The legendary running back says today’s NFL players have gotten soft. “ ‘I can’t play because I’ve got a hangnail on my toe. I can’t play because I didn’t get a pedicure this week. ...’ That wouldn’t have got the job done back in my day.”
Present-day NFL players, be warned: Stay off Earl Campbell’s lawn!
“We all know, now that we’re grown men, that wrestling’s fake,” the Hall of Fame running back, 61, told USA Today. “Well, football is not played like it was when I played.
“ ‘I can’t play because I’ve got a hangnail on my toe. I can’t play because I didn’t get a pedicure this week. …’ That wouldn’t have got the job done back in my day.”
• At TheOnion.com: “Fans gather at airport to greet carry crates containing Puppy Bowl winners.”
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• At Fark.com: “Michael Vick to retire from NFL; in other news, Michael Vick was still in the NFL.”
Something Old Dept.
Valdemira Rodrigues de Oliveira of Prassununga, Brazil, announced she’s engaged to be married for the first time — at age 106.
Hey, if the Cubs can wait 108 years to get a ring, what’s a mere 106?
Hold the phone
Saints coach Sean Payton says he might resort to scrambling tactics to jam phone signals and keep his players off social media before games.
Code name: Operation Tarkenton.
CheatSheet.com just came out with its “10 job skills that will get you hired in 2017.”
In the NFL, as usual, it’s deep-snapper, wedge-buster and free-agent quarterback.
Bad news, Bears
Baylor fired newly hired assistant strength coach Brandon Washington after he was arrested and charged with soliciting a prostitute.
Or, as Waco apologists prefer to call it, “poor recruiting.”
Talking the talk
• RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com, on reports that the filming of Puppy Bowl XI was hindered by dogs continually urinating and defecating on the field: “And Richard Sherman calls Thursday games a poopfest?”
• NBC’s Jimmy Fallon, on news that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will craft their medals from recycled cellphones: “Well, they’re going to make the Olympic torch out of a Samsung Galaxy.”
• Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, to ESPN, on the Baylor football mess: “I think everybody’s pretty much in the barrel, but I don’t know if anybody knows where the bottom of the barrel is.”
Plying their trade
Destined to be a best seller in San Diego: Custom toilet paper with the likeness of Dean Spanos on it.
Who says the Chargers’ ineffectual owner can’t get on a roll?
• At TheOnion.com: “Official sprints through giant inflatable referee hat to take field for Super Bowl.”
• At TheKicker.com: “Kyle Shanahan named head coach of the first half of 49ers games.”
This spells trouble
The Australian Open featured a match between Anastasia Sergeyevna Pavlyuchenkova and Natalia Konstantinovna Vikhlyantseva.
The match was cheered by their fellow Russians and booed by the National Association of One-Column Headline Writers.
Stat of the Week
From ESPN: Since 2001, NFL teams that trailed by at least 25 points in the first three quarters are 3-391 in such games.
World Scrabble champion Brett Smitheram of England wants to get his specialty added as an Olympic event.
In keeping with the theme, instead of medals would winners be awarded varsity letters?
• Jim Barach of WCHS-TV in Charleston, W.Va., on NBA All-Star Weekend’s Taco Bell Skills Challenge: “What does that mean, spectators have to watch a power forward put together a chalupa?”
• Patriots coach Bill Belichick, to reporters, on the downside of winning his record fifth Super Bowl: “We’re five weeks behind the other teams for the 2017 season.”
• Comedy writer Alex Kaseberg, on why no Falcons have an airtight alibi in the disappearance of Tom Brady’s Super Bowl jersey: “They didn’t have Brady’s number all day.”
• Janice Hough of LeftCoastSportsBabe.com, on Tom Brady’s missing Super Bowl jersey: “Anyone asked Putin?”
• Reader Jim Corrigan, to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, on LeBron James’ No. 1 critic: “When will Charles Barkley become known around the NBA as the ‘Round Anchor of Rancor’?”
• Brad Dickson of the Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald, after star tight end Rob Gronkowski spiked a beer during the Patriots’ Super Bowl parade: “This is why I like football. You’d never see this at the Nobel Prize awards ceremony.”
• NBC’s Jimmy Fallon, after a snowstorm closed Boston public schools on Thursday: “Kids in Boston are like, ‘Are you kidding? We haven’t been in school since the Patriots won the Super Bowl!’ ”
Patriots QB Tom Brady was strongly urged to retire last week by:
a) his wife, Gisele Bundchen
b) the 31 other NFL teams
USC has suspended kicker Matt Boermeester amid an investigation of a “code of conduct issue.”
Which brings to mind a kicker we once knew. His eyes went wide right during a midterm exam.