Monday, January 29, 2007

How Will Coaching Turmoil Affect Cowboys In Super Bowl?

By far, the biggest story of this Super Bowl fortnight has been the palace intrigue surrounding the Dallas Cowboys head coaching job.

Since Bill Parcells decided to go home and dedicate the rest of his life to eating lime flavored Tostitos, the Cowboys have been scrambling to find someone to coach them to victory in Super Bowl XLI.

So far, the leading candidates are:

- Turner somehow managed to offensive coordinate a ragtag, patchwork bunch that included such scrubeenies as Emmitt Smith, Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, and Larry Allen to respectability in the 90s. Since then he helped lead the Redskins into the era of excellence they have enjoyed for the last 10 years, and in 2006 enjoyed his crowning achievement when he masterminded the most dynamic and unstoppable offense in San Francisco 49ers and possibly NFL history.

- Played quarterback on Cowboys practice squad for 25 years, went to Ivy League School. Put those two together, and it's a formula that will have Jerry Jones dancing on Tom Landry's grave in no time.

- His stone faced, stoic, and above all else, silent style would fit Jerry Jones perfectly. Modern taxidermy technology would definitely allow Landry to fill the suit and look the part, while Jones fulfills his lifelong dream of calling the plays that lead the Cowboys to glory.

As of now it is still anybody's guess who will wind up with the job. ESPN has commented on the situation saying, "TO. TO TO TO. Parcells. TO TO TO. Parcells." One thing is certain though, TO is going to catch 5 touchdown passes in the Super Bowl this Sunday.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Is that a broken thumb in your pocket?

I believe P. Manning when he says that his thumb is not broken and that he will play next Sunday. If I were at the press conference, I'd say Peyton was just happy to see me. Who wouldn't believe the guy? He makes tons of money selling product on TV.

What I don't believe is that this injury won't have an affect on Indy's gameplan or P-money's ability to throw down the field.

That said, I hope the Bears protect themselves by making sure they can pick up the running-back screen dump. Manning has made a living beating teams with that play, especially near the end of a half in a no/quick huddle offense.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

State of the Union- Monkeymen Problem Solved

Glossed over in the exhaustive coverage of last night's State of the Union address was that, unlike last year, President Bush failed to condemn the creation of "human-animal hybrids". Being that this topic was not touched upon this year, I am considering this problem solved. Thank you, Mr. President, for temporarily delaying our inevitable conquest by a genetically engineered army of humanzees. You the man. I will also assume that the man-on-Mars thing you talked about 4 years ago is right on track too. My only complaint is that you have not proposed building a time machine yet. Maybe next year.

Monday, January 22, 2007

NFC Championship Game


I will first throw a bouquet to the Bears. They've given their fans the Super Bowl they so desperately need, which will enable them to stop wearing their hair and moustaches as if it were still 1985.

For this I will also thank Sean Payton. He abandoned the run faster than ABC abandoned Six Degrees, and as a result made it mathematically impossible for his team to win this game. 50 passing plays versus 11 runs in a game that was a 4 point contest going into the 4th quarter. Lovie Smith must have felt like he was playing Madden online against a drunk 12 year old. All that was missing was for the Saints to run a fake punt on 4th and 30 from their own 5 yard line.

Anyway, the snowy backdrop for this ass kicking produced some wonderful photographs, which can capture the essence of this game far better than my ham handed written account can, so ,here we go:

Somebody's Been Playing Madden

Hey Nice Touchdown Cedric! We Love You NOW, You Big Weirdo

As a Result of This Scene Alone, 500 Jizzmoppers Were Required To Cleanse the Soldier Field Seats

George Halas and C. Montgomery Burns Accept the George Halas Trophy

Enjoy the moment Bears fans, today, THIS seems a lot farther away than 2 years ago:

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Bears/Saints- Halftime Report

This game is so Bears. How is it even possible in a conference championship game to have completed THREE passes in an entire half and still hold a 16-7 lead?

I guess it's possible because the Bears have run at will against the Saints' defense, and the Saints have been very generous in turning the ball over and setting the Bears up with great field position.

If the Saints have any hope of staying in this game, they are going to have to make a bigger effort to run the ball in the second half. Is Deuce McAllister here today? Did Sean Payton not see Shaun Alexander gashing the Bear defense repeatedly in the second half of last week's game?

With the exception of the last drive of the half, the Saints looked miserable, and the Bears look like they are 30 minutes from a Super Bowl.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Patriots/Chargers Recap

In the interest of completeness...


It's totally Marty Schottenheimer's fault that Marlon McCree fumbled what should have been the game-clinching interception in the 4th quarter. It's also his fault that Quentin Jammer
got beat by Reche Caldwell in man coverage setting up the go-ahead field goal for New England. It's also Marty's fault that Nate Kaeding missed what could have been a field goal to send the game into OT as time expired. It's also his fault that the Chargers went 14-2 this season, and it's also his fault that he has been a successful head coach in the NFL pretty much every season for the last 20 years despite always taking over teams that are in complete disarray when he gets there. I think it's painfully obvious he needs to be fired. He sucks at football coaching.

As for the Patriots, I don't know how you can improve on winning 3 Super Bowls in 4 seasons, but Tom Brady is better than he's ever been right now. I know that he got picked off 3 times, so what, that happens when you throw it 51 times. He had to throw it 51 times because the Pats rushed for only 2.4 yards a carry in this game, and they STILL won. He is making Jabar Gaffney and Reche Caldwell look like All-Pros.

He's definitely the best player left in the NFL Playoffs right now, probably the best player in the league. That, and he's boinking Gisele Bundchen right now and he's probably going to be President of the United States someday. Sucks to be him.

Countdown to March Madness... Jan 18

Now that the NFL season is winding down, and the NBA and NHL seasons are staggering into their dog days, we can begin focusing on college hoops as the jockeying for position in the NCAA tournament begins in earnest with conference play in the New Year.

Here's what happened around campuses last night:

BIG 10
- Illinois avoided a disastrous 1-4 start to their conference campaign by topping Minnesota on the road 64-52 behind 17 points for senior forward Warren Carter. The Illini are now 14-6 overall.

- 7th ranked Ohio State crushed Northwestern 73-41 in Columbus. 17 points and 10 assists for freshman guard Mike Conley.

