Why don’t the Colts pick up David Garrard?

Rotoworld reports:

Colts not going after David Garrard –

The Colts have not contacted free agent QB David Garrard. With the inept Kerry Collins being evaluated for a concussion and Peyton Manning (neck) likely out for the season, Colts fans are clamoring for an addition. But the team might be best off going with Collins and Curtis Painter, thus entering themselves in the Suck for Luck sweepstakes. The Colts have not shown any interest in Kurt Warner or Marc Bulger either, although they are both retired anyway.

I was thinking last night that Indy should make a move for Garrard, whom Jacksonville almost certainly shouldn’t have let go. They probably will have to lose every game– something of which they’re undoubtedly capable– to get Andrew Luck, but it still is amazing to think that a team like the Colts would even be in a position where flushing a season looked like the team’s best (and possibly only) option. Keep reading…

Peyton Manning is done for the year

Pro Football Talk reports:

The Colts are 0-3, but their season is essentially over.  Peyton Manning will not be coming back to save the team.

Owner Jim Irsay announced at a breakfast meeting with Super Bowl donors Monday that Manning will miss the entire season, according to WISH-TV in Indianapolis.

Irsay may be speaking out of turn, but you can do that when you own the team.  Even if the Colts don’t make a move to injured reserve official just yet, this is a sign the Colts have no expectations Manning will return.

Indianapolis will surely have a high draft pick in a good year for college quarterbacks.  They may just be high enough to draft Andrew Luck first overall.

Obviously this all but ensures the accuracy of my preseason prediction that the Colts will lose every game this year. I think the Andrew Luck question is a bit less obvious. Setting aside the common, generic draft-day debate of whether a team should draft for need or always take the best player available regardless of need, would the Colts take Luck? Maybe I’m just so used to thinking of the Colts and Manning together, and also thinking that Manning was basically indestructible– not necessarily because he’s physically tough, but because he’s succeeded in avoiding a lot of damaging hits– that it’s initially hard to think of Indy taking a QB, especially when they seem to have so many other needs. If Manning’s done for good, this of course becomes a moot conversation.

It’s Monday in ALDLAND

We’re about a month into the college and professional football seasons, so there aren’t too many unknowns anymore. The media-fueled big matchup for Saturday, LSU goes to Morgantown, wasn’t close, and the outcome wasn’t surprising. LSU has been operating a professional-grade defense for years, and Jordan Jefferson (allegedly) curb-stomping a U.S. Marine may have been the best thing that could happen to their offense outside of alum Shaq O’Neil going in at fullback.

After Michigan State’s failure to board the bus and make any appearance whatsoever last week in South Bend, I put them on a one-week suspension and channeled my attention to Clemson, the MSU of the South. Those Tigers did not disappoint on what was a big day for the South Carolina schools. (Side note: I thought Vandy had a chance to at least play SC close given a 3-0 start and the schools’ dead even history over the last four games, but having more penalty yards than total offensive yards is going to make that difficult.) I imagine I’ll be keeping my eyes on the Clemson squad until they remember who they are (the Michigan State of the South) and totally blow it due to sheer lack of discipline.

Speaking of Michigan State Keep reading…

A reexamination of performance enhancing drugs in sports, and Peyton Manning’s neck

Jason Whitlock, a writer for Fox Sports, formerly of the Kansas City Star, even more formerly a footballer for Ball State, and sometimes guest host of Jim Rome’s radio show, asked in his NFL column this week, “If human growth hormone or some other performance-enhancing drug would help Peyton Manning’s nerves regenerate and heal his neck, would you be against the NFL’s top player using it/them?”

Keep reading (and vote)…

Autumn in ALDLAND?

Football season is in full swing, the U.S. Open is coming to a close, and hurricane season (hopefully) is wrapping up. Summer won’t quite go away, though, as evidenced by the perfect baseball weather (along with its accordant short sleeves, sweat, and sunburns) at yesterday’s Tigers and Twins game in Detroit— more on that game later today. 

