Wildcard Weekend Trash

It is here. Yep Elvis Presley’s 75th birthday was yesterday, and that means we are all getting old. So, in honor of The King, lets all have Fools Gold sandwich, a pint or two of beer and watch some football.

Football you say? That’s right, Wildcard Weekend is here and that means some of the best pro football of the year is on tap. First up is the New York Football Jets Jets Jets versus the Lurking Bungles from WKRP in Cincinnati. The game will be in Cinci so, like last week, it will be cold. However, unlike the Meadowlands, Paul Brown Field has a heating system under it so the turf should be much better. That should benefit the Jets, who have the best running game in the league. But it should benefit the Bungles even more as it will allow their passing game to open up. Coupled with the return of Cedric Benson, this could be too much for the Jets, even with their ferocious defense and tough running game. Lots of people are picking the Jets; I dunno, Bengals look like a better bet to me.

Tonight we have the Iggles visiting Jerry Jones’ crib. I hear Jerry has a nice big screen. The ‘Boys have not won a playoff game since 1996. The Eagles have a history of winning early playoff games; in fact, Andy Reid has never lost one. Dallas seems strangely more stable and solid than they have in a long, long time. Romo is playing well, has found Miles Austin to make big plays downfield while still relying on Jason Whitman for the bread and butter. Marion Barber and Felix Jones are a complete running package. The Iggles have Donovan McNabb and Desean Jackson, if Jackson can manage to free himself up from the Cowboys secondary, which he had a problem with last week. This is pretty hard, but I will take the ‘Boys.

Sunday starts off with the Ravens at Pats. One thing we know is Wes Welker is out, and that really hurts Tom Brady’s underneath game and third down efficiency. However, Bill Bel is world famous for cultivating extremely smart adaptable players, and the thinking here is that Julian Edelman is one of those and don’t forget the Pats still have Kevin Faulk. With any running production at all, New England figures to beat the Ravens in the Big Razor.

The final game is really the most interesting and comes from the Big Toaster, which is exactly what the University of Phoenix stadium looks like from the air. The Cards host the Cheesers. Both teams have outstanding passing games with superb quarterbacks and big play receivers. Both teams have decent, but sometimes spotty running games. This game is going to be won or lost on defense. Green Bay was the best team in the NFC over the second half of the year, going 7-1 down the stretch, with the only loss via a Big Ben miracle on the last play of the game. The Packers killed the Cards right here last week, 33-7; but the Cards played base packages the entire game and Matt Leinart is no Kurt Warner. The real Cards will show up this time, problem is, you never fully know who the real Cards are. Also Anquan Boldin looks doubtful, though he usually is and yet manages to suit up and play. Certainly he is hobbled, and that hurts the Cards. That brings us back to the D. And the Pack has statistically the best D in the NFC, and with Boildin out, Charles Woodson can lock up on Spidey Fitzgerald. That spells a win for the Cheesers, but it will be a lot better game than last week.

BREAKING NEWS FOR MARCY: Peyton Manning has won his record fourth MVP award in a landslide, beating out Drew Fookin Brees, Phil Rivers and Brett Favre, in that order. The Peyton now has more MVPs than Brady does SuperBowls. No Giselle though.

  1. BayStateLibrul says:

    Round 1: Pats, Jets, Cowboys, Packers

    Round 2: Pats, Colts, Cowboys, Saints

    Round 3: Pats, Saints

    Round 4: Pats

    Free rounds for all…

    Full Disclosure: I dated Gisele…

  2. phred says:

    Woot! It’s Trash Time!!! I’ve been working for the weekend all week ; )

    Less adventurous than BSL, I’m just gonna list my picks for this weekend…

    And um, who else is playing? Oh yeah… Boyz, Bungles, and Pats ; )

    And BSL — did you date Gisele in the Fantasy League? ; )

  3. BoxTurtle says:

    I find myself in complete agreement with bmaz’s picks…which means it’s time for one or both of us to see our respecive shrinks.

    Todays treat:

    Orange Bombs

    Take a navel orange and remove half the peel so you’ve basically got a hatless orange. Using a corer punch out the core but leave the skin on the opposite side attached. The idea of the corer is to break all the sections of the orange and open them into the center hole, so it doesn’t need to be that big.

    Brush the exposed sections of the orange lightly with honey, then coat with sugar. Fill the center hole with dark rum. Bake at 350 until the sugar carmalizes to taste. Eat. Repeat.

    Boxturtle (A minor pain to make, but worth it)

  4. Jim White says:

    I’ll go with the Bungles, Iggles, Ravens, and Green Bean Nose Pickers.

    Then Bolts and Colts, Saints and Vikes.

    Colts vs Saints

    Peyton gets another ring.

    • bmaz says:

      Lay down stay down tank artists like the Colts must not be allowed to prosper! In fact, if I was Roger Goodell, I would ban the Colts from the playoffs for their conduct detrimental to the integrity of the game. I would also point out that the Colts have tried this candy ass resting/pulling players before, and have gone on to whimper out in the playoffs every time; the one year they won it was when they actually had to play flat out the entire time because they were a wildcard entry.

      • Peterr says:

        Jets, Iggles, Patriots, and Packers
        Colts, Pats, Saints, and Vikings
        Colts and Vikings

        Just the idea of Teh Old Man putting a smackdown on the Colts (“Rest” your QB? What is this “rest” thing of which you speak?) makes me smile.

        • bmaz says:

          Wow, didn’t expect that response; was mostly just funnin ya. I actually think the Gators beat them head to head, but sure wish we had seen that game. I would rank BS number two mostly just to screw with the BCS and set them up for next year. BS returns nearly their whole team, but I have not seen them even mentioned in the top five or seven teams for next year. At a minimum, they deserve to be in the top three final this year and in the top five going in to next year. Then, if they pull off another season like they just completed, you have to let them in the championship picture.

          • Jim White says:

            Okay, my turn for the difficult question to you:

            Would the J E T S Jets Jets Jets be even better if they still had Mr. Fahv-ruh or is Sanchez better?

            PS on the Boise State issue: BS went undefeated and beat an undefeated team in a BCS Bowl game. They should only be behind someone who did the same thing. Florida should be ahead of Texas because they beat an undefeated team in a BCS Bowl game–Texas had a chance and couldn’t. Texas was only there because the refs put a second back on the clock after Nebraska beat them in the Big 12 Championship game, anyway. Boise should be grateful for that, though, because if Nebraska had gotten a BCS bid, Texas would have been in too, and that would have really provided all the fodder we’d need to kill the BCS system if Boise had been kept out, which probably would have been the case.

            • emptywheel says:

              That’s not the question.

              The question is, if Rex Ryan had been able to keep Brett Favray, would this be a better team than it is with Sanchez.

              The answer to that is “yes.”

              The answer to “would this team, with Brett Favray AND Mangy Mangini, be better?” then answer to that is undoubtedly no.

              I was never a fan of Buddy. But for all his swagger, I do appreciate Ryan.

            • ecthompson says:

              I think that it is clear that Farve is playing much better than Sanchez. In 2 or 3 years, Sanchez could be great. Jets should be GREAT.

          • GulfCoastPirate says:

            Did you see their defense? The speed? I’ll take Boise (and TCU) straight up against either the whorns or Alabama. What did the Boise coach say? We’ll play anybody, anywhere and none of the so called ‘big boys’ will take them up on it. They’d rather play Florida International or Wyoming. Give me a break.

        • GulfCoastPirate says:

          TCU belongs in front of the whorns. Who did the whorns beat that made them deserve to be in that game?

      • GulfCoastPirate says:

        I’m not Jim but the answer is YES. In fact, they should have been in the championship game instead of the whorns.

        • phred says:

          Nice Packer hubcap bmaz! Lombardi himself would be pleased to play for that trophy ; )

          So since I might not get a chance later to imagine my Pack in the SB, I’ll go ahead and stick my neck out after all:

          Packers, Boyz, Bungles, Pats
          Colts, Boltz, Boyz, Pack
          Boltz, Pack


          Well, something like that ; )

          By the way, the poll over a nfl.com shows that me and 370k+ of my closest friends think the Pack has the best shot at the SB of all the wild card teams. Gosh, I hope we’re right!

          • ecthompson says:

            the Packers are playing some great football. The only thing that can hold the Packers back are the Packers. Turnovers!

