@Dinner Arizona is basically the sweetheart of sports writers and the refs and they don't want to admit it. It's obvious to everyone watching football that they're not better than Carolina, let alone Minnesota or probably even Green Bay. But the media keeps up with this "best team in the NFC" silliness and the refs keep handing them calls they apparently think everyone is too blind to see. Fortunately Carson Palmer will predictably implode when playoff time comes around and either Honey Badger or Patrick Peterson will find a way to get injured again.
For those of you who don't know who Pete Carroll is or what he did nine days ago, Carroll is the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks. He used to coach at USC until recently, and there was some speculation that he would bring over some of his former players to Seattle.
Armed with the 14th pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, Carroll was looking for a safety. He had the opportunity to select his former player, Taylor Mays. Instead, he went with another safety, Earl Thomas.
As you may imagine, Mays didn't take too kindly to this. The next day, he blamed his former coach for his ensuing freefall into the second round: "I felt he told me the complete opposite of the actions that he took, which was definitely alarming. Some things that he told me I needed to do as a football player, versus the actions that he took and who he took as a safety. I understand it's a business, but with it being a business, you just need to be honest and that's all I was asking for."
Now, before you e-mail me and say, "Duh, Carroll was just taking the better player! Thomas is a lot better than Mays!" I'm well aware of this. I would have taken Thomas myself. But then again, I didn't recruit Mays or coach him for four years. Think about this situation:
In one of the best movies of all time, The Karate Kid, Mr. Miyagi spent all of his time training his oft-bullied pupil Daniel-san for a huge karate tournament. Now, imagine if Mr. Miyagi went into the tournament and announced, "I take Johnny Lawrence-san to be my new a pupil. He give me a betta chance to win a tournament and he more talented than a Daniel-san."
How do you think Daniel-san would have responded to that? "Ey yo, Mr. Miyagi, you make me paint your fences and now dis?" Erm, probably the same way Mays did.
The whole thing's a hypocrisy. Carroll sat in Mays' living room four years ago and told his future safety and his parents something like, "I'm going to put Taylor in the best position to make it to the pros. Join my team, Taylor, and you'll be ready for the NFL when you declare for the NFL Draft."
Three years later, Mays was projected to be the No. 8 pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. Carroll asked Mays to come back for one more year. Mays agreed. Two weeks ago, Mays fell into the second round.
Despite these promises, Carroll passed on Mays for a "better" prospect. It may have been a prudent football move, but Carroll certainly exposed himself as a fraud, a liar and a scumbag - traits that describe most college football coaches.
And when the Mays' new team, the 49ers, battle the Seahawks during the opening game of the 2010 NFL season? I fully expect Carroll to whisper into Thomas' ear, "Sweep the leg."
JERK OF THE WEEK NO. 2: Matt Millen and ESPN
For those unfamiliar with Matt Millen (believe it or not, I received e-mails from a few people asking me what a "Millen" was because I gave the Los Angeles Jaguars draft grades of "Millen on LSD" and "Millen on crack"), Millen is the worst general manager in NFL history. Virtually everyone he drafted was a bust, and yet he was able to hold his job for nearly a decade because Lions owner William Darth Sidious Clay Ford takes pleasure in watching his fans suffer. It wasn't until Darth Sidious Ford's own son called him out that Millen was reluctantly fired.
Millen has since gone back into broadcasting. He was doing the Penn State Blue and White Game during draft weekend, but for some reason, ESPN decided that it was a good idea to have him come on as a brief guest during Day 3 of the 2010 NFL Draft.
I didn't feel like losing any brain cells at the moment, so I tuned Millen out. From the background noise I heard, he laughed heavily, blurted out something to ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski and mentioned kielbasa a few times. I have no idea what he said - unfortunately.
About an hour later, Millen came back on. He sullenly looked down and said, "Earlier in the broadcast, I made a humorous remark toward Ron Jaworski that could have been misconstrued to people of Polish decent. I want to apologize because that has nothing to do (to do with what?). I've enjoyed a playful relationship with Ron Jawkorski over the years (not that there's anything wrong with that), and we jab each other back and forth (not that there's anything wrong with that) and that has absolutely nothing to do with my comments toward Ron or anyone of Polish decent, so I apologize. I meant nothing by it."
I just realized that if I worked at ESPN, I'd have to apologize for my comments every 15 minutes. I just couldn't do it. ESPN sucks. They're way too PC. Who the hell cares what Millen said? He's an idiot.
We're way too sensitive as a society about remarks that can be misconstrued as racist. If we weren't so uptight, racism wouldn't be nearly as prevalent. And what could Millen have said that would have been so "offensive?" All I know is that he talked to Jaws, insulted Polish people and mentioned kielbasa. So, let's see...
1. "Muhahahaha! I was there in World War II and I slaughtered your ancestors, Jaws! Want some kielbasa?"
