Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Transcribing Tweets and Texts; New Game

Recapping a weekend of football can be difficult to manage.  This week I have turned towards my hundreds of texts, tweets, and Yahoo stat-tracker conversations as a means to faciledite (facilitate + expedite = faciledite) the process. 

This was certainly the most entertaining Sunday afternoon for the 2011 season.  Seven of the eleven games were decided by a touchdown or less. 

In this weekend’s most exciting matchup, at least for me personally, the New York Giants were subjected to one less catastrophe then the Buffalo Bills.  Bills vs. Giants is, of course, legendary to the 30 and older generation because of the Scott Norwide conclusion to Super Bowl 25 but in my house, it stands for more then that. 

Me: I hope today doesn’t end in divorce – 1:03 PM.
Mom: If we could survive the Super Bowl I think we will be ok – 1:05 PM.    

My mom, bless her soul, is a Buffalonian woman who still doesn’t play Mahjong.  My dad reps the Giants (my Jets support is for another article).

Big plays were certainly the standard for this game.  Jackson’s 80 yard touchdown run has to rank among the best of the season and his tightrope directional change at about the 15 yard line was especially pretty.  As for the Roosevelt 60 yard reception…

Mom: I’m all chocked up, that was Roosevelt’s first touchdown – 1:38 PM
Me: Did you know him? – 1:38 PM
Mom: No. – 1:39 PM

Some people just aren’t cut out to be football fans.  Crying over a guy scoring his first touchdown?  I’ve always wished I had a 6 foot 5, 275 pound frame and could be a defensive end – really, if I could be any position that would be the one – but I don’t think my mom would have been able to go a season without an emotional breakdown. 

“I’m all chocked up, that was his first play… I’m all chocked up, that was his first tackle… Bill, I need some Prozac, that was his first sack.”

Here’s an interesting poll question.  What is the most painful NY football team to support right now?  The Bills are looking good, but, come on now, their fans should know better than to feel good about the season.  Everyone else might be on the band wagon but Buffalo fans know better than that, right? 

Me: Do you think the Bills are going to make the playoffs?
Mom: Is this for your blog?
Me: No! Can’t I just talk to you without it being about my blog!? Do you think the Bills are going to make the playoffs?
Mom: I am too much of a pessimistic to think that, but I always hope so

As expected.  Dad?

Dad: That last drive that began with a run was so Coughlin.  And then another run on first and twenty!  It is tough being a Giants fan.

I think my dad would be the medical term known as a “Self Loathing Blue.”  He winces at every Coughlinian decision, Jacobs fumble, Eli shoulder-smash, and Cruz drop.  He has something to complain about on every play… My housemates know what having someone who’s pessimistic and frustrated with everything is like.  After the Jets had a kickoff bounce off the legs of their up-man, I confidently proclaimed:

Game over. 

Within the first 5 game minutes I had already sent out the following:

Schotty must go.  I’ve been saying this since the days of Manidiot.
The D has too much pressure.  They’re on the field 45 minutes a game.
They can’t run or pass.  God, this shit is just gonna kill me one day. 

And I believed it too.  Clearly I forgot the most important fact about this game, The Dolphins are downright horrendous.  The 1-15 squad would crush this year’s installment.  I saw more dropped passes then in a Braylon Edwards best-of video.  They managed to make me laugh more than did Gruden, which was never done before.  Matt Moore looked like a high school player (a very bad one).
If I had any type of computer design skills I'd turn that into 
a Miami Dolphins Uni.  
Luckily for them, Andrew “Everyone’s Best Ever Scouted Player” Luck is just waiting to take his talents to South Beach.  Somehow, they are a good quarterback away from being one of the 10 best teams in the NFL.  I honestly can’t wait to see what happens if they land the college standout.  Brandon Marshall would return as an elite wide receiver, Reggie Bush could fill back into his rookie season role of game-changing, mix-up guy, the Jets would be in major trouble.

Going into Monday night I was pretty sure the 5 worst teams in football were, in order:

28. Miami
29. St. Louis
30. Denver
31. Jasonville
32. Indy

Peyton Manning 4 MVP 2k11!!!!!!!

Actually, though, the ineptness of his Colts have to move him to the head of the class of the best quarterback conversation.  This team won 10 games last season!  Has there ever been such a sharp turn around from a single injury?  When Brady went down in week one in the 2008-2009 season the Pats still won 11 games!  Forget the talk of whether or not the Colts should waive Manning’s contract, he should leave them!  It doesn’t need to be about them, he could make it about him.  “My back just can’t recover when I need to carry you… It literally hurts me to watch you flounder… I will never be part of an organization defeated by the Texans.”

Anyways, here’s the updates list after MNF.

28. Colts
29. Miami
30. Miami
31. Miami
32. Miami. 

In my preseason prediction I said the Packers would go undefeated.  That looks like the most solid prediction I’ve ever made.  Rodgers is playing on a whole different level right now than anyone else.  Tell me the last time someone posted a 110 plus QB rating in each of their first 6 games.  Just to put this in perspective, in Brady’s much-deserved unanimous MVP season last year, he eclipsed the 110 mark nine times the entire season and twice through the first 6 games.  The guy is straight up ruthless and I think he actually gets better every time Brett Favre opens his mouth.  The Pack still have 6 more games against teams that are currently over .500, but I have seen nothing to make me think they will lose any of them. 

Looking ahead, the game of the year might be the Thanksgiving matchup against the Lions, which would mark the first time a Lions Thanksgiving game has meant anything since Barry Sanders peaced out.  See how I transitioned to the Lions?

