Trash Talk: Swinging In The New Year

Well, we made it through a painful decade and are into a new year, new decade and looking forward to the playoffs in the National Favre League. No Thursday Night game, no Monday Night game; they will all be swinging for the fences today. How about a little Big Bad Voodoo Daddy to get in the swing? Go on, you know you want to; you’ll love it. Okay, now off to the games we go!

No Drew Fookin Brees. The Aints ain’t gonna play Brees, Darren Sharper or tight end David Thomas in their meaningless season finale at Carolina. according to FoxSports. With Mark Brunell leading the offense for Nawlins, this game is a tossup. Colts owner Jim Irsay thinks tanking last week’s game against the Jets was “courageous”. Shockingly, I stand by what I said previously on this. Guess this means they will take another gutless unethical dive against Buffalo. This team is a disgrace.

Which begs the question what the Pats against the Texans in Houston and the Bungles against the Jets in New Yawk/Joisey will do. Jason Whitlock addresses this all nicely:

Oh, there will be a handful of AFC teams giving their all, making last-ditch attempts to secure one of two remaining playoff spots. The problem is, their opponent won’t care much about winning or losing. Or, in the case of the Pats and Bengals, the opponent might have incentive to lose.

“Cincinnati is probably going to go into New York and lay down for the Jets and not play them hard just because they’re not going to want to see Pittsburgh in (the playoffs),” Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley told the media on Wednesday. “No one wants to see Pittsburgh in it. That’s just how it is. Everybody knows we’re a dangerous team once we get into the playoffs, no matter how we played the whole year.”

It’s true. Pittsburgh can’t qualify for the playoffs if the Pats and Bengals both lose.

If you were Cincinnati or New England and had an opportunity to eliminate two-time Super Bowl winner and fourth-quarter assassin Ben Roethlisberger by keeping the playoff hopes of New York’s Mark Sanchez and Houston’s Matt Schaub alive, wouldn’t you lay down?

New England plays at Houston. Cincy plays at New York. The Pats and Bengals, winners of their divisions, have secured playoff spots, and there’s little difference between being a No. 3 or No. 4 seed. Bill Belichick and Marvin Lewis are expected to rest numerous starters on Sunday.

Sound crazy? Did you see Roethlisberger’s 503-yard masterpiece against the Packers two weeks ago? Did you see his game-winning dart to Mike Wallace as time expired?

If the Steelers qualify and safety Troy Polamalu returns for the playoffs, Mike Tomlin and the Steelers could raise the hell he promised a month ago. Smart football people know this. The Steelers are a great defensive team when Polamalu is on the field. If he’d remained healthy throughout the year, Pittsburgh is 13-3 rather than 8-7 and gasping for life.

Just about right I would say.

Pittsburgh will win in Miami; it is just who the Steelers are. Then we will have to see if they get the help they need to make the show. Same with the Ravens, they will beat Oakland, and with a win they are in. I have no idea who will show up on either side in the Vikes and Giants game; you would hope the Vikings would have the pride to take care of business, but no basis for believing it.

That leaves Eagles hosting the ‘Boys and Cards hosting the Cheesers. Arguably Cards and Cheesers has no implications either, but they are both capable of being electric and the Pack is theoretically still playing for position (not really though because the Vikes hold that tiebreaker) and if the Cards have ever won eleven games in a regular season, no one remembers it and it sure as hell was not while they have been in Arizona. So they have some motivation. The Iggles at Dallas is the game of the day. Both teams have something significant to play for, have a long history and rivalry, and both have been playing lights out lately. This is a pick em and I can’t wait to see it.

Atlanta at Tampa Bay, Bears at Lions, Jags at Brownies, 49ers at Rams, Redskins at Bolts and Titans at Squawks are all squarely in the meaningless category, although it will interesting to see if the Titans can win on the road to finish at 8-8 after their disastrous start. My bet is they will, and that is pretty impressive.

Well, that’s it for the NFL finale to the regular season. Still leaves the Fiesta Bowl and Orange Bowl, which this thread will still likely be active for, so bookmark it and meet back here Monday night too.

  1. elgallorojo says:

    Hi bmaz:

    Since it’s just a trash talk post and nobody has commented yet — thanks for your hard-headed, no-bullshit analyses of the past year. Also thanks to Marcy of course and Mary (my fave, so awesome).

    This thing you’re doing — “citizen thought swarms” for lack of a better term — wasn’t possible before the internet, and I just thought I’d voice my support for you all sharing your thinking about so many important topics of the day!



    • bmaz says:

      Meh, all the wonderful ladies around here need a belligerent belching lout around to make em look good; I fit the bill perfectly. Seriously though, thank you, it is a pleasure to be here with all of the wonderful and incredibly bright and dedicated people that are this community. And I have to repeat something I have said in the past, and that is I don’t think you all understand just how much we feed off of you; this gig doesn’t work without all the commenters and readers. The whole enterprise is fueled and propelled by the discussion.

      So, THANK YOU!

  2. nomolos says:

    The question of the day from this Pats fan is. Will the fish throw yet another game to screw up the seeding for the Pats?

    Irsay proves himself, yet again, a complete and utter piece of trash.

