Tied for Second

February 8, 2008 by

So I heard the Patriots are 18-1, tying them for the second best record in NFL history. Only in an era where the New England Patriots have become the embodiment of sports evil would the New York Giants, one of the oldest and most famous franchises in American sports, be the plucky underdog. But, hooray for the Giants.  I guess the nation, and myself, will have to prepare ourselves for an entire season of nothing but Manning commercials.  

As I suspected, Yoko Romo DID rob me of a two day party at the home of my favorite Cowboys fan.

I can’t believe its all over, as I don’t really count the Pro Bowl. Now, it’s almost time for the four weeks I pay attention to college basketball, and make wild pronouncements about schools I’ve never heard of. Hooray!!

Anyhoo, I’ve been busy,  but I will be back. There’s still much to talk about:  West Virginia and its former coach are still at war; kids are so desperate to play D-1 college football  that they hoax everyone around them; Terrell Pryor is still weighing his offers, and its only seven more months before my favorite upright activity returns.

The Championship Quarterbacks- Philip Rivers, Tangerine/ Champs Sports Bowl MVP

January 16, 2008 by

San Diego Chargers backup quarterback Billy Volek smiles in his post-game press conference after the Chargers beat the Indianapolis Colts 28-24 in an NFL divisional playoff football game Sunday, Jan. 13, 2008, in Indianapolis. Volek, filling in for injured starter Philip Rivers, engineered an 8-play, 78-yard drive in the fourth quarter for the winning score.

I couldn’t find any pictures of Philip Rivers in which his head was not disproportionally large, so I decided to go with with this lovely picture of Chargers backup QB, Billy Volek. Rather plain, but what a nice and genuine smile for the QB who ran the drive that eliminated the defending Super Bowl champions. Given that he may have to play sometimes this Sunday, there’s nothing wrong with a picture of him.

Fine. Here’s one of Philip Rivers.

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 30:  Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers looks on against the Oakland Raiders during an NFL game on December 30, 2007 at McAfee Coliseum in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Eh.

A trick picture in the baby blues. (Why, oh why, don’t they go back to that permanently?)

If he actually looked as good as the ESPN cover photo, he’d be the winner of the pageant. But he does not.

I’d have to give it to Brady.

Damnit.

The Championship Quarterbacks- Elisha Nelson Manning, the Baby of the Family

January 16, 2008 by

I think this is a trick picture.

Eli Manning

And so is this. But it’s not fair for me to just put pictures that reflect my mental picture of him:

Eli Manning

That was after he tripped over his own lineman, whom  Chad Lavalais pushed backward, at the 2003 LSU-Ole Miss game, which decided the SEC West, a game which was the start of the only national championship run that season.

IRVING, TX - JANUARY 13:  Quarterback Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants walks off the field after defeating the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at Texas Stadium on January 13, 2008 in Irving, Texas. The Giants defeated the Cowboys 21-17.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Here’s one after the game this past Sunday in Dallas.

Not a  bad shot above.  He just doesn’t do anything for me. Probably because I’m sick of hearing about him, too ( his daddy is still legend in New Orleans, and he grew up not ten minutes from my house in NOLA, so it’s even worse than Brett Favre.)  And he’s goofy looking as heck, if not quite the potato head that his middle brother is. 

The Championship Quarterbacks- Brett Lorenzo Favre, the Media Darling

January 16, 2008 by

Green Bay Packers Brett Favre manages a smile in the closing moments of a victory against the New York Giants Sunday, Sept. 16, 2007, at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. P-C photo by Dan Powers.

So one day, he will finally retire. He’s still very um….well….yeah. 

And here’s one from five years ago:

A relaxed and happy Brett Favre watches the end of the game from the sidelines during the Green Bay Packers game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field in Chicago, IL on Monday, September 29, 2003. PHOTO BY STEVE LEVIN

It’s not that he’s not a nice looking man. He is. I know he’s done good things to help out his state (and his part of it was leveled) in the aftermath of Katrina.   I’m just sick of him. His hometown and college (Southern Miss) is close enough to New Orleans that I’ve been hearing about him for the better part of two decades. I just wish he would take his aw shucks act and go home, whether that be Green Bay or Pascagoula/ Kiln. And I heard gossip about him from a long time ago that I cannot repeat here, since I don’t want to be sued or hunted down by angry Green Bay people.

