NFL & College Football: Weekend's Best Bets (Nepotism Edition)
Okay, last week's Best Bets were centered around a random string of stories from around the internet, good enough for a 3-3 record, which means it's still yielding better results than 2009, but still not good enough for me.
Keeping it in the family
And damn sure not good enough for you.
So let's see if we can't build this week's Best Bets around a theme and do a little better than last week. This week, in honor of sons of terminated head coaches (past, present, and future -- yeah, Shanahan, I'm talking to you), sons of mercenary fathers, and sons of maniacal little league dads, we'll go with our very first six-pack of Nepotism Plays in this week's Best Bets.
I have a friend of mine from high school who has this weird fascination with Pauly Shore. He actually thinks Shore is really funny, and can pull direct quotes from Pauly Shore movies, which is a skill I'm pretty sure not even Shore himself could do. None of us really understand where the fascination with a comedian and actor who is not funny nor talented comes from.
It's a little like the whole Kyle Shanahan infatuation with Rex Grossman. Last season, Grossman signed with the Texans and was elevated to number two on the depth chart on the strength of one good quarter in the last preseason game, and now fast-forward to two Sundays ago, when Grossman came in cold off the bench to run the two-minute drill in a loss to the Detroit Lions. Bad enough that the Kyle and daddy Shanny pulled a future Hall of Famer (Donovan McNabb) to put Grossman in the game, but...I mean...it's REX FREAKING GROSSMAN. Speculation was that daddy Shanahan wants the heat for the Redskins bumbling offense off of his son and on Donovan McNabb. Ain't nepotism grand?
Eagles -3 over REDSKINS
TERMINATED DAD, Pro Edition
Story came out today where Wes Phillips, son of Wade Phillips and current Dallas quality control coach on offense, discusses how downtrodden his father is that he recently lost his job as head coach of America's team...
"He's doing good as can be," Wes Phillips said. "I'm sure he's a little dejected and a little upset we didn't do better.
Two things -- first, I love that football teams have a "quality control" coach on their staff, like Phillips is wearing a hard hat to work and making sure that Roy Williams and Dez Bryant don't accidentally drop any rat body parts into whatever jars are coming off the end of the assembly line. Second, I wouldn't sweat the old man's feelings if I were Wes Phillips -- Wade won't realize he's been fired for at least two more months.
GIANTS -13.5 over Cowboys
LITTLE LEAGUE DAD (on steroids, figuratively)
In case missed it, my colleague Lance Zierlein had a great post over on chron.com earlier this week articulating his thoughts on the Kubiak Era. Included in the post were some quick hit thoughts on some of the players, including the following excerpt about Brian Cushing:
...and drafting Brian Cushing who looks VERY average after his suspensions for banned substances. Multiple sources around the league have told me that they felt like the rumors of potential PED use surrounding Cushing had enough smoke behind it to keep them from taking him, but the Texans either didn't have that info, didn't believe it or chose to ignore it. He better jump back into Beast Mode or Mr. McNair is going to wonder if he was duped by the old bait-and-switch.
This spawned a response from, of all people, Frank Cushing, Brian's dad:
Lance, I am Brian Cushing's father and proud of it.
Do you still believe in BP, Enron, Wall Street, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and all the corporations that feed the American public like the NFL?
Do you know the NFL's testing procedures? Do you know what happened at the appeal's meeting in Indy? What was his score? Do you know the agreement for further testing and the scores?
Do you know that his nutrionist is the New York Jets nutrionist since college?
Amazing that you take one side and hang a clean cut kid!
Do you know that his score was a passing score 2 years ago and the NFL doctor didn't know that the Lab Man from Ohio State (USC 38, OS 3)dropped the passing grade from 10 to 6 (-40%).
Do you know that one of the finest medical school's in US tested him and stated that they found no indication he ever used steriods and/or performance enhancing drugs?
Do you know that he passed an ex-FBI lie detector test in Denver on this subject?
Do you know that the NFL blew off a 4 hour presentation by the former head of Houston medical school and the top HCG doctor in US, who stated Cushing was clean?
If you want the facts and the truth are home phone number is xxx-xxx-xxxx. We will be back in NJ from Thursday on!
Best part of the Frank Cushing rant (other than his leaving his home phone number -- good Lord, you have enough time to pick a fight with every media member who makes any innocuous speculation about your kid?) is how he includes the score of the USC-Ohio State game after the "Lab man" mention, like the "Lab man" would let his Buckeye fandom dictate policy that effects the entire league. Let's just say I'm all for there being more Frank Cushing in our lives, people.
JAGUARS -2 over Texans
TERMINATED DAD, College Edition
Remember the movie Tin Cup? A very underrated Kevin Costner joint, especially for the time it came out, at the tail end of his run of relevancy in the late `80's through mid `90's. Anyway, in that movie, he plays a golfer named Roy McIvoy with million-dollar skills and a five-cent head whose legacy ends up being that he holed out from about 250 yards on the eighteenth hole of the U.S. Open. One problem -- it was his 12th shot after refusing to take a drop five times, essentially forfeiting the title. So he wound up with one very memorable moment, but in the end was still living in his double wide as the credits rolled.
That's Dan Hawkins -- the ousted Colorado coach had one memorable moment (his "Go play intramurals, brother..." rant) which ultimately amounted to nothing but a press conference cartoon, and was predictably relieved of his duties last week after letting his son Cody (Colorado's quarterback) continue to throw the ball while up by 28 in the fourth quarter against Kansas last Saturday, a game Kansas came back and won 52-45. Hawkins wanted to get Cody the Colorado passing yardage record (a tallest midget accomplishment if there ever was one), which I guess makes him a loyal dad but a shitty football coach. Fortunately, for Hawkins, Cody retained his fatherly services.
Iowa State -2.5 over COLORADO
Before I get to Cecil Newton, let me be very clear about the alleged $200,000 that was reportedly being demanded for Cam Newton's quarterbacking services -- putting aside the illegalities for a second, then taking into account wins, jersey sales, exposure, a potential Heisman, television ratings and ticket sales, $200,000 is the biggest bargain in sports. Now that we have that out of the way, let me now say that the elder Newton using his church as the laundering mechanism for the lump sum payment is deplorable, if true. And yet if you listen closely, you can hear the wheels spinning in the heads of every football dad who will now quit their day jobs and enroll in an express version of Bible study. Cha-Ching...and Amen.
Georgia +8 over AUBURN
And finally, amidst all of the dysfunction, the manipulation, and the overinvolvement, we finish on a high note. Houston's very own Andrew Luck (7-1-3 represent yo!) is the top quarterback in the country, and the likely first overall selection in next spring's NFL Draft (after which he gets to sit around and not get paid just like everyone else when the owners lock the players out). He comes from good stock, former Houston Dynamo CEO/former Houston Oiler quarterback/current West Virginia athletics director Oliver Luck. You won't find Oliver trying to weasel his son into the record books or going on 5,000-word diatribes on internet message boards; instead, you'll find him working his day job and watching his son play when he can. You know, like a normal dad. Score one for normalcy here....
Stanford -5.5 over ARIZONA STATE
Last Week: 3-3
Season Record: 33-20-1
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from 3-7 p.m. weekdays on the "Sean & John Show" and follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.