Author Archives: nfldave

They should call it ‘Coldth’

Dave is excited about this year’s Super Bowl being held on the ice planet of Hoth …


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(Almost) ‘America’s Team’

Don’t delude yourselves, Indiana Pacers. America hasn’t fallen in love with you. Roy Hibbert might be good, but Kris Humphries still has a lot more name recognition. Those cheers you’re hearing from across the land aren’t so much for you as they are against the Miami Heat.

LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh aren’t exactly living up to expectations in South Beach. (Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press)

No surprise, of course. Almost two years after LeBron made “The Decision”, it still stands alone as the most obnoxious, out-of-touch, self-aggrandizing event by an athlete ever. Well, except for the following night, when James and his new teammates, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, starred in that grotesque lights-and-special effects stage production featuring the Big Three doing Jay Leno-style handshakes with the audience and LeBron declaring his intention to win at least a half dozen rings. Too bad it all came off so horribly, because ‘The Decision’ obscured LeBron’s actual decision, which at worst should’ve been a feel-good story about a superstar more concerned with winning than money and at best could’ve delivered a symbolic hero to the millions of Americans suffering because of decisions made by Wall Street.

As best you can, erase the specifics of “The Decision” from your mind. I know, I know — it’s tougher than getting the dog poop out of your favorite sneakers, but do your best. All set? Now, what if I told you there’s an NBA team whose stars represent the same basic ideals as the 99-percenters who’ve been occupying American cities over the past year? Sounds good? Then I’m pleased to present the Miami Heat.

I acknowledge the irony of comparing wildly wealthy NBA players with the average American, but in the NBA universe the players are the proletariat and the owners are the bourgeoisie. Players might be millionaires, but owners are billionaires. In other words, the players are the NBA’s working class. They might have enough influence to sell sneakers and energy drinks to the general public, but they don’t generally have much power when it comes to building an NBA roster.

Or at least they didn’t until July 8, 2010. That’s the day a high school-educated kid from Akron announced that he and two other league employees named Wade and Bosh had decided to circumvent the standard process of having owners, GMs and agents dictate the free-agency process by choosing to play together where they wanted under their own terms. They even took less money to do it. What’s not to love?

Make no mistake, LeBron isn’t without guilt — he was a grown man who should’ve known better than to participate in nonsense so profound as “The Decision” — but I blame his out-of-his-depth manager Maverick Carter and ESPN’s ratings-grabbing producers more for the cockamamie made-for-TV event that re-cast a formerly likable, charismatic guy into the lead villain of an elitist gang of sun-soaked prima donnas. And while I’m at it, shame on LeBron for getting so swept up in the process that he failed to tell his homestate fans in advance that he wouldn’t be returning to the Cavs. Maintain the suspense of his pseudo-gameshow notwithstanding, LeBron had no excuse for letting Clevelanders twist like that. The least he should’ve done — for his own sake, as well as theirs — was show them as much empathy as possible as he made off for beachier pastures.

Which brings me to the most loathsome aspect of “The Decision” … which, of course, was LeBron saying, “I’m taking my talents to South Beach.” He’s still gotta be waking up in a cold sweat of regret over that one. Arrogance, braggadocio and a misanthropic kiss-off to the place he’d spent the first quarter century of his life — all in one short sentence. Imagine how different our collective perception of LeBron if he’d instead said, “I’m going to occupy South Beach.”

Likewise, conservatives should get behind the Big Three. LeBron, Wade and Bosh were merely taking advantage of their individual freedoms provided by our Constitution, fighting to determine their own path instead of waiting for someone to hand it to them from on high. Matter of fact, the Heat are an experiment in the trickledown effect: the success of three top-tier players will theoretically trickle down to the nine lucky schlubs on the court with them.

But of course, it hasn’t worked out that way. Bosh is out, Wade is fuming, and LeBron is getting the lion’s share of the blame. The Heat appear to be on their way to a second straight playoff failure, at least as measured by their “win-or-bust” yardstick. And America couldn’t be happier about it.

Dameshek’s 11

In honor of 11/11/11, here’s my list of the 11 greatest No. 11s in NFL history (or at least No. 11s that I could think of off the top of my head) …

11. Jeff George
10. Sebastian Janikowski
9. Pat Haden
8. Jim Everett
7. Tony Eason
6. Danny White
5. Mark Rypien
4. Drew Bledsoe
3. Phil Simms
2. Norm Van Brocklin
1. Larry Fitzgerald

(Also receiving vote: Alex Smith, Roy Williams, Greg Landry, Jim Jenson, Mike Sims-Walker, Ed Luther)

(Not receiving vote: Akili Smith)

The Shame Report: Week 5

The white hot light of shame always seems to find its way to Philadelphia, but Dave has his sights set on some other perpetrators, including Tim Tebow, in this week’s Shame Report.