The act here is more offensive than the statement. Millen should have apologized this about 50 years ago. Then again, Millen ruined the Lions and hasn't apologized for that either.
2. "What'd one kielbasa say to the other kielbasa? Jaws is a f***ing moron because he's Polish! Hahahaha!"
ESPN should have let this one go. I found it funny.
3. "Jaws, I have this kielbasa here. I'm saving it for tonight when I'll shove it up your anus - not that there's anything wrong with that - and I know you'll like it because you're Polish."
Even I found that offensive. Screw you, Millen, and your anal kielbasa fetish.
JERK OF THE WEEK NO. 3: Michael Silver
The segue from Matt Millen to Michael Silver is a natural one. While Millen offended two Polish people and had to apologize for it, Silver, a Yahoo sports writer, felt the need to apologize for a "racist" comment that insulted maybe two or three people in the entire world.
On Thursday evening, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced Washington's pick: "With the fourth pick of the 2010 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins select Trent 'Silverback' Williams, offensive tackle, University of Oklahoma."
Outside of why the Redskins would choose an overrated player like Williams over the best offensive tackle, Russell Okung, the great mystery here was Williams' nickname. "What the hell is a Silverback?" I asked on my Live 2010 NFL Draft blog.
About a dozen e-mailers and Facebook friends replied the next day, informing me that a silverback is a type of gorilla. Uh oh... the NFL commissioner called a black player a gorilla? This can't be good. And now you see why Silver felt the need to apologize to Goodell.
Reading up on it, however, the following facts were revealed:
1. Trent Williams' nickname at Oklahoma was "Silverback."
2. Williams asked Goodell to announce his name as "Trent 'Silverback' Williams" at the 2010 NFL Draft.
3. Silver, a white journalist, seemed to be the only person offended by it.
This always happens. Always. It's the same exact formula every time:
1. A humorous comment is made regarding a race in a non-malicious manner.
2. Artsty-fartsy new-age hippies like Silver take offense to it, even though 99 percent of the race in question doesn't care at all.
3. The person who made the comment is forced to apologize and/or gets fired.
4. I write about it in the Jerks of the Week section.
The good news is that I'm not the only one pissed off about this. Several people bashed Silver's article on Yahoo's site. I'll post two of the comments:
Dear angst-and-white-guilt-ridden liberal: When referring to Goodell's intro of Trent Williams(notes), you wrote "I realize that ... as a society we should be beyond such overtones." Most of us are beyond them, Michael. Just not, well, guilt-ridden white Bay Area liberals.
Mark Thompson, Miami
Great job, Mark. I prefer the term "artsy-fartsy new-age hippies" because that way you're not directly insulting anyone else.
You wanna know when racism will go away? When you and others like you stop being racist. The player asked to be announced like that, meant something to him and his friends, the only people who did the doubletake are people who cannot let racism die. Let go of your racist notions and racism will start to go away as it should have already, but no ... like always everyone is too quick to assume it was meant as a slur ... guess what? You're the racist.
Couldn't agree more. "Silverback" was an innocent nickname that Williams' teammates gave to him. There were no racial connotations - until a white journalist made it out to be racist. Isn't that a lot worse than what Goodell apparently did in the first place?
JERK OF THE WEEK NO. 4: Todd McShay
What would an NFL Draft-related Jerks of the Week be without the one and only Sun Tan Man?
When I saw that Todd McShay was sitting next to Mel Kiper on ESPN's draft set on Saturday, I immediately began searching for a noose because I thought I'd want to hang myself by the fifth round.
To my astonishment, McShay wasn't that bad. He had some insightful things to say, and aside from a few occasions, he wasn't a complete douche.
However, I quickly changed my mind around the middle of Round 6. Kiper and McShay were bantering about quarterbacks (naturally), when it seemed like the latter lost it. McShay, of course, had been anti-Jimmy Clausen and Dan LeFevour, both of whom fell on draft weekend to the behest of Kiper. During this mid-Round 6 argument, McShay suddenly proclaimed with a smirk, "I really underrated these prospects. I had Clausen No. 34 on my board, and he went 48th. I had LeFevour as a 5th-round quarterback. He went in the sixth round. I really underrated these prospects."
Kiper couldn't say anything because he had Clausen going to the Raiders at No. 8 and LeFevour moving off the board in the third round. McShay apparently had been right all along.
Except not really.
McShay has repeatedly been saying that Clausen won't be a good NFL quarterback. It really didn't matter where Clausen was drafted - what's relevant is if Clausen becomes a solid pro.
Think that's a stupid argument? You're a stupid argument! Or consider this: In 2005, McShay denounced Aaron Rodgers, slating him as an early second-round prospect (sound familiar?) and berating him because of his "lack of creativity." (WTF?) In fact, he said he liked Brian Brohm more as a prospect because he didn't like Rodgers' upside (sound familiar?)
