Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Kicker Files

I am casting "Blow the Whistle" aside this week. It's mostly because I'm spending my creative allowance today on kickers. Idiot kickers, liquored up kickers, choking kickers, you name it. Okay, mostly choking kickers.

Now, from the Football Secret Files, some big targets of scorn this week.

Subject: D.J. Fitzpatrick, Notre Dame
Offense: Two missed field goals, missed PAT
Analysis: Fitzpatrick almost single-handedly killed the Irish's chances at earning a BCS game with his lackluster performance against Stanford. Those precious points would have put the game out of reach.
Additional information: We'll give Fitzpatrick less grief than some of our other subjects. He was playing with a gimpy leg, and Charlie Weis decided not to use the team's other kicker. Because of this, and the fact the Irish won, we'll let Fitz slide...just a little.

Subject: Matt Bryant, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Offense: Missed game-tying field goal at home
Analysis: The usually reliable Bryant missed a chipshot that would have tied the game against the Chicago Bears. There's no excuse for missing a 29-yard field goal, especially at home in a big game.

Subject: Jay Feely, New York Giants
Offense: Missed THREE game-winning field goals
Analysis: Feely missed from 40, 53, and 45 yards (one at the end of the game, two in overtime) to blow the game against the Seahawks on Sunday. The 'Hawks ended up kicking their own game-winner in OT to seal the deal, leaving Feely as a convenient (and deserved) scapegoat for the loss. The 53-yarder, I'll admit that's tough, but those 40- and 45-yarders must be made (at least one of them, for crying out loud!).
Additional information: I know Feely has to feel pretty badly about the loss. How couldn't he? But his offense certainly didn't do him any favors. True, they got him in position. But a few dropped passes, another play here or there, and he would've been closer. Still, the guy is paid to make field goals, and missing three game-winners is no way to earn your money.

Subject: John Hall, Washington Redskins
Offense: Missed game-winning field goal
Analysis: Hall doesn't have the range he once had, but with a chance to put the Chargers away, he missed with 30 seconds left in the game. In OT, a long run from LaDainian Tomlinson signed the death warrant.
Additional information: I should be somewhat fair and note that a holding call forced Hall to attempt the field goal from 52 yards out, instead of 42. But still, when things are going bad, you've got to make the kick!

Subject: Billy Cundiff, Dallas Cowboys
Offense: Missed go-ahead field goal in the fourth quarter
Analysis: The Cowboys really had a chance to stick it to one of the league's best teams. But, instead, like two other good NFC East teams this week (the Giants and Redskins), the 'Boys fell short. They can thank Cundiff. He missed a 34-yard field goal that would've put the Cowboys ahead. In hindsight, we now know the defense would have held through the fourth quarter...just not into overtime.

I'm certain there are a few other kickers teams would like to knock through the uprights themselves, but these are the ones that stick out in my mind.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Colts Review, Week 12

I have to say I hope everyone, from TFT's reader, yes singular, to the contributors and their families, had a nice Thanksgiving holiday. I had a restful few days of food and football, and I hope everyone else had the same opportunity.

Of course, we tend to talk football here as best we can, so that's what I plan to do, as usual.

I'll start off with my review of the Colts game. Then, tomorrow, or later today, I'll hit ya with a belated edition of "TFT's Blow the Whistle!"

INCOMING!!!!! Hey...the refs just threw another flag!

But for now, my weekly Colts review...

Marvelous way to get fired up! Holy Lord, Marvin Harrison was juiced for this game! I've never seen #88 go at it like this, grabbing opposing players by the facemask and that sort of thing. He usually doesn't talk smack, either. But he sure as heck did last night. That said, the penalty was costly on that drive, probably the difference between a touchdown, and the eventual field goal.

Off with a bang. The Colts sent a major message on their first offensive play, getting a terrific 80-yard hookup from Manning-to-Harrison. That's how you start the game. Heck, I can't blame the corner for biting; I was 98% sure the Colts would run on the first play, too.

The Hitman Cometh. He's a freak. We all know it. Did ya see Bob Sanders come out swinging with the big stick? That guy is like an unlicensed nuclear accelerator. I couldn't believe how he punished the Steelers. And that backflip? WOW.

Having a Roethlisberger. Indy's front four put plenty of pressure on Big Ben, who looked extremely rusty. They rattled him, they hit him, and they made him scramble. Of course, Roethlisberger loves contact, and he's mobile, but I can't imagine getting hit time and time again is any fun.

Fletch Lives. It's good to know Pollard Lite is really getting to be part of the game plan. The Colts loved Bryan Fletcher last year, but had to relegate him to the practice squad. This year, especially in the last two weeks, he's been a favorite red zone target, snagging two touchdown passes.

Way to R.E.A.D on offense, again. You know my mantra: Run Edge All Day. And the Colts did that. The numbers weren't impressive at first, but Edgerrin James kept pounding and pounding, giving the Steelers a taste of their own medicine. The Colts dominated time of possession in the second half of the game, thanks to Edge.

Getting it right. This time, with the lead, and the clock in their favor, the Colts ran the ball. No downfield passes on the blitz. No sideline passes to Marvin. They pounded it out. At least they learned their lesson after last week.

Hey, what was that? Yep...I just saw the refs throw another flag! That's two since I started writing. Seriously, 22 penalties called in the game. And the Steelers and the Colts are both known for playing pretty mistake-free football!

Bygones, indeed, become bygones. Nothing was more surreal than seeing Mike Vanderjagt and Peyton Manning standing next to each other, smiling and joking. Nice to see that the "liquored up, idiot kicker" and the "big-game, crumbling pansy" are getting along again. Maybe there will be peace in the Middle East after all.

Cash Money, baby. Speaking of Vandy, I bet his leg is really tired. Two extra points, and four field goals! That's why the Colts carry Dave Raynor, ya know. So Vandy can rest his rocket of a leg, and not worry about those darned kickoffs.

Steak...STEAK. This is what I see in Corey Simon's eyes every time he's in a close-up shot. Multiplex has a major appetite, and I'm pretty sure he thought Roethlisberger came with tomato, lettuce, and pickle. Actually, this has become a fun inside joke between Krildog and me, pertinent for all the Corey Simons and Tony Siragusas of the world.

David and Doss. Both members of the much-maligned secondary duo came away with picks in this game. Doss' was major-league HUGE, and David's was pretty darn athletic. It almost makes up for letting the Bengals run wild in the secondary. ALMOST.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The 5 Pack: Word!

Word!

Since every one seems to be focusing on the Colts as their AFC championship winners, I'll leave the AFC alone. I think they could get there, but lest we count out the Broncos who are steaming right now, and no I don't mean as in a pile of shit. All AFC talk aside, the NFC is where the best football is being played right now. NFC stands for Non Football Conference seems to be the joke of the day and has been for the last few years, but lets examine this season. Football isn't about blowouts, it's about close games, emotion, etc. In the NFC, games come down to the very last play of the game. Take last Sunday for example. The Raiders over the Skins by a field goal, and the same with Tampa over Atlanta, and Minnesota over Green Bay. San Francisco almost upset the NFC leading Seattle Seahawks, but fell short on a 2-point conversion attempt. When you have the better NFC teams play the better AFC teams it tends to come down to the last drive -- it's not all just conference play that these great game show themselves. How can Non Football Conference be justified in today's league? It can't. The National Football Conference is primed to make a return this year and win the Super Bowl once again and I give to you 2 teams who could be hoisting the Lombardi trophy in 2006.

