Archive for the ‘NFL Football’ Category

The Panthers win ugly, but win nevertheless

November 28, 2005

The Carolina Panthers victory yesterday was one of the ugliest, most boring football games you’d hope never to see, but it was a win never the less and The Panthers now lead the NFC South Division with a record of 8 & 3.

For all but the last five minutes of the game it was a battle of who was going to hypnotize the other team into deep slumber first, trying to accuse both teams of putting the other team to sleep from sheer boredom would be almost too cruel so I want to use slightly nicer language, but then it was like The Panthers woke up from their nap with a “hey, we’re the friggin’ Panthers and we do have Steve Smith who leads the NFL in all major categories as a wide receiver so maybe we should get the ball to him now that we’re near the goal line” and BOOM – touchdown – which was the margin of victory over, over whoever the heck they were playing, oh that’s right it was the Buffalo-Boring-Bills, 13-9.

Sure, The Panthers are a much better team that what was exhibited yesterday, but it is Week 11 of the season and now all teams and all players are starting to get nicked up and the recovery cycle of snapping back from the physical fatigue of taking ten consecutive weeks of hard beatings is basically gone, even the most fit of atheletes about this stage hurt like mothertruckers every single moment of every single day from now through the (hopeful for them) playoffs and this is where the truly better teams start to show themselves as being the class of the field, when their star players start showing less effects from the accumulated pain cycles than do lesser atheletes on lesser teams. You might not think a player who can normally run a 4.5-40 yard dash now slowed in Week 11 down to a, say, 4.8 or 5-Flat makes a huge difference, but in the world of The NFL where it’s the best 500 physical-based atheletes (sorry NBA and MLB and MLS fans, but the gestalt pain threshold for NFL players is in a differrent universe when compared with “your” sports) who also have raw world-class speeds, Yes, it makes a huge difference.

Anyway, will The Panthers win their division? Let’s see, they play Atlanta this coming Sunday and all but one of their remaining games are with division opponents, so, if I was a betting man – which I’m not – I’d say no they won’t win the division, there’s simply too much and better roster talent out there, but they’ll probably get a wildcard spot on the basis of their overall record.

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The best NFL analyst of television is . . . (and commentary on NFL talking heads in general)

November 8, 2005

. . . Tom Jackson of ESPN, hands down. He simply is the most thorough, most detailed in his analysis, most accessible to both the casual and serious fan by his carefully crafted words, in other words he’s the most professional NFL analyst on any TV channel anywhere, and his “sidekick” Boomer Esaison, pardon me, Chris “Boomer” Berman, actually I think he’s supposed to be Chris’ sidekick but no-never-mind, just feeds off Tom’s well and wealth of pro football knowledge.

Actually, I think John Madden of ABC’s “Monday Night Football” is the most knowledgeable of all TV football talking heads, even more than Tom by about one or two football IQ points on a scale where they’re both football genuises, but geez, for a guy who apparently doesn’t drink or at least doesn’t do broadcast while under the influence like another (now gone) well-respected NFL analyst and game play-by-play guy used to do all the time, John Madden has the most irritating, most long-winded, most in-articulate rambling-babbling-mumbling style that is great for comedians to do caricatures of but which just drives me nuts if I let it if/when I try to listen to him actually speak.

Usually, when I watch Monday Night Football like I did tonight, I’ll turn the sound off and put some music on and also do “homework” at my lapdesk while watching the game, just to keep from having to hear those words which would drive anyone who speaks even basic American English absolutely batty from time to time.

But good ol’ smoothy, Tom Jackson, he could analyze the NYC Yellow Pages and make it sound interesting, he’s so totally perfect at his craft of being an on-air football entrail-reader. I really do wish Tom would be persuaded/paid to do a Books-On-Tape…while I’m not a Books-On-Tape fan, seldom listen to any BOT, I’d buy whatever he narrated just to soak in that perfect, almost Peter Thomas-ish speaking style of his, and oh yes, he definitely knows the NFL, too.

