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the sunday afternoon smorgasbord http://www.themightymjd.com/smorgasbord @ themightymjd.com Mon, 09 Sep 2013 02:15:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.6 Week 1 – 2013/2014 http://www.themightymjd.com/smorgasbord/?p=112 http://www.themightymjd.com/smorgasbord/?p=112#comments Mon, 09 Sep 2013 01:52:57 +0000 mjd http://www.themightymjd.com/smorgasbord/?p=112 WooHoo, it’s Smorgasbord time! I wasn’t going to do Smorgasbords this year, because I read ESPN.com on Friday morning, so I know that the Denver Broncos have already been awarded this year’s Lombardi Trophy. That kind of ruined the suspense for me. But what the heck, we’re all here, so let’s go through the motions.

First text I get today, courtesy of my man Dirty: “I bet Ray Lewis doesn’t really need those glasses.”


I bet you’re right, but hey, don’t we all adopt little accessories and enhancements to help lift our image? Things like a pair of spectacles, or devout religion?

Rob Riggle is back for another season as Fox’s in-house pre-game comedian, and he sure is … trying hard.

Don’t get me wrong, I really like Rob Riggle. He’s hilarious, but that’s a tough gig. Not only does a guy have to be genuinely funny, but he also has to be the kind of 1984 sitcom-style funny that Terry Bradshaw and Howie Long think is funny. It’s a lot to ask.

By the way, congratulations to Rex Ryan on the weight loss. He’s looking sharp. Everyone loves to call him a porky tub of goo when he’s got the extra pounds on, but now that he’s a little more svelte, there’s not one, “Hey, looking good, Rex!” sent his way? That doesn’t seem fair.

At 1:00, a full minute of “30 Rock” airs on the middle TV before it’s switched over to the Steelers game. And this is one of the good sports bars. I will never understand why this is so difficult.

The games we’ll be focusing on today include Titans vs. Steelers, Patriots vs. Bills and Buccaneers vs. Jets.

Also, if these were still the days when I shamelessly objectified the waitresses here, I would have stacks and stacks and stacks of sizzling trim to objectify the tight little ass off of here today. But I don’t do that anymore. You’ve watched me grow up, America.

Darius Reynaud comes strong and comes early in the competition for Boner of the Week. Back to take the opening kickoff, Reynaud watched it roll into his hands with his feet juuuuuuust outside of the endzone, and then stepped back in to the endzone, as if he was unsure of where he was. That’ll be two points for the Steelers, and that’s the best way I can think of to spray a torrent of urine all over the hard work done put in by all of Reynaud’s Titans’ teammates all summer long.

Here’s the link to the Reynaud play, which is linked in a separate item, for this reason: I don’t know if I want to link to video highlights at all, because the video practices of NFL.com are infuriating. There are three things online video providers can do that are unforgivable:

1) The use of pre-roll commercials nearly as long as the video you want to watch;
2) Videos that play automatically; and
3) Attached, mandatory commercials that are way, way, way louder than the actual video (which is actually illegal to do on TV).

NFL.com, while a fine website in just about every other way, is a major offender in all three areas. They won’t allow NFL video anywhere else online, and if you want to watch it on NFL.com, you have to endure some of the worst things about the internet. They might as well make you win an argument with “raiderzOG1998″ before you can see your 30-second highlight.

So I don’t like linking to them, but if I do, maybe it gives you a clearer picture of the play. I don’t know. I’d appreciate hearing your thoughts on the issue.

Ben Roethlisberger’s had ample time in the pocket early on against the Titans, and he’s throwing darts out there. Cotchery for a gain of 11. Sanders for a gain of 20. Cotchery for 8 more. Sanders for 9.

And on the six-yard-line, Isaac Redman gives the football away. Perhaps this is his way of saying he feels bad for Darius Reynaud, which is sweet.

Adrian Peterson’s first carry of the season goes 78 yards to the house, and is everyone just going to start the year in midseason form? Are we going to have to take Peyton Manning’s MVP back?

Geno Smith’s first NFL pass is complete. I can discern no reaction out of the gentlemen here who is wearing a black New York Jets #6 Sanchez jersey. Though I guess if you’re the kind of guy who owns a black New York Jets #6 Sanchez jersey, it was probably wise for you to shut down all human emotions several years ago.

Uh oh. Maurkice Pouncey’s getting a free cart ride. Talk about an early season team-crippler. Aside from a serious injury to Ben Roethlisberger, that’s about the worst thing that could happen to the Steelers.

And here’s this season’s first Ed Hochuli sighting. Still dieseled, still in phenomenal shape. I don’t know what I was expecting. Maybe in 2017, Hochuli will come out for the first game unshaven, with a beer gut, a cigarette in his mouth and a limp. And he’ll wheeze his way through a call like, “Uggghhh, that’s holding, number seventy… I dunno, seventy-fucking-something. Hoooo. It’s been a rough offseason for ol’ Eddie.” And we’d never get any explanation for it.

I believe Brett Keisel is Daniel Bryan’s biological father. Chronologically, it makes little sense, but I GET TO THINK WHATEVER I WANT.

Hey, remember what I said earlier about Ben Roethlisberger having ample time to throw? Nevermind.

This Calvin Klein ad (or one very similar to it) is in heavy rotation today. Thanks a lot, CBS. How am I supposed to concentrate on football with this throbbing erection?

We’ve had three safeties already today: one against the Chiefs, one against the Titans, and one against the Bucs. If I worked at the Elias Sports Bureau, I could tell you that that was a record, but I actually have no idea if that’s true.

He’s not going to make anyone forget Steve DeBerg anytime soon, but Josh Freeman’s made some nice-looking throws today. He likes Vincent Jackson on those skinny posts. This one’s a bullet to Mike Williams in the endzone.

Look at that — Mike Williams has grown a thick, scraggly, underbrush beard. Like one of those beards you see on a guy who’s not just Muslim, but really, really Muslim. So I’ve spent the last fifteen minutes on Google because I’m curious about Mike Williams’ religion (I still don’t know), and I’ve also ended up at the Wikipedia entries for Islamic Hygienical Jurisprudence and Islamic Toilet Etiquette.

When defecating together, two men cannot converse, nor look at each other’s genitals.

That’s totally fair, so I don’t know why we can’t all get along, okay?

Adversity for Geno Smith: Around his own five yard line, the pass rush gets to him, and he coughs up a Sanchez-ian fumble. I’m starting to suspect that the Jets have problems outside of the quarterback position.

FANTASY UPDATE: Lamar Miller, this year’s Dolphins running back who people think is going to be a good fantasy option, currently has 7 carries for 3 yards.

And here’s some adversity for Jeff Cumberland, courtesy of Geno Smith. Cumberland nearly had his face crushed because Geno led him precariously over the middle. As an apology, Geno’s next throw was intercepted, so Jeff Cumberland could get off the field and get his thoughts together. Leadership beyond his years.

On the ensuing Buccaneers play, a massive Josh Freeman overthrow results in an interception right back. Did someone hire Bobby Petrino between quarters?

On the ensuing Jets play, Geno Smith runs 18 yards backwards and then takes a sack. These last few minutes have been a hellish quarterbacking nightmare, or, as Jets fans call it, “Sunday.”

Meanwhile, Terrelle Pryor is 11-of-15 at the half. How about that?

The Jets go into two-minute mode right before the half, and all the sudden, Geno Smith looks like that great former Jets quarterback … well, he looks good, is what I’m saying. It kind of makes sense. In shotgun, with four or five receivers out wide, he’s likely to be more comfortable than he is in a traditional pro-style set. He goes 5-of-5 on the drive, and it ends with a touchdown pass to Kellen Winslow.

So impressive was that drive that Geno got a hearty congratulations from Mark Sanchez, who is holding a clipboard on the sidelines and has borrowed his twin sister Arantxa’s hair band. I’m glad this game is in New York, so Mark can quickly get over to Flushing Meadows to play Serena in the finals.


Troy Polamalu, on a dead sprint, timed the Titans’ snap perfectly, leaped over the line, and sacked Jake Locker before the ball was even in his hands. Man. Polynesian spitfires who played defense at USC have a special knack for that.

(Moment of silence)

Sweet sassy molassey, the Bills have just taken the lead on the Patriots. EJ Manuel sweetly dropped one right over Stevie Johnson’s shoulder from 18 yards away. That was beautiful.

A theory from a fellow nearby: Two years ago, the Steelers should have traded Ben Roethlisberger to the Colts and then drafted Andrew Luck. I agree. They also should have traded Limas Sweed for a 22-year-old Jerry Rice and a T206 Honus Wagner card.

Free idea for you, television networks that broadcast football: Names at players’ feet, Madden-style, on television broadcasts. TV screens are big enough and the resolution is good enough that it wouldn’t be much of a distraction. All it would take is a tiny little chip taped to a guy’s shoe, and then we can identify every receiver, lineman and defender, immediately. That wouldn’t make you a better fan, when you’re watching two teams with whom you aren’t totally familiar?


Kenbrell Thompkins is getting his fair share of looks today for the Pats. What’s really shocking is that they gave someone else Chad Ochocinco’s number so quickly after his historic stint there. That goddamn Belichick doesn’t have any respect for the game’s greats.

Buffalo is up four, and have denied the Patriots on 2nd and 3rd downs from the one-yard-line. It’s fourth down and the Patriots are going for it and BALLBALLBALLBALLBALL. Tom Brady and Ryan Wendell mangle the snap and Buffalo’s on top of it.

You know who’s really good? Jason McCourty. Good luck getting an easy catch against that guy.

CBS stat: with 1:15 left in the third quarter, New England tight ends have zero receptions on the day. Didn’t they have that one guy from Florida, Hernandez, who was pretty good? Where’s he? Hold on, I’m going to Google it.


FANTASY UPDATE: Lamar Miller’s torrid pace continues. He’s now at 9 carries and 1 yard.

The Titans are putting a Steelers-y drive on the Steelers. In the fourth quarter, with the Steelers in desperate need of a stop, the Titans are just pounding it out. Jackie Battle for 2. Pass to Nate Washington for 13. CJ for 11. CJ for 3. CJ for 8. Defensive pass interference for 24 yards. All told, the drive takes up 6:19, ends with a field goal, and makes it a two-score Titans lead.

Ellis Lankster is a bad-ass. Look at this textbook back suplex on Eric Page.

That’s so textbook that it’s not even a suplex, it’s a “suplay,” Gordon Solie style.

… and there’s sack #5 on Ben Roethlisberger today. According to the guy who believes the Steelers should’ve traded Ben Roethlisberger for Andrew Luck, “HEATH MILLER WAS WIDE OPEN!” Totally, man! I mean, that probably had something to do with this, but still! Ben Roethlisberger sucks!

Geno Smith has quietly settled in during the 2nd half. He’s not setting the league ablaze or anything, and many of his completions are of the shorter variety, but he’s at least stopped pounding the pooch. I wish I could think of a word for this kind of performance from a young Jets quarterback.

I’ve spotted a camouflage Troy Polamalu jersey, and I wanted to show it to you, because I know how Steelers fans like to make fun of Ravens fans wearing purple camo. I took a picture, and I was going to post it with the guy’s face (or was it a woman?) pixelated, but I’d kind of feel like a creep posting pictures I’ve surreptitiously taken in bars. Sorry. There’s a line, apparently.

Both New England and the Jets will have late-game opportunities to take the ball down the field and win with field goals. Geno Smith vs. Tom Brady. This will settle the argument forever.

Brady and the Patriots get their field goal. You remain alive in your Suicide Pool.

Geno’s situation is a little tougher. He’s only got 34 seconds, and the Jets for teammates.

Geno hits Winslow for 25 yards. And now GENO SCRAMBLES, and he’s close to the Bucs’ 45 and OH. LATE HIT. FIFTEEN MORE.

I hate to pee on anyone’s pancakes, but that call was soft. Was it late? It might’ve been close to being late, but when it’s that close, shouldn’t the contact be somewhat violent for a flag to be thrown? A smidge late, and a little shove to the shoulder? I don’t care for that flag.

That sets up a 48-yard field goal for Nick Folk, and Nick Folk is making that all day. Game, Jets. Geno Smith is poised and a winner. I think he could be the next Mark Sanchez.

I’m sorry for being a dick right there, so let me make it up to you. Here’s my advice for people interested in New York Jets football: Take a deep breath. Geno Smith was not proven a good quarterback because the Jets won that game, just as Mark Sanchez was not proven a good quarterback because he was on a Jets team that won playoff games in consecutive years. Geno Smith is a rookie who had a successful day with some ups and downs, that was, all in all, promising. Stop there. No one is going to give you an award for being the first to proclaim that Geno Smith is good or bad.

More pancake-peeing: Adrian Peterson, after ripping off 78 yards on his first carry, finished the day with 18 carries and 93 yards. So after his initial jaunt, he had 17 carries for 15 yards. Just thought it was worth noting.

Full marks for whoever did the Rams new endzone.


It couldn’t be much plainer, as if it was an intentional middle finger to everyone out there who likes fancy endzones. It might as well read, “F— YOU, YOU’RE IN ST. LOUIS. THAT’S ALL YOU GET. PAINT YOUR OWN F—ING LAWN.”


MJD can be reached here.
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Week 9 – 2012/2013 http://www.themightymjd.com/smorgasbord/?p=101 http://www.themightymjd.com/smorgasbord/?p=101#comments Mon, 05 Nov 2012 09:53:24 +0000 mjd http://www.themightymjd.com/smorgasbord/?p=101 Imagine you’re the kind of person who loves “Murder, She Wrote”, “A Prairie Home Companion” and various programs on the Oxygen network. Now, imagine someone makes you sit in front of an NFL pre-game show on Sunday at noon. It would be understandable if you thought that show was the worst, most obnoxious, over-produced, self-important hour of gorilla shit in the history of entertainment. The really unfortunate thing is that I love the NFL, and I feel that way.

You know what those shows are? They’re “The View”. Except they’re targeted at men; particularly the dumbest of us.

Just a note I’d like to pass along to the fantasy football enthusiasts among you, on behalf of all fantasy football commissioners everywhere: Just follow the fucking rules, please? It doesn’t matter if it’s a small and inconsequential thing like a backup kicker. Just know the goddamn rules and follow them. That’s it. That’s all we ask. This way, no one gets to make your commissioner feel like a douchebag because he won’t let you break the rules over a backup kicker.

The new “Red Dawn” movie looks truly, breathtakingly awful. I can’t put my finger on what, exactly, but it feels like it’s exploiting something. It’s the same feeling I get when the WWE makes a new super-patriotic wrestler right after something terrible befalls the country.

Today, we’re back at the original site of the Sunday Afternoon Smorgasbord, and I’m pleased to tell you that the waitress hiring practices have not changed over the last six years. That’s what I love about these sports bar waitresses, man. I get older … they stay the saaaame age.

The Redskins have won the 2012 Alternate Jersey of the Year award. Wrap it up. Close the voting. It’s over. They’ve given their helmets a paint job that makes them look like they’re covered in leather. It’s absolutely beautiful. That’s some Rick’s Restorations shit right there. I like the white outlines around the numbers, too. They even reverted back to an especially offensive depiction of a Native American on the jersey patch! Fantastic work, someone in the Redskins organization.

I’m serious about the “leather” helmets and white outlines. The patch … well, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe it’s just a depiction of Mike Shanahan’s mother.

A man around the age of 80 wonders in to the place at about 1:15 and can’t find a place to sit (something that hasn’t been possible at this bar for at least the last nine years). Accompanied by a man who I believe is his son, the older fellow asks a young Redskins fan, around the age of 20 and sitting alone, if they can join him. I’m relieved, because this means that he didn’t ask me. The young man agrees. Probably begrudgingly.

I really only mention it because I was terrified that this guy was going to ask if he could sit by me. I’d have probably agreed to let him sit there, because I’m a big soft pussy, but in my head, I’d have been thinking, “Eat one, old man. Do you know how many hours of my life I’ve burned getting to this place early because I knew I couldn’t find a seat after 1:00? Fuck you. Take your son and your matching free Sports Illustrated Redskins jackets (I’m not making that up) and go listen to the game in your car. In a sealed-up garage. With the ignition on.”

I’m sorry. That was excessive. Some of that may be more about me than the old man.

I’m not saying that I want this called, necessarily, but how is a Dikembe Mutombo-style finger wag not a taunting penalty? That’s pretty much the definition of taunting, is it not? And worse than that, it disrespects the great Dikembe Mutombo. You disappoint me, Texans. YOU DO NOT GET TO SEX MUTOMBO.

Paul Posluszny and Matthew Stafford are jawing at one another. I think Stafford’s best move would be to handle that like Deb handles the doorman in “Knocked Up.” “You’re a Jaguar. Jaguar. Jaguar. JAGUAR.” Really, what could be Posluszny’s rebuttal?

I was disappointed to learn that Dolphins/Colts wouldn’t be one of the six games in front of me, but I thought RGIII vs. Cam Newton was a nice little consolation prize. Until now, though, I haven’t seen much that’s Cam-like or RGIII-like. They’ve basically been darker Jake Plummers so far. Finally, Newton and the Panthers are gashing the Redskins on some zone-read option stuff.

Tony Siragusa on Carolina’s running back combination of Jonathan Stewart, DeAngelo Williams and Mike Tolbert: “They’ll win with those guys.” Carolina is currently 1-6.

Hey, look at that. Mario Williams has a sack. Is that his first of the year? Let me check … no, it’s his fourth. He had two against the Cardinals and 1.5 against the Browns. $100 million seems like a pretty high price to disrupt the rhythm of Brandon Weeden and Kevin Kolb. Those guys will usually do it themselves for free.

On 4th and two at the Carolina two, the Redskins eschew the three points an call an RGIII keeper around the right end. Nothing doing. Isn’t the brilliance of RGIII that he can kill you with his feet or with his arm? So why not make a defense defend both? Send a receiver or two out and give him the option. A basic sweep right just turns him into an expensive Alfred Morris.

While we’re on the RGIII subject, could he be looking at his future on the other sideline when he sees Cam Newton? Will RGIII have his struggles, become despondent, be despised by a group of fans and be compared to Vince Young? Yes, no, maybe, and my goodness, I hope that we, as a society, can get past comparing all struggling black quarterbacks to Vince Young. I’ll explain.

He’ll eventually run into a difficult patch, where weeks will go by without him putting together a good performance. That happens to young quarterbacks. All of them. He won’t be immune. Will it do a job on him emotionally, as it seems to have done to Cam? I say no, and here’s why: There is a world of difference between a guy who wears this …


… and a guy who wears these:


I’m serious here. Look at the collar on that sweater. No one wears that unless they want you to look at it and think, “Hey, look at that guy’s sweater. It’s expensive, bold and fashion-forward. I will now associate these qualities with Cam Newton.” Whereas RGIII’s socks just point to a goofy guy who likes goofy things and can laugh at himself.

Imagine the Redskins starting next year 1-6 (I know it’s hard to envision the Redskins being terrible when they expect to be good, but just give it a shot for me). Will RGIII repeat Cam’s sophomore campaign? I don’t see that happening, at least not emotionally. He doesn’t take himself that seriously. He won’t have press conferences darker than Sylvia Plath poetry readings. He won’t get too down on himself. There are times when being a goofball pays off.

I believe that the video mentioned by the lady in this commercial should come pre-installed on every Galaxy SIII phone sold in America. That I have a Galaxy SIII is completely coincidental.

