Trash Talk: Phred's Hubcap for a Steal!!

hubcap-flames.thumbnail.jpgPhred skipped town and forgot to take the hubcap she won last week, so you all have a chance to win it off of her while she’s not looking. (She did, however, leave her picks behind–going with the home teams–so you still all have her picks, if not her trash, to contend with.)

Before we get to the Conference Championship games, though, I have to send my apologies to masaccio for stealing his Defensive Coordinator. My apologies, too, to Jim Schwartz. As Mitch Albom put it, this is where "coaches come to die."

Schwartz, 42, with an economics degree from Georgetown and 10 years in the Titans organization, is, by all accounts, a very smart guy. He inherits the worst team of all time. So you might ask how smart can he be? He said recently he never shrinks from a challenge. But he might want to tiptoe back a few steps and put Detroit in perspective.

Because here is what he walked into: This team is very thin in talent. It has no discernible leaders. It has a leftover defeatist attitude that found a home in many a locker. There are players here who will be going on their third or fourth Detroit coach with no success.

That doesn’t inspire confidence.

More importantly, Schwartz has agreed to work for an owner who has shown no gift for football wisdom, and for a two-headed front office that has been here through season after season of failure.

Mmmmm. Self-flagellating trash talk!!

So. Now onto the teams that won some games this year.

Atrios’ Eagles at bmaz’ Cardinals: Hahahaha! Did you see that? bmaz‘ Cardinals?? What better way to drive bmaz nuts, then to make him root for the home team. Before I do any analysis, let me just ruin the ending. The Cards have to lose this weekend. bmaz is–finally–beginning to believe in Cardinals magic, so you just know he’s going to get the failure to execute he’s been predicting for the last several weeks.

Now, mr. ew just announced to me that our next dog will be named Fitzgerald (McCaffrey the MilleniaLab is named after the Broncos’ Eddie McCaffrey). That was some unbelievable play from Larry Fitzgerald last week. And, as I said last week (even while picking them to lose), the Cardinals all of a sudden found a defense and their Edge. But this game is going to be decided by a chess match between Ken Whisenhunt and Jim Johnson. And I’m betting that chess match will result in Kurt Warner spending a lot of time on his ass, trying to crawl out from under a stack of Iggles. If the Iggles get to Warner as much as I think they will, I expect we’ll be seeing the Warner of ouchy fingers from a few years ago.

cheflovesbeer Ravens at scribe’s Stillers: I gotta tell you, scribe has been emailing just about every 20 minutes with an update on how cold it is in Pittsburgh. Comparing it to the temperatures in Alaska, and Siberia. To me. Sitting in Michigan. Actual temperatures of 13 below tonight. And then he sends a story about how Pittsburgh had to move inside "because the field is frozen." As if that makes the Stillers look studly? Also in the stud (not!) category is Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl who tried to officially change his name to Steelerstahl–but screwed it up, partly because he didn’t pony up the $108 to pay for it. Look. I know a guy who changed his name to Lucious N. Delicious. That took balls. Not-quite-Steelerstahl? Nut uh. That’s like putting up crappy Wal-Mart blinds instead of a Steel Curtain.

Now, scribe seems to think that all this indoors practice in Pittsburgh is somehow gonna get his team a trip to the Super Bowl. That’s just not going to be the deciding factor–certainly not on Sunday, when it’ll be a balmy 29 degrees. I do, however, think the Stillers will win this. Partly because I was way wrong last week about how studly Rotty is (and did you see him kick that fine pooch kick?). But also because the Ravens are still recovering from the beating the Titans gave them last week, with Samari Rolle doubtful and Terrell Suggs and Derrick Mason questionable. Sure, Ed Reed still owes me that touchdown he failed to score last week. But that’s not going to be enough against Rotty and an apparently healthy Fast Willie.

Update: This is from Doc at First Draft. I had to include it in a probably futile attempt to shut scribe up about how studly his Stillers are.

It was -16 out where I live this week, with -40 wind chill in the air. I left the house exactly three times in the past four days. Once to put out the garbage, once to get groceries and once on the first day of the freeze when the temperature was announced as being -13. The reason? It was the exact temperature and wind chill of the famed Ice Bowl game and I had to see what it must have been like. What I learned is that it’s a miracle that any of those guys lived. It hurt to breathe, it hurt to smile and it hurt to walk. The snow squeaked under my feet and refused to cling to my shoes it was so cold. My eyes teared up and then the tears froze between my eyelashes, effectively freezing my eyes shut. Bart Starr, the famed Packer quarterback, once said he got cold just talking about that game. I now understand more than I ever wanted to. Not like I didn’t respect them before, but a big tip of the cap to those guys. I get it now.

See, walking through similar weather doesn’t make me all that impressed about the Stillers and their indoor practice efforts.

(Hubcap by ansik)

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  1. JTMinIA says:

    Iggles and Steelers (since I recently moved from PA to IA and that’s how things work for me … except when my Hawkeyes knocked Penn State from any consideration).

  2. LabDancer says:

    Fitz!

    You know – I don’t believe I’ve ever done that before.

    I also don’t believe the new puppy [Is she/he home yet? Pictures?] was named after that Spidey Guy in McCainizona.

    Instead – I’m thinking it may be a certain media darlin’, a decided Irish heritage, and a wee nod to the President-elect:

    http://tinyurl.com/7jnlcm

    • emptywheel says:

      The dog (it would be a slightly used dog, in any case) is entirely hypothetical. mr. ew just informed me of said entirely hypothetical dog’s name just so he wouldn’t forget if we actually ever get it.

      McC the MilleniaLab is the classic spoiled child and would not play well with Fitzgerald, whoever he is.

  3. scribe says:

    There you go, ew, misapprehending, misquoting and misrepresenting what I sent you.

