Sam: Are! You! Ready! For! Some! Fooootbaaaall!
Wildcard weekend! I know none of our boys are playing, but surely we can get pumped about these games anyways. Jets/Chargers is a heckuva matchup... will Chad Pennington read the NY media their Miranda Rights if the Jets win? Will Drew Brees publically urinate on Philip Rivers if the Chargers win? Will ESPN soil themselves in their haste to label the San D the Cinderalla team of the year if they win this?
Broncos/Colts should be good too, if only because I am dearly hoping to see Indy get shat on (wow, two coprocentric jokes in the first two paragraphs! I'm on a roll!). Yes, it would be nice to take them down ourselves, but I'd be perfectly happy to see Infinite Audibles get embarassed by Denver. The offensive juggernaut versus the scrappy underdogs (underhorses? Either way, they'd be steamrolling if they were in the NFC. Oh well). Me likey.
And, of course, Vikings/Packers. I care about this game A LOT. NFC North representin' and all that, but I also just plain like the Pack and hate the V'Queens. The purple buggers shouldn't even be *in* the playoffs, let alone considered a worthy contender... man, if they manage to pull this one off, in the postseason, IN GREEN BAY...
*deep breaths, deep breaths*
Let's just hope Favre has one of his 'on' nights, shall we?
The only game that looks a bit goatish is the Seahawks/Rams matchup, and that's just because it's an offering from two teams who were both awful and then ok, or ok and then awful, and I don't even really care who wins this one. Sort of the embodiment of the NFC this year, if you will.
Anyone else see that Orange Bowl, by the by? Matt Leinart looked *smoking*. Dear lord. I hadn't seen too many USC games this year, but I guess that Heisman was well-deserved after all (even if I still think Braylon Edwards should've at least been in the running-- anyone want to take bets on where he'll go in the NFL draft? Definitely first round, but it's a matter of how deep into that round...).
Anyways, I've been reading Faithful and immersing myself in baseball blogs for that damn RantBlog, so it's nice to get back to football for a bit, doncha think? And with the Pats and Eagles on byes, it should just be some good, old fashioned, nonstressful football viewing (unless the Vikes take an early lead, in which case-- helloooo yelling-at-the-TV city).
Mer: Since my last email concerning how excited I am for the end of football, I realized what motivated those statements: The Cowboys. Living here and working where I work, I was more sick of hearing about the shitty Cowboys and listening to Bill Parcells' press conferences every single day. But now that they are no longer playing, I'm actually almost excited for the playoffs.
I'm dreading watching the Eagles play, because I fear what might happen, but I'm looking forward to/hoping for good games in the AFC playoffs.
St Louis over Seattle - Martz will fuck up, but he's saving his biggest catastrophe for next week. Plus, Seattle is just awful. They lost to the Cowboys, for Christ's sake.
San Diego over NYJ - Easy pic. San Diego is still underrated.
Indy over Denver - Manning will get in one last good game this season before
his massive choke.
Green Bay over Minnesota - At least, I hope so. Of course, this sets up a
potential Packers/Eagles rematch, which scares the piss out of me. We dominated them this year - I can totally see them coming back to throttle us in our own house. Oh, the shit I would have to put up with at work if this happened...
Beth: My picks are the same as Mer's. For pretty much the same reasons. I'm
looking ahead more to next w.e. when the Patriots play, and the most important question of all: will I get tickets?
Sam: So, after this weekend, I think we all have one large, burning question:
WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH RANDY MOSS?
The Sideshow Bob hair? The early stadium departure last week? The jawing with the Packers fans this week, followed by the faux-mooning (which was not, as Joe Buck would have us believe, the end of the world-- but it was incredibly classless)? Is this the behavior of a mature, highly paid and responsible individual?
No. It's the behavior of Purple-Helmeted Viqueen Randy Moss. Especially when you compare him to someone like Brett Favre, whom he was playing... well. Can we vote someone out of football? Is that possible?
I don't like Infinite Audibles throwing deep against Earthwind Moreland and Asante Samuel next week. I don't like having to worry about the fact that Brady is suddenly more likely to turn the ball over. I don't like the fact that the Horseshoes have momentum while the Pats have been barely coasting. I am going to have ulcers about this game by the end of the week.
