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Posted: Friday September 19, 2008 11:35AM; Updated: Friday September 19, 2008 11:35AM
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Tony Kornheiser (foreground) and Ron Jaworski are two-thirds of ESPN's Monday Night Football crew. Mike Tirico is the other.
Tony Kornheiser (foreground) and Ron Jaworski are two-thirds of ESPN's Monday Night Football crew. Mike Tirico is the other.
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
Dr. Z's Mailbag
Dr. Z will answer select user questions each week in his NFL mailbag.
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• Time to level the siege guns on the ESPN Monday night crew, with whom I expressed mild annoyance the other day. This generated a horde of pent up frustrations from my loyal readership. John P. of Hobe Sound, Fla., refers to them as "Bloated, bloviated buffoons." Killer B's, huh? Bloviated, huh? Sounds like the way I feel after one of the Redhead's lasagna dinners. You've driven me to my gigantic old 1943 Webster, JP, because I don't know this word.

Nope. Nothing in the old Webbie between Blouze-linda and blow. Ah, wait. Google leads me to The Free Dictionary by Farlax, whatever that is. "Bloviate...to discourse at length in a pompous or boastful manner."

Nah, I wouldn't say that about Ron Jaworski. But it sure describes ESPN's modus operandi through the years, and its sister network, ABC. First there was Dennis Miller, then Rush Limbaugh. Last year, and before, there were those terrible celebrity interviews in the booth, remember? Rode right over the live action which at times was not even presented. Now there are Jaws and Tony Korn.

The idea of straight football, only analyzed better, more colorfully and incisively, as the aforementioned Millen or Madden used to do, is not part of ESPN's game plan. The network is into freak show presentation, and unfortunately Jaworski, who's always up at NFL Films, studying tape, who works at it as hard as anybody, is caught in the squeeze.

So you don't like Tony Korn's idiot-fan approach, eh JP? Well, ESPN must feel that others do. My two other emailers who weighed in on the subject, Mario of Vegas and Robert of Santa Monica, would disagree with the network. So would I. Do the people there care? Hell, no. Ratings are up, and of course, that's usually driven by the quality of the game, not the announcers, although you'd never get the network to understand that.

"Wow, will ya just looka that, Jaws! They're scoring on almost every play. I've never seen anything like it. The world's never seen anything like it. I'm just so excited that I can't...." Forgive me a moment, please. Urrp-bleeeaugh! There, I feel better now. Let's go on, shall we?

• From Andy of Baton Rouge -- Q: Was Ed Hochili graded lower because he made the mistake or because he admitted it? A: Because he made it.

• OK, I've had things too soft. All those people who want to bitch about the rankings have been waiting outside too long now. Open the door and let 'em in, Dominic...hey, watch the shirt, you there! Get your hands off it! Linda just washed it.

Jim of Phoenix, brandishing his Emailer of the Week award, has turned ugly. What a betrayal! Upset about the Cardinals at No. 18. So is Sean of Santa Fe, and what an odd couple you two make, if you don't mind my saying so. Stay cool, fellas. It's a long season. Cards will upset the Skins in Washington and rise to No.11. Then lose to the Jets in Jersey and sink to 14. Bills will upset them, Dallas will win in a surprisingly close one, bye week will stand watch over a 3-3 record and a mid-range, 16th spot on the Z-mobile. Write again next week if you'd like me to project them farther into the season.

• Giant fans will not be put off so easily. Alex of NYC is upset that they're at No. 5, behind the Patriots and "Stillers." Kieran of Richmond makes a very valid point. I have the Pats at No. 2 because no one has knocked them off, but the Giants, who beat them in the big one last year, are sitting there, three places lower, without the same courtesy.

Hmmm, you've made a good point. One thing I can't stand is logic. When I did my first ranking of the year, the Patriots, with Brady, were my Super Bowl front runner. I had the Giants at No. 9, based on their offseason. Things have been adjusted, and they're closer now, of course, but it wouldn't really be fair to move the Giants ahead of them at this stage of the game. All I can do is offer the usual "Wait a while. Things will sort themselves out."

• Here's one from deep centerfield. Actually from Doug of Storrs, Conn. "Are you there? Are you awake? Have you been watching football yet this season?" The answers, in order, are No, Yes and Yes. Two out of three ain't bad.

Sean of Portland feels I've been too hard on his Seahawks and he might be right. "The Hawks have lost six receivers and Hasselbeck has not recovered from his offseason back surgery," he says. Both good points, but when the offense has problems the defense must bear down and carry the team. Seattle has allowed 34 and 33 points in its first two, and the Bills and 49ers are not exactly offensive powerhouses.

Donald, a Carolina fan from Pittsburgh, says thank you for not picking the Panthers for the playoffs, because when I pick them for anything, they take the pipe, and when I don't, then they do well. Well, uh, you're welcome...have I just been insulted, thanked or what?

• Last man gets the potato and it's YOU, CODY OF CLARKSBURG, MD! Why did I move the Skins up 10 spots after they upset New Orleans? Perhaps a bit rash, I admit. "Are you sure that decision wasn't made under duress? Is Cerrato holding a gun to your head? Cough if you want me to call the clops...uh, the cops." I can't cough. I got it all out in my ESPN section.

 
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