Tuesday, October 25, 2005

A Couple of Things

I think Eric said it best with this comment on the Steelers - Bengals game:
"i consider yesterdays game not to be a win over the bengals but rather a win over ESPN and hype in general.

don't believe the hype."
I had barely typed these words Saturday only to find out Sunday night that the Steelers are once again, "the team to beat" (at least according to the doofuses on ESPN). And what's funny is that dolts like Stuart Scott don't even try to hide it at this point. During "Sportscenter" his intro to the Pittsburgh - Cincy highlights included his admission that maybe everybody was a little too quick to jump on the Bengals bandwagon this season. And then he made some joke about, "C'mon, you know you jumped on too!" Well, if by "jumped on," you mean that the Bengals' run defense is the only thing on television worse than "Quite Frankly" -- two things I have been lamenting all season -- then yes, I'm driving the bandwagon. Otherwise, you're on your own there, BooYah!

For the past week (and counting) I've written something about Tommy Maddox, only to promise not to revisit the debacle that was the Jacksonville game, only to do exactly that -- usually the very next day. Well guess what? Today's no different either. In the latest episode of this redneck soap opera, Maddox and his agent, Vann McElroy (and yes, that's his porn name too), have been called on the carpet by ... Tommy Maddox's wife. If you recall, McElroy and Mr. Maddox both claimed that angry fans threw garbage in Maddox's yard, and his children were harassed on their way to school. And then this:
"On Thursday, Jennifer Maddox disputed a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review report that vandals had thrown objects on the family's lawn in Adams, Butler County. She also told WPXI-TV that her children were not harassed at school or on the school bus.


Maddox refused a request Friday to clear up the discrepancies after the team workout.

When approached by another reporter, Maddox became agitated at the mention of his wife's account. He raised his voice and pointed a finger at the reporter."
God, that's embarrassing. Is there anything worse than getting called out by your wife in such a way that all your co-workers know about it? And not only that, when some annoying media types try to ask you questions about it, all you can think to do is raise your voice and start pointing fingers. Here's the thing: if you're the reporter shoving a mike in Tommy's face trying to get to the bottom of this hair-brained story, all you have to do is bob-and-weave. Maddox is about as mobile as William Perry after Thanksgiving dinner, and everybody knows he can't hit a moving target (unless of course, it's wearing a Jags jersey .... bada bing!).

I generally make it a rule not to watch local news because: (a) they inevitably show a violent murder just down the street from my house, and (b) it usually sucks -- and not it a good, funny way, like say, "Saved by the Bell." That said, if someone actually gave a TV interview using my advice above, I'd definitely watch -- and in fact, I might be willing to pay-per-view it. Just the thought of Maddox chasing some squirrelly little reporter around the locker room has to be worth at least $49.99.

And while that's funny, this ain't (at least if you're a certain backup QB who's got a predilection for telling tall tales):
"Backup quarterback Tommy Maddox may never get on the field for Pittsburgh again. Seems that some of the stories that surfaced last week, about Maddox's children being harassed after his poor performance in starting for the injured Ben Roethlisberger against Jacksonville, were more than a little embellished. That won't sit well with the Pittsburgh organization or with coach Bill Cowher. The feeling is that Maddox will be gone at the end of the season."
Nice work. Way to single-handedly run yourself out of a job (and town), and probably end your professional football career (at least one that doesn't have "Arena II" in the title). And unlike Kordell Stewart, who seemingly always had his detractors, fans (right or wrong) generally have given Maddox the benefit of the doubt. We could have endless discussions as to why he was given more rope than Kordell, but that's a whole other can of worms. And anyway, all the goodwill in the world won't do Maddox much good if he has four-turnover games, blames others in the post-game press conference, and then makes up stories about people throwing crap in his yard.

(Which reminds me, I read somewhere -- and I can't remember where -- that it would be well within a fans' right to throw their old Maddox jerseys in his yard after that Jags game without it being considered vandalism [but still crap]. Maybe the bob-and-weave reporter can ask that question: "So, Tommy [bob], in all that garbage strewn across your yard [weave], did you find any old #8 Steelers jerseys? [run]")

Chad Johnson might be the funniest guy in the NFL. Even after getting shutdown by Ike Taylor, he still had a good sense of humor about the whole thing:
"Johnson has a list of his opposing cornerbacks taped inside his locker. It says "Who covered 85 in 2005?" He has two columns, one for yes and one for no. The first six opponents this season had checks in the no box.

Johnson might get off on a technicality and not have to put a check mark in the yes box, but that's only because his checklist has Deshea Townsend on it and not Ike Taylor, who got the assignment because Townsend had a hamstring injury and played only in third-down situations.

"Well, Ike really isn't on the list," Johnson said. "But, on a serious note, he's very good. He's a good player. He's good, fast, quick. I did everything I could to make the plays I did."
I'm not quite sure how Rashean Mathis didn't get a "Yes." I know CJ did catch a touchdown in the Jags game, but he didn't do much else. Either way, Ike Taylor/Deshea Townsend/Bryant McFadden/"insert name of any Steelers defender here" should. And at least Chad Johnson is big enough to admit as much. (I think it says something when your veteran backup QB can learn a lesson from an outspoken, brash WR who sports gold teeth on game day.)