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NFL carrousel spinning fast…

01.02.09 at 11:47 am ET
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The Cleveland Plain Dealer continues to stay on top of the story that has ramifications for several NFL franchises, including the Patriots. The latest is word that Browns owner Randy Lerner was very impressed with Pats personnel VP Scott Pioli AND Jets head coach Eric Mangini when both interviewed this week. Does this mean a reunion? Not so fast. Meanwhile, Pioli is most prominent on the Chiefs’ radar for their vacancy. But there may be some indecision there as the team has honored the wishes of Rich McKay to hold off until his Atlanta Falcons play in Arizona this weekend.  … Pats offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, whose name has been considered for the coaching vacancy in Cleveland, will interview in Denver on Sunday for the job of replacing legendary coach Mike Shanahan. Then there’s potentially the biggest story of the day, as “Inside the NFL” on Showtime reported this week that the Patriots are about to place the franchise tag on Pats quarterback Matt Cassel, something we told you to watch for two days ago (See item No. 2). The move would keep him from becoming a free agent and heading south to Gang Green.

Read More: Atlanta Falcons, Josh McDaniels, Kansas City Chiefs,

New Year’s play…

01.01.09 at 12:08 pm ET
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The Cleveland Browns don’t want to wait around on Scott Pioli, according to the Boston Herald. The paper is reporting that the Browns want a decision by today from Pioli on whether he wants the job. Pioli is interested in hiring Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz as head coach, as Ferentz has a history with Pioli and Bill Belichick when the two were in Cleveland in the 90s. The Herald reports Pioli is making demands of Cleveland that would be extremely difficult for any football franchise to meet. The Cleveland Plain Dealer is reporting that the Browns are also interviewing Atlanta Falcons team President Rich McKay. The Boston Globe is reporting that Kansas City has also received permission to speak to Pioli. In an intriguing twist, the Browns have asked for and received permission to interview Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. It’s not clear whether Browns owner Randy Lerner might hire a head coach separately of a new general manager.

Read More: Bill Belichick, Josh McDaniels, Rich McKay, Scott Pioli

From Foxboro to Cleveland and back…

12.30.08 at 12:35 pm ET
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There seems to be a great deal of mutual interest between Scott Pioli and the Cleveland Browns, concerning their vacant general manager’s position. The Cleveland Plain-Dealer reports that Pioli is very interested in the gig while there could be an intriguing third party entering the picture. Should Pioli stay in New England or head to Kansas City or Detroit, Bill Parcells could quickly enter the picture since he has a lucrative buyout clause in Miami if owner Wayne Huizenga sells his interest in the team and he is said to be considering selling the Fins within the next two months. Meanwhile, the Browns are interested in northeast Ohio native and Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels to replace Romeo Crennel, who could stay on as defensive coordinator. Browns owner Randy Lerner fired G.M. Phil Savage over the weekend while Crennel was fired as head coach on Monday. The Browns are also interested in axed Jets head coach Eric Mangini. Besides being the single individual who could overhaul the Cleveland Browns with an injection of New England Patriots personnel, who is Randy Lerner?

Read More: Bill Parcells, Romeo Crennel, Scott Pioli,

This is better than winning NBA Finals MVP

12.29.08 at 3:15 pm ET
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Can we start a fund to buy this for Kurt Rambis?

I love that A. It pays $50 bucks and hour; B. It has the music you will be listening to; C. NBA TV will be the backdrop; D. This person is putting his retro Cedric Maxwell jersey to good use.

(Via Don Chavez)

Black Monday…

12.29.08 at 3:13 pm ET
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It’s the Monday after the final NFL regular season game and the blood-letting has begun. We begin first in New York where the axe has come down on Eric Mangini. The New York Post screams ‘Dump ’em’ and that’s what owner Woody Johnson and G.M. Michael Tannenbaum have done in firing Mangenius. … The Cleveland Browns have shown Romeo Crennel the door in the mistake by the lake. The Cleveland Plain-Dealer is reporting that the Browns have asked the Patriots their permission to speak to Scott Pioli for their vacant G.M. job to replace Phil Savage. Mangini could be a candidate to replace Crennel. Not surprisingly, after leading his team, the Detroit Lions, to the first 0-16 finish in NFL history, Rod Marinelli is looking for work today. Wade Phillips didn’t get fired by Jerry Jones in Dallas but judging by the Dallas papers and his press conference today, maybe he wishes he had.

Read More: Eric Mangini, patriots, Rod Marinelli, Romeo Crennel

A Pats Fan Primer on Rooting for Brett Favre

12.28.08 at 4:32 pm ET
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Yes, yes — by now you’ve heard. The Patriots’ playoff fate could be determined by whether Brett Favre and the Jets can beat the Dolphins. I can’t imagine that our man Fitzy is too psyched about this turn of events.

This is the same Brett Favre who, as a member of the Packers, beat the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI.

This is the same Brett Favre who gave the Pats no love in 2002, when he could’ve punched a playoff ticket for the Patriots with a win over the Jets.