- Michigan improved to 15-4 and 3-1 in the Big 10 with a 20 point home blowout of Penn State.

- #2 Wisconsin got a scare in Madison from Purdue, but came out on top in a 69-64 game. Superstar forward Alando Tucker was held to 4 of 15 shooting from the field.


-#17 Clemson started the season with 17 straight victories, but has now lost 2 straight after getting pounded at home 77-55 by #4 North Carolina last night.

- #23 Virginia Tech, on the heels of wins over Duke and Carolina, suffered its first conference loss, 82-73 at Florida State. The win was the first for the Seminoles in conference play after an 0-3 start.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Bears/Seahawks OVERTIME

- Nate Burleson takes Gould's kickoff back to the Hawks 30. Pretty good starting field position.

- Alexander is ripping off 10 yard runs at will. Here's another one.

- Maurice Morris isn't as effective though, and gets wrapped up by Alex Brown, who beat Walter Jones, for a 2 yard loss.

- Little dump pass over the middle to Will Heller sets up 3rd and 2 from the Seahawk 48.

- This play here could be the ball game for the Bears.

- Hasselbeck is flushed out of the pocket and throws it away. Seattle will have to punt.

- Ricky Manning fell down on that play, lucky Hasselbeck didn't see him.

- The punt is shanked and nearly blocked by Israel Idonije, and the Bears will start from their own 34.

- A Thomas Jones handoff goes nowhere, and on second down Rex is pressured and has to throw it away, and the Bears have 3rd and 8.

- Grossman makes a perfect pass to a wide open Rashied Davis for a 30 yard pickup. 1st and 10 for the Bears at the Seattle 37.

- Cedric Benson carries for no gain and fumbles, but is ruled down. The Seahawks have the ball, but he was ruled down. Replays show he was in fact, down.

- Benson fights forward after first contact and gets to the 31.

- Grossman gets flushed out of the pocket and throws it away, and Robbie Gould will attempt a 50 yard field goal from the left hash.


BEARS WIN 27-24!!!

Bears/Seahawks 2nd Half

- The second half has begun and the Hawks are carving up the Bears defense. Hasselbeck has been utilizing Bobby Engram, who was silent in the first half, and Seattle has moved it down to the Bears 20 where they face 3rd and 1.

- Seattle tries to run it outside and Lance Briggs stuffs Alexander for a 1 yard loss. This will bring out Josh Brown for a 38 yard field goal attempt. This is a tough kick, but he hits it, and Seattle opens the second half with a 50 yard drive for a field goal and now trails 21-17.

- The Bears get a first down on an illegal contact penalty, but Grant Wistrom ankle tackles Rex on the next play for a sack. Jones slips on a draw on 2nd and 16 (they re-sodded the field for this game, and there have been people slipping all over the place the whole game). The Bears now face 3rd and long.

- Rex is sacked for the 3rd time today as the pocket collapses on him. Rocky Bernard picks up the coverage sack.

- The Bears take an awful 15 yard penalty on the ensuing punt for Dante Wesley interfering with the returner. Seattle is going to set up in Bear territory. Remember what I said earlier about the Bears being undisciplined?

- Mack Strong mitigates things somewhat with a false start.

- Hasselbeck throws a 3 step slant to Deion Branch for an 11 yard gain on 2nd and 15. That sets up a huge 3rd and 4.

- Hasselbeck comes up big with a 20 yard flag route to Branch. 1st and 10 on the Bear 25.

- I'm beginning to think the Hawks have too many good wide receivers for the Bears secondary to account for.

- Alexander carries for 11 yards and another first down.

- Ron Rivera watches his head coaching prospects slipping away in the Bear press box.

- Hunter Hillenmeyer makes a phenomenal play to break up what would have been a TD pass to Hammerhands Stevens.

- Hammerhands drops what would have been a a sure first down pass.

- Seattle runs a ballsy draw on 3rd and 10, and Alexander takes it 15 yards for a touchdown. Seattle leads for the first time today, 24-21.

- Devin Hester fields the kickoff at the 20, and takes it to about the 37 yard line.

- The Bears come out throwing and Rex hits Des Clark over the middle for 12 yards and a first down.

- But, it's negated by an illegal substitution penalty. So it's 1st and 15 now.

- Grossman hits a wide open Berrian for a big 21 yard gain, and the Bears are in Seattle territory. Kelly Jennings has been victimized all day long.

- Grossman pump fakes and looks deep for Muhammad but it's just out of his reach and off his fingers. Muhammad does draw an illegal contact penalty though, 5 yards and another Bears first down. The Bears are now well within Robbie Gould's range to tie the game.

- Berrian catches a pass a yard short of a first down, but gets a fortuitous spot, and the Bears have 1st and 10 inside the Seattle 20.

- A swing pass to Gabe Reid sets up 3rd and 5 for the Bears.

- The Bears are 0 for their last 6 on 3rd downs. Make it 0 for 7 as a pass to Rashied Davis goes nowhere.

- Robbie Gould will attempt a 30 yard field goal to tie the game.

- A rare defensive illegal procedure penalty, on Leroy Hill, gives the Bears a first down. A huge, huge mistake.

- Apparently the flag was thrown on Hill for trying to force a false start by the offense. I never knew that was against the rules, but OK.

- The Bears will have first and goal when the 4th quarter begins.

- A first down handoff to Jones goes nowhere, and a false start penalty drives the Bears back to the 14.

- Grossman swings it out to Jones, bringing up 3rd and goal from the 10.

- 0 for 7 on the last 7 3rd downs.

- Rex throws a short pass behind Muhammad, it bounces off of Muhammad's hands and right to the vagrant the Seahawks have playing corner. He is presented with a can of beans on the sideline.

- Hasselbeck returns the favor by rolling out and throwing it right to Ricky Manning of the Bears. Way to bring the other team back from the dead Matt. Now the Bears will start all over from the Seahawks 35.

- We're at commercial now, so let's throw a bone to last night's very entertaining game.


After sitting thru 3 quarters of the Bears and Seahawks looking inept, it becomes more clear than ever that the real NFC Championship game was last night in NOLA, and the Saints won it. Both teams looked like they had the league's top 2 offenses, and it was one of the more entertaining games this year. In the end, it was the Saints' ability to control the ball and keep the Eagles offense off the field that decided the game. Deuce McAllister and Reggie Bush combined for 195 rushing yards and 2 TDs on 33 carries.

