See what I did with the title there? Expanding Jack M's joke? I know, it's really funny. That's why we make the big bucks, without even putting ads on the blog. Love to. Yes. Beautiful. Alright, enough of that.
This had to be one of the most dramatic Sundays in the 24 years I've covered the league. Around 9:30 Sunday night, I got Mike Shanahan on the phone (now there's a guy who was in the vortex of this compelling day)
It's useless "asides" like this that make Peter a bonafide zilcheroo. Great editorial, jackass. Thanks for filling your readers with that valuable extra tidbit of analysis. The Cowboys- now THERE'S a team with a batshit crazy owner! Buffalo- now THERE'S a town with shitty winter weather! Stuart Scott- now THERE'S a guy with only one working eye! Saying really obvious stuff with a "Now there's..." setup is fucking annoying.
and started telling him about the weirdness in Seattle, about Kurt Warner looking like a '58 Johnny Unitas, about Green Bay leading by 21 and trailing by one and winning by 23 (all in the same game), about Matt Cassel on the road against Brett Favre, winning his first start since high school ... and, well, I guess at one point I paused.
"What happened to the Colts?'' Shanahan said. "How'd they win?''I don't need to hear Shanahan's tone of voice to know that he was humoring Peter. Yes, tell me another story! Ooh, that's exciting! It sounds like you had a really fun day watching football.
"Peyton Manning,'' I said. "Four offensive linemen out, Dallas Clark out, down 15-0 in the Metrodome, they can't run, Vinatieri misses a chip-shot and it looks like they'll lose, and Manning just, I don't know, wouldn't let them.''
"Wow,'' he said.
That is so neat!
Re: Denver's win over San Diego
The great thing about the (game winning two point) conversion was Cutler's coolness.
Oh yeah? Did it remind you of something one of your favorite QBs like Favre or Brady would have done?
I always say what makes Manny Ramirez such a great hitter is he treats an at-bat in the World Series the same as he treats one on March 17 in Bradenton.
1. I'm not sure this is true.
2. You had hundreds of available football comparisons. Why did you choose this?
3. Cutler has never played a playoff game, and as exciting as Sunday's game was, it took place more than three months before the playoffs start.
Same deal with Cutler.
Yeah, I saw Jay taking some hacks down in Florida this spring. He looked pretty calm. Needs to work on his baserunning, though.
But can you argue with Shanahan's call, now that you've heard his logic, even if Cutler hadn't converted?
Christ. Check your verb tenses, Joe Morgan. Someone get this guy an editor. At least Joe spins his webs of grammatical nonsense on live TV. Doing the exact same thing in a print column is inexcusable.
Re: Green Bay's win over Detroit
Maybe rocky times will be coming for Aaron Rodgers, but when?"It's only two games,'' he cautioned via the cell phone Sunday evening.
Too bad. Looks like Peter already has Aaron's phone number. You know, they say that after a breakup you need time to heal before getting into another relationship. Otherwise, you get into that nasty rebound cycle and people can get hurt. Has Peter just replaced you-know-who with Rodgers? I guess time will tell.
Rodgers is in a weird spot with Favre.
Thanks mostly to the media. And specifically, you.
At the end of last season, the formerly chilly relationship got warm, with Rodgers going to Favre's home for dinner. But a frost settled over the friendship in the offseason, when Favre retired and then came back, hopeful of getting his old job back, a job the Packers had given to Rodgers. When they both went to the ESPYs in Los Angeles, they didn't connect, even though they were in the same audience.
ESPY-related gossip. Fascinating, relevant stuff.
I asked if the relationship was harmed forever.
"I sure hope not,'' Rodgers said. "I have so much admiration for Brett. I would love for the relationship to go back to what it was.''
Did the Packers even play a game on Sunday? Who gives a shit! Rodgers and Favre may or may not be friends anymore (that is, if they even were in the first place)! I would rather read about the fucking Patriots than this.
New England 19, New York Jets 10
What a segue!
Bill Belichick wants Cassel to steer the ship. In the Meadowlands, he led the Patriots to five scoring drives in eight possessions, and on the ninth and final possession of the day, he did what the Patriots dreamed he'd do but probably didn't think actually would happen. He knelt on the ball for the final play of the game, before a two-thirds-empty stadium.
Overdramatize things much? As if the Patriots had absolutely no prayer of winning the game... then heroically perservered, and came out on top thanks to following their dreams and believing in themselves.
On fourth-and-three from the New York 29 with 1:56 left, out of the shotgun, he had dumped a safe five-yarder to Wes Welker to get a new set of downs and seal the game. He didn't try to do too much, just end the game.
Oh yeah, most QBs are going for the end zone in that situation. Gotta pad those stats. Making the safe, game sealing play? Fuck that. That shit is for pussies. My name is Rex Grossman, and I'm here to throw touchdowns.
If he keeps doing that, he might invite comparisons to the last unknown quarterback the Patriots thrust in the lineup after an injury to a famous quarterback.
Fuck you, Peter. Fuck you with an Estes rocket.
But let's not go there yet. Way, way, way too early.
Next to the phrase "game-manager'' in Webster's, there is a photo of Matt Cassel.
