Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Upon Further Review - Week 6 in the NFL

Before we get to the NFL I should say congrats to the Colorado Rockies for getting to the World Series. As much as I was wishing there was a team with a little more history than Colorado and Arizona in the NLCS, the run that the Rockies are on is pretty impressive. The week off they're going to have might end up hurting them though.

But the real story is the ALCS - and not the baseball but rather a certain Tim McCarver - the colour man for Fox's baseball broadcast team. Now if you're not familiar with McCarver's work, he is probably the most loathed baseball broadcaster working today (scroll down to the 'Criticism' section of his Wikipedia page for more on that). I however, love Tim McCarver. He is one of the funniest people working in comedy today - because there is no way that half of what comes out of his mouth is meant as serious commentary.

During last night's Red Sox/Indians game McCarver was regaling us with the tale of how Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek has to use his thumb to call pitches because Dice-K Matsuzaka throws so many different pitches. And to prove he could count to 5, McCarver said the number of pitches Dice-K throws is more than 4. But the really great thing about this whole exchange was that play-by-play man Joe Buck apparently can't count to 5 and was confused by what McCarver had said. Buck thought that Dice-K would have to throw more than 5 pitches for the thumb to become a factor. Luckily, after much explanation and calculation, both were able to figure out that 5 is the correct number of digits a human should have on one hand.

This story has become long and probably doesn't mean anything to you unless you were watching the game last night. But if you were watching - you know exactly what I'm talking about. I've never laughed so hard during a baseball game in my life - it was like a young Martin and Lewis. Suffice it to say that it was one of the most sublime comedy bits I've ever heard. I'm very much looking forward to tonight's game.

Now on to the football...

... Did you realize that Dallas and New England were playing each other this week? And that they were both 5-0? I had no idea. I swear that of the 40 minutes of the 2 hour NFL Sunday Countdown show that is not commercials, 30 minutes was devoted to the Dallas/New England game. That hardly left them any time at all to talk about Brett Favre. And hey, I understand this - you gotta promote the marquee games, especially in a week where there were a lot of terrible games. But I think there was some slight overkill involved.

... And surprisingly enough that Dallas/New England game almost lived up to the hype - at least for the first 3 quarters. And now one of my favorite sportswriters, Bill Simmons, has started defending the Patriots sudden compulsion to run-up the score every week by saying it's justified because the Patriots were exposed as cheaters and everyone piled on. I guess that point of view is understandable because Simmons is a Boston guy and a Patriots fan - although I see absolutely no logic in that. They cheated, they were caught and now they run up the score every week to prove a point? That doesn't really make sense to me. I have a feeling history is going to judge this Patriots team very harshly. Or maybe it's just me.

... Wasn't Cincinnati head coach Marvin Lewis supposed to be a defensive genius? Wasn't he the defensive co-ordinator for Baltimore when they won the Super Bowl? The Bengals are just straight bad on defence. Of course offensively, they were 1-11 on third down against Kansas City. That probably doesn't help either. I wonder how long it will take before Carson Palmer, Chad Johnson, T.J Houshmandzadeh and Rudi Johnson get fed up and say, "That's it - we're leaving and starting our own team."

... A colleague of mine brought this up. Why is Tony Gonzalez allowed to dunk the football on the goalposts? Isn't that using the football and goalposts as props, which you're not allowed to do anymore. Maybe he's been doing it for so long that he got grandfathered into the new system.

... If Tom Brady wasn't playing with a serious chip on his shoulder this year, I think Devin Hester could potentially be the MVP of the league. He returned another kick for a touchdown on Sunday - bringing his punt/kick return total to 3 for the year. You can watch his latest against Minnesota here. The thing I love about this one is that he almost stops running and stands still right at the beginning of the return. This guy makes Dante Hall look like T.J Duckett. Oh, Hester also caught an 81-yard touchdown pass in that game as well.

... And how could I talk about the Chicago/Minnesota game without talking about Vikings rookie Adrian Petersen. He had 224 yards on just 20 carries, with 3 touchdowns. Petersen also had 4 kickoff returns for 128 yards, including a 53-yarder to set up the game-winning field goal. I was discussing him with Cooper yesterday and he think Petersen looks like the reincarnation of Bo Jackson. Petersen is built solid and runs low and mean.

