Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Super Bowl XLI ‘quarterbacks’ quorner:’ Grossmanning

We’ve already fake interviewed the head coaches involved, so this week – Super Bowl week! – we’re going to instead pretend to sit down with the second most important person on each team – the left tackle. Wait, I’m sorry…the quarterback! And this time, we’re sitting down with both QBs at the same time. Ladies and gentlemen, the stars of Super Bowl XLI: Sexy Rexy and Peyton What’s His Face.

Me: Okay. Which one of you guys is the white guy?

Rex Grossman: We’re both white.

Me: No, no. I mean, the really white guy.

Peyton Manning: We’re both pretty white.

Me: Who’s the Kenny Chesney fan with the fairly large forehead who always does things by the book?

Manning: I like Kenny Chesney, but I don’t think my foreh…

Me: Alright, got it. I just didn’t want to get the two of you confused. I’ve never done two interviews at the same time, and it’s weird when you guys don’t have your uniforms on.

Grossman: I’m wearing a Bears hat.

Me: The two of you have taken virtually parallel paths to get here. Peyton, you’re the best among the “first family of quarterbacks,” who is beloved in Indy, and who finally beat his archrival to get here, thus solidifying your position as one of the all-time great NFL quarterbacks. Rex, you also play quarterback. It’s almost like you’re the same person!

Grossman: People often get us confused.

Manning: Nobody’s ever confused me with him before.

Me: And let’s be honest here – both of you have capitalized on your extreme marketability. Rex, you’re in the commercial where you and teammate Muhsin Muhammad agree to use your cell phones to vote for each other for the Pro Bowl. A stretch, considering your well-documented QB ratings – and it obviously didn’t work - but still. Peyton, you’re in every commercial that is not the aforementioned Rex Grossman commercial. In fact, your overexposure makes Tiki Barber look like Marvin Harrison. Explain how this all went down.

Manning: For me, it started to take on a life of it’s own. I filmed these bits for MasterCard, DirecTV, and others, and they all seemed to come out all at once, to the point where it seemed like I was on every commercial. But I enjoy doing it, and it doesn’t conflict with my dedication to football in any way. Obviously. I mean, I’m in the Super Bowl.

Grossman: Who’s Marvin Harrison?

Manning: Are you serious?

Grossman: Wait, he was the fifth Beatle, right?

Me: Rex, you’re obviously well prepared for Super Bowl XLI. You also were well-prepared to play in the last game of the regular season - an embarrassing loss to the Packers - after which you admitted to not really caring about the game because you were looking forward to partying that night, which was New Year’s Eve. Now, Miami seems like a pretty fun place. Are you going to be focused this Sunday, or passed out on some woman’s couch with a lampshade on your head and pictures of genitalia drawn on your stomach in permanent marker?

Grossman: I will be ready to go. I am focused. Hey, why are you laughing?

Manning: Nothing, nothing. It’s just, well…have you looked in the mirror yet this morning? Somebody drew boobies on your forehead.

Grossman: What? Again? Crap! Where’s the bathroom in here?

Me: From the smell of things, you’re sitting in it. Peyton, let’s turn this conversation your way for a second. You and Rex obviously have different preparation tactics. You prefer to “practice” and watch “game tapes.” Were you always this much of a dork?

Manning: I don’t really consider myself a dork, per say. But I guess, being a football dork is much better than being a real life dork. Like a scientist or something.

Me: Interesting. Peyton, it’s been well documented that your father, Archie, was also an NFL quarterback. He must be very proud of you. Rex, do you have a father?

Grossman: Yeah, probably.

Me: Is he worth discussing?

Grossman: I think he’s an accountant, or something.

Me: Never mind. Rex, let’s discuss the Big Game, of which your team, the Bears, are the underdog. Talk about a contrast in styles! You like to chuck the ball deep; Peyton likes to complete passes. The Bears will win despite you; The Colts will win because of Peyton. But most importantly, Super Bowl XLI features one of the most potent NFL offenses in recent memory versus one of the most aggressive defenses in the league. Rex, what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?

Grossman: I don’t know. Like, an explosion or something?

Me: Does your team have a chance, Rex? That’s what I’m trying to ask here.

Grossman: During the explosion? I’m not sure…Are we wearing fire-retardant suits? Why don’t you go ask that scientist dork Manning?

Me: Let’s talk about the rivalry between the two of you. Peyton, you played your college ball at Tennessee, where you initially honed your reputation as a big-game flop, as you could never beat your SEC rival, Steve Spurrier and the Florida Gators. Rex, you played for Florida, but only after Peyton left the Vols. So I ask you, Peyton – will beating Rex and the Bears kind of doubly-count as beating Florida also? I would think so, right?

Manning: No, I don’t think so. I’m kind of past that at this point in my career, as I’m sure Rex is as well.

Grossman: Florida Gators! Whoo-hoo! NATIONAL CHAMPIONS! Chomp, chomp, chomp! You’re going DOWN, Peyton Manning! Woooooooo! What’s a volunteer, anyway? Ha, ha…I’m just playin’. But seriously, you’re going down.

Manning: Yeah, okay. We’ll see who’s going down. By the way, can I see your National Title ring? Oh, yeah – my bad. You never won one. Maybe you should stop living vicariously through other Florida teams.

Grossman: What? Who are you calling vicariously? I prefer women, my man!

Me: Okay, that’s quite enough. Let’s try and stay civilized here, okay? In fact, let’s have a little fun, and play a Super Bowl version of “Truth or Dare,” shall we? Peyton, you first. Truth or dare?

Manning: Hmmm…truth.

Me: Chicago “D.” The ’85 Bears reincarnate, or more overrated than “My Name is Earl.”

Manning: That’s easy. ’85 reincarnate.

Me: I have a Bible right over there. Do I need to get it?

Manning: Okay, okay. More overrated than “Earl.” What’s the deal with that show anyway? I’ve seen it like 10 times, and I’m still waiting to laugh.

Me: Tell me about it. Okay Rex, your turn. Truth or dare?

Grossman: Dare!

Me: How did I know that was coming? Alright, I dare you to not throw one deep ball on Sunday.

Grossman: Truth!

Me: You can’t change your answer. And besides, I was kidding. I dare you to eat that moldy bagel over there. Wait, where did it go?

Grossman: I ate it already. I thought it was a blueberry bagel.

Me: Okay, let’s stop this game before I throw up. Guys, I want to thank you both so much for stopping by to talk, and I wish you both the best of luck in Sunday’s game.

Manning: Isn’t wishing both of us “good luck” a meaningless gesture? Wouldn’t it just cancel out?

Me: You’re such a dork.