Don't believe me? Listen for yourself (fast forward to 1:23 right after the incompetent Merril Hoge.)
As in 2010, McShay was right five years ago; Rodgers was slated by many, including Kiper, to go in the top five, but fell to No. 24. Had McShay been on TV, he would have smugly proclaimed that he nearly "underrated" Rodgers.
Five years later, Rodgers is among the elite quarterbacks in the NFL. It didn't matter that he fell all the way to No. 24. If we had to redo the 2005 NFL Draft again, Rodgers would be the no-brainer first pick.
I'm not saying McShay is right or wrong about Clausen and LeFevour. I'm not saying I'm right or wrong about Clausen. We're all human, and we're all going to be right and wrong about certain things. And that's not even the point I'm trying to convey. The real issue is that McShay once again acted like a smug douche. He's so irritating because he's an a**hole and doesn't respect the road that Kiper has paved for him.
Had it not been for Kiper, McShay would probably be some cabana boy in Beverly Hills. Instead, he's making millions of dollars, appearing on national TV, spending every day in a tanning salon, and even earning more money from his agency for denouncing prospects from rival agencies (i.e. Clausen).
McShay should be grateful to Kiper for all he has, and he needs to stop acting like a spoiled brat trying to prove himself to the world. If he does that, I might just stop it with all of the tanning salon jokes.
JERK OF THE WEEK NO. 5: No-Life Spammer
After the 2010 NFL Draft, I received a series of e-mails from someone who called himself Nolan Ellington (though one of his accounts showed up as "Michael Emerson.") He sent me the exact same e-mail from different accounts of his, though each had a different subject. One would read "Eric Berry will bust." Another was "Why drafting CJ Spiller was the correct move for the Buffalo Bills." And so on.
Here's the e-mail Nolan Ellington/Michael Emerson sent to me about two dozen times within a span of a couple of hours:
HELLO MY NAME IS NOLAN ELLINGTON AND I AM GAY. I F**K MEN AND EAT FECES BECAUSE I AM A GAY HOMOSEXUAL N****R F****T. ONE TIME I WENT TO KMART WITH ALL MY GAY FRIENDS INCLUDING THE WIGGLES, BROKENCYDE, THE JONAS BROTHERS, BARNEY THE DINOSAUR, DREW PICKLES, AND JESUS CHRIST. FIRST WE WALKED INTO THE STORE, THEN WE ALL GOT NAKED, AND THEN WE PROCEEDED TO SHOVE OUR C***S INTO EACHOTHER'S A******S, AND S**T ALL OVER THE STORE, AND SHOVE OUR C***S INTO EACHOTHER'S A******S, AND S**T ALL OVER THE STORE, AND SHOVE OUR C***S INTO EACHOTHER'S A******S, AND S**T ALL OVER THE STORE, AND SHOVE OUR C***S INTO EACHOTHER'S A******S, AND S**T ALL OVER THE STORE, AND SHOVE OUR C***S INTO EACHOTHER'S A******S, AND S**T ALL OVER THE STORE, AND SHOVE OUR C***S INTO EACHOTHER'S A******S, AND S**T ALL OVER THE STORE, AND SHOVE OUR C***S INTO EACHOTHER'S A******S, AND S**T ALL OVER THE STORE, AND SHOVE OUR C***S INTO EACHOTHER'S A******S, AND S**T ALL OVER THE STORE, AND SHOVE OUR C***S INTO EACHOTHER'S A******S, AND S**T ALL OVER THE STORE, AND SHOVE OUR C***S INTO EACHOTHER'S A******S, AND S**T ALL OVER THE STORE, AND SHOVE OUR C***S INTO EACHOTHER'S A******S, AND S**T ALL OVER THE STORE, AND SHOVE OUR C***S INTO EACHOTHER'S A******S, AND S**T ALL OVER THE STORE, AND SHOVE OUR C***S INTO EACHOTHER'S A******S, AND S**T ALL OVER THE STORE, AND THEN THE MANAGER STEPPED OUT OF HIS OFFICE, AND HE ASKED WHAT THE F**K DO YOU THINK YOU GUYS ARE DOING INSIDE OF MY ESTABLISHMENT, AND WE SAID HELLO WE ARE GAY AND WE ARE HAVING A POOPY GAY ORGY INSIDE OF YOUR STORE, AND HE SAID WHAT A COINCIDENCE! I AM GAY TOO, SO I REQUEST THAT I JOIN IN YOUR HOMOSEXUAL POOPY ORGY, AND WE SAID YES AND THEN WE F**KED ALL OVER THE POOPY STORE, AND WE RAPED ALL THE MEN IN STORE, AND IT WAS SWELL. GOODBYE.
I know exactly what you're thinking:
"Matt Millen should apologize for sending you spam e-mail!"