Countdown: Psycho coaches, OSU arrest, ESPN The Porno

The Count's also getting a little pudgy.

The Count, in a coat from the Landry collection.

The Count is old school. (You can tell by the clothes.) We both long for the days of the way NFL coaches used to be able to walk the sidelines, always composed, cold and passionless, while still exuding some sense of superiority. You know who I’m talking about. Tom Landry. Bud Grant. Marion Campbell.

But what has happened lately? One head coach sends an assistant to the hospital with a broken jaw. Another fires his offensive coordinator after three games … in the preseason … in his first year as a head coach. Another alienates his starting quarterback even before the first practice. Amazingly, Jim Mora isn’t even one of the crazy ones this summer. Those lithium smoothies must be working. We count down . . .

10. Haley’s a punk; Gailey didn’t deserve this

Todd Haley once worked with Terrell Owens. Maybe that sent him over the edge.

Todd Haley once worked with Terrell Owens. Maybe that's what sent him over the edge.

Kansas City coach Todd Haley was born in Atlanta but he grew up in Pittsburgh, where something clearly fell on his head. He just fired offensive coordinator Chan Gailey after three exhibition games. Now, I know Gailey wasn’t the most popular head coach with some at Georgia Tech. But the guy has been a pretty fair offensive coordinator in his NFL career (PIttsburgh, Dallas, Miami, Kansas City). It’s one thing if Haley had decided not to retain Gailey from Herm Edwards’ staff when he was hired.  But why keep him, and then dump him only two weeks before the season opener, when you suddenly decide you want to run the offense yourself? You know what this means: All Chiefs get dropped from my Fantasy draft list. (That was easy.)

9. He’ll be out of assistants by bye week

This is Tom Cable. I'm sure if he ever got fired, he could get his old job back on the loading dock.

This is Tom Cable. I'm sure if he ever got fired, he could get his old job back on the loading dock.

At least Haley didn’t punch Gailey. That puts him ahead of Oakland coach Tom Cable, who broke assistant Randy Hanson’s jaw — excuse me, allegedly broke Hanson’s jaw — and now faces criminal charges and a possible civil suit. Cable’s official statement: “Nothing happened.” He then did a dramatic reading from Joseph Goebbels’ memoirs. The Raiders clearly have rallied around Cable. They just lost to the Saints, 45-7. I think the funniest element of this is that the case is being investigated by the Napa Police Department, whose previous biggest case was trying to find who put the Merlot labels on the Syrah bottles. Hey, if Cable really wanted to improve the team, why didn’t he just punch Al Davis?

8. Shouldn’t Belichick disciples be smarter?

Shortly after getting the Denver job, Josh McDaniels explored trading for New England backup quarterback Matt Cassel. McDaniels studied under Bill Belichick. But he must’ve flunked covert operations. Word of his interest in Cassel got back to Jay Cutler, who demanded a traded and ended up in Chicago. McDaniels also has suspended his best offensive player, Brandon Marshall, for two weeks, but it’s kind of hard to pick sides in that one. McDaniels is replacing Mike Shanahan, one of the best coaches in NFL history. This certainly has worked out.

7. I’ll try the place down the street

Sorry, I could not show you the real product.You're free to Google.

I chose not to show you the actual product because, believe it or not, I actually have my standards. But Google.

Remember the “Whizzinator? It was the device made infamous by the Minnesota Vikings’ Onterrio Smith, who used it to try to beat a drug test but failed miserably and was kicked out of league, which left the Vikings’ franchise with a Grade 3 concussion and somewhat explains the Brett Favre signing four years later. Well, it seems a bar owner bought Smith’s Whizzinator at an auction for $750. Why? So he can put it on display at his establishment in Mankato. OK, I have two rules about sports bars: 1) They must serve wings; 2) They can’t display any item that’s used for dispensing cleansed urine.

6. And at power forward, Attila The Hun

The Minnesota Timberwolves have hired Kurt Rambis as their head coach and Bill Laimbeer as an assistant. Wolves games also will be broken down into 16 three-minute rounds.

5. Hampton has three surgeries, not personal best

Mike Hampton poses for paparazzi in Astros training camp.

Mike Hampton posing at Astros camp. (Old joke; still works.)

Hello, my name is Ed Wade and I eat paint chips. Wade is the Houston Astros’ general manager. That doesn’t require a medical degree, just some trace of rational thought. Wade signed pitcher Mike Hampton, he of the exploding body parts. Shockingly — SHOCKINGLY — Hampton’s season is over. He has to have surgery. Actually, three surgeries: shoulder-knee-knee. The operating room is going to look like Fred Sanford’s front yard. And what was Wade’s reaction to this? “We went into this thing knowing that he had a very significant health history, but at the same time he had 10 solid starts for the Braves last year, and we had every reason to hope that he had turned the corner medically.” He can be institutionalized in at least 37 states for that statement alone.

