Divisional Playoff Trash – One Way Out Version

I must sincerely, and profusely, apologize for my negligence, carelessness, recklessness and, in general, sins of all varieties that resulted in the physical, emotional, and galactic damages resulting from THIS HIDEOUS NIGHTMARE! There is only one way out of this weekend for teams whose quest is the SuperBowl (just win baby) and there is only one way out of the, admittedly fair, doghouse I am in. Say yes to the Allman Brothers, and NO to Brady Pron, the overly joyous musical video.

So that nobody has to traumatize themselves with said offending Tom Brady Porn Video again, ever, in the history of humanity (or at least until I piss Marcy off again), here is what the itinerant, but knowledgeable one had to say there:

Pats, Packers, Ravens, NOLA. That’s who I’m taking.

In the bracket I did before the playoffs, I said the Stillers would eliminate the Pats in this round. And while I do think the lack of snow in Foxboro is actually proof that god invented climate change so as to help Tim Tebow avoid snow at Gillette stadium–with real weather, there’d be little chance he’d look like the QB he played on TV last week, without it, he can certainly do some damage against the worst D in football! But I do think the Pats can beat Baby Jesus. Or maybe I’m just hoping that the rule–which thus far has held up–that True Evil always beats Baby Jesus still holds.

I think the Gents–who will face real weather at Lambeau (the goddess has finally blessed us Midwesterners with snow)–stand a really good shot at the Packers. They certainly have the best D in the playoffs–and perhaps the best D in the NFL–to shut down the Packers, particularly if it gets sloppy at all. Still, tough to beat against the Packers here. But I’ve been trash talking about how well that other UM standout player, Charles Woodson, has held up over the years, so I’m gonna suggest that he brings out the Bad Eli.

The Texans looked pretty great last week, and QB position aside, they’re finally beginning to get healthy. But TJ Yates has yet to make the intimate acquaintance of the Ravens D, and playoff games are not the time to do so. So I take the Ravens.

I think the toughest game of the weekend, though, is the NOLA-9ers game. A few weeks ago, I said we’d have a repeat HarBowl for the Super Bowl. I’d still be happy to watch that one. But I’m feeling really good about the Saints this weekend, slow grass and scary outdoors and all. Besides the fact, this is one game where I’d be happy no matter who wins.

Okay, bmaz back here again. In all honesty, I was warned that you, our kind readers and friends, might be harmed by the evil force that would post a weapon of mass derision like the Brady Pron. And I was a bad man for not stopping such grievous mass suffering. So, I will repent by giving some really crappy competing analysis of the Divisional Playoff weekend games.

First off, if you watch ESPN, you would think the only game going this weekend is the Baby Jesus Bowl at Foxborough. But that is not even close to the best game on the slate, which is the Cheese and Gents. The Giants are the “it team” of the moment as they seem to be peaking at the right time, actually played last weekend so are in people’s minds and, well, they are from New Yawk. Giants have a resurgent running game, a gelling defense with Jean Pierre-Paul and Usi Umenyiora up front and a fairly solid crew behind them. And Good and/or Bad Eli. Which has all hypnotized and mesmerized people into forgetting about L’il ‘ole Aaron Rodgers, Gregg Jennings and the Packer offense. Oh, and the Cheesers have both of their stud offensive linemen back now, as well as both James Starks and Ryan Grant healthy. You think Clay Matthews and Charles Woodson might not want to make a statement? I think they will; Gents will be tough, but this game is gonna be played on the Frozen Tundra at Lambeau. That spells Go Pack go!

The second best game is the other NFC game, Saints at 49ers. Again, the popular wisdom is that the awesome defense of the Niners will strangle Drew Brees, Darren Sproles and the Borg like Saints offense. Their defense is not what it once was, but adequate. The game is outdoors at The Stick, which does indeed help SF and take a little speed off the Saints. But I dunno, I am taking the Saints here. Niners are solid and are going to be for years to come, but not yet; not against Drew Breeeees.

Coming in at number 3 is the Texans at Ravens. You know who Baltimore is, Ray Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs and Easy Ed Reed. But the Ravens’ offense depends on Joe Flacco and Ray Rice; if one does not get going the other often does not. That has proven to be a tricky proposition in playoff games. Houston has a stout D, both front and back, and their offense is quite good at running, receiving and line. The only weak link is QB where the Ravens are led by rapidly improving TJ Yates. I like the Texans better than most in this game; cannot pick them to win, but I will rate it a genuine tossup.

Last in actual football factors, but first in the hearts and minds of all Baby Jesus freaks everywhere, comes the Donkos at Foxborough, the home of Bill Bel, Bieber Brady, Wes Welker, the Gronk and…..someone, I guess, on defense. The loss of Eric Decker is a bigger negative than let on by the media, despite the emergence of Demaryius Thomas in Denver’s miracle wildcard win over the Stillers. I think this is a better game than many think, may even be close, but it is just hard to see the Donks besting the Gronks in a second round playoff game. Just don’t see it. Do you believe in miracles?

Well, there is your lineup. Sorry about that whole ugly Brady pron thing. I am still shuddering. Nasty stuff. All that said, I come out at about the same place as Marcy on the predictions. Game on!

240 replies
  1. emptywheel says:

    Wut? Wut!?!?

