The Outsider’s Report: Post-Mini Camp Pre-Training Camp Off-Season Special
By BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Daniel in MI
I know, I know, I know. “Where’s The Outsider’s Report? We want TOSR! We paid our subscription fees and we haven’t gotten our off-season issues! Don’t bend us over and Klein us! We’re going to sue!” Well, get off our backs. The TOSR staff has had a difficult off-season so far. First, there was the post-Francisco-Fiasco drug and alcohol fueled riot in our offices, which included trashing all of our office space and destroying all of our computer equipment. Then, there was the required restitution because we didn’t actually own any office space or computer equipment (and we hereby publicly reiterate our apologies to the Geriatric Women’s Sewing Center for the brief confusion. And don’t worry ladies – a brand new computer with an Intel 386 processor is on the way!).
Then, we had to interview new staff to replace those that are no longer in a condition to write. Now, most of our staff writers and editors come from the same place most papers get their people – from various homeless shelters, prisons, halfway houses, and in more than one case, a dog pound. But, with the number of media outlets growing every second, we’re having to scrape the bottom of the barrel. We had one guy that we interviewed that seemed like real TOSR material. His name was Blair, and he wanted to write a column on personnel decisions called “Blair Which” that would examine issues, like, “Which LB – Mallard or Jones?” It seemed like a perfect fit: he drank like he had four livers, didn’t seem so annoyingly obsessed with “facts,” and, like a true outsider, he didn’t even need to be anywhere near the people he was reporting about. We were set to hire him when our crack sources told us he used to write for the New York Times…well, forget it! We have standards for goodness sake. Next, we had a very interesting candidate come to us from overseas. Apparently, he held a high position as some deposed dictator’s Minister of Information. Never did find out where. His name was Bob something or Mo Sharif or Omar Sharif…we think he was Latvian. Anyway, we had several interviews, but in the end it just didn’t work out. His standards for accuracy were too high for TOSR, which caused friction among the staff as he kept correcting factual errors. Plus, he kept calling us by nicknames like, “Infidel Pig Dog” when he knew damn well all my staff have to refer to me either as Scooter, Scoops, or Chief, like at any reputable media outlet. So, long story long, we ended up having to go with a street free agent, but we have our chief line-editor (McNally) working with him, so we think well be fine going into camp.
Anyway, that’s enough about the inside workings of The Outsider’s Report. Don’t worry, no matter how bad we are, we’ll continue to bring you the kind of analysis of Giants football you’re used to. We’ll go beyond the mere “facts” and without the biasing impact of “access” or “real information.” We’ll bring it to you the story behind the story, as told to you by the guy behind the guy behind the guy, but next to the thing. No, the other one, behind that one. Although much of what we report may still be apocryphal, if not wildly inaccurate, it will continue to score over more pedestrian media outlets in several critical ways: 1) we didn’t lose any of our staff to ESPN; 2) we don’t employ Mel Kiper, Jr.; and 3) we never employ product placement or ads, we just mooch off our subscribers. [Note: Advertisers can contact us at 555-TOSR! We’ll gladly sell out and hawk your crap!]
Enough of that, let’s talk about Giants football. One of the most encouraging reports coming out of mini-camp is about the undisputed leader (besides Tiki, Toomer, and Shockey, and probably Pettigout) of the offense, QB Kerry Collins. Yes, Collins is reported to be looking sharp at camp. Besides pleasing his coaches, he’s made a big impression on some experienced newcomers to the Giants. We caught up with KR/RB Brian Mitchell who raved, “He’s got a stronger arm than I thought, and he’s bigger, too. Having played against the Giants the last few years, I always figured he was a kind of average-sized, slow, inconsistent, lummox. But, now that I’m on this team, I’m gonna have to say he looks big and like he’s got a good arm. He’s definitely the best QB in camp, let’s leave it at that.” New Giants RB Dorsey Levens also could barely contain himself, telling us, “I played with Brett Favre, and let me tell you that between Brett and Collins as QBs, there is no comparison. None at all.” Wow! That was heady stuff! Luckily, Collins’ own head has stayed firmly on his shoulders these days. He told us that now during the off-season, he and his wife go to tend his cattle on a ranch in North Carolina. “It’s really relaxing and there’s so much to learn. At first I didn’t know much about cattle and all. When they told me to ‘punch a doggie’ I branded my German Sheppard. We laughed about it later at the vet’s. And, I don’t know if I’ll ever live down the bull milking incident…or get the taste of that milkshake out of my head. Still, I’m getting better at it. I’m like a real cowboy, now. But not the Jerry Jones kind.” In addition, Kerry has done a lot of good for the Rusk Institute for pediatric care. We interrupted Doctor Jacob Lipshits from caring for a sick child to ask him about the footballer’s contributions. “Oh, Mr. Collins has been a great benefactor. He’s given us so much. We were finally able to open up the Golf Instruction Center on premises, and we got that new swing tutor machine to correct slicing off the tee. Plus, Kerry loves to just drop by and play some ball with the kids. That time he almost paralyzed [5 year old anemia patient] Suzy Ettleson was not his fault. She shouldn’t have been hit with that bullet from 5 yards in the back of the head. I mean, the little bitch has to know that if she’s the primary outlet receiver in a one-back formation, she’s got to get her head around faster if the defense shows blitz. Had she been at practice instead of on bed rest, she’d know that. She probably would have been fine if Dr. Atell hadn’t laid her out like that after the ball hit her, but she should know to sit down versus a zone defense. Anyway, you can’t blame Kerry, he’s a competitive guy and a large donor to the institute.” Kerry Collins – athlete, cattleman, humanitarian.
