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Michael Vick: the Sequel

Atlanta Falcons v Philadelphia Eagles

Few athletes’ stories have been as much of a roller coaster ride as has the story of Michael Vick. From his celebrated entrance into the league, to his astonishing play, all the way through to his serving jail time and resurrecting his career to the tune of a $120 million paycheck, this turbulent ride has seen more throw-up than an incoming text message from Brett Favre.

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MayoPie Wins Fantasy Championship: Vikings Beat Eagles, Too

What a night! It was a back and forth battle, but in the end, MayoPie prevailed over the dreaded Jon’s Team. Mike Vick’s 10 yard touchdown run sealed the victory for the resilient Mayopie (who finished the season 10-1 to claim the elusive… e-mail from that one guy who said, “Good game”).

I should probably also mention that there was an actual football game on with some real implications, first and foremost being Philadelphia’s playoff standing. They’re now the 3rd seed and that’s a done deal, so let’s talk about Joe Webb, Mike Vick then we’ll do a happy ending on Brett Favre’s penis.

Joe Webb is the only thing this offense ever needed, which is a fairly mobile quarterback who could get out of trouble and make the occasional important throw. Other than that, dish the ball to some freakish stars like Harvin, Peterson and Rice and watch the magic happen. There’s no mystery here and this is exactly what Childress envisioned when he got all starry eyed about Tarvaris Jackson. As it turns out, Webb is faster than Jackson, more accurate and has a better pocket awareness. All this from a guy who had played a few snaps before last night.

What I saw in the Vikes was a playoff team that no one would want to meet, and had the trigger been pulled sooner, the Minnesota Vikings might now be a scary prospect. What I also saw last night is that Mike Vick isn’t going to last long in the NFL. Teams are learning that when it comes to Vick, you pick your poison and the better poison seems to be, “Send the house every time and take your chances.”

We’ve now seen two teams in consecutive weeks contain Mike Vick for seven of eight quarters, and they’ve done it by blitzing like crazy. Forget the hits he takes while he’s running, last night it was about the hits he was taking in the pocket. More interestingly, no one on Philadelphia seemed to care.

Mike Vick is the most dangerous man in the NFL, as such, it stands to reason that his NFL lifespan won’t be that of a Manning, Brady, or any pure pocket passer. In fact, Michael Vick might be the only quarterback, is the only quarterback, who has to deal with being blitzed on almost every single play. And if you haven’t noticed, he’s not 6’5″, 250 lbs, nor is he 25 years old. If we continue to see what we saw last night, Vick will not last long in the NFL.

Now to Brett’s penis.  It was probably pretty upset when it watched a rookie managing the Vikings offense better than Favre had managed it all year, knowing that another penis was now going to be getting all of the attention. Probably a much larger penis, and believe me, no penis likes being replaced by a younger, larger penis. As far as being a penis, it’s pretty much the worst thing that can happen to you, aside from being removed and thrown from a car window.

Brett’s penis knows that things aren’t going to be as easy from here on out, and he’s coming to the realization that his host body is going to have to work a little harder to find him a new playground. He might now be reduced to looking for love in all the wrong places, relying on ladies of the night and being forced to wear that damn latex suit he hates so much, because it’s just the policy for those kind of places.  After all, it’s tough when you all of the sudden become a poster boy for creepy, and that’s what he has become: another cheap, naked penis floating around on the internet tubes.

Brett’s penis fondly recalls the days when the mere image of himself would drive the cheerleaders wild, luring them in gaggles to his hotel room door, but he now finds himself contemplating his own mortality… strung out on little blue pills, internet porn and Swedish massagers with promises of “three more inches.” Three more inches. If only it were that simple. I think it says it all about life, don’t you?

The NFL will be announcing Brett Favre’s punishment in the next 48 hours and I, for one, am dripping with anticipation on the mighty NFL’s eleventh hour, meaningless gesture designed to do no actual damage, but perhaps limit further liability or litigation. Brett might lose a whole paycheck. He might get suspended for a game he would have watched from the sidelines, and maybe a couple more he wouldn’t have played, anyway. He might get an ugly fine and now that he will never play again, a stern condemnation from the NFL. Too little, too late, in my opinion. The NFL has lost its ability to punish Brett Favre, but it will be an entertaining show.

Brett Favre’s real punishment was brought on by Brett Favre.  His storied career has gone down in flames, his legacy tarnished forever, and because of  his actions, what we will remember most about Brett is that he stayed one year too long, is a creepily persistent stalker, and his wiener seems kind of small for how big a man he is.

