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22 Feb 2006

2005 Football Outsiders Awards, Part II

comments by Aaron Schatz

Once again, I would like to thank everyone who voted on the awards this season. Here are the second half of this year's Football Outsiders awards.

Who is the best national football columnist, not counting Football Outsiders writers on FOXSports.com? (two votes per ballot) (Last year's winner: Dr. Z)

23.4% Paul Zimmerman (Dr.Z), SI.com
21.7% Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com
16.3% Gregg Easterbrook (TMQ), NFL.com
9.6% John Clayton, ESPN.com
6.7% Peter King, SI.com
6.5% Chris Mortensen, ESPN.com
3.2% Jay Glazer, FOXSports.com
2.6% Michael "not David" Smith, ESPN.com
2.1% K.C. Joyner, ESPN.com (subscription only)
1.9% Vic Carucci, NFL.com
1.7% Don Banks, SI.com
4.3% (seven other candidates)

We expanded the list to 18 candidates this year, and gave every ballot two votes instead of one. Len Pasquarelli moves up for the second straight year, Peter King moves down for the second straight year. Jay Glazer is by far the most popular of the non-FO FOX columnists, with more than twice as many votes as the other three listed candidates combined. We listed two ESPN Insider-only writers: It's nice to see some votes for K.C. Joyner, one of the few writers out there whose perspective is similar to FO, but I'm a little surprised there were so few votes for Todd McShea (one of ESPN's Scouts Inc. guys). Nobody seems to have any reason to visit CBSSportsline's NFL coverage anymore, as Pete Prisco and Clark Judge barely received any votes.

By the way, I'm told that Michael "not David" Smith's nickname among other NFL writers is actually Michael "Word" Smith.

Which is the best announcing team in the NFL? (top 8 listed) (Last year's winner: Madden/Michaels)

22.3% Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, FOX
21.4% John Madden and Al Michaels, ABC
13.3% Dick Stockton and Daryl Johnson, FOX
13.0% Jim Nantz and Phil Simms, CBS
6.7% Dan Dierdorf and Dick Enberg, CBS
6.4% Ian Eagle and Solomon Wilcots, CBS
4.1% Randy Cross and Kevin Harlan, CBS
3.5% Kenny Albert and Brian Baldinger, FOX

A huge jump for the top FOX team, which nearly doubles its percentage of the vote this year. Here's my guess: this is not because of Joe Buck, this is because it is clear that Troy Aikman thinks things through a lot more than other color analysts, as evidenced by the "Aikman Ratings." (By the way, I messed up and listed FOX's top team as still including Cris Collinsworth. I assume that didn't affect any votes.)

Which is the worst announcing team in the NFL? (top 8 listed) (Last year's winner: Patrick/Maguire/Theismann)

71.8% Mike Patrick, Paul Maguire, and Joe Theismann, ESPN
7.0% John Madden and Al Michaels, ABC
4.3% Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, FOX
3.0% Dan Dierdorf and Dick Enberg, CBS
2.5% Jim Nantz and Phil Simms, CBS
2.3% Sam Rosen and Bill Maas, FOX
1.8% Randy Cross and Kevin Harlan, CBS
1.5% Kenny Albert and Brian Baldinger, FOX

The Three Stooges retire undefeated, winning this category by a larger amount each year: 30% in 2003, 57% in 2004, and 72% in 2005. You can relive their glory days by clicking here or  here or here or here.

Once again, Dick Stockton and Daryl Johnson reign as the "most inoffensive announcing team," as the only announcers with more than 10% of the vote for "best announcing team" but barely any votes for for "worst announcing team."

Who is the best Sunday morning pre-game personality? (top eight listed) (Last year's winner: Chris Berman)


19.8% Tom Jackson, ESPN
13.4% Chris Berman, ESPN
11.4% Howie Long, FOX
10.3% Steve Young, ESPN
10.0% Terry Bradshaw, FOX
8.6% Boomer Esiason, CBS
4.8% Greg Gumbel, CBS
4.6% James Brown, FOX

Not much to say here. Howie Long moves up, Boomer Esiason moves down. Once again, we make this category "Sunday" pregame personality because otherwise Ron Jaworski would win in a landslide for Monday Night Countdown.

Who is the worst Sunday morning pre-game personality? (top eight listed) (Last year's winner: Michael Irvin)


38.5% Michael Irvin, ESPN
20.0% Shannon Sharpe, CBS
12.2% Terry Bradshaw, FOX
6.6% Chris Berman, ESPN
4.2% Boomer Esiason, CBS
3.9% Mike Ditka, ESPN
2.9% Greg Gumbel, CBS
2.5% Dan Marino, CBS

For the second straight year, Jimmy Johnson received almost no votes for either best or worst pregame personality. Is he even on the set?

Which team is the best fit for Terrell Owens?


24.4% Denver
17.0% Dallas
15.3% Atlanta
14.8% Oakland
7.9% Miami
5.0% Baltimore
4.9% Carolina
4.9% Chicago
4.4% Washington
1.3% New York Jets

Every year we ask a random personnel question, so this year we asked about T.O. It does look like he's headed to Denver at this point, doesn't it? I like the idea of sending him to Chicago. How would a defense cover Owens and Muhammad without leaving tons of space for Thomas Jones and Cedric Benson to run? Even if Rex Grossman is really no better than a replacement-level quarterback, he's better than Kyle Orton, and that would be a much better offense than in 2005 -- keeping the Bears in Super Bowl contention even if the defense does regress to the mean a little bit.

The best commercial during NFL games this year was: (Last year's winner: Peyton Manning "Cut that Meat")


33.4% Burger King mascot superimposed on classic NFL footage
24.7% Master Card Peyton Manning "D-CAF!"
8.8% Sony HDTV Cal vs. Stanford as tabletop electric football
8.4% Dr. Pepper "I'd Do Anything for Love"
8.1% Visa New England Patriots offensive line as "Metaphors"
6.6% Miller Lite lawsuit commercial with Flava Flav
3.8% NFL Network Big Man Dance Challenge II
3.6% Diet Pepsi Machine drafted by Patriots
2.5% Coors Light "Silver Bullet" through Super Bowl history

Good year for good ads. The best part of the Burger King campaign was that every few weeks they would introduce a new one so that you wouldn't get tired of it. Did it make me go and buy a burger from Burger King? Nope, I haven't eaten there in months. That Sony HDTV commercial was great because it didn't try to convince you that Sony was better by showing you the TV. Usually a commercial shows you an HDTV set and tells you how great the picture is. But how are you supposed to tell the difference between that HDTV and your current television when you are watching the commercial on your current television?

The most annoying commercial during NFL games this year was: (Last year's winner: "anything even remotely connected to erectile disfunction")


18.6% Nokia "I delete him from my phone"
17.7% Diet Pepsi Machine drafted by Patriots
14.1% Coors Light "Silver Bullet" through Super Bowl history
11.8% Visa New England Patriots offensive line as "Metaphors"
11.1% Capital One "Just Say No"
8.3% FedEx "Stop Using Football Cliches"
5.0% MasterCard Peyton Manning "D-CAF!"
4.3% All Miller Lite lawsuit commercials without Flavor Flav
3.5% NFL Network Big Man Dance Challenge II
3.2% Domino's Steak Lover's Pizza "They're Statues"
2.5% Dr. Pepper "I'd Do Anything for Love"

The target audience for football is men aged 18-44. Seriously, was that Nokia ad supposed to make us want to buy a Nokia mobile phone? That ad would be annoying during figure skating too, but at least then it would be reaching the correct audience. Then again, I like the Coors Light ad and the Dr. Pepper ad makes me want to claw my eyeballs out so maybe I don't think like the rest of you.

The Patriots finally start doing a ton of ads and lose in the postseason for the first time since 1998. By the middle of the season, two of the "metaphors" were lost with season-ending injuries and a third, Tom Ashworth, was stuck on the bench. Let this be a warning for Alan Faneca and Marvel Smith.

Other than Football Outsiders, what is the best independent football site on the Web (i.e. not ESPN.com, SI.com, NFL.com, CBS Sportsline, FOX/Sporting News)? (top 12 listed) (Last year's winner: Pro Football Talk)

A lot more votes on this category compared to years past, so thanks for everyone who answered this question. Pro Football Talk has become an indispensable site for news and rumors, although I could do without their weird feud with Len Pasquarelli and the random pointless gay jokes. (By the way, Mike Florio is welcome to use this quote as a testimonial, as long as he uses the entire sentence.) 

