Monday, August 31, 2009

Fired Up


It's game week kids. We're a mere five days away from the season opener against Minnesota. More important, we're five days from the beginning of a new era in Syracuse football. Orange fans have suffered unspeakable pain the last four years. However that pain has been dulled as legitimate optimism lives again in Orange Nation. This work week is going to drag out like a bad hangover as I'm feeling like a 5 year old at Christmas time. Here are just a few reasons this Idiot is fired up for the upcoming season on the hill.

Doug Marrone: We've made no secret of how good the the Doug Marrone Kool Aid tastes. However, three simple words spoken at his first press conference, "I can't fail." spoke more to the fanbase than the previous regime did in four years. One thing that was lost in the darkness of the Greg Robinson era was the fact that Syracuse football has a rich history and tradition. We now have a head coach that lived, understands and is perpetuating that tradition. It won't be long until that tradition and history comes full circle.

Tailgating: We have two 7pm starts this year. Let me repeat that, we have two 7pm starts this year. For those of you of the "non-tailgater" demographic, I'll let you in on a little secret: noon kickoffs are terrible (insert Charles Barkley audio here) for those of us wishing to enjoy the company of our buddies while enjoying an adult beverage and munching on something in an animal casing. Our tailgating crew has been at it for a number of years now. We started out behind the old train station down in Armory Square and have moved our operation to Manley. Wherever we've called home we've managed to have a tremendous time, even when kickoff is at noon.

Greg Paulus: Can he or can't he? We'll soon find out. The Paulus news was the first remotely positive press coverage of the program in a long, long time. We'll take it.

DC: Delone Carter is back and he is ripped. I can't wait to see what he's going to do on the field this year. Former World Heavyweight Champion Clubber Lang offered up this prediction of what DC has in store for would be tacklers:




Subway Sub Race: I'm a sucker for this scoreboard race. Unlike recent outings in the Dome, this contests is always competitive.

8 Home Games: If nothing else, this means I only have to suffer through 4 possible ESPN Plus broadcasts. Dave Simms makes my ears bleed.

Halftime Debriefs: After our tailgates the Russianator and I usually part ways as he sits in a different section than I. At halftime we make it a point to meet up in the concourse and to disucss first half happenings and to rehydrate. A refreshing change awaits this year, as we'll probably actually want to make it back to our seats in time for the start of the 2nd half. That hasn't been the case in a long, long time.

Processed Cheese Sauce: Take one Dome soft pretzel. Add a side of cheese sauce, and you have gold my friends.

Mike Williams: Like Paulus, this is another intriguing story. How much rust will Mike have? Will he pick up where he left off? Stay tuned.

Art Jones: Art Jones is a bad man.

Saturday get here.

Deep Thoughts From Michael Irvin


Michael 'The Playmaker' Irvin is still makin' plays, only instead of doing it on the field, he's doing it with his mouth. After being let go by ESPN, Mike has resurfaced as an analyst on the NFL Network, and he wasn't shy about diving into that new role and making some provocative comments.

He told USA Today he expects a quarterback controversy in Philly, said he didn't believe Donavan McNabb really initiated the Eagles' interest in bringing in Michael Vick. Then it gets really funny - he decided to give Ron Mexico some advice. Irvin said he thinks Vick shouldn't have said playing quarterback in the NFL is like riding a bike because he doesn't think that will sit well with Roger Goodell. Irvin thinks some one should have go to Vick and said - "Let's be humble."

Because if anyone knows about being humble, it's certainly Mike Irvin. Some other advice I'm sure we'll hear from the playermaker this year:

"Don't stab team mates in the neck with scissors."

"Don't do cocaine with hookers."

"Don't cheat on your wife."

Since Time Warner and the NFL Network can't act like adults and come to an agreement to put the network on my cable system, my exposure to Mike will be limited, but from the sounds of it, he's in rare form and it looks like he's in for a big year.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Colt McCoy is Stache-tastic

Although it is now a thing of history, for a brief period of time, Colt McCoy was growing the greatest mustache in the history of facial hair. Well, maybe it wasn't the greatest, but we tip our hat to Colt for growing something so creepy that it was simply splendid. The American Mustache Institute is not happy with Colt shaving.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Wanted: Nickelback - Apply Within


The Syracuse Orange secondary has a hole in it - they need a nickel back. Dorian Graham was all set to be the extra DB on the field in passing situations, but he injured his shoulder and is done for the year. The competition for the post is wide open, with guys like Shamarko Thomas and Rishard Anderson competing for playing time.

Sadly, none of the fine gentlemen above will be able to fill the void, but if there was ever a group of guys who SHOULD be covering their heads with helmets, its Nickelback.

Vick Plays - Controversy to Follow

Jacksonville Jaguars v Philadelphia Eagles

Mike Vick took the field for the Eagles last night for a grand total of 6 plays. The reviews from the local Philly media weren't exactly glowing.

Bob Ford called it a tame debut.

Rich Hoffmann said it fell short of the hype.

John Gonzalez said his debut was a chance for many groups to manipulate the media - read that column, Gonzo knocks it out the park.

So that should about do it right? In the words of the eternally goofy Lee Corso, not so fast my friends. Like everything associated with this circus, controversy has already reared it's ugly head. In his post game comments Donovan McNabb was asked if Vick's insertion into the game disrupted the rhythm of the offense - he said it did.

