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FringeNC
09-16-2006, 10:42 AM
Funny article on the Raiders and Art Shell

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/060915

By Bill Simmons
Page 2

There are three forms of comebacks: The ones when a team or player overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds; the ones when a player recovers from a debilitating injury to regain his previous form; and the ones when a memorable personality retires or fades away, then splashes back onto the scene with "not only am I back, baby, but you're gonna remember this moment for a long freaking time" vigor.

Those aren't even comebacks, actually. They're more like resurrections. And you only need a few words to describe the best resurrections. Like MJ dropping 55 in New York. Elvis electrifying Vegas in the leather jumpsuit in '68. Vito Corleone's chilling "but I'm a superstitious man ... " speech. Cosell introducing Sinatra for "The Main Event" at MSG. Ali dropping Foreman in Zaire. Shannon Tweed and Andrew Stevens getting it on in "Body Chemistry 4." It's a short list.

And that's what made Art Shell's comeback so beautiful. He picked up right where he left off, as a glorified caretaker for a fading franchise. Apparently I was the only writer who remembered why Oakland canned him 12 years ago -- because he single-handedly submarined the Super Bowl chances for a loaded stretch of Raiders teams, to the point that nobody ever hired him again -- but that didn't stop people from playing the race card and pretending that Art would be installing discipline/intensity/consistency/professionalism with the 2006 Raiders. Um, why would things be different this time around? Hearing the Raiders rehired Shell was like reading that J-Lo and Ben Affleck were engaged again. Wait, what????

In last week's column, I mentioned two silver linings for Art's comeback: The gambling implications (with Aaron Brooks involved as well, it felt like the Perfect Wagering Storm) and the comedy implications (because an entire generation of NFL fans under 22 could enjoy the Art Shell Experience for the first time). But I never imagined how Monday night's game against the Chargers would play out. San Diego completely obliterated the Raiders from the first snap, to the point that Marty Schottenheimer opted for the three-runs-and-a-punt routine for the entire second half, content to let his defense protect a 13-0 lead that seemed more like 93-0. The Raiders couldn't have looked more disjointed, mismanaged and untalented. It's not possible.

Here was the best part: Shell standing motionless on the sidelines, rarely moving, rarely blinking, seemingly oblivious to the ongoing apocalypse on the field. One of my readers wondered if ESPN was looping the same Shell shot for four quarters, kinda like how Keanu Reeves rigged the bus camera in "Speed." And just like the old days, Art was wearing a headset, only it's unclear if the headset was on or off since he never said anything into it; for all we know, the headset was playing show tunes. There was one moment during a commercial timeout when he was listening to Randy Moss, who suddenly looked up and nudged him toward the field, like he was saying, "Yo, Coach, the game started," followed by a jolted Shell scampering back toward the sidelines like a nursing home resident who just realized he was late for BINGO. That's the only time we saw him move. In other words, it was just like old times.

And my readers were delighted. I ended up receiving 10 times as many Art Shell e-mails as Dream Team e-mails after USA's loss to Greece. (If you're interested, you can read the best ones HERE.) There were the requisite "Weekend at Bernie's" cracks, jokes about the music selection in his headset, dozens of descriptions of the Art Shell Face, people honestly wondering if he's really alive, even younger readers simply thanking me for taking the time to warn them. Although we weren't able to see Art work his magic with a two-minute drill, everyone agreed that it remained an immensely enjoyable TV experience ... and that's even before the Governator's 3rd quarter cameo when he lauded Art Shell for pulling off a "miracle" with this Raiders team, followed by Ron Jaworski doing a legitimate double take and looking like he just smelled a noxious fart.

You know what? In a roundabout way, Arnold was right. This WAS a miracle. See, I wasn't old enough to remember Elvis in Vegas or Ali in Zaire, but I'll always remember watching a rusty MJ drop 55 on the Knicks, and I'll always remember the night Art Shell came back and may or may not have been alive. So thank you, Gambling Gods, and thank you, Comedy Gods. Some things are better the second time around.

runnercyclist
09-16-2006, 10:47 AM
And Randy Moss is the team captain
roflmfao

runnercyclist
09-16-2006, 10:48 AM
Can you imagine being a 4.0 OL from Harvard coming in and getting the motivational speech and advice from Captain Moss?

Brock
09-16-2006, 10:50 AM
Poor Art. What was he thinking?

JBucc
09-16-2006, 10:52 AM
Poor Art. What was he thinking?$$$

milkman
09-16-2006, 10:59 AM
Can you imagine being a 4.0 OL from Harvard coming in and getting the motivational speech and advice from Captain Moss?