I did include votes for independent sites that aren't necessarily football-specific, like Deadspin and PROTRADE. Deadspin really exploded onto the scene this year. People should check out PROTRADE, which is now using advanced statistical measurements on NBA players and will be adding baseball to the game soon. And, speaking of new sites this year, yay for FO reader Tunesmith and his beatpaths. It's cool that FO is inspiring people now to create their own innovative stats and create their own pages.

Football Commentary finished second last year, but William Krasker didn't write much this season.

Which local NFL writer do you feel deserves a more national profile?

Once again, this question didn't get that many votes, although there were certainly more votes than last year. The top vote-getter was Mike Reiss of the Boston Globe, who writes an indispensable weblog about the Patriots as well as exhaustive regular mailbag columns. Why don't other newspapers have content like this? I think the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has a similar weblog but I'm not sure what else is out there. Anyway, I finally had a chance to go to lunch with Mike last week, good guy, definitely someone that those of you outside of Boston will be hearing from someday.

Other writers who received at least three votes included:

  • Michael Felger, Boston Herald
  • Mike Sando, Tacoma News-Tribune
  • Rick Gosselin, Dallas Morning News
  • Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  • Tom Curran, Providence Journal
  • John McClain, Houston Chronicle
  • Mark Maske, Washington Post
  • Joe Posnanski, Kansas City Star

Also receiving a few votes were two analysts who aren't writers but are local: Mike Carlson, who covers the NFL for NFLUK.com and Channel Five in Britain, and Ray Didinger from NFL Films and the Comcast Sports Network in Philadelphia.

The funniest moment of the NFL season was: (Last year's winner: Boomer Esiason dismisses Peyton Manning as "this generation's Dan Marino" with Dan Marino sitting right next to him)

31.0% Clinton Portis and his weekly Thursday costume press conferences
26.3% Ron Mexico
22.3% Carolina Top Cats
14.7% Minnesota Vikings Love Boat
5.7% Lil' Ronnie and the Indianapolis Colts theme song, "Super Bowl Bound."

Shocking upset! I was convinced that the lesbian Carolina Panthers cheerleaders would win this in a landslide. I guess you can't stop Southeast Jerome and all his friends, unless you have Coach Janky Spanky and his defense that features an extra two Sean Taylors. For those interested, Portis has a list of all the characters on his website with fun facts about each one, and all the press conferences are archived on Redskins.com.

Frankly, any of these five events would have won this category last year. 2005 was a very funny year.

The ballot ended with some questions about Football Outsiders. Thanks to everyone who gave us their comments. We forgot to add an optional e-mail for "whose ballot is this," anybody who had a question for us in their comments should re-send the question using the comment form so that one of us can answer it.

There were a lot of good requests and suggestions. Some ideas, unfortunately, are simply not feasible at this stage in our research, like judging player contracts based on DPAR per dollar, or creating values to measure the effect of specific injuries on a team. The other issue is time, since I'm still the only FO writer who does this as my full-time profession

That's why, for example, you have not seen much from the game charting project -- something brought up by a few readers. We did this charting with a crew of reader volunteers who ended up missing many games for various reasons. (That even includes me -- my DVR hard drive bit the dust when I was only halfway through the Week 13 Cincinnati-Pittsburgh game.) This being the first year of the charting, the information that we did get came in all different formats. You wouldn't believe how many ways there are to mark which defender was covering an intended receiver. So we have to fill all the holes and games we missed -- only Seattle and Pittsburgh are complete -- and then clean up all the data to make the formatting consistent.

There's also the problem of how to present the data, of course. Some of you will remember that before the season, I was trying to figure out how we could change the format of DVOA to make it easier to understand. Then I had my family tragedy and when I came back from that we were already in the third week of the season. That's what led to the question on the ballot about how to format DVOA, and here were the results:

40.4% Leave DVOA as is
32.3% Change to represent the number of points a team is better or worse than average, with average as 0.0
19.7% Change to look like standard NFL stats for points per game, with average as the actual NFL average of points per game (roughly 20.6)
7.6% Put on a 1-100 scale similar to the Aikman Ratings

Well, that sure was inconclusive, and I still don't know what to do.

We also asked readers which was their favorite team.


Favorite Team of FO Readers, End of 2005 Season
NE 11.4% WAS 4.8% CAR 2.6%
PIT 10.5% IND 4.3% BUF 2.4%
PHI 7.1% SF 3.7% CIN 2.4%
SEA 6.8% DAL 3.4% DET 2.4%
CHI 5.6% GB 3.2% NYJ 2.4%
NYG 5.4% DEN 3.1% Others 18.5%

We also asked this in the Loser League entry form before the season started so it is interesting to see how the results have changed. The Steelers, Seahawks, Redskins, and Broncos are up. Patriots and Eagles fans, at least as a percentage of our readers, are down. The only team not to receive at least one vote was Arizona. I know we have one Arizona fan who reads the site regularly, but he must not have voted in the awards. Here's that list by division:


FO Readers by Division, End of 2005 Season
NFC East 20.7% NFC West 11.6%
AFC East 18.2% AFC South 8.5%
AFC North 15.6% AFC West 8.3%
NFC North 12.4% NFC South 4.6%

Ha! East coast bias! We certainly would like to have more southern and western readers. Besides Arizona, the bottom four teams were all NFC South teams. Only two readers said that their favorite team was Tampa Bay, which means that with Ian Dembsky returning to write Scramble for the Ball, the FO staff now has as many Tampa Bay fans as the FO readership. (Russell Levine is the other one.) The Rams, Jags, and Dolphins were way down as well, so please tell all your friends in Missouri, Georgia, and Florida about Football Outsiders.

And now, for the final element of this year's awards balloting, we present, as voted by the Football Outsiders readers ...

The 2006 Class of the Fantasy Football Hall of Fame

Mike Tanier first introduced the Fantasy Football Hall of Fame in this article and it was so popular that we decided to induct five players each year. To merit induction into the Fantasy Football Hall of Fame, a player or coach must:

  • Have had a five-year NFL career, and must be retired for at least one season.
  • Have made a significant contribution to the game of fantasy football.
  • Have no chance in this world of getting into the real Hall of Fame.

Super Bowl appearances count against potential candidates, as do other noteworthy accomplishments like an MVP award. A candidate's best seasons had to occur after the dawn of the fantasy sports era (the mid-to-late 1980s) and bonus points are awarded for non-football factors like a catchy nickname or related food product.

TERRY ALLEN

Outstanding fantasy season, 1996. Ran for 1,353 yards and scored 21 rushing touchdowns, seven more than any other running back. Three other 1,000-yard seasons with at least eight touchdowns. Most valuable fantasy running back in 1996, fourth in 1992, and seventh in 1997. Long knock-around career as a veteran running back for hire. Emerged from two years as a part-timer to score nine touchdowns (eight rushing, one receiving) for the 1999 New England Patriots.

TERANCE MATHIS

Outstanding fantasy seasons, 1994 and 1998. Top six in fantasy value among wide receivers both years. A run 'n' shoot receiver. Holds the career record for two-point conversions. Is short. The 1994 season was one of the great come-from-nowhere seasons in fantasy history, as Mathis went from a four-year bench warmer with the Jets to 1,342 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns with the Falcons. Finished third in the NFL in both categories that year. 1,136 yards and 11 touchdowns in 1998 after two down years. Negative factor: had three postseason touchdowns during the Falcons Super Bowl run in 1998. Now an aspiring NASCAR team owner. Seriously.

ED McCAFFREY

Outstanding fantasy seasons, 1998-2000. At least 1,000 yards and 7 touchdowns in each season. Top 20 fantasy wide receiver three straight years despite the fact that Rod Smith was always the team's number one target. Legitimately cool nickname: "Easy Ed." Had his own mustard. Suffered the second most gruesome injury in Monday Night Football history. Negative factor: had considerable postseason success.

CARL PICKENS

Outstanding fantasy seasons, 1994-1996. Unexpected breakout in 1994 (twice as many yards as previous season) responsible for many fantasy championships. One of the seven most valuable fantasy wide receivers in all three years, with an average of 1,180 yards and 13 touchdowns. Caught 540 passes but never played in the postseason. Obvious, overused nickname: Slim.

