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They shoot horses, don't they?


"You Gotta Be Kidding!"
by Mickey Charles, CEO Sports Network


Well, maybe not as quickly as they once did in the wild west but it might be time to bring back that act of utter despair, defeat and pain but applicable to the world of sports. Why is Brett Favre trying to outdo the recently deceased George Blanda? To what end? To prove that geriatrics still have a place in professional football, to insist that grey on top does not mean there is no fire and only ash? Has he figured out how to redirect Viagra to his arm instead of elsewhere and are four hours of strength, if it works, going to do it? Last year, 2009, was his shot at winning one for the walkers. Close but no cigar. Neither destiny nor anything else will take him and the Vikings to that plateau again.

Yes, Detroit still has to find a team to take the field but Chicago is not as bad as they displayed against the Giants and the Packers, while not formidable, stand in the way of the quest to climb the mountain from which Favre and his teammates will hang-glide into the playoffs.

He proved every one of his detractors wrong last year and all the credit in the world, and sports, is due him for that. Chasing the dream, however, is a fool's errand and his wife has to cringe every time he is sacked. Mobility is something attributable to his cell phone, not his legs, and the only saving grace he might have this year is the attitude of veterans that do not want to be the ones to send him to the stretcher bearers. Other, younger, players might not feel the same way. The Hall of Fame is assured, his records stand, the adoration in Green Bay will outweigh the betrayal over the years, he rose to the heights but the way down is littered with those that had to give it one more try. He is the horse that came close to winning the Triple Crown and it was a hell of a run. Even with Randy Moss in the fold, it is over. Shooting him with retirement would be the next best thing to do. He need not go out to stud, since his wife would be unappreciative of that, but the pasture awaits.

Joe Girardi
Joe Girardi and the Yankees enter the playoffs as the clear cut favorite in the American League.
Joe Girardi and the Yankees are in the playoffs as the American League wild card, when they could have won the division title. That would have meant Texas and Minnesota is portrayed as easier pickings right now. Maybe but not the reason the New Yorkers lost. Girardi could not manage his way safely from one room of his home to the other. When the Yankees win he basks in the limelight, accepts the applause, adoration and credit but it is not because of him ... it is in spite of him. Any fan, journalist, broadcaster, player, opponent with any knowledge of the game has to be scratching heads, and elsewhere, at some of the things he does, and does not do.

The media caters to him in the Big Apple and that is a mistake. They hide between the folds of their papers and magazines while TV and radio, for the most part, secret themselves behind cameras and microphones.

It is September, the World Series awaits and Girardi is having tryouts. He tells interviewers that he was hired to make decisions, that most of us out here will not always agree with him but he is being paid to decide and that is that. The man does not understand baseball and credentials as a former player and stint as an assistant in the dugout do not qualify him. All those books he refers to in the dugout do not contain anything but the errant misgivings of Joe Torre, another man who won with a team that won and basked in undeserved adulation.

The record speaks for itself - he ruined Joba Chamberlain who now does not know whether he is coming or going or what he is supposed to do; AJ Burnett is an automatic "L" and should be taken out of the rotation, especially at this time of the year; Sergio Mitre is reading his Kindle in the dugout; Boone Logan is a prayer when called upon; David Robertson and Kerry Wood remain the gateways to Mariano Rivera; and Phil Hughes should be behind CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte. Then one has to pray for rain or a possible three-game sweep to avoid Burnett. Chad Gaudin, Ivan Nova, Royce Ring, and Javier Vazquez should all be selling programs.

Lance Berkman cannot field and giving him a title of designated hitter is an oxymoron in action, a grammatical hypocrisy. The man is useless. Speaking of useless, why is Austin Kearns besmirching a New York Yankees uniform? The man flails at pitches, does not have a clue what to do when at bat and is capable, as has been seen, of striking out each time he comes up in any game. What the heck does Girardi see that no one else does? Greg Golson can field and Marcus Thames might make contact and be better if a batting coach showed him the difference between his batter's box, home plate and other batter's box. In other words, when the ball bounces on the plate or is thrown over the other batter's box, leave it alone.

Do we have enough bullets for all these horses? Girardi will certainly find a way to blow this one and I genuinely hope he does not but baseball sense, a feel for the game, knowledge of what is clearly before you, is absent from his thinking. It is a short series and Texas or Tampa Bay awaits and then, predictably, the Phillies with the hottest team in baseball and best starting rotation. Has Girardi checked his team's September record? Does he realize how bad Burnett has become and is a certainty for one inning giving up five or more runs and that Joba will come in and serve up an instant home run or a hit that will clear the bases of whatever has been left for him.

Get over this 100-pitch idiocy that has seized baseball like a plague. Stop counting and just ask your guy how he feels. Fire announcers that cannot stop mentioning it every inning. By next year they will replace fielders that are responsible for as many as eight or six plays. Wow, how trying that must be. How about the catcher that throws back 120-130 balls over the course of his stint behind the plate?

This is the time when baseball smarts take over and the Yankees are devoid of that with Joe Girardi.

Tom Coughlin
Tom Coughlin coached the NY Giants to a Super Bowl victory in 2008.
Tom Coughlin is coaching the Giants thanks to one miraculous catch that provided his team and town with a Super Bowl. Apart from that, his idea of creativity is putting his jacket on over his shirt and then his hat before heading out to the sidelines. He is blessed with a hell of a pass rushing squad, still respectable offensive line, good receivers, better than average running backs and a quarterback that is the epitome of the Peter Principle in action. Eli Manning reached his level of incompetency long ago and his name does not carry a scintilla of the talent that has blessed his older brother. He matches the always-worried look of his coach and his idea of excitement is to make it to the sidelines after someone scores.

When was the last time you saw Eli running down the field to congratulate the recipient of a pass for a touchdown? When do you think he will realize that his receivers are not 6'7" and how far can the Giants go with a quarterback that thinks scrambling refers to eggs in the morning? Coughlin and Manning are a match made by someone with a huge sense of humor. Theirs is a conference with the Redskins ... beatable; Eagles ... more than beatable with Vick out and likely with him in; Cowboys ... with potential but not what they hoped they would be. As for others that they will play this year ... Seattle, Jacksonville, Minnesota, Green Bay... all can be beaten. Not easily but can be done.

Will Coughlin and Manning rise to the occasion? Not if they are still shooting horses.

What about Girardi and the Yankees, Favre and the Vikings?

You gotta be kidding!