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21 Oct 2008

Scramble for the Ball: Backstabbers

by Ben Riley and Vince Verhei

In the 16th century, Sir John Harrington, inventor of the first working toilet, wrote that "Treason doth never prosper: what's the reason? For if it prosper, none dare call it treason." Although the Scramble team was unable to determine whether Sir Harrington bears any familial relationship with crappy quarterback John Joseph Harrington, Jr., he does provide us with this week's theme: the NFL's Worst Acts of Treason.

(One important caveat: None dare call it Spygate lest yet another comment thread get hijacked, so we intentionally omitted Bill Belichick and Eric Mangini from this list.)

Traitor: Brett Fawkes Favre, QB, New York Jets
Treasonous Activity: According to Jay Glazer of Fox Sports, Favre called the Detroit Lions coaching staff prior to Packers-Lions contest in Week 2 to share with the Lions the details of the Packers' offense. According to Glazer's report, Favre spoke with Lions coaches for more than an hour. Although Favre immediately texted his bff 4ver (Peter King) to claim the report is "total bs ... not true and pretty ridiculous," thrice Lions head coach Rod Marinelli has been asked about Glazer's report, and thrice Marinelli has crowed "no comment."
Level of Heinousness: Remember, remember, the 14th of September, the Packers and touchdowns and plot. Just as Guy Fawkes failed to blow up Parliament, whatever advice Favre may have given the Lions failed to prevent them from getting blown out by the Packers by the score of 48-25. The level of heinousness may rise, however, if it turns out Favre has been spoon-feeding information to all of Green Bay's opponents this year: Glazer's report provocatively suggests "rumors that Favre has spoken to other teams [to give] them information," and on Tuesday former Packers safety LeRoy Butler said in a radio interview that "this is just the beginning [of the stories coming about Favre.] This is only the smallest one."

Traitor: Bobby Petrino, head coach of Arkansas
Treasonous Activity: In early December 2007, Petrino -- the first-year Falcons head coach -- assured Arthur Blank and the media that his "plans are to be back with the Falcons" for the 2008 season. Five days after making that statement, the Arkansas Razorbacks announced that Petrino was their new head coach. To add obnoxiousness to injury, during his introductory press conference Petrino led the crowd in cheers of "woo pig sooie." Oh, and Petrino broke the news that he was leaving to his Falcons players by way of ... a memo.
Level of Heinousness: Jane Fonda-like. Much like Hanoi Jane's support for the North Vietnamese ultimately provoked a backlash that was counterproductive to her "cause," the Falcons are much improved under the steady, non-treasonous hand of head coach Mike Smith. As for the Razorbacks? They currently sit at 3-4, making Petrino little more than lipstick on the woo pig.

Traitor: Paul Brown, owner, GM and coach of the Cincinnati Bengals
Treasonous Activity: Paul Brown, the man indirectly responsible for making the Cleveland Browns the only logo-less team in the NFL, was fired by team owner Art Modell in 1963. Four years later, Brown returned from self-imposed golfing exile to sponsor the creation of the Cincinnati Bengals franchise. Brown would go on to coach the Bengals for eight seasons, including three playoff appearances.
Level of Heinousness: Similar to Benedict Arnold. Although his name is synonymous with treason, Arnold actually was one of the Continental Army's best generals and he lead the American forces to many important early victories. Plus, he largely turned traitor because he hated the French, which is somewhat understandable. Similarly, Paul Brown led the Browns during their glory years in the 1950s and really shouldn't be faulted for Art Modell's black, black heart. Speaking of which...

Traitor: Art Modell, Ravens owner
Treasonous Activity: Moving the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore in 1995 after 1) promising to never move the team, 2) claiming that, as a Brooklyn native, he would never betray Browns fans the way the Dodgers betrayed theirs, and 3) testifying against Al Davis in a (failed) effort to prevent Davis from moving the Raiders to Los Angeles. Modell has never returned to Cleveland.
Level of Heinousness: Think Ezra Pound, the anti-Semitic, fascist poet-genius, whose Canto 1 might serve as a fitting anthem for bitter Browns fans:

And then went down to the ship,
Set keel to breakers, forth on the godly sea, and
We set up mast and sail on that swart ship,
Bore sheep aboard her, and our bodies also
Heavy with weeping...