BUDDY RYAN

Unleashed Randall Cunningham on an unsuspecting public. Punched Kevin Gilbride. Popularized the 46 defense, creating some of the most dangerous "team defenses" of the early fantasy era. 1988 Eagles were 27th in yards allowed per pass attempt, second in interceptions. 1985 Bears, 1989 Eagles and 1994 Cardinals led NFL in interceptions. Never won a playoff game. Career record is exactly .500 (55-55-1). Punched Kevin Gilbride. Coined the term "chuck 'n' duck." Placed bounties on opposing kickers. Punched Kevin Gilbride.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 22 Feb 2006

121 comments, Last at 21 Dec 2012, 8:02pm by skilsmisse lykkelig

Comments

1
by William (not verified) :: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 3:17pm

I simply cannot wrap my head around how much credit Tom Jackson gets. He offers nothing of value, just run of the mill tripe echoed by the majority of NFL "analysts" around the nation. He takes the safe route almost every time out, and it seems to me that this is a reaction to his one brief flirtation with danger, when in early 2003 he looked straight at the camera and told the nation that the Patriots "hated" their coach, as a result of Lawyer Milloy's release. Of course, he would have every reason to turn timid after this, as New England lost only three games and won two more Lombardis in the next two seasons, and it was revealed that Jackson did not have a single source in the NE locker room that backed up his opinion. That might have been the single most irresponsible comment an ESPN pundit has ever made--and this is the network that employs Sean Salisbury--and to this day, I do not know why he has never taken any heat for it, other than from Belichick, himself. So, to recap, Jackson's one strong opinion of the last three years was rendered not credible and laughably off-target, and ever since he has fallen back into safe-mode, consistently talkign a lot and said almost nothing of value. That he received the most votes is a sad commentary on the state of football analysis.

2
by Luz (not verified) :: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 3:17pm

aaron, i really like your testimonial for profootballtalk.com. i hope florio runs with it.

3
by Luz (not verified) :: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 3:20pm

#1

anyone comes off as rationale and lucid when they are sitting next to steve young, mike irvin and chris berman. the very fact that we see so much of jackson and the fact that he is clearly the lesser of 2 very big evils + chris bermans tiresome schtick goes a long way.

4
by Green Bay for Life (not verified) :: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 3:32pm

It may be East Coast Bias but I am a rader from California but I justhappen to not like any of the teams out here, besides I am an Midwest transplant.(I was bor in Oshkosh, Wisconson).

anywho,

I was not shocked to see that the two favorite teams of readers on this site were NE and PIT, of course these are you favorite teams. they have won the past 4 out of 5 superbowls.
as far as the commercials the Burger King one made me sick, I did not like it at all. I much preferred the Coors Light Commercials.

thans again Arron for giving us the run down, hope you do not have to work too hard this off season, see you around for the Pre-Season

5
by cthoover (not verified) :: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 3:32pm

I thought this site might have gone round the edge after the worstofficiatedsuperbowlever (WOSBE for short) but Fantasy Football Hall of Fame has restored the love.

6
by Ron Mexico (not verified) :: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 3:36pm

"Punched Kevin Gilbride."

Is that not the greatest moment in NFL history? Seriously, what could possibly top that?

7
by Green Bay for Life (not verified) :: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 3:43pm

of course when i try typing fast I suck at it. Post #4 is supposed to be reader not rader and born not bor

oh well.....

8
by cthoover (not verified) :: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 3:45pm

Re #4

I can see Burger King making you 'sick' but that commercial was classic. The Steve Young is my favorite.

The Coors Silver Bullet was great as well. I thought that it was so tipped to the first few Super Bowls really showed the greatness of NFL Films back in the day. I mean Super Bowl IV is no classic but thanks to NFL films it will live on.

9
by Independent George (not verified) :: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 3:50pm

I have to disagree on one point regarding FFHOF: Ed McCaffrey's injury was the third most gruesome injury on MNF. I think Bryant Young's snapped shin, followed by his cleats getting stuck in the turf, belongs at #2.

10
by Independent George (not verified) :: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 3:52pm

Also, it's too bad NFL Network's "Time to get your story straight" commercials come out after the balloting is opened. Those are my favorites.

Boy, that Drew Rosenhaus sure knows how to get the most for his clients. I sure wish he were my agent.

11
by rk (not verified) :: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 3:58pm

#4: Tampa Bay won that 5th Super Bowl, and they got no votes, so there might be more to it than New England and Pittsburgh winning Super Bowls.

12
by JonL (not verified) :: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 3:59pm

I didn't watch much Sunday pregame stuff, but one I distinctly remember was Michael Irvin jabbering away, while Tom Jack, sitting right next to him, turned away slightly and stared into the distance off camera. What a great show they put on there.

13
by Josh (not verified) :: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 4:01pm

Terance Mathis also has the longest punt return for TD in NFL history (I'm pretty sure), 98 yard return when he was with the Jets, not sure what year.

14
by Green Bay for Life (not verified) :: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 4:18pm

RE: 13
the longest punt return in NFL history is now over 100 yds because they include endzone depth when you catch it in there i think it stands now at 103 yds.

15
by Green Bay for Life (not verified) :: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 4:20pm

RE 10

no way my bears win over three games this year.

that was a good one too.

16
by Mahatma Kane Jeeves (not verified) :: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 4:46pm

With Randy Moss out of the picture, things are going to be smooth sailing for the Minnesota Vikings.

That one is just brilliant.

17
by Drew (not verified) :: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 4:48pm

We listed two ESPN Insider-only writers: It’s nice to see some votes for K.C. Joyner, one of the few writers out there whose perspective is similar to FO, but I’m a little surprised there were so few votes for Todd McShea (one of ESPN’s Scouts Inc. guys).

I think the key there is that they appear on the Insider section, which probably means that a lot of people (including me) never see their stuff. I've never even heard of Todd McShea.

Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I don't think that a website that nearly crashes my computer with flash advertisements should be charging me to read it. Perhaps I'll give in one day, but for now I'm a holdout.

18
by Sean (not verified) :: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 4:49pm

Re 1: Tom Jackson has built up a lifetime of good will simply by running Rush Limbaugh off the set.

I'm guessing by the low numbers that not that many people have had a chance to check out KC Joyner, which is a shame, as his writing is about the most insightful analysis to be found outside of FO. He's singlehandledly the reason why I subscribed to ESPN Insider this season, and his Scientific Football 2005 has been one of my two bibles for the season (the other being PFP 2005). And good call on Todd McShea, who is excellent on the draft.

Profootballreference.com is indispensible for anyone who wants to do research, as is drafthistory.com.

19
by Tom (not verified) :: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 5:07pm

The record for longest punt return is held by Robert Bailey of the Rams, who returned one 103 yards for a TD in a game against the Saints in 1994. The game featured, IIRC, a total of 668 return yards, including multiple return touchdowns. I believe Bailey's return instituted a rules change, as the punt went into the end zone, but none of the Aints players bothered to actutally down the ball once it reached the end zon, but instead walked toward the sidelines. Bailey waited, realized the play hadn't been blown dead, picked up the ball, and started running for the end zone. It's still one of my favorite plays, because it shows the value of playing until the whistle blows. Alas, it instigated a rules change, as the officials now blow the play dead if the ball goes into the end zone without it having touched.

Mathis is part of a quartet in second, a group that includes Gil Lefebvre of the Cincinnati Reds from 1933.

20
by Michael David Smith :: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 5:19pm

But the other part of that long Bailey return was that a whole bunch of guys from the Rams' offense and the Saints' defense started walking onto the field, assuming the play was over. The whole thing should have been called back because of offsetting penalties for too many men on the field, but the officials didn't stop it. That was the first thing I thought of when I watched the last play of Michigan-Nebraska.

21
by Fnor (not verified) :: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 5:21pm

I dunno, the look of utter, incredulous anger on Marino's face is a pretty good bet to beat all but Ron Mexico, in my opinion.

22
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 5:22pm

I remember when Jackson made that observation about Belichik being hated, and thinking immediately that there was almost zero chance that Jackson had any real knowledge of what he was talking about, which made me wonder why he would say such a thing. Was he Lawyer's buddy?

