire set of problems brought on by Tom Walsh. But still, the one person who really understands the modern passing game -- Cinncinati Bengals Offensive Coordinator Hue Jackson -- works for the Cinncinati Bengals as receivers coach, his prize student Chad Johnson breakiing club yardage records and putting in a Jerry-Rice-like performance.

San Diego Charger Cornerback Cletis Gordon Suspected of DUI - A Lot Of California DUI Arrests.

Wow, a lot of DUI stops in California. Antonio Bryant, Mel Gibson, the list goes on. I wonder if this guy's claim about the California police and DUI's is true? To see the post, click on the title of this post.

Police stop cornerback Cletis Gordon on DUI suspicion

1:21 p.m. November 27, 2006

SAN DIEGO – San Diego Charger cornerback Cletis Gordon was arrested by San Diego police early Monday morning in the city's Gaslamp Quarter on suspicion of drunk driving.
An officer on patrol pulled Gordon over at 6th and J Streets at 1:59 a.m. after witnessing what he considered to be erratic driving, police said.

Gordon, 23, was taken to downtown police headquarters where he was processed and then to jail. He was released after posting bail.

Gordon, who was undrafted out of Jackson State, has not played this season because of a wrist injury.

He is the fifth Charger to have a run-in with the law this year.

“We are all disappointed,” general manager A.J. Smith said. “We'll let the legal system run its course. It will be discussed and handled internally.”

Coach Marty Schottenheimer said, “I think we need to wait until all the facts are brought out. He was brought in. y understanding is he did the test and it was below the number. I don't know. We'll have to wait and see.”

Linebacker Shaun Phillips was arrested last April on suspicion of obstructing or resisting an officer after an altercation downtown.

The same month, linebacker Steve Foley was arrested after involvement in a fight with three officers in University City. The District Attorney's office declined to file charges.

Foley was shot by an off-duty Coronado police officer in Poway Sept. 3after the officer stopped him on suspicion of erratic driving.
Cornerback Markus Curry was arrested in October on Interstate 805 in National City in connection with a domestic violence case.

Safety Terrence Kiel was arrested in September on charges involving the trafficking of prescription drugs.

Meanwhile, linebacker Shawne Merriman just finished serving a four-game suspension for violation of the National Football League rule regarding steroid use.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Colts 45, Eagles 21; Rookie RB Joseph Addai Scores Four TD's - AP

This was an amazing performance by a rookie running back who's definitely quicker than Dommick Rhodes and could have had 200 yards had he not shared the running duties with Rhodes. But that written, it's good to have the "one-two" punch.

Joseph Addai (four TDs) leads Colts past Eagles

INDIANAPOLIS (Nov. 26, 2006) -- Indianapolis opened the season with a precarious chase of perfection through the air. They were finally grounded -- and on Sunday night, Joseph Addai took off running.

Against a strong Philadelphia defense, the running back slashed and powered his way to a career-high 171 yards, setting a franchise rookie record by scoring four touchdowns in the Colts' 45-21 rout of the Eagles.

For Indianapolis (10-1), it was a refreshing change from Peyton Manning's weekly rescue missions. The Colts were the last unbeaten team before a loss to the Cowboys last week, and their big rebound means a chance to clinch a fourth consecutive AFC South title with a victory next week at Tennessee.

Against the Eagles, the two-time MVP mostly was a spectator. Instead, Addai was the one making offense look easy, with his slashing runs, quick burst and overpowering style eating up chunks of yardage on nearly all 24 carries.

To Addai, it wasn't enough.

"A lot of running backs come in and do good the first year and after that they go into the tank," he said. "I've got to become more consistent."

Addai, who entered this week as the top rookie runner in the NFL, had 91 yards rushing and three touchdowns in the first half to tie a Colts' rookie record for scores, first set by Billy Vessels in 1956.

He also caught two passes for 37 yards, giving him 208 total yards.

Addai's four touchdowns tied an NFL rookie record for rushing scores in one game; he shares that mark with eight other players. He also broke a franchise record for points scored by a rookie in a game -- the previous high was 18, reached in 1956, 1994 and 1996.

