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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Joe Dirt, Pats/Jets & Jay Buhner's Rocket Arm!

IF that post title doesn't getcha over here, I'm not sure what will. Free booze, maybe? Well, no time for that. Instead, thanks for stoppin' by, and let's put the potential offer of free booze behind us, and get down to business...

To begin this week's tantalizing edition of what fans have dubbed "The Nache" (pronounced as if an abbreviation for 'Nation', and not to be confused with the Nache of Islam), I'd like to turn one of my usual tricks, and borrow a line from one of my favorite films...

Dennis Miller, when playing radio jock, Zander Kelly, in Joe Dirt, began the second day of Joe's interview by giving this stellar recap of the day before...

"So the last time we talked, you were a complete loser and you were covered in crap. Did I nail all of the pertinent info?"

Well put, Zander. Well put. And while Joe may have responded with "those are your words, not mine", I'd have to agree with Zander that his description of our previous interaction was dead on. I was wrong about the Pats (kinda), my NFL picks were awful (kinda) and my fantasy team continued to stink up the joint to the tune of my second straight loss (kinda)...

OK, so maybe Zander's words don't hit so close to home. I guess the only reason I bothered to begin with that quote is because I love that movie, love that character, and was feeling a bit introspective and down on my luck when I originally sat down to start this post. That, and I had Miller on my mind when I was watching the Colts and the Phins on Monday Night Football. I thought, if I were to pick another comedian to try out the MNF booth, who would it be? And I got to thinkin', what's more likely? Jon Gruden dropping an 18th century literary reference, or Dennis Miller one day coming to resemble a small, evil doll...


Since you're no doubt wondering, I figured my comedian would be Jerry Stiller ("How could you trade Jay Buhner!? He had a rocket arm!!!"), and the answer to the 2nd question was obviously Miller becoming an evil doll. I'm sure Gruden's a smart guy 'n all, but I'm betting the last thing he read that didn't have X's & O's on it was some sort of riddle on the back of a cereal box. And come to think of it, that probably had X's & O's on it, too. Let's just say I don't think too much of his intellect on anything that's not related to football...

Geesh, not only was that metaphor a bit of a stretch, but it was a bit drawn out to boot, wasn't it. Sorry about that. But don't worry, I'm moving on...

And what better place to start this week's Nache, than with a team that played last week as if it were covered in it's own crap, the New England Patriots...


Patriots Update
Last Week:
New York Jets 16 New England Patriots 9
Overall: 1-1

Next week vs Atlanta Falcons (2-0)

Needless to say, the backlash in Pink Hat Nation from the Patriots loss to Rex Ryan and the Jets has been strong and swift...

Tom Brady doesn't look healthy.

The Defense sucks.

Bill Belichick can't draft impact players.

Where is the running game?

Why isn't Wes Welker healthy?

Typical knee jerk reaction stuff. Question is, is any of it justified? Personally, I just think people are starting to come around to my way of thinking about the Pats, while at the same time grossly overreacting to what was after all, just one game...

First, let's address the part where people are beginning to come around to my genius...

The reason, my good friends, that the defense doesn't look very good, is because it isn't very good. Plain and simple. That being said, they probably had one of the better games they're going to have all season on Sunday, and it still was only really impressive because the fact they only let up 16 points. Mark Sanchez was sacked twice, but was still able to compile a very efficient 101.1 passer rating while averaging nearly 7.5 yards per pass attempt. And those sacks? Both were when the rookie simply took too long in the pocket, not because the Patriots came up with a bunch of pressure...

The the numbers get worse. The NY WRs posted an 11.6 yards per catch average, while the run game was solid with Jones and Washington leading the way to a team total 119 yards on 29 carries. And these numbers don't even speak to the "eye test", which every spectator will tell you the Patriot D just wasn't passing. I mean, where are the big plays? In a "bend but don't break" scheme, if you don't get big plays, you might as well just concede the points. That used to be where the Patriot defenses excelled, but now their lack of turnover ability has not only diminished, but become a glaring weakness. And it's not like Seymour and Mayo were directly contributing to that facet of the game either, so I don't wanna hear it...

On offense, while Tom looked less than terrific, it's the O-line that gave up a head scratching 0 sacks in week two that still has me worried. Tom was under constant pressure from the word go, and for whatever reason, the running game, averaging more than 4 yards a carry, can't seem to ever convert on a 3rd down and short. Not good...

