Say what?

Lynch likes Cable because ‘he punched people’

Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch recently was fined by the NFL for not cooperating with media.  But when he did make a quotable remark prior to the Super Bowl, commissioner Roger Goodell might have preferred for him to stay silent.

At a time when the NFL is sensitive about tacitly approving – much less publicly embracing — bullying, Lynch praised the violent nature of assistant coach Tom Cable, who was formerly head coach of the Oakland Raiders.

“Being from Oakland all I knew about him was he punched people.  That’s my type of person.”

Lynch was probably referring to the claim by Raiders assistant Randy Hanson that Cable broke his jaw and teeth in a training camp fight.

       But more disturbing than that were allegations by one of Cable’s ex-wives and a recent ex-girlfriend that he physically abused them. 


        Dear Marshawn:  Is that your type of person?


Super Bowl legacy — Manning’s and Seattle’s

As much as coaches, players and media assure us that the Peyton Manning Legacy is secure and that no single game can affect it, much of the Super Bowl port-mortem focused on the 43-8 defeat of his Denver Broncos.  And how it all but eliminates him from consideration as Best QB All Time.

Thanks to a formulation that nobody without a mathematics degree can understand and which devalues the NFL’s legendary heroes, Joe Montana, who dominated the 1980s, looks on paper no better a passer than Alex Smith.  In truth, Montana was football’s most accurate regular-season passer the same time he was winning all four of his Super Bowls while throwing 11 TDs to zero INTs.  Manning, by contrast, is now 1-2 in Super Bowls, with 3 TD, 4 picks.

Steve Beuerlein, on CBS Sports Network’s NFL Monday QB, said, “I don’t think anyone has controlled the game at the line of scrimmage like Peyton has, but to be the best ever you have to have multiple rings.”

Montana’s plays were scripted by Hall of Fame coach Bill Walsh, which is why Manning could even enter the discussion as BQBAT.  Beuerlein pointed out that Manning at 37 and weakened by neck surgeries, “can’t make the throws he used to . . . when there’s pressure on him.”

        Tony Kornheiser, on ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption, said:

“It’s going to be hard for him to be at the head of the table.”  Manning’s postseason record is 11-12, with eight of his postseasons one and done.

Other postgame debate centered on whether the beat-down by the Seahawks was “embarrassing” to the Broncos.  Coach John Fox, receiver Wes Welker and cornerback Champ Bailey all used that word, but Manning insisted, “It’s not embarrassing at all.  That’s an insulting word. . .”

         It was embarrassing to Fox that he failed to prepare his team for the 12th Man effect that transferred unexpectedly from Seattle.  Super Bowls historically have had low noise from crowds that for the most part were not emotionally invested.

        Fox:  “We didn’t practice the silent count, because we didn’t think there would be noise.”

When a din erupted on the first play, Manny Ramirez could not hear Manning’s snap count and hiked the ball prematurely.  A safety resulted, Seattle led 2-0, the Broncos were rattled more than they should have been, and the rout was on.

        The main issue with the winners concerns the predictable dynasty question.  Many pundits see the Seahawks winning next year’s Super Bowl, in Arizona.  The ‘Hawks are one of the youngest teams in the league – average age 26.4 – and have a second-year QB, Russell Wilson, who earns only $650,000.  As NFL Network’s Shawne Merriman noted, with the money they save on the contract of Wilson, a 3rd-round draft pick, “they subsidize the rest of the roster.”  . . .  On the same network, Eric Davis said:  “They can keep the core of their team for years.”

         NFL Monday QB’s Phil Simms expects the Seahawks, barring an onslaught of injuries on a deep roster, to repeat as world champs.  He cites general manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll  procuring top talent with low draft picks (case in point: Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith, on the seventh and final round).

Simms said Schneider and Carroll “have the magic eye.  They sign people other teams cut.  . . . They’ve built the modern-day defense:  Everybody can run.”  . . .

Not only are the ‘Hawks fast, they hit harder than perhaps any teams but their division mates, the 49ers, Rams and Cardinals.  . . . NFL Network’s Brian Baldinger said the Super Bowl MVP should have been Kam Chancellor: “the best player in the game.  He was the enforcer  He was all over the field, playing deep safety and also covering the middle.”  

Which leaves us wondering when there will be another cold-climate Super Bowl. Because this one was played in near-50-degree weather and had more viewership than any TV show in history, Kornheiser expects “they’re going to powerful cities such as Washington, D.C., and Boston . . . and maybe Chicago.”

Never mind that the day after this one ended, MetLife Stadium was buried in eight inches of snow.

Kornheiser:  “They were lucky, but they don’t consider themselves lucky.”



Outside sources


Say it ain’t so, Joe:  Montana linked to cigarette designs?

USA Today headline: “Joe Montana wanted to design cigarette packs.”

The article revealed a surprisingly culture-minded – and entrepreneurial — Montana as a student at Notre Dame trying, futilely, to schedule a class in design.  Montana, a nonsmoker, told the newspaper that “every time I checked out of the grocery stores, I was studying the packs, looking at them and wondering, ‘Why doesn’t someone buy one of these and not another one?’”

Rays owner denies he’s ‘All in’ with Balfour bucks

Stuart Stumberg, owner of the Tampa Bay Rays, was not happy when local media praised him for being “all in” when he signed 36-year-old pitcher Grant Balfour to a two-year, $12 million contract.

  “I don’t believe in the phrase ‘All in,’” he told the Tampa Bay Times.  “We are feeding the beast.  That usually comes with very successful teams who have to keep throwing money into an incinerator to keep things going.”

       Followup question:  Does that mean you have money to burn?

       Randy Harvey of the Houston Chronicle gave an Olympics prediction:

“Someone will tell you in a conversation about Sochi that he or she doesn’t like raw fish.”    

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