Stoops took some clay from the ground and made the shape of a man. Then he breathed gently into the shape. The man's eye's opened and he began to live. Stoops called him AD.
Stoops provided a beautiful turf for him to play on. The stadium, called Gaylord family Memorial stadium, was full of many wonderful things such as toothless rednecks. Season tickets were sold out. The $7 Nachos came in two varieties of cheese sauce. Shirts and shoes were not required.
Stoops had made AD in his image to keep him company and score touchdowns for his Sooners.
But Stoops felt sorry for AD. "None of these players are really like him," thought Stoops, "he needs someone to replace Jason White. Someone who can handoff to him or catch him on a screen."
That night, Stoops took a rib from AD's side and made Bomar. When AD awoke the following morning, he found Bomar, lying asleep at the locker beside him. AD was so happy. He looked up at Bomar and smiled.
Stoops told AD and Bomar that it was their job to win football games. Stoops blessed them, saying, "All this is for you. Help yourself to anything you like. But do not take improper benefits from boosters. That will give you the ability to buy bling. If you do, you will surely be kicked off the football team."
One day, Bomar was gassing up a vehicle when he heard a silky voice behind him. "Has Stoops told you that you can't take any money?" the voice asked softly. Bomar turned around to see Brad McRae talking to him.
"Stoops has told us we can't earn any money for hours we didn't work," Bomar told McRae.
"Oh come now, that's silly! I hardly think such improper benefits harm anyone," McRae lied. "Stoops knows that if you take extra money you will be able to buy the things you want. Here take this paycheck."
Bomar looked at the paycheck and thought of all the things he could do with it. He thought how wonderful it would be to be as rich and powerful as Stoops. He believed McRae's lie and took the money.
He felt a strange feeling in the pit of him stomach. He fidgeted and wondered what was wrong with him. Suddenly he realized that he was feeling guilty -- he had disobeyed Stoops and knew he'd done something wrong.
Bomar hurriedly picked up his check and took a Lexus back to AD. As soon as they enjoyed their benefits a change came over AD and Bomar. They became unhappy and fearful of Stoops.
AD and Bomar heard Stoops calling them. Without thinking, AD revved up his Lexus and tried to make a getaway down I-35, but Stoops knew where they were and put tire spikes on the road. When Stoops asked them if they had received improper benefits, they blamed each other for their sins.
Stoops was sad that AD and Bomar had disobeyed them. He told AD that he would have to sit out 2 plays against a non-conference opponent. He told Bomar that he would have to leave the Gaylord stadium forever. "From now on you'll be banished from the state of Oklahoma. You'll have to live on wages you earn at Baby Gap. Nothing will come easily -- not touchdowns, glory or respect. And one day, you will be the starting quarterback for Sam Houston State."
Well, let's call it a season. I'll wait until the Texas Rangers are mathematically eliminated to discuss the approaching offseason, because I don't want to be guilty of one of those "Dewey Defeats Truman" moments, but this team has flatlined.
After a great series in Detroit, the hitting, pitching, and defense all went awry, putting the proverbial nail in the coffin. Their only chance now is to be renamed the Walker Texas Rangers. After all, Chuck Norris never loses.
I'm seriously trying to make sense of the halftime festivities at the Cowboys preseason game this past Saturday. Before the youth football teams took to quadrants of the field to showcase their skills for an NFL audience, Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys recognized Dat Nguyen for a great career, last season's neck injury having cut his career short.
Forgive me if I'm wrong, but this is the Dallas Cowboys. America's Team. Great history. Great players. To recognize Nguyen in this way cheapens that a bit.
Don't get me wrong here. This has nothing to do with the guy being from Texas A&M. After all, he was more recently a Dallas Cowboy, which takes precedence. Take Longhorn killer Roy Williams for instance. I also liked the way he played the game. It's probably the reason his career was cut short. You could say he's blood brothers with Rusty Greer. But to have played five seasons for a non-playoff team is little reason for recognition.
Now players who played for losing teams are often recognized. Look at Archie Manning. But these players usually lasted for a full career and put up unbelievable numbers for bad teams. Nguyen put up very good numbers. He led the team in tackles three out of five seasons. But compared with the rest of the league, the numbers weren't great.
I'll give you one thing. It is not a major sin to recognized the guy. He was hard-nosed. A leader. And the first Vietnamese-American to play in the NFL. But great teams, even ones in decade long slumps, need to recognize great players.
The Rangers can honor Rusty Greer. Their tradition is one of mediocrity. When a player like Rusty comes along, he is one of a few bright spots that needs to be memorialized. For the Cowboys, though, Dat was a good, maybe very good, player for a great ballclub.
My Powerhouse brothers and sisters. Can you sense it? Can you smell it? The holiest of all seasons is upon us once again. The great football spirit is all around us. Sanctuaries in college towns will soon swell with people on Saturdays praising the Great Pigskin in the sky. Crying for a savior to walk among them. That they can glance upon him. That, if they can only touch his cleat, they too will experience a national championship. After all, Vince Young, the gangsta savior, has walked the college football earth, done his good deeds, and ascended into NFL Heaven. Now, the masses long for a new savior.
