Posts Tagged ‘Dallas Cowboys’

NFL Week 5: Feast or Famine

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

It was a feast or famine week in the NFL for most teams in Week 5. Some teams looked great in victory, some looked ugly in victory and some looked truly disastrous in defeat.

I hope you found that Miles Austin and Jeremy Maclin were available when you checked to see if they were on the waiver wire in your fantasy leagues this morning. And I also hope that you are in last place so you can pick one of them up or that the guy who is in last place has already given up and hasn’t checked his team since drafting Matt Forte second overall and starting the year 0-3.

Miles Austin caught a few passes and then ran all over, through, and aroundthe Kansas City Chief defense for 250 yards receiving on Sunday. Covering Austin must not have been high on Mike Vrabel’s to-do list this week when he and a few other Chief veterans took over practice after Head Coach Todd Haley pulled his coaching staff off the field because he was so frustrated with how poorly the team was practicing. Also not high on the Chief to-do list: tackling, taking the proper angle of pursuit, running fast, Gatorade baths for the coach.

Austin and the KC D made Tony Romo’s day. He just had to lob it out there and then sit back and watch his passing yards run down the field to an overtime win. Not a bad way to go. It sure beats trying to jam a ball into Sam Hurd with Champ Bailey covering him in the end zone on the last play of the game.

Haley chose to kick the PAT after Matt Cassel drove his team down the field for a TD with less than a minute remaining. Had he opted to go for 2 and been successful, the story today would have been a) Tom Brady’s former backup rallying his team late in the game and leading to them victory b) Tony Romo is terrible…blah blah blah…The Cowboys are terrible…TO somehow…There’s a huge screen in Dallas…Jerry JonesJessica SimpsonWade Philips. But, Haley kicked it and then lost in OT so now we talk about Austin.

Jeremy Maclin in Philly hauled in 2 TD’s from Donovan McNabb to rack up 142 yards receiving. Missouri Tiger fans cheered on their alum while DeSean Jackson fantasy owners threw tantrums while watching him catch the ball once for a total three feet.

Roddy White had the other big WR game in Sunday’s games, going for 210 yards and 2 TD’s against the San Francisco 49ers, who looked more like the 2-14 2004 Niners than any of the teams from the Joe Montana or Steve Young years. Matt Ryan threw for 329 yards in that game and Michael Turner scored three times. Frank Gore sat out again with an ankle injury, not that it would have mattered had he played. Michael Crabtree is supposed to debut for San Fran in Week 7, after their Week 6 bye.

Yeesh

Do the bad teams in the NFL look worse than usual this season? Maybe that is just a thought that has been rattling around my brain the last few weeks. But it sure was reinforced and highlighted by these six games:

Minnesota Vikings at St. Louis Rams
Pittsburgh Steelers at Detroit Lions
Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Bucs
Oakland Raiders at New York Giants
Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans
Dallas Cowboys at Kansas City Chiefs

The six favorites (also the six teams who won) had a combined record of 20-5 coming into the weekend and the underdogs (the losers on Sunday) had a combine record of 2-22. The only favored team of those six playing at home was the Giants. After the weekend the winners are 26-5 and the losers are 2-28.

Ouch.

The Raiders, Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, Titans, and Rams could not combine the points they put up to beat the individual efforts of the Vikings, Giants, Atlanta Falcons or Seattle Seahawks. That’s four teams that scored more than the combined effort of those six teams, which was a blistering 35 points.

Yikes.

I would like to say that the Buffalo and Cleveland defenses were just so stout and beat up on each other so hard they held the offenses to a 6-3 final score, but that’s not remotely the case. Derek Anderson played the complete game on Sunday and completed only 2 of his 17 passes… and his team won! That’s about the same as when in pool you have all of your balls left on the table and your opponent scratches on the 8 ball to lose. You didn’t deserve to win, but you did.

2-17! This is the guy to whom Brady Quinn lost his job. When I was checking on my fantasy team Sunday afternoon, I was convinced that that stat must have been a typo or a mistake. No way can an NFL QB in a NFL offense with NFL wide receivers complete only 2 of 17 passes.

