Wednesday, August 17, 2005
  So, you were wondering when the Hand would return, were you?
Thumbs Down: In no particular order: Terrell Owens, Drew Rosenhaus, ESPN, the Philadelphia Eagles.

Let's start with T.O. Yes, you are one of the most gifted athletes in the National Football League. Your performance in last year's Super Bowl was tremendous, considering the injury you sustained and the ramifications of simply landing funny or having Rodney Harrison bludgeon you, a-over-tee. It's no bloody sock, but I'm biased.

That being said... The public blow up that started six weeks after the Super Bowl and culminating with Andy Reid sending you to the proverbial principal's office last week is embarassing. Football is a team sport. You need not like everyone you step on the field with, but you damn well better trust and respect them and they had better do the same. Terrell doesn't respect anyone or anything. And that's a downright shame.

Proof positive that this overinflated ego with good hands and a fast 40 is off base? Stephen A. Smith, the lone voice of support for T.O. and sycophant for all who grab headlines, decried him in a recent article in the Philly Enquirer. And quite frankly, that's all you need to know about T.O. And Slav-a-Med-veh-denk-oh.

Drew Rosenhaus is what you find when you lift up a rock covering a damp undersoil. Or what you get when you leave a jar of mayonnaise out in the hot sun. This is a guy who saved someone's life, reportedly, then made sure he called the ESPN newsroom to make sure they had the story on SportsCenter. This is the same guy who called Willis McGahee, who was sitting next to him, to make it seem like his celly was blowing up like his knee the night of the NFL Draft. P.R. savvy? Yes. Scumbag? Yes. Everything that's wrong with professional sports? Not quite, but he's pretty close to encouraging the mob to start flipping cars over after a Laker NBA Championship.

His face time, as well as the face time he got for his client, was astounding. You couldn't swing a dead cat on the Network of the Worldwide Leader in Sports without hitting a shot of T.O. talking about his dire straits and predicament and Drew rubbing his back. The sad thing here is that Rosenhaus can use that to gain future clients and grab the 4, 5, or 10% of their contracts. The sadder thing is that the previous sentence is more the rule than the exception. If you think it's going to get worse, you're right.

ESPN, as some protrayed both smartly and witty on their blogs (read: Scott, David and Finn, Chad), became E-S-P-N-T-O for 48 hours. If T.O. ate fast food, Sal Palantonio was there with a stack of yellow Taco Bell napkins and reporting on the impending flatulence. It was nauseating.

But, never to let a cross-promotional opportunity or chance to put T.O. on the wide array of networks they provide (ah, ain't synergy swell?), ESPN capitalized. And the viewing public suffered, watching T.O. get a back massage from his agent. I'm glad ESPN doesn't own Spice, otherwise it might have been REALLY unwatchable.

And the Eagles have some measure of blame here. I liken T.O. and his agent to class clowns - two individuals who think their schtick is so funny, so important, that they disrupt everything around them, from training camp to television programming. If you ignore class clowns, you take their audience away, and eventually they are no longer relevant. They're just a nuisance and people become hip to their game and their game goes away.

But not the tough-guy Eagles. Philly's tough. Not only do they have a lotta, lotta culture there, but it's the home of Rocky...and cheesesteaks...and the Broad Street Bullies...and other coaches who put "hits" out on the opposing team's best player... Don't mess with Texas...or Philly.

Puh-leeze. Kudos to Andy Reid and the Eagles for not putting up with crap and their T.O. dirty laundry, but you also don't need to put the soiled sheets on a clothesline in the front yard.

Recently, the New England Patriots (check!) had a holdout from camp situation, Richard Seymour. The perennial All-Pro DE (perennial and he's just 25...) held out because he thought he was one of the best in the game and wanted a raise. And, if there is a right way to it, Seymour did. He didn't do his talking to the press, he didn't do his negotiating outside a board room and speakerphone. He did his thing, kept it quiet, and got what he wanted. Everyone's happy.

And so am I. That's why I'm happy I'm a Pats fan.

Thumb's Up: To New England Patriot Larry Izzo. Read this article and it is self-explanatory...and the complete and utter polar opposite of the antics and mularkey that is detailed above.

Instead of being self-centered and self-absorbed, Larry Izzo is selfless and generous. I hope his efforts are successful. (Isn't is amazing how writing about bad or annoying things takes so many words, yet to detail good things takes nothing at all. Sad.)

Index: To my former college teammate, who will remain nameless as it's not yet public knowledge, for earning a spot in the Alma Mater's Athletics Hall of Fame. One of the most talented athletes I have ever encountered, this guy also re-wrote the book on partying. While nowadays, after hitting the 3-0, that stuff doesn't seem to matter as much as how much the TIAA-CREF is worth...it's still gives me a chuckle to think back to many of the nights that I've forgotten.

Regardless, a hearty kudos to a great individual. No one is more deserving.

The Middle: I touched upon it the other day in an anti-Bush rant, but the jackass from Texas who drove his pickup through the memorial crosses adorned with the names of those soldiers who have been killed in Iraq deserves a big F-U.

He was arrested and will hopefully be charged to the highest extent of the law. He did this to protest the protest of Cindy Sheehan, who has set up a peace vigil at the gates of Bush's Crawford, Texas ranch.

Bush's neighbors in Crawford have been vocal recently against the efforts of Ms. Sheehan. The poor woman is a grieving parent who lost her son and is trying to channel her grief in this peaceful fashion, similar to these Southern New Englanders. (ok, enough politicking).

The Ring Finger - I've seen Wedding Crashers nine times. (channeling Jeffrey Jones' role as principal in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, niiiiiine tiiiiiiimes.)

And each time I see it, I find something new. A different joke by Vince Vaughn or a funny reaction from Owen Wilson. The "Chas" cameo still cracks me up.

But the scene that never changes and hasn't lost its lustre, for me, is the first time we see Rachel McNichols.

She's McTerrific. (I just made that up. Pretty good, eh? And I said ", eh" because she's a Canadian. That's talent.) Great smile. Naturally pretty. And wicked awesome curly hair.
The IMDB search on her tells me that she was also in the movie "Mean Girls," which was written and directed by former ring finger recipient Tina Fey.

Here is a webpage with some additional photos of Ms. McNichols, proving that while I prove on a daily basis that I have waaaaaay too much time on my hands, this guy trumps in ace-king-jack on a two bid (High-Low-Jack reference).

Pinky: This is the forum where I just freeflow my thoughts and feelings about nothing in particular.

But I've got nothing. Absolutely nothing. Which is surprising, because in the big picture, I've got A LOT cooking.

New job. New place. Semi-far away. Packing up. Moving home. Packing it up again. Moving to the new home. Starting a new job. Leaving behind some friends. Working on making new ones. Adapting. Changing. Learning. Trying. Failing. Succeeding. Developing a new system.
Perhaps the fact that there is so much going on in my head all at once, combined with my semi-fanatical (ok, scrap the semi) following of the Red Sox (check! and wow, it took this long to mention the Sox for the first time...well-done on my part, I must say), that I haven't the time or the energy to come up with something witty. A thousand pardons.

And since I'd be remiss to not mention the third such TLBR namedrop, here is some info if you're looking to spend 25 hours en route to Australia (check!).

That's it, that's all. There's nothing more until there is.

One.
 
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