That's all it takes to stir the pot in the Philly fish bowl - as evidenced by Sal Palantonio's appearance on Mike and Mike this morning when he declared that a quarterback controversy was "baking in the oven." Pro Football Talk is all over the issue as well, and Chris Mortensen essentially agreed with McNabb. What is clear is that this isn't going away any time soon.

As I've stated before, I still think the distractions Mike Vick brings to the Eagles far outweigh any potential on the field benefits he can bring to the team. In thinking about it more and more, the only thing that would really make sense with this signing is to play him in the preseason, show the league he's still got something left, and then trade him to a team that due to an injury or other issue, might be in desperate need of quarterback.

Otherwise there's a season of this type of crap waiting for the Eagles. Ugh.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fair Watch


Extensive market research has shown that a good chunk of T3I's customer base is made up of transplanted CNYers. For our out-of-town folks, we feel it's our duty to provide you with a preview of coming events for a Central New York tradition....The New York State Fair.
Friday's highlights include:

Extreme Canines Stunt Dog Show (Will Dan Cortese be hosting?)


Hollywood Racing Pigs (Mark my words, before I die I will gamble on pigs)

Masters of the Chainsaw (I'm only going if this Chainsaw is there.)


Musical act "Fritter" performing at Chevy Court (Quick aside...the apple fritter....solid pastry right there...do any other kinds of fritters exist?)

Mike Vick Rides a Dog - Sort of

The big news in the NFL is that tonight Mike Vick will play in the Eagles' preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. As you can imagine, everyone under the sun wants to grandstand at the game. I'm sure all the hoopla over everyone's favorite dog killer will blow over any day now.........if you define "any day" as never.

Anyway, I found this amazing clip over the Shutdown Corner and had to pass it along. Call me crazy, but the new Michael Vick jersey may have been a poor choice here - unless the dude in question was looking for attention, and if that's the case - mission accomplished.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Greg Paulus Knows How to Fall

In Donnie Webb's latest practice report, we learned that the SU quarterbacks have not been hit since practice started. This is fairly standard operating procedure for football teams, it doesn't make much sense to try and knock your own quarterback senseless. Besides with the recent state of SU's offensive line, other teams get more than enough shots at Orange QBs.

However, when your starting quarterback hasn't played football since late 2004, naturally there are some concerns about whether he can take a hit.

In discussing that issue, Coach Marrone told Donnie, "the New Orleans Saints never allowed starting quarterback Drew Brees to be hit during preseason camp. He said a bigger skill is learning how to fall."

Well, SU fans don't have to worry about that, Greg is the master of falling and not getting hurt. Granted 6 months ago we would have mocked him for this - now it's a desirable skill. Strange world.

Here Greg displays the proper "falling" technique:



Here he shows he can take a hit:



And here he takes another shot, then shows he learned to avoid a similiar blow:



The good news is Greg has a good sense of humor about it as you can see from the clip below. In all seriousness we are fired up to see what he can do this year.

Rick Pitino Had a Bad Day

If you've been living under a rock and haven't heard - members of the Louisville media filed a freedom of information request regarding the whole sordid Rick Pitino-Karen Sypher affair, they played some video tapes of her interrogation and then Pitino let loose, blasting the media for reporting "lies." The full story is here and the video is below.

In my real life I'm a PR consultant, so here's some free advice for Rick:

- Don't pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel, or in this day and age, bandwidth by the barrel. The only thing he accomplished today was making a bad story worse, expanding the news cycle and prolonging his personal agony. That and pissing off the people who will continue to report on the issue. The ranting press conference was a dumb move on his part - not as dumb as banging an absolutely insane woman in a restaurant 6 years ago, but dumb nonetheless.

The U of L Card Game has an excellent, rational perspective on the presser today - and that blog has been highly supportive of the coach.


Ebay Item of the Week: Boomshackalacka!


This week's Ebay Item of the Week is dedicated to our good friend and frequent poster "The Captain." Both the Russianator and I, along with The Captain, spent way too much time in our younger days battling it out in the chess match that was "NBA Jam." A word about our buddy The Captain....the man is a recreational games genius. For you young pups out there, here's a little perspective on one of the greatest video games ever:

Jamology Part I:


Part II:

Part III:


Late Night With Daryl Gross


From the home office in Syracuse, NY the countdown has begun, courtesy of suathletics.com.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

New Kickers Give Marrone Peace of Mind

With kickers disappearing from the Syracuse football team like Brett Favre painted goats in Minnesota, Coach Marrone wasn't sleeping too well. We can't say we blame him. However, today the Orange brought in a new kicker and now Doug has some serious peace of mind, which means only one thing - bring on Boston. And RIP Brad Delp - that dude had an awesome set of pipes on him.



And if you don't believe me, this is what happens when a no talent ass-clown from the band Stryper tries to sing the same song. Earplugs are highly recommended.

It's Deja Vu All Over Again

Great work by Champ posting a link to the latest Greg Robinson interview. Greggers may be gone, but his vocabulary remains the same. I just can't help myself and have to weigh in on a couple of my favorite questions and answers from the interview.

Question: A couple of weeks in now, what is your biggest concern?
Greg Robinson: "I really don't have concerns."

