Super Bowl: The Movie

31 01 2010

Today begins the week where all of us football fans (and non-fans) will be blitzed with all sorts of stories and angles about the Super Bowl, from stories about the superstars to features on the cousin of the gardner’s ex-wife who bumped into a former equipment manager for the Arizona Cardinals who once saw the Saints and Colts’ locker rooms.
Just for fun, if the Super Bowl were a movie, who would you cast to be in it?
Here’s a couple of my choices.

Colts QB Peyton Manning

Played by The Janitor from “Scrubs.”

Saints QB Drew Brees

Played by Luke Wilson

Colts WR Reggie Wayne

Played by WWE wrestler Kofi Kingston

Saints RB/KR Reggie Bush

Played by actor Omar Epps

Colts center Jeff Saturday

Played by Al Borland from “Home Improvement”

Saints head coach Sean Payton

Played by Ralphie from “A Christmas Story”

And finally, Colts head coach Jim Caldwell

Played by Nein Nunb, interim co-pilot of the Millenium Falcon

Feel free to add your choices.


The let’s hire the worst coach out there edition championship round picks

20 01 2010

Before I get into this week’s picks, as a lifelong Bills fan, I am absolutely stunned that Buffalo hired Chan Gailey to be its next head coach. This guy wasn’t even good enough to be an assistant in Kansas City. Yes, we are now looking to cast-offs from the Chiefs for leadership. Ugh.
No that’s not a picture of Chan. I’m just trying to convince myself there have been worse coaches.
Anyhoo, on to this week’s NFL conference championship picks.

New York Jets at Indianapolis Colts: Don’t look now, but the Jets seem to be for real, having knocked off two division champions to get to this point. The team is playing at a high-level of confidence thanks to head coach Rex Ryan. The runners run, and the defense looks like it can stop anyone. QB Mark Sanchez looks more poised than a rookie should, although he’s got a little ways to go before he can be considered one of the premiere quarterbacks in the NFL. The Colts have a premiere quarterback in Peyton Manning, who won his fourth MVP award. But the Colts aren’t just Manning. Their defense is a little underrated, making mincemeat of Baltimore’s offense in the divisional round. Manning also has a talented batch of receivers to throw two, which makes up for the lack of running game. I think the Jets can win this game, but in the end, experience has to count for something, and Manning and Co. have been here before. I’ll have to go with the Colts in a close one, 23-20.

Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints: These have been the best two teams in the NFC, although both stumbled into the postseason. Still, the Vikes and Saints proved why they were the top two seeds last weekend, with New Orleans crushing the Arizona Cardinals and Minnesota punching the Dallas Cowboys in the mouth. This is an interesting matchup, with the Saints relying on their high-powered passing attack and big-play defense, while the Vikings pound you with their running attack on offense and a brutal defense. Minnesota also has a quarterback you may have heard of, some dude by the name of Brett Favre, who against Dallas reminded me of some guy named Brett who used to be a great QB for the Green Bay Packers. However, I’m going with the Saints in this one, because of the home-field advantage and that it seems like New Orleans has that “it” factor some teams have to get to the Super Bowl. New Orleans 30-Minnesota 24.

Last week: 1-3 Overall: 4-4

The divisional round picks, the “man, I’ll always be second-best” edition

13 01 2010

OK, what an interesting chair-gripping dud of a Wild Card weekend it was in the NFL. Except for the Packers-Cardinals epic on Sunday night, most of the games were flat-out stinkers, and I’d call them unwatchable except I really did like seing New England get their butts handed to them.

Onto the divisional round picks:

Arizona Cardinals at New Orleans Saints. With apologies to Terrell Owens, but this is the game for you to get your popcorn ready. Two high-powered offenses that can score from anywhere on the field get ready to lock horns. The Saints looked to be poised to run through the entire NFL regular schedule until their bid for unbeaten status was derailed by Dallas, and New Orleans finished on a three-game losing streak. You never know what the Cardinals will do, although Arizona looks to be just as strong as they were en route to last year’s surprising run to the Super Bowl. Saints QB Drew Brees is as good as any quarterback in the league, but few do it better than Cardinals QB Kurt Warner in the post-season. I look for the Cardinals to win this one, 34-28.