"I think it started way back in camp, just learning little key things," Addai said. "That's what you have to do as a rookie is work on the small things and you'll do pretty good."

Manning finished 14-for-20 for 183 yards with one touchdown and one interception, but broke yet another record.

His first completion, a 17-yarder to Reggie Wayne on the game's opening series, made Manning the fastest player in league history to 3,000. The two-time MVP achieved the feat in 139 games, breaking a record previously shared by Dan Marino and Drew Bledsoe of 146, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

He finished the night with 3,013 completions but was more content with the victory.

"Guys were disappointed after last week," Manning said. "You always want to get a win and get that taste out of your mouth."

In contrast, the Eagles (5-6) did little right.

From a poor early decision to challenge Wayne's one-handed, 38-yard catch to a botched double-pass that was picked off by Nick Harper to David Akers' missed 36-yard field goal, the game was filled with mistakes -- and few could be attributed to the absence of quarterback Donovan McNabb, who is out for the season with a torn knee ligament.

In the first half alone, Joseph Addai rushed for 91 yards and three touchdowns.
The first time Philadelphia did score, on L.J. Smith 's 1-yard TD catch with 1:19 left in the half, it left Manning too much time and he closed out the first half by setting up Adam Vinatieri's 44-yard field goal.

"We just didn't make the plays out there," Eagles coach Andy Reid said. "I'm going to step up and tell you it starts with us, as coaches, and I've got to continue to take a close look at that and make sure we're putting the right guys in the right positions."

Jeff Garcia, McNabb's replacement, was 19-for-23 for 140 yards with two TDs before leaving with a strained right forearm. Brian Westbrook rushed 20 times for 124 yards, becoming the first Eagles since Wilbert Montgomery in 1981 with three consecutive 100-yard games, it was little solace.

"It's a situation where we've got to be methodical with the football," Garcia said. "In a situation like that, we just didn't do enough."

Manning got started quickly. He led Indy on a 79-yard opening drive, capped by Addai's 15-yard run to make it 7-0.

Addai followed that with a 10-yard run on the first play of the second quarter to give Indy a 14-0 lead, then extended the margin to 21-0 when he made two terrific cuts on another 15-yard run.

Philadelphia finally answered on Smith's TD catch, but the Colts got a 44-yard field goal as time expired to make it 24-7 at the half.

The second half wasn't much better for Philly. Indianapolis forced a quick punt and Manning led the Colts on an 89-yard drive, capped by a 15-yard TD pass to Reggie Wayne for a 31-7 lead.

Addai sealed it with a 4-yard TD run late that gave Indy a 38-21 lead.

"We rode the hot hand a little bit," Tony Dungy said. "We actually ran the ball this game probably more than we have in a while, so people got a chance to see what he can do. ... He knows he's a good back, and he just wants to come in here and fit in, and he's done that very well."


Tight end Dallas Clark limped into the locker room moments before halftime with a sprained right knee. The Colts gave no further update.
Philadelphia defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley was inactive after missing the team flight Nov. 25.
The Eagles have not won in Indianapolis since December 1993.
Colts right tackle Ryan Diem left the game during the first quarter with a back muscle injury and did not return.
McNabb is scheduled to have surgery Nov. 28 in Alabama.

The Associated Press News Service

NYPD Cops Shoot Black Unarmed Groom In Car After Bachelor Party 50 Times; No Explaination - AP

What is our society coming to? This is absolutely disguisting and sick. It should not be allowed to occur in America, let alone anywhere else. The cops not only killed the man, but almost knocked off people nearby with the rain of bullets -- and he and they were not armed!

Updated: 11:39 AM EST
IM This E-mail This

Groom Fatally Shot by Police Outside Strip Club
Vigil Planned for Man Gunned Down Hours Before He Was to Wed

NEW YORK (Nov. 26) - Sean Bell and his fiancee had already shared a high school romance, then two children. In the early hours of what was to be their wedding day, their reception hall lay waiting, covered in satin and adorned with balloons.

