Tag:The Daily Shoutout
Posted on: December 28, 2011 9:10 am
Edited on: December 28, 2011 9:41 am

The Daily Shoutout: Jason Taylor Hall of Famer?

OPENING HIT: This week will likely be Jason Taylor's last game. The Miami Herald reported he will be retiring after a 15-year career. Is he a Hall of Famer?

This is what I do know. Taylor had the kind of career every player dreams to have. He played 15 seasons, a remarkable stint for a defensive lineman. He had a major impact on the sport as a top pass rusher. He had 139 1/2 career sacks. That is a staggering amount and he will finish his career trailing, as the Herald reported, only Bruce Smith, Reggie White, Kevin Greene, Chris Doleman and Michael Strahan. White might be the best defensive lineman of all time, Smith is probably top five, and Strahan deserves to be in the Hall. Again, Taylor is in good company.

Taylor was also a great representative of the sport. Now, that doesn't matter for the Hall of Fame. Lawrence Taylor is in the Hall of Fame and he was, ahem, not exactly a good dude. The Hall is all about numbers and impact but the fact Taylor wasn't snorting coke between snaps will help.

Back to the original question. Is Taylor a Hall of Famer? I'd probably vote for him. Longevity means a great deal to me and what Taylor did, play at a high level for a long time, means even more.
Category: NFL
Posted on: October 26, 2011 9:32 am
Edited on: October 26, 2011 2:48 pm

The Daily Shoutout: The next Cam Newton?

OPENING HIT: Former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden once told me this about Christian Ponder: "His talent is going to catch come people by surprise." Bowden said it with that thick drawl and extreme confidence. I never doubted Bowden's words. I never doubt Bowden, period, and he in some ways his prediction is coming true. It's not that Ponder is some unknown. It's that we're seeing what long-time Ponder backers have said for several years now: Ponder has it all.

Ponder is the next Cam Newton. He's athletic, smart, throws well, runs well...everything he did at Florida State he'll do with the Vikings. Ponder is the anti-Tim Tebow. His outing against a Green Bay team that's not just the defending Super Bowl champs but a team I firmly believe will go unbeaten for another three of four games (at least) was impressive. And it wasn't a fluke. He's that good.

Chris Cook: If the allegations against Cook are true he'll never play another down of football again. In a league that sometimes -- my opinion -- still takes issues of domestic violence too lightly, I'm hearing from people around football they are stunned about the Cook allegations.

JOHN HARBAUGH: Don't expect the Ravens coach to take the criticism of his offensive coordinator's play calls by players lightly. I'm hearing he's not happy about it and will address the issue with the team (if he already hasn't). Publicly, Harbaugh is saying he's fine with the criticism. Privately, he's not.

And I remain stunned at the poor season Joe Flacco is having. Just didn't see it coming.
Category: NFL
Posted on: October 5, 2011 8:29 am

The Daily Shoutout: Jets make or break game?

OPENING HIT: Seems dumb to say so early in the year. Plus, the phrase make or break is annoying so I apologize for using it. But hear me out on this. The Jets need to win this game or they're in deep trouble.

This is why. The Jets are 2-2. If they lose to the Patriots they fall to 2-3 with Miami on deck. Since everyone and grandma beats Miami this year, the Jets probably win that contest and go to 3-3. Then it gets real interesting for them.

They're home against San Diego, at the Bills, home against New England, then at Denver, home against Buffalo and then at the Washington Grossmans. That is a nasty schedule. Brutal, actually.

Those games could either way. The Jets are a good team, well coached, lots of talent but the way they've been playing I could easily see the team splitting those games and heading into the final stretch of the season hovering around .500 and facing games in their final four against the Eagles and Giants. Again, brutal.

Or Rex Ryan, as he has done before, pulls a coaching rabbit out of his helmet and the Jets make one of their runs. That's possible as well.

Which is why this New England game is so crucial. A win would provide momentum and confidence. A loss could do the opposite especially after that ugly loss to Baltimore in which the Jets looked bullied and disorganized.

maybe saying make or break (ugh) is hyperbole but this game will go a long way to determining their season.
Category: NFL
Posted on: September 30, 2011 7:18 am
Edited on: September 30, 2011 8:09 am

The Daily Shoutout: The new Walter Payton bio

OPENING HIT: I didn’t know Walter Payton well but I knew him. I apparently didn’t know him well enough. Based on a new book about Payton’s life, few did.