It was a great game to watch. So many offensive players on both teams looked like stars, and it wasn't all because the opposing defenses were bad. Deuce McAllister is one of the league's most underrated backs, and Brian Westbrook is too. They are both top 5 in my opinion.

- Meanwhile, the Bears play keystone kops after getting the gift from Hasselbeck. Berrian drops what should have been a catch putting the Bears inside the 10, and the Bears have to punt it away.

- Seattle gets the ball in a precarious spot, their own five yard line.

- We get a shot of Grant Wistrom, who now looks like Johnnycakes from the Sopranos.

- Stevens catches a nine yard pass on 2nd and 10, and we'll have a very big 3rd and 1.

- Alexander has worn the Bears out in short yardage today.

- The Seahawks bungle the play, Hasselbeck is forced to roll out and is sacked by Adewale Ogunleye. It looked like when you call an audible in Madden and have no idea what you just audibled into.

- Devin Hester takes a rolling punt and runs it down the sidelines for a TD, but there are flags on the play.

- Hope you like illegal block from behind penalties, because the Bears just got one. No touchdown for Hester.

- The new NFL Films Diet Pepsi commercials make me long for a This Is Our Country commercial.

- The Bears have the ball back, and are turning to Cedric Benson to be their savior. He carries for a first down, catches a dump off pass, and carries to set up 3rd and 2.

- On 3rd and 2 Thomas Jones picks up 10 on a toss, and the Bears have first down at the Seattle 35.

- On 2nd down Benson makes something out of nothing on a swing pass, breaking thru 2 tackles, and turning a 3rd and long into a 3rd and 2 from Seattle's 26.

- The Bears give to Benson up the middle but he's going to be short. The Bears are all pointing that it's a first down but it's a good half a yard short.

- So, what do you do here with 5:56 to play. Do you trot out Gould for a game-tying midrange field goal, or do you go for the first down?

- Actually, never mind, it's a first down after all.

- The Bears piss away the first 2 plays after that. Benson runs into a pile, then Rex throws the next ball away setting up 3rd and 10.

- They decide to try and get Robbie Gould a couple more yards, handing off to Jones for 2 yards. It's a 41 yard try for Gould.

- The kick snakes inside the upright and we're tied at 24 with 4 1/2 minutes to play. The 24-24 score presents an opportune time to hype the season premiere of 24 tonight.

- Seattle starts what is probably the deciding drive of the game with a 12 yard Alexander run outside.

- Alexander's stuffed on the next play and it will be 2nd and 11 from the Seahawk 45.

- Branch lays out for a nice catch on a slant. No magic spot for the Seahawks though, and it's 3rd and 1.

- Alexander is stopped on 3rd and 1, the Seahawks will let it run down to the 2 minute warning, and they have a decision to make. I think they should go for it. Even if they don't make it, Rex will fuck up.

- They're going for it.

- Alexander is stopped by Lance Briggs. The Bears will get first down at the 45 yard line with 1:59 left.

- Rex throws it right off Bryce Fisher's hand. The Bears better hope they don't turn it over.

- A dump off to Jones gets 3 yards and out of bounds. 3rd and 7 from the 50.

- Rex throws it off Rocky Bernard this time, the ball hangs in the air, and Thomas Jones makes a game-saving play to knock it away from Bernard and save an INT.

- Maynard punts it out of the end zone. I don't think they wanted that.

- Seattle will start at its own 20 with 1:38 left.

- Hasselbeck goes deep for Branch but Nathan Vasher has him covered.

- Alexander gashes the Bears for a 14 yard run and Seattle uses its first timeout with 1:24 left.

- They keep it on the ground and get another 10 yards out of Alexander. They carry again and get nothing, so they call timeout with 54 seconds left.

- Hasselbeck escapes the pass rush and dumps to Stevens, who makes a heady play to get out of bounds. 3rd and 1 from the Bear 47.

- This time Alexander gets it with a 3 yard carry. The clock keeps running. Hasselbeck spikes the next snap and it'll be 2nd and 10 with 35 seconds left.

- Hasselbeck throws deep into the Cover 2 to Branch, and is fortunate not to have it picked off by Chris Harris.

- Hasselbeck has time but nobody open. Tank Johnson sacks him, and we will go to OT.

- They replay the infamous "We want the ball and we are going to score" Hasselbeck had against the Packers. I can see Rex doing something like that.

- He won't get a chance though, because the Seahawks win the toss.

- While we're doing nothing, let's preview the late game.

3:30 PM CST


Everyone knows LT has been a monster this year. The Chargers automatically seem to run for 150 yards, at least, every week. The Patriots run defense hasn't been impermeable of late either. Tennessee , Jacksonville, Miami, and Chicago have all run for over 130 yards against the Pats in recent weeks. New England's been much stronger against the pass of late, but San Diego's a running team, with the best running back there is right now.



San Diego has shown they can be impossible to run on at times. Just 4 weeks ago they held Larry Johnson and the Chiefs to 90 yards rushing. Sometimes though, you can run on them. What nobody has been able to do lately is throw against them. With the exception of a throwout last game against Arizona nobody's gone over 200 passing yards against them in recent memory. The Chargers are way more athletic on defense than the Patriots are on offense, but the Pats somehow find ways to get it done. This is a push.



It's the playoffs, and it's the Patriots, so you know who wins any intangibles category.


A Manning/Brady AFC Championship game is too good to not want to happen.



I'm not going to preview this game..primarily because I have no idea what to expect. No outcome would surprise me. The Bears are 8 1/2 point favorites, yet they haven't won a playoff game since New Year's Day 1995. Meanwhile, they face a Seahawks team that has won 3 playoff games in the last 2 years, with a coach that's been to 2 Super Bowls and was victorious in one of them.

The pregame hoopla this week in Chicago has focused on what Rex Grossman's suck level will be in this game. That's all well and good, but that's ignoring the fact that the defense has been real bad lately too, and any success the Bears have starts with having a dominating defense. The Bears are only a couple of weeks removed from somehow finding a way to give up 31 points to the Buccaneers. That's not dominating.

