It’s been a week since the Deadspin article blew up the myth of Manti Te’o's dead girlfriend and I still can’t decide if he’s the world’s greatest liar or the most clueless person ever. What I do know is when they make this story into a movie, I want Anthony Michael Hall to play Te’o.
I know, Hall looks nothing like him. But The Breakfast Club was the first movie my family ever recorded on a VCR back in 1985. I watched it over and over and can still quote many of the lines. When Hall’s nerdy character, Brian Johnson, is questioned about his virginity, he responds that he has had sex and declares, “She lives in Canada, met her at Niagara Falls. You wouldn’t know her.” He was as believable then as Te’o is now. Come to think of it, maybe we should just have Lance Armstrong play Te’o.
CHEERS for the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers reaching the Super Bowl, their play in the championship games was outstanding.
BOOS to the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers reaching the Super Bowl, I have no interest in rooting for either team. I’ll be watching the commercials and rooting for my SUPER BOWL SQUARES!!!
CHEERS for Ravens WR Anquan Boldin backing up his boasts in the AFC Title Game. In the middle of the week, Boldin told reporters the rematch of last year’s title game would be different, “Because we’ll make it different. We’re going to win.” On Sunday, he made a spectacular one-handed touchdown catch and a very good two-handed touchdown catch to clinch the 28-13 victory.
CHEERS for Anna Burns Welker, wife of New England Patriots WR Wes Welker, ripping Ray Lewis on Facebook and telling people to check out his Wikipedia page after the Ravens beat the Patriots. She posted what many of us were thinking, that Ray Lewis may be great on the field but not so much off the field.
BOOS to Anna Burns Welker for apologizing for her post.
CHEERS for the NFL reviewing Patriots QB Tom Brady raising his leg and hitting Ravens S Ed Reed with it on a slide late in the first half of the game. As Ravens S Bernard Pollard said, “We all know and understand what’s going on there. And as a quarterback, when you go to slide, we’re taught . . . we can’t do anything. When you come sliding, and your leg is up in the air trying to kick somebody, that’s bull crap.” Of course, it’s Brady, a star quarterback, so nothing of consequence will happen. But at least the league is acting like it cares about defensive players.
CHEERS for the 49ers coaching staff using QB Colin Kaepernick as a decoy in the run game (just two carries for 21 yards) after his record-setting performance against Green Bay. With the Falcons focused on Kaepernick, RBs Frank Gore and LaMichael James combined for 26 carries, 124 yards and three touchdowns. I ripped Jim Harbaugh for making the decision to go with Kaepernick when Alex Smith returned from his concussion, but I was wrong about the decision and wrong about Kaepernick.
CHEERS for 49ers TE Vernon Davis catching five passes for 106 yards and a touchdown in the 28-24 win against the Atlanta Falcons. Davis had just five catches for 90 yards and zero touchdowns in the previous five games. The weapons the 49ers have on offense are amazing.
CHEERS for Falcons QB Matt Ryan passing for a team playoff record 396 yards, including completing 18 of 24 throws for 271 yards and three touchdowns as Atlanta took a 24-14 lead into the halftime locker room. He joined Jeff George (366 in 1995), Chris Chandler (340 in 1998) and Steve Bartkowski (320 in 1980) as the only Atlanta quarterbacks to throw for more than 300 yards in a playoff game. Only Chandler was victorious, beating the Minnesota Vikings, 30-27 in overtime, to send the Falcons to the Super Bowl for the only time in their history. (Editor’s Nugget: Shockingly, George accumulated all that yardage against Green Bay but failed to get the Falcons past the Packers 45-yard line on eight of their 12 possessions in the 37-20 loss)
BOOS to Falcons QB Matt Ryan throwing his only interception and fumbling away the football on Atlanta’s first two drives of the second half. Both times the Falcons were marching toward scores that might’ve changed the final outcome. And on the final four downs, Ryan never threw to WR Julio Jones, despite Jones having already caught 11 passes for 182 yards, including a long TD on the first drive of the game and a terrific toe-tapper that put the Falcons up 17-0.
BOOS to two weeks of talk about the Harbaugh Brothers. I just read they aren’t talking on the phone this week, just texting. I expect tomorrow I will learn whether they are using iPhones, Blackberries or Galaxy SIIIs for the texting. By Thursday, I imagine I will know their mobile phone histories as well as their cable and internet providers. By next week, we’ll be touring the house they grew up in. JOY!
CHEERS for former Oakland Raiders WR Tim Brown once again claiming his head coach, Bill Callahan, sabotaged the team in Super Bowl XXXVII in 2003. Brown stated Callahan changed the game plan less than 36 hours before the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which ruined the Raiders chances to win (and may have been the reason C Barret Robbins disappeared that weekend). Not only are his words worth investigating, they are a much more interesting storyline than those brothers whose names will no longer be mentioned in this column.
CHEERS for Phil Mickelson talking about taxes after the final round of the Humana Challenge. Mickelson griped about how new state and federal laws might cause him to make drastic changes like moving out of California, as well as saying they were a factor in his decision to pass on an ownership opportunity with the San Diego Padres. While it’s hard to feel sorry for a man who has made more than $70 million in golf, not including endorsements, I don’t blame him for being annoyed when the government wants to take more than 60% of his money in taxes.
THERE IT IS!