Tuesday, January 24, 2006

No Name Wall of Fame

With all the hub bub from Pittsburgh's big win Sunday afternoon, it's easy to overlook UNC's big win at Florida State later that day. Well, my favorite 2005-06 Tar Heel, Wes Miller, had the game of his career, and single-handedly willed his team to victory. OK, not really, but he had a big game, and Reyshawn Terry hit two clutch free throws late in the game to give Carolina the lead for good. After two tough losses, this was big, especially since Satan has apparently rendered Duke's pact to go undefeated null and void. (Even Lucifer draws the line at Duke. And who can blame him?)

There's also a lot going on in Boston, with Theo Epstein doing his best Willis Reed impression by somebody who's not a player and was never injured. And it also looks like Coco Crisp is on his way to town, a move that I initially hated, but the more I think about it, the better it sounds. There will be plenty of time to talk about all of that stuff. In the interim, with all my recent babbling about Wes Miller and Tyrone Carter, I think it's time they got a little more official Heels, Sox & Steelers recognition. In the spirit of giving some props to the little man, I've added the HSS No Name Wall of Fame. It's no secret that Miller and Carter will be the first representatives for the Tar Heels and Steelers, respectively, but since the Red Sox have basically replaced two-thirds of their roster in just over two months, and giving Theo the honor is, well, ridiculous, I'm bestowing Dan Shaughnessy with the temporary title because he's such a chubby, angry, troll (so basically, for no other reason than I want to point out that he's a bum). We'll see how long that lasts, who knows it could be permanent given that guy's rosy disposition. And I'm taking nominations too.

More random thoughts from the Denver game:
... I can see somebody like Potsie telling Porter during last Sunday's pregame that he knows, on good authority, that Jake Plummer was the lone gunman on the grassy knoll who shot Porter in the ass in the summer of '03. Of course Plummer wasn't even in Denver at the time, but hey, don't sweat the details. Just be happy it worked.

... When Peter King asks: "Is there a meaner, more intense player alive than Joey Porter?", anybody want to guess what my answer is? Mr. King, meet Tyrone Carter. We keep him tied up in that cage during the week because he will literally gnaw your arm off if he's left to roam free in the locker room.

... It might be a good idea for Cedrick Wilson to just change the spelling of his name to the more conventional "Cedric." People refuse to spell it correctly. Honestly, how long does it take to look it up in the media guide? And it's one thing for out-of-town or national media types to make that mistake, but when the season's 20 weeks old, there is absolutely no excuse (other than sheer stupidity coupled with crippling laziness) for Mike Ciarochi of the Herald-Standard to confuse "Wilson" with "The Entertainer." Jeebus.

... DJ Gallo mentioned a couple of things in his Monday column that my buddy Andy pointed out during the post-game press conference. Namely, Roethlisberger was sporting a AFC Champions tee shirt with a suit jacket and dress pants. I was hoping for the tee, suit jacket and game pants, but no such luck. And Gallo calling the look "Miami Vice" with the Bus playing the obvious role of "Tubbs" had me rolling.

The other observation, Jim Mora Sr. giving his Most Underrated Steelers Award to "Adam" Smith was equally funny. I watched this live, and couldn't get over the fact how many times Eisen and Mora kept getting names wrong. During the highlights, they showed the Aaron Smith face mask penalty and Eisen called him Marvel Smith. During the Seahawks highlights, Eisen kept referring to Darrell Jackson as almost-Steeler "Dexter" Jackson (OK, quick prayer of thanks that deal fell through). Certainly not Mike Ciarochi type egregiousness, but still worth noting.

... I can't believe I didn't mention this yesterday (Rene G. did though), but did anybody look more surprised after catching a football than Ike Taylor? After what, 28 consecutive dropped interceptions, Ike finally pulled it off? He reminded me of a tee baller who sticks his glove out, with eyes shut, while making the "Please don't let the ball hit me in the face" face, when he caught it. And he followed that up with the, "Hey, I did catch it!" face.

... Here's an email my buddy Desmond, a Redskins fan, sent me yesterday: "Are you and Andy in full 'Steeler Nerd' mode for the next two weeks? Three very impressive wins. I see no reason why they can’t keep it close in the Super Bowl."

To which I responded: "If wearing a Steelers uniform to work (including helmet) is full 'Steeler Nerd' mode, then count me in."

... I know Jake Plummer looked like a spaz at points during Sunday's game, but he really had nothing to work with. His offensive line left him hanging out to dry all afternoon, and there was nothing more maddening than watching the Steelers have a sure sack only to see Plummer escape and make some nutty play with his feet. Let me just say that Jake Plummer's got nothing on Kyle Boller.

... Something else I should've mentioned yesterday. Brett Keisel is a freak. Two great plays at the end of the game that resulted in two sacks. The last sack, which also resulted in a 4th down fumble, was great because after Plummer lost the ball, Keisel threw him out of frame much in the way normal sized people might throw a Big Mac wrapper in the trash: one handed, very nonchalant, almost as an afterthought. Except in this instance, Plummer plays the role of the wrapper. And he was very convincing.

... Brian mentioned Cowher talking to Jerome on the sidelines near the end of the game, and if you actually read Cowher's lips, he says something like, "I'm thinking about taking a knee three times." And then they both had a chuckle. Yep, it's a lot funnier after The Tackle.

... Well, this certainly throws a kink into the whole disrespect meme. I'm guessing Joey Porter will come up with something.

... Every Monday (or thereabouts) Michael Wilbon does an online chat on the Washingtonpost.com. Here are two questions I found, ahem, interesting for very different reasons:
Washington, D.C.: What a great quote from Ben, "Whoa there. I never feel like I've won the game. I can lose it, but I don't win it." That's amazing maturity/leadership for a 23 year old. Do you think Peyton could learn something from him?

Michael Wilbon: Great question. And good point. I don't know. They're very, very different people, where they came from, how they see the game. I admit that I know Big Ben better than I know Peyton. But Ben could be a linemen. That's his personality...sort of like McMahon without the weirdness...or Favre without the small-town obsession to put up with. But Ben is beloved, and not resented at all even though he's just 23 years old...We could be watching, with him, the ascension of a great, great quarterback and if he stays healthy, maybe a football legend. As you can tell, I really like the kid...think he's a great player and a quarteback in the old-fashioned sense of the word.
Followed immediately by:
D.C. Suburbs: Ben Roethilisberger is tall, hot, and my age. Is he dating/married?

Michael Wilbon: Married? No. What, you want me to fix you up with him?
And no, my screen name is not "D.C. Suburbs."

Two things I'm quite sure we'll have to look forward to over the next 12 days:

* Jerome Bettis coming home again.
* Jerome Bettis's parents cheering Jerome coming home again.

Now that's a story that was old two weeks ago. Only two more weeks to go.