Michael Strahan Calls Chad Ochocinco’s Engagement a Publicity Stunt

Call him a cynic, but Michael Strahan says he doesn’t have much faith in Chad Ochocinco’s romance with Basketball Wives star Evelyn Lozada.

I caught up with Strahan at the March of Dimes Annual Sports Lunch and asked if he thought a new joint reality show would be a good idea for Chad and Evelyn. 

“Well I think it’s all about that anyway,” said Strahan, who’s currently engaged to Eddie Murphy’s ex wife, Nicole. “I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re not. If [they’re not together] for the fame, then for the opportunities it presents.

Oh c’mon Mike, next you’re going to tell me you don’t believe in Santa.

Adrian Awasom Finds a Loophole in the UFL’s New Transfer Fee Policy

Adrian Awasom hopes to play in the NFL again in the near future. The 6-foot-5, 280-pound defensive lineman was signed by the New York Giants in 2005 as an undrafted free agent and played in only 17 NFL games.  According to National Football Post, Awasom is drawing interest from a few NFL teams after recording 20 tackles and three sacks during a championship season with the Las Vegas Locomotives.  But who wants to pay $150,000 just to leave the UFL for the NFL?

Awasom certainly doesn’t, which is why he and his agent have found a brilliant loophole in the UFL’s new policy.  Rather than pay the $150,000 transfer fee to go directly from the UFL to the NFL, Awasom has signed with the San Jose Sabercats of the Arena Football League.  From there, he can void his contract and seek NFL employment without having to pay a fee.

Genius.  It remains to be seen whether or not more players will take this route and the AFL will get sick of being used, but for now it seems like a great way to tell the UFL to take their $150,000 fee and stuff it.  Bravo, Awason, and best of luck on phase two of your NFL career.

LBS NFL Power Rankings Week 13

1. New England Patriots (9-2, –)

The Patriots avoided a letdown in Detroit with a monster second half. Rookie Devin McCourty looks like he could turn into one of the best cover corners in the league. The NFL couldn’t have asked for better circumstances surrounding New England’s Monday night game against the Jets.

2. Atlanta Falcons (9-2, +1)

Time to put the Falcons in the discussion of best team in the NFL. The Packers helped Atlanta with mistakes — like Aaron Rodgers’ fumble on the goal line — but the win cements them as the best team in the NFC. They’re particularly tough to beat at home, which could make for a deep playoff run.

3. New York Jets (9-2, –)

The Jets have not defeated an above .500 opponent since their win over the Patriots Week 2. For that reason, we have them at No. 3 in our rankings. If they’re able to win in New England on Monday night, they’ll shoot up to No. 1. Monday’s game is as big as it gets for the regular season.

4. Baltimore Ravens (8-3, +3)

Like the Jets, it’s been a while since Baltimore has beaten a top-tier team. They’ll get their shot at home against Pittsburgh this weekend. The Ravens could sweep the Steelers with a win and put themselves in prime position to win the AFC North.

5. New Orleans Saints (8-3, +3)

Why is it that everyone seems to have forgotten about the Super Bowl champs? The Saints have won five out of their last six and scored 30+ points five times over that span. They’re a team that’s finding it’s stride at the right time and knows how to win in the playoffs.

6. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-3, -1)

A win is a win in the NFL, but the Steelers’ most recent one was as lucky as it gets. If Steve Johnson catches the ball in overtime, Pittsburgh loses. They have looked a bit lost at times since getting slapped around by the Patriots a few weeks ago. Finding consistency on offense will be crucial.

7. Green Bay Packers (7-4, -1)

Although the Packers lost to the Falcons, it was a road game against the NFC’s best and they hung around until the end. Had Rodgers not committed his first fumble of the season, we’d probably be talking about Green Bay as the best team in the NFC. Their next two are against the 49ers and Lions.

8. Chicago Bears (8-3, +4)

Okay, the Bears might be for real. They made Michael Vick look like a human being in a convincing win over the Eagles at home. Jay Cutler looked like he understood the offense, and that’s a scary thing for the rest of the NFC. Their defense keeps them in games and consistently gives them a chance to win.

9. San Diego Chargers (6-5, +4)

Forget the five losses. The Chargers are a very, very good football team. Philip Rivers would be the MVP if the season ended today. Despite countless injuries in the passing game, Rivers has led his team to four straight wins — including a shellacking of the Colts.

10. New York Giants (7-4, –)

The Giants had to overcome a bunch of injuries on offense against Jacksonville to come away with a win. They came from behind and were able to get a win, whether their fans appreciated it or not.  More importantly, they avoided the “Giants are chokers” talk for at least another week.