So, being that I am kind of sort of a lifelong Bears fan (although I've liked other incarnations of the team much more than I like this one), I think it's only appropriate to throw a glog at you as the Beloved attempt to avoid falling to 0-3 in the playoffs in this decade.

- Pam Oliver tells me that Rex said "Don't be surprised if we dominate". Wow. The sheer unjustified cockiness of this douchebag never ceases to amaze me.

- Josh Brown kicks off to start the game, and squibs it just inside the pylon and out of the end zone for a touchback.

- On 2nd and 8 Rex throws a curl to Berrian, and manages not to have it picked off for a touchdown. We're on a roll.

- 3rd and 3 and Thomas Jones bounces through the right guard hole for a first down.

- An end around to Rashied Davis picks up a healthy 8 yards.

- Joe Buck points out that the Seahawks have a guy who was a hobo only 2 weeks ago playing corner for them today. He is actually playing this game for a sandwich.

- Meanwhile, we have another 3rd and short. Jones bursts thru the line again for 6 yards. So far the Bears have ran it every play except one, and been successful.

- Rex slings one over the fullbacks head for an incompletion on first down. His mechanics are flawless as usual. Just once I'd like to seem him play as if he were not on a trampoline.

- Jones gets stopped on second down, and the Bears face their first 3rd and long situation of the game. Rashied Davis makes a phenomenal catch on a pass over the middle for a 37 yard gain. That hobo covering him must not want to eat today.

- I'm searching frantically for a shot of that chick wearing the "Fuck Da Eagles" t-shirt that somehow made it onto Fox's broadcast of the Eagles/Saints game last night. My search is fruitless. Meanwhile, Jones runs it into the end zone on 3rd down and it's 7-0 Bears.

-We'll use this commercial break to recap yesterday's early game:


This game featured a matchup of the 2003 co-MVPs, Peyton Manning and Steve McNair. They combined for 0 TDs and 4 INTs. The Colts won this game although I am unable to ascertain why. They just sucked a little bit less. They do look like geniuses for signing Adam Vinatieri now I think. Now all we need is for Gostkowski to miss a game-winner against the Chargers today, and we'll have the story we keep getting pounded into our cerebellums all next week.

Meanwhile, Peyton Manning is only one game away from his first Super Bowl, thru none of his own efforts. He almost looked like he was apologizing for winning the game in his postgame press conference.

- We're back at Soldier Field. Nate Burleson took the kickoff back 41 yards, but Matt Hasselbeck and Shaun Alexander do nothing on first and second down. Then on third down, Peanut Tillman has a ball that should have been an INT TD bounce off his chest and float Madden style into Darrel Jackson's hands. D-Jack comes up a yard short and the Seahawks punt. The punt is perfectly placed and goes out of bounds inside the 10. The way the Seahawks have punted and kicked today reminds me of some guy I played online in Madden last night, he sucked at everything else but he was some kind of kicking savant. Every punt he had was perfectly placed. He must spend 7 hours a day in training camp mode practicing his punting.

- The Bears run again on 1st down and pick up 4 yards. The Bears are running at will, we're only 8 1/2 minutes into this game but the Seahawks look like they are going to lose 37-6 again or whatever they lost by against the Bears earlier this year.

- Rex converts a 3rd and 2 on a stop route to Muhammad. Then picks up 7 on an identical play to Berrian. The Bears have pretty much run the same 2 plays on every snap, and the Seahawks have done nothing to stop them.

- Rex gets blown up on a corner blitz, and protects the ball as only he can, dumping it onto the ground. By the grace of God his arm was going forward and the play is whistled dead, otherwise it's a fumble deep in Bears territory.

- D Jack finds a seam in the zone and Hasselbeck finds him for a 20ish yard gain to midfield On the next play, Hasselbeck dumps it over the middle to his #2 tight end for a nine yard gain. He comes up clutching his hand, but stays in the game. Alexander then carries for the first down.

- 2nd and 10 and Hasselbeck over throws an open Deion Branch down the sideline. Holmgren is bright red and snarling on the sideline.

- The Bears blitz on 3rd and long, but Hasselbeck hangs in and finds Jackson for the first down. Darrell Jackson is eating the Bears lunch so far. Not quite Steve Smith esque yet, but the Seahawks are effectively employing the Panthers strategy of picking on Chinnuts Tillman.

- Alexander takes a draw up the middle on 2nd and 10, and it will be 3rd and 4 as we start the second quarter. Some sort of weird vibrato effect is added to Joe Buck's voice as they cut to commercial.

- Nobody makes as consistently unfunny commercials as the good people at Coors Light. They should go back to the ads featuring Pete Coors wandering drunkenly thru the Colorado mountains. That made me want to drink a lot more than these mock press conferences.

- We've got a big 3rd and 4 now as we start the 2nd quarter. Hasselbeck finds Burleson sitting in the middle of the Bears zone, and Burleson stretches out over the goal line to tie the game. As we all should have feared, the Bears D looks terrible so far.

- The Bears get the ball back, and Rex does the only thing Rex does well, which is to throw the deep ball to Bernard Berrian. Berrian hauls it in, takes it to the end zone, and it's 14-7 Bears.

- Berrian absolutely scorched the Seahawks rookie corner Kelly Jennings on that play.

- Burleson takes the ensuing kickoff back to the Seattle 40. The Bears kickoff coverage has been bad.

- Everyone's lining up on the sideline to grab Grossman's ass. To quote Winston Wolf, "Let's not start sucking each other's dicks just yet".

- At 12:50 PM we get our first "This Is Our Country" commercial. I want that written on my gravestone.

- I wonder what song I've heard more. "This Is Our Country" during the 2006 football season, or "Vertigo" in the iPod commercials in the 2004 football season.

- Meanwhile, Cedric Benson carries for 11 yards and a Bear first down.

- Rex throws two horrible passes on second and third downs, and the Bears punt.

- I'll point out at this juncture that Shaun Alexander has 7 yards on 5 carries. I think they may need to make "Seabiscuit 2" starring him and Barbaro.

- From the East the West Coast.

