Pre-Season Trash Talk: SpyGate, the Twitter Edition!

I’ve been meaning to put up a Friday trash talk for some time. I tried to convince bmaz to do it. But ever since his man Brett Fav-ruh said no to the Vikes, bmaz has been pouting. And while I hope that Fav-ruh un-retires around mid-season, so bmaz will get out of his funk, on the off-chance that the Kitties are on a resurgance this year, I’m happy that Fav-ruh declined to move back to the neighborhood.

And then I was going to write to note the passing of Jim Johnson. He will be missed

I thought about doing a pool–enter your guess and win a hubcap!!–about whether and where Mike Vick might try to mend his ways. I’m surprised, frankly, that Al Davis hasn’t picked him up–they might enjoy each others’ company.

But what finally signaled that it’s time to start trashing again is the latest spying scandal in football: players Tweeting during pre-season. The big scandal, of course, is that the pre-season favorite, the San Diego Super Chargers, are feeding their players "nasty food." A secret it cost Antonio Cromartie $2500 to spill.

Cromartie said he was pulled out of a meeting by Twitter cop/head coach Norv Turner and notified that he was being fined. Cromartie also was a given a letter that spelled out the fine.

The fourth-year pro had a good laugh over the matter, but said he’s going to be more careful. Still, he’s not going to stop tweeting.

He also thinks the fine is a bit excessive.

"But other than that, I mean, I ain’t going to take back what I said," Cromartie said after practice Tuesday afternoon. "I said what I had to say. But at the end of the day, I mean, I got fined for talking about nutrition and that. I can’t really say too much else.

"I just thought it was harmless. It was just me talking about the food and stuff. I took it as a joke. But other people took it as a different kind of way."

Cromartie thinks the mole occupies an office somewhere in the team’s executive suite.

Between Cromartie’s leaking of important secrets and Shawne Merriman’s insightful tweets (his most recent as of this posting? "Wow"), I figure this is just enough distraction to keep the Bolts out of the Super Bowl (leaving room for the resurgent Pats). 

Let me just make this clear to my buddy BillBel, though. It is NFL policy: no tweeting during games, no tweeting from the stands. So please don’t get caught doing something stupid in the middle of a Jets game. ‘Kay? 

And with that, I open up the first offical Pre-Season Trash Talk thread…

  1. Mauimom says:

    Norv Turner = weasel.

    My entry: I think [fear] the Redskins will take Vick. Snyder has money but no morals, and he’s desperate.

  2. bmaz says:

    Norval Turner has finally found his proper station in pro football – cop twit. Or twit cop. Whatever…..

    Merriman needs to bulk up his tweets. Perhaps Balco has some twitteroids he can use.

    I vote Tampa Bay for Vick. Heck, they’ll sign any old quarterback (maybe less now that Chuckie is gone though).

    • LabDancer says:

      32 teams each with a nickname. 18 definitely to arguably human. 14 indisputably non-human, of which 5 are maniraptora, and the remaining 9 mammalian, with 4 of those feline, and one aquatic-not-piscine [the Fish]; but nary a canine.

      The league is secure.

  3. LabDancer says:

    Is it me, or are foobaw coaches intrinsically obtuse?
    Childress is using language more appropriate for speelunking, or mountaineering … unless of course Brett presented as a bridge too farvre. Anyway, being a perennial die-hard Dragon ship jumper, I’m just as pleased they’ve left the track team intact. It’ll turn out badly, like it did in … well, always; but for a while it’ll be great fun watching the rest of the league have palpitations — at until someone has to do something complicated, like pass a baton.

  4. randiego says:

    Lol… this stuff is just too easy. Nice one bmaz.

    But, let’s see… Norv Turner lets his players run wild… he a weasel.
    Norv Turner rules with an iron fist, he’s… what, a weasel?

    Give me a break. Cromartie is a punk who got toasted more than Quiznos last year. He’s needs to STFU and study Quentin Jammer game film.

    blah blah blah… bash the Chargers. Go Steelers! Go Pats! Go Yankees! Go Red Sox! Front-runners all.

    With Merriman back and Sean Philips/Larry English on the opposite side… Bolts pass rush should be back, which means the corners won’t be getting toasted left and right.

    We’ll see how far back by Game 4, Oct. 4th, in Pittsburgh. I get back from my honeymoon in Australia on the 3rd.

