Monday, December 7, 2009

Weekend Leftovers: Notes from the Sports Weekend

Brett Favre...asking where the cool restaurants are in St. Paul.

Now THAT’S the Brett Favre I know! I’ve been waiting for the old man turnover machine to make an appearance in a purple uniform, only to see an efficient and deadly quarterback show up week after week for Minnesota, but finally in the Arizona desert, the other Brett Favre made his first Viking appearance. As someone who has gone on record hoping that Minnesota doesn’t win it all so that I don’t have to put up with fawning praise of #4, it was a welcome sight. Hopefully more of the bad Brett Favre lies ahead! It was good to see him struggle in a 30-17 loss to the Cards.

Somehow Drew Brees and the Saints escaped DC with a win.

Weirdest two minute drive in history: The Saints may have wrestled away the title of luckiest team in the league away from their undefeated brethren from Indianapolis on Sunday. New Orleans had the luckiest final two minutes to end a half that I have ever seen. Trailing 17-10 and unable to convert a 3rd and 1 from their own 30, they punted. Saints punter Thomas Morstead shanked the kick, but somehow the shanked punt was a blessing for New Orleans as it hopped perfectly off of Redskins Rookie Kevin Barnes’ back and right to the Saints’ Usama Young for what ended up being a 29 yard gain. Then later on in the drive Drew Brees, falling backwards while trying to convert a 3rd and 26 with a wild heave, tossed a wild interception into the arms of Kareem Moore. Moore returned it 14 yards before losing it himself on a beautiful strip and recovery by Robert Meachem of the Saints who rumbled 44 yards with the pigskin for the tying touchdown in front of the stunned Washington faithful. It was the luckiest drive I can ever remember seeing, and perhaps the only drive in NFL history in which the two best offensive plays were a punt and an interception. Can you say lucky? Then, they avoid a certain loss when the Skins miss a 23 yard field goal late in the 4th...23 Yards? Yup. I told you the Saints were lucky.

Traditionally, December has not been kind to Tony Romo.

Don’t blame this December loss on Tony Romo. The Cowboys quarterback who has battled being called a December jinx for his entire career played an amazing game, throwing 55 passes for nearly 400 yards, 3 touchdowns and no interceptions. The Cowboys lost this one because they were unable to stop the big play. Brandon Jacobs flew for 74 yards off of a short dump pass for a touchdown and Domenik Hixon scampered 78 for a punt return touchdown. If you don’t find a way to tackle opponents who are running towards your goal…that’s a bad sign for your team. Romo was magnificent, but the defense let them down.

What is going on in Pittsburgh? The Steelers continued their embarrassing late season collapse in unbelievable fashion by failing to beat the lowly Raiders despite having the home field advantage and despite generally being considered to be three times the team that the Raiders are. Bruce Gradkowski channeled his inner Joe Montana throwing for 308 yards and three fourth quarter touchdowns to rally the Raiders for the improbable victory. The strangest thing about this game may be the fact that I was boisterously cheering for the Raiders, and this a day after maniacally rooting for Nebraska to upset Texas. What a weird weekend.

Make up your minds, Atlanta! Mike Vick made his return trip to Atlanta to play the Falcons in a role that can best be described as part-time quarterback. Vociferously booed and jeered at the beginning of the game, the Atlanta fans changed their tune and started chanting, “We want Vick!” towards the end of the game when the Eagles victory was well secured. So which is it, Georgia? Do you love your former dog-fighting quarterback or do you despise him? It was hard to tell by watching your reactions to him on Sunday.

The Brett Kern Mojo is officially over. The Titans win streak came to an end at five at the hands of a team riding it’s own 21 game regular season win streak. Brett Kern karma is apparently no match for Colts karma, as Indy breezed to a ten point win. For the Broncos sake, I’m pleased the Kern curse has ended.

Ah Darn, the Pats lost again! Okay, you caught me, I’m not really upset that the Patriots can’t win a game anywhere that doesn’t have “England” somewhere in the name. Their latest road ineptitude? Letting the Dolphins catch them from behind in Miami. Dreamboat Brady suddenly can’t win on the road, perhaps all this travel is interrupting his beauty sleep? Whatever it is, I pray it continues, as the AFC East is up for grabs again.

A big crowd for the Jaguars.

If they held a playoff game in Jacksonville, and nobody watched, would it count in the record books? If you read this blog, you know I think that the Jaguars are a fraud, but if they were somehow able to get a home playoff game, would anyone come? Their latest victory this Sunday against a solid Houston Texans team was played in front of a paltry 42,079. This is a potential playoff team in the NFL, and NO ONE cares. Go ahead and move the Jaguars to Los Angeles, Mr. Goodell, North Florida barely cares if they’re there or not. At least they have their Gators…wait, what? Oh, sorry about that!

Hey Texas, how tough is the course load at the Andy Reid school of time management? Surely you graduated! If Texas is really the second best college football team in the nation, then the nation has a LOT of crappy football teams. The Longhorns only showed up to play on the defensive side of the ball for the majority of the game and Nebraska’s Ndumakong Suh took up residence in the Horns backfield. (A buddy of mine and I decided that Suh needs to be nicknamed Donkey Kong post haste.) After falling behind 12-10 in the final two minutes, Texas was lucky to get a kickoff out of bounds and a horse collar tackle penalty, or they may have run out of time to qualify for the National Championship Game. As it was, they still almost ran out of time as Colt McCoy took his sweet time on the next to the last play of the game; McCoy threw the ball out of bounds nonchalantly and almost ran out the clock which would have ended the game without allowing their kicker to boot the winning field goal. It was a stunning display of clock mismanagement.

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