            • bmaz says:

              I dunno about that; if the Cardinals from last year’s playoffs show up, they are very capable of beating the Packers or anybody else. The question is which Cards show up; but it is not all about the Packers.

              • ecthompson says:

                Their defense (Cardinals) came together last year. It was their defense that took them to the SuperBowl. They aren’t coming together this year. I think that they can but they won’t. We’ll see!

            • phred says:

              The Packers have been their own worst enemy all year, but they’ve really picked up their game late in the season. However, an argument can be made that they haven’t had a lot of really challenging competitors. We’ll see how they do in the play-offs… Still optimism (or at least a profound ability to deny reality ; ) courses through my veins, so I’m stickin’ with my Packers. And if they give me a reason to gloat at bmaz’ expense next weekend, all the better ; )

  5. emptywheel says:

    Here’s the picks I made to support the gambling habit of my favorite 2 year old.

    Bungles, Iggles, Pats, Packers

    Bolts, Colts, Packers (meaning the Packers finally beat that Old Man), Iggles

    Bolts, Packers


    That’s not necessarily what I’d pick if it didn’t have a 2-year old to hide behind.

    But for now I’ll stand by the Bungles, Iggles, Pats, Packers.

    • phred says:

      Bolts, Colts, Packers (meaning the Packers finally beat that Old Man), Iggles

      Aside from the 2 year old, did you say that to make me happy or yank bmaz’ chain? Rhetorical question really, you don’t need to answer ; )

    • ecthompson says:

      Did you just pick the Eagles over the Cowboys? Really?

      Oh, I forgot to mention (above) that one of the tricks that the Eagles will try and pull out is Michael Vick. I think that he is in a trick play. The Eagles will try to pull out all of the stops for this game. Promise.

  6. emptywheel says:

    Also, anyone else want to write the National Favre League and ask for our money back for the THREE rematches we’re being forced to watch this weekend? When was the last time that happened.

    • phred says:

      Has it ever happened??? Strikes me as a truly freakish occurrence, but then statistics aren’t my strong suit ; )

      LabDancer, maybe we can get bmaz to put up a pic of a hubcap with an Elvis wig perched on top ; )

    • dakine01 says:

      No guts, no glory. For today’s games:
      Bungles, Iggles, Pats, Pack.

      And not that I can recall has it ever happened to have 3 matches replay after playing the last week of the regular season.

      And because I can: Go Big Blue! Go Hilltoppers! (this is for the ball that don’t bounce funny)

  7. john in sacramento says:

    One more huge thing

    Pete Carroll to the Seahawks

    Notsomuch in the NFL, yet. But huge repercussions in the PAC 10 and the upper echelon college ranks. IE Ohio State and the Big 10 loses a nemesis. Mike Riley at Oregon State is rumored to be SC’s target for HC which leads to the question of who/m they go after, whether it’s promoting an assistant or pulling in an up and comer. The SEC and Big 12 can kind of relax and not worry so much about the Trojans messing up their BSC title party for a year or two depending on the fluid situation

    Does SC promote an assistant? Or go after Riley? Or Sarkisian? Or someone like Harbaugh? Or Petersen? Or Patterson?


  8. emptywheel says:


    LabDancer is holding out on picks until we show a shiny hubcap to aspire to. Can you (or phred, with one of hers left over from last year) put up a pretty picture?

    • phred says:

      Sorry EW can’t help you… My hubcap is securely locked away in my trophy cabinet for safe keeping. No way am I bringing it out to show anyone, not even LabDancer with whom I’ve never been good at sharing to begin with ; )

    • scribe says:

      Actually, I think I had the hubcap somewhere in my stuff, but I can’t find it.

      Oh, there it is, under the Terrible Towel draped over the TV table.

      I’m keepin’ it.

  9. ecthompson says:

    All supermodels are the same. Aren’t they?

    Arizona Cardinals versus Green Bay Packers. Nobody is playing better football than Green Bay Packers. The defense is outstanding. Somehow, they fixed the problems with their offensive line. Although Peyton Manning won the MVP, Aaron Rodgers is playing as good as any quarterback in the league. Arizona Cardinals, on the other hand, are having problems on offense and on defense. I suspect that Arizona will play better but, I think, that they will still lose. If Arizona is able to limit turnovers, they should be able to keep the game close. I look for the Packers to win by seven or more.

    The Dallas Cowboys versus Philadelphia Eagles. This will not be a replay of last week’s game. The Philadelphia Eagles ran the dullest offense and I’ve ever seen since Andy Reed took over as head coach. I look for the Eagles to open it up. Brian Westbrook only touched the ball five times last Sunday. I expect him to have at least 20 touches today. DeShawn Jackson was either high or sleepwalking last week. If he’s not hurt, I expect him to have a big game. (The Eagles will go his way a lot.) From a defensive standpoint, the Eagles did not blitz much at all. I expect that this will change also. I also suspect that the Cowboys have watched tape of last week’s game just as I have. The offensive line will need to do an excellent job of picking up the blitz if the Cowboys are going to have any opportunity to win this game. Tony Romo is currently playing the best football he has ever played as a pro. He will need to continue to protect the football. If he can limit turnovers, the Dallas Cowboys have an excellent chance of winning. I think that this game will be won in the trenches. Anthony Spencer, Jay Ratliff and DeMarcus Ware will need to dominate the line of scrimmage. The offensive line will not only have to dominate but they will also have the limit penalties. I look for the Cowboys to win by seven.

    New York Jets versus the Cincinnati Bengals. Unless the Cincinnati Bengals are able to generate some big plays through the passing game, the Jets are going to crush them. The Jets have a fantastic defense. The problem is no offense. More specifically, they have a quarterback who’s not getting the job done. Mark Sanchez is still about two or three years away from understanding the NFL. If he’s able to limit turnovers, the Jets will win. I suspect that the Cincinnati Bengals will try to break out of their traditional conservative and try and hit a couple of big plays early. If they can get the Jets to play from behind, they have taken Thomas Jones out of the game and plays the game into Mark Sanchez’s hands. I think this game will be extremely close. I think the tossup.

    The Baltimore Ravens versus the New England Patriots. I look at this game is a tossup also. Neither offense is clicking. Neither team has a suffocating defense. This game will come down to turnovers and the play of Joe Flacco. If Baltimore is able to throw the ball down the field, that will open up the running game. Baltimore wins. If Baltimore is not able to get the ball down the field, I look for the Patriots to stack the line of scrimmage and stuff the run. If New England is able to do that, then win.

    My two cents. (my thoughts on the AFC in more detail here.)

  10. bobschacht says:

    Lots of people are picking the Jets; I dunno, Bengals look like a better bet to me.

    B-b-but bmaz, if the Jets lose, the hopes of the East Coast market will rest on the Iggles! Can the Nashonal Foosball League allow that to happen?

    Bob in AZ

    • ecthompson says:

      Bengals have to have someone a receiver besides Ocho to step up. The Jets are going to stuff the run. They are going to have Revis stick to Ochocinco like a fly to flypaper. So, another receiver has to step up for the Bengals to make the Jets play honest. Coles might be the man. He knows what to do. He has been here before but he ain’t 25 years old any more. Maybe he can turn in a great performance if he can, the Bengals win. (The Bengals need a real tight end and a running back out of the backfield that can catch the ball.) I think that the Bengals are another year away from being really great.

  11. Jim White says:

    So did Pete Carroll decide he couldn’t hide the private funding of his players any more? Will there finally be consequences for what Reggie Bush did?

    And, in response to bmaz about the Colts: I agree that not going for the undefeated season was inexcusable, but now that we are where we are, I think a rested Colts team responds to all the outrage by playing well. Peyton’s not as young as he used to be, so he’s probably going to benefit from the rest this time.

    • GulfCoastPirate says:

      Yes, that’s what Pete decided. Do you think it’s any different at Florida, Alabama or Texas? LMAO.

  12. LabDancer says:

    Your Two Thousand Aught Ten National Favre League Winners, or:
    The Triumph Of Hope Over Common Sense

    The PreFavrian Era, or Round Redux

    The Ochocincinnatios
    Andy’s McPhilly Cheestiggles
    The Brady Fun Bündchens
    Bmaz’ Bmaroons

    Back to the Favruture, or

    Indianapolis Barncolts
    Sun Diego Normquisadores
    New Orleans Sheltered Saints
    Minnesota Indoorske

    Back to the Favruture The Sequel


    Valhalla Bowl, or Siegfavre’s Funeral March:


    • randiego says:

      Hey Randiego, what’s the word in your household on Tommy Tuberville taking over the Red Raiders? I was pulling for Ruffin McNeill.

