Tuesday, November 27, 2007

So Close!

It's been an interesting week in the NFL. At the close of week 12 quite a few teams and players were left scratching their heads (some heads infinitely larger than other) and thinking "I almost had it!" Here are my three favorites.

Almost Got A Win
That's right, another blow to the fragile psyche of the Miami Dolphins. Losing once again by only 3 points, making it the sixth time this year, they were handed a brutal 3-0 loss by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Yeah, 3-0.

In soaking wet conditions that allowed several punts to drill into the ground without ever taking a bounce, the Dolphins suffered what was perhaps their most crushing defeat of the year (while Dolphin fats sat idly by, likely completely unphased by the crap being piled on to their ever-growing heap).

On top of the loss the winless Phins also suffered several big injuries. After already losing their starting QB and star running back to season ending injuries, Miami lost current running backs Jesse "I was too fat to make it in this league 2 years ago" Chatman and Ricky "My epic comeback lasted less than a quarter" Williams to injuries Monday.

Things could not possibly get worse for Miami right now. Everything that could possibly go wrong for the has. And it has become abundantly clear, at least to me, that God is smiting the Dolphins! If lightning striking the field and delaying the game 15 minutes isn't proof enough then I just don't know what is. Repent Dolphins! For this is the End of Days!

........ Except you John Beck, you'll be fine.

Almost Took A Loss
Holy hell, the Patriots won by less than 25!? Yeah, in a shocking turn of events the Philadelphia Eagles actually made a game out of this week 12 match-up, holding a lead as late as the 4th quarter.

Now who knows what motivated them. It could have been the Patriots' "Holier than thou" attitude. It could have been because every NFL media figure was completely writing them off. Or maybe it was due to the fact that they were given the indignity of a point spread that implied the Pats' were up against the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (or the Dolphins for that matter). Whatever it was, the Eagles showed that the mighty Patriots are beatable.... maybe.

By throwing a combination of 3 and 4 man defensive fronts along with a bevy of blitzes, the Eagles 'D' managed to keep the supposedly unwavering Tom Brady off-balance. For the first time this year Brady was held to only one TD pass and Randy Moss stopped looking like someone Brady unlocked with a cheat code in Madden '08.

All of that being said, New England still won. And the fact that the Pats winning by only a little is now a major news event will undoubtedly only add to their infinite smugness. Do we have to point out how insanely good they are by flipping out because another team even competes with them? I, for one, don't want to be a part of stroking their collective ego..... damn..... forget you read this!

Almost Had Us Fooled
Sorry Giants fans, but I, like you, once again feel teased. In a Eli-esque meltdown (that's right, these performances will hence forth actually bear his name) Eli Manning once again handed us this grim reminder... he is not good.

With the Giants performing fairly well in recent weeks, albeit against mostly poor teams, Eli was being touted as having matured and improved even though his statistics were actually very poor. This week however, he was unable to skate by.

Throwing 4 interceptions in a 41-17 romp at the hands of one of the leagues' worst defensive units, Eli once again showed that he is not nearly as talented as his older brother. And I'm talking about Cooper Manning, because at this point I assume even the only non-football playing Manning brother would put up better numbers. The Vikings 'D' picked Manning apart with ease and left him repeatedly walking off the field like the kid who's mom just called him in for dinner.

It may be time to face the facts New York, maybe Eli just doesn't have it. Maybe the critics are right when they say he will never be an inkling of what Peyton Manning is. Maybe he won't endear the nation in an unexpectedly hilarious turn as host of Saturday Night Live, but who knows, he could turn in a less than mediocre performance on MAD TV. Maybe he won't make tons of cash being showered with endorsement offers, but maybe he'll make a few bucks for eating worms on the sideline. And maybe he won't win a Super Bowl after years of criticism, but he'll be just good enough to always make sure you go nowhere in the playoffs.

Maybe, just maybe, Eli Manning is no good at football. I'm sorry.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


There is no better time to catch up on an obscene amount of SportsCenter than when you're home sick. Having been, I got to lay in my bed watching hour after hour of coverage while trying to not lose my last meal. Luckily, this gave me the interesting perspective of seeing which prominent stories triggered my gag reflex most.

O.J. Back in court?
What year is it? Every time I turn on the television I see O.J. Simpson sitting in a courtroom with the same beleaguered look he sported way back when he murdered two people.... er, um.... I mean, was accused of murder.....
It was ruled today that O.J., along with two co-defendants, will stand trial in a suspected memorabilia heist that took place earlier this year. The charges he is likely to face include kidnapping and armed robbery, among others.
Much of the testimony in this preliminary hearing was given by O.J.'s two co-defendants, who seem more than happy to roll over on him to reduce their own impending sentences. One of the co-defendants, placing the presence of weapons solely on Simpson, said that O.J. told him "Show them your gun, and try to look menacing," before they entered the hotel room in which the altercation took place.
When is this guy going to wise up? Come on, you're O.J. Simpson man! You killed two people!.... er, um... were accused of killing two people..... Show your gun? Try to look menacing? If O.J. friggin' Simpson comes in my hotel room and insists something in there is his, he's getting it. Next time just ask.