This is the same Brett Favre who managed to look good for just about the only time this season in beating the Pats in a 34-31 overtime win at Gillette this year.

So, obviously, there is a bit of an uphill challenge for most Pats fans who must now bite the bullet and embrace the Jets’ No. 4. In an effort to help in the process, we offer this primer, courtesy of Joe Sports Fan, that offers insight into why you might not only find it acceptable to root for Favre, but why, as an American patriot, you MUST root for the erstwhile star of There’s Something About Mary.

But, if all of that fails, perhaps Patriots fans can find some love in their hearts for the Jaguars against the Ravens?

Follow the Jets-Dolphins game here.

Or, pretend it’s not happening and just root like crazy for the Jaguars by following this game.

Read More: brett favre, Jets, patriots, something about mary

Because I Feel That This Is Not Worthy Of “This Just In”

12.26.08 at 8:32 pm ET
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Tom Brady appears ready to, in the words of “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, walk down that aisle.

For the record, I’ve always thought Gisele was a little overrated. I’d take an in-prime Brigit Moynahan over her, I really would. (Prime Moynahan? Think “Coyote Ugly“.) German accents automatically knock you down a point before we even start.

I just may be a sucker for the scorned, because I think Jennifer Aniston is a one seed and Angelina Jolie is a six or seven (I have no clue what tournament this would be, but I do know that the other lock number one seed is Kate Beckinsale).

Superman Returns

12.26.08 at 11:12 am ET
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Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard recently announced that he will try to defend his Slam Dunk championship this February at the NBA All-Star weekend in Phoenix. Good for you Dwight. I mean that sincerely as I think it is great for fans of the NBA. Not only is it a rare occurence for the winner of the Slam Dunk Content to defend his title, but it is even rarer that a super star player actually participates. The history of the Slam Dunk Championship is actually very interesting.

Gone are the days were the greatest players in the game competed in the Slam Dunk Championship. A lot of NBA fans and critics say that the NBA Dunk Contest is tired and old, but I would argue the simple point that the product just isn’t as good because you don’t have the greatest players in the game participating. Could you imagine the excitment around the Dunk Contest this season if LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Vince Carter, Dwayne Wade, and Dwight Howard all participated? There would be “no regard for human life” (WARNING: Celtics fans may want to avert their eyes). Problem solved and all of a sudden the NBA Dunk Contest is a must watch – even for fringe NBA fans.

So why doesn’t this happen? Well, one can only assume a couple of different reasons.

  • The NBA is a business first and this is evidence of their feelings about the Dunk Contest.
  • The great players like Jordan & Wilkins participated because they welcomed the challenge and wanted to compete. This is a microcosm of why some fans can’t get into the NBA game in general anymore.
  • The NBA’s great players right now are most likely too concerned with their image and what it would mean if they participated and LOST the dunk contest. To put it plainly, they are afraid to disappoint.
  • The age old excuse of choosing not to participate because they could ‘€œget injured’€ doing something that they do every single day of the year and never get hurt doing.

Many basketball purist will tell you that the NBA features the world’s greatest athletes. That point is hard to argue considering the following video from who I believe is the best in-game DUNKER of all-time:

Did you notice who dunks 2-4 were on? Especially Dunk #4 on Larry Legend. Mercy…

In closing, I salute Dwight Howard, who is arguably a top five player in the NBA, for returning to defend his title this season. I just wish someone like LeBron would be there to challenge him.

Who do you think is the best dunker of all-time?

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Dominique Wilkins, Dwight Howard, Michael Jordan

The Morning After…

12.26.08 at 10:37 am ET
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Where we are still a little confused that Pau Gasol was pounding his chest in a game that saw him grab a whopping THREE rebounds in 36 minutes.

Our own Paul Flannery breaks it down from his mom’s basement (seriously) with a solid recap. He has the gall to knock the Magic/Kobe halftime interview, which to me will be seen as the Frost/Nixon for this generation.

Mark Heisler notes that the Lakers won a game that they needed more. J.A. Adande seems to think that Gasol had 45 points and 25 rebounds last night.

A New York state of mind…

12.24.08 at 10:31 am ET
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You heard him on with our own Rob Bradford and Michael Felger on the Dennis and Callahan program. Now read what Joel Sherman wrote in his column in the New York Post on the Mark Teixeira signing. He has some interesting perspective and comparisons on how the Yankees approached the Teixeira signing and what they learned from not signing Carlos Beltran several years ago. Sherman’s colleague Mike Puma breaks down how the Yanks grabbed Teixeira from the Red Sox in the 11th hour negotiations with Scott Boras. ‘Tis the season for spending sprees and Mike Lupica of the Daily News writes that Teixeira signing shows the spending never ends in New York. Neil Best of Newsday writes the spending spree of the Yankees is raising eyebrows in a down economy.

Read More: Boras, free agent, Joel Sherman, Mike Lupica