Monday, December 24, 2007

Monday Hangover: 12-24-2007


Monday Morning Hangover 12-24-2007

I love Christmas. I know I like to talk trash about it, but damn if every time it rolls around, I don’t go all holiday dork. Super lame Christmas sweaters? Check. Obnoxious throwing around of Christmas cheer? I drive around blasting “Feliz Navidad” (the greatest Chrstmas song of all time) in my neighborhood. Ingesting wholly inappropriate amounts of fruitcake and egg nog? My crap looks like liquid rainbows. In short, I hate how much I love this holiday.

So basically, the next seven days are going to consist of me making the Yule time gay. Seeing as I’ve been spending the last month locked in my apartment learning legal codes that are decidedly UN-jolly, I’ll be needing a crash course on jingle bell joy. I’ll be gift wrapping until my fingers are ravaged by paper cuts. I’ll be watching so many Christmas movies that I will have finally resolved the debate over “best Christmas movie ever” (funniest = National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation). I’ll finally end my argument with my dad over which version of “A Christmas Carol” is the greatest of all time (the answer is the Muppet version, unless you’re like my dad and you like being creeped out by the Christmas ghosts; then it’s the George C. Scott version).

The thing is, as much as I generally dislike being in Miami, I actually love being in this place for the holidays, when the heat isn’t as oppressive but the weather isn’t so miserable that it dissuades people from being with one another. That’s really the only thing that keeps Christmas from falling Is that a little cornball? Maybe, but I swear, if anybody so much as tries to steal my Christmas joy, I will show up outside your house, car stereo blaring the sweet, sweet tones of Jose Feliciano. Feliz Navidad, you grinchy bitch.

And with that, let’s talk the games…

- Honestly, it’s bad enough that I have to put up with a 3-12 season, but that Jets-Titans game was the most painful affair I’ve ever had to put up with. The Jets started Handsome Chad, which of course means you can count on some key drops to occur, and Mangini to pull another idiot move by taking points off of the board, which I believe every single coach in the history of coaching knows not to do by now. I feel Furthermore, it’s equally depressing to watch Vince Young, who I was sure was going to change the quarterback position the way Michael Vick was supposed to, prove every one of his critics right by putting together a two turnover, three fumble day. If anybody on the Jets D-line knew how to raise their hands when they rushed the passer, I guarantee he’d have turned the ball over at least two more times. At his best, VY is hip hop, but at his worst he’s everything that sucks about hip hop now: No understanding of the fundamentals of the art and an inability to inspire the audience.

- If that Carolina team had one more receiving threat, I’d actually be wiling to bet long on Matt Moore. He makes the short, simple throws that you need to make, but has the arm to utilize a talent like Steve Smith. At the very least, he’s further proof that the idea of draft rank with regard to quarterbacks is practically meaningless. Put someone behind a decent line with an average skill set, and they can look good. Big receivers > big quarterbacks.

- Trent Edwards can’t play in bad weather, which would be less important if he didn’t play for Buffalo. Seriously, when’s the last time anyone described the weather in Buffalo as being good for a football game? For that matter, when’s the last time anyone was happy to be in Buffalo for anything, ever? Check the economy; even the machines that make SMOG think that place sucks too much to stick around. Oh, and the fact that third round pickup Trent Edwards put up a similar stat line (with MORE TDs) to first overall pick Eli Manning has to just thrill Giants fans. Save your playoffs, Tom Coughlin; put in the Hefty Lefty!

- If the Green Bay Packers melt down before the playoffs, I’m going to be extremely disappointed. They’re the only team that looks like they win because they’re having way too much fun to have the games end any other way.

- WOW what the hell happened to Derek Anderson? I really hope he doesn’t turn out to be some sort of one year wonder (although I stand by my earlier assessment that maybe, JUST maybe any quarterback with a solid enough skill set could succeed in that offense’s current incarnation). So few quarterbacks would have been able to develop the kind of rapport he has with Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow. At least, not without spitting on a nun or something.

- The funny thing is that after having been almost convinced at the midway point that the suckitude of west coast football was going to carry the Chiefs toward mediocrity, they’re actually coming through on my original prediction of sheer suckage. The best part about the whole experience has to be watching Brody Croyle, particularly because he looks more bewildered under center than any quarterback I have ever seen (and I was a JP Losman fan). Seriously, I’m betting that Brody’s wife winds up making more money on the pageant circuit than her husband will as an NFL quarterback (yes, shameless excuse to use that photo, I know).

