Week 15 – 2006/2007

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.

3 thoughts on “Week 15 – 2006/2007

  1. just wanted to say thanks for the season, i have really enjoyed reading these every monday morning before work. and shannon sharpe was ON FIRE yesterday (there aren’t enough nails and plywood in a home depot to fix the indianapolis run defense!)

  2. I honestly spit coffee out my nose with the Andy Dufresne line. Uncanny resemblence, there.

    As someone who experienced the Utter Bitchdom That Is Jeff Garcia in Detroit, I hope the burn on his hand eats its way through to the tendons. This is a man who had his girlfriend call in to sports radio shows to complain about how the crowd in Detroit was mean to him.

  3. I understand why he’s not getting a lot of fanfare for his play, but PacMan Jones has been killing teams this year. If you took away his off-the-field issues, he’d at least merit consideration for defensive MVP. But he is a bit of a dick, so I guess it’s fair that his performance has gone unhyped by mainstream sports media.

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