Baltimore Ravens and Indianapolis Colts. Don’t let the end of Indy’s regular season fool you; this team is good. Very good. There’s a reason why Indianapolis QB Peyton Manning won his record 4th NFL MVP award this year – because he’s the best. However, Baltimore for some reason seems to turn it up a notch in the playoffs even when they stumble and bumble through the regular season. Just ask New England, a team that got punched in the mouth by the Ravens at home, where the Patriots hadn’t lost a playoff game since 1978. However, the Colts are at home, a tough place to play, and have more weapons. That’s why I like the Colts to win, although it will be a tough contest, 21-16.

Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings. Tough game to call. Dallas right now is playing the best football of any team in still alive, having closed out the regular season with two shutout wins over division rivals and literally kicking the snot out of Philadelphia in the wild-card round. The “best” label could have been applied to the Vikings at the beginning of the season because they played at a high level at every aspect of the game, but they’ve slid back a bit. Like the Colts, the Vikes are very tough at home. However, I can’t pick against Dallas right now, and I think they’ll win, 27-23, and praying that someone on the Cowboys’ D puts Minnesota QB Brett Favre into retirement for good.

New York Jets at San Diego Chargers. As a Bills fan, I am required by law to officially hate the J-E-T-S, but as a football fan, I absolutely love the way they play defense and the way they run the ball. San Diego is the hottest team in the AFC as they are on an 11-game win streak. The Chargers are also on a mission, having been considered to be Super Bowl contenders for the past few years, and they know their window is closing. The Jets will prove to be a very tough opponent for San Diego, but I think the Chargers will prevail, 23-16.

Last week: 3-1; Overall: 3-1

The picks, wild card rematch edition

5 01 2010

The second NFL season kicks off this weekend, although it may be deja vu since the matchups are mostly rematches of the regular season finale.
Since part of this blog’s name is “Football,” I figured I’d go ahead and make picks for each week of the post-season for you to view, comment or make fun of.

Jets at Bengals: One of the rematches of Week 17, which saw the Jets get into the playoffs by hanging one on the Bengals, 37-0. I don’t think the game will quite go this way on Saturday. The Bengals surprised everyone this year by winning the AFC North, especially since the division has the defending Super Bowl champs Pittsburgh Steelers and a good Baltimore Ravens team. But the Bengals have looked shaky at times and are probably the most unimpressive of the six division champs. The Jets, despite getting in the playoffs, are really not a good football team. They play good defense, but the offense is real spotty, especially with a rookie quarterback at the helm. Mark Sanchez will be a good NFL Q, but not yet. Still, I think the Jets’ D is capable of shutting down Cincy’s offense, so I’m going with New Jersey in this one, 23-14.

Eagles at Dallas: The Cowboys swept the Eagles this year, so logic says it’s next to impossible to beat a team three times in a season, although it has been done before. Dallas has also appeared to have gotten past its inability to win in December, and closed the season with shutout division wins over the Redskins and Eagles. However, even though they got beat down by Dallas, Philadelpha at one point was 5-4 and looking up at the Giants and the Cowboys before reeling off six straight wins. However, when they bring their “A” game, Dallas is about as good as anyone else in the league and may be the most dangerous NFC team in the playoffs. I think the Cowboys are out to make a statement, and I see them winning what may be the best game of the weekend, 31-26.

