By Tony Kornheiser
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Have I told you about the police escort yet? While I'm pretty happy overall with this new "Monday Night Football" gig, in retrospect I probably should have read my contract more closely. Right after I checked the paragraphs where my demands for the Kobe beef, the pure water from an Antarctic glacier (bottled by monks, who had taken a vow of silence) and my own personal Fijian masseuse were met, I just glanced over the codicil about "police escorts." I figured that's the second-greatest escort service I could get and I was all set.
And indeed my bus does have a police escort. So after the games, the whole broadcast gang climbs aboard the bus and gets ready to be sped away to the hotel behind a phalanx of motorcycle cops with their lights flashing and sirens blasting. There's just one teensy little problem. You get all the smoke and mirrors, but it only lasts to the boundary of the parking lot. Then you get on the Beltway and, like everyone else you sit for, oh, I don't know, the rest of time . It's in those moments when you think, "There's gotta be a quicker way to get out of here." At my age, I think of "Star Trek" and Scotty and being beamed up through the transporter. And just the thought of a "transporter" gets me to Jerry Porter, the unhappy and poisonous Oakland Raiders wide receiver.
This guy does not want to be on the Raiders. He has made this clear since the first day of training camp when he said, "I don't want to be here." And, by the way, the Raiders hate him, and would trade him for a ham sandwich if anyone would offer a ham sandwich. Which they haven't.
For reasons unknown to me, the Raiders continue to keep him around, even though they have deactivated him. Please understand, he is so toxic that next to him fellow wide receiver Randy Moss looks like the Nobel Peace Prize winner.
Now, Oakland is a terrible team that may not score a point all year. Just the other night, they got shut out at home for the first time in 25 years and gave up nine sacks in the process -- seven on Aaron Brooks, who yesterday went for an MRI probably because every bone in his body felt broken. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that during the seventh sack of Brooks, Porter was seen laughing and pumping his fist. Porter begged to differ, saying that he was pumping his fist in response to byplay with fans and he couldn't have been laughing at Brooks because -- and coaches will love to hear this -- "I wasn't even paying attention to the game."
So why, if he's not paying attention to the game, why is he on the sideline? Why is he on the Raiders? At this point, Art Shell doesn't have to ask Jerry Porter to just win, baby. At this point, he needs to ask Jerry Porter to just watch, baby.