11. Philadelphia Eagles (7-4, -7)

The loss to the Bears showed us how average the Eagles can be if Michael Vick doesn’t have a tremendous game. Vick is still the most dangerous quarterback in the league, but he’s bound to start making some mistakes. The question is can Philadelphia overcome them.

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Antrel Rolle Does Not Like Giants Fans Booing the Team

The Giants-Jaguars game on Sunday at the Meadowlands featured a big second half comeback by the Giants. They were down 17-6 at halftime and outscored Jacksonville 18-3 in the second half to get the win. Apparently the fans were not pleased with New York’s performance in the first half and let the players hear it with boos.

Giants safety Antrel Rolle, who signed with the team in the off-season, said on WFAN he didn’t appreciate the boos, especially given that the Giants came back to win. Asked what he thought about the boos, he said “We’re not going to always have those dominant, blowout games. We’re not going to win each and every game. We need (the fans) to have confidence as we have confidence in ourselves. … You don’t boo your team. I don’t care what the situation is. You don’t boo your team.”

The hosts of course justified the behavior by saying, hey it’s New York — that’s the way things are. I don’t understand why fans aren’t accountable for anything. The team wasn’t playing well at the half but they wound up winning. Maybe reserve the boos next time until the team has actually lost, how does that sound?

Derek Anderson Tirade Video Dropping S-Bombs on Kent Somers After Loss

Following Arizona Republic reporter Kent Somers on twitter, you could tell he had something brewing for the postgame press conference on Monday night. The Cardinals got spanked at home 27-6, losing their 6th straight game. Quarterback Derek Anderson was his typical below average self, going 16/35 for 196 yards and an interception. Making matters even more frustrating for Arizona fans was Anderson getting caught on camera smiling on the bench late in the game. Jon Gruden ripped Anderson for showing positive emotions while his team was getting crushed.

During the game, Somers tweeted “Anderson is back in after yucking it up on the sideline with Deuce Lutui. will have to find out what was funny with 6th consecutive loss.” Well Somers was a man of his word, asking Anderson that exact question in the postgame news conference. Anderson was busted and did not react well. Here’s the Derek Anderson tirade video as he dropped several s-bombs on Somers:

Normally I don’t like reporters who try raking up the muck, but Somers was right on point with his questions. The Cardinals were getting killed on national television and have been embarrassing themselves all season. The line of questioning was within reason and Anderson needs to realize in addition to playing better, he needs to act the part of a professional quarterback. So far he’s 0-for-2.

Vernon Davis Cries While Pumping Up the 49ers Pregame (Video)

If 49ers tight end Vernon Davis knew the Cardinals were going to lay down for them on Monday Night Football, maybe he wouldn’t have poured in as much emotion to his pregame speech as he showed. As our man Steve shared with me, VD got so carried away with things pregame it looked like he was crying. Check it out:

Maybe he just splashed some water on his face because I sure saw some moisture in those eyes and what appeared to be tears streaking down his face. I’m not missing something there, right? VD only had 32 yards on two catches but Troy Smith missed him for a wide open touchdown. Luckily against the Cardinals it didn’t matter. Arizona, which has lost six in a row, got outrushed 261-13. It doesn’t get much more pathetic than that.

Jimmy Johnson: Player Personnel, Not Coaching the Problem for Arizona Cardinals

LBS recently caught up with Super Bowl and National Championship winning coach Jimmy Johnson who’s running the first annual Crown Royal Jimmy Bowl (enter here for your chance to play football at Cowboys Stadium after the Super Bowl and be coached by Jimmy Johnson!). Jimmy already told us he thinks coaching is an issue for the 49ers, but what about their Monday night counterpart? Johnson thinks the players are the problem with the Cardinals, not the coaches.

The Cardinals reached the Super Bowl under coach Ken Whisenhunt and have won the NFC West twice. Jimmy attributed Arizona’s 3-7 start to the loss of key players over the off-season, including Kurt Warner, Karlos Dansby, Antrel Rolle, and Anquan Boldin. He said the coaching is the same, but they’ve lost a lot of good players.

While losing Dansby and Rolle have hurt the defense tremendously, the biggest dropoff for the Cardinals has been at the quarterback position. Arizona has gone from starting potential Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner to using Derek Anderson and Max Hall in games. Under Whisenhunt with Warner at QB, the Cardinals have had the 7th, 3rd, and 11th most productive offense in football. This year they’re the 28th, only better than three teams. I agree with Jimmy — it’s the players that has resulted in the losing in Arizona, not the coaches.