1. “People Askin’ Questions”: That’s TSL editor Khalid Salaam’s favorite phrase to use when he’s lobbing reckless rumors in the air and he wants to buttress his incredulity with a make-believe choir of skeptics. Add it to your lexicon. Say you have a mutual acquaintance that you think is a bit shady and, after a group dinner that ended with some back-n-forth over the check, you can flip it like this: “I don’t know about Reggie, fam. He was doing a lot of fiddling with the cash when the check came his way. Did he siphon some bills? I’m just sayin’ – people askin’ questions.” Prior to Monday night’s Texans-Jets game, there was an office discussion about the Jets’ lack of talent and depth on offense. Fingers were pointed at Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum. Kha, in jest (I hope), wondered if he was still employed due to foul play. “Hey, man…I’m just sayin’. People askin’ questions.” Revis or no Revis; Santonio or no Santonio – this Jets squad is flawed. That’s a Tannenbaum (not Rex Ryan) issue.
2. A Return to Normalcy: Wes Welker is finally back to catching 536 balls on underneath routes every game. He had 13 catches against the Broncos. It was like a “Brady underneath to Welker” highlight reel on loop. After the game, Wes went on the tube and got a slight dig in on his coach. That Wes is a wry dude. Nice sense of humor on the guy – which is probably why he was able to take that grease from Giselle on the chin.
3. And Not A Minute Too Soon: Your boy Victor Cruz scored so much on the Browns that he thinks he has to come up with a new TD-dance. Long time coming – that salsa move – dope, first – is getting played. “I am not quite ready to let the cat out the bag,” he told the New York Daily News. “But there might be a little something.” He should just get on his New York ish, do the rockaway…and lean back.
4. Brain-dead Play of the Week: In the same game where Cruz scored his salsa dance into retirement, Brandon Weeden threw a pass that was tipped into the air by the Giants DE Justin Tuck. Weeden caught the ball and, instead of running (his only legal option), he rolled right and threw into the end zone, where he connected with Jordan Cameron. But, duh, the officials called an illegal forward pass (you can only throw one forward pass in a possession) and Cleveland had to repeat third down. Weeden threw a pick on the ensuing play, because, of course he did.
5. The Okie-doke: In case you missed it, check Brandon Scott’s commentary on fans’ getting played so royally by the sports-industrial complex, that they’d jeer an injured player as he lays prone on the turf.
6. Thuggin’ It, Week 5: Shout out to Eagles’ safety Kurt Coleman, who completely sonned Steelers WR Antonio Brown, snatching the man’s kicks off his foot and slinging it to the sideline.
7. Stop Behaving: Atari Bigby had some fun with his Sunday Night intro. Why hasn’t there been utter chaos with this feature? NFL players need to get down to business and take advantage of that three to four seconds. I’m talking costume accessories, grillz, regional slang – dumbness. I want someone to sing their intro in Future’s voice. That kinda stuff.
8. When They Reminisce: Drew Brees broke the late Johnny Unitas’ record when, for the 48th game in a row, he connected on a touchdown pass. Johnny U’s best NFL years came in the late-1950s and the ‘60s. He was the NFL’s first truly great quarterback of the modern era. Fifty years is a long time to keep a legacy breathing. In case it needs some resuscitation, dig what Paul Zimmerman wrote about Unitas in an old Sports Illustrated article documenting quarterback “revolutionaries”:
“How did Unitas change the game? He was the antithesis of the highly drafted, highly publicized young quarterback. He developed a swagger, a willingness to gamble. He showed that anyone with basic skills could beat the odds if he wanted to succeed badly enough and was willing to work.”
9. I’m Sayin’, Though: Don’t front like Sean Payton – graciously allowed in the Superdome to witness Brees break Johnny U’s record – doesn’t look exactly like what a middle-aged Bart Simpson would look like. Some things are undeniable.
10. Random Concluding Thought: Taken 2 grossed about $50 million in its opening weekend. That’s big money for an action flick starring a 60-year-old lead. But, as TSL’s Omar Mazariego wrote about Liam Neeson’s character Bryan Mills: “Liam’s reminding us that we should have a profound respect for our elders, because, aside from the fact that we don’t know the struggle they’ve gone through in life, they could also be more than capable of beating our asses.” Well, word on the street is that this might be the last season for 37-year-old Ray Lewis. He’s still racking up dozens of tackles and rendering Rob Gronkowski invisible when he wants to (like he did in Week 3); so does the OG really have to call it quits? I’m just saying – if Neeson can reinvent himself into a silver screen Jack Bauer at 60, Ray can stuff the run at 40.