      Anybody who knows anything about Texas (especially provincial Lubbock Texas) knows there’s no way Ruffin gets that job. I like him too, he really improved that defense – they were really getting good.

      It’s hard. I was more pissed than my wife was about Mike Leach. I’m not ready to discuss the new coach – I’m really going to miss the free-wheeling ball that Tech played under Leach, it was a joy to watch. Every team in that conference hated playing Tech, and I think with a defense they were close to really breaking out.

      I think that Tuberville will do well there – the admin REALLY needed to come up with a big name to replace a man that all Tech fans regard as God.

      • GulfCoastPirate says:

        How is Tuberville going to help that program? He’s got zero recruiting ties in the Texas high schools and the one time he tried to implement a spread offense at Auburn turned into a disaster. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Aggies go whizzing right past Tech in the pecking order. There must have been some very, very bad blood between Myers and Leach.

        Have you folks heard that Craig James has teamed up with some of the people who brought us the swiftboaters in an effort to run for the Senate? I’m thinking they shouldn’t put much of an effort into Lubbock.

        • randiego says:

          Holy crap! I missed the whole first half and I come back to this??

          Ed. note: It’s sunny and warm, and the surf was really good…

          Looks like the New York Jets are coming to San Diego.

        • randiego says:

          Hey GCP, I hear ya! Tech is gonna fall behind A&M and TCU in the Texas pecking order now…

          Craig James is a douche. I think his little fatwa to protect his offspring will eventually cost him his ESPN career. I doubt any coaches will want to talk to him after this mess.

          • GulfCoastPirate says:

            They were already behind TCU and probably UH also. I’m not so sure SMU doesn’t pass then now. The Aggies will gain because some of the Houston kids who may have gone to play for Leach will end up at A&M (UH and SMU are full for this year from what I understand). I can’t for the life of me figure out why they wanted Leach to sign that paper. They had to know it was a death warrant. For whatever reason they must have wanted him out real bad.

            Personally, I liked Leach and liked watching Tech play. That game with UH this year was awesome. Great college football. I just don’t know how a guy like Tuberville recruits enough to beat out the whorns and OU. Hell, I can’t figure out, other than for just the BCS money, why anyone would even stay in a conference with the whorns. I hear both Nebraska and Missouri want out the first chance they get. The Big XII is going to implode.

            • randiego says:

              Myers, the AD, is the former basketball coach. He’s never liked that Leach got so much attention, and that his basketball program had to go begging, ever after hiring Bobby Fucking Knight. The regents/chancellor had to intervene during the contract negotiations last year, which generated a lot of bad blood.

              Craig James was pissed because a) his kid wasn’t getting the playing time he thought he deserved; and b) Leach wouldn’t let his kid transfer to SMU. Leach has had a policy the entire time he was at Tech that he wouldn’t let a kid transfer to another Texas team. All the kids he recruits know that, but Mr. James thinks he’s special.

              Leach had another policy – injured players had to rehab at the practice facility, wearing team gear. James showed up at practice wearing street clothes, and although Leach has not said this, I believe he ‘disciplined’ him by sending him to the one place a kid with a slight concussion would be perfectly safe – a dark room, which James described as an electrical closet, but is actually an equipment storage room (and also the visiting team media facility).

              Leach was railroaded out of that job for several reasons, the biggest reason being financial. I hope he sues their ass for the full value of his remaining contract. The financials of the athletic department were already on thin ice, due to construction of a top-flight basketball arena, which apparently has a shaky financial deal. This is going to hurt them even more.

            • randiego says:

              from a TT fan blog –

              Last year the Big XII finished with a 3-way tie for first in the conference. When asked his thoughts on how the conference should determine who represented the Big XII South in the Championship Game, Mike Leach offered the following:

              “I think they should break that three-way tie based on graduation rate. I think the Big 12 conference should have an executive session [immediately],” Leach said. “When they do that, they will find that no one’s more deserving than the Red Raiders.”

              Indeed, the Red Raiders boast a 79% graduation rate, first in the Big XII. Texas came in eleventh of twelve at 50%. Oklahoma finished dead last in their conference, with a graduation rate of 46%. The national average is 67%.

              That 79% graduation rate is good for 8th in the country:
              Notre Dame (94 percent),
              Stanford (93),
              Boston College (92),
              Duke (92),
              Northwestern (92),
              Vanderbilt (91)
              Wake Forest (83)

              • GulfCoastPirate says:

                Yea, compared to some of the other people on TV I kind of like Corso.

                I remember Leach saying that last year. Funny guy.

                Did you see some of the remarks that Dana Holgerson over at UH made about the James kid? Not very complimentary.

  13. bmaz says:

    Hey, teh Chuckster is in da house! Barkley is in NBC studio for Saturday Night Live gig tonight and is dropping by the NBC NFL pregame show now.

  14. freepatriot says:



    Da Brady Bunch

    and the geezerless wonders from da frozen tundra

    cept I’m really rootin for DREW FOOKIN BREES

    but y’all new dat

    in the interest of full disclosure, watchin the Tide beat the shit out of texas was probably more fulfilling than watching texas beat the shit out of the Tide

    but just barely

    free at last, from a season in NCAA hell …

    • scribe says:

      No, that would be Funfunfachtzig. But, if he uses the au courant no-umlaut spelling it would both be Fuenfundachtzig and make his name one letter longer than Roethlisberger and the longest name in sports.

      Now, how do you get umlauts on your keyboard and, moreover, to print out.

        • scribe says:

          Because he’s a football player looking for attention, instead of a linguist or something.

          I bet if someone tells him that if he goes to “Fuenfundachtzig” his will be longer than Big Ben’s he’ll go for it.

      • PJEvans says:

        HTML has character names for that: letter+uml between the ampersand ‘&’ and the semicolon. Uppercase requires an uppercase letter.
        thus & + auml + ; gives ä
        & + Auml + ; gives Ä

        A little practice with computers can be fun.

  15. freepatriot says:

    after being shut out by Reavis last week, we have officially changed chad johnson’s name to:


  16. Neil says:

    1. Jets at Bengals (Tough team. Picked the favorite at home.)
    2. Iggles at Boyz (picked the underdog on the road against better judgment… b/c Romo #Fail.)
    3. Ravens at Pats (No Welker, No Brady ball. Pats barely beat Ravens in Balto. Raven smashmouth D wins.)
    4. Pack at Cards (Cards at home.)

    Bengals -3
    Boyz -3.5
    Pats -4
    Pack -1

      • Neil says:

        I’m counting on old habits surfacing under the pressure of playoff fottball. I won’t be disappointed if Romo plays great, just wrong in my pick.

    • emptywheel says:

      I WAS wondering why more people haven’t picked the Ravens. Even as a Pats fan, I was sorely tempted. On paper, the Ravens win that, definitely.

      But since this was solely to support the gambling habit …

      • ecthompson says:

        Something is wrong with their passing offense. The Ravens really haven’t looked that good since early in the season.

      • Neil says:

        The Pats are a “pass to setup the run offense”.

        It’s a tough pick because BillBel can cobble together an attack to replace Welker that includes Edelman, Taylor and Faulk … but Edelman, while better now than at the beginning of the season, cannot carry the load.

        Plus, so much of the Pats offense is called at the line of scrimmage, which ratchets up pressure to execute well. It takes practice and Edelman has not seen a lot of game time since Welker was carrying the load.

        Taylor is probably the best fit (as an alternative receiver out of the backfield) since they run a one back offense and he can both run and receive effectively.

        If you’re the Ravens defensive coordinator, you double Moss and rough him up. There is no Welker to make you pay.

        Most importantly, look at the two defenses and assess their ability to shutdown the opponent. Defense wins playoff games and the Pats defense while better than early in the season is vulnerable to the Ravens grind it out “three yards and a cloud of pelletized rubber” offense with play action pass.

        Of course in my heart, I want to be wrong about this pick but trash talk is about picknig winners not the team you favor.