    While the Stillers went inside for their practice this morning because the outside practice field was, in fact, frozen, you neglected to mention that, before they started the inside practice, Tomlin had the doors propped open.

    End result? Temperature in the sorta-indoor practice area was about 32 deg. F by the time it started. Which, it would seem, would be just about right for the weather predicted for game-time: 28 or so, and snow.

    Now, if I had done that sort of door-propping thing as a kid growing up, I would have been verbally pummeled with “what, were you born in a barn?” and “we’re not heating all of [name of hometown]” by my energy-bill-conscious parents. Tomlin, OTOH, is not so worried about that.

    I, for one, do not hold as cheery an outlook as many of the people who are discounting the Ravens’ chances and goofing on them for being beat-up, old, or however less than the Steelers. I certainly do not subscribe (no pun intended) to the sort of Fox-meets-manga bizarro world drawings this match seems to have inspired. The two games these teams have played have been exceedingly close and could have gone either way. Look for this one to be the same.

    As Coach Tomlin said: “The most violent team will win this football game.”

    Right now – to me – it’s too close to call.

    As to the Iggles-Cardinals: I want the Iggles to win, if only because I can then continue serenading a neighbor who’s a big Giants’ fan with “Fly, Eagles, Fly!”. I kind of like this version a little more, if only because the combination of banjo, sax and string bass which says “Mummers Parade” says Philadelphia like nothing else. This is a good version, too, although it lacks the panache of really-drunken fans in the 700 level of the old Vet body-spelling the letters E-A-G-L-E-S at the end, a la the way crowds spell Y-M-C-A when someone plays the Village People, and being prevented from falling into the lower level solely from the crush of bodies propping them upright.
    Going into the relative warmth of the desert might prove too much for the Iggles, and I suspect the refs will be appropriately instructed to ensure the Cinderella Cardinals make their way to The Big Game (what, the No Fun League hasn’t trademarked that, too?) will reinforce that legendary throat-tightening we saw McNabb exhibit in the last quarter of the Iggles last NFC championship game, 2005 v. Carolina, IIRC. He was able then to blame blowing the last 5 minutes of the clock on flu or something, seeing as how T.O. had shown up in spades that day, but he won’t have that this time. He’ll find a way to lose.

    Cardinals, but close.

  4. joejoejoe says:

    Arizona and Baltimore, mostly because I don’t want to see Ed Rendell on my TV anymore than absolutely necessary.

    • scribe says:

      Unfortunately, the local beer of the Iggles should have been Schmidts’ of Philadelphia, seeing as how Yings are brewed up in the coal regions, but since C. Schmidt & Sons was bought, and folded, by a bigger fish (later eaten by an even bigger one), their fans have to settle for an out-of-town brew.

      As for good old Vitamin I, well… give me something from the Penn Brewery. Go for the St. Nick Bock – it’s just the scrip for January cold. At least it used (until last month, when the landlord tripled the rent) to be made in sight of the stadium.

  5. scribe says:

    Or, for that matter, the local Pgh beer could have been the legendary (for lots of reasons, not all good) Robin Hood Cream Ale.

    In the late 70s, this was the college student’s econo-beer of choice, since a full case of 16 ounce deposit bottles could be bought for the money generated by the deposits on two cases of empties, plus a third for the new case’s deposits.

    That, and there were labels with all the different characters of the Robin Hood story, so you had to collect them all.

  6. cheflovesbeer says:

    As a Baltimoron(said with pride) I will take the Ravens. Ravens over Steelers. Eagles over Cardinals. In the Super Bowl, the Ravens offense and defense will out score the Eagles. Just like they did on week 12.

      • cheflovesbeer says:

        It is hard to get access to todays players.

        If it was the old Colts, I could have gone to his business or bar where he hung out. They were working guys like everyone else.

  7. MadDog says:

    Am I wrong to think that an award of a hubcap is more fitting for the one with the worst record?

    And can I be wrong to think I’m in the running for the position of being wrong?

    So, to continue my less-than-stellar performance, I’m picking the Red Birdies because the Green Birdies are likely to win. And bmaz shouldn’t be alone in his hour of need.

    To finalize my dive to the bottom, I’ll pick the Black Birdies over the Pits because I’m not opposed to eating crow.

  8. masaccio says:

    I’m sorry to see Schwartz go to Detroit, where he will be coaching one of the worst pro teams I have ever seen in any sport. We only saw the Lions once, when they lost to the Titans on Thanksgiving, but besides Calvin Johnson, they got nothing.

    Based on what I saw when Stillers and Ravens played the Titans, I’m going with the Rs. Anyone who can score on the Titan defense is good.

    Cards v. Eagles, I’m taking Phoenix. Eagles are down to a passing game with Westbrooks out or playing really hurt. The Cardinals have been playing good D, and can focus on the passing game, so I think it’s going to be a long day for McNabb.

  9. JohnLopresti says:

    Turns out redbirds became snowbirds after resting on the migration south in St. Louis. I had little yen to be a scrummer, though demonstrated some curiosity about the difference between modern helmetry and the original thick leather chapeau germane to the sport. The link is to a sidelines bench photo around the time the cards decided Chicago was better in summer than winter 1940s sometime. There was someone in my family who engaged in the sport, wherefrom the hand-me-down; the best part of it was the color, leather brown, like the mud that could enter through the vent apertures, as folks who wear them usually aerated the scalp through those numerous openings. Plastic technology changed gear, and improved safety, enabling heavier people to clash on the turf of titans.

