To open this week's Upon Further Review, we're going all the way back to last Thursday night. I know that must seem like a million years ago but please try and think back if you can - it'll be worth it.
... Bryant Gumbel is the worst thing to happen to the NFL since the Aaron Brooks Experience. Gumbel does the play-by-play for Thursday games on the NFL Network - and he is a strange hybrid of monstrously awful and unbelievably spectacular (if only from a comedic standpoint). To wit - as Redskins' QB Jason Campbell was on the turf writhing in agony - his kneecap clearly displaced - Gumbel remarked with total seriousness - Hmmm, doesn't look like we'll see him again tonight. Really Bryant? Gumbel also seemed mystified as to why the crowd in Washington was cheering Campbell as he was being carted off the field. And then to top it all off Gumbel - on at least two separate occasions, referred to Redskins' back-up QB Todd Collins as "Tom Collins." I kid you not. Bring back Gumbel to Gumbel!
... Why I love technology Part 1 - this is the exact text I sent to Cooper at 8:34pm as Jason Campbell was being carted off the field - "I'm getting on a plane for washington right now and I'm going to light gumble on fire."
... Unfortunately, I wasn't able to watch another football game until Sunday afternoon, as I was taping a Sport Not-Named Football for Mrs. Sports As Life. My kingdom for a second cable box.
... Why I love technology Part 2 and 3 - Since I was unable to actually watch the early games, I was following them on NFL.com. After Marion Barber III (my fantasy running back) scored his 3rd touchdown of the game, I sent the following text message to TH, who I was playing this week - "Mar-ion Bar-ber, clap clap clapclapclap." Obviously I have too much time on my hands.
... I know you're concerned but I was able to watch the end of the Dallas/Detroit game. The Sport Not-Named Football ended just before 3 and I was able to see Detroit's inevitable collapse.
... But here's what I didn't see in the early games:
- Jacksonville, Buffalo and Green Bay predictably all won by large margins.
- Cincinnati is so bad they could barely beat a team quarterbacked by Irving Berlin... oh, wait - Brock Berlin.
- The Giants have somehow won 9 games this year - and they're 6-1 on the road. Some things I'll just never understand.
- San Diego pulled off one of the great comebacks in recent memory - it was especially great since they're not so good. Of course Tennessee has Vince Young - he's no good either. LaDanian Tomlinson is a force of nature - nice to see him back in form
... San Diego was down 7 when I left my house and somehow by the time I got to TH's house 2 minutes later to watch the Pats/Steelers game, I was informed the game was in overtime.... As for the Pats/Steelers game itself - the result was pretty predictable, although the first half was pretty entertaining. It was nice to see Anthony "Guaranteed" Smith getting torched for two long touchdowns. I'm pretty sure that second-string safeties shouldn't be talking to the media about anything. As if the Patriots needed another excuse to pretend like they're disrespected. If I was running the Steelers, Smith would have been on the unemployment line on Monday morning.
... Phil Simms terrible, just terrible.
... Do you think the Colts stomped all over the Ravens just to show New England how easy it is to beat them? I do. I think it was a: you had trouble with them but look how badly we can beat them game.
... And people wonder why I wait until Tuesday (or Wednesday) to do the NFL review - it's so that I won't miss gems like this.
... Also Bobby Petrino has done his best Nick Saban impersonation and left the Atlanta Falcons with 2 games left in the season to coach at Arkansas.
... Also also, Cooper has just informed me that Bryant Gumbel will not be calling the Thursday game tomorrow night because he has the "flu" - a likely story.
A quick programming note: Trebor's playoff edition of Sweet, Sweet Fantasy Baby will be up later this afternoon. And the NFL picks will be up tomorrow.