The Chicago Bears. Why count this team out? I hadn't even when they went on a 3 game skid at the beginning to the season and lost Rex Grossman. I remember saying to KrilDog how much I thought Boiler Bitch (Kyle Orton) had promise and that Rex might not get his job back by the time he comes back. I remember watching their crazy defense and knowing that they'd win eventually, and win they have. At 7-3 the Bears are looking more like Da Bears every week, and if the old addage stands true, it's defense that wins championships. Ala the Baltimore Ravens of yore, if Trent Dilfer can QB a horrible offensive team with a great D to a Superbowl win, than why can't Kyle Orton?

The Seattle Seahawks. Sporting the best record in the NFC, the Seahawks look to be the brightest star in the conference. This season is their best start under Mike Holmgren and as I steal from Doritos bags, If Not Now When? Look for it, it's there. Shaun Money is this teams driving force and if LT wasn't throwing TDs every other week, this guy would be on everyone's mind. Add to that Matt Hasselbeck, one of the NFLs most underrated QBs, and a decent recieving corps, and this team through time of possesion can over come a young, small defense and be SB40 bound.

Other mentionable teams are as follows: Carolina, Dallas, and the New York Giants.

Blow the Whistle!

Another undoubtedly unsuccessful attempt at mixing humor with the NFL...

We proudly present...TFT's Blow the Whistle

I love Sunday Night Football. I am soooooo glad we were all treated to the Chiefs-Texans game on ESPN. I know I have vampire hours, and usually don't stay up, but Holy Lord, that's a terrible match-up.

I love Monday Night Football. Okay...it was a much better game between the Packers and the Vikings. But still, what a terrible game to watch. I think one of my buddies said it best this weekend, "When you see a game like that on Monday, the NFL's rotating MNF schedule idea looks a helluvalot better."

We've said it before, but JUST END THE SEASON. Egad, the Jets are bad. Of course, once another QB went down, they just didn't know what to do. And not even 83-year-old Vinny Testaverde could rescue them this week. Instead, the fortunes of New York rested on the young shoulders of Kliff Kingsbury. Wow.

Wayward Brees. Hmmm...so...what do the Chargers do with Phillip Rivers now? Brees is simply playing too well to unload the former Purdue standout. But Rivers has a hefty contract that will be hard to trade. It looks to me like the Chargers have painted themselves in a corner. Maybe, just maybe the team should've kept Brees in the lineup a few years ago to see if he was the Quarterback of the Future. You know...instead of starting Doug Flutie. Just a thought.

Tough at home. The 49ers have only a 2-4 record at home. But they've played some tight games in Monster Park. Really, they looked pretty good against the Colts for a while, and also played pretty tough against the Seahawks this week. Their only two wins came at home against the Rams and in a shocker against the Bucs.

Starting to slip. It looked like the Redskins would be challenging for their division right now. But they've lost three out of four, including a thumping at Giants Stadium, and a heartbreaker last week in Tampa. This week's loss to the Raiders really hurts.

Trying to be the McMahon. Give gutsy Mike McMahon credit for trying to energize the Eagles. The team had better get used to the former Rutgers signal caller. With the playoffs going bye-bye, Donovan McNabb has elected for season-ending surgery. But we all know a TO-ectomy tends to go into remission before coming back.

Another Super Bowl is an inevitability. The Patriots are back! Tedy Bruschi had nine tackles (and also solved that tricky situation in the Middle East), and Tom "Don't Call Me Carol" Brady led his team again to victory. Sing the song boys, sing the song! Bow and kneel before them!

Cardinal Sin. The Rams let Kurt Warner and the Cards beat them at home. Shame, shame, shame. And I think Marc Bulger got hurt again. That's extremely bad news for St. Louis.

The Barber of the Endzone. Julius Jones asks the girl out, takes her to a nice dinner, and then Marion Barber thrills in the music of the night. That's right, he gets to score, while Jones just racks up the yardage.

Dog Pounded. The Dolphins' prospects looked somewhat bright earlier in the season. But now, things are really starting to unravel. The Browns absolutely took it to them, thanks to stud Reuben Droughns. Maybe last year wasn't just the Broncos' O-line.

Delhomme for the holidays. The Bears got an early Thanksgiving feast, sacking Jake Delhomme a staggering eight times. He never looked comfortable in the pocket. Gee, I can't imagine why...

BQWSRNBEAROABG Watch: 15/26, 135 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, and he should have had better stats, because his receivers dropped a bunch of passes.

Buc up. Struggling recently, Tampa Bay came away with a big win on the road against the Falcons. Sure the "new" Mike Vick can throw...but he's lost two straight at home.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Offensive Explosion

A review of the Colts-Bengals game

Walking the walk. Chad Johnson talked the talk, and then backed it up with a career performance. Pretty amazing, really. Much like UPS, this guy delivers, whether you like him or not.

Peyton vs. Peyton. This is perhaps the highest compliment I can pay to Carson Palmer. He oversaw the game much like Peyton Manning. The Bengals offense is seriously scary, especially in the no huddle they used this week. Can't wait to see where they are in the years to come.

Running around. The Colts seemed powerless to stop Rudi Johnson and Chris Perry. A lot of this had to do with being set for the pass, some of it had to do with an undersized D-line, some of it had to do with overpursuit and poor gap control.

Never in doubt. I love the Bengals. They just happened to be the enemy this week. That said, I never once thought the Colts were truly in trouble. Sure, that pre-halftime interception made me a little antsy, but once the Colts decided to R.E.A.D in the second half, it was over.

Good idea, bad idea. Taking a cue from Animaniacs... Good idea: trying to pick up a first down to run out the clock. Bad idea: throwing three incompletions in a row while trying to do it. You can debate this all you want, but run the blasted ball. I don't care if the Bengals are blitzing, I don't care if you get the big play. Run the ball on first down, on second down, and then throw on third if you have to. The Colts ran 25 seconds off the clock thanks to those three incompletions. Even if they hit the big play, I'd still say the same thing. Krildog can attest to this...the first pass there toward the end of the game, I wondered what in the name of everything holy and sacred on the face of the earth they were doing.

Defenders Assemble! I'm wondering if the Bengals defensive players were all called off on some uber-important mission. They certainly didn't show up in the first half. Of course, they must have been joined by Team Indianapolis, because the Colts weren't stopping anyone, either.

Manning the offense. Dear Marvin Lewis, why are you blitzing the Colts? Don't you understand that doesn't work? Did you not see the Colts-Packers game from last year? Selective blitzes may work some of the time, but constant blitzes get 35 points dropped on you in the first half. Kudos to Indy for committing to the run in the second half.

Edge of Victory. Another two TDs for Edgerrin James. Not bad for a guy, as idiot Jason Whitlock would say, who "never gets in the endzone."

I write a column under the name "Jane Doe." Nice to see Bryan "Fletch" Fletcher come through with a touchdown grab. Beautifully designed play intended to cater to the Bengals' all-out blitz tendency in the red zone. If you don't get the first line of this one, then there is no help for you. But you should check out my column on off-track betting in the Himalayas. It's a smaller story, but I know you've been following it.

