Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Week 12 Blog: Big Brotha be Peeping Ya'll!

Before I begin in the image and the style that you are used to, watch these 4 videos before I begin today's lecture.




Okay, now it is clear that this isn't your grandad's NFL anymore. With high-definition cameras getting every conceivable angle possible, it is clear that we see more of the game today than we did...hell, five years ago. Mo' Money always equals mo' problems. This, coupled with the ability to replay all these angles during injury timeouts, has given the announcer and viewer the ability to be the judge, jury and finer of all of these instances, all unique unto themselves.

The first is a no-brainer, Donkeykong Suh is clearly a moron and deserves the two-game suspension he received. This guy had it coming and I'm not talking from a football playing aspect. What I mean is, I'm fine with his "dirty" style of play--in fact, I'm a fan. Suh would have fit in quite nicely in the Raiders of the 1970's. I'm okay with his play for the most part. But his attitude sucks, but you can't always make these fuckers own up to that because bad attitudes are somehow acceptable from children these days. For example, after the Lions lost to the Falcons in Week 5, Suh was talking shit about certain Falcons players after he was accussed of making comments to Matt Ryan about his ankle injury being "karmatic" for something forgettable that happened in the game earlier. When he was making these comments, he was pompus, petty and sarcastic. He reminded me of most every student that has set foot in my English classroom.

The karma came back at Suh tenfold on Thanksgiving when he stomped that Packer lineman guy. His reaction after getting tossed was no different than a child who got his Xbox taken away for smoking bath salts and sexting his sixth grade teacher. Now, Suh has vowed to change his bad attitude while he sits at home, without 2 weeks of pay, playing Xbox while sexting Raven-Symoné.

The Nick Novak "piss-gate" is goddamned funny--and yet pathetic. I was watching this game and when I saw the cutaway, I thought he was adjusting his cup--but instead he was draining his man hose. I even heard that the commish is considering fining the micturating place-kicker. Gimme a break! The real shitty thing here is that a cameraman and producer were the ones responsible for the exposure on live TV. Who are these sick fucks and how come they don't get fined by the league? I'm sure this isn't the first time a player has made water on the sideline and why don't they have porta-potties on the side line so a player can go there instead of running to the locker room? And besides, had Novak ran to the locker room, he would have missed the opportunity to kick, thus forcing Norv Turner to burn a timeout. I think Novak did the right thing and I garentee he didn't think a camera was fixed on him--but maybe all players should conduct themselves as if they are always on camera--and don't think that their media-training will catch up to the players here, but I digress.

Jerome Simpson's epic flop against the Browns was also comical, I bet Vlade Divac was watching highlights at his home in Serbia and became engorged when he saw Jerome flop à la himself. And guess what, Simpson got the penalty, so good for him. It looked like a deleted scene from Ace Ventura didn't it? Quit hatin'!

Stevie Johnson's touchdown dance wasn't obvious at first--but after much, too much analysis, some have misconstrued the dance to attack everything from Plaxico Burress' gunshot wound, 9/11 and the Lindbergh kidnapping. Gimme a break, it was just a touchdown dance that no one got it until the game was over and the twittersphere blew up.

Is it just me, or is this league analogous to anything George Orwell wrote about? There are far too many channels, too many opinions being spewed out of talking head facsimiles of former players trying to relive their former glory vicariously through the current crop and too many angles for league officials to spy and fine. But I guess the league is no different than anything else in this country--this is and will continue to be my biggest fear. Anyways, Bulletboys were always my favorite 80's metal band...
  • New York Giants. After the steamrolling they took from the Saints last night, we might actually be seeing the end of the Tom Coughlin era--an era that should have ended in 2006. After the Giants miss the playoffs this year, we're gonna see a big move after Coughlin is let go. If you ask me, this team was built for a Cowher or a Fisher, defensively minded dudes who like to grow they facial hair out in December as they prepare for the postseason. Who knows, maybe Coughlin will be in a position after the new year to interview for his old job in Jacksonville. Stranger things have happened--for Christ's sake Kiss made this.
  • New Orleans Saints. Lest we forget this sleeping dragon. That shellacking they gave the G-Men is only the beginning of Drew Brees' dominance. They guys are good enough to beat the Pack--and they might be the only ones.
  • Baltimore Ravens. Strong statement win against the Niners on Autumnal Galliform Day. This is the best team in the AFC. Call me crazy, but I see a Saints/Ravens showdown in the Supe Bowl. That D against that O is the best that this league has to offer. Get yer popcorn ready!
  • CJ2K. Look who woke the fuck up. I wonder how many fairy tale football owners curse his acronym? I knew he would wake up eventually. But is CJ2K and Hasselbeck's play good enough to get the W's this team needs down the stretch to squeeze out the Bengals in the Wild Card? Or better yet, steal the division crown from the woebegone Toros?
  • Caleb Hanie. Before I take a dump on his first half play, I will say that Hanie looked decent down the stretch. After throwing 3 Ints, he threw a pair of passes that made Johnny Know look like a ProBowler. And if it wasn't for the botched spike at the end, who knows what Caleb would have pulled out of his ass (an incomplete pass is my guess). Whatever, the Bears put this dude in positions of failure and expect magic--last year's NFC championship and this, his first start in the blackhole. I think he will rebound this week against KC and Martz will have an adjusted gameplan ready. If Martz would just listen to Urlacher, Hanie could be the second coming of "Tebow Time" in the Windy.
"Watch it, non-believer!"
  • The Rex Grossman Award...goes to that asshole of a collarbone of Matt Leinart's. I surely hope that the Titans catch the Toros here in the end so that we don't see T.J. Yates in the godammned playoffs, essentially making this team the 2011 version of the 2010 Seattle Seahawks--happy to be there, even though they are a laughable inclusion. It's times like this that make me wish the Colts had Manning all season, thus ending any talk of a Toro postseason.
  • Eagles/Chargers. Yo! Media. They done. I know you all want to collectively count them in at this point because a lot of you had them as a potential Super Bowl contenders. But it's over and Andy Reid will be wearing a St. Louis Ram windbreaker next fall (do they make XXXL?) and Norv will move back down the coordinator food chain in Seattle or Buffalo. So, sports media, if you quit whining about these two paper kangaroos, The Book will leave these teams out of the "Predictions" section. Deal? Speaking of my prognonsis for the upcoming week...