Even at 4 yards per carry, that still leaves you at 3rd and 2. And if you can't convert that 3rd and 2 on the ground with any consistency, then it might as well be 3rd and 6 or 7. That being the case, teams will still be able to key in on the pass, thus rendering your hard earned running on the previous 2 downs virtually insignificant. It's simple, really. If you can't really "establish" the running game, then you don't really "have" a running game. In years past the Pats would use that QB sneak in short yardage situations like that, or just ing gneneral a lot of bubble screens to supplement the run, but these days even those ole reliables working. So while the numbers tell you the Pats had a higher per carry average than the Jets, New York had a running game on Sunday, and the Patriots didn't...

But listen, the most important thing here, is that Tom Brady and the Patriots offense had a bad game. Was some of that because of the Jets great execution of their defensive game plan? Of course it was. Though it might not have been reflected in my eventual pick of the OVER in last weeks tilt, I have a lot of repsect for the Jets D and they proved this week why they are one of the best. When the season began, and I went through every game of this NFL season, I picked the Pats and Jets to split home games, with the Pats still going 12-4 and winning the East. And guess what, I'm not backing down from that. I may have waivered a bit this week, but I;m still not backing down...

And I don't wanna hear how "if I picked the Jets before the season why didn't I pick them last week" BS either. So I had a lapse in judgment, and was momentarily blinded by the half-crooked pink hat placed so stylishly on my head. Sue me. Fact is, with that strong Jet defense, it being a road game, and the Patriots still searching for a grove on offense, a win in New York would have been more gravy than anything else. Rookie QB or no rookie QB. Not to say they should have lost or weren't upset, but it's those tough road wins that separate good teams from those that are truly elite. And if the Patriots have proven anything over the first two games of the season, it's that they're definitely not one of the league's elite...

That's why this year, even when Tom and the passing game start clicking, and it will, this Patriot team won't ever be one that's considered the league's best. They'll just be another team with a great passing attack...

Oh, and before I move on, I DID NOT JUST SAY THE PATRIOTS CAN'T WIN THE SUPER BOWL. I just wanted to clarify. I said they won't be considered an elite team. That doesn't mean they can't make a sick run through the playoffs and reach and/or possibly win the Super Bowl, does it? Remember 2001? Was that team elite? That's what I thought...

Just thought I needed to set things straight, considering last week I picked the Pats 38-31 only to have 3 people come up to me and chastise me for picking against them. I love that you read my stuff, people, but make sure you are reading it before you try to shoot me down. I know Frosco's cool design, my spelling and grammar errors and the flashy photos and videos can sometime be distracting, but there's good content here too, and I just wanna make sure you're not missing out...


Now for a few notes on the rest of the league. And don't worry, I take a shot at Serena Williams later on in this column too that you're really gonna like. After all, a Rooch Nation without a shot at Serena's man parts and a reference to a VH1 reality show I created isn't really a Rooch Nation at all now, is it?...

Tackle Box


Broke and a joke?

It seems you can't go out for a delicious iced coffee these days without either hearing about an ex NFL player that's filing bankruptcy or losing a limb, or an ex NFL player that's signed on to some sort of bizarre new career venture...

Keyshawn Johnson has an interior design show? Michael Strahan is getting his own reality show? Herschel Walker, at age 47, is joining the UFC? That's not even to mention all those Hall of Famers on Dancing With the Teds!

What is this league coming to?! I miss the days where you had 3 options. Get into coaching. Get into broadcasting. OR Die a quick, painful death, induced by the alcohol and drugs you used to replace the rush of playing, or by the roids you used in order to obtain that rush. Hey, call me nostalgic, but that's the way things were, and that's the way I'm most comfortable with things continuing to be. You know like in Family Guy pilot episode, where they wonder what it would be in a world without death, where Hitler was still alive? Well imagine my horror of the eventual VH1 series "You Can Chu It!: A Chance for Under Aged HotTub Love With Mark Chmura", and you can see why I don't like where this is headed. So please, unless you're breaking down plays, starring in Intervention, or instigating tampering charges like Deion Sanders, please stay off of my television. Thanks...

Back on the actual field, only a few things really caught my eye during this week's match ups...


In an outcome I wouldn't have seen coming if you had spotted me the Gray's Sports Almanac, the Bengals were all over Aaron Rodgers and the Bengals won in Lambeau Field in what I'm quite sure was the first time in a long time. And I'm not sure what's worse. The fact that Green Bay gave up 31 points to Cincy at home, the fact they themselves only managed 24, that Aaron Rodgers spent half the game on his back, or that a dinged up Greg Jennings went without even a single reception. Dear, Lord. For someone who has a lot invested in this team in terms of fantasy, I'm hoping last week was just a blip on the radar, and a trip to St. Louis will be just what the doctor ordered. If not, I'm afraid I'm gonna have some serious explainin' to do to my buddy, Derek. In his first year of competitive fantasy football, he entrusted me with drafting his team, and so far he's not only 0-2, but smack dab in the basement. A good move on his part, by seeking my advice, but if Big Beard and friends don't turn it around soon, I'm afraid both of us are going to be wondering how my usually pristine judgement could have been so far off....