But the ceremony never arrived Saturday, after police shot 50 rounds at the groom's car as he drove away from his bachelor party, killing the 23-year-old just hours before he was set to walk down the aisle.

The hail of gunfire at a car full of unarmed men drew a furious outcry from family members and community leaders, including the Rev. Al Sharpton. Two passengers, who had been celebrating with the groom at a strip club, were also injured; one was struck by at least 11 bullets.

The officers' shots struck the men's car 21 times after the vehicle rammed into an undercover officer and hit an unmarked NYPD minivan. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Saturday night it was too early to say whether the shooting was justified.

The wild gunfire hit nearby homes and shattered windows at a train station, though no residents were injured.

Police thought one of the men in the car might have had a gun. But investigators found no weapons. It was unclear what prompted police to open fire, Kelly said.

On Sunday morning, a few hours before a planned noon vigil for the victims, Sharpton told ABC's "Good Morning America" that the volume of shots fired alone raised questions about the police's actions.

"How does one justify 50 shots at unarmed men?" Sharpton asked.

Also Sunday, the group 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care said it is issuing a vote of no confidence in Kelly over the shooting. It is also calling for the removal of the chief of the Organized Crime Control Bureau, Anthony Izzo, who it says created the undercover unit involved in the incident.

Additionally, the group wants a re-examination of what it says is a policy that allows officers from the organized crime control unit to consume alcohol on the job. "Who knows whether or not that was a factor in this particular shooting?" said Marq Claxton, a retired police detective and one of the founders of the group.
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A police spokeswoman did not immediately offer comment on the group's demands Sunday.

Kelly said the incident stemmed from an undercover operation inside the strip club in the Jamaica section of Queens. Seven officers in plain clothes were investigating the Kalua Cabaret; five of them were involved in the shooting.

According to Kelly, the groom was involved in a verbal dispute outside the club after 4 a.m. One of his friends made a reference to a gun.

An undercover officer walked closely behind Bell and his friends as they headed for their car. As he walked toward the front of the vehicle, they drove forward - striking him and a nearby undercover police vehicle.

The officer who had followed the group on foot was apparently the first to open fire, Kelly said. That officer had served on the force for five years. One 12-year veteran fired his weapon 31 times, emptying two full magazines, Kelly said.

It was the first time any of the officers, who all carried 9 mm handguns, had been involved in a shooting, Kelly said.

At some point, Bell backed his car up onto the sidewalk, hitting a building gate. He then drove forward, striking the police vehicle a second time, Kelly said.

It was unclear whether the shooters had identified themselves as police, Kelly said.

Kelly's account of the events was based on statements made by witnesses and the two officers who did not shoot their weapons. Police could not question the other officers because the district attorney must first complete an investigation, Kelly said.

The groom was driving. Joseph Guzman, 31, was in the front passenger's seat and was shot at least 11 times. Trent Benefield, 23, who was in the back seat, was hit three times. Both men were taken to Mary Immaculate Hospital, where Guzman was listed in critical condition and Benefield was in stable condition.

Kelly said there may have been a fourth person in the car who fled the scene.

Three officers, including the officer hit by the car, were treated and released. Another detective remained hospitalized for hypertension, Kelly said.

Abraham Kamara, 38, who lives a few blocks from where the shooting occurred, said he was getting ready for work at about 4 a.m. when he heard bursts of gunfire.

"First it was like four shots," he said. "And then it was like pop-pop-pop like 12 times."

Kelly said undercover officers were inside the club to document illicit activity. With one more violation the club would be shut down, Kelly said.

He said the establishment, next to an auto-body repair shop on a gritty block across from a Long Island Rail Road station, had a "chronic history of narcotics, prostitution and weapons complaints" and had been closed by authorities for three months last year.

Sharpton said Bell and his fiancee had two children, a 3-year-old and a 5-month-old.

Robert Porter, who identified himself as Bell's first cousin, said he was supposed to be a DJ at the wedding. He said about 250 people were invited to the ceremony and were flying in from all over the country. He said his cousin wasn't the type to confront police and that he was "on the straight-and-narrow."