Titans V. Bills. Techinically, they are the same team. Both are long shot contenders with a good running and passing attacks. The Bills are a longer shot for the playoffs and Fred Jackson is still hurt. The Titans hope to grad that golden ring of the AFC South, but they have to win-out (at least it should be the goal) and hope that the TJ Yates era in Houston is what we think it will be. This is a serious-test for the Titans--do they want it, or don't they? The Bills still play tough, even though they have cooled off considerably from they 5-2 start. CK2K is the x-factor here--if he plays well in the mild conditions in upstate New York, the Titans win. But don't count out the Amish Rifle and co.--they are due for a win. But it won't be this week, Titans win in an offensive expolosion, 45-27.

Chiefs V. Bears. Tyler Palko vs. Caleb Hanie--the QB match-up we all wanted to see once the lockout ended, right? This one will be the battle of who fucks-it-up less. Both QB's did their teams in last week, but this week might be different. I think both these guys are decent back-ups--but like all back-ups, the rust needs to get knocked off. The Bears are used to having a turd burgeler under center--so I have confidence that they will adjust accordingly. The Chiefs will be battling for their playoff lives, so they will be up for this game. But the Bears are too good at home and Brian, Julius and Lance will muddy up Palko's helmet real good in a squeker, Bears win 21-17.

Falcons V. Toros. The Toros need to win the next two games to control their distiny--but I'm affraid they won't, making their Week 17 match-up against the Titans a potential AFC South championship game. The Falcons are looking to find consistancy in a wierd year for them. This Yates guys might get yanked at a certain point in this game in favor of the newly acquired Jake Delhomme, who will be knocking his post-forced retirement rust off in a game the Toros can't and won't win. 23-13

Colts V. Pats. The only reason I am calling this one is the Vegas line. The Pats are giving 20 points. You read that right. This is by far the biggest spread since the then-undeatfeated Pats took on the hapless Eagles in 2007, a game widdened by 23 1/2 points (Eagles covered and almost won the game in a final score of 31-28.) This game will cover as well, but the game will not be as close--unless Belichick shows mercy--which he may not, given that the Colts are such a fierce rival pre-2011. I think the Colts will play hard in this one (their Super Bowl?), but still lose by a couple of tuds, 24-10.

Bengals V. Steelers. This is the game that will make Andy Dalton's rookie season one of legend. Not only will his Stripes go into Steeltown and take one away from those mustardseeds--but this game will solidify his rookie-of-the-year ranking. His tough play and leadership will come into play (expect a John Elway-esque helicopter play in the endzone from my favorite NFL ginger in the 4th to tie). Then, Doolin' Dalton will drive the cats down the yard, to set up Mike Nugents 31-yard pooch to win it in OT, 26-23.

Packers V. Giants. The Giants have a long tradition of being the perfect season spoilers. In 1934, they beat my unbeaten Bears in the NFL championship. In 1998, they beat the 13-0 Denver Elways with Kent Graham.
Kent Graham=Ted Danson Doppelgänger

The Giants did it again, most famiously, against the Pats in Super Bowl XLII, in what most NFL scholars (mainly just Chuck Klosterman) beleieve to be the greatest loss in league history. But can they spoil the party again. The stars are lining up. The game is in New Jersey, the Giants are playing for their playoff lives (when aren't they in December and the Packers need to lose this game. Did we learn nothing from the '07 Pats? The '09 Colts did when Jim Caldwell pulled Manning in a rollover against the Jets. The Packers need to do the same, I'm affraid, or the injury issue will arise. That, coupled with the hype and buzz, another factor that the Pats tried to ignore. A loss would end the questions of an undefeated year and teh Packers could shift their focus to the postseason. Sometimes a loss is a good thing. Packers win, 38-17.

Lions V. Saints. This Suh thing might be the final nail in the coffin. The Lions kinda have a Raiders-vibe too them, loads of talent and zero discipline. This might be a top-down thing, seeing as Jim Schwartz flexed his WWE muscle in that handshake debacle. But I kinda like the Lions, they are scrappy and Stafford plays well through the pain. This just isn't their year. Plus, Drew Brees is a fireball these days and I think that he will challenge Rodgers down the stretch for the league's most valuable. Remember during the long and drawn-out dog days of the lockout summer, when the NFL Network showed the 100 top active players and Manning and Brady were 1-2? I think Brees and Rodgers have replaced that mantle in 3 short months.