Stats from the Jacksonville/Detroit game: Calvin Johnson has six first half catches for 111 yards, and the Jaguars lead in first downs, 16-to-1. Jaguar. Jaguar. JAGUAR.

Something happened to Cam Newton, and now he’s got blood all over the front of his pants. Is the suggestion box still open, Cam? I suggest you to try something with wings.

More fun with stats: At halftime, the Bears have 31 points, despite Jay Cutler having just 37 passing yards. I really feel like we’re being deprived by Jay Cutler being on a good team. Can you imagine the never-ending fountain of misery that would flow from Jay Cutler quarterbacking a team that was perennially 5-11? The fans and media would hate him, which would make Cutler become more petulant, which would make the fans and media hate him more, which would make him more petulant, on and on and on until the whole franchise imploded and was sold to Magic Johnson for $1,100.

The NFL is running constant messages today urging people to support the Red Cross, which is wonderful. It’s also wonderful that the first-responders invited to the Giants/Steelers game today get to pose for a photo op with Roger Goodell. What a reward for those brave men and women. What I don’t understand, though, is why the New York City marathon can’t be run because of the resources it would require, but the Giants/Steelers game is A-OK. Is it the $1 million donated? The popularity of the NFL? The money it generates, as opposed to what’s generated from a marathon? I’m not saying anyone made a bad decision here, and I’m not accusing anyone of anything … I just wonder about some things.

And while cynical prick MJD is with us here … hey, free meals at Applebee’s for our nation’s veterans! I’m thinking about heading down to the recruiting office. Mmmm. Microwaved riblets.

The Redskins are countering the Carolina option by doing some option of their own, but theirs is more of an old school triple-option type. It’s working, too. This game is very college-y. Obviously, we’ve seen these wrinkles from the college game worked into NFL game plans, but when is someone going to hire a college coach who comes up and just goes full spread? We can’t be far away from this, can we?

For some reason, I’m looking at Dan Fouts riding a Segway. Got to hand it to CBS. They’ve got their finger on the pulse of what the audience wants.

I have a few questions about the Bud Light commercial where the Raiders fans all turn their beer labels the same way to aid in the making of a field goal.

1) Why are these gentlemen developing elaborate rituals to help the one position at which the Raiders have been competent for a decade?

2) Being Raiders fans, why would they waste their money on $11 Bud Lights, since they’re already high on PCP?

3) Scientifically speaking, don’t they have a better chance of actually affecting their environment by forgetting about their Bud Light labels and somehow syncing their electronic monitoring ankle bracelets?

And the Browns take the lead over the Ravens! No, wait … procedure penalty. They’ll call that one back. Sorry, Cleveland. Phil Dawson comes on to kick the field goal and gives the Browns the lead – a smaller one than they had before, but still, a lead. I’m going to feel a little better about the Chargers loss to the Browns if they can beat the Ravens, too.

Cameras catch up with Joique Bell and Kevin Smith during the 14th step of their 108-step celebratory handshake. I think I saw in there the miming of bailing water, and then pouring water back into a hole or bucket. I don’t know. Maybe it’s some kind of tribute to Sandy first-responders.

I am tremendously disappointed that Verizon has edited out the portion of the NFL Mobile commercial in which Clay Matthews threatens/offers to eat a man in an airport. Oh, Clay. Did we learn nothing from Larry Craig? I was just about to switch to Verizon, too. Is the offer no longer on the table? Can I at least get AJ Hawk to spoon me in the back of a cab? M.D. Jennings to brush my hair in a bus station?

Cincinnati had mounted a nice comeback on Denver, but here’s Andy Dalton with the big mistake – an underthrown ball to AJ Green that Champ Bailey slid underneath. That’s a shame. Dalton was about to leave the building feeling like he’d outplayed Peyton Manning.

Torrey Smith gets into the endzone for the Ravens, after a catch and a deadly pivot/spin move to free himself on a path to the endzone. There’s no reason Smith shouldn’t evolve into one of the elite wide receivers in the league. He’s not there yet, but he’s as dangerous on the outside as anyone, in terms of going up and getting the ball and in making plays after the catch.

Logan Paulsen will be starring in the next episode of “When Gently Flipping the Football to the Official Goes Wrong.” The official wasn’t looking, Paulsen tossed the ball his way, and it clocked him in the eye – at least severely enough to stop the game momentarily. HA HA HA HA, IT’S FUNNY WHEN REFS GET HURT. DeAngelo Hall’s going to have to learn that trick.

At 4:37 p.m. on an NFL Sunday, there are three games being played. Meanwhile, at a large, crowded sports bar, there are three TVs at the bar. Three games on them, right? As a matter of fact, no. One TV has the Steelers/Giants game. One has FOX’s post-game show. One displays blackness and a brief message about not being subscribed to this channel.

Update, ten minutes later. There are 40 televisions in this place. The Vikings vs. Seahawks game is on one of them. The Steelers/Giants game is on 23 of them. The rest are a combination of Bucs/Raiders, the FOX post-game show, and the Big Ten network. Maybe an important Minnesota women’s volleyball match is coming up.

Eli’s not off to a great start for the Giants. He throws a pass deep down the sidelines that was way late and way short. The bright side, I suppose, is that the ball was so catchable that not even Ike Taylor could drop it.

Following a month of pink accessories and accents, this week the NFL is having a “Salute to Service,” and this includes, evidently, the camouflage towel draped around Ben Roethlisberger’s neck. I wonder if we aren’t headed towards an NFL season where each week brings a different cause, with different accessories, colors and towels. If so, I’d like to put in my request now for a pair of TruckNutz to be hanging out of every player’s pants during Testicular Cancer Awareness week.

Oh, hello, Ultimate Nachos. You are health food because there’s lettuce on you.

In a very interesting rule interpretation, Ryan Clark of the Steelers, immediately after delivering a hit to Victor Cruz’s ribs, is flagged for an illegal blow to the head. What’s the call for giving a guy a tugjob? Illegal hands to the face? Come on, officials. I defend you more times than not when it comes to calls like this. You gotta meet me halfway, though. All I’m asking is that you actually see someone’s head get hit before you say someone hit him in the head.

Shortly after that, Ben Roethlisberger was ruled to have fumbled a ball that didn’t appear to be fumbled. Steelers fans around me are frothing at the mouth and gnawing at their own thumbs, but I’m siding with the officials on this one. Osi Umenyiora’s hand hit Roethlisberger’s hand as he brought the ball back. When contact was made, the ball came loose – it was still on Roethlisberger’s hand, and it was indeed propelled by that hand, but I’m not sure that hand actually controlled the ball. Determining the exact instant when Roethlisberger lost control of the football is pretty tough. I think the official was right. At the very least, it falls under the “gray area/can’t be a terrible call either way” umbrella.

On the subject of this game, I suppose, ultimately, it’s going to be difficult to extrapolate much meaning. The Steelers travel plans were all screwy, and so many of the Giants players had their weeks disrupted, too. That stuff matters. It’s hard to say who was at an advantage or disadvantage, but that things were all jacked up is a certainty. With that disclaimer, though – the Steelers look really good. On the road. Against what is/was presumably one of the best teams in the league. The scoreboard may not reflect it right now, but the Steelers look to be the stronger team here.

Someone named Streater just caught a touchdown pass for the Raiders. I really hope his first name is Jason. Come on. Come on, come on … ah, dammit. It’s Rod. Decent porno name, Rod Streater. Not much good for making Friday Night Lights references, though.

Lawrence Tynes misses a field goal with 31 seconds left before halftime, which shouldn’t be that big of a deal … except that Ben Roethlisberger gets the Steelers into comfortable field goal range really quickly with two great throws. That guy is just such an incredible threat in situations where you wouldn’t think a threat existed.

Local news update at halftime: A two-year-old boy was killed at the Pittsburgh zoo after he fell into the exhibit of African painted dogs. Eleven dogs mauled a two-year-old boy.

Back from commercial, I see John Pagano’s locker room speech to his Colts team, in which he vowed that he would, in spite of his current battle with leukemia, dance at both of his daughter’s weddings.

I don’t wanna watch football anymore. News of eleven wild dogs pulling apart a baby followed by an emotional-speech by a leukemia-stricken man tend to drain my enthusiasm for frivolous activities. Jesus. I just want to go to church and maybe have someone hug me. I don’t know. I weep for simpler times, when life was just about Dan Fouts riding a Segway.

I haven’t written anything down in about a half hour. I’m just blankly staring out a window. Wild dogs. Daughter’s weddings.

What finally gets me to take another note is that a gentleman behind me is trying to belch as loud as he can, because … I don’t know. Being eight years old discovering the ability to voluntarily belch was so much fun. It’s happened three times now. I know I’m in a sports bar, and I’m not walking around here looking for the shiniest beacons of peace and love that humanity has to offer, but come on, brother. There are people here eating. There are people here with their wives and girlfriends. We’re belching for attention? WILD DOGS JUST ATE A BABY, MAN.

I feel like the simple act of turning around and looking at the belcher would also carry an implication to the effect of, “You’re an animal, and your belching-for-attention act disgusts me.” It does, right? I don’t have to say anything – just looking conveys the message. Should I do it? Do I make eye contact? What’s to be gained? I don’t know. He’s just going to laugh with his friends about the lame guy at the bar offended by a belch. A glare from a woman would be much more effective in this situation. A glare from me just empowers him.

Steelers running back Chris Rainey is hurt, and a mixed-team prayer circle is formed. Which is a nice gesture, and I hope Chris Rainey is okay, and it looks like he will be – he walked off under his own power. I want to admire the gesture of the prayer circle, but I just can’t. Rainey’s going to be fine. You guys want to pray about something? Let me tell you a story about A BABY WHO WENT TO THE ZOO TODAY.

Sorry. I can’t get past that. I feel like it’s having a slight effect on the Smorgasbord, too.

Deep breath … back to football. The Steelers, with 4th and a foot at the Giants two-yard-line, opt for a fake field goal. Which is weird, because whether or not to go for that was pretty much a toss-up, so the Giants probably considered the possibility of a fake, right? And if they are going to fake something, it probably shouldn’t be a play where the kicker runs directly into an area where Giants players would be rushing even if they did believe it was an actual field goal attempt. That was weird.

I’m not usually one to share with you tales of my fantasy football team, but I can’t write honestly about my day of watching football and not mention that Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back, has forced himself entirely inside me. There’s nowhere left for him to go. The root, the testes, even the immediately adjacent pubic hairs … they’ve all probed my inner depths. I am a human being, Doug Martin. HAVE YOU NO DECENCY, SIR?

The Steelers are really going to do this. To be honest with you, I did not expect them to compete today. I didn’t think a blowout, necessarily, but I figured something like 24-13, Giants, where they didn’t leave much doubt about the better team. The Steelers won, though, and they didn’t just win – they looked convincing doing it. They won despite some big mistakes. They’ve been convincing before, but not on the road. They made an impression today.

Carson Palmer, leading the Raiders on a somewhat miraculous comeback against the Bucs, gets the ball back, trailing by three points with 2:42 to play. Palmer drops back and promptly hits Buccaneers safety Ahmad Black in the chest with the football. And this sets up another chance for … oh no …


That’s four. Four touchdowns for Doug Martin, and the animal behind me just put forth his fourth belch of the day. I can take no more.

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Week 8 – 2012/2013 http://www.themightymjd.com/smorgasbord/?p=90 http://www.themightymjd.com/smorgasbord/?p=90#comments Mon, 29 Oct 2012 08:09:57 +0000 mjd http://www.themightymjd.com/smorgasbord/?p=90

I’d like to talk to you about something that’s become an epidemic. Sports bars, in staggering numbers around this grand nation of ours, are not paying attention to what’s on their televisions. Come on. That’s what makes you a sports bar. You know what games are on; you know what your patrons want to watch. Have a plan. Put it into action before 1:05 on fall Sundays, so you don’t have six employees running around looking for the remote, making me feel like an asshole customer because I want to watch a particular game. If you can’t handle this, you’re not a sports bar. You’re a poorly-run bar with a lot of TVs.

Eventually, I do get the Chargers vs. Browns game on. In fact, I get it on the two TVs directly in front of me, which is perfect, because there are no other games on, because the NFL doesn’t play multiple games at the same time or anything. The first thing I see is Chargers fullback Le’Ron McClain turning some poor Browns DB’s lights out, reminiscent of old school Lo Neal. We’re turning back the clock today, baby.

As it turns out, I’m sitting next to a Browns fan. Normally, I’d be a little annoyed to sit directly next to a man who will, all day long, openly pull for the very things that make me unhappy. But he seems like a nice guy, and I’m assuming that he suffers from a pretty severe depression, being a Browns fan and all. I see no need to pile on. But if he is going to kill himself today, I hope he does it in the restroom.

Philip Rivers has a mustache. I repeat: PHILIP RIVERS HAS A MUSTACHE.

How did I not know this? And what does this mean for the future of the San Diego Chargers? And is it just me, or was he about the least likely guy in the league to show up one day with a mustache? So many unanswered questions. All I know right now is that as long as the lip fur remains, I’m calling him Philly. Philly Rivers.

If anyone thinks that Redskins tight end Logan Paulsen can get hurt, and I won’t start chanting “His name is Logan Paulsen,” they are wrong. They’re just wrong.

Concern: Mustachio’d Philly Rivers is not throwing the ball downfield. He’s handing off, he’s throwing short to running backs … the deep ball is absent. I think Norv just wants a more conservative, less turnover-prone offense after the bye week, but I’m not exempting the mustache from blame here. For normal guys, a mustache would increase the size of their balls by about 45%. It appears to have done the opposite here. Two weeks ago, clean-shaven Phil would’ve tried to force a ball into a one-armed dwarf in a straitjacket in triple coverage. Today, he won’t throw it farther than four feet. Someone explain to him how mustaches work.

With 12:56 remaining in the second quarter, Philly Rivers throws his first deep pass. It travels with the laser-like velocity of a hot air balloon and is only not intercepted because it was a Cleveland Brown trying to do the intercepting.

Meanwhile, Ben Roethlisberger has just completed his second touchdown pass of the day, this one to Heath Miller. It seems like I’m appreciating Roethlisberger more and more every week, which I’m not happy about. But the miscreant is just so good, even when the rest of his offense is not. Clearly, the Chargers managed to land the worst quarterback taken at the top of the first round in 2004, despite having the first pick. We’ve got a sterling track record with these things.

The fiancée of the Browns fan sitting next to me is vehemently anti-Chargers, which, in this part of the country, is odd. If anyone in this region is anti-Chargers, it’s because of this – DENNIS GIBSON IS HUNG LIKE A BULL – but for the most part, people are completely apathetic about the Bolts. I tell her I’m a Chargers fan, and she looks at me like Satan himself is sitting in my lap, using his iPhone to steer Hurricane Sandy. As it turns out, her ex-husband was a Chargers fan. Hence, the bitterness. Since he’s a Chargers fan, though, I’m going to assume their split was entirely her fault, he is blameless and a saint, and I hope he got the kids.

There probably weren’t any kids. I don’t know. If you happen to read this, nice lady who was at the bar with me, I apologize. I’m kidding.

Here’s a text I got this morning from my buddy Doug, an asshole Eagles fan:

“i’d sit all ur falcons if I were u. Theyre in deep trouble today. [Falcons QB Matt Ryan] wont break 15. Playin in his hometown, a lil nervous. The eagles will dominate.”

Matt Ryan has three touchdowns and something like one incompletion at the half. What I love about Eagles fans is their commitment to keeping realistic expectations regarding their team.

Chargers defensive coordinator John Pagano, brother of Chuck, has “#CHUCKSTRONG” written on the reverse side of his laminated play sheet. And it’s a nice gesture, and of course the man is thinking of his brother, but the way the Chargers are playing today, they shouldn’t be allowed to use the term #CHUCKSTRONG. #CHUCKSTRONG is about fighting when fighting is necessary. It’s about overcoming adversity. It’s about taking what life gives you and still being the best you can be. Today, the Chargers are not #CHUCKSTRONG, they are #PUSSYDAMP. If Chuck Pagano is counting on the Chargers for any inspiration, by the end of the day, he’s going to have leukemia and herpes.

It’s halftime of the early games, and I’ve got a chance to reflect a bit. It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, and it’s been just about as long as I’ve sat in a sports bar on a Sunday to simply observe football and football fans. Clearly, I have aged. Young men wearing football jerseys look slightly ridiculous to me, where before, they never did. I’m still not buying into any “Jersey Rules” or anything – wear what makes you happy – but someday, young jersey-wearer, you’re going to want a woman to like you, and your authentic Osi Umenyiora jersey isn’t going to further the cause.

Another observation: It seems there are fewer Crazy Fish Guys these days. Actual Crazy Fish Guy hasn’t been heard from in a while, but I’m talking metaphorical Crazy Fish Guys. The older gentleman, by himself, who just wants to sit and quietly watch his team or his gambling interests. It seems to be almost exclusively younger folks now.

Unless, of course … I’m the new Crazy Fish Guy.

Oh fuck. I might be the new Crazy Fish Guy.

Before the third quarter starts in Cleveland, they’re showing footage of Lake Erie in Cleveland, and it looks like something out of “The Perfect Storm”. Whitecaps are pounding rocks, shrubbery is whipping about, and the sky has turned a color too depressing for even Cleveland.

Browns fans are responding accordingly. At the start of the second half, I’m going to guess the stadium is about 15% full. That’s my honest guess. And the Browns are winning. The Weather Channel should use that as the dramatic statement that sums up just how unpleasant this storm is going to be. Years from now, we’re going to look back on this and, “Well, there was that one storm back in ‘12 that it was so bad it got Browns fans to leave a game they were winning – one of just 7 games they won over a 15-year period.”

A week after RGIII had people putting him in the Hall of Fame, the Steelers have him completely checked. He’s not throwing or running effectively. It’s clear which of these teams has the savvy veteran quarterback and which has the rookie. The Steelers, at certain moments, can be so impressive. Maybe it’s just that they’re at home, where they’ve been way better this year. Or maybe Ben Roethlisberger just feels comfortable in prison stripes.

Meanwhile, the Chargers, with the exception of Philly Rivers, seem totally comfortable with abject failure. Dropped passes and missed tackles are met with a gesture that says, “You know, a couple of Ho Hos would really be delicious right now.” Again, the exception is Rivers, who throws miniature fits every time an opportunity is missed, be it his fault or a receiver’s. I’m glad someone cares and all, but I’d really rather his fits looked less like the fits of a little girl who doesn’t get to go ride bikes with the neighbor boy because she didn’t eat her broccoli.

Speaking of poorly-behaved children, there are two behind me, two or three years old, who apparently have total permission to run around screaming and squealing like they just saw Spongebob take a shotgun blast to the face. Don’t get me wrong, I love kids – just not these two little pricks. I can’t imagine this behavior being okay with a parent. It seems to be, though. They think it’s funny. And at home, maybe it’s so goddamn adorable that it melts your face, but you’re in public now. There are other people around. By not reigning your child in, you make everyone hate your special little snowflake.

Antonio Brown of the Steelers returns a punt to the house, and in the classiest and most sportsmanlike of moves, he starts backpedaling at about the 20-yard-line. Is there an AND1 Tour for football? Because they’d love that move there. Brown, for some reason, draws an unsportsmanlike conduct flag, which was declined because a holding penalty also nullified the touchdown. I almost wish the touchdown would’ve counted, just so he could’ve been punished for being such a wang.

CBS statistic regarding Brandon Weeden: He’s had 21 catchable passes dropped this season, which leads the NFL. That’s just mean, Browns receivers. Have a little respect for your elders.

