Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Mark's Mailbag

It appears I touched more nerves on the Paul Hackett mock interview than Michael Jackson did at his Neverland Ranch.

As we begin the latest mailbag, I'm reminded of what Dirk Diggler once said: "I promise to keep rocking and rolling and to keep making better films. It seems we make these movies . . . and sometimes . . . they're considered filthy or something by some people . . . but I don't think that's true. These films we make can be better . . . they can help . . . they really can, I mean it. We can always do better -- and I'll keep trying if you keep trying so let's keep rocking and rolling."

On to the e-mails:

Thank you for actually writing an article (although made up) on Hackett. It amazes me that the media chooses to focus the blame on everyone else other than Paul Hackett. Why is that? It has always been my firm opinion that when the Jets win, it is in spite of Paul Hackett and his obvious play calling. It is against all logic that when Curtis averages less than 1 yard per carry on first downs in the second half that you would continue to call that play. As a Jet fan this is the most painful, gut wrenching, hair pulling, and flat out saddest thing to watch. If I was an opposing defense I would just set my sites on Curtis, and guess what, be right 78% of the time.
-- David M., Parts unknown.

Dave, Paul Hackett is the Teflon Don. His team scores 23 points in a two-week stretch and no one complains because Chad Pennington is hurt. Pennington comes back and the Jets erupt for 29 points. How this man escapes public flogging on a weekly basis astounds me. John Gotti had nothing on Hackett.

Any word of where clock management coach Dick Curl was during the Jets' final drive against the Ravens?
-- Joe D., Delaware.

Joe, my sources tell me he was listening to Paul Hackett describe the intricacies of the draw play.

Great article--here's my hackett poem:

His defensive offense
Is offensive to me.
Put Hackett on a leaky boat
And send him to sea.
-- Richard S., Parts Unknown.

Well, Rich, at least it rhymes. But I wouldn't keep the voicemail for Russell Simmons to call and offer you a spot on the next season of Def Poets.

Thank God someone finally had the guts to say something!! OK, halfback option, one stupid play. But everyone seems to forget how terrible our offense was in the second half, and how terrible our offense has been every second half of every game. Finally someone recognized! Let's see what happens when Herm pulls a Fassel and starts calling the plays next week......Jets 49 Browns 7.
-- An Internet marauder, Parts unknown.

I love Herm, but he should never call the plays. I can just picture the huddle now: "OK, Chad. You're David. You got this sling and you're pretty good with it. Now go slay Goliath." Chad's response: "OK, coach, I just need the play you want me to run." Herm's response: "Oh, yeah, right. How about a draw play?"

This article on Paul Hackett and the imaginary interview was absolutely priceless. Glad someone else agrees that the man is an idiot savant hold the savant.
-- Steve S., Parts unknown.

Steve, I went to school with an idiot savant. They really are funny people. They're stupid and intelligent. I saved lots of money on underage drinking just by watching this guy talk. Priceless.

Your column on Paul Hackett was brilliant. I haven't laughed this hard since the Red Sox beat the Yankees in Game 7. Thanks for cheering me up.
-- Joel E., Parts unknown.

Wow, what a cheap shot. Funny as hell, but a cheap shot nonetheless.

I was peeing in my pants reading that!!! I live here in Miami and I bleed Jet green. But it's getting old already with the soap opera team we have. Herm & Hackett = No killer instict. If the Jets blow this season, both have to go. Donnie Henderson is awesome, I just wish we had some strong CB's.
-- An Internet marauder, Miami, Fla.

Let's see, if you live in Florida and you were peeing in your pants, I'm wondering how much of that was because of my mock interview and how much of it was straight-up bladder control issues. Isn't the median age in Florida around 79?

I enjoyed your article about the Mets' hiring of Willie Randolph. One correction though, the NY logo on their caps was from the Giants, not the Yankees. I, being a very passionate and long suffering Mets fan, know their history fairly well.
-- Bruce E., Gilbert, Ariz.

That's a good point, Bruce. Thanks for outing me as an ignoramus. I'm comforted by the fact that you're a Mets fan and I'm not.

That post on Owens was brilliant. It's amazing he gets flak for enjoying the game. Having said that, my blog follows a football (soccer) team and the crackdown on their celebrations have begun in earnest. Celebrations for a goal in football are legendary, making TO's football signing look like a handshake.

I don't know if my European readers would have much interest in American football and baseball, but if you'd like to exchange links I'd be honoured.
-- Nicholas A., Europe

Wow, Nicholas, the Web really is World Wide! It's likely that those European people have little interest in American football and baseball. Then again, you Europeans think Benny Hill is funny and Jerry Lewis is the inventor of comedy. And the shameless plug, well, I can't really fault you for that. You probably listened to Hot 97 one night and heard Funkmaster Flex screaming "Buy my CD! Buy my CD!" after 30 seconds.

When the TY(tanic) era began at Notre Dame in 2002, it was obvious that Coach Willingham wasn't ready for all the public scrutiny and media barrage that goes with being the head football coach at Our Lady's school. His work during the week must have been admirable but on Saturdays, it was quite a different story ... the proverbial deer in the headlights on gameday. I wish Coach Willingham success in his world of college or professional football coaching.

But it was time to admit that 'consistent competitiveness' wasn't happening at ND (and, relinquishing the Division I-A Parochial Powerhouse label to a spirited Boston College Eagles program over the past three years hasn't been taken lightly in South Bend. Give it to BC, they have surpassed ND in recruiting while maintaining high academic standards).

Whatever happens at Notre Dame and whomever the coach may be, no one will possess the ability to recognize the talents of prospective student-athletes and re-create his game plan at halftime in order to allow his players to succeed on the field more than Lou Holtz.

All I want to see as a ND Subway Alumnus is this storied football program return to a competitive edge that will make its national and international followers proud.

By the way, I'm a native Long Island native who has followed the Fighting Irish since the early 1950's when they dug-in and made every game exciting-win or lose.
-- Bob D., Parts unknown.

Bob, I still think Ty can get the job done as a school that allows dumb kids into the program. Notre Dame's academics restrict its recruiting base even before the high school kids go to those all-star summer camps. The more I think about it, the more I realize Notre Dame is no longer Notre Dame. If the Irish want to be perennial title contenders, bring in the Prop 48 kids like they did for Lou Holtz (Tony Rice and Chris Zorich).

At this point, I hope the players learn a lesson. I'm tired of all these guys in sports making all this money and whining. Maybe if they start a new league, we would forget the NHL crybabies. Bottom line: the owners own the teams, not the players.
-- Fred B., Parts unknown.

Fred, the only way the owners and players get the hint is when fans completely boycott all sporting events for one day. That will never happen because the corporate people who buy the expensive seats don't give a crap about the sport. They just like the prestige of having good seats.

Let the e-mails flow