Tag Archives: nfl

Up the Middle with Skitch Hanson: The Terrible Waste of Aaron Hernandez

Scratchbomb hands over the reins to nationally syndicated sports columnist Skitch Hanson, as we’ve done many times before. You may know Skitch as the author of the highly popular syndicated column “Up The Middle.” You may have read his best-selling books Roar No More: Tiger Woods’ Epic Fall From Grace and Roar Once More: Tiger Woods’ Epic Return to the Top. He’s also a frequent guest on ESPN’s sportswriters panel show Mouth-Talkers! 

Aaron_HernandezAs a sportswriter, I find myself shaking my head quite often. I’m pretty good at it, if I do say myself. In fact, I teach an intensive course at the community college on the practice, with some extra pointers on finger wagging and one-sentence paragraphs.

But even an experienced head shaker such as myself could scarcely figure out how best to shake my head at the news that former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez had been arrested for murder. Should I go for the stern paternal head shake? Or the sympathetic but disappointed head shake? This was a conundrum that I wouldn’t wish on any of my fellow sportswriters, one that no class could truly prepare you for. Although I will speak to the dean about adding such a class to next semester’s docket, assuming he’s not still mad at me for destroying three rows of bleachers in the gym. (Long story short: I accidentally spilled an entire thermos of my special blend of Diet Mr. Pibb and puréed Suzy Q’s, which apparently does a real number on lacquer.)

In the end, I determined that Hernandez deserved some completely new sort of head shake, one that has yet to be invented. (Note to self: Attempt to invent it, then feel out dean for third class?) Because what he did goes beyond inexcusable. Aaron Hernandez destroyed something that no person has the right to take away from from anyone: an NFL season.

Each of us is given a fragile, wonderful gift in this world, and that is 17 weeks of regular season football, plus three more of playoffs and two glorious weeks for the Super Bowl. No matter what “beef” Aaron Hernandez had with this other person whose name escapes me, he can not take it upon himself to play god and say “I will determine whether the Patriots’ season lives or dies.”

Now, New England is bereft of a tight end. Two, maybe, if Rob Gronkowski can’t be ready for the start of the season. Even if Belichick pulls things together and crafts a winning season out of this wreckage, he and his staff will have to answer constant questions about murder and other things that have nothing to do with football. If Hernandez had taken a moment to consider this, he might have thought twice about killing a man in cold blood.

It’s not up to mere mortals like Aaron Hernandez to take away something so precious as a tight end from the NFL. Determinations like these must come from something more ethereal and unknowable, something beyond ourselves. Call it God, or fate, appearing the form of a 350-pound linebacker out of his mind on painkillers.

We’ve all been in situations like these, where we were so filled with rage we contemplated doing something rash. I remember when I heard Twinkies were discontinued, the thought of a world without Twinkies filled me with such a burning nihilism that I hurled a brick through one of the front windows of my local Publix. But as my lawyer explained to me, sometimes things have a way of working out for the best, even if we can’t see how this could be possible at the time.

As it turned out, my lawyer was right! Now Twinkies are back and only several thousand people lost their jobs. My lawyer also advised me that Publix had nothing to do with Hostess’s bankruptcy, and I would probably be better off not driving around with loose bricks in my car. (I would if I could, but I need that ballast to deal with the wonky rear differential in my Kia.)

So to Aaron Hernandez, I can say I’ve been there. I too took the law into my own hands, and as a result I almost deprived the world of my column and my weekly guest spots on Dish Nation. I was able to keep my freedom thanks to many hours of community service and a carefully crafted apology letter. In the end, I learned that it’s not up to us to make our own justice, whether that involves hurling bricks through plate glass windows or an execution-style shooting in an open field.

It’s possible that Hernandez may have to endure harsher punishment than I did. But in truth, his crime is the kind that punishes us all, because it deprives each and every one of us of seeing an NFL team perform at its best. And it reminds us of the true fragility of a football season, of how easily it can be taken away from us. I hope everyone one of you hugs your pocket schedule a little tighter tonight. I know I will.

