Friday, January 20, 2006

I'll take "Full Metal Jacket analogies" for $200, Alex*

Personally, I'm exhausted from just reading the overwhelming amount of commentary written about Rod Marinelli. But the local columnists won't let up. It's Marinelli overload, day 2.

Warning: Extremely salty NSFW language ahead.

Lets start with the Freep.

In a stunning turn of events, the Little Fella writes another sports-centric column. That's his third since Sunday! I think that's more than he wrote in the previous 6 months. Frodo gives us a history lesson.

In my time covering this team, I have seen Darryl Rogers, Wayne Fontes, Bobby Ross, Gary Moeller, Marty Mornhinweg and Steve Mariucci all address the media to start their tenures. None of them did it as unflinchingly as Marinelli. None.

Rogers was flimflammy. Fontes was a clown. Ross barked. Moeller never knew his status. Mornhinweg -- well, he was a lost cause from his opening statements. And Mariucci was easygoing and cerebral.

WHAT THE!? He dissed Wayne? Now I'm pissed. But I digress... Yes Mitch, we all remember he Lions "Murderers Row" of coaches. So now comes the comparison to Marinelli.

Marinelli, in his crisp black suit, white shirt and blue tie, reminded me of Ed Harris playing John Glenn in "The Right Stuff." There was a glint in his eye, and his mouth curled often into a sly smile. He's 56. He has waited a long time. He's a Vietnam vet. And I know this much. I would not want to take on his troops in any war games.

I think Mitch puts the positive spin on the presser due to the fact that Marinelli scares the living shit out of him. In movie terms, Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, meet Pvt. Gomer Pyle. I can picture this exchange...

Rod Marinelli: How tall are you, private?
Little Fella: Sir, five-foot-nine, sir.
Rod Marinelli: Five-foot-nine? I didn't know they stacked shit that high!

Michael Rosenberg finally chimes in on the new "M & M Boys." He goes for the "Marenilli will be kicking ass and taking names / Millen is a bonehead" angle.

A month ago, none of us thought the Lions would hire Rod Marinelli. But you had to figure it would be somebody like Rod Marinelli: a guy who eats live alligators for breakfast. Marinelli majored in Fire and minored in Brimstone. He sounds like a Matt Millen kind of guy. (Scramble the letters of his name and you get "I adorr Millen," which Matt would tell you is the proper spelling.)

I'll admit that "I adorr Millen" cracked me up. Rosenberg has his moments.

Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, meet Pvt. Joker...

Rod Marinelli: Private Rosenberg, why did you join the Freep?
Michael Rosenberg: Sir, to write, sir!
Rod Marinelli: So you're a writer!?
Michael Rosenberg: Sir, yes sir!
Rod Marinelli: Then let me see your writer face!
Michael Rosenberg: Sir?
Rod Marinelli: You got a writer face? ARRRRRRRRRGH! That's a writer face, let me see your writer face!
Michael Rosenberg: Ahhhh!
Rod Marinelli: Bullshit, you didn't convince me, let me see your REAL writer face!
Michael Rosenberg: AHHHHH!
Rod Marinelli: You still don't scare me! Work on it!
Michael Rosenberg: Sir, yes sir!

Over at the News, unfortunately the only Lion opinion piece is from the "Functionally retarded" (Kudos and credit for that crack go to Briandtw of The Sports Frog) Wobb Parker. What a piece of absolute drivel. He begins with the drill sergeant comparison.

"Morning men" is how he addressed the media. He answered questions by looking directly at the reporters who asked them. His voice was firm. It never wavered. That was all good. So he gets a few style points.

What was missing, however, was Marinelli's answering any tough questions. Considering he is being billed as a disciplinarian, it had to be disappointing for fans to hear him tackle nothing of substance.

Wait a second. Tough questions? First off, who's asking the questions? Shouldn't you be pointing fingers at yourself, as one of the ink stained wretches who was asking said questions? He stumbles on...

Time after time, Marinelli, a first-time head coach at age 56, wouldn't allow himself to be pinned down on anything fans really wanted to know.