Grossman. Word. Wait – we have a game on Sunday?

Manning: Yes, Rex, you do. And don’t forget, during the game, they won’t be saying, “Mooo-vers,” they’ll be saying, “Boooo.” Heh, heh…

Grossman: I don't get it.

Bears vs Colts...in space

Monday, January 29, 2007

Classic card of the week

Howie Long, A1 Masters of the Grill series

Sonny and Cher. Pastrami and rye. Ghostface and Raekwon. The NFL and A1 steak sauce. Never was a connection between two otherwise separate entities made as seamlessly as that of the National Football League and something you can lather your meat with. And on the front lines of this marketing breakthrough was none other than Howie Long, who, besides playing for the Raiders, lived an otherwise normal life, with a white picket fence, shish kabobs, and a small pitchfork that he would stab you with if you kicked a soccer ball onto his plush lawn. The perfect spokesperson – he was handsome, muscular, and ambidextrous with a spatula – Howie Long mastered the art of overexposure, leaving lesser NFL players like Joe Montana to resort to cheap, masturbation jokes on Saturday Night Live. In fact, Howie Long in his prime makes the modern-day Peyton Manning look reclusive by comparison. An accompanying infomercial was used in tandem with this card, and Howie Long began his Troy McClure-esque monologue as such: “Oh, hello there! How did you get in my f*$*%$ backyard? Ha ha ha! Just kidding! My name is Howie Long. You may remember me from such underachieving yet belligerently evil organizations as ‘the Los Angeles Raiders.’ When I’m not driving my Dodge Ram to Radio Shack, starring alongside John Travolta in the smash hit ‘Firestorm,’ or watching the Fox network, I’m here – in a studio! – cooking up some beef tenderloins. Mmmmm, can you smell the meat? I sure can. It smells meaty. And take it from me, Howie Long – there’s nothing better to lather your meat with than some A1 steak sauce. It goes down smooth. Every time. Now, other steak sauces may claim to do the trick, but only one steak sauce is recognized as the official steak sauce of the National Football League – A1 steak sauce. And I should know, because I’m Howie Long – master of the gridiron AND master of the grill. Now get the hell off my lawn! Ha ha ha! Just kidding. But seriously…” Coincidentally, the back of this card – instead of providing some fascinating Howie Long defensive stats – includes a recipe for “hot ‘n’ spicy chicken barbecue,” a recipe that, ironically, requires some A1 steak sauce (and one teaspoon of vegetable oil, of course). Unfortunately, nobody told Howie Long, who doesn’t appear to be cooking chicken. And not pictured is Peyton Manning standing behind the fence, pleading with Howie Long to “cut that meat!”

Did you know?
Reakwon was also a chef.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Classic card of the week

*Special Friday edition
Mike Michel, 1979 Topps

Mike Michel was a punter back when punters were men. Mike Michel was a punter back when punters wore jerseys that exposed everything underneath, as if to say, “Here – look into my heart. It’s pure ice.” Mike Michel was a punter back when punters didn’t shave until they landed 16 consecutive punts inside the opponent’s 5-yard line. And guess what? Mike Michel shaved three hours after this photo was taken. With a butter knife and some salt water. Mike Michel was a punter back when punters would stick their hands down their pants just to see what was going on down there, and then be like, “Yeah…still got it.” Once in 1978, the Eagles endured a fourth consecutive three-and-out during a home game against the rival Cowboys, and the notoriously pessimistic Eagles’ fans showered boos down onto the field. Taking this as a personal slight because he was jogging onto the field to punt, Mike Michel took the snap, and punted the ball right out of Veteran’s Stadium. The stunned crowd stood in silence as Michel raised his arms in the air and screamed, “Are you not entertained?!” Mike Michel was, simply put, the shizznitz. Check the back of this card for proof: Nine of his 35 punts in 1977 terminated inside the 20-yard line, none rolling into the end zone. And I know what you’re asking yourself: “So…is that good? Is that a good ratio?” Well, I don’t freakin’ know. But I’ll tell you one thing – Mike Michel knew how to terminate a punt. The reason his punts didn’t roll into the end zone was because they didn’t roll at all – they often fell 25 feet below the earth’s surface, which was even more amazing considering the Eagles played on Astroturf. A rookie cornerback for the Rams once tried to fair catch a Mike Michel punt. He caught it all right, but it took 32 minutes, six construction workers and a fully operational crane to pull him out of the ground. By his helmet. During the extended delay, Mike Michel stood on the sidelines with his hands down his pants. He knew he still had it. Also, Mike plays the guitar.

Did you know?
If you Google Mike Michel, Google has no idea what you’re talking about.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

AFC Playoff coach’s corner: Tony Dungy

Instead of flooding the market with “previews,” or rambling on incessantly about “facts,” I’ve decided instead to delve into the NFL Playoffs by fake interviewing a few of the big-name coaches who will be prominently involved. Coaches, after all, are very important, because they make a lot of money, and are crucial to the success of their respective football team. Without coaches, armies of helmeted men would all be aimlessly wandering the streets, wondering what time it was, and how they got there. In that respect, we’re going to sit down with a very important coach to discuss the upcoming weekend of the NFL Playoffs. This week’s imaginary participant: Indianapolis Colts’ head coach Tony Dungy.

Me: Coach Dungy, thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us. I know you’re very busy these days.

Dungy: No problem. And I’m not really that busy. This bye week is driving me crazy – I’m not into drinking or prostitutes, so it was good to get out of the hotel for a while, and let the players do their thing.

Me: Alrighty then. Has it sunk in yet that you’re headed to your first Super Bowl, or are you simply waiting to wake up from this dream, only to grab the newspaper with a headline that reads, “Dungy, Colts fall to Pats; Lohan back in rehab?”

Dungy: It had to sink in real quick. After all, this wasn’t what we dreamed about – winning the Super Bowl is our ultimate goal.

Me: But you have to admit, finally beating the New England Patriots in the playoffs had to feel pretty darn good. I always marveled at how the Patriots played the Yankees to your Red Sox, when for 86 years, the New England fan base made a living – even forged an identity – out of being someone’s bitch. As a Yankee fan, the New England Patriots helped me appreciate why everyone hates me.

Dungy: I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t feel like we got a monkey off our backs by beating the Pats.

Me: Are you calling Bill Belichick a monkey?

Dungy: No.

Me: I think that monkeys dress better than Bill Belichick, and monkeys, in general, don’t wear clothes.

Dungy: I didn’t call him a monkey.

Me: Coach, how many idiots in Miami have confused you for Herm Edwards? Are people really that stupid?

Dungy: Nobody yet, but it does happen pretty often.