Some may say a transgression like this can never be forgiven. They are entitled to that opinion. I’m not quite willing to go that far, but I will say that forgiveness can only follow a true act of penance, like beating the rap on a technicality and coming back to the NFL to perform at peak levels again. This crime can not be redeemed by the halfway contrition of a man like Michael Vick, who returned to the game but has only occasionally played well since coming back.

This season is beyond saving, but perhaps his example will prevent other players from making the same, tragic waste in the future, and remind them that every season is equally precious.

Up the Middle with Skitch Hanson: NFL, I Can’t Stay Mad at You

Today, Scratchbomb once again hands over the reins to nationally syndicated sports columnist Skitch Hanson, as we’ve done many times before. You may know Skitch as the author of the highly popular syndicated column “Up The Middle.” You may have read his best-selling book If You Can’t Fix It, Don’t Break It, and Other Homespun Aphorisms I Heard My Mechanic Say. He’s also a frequent guest on ESPN’s sportswriters panel show Opinions! You can follow Skitch on Twitter here. Without further ado, here’s Skitch.

When you say “summer,” some people think of sandy beaches, crashing waves, little drinks with umbrellas in them. But for me, when I hear someone say “summer,” first I wonder why they are just saying one decontextualized word; it seems odd, if you ask me. But then I think of the glory of NFL training camp. 350 pound defensive tackles running around in tiny shorts, glistening with sweat. Coaches screaming expletives through the blazing heat, while also wearing tiny shorts. Fans standing around and squinting. If you can think of a better way to spend a 97 degree August afternoon, I’d like to to hear it!

So when the NFL lockout dragged through June and July, I feared this summer would be a complete loss. I wasn’t having a great summer to begin with. First, my editor wanted a feature on the surprising Pittsburgh Pirates, but I haven’t been welcome in that locker room since that time I accidentally broke Andy Van Slyke’s kneecap with a fungo bat. (Long story short: I thought a saw a moth land on him.) Then, we had a bit of an ant problem at the Hanson household, which all started when my special fridge in the basement conked out, thus inviting the critters inside to feast on all the melted stores of frozen brownie batter I saved over the winter. All of this came on the heels of those trying two weeks when my wife locked herself in the bathroom with 12 boxes of Franzia and ordered one amulet after another from QVC.

No matter. All that’s in the past now (although my wife still is holed up in the washroom). The NFL is like that girlfriend who treats you badly, but you’ll always take her back when she bats her eyes and says she’s sorry, because…well, we all know why, right, fellas? That’s right, because she makes a killer pot roast. Of course, in this case, “killer pot roast” stands for “exciting grid iron action,” served up with a side of “Hail Mary passes” and a bowl of “thrilling playoff matchups” for desert.

Even though I’ve been covering the NFL labor situation since day 1, this sudden lockout resolution really took me by surprise. Granted, for the last month I’ve been covering it from a Day’s Inn out in Lawrence, Kansas. My editor said I should cover the ongoing negotiations between the owners and the players’ union from here. I tried to explain that none of the talks were happening anywhere near here, but he said it was the best place for me. So I can’t say I’ve had a bird’s eye view of the process, but I did get to see the historical site where William S. Burroughs first tried heroin.

Though I accept the NFL’s return with open arms, I still have to give a wag of my finger to those greedy players. If they had accepted the owners’ terms months ago, we would have never gone through this ordeal, and I wouldn’t have had to pitch potential articles to curling magazines as a fall-back plan. (I’ve read more about brooms than one man ever should.) This is not France or China or some other country where we go on strike every time the government takes away your fifth coffee break, fellas. This is America, where you do whatever your boss tells you to do, because the thought of losing your job and your health insurance fills you with a primal, bone-shaking terror.