If you think about it, that’s a pretty crappy tombstone.

Donovan McNabb Feels Disrespected By Redskins

When Mike Shanahan benched Donovan McNabb for Rex Grossman, many of us thought he had lost his ability to make decisions. I understand his benching McNabb, but what I didn’t understand was McNabb being benched for Rex Grossman. Then Rex Grossman threw for 4 touchdowns and almost singlehandedly led the Skins from behind to almost beat a rejuvenated Cowboys in their den. Oh. I guess I get it now. Rex Grossman is… awesome?

At this point, what else can McNabb say? Well, he can no longer make the argument that it was a bad decision. Seemingly, it was a brilliant decision and a move that only a coach like Shanahan could make. If we turn back the clock a few games and look at the Vikings, you can see that bencing NFL royalty is not an easy thing to do.

After Sunday’s game, McNabb was demoted to the number 3 quarterback, a move he finds disrespectful and a move I find telling. I believe there is something more going on here.  The fact is, McNabb is being disrespected. Why?

Ok, so he’s not as good as he used to be. Ok, Rex Grossman is seemingly a better fit. But McNabb’s being treated like he had sex with Shanahan’s daughter or poodle. Why?

Donovan McNabb has never been a loudmouth or a jerk and seems beloved by most of his teammates. He’s done some things that aren’t super bright, but to my knowledge, he’s not once sent a picture of his penis to a coworker. He hasn’t shot himself in the leg,  shot someone else in the leg, been accused of sexual assault, participated in a substance-fueled boat orgy, nor has he masterminded an elaborate animal fighting and gambling ring. I mean, the worst thing I can recall him doing is Chunky Soup commercials, and while he should be punished for those, he doesn’t deserve this.

Donovan has given us a ton of great moments over the years, and while those moments might be over, Shanahan seems to be ruthlessly shitting all over him. This is making me curious, and when I get curious, I break it all down. Let’s look at the facts we can confirm:

1. The Redskins lose more games than they win.

2. Mike Shanahan is a dick.

Other than that, all we have is rudeness, double demotions and what appears to be anger, not just at losing, but more like the type a man experiences after wiping his ass on the curtains. I’m just wondering what Donovan did to make Mikey so mad. Maybe one day we’ll get the whole story.

So what’s next for Donovan? Being benched in favor of Rex Grossman (and Rex Grossman looking exceedingly better) can’t be good for a strong negotiating position. Having a Hall of Fame coach bench you and demote you twice can’t be good for business.  Fortunately for Donovan, good quarterbacks are hard to find and there are some teams in need, and as Arizona and Minnesota have recently proven, old dogs can have new tricks, if only for a year or two.

With that, what would be a good fit for Donovan? Here’s my list in order of the best matches first:

Oakland – To me, this team represents the best fit for Donovan and could even win a Super Bowl with him at the helm. Their running game is stellar, their defense is vastly improving and their receiving corps could be among the best in the league. Jacoby Ford has incredible speed and is about to become a force to be reckoned with,  if he’s not already. This could become a team that no one wants to play, maybe even under Jason Campbell.

Arizona – Poor, poor Larry Fitzgerald. He needs a quarterback and this represents a good fit because the biggest missing ingredient is the quarterback. Donovan only has a couple of good years left, so a rebuilding situation is not what he needs.

Carolina- Carolina isn’t horrible. They have an excellent running game and a Steve Smith with something left to give. Mike Goodson and Jonathan Stewart are starting to tear it up, so again, a qb with experience and a little mobility could make a big difference here.

Minnesota? Hmmm… when Brett Favre hit the turf the other night, I got the distinct feeling that when he was lying on the turf that he never, ever wanted to feel that way again.  Joe Webb has obvious talent, but a year or two (under McNabb) learning the finer points of the game (and overtime rules) couldn’t hurt.

Tennessee- Vince young is odd. Kerry Collins is old. Randy Moss is… somewhere and… what the hell is going on with the Titans? This might be an interesting fit, but I’d really like to see some new blood here. Like, in the twenty something region.  I think Fischer has had enough of Young and really, how long can you ride Kerry Collins? Of course, I don’t even know who’s better between Collins and McNabb, so forget it.

Other than that, you have a ton of teams building franchise quarterbacks, and many are starting to look as if they’re going to be there for a while. Matt Ryan, Matthew Stafford, Sam Bradford, Mark Sanchez, Fitzpatrick? Uh huh, Matt Cassel, Josh Freeman… and if you throw in some others that are going nowhere like  Peyton Manning, Brees, Brady, Rivers, Roethlisberger, Vick, Eli Manning, Matt Schaub, Garrard … the point is, there aren’t a lot of places that could really use an 80 million dollar quarterback, but the ones who do need one, really need one.