Also perplexing was that Oakland only threw the ball 13 times while getting trounced by the Giants 44-7. Coach Tom Cable clearly has more confidence in his right cross than he does in JaMarcus Russell. Keep in mind also that the team was playing without Darren McFadden at running back.

The Minnesota Vikings avoided faltering against a weak team after two back-to-back thrilling weeks. They jumped out to a 14-0 lead on St. Louis in the first half of the first quarter. Adrian Peterson scored twice, Brett Favre threw for a touchdown pass, and Jared Allen recovered two fumbles, returning one for a TD. Favre turned 40 last week and joins some punters and kickers in the 40+ club. Percy Harvin led the Vikings in receiving. Ram WR Donnie Avery scored a TD in the 4th on a pass from Kyle Boller to bring the Rams within 28 points and then celebrated with a solo dance in the end zone. His teammates apparently weren’t up for a TD dance down 28 points. Steven Jackson went for 84 yards on 21 carries but still hasn’t found the end zone yet this season.

Marc Bulger returned late in the game after Boller left with an injury. Bulger’s return to the field and the fact that Boller started again when Bulger was ready to play should create something of a QB controversy in St. Louis. The bigger controversy in St. Louis though is Rush Limbaugh’s bid to buy the Rams. Most shocking about this story is that someone actually wants to buy the St. Louis Rams.

Maybe James Carville and George Stephanopoulos are interested in the Raiders.

Big QB Days

Matt Hasselbeck returned from injury to throw for 4 TD’s in a Seattle Seahawk beat down of the Jacksonville Jaguars. I don’t get the Jags. They nearly beat the Colts in Week 1, then lost to Arizona in Week 2. They beat Houston and Tennessee after that to get to 2-2 and make people think that maybe they could put together a respectable season. Then they didn’t show up at all on Sunday and lost 41-0. Their season is kind of like the acting career of John Cusack. They won a few games, but other than that it’s been ugly. There was Say Anything, Being John Malkovich, and High Fidelity, and then there was everything that happened after that. In case you haven’t seen 20 or 30 previews for it, he is in a disaster movie (pun may or may not be intended) about the world ending in 2012. So don’t sweat not getting the Olympics in 2016, Chicago, they wouldn’t have happened anyway.

Peyton Manning threw for 300+ yards and 3 TD’s as the Colts took advantage of playing the Titans. Over the weekend I heard both Tony Dungy and Ron Jaworksi say that Manning is playing better than he ever has before. That could be scary. Manning’s career is kind of like Will Smith’s. Will Smith makes one movie a year and it’s a huge financial success, even if it is terrible or the ending doesn’t work or the twist in the middle is ridiculous or he looks hideous. Peyton Manning delivers every season – no matter who the cast around him is, who is directing the action or who is writing the script. Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark are 2nd and 3rd in the NFL in receiving yards and first year coach Jim Caldwell is undefeated thus far.

Ben Roethlisberger threw for 3 TD’s against the Rams. Matthew Stafford was out with an injury. Daunte Culpepper threw for 282 yards in his place. Calvin Johnson left the game early with an injury that may or may not have been a knee scrape. Megatron’s status for Sunday against Green Bay is up in the air. Fast Willie Parker was Injured Willie Parker again on Sunday so Rashard Mendenhall did the leg work for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Eli Manning continues to throw Steve Smith’s way. Smith is leading the league in receiving yards and touchdowns. Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw shared the ball carrying responsibilities but it was Bradshaw who scored twice and had three times as many yards per carry.

The Arizona Cardinals blew a 21 point halftime lead before Dominique Rogers-Cromartie returned a Matt Schaub interception back for a touchdown and a win near the end of regulation. Schaub threw for 371 yards on the day, including 101 yards and 2 TD’s to Andre Johnson. Kurt Warner also topped 300 yards and connected with his number 1 receiver for 2 TD’s. Larry Fitzgerald had 79 yards, including the TD’s. Steve Slaton and Owen Daniels both topped 90 yards of total offense for Houston and Anquan Boldin had 81 receiving yards for Arizona.