Do you think I wanted to cover that bungee jumping competition in Death Valley? Or that cow-pie chucking contest in Bismarck? Of course not. I didn’t like doing these things any more than I liked walking into my office and finding the boss urinating on my treasured autographed picture of Angela Lansbury. But the boss makes the rules, and we all have to abide by them with gritted teeth, even when those rules are expanded to allow him to pee on your most beloved possessions.

Who am I kidding? I can’t stay mad at the players! I can’t stay mad at anyone right now! Not even my wife, though I found an empty bottle of Grey Goose and several open condom wrappers in her car. For the NFL is back and all is right with this part of my world!

* * *

I’ve received many letters and emails in the last year or so, asking why I stopped doing my “some things I think about things I think” feature in my column. To be honest, at some point I just plum forgot! When you write so many columns and drink as many diet sodas as I do, the mind just doesn’t retain information as well as it used to.

But since at least 12 of you have asked for it, here is the return of Some Things I Think About Things I Think!

  • Brett Favre: You’ve done this act countless times over the past few seasons, and I think I speak for everyone when I say, Keep it up! Can’t wait to see you in Philly or Indy or whichever team will have you next!
  • A note to the girls in Bridesmaids: You don’t have to work “blue” to be funny. Just ask Vicki Lawrence. 
  • Broccoli rabe: Sorry, don’t get it.
  • Asdrubal Cabrera is having an amazing season, but there’s something about that name I still don’t trust.
  • Call me crazy, but that Ashton Kutcher is gonna be a star.
  • Heard some Montgomery Gentry from a gas station PA system, and I have to say I was impressed.
  • Who has been better than Jamey Carroll this season? I would say several players have been.
  • Do they still make nail clippers?
  • What is going on with Congress these days? Could somebody tell me? I don’t watch the news too often.
  • Of all the high priced free agents who never won a World Series, Carlos Beltran never won one the most.
  • Finally saw that show Breaking Bad. I think it’s a little too intense for a program about a chemistry lab.
  • My wife just kissed some muscular, dark-haired stranger and left the house with him, arm in arm, as if I wasn’t even here. Must be Tuesday.
  • I often wonder what Christopher Cross is up to.

Nation’s Bookies Reject NFL’s Appeal

THE POOL HALL–In a huge blow to commissioner Roger Goodell’s efforts to extend the NFL lockout, the league’s appeal of a federal judge’s ruling has been rejected by a council of the nation’s bookies. In affirming the lower court’s decision, the bookies stated that “it’s in the best interest of everyone that we get this shit done, pronto.”

“Training don’t start, preseason don’t start,” said council member Joey Legs at a press conference convened inside Cue Shotz Pool Hall, next to the one working pay phone. “Preseason don’t start, can’t start makin’ odds. I don’t make odds, people don’t bet, I’m broke. Cuz whether I make money or I don’t, I still gotta kick upstairs. The Big Man don’t wanna hear about no lockout. Simple, right? Yeah, real simple, ya fuckwads.”

“We got the fuckin draft starting tonight,” said council member Frankie Beans, who emerged from bathroom mid press conference. “You know how many people woulda come to me with first round picks if it weren’t for this lockout shit. Madon’!”

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell vowed he would appeal the bookies’ decision, but the council believed it was in the league’s best interest to drop any further legal challenges. “Why does this asshole think people watch football, cuz it’s fun?” said council member Danny. “They watch it cuz they all got paychecks ridin on it. What, this ginger asswipe don’t wanna make money.”

Nonetheless, Goddell promised he would go forward with more appeals of the federal court’s decision, and also said, “the ‘ginger asswipe’ remark was unnecessary. I ain’t been nothin but straight with Danny.”

With the NFL matter ruled on, the bookies’ council will now turn its attention to when the hell you plan on getting them their money.