I don’t like Mike Shanahan. Mainly because he’s vague and seems to extract joy from pissing off the fantasy community with his refusal to speak in truths. I think his eyes are shifty and I don’t trust him. I’m taller than he is, and I’d just like to let him know that. I’d also like to point out that the Redskins lost again (ha) and it’s probably because you’re being such a jerk, Mike. Did I mention I’m taller than you? Ok, I just wanted to make sure you knew. If you want, I can come over and put the star on your tree. Merry Christmas.

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Mayodamus: Week 5 Fantasy Pick ups

Every week before gametime, I call my buddy to discuss who we should play. We give each other advice, I either accept his or don’t, and if I lose, I beat myself up for either listening to him or not listening to him. This week, he prefaced everything he said with, “I’m wrong about everything this year, but this is who you should play…”  Because I’m a dumbass, I focused on the latter, and I’m now almost positive he’s just fucking with me.

With that, we stroll down memory lane and look back on my previous picks:

Last week I said Mike Vick and DeAngelo Hall could get into a Thunderdome battle and it would be fine with me.  On Sunday, DeAngelo Hall crushed Vick’s ribs.  Had this happened in a dome, I’d be opening a church and charging you money.  Had DeAngelo been a midget on a giant’s shoulders, it would have been way cooler.

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Brandon Lloyd (Broncos) has clearly emerged as Orton’s go-to guy (115 yds on Sunday), making me right for last week, but wrong about Denver’s other receiver, Demariyus Thomas. After looking like Brandon Marshall’s replacement in Week 2, he’s since liked Keanu Reeves in The Replacements. It’s clear that Eddie Royal and Brandon Lloyd are the favorites and both should continue to do well.

Jacoby Jones (Texans) is making me puke. I played him over Lloyd because Andre Johnson was hurt. Well, Jacoby Jones was hurt, too. Urghhh!!! I still won, though, but I’ll probably miss the playoffs by the points it cost me. (Thanks, Bryan. Asshole.)

The Chargers’ Ryan Mathews returned on Sunday, but Tolbert carried the load, racking up a hundred on sixteen carries and a touchdown. Tolbert averaged 6.3 yds per carry. Mathews averaged 6.1 yds per carry. Until Tolbert slows down or Mathews speeds up, Tolbert could continue to be a viable option. Tolbert received twice as many carries, but it was clear that Mathews was being eased back into action. I’d expect at least a 60/40 split favoring Mathews, but Tolbert could still do some damage. (I saw Ryan Mathews on Sport Science. I’m positive he could crush me with his eyebrow.)

Aaron Hernandez (Patriots TE) had 29 yds in Monday’s victory over Miami. The good news is, that’s 29 more yards than Randy Moss had and Hernandez almost accounted for 20% of Brady’s total passing yards. The bad news is, Brady didn’t throw for 700 yards.

I say Bruce Gradkowski, he throws for 278, 2 tds and an acceptable 2 int’s, with one rush for 16 yds almost negating one of those interceptions. So all in all, Gradkowski is looking solid and making me look like I have some kind of clue.

Okay, now let’s move on to guys who will excite you, you will play and they will score nothing.

Danny Woodhead – RB NE Patriots

Woodhead averaged 4.5 yards per carry and caught a short one for a td  during Monday night’s dismantling of the Dolphins. He only touched the ball 9 times, but each proved to be problematic for Miami’s stout defense. Green-Ellis is doing just fine, but regardless of that, expect Woodhead to get more playing time and even get the start should Green-Ellis go down. Sure, Fred Taylor’s around and will continue to impress us when he’s not hurt, unfortunately he will never not be hurt again. I’m not sure, but I think Fred Taylor was in Hee-Haw. Maybe it was The Benny Hill Show. I can’t remember, my point is that he’s super old. Not for a Mayan artifact, but for a running back, his time is near.  RB’s are getting slim, so Woodhead is worth a shot in deeper leagues.

Harry Douglas – WR Atlanta Falcons

Harry Douglas is sooo fast and Atlanta has said they’re committed to getting him the ball more.  Douglas has big play potential every time he touches the ball and could emerge as a weekly threat. 59 yds and a touchdown against San Francisco could be what gets this guy rolling on a consistent basis. I’m also a Falcon fan, so take that into consideration. I’ve had Brian Finneran on my team since ’98.

