Citizen Fall

Pete Carroll’s Defection to NFL Largely Void of Logic

Posted in Uncategorized by ryedog on October 5, 2010

Quick, someone knock some sense into Pete Carroll.

And while you’re at it, on the way back around, slap him a second time for good measure.

This move defies all logic; so much so, that I’m sure Aristotle just twinged a bit in his ancient grave.

The idea that Carroll is even contemplating leaving the University of Southern California to become the next head coach of the Seattle Seahawks is certifiably insane.

However, according to a plethora of sources, it appears that playful contemplation is rapidly—and inexplicably—turning into something more concrete.

By all accounts, the whimsical relationship between Carroll and the Seahawks is nearing consummation.

According to the Los Angeles Times, several members of the Seattle front office visited Carroll in Southern California earlier this week, even before Jim Mora had been notified of his termination Friday morning.

The paper reported Friday evening, as did ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, who initially broke the news of Carroll’s interest, that the two sides are close to signing a deal that would pay Carroll $7 million a year for five years and include duties as team president.

As of 6:30 p.m. Friday evening, neither the Seahawks nor the USC athletic department had any information regarding Carroll becoming the head coach in Seattle on their official Web sites.

Seemingly, other than putting pen to paper, the only thing preventing Carroll from re-entering the NFL is the Rooney Rule.

According to the league mandate, the Seahawks must interview at least one minority candidate. Seattle reportedly offered an interview to Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, but he swiftly denied the invitation.

Frazier, who is black, would have fulfilled Seattle’s obligation to the Rooney Rule, presumably clearing the way for Carroll to sign the deal with the Seahawks.

Other than Frazier, it is not known whether the Seahawks have contacted any other minority candidates.

For all intents and purposes, Carroll’s days at USC have come to end—and I don’t understand why, though I’ll venture some guesses.

First of all, I won’t pretend that Carroll sees some kind of rogue potential in the Seahawks. Seattle finished 5-11 and two of those wins came against the 1-15 St. Louis Rams, the same team that prevented the Seahawks from occupying the NFC West cellar.

Under Mora, a defensive-minded coach, the Seahawks finished the regular season ranked 24th in the NFL in total defense and, behind aging quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, were ranked a modest 21st in total offense.

I suppose it’s entirely possible that Carroll is getting out while the getting’s good. Currently, the USC football program is having to deal with a pair of pervasive investigations, fueling suspicions that Carroll may have mishandled players and failed to seriously follow NCAA rules .

Junior running back Joe McKnight did not play in the Emerald Bowl against Boston College amid the NCAA’s investigation into whether a local businessman provided him with a sport utility vehicle. McKnight claims the car belongs to his girlfriend’s boss and that he has never driven the car.

Former USC running back Reggie Bush is the subject on an ongoing NCAA investigation to determine whether he received gifts and cash from a pair of marketers while playing for the Trojans in 2004 and 2005.

Bush denies any involvement and dismisses the additional allegation that his parents lived in a home owned by the marketers during his time at USC.

Considering all Carroll has done for the program at USC, it’s hard to imagine him being wedged out because of any potential violations. If that were the case, he would have been gone by now.

It’s also entirely possible that Carroll feels he has reached the summit of his profession as it relates to the college game. Over the past nine years, USC has been the preeminent program in college football, and 100 percent of that success has occurred under Carroll.

So, why not leave on top?

And then there’s the matter of playing boss. It’s hard to imagine Seattle’s inclusion of executive powers in the deal wasn’t a tipping point for Carroll.

He’s likely to make a few million dollars more in Seattle than he may have ever made at USC, but one of Carroll’s main gripes while in the NFL was that he wasn’t bestowed with duties befitting of a general manager.

With Seattle willing to grant his wish, Carroll couldn’t resist. He wanted the power, which is something he wasn’t allowed to have in the NFL but seemed predestined for in the college ranks.

Carroll, who served in the NFL in a multitude of capacities for 16 years from 1984-99, including two stints as a head coach, has spent nearly his entire tenure at USC turning down offers from the pros, often referring to the NFL as the “No Fun League.”

