Emptywheel’s Famous Football Trash Talk* Super Bowl XLII Edition

Well, Championship Sunday was a bit of a letdown. No one claimed the much prized Hubcap, the Pack packed it in, LT was MIA, and nobody noticed that the asterisk was still in the title. There sure has been a lot that has happened since, most of it having to do with the most famous foot in the world. That foot would, of course, belong to Brady, Sir Tom. Uh oh, this just in, hot off the wire (Oh my, this is really rich, heh heh):


The ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee wants N.F.L. Commissioner Roger Goodell to explain why the league destroyed evidence related to spying by the New England Patriots.

In a telephone interview Thursday morning, Senator Arlen Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania and ranking member of the committee, said that Goodell would eventually be called before the committee to address two issues: the league’s antitrust exemption in relation to its television contract and the destruction of the tapes that revealed spying by the Patriots.

“That requires an explanation,” Specter said. “The N.F.L. has a very preferred status in our country with their antitrust exemption. The American people are entitled to be sure about the integrity of the game. It’s analogous to the C.I.A. destruction of tapes. Or any time you have records destroyed.”

Mr. Specter first wrote Mr. Goodell about the tapes on Nov. 15. … The league responded to Mr. Specter late Thursday afternoon.

“It’s premature to say whom we’re going to call or when. It starts with the commissioner. He had the tapes, and he made the decision as to what the punishment could be. He made the decision to destroy them.”

Mr. Specter said it had not been determined when Mr. Goodell would be called before the committee.

Jeebus, I don’t even know what to say. I kind of thought we had seen governmental actors functioning at the outer boundaries of surreality yesterday with Mukasey, but I should have known better than Read more

Bye Week Trashtalk: The Mystery of Brady’s Boot

I guess I’m not yet ready to go more than a week without trashtalk. Besides, this whole Tom Brady and his boot thing is getting so ridiculous that I had to post on it.

You see, I’m beginning to believe the whole thing is a plot, cooked up by Bill Belichick, to seriously fuck with the press and possibly even the Giants pre-game planning. What better plot than to send your hot quarterback Brady (speaking of which, see this BoGlo photo collection, which includes some of the boot pictures) down to visit his hot girlfriend Gisele in the press capital of the world which also just happens to be your Super Bowl opponent’s city? Send him down in a walking cast, and it’s just guaranteed to be photographed by the paparazzi. Then, the press wants to talk about nothing so much as whether or not Tom Brady is hurt and therefore will throw as badly in the Super Bowl as he did in the AFC Championships, ignoring all the other details of the game. And Belichick won’t be forced to admit to the Giants that it’s all a big trick until just four days before the game (though seriously, if Coughlin isn’t assuming that Brady will start and do some damage, he’s not so bright).

And what better way to minimize Bye Week stress on the rest of the team than by ensuring the only questions they’ll have to answer pertain to Brady’s Boot.

Running back Kevin Faulk has worn a boot in the past, and attracted little notice. “Because I’m not Tom Brady, I guess,” Faulk said.

Linebacker Adalius Thomas said: “I don’t know anything about a boot, a cup or a shoe. Or slippers. I don’t know. His slippers cost more than my shoes.”

Fullback Heath Evans vowed to don a boot “and see if you follow me around.”


“Every channel I turned to, there it was,” Patriots defensive lineman Richard Seymour said. “Focused on the boot. I focused on the flowers.”

"Are you worried about the Giants’ pass rush, Matt Light?"

"What I’m really worried about, Boomer, is whether Brady will find a Patriots silver boot in time for the game."

So what do you think? Has Belichick taken his crafty ways off of the field to play the press, going so far as to excuse Brady from practice or hide him somewhere? Or are the Giants going to be facing Matt Read more

emptywheel’s Famous Football Trash Talk Thread* – Championship Sunday Edition

Championship Sunday brings conflicting emotions for me. It brings the very essence, the finest, that pro football has to offer; the two best teams in each conference duking it out for the right to go to the Super Bowl. It also means that, save for the commonly anti-climatic Super Bowl, the football season is over, and that leaves a hole in the sports, and emptywheel, world until next fall. Well, enough of that, we DO have one outstanding day of gridiron glory left, lets get to it.