- On 3rd and 8 Jackson bobbles a ball that should have been a first down. Now the Seahawks punt. The Windy City Flyer tries to field a bouncing punt on the D+L and it almost results in disaster. For my money, there aren't too many teams more undisciplined than the Bears. Mark my words they are going to make at least one colossal boner in this game that they will pay for.

- Benson truck sticks for a nine yard gain. If they made up their mind right now to give him 35 carries in this game, the game would be over.

- Troy tells us that Benson has languished on the bench because the Bears have questioned his work ethic. See, with the Bears, you can have a garage full of guns and pit bulls and have the police come to your house 5 times a month, and that's cool, you're a starter baby. So I have to question what exactly Benson has been doing these 2 years to make the Bears say, we're not putting THAT guy on the field.

- This is our country.

- Mark Bradley has left with an injury. On 3rd down Rex can't hit Berrian and the Bears punt. The Seahawks have been blitzing Rex relentlessly.

- Mo Morris carries outside for 5 yards. He does not look like he's running on an oatmeal playing surface like Alexander does.

- Hester fumbles a line drive punt but falls on it after the Seahawks go 3 and out. This game is beginning to make me sleepy.

- And there's the gigantic mistake. Julian Peterson blitzes Rex, and Rex, who runs like a 6.2 40 yard dash, tries to elude him rather than take the sack. He holds the ball out as if to say "Please knock it out of my hand", and Peterson does and the Hawks have it deep in Bears territory.

- Alexander returns and rips a 12 yard run and Seattle is in the red zone.

- Hasselbeck has all day to throw on 1st and 10 but fires it over Bobby Engram's head in the end zone. Decent coverage by Tillman.

- Alexander up the middle for a 7 yard gain. It'll be 3rd and 3 from the Bear 6.

- Alexander spins out of a tackle and comes ever so close to picking up the first. Hasselbeck holds his hands up before they measure to show how far they are from the first down. He actually looked like he made it to me. But he is in fact short by like 2 inches.

- Seattle's going for it.

- Alexander bounces it outside for the TD. This game is tied at 14 just ahead of the 2 minute warning before the half.

- Seattle does an ill-advised squib kick and the Bears set up shop at their 42 yard line.

- Rex flings one over the middle to Muhammad for a 25 yard gain, then a quick swing to Rashied Davis, who takes it to the Seahawk 15 with 1:26 left in the half. Davis gets up gimpy.

- Rex throws for the corner of the end zone to Berrian, and we've got a flag. Probably illegal contact on Kelly Jennings. Or not. The ref says no illegal contact because Rex was out of the pocket.

- Bryce Fisher hits Rex from behind and disaster is narrowly averted as he manages to get rid of the ball and bounce it off Des Clark standing right in front of him.

- Muhammad catches a 10 yard slant, he is just short of the first down. Rex calls time out, and we'll see what Lovie Smith decides to do here. It looks like they are going to go for it on 4th and 1 from the Seattle 7 yard line.

- Thomas Jones bursts thru right tackle for a touchdown. Huge play for the Bears. They lead 21-14. Seattle will get the ball back with :48 left in the half.

- The Hawks start at their own 30, and Hasselbeck gets sacked by Alex Brown. Mo Morris then takes a handoff up the middle to run out the half. Joe Buck says some of the questions about Rex Grossman have been answered. I dunno, by my count he's been the same player he always is today, a big play here and there, sandwiched around unacceptable mistakes. Bears lead 21-14 at the half.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Eagles/Saints Preview

It's currently halftime of the Ravens/Colts game, so far the most entertaining part of this 9-3 snoozer has been Dan Dierdorf referring to Ed Reed as "The Human Ball Magnet". Here I always thought that was Jeff Garcia. This after last week Al Michaels kept saying something about putting a finger in the dike.

With that in mind, let me take a stab at trying to figure out what will happen in tonight's game.



The Saints owe their success this year to their explosive passing game led by Drew Brees, Marques Colston, Joe Horn, and Reggie Bush. In this game, they might be better off trying to do most of their damage on the ground. The Eagles were gashed for 151 rushing yards in last week's win over the Giants, and the Saints are more than capable of doing the same thing if they want to. Deuce McAllister and Reggie Bush are going to get an opportunity to shine on the national stage tonight.



The Saints defense has been strong this year too. In the last game they played their regulars, they held the Giants to only 83 yards rushing, 59 yards passing, and an unfathomably low 27 plays from scrimmage. The Eagles defense looked nowhere near that strong against that same Giants team last week. Philly's offense is very balanced and very dangerous though, more so than they were when Donovan McNabb was at quarterback when the Saints beat the Eagles 27-24 earlier this year. Brian Westbrook got only 19 touches in that game. He'll get a lot more tonight, and he'll be dangerous.



The Saints packed in with nothing to play for in their finale against Carolina. That means it's been 3 weeks since they've played together for anything meaningful. That's never ever a good thing. Meanwhile, the Eagles have won 6 games in a row.



If last year taught us anything, it taught us not to underestimate a team in the playoffs who hasn't lost in two months. Last year, that team was the Steelers, this year, it's the Eagles. The Saints have been playing grab ass with each other for 3 weeks, while the Eagles have been winning critical games. I think the Eagles keep rolling in a very exciting matchup between the league's top 2 offenses.


Friday, January 12, 2007

Update on the Fire

The plot is sickening in regards to the fire that occurred outside my townhouse Tuesday morning.

A Chicago Tribune report says that the authorities now believe the cause of the fire to be suspicious.

The woman who died in the fire was in her late 20s, and they needed dental records to identify her. There is a possibility she was already dead when the fire started.

So, this brings up a number of possibilities as to how the fire started. One possibility is that someone murdered her and then set the house on fire to destroy the evidence. That is quite a disturbing possibility.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Divisional Playoffs Preview

Wildcard weekend is over, and the riff raff has been shown the door leading out of the NFL Playoffs.

Still remaining in the AFC's Super Bowl gauntlet are the coach and quarterback who have won 3 Super Bowls this decade (Bill Belichick and Tom Brady), the 2006 NFL MVP (LaDanian Tomlinson), the league's most marketable and marketed star (Peyton Manning), and a pair of possible future Hall of Famers in the twilight of their careers, making one last run at a ring (Steve McNair and Ray Lewis).

