Monday, November 5, 2007

Monday Hangover: 11-5-2007

This weekend I had to go to Boston for a friend's emergency, which meant a late night ride on the Chinatown bus from The City. Some observations from my journey:

1. I imagine Chinatown is a lot like Hell, except with more Asian characters and weird cuisine.

2. On that note, if there were a bus that snuck refugees out of Hell, I'd imagine it would be EXACTLY like the Chinatown bus to Boston. Also, I don't know if it's dead bodies or drugs, but you can't convince me they aren't transporting something shady in the cargo hold.

3. In what may be the greatest business racket of all time, the Chinatown buses all stop in front of a Chinese buffet (I'm fairly certain the company owns it) at the halfway point. The restaurant is in the middle of a vacant strip mall in Connecticut, right next to a sex shop that my old school paper ran several pieces on (anything for a field trip when you're in college and dumb). The nearest food alternative is a five minute walk away, and you only have 15 minutes to get food. Seriously, this bus line is the new mafia.

4. An LSU fan who is a friend of mine was rooting for FSU this weekend, and asked me how one can support Drew Weatherford. I explained that rooting for Weatherford is a lot like raising a retarded child. Do you get mad when your retarded child screams and throws his food onto the ground? No; you just clean it up and tell him he's special. Same thing for when Drew throws an interception...or two...or five.

5. I was told that there was a Noreaster acting as the cause of the miserable weather in Boston this weekend. Hey, New England; there's no such thing. You guys just have shitty weather. Stop trying to make it something special.

6. I used to think that if you were a Boston sports fan, you were probably a loud douchebag, but I was wrong. You're probably a loud racist douchebag.

On to the games...

- The game of the century came, went, and really didn’t matter as much as everyone thinks it did. Either team could have won that game. The Colts were missing their starting left tackle and their number one wide receiver; think that offense doesn’t look different if Aaron Moorhead isn’t dropping balls left and right? By the same token, the Pats will now likely get a shot at the Colts on their turf, outdoors, in bad weather. Let’s see how Joseph Addai likes a Foxboro winter, especially playing Rodney Harrison, whose soul is so dark that the misery of the weather makes him stronger. That said, I like the Colts in a rematch. The mistakes the Pats were making were big, macro mistakes: the o-line was manhandling the Pats front seven, and Joseph Addai was making them look stupid. The Colts, by contrast, made small mistakes that they paid for dearly (Stallworth makes a living off of corners turning the wrong way, and a defender standing behind Randy Moss in the end zone might as well not be there). Throw in two bizarre Peyton miscues, and I think that the Colts are the team to beat come playoff time.

- On a funnier note, I LOVE Bill Belichick’s cold dismissal of Tony Dungy after the game. Seriously, is there any coach that is MORE well liked around the league? Meanwhile, Belichick is giving him the brush off like Dungy had spent the whole week banging Belichick’s wife (I would die of an irony overdose if that happened). The thing is that the more obviously evil Belichick gets, the more I like him; at least he’s not masquerading as a decent human being and acting shocked when people call him a douchebag. Once he slaps the wife of a Giants player in week 17, I think I’ll be fully on board as a fan of the least likeable individual in the NFL.

- Oh, by the way, the Jets lost, but at least this time it took them more than the whole game to do it, as they blew it in overtime. The bigger story is that The American Dream Kellen Clemens took the field for the first time as the official Jets starting QB. If there was any doubt that Mangini was praying that the kid would save him from another week of papers calling for his resignation, just look at the stat sheet: 23/42, 226 yards, 1 TD. They threw 42 times, with a second year QB in his second start, really his first as the number one quarterback. Oh, he also ran for one yard less than starting former Pro Bowl running back Thomas Jones. It would have been the perfect beginning for The American Dream’s legend if the Jets defense looked like anything stronger than an obliging fog. Yeah, it’s annoying, and you might get tripped up if you don’t watch where you’re going, but it’s really not stopping your forward motion. If not for David Harris putting up 24 tackles (20 unassisted), the Jets would have never made it to overtime. The defensive veterans will probably haze him for that. Stupid rookie, don’t you know Dewayne Robertson has Tivo’d episodes of “Hell Date’ to watch?

- They need to invent new stats to show defensive screw-ups. One such stat should be “sissy tackles,” which the Bengals set the NFL record for against the Bills. Now I like J.P. Losman, but anyone who thinks his 295 yard game on Sunday had anything to do with him is an idiot. Marshawn Lynch had a TD pass too, and he looked like he could have thrown for two bills on that Bengals defense as well. Lynch’s 56-yard TD run came on a play where two Bengals hit him in the backfield, one of whom had his legs wrapped up. Lynch stepped out of the pileup as though he were stuck in mud. What the hell, Marvin Lewis? Didn’t you used to be a “defensive mastermind”? Are you scared to teach your players to do anything violent because of the potential for negligence lawsuits? Patrick Swayze in Ghost would put up more resistance to opposing running backs.