Me: I’ve always said that you look like Herm Edwards if Herm Edwards didn’t eat for seven months, and had a moderate idea about how to coach a football team.

Dungy: Herm is my friend. I think he is a great coach.

Me: People love Tony Dungy. Every writer, announcer, player, and opposing coach consistently goes out of his way to mention what a great guy you are. Tell me something naughty about yourself; something that would make the general public completely reevaluate their opinion of you.

Dungy: I’m not sure if that’s the best PR move, but…what the heck. Let’s see…something naughty…okay, okay! One time, when I was in Tampa, I told a beat guy to “get out of my face” or “I’d fix his wagon!” I never did follow through on that threat though, and I sent him a fruit basket the next day.


Dungy: Alright, alright, let me think. Oh! This one time, at band camp, I stuck my flute in my friend’s locker, and told the composer that I lost it. I hated the flute. I was more of a trumpet kind of guy.

Me: Wow, that reeks of “E! True Hollywood Story” material. But what about the time you called Bill Belichick a monkey?

Dungy: I never said that. Geez, I didn’t want to have to say this, but do you need your wagon fixed?

Me: This is going nowhere - let’s move on. Coach Dungy, the person you’ve been most closely associated with throughout this most recent stage of your career – besides Herm Edwards – is Peyton Manning, your quarterback. Talk about your relationship, without any man-tears, please.

Dungy: Peyton and I have a great working relationship. It’s give-and-take, really. Peyton and [offensive coordinator] Tom [Moore] go over all the plays, Peyton executes those plays on the field, and I stand and watch.

Me: I was reminded of the special bond between you and your quarterback during last year’s divisional playoff loss to the Steelers, when you sent out the punting unit on a fourth down play, and Peyton actually called you off, and decided to go for it instead. Is your give-and-take relationship defined as, you give up control, and Peyton Manning takes it?

Dungy: No, no, it’s not like that at all. In fact, I have a lot of say in what goes on offensively. For example, if Peyton doesn’t like a particular defensive formation, and is forced to call a timeout, he’ll come over to the sidelines, and we’ll openly discuss what to do. I’ll say something like, “Maybe we should run it to the outside here,” and he’ll be like, “You’re right coach – we should throw it deep to Marvin.” Like I said, give-and-take.

Me: During your tenure in Tampa Bay, you acquired a reputation as a defensive-minded coach. Then you came to Indianapolis and the defense was always your Achilles heel. Then last year the defense was pretty good, but not good enough to shut down Pittsburgh. Then this year the defense regressed into an abyss of horrendousness, only to rebound in time to get you where you are right now, which is in the back booth of a Ruby Tuesdays, waiting to play in the Super Bowl. Please explain. Or at least draw me a graph or something.

Dungy: It’s been tough, ya’ know? Coming here, with guys like Peyton and Marvin [Harrison] and Edgerrin [James], the offense was always going to outshine the defense. But even though we’ve been inconsistent at times, I think our defense has improved leaps and bounds from when I first got here.

Me: Isn’t saying “inconsistent at times” kind of redundant?

Dungy: Possibly.

Me: You mentioned Edgerrin James. He leaves town for the straight cash homey, and now you guys are in the Super Bowl with a rookie and a perennial backup as your running back tandem. On my scorecard, I have, “Colts: 1 Edgerrin James: 0.” Is that how you scored it?

Dungy: I don’t look at it like that. Not having Edgerrin James is not the reason we’re here today. We’re here despite not having him around, which says a lot about this team.

Me: What about the idiot kicker, Mike Vanderjagt? Is it safe to say that you guys are going to the Super Bowl specifically because he is not around?

Dungy: Again, I don’t look at it like that. But yes.

Me: Coach Dungy, thanks so much for stopping by. And good luck in the big game next weekend! I hear Prince is gonna be there, so you’re not going to want to disappoint.

Dungy: It’s funny you should bring him up. Remember my bad camp story? Well, it was Prince’s locker that I hid my flute in! Prince and I were real close growing up, and remain good friends. In fact, I actually helped him right “Cream.”

Me: Wow, that is a naughty song!

Dungy: It is. It really is.

Tony Dungy: Closer to football heaven than Jeff Fisher, but he's no Steve Mariucci...

Monday, January 22, 2007

Classic card of the week

Mark Randall, 1992-93 Fleer

“Alright guys, just calm down. I’m not here to step on anybody’s toes, okay? My name is Mark Randall and I’m just here to play a little defense. I’m really not here to cause any kind of commotion. So if you’ll just get this over with, and pass the ball over my head for an ally-oop type dunk, I’ll be on my way back to the bench. I want to get out of your way as quickly as possible. Honestly. I mean, I’m wearing Reebok Pumps right now, and I didn’t even bother pumping them up before I came out here. I’m totally deflated right now. I might as well be wearing flip-flops. So please, let’s get this over with so everyone can get home to their families, okay?” When he wasn’t playing defense as if he were half-heartedly negotiating a hostage standoff, Mark Randall was busy grabbing mad boards – his 71 total rebounds during the 1991-92 season ranked second among Rony Seikaly look-a-likes. But that’s not all. Mark Randall was a hit with the home crowd, mainly due to his unrivaled ability to recognize that, yes – this is a basketball court I am standing on: A crowd favorite wherever he plays, Randall is a hard-working player with lots of court sense. How much court sense, again? Lots. In fact, in this very picture, the thought process running through Mark Randall’s mind is apparent: I am at the top of the key. No wait – I am near the foul line. Today is Wednesday. If I take two steps back, I will be in “three seconds” territory. Don’t wanna go there. This court is beige, with blue and red coloring. I am sensing a sweat puddle underneath the basket. I hope that kid gets out here with the mop soon, cause somebody is gonna get hurt. Also – and this is just my humble opinion – maybe we can collectively stop using “crowd favorite” as slang for “goofy-ass white guy who looks consistently confused and out-of-place, but who the fans will derisively cheer for if he happens to grab a loose ball.” I’m growing tired of this trend. Guys like Mark Randall and Brian Scalabrine aren’t crowd favorites. They’re scrubs. You know who was a crowd favorite? Michael Jordan. That guy had some serious-ass court sense.