There were two week-one blowouts yesterday in the NFL: the Ravens beat the Steelers 35-7 and the Peyton Manning-less Colts succumbed to an Arian Foster-less Houston team 34-7. While the scores were similar, and both outcomes were somewhat surprising, I think everyone believes the Steelers will have a successful season this year. When I saw the Houston-Indy score, though, I said that the Colts might lose every game this year, and I think we’re going to find out just how much Manning meant to that team. Beyond the obvious– his complete control of the offense– Manning also set up the Indianapolis defense. Like a dominant pitcher who can influence other games by allowing his team’s bullpen a day off, Manning kept his defense off the field, thereby allowing them to pursue a more aggressive (and energy-draining) approach when the other side did control the ball.

The NFL kicks off in less than two hours

Two months ago, who would’ve thought there would be a season this year? Well, probably everybody who actually thought about it. The NFL never was going to cancel this season, just like the NBA won’t miss theirs, and from the fan’s perspective (if not the media’s), the work stoppage wasn’t that big of a deal. But who would’ve thought the 2011 NFL season would look like this?

Probably not too many of you. Moreover, if told that, as work resumed and the season approached, Brett Favre was in talks with another NFL team, who would guess that the once-retired, greybearded quarterback starting in week one would be Kerry Collins?

Keep reading…

Why Isn’t Mike Vanderjagt Still Kicking In The NFL? (via ThePostGame)

He wants no attention, even though he’s still as charismatic and eloquent as any football analyst. He wants no sympathy, even though he probably deserves it. He says over and over again that he’s out of the league because he “went from outstanding to mediocre.” He’s got a nice house and a lovely former cheerleader wife and an 11-year-old son named Jay (who, by the way, recently won a Punt, Pass and Kick competition). Vanderjagt readily confesses, “I was an idiot” for saying those things about his team. He has Manning paraphernalia all over his restaurant, and he says the two are long past their dust-up. He has some powerful things to say, that’s for sure, but “Peyton did me wrong” is not one of them.

Vanderjagt has moved on.

Sorta. … Read More

via ThePostGame

“The Ballad of Kerry Collins”

Ethan Trex wrote that “if Tom Waits ever writes a sad song about an exhausted journeyman quarterback, it will almost certainly be called ‘The Ballad of Kerry Collins.’”
Bubbling up in the bloggochatter since the announcement this week that the former Titans, Raiders, Giants, and Panthers quarterback was going to join the Indianapolis Colts have been comparisons between Collins and former Packers, Jets, and Vikings quarterback Brett Favre, and that’s unfortunate for everyone.

I first noticed it when a reader pointed me to Jim Wyatt’s post on the Titans Insider blog, and I saw it again in Trex’s post on The Triangle, quoted above. Wyatt hit the theme heavily, opening his post with,

Quarterback Kerry Collins insisted back in July he wouldn’t pull a Brett Favre. “No, no,” he said. “I’m done.”

Yet on Wednesday he pulled a Favre, coming out of retirement and agreeing to terms with the Colts. Collins said in July he was retiring after 16 NFL seasons, including the last five with the Titans. A call from the Colts, who are dealing with lingering injury issues with quarterback Peyton Manning, changed his mind.

Trex started out with a Favre theme as well, although, to his credit, he didn’t attempt to coin a phrase when he lamented:

Great, now we’re going to have to put up with the Great Kerry Collins Un-Retirement Watch every August until the end of time. We finally get Brett Favre’s career put in the ground, and you job us like this, Kerry?

Admittedly, Collins shares some things in common with Favre, like persistent, gray, stubbly facial hair. But we shouldn’t be so quick to apply the “pulling a Favre” label every time a player unretires. What’s important to remember about Favre is how he went about his “retiring” and “unretiring,” if it even can be called that. He never really shut the door at the end of a season. He kept himself in the spotlight through strategic PR moves. In short, he milked it. And he did it multiple times.

If we have to talk about “pulling a Favre” every time a player comes out of retirement, we unfairly cast a negative light on something that need not be negative at all, and we diminish the magnitude of the terribleness that was the actual Favre’s retirement process. To even approach Favre status, Collins is going to have to do this a few more times and make a bigger stink about it. Until then, he’ll just be the next guy to try to “pull a Testaverde.”

Text messaging competitions: Non-sports vs. no sports

August is known as a slow sports month, which means it probably isn’t the best time to start a new sports website, but here we are. An NFL labor dispute provided a compressed preseason that offered some contrast to that part of the baseball season right before most people wake up and start watching again (which means it’s exactly when the Tigers will go on a tear (and as soon as I write that, for them to blow it in the 10th against the D-Rays)) and that part of the NASCAR season where drivers are still screwing around, oblivious to the fact that the lack of urgency probably will cost them a spot in the playoffs.