23
by mawbrew (not verified) :: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 5:45pm

Re: 18 "Tom Jackson has built up a lifetime of good will simply by running Rush Limbaugh off the set."

How does Jackson get credit for this? He sat there and didn't say a peep when the 'controversy' occured? Limbaugh was gone whether or not Jackson decided to jump on the bandwagon.

24
by Sam (not verified) :: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 5:49pm

Vic Ketchman writes a daily mailbag column (Ask Vic) for jacksonville.com -- not just about the jaguars, but about the game, the league, past players/eras, etc. He doesn't seem to be afraid to call out the team's front office either.

25
by Sam (not verified) :: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 5:49pm

i said jacksonville.com but it's http://www.jaguars.com/

26
by Louis XIV (not verified) :: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 5:49pm

I think the "Top Cats" story is better than Clinton Portis's characters (in fact, it's probably the second-best news story ever, behind only Fabio getting hit in the face with a goose on a roller-coaster), but Portis is funnier. That's why I voted the way I did -- for Portis.

27
by Sean (not verified) :: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 5:52pm

Re 23: The rumor going around at the time was that Jackson got off the set and said that he wouldn't go back on so long as Limbaugh was around.

(He then proceeded to polish up his tackling technique from Bristol University and waited for Limbaugh in the parking lot.)

28
by Jimi (not verified) :: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 5:56pm

I'm not surprised that Arizona got no votes nationally; even here in their home state, Cardinals fans are scarce and often ridiculed by their peers that root for the 30 other successful teams (AZ and HOU are in the same "losers" boat). There's a reason Sun Devil Stadium is a madhouse on Saturdays for Arizona State, and then a ghost town the next day, and that's because Arizona just plain doesn't like the Cards. If you took a blind poll of football fans in Phoenix, you'd think that we are just a suburb of Oakland.

29
by mawbrew (not verified) :: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 6:10pm

Re: 26

The 'Top Cats story' itself was mildly amusing. OTOH, the FO reader commentary on the 'Top Cats story' was the funniest thing I've read in years. I could not help but laugh out loud.

Re: 27

Far be it for me to cast doubt upon a juicy rumor regardless of how inconsistent it seems with the facts. :-)

30
by Jimi (not verified) :: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 6:16pm

#9: Agreed. I have a very faint memory of that one, but I was watching that game when it happened. I remember Kolber talking about it being a very gruesome compound fracture and play was frozen for the better part of fifteen minutes while he was getting examined and carted off.

31
by C (not verified) :: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 6:21pm

Glad Buddy made the list. Some classic moments include:

1. After cutting Chris Carter: "All he does is catch touchdown passes" Later, of course, Carter's drinking problem, the real reason for his release, comes out.

2. After the infamous "snowball game" where Jimmie Johnson got pelted leaving the field, Johnson blasted Ryan, saying Ryan "ran his fat butt off the field" Ryan responded with "I thought I looked good."

3. Ryan's inability to remember players names. Old footage of Ryan has him calling everyone by their number. "Get in there 81!" etc. Fred Barnett got the nickname "Arkansas" because Ryan could never remember his name, but recalled that he went to U. of Arkansas, so he used to say, "get in there, Arkansas."

4. He used to refer to the Eagles absentee owner as "the guy from France."

5. His hatred of the Cowboys was legendary and he used it to win favor with Eagles fans. He's famous quote was that Eagles fans would love any coach he won two games a year - so long as both were against the Cowboys.

6. People remember the Bounty Bowl, but also there was the body bag game, where the Redskins wound up with a third-string RB playing QB due to the hard-hitting defense.

32
by Zac (not verified) :: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 6:30pm

In case the links to the SNF hilarity don't work for you (they didn't work for me. STUPID IE at work!), it is post #238 in the first link, post #363 in the second, post #506 in the third, and post #438 in the last one. Thanks to Adam for that, that was some great stuff.

33
by PackMan (not verified) :: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 6:38pm

28 or a suburb of Dallas.

34
by KenF (not verified) :: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 6:43pm

and that 3rd string qb.........Brian Mitchell

35
by mark (not verified) :: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 6:49pm

the Coors Lite commercial stunk. it was yet another commerical where when the beer is opened/arrived/mentioned everything snows and it frosts over. could someone please tell the beer companies WE GET IT - drinking your product is like being in a blizzard (there's a selling point). how many beer commercials have done this tired "frost brewed" nonsense? time to move on to something else! how about back to the funny days of "less filling" vs "tastes great?"

the BK commercial was worse, taking one of the greatest scrambles ever and ruining it. Steve Young should sue until he owns BK and then he should just close them all down because their food isn't as good as their commericals.

36
by Sid (not verified) :: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 7:19pm

Pro Football Talk has become an indispensable site for news and rumors, although I could do without their weird feud with Len Pasquarelli and the random pointless gay jokes.

I agree.

BTW, Aaron, I asked this in the other thread, but could we get a breakdown of the number of votes this season compared to past seasons? Thanks

Once again, this question didn’t get that many votes, although there were certainly more votes than last year. The top vote-getter was Mike Reiss of the Boston Globe, who writes an indispensable weblog about the Patriots as well as exhaustive regular mailbag columns.

Reiss is awesome. I'm obviously not a Patriots fan, but Digit pointed me towards his stuff, and it really is amazing. The quality and quantity of the content he puts out is pretty much unparalleled. He's pretty young, too.

37
by Sid (not verified) :: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 7:28pm

It really is amazing that only 11.4% voted for New England as their favorite team. It's a testimonial to how popular this site has become. In 2004, that number might have been 30% or something.

RE: 11

New England and Pittsburgh have huge fanbases. The Super Bowls are only a part of the reason why ~22% of voters cited one of those two teams (although one could argue that the Patriot SB wins more than doubled the overall NE fanbase).

RE: 17

I think the key there is that they appear on the Insider section, which probably means that a lot of people (including me) never see their stuff. I’ve never even heard of Todd McShea.

Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I don’t think that a website that nearly crashes my computer with flash advertisements should be charging me to read it. Perhaps I’ll give in one day, but for now I’m a holdout.

Agree on both points. I didn't expect McShea to get many votes because how many people have access to his stuff? I've only read a few of his columns over the last two years. And ESPN.com is terrible. Bloated with advertisements (many of the annoying kind), and they put tracking cookies on your computer.

38
by Green Bay for Life (not verified) :: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 7:35pm

RE 35
yea but at least on the coors ones you had a little flesh to look at.

the ones with tom brady and his O-line were even dumber.

Oops I mean no disrespect (genuflect)

39
by jebmak (not verified) :: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 7:55pm

Seriously, those time to get your story straight commercials are really really funny.

That 'I thought I looked good' line is right up there with Wayne Fontes when he sauntered out in to a press conference looking all happy. Then when he looked up and saw all of the angry people, he got a suprised look on his face and fake scurried off the stage.

40
by Ben (not verified) :: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 8:04pm

Re:#28
I live in Arizona and am the only Cardinals fan I know. I would bet at least 60% of fans in Phoenix are Cowboys fans. The rest are Raider and Steeler fans. It's going to be embarrassing next year when the Cowboys come in to our new stadium and have a home game.

41
by Ryan Mc (not verified) :: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 9:12pm

The funniest thing about the 'time to get your story straight' commercial is that the comments are probably all things that NFL network people said themselves before the season. But after the fact, the media always distance themselves from bad predictions with stuff like "many people thought..."

42
by johonny (not verified) :: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 9:32pm

"remember when Jackson made that observation about Belichik being hated"

I think Tom was talking as a player. I think he was on target. Football is a very emotional game. At that current time I bet a lot of Pats players did feel that way. By the end of the season the Pats were winners again and were happy as can be. Emotions can change very quickly. I think Tom is a class guy and was a great replacement choice for the Axe.

And yes I hate HDTV commercials that "show" me on my own set how great their picture is.

43
by Jimi (not verified) :: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 10:16pm

#33: I was about to say a suburb of Dallas but it seems like ever since SB XXXVII the Raiders fans have taken over the city.

#40: Pretty true. Like the two home games they got every year when ARI and DAL were in the same division. Only this time it'll be even worse since Cardinals Stadium is based off of the design of Texas Stadium, retractable roof and all.