Mark Randall fun facts

Favorite Food: Beef gyro

Favorite Subject: Latin

Favorite Group: Death Cab for Cutie

Favorite Movie: Ernest Goes to Camp / Porn (tie)

Favorite TV Show: True Life: I’m a Jersey Girl

Pet Peeve: When people use credit cards to buy coffee

Did you know?
Mark Randall once negotiated a truce between Dennis Rodman and an upset trannie.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Classic card of the week

*Special Friday edition
Alex Gonzalez, 1999 Topps

There were two outs in the ninth inning of Alex Gonzalez’s first baseball game. Alex himself – speedster that he was – miraculously made his way to third base after he ducked out of the way of a pitch, and the ball accidentally hit his bat. A comedy of errors by the visiting Phillies led to his arrival at third base, which was only halted when third base coach Rex Hudler tackled the excitable youngster to the ground, pinning him to the bag. Nevertheless, Alex Gonzalez represented the winning run at third base. The Marlins’ Jeff Conine came up to the plate, and laced the apparent game-winning single into center field. The stadium erupted with joy. Alex Gonzalez however, instead of sprinting home, anxiously waited at third base for the baton to be passed. The baton would never arrive, mostly because baseball doesn’t use batons, something the Florida Marlins neglected to inform their track star-turned-shortstop. Yes, Alex Gonzalez was that fast. Fast enough that the rebuilding Marlins plucked him right off the track at the local San Pendrinos De La Valley High School, slipped him a $20, and told him, “You’re batting eighth today.” Never mind that Alex Gonzalez had never witnessed a baseball game in his young life, much less played in one. Ultimate blame lie with the Florida coaching staff on this one, who didn’t bother trying to give a crash course on America’s Pastime to a young man who knew no other sport but track during his 17 short years on earth. And the Marlins should have known better, especially after Gonzalez’s first at-bat of the game, where he unknowingly drew a walk, sprinted down the first base line, hurdled the first base bag, and ran straight into the outfield, ultimately trying to use the foul pole as a pole-vaulting apparatus. Worse yet, Gonzalez cost the Marlins the lead in the seventh inning when, after managing to knock down a routine grounder at short, he held the ball under his chin, spun around three times, and ended up shot-putting the ball into the stands. Even then, no one bothered to sit the impressionable youth down and explain to him the basic rules of the sport. Justifiably so, the Marlins would go on to lose this game in extra innings after Gonzalez tested positive for steroids, a rampant problem in track and field at the time.

Did you know?
There are currently 23 Alex Gonzalezes playing on Major League ball clubs, and they all play shortstop and have the exact same stats.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

NFC Playoff coach’s corner: Sean Payton

Instead of flooding the market with “previews,” or rambling on incessantly about “facts,” I’ve decided instead to delve into the NFL Playoffs by fake interviewing a few of the big-name coaches who will be prominently involved. Coaches, after all, are very important, because they make a lot of money, and are crucial to the success of their respective football team. Without coaches, armies of helmeted men would all be aimlessly wandering the streets, wondering what time it was, and how they got there. In that respect, we’re going to sit down with a very important coach to discuss the upcoming weekend of the NFL Playoffs. This week’s imaginary participant: New Orleans Saints’ head coach Sean Payton.

Me: Coach Payton, thanks so much for stopping by.

Payton: My pleasure.

Me: I realize we’re in the middle of the playoffs right now, which may not be the opportune time to bring up individual awards, but…you won an individual award this season, did you not? The “Greatest Football Coach Ever Since Jim Haslet Award.” Fairly prestigious, no?

Payton: You’re too kind. I was honored to receive the “Coach of the Year” award this season.

Me: You received 44 out of a possible 50 votes, with another first-year head coach – Eric Mangini – coming in second with a measly three votes, which is just pathetic, and only three more than Art Shell received. Did Mangini eat his way out of contention?

Payton: I don’t think girth falls under the criteria for the award. Eric is a great coach.

Me: So let me get this straight. Mangini has the gall to coach well in the same league that you coach in – what an idiot! – so you beat him 44-3 in COY voting. You beat Parcells – your one-time mentor – and the Cowboys 42-17. And you beat the Giants – where you spent some time as an assistant under Jim “My Assistant Can Coach Circles Around Me” Fassel – 30-7. Is it fair to say that anyone who falls under your general wrath should prepare themselves for some sort of public embarrassment in the near future?

Payton: I was never really looking for revenge on anyone, we were just fortunate enough to play so well during those games. I owe a lot of my professional success to Bill and the Giants organization.

Me: So, when you leave the Saints, how badly are you going to destroy them for screwing you over?

Payton: I have no plans to leave the New Orleans Saints.

Me: You’re starting to sound a little bit like Nick Saban. Call me crazy, but I’m not going to sit here and take a head coach’s word for it. Prove to me that you will never leave the Saints. Right now. Prove it. Do it.

Payton: All right, but you asked for it…

Me: What…what the heck are you doing? Why are you…why are you pulling your pants down? What the hell is going on? Please get your ass out of my face…Wait, what is - Is that a…a Fleur de Lis tattoo? Two Fleur de Lis tattoos?! One for each cheek? Wow…I stand corrected.

Payton: These things don’t come off so easily, ya’ know?

Me: Yeah, tell that to the Marvin the Martian tattoo I got on my inner thigh back in college. Stupid gin & tonics.

Payton: I hear ya’.

Me: Okay, so we’ve established that you’re definitely committed to this organization. Next question: Prove it.

Payton: Didn’t we just…

Me: Wait, wait…my fault, my bad. I forgot we went through this already. Forgot about the tat. Sorry about that. What the heck was my next question? Oh – Reggie Bush! You guys drafted Reggie Bush. Prove it.

Payton: Ummm, he’s on our roster? He plays every single week? He’s got a uniform and everything…

Me: I’m sorry, I’m sorry…I’m all mixed up over here. What I wanted to ask you was…When the Texans drafted Mario Williams instead of Reggie Bush, did you have a non-sexual orgasm? I’m pretty sure I would have, in that situation.

Payton: We were very excited.

Me: Besides Reggie Bush, much ado has been made about the turnover from last season’s team. The only people you’ve kept from the 2005 New Orleans Saints are Deuce McAllister and one of the concession stand workers, and that’s only because that dude is Deuce McAllister’s cousin or something. What about the whole Jim Haslet/Aaron Brooks era screamed, “Maybe we should start over?” Was it the losing? I’ll bet you it was the losing.

Payton: Sure, the losing had a lot to do with it. There was a culture of failure around here, and we had to come in and change that.

Me: A big part of that change was bringing in quarterback Drew Brees. In the offseason, you had your choice between Brees and Daunte Culpepper, who were both coming off serious injuries. How difficult was it to choose between a crippled yet consistent winning QB, and a crippled one-year wonder who played a starring role in a sex-boat drama? I’m sure you agonized over that one for like, minutes.

Payton: We liked Drew from the start, and to say that decision has worked out well is an understatement.

