Monday, February 4, 2008

We're only going to score 17 points?

There's a great many reasons I haven't had time to write in nearly two months. The distractions of this year's NFL awfulness was only a minor part of that, but a part nonetheless. Football isn't a game I play, but it's a game I watch as much as possible!

For my part, my team is the Philadelphia Eagles, and I actually do owe that to being a gamer. I grew up in Wisconsin but HATE HATE HATE the Green Bay Packers (hate), so I didn't watch much football. Playing Sega Genesis at my friend's house, however, I fell in (guy-)love with one Mr. Randall Cunningham while using his digial representation in the Madden Football '93 video game. I've been an avid football watcher and Eagles fan ever since.

This season kinda sucked for us Eagles fans. Last season was full of drama, but it was drama that led to a playoff berth. This season...not so much. The only drama this year was the Patriots and their trek for "perfection."

A lot has been made of the cheating controversy from early this season, even though, as many have pointed out, what was done was only barely breaking rules compared to what other (all?) teams videotape from different locales. HOWEVER - cheating is still cheating, and the murmurs around the league are that this piddly crap Bill Belichick got caught for is only a scratch on the surface. I, for one, totally believe that. When you do "whatever it takes" to get another tick in the win column, there's probably a whole helluva lot you aren't getting caught at.

For the last three weeks (leading up to the Green Bay game - did I mention I hate the Packers?), I've been rooting for the Giants. Sometime within the next week or two, this will wear off and I will go back to hating them in favor of my division-rival Eagles, but for now....well, for now, life is pretty sweet.

That game last night was AMAZING. Mouth-breathing man-child Eli Manning put together just enough brilliant plays (most notably THIS ONE) to outscore the Patriots, but the game MVP really should have been a shared award to the Giants' defensive line. I've never seen Tom Brady get hit so much, and it was beautiful!!!

Why would I take such delight in Brady's downfall? I really didn't care much about Brady before this game. At worst, throughout most of the season I had a sneaking suspicion that most of his success was due to his offensive line, and that he wouldn't be such a hotshot under pressure. That proved correct once the Eagles' own Jim Johnson showed the whole NFL the way with his awesome blitzing schemes. Still, my dislike of the Patriots was all about Belichick...until...

THIS HAPPENED. When asked his prediction for the game, Plaxico Burress responded, "23-17." Tom Brady hears this and is shocked and offended. "We're only going to score 17 points?" a surprised Brady said Wednesday. "OK. Is Plax playing defense? I wish he had said 45-42 and gave us a little credit for scoring more points."

That's enough for me - he needed to go down. I'm happy to find that the forces of Karma agreed with me. And wowie-wow-wow, down he went.

As for other Patriots...

Some of them I feel at least a little bad for. They played hard all season, and lost the big game. I'm sure most of them are perfectly decent people undeserving of my scorn.

Some of them already won 1 to 3 Superbowls in recent seasons, so I hardly care if a non-Eagles team wins repeated championships.

But I'd like to call out a couple special friends:

1) Randy Moss. With the Vikings my 2nd-favorite team, I used to cheer for you. A lot. Then you went to Oakland and blah blah whatever. But that's actually the problem, isn't it? No matter what else went on during your time there, commentators all over the place had you figured for a has-been. You stopped caring - you stopped trying. We all thought you had lost your spark that made you a great receiver. Suddenly you show up in New England and you have all your speed and skill back that you were missing the last couple years. Randy Moss, you give up when things aren't going your way. You quit on your old team. You deserve no titles; no rings.

2) Junior Seau. You never won the big game in your long career, and despite have received all sorts of other fame and accolades, you just couldn't let it go. You "retired" from football, only to hop right back in when a seeming sure-thing offered you a chance. Sorry if it sounds cruel, but to me that's not deserving of fame. Not that you can't still throw a good tackle, but hopping onto the bandwagon when you were otherwise ready to retire is kinda pathetic.

That's about it, really. All the rest of my hate is for Big Billy Belichick. I was actually afraid for Tom Coughlin for a few minutes there. When Belichick stormed across the field to meet him, I was sure that he had a shiv tucked away in the front pocket of his hoodie and was about to stick Coughlin like a pig. I guess he figured that was a bad idea with the cameras watching. I pity whomever was the first person or otherwise punchable object he saw when he got into the locker room.

What a night. A "perfect" season turns into meaningless overhype in the last two minutes of one of the most intense football games I've ever watched. Of course, a lot of that intensity was due to the overhype, but what I feel is important is that the overhyped team lost, and their rat-bastard coach finally got the comeuppance he deserved. I do love me some justice.

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