  3. Peterr says:

    First it was 9-11 and The Truthers. Then it was Hawaii, Kenya, and The Birthers. Now it’s the Colts throwing a game to keep Pittsburgh out of the playoffs?

    That’s either some serious eleven-dimensional chess out there on the football field, or someone is still enjoying some adult beverages left over from New Year’s.

    Conspiracy theories are so much fun.

    • scribe says:

      Anyone who thinks the Colts did not purposely lay down and lose last week was not watching that game.

      Other than that, BMaz, I mourn the passing of the days when playing football meant playing to Win, and look instead in disgust at the corporate pussies (Mr. Irsay, can you hear us?) who present football-flavored entertainment, and pray that the Football Gods will wreak holy hell on their franchises and franchise players and that my Stillers will feed and allow the rage to simmer and grow (that’s one Angry man) and that they will have the opportunities – in the playoffs this year or in the season next – to take out that rage on the pussies who might have benefitted from taking a dive this year. Hell, they won’t even need Buddy Ryan or anyone else posting a bounty.

      I would not want to be Peyton Manning facing the Stillers anytime soon.

      • bmaz says:

        Yeah Lombardi, Halas, Paul Brown and Chuck Noll (if he were dead) are rolling in their graves. It really was gutless and shameless; I find it beyond belief that Goodell, who never misses an opportunity to set examples with inappropriate behavior by players, stands silent while the integrity of the league is tarnished by this shit.

        • scribe says:

          It costs little to whip a field hand, and serves the larger corporate-plantation narrative underlying the NFL to do so. OTOH, when owners transgress, it’s because they’re colorful, driven to win, or uncontrollably exuberant and they should be encouraged, rather than horsewhipped.

    • bmaz says:

      Whitlock enjoying beverages? Like with some party girls on his lap? Naw, no chance! I don’t think they will lie down like the Colts did (and may again), but I don’t think they would be very upset at the Steelers not making it as Whitlock suggests either.

      • Peterr says:

        No doubt that the Colts . . ahem . . . backed off in the game last week. But I’ve got a hard time attributing that to a plot to try to get the Stillers out of the playoffs.

        There’s a lot more evidence to support a guilty verdict of First Degree Stupid rather than the charge of being an accessory to a conspiracy. A lot.

        In benching his starters in the second half, the coach is saying to his players and the world, “I don’t have confidence that my players can take care of themselves on the field.” Yeah, that’s a winning coach’s attitude for you . . .

  4. Leen says:

    “we made it” but hundreds of thousands did not. Our leaders know the deeper concerns of most Americans is to watch the games and get to the malls. They understand.

  5. emptywheel says:

    I don’t necessarily consider Lamarr Woodley the most reliable judge on coaches motivations for playing starters (or not) at the end of the season.

    Plus I don’t know that it carries over. Who would the Pats rather see in the first round? Denver, the protege who beat the master on his first try (and interestingly, McDaniels has sat Marshall, which suggests he believes a little discipline now will piss Marshall off to play up for the wild card game, if they get there). Or would the Pats rather play the Jets, with whom there’s a whole bunch of bad juju? Or, would they rather play the Ravens, who would be more fearsome than these other two and even the Stillers, but they’ve been struggling, a lot, of late?

    And the Bungles? They’re going to want a win at all costs. You don’t go into the playoffs continuing a bad, emotional slide.

        • bmaz says:

          Huh. Guess I wasn’t paying attention. Damn economy is so sour I can’t even afford to pay attention anymore. Chris Mortenson jsut explained on ESPN that you are exactly right; Marshall does/did have a hamstring tinge, but the problem was the team thought he was not aggressive about treating it and dealing with team responsibilities during this past week, so he is being sat down. That is too bad, it had appeared Marshall had straitened out and that he and the Broncos were on a good page this year since the training camp incidents.

          That is not good for the Donkos; their receivers can be crammed without Marshall. Could really hurt them today.

          • emptywheel says:

            Well, look at it this way.
            The two biggest threats to the Donkos wildcard spot, Jets and RAvens, have much more dangerous opponents than the DOnkos this week (if only bc the Raiders only win when their opponent is very strong).

            So if they DO get in, they’ll get in with Marshall’s clarity of purpose recently renewed. I’d rather have Marshall at 95% against the Bungles in Cinci next week than Marshall at 40% against the Chiefs in Mile High this week.

              • Peterr says:

                In the opinion of this KC resident, I have to say that Randiego has been out in the sun waaaay too long.

                The only danger the Chiefs pose this year is to the prospects of selling next year’s season tickets.

                (Full disclosure: I’m a Bears fan, not a Chiefs fan. Mrs Peterr, OTOH, has been a Chiefs fan from the day Lamar Hunt brought them to KC. When *she* rolls her eyes at the Chiefs, you know it’s a bad, bad year.)

              • randiego says:

                Remember, RanDiego told us the Chiefs are “always dangerous” or something like that…

                I think that pea soup has addled your brain, counselor.

