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Posted on: September 25, 2008 4:09 pm
 

Texas Stadium's Last Stand

For the last time ever, the Washington Redskins will play the Dallas Cowboys in Texas Stadium.

I'd love to say I had been there and saw one of those games but my only memories of these two teams meeting in Texas Stadium come from television. Channel 11 out of Houston when the NFC was affiliated with CBS. While I am too young to remember the Clint Longley game, I can still remember the 1979 shootout.

Most of my friends were Cowboy fans as was my dad, and when Riggins broke the run that put Washington up 34-21, not a single one of them gave up or thought the game was over. Because the Cowboys had one guy who, no matter the score, as long as he was playing, they knew the Cowboys had a chance to win.

Sure enough, Dallas scored 2 late late touchdowns and won 35-34.

Without that comeback, the Cowboys would have missed the playoffs that year. Instead, they would make the playoffs something like 18 out of 20 years. They would miss the playoffs in 1984, with a loss in Texas Stadium to the Redskins, by the score of 30-28, which was the stake in the Cowboys hearts that season. Dallas would lose the next week to Miami and miss the playoffs for only the 2nd time since some time in the mid 60s.

In 1992, the Cowboys opened the season with a Monday Night 23-10 win over the defending Super Bowl Champion Redskins that sparked the Cowboys towards their first Super Bowl in the Aikman/Irvin/Emmitt era. In 1995, the Redskins would beat the Cowboys 24-17 to sweep Dallas. Alas, the Redskins would end up in the cellar of the NFC east and the Cowboys would win their third Super Bowl in 4 seasons.

From 1997-2004, the Cowboys run up 14 wins in 15 games against the Redskins. Then, on Monday Night Football, in Texas Stadium, on September 19, 2005, the Cowboys went into the fourth quarter with a 13-0 lead on the Washington Redskins. But Mark Brunell did his best Roger Stauback impression, tossing two fourth quarter passes to beat Dallas 14-13, bringing this rivalry full circle.

Cowboy fans and Redskin fans have their own favorite moments of Cowboy-Redskin games in Texas Stadium. And for one last time, they will meet in that old stadium and here's hoping that this game ends in a classic that can top them all.
Posted on: September 23, 2008 12:20 pm
 

Week 3 Nuttahisms

After three weeks of NFL action, a few observations before we head into October.

1. Open up your Nuttahism dictionary to the page with the 'o' words and find a new word to add to your vocabulary. Outefforted. Outefforted is an adjective that means that someone else simply tried harder than you. Let's use it in a sentence. The Miami Dolphins outefforted the New England Patriots on Sunday. There is no other way top describe the Patriots loss to the Dolphins. You can point the finger to the Tom Brady injury or that Matt Cassel wasn't throwing deep balls but the fact of the matter is the Patriots just plain did not try hard enough to win. It looked as if the Patriots just expected the Dolphins to quake in fear of the Mighty Patriot Mystique and roll over and play dead at the coin toss. Well, that did not happen. The Patriots looked like they were just going through the motions while waiting for a win that is supposed to be their divine right to just fall in their laps. They learned the hard way that, Patriots or not, you still have to go out there and play. Because, if you don't, the team with the top pick in the draft will come into your house and slap you silly! It's no wonder Pat fans were booing at halftime and leaving when the 4th quarter was just beginning. The Patriots should have been given their fans in attendance a refund! It's one thing to go out and have a bad game. Or to go out and get beat because the other team is better. But to be paid that amount of money and then act completely disinterested in trying? Inexcusable.

2. Warning! Extreme warning! Things are not well in Indianapolis. They may have lost on a last second field goal but the truth is, they were dominated for most of that game. They are very fortunate not to be 0-3 as they needed to stage a furious rally just to beat the Vikings. They say one player doesn't make a team but the Colts are showing that losing one player can certainly break a team. The loss of Bob Sanders could be even more devastating to Indianapolis than the loss of Tom Brady is to New England.

3. People who hate parity are not going to like the 2008 season. You know who they are. They are the fans that like to jump on the front runner. They were the ones who were Ram fans in 1999 and then jumped to the Patriots in 2004. They want a dynasty team. They want ESPN to tell them who to root for. They don't want a season where you have so many games coming down to the final minute or going into overtime week after week after week. They won't like the 2008 season but I know I will. Having these thrillers each and every week will almost make me forget that the Texans.....we suck again!