Judge Ends NFL Lockout, Orders Players to Pummel One Another

MINNEAPOLIS–A federal judge officially ended the NFL lockout on Monday and ordered all of its players to “recommence pummeling one another with all due expediency.” In her ruling, Judge Susan Richard Nelson remarked that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell had violated players’ rights by “denying them the protections of collective bargaining, and robbing them of the ability to beat each other senseless.”

“This is a great day for NFL players’ rights, for the fans, and for old school ass whuppin’,” said NFLPA president DeMaurice Smith upon hearing of the decision. “By siding with the players, the court has definitively said the owners were in the wrong when they enjoined us from causing catastrophic harm to each other.”

Commissioner Goodell vowed to appeal the decision. “The league feels the judge has erred in her decision and we will continue to seek redress in all legal avenues at the league’s disposal. However, we want to stress that though we may disagree on a few points, the NFL’s owners and my office share with players the desire to see them back on the field killing each other. No one wants to see players crushing bones and causing traumatic head injuries more than we do.”

Despite the ruling, players are still not allowed to practice at team facilities until the judge’s decision is clarified, and until the NFL’s appeal can be filed. During that time, Smith advised players “to continue their usual off season training regimens and murder each other at off-site locations.”

An 80s Palate Cleanser from Phil Simms

Just so I’m not ending the working week on a total down note, please enjoy this workout video from the glorious, un-self-aware 1980s starring Phil Simms. This came over my transom thanks to Dan Epstein, author of the great retrospective of 1970s baseball Big Hair and Plastic Grass. I interviewed Dan on this site way back in May of last year. Why not read it, tough guy?

The Five-Cent Redemption of the Sports World

roethlisberger.jpgThe problem with sports reporters–one of them, anyway–is that they see things completely through the perspective of their beat. I’m sure the same is true of all types of reporters; it’s a job where a certain amount of myopia is necessary to do it well. But this becomes a serious problem when the thorny real world pops up in a sports context. Some sportswriters can handle it, but most can’t, at least not without the hammiest of fists.

Witness Phil Taylor in the latest issue of Sports Illustrated. The Steelers lost the Super Bowl, and this made him very happy, because Ben Roethlisberger deserved to lose thanks to his accusations of sexual assault.

[T]he path to forgiveness for Roethlisberger requires more than leading a crisp two-minute drill. “Seems like some people want Ben to walk across a bed of nails before they’ll cut him any slack,” says Pittsburgh receiver Hines Ward. Now, there’s a thought. But in the absence of that kind of pain, seeing Big Ben in the professional agony that comes with losing the Super Bowl will have to do. Apologies for boorish behavior and promises to be a better man can be coached and choreographed. The kind of hurt Roethlisberger expressed after the loss in Dallas cannot.

“I feel like I let people down,” he said after the game, in which he
threw for 263 yards and two touchdowns but also tossed two critical interceptions. “I feel like I let the city of Pittsburgh down, the fans, the coaches, my teammates.”

Good. Let it bleed. He went on to rattle off the names of teammates who had played through injuries, lineman Chris
Kemoeatu, wide receivers Mike Wallace and Emmanuel Sanders among them. “It’s even more disappointing for me because I let a lot of people down who showed up today to fight,” he said.
Even better. [all emphasis Taylor’s]

Aside from the fact that Taylor really pours on his wishes for pain (Good. Let it bleed.), I find this kind of piece troubling for a larger reason. We’re talking about something awful that (allegedly) happened outside the playing field. How is losing a Super Bowl any sort of “payback”? The guy’s lost football games before. I’m sure he’ll get over it. In pure karmic terms, if Roethlisberger is guilty, the scales would only be balanced when he himself had to endure some unwanted sexual advances from doofy-looking hairy dudes.

By saying that the Steelers loss was just desserts for Roethlisberger, you are in essence saying that losing the Super Bowl = sexual assault. By my own moral calculus, that doesn’t add up.