Cue the "Theme from Dallas." With blitzes coming all day, Peyton found Dallas Clark, again, and again, and again. Big DC was great against Cincy.

Two are better than one. The Colts did most of their damage out of their two tight end set. That meant less Brandon Stokley, and more Bryan Fletcher. Both performed well when called upon.

Quick-Draw Carson. Palmer had great protection, but also has the great quality of a lightning-quick release that will serve him very well in the future.

Chances are... Robert "Johnny" Mathis managed to get another big sack. That's ten straight games in which he's downed the quarterback. Not that I'm counting.

Good time for a big pick. Rook Marlin Jackson couldn't have picked a better time for his first career NFL interception. That was major.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Blow the Whistle!

Another undoubtedly unsuccessful attempt to mix humor and insight into this week's NFL action.

Unconventional wisdom. Chucky came through big time when he decided to pitch caution into a swirling windstorm, and go for two at the end of the game. That was an awesome decision, especially (and perhaps only) because it worked.

That Boller kid is really working out. Ravens get Kyle Boller back, lose again in a 30-3 pasting by Jacksonville. Yes, we saw Ray Lewis on the sideline, and yes, we're aware he didn't play.

No offense? No problem! Vikings somehow manage to beat the Giants on the road despite a completely inept offense (Brad Johnson: 17/30, 144 yards; Michael Bennett: 19 rushes, 16 yards). How did they score their 21 of their 24 points? An interception return, a kickoff return, and a punt return. Simply amazing. Everyone gets to ride in the good boat this time.

Return of the Vasher. Nathan Vasher's NFL record 108-yard return propels Bears to 17-9 win in impossibly windy Soldier Field. Speaking of the Da Bears...

BQWSRNBEAROABG Watch: 8/13, 67 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT, Bears still win, thanks to Vasher's heroics and Adrian Peterson. Oh, and Cody Pickett's 1/13, 28-yard dynamo performance (but, seriously, I can't imagine trying to throw a pass in that wind).

Cedric the Entertainer. Once again, I mention the Bears only because I want to whine again about how Cedric Benson ruined my fantasy team. When he finally gets the chance to play, he gets hurt. Thanks a lot, and I mean that as nicely as possible.

Don't give the ball to Maddox! So confident in Big Ben Roethlisberger's back-up back-up, the Steelers used something learned from Trickology 101 by having former IU QB Antwaan Randle-El throw a 51-yard TD pass. As for Maddox: seven attempts, four completions, 22 yards, and a spot on the bench when Big Ben gets back.

The Cowboy Way. "America's Team" (only because the Saints were on the bye...and yes I'm rolling my eyes) finishes off Eagles with amazing fourth-quarter comeback. I can't remember his name, but the Eagles were missing a wide receiver. I wish ESPN would keep me better informed when stuff like that happens...

Roy Williams wins Name of the Week Award. Both of them. One returned a game-turning interception for a touchdown, the other caught three TD passes. Not sure which is more of an accomplishment. I think Detroit Roy Williams gets a little more credit, considering Joey Harrington was throwing the passes.

Patriot Act. Blasted never-say-die team manages to beat Dolphins, thanks to, ahem, interesting play-calling at the end of the game. Hey, imagine this: a New England player got hurt, and the clock stopped. But...this time the Pats lost a timeout, because they actually had one left. No red flags were thrown.

Callin' Colin! Ah...Brett Favre triumphed over Michael Vick. I think Colin Cowherd said he had 200 e-mails in his inbox by Sunday night. I hope mine was one of them. See, he's been mouthifying Vick, and beating up Favre for months now. He said the Packers had no shot to win. You can never say that.

Thanks, Fox. We were "treated" this weekend to the Seattle-St. Louis game on Fox. It was barely watchable.

What statement? I originally thought Dick Vermeil made a statement by going for the late TD last week. Instead, the only statement he made was that the Chiefs are bad enough to lose to J.P. Losman.

Super Snake. Man, are we sure that the Jake Plummer who plays for Denver is the same one who played for Arizona?

Fantasy Football has ruined the NFL. The Panthers score 30 points, force six turnovers, and the only thing I can say is, Jake Delhomme only came away with one measly touchdown throw? And two interceptions!!?

Monday, November 14, 2005

Of Scrambling Peyton and Black Chalk...

I was looking for Grin and Barrett's (er...sorry...The Word's) sign during the Colts game, but didn't see it. It's a real shame. Of course, it's possible that "SuperManning" made it on TV, and I was too busy gathering more food from the kitchen to actually see it. If no one mentioned it earlier, that was a fine, fine piece of work (at least the draft that was posted on TFT).

Interesting game against the Texans. I really didn't think the Colts would blow them out, because Houston always plays us tough. I thought the fact Domanick Davis was out of the lineup would help (he always kills the Colts), but Jonathan Wells filled in admirably.

The defense seemed, I don't know, kind of listless throughout most of the game. They didn't seem like they really wanted to be out there. The offense looked pretty much unstoppable, however, aside from that awful opening drive.

And what was the deal with the Magic Punt Trick the Texans kept pulling? It was completely astounding. I think my sister-in-law said it best, recalling the "Seinfeld" magic loogie episode: "that was one magic punt." Weirdest thing I've ever seen...and it HAPPENED TWICE.

Hey...imagine this, as I type...Jason David just got beat again.

Other observations...

Rudi-mentary Bus Concerns. If the Colts try to tackle Rudi Johnson or Jerome Bettis like they tried to tackle against the Pats and Texans, I'm afraid we'll be in for long games in the coming weeks.

Palmer Problems. Now, we look forward to watching the Colts and Bengals locked in mortal combat. But, since Carson Palmer isn't David Carr, how will the defense do? The Bengals are as explosive as anyone in the league, we'll see if the Colts D can get on track.

Undefeated. How long will we hear the '72 Dolphins comparisons (I know...until the Colts lose)? I, for one, think a loss would actually be good for the team. They've got a tough schedule coming up, and I don't want the pressure of an undefeated season on the line during the playoffs. I don't care about an undefeated season, either. Unless it ends with a Lombardi Trophy. Other than that, double-digit wins plus AFC Home Field Advantage sure do it for me.

The Peyton Manning Experience. Anyone else notice how much #18 is tucking and running these days? As Krildog pointed out, when teams are dropping back 67 men into coverage, there's lots of running room. Sure, it's like watching a bunch of retards trying to hump a doorknob when he takes off, but it's been pretty effective.

Keeping their Edge. Hey...it's time to get a long-term deal for James. He's been fanastic, and if I were to give a mid-season MVP Studdie Award, you can bet "Edgerrin James, Indianapolis Colts" would be found inside the envelope. I can't say this enough.

Saturday, Saturday, Saturday... Uncharacteristically, Jeff Saturday let a Texans defender run right by him. The guy sacked Peyton, just the sixth time Manning's eaten turf (natural or FieldTurf) this season.

Black Chalk! Dumbest comment I've ever heard! On Jonathan Wells' TD run, Gus Johnson and Steve Tasker were lamenting the fact that no chalk was being kicked up to help the refs see where Wells' foot went out of bounds. Then, one of the luminaries discovered the rarest of all elements on the earth: black chalk. Sure as hell looked to me like ground-up tire scraps. Morons!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The 5 Pack: Thursday

Deal With It (E-Mails)

Dear The Word,

So you're going to the Indianapolis Houston game on Sunday right? Well have you heard some analysts commenting that the Texans' season is going to get better because they have an easy stretch? Did they mean starting this week or after the Colts I wonder.