However, it's possible that the Broncos deserved to lose purely on the basis of Mike Shanahan's ill-fitting acid orange sweatshirt and Jake Plummer's hideous facial mold. Highlight of the Jets/Chargers game? Herm Edwards charging his own runningback coach (Bishop Harris) on the sideline in the middle of the game. No idea what it was about, but it was hilarious. If he hadn't been restrained by other members of the coaching staff he totally would've beaten the crap out of Harris. Awesome. I feel awful for that poor Chargers kicker, though...whatshisname, Kaeding? Poor kid's just out of college, he still looks like he's about 15, and that turned out to be the kick they lost on. Ouch.
Oh, and John Madden on free agency: "I hate it... it takes away from the game... but it IS the game." Thanks, Madden. Completely incoherent. Nice.
Beth: Erm, I actually found the Randy Moss thing to be hilarious. Especially with Joe Buck absolutely shrieking like a drag queen over it. One of the most classic film clips / TV sound bites ever...you hear the Pack fans absolutely FLIPPING OUT and there's Buck over the whole thing going, "Oh, the HUMANITY."
Come ON, people. If Ty Law did that to Indianapolis fans, we'd love it. If Curt Schilling had done that at Yankee Stadium, we'd have stood up and cheered. It was hilarious and people are making wayyyy too big a deal out of it.
However, I'm just glad that they've moved on from raking Mientkiewicz over the coals about the stupid WS ball. There's another whopping who-gives-a-fuck. Has this offseason really been that slow?
As for playing the Colts, I still fear the Steelers more. I don't think the team can look past the Colts at all--but I am not on the team. Therefore, I can do what I want and nyeh.
The Colts looked just as impressive last year against the Broncos and KC. They absolutely ripped apart KC in the division playoff. But remember, PM and Co. have difficulty against Bill Belichik--and at Gillette Stadium. Especially at Gillette Stadium in wintertime. With thousands and thousands of Patriots fans screaming bloody murder right over those audibles. It'll probably be a close game, but I see the Pats coming out on top.
Then again, I agreed with picking the Pack, so...
Mer: Randy Moss is suffering from Terrell Owens-itis. People love to hate the guy, and they sit back and wait for him to do something that they can criticize. And then they pounce. There was NOTHING offensive about his endzone celebration. All morning, I've been listening to people call up our radio station and say that they were outraged and offended. Seriously?!? If Greg Lewis had done that after an Eagles touchdown, Joe Buck would not have reacted like a ninety year-old nun and we would not be talking about it today.
(Beth - don't even get me started on BallGate. I am violently angry about this.)
And the afros - Sam, you're not really bothered by that are you? As a Red Sox fan, especially....you should be in all favor of a team bonding through a wacky hairstyle. I know I am.
Other random football things:
Who says the most without actually saying anything: Madden or Bradshaw? Forget the Bud Bowl and the Lingerie Bowl. This needs to be the SuperBowl halftime show - a Sports Debate between Madden and Bradshaw - I'm practically drooling at the thought. It's interesting how Favre had to enter rehab for a Vicodin addiction, and he's a hero who no one is allowed to criticize. Yet, Randy Moss has never been accused of taking drugs, beating his wife, or hurting anyone, and he's the most hated guy in football this morning. Sports fans have to take a look at their priorities. Or perhaps we really are racist.
How is it that Herm Edwards lunges violently at an assistant coach and has to be held back by a player and no one is talking about it?? If TO or Randy Moss had done that - fans across the country would be siging petitions to have them sent to Kuwait on a one-way ticket.
As for next week's games: I wouldn't be surprised to see the Pats. Colts game go either way, honestly, but I think the Pats will win. I don't see them beating the Steelers in the AFC Championship game, though. As for the Eagles - I can't pick a winner there. I'm a nervous wreck.
Oh, and a host on Sporting News Radio said on Sunday that the Rams will represent the NFC in the SuperBowl.
I think I just threw up in my mouth.
Sam: I'm not *offended* by Randy Moss' endzone celebration, and as someone whowatched it on TV I'm amused by it (and even more amused by the fact that both FOX and ESPN refused to show it at all after the initial live, unintended airing). But if I was a Packers fan at that game I would be pissed off, and I do think it's pretty classless. It's not like TO signing the ball with a Sharpie, which was funny and clever. It's more like TO standing on the star at midfield in Dallas, only more scatalogical and immature. To my mind there's a difference between the things.