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Shaun Hill – QB Detroit Lions

Shaun Hill is lighting up opposing defenses and losing, but he might be the best loser in the league. It’s only a matter of time in Detroit, I’m telling you. This team is on the precipice of greatness (as they have been since the birth of football), but this year seems different to me. Hill threw for 331 and 2 tds against Green Bay on Sunday, and again, almost won. The great thing is, you don’t have to be a winner to be of value in fantasy football. I’m sure that makes 0-4 taste a little sweeter.

Brandon Pettigrew – TE Detroit Lions

You’ve heard this name before, but since he was on Detroit, ehhh… who cares, right? Think in fantasy football terms: Losing teams throw more.  Pettigrew had 8 grabs for 91 yards on Sunday and is clearly being targeted early, often and it’s only a matter of time before he’s racking up the scores.

Ryan Torain – RB Washington Redskins

Portis left with a groin injury after averaging 5.5 yds per carry, Torain cleaned up with a nice day totaling 70 yds and a td.  Torain has value if Portis is hurt, and interstingly enough,  the groin injury Portis suffered on Sunday will likely sideline him this week and depending on the MRI results, maybe a good deal longer.  Portis is no spring chicken and while he still looks great, his body won’t take the beating it once did. I get tired walking through the mall, and I think Portis is older than I am. Sure, I’m faster (if I’m falling from a 2 story building) and in better shape (for a “who looks more like a potato?” contest), but getting older is an ugly fact of life (as evidenced by Larry King).

That’s it, kids. A couple of guys to remember are Mike Williams (Buccaneers) and Dexter McCluster (KC) if you’re looking for a WR fill-in, maybe even an every week starter. Feel free to add any guys you think I might have missed and I won’t even yell at you (probably). See you next week.

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Yes. Yes, I am rooting for Michael Vick.

I can’t help it. And people, I’m not even a football fan. Well, not really. The older I get, the less sleep-inducing it is (and yes, I know how ironic this seems coming from a baseball lover, which for many is a SNOOZE FEST, and yet: Yes, I make it through all nine innings, every time), and the more I understand it, the less lukewarm my feelings are on it. I’m not a football LOVER, per se, but I am no longer a football HATER.

And like it or not, Michael Vick is helping the cause for me, and it was Bill Simmons who helped me articulate why:

If Vick didn’t pay a reasonable price for his sins, it would be one thing. But he torched his career, blew a lucrative contract, went bankrupt, spent 19 months in prison and became a public pariah. That wasn’t a reasonable price? Every prison sentence has four goals: remove a lawbreaking person from society; assess an appropriate penalty; incarcerate the individual as a deterrence from ever breaking the law again; and hopefully, rehabilitate him or her to become a contributing and upstanding member of society. With Vick, the first three goals were accomplished. The fourth goal seems to have been accomplished. What more do you want? Deny him a chance to make a living? Under what constitutional umbrella? The man paid his price.

I am a dog lover. An INTENSE dog lover. I have a dog, and despite the fact that I have since had an actual, no-shit human child, Sunny continues to be a valued member of our family — one we refer to as our daughter’s older sister, for real, now stop laughing at us.

What Vick did was despicable. It was heinous, it was gross, it was … blergh. But, as Simmons puts it, yet again:

Much like how O.J. Simpson raised awareness about domestic abuse, Vick did the same for animal abuse. Both men did it unwittingly and disgraced themselves in the process, but there’s a crucial difference: By continuing his football career, becoming an animal rights activist and repeatedly acknowledging his mistakes, Vick will do more good than harm. That’s what made it so crazy when PETA protested during the early stages of Vick’s comeback. What was it protesting? That a contrite person who paid for his sins and vowed to be an animal rights advocate … um … shouldn’t do those things?

I’m not sure I care why he’s chosen to reform himself. I’m not sure I care if it’s a PR stunt or it’s genuine: the point is, I really think he can do some good here. I also think, as Bill does (do you like how I call him Bill? Like we’re BFFs?), that there were some cultural influences at play, and that Vick has, unlike many athletes/celebs under the harsh glare of controversy, made a concerted effort to remove the toxic influences from his life. Do I know this for sure? No. Am I willing to give him the benefit of the doubt? Oh hell yes, and those are words I never, ever thought I’d say in the wake of this whole disaster.

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Plus, he’s a hell of a quarterback, even after TWO YEARS in prison. Even I can see that. And I’ll admit that while I wrote this before his injury over the weekend, I was thrilled when Kolb failed to light it up in his wake, thus helping to ensure Vick’s eventual (and hopefully triumphant) return.

What do you think?