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FOX Sports Admits they Created Fake Headlines About Jay Cutler

Jay Cutler got ripped to shreds by many media members and players for exiting the NFC Championship Game last season with a knee injury. Cutler’s Bears teammates defended him, as did many local newspapers. Cutler gained even more sympathy when tests revealed he had a serious knee injury. But that doesn’t change that most people dogged him for pulling out of a game with the Super Bowl on the line.

FOX’s television crew decided to take liberty with the Cutler criticism on Sunday. During their telecast of the Bears-Saints game, they flashed three headlines they said appeared in the newspaper following the NFC Championship Game:

    - Cutler Leaves With Injury
    – Cutler Lacks Courage
    – Cutler’s No Leader

Analyst Moose Johnston even said “these are the actual headlines from the local papers in Chicago.”

Turns out they weren’t. The Chicago Tribune staff thought those headlines didn’t sound right, so they looked it up and discovered they were fabricated.

FOX Sports spokesman Dan Bell admitted the headlines were misleading but that they were trying to “capture the overall sentiment nationwide following that game.”

Yes, that was the sentiment from many sources, but why create fake headlines to convey the point? All it would have taken was a few minutes of research to pull up the stories on the congressmen taking shots at Cutler, the fans burning his jersey, and the numerous athlete tweets about the subject. That’s sheer laziness at work, and it’s just wrong to completely mislead the audience. Jay Cutler already takes enough heat — he doesn’t need any more than he deserves.

Image via Pro Football Talk

Mike Smith on Dunta Robinson Hit: That’s the Way We Teach it

Dunta Robinson was penalized Sunday night for nailing Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin with a helmet-to-helmet hit in the third quarter. Because he’s a repeat offender (he cleaned DeSean Jackson’s clock with a similar hit last season), he was fined $40,000. Robinson blatantly dipped his helmet down as you can see in the picture. Shockingly, Atlanta coach Mike Smith says that’s the way his team teaches it.

According to the AP, “Falcons Coach Mike Smith said after the game he thought it was a legal hit and “that’s the way we teach it.'”

Nevermind how awful it sounds that Smith is suggesting his team teaches its players to make illegal hits. I’m guessing Smith hadn’t seen replays of the hit when he said that. There is no way anyone could have seen that on replay and believed it was the type of clean hit a team would teach.

As soon as I saw that hit, I didn’t flip out like Cris Collinsworth, but I did think this was a lot different from the DeSean hit. When Robinson ran into Jackson, it was done at full speed. With this one, Robinson was a few steps away and consciously chose to dip his helmet. I know coaches want to defend their players, but let’s just hope that Smith has reversed his stance. There’s no way he can possibly approve of that knowing that it’s blatantly illegal.

Redskins Fans Burn Off the Last Cancer from the Old Team: Albert Haynesworth

Some Redskins fans have gotten carried away with the team’s strong start. Washington is 2-0 and a group of empowered fans believe all the team’s past problems are behind them. Evidence (some language NSFW):

Please tell me what burning an old Albert Haynesworth jersey has to do with anything. I realize the guy was fat, out of shape, and a cancer in the locker room, but why bring back painful memories? Then again, if I could explain why jersey burning was so popular to begin with, I’d be in the psychology business, not sports. Maybe it’s some sort of release for fans. Kind of like what will happen to Haynesworth if he doesn’t pick it up in New England.

Helmet knock to DC Sports Bog and SB Nation DC for the video
Video Credit: YouTube user CaptKaos47

Todd Haley on His Way Out in KC, Romeo Crennel or Josh McDaniels in?

The Kansas City Chiefs are looking like one of the worst teams in football. They already got smacked at home by the Bills in their season opener and then found out that emerging safety Eric Berry had been lost for the year. Then, early on in their beatdown against Detroit, star running back Jamaal Charles slipped on the sideline and tore his ACL. He’s also out for the year. The team has lost by a combined 89-10 in its first two games and is having a disaster season. The head coach is likely to pay the price.

Michael Silver at Yahoo! Sports says the relationship between Chiefs GM Scott Pioli and head coach Todd Haley has been strained since Pioli brought in Charlie Weis as the team’s offensive coordinator against Haley’s wishes. Silver predicts that if Pioli fires Haley, he will end up hiring Josh McDaniels. McDaniels is the offensive coordinator in St. Louis but he notoriously flamed out in Denver after two years.

Adam Schefter at ESPN took things a step further, suggesting Sunday that the Chiefs could fire Haley mid-season and promote defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel to head coach. It would be a natural move for Kansas City considering Crennel’s experience as a head coach and his relationship with Pioli, for whom he worked in New England. I was also told it would be a surprise if Haley lasted until week 10.

Kansas City will likely get slaughtered by San Diego this weekend, but they have winnable games against the Vikings and Colts after that. If they can’t pull out a win then you better believe Haley will be on his way to getting canned. Strange for a guy who earned Coach of the Year last season, right?

Raheem Morris Even has a ‘Yungry’ Hat

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ motto entering the season was “yungry.” The saying was created by the team because they fancied themselves a young and hungry bunch. Apparently they’ve subscribed to that motto so heavily that head coach Raheem Morris even had a hat customized to say “Yungry.”

Their intentions are good, but they’re a far cry from what they were last season. Quarterback Josh Freeman threw for 25 touchdowns and only six interceptions last season. This year, he already has two picks and only two TDs. Maybe playing as mistake-free as he did last season was impossible to duplicate.

They were able to pull the game out in Minnesota Sunday, but this team is lacking the surprise factor they had going for them last year. Their defense is average and their offense isn’t explosive enough to compete with the elite teams. How they handle the Falcons at home Sunday will say a lot about where they are as a team. I’m not expecting a win.

Pic via NFL.com, tip via LBS contributor Patrick Crawley

Reggie Bush Traded for $10 Pizza in Most Appropriate Commercial Ever (Video)

You may have seen a Pizza Hut commercial playing over the weekend featuring running back Reggie Bush. In the commercial, Bush is traded in fantasy football for a $10 Pizza Hut supreme pizza.

Is that not the best representation of Reggie’s NFL career to-date? I won’t call Bush a bust the way other people have because I think that term only applies to players who can’t cut it in the NFL. Bush has a role in the league, he just never lived up to expectations. And now he’s been traded for a $10 pizza. Pizza Hut couldn’t have embarrassed him more if they had tried.

Giants Defense Fakes Injuries to Slow Down Rams’ No-Huddle Offense

The Rams were moving the ball well so well in the first quarter of their Monday night game that New York Giants had to resort to flopping:

Someone needs to remind the Giants that in order to make their flops look legit, only one guy can take a dive at a time. Deon Grant and Jacquian Williams need to coordinate their efforts next time to avoid looking so foolish.

To provide some context for the flopping, the Rams had moved from their 26 to the Giants seven on seven plays. New York only had three down linemen on the field and wanted to sub in another one but didn’t have a chance, so they faked injuries to get things organized. It also didn’t help that Corey Webster appeared to twist his ankle two plays earlier — maybe they wanted to give him a break. Meanwhile, Cal football is wondering what the problem is.