Infused with a youthful enthusiasm and exuberance that is often times overshadowed by the stern and suffocating professionalism of the NFL, Carroll seemed out of his element at times as the head coach of the New York Jets (1994) and New England Patriots (1997-99).

In four seasons as an NFL head coach, Carroll amassed a 33-31 record and led New England to consecutive playoff appearances, but he ultimately was done in by the unenviable task of filling the shoes of Bill Parcells.

In the NFL, it seemed as if Carroll wasn’t allowed to spread his wings. He couldn’t be himself.

At USC, he found his calling. Now, it seems almost preposterous that we are pondering his imminent departure.

After all, it would be an understatement to say that Carroll—even with the pair of ongoing investigations—had a good thing going in Los Angeles.

To say that Pete Caroll, who headed up arguably the most successful era in USC history, had a good thing going in Los Angeles is an understatement (Photo: Getty Images)

If one man ever personified the California lifestyle, it was Carroll. And the native San Franciscan played the role to perfection, sporting a look that was more jovial twentysomething surfer-dude than a 58-year-old head coach whose gray hairs spoke to an unbreakable work ethic and dedication to the game of football.

Carroll’s opponents respected him. The media loved him. And if USC’s campus were not mere miles from Hollywood, Carroll would be the city of Los Angeles’ star attraction. He had become a figure larger than life.

When Carroll replaced Paul Hackett at USC prior to the 2001 season, he was an obtuse selection. He could barely sniff the top of the school administration’s list of candidates, which also included Dennis Erickson, Mike Belotti, and Mike Riley, yet Carroll was chosen as the wild card.

After rallying with four straight regular-season wins to close out 2001, the Trojans finished an even 6-6, but the framework of Carroll’s fruitful tenure had been laid. And what followed will forever resonate not only in the annals of Trojan football lore but NCAA record books.

Between the years of 2002 and 2008, USC won a combined 82 games under Carroll, equating to an average of nearly 12 wins per season. Also in that span, the Trojans claimed seven Pac-10 titles, captured back-to-back national championships, and won six of the seven BCS bowl games in which they appeared.

Under Carroll’s watch, three different USC players took home the Heisman Trophy in a matter of four seasons.

And were it not for a performance for the ages from Texas quarterback Vince Young, the Trojans would have likely become the first program in college football history to win three consecutive AP national titles.

More importantly, Carroll had a certain rapport with his players, one that stood up in defiance of the traditional player-coach relationship that is sometimes built on a give-and-take between fear and obedience. And his players reciprocated.

It wasn’t uncommon to see Carroll lighten up a practice or team meeting with a little extracurricular activity, and no source of inspiration was off limits, including players.

At a team meeting in October, Carroll surprised his team with an appearance by running back Stafon Johnson, who had spent the previous few weeks in a local hospital following a weightlifting accident that crushed his larynx and nearly destroyed his vocal chords.

This past August, Carroll invited singer/songwriter Bill Withers to attend a team meeting. Before long, the entire USC team erupted in unison with linebacker Marquis Simmons, who was pranked into reciting Withers’ 1972 hit “Lean On Me.”

There was the story of 12-year-old USC fan Jake Olson, who in September lost his eyesight to cancer. His story, which includes fending off the cancer on eight occasions, eventually reached Carroll.

From that point on, Olson was a fixture of the program , receiving access to practices, participation in the traditional pregame Trojan Walk, and even the opportunity to give the USC offensive linemen a pep speech before USC’s game at Notre Dame.

Riding a humanitarian nature, Carroll was heavily invested in the city of Los Angeles. He was devoted to assisting underprivileged youth.

In conjunction with local political figures and law enforcement agencies, Carroll helped to establish A Better LA, a charitable foundation designed to curb gang-related activity.

Over the course of the past nine years, no college football program has churned out NFL talent with the same efficiency as USC. Since Carroll’s arrival in 2001, 53 of his players have been drafted, including 14 in the first round .

As a result, no program in America seemed to lose talent with the frequency of USC. But seldom was a beat ever missed. Never rebuilding season in Los Angeles, the Trojans became known as a powerhouse that was built on solid recruiting classes that routinely ranked among the best nationally, thanks in no short order to Carroll’s becoming charisma and engaging personality.

