I'll take some artificial butter with my Popcorn Lung from vaping.
The Satanic Hail Mary
I knew one day me rejoicing over the Fail Mary (Packers/Seahawks Monday Night, 2012) would come back to haunt me.
Remember when the priest said Hail Marys when he threw holy water on Linda Blair. I reacted in a similar way to this Hail Mary.
I was all ready to troll the hell out of my Wisconsin friends as soon as Detroit had a 21-point lead at halftime. Then my potential Troll turned in to Troll 2 and the troll was on me.
OK, enough, with the horror film references three short paragraphs in.
Packers/Lions in Detroit last Thursday.
With one play left in the game, there was a phantom face mask call. I'm not faulting the refs on making such a call. Frankly, it looked as close to a face mask as it could have without actually being a face mask. I AM, however, faulting the Lions defense for even rushing Rodgers on that final play. Why?! On a fourth and a million on the final play of the game where the QB cannot reach the end zone without blowing his arm out, you don’t rush. But if you do rush even one person, he must rush defensively, almost as if he's playing touch football, leaving it impossible to get a roughing the QB penalty.
However, this mistake was nowhere near as bad as the mistake that head coach Jim Caldwell made on the final play of the game. The number one way to defend against a Hail Mary is simple: Put your tallest, most intelligent, most sure-handed players in the game to swat the ball down. One of the tallest, most intelligent, most sure-handed players in the league happens to play for the Detroit Lions. His name is Calvin Johnson. That said, why the hell wasn't he in the final play of the game as a precautionary measure?
I remember distinctly that there were several Hail Marys thrown against the New England Patriots in the legendary 2007 undefeated regular season. Guess what? Randy Moss was in the end zone in each one of those defending. And guess what? None of said Hail Marys were answered!
By the way, shout-out to New England Patriots-era Randy Moss. Been watching a lot of highlights of his recently. Check out this amazing catch! Sorry, Jets fans (Bonazelli). [Cool play. Who won that game again? -- AB]
Jim Caldwell leads my vote for coaches that will not have a job come the Monday after the last Sunday of the regular season. Goddamn him!
Eastbound and Dead
I’ve thought about this long and hard.
My pick to win the NFC East? The Golden State Warriors.
I’ve seen the most backward-ass game of the season this past Monday Night in DC. A low-scoring defensive battle, leading to a comedy of errors: the dumbest play of DeSean Jackson’s career (running the ball backwards 10 yards on a punt, only to fumble), to a blown D coverage on Jackson by Dallas on the back-end, to a blown coverage in OT by the Skins, Dan Bailey hitting a field goal for the win, and a rumble between Dallas and Skins fans after the game, resulting in a stabbing and a Juggalo-narrated video.
End result: All four teams in the NFC East are back in the mix for the division title with four games to play.
Here's what's amazing about this whole thing: As you know, the final game of the season has to be a division game. We have Philly heading to New York and the Skins heading to Dallas.
I swear to you, this division will come down to the final week of the season.
In a best of four, call me crazy: I like the Dallas Cowboys, as long as the majority of their division loses next week, thus them not losing ground. The 'Boys draw the Pack in Green Bay next week. There's a 90 percent chance they lose that game. But the rest are winnable for them, even with Matt Cassel at the helm. Meanwhile, a report came out this week that Tony Romo, in theory, could be ready to return for the Wild Card round in the playoffs.
All that said, I think Philly goes into the final game of the season against the G-Man with a one-game lead for the spot. With the Giants potentially holding a tiebreaker with common played games, the Giants will in theory have to only win the final game of the season to sneak in.
This would be the most interesting of scenarios, considering that both Chip Kelly and Tom Coughlin are seemingly on the hot seat at this point. Ironically, I think Kelly gets fired win or lose, and Coughlin keeps his job win or lose. The Manning/Coughlin combo works, for whatever reason. The Kelly/Pro Football combo doesn't, for whatever reason.
Giants win this division, which I called at the beginning of the season
Money for Nothing, and Bitches for Free
Back to the NFC East for a bit.
There’s nothing I love more than when teams get miraculous, season-changing statement wins, that come with internal controversy. It’s like, “Dude, you won the game. What’s the fucking problem?”
Well, in the case of DeMarco Murray, the problem is the Eagles play-calling not being centered on him. After the win this past weekend in New England, the most unlikely of wins, mind you, DeMarco Murray cornered owner Jeffery Lurie on the team plane and discussed his disappointment with his lack of reps.
He’s the problem: Murray actually gave the his coaching staff a reason to give him less reps in this past week’s game. Murray did the unthinkable on two back-to-back plays at the 12-minute mark of the fourth quarter with a two-touchdown lead. He received two draws that he ending by running out of bounds, stopping the clock. This cost the Eagles roughly a minute of time still being on the clock, which obviously was significant. If they would have lost this game, Murray would have directly contributed to the loss. Clock-milking is a specialty every running back needs to know. There is zero room for error in this department. It’s as simple as managing your time properly when taking an exam in high school. You know that kid who spends half the test completing the first of four essay questions to the T, and then realizes he has half the time to complete the remaining three? Don't be that guy!
One more note on Murray: Do not feel sorry for him. He got a HUGE contract to go to Philly. He was essentially paid 10 million more dollars to leave Dallas.
Pissing Contest with Skunks
So, drug cartel/turf war lord of Latin America (and notable humanitarian) El Chapo is officially pissed at ISIS for intercepting and destroying a shipment of drugs he was shipping through the Middle East.
