Before we get to football, I have a few baseball related thoughts to pass along.
1: Both my National League predictions have been wrong. My ‘take it to the bank’ line may as well been referring to a sperm bank. I suck.
2: I watched game 2 between the Cubs and Dodgers on Thursday night and finally realized why so called ‘curses’ become legendary. Keep in mind, I don’t believe in actual curses, but if you wanted to make a case the second inning of the second game could give you ample ammunition.
It started simply enough. A single by Ethier to start off the inning. No biggie. Then Loney comes up and hits a potential double play ball to the shortstop. Only the shortstop sort of stumbles on it and the ball gets through for ‘an infield single’. I put quotes around that because it’s how they scored it, but this was a ball he should have had.
Ethier, on a heads up play, gets to third. Still, no runs scored and Zambrano makes most of the Cub fans exhale by striking out Matt Kemp. Now the situation is man on first and third, one out. But there is a distinct change in atmosphere; one I remember from pre-2004 days in Fenway. The crowd is collectively holding their breaths. Either Zambrano is going to get them out of this and make the believe this is their year or….
DeWitt is up for the Dodgers and hits a perfect double play ball to the second baseman (Mark Derosa??). Only he muffs it horribly. Ethier scores and everyone is safe.
From my couch in Boston I could feel the ‘Holy shit, not again’ vibe from Wrigley. It’s a horrible, squirm inducing, watch-through-your-fingers feeling. I’m not even a Cubs fan and I knew something terrible was unfolding. The fans knew it and transferred it to the players.
Maybe that’s what a real curse is. Knowing something bad is about to happen and transferring that sense of doom to the people that can actually do something about it. The feeling – even through the TV – was nearly satanic. Fans were grumbling and moaning. The players started looking at each other for support only to find they were just as terrified and confused. The curse is their own belief they are about to fail, then carrying through on that belief.
Most of you know how bad it got. Another error by Derek Lee, a ridiculous bunt that made it all the way to the second baseman that scored another run, and a crippling, back breaking double that cleared the bases and put the Dodgers up 5-0 and effectively ended the series. Forget that it was the second inning of game two. The Cubs and their fans had resigned themselves to failure before that inning was over. The trip to L.A. was just a formality.
But how to break out of this pattern? Maybe they should do what the Red Sox did and stock pile their roster with space shots (Manny), flaky center fielders (Damon) and happy go lucky utility players (Kevin Millar) that keep everyone loose and honestly don’t care how things turn out. Don’t think any other team than that 2004 Red Sox team could have come back from being down 3-0 to the Yankees. There is no fucking way any other team pulls that off. Especially a Red Sox team that’s been living in the Yankee shadow for the past 80 years. Only a team loaded with deviants, lunatics, and potentially retarded players could pull off what that team did.
Sorry, Cub fans. You’re team may have been too smart and too self aware to have had any chance this year. Maybe you should sign Manny this winter and have him spread his ignorance is bliss karma all over your clubhouse.
It’s worked before!
On to football.
- I love having the Pats play the late afternoon game. I can flip between two early games, trash text my buddy who refused to play Rodgers for fear he would throw two passes and leave the game with a bad shoulder, and get a bit saucy for the real 4 pm game. The Pats, for their part, played better (how could they not) but the 49ers are no real challenge.
Still, my doubts about Cassel were hardly eased. He did throw a beauty to Moss for a touchdown, but there were a few others that were way off target. Including another to Moss that was WAYYYYY under thrown. By about 15 feet. There was also that lovely interception he threw right to the defense. Like right into the guy’s chest. Reminded me of the Drew Bledsoe days.
Most concerning is the sense of panic he displays whenever defensive players get close to him. He stutters around, looks indecisive then takes a 10 yard loss. Multiple times I sat on my couch and muttered ‘Throw it. Throw it. Fucking throw it!’ before he took a sack. That I said it three times should tell you how much time he had to make up his mind.
- The Houston – Indy game was…how do I put this? Un-FUCKING-believable!! It was beyond belief. I still don’t believe it! How’s that? Get the point. I watched the last 5 minutes of the game frozen in place with my mouth open. Little bit of drool may have come out, too. Not proud of that, just thought I would point out that I was nearly catatonic.
For those unfamiliar, the Colts were down 27-10 with under 6 minutes left. May have been around 5 minutes left, but I can’t be sure. Quick TD for Colts to make it 27-17. Sage something or other (QB for Houston) scrambled for some yards and time to take off the clock and instead of sliding he inexplicably launches himself over the defender to gain an extra half yard. Only he gets sandwiched, the ball come flying out as he helicopters in the Texas air and a large Colts defender picks up the ball and runs into the end zone. 27-24.
Next possession, Sage something or other steps up to make a throw, gets hit from behind and fumbles. Again. I don’t need to tell you Manning throws the game winning touchdown to Reggie Wayne (great catch, by the way). Just a tragic turn of events for the Houston crowd who were enjoying their first home game of the year thanks to Ike. They must feel sick.
- The Eagles – Redskins game more than lived up to it’s billing and I must say that I really like this D.C. team. Tough on both sides of the ball. Contender Note: The Redskins just beat Dallas in Dallas and Philly in Philly over the past two weekends.
- Thinking I would steal him away from my fantasy football colleague, I offered Roddy White, Wes Welker, Marvin Harrison or Santonio Holmes in exchange for Steve Slaton. He declined although he admitted he needs a wide receiver. I wrote to him ‘OK, but don’t be upset when White goes off on Green Bay this weekend’. He responded with a ‘ha’ that may have been sarcastic.
Fast forward to half time Sunday when my buddy texts me: Tell me you started Roddy White!. I responded that I did and almost immediately my phone rings. ‘Kevin just slammed his hand against the bar! Told me you offered him Roddy White and he declined’. Turns out White went on to an 8 reception/130 yard/1 TD game. That’s a shame.
- Chris Chambers scored another touchdown yesterday, too. I sent a text to the guy who traded with me with that information and got this response: FUCK OFF! Caps and everything. That made me laugh.
- Why did it make my laugh? Because said bozo decided he couldn’t risk starting Aaron Rodgers due to his shoulder. I even called him before the deadline to tell him that Rodgers was going to start. He decided to go with Cassel.
Final lines for both:
Rodgers 313 yds / 3 TD / 1 INT
Cassel: 259 yds / 1 TD / 2 INT
Nice move, you fucking putz.
- Just wondering if anyone was as shocked as I when Arizona beat the living shit out of Buffalo. Thought the Bills’ defense was better than that.
Finally, a quick thought on the Red Sox game tonight: They better win. Going back to LA should not be an option. I don’t like that a team as good as the Angels suddenly think they have a chance. Put them down like a rabid dog and be done with it.
Today’s distraction: The beginning of the end for the GOP ticket? I can only imagine what could be on this laptop. I get the feeling this will become a HUGE problem for McCain.