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Retired Players


Valentine’s Day With Jamal Anderson And Imperious Watches

On February 14th also known as VALENTINES DAY (oo la la) you can catch former Atlanta Falcons running back Jamal Anderson on Shop NBC talking Imperious’  impressive collection of watches. Jamal is the company’s new Brand Ambassador, so look out for the ads and commercials, they should be coming soon. I talked to Jamal and he’s really excited about his relationship with the company, and as usual, I expect great things from him. I think Imperious made a great choice for a spokesperson.




False Starts: Is Live TV Ready for Terry Bradshaw’s Brand of Color Commentary?

Fox analyst Terry Bradshaw

I love former Steelers QB Terry Bradshaw, but I don’t know if the world is ready for his live commentary. Last night during the Philadelphia Eagles Pittsburgh Steelers pre-season game, Terry was in the booth with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman. He starts off by asking Joe Buck if his throat was okay (he recently had surgery) and then he struggled to find the words to describe how it sounded. Finally he settled on “sexy.”

Lots of things go on during a football broadcast, but one man calling another man’s voice sexy usually isn’t one of them.

Later, Terry went on to become emotional about having the opportunity to be in the booth. He kept thanking Aikman and Buck for “having him” as though they hired him or something. He admitted he was “emotional” (his words) and Buck was audibly uncomfortable. Aikman was silent (as usual). During the broadcast, Terry also complained about Fox pushing him to tweet and accused Aikman of tweeting throughout the broadcast saying that Aikman had been “pounding that thang” (presumably his cell phone?) all night long.

Is Aikman texting during games?? If so, that actually make sense!

Since Terry admitted last year that concussion damage was affecting his memory and his ability to do his job on Fox, I’m surprised to see him give live broadcasts a go. I will say that I appreciated the level of institutional knowledge Terry has. A lot of the color commentary guys right now are guys who played more football than they’ve watched at home. You can tell Terry has watched a lot over the years so he gets not only the players perspective but the viewer perspective as well.

Terry said he doesn’t like the new kickoff rule because he thinks it has contributed to the success of the game. And that it’s a shame ratings and the need to make sure stars can stay on the field (which makes people watch more) have caused a rule change that decreases from the excitement of the game. He doesn’t seem to be too invested in player safety given how affected he’s been by his playing time.

One thing is true, there’s never a dull moment with Terry!




A Retrospective on Why NFL Players Named “Harrison” Ain’t Nothin’ to F-ck With (Allegedly)

Consider the fact that someone let this man have not one gun, but two!

This week the NFL world was overtaken by talk about Pittsburgh Steelers Linebacker James Harrison. In this upcoming Men’s Journal article, Harrison gives his unfiltered thoughts on everyone from his teammates Running Back Rashard Mendenhall (fumble machine) and Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (no Peyton Manning) to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (crook, devil, stupid).

I’ve said a million times that James is one of my favorite players and people. And even if he wasn’t, I’d still say he was. Why? Because he frightens me! And let me tell you, I don’t scare easily. From the time I was little, my dad has told me not to be afraid of anyone. And that attitude remained with me right up until James Harrison knocked Kyle Orton, Josh Cribbs, and Mohammed Massaquoi into the middle of the following week all in one season.

Since then it’s been clear that like the Wu Tang Clan, players named Harrision ain’t nothing to fuck with. Something about the name Harrison when connected to football breeds a tolerance for bullshit that is very low. Low Low. Scrub the grouuuuund low. King of Diamonds stripper ass low. Gas tank on E low. Souped up Chevy on hydraulics low. Shawty Lo.

What was I talking about?

Oh yeah. Scary Harrisons…scARRISONS…

If I wasn’t afraid, I’ll tell you all about James Harrison’s allegedly volatile relationship with his wife or about the time he body slammed a fan who ran onto the field.



But since I don’t want no parts of that conversation, I’ll simply move on to Marvin Harrison.

Yes Marvin Harrison, former Indianapolis Colts Wide Receiver and ALLEGED close friend of the streets.

Marvin Harrison Serves Up A Side Eye So Mean the Grim Reaper Would Drop His Scythe!