    I guess, no nomination is forthcoming from me on these contests this weekend. However, by default, if all in the pool are off in the realm of imprecision in their picks, I might accept the hubcap, maybe to take to the recycle next journey there, or perhaps to see if there is some modern vehicle whose rims it will fit, given all the retooling going around these days. Perhaps the bailout cash arrives in bricks tied with bailing wire, that might be the ticket to getting the rim to fit, and the clattering might create the noise radars define poorly.

  10. bmaz says:

    bmaz is–finally–beginning to believe in Cardinals magic, so you just know he’s going to get the failure to execute he’s been predicting for the last several weeks.

    Um, NOOOOOO. No way hoser. Nuh uh. Not rooting for them, don’t think they can win, they are total pond scum that is going to return to its losing ways. This is a bad joke on ‘ole bmaz; heck I don’t even think there is a game here this weekend. Philly Atriots in a rout!

    Now, mr. ew just announced to me that our next dog will be named Fitzgerald (McCaffrey the MilleniaLab is named after the Broncos’ Eddie McCaffrey). That was some unbelievable play from Larry Fitzgerald last week.

    He knows you were readily agreeable because you were thinking googly eyed about some other Fitzgerald doesn’t he??

    scribe has been emailing just about every 20 minutes with an update on how cold it is in Pittsburgh. Comparing it to the temperatures in Alaska, and Siberia. To me. Sitting in Michigan. Actual temperatures of 13 below tonight. And then he sends a story about how Pittsburgh had to move inside “because the field is frozen.”

    Yeah. That is horrible. With the wind chill, it got down to 77 this afternoon here. Sweater weather you know.

    I think the Ravens are going to win an awfully tough game. On the other hand, something just makes it hard for me to think Big Ben the Rotty is going to let the Stillers lose a close game. He isn’t always pretty, but the dude just flat out balls when it counts. And Fast Willie is fast again. Stillers!

  11. freepatriot says:

    the weather has been frightful here in Cali too

    42 degrees at night

    and during the day, it barely hits 70

    stillers an iggles here

    cuz joejoejoe can survive another two weeks of ed rendell if he has to

    • emptywheel says:

      You don’t think that has anything to do with Dungy’s decision to “retire,” do you?

      After all, the Bucs have the luxury of knowing that one of the premiere NFL coaches is sitting idle just down the street, unwilling to work anywhere out of Tampa. Better yet, they know this particular guy very very well.

  12. randiego says:

    Yeah, it,s been rough up here in santa cruz, 75 and a killer sun at the coast and big surf building in…

    I’m sticking with the Ravens and Cards. We’ll see how ”rotty” plays against a real defense.

    • freepatriot says:

      what really happened to phred’s hubcap ???

      the one you’re offering up here looks different (i warned you bout the “photographic memeory” thingy)

      phred’s hubcap had the word “Chevrolet” embossed on it

      this one has an embossed bar, and an edge embossment

      you tryin to switch hubcaps on us here ???

      did ya find out that those old chevy hubcaps are worth some serious coin ???

      and here’s the question I really wanna ask:

      who’s been out stealin those hubcaps for ya anyway ???

      about now, you’re probably beginning to see the downside of havin a blog that is patronized by a bunch of really smart people (we ask a lot of wierd and unrelated questions, don’t we)

      quit jerkin our chain and bring the REAL hubcap back (or go steal another one like it)

      (wink)

      what ???

      it’s trash talk, ain’t it ???

      • bmaz says:

        I obtain the raw materials. You won’t miss the covers anyway. Get some new rims for that load and quit yer bitchin. Else I’ll sue you for the tetanus I got infected with trying to get em off that old rustbucket.

  13. prostratedragon says:

    We get the Pennsybowl —wow, that needs some improving, doesn’t it?

    Anyway,

    Eagles
    Steelers

  14. freepatriot says:

    JEBUS, the sky is fallin in pittsburo

    big white pieces of sky, just dropin all over the place

    the whole field is covered with sky …

    huh, uh, what ??? what is this “Snow” you refer to ???

    oh, very different …

    Never mind

    /Emily Litelia

    • bmaz says:

      That’s sunshine. From a bright beautiful day. It’s a nice day for a blood letting. Of the Cardinal Red variety. They have no right to even be in the game. Shouldn’t have been in the playoffs. Cost poor little Chuckie his job because the lame ass Cards made it and the Buccos didn’t. Dan the Man Shaugnessy speaks the truth:

      I loathe the Arizona Cardinals. … OK, they are a feel-good story for the rest of America.

      Still, I can’t forgive them for what I saw in snowy Foxborough last month.

      The Cardinals quit at Gillette Stadium Dec. 21 against the Patriots. They laid down like dogs. They didn’t want to be there, had nothing to gain by winning, so they tanked. It was worse than Sonny Liston in Lewiston, Maine. Worse than Manny Ramírez in his final days with the Red Sox. And now, it’s being rewarded.
      ….
      It was a disgrace. The Cardinals should have been punished by Roger Goodell. The commish is always talking about the integrity of the sport. This game was not on the level. The Cardinals tanked and now are one win from the Super Bowl.

      Not OK.

      The Cardinals are frauds and their fans are frauds.

      Super Bowl-bound? Please. This team is here only because it plays in the most ridiculous division in football (your Patriots went 4-0 against the hideous NFC West). Arizona went 9-7 in 2008, thanks to a 6-0 record in its division. The Cardinals lost three of their last five by an aggregate 130-41. That includes their Thanksgiving turkey (48-20) against these same Eagles. Arizona won exactly one regular-season game against a playoff team, beating Miami in September. The Dolphins were the sorriest NFL playoff entry – unless you count the Cardinals.