4. The NFC Beast is back. With wins over the Steelers, Packers and Cardinals, as well as being home to the defending Super Bowl Champion, the NFC East is showing its dominance over every other division in football. CBS Sportsline should go ahead and take away that whole Y2J-like countdown to the Chargers-Patriots game and start one up for the Cowboys-Giants game. But, since that game will be on FOX, I guess CBS has to hang its hat on the Chargers and Patriots. Although, after three weeks, I'm thinking the countdown to the AFC game of the year could be a countdown to December 21. That's when the Steelers head to Tennessee to play the Titans. That game could get really physical!

5. Might there be hope yet for Lions fans? Bill Ford Jr. reportedly has said that he wants Matt Millen fired. Course, he still has to convince his daddy to fire him or Millen to resign but he did come out and state that he wants Millen to leave the Lions. But will that be the answer? Or are there so many issues that getting rid of Millen just shifts the blame somewhere else?

6. Finally, next week, we have the battle of Ohio as the state will finally get its first win of the 2008 season, the battle of the Bays as Aaron Rodgers visits Tampa and a couple of serious feud settlers as the Ravens are in Pittsburgh for Monday Night Football and the Redskins head to Dallas to take on the Cowboys. Week 4 is coming and after the first three weeks of the season, I can't wait to see what happens next.
Category: NFL
Tags: Week 3
 
Posted on: September 22, 2008 4:58 pm
Edited on: September 22, 2008 5:00 pm
 

We Got What We Asked For: A Texans Review

So, the phone lines are lighting up and the callers at Sports Radio 610 are all saying the same thing: Matt Schaub reminds me of David Carr.

For those of you outside the Houston area who don't know, let me give you a bit of history here. While the entire nation was criticizing the Texans for drafting Mario Williams over Reggie Bush, the Houston area was in an uproar because they didn't take Vince Young. The radio station that is home to the Houston Texans just happens to be home to the Texas Longhorns as well. Add in that Vince was a native Houstonian and these fans and media members were quite biased in their viewpoint. And, as Vince went on to win Rookie of the Year honors in 2006, that bias turned to flat out hatred towards David Carr. And Mario Williams. But Carr took alot of the grif because these fans figured that if David Carr hadn't been in the way, the Texans would have drafted Vince Young.

Yeah, fan logic is really weird sometimes.

2006 would become Carr's last season as a Houston Texan. I personally believe that he was let go in order for the Texans to try and save face with the fans and media. Then a second round pick was used to replace him.

With a guy many people now feel isn't any better.

That wasn't the feeling in 2007 though. People were absolutely gleefully happy that Carr was gone and a new quarterback was here. These people felt that the one problem the Texans had was now fixed. Somehow the onus went from a weak and substandard offensive line being the problem to David Carr being the problem. It was so ridiculous that, in the first series of the first preseason game against the Chicago Bears, the Sports Radio 610 sideline reporter, Rich Lords, immediately remarked of how much better the offense looked with the new quarterback. In a series where the Texans went 3-and-out.

And now the honeymoon is over and we are finding that we have the exact same problems on offense that we had when Carr was there. An offensive line that still can't protect a quarterback. And a quarterback who is rattles early because he knows he's about to get beat up pretty badly.

We ruined one quarterback's career and wasted a second round draft pick and improved nothing.

But, at least Texan fans got what they wanted. David Carr is no longer playing quarterback.

Or is he?
Category: NFL
Posted on: September 20, 2008 12:21 am
Edited on: September 20, 2008 10:10 am
 

Sports Nuttahisms

My friend calls me a "sports nuttah". And I take it as a compliment. I love my sports. And I love my own opinions on sports. Which have now been named, in her honor, Sports Nuttahisms. And here are just some of my sports nuttahisms that you need to read...and agree with.