Carroll was the USC football program. He was the university. He had taken something from the ashes and resurrected it. He had given every indication that his post as the head football coach at Southern California would be his last job. Every time the NFL came calling, Carroll stayed put.

Five, 10, 15, 20 years from now, Carroll was supposed to retire as the best head coach USC has ever had.

Like clockwork, USC lost considerable talent to the NFL after last season, leaving Carroll to trust his offense to freshman Matt Barkley and his defense to a host of unproven youngsters.

His team finished 9-4 this season, marking the first time since 2001 that the Trojans haven’t won at least 11 games or earned a berth in a BCS bowl. With the exception of a few programs in America, a nine-win season is a resounding success; at USC, it’s a legitimate step backward.

But it’s not like the ship has begun to sink. This is USC football we’re talking about.

Players gained experience on both sides of the ball in 2009. Despite McKnight and receiver Damian Williams announcing Friday they intend to leave early to enter the upcoming NFL draft , the Trojans will have 11 starters back next season.

Equipped with a season worth of struggles under his belt, the supremely talented Barkley seems poised to assume his place among USC’s lineage of legendary quarterbacks.

And according to, the Trojans are preparing to welcome in the nation’s No. 9 recruiting class , which is highlighted by three five-star athletes, most in the country.

Perhaps the rest of the Pac-10 is beginning to catch up, but that doesn’t mean USC is slowing down. The firepower is in place for another extended run. The cycle of dominant football season after season is expected to begin anew.

And you could peg Carroll as the first person to know that. But, apparently, that wasn’t enough, not this time around.

This time, money and power triumphed over all—even a well-crafted, expansive Trojan Empire.


A Crystal McCahill Post Is Always Good

Posted in Ladies by ryedog on June 8, 2009

One half of the hottest (and only) mother-daughter Playmate combo in Playboy history is beginning to make her mark. And here’s a hint: it’s not Crystal McCahill‘s AARP-eligible mother.

No disrespect to Momma McCahill, for we are sure she is very lovely in a June Cleaver sort of way, but we get the sneaking suspicion the all-important 18-49 male audience would prefer we link to images a little more, uh, appropriate.

Unless, of course, you’re into the older women, in which case you’ll have to get your fix somewhere else.

Crystal was asked to seductively pose in the nude for a photographer and a host of other creepy crew members in last month’s edition of Playboy—and we have the pictures to prove it (NSFW, obviously), albeit one month after the fact.

This post would have appeared sooner, but, frankly, we’ve been a little too busy lately with things other than your salacious porn habit.

If pictures of Crystal still won’t do it, you have one of two options: 1) start dating men, or 2) book the poor girl for a magazine signing to be held in your windowless van parked in a vacant lot.

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Vanessa Minnillo Makes Her Citizen Fall Debut

Posted in Ladies by ryedog on April 16, 2009

It’s a mystery as to how we’ve managed to go this long without mentioning the breathtaking Vanessa Minnillo, but we’ve done it. Consider this making up for lost time.

In our defense, she hasn’t exactly been making headlines lately. Perhaps that’s because she’s been busy nurturing her annoyingly normal relationship with Nick Lachey, who, by the way, we don’t resent because he’s not a blatant douche.

The best thing about Vanessa is that she never seems to alter her look. She’s barely deviated from the hotness with which she exploded on the scene as an MTV veejay. Years later, though a little more grown up and refined, Vanessa still gets us all sweaty and bothered.

[Photo Credit]

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Yahoo! Sports Takes the Release of the NFL Schedule Way Too Seriously

Posted in NFL by ryedog on April 15, 2009

The 2009 NFL season is still five months off, but, as always, a steady diet of draft coverage has kept football relevant among the many sports media outlets.

And in a day and age when keeping up with the Jonses is the name of the game, those outlets continually battle to one up each other, even if it means tirelessly covering topics that hold no entertainment value of any kind.

Enter Yahoo! Sports, an emerging player in the world of diluted sports print journalism, which has followed the likes of ESPN by analyzing the piss out of the newly released NFL schedule.