Unless you’ve been brought back from the dead within the last day, you probably know there was a scuffle at the conclusion of the San Francisco – Detroit game.  The ensuing controversy has been a polarizing issue. 

Is there any doubt that San Francisco gets Hard Knocks in 2012?

What the hell is the big deal? 

Imagine that you have spent your entire life around football.  For the last decade you have been trying to make the transition from ex-player to successful coach – one that is too daunting for countless all-time great players (see Mike Singletary).  You are certainly not an “all time great” but were an effective pro, attempting to obtain the “all time great” tag directing the X’s and O’s.  In your first season as a professional football head coach you have led one of last year’s most sorry organizations to a 4 and 1 record and then, in the most important game of your entire coaching career, you hand a 5 and 0 squad their first loss (in their stadium!) after a grueling, 4 hour, come-from-behind victory that wasn’t wrapped up until the clock hit triple zero.  Wouldn’t you be a little bit emotional? 

Now flip the scenario.  You’re 5 and 0 and have your team relevant for the first time in ever.  You’re team is at the center of the American economic recession and as much as you know sports are not going to save anyone’s life or job, it would be nice if you gave the city something, anything to cheer about (those Tigers couldn’t get the job done).  You are trying to go to 6 and 0 and somehow stay tied with one of the NFL’s all-time great franchises and defending Super Bowl champs.  You had the lead but it slipped away and now you have to do the terrible, painful charade of shaking the other coaches hand, after not being on the losing side of things since December 5 of a year ago.  The other guy is pumped; he just beat you and he let’s you know it with what is probably not the most affectionate hand shake you’ve ever received.  Not to mention, some of your players just saw the thing go down and probably don’t want their coach to just take shit from the head of the guys who just defeated them.  Now, wouldn’t you be a little bit emotional?

So maybe Harbaugh should have just taken a deep breath and said, “Good game, best of luck for the rest of the season.”  He didn’t; I don’t know if I could have done that either and nobody is in a position to say how they would have handled it except for Jim Harbaugh.  Schwartz needed to call him on the rude gesture, even if it wasn’t a premeditated attack on him or his football team.  What would people his team think of their coach if Schwartz just took it?  It wasn’t like he retaliated!  He got in Harbaugh’s face and said, “What the hell?”  There was no punch, no shove, no anything that should get a fine.  In fact, there really wasn’t anything that should even deserve this amount of lines of a blog devoted to it, but there have been so many incorrect, muckraker voices on the matter that I am obliged to take a stand to save the integrity of the game I love and bring an end to the vehement, idiotic grenades of oppression bombarding the two organizations and the NFL for its appropriately lineate stance (maybe I got a little carried away).

Nobody did anything wrong.  There wasn’t a “bad example” set.  Everyone knows you should shake the other guy’s hand in a way that reflects proper decorum, but everyone gets emotional and neither coach is thinking about the issue any more. 

But… I still am.  I couldn’t help but wonder what would have happened if the fight escalated.  Who would have won that battle?  This got me thinking and when I get thinking strange things happen. 

The year is 2020.  NFL football games have been replaced by NFL head coach fist fights.  Mike Tyson, Manny Pacquiao, George Foreman, George Foreman, George Foreman, George Foreman, George Foreman, and George Foreman are former boxers and sons of boxers who attempt to get money in illegal boxing matches between head coaches to pay their debts to loan sharks.  By film’s – I mean, year’s – end, they have managed to attract a WFHCB (World Football Head Coach Boxing) rep and are now the official trainers of many legitimate head coaches. 

Obviously, it would take exactly 9 years for such an event to occur.  But, in the meantime, it would be fun to see exactly how a boxing battle would go down with the current installment of NFL head men. 

This will become the newest ongoing installment of Late Night Thoughts and each post will conclude with the most recent fight results.

Even in 2020, gambling is a huge part of the game.  In this edition of WFHCB, each coach’s odds at last man standing will be presented.  The format is simple: single elimination, bracket of 32.  If you would like to place a bet on the outcome, please contact THIS GUY ALL PARTICIPANTS MUST BE 21 YEARS OR OLDER, EXCEPT FOR RESIDENTS OF Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and North Dakota

2011 WFHCB Odds:

1. Mike Munchak … 5 to 2
2. Jim Harbaugh… 5 to 2
3. John Harbaugh… 7 to 2
4. Mike Tomlin… 10 to 1
5. Pat Shurmur… 15 to 1
6. Gary Kubiak… 20 to 1
7. Raheem Morris… 20 to 1
8. Steve Spagnuolo… 25 to 1 

9. Marvin Lewis… 25 to 1
10. Leslie Frazier… 30 to 1
11. Jack Del Rio… 30 to 1
12. Ron Rivera… 35 to 1
13. Sean Payton… 40 to 1
14. Pete Carroll… 40 to 1
15. Ken Whisenhunt… 45 to 1
16. Todd Haley… 50 to 1
17. Norv Turner… 50 to 1
18. Lovie Smith… 60 to 1
19. Mike Smith… 75 to 1
20. Jason Garrett… 75 to 1
21. Jim Schwartz… 80 to 1
22. Mike McCarthy… 80 to 1
23. Rex Ryan… 100 to 1
24. Mike Shanahan… 170 to 1
25. Andy Reid… 200 to 1
26. Tony Sparano… 200 to 1
27. Bill Belichick… 250 to 1
28. John Fox… 350 to 1
29. Jim Caldwell… 400 to 1
30. Hue Jackson… 400 to 1
31. Chan Gailey… 1000 to 1
32. Tom Coughlin… Infinity to 1

Note: Fan input is encouraged and may impact future performance.


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