McLeod Bethel-Thompson's claim to NFL fame

McLeod Bethel-Thompson's claim to NFL fame
October 17, 2013, 4:15 pm
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McLeod Bethel-Thompson is set to become the first NFL player ever to play in London twice in the same year. But we use the term 'play' loosely. (AP)

A Harris Poll seeking out the most popular NFL teams (according to 2,577 people who don’t have the spam filter on their phones) found the Dallas Cowboys to be No. 1, Green Bay No. 2 and Jacksonville No. 32. Weirdly, though, the Raiders are tied for 16th with Baltimore (which makes sense) and Arizona (which makes none whatsoever).

In other words, the Harris Poll has found 2,577 people who are plainly, clearly and sadly insane.

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The Glorious McLeod Bethel-Thompson, the 49ers’ new third string quarterback, will also become the first NFL player ever to play in London twice in the same year. He was the third-string quarterback for Minnesota when the Vikings went to London to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers three weeks ago.

Well, when we say “play,” we mean “dress.” Maybe. It depends on whether Jim Harbaugh needs a third quarterback to not play.

The down side? He already used his best story on the English media, of his maternal grandfather Moose Thompson winning the shot put at the 1948 Olympics, which was at the old Wembley Stadium. He’ll have to come up with something better. We recommend, “Stephen Gerrard is my uncle.”

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Case Keenum starts Sunday for the Houston Texans. At quarterback. This is code for, “We’re out of ideas, and look out below.”

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Carmelo Anthony is already talking about opting out of his contract with the New York Knicks months before he can, which is (a) irking his current head coach, Mike Woodson, and (b) exciting himself, because that’s what players who are completely monomaniacal about winning a title do.

See Howard, Dwight.

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Two things that are very shut up today: First, the furor (or as the Brits like to call it, the furore) over English national team coach Roy Hodgson’s halftime talk against Poland, in which he used a long-winded story about a monkey shot into space to make a point to young (and black) player Andros Townsend. Hodgson has already apologized with considerable abjectness, which Townsend has gone to great lengths to accept (“I don't know what all this fuss is about,” Townsend tweeted. “No offence was meant and none was taken! It's not even news worthy!”).

Nevertheless, the anti-racist soccer campaign Kick it Out is looking into the matter, which frankly it should, if only to show that it is has some use.

And in case you must know, the joke to which Hodgson referred is an old NASA joke from 50 years ago, when monkeys were sent into space before humans. One of the versions is one in which a man and a monkey are sent into space, and the monkey ends up doing the skilled technical jobs inside the spacecraft. The astronaut radios down to Mission Control in frustration and is told, “Don't touch anything – just feed the monkey.”

Be your own judge.

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The second is the New York Daily News’ depiction of the Washington football team’s logo on a banner next to the Confederate and Nazi flags over the headline “Archaic Symbols of Pride and Heritage.” While we tend to leave the level of offense to those offended just as a general rule, this offends me on historical, factual, logical and Godwin’s Law of Nazi Analogies grounds.

As in “shut up.”

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The latest FIFA world rankings are out, from which the pots for December’s World Cup draw will be assembled and disgorged. So of course a simulator for potential draws based on FIFA’s rules for what balls will go in what pots has been produced in Japan for your internetting pleasure, and in the first 10 tries, the U.S., which is ranked 13th and therefore gets all the consideration it merits, ends up with a group of death eight times.

The key is to avoid any group with Brazil, Spain, Germany or Belgium, and the two times it ended up with Switzerland (ranked seventh), it also got Italy once, and in the other, the underrated Cote D’Ivoire and overrated Ukraine.

We bring you this because we know your time is precious, you can’t always wait for actual events to start obsessing about them, and finally, work sucks way too much to actually do any.

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By the way, Wednesday was National Bosses Day. Hope you commemorated it by doing nothing other than agitating for a long overdue raise, and when you were told no, that you stole some office supplies in protest.

Fight the power, children. Rage against the machine.

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And finally, Oregon is wearing pink helmets on Saturday against Washington State, which is to say they are actually an eye-searing magenta so that nobody can miss their intent, which is to bring attention to the Kay Yow Breast Cancer fund.

A better idea: Keep the helmet even at the cost of the odd cornea, but follow it with an enormous oversized check from Nike, a matching one from the U of O, and from a whip-round in the stands at Autzen Stadium, all of which will be specifically earmarked not for marketing or payroll purposes, but for the actual research. You know, so we don’t end up with one of those messy NFL-type deals where most of the money ends up in some rathole or other than doesn’t actually help advance a cure.

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