12/1/11 Addendum:

The McNabb era is over before it really began in Minnesota. I can't help but feel sorry for the dude, though. I always liked Donovan. He got a bum wrap in Phili from the get go:

He never fared well in Washington or Minnesota either because both teams thought they were getting instant offense by adding him to the fray. I'm afraid that he would have had more impact if he went to these teams in the mid-aughts--but he is too far into the twilight of his career to turn around offenses that always seem to be teetering on disaster. Bottom line: Donovan is a great quarterback who can make a difference as long as he has the weapons to help him flourish. Outside of "All-Day" in Minnesota, he didn't anything to work with in either team.

Now, the question arises--who will jump at the chance to get him. The Bears and Texans are the leaders, but the Texans resurrected Jake Delhomme earlier this week and adding McNabb might seem too desperate. But the Bears makes complete and total sense.

The Bears went all season without the drama that has plagued a lot of teams this year (see: Detroit Stompers...er, Lions)--but ever since Jay Cutler went down in the Charger game (I blame Knox's cleats for Cutler's thumb) weird things have happened. Mike Martz is being courted by UCLA and ASU to fill their head coach spots and Jay Cutler's engagement to that vapid reality show star is appartently back on. Things in the Windy are getting silly again. But I think McNabb's presence in the locker room could right this ship. And I'm sure he would leap at the chance to play for his hometown team to end his career. It just makes sense. That's why he'll end up in Houston.
But a boy can dream...

Monday, November 21, 2011

Week 11 Blog: Cup Runeth Over

Well, that sucks!

Jay Cutler might be done for the year, subsequently at the very moment I started to buy into my team after seeing them punch holes in the Charger defense like swiss cheese. I guess I'm bummed, but Cutler isn't the X-factor in the Bears offense anymore. That would be Forte.
"Enter Me"

But this is life, isn't it. As I was watching the game yesterday, I was trying to figure out the weak link in the team, now that the O-line has stepped up and given Cutler the the protection he deserves this year. I was seeing stars, I was seeing a Christmas pummeling of the rival Pack, I was seeing big wins on the road in postseason. I was seeing another pummeling, this time vengeful, of the Pack in the NFC championship. I was seeing a classic defensive show-down between the Bears and Ravens in Super Bowl what-ever-the-fuck-it-is, where Jay Cutler hits Dane Sanzenbacher in the chest for the only tud of the match, the game-winner. Now, all I see is a disappointment of mediocre proportions.

Since the beginning of the year, I declared I wasn't going to be emotionally invested in the Bears because I wanted Jeff Fisher to be the head coach, and unless they lose the remainder of their games in an epic maelstrom of shit, this coaching change will not happen. But, they aren't good enough without Cutler, cuz Caleb Hanie ain't no Jeff Hostetler.
"Yer goddamned right he ain't."

But what do you expect of a backup? They are designed to fail in most aspects, outside of Frank Reich and the aforementioned Hos. But Caleb Hanie was already fed to the wolves in last year's NFC championship and had a fairly decent outing against Rodgers and what would become the world champs. Maybe the rest of the season will be the maturation of a seasoned backup. Hell, even Urlacher today said he wated to see the Bears tear some pages out of the Broncos playbook and make Hanie the Windy City Tebow. But Lovie quickly squashed it and said it will be business as usual on offense. This is a typical thing for him to say, which is why I hate Lovie Smith so.
Lovie Sucks!

I just can't win. First, I pray for a 4-12 season where Lovie is canned after Thanksgiving and Fisher takes the reigns in 2012. Then, when a winning season is imminent, Cutler breaks a thumb and requires surgery, just as the Bears were really starting to look like a viable darkhorse. My prediction is that Hanie will go 4-2 down the stretch and lose to the Giants in wildcard weekend. No Fisher and no ring. Just when I really start to love 'em, they take a shit on my daydreams and shrug their shoulders at another sub-par season in the Midway. The glass is always half full of piss and the cup runeth over...

  • Dalton. Even though he lost another close one...barely, can we crown this kid already. I like Cam, but he has cooled remarkably in the last 4-5 weeks. Dalton has remained cool as a cucumber in another tight game against a Northern club. I don't think I have ever seen this much poise, confidence and durability in a rookie. It shouldn't happen this quickly, right? A rookie is supposed to take a couple of dud seasons in the shorts before he breaks out. Dalton defies logic and although the Bengals will come up just short of the postseason, they will still be in the mix when their heavy breath vapors from their helmets this holiday season. That in itself is a victory as long as this young man is taking snaps for the stripes.