Ravens at Patriots: New England won the regular season matchup, 27-21, although this is the only Wild Card game that’s not a Week 17 rematch. I still haven’t determined whether the Patriots are a good football team, because there were times this season that the team looked like the teams that won three Super Bowls in the last decade and their were other times they looked just like a middle-of-the-road franchise. Baltimore is the same way, and needed to win on Sunday just to get in. The Ravens’ D isn’t the same dominant force it has been in the past, although it’s still a very good unit. Baltimore’s offense has also been up and down, although it’s good enough to compete with a lot of teams. New England lost it’s key playmaker, WR Wes Welker, to a nasty knee injury against Houston, and that’s going to hurt them. In fact, that, and the fact that New England simply doesn’t have a great defense, will be the reason why Baltimore wins an ugly one, 22-16.

Packers at Cardinals: Don’t let Green Bay’s blowout of the Cards on Sunday fool you; Arizona had absolutely nothing to play for. I must admit, I’m a huge fan of Aaron Rodgers, and I think if he had some protection from his offensive front line and a decent running game, he’d be in the conversation when you talk about the NFL’s top-tier quarterbacks. Green Bay’s defense has also vastly improved over last year. The Cards, when they’re clicking, can score on anyone at anytime, and is also getting improved play from their defense. Unlike last year, when Arizona shocked everyone by getting to the Super Bowl, I think the NFC is ready for them. I think Green Bay’s defense can do enough to keep the Cards from scoring too much, and the Packers’ offense will be able to move the ball enough to pull this game off, 27-23.

Stuck in the trap

3 12 2009

OK, so everyone is pretty much buzzing about golf great Tiger Woods’ oops, I got caught statement apologyafter several stories ran on tabloid US Weekly’s Web site focused on claims that Woods had an affair with a cocktail waitress. Speculation began following a car crash early Friday that sent the golfer to the hospital.
Part of the debate over the story is whether Woods’ privacy is being invaded, and whether focusing on the whole debacle in public is the right thing to do.
I say yes … up to this point.
It’s true the Woods is technically a private citizen and doesn’t have to be held accountable to the public. If Woods was just another golfer, I don’t think this should be a major news story, nor do I think it would be.
However, Woods’ public status goes way beyond the fact that he happens to be a pretty darn good golfer.
Being a celebrity comes with a price, because whether these people like it or not, they automatically become a role model (good or bad) for the rest of us schnooks in the real world.
It’s worse for professional athletes, especially since most young kids often turn to sportsmen as inspiration to do well in life.
Woods is one of those athletes. Twice, he’s been named Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year. He’s broken racial barriers in the sport of golf. He’s been hailed as a positive example for youths, especially young minorities, across the nation.
There’s also the numerous endorsements he does. Whether it’s hawking a product for a commercial, or backing something more charitable, Woods has put forth an image that says “I’m a good guy. You can trust me.”
Now, that image has been badly tarnished. Despite his playing down the whole thing as “personal failures,” you can’t escape that it looks like Woods has had a 31-month affair with this waitress.
That’s not just a one-stand, folks. For those of you who won’t do the math at home, that’s a long-term, two-year, seven-month affair.
That’s a purposeful relationship. That’s a deliberate relationship. That goes way beyond the I-used-poor-judgment argument.
And during that time, Woods has been passing himself off as an ultimate role model, and the ideal family man.
Given the societal position he’s put himself into, hell, yes he’s got some splainin’ to do. He owes it to every single person who has looked up to him not just as an amazing golfer, but as someone the public thought they could emulate.
He’s done that, and even if you think his statement was crap, it’s still a public confession and statement about his private life, and that’s where it should stop. Woods has made his statement … putting it out there that there are some issues in his personal life that need to be dealt with.
There’s no need to constantly badger him to give us more.
But now, it’s time for the rest of us to back off and let the man handle his business. He’s got a family to fix, and he’s got himself to fix.
And, now, in lieu of his public statement, he should be allowed to do that in private.

This is how we do it …

30 11 2009

No need to gloat too much over Sunday’s Bills’ butt-whupping of the Miami Dolphins. I do want to say that I may simply start caring about the outcome of any game when I go to 1 Bills Drive. I haven’t had this much fun at a Bills game since 2002 when the Bills beat the Dolphins in a blizzard.
The crappy cell phone camera picture you see above is at a post-game parking lot party. Nothing says “yay, we won!” like setting furniture on fire.