              • freepatriot says:

                Remember, RanDiego told us the Chiefs are “always dangerous” or something like that…

                that wasn’t as funny as the time somebody said that the Bungles “LURK” in the playoffs

                ya see a lot of crazy predictions around here

                if you want some serious prognostication, we’re gonna have to fix the lock on the liquor cabinet

  6. BayStateLibrul says:

    Now batting number 9, Drew Brees?

    Is Drew shitting us.

    He wore #15 at Purdue, and No. #5 at San Diego.

    When did he fall in love with Teddy?

    This is pretty stupid but does anyone know the connection between

    Drew Brees and Ted Williams? In honor of Ted, he wears number #9, yet from his bio he doesn’t list playing baseball in college, nor does it note any allegiance to the Red Sox…. he mentions the .406 last day, “I’m-not-a-quitter mantra…” Is this a PLOY?

    • skdadl says:

      Yay! Many yays! As Walter Cronkite used to say, Wheelers were there! We saw her do it. I will never forget that weekend — EW pops up around noon on Saturday and says, “Hey, you guys. Look what I found.” And about thirty-six hours later, the NYT realizes that it had better publish, and maybe a couple of hours later decides it had better give credit to the real reporter who actually did her homework.


      Hey, you guys. See that li’l thermometer up to the right? We’re $160 short of $120,000, yes? (My arithmetic is so weak, so please correct me if I’m wrong.) Now, that would be $10 from 16 of us, yes? We could do that for New Year’s, yes?

      • fatster says:

        Well, Fricklebitz . . . er, Bricklefritz. You’ve got to redo the math, skdadl. My 1776 may be tiny (sure wish it could be more), but it moved the thermometer a tad.

        • skdadl says:

          I have this feeling that 1776 means something that I don’t understand …

          The thermometer doesn’t seem to have warmed to me yet, although I got a nice message from Jane. I like getting messages from Jane.

          • fatster says:

            1776 = our Revolution. Translated into USDs, it’s a teensy-tiny amount, but certainly offered in the largeness of spirit of that year.

    • klynn says:

      Yes! A well deserved shout out EW.

      And bmaz, I am serious about the book idea for you and Marcy to write about Robber Barons and neofeudalism.

      Thank you to both of you and to EW for creating such amazing investigative work.

  7. sluggahjells says:

    Why are we quoting arrogant idiots like Jason Whitlock?

    Anyway, full key game previews and all the AFC playoff scenarios to come.

  8. fatster says:

    How do you do it, bmaz? You’ve provided 24-hour watchful care here all weekend, you’ve written some fine pieces and kept the conversation going, you’ve got the green-pea soup flu, and yet you seem to be in a pretty good mood. What a guy!

    • emptywheel says:

      What a guy is right!

      I actually think the pea soup makes him ornery, and therefore 10X as productive. But don’t tell him I said that.

      No. Seriously, thanks to bmaz for the help over the holidays.

  9. scribe says:

    Lupica teeing off in his column today, too. One graf:

    The bookies seem to think Marvin Lewis will do the same thing tonight, go right into the tank, since the Jets are as much as 10-point favorites. And the bookies knew Caldwell was going into the tank last Sunday, sending the 14-0 Colts to the post as just a 3-point favorite on the 7-7 Jets. In Indy. I know the commissioner isn’t a betting man, but I’ll bet even he wondered about lines like these.

    It’s going all Currier and Ives outside my place right now. It’s been snowing and blowing for almost four days straight and now it starts to really dump. I got plenty of food, beer, chips, dips, heat, toilet paper and warm clothes. And I get TV showing me teams tanking their games and blacking out the Stillers.

    This is your Not-Football League, ladies and gentlemen.

  10. CTMET says:

    No way the Bengals will want to lose to the Jets this week and then need to play them again next week (a likely scenario).

    8PM tonight at the Meadowlands is going to be ridiculously COLD. I need an NY team in the playoffs.

    Marcy for media moment of the year award for blowjob comment on MSNBC.

    • scribe says:

      Nothing personal, but whether you need a NYC team in the playoffs has little to do with anything.

      It’s the Not-Football League that needs an NY team in the playoffs, because their ratings suck when they don’t have one. So, in addition to Marvin Lewis and the bookies having a coincident interest in the Bungles taking a knee (his team don’t get hurt and all those suckers who think the Bungles can’t take a knee), the Not-Football League has that interest in getting maximal ratings, particularly when the J-E-T-S QB is Mr. Telegenic Matinee Idol and a rookie, too.

      This does not mean there’s a conspiracy. That word gets overused, in addition to being wrongly used. Rather, when ordinarily adversarial parties suddenly all have an interest in a particular result obtaining, that result usually comes to pass. Since everyone makes out big this year when the J-E-T-S get into the playoffs (the Bungles get a weak opponent in their house, the bookies make money off chumps, and the league makes TV money, also off chumps), count on the J-E-T-S making it into the playoffs and getting quickly eliminated next week.

        • scribe says:

          You need to wrap your head around the soul-crushing nature of being a Jets fan.

          Last year, the whole Favre spectacle was instructive on how this works. Heading in to training camp the Jets were looking forward, basically, to a rebuildng year with some hope of the playoffs. Pennington had some weaknesses – the deep game, especially – but he was gaining experience, etc. The idea of a Favre trade was out there, but more of a pipe dream. Then it came to pass.