* * *

Dark blood flowed in the fosse,
Souls out of Erebus, cadaverous dead, of brides
Of youths and of the old who had borne much;
Souls stained with recent tears, girls tender,
Men many, mauled with bronze lance heads...

Traitor: Robert Irsay, Baltimore nee Indianapolis Colts owner
Treasonous Activity: After drunkenly declaring "This is my God damn team!" in January 1984, three months later the erratic Colts owner was about to lose his team to the City of Baltimore through the City's power of eminent domain. The famous "Midnight Move" to Indianapolis ensued, with Irsay moving the team under the cover of darkness via a fleet of Mayflower moving vans.
Level of Heinousness: Reminiscent of Pierre Laval, the de facto head of Nazi-occupied Vichy France. Faced with impending invasion by the City of Baltimore the Germans, a few historians believe Laval is a misunderstood historical figure who made a justifiable decision to capitulate in the face of near-certain military defeat -- but most agree that Laval was really just a bastard. As for Robert Irsay, he was described by at least one person who knew him as "a devil on earth ... no good ... he was a bad boy." That person being, in fact, Irsay's own mother. Yikes.

Traitor: Deion Sanders, CB, many teams
Treasonous Activity: I gotta be me, that's the bottom line
Frisco gave me the contract and Prime signed the dotted line

-- Deion Sanders, Y U NV ME?

The man who made the term "business decision" famous in football made several such choices throughout his career, following a peculiar chain of rivalries through each free agent transition. He turned his back on the Falcons to join the division-rival 49ers; left the 49ers for their top competitor in the NFC, Dallas; exited Big D for their most hated opponent, Washington; then retired after one year in D.C. rather than play for Marty Schottenheimer. Even when he made his return, it was in Baltimore, a geographical rival for Washington if not a common football foe. This lack of loyalty may be even more vile than rhyming "line" with "line."
Level of Heinousness: Few remember Anakin Skywalker for turning on the Jedi and joining Emperor Palpatine; they simply remember Darth Vader. Few remember Sanders for turning on the Falcons (and 49ers, and Cowboys, etc.); they simply remember Prime Time.

Traitor: Marcus Allen, RB, Raiders
Treasonous Activity: Allen hit the league like a comet, leading the league in yards from scrimmage and touchdowns in his rookie season, then rushing for 191 yards and two scores as the MVP in the Raiders' 30-9 defeat of the Redskins in Super Bowl XVIII. He then spent the rest of his Raiders tenure feuding with Al Davis. If there's one team the Raiders hate more than the Broncos, it's the Chiefs. So when Allen left the team in 1993, you kind of knew he'd be going to one or the other.

Level of Heinousness: Another Marcus, Marcus Junius Brutus, was one of the key conspirators in the death of Julius Caesar in 44 B.C. While a gang of men ambushing their leader and stabbing him to death is a vile, repugnant act, it may have been necessary for the good of the Roman Empire to remove the self-declared dictator for life from power. (Can you see where this is going?) In much the same way, Al Davis had this betrayal coming. After a contract dispute, Allen found himself struggling for playing time with the Raiders. And it's not just because the team signed Bo Jackson -- Davis also brought in aging veterans Roger Craig and Eric Dickerson to play in front of Allen. When free agency finally presented itself, Allen pulled the knife from his back and stuck it into Davis'. And speaking of Davis...