The Great Pigskin hears their cries but knows this season there is but one imbued with the football spirit, anointed by the Great Pigskin itself, to work miracles. He won't turn water into wine. But will turn sacks into touchdowns. Disappointing losses into come from behind victories. Can I get an amen! (organ plays triumphatly in the background)
And nowhere are those cries louder or more passionate than in the Big 12 on whom the Great Pigskin's favor has rested on numerous occasions. But, this year it seems there are few in Big 12 country worthy of the Great Pigskin's anointing. (organ music slows and takes on a haunting tone) Will the sins of the Big 12 catch up with the conference this year?
So down with Oklahoma as its sins continue to mount. The Great Pigskin values the purity of the game and despises greed. The Pigskin's wrath fell on the Boomer Sooner when the OU QB roster, known in recent years for its amateur greatness, was stricken with the suspension of Rhett Bomar. The Sooners are left wallowing in their shame with Paul Thompson at QB and will continue to experience judgment as Adrian Peterson is left to touch the ball 30 to 35 times a game and get beaten up in the process. Oh, that Coach Stoops and the Sooners tear their coaching shorts and sit in sackcloth and ashes so this young talent may be spared the Pigskin's wrath.
And there shall be no mercy in Nebraska where a young Zac Taylor rebelled against his father and his hometown to toss evil bombs in Lincoln, Nebraska. There shall be a public sacking of this quarterback for his sins. Norman longs for the day the prodigal returns home and everyone can feats on the fatted lamb.
And Colorado is but a mere shadow of itself after wreaking its destruction by its own transgressions. The years of Joel Klatt were awash in program scandal and now the Buffs try to choose from James Cox, Brian White, and Bernard Jackson. And as the great Football Bible tells us in the book of Darrell Royal Chapter 8, verse 5, "He who has three quarterbacks, has no quarterback." Oh, that the judgment may be lifted so this once proud program can find the football truth.
Kansas State stands guilty of the same sin: QB indecision. A sin for which mediocrity is the only reward.
Texas Tech commits once again the unpardonabale sin against the Great Pigskin who breathes life into all teams. "The man who practices the excess of pass is not one with me and I do not know ye." Graham Harrell has no chance as long as he takes part in the weekly pagan rituals in Lubbock. Get your Guns Up! And pray the Pigskin shows its mercy.
And that once proud, deeply religious school in Waco. Lacking faith in the Pigskin's ability to raise up marginally gifted Shawn Bell, they have turned and bowed at the altar of Leach and joined in the points fertility rituals. Oh, Baylor. The night cometh. You reach for the blessings of bowls, but once again shall reign in the bowels.
And don't be confused by the false hope spread in Missouri and at Iowa State. Chase Daniel and Brett Meyer are devoted kids with promising futures, but are merely preparing the path of the next Big 12 savior.
Hope rings eternal in College Station where young QB Stephen McGee brings memories of Bucky Richardson. A good, faithful QB in A&M days of yore, but just a man.
And joy is heard in Kansas where redshirt Kerry Meier shall take the reins. Yet, while surely not a sin, his inexperience suggests he is not ready for a potential anointing. The Pigskin, in its wisdom, knows an anointing gioven too soon destroys potential football miracle workers.
Meanwhile, no one knows what secret sin Oklahoma State is hiding, but they will abide in the cellar once again behind the stricken arms of Al Pena and Bobby Reid. Their only hope is that the Pigskin uses them once again as an instrument of judgment on the Sooners.
And our tour in search of the next great gridiron savior brings us to Austin. (organ bristles with excitement) That great Big 12 Holy Land once graced by James Street and Vince Young. Will the Pigskin's favor shine on Texas again. It is unclear. Mack Brown's temptation is public as he wrestles with whether or not to join his Big 12 brethren in the sin of QB indecision. His belated repentance of this sin brought glory back to Texas. His decision may sway the Great Pigskin.
And thus we know, berothers and sisters of the Powerhouse. QB glory is a long shot this year in the Big 12. But do not let your head hang low. Instead raise your foam finger toward the goalposts in salute of the Great Pigskina nd pour out your entreaties for next year's savior. The fiathful will once again see the glory of the Football Lord. Hallelujah!! (organ breaks out victoriously)
"The National Ass-Whip Broadcasters Service (NAWBS) has issued an "Ass-Whip Alert" for the areas within broadcasting radius of Tony Cornheiser. The conditions are favorable for a Category 4 Ass Whip, conditions which are expected to last for the next 16+ weeks."
OK, I'm not one who normally complains about (hell, even NOTICES) the announcers. As a lifelong Cowboy fan, I expected to hate Ron Jaworski and Joe Theismann as football broadcasters. Now, Jaws is one of my favorites and Theismann doesn't suck on most nights.