The Bills make me want to … ah, who cares?

28 11 2009

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am a true-blue, die-hard, “Jeepers Crimey that was a FORWARD PASS” fan of the Buffalo Bills.
But for the first time in my life, I’ll be heading to 1 Bills Drive this Sunday not caring if they win or lose. And I think I’m a happier person because of it.
I haven’t missed going to at least one Bills home game a year in Orchard Park since 1992, culminating in 2005 when I went to six of the team’s eight home games.
Even in the two years that I lived in North Carolina, I managed to make it back north of Mason-Dixon line to be among the Buffalo faithful.
Over the years, I’ve stuck with this team through the years when they went 2-14, 2-14 and 4-12 over a three-year stretch. Hey, at least in 1986 they doubled their win total from the previous year.
I stuck by them when Ronnie Harmon dropped an easy touchdown in 1989, enabling the Cleveland Freaking Browns to win that playoff game.
I stuck by them after wide right in their first Super Bowl. Thurman Thomas misplacing his helment in the second. Being completely pimp-slapped in the third. Falling apart one play at a time in the second half of their fourth-straight Super Bowl after they actually had the lead at halftime.
Watching the team in turmoil during the whole Doug Flutie-Rob Johnson controversy, capped off by the Immaculate Deception (aka The Music City Miracle (barf)). Starting a season with a 31-0 win over the Patriots, only to lose to the Patriots in the last game of the season, 31-0. Making Dallas commit six turnovers, only to lose the game in front of a national audience. Losing to the Cleveland Freaking Browns the next year on Monday Night Football.
Fourth and stupid. J.P. Losman. Trent Edwards, Gregg Williams. Dick Jauron.
Losing 6-3 to the Cleveland Freaking Browns. At home. When their starting quarterback went 2 for 17 for 23 yards and a pick. For the entire game.
Where’s Jim Jones and a pitcher of Kool-Aid when you need him?
Still, up to this point, for each Bills game I’ve attended or watched on TV, I’ve gone in with a glimmer of hope that says “this is where we turn things around.” I’ve gone in completely convinced that MY team will be the superior one on the field.
Not this time. Don’t get me wrong. I’ll be there clad in my Brian Moorman jersey (that’s right, the punter) whooping it up with the rest of them.
But win or lose? Who cares?
Not me.
This time, it’s all about the game day experience. It’s about the tailgate in the parking lot. It’s about simply going to see an NFL game, hoping that a good football game breaks out, but not caring if it’s a dud at the same time.
It’s about the kids walking along the rows in the lot selling overpriced candy bars so their tinymight hockey team can get sweaters that don’t look like they were made by 6-year-old Honduran kids after a hard night of drinking. It’s about the scalpers who walk behind them trying to convince you to pay $100 for a 50-yard, field-level seat while brandishing a ticket that looks like it was made of construction paper or for some reason looks like a decorated graham cracker.
It’s about the long-haired Canadian wearing nothing but Daisy Dukes and a hard hat drinking beer funnels from the top of a converted school bus (a short bus, by the way, and believe me, the irony of that isn’t lost on me) while shaking his (Canadian) bacon to CC & the Music Factory.
It’s about the random Bills fan jumping in your face screaming “Let’s Go Buffalo,” and me screaming back “Hopefully not to Los Angeles.”
It’s about the smells of the various linked meats cooking over grills. Vendors selling programs. A 65-year-old man accidentally peeing on your shoe and then yelling at you for not moving your foot.
It’s about Horseballs. It’s about Washers. It’s about parking lot bowling, complete with bumpers (we actually did that one year, and I don’t want to know how my cousin obtained them).
It’s all about being there. If the Bills lose, who cares? No one expects them to anyway, nor should they.
I still wouldn’t miss it for the world.