Traitor: Al Davis, vampire, Raiders
Treasonous Activity: Where, oh where, do we begin? Who hasn't Davis screwed over? Not content to see bitter separations from former players (Marcus Allen, Warren Sapp) or coaches (Mike Shanahan, Jon Gruden, and the new kid, Lane Kiffin), or even with the entire league (who he sued for the right to move to Los Angeles), Davis has betrayed entire municipalities, using the cities of Oakland, Los Angeles and -- yes -- Irwindale as leverage against each other, seeking to move his team whenever the wind blows.
Level of Heinousness: Dare we bring Judas Iscariot into this discussion? Yes, because A) We are running out of well-known traitors, and B) If anyone deserves this comparison, it's Davis. Another strong comparison would be Aaron Burr. After the Louisiana Purchase, the former U.S. Vice-President plotted to overtake much of the newly-acquired Western U.S. by force and start his own empire. Davis would love to get away with that stunt.

Traitor: Lawyer Milloy, S, Patriots
Treasonous Activity: Two years after helping the Patriots win Super Bowl XXXVI, Milloy was cut just five days before the start of the season. He promptly signed with the Buffalo Bills, New England's first opponent, and helped his new team blast his old team, 31-0.
Level of Heinousness: Milloy's turn would ultimately prove futile. In the season finale, the Patriots had their revenge, defeating the Bills by the same 31-0 score, and going on to win the next few Super Bowls. Another infamous if not particularly damaging traitor would be John Walker Lindh, the American Taliban fighter who is currently serving a 20-year sentence in a federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana. Milloy, meanwhile, is starting for the Atlanta Falcons, which we surprisingly can't compare to jail time.

Traitor: Thurman Thomas, RB, Bills
Treasonous Activity: Thomas spent 12 great years with the Buffalo Bills, leading them to four Super Bowls and becoming one of the NFL's all-time best rushing/receiving threats. The Bills spent many of those seasons battling the Miami Dolphins for the AFC East title. When his tenure with the Bills ended, Thomas signed a free agent contract with ... the Miami Dolphins.
Level of Heinousness: Hard to believe, but Batman once conspired against the Justice League. He had specific plans in mind to dispatch Superman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, and the rest of the crew if necessary. These plans came to light when Ra's al Ghul stole the plans and put them to use. After the villain was vanquished, Batman was kicked out of the Justice League, but would eventually return. Similarly, after his playing days ended, Thomas signed a one-day contract with Buffalo so he could officially retire in that uniform.

Keep Choppin' Wood

Lots of worthy candidates in Week 7, including K.C. Quarterback (see below), Chris "Loate" Kluwe, and Marty Booker, but we have to give the axe-trophy to Browns wide receiver Braylon Edwards for two reasons. First, his four drops pretty much destroyed what little momentum the Browns had after their upset over the Giants two weeks ago. Second, it allows us to repeat the refrigerator-magnet analogy offered up during Audibles: "He is a one-man drop machine. You ever try to hang something on the fridge, but the magnet you're using isn't strong enough to support the weight of the object? That's like Braylon Edwards and a football."

The Colbert Award

When Gary Kubiak called a quarterback draw on fourth down to defeat the Miami Dolphins in Week 6, we here at Football Outsiders were quite impressed. We decided that starting immediately, each week we would dole out the Stephen Colbert Award to the coach who showed the biggest balls, and the inaugural winner would be Kubiak. Then when it came time to write Scramble, we forgot about it. On that note, we hereby declare Kubiak the winner of the Week 6 Colbert award. Better late than never, right?

The Week 7 Colbert Award goes to Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy. His team opened their game against Indianapolis with a 6:54, 13-play, 67-yard drive, ending in a 31-yard Mason Crosby field goal. At that point, McCarthy opted for a surprise onside kick, risking the chance of Peyton Manning and the Colts starting a drive near the Green Bay 40. As it turns out, there was a penalty on the play and Green Bay ended up rekicking, so McCarthy reaped no reward and incurred very little penalty for his call, but it still took a lot of balls.

Loser League

QB: Officially, the biggest loser of Week 7 was Brodie Croyle, who put up a 3, but that's only part of the story. Croyle only threw 10 passes before leaving the game due to injury. He was replaced by Damon Huard, who in 16 pass attempts managed to put up a 4. Then HE was knocked out. In came Tyler Thigpen, who threw 11 passes and notched an 11 -- thanks almost entirely to a 14-yard touchdown run. As a passer, he scored a 3. If we ignore that run, then all three quarterbacks threw enough passes to avoid the penalty, and they had the three lowest scores across the league. If we combined them all into K.C. Quarterback (again, ignoring the run), they would have scored a 10 -- tied for the fifth lowest score. K.C. Quarterback, we salute you and your once-in-a-lifetime performance. This day will never be forgotten.

