Monday, December 22, 2008

5 comments MMQB Review: Christmas Edition

I lost some more respect for Bill Simmons and his writing style this morning. I woke up and put together a Simmons-like post in my head ruminating about my favorite sports teams and blah, blah, blah. I was never going to write it here spot but the fact I wrote something while brushing my teeth that sounds very similar to what he does every day tells me enough about how hard it is to talk about your favorite team in a sport and sound smart.

Here's an excerpt of what I was thinking...It is obviously not ESPN quality stuff or anything nor do I want to be a serious writer but this is the type of shit he writes everyday and males 18-25 think he is brilliant. Anyone can do this type thing. How hard is it to talk about your favorite team and your feelings after a big game?

"When Kasay missed the kick against the Giants it depressed me a little. Not because I knew they would lose in OT but because I knew it would never matter to him as much as it does to me. Sure, at the time he was upset, but there were other kicks for him. I remember when Ricky Proehl caught the TD in 2004 to put the Panthers ahead in the Super Bowl and I had a split second of regret my short years of waiting for a Super Bowl victory were done. So when Kasay kicked the ball out of bounds and Tom Brady did what Tom Brady does, it was all my fault. I actually ran into Ricky Proehl one time (he lives in the same town I do) at Bruegger's Bagels and told him this. He laughed at me and said it wasn't my fault. He didn't really care anymore they lost the Super Bowl, I could tell, he had moved on to building his new sports park in the area and other business ventures. Besides he won one with the Rams and the Colts. Me? I was stuck with the same old team, haunted by the same bad memories of a Super Bowl lost at the last minute. He had gotten over it and I had not."

Everyone can do that shit. It's rough, but you can do it too. Just get the serious Bill Clinton voice in your head, get real melodramatic and act like sports is incredibly serious.

Also, I stupidly flipped to ESPN and listened to Trent Dilfer list the 6 biggest stories of the year and the last one he listed was "The Chargers going from 4-8 to where they are now, on the cusp of the playoffs. It is a tribute to that team." All the other four guys, nodded in agreement. The Chargers are fucking 7-8! The only reason they are even in the discussion for a home playoff spot is because they play in the shittiest division in football. For a team that was supposed to be in the Super Bowl this year, that is not a tribute to anything but pure mediocrity. If they happened to play in any of the other 7 divisions in football, they would not even be in the hunt for a wild card spot. Learn the difference in a good story and being a mediocre team in a mediocre division, Trent. Trent Dilfer is a fucking moron and if he can win a Super Bowl, then anyone can.

I had heard Peter King lost weight and I watched the Sunday Night Pregame show for the first time ever last night and he was still fat! It made me happy inside that I could still call him fat. Here's his MMQB.

First, perspective. One of the 10 best football players in history died the other day in Texas. It's important you know about him. There will be no forgetting Slingin' Sammy Baugh in this column. No sir.

I hate old people, so we know how I feel about this. He played against average athletes in a time with segregation, congratulations, it's like beating Madden on the Pro Level and considering yourself to be the best ever. Yes, he was great in his time. He is a legend.

I'll tell you the most amazing thing: In the last week or so, I've actually heard callers to New York sports-talk radio saying they wish they had Pennington back. Instead of Favre. And if you'd heard the same callers (or from the same ilk, at least) shoveling dirt on him last season and preparing the ticker-tape for the Welcome Brett parade in August ... well, let's just say this is one of the most interesting stories, and turnarounds, in recent sports history.

If Peter King is going to talk radio to hear logically and well thought out opinions, then he very well could be more ignorant than I had ever thought. Though it is kind of funny New Yorkers are already off the Favre bandwagon partially, but only funny in the aspect they should completely be off the bandwagon of Favre at this point. His jump ball throws get pretty old pretty quickly don't they?

It is pretty clear Peter King is moving on from Brett Favre to Matt Ryan at this point. Break ups are so awkward.

But my favorite thing of Week 16 is what it leads to: the ultimate revenge game, from the most gentlemanly NFL player of our time, Chad Pennington.

Obviously Brett has done Peter wrong in some way and Peter has finally taken that big step and tried to move on with his life before Brett drags him down further. Chad Pennington is clearly a rebound relationship.