    Now, I’m going back to ignoring the NFL and MLB, until Monday night 9/14. SD vs Oaktown.

    • emptywheel says:

      See, you missed the trash, I can tell.

      And let me make clear–I am not underestimating the impact a healthy Merriman is going to have this year. Why else do you think I’m hoping your Tweeps get distracted by this BS?

      • randiego says:

        heh… of course I missed it. All that’s missing now is otherwise-sane commenter Mr. Scribe to give us his front-runner commentary on his Stillers/Yankees chances this year.

        I do think you’re off the mark on the distractions, although I agree about the BS. Team seems pretty focused, and I’m hoping someone sat Mr. Cromartie down and had a little heart-to-heart with him.

        btw, the news is full of the possibility of Charger blackouts on TV this year. “Thousands of unsold tickets…”

        I assume other cities are going through this, yes?

  5. randiego says:

    hmm, no dice.

    How about a thread on how effed up Baseball is? How they turned the perfect game into a battle of haves and have-nots? Perhaps with some theory on a salary cap might benefit small-market teams…

    now that I could get into!

    • PJEvans says:

      And the season is too long.
      If they for whatever reason actually have to have NFL-style championship setups, that last for the better part of a month (including the World Serious), they ought to have shortened the regular season at least a month. (I’d suggest two weeks at each end. They shouldn’t be getting snowed out.)

  6. randiego says:

    Oh yeah, I think Vick might end up in DC. I can see Dan Snyder ordering the coaching staff to start running the Wildcat, with Vick as the QB in that formation.

    Go Redskins!

        • bmaz says:

          Eh, he’s (RanDiego) been goofing off. It is a tradition for beach boys.

          Freep had computer issues; claims has some kind of instant death effect on them or something. But is back now.

          • freepatriot says:

            who said anything about “instant death” ???

            I was talkin bout completely dead powers

            slow painful complete death

            that’s what I do to computers

            now I got a borrowed laptop, and a hijacked high speed hookup while I look for a new box to torture

            hopefully Vick resists the dark side, and laughs in Al Davis’ face

            I bet Washington, maybe Minnesota (not sure if the Vikes owner would accept Vick

            as for baseball, baseball sucks, you know why …

            BOOMER SOONERS

  7. floundericiousMI says:

    bad idea to have faith in the lions…I lived there for five years…I know better, marcy!!!!

    • emptywheel says:

      Oh, trust me, it’s not faith. I have faith the Pats will be better than last year–Brady’s knee and Giselle’s belly willing. The Kitties? Self-interested curiosity.

      Besides, it doesn’t take to faith to assume that a team CAN’T be unwinned two years running.

  8. JimWhite says:


    Thanks so much for putting up this thread on the day the NCAA coaches’ poll came out. Gators number one; I didn’t notice anything else, it’s just not necessary…

  9. john in sacramento says:

    How ’bout sleepers?


    Stanford. Yea, I’m serious. Harbaugh has em pointed in the right direction. Do not turn your back on the Cardinal; they could beat SC again and it won’t be a surprise

    Ole Miss. Who’s their QB? Jevon Sneed (sp?) He could sneak into the top 10 in the draft next year. Didn’t they beat Florida last year?

    TCU. LT’s alma mater. Even though they’re picked to take the MW can they still be a sleeper?

    Cal. If Tedford could only get a QB to play for him they would challenge SC yearly. Seriously. Both their lines are ranked in the top 10 even after losing Alex Mack to the Browns in the draft last year. Jahvid Best is scary fast. The defense is not in SC’s class of last year’s team but they’re in the conversation

    Oregon. Massioli (sp?) is a good QB in the mold of Mizzous Chase Daniel

    Any I missed?


    Who is this years Arizona Cardinals?

    I don’t know what the o/u is for the Lions but I’d put it at around 4 1/2. They almost beat the Vikings twice last year and if the Vikings don’t take care of business they’ll lose at least one to them this year

    I think the Packers expectations might be a little high. The offense will be fine. Aaron Rodgers is the real deal (Cal Bear). But I’m not convinced they can turn over the defense from 4/3 to 3/4 that quick, and I’m not sure BJ Raji is all that since he got manhandled by Alex Mack (Cal Bear) at the Senior Bowl practices

    I think Buffalo is going to fall on their face. Sorry Bills fan, don’t mean anything by it, but look at your division

    Don’t know who’s going to catch lightning in a bottle

    There’s always one team

    Chiefs? Same division as the Bolts. Really hard to do

    Browns? Same Division as the Steelers but then is Big Ben distracted enough?