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Uniform Monitor: Week 5

(Michael Hickey/US Presswire)

Uniform Matchup of the Week: Chiefs at Colts

Let this be a lesson to all those teams who foolishly choose to run the piping on their pants up the sides of their jerseys (like you, Vikings). Today in Indy, the fans are being to the pleasure of simplicity: two teams in the rainbow’s three primary colors, augmented with understated, elegant stripes. At the risk of nitpicking, the Uniform Monitor* encourages Kansas City to replace their shiny red pantaloons with the flat matte finish sported by the likes of Dawson, Podolak and Buchanon.

Best NFL Uniform of the Week:New England Patriots

(Andrew Weber/US Presswire)

It’s always a pleasure to get reacquainted with Pat Patriot, and not just because it spares us a week of looking at the overly-fussy and completely unnecessary Flying Elvis getups. Like most people with two eyes and a good sense of fashion, I’d love to see a full-time return to the glorious red jerseys and white hats, but I also understand the metaphysical conundrum it causes: the Patriots have won three Lombardis in their navy-and-silver eyesores, compared to the zero titles in the more aesthetically pleasing unis worn by Eason, Grogan and the other Patriots who were humiliated in the Super Dome back in Super Bowl XX. The Houston Rockets, the St Louis Rams and the Pittsburgh Penguins serve as a collective cautionary tale to any successful team considering a uniform change — all three teams were in the midst of potential dynasties when the opted to go with a new look. Since those switches, the Rockets haven’t come close to title, the Rams lost to the Pats in Super Bowl XXXVI (in which New England wore the Flying Elvis… see how it comes full circle?), and the Penguins languished for 17 seasons before getting back on top in ’09. Which brings me to…

Best NHL Uniform of the Week: Calgary Flames

On Saturday night, the Penguins and their ugly uniforms paid a visit to the Saddledome in Alberta. Pittsburgh may have won the hockey game, but Calgary gets the award for Best Uniform. After fooling around for years — nay, decades — with black pants and weird striping, the Flames finally did the right thing by returning to their simpler all-red-with-white-and-gold-trim getups. Why, you might call ’em the Chiefs of the NHL. Like I say, full circle.

* If you’re not aware, I aspire to one day become the official Uniform Monitor for all sports. In the meantime, I work gratis for two reasons: 1. I have a deep passion for great uniforms, and 2. I have an equally strong distaste for some of the visual atrocities imposed on our eyeballs by various teams across the sports landscape (I’m talking about you, Jacksonville Jaguars, Seattle Seahawks, Oregon Ducks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Anaheim Ducks, et al).

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How should Rodgers fire back at the ol’ gunslinger?

This just in: Brett Favre is a bitter old man.

I’m sure you saw/heard/read his comments about Aaron Rodgers on an Atlanta radio show this week. In case you missed ‘em, though, here’s what the Ol’ Gunslinger had to say about his very successful successor’s championship run last season:

“I’d like to think that he watched, he learned, and then when he got a chance to play, he brought in his ability. He’s got tremendous talent, he’s very bright, and he got a chance to watch and he saw successful teams do it right. … He just kind of fell into a good situation. On top of that, he’s a good player. … The talent around him is even better than when I was there. So I’m really kind of surprised it took him so long.”

Classy, Brett. Lucky for you, Rodgers has always comported himself with quiet dignity (something he apparently didn’t watch and learn from you), even when you attempted to un-retire your way back into the starting gig with the Packers. Too bad, because it’d be exceptionally satisfying for the rest of us if Rodgers would fire back by saying something like, “A Vikings QB taking shots at me? Oh, well — I’m sure Bart Starr had to deal with the same thing from Joe Kapp.”

Instead, I expect he’ll keep his yap shut and let his arm and legs do his talking, winning big games and validating my assertion in this week’s Shame Report that he’s better than #4 ever was.

Like I said, along with his on-field virtues, Rodgers also seems to be a class act. Good for him… but bad for us. Therefore, I think it’s incumbent upon us fans to insert ourselves into this currently one-sided rivalry by offering how we think Rodgers should respond.

Turning the other cheek might be the right thing to do, but it’s definitely not as much fun as talking some trash. It’s time for you to speak up on behalf of the reigning Super Bowl MVP. How should Rodgers fire back at the Ol’ Gunslinger?