            • phred says:

              Sometimes a person just knows who to root for ; )

              So is it me or do the Bungles seem oblivious to the fact that they are in a playoff game at home?!?! I’ve seen sheets of paper look less flat. Aside from dashing my hubcap hopes, I had thought they’d be playing a more exciting game…

                • phred says:

                  Oh I do remember, but I thought they had played a couple of really good games since then. I could be mistaken though, I haven’t followed their season that closely. I figured that either the Bengals would rally in memory of their lost team-mate or they would be unable to compete as effectively. I guess I had thought they might be in the former camp and it really is a shame to see their season end this way.

                  • emptywheel says:

                    Don’t know if that’s the issue. (THough, as a threshold matter, Revis wouldn’t have been as effective if Henry were healthy and present.)

                    But it may explain why they were flat. They did end the season very flat after the death.

                    • phred says:

                      They did end the season very flat after the death.

                      Ah, well then I was mistaken. It is a sad end to their season all the same.

                    • bmaz says:

                      They actually played extremely well against the Bolts I thought; the Chargerss were a buzzsaw the last half or more of the year, and it took a field goal at the end to beat Cinci, so they have played decently since Henry’s death. They just happened to lose….

                    • sluggahjells says:

                      In terms of if Henry was available for this game, Revis has covered every receiver in the league, so he would shut him down as well. However, in terms of the Jets being able to do to the same to the Bengals offense with a vertical thread in Henry implemented, it would lead to Lito Sheppard covering Ochocinco. And though Sheppard is a very capable cornerback in his own right, I would think that Chad would get more than one catch, that’s for sure.

                      But the Jets don’t even have the brilliant tackle that is Kris Jenkins, since he’s been out for them after getting injured in the second game against Buffalo (in Toronto) game if i remember correctly.

    • BayStateLibrul says:

      Those are great logical picks… but I hope you are wrong.

      To hedge my bets, I’d go with Neil…

      • Neil says:

        but I hope you are wrong.

        Me too!

        It was here at Emptywheel “Trash Talk” I learned to pick winners based on best analysis of who will win, not based on which team you like to follow for whatever reasons you have.

  17. dakine01 says:

    Not quite OT but watching the Cats & Dawgs from Lexington and whomever the idjit announcer is made one of those evergreen statements that always confuses me. He’s talking about the new Dawgs coach and how “Well, when he’s had a chance to recruit the athletes he wants that can run the floor and better athleticism…”

    Doesn’t EVERY ef’fing coach want to recruit better and faster athletes for their program, no matter what sport? Will someone just set up some type of stun program that would zap these idjits doing the announcing when they start spouting the cliches and statements of the overwhelmingly obvious?

    • bmaz says:

      John Wooden was much more concerned with brains than athleticism (although he loved players with both) and it seemed to work okay for him.

  18. sluggahjells says:

    The two keys in this game (Jets-Bengals) for me, besides the basics of course, is this:

    Will the return of Bengals defensive tackle Domata Peko stopped the best line in the league from establishing the run?

    And will David Harris’ injury affect his play and Rex Ryan’s defense today?

  19. scribe says:

    As to my picks for this playoff run, sadly uninteresting since I will not be able to say “Good Guys Wear Black”, I have to confess my picks are colored by outside influences. One of the folks with whom I spend a week fishing every summer is a huge Owboys fan, and the other equally roots for the Iggles. The Owboys fan has taken years of merciless mockery of the Owboys – T.O., Jessica Simpson, you name it. The Iggles fan, OTOH, is quite content to fling in a razor-pointed barb every now and again and is equally content given cigars and beer. Me, you all know I root for the Black and Gold and “Whomever is playing Dallas” week in and week out.

    So, I’m gonna pick the Iggles and hope, lest I have to spend a week in an 18 foot boat breathing outboard exhaust* hearing about the greatness of the OWboys.

    (* We do not let the OWboys fan drive the boat. Ever. Don’t ask.)

    As to the Cards and Cheesers: they play football? These are two teams destined to fall out of the tourney before the Big Game, so I have no real preference. The one that wins this week will likely lose next.

    As to the Pats and Ex-Browns, Pats. Filling in last week, Edelman looked like a Welker-droid and will be good enough to fill in that slot. Ray Lewis, a couple other folks and I decided this morning, has indeed lost a step. He’s still great, but he now can be gotten around. The Pats will.

    As to the J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS, we can expect a closer game than last week. I am compelled to note that the J-E-T-S have a habit much like their townsmen the Mets in that they routinely build their fans’ spirits up, buoying their hopes of finally (has it been 40 years, already?) winning it all, only to crush their hopes in the most cruel, brutal manner. Statistically improbable events – balls bouncing cockeyed, legs falling off, that sort of weird stuff – are the currency of defeat in Gang Green town. But, to be sure, if the J-E-T-S are the team of brutal defeats, the Bungles are just the team of defeat. And last week, they took a break and let the J-E-T-S win win win. This (and the Peytons’ lay down) doubtless pleased the advertising sales people at NFL HQ, and a similar Bungle disappearance this week will doubtless please them more. So, we have to choose between two teams with bad, brutal histories. I’ll choose the J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS for two reasons: this sets the JETS fans up for another soul-crushing, and it will serve the Bungles right for beating my Stillers.

    So, this week:
    Iggles, Pats, J-E-T-S and who cares.

    Iggles, Favres, Pats, Peytons

    The next week:
    Iggles, Peytons

    The end:

    But any of these could go the other way…. Which is why you play the games on the field instead of on paper.

    • ecthompson says:

      What’s with the Cowboy hatin’? :-) Ever since Buddy Ryan I have hated the Eagles as much as you hate the Cowboys!

        • ecthompson says:

          So Called? What do you mean – so called? I grew up in Dallas. We loved the Cowboys as did everyone who is good and pure at heart. America’s Team! Did you throw up on the keyboard? :-) Sorry for that. I couldn’t help myself.

          No Steel curtain this year. James Harrison ain’t the same as he was last year. Linebackers and d-line weren’t all that. Big Ben can’t do it by himself. Ward is too old and needs to be cut. Need 2 more wide recievers to go with Holmes and the Curtain is back in business. Oh, they need to fix the O-line also.

          • scribe says:

            I know the Stillers are not in the playoffs this year; rather than the J-E-T-S and Bungles, I was watching a rerun of Iron Chef and starting a pot roast.

            Dallas sucks. Only a sucky team like Jerry Jones’ would keep a coach the local paper named “Coach Cupcake”.

            And, after you view this, genuflect and cross yourself, get up and go watch the video – savor the hits Pearson #26 took, fer starters.

            And remember: I (on behalf of my Stillers) have the hubcap and Dallas don’t.

            • randiego says:

              Dallas sucks. Only a sucky team like Jerry Jones’ would keep a coach the local paper named “Coach Cupcake”.

              Hah hah, check it out. You’re wrong again. That’s gotta hurt. At least Coach Cupcake has won played in one more playoff game than the Stillers this year.

              Besides, it was a newspaper that called him that? Jesus, what sucks is the media in this country, and you know it. They’ll have you believe that Colt “I’m on a Rock” McCoy would have made a difference in a game that Texas shouldn’t have been in in the first place, or that guys like Phillips (and Norval) can’t coach. What the fuck do they know?

              • freepatriot says:

                Only a sucky team like Jerry Jones’ would keep a coach the local paper named “Coach Cupcake”.

                I really resent that “Coach Cupcake” bullshit

                don’t these people recognize the Staypuft Marshmallow Man when they see him ???

                fookin amateurs

                    • BayStateLibrul says:

                      From another Pat Fan…

                      Peter the Cleaner

                      ” In his third season as head coach…the 11th game of the season against Cleveland I believe…the 2nd half starts with the Patriots getting the ball….THREE STRAIGHT 12 MEN ON THE FIELD PENALTIES. Just unbelievable…and after the game he says in the interview room to the assembled media..”we just have to clean some things up…clean things up..”…hence the nickname Pete The Cleaner.”

                    • emptywheel says:

                      I’m a BillBel fan, not a long-time Pats fan.

                      I’ve always been too much of a migrant to have stable loyalties in sports.

                      Except that you always root against the Dodgers. That’s it. The one stable sports axiom in my life.