You don't Greg, but take it from us, Michigan fans should have plenty, mostly about your defense.

Question: What’s the biggest difference that you’ve seen from early in the year until now?
Greg Robinson: “The biggest difference? I don't know that. I really don't know."


Why of course you don't Greg - why would you be able to actually evaluate player improvement? Such a silly question. Don't worry Michigan media members, you'll learn soon enough not to ask Greg such probing questions.

Jessica Simpson is Awesome

So did you hear the one where Jessica Simpson put a curse on Tony Romo? As an Eagle fan, I can only hope this is true - however, if she really wanted to put a curse on him, she should have continued dating him.

Catching Up With GRob

Feel like something has been missing as of late?

Of course...how about a Q&A with new Michigan DC Greg Robinson.

We were worried that our buddy Sean might be suffering from the effects of Gregism Withdrawl.

Monday, August 24, 2009

New Gear for a New Year

With the Syracuse football opener less than two weeks away, we here at Idiot Headquarters are excited. We're talking 6 year old at Christmas excited.

At this time last year, the outlook was bleak. Greg Robinson had already proven he couldn't coach, Daryl Gross had made the baffling decision to bring him back for a fourth year and everyone knew we were looking at a long season. To voice our displeasure, and send Greggers off the right way, we created some activewear we could proudly wear in the Carrier Dome and around town. Thanks to you, and the fact that Robinson couldn't coach, it was a hit.



This year, there's a new sheriff in town, and to put it mildly, we're smitten. To celebrate a new era of Syracuse football, it seemed appropriate to create some new gear to appropriately reflect the new direction of the program.

Doug Marrone is clearly Superman - and hopefully able to leap Big East standings in a single season.




But Doug is also a bad man - so much so that Superman fears him:




The new coach is also a man who we believe in:


And don't forget your bad trucker hats - everyone needs one (or two) of those:


You can check out all our stuff at our on-line zazzle store - which is always reachable by clicking on the shirt on the right. Buy early and buy often, you know you need more junk.

Also, don't forget to sign up for The 3 Idiot college football challenge - the winner is sure to get a fantastic prize, that may be something pictured above.

Greg Paulus on the Dan Patrick Show

Greg Paulus was on the Dan Patrick radio show today, talking about his new role as the starting quarterback for Syracuse University.

We learned he thinks he's better than his brother, he isn't late for meetings, he feels comfortable call Dan "DP," and that Patrick will be at the SU-UConn game on November 28.

Listen for yourself here.

Hat tip to Orange Chuck for the info.

Doug Marrone, Master of Detail

Let's take a quick look at what we learned about the Syracuse football team over the weekend.

1.) The tiniest details matter to Doug Marrone. Obviously, this is a good thing. You don't see many successful generals who let things slide. Marrone is a focused, detail oriented guy, who is bringing needed discipline and focus to the team. He takes this role personally:




Meanwhile, one could argue that the previous leader had more of a Mr. Kruger attitude:








2.) Greg Paulus' brain is allowing Doug Marrone to expand his package. Feel free to add your own joke here.




3.) The offensive line, which has been truly offensive for quite some time is finally showing signs of improvement. Even though Greg Paulus has spent the last 4 years "artfully falling" he's going to need those big boys up front to get better, otherwise it's going to be a long year.

4) Speaking of Greg, he's starting because he's the best man for the job, not for some publicity stunt.

5.) Mike Holmes is great.

6.) Greg Paulus is intriguing.

7.) Minnesota drew 15,000 for a scrimmage at their new stadium.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Greg Robinson: master of the English language

We knew this all along here in Orange country. However, the folks in Ann Arbor are learning about our boy Grob. When I think "broadening communication," I think Greg Robinson.

Are You Smarter Than An Idiot 2.0

"And those guys at T3I called me an idiot?"
Let's try this one again. Apparently the folks at Yahoo haven't gotten around to having a search feature on their fantasy games, so the T3I College Football Pick Em is now up and running over at ESPN.com. Come join in on the fun:


GROUP: Superman Fears Marrone
PASSWORD: threeidiots
The winning entry will receive a fine, fine prize from the corporate headquarters of T3I.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Pat Forde - Greg Paulus Starting is Bad News

Everyone's favorite basketball rivalry chronicler, Pat Forde, doesn't think too highly of Coach Marrone's move to make Greg Paulus the starting quarterback, saying it will most likely "continue the offensive ineptitude that was the hallmark of the Greg Robinson era." Look, from an objective perspective I totally get how someone could say that - but, let's just say I've got a lot more faith in Marrone, and his highly experienced staff, than I do in Robinson.

Hat tip to Brian Bennet for the clip.



Does Chad Ochocinco Have Any Eligibility Left?

Syracuse football fans know the team has an issue with placekicking. Patrick Shadle, whether he was fat or skinny, was an excellent kicker for SU but he graduated in May. Austin Wallis was set to inherit the job, but new head coach Doug Marrone took one look at him and clearly wasn't enamoured with his skill set. Wallis left the team freshman and Shane Raupers was brought in to handle the kicking duties. However, Raupers must have thought he was playing weak side linebacker because earlier this week, he quit the team, leaving a freshman walk-on named Ryan Lichtenstein as the team's only kicker.

