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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Football, Baseball, Obits

So who had the Cardinals vs. the Eagles in the NFC title game in their preseason picks? I'm going to need to see some proof.

In the past two weekends, I've seen at least parts of all eight games, which is more football than I watched the previous 18 weeks combined. Thanks to the magic of the DVR, I actually saw the Pittsburgh/San Diego game on Monday morning. The only one of the eight I saw in real time was the Eagles/Giants game on Sunday afternoon. To which I can only say, How do people actually watch commercials anymore? Not only are they annoying, they are replayed endlessly; a particular Subway commercial was effective in making me wonder if I'll ever go to one of their restaurants ever again.

So now I have to pick my rooting interests for the rest of the way:
1. Philadelphia Eagles - making the playoffs through an improbable set of circumstances the last weekend (two potentially playoff-bound teams losing to lesser opponents while the Eagles demolished the Cowboys) with a quarterback, Donovan McNabb, who was benched for a time this season. I always like McNabb, who played in Syracuse (yay, upstate NY!) and whose pick was booed by some of the Eagles' fans before he'd even put on his helmet for the first time.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers - yes, I'm rooting for the two PA teams. Call it geographic bias. But I like the QB, Ben Roethlisberger. I especially like receiver Hines Ward, who really embraced his Korean heritage a couple years back.
3. Arizona Cardinals - the Cinderella team, though it's been the Team of Destiny for Couch Slouch, Norman Chad for a few seasons now. The problem is that: 1) I can never remember where the Cardinals actually play. Chicago? No, that was many years ago. St. Louis? No, not any more, though St. Louis has the Rams that used to play in Los Angeles. 2) I'm not a big Kurt Warner fan. I'm sure this has something to do with his excessive religiosity. He also was less than stellar in his brief stint as Giants QB.
4. Baltimore Ravens - I just don't like the Ravens. And I particularly don't like Ray Lewis.

BTW, I really enjoyed Jaquandor's take on football. It's not a football blog, but he has some good insights:
Odd synchronicity: this weekend saw action by all three quarterbacks who lost Super Bowls to Tom Brady (Kurt Warner, Jake Delhomme, Donovan McNabb) and the one who beat Tom Brady (Eli Manning).
But on one point, I think he's wrong:
I think there should be no points but the team recording the safety should automatically take possession at the 50 yard line. The problem with that is that a team could intentionally go out of the back of the end zone and the team would have potentially better field position than it would if it had to punt from the back of the end zone. Now, talk about putting the ball on the 20-yard line of the team suffering the safety; THAT might be better than two points and receiving a free kick.
I thought Rickey Henderson's vote to the Baseball Hall of Fame was obvious. My only surprise was that he was eligible. I thought he was still playing ball somewhere. He probably won’t, but Rickey should go in as a member of the A’s.

As for Jim Rice, I’ve favored him getting in for as long as I can remember. This is what I wrote two years ago: Jim Rice 13th year. PRO: Eight All-Star teams (1977-’80, ‘83-’86). Seven .300 seasons, four 200-plus hit seasons, three 100-plus run season (consecutively from 1977-’79),30-plus HR four times, 40-plus HR once, and 100-plus RBI eight times. Led AL in total bases four times in 1977 (382), ‘78 (406), ‘79 (369) and 1983 (344). One of 31 players with 350+ home runs and a .290+ career batting average. Only player in history with three straight seasons of 35+ home runs and 200+ hits. CON: Prickly relationship with the press, who would note that the one time his Red Sox got to the World Series (1986), they didn’t win.
That he got in during his final year of eligibility suggests that the voters spent less time on his personality and more time on his stats.
Patrick McGoohan has died. I watched The Prisoner religiously. I also saw him in other things such as Braveheat, but The Prisoner was his signature role.
Ricardo Montalban also has died. I wrote about him only three months ago.



Scott said...

I think Henderson's election to the HoF was a no-brainer, too. And if he doesn't go in an an Oakland Athletic, then it's just plain stupid. Did you know that the first three times Henderson was a free agent, he left the team that he was playing for and signed with the A's?

As for Rice, in some respects I can see why he hadn't made it in some of the previous votes. There was some great ball players in front of him. But I was still surprised that it took him this long to make it in.

As for football, the NFC Championship is a win-win situation for me.

The first part of the win-win is obvious. I would like the see the Eagles make it again, given that I have become a fan of them since moving to the area. Why is that? That is the second part.

Seeing the Cardinals go to the Super Bowl would add insult to injury, capping off a horrid season for my hometown Detroit Lions. Can you think of a better way to finish an 0-16 season then watching the only other non-expansion team that hasn't been to the Super Bowl finally make it? It would be another part of a major wake up call to the Lions organization, but the problem is that they won't hear it.

Rog T said...


Paddy McGoohan was a former resident of Mill Hill, London, England. He used to drink with my Dad at the Mill Hill Services club in the 1960's at the peak of his fame. He was a great guy, who used to relax by playing darts, snooker and having a beer. Generous to a fault as well.

I was hoping he'd have a cameo role in the much vaunted remake of the Prisoner. God bless him.

Jaquandor said...

Giving the team recording the safety the ball in position that's well within field goal range (especially now, when kickers are so good the kicking accuracy has never been better) seems too much to me. Make the other team work for it a little bit. Starting a possession at the fifty is only about fifteen yards away from long FG range, and even if the drive stalls, you can pin the other guys right back on their own goal line when you punt. (IF you even punt.)