Sunday, January 20, 2008


A few thoughts during the Patriots game:

You know the Pepsi commercial where the Cowboys' offensive coordinator wrecks everything by yawning while he's calling plays? I just noticed today that in the commercial they're getting smashed by the Giants. That was filmed months ago, long before New York wrecked the Cowboys in real life.

The Chargers are stocked full of great players, probably only second to the Patriots. San Diego is thinner at WR, but they don't use their receivers that often. Arguably their defense is better than New England's. The only difference between the two teams is brains -- Brady's and Belichick's. That's it. Despite the Chargers' chasm-deep talent reservoir, which will undoubtedly carry them into the playoffs for several years to come, they're going to be constantly frustrated until Rivers proves he's on the level of Brady and Manning, at least for short stretches. Big Ben did it; it's possible. If it doesn't happen, though, everything San Diego has done will go for naught.

As the game lingered on in a close fashion, there was a little part of me that secretly wanted the Patriots to lose. Now, that twinge was vastly overridden by the desire to see them finish the perfect season and make the whole country shut up, and the converse dread of the level of revelry a Pats loss would inspire. But it was there, and I think it sprang from the part of me that's uncomfortable with liking football. All the Super Bowls I've watched in recent memory have made me wish for those hours of my life back. The great Patriots games occurred before I began to like them; during one I spent the whole night scanning photo negatives into a computer in the basement of UNL's j-school and didn't see one second of it. When I watched, the friends and food were good, but stuffing myself silly in front of a game that the whole damn country just makes me feel a loss of vitality, the same way I feel after spending too much time doing nothing at my folks' place. If the Patriots had lost, and especially if the Packers did too, I'd ignore the game unless invited to a sweet party.

After watching some d-lineman flip a great spin move, I wondered this -- they can't block you in the back, so what would happen if you as a defensive lineman turned around at the snap of the ball and ran backwards toward the quarterback. I'm not saying this is a sound strategy, but I'd like next year to see somebody in a meaningless regular season game starting doing this -- turning your back intentionally to the offensive lineman to see if he'll block you in the back. Mike Martz would try this -- somebody make him a head coach again. Hawaii?

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