While this development should make SU fans nervous - there may be hope out there yet. Last night in an exhibition game, Chad Ochocinco filled in for an injured Shayne Graham and successfully converted a PAT and then kicked off - and he looked pretty damn good doing it.

You can compare Chad's effort with you Ryan's technique below, but it makes us wonder - who else on the team could fill in if needed (besides Rob Long)? I wonder what kind of leg Mike Williams has? We know he can play football and he's also a pretty darn good basketball player, This could be one instance where we'd want the star receiver to actually emulate someone named Ochocinco. Mike Uno sounds a little odd though, we'd suggest sticking with Williams.



Ryan Lichtenstein

Syracuse football's Ryan Lichtenstein and Rob Long









Thursday, August 20, 2009

Doug Marrone is BAD!

Forget Oreos eat Doug Marrone cookies:

Freeney and McNabb Meet Tonight - Most Likley Literally


McNabb Would Like to Avoid This Fate Tonight

The Philadelphia Eagles and Indianapolis Colts meet tonight in a relatively meaningless pre-season game. Both teams are adjusting to major changes in their coaching staffs and the injuries are piling up for Indy and Philly. Tonight's game is more about getting through it without losing any more starters than it is about anything else.

For the Eagles that proposition gets a little more dicey given the fact that a 3rd string left tackle will be protecting McNabb's blind side. King Dunlap will be going up against former Syracuse sack-master Dwight Freeney. To make matters worse, the Eagles will be starting 4 reserves along the offensive line and the projected starting unit hasn't taken a snap together all pre-season.

With the rash of injuries suffered by the birds so far, here's hoping Don and Dwight don't stage an impromptu Syracuse alumni reunion, otherwise that signing of Mike Vick might starting making more and more sense every day.

Hat tip for some of the information above to a new site called the Daily Tailgate, which allows you to sign up to a daily newsletter that provides customized sports news to your in-box every morning. Check it out.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Potential New Linebackers for SU

What a crazy couple of days it has been for the Syracuse University football team. There was an announcement that the Orange will be playing three games against national opponents in the Meadowlands, Greg Paulus has been named the starting quarterback which many Big East coaches think is a joke (anonymously of course) even though many fans feel otherwise. The most important talent evaluator in the equation is Head Coach Doug Marrone who thinks he's a winner, and that's good enough for us.

Take a deep breath because we're not done yet. Just a few short days ago the starting weakside linebacker left the team which is troubling since the position is becoming the Bermuda Triangle of college football. Obviously something needs to be done and with Marrone busy looking for a new kicker, we here at T3I thought we'd do our part and help out.

We've scouted the following linebackers, all of whom are available and could provided needed depth. Hey, we're here to help.

Charles Jefferson - MLB - Ridgemont High.





Pros - Extremely physical player. Excellent leaping ability. Plays with rage which will help ramp up the team's defensive intensity.

Cons - Lazy eye makes seeing the entire field difficult. Most likely will not conform to Marrone's strict conditioning regimen. Could lead to an NCAA investigation due to a penchant for accepting Chevy Camaros from boosters.


Daniel Bateman - OLB - Michigan State


Pros - Plays with high intensity. Heavy hitter. Not afraid to mix it up and really hit guys. Supports his teammates, especially in bar fights. Gets to the quarterback well. Navy SEAL training ensures he's in shape.

Cons - Having played pro football, eligibility is an issue. Temper could run afoul of team rules. Has a propensity for hitting quarterbacks in practice.


Alvin Mack - MLB - Eastern State University



Pros - Another intense player, he's capable of going sideline to sideline and covering a lot of ground. Not afraid of playing in big games, he's battle tested and ready to step in and help now.

Cons - He's a player associated with a notoriously dirty program. His extreme profanity (language NSFW) would almost certainly run afoul of Marrone's program standards. May have an issue with steroids.

Luther 'Shark' LeVay - OLB/DE - Miami Sharks



Pros -Most dominant defensive player on the planet. His mere presence would terrify young quarterbacks. Devastating tackler. An emotional leader in the locker room and on the field.

Cons - Certainly not eligible for NCAA participation, even with the NCAA's odd Paulus-like loopholes for participation. Enjoys cutting quarterback's cars in half with saws. Clearly mentally unstable. Has a potentially fatal medical issue.

Bobby Boucher
- LB - University of Louisiana


Pros -Fierce tackler with an ability to leap over offensive lines to get in the backfield. Can be easily motivated by referring to his low mental capacity. Can keep teammates hydrated. Coming from the south, playing in a dome will appeal to him. Undoubtedly received better coaching under U of L Coach Klein than SU players received under Greg Robinson.

Cons - May have trouble picking up the playbook. His affinity for lawnmowers would be stymied playing on field turf. May find it difficult to leave mamma.

While all the players above have strengths and weaknesses, Boucher definitely has the most upside, and besides, he looks good in Orange.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ebay Item of the Week: It's All About The Ring


For our readers out there, both of you, who remember how the year 1998 dominated our Biggest Football Wins of the HumpIdiot Era Countdown you are in luck. You can relive the magic of the 1998 season with your very own 1998 Big East championship ring.