1. Ed Hochuli owned it. He didn't have to. The NFL and NBA have been very adamant about not wanting their officials to be questioned by fans, media, players or coaches. I remember a couple of years ago a similar play happened where a player was called down and was still running with the ball. It was the Ravens against the Titans and the Ravens back (I think it was Jamal Lewis) fumbled and the Titans recovered. The ref had blown the play dead. Instant replay showed the fumble did occur but the change of possession was declared null because the whistle had already blown. Jeff Fisher criticized the referees and was fined. For telling the truth. Ed Hochuli did not have to apologize to the Chargers or their fans. He could have hid behind the league protection. But he owned an honest mistake. Much respect to Ed for doing so. Too bad more players and coaches can't be as forthright with blatant and deliberate acts as he was with this honest and unintentional mistake.

2. Did you know that the Cowboys have never won a game at Lambeau Field? Or that they have only played there 5 times in history? I didn't either until it was mentioned on the radio today. I bet they played a few times in Milwaukee then because, surely, in almost 50 years of existence, the Cowboys have made more than 5 trips to Wisconsin.

3. With the way the BCS continues to always seem flawed, I really wonder if all these BCS Conferences are worth it. Destroyed the SWC, made the Cotton Bowl a meaningless game between also-rans. For this? No wonder the Rose Bowl wants to pull out.

4. Speaking of the BCS, they kind of remind me of Democrats and Republicans. They sure want to be the one to win. But they'd rather the other win than an outsider. A mid-major has about as much chance at winning the BCS Title as a third party has at winning the presidential election.

5. So the Milwaukee Brewers fired Ned Yost with 12 games to go in the season and the team tied for the Wild Card. They haven't won a game since and are now in danger of completely missing the playoffs. Had they kept Yost and missed the playoffs, then they could have used him as the scapegoat. But if they end up missing the playoffs now, someone else is going to have to fall on the sword.

6. I'm going to make a vow right here and now. I am not going to spend time on this blog talking about players who break the law, go to jail and then somehow are allowed back in the sport. It's not that hard to stay out of jail. All you have to do is not break the law. If I discuss any matters of an athlete that is off-the-field related, it'll be because he did a T.O. or a Tony Romo and helped someone in trouble. Enough of the DWI arrests and the domestic disturbances and the dogfighting and gambling and shooting and stabbing. Enough! Enough! ENOUGH! Those athletes aren't worth the time I spend hunting and pecking for the keys to type a sentence about them. Tell me something positive to society you have contributed and then I might spend a few seconds typing about you.

7. I have a bad feeling that lots of my fellow Texan fans were unrealistically optimistic about this season. And we are going to find out that getting rid of David Carr at the end of the '06 season wasn't the cure-all for our team's woes that we tried to kid ourselves into believing. I thought we might pass the Titans this season but that's because I thought the Titans were declining. I hate to say it but the Titans are going to drop us another smack of reality.

8. Houston media and fans still have some big infatuation with Vince Young. A caller on the radio today spoke about Vince Young and that he was a dominant high school athlete. People, it is time to understand that being a dominant high school athlete and being a quarterback in the NFL are two different things. It's just like this kid at Ohio State that all the Buckeye fans are giddy about. He is a true freshman but you wanted him to start at quarterback against USC? So, he was the best high school player in the country? Fine. But there are two key words in that sentence. High school. It's one thing to dominate in high school. It's quite another to face USC. And then it's even quite a different problem to face an NFL team. High school football is not college football. And college football is not the NFL. If the transition were that easy, every Heisman Trophy winner would automatically be Canton bound. They are all different animals and success at one does not guarantee victory at the next level.

Okay, that's all I have for tonight. It's after 11:00 pm and I have no idea where my players are. They better be serving food at the soup kitchen or they will be running laps til I get tired!

Goodnight now!
Category: General
Posted on: September 16, 2008 9:19 pm
 

Premature Celebration

When I was a young little Toxin, the Houston Oilers had a player by the name of Billy "White Shoes" Johnson, whose specialty was punt returning. And he would sometimes break one for a score and then do this silly leg wiggle afterwards. Most of us found it amusing and kinda cool. I think one of the things that made it so awesome was that it wasn't something everybody did. So, when White Shoes danced, we didn't mind it. Also, White Shoes never....EVER...danced until way after he had crossed the goal line.

Times have changed.