RB: Devastating news: The Bengals finally benched Chris Perry. On the other hand, doesn't getting benched for Cedric Benson just enhance his losing status? Benson scored a 6, which is bad, but only tied Benson for eighth place in the standings. Three names scored a 2 this week, tying for the lowest score: Ronnie Brown (this is what the Ravens defense does to people), Kolby Smith, and Ahmad Bradshaw.

WR: A pair of 0s this week for Cincinnati's Antonio Chatman and San Diego's Legedu Naanee. Maybe Chatman can take Perry's place as the weekly Loser League king for the Bengals.

K: Four 0s this week, as kicks went wide, short, and blocked all over the place. Those four went to Nick Folk, Nick Novak, Shaun Suisham, and Adam Vinatieri. Novak is the fifth member of the Chiefs to be mentioned in Loser League this week, and there are only four categories. That may also be a record.

Posted by: Vince Verhei and Ben Riley on 21 Oct 2008

45 comments, Last at 01 Sep 2010, 9:06am by uggs online

Comments

1
by Hank (not verified) :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 10:58am

Why doesn't Nick Saban's cowardly departure make the list?

3
by KarlFA :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 11:08am

I am as shocked as you are.

Karl, Miami

2
by footballprofessor :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 11:03am

Why in the world don't people remember that Detroit was WINNING the Green Bay game 25-24 with 7:41 to play?

20
by ammek :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 1:02pm

Um, because they gave up 24 points in the first 20 minutes or so, and then gave up another 24 points in seven minutes at the end. That's a lot of points, even for Detroit. Did Favre's magic information only work for about one-third of the game? For the first and last quarters, did he suggest: "Throw a few of my favorite picks and don't bother covering Greg Jennings"?

41
by MCS :: Thu, 10/23/2008 - 10:08am

...and the final 3 touchdowns for Green Bay were set-up by interceptions on the Detroit side of the 50. In fact, two were pick-sixes.

4
by ineedawittyname (not verified) :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 11:10am

just a quick nitpicking comment
you forgot to close a parenthesis in the RB loser league part.

other then that, I loved the article.

5
by Chris Povirk :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 11:15am

Tell me this doesn't sound like the perfect namesake:

He missed half his first four years in the league. When he violated his contract, his team declined to pursue millions of dollars of bonus money. Afterward, he held out for more cash. He claimed that he, at 90% health, was better than anyone else at his position was fully healthy.

Yes, the Biggest Balls Award should be named after none other than Kellen Winslow.

(Apologies to Dan, who beat me to it. Also, this comment would have worked better if Ben and Vince hadn't sat on them -- the awards, I mean -- for a week, ruining the timing.)

27
by DangerGnat :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 2:45pm

Agreed. I can't see how this was overlooked. Biggest balls by far - the size of grapefruits, from what I hear.

6
by roguerouge :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 11:23am

As a Pats fan, Milloy's performance in that game vs. the Pats five days after being cut was not traitorous; it was just desserts and payback.

7
by Independent George :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 11:29am

I actually find myself respecting Deion more for his mercenary signings (and I hated Deion back in the day); there's a refreshing lack of hypocrisy to his story.

Is it really a betrayal when you're cut/fired before signing with a division rival? I have a lot of trouble faulting Paul Brown, Marcus Allen. Lawyer Milloy, or Thurman Thomas for their decisions.

Speaking of which, I was never a big comic reader, so someone's going to have to explain that Batman plot to me; it seems perfectly rational for the one non-super-powered superhero to have a contingency plan in place to defend against an army of super-powered individuals with little to no accountability to, well, anyone. Batman seemed like one of the few superheroes to actually recognize, and face, the inherent moral contradiction of protecting society by living outside its norms; having a plan in place to beat them in a worst-case-scenario seems like a good idea to me. The alternative - meekly submitting to the will and judgement of your literal superiors - sounds pretty awful.

