Mer: Now that is what I call football. Blowouts are good for the soul, especially if it is your team doing the blowing.
Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed that Eagles game, particularly the 1st half. McNabb set a franchise record with his 14 consecutive completions to start the game and it's safe to say that Brian Westbrook is fully healed. I already rambled on about the game on my blog, so I'll spare both of you.
But there is something I want to get into, and its something that has driven me crazy for a while. It was the third quarter, the Eagles were ahead by a handful of touchdowns, and the game was all but over. McNabb, Owens, Westbrook were still on the field. It's no secret that the Eagles have no running game and are prone to devastating injuries down the stretch, so it may have been wise to get Detmer into the game or to have the offense practice their ground game. But they chose to keep throwing it. All through the 2nd half, the Eagles gave 110% on offense AND on defense. As a fan, I appreciate the effort. I'm sure the 67,000 people at the Linc didn't show up for just one half of football. Yet, Buck, Aikman and Collinsworth made several comments alluding to the fact that it was poor sportsmanship to continue to pile on the points when the game was clearly over. Al Harris spent the entire second half mouthing off to T.O., obviously not happy with Owens' continued effort and frustrated by the lack of it from his teammates.
This happens all the time in sports. When the Red Sox thrashed the Marlins 25-8 two years ago, Jack McKean went public after the game with his criticisms of Grady Little and the Red Sox offense for running up the score and trying to embarass the club.
Excuse me? These are professional sports. As a fan, I'd be completely insulted if I paid $100 to watch Jevon Kearse allow Brett Favre as much time as he needed in the pocket because the game was already decided. Not to mention, how good can it be for a player's mindset to play half the game with his brakes on? I don't want anyone on my team giving anything less than 100% at any point in the game, no matter what the score is. And if you don't like it, perhaps you should look at the real problem, which is your own players.
If you don't like getting blown out, don't - it's as simple as that. I leave you with an open letter to Mr Al Harris.
Dear Al Harris,
Grow a pair.
Sam:Quick reply because I have infinite, infinite rendering to do.
I think the big reason McNabb et. al. needed to be removed from the game was to prevent injury. There was no way GB was coming back, and every play those guys were left in there was just another invitation for trouble, especially with a pissed-off Packer D that wasn't particularly keen on the rules at that point.
Of course Al Harris was jawing, he was mad because his team got murdered. Any high-spirited player on any team in that situation would do the same.
The announcers were moronic, I really didn't need to hear the same things repeated five million times over. They were right that the Eagles needed to get their big names off the field to prevent injury, but they were off the mark when they started comparing Philly's later scoring drives to the 'style points' college teams get in the BCS. Which is I think what you meant, Mer. Philly had every right to keep running up the score. That's what football teams do.
I mean, c'mon, does anyone revile Louisville or Boise St. when they score 56 points in a game? Why not? Just because they're not getting paid to do it? They're still a football team. If it's OK for the college kids to do it, you can't say it's wrong for the pros.
Anyways, it doesn't matter at all, because THE LIONS WON. Thank de lawd. Or, more precisely, thank Kevin Jones. Much as I love Joey, neither he nor Navarre was all that smart with the ball. The happy difference was that Navarre threw it away more than Joey did.
I'm still worried about my Big Cats, though. They did what they did in the Thanksgiving Day game again, where they drive down the field and get field goals instead of TDs. It wasn't fatal this time, because the Cards suffered a complete system shutdown, but our upcoming schedule isn't pretty. We can't afford to keep doing this. *bites nails*
Crud, must do work, no more football. Let's hope the Cardiac Jags can pull it off in the second half, yes? Put the Pats a little more firmly on top.
Mer: Yes, I wanted to see McNabb, T.O. and Westbrook on the sidelines for the 2nd half - this team is injury prone and every year they are without a key part of their lineup down the stretch. I'm disappointed in Andy Reid for keeping them in, and I'm relieved that there were no serious injuries. I had no problem with Joe Buck mentioning that Andy Reid would have lots of questions to answer if someone got hurt in the 2nd half of a blowout.
But yes, my problem is with the announcers' accusations that running up the score is a bad thing. If someone gets paid millions of dollars, their feelings shouldn't be hurt by another team giving 100% for the duration of the game. Give me a break.
On another note, was anyone else as pleased as I was to see Atlanta exposed for the fraud of a team that they are? That team is 9-2? Only in today's NFL.
Beth: Damn those Jaguars. Damn them!! SO CLOSE to giving the Patriots home
There were so many blowouts yesterday, it seemed like, although there were a couple of Toilet Bowls that stayed close--Ravens / Bengals, Buffalo / Miami, and of course that freakin' Steelers / Jags game.
Goddammit. But really--between Philly / GB, Pats / Browns, Jets /whoever, Ind / Ten--not to open up the parity argument again, but there are definitely haves and have-nots this season.
I watched only snippets of the Pats / Browns game, listened to more on the radio...I feel so guilty. I've been a REALLY bad Patriots fan so far this season thanks to the Red Sox. This whole region is still just marinating in joy.
Anyway. Things look pretty settled, in my opinion, until the playoffs. I still think it'll be Pats, Colts, Steelers in the AFC (and please, PLEEEASE, someone beat the Steelers!)--the only question now is who has homefield advantage. NFC it'll be Philly for sure.
