It was billed as a possible Super Bowl preview, and in all reality, it lived up to it's billing. After all, the Super Bowl is usually a blow out, right? And the Patriots usually win the Super Bowl, right? So should we have expected anything less? I think not. Now, if you want to get technical, you can get into how the Patriots really only win their Super Bowls by very few points, but lets look through those trees, shall we? The fact of the matter, is that despite not having even close to all cylinders clicking, Tom Brady and the boys went down to Dallas and absolutely robbed the manhood of the Dallas Cowboys. Not Tony Romo, not TO, and not Wade Phillips' gullet could stop the Patriots, as Brady spread the ball around 7 different receivers, including 5 TDS, 2 coming to Wes Welker. Even without their two top running backs, the Pats were able to keep the Dallas defense on their toes, and while the D line did manage a few sacks and pressures on Brady, he was again given more than enough time to dissect their hapless secondary.
Sure, the Cowboys showed they could score and pressure the QB behind a real good offensive line, but to lose like that on your own field, in what was being called the biggest game in the league so far, has got to be the ultimate let down. Now, even if the Boys should make the Super Bowl, they will have to be thinking that the team their playing, even if it isn't the Patriots, is most likely a hell of a lot better than they are. That doesn't mean they can't win, mind you, but those are some daunting thoughts to have in your head going into the biggest game of your life if you ask me.
However, this isn't about how good or bad the Cowboys are or might be, it's about how great the Patriots are now. Brady is a freak, and with 21 TDs is on pace to shatter Manning's single season record of 49, with 56, and Moss is just as insane, whether making mind boggling grabs, or drawing constant double teams to help open up the offense. This team has yet to consistently show any sort of flaw (I stand by the fact that whoever we put in the backfield will be good enough to get this thing done), and with the sudden emergence of my fantasy main man, Donte Stallworth on offense, and the expected return of All Pro Richard Seymour in the coming weeks, there doesn't seem to be any goal going forward that is unachievable for this squad. Hey, I'm not gonna say it and jinx 'em, but you can take from that statement what you will.
Now, it's on to week 7, in Miami. Or what I like to call, "Six of One, Half Dozen of the Other". Bam!
Last Week: Super Bowl Champs 48 Dallas Cowboys 27
Overall: 6-0 (magic # to clinch AFC East is 4**)
Next Week @ Miami Dolphins (0-6)
**A lot of people always ask me what the magic number means, so here is the break down. The "magic number" is the number of Patriot wins and/or Bill or Jet losses it will take for the Pats to clinch the division and a playoff spot. Example. If the Pats go 3-1 over their next four games, than the Bills or Jets need to do undefeated in those same 4 games to still have a shot at winning. The Pats would have "3" towards the 4, but since there were no losses by the Bills/Jets in this scenario, their magic number would still be at "1". More easily put, if the Pats win 4 more games, the division is over. But that's how the magic number works, hope I could help you out.
Now, before I go onto the rest of the news in the NFL, I gotta stop and get to the more pressing matter at hand. No, not the fact that the Rick Solomon and Pam Anderson wedding might be the most obvious match in the history of the universe, I'm talking of course, about the ALCS....
American League Championship Series
Cleveland Leads 2-1
*Before I start, I must warn you that I am writing this just minutes after the Red Sox game 3 loss to the Indians. That being said, I had to say that all night long, I felt like I was watching an elimination game. Obviously I'm not giving up hope, far from it, but it's undeniable that Cleveland has fully seized momentum. Thanks to what I've always deemed an odd homefield "advantage," the Tribe now have a shot at closing out the Sox without having to travel back to Boston. Timmy Wakes will take the mound in game 4 to help stop the bleeding, and should he be able to do it, I would again like the Sox chances with Beckett going in game 5. Maybe it's the drastic game to game changes and emotions that I'm all caught up in right now, but I just don't feel all that great about the fact the season hangs in the balance with Shaky Wakey, a guy who wasn't healthy enough to be on the ALDS roster, at the helm. Here's to hopin' the bats wake up, and Timmy shakes off the rust and turns in a performance better than his playoff career averages. (1-5, 6.97 ERA in 14 career post season series with Sox)
National League Championship Series
Colorado Wins 4-0
*I told you the D-Backs couldn't hit and I told you the Rockies were too hot to be stopped. Now, the only issue for the red hot Rocks, is that after winning 21 of their last 22 games, they'll have to sit out about a week and wait for a winner in the Sox/Tribe series. I know rest is usually a good thing, but when you've been this hot, for this long, and been playing basically every day for the last month, it might be a little hard to turn that off and on again after a longer than average break. Either way, props to the Rocks for fighting their way to one of the most improbable World Series runs in history, and even though I still can't name any of their pitchers / I'm convinced neither can their color commentators, I still think they'll put on a great show no matter who they face in the Series. Let's just hope we don't get any snow delays. After all, it is Denver, and it is almost November...
