Tuesday, February 27, 2007

From The Bard's Room- Second Base

Yesterday, we learned that the Sox are tops in the AL Central at the first base position, and for the $12 million dollars a year they probably should be (although Paulie does a far better job of earning his 12 mil than Javier Vazquez does).

Today, we round first, and dig in our spikes as we chug full speed into second base.

TADAHITO IGUCHI- SOX- .281 AVG/18 HR/67 RBI/ 97 R, 11 SB/ .774 OPS
Save for his power numbers being slightly down, Iguchi-san's numbers are pretty much the same as they were in Japan. Those numbers are really, really good for a second baseman. Like many of the World Champion model White Sox, he'll be a due a huge payday for the 08 season. The Sox don't have anyone in the pipeline to replace him, so he may be one of the guys that stay, while Joe Crede and Jermaine Dye get swapped out for Josh Fields and Ryan Sweeney.

LUIS CASTILLO- TWINS- .296/3/49/ 84 R, 25 SB/ .728 OPS
Makes almost twice the coin Iguchi does for a fraction of the offensive production. His 06 OPS was almost two hundred points better in day games than in night games, which leads me to believe he is a reverse vampire. He once had a 35 game hitting streak, although he hits like a pussy so it shouldn't really count.

PLACIDO POLANCO- TIGERS- .295/4/52/ 58 R, 1 SB/ .693 OPS

JOSH BARFIELD- INDIANS- .280/13/58/ 72 R, 21 SB/ .741 OPS
Typical Indians player, nice hitter, bad fielder. The Indians are a softball team that conjures up memories of the Carlos Lee era White Sox, therefore there is no need to worry about them because they will always come up short just like those White Sox always did.

MARK GRUDZIELANEK- ROYALS- .297/7/52/ 85 R, 3 SB/ .740 OPS
Hit .400 with a a .996 OPS in 75 at-bats against the Sox last year. I hold this asshole personally responsible for the Sox missing the playoffs in 06. I am also pretty sure it's his fault that the Sox didn't even bother to throw to second base 4 out of 5 times anybody tried to steal against them last year.


Monday, February 26, 2007

From The Bard's Room

So did everyone see the Oscars last night? All I kept thinking was, "God I hope this ends soon so they can get Peter O'Toole back in his sarcophagus before he turns to dust." I really shouldn't make fun though. To paraphrase Yoda, when nine hundred and seventy years old I am, look as good I will not.

I've decided that being that we have a little over a month until Opening Day, it might be a good idea to see how beloved White Sock stack up against their 4 rivals in the strongest division in baseball, the AL Central. Where do the Sox compare favorably with the perennially overachieving Twins and perennially underachieving Indians? Where do last year's darlings from Detroit have an edge over our Sox? Will the Royals be able to give any other AL Central teams besides the Sox a headache this year? I'm going to answer all of those questions over the next month.

When we're all done, hopefully we'll all be mincing around like the Cub fans who are expecting that they are going from 95 losses to the World Series this year. (They play in a weak division though, let's keep that in mind. A weak division that has a team that has won that division 3 years in a row, has the best player in the world, and is the defending World Champions. But the Cubs have Ted Lilly and Alfonso Soriano now, and the mastermind that turned the Devil Rays into the dynasty they are today pulling the strings, so let's hand them the division now why don't we.)


It only makes sense that the first position we look at is the lukewarm corner, first base. Let's meet the five guys projected to start at first base in the AL Central this year.

2006 STATS .313/35 HR/113 RBI/.932 OPS

Paulie's power numbers were very slightly down last year, but his 06 batting average was 30 points higher than in 2005, and was the best of his career. He's had 3 seasons in a row of 100+ RBI, and is as durable as they come. If I had to be sodomized by one man, it may as well be him.

2006 STATS .321/34 HR/130 RBI/.934 OPS

The Twins waited and waited and waited for this 25 year old to blossom into manhood, enduring a dismal 05 season from him where he hit .239 with an OBP just slightly above .300. He had a miserable April in 06, but then caught fire and was one of the best hitters in baseball the rest of the season. I hope this asshole goes back to sucking this year, fuck him.