Also, Roethlisberger has already won the Lombardi Trophy twice. So does this mean God/karma/The Universe is okay with suspected rapists earning two championships, but three is just beyond the pale?

The same kinds of things were written about Michael Vick this year. He was redeeming himself on the football field, said an upsettingly large number of writers. Some thrilling comebacks and electric performances were good enough to make up for killing dozens of living things, apparently. Then, when he laid an egg in the first round of the playoffs, he suddenly still had a lot to prove about himself. The implication: If the Eagles had gone all the way, he would have become a decent human being.

You can think whatever you want about Vick. He’s actually served time in prison for his crimes, so if you believe that’s sufficient to pay for what he did, you’re entitled to that opinion. But if you think he still has a lot to answer for, the idea that he could compensate for his crimes by being really good at football is at best naive, at worst disturbing.

In the world of a sportswriter, any human failing can be redeemed with on-field heroics, even failings as heinous as Vick’s and Roethlisberger’s. Because that’s all they know. They eat, breathe, and sleep sports, so everything about The World must be interpreted through this lens.

Sports are not alone in this regard. Some people think Roman Polanski’s films excuse him drugging and raping a 13 year old. If Charlie Sheen somehow ever won an Oscar, I’m sure we’d hear “redemption” stories about him, too.

And to be fair, it’s not just professional sportswriters who do this. I saw plenty of ordinary fans tweeting throughout the Super Bowl with harsh words for Roethlisberger, delighting in his interceptions and poor first-half performance, suggesting this was karmic redemption–while also making an endless series of rape jokes, indicating they’d completely missed the point of disliking Roethlisberger in the first place.

Regardless of subject, I find it morally suspect at best. Forgiveness can not truly be achieved without some measure of empathy for those you victimized. It can only come after some long, dark night of the soul where you face yourself and come to grips with what you’ve done. It does not involve throwing perfect spirals or breaking free of a few tackles and scrambling for a first down.

If you want to believe the likes of Vick and Roethlisberger are not in need of redemption, that’s up to you. But if you think they still have much to answer for, you can’t also think that answering can be done on a sports context. Because if that’s true, let’s just give prisoners footballs and see which ones play the best, so we can determine which are most deserving of parole. It’s equally as fair and makes about as much sense.

Winter Storms May Expose Unsuspecting Millions to Pro Bowl

probowl.jpgATLANTA–The Centers for Disease Control has issued warnings that rough winter weather may expose millions of unsuspecting Americans to the Pro Bowl.

“With large parts of the country crippled by historically cold temperatures and intense blizzards, most Americans will probably spend the majority of this weekend indoors,” said Dr. Frank Cowlin, a senior epidemiologist at the CDC. “Not venturing outside this weekend brings with it increased risk of catching the NFL’s completely unwatchable quote-unquote all-star game.”

Cowlins reports that accidentally viewing this mockery of a sporting event can have many side effects. “Some victims may experience a high fever, due to rage caused by watching millionaire athletes and corporate douchebags enjoy all-expense-paid trips to Hawaii they could have easily afforded while the rest of the nation freezes. Other afflicted persons may feel nausea brought on by the truly sickening, apathetic play of the participants as they engage in a cruel farce whose resemblance to the game of football is purely coincidental.”

The potential danger of such epidemics was first recognized in 2002, when a rainy Memorial Day weekend forced millions to see a FOX Game of the Week between the Cubs and Pirates and emergency rooms across the nation were clogged with the afflicted. Casualties totaled five dead and thousands maddened by Joe Buck and Tim McCarver-induced dementia.

“If you happen to accidentally tune into the Pro Bowl,” Cowlins continued, “it is recommended you leave your house immediately, regardless of conditions outside. In the CDC’s opinion, hypothermia and frostbite are preferable to watching this monstrous abortion of a game.”

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell had no comment, but sources say he is looking into ways that he can fine the CDC.