    You got all uptight and wutnot and forgot to mention Tebowie?

    For all the Sturm und Drang here, I note you picked the same 4 teams I did.

  2. bmaz says:

    @emptywheel: Wot U talking about? Tebowie is in the main post. Took me a bit to figure out how to resize and format that damn Hulu video format, but it is in there.

  3. Petrocelli says:

    9ers, Crows, Biebers & Packers[or phred will have my Head !].

    Seriously though, the Packers are such a complete Team right now and their Coaching staff has done a tremendous job of adjusting to other Teams.

    Huge fan of Brees, who’s been having a Hall of Fame year … but can’t back him agin da 9ers !

  4. nomolos says:

    Keeryst. From BJs to hardcore porn un-bloody-believable.

    I am proudly wearing my ‘T’ shirt that reads “Thank God I am an Atheist” and I am going to wear it at the damn game in the freezing damn weather. And if anyone is praying in the parking lot I will do a US Marine on them.

  5. Jim White says:

    I gotta think there is this small, inner voice pulling Ms. Wheel inexorably toward the Tebowie. After all, someone who would name their dog after a Bronco has a daily reminder of how good that team is when it has the proper personnel.

  6. emptywheel says:

    @Jim White: For the record, I believe Mr. EW gets credit for the name (though it was a plus that if we moved McC to the home country he’d fit right in). Eddie McC was Mr. EW’s favorite player because E MC played football a lot like Mr. EW played ultimate (And they had the same skinny body type). Then we got skinny athletic McCaffrey the MilleniaLab (they’re faster and leaner than regular Labs, you see), and it turned out that McC was even more resilient than Eddie McC (when McC got hit by a Camry, the only damage he sustained was a broken toenail).

    If I were naming a dog after a football player it’d probably be a Rottweiler or a Pit named “Lott.”

    Then again, we didn’t so much choose McC as he stuck his tongue out of the kennel he was in at the pound and grabbed Derek and didn’t let go.

  7. Bay State Librul says:


    I’m jealous. Have a great time at freezin Gillette, and pick up some Hot Hands.

    “In anticipation of the cold weather, fans arriving early will receive HotHands hand warmers for “up to 10 hours of heat.” Earlier this week, the Kraft family purchased a vendor’s entire inventory of the hand warmers and will distribute the 20,000 packets to fans at entrances throughout the stadium.

    The forecast for Saturday calls for a high of 32 degrees, but the low is expected to dip into the single-digits by the end of the game.”

  8. emptywheel says:

    @Bay State Librul: See? See?!?!?! Tebow must have done something to incur the Goddesses wrath. And thusly, Goddess reversed climate change so as to teach Tebow to have the wisdom of Job!

  9. nomolos says:

    @Bay State Librul: Hot hands are part of the regular kit for Pats games though I wish the hell I had some hot pants…those seats are bloody freezing even with a cushion. Als, and probably more information than you ever wanted to know, without a hot hand peeing is bloody impossible.

  10. jo6pac says:

    Well it will be a balmy 66 today at the stick without much wind sorry about the cold in your area. I’ll be planting potatoes in the garden until it’s 9er time.

  11. emptywheel says:

    Ut oh. While BillBel has been playing his regular games with injury reports–claiming that 13 Pats are questionable–including Chung and Welker (for some reason AP reported it as straight news, having missed the whole NYT Truth Vigilante episode)–this one sounds like it might matter:

    Situation to monitor tonight: some around league believe Denver DE Elvis Dumervil also nursing knee injury in addition to ankle issue.l

  12. Bay State Librul says:


    My home town of Salem Mass, to wit the witches, are preparing various spells to bring a victory to New England.

    How do you beat a verb, with another verb — To gronk

    From Business Insider

    “It’s the Pats offense, and more specifically tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.


    The Broncos defense has gotten a lot of accolades for its turnaround in the second-half of the season.

    But its one huge flaw, as measured by the stat-heads at Football Outsiders, is its pass defense on medium- and long-range throws over the middle.

    And what’s the big strength of the Pats offense?

    Gronk (17 TDs), and his trusty tight-end sidekick Hernandez catching balls in the middle of the field.

    So (hilariously), the guy who will probably put Tebowmania to bed for 2011-12 is a porn-star-loving wild man who has his own cult following, his own hyperbolic t-shirts, and his own annoying meme”

  13. bmaz says:

    @emptywheel: Yeah, how could a team that practices and plays outside a mile high in the air of the Rocky Mountains possible deal with the weather?!?!

    When it comes to inclement weather, the Donkos are like the honeybadger, they don’t care!

  14. Phoenix Woman says:

    @bmaz: Too bad the Brady Bunch can’t trade somebody for Ndamukong Suh, because I really enjoyed watching him and the rest of the Kitties’ D dismantle Juicebox Jesus earlier this season.

  15. emptywheel says:

    @bmaz: I believe the question is not how the Donkos will play. But how a certain inexperienced, shitty-form passing, tropical born and raised QB will play.

  16. nomolos says:

    @bmaz: But it is not where the team comes from it is where the wannabe QB comes from and that, I do believe is from the Philippines and he played in Florida. He will not be able to play in the cool New England weather. I also want to see his bloody birth certificate before he is allowed to play.