Nowadays, we are so bombarded with touchdown celebrations that it has become overkill. What used to make us laugh or fire us up, quite honestly, makes us....well some of us...yawn. What's that? Deion is high-stepping again? Yawn. Chad is changing his name and creating a Riverwalk Dance step? Yawn. Yet another receiver is motioning for a first down after making an 8 yard reception in a game in which his team trails by three touchdowns? Yawn!

But, recently, these celebrations have reached absolutely absurd proportions. Well, that's not quite true. This isn't something that is recent. Unless you consider 1993 recent. We all remember 1993? Leon Lett? Holding the ball over his head before he got in the end zone and then having the ball knocked out of his hand? Several years ago, I witnessed a high school kid do the same thing. He was lucky. The ball was never knocked out of his hand. Still, he's lucky I wasn't his coach. He would have spent the entire next practice running with the ball held over his head.

I may sound like a killjoy to you, but I have noticed this trend for several years and keeps getting worse. And, last night, what DeSean Jackson did just is absolutely insanely beyond comprehension. Except that I do know exactly why it happened! It's a cultrual change in sports. Where players go out of their way to create these celebrations. Placing cell phones underneath the goal post pads. Or making sure that some other prop is in place that can go along with some sort of end zone celebration. Terrell Owens, in his first year with the Eagles, went so far as to spend time studying Ray Lewis' entrance dance and then performed that exact dance, step-for-step, after scoring a touchdown in the Eagles win over the Ravens that season.

I don't want to sound like a killjoy. I understand this is a game and that it should be an enjoyable experience for the players and the fans. I don't want to be all No Fun Leagueish when it comes to celebrations. But, it seems to me, that there are some players who need to prioritize the celebrations. Some guys...I'm talking to you DeSean Jackson....need to understand something.

Scoring the touchdown is more important than celebrating the touchdown.

Category: NFL
Posted on: September 15, 2008 1:53 pm
 

No-No Fair

Last night, Carlos Zambrano of the Chicago Cubs pitched a no-hitter against the Houston Astros in a game played at Miller Park in Milwalkee. The Astros were supposed to host this game but, due to Hurricane Ike, the location of the game was changed to a facility that ended up making the home field advantage much more in favor of Chicago. Add in the unexpected traveling as well as the mindset of the players on what was happening in their team's home town, and it is understandable that perhaps they did not give their best effort last night.

Still, they had a game to play and they got beat. They got no-hit. Circumstances aside, we can't take anything away from the fact that Zambrano pitched a no-hitter. The games had to go on. That's the nature of the business.

You see, it may just be just a baseball game and it may be very trivial compared to a hurricane, but it is also employment. It is their job to play baseball. Just as many others still had to do their job in spite of what had happened to Houston and Galveston and other places that were hit by the hurricane. Drive 100-120 miles south on highway 59, and you would have found me doing my job this weekend, in spite of the fact that the hurricane could very well have hit where I lived. I got lucky. Many people did not.

We saw a similar situation after Katrina where the Saints played a 'home game' at Giants Stadium against the Giants. That wasn't fair either. But you know what really wasn't fair? All the Saints fans who had to relocate to Texas because the storm destroyed their homes. Or the Saints fans whom did not get out of New Orleans and perished in Katrina. Now that is really unfair. Makes relocating a football game seem quite minor in comparison, don't you think?

The Houston Astros may very well have been as much victimized by Ike as they were by Zambrano's pitches last night, but at least they can awake to play another day and have the chance to bounce back. Many of Ike's real victims will never have that chance. And that's the no-no that isn't fair.

Category: MLB
Posted on: September 14, 2008 12:54 pm
 

Just Own It

Get your popcorn ready. T.O. is at it again.

By now, you have probably heard or read the comments T.O. made in regards to Donovan McNabb. Personally, I think that soap opera is tired and old and somebody, not mentioning any names, should go ahead and move on. But what I am most interested in seeing is the typical T.O. ending to this latest mouth attack on his former quarterback.

Stop me if you've seen this scenario before. T.O. opens his mouth, says some not so nice things about someone, the press gets ahold of it, it becomes a big issue, then T.O. tries to play innocent victim to the media's bias against him. Are you kidding me T.O.? The media loves you. They know that all they have to do is put a microphone in your face and you'll say something that they can run to the printers with and print in huge bold-faced type and sell their newspapers or magazines.

