The good news for Denver is that athletes aren’t getting shot left and right. The bad news is that Peyton Manning is starting to rub off on others like the flu. Now Mayor Michael Hancock is down for the count.

Hancock lost a bet to Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake when the Ravens beat the Broncos in double overtime this past Sunday. He agreed that he would perform the Ray Lewis Squirrel Dance if the Broncos lost. That might take a while.

Well, it ain’t happening. Not because Hancock is welching on the bet, but because he hurt himself Monday evening.

The mayor’s spokeswoman Amber Miller says he was hurt “during pre-game warm-ups.”

Hancock is “expected to be on the field in the second half, ready to carry out the game plan and fulfill his end of the wager,” she said.

I’m from Baltimore and I never knew that seizure’s medical name was the Squirrel Dance. I’ve seen plenty of squirrels in my time and travels. I’ve seen squirrels act normal, rabid and everything in betweeen. I’ve never seen a squirrel move like that. Perhaps it’s a tribute to a concussed squirrel or one with a brain tumor. Either way, squirrels should be up in arms over Ray Lewis’ portrayal of them. Where’s their equivalent of Spike Lee? This is their Django Unchained moment yet they’re busy stuffing their faces with nuts and jumping each other in parks. Squirrel on squirrel crime is a problem, people.

Rawlings-Blake would have been required to light the Washington Monument with blue and gold colors had the Broncos won. Clearly Hancock has no idea how to make a bet. What kind of trade-off is that? If he couldn’t make her shake some ass in return, the citizens of Denver need to elect a new mayor.

2010 -- Skip BaylessIn an industry that seemingly devolves day after day, finding the most inept, inane sportswriter can sometimes prove more difficult than expected. Last year, the title was pretty much up for grabs until the fall, whereupon Mitch Albom blew away the “competition” with a steaming pile of word turds related to the AL MVP race. This year, however, I think we can give the damn thing out right now: Read the rest of this entry

The one where Florio manufactures a controversy

Devotees to this website will quickly learn that we cast a skeptical eye to our fellow writers who seem to relish each and every opportunity to enhance their own celebrity and become yet another “personality” of the Trent-Dilfer-Mark-Schlereth cast. Thus, Profootballtalk’s evil dwarf and high school yearbook nerd Mike Florio, who I reluctantly admit has been right about a few things, (just as stopped watches go) is doing his damnedest to create a controversy out of Peyton Manning’s decision to pull rank with former Denver Broncos quarterback Frank Tripucka and wear his formerly retired number 18 when he begins the 2012 NFL season under the knife center for the Broncos.

No fewer then three posts appeared in a single day criticizing Manning for donning the retired number on PFT. It’s not that Florio doesn’t have a point, he does, but athletes are superstitious people (Michael Jordan abandoned number 45 by like the third quarter of his first game back) and Elway would have probably sold his first-born into the Sierra Leone diamond mining trade just to get rocket-lazer-arm in Denver for next season.

Most likely to annoy me into posting this article:

If it goes against everything Manning believes in, then he should have politely declined. I’m sure if Manning had been wearing No. 7 since 1998, John Elway would “really want” Manning to wear Elway’s number, too. That doesn’t make it right.


Indeed, it flies in the face of the entire concept of retiring numbers. If a number is retired, it’s retired. The person for whom the number was retired should have no say in the matter; part of the honor is that the topic of unretiring the number should never be broached.

It’s the Catalina wine mixer! People have literally killed to be in this position!

In this case, the skids were greased last week, when reporters began contacting Tripucka and asking him about whether the number would be dusted off for Manning. What would anyone expect Tripucka to say? ”No, it’s mine . . . and while we’re on the topic get off my lawn”?

To his credit, Tripucka acted charitably. But he never should have been placed in that position.

Fair point. Then again, Tripucka probably saw the Patriots game.

In the end, the Broncos are the custodians of the team’s numbers.

So then why do you even care? As soon as Manning goes down he’ll go under the knife again, retire for good, and 18 in Denver will belong to Tripucka again. Does this really matter?

And to those of you who think that Tripucka has manipulated this situation merely to get his name back into circulation after nearly 50 years of obscurity, keep two things in mind. First, he’s 84. Second, he has Alzheimer’s.

Has anyone said that? Also, although it is truly unfortunate it’s not like he’s giving Manning power of attorney, or buying volcano insurance from Manning. Also, the insinuation that the Broncos or Manning are taking advantage of Tripucka in his current state is deeply misleading since Mrs. Tripucka says her husband would feel honored.

Manning is going to wear a number for the Broncos for a couple seasons (if he’s supremely lucky) and then it will come down again. If nobody seems to care, then why do you care so much?

Peyton Manning should never be a Redskin

Contrary to what Sally Jenkins believes, no one is going to win if  Peyton Manning joins the Washington Redskins.  NO ONE.  Not Peyton Manning, not the Redskins players, not the fans, not Dan Snyder…no one, and this is why:


Manning will lose in the biggest way if he ends his career with the Washington Redskins.  It will be like those last two years of Hank Aaron clinging to baseball relevancy with with Milwaukee Brewers, in other words, sad. Why? Because Manning, at 37 and coming off three major neck surgeries, cannot do it alone.  Firstly, he needs an offensive line that is not only strong and agile enough to protect him from further injury but also smart enough to adjust the line calls quickly and accurately as Peyton calls and changes the play right on the line.  The Redskins currently do not have this type of offensive line.  As an example, the Redskins’ best lineman might also be their dumbest as he is one joint away from missing an entire NFL season. It only gets worse from there as the rest of the line, save for Chris Chester, was essentially cobbled together from a scrap heap.