The legend of Chad Henne was born last night as the Miami Dolphins beat the New York Jets 31-27 with 21 fourth quarter points against Rex Ryan’s Gang Green. Henne was 20-26 for 241 yards and 2 TD’s in an offense that is built for travel by truck or train instead of helicopter or airplane. Ted Ginn, Jr accidentally caught a long TD pass for Henne, who made just his second NFL start out of the University of Michigan. Ricky Williams blazed his way to 70 yards receiving and 68 yards rushing. The Dolphin Wildcat O produced 110 yards of offense.

Despite taking the loss, Jet fans have to be a little bit excited about Braylon Edwards and his 64 yards and 1 TD effort after being on the team for about 100 or so hours. Mark Sanchez should benefit from having that threat line up next to him in the coming weeks.

Man Hugs

I was sitting with my wife watching a football game a few weeks ago and she was noticing that a lot of guys pat each other on the butt after a play or on the sideline. She found it strange and asked me why. I said I didn’t know, it’s just what guys do on the football field. This is an aspect of the game that goes unquestioned and mostly unnoticed. But what does not go unquestioned or unnoticed is Bill Belichek’s hugging habits after and before games.

Has any man’s hugs or handshakes been more analyzed and scrutinized than Bill Belichick’s? The talking heads on TV and the voices on the radio love talking about how this man hugs other men. First it was Eric Mangini and the hugs or handshakes after games when the Jets played the Patriots. This year it is the hug that Belichick shared with Bronco Head Coach Josh McDaniels before the game and the hug that they did not share after the game.

Is he sincere enough at the traditional mid-field Head Coaches handshake/man hug after every game? Does he blow them off? What kind of hug is it? Who does he hug and who doesn’t he hug?

I have a better question. Who cares? This is the sports equivalent to celebrity tabloids reporting an encounter between two rival heiresses at a Hollywood night club. Apparently both men and women love a good soap opera.

Josh McDaniels has taken over a volatile situation in Denver with a quarterback who looks like he dropped out of Stillwater. He reigned in Brandon Marshall and started the season 5-0 after beating his mentor and the New England Patriots. Tom Brady had a costly and uncharacteristic late game fumble. Randy Moss caught only one ball and it was an interception on a hail mary at the end of the first half.

Kyle Orton is 5-0 and Cedric Benson is leading the league in rushing yards. What’s up with that, Chicago Bears?

You saw a lot of retro jerseys during the Week 5 games. This week’s item of the week is a retro look you can have of your own. Sorry, it’s not the Denver Bronco brown and yellow socks.

Learning Curve

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

NFL players and coaches like to talk about the four quarters of the season. As we wrap up week 4, the first quarter comes to a close and we can start to see some emerging trends from the 2009-2010 season. Quarterbacks are running the league as usual, but defensive schemes and time share running backs are the en vogue modifications that separate winning and losing teams at the ¼ mile mark of the season.

The Role of a QB

My girlfriend and I have been together for a long time now; six years or so. We share household chores, one of which is the laundry. Despising the task, we agreed to split it up: I take the clothes into the basement and then move them around between washing machine and dryer all day. I don’t mind doing this too much, and even if I did, our roles are predestined as her allergies won’t allow her to enter the cat haven that is the basement of our 4 flat. Then I bring up all the laundry before dinner and her job is to fold it all and put it away. It’s a fair deal; you should try it. However one of my firm beliefs in life is that anything worth doing is worth doing completely. Don’t just half donkey it; commit!

Sunday night, as I stumbled into bed around midnight, wanting nothing more than to collapse into the sweet embrace of my 19 year old, perfectly broken in pillow, I was harshly greeted with a sharp pillow zipper across the face. Why you ask? Because she didn’t complete her part of the bargain. Clearly she is trying to kill me.

This relates to the NFL most aptly in the Jets semi-humiliating loss at New Orleans. Rookie phenom Mark Sanchez looked a lot more rookie and not very phenomenal as he turned the ball over four times, twice leading to scores for the Saints. The defense held the NFL scoring leaders to only 10 points, a miracle by any standards, but Sanchez’s turnovers led to the Jets first loss of the season. Coupled with the pillowcase disaster, it made for a difficult Sunday.