                  • freepatriot says:

                    It was the Fort Worth paper … that named him Coach Cupcake.


                    fookin texans

                    some day texans will figure out there are these things called “Films” …

                    they might learn about in-door plumbing in this century too

                    (duckin & runnin)

  20. sluggahjells says:

    Another key matchup emerging in this game to keep watching is the matchup between Coles and the rookie Lowery.

    Lowery has been a good find in the draft this year for the Jets, and his been a serviceable nickel back. But the Bengals have been smart to make this a one on one matchup that Coles must win, especially with Revis taking OchoCinco out of the game.

  21. sluggahjells says:

    Braylon Edwards drops another one……as a wide receiver in high school, can’t tell you how embarrassing that is…..times 1 billion at this stage of his career and where he is at.

  22. sluggahjells says:

    Consider this….Cederic Benson has 73 yards on 14 carries and have established the run. Yet, despite that, the Jets are up 14-7. The big plays have been clearly made by the Jets, as the Bengals defense, especially their linebacking core, has gotten soft in this second quarter. Field position has been huge.

    Benson has to be used more, but Mark Sanchez has outplayed Carson Palmer seriously.

    • phred says:

      What’s up with Palmer? I’m listening on the radio while making dinner and from what I gather his passing game is off… Is it just him or are the Bungles bungling all around?

  23. scribe says:

    Just for fun. Assume the J-E-T-S should manage to WIN WIN WIN. With this TD up the gut, it’s looking likelier. The TV announcer noted that the Cincy kicker is making most of his FG kicks but isn’t making them when they really need the kick. Like the one he just missed.

    Go out your car and flip over to AM and dial in 660 WFAN, the radio home of the Jets (fans) (and, in baseball season, the Mets). You’ll be able to get it – it’s a 50,000 watt station and a cold clear night and the skywave will be working just fine.

    You will get to hear one after another of those J-E-T-S fans – the ones who made their own Favre jerseys last year before they could buy them – in full crowing and preening mode, busting out all over with hope and anticipation and belief. Sure this could be the year when Weeb will look down from Heaven and smile, and Joe Willy will be able to leave Suzy Kolber alone long enough to see the J-E-T-S have another matinee-idol quality QB, and he can relax, and so on. The flights of fantasy and hope will rival those of the most fervent of Obamabots. Grown men – ironworkers and carpenters and cops and firemen – will cry.

    It’ll be worth a few minutes of your time – it’ll go on all night. Trust me on that.

  24. sluggahjells says:

    Shayne Graham, who was a great kicker in college at Tennessee, has kicked his last field goal in a Bengals jersey.

    Gang green keeps on rollin’

      • sluggahjells says:

        Duly fixed………still time through for the Bengals to produce something here thanks to dumb prevent defense.

        • phred says:

          Well Rematch #1 was a bit of a disappointment (excepting for the J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS fans who live to see another weekend ; )

          Here’s hoping Rematch #2 is a more interesting game…

    • bmaz says:

      Who knew it was the Jets that were bringing the ace quarterback to the game instead of the Bungles?? Man that was one lame performance by Carson Palmer.

      • Jim White says:

        Yeah, he hasn’t been around that long, but he’s already been upstaged by a kid who used to be a groupie. That’s gonna make a long off-season…

  25. sluggahjells says:

    Full review to come, but this has to be noted:

    The big impact plays in this game for the jets today where made by guys that they drafted. The core of Revis, Keller, Mangold, Sanchez, Ferguson and Shawn Greene were the difference makers in the game today. It is a testament to when you draft well, you create a nucleus that can play big in big game games. And that was the case today.

    For Cincinnati, the defense let up the big plays after playing solid for most of the time. They clearly didn’t account for Keller can hurt you if you neglect him, and he showed that today. What a tough way to end for an otherwise great bounce back season for a team most thought wouldn’t be able to overcome the Steelers and Ravens in their division, and then deal with the tragedy of Chris Henry’s death.

    It was a great game plan by Brian Schottenheiner today, and what more can you say about Sanchez?

    If he can play controlled and managed today like he did, the Jets will be very difficult to beat, no matter if its the Colts or the Chargers, who actually match up with them better than the Colts in my mind.

    • bmaz says:

      You best get yer Bose noise canceling headphones out of the closet, because the Iggles got squat for middle defense, safeties are kaput and linebackers nicked up too.

    • Jim White says:

      Iggles got hosed on the replay where the interception was overturned. I don’t think there was video proof the ball hit the ground–sure looked to me like his arm was under it.

      • phred says:

        Yeah but he didn’t have control. I agreed with that one. There were a couple of catches in the early game I thought should have been catches, but weren’t when the ground forced the ball out of the receiver’s hands. But then, nobody ever asked me to join the rules committee, so what do I know? ; )

        • Jim White says:

          But control is irrelevant if the ball doesn’t touch the ground. The initial ruling was that it didn’t, and don’t think the video was conclusive that it did.

          • phred says:

            I agree with you that touching the ground is key, but I thought they ruled it was lack of control (which was pretty clear). I may have misunderstood the call though. I’m still hoping the Iggles rally in the 2nd half…

  26. phred says:

    Just for the record, the Mr. and I are cheering for the Iggles, but after last weekend I thought it was a better bet to put big points on Dallas in my football pool. Either way, I’m hoping for a good close exciting game…

    • ecthompson says:

      Unless the Cowboys turn into the Houston Oilers they should be able to hold out and pull out a win. Wouldn’t that be GREAT.

      • phred says:

        The Mr. will pout, but I could really use the points. Besides Romo is a WI boy. I hail from the era of Lombardi and Landry, so cheering for the Boyz does not come easily to me. Calling it GREAT would be a stretch ; )

  27. phred says:

    As long as we are talking rules… I would just like to categorically state that I haven’t the faintest idea what constitutes pass interference and what doesn’t. I swear the refs flip a coin to decide whether or not they make the call. Jes sayin’.

  28. sluggahjells says:

    Just to comment on the Boise State situation.

    The end of the situation rankings are something that doesn’t get me too upset since the whole damage has been done over the cartel doing the BS and what it does and all.

    It is going to be interesting next year, because Boise State and TCU have no excuse to not be in at least the Top 7 pre-season, and for Boise State, the Top 3.

    Boise State will play at Virginia Tech on October 2 (well, at Fedex Field to be exact) and also have Oregon State the week before. All of their starters on both sides of the ball outside the terrific cornerback Kyle Wright (a 2nd round draft pick most likely) will return.

    If they go undefeated next year and aren’t in the national title game, and the same with TCU, then I really expect the system to be ripped up next year. The criticism and pressure will be too much I honesty think for it to handle from across the nation, and even from Congress and the White House.

  29. sluggahjells says:

    This is what happens when you can’t established the run at all. The Eagles are really missing that with Westbrook hampered.

    They have only ran the ball 8, yes, 8 times tonight. And with no balance, it puts pressure on the receivers, where really on Reggie Brown and tight end Selak prefer going over the middle.

  30. sluggahjells says:

    Against elite playoff caliber teams, some sort of balance has to be established. And it is like Andy Reid is forgetting that it is legal to run the football in the NFL.

    • phred says:

      True, but defenses win championships. Right now Philly’s defense is in as much trouble as their running game.

        • Peterr says:

          It’s never a good sign when a defensive back gets hit in the face with the ball and doesn’t catch it.

          You know he’s going to hear about that from his pals on the bench.

      • sluggahjells says:

        But that is the heart of the matter to what I am referring to. Dallas has negated the Eagles preference for blitzing by running the ball so effective with Jones, Barber, and Choice. It has made things much better for Romo to continue to make quality throws down the field.

        Rushing McNabb, even with his ability to move in and out of the pocket, has been the full game plan for Ware, Anthony Spencer, and the rest of the defense, as well as have the safeties, including a usually run first safety in Ken Hamlin, stay deep.

        • phred says:

          Agreed. I wasn’t trying to contradict you, just to emphasize that the Eagles have been struggling on both sides of the ball.

          And ecthompson, let me be the first to congratulate you on the Boyz victory!

          Good night all… I gotta go get my beauty rest for Packer Day tomorrow ; )

  31. bobschacht says:

    What is it with the Iggles #71? Does he need hearing aids? Can’t he remember the snap count?

    The Iggles have looked pathetic for the whole game. Except maybe for Vick’s first play.