Me: You just gave me an idea. Let’s play the understatement game. I’ll go first, and then you respond with another understatement. Replacing Aaron Brooks with Drew Brees was a moderate upgrade.

Payton: Ahem…I agree. Because passing the football forward is often more productive than passing it backwards. Okay, okay, my turn. This interview is lacking in substantiated dialogue.

Me: Okaaay…ummm…That is because my subject is as bland as James Blunt eating an unsalted cracker.

Payton: That seemed like an overstatement to me.

Me: Whatever. I don’t want to play this game anymore. Let’s move on. Coach, the entire free world, including South Dakota, is pulling for the New Orleans Saints this year. Not only is your team almost as likeable as the New York Giants, but the Saints have also come to represent the resolve that the city of New Orleans has shown in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. That is some serious stuff, right there. Are you concerned about letting the entire free world down by not winning your next football game?

Payton: See, I think the New Orleans Saints are already a great story, no matter what happens the rest of the way. We went from 3-13 to 10-6, and we’ve laid the foundation of a great team for years to come. We don’t need to win the Super Bowl to feel vindicated.

Me: Hmmm, seems like a cop-out to me. Now, I’m not usually one to delve into politics, but let me ask you this: Which Bush has done more for the city of New Orleans – Reggie, Gavin Rossdale, or George W?

Payton: That’s easy. Reggie. He’s embraced this city from Day One, which is more than I can say for the prez. And I’m pretty sure Gavin Rossdale started a new band or something. Sellout.

Me: Coach, look me in the eyes as I say this: The New Orleans Saints are playing in the NFC Championship Game this weekend, for a right to go to the Super Bowl.

Payton: …now what?

Me: You were supposed to react dramatically to that statement, and say something like, “Wow, it never really sunk in until hearing you say that. Really, this is a dream come true…Somebody pinch me!” And then I would pinch you, confirm that you’re real, and then turn to the camera and say, “It’s not a dream, folks. Chuck & Dottie, back to you in the studio.” Have you ever been interviewed before?

Payton: But there aren’t any cameras here. And who are Chuck & Dotty?

Me: Whatever, it doesn’t matter now. You ruined it.

Payton: Sorry.

Me: Good luck this weekend, Coach. The free world is pulling for you. If I were you, I’d pretend that I used to coach the Bears.

Payton: Ya’ know what? I did have a bad travel experience in Chicago once…

Me: Uh, oh…I smell a blowout.

Hmmm...Brees does look good, but Culpepper DID purify the waters of Lake Minnetonka. Ah, screw it - we're going with Brees.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Classic card of the Week

Greg Kite, 1991-92 Fleer

In 1991, before reaching the peak of his baseball career, Randy Johnson cut his mullet, traveled to Orlando, and joined the Magic. This move – though much less heralded – was basically the reverse of what Michael Jordan would do just two years later. However, there were some differences. For example, Jordan’s transition occurred when he had “nothing left to prove” in his chosen field of basketball (three consecutive NBA titles, two gold medals, various wristwatches). Johnson’s change of sport happened before he learned how to stop throwing 100 mph fastballs into the 2nd tier behind the batter’s box (152 walks allowed in 1991, seven dead seagulls). When MJ opted for baseball, he only changed uniforms, but when “the Big Unit” switched scenes, he changed everything, adding to the discreetness of his mission. Besides trimming his mullet-y mane, he also changed his name. “Greg Kite” was a combination of Johnson’s two favorite athletes: Greg Louganis and Tom Kite. (He always marveled at Kite’s putting stance, and Louganis’ ability to recover from serious head injury.) Johnson, like a chameleon, adapted to his new surroundings much better than Jordan ever did. While it seemed strange to watch a 6’6” guy, notorious for his dunking skills, flail helplessly away at sliders in the dirt, there were plenty of lanky, awkward big white dudes to go around in the NBA at this time. To Orlando Magic fans, the emergence of Greg Kite simply meant that the franchise had botched another draft pick. No big deal. But then, the unthinkable happened. The opposition started to contract “Greg Kite fever.” And it was deadly. Check the back of this card: “Kite is a seasoned guardian of the paint, using his ample body to bang, block and bruise opponents into submission.” Oftentimes members of the opposing team would simply refuse to go to the scorer’s table to enter the game, lest they be bruised into submission by Kite’s ample body. And funny how Kite is described as a “seasoned” guardian when his total “seasons” in the league equaled “not even one season.” That’s some serious math right there. “They must have me confused with Greg Ostertag,” Kite would later say, with a smirk. When he wasn’t blocking the opposition into submission, Kite was using his God-given ampleness to light up the scoreboard, averaging a whopping 3.2 points per game during the 1991-92 season. But Greg Kite knew who he was, and it wasn’t Greg Kite. Randy Johnson would reemerge into baseball as slyly as left, establishing himself as one of the most dominant pitchers of all time (until, of course, he arrived in New York). But the NBA was never the same. When the 1992-93 season opened in Orlando, whispers were heard throughout the home arena: “Where the hell is Greg Kite?” Little did they know, “Greg Kite” was thousands of miles away, beating opponents into submission. With his ample balls. Baseballs.

Greg Kite Fun Facts

Favorite Food: Fried calamari

Favorite Subject: Reading

Favorite Group: Pussycat Dolls

Favorite Movie: The Notebook

Favorite TV Show: Mama’s Family

Pet Peeve: Not being able to talk a real person anymore when you call customer service

Did you know?
Randy Johnson provided Esquire Magazine with a two-word review with regards to A.C. Slater’s lead role in “The Greg Louganis Story,” and it was this: “Nailed it.”

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Classic card of the week

*Special Friday edition
Ken Oberkfell, 1986 Topps

Hey everybody, no need to worry…this guy is manning the hot corner. Everything is gonna be aaaaaalllright. Seriously though, do you honestly think that a scorching one-hopper towards the hole is going to get past Ken Oberkfell? He has reflexes like a freakin’ cheetah. A spotted cheetah. “But is Ken Oberkfell spry?” you ask. I’m sorry, maybe you didn’t see the above picture of Ken Oberkfell, where he is only taking a short break from snagging pesky mosquitoes out of his immediate vicinity with the quickness of a frog’s tongue. I mean, does it look like Ken Oberkfell is messing around? Okay, well…maybe in this particular picture, it does. But make no mistake – Ken Oberkfell was all business when his spikes crossed those white lines. In fact, one may easily mistake Ken Oberkfell for your everyday, robust electrician, who bats cleanup in his Sunday beer league and who hunts venison on clear weeknights. But Ken Oberkfell’s misleading physique only masked what was a lethal combination of Major League speed and power. Check out 1985, for example. In a measly 134 games, Ken Oberkfell walloped three home runs AND stole one base, making him just the 19,334th member of MLB’s illustrious 3/1 club. That’s Willie Mays company right there, for all the haters. But maybe you’re wondering how well Ken Oberkfell flashed the leather. Well, do the words, “Pretty freakin awesomely” mean anything to you? Does a .963 fielding percentage at third base in 1985 tell you all you need to know? No? Well, let me break it down for you: If 1,000 scorching one-hoppers heading towards the hole tried to get past Ken Oberkfell, he would dive and stab 963 of those, and throw the runner out, not even from his knees – from his beard. Ken Oberkfell could throw you out from his beard. Oh, and what happened to those other 37 grounders? Bad hops.

