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FreeStyle By Mike Freeman National Columnist
Tell Mike your opinion!

Enjoy these sexy and delicious ramblings from the HBIC -- the Head Blogger in Charge.

Updated: Sep/09/2007 06:11 PM
No knee for Pats' Hobbs, just record book

When New England's Ellis Hobbs caught a kickoff some 8 yards deep into the end zone and then decided to run the football out, what went though the mind of running back Laurence Maroney likely was thought by every other Patriots player.

"I thought, 'Ah, ah, ah ... oh great,'" said Maroney.

Ellis went from Dead Hobbs to Roy Hobbs in a nanosecond.

Normally, when returner catches the football that deep, he takes a knee. Not Hobbs. He decided to bolt.

The result was a 108-yard return for a score and his name in the record books. The play tied for the longest in NFL history.

"My main thought was not to let my teammates down and to just keep moving forward," Hobbs said. "I'm not going to lie. I looked up at the screen at the 20. When you're out of danger and you have some blockers behind you, it’s just like a quarterback. When he knows he's not feeling pressure. It was the same thing for me. I knew it was a risk but this isn't college or high school. They pay me to return kicks, not kneel the ball. I didn't even think about kneeling the ball."

Updated: Sep/09/2007 12:00 PM
Post-9/11 security affects everybody

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The limousine carrying the owner of the New England Patriots, Robert Kraft, rolled into Giants Stadium about 2½ hours before his team played the New York Jets.

The car stopped at a heavily barricaded checkpoint where three New Jersey State troopers, each carrying automatic weapons (which looked like M-16s), began examining it. One of the officers had a bomb sniffing dog search the outside of the vehicle from stern to aft.

This remains the reality of NFL football at Giants Stadium, located just a short hop from where the World Trade Center was destroyed in the attacks on Sept. 11: Even the owner of an NFL team has his limo searched.

Certainly at NFL stadiums across the country security is high, and it’s possible every visiting team and owner has their vehicles and belongings searched at each one. Probably not, but it’s possible.

Yet the security in New York remains higher than almost any other stadium I have been around. This place is still like a fortress.

And unfortunately, because of terrorism, it is likely to remain that way for some time.

Updated: Sep/06/2007 11:55 PM
Bush is overrated, and no, I'm not crazy

This won’t be popular but it’s true.

Reggie Bush remains one of the most overrated players in football. Maybe the most over-hyped in a long, long time.

There are two problems with the New Orleans running back and they are big ones.

First, his speed. In college, he was usually the fastest guy on the field. That quickness allowed him to simply blow by any defender who got close.

In the NFL, he is just one of many fast guys. I’ve seen probably 75 percent of Bush’s games in the NFL and there is one definite thing when it comes to Bush: his speed has been somewhat negated by fast linebackers and linemen.

He’s still fast it’s just that his main weapon -- that speed -- isn’t as devastating on the professional level as it was when Bush was at USC because everyone around him now is quick.

The second problem is even bigger. Bush still shies from contact.

I saw at least two to three examples when the Saints played the Colts on Thursday night. There are too many moments when as Bush approaches the line of scrimmage he dances, skips and cringes.

When the Saints played Indianapolis, Bush was clearly the third best running back on the field behind Joseph Addai and Deuce McAllister. Addai is the perfect example of how a back should play. He attacks with very little shuffling, runs powerfully, is fearless, and does not shy from hits.

Bush will make plays in the NFL because he’s decent and when he runs in space he still too frisky for a linebacker to handle in single coverage.

Still, Bush is extremely limited and there are at least, bare minimum, 10 backs I would take ahead of him: LaDainian Tomlinson, Shaun Alexander, Steven Jackson, Addai, Larry Johnson, Willie Parker, Frank Gore, Willis McGahee, Travis Henry (minus his 48 kids), Brian Westbrook, Maurice Jones-Drew and Rudi Johnson.

Just to name a few.

Updated: Sep/04/2007 12:33 PM
That kind of bulk getting that heated can't be healthy

Kansas coach Mark Mangino, please step forward, your coronary is here.

If you have not seen the video of the Kansas coach screaming -- no, screaming is not the word, more like a human China Syndrome -- you must watch it now.

Mangino is angry one of the Kansas players was fined for excessive celebration after a touchdown and goes absolutely berserk on the player.

Football is a nasty, brutal sport and it requires its coaches to be tough on players but it sure does look like Mangino goes too far in this video.

It also makes you wonder what Mangino is saying to his players in the moments when the media or fans are not around. If he is going to engage in that kind of fit on the sideline of a game in front of tens of thousands of people just how exactly is Mangino behaving when few are watching?

Such a tirade also cannot be great for Mangino's health. A man that large -- his physique is a cross between Tony Soprano and the Kool-Aid Man -- who screams like that is a heart murmur away from trouble. Just sayin'.

Updated: Sep/01/2007 05:11 PM
You'll be unemployed, Lloyd ... Make a new plan, Michi-gan

Do you know what Michigan losing really was?

It was the worst single-game coaching job in the history of college football. No question, without a doubt, it's true.

The worst. Ever.

Lloyd Carr, meet the unemployment line. Unemployment line, meet Lloyd Carr. Get out. Now, Lloyd. N-O-W!

I'm not going to say Carr is a horrific game-day coach, but he makes Jerry Glanville look like Bill Belichick.

Somewhere Barry Switzer is saying, "Jeez, Lloyd, even I game plan better than that fella."

How long before the sites start firing up?

Apparently, Carr can't beat Ohio State or Appalachian State.

In fact, if I was Montclair State University, I'd call Michigan tomorrow and schedule Carr for 2009.

"Hey, get Michigan on our schedule for next year," the coach at rival Ann Arbor Community College is saying, "I'm feeling lucky!"

Actually, as someone who has followed Division I-AA football for decades, I can say Appalachian State is a terrific football program, one of the best on that level.

Still, Michigan losing to Appalachian State -- at home. Just, get out Lloyd. Go.

Meanwhile, I want all the college football-heads like my man Dodd to rank App. State at No. 25 in the Division I-A poll.

Can they do that?

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