          There were over 10,000 people who showed up on blistering hot days for a glimpse at Favre walking across a practice field. People were making Favre jerseys to wear.

          And one Jets fan expressed it best. This fan said that the most likely result, the Jets being the Jets, would be that they’d open up something like 7-2, probably losing to New England but having a chance at the playoffs. Pennington would do OK, and everyone would be respecting him for being a pro and a class guy when he didn;’t make too much of a stink over being tossed for Favre. Then, sometime around week 10, something would happen. The Jets would start losing in the most painful manner imaginable – low probability catastrophes like field goals with 0:02 bouncing off the uprights. Every week something. And something would happen to Favre: either an injury or serial interceptions or just brain-lock. The Jets would limp along with just a chance to make it into the playoffs going into the last week, and the would lose another soul-crusher and be knocked out of the playoffs, probably having a record better than one playoff team, too. Meanwhile, Pennington would suddenly discover arm strength and be tossing pinpoint-accurate BBs 80 yards downfield for TD after TD, the Fish would win and maybe make the playoffs.

          That that kind of result didobtain for the Jets was little surprise to those who’ve watched them, usually transfixed in a mixture of horror and fascination, year after year. “Told you so” was the serious fan’s reaction come January.

          I just think that this year, this week, the whole bookies-league-Bungles laydown constellation may be more powerful than the Jets being the Jets.

          • sluggahjells says:

            In terms of Pennington and the Dolphins, that was much more do to Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams, and Tony Soprano implementing the Wildcat effectively. Pennington was always pinpoint, but he never could throw no where near 80, let alone 60 or even 50 yards, especially now in the latter stages of his career.

            • scribe says:

              The point was that the Jets being the Jets means that they would trade away a decent player who would go to the new team and evince skills and mastery for the new team. Those “new” skills would have been exactly those skills he’d been lacking while playing for the Jets and which had been a continual issue and grinding pain for Jets fans. Pennington never had enough arm strength, nor sufficient accuracy.

              So, Pennington going to Miami and suddenly throwing 80 yards with pinpoint precision is exactly the kind of ironic knife-in-the-kidneys Jets fans would expect.

              Similarly, the star suffering a mysterious debilitating performance-sapping injury is a stock event in the Jets’ experience.

              Remember, too, that the story I related was a prediction made by a Jets fan on how things would turn out. That prediction was made within a week of the Jets getting Favre last year.

              • sluggahjells says:

                But Pennington did always have accuracy with the Jets, he never had that arm strength, especially 80 yard arm strength. That was and is the biggest and only rap with Pennington throughout his career.

              • bmaz says:

                Dude. We have had the Cardinals here for quite a while. Up until last year, the Jets were complete pikers in every one of those regards compared to the Cards.

                • scribe says:

                  That might be, but hearing the agony of Jets fans when their team crumbled in exactly the most soul-crushing manner possible was always good for entertainment value. Talk radio sounded just like something the nuns taught us about: the Cries of the Damned as Satan’s Demons Slow-Roasted their Souls Over the Coals of Hell.

                  • bmaz says:

                    Yeah, well, at least to got leads to crumble from; the Cards just sucked constantly. And, hey, the Jets had Joe Namath and a SuperBowl; the Cards had Neil Lomax and a toilet bowl.

                • bobschacht says:

                  We have had the Cardinals here for quite a while. Up until last year, the Jets were complete pikers in every one of those regards compared to the Cards.

                  Yeah, except that our Cards have not, until recently, been much of a threat to anyone, that I can recall.

                  Bob in AZ

  11. scribe says:

    OT: the crawl on my TV indicates Rick Warren got $2.4 mil in response to his request for $900k to make up for a lost Sunday collection.

    I suspect this whole episode was so much fundraising chest-thumping on his/the Fundies’ part, just to remind everyone how much they can raise and how quickly. Kinda like the old Cold War days when the Sovs would boast about being able to turn out half a million protestors in Europe to protest whatever on a week’s notice.

        • klynn says:

          It will be interesting. I was present at the talks (closed to the press) regarding SDI back in the late 80’s (NST and INF).

  12. emptywheel says:

    Yup, it’s true!!! There is football in Motown today! (Sort of)

    Which is a guarantee we won’t win, bc we’re not allowed to win with Michiganders watching. It might give us a perk of feelgood.

    • scribe says:

      Well, is having bad-to-mediocre football on TV better than having reruns of B-movies and juicer infomercials on the TV, or not?

        • bmaz says:

          You forget. Uncle Murdoch took it upon himself to give me NFL Sunday ticket almost free this year.

          Man, they talk about the income gap in America, but to me personally, it is the “Football Viewing Gap” that is of primary concern. You bougeoisie in Michigan wit yer hi-falutin Sunday Ticket seem so elite and irresponsible to us Joe Five Packs (damn wife stole one) out here on the Main Street farms and small towns heart of middle America. I protest!

          • scribe says:

            Shoot, I got TimeWarner and they can’t get anything right.

            First time, the tech came out and put the cable in, but when he closed he box, he stripped part of the insulation off the coax. It worked for a little while and then crapped out, and I wound up having no cable. And no internet.