"I can't really express myself. It's a numb feeling," Porter said. "I still don't want to believe it, a beautiful day like this, and he was going to have a beautiful wedding, he was going to live forever with his wife and children. And this happened."

This isn't the first time the NYPD has come under scrutiny over police-involved shootings.

In 1999, police killed Amadou Diallo, an unarmed West African immigrant who was shot 19 times in the Bronx. The four officers in that case were acquitted of criminal charges.

And in 2003, Ousmane Zongo was shot to death during a police raid. The 43-year-old, a native of the western African country of Burkina Faso, repaired art and musical instruments in Manhattan. He was hit four times, twice in the back.

Associated Press Writers Jennifer Peltz, Tom Hays and Cristian Salazar contributed to this report.

Amanda Congdon - "Dance Across America" Is Silly Fun

This is a down right silly vlog. But for some reason I can't put my finger on, I liked it. The music is kitch, and so is the whole concept, but it works at what I presume it's supposed to do -- catch your attention for a moment.

Check it out...

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Lincoln Mark 9 - The Car Ford Must Build To Save The Lincoln Brand

Over the past 10 years, Ford Motor Company has ruined the Lincoln brand simply by robbing it of its identity forged over 40 years. Lincolns were always luxury cars and not trucks or SUVs. Yet in its unreasonable march to have an SUV for every taste Ford wrecked Lincoln and paid less attention to its signature brands the Town Car and the Mark series.

These cars were the backbone of Lincoln for years. Bill Ford may say that they don't do well in focus groups, but I counter that Ford took the passion out of them. That has transfered to Mercedes and BMW, and if they can make cars that stir the soul, why can't Ford make a Lincoln that shakes the blood.

A Lincoln like the Mark 9 Concept car. A car introduced in 2001 that Ford still has not made. No wonder observers are betting on Ford's demise; they don't roll the dice and make cars like this. This would -- with the proper marketing -- save Ford and reclaim Lincolns's position as a luxury brand against Cadillac.

Jim Mora Sr. Is Off-Base: Is This Because Michael Vick's Black?

Recently, Jim Mora Sr. made a comment that Michael Vick was a "coach killer." I really think that's an off-base statement, and I've got to wonder to what degree Michael Vick's skin color has to do with this. I mean if Mora Sr. was the coach of the Falcons, would he have started, let alone draft Vick?

I say no.

I state this based on a lot of drive-time hours spent listening to the elder Mora on Fox. One day, Mora said that he'd routinely hire any coach with an Italian last name. He did say this, went on and on about it, and I fumed. I was thinking "I guess that's a weird way of saying he'd never give a young black head coach a chance."


So I immediately formed the view that the elder Mora may have a race issue that clouds how he sees NFL talent, including Michael Vick. Mr. Mora, I've got news, the problem with the Falcons passing game rests in the design of the passing game, not in Michael Vick.

I was just watching the NFL Network's telecast replay of the Falcons / Ravens game of last Sunday. I noticed that the passes called by Mora Junior's staff -- Greg Knapp -- were all five or seven step drops or play action. No three step drops. None of the quick passes to receivers who are standing on the line of scrminage. Nothing to take the pressure off the Falcons offensive line. Nothing.

The passes were the same one's I've seen the Falcons run game after game -- in other words, they're predictable.

So when the passing pocket collapsed, as did happen often, Vick was forced to run.

This is bad coaching in action. The Falcons are great at designing running plays for Vick, but terrible -- and I mean just bad -- at creating a great passing system.

And Michael Vick gets blamed for a problem that would have given backup Matt Schaub a separated shoulder.


The Falcons need to fix their passing game, before it's too late.

Jim Mora Says Michael Vick Is A "Coach Killer" - AP

I will comment on this in a separate post, but here's the news. I think Jim Sr's way off base here.

Vick 'speechless' after coach's father rips him
Falcons rally around Vick after elder Mora calls QB a 'coach killer'

Chris Gardner / AP
Falcons quarterback Michael Vick has struggled in the last three games. Earlier this week, Jim Mora's father labeled Vick as a "coach killer" on his radio show.