      Two weeks ago, the Cardinals almost had a television blackout of their playoff opener against the Atlanta Falcons. It was the Cardinals’ first postseason game in Arizona and they had to paper the house to get the sellout needed for free local TV. The Cardinals’ defense stepped up against rookie quarterback Matt Ryan, and they advanced with a 30-24 win. Last week, Carolina’s Jake Delhomme delivered Arizona to the NFC Championship game by fumbling once and throwing five interceptions.
      ….
      University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale is where Patriot dreams came to die last February. It’s hard on the eyes for Patriots fans. But it’s not downright offensive, like the sight of Arizona’s December quitters playing in the NFC Championship game.

      Shaughnessy doesn’t even live here; he doesn’t know half the pain. Seriously. That one other winning season in the the 25 years of incompetent hell the Reddeadbirds have supplied my fine city? Let me tell you about that. They were 9-7 and if Jake the Snake Plummer had not have pulled a bag of magic tricks out of his ass consistently down the stretch run, they would have been 7-9 or 6-10. He literally did it by himself for the most part.

      Oh good gawd. As I type this I am watching ESPN. They have one of those Kenny Mayne spots going on Kurt Warner. They have got Warner being a hand and fashion model with a fucking midget. Shaughnessy’s right; not exactly the the stuff of Bundschen and Brady. Jeebus how pathetic can you get? Check in later on the Cardinals for an update on that.

      • freepatriot says:

        That’s sunshine

        I kinda thought the same thing

        turns out it’s snow

        I didn’t know they made the stuff so big

        it kinda looks like the meadowlands during the 1987 NFC Championship game, or the time I saw a concert in Oakland Colusium and the crowd had a gas throwing pizza boxes around the whole time (they were like thousands of flying bugs)

        we get snow here in Cali, but you usually have to drive a few hours to see it

        there it is again, big hunks of white stuff, jes droppin

  15. Neil says:

    Balto and Stillers have two of the best defenses in football, which means we must look to offense to identify differences that could determine the outcome of the game.

    Starting with Balto, they has a great o-line and a good running attack with a rookie QB who has made big plays in the payoffs, (NB rookie quarterback, rookie head coach.) Stillers will scheme to put QB Flacco under a ton of pressure and limit Balto’s offensive options as follows; stifle the running attack to force passing situations and come with the heat from all manner of places. Stillers love their blitz packages, and so it plays to their strength.

    On the other side of the ball Stillers have been living on their passing attack, their running game has been shitty (22nd) until their breakout game against the Browns, the last regular season game of the year. Still, Willie Parker has produced in playoff games and a balanced attack is key to a Stillers victory. Big Ben can take a licking a keep on ticking. He has all season long. But they need the run to work to make the pass work too.

    PICK: STILLERS, possibly on the strength of Big Ben’s arm.

    Iggles got all the help they needed to make it into the playoffs, came up big against a sliding Boyz team, and has played well in the playoffs, the last game of which was against #1 seed and reigning Super Bowl champs NY Gants 23-11.

    Iggles have excellent defense, a good running game and a QB who has come alive with 11 TDs and 2 picks since he was benched. If the same team shows up as last week in the meadowlands, the IGGLES Win.

    The cards have weapons upon weapons with their offense. The can run like hell with Hightower and pass with Larry Fitzgerald but their pass sets up their run and to pass effectively Warner needs a stable pocket. He isn’t even as effective if he has step up in the pocket, never mind move to the side the buy time. Iggles will move him in the pocket and hinder their passing game. Screw with his passing and they have to run. They don’t like to run.

    PICK: IGGLES.

  16. Neil says:

    If we flipped coins to make our picks, 25% of us would the hubcap if my math’s right. That said, I would be honored to share the prize with EW.

    When I played the game, I never thought about it the way we think about it now to pick a winner. As a participant, the name of the game is execution and mental discipline. I really do enjoy looking at how two teams match up and picking a winner.

    – – – – – –

    That first drive showed me a lot of good things from the Cardinals. Their pass plays are fast developing. They’re getting the ball to Fitzgerald who has come with his amazingly athletic game. They’re mixing run and pass effectively and they’re getting Edgerrin James into space where he runs best. It’s early.

  17. LabDancer says:

    Spidey guy up on Phhhhhhh [tap-tap-tap-tap- searching for cities starting with letters “p” & “h” – odds of under one half of one percent this would ever be necessary, even with two “ph”s in one conference -enter] hhhh…creamy cheese persons.

  18. freepatriot says:

    I ventured outside to check the temp

    60 degrees (brrrrrr)

    toss another log on the fire …

    7-3, cards not folded yet

  19. Neil says:

    Cardinals D is doing better against Iggles passing game, then Iggles D is doing against Cardinals passing game.

    Now Akers game is off, too. Ugh. His leg has kept them within striking distance in many games.

  20. rosalind says:

    ok, the game is way more fun than the inaugural music fest taking place on all the other channels. the on-stage monitors must be teh suck, the musicians cannot hear themselves and the results are not pretty.

    football better.

  21. Neil says:

    True, he’s had about three off target. He’s also had a long gainer ‘on the money’ dropped. They adjusted. He’ll be doing more quick hitter passes,like slants, flys, outs.

  22. JTMinIA says:

    Com’on, act like Philadelphians for Pete’s sake. Sure it’ll be a big penalty, but you need to hurt Fitzgerald. You can get back to brotherly love a few weeks from now.

  23. Neil says:

    I don’t think he touched the ball but he was out when he could have touched the ball. It’s AZ ball. Advertisers want it to be Iggles ball.

  24. Neil says:

    The refs suck. The ball didn’t go out. The player may or may not have touched it but he was not out when if he did.