    Who’s your sleeper?

    • bmaz says:

      Houston Texans and jeebus I am probably going to regret this, the NY Jets Jets Jets.

      If their QB play stabilizes, the Texans really could be a monster. They have a more complete defense and Steve Slaton can run. If the Jets can bring Sanchez along like the Ravens did Flacco, they might be pretty tough. They still have Thomas Jones and Leon Washington and I think the kid from Iowa, Shonn Greene, may be a real steal for them. Receivers are still weak though. Defense should be pretty good with a couple of more parts and Rex Ryan.

    • Mauimom says:


      Stanford. Yea, I’m serious. Harbaugh has em pointed in the right direction. Do not turn your back on the Cardinal; they could beat SC again and it won’t be a surprise

      As a Stanford alum, I fondly wish, but my son is a sportswriter for USC, and relatively clear-eyed about the prospects of both.

      The SU-USC game is at USC this year [Nov. 14], and it’s USC’s homecoming, which means lots of alums. However, since it’s late in the year, both teams will have had time to settle down and develop their new players.

      Harbaugh is good, but I don’t anticipate this bearing fruit for a year or two. OTOH, SU is predicted to go to a bowl this year. Tidy-Bowl, perhaps, but . . .

        • bmaz says:

          Well, there is at least one I know of…..

          And, yes, I still feel USC would have beaten Florida if they could have played them instead of perennial big bowl runner-ups, the Big Ten team (OSU this time).

          • john in sacramento says:

            You’re right. SC would’ve won – no disrespect to Florida

            In college games it’s all about who’s the most talented

            All around they had good match ups. SC was the only team whose team speed matched up with the Gators. They had the best defense in the country by far, and I predicted before the draft they’d have 4 def. players go in the the first round. The Offense was balanced – not spectacular, and Sanchez was a top tier QB. But wait next year or the year after for Matt Barkley and you might be saying Sanchez who?

            My prediction for this moment, before any potential injuries, is that when all is said and done, is this year will probably shake out with Florida playing Texas for the BCS

            I could be completely wrong (knock on wood) on my upcoming picks this year. But my picks last year are on the record; go back through my college predictions (which I did against the spread to make it interesting) last year and see how I did. My NFL picks weren’t bad, but not as good as college because the talent level is much more even

            Again, you’re right. The Trojans would have won by a touchdown

            PS Yea, I thought of the Texans last night; they could shock a lot of people. The more I think of it, the more sense it makes. Houston Texans – this year’s sleeper team?

            • bmaz says:

              Heh, the only problem is that I have thought “this year” would be the Texans’ breakout year for a couple of years now. Gonna happen one of these days…..

      • john in sacramento says:

        Good point about the Cardinal playing the Trojans on the road. It’ll be tough to beat them again in the Coliseum.

        But, they’ll scare some people. Wake Forest is on the road but it wouldn’t surprise me if they won, they’ve played Cal tough the last few years, and beating Notre Dame is very possible

        Don’t forget Harbaugh got interviewed for the Jets job before Ryan got it

  10. FormerFed says:

    I always kind of liked old Norv, but he never can win the big one.

    If the ‘Skins pick up Vick, I think I will become a Giants or Eagles fan. Snyder has destroyed what used to be a proud team. Poor Jack Kent Cooke must be turning over.

    And BTW, FYI it is the Phoenix Cardinals – no one else in the state gives a damn about the NFL team in Phoenix.

  11. bmaz says:

    Oh no, they’re the Arizona Cardinals so they belong to the fine folks in the Old Pueblo too! Don’t give those cluckers to me, I wanted an expansion team with Colangelo as owner.

    • FormerFed says:

      We refuse to take ownership!!!

      But I can see why your druthers were for something other than the Bidwells. They are almost as bad as Snyder.

  12. yellowdog jim says:

    Any information on/analysis of ownerships’ political campaign contributions? Any of the owners pro labor?
    Would the Packers be the public option?
    am i too late to this thread?