It's just a matter of time until Doug Marrone has more of these than the upcoming NYS Fair has guys in jean shorts and tank tops.
The real mystery-- who on that '98 team is auctioning off their bling?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Greg Paulus, Starting Quarterback


Well that didn't take long --a week to be exact, but in a press release posted on the SU Athletics web site at 9:38 tonight, Head Coach Doug Marrone officially named Greg Paulus as the starting quarterback for the Syracuse Orange.

In classic Syracuse fashion the release spends 3 paragraphs talking about Paulus and 4 graphs trying to sell tickets to the home opener. That in itself is awful telling.

Here are some initial stories - look for a full accounting tomorrow:
Photo: SU Athletics


Doug Marrone is 2 Legit 2 Quit

Big East, you have been warned:

Syracuse Gives Away Home Games

According to the Syracuse Post Standard, tomorrow at 11 am Syracuse will announce that the football team will play 3 games at the new stadium in the Meadowlands from 2012 through 2016. Reports are that the Orange will play Southern California there in 2012 and Notre Dame in 2014 and 2016. All three will be "home" games for the Orange. In another state. Four and half hours from campus. Let me repeat that - a home game.

When the issue first surfaced last year in connection to a possible 10 game series with Notre Dame, I ranted vociferously against such a move. While that series never came to be, my mind still hasn't changed. The move is an admission that Syracuse isn't a major Division I football program - because you know who gives away home games? I-AA schools and teams in non-BCS conferences, that's who.

While the disastrous Greg Robinson era plummeted to the program to the lowest point in its proud history, that doesn't mean it's time to start acting like Northeastern. One can only imagine what would have happened to the Syracuse-Penn State series if Gross had been the AD when it ended. I'm guessing SU would have signed up for 6 games in Happy Valley and 4 SU "home" games in Philadelphia.

While we'll never have access to what the games could potentially mean to the University financially, we have to assume they stand to make more money in the Meadowlands than they would at the Dome. That, combined with the current athletic director's infatuation with New York City, is the only reason to agree to such a thing.

While the reasoning for such a move will be laid out tomorrow, look for explanations like: the games will expand Syracuse's footprint; they will allow the team to play games in front of the University's NYC alumni base; and most importantly the games will allow SU to "become New York's team."

All of those reasons are crap - and here's why.

- Playing a few games in New Jersey will do nothing to make in-roads in recruiting the NYC metro area. Rutgers sucked for 100 years and they played every home game in the region. You know how they turned around their fortunes? They started winning games. You know what gives you the best chance to win games? Playing home games -in your own stadium.

- While playing in front of the NYC alumni base is a nice thing, it's not going to fill the building. Syracuse didn't fill the building the last three times they had games in the Meadowlands. For the Notre Dame games look for at least 75 percent of the fans to be rooting for the Irish. Personally, it takes me the same amount of time to get to Meadowlands as it does the Dome, but that's not the point. The point is many schools have alumni located in major urban centers - but those schools aren't following their alumni around.

- Notre Dame and USC are national opponents. The games will be on TV. What additional exposure is gained by playing in a different building? Just because there are more people in the NYC area, it's not like more people will stumble past the building on their way to get a loaf of bread, wander in and discover SU football. You know what would be better exposure? Upsetting one of those teams in the Dome, with the building going nuts and having it be the lead story on SportsCenter. Recruits could actually get a feel for what an amazing venue Dome is for big games.

- College football in NYC is non-factor. It's a professional town. NYC is about the Yankees and the Mets. Its about the Giants and the Jets and every other pro team that makes its home down there. As far as college games, if it's not basketball, it doesn't really matter.

So who are the losers in all this? The season ticket holders, of which, I am one. I've got premium seats and shell out substantially more money for my tickets than your average $100 season package. I drive 2 hours one way for every home game. With this deal all season ticket holders get robbed of the marquis game on the schedule 3 seperate times. The fact that I can get to the Meadowlands fairly easily is a non-factor, I want to see these teams play IN THE DOME. In front of a HOME CROWD.

What is most appalling is the Southern California game, which was already slated for the Dome. It's one thing to cut a bad deal with Notre Dame, it's another to announce that a game against the most successful college football team of the last decade is being taken out of your building and given to NYC. One would have to wonder how Daryl Gross' relationship with his former employers played into that decision? Did they ask him to move the game? From the outside looking in, it sure looks like a nice gift the Doctor gave to his old pals in Los Angeles.

The bottom line is that in my opinion, it's a desperate, bush league move to give away home games. Ask any Bills fan if they like having 'home' games in the Sky Dome (or whatever the hell it's called now.)

In the long run it's 3 games, not the end of the world - but the message it sends speaks volumes - at least to me anyway. Maybe I'm wrong, although I doubt it. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.

McNabb in his Own Words on Michael Vick


Yesterday on his Channel 5 Yardbarker blog, Donovan McNabb explained in his own words why Michael Vick is an Eagle. The phrase, hide your beagle, Vick's an Eagle isn't in there, but he does explain their relationship, going back to when he hosted the artist that would one day be known as Ron Mexico on his visit to Syracuse University.