Frightning Lightning Bolts at Pats – The Bolts are busted up. Tomlinson has a hyperextended knee. Rivers also has a bum knee and Antonio Gates can hardly walk, but will undoubtedly play fine just like last week, with his famous toe. None of these three have practiced this week, but all are expected to play. Shawne "Gastineau" Merriman is a little under the weather, but has practiced and should be ready. For the Pats, Donte Stallworth and guard Steve Neal have minor pains, but have practiced and are good to go. Now if I am Bill Belichick, I am telling the whole team how the female complainant against Randy Moss is on the Charger’s payroll, and a statement has to be made for their oppressed teammate by steamrolling the Bolts and running up the score. The weather forecast is for bitter cold and wind. Not exactly favorable conditions for the beach boys. The Bolts have been playing inspired and excellent football for weeks now, and Norval Turner is off the snide and has actually won a playoff game. Congratulations on the fine season randiego; however, I fear it has come to an end. The Pats win this one easy.

NY Football Giants at The Green Bay Favres – What do you say about this game? It has everything you could ask for as a fan, and more. Young Eli Manning is actually playing like the reliable bulletproof Ecodrive watch he hawks. The Gents running game is strong and deep and the defense tough. Well, except for the secondary that is; where Kevin Dockery, Sam Madison and Aaron Ross are all pretty nicked up, but are available. Good thing they won’t be facing a proven quarterback or anything. For the Pack, everybody is practicing and ready to go, although Woodson, Bubba Franks and Read more

Trash Talk Too

Dang you guys trash talked a bunch while I was waiting for the Pats to catch up!!!

In the interest in keeping the threads under 500 comments, I’m going to do another trash talk thread–so we can all channel good thoughts about the Bolts beating the Colts.

Predictions are (tell me how I’ve screwed this up in the comments, and this is just through the first 100 comments):

emptywheel: Pats, Packers, Colts, ‘Boys

bmaz: Pats, Packers, Colts, Giants

CTuttle (last week’s reining reigning raining champ): Jags, Packers, Colts, ‘Boys

phred: Packers, "kitty kitty kitty," Colts, Giants

Coyoteville: Pats, Packers, Colts, Giants

watercarrier4diogenes: Jags, Squawks, Bolts, Gents

Evolute: Packers, Jags, Colts, ‘Boys

Strategerie: Squawks, Jags, Giants

radiofreewill: Jags, Giants, Packers, Bolts

freepatriot: Packers, Jags, Colts, ‘Boys

Go Bolts!

Prof Foland: [Oops, I missed him] Packers, Pats, Colts, ‘Boys

TexBetsy: Manning East, Manning Central

Muzzy: Squawks, Pats, Colts, Dallas

Neil: Colts and Cowboys 

emptywheel’s Famous Football Trash Talk Thread* – Division Playoff Edition

We are now down to genuine pro football. No more Cinderellas; the teams that ought to be here are here. No more "best of the rest" discussions, no more silly BCS games without the best teams playing. Three out of the four games are being played outdoors, where football is meant to be played. Hoosiers, I’m talking about you; you got to toughen up, if you can’t plant your butts outside for three hours to watch Peyton and the Colts, you aren’t real fans. Time to get down and dirty.

Pats and Jags – The Asterisk Bowl! The Jags seemed a lot tougher before they wimped out and took down their website asterisk on the Pats. Thats it, they are toast. Belichick was already going to use the asterisk bit, now he and the Pats are going to flat out disrespect the Jags as a bunch of wusses. For the Jags, DT John Henderson has a touchy hammy, but will play and LB Mike Peterson has a bad paw and is doubtful. The Pats don’t even have any injuries to report; uh oh, 16-0 and they are fully healthy. The Jags are a very good team, are well coached, and earned their way here; but they are done now. Buh bye.