  • AFC West. Who will win this division? Probably not the Chargers, but they still have a chance. Truth is, it's anybodies div to win, then lose in wildcard weekend. The only team I like from this division are the Broncs and that's just because of Tebow. Truth is, the West sucks in both divisions. Sure the Niners are an elite presence now, but how long until the other teams in their division step up and make it a race. Maybe football isn't supposed to be played on the ocean side of the Rockies. Maybe we're just a bunch of pussies over here with our warm temperatures, apathetic lives and shorts broken out in February. All I am saying is that these divisions will continue to be the step-children of the league until the Cardinals and Chiefs (taking the "Mid" outta Midwest) find some consistency. Until then, the suckiness will continue out here.
  • Cowboys. This team ain't gonna make the cut, not as long as Romo is under center. So get over it, Dallas fans. He ain't what you want him to be. He's an inconsistent gunslinger who wears a backwards hat everywhere. At this point can we start calling him the Fred Durst of the league?
    "Romo don't 'thrill' me either"
  • Lagarrette "Beast Mode" Blount.
  • Rob Gronkowski. Speaking of beast mode, the New England TE just scored his second tud tonight while landing vertically on his head and getting up afterwards. There are still men that play this game.
  • The Rex Grossman Award...goes to John Skelton in Arizona. 6/19 for 99 yards and 3 Ints. Pathetic. Skeletons have no business playing quarterback in the NFL, ever.
  • Vince Young. The dude can still play in this league as he illustrated last night, leading the game-winning charge downfield to upend the Giants at home. He was Tebow before Tebow was Tebow. He'll be a Brown or something stupid next year, even though I think he's better suited as Vick's backup, where he's almost guaranteed 3-4 starts a year. On a side note, how come I feel like we might see 32 durable franchise quarterbacks in the next few years? It isn't as farfetched as you might think.
What a widowmaker of a Thanksgiving coming up. This is the best trifecta since the league added the night game on its flagship network a few years back. If I lived my myself and had nowhere to go this Thanksgiving, I would wear caveman clothes, eat Disneyland turkey legz, listen to Slaughter's Fly to the Angels on loop, with all the games playing in the background on mute, next to the bonfire in my living room. But alas...family.

Packers V. Lions.
This spooks my shit out. It looks like less of a Lion and more "crate-creature" in King/Romero's Creepshow. And, it's 70's lookin' too, which adds to the creepiness of anything really--this "Lion" looks like it was conceived in the Detroit municipal sewer system, on the hunt for young ladies in the area. This is the Packers first real game, but they win just the same. 34-35 OT

Miami V. Dallas. I like Moore. Not the Miami QB, but the name. It makes me of the English Moors, where a poor UK family bore Satan's twin wizards, Alan and Dudley--separated at birth. The Dolphins are on a hot streak with Reggie Bush, Brandon Marshall and a slew of nobodies. The ghost of Leon Lett in alive and well in new Texas Stadium. Fins come away, 21-17.
Epic Thanksgiving Ending, 11/25/93.

49ers V. Ravens. Wow! What a game this has potential to be. This 49er team appears to be a force to be reckoned with, but the elder Harbaugh has the upperhand at home. Ravens in a squeaker. 13-10

Bills V. Jets. The only reason I picked this one is because both teams are spiraling downward, yet one has to win. It won't be the Jets, as the Bills seal their fate this season. Manning might be a Jet next year. Is there enough room in Gotham for 2 Mannings? Yes, I believe there is. 22-17

Cardinals V. Rams. American Horror Story is better than The Walking Dead this season--geez, what happened to my once and future favorite show? Last season Dead was so Raven, but this season is so down on the farm. Does anybody who watches this show anymore worried about the missing girl? Me neither. AHS, on the other dismembered hand, is pure bliss. It took a couple eps to get into it (don't they all?), but I'm officially hooked on this little FX oddity.
American Horror Teenage Wasteland.

The story plays on classic horror and Gothic tropes, while not exactly saying what it is (A coven of lost ghosts? The devil's rebirth? A layered take on 21st century attitudes towards death?) I like that this show hasn't blown it's birth all over the audiences's face yet. It holds back. Modern television fantasy shows shouldn't come out and just say what it is from the get (i.e. Walking Dead), nor should it be needlessly ambiguous (Lost). AHS sits nicely between the spectrum of both shows. Please redeem yourself, Robert Kirkland.

Bears V. Raiders. I'm nervous. This will be a test of the EHS (Emergency Hanie System). Will it work? Can the defense stop Palmer and his new receiver weapons. At least McFadden is out. Oakland is a dirty little place to start your first NFL game. This is the trial by fire Hanie needs--to show the fanbase he has the goods to maintain games, rather than be the far-reaching hero. But there is a big possibility he could be the x-factor in this potential loss. But then I remind that
this is only a test.

Alice in Chains Puppets would stay the fuck away from this one...

Broncos V. Chargers. Tebow coming to socal--San Diego loves good little Christian boys who might be a little to twinky for their own good.

"Watch it!"
Maybe he can replace Rivers eventually, since Elway has made it clear that Tebow will not take his mantle away in Denver. The Tebow train keeps on rolling as the flakey fans in San Diego will actually root for him in the 4th as Rivers and Turner officially look towards what comes after this season. 27-14

Giants V. Saints. This has potential to be a good one, and it might if these respectable team's boredom cancels each other out. Giants pull it out, 33-24

Happy Autumnal Galliform Day, everyone.

The Book of Drewsus

End of Line.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Week 10 Blog: The Spectrum

I do my best thinking when I drive. Today, I was thinking about the League and this blog as I am apt to do on Mondays. I was thinking about how team's have identities and how those identities shift over time with some franchises, while other franchises have permanent stink on them. Then I started to think about a spectrum for these identities and what franchises are on the opposite sides of these spectrums, kinda like that scene in Donnie Darko where Kitty Farmer and Donnie dicuss the finer points of "Lifeline Excercise #1," where love and hate are the extreme opposites, where everything else falls in between.
"Stick this in yer anus!"
Now, what teams are the proverbial "Love" and "Hate" of this spectrum. I have narrowed the teams on either side and will announce a winner at the end. Sound fun? Too bad.

