Ayoye (French for "Ouch that hurts like a bitch" - quite literally)! Two weeks does not a season make, but watching my Dolphins, and more specifically Daunte Culpepper, trot onto the field and get trounced by the hated Bills, at home, does not give me much hope for the season. Every time I catch Saints highlights and see Drew Brees light it up I think: "That's the guy who was the perfect fit for Miami".
At this point in the Dolphins progression, a game manager who can surprise you with the occasional deep ball is what's needed. Daunte gives us what? Memories of Randy Moss? I hear Jay Fiedler is still a backup somewhere (pining for Jay Fiedler is not what I had in mind for this season). Dan Marino (may Buddha bless him) is still only 45. Wasn't Steve DeBerg 68 when he played for the Chiefs?
Unfortunately, this is going to be another good Miami defence gone to waste. You know who I feel bad for? Zach Thomas. This guy has been the heart and soul of the Dolphins for 10 years, and will probably end his career without even one memorable playoff run. If ever you're watching a Dolphins game, notice how he always seems to be in on the tackle, no matter where the play ended up. My buddy Jason and I were watching the season opener against Pittsburgh, and the Steelers had just scored on a passing touchdown. I pointed out to Jason: "Well, at least Zach was close to the guy who scored." Jason replied "Yeah, but that's the safety's job!". Exactly.
On the bright side, if the Dolphins go 0-16, they get Brady Quinn! Not that they would take him, since they've already broken the bank on Mr. Love Boat. And oh wait, the Raiders would actually have to win a game for that to happen. Never mind.
Speaking of the Raiders, anybody else pissed that Aaron Brooks is already on the bench? Art Shell is withholding some key unintentional comedy there. Andrew Walter? Nothing's funny about him! I think I'll start an Aaron Brooks petition. Who's with me? However, as Bill Simmons pointed out in this hilarious column, Art Shell provides plenty of comedy on his own.
Anyone else watch the end of the Vikings v. Panthers game? Now there's a game neither coach wanted to win. First John Fox gives the go-ahead for that dumb, dumb, dumb trick special teams play on a punt return - WHEN THEY WERE LEADING BY A TOUCHDOWN!!! So Chris Gamble promptly messes that one up nicely, and Minnesota recovers. Fine, then the Vikes do nothing with it and send out the FG unit. Hey Carolina, you think maybe this is going to be a fake, since the Vikings need 7 to tie the game with time almost running out? I guess not, because they got caught flat-footed as Ryan Longwell, the Vikings kicker, threw an easy TD into the endzone.
Off to overtime we go. A few things happened, but let's fast-forward to the end. Vikings work the ball to inside the Panther 5 yard line for a first down. It's overtime, remember. Kick a field goal and it's over.
5 yard line.
What do the Vikings do? Run up the gut on first down for no gain. Surely, someone upstairs is calling down to the sideline to make them realize they only need a field goal, and don't need to risk a turnover? Nope. 2nd down, run up the gut, no gain. My buddy Bruce and I are freaking out on the couch, yelling at the TV. Ok, maybe only I was the only one yelling, but I'm more emotional than Bruce Mr. Turk. Now I'm hoping they run the ball again and fumble, it's all they deserve, but common sense (FINALLY) prevails and they kick the field goal to win. Still can't believe it.
Since we're on the subject of the Vikes-Panthers game, I need to air something Bruce Mr. Turk pointed out during NBC's Football Night in America. They have a feature where fans are asked to pick the biggest turning point of the day. There were 4 options, and one of them was the botched special teams trick play by the Panthers: definitely a turning point. However, the other 3 were not turning points but game-deciding plays. Example: Eli Manning's game-winning TD pass to Plaxico Burress in overtime. That's not a turning point, it's game over, as Bruce Mr. Turk pointed out. A better example in that game would be the ill-advised kick to the groin that Trent Cole administered to a Giant defender, making the tying field goal a 35 yard instead of 50 yard attempt. That's a turning point. Boo on you for that NBC!
While we're on the subject of broadcasters, here are some quick hit observations:
- Someone at ESPN needs to have a handkerchief ready for Chris Berman at all times. Having his sweaty face on my TV was scary, especially in HD. Can't we get an intern to wipe him down when he's not on camera?
- Brad Nessler, Dick Vermeil and Ron Jaworski were superb in the second part of the Monday Night Football doubleheader. The shame is that they won't be working another game until who knows when?
- Costas' chair was still too big. Bruce Mr. Turk couldn't believe it when he saw it for the first time on Sunday. It's New York, people, I'm sure they sell chairs for little people there! (see, I didn't use the word midget).
- Can we eliminate the part in every MNF game were they get a star to come to the booth? In week one, it was Jaime Foxx complaining about being in the third row of Daniel Snyder's luxury box. This week, Wayde Dwyane (or whatever his name is) talking about how excited he is for the upcoming NBA season. Look, I realize one of ESPN's major properties is the NBA - I GET IT. But I want football, at the very least. Warren Moon is in the house and wants to come to the booth? Fine. Lawrence Taylor? Sure. For everything else non-football related we have Tony Kornheiser. Stick to the program kids.
- Another point from Bill Simmons with which I agree: Fox's pregame show decided to dispose of James Brown in order to have Joe Buck lead the telecast. The only problem is, Joe Buck is their lead play-by-play guy for NFL and MLB. Therefore, the broadcast has to travel to whichever city Buck is announcing in for that weekend. Doesn't that seem like an extreme and expensive solution to replace James Brown? Are you telling me there is such a black hole of talent in broadcasting that you had to turn to this costly solution in order to put a show on the air? Seriously, this is what the anchor does: "Hello everyone and welcome to Fox NFL Gameday. Lots of good matchups today...Howie?" There you go. Howie, Terry and Jimmy yell at each other for 15 minutes, you pretend they're funny and fake-laugh through it all, then say "you guys are great - we'll be back after these messages". They couldn't find anyone else for this? Was the monkey from Most Valuable Primate busy? What about the creepy golden shower monkey from the Telus commercials? Oh well, it's not like anybody watches that show to begin with...
Looking good after week 2:
- Jacksonville's D
- Rex Grossman
- Alex Smith
- Sean Taylor's hit on T.O.
- Joey Porter
- LaDainian Tomlinson
- Falcon's run game
Looking horrible after week 2:
- Culpepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (includes such hits as "Ripping the Soul From my Team's Chest" and "Oops, My Team's Not Dressed in Blue this Week")
- Chris "My Daddy won a Superbowl" Simms
- Eagles character
- 700 page offensive playbooks
- T.O.'s finger (CRUNCH, BITCH!!)
- Art Shell's retirement fund
See you next week!
P.S. Did I miss any topics you wanted me to discuss? Send you suggestions firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll try and address them next time around).