    Bob in AZ

  32. sluggahjells says:

    With the exception of that one being with Jones in the box, for Tony Romo and Wade Phillips sake, I am happy for those two.

    Covering the sport as much as I do, it has gotten tiring how people have piled on both Romo and Phillips so much. Now obviously, it has been some of their own doing with not winning the big games, but the obsession on them not being good enough hasn’t gotten to those obsessing over Romo playing golf.

    Those thoughts have happily gone away.

    • bobschacht says:

      it has gotten tiring how people have piled on both Romo and Phillips so much.

      I agree. When Wade’s dad, Bum, was coaching Houston, I was living there. Later, I lived in Denver, and had become a Bronco’s fan when Wade became a coach there. Can’t say I’ve ever been a Cowboy’s fan, but they’re better with Wade, and have earned my respect.

      Bob in AZ

  33. ecthompson says:

    Let me be the first to say I have endured McNabb moonwalking all over the Cowboys for the last 10 or more years. Damn it is good to beat the Eagles.

  34. sluggahjells says:

    Tonight was a night where the Eagles did really miss Stewart Bradley too. It wasn’t too long before people saw once again that Jeremiah Trotter is too old to play meaningful minutes as linebacker in this league.

  35. Neil says:

    I’m O-for the day. I wouldn’t mind going O-for the weekend. Then at least my pats would win and the pack, too.

    Who agrees the teams with the best defense won today? (Too bad I’m not better at assessing defense.)

  36. randiego says:

    I had the Jets and Cowboys today, based on what happened last week… but of course I was away and didn’t see the thread to record my picks…. heh heh

    Tomorrow, I’m taking home teams. Packers (based on last weeks’ results) and Pats. I’m MUCH less sure about these games, they will both be close.

      • freepatriot says:

        he could be a “packer smacker”

        or a “card crusher”

        the Primordial Ooze beneath “the Big Toaster” shall decide

        the crystal bong has no preference

  37. BayStateLibrul says:

    Get Joey

    Get Joe

    Get Flacco

    Give him a Mickey Finn

    Pressure the QB and we might win at old Schaeffer Stadium.

    Coach Bill is the Sherlock Holmes of Route #1.

    Concern, apprehension, and jitters, but please no panic today.

    “Sophomore quarterback Joe Flacco has struggled with consistency this season (in the last five weeks, he’s had passer ratings of 27.2 and 135.6) but has proven he can lead a team to playoff success. Flacco has excellent physical tools, including great size (6 feet 6 inches, 235 pounds), a powerful arm, and excellent vision. Most important, he has a winner’s mentality. Flacco is smart. He reads through his progressions and delivers some of the tightest spirals in the business. Although he makes quick decisions, they are not always good ones, and he doesn’t protect the ball the way he should (12 INTs, 8 fumbles).”

  38. 4jkb4ia says:

    a) SEE!?

    b) The goal for the near future is to play the real Colts, even if this is next week and bmaz will say that the Colts came out flat.

  39. 4jkb4ia says:

    Not much compensation for missing the New Year’s Day thread, but this is the group which I saw last night. Very good voices and love of Beatles obvious.

  40. sluggahjells says:

    The key factor to the Ravens-Patriots game

    Which team’s Front 7 will protect their malign secondary from not be maligned today?
    The weakness of both of these teams is in their cornerbacks.

    For the Ravens, with Ed Reed being hampered by injury in the latter stages of the season, the heat has been turned on their cornerbacks. Fabien Washington, before he went down for the season, was constantly beaten all year long. Domonique Foxworthy hasn’t at all been worthy. And while Chris Carr has performed admirably, he is not at all a top echelon cover guy.

    The Patriots “men on an island” need not talk as well. It has been a mostly down rookie year for Daris Butler. Shawn Springs has shown that he is way pass his prime and won’t be back next season probably. And Leigh Bolden has never been, and will probably never be, a true starter in this league.

    It is vital to the success of both teams today that Tom Brady or Joe Flacco don’t have time to connect to their options today. Because if they do, it will be a long day for the defensive backs coaches of both teams today.

      • sluggahjells says:

        Nah…the Ravens Front 7 has so far taken the pressure off their cornerbacks. Foxworth and Carr have not been tested at all in this game.

        The fact that they are starting to finally throw the ball to Moss may change that.

  41. Neil says:

    I didn’t expect a touchdown run up the middle on the first game from scrimmage.

    NOBODY EXPECTS a touchdown run up the middle on the first game from scrimmage. We have two weapons, ground game play actions and fear, three weapons

  42. Neil says:

    I’m glad you guys are here for this. I don’t think I could bear it on it on my own. Patriot pride will kick in …. any moment now.

  43. Neil says:

    Good thing our punter Hansen is such a good tackler. Everything is coming together now.

    The good news? The Pats get possession to start the second half (Yep, that’s about it so far.)

    I don’t recall this team (Pats) being a slow starting team or having trouble in the cold weather so I have to conclude they’ve come out flat. What do you think?

    • phred says:

      I’m listening to the radio Neil, so I hesitate to comment on whether the Pats are flat, but I can tell you the Pats regular announcers are in shock. They are at a bit of a loss as to what to say…

      Still now that the Pats have forced a Ravens punt maybe they’ll settle in a bit…

  44. Neil says:

    Faulk is producing and the O line is starting to get it together. Oops spoke too soon.

    It looks like drop back passing will be getting too much pressure to work. Better stick with quick release passes, play action and permiter screens.

    (Tom Brady knows better than to throw the ball away in bounds.)

  45. Neil says:

    WOW, Ravens score three rushing touchdowns in the first 8 minutes. That’s what they call ‘a punch in the mouth’.

  46. Jim White says:

    Ravens are on track to score a hundred.

    Just sayin’.

    And I thought this game was in Philly when I first turned it on because I heard so much booing.

    • Neil says:

      It’s par for the course. Boston sports fans, especially Patriots fans, have little tolerance for ineffective and incompetent efforts. They’re used to teams good enough to be in the hunt.

      (I’m reminded of Emptywheel’s observations about the brain drain in coaching ranks and the talent drain of proven players looking for premium pay. One quarter of play is hardly compelling evidence but this is not the team, especially on defense, that we’ve enjoyed for so many years with a variety of different players filling out the starting roster on O and D.)

      Faulk is playing well and picking up slack of not having Welker. Now if the rest of the Offense can play like the pros they are.

  47. scribe says:

    Talk about an asswhipping.

    And the Ex-brownies just blew a good chance at a challenge and it will cost them a TD in a minute.

  48. Neil says:

    Pats earn a break!

    (Simms is wrong on the Pats punt fumble recovery. One knee equals two feet, and it was not a pass completion that requires a sustained possession after moving out of bounds.)

    • sluggahjells says:

      Has to be control of possession all the way to the ground as well. Simms was right, that’s a challenge that would have been overtuned.

      • Neil says:

        Has to be control of possession all the way to the ground as well.

        Not true. It was not a pass, it was a fumble recovery. He just has to establish possession before going out of bounds, which he did by gathering the ball to his chest with both arms. His knee was down with possession before he went out. The ground cannot cause a fumble. nonetheless, Balto should have challenged (it was for possession deep in balto territory.)

        • Neil says:

          sluggahjells, you got me thinking and this is what I think:

          Possession: When a player controls the ball throughout the act of clearly touching both feet, or any other part of his body other than his hand(s), to the ground inbounds. (NFL.com rulebook)

          In this case, I saw his his right knee hit inbounds as he controlled the ball (against his chest) with his arms. Then he slid out of bounds and lost possession … but the play was over when his knee hit with possession. The rule that applies here is possession of a muff, not a pass reception.

          It was not a fumble but a muff (becuase the Ravens never possessed the ball.) However, the distinction is of no consequence to the referee’s call in this situation since the question of fumble or muff bears on the punting teams ability to advance the ball (it cannot), not their opportunity to re-possess it after the receiving team muffs the punt reception.

          A ‘muff’ is generally used with punting and occurs when the player that is catching the punt drops it or ‘muffs it’ without ever having possession of the ball. There is a distinct difference in the NFL rules between a muff and a fumble. If a punt receiver fumbles a punt, that means he had possession of the ball and then fumbled. The punting team can recover a fumble and advance it as many yards as they can get. If a punt receiver muffs a punt, that means the receiver did not have possession of the ball. The punting team may recover a muff but may not advance the ball. The punting team would gain possession of the ball at the spot of the recovery.