And just how did his secret plans get stolen anyway? How did anyone even know about them? Did Batman get drunk and start blabbing on and on to a hot waitress about how he was going to kick Superman's ass, and got overheard by a supervillain?

15
by DrObvious (not verified) :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 12:42pm

Well, there in lies the real cognitive dissonance in that story. Of course Batman should have a contingency plan for all his super friends. It would be irresponsible for him not to. Your confusion was shared by many, including me.

28
by Independent George :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 3:08pm

Can anyone point me to a synopsis of that storyline? I'm way too chicken to Google "Batman vs. The Justice League" on my work computer...

33
by zlionsfan :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 4:53pm

The boss is out this week. Here you go.

8
by White Rose Duelist :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 11:38am

Due, BFF totally stands for best friends forever, so adding the other 4ever is, like, bogus.

/ I feel dirty writing this.

13
by RowdyRoddyPiper :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 12:39pm

It's entirely possible that bff stands for something other than Best Friend Forever. I can think of a few alternatives though I'm not at liberty to publish them as this is a PG-13 site.

21
by Tundrapat (not verified) :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 1:27pm

Oy vey - I hadn't considered such 'other possibilities' as explanations for Pedro King's unwavering support of Brett Favruh.

And now I need to scrub my creative cortex with lava soap. Ech...

9
by MJK :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 11:47am

Another similarity between Benedict Arnold and Paul Brown: Both were unappreciated by their superiors.

Arnold defected not only because he hated the French, but because he had some political enemies in Philadelphia (then the colonial capital, or wherever they evacuated to after the British captured Philly) who were making his life miserable--passing him over for deserved promotions and pay raises, trying to remove him from command, and taking credit for his accomplishments. The biggest of these enemies was Horatio Gates, who couldn't command his way out of a paper bag, but according to some accounts (pushed by Gates and his supporters) was the genius who was responsible for the victory at Saratoga.

So both Paul Brown and Benedict Arnold were dismissed by their superiors, which directly led to their defection.

Of course, the biggest difference is that having Brown worked out pretty well for the Bengals. Not so much for the British with Arnold.

43
by Bobman :: Fri, 10/24/2008 - 5:02pm

Let's look at some other differences. Say two men walked down the middle of the busiest street in Cleveland, who would get an axe in the head--Modell, or Benedict Arnold. MODELL!
Paul Brown or Benedict Arnold? (neither)
Irsay in Balt or Benedict Arnold? Irsay.

This is kind of a fun game.... if you're not the turncoat getting the hatchet el la cabeza.

10
by Smiling Bob (not verified) :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 12:15pm

How in the hell is Paul Brown a villian for this? He gets fired, from the team named after him, then accepts another coaching position, in of all places, the state he is from??? Oh my god! How dare he get on with his life. It is not as though he went to a division rival after they tried to keep him, he went to a commpletly different league!

19
by Ben Riley :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 12:53pm

You make a fair point, Smiling Bob, but by creating and supporting an AFL franchise, don't you think Brown was actually undermining the ongoing viability of the NFL? That, in combination with some of Paul Brown's other activities -- such as blocking his assistants from becoming head coaches, or making trades that weren't approved by his GM -- made me feel comfortable adding him to our list of villains.

30
by Smiling Bob (not verified) :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 3:51pm

I will give you that some of his other activities were less than desirable but they were not mentioned in the article, and I do not defend them. I however do not believe that he owed anything to the NFL after being fired, I have been fired and do not feel I owe anything to my ex employer. If I had a speciallized skill set I see no reason why I should not go to work for another organization in the same field. I do not feel it was or would be malicious. Would you not continue writing for somebody else if you were no longer to write here? Is it your obligation to not write anymore for fear that people would no longer come here?

Additionally, where would the NFL today be without the AFL? I think that by joining the AFL Brown indirectly improved the long term viability of the NFL.