Even though I think El Chapo is an El Asshole, I have to be honest: I got excited about hearing these comments. We officially have our first legitimate bad guy waging war against ISIS. I’m sure this will all end well. Hopefully we can get them to meet up in the North Pole for a rumble and they'll collectively fall off a glacier or something.
I was less excited to hear comments I found on Twitter made by Shannon Sharpe this week about journeyman cornerback Brandon Browner of the New Orleans Saints.
Browner is a journeyman CB. He joined the league as an undrafted free agent in 2005. He played in the Canadian Football League in 2007-2010, blew it up, and made his way back to the NFL in what is basically his prime. He got super lucky and joined a peaking Seattle Seahawks team, won a Super Bowl, was picked up by the New England Patriots the following year and won another Super Bowl against the team he won with in the previous year. He's basically been in the right place at the right time. Now he's in the worst place in the league to be, the New Orleans Saints defense. So, why does Shannon Sharpe want to throw shade at him? Browner has never claimed to be an all-world player, yet Sharpe is treating him as such.
Sharpe knows a little bit about being in the right place at the right time: he won two Super Bowls with John Elway throwing to him, then jumped shipped to Baltimore, a team that had one of the most devastating defenses of all time, along with a punky QB named Trent Dilfer, who threw to his tight end like all punk QBs like to do.
That said, Shannon Sharpe still rules, and I never fault him for shit-talking. Case in point: this Ray Buchanan feud of the '90s. Shannon's always hated on mediocre corners.
Do you guys know Mark Schlereth? He’s a former offensive linemen of the Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos of the '90s. He’s also a football analyst on ESPN.
You may occasionally here him called “Stink.” Since I’m the number one heavy metal football reporter in the game, I have some inside info for you on the nickname: Schlereth is from Alaska. In Alaska, there’s a traditional Eskimo meal called Stinkhead that I’m sure no one eats except the Eskimo equivalent of this guy from No Country for Old Men.
But yeah, that’s where it comes from.
I’ve notice a couple things about Stink that I want you to look out for going forward:
When he says something outlandish he doesn't necessarily believes, he has a tendency to unnecessarily lengthen the sentence.
For example: Stink said this week that he feels “The Bengals are the most well-rounded team in the National Football League.” No offense to the Bengals, but there’s NO WAY Stink believes that with an undefeated Carolina team with a WAY BETTER defense than Cincy in the same league. He’s just doing it to be controversial.
Meanwhile, Stink also said this week that “J.J. Watt is the best player in the NFL.” Notice the term “NFL” being used. This is the indicator that he ACTUALLY BELIEVES that statement. And he does.
Listen the next time Stink talks about Watt, by the way. It’s almost like he’s having an orgasm.
Matter of fact, all ESPN ex-player analysts all have their player they cream over.
Listen to Ron Jaworski the next time he talks about Tom Brady, or Cris Carter the next time he talks about A.J. Green. It’s borderline pornographic.
Meeting Mr. Mayhem
Notable anniversary yesterday. My parents' 32nd wedding anniversary.
It was one year ago today that Cam Newton flipped his truck near the practice facility near the Carolina Panthers stadium in NC. Cam broke his back in the flip. Interesting stat, though. Cam Newton, since the truck flip accident, is 16-0 in the regular season. It’s almost as if he turned into a superhero with the flip.
If you are a Panthers fan, you should be salivating right now. They are FOUR games away from completing a perfect regular season. Yes, they almost were blindsided by the Saints this week, who suck. But that comes with the territory of playing a team that is in division, late in the season, and led by a veteran QB. There were three -- count 'em, 3 -- non-12 men on the field calls against Carolina that would have dramatically changed the outcome of the game.
As for the four remaining games, they do not play a team with a winning record. However, I see them losing once, if not twice. @New York Giants scares me for Carolina. The Giants can easily run with them at home and will be peaking late season, with every game meaning the world to their postseason hopes. This game MAY actually be flexed to the Sunday Night Football game, which will hurt Carolina’s chances even more. The key, though, is that they are playing the Falcons twice in the next two weeks. It’s impossible for me to get this stat, which is seemingly intangible, but when teams play their two inter-division games late in the season against the same team in a 3-4 week span, the odds of them splitting goes up dramatically. It doesn’t help Carolina that they go to Atlanta for the second game, with Atlanta potentially in the playoff picture still at that point, with a very winnable New Orleans game the week after.
It’s key for the Panthers to chase this streak, but really remain focused. They haven’t won jack shit yet. No one on that team has. Literally no one. It’s a team saddled with players and coaches that have tasted success, but ultimately have fallen short. The franchise itself hasn’t even won a Super Bowl. This is, in theory, Carolina’s year, at least in terms of the NFC. But that said, health and focus will ultimately lead them to a clash with a team more experienced than them. Time to get over the hump this year for Carolina and become the dynasty the Seahawks desire to be.
Also, yes, I do see in some shape or form a collision been Carolina and Seattle in this year’s postseason. Two teams that are not only similar, but carbon copies of each other. Although I currently feel that Carolina is playing with more confidence and discipline.
Are You There, Rex? It’s Me, God.
Is all you think about food and jokes, ya fatass?
The Pussy of Passyunk
By the way, Geno (RIP?) was a cavalier zenophobe. But yeah, show him support so he “Doesn’t get mad.”
The Second Eddie of The Second City
And finally this week, legendary RB Eddie George has announced that he will be joining Chicago.
As a Chicago native named Eddie, I have some advice for George:
Watch out for Gangs, the Police, Politicians, and the Black Metal Scene.
Actually, just move to the Ssburbs like me.
Matter of fact, move IN with me.
Do you like watching football on Sundays?
Pick of the Week
Pitt + 2.5 over Cincy