Revelations about the Longhorn Network grew into the second annual Texas A&M-SEC flirtation that again has fizzled, and the news of brazen NCAA violations at UMiami are simultaneously so flagrant and unsurprising that there’s not much to add to Charles Robinson’s initial report. And so we cover year-old mascot news.

On the sports blogging front, famous ex-benchwarmer and blogger of the people Mark Titus of Club Trillion apparently now is writing for Grantland, to no tidings whatsoever. I can’t decide what to think about this. Everywhere but on this site, Grantland has been taking it on the chin pretty badly, and even I’m beginning to find The Triangle’s daily sports update by Shane Ryan unreadable. Titus has been the anti-establishment candidate for as long as he’s been a public figure, and probably longer, so it’s tough to see him alongside the purported literary elite that populate Grantland, even if that site’s natural audience surely must be welcoming his voice.

While that relationship, to the extent it is one, remains in its embryonic stages, a new site lurks on the horizon. The Classical, a conceptual rival to (at least the idea of) Grantland, is slated to get rolling possibly by the end of this year.

Sports bloggers probably fall into two camps: the big time, corporate types viewed as influential but out of touch, and the small time, snarky, critical types viewed as operating on the rumor level as much as the cutting edge. Whether internet sports writers are generally clueless reactionaries or hypercritical gossipmongers, they managed to pull it together for uniformly positive and heartfelt responses to the news that Lady Vols’ basketball coach Pat Summitt was diagnosed with early onset dementia. (See here, here, and here, among many other examples.)

All this to say that, today, I traded the slow sports news for the non sports news when I saw a commercial during the TV dead zone that is 6:30-7:30 pm Eastern for a text messaging contest on Wednesday night. I haven’t been able to locate the details on this particular contest online, but apparently these things happen from time to time.

Texting is not a sport, and neither is gambling, but for someone who likes writing about sports (and, really, writing about writing about sports), gambling on sports has a certain, vague attraction, even if I don’t gamble myself, and so I took in Bill Barnwell’s second dispatch from Vegas for Grantland. Of course, I’d trust Barnwell’s betting advice as much as I’d trust that of former vice presidential candidate Wayne Allyn Root or Danny Sheridan. Barnwell does provide some background information on gambling terminology and strategy, though, and that’s nice even if it isn’t always accurate. What I do enjoy from him are the parts of his submissions that talk about the history of Las Vegas, and about trying to find a way to live there and maintain sanity and financial solvency. Having spent just twenty-six (consecutive) hours in Vegas, I have just enough personal experience to enjoy following Barnwell on his desert adventure. We’ll see how long my jealousy lasts.

Finally, Wednesday saw the fruits of a story I’ve been trying to cultivate since the early days of The Triangle and Google+, which is to say, July. It was then that the unappreciated legacy of Kerry Collins, associated more with memories of problems with alcohol and, per the New York Times’ “Black People” section, misplaced racial epithets, than gridiron greatness, came to my attention:

Collins retired this week, which, considering that I happened to graduate from the same college at around the same time, and considering that he once (rightfully) mocked me in a pizza parlor after I got wildly intoxicated on sambuca, seals both of our journeys from misbegotten youth into adulthood. And while we’re here, I would like to note that Collins has more passing yards than Jim Kelly, Donovan McNabb, Phil Simms, Steve Young, Y.A. Tittle, Johnny Unitas, and Troy Aikman. If he had won the 2000 Super Bowl with the Giants, and then made the Super Bowl with the 2008 Titans, he would be a borderline Hall of Famer. As it is, he has to be considered as the most underrated decent-to-very-good quarterback of the past 15 years.

The author makes a fairly remarkable point here, even excusing his sambuca-driven intoxication, and it’s one that Chris Johnson, Collins’ former teammate in Tennessee, mentioned in my fake interview with him the other weekend. Bill Polian, president of the Indianapolis Colts apparently got the memo too, because he pulled Collins out of retirement as insurance for an ailing Peyton Manning. And there’s the ALDLAND news/non-news cycle. Good keeping up, all.