It’s not on a TV I can see anywhere, but apparently, the Panthers are beating the Bears. This, I did not see coming. Is it possible – is there maybe an outside chance – that Cam Newton isn’t the gigantic bag of shit he’s been made out to be over the last week? That maybe he has some redeeming quality, as either a quarterback or a human being? I don’t know. I’m not suggesting that Cam Newton is Canton-bound or anything, but I’ve never seen a quarterback take such a pounding over poor press conference body language before.

With 10:00 to play in the fourth quarter, the second half yardage totals look like this: Chargers 60, Browns 70. This is the level to which the Chargers have fallen. On Gameday Final on the NFL Network, this is going to be the game that gets the 15-second highlight package. Hopefully, that still provides Deion Sanders ample time to repeat the same word 9 times in a row..

Whoa, DeAngelo Hall is wigging out. This chiseled 28-year-old athlete in prime athletic condition, covered in armor from head to toe, looks very much like he wants to fight head linesman/insurance claims adjuster Dana McKenzie right now. He took his helmet off in the guy’s face, an acts that begs, nay, demands, a 15-yard penalty. Now Hall is screaming in the guy’s face, and I’m not an expert lip reader, but I believe I saw a “bitch” and a “fuck you” in there. This is the most contentious player/official confrontation I’ve seen since Orlando Brown, may he rest in peace, was hit in the eye with a penalty flag. I don’t know exactly what Hall’s beef is, but I highly doubt he’s got a grievance as solid as Brown’s. Calm yourself.

With 2:32 to play, the Chargers trail by a point, and Eric Weddle is back to return a punt. He drops it, because of course he does. By some miracle, he accidentally recovered it, and the Chargers will now have a chance to drive for a game-winning field goal. I am 100% certain that it’s a field goal they will never see.

Haven’t seen much of this game, but the Lions have a 3rd-and-1, at the one, to get in the endzone and beat the Seahawks. Titus Young was going to the ground as Matthew Stafford darted the football into the tiniest little window, just scraping by the turf and the defender’s arm. Best throw of the day

Aaaaaaand the Chargers just lost to the Browns. That collapse against Denver two Mondays ago was it, man. That was the end for this group. That just fried any confidence or sense of purpose that this already emotionally-fragile team had. They had a bye week and a Philly Rivers mustache, and they still couldn’t bounce back. They’re goosed.

CBS now presents the “GEICO Play of the Day” from the Chargers/Browns game, and … good fucking luck with that, CBS. What do they go with there? The grounds crew successfully mowing the grass before the game? Did Brandon Weeden successfully pick a booger at some point today? Did cameras happen to catch a fan masturbating in the stands?

The Panthers couldn’t hold on to beat the Bears, but Cam Newton did have 300 yards passing against the Bears defense. And no, his completion percentage wasn’t high, and yes, he did have two interceptions. Still. It’s the Bears defense. That’s something. I think it’s worth at least exploring the notion that maybe he still has a chance to be a decent NFL quarterback. Let’s just consider it.

Prettiest touchdown of the day goes to Vick Ballard of the Indianapolis Colts for this twisting, surging overtime job against the Titans. There are dolphins at Sea World who don’t make dives that smooth. That’s a big win for the Colts, too. They can call themselves playoff contenders without anyone objecting too much. Maybe Andrew Luck ought to get some attention at some point, too.

For the last fifteen minutes, the television closest to me has been displaying the DirecTV screensaver. Hey, it’s not like this is a sports bar or anything, and it’s not like it’s a fall Sunday at 4:00.

Finally, that situation is alleviated, and the screensaver is replaced with the Raiders/Chiefs game. I was hoping I’d get to be one of the 19 people in the country watching this. Whether or not this represents a bump in entertainment value can be debated. My personal rankings on the subject go like this, from most entertaining to least: Footage of Mr. Belvedere getting a tattoo on his hairy taint > Chiefs/Raiders > DirecTV Screensaver > Chargers/Browns.

Brady Quinn has been injured and replaced in the Chiefs line-up by Matt Cassel. I tell you this because I’m not sure anyone else will bother reporting it. I’m not sure anyone else has even noticed it.

Oh, sweet – there’s going to be an “A Football Life” episode on Chris Spielman. I’m excited about this for a couple of reasons. First, I was a Spielman fan, and what he did for his wife touched me. It should be an excellent program. Secondly, Wayne Fontes is interviewed in the trailer, and when I first saw his image flash on the screen, I honestly thought I was looking at “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes.

The American Dream Wayne Fontes

A couple of Cowboys fans with a zeal for arts and crafts are borrowing a little bit of fan behavior from college basketball. They’ve got gigantic cut-outs of faces up behind the field goal posts in an effort to distract the kicker. I can’t identify these faces (little help, anyone?), but I like the trend. Suggestions for future faces are kickers’ parents and/or classmates who beat them up in grade school.

Oh, dear. Tony Romo just Romo’d a screen pass directly into the arms of Jason Pierre-Paul. JPP takes it to the painted grass, and it’s 23-0 Giants. I was counting on this game to entertain me. Maybe I can get that DirecTV screensaver back.

I’ve been enjoying the commercial for the new Microsoft Surface. I don’t know what makes it better or worse than an iPad or any other tablet, but I know this: When my friends and I are trying to select a tablet to use in our choreographed dance routines, we’re going with the Surface.

This is kind of a dick move on my part, but … there are bizarre things happening around me that I can’t tell you about. I’ll just pass along the moral of the story, which is this: Don’t owe a bookie money. Also, don’t be a bookie.

The cameras catch a shot of Chiefs guard Ryan Lilja on the sidelines, and he has the grayest hair I’ve ever seen on an NFL player. I don’t know if it’s for some Halloween costume or something, but that man is gray and grey. Take the vowel of your choosing. He’s like the white Roman Harper.

Oh, do I have good news for you, everybody. You know who’s providing the halftime entertainment during the Thanksgiving Redskins/Cowboys game? CHESNEY. And there’s more good news … Peyton Manning is free that day! His Broncos don’t play on Thursday, so Peyton can enjoy the show just like everyone else. Also from the “not totally surprising” category: Troy Aikman loves Kenny Chesney.

The Giants fail to cover Dez Bryant and Tony Romo hits him for a touchdown (just barely – Dez caught it like a punt), and there are faint signs that the Cowboys could make this a game. I was getting pretty comfortable with the idea of giving up on this afternoon of football.

Hey, there’s a Peyton Hillis sighting in Kansas City. He doesn’t look completely ineffective, either. By the way, have I ever thanked you, football fans of America, for voting Peyton Hillis onto the cover of Madden ‘12? Great call, everybody. I’m sure the appeal of his pure white skin had nothing to do with it.

At halftime of the Giants/Cowboys game, I’m calling it an afternoon. I’m finding myself watching more of Real Madrid pounding Mallorca than I am football (fine, American football, you pansy soccer snob), and that’s probably a sign that I should bounce. Much love, everybody.

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Week 17 – 2006/2007 http://www.themightymjd.com/smorgasbord/?p=73 http://www.themightymjd.com/smorgasbord/?p=73#comments Mon, 01 Jan 2007 11:15:19 +0000 mjd http://www.themightymjd.com/smorgasbord/?p=73 Michael Irvin’s made an interesting choice with his wardrobe today. He took a normal suit, smeared it with melted chocolate, and then rolled through a forest on his way to the studio this morning. Just a bizarre look. I mean, you can get creative with the color and the cut of your suits… but that’s as much liberty as I’ve ever seen anyone take with the actual texture.

By the way, I’m all by my lonesome today, which makes this much harder to do. It’s easier to watch multiple football games with three or four other people here, pointing out things that the others may have missed. I also don’t have anyone’s observations to steal. But, you know… I figured what the hell, it’s the last week of the regular season, it’ll probably be the last chance I have to do this… why not engage in seven or eight more hours of self-loathing and then share it with the world?

Not only am I alone at the table, I’m very nearly alone in the whole bar. There are two Browns fans and a Lions fan in this particular room with me at the moment. These three men are to be respected. For me, it’s no big deal, my team’s playing for home field advantage today.  I have a reason to be here. The reason their teams are playing is because the NFL would fine them if they didn’t. And yet, they show up… Respect.

The Steelers receive the opening kickoff, and Bill Cowher decides that now’s a good time to draw up some bullshit that you try in a backyard football game that never really worked then, either. Six or seven Steelers gather in a little mini-huddle, and then all break off in different directions, as to confuse the Bengals. And the Bengals were confused for a second, thinking “Hey, I didn’t realize we were back in Pop Warner,” right before tackling the guy at the 8 yard line. That was Bill Cowher’s, “Eh, fuck off, I’m retiring” play call.

By the way, the waitresses today? The C-team. However, I’m willing to bet that by 4:00, they’ll both be solid 8s. Give me that much time alone, and I can convince myself of anything.

Good news for the Lions: Jon Kitna throws complete to Roy Williams for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage. Bad news for the Lions:  That particular Roy Williams plays for the Cowboys.

They just called it back, though.  No touchdown. That may be the highlight of the day, nay the year, for the Lions.

Hey, Charlie Frye is starting for Cleveland. I thought this week was Ken Dorsey’s turn to set professional football back 20 years. The guy here in the Charlie Frye jersey seems particularly excited. It’s the small things, really.

Here’s something that has virtually no upside: Cedric the Entertainer starring in “Codename: The Cleaner.” Man, Ced was hot for a while… that sure didn’t last long. Someone’s agent made a few poor decisions along the way.

And Charlie Frye gets picked off by the Texans in the endzone. Thanks for coming back, Charlie. Can someone tell me how Charlie’s presence here today benefits the Browns? The Browns, you have to assume, can be reasonably certain that Charlie Frye sucks. Ken Dorsey hasn’t played in a while, and it still young enough that the light might come on for him. It’s worth investigating, is it not?

A new Nike commercial features Maria Sharapova saying that she’ll run more miles than LeBron in a month, or she’ll sit behind the Cavs bench and be his water boy. If I was LeBron, I’d break her fucking legs tomorrow.

So the Jets are in the playoffs if they can beat the Raiders today. In other words, the Jets are in the playoffs. Can you imagine what it would feel like for the Jets to lose that game? I’d rather lose to Farrah Fawcett on Celebrity Jeopardy.

By the way, since the overturned Dallas INT to the house on the first play of this game, Detroit’s been dominating. It’s 13-0, and it should be more… Detroit’s settled for field goals twice deep in Dallas territory, and the good Roy Williams just caught a TD pass.

Sign in the Dallas/Detroit game: “WILL YOU MARRY ME, T.O.?” Bitch, why do you hate yourself? My God, if that’s not a cry for help, there’s never been one. The back of that sign says, “Daddy didn’t love me… but it was probably a good call on his part.”

The Steelers are just crushing the Bengals on the ground here. Every time I look at that game, it’s Willie Parker for 10, Willie Parker for 8… shifty running through huge holes. The Steelers are going to have some decisions to make with their offensive line… They can run block with the best of them, but they couldn’t keep the Rockettes out of the backfield on passing plays.  Gonna be hard to find guys who are upgrades, but… clearly, something has to be done.

David Spade has a new show on CBS, and to the surprise of no one, the commercial for it looks terribly unfunny. I feel bad for Spade… I mean, he’s probably a pretty funny guy, but he can’t find anything that works for him. I think his best career move at this point would be to drive around selling bootleg copies of Tommy Boy out of the back of a van, and charging people $10 to hear him say, “That’s it, big boy, I’m gonna whale on you.”

Patrick Crayton brings in a Tony Romo touchdown pass for the Cowboys, which puts them back on top, 14-13. Atta way to fight for that #1 draft pick, Detroit. Calvin Johnson isn’t going to just fall into your lap, you have to be aggressive and go out and get him.

The yellow first down line in the Pittsburgh/Cleveland game is completely cockeyed. It’s running across the field at about a 20-degree angle with the yard lines. One or more members of the sideline chain gang is shitfaced… they were passing a bottle around their little locker room, “You know what, it’s New Years, and we’re in goddamn Cincinnati. Fuck it.”

In a highlight from a game I’m not seeing, Trent Green throws probably the best pass he’s thrown in a calendar year to Eddie Kennison on a flea-flicker. 21-10, Chiefs. I’d compliment their performance, but since they’re playing the Jaguars, you can tell absolutely nothing about the Chiefs from this game.

Oh, and here come the Lions, trying to fuck up their #1 pick again. It’s Roy Williams for the touchdown, and hey, maybe the Lions want to pick second in the draft. You’ve got a bigger margin for error there. You fuck up the #1 pick, people remember it forever. The #2, though… you can be forgiven. Solid strategy.

Steelers linebacker James Harrison grabs a Bengals receiver (I think it was Chad Johnson, but I can’t remember for certain), and spikes him down to the ground with a textbook belly-to-back suplex that would make Kamala proud. He had his arms around 85′s waist from behind, and he… well, he suplexed him. He got called for a 15-yarder on the play, which was absolute bullshit. That was honestly the best possible way for Harrison to stop Johnson’s momentum and put him on the ground. To me, that’s as egregious as any of the bullshit roughing the passer calls that have happened this year.

Ian Eagle says that Bill Cowher has one of the NFL’s “great faces.” That’s… well… I’ll just say that there are probably a lot of people out there who disagree.

The Steelers are pinned deep in their own territory, and Ben Roethlisberger drops back in his own endzone. Dexter Jackson blitzes, comes around the corner almost completely untouched… and completely whiffs. He went for the ball instead of Ben, and he had him just dead to rights. He whiffed completely, leaving 2 points and possession on the table. Extremely costly. That play could make the difference in the game.

And the reason it could make the difference is because the Steelers continue to jam the football straight up the Bengals’ asshole right now, just gashing them on the ground, again and again.

A Hines Ward gadget play gets the Steelers down to the Bengals 5-yard-line… until Steelers tackle Willie Colon gets a 15-yard taunting penalty. Oh, Cowher wants to cleanse him right now. He is pissed. If he doesn’t care about this job anymore, he’s certainly doing a good job of hiding it right now.

Mikey Furrey catches Jon Kitna’s third touchdown pass of the day, and puts the Lions up by more than a score. They lead 30-21. This is almost cruel to the Detroit Lion fans of the world. They’ll all watch today’s game and thinking, “Hey assholes, where was this all year?” And it’ll give them just enough hope to think they can win 8 or 9 games next year… and they can’t.

Willie Parker’s going to score here for the Steelers–check that. No he isn’t. Willie Parker is about to fumble the football on the 1-yard line on his way into the endzone, and the Bengals have it. Ouch. That was a dominating, ass-reaming drive by the Steelers, and it ends like that. On the recovery for the Bengals, and this is just poetic… Dexter Jackson.

And the Bengals take full advantage. Carson Palmer goes deep to Chris Henry, a guy for whom the Steelers have just had no answer today, and Henry’s just going to torch everybody. Heard at the next table over: “Het gets DUIs and still catches touchdowns, that’s gangsta.” Indeed it is, my friend. Indeed it is.

Oh, and I was right about the waitresses, by the way… it’s not 4:00 yet, and I’m convinced.  One of them has an ass that I criminally underrated from the start, and the other… she’s got this “I don’t care what I look like” look, and sweetheart, I promise you, it’s working for me.  Don’t shower ever again, for all I care… I’d just dirty you up again anyway.

This is the second time I’ve noticed this today, and I doubt that anyone cares but me… but there’s an official in the Cleveland/Houston game that signals field goals and touchdowns with his palms facing forward. It’s like he’s halting traffic. I dunno. Considering he’s doing the Browns/Texans game, that might be appropriate.

The Steelers answer right back, and it appears that most of the scoring in this game is going to happen in the fourth quarter. That was Willie Parker’s 16th touchdown of the year, which breaks a Steelers franchise record. That seems kind of strange… as long as the Steelers have been around, and their TD record was only 15? By Louis fucking Lipps? Statistical oddity… and that’s probably about the last thing left that Louis Lipps had in the playbook that could get him laid by a Pittsburgh skank.  It’s a sad day.

Here’s something that’s a little uncomfortable to see: A Lions lineman being taken off in a neck brace on a stretcher, giving everyone the “thumbs up” sign. Unpleasant vibes.

James Farrior sacks Carson Palmer and gets called for roughing the passer. The hit was on-time, but Farrior finished it off by driving Palmer into the truth. I think that one’s fair… the quarterback’s completely defenseless at that point, and driving him into the turf like that… it’s not necessary. The highlight of the play, though, was the ref trying to make the call with Joey Porter babbling into his ear… you could hear Porter in the ref’s mic, but couldn’t make out what he was saying. It sounded like something from the second quarto of Hamlet, but I’m not sure.

This marks about the 19th time that Fox has shown that big sign in Dallas that reads, “ROMOmentum.” It may just be me, but I don’t think it’s that fucking clever. Showing it once would’ve been fine… twice, if he’s having a good game. But it’s like they need to keep tabs on the thing after every play.  It’s not going to get any funnier, guys.

Terrell Owens scores from 50+ yards out to give the Cowboys a 1-point lead again. He does some effeminate little dance in the endzone, and then takes it over to the sidelines. He stands directly in front of Marion Barber and Lousaka Polite and does his little “T.O.” gimmick. Barber and Polite don’t even make eye contact.

Ben Roethlisberger’s doing his thing here… as bad as this year has been for him, he can still be, at times, scary good. He hits Santonio Holmes for 35 yards. The drive stalls, and on comes Jeff “Dick in a Box” Reed… and it’s good. 17 all. This has really turned into a hell of a game.

MJD 2.0 scores for the Jags to bring them back within five points of the Chiefs. He then shakes the hand of the back judge, which I’ve never before seen. That’s cool, but I’m also not sure it’s entirely appropriate from the standpoint of the official’s impartiality.

And Jon Kitna’s 4th TD pass of the day goes to Mike Williams. You read that correctly… Mike Williams caught a touchdown pass. He started to do some bullshit “look at me” celebration, and Mike Furrey just jumped on him. It might have been that Mike Furrey was legitimately that excited and wanted to go celebrate. But it might also have been that Mike Furrey thought to himself, “He’s not going to dance, is he? I’m gonna go do this guy a fucking favor and dive on him before he embarrasses himself.”

Carson Palmer has 56 seconds to try and win this game for the Bengals.

There’s a shot of Bengals kicker Shayne Graham on the sidelines applying lip balm. You don’t see that every day.

Palmer goes deep again to Chris Henry, and again, it is complete. The Bengals are down to the Steelers 20 with 22 seconds to play. I don’t really have a rooting interest in this game, but… I’d hate to see Chris Henry be the hero of anything.

And here comes Moist-Lips Graham on for the field goal. It is up, and it is shanked. No good. Graham, meanwhile, is all smiles about it. I guess it’s hard to be angry about anything when your lips are soft and supple.

So we’re going to overtime here, and the Steelers will receive. Roethlisberger, Santonio, Speed, House, Game. That didn’t take long. Bill Cowher during the postgame handshakes — and it’s entirely possible that I’m seeing things that aren’t there — looks like a guy saying some goodbyes.

So with the Cowboys loss, Andy Reid is walking around telling guys like Jeff Garcia and Brian Westbrook that they won’t be playing today. The Eagles have the division clinched and having nothing to gain by winning this one against Atlanta. This could be one exceedingly ugly game.

Calling the Chargers/Cardinals game for FOX today: Dale Hellestrae, Matt Devlin, and on the sidelines, Chris Rix. Yikes. When Chris Rix is the star of your crew, you’re in trouble.