Pack and Seagulls – Jonathan Livingston Seahawk is flying in to TitleTown. Prodigal sons Holmgren and Hasselbeck return to that from which they came. A couple of weeks ago, I would have told you Seattle wouldn’t get out of the wildcard matchup. Last week, it was close, but I thought the Skins would eke out a win. Give em credit though, the Seahawks are playing well, and Holmgren is a good coach. I have to admit, I am more than a little worried. However, Brett Favre is loose and ready. Favre is always ready for some football; he is a 38 year old kid on a playground. I think its different this time though, because he has already indicated he is coming back, so he is not worried about it being his last game and he believes in the kids around him, and they believe in him. Ryan Grant looks like a real find at running back and his style is perfect for this kind of field and this time Read more

emptywheel’s Famous Football Trash Talk Thread – Wildcard Weekend Edition

At long last, the playoffs are upon us. Well, the playoffs are upon us for the NFL anyway; there are still no playoffs for major college football, so we will once again have to settle for a BCS title game with arguably the wrong participants.

Saturday’s Games
Skins at Seahawks – In the their last 26 games at home, Seattle is 22-4. Qwest field is as loud and disruptive an environment as any out there, if not more so. Hasselbeck and Alexander have been playing very well of late (and hey, Hasselbeck’s brain dead sister in law is returning to The View! It must be a sign!). This one seems pretty cut and dried. So I’ll take the Skins in another upset. Joe Gibbs has an even better playoff pedigree than Mike Holmgren and the Skins are really playing as a dedicated team in the aftermath of the tragic murder of Sean Taylor. And Gibbs has a history of playoff runs with quarterbacks pressed into duty out of the dust bin. Todd Collins fits the mold perfectly and Clinton Portis appears healthy.

Jags at Stillers – I don’t know what to make of this one. EW has been riding with the smart money lately on the Jags and they are solid in all aspects of the game. There is something about Rothlisberger that I am always hesitant to bet against; he is one tough kid and a hell of a leader considering how young he is. The absence of Willie Parker is brutal though; the Jags don’t have to worry about breakaway speed from the running game and Rothlisberger’s ability to run play action is hurt. That is the difference; Jags win.

Sunday’s Games
Giants at Buccos – Will Eli be as reliable as one of those Citizen EcoDrive watches? Can the Bucs keep Jeff Garcia protected from the Giants rush? I have no idea on this one; both teams seem flaky to me.

Titans at Bolts – This would a no brainer if we were not talking about the Chargers and Norv Turner. I firmly believe that history has definite patterns and sage lessons to teach, and the history in this regard for the Bolts and Turner is bleak. Vince Young sure isn’t going to be mistaken for Joe Montana any time soon for the beauty Read more

Okay Already, Here’s Your Damn Trash Talk Thread

Everyone’s spoiling my Bhutto thread with their damn trash talk, so I’ll put up this one, a whole day early. Jeebus, you put the Pats on TV and people get all uppity. (Incidentally, this Pats-on-three-channels thing started after John Kerry complained; where was all this gumption in 2004 when we needed it???)

That said, as much as I’m hoping the Pats win (and recognizing that, even without Shockey, the Giants have a shot), I’m most interested in those games that actually, you know, matter. I’m of the opinion that the most interesting factor still to be decided for the playoffs is who has to face the Jacksonville Jaguars when. The Jags have the ability to beat either the Colts or the Pats (though they have one of those blocks against beating Peyton), to say nothing of those "division winners" with worse records than the Jags. And those guys are Hu-Ge. Will San Diego put up enough against the hapless Raiders to earn the right to avoid the Jags, and if not, will the Parker-less Steelers be able to beat a very cranky Baltimore to avoid the team that beat them a few weeks ago? I’ve gotta hunch that one of these games will be an upset, and I’m hoping it’s San Diego.

And while we’re at it, can the Titans and ‘Skins beat the Colts’ and ‘Boys’ second stringers, respectively, in order to seal up their playoff spots? Even the TO-less ‘Boys aren’t going to want to get beat by their big conference rivals. And Dungy probably remembers the lesson of 2005 acutely, so will try to avoid treating this game like a rest game.

So I think all of those games may be more interesting than the Pats’ dance with history.