That being said, I wouldn’t give him the evil eye.

The Championship Quarterbacks-Thomas Edward Patrick Brady or, Mr. Big’s Wife’s Baby Daddy

January 16, 2008 by

New England Patriots' Tom Brady smiles during a post game news conference after the Patriots' 31-20 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in the NFL divisional playoff football game Saturday, Jan. 12, 2008 in Foxborough, Mass.

I am ripping off a page from the Ladies… and The Chicks in the Huddle.  This is the first in a series of four, looking at the quarterbacks who will be playing this Sunday for their conference titles. We’re starting off with Tom Brady.  He annoys me to no end, being the quarterback of the Patriots; a model; dating a wealthy Brazilian supermodel; and having three rings and being a newly minted league MVP.

But I gotta admit that he looks damned fine in this photo.  Even pulls off the goofy-ass hair.

Not the face, boys. Anywhere but the face.

The Wes Welker Effect and Cheating, Shredding Hearts

January 15, 2008 by

Dear readers, I am in lovely Santee, California, a suburb of San Diego, near the world-famous Miramar (formerly) Naval Air Station, now the home of Marines.  I am visiting the dad and stepmother out here as they both get ready for a wee bit of surgery, which is not fun. However, at least I am here in perfect weather, instead of the craptacular climes of the Northern Commonwealth.  In any event, haven’t been posting much with college football being over…WOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Sorry about that.   But we have some NFL,  my honest assessment of how my Tigers will do next season (Let’s put it like this: I’ll be clinging on to the memories of this year to keep me warm), rumors from people who would know all about recruting violations, and some DRAMA in the Monogahela Valley.  So let’s get rolling.   Everyone saw the debacles of last weekend; the only game I don’t regard as a disaster was the fine performance of the Jacksonville Jaguars in a loss to the Evil Empire.  A short rundown of the rest:

Peyton, did Norv Turner’s face suddenly morph into Steve Spurriers? Were you having some sort of flashback to college days? What the heck was that?  A future hall  of famer, the only person with a non-ED/ beer related commercial on NFL Sundays, and the child of southern football royalty got outdueled by BILLY VOLEK? Come on, now. ‘That’s how you’re gonna send off Tony Dungy? With a loss to Norv Turner, Billy Volek, and “Performance Enhanced”” Merriman?  For shame.

Seattle at Green Bay. Things fall apart fast, don’t they?

Giants at Dallas Cowboys: I regarded this game as an utter disaster, because frankly, it robbed me of the excellent Super Bowl party I was going to convince a couple of Cowboys fans to have at their house.   My brain says that the game was lost because the Giants got rolling during the last four games of the season, and the Cowboys simply did not.  The much maligned Giants’ secondary took advantage of a TO who simply could not push back.  The Cowboys got all the running they needed in a fine performance from Marion Barber, but could not get the passing game going due to miscommunication  and about 100 dropped passes. And Eli Manning for once, did not flip out in a big game. 

That being said, Tony and Jessica will have plenty of time to vacation in Cabo because she is a human jinx with a creepy dad, and if Romo doesn’t cut her loose, she’ll take him and the Cowboys down with her.  A scary, scary fact:  America’s Team has not won a playoff game at home in 12 years.  I was in college. Some of my baby friends were in junior high. A Clinton was on the central stage in national….never mind. Bonus, Cowboys fans: your offensive coordinator may be going to the Ravens. Let your crappy offseason begin!

On to this Sunday’s Championship Games:  Giants at Green Bay. Oh, how I wish the Giants would win this game.  I could see Tom Coughlin’s face trying to remember how to smile.  I could see Tiki Barber struggle to keep his face plastered into a fake one. I could see endless shots of Michael Strahan’s gap. I could see Mike Lupica jump up and down like a chihuahua as he salivates about a New Jersey team playing in the Super Bowl. The endless stories of how Eli Manning has fufilled the promise, and has done it earlier than his future HOF brother.  Stories of the Maras, one of the first families of the NFL. More Manning ads with both brothers.  The NFL faints with joy at having their biggest media market squarely in the spotlight.  But what will happen is that the Giants, worn out from having played three playoff games in a row (thanks, Jimmy!), if you include the mighty effort against the Patriots, will come sputtering to a crashing halt in Green Bay. I’m not saying they can’t win three away games in a row, I’m saying that they won’t. Eli Manning will have one of his inexplicable flip outs that sometimes happen when he plays in hostile environments (I would have thought four years of SEC football and four more years of playing in the NFC East would have cured him of that). Baby Manning still has a hard time with bad weather.  Plaxico Burress is still not healthy, and that weather is not going to do him any good, especially when the Green Bay secondary keeps knocking him on his ass.   The best chance the Giants have is unseasonably warm weather and the Giants’ defensive line playing their best game of the season. 