Shaun Phillips gets a good rush off the edge and bats down a Kurt Warner screen pass… and now he’s in Kurt Warner’s face, talking trash. I hate to see that. There’s just no reason to trash-talk Kurt Warner at this point in his career… if Kurt and Brenda show up at Phillips’ house this week and start reading him Bible passages, Phillips absolutely deserves it.

And now Philip Rivers is limping off. Christ.

I have the audio from the Eagles/Falcons game for some reason (and sometimes I think this world is nothing but a big collection of Dale Hallestrae haters), and Dick Stockton is talking about a leg whip penalty that was just called. He throws it to Joe Buck in the studio, who says, “You know something about a leg whip, or maybe it’s an orange whip.” I don’t have any fucking idea what that means. Neither does Dick Stockton.

I don’t know what this says about me, but when I see #81 for Miami, I still think “O.J. McDuffie.” Anyone else?

Dick Stockton talking about the Atlanta Falcons: “Under any circumstances, a win today gives them a .500 record.” Really? You mean there aren’t any circumstances under which an 8-8 record isn’t a winning percentage of .500? The NFL doesn’t have an alternate set of mathematics? Weird.

Some dialog from the table next to me:
“Take your midnight-black ass outta here.”
“Just because you was molested by T.O. when you was a kid, don’t mean nothin’.”
“Why are you sitting there, looking gay?”
“Fuckin’ bitches.”

For some reason, there’s a disproportionate amount of Eagles fans here today, cheering loudly for their team. There are two theories on that one… 1) Eagles fans are truly diehard and support their team no matter what. Or 2), and this is the one I favor, most Eagles fans don’t have any fucking idea that this game means nothing in the standings or for playoff positioning.

The 49ers take an interception back to the house, and trail the Broncos by just three points here. The Broncos are in a win-and-in situation, and… it’s just the 49ers. It wouldn’t be quite as bad as losing to the Raiders in the same situation, but there would still be much shame to go around.

Matt Schaub is in the game for Atlanta now. His first pass bounces off the hands of Eagles safety Shawn Considine. It’s been so long since Shaub played that he forgot about those things called “safeties.”

And on the next play, Schaub fucks up the hold on the field goal attempt. This is going swimmingly.

Alright, this is getting ridiculous… the 49ers take another Broncos interception back to the house and they have the lead now.

Matt Schaub has rebounded and made a couple of really nice throws. He hits Alge Crumpler in the endzone on a perfectly timed and thrown ball. Enjoy the Matt Schaub era, Falcons fans… it’s going to last about 90 minutes.

The Chargers have a 2nd and 3, with 1:52 left to play in the game… a first down ends it. The give is to Lorenzo Neal, and he’s got a big hole. He’s through the line, there’s nothing but green in front of him, until he’s caught from behind by a Cardinals safety Robert Griffith. Here’s how that sounded in Lo Neal’s head:
Good Lo
: First down! The game’s over! We have homefield advantage!
Bad Lo
(Griffith catches him, Lorenzo Neal hits him with a straight left to the face, Griffith is now in front of Neal, face to face)
Robert Griffith: Ouch… Hey, alright, I’m gonna force you out of bounds here, alright?
Bad Lo
Good Lo
: There’s really no need for any of this.
: Jesus. Just… come on, man, go out… you have the game won.
Good Lo
: You should probably just leave him alone, Robert.
Bad Lo
(Griffith grabs Lorenzo’s facemask)
Good Lo
: That wasn’t a good idea.
Bad Lo
: I just want you to go out of bounds.
Good Lo
: (sigh)

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Week 15 – 2006/2007 http://www.themightymjd.com/smorgasbord/?p=72 http://www.themightymjd.com/smorgasbord/?p=72#comments Mon, 18 Dec 2006 11:42:37 +0000 mjd http://www.themightymjd.com/smorgasbord/?p=72 The crew of the CBS pregame show is kicking around the question of whether or not his breakup with Bridget Moynahan affected Tom Brady’s play last week. Since they broke up weeks ago, I tend to doubt it. And even if they had broken up that morning… you know, just fuck the CBS studio crew. That’s what I’m saying. That’s a dumb question to which there is no relevant answer.

Shannon Sharpe did rescue the segement with a pretty decent line, though. “No, it’s Bill Belichick breaking up with Deion Branch that’s affecting Tom Brady’s play.” Not bad.

My man Dirty’s here this week, for just the fourth or fifth time this season. He’s an Eagles fan, but I think his biggest NFL-related passion is hating the Steelers. Now, I enjoy making fun of the Steelers, only because all of my friends are Steelers fans… but I don’t actually harbor any ill will towards them. Dirty does. And it amuses me.

For example: Cowher’s walking around the field before the game, talking and laughing with someone. “Boy, Cowher looks really happy to be in North Carolina,” Dirty says. “Looks like he’s making his retirement plans right now. I bet he doesn’t come back from this road trip.”

By the way, I should tell you that this will probably be the last full Smorgasbord of the year. The next two Sundays are Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, and I don’t know if this place is going to be open, or what kind of wingmen I’d have. I think at the very least, you’ll get a partial Smorgasbord or two, and probably some playoff action… but we’ll see.  Jesus’s birthday is pretty inconvenient for me this year, for Smorgasbord purposes.

Derek Anderson makes a beautiful throw to Kellen Winsow, who then shrugs off two Ravens tacklers and picks up an extra 10 yards. Three people here just called Winslow a fag.

The Browns, meanwhile, could be in a position today to upset the Ravens. They’ve forced two three-and-outs, Phil Dawson hit a 51-yard field goal, and Steve McNair just went to the locker room with some kind of a hand injury.

And right on cue, The Shaggy DA (that’s the nickname I’ve given Derek Anderson, and it hasn’t caught on yet, probably because it’s lame) throws an interception to Dawan Landry. You know what… never mind, the Browns don’t have a fucking chance of winning this game.

The Panthers cheerleaders are wearing their little Santa get-ups today. Something just feels wrong about that. I just don’t think anything Santa-related should be giving me an erection. Is that just my own complex? Maybe I have Santa issues, I don’t know… maybe I went to a mall Santa when I was five years old and maybe he shouldn’t have shoved that candy cane where he did.  This is probably something we should get into a little deeper next week.

There are television cameras recording what happens at the Lions/Packers game, for some reaon… and for even stranger reasons, satellites are beaming this images onto a television in this bar. But we’re discussing now the possibility of the Lions drafting Calvin Johnson in the upcoming draft. This could happen. The Lions will be picking in the Top 5, Calvin Johnson has Top 5 talent, Mike Martz, if he’s still there, would never mind having another receiver around, and while they probably need a quarterback, Martz is the kind of guy who feels like he can win with any quarterback. This is an exciting possibility.

Willie Parker catches a screen pass for the Steelers, and is immediately dropped by a Panthers linebacker. Replay shows that the linebacker had been assigned to cover Parker for every step he took on that particular play. This is not uncommon. For some reason, though, it moves Randy Cross to start singing, “Me… and my shaaa-aa-aa-dooow…” I wonder when the last time was that Dick Enberg had a serious urge to fight someone.  I’d have loved to hear Dick at the next commercial break, just as calm and understated as if he’s calling a 3-yard run up the middle… “Randy, if you start singing again, I’m going to cut your fucking throat, do you understand me?  Oh my.”

A commercial comes on for We Are Marshall and Dirty brings up the very awesome possibility of a scene where some WVU fans show up at one of the funerals and start heckling. If any of you see that movie, and that really happens, can you let me know? Because that’s the kind of thing I’d pay $8 to see.

Donald Driver catches a first down pass for the Packers, gets up and starts to do the emphatic-first-down celebration… but he just teases it, and never extends his arm fully. That was either a cleverly designed tease, or he suddenly remembered that this was the Lions/Packers game and no one gives a fuck.

Steelers defensive tackle Brett Keisel records a sack, and his celebration is to cast an imaginary fishing line, and then reel it in. I think that’s very good. I mean, I don’t think that every New York Giant who does the jumpshot bullshit actually plays basketball, and when Plax used to mow the lawn, I’m pretty sure he wasn’t pushing a lawnmower around his own lawn on Saturday afternoons. But Brett Keisel… that guy probably does some fishing. I feel like that was an honest celebration.

Ben Roethlisberger is being sacked… the Panthers guy has his arms wrapped around him while Ben’s standing up, facing back towards his own endzone. Ben starts acting like he wants to lateral the ball to guard Kendall Simmons. Simmons pulls his arms back like, “Hey, don’t give me that fucking ball, man.” Was Ben expecting Simmons to take the ball and then launch a deep pass to Hines Ward? Common sense wins out, though, and Benjamin takes the sack.

Hey, it’s a Carlyle Holiday sighting. He’s just caught a Brett Favre pass. That’s not a name I expected to hear today.  Or at any other point in the rest of my life, for that matter.

Why is Eugene Levy doing these bullshit, straight-to-video, softcore American Pie movies? The first one, fine. Another sequel or two, I understand. But the ones that don’t even have aspirations of being shown in movie theatres? Where the apex of comedy is a football game against little people? Eugene Levy’s better than that. Come on, man.

I don’t know what’s going on in the Jets/Vikings game, but I’m seeing constant close-ups of Nick Mangold’s face. I do not enjoy looking at Nick Mangold’s face.

I guess 60 Minutes tonight is about Larry the Cable Guy. The voice over the commercial asks, “Why does America love him so much?” Why? Because a vast number of Americans are dumb. Does that solve your mystery, there, Morley Safer?  There, you can watch something else tonight.  We cracked that case for you.

Nothing says “No, America, we are not for real” quite like coming out and losing at home to the Redskins. I understand a little bit of a letdown game this week from the Saints, but… from stomping a mudhole in the Cowboys, all the way down to losing to the Redskins… that’s a man-sized letdown.

You know that cornball commercial for Kay Jewelers where the guy gives his lady a diamond, and then the people on TV kiss, and that inspires the diamond giver and givee to kiss… that commercial is infuriating Lady E right now. And really, I agree.  This is the exact reason that if you’re giving someone a diamond, you put in a porno.

Hey, guess what time it is? It’s Cortland motherfucking Finnegan time, motherfucker. David Garrard tucks the ball away and takes off for the Jags, he’s hit, fumbles the ball ahead, where it’s picked up by Cortland Finnegan who takes it 92 yards to the house. I don’t care where you grew up, if your name is Cortland Finnegan, you better be a bad-ass.

And now Chris Hope is taking an interception to the house for the Titans. This is nuts. The Titans have 20 yards of total offense, and they’re leading this game 24-10. They’ve got the Hope and Finnegan touchdowns, along with an earlier Pac-Man Jones 83-yard interception to the house. The Titans are about to be winners of 7 of their last 9 games.

Can Vince Young make an argument for MVP, by the way? I know it sounds crazy, but… if you could say that statistics are completely irrelevant to the MVP award, and just look at the greatest impact that a player has on a team… why not Vince Young? Think about how bad the Titans were under Kerry Collins at the beginning of the year, and consider that that same team that was 0-5 is now, heading into Week 16, alive for the playoffs. That’s remarkable. It’s not all Vince Young’s doing, of course, and you know that I think Pac-Man Jones is one of the elite corners in the game.  But it’s hard to argue that Vince didn’t spark a major portion of this. I’m not saying I’d vote for him, I’m not saying he deserves it… I’m just saying that if you look at the word “valuable” in a certain way… giving Vince Young that award would not be crazy.

Santonio Holmes muffs a punt for the Steelers, and the Panthers dive on it. A penalty bails Pittsburgh out, though, and the Panthers have to re-kick. Naturally, Santonio takes this one to the house.

Finally, Tavaris Jackson has replaced Brad Johnson in the Minnesota lineup. Not only does Jackson have better mobility (by a factor of about 82 billion), a stronger arm, and potential to get better, he’s also the only quarterback I’ve ever seen take the field with choker around his neck. It’s yellow and black, perhaps beaded, and I’m not ashamed to tell you that I think it’s stunning. It is the finest jewelry choice I’ve ever seen made by a rookie quarterback.

Anthony Smith, rookie safety for the Steelers, intercepts a Chris Weinke pass, and then become the only player I’ve ever seen high-step towards the sideline. Say what you want about Deion Sanders, but he would never do that. I mean, when Deion saw fit to turn on the high-step, he knew he was going to score. Sometimes it was at the 5, sometimes it was at the 40. Anthony Smith made a nice play on the interception, and then high-stepped directly out of bounds. I just want to be clear that there was no effort there to get as much yardage as he could from the return, or score a touchdown. He’s got enough of a sense of decorum to not want to run up the score, and yet, there he goes, high-stepping on the path towards humility.

Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau met Smith on the sidelines before his knees returned to a normal walking level, bitched him out, and slapped his helmet. And then Bill Cowher gave it to him. And there Smith is, sitting on the bench, smiling ear to ear. At least he’s having a good day.

CBS has a graphic showing the longest losing streaks by quarterbacks in NFL history. Chris Weinke’s streak today is being extended to 17. Archie Manning has two of the Top 5 streaks.

Showing the potential to one day add his name to that illustrious list is David Carr, who’s thrown 4 interceptions and been sacked 4 times today against the Patriots.

I think I just saw the score of the Bears/Bucs game, and I think it said it was tied at 31. But that can’t be true, because it was 31-17 about 2 minutes ago, and to be honest with you, I had a hard enough time believing that the Bucs scored 17 points.

Alright. It’s true. I’m being forced to come to grips with this. Tim Rattay’s in the game, and apparently, he hit Joey Galloway for a long touchdown. Tampa Bay forced a 3-and-out, and on the second play of the next drive, Rattay went deep to Ike Hilliard. The Bears are tied with the Bucs late in the 4th quarter. There are no good teams in the NFC.

Troy Polamalu’s on the sidelines with his winter beard in full effect. Dirty is calling him “the bearded lady.”

Denver/Arizona, meanwhile, is underway. Jay Cutler’s first pass is a 54-yard touchdown strike to Javon Walker. Mike Shanahan should just pull Jay Cutler right now… let him finish a game with a high quarterback rating. It’s 158.3 right now, but if you give him two or three more passes, that could come down to like 40. Bench him now, let him see everyone talk about that rating for a week, and keep his confidence high.

And Bears kicker Robbie Gould has missed a 37-yarder that would’ve given the Bears the win in overtime. So just in case there weren’t enough things for you to be terrified about in the postseason, Bears fans, your kicker can shank short kicks in clutch situations.

There’s a crowd shot in the Denver/Arizona game of about half of a seating section. And the only person standing is a 70-year-old woman in a Cardinals sweatshirt, on her feet, clapping, yelling at someone. Her skin looks, through the wonders of HD, like it’s seen more than a few Cardinals games baking in the sun at the old stadium. You could strike a match on her cheek. God bless her.

The Greek is trying to tell us that Donte Stallworth is John Stallworth’s son. This, of course, is a ridiculous load of bullshit. Just to confirm what everyone here knows… we look it up, and it is not true. The rest of the day, Dirty’s making comments like, “Did you see that catch by Reggie Brown? That was just like his dad, James.” Or “Great throw by Jeff Garcia there. Just like his dad Jerry taught him.”

And the Bears finally do get the win. Robbie Gould redeemed himself, this time putting a short kick through the uprights.

Tatum Bell coughs up a fumble for Denver, and defensive end Antonio Smith takes it to the house. I’m guessing that that will be the last time Tatum Bell sees the field today, and Mike Shanahan will probably have his hands chopped off at halftime. That’s 10 points in 19 seconds for the Cardinals.

And once again this week, our knitter is back. Whatever makes her happy, I suppose… and I know I like to poke fun at this, but she’s going to completely validate herself in Week 17 when she’s finally finished knitting a big green scarf that says “CHAD PENNINGTON SUCKS COCK.”

Eli Manning throws an interception for the Giants. Jeremy Shockey comes barrelling into the pile late, and hits someone a couple of seconds after the whistle had gone. And now he’s involved in some pushing and shoving. This is the manifestation of all the anger he has built up for Eli Manning. Shockey got a 15-yard penalty, but Giants fans really shouldn’t mind… it’s this or hold Eli’s head in a tub of Gatorade for about four minutes.

We’ve just been joined in the bar here by a party that consists of what looks like a husband and wife, a 90-year-old grandmother, and two five or six year old boys. The rest of the room is littered with drunk, aggression-filled twenty-somethings and a knitter.

I don’t know if you’ve seen any of these commercials for The Simpsons tonight, but Marge is wearing a negligé, posing up against the wall… I’m not a regular Simpsons watcher, so you might already be aware of this, but Marge has it goin’ on. Marge would get drilled.  Little bit of a butterface, maybe, but… Marge keeps her game tight.

In the Giants/Eagles game, Fox has a shot of a guy in the stands who looks exactly like Jeremy Shockey. The hair is the same color and style, the facial hair is the same color and style… I hope this is a coincidence. Please, Fox, tell me that this is a coincidence, and that this man isn’t intentionally making himself look like Jeremy Shockey. Is this the trend now? Is wearing a guy’s jersey no longer enough? Are there lines of fans out the doors of tattoo parlors in New Orleans, waiting to get a Drew Brees birthmark tattooed on their face?

Matt Turk is punting for the Rams… and I’ve never seen anything like this before. The Raiders get some heat to him, and Turk drops the ball to punt it. The Raiders guy dives to the point where the ball should be kicked, but Turk elects to not punt it, not move his foot, and just let the ball drop to the ground. The Raiders guy passes right over the top of the ball, makes contact with nothing, Turk picks the ball up on the bounce, and is then tackled.  Matt Turk might’ve just saved his team a touchdown. The punter being tackled is far better than a punt being blocked. And that was completely instinctive, and just a reaction-type play… that really was brilliant work by Matt Turk.

There’s something weird going on with Jeff Garcia’s hand. It was covered in clear plastic before the game, to keep it protected from something. But before the game, you couldn’t see anything. It just looked normal. But now, there’s a giant dark red splotch under that plastic that looks extremely painful. I don’t know what the hell that is, but it’s gross. There are two alternate theories flying around the table right now. One is that it’s a chemical burn that was given to him in a local Fight Club, and this is accompanied by the theory that Jeff Garcia was the real-life inspiration for Tyler Durden. The other theory is that it’s an injury that Garcia sustained in the fight with Andy Dufresne where he got hit in the face with a roll of film.

I’m pretty sure I just witnessed a soft, tender, emotional kiss that was inspired by fantasy football. There’s a couple here that just celebrated a touchdown together. The touchdown was scored by a guy that does not play on the team represented by the clothing that either of these people are wearing. They celebrated together, and then turned and shared a slow, deep kiss. If they write their own wedding vows, Plaxico Burress is getting mentioned.  “For richer or poorer… in sickness or in health… through three-touchdown games from Plaxico Burress or in first-quarter high-ankle sprains…”

Will Demps came free on a blitz and just smashed Jeff Garcia. Garcia coughed up the fumble, and the Eagles were also called for a chop block on the play, giving the Giants 15 more yards. Not a real productive play for the Eagles there.

Matt Leinart’s scrambling, and decides to tuck the ball away and run. He finishes the run by plowing facemask-first into Dominique Foxworth’s crotch.

Andew Walter has entered the game for the Raiders. I don’t know if anyone on the Oakland coaching staff was paying attention for the 10 weeks or so that Walter started (seriously, I really don’t know if anyone there was paying attention), but they have to know that there’s no way that Andrew Walter is a step up.  Not even from Aaron Brooks.