*Who else saw Vinnie Testaverde lead the Carolina Panthers to a freaking win this Sunday, huh? Dude is 43 goin' on 143, and all he wants to do is toss around the pill on Sundays for whoever wants to trot him out there. What's even stranger, is I had a fifth sense type of feeling that Vinnie was gonna give the Panthers a good shot to win. Earlier in the week, when I looked at that game as a possible pick, I really like the Cardinals, more or less because Carolina was gonna be trotting out some street corner bum, or David Carr, who arguably isn't much more than a bum himself. Then, when Vinnie was brought into the fold, I figured, he'll know to get the ball to Steve Smith, and Carolina will have a shot. The ole paizan did just that, finding Smith 10 times, for 136 and a score, and leading Carolina to the 15 point road win, and a 4-2 record. I don't know whether to feel good for Vinnie for staying in such good shape and hanging around the game, or feel bad for the NFC, a league so pitiful that a 43 year old can walk in after one week of preparation, and win a game on the road. Eh, good for Vinnie. Heyyyyyyyyyyy, Mr. V! Oh! Vinnie Boom Bots!
*Has the Madden curse officially struck again?! Vince Young came up lame in the Titans loss to the Bucs, and was replaced by veteran booze swiller, Kerry "Tom" Collins. Originally, as I was watching the game, Dan Deirdorff made it sound like Young had smashed into the ground on track near the stands, and that his life was in jeopardy. Lowe and behold, once they gave us all an actual view of what happened on TV, we could all see that he pulled up lame while on the field, and then plopped himself down when he hit the track. Good one, Dierdorff. Guess I should just be glad he wasn't calling Young "Akili Smith" or "Randal Cunningham," like half the old coot bastards they have up there in the booth. It's a regular lithium convention up there half the time. As for Young, the second Deirdorff made it sound like he'd been assassinated by the CIA, I couldn't help but think of the Madden Curse. Now, turns out Young should be OK the rest of the way (listed as day to day after an MRI on his quad), but you can't help but wonder. I figure, if Madden has managed to make a living out of speaking, when the only words he knows are "bam," "bloomin' onion," "athlete's foot," "hardware," and "football," then he's more than capable of working some sort of curse.
*While we're on the topic of curses, is there anyone more cursed in today's football world than the person who hires Bill Callahan to coach their football team? I know it's college, but seeing as he's fresh off a nice debacle with the Oakland Raiders, I figure it's still relevant enough for me to thoroughly rip him. No sooner had he taken a nice dump with the Raiders, where he drove a Super Bowl team to 15-17 over the next two years and completely alienated all his veterans, then he arrived in Nebraska with a rather sketchy plan. Basically, he came in and said "I know you've been having great success with your style down here the last half century, but I think a pro style passing offense is the way to go, instead of the old school running game." OK, interesting theory, but it just didn't seem like the right mix. Fast forward to the here and now. After a few seasons of mixed results, and fresh off a contract extension only 3 weeks ago, Callahan has led the Huskers to two of their biggest home losses in school history in the last 3 weeks. Guy comes in, tries to completely flip the script on a dynamic program, and now teams like Oklahoma St. are shitting on them in their own back yard to the tune of 45-14? It was one thing to lose to USC at home by 18, but this is supposed to be Nebraska, isn't it? Good God. I understand if you want to change a system, but how about recruiting the right guys to run it first? It's like Steve Spurrier, taking his act to the Cuse, and not getting why they can't run up the score every week. Come on, man, it's just coaching 101 we're talking about here...
Get ready for things to get real ugly in Lincoln, because Callahan is an arrogant guy, and the Husker fans are gonna be out for blood. Lord knows there's nothin' worse than a bunch of methed up farmers in a pickup truck, reeking of whiskey, Big Chief Chew and cough syrup, hell bent on knockin' down every mailbox you try to put up, until you move your ass out of town. I'd watch out for your lawn, coach, if they even have lawns in that barren wasteland. This is Divison 1 football! It's the Big XII!! Callahan should take a note from his fellow Big XII coaches, and go on a nice little rant to spark his team. Seems to be workin' for Colorado's Dan Hawkins (4-3) and Oklahoma St.'s Mike Gundy (4-3)...
*I love Marion Barber III (aka Marion the Barberian) as much as the next guy, if not more, but homeboy needs to stop punchin' people when he's runnin' with the pill! Bro, nobody loves a good stiff arm like me, hell, I basically wore that button out when I used to play Madden, but there's a difference between a legal stiff arm, and trying to punch a guys head off. It may seem like a fine line to you, but believe me, when you're visibly going up under a guys face mask with a fore arm shiver, it's more than crossing the line. Make a fist when you stiff arm, that's fine by me, but you can't just be goin' around punchin' people in the grill, and not expecting any retaliation. I know you think that since Stephen Jackson is hurt, that you're the illest running back with dreds, so you can do anything you want, but it just ain't true! Keep it clean, hombre, or next time we might just send Roidney Harrison after your ass, and pump you full of straight up anal roid lovin'...Yeah, that's how we get down...