The "Hate" Spectrum:
One thing I want to make clear with this needlessly long analogy about nothing in particular is that I don't hate these team's per se. That is a much different list, trust me. I actually like 2 of these teams. This data is based more on the reputation of the franchise, how much they pay their custodial staff and tidbits of advice I have received (and not taken, I might add) from a bevy of psychological professionals.

Team #1: Cincinnati Bengals.
Remember 2 years ago when Chris Henry died in a mysterious truck accident, when his fiance peeled out and dropped poor Chris on his head, left to die the next day? That was a tipping point for the Bengals. After that, the team's reputation preceded itself. At that time, they were in playoff contention, but Marvin Lewis couldn't wrangle his team of misfits. Carson was depressed he was a Bengal (we know now), Cedric Benson was pepper sprayed by cops and Ochocinco wanted to race a horse. Shit was outta control in the Queen City.
"At least I didn't fuck a horse."

In 2011, the Bengals have a very different arc. Andy Dalton is about as Leave it to Beaver as NFL quarterbacks get and the Palmer/Ochocinco era is a distant memory, not even a year later. This is why I feel that the Bengals are retreating from this "bad boy" stigma, even if Cen-Ben is still on the roster. Maybe Dalton can take his running back to the drug store for a soda and some licorice whips? Just a suggestion.

Team #2: Philadelphia Eagles. This team turned the "hate" corner when they signed the most unrevered and infamous player in the league two years go. Ever since then, the Eagles have become a hive of scum an villainy. This team receives extra points for being in Philadelphia, the most detestable and loathsome sports town in the nation. My love for Andy Reid, however, keeps them out of the one spot, mainly because he is so non-threatening and lovable. Now that they are out of the playoffs, we get to see the real demon-spawn unleashed after all the dream team hype, as the holidays wane, be prepared for some sort of drama to affix itself to the NFL's toxic Hindenburg. Oh, the humanity.

Team #3: Oakland Raiders. The perennial bad boys of the NFL. Once again, they lead the league in penalties, on pace to beat the single season mark held by the '98 Chiefs if they keep it up.
"Get yer own damn ball!"
Al Davis' passing didn't affect the demeanor of his team. In fact, the Raiders have been the kind of rag-tag bunch of losers most sports movies are based on. The spit, they kick and they like to get muddy. Even though we see a modern era, where team's wear pink and defenses are encouraged to not hit anyone, the mystique of the Oakland Raiders lives on. They are at the end of the "hate" spectrum.

The "Love" Spectrum:

Team #1: Green Bay Packers. The Packers, like the Bears and the Cowboys are storied franchises, which makes them perfect candidates for the love-o-meter. But to be clear here, the love goes beyond the history and the prominence in a league, there are many factors to be considered the extreme opposite of the Raiders.

One of the things that I respect (hesitantly) about the Packers is the whole, "we're-owned-by-the-people" thing, it is very utopian...or socialist, depending on what you think about Herman Cain. People associate good things with this team, especially now that they are so good and seemingling unbeatable these days (more on that in a bit.)
Team #2: New England Patriots. Yes, the Patriots are good. They take on the personality of their enigmatic coach and seemingly perfect quarterback who elevates players the way MJ did the Bulls in the 1990's. Although they have have had their controversies (ie Spygate, the Tuck Rule, their Raideresque signing of league castoffs), the Pats are classy and bloodless at the same time. There are no individuals in the Patriots organization, just cogs in the Belichick borg cube.

You will be assimilated.

Team #3: Indianapolis Colts. Non-threatening, boring, coaches in khakis, autistic quarterback, Midwestern, animatronic head coach. The Colts are the most unassuming team in the NFL, especially in an "0 fer year." The Colts are at the very end of the love spectrum.
Yeah they will!

To reiterate here, I'm not labeling these teams good or evil--this is all non-scientific data brought to you by my accumulated fear and loathing for these teams and all the teams that stand in the middle. These days, I have a hard enough time discerning between good and evil in real life, let alone football. The X-Men analogy is apt here.
Imagine if this guy was a fullback for the Steelers.
Back in the Summer of 2000, before 9-11 and my knowledge that women will destroy you if your guard is down, Brian Singer's X-Men hit the big screen. The line was drawn and the good mutants and the bad mutants had clear goals. Magneto's "bad" side wanted to exert his and fellow mutants dominance over mankind, enslaving the inferior beings. On the "good" side, Professor X wanted to coexist with his human counterparts by learning how to help one another without stressing that he could make Obama's head explode without nary a thought.

Eleven years later, I saw X-Men: First Class, a movie that stressed the same moral dilemma at the end of it. I found myself seeing Magneto's points and, given the option myself, would have followed Magneto at the end of the Cuban Missile Crisis, with Michael Ironside watching in his binoculars. Maybe this a sign of getting older and feeling the pain of true adulthood that has aided this shift. I dunno. What I'm trying to say is that this spectrum isn't unlike this moral dilemma. Boy, do I ramble about nothing. Let's get to the finer points this week.