A new biography, The Hero No One Knew, suggests Payton was not the simplistic goody-goody the media often portrayed him to be. He had extra marital affairs, took drugs to dull the pain of a long and brutal NFL career, and contemplated suicide. In other words, Payton was a human being with flaws, not perfect piece of clay built by Michelangelo.

Now, unlike a lot of the immature critics who are wrongly attacking the author, Jeff Pearlman, I’ve read the book. It’s a well reported, factually strong, highly interesting read about one of the most famous figures in NFL history. Full disclosure: I’m a friend of Jeff’s. But I’d say this regardless.

Some of the reaction has been predictable. Mike Ditka, a hothead and occasional buffoon, said he’d spit on Pearlman if he saw him. Nice, Iron Mike. Way to add to the discussion. Besides, it was, after all, Ditka who handed Payton one of Payton’s greatest humiliations when he refused to let Payton score in the Super Bowl XX blowout of New England instead allowing Refrigerator Perry to make a mockery of things. See, when Ditka had his chance to honor Payton, he behaved petulantly, now, years later, he’s got Payton’s back.

I see.

The problem here isn’t Pearlman. The problem is twofold: you and me. Longtime NFL writers like me did a disservice to readers by portraying Payton as an infallible human being when no such thing exists. We didn’t provide a three-dimensional portrait. Pearlman does and he does so not in a tabloid manner – again, read the book – but in a professional, almost elegant way.

You, the reader, are also the issue. You demand that athletes be real, that they step from behind their publicists and carefully crafted images, but when many of them (not all) refuse, you don’t care. You still blindly follow. Some of you are hypocrites.

I want to know what athletes are really like because I like information and what I chose to do with that information is up to me. I now understand what Payton was really like and it doesn’t alter my opinion of him one bit. I still think he was an elite runner. I still think he was an overall good person. I still like him.

Pearlman tells us about all of the outstanding things Payton did as a football player and man but he also shows us the warts. Not only is there nothing wrong with that I’d say it’s necessary.

Let’s be grownups about this and not shrink this discussion into the simplistic nonsense we see all across our culture today. Payton was a highly nuanced man, it turns out, and thus this book is a highly nuanced look at him.

Spit on Pearlman? We should be patting him on the back.



Category: NFL
Posted on: September 29, 2011 9:17 am
Edited on: September 29, 2011 9:17 am

The Daily Shoutout: The Greatest Story Ever

OPENING HIT: Maybe by now, you've heard of The Chest Express. That's what I'm calling it, anyway. If you have, one more telling is in order. If you have not, sit back and enjoy the greatest story ever.

The Chest Express is a mobile strip club. That's correct. Mobile. Strip. Club. After several hours of exhaustive research, I've figured out how it works. The Chest Express hits tailgating parties before Detroit Lions football games. Now, this is not an original idea. But management of this particular enterprise seems to have taken four-wheeled exotic dancing to an entirely new level. Their genius is the reason we're destined to regain our elite standing in the world. Suck on this, China.

"Pictures on the Booty Lounge Facebook page show scantily clad women hanging off a stripper pole inside a red school bus-type vehicle," wrote the Detroit Free Press.

Of course they do. What would a Chest Express be without stripper poles inside a red school bus.

(Shouldn't the bus be pink, by the way?)

Operators are said to be asking for a $10 donation to board. Of course they are.

The bus allegedly travels throughout Michigan. After all of this publicity, I have a feeling The Chest Express is about to expand its base of operations. 

HAVE Colts GIVEN UP ON SEASON? Maybe that's not fair but some interesting Tweets from Colts owner Jim Irsay are certainly raising eyebrows. He tweeted Wednesday night there was no salary cap room for David Garrard. That might be true but the Colts could make the room if they desired. Then, on Thursday morning, Irsay sent out a series of tweets that sounded defensive.

"1)I already told some of u guys Coach Caldwell decides who plays,I would know,I own the team2)Kerry is still tying recover,Curtis MIGHT play," Irsay tweeted.

Then Irsay added: "There is no chaos/disarray,thinking that is a delusion maker,nothing but unity n believe,that u could c sunday nite,fighting thru adversity."

Is Garrard a great quarterback? No. Is he solid? Yes. With Kerry Collins still recovering from a concussion and Curtis Painter recovering from being a bad quarterback, Garrard seems like a safe play. Unless the Colts are indeed just waiting out this season for Andrew Luck.
Category: NFL
Posted on: September 23, 2011 7:03 am
Edited on: September 23, 2011 9:35 am

The Daily Shoutout: Goodell oversteps bounds

OPENING HIT: The suspension of Cedric Benson came and went on Thursday rather quietly. Yet it was one of the most significant acts of Roger Goodell's tenure.