  25. scribe says:

    Like I said up the thread:

    As to the Iggles-Cardinals: I want the Iggles to win, if only because I can then continue serenading a neighbor who’s a big Giants’ fan with “Fly, Eagles, Fly!”. I kind of like this version a little more, if only because the combination of banjo, sax and string bass which says “Mummers Parade” says Philadelphia like nothing else. This is a good version, too, although it lacks the panache of really-drunken fans in the 700 level of the old Vet body-spelling the letters E-A-G-L-E-S at the end, a la the way crowds spell Y-M-C-A when someone plays the Village People, and being prevented from falling into the lower level solely from the crush of bodies propping them upright.
    Going into the relative warmth of the desert might prove too much for the Iggles, and I suspect the refs will be appropriately instructed to ensure the Cinderella Cardinals make their way to The Big Game (what, the No Fun League hasn’t trademarked that, too?) will reinforce that legendary throat-tightening we saw McNabb exhibit in the last quarter of the Iggles last NFC championship game, 2005 v. Carolina, IIRC. He was able then to blame blowing the last 5 minutes of the clock on flu or something, seeing as how T.O. had shown up in spades that day, but he won’t have that this time. He’ll find a way to lose.

    Cardinals, but close.

    Any questions so far?

      • scribe says:

        The Iggles will find a way to put some points on the board, but not overtake the Cards. It will look closer, but this game is over.

          • scribe says:

            I suspect the refs will be appropriately instructed to ensure the Cinderella Cardinals make their way to The Big Game

            The Word is the suits at No Fun League HQ were quite upset over the possibility of an all-Pennsylvania Super Bowl, as that would be seen as leaving most of the rest of the country going “ehh”, and flipping the channel to something else. An all-PA Supe was seen as the worst combination, TV-wise, for the League.

            And if you think that The Word doesn’t make its way to the zebras – directly or through osmosis – you’re too naive to be hanging on this site.

        • Neil says:

          Never misunderestimate a veteran coach’s ability to make adjustments and motivate his players so that the second half is completely different from the first.

          It’s 15 points now, maybe 18 soon

        • scribe says:

          Pretty much called it:

          The Iggles will find a way to put some points on the board, but not overtake the Cards. It will look closer, but this game is over.

          Seeing as how the Iggles only led for a microsecond, I count that not as “overtaking”, but as “momentarily catching”. I suppose the bookies would see it differently, particularly as to those guys with in-game bets that the Iggles would come back.

          Going in, this game had “bookies will make a mint” written all over it. The popular picking was something like 3:2 Eagles. Which means a surprise ending was necessary. A lot of peole lost their shirts, and Vegas made a pile.

  26. bmaz says:

    Don’t worry. They are still the Cardinals. There is plenty of time for them to blow it. They have like a hundred years of experience in doing just that.

      • bmaz says:

        No sir. You are wrong. I have often thought what you are suggesting, only to be prove horribly wrong. The Cardinals have the inbred talent to blow this easily.

        • LabDancer says:

          You’re losing cred. There’s no necessary co-relation between a “season” & the relative merits of a team. From spring 1977 before the NBA playoffs thru the following spring again before the playoffs, the Portland Trailblazers most perfectly embodied what a team would look like if it had Bill Russell, John Havlicek Steve Nash comparable front-liners & a complementary bench. I’m starting to doubt your ability to recognize this house of Cards.

          • bmaz says:

            Uh huh. Yeah, it is not like I have watched these losers for a while or anything. Nobody has ever, and I mean ever, gone broke betting against the Cardinals.

            • JTMinIA says:

              Yeah, but it’s kept me out of the Hall of Fame.

              Oh, you mean *those* Cardinals.

              Never mind.

              – Pete Rose

  27. Petrocelli says:

    Why have both teams conspired to tick off bmaz ?

    Will Greatzky & teh Dogs pile on by winning Stanley’s Cup ?

  28. Neil says:

    Any who the last Eagles drive knows they’re not counting themselves out, they’re counting themselves in. Cards run defense loosened up a bit because they’re thinking “no big play” Iggles need a defensive stop. A turnover with field positions would be even better but no hurray.

  29. Neil says:

    David Plouffe just wrote me and asked me what I was doing tomorrow. Think I should tell him?

    —–Original Message—–
    From: David Plouffe, BarackObama.com [mailto:[email protected]]
    Sent: Sunday, January 18, 2009 11:15 AM
    To: Neil
    Subject: What are you doing tomorrow?

    Neil –

    In your neighborhood and in thousands of communities across the country, Americans are

      • JTMinIA says:

        I replied to one of those Nigerian emails asking them to “show me the money … as in: where’s the bread?”

        I got a reply that no bread was available, but if I sent my bank’s routing number and my account, they could send me some cake, instead.

        I asked what kind of cake.

        “Yellow,” they replied.

        The whole thing was rather suspicious, so I forwarded the entire exchange to the Feds. This was years ago. I don’t know what came of it.

      • Neil says:

        It’s probably some kind of crazy Nigerian email scheme.

        The IP address in the header in Kenyan. ;-P

        But seriously, how do you convince a large number of Americans to dedicate themselves to volunteer activism as a time when our country is going to spend $800 billion more or less putting Americans to work rebuilding America in differnt way?

  30. Neil says:

    The ball is snapped on 3-6 and Joe Buck is blabbing about how long a field would be from the spost. Pass complete. First down, Who caught that? Don;t wait for Buck to tell you. Nice play-by-play Buck, instead of calling it you’re distracting from it.

  31. Neil says:

    D’oh Akers missed the chip shot.

    Think Scribe’s out there with the dog, wondering when the next game starts, waiting for the little darling to do its business while missing this great comeback?

    • Petrocelli says:

      Many who switched off the Chelsea Football/Soccer match yesterday missed the most exciting final 5 minutes in Premier League in years.

      • Neil says:

        It is often the case the best games seem uncompetitive for a half or even 3 quarters.