Updated: 2:02 p.m. AKT Nov 22, 2006

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. - The Atlanta Falcons closed ranks around embattled quarterback Michael Vick, who was clearly stunned by reports that Jim Mora’s father referred to No. 7 as a “coach killer.”

Vick said Wednesday that he shut off his cell phone because he was getting so many calls about comments made by Mora’s father, a former NFL coach who shares the same name with his son.

“Honestly, I don’t even know what to say,” Vick said. “I think it was inappropriate. But, hey, when you’re commentating, I guess you’ve got a right to say what you want to say. I just keep playing football. At the same time, it’s crazy.”

Earlier this week, during his show on Fox Sports Radio, the elder Mora agreed with the co-host’s description of Vick as a “coach killer.”

“It worries me a little bit because my son is the head coach down there,” Mora added. “But he’s a great athlete, my son likes him a lot, he’s a good kid. But he’s not a passer. And you need a passer at quarterback to be successful consistently in the National Football League. And he ain’t getting it done in that category.”

The younger Mora said he’s spoken with his father about the statement — “he regrets it” — and went to great lengths to show that he’s still got faith in his quarterback, despite a three-game losing streak that has severely hurt the Falcons’ playoff hopes.

Jason Calacanis Ponders His Next Gig After AOL

Jason Calacanis -- pictured here at the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business -- the man credited with putting New York City's growing digital media industry on the map of popular culture and who sold his network of weblogs to AOL for $25 million, is pondering his next job having quit AOL just over a week ago.

On his blog, Jason lists the following possibilities:

1. Weblogs, Inc. of Podcasting
2. Weblogs, Inc of Video
3. Run all Nick Denton news all the time.
4. Become a professional poker player.
5. Buy CNET/Become CEO of CNET (no offer has been made--really)
6. Buy an ailing newspaper, reinvent.
6. Become a VC
7. Put 100% of my energy into CalacanisCast/JasonNation
8. Take a job at a Hollywood agency and start over in the movie business
9. Do a media roll-up (i.e. buy 20 small to medium-sized media properties and take get them to scale)
10. Partner with Peter Rojas and start a gadget company (i.e. a non-DRM, wifi enabled, Mp3/Media player)
You guys have any ideas?

If you do visit his blog, which you can do by clicking on the link to it from this post..

Friday, November 24, 2006

Ticketmaster Sells $500 New England Patriots Tickets, Yet Not Being Sued

Yep. That's right. The New England Patriots are suing StubHub, which isn't a ticket brokerage but an exchange and does have below face tickets posted for many events, for allowing the sale of high priced tickets for up to and over $500.

Well, Ticketmaster has tickets for the Chicago Bears' visit to New England for $500, but you want to know why the New England Patriots aren't suing them?

Because they benefit from it. Check out this link to the proof with a click on this sentence.

This lawsuit should be thrown out of court. Ticketmaster's probably behind the scenes pulling the chains of unknowning Boston fans who want lower ticket prices, yet don't know what to do.

The simple fact is that Ticketmaster's own online system is getting the sales tar beaten out of it by StubHub's and Ticketmaster can't stand it. Ticketmaster wants to be the only ticket brokerage and seeing StubHub, which is not a brokerage but a simple market exchange online, as a threat to its survival.

Folks, don't be fooled by the Patriots or Ticketmaster in this lawsuit, they're not trying to do the fans a favor at all. At least that's my reasoned and experienced view.

New England Patriots Sue StubHub -'s Latest Report may have rolled up it's sleaves -- and it does this well -- but it totally misdiagosed the entire matter of the New England Patriots' lawsuit against StubHub. First of all, and this shows just how dumb the lawsuit is, StubHub can't "induce" a season ticket holder to scalp. In no ad material does StubHub encourage any ticket poster to do this. So if the Pat's lawsuit focuses on this idea, it's wrongheaded.

Second, claims that 30 tickets per game sold at StubHub's sites are fake -- but that's not StubHub's fault as many ticket brokers are guilty of selling fraudulent tickets and try to use StubHub to do this; Stubhub's the only company that actually does have a money-back guarantee to protect this. Ticketmaster has no such program, which brings me to Ticketmaster.