2006 STATS .272/8 HR/59 RBI/.786 OPS

These are your almighty Tigers, with a first baseman who is playing for his 3rd team in 2 seasons and hit 8 home runs last year. Eight home runs was a respectable total for a first baseman in 06 though, 1906. If Casey falters, the Tigers can always hope Chris Shelton's pact with Satan hasn't expired yet.

2006 STATS .292/7 HR/45 RBI/.829 OPS

Ladies and Gentlemen, Ben Broussard's right handed evil twin.

2006 STATS .280/7 HR/36 RBI/.789 OPS

Baseball Prospectus calls this guy a potential right handed version of Travis Hafner, but then they have this similarity index that says the guy most like him is Julio Zuleta, the big fruitcake that used to rub banana squashes on his bat when he was with the Cubs in the early aughts. That's a pretty wide disparity of who you're comparing him to, there. You can't have 2 days off for the Hamburglar's birthday, you have to pick one.

So now that we've met the AL Central's first sackers, here's how I rank them.

1. Konerko SOX
2. Morneau TWINS
3. Shealy ROYALS
4. Garko INDIANS
5. Casey TIGERS

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

NFL Coaching Carousel...OF DEATH!! Chargers, Bears GM Power Plays

Earlier this week, the Bears decided not to offer defensive coordinator Ron Rivera a new contract, and told him he is free to pursue other opportunities. That same day, Rivera signed with the Chargers to be their linebacker coach, an odd step down for somebody who was defensive coordinator of a Super Bowl team that is commonly perceived to have been in the Super Bowl because of their defense.

Meanwhile, the Chargers filled the head coaching vacancy left by their firing of Marty Schottenheimer with Norv Turner, who along with Wade Phillips now becomes the second member of the new head coaching class of 2007 to violate the Wannstedt Rule which says that nobody should get a third chance in the NFL as a head coach after being fired twice (certainly not Turner, who unlike Phillips failed in both of his opportunities).

What do these weird moves have in common? They both carry the intent of the GM to show everyone else in the organization who is boss.

Let's look at the Bears' situation first. Their decision not to offer Rivera a new contract had very little to do with Ron Rivera. It had everything to do with Lovie Smith. Smith is the lowest paid head coach in the NFL right now, and his contract expires after the 07 season. You would think he would have gotten an extension by now after taking the moribund Bears franchise from perennial losers to a Super Bowl team in his third year.

You would think so, but no.

The Bears are still taking a wait and see approach, and it is likely he will not have an extension before the 07 season starts. By telling Rivera he was free to go, the Bears were really sending a message to Lovie that they will not hesitate to do the same thing to him when his contract expires next year. After all, in GM Jerry Angelo's mind, GM Jerry Angelo is the reason for the team's success, not the defensive coordinator, and not the head coach. He feels he can plug anyone into those spots and win with the team he built, and it's never been clearer that he feels that way than it is now.

The same situation exists in San Diego, but even to a greater extent. AJ Smith is so confident in the juggernaut he has assembled that he wants to prove to the world that even Norv Turner can coach them to a Super Bowl victory.

If the Chargers succeed, it's going to change the face of how teams view the importance of a head coach. You can also be sure that if the Chargers succeed, Lovie Smith won't be coaching the Bears in 2008.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

From The Bard's Room- Hawkeroo Poo Poos 07 Season; Nobody Offered Contracts; Jenks Not Quite As Fat Anymore


Welcome to "From the Bard's Room". This is where I will give somewhat daily updates on my team of teams, my heart of hearts, my source of summertime joy and depression, the Chicago White Sox.

Our junior reporter Dook!e will be doing a similar dealy for the Cubbies, who judging by what I've been reading this offseason should win anywhere between 110 and 115 games this year.

But that's the last you'll hear of that team at Clark and Addison from me. My job isn't to bring the hate for them, it's to bring the love for the Sox. So here we go.