I noticed the tide turning during the World Cup. Marcelo Balboa, noted spare on a spare US soccer team, became a noted spare broadcaster during the World Cup this summer...almost ruining my enjoyment of The Beautiful Game's biggest stage. I asked myself: Why am I allowing this guys inability to tell me about the game ruin my enjoyment of the game itself?
I haven't figured out an answer to the question "why", but Tony Cornholer is threatening to do the same with my beloved Monday Night Football. If he can't contain that tremendous lack of personality, the spine-piercing references to fantasy football, and the stench of poor chemistry between him and actual humans, I might stab myself in the eardrum with an icepick.
If that $750,000 house in California didn’t work out for the Bush family, perhaps they can move into Reggie’s adoptive home in Bristol, Connecticut.
Don’t get me wrong, I think that Reggie Bush is a phenomenal athlete. But, seriously ESPN…when’s it going to stop? Did we not learn anything from our “2005 USC vs. Germany in WWII” series? Like my cohort Patlan, I was impressed with Bush’s 42 yard scamper against the Titans in the Saint’s first preseason game. However, the operative words in that sentence are “preseason” and “Titans”. If he can prance by Ray Lewis in the 4th quarter when his team is down by 7, that’s something. Burning one of last year’s lowest rated defenses in their first real action hardly merits legendary status.
Enter in last night’s game against the Cowboys.
Bush gained 7 more yards rushing than I did sitting at home drinking a beer. He had 14 more yards receiving on 2 catches. Yet, despite a 30-7 loss, Bush was the talk of Sportscenter. Terry Glenn’s outstanding TD catch was glossed over. Romo’s beautiful pass in stride was swept under the rug. Instead we were treated to a 5 minute analysis of cuts Bush made to gain an extra few yards.
Imagine what the story will be when he actually has a good game.
Bush has been ordained the next Barry Sanders the same way Keith Van Horn was dubbed as the next Larry Bird. (And every good white basketball player for that matter…) But, at the end of the day, ESPN is missing the X factor: Bush is still a member of the Saints. He has to overcome a rookie head coach, weak offense line and another playmaker in Deuce McAllister. He has to play in a city hampered by severe economical conditions where 1 in 3 people no longer reside. Much like Sanders endured in Detroit, Bush has relatively no talent around him. Joe Horn is an asset, but how durable is Drew Brees after his surgery? Too many questions surround the New Orleans franchise to christen Bush as “El Presidente” at the NFL level.
On a related note, the Cowboys showed me flashes of brilliance last night. The O-line looked solid and Greg Ellis was a beast. I don’t even need to mention the playmaking abilities of Glenn. For a preseason game, the Cowboys came out of the tunnel very inspired. All of this despite the absence of #81.
As a University of Texas alumn, I am predestined to cultivate a hatred towards all that is Oklahoma. (Sorry Arkansas, you were a bit before my time) The mobile homes per capita alone is enough to make their entire state the butt of a joke. One of the biggest misconceptions in college football today is that Texas A&M is Texas’ true rival. I admit, the Aggies provide a bitter feud over inter-state domination every few decades, but they are hardly a rival in the sense that my blood boils at the very thought of their existence.
However, any Aggie will tell you differently.
Never has a school been so preoccupied with it’s counterpart that they have built an empire out of spite. From whooping in church to “beating the hell outta t.u.” (Cute btw…), the Aggies have made a career out of the dillusion that they are one of the nation’s elite programs. In reality, they have only had 2 decades since their 1939 National Championship where the total of their winning seasons eclipsed their losing seasons.
To put an end to the conversation, I am pitting Mack Brown’s 8-year tenure as Texas’ head coach versus 111 years of Texas A&M football.
National Championships: Mack Brown: 1; A&M: 1 (1939)
Bowl Wins: MB: 5; A&M: 13 (2001 Galleryfurniture.com Bowl vs. TCU, most recent)
The article in the Dallas Morning News starts off very dramatically, describing UT redshirt freshman quarterback Colt McCoy as a hero...having saved a man from drowning.
But it goes on to convince me of how down to earth he really is. True Texas-Boy, coached in his small town high school by his father (or, as we say it in Texas: "by his Daddeh"), National Honor Society member, only lost 3 games in his high school career, and remains very "aw-shucks" about the whole thing.
Maybe he's watched Bull Durham enough to know how important cliche's are, but these are different in that he's actually saying something. He is telling me that he appreciates where he is, that he knows the expectations that come with his position, and the acknowledges the very real possibility that he might not get meet them to the satisfaction of himself or the Longhorn faithful. But he seems OK with that.
The only thing true competitors ask for is the opportunity. They know that if (and only if) they work hard enough, the prize will be theirs. That is enough for them. Following a Texas Legend in VY? No problem. Being challenged for the QB spot by a true freshman? No problem. Facing National Championship contender tOSU in your 2nd career start? No problem.
