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Ouch: More than my ankle hurts

Daily Staff Report

I sprained my ankle Saturday night coming back from the Battle Mountain-Kent Denver hockey game. I hurt a like heck, so I’ve had a lot of time recently to sit on my bum, think about things and then have the pleasure of sharing them with you.n Monday Night Football on ESPN. As Dennis Hopper used to say in those commercials, “Bad things, man.” It’s sad to see an institution like MNF become so irrelevant. It’s even sadder to hear Joe Theisman babble. The saddest thing is the five-plus hours ESPN puts into its pre ame show every Monday. (Honestly, in anticipation of Monday’s Bears-Rams game, how many different ways can you say that Rex Grossman was blowing chunks lately?). The one exception for ESPN is its 3 p.m. block of “Around the Horn” and “Pardon the Interruption.” Good stuff, even with Woody Paige,n Keeping on the ESPN vein, there is just too much NFL on TV. I know that this sounds sacrilegious, but when people start talking about Tony Romo’s “demise” after one loss, it’s too much. “The Jay Cutler Era?” He’s played two games. Makes me nostalgic for the “Tommy Maddox Era” with the Broncos.n Too much NFL on TV? I give you the Niners and Seahawks on Thursday Night Football. Isn’t it enough for San Francisco fans to suffer alone? (I speak as one.) The nation doesn’t need to see this (with the caveat that NFL Network is actually available on your TV).n Speaking of the Niners, stop calling him “The Great Brett Favre.” The Green Bay quarterback is no longer great. He wasn’t too great when he was great. Even in his prime, Favre would make stupid decisions. Some people call throwing into triple coverage gutsy. I call it dumb. Of course, watching the 49ers play defense against him, he becomes “The Great Brett Favre,” again because I have better chance on crutches of covering Packers’ receivers than San Francisco did.n Other myths: New England’s Tom Brady is the next Joe Montana. This IS sacrilegious. (Yes, I’m a Niner fan to the core). It’s not factual – Montana’s big drives were for touchdowns, not field goals. It’s also different ball game now. The two played in different eras – pre- and post-salary cap. n Myth II: The 2006 Chicago Bears’ defense is equivalent to that of the legendary 1985 squad. Not even close.n Myth III: LaDainian Tomlinson is comparable to Walter Payton or Barry Sanders or Gayle Sayers. LT’s phenomenal, especially if he’s on your fantasy team, but the latter three are in their own league. n Back to “The Jay Cutler Era,” bad call by the Mastermind. Mike Shanahan goofed here. You don’t throw in a rookie quarterback in late November, unless you’re cashing out the season. Yes, Bill Parcells made “the move of the year” with Romo, but he stinks now after one loss. If you want to get the young QB in, do it early in the year. Rookies need time. Ben Roethlisberger was a complete aberration, and look at him now. Peyton Manning set the single season mark for interceptions his rookie year. Rookies are what they are. Time will tell what kind of QB Cutler is, but for now Shanahan fell for ye olde grass is greener mirage.n In basketball, we’re back to the old ball. The NBA admitted that rolling out the new model was a mistake. Does this remind anybody of “New Coke?” Coca-Cola rolls out a new formula for its soft drink which makes everybody gag. Then the company brings out “Coke Classic,” ditching the “New Coke,” and Pepsi is left in the dust. It was brilliant marketing. Now the old, er, new basketball is better than ever, and everyone likes it. The NBA starts selling the “classic” ball like crazy. David Stern is not dumb.n If you really want to change the ball, paint it red, white and blue like the ABA days.n The NBA has playoffs, even though we seem to know how they come out in advance. Why not college football? The BCS has woven its magic again. Though I don’t think Michigan should get another shot at Ohio State, the only thing the Wolverines did wrong in comparison to Florida was not have games scheduled for the last two weeks of the regular season. Let’s face it – college football is all about the money. Drop the charade of amateurism unless it’s Army and Navy or Yale and Harvard (Go Elis), and play it down.n That having been said, why is undefeated Boise State playing Oklahoma? Let the Blue Turfers take on Michigan or USC. The $64,000 question with Boise State this year and Utah two years ago is “Can they play with the big boys?” If we’re stuck without a playoff, let’s find out.n Memo to Avs fans: Ha-hah. This is what happens when you keep trading away young talent like Chris Drury and Alex Tanguay. Yes, the Northwest is keeping Colorado in the playoff hunt, but the Avs have an early tee time.n The one thing I don’t like about the NHL? Why do teams get a point for an overtime loss or a shootout defeat? The other team scored more goals than your team. You don’t deserve points. This, of course, has nothing to do with the fact that the San Jose Sharks trail Anaheim in the Pacific primarily because the Ducks have overtime/shootout losses. No.n So, Eric Gagne signs with the Texas Rangers for $6 million. Did the Rangers in their infinite wisdom check to see if this guy has an arm? He’s done.n This is also addition by subtraction by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Not only do they get rid of Gagne, but also J. D. Drew. Throw in Jason Schmidt and Luis Gonzalez and the Dodgers sadly (please note lack of media bias) are the class of the NL West.n Just wonderful to see the Giants’ resigning of Barry Bonds continue the youth movement in San Francisco. I think I’ll start banging my head on my desk, so my ankle will stop hurting.Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or cfreud@vaildaily.com.


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