  17. phred says:

    @Petrocelli: Mornin’ Petro! Thanks for picking the Pack : ) Mostly though, I’m on your side with the Niners — thought I might be the only one in these parts to pick ’em over the Aints. To be fair, I’ll be happy whoever wins (after blowing 15 points last week on the Stillers to take out the Tebows, I’m toast in my pool), but as an acolyte of the Defenses Win Championships theory of football, I gotta go with the Niners. Of course, I might have to switch religions if the Pack gets into the SB with their worst (or is it 2nd worst to the Pats?) D in the NFL.

    Niners, Patsies, Ravens, PACK!

    I love playoff football : )

  18. phred says:

    @nomolos: One would think that what with the ginger brandy that all of one’s body parts would be nice and toasty with or without handwarmers ; )

    I haven’t touched the stuff in years, but back in college we had a few memorable occasions courtesy of extra sharp ginger brandy — well, as much as I can recall anyway ; )

    Have a great time at the game!

  19. phred says:

    @Jim White: LOL, we built an addition just for the trophy room ; ) But, if it makes you feel any better, I am nearly dead last in my pool this year, so perhaps my luck has run out ; )

  20. Bay State Librul says:


    I’m playing the CBS Fantasy Football Tournament. After round one,
    I’m ranked 36,353. I can’t find the total number of contestants… does
    anybody know how to get that rascal number?

  21. rosalind says:

    for the 49er faithful: a nice profile on Eddie D., who’ll be watching the game from his home in Montana.

    and PG&E feels fairly confident that the power will remain on for the entirety of the game. teh article actually explains what happened last time. involves some computer hijinx (which i sadly suspect will also play into the cause of the Cruise ship currently flat on its side in the Med).

  22. scribe says:

    I have to hand it to Fallon. He hit just the right note; going with the football uni instead of the dog costume (see, original album cover of Diamond Dogs) a good choice.

    What all youse are leaving out of the discussion of how frickin cold it’s going to be in Foxboro is the wind. As in, The Hawk is comin’ to town. Count on wind chills subzero.

    If I’m Cheatin’ Bill, I make sure the Broncos’ sideline heaters are out of propane.

    My picks (since my Stillers are out despite going to OT with a second-string D and an all-pro team of “out, injured”):

    – Broncos. I want the Pats to win just so Skip Bayless will STFU, but I suspect Jesus is looking to play the role of Jeff Gilooly in this melodrama, and Bieber winds up writhing on the field crying “Whyyyyyyyyyyyy?” He can always go back to Giselle and dancing at Carneval.

    – Giants. Too close to call, but if I have to pick one, I get the feeling the Cheesers are, like Sanchez, “content and lazy”.

    – Saints. The Niners are good, but need something extra to stop Drew Fookin’ Brees and won’t find it this week.

    – Ravens. Crime pays. This week, the boys from Houston will meet Ray Lewis the hard way.

  23. bmaz says:

    @phred: Phred’s preditin abuhlities have not been the same since the night of the diplomatic fireworks. Put a HEX on her or sumthin.

  24. phred says:

    @bmaz: Heh. 2011 was hexed all around in these parts, but those fireworks, company, and all around environs were all worth it ; )

    (edited for lamentable grammar)

  25. phred says:

    @Jim White: I hope the Texans win, but I’m not holding my breath.

    BSL, good luck with your fantasy pool. Needless to say it dwarfs my little bragging rights pool with work chums ; )

  26. Petrocelli says:

    @phred: Rodgers, Brees & 3B[Brady/Bieber/Bundchen] have been playing all season like they don’t need a defense. Good Eli had found his form of late and Harbaugh took Alex Smith from a Brady Quinn-like “also ran” to a QB capable of playing with the best.

    It’s gonna be a great Foosball weekend !

  27. Peterr says:

    I must sincerely, and profusely, apologize for my negligence, carelessness, recklessness and, in general, sins of all varieties that resulted in the physical, emotional, and galactic damages resulting from THIS HIDEOUS NIGHTMARE!

    As well you should.

    Meanwhile, I’ll go with the Cheese, the Pats, the Niners, and the non-Tebows. The Niners win is the toughest call to make, but I’m thinking that Breeze won’t quite be enough today.

  28. rosalind says:

    Dodger Divorce Update: a quick update for those following the Frank & Jamie McCourt travails:

    We left off with the MPA (Marital Property Agreement) having been nullified leaving Frank with no legal basis to claim sole ownership of the team. Jamie said: show me the money. A few months of Frank threatening a division of assets trial where he would attempt to pry open MLB’s books to prove how they done him wrong in comparison with other financially troubled teams, then Frank called “uncle” and settled with Jamie owing her $131 million by April 30th of this year.

    The divorce finally settled, Frank turned his attention to the pot-o-gold atop the Dodger estate: the auctioning of the television rights to replace the expiring Fox deal. Fox objected. Judge 1 ruled for the Dodgers, Judge 2 ruled for Fox staying any sale of the TV rights, and Frank & Fox settled this past Tuesday with McCourt agreeing to not put the rights up for auction and Fox agreeing to drop its suit.

    Fox did not, however, release McCourt from his obligation to repay a $30-million personal loan provided by the company in April so that he could meet the first payrolls of the season.

