Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor told the New York Post on Wednesday that he would not hesitate to “lay out” his close friend, Jets receiver Santonio Holmes, in Sunday’s AFC title game. Taylor and Holmes, the former Steeler, are offseason workout partners and as tight as brothers, but Taylor said that friendship will be put on hold for three hours this weekend at Heinz Field. “I love him and that’s my boy, but when we get between those white lines, it’s a whole different deal,” Taylor said in an interview with The Post after practice.
Obviously, Ike Taylor was not paying attention to the Ray Anderson memo from the league last week which warned players of idle threats and carrying out said threats. It is surprising that Anderson has not commented on the Ike Taylor trash talk. But why would we be disappointed the Jets were only going to play America’s golden team the Patriots.
Taylor further said that he was going to try to be as disrespectful as possible once he and Holmes got between those white lines, the veteran Pittsburgh starter said. “Friendship doesn’t enter into it then.” What must put Holmes and the Jets on notice is that the Steelers’ hard-hitting defense is known to back up hints of bodily harm.
Taylor, who was fined $10,000 by the NFL during the preseason for striking Giants wideout Hakeem Nicks in the head, is just one of several Pittsburgh defenders familiar with the league’s disciplinary department in recent years. Linebacker James Harrison, in fact, is such a noted headhunter that the NFL has fined him four separate times this season alone for a total of $100,000, putting him on the verge of a suspension. Taylor’s comments also probably will not go over well with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in the wake of his recent efforts to cut down on unnecessarily violent hits. But Taylor, who is among the team leaders in tackles and defies the usual cornerback reputation by being physical against the run, defiantly said he plans to offer his buddy no quarter.
“I’m not going to hesitate to lay him out,” Taylor said. “No question at all. You know why? Because he ain’t going to hesitate to crack on me if he gets a chance.” Taylor, who became tight with Holmes during the wideout’s four seasons in Pittsburgh, will have to be careful carrying out that vow because hits on “defenseless receivers” are the league’s biggest point of emphasis this year.
Holmes was MVP of Super Bowl XLIII after his acrobatic, toe-tapping touchdown catch with 35 seconds left gave the Steelers a 27-23 victory over the Cardinals. But the 26-year-old was traded to the Jets for a fifth-round pick in last year’s draft, just before the NFL announced he would be suspended for four games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Come Ray Anderson, please show the same love for the Jets and Holmes…shaking my head.
Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant has championship rings and an MVP trophy, and if that is not enough, now Mr. Bryant gets the nod from Hollywood, He is set to receive an honor usually reserved for the biggest thespians. Bryant will become the first athlete to have a hand and foot print ceremony at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood.
Representatives for the theater announced Thursday that Bryant will have the ceremony setting his hands and feet in cement as part of the NBA’s All-Star Weekend festivities on Feb. 19, the day before the All-Star game at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
More than 200 Hollywood luminaries including John Wayne, Marilyn Monroe, Halley Berry and Brad Pitt have had their hands and feet set in cement in front of the Hollywood landmark. Congrats to Kobe.
Seems like Bengals’ Head Coach Marvin Lewis is continuing his attacks, calling out Chad Ochocino and his antics. Word on the streets is that Ocho drew some attention from the sporting world, when he recently tweeted, about wanting to join the New England Patriots next season. Lewis did not take lightly to the comments and blasted Chad on Bengals.com. “Nobody was talking about him,” Lewis said. “He didn’t stand that. You want them to talk about you, win football games.”
Coach Lewis also took a shot at Ochocinco in December, claiming that he was being “mopey” about his left ankle injury. To which Ochocinco fired back on twitter, saying his coach threw him under the bus and that this is “how they treat you when you hurt.”
It will be interesting to see whether the razzle-dazzle wide receiver returns to the Bengals next season, but Chad should also bear in mind that all talk does not prove the theory of “what have you done for the team lately”
Denver Nuggets we have a problem. Attention Mr. President send in the national guards – trade talks with the New Jersey Nets have come to a screeching halt. Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov instructed the team’s front office to cease talks with the Nuggets about a trade for Carmelo Anthony, leaving Denver with a lot less leverage in their efforts to deal their star forward before the Feb. 24 trade deadline. While Nuggets GM Masai Ujiri has said that the team was ready for the Nets’ withdrawal, Prokhorov’s decision “came as a shock” to the organization, which has been privately confident that New Jersey would not back away from the bargaining table, The Denver Post reported.
Now, Denver is working the phones in search of other willing trading partners, according to ESPN.com. While the Nets clearly had the most to offer, the Knicks remain a potential landing spot for Anthony, and there may be some teams willing to trade for Anthony even if he’s not willing to sign a long-term deal with them.
Teams in the hunt now include Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets. Sources are saying that teams may be willing to offer enough expiring contracts, draft picks and young players in a package that’s more valuable than what the Knicks are willing to give up, the website said. The Knicks, Anthony’s preferred destination, may be willing to wait out the season and sign Anthony as a free agent without having to give up anything in exchange. SI.com, however, wrote that the Knicks will not be able to sign Anthony as a free agent in anything close to a max deal and fit the contract under the salary cap.
Another reason why becoming a free agent is not necessarily a preferable scenario for Anthony is that the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement expires at season’s end, and it may be impossible for him to get a deal that’s equal to the three-year, $65 million offer that’s currently on the table.
The NFL off season is kicking into high gear and so it is evident that certain players will start behaving badly. The first victim of the “Off The Field Blunders” is Denver Broncos running back Laurence Maroney was arrested Monday night on weapons charges in St. Louis, according to KMOV-TV. The 25-year-old is reportedly being held on “unlawful weapons charges and drug charges.” Maroney and three other men were in the vehicle that was pulled over by police. He was a first-round pick in 2006 for the New England Patriots and was traded to the Broncos in 2010. The Broncos who recently named Hall of Famer and former quarterback John Elway as Executive Vice President has not issued a statement regarding Maroney. However, Elway is said to be a no-nonsense kind of guy and will surely not turn the other cheek to this kind of behavior by Maroney.
Tragedy struck after the New York Jets’ stunning upset win over the New England Patriots on Sunday. In a story that could only be designed for TV drama, Raymond Larsen, a 46-year-old New York Jets fan, died in a sledding accident on Sunday night after the Jets knocked the New England Patriots out of the playoffs. According to John Annese of the Staten Island Advocate, Larsen “took a celebratory sled ride down his driveway in Great Kills” and crashed into “a car driving down his block” at about 8:52 p.m.
Larsen was unconscious and unresponsive when police arrived on the scene. Police said that the 61-year-old female driver did not have any alcohol in her system and that they do not suspect any crime on her part. May his soul rest in “green”.
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre officially filed his retirement papers on Monday with the National Football League, ending over twenty years of service to three franchises – Packers, Jets and Vikings. The future Hall of Famer’s legacy will be one decorated but somewhat tarnished after this year’s tumultuous saga with the sextexting scandal.
In November, Favre told former NFL coach Steve Mariucci on the NFL Network that he will not be returning to play in 2011. After sitting out in the season finale against the Detroit Lions due to a concussion, Favre said “it’s time” in a postgame retirement speech. “I know it’s time, and that’s OK. It is,” the 41-year-old said. “Again, I hold no regrets, and I can’t think of too many players offhand that can walk away and say that. Individually and from a team standpoint, it was way more than I ever dreamed of.”
The old gunslinger who is now more famous for his retirement speeches than his two-minute drills and stellar comeback will say goodbye just once more and I do hope he means it.