Meanwhile, the NFC's defending champs are still alive (the Seahawks), as are the mercurial Bears, the improbably resurgent Eagles, and perhaps the greatest and most improbable resurgence in recent memory, the Saints.

Wildcard weekend was predictable, with all 4 favored home teams winning. This weekend, every single game is up for grabs, and it should be the best weekend of football we've seen this season.

So, let's look at the first matchup of this weekend's four-game funfest.


VS. COLTS D (21ST O, 32 R, 2 P)

How did the Colts defense, who less than a month ago gave up 375 rushing yards, that's 375 rushing yards, in one game against Jacksonville, manage to hold the Chiefs and Larry Johnson to only 44 rushing yards in last week's 23-8 win? Well, their offense played just as big a role in that performance as the defense did. The Colts ran 71 plays from scrimmage, while the Chiefs ran only 31. KC only ran the ball 17 times. The Chiefs couldn't get their offense on the field, and if the offense isn't on the field, it can't do very much. That's not going to be the case in this game. The Ravens may not run the ball very effectively, but they run it alot. They've had over 30 carries in 6 out of their last 7 games. They'll pound the ball again this week, keeping the Colts D on the field, and no matter what happened last week, that's a bad thing for the Colts.


VS. RAVENS D (1ST O, 2ND R, 6 P)

The Colts were able to mask the ineptitude of their defense last week by keeping it off the field. They ran it 40 times, and Peyton Manning stuck with a quick passing game that saw him complete 31 of 39 attempts and keep the chains and clock moving. They won't be able to play keep away against this defense. Running the ball against the Ravens is impossible, meaning the Colts only chance is to throw the ball. The more they throw, the more the clock stops, the more snaps their woeful defense has to be on the field.



The Colts' record in their last 4 games away from home is 0-4. None of the teams they lost to are still in the playoffs either. They are also 1-3 in games in which they've scored less than 20 points. Meanwhile, the Ravens are 7-1 at home this year, and haven't allowed over 20 points in a game in their last 7 times out.



This is going to be a game where the Colts are completely out of their comfort zone, and it's the game that will provide their annual disappointing exit from the AFC Playoffs.


The Hawks, the Mighty? Blaaaaaackhawks..

My night out at the UC (United Center for you out-of-towners) was not, in fact, to see the circus, as the Bulls were in Washington getting paraded around by the Wizards (heh heh).

I went to see the Hawks, the Mighty? Blaaaaaackhawks.. catchy little tune they play over there.
The night started out with a long, cold walk from the Blue line Medical Center stop, past Malcolm Ten College, to the concrete-deco palace known around these parts as the quietest place to watch a sporting event. After heading to the 300 level, the choices for food and drink were mind numbing. Do I choose Bud/Bud Light/Bud Select and nachos from the food concessions closest to my section run by Arnesha, or the same selection one section over run by Showanda? How far will $40 go on $5.50/beers? How far does this hallway go?

Commitment, pride, toughness. I can't tell you how many times these words were up on the big screen during a seemingly 10 minute video-orgy. All the old players from the 50's and 60's were featured, as well as a select list of more recent players that I grew up watching. Denis Savard (of course, he's the head coach now), a quick glance of Dirk Graham, and that's pretty much it. What happened to the players who gave the franchise its greatest teams and best moments in the last 40 years? Where is Jeremy Roenick, Doug Wilson, Eddie Belfour, or even Mike Keenan? The guys who got you to the Stanley Cup finals. What about the savior Tony Amonte?

First Period

I'm pissed because I wanted to see Martin Havlat play, but he was out with his groin on a date at Gibsons. Buffalo scores pretty quickly and easily. Bang-bang play around the net as Hecht scores, from Pominville. Khabibulin looks like a rented mule on the play (see photo). The Hawks dump-and-dump offense is not working against the speedy Sabres team. I'm guessing this won't be a good night for the home team.

Then, the greatest thing I've ever seen at a hockey game came with 13:05 left in the 1st period. The Ice Crew, skating shovel-girls come out. I'm talking about the skinniest, bending-overest girls wearing short skirts and high socks making their way around the boards and nets shoveling as much ice-fur as they could during the timeout (not a TV timeout, cuz Hawks games aren't on TV). And I'm spent. The Ice Crew then comes out again, like 3 more times before the end of the first period. Apparently, there was a lot of ice-fur to be scooped.

Second Period
Snoozer. More Ice Crew. More ridiculous penalties. Like, a Sabre defenseman takes a slapshot from the point, nailing his forward in the leg in front of the net. The forward goes down, puck goes out to the point again, another pass, a shot from the slot nails the forward who is just returning to his skates after the first shot. This one nails him in the chest, I think, and he goes down like a pile of bricks. Ref calls cross checking on the Hawks, apparently based on the initial shot from the point that nailed the guy in the leg. Me no understand.

Third Period
Ice Crew video scrapbook and behind the scenes dressing room stuff. Noice. Two words. Maxim Afinogenov. This guy can play, and he showed with a nifty, patient, leaning wrister past Khabibulin early in the 3rd. With 50 seconds left in the game the Hawks score, giving the 8000 in attendance, 50 seconds of hope.

Hawks lose 2-1. The Hawks have zero, skilled players right now. I haven't seen Martin Havlat play, but I suspect he is their only weapon. The Hawks outshoot the Sabres 35-29, but all of their shots simply peppered the goalie. They are missing the short passing game in the offensive zone that Buffalo most obviously has, which makes their 31-9 record understandable. The Hawks are lucky to be near .500 halfway thru the season. At least I saw one good hockey team, which made my half price ticket almost seem worth it.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Image of the Day

Ed Hochuli: NFL Referee

Discussion Group: Tebow

Can we expect Urban Meyer to call the "1-5-dive" 500 times next season, or can this guy throw the ball? Discuss.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Bad Morning

This morning at around 5:30 I woke up and smelled smoke, then noticed there were whirling, flashing lights projecting into my bedroom. I got up to look out the window, and noticed about 15 firetrucks lined up and down my street. As it turns out, the townhouse unit about 30 feet from mine was in flames.

A schematic


4 of the 6 townhouses in the unit that was on fire burned and are now uninhabitable, and one person died.

Really not much else to say about it, but it bears mention.