            It took TWC a couple days to come out and fix it.

            A week before Christmas, I decided I wanted more than broadcast basic. So, I went to the TWC office and asked them to turn on the next level of channels. They said they’d have to send out a tech to fiddle in the box. In about 10 days. So, Christmas passes and a couple days more, then the tech comes (supposedly). He supposedly fiddles in the box, and then we find that he did … nothing. No more channels. No fewer, but no more. And I have to wait another week plus for another tech to come out to fix or do what the first one failed to address.

            And Miss EW is there flaunting the near-free boon of the No Fun League – all of it – on who knows how many different channels.

            Thanks, pal.

  13. sluggahjells says:

    Just to let people know the playoff scenarios for the five AFC teams not named the Jets or Ravens:

    -The Broncos can make it to the playoffs in 10 ways. The best way is to hope that after they win, the Ravens and the Jets lose/tie, or the Jets lose/tie and the Steelers lose/tie, or a Jets lost/tie and a Texans win, or a Ravens loss/tie and a Steelers lost/tie. The other six scenarios are even more of a big ask if the Broncos lose. Case in point, if they don’t at least win, their chances are kaput.

    -For the Steelers, it is much more simple, with only three scenarios. If they win on Sunday against the Dolphins, all the defending champions need is a Jets lost/tie and a Texans lost/tie, or a Ravens lost/tie and a Texans lost/tie, or a Jets lost/tie, Ravens lost/tie and a Broncos lost/tie. But if they don’t win, their chances are kaput.

    -The Texans almost basically need the same thing that the Steelers need. If they win on Sunday, they would need a Jets lost/tie with a Ravens lost/tie, or a Jets lost/tie with a Broncos lost/tie, or a Ravens lost/tie with a Broncos lost/tie. Not too bad of a scenario for a team that must people are highly disappointed in.

    -For the Jaguars, oh dear. Basically, the Jaguars need at least four of the five teams ahead of them to lose after securing a must win victory over the Browns if they get it. And with how the Browns have been playing late, that is not a guarantee.

    -And for the Dolphins, it is just one simple scenario. If they beat the Steelers in Miami, then all they will need is the Jets,Ravens, and Broncos to lose while having the Jaguars lose or tie.

      • sluggahjells says:

        Though Randy Moss is more important to them than he is, that is nothing short of a devastating lost for them in a game that will turn out to really not mean that much for them at all. The injury looked real bad, at least for the postseason.

        • scribe says:

          Welker makes Moss better, and Moss makes Welker better. This is a major blow.

          Of course, as I often say about the Patsies: “Cheaters never prosper.”

          • sluggahjells says:

            Moss makes Welker better……Welker doesn’t make moss better, but he just makes the Patriots better though because of the trust he has with Brady. Randy Moss is still Randy Moss though.

            And think about it, the Patriots still have possession options to throw to in Ben Watson, Sam Aiken, Kevin Faulk from out the backfield and rookie Julian Edelman.

            Moss’ threat down the field (and all over the field) opens it up for Welker to have his seasons in the slot. If Moss went down, then it would be an even bigger blow, since he is their only constant deep threat.

  14. bobschacht says:

    OK, I’m watching the Vikes now. I see Favre got a quickie TD pass.

    Next possession, Favre completed a long pass along the sidelines that the receiver may not have had control of when he went out of bounds, but Favre hustled the next play up before anyone could ask for a review. He also used a technique I’ve been seeing a lot more lately. The classic long pass is for the receiver to get a “step” ahead of the defender, and the Qback lofts a pass over the defender’s head onto the outstretched hands of the receiver. But what I’m seeing now, and what Favre just did, was to throw the ball *behind* the receiver. Has anyone else noticed this? Is this happening on purpose?

    Back to the Stillers. Rothlisberger bomb to Wallace for a TD.

    Bob in AZ

    • scribe says:

      There have been a lot of nice pass plays this season where the ball has been thrown to the back shoulder, as it were, and the receiver comes back to the ball or just waits on it and allows the defender to get downfield of him. This is effective because it both allows the receiver to use his body to block out the defender and because the defender can’t give the receiver the downfield edge.

      I suppose this is working as well as it does because of the way interference is being called.

    • john in sacramento says:

      … But what I’m seeing now, and what Favre just did, was to throw the ball *behind* the receiver. Has anyone else noticed this? Is this happening on purpose? …

      It’s a designed play; the defender is so preoccupied with keeping up with a speedy receiver, and the defender is so intent on keeping up, he’s susceptible to this type of play. Vikings used to do it all the time with Randy Moss

      Edit: By designed I don’t mean called by Chilly – he gibes new meaning to the words anal retentive

  15. sluggahjells says:

    By the way, just to comment on Josh McDaniels-Brandon Marshall situation.

    This is another case where you have a coach who has taken himself too seriously here again, especially a young inexperience coach who is the head of a team that has collapsed like few teams in league history have done.

    Brandon Marshall is a guy who has played hurt in his career and has been nothing short of a blessing for a mediocre quarterback like Kyle Orton (who is very progressive from what I here to note) and a first year coach like McDaniels. To sort of imply that his commitment and toughness is questionable from a receiver who is, despite possibly an occasional “me first” mentality from him, and is pretty dumb coaching.