But don't take it from me. I've never met the kid. But his teammates are raving about him, how cool he is, how comfortable he is...oh yeah...and how talented he is. Now, all he has to do is go out and do it for real. But with this kind of attitude, I'm ready to cut him some slack.
What are LSU fans saying about that Ryan Perriloux these days....?
This is just a great video of Denis Leary and his Rescue Me co-starLenny Clarke taking a comedic jab at Mel Gibson and his Anti-Semitic remarks when stopped in CA for drunk driving.
But consider: what if Mel is right? What if there is just something in alcohol that could turn even the most politically correct person into an Anti-Semite? Here's the top ten things drunken sports fans might blame on the Jews:
10) The Dolphins never winning a Super Bowl with Jimmy Johnson or Dave Wannstedt as coach- Let's face it. When your quarterback, Jay Fielder, prays to Yahweh instead of Jesus like the athletes on the winning team always apparently do, your team must be in trouble. Just ask Terrell Owens. (Although, God evidently doesn't work much on hamstrings.)
9) The Bills losing four straight Super Bowls- Marv Levy is kosher, My Man.
8) You know Knicks fans are cursing Larry Brown right now- You can hear the drunken New Yorkers , "Jews cause the downfall of all once great franchises." Funny, though, I wasn't aware Isaiah Thomas was Jewish, though his first name is.
7) Dodgers lose Game One of the 1965 World Series- This is where we take time out from the bit to honor the great Sandy Koufax. This game fell on Yom Kippur and he stood by his religious conviction and refused to pitch. The Dodgers actually found themselves down 2-0 in the series before they rallied and Koufax got the win in Game Seven over the Twins. Can you believe it? The Dodgers win the series after losing the first two games with Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax on the mound.
6) Violence in sports- It's a natural progression from Greg Easterbrook's, of Tuesday Morning Quarterback fame, claim that Jews are responsible for the glorification of violence in movies. Though, I think he was sober at the time he wrote that nugget of wisdom.
5) The methodical loss of smash mouth football- Sid Gillman, head coach of the San Diego Chargers, made the forward pass and finesse popular in the NFL. He laid the foundation for the Chargers Air Coryell years and the pass happy, run deprived West Coast offense.
4) Iowa State's failure to win the Big 12 Championship- Hey if alcohol makes you an Anti-Semite, watch out Sage Rosenfels.
3) The Chicago Black Sox- Just pay attention to Mel. The Passion of the Christ. All the wars in the world. The Jews are behind the great conspiracies.
2) Mavs lose 2006 NBA Finals after leading 2-0-To hear the mainstream media tell it, it was Mark Cuban's behavior behind the Mavs' bench, and not the failure to slow down Dwayne Wade, that cost them the NBA Championship.
1) Mavs lose 2006 NBA Finals after leading 2-0- Remember, we here at the Powerhouse are all about Dallas Sports and David Stern clearly made sure the refs prevented the Mavs from winning the NBA Finals. The last thing Stern wanted to do is hand that trophy to Mark Cuban.
With all the above, if Mel is right, I suggest we watch how much we drink.
The Rangers threw more dirt on top of themselves in Dig Dug level two and yet are on the verge of making a move.
Game one against the Angels had the makings of a good night in the early going. The Angels were starting their final series of a ten game road trip. The offense had scored six runs off Ervin Santana early. It looked like the Rangers grab second place from the Angels and train their sights on Oakland.
Then came the Vicente Padilla meltdown. Frustrated by Ranger killer Vladimir Guerrero, Padilla plunks him in the fourth inning. Then he gets crazy and beans Juan Rivera, who Adam Eaton had thrown behind ten days earlier.
Padilla was ejected and the Rangers bullpen fell apart. Thankfully, Eaton went seven strong the next day in the fight marred contest to get a much needed win and hit the road tied for second.
And somehow, the Rangers are halfway through the series with Detroit and have picked up a game and a half on the A's who were swept in a double header with the Royals. The Rangers lost game one leaving innumerable runners on base while Edinson Volquez pitched like a rookie. But Millwood followed with his most clutch performance of the year and Otsuka saved the day after almost blowing his fourth save of the year.
But the deck is stacked against this team going into level three with Padilla suspended and Kip Wells on the DL. This means a rookie, John Koronka, and a second-year pitcher, Robinson Tejeda, take the mound against the AL's best this weekend. There's still a chance the Rangers can make some noise in the next month, but it's remote. Besides, the Rangers have stumbled back into level two trailing the Angels who are at home against Seattle.
Level three is next weekend. We'll talk again then.
When you pull a prank, please pay for the air involved. Otherwise, it's just stealing. And crimes are no laughing matter.
*WARNING* Some language and senseless popping of balloons.
Ok...real stories to come this weekend when the effect of the Rangers' testerone catches up with them, the Cowboys put TO on the field and the Yellow Dragons of the Garland Soccer Association complete their match against the Bears. (You can throw all the record books out when those two powerhouses clash)
I think that TO should be reprimanded for wearing that Discovery Jersey last week. I mean, the Tour de France participants don’t even spend that much time on a bike...