  • Goalposts. In the Saints/Falcons game, goalposts came into play twice in the game. In both instances, wait for the rules committee to make some changes. One rule, you can be sure, will be to penalize the slam dunking of the goal post after what Saints TE Jimmy Graham did to it. The other is the extension of the goals posts' vertical reach. In today's era of the super-kicker, the line judges have a hard time seeing if a kick is good anymore because the kicks arch higher than the actual posts, leaving a head scratching moment for the officials. Some times they even corner-eye each other to see what arm motions the other is using and then they parrot on the fly.
  • Buffalo Bills/Detroit Lions. As I said last week, the Bills are a bit overrated. I'm about to throw the Lions under this bus too. Both teams looked abysmal against two mediocre NFC teams. The anointing oil will have to wait 'till next year, Amish Rifle and Megatron. You guys were big headline grabbers in September--but the 2011 wayfarer must move on without you. Have a nice off-season, up-and-comers. 2011 wasn't your year.
  • Houston, we have a problem. After annihilating the whoaful Bucs, the Texans looked to be that AFC darkhorse the media has wanted them to be in the last 3 seasons. Now, they are trading Matts, the ailing Shaub for the inept Leinart. This will not bode well for the Toros, who feel the high-flying Titans nipping at their heels. No playoffs this year, Houston.
  • Lions/ Bears Melee. I love that word--"Melee"--and so does the sports media, it makes them sound like they know French or something. I loved that Stafford took his aggressions out on D.J. Moore the way he did, WWE style. I love that Moore didn't stand for that shit too. The Bears defense looks just as good as the Niners or even Baltimore. Licking my chops for that Bears-Packers game on Christmas. Maybe it will be the cheeseheads first loss, me thinks.
  • The Rex Grossman Award. For the second week in a row, Curtis "Suck for Luck" Painter. 13/19 for 94, 2 Ints. I'm done talking about this team and their road to 0-16 and you should be too.
  • 49ers. Still don't know what to think. A rookie head coach shouldn't have this much luck early. Harbaugh is really defying the odds out in the city by the bay. Beating the Giants was big, but the Niners tough defense was exposed as the G-Men racked up 20. The chinks in the SF armor might be exposed in films. If you score on them and make Gore a non-factor, it leaves it up to Alex Smith to take control--something he hasn't had to do all year. Upcoming match-ups against the Steelers and Ravens will be telling.
Week 9 Predictions:

Jets V. Jesus Boys. I dunno what it is about Tim Tebow, the dude defies everything I know to be logical in the 25+ years I have been obsessed with professional football. He runs and ugly-ass option play that teams have yet to figure out. He's lucky if his pass attempts make the double digits (Vegas over/under for pass attempts against the Jets is resting at 11, my sources say). He is too short. He lacks athletic ability. He prays too much. Wait....words....are...slowing...must...not...stop...typing...
God has taken over this blog.

God: Who doubteth the almighty Timothy? Drewsus? You blasphemous foul. You wretched sod. How dare you not only disparage the name of my one and only son by bequeathing it, although altered slightly, for your own name, but must you cast stones at NFL apostle, young modern Tebow's play? You should be ashamed of yourself. I would strike you with lightning if I thought it would change your lecherousness writing. Write your foul rag, then--but leave Tebow out of your wrath and offer him, instead, good tidings as he takes on that obese wretch, Rex Ryan and his deplorable Jets. God out!
Broncs win by a tud, 14-7

Bengals V. Ravens. Round 2 for the Bengals, as they take on another Northern foe. Can the Ravens be any more inconsistent? They have no problem winning the big games, but when they face the NFC West, they buckle. This inconsistency shouldn't go overlooked this week and the Bengals look to bounce back after losing a close one to the Steelers in what is becoming the strongest division in football, save the Browns. This is a hard one, Ravens due for a win, playing at home. Ugh. What to predict? Let's ask the Alice in Chains claymation puppets.
"I Stay Away"
Titans V. Falcons. This is a good game. The Titans are playing good ball right now and I think their hopes have been lifted in light of the Matt Schaub news. Plus, CJ2K is back and Matt Hasselbeck has been consistent as fuck this year. Matt Leinart will figure out a way to fuck it up out in Houston, just wait. Matt Ryan and the Falcons have a screw loose. And although I applaud Mike Smith's ballsy call in OT against the Saints, it was idiotic. The Falcons are the Ravens of the NFC and they will lose this game. Ever notice how many QBs in the league are named "Matt?" 28-17

Chargers V. Bears. So if the Eagles and Chargers lose this week, can we finally cut them out of the playoff picture? I know we all chose them to go far in the postseason, some even had them as squaring off in the Super Bowl. The dream is dead. The reality is that these two teams were done by Columbus Day. My Bears will make short work of their first opponent in their AFC West Tour '11. Bears win, 26-14

Eagles V. Giants. Vince Young in. Andy Reid out. Bill Cowher in. Giants blow 'em out, 45-3

Chiefs V. Pats. Remember back in Halloween when the Chiefs looked like studs and Todd Haley was growing out his beard in honor of their win streak? So do I. The Chiefs are the worst Jekyll/Hyde team in the worst Jekyll/Hyde season in recent memory. That's why KC will down the Brady boys, 23-20

End of Line.

11/17 Addendum.
Just finished watching the Broncos/Jets game. If Mark Sanchez had the heart of Tim Tebow, we would be saying his name in the same breath of Brady, Roethlisberger, Brees, and Rodgers. But he doesn't so we won't. This Tebow kid is the best thing in football right now. I pray to the same god Timmy does that the Broncs sneak past the Raiders and win the West. Tebow in the playoffs would be interesting, especially if he won a game.