Trent Dilfer and his Super Bowl ring? A thing of the past. Tell me about a guy who's virtually guaranteed to be better than Tom Brady by week 6: Matt Cassel.
Quote of the Week II:
"I spoke with Mr. Fisher. I asked him what was going on and he proceeded to tell me about getting a call from Vince Young's therapist and she was worried about him. I asked him, 'What made her worry about him?' He stated, 'His mood, his emotions, he is injured, he wants to quit, and he mentioned suicide several times.' He went on to state that [Young] left his house with a gun.''
-- Andrea N. Swisher, Nashville Metropolitan Police officer, in her report of the Vince Young drama Monday night.
Interesting. You know, it's a strange saga going on for the Titans there. I wonder how they're going to deal with it in the long term. Head coach Jeff Fisher sure has his hands fu-
"Mr. Fisher'' is Tennessee coach Jeff Fisher.
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHH. That's who. I thought you were referring to recently deceased chess star Bobby Fischer, but had forgotten that he was dead, forgotten that he doesn't/didn't have any association with the Tennessee Titans, and had misspelled his name.
Quote of the Week IV:
"I'm sick about Tom Brady.''
-- Peyton Manning.
Did he really keep a straight face (or normal voice, if delivered on the phone) when he said that?
Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me
Re those quarterbacks you saw in East Rutherford Sunday afternoon:
Favre, through two weeks, has earned $1.41 million in base salary.
The three New England quarterbacks on the active roster -- Cassel, Matt Gutierrez and Kevin O'Connell -- are scheduled to earn a combined $1.16 million in base salary this year. For the full season.
Up is down! Down is up! Cats are making friends with dogs! Future HOFers nearing the end of their long term contracts which they signed at the end of their prime make a lot more money than completely untested career backups! Nothing is as it seems!
Adrian Peterson vs. Walter Payton.
I thought of this Sept. 8, when Peterson, of the Vikings, ran over Green Bay's Al Harris on the left sideline on one romp and cut across the grain for a 34-yard scamper, leaving Packers defenders grasping. I know, I know. Payton did it for Chicago for 12 years. Peterson's done it for one. This new element of my column is not intended to say I think the modern guy is as good as the former guy. It's designed to compare a star from today to a star from yesterday in terms of style of play, greatness and personality.
Talking to Peterson last year, I liked the fact that rushing 20 times for 224 yards at Soldier Field meant something to him because he was doing it on Walter Payton's turf. Most young players don't appreciate history, but Peterson not only knew who Payton was, he knew he ran something like him.
So we're giving an NFL player who grew up playing running back points for knowing who Walter Payton was. Huh. Tell you what- I didn't think O.J. Mayo was very mature until I heard him mention during an interview that he was a big fan of Michael Jordan. Can you imagine? What a guy!
The Awards Section
Offensive Player of the Week
Jay Cutler, QB, Denver. An amazing performance by an emerging star, who came back from throwing a costly interception in the fourth quarter, deep in San Diego territory -- allowing the Chargers to take a late lead -- and drove Denver the length of the field (aided by Ed Hochuli) for a touchdown pass to Eddie Royal with 29 seconds left. That made it 38-37, Denver. Shanahan (as noted earlier) chose to go for two. Then, cool as a cuke, Cutler bounced on the balls of his feet three times, a la Joe Willie, and fired a completed conversion pass to Royal between three Chargers.
Everyone break out "cool as a cuke" in conversation this week and see how it goes over. If your friends and colleagues react the same way I did, they'll think you just dropped an obscure racial slur.
Matt Cassel, QB, New England. A workmanlike day (16 of 23, 165 yards, no touchdowns or picks), but let's realize what this man did. In his first start in the NFL, and his first start at quarterback since a high school playoff game in 1999, he jogged onto Favre's new home field Sunday in New Jersey, and beat one of the top 10 quarterbacks of all time. Pats 19, Jets 10. Read Sports Illustrated this week (the big tease) for my take on how he got to the Patriots and who got him there.
I would sooner ride a hot air balloon into a hurricane, but thanks for the offer. Also: I fucking hate Matt Cassel already. What's it been, like 8 days? Awesome. Thanks Peter!
Ten Things I Think I Think
I'm not going to give the thoroughly misguided human (if he or she is indeed human) who began selling the Bernard Pollard Fan Club T-shirts online after the Tom Brady injury any more attention than this one sentence and this one question: What would your mother think of you if she knew what you were doing?
Take that, you possible non-human. You mom might be upset that you are celebrating someone else's pain. Maybe. Or, she might think it was enterprising of you to make money off something as ultimately meaningless as this. Could go either way.
Vince Young reminds me of who Bruce Springsteen wrote and sang about in "Glory Days.'' And Young's glory days were in Austin, not Nashville.
You've never heard that song, have you?
I think it's going to be a tough few nights sleeping for Ed Hochuli.
I bet- nay, I guarantee- that he's over it. San Diego still had 2 chances to win the game (on 4th down and on the 2 point conversion).
And I can't even bring myself to comment on any of his baseball related thoughts. Here, I'll summarize for you- Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay- good?, Red Sox, Red Sox, Yankee Stadium sad face, the Red Sox are the most interesting team ever, Peter King is a moron. That's all I got.