Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sporting Chance

Let’s get this out of the way.

The Patriot’s performance on Sunday was one of the most atrocious displays of so called ‘football’ I have ever seen. That this was a playoff game in Foxboro made it that much more confusing and stomach churning. My buddy and I were stunned by halftime. Stunned silent.

I can handle a poor performance. It happens. Even the best coached teams have bad days where things just fall apart. One mistake is compounded by another which leads to slight panic all over the team which adds to the urgency which leads to other bad decisions. Before you know it things have unraveled so completely you’ll be lucky to be holding whatever lint is left over.

What I can’t stomach is a team up and quitting on their season. Make no mistake, the second half (and fourth quarter especially) was the perfect example of coaches and players giving up. Punting from your own 45 yard line when down by two touchdowns? Check. Attempting a field goal with seven minutes left when you desperately need a touchdown to even have a puncher’s chance? Check. A star player half assing his assignments throughout the game? Check. Letting your opponent push you around all day on both sides of the ball? Check. Playing so poorly on defense that they didn’t even need a quarterback?

Check! Check! And double fucking check.

A lot is being said about the fans booing the Patriots and everyone calling us fair weather fans, but there’s a good chance I would have booed if I were there. Considering the prices for tickets, the cost for parking and food and drink once you’re in there, I would have been LIVID if this was the performance I paid to see. 14 - 0 in under 5 minutes. 24 – 0 at the end of the first quarter. Zero signs of life for the remainder of the game.

Now combine that with 10 degree temperatures and you can see how the fans would get testy. I was pissed while sitting in the comfort of my nice, warm house. What concerned me about this loss wasn’t that they played poorly but this looked alarmingly like a team that was woefully unprepared.

Dare I say, poorly coached? Sorry, Bill, but if you take all the credit for the wins you have to take blame for the losses and lapses. And this sure looked like a team not ready for prime time.

Other thoughts from the sporting world.

- In an attempt to get a head start for least surprising story of the decade, Marky Mark McGwire finally admitted to using steroids during his playing days. Only he really upped the idiot level by claiming he really doesn’t think the roids helped him hit 70 home runs or assisted in any way his ability to hit a baseball 650 feet.

Let’s figure this out together. Prior to 1995 (which encompasses approximately 150 years) exactly 2 players had hit 60 or more home runs. Between 1995 and 2003 2 players hit more than 70 home runs. Another hit 66. All three of those players have either admitted to using PEDs or are strongly suspected of using them. The growth of their biceps and craniums provide ample evidence to support such claims.

So let’s say PEDs had nothing to do with those inflated numbers. That means after testing was implemented in major league baseball, the numbers should have stayed the same, right?

Well, now, let’s see. Last year the leading home run hitter was Albert Pujols with 47. The year before that was Ryan Howard with 48. 2007? A-Rod with 54.

I’m not saying steroids had everything to do with all the home runs hit, it just leaves an immense, towering question mark surrounding the entire history of baseball. If McGwire was not on steroids would he have still be able to hit 70? Would Bonds have made it to 73? Would Sosa have made it to 66?

Would any of those three have made it to 62? Would the record have fallen legitimately; without pharmaceutical help? That’s the most frustrating part of all of this - we’ll never know.

- As for Sosa, what’s he thinking of all this? It would seem to me that if he were not using PEDs back in 1998 he would be hopping up and down and claiming ‘Hey, what the fuck? I hit 66 home runs clean and this motherfucker was using and hit 70? I call bullshit!!’ Which is why his silence speaks for itself.

- Some NFL stats for your consideration:

The Patriots held Joe Flacco to 34 yards passing and a 10 QB rating and lost by 19 points.

The Cardinals allowed Aaron Rodgers to throw for 422 yards, 4 touchdowns and a 121 QB rating and won by 6 points.

Ray Rice rushed for more than double the yards of the entire Patriots team.

Ray Rice rushed for 39 fewer yards than the Patriots offense put up in total.

Mark Sanchez passed 15 times for 182 yards. Carson Palmer passed 36 times for 146 yards.

- Pete Carroll waited and waited for the perfect NFL head coaching job and he picks…Seattle? It’s a nice city and all, but has he been paying attention to what’s been going on up there? Let’s hope Carroll has learned something during his time at USC because he didn’t exactly light up the NFL when he was with the Patriots. Considering the years since their Super Bowl appearance Seattle folks might be fine with 8-8 seasons. They better be.

- Are we to assume Dice K doesn’t suck now. Only that he’s immature, untrustworthy, deceitful and lazy? Good thing the Red Sox are only paying him ten figures.