*Hawk Harrelson appeared on the Mike North Show this morning, and his chit chat with Pappy added to the air of bubbling optimism surrounding the 07 White Sox, that is matched only by the optimism surrounding the Troop Surge, and the Mitt Romney presidential campaign. Among my observations:

- Hawk confided to Tigers manager Jim Leyland last September that he didn't think the Sox would snap out of it and grab a playoff spot.

- Hawk thinks last year's Sox were the most talented team in baseball, and the best team he has ever been around, but that they lacked a killer instinct.

- Hawk says part of the problem last year was that Ozzie Guillen was tired.

- Hawk expects a 3 team race between the Sox, Tigers, and Twins again this year, but did not seem confident that the Sox would come out on top of that race.

In a nutshell, Hawk pretty much sounded about as enthusiastic about this year's prospects as he sounds on a mid-August night when the Sox are in the midst of going 3-7 in their last 10 games, and about to sink 7 games behind Minnesota.

*In other news, GM K Smooth is pulling out the Hoover Flag for Jermaine Dye, Mark Buehrle, and Tad Iguchi, whose contracts are all up after this year. None of them are getting extensions, and all 3 could be elsewhere in 2008.

*Bobby Jenks was said by K Smooth to be "in good shape for him". The corpulent closer had an ERA over 5 after the All-Star Break last year, and a weight well over 3 spins.

* Smooth says that this year's pitching staff, "Is kind of reminiscent of 1998. We had the Parque and Sirotka crew on the mound." Great, I'm ordering my season ticket package tonight! All I ask is that you make good on your promise of returning me to the glory days of the vaunted late 90s rotation of Sirotka and Parque and Pray For Death.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

March Hypomania- ACC

I hate how every year around this time, anytime you watch a college basketball game or highlights and analysis show, without fail whoever is talking at you will always say "this such and such conference deserves to have 7 or 8 teams in", then in the same breath move on to the next conference and say "this conference is so competitive, they should get 5 or 6 teams in".

Dickie V is especially guilty of this, just going down the line and saying every team that is in a BCS conference and has a record over .500 in that conference should be in, not paying any mind to the fact that there are 31 automatic bids that go to conference tourney champions, thus leaving only 33 at large bids to be handed out. If you take 4 teams from each BCS conference, that leaves only nine more bids.

So, what I'm getting at is, as much as it pains ESPN, not every ACC team can make the NCAA tournament. Here's the way I see them right now.

Boston College 18-7, 9-3- They haven't beaten anyone who is any good this year, and they've lost twice to Duke, who is also not good. But they lead the conference so they are in.

North Carolina 22-4, 8-3- Will probably be a 1 or 2 seed.They are 5-0 against Top 25 opponents this year. They have dropped 2 out of their last 4 games though, including a home loss to VA Tech and a loss at weak sister NC State.

Virginia Tech 18-7, 8-3- They've got some bad losses on their resume (Western Michigan, Marshall), but the win at UNC this week seals a bid for the Hokies.

Virginia 17-7, 8-3-
I remember when I was six and first became cognizant of sporting competition. Ralph Sampson rocked shit back then. It's been kind of a slow 30 years for Virginia until Barack Obama doppelganger Dave Leto became their coach.Wins over Duke, Gonzaga, and Arizona look nice. Last weekend's 27 point loss at Virginia Tech and a 24 point drubbing at the hands of 9-15 Utah could hurt their seeding.

Duke 19-7, 6-6- I can't really see a Duke team with 20 wins not being invited.


Clemson 19-6, 5-6- A 17-0 start has devolved into a whole lot of suck.

Maryland 19-7, 5-6- The Turtles have won 2 road conference games in a row, and thumped Duke by 12 this past Sunday. They don't have any ugly losses. They'll need to finish up strong though and get that conference record over .500.

Georgia Tech 17-8, 5-6- Have won 4 in a row on the heels of a 4 game losing streak. Their remaining 5 games are murder (at Duke and Virginia, home vs. UNC and BC), but also present an opportunity to pick up some high profile wins. The Chinese use the same word for crisis as they do for opportunity. They also smash babies against tree trunks.

