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Just Off-Camera

"They respect you if you write. The dumber the world gets, the more the words matter." -Dan Jenkins


Saturday, January 31, 2004

An Idle Keyshawn Is The Devil's Workshop

While Eagles fans have to spend Super Bowl week wondering, once again, what it would be like to have Donovan McNabb and Bobby Taylor mugging for cameras at Media Day and playing on football's biggest stage, at least they don't have to deal with Keyshawn Johnson's agitating antics. Me-shawn, who was unceremoniously shown the door midway through the Buccaneers' letdown of a season, has been busy harassing people other than the media, opponents, and his teammates.

If you're wondering what Keyshawn is up to lately with all his free time - since he's not on a team these days and obviously not in the playoffs - you can consult a certain John Mahannah Jr.'s voice mail.

Mahannah, who was recently involved with Keyshawn's ex-wife, recently filed a lawsuit against Johnson, claiming that the famously childish receiver left him threatening messages.

In one of those messages, Keyshawn, who apparently needs to find a hobby ASAP, told Mahannah, "I got a lot of free time on my hands now, and I'm going to hunt you down and beat you to a pulp."

If I were Mahannah, I'd consider naming the Bucs as defendants in that suit. After all, aren't they responsible for all of Keyshawn's free time? Besides, imagine Jon Gruden making his faces in a courtroom.

The story doesn't quite end there, though. Proving that karma is a very real concept, Keyshawn was mugged - on the same day that he was hit with Mahannah's lawsuit. Two men jacked him for $1,000, his watch, and some jewelry.

Does anyone feel sorry for the guy? It's a very small group, I'm sure.

***

There's a commercial that airs fairly frequently on ESPNEWS (and on other networks, I'm sure) for the frozen food company Hungry Man and their big, hearty meals, or something like that. Here's how the commercial goes. See if you can tell what's wrong with it.

Two large guys, wearing towels, and apparently just out of the shower, are in a locker room talking to each other. One guy, who looks like Steve from "My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance," asks the other guy what he had for dinner.

The second guy, who is blow-drying his hair, tells him, "A pound of beer-battered chicken strips and cheese fries. You?"

"Steve" responds, "A watercress tea sandwich."

At which point the second guy turns to him with a look of disbelief, points the blow dryer at him, and blows him clear over a row of lockers.

The impression it's supposed to leave is that Hungry Man is cranking out some pretty masculine meals, while "Steve's" choice of food is decidedly effeminate.

See the problem here?

If beer-battered chicken strip man is so damn macho, what the hell is he doing blow-drying his hair?

***

Disregard this section if Ivy League football does not interest you.

Cornell football finally announced the hiring of a new head coach, over two months after giving former coach Tim Pendergast the axe. The new boss man is Jim Knowles '87, a former All-Ivy defensive end with the Red.

Thumbs up on the choice from this Cornellian. AD J. Andy Noel flirted with a couple of big-name NFL coaches, lost them, and quickly moved on to a good backup plan. Knowles was an assistant at Cornell from '88-96, and has also worked at Western Michigan and, most recently, as linebackers coach at Ole Miss - excuse me, 10-3 Cotton Bowl champs Ole Miss.

Knowles is certainly a happy man to be back in Ithaca. He called the opportunity to coach the Red his "lifelong career ambition." When he was previously on the Cornell staff, the team won its only two Ivy championships in the past 32 years ('88 and '90).

One thing's for sure: He can't do much worse than Pendergast. Last season, the Red went 1-9, losing nine straight to finish the season and going winless in Ivy play.

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