Yes, even hockey deserves coverage every now and then.

1. All roided up, even now

You might remember Bill Romanowski as the all-pro linebacker, four-time Super Bowl champion and the only LB to ever start in five Super Bowls. Or, more likely, you just remember Romanowski as a roided-out nutcase who forced a teammate (TE Marcus Williams) to retire after he confronted Williams after a scrimmage play, ripped off his helmet and crushed his eye socket with a punch.

But apparently there’s more to Romanowski — just read his Twitter page. Last Sunday, Romanowski provided commentary on the games:

“Brett Favre is a true man. Watching the game.”

“Raiders gave up too many plays.”

“I think I need to train McFadden how to be strong.”

Of course, Romanowski would consider himself an expert on what it means to be a “true man.” Because, as everyone knows, being a “true man” involves heavy doses of assault and battery. And one wonders what sort of fitness program he really has in mind for McFadden, considering Romanowski’s own involvement with the federal investigation of BALCO.

Thank God Al Davis likely doesn’t understand Twitter, or Romanowski would be the next head coach of the Raiders. Or, better yet, maybe he would just have Romo and punch-happy current Raiders HC Tom Cable cage-match for the job. It would still be more entertaining than watching JaMarcus Russell struggle to master the forward pass.

2. Mangenius, part deux

If you’re a Jets fan, how do you feel about Eric Mangini right now?

The former Jets head coach tortured Jets fans for three years, alienating the media by holding closed practices, treating his players like children, stubbornly refusing to play anything but a 3-4 defense despite inheriting a team whose franchise building blocks (John Abraham, Jonathan Vilma) were 4-3 players, wasting Vilma’s Jets career and giving him up for nothing and (gasps for breath) sabotaging his own offensive line by driving veteran guard Pete Kendall out of town during his first pre-season, seemingly unable to handle coaching veterans who had actually been around the block and knew how to win without being babysat.

On the other hand, after leaving for Cleveland, Mangini has done more for the Jets in mere months than he did in his entire New York tenure. First, he traded his old team the fifth overall pick (Mark Sanchez) for pennies on the dollar (a late first-rounder, a later pick and three veterans who likely would have been waiver wire fodder in a few months anyway). Then, this week, he fills the Jets’ lone glaring offensive hole by giving them former pro-bowl WR Braylon Edwards for a mediocre receiver — former seventh rounder Chansi Stuckey — another couple late round picks and a special teams player.

So, Jets fans have reason to be conflicted. At least Browns fans, though, can’t be suffering from the same malady. After doing a redux with the Browns of his opening act with the Jets — cutting loose mouthy but talented veterans, in this case TE Kellen Winslow Jr., and forbidding his players to use cell phones in the locker room — Mangini’s squad is not only winless, but is in the midst of what looks to be an endless quarterback carousel. Which likely could have been solved if Mangini had never traded away that fifth overall pick to begin with. But, hey, then he wouldn’t be the “Mangenius” we all know and love (to hate).

3. The Yankees, on ice

The New York Islanders would very much like to be taken seriously. After drafting megastar John Tavares first overall this summer, signing three goaltenders in free agency to compensate for the zero NHL goalies they had last season and making incremental progress on their new stadium deal, the only non-Yankees sports franchise to ever win four consecutive championships would seem to be clawing their way back to respectability.

Until one realizes that they’re pumping out Nickelback’s “Burn it to the Ground” as their celebratory anthem every time an Islanders player scores a goal during a home game.

It would be impossible, in this limited space, to detail every reason why Nickelback is dreadful and represents the worst aspects of a North American music culture that increasingly stresses uniformity and cliche. Suffice it to say, however, that the hockey gods will be holding this against the Isles for the foreseeable future.


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