  13. fatster says:

    O/T (Old Topic) For the car people

    Tesla Says It Is Now Profitable, Ships 109 Roadsters In July

    by Erick Schonfeld on August 7, 2009

    “Silicon Valley’s electric car company, Tesla Motors, says that it hit profitability in July. The private company reports that it made “approximately $1 million of earnings” on revenues of $20 million, and that it shipped 109 Roadsters, its $109,000 all-electric sports car. The revenues reflect GAAP accounting standards and are only for the month of July.”


    • Hmmm says:

      Today In Parsing

      “…The revenues reflect GAAP accounting standards and are only for the month of July.”

      Note, there is no claim that TM expects to be profitable for the quarter, for the year, or for any other month in the future.

      (Of course I wish them well, in fact I have a friend who’s been there for years.)

          • bmaz says:

            True, but I don’t know how much, if any of that, has really reached the company yet. By my understanding, the Daimler money probably would have in June some time. No clue if that factored into the calculations that led to this claim of black numbers for July, but I do think the timing is right to at least possible be in the equation. Tesla had been gearing up a R & D operation in Michigan which they abandoned and/or sold off to Fisker too I am told (unclear whether Fisker obtained it from Tesla or simply picked up the remains after abandonment). Most of this I got talking to a guy involved in the Fisker effort, so take it at face value only. The government development money just announced for Tesla has got to be huge for them though; that is really big. I have been thinking Tesla was in a little trouble and that Fisker was the one to watch in this segment. Tesla seems to have stabilized their ship quite nicely though. Will be interesting to see what products both are sporting in about a year.

            • JimWhite says:

              Well, if they are following GAAP, a stock infusion would only go to the balance sheet, not to P&L, so it would have no impact on being in the black. The DOE money could be booked as a research contract and then would show up as income, but they’d better be careful if they are making a profit on grant or research contract money from the government–there are limits to how much profit is allowed. On the other hand, if the contract is covering research costs that otherwise were being eaten by the company, that could have a huge effect on getting them into the black.

              • bmaz says:

                Thanks, was wondering about that. Still it is fairly curious that Tesla suddenly turned profitable at this particular moment. They are a boutique manufacturer, so not maybe on the same schedule as the big boys, but still a pretty weird time to suddenly go positive. It isn’t like they are eligible for cash for clunkers or something. I suspect shedding some of their costs they were spending trying to gear up a Michigan wing may be part of the deal; that would affect this calculation would it not? Of course, I think that was done mostly at the end of 2008, maybe start of 2009. Well, whatever, more power to them; they have a pretty cool looking vehicle, and I believe they have long planned a sedan too. So, however you look at it, it is good news.

  14. emptywheel says:

    Back to football and Jim Johnson, Susie linked to this touching story:

    Ford injured his knee earlier in the season and didn’t play in the game, which Drake lost, 29-7. After the game, the Drake players and coaches received plaques from the bowl people. Ford didn’t get one because he hadn’t played in the game.

    “We were in the locker room and Jim came over to me and said, ‘Wayne, what’s going on? Where’s your plaque?’ I said, ‘I didn’t get one, Jim, because I didn’t play in the game.’

    “Jim took his plaque and put it in my hands and said, ‘Here, you take mine. Because you helped prepare us. You helped us. If it weren’t for you, we wouldn’t be where we are today.’ He said I had worked my behind off and got my leg hurt and took a major operation and was a part of this team and deserved this [plaque].

    “That touched me much. I’ll never forget the guys around me saw it. I still remember the look of shock and awe in their eyes. Here was a man they all feared – everybody feared Jim – giving me his own plaque. That changed my life. Changed my perception of white people. Changed the way I treated people.”

    • bmaz says:

      What, you are interrupting our Click & Clack car talk for football??

      Great story about Johnson. I wonder how the Iggles DeeFence will play this year. They had to know he wasn’t going to be there as far as coaching staff duties, and his loss may really light a fire under them.

    • randiego says:

      That’s a great storry, but keep in mind that nobody knows who ‘Jim Johnson’ is… I read that and all I could think was “that doesn’t sound like Jimmy Johnson to me…”

      So who was/is Jim Johnson?

  15. randiego says:

    Hey since this thread is still going, I’ll take this opportunity to debunk the myth that “Norv Turner can’t win the big one”.

