Actually, the above moniker is a little unfair. Newcastle United chairman Freddie Shepherd was tarnishing his club’s good name long before JD & The Straight Shot made their Bonaroo debut, calling the team’s female supporters “dogs” and deriding Alan Shearer as “Mary Poppins” some 8 years ago.

But so much for his tendency to speak the truth. Newcastle’s 1-0 loss to Sheffield United on Saturday brought the former into genuine relegation danger, and as you might expect, Fightin’ Freddie is quick to lay blame elsewhere. From the Guardian.

“Right now, it would seem I am the only one prepared to do this job and it’s one I will continue to do to the very best of my ability and with the best interest of the club at heart,” said Shepherd.

“I think it’s time the players are reminded just who they are playing for,” he added. “There is no doubt we are in a situation which needs sorting out and sorting out quickly. None of us can be happy at the position Newcastle United find themselves in right now and it is up to everyone involved to get us out of it. We have to do better and that means everyone pulling together for the good of the club to work through what are undeniably tough times.”

Shepherd has missed the club’s last four matches as he spent time out of the country for family reasons.

Lest anyone suspect Shepherd doesn’t have the club’s best interests at heart, The Telegraph’s Rob Stewart points out,

In mitigation, Newcastle were playing their second game in less than 48 hours following the UEFA Cup trip to Palermo. But they banked £265,000 from Sky in the process, which explains why the match was not put back a day.

has bigger and better things to worry about, but Matt’s hometown has a chance to hoist a championship trophy in in 2006 — and it isn’t the award for biggest NFL Draft Boner, either. Houston’s Dynamo have advanced to the MLS Cup in their first season since moving from San Jose, after beating Colorado yesterday, 3-1, in the Western Confernce final. Paul Dalglish, offspring of Liverpool legend Kenny (and brother of Sky Sports commentator Kelly) scored a pair to set up Houston’s championship clash with New England next Sunday. Though I’ve got no rooting interest in this one, anything that might stand in the way of a victory speech by Robert Kraft has to be considered a good thing.