Of course, there is also a lot of excitement around the mini-camp with all the rookies showing up. Interestingly, there are a lot of diverse backgrounds among the rookie players. For example, the defensive line suddenly has a first rounder in DT William Joseph who has Haitian parents that speak no English, while DE Osi Umenyiora is a Nigerian native. We caught up with Defensive Line Coach Denny Marcin on the phone with the INS to ask him about the rookie prospects. He was thrilled about them! “Yeah, they’re both big and athletic and all that, but I’m not sure about communication. I can’t understand a thing either one of them is saying. We got some translators for camp, but I’m not sure how well that’s working. I told the guys to hit the sled, and Osi runs over and starts washing his feet. I have no idea what that’s about. Maybe we need a guy who can speak that African language that’s all clicks and popping noises and stuff. I don’t know. I tried making some of those noises at him and he just gave me a tissue. And Joseph is from Haiti I think, I don’t know where that is, but I saw “The Serpent and the Rainbow” and we don’t need no zombie powder voodoo stuff, although I guess it would be great if someone could lift the curse off Griffin. [DT Frank] Ferrara keeps yelling, ‘Hey bartender, Jobu needs a refill!’ at Joseph when he comes out of the locker room. I don’t know what that means, but I don’t think it’s good.” When we asked Coach Marcin what kind of players these guys might be, the Coach gave us a careful analysis, “Who the hell knows. They’ll either be good or they won’t.” Well fans, we may not have a steel curtain, but considering DE Michael Strahan lived in Germany, we might end up with the Foreigner Four (at least they’d have a sense for what’s Urgent).
Another big star in camp has been an unlikely one – newly acquired Punter Jeff Feagles. Previous P Matt Allen watched as Feagles warmed up and said, “What, that’s it? I can do that.” Then Feagles ended the warm up and started actually punting. “Oh…Well, you know, I would have punted just like that last year, but no one told me to do it. I didn’t know I was supposed to punt them high and far or place it at the 1, and none of the coaches on the sidelines before I punted told me that. I blame them. And the long snapper. And the refs. And…” At that point, the security guards had to ask him to move away from the fence around the practice field. We hope the stun guns didn’t hurt too much. We caught up with Special Teams Coach Read getting several boxes of Kleenex out of the supply closest to ask him about his new charges in Mitchell, Feagles, plus K Mike Hollis, and long snapper Ryan Kuehl. The coach seemed rather evasive about them, speaking in riddles. “You know that song, ‘When I Think About You I Touch Myself’ he asked us. We informed him that we were aware of it, although we’re more Gregorian Chants people ourselves. He said, “Well, I feel like that.” We felt we were being played with, and we stretched to get the thrust of what he was saying. “You know, like that song. That’s how I feel about these guys and their potential.” Musical? It didn’t make any sense. We wanted to get the rub, so we again tried to pump him for information, but he was a slippery character. But, we again squeezed him for more elaboration, until he seemed ready to explode. Finally he just spewed out, “Like the song!” and wilted, leaving to recover. So, he seems excited, but we’re still not really sure what he’s doing with that head of his. We know that coach, though, and he won’t stand for softness, he’ll keep trying until his unit is rock hard, you can be sure of that fans.
Finally, a bit of color this off-season was that erstwhile Head Coach Jim Fassel and his family have found the son they put up for adoption in the late 1960s. Reports were that the son grew up a Denver fan, but has quickly changed his allegiance to the Giants. We contacted the long-lost Fassel to ask him about how it felt to learn his father coached the Giants. “At first, it was very shocking, but it answered a lot of questions. I always wondered why my fantasy football teams had big splits between their offense and defense and suffered bad defeats in the playoffs. Now I understand. As soon as I found out, people began to send me tapes of Giants games from the last few years. At first our talk was all about family and catching up on our lives. But, soon it turned to football.” Jim Fassel recalls, “It was all real pleasant at first, and then he started watching tapes and asking me questions like, ‘So, why did Tyrone Wheatley not even dress?’ and ‘What happened in the meltdown during the Super Bowl?’ and then ‘Why did you let them throw a swing pass into the flat at the end of the half against Arizona? What is with the clock management? How do you blow a 17 point lead in less than a half, Dad?’ Honestly, it is starting to get on my nerves. He’s got a lot of curiosity about him, but I told him that I needed family members that were pioneers, not historians. Then I tried sending him to his room.”
So, Giants fans, the off-season is in the home stretch and training camp is only weeks away. It is clear that the Giants have loaded up for a run at the playoffs and yet another inevitable meltdown. In the meantime, we can only relax and get ourselves prepared for the upcoming season. So, the TOSR staff is headed to Tijuana to load up on illegal antidepressants and whatever else we can find. We suggest you do the same. We’ll see you there, amigos.