Saturday, August 11, 2007

Bursting with Headliney Flavor!

While we fans perch on stiffened thumb in anticipation of the local squad's first preseason game, let's take a gander at some stories from around the sportiverse...

Darren McFadden and his Mom

The Arkansas Junior tailback, occasional shotgun QB, Heisman hopeful and evident Irishman is going to leave school after this season and go pro. Not terribly shocking, especially since he could potentially be a Top 5 draft pick. But that news didn't come from McFadden, it came from his mom, the excellently named Mini Muhammed. McFadden himself hasn't said anything of the sort. I suppose it's reflective of the kind of media attention SEC football gets nearer the equator, and of the high-powered lens currently on Arkansas' football program, but still. Situations like this are just weird. The best quote from the whole thing (at least from the story on came out the wordhole of Houston Nutt: "we'll make the right decision." Um, if there's one thing that brouhaha we linked to a couple sentences back has proved, it's that no one in the Razorbacks' building is gonna win any good decision-making contests at the county fair...

Rick Ankiel, Back and Not Totally Sucky

This one's a few days old, sure, but we'd be remiss not to mention the story of one-time Cardinals pitching phenom Ankiel, who, after inexplicably losing every shred of his ability to hit home plate a few years ago, worked his way back up through the Birds' minor league system as an outfielder. He finally snuck into the starting lineup the other night and promptly won the game with a three-run dong. If Rick Ankiel never makes contact with another baseball--and considering his relatively limited skill-set, that's a distinct possibility--it won't matter. I don't know that anything like this has happened before, ever.

The Arizona Cardinals, for the 48th Consecutive Year, Are a Pre-Season Sleeper

The lead football story on concerns the efforts of ex-Steeler coaches Ken Whisenhunt and Russ Grimm to stitch some nice new blue collars on the eternall foul Cardinals. Stop us if you've heard this, or a variation on it, before. Dennis Green talked a big game. Buddy Ryan said, "you've got a winner in town" when he was hired. Dave McGinnis and Comet the Wonder Dog were always supposedly on the verge of something, well, if not big, at least bigger than awful. But invariably they all fail. All of them. Respected figures in the NFL coaching community leading teams larded with high 1st round draft picks.

WhisenGrimm may think they're different. The Arizona Cardinals, property of the historically cheap and inept Bidwill family (who fired Jim Hanifan by changing the locks on his office at halftime of his final game), are the worst team in sport. Sorry about that, Glendale. At least you have that balmy weather.