Marvin was a great wide receiver and actually might hold more NFL records than any other receiver in history. He garnered respect for his ability to elude defenders. These skills probably came in handy when he had to do the same thing to the police ALLEGEDLY. Off the field, Marvin was under investigation by both Philadelphia police and the FBI as they tried to determine if he was connected to the shooting death of a man he’d previously had an altercation with. This is all alleged!!

While I’m positive that Marvin is and was COMPLETELY innocent, since the 8 time Pro Bowler’s last name IS Harrison I can’t help but allegedly wonder!

I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention Rodney Harrison.

Rodney Harrison Tries to Make a Point to Tony Dungy Without Leaving His Seat


Admittedly Rodney only scares me half as much as Marvin and James but still enough that I wouldn’t mess with him to his face. The former New England Patriots Safety is known for admitting to federal agents that he received human growth hormones (ALLEGEDLY), being voted “dirtiest player” in the league by his peers, and hitting the $200,000 mark in fines by the NFL including a vicious helmet to helmet hit on the great Wide Receiver Jerry Rice that got him suspended.

THOUGH HE’S VERY HANDSOME AND WELL SPOKEN (just in case he’s reading this), Rodney gives me all kinds of crazy vibes especially when his broadcast partner former Colts Coach Tony Dungy makes one of his many goody two-shoes comments. Such comments usually prompt Rodney to visibly consider whether he should waste perfectly good breath making a counterpoint or handle the situation like a real Harrison would.

Side note: Judging by the number of times Rodney’s eyes have twitched and he’s flashed his “I-ain’t-no-killer-but-don’t-push-me” grin listening to Dungy talk, we are approximately 1.5 NFL seasons from Rodney putting Dungy in a Boston Crab or a rear naked chokehold depending on which suit he’s wearing that night. This is of course assuming he hasn’t already-ALLEGEDLY.

No surprise that the Hazardous Harrisons James and Rodney aren’t fans of each others. James says that Rodney is a jerk. Rodney’s response? Jerk is one of the nicer things anyone has ever said about him, and that James needs to just shut up.

James is right.

Rodney is right.

But take heart, we still have Nolan Harrison. Nolan is a senior executive for the NFL Players Association and formerly played defensive lineman for the Raiders and Steelers. He seems like a very nice guy. He actually took some time and explained to me what the NFLPA was doing with a couple of its player-driven sites.

What a sweet smile! His last name can't possibly be Harrison.

But…after that conversation, I took a peek at his bio and it says “you know whose side I’m on, tread lightly…” OMG IS THAT AN ALLEGED THREAT? Or have other Harrisons made me so nervous I don’t know the difference between helpful information and a potential ass kicking? this the same Nolan Harrison?

From this day forward,  any time someone is testing my gangsta, the name “Harrison” will serve as a warning. Either we can handle this politely, or I can get real Harrison on that ass!!!



Tiki Barber Became Depressed After Being Kicked Off TV

There are two men I try not to blog about: former Eagles WR Freddie Mitchell and former Giants Running Back Tiki Barber.




This is a player-friendly blog and in order to keep up my reputation of being gentle on NFL players I just try to avoid discussing these two ratchet ass retired players as much as possible. But then again they ARE retired so they’re technically no longer players. So, you know what, might as well go in.

Fomer Giants RB Tiki Barber in Happier Times

I was definitely surprised when Barber’s TV career was abruptly brought to a close because he had quickly become one of the broadcast sweethearts. He was a correspondent on the Today Show and for various Fox shows among other random other TV appearances from B. Smith to Rachel Ray.

I was never a fan though. First of all, I’m an Eagles fan. Secondly, he always seemed so skeevy to me..he just made me uncomfortable and I never could put my finger on why. He just seemed very disingenuous.

If you remember Barber’s stint on NFL broadcasts then you know that he never missed an opportunity to bash the Giants. In particular, he was unkind and unfair to Giants QB Eli Manning. I know I’m not the only one that was glad to see the Giants win a superbowl with Bobble-head Barber.

Tonight on HBO’s Real Sports, Barber expounds on some of the statements he gave the NY Post back in May on his feelings of depression after divorcing the mother of his twin boys and his fall from TV grace.