Did you know?
While on a fishing trip in his native Illinois, Ken Oberkfell once caught a 20 lb striped bass with his baseball glove.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

NFC Playoff coach’s corner: Lovie Smith

Instead of flooding the market with “previews,” or rambling on incessantly about “facts,” I’ve decided instead to delve into the NFL Playoffs by interviewing a few of the big-name coaches who will be prominently involved. Coaches, after all, are very important, because they make a lot of money, and are crucial to the success of their respective football team. Without coaches, armies of helmeted men would all be aimlessly wandering the streets, wondering what time it was, and how they got there. In that respect, we’re going to sit down with a very important coach to discuss the upcoming weekend of the NFL Playoffs. This week’s participant: Chicago Bears’ head coach Lovie Smith.

Me: Welcome, Lovie Smith!

Lovie: Thanks for having me.

Me: Lovie…huh. Strange name for a man who hovers over a franchise that’s reputed for its toughness, and general hunting skills. I always fashioned coaches of the Chicago Bears to have more manly names, like Mike Dik-ta, and Dick Jauron. Are you a child bred out of Woodstock?

Lovie: I am named after my grandfather. And it’s “Ditka.”

Me: So your grandfather’s name was Dik-ta Lovie? That is fascinating. He must have been quite the ladies man.

Lovie: That was not his name. You are not understanding what I’m saying, and you are consistently mispronouncing Coach Ditka’s name. Do you understand English?

Me: Me fail English? That’s unpossible!


Me: Sorry, that was a quote from “The Simpsons.” Do you watch “The Simpsons,” Lovie? It used to be an awesome show, but now it kind of blows. You can catch it on Sunday nights though.

Lovie: I am usually busy on Sundays.

Me: It’s also on in syndication during the week. That’s usually when you can see one of the episodes from Seasons Five through Nine, before the show fell off a creative cliff.

Lovie: I will make a note of that.

Me: Lovie, let’s talk some football. For the second straight season, you enter the playoffs with a brilliant, dominating football team. And Rex Grossman. Are you simply trying to discover if there is such a thing as a negative quarterback rating? Because the playoffs would seem like an inopportune time for such experiments.

Lovie: Rex is a fine quarterback. I am confident he will lead us to victory.

Me: Really? You sound like the captain of the Titanic telling everybody that things are going along smoothly.

Lovie: I do not appreciate that analogy.

Me: I’m sorry, that was rude and insensitive. Let’s move on. Lovie, the job you have done coaching this team has truly fascinated me. You have had a controversy at virtually every offensive skill position for the past two years, yet you keep winning games. I mean, Grossman’s ass is red from perpetually being on the hot seat, Thomas Jones and Cedric Benson continue to battle for carries – with neither of them exactly excelling at their craft - and all of your receivers become irrelevant when Rex is chucking the ball to the other team. How have you managed to corral the egos of guys who shouldn’t have any egos to begin with?

Lovie: We’ve adopted a “team first” philosophy. Egos are checked at the door around here.

Me: Who is responsible for checking these egos? Do the players receive a ticket, whereupon they can retrieve their egos when they leave, so they can feel confident when they go to the nightclub later on?

Lovie: It was just a figure of speech.

Me: I see. Speaking of nightclubs, Tank Johnson. Yikes. I mean…whoa. It was almost as if Tank Johnson was trying to outdo the entire Cincinnati Bengals team in a three-day span. Were you impressed with his success in that endeavor?

Lovie: I’m not sure if “success” is the word I would use there.

Me: Interesting. Lovie, they say that, “the best offense is a good defense.” However, your Bears’ team has seemed to grasp this term very literally in that, your defense actually seems to score more than your offense. Have you considered not playing offense altogether?

Lovie: You have to play offense.

Me: Is that in the rulebook?

Lovie: I imagine that it is.

Me: Maybe you should double-check. Because personally, I think it would be totally awesome to like, return an interception for a touchdown, and then be like, “Hey, other team…why don’t you guys take the ball again? No, seriously! It’s cool with us. We don’t mind. Here, take it.”

Lovie: Again, I am pretty sure that is illegal, though I appreciate the backhanded compliment.

Me: Hey, while we’re thanking each other, let me to thank you for allowing the running back situation to turn into an all-out tandem. Seriously, that really helped my fantasy team. And by “helped,” I mean killed. I mean, I can’t tell you how much I appreciated having Thomas Jones run an entire drive, and then get replaced at the two-yard line so Cedric Benson could score the touchdown. Really, that was awesome! Loved that. Or, the times when Jones had like, 76 yards rushing, and then just wouldn’t go into the game for like, the rest of the game. Those we also great times for me.

Lovie: I apologize for that. I should have made it a point to model my offense around your fantasy football team this year.

Me: Don’t get smart with me, Lovie! Between Rex Grossman and that running back crap, you ruined quite a few fantasy football seasons, buddy! What’s the deal with all of you coaches, anyway? Why can’t you just stick with one running back for crying out loud?

Lovie: It’s good to switch up the style. Thomas and Cedric are two different kinds of runner.

Me: Style? What style? You hand them the ball, you say, “Follow your blocks, and run for the freakin’ endzone!” That’s it. Style…gimmie a break. This isn’t “Impressionist Hour at the Guggenheim” we’re talking about here. It’s football.

Lovie: You seem to know a lot about the NFL. What team did you play for?

Me: I played quarterback for the Carolina Panthers last year. I was the white guy with the stupid haircut. We beat you in the playoffs on your home field, remember?

Lovie: Touché.

Me: There seems to be a lot of tension between us, Lovie. Let’s lighten the mood a little bit, shall we? Okay…Boxers or briefs?

Lovie: Neither.

Me: Yikes. Demi Moore in 1992, or Demi Moore in 2006?

Lovie: 1992. Definitely. I prefer my women less genetically enhanced.

Me: Couldn’t agree more. See, we’re getting along! Okay, Dots or Starburst?