Defensive Indifference

Defense, like pitching, wins playoff games. But currently, it’s winning regular season games as well. Take a look at early season division leaders, and you’ll notice a shutdown defense as the common thread. The Giants continue to stifle opponenst wit ha scheme developed by current St. Louis Rams head coach Steve Spaguolo. Apparently, the language isn’t translating in the Lou. The Giants dominated the Chiefs and look forward to hosting Oakland, who should springboard them to the 5-0 start they were unable to secure last year.

The Jets’ blitzing defense has given Houston QB Matt Schaub, New England QB Tom Brady, and even New Orleans QB Drew Brees, fits of rushed inaccuracy. Even after Sunday’s loss, the defense still has them atop the division.

Speaking of the Saints, their defense looks to be much improved this year. The 2009-2010 Saints look much like the 2006 Colts. Amazingly skilled quarterback, with enough knowledge of a complex offensive system to change plays on the fly and lead a team on a long run in the playoffs as well as a multi-faceted run game, multiple quality receivers and now a defense that has the speed to keep opponents off balance…this team could be the one you don’t want to face this year. Plus they have this hilarious commercial that cracks my brother up every time they play it.

Other division leaders include Ray Ray’s Ravens, who haven’t missed a beat following the Rex Ryan exodus that saw Bart Scott, Jim Leonard and the Juggs machine leave for the NY/NJ border.

Last but not least, the Minnesota Vikings put on a pass rush clinic last night in the first annual Brett Favre Homecoming Game. So much happened in this matchup that it probably deserves its own post, so I’ll just focus on the defense. The Williams wall pretty much locks down any opposing running back, as the Vikings have led the league in rush yards allowed over the last 3 seasons. Jared Allen, his mullet, and his 405 horsepower engine simply abused whichever combination of linemen, tight ends and running backs that the Packers put out there to stop him. The Vikings are another team that feature a potent running game, stalwart defense and savvy quarterback combination that frequently succeed in the playoffs.

Split Backs

Gone are the days of the 30 carry a game RB, much to the dismay of fantasy owners around the country. When our league started, San Diego Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson was the unquestioned number one player in the game. Today he splits carries with Darren Sproles. Dallas RB Marion Barber was thought to have entered last year as a primary feature back in the league. He ended up splitting carries with Felix Jones and now is in a triple time share with Tashard Choice as well. Edgerrin James was unseated by Joseph Addai from his long tenured role in Indianapolis a few years ago, and today, only four years after being drafted we see Addai splitting carries with newly drafted Donald Brown.

Ronnie Brown can’t shake Ricky Williams down in Miami, despite being probably the most effective director of the Wildcat system in the league. At least 3 guys are running the ball in Pittsburgh, after U of I standout Rashard Mendellhall’s coming out party. Heck, even the unstoppable Adrian Peterson yields occasional carries and third down responsibilities to veteran Chester Taylor.

The point is that teams understand that the most effective running game is one that never stays the same. Certain guys are better between the tackles, certain guys catch the ball better out of the backfield, certain guys pick up the blitz, and most importantly, history has shown us that only the rarest of running backs can stand up to season after season of abuse suffered at the line and the bottom of pileups. You need to distribute your carries among a bigger group of players if you hope to have any or all of them around for a prolonged period of time. It’s not fun for fantasy, and maybe it takes a little away from real life football and its records, but in the end, your team will be better served by a committee.

Not much of a recap I guess. Maybe somebody else will do a better one.

Item of the week is this that’s perfect if you’re a quarterback, running back, and especially if you’re a speedy, mulleted lineman.