As far as his return to football is concerned, Barber says:

The game never needs you because there’s always someone else to come and take your place,” said Barber, clearly humbled by his fall from grace. “But right now, I need the game. I need to prove to myself that I can be successful at something. I know I’m going to be successful as a football player. I don’t know why. The odds say ‘No.’ I’m 36 and I haven’t played in four years. But I just know.’’

“I need to prove to myself that I can be successful at something.” I thought that was an interesting quote. Using football to prove he can be successful is a huge mistake. Success is as much about timing as it is dedication and ability. Plus we know for a fact that Barber can be and was successful, returning to a brutal game after 4 years off and at an advanced age is likely to make him more depressed. Barber isn’t a failure because he isn’t talented, he just handled himself wrong and burned way too many bridges.

The Post quotes Barber as saying that during the last SuperBowl in Dallas his old friends and coaches encouraged him to return to football. The problem with that is sometimes people aren’t being truthful, they just don’t know what else to say to you. And football world is very small, they love to see each other get back in the game. But if you look at the comments under the Post article you can see that fans move on very quickly and really don’t care to see retired players return.

Anyway, if you want to hear Barber dispute the rumors of cheating on his wife with his new girlfriend a former NBC intern and all manner of other things, check out the Real Sports Interview. If you don’t have HBO, the network usually uploads full-length podcasts (without video, of course) of it’s shows to itunes.


False Positives: The Lockout Has Caused NFL Players To Commit More Crimes

A lot of people are running with the narrative that NFL players (and their wives) are committing more crimes due to the lockout. In defense of NFL players I’d like to say:


I do like to joke around about lockout stress, but my version of lockout stress causes NFL players to pretend they contacted me and telling me to reboot my blackberry several times since my BBM and text are obviously messed up since I didn’t get their messages. You know, prankster stuff. Not things that will get you arrested and locked up.

Of course with 2 players making news because their wives attacked them with knives (Miami Dolphins WR Brandon Marshall and Denver Broncos DE Jason Hunter) things may look kind of bad.

I don’t think there is an official blotter that records NFL crime, but two sites try:  NFL Crimes and Pro Football Talk’s Police Blotter.

in 2010, from January to June, NFL crimes recorded about 60 crimes being committed. Their stats from this year reflect about 60 as well. I say “about 60″ 60 because their reports include former players and, for whatever reason, ex boyfriends of team cheerleaders, ex wives and any number of people marginally related to the NFL. Anyway, according to that site’s numbers, the crime stats for the NFL have shown no real change from last year to this year.

ProFootball Talk reported 26 crimes in 2010 from January to June and 23 thus far this year. I’m a little thrown off by their “days without an arrest” ticker. It gives the wrong impression. Anyway, their stats also include some former players.

There are over 1700 players signed to NFL teams at any given moment. I’m not particularly moved by less than 150 of them finding themselves involved in the legal system at some point in the year.Many of the arrests were for public intoxication/drunkeness or speeding. Sounds like a regular Friday night for many 20-somethings. Until there is a blotter that is truly complete and shows me different, I’m going to have to defend the players and say there’s nothing new under the sun.






Cris Carter May Have Quite a Wait to Get Into the Hall of Fame; Also, Peter King’s Take On HOF Votes Public

When the NFL issued the list of the newest round of Hall of Fame Inductees-a list that includes former TE Shannon Sharpe and former CB Deion Sanders-the discussion immediately turned to former WR Cris Carter. People wanted to know why Chris was snubbed for the 4th time.

Carter was originally eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2008.

Someone tweeted Gregg Rosenthal of Pro Football talk to ask whether he was surprised that Carter didn’t make it into the HOF this year. He said no, “not with this class.” He also said Reed should go before Carter.

I’m not so sure that Reed should should go before Carter, but certainly that’s a matter open to debate. What’s not open to debate is that the “class” reason/excuse is going to continue to be frustrating-not just Carter but for any player who we know will make it into the HOF but appears to be being held out for some reason unknown to the public.

My response to Rosenthal’s contention is that every class of HOFers is going to be tough and it’s only going to get more so. I made this point on twitter without having specifics, but going off of the fact that the level of commitment, fitness, longevity of great players in the NFL has steadily risen with salaries and slow elimination of offseasons.