  16. randiego says:

    So let me get this straight – people are afraid of the Stillers making the playoffs?? The 8-7 we-lost-twice-to-a division-rival-that-we-usually-destroy Stillers? Which Stillers? The ones that went 2-5 on the road Stillers? Or the Stillers that lost to KC and Oakland?

    HAH HAH HAH HAH!!! Thanks for the laughs.

    NOBODY is afraid of the Stillers making the playoffs.

    • scribe says:

      I’ll trade you even up – I’ve got the Pats and want the Stillers.

      FWIW, Pats hold Houston at the 3 and take over on downs, then he Pats’ RB fumbles on the first play from scrimmabe and Houston recovers in the end zone for the TD and lead.

      Brady is now out, but he has his helmet on while on the sidelines.

        • bmaz says:

          No, that is correct. I have already encountered this one woman with exactly that attitude….

          In fairness, I can relate to the loss of the coach who built the gig; And I don’t know that much about Leach. But that said, I though his crap about locking the kid up was out of bounds. Tell him to hit th showers and get out, but that locking him up bit was asinine big time. Was that grounds enough alone for firing? Maybe not, but it was definitely problematic.

          • bobschacht says:

            I don’t know that much about Leach. But that said, I though his crap about locking the kid up was out of bounds.

            That’s what I thought, too– only it seems like the coach has a very different story to tell– and he’s got witnesses (or accomplices, as the case may be).

            Bob in AZ

  17. bobschacht says:

    Just to be contrary, I’m rooting for Miami, because their qback is a Michigan product (Chad Henne). Lamar Woodley is keeping Pitt in the game.

    Bob in AZ

  18. bmaz says:

    And the Colts have already started their intentional dive. Pulled Manning and put that Painter schmuck in before the first half was over. They should be banned from the playoffs for conduct detrimental to the integrity of the league. Seriously, their last two weeks have been the most pathetic and cowardly shit I have ever seen.

    • sluggahjells says:

      “most pathetic and cowardly s—”


      Last week, okay. But this week in the snow after letting the Jets win last week, defeats the purpose of actually playing your starters in this one. Any NFL player will tell you, if they don’t have to play the whole game or a good portion of the game, and it’s snowing and cold, they are emailing it in. Especially if it is a dome team that has home field advantage.

        • sluggahjells says:

          So if the Cardinals ever had a 14-2 season and come into the last game 14-1, you would be angry if they rested their players?

          I can understand if the Colts were 15-0, but that issue and criticism on Polan, the owner, and Caldwell, the coach, has already been dealt with last week and through the week. For this game, in snow, that won’t mean anything different from being 14-2 or 15-1, the fans in Buffalo could care less (especially if their team is winning).

          • bmaz says:

            Yes. And the Colts were unadulterated pussies the second they rolled over and took the dive last week. So, hell no, they do not get any benefit of the doubt in their dive this week because they have nothing to gain after losing from taking a dive last week. I think their conduct is just despicable.

            • scribe says:

              That, and they passed, not only on the chance for immortality, but on the possibility of being like Shula and getting the Fergie treatment forty years from now. Irsay, Polan and Caldwell should be forced to print that picture out and have it where they have to look at it every waking minute, just as a reminder of what might have been, and what they passed up.

    • scribe says:

      The crawl on my game said Henne was out, b/c of an eye injury. So, who does that leave the Fish to use?

      Oh, yeah. It’s now four full days straight that it’s been snowing here.

      • bobschacht says:

        The crawl on my game said Henne was out, b/c of an eye injury. So, who does that leave the Fish to use?

        Third-stringer Tyler Thigpen, who has led Miami to two scores, so they’re only down 3 points now with 8:26 left. Thigpen is playing cool under incredible pressure, and the Miami Defense is energized.

        They just made Rothlisberger fumble, and Miami recovered!

        Bob in AZ

  19. scribe says:

    Another NE TD; the TV guys say “NE is sharpening their knives for the playoffs.” 27-13

    Brady is still in at the start of the 4th quarter, broken ribs and all.

    Also GHW Bush in the Houston owners’ box. He’s got that old-man-mouth-hanging-open thing going on.

    • sluggahjells says:

      Needed momentum indeed, but (and this is also including their injuries in their already miserable secondary) the Giants have laid down the last two weeks in truly embarrassing fashion.

      If BMaz thinks the Colts are an embarrassment, he needs to just look at the Giants and truly clarify them as that.

      • bmaz says:

        Yeah, the Gents are pretty weak the last half of the season; pretty hard to accept.

        Ruh roh, Fish are making a little bit of a run on teh Stillers now…

  20. sluggahjells says:

    Tyler Thigpen, who the Chiefs gave up to early on in my mind, and who is the greatest 4th quarterback on a team ever, is showing why he needs to at least be a backup in this league.

  21. sluggahjells says:

    And it is a testament to how good a coach Tony Sparano, the Dolphins head coach, is. They play hard every single game, no matter the circumstances.

  22. sluggahjells says:

    Someone, check on John Cole by the way, because you know he is throwing “Teh” towels in an angry way right now.

