Week 9 – 2012/2013

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.

3 thoughts on “Week 9 – 2012/2013

  1. I would like to add to the chorus of people who are telling you that I am so, so happy that the smorgasbord is back. And Doug Martin cannot be sated. He is a monster.

  2. Ditto. The smorgasbord was sorely missed and, apparently, muff stubble girl has gone missing. I always imagined her and MJD getting married, settling down and having a few tiny MJDs…

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