Week 11 – 2006/2007

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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