    That loan is secured by McCourt’s malpractice claim against Bingham McCutchen, the Boston-based law firm responsible for the faulty marital-property agreement upon which McCourt relied to establish his sole ownership of the Dodgers. The agreement was invalidated…

    Fox retained the right to challenge any sale of the team, in part or in whole, to Time Warner Cable. The settlement also clarified that Time Warner Cable is bound by a provision of the TV contract that hampers the ability of “ESPN, Comcast or Time Warner” to hold a share of a Dodgers’ cable channel.

    Where we are left: The Battling McCourts are about to be but a bad memory for L.A fans, the team is hobbled for this season with lack of $$$ to make any moves in time to make a difference, and Billionaires are coming out of the woodwork to put in a bid for the Team, including:

    * Magic Johnson fronted group
    * Joe Torre partnered with Shopping Mall developer Rick Caruso
    * Mark Cuban
    * Peter O’Malley
    * Steve Garvey fronted group
    * Some guy who claims to have made billions in Gold Mines
    * And one I had missed: the family of the late Roy Disney (nephew of Walt) partnered with Stanley Gold, longtime Disney exec.

    stay tuned…

  29. emptywheel says:

    Well, Jimmy Graham’s back in, so presumably the 9ers didn’t cause TWO concussions in teh first 3 minutes of the game, as I had feared.

  30. bmaz says:

    Say, these 49ers seem like they came to play today.

    What would be appropriate analysis then is to discuss what that means in relation to Tebow…

  31. CTuttle says:

    *heh* My Better Half, a diehard Patsy fanatic, just watched the Tebowie clip…! It’s game on in my household now…! Btw, Ain’t no way I’m showing her the Beiber porn, tho…! ;-)

  32. emptywheel says:

    Man, if this comes down to an Akers kick, I hope to hell he makes it, after the season end he had last year.

  33. Bob Schacht says:

    @CTuttle: Its just that to demonstrate the wonders of Tebow, Denver has to spot the Patsies a few touchdowns. After all, what fun would it be if the Broncos led for the whole game?

    Bob in AZ

  34. dakine01 says:

    Oh my doG! Those “Focus on the Family” people should be ashamed of themselves.

    Did we really need to see an ad with a bunch of pre-schoolers reciting John 3:16? Seriously?

  35. Peterr says:


    In KC and other local areas, Randall Terry wants to purchase ad time to run some truly reprehensible abortion-related ads. He filed as a presidential candidate so that he could get around the network’s regular ad filters . . . I shudder to think of what those ads will look like.

  36. Peterr says:


    From the front page at Bahai.org:

    Throughout history, God has revealed Himself to humanity through a series of divine Messengers, whose teachings guide and educate us and provide the basis for the advancement of human society. These Messengers have included Abraham, Krishna, Zoroaster, Moses, Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad.

    And Tebow?

  37. CTuttle says:

    I should add that the Better Half and I, had reached a truce, neither of us will gloat, despite whom wins, nor by how badly they should win by…! ;-)

  38. dakine01 says:

    @CTuttle: Howzit Bra! As Peterr mentioned, I think for a lot of folks, the SB ads will be far worse.

    And I think the islands are one of those areas that will receive the ‘blessings’ of the Randall Terry ads

  39. Tom in AZ says:

    I am delighted for Alex Smith in SF. He finally gets a chance to prove what he can do and shows up big time. Hope he has 4-5 really good years now on a team that believes in him.

    And the Pats may be 31st in D this year, but ol’ Bill knows how to coach ’em up, and they took apart BJ once and are spanking him tonight.

    Life is good this eve.

  40. Jim White says:

    Jeebus. I thought the Brady pron that Marcy posted was the worst I’ve ever seen, but the filth on my TV taking the place of what was supposed to be the first half of a football game is disgusting.

  41. Bob Schacht says:

    Good Half-time comment: Brady must be really annoyed at all the publicity Tebow got. The press stopped fawning over Brady for Tebow-adulation. I guess it pissed him off. It is not a good idea to piss Brady off.

    Bob in AZ

  42. JTMinIA says:

    My wife, who hates football and reads the wrong posts on HuffPo too much, just said something that cracked me up. “You know why Brady is such an accurate passer? Because his receivers run like a Gisele and he’s good at hitting that.”

  43. rosalind says:

    @P J Evans: Frank filed a malpractice suit against Bingham McCutchen – his firm that drafted the flawed MPA – with the outcome still to be determined.

  44. CTuttle says:

    @Petrocelli: By the time the 4th rolls around, Bieber will be sitting on the sidelines…! This is gruesome already…! Good thing the 49ers had already dinged bmaz and marcy’s pursuit for this week’s hubcap…! ;-)

  45. JTMinIA says:

    @Bob Schacht: That shows a serious lack of faith. Literally. This is Baby Jebus we’re talking about, for, well, Baby Jebus’ sake.

    If Baby Jebus loses, the terrorists win. You know that, right?

  46. Bob Schacht says:

    @JTMinIA: Well let’s see. Denver is behind by 32 points, and there’s 15 minutes to play. All Tebow needs to do is get a touchdown every 3 minutes, right? Heck, there was more touchdowns than that in San Francisco. Oops, that’s 35 points in 12 and a half minutes. That’s a touchdown every 2.5 minutes?