A-Rod back in pinstripes?
In the latest turn in the soap opera that is Alex Rodriguez's free agency, he apparently may be staying right where he is. It was reported this morning that talks between the superstar third baseman and the presumably uninterested NY Yankees have resumed. Although this time, the talks are directly between A-Rod and the Steinbrenners, with his agent/evil brainwashing genius/douchebag-with-power Scott Boras being left out of the discussion.
It appears that Rodriguez may be regretting taking the advice of Boras and opting out of his Yankeee contract. "I don't know what brought about him approaching us," Yankees VP Hank Steinbrenner said, "it could be very well that he's always wanted to stay a Yankee and we just didn't know it."
That's right. As shocking as it is, the ever-changing mind of baseball's most perplexing star has seemingly changed again. Whether it was realizing he had taken too much advice from an agent who had his own interests at the forefront, or realizing his heart was always in New York, or realizing no one would truly accept him after reading the seething article I posted two weeks ago (I don't want to take too much credit but rumor has it he has perused Errant Balls from time to time), something has triggered a change in A-Rod.
Granted, he will likely change his mind ten more times before any deal is reached, but if he winds up back in the Bronx he may have to give one hell of a public explanation to win back the support of the fans. Just a suggestion Alex, you may want to include tarring and feathering Scott Boras in a public square with that apology.

Ricky Williams back in the NFL?
After an 18 month suspension for once again violating the NFL's drug policy, commissioner Roger Goodell officially reinstated Williams today.
Isn't being a Dolphins fan hard enough without this guy jumping in and out of our lives? When the only things to celebrate in Miami are an undefeated season that happened 35 years ago and the best Quarterback ever to win absolutely nothing, this guy has just become a big tease.
And now, on the heels of naming the third starting quarterback of their miserable 0-9 season, we hear Ricky Williams might be back again. Yippee. We might be getting a late season fantasy points addition to a pathetic team that has lost their one bright spot to a season ending injury.
How many chances can one guy get? Oddly enough, this story is the one that kills me the most. Sure, that is likely escalated by the years of immeasurable stomach damage being a Dolphins fan has already caused me, but it still hurts. In fact, it makes me downright nauseous. And it's giving me this weird paranoid feeling too. God, I wish there was some miracle drug that could relax my aching stomach and just help me mellow out.....

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Race For Coach of the Year

The 2007 NFL season is at its halfway point and a heated race for Coach of the Year is beginning to set in. Here are the stories for each.

Bill Belichick:
For obvious reasons, namely the Patriots being 9-0 and having just beaten the defending champs, Belichick is in the running. However, even if the Pats go undefeated it is unlikely he will take home the award. This is thanks for the most part to the early season spy-gate controversy, but also due to the NFL’s likely hesitance to give awards to merciless cyborgs who feed on the dignity of puny humans.

Tony Dungy:
His 7-1 Colts lost by only four to the already-determined greatest team to ever play the game, and that was without their best receiver! Indy is still one of the clear favorites to loom large in January, and a repeat championship would all but lock Dungy to win the award. Plus, you have to take into account how impressive it is for a 90-pound man to so fiercely lead a roster of 53 guys who could effectively use him as a toothpick.

Tom Coughlin:
The Giants, now 6-2, have been on a tear and many give credit to coach Coughlin for the changes he has made in himself. A coach who arguably could not have been more out of favor with his players last year, Coughlin’s apparent new-found lightheartedness has really changed the tune of this squad. Even once defiant captain Michael Strahan now loves playing for him: “He’s really changed his hard-ass ways by doing things like cancelling a spring training practice to take the team bowling. He’s even shown his funny side and become quite the prankster,” Strahan praised, “Like when he messes with my nap time by lodging hilarious items like kicking tees, athletic cups, and special teams coaches into my tooth gap.”

Wade Philips:
Although he is dealing with an ultra-talented team, you have to at least consider Philips for having the ‘Boys at 7-1 at the halfway mark. He is a first year coach who was given the task of filling the shoes of Bill Parcells while also handling the league’s most difficult personality. While we can all admit it is impossible to shut Terrell Owens up entirely, Philips has done an admirable job of keeping him happy and under control. Basically, I compare this to when a LOONEY TUNES character would jump on a stick of dynamite with a bucket in order to quell the explosion. By taking on the task of containing T.O., Philips will likely be left charred and smoking with an irreparable amount of internal damage, but he will have saved everyone else from the blast.

Mike McCarthy:
The Packers are now 7-1 and have silenced critics by finding ways to win each game that was supposed to be their drop-off point. In my mind, if the Pack continues even remotely along their early season path, McCarthy has to be the frontrunner for coach of the year. He has been quietly masterful on the sideline and has managed to get absolutely as much as he can out of this team. With guy’s like John Madden screaming about Brett Favre 24/7 it has been hard to fit in much praise for McCarthy, but he is certainly deserving of it. On a side note, the fanatical/love struck look in Madden’s eye every time he mentions Favre's name has me genuinely worried for the ageless quarterback’s safety.

Rod Marinelli:
The Lions have shown themselves to be a legitimate threat by improving to 6-2 after an absolute beat down of uber-tan Mike Shanahan’s Broncos. While Marinelli has done a superb job with this group, he will likely lose much of the credit to his team’s resurgent quarterback. John Kitna has helped turn the laughable Lions into a potent offensive threat, not unlike he has in the past in Seattle and Cincinnati. I don’t even have a joke for that. Why do teams keep letting this guy go?!

Also in the Running:
Mike Tomlin- His Steelers rolling + For once, not being deathly afraid of their head coach = Solid debut year.
Romeo Crennel- A half season with a winning record + Coaching the Browns = Damn good job.
Jeff Fischer- 6-2 record + That sweet, sweet mustache = Honorable mention in my book any day.

Sleeper Pick:
Andy Reid- Sure, the Eagles are 3-5 and at the bottom of the NFC East. I’m just trying to give the guy something to smile about considering the recent blow to his #1 DAD campaign.