- After making fun of them all season, I have joined the ranks of Derek Anderson fantasy football owners. Frankenquarterback (Monday is new nickname day) is just tearing up defenses, and he did the same to the Seahawks on Sunday, throwing for 364 yards. Seriously though, I have never seen an uglier elite quarterback. The man looks like he should be roaming the countryside, hiding from villagers with torches and pitchforks. Still, he’s managed to become a top 10 quarterback, and has thrown the third most touchdowns of any starter. All this is owed to his chemistry with formerly underachieving receiving targets Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow. One has to wonder how he got such a good rapport with those two. Do you think he headbutted a nun, or maybe spit on a baby or something?

- On a related note, Shaun Alexander had 14 carries for 32 yards. I have never seen a running back look less like he wants to be playing football. Ricky Williams gets panic attacks and smokes weed when the defense on the field, and even he thinks Shauny is phoning it in.

- The Lions are 6-2. Jon Kitna is four wins away from his prophecy coming true. He wants to say that he never made a prediction that the Lions would win 10, but only said he’d be disappointed if they didn’t. Humility in the face of one’s own blessings; the truest sign of the Godly prophet. Kurt Warner should know better than to stand in the way next week, lest a swarm of locust descend upon his home and leave his crops barren after killing his firstborn.

- Do you think Shaun Rogers is still breathing heavily after that 66-yard interception return for a touchdown? Guarantee he involuntarily crapped himself about 50 yards into it.

- David Carr was 15 for 27 for 107 yards, one TD, and one INT. That’s an average of 4 yards a pass. Why even bother? If Steve Smith wants more touches in that offense, he’s going to have to start lining up under center. Please ignore any commentaries of mine to the contrary (I love selling my own arguments up the river).

- On a related note, Vince Young was 14 for 23 for 110 yards and two INTs. He won though, so instead of being “less competent than David Carr,” he’s “a guy who just knows how to win football games.” That’s right, he PLANNED those two interceptions as crucial ingredients for his victory.

- Scary thought: Most quarterbacks have three-act careers. Act I is the “Overpowering” phase, where a young QB has the arm to sling the ball downfield in whatever style he sees fit. Act II is the “Older But Wiser” phase, where the quarterback begins to lose his dominant arm, but he makes up for it by learning to manage games and use what strength he does have efficiently, working the clock and methodically picking at defenses. Act III is the “Wheels Falling Off” phase, where the veteran QB’s arm can’t get the job done anymore, and he eventually is replaced by a younger, stronger, hungrier talent. Bearing all this in mind, is it fair to say that Brett Favre hasn’t even entered Act II of his career yet? Does anyone think that he can’t start for five more years, three of which involve him being a milder, more even keeled signal caller? Scary.

- With the Jets defense deciding that it really wants to spend January at home, my new Sunday joy is watching Adrian Peterson run. There’s a kind of improvised grace to every move he makes. It’s like defenders miss because they are destined to miss; impeding his motion would stop the dance, and nobody wants that. Teams are packing the box against the Vikings, and Peterson is just running to the left side of his line and moving like he’s running between stationary cones, not big, angry football players.

- Don’t look now, but the Jaguars, who looked like a shoe-in for an AFC wild card spot, play just two teams with losing records, and those games come in the last two weeks of the season. Del Rio’s ingenious brand of ugly, brutish football could go unseen in the playoffs unless he gets his hand crafted game manager, David Garrard, back from injury. Quinn Gray turns the ball over way too much for the standard Jags game plan to work otherwise.

- Does anyone else think it’s in questionable taste for sports writers to use the phrase “at sea level” to describe New Orleans being a .500 football team now?

- Tampa Bay has done its job. They kept Jon Gruden employed for another year of ruining young talent. They can go back to letting New Orleans run their division now.

- Apparently, there was an afternoon game between Houston and Oakland, and Houston won, but really, couldn’t they have just made the score up? Was anybody watching to keep track? They say Ron Dayne had over 100 yards rushing. Yeah, that stat looks totally made up. I think I might have been credited with 15 receiving yards.

- If you’re a Philly fan, why are you booing T.O. when you have plenty of sucky receivers of your own to heckle? Brian Westbrook isn’t just leading the team in receptions, he’s CRUSHING the competition. Take away one monster day for Kevin Curtis, and he’s leading in receiving touchdowns too. Yeah, that Andy Reid, he’s an offensive genius. Then again, I’d imagine it’s hard to call plays when you’re clenching a bottle of Percocet in your rectum.

And that’s all for me. Alex is covering the Steelers/Ravens MNF game tonight. She hates both teams, so you KNOW it’s gonna be a good read tomorrow. Enjoy!

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