Ahhhh, whatever. Not like he promised me any of his potential winnings or anything. And besides, I just used his draft as a warm up for my draft, and I love my team! Ha!...

Just kidding, bud...OR AM I?!?!


Drew Brees continues to light it up in the Big Easy, and is now being heralded as the cover boy for "smallish quarterbacks". Allow me to stop you right there. Drew Brees is good because he is highly skilled, works extremely hard and is in a great system. Regardless of how I hated on his fantasy owners last week, the guy is primed for a huge season, and it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that his physical attributes aren't "combine sexy". I know it's a copycat league and all, but just because a 6 foot Brees can make it work, doesn't mean we need a reprise of Doug and his Magic Flute. Sometimes things just work because it's a case of right place, right guy, right time, and much like Manning and Brady before him, Brees numbers this year are going to benefit greatly for all those complex stars being so perfectly aligned. I don't see him breaking Tom Terrific's single season TD record (50), but I think he'll be close enough for ESPN to dedicate a weekly graphic to his attempt. Just a great player, who's proven once again that if given a shot, it doesn't matter your size or your makeup, it's all about performance...


Oh, and I've yet to see a highlight from that 9-7 game between Washington and St. Louis, and I'm beginning to think that's because there weren't any. From the looks of the photo, I would say St. Louis QB, Marc Bulger, agrees with me...


Speaking of lacking highlights, last weeks picks worked out well, but my Top Picks fell flatter than an 8 year old girl's chest. Gross. Well, not as gross as my cousin's suggestion that I name my Lock of the Week the "Stick Licker's Weekly Lock". Hmmmmm. Yeah, that's not really what I was looking for there, Stevie, but thanks for the suggestion. And if I could, allow me to pass on a suggestion of my own. Just because the words "stick" and "lick" rhyme, and stick can be construed as "penis", doesn't mean that suggestion is either funny, or clever. I do appreciate the attempt and the contribution, but you're gonna have to come stronger than that next time if you're hoping to get some recognition. See what I did there? Come stronger? Even that's funnier than that you came up with, and I didn't even do that intentionally...BAM!

My Picks
Last Week:
10-6-0 (Top Picks: 2-4-0)

Overall: 17-15-0 (.531)

Now before I get to my Fantasy Update, allow me just a few more seconds for a couple quick notes...



If you missed the Mayweather/Marquez fight on Saturday, you didn't miss much. Another technically brilliant, yet incredibly boring performance from Mayweather. If you missed the post fight interview with Mayweather and Max Kellerman, however you missed quite a bit. Is it me, or was Money about 2 seconds away from muttering something anti Semitic and making fun of Kellerman's bow tie? Too funny. And also, is it me, or does Max Kellerman definitely hook up with Jeremy Schaap? I've never been one to encourage two dudes to hook up, but those two miserable pricks totally deserve each other. And imagine the morning after? Bow ties and tape recorders everywhere while they both shoot beady, yet lustful eyes at each other and cuddle togther to read Mitch Albom's column, and Tweet Sean McDonough about the previous night's rompous escapades...

At least that's what I gathered from the post fight interview. Peep the video and judge for yourself...

Oh and for all you Red Sox fans still out there, don't you fret. The only reason I haven't been writing about the Sox is that I realized about 3 weeks ago that I was the only person I knew that was still watching them play. But never fear, I'll keep you up to date on all the current goings on, from Jason Bay hittign himself into unsignability, to all the potential playoff match ups, once we get oursevles out of this "well we already have a spot locked up" holding pattern. Trust me, I'm all over it...

Now, allow me to finish up with my weekly look at my fantasy football team. Oh, and in case you're wondering, that picture is there not only because it is hysterical and I own a shirt with those very words on it, but because it also serves as the logo to my team. I've also posted the accompanying video, for full effect. And ya know, in case you just wanna laugh, and could give two shits about my fantasy squad. Either way, enjoy...and GET IN...




Fantasy Update
Last Week:
Paul Blake 94 Thanks Ted 88

Overall: 0-2-0, 11th place

At this point, I'm disappointed in myself when I can't see things like this coming. Yet another perfect fantasy storm that I couldn't have avoided had you spotted me a GPS and a sherpa...