And yes, there’s the Andrew Walter interception. That didn’t take long.  Surprisingly, he did not transform himself into a great quarterback over the last two weeks.  Weird.

One play after picking up a taunting penalty, Jeff Garcia fails to account for Will Demps in the secondary, and gives him an easy interception. If you were just watching this game, and knew nothing about the NFC standings, or the records of these teams…you’d swear this was a contest between two 3 or 4 win teams. It’s been close, it’s been exciting, it’s been eventful… but it has not been a quality football game.

A little later, Jeff Garcia hits Reggie Brown with a deep ball, giving the Eagles a touchdown lead. Whatever Giants defender got toasted on the play followed Brown into the endzone, and kicked the back pylon. For some reason, Dirty is furious about this.  So furious that he’s not even celebrating the go-ahead score. All he wants to do is demand a flag for kicking the pylon. And he’s right, the league can’t allow that sort of black eye on the game to continue for another second.

Eli Manning’s going to attempt to rally the Giants here… and that’s going to last about three plays. A pass is tipped high into the air, Tiki Barber swung at it in a half-assed effort to knock it down, and it was intercepted by Giants DE Trent Cole. That looked pretty bitch on Tiki’s part. He saw the ball, looked at Cole waiting for it, jumped and moved his body out of the way while flailing at it with his arm. That looked like Dirk Nowitzki “battling” for a rebound. “Hey, I’ll jump and move my arm towards the vicinity of the ball, but… I mean, if that doesn’t do it, we’re not going to get it, because I just don’t feel like touching anyone.” Trent Cole took it to the house, and that’s the game. The Eagles, who are not very good, can win the NFC East if they win out. Amazing.

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Week 14 – 2006/2007 http://www.themightymjd.com/smorgasbord/?p=71 http://www.themightymjd.com/smorgasbord/?p=71#comments Mon, 11 Dec 2006 09:44:56 +0000 mjd http://www.themightymjd.com/smorgasbord/?p=71 I don’t know if they do this every week, but Fox’s pre-game show likes to send Pam Oliver out to do interviews with a particular team, and the general tone of the Pam Oliver interviews I’ve seen is something like, “Hey… you suck. Tell me why, asshole.” She’s downright mean sometimes. If she tried that when Warren Moon was in the league, she’d get clocked in the mouth.

Near the end of the show, the Fox guys are talking about the Bengals and their penal issues, who’s to blame, etc… and Jimmy Johnson and Howie Long make bland points about how it’s on the organization to not bring in bad seeds, blah blah blah. Terry Bradshaw chimes in to say, “I disagree with all of this, and there’s no one on this set who doesn’t go out and have a few beers.” Like the one time Chris Henry was charged with possession of a concealed firearm, improper exhibition of a firearm, aggravated assault with a firearm, and having a few beers. Or the time AJ Nicholson was charged with burglary, grand theft, vandalism, and having a few beers. Or the time police had to taser Matthias Askew after he head a few beers. Good point, Terry.  I think Bradshaw is setting us up so that no one will think it’s that big of a deal when he gets caught with an 11-year-old Thai hooker.

Michael Strahan is in a new Subway commercial with Jared, one that ends with them sharing a hearty belly laugh, and I’d like to tell you something about the forced chemistry between the two, and about how it’s a weird, uncomfortable, commercial… but I can’t. I completely buy that Strahan and Jared are pals. Nothing in the world makes more sense to me.

By the way, the mood in here today is a little odd. There aren’t many people in the bar, and a lot of the ones that are here are a little bit older. It’s a little library-ish.  This could be a boring Smorgasbord. Just thought you should know ahead of time.

Joe Buck and Pam Oliver leave the Fox set, and they’re rushed into the stadium on the back of the injury cart… you know, that comes out onto the field to whisk away guys who tear their ACLs. They seem pretty comfortable snuggled up together in the back of that thing, like it’s not the first time they’ve shared close quarters. I bet Pam Oliver goes into interview mode afterwards. “Can you tell me why it’s so small, Joe? Can you explain to me why you lasted ninety seconds? Tell me, Joe. Why are you crying?  What’s wrong with you, Joe Buck?  This never happened with your father.” And then they do it all again next week.

Jeff Garcia’s feeling pretty good about himself, and he opens up the game with a long ball to… well, into the middle of three Redskin defenders. Quarterbacks need confidence, but there are some quarters for whom too much confidence can be a dangerous thing. Take what’s there, Jeffy.

I’ve chosen our table this week based on where the Dolphins are playing, in the hopes of another Crazy Fish Guy sighting. No luck yet.

Ladell Betts is running well this afternoon. The Redskins are spreading out that Eagles d-line, and there are huge holes for Betts. And maybe it’s just my imagination, but I don’t think Clinton Portis would be hitting those holes quite as hard as Betts. He makes one read, and then barrells downhill. The Redskins do not need Clinton Portis.  They should trade him for Champ Bailey.

I don’t know if it’s new, but this is the first time I’ve seen the Matt Hasselbeck Chunky Soup commercial. Matt Hasselbeck’s mom… she would get plowed. I voice this opinion, and The Greek says that’s not his real mom. So Matt Hasselbeck’s fake mom… she would get plowed. And let’s be honest, chances are, his real mom would, too.

I think Lawrence Tynes just made a field goal that he didn’t get credit for.

Brad Johnson is starting for the Vikings today, which I find baffling. He’s been one of the worst quarterbacks in the league over the past month, they’ve got a talented rookie in Tavaris Jackson, and he’s finally healthy enough to play… why let him rot on the bench while 38-year-old Brad Johnson rots on the field?

Of course, Brad Johnson goes out there today like he’s John Elway and completes every damn pass he throws. The drive ends with a Brad Johnson running touchdown, a particularly poignant “fuck you” to me and to the Smorgasbord. Point taken, Brad Johnson.

The Juice tells us that he’s shaken a hand that’s slapped Jennifer Lopez’s ass… I guess he knows some guy who dated her when she was a dancer on In Living Color. You can’t tell anything from smelling The Juice’s hand, though.

Tom Brady’s bitching out a teammate on the sidelines. Not sure who. If Crazy Fish Guy was here, he’d love this. He’d say something like, “Ha, look at that Brady, hollerin’ at somebody. He’s a helluva quarterback, though, like Marino. I shoulda took the under in this one.”

And all the sudden, Jeff Garcia’s caught fire, and the Eagles are up 14-3 on the Redskins. This is not the direction this game looked to be heading… after the first five minutes, it looked like Jeff Garcia was sliding back into Jeff Garcia mode, and that Ladell Betts would just punish the Eagles all day. They haven’t stopped Betts yet, but they’re still up 14-3. Jason Campbell’s killing the Redskins.

Apparently, Brad Johnson and Artose motherfucking Pinner are the new John Elway and Terrell Davis. The Vikings are an unstoppable offensive juggernaut right now. I guess the Lions are letting Matt Millen coordinate the defense these days. Brad Johnson has been very sharp to this point.

Christ, it’s like Brad Johnson is out to ruin my day. Every time I make a note about him, he responds by immediately doing the opposite of whatever I just said. Jamar Fletcher just took an interception 88 yards to the house for the Lions.

Larry Johnson finally finds some running room against the Ravens, and rips off about a 40-yarder. At the end of it, he decided to give Samari Rolle a punch to the face, disguised as a stiff-arm. Whatever it was, it was effective. Rolle wanted no part of him after that.

Donte Stallworth scores for the Eagles, making it 21-3. He celebrates by stretching and rubbing his hamstrings. I don’t know if he’s making light of the fact that he’s injured so often (if so, good one!) or if he honestly believes it’s a good idea to stretch right now. Regardless, he has a way to go before he can be considered a master of the touchdown celebration, or an NFL player that isn’t fragile.

Ravens defensive lineman Trevor Pryce is a sweet man. He’s got Trent Green dead to rights in the Chiefs backfield, and he wraps Green up, and then sort of gingerly puts him on the ground. “Okay, Trent, I’ve got ya. Ready to be sacked? Heeeeere we go. Here we go, buddy. Easy, now… steady as she goes. Okay, and you’re down. Now let me help you up, man. Your hip okay? Alright. Hey, tell your wife she bakes a hell of an apple pie, okay? You be careful out here.”  That was a touching act of brotherhood.

And then Trevor Pryce was penalized 15 yards for roughing the quarterback.

No he wasn’t. But if the NFL is going to be so ape-shit insane about penalizing guys for scowling at quarterbacks, they should probably recognize Trevor Pryce in the company newsletter for being so gentle with Trent Green.

I’m not seeing this game, but apparently, Fred Taylor and MJD 2.0 are both going bananas on the Colts in the first half.

And Jones-Drew just took the second-half kickoff to the house to give the Jags a 31-10 lead. There’s your AFC offensive player of the week.

Jason Campbell finally makes a good throw for the Redskins, dropping one in to Randle-El with absolute perfection. Touchdown, Redskins, and the fact that they’re still alive in this game speaks to the low quality of football being played here.

Eagles receiver Reggie Brown watches a Jeff Garcia pass bounce off his hands. Garcia’s pissed off, flailing his arms about in anger. If Jeff Garcia tried to bitch out another player, would anyone be able to take him seriously? “Hey, get your head in the game and focus! You should’ve caught that ball, goddamit.” “What are you going to do, Jeff, knit me a sweater two sizes too small? Go get Donovan a milkshake and leave me alone.”

There’s a guy here in a Patriots jersey with his own name across the back. I haven’t seen a jersey that pussy in this bar since last season… back then, there was a guy nancing around in a Pats jersey that read “DANKS” across the back.

Note: I don’t actually believe you’re a pussy if you put your own name across the back of your jersey. I don’t think it’s something I’d do, but I understand the logic. Danks, though, remains a pussy.

Here’s why the Colts are winning nothing this year: David Garrard currently has 42 yards passing in the third quarter, and the Colts trail, 34-10.

Lady E is being driven nuts by the Jessica Simpson DirecTV commercial. Every time it comes on, her blood pressure skyrockets. She hates her face, the way she talks, the way she bounces her shoulders, her music. And The Juice explains to her, “That’s why the good Lord invented doggystyle.”

Note: I don’t think God actually invented doggystyle.

Shaun Swish ‘em, the guy who kicks for the Redskins now, makes his fourth field goal of the day and has the Redskins down just two.

The Titans, displaying some Jaguar-like inconsistency, are tied late with the Texans. I’m way on board the Titans bandwagon this year, but… for the sake of Mario Williams, I wouldn’t mind seeing the Texans pull this one out. I’d hate to see the guy develop inferiority complexes about both Reggie Bush and Vince Young.

Brian Westbrook rips off a long first-down run that’s going to wrap this one up for the Eagles. And at 7-6, it might seem like the Eagles should be feeling pretty good about their playoff chances, but I don’t think that’s the case. The Redskins should’ve won this game… not that the Eagles got screwed or anything, but if the Redskins sucked any less, they’d have won this game. The Giants are a much better bet to make the playoffs.

The Packers/49ers game is underway, and there’s a guy here that’s not only a big 49ers fan, but a big fan of calling attention to himself. He’s been coming here for a few years… not every week or anything, but when he’s here, he makes sure you know about it. Anyway, Frank Gore breaks through the line, and takes off towards the endzone. The guy jumps up and starts yelling at the top of the lungs (and again, the bar is very quiet today), “YES, FRANK GORE. YES, FRANK GORE. YES, FRANK GORE.” He’s marching around the room, and actually leaves the room to take his celebration out into the front… all before Frank Gore gets pushed out at the 1-yard line. Oops.

Note: This was the last we’d see of this guy today.

A highlight from the end of the Titans/Texans game shows Vince Young end it with a 39-yard touchdown run (eat cock, Merrill Hoge). Pac-Man Jones set up the field position with a ballsy kick return. If the Chargers aren’t so awesome, I’d almost with that I was a Titans fan right now. Watching those two every week… that’s gotta be fun.

Jay Cutler’s started the game 3-of-3 against the Chargers. For some reason, they’re giving him big cushions with the corners. You have to assume that Denver’s offensive philosophy in this game is to throw short passes, three-step drops, get the ball out quickly. I don’t understand the cushions.

A fellow named Ruvell Martin catches a wide open 36-yard touchdown pass from Brett Favre, and this Packers fan gets up and starts yelling, “YES, FRANK GORE. YES, FRANK GORE.” And then when they add the extra point, he says, “Tack that on, and I’m gettin’ DRUNK tonight.”

Why there are fans that are still passionate about the 49ers or the Packers, I’m not sure.

And here’s a special news update, verbatim from the bathroom wall: Chucky is a bitch ass dogfucker. I bet they’re talking about Charlie Frye.

Philip Rivers lofts one up for Antonio Gates, just across the goal line, and he goes up and gets it over Champ Bailey and Darrent Williams. I hate to be the guy who harps about Antonio Gates’ basketball background helping him as a football player, but that did look very much like going up and getting a rebound over smaller guys.

This was my favorite play of the day: From the Denver four-yard line, the Chargers run kind of a fumblerooskie for Lorenzo Neal. I’m still not even sure how Neal got the ball… I think Rivers held it behind his back while faking like he was giving it to Tomlinson. Lo Neal ends up plowing into the endzone for the touchdown, and then CBS cameras catch Marty Schottenheimer saying, “That’s fucking crazy.” Something tells me Marty didn’t draw that one up.

And here’s how that play came to be in the huddle:
Phil Rivers
: Alright, we’re gonna go I-Right, thirty-two–
Bad Lo
Good Lo
: Oh, please don’t do this…
Phil Rivers
: What’s the problem, Lo?
Bad Lo:
Phil Rivers
: I really don’t think that’s the best idea right now, Lorezno.
Good Lo:
: I concur.
Bad Lo:
Phil Rivers
: (sighs, shaking his head, looking around the huddle) Fuck it, guys you want to?
LaDainian Tomlinson
: (shrug)
Phil Rivers: Alright, fumblerooskie to Lorenzo Neal. Any particular snap count, Lo?
Bad Lo
Phil Rivers
: On three.
Bad Lo
: (repeated, as the Chargers break the huddle, as they line up for the play, screaming at Broncos defenders, again and again, until the ball is snapped) FUMBLEROOSKIE TO LORENZO NEAL. FUMBLEROOSKIE TO LORENZO NEAL.

Donald Driver scores for the Packers. From the afore-mentioned Packers fan: “FUCK FRANK GORE.”

Phil Rivers, who has been spectacular today, sets up a LaDainian Tomlinson touchdown with a beautiful deep ball to Eric “When You Gonna Let Me Fuuuuuck, Miss” Parker. That’s Tomlinson’s 27th TD on the year, and Shaun Alexander’s record might be falling this afternoon.

After finishing up the first half by completing 1 out of last 9 passes, Jay Cutler comes out to start the third quarter blazing. He equals his entire first half output on the first drive, and hits some douchebag rookie tight end in the endzone. The Chargers then fumble the ensuing kickoff… and Cutler hits the same douchebag rookie tight end for another touchdown. The ball was headed directly towards Terrence Kiel… but the douchebag rookie tight end got his hand between Kiel’s hands, tipped the ball to himself, and made the play. That’s pretty nice work by the douchebag rookie tight end… and momentum has swung.

Just to give you a general idea of the mood in here right now… there’s a woman a few tables away knitting. I’m not kidding. There is knitting going on here today.

And the Chargers punt. I don’t know what happened at halftime in the Chargers locker room, but it did not have a positive effect on the Bolts. I think Marty was just like, “Hey, you guys have this thing won. Who wants to watch a home porno VHS tape of me giving it to the wife, huh? Howie, fire up that tape machine. Check out my stroke here, boys.”

Note: I said that out loud in front of a child who couldn’t be older than 8. I didn’t do it on purpose, I swear. I should just take up knitting.

CBS has a shot of Jay Cutler’s parents, enjoying their view about five rows from the absolute top of Qualcomm Stadium. That’s the best you could do, Jay Cutler? “Hey, merry Christmas, mom. Enjoy your seat next to the drunk guy, caked in blue bodypaint, who’s calling your son a cocksucker after every other play.  Make sure dad brings his knife.”

We’re fast-forwarding a bit here, because I haven’t been paying attention to anything. Tomlinson gets his record-tying 28th touchdown of the year, and to celebrate a fan, holds up his sign that reads, “Chargers Beat Broncos Silly.” When I start my own television network, I’m going to name it “IMGAY⇓” just to see if football fans keep making the signs.

I try not to mention fantasy stuff here in the Smorgasbord, but I think this one’s worthwhile. The Greek desperately needs LaDainian Tomlinson to be done for the day. He’s playing against him, and the only thing that can beat him is a monster day from Tomlinson. So there are just over three minutes to go in the game, and The Greek assumes that Tomlinson is done for the afternoon.. and as soon as the words leave his mouth, Shawne Merriman gets around an offensive lineman, gets to Cutler, and forces a fumble inside the Broncos 10. And here comes Tomlinson…

TOUCHDOWN! That’s the record-setter, gifted to Tomlinson by Shawne Merriman. The linemen have Tomlinson up on their shoulders… this would be a nice little moment for me, if I wasn’t sitting two feet away from a guy who put a cigarette out in his own eye.

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Week 13 – 2006/2007 http://www.themightymjd.com/smorgasbord/?p=70 http://www.themightymjd.com/smorgasbord/?p=70#comments Mon, 04 Dec 2006 09:49:12 +0000 mjd http://www.themightymjd.com/smorgasbord/?p=70 Sign in the background for the Fox pregame outside of Giants Stadium: “IT’S ALL A-ROD’S FAULT.” I’m not sure if that guy’s trying to be funny, or if he actually thinks that’s true.

The Bills/Chargers game is underway, and the Bills won the toss and elected to receive. The opening kickoff is taken by a large fellow wearing #75. The kick was short, but it wasn’t that short. #75 was back there with the guys just in front of the returners. He kind of caught the ball on a knee, and one of the little guys behind him ran up to him and was telling him to get up and run. He looked up at him like, “Do I have to?” 0 yard return for Buffalo.

From 23 yards out, Charlie Frye throws to Braylon Edwards in the endzone… and Edwards goes up after it and snatches it out of the sky in front of two defenders. That looked like a young Keyshawn Johnson catch right there.

Apparently, the refs have new special cold weather pants. They’re wearing them in Buffalo. They’re black, sort of puffy, and have a big bold white stripe down the sides. It’s amazing how we I’ve taken ref pants for granted for so long. Seeing refs in black pants makes this entire game look different. Everything’s thrown out of whack when the white polyester nuthuggers aren’t out there. I’ll be honest, I miss them.

The Redskins are just mowing through Atlanta on their first drive of the game. It’s TJ Duckett, it’s Ladell Betts, it’s Jason Campbell… the Redskins offense hasn’t looked this good since Joe Gibbs was alive.

Jason Campbell is celebrating a touchdown with Ladell Betts. The Juice observes, “Jason Campbell’s a big dude. Either that, or Ladell Betts is a fucking circus midget.” Why’s he have to be in the circus, man? He can’t just be your average little person?  Messed up.

For the second straight week, the Bills game is blacked out in Buffalo, because they didn’t sell enough tickets… and I think it’s because all those motherfuckers are here. I don’t know how or why it happened, but I’m surrounded by about 20 damn Bills fans.

Hey, it’s a Peerless Price sighting. Haven’t heard much from that guy lately. He caught a J.P. Losman pass… and now he’s hurt. It was nice seeing you, Peerless.

Shawne Merriman records his first sack since he was framed for using steroids. The Juice suggests that he replace his old sack celebration dance (which is exceedingly lame) by getting up and making like he’s shoving a needle into his ass.