Oh, which Sunday pre-game show do I normally watch, Fox or CBS? Well, usually, neither, though when I do have time to watch them, I usually am watching Fox mostly…CBS, do yourself and get rid of Shannon Sharpe, he’s a Jimmy-The-Greek-Snyder-Incident (Jimmy The Greek, former CBS analyst who made a near-racist comment on the air and was fired for it immediately) just waiting to happen…Shannon just loves to hear the sound of his own voice, and while not as irritating as Madden’s, he’s so given to hyperbole then The White House really should hire him for cheerleading-spin-control, except for the fact he’s probably “too black” for them (I’m sorry, but Condy Rice and Colin Powell while African-Americans are not black, not like Shannon is). I do find myself watching the Fox NFL Pre-Game show as much for the 2-minute comedy routines of Frank Caliendo, whose caricature of John Madden is more Madden-esk than even Madden in real-life and who is probably the best impressionist/vocal caricaturist since Frank Gorshin, and I can’t help but admit my guilty pleasures of actually liking analyst Terry Bradshaw and host James Brown (the Harvard Grad James Brown, not the soul singer) and not disliking the other two dudes who also are straight-up football guys themselves.

Now, if Fox would just hire Tom Jackson away from ESPN and let him replace one of those two other gentlemen on their pre-game show, Hhhhmmm….

Why I like pro football & college basketball but not vice’ versa

November 8, 2005

Call me a bit peculiar if not eccentric, go ahead, many folks have called me that and I just smile, but I’m a fan of The NFL and of ACC/Atlantic Coast Conference/men’s college basketball but not college football nor The NBA/pro basketball.

I like watching The NFL because it’s a chessmatch for non-nerds (whether I’m a bit of a nerd or not I’ll leave up to others to speculate on), it’s games within gamesmanships within larger forces controlling, it’s a chessmatch for grown-ups where all the pieces can move briefly simultaneously and where the most rank casual of fans can handicap games pretty effeciently if they pay any attention to what the talking heads on pre-game shows say, look at the rise of so-called “Fantasy Football” leagues if you don’t believe that last point.

I don’t like college football, not usually, because it just seems like a totally different game than it is at the pro level, which it is of course but still…there’s just a near-frustration for me at times as I watch mistake after mistake after mistake on repeated plays that usually doesn’t happen at the pro level.

The best college football team right now, say USC or Notre Dame, wouldn’t even be close to competitive with the worst team in the NFL right now, say The Houston Texans, the Texans because they pick the best of the best from a large pool of college players that their salary cap and scouting allows, distilling talent down to a team of 53 guys from a pool of perhaps 10,000 or 15,000 potential players and the sheer speed of a typical NFL team, even a terrible one like Texans, would simply blow the best available college team off of the field.

Not true with men’s college basketball.

The best college team in the land right now, say pre-season to win it all Duke University which is located just 15 miles from my house, could compete with for most a game and maybe even conceivably beat the worst NBA team right now, I don’t know who’s best or worst in the NBA since I don’t care but let’s say for grins it’s the proverbial Loservilles – The Denver Nuggets – Yes, Duke which is loaded with NBA-level talent deep into their bench which is where most will go eventually could give The Nuggets all they could handle in a one-game shootout played with NBA rules.

I don’t know why the talent disparity between the NFL and college and the NBA and college teams is so striking, but it is, and that’s why I watch what I watch, because I, like most 48-year-old crippled old men, still harbor a deep and almost-never-spoken secret desire to be the place kicker or punter ala’ George Blanda-ish who did this in his late 40’s back when for the, no, for my beloved Houston Texans, beloved that is when they sign me up as a rookie free agent.

No, The Colts won’t go undefeated this season

November 8, 2005

Just got through watching The Colts in general and QB Peyton Manning in particular finally beat the New England Patriots 40-21 at home and saw that monkey which Peyton’s been carrying around for years finally climb down off his back and scamper into the locker room with about two minutes to go in regulations.

This really was the proverbial “Game Of The Year” so far, with The Colts riding a seven game win streak (they’re still undefeated at 8-0 at this point in the season) and New England trying to get one of their patented Super Bowl runs going and on paper it was a golden game, with QB Tom “The Chessmaster” Brady of New England squaring off against Colts QB Peyton “The Master Samurai General” Manning but unfortunately this was a football game and not a prize fight so Manning was able to pick New England’s defensive secondary – which has been decimated by injuries this season – apart almost at will and after The Colt’s fourth touchdown it wasn’t much of a game, kinda boring, almost like most Superbowls are.