Ticketmaster is a true ticket brokerage, period. They've even told high-priced secondary ticket market tickets to Presidential inuagurations. But why isn't Ticketmaster, which sells nothing but at or over face value tickets, being sued? Because it has a contractual relationship with the New England Patriots. For example, Ticketmaster has tickets for the upcoming Patriots / Bears game for up to $500, far in access of the face value for the ticket. Why isn't Ticketmaster the focus of the lawsuit? Well, because the site where the tickets are sold belongs to Ticketmaster and the New England Patriots.

Check it out for yourself. If one know's what to look for, what appeared to be a lawsuit based on the idea of stopping ticket scalping, turns out to be a tool to clear the competition for Ticketmaster, leaving them to jack up prices.




We've rolled up our sleeves and tracked down some more information regarding the lawsuit filed on Tuesday by the New England Patriots against online ticket scalping company StubHub.

Okay, actually the stuff kind of fell into our laps but, hey, we take what we can get.

The action, as we understand it, isn't an effort by the team to attack the near-universal and long-standing practice of people selling tickets to sporting events for value greater than the price printed on the thing. Whether it's a guy with a computer or a laminated piece of cardboard with "I NEED TICKETS" in block letters, someone always will be looking to make a buck (or a few hundred) via the re-selling of seats.

The Patriots are focusing on a more specific dynamic -- the focused efforts of StubHub to induce season-ticket holders to engage in activities that violate their individual agreements with the franchise.

Put simply, the folks who have secured the ability to buy tickets to all Patriots home games agree not to re-sell the tickets at an increased price. For individuals who can't use their tickets to a given game, the team maintains a waiting list of folks who can acquire the tickets at face value, plus a relatively small service charge from Ticketmaster.

StubHub, we're told, was placed on notice of these contractual rights and responsibilities, yet has continued to induce season ticket holders to breach their agreements via specific advertisements in publications like the Boston Globe, which ads contain messages like "Are you a Patriots season-ticket holder who can't sell your tickets?"

The prevalence of the advertising efforts caused the organization to become concerned that the franchise is condoning the practice. The other problem is that some of the tickets bought and sold through StubHub are counterfeit. Per a source with knowledge of the situation, roughly 30 tickets per game purchased via StubHub end up being phony. And although StubHub eventually refunds the money, the consumers typically must jump through multiple hoops to make it happen.

Thus, one of the claims in the lawsuit is that StubHub has tortiously interfered with the team's relationship with its season-ticket holders, and the primary goal is to get the company to stop the practice. Any damages recovered will go to the Patriots Charitable Foundation, not to the team itself.

With all that said, the decision of the Patriots to pursue the action against StubHub creates a real risk that the media will begin to scrutinize more carefully the involvement of teams in the scalping of tickets -- including the widespread manner in which some teams turn profits on the sale of Super Bowl seats. But it appears that StubHub backed the Patriots into a corner on this one, and it should prompt any NFL team that maintains a relationship with StubHub to re-examine the wisdom of dealing with a company that might have provoked a course of action that, depending on how the dominoes fall, could eventually make it harder to realize those late January windfalls.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

New England Patriots Win Super Bowl XXXVIII - Video Of Wining Field Goal; Reaction

I was at this Super Bowl as this happened. Here someone's video of Adam Viniateri's kick giving the New England Patriots the win over the Carolina Panthers in a dramatic game.

Monte Poole - Oakland Tribune Columnist On Randy Moss and Raiders

Marriage between Moss and Raiders just won't work
Column by Monte Poole
Article Last Updated:11/22/2006 08:08:46 AM PST

