GRAPEVINE: THE JUICE IS ON THE LOOSE

Lombardi's Way GRAPEVINE: THE JUICE IS ON THE LOOSE

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RADIO GAGA ~ On Wednesday Anita Marks referred to Shawne Merriman as a “juice monkey” given his use of NFL banned performance enhancing substances. While the choice of the word monkey wasn’t ideal when describing Merriman’s transgressions, I don’t think for a second that her comment had racial overtones AT ALL! In fact, I’ve heard Marks describe Rafael Palmeiro and Jason Giambi the same way. Were those racist statements against Cubans or Italians? I don’t think so. Maybe it was her attempt to be cute or hip but racist – negative! If anything she discriminated against cheaters.
 
If you want to accuse her of something, call her naïve given the aftermath of Howard Cosell’s description of former Redskins WR Alvin Garrett all those years ago.
 
On Wednesday WNST’s Rob Long decided to open his show with a lengthy monologue on the topic. And while I enjoy Rob Long’s show, style and how he interacts with callers, I don’t think that turning Marks’ comment into a racial debate was fair. And it’s not as though WNST hasn’t pushed the envelope of good taste in the past. They’ve done it often. Calling out Marks looked suspiciously opportunistic.
 
Now, let’s just focus on the sports "outside the WNST Studios" and have yourself a Merry Little Christmas!
 
SPEAKING OF BANNED SUBSTANCES, Hollis Thomas will now have to serve a four game suspension. The Saints defensive lineman claims that the banned substance was contained in a prescribed inhaler that he uses on a regular basis. Although I have nothing to prove this my guess is that the league must have found a bit too much of the banned substance in Hollis’ system to simply pinpoint it to the prescribed inhaler.  In the NFL if you are putting it in your body you better have it checked first.
 
WE’RE GOIN’ TO KANSAS CITY ~ Just a thought but if I’m Rex Ryan, after the Ravens stuff Larry Johnson I’m bringing the heat in a big way. There’s little fear factor in the KC offense in terms of big play capabilities and I’ll bet that Chris McAlister can handle KC’s best (probably Eddie Kennison) one on one. Green is one hit away from the Twilight Zone and he knows it so there’s a good chance that he gets rid of the ball quickly under heavy fire. And that could mean the turnovers the Ravens will need to win in the always hostile Arrowhead Stadium.
 
GOODBYE CHUCKY? There are rumors beginning to surface that Jon Gruden would love to throw his hat in the ring if the Cowboys head coaching position becomes available should Bill Parcells step down. And why wouldn’t he. Gruden stepped into a sweet position after Tony Dungy and won a Super Bowl. But the cost may be prohibitive. You may recall that the Bucs gave up two No. 1 picks to the Raiders to bring Gruden on board. Don’t be surprised if that’s the Bucs asking price from Dallas and if so the bet here is that it won’t happen particularly if that guy Fisher in Tennessee becomes available.
 
GREEN BAY PICKERS? Well it might seem that way to Brett Favre’s wife Deanna. During Sunday’s game against the Jets, not only was hubby picked off, Deanna was pick pocketed in Favre’s skybox. A few hundred dollars were stolen from Deanna’s purse. Maybe the crooks took the Packers and the three points and were trying to offset their losses?
 
NEED A NEW CARR? According to John Lopez of the Houston Chronicle, “If [David] Carr cannot answer with at least a pair of wins in a season-ending schedule that includes the Titans, New England, Indianapolis and Cleveland, then he will have to be replaced. Those wins cannot be fluke wins like Sunday’s at Oakland, either. Carr must do what Young has done. Win with guts, leave an impression and make game-changing plays.”
 
JOEY TARGETS DEREK ANDERSON ~ "We look forward to playing any rookie," Steelers linebacker Joey Porter said. "We know that if we are playing a rookie and with our defensive schemes and how we come after quarterbacks, we can frustrate him. If the young guy beats us, then it was supposed to happen." Are they sure that Denver bullet hit him in the buttocks?
 
MICHAEL VICK KILLED THE RADIO STAR ~ Jim Mora (the Poppa) quit his Fox Radio gig over controversial comments that he made about Falcons’ QB Michael Vick. Mora agreed on air with host Craig Shemon that Vick is a "coach killer" which ultimately spilled over into a conversation about his son’s job security given Vick’s inability to reach lofty expectations. No truth to the rumor that Mora was asked to stay on at least through the PLAYOFFS. PLAYOFFS?
 
AND THERE GOES THE SHUTOUT ~ According to research by the Pittsburgh Steelers, Buccaneers kicker Matt Bryant’s 27-yard field goal that concluded Pittsburgh’s 20-3 victory Sunday over Tampa Bay was the first such game-ending kick to break up an NFL shutout in 73 years. I have to tell you, I wondered during the Ravens recent shutout of the Steelers if Bill Cowher would consider the same.
 
CBS = CHAMPIONSHIP BALTIMORE STATION ~ The Ravens are undefeated on CBS broadcasts this season. Their only losses have come on Fox, ESPN, and the NFL Network. The team’s last 4 games are on CBS as are subsequent playoff games and the Super Bowl. FYI…CBS also broadcasted SB XXXV.

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Tony Lombardi

About Tony Lombardi

Tony is 24×7 Networks, LLC’s founder (the parent of EutawStreetReport.com and RussellStreetReport.com) His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan and he hosts “The Fanimal” also heard on 105.7 The Fan, Saturdays from 8-9AM. Among his favorite things in life are his wife, kids, family, friends, The Beatles, Breaking Bad, Gladiator, The Godfather, Guinness, orange crushes, meatballs and Key West, not necessarily in that order. Follow Tony on Twitter @RSRLombardi.

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