By: Bob George/
November 22, 2006

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Mac Percival played all but three of his 91 career games for Da Bears. He kicked for Chicago during the days when they had Sayers and Butkus. His best year was 1968, when he kicked a league-leading 25 field goals. He wasn?t one for distance, as he only booted one 50-yard field goal in his career. He was pushed out of his job in 1973 by the immortal Mirro Roder of Czechoslovakia, then kicked in three games for Dallas before retiring from the NFL. Percival skies one high, but not deep, and it carries to about the 12-yard line.

Honk if you have a problem with Vinny Testaverde wearing number 14, which should be associated with Steve Grogan and no one else.

Tell them ?72 Dolphins to get drunk. The Colts lost.

Yes, folks, it is that difficult to run the table in the NFL.

Don?t look now, but San Francisco is now 5-5. 49er fans love those coaches named Nolan, it seems.

Please don?t be stupid and ask Terrell Owens what he thinks of Donovan McNabb being knocked out for the year. Even if he said something polite, would you believe him?

Here?s the best thing about LaDainian Tomlinson: He enters the end zone like he?s been there before, just like the old days.

Brett Favre may be remembered by many as a quarterback who waited too long to retire. And that will be a shame, but it may be true.

Geek of the week: For the ultimate in stupidity, check out San Diego?s Igor Olshansky at the end of the game at Denver, getting duped by Tom Nalen into winking out and throwing a punch at the former BC Eagle center. Marty Schottenheimer almost had a stroke yelling at him. The chowderhead move nearly cost the Chargers the game.

Interestingly, Nalen got fined more than Olshansky, about five times more. Nalen?s our assistant geek this week.

So, the Patriots are finally installing Field Turf. Two issues are crystal clear.

There never was a rule on switching turf in midseason.

Or, if there was, it is being happily ignored by the league.

And you can bet that Bill Belichick is torqued off as all get out. He loved that home field advantage, and he loved lying about his opinion of the lousy sod with a straight face in front of a likely cynical media. But when you ring up three home losses, the Krafts perhaps put their feet down, along with a lot of Field Turf as well.

This brouhaha over the NFL Network and its first live game is getting interesting.

First, there?s the issue of the lack of people who will watch it. Several major cable companies don?t even want to carry the channel because of the high cost.

Then there?s the high definition angle. DirecTV customers, for example, don?t get this channel in HD.

So therefore, is this idea even a good one? It comes off as the NFL laying the groundwork for its network to become what Pravda was (or is) to Russia (or the old Soviet Union). If that be the case, it?s a stupid idea, but the NFL won?t find that out as soon as you the consumer would like them to.

Back to school: This will take up more than the usual space this week. A great game was played, a great coach passed away.

This writer has two personal recollections regarding Bo Schembechler. The first is at Michigan Stadium, the Saturday before the 1980 season opener against Northwestern. It is about 110 degrees on the stadium surface (tartan turf back then), and the marching band just went through a grueling practice. At the end of the practice, Schembechler came out and addressed the band. He made it clear that ?you are very important to us?, ?you inspire us?, ?you are an integral part of the Michigan football program?. All of a sudden, we didn?t feel bothered by the stifling heat anymore.

The following year, at an Ann Arbor private school, we were making ready for that school?s December winter holiday concert. Shemy Schembechler was a sixth grade trumpet player at the time, and his dad was sitting in the front row, scribbling football plays on a napkin with the 1981 Bluebonnet Bowl fast approaching (the opponent was UCLA). I walked up to the coach and said, ?Good luck in Houston! Go Blue!? Bo replied, ?All right! Hey, thanks very much!? in a very vigorous and appreciative tone of voice. And he sat there like a proud papa as his son played the concert.

All Michigan alumni deeply grieve the passing of Bo last Friday, on the eve of the biggest game in the history of the greatest college football rivalry. He was the figurehead of Michigan football for many years, and he made it the great spectacle it is today. Most of all, he gave everyone who holds a degree from the institution a great reason to be proud of Alma Mater. Though the university and its community are a great deal poorer with his passing, there is no question that his legacy will be seen and felt for eternity.

Oh, yes. The game. Nice job, Buckeyes. A reunion in Arizona would be fine and dandy, if Michigan can hold on to the number two ranking. But right now, Ohio State is the unquestioned best team in the land. Ouch. Hurts to say that.

And if you pay any attention at all to marching bands, you have to marvel at the Ohio State band?s classic Script Ohio routine. It is arguably the most famous marching formation in the nation, and a lot of fun to watch, even if you hate the university itself.

Remember him: You have your Jim Brown fan club over here. Over there, you have your Emmitt Smith fan club. And you have connoisseurs of Eric Dickerson, Barry Sanders and Walter Payton all over the place. But you?ll also find lots of folks out there who swear that Gale Sayers was the best running back they ever saw. His career was cut short because of leg injuries, but from 1965 to 1969 there was no finer running back in the NFL. He set the league on fire in his rookie season with six touchdowns against San Francisco on one game. He averaged five yards a carry for his entire career. One can only imagine what his raw stats would have been had he not been injured so much.

Rex Grossman threw four picks in a game versus Arizona earlier this season. If the Patriots don?t contain this guy, it will be a long day on Sunday.

Detroit has had a Thanksgiving Day game since 1934. That?s too long a tradition to want to break it, but you have to wonder if television bigwigs who have to go in there and try to make something out of potential lousy matchups every year wish they could.

Dallas, meanwhile, has done the Turkey Day bit since 1966. This has been a bit more fun to watch, though Cowboy fans cringe every time they see Leon Lett?s classic brain cramp from 1993.

Enjoy your dinners and your families, and don?t stress over whether or not you get that new third game.