I can only say I've seen a handful of Steelers fans in Phoenix and Tucson. I know I saw a bit more black and gold up to and immediately after SB XL, but the Raiders are predominant here on the southeast side.

44
by Sean (not verified) :: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 10:32pm

Re 40: A lot of Packers fans as well. Lots of people from the Wisconsin/Minnesota area have moved down to Phoenix. All that said, it's about as frontrunning a town as you're going to find, which means that they'll be quick to pick up the Cardinals should the team ever do well.

45
by Liam (not verified) :: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 10:37pm

Good to see Mike Carlson getting a mention. The guy does an amazing job on five's nfl coverage.

I'd be amazed if five didn't make a loss on their coverage (showing regular season games only, at 2 in the morning), but the standard is excellent and I hope it gets them the respect they deserve.

46
by Kal (not verified) :: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 10:50pm

#42: The really ironic thing about the HDTV commercials like that is that they totally demonstrate on my HD why it's so good. You can really tell the difference.

Since I've already bought an HDTV that doesn't really help their cause, mind you, but it makes me feel a lot better about the purchase.

47
by Chris (not verified) :: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 11:07pm

I don't get why so many think highly of Dr. Z. He predicted the Bears, Chargers, and Panthers to be the worst teams in the NFL in the past three years and all three went to the playoffs. The Panthers even made it to the Super Bowl! He's by far the worst sports analyst I've ever heard about, and I can't believe what I'm seeing here. Ah well, at least you guys got the most annoying commercial right.

48
by Vash (not verified) :: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 11:19pm

I thought the FedEx football cliches commercial with Bettis was pretty good, and he didn't really look at all awkward (at least, not more awkward than usual for Bussie), which you cannot say for the guys that followed.

49
by Sid (not verified) :: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 11:27pm

[Dr. Z]’s by far the worst sports analyst I’ve ever heard about

That can't be right. You picked something out that he predicted badly. But all experts pick poorly, pretty much. And you could certainly find predictions which, in hindsight, you can bash them for.
Dr. Z is pretty good, and he's better than most NFL writers you'll find. He watches a lot of football, more than most writers, that's for sure.

50
by Adam (not verified) :: Thu, 02/23/2006 - 12:02am

There should be a category for worst sideline announcer, in which case my vote would be one of those throw away votes since i'd submit:

"ALL OF THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1"

51
by Vince (not verified) :: Thu, 02/23/2006 - 12:06am

Dr. Z has also made it clear that he abhors picking conventional favorites and underdogs. He's always looking for Super Bowl favorites from out of left field.

So don't ask him to predict the future. Just read his breakdowns of games and learn.

52
by SJM (not verified) :: Thu, 02/23/2006 - 12:27am

Re: 47 and 49

Doc Z is not here for his picks. FO readers know that everybody is bad at picks, although FO is better than most. Doc Z is there because his writing isn't the same conformist drivel that you find everywhere else. He actually thinks, and he pays attention to play, not hype. Also, he's the only writer who freely admits that he's full of BS, when in fact everyone is.

53
by SJM (not verified) :: Thu, 02/23/2006 - 12:34am

Also, I'm glad Mark Maske got some recognition for his NFL coverage (he was also a mention last year). His NFL Insider column is usually dead on when it comes to rumors, contracts, and just generally what NFL people think about any given issue. He also provides occasional mild editorializing which is always hard to argue with.

54
by Stevie (not verified) :: Thu, 02/23/2006 - 12:39am

Maybe FFhof should be a sperate thread? I dont see anyone nominating for next year. Id like to see Elvis Grbac, Greg Bell, Ernest Givens, Gary Clark, Jamal and Rosevelt Potts

55
by Tony (not verified) :: Thu, 02/23/2006 - 1:03am

My biggest beef with the Coors Light train commercials...

The one they did where the train cruises through Foxboro with the temp climbing up to a 100 degrees.

Well, first we are to assaume it would somehow be 100 degrees in September in New England. Not likely. Then we are to assaume the crowd would be cheering a giant train that brought snow to New England in September. As a New Englander, if it started snowing in September...I'd probably kill myself.

56
by Luke (not verified) :: Thu, 02/23/2006 - 1:45am

I live in Sydney (Australia, not Arkansas) and I know 2 Cardinals fans.

57
by jimmo (not verified) :: Thu, 02/23/2006 - 1:54am

I think the Coors Light Super Bowl commercials are sacrilegious, almost. At the very least insulting. Sure the footage is awesome, but how is a beer train driving through Vince Lombardi in any way entertaining?
There should've been another choice for that award: "None of the above." Thanks to Tivo, I really couldn't make an informed decision in that category and for that I'm thankful.

58
by Stevie (not verified) :: Thu, 02/23/2006 - 1:56am

Luke I live in Sydney too. I was born in Arizona but I dont support the Cards

59
by Sean (not verified) :: Thu, 02/23/2006 - 3:55am

Re 57: Besides, the idea that anyone at Super Bowl I was drinking light beer is so ridiculous as to render the commercial completely inane.

60
by cjfarls (not verified) :: Thu, 02/23/2006 - 4:18am

In addition to mustard, McCaffrey also has(had?) his own Mac & Cheese (Eddie Mac), and routinely got his biggest cheers for getting absolutely destroyed by safeties while running crossing routes... the guy was almost literally a punching bag for years... loved hearing the cheers from the Mile High crowd as he'd pick himself up... "Ed-die! Ed-die! Ed-die!".

61
by houlie (not verified) :: Thu, 02/23/2006 - 9:39am

RE: #55 Also, when the train goes through the stadium, everyone ends up with a Coors Light. What about the kids at the game? I hope the conductor hit for ID at bullet train speed before passing out all those beers.

62
by Mikey (not verified) :: Thu, 02/23/2006 - 12:59pm

55 -

Come on. If you were at a football game in September when suddenly, without warning, a huge train came barreling through the stadium, triggering a blizzard and causing a cold beer to materialize in your hand, you're telling me you wouldn't go nuts??

I would freak the f*ck out.

63
by Mr Shush (not verified) :: Thu, 02/23/2006 - 1:06pm

#45 Mike Carlson is a pretty good analyst for Five (although he does occasionally just shamelessly lift points from recent FO articles). The time he pretended to be an offensive lineman so that a young, English DT from the Raiders practice squad could demonstrate techniques for shedding blocks on him was just inspired. However, I really can't stand that Irish tool who hosts Five's coverage. He's just insanely irritating. Having to put up with him in between the Stooges every Sunday night was sheer torture.

Aaron, Carlson is a writer (sort of). In so far as the Guardian (the most left-leaning of Britain's quality national dailies) covers football, it's Carlson that writes the coverage.

64
by Fat Tony (not verified) :: Thu, 02/23/2006 - 1:12pm

How about an award next year for best FO commenter? Aaron and company have produced a lot of great content, but they've also nurtured a consistently intelligent football-loving community on these message boards.

Off the top of my head, I'll nominate Will Allen and RowdyRoddyPiper as contenders. Passionate, intelligent, occasionally partisan, but always fun to read.

65
by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Thu, 02/23/2006 - 1:29pm

How about an award next year for best FO commenter?
And we could call it the Golden Apple.

66
by Mikey (not verified) :: Thu, 02/23/2006 - 1:45pm

65 - Yeah, I'll second that. How about an award for the FO poster who most frequently licks the boots of the FO contributors? Now that would be a stiff competition!

67
by Green Bay for Life (not verified) :: Thu, 02/23/2006 - 2:07pm

I was born in Arizona but I dont support the Cards

I think that was his point that hardly anyone in Arizona supports the Cards. they for the most part are either transplants from Dallas, Oakland, or the great white north, so they already have their mind set on who their favorite team is.

There’s a reason Sun Devil Stadium is a madhouse on Saturdays for Arizona State, and then a ghost town the next day, and that’s because Arizona just plain doesn’t like the Cards.

68
by David Mazzotta (not verified) :: Thu, 02/23/2006 - 3:51pm

Observations:

Dr. Z may have the best regular column with respect to analysis, but when it comes to hardcore, old school reporting no one can carry Len P.'s jockstrap. (Figuratively speaking.)

Like an early-year Oscar contender, Ron Mexico was hurt by timing. I bet Ron has the staying power to be around in five years when FO asks about the most comical scandals of the decade.

