Monday, November 26, 2007

Monday Hangover: 11-26-2007

We’ve all discussed my general distaste for Miami. Add to that the fact that I’m waist deep in law school work thanks to my approaching exams (I’m pretty sure I had a nightmare where I was violated using my Contracts casebook…not sure what that means…), and you might think that I’d be less than thrilled to be going back to the 305 for Thanksgiving. And you would be so very wrong. See, for me, Thanksgiving is probably the best holiday; it has all the perks of the highly overrated Christmas season (seeing the family I love, eating disgusting amounts of unhealthy food) and none of the drawbacks (having to buy gifts [the website business’s “boom” phase should make me about $15 this month]). Basically, this year consisted of me cramming as much food into my belly as I possibly could (I’m fairly certain I had a Blood-Turkey-Content of .5), followed by my personal favorite of the family traditions: Touch football!

Yes, after a day of finding new and exciting ways to fit food into the empty spaces inside of me, the men of the family (and my lesbian aunt’s girlfriend) marched out to the field of play and squared off for combat. Two highlights:

1) On one play, I dropped back and threw a five yard comeback to my brother. Simple enough, except for whatever reason, I had decided that I was Peyton Manning for this play, and when he turned around, I GUNNED the ball as hard as could. My brother dodged to the side to avoid a broken nose, the ball hit him in the shoulder, he wailed in pain, and I was told “ease back, Marino.” Yes, nothing but high caliber athletes here.

2) On at least three separate occasions, my 55 year old dad explained that our play should be the following: “Everyone line up on one side, I’ll line up on the other. I’m running straight downfield. Zac, just put the ball near my head and I’m coming down with it.” Ok, T.O., in case you forgot, you’re 55, white, about 5’11”, and you recently had surgery to prevent deep vein thrombosis in your legs. But sure, I bet there’s still highlight reel material there. Here’s my counter-offer of a play: Get open and try not to die.

On the day, I had a Joey Harrington-esque outing. One touchdown, one interception returned for a touchdown, and multiple drops by my sub-par receiving corps (yes, I’m settling right into my role as team diva). I should probably accept that I’m just a transitional player until the team drafts a franchise QB. Oh, and now that I’m done weekend warrior-ing, I’m going to sit down all week because I am so unbelievably out of shape and sore.

So basically, my Thanksgiving consisted of me eating, eating some more, playing football, then eating myself into a turkey coma. I’m thankful I didn’t crap myself when I went to sleep that night.

The games…

- I don’t even know what to say. I didn’t think my Jets would beat the Cowboys, but…wow…just wow. I’m just hoping the fans don’t turn on The American Dream too soon, because that was a weird game for him. His number one receiver was out, meaning that we got to start “He was a quarterback in college” Brad Smith (I say that because every broadcast announcer feels the need to remind us that he played quarterback in college. There is, of course, a reason he didn’t play wide receiver in college, and he doesn’t play quarterback in the pros…), Thomas Jones made me want to go down to the Sunoco where Cedric Houston works and beg him to come out of retirement, and the right side of our offensive line consists of an autistic child and “Tommy from Flushing.” Seriously, I really want to draft Darren McFadden already.

- Meanwhile: DAMMIT AJ FEELY! Just DAMMIT! Do you realize how close you were to ending all of our misery? And you throw THAT pass? Why would Andy Reid ever even call that? Sure, he was probably high, but still, you’ve been killing them all day with the short stuff, and YOU’RE AJ FEELY!!! You don’t throw deep touchdown bombs! You take nibbles at the defense and MAYBE don’t embarrass yourself in the process; that’s your bread and butter! Do you understand how close this came to being AJ Feely week on the blog?!? That’s right, AJ FEELY WEEK! Seriously, I had a photoshopped picture of you in front of the American flag and everything. Let me sum up last night’s jeremiad the way Charlie Brown would: ARRRRRGGGHHHHH!!!!!!

- Herm Edwards is literally the dumbest coach I’ve ever seen. It’s laughable. You call a short pass that leaves you short of a first down on 3rd and 5 in field goal range down three points, then you call a timeout to discuss being short of the first, then you blow a challenge flag on the spot and lose ANOTHER timeout, then you kick the field goal. Herm managing a clock is like my grandmother managing a computer, and one time used the CD-Rom drive to hang trash bags. It’s saying something that Herm is wasting the potential of Brody Croyle.

- Even though they lost, you have to think the Lions are glad to have Calvin Johnson emerging as a receiving threat. He attacks the ball, something that takes a lot of receivers a long time to learn, and it’s clear that Kitna likes throwing to him. If he and Roy Williams can ever click on the same day, this offense is still scary enough to live up to Kitna’s 10 win prediction.