I’m glad that Sports Illustrated gave more specific information about upcoming classes of players.

…The 2011 class is damn strong, and future classes are going to be even more competitive.

Consider: The list of first-year eligible players in 2013 includes: O-guard Larry Allen, tackle Jonathan Ogden, defensive tackle Warren Sapp, defensive end Michael Strahan and kicker Morten Anderson.

The list in 2014 includes: Linebacker Derrick Brooks, receiver Marvin Harrison, running back Shaun Alexander, safety Rodney Harrison and coaches Tony Dungy, Mike Holmgren and John Gruden.

Not only are the classes strong, but the names are prominent, and the memories of these popular players and coaches’ accomplishments are very strong. Since the NFL is more widely known now, and it’s elevated the passion about the impact of some of these “known names.”  I think the temptation to reward first year eligibles (like Sanders, Sharpe, and former RB Marshall Faulk who will also be inducted at this year’s ceremonies in August) will increase.

That means style of play, importance to respective teams, players’ contributions to the game and their position on a whole, among other intangibles, will increasingly be taken into consideration.

Carter is one of only 6 players in NFL history to have over 1000 career receptions. He also played in 8 straight Pro Bowls and was named to the 90s all-decade team. Once again, I realize competition is thick, but if Carter has to wait longer than another year I think it puts quite a disrespectful pock mark on his eventual induction. A pock mark it doesn’t deserve.

At this point, it feels a little like Butch Carter will make it into the NFL’s Hall of Fame before Cris.

A few people speculated that Carter may be experiencing an Art Monk/Peter King situation. I have no idea if that’s true, in fact, I only found out that this was an issue because Alba at Sporty Girlz mentioned that King’s bias was the reason Monk was snubbed for 8 years.

Anyway, King responded to the tweets by saying that he’d have no issue if the HOF made the votes public and if people think the votes should be public, they should write the Hall of Fame (He obviously didn’t choose to voluntarily make his vote public).

King also said that he couldn’t discuss the voting process because it’s against the rules stated in the bylaws. The Sports Illustrated article I link to in this post seemed to give quite a bit of detail though.


Former Eagle Freddie Mitchell Appears on Millionaire Matchmaker-Regrettably Hits Every Stereotype About Athletes

The television show Millionaire Matchmaker ended this season with an appearance by Former Philadelphia Eagle Freddie Mitchell. According to Bravo’s storyline, since leaving the Eagles Mitchell has been working as a venture capitalist (really?), is currently considering a return to the NFL (huh?), and is looking for love after having being burned (financially) by supposed golddiggers. (Relax black girls, he aint talkin about yall. He only dates white Euros and Latinas)

If you haven’t seen the show, the owner of the Matchmaking service, Patti, matches two millionaires with dates. She first diagnoses their dating problems-in Mitchell’s case, Patti said he couldn’t tell a winner from a loser. She said “his picker” his “off.” After the millionaire gives Patti a few preferences to work with, Patti sets up a mixer with about 20 potential dates.

Mitchell ended up picking a southern girl who at first tried to hide her accent. Even after she faked an accent, Mitchell still chose to go out on a date with her. On their date, she said she googled him and proceeded to confront him about whether or not he’d pay child child support in the past. Mitchell decided not to go out with her again, but to continue to use Patti’s service to find someone else.

I knew that Mitchell’s appearance would be stereotypical, but I didn’t know he’d hit every cliche about athletes.

  • Big spender in the club? Check
  • Preference for nonblack girls? Check
  • Crippling fear of being used financially? Check
  • Unkempt appearance? Check
  • Baby mama? Check
  • Child support issues? Check

While I enjoyed Mitchell’s turn on MM I do lament that this is the image we constantly see of NFL players. Its far too one-dimensional for my tastes. Obviously, outlandish personalities and flashy lifestyles make us more likely to keep up with athletes’ comings and goings. I think that becomes really  clear when you look at which players have made it into the mainstream (think: T.O and Ochocinco). It’s no wonder that 90% of the content on 90% of sports sites is gossip. Still, I think there’s room to give players more visibility that doesn’t feed into the most base stereotypes.