    Bob in AZ

  47. JTMinIA says:

    And before anyone starts making noises about the decision to kick a field-goal when you’re down by 5 TD (which might seem to go well with the run on 3rd and 21 when you’re down by 5 TDs), let me point out that 4 TDs with 2-pts conversions gets you the other 32 points.

    Oops. NE got a field-goal of their own. NVM

  48. Bob Schacht says:

    Turn out the lights, the party’s Ooooover…

    BTW, I’ve been impressed by the level of play today– much higher than last week. Except for Denver. I guess they’re starting to remember that the playoffs ain’t bean bag.

    Bob in AZ

  49. emptywheel says:

    Just for the record, because you wouldn’t know this fact from watching the ESPN post-game claiming this smackdown of Baby Jeebus is unprecedented.

    10/30/11, in Denver, Kitties 45, Denver 10

  50. Phoenix Woman says:

    @emptywheel: That’s just as well; as it turns out, the Patriots’ D did just fine without Mr. Suh.

    I’m bummed. I thought for sure the Pats would crack 50, maybe even 60. Belichick must be chewing them out in the locker room even as I type this.

  51. Bob Schacht says:

    @CTuttle: Those of us who used to be fans of Joe Kapp got kinda fond of those wobbly ducks! But Tebow’s got an arm, and he can throw a fastball like Kapp never could. He’s just got a few things to learn. New England had his option play completely stymied, too. I think Denver will be back in the playoffs next year, and better.

    Bob in AZ

  52. Phoenix Woman says:


    Just for the record, because you wouldn’t know this fact from watching the ESPN post-game claiming this smackdown of Baby Jeebus is unprecedented.

    10/30/11, in Denver, Kitties 45, Denver 10

    Indeed. That was a pleasure to watch.

  53. nomolos says:

    Colder than Cheney’s heart it was in that bloody stadium and the drive home was loooong. The game sure goes to show that one should not idolize a false QB.

  54. Bay State Librul says:


    Do you have tickets for next week?
    We await your fan analysis
    We are going to Sarasota on Thursday, hopefully ending up in some Florida bar with other obnoxious Patsies….
    The state likes dems right?

  55. 4jkb4ia says:

    Well, EW, that couldn’t have gone any better. I spent almost all of the game reading “The Art of Fielding” because my Mom has refused to let me take it out of her house. That was the trick. I should have studiously ignored the game last week, too. When I was deliberately paying no attention, the Stillers were doing sort of OK. However, last night I had the radio on for 1.5 quarters.

    I will not get all the Moby Dick references, but “The Art of Fielding” is absolutely good even so. I think he telegraphed in the beginning that this book is going to be about wholeness, and he is showing that both the body and the mind are a constraint to that.

  56. scribe says:

    John 11:35, not 3:16.

    Of course after an asswhipping like that, whaddya expect?

    It was a thing of beauty, the Pats’ game. And I can say that even as a Stillers fan.

  57. scribe says:


    Via Scribe, witches in Salem conjure up a spell to make Brady defeat Baby Jesus. Evil!!

    @73 Ooops, here is the link!

    Sadly, they all look more Endora than Elizabeth Montgomery. But, hey, it worked.

  58. 4jkb4ia says:

    What is more, he has brought the Whitman poem about the oak tree that has perfect wholeness, but the poet would rather have friends, and lovers, than that. What does that mean? We are going to find out–I didn’t read that far. Or RAFO, as Robert Jordan used to say.

  59. Bay State Librul says:


    Thanks for your review.
    I’m planning to pick up a copy.
    I understand it takes place on the western shore of Lake Michigan.
    6 weeks to pitchers and catchers…

  60. Bay State Librul says:

    Dumb, fun and over the top.

    I think Business Insider gets it right

    “Tebowmania is dead.

    After a strange and captivating three months, order was restored to the football world tonight as Tom Brady and the Patriots bludgeoned the Broncos 45-10.

    Tebow played like crap.

    But then again he’s often played like crap this season.

    What was missing tonight was a competent Denver defense (so terrible), a willingly befuddled opponent (where are the Steelers when you need them?), and a heavy dose of magic (God-given, or otherwise)

    So what does it mean?

    For Tebow the quarterback, not a whole lot really. He’s a young player with a unique skill set who may or may not find a way to succeed as an NFL quarterback. He’ll be back next year with more experience and (hopefully) an improved passing game. His career is far from over.

    But as of tonight, the whole “Tim Tebow thing” is dead. The memes and bad jokes are all finished. What was once a national obsession will quickly fade into the past, and sometime soon we’ll only have fragmentary memories of how crazy this phenomenon actually was.

    But it was a hell of a three months.

    In its own absurd way, Tebowmania was the definition of what sports ought to be — entertaining, irrational, and impossible to predict.

    Most sports stories that transcend sports and go mainstream do so because they’re associated with a meaningful societal issue. But the Tim Tebow thing managed to touch every area of American culture on the sheer strength of its own absurdity.

    It was dumb and fun and over-the-top.”

    It will be missed.