 Or else, the viewing public, specifically me, will be subjected to HOW! MUCH! FUN! 38! YEAR! OLD! BRETT! FAVRE! HAS!  and HOW! GREAT! PACKERS! FANS! ARE! for the two weeks leading up to February 3.  Then the entire NFL offseason will be dominated by whether BRETT! WILL! RETIRE! OR! NOT!   Oy.  Packers 31, Giants 2o

The AFC Championship: with the four teams remaining in the playoffs, I really have no one to root for, but I now have someone to root against, thanks to the San Diego Chargers.  I wanted the Colts to win this past Sunday, being a big Tony Dungy fan, and because I thought Patriots-Colts woyld be a fantastic AFC title game. I have now reached the point of being officially annoyed by the Chargers, or rather, being annoyed by certain people on their roster.  First of all, let’s start with Shawne “Performance Enhanced”Merriman. Is he an excellent football player?  No doubt. But how a third year player from Maryland whose seasons have ended short of the Super Bowl has the nerve to talk so much smack is beyond me. Congrats. You made another tackle.  That’s your job.   You were a first round draft pick.  You are supposed to be good. Now shut up, and go get another shot and some masking agent for your next drug test.  The other annoying one is Philip Rivers.  Did ya’ll see him jawing with the Colts fans and strutting around the sidelines? You sir, are one LaDanian Tomlinson and a locker room blow up away from being Ryan Leaf.  I know that all those trips to whatever game the fourth place ACC team goes to gave you supreme confidence in your abilities as a game winner, and you may have learned the basics of class from my Drew.  But you seen to have forgotten them all in his absence.   Ok. Disparaging rant over. 

  Here’s the Chargers actual problem.  Do they have a good defense? Yep.  Can the defense get some pressure on Tom Brady?  Maybe for a half.  But the Chargers, like everyone else the Patriots have defeated this year, have to deal with the Wes Welker Effect. Who is Wes Welker?  He was an undrafted free agent from Texas Tech, where he returned eight punts for touchdowns. He is tiny (5’9, 185) and very fast.   He is much less famous than Randy Moss, and somewhat less famous than Donte Stallworth.  Before the season, most people would have considered him the number three,  perhaps even fourth receiver on the Patriots.   Wes Welker also caught the most receptions in the NFL this year, with 112, and those passes totalled almost 1200 yards.   That is the problem with the 2007 Patriots: there’s just too much.  Randy Moss blanketed? Fine. There’s Welker over the middle. Donte Stallworth being illegally held by Cromartie? There’s Ben Watson? Drop everyone back to defend against the pass? Brady with a short screen to Maroney or Faulk, which turns into a twenty yard gain.  Didn’t know Kyle Brady was still in the NFL? Well, ya do now, biotches!  Understand that this does not make me happy. I am not a Patriots’ fan (although with a quarter of their roster from the SEC and four players from LSU, less the late Marquis Hill, who was the fifth Tiger on the Patriots roster, I admire the genius of the scouting department); at this point, my only interest is to see if they can make history, which I tend to think they can do. 

And the Chargers’ offense?  The Bolts’  most reliable receiver is playing with a dislocated toe.  Philip Rivers and LT are both listed as questionable, although I can’t see them not playing Sunday.  Even healthy, this is not an offense that can go score for score with the Patriots.  The Chargers may have an edge in special teams. However, Patriots punter Chris Hanson (easiest job in football this year), in the rare event that he has to work other than holding for the kicker, will be angling the ball to whatever side Darren Sproles and Antonio Cromartie are not.  The Chargers best bet is to snap Brady’s leg in half (literally, because I think he would tape any other injury up and come back) early in the game.