I find that Burger King guy deeply unsettling, the way he just silently grins at you with that unblinking stare. He's the stuff of nightmares -- like a something out of a Stephen King book. He is more evil than clowns.

69
by Dired (not verified) :: Thu, 02/23/2006 - 4:00pm

#34 I remember that game; I found it hilarious. Unfortunately, none of the guys in the booth seemed even vaguely interested, and spend all of Mitchell's drive (the option - woo-hoo!) talking about what to get Frank's brother for his birthday. For me, that finally hammered home how MNF wasn't about football, but about the idea of football as entertaiment. Once they ran out of stars, there was no reason for them to car, and the fact that people were still playing didn't matter at all. Yet for a real football fan, watching a kick returner run the option against a prevent was a once-in-alifetime event, not to be missed!

70
by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 02/23/2006 - 4:16pm

Pasquerelli's main problem is his writing. It's gotten better in the past year, but two-three years ago it was completely impenetrable. His columns read more like novels than they did like reporting, and a lot of the times the "big, complicated" word that he used ended up not meaning what he thought it meant.

71
by Gregg (not verified) :: Thu, 02/23/2006 - 4:18pm

Todd McShay is so anonymous that his name was misspelled in the awards and multiple times in the comments and no one has noticed. He does write some interesting stuff, but I guess it's not widely read yet.

As far as indispensible blogs like Reiss' Pieces go, Mike Sando of the Tacoma News Tribune writes one that might even be better. They are very similar in tone and content and it's no surprise Sando also got votes in the other writer category.

72
by Alan Milnes (not verified) :: Thu, 02/23/2006 - 4:44pm

Aaron - Mike Carlson is a writer. In common with others here in the UK if you cover an american sport you tend to do a fair bit of it under various guises. Carlson writes for the Guardian, as well as his work on Channel Five and NFLUK.com.

73
by Jason (not verified) :: Thu, 02/23/2006 - 4:50pm

In your Best Fits for TO you missed an important concept, something I am calling the Alpha Dog principle. The only way for Owens to be controlled is for him to join a team with:

* A Star even bigger than he is who is also loved and respected by his fans and teammates

Someone like TO cannot function as the top star on a team, he needs someone who can somehwat keep him in line. McNabb obviously failed, not only has he been questioned by teammates but has never really won anything (3 NFC Title Game losses, 1 SB Loss, No MVPS). The equivalent is Dennis Rodman. In Chicago with Jordan as the Alpha Dog Rodman was kept relatively in check. In San Antonio with the quiet and soft Robinson as the spokesman it was a disaster.

Here are the Teams I think fulfill these requirements:

1)Green Bay- Favre is not only the clear Alpha Dog in GB but is almost a god in Wisconsin and has 3 MVPS and a SB Win. He's accomplished much more than Owens and with even 1 derogatory statement Owens would either be pummeled in the locker room or on the next bus out of town or both. With Favre nearing retirement, GB's record last year, and Favre's opinion of Owens this is a near impossibility.

New England- Brady and Bill are 2 of the Top Alhpa Dogs in the NFL currently and both would take no crap from TO. However I have a better chance of playing for NE than does Owens.

Dallas- The interesting thing about Dallas is that the Alpha Dog is not a player but the Coach. I think out of any coach Parcells could get the most out of Owens and would destroy him if he ever ripped Parcells.

Those are the only 3 teams I could see him working for

*Indy- I think this would fail due to Manning's personality. Obviously in terms of skill and hierarchy of NFL stars Manning is above Owens, but Manning is also a kind of whiner who is far from loved by his teammates. Watching the Colts you don't get the feeling many would be willing too throw themselves on a grenade for him (for any Indy lovers I despise Brady just as much for different reasons and am a huge Green Bay fan). I don't feel Manning has the personality to handle an Owens.

*I always thought Owens screwed himself over by choosing Philly over Baltimore. By the Alpha Dog principle Lewis would have kept him in check. He took the easy route in picking a team lead by McNabb over Lewis's team.

74
by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 02/23/2006 - 5:17pm

The only way for Owens to be controlled is for him to join a team with a Star even bigger than he is who is also loved and respected by his fans and teammates

I seriously, seriously doubt it. The only way for Owens to be controlled is for him to get what he wants. Period. That's it. Either he gets what he wants, or he will be a cancer. That simple. He's shown that time and time again. If he hadn't won in the Baltimore/Philly arbitration ruling, he would've raised holy hell in Baltimore.

Heck, he raised holy hell in Baltimore even though he did win.

75
by RowdyRoddyPiper (not verified) :: Thu, 02/23/2006 - 5:29pm

"The only way for Owens to be controlled is for him to join a team with a Star even bigger than he is who is also loved and respected by his fans and teammates"

Ummm...I'm pretty sure you're describing the Eagles in 2003. You know Donovan McNabb was a fairly big deal back then.

76
by Fat Tony...er..ummm...RowdyRoddyPiper (not verified) :: Thu, 02/23/2006 - 5:45pm

"Pasquerelli’s main problem is his writing."

This is so sublimely funny. It's like saying...hey see that guy over there, his big problem...it's his breathing...he's just no good at it. To say that a writers main problem is his writing, would put any ancillary problems in perspective.

Back to the Alpha Dog theory. TO is a narcissist (caution, I'm a fictional Mobster and Wrestler, not a doctor, in fact I initially spelled narcissist incorrectly). Or shall we say he exhibits narcissistic tendencies. See the link in my name for indications. I don't think putting him in a situation where someone commands more respect and admiration than the subject is how you solve it. Also, if you think he's a good fit for Green Bay, you may want to consult DSM-IV to see what you've got. There is very little that I can think of that will "fix" TO. He's a known quantity at this point and anyone acquiring his considerable talents would be wise to plan on managing his demands rather than trying to fix his underlying personality.

77
by Bright Blue Shorts (not verified) :: Thu, 02/23/2006 - 5:47pm

re: 74 ... "only way for Owens to be controlled is for him to get what he wants". That won't work for long. After a few weeks he'll want more.

Just look at what happened in Philly ... he got traded there like he wanted, he had a great season, he went to a Super Bowl. Then he wanted more money ...

BBS :)

78
by RowdyRoddyPiper (not verified) :: Thu, 02/23/2006 - 5:48pm

PS. if we're in the business of nominating best commenter (which really is a bit more ballwashing than I care to get into) I would nominate Adam for the SNF scripts.

"Last night I was taking a bubble bath with Teddy Bruschi...and he TOLD ME"

Classic.

79
by Duane (not verified) :: Thu, 02/23/2006 - 5:48pm

cthoover: I'm not sure if WOSBE put FO round the edge, but they were awfully close to being over the bend. Where are the Cardinals fans? According to the commoncensus.com Sports Map Project there are a few in the Phoenix area. It also shows that within a 100 mile radius of Phoenix no fewer than 27 teams are represented by at least one fan. (The San Diego area has fans represented on the map for all 32 NFL teams.)

80
by Jason (not verified) :: Thu, 02/23/2006 - 6:15pm

Donovan McNabb is a Star but in no regard a Bigger Star than TO. That was the problem, he needs someone CLEARLY above him in the star hierarchy

81
by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 02/23/2006 - 6:25pm

CLEARLY above him in the star hierarchy

In your eyes, there is someone above him. In his eyes, there isn't anyone. There's no "objective star heirarchy". Owens will show respect so long as you get him what he wants. After that, hey, you're just someone new to be tossed under the bus.

I think out of any coach Parcells could get the most out of Owens and would destroy him if he ever ripped Parcells.

Out of curiosity, what exactly could a coach do to a player other than what Reid did? Reid did destroy Owens. The team kept meticulous records about his activities, and then when it became clear that he would never give in until he got what he wanted, they kicked him off the team, and took their money back.

If he goes to Dallas, and blows up there as well, what more could Parcells do to him? Why do people think that someone else could "control" Owens? Throwing him off the team - and threatening to take back the signing bonus - is the biggest threat that any team can make. The only way another team controls him is through contract language, not through personality. Or just through the fact that Owens is a 32 year old WR, and it's not like he's got that many years left.

82
by RowdyRoddyPiper (not verified) :: Thu, 02/23/2006 - 6:28pm

"Or just through the fact that Owens is a 32 year old WR, and it’s not like he’s got that many years left."

