Tweet of the Week
Peyton_Manning, with 11,043 followers as of Sunday, discusses mostly vanilla Colt-related news, but implied the Colts were taking Florida's Percy Harvin in the draft.
Droppinadeuce, with "Peyton Manning'' the author, has a grand total of seven followers and discusses bodily functions mostly.
Spelling-challenged paytonmanning has 720 followers, though it hasn't had a post since last October.
Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa sued Twitter last week for a defamatory phony Twitter account under his name. These accounts for Manning aren't defamatory, unless you consider graphic defecation posts defamatory. But they're not him.
Last week, Manning sent me this e-mail: "Peter, wondering if you could do me a favor. This twitter, facebook, myspace is a problem for guys like me, Eli [Manning], (see about Ben R. and Cutler). Eli and I do not have a twitter or facebook or myspace account or page. Yet there are imposters out there acting like us. The people at twitter and facebook can't stop it. Our representatives contact them, and they may take it down for a day, but then it pops back up. If you could put something in your MMQB that these pages for me and Eli are not real, it would be a big help. The more people that know that these are phonies, the better for me, Eli, and whoever. It's just unbelievable that someone could do this and the people at twitter and facebook can allow it. Who knows what these people are posting on the pages is the scary thing. Anything you can do to bring light to it would be great. Thanks, PM.''
Consider light brought.
Ten Things I Think I Think
1. I think the reason Ralph Wilson chose Chris Berman to introduce him for induction to the Pro Football Hall of Fame is simple: He likes Berman a lot, and Wilson's not close to people in the league. He's mostly a loner in league circles. That's neither a criticism of Wilson nor his peers.
There's not a single owner he's tight with. The only owner he speaks with on any regular basis is Al Davis; they speak about once a month, and not very often about football.
In the days when the Bills were the lowest team in the league, Berman always boosted the team. You can judge whether a TV host should be rooting for a team, but regardless, Wilson, Marv Levy, Bill Polian and Jim Kelly loved him for it. The Berman pick didn't surprise me in the least.
2. I think this is this week's sign that the (football) apocalypse is upon us: The San Francisco 49ers are in the midst of seven consecutive days of practices -- three mandatory mini-camp days, then four voluntary/mandatory Offseason Training Activity days. It's June. Seven straight days. "Nobody's complaining at all,'' linebacker Patrick Willis said Saturday.
No kidding. What player would complain about a relatively new coach who he -- and everyone else on the team -- is trying to impress. I've said it before and I'll say it again and again: NFL teams ask players to practice and lift and run and meet too much in the offseason.
3. I think if I'm DeMaurice Smith, one of the things I'm putting on the plate in my negotiations with ownership is the amount of mandatory and mandatory/voluntary stuff teams make players do in the offseason -- and if I'm coaching rep Larry Kennan, I'm pushing Roger Goodell to have head coaches limit the amount of work assistants do in the offseason. I know that sounds absurd, limiting the work players and coaches do in the offseason, but believe me -- coaches who have ideas and no time during the season to execute them are going to use time in May and June to work on them.
One assistant who is not allowed to speak with the media on the record told me he was in the office twice past 7 p.m. (during OTA time) last week. To me, in the first week of June, it's way over the top. I've heard Cleveland coaches are in the office much later than that, regularly.
4. I think I'd like to take this space to wish Jason LaCanfora, ex of the Washington Post, good luck in his new gig as information man for NFL Network. The network got a good man. LaCanfora's a worker bee with a good presence. Now, competing against who he'll have to compete with as a first-year TV guy ... that's going to be rough, and rough might be an understatement.
In Sunday pregame land, Jason's going head-to-head with Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter, who I assume will be on the Sunday morning show (and the rest of the Clayton/Werder/Paolantonio/Nichols team), and then there's scoopman Jay Glazer at Fox, who drops a bomb every week. And I haven't even mentioned Charlie Casserly and his enlightened spot on CBS. I know LaCanfora's work ethic, and whatever they're paying him, he'll earn. But he's got some powerhouses in his way.
5. I think Matt Millen might be getting cold feet about the Thursday night NFL Network gig. The one guy the network's considering for a spot on the Thursday games -- and I love this idea -- is Mike Mayock, using him as sort of a teacher of all things football. If Mayock, who I think is as smart as they come on this side of the business, can explain semi-complex things like coverage schemes and players' weaknesses in 18 seconds instead of the 30 it usually takes, he could come on six to 10 times during a game and become the kind of teacher every football telecast needs.
6. I think, not to overwrite TV, one of my pet peeves over the last couple of years has been how the football and media world is obsessed about how many people NBC uses on its Sunday night Football Night in America show. Obviously, I've been a part of the team for the past three years, so I'm the least partial person to comment here. But let's line up the shows and count the talent, based on 2008 lineups, and not including field reporters:
NFL Network: Five or six, depending on the time of year. The Sunday pregame show started the year two hours and expanded to three in midseason. With the two-hour show, there were four in the studio and a reporter, Schefter, reporting often from New York. When the show went to three hours, Steve Mariucci was added to the studio.
ESPN. Six. The two-hour Sunday show will presumably add a seventh this year in Schefter, while keeping five men on the regular set and Mortensen off to the side of the set.
Fox. Six, with an asterisk, for the one-hour show. Five on the set, plus four or five regular shots with Glazer. But you might as well call it eight ... with Jillian Reynolds (weather) and Frank Caliendo (picks) appearing for a couple of minutes during every show.
CBS. Five for the one-hour show, including the regular four- or five-minute segment with Casserly and James Brown.
NBC. Varied between five and seven for the 75-minute show. But when it was seven, I'd bet numbers five through seven -- me, Tiki Barber, Jerome Bettis -- took a total of six or seven of the 75 minutes.
Did we have more bodies on the set? Not more than Fox, if you count Caliendo and Reynolds, and assuming Schefter joins the ESPN set, ESPN will have the same number. If NBC was overloaded, why aren't those shows overloaded, too?
NFL Truth & Rumors