Monday, September 11, 2006

NFL recap, September 11

First of all, great idea. Too bad they're only doing it this week. A doubleheader every night, one Eastern or Central game and one Mountain or Pacific game. Why?

— 8:30 Eastern is too late to start a game;
— 5:30 Pacific is too early to start a game;
— Two games are better than one;
— We get to see more football without Joe Theismann and with Bonnie Bernstein.

On to the games ...

Minnesota 19 at Washington 16: Yes, it's week 1, and there's no telling how little this means, but if the NFC East is the strongest division in football, that doesn't say much for the rest of the league. The Eagles started off slowly against the expansion Texans (oh, right, this is their fifth season), the Cowboys played poorly against Jacksonville, the Giants made about 20 stupid plays against the Colts, and now Washington makes Brad Johnson look better than he did in his first career start against the Phil-Pitt Steagles. (No, he's actually 37, unless you're reading this more than a day after the fact, in which case he's 38.)

I-wouldn't-have-believed-it-if-I-didn't-hear-it moment of the week: Joe Theismann correcting Tony Kornheiser, and properly. After a 15-yard face mask penalty on Sean (Personal Foul) Taylor, Kornheiser made some comment about Taylor's reputation preceding him, as if it might have caused the official to make that call, and Theismann basically said no, he got flagged for tackling someone by the head, which is exactly what he did (one hand grabbing onto the end of the face mask at eye level). I'd be interested to see if the incidence of personal foul penalties is greater among Miami players than among the NFL as a whole. (That reminds me: props to Jeremy Shockey for introducing himself as Jeremy Shockey, Miami University. Of course, that's the one in Ohio, not the one in Florida, but still, it's much better than hearing yet another player talk about "The U." I figured it was because they couldn't remember all those syllables.)

San Diego at Oakland, late: Marlon McCree should have been ejected immediately after his hit on Courtney Anderson. I simply do not understand why it is that so many people associated with rulesmaking and officiating watch cheap shot after cheap shot go unpunished or lightly punished and then wonder why it is that the average ex-NFL player has a much shorter lifespan than the average person. Never mind the effects on the player's career, the team, and the game: I'm talking about the player's health. One of these days, some jackass like that is going to knock a guy into paralysis or death, posturing over him like several players do, and then, and only then, will the NFL and NFLPA do something to stop this behavior.

Dear Oakland, you wanted Aaron Brooks, you got him. Sincerely, New Orleans.

Yeah, Art Shell sure put a stop to costly penalties. Well, to his credit, there were only 4 Raider penalties by the 10-minute mark in the fourth, but one of them nullified a missed Kaeding field goal, with the Chargers eventually getting three points. Then again, the Oakland offense was lousy, so giving San Diego three extra points didn't really matter.

I thought Detroit was going to struggle again this season, but after watching Green Bay and Oakland play, I'll say right now there's no way the Lions will be drafting in the top 5 next season.

One more thing: I do like cheerleaders (I was going to link to the Raiderettes, but Oakland's website is stupid and doesn't provide a direct link), and I couldn't understand why the Lions didn't have any. At first I thought it was because Mr. Ford was too cheap to pay them, but after watching a couple of making-the-squad shows on NFL Network (thank you, NFL Network) and wiping the drool from my chin, I realized that not even Ford would be that cheap - you could probably pay the entire squad with one of Charles Rogers' game checks, and it would have been a much better investment.

However, after watching more than one instance of a director cutting a woman from the squad because her 10% body fat included about 12 ounces around her waist, I thought that maybe they were going a little too far with this appearance thing. I mean, let them eat an actual meal every now and then.

Eventually, though, my Y chromosome won out. Hire cheerleaders, Mr. Ford! Seriously! It might be the second-best move the Lions would make all season ...

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