Your morning roundup for Sept. 12, the day after there just wasn't enough 9/11 coverage on television. Photo via @xmasape. Got any stories or photos for us? Tip your editors.
What we watched: The best (worst?) aspect of football being played once a week is the time it gives fans to read way too much into just one game. The sun is shining this morning in Pittsburgh, but it's hard to tell if one were to turn on the radio or overhear a conversation in what passes for English when all that can be heard is muddled yinzerspeak, as with the breakdown of the Steelers-Ravens game I think I just overheard in a coffee shop near my parents' house.
And I'm sure, to one degree or another, it's like that for fans in Kansas City, Indianapolis, Atlanta and even Dallas this morning, too (though in Dallas a good number of fans probably couldn't be bothered to watch last night). Part of the nature of being a fan is to expect perfection, or something close to it. So when teams disappoint—and the Steelers' disaster down in Baltimore really was an astonishing train-wreck—it is expected that there be answers, all the more so when given a week to ask the questions. Sometimes, it's quite fun to listen to it. Other times, like when the decibel levels get too loud or the proposed solutions become frighteningly shortsighted and stupid—fire everybody and start over!—it can grow rather taxing.
It's something to get used to either way, though. Only 16 more Sundays and 15 games to go.
Well, Samuel Eto'o has the money to do it, so...: "He has left behind a life in the limelight on the European circuit to play for an obscure team here in Makhachkala, a city so unsafe that he will fly in only to play, as he did this weekend, and then fly out again to Moscow, where he and his team live and train." [New York Times]
Perhaps it was because they're, you know, the Browns: "I kept asking myself, 'Exactly how did the Browns lose this game?' I saw it. I saw it over and over. I saw Bengals rookie receiver A.J. Green line up wide right. I saw the Browns in what must be their new GMA defense — General Milling Around. It's 11 guys sort of standing near the middle of the field with no discernible purpose, other than perhaps waiting for someone to bring out the water." [Cleveland Plain Dealer]
And the Chiefs? Still the Chiefs to everybody else: "Sunday's outcome surprised virtually everyone involved with the organization. They thought this was a good team, a playoff team still getting better. Instead, they heard boos seven minutes after kickoff. The stands emptied out at halftime like it was a Kansas game." [Kansas City Star]
Here's a meaningless story that should amount to pretty much nothing: "Throughout the lockout, it appeared that the NFL wouldn't take any action to address what likely was rampant contact between teams and players during the lockout [sic]. Charley Casserly of CBS reported earlier today that the NFL is investigating several teams for impermissible contact with players. Specifically, Casserly said that the Buccaneers are one of those teams. A source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT that the Bucs were caught via phone records reflecting that seven calls were placed to players, three of which registered at a minute or less." [PFT]
Merch: Managing editor Tom Scocca and contributing editor Drew Magary have both written books. You can buy Scocca's Beijing Welcomes You: Unveiling the Capital City of the Future here, and Magary's The Postmortal here. Now do it.
In Pittsburgh, playing mediocre baseball for half a season and then going into the tank kinda constitutes the right track: "Convinced the team is on the right track, Pirates ownership on Sunday rewarded general manager Neal Huntington with a three-year contract extension, with a club option for 2015." [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review]