What were you expecting?
Dallas has a history of nursing the misunderstood players. Deion “Primetime” Sanders and Keshawn “Deactivated” Johnson are examples of this. However, these players understood the priviledge of wearing the Star on your helmet. They understood that we expect more in Dallas. Apparently, Rosenhaus forgot to pass on the memo.
TO was out of place in San Francisco. Philadelphia was top dog in a weak NFC division. TO was an excellent piece to the puzzle to get them over the hump and finally reach the Super Bowl. But, the Cowboys aren’t “one guy away”. Hell, we’re just trying to win a Wild Card spot these days.
This is the reason why I have temporarily put my loyalty on hold for the Cowboys. Seeing Jerry Jones is like being faced with a family member with a crack addiction: As much as you want to help and support you know that they are killing themselves. When TO leaves, and they go into rehab, I’ll start speaking to them again. Super Bowl or no.
No friends, I have traded my Cowboy Blue for the baby blue of the Titans. And, if all goes to plan, Billy Volek will drop like Nancy Kerrigan sometime this week. It's been arranged.
Seriously, watching Billy Volek trot in is like pushing spinach around you plate to make it look like you ate it just so your mom will give you dessert.
The Rangers stumbled at the end of their recent ten-game road trip digging a hole instead of creating opportunity. The result: they left Oakland five games back of the A's and tied with Seattle for residence in the AL West cellar. I hear the whines there are great, but the playoff games are few.
That meant the Rangers were buried in a hole and had essentially three teams to dig through in less than two months. Thankfully, the schedule provides the chance. Coincidentally, they play each of those three teams in order of worst to first.
Tonight the Rangers completed level one of the dig. A four-game sweep of the Mariners including solid starting pitching and bats galore puts the Rangers at .500 at home, hopefully reversing a dangerous trend of losing at home, and three games above .500 overall.
Level two arrives at the Ballpark (I don't care about the corporate name. It's still the Ballpark.) in the persons of the Anaheim Angels. The Angels close a four-game series with the Yankees tomorrow and will either stride into town ahead of the Rangers by a game or tied for second. It's important, after splitting their recent series in Anaheim, that the Rangers sweep the two games of the upcoming matchup and tell the AL West, in Tom Petty's famous words, "Don't come around here no more."
After a trip to Detroit for four games against the suddenly faltering Tigers and four games opposite the lowly Devil Rays, the Rangers return home to face the number one Oakland A's. The Rangers sweep of the Mariners kept the Rangers within sight of the A's who just swept the Devil Rays. A decent road trip could set the stage for a legitmiate showdown in Arlington with Oakland who will coming off series against AL West cellar fixture Seattle, the upstart Royals, and the surging Blue Jays.
Is there reason to think the Rangers can make the next two weeks count? Sure. Carlos Lee has returned to form after slumping on the road trip. Hank Blalock is having the best second half of his career. Mark Teixiera has rediscovered his power. Mark DeRosa has been the AL's best all-around hitter in the second half. Add in the unbelievable clutch hitting of Michael "Two strikes is a Hitter's Count" Young and the offense is potent. That gives the Rangers by far the AL West's best offense along with perhaps the division's best bullpen.
Now they have to add consistent starting pitching. Vicente Padilla has been the one truly reliable starter. Millwood continues to cash a check worth more than his performance. Adam Eaton has been on again off again since his return. Edinson Volquez looked strong in his last start but is a rookie nonetheless. And Kip Wells may or may not be healthy requiring more minor league reinforcements.
Being five games back at this point in the season, following up their current five-ghame winning streak with another equal losing streak due to erratic starting pitching would just about close the door on the playoffs. And losing either of these upcoming series against their division rivals may finish off their season for sure. So the rotation must find a way to answer the bell.
The Rangers have not done much this year to assure the fans they can keep the momentum going and questions remain. Yet, opportunity has provided the shovel again. Will they dig themselves out?
Reggie Bush Pre-Season Week 1...Poor Houston Texans
OK...I'm new to this blogging thing, and I'm still trying to strike a balance between "breaking news" and "knee-jerk reactions". I'm fairly certain that halftime of the 1st pre-season game falls into the latter category...but I just can't help myself.
At one point, Bush was 3 rushes for 52 yds. WOW! That's on pace for...(quick calculations)...5500 yds this season! That's got to be a record...
OK, a closer look reveals that it was really a couple of short runs and then a 44 yd scamper. But still...you drafted him for his explosiveness, right? So, its not like that pattern is unexpected or unacceptable...Um, unless you work in the Houston Texans front office.
No, they'd rather have a guy in Mario Williams who will go a 1/2 of a football game with 1 assisted tackle and not much else.
But, like I said, it's early. I'm sure things will even out...and Texan fans are known for their patience.
Hey, if they were really smart, they would've taken Vince Young.
A truly shocking thing happened to me the other day. One of my fellow Powerhouse writers said this was a slow time for sports news. Said something about waiting out the inevitable with the Rangers and some other such smack.