- My quick (and sure to be wrong) predictions for this coming weekend.

Colts over Ravens in a game much closer than people expect. Remember the Colts haven’t played a competitive game in a month.

Fun Side Story: Pay close attention to the Raven’s head coach when the horrifying realization slowly dawns on him that Flacco will have to throw in order for his team to have a chance. There really should be a camera on him at all times to mark the event. Even a color guy to say ‘Yeah, right abouuutt…..HERE is when the Flacco Effect takes hold’.

Jets at Chargers: I might be crazy, but the Jets have a very good chance at winning this game. Sanchez is back home and in a warm climate with his confidence higher than ever, the Jets defense seems to be good again and last time I checked the Chargers are still coached by Norv Turner. Still, the Chargers are not the Bengals in any way, shape or form. Chargers win on last minute score.

Fun Side Story: Much has been made of Ryan mapping out the travel schedule for the Jet’s playoffs all the way up to the Super Bowl - meaning he thinks his team will go all the way. This was ridiculed last week by many announcers in a ‘Yeah, right’ winking kind of way. Watch how this story changes to a great motivational move by Ryan when things are tight late in the game. It will be the quickest ‘What a loon!’ to ‘He’s a genius!’ conversion in NFL history.

Cowboys at Vikings: Hard to know what to make of this game. Do you go with Romo who has traditionally killed his team in the playoffs or Favre who has traditionally killed his team in the playoffs? Do you favor Brad Childress or Wade Phillips? Fuck me, will you look at that Mensa matchup? I’ll just go with the team with the best player: AP. If the Vikings keep the ball out of Favre’s hands (especially late in the game) and just pound it, they’ll win.

Fun Side Story: Announcers gushing about what a ‘competitor’ or ‘warrior’ or ‘gunslinger’ Favre is. Wait, that doesn’t sound fun at all. Maybe make it a drinking game. Any time one of the following words is uttered, DRINK:

Grizzled (finish your drink if ‘Grizzled Veteran’ is used)

Cardinals at Saints: I don’t care what’s going on this weekend. When this game starts I will be front and center at kickoff and won’t leave my seat until the final seconds tick away. If anyone is wondering, I’m am now rooting for the Saints to win it all. This will be step one. Take the over.

Fun Side Story: Try to guess which of the Cardinal players have been spending time out on the town. You’ll know them by the way they’re vomiting on the sidelines and have beads falling out of their helmets.

That’s all for today. Off to do work. In a related note I hate work.

Today’s distraction: Play ESPN’s Linebacker. When you get to the higher levels of the game you’ll know how the Patriot defenders felt trying to get to Ray Rice. I should also note that halfway through the second quarter I turned to my buddy and said ‘I want Rice on my fantasy team next year’. It will happen. Oh, it will…


A Tribute: deer a train and basketball said...

Cards vs. Saints is going to be insane. Sorry about the Patriots man.
I have a feeling the vikes are going to lose this weekend, which means I will be participating in that little drinking game you just came up with.

Clayton Bigsby said...

I too fear a Vikings loss. Ware will be the best player on the field.

The Pats need a better o-line. Why is it they always get mentioned as a great o-line? Brady might not always get sacked, but he sure gets hit a lot.

The only thing I like about what McGwire is doing is he will talk to anyone. Not in a sad way like Canseco, but he's doing it to make sure he doesn't have to when he starts working for the Cards again. Makes him seem a little less douchey.

BeachBum said...

Dallas will be a tough game for the Vikings, but I think they can win if they run Peterson 25 - 30 times. They can't have Favre trying to play hero unless there is no other choice.

Bigs, you hit it on the head with the Pats. Everyone is saying how much Brady sucked (and he did) but a lot of that was having no time to throw the ball. The Ravens D was all over him every snap. No quarterback will succeed in that type of game.

And, again, normally I would be ok with this, but Belichick made zero adjustments at halftime to fix a terrible situation. If anything they played worse in the second half.

thepowerof10 said...

I've got an issue with McGwire saying he wished he "was never involved in that era in baseball." (Or something like that, I'm paraphrasing). In any case, HE CREATED THAT FUCKING ERA IN BASEBALL. Him and a handful of others. That "woe is me" bullshit isn't going to fly. I don't feel bad for him because he feels like he needed to take steroids after an injury. Then to have the audacity to blame it on the times and his environment pisses me off even further.

P.S. Adrian Peterson hasn't rushed for 100 yards in something like 7 or 8 weeks. The Vikes are dead in the water. Its all going to come down to whose QB screws his team over less with that game.