That kind of joke is uncalled-for because Shawne Merriman is a guy who could use our support to get through this difficult time in his life.

I don’t think Ed Hochuli likes the new ref pants. They don’t adequately show off the definition in his thighs. Folks, the Hoch does not spend all day on the leg press machine for you to not notice his bulging quads.

The Juice also shares a story about out friend Dirty, who stayed at The Juice’s place last night… Dirty peed on his floor. Just sitting there, shitfaced, using the phone, and he spontaneously began to urinate. The Juice says he “treated him like a dog and rubbed his nose in it.”

This is becoming the year of the bad-ass punt return. This week, it’s Devin Hester again. He goes right, nothing there. Goes left, nothing there, either. Looks back to the right, still nothing, and he says to himself, “Alright, fuck it, I’ll go left.” And he breaks a few tackles, weaves through defenders, and blazes to the endzone. Guy is amazing.

Two odd scores early in the going here: Jets lead Green Bay, 24-0… and the Lions lead the Patriots, 7-3. I guess the Jets score is less odd, because Green Bay is so atrocious, but I didn’t think the Jets were the type of team to score 24 quick points on anyone. As for the Lions and Patriots… I’m at a total loss to explain that one.

Our waitress this week is going to one day be my wife. She’s not the walking display case of ass that waited on us last week… she’s different. She’s cute, she’s sweet, she’s friendly. We’re going to be married. Right here, next week, in an 11 a.m. ceremony, so I can watch football and she can work her shift afterwards.  It’s going to be romantic as fuck.

For some reason, we’re discussing now why the Steelers don’t have cheerleaders. According to The Greek, the Steelers tried it once in the 60s, and the Steelers lost that game, and Art Rooney believed that the cheerleaders were a distraction to the players. I thought it was because most of the Steelers were into men. And The Juice believes it’s because there are no attractive women in Pittsburgh. Three plausible theories, right there.  You’re not getting that anywhere else.

Again, #75 for the Bills takes the kickoff. That’s an odd strategy by the Bills special teams coach. “Hey, who do we want returning kicks? Roscoe Parrish? Nah. Hey, how about this Duke Preston character? What’s he go, about 6’5″, 320? Yeah, gimme him.” He is not making anyone forget Devin Hester.

Yikes. And Jason Campbell has the first Plummer moment of his career. In the process of being sacked, he decides to just chuck the ball blindly at the stomach of Falcons defensive lineman Chauncey Davis. Interception, and Chauncey Davis begins running the other way.  He is not making anyone forget Duke Preston.

The Greek has ordered the chicken wings this week, and that’s not normally the sort of thing I would mention, but… eating them is causing sweat to pour from his face like Shaq in the fourth quarter. There’s sweat on his forehead, behind his ears, dripping onto the table… this is bizarre. He’s a fountain right now. These wings aren’t even hot. My bride-to-be comes by and he asks her, “Can I get some water? I’m having a wing problem.”

Who is this Derek Anderson character playing quarterback for the Browns? Unless this guy has the ability to switch races on cue, and also plays sparingly as a two-guard for the Charlotte Bobcats, I’ve never heard of him.

Santana Moss, by the way, is just killing DeAngelo Hall today. I like those Reebok commercials where Peyton Manning and Torry Holt and Steve Smith tell their story about when they knew they were good enough to play in the NFL… and DeAngelo Hall, in his spot, says something about being the fastest guy at a camp, despite being only 15 years old, and that’s how he knew he was good. I think he might have been confusing “good” with “fast.” I don’t know. Maybe I’m wrong, but he could be a guy that’s fast enough and talented enough to make some mind-blowing plays, but not technically sound enough to prevent a veteran receiver like Santana Moss from abusing him one-on-one.

When the Bills wear their throwback uniforms, as they are this week (and should every week), the NFL should give Ko Simpson a special XFL exemption and let him put his first name or something else on the back of his jersey. Seeing the name “Simpson” on the back of a Bills throwback… well, let’s just say that I don’t think the Goldman family is able to watch a lot of Bills games.

Jim Leonhard has a nice punt return for the Bills, getting deep inside Chargers territory. Immediately after the runback, a Bills fan is overhead saying, “Yeah, he’s white!” without even a little bit of irony in his voice. To quote myself, Billy Hoyle style, from last week’s Smorgasbord…

I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed this, but the cheers are always just a liiiiiittle bit louder for a white kick returner.

Rex Grossman is currently 3-of-12 for 0 yards and 3 interceptions. I tried to compute his quarterback rating on the Windows Calculator, and blue smoke started coming out of my laptop.

By the way, this is an odd little stat: Buffalo’s special teams units rank at or near the top of about every possible statistical category. I guess it’s just offense and defense that give them trouble.

They did just make this game 17-14, though. Which makes me uncomfortable.

And now the Lions have recorded a safety on New England… this is just getting bizarre. What’s the deal with the Patriots? Regardless of whether or not they come back to win this thing, how am I supposed to believe the Patriots are that good when they’re struggling with the Lions at home?

Jerrious Norwood breaks off a beautiful long run again the Redskins… He put a couple of sweet jukes on Redskins defenders to break past the first and second levels, and then streaks down the sideline, before turning the end of the play into a personal lowlight reel for Carlos Rogers. Touchdown, Falcons.

I can’t currently see this game, but… the Titans and Colts are tied 17-17. The Titans appear to be officially decent.

Kansas City, with the game tied late, tries to get a drive going to get a winning field goal. They end up fumbling the ball to the Browns in their own territory, setting the Browns up for a gift win. Unfortunately, Derek Anderson and his .357 field goal percentage throw an interception right back to the Chiefs on the next play.

And how about Rob Bironas coming through with a 60-yarder to win the game for the Titans in regulation? The Titans just beat the Colts… raise your hand if you saw that coming a month ago. And while we’re on the subject, what is it with Merrill Hoge’s outright disdain for Vince Young? It’s like Hoge is personally offended that Young is making plays, because it makes Hoge’s pre-draft Vince Young predictions look stupid.  Really, check out Hoge sometime this week if you get a chance.  Someone will bring up Vince Young, and he’ll start frothing at the mouth.  I bet he has a Vince Young Fathead on his living room wall, and every night before he goes to bed, he looks at it and screams, “YOU SUCK.”

Former Texans GM Charlie Casserly is in the CBS studios at halftime, and I think he looks like a young(er) Lou Carneseca.

My waitress/wife walks by and accidentally spills some water on herself. The Greek says something to her, and she says, “Oh, it’s OK. It’s not like spilling beer on myself, and it gets sticky and yucky, but I like it.” She is going to really enjoy our honeymoon.

You know, Charlie Casserly in the CBS studio… I’m digging him. He’s straightforward, plain, and informative. Which makes him about the exact opposite of everyone else on the CBS studio team.

The Chiefs and Browns are in overtime, and Derek Anderson takes off from the pocket on a scramble, and then performs one of the most akward and uncomfortable looking juke moves you’ll ever see. It looked more like he was having some kind of muscle spasm. He’s played admirably today, but… there are people in wheelchairs with better mobility.

There’s a Dolphins fan here on a first name basis with every Dolphins player. About every 20 seconds, he’ll scream, “Let’s go, Joey!” or “Let’s go, Sammy!” or “Let’s go, Olindo!” I guess that’s something that a lot of fans do, but… this guy’s taken it to another level.

Ben Roethlisberger is flushed from the pocket on a 3rd down, and takes off for the sticks… he’s forced out of bounds about a yard short.  Without breaking stride, he looks at Bill Cowher and says, “We’re going,” and turns around and goes back to the huddle. I guess it’s just as well that Ben’s making the decisions now, since Cowher resigned weeks ago.


He’s not dead. I repeat… Crazy Fish Guy is not dead. If you’re a new reader, and you aren’t familiar with the legend of Crazy Fish Guy, I’ll try to paint a brief picture for you. He’s probably in his late 40s, he’s got black/gray hair that’s been cut and styled the same way since he was 12. He’s got a high-pitched voice with kind of a western Pennsylvania accent, and he’s always got a vacant smile on his face. When it’s warm out, he’s usually wearing a tight Dolphins t-shirt with pit stains, and when it’s cold out, he usually wears something he got from work. He loves to gamble and bet the over, because he likes to “cheer for points.” He carries a gambling sheet with him that looks like specs for the next Space Shuttle launch. He’s a friendly, unassuming, kind of goofy… I don’t know what the word is… he just doesn’t get out much, I don’t think. I really can’t accurately describe him for you in just a paragraph here. You’ll have to go back and check out the archives.

He’s made no contact yet, which is surprising. He either hasn’t spotted us, or he’s just a whole new Crazy Fish Guy. Usually, he comes over uninvited and says something like, “Yeah, I took the Vikings and the points today, but I know they’re gonna kill me,” and he’ll talk for another few minutes until I have nothing else to say to him and just feel uncomfortable.  I used to live for that.

CBS shows the new Raiders defensive coordinator, who’s running things from upstairs in the booth. His elbows are on the table, his eyes are pointing down to the floor, and he’s rubbing his forehead. He acts like that job is stressful or unpleasant in some way. Strange.

And my waitress/wife’s shift has ended… both as my waitress and as my wife. We’ll see if we can’t pick up next week.

There’s a woman down on the sidelines in the Raiders game. I don’t know who she is… a camera woman or stadium staff or something. She’s down, and she’s not moving. Randy Moss comes over to check on her. Either that, or to attempt to feel her up while she lays there unconscious.

I can’t get Crazy Fish Guy to make eye contact with me. This is fucking weird… usually, we can’t get the guy to leave us alone. Now he’s playing hard to get.

The Dallas Cowboys are playing a fullback right now that’s played three games this year for them at linebacker. Between him and Mike Furrey, the NFL’s going to a new trend of two-way players. Gordie Lockbaum missed his era. If the NFL decides to adopt Arena Football rules for a week, I like the Lions and Cowboys to dominate.

Curious about how things are going for new Raiders offensive coordinator John Shoop? It’s 4th and 43 for the Raiders. That’s how things are going for new Raiders offensive coordinator John Shoop.

Alright, it’s time. I’ve got to touch base with Crazy Fish Guy, and this is the first time that anyone from our little group has ever sought him out, as opposed to him seeking us out. I’m going to the bathroom, and on the way, I’m going to stop and talk to him. Here goes.

I walk over to his table, and pat him on the shoulder, smile and say, “Hey, what’s up, man.” Unfortunately, I picked a moment when his mouth was full of burger. I didn’t really time this well. I got flustered. He said something that I think was a garbled, “How you doin’, buddy,” but I’m not sure. I bailed.

Hey, you’re not going to believe this, but Ben Roethlisberger’s hurt. He went down pretty hard on his knee there.

The Greek: “David Carr has fumbled the last three times he’s touched the ball. I’d recommend handing off.”

Roethlisberger’s fine, by the way. Refs who do Steelers games should get one extra official’s timeout per game, where they can stop the game and say, “Official’s time. Ben Roethlisberger needs some attention. Will one of you stupid whores in a Roethlisberger jersey please scream, ‘I LOVE YOU, BEN’? (pause) Thank you. First down.”

It’s kind of hard to watch football right now. Every single one of these games has sucked balls. Two of them, Pittsburgh/Tampa Bay and Houston/Oakland, are worthless just because of the participants. The other is Miami/Jacksonville, which I also don’t care a lot about. And the afternoon’s marquee game, Cowboys/Giants has been extremely sloppy and unpleasant.

There’s a fumble in that Giants/Cowboys game, and Giants fullback Jim Finn dives into the pile after it’s been formed, without the football. It looks like a particularly vicious pile, but Finn dives in anyway, and about 20 seconds later, he’s out… with the ball in his hands. Jim Finn strikes me as the kind of guy who just doesn’t care what happens to him in that pile. “Oh, you’ve got your fist in my ass? Do you think Jim Finn gives a damn? Knock yourself out, pal, I’m getting this football.”

Maurice Jones-Drew breaks through the line and gets into the endzone for the Jags. He then does some hula dance in the endzone… which is something I’ve seen players do when lobbying for a spot in the Pro Bowl.  MJD 2.0 is having a good year, but… he can’t possibly believe he’s going to the Pro Bowl, can he?

Here’s Bruce Gradkowski with the Bucs in the red zone, to try to cut the Steelers lead to three… and that’s going to be intercepted. It’s odd to watch two teams that are both kind of bad, but for entirely different reasons. With the Steelers, there’s still a lot of talent there, so they could theoretically erupt from time to time. There’s a little bit of hope, at least for one decent game here and there. With the Bucs, that’s completely not the case. They are a bad team, from top to bottom, and there’s no chance whatsoever of them breaking character and being great for a week. The personnel just won’t allow it.

On that same note, don’t be fooled into thinking that this is one of those good weeks for the Steelers. It’s not. Roethlisberger is still running for his life on every play… they’re just playing a really bad team. Heath Miller catches a touchdown pass, making it 17-0… and you could keep playing this game for 2 straight weeks, and the Bucs aren’t scoring 17 points.

Gradkowski drops back to throw, and DeShea Townsend comes in untouched on a corner blitz… and Gradkowski just falls down in front of him. He completely turtled. He saw DeShea Townsend and intentionally fell backwards to avoid being hit. If that was Joey Porter… I could see it. DeShea Townsend struggled to break through that paper hoop when he led his team onto the field in high school.

Overheard from a Giants fan: “ELI SUCKS! GET JESSE PALMER BACK!” Wow. That’s not good, Eli. And it’s not particularly good for Jared Lorenzen, either.

And there’s a touchdown for Marion Barber, who’s roughly 300% better than Julius Jones.

Of course, the Giants are going to answer with a touchdown of their own, and it looks like this damn thing is going to overtime. Speaking of Plax, by the way, they showed a play earlier where Plax actually laid someone out on a block. Granted, it was after the play, and the guy was just standing there, and Plax got a 15-yard penalty for it… but he actively sought out contact, and I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen that before. I’d say that Michael Strahan really set him straight, except Michael Strahan denies saying anything negative about Plax, because there’s no room in the Giant locker room for that kind of negativity, Kelly Naqi, you fucking bitch.

Meanwhile, Jon Gruden has opted to kick a field goal in the closing seconds so that the Bucs can avoid the shutout. I’ll understand if you disagree, but… I think that’s kinda pussy. You’re down 17-0, you can’t win… let your team try for touchdowns. If you can’t earn one, you can’t earn one, and you have to deal with being shutout. I think the field goal is just hiding from the fact that you got shutout.

Well… here’s some drama. Martin Grammatica, on for the newly-released Mike Vanderjagt, is in to attempt a 46-yarder for the Cowboys. The Giants call a timeout to ice him, and now Grammatica is praying. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before, and it doesn’t really give me a lot of confidence in Martin Grammatica. Here we go. The kick is up, and… by the beard of Zeus, he drilled that. He had 10 or 15 yards of distance to spare, and it positively split the uprights. Color me surprised, and give Bill Parcells credit for a great decision this week, cutting Vanderjagt and picking up Grammatica.

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Week 12 – 2006/2007 http://www.themightymjd.com/smorgasbord/?p=69 http://www.themightymjd.com/smorgasbord/?p=69#comments Mon, 27 Nov 2006 13:13:52 +0000 mjd http://www.themightymjd.com/smorgasbord/?p=69 Tony Romo is being interviewed via satellite on CBS’s pregame show, and one of the bullshit analysts says that he heard “Dukes of Hazard” was Romo’s favorite movie, and asks when he’ll be going on a date with Jessica Simpson. Romo, to his credit, is quick to correct the notion that he enjoyed that movie, and seems offended at the notion. He seems totally frozen by the question about Jessica Simpson, though, which probably means that she’s blowing him during this very interview.

For those of you who didn’t get to enough weddings this year and haven’t seen enough old white people dancing, hurry up and change it to Fox… Terry Bradshaw and Jimmy Johnson are dancing as they go to commercial. And I don’t mean they were just sort of subtly moving to the background music while something else was going on around them, I mean they were the only two people on camera, music was played for them to dance to, and they were busting out their best moves.  Either that, or they’re having dueling seizures.  My point is that Fox did this on purpose.

Hey, whaddaya know, CBS has a shot of Joey Porter talking trash during pregame warmups. That never gets old or anything.

Meanwhile, Ray Lewis and Ed Reed are literally head-to-head… their foreheads leaning against each other, while they talk back and forth, spitting all over each other. It looks like they’re about to make out. I wonder how God feels about His linebacker being into dudes.

Drew Brees hits a wide open Devery Henderson with a deep ball very early in the Saints/Falcons game. Henderson outsprints DeAngelo Hall to the endzone. Hall can’t catch Henderson until he’s about seven yards deep in the endzone, at which point he reaches for the back of his shoulder pads, and horse collars him down. He gets buried in penalty flags.  Idiot.

Steve McNair looks fantastic early in the Steelers/Ravens game. He’s getting rid of the ball quickly, making the right reads, making very accurate throws… he lofts one to a wide open Todd Heap for a Ravens touchdown. 7-0.

Here’s a neat little stat: Morten Andersen is the all-time leading scorer for both the Saints and the Falcons. What a nice honor to tie the proud histories of those two franchises together.

Dulymus McAllister scores to put the Saints up 14-0, about ten minutes after Boomer Esiason boldly predicted that the Falcons would not just win today, but make the playoffs. Not one of Boomer’s prouder moments.

There’s a group of fellows at the table behind us that seem like decent enough guys. The Juice and I overhear them talking about the Mellencamp commercial, and one of them utters a sentence that starts with, “It’s a good tune, but…” The Juice and I immediately make eye contact in a “You fucking heard that, right?” kind of way. Also, one of them keeps calling Mellencamp “Cougs.”

Jason Campbell steps away from pressure in the Redskins/Panthers game, has a receiver wide open on a crossing pattern about 8 yards downfield… and Campbell misses him by about two full yards. Every time I look up at that game, the Redskins are starting with great field position, but don’t yet have any points to show for it.

Jamal Lewis continues to just plow through the Steelers defense early in this game. He caps the drive with a one-yard TD run. It’s 14-0, Ravens.  Obviously, the Steelers haven’t played that great this year, but one thing they did have was an excellent run defense.  Not today.  Jamal Lewis and the Ravens line are handling them.

Ouch… Bart Scott comes free after Willie Parker misread the blitz and just plants Ben Roethlisberger. I don’t know exactly what hurts on Benjamin, but he’s writhing around in pain. If it’s a concussion, expect Roethlisberger to miss as many as four, maybe five plays before the Steelers stick him back in the line-up.

Michael Vick is currently 4-of-11 for 19 yards, but he does have over 100 yards rushing already. It’s hard to quantify exactly how good of a performance that is from a quarterback, but the scoreboard would argue that it’s nothing special. The Falcons trail, 14-3.

Here’s a commercial for the new Rocky movie… and I notice a distinct lack of Adrian. I wonder if they killed her off, or if she left Rocky’s broke ass. Or, I speculate, perhaps Rocky left her for a stripper named Sparkle. “Yo Sparkle! We did it!” The Juice tells me that he used to know a girl named Sparkle, and she had a sister named Sprinkle. I laugh, but he’s not kidding. “Sparkle,” he says, “had some problems. She was fucked by everything. Mules, the entire football team…”

I didn’t expect that conversation to go there.

Matt Stover makes it 17-0 Ravens before the half. No one on the Steelers sideline seems to notice or care that much.

Some guy uses a napkin to make the “OFF-FENSE” sign from the Man Law commercials.