Thanks,

Douglas Adams

Hey Doug, yes, yes I am going to the game. The last time I graced the Hooiser...er...excuse me, RCA Dome, I was there and saw my beloved Redskins trounce the Horses 42-27. It was so great. The throwback year was in full force and I was young and sitting deep in Colts season ticket holder world courteousy of my Aunt and her extra tix. The older Colts fans started cheering for Washington with me after the game was in hand by mid-second Q. This was BM though. No, moron, not bowl movement, but Before Manning. I doubt they'd do the same now after they'd tasted so much victory AM.

As for you question, I can't believe I haven't heard an analyst say "Houston, we have a problem." I think at this point they should start cheering for teams to lose so that they win the consolation prize, or what we'll call The Darwin Football Award; given to the team who kills off their season in the dopiest way. The winner this year also gets Matt Lienart, who many are saying even before the combine that his arm strength isn't wonderful and reminds people of Chad Pennington's. The Texans are the front runners I think for Matt, let's cheer them on shall we because no one else is. Though if you're a Colts fan, you can wait until next week if you want.

Hey Word,

Are you going to make any signs so that if we see you, we'll reconize you? You know like you said?

Holler!

Dolly Madison

Well Dolly, glad you asked. I'll post a rough sketch as to what I'll show up with on posterboard. Hopefully I get on TV with it and hopefully if I flash it around enough, The Word will be seen by Colts big wigs and get seats on the 50-yard line. Well at least I can dream. So here is the picture, remember it's a rough sketch, so deal with it!

Blow the Whistle!

I'm a little late this week, but here's TFT's Blow the Whistle...

Welcome to the TOFL. This is mind-boggling. Did you know there are 52 other players on the Eagles roster? Did you further know that, discounting the Eagles, there are 31 other NFL teams? You didn't realize this? Was that because SportsCenter, NFL Live, and every other freaking sports show decided that Terrell Owens was more important than football itself? I'm going to have to disagree graciously with Grin and Barrett on this one. TO got himself into his own problem, and he deserves every bit of bad pub he gets for it. His apologies were a joke (they shouldn't have been forced anyway, since he was completely remorseless). The NFL pulled a lot of strings to get him to Philly (remember the arbitration situation with Baltimore?), where TO knew they didn't renegotiate contracts. Then, he goes out, and tries to get them to do that, and acts shocked when they won't. See, the problem is, people have made excuses for this guy all his life. Now, people are blaming this solely on Drew Rosenhaus. While that guy's pure evil, this one's all on TO. And he should have to pay for it. I applaud the Eagles for doing the right thing on principle, knowing full well it means the team isn't as talented.

Sex Panthers. An attorney says the two Carolina Panthers cheerleaders arrested for having sex with each other in a bathroom stall weren't actually having sex with one another. Million of men's dreams crushed, just like that. Of course, they were actually arrested for using a fake ID, and hitting another bar patron. The attorney may have a point, but we sure like to think of it the other way...

BQWSRNBEAROABG Watch:12/26, 137 yards, TD, 2 INT. Rough game for the Purdue Alum. But the Bears Deadly Defense came through once again, and the Da Bears won Da Game.

Road Away from Home. Eli Manning, like his brother before him, stepped into Monster Park, and came away with the win. It was the younger Manning's first win on the road.

Alexander the Great (Seahawk). 7.5 YPC against the Cardinals. Simply amazing, again. Now, re-sign him (do you hear me, Mr. Irsay? This kind of applies to Edge, too).

All Guts, All Glory. Dick Vermeil made a major statement by going for the win against the Raiders. The only sad thing is, we're not sure whether he was saying, "I refuse to lose, boys!" or "I refuse to believe our 'improved' defense can stop them, boys!" All joking aside, though, I love the call. Of course, it looks a helluvalot better when it works.

In a rush. Hey, everybody, the Browns scored their first rushing touchdown of the season! Yay, Cleveland! Your team is still unbearable to watch!!!!

In Brooks We Trust. Jets castoff Brooks Bollinger comes off bench, nearly rallies team to beat the Chargers. Nearly. Anyone else surprised Vinny Testaverde strained a calf muscle? I didn't think so.

Have a taste of me broadsword! The Bucs struggled again, this time at home. I'm starting to wonder if Gruden put a little too much mileage on Cadillac Williams early in the season.

Quoth the Ravens...Baltimore. Chic playoff pick can't get ship righted against Cincy, finally starts paying karma installments to Cleveland for stealing away the Browns.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The 5 Pack: Wednesday

So Im breaking up The 5 Pack so that it's easier to read and not as long. One of my adoring fans, who actually seems to hate everything but The Word's column, told me that if it was over two words long he wouldn't read it. So catering to all lazy readers not striving to reach sports intellignece super stardom by getting their weekly dose of my Einstienian calibur theories in one dose, I give to you the newly broken down 5 Pack. I might not get it down under two words, but I can't please everyone.

Word!

NFL
-- So no T.O. for 2005? Who cares about what he has done? Is he a selfish jerk or is that how the media portrays him? I think some of the things he said were taken out of context, and the brainwashing, all-seeing, all-knowing ESPN is making it worse by being at the forefront for letting people like Paul Maguire call him a "selfish jerk" on live TV. Let the man play and get over yourself if you don't think that with all the baggage he's still a Super Bowl quality, Hall of Fame reciever. He is by far the best reciever in the game right now and could be with any QB. I for one can't wait to see him in a Raider uni. I hate the Raiders with a passion, but if T.O. were there, I'd be able to steal Kerry Collins in 2006 fantasy football draft mid-rounds with out anyone knowing what happened.

-- Who the fuck is Paul Maguire? Paul should be fined for the comments he uttered about T.O. on Sunday Night Football. No one cares what you think, and if they did, you'd be writing for TFT or ESPN.com's Page 2. I don't think I'd allow you to write in our glorious world though. Why? Because week after week you prove yourself to be an ignorant little nothing with the most annoying voice since Fran Dresher. Even though voice doesn't convey on blogs, I wouldn't subject our readers to having your voice in their head as they read your drivel.

-- Also, Rodney Harrison is trying to start some shit over T.O. too. No one cares about you, you're injured. What good are you if you can't be on the field leading the league in penalties? It's not like the fans have noticed you since you've been at NE anyway (no Pro Bowl selection since 2000 at SD), so why start to try to get them to notice you now? If you aren't aware of the comment he made, he basically said he wouldn't allow T.O. to play for NE. Hmmm... a non contributing member of the team, is now trying to play owner. You're no better than T.O. for commenting on the whole situation Rodney, but maybe you're just starved for attention.

-- I don't really have to write about the Colts on here since they are taken, and rightfully so, by Studicus; he seems to do the best job covering them. I have a leg up though this week as I will be leaving Friday to hopefully take in two pro sports in one weekend. Friday the Pacers and Sunday the Colts as they host the Texans. I'm sure I'll say a few words on them upon my return, and all this week I'll talk about the game in some regard in hope to quell my excitment. We can't have a sports related injury (aneurism) before the game now can we? No, no we can't. You're right. On Thursday I'll have pictures of what my poster will look like that I'll take to the game, so you all be sure to look out for The Word.