UNC goes in as a 1 or 2. BC, Virginia, VT, and Duke end up in the 4-6 seed range. Maryland gets the fifth and final bid as an 8.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

NFL Coaching Carousel...OF DEATH!! AFC West

Last year, a coach who had been a successful regular season coach for a long, long time, had his best regular season team ever, a team that was the hands down favorite to win the Super Bowl heading into the playoffs and was the top seed in the AFC.

That team pissed all over itself in its opening playoff game though, leading to harumphing amongst the learned men that this coach was, for some reason, unable to ever succeed in the playoffs.

However, this season, that coach proved everybody wrong and took a team that was nowhere near as strong as last year's model and entered the playoffs as the 3rd seed in the AFC to a Super Bowl championship.

Now let's see, this year we seem to have the same situation happening again. Just about everything you could have said about Tony Dungy last February applies to Marty Schottenheimer now.

The Chargers chose a different route though, and on Monday launched Marty after he compiled a 35-13 regular season record in 3 seasons as the Bolts coach. Now they must scramble to find someone to replace him, and likely will have to go with somebody who has never been a head coach in the NFL before.

Meanwhile, you just know that as soon as this firing was announced, Al Davis did a spit take with his goblet of blood, wishing he could rescind last month's hiring of 31 year old Lane Kiffin, whose resume money shot is that he somehow managed to offensive coordinate a rag tag bunch of misfits such as Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush, and LenDale White into a cohesive unit that could compete with the staunch defensive units of the Pac 10 conference. Marty would have been perfect for the Raiders, and you know he would have loved the chance to stick it to the Chargers and Chiefs twice a year apiece. Oh well.

So, as it stands now, your AFC West coaches in 2007 will be:

SD- ?
KC- Herm Edwards, who should have Larry Johnson playing wheelchair basketball with Curtis Martin by 2010.
DEN- Mike Shanahan, who will be every bit as creepy as Al Davis is now by 2015.
OAK- Lane Kiffin, who according to the Raiders should have a successful series of football video games named after him by 2025.

Okay then.

Monday, February 12, 2007

NFL Coaching Carousel...OF DEATH!! NFC East UPDATE

Last Friday I said that Andy Reid is the only NFC East coach whose job appears to be safe heading into next season. That fixed him good. He's now taking a one month leave of absence from the Eagles to deal with his gas sniffin', orphan beatin' sons.

Dixie Chicks: Smell Ya Later

The headline story from last night's Grammy Awards was that the Dixie Chicks walked away with 800 awards.

4 years ago the Dixie Chicks were pulled from country music radio and ostracized by their Red State fanbase for Natalie Maines criticizing of George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq. Criticizing the Dear Leader doesn't seem like a big deal now, but way back in 2003, when everyone in the mainstream press was still lining up to experience the healing and restorative powers of the sweat from George W. Bush's mansack, it was pretty heady stuff.

However, time has proven Maines' trepidation accurate, and she and the other Dixies took every opportunity to remind us all that they were right all along during all of their many acceptance speeches, even going so far as to quote Nelson Muntz by saying "Haw haw."

Yes, haw haw indeed.

Thousands of teenagers and kids in their early 20s are dead and still yet to be killed, but that pales in comparison next to the pain and suffering experienced by Natalie Maines since the invasion of Iraq.

The mothers, fathers, wives, brothers, and sisters of those who have come back from the desert in flag draped coffins or of those fortunate enough to come back minus only a limb or a properly functioning mind can only imagine the hell Maines and the Dixies have gone thru; what with all the not being played on the radio, and threatening letters and what not.

But now that they've won a bunch of Grammys, it's OK to gloat. Haw haw. They were right, and that's all that matters. They could have said something like, "We're grateful for these awards, but they're not going to bring back anybody who has been lost in this war. We'll continue to speak out against this war thru our music though in hopes that we can help bring an end to it." That would have been nice. Instead we get "Haw haw".

That's America for you, you have your choice of Jesus Jingoism or Know-It-All Smugness. What a country!

Friday, February 9, 2007

NFL Coaching Carousel...OF DEATH!! NFC East

Only in the Dead Zone of Sports that is February could Wade Phillips be the topic hammered into the frontal cortexes of sports fans ad nauseum. Wade Phillips and John Amaechi. That, sports fans, is what you've got going on in the second week of February.