Favre under-throwing receiver after receiver in Seattle and playing mediocre football for the past month while the Jets burned, with Pennington piloting an 8-1 Miami run to the doorstep of the playoffs.

Peter is very angry. Either Brett struck Peter in the face out of anger or tried to steal some of his leftover pasta out of the fridge, but it certainly sounds like the end of them for good.

His 14-yard pass to new BFF Anthony Fasano (Pennington, in New York, and Fasano, in Dallas, were both drafted by Bill Parcells) made it 38-31.

Oh yes! We just got a "BFF" mention in a Peter King column.

I was surprised the NFL made Denver-San Diego the prime time game in Week 17 for NBC. Miami-New York, and Pennington-Favre, is the game of the week.

You can't even begin to leave out the major story in the Denver-San Diego game and expect to have any journalistic credibility when comparing these two games. Maybe to Peter this is the most important game because he cares about the outcome of it the most, but the Denver-San Diego is for a division championship (regardless of how shitty the division is) and also is the rematch of the game where Ed Hoculi made his horrible call at the beginning of the year. The same officiating controversy that was written about for weeks after that, which makes it a big game and of interest to some people, or at least those don't live in the upper Northeast.

Sure Peter mentions this controversy later but doesn't even begin to acknowledge that is why the game is interesting. My job is to nit pick and I have done my job well.

1. Tennessee (13-2). Kerry Collins continues to just win, baby, even though he's not on the Raiders anymore. The interesting thing here: he's played 15 games and had 15 negative plays -- seven interceptions, eight sacks.

I think we can sufficiently call Kerry Collins the new Trent Dilfer and not feel bad about insulting Collins at this point because Trent Dilfer is a moron.

4. Carolina (11-4). The Panthers need to be more physical on defense if they hope to beat the Giants in the NFC title game Jan. 18.

No excuses but so much was made last night with Justin Tuck having the flu and all that, but Jon Beason had the flu on Thursday, Kemoeatu was out for the game, Gary Gibson had a broken hand, and Damione Lewis hurt his shoulder during the game. That left a guy called up from the practice squad last week and Darwin Walker as the two run stoppers, that could have been part of the problem. Still, the Giants came within a field goal attempt going through of losing. The Giants are a tough team.

I am putting up the "horseshit excuses" tag for this but you beat the Giants by playing 8 men in the box and making them throw the ball. One night they are going to run into a team that does not play 8 yards off the receivers and it will not be good for them.

5. Baltimore (10-5). Underrated factor of the weekend -- and in no way am I saying this won the game: Friday night, at the Ravens' team meeting in their Dallas hotel, director of player program O.J. Brigance, a special-teamer on the Ravens' Super Bowl team eight years ago and now suffering from Lou Gehrig's Disease, gave the team a pep talk. He's a beloved figure on the team, and this no doubt juiced the guys for Saturday's game.

As anyone who got to witness the 25 minute post game summary of the Dallas-Baltimore game on ESPN knows, this did actually seemed to pump up the Ravens.

10. Dallas (9-6). Winner of the Good Fortune of 2008 Award. A couple of weeks ago, we all said they'd probably have to 3-1 in the last month to make the playoffs. Now they're 1-2, with one game left, at Philly. And all they have to do to make the postseason is beat the Eagles, despite what everyone else in the conference does.

I don't want to play the Cowboys at all in the postseason, they scare me. How lucky are they though? Seriously, great teams in the AFC and NFC are fighting for playoff spots and the lousy ass Cowboys, who are most interested in bickering right now than playing football, are going to make the playoffs because other teams choked.

(In fact, according to Stats, Inc., Edwards entered this weekend with the lead in dropped passes in the NFL since the start of the 2006 season, having a 36-35 edge on Terrell Owens. Owens had his 36th Saturday night.)

You hear that Gregg Doyel? Marvin Harrison could only wish to be that good...and no, I am never letting this drop.

Justin Blalock, G, Atlanta

Sunday in Minnesota, with the Falcons up 17-7, Matt Ryan went sprinting toward the end zone and tried to catapult for the touchdown, and he fumbled -- and there was Blalock again. He recovered the ball for the touchdown that turned out to be the game-winner in a 24-17 Falcon victory. How amazing: Blalock has touched the ball twice in his NFL career -- and the touches either led to the winning points or scored them.