Mike Francesa Can’t Say Anything About the Jets

francesa.jpgAlright, NFL week two is almost in the books, and I gotta man up here. I gave Rex Ryan and his team a lotta grief last week when they came up small against the Ravens. I was rough on him with my words. I did not treat him kindly with my mouth.

I called Rex classless. I said he was a joke. I said Mawk Sanchez was not an NFL quawtaback. I said some terrible things about Darelle Revis, and LaDainian Tomlinson, and Curtis Martin, just to be safe.

But let’s face it, the Jets had a big game yesterday against the Pats. A hu-yuge game. An enawmous contest. A gargantuan other-word-for-game. A game that they really had to win, if you wanna be honest. But they did, and I gotta give ’em credit.

They shut me up. After trashin em all last week, I cannot say one thing about the Jets, because I was wrong about em. They did their job and then some, and also more. So I can’t talk at all about the Jets. They are a team that I can not uttah a single word about. I gotta just shut my mouth about the Jets. You will not hear anothah syllable from me in regards to the Jets. If there are sounds coming out of my windpipe that resemble the patterns of speech normally associated with language, you can guarantee they will not be about the Jets, for that is a team that I can say nothin about.

Alright, let’s go to the phones. Paulie is callin from Ho-Ho-Kus. Paulie, what’s going on?

Hey Mike, hu-yuge Giants fan here, but I gotta agree, you can’t say nothin about the Jets after Sunday.

You can’t. You just can’t. Listen, the Jets shut me up. I’m done talkin about the Jets.

I was sayin a lotta the same things you was sayin about em…

I’m sure you were. We all were sayin things. You know the things we were sayin. I can’t say em no more, but you know what I was sayin.

Exactly. But now, I gotta just keep my mouth shut about the Jets.

You will not hear a peep outta me about the Jets this week. Not one. Of course, if they stink up the joint in Miami next weekend, I’ll be screamin at em again. But I can’t talk about that, because it hasn’t happened yet. For now, I will not say anything about the Jets. Don’t ask me to talk about the Jets. I’m done!

On last question, Mike. I got this buddy at work, huge Jets fan. He’s been givin me crap all day about how the Giants did against the Colts. Can I beat him savagely with a tire iron?

You not only can, you must. Alright, we got a go to a break, but when we come back, I’ll have Jon Heyman on, and he’ll tell me stuff that other writers tweeted three hours ago. Stay tuned for that.

Up the Middle with Skitch Hanson: A-Roid Has Singlehandedly Ruined Baseball

Scratchbomb hands over the reins to nationally syndicated sports columnist Skitch Hanson, as we’ve done many times before. You may know him as the author of the highly popular syndicated column “Up The Middle.” You may also have read his best-selling book I Liked It Better When Home Run Hitters Drank Like Fish. He’s also a frequent guest on ESPN’s sportswriters panel show 4th and Forever. Without further ado, here’s Skitch.

arod.jpg

Without A-Rod, who will the Yanks turn to as their playoff scapegoat?

The news about A-Rod couldn’t have come at a worse time for baseball. Just when everyone was ready to believe again, just when it seemed Barry Bonds was finally going to get his just deserts, just when all of us were ready to move on from steroids altogether, we get a reminder that performance enhancing drugs are a scourge that may never be removed from the game.

But for me, the A-Rod scandal broke at the perfect time! I’ve struggled to come up with column idea since I got back from Tampa. My editor rejected my Super Bowl column for being “rambling” and “incoherent” and “possibly libelous.” To be honest, it wasn’t my best work. My head wasn’t in a good place at the time.

I don’t want to point fingers, but a night I spent out with a certain Steelers kicker may have had something to do with my mental state. The whole evening is kind of fuzzy now. I remember drinking something called Irish car bombs (top o’ the mornin’ to ye, ol’ sport!) and then going to some place called Wild Cherries which, despite the name, was not a pastry shop.

From that point on, I only recall bits and pieces involving exotic dancers and a VIP room, and I think I might have drank human blood, but that’s a story for another column.