  61. phred says:

    What great games yesterday! Both from the edge-of-yer seat quality of the Niners-Saints to the demise of one of the most ridiculous sports stories in NFL history. By the way CTut, I am genuinely sorry for all Broncos fans, no fan should have their team hijacked the way the Tebots hijacked the Broncos.

    I can hardly wait for today’s games… Go PACKERS!!! : )

  62. scribe says:

    @Bay State Librul: Not to worry. Skip Bayless (a top contender for the world championship of starting pissing contests) and TWWL (a/k/a ESPN) will soon find another. I’m looking at the “Is LeBron a Man or a Mouse?” debate to heat up considerably.

    And it’s only 4 plus weeks to pitchers and catchers; keeping in mind the date pitchers and catchers are to report is a good way to avoid forgeting Valentine’s Day because they are at the same spot on the calendar.

  63. nomolos says:

    @Bay State Librul: No, next week is a stay at home in front of the fire with a guinness or two or three, in hand. Way too bloody cold for an old fart like me. Frankly if it wasn’t for the opportunity to, figuratively, piss on the thibeaultists I would not have ventured out yesterday. This morning I have no clue as to whether I am awake or asleep.

    The fans were very subdued for the first 13.5 seconds of the game, loud boisterous and foot stomping in order to keep warm the rest of the way. I was not witness to any of the bad behavior frequently demonstrated when the NY fans are in town.

    Denver fans, and born again idiots, got everything they deserved what with their idolizing a false QB.

    My ‘T’ shirt brought many a smile and a few angry stares from the wine and wafer crowd.

  64. Petrocelli says:

    @phred: Unlike BJ, Eli won’t self-destruct so the best gameplan has to be Rodgers controlling the Ball as much as possible.

    Of course, a 35-point first half would be good too … *g*

  65. bmaz says:

    @phred: Hijacked?? Baby Jesus rose up and saved the Bronco’s season from the crapper. It was a gift, not a curse!

    And, just for that crack by Phred, the Emptywheel Blog will be going back to ALL TEBOW, ALL THE TIME the second pre-season starts. So there!

  66. What Constitution says:

    Tebow gets to go away for a while now, but a story by Rick Reily of ESPN does make me wonder why it is that so many people have spent so much time pillorying the guy. Understand, I tend to lump the whole “God thing” under the incisiveness of Kevin Costner’s speech in Bull Durham, a la “a player on a streak must respect the streak; if you believe you’re winning because you’re getting laid, or because you’re not getting laid … you ARE! And you should know that.” People who choose to dismiss Tebow because of what he chooses for motivation have their own set of problems.

    But I had never previously heard boo from any media source about Tebow’s actions off the field (I wasn’t looking for this and may just have missed it) and, well, it’s pretty objectively inspirational. Good for him, with or without his attributions.


  67. Jim White says:

    Hmmm. The Ravens have a flacco QB and now the erection ads are back on my telly. Maybe EW can help us understand since she missed those ads so badly yesterday.

  68. emptywheel says:

    Sadly, it looks like I was right about what would happen when TJ Yates made the intimate acquaintance of Baltimore’s D.

    A pity. And I was hoping they Pats would get lucky with their opponent a second time.

  69. nomolos says:

    @What Constitution: Hey he is anti-choice and that is telling women that they do not have the right to determine what they wish to do with their own health. It is telling women they should be subservient, should not be in control of their own reproductive rights. A few PR moves with people in need does not take away from the fact that he is a misogynist prick.

    He can do what ever he wants with his belief in ghouls, goblins and faeries but he does not have the right to tell women what they should or should not do with their own bodies.

  70. scribe says:

    @What Constitution: The point of the religious-flavored mockery directed at Tebow is not mocking or otherwise denigrating religion. Rather, it is directed at his Pharisaical insistence upon smashing his external displays of religious fervor in the faces of everyone, on national TV, and in every context imaginable. For those who may have forgotten, “Pharisaical” is as in the “Chief Priests, Scribes and Pharisees”, who were criticized if not condemned (in the colloquial if not religious sense) for their pharisaical behavior by the writers/transcribers of the New Testament. Those folks – the religious Establishment of Jesus’ day – were the ones who went around making a great show of their devotion, their adherence to even the most miniscule point of religious law and doctrine, and (to not put too fine a point on it) sanctimonious officiousness in sticking their nose into everyone else’s business while enforcing religious doctrine on their co-religionists.

    They were also the ones (among many) at whom the famous (and eternally applicable) lines of 1 Cor. 13:1 (“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.”) were directed in general. In specific, one should consult Matthew 23, for a whole page worth of red-letter rant about the Pharisees and their reprehensible behavior (two-faced-ness is only the beginning…).

    What it comes down to is this: no one gave a shit about Kurt Warner’s religiosity, even though everyone knew he was probably at least as devout and devoted to it (if not more) as Tebow. He didn’t make an issue of it. He didn’t make a show of it. He played football.

    Timmy BJ, OTOH, rubs the snouts of everyone watching his games in it. And that’s offensive on probably a half-dozen levels (and theologically erroneous, too). That the many sects of Jesus-cultists who make up a large contingent of today’s ‘murcans cheer him on in this is just exacerbating it.