And the hair, I'm not saying it bothered me. I'm saying it looked ridiculous. This is not a Ben Wallace 'fro, which is nicely done and serves to make an intimidating man even more so. This is a mess of uneven hair that serves to make a skinny, gangly guy in purple socks look foolish.
Like Kevin Millar's shovel-goatee thing, if we recall. That was god-awful facial hair, and I said so at the time. The difference being, of course, that I like Millar and he's on a team that I like (love, obsess over, etc.) as opposed to Randy, who is on the Viqueens. The team who's right up there with the Colts this year as prime Lions-embarassers. The team who *wears purple helmets*, and jersies, and socks. Come on. You thought the orange Miami-wear was bad? How embarassing is it to lose a heartbreaker to a team whose coach looks like he was made out of Play-Doh and whose players are all wearing purple socks?
Beth: I definitely thought of you when I heard about Ball-gate, Mer. I'm sure it wasn't the way you would've preferred to be exposed to Mientkiewicz's balls. (Can we print that?)
Mer: Wait, wait, wait - You think TO standing on the star at Texas Stadium was classless? That surprises me, coming from you. I can't think of a single thing any football player has ever done after a touchdown that bothered me. If you don't want a guy to hurt your feelings after a TD, don't let him score one! Complaining about a guy standing on your logo is something I'd expect from a little leaguer, not from professional athletes. I mean, had Randy Moss scored a touchdown, pulled a microphone from his sock, and said, "Fuck You Lambeau," I'd have a problem. But come on...it's a sport, these guys are running on adrenaline like we can't imagine, and they are constantly being heckled by the fans. A little end zone celebration is hardly as offensive as say... "Who Wants To Marry A Midget Millionaire's Puppy?" It's odd that a network who made their name on programming like Married With Children and outrageous reality TV refused to show a three second endzone celebration you would have missed if you blinked. FOX really end up looking like the biggest jackasses in the end. As usual.
And I liked the afros. They were crazy, and if McNabb and a few other Eagles came out with that look on Sunday, I'd be loving it. There's no denying it.
Beth: Um...if I can interrupt the ripping-Sam-a-new-asshole here, can I ask how Randy Moss mooning or mock-mooning the audience DOESN'T say "Fuck you Lambeau"? I mean, as someone who's a fan of neither team, it was funny to me just as an incident. Then again, I find weird moments funny a lot. But if Marvin Harrison did that in the end zone at Gillette, I'd have a bone to pick. And heaven forbid a Yankee made a similar move at Fenway. The Vikings and the Packers have a rivalry similar to the Sox / Yankees; how could you not expect them to be pissed?
"They are constantly being heckled by the fans". Yep, and I'm constantly being asked to finish projects at work. Doesn't mean I can fake-moon my boss; it's part of my job, and being heckled by fans is part of Randy Moss' job, too.
It's true that the hysteria over it is overblown. But you can't fault Green Bay fans for being ripshit about it--after all, it was a huge diss, and it was directed at them. I think Sam was sympathizing with that.
Mer, I know he's on your team now and you love him, but you can't seriously be claiming that TO wasn't obnoxious to stand on the star. Whether or not people should whine about it so much is another matter, but...I mean, as right as you are to say "If you don't want a guy to hurt your feelings after a TD, don't let him score one," there's something to be said for "act like you've been there before."
Sam: Yeah, all that. And I'm not a Dallas fan, but so far as I know that star at midfield is like the Boston 'B'... it's their symbol. If a Yankee went and, say, spit on Ye Olde Boston B after hitting a homerun, I don't think that would be cool. If he did a little rump-shakin' directed at our dugout, yeah, as a fan I would be pissed, but I could see how that would be acceptable (sort of. If it was CI I'd blow a gasket, but you know what I mean). Disrespect the B (or the star), though, and that's a little much.
Sure the fans are heckling them. Did that give Ron Artest (to bring up something that's been hashed and rehashed to death) the right to charge into the stands? Nope. Ignore 'em. You're getting paid to be there and play the game, you're in a hostile stadium, you've got to accept the fact that the fans are going to be trying to distract you. If you let them do that and you let it show, you're not acting professionally.
The Play-Doh thing... yeah, not sure where that was going. Isn't Mike Tice's head weird, though? It's like this enormous, soft construction. But his actual face is really small. So you've got this weird concentration of facial features in the middle, surrounded by acres of this pudgy fleshy stuff. Work with me here, people.
