Nick Saban made his pro-coaching debut in the Hall of Fame Game on Monday.
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1. Four observations from watching ABC's broadcast of the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio, between the Chicago Bears and the Miami Dolphins:
I'm in awe of the dude who came up with the "RICKY 4:20" sign, a parody of the ubiquitous "John 3:16" signs. Did anyone explain it to Al Michaels and John Madden in the booth? ABC opened with a Muppets bit featuring Statler & Waldorf, Miss Piggy and Kermit. It hit me yet again how much the porcine puppet, who peaked in fame in the 1970s, reminds me of another famed female character from that era. Here's a few hints: somewhat self-absorbed diva who is prone to unreasonable temper tantrums; prefers men in green with no lips; parts her blondish hair in the middle. That's right: Hot Lips Houlihan. Bears rookie QB Kyle Orton looked good. It's the Joe Montana effect: GM's get scared away by a guy's NFL Combine numbers or stats and forget to look at what he did on the field and he falls in the draft. Orton was a leading Heisman candidate up to last season's midpoint. You think it's a coincidence that Bears' offensive coordinator, Ron Turner, was the head coach at Illinois (and saw Orton far too often) the past few autumns? Michaels reported the Dolphins had a long bus ride to the stadium from their hotel because all the rooms in Canton were booked. How long ago did Miami know that they'd be playing in this game? Who's their traveling secretary, George Costanza?
2. Kim Richards, who guest-starred on just about every TV show from the '70s you'd care to mention is Paris Hilton's aunt. Seriously, did everybody already know this? If you're asking, who she is, Google her. You'll recognize her face.
3. Last week a friend placed a five-day moratorium (which Dictionary.com defines as "a suspension of an ongoing or planned activity") on our friendship. Odd, I know, but it inspired me to realize moratorium is too general a term. For example, a suspension of caring about the fortunes of the New Orleans Saints a decade ago would have been a "Jim Moratorium." Or, a suspension of viewings of Goldfinger would be a "Pussy Galoreatorium."
4. This week my friend and former Sports Illustrated colleague Josh Elliott launched his TV show on ESPN Classic, Classic Now. Best of luck to you, Josh. If you've ever seen Josh you know he belongs on TV. Now, I'm not saying I notice if a guy is handsome or not, but here are three more SI writers who would be solid choices to appear on television. That's right, the first Handsome SI Writer Power Rankings:
1. Tom Verducci: appeared on SI cover back in March. 2. Austin Murphy: photo has appeared in SI more often than Dale Murphy's. 3. Jeffri Chadiha: relative newcomer, but oft-mistaken for pro athlete.
Sure, it's a short list, but remember, the category is Handsome SI Writers.