Benson's three-game suspension was first reported by Yahoo! Sports. The important thing to note is that Benson was being punished for incidents that happened during the lockout. To repeat: Benson is being punished for what he did during the lockout.

I've never liked Benson. I've always thought he was a bit of a clown and dumbass. He also isn't a good guy. He's been to prison for misdemeanor assault and has been an all-around jerk. In fact, Benson and jerk-dom are close cousins.

It was one of his assault cases that happened during the lockout that led to him being suspended by Goodell.

No, Benson is not a good guy, and that's probably why there was little discussion or outrage over Goodell suspending Benson for acts occurring during the lockout.

Goodell is a good man with a big intellect and solid heart but his suspending of a player for something the player did during a lockout is mystifying, at best.

There remains something just horribly arrogant about suspending a player for something he did when the league was shut down. And please don't compare the players' situation to every day Americans. The league and union have a collective bargaining agreement that had expired. The NFL had no rights over its players. Locking the players out and then saying, retroactively, that the NFL has jurisdiction over them, is supreme arrogance.

The owners wouldn't even let the players work out at team facilities but now the NFL feels it has a right to discipline them for something that happened during the lockout?

Everything in the NFL is done under the CBA. Everything. But there was no CBA during the lockout and since there was no CBA there shouldn't be any retroactive punishment.

It's because Benson is a bad guy that few people had a problem with Goodell's acts. But it shouldn't matter.

Benson will appeal and I think he has a great chance to win. (Then again I believe the appeal goes back to Goodell so strike that.) Nonethless, during the lockout, Benson was subject to America's laws, not Goodell's.

Category: NFL
Posted on: September 22, 2011 6:15 am

The Daily Shoutout: DeAngelo Hall is an idiot

OPENING HIT: DeAngelo Hall says he will target the ribs of Tony Romo when Washington plays Dallas this week. Thus, DeAngelo Hall is a buffoon.

Football players do that all the time. They target ailing body parts. It's part of the game. It's what makes the game so deliciously ruthless.

The problem with Hall is that he openly talked about it. That's just dumb. Now, two things are going to happen. First, the game officials will be watching Hall closely. Second, Romo's teammates will be watching even closer.

I can guarantee you the game officials, if they already didn't know, will be alerted by the league office about Hall's remarks. As a result they'll watch everything he does and if he even approaches the line, let alone crosses it...whistle, flag. Flag, whistle.

And the Cowboys players will now target Hall. They'll look to get their own shots in.

What most players, what most smart players, would do in that situation is shut up about it. They'd target Romo's ribs in glorious silence. Then maybe brag about it after the game (if that).

So what Hall has done, in declaring a rib fatwa against Romo, is make himself a target.

Less is more, DeAngelo. Less is more.
Category: NFL
Posted on: August 23, 2011 7:51 am
Edited on: August 23, 2011 9:55 am

The Daily Shoutout: Preseason stinks part 200,000

Or maybe it's part two million.

On Monday night the Giants' excellent defensive back, Terrell Thomas, tore his right anterior cruciate ligament. He's out for the season. It seemed that on the play his foot tripped up, leading to Thomas falling into a teammate. I saw the play and thought he sprained his ankle. But it was obviously much worse.

The play happened with 22 seconds left in the first half.

Twenty-two seconds.

Last year Thomas was one of the most underrated players in all of football leading the Giants in tackles. He's ferocious and speedy and now he's gone for the year because of a dumbass, meaningless preseason game that players don't need and owners only have because preseason is a cash cow.

Now, this is the part where you say: he could get hurt anytime. It could've been in the regular season. It could have been in training camp practice.

I hear those silly arguments all the time. If he'd been hurt in a regular season game at least there was a purpose to it. The game meant something. Getting hurt with 22 seconds left in the first half of preseason game? Tell me that means something. It doesn't.

Cut the preseason down to two games, which is what I want to do, and yes, Thomas still gets hurt. But you're cutting the odds of injury down significantly. (And Giants coach Tom Coughlin should not have had Thomas in the game during such a meaningless period to start with.)

The only reason there's preseason is because owners make huge profits off of it. They get to charge $8 for popcorn and $25 for parking with very little overhead. There's no bigger money making scheme in all of sports (except for maybe personal seat licenses).

I think owners have made profit-loss calculations that say a torn ACL here, a season ending shoulder injury there are worth it because the preseason generates them so much cash.

So another player goes down in preseason. One more reason why these games stink.
Category: NFL
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com