Listen to an Idiot

Matt McClusky was kind enough to have me on his show Friday. For those of you living out of the Watertown area (like me) you can listen to the show on-line by clicking here. I come on at the 32 minute mark - and yes, that is my real name, my parents didn't name me "Russianator." In retrospect, I wish they had went with Shamarko.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Get Your Sports Fix


This afternoon I'll be a guest on Matt Mc's Sports Fix, ESPN Radio, 1410 WNER in Watertown. The show is on from 4-6 pm. I will attempt to discuss the Michael Vick signing while simultaneously slamming my head against my desk - it should be interesting. I'll post a link to audio when it's up for those out of area listeners.

Philadelphia Gives a Warm Welcome to Vick

The Philadelphia Daily News gives Mike Vick a warm Philly welcome. Call me crazy but this isn't going to end well.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Circus Comes to Philly, Eagles Sign Vick

Bizarre. It's the first word that comes to mind about the news that broke a little more than three hours ago -- Michael Vick is a Philadelphia Eagle.

I was sitting in a bar having some food after my Thursday night golf league near Albany N.Y. when the scroll came across the TV reporting that my beloved Philadelphia Eagles had signed one of the most talented and maligned quaterbacks to ever play pro football. My fellow hackers, the large majority of which are NY Giant fans, were relatively quiet as I unfurled a string of words that would make George Carlin blush.

My initial reaction was one of shock -- theirs, one of relief. The pariah of the NFL was now a member of the division rival. As football fans they were happy Vick won't be creating a distraction for their team. As men, it's another piece of ammo you can use too tweak your friends who are fans of a heated rival. If you enjoy busting balls, even a little, having your enemy sign a guy who drown and electrocuted dogs and brought the term "rape stand" into the national lexicon is a gift from God. And we haven't even touched on the weed, herpes allegations and one of the greatest aliases of all-time - Ron Mexico.

Since the news broke Twitter has exploded and every news organization and sports blog will have content and opinion on the signing. I'll save you the links and give you my initial gut reaction, fueled by more than one Coors Light and over 30 years of being a die hard Eagles fan.

While Vick is a unique talent, the signing doesn't make sense. If you add up the positives and subtract the negatives in my opinion you end up with a number that's less than zero. Vick joins a team that already had a solid quarterback situation. McNabb is a 10 year starter who has been injury free for the last 2 years. He's backed up by Kevin Kolb, a quarterback the Eagles drafted in the second round of the 2007 NFL draft. The third stringer is AJ Feeley, a guy who has started more games than most third team QBs in the league.

While Kolb is out for a few days with an MCL strain, he's expected to be ready to go within the next week. On a team beset by preseason injuries to offensive linemen, tight ends and linebackers, quarterback was the last place they needed to make a move. Yet they signed Vick.

The question is why? This move doesn't address the need to add a tight end with Cornelius Ingram's season ending knee injury, it merely forces them to either cut Feeley or tell everyone that Kolb's knee injury is worse than reported. It doesn't address the fact that Shawn Andrews isn't ready, Todd Herremans is out for at least the preseason and Stacy Andrews is adjusting to a new position. It doesn't address the Eagles' positions of weakness, it potentially reinforces something that was already strong.

Reports on twitter are that Andy Reid spoke openly in a press conference tonight about the acquisition. For those that follow the Eagles, that in itself is remarkable. Reid even talked about the difficult circumstances his sons have went through in discussing the signing. But the Eagles don't make business decisions based on humanity and second chances. They are one of the most ruthless, cut throat organizations in the league when dealing with personnel. They couldn't find the money to keep a spirited leader and the emotional back bone of the defense Brian Dawkins on the team, yet they find the cash to sign Vick.

This means one thing, he's in Philly for a reason. I'm sure they have a plan for him and I'm pretty sure that the plan isn't to replace McNabb - for this year at least. Vick is a unique talent - a guy that two years ago could make people miss in the open field and is electrifying with the ball in his hands. But you know what - the Eagles are now loaded with guys that can do that. DeSean Jackson, Brian Westbrook, Jeremy Maclin and LeSean McCoy all can make people miss and make things happen in space. The last time I checked, they only play the game with one football. Trying to find a half dozen to a dozen plays a game to let Vick touch the ball only takes away touches from other playmakers. And don't forget, he's been eating prison food and doing God knows what for the last 2 years. No one knows what he's got left or how he'll adjust.

And McNabb, even with a 3 game slump, threw for almost 4,000 yards last season. How many plays a game do you want to take the ball out of his hands? For Eagle fans that answer varies, but what does not vary is the fact that now, for the first time in years they don't lack for playmakers.

Yet they add another. Even if Vick doesn't get the ball, for this year at least, it probably won't matter. Broke and presumably humbled, I'm guessing Vick is OK with sitting on the bench or playing a couple plays a game. Like many unemployed Americans he knows he just needs to get working again and establish himself in the work force. However, even if he's not on the field his more presence will still be a distraction.

In a city that's never truly warmed up to McNabb, Vick's signing at some point almost guarantees a new controversy is waiting to appear at some point during the season. While McNabb is reportedly happy with the signing since he's known Vick for so long, having hosted his his visit to SU 12 years ago, I wonder how happy he'll be if he goes through another slump and the fans start clamoring for the back up?

I wonder what kind of weapon he'll represent for Andy Reid if he makes a couple of spectacular plays in a wild cat formation right after McNabb bounces a couple in the dirt? I wonder what will happen if McNabb hits another rough patch and Big Red has to decide whether to replace number 5? I wonder how many times Reid will have to answer questions from the media regarding who his starting quarterback will be? All of these things take a toll.

