By Pat Imig
Cold, Hard Football Facts guardian of our gridiron Gitmo
When the Cowboys upset the Giants 33-20 on Sunday, the pundits spewed forth. After all, even with one win, the \"pundits\" love to spew about America\'s Team. The most impressive comment noted by your Principal of Pigskin came from the hyperactive man with a steel skullett:
Terry Bradshaw, Fox: "Caution to the wind here, folks. Dallas is at home hosting the Detroit Lions, then the Thanksgiving Day game. What if they get on a roll? What if they get on a roll? And the Giants have to travel to Philadelphia and they could easily lose that football game. I'm going to be the first to say it, but what if Dallas is 9-7? Fellows, I'm telling you, they're in the playoffs."
True, Terry. And what if the Rams run the table and finish 11-5? We're telling you, they're in the playoffs if that happens!!! I want to be the first to say it!
At any rate, Terry Bradshaw's flawless analysis clearly sidetracked his flat top colleague from the reality of the situation:
Howie Long, Fox: "Hats off for Jerry (Jones) for picking Jason Garrett as the heir apparent to be his head coach."
The author of Monday Morning Quarterback jerked his knee with a quick reaction following the Dallas victory:
Peter King, SI: "So much for all those 'what good has an interim coach ever done' deep thinkers."
Um, Peter, Jim Haslett won his first two games as Rams head coach when he took over for Scott Linehan in 2008. We know how that turned out (and Haslett is doing a bang-up job as D coordinator for the Redskins right now).
On the other hand, the 49ers lost their first game under Mike Singletary (after Mike Nolan was fired in 2008) and Singletary is still the head coach. Same goes for Tom Cable in Oakland (after Lane Kiffin in 2008): the Raiders got destroyed 34-3 by the Saints before winning game two under Cable, a 16-13 OT win over the Jets.  
In 1996, Bruce Coslet took over as head coach for the 1-6 Bengals (after David Shula) and the team won three straight games and finished the season 8-8. Coslet would remain head coach and lead the Bengals to Super Bowl Championships in 1997 and '98.
O.K., that last part didn't happen. But Coslet would coach the team until Week 3 of the 2000 season.
Bottom line: first win for interim coaches tells us very little.
Speaking the aforementioned Jim Haslett, he told his Redskins D the following, according to ESPN's Suzy Kolber:
"If their quarterback Michael Vick wants to run and doesn't want to slide make him pay. 'Hurt him', he said, which is exactly what they did in Week 4."
Wow. The defensive coordinator of the Redskins told his team to hurt a star quarterback, the same quarterback they knocked out of commission earlier in the season. It was Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew who admitted earlier this season that he wants to hurt his opponent before his opponent hurts him.
It might only be a matter of time until the NFL starts cracking down on "fighting words." In fact, we should probably stop talking about it.
On "NFL Gameday Final", Deion Sanders had the quote of Week 10 when he described the Heisman vs. Heisman matchup pitting Sam Bradford and the Rams vs. Troy Smith and the 49ers:
"Both won the Heisman. One got paid; the other didn't."
Yessir. By the way, if you're wondering why I lumped "hot dog" into the clever little heading up there, it's because I still can't believe Deion Sanders hasn't sold more of his Hot Dog Express cookers.
From the one and only Matt Millen, during a discussion of the Shanahan/McNabb conflict:
"Somebody says whatever they say, it doesn't really matter what words are said."
If Millen heeded these words as his own for his own well being, the society of football trolls would have more brain cells.
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