News and Notes
*Word out of the Big Apple has Yankee owner and media whore, George Steinbrenner, handing over control of most of the team to his sons. Sounds like the end of an era, right? Not so fast. I know people have been saying that the Boss has been ailing lately, and could be on the door steps of Alzheimer's, but I'll believe all this when I actually see it with my own two eyes. For this guy to step away from this team, this life, is gonna take an act of God. I hope for his sake, he is still in charge, because there's nothing better than beating that bastard and his group of over paid mercenaries. Say it ain't so George, it won't be the same rubbing it in that nerd Cashman's face.
*Apparently, the rumor is true, and they don't have cable TV in Cincinnati. I mean, you gotta figure they don't right? Cuz if they did, wouldn't they have known better than to hire Dusty Baker as their manager? Sure, get a guy that that's relentless in his approach to "patience" at the plate, and stick him with a bunch of veterans that are "successful" free swingers. I'm sure Dusty and Adam Dunn are going to get along about as famously as Baker did with Jeff Kent, Sammy Sosa and Derek Lee before him. If this doesn't work right away, then it's gonna get ugly, and might not last one full season. My money is on the latter. He wore on his players in San Fransisco, he wore on his players in Chicago, and he's gonna do the same thing here, with far worse success to boot.
*This just in, Marion Jones used roids and has given back the 5 gold medals she won at the 2000 Olympic games in Sydney. If you care about track and field, or were the least bit surprised by this development, then I truly feel for you. Most people don't realize it, but Jones was exposed just as blatantly as Bonds in the book, Game of Shadows, and the evidence against her has been mounting for years. Her ex boyfriend, Tim Montgomery, has been banned from competition for using roids, and her ex husband, CJ Hunter, was also banned in 2000 for a positive roid test, in addition to telling a grand jury that he shot Jones full of roids on multiple occasions. Busted, bitch. Sucks for her, but hey, when you shoot enough juice to where you start looking like the animal the drugs were actually intended for, then you deserve what you get. Heee hawwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!
*Sound the Lindsay Lohan and Drew Barrymore alarm (which I would assume sounds like a mix of a crack whore vomiting and a dude whipping off his belt in the throws of anger/passion/speed-balls), Michelle Wie's agent has quit. Now, I don't have any personal knowledge that Wie is on a drug binge, compulsively vomiting, or cuting herself, but combine her agent quitting, with all her questionable actions the past few years, and I'd say there's some trouble a brewin.' She obviously wasn't ready for the jump to major competitive golf, and now her confidence is so shattered, that I'm surprised she hasn't lost total interest in the game all together. Besides, with a body like that, I'm sure there's a home for her in the pro volleyball / B-movie industries. Say it with me now, "Michelle Wie in Wai Ki Ki Dreams, now airing on Lifetime and somehow involving Sally Fields." A few of those, and then it's straight to getting felt up by Steve Buscemi in some creepy FX Woody Allen biopic. Ewww.
Last Week: 4-1-1
Overall: 18-16-3 (.527)
*That's what I'm talkin' about!! Finally, a winning week that I can be proud of, and now that I'm finally above .500 on the season, I don't plan on lookin' back. Stay tuned next week, as the steam rolling should continue...
Last Week: 10-9-1
Overall: 75-60-3 (.554)
*If you want me to say that I don't know nearly enough about college football to be making these picks every week, then you got it. I don't know how much longer I can stand embarrassing myself on a weekly basis, so keep your eyes peeled for this segment's quick and shameful exit. Damn you, you promising start to the season!!
Week 5: Make It Reign! 50 Syzmanksi's Jetski 57
Last Week: Make It Reign! 94 Kill_Whity 55
Overall: 4-2-0, 4th place
Next Week vs King Jesus (2-4-0)
*You know, I just might be getting the hang of this fantasy football thing after all. Last week, I was pretty sure my team would need an act of God to win, because of my unfavorable matchups, and while Tony Romo tried his darnedest to deliver me that miracle, it just wasn't meant to be. This week, however, I went in almost certain that not only was I going to win, but that I was going to dominate. Now, I'll admit, the day was a bit slow in developing, but thanks to the breakout performance by LaDainian Tomlinson, the return of a healthy Brian Westbrook, and the solid showings by the likes of Bobby Engram and LenDale White, my squad was able to romp to victory and my 2nd weekly points title. That was crucial, too, because that game when you're just one game above .500, like I was at 3-2, is a huge swing game Now, I'm 4-2, one of the league leaders in points and poised to make a serious run. Had I lost, I would be at 3-3, and while not the end of the world, it's only a 13 game regular season, and it would make basically every game from there on out a must win. Oh well, that's one hurdle cleared, in a road full of about a zillion. Now it's on to week 7, a fierce battle against the self proclaimed "Human Hunan Beef Injection," Mr. Sean P.