First and foremost, I was playing my good friend, Josh Astin. And there are a few things you'll need to know about Josh and my team in order to truly appreciate my pain...

1) The past 3 seasons, Josh allowed the computer to draft his team (technically in '07 and '08 he "tried" to do it himself but his computer was the only one of the 14 league members not able to get the LIVE draft application to work. Hey, I can feel his resistence. If it ain't broke, and you think you suck, why fix it, right?

2) In week 1, after drafting his own team for the first time in 4 years, Josh posted a league low 37 points...

3) In what I convinced myself was like picking between Serena Williams and Tommy Lee to play Dirk Diggler on a Boogie Nights parody on http://www.funnyordie.com/ , I flipped a coin and decided to take the SF 49ers (vs Seattle) as opposed to the Arizona Cardinals (@ Jacksonville) as that weekend's starting defense. The 2 units are fairly equal, and seeing as Arizona has an awful track record traveling west, San Fran was at home, and they were both playing equally suspect teams, I figured when the coin came up SF I would be in pretty good shape...

Now, knowing all that, feel free to appreciate this...

Before the 1:00 games even reached halftime, Astin's team had already eclipsed the 37 points he had the week before, and the defense I didn't start had returned a blocked FG for a touchdown. I knew right then and there that not only was I gonig to lose, but it was going to end up being 100% because of that fateful coin toss. Granted I can't complain too much seeing as I was flipping the coin to begin with, but you have to admit that at this point, it's getting pretty silly as to how bad I'm running in fantasy sports...

So, did I turn out to be right? Oh, was I ever. Going in to Monday Night Football with Dallas Clark against Ricky Williams, and trailing by 22 points, I said these exact words to a coworker...

"I'm not sure on the numbers, but if I were you I'd bet on Dallas Clark on having a pretty big night. Not big enough to get me the win, but big enough for me to have won had I started my other defense."

And did he ever. Clark had such a big night, in fact, that as the Colts got the ball at the end of the game, I actually had a realistic scenario in which I could come away with the win. On the Colts final drive, Clark needed 14 yards and a touchdown, and I would have the 7 points I needed to at least secure a tie. And chances were, if he did end up grabbing the game winning TD, he would eclipse that 14 yard mark and probably even end up getting me the improbable win. Granted I know that was asking a lot, but seeing as the guy already had 6 catches for 167 and a score, I figured it wasn't that big of a stretch...

So the drive starts, and the first pass is a 16 yard gain to Clark. I was well on my way. That's when karma stepped in, and not a moment too soon...

Right as Clark was tossing the ball to the ref, and the Colts were hurrying up to the line, I hear a beep on my phone. It's Astin. The same kid who took 2.75 seasons to find the message board and who to this day still only has a vague idea as to who he's playing any given week, was texting me to tell me that Dallas Clark was probably going to single handedly beat him on this drive. No sooner had I read the text, snapped my phone shut, and muttered to myself that it was the virtual "kiss of death", and Peyton Manning had thrown the game winning TD to some French guy. My chances for MNF immortality had gone by the wayside and not only had my flip flop on defense cost me 14 points and a win, but in turn also cost me the weekly points title...

Truly devastating, yet eerily predictable...

Now the question becomes, at 0-2, can I fight my way back into the thick of things? Well, I'd certianly like to think so. I am, after all, the 5th highest scoring team after 2 weeks. Problem is, all the positive thoughts and positive signs in the world aren't going to convince me that this football season is just another in a long line of '09 Fantasy Failures. My two basketball teams lost in the finals, I had another disastrous NCAA tournament, my two baseball teams were the worst I've fielded in literally over a decade, and now I'm faced with what's shaping up to be constant "match up Hell" in this season of fantasy football....

But hey, like Joe Dirt says. "You can't have no in your heart." AND "Life's a garden, dig it. Make it work for ya"...

Well said, Joe. If a complete white trash loser like you can stay positive and eventually tap some fine southern, Brandy ass, then God Dammit I can stay positive too. And hey, I'm open to getting some of that Brandy ass of my own if that's what I got comin' to me...Ha! There it is again! You see that, Stevie? Subtle, but funny!...


That's it for this week kids, and I hope you all enjoyed. As always, check back Friday for all of this weeks picks, relevant jokes about Serena's massive ANE, and the unveiling of the Rooch Nation Lock of the Week (as yet to be appropriately named)...

Have a great week, pimps...

It puts the Joe Dirt in the hole!...

Teddy Williams...OUT!!
100...

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