Enough With The "Guarantees" Already

Notes and info smidgens from Week 14 in the NFL. ...

• There's an excellent story in the new Atlantic Monthly about Barack Obama. Whether or not you're a supporter of Obama, it makes the compelling argument that Obama is the only candidate who can get us over our tired obsession with the '60s and the baby boomers. This happens in the sports world as well; thanks to Joe Namath, every sportswriter over 45 gets their proverbial panties in a twist anytime someone "guarantees" a victory. An athlete is just talking when he "guarantees" a victory; it doesn't mean anything, and he's hardly making some big statement. We'd love to see some enterprising person do a compilation of the "guarantees" over the last 25 years, and see what the winning percentage is. Joe Namath got lucky in Super Bowl III, and no one man, especially in football, can "guarantee" anything. Yet it becomes an easy, banal way to inject a "storyline" and assure a simple, boring angle. Can we let the guarantee thing go, please? Just because you had a picture of Joe Namath on your wall as a kid doesn't mean we have to pretend a guarantee means anything, at all.

• Now that the Buzzsaw playoff hopes are petty much kaput, our eyes go to the Vikings, who should probably have Tampa Bay and Seattle jockeying to play Eli Manning and the Giants in the first round of the playoffs than them. Oh, and that Patriots' first-round pick next year got a little better yesterday.

• Can the Dolphins really keep Cam Cameron around after an 0-16 season? Just leave our Zook alone, Miami.

• It kind of charming to see Brock Berlin taking snaps in an NFL game. There's gotta be on more comeback left for Ryan Leaf, right? Christ, just bring back Jeff George! At least it'll be entertaining, and we'll have another mustache.

• We will never understand what the heck Coach Mangenious was pulling off at the end of that Jets-Browns game. He tried three onside kicks in the matter of three minutes, and all at the exact opposite time you'd expect. We think this season might have caused him to lose his mind. Hope someone's got tape of it!