... I demand to know why Seattle thought it was a good idea to run a fullback draw on 4th and 3 in the 4th quarter against New Orleans on Sunday night. Of course it didn't work. The play call was terrible to begin with - I'm looking at you Mike Holmgren - but that doesn't really say much about Shaun Alexander does it? Alexander averaged 2.5 yards per carry and was booed basically every time he touched the ball by the home crowd.

... And speaking of Mike Holmgren and bad play calling, why were the Seahawks going for it on 4th down late in the 4th down by 11 and in field goal range. They would have needed a touchdown, a 2-point conversion and a field goal to tie anyway, so why not get at least the field goal. Instead they didn't convert 4th down and got nothing.

... The Jets are just terrible (everybody: S-U-C-K-S-S-S) and I can't believe they are publicly giving a vote of confidence to Chad Pennington. He was 11/21 for 128 yards and an interception against a suspect Eagles secondary. I understand loyalty and its very important - but winning games is even more important. And sometimes loyalty to players can stand in the way of winning - as everyone in Saskatchewan familiar with the Danny Barrett era can attest to.

... Brett Favre is now apparently the best and the worst quarterback in NFL history, as he set the career interception mark on Sunday - a week after he set the career touchdown pass mark. This is a Lenny Wilkins situation. Wilkins is the winningest and losingest coach in NBA history.

... I didn't see the Giants/Falcons Monday Night game yesterday, as I was hooked up with some Velvet Revolver tickets (and it was actually a pretty decent show - I can't really name one Velvet Revolver song but it was very interesting to see most of the original Guns n' Roses lineup - especially when they did Patience) But I heard that I didn't really miss anything as far as the game went. One thing I did think was interesting looking at the game stats was that Atlanta only ran the ball 14 times - the entire game, between two running backs. I don't know why that was but you're probably not going to win many games when Joey Harrington has to throw the ball 40 times, especially when he only completes 18 of those passes.

... I feel as though I should apologize for telling people to bet the house on the Arizona Cardinals. But it wasn't my fault, I swear. Who knew that Kurt Warner's elbow ligaments would give out early in the game and the Cardinals would have to rely on Tim Rattay. When Tim Rattay's your best option, you're in trouble.

... Since over half the league would now be on the Do Not Bet On Until Further Notice I'm abandoning the whole experiment. I'll be the first to admit that I have no idea what's going anymore.


Trebor said...

This past week my pick'em ticket was the worst by far i think i got 11 out of 10 wrong. Probably not that bad but who knew baltimore had an offense, sure 6 field goals isn't much but i really saw this game being like 10-6, with Ed reed getting the TD for baltimore. That's why i'm not sure how you sit the balt D or Seattle D ?? Joking it was worth a shot.. I was so wishing it worked out for you but I think fantasy football has it our for you.

I watched the Seattle game and it's like holmgren was just winging it... 2 things come to mind, when homer coaches..okay half you run around in a cricle, you fall over ...etc.. and then also the great philosphy "they'll never think we'll do this" Like when riders used to run the delayed draw on 2nd and long. That 4th quarter was a string of bad calls.

I didn't see much of the falcon game (~30%)I have to say harrington didn't look bad...his recievers though..different story we're talking veterns like horn and dunn, as well as the new guys too. If i'm petrino that's what i'm working on in practice teaching my receivers how to catch.

Anonymous said...

Nothing about Vinny? Not even a word? The 4000-year old man comes off the street, and goes 20/33 for 206 and 1 td. Now those numbers aren't great, but for a guy who was playing golf a week ago that isn't bad. So are you going to try the testaverde experiment in fantasy? Couldn't hurt.
Oh and I feel that I must defend...I can't believe that I am going to do this...Harrington (shudder). His recievers are the worst bunch of chuckers I have seen in a long time. They dropped close to 10 passes (where the closest reciever was a few yards back), and I am not just talking about runningbacks or fullbacks, these are people whose only real job is to CATCH THE BALL.
Now you may ask why i was watching this game. I was hoping to see a collapse by the new york football giants (yes that is right, my brother and I were watching this game for the sole purpose of hoping that you, mr editor, would win a game in fantasy). Perhaps I should concentrate more on my own team and less on yours...hey, do you want to mesh teams? We may go .500 this year and miss the playoffs?