Holler!

KrilDog's Week 8 NFL Pick Review

Home team in CAPS, correct picks in Green, incorrect in Red

Atlanta

Carolina

Cincy

Detroit

JACKSONVILLE

KANSAS CITY

San Diego

Tennessee

Da Bears

Giants

Seattle

Pittsburgh

WASHINGTON

Colts

Record for the week: 12-2

Record to date: 12-2

Well, not too shabby for my first week. I do believe that this will be a regular feature from here on out so check back late Friday or sometime Saturday and then catch the results Tuesday. I'll probably do some commentary on the picks as well in the future.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

40 to 21? Priceless.

Ah, thank the Maker. The Colts buried the Patriots. It's about time! For the love of St. Peter, the Colts were due. I especially enjoyed the end of the game when Tom Brady looked dejected. Hey kid, ya win some, ya lose some. Wait a second...you've never lost to the Colts before, have you? It feels good if you're a Colts fan. Probably even better if you're actually a player.

I sprinted into work this morning at 1:30. I don't think my co-workers knew what in the world was going on. They probably thought I was hopped up on something, but I was just high on life. And I don't mean that in the Denver, Colorado way.

Indy is definitely the team to beat right now. I will be especially interested to see how they respond in the weeks ahead, when they play some real quality teams. Not to say that the Pats don't qualify (they do only because they're so tough at home), but several good teams await down the stretch. Some people are predicting an automatic Super Bowl and some even an undefeated season. But personally, nothing is automatic in the NFL, not even next week's mismatch against Houston. And an undefeated season? Gee...that would be incredible. But the Colts are bound to have an off day to a really good team, and will lose. If I'm wrong, gosh, you won't be able to consider consoling me, because I'll be absolutely beside myself. And yes, that's sarcasm.

Now Studicus Entertainment Proudly Presents: My Favorite Moments of the Colts-Patriots Game

Long pass, long day. Who didn't know the Pats were in for a long day when Manning-to-Harrison hooked up for 48 yards on the second play of the game?

Secret Weapon. Good to see Bryan Fletcher make a couple of nice grabs. He got the Colts out of a couple of jams. Nothing major, but worth nothing that Pollard Lite got involved.

Bruschis for everyone! I know #54 has the strength of a thousand men. But even mighty Tedy couldn't stop the Colts. True, he was in on about every play. The problem was, those plays were already five yards downfield.

The Colts can still R.E.A.D. Despite the temptation to deliver the Pats a loss via air mail, the Colts instead did a little FedEx Ground action, and used plenty of Edgerrin James. He's the key to the offense, now let's re-sign him already. Don't get me wrong, Peyton had 321 yards in the air, but it was the decision to R.un E.dge A.ll D.ay that won this week.

Woodshed time. The Colts absolutely dominated the Patriots physically. That never happens when these two teams play.

Red Flags of Spain, Red Flags of Spain. Bill Belichick looked like he lost it after the Colts went up 40-21. He couldn't stand the fact that the delicate genius couldn't solve the Colts this year. When he decided to chuck a red challenge flag on the field in anger and disgust, the refs told him it was a penalty if he didn't plan to challenge. Darth Belichick became incensed, then sparked a meaningless challenge that took all of two seconds to figure out. What a waste of a timeout!

Getting Stoked. Also nice to see Peyton and Brandon Stokley get on the same page of the playbook. I mean, Stokes made some huge catches last night. Too bad, as Krildog noted, that the only time they weren't in sync probably cost them a touchdown.

Oh, no, here we go again. Peyton forced one play the entire game, and it ended up costing the Colts a turnover. Thankfully, Corey Dillon decided to Indian gift the ball right back. Still, for one fleeting moment, I thought the Pats were going to get back in the game.

They're on a collision course to wackiness!! When Jason David recovered the fumble mentioned above, it was a huge play. He then cast the ball downfield, creating a major scramble for it. Mike Doss eventually came up with the ball near the Pats 30-yard-line, but it was all for naught. David was down by contact, although the referees weren't very specific about that when spotting the ball.

The New Romo...sort of. Special teams monster Rob Morris sure made some nice tackles. It's tough going from starter to role player, but I admire him immensely for doing it well. Like him or not, he's handled a tough situation with a lot of class.

The oppression of the Sith will never return! I swear I heard Tony Dungy say this in his postgame press conference.

Headlines around Boston this morning:

"Paternity test shows Brady, Pats aren't Colts' 'Daddy' after all"

"Five layers of protection: What Brady should use when being mounted by a Colt"

"Manning, Colts lucky in 40-21 squeaker"

"Three Super Bowls for us, none for you, and we're just saying that because that's all we've got"

"Playoffs? Who said anything about playoffs? We've got to win a game!"

"Truck gets loose in Foxborough, license plate JAMES32"

"Pats get asses pounded; Brady not responsible this time"

"Weis, Crennel refuse to turn to the Dark Side, turn down Belichick's pleas to return"

"Rear View Mirror: Dolphins 3-5"

Okay, okay, I think I'm done...for now.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Monday Night Mayhem is upon us...

I’ve got another confession to make
I’m your fool
Everyone’s got their chains to break
Holdin’ you
Were you born to resist or be abused?
Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?
Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?

Are you gone and onto someone new?
I needed somewhere to hang my head
Without your noose
You gave me something that I didn’t have
But had no useI was too weak to give in
Too strong to loseMy heart is under arrest again
But I break looseMy head is giving me life or death
But I can’t chooseI swear I’ll never give inI refuse

Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?
Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?

Has someone taken your faith?
Its real, the pain you feel
You trust, you must
Confess
Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?

Oh...Oh...Oh...Oh...Oh...

Has someone taken your faith?
Its real, the pain you feel
The life, the love
You die to heal
The hope that starts
The broken hearts
You trust, you must
Confess

Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?
Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?

I’ve got another confession my friend
I’m no fool
I’m getting tired of starting again
Somewhere new

Were you born to resist or be abused?
I swear
I’ll never give in
I refuse
Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?
Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?

Has someone taken your faith?
Its real, the pain you feel
You trust, you must
Confess

Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?

Oh...

~ "Best of You" by the Foo Fighters

Here's to the Colts!

Here's to a Manning to Harrison combination!

Here's to Edge solidifying his claim to league MVP and a long-term contract from the Colts!

Here's to stopping the nonsense that Tom Brady is the best QB in the National Football League!

Here's to a Colts' win!

Go Indianapolis Colts!

Woah...

The Carolina Panthers' cheerleaders (aka the Top Cats) put the "Dirty" in Dirty South...


Attenion NFL cheerleaders! The bar has been raised...