So, being there's not a whole lot else to talk about, I think it's a good time to take stock of the comings and potential future goings of NFL coaches. We start today with the NFC East.

The Cowboys' month long conclave has culminated in the anti-climactic selection of Chargers defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. On the strength of the strong performance of the Bolts defense he coordinated this year, and a 29-19 record in his tenure with the Bills at the turn of this century, Wade Phillips has proven the exception to the Wannstedt Rule, the rule that says no man shall get a THIRD chance to succeed as an NFL head coach.

Phillips has a three year contract, but he'll probably be gone if he doesn't get to the Super Bowl next year. He is a placeholder until Jason Garrett's skull fully hardens and he is ready to use his big, throbbing, Princeton brain to lead the Cowboys back to glory.

So, being that Wade Phillips probably has one season at best as the Cowboys head honcho, I think he has to seize the opportunity to do what we've all been waiting 20 years for him to do, which is to start dressing like his dad did on the sidelines.

I mean, my God, it's so obvious that he should do this. He owes it to himself to do this. On second thought, to hell with that, he owes it to me.

I think you have to consider every head coach in this division not named Andy Reid as a prime candidate to not return in 08.

I was positive the Giants had already fired Tom Coughlin twice already. But lo and behold their web site says he is still their head coach. He will again have the sword of Damocles hanging over him next season.

Joe Gibbs probably has one more year to turn it around in Washington. He may want to start by fixing the wiring in his headset so that he can hear his assistant coaches and not his crew chief.

And, of course, Wade Phillips shouldn't get too comfy either.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Don't Panic- A Salute to the 2006 Indianapolis Colts

LAST year was supposed to be the Colts' year. They started out 13-0, and looked like they might be the first team to go 16-0. But they peaked too early, and were one and done in the playoffs.

They weren't as good this year. In December, they endured a stretch where they lost 3 out of 4, with all 3 losses coming against teams in their own division. That's kind of hard to believe. The Super Bowl Champs have lost their last meeting with each and every member of the division they play in. That has to be a first.

Yet, somehow, the Colts were the best when it counted. In all situations, they remained calm. When they trailed the AFC Championship game 21-6, they didn't panic. When they fell behind on the very first play of the Super Bowl, and again later in the first quarter, they seemed unfazed.

This Colts team had failed so many times in the past, and so many times in this very season, that they seemed unafraid of failing again. No matter what the situation, they stuck to their gameplan. They never looked as if they were pressing. They approached each postseason game with the thought in mind that they knew exactly what they wanted to do for the next 60 minutes of football, and felt that if they did what they were supposed to do, they could and would win.

This team has taken a lot of heat over the last few years for underachieving. It's been said that they're soft, it's been said they lack the heart and fire needed to be champions. It's been said that the calm demeanor of their coach and quarterback were keeping them from succeeding in the blood and guts postseason. But this year, in a year where they were not the best team in the postseason, they proved the axiom that if you can keep your head when all around you are losing theirs, you'll succeed, and now, they're champions.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Suicide Robot Is Worst Commercial Ever


"OK people, our focus groups tell us that people have 2 things on their minds during Super Bowl parties. Those 2 things are unemployment, and suicide. We need to find a way to incorporate these things into our 6 million dollar Super Bowl commercial."

" How about we do an ad where a GM employee gets laid off, starting a downward spiral that ends in him jumping off a bridge, killing himself and making orphans of his children."

"OMG that's an awesome idea! I think we should make the GM employee be like a giant North Korean rabbit or something though, so real laid off GM employees don't get pissed off."

"Wait how about a Johnny Five from Short Circuit lookalike."

"Done and fucking done"

"My nipples are totally hard this will be the best Super Bowl commercial ever."


SUPER BOWL XLI- Unlikable Bears Shit the Bed

Even though I am a Bears fan, I'm kind of glad that THIS Bears team did not win the Super Bowl.

Simply put, I don't like this team, and I don't think I'm the only Bear fan that feels that way.