Good point. I thought that a guy who was coming off of a pretty horrific injury and entering the autumn of his football years would have understood his position a little better.

83
by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 02/23/2006 - 6:28pm

To say that a writers main problem is his writing, would put any ancillary problems in perspective.

Len Pasquerelli, Paul Zimmerman, Peter King, and any other NFL reporter aren't writers. They're journalists. Writing is only a portion of what they do.

84
by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 02/23/2006 - 6:37pm

Good point. I thought that a guy who was coming off of a pretty horrific injury and entering the autumn of his football years would have understood his position a little better.

If Owens has any sense, at his next team he could be controlled by a six-year old girl in a pink dress with flowers, saying "I want a puppy!" This is his absolute, last shot. He doesn't have time for another shot after this. No one signs a 33-year old WR who's blown up three locker rooms in a row.

Then again, that's assuming that Owens has sense.

85
by Green Bay for Life (not verified) :: Thu, 02/23/2006 - 7:30pm

PAT

If Owens has any sense

Your a Eagles fan and you probably know more about what happend there me me or my beloved new friend Jason, it is nice to see a fellow Green Bay fan here on this site. anywho, i see you anwsered this quote before I started to type this response, but think about this....

a guy who complains about not being able to support himself on his current contract, hires Drew Rosenhaus as his agent, gets into fights in not one but two differernt locker rooms, has a coach fired (SF days)and tells the other one off, gets suspened and immediatley statrts lifting weights on his driveway has ABSOLUTLEY NO COMMON SENSE WHAT SO EVER!!!!!

PS
Jaso how in the H**L could you even sugest that TO come to Green Bay?

86
by David Frohardt-Lane (not verified) :: Thu, 02/23/2006 - 7:42pm

I have to disagree on one point regarding FFHOF: Ed McCaffrey’s injury was the third most gruesome injury on MNF. I think Bryant Young’s snapped shin, followed by his cleats getting stuck in the turf, belongs at #2.

Surely Napolean McCallum deserves a mention here?

87
by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 02/23/2006 - 8:16pm

GBfL: Um. Yes. That's kindof what my second paragraph was implying was likely. But I do admire the forcefulness with which you stated your opinion.

88
by Carrying Mike Tanier\'s Baby (not verified) :: Thu, 02/23/2006 - 8:55pm

re: 66 - Damn, that was funny!

89
by Jed (not verified) :: Thu, 02/23/2006 - 9:16pm

I like the comparisons between the best / worst (commentators / pre-game personalities / overrated / underrated) and the comments afterwards. How about a worst football writer award? Knowing this group it could be the "Skip (all Seahawks are vermin in the eyes of Skip) award".

90
by Jed (not verified) :: Thu, 02/23/2006 - 9:17pm

Ooops, Skippy Bayless of course.

91
by Christina (not verified) :: Thu, 02/23/2006 - 9:20pm

Anyone else think that "Ted Fergusen, Bud Light Daredevil" should have been nominated for worst commercial? Every time I saw those, I wondered what the ad committee was thinking. Why would that make me want to drink Bud Light? I think they offended me more than anything else.

"For my next stunt, I will actually listen to my girlfriend......."

92
by Jason (not verified) :: Thu, 02/23/2006 - 9:58pm

I didn't suggest he come to GB I just said Favre could kinda control him like Jordan did with Rodman. There is no way to prove this obviously but I think the main reason things went South in Philly came from TO's lack of respect for McNabb. TO was never as bad as he is now back when Rice was still with the 49ers. Once Rice left though that is when TO really began to act as we all know him to. Some might argue it was because it was early in his career when he was younger but I think more of it had to do with Rice semi keeping him in line

93
by empty13 (not verified) :: Thu, 02/23/2006 - 10:15pm

I think honorable mention for gruesome injury should go to Koy Detmer for his nerve damaged arm episode in an MNF game between Philly and SF the year McNabb went down with 6 games to go.

Creepy.

McCallum was like Theismann's leg. A "Misery" moment without any warning...

94
by Ron Mexico (not verified) :: Thu, 02/23/2006 - 10:46pm

By the Alpha Dog principle Lewis would have kept him in check.

Cosindering all of the reported feuds between Ray Ray and Ed Reed, I somehow doubt that Ray Ray could have "controlled" TO.

95
by Jerry P. (not verified) :: Thu, 02/23/2006 - 11:09pm

I know we have one Arizona fan who reads the site regularly, but he must not have voted in the awards.

Yeah that's me. I got a job in Vermont (and am now surrounded by Patriots fans) a couple days before Christmas and I had to bug out of Buffalo before the end of the month. Didn't get internet until a couple days before the Super Bowl so I missed these votes. Didn't get TV until a couple days after the Super Bowl so I missed all the playoffs except the AFC Championship game and the last 8 minutes of the Super Bowl. Top that Ted Ferguson!

Nice to see Quan got some votes for underrated offensive player but he should have been packaged with Fitz since they are the best receiving duo in the NFC and did their magic in spite of no running game to take the pressure off.

Also happy to see Adrian WIlson got some votes for underrated defensive player since, let's face it, he rules.

96
by CaffeineMan (not verified) :: Thu, 02/23/2006 - 11:54pm

I'm disappointed that the "D-CAF" commercial got so many votes. I just can't bring myself to support the notion that decaf is worthy of cheering. :D

RE: Tom Jackson

Johonny said (#42):

I think Tom was talking as a player. I think he was on target. Football is a very emotional game. At that current time I bet a lot of Pats players did feel that way.

He may have been talking from his OWN perspective as a player, but he claimed to be commenting on the Patriots players' perspective and instead it sounded like he was projecting his own perspective onto them. Sure, football is an emotional game, but he was just wrong about how the Pats felt. My recollection about this was that when Pats players were interviewed about his comment, there were a bunch of "WTF?" kind of looks and "what's he talking about?" responses. The problem was not that Jackson expressed an opinion, it's that he expressed an extreme opinion ("hate") and never backed it up with anything. Again, he's entitled to his opinion and he's entitled to say it publicly, but that incident just put him in the same category as any sports blowhard. I'm disappointed because Jackson used to be better. Maybe he's being "produced" into being more controversial (the Dr. Z theory), but he's lost a lot.

97
by SJM (not verified) :: Fri, 02/24/2006 - 2:53am

Re: Alpha dog theory for TO

I think the the only type of person who can control TO is a dominant, no-nonsense, king-of-the-mountain head coach with unquestionable credentials, the type of guy who will take zero crap from anyone. Parcells, Belichik MAYBE, and Cowher are the only guys who come to mind. Saban might fit this mold too. Then again, Reid couldn't handle him and he almost makes this list. So maybe I'm way off here.

My nominee for FO poster of the year: Carl!

98
by Pat (not verified) :: Fri, 02/24/2006 - 11:01am

I'll say it again. You can't control Owens. Reid didn't take any crap from Owens either, and it did nothing. The guy tossed him for a week in training camp for blowing up at someone.

The reason Owens didn't blow up when Rice was around wasn't because Rice was around. It was because Owens was getting what he wanted.

Seriously, as I said above, if Owens has any sense (which he doesn't), he could be controlled by my three-year old niece at his next job, and if he doesn't have any sense, what could Parcells/Belichick/Cowher possibly due to make him behave? Threaten to sideline him? Gee, didn't work once before. Really, what are they going to do? Threaten to beat him up? Call his parents? C'mon. The guy's already had his last signing bonus stripped and he didn't bat an eye. The only thing I can think of is that they'd threaten him with ending his career - but if he really believes that, then as I said, he could be controlled by a monkey grinder with a hurdy-gurdy, because he's about as close to the end of his career as he's ever gonna get.

This isn't about being able to 'control' someone. If Owens has sense (which I don't think he does) he'll be fine anywhere. He'll also be pretty much unremarkable anywhere, because he's a 32 year old WR, and I doubt he's got more than a year or two left. If he doesn't have sense, the only place he won't blow up is a place that's willing to placate him, or trade him immediately. (And, incidentally, that's not Denver or Kansas City, as neither of those two cities has the cap position to placate him).