Seems he forgot the unforgettable. The Dallas Cowboys are in training camp. Not only that but, today, they play their first preseason game. A preseason that starts with a mountain of storylines as only befits America's Team. So enjoy this preseason preview:
Is the Hotel Open?- Flozell Adams is attempting to come back from last season's knee injury. Received the Larry Allen tretament early in camp being placed on a bike after being unable tocomplete the conditioning tests at the beginning of camp and getting head starts on wind sprints. Has been said to be coming on the last week and it's time for the fans to see if that's true. He's an average player overrated by coaches and fans alike because there's no one behind him. But will he be the three-star hotel we've come to know or will Drew Bledsoe fill like he's in Quentin Tarrantino's hostel?
The O-Gaps- This is what is usually known as the O-Line. If you recall, though, last year all they did was create gaps for the defense to run through. Can Marco Rivera return to form? Can Kyle Kosier be an effective guard when linemen challenged Detroit didn't re-sign him? Has Rob Pettiti's new body type really made him a better player? Can Andre Gurode and/or Al Johnson take the center play to a whole new level? The season hinges on these question.
The Directional Illinois Connection-Eastern Illinois' Tony Romo has had a strong camp and gets the start in tonight's preseason game. Northern Illinois' Sam Hurd has received numerous reps in T.O's absence and has reportedly been a stud in practice and in last week's scrimmage. Can they carry that over to the game?
Is Romo the Once and Future QB?- Rumor has it Parcells wants to start the kid at some point this season and not only if Drew Bledsoe gets hurt. Cowboys coaches think Bledsoe is a 9-7 to 10-6 QB at best, so they want to see if Romo can give them more. Jerry Jones is not a fan of the idea because he thinks this team has a chance to contend this season and those chances decrease with a "rookie" QB. (Romo's not a rookie but his career consists of a pair of kneel downs. Can you smell the controversy brewing?
Is Pat Watkins for Real?- Reports are this 6'5" safety can cover ground in a hurry. This former Seminole has been carrying a chip on his shoulder after being drafted in the fourth round and has been a beast in practice. Now let's check his game focus.
Is the Defensive Front Seven Fools Gold?- All we've heard is about the front seven and their practice dominance. DeMarcus Ware has new pass rush moves and is really coming on this year. Greg Ellis has adapted beautifully to outside linebacker. Kevin Burnett has returned from reconstructive knee surgery and has stuffed the run and covered well. Bobby Carpenter is having a great rookie camp. Bradie James and Akin Ayodele have been their veteran selves. Even Jay Ratliff and fourth round risk Jason Hatcher have caught the coaches' eyes. So why the concern? They practice against an offensive line that's full of question marks. What if that's the reason they have been so good?
Vanderjagt or Vanderjacked?!?- The big dollar kicker signed this offseason has struggled in practice. Said he's never been very good in practice and he is the most accurate kicker in NFL history. Let's wait this one out a bit and hope that ugly miss against Pittsburgh last season wasn't the onset of kicker yips.
The Running Game- You wonder if Julius Jones is healthy. If so, you wonder if he is really the 2004 Julius Jones or the 2005 Julius Jones. We liked a lot of what we saw from Marion Barber last year but you wonder if he is a complete back. Tyson Thompson is a flash, but can he dash between the takcles? Parcells says all three will work with the first team. That seems to suggest there is not a clear cut number one, and that's not often a positive.
The Hammy Chamber- If that oxygen chamber of T.O.'s heals him in time to get in sync with his QB's, it could be the story of the season. Enough T.O. overkill, though.
With OU fans still reeling, and OU coaches still mending the gash in the hull of an already crippled program, Rhett Bomar has his own decisions to make.
Officials at TCU and UNT have both expressed interest in OU's sloppy-seconds. The TCU head coach, probably in more of a political decision than a football decision, has backtracked. But UNT head coach Darrell Dickey still has Bomar on his dance card, subject to the impending NCAA investigation. Dickey, having apparently passed the "No Hug" test with Bomar's father, Jerry, is well aware that Bomar could be subject to a suspension. But he is young enough that he could survive losing 1 or 2 yrs of eligibility.
OU fans will endure certain NCAA sanctions and wonder: Why does that little **** get off scott-free? Why indeed? I don't think he will. I think the NCAA will do the right thing and punish him in some way. He will certainly lose at least ONE year...but is it fair that he gets to come back at all? I think so.
There is growing sentiment that Bomar is a very good football talent, but his prickishness is already NFL-ready. The Kevlar of winning at a big program now shed, it is now easy to call for his head. But we have to remember that he is only 19-20 yrs old. Which of us would like have our career forestalled based on decisions/mistakes that we made when we were that age? He broke the rules and should be held responsible...but it doesn't have to be the equivalent of the SMU death penalty. I say that he loses 2 yrs of eligibility, which may be reduced to 1 depending on the level of his cooperation with the investigation. That leaves him with at least 1 more year to play.