4. Despite, Gundy’s plan, there was an Okie in the pokey

Remember I told you last week of Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy put his players in a media lock down, so as to help keep them free of distractions before going into Georgia game week? Well, this is how well it worked. Starting senior defensive backand kickoff returner Perrish Cox was arrested for driving with a suspended license last Friday. It’s a good thing Gundy wouldn’t let his players do interview. Otherwise, somebody might’ve robbed a bank. (FYI, no word yet on whether Cox will play. But assuming he’s any good, expect the standard course of action, which is, “We’ll start him and let the legal side of things play itself out.” I’m sure hearings can be put off until February in Stillwater.

3. Private Lives of the Rich and Twittering

If you missed Sekou Smith’s last Hawks’ blog, he delves into the sudden hyperkinetic Twittering habits of Joe Johnson, who’s generally one of the quietest fellows you’re ever going to meet. Johnson (@JoeJohnson501) has had some bizarre (and profane) “Tweets,” including one that read, “We just got pulled ova by tha Cops ain’t that bout something” and another at 6:23 a.m. that said, “Still up playin’ Poker.” This is what I don’t get: Athletes talk all the time about wanting to keep their private lives private. Rightly so. So why are so many suddenly broadcasting every thought and movement? Fans and media are monitoring this stuff. Here’s the choice: Keep things private or don’t complain when somebody reports it and asks about this stuff. So Joe: What did you get pulled over for?

2. Does this count against the salary cap?

Here's Danica in SI. She may not be wearing the swim suit in ESPN The Rag.

Here's Danica in Sports Illustrated. Word is she may not be wearing the swim suit in ESPN The Ragazine.

The Falcons and the Georgia Lottery are partnering up for a $5 scratch-off ticket. Match two of a kind and win $10. Match three of a kind and you get to start a game at cornerback. We’ve been assured a position will be held open all season.

1. Disney’s new Fantasyland.

ESPN The Magazine is not commenting specifically on a report that race car driver Danica Patrick is going to appear with her bumpers in an all-nude issue. Nobody should be too concerned about this because if it’s anything like any other ESPN The Magazine issue, body parts will be inverted and appearing on different pages and it’ll be surrounded by some strange words from a faraway land we won’t be able to make sense of it anyway. Think, Salvador Dali meets Chris Berman. On a related note, I can’t wait for parent company Disney to make a statement on the soft-porn product. (And does a subscription still come with a free fleece, or just tassles?)

92 comments Add your comment

Ken

September 1st, 2009
1:58 am

Freakin’ great column!

Tide Rising

September 1st, 2009
2:12 am

If I’m first again you need to send me a medal rather than just that cheap certificate you sent last time.

Chain Gailey- Not the most popular Tech coach? Say it aint so!

Mike Gundy- Leave him alone. He’s 40 and remember he’s a MAN dadgumit!

Mike Hampton hurt again? No surprise there.

Danica Patrick- She’s my favorite most least accomplished car driver since Dale JR.

Attila Hun- All I know about him is that my politics are to the right of him.

Tide Rising

September 1st, 2009
2:13 am

I guess you can hold onto my medal till next time.

Joseph Goebbels

September 1st, 2009
2:22 am

Tell a lie big enough, loud enough, and long enough and people will believe it.

merbertmoover

September 1st, 2009
5:42 am

man jeff schultz crazier than a carrot on a carousel, you know what im sayin? hey hey hey!

NCBravesFan

September 1st, 2009
6:04 am

Best countdown evah! And you left Rich Rodriguez on the sidelines even!

Spike

September 1st, 2009
6:51 am

Jeff, everything was fine until the whizzanator story. I just threw up a little bit of my English muffin in my mouth. Thought you ought to know.

mike on lake hartwell

September 1st, 2009
7:29 am

jeff schultz is the man. THE best reason to read ajc.com. hey jeff,
thanks for all your creative hard work and expert writing.
i’m a dawg but cant wait to read about college football and
“trembling chihauhaus” in WEEKEND PREDICTIONS!” and i
even get to catch it on thursdays!

Not Disappointed!

September 1st, 2009
7:35 am

Jeff but Danica on Ice. I will be a little late this morning. She is nice to look at will during my morning work out. Oy!

Great article.