Peyton also needs several wide-receivers that can run precise routes, create separation, and catch the ball.  The Redskins’ wide-receiver corps, as it stands right now, just does not play the position the way Manning needs it to be played.  Santana Moss is a great route runner, but his age is catching up with him and he just isn’t a #1 wide-receiver anymore. Moss used to be able to compensate for his lack of size with his speed and precise route running.  Going into his 30s, the breakaway speed he once had has left him and he is best used as a #3 or slot receiver.  Jabar Gaffney is another “veteran” receiver (ie: oldish), but he is no where near the caliber of receiver which Manning is used to working with.  Leonard Hankerson showed a flash of talent in one game last year but subsequently injured himself and never played again after it.  This is not a group of wide-receivers that Manning will want to throw the ball to.  Some will argue that Manning can make the receivers better but there is only so much lipstick you can use on these pigs.

Finally, Manning would ideally like to be in an offensive system that he knows so that there will be no learning curve or drop off in performance as he learns the nuances of the system.  Sadly for Manning, he will not be in an offense that is familiar to him if he comes to Washington. Mike and Kyle Shanahan didn’t change their offense for Donovan McNabb, why would they change it for Peyton Manning? These guys believe in their system and they want their system run their way or not at all. Why on earth would Peyton go to an offense where he would have zero say in how it was run and which would be brand spanking new to him?

So lets sum this up here. 1) Dumb and talent-less offensive line; 2) Crap Wide-Receivers; 3) Brand new offense with zero input into play calling.  TOTALLY MAKES SENSE THAT MANNING WOULD WANT TO COME HERE! If he does make here, there is no way Manning can succeed.

The Entire Redskins Organization LOSES

The Redskins will be losers in this because signing Peyton Manning would be a gigantic step backwards in the rebuilding process which started only 1 off-season ago. Shanahan wasted his first year in D.C. trying to do what many had done prior to his arrival, putting a band-aid on the team and “trying to make a run for it”.  It didn’t work and Shanahan realized throughout the year that he had a team that had no depth and was one of the oldest teams in the league. The next season, Shanahan set out to rebuild the Redskins. He traded down in the draft several times and acquired several productive role players, adding much needed depth to the team. He also did not go for any splashy free agent signing, instead, he signed young players that fit the schemes that the Redskins run.  The team, of course, was horrible, mostly done in by quarterback play, but on both sides of the ball, improvement was noted.  The Redskins need another offseason like the one they had in year two of the Shanahan era. Going out and signing Manning is a repeat of McNabb all over again.  For Manning to be successful they will need to sign expensive, and old, wide receivers and linemen, just to give him a slight chance to succeed.  That is not how one goes about building a team, its another band-aid which only goes to placate the owner and the fans who need to WIN NOW at all costs.

Mike Shanahan will lose because all faith in his “coaching genius” will be lost and it will be apparent that John Elway won those super bowls, not Shanahan.  Dan Snyder will lose because this will be yet another Titanic that he is at the helm of. The current roster of players will lose because they cannot get back the wasted years of their careers that they will spend playing with the living legend that is Peyton Manning.

Signing Manning is short sighted and will set the Redskins back, yet again, and prevent them from being a consistent winner like teams in Pittsburgh, New York and New England. Imitation is the purest form of flattery, it is also smart when something works. If it worked in those cities, it can work here, to quote Axl Rose “All you need is just a little patience.”


The Redskins fans lose because once again the majority of them will be duped by the Dan Snyder hype machine, believing that the Redskins “were only a player away last year!” and that signing Manning magically fixes all the teams’ problems.  This will certainly be The Redskins year to win the Super Bowl in most fans minds.  It won’t happen.  If it does happen, I will not eat meat for a month. Hold me to that. The fans will lose because the Redskins were so close to getting it…then they went and screwed it up by spending money on a 37 year old quarterback coming off of 3 neck surgeries and sitting out for a year of football as his nerves regenerated.

Its just a horrible idea…no one wins with this.  God I hope it doesn’t happen.

After watching my Cleveland Browns beat the Seattle Seahawks in the ugliest football game I have seen in a long time, I was treated to watching the Indianapolis Colts get embarrassed by the New Orleans Saints 62-7. Fortunately for the Colts, they are one more game closer to ending this debacle of a season.

And now news regarding the $4 million rent-a-player, Kerry Collins, that promptly got hurt:

Collins started three games for the Colts, getting knocked out in the third quarter against Pittsburgh. He hasn’t played a down since and has been limited to light individual work at practice since then.

With the Colts, Collins was 48 of 98 for 481 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. He has now thrown for 40,922 career yards, 10th in NFL history after passing Joe Montana in Week 1. In 198 career games, Collins was 3,487 of 6,261 with 208 TDs and 196 interceptions.

That leaves Indy with three quarterbacks on the active roster — Curtis Painter, who took over as the starter when Collins was injured; Manning, the four-time league MVP; and veteran backup Dan Orlovsky, who recently re-signed with Indy after getting cut by the Colts at the end of training camp.

Wow, that last statement might have been enough to make Colts fans lose their lunch; or at least their appetite. Oh, who am I kidding? Have you ever been to Indianapolis? I mean, what else are you going to do in Indiana, stock up on guns and gold bullion and wait for the end of days?