NOW...should that one year be with North Texas? I say, to the extent that the NCAA determines to allow him back in, he is fair game. North Texas is under the Keshawn/T.O. Plan - they have nothing to lose. If Bomar behaves himself, he has the talent to garner them some national interest and actually win some non-conference games. If he doesn't behave himself, the UNT program doesn't come down like Goliath...more like a toddler stumbling on carpet. TCU, on the other hand, is at least ranked, so one might excuse them for their caution. But if you are UNT and you have an opportunity to get a quarterback of this caliber, you pull the trigger.
McNeese State watches intently. Texas asks "Who's this Brett Romar?"
The Cowboys were bad in the 80’s. Not just bad, really bad. Enter in a Razorback named Jerry Jones. First orders of business: Fire the legendary Tom Landry to bring in an old friend, draft a scrawny QB who would lead the Boys to a pitiful 1-15 season and trade a fan favorite only to waste the draft pick on an undersized running back. Yes, there was a time in Dallas when Sunday morning sermons revolved around the pudgy devil in a business suit.
Enter in 1992.
The Cowboys started the first of their 3 Super Bowls in a 4-year time span in dominating fashion. A rivalry budded with San Francisco as the Eagles and Redskins could only grit their teeth and watch with envy. At the time, Jones was a maverick owner who revolutionized the marketing industry with the franchise. Jones was such the glory hog that Jimmie Johnson decided to pack up his wagon and leave for sunny Miami. The hated Barry Switzer served a short stint riding on the coattails of his predecessor…and then things got bad.
Chan Gailey, Dave Campo and the incumbent Bill “The Con Man” Parcells have all passed through the hallowed halls of Valley Ranch. But, Jones’ more relaxed attitude with Parcells has raised his grade slightly in this what-have-you-done-for-me-lately city. He finally learned that he is merely the caretaker of the Cowboys and the city of Dallas owns them. Bringing in TO was an idiot-savant move that still has many of the die-hard Dallas faithful shaking their heads. Yours truly has already bought his Titans jersey anticipating the moment that VY will take the field. Luckily, the Titans are an AFC team or else I may have been disowned from my family.
Mark Cuban: B
I’ll admit I bought into the Mark Cuban bandwagon pretty hard. Maybe it was his carefree attitude or the questionable haircut. Sue me, the man makes a mean Dairy Queen cone. But, seeing the Mavericks melt down in the NBA Finals brought out the true colors of the guy…it’s ALWAYS someone else’s fault.
Cuban proclaimed to be the fan with money. His need for publicity far outweighs his ability to effectively manage a basketball team. When an owners antics lead the story instead of a 15-17 shooting night for Jason Terry, there’s a problem.
However, like Jones, he turned a truly dismal franchise into a winner. He redesigned the look of the Mavericks and turned then from laughing stock to title contender. Antic aside, he is a great thing for this franchise. But, until he puts his fine money into a quarter jar I have setup for him, I stand firm on my grade. (Yes, folks, this is REAL journalism)
Tom Hicks: D+
Not much is known about Thomas O. Hicks. Perhaps it’s the flat personality or the unmarked cave in which he dwells that makes it hard to gauge a read on him. His moves with the Stars, at first, were brilliant. He took a gamble by signing an aging Brett Hull which led the Northstars/Stars franchise to their only Stanley Cup. (And a devastating Finals appearance the next season) But, he jumped the shark when he pushed Bob Gainey and Ken Hitchcock out of the fray. While the Stars certainly provide excitement, they are a 2nd round team at best thanks to the inconsistent goaltending of Marty Turco…who was signed to a rich extension. Hicks also made the “brilliant” move of hiring his puppet, Buck Showalter, to oversee the Rangers operations. He is also taking a gamble with John Daniels, who only recently celebrated his 10 year high school reunion. I’m not sold on these moves. I don’t see the improvement that they are apparently making. In typical Ranger fashion, the AL West is slowly slipping away the last half of the season. The Rangers, in recent years, have mirrored the decline of the Texas A&M football program. Check that…at least the Aggies have something in their trophy case to show for it.
You observe the Dallas Cowboys camp from afar and you see some strange things. Flozell Adams getting a head start in wind sprints and running with the second team. Terrell Owens riding a stationary bike with a sore hammy instead of practicing. And a chill creeps up your spine.
IT'S THE GHOST OF LARRY ALLEN!!!!!!! He's possessed two important members of the offense in his absence. All these years, he was such a quiet person. Now we know he held a grudge against the Cowboys in his departure. I know, you say he's alive. His spirit cannot possess anyone because it still labors in his massive frame. But I say, the evidence is unmistakable. Football players on bikes. Getting head starts. He's Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere. And he will bring the offense and the Cowboys season to its knees.
