Monday, January 14, 2008

Weekend observations

Mister Freeze...

I love games played in the snow. I loved 'em when I played in high school. I loved 'em when I coached. I love watching them.

I have an appreciation for the difficulty that's added by playing on a slick, hard field - when the cold hurts your hands, and the idea of hitting one's opponent can become distasteful, because it inflicts as much pain on the tackler as the tackled. The game becomes a contest of wills.

That game in Green Bay was a thing of beauty. After a shaky start, putting the ball on the ground twice, undrafted free-agent running back Ryan Grant imposed his will on the Seahawks, accounting for close to half of the Pack's 408 total yards (201).

As much as Brett Favre's arm got the Pack to the game, Grant's legs were responsible for getting them through the game.

Punched in the Mouth

The Jaguars were the team that was supposed to give the Patriots fits.

Their top ranked (AFC) running game was supposed to keep Tom Brady on the sideline, and take advantage of the Patriots AARP members manning the linebacker position. They were supposed to stuff the run, take away Randy Moss and make the Patriots win with Wes Welker, Donte Stallworth, and Ben Watson.

Instead, Laurence Maroney became the Beast from the AFC East, rushing for more yardage (122) than the entire Jaguars team combined (80) and more combined yardage (162) than the Chargers' one-two punch of Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor combined (129).

Even as a Pats fan, had anyone told me that Maroney would have almost as much yardage on the ground as the Jags backs had combined, I would have scoffed. Hell...combined yardage for the Pats runners v. the Jags? 207 to 129. And that was the place on offense that the Jags were supposed to have a distinct advantage.

I guess as the saying goes, on any given Sunday...

Upset Sunday...

I'm not going to dwell on the early game. The Colts played poorly on defense, struggling to beat a Chargers team that was lining up players by the end of the game that make one think more of a fourth pre-season game than of a playoff game. And the Chargers won in spite of some mind-numbingly, bone-jarringly stupid play calling on offense.

Even with the win, that game gave me no confidence that Norv Turner can bring this team a championship. The only reason they got out of Indy alive is that the Chargers defense was playing out of their collective minds down the stretch.

Texas Toast (or, The Mouths that Roared)...

Does anyone out there remember the "I love you, man," Bud Light commercials? Is it just me, or is that how Terrell Owens seemed in his postgame press conference? I can just hear Tony Romo right now..."No TO, you can't have any of my Bud go eat your popcorn."

Sincerity is not that man's forte. His defense of Tony Romo, while accurate (the Giants in the second half were beating the daylights out of Romo because the line just couldn't stop wave after wave of blue-jersied defenders), just came off as disingenuous.

And of course, the Dallas receivers just can't put their money where their exceedingly large mouths are...

Take, for instance, this tidbit from the postgame of their October match-up with the Patriots -

"If they make it to Arizona, we will see them again. Seriously, I'm not backing down from that statement," receiver Patrick Crayton said Monday, a day after a 48-27 loss to the Patriots.
Terrell Owens wasn't in the locker room Monday, but said after the game, "We'll see them down the road."

I guess they'll be in the stands?

Or how about TO's line that he'd be playing at a high level in this past Sunday's game during his interview with Deion Sanders? Four catches for 49 yards and one touchdown. During the regular season he averaged 5.4 catches per game for 90.3 yards per game. I wonder how TO defines a "high level."

Texas Toast, part II...

Well, it already appears that Roger Clemens and his handlers are backing off providing any actual denials under oath. According to reports, the Rocket and his legal team won't commit to providing congress with a deposition before the hearing, with his lawyer, Rusty Hardin, claiming that it could interfere with civil case.

The implication here is that testifying under oath to congress wouldn't, or at least, that's what Hardin would have you believe. Hardin from the AP report -
"There has been absolutely no change in Roger's willingness and indeed desire to testify under oath before Congress in a public hearing at a date of the Oversight Committee's choosing," Hardin said in a statement. "Any suggestion that he or we are having any second thoughts about that is absolutely false. All other pre-appearance issues and scheduling we will discuss privately with the committee and do not think it is appropriate to discuss those matters publicly."
A deposition is testimony, under oath (which is why it's admissible as evidence in a court case). As such, what's the issue?

According to legal experts on ESPN, and cited in other reports, a deposition would give the Committee the opportunity to investigate Clemens' defense, and to prepare specific questions in order to discredit Clemens' defense, or to formulate specific questions to ask McNamee, who appears willing to tell the Committee everything.

Hardin can spin this anyway he likes, but it's just one more chink in Clemens' so called defense.


Suldog said...

I absolutely adore snow games. There is nothing I like more than settling down in front of the TV to watch a football game on a snow-covered field. I hope that BOTH of the coming weekend's games are played in blizzards.

Kevin Smith said...

There's just something about those bad weather games - be it the (Flutie) BC-Miami match-up, the Snow Game against the Raiders, the Ice the saying goes - those are the games that separate the men from the boys.