Monday, March 19, 2007

J-PEAZY: Meaner Than A Junkyard Dolphin

Oh, snap ... now J-Peazy's gone and done it ... gettin' hisself in trouble by causing a ruckus in Vegas over the weekend ... stemming from a difference of opinion, it seems, during a card game which was not Crazy Eights or Hearts.

This week on "When Animals Attack!" ... a Dolphin and a Bengal exchanged blows inside, near or around a casino -- and like the song by Jim Croce, Joey Porter looked like a jigsaw puzzle with a couple of pieces gone.
Badder than ol' King Kong?
Meaner than a junkyard dog?
Not likely (although we'll continue to bump into stories about what a classic bad-ass he is) ...

Anyway, from the very split-second that J-Peazy was released by Pittsburgh, everybody and his brindle-coloured pit bull was lining up to berate the Steelers for saying goodbye to the (air-quotes here -->) "leadership" which #55 provided.
It wasn't unlike when Milhouse's dad, Kirk Van Houten, was let go by the cracker factory -- and Kirk moaned to his boss that, after all those years, all he was getting was a "goodbye" and "good luck."
Kirk's boss: "I don't remember saying, 'Good luck.' "

See? This is why some of us warned America not to burn the #55 KOLB jersey and the #55 OLSAVSKY jersey hanging in the closet behind the #55 PORTER jersey.
You were warned, America.

Anyway, Joe will be taking his #55 'tude to south F-L-A where he can infuse the Dolphins with some of that "leadership."
With the addition of Porter, Miami's defense will have THREE leaders (including DE Jason Taylor and LB Zach Thomas), so the prospect of that trio LEADING the team to a 19-0 record, capped by a 53-0 Super Bowl victory, looks very promising.

(Note: The 318% of the daily-recommended amount of leadership which Taylor, Thomas and Porter provide will offset the 0.452% of leadership which new coach, Cardboard-Cutout Cameron, offers ... )

"Leadership" ... it's one of those constantly-misused sports buzzwords, a la "courage."
"He had the courage to take that jumper with the score, 71-58." He's a real leader ..."

It was only a few days ago when Sports Illustrated's football feature writer, Michael Silver, went as far as to imply that Joey Porter's "leadership" is irreplacable in Steel Town.
It's not worth re-hashing the Silver story here because, well ... it wasn't very compelling and it wasn't very convincing.
The gist is that the Steelers' brass perhaps believes that Porter's status as an elite player is over, so it's not worth keeping around #55 as an alleged leader.

As we're well aware, the Steelers have done this before -- and they'll do it again.
But, given the Steelers' track record and Porter's, it's difficult to side with the player.

On the flip side, it's difficult to ascertain if it was a "lack of leadership" which caused the defending Super Bowl champs to commit turnovers at an alarming rate in '06.
For example, if Fast Willie had a role model such as The Bus available last season, he would've saved his fumbles for a critical juncture in a playoff game vs. the Colts, rather than wasting fumbles during the regular season.

If The Bus had stuck around, he'd've told Big Ben not to get on his motocycle, but rather to "grab a bus" to get downtown.
And, if The Bus had been there for the two humiliations vs. the Ravens (27-0 and 31-7), the outcomes might've been vastly different.
Like, say, 24-3 and 30-10.
That's how leadership works.
According to some meatheads ...

Or did Baltimore win those contests vs. its rival because the Ravens have the leadership of God's Linebacker barking, "What time is it?! (Answer: "Game time, woof woof woof!!")???

"Leadership" -- and that alone -- is what got Phil Rizzuto to the Hall of Fame, despite the fact that he was a so-so Yankee shortstop and a horrifically-ill-prepared broadcaster.
Yet, the Scooter was a leader because of the manner in which he coaxed DiMaggio and Mantle into hitting all those homers and Whitey Ford into pitching all of those shutouts.

That's what the Steelers will miss most from Porter -- not the way that he was a leader by taking a bullet in the buttocks during the offseason, but more about the way in which he got himself tossed out of that game (before it started) when he and William Green of the Browns mixed it up re: manhood issues not related to who was better at Crazy Eights or Hearts.

"I be slappin' the Queen o' Spades on yo' ass! You're mine, dawg! Queen o' Spades, mutha f---a, Queen o' Spades!"

Yeah ... that'll be missed.
Joe can take his bullets in the arse and casino fist-o-cuffs to Miami.
"I don't remember saying 'good luck' ..."

Sometimes, though (actually ... "always") somebody can be a leader by "making plays" or by understanding "assignment football."
If Steeler CBs Ike Taylor and Bryant McFadden -- make that "the exploitable Ike Taylor and Bryant McFadden" -- need Joey Porter's so-called leadership to help prevent Ocho Cinco from blowing past them for a 37-yard gain, this team's in a world of hurt.

All the barkin' n' woofin' n' Vegas roughhousin' is one thing -- but a player can become a quiet leader by making play after play after play.
Tagging a "mutha f---a" onto the end of each sentence in between plays doth not a leader make.

No one's sayin' Mike Silver's historical awareness dates back to 1982 (well, actually ... we are), but, if "leadership" is such a big deal, how come the K.C. Chiefs of the late-'60s/early-'70s didn't win five or six Super Bowls?
That defense was frickin' loaded with performers ... Hall of Famer Buck Buchanan and Willie Lanier ... studs such as Emmitt Thomas and Curley Culp ... a handful of other reliable performers ... and then, an offense w/ a Hall of Fame QB (Len Dawson), a dazzling WR (Otis Taylor) and quality performers throughout.

It might be fun to see a pencilneck like Silver telling Buck Buchanan that his team lacked "leadership" or "heart" -- but, Junious died wayyyyy too young at age 51 almost 15 years ago.

"Curley Culp, get in here! Mike Silver just called you gutless. How do you feel about that? Anyway, he's hiding behind that slot machine ..."

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