Roscoe Parrish… that should be illegal. I think he just topped Pac-Man’s punt return from last week on the HolyFuck-o-meter. Brilliant stuff there.

The Steelers come out and in their first possession after halftime, and go three and out. The Juice asks, “Are we allowed to forfeit?” I don’t think NFL rules allow that, actually, but the Steelers are coming as close as they can.

Jim Mora Jr. leaves the field in Atlanta. I don’t have sound for that game, so I can’t be sure what’s happening. I’m just going to assume that he realized that his dad was right, and he’s sick of coaching Michael Vick… and he just said, “Fuck this shit,” and decided to quit in the third quarter.

Ben Roethlisberger is sacked from his blindside, fumbles, and that one’s going to go for a Ravens touchdown. That was roughly 0% Ben Roethlisberger’s fault. It’s 24-0, and that’ll wrap things up here for the 2006 Steelers. And if they go into 2007 with the same offensive line, this same thing is going to happen again.

There’s a waitress here… that I don’t think is human. I think she was built in a factory from carefully-selected parts of other girls. It’s a shame that all those other girls had to die for her to be created, but… I think it was worth the sacrifice.

In one of the best plays you’ll see from a tight end this year, Chris Cooley takes a short Jason Campbell pass, bowls through a couple of tackles and races 66 yards to the endzone. That puts the Redskins in front of the maddeningly inconsistent Panthers.

The Steelers are driving late here, with the score 27-0. The Greek doesn’t want them to score, saying that as a football fan, he believes the Ravens deserve the shutout, and it would be wrong for the Steelers to add a bullshit score here.  This is a Steelers fan talking.

Steelers center Jeff Hartings apparently agrees, as he goes with the “¡Olé!” blocking technique, allowing Ben Roethlisberger to be sacked for the 9th time today.

And on the very next play, Roethlisberger drills a wide open Bart Scott in the breadbasket with the football. That throw may have been a direct “fuck you” to his offensive line, saying in essence, “I’m not standing back here and taking a pounding. Fuck that. If you’re not blocking, they can have the ball.” I think there’s about a 20% chance that that actually happened… I mean, that ball was thrown directly to Bart Scott with no chance of it ending up in anyone else’s hands. I really wouldn’t blame Benjamin.

And Bill Cowher seems bothered by none of this. I don’t think his headset is being used to communicate with any other team personnel, I think it’s wired directly into his travel agent’s office, and he’s planning his vacation for the off-season.

I wanna give some credit to the Redskins defense this afternoon… they seemed to have had Jake Delhomme confused and unsure of himself all day long. Of course, that’s been the case with Delhomme most of the year, but still… I wouldn’t have picked the Redskins to win this game, but they’re going to.

Meanwhile, Chargers/Raiders is underway… and the Raiders start the game with an opening drive that moves the ball pretty well. That’s an unpleasant feeling.

Fortunately, Sebastian Janikowski is a douchebag and a poor kicker. We remain scoreless.

Peanut Tillman intercepts a tipped pass for the Bears, and then does the fucking jumpshot celebration. I am so sick of seeing that… I want to punch Jim Jones in his fucking mouth. If you were an NFL player, wouldn’t you have some sense by now that the jumpshot is about the least creative thing you could do? You’re going to call attention to yourself with a celebration dance, and then you’re going to do something 85 other people have done this year? Roger Goodell should start fining people who do this bullshit.

Laurence Maroney has the ball stolen right out of his hands by Bears linebacker Lance Briggs. Just took it right away from him. This may be the reason that Maroney hasn’t taken all of Corey Dillon’s carries this year.

The Raiders second drive of the day ends in a touchdown. Rashard Lee scores from 1 yard out, and their 7-0 lead his been thoroughly earned.

Michael Turner’s a little banged up, and Antonio Cromartie’s getting a chance to return kicks for the Chargers today. His first effort is a beauty, going down to about the Raiders 15. Sebastian Janikowski had him lined up for the tackle at one point, until Cromartie made a little juke move… prompting Janikowski to start a light jog back to his sideline. “Hey, I’m willing to tackle you, but, well… if you’re going to move…”

The Titans have put Pac-Man Jones in on offense. They run a reverse to him, and he’s completely hemmed up on the right side of the field, where the play was designed to go. He reverses the reverse, and finds 10 yards and a first down back over on the left. Remarkable play. Not many guys in the league are getting a first down out of that.

There are a couple of female Ravens fans sitting across the room. One of them, in her gravely Baltimore voice, her vocal chords having been damaged from years of abuse by cigarettes and the heads of erect penises, starts talking shit to The Juice and another Steelers fan who was nearby.

Aaron Brooks… is playing decently. Thought it was worth mentioning. And you know who else has been playing good football? Warren Sapp. It causes me physical pain to admit that.

Chad Jackson somehow gets wide open down the sideline for the Patriots… not a Bear within 10 yards of him. Tom Brady flat out misses him. You don’t see that often.

Some bastard named Madsen catches a 57-yard touchdown pass from Aaron Brooks… they’re going to say he stepped out at the two. Brooks goes back to Madsen on the next play for the Raiders touchdown. I’ve never heard of this guy. I’m going to call him Mark. Or Cunt.

You know who Tiki Barber reminds me of? Phil Mickelson. They’re both selfish, arrogant douchebags… but most people still like them because they constantly wear friendly smiles and seem to have a pleasant demeanor. These things are meaningless, of course, and reveal nothing positive about a person’s character… but they both have those perceptive and discerning New York sports fans fooled.  Tiki Barber = Phil Mickelson.

The BaltiWhore is now expressing her admiration for Eli Manning. Clearly heard: “I’d fuck Eli.” I think maybe she has him confused with Peyton, though… she starts chanting, “Cut that meat!” although The Juice swears she was saying, “Come fuck me!” I’m not sure what’s happening right now.

R.W. McQuarters picks up an incomplete pass off the ground, and is pretending like he has a fumble or an interception. He’s running, prompting a Titan to attempt to tackle him… he sort of grabs him and spins him, which sends’ McQuarters’ helmet directly into the balls of strong safety Jason Bell. Bell just took the crown of a helmet in the nutsac because R.W. McQuarters felt like pretending he made a great play.

Philip Rivers, in the midst of the worst game of his professional career, throws a brutal interception to Nnadmi Asomugha.

LenDale White gets a carry for the Titans… and is jawing with someone after the play. Titans tackle David Stewart grabs White by the collar and throws him back towards his own huddle. Valuable veteran move right there.

Nnadmi Asomugha has horse teeth.

The Titans have a 4th and 9 here in the fourth quarter against the Giants. Vince Young takes off running for it, and at the end of the play takes two simultaneous helmet-to-helmet hits from Giant defenders that also may have been late.  Young was absolutely belted in the head… it was a little sickening to watch.  But he’s up, and that’ll be 15 yards and a Titan first down.

Randy Moss, in perhaps his most valuable contribution to the Raiders this year, tucks in tackle Chad Slaughter’s jersey for him… had his hand down the side of his pants and everything. He then wipes his hand on Slaughter’s jersey afterwards… to wipe off the gay juice, I suppose.

I don’t know what the numbers say… but Pac Man Jones is one of the best punt returners in the league. He has moves on top of moves, and a sixth sense about where to go with the football. He’s like Deion Sanders, if Deion Sanders was a bad-ass.

Vincent Jackson, YOU DUMB FUCK. He just caught a brilliant 4th-and-2 thread-the-needle throw from Phil Rivers… got up and threw the ball down in that little twisty motion designed to make it spin… all without anyone touching him. Antonio Gates just walked up to him and hit him on the arm, like “What the fuck, man?”

Tom Brady tucks the ball and runs… and Brian Urlacher has him lined up in space, one-on-one, Brady in the open field vs. Urlacher…. and Brady breaks his ankles. Incredible. And Brady said something to Urlacher after the play… whatever it was, it looked friendly, but Urlacher was pissed. He’s embarrassed right now, as he should be. Tom Brady just Barry Sanders’d him.

Somehow, the officials are going to give the Chargers the ball here after that Vincent Jackson play. The sound isn’t on that game, and I can’t hear what’s going on… but I think ref Mike Carey said something about an illegal forward pass. I dunno… but we have the ball and a first down and the Raiders can suck me. Vincent Jackson can now be allowed to live.

The Titans, down 21-0 at the half, appear to be serious about this comeback attempt. Mathias Kiwanuka chases down Vince Young, and has him wrapped up… and just lets him go. He willfully let the man go. I guess he thought Young threw the ball and was afraid of being penalized… I dunno. You play to the whistle, Kiwi.

And here’s a little pitch out to LaDainian Tomlinson… the Raiders defense swarms to him, as they’ve been doing all day… and he hits a wide open Antonio Gates for the touchdown. Perfect play call right then.

According to The Juice, Tom Coughlin just screamed something at Kiwanuka that ended with, “…you FUCK.”

Rex Grossman’s 4th quarter passer rating on the year: 23.2. The only one worse is Andrew Walters.

Vince Young drops a touchdown pass into Brandon Jones… and we’ve got a tie game. Vince Young has done it here in the second half with his arms and his legs. I don’t know if I’m ready to say yet that he’ll be a great NFL quarterback, but… what he’s done here in the second half is exactly what he did to USC in the Rose Bowl. I hate to go all John Madden on you, but… some guys are just football players. Vince Young, today, is a great football player.

You know who else is a great football player today? Pac-Man Jones. On the Giants first play after the Titans tied it up, he baited Eli Manning into a throw, and then made a leaping interception. Spectacular contributions from Pac-Man today.

And now the Titans have the ball at the 50-yard line with :23 seconds to play. Call Pete Carroll and ask him if he thinks Vince Young is going to get the Titans into field goal range here.

The kick is up… and it is good. The Titans have beaten the Giants, despite trailing 21-0 at halftime. Games like this are the reason that, as a fan, you stick with a bad football team. A great comeback, all kinds of heart, two outstanding young players in Young and Pac-Man… that’s gotta feel outstanding. As a sports fan, you probably only get two or three games in your life that feel as good as that one had to feel to Titans fans.

San Diego and New England are going to finish off their wins, too. And what looked like a very unpromising slate of afternoon games turned out to feature some outstanding football. The Titans 2nd-half comeback today was probably the most thrilling thing I’ve seen in the NFL this year that didn’t involve my own favorite team.

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Week 11 – 2006/2007 http://www.themightymjd.com/smorgasbord/?p=68 http://www.themightymjd.com/smorgasbord/?p=68#comments Mon, 20 Nov 2006 12:43:43 +0000 mjd http://www.themightymjd.com/smorgasbord/?p=68 I could be wrong, but I think Tom Jackson just advocated the physical beating of Randy Moss. I might have missed the first part of the sentence, but he said the right thing for Moss’s teammates to do is to givie him a “code red” and just beat the hell out of him. Oddly enough, I’d recommend the same thing for Chris Berman.

Hey, whaddaya know… Kellen Winslow and Joey Porter are jawing at each other during pre-game warmups. Winslow might be the one guy in the league (or on the planet) that I wouldn’t side with in an argument with Joey Porter. They’re either talking a lot of trash, or getting into a very animated discussion about their favorite Nicholas Sparks novels. Kellen preferred “The Notebook,” while Joey is more of a “Message in a Bottle” kind of guy. They’ll work it out.

Berman mentions the Grey Cup being played today… for some reason, Berman loves him some Grey Cup. It’ll be the BC Lions against the Montreal Alouettes for the title of “Best Canadian Team That Would Also Lose To Any NFL Team By 60 Points.”

There’s a waitress here with the tiniest little ass you’ve ever seen, and even tinier little shorts that are barely covering it. There’s more fabric in one of Javon Walker’s wristbands, and that isn’t much of an exaggeration. This place is awesome sometimes.

Ben Troupe snares a slightly-errant Vince Young touchdown pass, and the Titans take an early 7-0 lead on the Eagles. The good news for the Eagles is that the Titans are very prone to blowing these things. Ask the Ravens.

And on a related note, Chad Johnson is the recipient of a Carson Palmer touchdown pass, and the Bengals are leading 7-0. But that’s alright, you can spot the Bengals 28 points or so and still be fine.

The Rams are wearing white jerseys and white pants today. I don’t think this is a look we’ve seen before. I’m a little bit hesitant to admit that I kind of like them, because I’m pretty sure that Colonel Jessup wouldn’t approve.

At 1:28 Eastern Standard Time, Lee Evans has 180 yards receiving and two touchdowns. If Houston’s going with the “Let’s just shut down everyone but Lee Evans and make him beat us” strategy, it would probably be the first time in NFL history that’s happened, and it is not working.

Apparently, you can go to Burger King and buy a meal of some kind, and get an XBox 360 game featuring The King for $4. My plans for Monday just changed dramatically.

Hey, there’s a Ben Roethlisberger interception that Cleveland takes to the house. It was about damn time, we were almost five minutes into the 2nd quarter.

And on the ensuing kickoff, Steelers wide receiver Sean Morey takes it back 76 yards to give the Steelers great field position. I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed this, but the cheers are always just a liiiiiittle bit louder for a white kick returner. I think it’s sort of an affirmation for white people… like, “Hey, we can run just as fast!” Regardless, my chant of “WHITE-PEO-PLE!” doesn’t gather much steam.

Uh-oh… Donovan McNabb is down, and it is bad. There wasn’t anything gruesome-looking about the injury, but that’s not always a good thing. The worst injuries are often the ones where it doesn’t look like anything happened, but the victim knows immediately that he isn’t walking away from this one. I think that’s what’s happening here.

But the good news is that Jeff Garcia, a quarterback that Colonel Jessup might describe in the same way he describes a white uniform, is in the game for the Eagles. They punt.

Meanwhile, Lady E swears she just saw Donovan McNabb back on the field. That would be truly remarkable, as it would mean that McNabb made an unbelievably fast recovery and also that Andy Reid has decided to use him on defense.

Brett Favre’s holding his arm/wrist, and he’s going to the locker room. He’s flexing his hand, I doubt it’s anything too serious. Now’s probably also a good time to mention that I did really enjoy the ESPN Countdown feature of Favre earlier in the morning. It was about how Favre is enjoying the game again, and for as much as I’ve taken shots at Favre over the past year or so… he is still a hell of a likable guy. I lose sight of that sometimes.

Benjamin Roethlisberger throws his third interception of the day, and some Browns d-lineman just wiped him out on the return. Roethlisberger then got up, sort of started walking in the other direction, and the lineman killed him again. Yeah, that’s a 15-yard penalty. Fortunately, I can’t pick up a 15-yard penalty for chuckling.

Alright, I’m sorry. But Benjamin’s fine, I think I’m in the clear. His line on the day, by the way: 4-of-11, 36 yards, 3 INTs. His quarterback rating is 6. It’s usually not good to have a passer rating lower than your jersey number, particularly if you’re wearing a single digit.

Common is in a commercial for The Gap. I guess I’m happy for him getting the opportunity, but… it doesn’t feel good to watch it. It would be like seeing tough guy Mike Ditka in the limp-wang pill commercials… if I ever had any respect for Ditka to begin with.

The Browns are going to try a Hail Mary (should I capitalize that?) before halftime. Before the snap, The Greek says, “this scares me.” Hey, with Ike Taylor back there, I don’t know why anyone would worry. The ball ends up being batted around and very nearly caught. That was close.

Jeff Garcia rolls to his right and throws a 20-yard laser back across his body for an Eagles first down. Wow. I didn’t think Jeff Garcia had that kind of arm in him. I mean, not that anyone has their arm in Jeff Garcia… you know what I mean.

Meanwhile, the update on Donovan McNabb is that he tore his ACL. That is borderline tragic. I’d been putting the Eagles pretty high in my weekly power rankings, and I felt like they’d go on a nice second-half run, and now I’m going to have a chance to be proven right.

Also, it’s bad for Donovan McNabb.

Fuck. I really didn’t mean to be that self-absorbed. I do feel terrible for Donovan McNabb.

All these injuries today have me thinking about starting a Fantasy Injury League, where you’d draft players and then accumulate points when they’re injured and miss time. In-game injuries get you 1-point for play missed (with a maximum of 30), 30 points for a game missed, 50 for any sort of pelvic injury, 100 for a mid-week suicide attempt, 150 points for a season-ender, and if your player actually dies on the field of play, you’d automatically win the league that year. This could catch on.

Braylon Edwards catches a first-down pass and then mocks Joey Porter’s little kick thing. I think this has to stop… not the excessive celebration, necessarily, but I think it’s pretty lame and played-out to just mockingly copy someone else’s celebration. If you’re not creative enough to think of your own, just heading back to your huddle is always an option.

There’s a female Steelers fan behind me who’s really into the game. Every time Benjamin drops back, she repeats “Ben, please don’t fuck up, please don’t fuck up, please don’t fuck up,” until he finally gets rid of the ball. It’s cracking me up, and I think that pretty well sums up the Steeler fan experience this year.

Oh, Pac-Man Jones… you are magnificent. He fielded a punt at his own four-yard-line (not something that’s typically a good idea), and the Eagles coverage had him hemmed up pretty well. He somehow squirms out of a couple of tackles, gets through the first wave, makes a couple of other guys miss, turns on the jets and takes it to the house. An incredible play. And I think it would have been worth the 15-yard penalty for Pac to take off his helmet, get his face in front of a TV camera and scream, “AND THAT’S WHY I’LL SPIT ON WHOEVER THE FUCK I WANT.”

Great throw there by Ben Roethlisberger. He was rolling right, heading quickly towards the sideline, throws back against his body to Santonio Holmes for a Steeler first down (and soon after, a touchdown). Some of the great throws he makes make it difficult to believe he’s the same guy that makes some of the horrific throws he makes. I dunno. There aren’t many guys in the league making that throw. He’s a very confusing quarterback right now.

And then Josh Cribbs takes the ensuing kickoff to the house.

Nick Eason, defensive tackle for the Browns, may have just pulled off the weirdest/dumbest play of the year. The Browns had Roethlisberger running for his life. Eason gets his mitts on him, is in the process of hitting him squarely, cleanly, legally in the chest… and he just lets go. He lets go, and holds his hands up, like, “I didn’t do anything!” He’s right, he didn’t do anything, including knocking Roethlisberger to the ground. In the process of trying to defend himself against a penalty, he actually forgot to make the stop. Roethlisberger stayed on his feet and got rid of the football, saving the sack and about 10 yards for the Steelers. He must have thought Roethlisberger had already gotten rid of the ball. Never seen anything like that.

Keyshawn Johnson catches a Jake Delhomme deep ball in the middle of the field, and almost scores… except he felt the need to rip the helmet off of the defensive back who was trying to tackle him.

The Steelers, in the fourth quarter now, look to be rounding into form. They just put together a long, efficient drive that culminated in a Willie Parker touchdown, and they’re down now 20-17.

The Eagles, meanwhile, can’t do anything right, and they screw up a field goal attempt. They’re still down 24-6, and they’re displaying very little competency or urgency right now.

And the Steelers are again driving on the Browns. It’s sort of amazing what they’re doing. They play sloppy, terrible, mistake-filled football for 55 minutes, and at the end of the game here, they clearly believe they’re going to win. Cleveland believes no such thing. And Benjamin makes another play, shoveling an improvised pass to Willie Parker for a four-yard touchdown. Steelers lead, 24-20.

The Browns are going to have another shot at a Hail Mary here… Frye unleashes it to the corner of the endzone. Again, it’s tipped around, and again, very nearly caught. Steelers escape, 24-20.

