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Showing posts from January, 2007

Super Bowl XLI ‘quarterbacks’ quorner:’ Grossmanning

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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, yo…

Classic card of the week

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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 How…

Classic card of the week

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*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 Veter…

AFC Playoff coach’s corner: Tony Dungy

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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 player…

Classic card of the week

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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 hi…

Classic card of the week

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*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

NFC Playoff coach’s corner: Sean Payton

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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…

Classic card of the Week

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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. (…

Classic card of the week

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*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…

NFC Playoff coach’s corner: Lovie Smith

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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…

Classic card of the week

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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? Ga…

Classic card of the week

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*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 lau…

NFC Playoff coach’s corner: Mike Holmgren

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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 “c…