Lovie: Are you serious? Starburst! Those stupid Dots get stuck in your teeth for like, months at a time. I ate a couple of those things this past Halloween, and I just flossed the last of it out last night!

Me: You’re preaching to the choir, Lovie. Alright, Thomas Jones or Cedric Benson?

Lovie: Both.

Me: Darn it, Lovie! Why can’t you give me a straight answer! Okay, okay…let me just calm down…take a deep breath…okay, I’m back. Ya’ know what Lovie, now that I think about, it may be that kind of fortitude that has kept the Chicago Bears so dominant all season long, regardless of any outside criticism. You are truly a man of substance, Lovie Smith.

Lovie: Thank you.

Me: De nada. Before we go Lovie, you guys face the Seattle Seahawks this weekend, at home, in the playoffs. How confident are you right now as compared to how confident you’ll be when you see that Rex Grossman special playoff shade of white, where he starts to appear as if he hasn’t seen the sun in 12 years, or for that matter, a defensive scheme more complex than that of Tecmo Bowl ’92? Will you then at least consider my idea of not playing offense? Because I’ll be honest – as fun as it is to watch you guys go three-and-out on 18 consecutive possessions, I’d prefer to watch Ricky Manning, Jr. running around trying to take somebody’s head off in a desperate attempt to put some points on the board. But hey - that’s just me.

Lovie: For the last time, we have to play offense. He does get pretty white, though…you’re right. I guess a last-second change at quarterback is not, oh how should I put this…unpossible.

Me: Nice.

Lovie: Thank you.

Noooo! I'm not wearing any underwear!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Classic card of the week

Gary Matthews, 1986 Topps

Yo, Gary Matthews! YO! Holy crap, man…get your act together! The camera’s over here, my man. For crying out loud, Gary Matthews – put your hat on straight and get out there! We’re playing the freakin’ Cardinals today – it’s only the biggest game of the season! What…do you see a UFO or something? I swear Gary Matthews, I am not going through this again with you. Did you eat the mushrooms that are growing out of the ivy again? You did, didn’t you? I can’t believe this. This is just what I needed right now, Gary. The last time this happened, you ran into the dugout screaming, claiming that Mrs. Garrett from “The Facts of Life” was in the center field bleachers with a shotgun. That looked real good on the front page of the Sun Times the next day, Gary Matthews. Seriously, thanks for that little gem. What are you working on right now, like, seven minutes of sleep? Is that an overestimation? Do you think you’re capable of catching a fly ball today, Gary Matthews? Gary? GARY?! Geez, can I have your undivided attention for like, three seconds? Is that too much to ask? Not for nothin’ Gary, but you better hope to the heavens above that you never procreate, because I’ll tell you one thing – no son of yours is going to be a ball player. You’ll be lucky if your offspring isn’t like, an ostrich or something, with all of the mushrooms you’ve taken over the past four months. You’re really hanging me out to dry here, Gary. I’m looking down my bench, and I got nothing. Nobody. Zilch. I gotta send you out there, and something’s telling me you're not going to remember the signs. Gary…GARY! You’re drooling all over the steps. You are literally drooling right now. This is fantastic. Just get the heck out there, all right? I’m going to call your wife right now and have her send over your meds. In the meantime, try and catch the ball in the middle. And like I told you last time - those aren’t leprechauns, they’re bases. You can step on them. In fact, you have to.

Did you know?
Ironically, the entire baseball world made this exact face when the Angels signed Gary Matthews, Jr. for 5-years, $50 million.

Classic card of the week

*Special Friday edition
Ken Griffey, Sr. 1989 Score Co.

I am only including this card to pay homage to the absolute worst thing that could happen to a kid opening a pack of baseball cards back in the late 80’s and early 90’s: getting a friggin Ken Griffey, Sr. card. Seriously…just the worst experience ever. The roller coaster of emotions that came with opening a pack of cards was quite a ride as it was, but to flip through your fresh new batch of cards, slowly see the “Ken,” notice that - yes, he’s a left-handed African American! – and then watch in slow motion as the “Griffey” gradually emerged – the ultimate natural high for an 11 year-old baseball card dork (besides glue) – only to ultimately crash violently back down to earth as the “Sr.” is revealed…I mean, really though…just the worst. In one fell swoop you go from being the envy of every kid in the neighborhood, to the laughingstock of the entire baseball card community. Smug, overweight card dealers would burst out into evil laughter when unfortunate kids like myself got a Ken Griffey, Sr. The weird part was, even when you were opening a pack of cards from a set that you knew contained no Juniors – this particular Score set is a good example – just seeing the “Ken Griffey” in print immediately dissolved all rationale thought. “Oh my gosh…Did they make a mistake? Could it be? I’m shaking…SHIT! Gosh darn it! How could I fall for that? I should have known better…” And why card companies ever added the “Sr.” in the first place was beyond me. Pure evil on their part. To see the “Ken Griffey,” and then the comma…I mean, all bets are off at that point. For crying out loud, he was “Ken Griffey” for the past 80 years, and NOW you’re adding a suffix – are you trying to kill me? Seriously, are you? At least this card was before father and son were reunited in Seattle, making the pack-opening process that much more sadistic. So anyways, that sucked. But one last thought on this entire debacle. It’s pretty much set in stone now, but a few years ago there was actually some debate as to whether or not Ken Griffey, Jr. belonged in the Hall of Fame. So, let’s throw all stats out the window for a second and consider this as a voting mechanism: If a given player had a father who was ending his career at the same time said player was starting his, and you opened a pack of cards and got the father’s card, how pissed would you be? In the case of the Griffey’s, on a scale of 1-10 – with 10 being the most annoyed - my “pissed-off” level was a 38. I’m not so sure I would have felt that way if I ever came across a Ryan Sandberg, Sr. card. I’m just saying…

Did you know?
I once offered my younger sister in a trade for a 1989 Ken Griffey, Jr. card.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

NFC Playoff coach’s corner: Mike Holmgren

Instead of flooding the market with “previews,” or rambling on incessantly about “facts,” I’ve decided instead to delve into the NFL Playoffs by interviewing a few of the big-name coaches who will be prominently involved. Coaches, after all, are very important, because they make a lot of money, and are crucial to the success of their respective football team. Without coaches, armies of helmeted men would all be aimlessly wandering the streets, wondering what time it was, and how they got there. In that respect, we’re going to sit down with a very important coach to discuss the upcoming weekend of the NFL Playoffs. This week’s participant: Seattle Seahawks’ head coach Mike Holmgren.

Me: Welcome, coach! Have a seat…

Holmgren: Thanks for having me.