        My very first NBA game was Celtic Piston game 5 when bird stole the ball with about 4 seconds left. Even the Celtics fans were streaming out. I thought, Are they crazy? It was a one point game, Bird was on the floor, and Isiah Thomas was in bounding the ball.

    • emptywheel says:

      Whoo baby, that’s how I like him!

      He’s still got the touch he had years ago. But since his hand problems he’s MUCH more susceptible to let some ass-kicking get into his head than he was back then.

  32. Neil says:

    Great concentration by Jackson on that catch. The DB, who was beat, amde a great play to catch up but went for the ball, not the tackle.

    • Petrocelli says:

      The DB should have been called for holding/pass interference … which would have been declined.

      Is that the same Referee who flubbed the earlier call ?

      • Neil says:

        I didn’t see the pass interference. Was it a grab after the out move? Dunno about the ref.

        Hightower is playing with infectious intensity. Wins a head-to-head with the Iggles strong safety.

        Both teams have raised the level of their games. It doesn’t get better than this.

        • Petrocelli says:

          He grabbed and held on for more than a second.

          We’re in for a great 4th Quarter !

          … help yourselves to the Belgian Beers and Dip …

            • Petrocelli says:

              Leffe & Stella … I save the Chimay for Canadian Flutie League games

              The Crab Dip is pretty good too …

              • Neil says:

                The Stella Artois is good, so is the Chimay. Any Belgians you know of that are like Irish Stout? The Abbey brews are fortified, more complex, less smooth.

                – – – –
                The can run this down if they want. Naked bootleg again?

                • Petrocelli says:

                  Nothing is like Irish Stout !

                  Leffe Brun is a nice dark beer as is the Chimay Blue.

                  I prefer Leffe Blond and Chimay White Cap … Stella is great while playing Pool.

  33. bmaz says:

    Next play is, shall we say, a “key play”.

    Those Peyton Manning commercials are simply charming! Hard to imagine a quarterback more telegenic than that.

      • Neil says:

        Me too. It hurts when you get the heel of his/her shoe in your gut. Better to reach out and grab where the leg meets the foot.

        As a kid, I’d shag PATs at Pratt Field football games. I took it very seriously. When the grownup boys tried to abscond with a football, they could get to it first and they could run, but they couldn’t get it out of the field without being tackled from behind.

        The alumnae ruggers played a game last Spring on the field.

        • emptywheel says:

          If you look through to the slideshow, number 10 was fowards captain when I was backs captain. Wonderful woman.

          And I shall say this. When I graduated, a feminist roommate of a player told me that I had succeeded in doing with the rugby team what every other women’s group on campus had tried and failed to do. A big part of that was actually recruiting and retaining a team that looked like America. Glad to see the alums, at least, sustain that tradition.

      • freepatriot says:

        I used to pride myself on being sble taockle like that, from behind

        for the first time ever, I got no clue what yer talkin bout

        do they do that in english ???

  34. CasualObserver says:

    Congratulations BMAZ!

    Your cardinals having a tremendous game. I’ll be rooting for your guys in the big show.

  35. emptywheel says:

    Last we learned that the way to fail in the post-season is to take a week off (particularly if your last name is Manning).

    This week, we learned that the way to succeed in the post-season is to play some shitty-ass ball in your last several regular season games, only to step it up in time for the wild card game.

  36. LabDancer says:

    What did that sign in the Zona ztands say: “We Are The Ones We Thought We Were” … apparently not.

  37. bobschacht says:

    Holy schmazole, how was McNabb’s 4th down pass NOT defensive pass interference???

    And how did the Cardzzzzzz manage to win, with owner Bill Bidwell contaminating inhabiting the sidelines????

    Seriously, though, these Cardinals are not the same ones that I saw for 17 years in Arizona (1987-2004). Kurt Warner was fabulous, Larry Franklin was all juiced up and had the Cardzzzzzz playing with rare passion. The defense was good enough, even though they gave up 3 touchdowns in a row in the second half. But they stiffed McNabb in the Eagle’s last drive (with a helpful non-call from the refs.)

    Amazing.

    Bob in HI

        • Petrocelli says:

          Here’s my late Christmas Present … SCOTUS gets the Prop 8 case and votes 5-4 to uphold the Cal. ruling.

          A group of Dem Congresscritters get together and impeach Alito & Co.

          Either that or I find a frikkin’ Agent to publish my book …

          • dakine01 says:

            Not sure what even the current SCOTUS could use as a hook to intervene in Prop h8 territory since it is dealing strictly with internal CA politics and the state Constitution.

            Cali Supremes could pretty much tell Roberts Court to butt out I’m thinking unless the US Constitution were amended to support Prop h8

  38. freepatriot says:

    Pitsburo an balimer are exchanging words

    here’s what they said:

    !*&&%*#&^^%$%%^Y^%$##, you *#^%^&**&%@@

    oh ya, well &*^%%^&%%%^&&^% you, you !$%$#%%$$

    here’s a translation for the faint at heart:

    you’re playing rather poorly

    I disagree friend

    call it what ever you want

    it’s pittsboro versus cleveland folks (yeah, I laughed)

    just remember to bring a bunch of ambulances

    • JTMinIA says:

      It’s “Bawlmer.”

      Remember: if you were born there, it’s not really your fault, so you’re a Baltimorean. If you moved there (or even went to school there for 9 years), then you’re a Baltimoron.

  39. Petrocelli says:

    I was just about to say … Flacco is jumpy, he didn’t see a wide open inside Receiver, he’d better be careful about throwing an intercept …

    • scribe says:

      Coming up soon … polka music.

      A couple years back, I went to a baseball game at the new PNC Park in Pgh. One of their crowd-stirrers was an applause contest to choose between three songs, the winner to be played in the break between the bottom of the 8th and top of the 9th.

