So. I have some football commentary, but unfortunately none of it will have to do with the exciting MNF showdown tonight between the New England Patriots (yayyy) and the Indianapolis Martyr's Brigade (booo). Actually, I could have actual live game-experience commentary for you, as I was offered tickets, but unfortunately, I will be on a goddamn flight to goddamn Las Vegas for goddamn work tomorrow wicked fricken early in the goddamn morning, and so cannot go to that, nor will I be able to attend the show at the TD Banknorth Garden tomorrow night by the band that is my religion, Nine Inch Nails, also because of that goddamn flight to goddamn Las Vegas for goddamn work. So, in other words, this week could have been pretty much the best of my life, at least, entertainment-wise. But noooo, goddamn work. As always. Goddammit.
Bitter? Me? No, why do you ask?
Anyway. Yesterday I watched:
- Dan Marino get his Hall of Fame Ring at the Falcons-Dolphins game
- The Falcons-Dolphins game
- About two seconds of Jets-Chargers
- The entire Green Bay - Pittsburgh Debacle, and yes, I say Debacle
- Tom Brady's 60 Minutes interview.
So, as usual, I will make up for my lack of quality football content with quantity.
As for Dan Marino's booby prize, I say, feh. Obviously the guy deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, and it's clear Miami fans have been looking for something, anything, to celebrate ever since No. 13 hung up his cleats. It's nice for them to finally see a ring on Marino's fingers, but again I say, feh. It's still not the one that counts, is it? I vascillate between feeling sorry for Dan and feeling like he's a chump and I'm glad he never won anything. This latter feeling usually occurs when, once again, he's slamming Tom Brady and / or the Patriots. I fully expect his reincarnation, Peyton Manning, to be seated in a television studio in another ten or 15 years doing much the same. So in a way, I also feel merciless toward Marino because of his association with Peyton Manning, if only in my own head. As for Manning himself, it is my dearest hope that a) he end up just like Dan Marino and b) at some point I get to see him sacked by Wilie McGinest ten times in a row in the course of one game.
And before anybody says it: I am aware that trashing Marino makes me a hypocrite as a Red Sox fan who of course believes Ted Williams et al who never won a World Series still deserve exaltation. But there's a thing, and it's called denial, and another thing, a sub-thing, if you will, called compartmentalization, and this is basically how I manage being a co-fan of the Red Sox and Patriots, so deal.
Meanwhile, the Falcons-Dolphins game. Bluh. This was the first of several absolutely godawful games played yesterday. Was it just me, or were absolutely all of the games played yesterday ridiculously bad? The Falcons, according to the handy-dandy FOX TV stat boxes, had something like three times the yards and time of possession of the Dolphins by the third quarter and and about half as many turnovers and penalties; and yet they still only beat Miami by a touchdown. Give me a break.
Jets-Chargers was similarly craptastic. I cannot stand watching Vinny Testaverde, first of all. And Drew Brees is not much better. The Chargers have fantastic linemen, and that's about it. They'd execute plays beautifully at the line of scrimmage, only to have them go completely pear shaped once Brees tried to go downfield. The biggest problem I saw with Brees is that he just plain throws too hard. He'll launch a bomb 40 yards when he needs a light loft about 15. He'll attempt to put the famous "cross mark" in the chests of his receivers when a nice slant pass will do.
But both of those games look like Super Bowl XXXVIII when compared with the debacle that was Pittsburgh-Green Bay. I could hardly stand to watch it, but it was the only game on, and I hadn't had a Sunday camped out in front of the TV in quite some time, so dammit, I wanted to sit and watch some football.
In some ways, Green Bay's failures in this game were much like the Falcons' underachieving performance against Miami. They had a shit ton of yards in the first half, and 3 points to show for it. The most heartbreaking example of this came at the beginning of the second quarter, when, after a Green Bay interception that landed Favre and company well inside Steeler territory, the Pack forced themselves all the way to the Pittsburgh 2, only to have penalties drive them back to the 7. With one more shot at the goal, Brett Favre proceeded to get sacked within an inch of his life, flung about like Brad Pitt's character between two speeding automobiles in Meet Joe Black, while the ball popped free, to be scooped up by Troy "Cut the Mullet" Polamalu and run back for a Steeler touchdown.
13 to 3 Pittsburgh. After the Packers were knocking on the door. A ten-point swing in the course of about 15 seconds. Ouch.
Perhaps the worst thing about it were the half dozen Steelers fans cheering so loud the TV broadcast picked them up on practically every down. As Polamalu huffed and puffed to the end zone with his fumble recovery, these guys whooped, hollered, and generally gave the entirety of Lambeau field a big, loud, "in your face" from their seats near the 50-yard line, which is impressive considering that a) their team was only able to score against a 1-6 team by capitalizing on truly horrible turnovers and b) they're still trailing the BENGALS in the standings.
It was crap. Stupid Packers. If there's any team I want to see beaten into weeping submission as much as the Colts, it's the Steelers.
Then, there was Tommy's interview. Generally, I don't trust 60 Minutes--if The Daily Show can cobble together interviews that make complete, outlandish asses of their every guest, well, so can 60 Minutes. A national newsmagazine like 60 Minutes also falls prey to a common issue a regional fan like me will have with the national media--by the time it becomes news at the national level, someone who's been following the team or player in question is already sick to death of hearing about it.
Hence, their interview with Tom Brady, which I believe fell victim to both of the above concepts.
In the end, you have an interview best described beforehand by Deadspin:
"Why do I have three Super Bowl rings and still think there is something greater out there for me?” he says, presumably while being orally pleasured by Bridget Moynihan. “A lot of people would say, ‘This is what it is. I reached my goal, my dream …’ Me, I think, God, it’s got to be more than this. I mean, this isn’t … what it’s all cracked up to be.”
We understand Brady’s pain, particularly since you know Peyton Manning — insert “Kenny Chesney” for Moynihan, by the way — is probably reading these quotes and banging his head, Frerotte-style, against the nearest hard surface. (Perhaps Chesney again.)
Well. Here's hoping that's not all Peyton has to bang his head against the wall about after tonight.
Please, Patriots, for the love of all that is good and holy, crush him. Break his spirit. Leave him weeping into the Gillette turf, big gooey ropes of snot clinging to his face mask.
You know. Again.