Is Bill Walsh a villian for his involvement in the AFL? How about John Madden?

35
by Ed (not verified) :: Thu, 10/23/2008 - 12:26am

Actually, Paul Brown initially wanted an NFL franchise and only agreed to start an AFL franchise after the 2 leagues decided to merge.

11
by TomG :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 12:32pm

I’m kind of surprised you didn’t go with the Rosenbergs for the Favre comparison. Seems more fitting: allegedly supplied information to the enemies but, in the end, it really didn't help all that much.

44
by Bobman :: Fri, 10/24/2008 - 7:44pm

TomG You risk incurring the wrath of Peter King if you are suggesting Brett Favre should be executed. (somewhere in a TV executive's mind floats two words: "Ratings Bonnanza!") (No, four words: "Sweeps Week Ratings Bonnanza!")

12
by Tom Gower :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 12:36pm

Yeah, Paul Brown should be on the list for passing over Bill Walsh to follow him as head coach of the Bengals, then badmouthing Walsh to other teams around the league so he couldn't get a head coaching job.

Hey, Ray Rice, Julius Jones, keep screwing my LL team by getting 7 carries. I hate you guys as much as I hate my WRs who are injured and can't catch (Drew Bennett, Justin McCareins). Can we change LL to make the WR penalty for (neither 2 catches nor 4 targets)-it seems like a better way to support picking bad players, and that's what LL is all about.

17
by Jimmy :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 12:51pm

I was under the impression that Brown felt Walsh was too close to his players at Cincy to ever be a successful head coach. From the way Walsh deliberately made a change in the way he carried himself in front of his team in SF, Walsh seemed to have agreed with him. I am mainly thinking of comments made in a couple of the 'America's Game' Superbowl programs by Walsh, Craig, Lott and others from the team.

36
by Snowglare :: Thu, 10/23/2008 - 12:30am

The return of Maurice Morris and the continued ineptitude of the Seahawks on both sides of the ball messed Jones up good. Between this, Nick Novak getting cut, and LJ getting suspended again, I think my LL team is sunk.

14
by Joe T. (not verified) :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 12:42pm

This has got to be my favorite article of all time. It has all my favorite villains in it: Ra's al Ghul, the Redcoats, Nazi collaborators, Darth Vader, and Al Davis.

I second the renaming of the Colbert award for Kellen Winslow.

16
by Joe :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 12:43pm

As we all learned from Tecmo Bowl, "K.C. Quarterback" should really be "QB Chiefs".

18
by ammek :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 12:52pm

Nice article. As I don't know anything about video games, I didn't understand a single one of your parallels last week; I was happy to be in on some of the jokes this time.

I guess Parcells going to the Jets flies too close to Spygate to be included. But when you've coached the Giants and Patriots, there's one team that you just cannot sign up for. Parallel: Carla Bruni? She's been the lover of the leaders of both right- and left-wing parties, and previously quit some old rich guy to move in with his son.

Chargers fans might call for the inclusion of Eli Manning, Bucs fans for Bo Jackson, and Dolphins fans for the "World League Three". I see these as rational decisions, based on money and the chance to play for a half-decent team. Tony Gonzalez knows what I mean. Parallel: John of Gaunt, in Richard II, who switches his support to the brave, ruthless Bolingbroke from the vacillating, incompetent king.

Finally, what about Chuck Fairbanks? The NFL found he had begun recruiting players for his new job while still supposedly steering the Patriots to the playoffs. He was fired for the final regular-season game and then reinstated for the postseason, and then fired again. Parallel: Matt the Knife?

22
by Tundrapat (not verified) :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 1:38pm

For shame, ammek. I didn't get many of the video game references either, but I took the time away from my busy work schedule to perform some online research.

That you didn't see fit to extend your own (presumed) slacking, possibly on company time, is a travesty.

I'd add more, but I need to spend the next hour or so reading about this "Ra's al Ghul" and the Bat Plan.