Print It, Baby: You Read It Here First

Ten Bold Predictions About the Colts-Patriots Game

1. Aaron Moorehead, Ben Hartsock, and Dominic Rhodes will figure prominently into the Colts offensive game plan

2. Tom Brady will catch a touchdown pass from, who else, Patrick Pass

3. Although incapable of playing against the Bengals yesterday, Ray Lewis will stab a Colts player; most likely, it will be Mike Doss; just remember, as rock beats scissors, so does gun beat knife

4. At the beginning of the game, Bill Belichick will slouch, put his hood up over his head, look at Manning, and say, "I'm afraid the Patriots defense will be quite operational when your offense arrives"

5. For the second straight year, Mike Vanderjagt and Adam Vinatieri will wager shots on field goal attempts during warm-ups; even if Vandy wins, he'll still end up an idiot, liquored-up kicker

6. Troy Brown will split time at wide receiver, cornerback, linebacker, offensive coordinator, and peanut vendor

7. Tedy Bruschi will manage to save a kitten from a tree, solve the world's hunger and fuel problems, save Sarah Connor from certain doom (thus ensuring the triumph of the human race over SkyNet), bring peace to the Middle East, and recover a fumble

8. Ty Law will manage to intercept a Peyton Manning pass even though he plays for the Jets

9a. Though he no longer wears a Colts uniform, David Macklin will get beat deep for a touchdown*

9b. When the Colts get into a first-and-goal situation, the referees will automatically give the ball to the Patriots, just to save Edgerrin James the trouble of fumbling at the goaline again

10. The field will be covered in Sam Adams (always a good decision!) just to slow down the Colts offense

*recycled from last year's Ten Bold Predictions About the Colts-Patriots Game

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Late night NFL picks as it storms outside...

Home team in CAPS...

Atlanta

Carolina

Cincy

Detroit

JACKSONVILLE

KANSAS CITY

San Diego

Tennessee

Da Bears

Giants

Seattle

Pittsburgh

WASHINGTON

Colts

We'll see how I did come Tuesday. Now, it's back to bed...

Saturday, November 05, 2005

"Meshawn" Redux

Looks like Terrell Owens has been suspended indefinitely (whatever that really means).

The Eagles organization needs to "Meshawn" his ass and deactivitate the S.O.B. for the season.

Where is this guy going to end up next year? I'm sure someone will pay him lots of money to play a game and make a fool of himself once again. Let him go to the Ravens. Maybe Ray Ray would make the child (if you can call a 30+ year old human being a child) tow the line.

Or better yet, send him to Houston. I'm sure T.O. would love to play with David Carr and that inept offensive line.

__________________

My Picks of the Week...

Book of the Week
  • "Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Abrams

Album of the Week

  • Foo Fighter's "In Your Honor"

Song of the Week

  • Pantera's "Fucking Hostile"

Movie of the Week

  • High Tension

Television Show of the Week

  • The Ultimate Fighter

__________________

Thursday, November 03, 2005

A Concert for Jimmy

From the Associated Press...

Captain Comeback gets sloshed, declares himself Captain Morgan


ENCINITAS, Calif. (AP) - University of San Diego football coach and former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jim Harbaugh was arrested early Sunday on a charge of drunken driving. He is to appear in court in December.

Now, I would never take shots at Jim Harbaugh, my favorite all-time Colts player. I love Peyton, don't get me wrong, but Captain Comeback made me love the Colts. That headline, in fact, didn't come from me, but rather from Fox 59 Morning News anchor Tracy Forner. It's a cheap shot, but it's kind of funny, so I had to print it.

The recent arrest of my Colts hero probably isn't a big deal. People drink all the time (why do you think they have these stores that sell nothing but alcohol?). Unfortunately, people also get behind of the wheel when they're drunk frequently, and that's inexcusable.

I didn't think Jimmy was capable of such things, but, apparently, he is. I know he's sorry, but darn it, why do it in the first place? It just really blows when THE HERO of your teenage years gets into something like this.

But thankfully, there's help for Jim Harbaugh. It's not a 12-step program, but it should be just as effective.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Neil Diamond's "A Concert for Jimmy."


Captain Comeback (to "Sweet Caroline")

One big rally
Followed by another
Earned you a captaincy
The game out of reach
You came off the bench
No one believed you'd bring 'em back

Fans here, watching fans
Standing up, Cheering on
Number four

Captain Comeback (bum, bum, bum)
Always came through with a play
Bruised blue and black (bum, bum, bum)
I just knew he'd find a way

But now I, look at the team
And I don't see the captain
He's moved along to better things!
And I was hurt
When they sent you to the Ravens
That's where QB's go to die!

Peyton's here, Peyton's here
Taking snaps, playin' great
But he ain't you!

Captain Comeback (bum, bum, bum)
Always came through with a play
Bruised blue and black (bum, bum, bum)
I just knew he'd find a way
Captain Comeback!!!!!!

"Jimmy Harbaugh" (to "Cracklin' Rosie")

Jimmy Harbaugh, we've gotta score
Time's running out, and we're stuck on the road
Gotta come back, Jim pick up the slack
Need a touchdown in the fourth quarter

Dropping back and lookin' deep
No one's open, what do you say?
Tuck it away, and make a play
Look for the marker and pick up that first down

Let's get goin' Jimmy Harbaugh
Make something happen, we'll be happy
Find Ken Dilger or Sean Dawkins
Jimmy Harbaugh you're a QB with heart
You're much better than Craig Erickson
You helped put the Horshoes on the map!

Let 'er Rip, Let 'er Rip, Let 'er Rip, Dear Jimmy!

Jimmy Harbaugh buy us some time
You're gonna have to throw that ball deep
Just take that leap, We've gotta believe
You're gonna us win the game with one last-second throw

Number four was Jimmy Harbaugh
He's in the Ring of Honor now
Almost got Super in style
Jimmy Harbaugh the play was Rocket
You threw it well but Bailey dropped it
Still see the replay in my head!

Let 'er Rip, Let 'er Rip, Let 'er Rip, Dear Jimmy


Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The 5 Pack

Word!
MLB
- It's safe to talk about baseball now that it's done for the season. I never thought I'd live to hear me tap-tap out those words on my keyboard, but finally baseball is over for the season. It was a long one, and after enough ups and downs of a slew of teams to pull your hair out, I say good riddance. Though it's safe to talk about now, so away I go.
- The Chicago Cubs might be the most talented team in the Big Leagues that can't win a damn game. A damn good pitching staff considering, Mr. Garcie' and Mr. Lee to touch on a few points. Who's the culprit? It might be famed coach Dusty Baker who won with Barry Bonds. I could win with Barry Bonds. My cup o' joe could win with Barry Bonds -- and what a fashionable cup o' joe it would be with a Giagntes jersey on. The head office needs to stop being content on the Northside and do something if they actually play for a reason.
- The Washington Nationals might be fluke team of the year. They started out ahead of the divsion winning Braves, but then they turned back into the Expos mid-year. Way to go. I say by next year they show why no one wanted them in Montreal and find that no one wants to see them in Washington either. Viva la Senators!

NBA
- Rumblings are that Pat Riley wants to come back and coach the Heat now that they have the talent he's used to when he won 'chips at LA. If Stan Van Gundy doesn't do it this year, watch for the switch-a-roo in the offseason.
- Who's tired of Kobe? Who's tired of Phil? The Association has only been on for a few days and I'm already tired of them. I wouldn't be shocked if the Lakers barely scrape into the playoffs this year, and Jerry West sees that Kobe nor Phil is worth the money they're payed.