I am still perplexed on how this team wins, though. They do nothing flashy and yet Tebow and McGhee get it done in the backfield. You really have to give it to the Denver D--they keep the kid in the game, week in, week out. God love 'em, Tebow and the Broncos are one of those rare enigmas that rises out of the league and confounds the media until they have to buy in. Tonight, I feel that the media's collective eyes are fixed on #15, and soon we'll all bow down and believe in miracles, because this Tim Tebow is indeed a worker of them.


Friday, November 11, 2011

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Week 9 Blog: The Search for the Week 8 Blog

Life caught up to me and I was unable to write the week 8 blog, please forgive me, dear readers, for I too must evade the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.

It's about to get ugly.

This Ugly.
When Novemeber's cool Autumn breeze sends the shivers up California's vast vertebrae, it is at that moment you know that the NFL is heating up. It is at this moment of the season that the gap between the pretenders and the contenders widen like the cold, bitter waters of the Atlantic. The Bills, Patriots, Jets, Bengals, Ravens, Steelers, Texans, Titans, Raiders, Chargers, Chiefs, Giants, Cowboys, Bears, Lions, Packers, Falcons, Saints, Bucs, and 49ers are all in the picture with records of .500 or better, some stronger than most, mind you--but the playoff picture is a nice mix of favorites, old war horses and bright newcomers. It's hard to pick favorites, but in this era of parody, the last two months of the season not only usher in the cold weather, but perennial match-ups with heavy playoff implications--far sooner than we as fans are used to. In the coming holidaze, the weak will be pulled away from the chaff like a turkey leg from a Turducken's torso. ORV, four wheel drive, bullet points the size of Matzah Balls!
  • Torrey Smith. Redemption is one of the reasons why we love this game so. Early in the Pittsburgh/Baltimore rubber match, rookie WR Torrey Smith was called for holding during a big Ray Rice TD run in the first, a penalty that cost the Ravens O the big score. Then in the fourth, Smith dropped two Flacco frozen ropes, one ball that would have put the team up, deep in the quarter. But the rookie shook it off and caught the game-winning tud with literally seconds on the clock. I like Smith and I like the Ravens. This season-sweep of the Steelers is a statement and this puts them in the driver's seat in the AFC in this blogger's opinion. And I love that Terrell Suggs mutherfucker, he's like a more sinister Brian Wilson in interviews. This team feel Super bound this year.
  • Pats/Giants. As great as I want the Patriots to be, they just aren't. For the second year in a row, Belichick has dropped the ball on his defense. Is he losing his touch? Wasn't he a big defensive egghead back in the day? This loss to the Giants in New England is unforgivable. The Giants are never as good as they appear, maybe the biggest example of a paper dragon in the NFL--but they have one thing in their respective quiver: Tom Brady's number. This is a sign. Another short postseason for the Pats is all but probable. The Pats D needs to improve next year, or the rumbling around Belichek's tenure in Boston will be the big question in 2012.
  • Tebow Vs. Palmer. I finally had the chance to sit down and see this Tebow kid in action. It ain't pretty, but the fucker brings an energy to the huddle that rivals the big rookies this year. Maybe this is a shift in the position. Young players with leadership-skills that are NFL ready in their first or second years. Look at Cam and Big Red Daulton. Look at Luck in Indy. All I am saying is that I love Tebow's ugly ass game because it pisses everyone off so much. He plays the position like a young Jim Thorpe in a leather helmet. Palmer, on the other hand, played better, but is still averaging 3 Ints a game. This is problematic for the Raiders post-season hopes, which will continue to dwindle in the last half of the season. Do we really need an AFC West division leader in the playoffs this year? If so, I hope Tebow's Broncos rise out of the west like a phoenix and simultaneously shut all the haters the fuck up in the process.
Jim Thorpe is Hella Pissed
  • Aaron Fucking Rodgers. 2011 M.V.P. Making Brady's 2007 season look like Pop Warner pulp. Will somebody please beat this team?
  • Buffalo Bills. It might be premature, but I kinda feel this team is a bit overrated. I like the Amish Rifle and Fred Jackson, I think they are the rightful heirs to the Kelly-Thomas throne in Buffalo, but they might be a year away from the playoffs. The way things are playing out in the AFC West, don't be surprised if it's a winner-takes-the-division game on New Year's game versus the Pats. The Pats will avenge their week 3 loss and send the Bills home early to shovel their walks.
  • Andy Daulton. Cam has the flash, the numbers, the accolades, the Heisman, the national championship, the forecasted franchise tag and all the tangibles of a future league star. One thing he doesn't have, a winning record. Andy Daulton has the Bengals tied with 2 AFC behemoths. That in itself is reason to give Big Red the year's best yeoman honors.
  • The Rex Grossman Award...goes to Curtis "Don't call me Cobain" Painter. 13/27 for 98 yards and an Int is painting a pathetic picture for an unstable and emotionally checked-out Indianapolis club. Can this team win? Maybe if Manning gets in there, which I doubt. The team will string a couple of wins together, but it won't be enough to save Caldwell's stoic ass. Who's the coach next year? Fisher? Gruden? Cowher? Manning? Time will tell as the most pathetic team of 2011 will be the biggest offseason story in 2012 when Luck enters the Colts' stratosphere. Don't be surprised if Manning doesn't lace up cleats for the Jets next year. You read that right.
  • Da Bears. My team is officially a dark horse with a favorable schedule coming down the stretch. Don't worry, the anointing oil is safe in pirate's chest at the bottom of Lake Michigan, but I couldn't help but feel goose bumps as the Bears downed the Eagles (and their playoff chances) last night. If they take down the Lions (coming off a bye week, the kiss of death for lots of teams this year), I really like their chances t draw a wild card because this team has no chance at catching the Packers and their well-oiled offensive machine.
Week 9 Predictions:

