- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 1, 2009

— It’s hard to go against the Cardinals on Sunday night. I mean, they’ve never lost a Super Bowl.

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In fact, they’ve never lost an NFL championship game when there wasn’t a foot of snow on the ground.

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Wonder if any of that affected the betting line.

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Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. It’s amazing his name doesn’t run over onto the front of his Cards jersey, isn’t it?

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For those of you scoring at home, that’s 25 letters and one hyphen - which makes the Arizona cornerback the John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt of professional football.

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The only way it could be better is if Rodgers-Cromartie intercepts Ben Roethlisberger on Sunday night. I’d love to hear Al Michaels spit out that mouthful.

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Steelers coach Mike Tomlin gave his final injury report Saturday, by the way. Roethisberger (lower back), he said, is “fine,” Hines Ward (knee) is “great” and Mean Joe Greene (62 years old) will be “a game-time decision.”

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Three comments overheard during Super Bowl week:

1. “That yacht is bigger than my house. How depressing is that?”

2. “I had a dream about ‘Lost’ last night. I dreamed Boone [Carlyle] came back.”

3. “I just rode down in the elevator with Rich Eisen!”

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Most shameless media question: “What’s the worst thing you saw [in the ‘hood] growing up?”

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Here’s a record you may not be aware of: According to my research, if Kurt Warner throws the ball 34 times Sunday, he’ll break the NFL mark for most pass attempts in a season, playoffs included. (At the age of 37, no less.)

The record was set by the Patriots’ Drew Bledsoe in 1994, when he had 691 attempts in the regular season and 50 in the playoffs for a total of 741. Warner currently has 708 (598 regular season, 110 playoffs).

Other instances of quarterbacks throwing 700 passes:

- Rich Gannon, Raiders, 2002: 618 regular season, 115 playoffs, 733 total.

- Warren Moon, Oilers, 1991: 655, 76, 731.

- Bledsoe, Patriots, 1996: 623, 105, 728.

- Peyton Manning, Colts, 2006: 557, 153, 710.

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A study by Common Sense Media has determined that half the commercial breaks during NFL telecasts show at least one ad featuring sex, alcohol or drugs (e.g., Viagra) that’s inappropriate for America’s youth.

The group is fine, apparently, with the wanton football violence that intersperses these ads.

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Getting back to the Cardinals’ presence in the Big Game, folks are always making a big deal about the parity in the NFL and how it gives every team a chance to go to the Super Bowl. Baseball, on the other hand, is seen as a sport dominated by a handful of well-do-do franchises. Is this, however, an accurate picture of the situation?

Well, look at it this way: In the last dozen NFL seasons, 17 different clubs have played in the Super Bowl. Over the same stretch, 17 different clubs have played in the World Series. So…

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In the NHL, incidentally, the number is 15 - different finalists, that is - and in the NBA it’s 13.

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Trivia question: Edgerrin James, at long last, has made it to the Super Bowl, but six of the top 20 rushers in NFL history have never played in the game. One is Jim Brown, who did his ball carrying in the pre-Super Bowl era. Who are the other five? (Answer below.)

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Fired Bucs coach Jon Gruden finally came out of hiding and granted an interview to ESPN. See if you can tell the difference between what Gruden said to Chris Mortensen and what Chucky said in some of his movies.

a. “It was tough the way it ended, but we did some good things, and I know some people who think we overachieved.”

b. “This is nuts! And I have a VERY high tolerance for nuts.”

c. “Maybe I’ll just be the best damn flag football coach in the history of Florida.”

d. “I hate kids.”

e. “Chucky will be back, and hopefully my teeth will be as sharp as ever.”

f. “Fine! Kill me! I’ll be back! I always come back!”

Answers: a. Gruden; b. Chucky in “Seed of Chucky”; c. Gruden; d. Chucky in “Child’s Play 2”; e. Gruden; f. Chucky in “Bride of Chucky.”

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Elsewhere in the NFL, Michael Vick might be released from prison soon and assigned to a halfway house - giving new meaning to the expression “takin’ it to the house.”

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What’s wrong with this picture?

- Serena Williams becomes the all-time prize money leader among female athletes, passing Annika Sorenstam’s total of $22,573,192.

- Stephon Marbury, meanwhile, sits on the Knicks bench, collecting his $21.9 million salary.

Just think: Serena plays tennis, but Stephon has the bigger racket.

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Elsewhere in the NBA, Charlotte has signed forward Cartier Martin to a 10-day contract. The Bobcats are hoping, no doubt, that Cartier is a diamond in the rough.

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Answer to trivia question: The five Top 20 running backs who have never played in the Super Bowl are Barry Sanders (No. 3 with 15,269 yards), Eric Dickerson (No. 6, 13,259), LaDainian Tomlinson (No. 14, 11, 760), Fred Taylor (No. 16, 11,760) and Warrick Dunn (No. 19, 10,967).

Moving up fast: Clinton Portis (No. 28, 9,202).

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Something I just noticed: Only 39 backs have rushed for 8,000 yards in their NFL careers, but six of them have played for the Redskins since 1990. I’m talking about Portis, Terry Allen (8,614), Earnest Byner (8,261), Gerald Riggs (8,188), Stephen Davis (8,052) and - let’s not forget this guy - Shaun Alexander (9,453). (John Riggins, of course, retired after the ‘85 season.)

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And finally…

If you’ll excuse me, Gisele Bundchen is going to feed me lunch.

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