Who has the so-called most difficult schedule? Which team is guaranteed at least 12 wins?

Who really gives a shit?

The truth is, in an era of the NFL when any team can go from divisional bottom-feeder to wild-card Super Bowl champ overnight, such projections are essentially meaningless.

But that didn’t stop Yahoo! from trying. Among the biggest winners of the schedule’s release? Tom Brady and Terrell Owens, of course. Brady is expected to arise from his offseason of weddings and being dragged around by his Johnson to lead the immortal Pats to another championship run, while T.O. is allegedly prepared for a breakout season even though the Bills don’t have a quarterback worthy of being named an NFL starter.

Oddly enough, however, when it  came to picking one of the schedule’s biggest losers, Yahoo! turned on its partner-in-crime. It chided ESPN for ruthlessly ridiculing the defenseless (and offense-less) Lions and throwing the league’s first winless team under the bus during the network’s schedule special.

The network’s duo of Trey Wingo and Merril Hoge verbally flushed the Lions down the toilet every chance they got during ESPN’s schedule-release special. After awhile, it just came off as crass and unfunny. For what it’s worth, ESPN’s analysts chalked up losses for most of Miami’s games in the network’s 2008 schedule show, too.

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Linkage: Say Hello To E-Harmony’s Newest Member

Posted in Linkage by ryedog on April 15, 2009

Padres closer Heath Bell joins the club (San Diego Union-Tribune via Sports by Brooks)

Dana Allen wants you to play Connect the Tatoos (Gorilla Mask)

Jay Cutler’s vices follow him to Chicago (Not Qualified to Comment, New York Post)

It’s not every day you’re lucky enough to see a 1983 DeLorean (Observation Bubble)

Perhaps the cause was Glenn Beck wearing a sports coat with Chuck Taylors (Totally Crap)

After getting dumped by one, Lindsay joins E-Harmony in search of more 12-year-old boys (Spike)

Jamie Foxx tells a “little white bitch” to “do some heroin” (E!)

Perverts know no bounds…why on Easter, man? (WWTDD)

This would be less homosexual if it didn’t involve the phrase “explosive legs” and pairs of old-school Reebok tennis shoes [This is the pillar of ESPN’s early 90s morning programming, by the way] (With Leather)

This doesn’t seem ergonomically possible, but who are we to judge innovation (Tasty Booze)

A Computer-Generated Preview of Our Demise To Hit Theaters Soon

Posted in Film by ryedog on April 15, 2009

Vodpod videos no longer available. more about “2012 trailers and video clips on Yaho…“, posted with vodpod

Here’s a look at the apocalyptic thriller 2012. If you’ve been boning up on your end-of-humanity scenarios, you’re well aware that the world as we know it is supposed to keel over and die on December 21, 2012, therefore fulfilling the prophecy foretold by the Mayan calendar, which, for reasons we’re not educated enough to understand, abruptly ends just three and a half short years from now.

And if you think that’s perturbing, try accepting the fact that mankind’s existence lies on the nimble feet of what appears to be a Tibetan monk, who will try to warn six billion people of the end of days by banging a log against an oversized bell from a remote mountain range.

Warning to Racist Rappers: Rashida Jones Will Crush You

Posted in Daughter-in-Law Nominee by ryedog on April 13, 2009

This month’s DiLN is Rashida Jones, the breathtaking actor/singer/philanthropist whose beauty is outdone only by her braun. We’re not saying we like butch chicks; all we’re saying is that any woman who can turn Tupac Shakur into a quivering Steve Urkel of a bitch deserves our accolades.

Plus, for whatever reason, the nominees on our list have taken on a multi-cultural flavor. And Ms. Jones certainly fits the bill.