It’s unlikely that A-Rod will do any jail time for his crimes. But he may find himself in a far worse prison: the Big House of Negative Public Opinion.

Instead of bread and water, he will be fed a steady diet of scorn. Instead of bars, he will be confined by constant whispering about his accomplishments. And he will fear the questions that will be raised every time he passes another batting record, instead of just the threat of sexual assault.

On further thought, I’d rather face questions than prison rape, but my point is clear.

What’s even worse about the A-Rod situation is that he’s a hitter. A hitter who hits home runs! And the home run is a sacred thing, passed down to us from our cherished forefathers. When Washington suffered through the brutal winter at Valley Forge, he had one vision: that men could watch other men hit home runs and not worry about their purity!

I mean, he didn’t literally dream about that, because he had a lot of other important things to worry about, and also baseball hadn’t been invented yet. But I think he did dream about that, in a way, in spirit. I think he would have dreamed of baseball, if only he knew what baseball was.

Baseball must get its steroid problem under control. Because if they don’t, what will we tell our children? I had no idea how to tell my son about this whole mess–and he’s 28! Still, he was pretty upset. Granted, it was mostly because I didn’t go see him in that regional theatre production of Promises Promises.

The fact remains, our children look up to these athletes as role models. They see their heroes on TV doing these horrible things, and they think it’s okay to do them, too. When she was in high school, my daughter told me she thought it was okay to take some money from my wallet because Mark McGwire cheated, too. And when she stole my Discover card, she said she thought that was okay because Rafael Palmeiro had cheated, too.

And when she stole my car and drove it through the food court at the local mall, she said it was all because of Sammy Sosa. I’m still not sure how the two relate. Truth be told, I think it was just because she was mad at this girl who worked at Panda Express. Still, I wonder if Sammy would have thought twice about doing steroids if he knew it would cause my daughter to park a Kia on top of a White Castle fry cook.

If baseball wants a clue about how to handle this issue, look no further than the NFL. They used to have a pretty serious problem with performance enhancing drugs. But thanks to increased testing and public scrutiny, you never hear about steroids in football anymore!

I mean, sure, guys get caught doing them all the time and get suspended for several games, but it’s never any major players like you see in baseball. Except for those times when it is. Oh, and ex-players come forward all the time with tales of steroid use and guys taking drugs to play through concussions and other injuries. In fact, I think that might be worse than steroids. A lot worse, probably.

However, the NFL is very good at making sure no one at ESPN pays any attention to these things, and that’s what’s most important.

The New York Douchebag Sportswriters Guild Decrees Eric Mangini’s Fate

lupica.jpgAs chairman of the New York Douchebag Sportswriters’ Guild, I, Mike Lupica, call this meeting to order. First item of business, all praise and worship be due to Gorlaqk the Dread.

MurrayChass.jpgHail Gorlaqk!

lupica.jpgIndeed, Murray Chass. Second item of business, it looks like Eric Mangini might have a job interview with the Cleveland Browns. Do we think this is the next best move for him? The floor recognizes Phil Mushnick.
mushnick.jpgNo. Not only did he lead the Jets to a disastrous end, but he didn’t heed a word of our invaluable advice!
lupica.jpg
Shall we cut him any slack because that advice varied wildly among all of us from minute to minute?

MurrayChass.jpgSurely you jest! There is only one honorable thing for Mangini to do: take his own life.

raissman.jpgMy mustache and I agree. To go on living would do nothing but bring shame upon his ancestors. It would also make it seem as if our pointed barbs did no damage to his fragile psyche–which surely cannot be true!

lupica.jpgI concur, Bob Raissman. So we’re agreed that Eric Mangini can only truly find peace in the icy grip of the grave. The question follows: What would be the best method?

Continue reading The New York Douchebag Sportswriters Guild Decrees Eric Mangini’s Fate