Ed Reed wasn’t exactly keeping up with affairs around the NFL while he was busy playing last season for the Baltimore Ravens, so he missed the whole thing about Fireman Ed stepping down from his unofficial post as the New York Jets’ lead fan. Now that Reed is a member of the Jets, he’s disappointed Fireman Ed isn’t around.
“That guy with the hard hat on. Is he still here? What’s his name, Fireman Ed? I need him getting the whole stadium crunked,” Reed said Wednesday, via Seth Walder of the New York Daily News.
“He retired? I can’t believe it. We need to bring him out of retirement.”
Sorry, Ed, but Fireman Ed won’t be around Sunday when your Jets host the Miami Dolphins. Maybe you could lob a call to him and see if he can show up. I bet if you give him VIP sideline access away from the rest of the rowdy fans, he’d be down for a return.
But how funny is it for Reed to term it a retirement? How can you retire from a self-appointed, unofficial position?
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Barry Bonds will be on the Hall of Fame ballot for the second time, and it doesn’t look like the former slugger will be any closer to gaining acceptance into Cooperstown. Though he has the type of personality that makes it seem like he doesn’t care about awards and honors, the all-time home run king admitted last year that he actually cares about the Hall despite what he says.
“I do really care,” Bonds said last year, via MLB.com. “I may say I don’t, but I do really care. I’ve been through a lot in my life, so not too many things bother me. Making the Hall of Fame, would it be something that’s gratifying because of what I’ve sacrificed? Sure. Baseball has been a big part of our lives. We’ve sacrificed our bodies. It’s the way we made our living.”
Bonds only received 36.2 percent of votes for the Hall in the 2013 ballot, his first time appearing on the ballot. He probably will receive some more votes this year for a few reasons. One, a lot of voters don’t like to vote for a player on their first ballot. They reserve that honor for only the most elite players even among Hall of Famers (the type of reasoning I’ve never understood). Two, over time, I think the opposition of steroid users will lessen.
Though I couldn’t stand Bonds when he played and found him to be a jerk, it would be an absolute joke for him and other top players of the era not to make it into the Hall. These players — and steroids in general — are a huge part of baseball history. You can’t fail to recognize the top players of that era because it was tainted. The Hall needs to adjust and recognize these players in a Steroid Era wing and get it over with.
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- Barry Bonds
The New England Patriots have countless pre-snap play calls with dozens of different names. Like many of the game’s great quarterbacks, Tom Brady is given the liberty to change the play or call out protections as he sees fit. He does this quite often. The question many people are wondering heading into the Thanksgiving holiday is this — do the Patriots have a play call named after Bill Belichick’s girlfriend?
In this video on NFL.com, you can barely make out one of Brady’s teammates saying “cougar, cougar” just before the ball is snapped and thrown to Rob Gronkowski for a 6-yard touchdown. After the player appears to say “cougar,” Brady can clearly be heard yelling “Linda!” Belichick’s girlfriend, as many of you know, is the lovely Linda Holliday. She was recently asked about the play.
“Well, since it was obviously a good call and a well-executed play, I’ll take a tiny bit of credit — but only for a well-named play,” Holliday told the Boston Herald’s Inside Track. “Seriously, the whole team played hard and we all couldn’t be happier, right?!?”
Hey, she didn’t deny it. Urban Dictionary defines a cougar as “a 35+ year old female who is on the ‘hunt’ for a much younger, energetic, willing-to-do-anything male.” Bill Belichick is older than Holliday and he’s certainly not energetic. But is he willing to do anything? Did you see what he did in overtime the other night against the Denver Broncos? I think that answers that question.
Mike Shanahan has no intention of benching Robert Griffin III. With the Washington Redskins out of playoff contention, the last thing the team needs is to give RG3 less reps and potentially set the future of the team back even further. Having said that, there are plenty of people who feel that backup quarterback Kirk Cousins should be given an opportunity. Baltimore Ravens defensive lineman Chris Canty is one of those people.
“I have to agree with Ahmad Brooks,” Canty said, per Dan Steinberg of DC Sports Bog. “It’s clear that RG3 does not have the explosion that he had during his rookie campaign. You know what, much of his game is predicated on his agility, his elusiveness and his ability to be able to separate from defenders. He can’t do that and that knee is not 100 percent healthy. This is his second reconstruction on that same knee. I think it takes a little more time for that guy to develop and get healthy in order to put himself in good positions to be able to help his team win.”
Griffin has obviously been cleared to play. He is probably not 100%, but he has to play and continue to develop if he wants to eventually get there. Given the current state of the Redskins, I don’t think sitting him would be beneficial. Canty disagrees.
“I think they should sit him down,” he added. “It’s clear that he is not able to run the offense at the high level that he did during in his rookie year. I think Kirk Cousins gives them the best opportunity to win football games right now.”
The real concern for Washington is Griffin’s future as a scrambling quarterback. If he is going to have to wear a bulky knee brace for the rest of his career, he may never be the explosive player the Redskins drafted.
John Wall may be on the verge of the breakout many have been expecting since he was drafted first overall by the Washington Wizards in 2010. Over his past three games, the former Kentucky star is averaging 33.0 points, 6.0 assists, and 5.3 rebounds. Are we ready to say that he is one of the best point guards in the league? Of course not, but we really don’t have to. He’s happy to heap that praise on himself.
“I’m the best point guard in the league,” Wall said Tuesday, via Hoops on FOX. “That’s my statement.”
