Monday, November 06, 2006

NFL Thoughts, Week 9


My picking abilities continue to be so inept, I’d probably be better off just putting two pictures of the opposing teams’ logos on the floor and choosing whichever one my cats defecate on. Nevertheless, I’m in a pretty good mood. First, the Panthers had a bye and thus weren’t able to torment me; second, it was a tremendously entertaining weekend, what with the Patriots-Colts showdown, the start of the NBA season, and the entire Ted Haggard story.

In the Panthers’ absence, I was treated to the Ravens and Bengals in the early game and got a chance to witness Baltimore’s rejuvenated offense, now that it’s no longer shackled by self-proclaimed guru Jim Fassel. As an ex-Giants fan during the Fassel Administration, I know I speak for every Big Blue supporter on this one: how Fassell ever came to be regarded as an offensive “expert” is as mysterious as the appeal of Deal or No Deal. This was a man with a 2-time MVP quarterback (Kurt Warner), a likely Hall of Fame running back (Tiki Barber), an explosive wide-out (Amani Toomer), and a Pro-Bowl tight-end (Jeremy Shockey), and all they were good for was one blowout loss in a Super Bowl that that they had no business being in in the first place. Fassell personally cost us a number of games with his boneheaded play-calling, turned Tiki Barber into a fumbling head case, foolishly drafted and stubbornly held on to Ron Dayne for years (Dayne was actually cut this year by the Texans—the Texans!!). The fact that they’re great again under half-wit Tom Coughlin speaks volumes about Fassel’s supposed genius.

Defensive Player of the Week: Jason Taylor. Jason scored a DE hat trick with a sack, a forced fumble, and an interception that he returned for a touchdown; all this after trash-talking the Bears beforehand. The performance was similar to what Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols did in the NLCS by talking smack about Tom Glavine’s pitching before homering off him and eventually knocking the Mets out of the playoffs. I’m assuming both Taylor and Pujols are now being vilified by Chicago and New York, respectively. As a fan of pro wrestling, it's always cool when a regular athlete does an evil heel-turn.

Offensive Player of the Week: Larry Johnson. He and Stephen Jackson put on a dazzling, dueling banjos-style game of one-upsmanship, but Johnson’s 172 yards eventually prevailed. Also, hope everyone was able unload that Vick stock in time…

Random thought that occurred to me in the absence of having to mentally curse the Panthers ineptitude this weekend: have you noticed how many TV shows out there nowadays feature reenactments of one kind or another? Between the History Channel, the Discovery Channel, and all those true-crime shows, the market for reenactment actors has got to be at an all-time high. I have no idea why television producers feel having cheesy, low-budget reenactments of historical occurrences is better than simply showing still photographs of the events depicted, but it’s gotten me wondering about the actors themselves—who are they? I imagine them to be struggling thespians who are hoping to get better parts down the line, similar to soap opera stars. Anyway, my idea is this: they should do an Entourage-style show about a reenactment actor and his life as he drifts from one gig to another, playing a Civil War foot soldier, an ancient Roman senator, a Jeffrey Dahmer victim, etc. There could even be a running gag in which he’s insulted whenever someone refers to him as a “reenactment actor” and insists instead on the title of “historical re-creation progenitor” (the way some nannies prefer to be called “child technicians”).

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