But just in case, I’m going to do what I’ve been doing for several weeks, to ensure the solid play from a key Pat: I’m going to predict that if the Pats lose, it’ll be because Rodney Harrison has lost a step. You see, every time I suggest Rodney-Roid no longer has the speed and power he needs to compete, he comes on and makes some really key defensive stops. That’s the whole point of trash talk, after all, isn’t it? To incite your team to win and win big?

Go Pats!

Update: Brady soft porn courtesy of joejoejoe. mr. emptywheel hates when I play that YouTube. But it’s one of Read more

Emptywheel’s Famous Football Trash Talk Thread – Holiday Edition

The weekend is upon us, which means it is time for some trashing and burning (Note: not for you folks working for Cheney at his "ceremonial" office, you have trashed and burned quite enough this week). You may ask "why, bmaz, is Cheney’s Vice Presidential Office ceremonial"? Don’t ask such silly questions, everyone knows he mans the President’s office while his feckless sidekick, Boy Dunder, rides his trike and clears brush. Without further adieu, here are some of my takes:

Green Bay at Da Bears – What can I say, when the head cat is away, the rat is gonna play. So the lead game on this week’s thread is not the Pats. Oh, the sacrilege. Its a shame Phred isn’t around to see the Pack in the pole position. Da Bears are having an injury filled downer of a season. But it is late December, Halas and Lombardi, classic Black and Blue Division football. While Soldier Field may not be the frozen tundra of Lambeau, it sure isn’t much warmer if the wind is up. With these two old foes you can throw their records out the window when they get together. Well, perhaps you can throw the records out the window, not me; um, I’ll take the Pack.

Fish at Pats – If I wasn’t worried that mom would take my car keys away, I am not sure I would bother with this one. The Dolphins are a once proud and grand franchise that have really fallen on hard times. I guess it seemed like the right idea to them at the time; but somehow or another you just knew that sooner or later they would regret giving Don Shula the bums rush out of town, even if it was for Jimmy Johnson. Pats ought to be able to rest Brady by the time the two minute warning is given. In the first half that is.

Browns at Bengals and Skins at Vikes – These are my co-choices for best of the rest. Neither one of them seem particularly appealing on the surface; but both have some compelling story lines going. The Browns may be the story of the year when it is all said and done. They have been playing good, smart, conservative ball all year. And winning. At the Read more

Emptywheel’s Famous Football Trash Talk Thread

Hello there sports fans and fanettes. You have probably been wondering what happens to the New England Patriots if Tom Brady is injured or out. The second string is a pretty severe step down; for those scoring at home, or even if you are alone (shameless rip off from Keith Olbermann), Brady’s backup is Matt Cassel, a perfectly fine chap, and by all accounts a good quarterback. But he is no Tom Brady.

Well, here at Emptywheel, we have the same phenomenon. My name is bmaz, and I am no Emptywheel. Most of you know me; and for those that don’t, well, please don’t be scared off. This will not be the only thread; there will be substantive thread as well, if, and as, called for. If you see breaking news that is important, or have something critical for discussion, please ante up. I have noticed in the past the absolutely incredible talent that frequents this site, and TNH before it, tends to dissipate when Marcy is away. The group I know and love, and that is all of you (crikey, even the house troll I suppose), is too good, and works too well together, for that to happen. I will do my best to at least be a marginally competent guest host, but its no good without all of you; so have at it.

With the pleasantries thus out of the way, lets get down to business. It is crunch time in the NFL:

Looks like the weather may be a bit dicey in the greater Beantown area. Are the the Pats going to need a work furlough crew of convict snow plow drivers; or is Belichek going to hang a 75 point runup on his ingrate student, Mangini?

Did you know there was a game tonight between the Bengals and 49ers on the NFL Network? Do you even get the NFL Network? For those answering yes to these two questions, hey Mr. and Mrs. Dilfer and hey Mr. and Mrs. Palmer.

Will Brett Favre make his 251st straight start against the Rams in St. Louis? Is this record more astounding than Cal Ripken’s streak of 2,632 games? My take – of course he will, and it just might be.

The best of the rest appears to me to be the Browns v. the Bills. Read more