24
by Joe T. (not verified) :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 2:18pm

He was Liam Neeson's character in the first of the Christian Bale Batman films. I'm not familiar with Batman's Final Solution, but Ra's al Ghul's best depiction (I believe) was from the excellent early 90's cartoon version of Batman.

And you are right, Ammek is a disgrace to FO readership. For shame. ;-)

38
by ammek :: Thu, 10/23/2008 - 4:35am

It's worse than that. I don't know anything about the Simpsons either. Or wrestling (from the Ian and Al days).

23
by Drew (not verified) :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 1:41pm

The first paragraph was perfectly set up for a reference to Thomas Crapper. In legend, he invented the flush toilet. He didn't, but his plumbing company made it popular. Hence the name, and tie in to the "crappy" QB Harrington.

25
by Independent George :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 2:35pm

As I heard the story, his name & logo were ubiquitous on the flush toilets used by GIs in France during WW1, and the term 'crapper' just stuck.

26
by Arkaein :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 2:38pm

McCarthy definitely deserved the Colbert award, but you overlooked the biggest reason. Not only did he try a surprise onside kick (that wasn't as risky as it looked on the surface, due to the quirky rules allowing a re-kick after a non-touch), but he also had GB go for it on 4th-and-1 on GB's own 44 yard line, in the 2nd quarter and with a 3 point lead. GB converted, scored a TD on the drive to go up 17-7 and never looked back in the game.

31
by galactic_dev :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 3:52pm

Exactly! And he did it just after the Colts did a chicken punt on 4th-and-1 at midfield, proving that not only did he have big balls, but that they were much bigger than any the Colts coaches had.

29
by tuluse :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 3:17pm

I would like to nominate Lovie Smith for the Colbert Award for his offensive game plan. Which called for Orton, Orton and more Orton.

32
by SBX (not verified) :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 4:41pm

I would third (sixth?) (eighth?) the renaming of the Colbert award. It certainly takes giant balls to make fun of the American government when there's absolutely no fear of repercussions.

Where as Kellen Winslow, you know, actually can claim it.

Also, wasn't QB Chiefs the actual QB in the SNES Super Tecmo Bowl?

34
by Anonymous? (not verified) :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 9:40pm

Not to spark a controversy, and not to offend Oakland, but I think Baltimore actually owns the rights to calling an NFL owner Judas (around here he's known as Judas Irsay). Seeing as how those were the only naming rights Baltimore retained after The Move (unlike the Browns, who kept their history), I demand you return the title "Judas" to the city that first claimed it (at least when referring to NFL owners). In return we will consider lifting our curse on the Indianapolis Colts (one championship in almost a quarter-century).

37
by Stevie :: Thu, 10/23/2008 - 1:29am

Scooter Libby-Plamegate = Brett Favre-Millengate?

39
by croxall :: Thu, 10/23/2008 - 9:24am

"In the 16th century, Sir John Harrington, inventor of the first working toilet, wrote that "Treason doth never prosper: what's the reason? For if it prosper, none dare call it treason." Although the Scramble team was unable to determine whether Sir Harrington bears any familial relationship with crappy quarterback John Joseph Harrington, Jr., he does provide us with this week's theme: the NFL's Worst Acts of Treason."

That would actually be Sir John HARINGTON.

The HARRINGTON family name is often traceable to the Beara peninsula, West Cork, Ireland.

Although that doesn't provide such a neat link into the article...

40
by Pete (not verified) :: Thu, 10/23/2008 - 9:54am

Being a Ravens fan I caught Brian Billick on the radio this morning (a well know radio show's last hour) and he talked about bounties and the fact that many coaches and players contact one another repeatedly on Monday and Tuesdays to get the upper hand on an opponent. He said everyone does it and that it is not illegal. Interesting tidbit I did not know. Same with bounties (thanks T Suggs).

42
by 1223568889796 (not verified) :: Thu, 10/23/2008 - 10:56am

Ezra Pound reference--sweet!

Hamilton College's Big 3:

B.F. Skinner,
Ezra Pound,
and that goalie Guy for the Ducks.

45
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