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Linkage: Russell James Is Our New Favorite Photographer

Posted in Linkage by ryedog on April 8, 2009

Photo by Russell James

The city of Toronto gets cut off from their Molson at the ballpark (Awful Announcing/With Leather)

Playboy includes tasers among golf tournament attendance prizes (Yardbarker)

NFL teams blur the line of ethical Facebook behavior (Sports by Brooks)

Redskins weed out the wholesome types by ghettofying cheerleader tryouts (Busted Coverage)

Speaking of cheerleaders, Abigail Klein seems fun (Uncoached)

The Simmons/O’Reilly feud that wasn’t fizzles out (Deadspin)

Mitsubishi gives us a thrill with 82 inches of pleasure (Gizmodo)

God bless you, Russell James (Totally Crap)

Reby Sky may be the only semi-professional quarterback with pierced nipples (Reby

One man who’s not sad to see Blockbuster taking one on the chin (Observation Bubble)

/Photo Credit/

T.I. Likely To Grow Stronger While Behind Bars

Posted in Celebrity, Music by ryedog on April 1, 2009

No wonder why so many rappers aspire to be incarcerated. Why not, if all a little time in cell block B can do is improve your career and bring you closer to your fans? Not to mention provide you with a steady diet of supervised sodomy sessions in the community shower.

But thus is not necessarily the occupational philosophy of Clifford Harris.

Known on the streets as T.I., the Atlanta-born lyricist was recently sentenced to a year and one day in jail for weapons charges stemming from a 2007 arrest. In October of that year, Harris, who is not permitted to purchase firearms because of a prior felony conviction, was found in possession of enough machine guns and silencers to supply a large fraction of the 1920s New York Italian mafia.

Shortly after pleading guilty just over a year ago, however, Harris lamented his jail sentence but honorably vowed to find a silver lining surrounding his legal troubles. “While I’m not looking forward to being incarcerated, I have a long road of redemption to travel,” he told reporters outside the courtroom, according to The Associated Press.

I’m looking forward to turning this negative time in my life into a positive. I’d like to thank God for blessing me with a second chance in life and success. I realize I completely violated the law, and I take it very seriously.”

Though a federal mandate related to the charges calls for more than four years in prison, Harris’ legal team concocted a creative and highly experimental plea agreement that, in addition to the time behind bars, carried a $100,300 fine and 1,500 hours of community service.

Harris is scheduled to be taken into custody no earlier than May 19. He is expected to serve only 298 days of his 366-day prison term.

In fulfilling part of the agreement, the 28-year-old Harris has traveled the country speaking to youth groups about the dangers of violence. To date, he has racked up 1,006 hours of service, many of which have been chronicled on MTV’s T.I.’s Road to Redemption: 45 Days to Go, a program that documents the rapper’s outreach efforts as he inches closer to his incarceration.

Despite the public humiliation, many rap enthusiasts contend this incident can only help Harris’ already flourishing career.

“I think that if anything, it will gain him more fans and actually support his fan base, because he’s talked about making a mistake,” said Emil Wilbekin, editor in chief of Giant Magazine, a publication focused on urban music. “He’s talked about taking care of the error of his ways.”

And more fans mean more copies sold of his sixth album, Paper Trail, which has sold more than two million copies since being released. The inevitable increase in record sales will be piggybacked by projects that will still keep Harris in the spotlight during his absence. His label has announced it will create a remix version of Paper Trail to be released this summer, while several videos which Harris is in the process of shooting will be released during his jail term.

Efforts to keep Harris’ name fresh aside, there are those who believe the Grammy Award-winning artist will emerge from jail with even more to offer his throng of adoring patrons.

“His music reflects his experiences,” said Jason Geter, Harris’ business partner and co-owner of Grand Hustle Productions, the rapper’s label. “He makes himself vulnerable, and that’s why people like him so much. And people always love to hear a good drama.”

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Meagan Good Seductively Defines Cultural Ambiguity

Posted in Ladies by ryedog on March 28, 2009

She looks just like Jessica Alba, if only Jessica Alba was one-eighths Puerto Rican, Jewish, African, Barbadian, Black, and four other races and cultures that we don’t care to mention.

She is Meagan Good, the chick with the best lips this side of Angelina Jolie and Mick Jagger.

For all we know, those two could have had a threesome with Denzel Washington to bring us this 21-year-old beauty.

Not that it really matters; Meagan’s hot and easy to look at. Which is good enough for us.