Today might be a more difficult MMBBQ than usual.
We respectfully let Petey do his opening.
Now, as a fan of Dr. Z (and by fan, I do indeed try to read him weekly), I admire Norm's ability to pay homage to one of the best and so I've got little to gripe about here....
I said little: As Petey said in the lead of his column: "The best football writer of our time is sitting in a chair in room 106 of St. Clare's Hospital..." Now you could argue with a few names, but that's entirely beside the point. Paul Zimmerman is the best football writer at SI (tough competition eh?) and you or I could argue he's the best around. But for Petey to get back on his high horse and might an unabashed and unquantifiable statement (because no one can quantify it) like this one is ridiculous and rude.
But at least we know Petey doesn't think he's the best...
Petey makes a Fine Dumbass
When Peter fires away with his Fine Fifteen, you can count on three things; the obvious picks (like the Giants at one this week), the shock value surprise and the "Hey, I'm smarter than you because...". Now the "Hey, I'm smarter than you..." usually involves Peter placating his ego with something he "told" you earlier (even though it was just a lucky guess) or something he thought but we have no way of verifying.
2. Tennessee (11-1). It's like the debacle against the Jets never happened.They played the Lions...*head smack* (Ok, there's a 4th one, the stupid comment). Still they're 11-1, so you'd be hardpressed not to put them up at two.
4. Dallas (8-4). I understand the consternation of you who follow "The Fine Fifteen'' rankings, who set your watches by them, who believe in them the way you believe in everything your mother ever told you. And you wonder how I can be jumping the Cowboys over teams more consistently better. Simple. They're better than Carolina, better than Tampa Bay, better than Atlanta, better than Washington.Hmm, bold strategy there Peter. Turns out this is both the "shocker" and the "Smarter than you" combined... Worse part is, he put no effort into that pick...seriously "Simple?" Go fuck yourself you lazy bastard.
Oh, you want one more? (yeah, I cheated a little). Ok:
8. N.Y. Jets (8-4). Would any sane person say the AFC West is better than the East? Well, look at the Jets versus the West: 1-3, with a minus-35 point differential. When you get manhandled by the Broncos in your own house, you slip five spots in The Fine Fifteen.Damn Peter, you showed them. Y'know by ranking them above the Broncos (by 4 spots) but ranking them behind unflawed teams like Indy, Baltimore or Dallas. Ugh...
Makes enough sense...
Sometimes the old spotted one makes little to no sense. Petey went off on how much of the disadvantage the Cardinals were at playing the Eagles on Thursday night in Philly (a game I had the pleasure of attending...and yes the Cards looked miserable). He had 3 reasons why, and I can only give him credit for one...barely
1. They were coming off a very physical game with the New York Giants, likely the best team in football.
The Eagles just played the Baltimore Ravens in one of their worst outtings this year.
2. They were unfamiliar with the Eagles. Only two of Arizona's 16 coaches and 19 of the 53 players were with the Cardinals the last time they played Philly, in 2005. Four of the eight Thursday night games this year match division foes, meaning the teams wouldn't have to prepare for the unknown.
And Visa Versa
3. None of the other 2008 Thursday night visitors will have to travel nearly as far as Arizona's four-and-a-half-hour, 2,369-mile trip.Alright, fair enough...ya got one you sneaky butthole.
Ok, so explain to me how, other than travel, the Cardinals were at a disadvantage? Its a road game. It is what it is. Every west coast team deals with this and every east team does the same when they go west. Even more so in long trips to Seattle. Man, did Petey turn on the Eagles fast this year...what an asshole.
I told you Collinsworth was an idiot.
"I was an idiot for believing in the Jets.''
-- Cris Collinsworth, on NBC's Football Night in America show last night.
No, that was serious.
When Petey does one of his usual "Good Guy of the Week" renditions, its typically something nice, heartwarming and entirely too Rick Reilly-esque. There's nothing wrong with it, but it sounds kind of high-handed. But this one kills me:
Awww. They're thankful to be rich and talented athletes? And Holmgren knowing this makes him the "Good Guy of the Week." Yeah, in this tough economic times, when shitty football writers are still overpaid hacks, its nice to see at least one guy is happy he's a fat, sloppy millionaire who's ruined the season of millions of Seahawk fans.
