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This is the archive for July 2007

Bill Walsh, 1931-2007

I don’t think I could possibly eulogize Bill Walsh. Everyone else has already done it, and done it better than I could. Suffice it to say, he took football and turned it on its ear. He built the 49ers dynasty, invented the West Coast Offense (completely revolutionizing football), and attached his name to one of the best college football games of all time.

He was a true football pioneer, following in the footsteps of Paul Brown, Sid Gillman, and Al Davis. The Belicheck Patriots draft on intelligence. Most of your teams draft players, raising and lowering stock, based on their intelligence, and that all started with the great Bill Walsh.

"[I]ntelligent players have an infinitely better chance to succeed. On offense, they have to cope more and more with things like the no-huddle and quick snaps. In a few years, who knows? Maybe there won't be huddles. On defense, they have to cope with different schemes and all the substitution. When I look for players now, even at Stanford, I can rule out a lot of people fast. They have to have above-average intelligence combined with the ability to function under stress.” (read the rest here, thanks to Peter King)

If that doesn’t sound like a Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, or the antithesis of MIchael Vick, nothing does. I won't go so far as to say there's no one like Bill Walsh, but only because EVERYONE these days is trying his damnedest to be like Bill Walsh.

someone might be turf pizza, if he ever plays again

You know, I knew the usual suspects would be after Michael Vick. PeTA, the FBI, the local police, state police, and the IRS are all reasonable assumptions when someone of that nature gets involved in a major dog fighting breeding operation and promotion ring. Fighting dogs is cruel to animals, a felony, and you do have to hide your ill-gotten gains somewhere other than the mattresses at the headquarters of Bad Newz Kennels, Inc. Long story short, Ookie is in for a long year in and out of the court.

But there was one potential face of retribution that I’d never considered: other players.

While Robert Byrd has already given Michael Vick his assurances that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who fight dogs, Radar has learned from one NFL star that Vick has a more immediate concern—facing the wrath of the NFL's dog-loving players if he ever takes the field again, some of whom may be the very people assigned to protect Vick on the field.

The high-profile NFL player—whose team will play Vick's Atlanta Falcons during the 2007 season—tells Radar that a number of the league's canine-friendly players are licking their chops at the opportunity to inflict some on-field vigilante justice on the world's most famous alleged pup-drowner.

Considering there are a lot of large men who love pets out there, dogs especially, Michael Vick is going to be in some serious trouble should he ever step back out on the NFL turf. I won’t come out and suggest that his offensive line will lay down and let Vick get creamed, but they also might not put up the maximum amount of effort, either. Unless Vick starts rigging some dog fights and tipping off his blockers, that is.

Prison Blues vs. Orange Jumpsuits 2007: Prison Black?

Both Odell Thurman and Chris Henry have avoided trouble, but Oakland Raiders DE Bryant McNeal has not. The big fella has been arrested on an outstanding warrant after selling a car that didn’t actually belong to him and bouncing a $1500 check. Man, I hate when I do that.

So we’ve got the following scoreboard:

Jets—1, Justin Miller
Broncos—1, David Kircus
Raiders—1, Bryant McNeal

Better news: no Bengals arrested (knock on wood)!