Will the Lions make the playoffs next season? Marinelli, or so it seemed, started reciting "War and Peace" out loud.

"That's a great question," he said. "Like I stated earlier, it's a show-me game.

"I'm tired of talking. I think there's too much talk. Too much, 'Hey, this is me; this is what I'm going to do.' I don't believe in that. It's a show-me game."

What? He never answered the question when it was asked two other times.

Please, how clueless does Wobb think we are? As Ian of Sweaty Men Endeavors (Who first nailed the R. Lee Ermey angle, by the way) mentioned in comments to my last Marinelli post, what more do you expect at an introductory press confrence? He's not going to go into any kind of detail, it's more of a "This is who I am and this is my philosophy" presser. You actually think he's going to give his true opinions about Joey Blue Skies, the Lions past futility, or his offensive/defensive plans? That's not going to happen in a public forum, and Wobb knows that for a fact. But he won't stop the madness...

It would have been great for Marinelli to say about the playoffs: "Of course, we are going to make the playoffs next season. There's enough talent here to get that done. We just have to get some things straightened out. And if we don't make the playoffs in the next season or two, I won't be here. You guys will be right back here with a new coach."

Come on. Marinelli saying they would make the playoffs next year? He's not stupid. If Marinelli had said as such, the press would be throwing that prediction back in his face at the first available opportunity. Still, Parker continues to flail blindly...

On Harrington: "We need another quarterback. Joey is done in Motown."

Guess being frank hurts.

So what Marinelli basically said was: Don't hold me to any timetable about making the postseason. I don't want to put a number on it and add any extra pressure.

How sad.

And he was telling fans that he's in the dark about Harrington, too. That he doesn't have a clue on whether the guy can play or win in this town.

Did I read that correctly? Wobb thinks Marinelli is in the dark about Joey? We know that can't be true. Marinelli had to game plan against him, and Millen must have asked his thoughts during the interview process, you think? Yet Wobb writes he should burn his bridges with Joey before they have another starting QB under contract? That would be smart thinking, piss off your only experienced QB (I know how we all feel about Harrington, but there's no one else on the roster at this point) during your first day on the job. This just in, Wobb isn't just functionally retarded, he's certifiable!

Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, meet Pvt. Cowboy.

Rod Marinelli: Who said that? Who the fuck said that? Who's the slimy little communist shit, twinkle-toed cocksucker down here who just signed his own death warrant? Nobody, huh? The fairy fucking godmother said it. Out-fucking-standing. I will PT you all until you fucking die. I'll PT you until your assholes are sucking buttermilk.
[Rod Marinelli grabs Wobb Parker by the shirt]
Rod Marinelli: Was it you, you scroungy little fuck, huh?
Wobb Parker: Sir, no Sir!
Rod Marinelli : You little piece of shit! You look like a fucking worm, I bet it was you!

I cannot wait for the first confrontational presser after a bad loss. Just the thought of a Bobby Ross / Jim Mora style meltdown brings a smile to my face.


*Apologies to Stanley Kubrick for bastardizing his wonderful dialog.


  1. Oops, I didn't realize Rob Parker would be such a popular punching bag today. That's what I get for spending the morning away from my computer, instead of reading blogs.

    But I'll keep myself amused all weekend by envisioning your "scenes" between Gunnery Sergeant Hartman and the Detroit sports media. Great stuff, Big Al.

  2. Superb.

    What's more -- the press savaged Marty for his "the bar is high" is quote at his first presser. They still play it as a drop on every sports talk station in town three coaches later. Why should Marinelli go out on a limb and predict a Super Bowl title next year? So that Wobb can hammer him about it next year if (when) the Lions go 7-9?

  3. Ian & Brian, it's whack-a-mole day on Parker. Everyone is taking a shot, but it's like shooting fish in a barrel. He brings it on himself with his half witted thoughts. I read better analysis from bloggers and on message boards. How he has a gig in a top 10 market is truly beyond comprehension.