Sunday Wildcard Wrapup


The Jets looked like they belong in the playoffs as much as women belong in a voting booth. Heyooooo.............if you don't love humor from the 1920s then I just don't know what to tell you.

Jabar Gaffney, who was last seen catching bounce passes from David Carr, had 8 catches for 104 yards. Asante Samuel had his 11th INT of 2006/07, and returned it for an insult to injury TD.

Bill Belichick and Eric Mangini disappointed tens of thousands of people by not having hardcore sex with each other on the 50 yard line after the game. We will have to wait for a possible Bears/Colts Super Bowl to see that, when Tony Dungy hooks up with Lovie Smith.


Tiki Barber carried 26 times for 137 yards in what probably is his last football game ever. He now hopes to become the next Matt Lauer, and chase his lifelong dream of doing a 60 minute sit down interview with Britney Spears, and conspicuously NOT wearing socks while doing so. The Giants defense. Meanwhile, Brian Westbrook ripped the Giants for 141 rushing yards and a TD. Nobody else is saying it, so I will, HE'S your NFC Offensive MVP.

And the Heisman goes to....

I've never seen somebody so reluctant to throw a pass in a football game. And this is your Heisman Trophy winner?

Monday, January 8, 2007

Why Michael Vick Will Be a Raider In 07

- Today, Georgia Tech WR Calvin Johnson declared for the 07 draft.

- Mel Kiper Jr. ranks Johnson as the top player in the draft.

- Georgia Tech is in Atlanta.

- The Raiders have the #1 pick in the draft.

- The Raiders desperately need a quarterback.

- The Raiders desperately need a new face for the franchise.

- The Raiders are currently saddled with a keymaster (Randy Moss), with no gatekeeper (any competent quarterback).

- The Falcons have had it with Vick.

- The Falcons have a viable alternative at QB in Matt Schaub.

- The Falcons WR unit is probably the worst in the league and is in dire need of an upgrade.

- If Vick goes, they will need someone to put asses in seats, because Falcons fans are fickle. Local hero Calvin Johnson could do that.

- Ergo, the Raiders will trade the #1 pick in the draft to Atlanta for Michael Vick, and Atlanta will select Calvin Johnson with that pick.

You heard it here first I am pretty sure.

Mystery smell over Manhattan, revealed!

It's the Giants and Jets, both sucking.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

4 for 4

4 Wildcard Weekend games, 4 correct picks by me. You're welcome. Now, it's back to laying submerged in a 6 inch deep pool of water for me until I write next weeks picks on a wooden ball.



Poor Tony Romo, how will he sleep at night, on his big pile of money, clutching at Carrie Underwood, as he tosses and turns trying to figure out which tee time he wants when he goes to Hawaii in a month.

As for Martin Gramatica, I think it's time for him to hit the gym. That block he tried to throw after Romo took off had a conspicuous lack of stopping power. Mike Vanderjagt would have made a way better block, because he would have been drunk. Then as he stood over the fallen, crumpled body of the man he blocked, he would have gone on and on about how he is the NFL's most statistically accurate kicker in history.


That was cute how Herm Edwards and Tony Dungy decidedwhen they had their pajama party with Lovie Smith on Friday night to wear matching outfits for Saturday's game. Those 3 guys will have a lot more time to do each others nails when they're all out of the playoffs after next week.

Aside from the flamboyant homosexuality taking place on each sideline, Larry Johnson played this whole game like he was having his period, and Peyton Manning looked like he was playing pin the tail on the donkey every time he tried to throw a simple hook route to Marvin Harrison. They've been playing together for 10 years and yesterday they looked like they've never seen each other before in their lives. This game was not good.

I've already previewed today's early game, Patriots vs. Jets (with the Pats winning big). Who or whom do I like in the afternoon Eagles/Giants tilt?

3:30 PM CST

V. GIANTS D (25TH O, 14TH R, 28TH P)
The 3rd ranked passing offense in the league battles the 28th ranked pass defense. All things just keep getting better for Jeff Garcia.


GIANTS O (14TH O, 7TH R, 19 P)
V. EAGLES D (15TH O, 26TH R, 9TH P)

Philly's run defense has been awful at times this year. It was only a month ago that they were gashed for 200+ yards in 3 out of 4 games. That could be a problem against Tiki Barber. However, these teams met very recently, in Week 15. In that game, the Giants managed only 88 rushing yards, and turned it over 4 times. If what happens today comes anywhere close to what happened then, the Giants don't have a chance.


Again, it wasn't very long ago that these same teams met up at the Meadowlands, and the Eagles spanked the Giants in what was a huge game for both teams. Not much has happened since to suggest that this game will be much different. Plus, the Giants are 2-5 this year against teams with winning records. They are in the playoffs solely on the virtue of beating up on tomato cans, and the Eagles are not a tomato can.


I'm 2 for 2 so far in these playoffs, and expect to be 3 for 3 heading into this game. I think the Eagles problems stopping the run may be exposed in this game, but the Giants defense just sucks all around, and that's going to be too much to overcome against the potent Philly offense.


Friday, January 5, 2007

The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire..

Kenny Williams, your table is ready...

Today your starting shortstop says that he may sit out the 2007 season so that he can attend twice-monthly court appearances due to being accused of shooting at 2 people on his property in the Dominican Republic.

Can you feel your world coming crashing down around you... walls are closing in..

Thursday, January 4, 2007

PLAYOFFS!?!?!?- Wildcard Weekend Part 3 of 4

In case you're keeping track, so far we've got the Colts over the Chiefs in the battle of skinny black coaches, and the Seahawks over the Cowboys in the clash of fat old white coaches who coached against each other in the Super Bowl 10 years ago.

So that's how Saturday is going down, now let's look at one of the Sunday games.

NY JETS (10-6)
Sunday, Noon CST

Teams who have any kind of running game have shredded the Jets recently. Before winning their last 3 games of the season against the unimpressive troika of Minnesota, Miami, and Oakland, the Jets gave up 140+ yards rushing in 4 out of 5 games, and one of those was against these same Pats. New England's got the ground game rolling lately too, going over 100 yards their last 4 times out. Tom Brady and the passing game have been struggling lately, but the Patriots should be able to ride Corey Dillon and Laurence Maroney in this game.