99
by young curmudgeon (not verified) :: Fri, 02/24/2006 - 11:21am

I'm not a psychologist, I don't play one on TV, and I didn't stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night, but I think Owens' problems go deeper than being a jerk or having no common sense. Many of the things he does suggest to me that he suffers from a personality disorder; Rowdy Roddy's suggestion above about narcissism might be right, or it might be something else--Owens seems to view the world very differently than most people. Sometimes, we call people who see things so differently "creative," but sometimes we call them "disturbed." If Rosenhaus had done "due diligence" as someone looking out for Owens' best interests, he should have encouraged Owens to receive counseling (Yeah, I know I sound like Dear Abby with this.) I really think Owens is a terrific physical talent who has been allowed to take a very unproductive view of the world because of that talent, and it has led to huge adjustment problems when he has to be part of a team. I apologize ahead of time if anyone is offended by my armchair analysis.

100
by Pat (not verified) :: Fri, 02/24/2006 - 11:28am

"So what exactly have you done for your client besides get him kicked off the team?"

Best line of the year. That reporter needs an award from FO.

101
by Fnor (not verified) :: Fri, 02/24/2006 - 12:00pm

I really think that TO simply has a complex that leads to failure: He will only work for a team he thinks will win it all, and the second that things go south and he no longer believes that they will, he'll throw them under the bus so he can get out and find the next winner. The problem is that it's a team game, and when he self-destructs, the team melts down, and the vicious circle repeats.

102
by White Rose Duelist (not verified) :: Fri, 02/24/2006 - 12:38pm

Christina (91) - I would have voted for TF,BLDD a hundred times for worst commercial. I wasn't offended, although I can see how someone could be. I just thought they were agonizing to watch. Congratulations, Ted, you can look like you're having a unsolicited colonoscopy at will.

103
by RowdyRoddyPiper (not verified) :: Fri, 02/24/2006 - 1:02pm

I would like to watch Ted Ferguson Budlight Daredevil go on a date with the girl from the Nokia commercial in one of his challenges.

104
by Green Bay for Life (not verified) :: Fri, 02/24/2006 - 1:34pm

RE 103
Hey Rowdy I will give you three to one odds that he gets "Dumped"

105
by Green Bay for Life (not verified) :: Fri, 02/24/2006 - 1:46pm

You know the other thing about those TF BDD commercials that agrevates me is that it gives men a bad name as well. we all know that women sterotype us as "Neanderthals" but when I do go out on a date or go out with a women I do try to pay attention to stuff she says, because there is always that damn multiple choice quiz before I get to go any further with them :-)

106
by Justanothersteve (not verified) :: Fri, 02/24/2006 - 1:50pm

re: Cards. Nobody likes the Cards because of two words: Bill Bidwell. I moved to STL just before he bailed on the town for not giving him a new stadium despite 40 years of mediocrity and no playoff wins. Nixon in 1974 in Berkeley was more popular than Bidwell in STL in 1988. He's also done his share of alienating any potential Arizona fan base. The new stadium looks nice. But it'll only sell out if the away team has a huge traveling fan base like Pitt or GB.

107
by Justanothersteve (not verified) :: Fri, 02/24/2006 - 1:56pm

How about an award for most annoying digression? Dr Z's wines, Peter King's daughters and his Starbuck's obsession, and Gregg Easterbrook's bizarro web links and time travel references are just some of the potential winners.

108
by Sid (not verified) :: Fri, 02/24/2006 - 3:00pm

Add me to the list of people who found the Ted Ferguson Daredevil ads to be pretty stupid.

109
by Green Bay for Life (not verified) :: Fri, 02/24/2006 - 3:11pm

RE 107
I nominate Peter King :-)

110
by Pat (not verified) :: Fri, 02/24/2006 - 4:08pm

#107: If you're going to do that, you have to add Al and Vivek, Scramble for the Ball, and WWE references.

111
by mactbone (not verified) :: Fri, 02/24/2006 - 5:47pm

I can't appreciate Lenny P. Too much of his "insider information" is really just favors he's doing for one guy or another. Also, either he's trying to turn his columns into P. King style musings or ESPN wants him to do that because he's not the pure journalist he was. If I just want the facts or facts tinged with strong Christian overtones I'll check out Clayton or C. Mortensen.

112
by Mikey (not verified) :: Fri, 02/24/2006 - 8:13pm

For those of you who also follow hardball, here's a bonus question. First a little background:

Two days ago when the "Barry Bonds says he'll retire" stories were coming out I found myself thinking about how happy I'll be when I never have to read his name again.

Then I had a very similar reaction when this message board turned its attention to Terrell Owens.

So the questions is this: Who would you rather see just fall off the face of the Earth and never be heard from or discussed again? Barry Bonds or Terrell Owens?

I'm going with Owens. As an east coast, American League fan, it's relatively easy for me to minimize my exposure to Bonds. Owens, on the other hand, ruined the whole first half of the 2005 season by himself.

It's a real dogfight. Maybe it's the recency of football season that tips me to T.O. Whatever it is, right now the mere sight of Owens makes my skin crawl just a little bit more than Bonds.

113
by gleebergloben (not verified) :: Sun, 02/26/2006 - 3:19am

skip bayless is an annoying little weasel who makes some wacky conspiracy theory comments just to sound...well, i don't really know what his purpose is. he should just thank his lucky stars he's employed with espn. if not, he'd probably be a beat writer for some weekly newspaper in northern idaho. what a chump.

114
by osoviejo (not verified) :: Sun, 02/26/2006 - 5:41am

The Deadspin link points to PFW.

115
by Mike Carlson (not verified) :: Sun, 02/26/2006 - 7:20am

Guys,
Thanks for the mentions: I'm amazed anyone notes my work back home! I guess I am local--but I also definitely am a writer: I don't DICTATE those nfluk.com
cols! I'll be writing on nfleurope again for nfl.com, and for pro football weekly, which I've been doing for the past 9 seasons. I also write a weekly col for the British football paper First Down for something like 10 years. While I'm at it, can I insert a shameless plug for my three books (on Sergio Leone, Clint Eastwood, and Oliver Stone) in the Pocket Essentials series??????

Re the posters: I wish I were covering NFL for the Guardian, but havent done so in years--I do, however, write obits for them, and do features, arts and books coverage for other papers and magazines, and edit and write the film section of Crime Time magazine!

And I rarely lift SHAMELESSLY from Football Outsiders--it's just that Channel Five are paranoid about plugging websites on air, so credit has to be given indirectly...thanks!

Mike

116
by Zzyzx (not verified) :: Sun, 02/26/2006 - 12:57pm

107 - if Easterbrook isn't allowed stupid, pointless digressions, his entire column could be written by macros.

117
by Sid (not verified) :: Sun, 02/26/2006 - 3:18pm

Ha! Mike Carlson reads FO. Good to hear from you, Mike. I hear a lot about you from our British readers.

118
by David Geaslen (not verified) :: Mon, 02/27/2006 - 5:15am

Get McShay's name right. He's the best draft analyst out there. He scouts players; the others collect rumors.

119
by Mark Legge (not verified) :: Thu, 03/09/2006 - 11:13am

Nice to see Mike Carlson getting a mention (even nicer to see that he reads this site!)... As a British fan I get to watch Mike ply his broadcasting trade every week for both the Sunday and Monday night games live on channel 5 (sorry Mike, I'm not a member of the sleep-bagger crew... it's record and watch the next day for me...). I'm sure, if the shows format allowed, he'd be doing everything Ron Jaworski does, but what he does do is the best we Brits have had since the days of Gary Imlach! (For all you Americans wondering 'who?', yes we're starting to build up a bit of history in the UK including our own television legends... and disasters (the Nasty (or Vicious?) Boys of 1987...)

Anyway... more of the same next year Mike and I'll promise to keep laughing at your jokes... even the bad ones.

120
by Another Jake (not verified) :: Tue, 02/13/2007 - 6:03pm

The top vote-getter was Mike Reiss of the Boston Globe, who writes an indispensable weblog about the Patriots as well as exhaustive regular mailbag columns. Why don’t other newspapers have content like this?
I know you guys work hard to avoid coastal bias, but you missed the boat here. Mike Sando of the Tacoma News-Tribune is providing the same value to Seahawks fans as Reiss is for Pats fans. Of particular interest to this crowd is his extensive use of Excel to chart and track not only obvious data such as roster moves and salary/cap info, but also items like offensive personnel groupings and their success rates.

121
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