  23. scribe says:

    WEll, regardless, it looks like the Stillers will have to take care of their own biness b/c the Texans have just beat the Patsies. 21 unanswered poitns in the 4Q.

  24. emptywheel says:

    Get serious. The Pats haven’t been able to win an away game against a half-decent team this year. They might squeak through next week–all of the potential opponents have real weaknesses. But the only way they lose in Indy or SD is if Peyton gets bad mojo from throwing the last two games of the year (like he did a few years ago). Peyton was playing just 1 quarter (the 4th Q) football when the Colts won last time. Before he started throwing games, he had started playing all four quarters again.

    • BayStateLibrul says:

      Yes, a very poor track record. But, hell, it’s been snowing here for three

      days and all our booze is gone.

      Next week, scrappy Brady comes back kvethcing, as the gunslinger, we all know and love?

  25. scribe says:

    Igles stinkin up the joint.

    Good thing it isn’t in Philly, b/c the boos would have been raining down a long time already.

  26. randiego says:

    Wow, check it out. The Chiefs are ahead of the Broncos in the 4th quarter.

    So, what is the point I’m always trying to make? It’s a DIVISION RIVALRY game. They’ve been playing each other twice a year for fifty fookin’ years. Crappy teams, bad records, all that stuff goes out the window when these teams play.

    Get it? Please don’t make me explain again!

    • bmaz says:

      Donkos suck! When Norval Turner is the big bad unbeatable 800 pound gorilla in December and owns your ass year after year, you might be doing something wrong.

  27. sluggahjells says:

    Welker will not only be out for the rest of the playoffs, but a lot of next season as well. He tore both his ACL and MCL.

    Julian Edelman, may he continue to do his best Welker impersonation. And he has the talent and hands to do that though.

      • sluggahjells says:

        I never said it wasn’t “devastating” though scribe.

        What I’m saying is that Randy Moss would have been double the devastation if he was hurt. Welker is devastating, but Moss is the second most important player after Brady on that offense, and on the team.

        • freepatriot says:

          Moss is the second most important player after Brady on that offense, and on the team.

          wrong, do it again

          moss is a luxury. he ain’t a “possession receiver”

          welker is a “possession receiver”, and he’s brady’s “go-to” guy

          • sluggahjells says:

            I don’t think you understand how Randy Moss is the reason why Wes Welker gets those receptions.

            Moss opens it up for Welker and every other option in that offense because of his ability to stretch the field outride or even the slot (and command a double team down the field). That leads to Welker getting lined up in the slot against a safety or nickel back, while Moss goes against the other team’s best cornerback and attracts the most thoughts from defensive coordinators around the league. The coordinators will tell you that Moss scares them more than Welker, although Welker is formidable of course.

            Moss can hurt you underneath or down the field. Wes Welker can’t hurt you down the field.

  28. sluggahjells says:

    As I said up thread, McDaniels stupid mentality of being a despot has backfired royally, and he is sure taking the heat in a big way right now.

  29. emptywheel says:

    Gentlemen, understand this about Uncle Murdoch’s gift. When it snows… you get nothing. We’re going to have EITHER a month of zero degree wind chill OR of zero football reception.

      • emptywheel says:

        There’s a third option. Go to a friend’s house with cable. (Assuming, of course, the snow is not too deep). In any case, we can walk to a bar with a TV playing football.

        • bobschacht says:

          That’s what my brother and I had to do when I was visiting him in Romeo (an hour north of Detroit) last week. He considers himself to be electronically incompetent, so he buys stuff and then waits for me to show up between Christmas and New Year’s to connect his new stuff. He can’t afford Cable TV, and he has a roof antenna. He had to get the converter box to convert the roof antenna’s analog signal to digital. Took us all afternoon, and many (mostly fruitless) calls to tech folks before we got it right, only to discover that he couldn’t get the channel with the Bowl Game involving Wisconsin, so we wound up in a local sports bar to watch the Badgers upset Miami in the “Champs Sports Bowl.”

          Bob in AZ

    • john in sacramento says:

      That aint nothin. There was a Winter about 25 years ago where the temp didn’t get above zero for about 5 weeks in the western Minn. eastern ND area. It was close to 100 below windchill a couple times

      PS I don’t miss having to get up in the middle of the night to start the car so the engine doesn’t freeze in the morning (no engine block heater)

      • Peterr says:

        What kind of person has a car without a engine block heater in western MN/eastern ND?

        Now that I think about it, the sur-pseudym-name “in Sacramento” might be a clue . . .

  30. randiego says:

    I’m no big fan of the Pats, but the Welker loss is terrible. We are big Welker fans, however, as he was a Red Raider and a former Charger.

    It’s a brutal game, injuries are to be expected. But for this to happen after the magical season Welker has had is simply tragic.