Rex Grossman illustrated perfectly the reason why I don't like this team. No, he didn't do it on Sunday with his predictably awful performance. He did it earlier in the week, when he pontificated in a Chad Pennington-esque soliloquy about how the media (and by proxy, the fans, he didn't say it, but you KNOW he was thinking it) are ignorant and don't know what they are talking about when it comes to football.

That, in a nutshell, is the vibe that this Bears team has emanated since Jerry Angelo set Dick Jauron up to fail so he could fire him in 2003, and completed the process of making the Bears his team. Rex isn't the only Bear to emanate this sour aura, it's almost a requirement for anyone associated with this team.

It's a standoffish, hostile vibe that pits the Bears against the fans and media that want to embrace and love this team but can't fully do that because, well, it's hard to fall in love with a team if they make it impossible for you to even fall in like with them.

So, as I said before, Rex isnt' responsible for this air of reticence and righteous indignation the Bears stride around in, the unspoken contempt that this team holds its fans in, but he has become the symbol of it.

Never in my life would I imagine that Chicago Bear fans could so revile the quarterback that led them back to the Super Bowl after a quarter century wandering in the NFL desert. You would think that person would celebrated, revered, and lofted to almost godlike status amongst Bear faithful, no matter how imperfect he may be. But, with Rex, that's obviously not the case. I don't think it is all his fault though.

The Bears have seemingly decided that the way they are going to prove they are smarter than you is to win a Super Bowl with a quarterback that everyone else says you cannot win a Super Bowl with, Rex Grossman. They will stick with him thru all the fumbled snaps, all the head slapping decisions, all the making the same mistakes over and over and over again. They will stick with him because they are trying to prove a point, the point that they know football and you, Mr. Bears Fan, do not.

So maybe that makes me "not a real Bears fan", to not want to see this version of the Bears, which seems to want to win just to stick it to its fans, succeed. So be it. I'll still be a Bears fan long after Rex, Jerry Angelo, Tank Johnson, Muhsin Muhammad, and any of the rest of the prickly pears on this team are long gone. I've still got time for my team to win a Super Bowl. Time, however, is running out for this bunch.

Monday, February 5, 2007

He's no Tom Brady

My co-worker tells me that Peyton Manning did not do the hands-on-his-head shit-eating-grin-of-disbelief that Tom Brady did after his 3 super bowl wins. I have to say, I wish he had...

Bears and Cubs... oh my!

No more whining about the Bears...

As usual this time of year (the end of the Bears season) my focus turns immediately to the Chicago Cubs, the team that lets me down year-after-year without fail. A team so prolific at underachieving, there should be a new word for it.. cubartion.

Now.. on to VORPs, HBPs, OPSs, HRs, Ws, Ls, ERAs, SLGs, BAs, SBs, STDs and so on. I think pitchingtons and catchingtons report in less than 2 weeks!!!

Nick and I will give our daily thoughts on baseball and things surrounding baseball, like Stuart Scott's lazy eye. Me, from a fun-loving yet realistic Cubs fan's view, Nick from a diehard Sox fan's view. In the meantime, try to tune out the likes of Buster Olney, Peter Gammons, Chris Berman, and the aforementioned Stuart Scott.

Blame it on the rain?

Whatever you do don't put the blame on you
Blame it on the rain yeah yeah
You can blame it on the rain
Ooh, ooh (ooh)
I can't, I can't. I can't, can't stand the rain
I can't, I can't. I can't, can't stand the rain
Yeah, yeah

Prolific lyrics from the man-band Milli Vanilli. Could it be the reason for the Bear's collapse in Miami?

No. I propose a different reason. I blame this squarely on the "Rons".. Turner and Rivera. As offensive and defensive coords for the Bears, its their responsibility to outcoach the opposition. In this game, the 2 of them apparently could not outsmart the Colts guy who looks like he's 86 and in need of some new reading specticles, in the rain, squinting to barely make out who is playing WR on the near side of the field.

This game was going to be played based on the defense leaving the offense 1 possession away from winning/tying the game. Its a risky move, generally, but the Bears bread-and-butter all season. I thought it was too risky for this game. The bend-don't-break defense broke badly a few times and left Brian Urlacher throwing his hands up to the sidelines in digust with the play calling. Just think if he was allowed to step in front of more of those 8-12yd passes, like on the Colts first offensive play.

