Delenda Est Carthago

Why not delve into a twisted mind? Thoughts on the world, history, politics, entertainment, comics, and why all shall call me master!

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

I plan on being the supreme dictator of the country, if not the world. Therefore, you might want to stay on my good side. Just a hint: ABBA rules!

16.10.06

What have we learned - Week 6

Before I rant about the games, I'd like to rant about the announcers. Two, in particular, neither calling an NFL game. One was a college football game, the other was the baseball game from last night. See if you agree with me that announcers are, basically, idiots.

Situation #1: Oregon had the ball and a 27-13 lead late in their game against UCLA. They had 4th-and-2 at the UCLA 35-yard line. They went for it. The Oregon runner was hit at the 35, but he struggled forward a bit before going down. As he went down, he reached forward with the ball toward the 33. When he hit the ground, the ball came loose. UCLA recovered, but after review, it was pretty obvious he was down. That's not what made me angry. The announcer (I don't know who it was; Dan Fouts does the ABC West Coast games, but I don't think it was him) said that even though it wasn't a fumble, UCLA would get the ball because the runner didn't get the first down. Okay. To back this up, he kept drawing on the screen where the runner's knee went down, which was at about the 35. However, the rule in football is that it's where the ball is when the knee goes down, and the ball was very close to the 33. This guy kept harping on the fact that the knee was down at the 35, and nobody bothered to tell him he was an idiot. The refs but the ball at the 33 and Oregon got a first down and went on to kick a field goal (and won the game 30-20), and the announcer kept ripping the refs. I happen to think Oregon got a bit of a favorable call, but it was pretty close to where the runner went down. Why is the announcer calling football games if he doesn't know something that is pretty common?

Situation #2: Tim McCarver opened his mouth. Tim McCarver keeps getting work, for some reason, probably because he sounds "folksy," even though a lot of what he says is stupid. I happened to turn the game on in the bottom of the second, and St. Louis had runners at first and third with one out. Their number eight hitter, Yadier Molina, hit a ground ball past David Wright at third, scoring a run. Endy Chavez came up and threw the runner out at third. Tim McCarver said it was a good play, because whoever it was that was running was "being aggressive." Good things happen when you're aggressive, said McCarver. Then he said something about the pitcher coming up and he was going to bunt you over anyway, which is where his thought process lost me. The ball was hit to left field, and it didn't go over Chavez's head. He came up and had a very short throw to third base, and nailed the runner by a good ten feet. So now the pitcher comes up with two outs, a runner on first, and no chance to bunt, while if the baserunner hadn't been so aggressive (which is how McCarver likes his ballplayers, even if they're stupid), the pitcher would have come up with men on first and second and one out and could bunt them to second and third. There's no guarantee that he'll succeed, of course, but even if he doesn't, you still get to the top of the lineup with two men on. If they're at second and third, a single to right probably gets you two runs. Why is Tim McCarver so stupid?

But let's move on to football!

I continue to scream at Andy Reid for not running the football, and it's going to come back to haunt him. Even if it doesn't work, running the football helps time of possession, which helps your defense rest. The Eagles had the ball eight minutes less than the Saints yesterday, and the defense was tired at the end. It's not like they didn't run well - Brian Westbrook had 72 yards on 16 carries, which is a healthy 4.5-yard average, but Correll Buckhalter had one carry, so unless he's hurt, that's just stupid. Everyone is talking about how good the Saints defense was, but the Eagles took themselves out of the first half by throwing the ball deep on every play. When they worked the ball down the field slowly, they were successful, and it opened up the deep ball. And the defense had to be tired. The Saints got the ball back with 8 minutes left ... and never gave it back. 16 plays later, they kicked the winning field goal. I blame the defense a bit, but I also blame Andy Reid and his weird refusal to run the ball more. Sheesh. New Orleans looks pretty good on offense, but I have a feeling the officials are going to call everything their way when they play at home. I won't say it's a conspiracy, because it's not, but I bet anything close will go the Saints' way. Just this year, and just at home. As for the Eagles, you had to figure they would have a letdown after the Dallas game last week. I just hope it doesn't carry over to next week in Tampa.