NFL
- Going into last week the Redskins had the #4 ranked O in The League and the #5 D. How did they build stats like these? No, not by playing the Texans every week, but against the likes of the AFC West leading Broncos, the NFC West leading Seahawks, the NFC North leading Bears, and the #2 in the NFC East Cowboys. So to the naysayers who say that they are overhyped b/c they lost big to an emotional NFC East leading Giants, look at the stats. The NFL darling Colts aren't ranked as high in passing offensive and defense as the Skins and in total O Indy is 9th to Washington's 10th and in total D Indy is 4th to Washington's 6th. The Skins are in very good company. It's time to take notice and stop flip-flopping -- this means you professional NFL analysts.
- The Texans won a game. Let me repeat that. The Texans -- you know of Houston, the same Houston who sports David Carr, Andre Johnson, Dominick Davis, and a horrible o-line as a part of the their Sunday best -- won a game. Romeo. Romeo. Where for art thou Romeo? Inside sources tell me that Coach Crennel was in the toilet the whole game, which is fitting because if he's not careful, that's where the rest of his season will go.

Deal With It - (E-Mails)
- Dear The Word,
Do you think that St. Louis can right the ship with Coach Vitt?

Your Pal,
Stanley Spadowski.

Well Stan -- do you mind if I call you Stan? -- there's a very good chance that the Rams will come out with a winning record by seasons end. The Seahawks are still the brightest stars in the NFC West, so don't get your hopes up too high, but they put up a decent amount of points on the Colts before the proverbial giant awoke, and the only credible team they've played against since is the Jags, which was a game they won. With Jim Haslet at the helm of the Saints, they will continue to be the Ain'ts, and with all their natural disaster woes, this year winning against them doesn't count for a whole lot, so 1 of the 2 games that Vitt has won doesn't really matter. As far as getting to the playoffs, I'd stretch out and say a possible Wild Card spot. This isn't last years NFC though, so don't expect a slew of 8-8s getting into the NFC braket.

- Yo The Word,
I like the name change, and the new format. Listen, does your Redskins' bias know any bounds?

Carl

Good point, but see the thing is, I like the Redskins, but I am aware of their downfalls as a team and I am quick to point them out. If you'll notice I am as quick to say that they'll lose game I think they'll lose as I am to point out how many people write them off. You're wrong though, I don't have a Redksins bias; I have a NFC bias. Deal with it!

Intangibles: San Diego @ New York Jets
- Here's a stat for you. this was taken from Tuesday Morning QB on NFL.COM -- even in all my infinite glory can I know everything -- running back LaDainian Tomlinson has as many touchdown passes (three) as all Jets quarterbacks combined. Think about that. Now think about this stat, which I looked up all by myself: San Diego is 6th in the AFC in passing offense and the Jets are 4th in the AFC in passing defense. Could this be a reinactment of the let down the Chargers sustained in the play-offs last year to the same team? Lets examine.

What makes SD so great? Yes, they are 4-4, but a very underrated 4-4. LaDainian Tomlinson is this SD team, and while I'm not discrediting their brilliant cast, this guy can beat you if you key on him and if you don't. SD has the 7th ranked rushing O in the AFC, and while that may not be wonderful, the Bolts have 10 TDs rushing on the season -- that's tied for 2nd and 1 behind the rushing juggernaut of Mike Anderson and Tatum Bell for the Bronc's. "A whale's vagina" can put up some numbers, being #1 in the AFC in scoring (that's passing and running), and they will against the NYJ who has the # 10 scoring D in AFC land. Have I mentioned anything about the Jets lackluster rush D yet? Yeah, I didn't think I had to.

Is all hope lost with the Jets this week though? No, not intirely. Like I stated earlier, the Jets' 4th ranked pass D should pin down Antonio Gates and Keenen McKardell enough to limit big gains. What that does is force SD to run all day with LaDainian if they are going to get up the field. How far can you run this guy in a game before he becomes tired and less effective? My guess is 3 quarters plus 5 minutes. Plus with the rumored Mr. Fiedler warming up in the bullpin, the Jets might come out with a renewed vigor, if he starts, and we all saw what emotion can do for a team (ahem the Giants). If San Diego doesn't put it away early, look for it to come down to the last drive of the game.

Intangibles: LT and Jay Fiedler

*Cheers of the Week

Cheers go to Krildog for his wonderful e-mailed response to Jason Whitlock of ESPN's page 2. Articulate and nutritious, something to aspire to for us all when sending e-mail to others. E-mails like, "hey how y doin?" however thought provoking and gramatically correct needs to be reevaluated. Learn from KrilDog's example when sending hate mail or basic chats, or meet thy doom.

Cheers to Revenge of the Sith on DVD. Loaded with special features and sans the annoying counter that plagued the bootleg version (or so I heard cough, cough) the last installment, maybe ever, of the Star Wars movies is not to be missed.

*The Ratzenberger Award will be given out at weeks end.

*Boos of the Week

Dare I say Boos to Jason Whitlock? I dare indeed. Boo!

Boos to Tampa Bay for losing to the 49ers. Seriously guys -- the Forty Niners?? After going 4-0, TB is 1-2 in it's last 3 games. Go ahead and put back on the old orange jersey's guys, b/c after Sundays loss to Carolina (yes, I'm predicting) the next 3 weeks could show up as Ls on your schedule. 5-6 is a very real possiblity if Tampa doesn't get it's act together and find out what went wrong.

*The Miller High Life Lite Award will be given out at weeks end.

Things not Normally Reviewed (and some that are)
- The Paper Mate Titanium mechaincal pencil in 0.5mm lead is worth a look. The eraser is sound, being of the good white vinyl variety that artists know erases well, and it is able to be screwed to show more or less eraser. The eraser is also replaceable, which you will want to do once you try this bad boy out. The write mechanics are exquisite as well. Holding the pencil and beautifully penning anything you want is as easy as pie. Overall I give the Paper Mate Titanium pencil a 5 out 0f 5.

Just rant, baby!

We all have favorite writers we can always depend on to give us something new. We also have writers we don't like, but read anyway because they get us fired up.

Such is Jason Whitlock. His "NFL Truths" columns are complete rubbish (just weeks ago, he riffed on Colts RB Edgerrin James...very not cool in this Colts fan's view). The thing that bothers me most about him is that he's an Indiana guy. He went to Warren Central, and Ball State. There's no rule saying you have to love where you're from. Some people hate their childhood. This piece of work is one of them. He never hesitates to pull the trigger on the Colts or Notre Dame. Those are my teams, so I get a bit sensitive. I mean, when vitriol for the Horseshoes comes way of Bill Simmons, I'll cut him some slack. He's from Massachusetts, and is a diehard Sox and Pats fan. I don't always appreciate what he has to say, but if I step back for a second, it's usually clever. If I had a sounding board like he does, I'd say the same stuff about Tom Brady that he says about Peyton Manning. Of course...all I'd hear back would be THREE SUPER BOWLS IN FOUR YEARS. DYNASTY. Other than his anti-Colts rants, I find The Sports Guy entertaining. Now, to me, Whitlock just comes off as a guy who's angry at something, and can't articulate why. I read his stuff, and I just get this tone of an angry, angry man who thinks he's really, really smart and funny. To some degree, all writers fall into that trap. How many times have I read something that I'm proud of over and over? To count would be embarrassing.

Sometimes we don't like a particular writer because it feels like he/she stares right through us. It's too real; they're able to reach into our minds, and pluck out our deepest fears. Then, in black and white, they put them right on the page. Other times, in the case of Whitlock, you just wonder what in God's name Catholics ever did to him as a child (okay...that was a poor choice of phrasing). Did the Irish reject Jeff George? (in case you didn't know, Whitlock is a HUGE pro-Jeff George guy, went to the same high school as George, and just can't believe why anyone in the NFL hasn't signed him yet).