But to the point of this post, NO!!!, The Colts at 8-0 will not go undefeated this season, for all their talent there’s less than a two percent difference in the best and worst teams in the league, okay, excepting The Cleveland Browns and The Houston Texans, and some team at some time during The Colts schedule is going to gamble on blitzing Manning since they figure they’ll lose anyway if they don’t and if they have an outside lineback with 4.3/40 speed who can bullrush from the outside of the offensive line, then Yes, if this speculative team can rattle Manning just a little and get a couple of sacks and a handful of hurries, then Yes, The Colts will be defeated and the old Class Of 1972 Miami Dolphins team, the only team ever to go undefeated in a single season, will pop open the champagne once again that Sunday when it happens.

Terrell Owen’s Rage; natural jerk or something else?

November 7, 2005

When NFL all-star wide receiver Terrell Owens of the Philadelphia Eaglers, one of maybe half a dozen true “impact players” in the National Football League whose very presence on the field changes the entire complexion of the game, went into a meltdown-stage out-of-control rage and fought one team member and then challenged not only his quarterback Donovan McNabb (who I think is one of the truly class guys in the NFL) but told his entire team of teammates that he’d take them all on, it made me wonder.

It made me wonder if he was truly that stupid, which I don’t think he is, to wonder if he’s that big of a jerk at times, which I think he might be but even that doesn’t explain what happened, of if something else might be in play, such as, and I can say – I think – I hope – without getting sued, such as a chemical agent provacteur that would induce ” ‘roid rage”.

I’m not accusing Terrell Owens of taking any illegal drug let alone anabolic steroids. With the NFL’s beyond-extreme policy of testing for every know and unknown legal and illegal substance that could conceivably be circulating around inside a typical NFL player’s blood system, I just don’t think “TO” would be so full of hubris to think he could take performance-enhancing steroids and get away with it.

Yet, his super-aggresive beyond-blind rage does sound like classic ” ‘roid rage” where too many male hormones are present inside an athlete’s body.

I think what many people do not understand about steroids is that the naturally-occuring male hormone which makes men, well, men – testosterone – is a steroid and there is a medical condition in which a given man’s body can produce too much of it and in some cases that lead to ‘roid rage, where the naturally aggresive tendencies caused by its presence inside the body can’t be psychologically supressed completely so what seems like blind-fart-stupid anger and rage just comes up and out of seeming nowhere and is directed to whoever is handy at the moment, God help them.

Any professional athlete trains so much nowadays, literally 365 days a year to try to get and maintain something close to a competitive advantage over their opponents, that their bodies naturally produce more body-repairing, more muscle-and-tissue repairing testosterone than would be the case in most sendentary, white-collar or even blue-collar job-holding males.

So TO’s meltdown I’m sure was at least contributed to by this effect of his heightened testosterone levels which he didn’t have the mental strength to control at the time. That, or he simply might be one the biggest jerks in the world, I don’t really care and I’m certainly not making any apologies for him since I’m not an Eagels’ fan, am just speculating aloud in print what’s been running through me’ brain since I heard what happened, since I am a male and while not a professional athlete and am a cripple if an atheletic one, I do train as best I can and because of that usually have heightened testosterone levels normally, myself.

Fighting lesbian NFL cheerleaders? You gotta love it

November 7, 2005

There was report out yesterday that two of the Carolina Panther cheerleaders (yes, both young ladies) were making love in a bathroom stall so loudly while at a Tampa Bay-area bar while in town whilst their employers were to play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (which they whipped badly the next day, 34-14, the football team did) that when other women patrons who were trying to use the facilities in relative quiet (we presume) complained, damned if The Panthers young charges quit making love and started making if not war then at least started a genuine, knock-down drag-out barroom brawl right there in the normal sanctity of civility, the lady’s room.

My only question about the whole incident is – does one or both of them have 4.5/4.6 in the 40 Yard Dash-speed so they can play middle or outside linbacker alongside Julius Peppers?

Carolina Panther Football, where even the ladies of the team literally kick ass.