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September 29, 2010
As The Ball Bounces: Week 3
BY: Bob George/BosSports.net

Miami has had some good kickers over the years. Maybe Olindo Mare was the best of them, in the days when he was really on his game. He kicked for the Dolphins for ten years before finishing his career in Seattle after one year in New Orleans. Mare did well when he didn't have to kick on that Florida Marlins infield surface. He booms one to about the two-yard line. Enjoy the south Florida humidity, guys.

Michael Vick was busted for illegal acts involving dogs. Vick now resembles a cat.

How? He lands on his feet and has nine lives.

Next week, we'll see how cat-like Ben Roethlisberger is.

Except that the Steelers are 3-0 without Big Ben.

Laurence Maroney's numbers in Denver: 12 carries, 24 yards. Josh McDaniel did know what he was getting, didn't he?

Tom Brady is still the greatest thing this side of clam chowder.

That commercial with Jerry Jones and Daniel Snyder works, but for all the wrong reasons.

They are both filthy rich meddling owners who don't understand that the biggest problem with their teams are they themselves.

Geek of the week: No, it's not Braylon Edwards for getting busted for drunk driving. It's Rex Ryan for not sitting him out the entire game. It sends the wrong message and is only a slap on the wrist for sitting him one quarter.

Not that he was missed. Miami stunk while he was out.

Fame and reputation are both fleeting in the NFL.

Consider the case of New Orleans kicker Garrett Hartley. Last year he kicks the Saints into the Super Bowl with an overtime field goal, then kicks three 40-plus yard field goals in the big game. This year, he misses an overtime field goal against Atlanta, and the Falcons come back to win in the Superdome.

Now we get word that the Saints are bringing in kickers to audition for Hartley's job.

When they say "What have you done for me lately?", the word "lately" is really taken literally.

You watch how disgusting the Giants looked at home against Tennessee, and you wonder where was that in Arizona three Februaries ago.

While we're on the Giants, you sometimes might wonder how likeable Eli Manning is. Maybe we're just fishing here, but sometimes he comes off as aloof and not really into it.

Except in Super Bowl XLII, of course.

It's been a few years, and the Patriots still miss Asante Samuel.

They could also use Mike Vrabel back.

Back to school: Okay, folks, indulge me for a few moments. I am a former member of both the UMass and Michigan marching bands. A big hats off to the Michigan fans last week when UMass paid them a visit. Their heartfelt tribute to the UMass band was unforgettable. You have no doubt heard the tragic story of the passing of UMass marching band director George Parks, who died of a heart attack a week ago Thursday night in a suburb of Cleveland, on their way to Ann Arbor last Saturday. Mr. Parks was a UMass icon who was not only a nationally recognized band director and Drum Major, but a first class human being as well. UMass football fans will miss him a great deal, but the band students will take a long time to get over this. Mr. Parks leaves a stunning legacy of 33 great years (I was there for year three), and everyone needs to keep the UMass band and the Parks family in their thoughts. This writer thanks Mr. Parks from the bottom of my heart for the things I learned and for the fun I had in UMass band.

Let's see, which was the worst "who do you root for" game, Indianapolis-Denver or Miami-Jets?

Peyton Manning won while Maroney did his usual nothing. It's nice to shut up those Denver fans, but not to the benefit of Manning.

Meanwhile, you have our chief rivals knocking heads down at Chez Fish. You're a poor sport if you're rooting for lots of injuries and maybe a tie score.

The sad fact about the Miami-Jets game is that right now that was the battle of the best two teams in the AFC East.

Meanwhile, you might look and see the Patriot Way in action -- out yonder in Kansas City.

How you ask? Let's see...there's Vrabel, and Matt Cassel, and Charlie Weis, and Romeo Crennel, and this new GM of theirs named Scott Pioli. And they're 3-0 right now. Shocker. Why can't we get talent like that?

Let's hope this doesn't begin chatter about things like "Oh, now we know why the Patriots were so good, and it wasn't Bill Belichick!"

Just like when we heard things like "Oh, now we know why the Giants were so good, and it wasn't Bill Parcells!"

Is it that the 49ers are 0-3 because they aren't quite yet good enough to have a better record? They left New Orleans way too much time last Monday night, yet they were convinced they would stop Drew Brees.

I'd still stick with Mike Singletary if I were the Yorks. Sooner or later he'll have that NFC power team he craves.

Remember him: This guy needs to shut up when some team is 11-0 and quit barking about how great his 1972 team was, and let us just remember him for the great running back he was. Eugene "Mercury" Morris was an NFL running back for seven seasons, six of them with Miami. In that iconic 17-0 1972 season, he rushed for exactly 1,000 yards and was part of a terrific running back trio which also included Larry Csonka and Jim Kiick. Morris would have had another thou the next year but fell 46 yards short despite playing in only 13 games. He ended his career in 1976 as a Charger before hanging up his cleats before the age of 30. Yet all you see of him today are in these "They may be in our neighborhood but they can't knock on our door!" rants about undefeated teams who come close to running the table but eventually stumble. Morris and his teammates drink champagne toasts every year when the last undefeated team finally loses its first game. One of these days either the Colts will stop being stupid or the Patriots will make that last defensive stop, and all those champagne parties will stop for good.

Oh by the way, when you talk about rushing trios, there are none finer than Sam Cunningham, Andy Johnson and Horace Ivory, who along with Steve Grogan and Don Calhoun established the record for most rushing yards in a season with 3,165 in 1978. This record, ladies and gentlemen, still stands. And who says the Patriots can't run the ball.

Steve Belichick was once quoted as saying "I saw my first NFL game in 1924…that was a long time ago!" Three years prior, the Bears and Packers played each other for the first time. The Chicago Staleys beat the Pack at Chicago, 20-0. That game will be 90 years old next year. Now that's a long time ago.

Wonder if Steve Belichick saw a Chicago-Green Bay game with one team getting 19 penalties.

Or if he ever saw a Chicago team with a still substandard offense win the game with four seconds to go like Da Bears did Monday night.

Oh well. It's like Rutgers versus Princeton. The oldest rivalry of them all.


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