Also in his column, which I did e-mail a response to (much milder than Krildog's, and thus, probably less notable), Whitlock just seems bitter about something.

Statement: "I'm sorry if this column comes off like a vicious attack on Weis. It's not."

Response: Really? It's not? Are you sure? Do you read your own work?

Statement: Willingham won those eight games with Carlyle Holiday, an option quarterback recruited by Bob Davie, running Willingham's West Coast passing offense...Yes, Weis is doing a nice job working with the offensive talent Willingham recruited.

Response: Um, all right, then why couldn't the Irish win last year? If Willingham is such a terrific coach that he won with Bob Davie's players, why couldn't he win with a lot of his own last year?

Statement: Now, Weis' new 10-year contract, reportedly worth between $30 million and $40 million … that strikes me as racist. Because there's just no way Notre Dame, or any school for that matter, would do the same thing for a black coach.

Response: So, this is a race issue? You really think it boils down to race? I hate to say this, but Willingham was a questionable hire in the first place. His whole hiring was based on race. Remember when the great state of Indiana had four black coaches at one time at major programs? (Isiah Thomas, Ty Willingham, Tony Dungy, and Mike Davis, two of whom are still around, the others who were fired after lackluster performances by their teams). I really like Ty Willingham, he does things the right way. But he broke the 11th Commandment at Notre Dame: Thou Shalt Win, Every Year. Sure, Bob Davie had five years. Unfortunately for Ty, he was the guy who couldn't right the ship after Cap'n Davie ran aground.

Furthermore, and darn it, I wish I would've thought of this earlier, Charlie Weis wasn't even ND's first choice. Remember Urban Meyer? Oh, that's racist, too. He's white. But my point is the university is rewarding Weis for being truly outstanding, being better than expectations. You can talk about Willingham's 8-0 start all you want, but it unraveled quickly. And the team didn't respond. After a heart-breaking loss to USC, the Weis' Irish came back the next week.

Whew! I'm exhausted. And I don't think I even made a point.

Jason Whitlock = Stupid Racist


Before you go any further, go read this if you haven't already.

Back? Good. Well, Mr. Whitlock puts his email address at the bottom of the column (ballstate68@aol.com by the way), so I felt compelled to write him a response, which I am now posting for all to read since I just emailed it to him:




Dear Mr. Whitlock,

Ty Willingham was fired because he couldn't coach (and still can't), chalked up historic losses, failed to meet a three year performance clause he agreed to, and was admittedly talking to another school and because he refused to make changes in his staff. If anyone is being racist around here it looks to be you based on the bullshit you put in that waste of time you call a column. Why don't you pack your hatred for the Irish up in a suitcase along with your "journalistic skills" (and I use that term as loosely as humanly possible) and go back to that joke of a school in Muncie you call an Alma Mater. And when you are tired of watching the mighty Cardnals being D-1's personal whore and laying down anywhere and everywhere for a paycheck in between book loan scandals as well as being the worst team in the MAC (and quite possibly the worst team in D-1 to boot), feel free to take a trip to South Bend and absolve your sins in the Grotto or Basilica and realize where you went wrong.

Sincerely,
[NAME REDACTED]


...once again, ballstate68@aol.com

Feel free to drop him a line if you feel the way I do right now. And should he respond, you can bet you can read it right here on TFT.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Formatting Change

In order to spice up the site, or maybe just my column, I will start referring to my column as “my column” frequently. No, it’s not a post, it’s “my column.” Secondly you’ll start seeing what I will be calling The 5 Pack, a group of 5 different segments in each posting or (ahem) column. Why do I do this? Because, “ I love this job. I thank God for every day he gives me in the Corps. HOO-RAH.”

Hopefully my doings, along with the other contributors, will get some more damned people to post beside the holy trinity here or at least bring more readers to TFT. Below are my new segments and I will be using them in my next post. Adieu.

Word! – basically short takes on what’s going on in anything I feel free to discuss from my POV.

Intangibles – I will review one match up in the NFL with in depth commentary. Well in depth enough. I’m not getting paid for this shit after all. Read my NYG and WAS post from last week to get a better idea.

Cheers and Boos of the Week – old faithful returns bringing The Ratzenberger Award and quite possibly a new Biggest Boo Award.

Winners Picked by Playing Cards – pretty self explanatory.

Things Not Normally Reviewed (and some things that are) – you get the idea.

Stay tuned.

Playoffs!!!

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/video/sports/2001/11/25/mora_7116.high.asx.html

If you remember the AWFUL Colts-49ers game at home from a few years ago, you'll want to sneak a peek at this. It's not the famed Jim Mora "playoffs" rant, but Holy Lord, it is funny...

Blow the Whistle!

TFT's Blow the Whistle

Stroke of genius. Tedy Bruschi may have survived a stroke and heart surgery less than a year ago. But it was his heroic effort against Buffalo that single-handedly won the game. I mean that, plus Corey Dillon's two TD runs.

Daunte's Inferno. You know, I didn't think it could get any worse for the S.S. Viking. As Obi-Wan Kenobi once said, "Unfortunately, I was wrong." So, with Culpepper out, the Vikes turn to Brad Johnson. Not impressed? How 'bout Super Bowl-winning quarterback Brad Johnson? Still not impressed? Okay, neither am I.

Monster Park: the Hidden Killer. Methinks the Buccaneers would actually like to have Johnson back under center right now, since Chris Simms "led" Tampa Bay to a loss at the hands of the punchless (and Alex Smith-less) 49ers.

This is a fan's world. When Gregory Gall invaded the field at Paul Brown Stadium, and took the ball from Brett Favre, it may have been the best run of the afternoon. It was certainly the only time during the game that poor #4 looked like he knew what was going on. I love Favre, but he just looked awful against Cincy. I know it's not all his fault, and he'll probably try to come back to prove this year was a fluke. I hope he likes his new coach next season.

BQWSRNBEAROABG Watch: 17/31, 230 yards, TD, 0 INT. What those numbers mean: another win for Da Bears. I mean, where would this team be without BQWSRNBEAROABG? I mean, besides offensively inept and in first place in the NFC North?

Mad Mike's Revenge. Rams Interim head coach gets minor heart procedure for having the ever-loving gall to discover that you are allowed to run the ball. Personally, I think Martz was just having the guy fitted with a wireless control device so he can call the plays while watching the game on NFL Sunday Ticket.

Best 4-4 team in football. The Chargers finally found a way to win a close one at the end, you know, after nearly blowing a 21-3 lead.

Open the Gates! Hey, speaking of San Diego, would someone from Kansas City like to cover Antonio Gates? I mean, I know the guy "never played football in college," but apparently, neither did anyone on KC's defense.

Best 'back in football? LT can run, LT can catch, LT can throw.

Can I have my old job back? Romeo Crennel, Browns lose to Texans. It's not a sin to lose a game, it's not a sin to lose a road game, it is a sin to lose a road game to the Texans.

Drinks for everyone! Kerry Collins throws three touchdown passes, Raiders squeak by Titans.

In Honor of... As Grin and Barrett alluded to, the Redskins honored the late Wellington Mara by rolling over and dying themselves.