And the offense, what can you say. Ron Turner called for a steady diet of running the football and throwing to the outside of the field. It made me want to run to the bathroom and throw up, especially when the guy on the other team used a steady diet of running the football and throwing to the middle of the field, resulting in 1st-down after 1st-down. On a rainy day, that is the way to go, and my fear before this game started (see my post from 1/26).

We've lived thru this all year with Fumbles McGrossman. I only hope that this gives the Bears a swift kick in the arse to find a real QB who can play amonst the best in the league. Could you imagine if Rex was actually picked for the Pro Bowl this year? I imagine it could result in the first public booing at a football game played in Hawaii.

At least we have that 92yd kickoff return from Devin Hester to remember, oh and Rob and Fab.. Ahh.. those were the seconds..

Friday, February 2, 2007

Colts/Pats- A Retrospective

With the Super Bowl just about 48 hours away, I feel it necessary for me to throw a bone to a game I haven't recapped yet, the AFC Championship Game.

It pitted Peyton Manning and his cursed Colts, who have advanced to the playoffs only to fail once there every year since Manning took over for Johnny Unitas as the Colts quarterback in 1971, against the 15 time Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots and their devastatingly handsome QB/Coach tandem of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.

So, without further introduction, thru the magic of free game highlights on NFL.com, I give you the 2007 Game to Decide the 2006 AFC Champion.

- We come to you from the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, Indiana. I don't even know what RCA makes anymore. When is the last time you saw an RCA TV? Does the company still exist?

- Brady! Manning! Dungy! Belichick!

- Our first highlight begins with the Patriots set up comfortably on the Colts five yard line. Brady hands off to Maroney, and Holy Dredlocks! The ball is loose! A five meter scrum ensues, and thanks to the horseshoe that is firmly ensconced in the ass of the New England franchise, the ball squirts free into the end zone where the Pats fall on it and turn potential disaster into a touchdown.

- Next, the Patriots are once again deep in Colts territory. Brady gives to Corey Dillon on the draw. Corey makes an Indy corner looks silly, while the safety is being driven into the sea, Dillon walks in.

- Now Manning throws for the sideline, and he's PICKED OFF by Asante Samuel, who strolls in for a touchdown, and the Colts are just getting rolled.

- We move to the second half, and Peyton Manning is attempting to bring the Colts back from the dead. He does the one yard plunge into the end zone, and the Colts have the spirit of the buffalo once again.

- Lat in the third quarter, Manning runs a play action pass, and finds a wide open fat man in the end zone for a touchdown!! The Colts are now within 2!

- They go for 2. Manning evades pressure up the middle, and just in the nick time lofts a perfect touch pass near the right edge of the end zone to Marvin Harrison to tie the game up at 21.

- Now the Evil Tom Brady dances around in the pocket near the Colts 10, he finds Jabar Gaffney in the back of the end zone, who makes a great catch while being pushed out of bounds. Because he was pushed out of bounds, the ruling is that it is a catch. Now that Jabar Gaffney doesn't have David Carr holding the ball like it has the antidote in it, he's a superstar all of a sudden, and the Pats are back on top, 28-21.

- Early in the 4th quarter, the Colts are threatening to tie it at 28. Dominic Rhodes runs the stretch play, and FUMBLES! But, as was the fashion at the time, an offensive lineman falls on the ball in the end zone, and the Colts score. This is inspiring me to make it my mission in life to become the greatest fumble recoverer of all time.

- We have just about a minute left in the game now, and Joseph Addai runs it in from 5 yards out to put Indy up 38-34. But there is just enough time left for Tom Brady to make everybody cry.

- Except this time, Brady is PICKED OFF by someone whose wife presumably didn't stab him the leg the night before the game. See how much better you play when you and your old lady DON'T have knife fights 12 hours before a playoff game? I think there might be something to that.

- The Colts win! They are going to the Super Bowl! Belichick runs off the field, crying like a little girl. Fade to black.