Not to downplay how amazing it is for a player to have the ability to fall on a football, but this is pure luck. L-U-C-K. It just so happened Blalock was in the end zone and was able to fall on the ball. There is no way to follow Matt Ryan around and predict a fumble, it just happens.

Jason Jones, DT, Tennessee.

Jones, a second-round rookie from Eastern Michigan, had one start and just 1.5 sacks entering Sunday's battle for AFC home-field advantage through the playoffs versus Pittsburgh in Nashville. Starting for the injured Haynesworth, Jones just might have given Tennessee brass cause to wonder if they really need to make Haynesworth a $9-million-a-year free-agent after the season.

First off, he is a second round draft pick so it is pretty clear he has some sort of ability to play the position and the Titans might have thought about this revelation before Peter King brought it up. Second, he has two starts in his entire NFL career, so don't get too excited and get ready to dismiss a Pro Bowl defensive tackle when the Titans have tons of cap room.

an interception of Favre with 1:23 left, his second pick of the day, driving the final stake into the Jets hearts. "Now I can go tell me kids I had two picks and a sack against Brett Favre,'' an emotional Wilson said after the game.

You can tell your kids that and considering Brett Favre has 307 interceptions in his career I would imagine about 20 other people can say the same thing.

Quarterback rating over the past four games of the two passers whose careers will be forever intertwined and who will meet Sunday at the Meadowlands:

Quarterback Team Rating over last four games

Chad Pennington Miami 105.2

Brett Favre New York Jets 58.2

That faint sound you heard was Peter moving Brett from #1 on speed dial to #121.

This says a few things to me. Most importantly, Owens goes batcrap now if he thinks Jason Witten is getting too many balls. Imagine if in 2009 he sees the offense doing a three-way in divvying up the attempts between himself, Witten AND Williams. The Cowboy chemistry experiment in 2009 is not going to be pretty.

I am not ready for more 24 hour coverage of the Dallas throwing and catching situation next year. I would think of trading Terrell Owens or Roy Williams if I were the Cowboys, unless they really get off on this controversy, which is possible. Honestly, I had completely forgot Roy Williams played for the Cowboys until I read this...and I even have watched parts of Cowboy games.

a. Penn State is insane. A three-year contract extension for an 82-year-old coach who has had recent health problems?

Well if he dies, they don't have to pay him. That's an easy out for them.

Can anyone who bleeds Nittany blue honestly tell me Paterno has the energy to out-recruit coaches 40 years his junior for the best football players in the country?

Unless Peter King has been living under a rock, and it would have to be a very large rock to cover his entire body, Joe Paterno is a figure head, he is not out recruiting players actively, he has others who do that. What he does is meet with the recruits and convinces them that Penn State is still a great football school and considering they are in the Rose Bowl, it seems like it works pretty well.

Point A: ESPN backs Werder on the story of Owens being jealous of Jason Witten, and Owens going to the coaches and saying Tony Romo's throwing too much to Witten because they're close friends. Then they hand over four or five minutes of "SportsCenter'' time so Owens can whine about being wronged. Where was Werder's defense? If you believe so strongly in your own reporter, why let the sniveling Owens have a hostile takeover of your air and give Werder zero chance to defend himself? Sad day for journalism.

Please, ESPN does not give a shit about integrity. They care about ratings and advertising money and that's it. Serious journalism took a backseat to artificially created arguments, halfway intelligent columnists discussing things in loud voices, and biased coverage to promote the players/teams they need to have promoted years ago. The sad part is that people are just noticing. Those people are the reason I write on this blog.

Do I still watch ESPN? Yes, because there is no other network that is willing to challenge them and it is obviously what people want to watch. They must want 25 minute press conferences after a game, the same argument from 8 different people, and overexposed coverage.

d. I watched NFL Network's postgame show Saturday night hoping to hear about the Ravens' win. No wonder so much of America hates the Cowboys and hates the TV networks for worshiping at the altar of the Cowboys. After a friend of mine watched the short on-field interview with Joe Flacco, then longer press conferences with Wade Phillips, Tony Romo and Terrell Owens, then the on-field ceremony of the closing of Texas Stadium, he texted e to say, it was "like watching Al Cowboy-zeera.''