    This is just silly. First, Norv is 4-2 in the playoffs, lifetime. That’s not great, but it’s not Schottenheimer-esque either.

    Two of those wins came in 2007, on the road, against Tennessee and Indy. The toughest of those two wins was against Tennessee, believe me. That game was the most physical football game I’ve ever seen. That’s the game where Merriman was re-injured (he was targeted by Fisher; it’s the same injury that kept him out last season), Gates was hurt, and Rivers was hurt.

    Remember the game against the Pats? All those injuries? Direct result of the Tennessee game. Is the consensus that those two playoff games weren’t big games? That’s BS – I can tell you they were HUGE games here in SD. The win against Indy featured a come-from-behind late drive using the backup QB.

    Who gets credit for that?

    The problem is that the players get the credit when they win, Norv gets the credit they lose. It’s just bullshit.

    To win a superbowl is a crapshoot, so many things have to go just right. Since the NFL merger, there are only 25 guys that have won superbowls, out of roughly 1000 head coaches during that time. To “win the big one” takes a good coach I’ll agree, but it’s also a major function of intangibles like injuries, schedules, front-office competence, other teams’ injuries and schedules, etc. Statistically, the chances that any one guy can “win the big one” are very small.

    It’s just such facile silliness. I’m taking names on this one – when it happens, people are going to wear it like an albatross…

  16. TheWerle says:

    Anybody who doesn’t put their money on the Colts this year is gonna be sorry. We’re healthy, we’re mean, and we’ve got a big injection of youth to shake things up.

    13-3 season, Peyton gets his second ring.

  17. Neil says:


    Cris Collinsworth is set to succeed John Madden: New broadcast partner of Al Michaels is making debut on the season launch of NBC’s ‘Sunday Night Football’ with the Hall of Fame game. link


    Robert Thompson, a professor of television and pop culture at the University of Syracuse S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, said viewers will like Collinsworth.

    “He seems to have the ability to say critical things without being personal,” Thompson said. “Part of Madden’s charm was indescribable showbiz, like Captain Kangaroo or Johnny Carson or Walter Cronkite, he had an inherent likability along with the street cred of a coach, so you never got the sense he was just shooting off his mouth.

    “There are pitfalls to following any legendary character, and inevitable comparisons will be made, but it’s not as if Collinsworth is some newcomer where people are saying, ‘Who’s this clown?’ He has a presence of his own.”

    Says “Sunday Night Football” producer Frank Gaudelli: “It’s not like we’re going from a veteran star to a rookie.We’re going from a veteran star to another veteran star.”


    Tom Hammond, a longtime NBC sports broadcaster Collinsworth considers a mentor, knows why Collinsworth will be fine as Madden’s replacement.

    “We first met when Cris came to Lexington for a banquet honoring him as the Southeastern Conference athlete of the year. It was the year when Kyle Macy was an all-American basketball player at Kentucky. When Cris got up, he said, completely deadpan, ‘I just came here so I could meet Kyle Macy.’ It cracked up the room. He’s just naturally opinionated, funny, totally down home, but a thoroughly researched, factually accurate reporter. He’ll do just fine.”

    It’s the down-home opinionated, as opposed to informative and insightful about play and strategy, that rubs me the wrong way.

  18. Neil says:

    Pats 2009 Notes

    – The Patriots have two Monday night games this season: at home in Week 1 against the Bills and in New Orleans in Week 12 against the Saints.

    – To honor the AFL’s 50th anniversary, the Patriots will have four legacy games featuring retro uniforms and the old logo from their Boston Patriot days: home games in Weeks 1 and 6 against the Buffalo Bills and Tennessee Titans (Houston Oilers), and away games in Weeks 5 and 13 against the Denver Broncos and Miami Dolphins.

    – In Week 7, the Patriots will play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from Wembley Stadium in Merry Olde England. The best part about this is that the Bucs are the ones who have to burn a home game on the event.

    Do they serve Beamish in Wembley?

  19. Quebecois says:

    Somewhat OT:

    I’m happy that Massa will be coming out of the spring incident in good form. Schu is trying to get back in driving form, but his neck is still recovering from a motorcycle accident. Williams has balked on Schu getting track time before Valencia. With that said, I hope Massa will be back shortly, Schu coming back makes it hard for me to stay interested in this year’s results.