Picture this: Flozell at less than 100% physically and/or mentally misses yet another block he struggles with even at his optimum. Pass rushers bear down on the ever indecisive Drew Bledsoe who can't lean on a gimpy Owens for a bailout. Another in a long line of sacks and/or turnovers occurs and we see the spirit possession spread. The Tuna's head begins to spin. Julius Jone's projectile vomits trying to decide if he should block Osi Umenyiora or Michael Strahan who has blown past Rob Petitti. The season goes to Hell.
So call a priest. A minister. Or a rabbi. Call Chuck Norris for that matter. The exorcism must be performed. Now!
Inquiring Minds Vs. Big Red Sports and Imports; Jeff Atkins; Bob Stoops; and Oklahoma Football
In December of 2005, Adrian Peterson was allowed to drive a Lexus in excess of 3 weeks while waiting on financing to be secured. Upon the denial of his financing, he promptly returned the car. This investigation took place in April of 2006 and was summarily closed by the University of Oklahoma. Despite popular opinion, the NCAA investigation into this matter has not been declared closed. Only the basketball and gymnastics program investigations have been satisfied with self-imposed sanctions.
Rhett Bomar and JD Quinn were over-compensated for working 5 hours a week. The Oklahoma program imposed sanctions on these two men by dismissing them from the team. Unfortunately for the NCAA, no work records of any former, or current, Oklahoma players are available because the ownership of the dealership was transferred in March of 2006. (According to an AP report: The dismissed players apparently worked for a Norman-based car dealership, although Jeff Atkins, an attorney for that dealership's current owner, David Hudiburg, said that it was not possible to confirm whether Bomar or Quinn worked at the dealership without previous company records, which Hudiburg -- who took over management of the dealership in April -- does not own.)
Big Red is the official automobile provider to the Sooner Schooner Network. The SSN is an organization that provides these automobiles to the Oklahoma athletic staff.
5 questions that the facts don’t support:
1. Atkins claims that the ownership of the dealership changed in March and the above occurred before the shift in ownership. If this is true, how could the dealership produce finance papers on a car NOT purchased by Peterson from December of 2005 but not work records of Bomar, Quinn or any other Oklahoma players that were potentially employed there? I thought that Atkins expressed there were NO records of paperwork. Is a failed finance agreement really more significant than employment records? Yet, the proof shown to the University on Peterson was apparently satisfactory enough for them to close the internal investigation
2. Atkins released a statement that said "Big Red Sports and Imports has not employed any athletes from the University of Oklahoma. All the current allegations involve conduct under the previous ownership and management." Atkins goes on to say "We do believe they probably did (work at the dealership). We have people who tell us they did." If no records exist on Bomar’s employment, other than eye-witnesses, how did Bomar receive a tax form where he claimed $18,000 in earned wages? You don’t receive a tax form to submit if your wages aren’t filed with the IRS thereby leaving a paper trail. Said trail is legally transferred when an ownership changes in the event that a lawsuit ensues. (Wages weren’t paid, sexual harassment, etc.) What happened to the business' accounting books? Further, why can't the dealership request a copy of their records of taxes paid last year to see who was employed? Perhaps some people benefited from "off the books" payment which can't be directly traced.
3. How come it takes a dealership in excess of 3 weeks to unsuccessfully secure financing for Peterson when it takes the lay man a little over an hour to get an answer? (Weekend to 3 days tops) An unpaid college football player, who does not come from a wealthy family nor has secured a job, should be an easy case to decide. I understand that Peterson will probably be making millions in the NFL at some point…but that is AT LEAST another year away. What was going to happen to Peterson for not being able to “make his payments” if he was “approved”? Would he get his car repossessed like the rest of us or would they let it slide…as an improper benefit? If a car depreciates after it has been driven, why would a dealership adopt a bad business practice of letting consumers drive a car for an extended period of time without purchasing it or leaving a deposit to cover said depreciation? According to statistics, an average driver will put over 1000 miles on a car per month. (12,000 - 14,000 miles per year)
4. If Stoops is such a model coach why was Dvorchek let back on the team after beating up his childhood friend, Peterson allowed to play after never showing up to class and Bomar allowed back on the team after two separate alcohol related incidents? Could it be that Bomar’s latest mishap was punishable for the program and the NCAA would have found out anyway due to the investigation of Peterson? (And the basketball/gymnastics debacle) Further, would Stoops had done the same thing if it was Peterson who was on the chopping block? Either Stoops was too dumb to know what his players were doing or he knew all along, saw that the NCAA was investigating and fessed up to potentially avoid a stiffer penalty. I find it hard to believe that a big time program wouldn't know what their "star" QB was doing at all times.
5. Why has Oklahoma not acknowledged that Peterson, Rufus Alexander and Garrett Hartley were also, at one time, employed by the dealership? Will any investigations of their employment commence? Also, when do we get to hear that the former part-owner and GM, Brad McRae, was fired from the dealership because several cars were missing from the inventory. He later acknowledged that he had "loaned" these cars to unknown sources. Who were these "unknown sources"?
I find it very fishy that the dealership was sold almost a full month before ou's investigation into these matters concluded.