          Did you see the same squence of events?

      • sluggahjells says:

        No double teaming him, he just has not even bothered to find him. The pressure that the Ravens linebackers have provided today has been a problem, but the playing calling has been awful.

        Moss is a guy you have to have active form play one, and the fact that they haven’t established him has been pretty poor, especially considering the situation.

  49. phred says:

    Oh yeah, here comes the big comeback ; )

    By the way Jim, as a regular at Fenway I can attest to Neil’s statement about the prevalence of booing. The hubby and I were taken aback at first, but now we just start laughing. Yep, nothing like unwavering support for the home team ; )

    • scribe says:

      They boo because they care.

      And if you think Boston is … excessive or something when it comes to booing, that just shows you’ve never been to a Phillies game.

      They booed the Mayor at the opening day of the Phillies new stadium. And then, when he told them they boo because they care, they immediately cheered him.

      I once had the opportnity to pass through the range of Philly’s leading sports-talk station on a slow Sunday afternoon when they didn’t have the rights to whatever game was going on at that moment. The hour quickly moved into an extended, post-grad seminar on the “Theory and Practice of Booing” presented by some of the experts. One of the callers (Joey from The Northeast, or something) synopsized it best:

      “The true fan has three duties: To show up, to boo and to cheer.”

      Everyone agreed with that. The other callers agreed almost uniformly with another principle: “You do not boo the guy who’s hustling, even if he’s coming up short. You appreciate and show respect for his hustle. You boo the guy who’s dogging it.”

      Thus, Pat Burrell (then a Phillie known for dogging it) was OK to boo. Lenny Dykstra and Larry Bowa: never. They both hustled their asses off.

      Again: they boo because they care. Ask Sarah Palin, elbowing her way in to drop the puck on the Flyers’ hockey mom night, during the campaign last year. Comcast and the Flyers had to amp up the speakers playing cheers to drown out the boos.

      • phred says:

        The other callers agreed almost uniformly with another principle: “You do not boo the guy who’s hustling, even if he’s coming up short. You appreciate and show respect for his hustle. You boo the guy who’s dogging it.”

        This makes some sense if you believe the boos will motivate the slacker to perform better. But I have definitely witnessed booing when the visiting team is simply playing a better game and the fans are testy.

        One can also argue that when fans of a local high school team are cheering wildly to encourage their team when they are down that those fans care, too. I guess my problem is I was raised on small town good sportsmanship. Booing is bad form. I simply don’t do it. I want my team to win, so I fail to see how booing is motivational. Maybe it’s a guy thing ; )

        • scribe says:

          The core of booing when your team is behind lies in the sentiment that “To pay for this ticket, I paid good money that I, at a crappy job, worked hard to earn and I wanted to see a good game. These guys are dogging it, don’t care and are stealing my entertainment dollar.”

          It’s not a matter of attempting to motivate the team on the field. It’s about feedback, as in communicating disapproval. Just like booing bad singing at the opera or walking out on a crappy movie. (Or, as in one game I recall, booing the cops for chasing down the drunk who decided streaking the outfield was a good idea to fill the time between innings.)

          You won’t see/hear booing at games where it’s closely fought, the 2-1 pitchers’ duel or the seesawing 14-13 game where nobody can get an out.

          • phred says:

            Good point. That’s a different perspective than mine and like I said it makes some sense.

            FWIW, I’ve never booed at the opera either. I tend to be overwhelmed with pity for someone performing poorly in public, because I presume they are giving it their best shot and coming up short. On the other hand, if they are slackin’ and the paying audience feels the performer isn’t trying to do their best, well then, I see your point.

            • Petrocelli says:

              How do you tell when someone is singing well in an Opera ?

              They all sound like they’re giving birth … to Wilt Chamberlain …

              *Ducks and Runs*

              • phred says:

                LOL! Fully grown I take it? ; )

                Hiya Petro, nice of you to join us, although I think this is a first: opera trash talk on a football thread!

                • Petrocelli says:

                  LOL … I couldn’t resist.

                  I came by to read all the trash being thrown at the Pats … *g*will you be here for the Packer’s win ?!!

                  FWIW, my fave is Mario Lanza and the one who embodied Opera, to me, was Pavarotti. He always seemed to be enjoying himself so much.

                  • phred says:

                    will you be here for the Packer’s win ?!!

                    I sure hope so (the win, that is, I know I’ll be here)!!!

                    To be fair, Mom was the big opera fan in the family. I grew up listening to the Texaco Metropolitan Opera radio broadcast on Saturday afternoons. Mom really loved Maria Callas, Beverly Sills, folks from the pre-Pavarotti era, but you’re right Pavarotti is as much fun to watch as to listen to… Dare I compare him to Brett??? ; )

                    • Petrocelli says:

                      I’ve enjoyed watching Favray play all these years. The guy who is most impressive, is Sydney Rice.

                      The games next weekend are going to be fun !

                    • Neil says:

                      My dad was the opera fan growing up at my house. He loved opera and classical music.

                      Sunday mornings, his day off, was when he played his favorite music, pretty early in the morning as I recall, for his enjoyment and as a bid to get the kids up for mass.

                    • Neil says:

                      Yes. We didn’t have much of a choice. He played it loud and whether we were all going to church was not a question.

                • LabDancer says:

                  But it shouldn’t be the last; after all, we put up with bmaz on internal combustion engines buzzing around in little circles; and while it’s not as if there’s room for the Brady Bunch to pull out a victory, there’s loads of time to debate which lyric tragedy captures the Fall of the House of Belichick. I open with Verdi’s Don Carlos.

                  • phred says:

                    Well played. How about Bach’s Morimur written following the death of his wife? Not technically opera, but it’s the first thing that came to mind ; )

                    • LabDancer says:

                      Given Belichick’s future isn’t on the line, and Brady’s still really a baby in Favre Years, do you think maybe Morimur is a tad too majestically final?

                      On the other hand, if we’re straying from the form, how about Schubert’s Schwanengesang cycle covering the entire season for a certain Viking transplant from the magnolia state?

                    • phred says:

                      Yep. Plus, I better not get cocky or they’re gonna play Morimur for McCarthy & Thomspon ; ) Of course, that would make bmaz deliriously happy ; )

                    • phred says:

                      Just what are you implying… I may be sittin’ here with a big bowl of popcorn and a pile o’ cheese and some tasty french bread, but I am not singing! Not yet anyway ; )

        • Neil says:

          Neither shame nor fear are aspirational motivational techniques. While I see a difference between booing professional athletes (who are going through the motions and getting trounced by a motivated opponent) there’s no drawing a line between that and booing amateurs in college or high school or youth sports … and so I agree with phred. Because humans learn so much about what is acceptable and not acceptable from others modeling behaviors, booing should explicitly discouraged at professional sports contests just as it is at amateur sports contests.

  50. Neil says:

    Edelman comes through! Fantastic. (Down 17. 11’18 in the 2nd.)

    Can the Pats defense stop the Ravens running game?

  51. Neil says:

    Why did we – THE PATS – have two receivers in the same place 40 yards down field? It was the off corner covering the other receiver who made the pick.

  52. sluggahjells says:

    This is the worst Brady has ever played…..as a Jets fan, this should give me glee.

    But this has been shocking though.

  53. sluggahjells says:

    The Ravens are still keeping the Patriots in this game though. The Pats need a touchdown on this drive to have any chance, but the Ravens are keeping the door open by not putting a nail in their coffin.

  54. sluggahjells says:

    Flacco’s only quality throw of the day is a big one to Clayton. Again, preferable if the Ravens score the touchdown here. Their chance to put the Patriots away here.

  55. sluggahjells says:

    Edelman is showing that Welker wouldn’t have mattered in my mind if he was in this game. The Patriots have not stopped the run today at all, and they haven’t even thought of getting Moss more involved than he needed to be.

  56. bobschacht says:

    Well, there’s still time on the clock, but the game’s over.

    My question: Will Randy Moss still be with the Patriots next year? He was El Foldo in The Big Game. The guy’s got an attitude problem. But just as big is that his relationship with Brady has soured. What use is Moss if Brady won’t throw to him? They didn’t connect at all in the first half, and the Moss receptions in the second half were a hill of beans to someone of his caliber.

