Bradshaw jabs Peyton, pays no respects to Noll
In his performance of America’s Favorite Dumb Blonde, Hall of Fame QB Terry Bradshaw issued the faintest of praise for future Hall of Fame QB Peyton Manning: “If you like winning good during the season and losing Super Bowls, that’s your guy.”
The comment drew fire from players and ex-players on NFL Network. “That’s beyond low,” said Antonio Cromartie. Warren Sapp said Bradshaw is “old, and his filter is almost gone.”
Meanwhile, Bradshaw was faulted for not paying respects to his former Pittsburgh Steelers coach, Chuck Noll, who died at 82. Bradshaw was performing at a nearby casino but reportedly did not attend the funeral or viewing. The no-show prompted this comment from former Steelers public relations chief Joe Gordon: “He’s the most insincere person I’ve ever known.”
Noll won four Super Bowls in six years, by implementing a Lombardi-like system of simple, well organized fundamental football and drafting well to fit the system. But Bradshaw felt, with some justification, that Noll tried to hold him back. The late Al Davis, owner of the Oakland Raiders, told of intervening in behalf of Bradshaw to persuade Noll to start the rookie ahead of Joe Gilliam. “The worst mistake I ever made,” Davis said.
Between the Lines: Bradshaw is eternally jealous of quarterbacks who are more accurate than he was. His career completion percentage was 51.9 — throwing mostly to Hall of Famers Lynn Swann and John Stallworth.
Manziel gets (smart) phone advice from Joe Haden
Cleveland’s Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden told WKNR-AM radio that rookie QB Johnny Manziel should limit exposure to social media which circulates photos of his alcohol consumption. “Try to have fun without the whole world knowing. . . . Tell your friends, ‘Put your phones away. We’re going to go out and have a good time and just don’t record what you’re doing.’”
No Fun League: O’Brien parks the Segways
Houston Texans coach Bill O’Brien is not permitting two-wheel motorized vehicles, Segways, at training camp. Star running back Arian Foster gave them as Christmas presents to the offensive line that blocked for him in 2012 when he rushed for 1424 yards.
But O’Brien seems determined to snuff out individualism. He’s had all photos of individual Texans removed from the team’s practice compound. Other coaches encourage individual recognition, but not O’Brien. Which is why he ruled out Johnny Manziel being drafted by the Texans.
O’Brien’s main issue now is with Andre Johnson, the Pro Bowl receiver who skipped the team’s mandatory three-day minicamp because he was “not sure about my future with the Texans.”
Between the Lines: He doesn’t see any way the Texans can reach the playoffs with Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback.
World Cup drawing NFL-size viewership
Soccer’s television ratings continue to rise – at least, on the international stage. The FIFA World Cup match between the U.S. and Portugal, on ESPN, drew an overnight rating of 9.1, which rivals that of postseason NFL games.
Bill Maher (HBO’s Real Time) on Team USA being a 200-1 longshot to win the World Cup: “They have the same odds as the guy who beat Eric Cantor.”
USA coach – by way of Germany – Jurgen Klinsmann, who said before the tournament that his team “can’t win,” said after the 2-2 tie with Portugal that FIFA rigged the schedule to keep America from beating Germany. “We have one day less to recover. . . . We played in the Amazon and they . . . don’t have to travel much. Everything was done for the big favorites to go and move on.”
Between the Lines: Americans are tired of the world kicking us around like we’re the futbol. But some see Jurgen’s rant as further proof that soccer, for all its grace, is a wuss’s sport. These guys could give flopping lessons to the Miami Heat.
LA mayor drops F-bomb to celebrate Stanley Cup
In his celebratory speech following the Los Angeles Kings’ Stanley Cup championship, mayor Eric Garcetti became loose with his language. He said winning the Cup was “a big f—-ing deal.” The public did not seem outraged by his profanity. How times have changed since Harry Truman was criticized for cursing in the White House.
11-year-old competes in Women’s U.S. Open
Lucy Li of San Francisco became at age 11 the youngest ever to play in the Women’s U.S. Open. She missed the cut after shooting two rounds of 78 at Pinehurst, N.C. She finished her rounds by eating ice cream bars and signing hundreds of autographs. Li, 5-1, can drive a golf ball 230 yards off the tee.
Big Papi asks homeys for a break on the scoring
Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz protested that Fenway Park’s official scorer does not shade his decisions in favor of the home team’s players. “I thought people were supposed to have your back at home, and it never happens,” said Big Papi. “It’s always like that. I’ve been here for more than a decade, and the scorekeepers here are always horrible. This is home, man.”
Joe Torre, Major League Baseball’s vice president of operations, tried to set him straight with this publicly released statement: “Official scorers should never give any benefit of the doubt to the home team. We want their best judgment, based on the rules.”
The controversy developed when Ortiz smashed a two-hopper off the glove of first baseman Joe Mauer. Scorer Bob Ellis ruled Error. Ortiz sprang from the dugout, pointed to the press box and gave a thumbs-down sign.
Between the Lines: Boston weaker.