That is about the only chance they have at winning. The Patriots, in humiliating fashion. I don’t think they were happy about the game against Jacksonville being as close as it was, and that frustration is going to be taken out on the Chargers.  (And don’t think they still don’t remember LT’s  little hissy fit from last year. Woe betide you, Chargers.

So there you have my picks for the Super Bowl: New England vs Green Bay.  The Methodical, Businesslike Evil Empire vs FUN! ON! THE! FROZEN! TUNDRA!

Now a very brief assessment of my Tigers: we’re losing a lot of the defense, many of whom were three year starters.   According to Geaux Tuscaloosa, however, it’s not as disastrous as I first thought.   All those games we had at home this year: Auburn, Florida, South Carolina? It’s their turn to host.  Is Ryan “too Good to Be Expelled” Perrilloux’s mind right? Don’t know yet.  The good news on offense is that the offensive line, including the biggest baby ever born in Louisiana, returns four starters, and the left side of the line will be on its third year together.  Being on the sane end of the fan spectrum, I’ll be thrilled with being SEC West Champions and a  January 1st bowl this season.  I think the SEC Champion comes from the East this year: Georgia or Florida.  (Mark the Game Formerly Known as the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party on the calendar folks!  I predict the winner plays in the BCS title game. )  Recruiting is apparently going well for the Tigers (that’s not my strong suit- I don’t bother knowing who they are until they show up in uniform for spring practice), so that’s a nice thing.  LSU may be recruiting a little too well, according to some people drinking vinegar. According to a Michigan booster, per EDSBS and the JockRap, the NCAA is looking at Coach Miles for recruiting violations, so that’s why Michigan backed off of The Hat.  Point 1: Michigan boosters know all about cheating. Point 2: The NCAA  is investigating an SEC school? And the violations might get the school on probation.  Next thing you know, someone will tell me that baseball players used steroids in the late 1990s. Point 3: I know Oklahoma State folks ain’t fond of Coach Mile$, but I never heard that he was accused of removing all the records on all his players, from what classes they attended to how many times they could bench press a certain weight. Thanks to Fran for pointing that one out.  

Michigan, you hired Machiavelli. Don’t try hide that fact by pointing at other coaches’  faults.  At least no one would ever think Coach Le$ would be bright/ evil  enough to do something like that, essentially remove the documents on seven years of progress, sending the program spinning back to the Nehlen-ages.  That (alleged) move is one an Alabama booster would be proud to call their own.  (Dear ‘Eer readers: d*mn. Ya’ll had the devil in your midst, and he came from down the road. But I don’t doubt that everyone already knew that).

At least we’ll have something to make the months until August entertaining.

That’s all for now.

XOXO, MLBGG

It Takes an SEC Man

January 8, 2008 by

photo

(Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

More later…..congrats to the Michigan Man who did what Lloyd Carr couldn’t: b*tch slap the Sweatervest.  The young men who delivered an undisputed national championship to my state last night may have been (redacted)’s recruits, but this is emphatically Les Miles’ team.

I now have a new favorite Big 12 team (unless they are playing LSU), of course.

Don’t worry, Herby. tOSU can lose to Georgia next year: Kickin’ Yo Ass for 75 Years.

AAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Ewww.

December 28, 2007 by

 That is all.

From  IDontLikeYouInThatWay

So let it be done

December 18, 2007 by

So you think this is the quiet time, the weekend before the 73 bowl games in 21 days start.  The only noise is the sound and the fury from Detroit’s empty blighted urban canyons, echoing off the desolate shores of Lake Michigan, the sounds of Detroit Free Press reporters and bloggers still claiming that your favorite big-headed blue eyed nutjob of a coach is still heading to north to his beer-soaked mistress and her Big House.

And then all hell breaks loose when the coach of the team that you make mighty fun of, but whose game you still love attending, has had a secret meeting in Toledo, Ohio.  And then the next  you know, the echoes from the frozen north take on a different tone, because they are now tinged with arrogant triumph instead of the embarassed near desperation of the week before:

 From the overjoyed Wolverine (world’s largest weasels!) Nation at mgoblog.