Me: If it’s okay, I am going to call you “coach” for the duration of this interview, for a few reasons. First, my name is also “Mike” and I don’t want our audience to get confused. Second, you seem like the kind of guy who demands to be called “coach” at all times, even from the waitresses at Applebee’s. Lastly – and I’m sure you get this all the time – you have a “Craig T. Nelson”-like presence on the sidelines. I respect that.

Holmgren: You can call me coach.

Me: Coach, let’s get right down to it. Your team has been kind of crappy this year. Do you blame the referees?

Holmgren: Not entirely. We’ve dealt with a lot of injuries, and it’s taken us a while to find our groove.

Me: Injuries are so annoying, am I right? Have you considered telling your players to not get injured?

Holmgren: I hadn’t thought of that.

Me: Coach, other teams bitch and whine about injuries, but they’re often being stupid. Like, I hate when a coach is like, “Oh, no, we lost our starting right guard, Bart Johnson! That’s really gonna hurt us!” That’s just being stupid, because nobody gives a crap about Bart Johnson. You, on the other hand, have lost your starting running back - also last year’s MVP - your starting quarterback, and No. 1 wide receiver for significant periods of time. That must feel good for you, because you love to complain. This has undoubtedly given you an edge when you argue with other coaches at cocktail parties as to who has had the most misfortune this season, thus deflecting any personal responsibility.

Holmgren: I don’t go to cocktail parties.

Me: That was a bad example…I forgot that you can’t eat cocktails. Pizza parties?

Holmgren: I eat pizza by myself, in bed, watching game tapes.

Me: That is nasty. But back to the injuries. Shaun Alexander’s foot injury kind of came out of nowhere, and my stupid brother-in-law found out first, and picked up Maurice Morris off the waiver wire. Pretty sneaky, sis. Anyhoo, did you not know how bad the injury was at first, or did you downplay it initially, just to screw over the entire fantasy football-playing universe?

Holmgren: We did not know how bad it was at first. Feet are tough appendages to evaluate.

Me: Tell me about it. When you looked out onto the field in the middle of the year, and saw Seneca Wallace handing off to Maurice Morris, did you want to curl up into a little ball, and roll yourself off a cliff? Because that’s the kind of face you were making on the sidelines, the “just kill me now…seriously, shoot me” face.

Holmgren: I always have that face on.

Me: That’s true. What’s up with that?

Holmgren: I’m a perfectionist, and I’m always noticing all of the things we’re doing wrong.

Me: Like losing to the 49ers?

Holmgren: Yes, losing to the 49ers really gets my goad.

Me: Yeah, I...wait - get's your what?

Holmgren: My goad.

Me: I thought it was goat. Like, "gets my goat."

Holmgren: That doesn't make any sense.

Me: Neither does goad. What's a goad?

Holmgren: I'm not sure. But when we lose to the 49ers, I feel a sharp pain in the goad region.

Me: I can't tell if you're being serious, or a dick, so let's move on. Let’s talk about your quarterback, Matt Hasselbeck. I never thought I’d see the day when an extremely bald quarterback named Hasselbeck was doing “Chunky Soup” commercials. Is he cool now? And if so, why?

Holmgren: Matt is a great, young quarterback. I always believed in him, dating back to our Green Bay days, and he’s rewarded my loyalty ten fold. He is very cool.

Me: You also lost a Super Bowl with Brett Favre as your quarterback. That guy used to be the coolest man on the planet. Now, Matt Hasselbeck is doing “Chunky Soup” commercials and Brett Favre is doing ads for erectile dysfunction. The pendulum has swung. Did you swing it?

Holmgren: I don’t think the commercials Brett does are for erectile dysfunction. They’re for like, acid reflux or something.

Me: Whatever. I mean, how am I supposed to know what those commercials are for? “Ask about the purple pill,” “Take the yellow pill,” “Consult your doctor if you have herpes.” And there’s so many innuendos in those commercials, like when Brett is throwing the football through the tire, ya’ know?

Holmgren: No, no…Brett just throws the ball over the lake in his commercial. It’s the other commercial where the guy throws it through the tire. And that guy throws like a girl.

Me: Oh yeeaaaahhhh. My bad. I like the parts when Brett is chopping down trees, and then he has all of his African American teammates over to eat crawfish, to prove that he is not a racist hick. He makes me want to have acid reflux.

Holmgren: See, Brett’s still a pretty cool guy!

Me: I guess you’re right. Wow, we got off track there for a while. Anyway, ummm…say something football-related.

Holmgren: 3-4 defense.

Me: I agree. Speaking of football, Jerramy Stevens is your tight end. He is best known for having too many “r’s” in his name and for dropping every single pass thrown to him. Have you considered replacing him with a tight end that doesn’t have cinder blocks for hands?

Holmgren: Jerramy has certainly struggled over the past year or so. But we believe in him, and we’re going to need him to come through during the playoffs.

Me: I wouldn’t count on it. Speaking of the playoffs, you guys are in them. How did that happen?

Holmgren: To be honest, I’m not quite sure. Normally, I’d say we’re here because we play in the awful NFC West, but we lost to the Cardinals once and San Francisco twice. And all my guys have been injured this year. I really don’t know how we got here. I guess I’ll say, “coaching.”

Me: Coach, your team plays the Dallas Cowboys this Saturday in the first round of said playoffs. Are you looking forward to exacting revenge against Terrell Owens?

Holmgren: For what? Terrell Owens never played on this team.

Me: Wait - didn’t you used to coach the Eagles?

Holmgren: No. You are thinking of Andy Reid, who still coaches the Eagles. The two of us are often confused, but usually only by people who are idiots.

Me: Interesting. Regardless, Terrell Owens must have done something to upset the chemistry of the Seahawks at some point. Didn’t he murder Steve Largent or something?

Holmgren: Not that I know of.

Me: Agree to disagree. Coach, between Terrell Owens and Jerramy Stevens, how many footballs do you envision falling to the ground on Saturday? A million? A zillion?

Holmgren: Maybe like, four or five.

Me: Do you think your team will be able to pull a “Pittsburgh Steelers,” and crawl into the playoffs only to run the table and beat the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl?

Holmgren: That Super Bowl never happened. We were robbed by the stupid refs, I tell you! ROBBED!

Me: Glad to see you are still taking that loss in stride. Well, better luck this year. And take it easy on the pizzas, big guy. You don’t need to be getting acid reflux.

Holmgren: Too late. Stupid referees. But hey - it’s better than erectile dysfunction, am I right?

Me: Ummm…I wouldn’t know. I can throw a football through a tire, all right buddy! Well, most of the time...

That's a catch, you idiot! And my NAME is "COACH!"