DJ Gallo's Offseason Pigskinpalooza!
It's Sweet 16 week!
Big deal. Every week football has the Terrific 20. Or as it's better know: The Offseason Pigskinpalooza. Let's kick it off ...
1. Urban Meyer is BACK! After his long retirement (which lasted more than five hours but less than a lifetime; reports vary), he is now truly getting back into the swing of things. The Florida coach ripped an Orlando Sentinel reporter this week for reporting that Gators receiver Deonte Thompson referred to new quarterback John Brantley as a "real quarterback" when comparing him to Tim Tebow. Never mind that the reporter was just quoting Thompson. Meyer still went on the attack. It's similar to Mike Gundy's defense of a player a few years ago. Only, in this case, Meyer would scream: "I'm a MAN! My BLOOD PRESSURE IS 240!"
2. This continues a bad week for Tebow. The Web site ProFootballTalk.com has reported that at the NFL combine, Tebow tried to lead a group of players in prayer before taking the Wonderlic exam -- but was told "Shut the #$%^ up," by one of the other prospects. Wow. As we all know, Tebow scored a 22 out of 50 on the exam, lower than the scores of Sam Bradford, Colt McCoy and Jimmy Clausen. Perhaps he was shaken by the incident. Whereas the player who told him to shut up scored a Wonderlic-record 666 out of 50. Well done, demon!
3. The Jets will be the subject of the upcoming season of HBO's "Hard Knocks." And, like every successful modern TV show, the Jets have all the standard characters. The attractive ladies' man will be Mark Sanchez. The funny, fat one will be Rex Ryan. The brooding, emotionally fragile one is LaDainian Tomlinson. The successful, brilliant one is Darrelle Revis. It will even have a few of the annoying Screech/Jar Jar Binks/Turtle-style characters that everyone wishes were never written into the show.
4. Black lawmakers in South Carolina are calling recruits and their families to ask them to rethink playing for South Carolina due to the fact that the school will soon not have a single black trustee on its 22-member board. This, of course, adds to the growing list of reasons a recruit should rethink playing for South Carolina, including "It's South Carolina," and "Really. South Carolina. Do you have no desire to play in the NFL or a bowl game anyone has ever heard of? Could you not try to walk on at Florida or something?"
5. Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez is part of a group of investors that has been sued in federal court by a company claiming the group owes more than $995,000 plus interest on a $1 million loan to develop 60 condominiums near Alabama's football stadium. I spoke to a Michigan law school professor who said he believes Rodriguez will lose the case. Badly. And that he will appear to have almost no defense. (I should note that the guy hadn't read any of the documents.)
6. 2010 national signing day officially ended Tuesday afternoon when five-star offensive lineman Seantrel Henderson from Saint Paul, Minn., finally faxed his letter of intent to Lane Kiffin and USC. Henderson had been holding off due to the NCAA infraction issues hanging over the program. But now it appears Henderson feels the program is on the up and up. So you can call off the dogs on the Trojans (again), NCAA! A high schooler from Minnesota thinks they're clean. Nothing to see there.
7. Florida State says it rang up $172,000 in legal costs (unsuccessfully) challenging part of an NCAA penalty that stripped wins from former head coach Bobby Bowden. It's not surprising the cost got so high. Their attorneys likely billed them double because they had tutors do all their work.
8. LSU has acknowledged committing NCAA violations in the recruiting of defensive tackle Akiem Hicks. Hicks is no longer with the program and did not play in 2009. Had he played, LSU's 2009 season could have been wiped clean. Ooooooh. Tough break, Les Miles. That was probably your last best shot at getting people to forget your clock management against Ole Miss.
9. New Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly is preaching discipline. So much so that he has scheduled 5 a.m. winter practices on a field surrounded by snow. "If you want to be a championship football team you have to be able to pay attention to detail," he said. "Our guys are starting to understand that." No doubt. For example, his players probably noticed details like "It's really cold" and "It's really early and I wish I was sleeping." Let's just go ahead and pencil Notre Dame in for the BCS title.
10. The NFL's new overtime format has caused some pressure on the NCAA to tweak its overtime system. If the NCAA does make a change, I would encourage it to -- unlike the NFL -- use the same overtime format for both the regular season and playoffs. Anything else would be stupid. Not as stupid as not having playoffs, but pretty stupid.
11. It's probably not a coincidence that the day after the NFL adopted its new overtime system, Andy Reid said the Eagles will listen to trade offers for all of their quarterbacks -- including Donovan McNabb. McNabb will turn 34 this year. That's not enough time for him to learn the new overtime rules. Or that there is an overtime. Or a game clock.
12. Early suitors for McNabb are said to be the Bills, Raiders and Rams ... and also the Lions and Browns. (Actually, the Lions and Browns are not in the bidding. It's just weird to see them not in the same sentence as the Bills, Raiders and Rams, so I thought I'd throw them in there.)
13. Something something something about the Bills, Raiders, Rams, Lions and Browns. There. That looks good and makes me feel better.
14. In addition to the new overtime format, the NFL has passed new rules that protect "defenseless players," including players who lose their helmet during a play. Also, anyone who is wearing a Bills, Raiders, Rams, Lions or Browns helmet should be treated with extra care, because the NFL does not support bullying. (There. That one was legit. I can stop now.)
15. Speaking of the Lions, they reportedly have strong interest in signing Pacman Jones. And thank God. Pacman can put some much-needed money into Detroit's economy. Every little bit counts. As the saying goes: A single, wadded-up dollar picked up off the floor is a dollar earned.
16. The Patriots finally have a tight end. They have signed Alge Crumpler. Look at that end. So tight. Like Jell-O covered in saran wrap.
17. Hoping to cut down on the number of teams that mail it in for Week 17, Roger Goodell said that the final week of the regular season may be reserved for divisional games. So now the Colts will get to rest their starters in Week 17 versus the Titans, Texans or Jaguars. YAY!
18. The NFL's sudden-death overtime format has long been criticized. So it's probably not a coincidence that sudden death was scrapped in the offseason after Brett Favre was bounced from the playoffs via sudden death. If Brett Favre is harmed, the NFL will act. So expect this new rule for 2010 also: All defensive backs must wear cement gloves in the final five minutes of every game.
19. Battery charges against Warren Sapp have been dropped. Take it away, Warren!
20. Chad Ochocinco did fairly well in his debut on "Dancing with the Stars." However, I'd much rather see AFC North rival Hines Ward on "Dancing with the Stars." As would we all. Who wouldn't want to see him deliver a blindside hit on Kate Gosselin?
DJ Gallo is the founder of and sole writer for the sports satire site SportsPickle.com. He also is a regular contributor to ESPN The Magazine and has written for The Onion and Cracked. His first book, "SportsPickle Presents: The View from the Upper Deck," is on sale now.
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