The last time I remember something like this….

The last time I remember something similar to Mcfarlane’s release of rookie star QB Brady Quinn was when Kenner’s Starting Lineup released a 1999 rookie edition. Lets hope that things turn out differently for our new star player.

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We’re Kissing Suzy Kolber fans

Love em’ or hate em’, the gang over at Kissing Suzy Kolber has now provided us with a year of laughing and football coverage. To a point, I feel that they’re Howard Stern-like, in the fact that sometimes they’re pretty pompus and cocky, and just overall dicks, but you continue to read anyway because they’re excellent writers. They know humor, and they know football. This is something I can appreciate.

I’d like to link a few of my favorite posts from the site:

The original Rex Grossman post

Grossman talks to Rachel Nichols

Grossman and the Bears make the Superbowl

1999 Draft

Mike Lupica

Brett Favre called a press conference

Thanksgiving itinerary

Peter King likes Tony Romo as a QB

Eli Manning: my favorite sport was squash

Ripping on my boy Brady Quinn, on draft day

NFL Draft itinerary

The City of Cleveland demands a football team

Ron Jaworski I

Ron Jaworski II

Captain Caveman at the Superbowl in Miami

Caveman Superbowl Dispatch, part duex

The Godfather of KSK meets his makers

There you have it folks. I could probably link about 10 or so more, but I’m not going to. Hopefully Kissing Suzy Kolber continues to provide us more great NFL stuff and humor for the next year or five.

Quinn quotables

Brady Quinn weighs in with some quotes first reported at Cleveland Browns.com.

On the difference of speed between the NFL game and the NCAA game:

“The first week I was probably sitting back thinking, ‘Man this is much different than college ball, even at the highest level,'” Quinn, who started for three-plus years at Notre Dame, said.

More:

“The windows open and close and you have to be ready to throw,” he said. “That’s probably the biggest difference between college and the NFL that I’ve learned so far. Right now, it’s understanding the speed of the game and getting used to hitting those windows when they’re there, because they don’t come very often.”

Working hard aren’t you Brady:

“I’ve been just trying to work hard, keep going over reads, progressions — knowing it like the back of my hand and trying to know it like a guy who has been here three, four, or five years.”

On the competition between himself, Charlie Frye & Derek Anderson:

“It’s a competitive situation for all of us but we’re using each other to try to motivate ourselves,” Quinn said. “It’s been good for us.”

Asked if he’s striving for the starting role for Week One:

“Without a doubt. Who doesn’t? Ask any one of these guys and they’ll say they do.”

“That’s our dream. That’s my dream. I grew up a Cleveland Browns fan. I understand the rivalry between Cleveland and Pittsburgh and my ultimate goal is
being there.”

Lyle Alzado and John Matuszak

I spent a long time last evening reading about former Oakland Raiders Lyle Alzado and John Matuszak. I googled and I searched and I wiki’d and I just kept reading until my eyes could barely stay open. My search for Matuszak was actually brought on after my search of Alzado. Both of these men are clearly NFL legends for their off the field personas as much as their on-field performance.

I have several ties of interest to Lyle Alzado. The guy was a Cleveland Brown, but earlier than that he was the face of the Oakland Raiders “bad boy” franchise of the NFL. I remember reading Marcus Allen’s autobiography, and Allen actually talked about the moment that transcends the above photo after the Raiders won Superbowl XVIII, Alzado just held the trophy and stared at it and cried. Allen said it was due to the price he (Alzado) paid to get to that moment and that no one would understand it until years later.

Eventually Alzado, the once Herculaic figure; would wilt to a rare form of brain cancer so fierce that he died just shortly after diagnosis in 1992. I remember reading the story as a kid in Sports Illustrated, and Alzado talking about his steroid use. Only years later did I realize about how much his fame culminated and what a well known national figure Alzado was. He very possibly made Raider nation what it is today with his ass kicking antics and giant body. It was mere coincidence that he had a stint with my favorite team; the Cleveland Browns, at the end of his career in the NFL.

Then there was Matuszak. I had heard far less about ‘Tooz’, and realized only after research that this guy was a #1 overall draft pick in 1973. Fascinating enough that Matuszak would be dead just 16 years later.

The large and hard partying defensive lineman led the charge for that badass partying Oakland Raider team of the late 70’s. He most certainly was on steroids as well; but also treated his body like a waste-basket. Tooz became known for his addicitions of vodka and valium, and drinking late into the night the night before games.

The story goes that he was actually the beginning of the end of the bad-boy Raider Dynasty, when in 1977 he went out hard partying in Denver the night before the AFC Championship game which was to be played the next day. Matuszak couldn’t catch his breath in the thin Denver air, and at the end of the game in which the Raiders fought valiantly, all they needed was 3 stops with 3:17 left trailing 20-17 to force a Denver punt and they’d have the chance for Kenny Stabler to get the victory, sending the Raiders to another superbowl.

Instead, the Broncos used their scouting report tip that ‘Tooz had been out all night drinking, the Raiders (Al Davis) refused to pull the late legend, and the Broncos ran the ball right down the Raiders throats right at ‘Tooz to preserve the victory. This would be legendary coach John Madden’s last game as an NFL head coach due to ulcers caused by coaching this organization, ulcers that may have been given by ‘Tooz himself.

Two men with two very different paths to stardom and from stardom. Two pieces of rich NFL history and more importantly Raider history. The Raiders may or may not be on the track to restoring the once proud franchise to glory again; but they would have never been there if not for the legends of these two men, whose ghosts now walk out in Oakland at the Coliseum, where they once ran as gladiators among men.

Madden 2008 to have some more realism

Madden 2008 is going to have some souped up bells and whistles for it’s fans this season. I am a long-time Madden customer. I have been loyal to the franchise since I was a kid and it is probably a game I’ll still be buying when I’m 40 or 50 if my wife will allow it.

Rumor has it Madden has added some realism to it’s game, in which a scenario happens that if it is actually snowing at Invesco Field at Mile High in Denver, it will be snowing on the game; thanks to a new agreement that Madden inked with The Weather Channel.