The greatest receiver of all time, at least in Randy Moss' mind, didn't fare well in the postgame TV analysis in San Francisco.
Bill Romanowski, the former NFL linebacker who played on four Super Bowl winners during his 16-year career, went off on Moss during a postgame analysis on Comcast Sports Network/Bay Area. His wrath was directed mostly toward a second quarter play when Ed Reed intercepted a pass that was headed high and wide toward Moss. Dwight Clark, the legendary San Francisco wide receiver, also joined in.
Money quote No. 1 from Romanowski: "What happened is Randy Moss alligator armed it, he didn't go up for the ball! He said he was the best receiver in the DAMN world -- ok, you hear me? Oh, God! That's what pisses me off! You're playing in the Super Bowl, guys!"
Money quote No. 2 from Clark: "He didn't alligator-arm it. He didn't even reach out for it!"
Money quote No. 3, from Romanowski: "One thing you just can not have in a Super Bowl is lack of effort."
Moss? Lack of effort? Who knew?
Here's the video:
Moss finished the game with two catches for 41 yards, including a 32-yard gain the fourth quarter.
And Romanowski? He got a blog whipping over his temper from Jeff Everette of Rant Sports, a rant that reads a little bit like, well, a Romanowski rant.
Minnesota native Larry Fitzgerald Jr. is trying out a new stage Thursday night: leading the Phoenix Symphony in the national anthem when it opens its season.
The Pro Bowl wide receiver has played for the biggest audiences in the game with the Arizona Cardinals' Super Bowl run. But this one is different, leaving him humbled and honored. "I was extremely nervous up there practicing,” Fitzgerald said after rehearsal Tuesday.
In video of Fitzgerald's practice time, Ed Cole of www.pros2preps.com detailed Fitzgerald's three rules of conducting, which might share some aspects to his day job: Don't drop the baton; be natural and confident, and have a good time out there.
The symphony also released on Youtube some footage of Fitzgerald at work. And Fitzgerald has been spending time there researching all that conductors do.
Fitzgerald won't be the only Minnesotan front and center on Thursday. The conductor for the main program is Sarah Hicks, principal conductor, pops and presentations of the Minnesota Orchestra.
As for that day job, Fitzgerald is coming off a surprising road win over the New England Patriots, but one in which he caught only one pass for four yards. Another catch was wiped out by a penalty. "I’ll get my opportunities," Fitzgerald said. "When they come, I’ve got to make my plays.”
The death of NFL Films co-founder Steve Sabol reminds us that the NFL we know today would not exist without the value provided by the vast archive of images that helped build the league's legacy. And the Vikings hold a place -- often unhappy -- in that archive.
In 1994, Sabol weighed in on Jim Marshall's famous "Wrong-Way Run" in 1964 when it topped the "NFL's 100 Greatest Follies," shown above. Scroll to the 8:20 mark.
"It was a landslide," Sabol told Rachel Blount. "But Jim is an enduring symbol of a lot of things that make NFL football great. Perhaps that's why we use [the blooper] so much; it's the story of someone who made a mistake, then bounced back to become one of the greatest players in NFL history. It's a blooper with a moral to it."
Another, nonembeddable bitter memory is directly chronicled by Sabol on NFL.com: The push-off by Drew Pearson that the rest of the world recalls as the Hail Mary. It not only notes the bottle that hit the referee, but two hits that Pearson took on the sidelines the play before the score.
And the Vikings filled two spots in the five-part series called "The Missing Rings" on the best NFL teams never to win the Super Bowl.
The 1969 Vikings set the stage for all those other great Vikings teams to fall short in the Super Bowl.
But for heartbreak, you might not be able to top the 1998 Vikings, whose documentary is chronicled in five parts on YouTube.
Former Twin and current Texas Rangers closer Joe Nathan had another hard-luck turn as he paid off a bet on the NFL opener by taking the field Tuesday dressed as Dallas quarterback Tony Romo.
Nathan, a Giants fan, wagered on the game with teammate Mike Adams on the results of last Wednesday's NFL opener, a 24-17 Dallas victory over the defending Super Bowl champs. And, thrown in at the last minute, Nathan suggested a five-minute autograph session that left plenty of time to be caught on camera. Here is more video, from the Fort Worth Star Telegram. And here is a photo gallery from Fox Sports Southwest.
And how did that feel? "It felt just like I thought it would, absolutely terrible," Nathan said.
The bet grew out of a spring-training conversation, according to Adams. "When I first met him the first thing he told me was I saw that crappy helmet in your locker and I'm a Giants fans and we should have some good bets going on."
Nathan, who went to the State University of New York at Stony Brook, might not have learned his lesson as the two are talking about a new bet when the NFC East foes play again Oct. 28.
The last couple of weeks have been filled with payroll arguments, especially when it comes to "rebuilding" the Twins and the questions about Joe Mauer. But when it comes to the smartest spenders in sports over the past five years, Bloomberg Businessweek magazine rates the Vikings higher than the Twins.
That may be a surprise to Twin Cities fans, especially for the Twins' reputation of playoff contention with homegrown players while the Vikings built via trades and free agents. But this fact certainly shouldn't shock any Minnesota rooting for the home teams: None of the home teams ranked particularly well, because the list is based on wins. And this year, Businessweek gave a bonus for "significant" wins. Anyone around here remember those?
So the Vikings "lead" the Twin Cities at 73rd out of the 122 franchises ranked, with an average payroll of $118.4 million (slightly over the league median) for the five years, and with average wins just below the league median for the time, not to mention wins that put them over .500 and a playoff victory. Meanwhile, the Twins, at an $82 million average payroll that is both smaller than the Vikings' and the MLB median, are at 85th. Even though they had a significantly higher number of wins over .500 than the Vikings, the Twins are again bit by the bugaboo of no playoff wins.
Filling out the grid are the Wild at 99th (yes, that payroll is going up, but will there be any games to win?), and the Wolves, at 121st. Or just one spot above last. That honor goes to the St. Louis Rams.
Some other observations: The Tampa Bay Rays and their Wall Street arbitrage-guided spending as detailed in "The Extra 2%," are at first. But next come some titans -- in winning and spending, at least as of late: The Texas Rangers, the Detroit Red Wings, the L.A. Lakers, the Boston Celtics, the Pittsburgh Penguins, the New England Patriots, some team from Green Bay and the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants. A little surprisingly, the Miami Marlins are at 11th.
So take it for what you think that's worth. And if you don't like that standard, Businessweek allows you to come up with your own. But moral victories aside, Twins fans, remember those sage words most famously said in Green Bay: Winning isn't everything; it's the only thing.
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