That doesn't even get into the possibility of what happens if something goes wrong? What happens when a blog posts a video of Vick coming out of a strip club? What happens if he gets caught smoking weed or even tripping over a neighbors dog?

Vick solves a problem the Eagles didn't have and I can't help but wonder if he'll create more problems than he can solve. The first answers will come tomorrow when he gets announced at a press conference at 11 am. The Eagles should sell tickets because it marks the official opening of the circus - what kind of show it turns out to be remains to be seen, but I'm skeptical.

I Heart Doug Marrone

First off - let's tip our hat to the Post Standard. While I may mock their slow-mo videos of Greg Paulus making 10 yard throws - the coverage of the SU football team has been outstanding. Donnie Webb and Dave Rahme have been bringing it so far this year. The Daily Orange is doing a nice job as well.

From their coverage, we've learned new coach Doug Marrone is who we thought he is - the exact opposite of that failed mess Greg Robinson.

- He holds players accountable.

- Speaks his mind - in a clear and concise fashion.

- He doesn't look at a poor performance and tell you he saw good things. He tells you the truth.

- He has addressed an issue that was evident for the last 4 years. Physically Syracuse looked over matched many times on the field. This off-season he demanded accountability, made sure the players were tested on their conditioning, and you know what - so far it appears it's working, because Delone Carter (below) is selling tickets to the gun show.

- It may not happen overnight, but we've got a sneaking suspicion a new dawn is here for the SU football team.




Photo: Frank Ordonez/The Post-Standard

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Ebay Item of the Week: Back to School Edition

Hey kids....let's get ready for the upcoming school year with some shopping, idiot style. Forget the old black and white marble composition notebooks of yesterday. Today's students need their very own Syracuse Orange composition notebook.

I have to be honest, after reading this little nugget that Sean passed along I'm already working on my first assignment for the new school year: a 1,000 word essay titled "Why Cookie Monster Would Have Won More Games As Syracuse Coach Than Greg Robinson."

Sorry, but I can't pass up a "Back To School" post without a tribute to the legend Rodney. The Triple Lindy is one damn tough dive:

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Greg Paulus Throws, Lee Harvey Oswald Acted Alone

There is naturally a lot of excitement around the fact that Greg Paulus is competing for the starting quarterback position on the Syracuse football team. We get it - we really do. In fact, before he came to SU, we went on record numerous times as saying there was no downside to this grand experiment.

Our love for Greg isn't quite to Bud Poliquin levels, but it's strong nonetheless. And it's not just us. The summer intern in the office where I work goes to SU and I asked him today if he was planning on going to any football games this year. He said he was, because after not going to single contest last year, they have Greg Paulus now and he wants to check it out. That's scientific research right there folks.

The issue with Greg-mania running wild is that other than a few highlight reels on YouTube, there isn't much footage of Paulus actually playing football for the fans to digest and break down.
Well that day is over my friends. The Post Standard (which does an excellent job covering the team) may have went juuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuust a tad overboard. With SU kicking reporters out of practice after 30 minutes, their opportunities to get a look at the players in action is extremely limited, but they are going to squeeze every last drop out of that opportunity.

The video below was taken while the players were warming up and not doing much. Still they manage to isolate Paulus making a few soft throws to a teammate and then replay it in SLOW MOTION. Multiple times.

I mean slow motion? Really? Am I supposed to be looking at Paulus or scanning the bleachers for gun smoke or a grassy knoll? Keanu Reeves could be throwing a ball to a guy 10 yards away and it would appear like he's got an arm. Check it out for yourself -- and if you happen to see a second shooter, let us know at once.

Greg Paulus: Football Practice









Donnie Webb Confirms the Great Big East Lobster Shortage

We reported yesterday, based on an ESPN interview with Pitt Defensive End Greg Romeus, the Big ran out of lobsters at the annual media day clambake.

While our reasoning was solid, intrepid Syracuse.com reporter Donnie Webb got confirmation from Syracuse defensive tackle Arthur Jones that there weren't as many lobsters going around at the grand event.

The only person who apparently saw an abundance of lobsters, the Orange Fizz' Ted Conroy, who didn't notice any shortages while he was there.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The First Syracuse Practice is in the Books


Syracuse University kicked off it's season with media day and it's first official practice today, let's look at what we've learned:


  • The team is three players lighter than it was yesterday. The Orange will be painfully thin at many spots this year. Let's hope they can avoid a Philadelphia Eagles like pre-season.

  • The uniforms are the same as last year. Besides going back to the McNabb era design, these are easily the best version of the uni's since they started screwing around with them in 2005.

  • People are really interested in Greg Paulus. He isn't proclaiming himself the starter, even if a good portion of the fan base and one columnist [cough - Bud] thinks it will work out that way.

  • As TNIAAM has pointed out, Doug Marrone works the word tremendous into everything. True story, I used to work for a prominent NYS politician and would drop tremendous into his quotes when I wroter press releases for him whenever I could - so I think Doug's love of the word is really tremendous.

Other than that, we still don't know much. With the press being limited to observing the first 30 minutes of practice, other than injury news, we're not going to know much until they take the field on September 5 versus Minnesota. It is going to seem like forever, but don't worry, we'll be here to bring you (and mock) the news that Donnie, Dave, and the Daily Orange scare up.

