Posted: Friday August 26, 2005 1:19PM; Updated: Saturday August 27, 2005 1:29PM
Kevin of Dallas seems to remember T.O. as a nice level-headed fella when Steve Young and Jerry Rice were around to keep him calm. Then what happened? Well, the game you talked about, in which he cried after he caught the TD pass that beat the Packers in the playoffs, after dropping a few, occurred seven years ago. It was kind of a breakout season for T.O. but he was still overshadowed by Rice. Next year Young was hurt and Jeff Garcia started most of the games. The following year was Rice's last with the Niners. I always had trouble with Owens' game because I thought he dropped too many passes, failed to run out too many patters, short-armed too many balls. Then, with Garcia at QB, T.O.'s mean streak came out. Then the jackass stuff. Did Rice and Young keep a lid on him, as you suggested? Absolutely.
A question from Bob of Merrick, N.Y., a member of the language police, who we'll hear from later: Who are some successful college DEs who became NFL linebackers? Tons of them. Lawrence Taylor, Junior Seau, Willie McGinest, Tedy Bruschi, Mike Vrabel ... I could go on and on. And thanks for what you wrote about my work.
Steve of Buffalo, N.Y., feels that when I mentioned the Vince Lombardi system failed to produce a successful NFL head coach, I neglected Marv Levy. Uh uh. He worked for George Allen in Washington, Not Vinny.
Andrew of Rochester, N.Y., can't understand how I can accurately grade DBs when the TV really doesn't show us enough. First of all, I have two sets of grades, man coverage and zone, with man getting a lot more weight when it comes time for all-pro picking. Granted it's hard to spot it all the time on TV. I replay a lot of stuff. That's why it takes me six hours to break down a taped game.
I simply record the percentages of passes completed on a DB, yardage, yards per pass, TD's, interceptions, and good work playing the force on running plays. Exotics such as sacks also go into the mix. Your figure of few passes thrown a man's way, usually out of fear, is a very big statistic on my chart. But you have to be careful. Many times there's no action in his sector because he's being helped out by double coverage. Sometimes a guy I never originally thought of winds up getting grades that jump off the chart. So I pick him. That's what happened with the Bills' Nate Clements last year. I'm not saying my system is any better or worse than anyone else's, but at least I have one. I'm not just penciling in the big names. And thank you for your comment.
Alex of Quincy, Mass., says that Tom Brady had a quick kick in the snow against the Dolphins two years ago. Fine, but when I answered the question, I mentioned the guy who used it every now and then, in other words more than once, as a weapon. And that was Tommy Prothro.
Joe of Laurence Harbor, N.J., says a chilling thing. He says that the networks will have not one but two sideline reporters working the games. Oy vey! That does it. I'll just have to call a few of my friends in the Bronx to take care of this problem. I don't think the NFL will allow coaches ever to be interviewed during games, but you never know. I mean if it'll sell a few more of their T-shirts made in China.
On the subject of sideline reporters and language abusers, we get to our mob of serious and passionate enemies of those who would destroy our language that it was hard picking an E-mailer of the Week. What the hell, these are my kind of guys, so I'll give first, last, middle names, nicknames, whatever ... in strict defiance of established policy ... anything that's provided.
Michael Raymond of Great Falls, Va., proved to be a strong candidate for EMOTW with his citing of this linguistic horror: Parameterize. Note, please, that the worst offenders usually are nouns that have been Frankenstein Monstered into verbs. Michael says he can find that word in his dictionary, a fairly modern one. Well my big Webster, dated 1942, wouldn't dream of it. I feel that all this linguistic butchery goes back to the late '60s, early '70s, and it is the corporate world's counter-attack to Woodstock and the rebellious '60s and the Age of Aquarius.
Dr. Ken Leistner, who trains many NFL players from his self-styled torture chamber in Valley Stream, N.Y., weighs in with a passionate, almost hysterical agglomeration of verbal atrocities, and I can see him hopping up and down as he fires off: "Coaches wouldn't compromise when they strategize to finalize their game plan, but the quarterback can always audibliize" (and I don't even think I'm spelling it right). Nice try, Dr. Ken, and you're a silver medalist, but the gold goes far across the seas (and D's and E's) to....
Ehab of Jerusalem, whose great white linguistic whale has been terminalized by George Carlin, whose shtick called Airline Announcements was just viewed by yours truly, thanks to the full Web address that Capt. Ehab so kindly provided. And in keeping with the public spirited nature of this week's award, I am giving it to you. Jimmy has come up with a magic link, which will save you the trouble of going through the horror show I did. Misplaced period or commas and Lord only knows what else forced me to type the address about eight times before the page finally came up, but it's worth the trip. Lots of funny stuff there.
More linguisticizers: Bob of Merrick, N.Y., is back and mentions the Mason, Iowa, Marriott sending him over to the Holiday Inn because the Marriott was under-departed for the week.
Mustafa Soylemez of Newport Beach, Calif., loves the airlines' familiar, "We'd like to thank you for flying United," but notes that they never actually thank you, they always stop short. We'd like to but we ain't gonna do it. I once asked a stewardess who said she'd be "more than happy" to do something or other, "How can you be more than happy? Get hysterical? Start singing? What?", and I was greeted for my trouble by a non-smiling look that said: "How do I contact Security?"
Glen Carey of NYC, and I think I've heard this one from Glen before, goes wacky every time one of those brainless idiots misuses the word, "literally," such as, "They're literally shredding the Chiefs' defense." I mean are pieces of flesh flying around?
The abbreviatizing of words absolutely devastates Pete of Langley, S.C., who fears that his 3-year old son and others like him R gonna use lite 4 light, and other such letter-savers. Office buzzwords such as synergy also bug him. "I dare you to use synergy in a sentence, he says.
No problem for me, old sport. They never told me it was a sin or, gee, I never woulda done it.