      That night, “Who stole the kishka” won.

      • Petrocelli says:

        LOL … I was on a Cruise and a group of Stiller fans showed up to watch the game in the Lounge. I’ve never had that much fun watching a game, outside a Stadium.

  40. Neil says:

    Phil Simms is wrong. The receiver took two steps with the ball under control. It came out on contact with the ground. TD.

    • freepatriot says:

      it ain’t a fumble, it’s an incompletion

      rules of a forward pass, not rules of a fumble

      he didn’t maintain control when he hit the ground

      NO CATCH !!!

      • Petrocelli says:

        He took two steps with the ball, that means it’s a completion. He lost control after hitting the ground.

        Blown call, IMO … still 2 less than the earlier game.

        • JTMinIA says:

          There was contact with a defender before he took two steps. Starting then, since he was now falling, he needed to maintain control until after he hit the ground.

          • Petrocelli says:

            I saw him leaning forward while falling and stretching forward, in an attempt to break the Goal line … not that any of that matters now (hopefully)

  41. Neil says:

    I remeber he rule. The receiver has to be able to make a “football move” after the catch for it to be a catch. He had the ball tucked under control, took two steps into the end zone and put his other hand down to break his fall… if that’s not a “football move” what is?

      • bmaz says:

        I talked to another lawyer in Houston last week a couple of times who is a good friend of Rusty Hardin’s. Said no way in hell is Rusty letting the Rocket go to jail.

          • bmaz says:

            Well, they have already established that Brian MacNamee perjured himself on one of his early declarations, is that what you are referring to?

            As to Clemens, we may all be convinced he did roids, but there is no credible and admissible evidence to that allegation yet.

            • scribe says:

              You’re forgetting the old syringes, cotton swabs and such which MacNamee allegedly saved from his alleged sessions with Clemens.

              And he spent 5 hours with prosecutors last week.

              Answer me this, Designee Holder: “Why is it proper to convene a grand jury and chase a perjury conviction for lying to Congress when it’s a dubious case (dubious enough that the alleged perjurer saw fit – with highly professional counsel doing it – to sue for defamation against the person saying he lied) but it is improper to convene a grand jury (and thereby not chase a perjury convictin for lying to Congress) when it’s not a dubious case (when highly professional counsel found the putative defendant, indeed, lied, in a written report)?

              IOKIYAR doesn’t count – Clemens is a Republican, too.

              • bmaz says:

                No, I am not forgetting that happy horseshit for one second. If you think any of that is going to see the light of day to a jury, you’ve been listening to looney tunes. You ever hear of any of that being DNA linked to Clemens? No, of course you haven’t. Neither has anyone else. Even under the slim chance it does match, there is no way it is getting into evidence before a jury.

            • Petrocelli says:

              Sorry, my question should have been more specific … if he is found to have committed perjury, does that automatically mean jail time ?

  42. bobschacht says:

    San Antonio Holmes catches the ball

    –at about the 40? yard line, two Ravens’ safeties look at the situation and simultaneously think, “Oh, sh*t!”

    That was at least one bad (non-)tackle downfield.

    Bob in HI

  43. Neil says:

    You know how when an IG finds misconduct, they say the penalty is the loss of job? Are the laws of the land suspended for people working on government because, if you think about it, they should lose their jobs * and * be tried for any criminal misconduct IE Schlozman. OK back to championship football.

  44. randiego says:

    Steelers defense is confusing the rookie QB, but Baltimore’s defense has got their act together. Roethlisberger made a great play on the TD – great improvisation.

    Santonio Holmes is playing well, but needs to quit begging for flags.

    Have I said that the NFL MUST do something about ticky tack flags that change the outcome of the game? Billion-dollar league, cheap game-changing fouls.

    One more thing – having Bill “Homer” Cowher commenting on this game is nauseating. Isn’t there some rule of recusal?

  45. bmaz says:

    Just had a huge graphic on the screen about the Stillers DeeeFence:

    “Allowed 1 Play in 3rd Quarter Last Week To Chargers”

  46. randiego says:

    man, I was out of town for only 4 days and missed a LOT. Miracle plane crash, Bush Sayonara speech, Holder hearing, and then today a concert I didn’t even know was happening… I haven’t started reading yet so I assume there’s more.

    I also missed the earlier game today, but got scoring updates via text from the big guy. GO RED BIRDZ!!

      • randiego says:

        Nah, Bolts were a conference semi-finalist, which is a lot more than I expected a couple months back. The sting is a lot less when your expectations aren’t as high. I expected a better effort last week, but I didn’t get it.

        I had a great four days in Surf City, USA. Santa Cruz, California. We had amazing weather for this time of year – 75 each day with an 82 on saturday, lows around 50, and double-overhead waves saturday morning.

        We were there this same week two years ago and the highs were in the 40s, and the lows in the 20s.

        Those were two extreme weeks. I think Freep can probably enlighten us as to how unusual both are.

  47. bmaz says:

    Were they saying that could have been a penalty even if there had been NO contact?? Is “shielding” a pass interference penalty with no contact?

    • Petrocelli says:

      Yes, AFAIK … the defender has to make an attempt to play the pass. He didn’t even turn to look at the Ball.

  48. bobschacht says:

    Ravens are making the game interesting.

    OT– I’m in a new apt that has a thin skin of plaster over steel? plate walls– nails, drills won’t work. How do I hang a picture? In another apt, I tried those adhesive thingees, and a little weight on the hook just pulled the paint skin off the wall. Suggestions, please?

    Bob in HI

  49. bobschacht says:

    Ravens defense is getting better: the rush is getting to Rothlisberger, which may mean that the secondary is doing a better job of covering his receivers. Big Mo is switching.