THEY LIKE to throw the deep pass, so they obtained theleague's superior deep threat.
They embrace the notion of baggage and talent in a single package, so they acquired a touchdown machine with a renegade reputation.
They needed a new start, he needed a new start, and it just made sense, given their apparent compatibility, that they become partners and begin their sprint toward prosperity.
The Raiders' decision 20 months ago to marry Randy Moss was, theoretically, conceived in the lap of logic, a practically perfect match of player and system. Nowhere in the NFL was there a man whose talents better fit his team's schemes and concepts than Randy and the Raiders.
Now, 26 games later, there is no avoiding the evidence branding this union an abject failure. Raiders-Moss has been downright catastrophic, leaving both parties grotesquely disfigured, ruined for the foreseeable future.
Moss came here to collect another 40 or 50 touchdowns, revive a sagging franchise and put an exclamation point on a Hall of Fame career.
Moss will, in all likelihood, leave town at age 30, with signs of midcareer burnout, wondering ifhis highway to Canton was sabotaged by his brief and joyless stay behind the eye patch.
Remember how Moss was welcomed to Oakland after the trade? He arrived at Oakland International, was whisked into a limo and received a police escort to Raiders headquarters.
It was an entrance fit for a savior or a king. Insofar as Moss was generally considered NFL royalty, it was a conspicuous manifestation of the value the team placed in its newest member.
The Raiders had made a bold move, doing whatever was necessary to make themselves matter again, creating significant buzz around the city and the league. The Raider Nation was ecstatic.
Since that day, however, they have won six games, while losing 20. It is the most pathetic 26-game stretch of the 431/2 years they have spent under the spell of Al Davis.
Moreover, Moss has become irrelevant.
He has been, in Oakland, an acutely unexceptional wide receiver. Once drawn to the end zone like a flower to the sun, Moss rarely finds the place and doesn't always look comfortable when he does. His Pro Bowl status is practically rusted over.
As this season has slogged along, Randy's focus has turned foggy, his hands have hardened, and his passion has turned to apathy. It's as if he has cloned the most despised athletic characteristics of so many other talents who came and went, having dumped a pile of unfulfilled promise across local hopes.
Do the names Billy Owens, Rickey Dudley, Jeff George, Ruben Sierra or J.J. Stokes mean anything?
Seeing Moss jog to a stop, arms passively at his sides, witnessing Kansas City safety Jarrad Page intercept Aaron Brooks' pass — intended for Moss — in the end zone Sunday was merely the latest sign of Randy's disgust with his employer.
Even before that, though, you couldn't pitch a dart in the dark without hitting a flashing red light of his displeasure here.
Just last Friday Moss asked, rather politely, to be sent elsewhere, anywhere.
Four days before that, he conceded his formerly reliable hands have become a liability, saying it may be the result of his unhappiness here.
A few weeks before that, he implied knowledge of why the Raiders aren't able to finish off even average opponents — but kept his thoughts to himself.
It was last month when he asked a simple question, the essence of which was: Since the Raiders aren't doing what they can to win, why should I?
It was Moss, you may recall, who warned us during summer that some "fishy" stuff was going on with the Raiders.
After eight losses in 10 games, the fish is old and stinking and visible to the world.
Raiders-Moss wasn't a predictable disaster on the order of Bobby and Whitney, Britney and K-Fed, or O.J. and Fox News. But the result is the same, an ugly breakup to which both parties contributed.
The Raiders should have known what everybody else knew about Moss, that he requires considerable maintenance and does his best work under optimum conditions. That, they have not provided. Not even close.
Yet for a while, Moss was the model teammate, praised for his selflessness, his humor, his efforts to generate esprit de corps.
What did that get him? The man who scored 91 touchdowns in 109 games in Minnesota has scored 11 in 26 games in Oakland. The dynamic tandem of Moss and Jerry Porter never quite materialized.
So this has been a slow erosion of Randy's already fragile mental toughness. As things have splintered and frayed and fractured around him, Moss clearly became demoralized, giving up on his team and, by extension, himself.
No wonder he wants out. It is the best thing for him and for the Raiders. Both parties, easy targets for critics, need to see if they can recapture what they once possessed.
On New Year's Eve night, after the their last game, the Raiders should vow to move Moss. Such an act would acknowledge the obvious: Sometimes marriages seemingly made in heaven sink to a substantially lower place.
Monte Poole can be reached at (510) 208-6461 or by e-mail at

Donovan McNabb Out; Terrell Owens Doens't Care - ESPN

Torn ACL ends McNabb's year; swelling delays surgery - ESPN

Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA -- Donovan McNabb tore a ligament in his right knee and will miss the rest of the season, the third time in five years the Eagles will finish a campaign without their hard-luck quarterback.