Detroit won a game. Against Buffalo. I thought the Bills were going to be decent this year? What the hell happened? Did the two feet of snow last week (!) freak them out?

I was so happy for a while, because Houston led Dallas 6-3. Then the Texans remembered they are, in fact, the Texans, and Dallas scored the last 31 points of the game. Owens scored three touchdowns, so all is right in the world. For now, of course. We'll see what happens when he once again plays against a professional team instead of a junior varsity high school team.

I missed a lot of the New Jersey-Atlanta game, but I'm getting madder and madder that the Eagles didn't hold the lead against the Giants, because they're looking better and better. I still don't trust Eli Manning, but at least Michael Vick proved once again that if he can't run, the Falcons can't win. I've said it before and I'll say it again - he's exciting, talented, and flashy, but unless he learns how to throw, they'll never win in the playoffs.

I'm not sure if the Rams got hosed on the last second call, because I don't know what the rule is about offensive penalties with less than ten seconds left. All I know is that St. Louis had a 21-7 lead and couldn't hold it, then had a 28-27 lead and allowed Matt Hasselbeck to go right down the field with no timeouts to set up the winning field goal. But Torry Holt is freakin' awesome. If you haven't seen his touchdown to briefly give the Rams the lead, you should watch ESPN or something, because it's a beautiful catch.

How did Washington lose a game at home to a winless team when they had a 14-3 lead? HOW???? I don't mind, because I don't like Washington (you'll notice I never use their nickname, because it sucks and they should change it), but that's just weird. Vince Young didn't even have that good a game. Washington is 2-4, and I'm happy.

I'm a bit puzzled why teams don't cover Steve Smith. The only time a team has covered Steve Smith in the past two seasons, it was in the NFC Championship Game and the Seahawks beat them. So why doesn't anyone else? I understand that Carolina has a decent running game and Keyshawn has been playing well, but why on earth does no one cover him? Steve McNair, who had been playing okay (not great, but okay), got hurt, and Kyle Boller came in, and if McNair is out for a while, Baltimore's season is pretty much over. Sucks to be Ray Lewis!

I hadn't seen the roughing the passer call against the Bengals, but I just did, and what the hell was up with that? The Cincinnati guy sacked the quarterback, and they called roughing. How on earth do you even throw a flag on that play? I don't even get it. How does that official ever work again? Seriously, if you haven't seen it, the Bengal player sacked Gradkowski, who dropped the ball as he was about to hit the ground, and they called roughing. WTF????? Now, you can argue that the Bengals should have scored more than 13 points against a Tampa team that hadn't won a game yet, but still. That wasn't just a horrible call, it was a mysteriously horrible call. Usually, you can figure out why a call was made, even if it sucks. This one, I don't get at all. Woody, I feel your pain.

I watched about five minutes of the Miami-New Jersey Jets game. Weren't these teams supposed to be decent, at least? Why don't they just award the division to New England and everyone can go rest for the off-season?

The Steelers played a good game against an overrated Kansas City team, and Larry Johnson did something stupid. I like Johnson, because he's a Penn Stater, but the week after almost getting his head wrenched off by a Cardinal tackler, he grabs Troy Polamalu by the hair (which is pretty funny, actually, and perfectly legal) and then, when Troy is on the ground, stands up and wrenches the hunk of hair he's holding up, for which he received a 15-yard penalty. Way to remember that your head almost got ripped off, Larry. When Roethlisberger doesn't have to win the game by himself, he's pretty good. He threw only 19 passes yesterday. Maybe the Steelers should run the ball more often?