Ramblin Wreck!

Not Disappointed!

September 1st, 2009
7:39 am

sorry, Jeff put Danica! typo!

greg

September 1st, 2009
7:47 am

Hilarious Jeff…especially about the Oakland coach. Ask for a raise. Keep this up and you should be going national.

Bank Walker, Texas Ranger

September 1st, 2009
7:58 am

Tide, the difference is Danica has won a race. She gets better and better to look at too.

Mike Gundy

September 1st, 2009
8:02 am

THAT AINT TRUE!

Mikey

September 1st, 2009
8:02 am

Thanks Mike.
We know you’re a man.

MiltonDawg

September 1st, 2009
8:11 am

Good Stuff JS- any chance Danica could do a pose on the car– kinda of like a Tawny Kittan from the Whitesnake video? I belive Hampton is 1 surgery away to win a complete overhaul of his whole body (maybe turn him into bionic man) Any chance Perrish Cox gets a 1 game suspension for his actions against UGA?? Looks like the AFC WEST will be this years NFC WEST division with all these issues- go ahead and just give the Chargers the division title.

MightyQuinn

September 1st, 2009
8:24 am

MiltonDawg: you obviously don’t check out the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. Danica channeled Tawny there. And Jeff, the picture of the Count makes my week (I have a sad life).

Jeff Schultz

September 1st, 2009
8:30 am

Thanks all for the comments … Worked late, slept late, getting ready to drive out to Athens for column fodder … But keep comments coming and I’ll check in when I’m out there.

MiltoinDawg — Tawny Kitaen: talk about somebody who turned into a major psycho! The Tom Cable of hotties.

Rev. Right

September 1st, 2009
8:31 am

#1 was funny ESPN the mag can be a difficult read

Leon "Pooch-Kick" Trotsky

September 1st, 2009
8:31 am

Great blog today Jeff, you started my day off with a smile.

Ted Striker

September 1st, 2009
8:32 am

Spike — English muffins for breakfast? I grab a slice of leftover pizza off the coffee table and try to remember whether or not I finished the 12 pack before I bother walking to the fridge.

Cuz

September 1st, 2009
8:33 am

Can ESPN “The Magazine” have Erin Andrews and Danica Patrick in a photo spread of a bikini pillow fight. I mean pillow fighting is a sport right?

southgeorgiadog

September 1st, 2009
8:34 am

Hey Jeff, great column.

You’re right about Perrish Cox. This game is the biggest thing to hit Stillwater since electricity. No way Gundy holds a playmaker like Cox out on such a trumped up charge.

leland

September 1st, 2009
8:35 am

Dear Mr. JS–sometime funny, sometime not funny. Today funny. Your pal, Leland

GeoffDawg

September 1st, 2009
8:54 am

I haven’t read the column yet but you got me in with the title. That better not be Charlie Steiner you’re writing about though.

PMC

September 1st, 2009
8:56 am

Cable didn’t break Hanson’s Jaw, he pushed his chair he lost his balance and fell into a cabinet which broke his jaw. Cable is generally a good guy and a good coach. This guy was being a douche and Cable caused an accident when he lost his temper. Unprofessional… absolutely but that’s expected in Oakland.

Reid Adair

September 1st, 2009
8:56 am

“…a very significant health history…”

That may be the biggest understatement of all time.

PMC

September 1st, 2009
8:58 am

Perhaps Belicheck deciples are just following his example from Cleveland?

Gen Neyland

September 1st, 2009
9:03 am

This blog tells me that Schultz has had a good camp. Laying off the Twinkies, sticking to PBR and gunpowder sandwiches shows that he’s ready for opening day…

Tide Rising : Did your certificate arrive COD and postage due..?

Cuz : We couldn’t afford Pay-Per-View on that venue.

Joey

September 1st, 2009
9:03 am

You’re right about about Ed Wade, Jeff, but I bet that we’ll get shocked again. Someone will throw money at Hampton again after he rehabs his knees and shoulder. Great article.

Sonny Clusters

September 1st, 2009
9:03 am

We was wondering about the swine flu and what happens if Jeff gets it and who will do the blog? There is swine flu in the Cobb County schools and they may be some at Parkview where we was state championship awhile back. Swine flu will take you right out of accurate typing and also make it hard to Google. We was thinking Dunwoody might be a good place to hide.

azcat225

September 1st, 2009
9:04 am

GeoffDawg, that was one mental image I definitely did not need. Thanks, pal.