Mer: Well first of all, I'm not "ripping Sam a new asshole." That is something I save for Dan Shaughnessy and Alex Rodriquez. I thought this whole thing was for debating and discussing stuff. If feelings were hurt, I'll just start agreeing with everything everyone says. But I'm pretty sure Sam's feelings weren't hurt, nor should they have been.
Anyway, this topic interest me. If my response rubs anyone the wrong way, feel free to ignore it. I won't be offended. I found this to be quite interesting:
"I mean, as someone who's a fan of neither team, it was funny to me just as an incident. Then again, I find weird moments funny a lot. But if Marvin Harrison did that in the end zone at Gillette, I'd have a bone to pick."
Something is either offensive/inappropriate or it isn't. This act in and of itself was NOT offensive or inappropriate or anything else - it's just that people who support the losing team had their feelings hurt. You said it yourself - you laughed, but if it was done TO you, you'd be offended. You can't have it both ways. A guy shouldn't be drawn and quartered because the fans who watched their team get dominated were insulted. Of COURSE they were insulted!! I was insulted (my intelligence, my religious beliefs) when Reggie White claimed he signed with the Packers because God told him to, or when he claimed he won a game because God wanted him to. Did I expect him to be fined or punished? No. Before Janet Jackson's shriveled boob was exposed for 3.9 milliseconds, people were offended at things and they moved on. Now it seems that people feel that the world needs to live by the same morals they do. Again, I'm not talking about you two, but the loads of people who are calling for Moss to be punished.
As for how it is different from saying "Fuck You Lambeau," well, that's simple. "Fuck" is a word you can not say on TV - so that would have been inappropriate and a punishable offense. Bending over and showing your butt to a crowd, a five second act that I had to rewind on my TIVO in order to actually see, is not the same thing.
"Mer, I know he's on your team now and you love him, but you can't seriously be claiming that TO wasn't obnoxious to stand on the star."Honest to God, I never ever have complained about a TD celebration - no matter who the player, no matter who the team. Let's all step back - he stood on a shape painted into the grass. I just honestly can NOT believe anyone could be offended by that.
"Yep, and I'm constantly being asked to finish projects at work. Doesn't mean I can fake-moon my boss; it's part of my job, and being heckled by fans is part of Randy Moss' job, too."Point taken. But it's not really the same thing. Your boss doesn't stand over you while you work and think he/she has the right to call you a whore and say disrespectful things about your family members. Though if he/she does, you should really find a new job.
"It was a huge diss, and it was directed at them."Poor Green Bay fans. I never knew we had to baby sports fans that have no qualms about yelling things - from a safe distance in the stands - about players' families and personal lives. Players have no right to do the shit that went down in the Indiana/Detroit basketball game. But standing on a star or bending over? Go right ahead. If that's how they choose to release their anger, we should be so lucky.
Let me relate it to something I know: hockey. The player most hated in Philadelphia is Matthew Barnaby, who has bounced around to several different teams, but has always been the most hated in Philly. He's a dirty muck and grinder who works hard for his results and always does something that seems to result in injury to a Flyer. During one game I attended in Philly, he and a Flyer got into a fight at center ice. The crowd was on its feet booing him. Ten minutes later, Barnaby scored a goal and the crowd erupted with boos and the infamous "asshole" chant. Towards the end of the game (which Barnaby's team won, thanks to his goal), Barnaby and that same Flyer got into it again. As the crowd stood on their feet and let him have it, he pointed up at the scoreboard in an effort to shut up the entire crowd. Of course, it made us all hate him more. He skated around the ice, putting his hand to his ear. He was a total ass and it ignited the rivalry. And ya know what? It was a blast. Any Philly hockey fan will tell you he hates Matthew Barnaby with an intense passion. But there is a reason we all fight over tickets when his team comes into town: it's fun. And that is the best part of sports - the rivalries, the built up anger, the constant back-and-forth.
Here's the thing that bothers me the most: Had a Packer done that to Minnesota after crushing them in that game, Packers fans would be defending the action and Minny fans would be complaining. Nothing bugs me more than hypocrisy.
The NFL may fine him, but I guarantee that they love this kind of endzone celebration controversy. One hundred people may be offended, but one thousand will tune in on Sunday to see what Randy Moss does next. They'll fine him to please the complaining masses and advertisers, but they are hoping it happens again.