San Francisco got to within 28-19 yesterday, in a pretty entertaining first half. Then, right before the half, LaDanian Tomlinson scored, and like a college football factory that toys with the cupcake on their schedule for a while before turning on the afterburners, the Chargers blew the doors off the 49ers. The Chargers looked scary-good on offense yesterday, but they let Alex Smith do way too much on offense. Alex Smith!?!?!?

Why can't Denver play offense? They scored 13 points at home against the pathetic Raiders last night. Yes, they have a very good defense, but don't you have to score some points occasionally to win anything in the playoffs? I'm just wondering. I have a feeling the Broncos are a paper tiger.

If you're interested, tonight you can see Arizona's new stadium, which is apparently gorgeous. That might be the only reason to watch, as the Cardinals get fed to the Bears in Matt Leinart's second career start. It could get ugly early. Arizona has played on Monday night only four times since moving to the desert (tonight's the fourth), but in one of those games, in 1995, they were filmed as part of the final game in Jerry Maguire (I had always wondered if some of that was actual game footage or if it was staged), and they also ended Steve Young's career here in 1999. So they've been memorable for some reasons!

Most impressive win: Seattle on the road without Shaun Alexander. Yes, St. Louis's defense isn't very good, but still.
Least impressive win: Denver. Ugly, ugly, ugly.
Most impressive loss: Yes, I'm a homer, but the Eagles went on the road against the "team of destiny" a week after playing in a playoff-like atmosphere and probably should have pulled out the win. But for a stupid muffed punt at the end of the first half, they probably would have. So yes, they had a letdown, but they were still almost good enough to win.
Least impressive loss: Washington. Stop printing those playoff tickets, Dan Snyder!

Another good week. I'm getting a little tired of all these close games, because I want to watch them all and can't! It's vexing.

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6 Comments:

Blogger Disintegrating Clone said...

I watched the second half of Arizona-Chicago at three this morning. I'm not quite sure if I was hallucinating, but it looked like Arizona threw away a twenty-point lead against a team with no offence.

Even the Browns could have closed out that game. I'm beginning to think everything you said about the Cardinals may be true.

17/10/06 1:50 AM  
Blogger john sweet said...

What have we learned? Buffalo sucks! Stupid Bills. Why? WHY!?!

/sigh

UncleMonster

17/10/06 4:08 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

I'm thinking of doing a separate post on the unbelievable spectacle that was the Cardinals blowing a 20-point lead at home in about 12 minutes, but I might get too angry. Even though I'm not a Cardinals fan, I'd like them to do well, and that was painful to watch.

I wish we all had been hallucinating!

17/10/06 7:30 AM  
Anonymous Beta Ray Steve said...

Yeah, the Cardinals blowing that one was Jetsian.

17/10/06 12:39 PM  
Blogger Harvey Jerkwater said...

The Bills are as sucktastical as expected. Alas, their beating of the Dolphins was less reflective of Buffalo's skills than Miami's stenchosity. Oh, well. Stupid "Tampa Two" defense can't stop friggin' runs up the middle. Big shock.

That being said, the Tigers winning the AL pennant has redeemed the entire year of sports. I've followed them since I knew what baseball was. I remember the '84 series, the Cecil Fielder 50-HR year, the joy that is Mickey "Froot Loop" Tettleton, and the 2003 debacle. My family is from the Detroit area, and many of us lived and died for the Tigers. For them to win the pennant? So soon after the 119-loss season?

Heaven.

17/10/06 1:23 PM  
Blogger tomthedog said...

I agree that Tim McCarver is an abomination, but the announcers who really drove me insane this week were the ones for the Arizona-Chicago game. They couldn't stop talking about how Arizona was dominating the Bears, and how surprising it was, and how helpless Chicago looked, and how completely opposite this outcome was from everyone's predictions, and on and on -- while it was still 7-0 in the FIRST GODDAM QUARTER. After those idiots were practically declaring the game over after one touchdown, I spent the rest of the game waiting for the inevitable Arizona collapse. And my, how all those announcers suddenly changed their tunes. Idiots, all of them.

19/10/06 7:39 PM  

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