Sonny Clusters

September 1st, 2009
9:10 am

Somebody said Jeff was going national and writing for the AJC he already is national league. Some of the papers get on airplanes and end up national. It’s regional Jeff has to worry about because of cutbacks. Somebody in Macon, say, can’t read the AJC because they narrowed the distribution back when they narrowed the columns and the paper size. Narrow’s not bad if you’re going to line a drawer because they is usually narrow. Narrow circulation is also a way of targeting your audience. We never thought of Jeff as narrow, though.

Dobearsbare

September 1st, 2009
9:13 am

Solid work putting Danica at the bottom. Put that at the top and the motivation to keep reading just kind of goes away. This way, we can at least say with a somewhat straight face that we get ajc.com for the articles.

azcat225

September 1st, 2009
9:15 am

Cuz, I have NEVER purchased a pay-per-view. If your idea ends up on the air, it will be the exception that proves the rule.

Gen Neyland, methinks Jeff isn’t the only one who has had a good camp.

Jeff, this week’s Countdown is a lock for the Hall of Fame. Definitely worth the price of admission. Ermmm, that didn’t come out right…

M

September 1st, 2009
9:21 am

duh duh duhhh–chiiii

SimpleDawg

September 1st, 2009
9:25 am

Danica can drive my car any day, every day, and all day…..

Gailey fired? You just made m’s day.

Hampton injured? Shocker! He even needs surgery? Double shocker! Some moron actually signed him to play baseball? Biggest shocker of all!

The best laid plans of coaches and Cowboys often………

Brucer

September 1st, 2009
9:50 am

Good work, see if you can carry the mo into Fri’s picks.

Vol85

September 1st, 2009
9:58 am

Re: Danica, isn’t ESPN, the publisher of the magazine in question, also the employer of Erin Andrews? The point being that ESPN wastes hours of air time villifying the perpetrator of Ms. Andrews’ misfortunate incident (don’t get me wrong, the perv should be thrown in the clink and ESPN was right to support one of its employees — just not to the extent of giving the story so much traction that Ms. Andrews is invited to the Holy of Holies, Oprah’s couch), yet the selfnamed “ENTERTAINMENT and Sports Network” has no problem with doing basically the same thing. Yes, Ms. Patrick did actually give her permission vs. Ms. Andrews not knowing she was being filmed. However, there is at least a bit of hypocracy in ESPN’s stance.

honest_abe

September 1st, 2009
10:00 am

danica = avg driver avg looks BUT below avg personality & smarts…. why is she still in the news? boobies!!! yay

Larvell "SugarBear" Blanks

September 1st, 2009
10:08 am

Jeff, that count dude looks JUST LIKE the same dude on my Count Chocula cereal box that my Mommie brings to me for ceral everymorning!

Look Alive---There are buzzards overhead

September 1st, 2009
10:24 am

jeff’s sarcasism is ridiculous but i have sort of gotten use to it but can’t he use a picture of someone else? He is the ugliest sportswriter on the ajc payroll and second only dennis rodman as being the ugliest guy in sports. I guess having to look in the mirror must give him his negative attitude. Honest Abe You will appreciate talented women such as danica when you grow up. she is not average in anything and will have more publicity once she joins nascar soon. take care

Ran Man

September 1st, 2009
10:27 am

Great column Jeff, especially the section on Danica. Uh…what was the rest of it about??

DHD

September 1st, 2009
10:29 am

I love racing.

mike

September 1st, 2009
10:30 am

since Danica Patrick can’t win a race, maybe she can win pin-up of the year, or month, or week

Justafan

September 1st, 2009
10:32 am

I needed a laugh Jeff. Great job!

Joey

September 1st, 2009
10:36 am

Honest Abe, clean your reading glasses then look at the Danica pic one more time. She still look “avg”?

1eyedJack

September 1st, 2009
10:41 am

If Danica should become homeless I have a spare room. Just let me know in advance so I can move the misses out.

Look Alive---There are buzzards overhead

September 1st, 2009
10:45 am

i guess my post about jeff being one of the ugliest men in sports nest to dennis rodman and getting his sarcastic attitude from looking in the mirror must not have set well since it was deleted immediately. facts are facts jeff maybe it is just a bad picture if so the use another one try frankenstein

DirtyDawg

September 1st, 2009
10:49 am

Regarding the OK State D-back’s arrest…two things will happen, he’ll play all but the first series – and maybe even that one, and T Boone will send somebody to the head of the police department (more likely the mayor) there and ’set them straight’ about how to deal (or more appropriately, ‘not’ deal) with this football team.

Roark84

September 1st, 2009
11:05 am

Nice column today Jeff – very entertaining and a STRONG finish!