By: John Molori
September 25, 2005

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THIS WEEK:

- Hurricane hot air
- Quotes and notes
- Naughty Niners
- Cris cross

Tackling a dummy or two after Week 3

The NFL season is nearly one-quarter of the way complete and there are a few audibles I'd like to call. Down, set".

I understand that the value of fame and notoriety, but I am tired of the endless array of irrelevant interviews regarding the effects of Hurricane Katrina. With all due respect to the likes of Mississippi native Brett Favre and Louisiana legend Archie Manning, their wealth protected them from the wrath of the storm. If the media wants interviews with impact, they should interview people who lost jobs, homes and livelihoods, not rich guys who care, but who are largely insulated from the disaster.

The mainstream NFL media has become no better than Soap Opera Digest, swinging back and forth from week to week. After Week 1 of the NFL season, the Eagles were a hapless team in emotional disarray and Terrell Owens was Charles Manson in a jock strap. Now, after beating the 49ers and the Raiders, the Eagles are Sports Illustrated cover boys and Owens is the second coming of Martin Luther King. Please. Be rational and save the fickle storylines for the bon-bon and fluffy slipper set.

ABC sideline reporter Sam Ryan seemed nervous, edgy and unprepared filling in for Michele Tafoya as sideline reporter for last Monday's Redskins-Cowboys tilt. It made me pine for the glory days of ex-reporter Lisa Guerrero. Speaking of Guerrero, Fox Sports Net's Leeann Tweeden had this to say about the erstwhile MNF sideline reporter's short stint on ABC, "She blew it. I mean come on; she had "Monday Night Football!" You have to do your homework. Her lack of background checks was embarrassing. She learned the hard way." Meowwww!

Quote of the Week: In response to his team's constant jawing with opponents on the field, Bengals' coach Marvin Lewis succinctly told his club, "The young players on this team have to learn to be quiet." Quite Belichickian, I'd say.

Speaking of postgame stars, it is clear that Jets' head coach Herman Edwards and Dolphins first year mentor Nick Saban are filling the press conference void left by a mellowing Bill Parcells and the retired Jim Mora, Sr. Last week, Edwards gave the media an eloquent lesson on how a backup becomes a starter once he enters the huddle, while Saban referenced Al Pacino in "Scent of a Woman" in discussing the slow start of rookie tailback Ronnie Brown.

What's up with the 49ers taunting opponents through the media leading into games? Last week, linebacker Derek Smith trashed Terrell Owens and the Eagles did everything but pistol-whip the Niners. This week, Julian Peterson guaranteed a Niner win over Dallas. Am I missing something? Last year, San Francisco could barely beat a team of arthritic nuns and all of a sudden they are jabbering like Muhammad Ali. I guess the SF really stands for "So Foolish."

Speaking of bulletin board material, leading into Sunday's game, Pittsburgh's Joey Porter said of Tom Brady, "He can be rattled. We rattled him before." Porter didn't do too much rattling on the Pats game-winning drive. Porter's pregame braggadocio was tempered by Steelers' QB Ben Roethlisberger who said of Brady, "He is the best quarterback in the NFL."

Quote of the Week 2: HBO "Inside the NFL's" Dan Marino when asked how going to prison has affected the play of Ravens' running back Jamal Lewis, "I don't know. I've never been to prison."

In the September 26 edition of Sports Illustrated, Peter King notes that the Browns defensive line had a field day with Green Bay's offensive line in Week 2 and singles out the poor play of Adrian Klemm. Hmm, do you think Browns' head coach Romeo Crennel remembered what an unmitigated stiff Klemm was in New England?

In the same issue of SI, Peter King sent a disturbing message in discussing replacement options if Vikings' coach Mike Tice were to be fired. King stated, "There's not a logical person on (Tice's) coaching staff-not even the once highly regarded Ted Cottrell, presiding over a badly underachieving defense-to serve as interim coach." King's comments are an insult to Cottrell, who would make a great head honcho in Minnesota. It's ignorant feelings like King' s that probably kept Cottrell from getting a head coaching job long ago.

Quote of the Week 3: HBO "Inside the NFL's" Cris Carter on Jets' quarterback Chad Pennington's arm strength, "Pennington has a water pistol for an arm."

There have already been at least a dozen illegal horse collar tackles that have gone unflagged by game officials and ignored by booth analysts. Does someone's leg need to be broken for a flag to be thrown or an analyst to make a comment? If you are going to make a rule, enforce it, and if refs don't enforce it, say something!

Inside the NFL's Cris Collinsworth had some harsh words for the Charlie Weis-less Pats on HBO this week. "They couldn't run the football. Their only touchdown came on a blown coverage by the Carolina Panthers," said Collinsworth. " Everybody questioned what would happen without Charlie Weis and if this is any indicator of it, it is going to be a tough season. Tom Brady at the Super Bowl was talking about it last year with us privately before the game and he was nervous about it. You could clearly tell that he was worried about going into this season without Charlie Weis."

Collinsworth said that last week's game was "the worst offensive performance I've seen out of the Patriots since Bill Belichick has been there." This is where he loses credibility. First of all, where was the Weis pining after the Pats put up 30 points vs. Oakland in Week 1? Second, I guess Collinsworth forgot the Pats' 31-0 loss vs. Buffalo in Week 1 of the 2003 season, not to mention a couple of clunkers from Belichick's 5-11 2000 season. Collinsworth' s comments smack of panicking and hyperbole. Oddly enough, Collinsworth correctly predicted that the Pats would win in Pittsburgh.

Dan Dierdorf's cliché-ridden performance in last week's NBC Pats-Panthers game and Sterling Sharpe's pitiful display in ESPN's Chiefs-Raiders tilt were nausea-inspiring. Memo to NBC: Dick Enberg satisfies the AARP's recommendations for hiring the elderly. Can Dan! Memo to ESPN: Having a loud voice and looking good in a suit does not make someone a color analyst. If it did, Wayne Newton would be calling the Super Bowl. Stifle Sterling. Danke Schoen.

John Molori's columns are published in, The Boston Metro, Patriots Football Weekly, The Providence Journal, Boston Sports Review, New England Hockey Journal, New England Ringside Magazine, ColdHardFootballFacts.com, TheRemyReport.com, PatsFans.com, BostonSportsReview.com, BostonPressBox.com, BostonSportsMedia.com and MethuenOnline.com. Email John at JOMOL3@aol.com.


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