2 Down

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

Week 2 showed us once again that parity in the league is back in full force and that as many have begun to notice, perhaps home field advantage isn’t all it was once cracked up to be. Cinci went into Green Bay and won, New Orleans beat Philly, the Cardinals beat up on Jacksonville and Oakland went into Arrowhead to beat the Chiefs. So many great games around the league, let’s start with the one that nearly moved me to tears…

Pressure Cooker

Tom Brady and the New England Patriots went into the Meadowlands this weekend and looked to make it 9 in a row against an up and coming Jets team. Brady was pressured all day by Rex Ryan’s new defense led by Bart Scott, David Harris and a Darrelle Revis who is starting to get that Champ Bailey circa 2003 reputation, which is at once, exciting and a little worrisome. The Jets hadn’t beaten the Patriots in Jersey since the Regan administration, so this was a huge win. I remember when I was like 20 and my 15 year old brother tackled me in some stupid game in the snow. My first thought was, “I think I’ve lacerated my spleen.” My second thought was, “how has a child done this to me?” That’s what the Pats are feeling this week. Vegas had the over/under for Jets wins at 7 prior to the season. I’m sort of wishing I had placed a bet right now. Wait, wait! I take it all back. The Jets are mediocre at best. UNJINX, UNJINX!

Last Minute Cutler

After a week of listening to Chicago sports radio personalities slow roast Jay Cutler over a fire, the new kid in town responded with a game winning drive against the Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers. Gone were the errant throws that found their way into opposing hands as Cutler, Greg Olsen and Devin Hester did just enough to keep the score close. Steelers surefire kicker and offseason Wildman, Jeff Reed, missed two crucial field goals, and the Bears were able to eek out a major victory over the champs. Following a 1-1 opening, the Bears schedule really becomes favorable with upcoming games @ Seattle, vs Detroit, @ Atlanta, @ Cincinnati, and home again for Cleveland. Those are all winnable games and Cutler may arrive back in Chicago in November with a rare smile on his often pouty face. Things are looking up for the Bears.

Manningness

Eli and Peyton were both able to secure wins as the Giants went into Cowboys‘ Xanadu and won late the Colts followed suit with a victory of their own in Miami. It’s sort of silly really, when you think about it. What other family has taken over a profession as concretely as the Mannings have taken over NFL Quarterback? Sure, the Staab’s, are the kings of car batteries, but who is to say they are better than any other 12 volt expert in Idaho? The Mannings on the other hand, have dominated professional quarterbacking over multiple generations. It gets overhyped to the point of annoyance, but to have a NFL QB sire two NFL QBs—one of whom is a lock for the Hall of Fame—reads like some poorly conceived sitcom. Go Mannings! The NFL and everyone in Indy and the greater New York area is rooting for you to meet in the Super Bowl until one of you retires.

And Introducing Chris Johnson as…Predator

Attention League: Chris Johnson is very fast and extremely elusive….Although Matt Schaub and the Houston attack led by Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels was able to overcome Chris Johnson’s fantasy record day—in our league he scored like 51 points—the young back from ECU reminded everyone that while he may resemble Aaaanold’s nemesis from the 1987 classic, he is not to be trifled with. I’m not going to look up the numbers, because frankly it’s depressing, but he had something like 200 yards rushing and another 100 receiving to go along with 3 combined touchdowns. Johnson and the Titans head into Jersey to play the Jets this weekend, and I hope the Jets have seen the John McTeirnan motion picture recently, because as everyone knows…”If it bleeds, we can kill it,” which in NFL speak translates to, “Put Your Fastest Linebacker On This Guy At All Times.”

Ravens are Funny

Here are my top 3 moments concerning ravens…this is the only Raven I knew when I was 13 (it’s better in Spanish), this is probably the greatest imitation of a raven captured on film and the video below is of an old bird performing the mating ritual of the Eastern Seaboard Raven. The best part is right around 2:45 if you want to skip ahead.

Other than that, I don’t know much about the Ravens besides the fact that they’re still the good old Cleveland Browns to me. I know a lot of people from Cleveland, and I bet they wish they could have the Ravens back home, wearing the brown and orange again. Anyways, the Ravens are soaring again, with that punishing defense led by Ray Lewis but more surprisingly, with an actual functioning offense directed by second year QB and former Delaware Dove, Eagle, or whatever arial creature–Blue Hen…excuse me Delawareans, Joe Flacco, the flock decended on San Diego and had their way with the Bolts. Flacco throws the deep ball like Carson Palmer used to—hopefully for Baltimore fans, his career will take a different path—and scatback Ray Rice gives defenses pause about bringing a blitz.. The Ravens have a decent schedule coming up, facing stepbrother Cleveland and perennial underdog Cincinnati 4 times in the next 7 games, this team could easily be sitting pretty in the AFC North come Thanksgiving.