It's the 25th ranked offense against the 6th ranked defense. You don't need to be Brian Baldinger to figure this one out. Actually, it would probably help you out a lot if you're not Brian Baldinger. Anyway, since we are talking about New England's defense, it's worth mentioning that safety Rodney Harrison may not play in this game, and if you remember what New England's defense looked like last year when Harrison was injured, you are probably suffering from PTSD. However, last year is not this year, the secondary can withstand his loss now. The main reason for that is corner Asante Samuel who is having an otherworldly season (10 INT, 24 PD) and who effectively takes away half the field.



Again, I'm no Brian Baldinger, but I can't really remember the Patriots losing at home to the same team twice in the same season too many times. I can't really remember them losing any playoff games at home either. I think I remember once they did, when Tony Eason was their quarterback.


The Jets are kind of like the Boise State of the NFL Playoffs. Except the Jets lost 6 times this year instead of zero, and I can't really think of anything they are good at. I will pick the Jets to win this game. Then I will hug some snakes. I will hug and kiss some poisonous snakes. Now THAT's irony.


Ball conspiracy?

So a recent independent study has shown that baseballs used in 1998, including McGuire's #70, contained a "synthetic rubber ring" surrounding the standard rubber core. What I find amusing about this is not that balls were juiced, but what Mr. DuPuy had to say...

"We are satisfied that the ball comports with all major league specifications," DuPuy said. "Beginning in 2000, we have had annual independent testing done by UMass at Lowell, baseball research center, under the direction of Dr. James Sherwood, and those tests have showed full compliance with standards."

Notice how he says, current balls meet specs. Balls starting in 2000 meet specs. He does not say balls in 1998 meet specs. So to me, he's pretty much admitting that balls in 1998 were juiced, or he doesn't have a clue if they were or not. Thanks Mr. DuPuy for clearing that up.

Charlie Weis' New Years Resolution(s)

1. Stop putting on the "freshman 15" each week
2. Stop recruiting players with girlish hair (#39)
3. Stop recruiting players 5'4" and shorter (#43)
4. Stop recruiting sucky QBs like future Oakland Raider Brady Quinn
5. Be able to see my genitals by Dec 1, 2010 by reducing my girthiness by 4" a year

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Playoffs!?!??!?!?! Part 2

Yesterday, I told you the Colts will outgun the Chiefs to advance to the second round of the playoffs. Today, I bestow more knowledge upon you, telling you who will win Saturday night's wildcard matchup, leaving you free to watch that show about robbing Mick Jagger on your DVR. I think I might have seen a commercial for that. Maybe just one.


V. COWBOYS D (13TH OV, 10TH R, 24TH P)

Dallas has lost 3 out its last 4 games. The blame for that has been focused mainly on Tony Romo and TO, who are offensive players. I am going to concur and say it is clearly their fault and the fault of the Dallas offense that the Cowboys have given up 39, 23, 28, and 42 points respectively their last 4 times out. Sometimes it amazes me that none of the major networks pregame show teams have managed to cure cancer or come up with a valid unified field theory yet. I guess for now we will have to settle for dead-on analysis like the aforementioned.



The Cowboys have been held under 100 yards rushing 3 weeks in a row. That means that to succeed, they'll have to throw the ball. That's a problem though, because in those same 3 weeks, Seattle hasn't allowed any of its opponents to throw for over 180 yards. That is due in large part though, to their run defense getting shredded every week. It's going to be on Julius Jones and/or Marion Barber to step up and win this game for the Cowboys, and I don't think, given their performances down the stretch this year, that they have it in them.



Dallas peaked on Thanksgiving Day, when Tony Romo threw 5 TD passes against the Bucs and nobody could stop themselves from sniffing his fragrant butthole. Seattle, on the other hand, has not peaked yet, but they look like they could be headed in that direction. This is virtually the same team that steamrolled thru the NFC playoffs last year, and they are just now getting comfortable with each other again after missing their quarterback and defending league MVP running back for most of this season. They are the most dangerous team in the NFC right now.


I know the physical laws of this universe have pretty much been non-applicable in this NFL season, but in my country, you don't lose at home to the Lions one week, then go on the road and win a playoff game the next. The Seahawks turn back the clock to January 2006 and whoop some ass.


Tuesday, January 2, 2007


Pomazak's Playoff Preview

In recent years it has become fashionable to call the NFL Playoffs "The Tournament". I won't do that, because that's gay.

I've got 4 days to preview 4 games. Today, we start with this:

Saturday, 3:30 PM CST NBC

V. CHIEFS D (16TH OV, 18TH R, 18TH P)

I'm guessing you're going to hear a lot of town fathers saying this week about how the Colts are doomed, doomed, doomed because they can't stop the run, and now they have to somehow keep Larry Johnson in check. Those town fathers are probably right. However, let us not ignore the flip side to that argument, which is that the Chiefs defense is mediocre at best, and in the month of December allowed 20 or more points in 4 out of 5 games.


V. COLTS D (21ST OV, 32ND R, 2ND P)

And, of course, herein lies the point that will be hammered home, over and over and over again for the next 4 days. How will the Colts keep Larry Johnson from completely eviscerating them and thereby triggering the Colts' annual January disintegration? Well, in truth the Colts defense probably can't stop him. However, the Colts offense certainly can play keep away from the Chiefs. What I think will determine the winner of this game will be how long the Colts can keep their defense off the field. KC is 18th against the run, which isn't exactly impermeable either.



The Colts have shit the bed in the playoffs so many times that it is now totally expected of them. That's going to work against them in this game and any other playoff game they may play from now until they win a Super Bowl. However, if you throw out the psychological boogeymen, you see that the Colts are 8-0 at home this year, and KC is 3-5 on the road. I'm not going to ignore that.



Yes, the Colts may be unable to stop me from running for 100 yards against them, and may be unable to keep LJ from rushing for 250 yards against them. They also have a style of play that does not seem to help them win in the postseason. But, it's still going to take a very good team to go into the dome and beat them, and the Chiefs, who are in the playoffs only by virtue of the Broncos being unable to beat the 49ers at home this past weekend, are not that team.


*Apologies to Patrick Nguyen, who I told yesterday that I thought the Chiefs would beat the Colts. I am now flip flopping. Be sure to do your homework kids, or else you get stuck in Iraq.