We often see players in extremes: Either building homes for Hurricane Katrina survivors or dodging child support payments. Where is the middle?  This is one of the reasons I started this blog. It’s so easy to forget that there’s usually  A LOT more to players than what we’re fed on a whole.

To Mitchell’s credit, he did seem like a nice guy. And he didn’t display any of those no-thank-you qualities on camera that made him so hard to love when he was with the Eagles. I don’t expect a fairly scripted reality show to provide us with a clear picture of someone, but a departure from a stereotypical storyline would have been nice. I wonder what  Mitchell thinks about his portrayal.


Freddie Mitchell Says He was “Blackballed” Because of McNabb. Fail.

Boy stop

I’ve made no secrets that the Philadelphia Eagles are my team. (Full Disclosure: I have been both an Atlanta Falcons fan and a Philadelphia Eagles fan since I was 10). I was living in Philadelphia when Freddie Mitchell “played” for the Eagles so this makes his most recent comments all the more annoying.

He has stated that he believes he was blackballed due to comments he made about McNabb. I found this claim so ridiculous that I went back and reread it to ensure he wasn’t just announcing to the public that he has balls and they are, in fact, black.

Mitchell let the arrows fly in a conversation Wednesday morning, and dived unabashed into his feelings about McNabb in the quarterback’s lone Super Bowl appearance.

“I respect both Coach Reid and Coach Shanahan — they have two total different coaching theories,” Mitchell said. “I can only wonder what would have happened in the Super Bowl if Reid stepped up and said, ‘You know what? You’re playing like [expletive], you’re benched.’ I don’t know many coaches that have the balls to do that. He was playing like [expletive] and he should have been benched. … And don’t say he doesn’t have a record of this; he did the same thing in every single championship game.”

The backup, for the record, was Koy Detmer.

These are very interesting comments coming from Mitchell especially since McNabb has always spoken highly of Mr. “I-want-to-thank-my-hands-for-being-so-great” and the fact that Mitchell wasn’t even a starter for much of his time with the Eagles.

Always a class act, Terrell Owens decided to pile on McNabb as well.

Owens also referenced McNabb’s shortcomings in the Super Bowl on The T.Ocho ShowTuesday night.

“Well, I don’t really want to start anything, but I did play in the Super Bowl and there were rumors where he couldn’t get our two-minute offense going at the end of the game. I’m just saying,” said Owens.

Do I have to point out how many things are wrong with what he just said?



In Defense of Thomas Jones–Former Falcon Jamal Anderson Makes the Case

Thomas Jones With the Dapper Look

This is the first post in my “In Defense of” series where I choose one player to defend against the criticism levied against them. Today’s post was inspired by a longer and better post by former Falcons running back Jamal Anderson.

In a world where T.O.s and Ochocincos rule the airwaves in more ways than one, we sometimes forget about the quiet warriors that take the field week after week during football season. Thomas Jones is one of those guys. After playing a key role in the  Chicago Bears’ 2007 march to the Super Bowl, Jones was steeped in a little bit of controversy.  He left lots of Chicago fans disappointed when he left the team and moved on to the Jets. in 2009, Jones found himself in a standoff with the always-interesting Coach Rex Ryan when he asked for a contract renegotiation after Ryan had made it clear that veterans would not be receiving extensions until their current contracts expired.

Now that Jones is playing for the Chiefs (he signed in March 2010), those days feel long gone. He’s productive and has quietly helped the Chiefs improve their offense by leaps and bounds.

Anderson covers Jones’ history in the league well:



LaDainian Tomlinson Credits Tiki Barber With Helping Him Finish His Career Strong

When I ran across this article I was a little surprised. I never figured Tiki Barber to be the type to help anyone. That’s terrible, but he’s just not one of my favorite people. Anyway, apparently, Tomlinson contacted Barber for some advice on how to adjust to being an older player successfully. Tiki obliged and directed Tomlinson to the trainer who helped him stay in game shape.

Whatever they’re doing is working. I looked at the stats and if Tomlinson stays healthy (quite a feat in today’s league) he’s on pace to match or exceed the number of receptions he’s had in previous years.

This is one of those little nugget articles I love. I’m always interested to see which players have relationships with which other players and why.

Read about it here.

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