I’m predicting a major lapse in my own football concentration level for the late games. There are only three games on, two of them mean absolutely nothing to me, I’m not feeling well, and I’ll be looking ahead to the Chargers game this evening. I’d much rather be napping right now.

Mike Nolan, however, is looking fresh to death in his special black custom Reebok suit. I’m disappointed that there’s not a Reebok logo visible anywhere on the suit… a huge white Reebok logo would look fantastic across his back.

By the way, it’s after 4:00, and I haven’t seen the fucking Mellencamp commercial yet today. It’ll be nice to leave the bar this afternoon, walk through the parking lot, and not have the urge to climb on top of a Chevrolet and take a dump on the hood.

Ah, there’s Nolan’s Reebok logo. They’ve put a pretty big white logo on his black dress shoes. Classy.

CBS shows a shot of Pat Summerall, hanging out in Dallas and enjoying the Colts/Cowboys game. It’s Jim Nantz that points him out, and has some nice things to say about him. The nicest thing Nantz could say, in my opinion, is something like, “I’m going to get up now and let Pat Summerall have my seat because, even though he hasn’t had a completely lucid throught since 1961, he’s still way better at this than I am.”

A new group of people sit down at the table next to us, and they’re discussing their worst jersey purchases of all time. A Redskins fan not only admits, but seems to be proud of the fact that he still owns a Heath Shuler jersey. Another guy says he’s owned both Trent Dilfer and Rick Mirer jerseys. The Greek looks over and tells them I own three Ryan Leaf jerseys (which isn’t true), and the guy asks me, “Three? Home, away, and CFL?”

San Francisco has jumped out to a 10-0 lead on Seattle, and every time I look at that game, Frank Gore is going nuts. Over these past two weeks, Gore has looked positively unstoppable. Obviously, we’ll need to see it over a longer period of time, but… for the past couple of weeks, he’s been performing like an elite back.

And this Dallas/Indianapolis game that was supposed to be the afternoon’s saving grace? It’s sucked balls. Sloppy play, turnovers… it’s looked very Detroit/Arizona-ish.

Peyton Manning has the Colts inside the 10. He throws over the middle to the tight end, who’s covered by Roy Williams. Williams employs the seldom-used “shove him in the back and when he falls down, intercept the pass” technique, which is evidently legal now. That was borderline criminal.

I think this is the first time I’ve seen the Lions in HD… and man, I didn’t realize how white Jon Kitna was. I was shopping for a TV the other day, and I asked about the brightness levels on this plasma set, and the guy told me, “Oh, it’s very bright. It’s fully capable of rendering the blinding white flesh of the back of Jon Kitna’s arms in all of their bleached ivory glory.”

In the second quarter, Frank Gore has 130 yards against what I believed was a pretty solid Seattle run defense.

CBS is showing an old clip of Phil Simms and Bill Parcells arguing on the sidelines when Parcells was coaching Simms with the Giants. Simms came out of the game, and decided to go yell at Parcells, and you could clearly read Parcells’ lips saying, “Settle the fuck down and go sit your ass over there on the bench.”

The Juice, and I have no idea how this came up, claims that Dr. James Naismith “learned all his shit from lacrosse,” and also invented the 2-3 zone. This sets off a long argument about the relative athletcism of lacrosse players, and… You know what? It’s not even worth telling you about. Just know that The Juice believes that the best athletes in lacrosse are on par with the best athletes in the NFL and NBA. The argument lasted about a half hour, and was dumber and a bigger waste of time than just about anything else we’ve ever discussed here.

Peyton Manning throws an interception that ends up being taken to the house by a Cowboys linebacker of whom I have never heard. Just judging from body language, it looks like the Colts are going to lose this game, and I’m not sure they care. I’m also not sure that they’re as good as they think they are.

Frank Gore is up to 180 yards on 15 carries.

Scrolling across the bottom of the screen: Tim Dwight had five catches today. Man, some team is digging deep into the wide receiver depth chart this week.

With 6:00 to play in the Colts/Cowboys game, Marion Barber scores his 2nd touchdown of the day to give the Cowboys a 21-14 lead. If I’m Bill Parcells, and I have to pick between Marion Barber and Julius Jones… I dunno, I’ve been more impressed with Barber. He hits the hole harder, finishes of runs more aggressively. I’d make him the primary back.

Deion Branch wears really bright green gloves for some reason. They look like miniature Hulk Hands.

The Cardinals, meanwhile, are going to wrap up this victory over the Lions and win 17-10. They’re out there in the victory formation, taking knees. That’s probably the first time a lot of those guys have been in that situation… I wonder if that’s something they had to practice, or Dennis Green was just scrambling around the sideline frantically, screaming, “Victory formation! Victory formation! What? No, I have no idea–You know what, just ask Leinart, he’ll show you how to do it.”

And the Cowboys game has gone final, too, sparing us all weeks and weeks of worthless “Can the Colts go undefeated?” talk. The downside to that, though, is that the ’72 Dolphins douchebags will gather and drink more champagne than their aging bodies can handle. I bet Csonka and Buoniconti are going to do it.

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Week 10 – 2006/2007 http://www.themightymjd.com/smorgasbord/?p=67 http://www.themightymjd.com/smorgasbord/?p=67#comments Mon, 13 Nov 2006 09:06:50 +0000 mjd http://www.themightymjd.com/smorgasbord/?p=67 Rudi Johnson isn’t starting for the Bengals for disciplinary reasons. Wait, let me try that again. Rudi Johnson isn’t starting for disciplinary reasons? Man, the Bengals are running out of good guys. About Wednesday, we’ll hear about Carson Palmer and Marvin Lewis murdering a transvestite hooker when some double team action went awry.

Games I can see include: Washington/Philadelphia, Houston/Jacksonville, Cleveland/Atlanta, and San Diego/Cincinnati. I’d imagine we’ll be focusing primarily on the last one… although Houston’s already up 7-0 on Jacksonville, evidently the only team in the NFL they can beat.

I like this commercial where they have the various mascots and whathaveyou chasing the Heisman trophy in the back of a Toyota. There’s a Mountaineer chasing it, and he gets clobbered by something… I think they should have had a pack of Cardinals fly over him, coat him in bird shit, and then peck his eyes out. That would be a little more accurate.

The Bengals, early on, are just having their way with the Chargers on both sides of the ball. We need Shawne Merriman. Or at least his pharmacist. Get some nandrolone in these boys, stat. 7-0, Bengals.

Make that 14-0, Bengals, and six or seven minutes into the game, the Bengals have yet to have an unsuccessful offensive play. Everything single thing they’ve done has worked perfectly and without resistance.

Donte Stallworth is having a pretty big game for the Eagles. The Juice says, “Man, Aaron Brooks must be pretty bad.” Yes, Juice, I’m pretty sure that’s the case. Someone mentions that on Countdown earlier, Tom Jackson said that the Saints immediately became 25% better when they got rid of Brooks. I think 25% is a pretty conservative estimate.

There’s something about Phil Rivers’ snap count, or something the center’s doing… but other teams are on to it. For at least a couple of weeks now, teams have been jumping it.  And that’s a pretty good way to trainwreck a play from the beginning.

The Titans are somehow beating the Ravens’ ass. It’s 26-7 Titans in a thoroughly confusing score. All these good teams make a ton of mistakes against the Ravens… and now they play about the league’s worst team and they’re getting bitchslapped. I think the Titans are only doing this because Ray Lewis is black.

That Jessica Simpson DirecTV commercial is on… Lady E is annoyed by her. This exchange happens:
Lady E: She can’t talk without moving her shoulders!
The Juice: I’d fuck her mouth.

It’s apparently the Lorenzo Neal show in San Diego. Something like four of six of the last Chargers offensive plays have been designed for Lorenzo Neal. Surprisingly, this is not a strategy that’s lighting up the scoreboard. I think Lo sometimes struggles to catch the ball because that’s a skill that requires soft hands and some finesse, as opposed to just a desire to cave in somebody’s sternum.

21-0 Bengals now. Chad Johnson was wide open like Pam Anderson’s vagina when there’s a douchebag rock star in the room. There was no one even close to Chad Johnson… and the bastard didn’t even have the courtesy to dance. If you’re going to beat and humiliate my team, at least entertain me, prick.

With 12:08 to play in the 2nd quarter, the Bengals have had their first unsuccessful offensive play.  It’s a starting point.

Weird highlight from the Pats/Jets game… Corey Dillon broke though the Jets defensive line, and got good yardage… and about 15-20 yards into the run, decelerated to somewhere near Gilbert Brown pace. The guy chasing him seemed confused, like he didn’t want to hit him because he thought Dillon was hurt. He wasn’t, though. He was just like, “Wait, runs can go longer than six yards? Fuck this. I’m walking.”

Carson Palmer looks for Chris Henry in traffic… the ball is thrown perhaps a little bit out of “comfortable catch” range, but by no means was it out of his reach. There were, however, three Chargers there waiting for it, some of them with intentions of making physical contact with Chris Henry… and that’s a significant deterrent to #15, so he just kinda stops. Fortunately for the Bengals, the ball bounces off a Charger’s chest, and Chris Henry got away with his complete pussification. Carson Palmer is pissed.

If you don’t recall, Chris Henry did the exact same thing on a Bengals deep ball last week. This play was extremely similar. It was in his range, and Henry just said, “I’m not going there, there are Chargers there.” Chris Henry is a more talented combination of Todd Pinkston and Lawrence Phillips. I don’t think Carson Palmer’s going to go his direction again today.

Two plays later, touchdown Chris Henry. Naturally.

Brett Favre and Donald Driver hook up for a touchdown pass. Favre runs downfield and picks Driver up and tosses him over his back in a move similar to what I believe the wrestlers call a “fireman’s carry.” That was weird, but… kind of awesome. That was a situation that actually did call for a commentator to say that Brett Favre loves to play the game.

The Fox gang is in Pittsburgh for the Saints/Steelers game. One of the fans by the set has a sign that reads, “Forever Our XL Champions!” Yes, lady, that is true. And I think it’s a wise move on your part to focus on last year.

The Chargers have shown a little bit of life in making it 28-14 here in the third quarter… but at some point, we’re going to need to get some stops.

Chad Johnson is once again wide, wide, wide open about 60 yards downfield. He scores again, and then mocks Shawne Merriman’s little sack dance, something that I’ve always found to be pretty lame anyway. Then at the end of it, he throws in Joey Porter’s kick manuever… I guess that was Chad Johnson’s special “Fuck All Linebackers” tribute.

Michael Turner fields the ensuing kickoff, with Lorenzo Neal running ahead of him as a lead blocker. In HD, you can actually see Lo Neal foaming at the mouth as he runs at full steam, looking for someone to hit. Turner outruns him, rendering Neal’s blocking useless… and Neal just goes out of bounds. Here’s Lorenzo’s inner dialogue:
Good Lo: Okay, it’s a kickoff return, let’s throw a good block here and help out our teammate, Michael Turner.
Good Lo: Boy, I really don’t like it when when you start frothing at the mouth. Let’s try to…
Good Lo: Who, exactly?
Good Lo: You know, Michael just ran byy us. You can’t lead block anymore.
Good Lo: You can’t do that. There is literally no one on the field that it would do us any good to block.
Good Lo: I’m taking us out of bounds before someone gets hurt.

The score is 38-35, by the way. There’s still almost a full quarter to play. I thought this might be a high-scoring game, but I wasn’t quite expecting this.

Fox has a record of Eagles linebacker D’hani Jones’ outgoing voicemail message. I really wish I could’ve hit the pause on the TiVo and slowed that down to get it word for word, but it’s this long philosophical thing about the nature of human beings… I dunno, I didn’t really catch the gist. But it’s this long thing that ends with, “…and think about that… before you leave a message for D’hani Jones. (beep)” If a friend of mind had that voicemail, and I had to listen to that every time I asked him if he wanted to see if he was watching a game, I think I’d beat him to death.

Chargers DE Shaun Phillips gets in Carson Palmer’s face and forces the fumble… that’s our ball, bitch. And on the next play, LaDainian Tomlinson converts it four six. Cincinnati’s defensive coordinator has a look on his face like his son just told him that he needed a ride to ballet class as soon the Rachael Ray Show is over. He is out of options for trying to contain LaDainian Tomlinson.

There’s a lot of Browns fans in the place today. Kellen Winslow comes down with a great catch in traffic, and one of them stands up and goes, “What a catch!” I instinctively yell, “What a douche!” And he turns around and says, “It’s a shame that he’s so good.” I couldn’t agree more. It is a shame that that guy is that good.

I think TJ Houshmandzadeh might be dead. He was coming across the middle, and Chargers safety Marlon McCree decided to lay him out… about, oh say, three seconds before the ball got there. Randall Godfrey was coming in on the play, too, and ended up inadvertently hitting Houshmandzadeh’s head with his knee, due to Housh’s abrupt and unexpected change of direction. Houshmandzadeh couldn’t spell his last name right now if you spotted him the “Houshmandzade.”

We’ve just had a major tequila spill at our table… five extra-large shots of tequila are in the carpet right next to us, and the smell has caused 80% of my nose hair to evaporate. My fucking tongue is numb. The constant presence of tequila fumes… is not a pleasant thing.

The Browns go on to beat Michael Vick and the Falcons, and there is much barking among the Browns fans. It sounds like the Arsenio Hall show in here.

The Saints/Steelers game is underway, and it doesn’t take Ben Roethlisberger long to hit Hines Ward over the middle for a perfect strike that ends up going for a touchdown. Benjamin comes away from the play, shaking his hand, though… but I’ll bet you that that tough son-of-a-bitch is going to power through it like Willis Reed. That guy’s a real throwback to the old days, when guys would pretend to be injured, and then play through any amount of imaginary excruciating pain.

Oh, Philip Rivers, YOU MAGNIFICENT BASTARD. He rolled out to his left, set up a defender perfectly, left him in no man’s land, and lofted it over his head to Brandon Manumaleuna. That’ll put the Chargers ahead by 8 with not much time left.

Roethlisberger’s on the sidelines flexing his hand, gripping a ball, making sure the camera’s on him, and then wincing. I think he’s going to play through this. This reminds me of when 50 Cent got shot nine times, and then kept making albums that went platinum.

4th and 8 here for the Bengals in Chargers territory… Palmer drops back, it’s tipped, and incomplete… and that’ll wrap up a Chargers victory. Man, that seemed unlikely a couple of hours ago. I mean getting a stop, and/or getting a win. But hey, that’s the upside of playing a talented team that has absolutely no mental or emotional stability.  It’s like they’re coached by Courtney Love.

I’m watching the Cardinals/Cowboys game on a 70-inch HDTV… and it feels weird. Something just feels inherently wrong about watching the Cardinals in HD. Something about the Cardinals organization just screams, “19-inch black and white with rabbit ears.” I believe you have to watch the Cardinals on that TV to get the full Cardinal experience.

Ben Roethlisberger, bravely soldiering through mild discomfort, finds Heath Miller in the endzone for another Steelers TD. It’s 14-0 Pittsburgh early on.

This was my favorite moment of the day. Tony Romo drops back with the Cowboys in scoring range, and is under pressure… he sort of flings the ball through the back of the endzone, and Sam Hurd, #17 for the Cowboys (who The Juice has been calling “Quincy Carter”) catches it… about, oh I dunno, 7 or 8 feet out of the back of the endzone. And as he brings it in, he looks down and tries to drag his feet. Keep in mind that the poor bastard was a full two yards out, and he’s trying to drag his feet. I felt really bad for him. It’s like a a kid in a spelling bee who has to spell “phlegm,” and he starts out, “F-L-E-H-” and then spends the next two minutes crying because he can’t think of what comes next. Difficult to watch.

There’s a girl at the next table, babbling about organized religion. She’s got it all figured out, much like every other college sophomore in the world. It’s the same girl that you might remember from the end of Week 8, the diehard Steelers fan who doesn’t actually watch the game. She’s missed both touchdowns so far, but her dissertation on theology has been mind-blowingly awesome. Seriously, my life has been changed. In about hour #3 of her tirade against religion, I suggest that we all get up together, and kneel, in unison, towards Mecca and start praying.

The Greek drops into conversation that he’s scheduled to get a spinal x-ray tomorrow. No one had any idea that this was happening, and it sounds sort of serious. I’m a little concerned, but… if he’s not going to tell me about it, I’m damn sure not going to let him know I’m concerned. I call him a pussy, and The Juice suggests that he “go down to the Great Wall and having some Asian chick walk on it.”

Reggie Bush, in a move that might make a highlight show or two, leaps from just inside the four-yard-line, and lands about a yard deep in the endzone for a touchdown. Jesus, he got up there. It’s nice to be reminded every now and then that he is capable of making quality football plays.

Charles Grant of the Saints – and I think this is fucking awesome – is wearing a white dress shirt under his pads. You can see the collar. That is phenomenal. Charles Grant is trying to bring a little bit of that Kanye fashion to the NFL. I’m pretty sure that a fine will be forthcoming, but… Charles Grant, you are the man.

Deuce McAllister gets into the endzone for the Saints and performs the exceptionally rare “spike while being tackled” celebration.

LaMont Jordan lowers his shoulder into Broncos linebacker Al Wilson, who’s one of the league’s best… and just sends Wilson flying. That was a Lorenzo Neal maneuver… Al Wilson just got fucked up. I didn’t know LaMont had it in him. I ain’t afraid to give you one across the lips, Lamont.

You know how at some military bases (or all of them, I dunno), they have those tubes coming out of the ground where you’re supposed to piss? The piss tubes? The Juice has a dream to one day open a sports bar where there are piss tubes under every table. I think the board of health may have some issues with that.

There are three female Saints fans at the game, sitting next to each other, wearing Cowboy hats… they’re like 40-year-old, baggy-eyed, single-mother-of-two Jen Stergers.

Reggie Bush coughs up a crucial fumble… Sean Payton is all over him. I think that’s the first time I’ve seen Reggie Bush get yelled at like a little boy. I hope Mario Williams was watching that and got a little schadenfreude out of it.

And on the next play, a Saints safety bit on a Roethlisberger pump fake like Marv Albert on a pasty white titty, and the score is tied at 24. The Steelers now have 14-points off of Saints turnovers.

Oooh… that one’s not going to be making the Roy Williams highlight reel. Matt Leinart just faked him out of his jock on a scramble to the endzone. Matt Leinart has all the mobility of shiftiness of Peyton Manning on quaaludes.

And on a drive that consisted of Willie Parker, Willie Parker, and more Willie Parker… the Steelers find themselves in the lead late in a game. Their secondary still has major issues, and their offensive line can be violated with a fair amount of regularity, but… they can still beat a lot of teams when Ben Roethlisbeger is on. That’s just the way things are.

They have no answer for Marques Colston, though. Late in the game, he has 9 catches for 156 yards. The Juice is so sick of him that he has threatened to start talking shit about Katrina.

By the way, if ‘Katrina and the Waves’ was still a popular band, do you think they’d have to change their name? Or at least do a charity remix of “Walkin’ on Sunshine,” with a new title… something like, “Buried Under Raw Sewage”?

A snap goes through Drew Brees’s legs and skids straight through to the backfield. Deuce McAllister picks it up and takes it the house before anyone else has any idea what the hell is going on. That’s one of the weirder touchdowns you’ll ever see.

A little bit later, the Saints have a minute or so to score a tying touchdown… Marques Colston catches a ball well inside John Carney’s field goal range… and then fumbles it, which is going to end this game. Fortunately, we’re going to get out of here before The Juice goes to the Katrina jokes.

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