    FWIW, Timmy BJ’s inspirational ability on the field and in the locker room is not a function of his walking around under a nimbus. It’s because the other players recognize he’s a football player who wants to win and leaves it all on the field. If he couldn’t play football but regularly walked on water, they might watch him for a while like you watch any other curiosity. Until game time. Then they’d find a football player to follow and play alongside of, without regard to his religiosity or lack thereof.

  71. JTMinIA says:

    You all need to wait until the third day before declaring Tebow all dead. As of now, I’d only say mostly dead.

  72. Bay State Librul says:

    What’s not to love about Foster.
    Patsies may end up with Houston, the home of
    Roger Clemens and Enron?

  73. phred says:

    @scribe: Exactly.

    My other frustration with the Tebot phenomenon is the excessive QB-worship of the NFL. You would think it wasn’t even a team sport. Maybe keeping track of all of the positions, with multiple players in several of them is simply too hard — like a novel with too many characters. But the QB media fixation jumped the shark with Tebow. He was a better QB than the one he replaced as is evident from the improved record of the team. But they were beating the worst (or at least significantly under-performing due to injury) teams in the league. The hype reached indefensible heights and for a lot of us, even those with a fair bit of built in religious tolerance for the evangelical crowd, hit our frickin’ limit.

    I watch football for the sport, not for religious or moral inspiration. After this season, not only do I find that separation of church is state is essential, but the separation of church and football is as well.

  74. emptywheel says:

    @What Constitution: Adding to what the others have said, in his post-game last night Tebow basically said that his fame allows him to do these things.

    Bollocks. True charity is what you do without the spotlight, not what you do with it. His parents dedicated their lives to doing this kind of good work (and, admittedly, to proselytizing people in exchange for it). But they did it without a big spotlight. They just did it. Heck, that’s what Jesus Christ–the real one–did at first, and he got killed, not celebrated for it.

    If Tebow wants to do good, he doesn’t need football to do it.

  75. Bob Schacht says:

    Houston has defense? Who knew?

    The HarBowl is in doubt!

    Bob in AZ
    P.S. I haven’t followed Houston since the Bum Phillips days. Favorite Bum quote, said about Don Shula, IIRC: “He can take his’n, and beat your’n, or he can take your’n, and beat his’n.”

  76. emptywheel says:

    @scribe: Actually, I gave a shit about Warners religiosity when he made his SB win about it. But I didn’t even KNOW about it before that, which is by itself, rather telling. (And I followed that team closely bc Mr. EW, in his first season really watching gridiron closely, rather annoyingly picked them and the Titans early in the season to win it all.)

  77. scribe says:

    At halftime, the Boy named Suh being quite civilized and articulate on the panel.

    Nice PR move, N’kong….

  78. bmaz says:

    @scribe: Yeah, I dunno, Warner, and his ever present wife Brenda, were actually all over the place with that stuff. Especially here. But it was not amplified by ESPN the way Tebow has been. ESPN is the real difference here, and they drive almost all sports reporting and publicity now.

  79. phred says:

    @bmaz: LOL, you ol’ softie ; ) BTW, I might never spell Gheese the same again ; )

    … Holy COW what a catch!!! Looks like there is a little life in the Ravens again. Musta been the missed Texan FG…

  80. Bay State Librul says:


    As long as Jason Varitek doesn’t show up, I’ll be happy.
    He sucks as a hitter…
    The guy should retire and take a coaching job…

  81. bmaz says:

    I am a gonna be running a Discount Doublecheck on every one of you mopes. Saddle up mofos!

    Green Gheese!

    Go Pack Go!!

  82. emptywheel says:

    @bmaz: That was after he thanked Jesus his personal savior for helping him win a Super Bowl, though, which is the first I heard about it. So he went through the whole process of being a REAL underdog story–former grocery stocker, anyone?–w/o it being about his religion.

  83. scribe says:


    … But it was not amplified by ESPN the way Tebow has been. ESPN is the real difference here, and they drive almost all sports reporting and publicity now.

    What you may have missed is that the prime mover on ESPN behind Tebowism has been one Skip Bayless, who has also announced his co-religionst status with Tebow.

    In other words, it’s not just ESPN pushing Tebow. It’s fundies pushing fundies on ESPN.

  84. phred says:

    @bmaz: WOOT!!! Next up… GREEN BAY : )

    Congrats to the Ravens and their fans.

    Now one last divisional game to go…

    Go Pack Go!!!

  85. phred says:

    @rosalind: Perfectly understandable. BTW, thanks for keeping us up-to-date on the sordid McCourt goings on… sheesh what a mess. Ick. Hopefully, the saga will be over soon for the Dodgers.

  86. rosalind says:

    @phred: after all the sturm & drang, McCourt pulled off quite the feat: he gets to pick the new owner.

    Bud Selig/MLB will vet and come up with a list of up to 10 finalists, but McCourt gets to crown the winner. the dude who basically bought the Dodgers without putting in one penny of his own money is now gonna bank millions even after all the court costs are added in, and Selig’s agreement to handle the sale this way is already causing rumblings with the other owners.

    LATimes quoted McCourt as wearing a wide smile as he voted with the other owners on extending Selig’s contract the other day, and i don’t blame him.

    he may spend half his life in court suing people, but he does have a way of coming out on the right side of the money.

  87. scribe says:

    Who teaches these guys to tackle?