Meanwhile, something like a statewide psychosis has broken out in the home of the BCS Division (formerly Division 1-A) Mountaineers.  Now would be the time I would mock, poke fun, and generally giggle about West Virginia’s coach abandoning them for the richer, greener and more frozen pa$ture$ of the Big House and the Big Ten Plus One, but I think I’ll refrain, just in case some random Mountaineers find what I’m saying and bombard me with personal attacks.  But in all honesty, I feel awful for them.  The fact that Rich Roddriguez was from West Virginia was a tremendous source of pride to them, whether they would admit now or not.  Let’s face it: “genius” and “West Virginia” are not two  terms that often go together (and I know all about the long list of famous West Virginians people, including Homer Hickam and John Nash, who are geniuses, so calm down), but Coach Rod really is, football wise. (If you don’t believe me, I would direct you to the  1998 Tulane Football team, which finished the season at 12-0.  The kids on that team all had to know how to read to get in. I even had football players in some of my classes.)  

Coach Rod made WVU football relevant again, not just on the outskirts of Big Ten Plus One country, but nationwide.  He maximized the talent he had and got the state and university positive press. Mountaineer fans thought they had a man for the long haul after he turned down Alabama last year.  I’m sure that last year, heck,  I’m sure that on November 23, 2007 at about 7 p.m., the sky seemed like the limit for West Virginia University.  (Ask Virginia Tech what a consistently good football team can do for your school. Might want to ask them where they found Frank Beamer, as he seems like a rare breed these days).

But BCS Mountaineer fans ended the season on a spectacularly bad note, losing to a team that has been breathtakingly awful this year.  One favorite son, (REDACTED) (met his cousin the other evening) is coaching in the conference that Big East fans believe to be their nemesis.  Now they have discovered that they did not in fact have a loyal son who would never leave.  They had a mercenary who was waiting for the right job to come open ( BTW, I think he may have just as soon as bolted for LSU if Coach Miles had left. It’s nothing personal. It was just business.) Coach Rodriguez, genius and pioneer of the spread told the nation’s number one recruit, his team, and last and least, his bosses at WVU he was leaving.  In that order.  He screwed the university over royally.

Welcome to the big time, West Virginia.

Now go and make some other school feel the same agony. 

 As an LSU fan, I have to admit that I’m happy. The distractions that ESPN and media outlets from the frozen north were creating were starting to cause concern; our boys have enough to do healing, working on not getting 150 yards in penalties, and dealing with the departure of one assistant coach. The constant questioning on if/ when Coach Le$ was heading to Michigan could not have helped in game prep.

But that’s over now.  To quote a little Cecil B. DeMille:

So let it be written, so let it be done.

The SEC’s Newest Trophy!

December 13, 2007 by

On September 20, 2008, another great trophy will be added to the annals of college football, celebrating a brand new tradition unlike any other. 

In the Big Ten, there’s Paul Bunyan’s Axe. Floyd of Rosedale. The Old Oaken Bucket. The Pac-10 has the Apple Cup.   There are games which are known merely by their titles: The Third Saturday in October. The Civil War. The Game Formerly Known as the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.” 

And, depending on which school you went to, there are several permutations of “The Game.”

The SEC (Kickin’ Yo’ Ass for 75 Years) is naturally full of such games. By and large, there hasn’t been a huge emphasis on the trophies for the bitterest rivalries in our conference.  To add a little luster to a relatively new rivaly, LSU and Arkansas play for the Boot, 170 pounds of shiny brass in the shape of Hillbilly Central and Coon-Ass Land. 

The boot (lsu-arkansas).jpg

But there’s a new trophy that will outshine everything we’ve ever  seen in college football. Commissioned by Wayne Huzienga and Arthur Blank, with a special donation from the D’Angelo Hall Foundation, it is a masterwork created by the masters of the material, Tiffany, with the natural touches of Paloma Picasso and a classic elegance that says everything without saying a word. 

Ladies, gentlemen, Big East fans, I reveal to you the Pat Forde-Larry Brown Memorial Trophy, awarded to the winner of the 2008 Alabama-Arkansas contest. *

 http://www.flickr.com/photos/syridian/399252640/

*This of course, assumes that both coaches will actually still be at Arkansas or Alabama by September of 2008. We reserve the right to melt down the trophy for a charm bracelet at any time.


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