Sunday, September 09, 2007

Against all reason, the NFL has yet to put an end to the charade that is the 2007 regular season. Even after today's action which saw the New England Patriots win the single most impressive football game in recorded human history, the show apparently must go on. When you get right down to it, you know that if you can beat the Jets in the Meadowlands, you can beat any team anywhere at any time.

There are some misguided naysayers who might offer an alternative explanation for today's event. People might dare whisper that the Jets made the playoffs on the strength of a weak schedule and some lucky breaks. They might wonder whether those factors might have had enough of an impact to negate the dreadful play on words that makes up the nickname of the young Jets head coach. But who among them would dare show their face in the wake of that amazing win?

After all, there is no possible alternative but to assume that today's dominance was due solely to the excellence of the New England Patriots. Who could dare think that the Jets inability to rush the passer and even more pathetic secondary play could have been the result of a bad football team as opposed to an outstanding opponent?

I think the one moment that best encapsulates the state of the New York Jets this season came when the crowd cheered after Chad Pennington was hurt. Not only did it show the Jets fans as total dbags, but it showed that this team can't be all that good if Kellen Clemens is the savior waiting in the wings.

In his brief career, Kellen Clemens had thrown two passes prior to this season and managed exactly zero completions. To his credit, he did lead the league in TD passes this preseason. Maybe I'm too optimistic, but that just impresses the hell out of me. Isn't that why we remember Joe Montana all these years after he retired? For leading the league in TD passes in preseason after preseason?

Outside of New York, no one cares who accumulated what meaningless stats in which slate of meaningless games. If Kellen Clemens is the QB of the future and the future is now, then the 2007 season is already over for the New York Jets. If that is the case, then the blowout the Patriots laid on them this afternoon isn't as impressive as people seem to think.

As impressive as Randy Moss' day was, perhaps it might be wise to wait for him to play a team with a serviceable secondary before we pack his bags for Honolulu and the Pro Bowl. For instance, on his long TD catch can we fairly say that he beat triple coverage? Might we instead say that three Jets took up some space but didn't earn their game checks even though they must have enjoyed their front row seat for the play?

Of course, it is somewhat unfair for me to be so critical of the Jets secondary today. After all, the front seven would have been hard pressed to do less to help their defensive backs. They made the Patriots offensive line look like supermen with their lackluster pass rush. They almost got near Brady once. I think I remember that.

In all fairness, I am just a bit bitter because Brady's performance probably cost me the game in fantasy football. Of course the Kansas City Chiefs horrendous offense dragging Larry Johnson down as though they were a 10 man albatross and LJ were the Ancient Mariner had a fair bit to do with it. And Tony Romo (my QB) hurt more than he helped with his treasonous penchant for throwing to Jason Witten (my esteemed opponent's TE) instead of Terrell Owens (my WR) poured salt into the wound.

It hurts losing this game (which isn't technically over, but I need a huge second half out of Romo and TO and a near miraculous effort from Vernon Davis against Anquan Boldin) to have a chance. It hurts doubly because I'm losing to Mr. Bean's stunt double and a guy who played Eddie Kennison. I guess I'm just not as smart as I think I am, or a victim of bad luck.

But before I wrap this post up, I have a couple of other things to say about a couple of things. First, on the Auburn-South Florida game. I have to congratulate Auburn coach Tommy Tubberville for his amazing ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. After South Florida tied the game with about 45 seconds to go, and Auburn holding onto two timeouts, Coach Tubberville elected to play for the tie and overtime rather than risk a turnover playing for the win.

Even if Auburn had turned it over, South Florida was out of timeouts. Their kicker had just tied the game, but he'd also missed four kicks that day. But giving them an equal chance to win the game by eating the ball and going to overtime couldn't have been good for Auburn's confidence. I assume this knowing that South Florida went on to upset Auburn. The moral of the story - only a tool plays for a tie.

The only thing that keeps Tubberville from becoming a tool of note is that he wasn't the biggest tool in the stadium. I saw a guy rooting for South Florida while wearing a wrestling singlet, only this and nothing more. It got me thinking, is there ever an acceptable time to wear a wrestling singlet. And the answer is no.

It is never appropriate to wear a singlet. Not as a costume for Halloween. Not while watching a football game. Not in the privacy of one's own home. Not even while engaged in that least cool and most homoerotic of sports, Greco-Roman wrestling is it appropriate to wear a singlet. A man should never wear scanty, skin-tight garments. It's not a good look.

If you wear a singlet in public you ought to be arrested. Doubly so if you wear it to an event that isn't a wrestling competition. If you aren't arrested, then maybe you ought to do the rest of us a favor and refrain from passing your genes to the next generation. The only thing that keeps him from being the tool of note is that an odd combination of laziness and horror at the choice of attire prevents me from searching for a photo of that tool.

Among the other things that are bothering me from this weekend is the new Nike ad campaign. In particular, the commercial featuring Shawne Merriman and Stephen Jackson is antagonizing me. I don't know if you recognized the song when you heard it, but it is the Promontory Theme from the cinematic triumph, Last of the Mohicans. It's the song playing while Chingachkook, Uncas and Nathaniel chase down Magua and his warriors at the climax of the film.

If I were a better person, I'd admit that I'm just a bitter person who resents Shawne Merriman's new, edgy style of play. But I'm not, so I can say spiteful things. For instance, I'd have less of a problem with this if a needle injecting some illicit concoction of performance enhancing chemicals were photoshopped into the ad somewhere reminding us of Merriman's four game suspension last season. Or maybe it would bother me less if someone could prove that Chingachkook's triumph over Magua had been aided by some sort of banned substance.

But even more than the Patriots winning, the Bears losing and the terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad use of that song from that scene, another event is bothering me. I don't know if you saw it, I didn't. I had to be told by a Patriots fan who wanted to rile me for failing to show the new look Pats the proper respect. Last night, while I was occupied watching real sports, NASCAR and Dale Jr. crossed a line I couldn't believe they would dare cross.

In his seemingly futile chase for the Chase for the Cup, Dale Jr. dared adorn the hood of his car with the image of Elvis Presley. The universe punished him for his insolence, and he didn't win the race. In fact, Little E didn't even finish the race. If winning mattered to him, and I'd bet it doesn't based on the frequency with which he wins, this truly would be a blow.

It is not fair to blame Dale Jr. for this without criticizing the corporate entity that controls Elvis' legacy. Shame on the functionaries at Elvis Presley Enterprises for whoring his image out to be painted on the hood of a race car. Do they not earn enough money profiteering from his life's work? If I thought I had the discipline not to violate it, I would call for a boycott on Elvis just as I did against John Cougar Mellencamp. But I won't be that sort of hypocrite.


thekobrakommander said...

I agree with you that the Pats beating the Jets is no huge deal, and that Moss's performance wasn't earth-shattering. However, there was an NFL record set during the game, and those of us who drafted Moss in FFL were anxious about whether or not he was going to be performing at all after missing the entire preseason with a hamstring injury. Of course a reciever of Moss's caliber should be able to shake off triple coverage from the hapless Jets; the big deal was there was no big deal.

Matt said...

F*** you.