Wall certainly doesn’t lack confidence. In fact, he can be pretty delusional at times. Shooting has always been one of his weaknesses, but he called himself a great shooter last year before the Wizards signed him to a max contract extension. He’s a career 42.3% shooter.
You could argue that there are at least five point guards in the league who are better than Wall, but it wouldn’t matter. He believes he’s the best, and the Wizards need him to maintain that mentality. Besides, he’s only 23 years old. If Wall continues to develop his shot and Washington puts some talent around him — well, let’s just leave it at stranger things have happened.
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- John Wall
Huntington University (Ind.) senior Shane Merryman treated us to what will likely be the most incredible buzzer-beat of the 2013-2014 college basketball season on Tuesday night. Huntington defeated Marian 61-59 on one of those three-quarter court heaves that have about a .000001% chance of going in.
It was impressive enough that Merryman got the ball out of his hands after receiving the inbound pass, let alone somehow firing it right on target and winning the game. As The Big Lead pointed out, Huntington has an enrollment of about 1,200. I hope they were all watching on Tuesday night.
- Shane Merryman
New York Knicks owner James Dolan is not the most popular man among basketball fans. The Knicks, who have not won a championship since 1973, are struggling once again. For those of you who didn’t know, Dolan also performs in a band he founded called “JD & The Straight Shot.”
Dolan’s band is relatively popular, having toured alongside famous bands like The Eagles and The Allman Brothers. According to Dolan’s band’s Wikipedia page, a lot of the songs JD & The Straight Shot have written are about the failures of the Knicks.
Yes, someone obviously hacked the page. It was likely a disgruntled Knicks fan, and it’s hilarious. We have seen some pretty funny Wikipedia hacks in the past, but this is right up there among the best. If only the person had added “Keep Woody Allen out of My Lounge” and “Tell Those Girls to Stop Dancing” to the list of tracks.
H/T Extra Mustard
- James Dolan
Brandon Jennings faced his former team, the Milwaukee Bucks, for the first time on Monday night as a member of the Detroit Pistons. He played well, registering a double-double that included 15 points and 13 assists. The Pistons won by a final score of 113-94, and Jennings happened to be the player with the ball who got to dribble out the clock at the end of the game.
Caron Butler did not appreciate the way Jennings went about it. Jennings dribbled the ball between his legs and around his back as the crowd cheered, and Butler briskly walked over to him and appeared to say something. He also kept staring at Jennings as the teams left the floor.
Jennings may not have been trying to show up the Bucks, but we wouldn’t be surprised if he was. This is the same guy who called out his former coach and was vocal about being benched. He wasn’t exactly happy in Milwaukee. That’s why I’m sure Jennings was happy to get the best of the Bucks for one night.
Video via Pro Basketball Talk
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Robert Griffin III has become one of the media’s favorite punching bags this season. After vowing to be ready for the start of the 2013 season, Griffin has been terrible. He has held onto the ball too long, failed to make accurate throws and not been a legitimate threat to scramble. According to Donovan McNabb, the Washington Redskins are responsible for creating the media circus.
“Really, to be honest, it started this offseason,” McNabb said on FOX Sports Live, via Sarah Kogod of DC Sports Bog. “Because everyone tried to sugarcoat the fact that he shouldn’t have been in the game while he’s hurt, they’re trying to cover each other’s side, and then now you see him out on posters, rehabbing, getting his knee back, his health, he’s ready to go. And so it became a circus.
“I blame the Washington Redskins for this, because you’re in control of the cameras that are out there. You know that you have guys that are coming back off of injury and why are we seeing it on ESPN, why are we seeing it on the national news? … From that circus on to where we are right now, it’s a pattern in which we’ve seen it coming.”
As Kogod pointed out, RG3 made the decision to sign on as a producer for a special documenting his rehab. He was also responsible for any comeback campaigns that were run by Adidas. Still, McNabb does not believe Griffin is getting enough help from his teammates and coaches.
“I know exactly what he’s going through,” McNabb said. “But is there somebody that’s helping him right now? I don’t think so. I don’t think so. Because you don’t hear any of his teammates coming to his defense, speaking up and saying, ‘Hey you know what, I’ve got to play better, Robert did a good job today doing this, doing that, we all can get better.’”
McNabb has said in the past that the Redskins are brainwashing RG3. He has also been critical of the former Baylor star at times, which is likely why Griffin has chosen to not speak with him or take his advice. At this point, everyone on the Redskins needs to be held accountable. It takes a group effort to play as poorly as they have.
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Terry Saban conducted an interview with the Wall Street Journal and confirmed they are not going to leave Alabama despite rumors that Nick is interested in the Texas job. But Terry does believe that the success her husband has enjoyed in Tuscaloosa has spoiled the fan base.
“You come to a crossroads and the expectations get so great, people get spoiled by success and there gets to be a lack of appreciation,” Saban told The Journal last week. “We’re kind of there now.”
Bama has won three national championships in the last four seasons under Saban and is in contention for a fourth (and third in a row). Despite the success, Bama doesn’t sell out every game, and Saban has even complained about fans leaving games early.
The profile on Terry is an interesting one and shares some great information. According to The Journal, Terry and Nick are very much a team. She helps with his contract negotiations, and assistants even copy her on all of his emails.
But is she right about her comments about the fan base? Probably so. I wouldn’t say the fan attendance is an indication of that — most of the time it’s the weak opponents they are unenthusiastic about. But when you go 72-7 in six years, you set expectations extremely high, and the fans will settle for nothing less than championships.
- Nick Saban