Pantsless Coach Looking Sharp

San Francisco coach and former Bears Hall of Fame Linebacker Mike Singletary is a serious man. So serious, that in order to illustrate different football motifs to his team, he feels it necessary to remove his pants during halftime speeches. And you know what? It’s working out there. The Niners haven’t really been good since Steve Young left the field for the booth, but Singletary, running back Frank Gore, and a stout defense captained by the terrifying Patrick Willis—just ask Brad Smith—but this might be the start of something again. The NFC west is nothing special this year and there is no reason to believe the 49ers can’t compete for the division.

We’ve got week 3 right around the corner. The baseball playoff races are finally starting to shape up. October is going to be a crazy month around here. Stay tuned.

Item of the week is any of these Gridiron Classics. Pick one up and look sharp on Sunday’s all season long.

Mischief. Mayhem. Football.

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

God Bless America, football is finally BACK! Each season it seems like the layoff was a little longer than last year, but the Men of Winter (that’s the opposite of Boys of Summer, right?) took the field and here we go again. Week 1 was a torrid affair…let’s take a look around the league for the highlights of the week’s best games and performances.

Donovan McNabb vs. A Late Hit

Donovan McNabb has been through a lot in Philly. Mercilessly booed before he even had a chance to put that Eagles cap on his head on Draft Day in 1999, he’s also had to deal with Rush Limbaugh’s 15 minutes as an analyst on Monday Night Football. He’s had TO and the tears and shouting and driveway sit-ups that come along with that horror show. He’s dealt with Iggle’s fan’s calling for his unseating countless times. He’s had to deal with the addition of Mike Vick. Most of all he’s had to deal with 4 NFC Championship losses plus losing Super Bowl XXXIX. And this past Sunday, he had to deal with a broken rib or two caused by a late him from Carolina Panthers defenders. I don’t know what a broken rib feels like, but I would guess it feels like constantly getting the wind kicked out of you. Which is probably how Donovan would describe his time in Philly anyways. Good luck Philly fans. If Donovan can make it back before Vick’s week 3 banishment, all might still end well. If not…oh brother.

Philadelphia Eagles v Carolina Panthers

Jay Cutler and Jake Delhomme vs. Their Own Right Arms

Stop! Don’t…UGH! DON’T THROW IT THERE!!! CAN YOU HEAR ME!?!?!? This is the basic mantra of Chicago Bears and Carolina Panthers fan’s this past weekend. Cutler, in his defense, is in a new offense following his quiet departure from Denver and working with slightly inferior receivers this time around. Delhomme on the other hand, was recently given a 42 million dollar extension, which he apparently thought was 1 million for every interception he could successfully complete. Last year’s season ended with 5…count ‘em FIVE…interceptions in the Panther’s home playoff loss to Arizona. His four to start this season will have Carolina fans standing next to the television with a baseball bat during next weeks game against Atlanta.

Mark Sanchez vs. 2 counts of non-aggravated stalking against this writer

If my soon to be good friend Mark Sanchez keeps this up, I’m moving to New York to start a project where I procure a copy of the greater Manhattan phone book, flip to the S’s, and just start knocking on doors until I find him. Yeah, I said it. The kid looked great. He moved well in the pocket, he looked down field, he was able to go through his progressions and he didn’t for a second show that deer in the headlights gaze that most rookies get. He may very well struggle at some or even many points throughout the season, but on the road in his first career game where the Jets were moderate underdogs to an offensively potent Houston team, I don’t think fans could have asked for much more.

Adrian Peterson vs. the Cleveland Browns Equipment Manager

Adrian Peterson is a man. A man who is sickened at the thought of you putting your hands on him. To prevent you from doing so, he will rip your jersey, tear off your facemask, and perhaps bust your helmet. Look at this video.