    So, will Moss be a Pat next year?

    Bob in AZ

    • Neil says:

      … imagine a player with Moss’ body and Welker’s heart.

      …{{Shakes himself out of his fantasy}}

      I think the pats keep him unless they find something better, which may not be too hard after all.

  57. scribe says:

    And the game will end with Brady on his ass.

    And Moss walking to the locker room alone, with an angry look on his face.

  58. bmaz says:

    Fank Caliendo is the most unfunny worthless waste of time and money I have ever seen on a sports pre-game show. The dude is fucking terrible.

    • freepatriot says:

      Fank Caliendo is the most unfunny worthless waste of time and money I have ever seen on a sports pre-game show. The dude is fucking terrible

      so, you’re sayin you’ve never seen lou holtz or dick vitale before, huh ???

      • dakine01 says:

        Hell, Holtz and Vitale actually do know something about the sports they are covering, even if they do have the unfunny schtick down pat.

        Caliendo? Not so much

        • randiego says:

          hey, this reminds me. Did anyone notice Lee Corso’s speech impediment during the pre-game /post-game for the NC game the other night? I was sitting there thinking “he’s had a stroke…”

        • freepatriot says:

          Hell, Holtz and Vitale actually do know something about the sports they are covering, even if they do have the unfunny schtick down pat.

          vitale’s enthusiasm is illegal in 18 states

          and scientific studies have proven that lou holtz’ whiny voice stunts childrens’ growth (rumor is that lou’s voice once killed a dog)

  59. LabDancer says:

    So far this weekend:

    [1] going with the team with the crafty old QB has proven imprudent, and
    [2] I’m increasingly interested in whether there’s an antonym for “hubcap”.

  60. bobschacht says:

    Well, just for the occasion today, I put up a large 2 x 3 foot hanging of a very large cardinal in my window just before the game. And what happens? Two Packer turnovers in the Packer’s first two possessions, leading to two Cardinal touchdowns! The Cardinal’s playoff experience is showing, both on defense and offense.

    Worrisome sign: on the Packer’s second kick-off return, the Cardinals had about 4 major missed tackles that could have cost them a pile of yards, but fortunately their contain was good.

    Bob in AZ

      • scribe says:

        I’ve been to Limburg, I’ve eaten the real stuff and the stink is overrated, both as to power and pungency.

        The real stink is what you get when you make (very simple recipe here) a Hessian specialty called
        Handkaese mit Musik“, i.e. hand [-formed soft sour] cheese with music.

        It’s good, BTW.

        Back to football: Fitzgerald has waited, again, for the playoffs to play with his hair on fire.

        • phred says:

          I’ll take your word for it on the cheese. I’ve never had Limburger nor have I heard of the musical cheese, but I’m game if they ever find a way to my plate ; )

    • phred says:

      Well, I am still emerging from my holiday food coma — does that count? ; )

      Oh and WooHoo! Packer TD : )

  61. bobschacht says:

    Cards better wake up. They’re in a play-off game, in case they hadn’t noticed. They were totally asleep on that on-side kick, and on the Pack’s TD play, they should have had Rodgers on a blitz but the blitzer ran right by him.

    Bob in AZ

  62. sluggahjells says:

    Back from handing biz at TWD.

    McCarthy’s smart decision there will hopefully give his defense time to forget out how not to give Warner 100 seconds in the pocket.

    • LabDancer says:

      And I believe he’s not done yet. Yes the Packers low post strength is giving them the advantage off the boards, but they’re not showing any capacity in stopping the Suns on their run-and-gun offence, particularly with all those 3 pointers & pick-and-rolls …… this is basketball, no?

      • phred says:

        Yep, basketball. Definitely the pro-game, where each team goes the length of the court field and scores.

  63. bobschacht says:

    Geebus. Neither defense can stop the other team. But if they’re just going to trade touchdowns, the Cards win.

    To me, the last Packer drive looked better than the last Card drive.

    Bob in AZ

  64. sluggahjells says:

    Well, it’s clear that Boudin has not been missed this game.

    The former Michigan man Breaston and LSU’s standard receiver two years ago in Doucet have been clutch.

    By the way, the loss of Chad Clifton I think will be the one thing to slow this Packers juggernaut.

  65. sluggahjells says:

    Then again, when you can make throws like that on the run like Rodgers just did, then it can negate the loss of Clifton for this game.

    If this game goes overtime, this thread could go over 400 posts.

  66. bobschacht says:

    I thought I remembered that Breaston was a Michigander. He’s had a great game so far.

    The critical play during the 4th quarter seems to have been that the Packers stopped the Cards on one possession. Other than that, neither defense has stopped the other. If the Cards allow a touchdown now,….

    Bob in AZ

    • PJEvans says:

      We were … up and down … in those last five minutes of play.
      But the Cards had to work to win it, after all. (Better than another blowout.)

      • bobschacht says:

        The Cardinals defense has got to work better than it did tonight if they’re going to get past N’awlins. Allowing 45 points in 3 quarters doesn’t win many play-off games.

        Bob in AZ

    • Petrocelli says:

      Applause for the Packers … Aaron Rodgers is gonna be something special down the road.

      Cards are toast in Nawlins !

  67. freepatriot says:

    the question on NFL network:

    is Kurt Warner worthy of entry to the hall of fame ???

    I don’t know about his numbers, but he’s old enough to be in the hall

    bet he gets the “seniors” discount when he visits …

    (duckin & runnin)

    • bmaz says:

      It may have been questionable before; but taking the fucking Arizona Cardinals to the SuperBowl and within a few seconds of winning it? Yeah, that puts him in if you ask me (and I am not a huge fan of his to be honest).

      • bobschacht says:

        One of those guys on TeeVee was saying that Kurt Warner got to 4000 (?) yards passing faster than any of the other greats. He has some legit HoF numbers, so yeah, that’s where he’s headed– unless he gets caught betting on games…

        Bob in AZ

          • bobschacht says:

            I forget what the actual statistic was, but it was some passing milestone for measuring great quarterbacks, and he got there faster than anyone else. Maybe it was 30,000 yards. I can’t remember.

            Bob in AZ

          • bobschacht says:

            OK, here’s some HoF relevant stats, courtesy of the Wikipedia:

            Warner owns the three highest single-game passing yardage totals in Super Bowl history.

            Warner is ranked among the top QB’s all-time in career passer rating, behind Steve Young, and several active players, such as Peyton Manning, Tony Romo, and Philip Rivers.[3][4]

            Warner has the second-highest completion percentage in NFL history (trailing only Chad Pennington), with a career percentage of 65.4%.[5]

            He also holds the highest completion percentage in a single game during the regular season, at 92.3 percent (24/26), on September 20, 2009, against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Tom Brady is the only player to have thrown for a higher single game completion percentage, with 92.9 percent (26/28) in a playoff game.[6]

            Warner holds the third-highest single game passing completion percentage in NFL playoffs history, with 87.9 percent (29/33), on January 10, 2010 in an NFC Wildcard game against the Green Bay Packers. [Whoever edits this entry is FAST!]

            Warner has completed 290 out 436 passes in 12 career playoff games, for an NFL record 66.5 passing completion percentage.

            I think those are pretty good HoF stats.

            Bob in AZ

          • freepatriot says:

            I heard he honed his passing game playing arena football.

            Arena Football yards are like Dog Years

            7 for 1

            so the old man geezer of the south is prolly still a lil short

  68. CTuttle says:

    What’s the over/under that the Rams take Tebow…? He could return the Rams to their former “Greatest Show on Turf” status…! ;-)

    • freepatriot says:

      What’s the over/under that the Rams take Tebow…?

      about that first part, the thought of “snowball in hell” comes to mind

      about the second part

      He could return the Rams to their former “Greatest Show on Turf” status…! ;-)

      You better bet on the snow balls too, just to be safe …

      • bobschacht says:

        Ah! The lurking mods must have fixed that glitch. Some of my edited comments previously had remained squished together; in fact, I think mine @395 originally came out squished when I “saved” it, which is why I wrote 396, but apparently it was subsequently “fixed.” Oh, well. I’m glad some of y’all were still up to see it.

        Bob in AZ

        • freepatriot says:


          it fixes itself when ya refresh

          it’s a glich in the edit function

          after ya edit, refresh to see how you did