(Re. Sam's comparison to Ron Artest) I guess I would argue that running into the stands and attacking a fan and bending over in the endzone are entirely different acts and could not possibly be considered equal.
Sam: I'm not saying they're the same; I'm saying that in both instances the players shouldn't let themselves get worked up by the crowd. Obviously Ron Artest reacted like a maniac and Randy Moss merely reacted like a 5 year old boy.
Also, I think I probably should point out there would be a slight distinction between Moss doing this TO THE PACKERS PLAYERS, and him doing it to the crowd. I guess I'm thinking of when DLowe did the, er, crotch grab to the opponent's dugout. I recognized that that was a little unnecessary, but it also delighted me. If Moss has faux-mooned the Packers D, he would've had a penalty for taunting and that would be that. But he's gotta turn and face the fans? C'mon.
Mer: There's an article on ESPN.com that talks about how this is tradition in Green Bay, where fans wait for the team bus after wins and drop their pants. Tony Dungy said his Vikes team was mooned 7 different times by groups of Green Bay fans after losing games. Moss just thought he was being funny and giving the fans back what they always give, without actually mooning them.
A+ for creativity, effort, and originality.
Sam: I still think it was funny-- I laughed when it happened-- but if the fans are swearing at the players, the players don't swear back at the fans. If a fan gives you the finger, you don't give him the finger back (as Jake Plummer should know by now). This is pro ball, not a backyard game. A certain level of professionalism should be present. You don't have to be Mr. Straight Laces Crew Cut George Steinbrenner Wet Dream, but there have to be limits somewhere.
All the serious talk about the stations 'deciding to not show it on the air' is hilarious, though. I mean, come on, the 9/11 footage was about 5 million times more traumatizing, and that was all over the airwaves.
Anyways, how 'bout those Rams, eh? Eh? Is there anyone in the world who seriously thinks they can make it to the Superbowl? And if, by some utterly bizarre concatenation of events they DID make it to the Superbowl, would that not be the most supremely fucked-up thing ever? Mark Bulger leading the charge against the cream of the AFC crop. Chris Berman's eyeballs would explode out of his skull from sheer, deranged excitement.
Something is either offensive/inappropriate or it isn't. This act in and of itself was NOT offensive or inappropriate or anything else - it's just that people who support the losing team had their feelings hurt. You said it yourself - you laughed, but if it was done TO you, you'd be offended. You can't have it both ways.Sure I can. :-)
I would feel different depending on the situation, depending on my viewpoint on the situation. If I were a fan of GB, I'd be pissed, because it was disrespect toward me. If I was a fan of Minnesota, I'd be happy, because it was disrespect toward a team I dislike. If a Jorge Posada had shoved his mitt in Bill Mueller's face, I'd have been completely outraged. But Tek did it to A-Rod, and it's a canonical moment. I absolutely can have it both ways, and people have it both ways all the time--based on whether they're a fan of a certain team. Sorry if that bothers you.
If the Rams make the Super Bowl, will Mike Martz make that little "yippy skippy!" gesture? Please say yes.
And how about the Colts' idiot kicker getting liquored up again and shooting his mouth off? I bet every other member of the Colts' team was like, "URGGHHH!" when they heard about it. What an ass. Esp. since he's the one who fucked up the last game vs. the Pats, which ultimately cost Indy homefield advantage.
Oh, and I know it's slightly off topic, but how about Randy Johnson?!? LOL! What is it with guys named Randy flipping out lately?
Sam: For the record, because I think this somehow got glossed over in the whole Grande Debate, can I just state that, as a Lions fan, I really, really hate the Vikings? Like, as a Red Sox fan I really hate the Yankees, and as a Lions fan I really hate the Vikings. I get the feeling we all kind of forgot about that. Pathetic as the NFC North is, they ARE our rivals. So even if it wasn't the Ford Field crowd Moss 'mooned', by the great and partial rules of fandom, I'm allowed to be riteously pissed about it :)
Vanderjagt is a moron. I hope he misses every kick he attempts on Sunday. How delightful would that be? Probably won't happen, but a girl can dream, right?
This email is coming to you live from the fibers studio. Which is cool, because I didn't even know we got wireless service down here. And now, back to the giant stuffed head.