- Yeah, I’m tired of defending Joey Harrington. He sucks. I don’t think top ten picks should even be allowed to roam the league as backups. Either you start, you go play in Canada, or you roam the sidelines wearing a sign that includes your name, draft number, and first year salary. At this point, Harrington has been disappointing enough in enough different cities that I’d imagine he’d get stuff thrown at him in every city to which he traveled. Some days I think I haven’t lived up to my potential (I run a website, after all…), but then I remember the difference between Joey Heisman and I with regard to how likely a battery is to be thrown at us, and I’m ok.

- Deep breath, and repeat after me: Vince Young is a second year quarterback. Say that to yourself every time Merril “Why aren’t there more white running backs?” Hoge tells you he’s a bust because he threw for just shy of 250 yards with no run game and a defense that decided if Albert Haynesworth isn’t stepping on heads, well, then football is just no fun to play.

- You know what? I deserve to have Cedric Benson get hurt the week Jamal Lewis runs for 134 yards and a TD after trading Lewis instead of Benson in my fantasy league. This is the last time I bet against a player who comes back from prison. You’d better believe I’m drafting Michael Vick when he comes out of the joint to break Brett Favre’s touchdown record.

- I almost feel bad when people get angry at Gus Frerotte for not being able to get things done. He’s Gus Frerotte! That’s like getting angry at the elderly for soiling themselves; sure, it’s irritating, but it’s kind of what they do.

- On another note, could the 2007 NFC West be the worst division in NFL history? Right now, if Seattle didn’t win another game, they could win the division at 7-9. What does that division even have to look forward to? Hey, maybe Alex Smith won’t be terrible next year! Ooooh, Tory Holt at age 52! Yay, the emergence of Matt Leinart as the next Sean Salisbury! Put them to sleep now and add another wild card slot, NFC.

- Fire Tom Coughlin NOW. Just do it. Don’t think about it; don’t wonder if it’s fair (it isn’t); don’t wait to see if he’ll turn things around (he won’t). The guy seems like a solid coach, but there’s something about this team and him that doesn’t click when things get rough. Unless he can play the Manning whisperer to Sourpuss, this team is spiraling into the same panic they experienced last year. They just bought Tavaris Jackson another year of “development.” Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor should be entitled to punch every member of that team in the face right now for that reason alone.

- (I hate me for this…ok, deep breath…) It’s a testimony to Jon Gruden as a coach that he’s managed to make the Tampa team and system good enough to account for the loss of their key player. (/vomit, /cry, /cut self, /blackout) They win with a good defense, they don’t make ugly mistakes, and they know how to grind a lead out and avoid the temptation to pile on. In short, this team plays to its strengths. There’s something in the water in central Florida that must make teams do that…

- Someone should probably reintroduce JP Losman and Lee Evans if Buffalo plans on making a playoff run this year. I really think they’d get along.

- Does David Garrard deserve mention in the “young quarterbacks I’d like to build a team around” discussion? He’s as young as any of the usual suspects, arguably more mobile than all of them, competes in the league’s toughest division, and as a first year starter shows an amazing ability to avoid making mistakes. Also, he’s doing it with Dennis Northcutt as his favorite receiver. Why don’t we see the same upside there as we do for, say, Eli, Rivers, or Big Ben?

- I’d reuse that earlier analogy about old people soiling themselves for Kurt Warner and fumbling, but I feel like it hits too close to home.

- At this point, I think Rex Grossman’s official position should be “good luck charm.” Also, who still kicks to Devin Hester, particularly when you’re holding on to a lead? Hey, Shanny, way to waste a 300 yard day from your pet project by making the dumbest special calls decision you can make not once, but TWICE! Also, way to give me the willies about ever using fake tanner again, you orange bastard.

- I’m very close with a former drug addict. He’s been pulling his life together for a few years now, and is clean and sober. Every Thanksgiving, he makes the mashed potatoes for our family, and everyone goes nuts about how we all have the chance to eat these “special” mashed potatoes from this guy’s “secret recipe.” The thing is, these potatoes are AWFUL; they taste like he made them using sand, water, and a mashing process that involved the heel of a boot. Still, we celebrate these little accomplishments so that we can make him feel good because we know that, given how bad things have been, the support means a lot to him. This season, just like after this past win over Baltimore, we’ve all been giving the Chargers the “former drug addict’s mashed potatoes” treatment.

- On a sadder note, thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Sean Taylor, who was shot in his Miami home and is in critical condition. I actually went to Sean's rival high school, and had the privilege of seeing him play. He played with the same kind of angry, violent intensity that defines his pro career. It would be a shame to see something like this set him back when he's come so far in his maturity over the past year.

That’s pretty much it for me this week. Alex will be in tomorrow with the MNF redux. In the meantime, I’m going to try not to cry from all this reading. Peace.

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