    Who lets such poor excuses for tackling pass?

    Bill Parcells has to be grinding his teeth down to nubs.

  88. rosalind says:

    @phred: no, it’s WAY more competitive than the usual back-room dealings, that’s the beauty of it, that Selig actually gave up control on having final say.

    he can narrow the options, but Frank is gonna have many more suitors to choose from than the usual situation where MLB simply annoints their chosen one.

  89. scribe says:

    @phred: It’s not a competitive bid because the other owners have to approve you buying the club.

    Which, FWIW, is why Mark Cuban can never hope to get a team. He’d make the other owners spend money because he, like Steinbrenner, would spend what he had to spend to win. Even though Steinbrenner spending on free agents made baseball better than it ever had been and took the value of the Yankees from about $10 million when he bought them to about $1.5 billion when he died and took all the other franchises’ values along for the ride, spending money on players’ salaries and making other owners compete by paying more for free agents was and remains the cardinal sin among owners. If other owners knew then what Steinbrenner would do, they would have never let him in.

    It’s stupid, backward and counterproductive, but that’s what they do. They’re all Republicans. They figure that, rather than make $10 and keep $5 for themselves, the mere fact that they would have to give $5 to others (in making $10) makes that infinitely worse than making $3 and keeping $2.

    And, yes, they can get away with that because baseball is exempt from the antitrust laws.

  90. rosalind says:

    @rosalind: here’s how the LATimes summed up the process:

    Blackstone, the investment bank advising McCourt, is permitted to send out the Dodgers’ preliminary financial information to any interested party deemed a “potentially qualified bidder,” without notification to MLB, according to the sale agreement.

    Blackstone will then submit bidders for approval to MLB. The league will provide a small group of approved bidders in return, and McCourt can conduct the bidding thereafter, with the winning bidder needing no further ratification from MLB, according to the people familiar with the process.

    soo, MLB can still screw Mark Cuban should he make it past the Blackstone vetting, but Frank is still driving the overall choices, as well as the final pick.

  91. scribe says:

    @emptywheel: For a long time, there has been entirely too little attention given by this society, in all realms but especially sports, to the feminine. This shows the positive results which can obtain when She gets a little.

  92. GulfCoastPirate says:

    @Bob Schacht: He had a pretty good quote about Earl Campbell also. When asked by a sportswriter why Earl got up and returned to the huddle so slowly he said it was alright – Earl goes down real slowly also.

    Poor Earl – supposedly in pretty bad shape physically. Good luck to him.

  93. bmaz says:

    @emptywheel: Oh no, Kurt was way into it long before that – even back in St. Louis. And you should have seen the proselytizing locally once they were here and he took over for Leinart.

  94. phred says:

    @bmaz: Not exactly going to plan today. Ah well, it’s rare for teams to repeat. I can’t complain. Still, I was hoping for better play from the Pack today than what we’ve been seeing…

  95. phred says:

    @Jim White: I almost posted a comment before the game, that I was worried that having gone 3 for 3, that I might not get 4 for 4. I didn’t post it, because I was afraid I would jinx ’em. And now it looks like I’m gonna lose the only game I care about. The world is not a perfect place ; )

    I would also like to reiterate my earlier comment that football is a team sport. I don’t care who the QB is, you’re not gonna win when your receivers drop the passes and your running backs give the ball to the other team.

    Oh, and defenses win championships, no matter what bridge Collinsworth and Sims et al. try to sell you.

  96. bmaz says:

    Well, crap. As I said on Twitter, Congratulations Giants fans on a game quite well played+victory well earned. Fair and square. I did not think that would happen at Lambeau. But it did. Wow.

  97. scribe says:

    Well, 2 out of 4 ain’t bad. Like I said upthread @41:

    My picks (since my Stillers are out despite going to OT with a second-string D and an all-pro team of “out, injured”):

    – Broncos. I want the Pats to win just so Skip Bayless will STFU, but I suspect Jesus is looking to play the role of Jeff Gilooly in this melodrama, and Bieber winds up writhing on the field crying “Whyyyyyyyyyyyy?” He can always go back to Giselle and dancing at Carneval.

    Ok, so I was wrong. I misunderestimated just how pissed Bieber was with Tebow getting all the press.

    – Giants. Too close to call, but if I have to pick one, I get the feeling the Cheesers are, like Sanchez, “content and lazy”.

    They sure played flat, like in “content and lazy”.

    – Saints. The Niners are good, but need something extra to stop Drew Fookin’ Brees and won’t find it this week.

    Well, the Niners found it. I’m not displeased with the result – I think the Niners are a good team deserving of being in the Conference Championship.

    – Ravens. Crime pays. This week, the boys from Houston will meet Ray Lewis the hard way.

    TJ Yates, meet Ray Lewis. You can get up off the turf now.

  98. JohnT says:

    One thing though

    The Niners really gotta do something about their piss poor 3rd down calls. What’s the deal with the rec’s running routes 2 or 3 yards short of the 1st down marker? Is that the rec’s, or Smith pulling the trigger too early, or poor calls? And they need to disguise Frank Gore’s assignments on picking up blitzes better; the Saints keyed on him and brought rushers from the opposite side of where he went to block

    PS I still get a kick out of the Special Team’s

    Moari War dance

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