Like that snake and his apple in the Garden of Eden, I’ve even got a prize to tempt you. Best response wins a copy of writer/our pal Jonah Keri’s exceptional book about the winning ways of the Tampa Bay Rays, ‘The Extra 2%’. Do your best… I mean worst… (but as Hank Williams Jr has reminded us, there is a line – please don’t cross it).

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The Uniform Monitor*: Week Four

(Matthew Emmons/US Presswire)

It’s that time of the year again for the NFL to show its support for breast cancer awareness by mixing in some pink trim with team uniforms.  From a philanthropic standpoint, it’s a no-brainer.  From a fashion standpoint, though, it’s a nightmare.  What a shame the American Cancer Society didn’t opt for a nice, light grey over hot pink … but hindsight is 20/20.  You might not want the gift of sight, though, if you’re watching Washington at St Louis.  Pink doesn’t exactly go well with the maroon and gold of the Redskins or the metallic gold of the Rams.  Some other sartorial notes:

Most Confusing NFL Game of the Week – Detroit Lions at Dallas Cowboys

As if two teams wearing the same basic color scheme isn’t perplexing enough, both teams’ QBs wear number 9.  Fortunately, the flak jacket helps us identify Romo.

Most Confusing College Game of the Year – The Scrimmage Bowl: Nebraska at Wisconsin

Thank goodness for helmet logos.  I’ve never seen two teams with such similar getups.  Double lines on the pants, double lines on the arms, red facemasks.  The only two matchups that’d trump this one in terms of continuity would be Iowa vs the Steelers and Duke vs the Colts.

Uniform Matchup of the Day – San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles

(Alex Brandon/Associated Press)

The pickings are slim this weekend, but the Niners always look good since going to back to their classic getups.  The Eagles would do well to follow that lead and return the 1960 getups they wore in Week 1 last season, but the current version is still relatively snappy.

Fashion Terror Alert – Miami Dolphins at San Diego Chargers

Let’s hope the ‘Fins don’t wear those turquoise pants, especially if the Bolts break out their powder-blue jerseys.

* If you’re not aware, I aspire to one day become the official Uniform Monitor for all sports.  In the meantime, I work gratis for two reasons: 1. I have a deep passion for great uniforms, and 2. I have an equally strong distaste for some of the visual atrocities imposed on our eyeballs by various teams across the sports landscape (I’m talking about you, Jacksonville Jaguars, Seattle Seahawks, Oregon Ducks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Anaheim Ducks, et al).

Shek to the Future … Week 4

Dave and Rank jump into the DeLorean and go into the future and not only check out Week 4’s games, but they run into an old friend.

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Move over, Curse of the Bambino?

As ESPN the Magazine made abundantly clear a couple weeks ago, the Red Sox and their Beantown peers have shaken long since shaken off the Curse of the Bambino. However, by declaring Boston ‘America’s Most Dominant Sports City’, the publication may inadvertently jinxed the town all over again. Consider: Since the publishing of that now-infamous issue, the Patriots gave up a three-touchdown lead to perennial punching bag, Buffalo; the Celtics continue to be locked out (alright, that’s a curse that afflicts all the teams); Boston College’s football and basketball teams were indirectly doomed to irrelevancy by the ACC’s additions of superior programs, Pitt and Syracuse; and, as you may have heard, the Red Sox suffered the greatest September collapse in MLB history.

In other words, Boston sports fans would do well to keep a close eye on Sunday’s game in Oakland, because a loss might be an indication of not just a failing Patriots defense, but something much, much more dire.

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DDFP: Playoffs? You’re talking about … playoffs?

Handsome Hank delights the fellas with his reading of listener tweets. (Ben Liebenberg/NFL)

Shek & Rank welcome back their handsome and wise colleague, Elliot Harrison, for a two-parter. On Side A, the fellas debate which AFC teams are for real and which will crash and burn ala the Red Sox (speaking of collapses, click here to see which NFL teams Rank says suffered the worst meltdowns ever). After that, Handsome Hank drops by On Side B, the conversation turns to which Pro Football Hall of Fame nominees are most worthy of immediate induction; then, Shek unveils the newest edition of “N-if-L”; and finally, Shek & Rank jump into the DeLorean to find out who wins Week Four’s biggest games. Of all the podcasts you’ve ever heard, this is one of ’em.”

Side A:

Side B:

But before we go, is this not the worst logo have you ever seen? P and U.

The Miami Marlins new cap: this has the makings of one of the five worst uniforms in sports history


Also, be sure to subscribe to the Dave Dameshek Football Podcast via iTunes.

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