No sympathy from T.O.

IRVING, Texas -- Donovan McNabb shouldn't expect a "Get well soon" text message from Terrell Owens.
"Absolutely not," Owens said Tuesday.

But, T.O., don't you remember McNabb sending you one following your reported suicide attempt that turned out to be an accidental overdose?

"I'm not even going there, dude," Owens said, laughing and shaking his head. "I wouldn't even make up a story like that. It's not even worth it. Just not even worth it."

Although McNabb has said he reached out to Owens following his brief hospital stint in September, Owens has maintained he never received anything from McNabb.

The mixup or media ploy -- depending on whose side you're on -- only added to the bitter feelings between the former Philadelphia teammates whose friendship dissolved oh-so-publicly.

McNabb was rolling to his right and was bumped out of bounds after throwing an incomplete pass Sunday when he grabbed his leg in pain early in the second quarter of Philadelphia's 31-13 loss to the Titans.

He was immediately tended to by trainers, carted off the field and later taken to a hospital. The Eagles said McNabb, a five-time Pro Bowl selection in the midst of a possible career year, tore his anterior cruciate ligament.

"That's normally an eight-month-to-a-year injury," Eagles coach Andy Reid said, "so he's done for the year."

According to reports on the Eagles Web site, McNabb was examined by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., on Monday. The famed orthopedic surgeon concluded that swelling in the knee would prevent immediate surgery.

McNabb was officially placed on injured reserve Tuesday. Linebacker Torrance Daniels was promoted from the practice squad to take McNabb's roster spot. Quarterback Omar Jacobs was signed to the practice squad.

McNabb will work with Eagles staff for the next two to three weeks to reduce swelling. Philadelphia head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder updated McNabb's condition on Monday, saying the quarterback also suffered minor meniscus damage.

"[McNabb] accepts that injuries are part of the game. He is disappointed, I know," Burkholder told "The last thing I said to him last night when he was leaving was, 'We'll get you right,' and he said, 'We've got to get these guys right.' His concern was his teammates more than him at the time. I don't think any of us expect anything less out of Donovan."

While Burkholder acknowledged that the recovery time for this kind of injury is almost a year, he also said, "Some depends on what happens when they get in there and look around to see whether there is any other damage."

McNabb came into Sunday's game tied with Peyton Manning for the league lead with 18 touchdown passes and was second in the league with 2,569 yards passing.

Titans defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch, who bumped McNabb out of bounds on the play, said he was trying to get a hand in the quarterback's face as he was trying to get off the pass.

"I really feel bad for him," Vanden Bosch said. "You know I never play with the intent to get anybody hurt and I've been through two ACL injuries myself and you know my thoughts and prayers go out to him."

McNabb was replaced in the lineup by Jeff Garcia, who finished the game 26-for-48 for 189 yards and threw a touchdown pass to L.J. Smith.

"You never think he's not going to get up and come back on the field," Garcia said. "He's a great player and he was having a great year. And he is a leader on this team and he will be missed in many ways."

Donovan McNabb injured his right knee early in the second quarter against the Titans.
The Eagles fell to 5-5 with the loss, but Reid said he would expect the team to bounce back.

"He's a great player," Reid said. But "we can still win football games with the guys that we have."

McNabb missed the final seven games last season with a sports hernia and Philadelphia finished 6-10, a frustrating follow-up to the Eagles' Super Bowl run. McNabb also sat out the final six regular-season games of the 2002 season with a broken ankle before returning for the playoffs.

The Eagles were 2-5 with Mike McMahon filling in for McNabb last season and went 5-1 with Koy Detmer and A.J. Feeley starting the last six games in '02.

McNabb was 6-for-13 for 78 yards and threw an interception in the end zone before leaving the game.

Reid said he would determine later whether Garcia would start in place of McNabb against Indianapolis next week. Feeley was re-signed by the Eagles in the preseason and is the team's third quarterback.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press