I totally understand where you're coming from on the injury paranoia, Mer. Yesterday one of our nose tackles, Traylor, got chop blocked, andhe was down on the ground writhing around and yelling at the referee for not calling it. I think he might have been being a leetle dramatic because of the lack of call, but at the same time I remember being so seized with The Fear right then, not just for him, but that someday it'll be #12 that doesn't get up. If that happened, I think I would cry right then and there. He's the franchise. He's it. No Tommy, no Patriots. I was similarly pissed, Mer, that they didn't take him out sooner once the score was rung up into the stratosphere.
One other comment on the Patriots: Sometime in the second half, Rodney Harrison was closing in on a WR who fumbled a pass in the air before Rodney could stop, so Rodney hit him. Rodney drew an unnecessary roughness call. Now you KNOW that if that had been Tedy Bruschi or Randall Gay or whoever, no WAY is there a flag. I just want to say that I fucking HATE those "reputation calls", whether they're good OR bad--it drives me nuts when people draw penalties because of who they supposedly are rather than because of what actually happened. Mer, I'm sure this happens to TO all the time...do you find it as aggravating as I do?
Mer: I sure do. Terrell Owens' reputation gets him in trouble all the time, though not with the refs. Take the incident with McNabb a few weeks ago. Owens was screaming at McNabb on the sidelines, trying to get him pumped up at the end of the Pittsburgh game. The words coming out of his mouth were uncontroversial: "You the man! Come on! You can do this!" But because it was T.O. and because the media needs an enemy, it became a national story. The truth is, you can watch any football game on any Sunday and see a scene just like that one. Hell, you can even see players shove each other occassionally. But Terrell Owens had problems with his former Quarterback, so his relationship with Donovan is now under a miscroscope. And so it goes.
Beth: OK, do you think it's ever *fair* for a player to have a "reputation"?Like, say, Terry Glenn?
And on the flip side, having a "reputation" probably helps a guy like Harrison or TO on the field more than it hurts him. Esp. Rodney, b/c he's on defense--WRs are going to at least look back twice if they know he's covering them...and sometimes just that little snag can make a huge difference.
Meanwhile, Sam, your drawing of the Pats fan being heckled by the Colts and Steelers fans is priceless. It's an odd predicament indeed to find ourselves rooting for the Jets...although I hear most Yankee fans are actually Giants fans in football, so at least there's that. But still...rooting for a New York team...? Should we allow the Steelers to debase us like that?
And I have to say, Steelers fans are AWFUL. I know I've made note of this before, but they have got to be the worst, most annoying, obnoxious fans in the NFL. I know that Mer probably would nominate Cowboys fans, but at least they have a legitimate dynasty (or had) to back up their smack. Oakland fans are pretty stupid, but they get points for creativity. But Steelers fans have neither. Sure, this year they can swagger around, but they *always* talk junk, whether their team is 11-1 or 1-11. And hey, there's something to be said for supporting your team through thick and thin, but goddamnit, there's only so many times you can hear...
I suddenly realized, this must be how Yankees fans look at Sox fans.
Sam:I don't think a player having a reputation is especially fair, but it's going to happen. This got brought up during Monday Night Football... Jerry Rice caught a ball that really shouldn't have been called a completion. It was a close call, but John Madden started talking about how the refs were giving him the benefit of the doubt because he was Jerry Rice.
Then you get a team like the Lions. Their receivers drop passes so consistently that I'm convinced the refs have just started assuming the pass is going to be dropped before Harrington even throws it. They at the field, see that the intended receiver is Schlesinger, think 'alligator arms', and go back to watching the hot girls in the crowd.
Just as a side note, the headline on the official Lions site today is 'Mariucci Intrigued by Showdown with Packers'. Intrigued? Intrigued?? We're in a must-win game, in Lambeau, against a Packers team that's going to be agitating for a win after their loss to Philly this past Sunday. Our team won last week only because the opposing team was marginally more inept than we were. And Mooch is intrigued by this upcoming game? Absolutely fucking terrified might be a better word.
But I guess maybe they can't print that on the official site.
Beth, glad you got a kick out of the picture. I have no idea why I spend time on those things, since it takes forever to color them and they have absolutely no purpose, so it's good to hear that someone at least was amused.
I have indeed found the Steelers fans to be insufferable. There's a kid who works in the cafeteria of my dorm who's a Steelers fan, and we always end up sniping at each other over the glutinous meatlike offering du jour. It started one day because I came in wearing my Brady jersey the week after we had suffered The Loss and he started shouting things like, "Best team in football! Woo! You guys are weak!" It continues to this very day.
And hey, hey, calm down! It's perfectly normal for fans of a winning franchise to fear that they are taking on Yankee-fan characteristics. Though unfortunate, this reaction is to be expected. What you must understand is that your beloved team is not the Yankees. You are not, in loving the Patriots, supporting an evil organism that has been festering for years, culminating in its current overblown state, filled with severely overpaid and relatively (relative to the amount they're being paid) underskilled players.
Likewise, the Steelers fans are not comparable to Red Sox fans. They haven't suffered as long as we had (had! had! past tense!). The level of dedication, the length and breadth of the dedicated community, these things just aren't comparable. I also get the feeling that Red Sox fans might be viewed universally as more like Raiders fans... insane, but funny and creative to a certain degree. The one thing you can give them is that Pittsburgh has always really gotten into football, and that place goes Steelers-crazy every year.