    Bob in HI

    • bobschacht says:

      The problem with anchors is that you’ve gotta be able to make a hole. My problem is that the only holes I can make are about 2mm deep. If I could make a hole big enough for an anchor, there are lots of things I could do.

      Bob in HI

    • bmaz says:

      Kinda makes me chuckle too. Hey, what the heck they are here; I’ll take them I guess. It is a very good thing for the community. I remember what it was like when the Suns were in the finals and the D’Backs in the World Series. Town was fucking crazy. Of course both of those had championship games in the city, so we’ll see what the gig is with the Cards.

      Seems kind of strange though….

  50. bobschacht says:

    Well, McGahee is moving his arms. A very good sign.
    Football is a rough game, and it tends to eat its own in the long run.
    Ever see a report on the physical condition of professional football players after their retirement? I didn’t think so. We just see the guys who become color commentators. They’re still lucid. The average joe doesn’t do so well.

    Bob in HI

  51. JTMinIA says:

    The peak of the damage from a head injury occurs several hours later. Of course, this is known and they’ve gotten very good at minimizing the swelling that causes the grief. But, still, don’t relax just because he’s moving now.

    • phred says:

      Have I mentioned I love hubcaps??? Bmaz, we got stuck at the airport last night because of the snow in Boston. It was killing me to miss the trash talk what with the Cards victory and Polamalu making the Ravens’ lives miserable, but at least we got to see most of the Steelers game. Mr. Phred was most pleased : )

      By the way, Bob in HI, on the off chance you might take a peek back here, the answer to your problem is magnets. I worked in a building with movable metal walls, we used magnets to put stuff up everywhere. I thought it was weird when I first got there, but after I left, I really missed the convenience of putting things up with magnets.

    • emptywheel says:

      Dunno. I expect I’ll be walking back from the inauguration to Jane’s house, 3 miles away. My own little parade, as it were (and hopefully, I’ll find friends who want to stop for a pint on the way home.

  52. cheflovesbeer says:

    I open my mouth and go 0 for 2. I should have kept my mouth shut so y’all could think I was an idiot. But no! I had to remove all doubt.

    • emptywheel says:

      Nuthin idiotic about rootin for the Ravens and the Iggles.

      Defense wins championships. Except when Warner is there (and Brady isn’t). Or win the other team has even MORE defense.

  53. scribe says:

    EW: now that I’m back from the bar (a couple pints heavier) and shovelng out (it started snowing again) and having watched my Stillers beat the crap out of the blackbirds, about that studliness crap you were talkin’….

    We’re from the town with the Super Bowl team … ba, bum, bum bump
    We cheer the Pittsburgh Steelers….

  54. bmaz says:

    Well, I don’t know about the Cardinals. Their fairy tale has got to be over now, but….

    I am glad you all have witnessed the coming out party of Larry “Spideydude” Fitzgerald. He has been making wild plays since he was a rookie; you could tell he was something different. Been saying for a while now, as crappy as the Cards are, Spidey and Boldin are the best receiving duo in the league. Now you know why.

    • LabDancer says:

      “Spidey and Boldin are the best receiving duo in the league”

      Close – Spidey is the best receiving duo in the league all by himself with his 8 arachnoid arm-legs filled with nuked hemoglobules – whereas that other guy appears to be competing for Most Likely To Piss Off The Offensive Co-ordinator, Kill Team Spirit & Find His Ass On A Plane Trip To Oakland.

      Well, may be HE’s oblivious to their fate, but, despite Bidwell – someone with the long-proven ability to take owning an NFL franchise – a role a moron could succeed at – to such staggering depths of ineptitude & gullibility, that his team’s recent success must surely be owing in part to his current diminished capacity, the last two exhibitions of Spidey-tude have given me that rarest of things over the course of having watched 43 Super Bowls: a side to cheer for.

  55. bobschacht says:

    JTMinIA @ 345
    That’s what it seems like. This is the second apt I’ve been in, in Honolulu, with this kind of wall. However, the guy at the hardware store seems to be convinced that it’s really just concrete. He sold me a drill bit that’s supposed to penetrate it. We’ll see. Meanwhile, I got me some adhesive hooks and some ”hard wall hooks” that have 4 small pins several mm long to drive into the wall that I’m going to try. But the adhesive stuff, at best, will only hold a few pounds, and I’ve got some large pics I want to hang, in frames with plexiglass covers.

    BTW, I like the Steelers vs Cardinals for the final. Its obviously not what the NFL bigwigs wanted, but should be a great game, given the way both have been playing!

    Thanks for helping,
    Bob in HI

  56. Neil says:

    Watching the games and commenting here on the trash talk thread with you guys was awesome. Thanks all, thanks EW

  57. Neil says:

    …I wonder if we could do a Celtics Lakers trash talk thread and get Jane interested. The Lakers won the first of two regular season games in LA so the Celtics are surely looking forward to the rematch.

  58. BayStateLibrul says:

    Heard that it’s been 61 years since the Cards won the NFL enchilada (sp)
    Next to the Cubbies, the worse consecutive losing streak…

    Cubs, Absence From World Series Agree To 4-Year Extension

    CHICAGO—At a press conference Wednesday, the Chicago Cubs and their absence from the World Series announced an agreement to a four-year contract extension, with an option for another six years.

    “The relationship between the Cubs and their absence from the World Series is strong, as both sides have shown loyalty to each other for the past 63 years,” Cubs chairman Crane Kenney said. “It’s something the fans have come to expect. Why, I remember sitting around the fire as a boy, talking with my grandfather about how the Cubs would never make it to another World Series. I only hope my children and their children and their children’s children have the same opportunity.” Despite rumors, absence from the World Series would not admit to holding closed-door talks with the Mets.