Personally, I have no problems with T.O. saying Donovan McNabb sucks or Jeff Garcia is gay or anything else he wants to say. My problem with T.O. (and he isn't the only one) is when he says or does something that is deemed controversial and thus becomes newsworthy, he won't ever own it! If you are man enough to open your mouth and say it, be man enough to own it when it comes back to bite you in the butt. I'd have a lot more respect for him if he would stand up and say "yeah, this is what I said and I meant what I said" than I will if he pulls his normal routine and starts in on saying that it was the media trying to restart his feud with McNabb.

This goes beyond just T.O. This goes to Bill "I Misinterpreted The Rule" Bellichick, Roger "I Misremembered The Conversation" Clemens, Sammy "I Forgot How To Speak English" Sosa and Mark "I'm Not Here To Talk About The Past" McGwire. Take from history this lesson. Once upon a time, McGwire and Sosa were considered the saviors of baseball. Bellichick was the genius that roamed the sidelines. Scandals have tarnished their images quite a bit. And, in these specific cases, it's not just what they did, but their downright refusal to own what they did that really has people steamed at these former heroes.

Then we have Andy Pettitte. Andy Pettitte is a cheater! He used performance enhancement drugs. He admitted it. And, you know, that is exactly why Pettitte has become Saint Andy while Roger Clemens and Mark McGwire and others have become The Scourge of Baseball. And simply held his hands up and said "yes, I did it. I own it. I'm sorry." He's no more of a saint than anyone else mentioned in this little rant of mine, but he did what we wanted to see from the guy. He came clean and faced the music and we forgave him.

Sports heroes don't have to be perfect. They are as human as you and I. They are going to do things we don't like because we ain't them. They are going to say things they will regret later. The ones who come back and are willing to own their words and actions, I can respect that. The ones who cheat or run their mouths and then try to blame it on something other than themselves, I can't respect that.

T.O., when someone tries to hold you accountable for your remarks this past week about McNabb, please man, don't go off and try to act the innocent victim and blame the media for blowing it out of proportion. You were willing to say it Wednesday, be willing to back it up Monday and beyond.

Seems Nike could scrap the Just Do It slogan and make a new one for the 21st Century.

Just Own It.

Category: NFL
Posted on: September 9, 2008 4:57 pm
 

We All Got One

We all have an opinion.

We have an opinion on who the best quarterback in history is. We have an opinion on who the most overrated player in baseball is. We have an opinion on the salary cap, NBA referees and whether or not a player "deserves" to be injured. We have an opinion on Jerry Jones, Shaq's "Kobe Rap" and the steroid era. Should Brett Favre have stayed retired? Should Al Davis let someone else run the Raiders? Should we let Pete Rose in the Hall of Fame?

And then we have opinions on other people's opinions. Manning fans believe Brady backers are idiots and Cowboy haters think that T.O. supporters are fools. Some people have the opinion that Raider fans are thugs or that New York fans are classless or Patriot fans are arrogant.

And good old CBS gives all of us the opportunity to have a forum where we can spout out our opinions. The wise ones of us actually temper our use of this forum. Cause a wise man once said, "tis better to keep your mouth shut and have people question your ignorance than to open it and remove all doubt."

But what fun would that be?

So I am going to open my e-mouth and give out my opinions. These are just my opinions. Some of you may agree. Some of you may disagree. Some of you may vehemently disagree and call me every name in the book for my opinion. That's fine. I can dig it.

The one thing I will tell you is this: These will be my opinions....on SPORTS! I am not going to fill my blog with election opinions, religious opinions, oil price opinions (we all have the same opinion on the price of gas anyways so what would be the point there). I will share my opinions on the NFL, MLB, NBA etc. I will share my opinions on fan behavior, media responsibility and code of conducts for players to follow.

I'm a sports fan. This is a sports site. And, it is my opinion, that most of you come here to discuss sports. It's why I come here. It's what i have a passion for discussing. And it is what I have an opinion on.

Everyone has an opinion. And there are two kinds of opinions. There is the wrong opinion. And then there is my opinion.

 

Category: General
Tags: Trash Talk
 
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com