It is also Peter King's fault as well, but he doesn't realize this. This year so far he has broken down Tony Romo's throwing motion, Dallas' receiving options after the Roy Williams trade, Jerry Jones' ability to draft good talent, how Jerry Jones manages that talent, and the T.O./Jason Witten situation at length in his MMQB at separate times.

Also, in this "Ten Things..." edition he mentions the Cowboys 7 times alone. He is part of the problem, not anywhere the solution.

h. That's right: Since Election Day 2007, Detroit is 1-22. How do you not fire everyone and start over?

Jemele Hill wrote a column about this and I may cover it at some point...maybe.

g. New Orleans was 11 of 12 on third-down conversions, which says it can drive on anyone in a dome and also that the Lions were on the other side of the line.

Great, I will look forward to seeing a lot of dispairing faces from Ken "I can't cover a paralyzed woman at this stage of my career but they can't cut me because I did not act like an ass when Steve Smith hit me" Lucas and Chris "$50 million new contract for dropped interceptions and a lack of ability to tackle seemed like a lot to me as well" Gamble.

d. I'll gladly take movie recommendations. Don't come with any of that weak stuff, though.

I wish he had the same policy about his columns.

f. Seven hours of shoveling Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Where did my daughters go? They were always such good shovelers. Come home girls! Come home! And stop at Saunders Hardware on the way, because I've killed the last three shovels we always use.

Seriously, he made his daughters shovel snow? I really, really hope he would hire someone to do it when they got older rather than have his fat lazy ass on the couch drinking latte while his daughters did manual labor.

h. I'd love to have Mark Teixeira on my team. But at what price? Scott Boras is brilliant at creating leverage, but just because he creates it, it doesn't mean a baseball team has to knuckle under to it. Life goes on.

Have Red Sox fans really started playing the "we are not going to sign Mark Teixeira" game as well? We all know it ends with him in a Red Sox uniform with some poor excuse for why they signed him to a massive contract. Don't play the game that the Red Sox are being fiscally responsible, they are just biding time until they can trade Mike Lowell or Tex gets a real offer from another team. Boras' only two real options at this point are the Yankees or the Red Sox.

i. I want to be in the room when Teixeira signs with Washington and looks at Boras and says: "Are you kidding me? You've sentenced me to play for the Washington National for the rest of my career?''

One more time, this time with emphasis. Why do players hire Scott Boras? He currently has offers from the Nationals, Red Sox, and Orioles now that the Angels have backed out. How can Boras look Tex in the face and say he is really doing what is best for his baseball career?

One last thing, if you ever want to see a Yankees fan looked shocked, tell them Manny Ramirez is being offered a contract to play for them. At least I got one good shocked face followed by an expletive.

Next week I will review J.S. and my picks for the NFL and I could not be more pumped up to see how good/bad we did.


Bengoodfella said...

I want to go ahead and say I realize there is a lot more that goes on than putting 8 men in the box and making the Giants throw on you. That comment is mostly just my bitterness that the Panthers have two high priced corners that can't seem to cover anyone one on one. It is depressing.

That Hixon is a slippery little booger, I just think someone should be able to cover him, that's all. I think the Giants are clearly the class of the NFC at this point.

Fred Trigger said...

I dont know if you saw the Atlanta game, but what made that play really lucky, was that it went through about 4 Viking defenders hands before Blalock fell on it.

Bengoodfella said...

Oh I saw that it went through what seemed like the entire Viking defense's hands. You make a little bit of your luck but in that situation he was just the right guy in the right place at the right time. Kudos for falling on the ball but I don't know how much credit he should get in that situation.

Hey, Peter King just loves it though. He also absolutely loves the Falcons and Matt Ryan, so I have a feeling we will be hearing more and more about them.

Martin said...

I still can't believe freaking Kasay kicked the ball out of bounds. Grrrrr.

Bengoodfella said...

I am still not happy about that either. I have always said the only way I could truly forget that is if he kicks a Super Bowl winning field goal...and I am still waiting.

I am glad the Panthers are not, but if they were a larger market team that would be shown more frequently as a bone headed mistake by a player that could have cost his team the Super Bowl. It is a step or two below Scott Norwood but at least a bigger blunder than anything Leon Lett did. Yet, it is never mentioned...thankfully.