- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 29, 2009

The NFL’s passer rating formula will never be a true measure of quarterbacks, I’ve decided, until it includes “concussions per attempt.”


Isn’t that right, Ben Roethlisberger?


Big Ben suffered the fourth concussion of his career last week against the Chiefs. The Steelers were planning to start him Sunday night in Baltimore, but they changed their minds after he told a reporter, “I’ve always wanted to go up against Johnny Unitas and that great Colts team.”


In addition to his occasional brain-scramblings, Roethlisberger has been sacked 221 times since 2004, more than any other QB in the league. Of course, anybody can get sacked 221 times. The trick is getting up 221 times.


Can you believe the stuff Josh McDaniels, the Broncos’ Kid Coach, has been pulling? If he isn’t taunting Chargers players during warmups, he’s cussing out his offense during the Thanksgiving game against the Giants - and getting caught by the NFL Network using a naughty word (a 13-letter adjective common to locker rooms and Samuel L. Jackson movies).

Somehow, the profanity slipped past the production crew - which apparently was too busy fighting over The Last Drumstick.


About the only way it could have been worse for the league is if, in the middle of his tirade, Josh’s left breast had become exposed.


Eric Weinberger, the network’s executive producer, said, “We don’t have wires on the [coaches and players]. … It’s the microphones that are on the sides that are picking up ambient [background] sound.”

Ambient sound - you know, whistles blowing, helmets colliding, coaches cussing.


Remember that book of John Madden’s, “One Knee Equals Two Feet”? Well, if McDaniels ever writes one, it should be titled “Three False Starts Equal One F-Bomb.”


Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea for the NFL Network to have closed captioning.


Saw Mike Shanahan might be asking for $10 million a year - plus a piece of the team - to return to coaching.

To which I reply: What makes him think he’s worth that much? His one playoff win since the ‘98 season, his 24-24 record his last three years in Denver or his marvelous work turning Jay Cutler into an Interception Waiting To Happen?


Little-known fact: Shanahan has won just one division title when he didn’t have (a.) a Hall of Famer at QB (John Elway) and (b.) a 2,000-yard rusher at running back (Terrell Davis).


If only Michael Corleone owned the Bills…

Shanahan: “You can have my services for $50 million over five years, plus a 5 percent stake in the club.”

Corleone: “You were only making $5 million a year in Denver. Why would I ever consider paying more?”

Shanahan: “Because I’m going to squeeze you, Corleone. I’ll expect your answer, along with a cashier’s check for my signing bonus, by tomorrow morning.”

Corleone: “You can have my answer now if you’d like. … My offer is this: nothing. I’m not even going to validate your parking, which I’d appreciate if you’d pay for personally.”


Elsewhere in football, the Pontiac Silverdome, former home of the Detroit Lions, was sold at auction for $583,000. To put this in perspective, the minimum NFL salary this season for a player with four years’ experience is $620,000.

But then, the Silverdome can’t cover kicks.


Yup, the winning bidder did pretty well for himself. And get this: He also qualifies for an $8,000 tax credit for being a first-time dome buyer.


Returning to the subject of Coaches Saying Silly Things (see Josh McDaniels), here’s Texas’ Mack Brown on Colt McCoy’s monster game against Texas A&M; (304 yards and four touchdowns passing, 175 yards and one TD rushing in a 49-39 win):

“He was unbelievable. I don’t remember any performance like that, period.”

Uh, Mack, how about Vince Young’s performance for the Longhorns in the BCS title game against Southern Cal four years ago? Young completed 30 of 40 passes for 267 yards, rushed 19 times for 200 more yards and ran for three touchdowns, including two in the last 4:03 to rally his team from a 38-26 deficit. When you consider he was going against a Trojans club that had won 34 straight, it might have been the greatest one-man show in college football history.

Unfortunately, it happened after the Heisman Trophy had been awarded to SC’s Reggie Bush. McCoy’s big game - against an A&M; defense, by the way, that had given up 65 points to Oklahoma and 62 to Kansas State - was much better timed.


Tottenham’s 9-1 wipeout of Wigan in Premier League soccer reminded me of a funny scene in the movie “In Bruges” - which doesn’t have anything to do with soccer, but anyway… (FYI: The part of Ken is played by Brendan Gleeson; Ray is Colin Farrell.)

Ken (looking at a painting by Bosch): “It’s Judgment Day, you know?”

Ray: “No. What’s that then?”

Ken: “Well, you know, it’s the final day on Earth, when mankind will be judged for the crimes they’ve committed and that.”

Ray: “Oh. And see who gets into Heaven and who gets into Hell and all that.”

Ken: “Yeah. And what’s the other place?”

Ray: “Purgatory.”

Ken: “Purgatory… what’s that?”

Ray: “Purgatory’s kind of like the in-betweeny one. You weren’t really [awful], but you weren’t all that great, either. Like Tottenham. … Do you believe in all that stuff, Ken?”

Ken: “About Tottenham?”


Wigan’s players were so humiliated by the hammering that they’ve offered their fans a refund. (The club had a ticket allocation of 565 for the game.) “It’s important that we do not take our supporters for granted,” captain Mario Melchiot said.

He’s right about that. You never want to take your supporters for granted after you’ve had your jocks handed to you. So to speak.


And finally…

The New Jersey Nets are winless in their first 16 games, one off the NBA record.

It’s quite an accomplishment, you have to admit. I mean, usually when a team starts the season like that, it’s because it’s touring with the Harlem Globetrotters.

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