Raiders V. Chargers. Let's face it, neither team is very good. I feel like Jackson coaches better than Turner and that will be a factor here, home feild will not. This is the game that Palmer should be making his first start in, in my opinion, but maybe the rust has been knocked off in the form of 6 Ints in two games. Jani-cow-ski will kick an 85 yard game winner as time expires. At this point, is there a difference between Romo and Rivers? 23-21

Aintz V. Phalkonz. This is a very telling NFC South match-up. The biggest questions: are the Saints as good as we think they are and are the Falcons as bad as we think they are. The results will answer the question and will propel each team into their appropriate story arc for the second half of the year. This is this week's featured stay-away game.

Stealurz V. Bangalz What a match-up. I will say this, the Bengals are consistent this year, riding high on a 5-game win streak, the longest in the AFC. The Steelers played a tough game against the Ravens last week, a game that came down to who had the ball last, as it should have. The Steelers are looking to gain some ground in the North and I think they're gonna smack Daulton and the black stripes in the mouth, winning big in a statement game. 35-11

Billz V. Boyz.

Toroz V. Buccoz. Brian Cushing is coming after my Joshy. My Joshy won't have any place to hide from the biggest narcissist in the NFL. The Toro offense is pretty good too. Are the Toros the most balanced team in the league? Albert Haynesworth and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers don't stand a chance. 29-14

Lyonz V. Barez. I'm too close to this one. My preseason hypnosis dream of a 6-10 season won't happen. Jeff Fisher will be coaching the Rams next year, taking the team back to L.A. Jeff will be a great Los Angeles football God. Payton Manning will be his QB in the 2014 Super Bowl. Bears by 2. 17-19

Jieants V. Phor-t 9erz. Love this match-up, day I say, game of the week? I dare. Niners shock the world and bury this inconsistent paper tiger, 31-10.

Paytreeaughts V. Gentz. Tired of this lame-ass, pseudo-rivalry. They are both struggling, but the Pats are always capable to turn the ship around like no other. I really hate the Jets so I hope Brady can get it going and control the game. Do the Giants have the Pat's number? Pats win, 33-2-15

Packerz V. Vykings. Sike!!

End of Line.

11/10 Addendum.
This Joe Paterno scandal is the NCAA equivalent to Watergate. Did you know that Penn State tried to fire Paterno in 2004 and he flat refused to go? What balls to know that your figureheadum is that powerful, Hitler had that kind of confidence. Not to compare Joe Pa to Hitler, but if mustache fits...

This news has rocked the Penn State campus. Last night, there was riots, police and drunken frat boys screaming, "We want Joe!" Why don't they just chant, "Little boys asses are nice to touch?" It's a goddamned shame that it came down to this, the end of a legend, 61 years in the making. My dad was 4 when Joe Pa started coaching at Penn State. My dad falls asleep at odd moments. But, the University had to make a call and they made the right one from a litigation standpoint. Joe fucked up by keeping quiet about Sandusky's penchant for late night showers.

An angle we need to consider is the man. Joe Paterno is from another era. In his heyday, I'm sure he ate steak and whiskey for the majority of his meals. I'm sure he smoked and made inappropriate remarks towards women. I guarantee Joe had no idea there was a breed of man that liked to shower with lads in 1965, that is beyond his wheelhouse of a possibility. 1965 Joe Paterno is no differnt from 2002 Jo Paterno, as far as his mindset goes. When he was told by a graduate assistant what he saw in the shower room, Joe's mind couldn't grasp the notion. It's not that Joe Paterno has a black heart, far from it. Joe Paterno is a product of his era, an era that ended 30 years ago.

The day and age we live is different than the one Paterno continues to live in. We know pedophilia like we know the Swifter, Snooki or the Illuminati. Sadly, it's common knowledge. I blame Chris Hansen. But Joe Pa has been living in the 60's for the past 40 years. This is the Head Coach syndrome, always living in the glory days and making it the life mission to keep chasing that dragon. I'm sure that his reaction to this horrible news was not unlike my reaction when I read the summary for "The Human Centipede: First Sequence" for the first time--he probably vomited in the nearest trashcan, curled up in a fetal position and pushed the information so far into the recesses of his skull, tackled and buried by the X's and O's of the Spread HD. He quickly reported the news to his superior, took a Silkwood shower and fell asleep in his theatre, watching the 1987 Fiesta Bowl for the 982nd time. The next day, it was 1968 again and all was right in Joe Pa's world.

I think it is a shame, though, that the Penn State student body took their "anger" to the streets. I guarantee the idea to to this seeded in the dorm rooms and frat houses of drunken neanderthals, looking for "legitimate" reasons to act like buffoons in public. It's an American tragedy that the media were all over the Penn State riots last night, when on the west coast, this happened in Berkeley yesterday. And we hear nary a buttfucking word!