Are there any 4.0 OL from Harvard in the NFL?

banyon
09-16-2006, 11:01 AM
a couple of the e-mails LMAO :

I didn't think the Art Shell era could possibly live up to the hype, but it greatly exceeded it. Watching the Oakland offense was like watching a kid play Madden '07 that doesn't know which button to push to throw the ball. How many weeks before Vegas takes all Raiders games off the board?
--Mike Peters, New York

Is there any proof that Art Shell is in fact able to communicate with other humans? He is the Helen Keller of the NFL.
--Alex Rosenblatt, Los Angeles

I would pay money to read the notes Art Shell was writing to himself during that Monday night game.
1. Try not to get sacked so much.
2. SCORE
3. Get high with Randy Moss later
4. FAKE OWN DEATH
--Andrew Stehle, Pine Hill, N.J.

During the fourth quarter. Art looked like he had just walked in on his wife sleeping with Pauly Shore.
--Brett Smiley, Syracuse, N.Y.

runnercyclist
09-16-2006, 11:04 AM
Are there any 4.0 OL from Harvard in the NFL?

Probably not. But edit the school and put yourself in that guys shoes. You'd question your career choice. "Man I gotta get my inspiration from this asshole?"

jlscorpio
09-16-2006, 11:12 AM
Matt Birk maybe?

Easy 6
09-16-2006, 12:15 PM
Keep those e-mail's comin' banyon... ROFL, i was thinkin' his note pad might look something like this........." All coach and no play's make Art a dull boy. All coach and no play's make Art a dull boy. All coach and no play's make Art a dull boy."

Calcountry
09-16-2006, 12:24 PM
Here was the best part: Shell standing motionless on the sidelines, rarely moving, rarely blinking, seemingly oblivious to the ongoing apocalypse on the field. One of my readers wondered if ESPN was looping the same Shell shot for four quarters, kinda like how Keanu Reeves rigged the bus camera in "Speed." And just like the old days, Art was wearing a headset, only it's unclear if the headset was on or off since he never said anything into it; for all we know, the headset was playing show tunes. There was one moment during a commercial timeout when he was listening to Randy Moss, who suddenly looked up and nudged him toward the field, like he was saying, "Yo, Coach, the game started," followed by a jolted Shell scampering back toward the sidelines like a nursing home resident who just realized he was late for BINGO. That's the only time we saw him move. In other words, it was just like old times.



--
This is exactly how I use to see him back in the day. Somethings never change.

Chiefnj
09-16-2006, 12:32 PM
"Apparently I was the only writer who remembered why Oakland canned him 12 years ago -- because he single-handedly submarined the Super Bowl chances for a loaded stretch of Raiders teams"

Is that true. Overall doesn't he have a pretty good winning % and an okay playoff winning %.

Brock
09-16-2006, 12:45 PM
"Apparently I was the only writer who remembered why Oakland canned him 12 years ago -- because he single-handedly submarined the Super Bowl chances for a loaded stretch of Raiders teams"

Is that true. Overall doesn't he have a pretty good winning % and an okay playoff winning %.

Yeah. But when you have Bo Jackson, Marcus Allen, Tim Brown, Howie Long, etc., you're probably being judged by a higher standard than pretty good or okay.

Dark Horse
09-16-2006, 01:18 PM
Where have all the Raiders fans gone
long time passing
Where have all the Raiders fans gone
a long long time ago
Where have all the Raiders fans gone
gone to be Colts fans everyone
when will they ever learn
when will they ever learn

The Dude Abides
09-16-2006, 05:12 PM
Yeah, I was wondering about the Moss thing to, thinking I was just being high and making stuff up in my mind. And Arnold's miracle statement, do what now?!

tk13
09-16-2006, 08:26 PM
I thought one of the funniest things was that he took a shot at his own network and joked about how the MNF announce crew was upstaged by Nessler, Vermeil, and Jaws.

DTLB58
09-16-2006, 09:17 PM
Here was the best part: Shell standing motionless on the sidelines, rarely moving, rarely blinking, seemingly oblivious to the ongoing apocalypse on the field. One of my readers wondered if ESPN was looping the same Shell shot for four quarters, kinda like how Keanu Reeves rigged the bus camera in "Speed." And just like the old days, Art was wearing a headset, only it's unclear if the headset was on or off since he never said anything into it; for all we know, the headset was playing show tunes. There was one moment during a commercial timeout when he was listening to Randy Moss, who suddenly looked up and nudged him toward the field, like he was saying, "Yo, Coach, the game started," followed by a jolted Shell scampering back toward the sidelines like a nursing home resident who just realized he was late for BINGO. That's the only time we saw him move. In other words, it was just like old times.

Agree, This is classic :clap:



--
This is exactly how I use to see him back in the day. Somethings never change.

FringeNC
09-17-2006, 12:54 PM
Through a little over a quarter of play, Oakland has 9 total yards, and Aaron Brooks has fumbled twice. 9-0 Baltimore.

I think Brooks has been benched for Andrew Walter.