LobsterGate is Blown Wide Open


Sean over at TNIAAM has been dutifully on the case of why no one challenged Ryan Durand's lobster eating record at Big East media day last week.

Today it looks like Brian Bennet from ESPN just inadvertently cracked the case - apparently they ran out of the delicious crustaceans.

From this piece on Pitt DE Greg Romeus, we learn:

Greg Romeus managed to wolf down four lobsters and had thoughts about many more at last week's Big East clam bake before the buffet line ran out of crustaceans.

"I could have definitely kept going," he said.

The Big East conference runs out of lobsters - another sign of the tough economic times we all face.

College Football Season is Upon Us

The Syracuse Orange take the field for practice today. Courtesy of the Post Standard, Senior Tight End Mike Owen talks about it.

Syracuse University Senior Tight End Mike Owen












Happy Birthday Sal


On this day 38 years ago, someone who would go on to sport one of the great mustaches in sports was brought into this world in Chicago Illinois. T3I sends Happy Birthday wishes to the great Salvatore Frank Fasano.

Sal is currently on the roster of the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, but we're hoping he somehow makes it back to the bigs one last time - a stache like this is too good to waste in the minors.



Sunday, August 9, 2009

It's Go Time

The Syracuse football team takes the field for it's first fall practice under new coach Doug Marrone at 5 pm Monday afternoon. For the first time in years, Syracuse fans actually have hope for the future. Some are so fired up they have their dials set at cautious optimism, which is saying something given the last four years.

The coach has put an added emphasis on weight training and actually testing the players to make sure they are getting stronger and faster. Hopefully it pays off. To be fair to former coach Greg Robinson, actually testing players is a concept that hadn't really been developed when his weight training mentor was working in the business.

Syracuse is Number 2

I found this video while scouring around the internet today - it's one person's opinion of the 10 worst uniforms in college football, and Syracuse comes in at number 2. Of course the uniform style was from a couple of years ago - last year's were much improved.

Tebucky Jones, The Original Heavy Hitter

Former Orangeman running back turned safety Tebucky Jones has filed a lawsuit against the New England Patriots claiming they misdiagnosed his career ending knee injury.

T-buck, we're sure you'll land on your feet:



And it's always "Hammer Time"

Friday, August 7, 2009

Arthur Jones is Ready to Go

According to Donnie Webb, Athur Jones is healthy and ready to go after tearing a pectoral muscle in February. The dominant defensive tackle tells Donnie that these are the best days of his life.

When I hear that phrase, I always think of this Queen song - and I'm not sure how that makes me feel.

Fat Guy Friday

We're back with another edition of Fat Guy Friday, where we celebrate athletes who worship at the alter of the all you can eat buffet. With NFL training camps in full swing (except for guys like Michael Crabtree) this week's honoree is former Green Bay Packer defensive tackle Gilbert Brown.




Gilbert was a tremendous run stuffer in his day, despite standing 6'2" and tipping the scales at 345 pounds. While his career stats are modest, he wasn't asked to sack the quarterback, he was asked to take up blockers and clog the middle and he did that very well. His nickname was the Grave Digger - and that's something Eddie George can attest to:






He was also a fan favorite:






Gilbert still maintains a pretty sweet web site and if you are a big Gilbert fan, you can hire him to endorse your product, make a personal appearance, or show up at your golf tournament. I can't quite picture Gilbert showing up at bar mitzvah, but if anyone has any pictures of something like that, please, please send them along.

In addition to being a football player, Gilbert also runs a foundation that helps kids with cancer, which is a pretty awesome thing to do. In addition to that, he's active in the community and seems like an all around great guy.

Congratulations to Gilbert Brown, this week's real man of corpulence.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Loving the Gov

We don't delve into politics much around here, there's no need to alienate half of our 16 readers. However, the clip below appeared on the Albany Times Union's Capitol Confidential blog and it was too good not to share.

The video is from New York Governor David Paterson's campaign web site and includes endorsements from a plethora of musicians, athletes, and New York State politicians. That's not really a big deal, but it should be noted that Paterson has a near record low approval rating of 27% which is tied with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for the lowest in the country. So I guess you could say these guys are rallying to support an underdog. Paterson's numbers are so bad that if he were a baseball team, he'd be the Washington Nationals.

For Syracuse fans, Carmelo Anthony makes an appearance at the 1:20 second mark.

eBay Item of the Week


With Champ out this week, it was up to me to dive into the murky world of eBay, and dive I did. What I found surprised me -- for the low, low price of $9.99 you can own an autographed private signings Quinton Spotwood football card.

What makes it so special is the bizarre picture on the card. The former Orange wide receiver is wearing a Syracuse helmet, a uniform that looks like something from the NFL Pro Bowl, and there's a neat Miami Dolphins logo in the left hand corner. Spotwood signed as a free agent with the Dolphins after leaving SU, but was released in August of 2000 without ever playing a game.

Quinton bounced around for a few years and according to SU, was actually on the NY Giants practice squad when they went to the 2000 SuperBowl. As far as I could tell, he last surfaced in 2002 with Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL, before disappearing out of Google range.
So run, don't walk people, and get that card.