- If the Lions wind up 8-8, their fans should still be optimistic about the future; I don’t care what Jon Kitna predicted.

- It’s a testament to how bad the NFL quarterback shortage is that several teams would be better off with Sage Rosenfels under center.

- I'm completely confused by the Colts. They should be significantly worse than they are, given the injuries they're playing with, but they keep winning in convincing fashion. At this point, if Marvin Harrison comes back even at 80%, can you really bet hard against them, especially considering how human the Pats have looked?

- Donovan McNabb is the master of playing great when it absolutely couldn’t matter less. I promise you that his agent is on the horn trying to leverage what was a really good game against the Saints into trade talks or bad will against Eagles management. He’s really the only quarterback who hurts his team more by playing well.

- Seriously, someone is going to have to explain what the hell happened to the Saints this season. It’s like the fifth season of “24”, when everything jumped the shark and went to hell for no damn reason whatsoever. Aaron Stecker being a better back than Reggie Bush is the “wait, THE PRESIDENT IS THE TRAITOR!!!” moment of the Sants 2007 season.

- Alex is not a big fan of Jamarcus Russell’s new Fu Manchu facial hair. Myself, I’m more concerned about his knack for making TERRIBLE decisions. Watching Russell is like watching a Frankenstein’s monster made up of all the worst parts of Ben Roethlisberger and Daunte Culpepper. When Russell tried to use his arm strength to force a high jump ball into a narrow window to a double covered receiver, and it wound up being an interception, I actually imagined Daunte talking to him on the sidelines like “Yeah, that’s great, now next time see if you can wait for ANOTHER defender to show up." Also, I imagine every conversation between those two on the sidelines taking place over a 12 foot party sub.

- All that said, the kid has the most powerful arm I’ve ever seen.

- As idiotic as this will sound when talking about a 28-7 defeat, the Dolphins were literally two or three key executions away from making that game against the Patriots competitive. The whiffed interception, the dropped TD pass, the bafflingly bad angle that Cleo Lemon took to the end zone on his rushing TD attempt, all of these going the right way turn that into a much closer game. Hmmm, looking back I can summarize by saying “Miami is so bad they beat themselves,” and this whole bit seems much less interesting or important.

- I still don’t buy the Laurence Maroney myth. He has great games against terrible defenses, but is too small and injury prone to succeed on any team that didn’t have the receiving corps of the Patriots.

- You can just tell that Brian Billick is going to ruin Troy Smith before he even has a chance to succeed. Were the fumbles stupid? Sure, but he’s a rookie in his first start, so these things happen. It’s not his fault that this defense is too old to be relevant, he has no receiving threats, and his leading rusher was hurt. I know I’m overenthusiastic about the guy, but he threw NO picks, nailed a beautiful deep bomb for his TD pass, has more mobility than anyone else in his class, and all of this is happening in his first year. Mark my words: With Troy Smith under center, the Ravens are a receiver away from being a potent offense.

- The funny thing about the Vikings is that they’re built very much like the Jaguars, just with a weaker pass defense and a bizzaro version of David Garrard. Garrard seems calm, cool, and collected, and the team’s current system will never need him to do more than complete 13-18 passes a game, a feat which he can perform very successfully. Jackson, on the other hand, is built to take a team over, with his desire to make difficult plays happen, his flare for the rush, and his wildly unpredictable yet undeniably powerful arm. Oh, and Jackson NEVER seems “collected”. True, he makes HORRENDOUS decisions, but every fifth pass is one of those throws that make you rewind the Tivo, and then you have to remind yourself that he's TAVARIS JACKSON, and then the cycle repeats itself. He's like that really hot girl that you need to keep reminding yourself has herpes. Look, I’m not saying that I like Jackson, but I think I see what Childress saw in him on draft day, and if that upside ever reveals itself, I think he could be the true second coming of Vick. (/kill credibility)

And that’s all for today. Keep checking the site (after Christmas) for playoff previews of this year’s playoff teams, as well as matchup previews and predictions. Alex should drop by at some point too (if you haven't, check out her thoughts on the Dolphins hiring Bill Parcells). Also, feel free to check out our links, both to our friends and our new sister site (more on that to come), as they’ll be upping the goodness this week as well.

Happy holidays.

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