Mike Holmgren, coach, Seattle. The other night, before taking his underperforming Seahawks to do battle with Dallas, Holmgren stood before his team and did something he never remembers doing: He choked up so much speaking to the players and coaches he was unable to continue. "We all need to be grateful and to give thanks for the jobs we have in this game,'' he told his team. "It should be a time of Thanksgiving for all of us.''
A couple of days later, he still couldn't quite figure out why he got so emotional, but I can: Holmgren is one of the guys in the NFL I've met over the years who really gets it. He knows how fortunate he is to be making $7 million a year, or whatever Paul Allen's exact number is in this last year of his contract, and just because his team is terrible is no reason to not remind his players of their good fortune. I hope the players and coaches in this league spent five minutes over the weekend thinking those thoughts, especially in these hard economic times for so many.
It's almost touching...
And those shitty 10 things...
Now, for the fellow readers around here who see some of my weekly features, you know about my 10 things...and it is a bit of a play/homage to Petey. Frankly, I think his 10 things is shit...and mine is too:
b. If you go by what you've seen this year, the Seattle linebackers are overrated. Did you see Lofa Tatupu make any plays the other day at Dallas? Where's Julian Peterson been?Covering T.O. That's where he's been. Now that wouldn't be the coach's fault, would it?
c. I don't trust anything about the Arizona Cardinals anymore. Disgraceful performance at Philadelphia.Wait, I thought it wasn't there fault...they only had 3 days, rarely play the Eagles and had to travel...or, maybe they just suck?
4. I think Kurt Warner is rapidly playing himself out of all those nice things -- like a third MVP, like a winning January -- he'd played himself into through the first 10 games of the year. At some point, an MVP has to win a game he shouldn't win. Warner hasn't had one of those yet this year, and though he's played very well overall in engineering the Cards' 7-5 record, he's been downright bad in big games on the road, including throwing interceptions to end the first two drives at Philadelphia Thursday night.Gah! What...The...Fuck...
g. I don't know who to blame for San Diego being 4-8, but I am going to start with the biggest star of them all -- LaDainian Tomlinson, averaging 3.7 yards per rush after running for 5.2 and 4.7 yards a carry in the last two years. If LT can't be more productive, Norv Turner should turn more to Darren Sproles.Because it's LT's fault the Chargers let Lorenzo Neal walk. I bet you there are 20...maybe 25 teams would be more than happy to take him.
a. Starting to hear Mark Teixeira is going to sign for seven or eight years somewhere, probably in Anaheim. And no, I don't call a team an hour outside of Los Angeles "Los Angeles.''Oooohhhhh! You showed them! And by "starting to hear" you mean "read on si.com inbetween donuts.."
d. Coffeenerdness: Standing in line at Starbucks at this time of year borders on the maddening. The holiday drinks, the sandwiches, the special sprinkles on top of the coffee ... Howard Schultz is trying to be too many things to too many people.Again, stick to what you know (I guess if you did, your column would be like 5 paragraphs). Seriously, you're like my grandfather who used to bitch about how McDonalds only sold burgers and fries and wondered how they stayed in business.
f. One final point about guns and players who own them: Bob Costas is right. When is the last time we've heard of a gun brought into a public place by an athlete actually making a situation better?And there is no answer that will satisfy you. Just you and Costas having an agenda against the second amendment. I'm not an advocate of gun violence or the intelligence behind concealed weapons and the situation Burress was involved in but, no matter the situation, you will not have a good view of it. Guaran-damn-teed.
And even the blind Petey gets one:
c. Eric Wright, who entered the year as the embattled Eric Wright, is now the reliable Eric Wright. Cleveland's lucky to have him, and the Browns now know that left corner is one position they won't have to fill at the start of 2009.Now, I know how Wright had issues in college, but he's been a clean pro. And yes, he's been reliable. What did Peter say about him before his play this season?