If you listen closely you can here Peterson tell Browns cornerback Eric Wright, “Unhand me you scoundrel…this jersey is brand new, and I won’t see it sullied this afternoon!” If you see the Vikings lead runner coming at you this season, you’d be best following the advice of our National Poet Laureate Runner Up, Ludacris and “Move…person! Get out the way.”

Tony Romo vs. What Used to Be Called the Tampa 2

They might want to change it to the Tampa 1 3/8 after Romo and the Cowboys torched the Tampa sky this weekend. Romo hit new receiver Roy Williams, cagey vet Patrick Crayton and speedster Miles Austin on deep TD passes for a career high 353 yards to go along with his 3 touchdowns. If Dallas can continue their aerial attack next weekend when the host the Giants, it should be an exciting showdown as the Cowboys open their new 9.575 trillion dollar stadium. My buddy works for the Cowboys and he tells me that the seats at the new stadium are covered in premium, full grade, grass raised gazelle hides for a soft comfort than cannot be matched.

See, you would believe anything about this place!

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Fate

A lot of my family lives in Cincinnati. They love the Bengals. They love Carson. They loved TJ when he was there. They usually like Chad. But this team has been on the wrong end of the karmic scale for I don’t know how long now. At one point in the 80’s, they must have run some old lady off the road while the team bus was travelling to Pittsburgh because seemingly nothing has gone right in the last 20 plus years. Sunday’s last second, deflected pass was yet another thick spoonful of failure for Bengals fan’s to swallow. Kyle Orton was throwing Chad Pennington-esque helium filled balloons out there all afternoon and the much improved Bengals D was holding their own. Carson Palmer drove them down the field for a game winning drive. Then with 38 seconds left, Orton uncorked another floater intended for “trying his best” Brandon Marshall, that miraculously ended up in Brandon Stokely’s hands as he ran down to the 1 yard line and pulled every Madden Football players favorite move—lean over the end zone to shave time off the clock—as the Broncos snatched an opening day win and got on the plane home before the officials could change their minds. It could be another long year in Cincy if this team isn’t ever going to catch a break.

Tom Brady vs. His Knee Brace

The Patriots ran up against the Bills with both teams wearing their AFL 50th Anniversary Jerseys last night—am I wrong, or should most teams scrap their most recent versions and all revert back to the old school uni’s?—and we got to see the Golden Boy back in action for the first time in more than a year. Following a devastating hit to his left knee in the opening quarter of last season, Brady came back to embark on another 50 touchdown season…He looked rusty. He looked tentative. But eventually, he just looked like Tom Brady, as he led the team to two scoring drives in less than two minutes to rally back and steal a win at home. As a Jets fan, it sort of makes me sick to admit this, but I’m glad he’s back. Football needs Tom Terrific, like baseball needs Jeter, like basketball needs Kobe, like hockey needs some Scandanavian guy. Whether you like them or not, it’s just not the same without them.

Item of the week is any of these classic throwback hoodies. The Tampa Bay one is a heavenly shade of peach, no?

Almost Home

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

We’ve had some hots and colds around here lately. The holiday season is our busiest time, plus, we were just repeatedly mentioned in one of the most widely read sportswriter’s blogs. Bill Simmons, ESPN.com’s pre-eminent columnist, wrote about Christmas gift giving and mentioned our products in his most recent blog post. Check it out here. It was pretty cool to see our name pop up on the biggest sports website in the world. Speaking of cool, it’s been absolutely freezing in Chicago with temperatures that mimic the Steelers/Ravens contests of late, and this writer wonders why operations haven’t been moved to Florida yet. 

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A Quick Recap

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

Week 13 rolled through in the NFL pretty smoothly. Most of the good teams held serve and recapping the Thanksgiving weekend games, we can really start to see which teams are getting ready for their playoff runs. Fantasy playoffs start this week too, so girlfriends feel free to hit the town up Thursday through Sunday because in all likelihood, your boyfriend will be affixed to the couch for the majority of the weekend.

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