  31. freepatriot says:

    I think I unnerstan

    but down field receivers are a dime a dozen lately

    Welker is a gem

    so are the Austin “brothers*” (wink)

    * Miles Austin & Austin Collie

    I don’t judge by skills, or looks, or position

    I like the guy who catches the DAMN ball (gratuitous Wayne Crebet reference)

    normally, as far as passing the ball goes, I’m a fan of tight ends & fullbacks, but for Welker, I’ll respect a slot receiver

    as a disciple of Barry Switzer and the Oklahoma Sooners, I still can’t figure out why Y’all like throwin the ball so much in the first place …

      • freepatriot says:

        yeah, I was afraid they was gonna look like shit

        least they dint get shut out, by nebraska ….

        (duckin & runnin)

        • bmaz says:

          Ha! You talking about that pasting the Cornfuskers gave the Arizona MildKittens? That doesn’t bother me one bit. Now if the Fuskers had done that to ASU, that would be a different thing. Course the Devils weren’t good enough to even go to a bowl this year….

  32. 4jkb4ia says:

    In case this was not already written, the Steelers were already out by game time last night. Carson Palmer throwing for less than 50 yards is an expansive definition of “tanking”. Cedric Benson being kept out is more reasonable. I am glad the Internet connection did not materialize in time for me to write that this 30-0 was being done to the real Bengals because of the last sentence. And, Sanchez did not have to be Brett Favre. He simply did not have to turn the ball over.

  33. 4jkb4ia says:

    So if Indianapolis pulls out the win last week, the Texans are in, and this is a feel-good story for everybody.

  34. 4jkb4ia says:

    I am not going to find scribe’s comment, but Sanchez may be a rookie and a matinee idol, YET if all he is asked to do is not turn the ball over he is not very marketable. This is worse than Flacco.

    • bmaz says:

      Boise State was such an incredible feel good deal here the last time – the exciting gameplan, the execution, the guts, the last part of the game and winning play with marriage proposal between hero and cheerleader – the whole gig was special. There is a lot of love for them here now.

        • bmaz says:

          Aw shit, you would have to ask that. I am still pretty down for the count, but got some new hi-tech antibiotics today. Here is the pisser. Early this afternoon I got a call from a friend involved on the Fiesta Bowl Committee. Two tickets on the 30 yard line row 10 offered. No way I could go.

  35. john in sacramento says:

    Petersen was not a bad QB back in the day

    3) Boise State head coach Chris Petersen was the starting quarterback at UC Davis in 1985 and 1986 after playing his first two years of ball at Sacramento City College. Petersen was actually recruited to Davis by their current coach, Bob Biggs, and Pete led the team to two conference championships and a 19-3 overall record. Pete still holds the school record at Davis for lowest interception percentage (2.53%) and is in the top ten in several statistical categories with his 6,095 yards of total offense and 42 career TDs. If you add Pete’s playing record and his coaching record together, he is 58-7 all-time.

  36. freepatriot says:

    who don’t like Horny Toads ???

    you could call this the “Scrapper” bowl

    two tough no-names that jes won’t quit

    fricken overachievers piss me off

    We hates em both, don’t we Precious ???

    Get Off My Lawn …


  37. sluggahjells says:

    Just an amazing coaching performance by Chris Petersen, and yes, they deserve as many first place votes from the AP here.

    And it’s not like TCU played bad at all, and I still feel they are the best team in Texas.

    • bmaz says:

      Exactly. The relatively unexpected low score should not fool people, that was one hell of a well played game by both teams. I am stunned at how good Boise State’s defense was. I don’t know if they could beat Alabama or not, but it is a shame they won’t get the chance to play them. Also, don’t forget what Utah did to the Crimson Tide last year. These guys can play with anybody.

      • sluggahjells says:

        Though Alabama to me is better than everyone (and a lot think that), just the chance of not seeing that happen where Boise State plays Alabama in a game just to see what happens is a shame we all feel.

        People will have no problem saying Alabama is better than them if they beat them. But just let it simply happen instead of the cartel sham that this current system is.

        • bmaz says:

          I agree, I think Alabama wins that game. But damn, you know, I wouldn’t put it past Boise State. They are extremely well coached. TCU has a great defense, seriously tough, and Peterson was able to scheme enough to get it done. BS has shown enough in their BCS bowl appearances to make you wonder. And wish.

  38. runfastandwin says:

    All this is assuming AL beats TX. Frankly I hate them both, I’d be happy if it ended in 0-0 tie. My vote goes to BSU for the number one spot, you gotta respect any team that takes those kind of chances and makes them pay off. Unfortunately they play in a weak conference, if they had to play in one of the elite conferences year in and year out they probably would not be as successful as they have been over the years, but I bet they could compete year in and year out in any conference.

    WTF happened to Philly? I figured it’d at least be close, now I fear for them next week although I need Dallas to show me something in January before I get on that bandwagon.

    Finally, I thought the BSU player (number 13) showed no class when he got beat on the TD at the end of the half, when he intentionally jerked the TCU guy’s face mask after the play was clearly over. If I was his coach I’d a benched him over that, and if the refs had seen it he may well have been kicked out of the game, at least that’s what the rules require for that kind of behavior.

    • freepatriot says:

      old people tend to forget where they put things

      tell Bobby B to check his sock drawer …

      (duckin & runnin)

      ps: teh cornhumpers versus teh georgia TV repairmen technicians is a good game

      pps: hey moderator guys, spellcheck don’t know how to spell cornhumpers, better fix that …