Big Lead Sports Bar


The Weekend Wrapup

--Well, well, well. Eli Manning went and screwed it all up. All of those feature photos of Tony Romo and Tom Brady in the Super Bowl just became worthless. And besides me, who isn't surprised? This is the second year in a row that Dallas' season has ended with a Romo screwup. Last year it was a fumbled snap, and this year it's an interception in the end zone (in the shadows of a heavily botoxed Jerry Jones, to boot). Third-best QB in the league? Puh-leeze. This guy can't even win a single playoff game. I say "OVER", you say "RATED". OVER! RATED!
--By the way, congratulations to Trey Wingo, Merril Hoge, and Mark Schlereth for being the first analysts to criticize Tony Romo for the Mexico trip, post-loss. Your predictability is uncanny.
--The Patriots got quite a test in the form of the Jacksonville Jaguars and head coach Fonzie Del Rio on Saturday night. Of course, Bill Simmons was right on the money with his prediction of a 27-point Patriots victory, adding, "In fact, I'm insulted that you even think this might be close."
Of course, Bill also picked the Chargers to lose by 17 at Indy based strictly on his dislike for the Norv/Rivers marriage, so if anything, he's confirmed his entry into the club of "People Who Have No Business Pretending Like They Know the Outcome of Football Games". Bill, just save us some time and quit quoting your Manifesto in next week's column. You killed an otherwise fantastic article on the state of NFL pregame shows.
--Patriot and Patriot-fan hating aside, quite a game on Saturday night. Jacksonville played about as good a game as they could possibly hope for, and that still wasn't enough. David Garrard, despite a rock-solid regular season, became a virtual turnover machine in the playoffs, relatively speaking. He matched his regular season turnover count of three in just two playoff games. But I'm totally sold on him as the right QB for that team. He gets rid of the ball, he can move, and he looks like a fantastic leader. Makes you wonder why the Jags took Byron Leftwich in the first place, other than the video of that game at Marshall when he hobbled around and played QB.
--Why do people hate the Patriots? Contrary to what some people say, they're lousy sports. Rodney Harrison just got another personal foul as I wrote this. Yes, he's also still protesting as we speak.
--Bill Simmons Manifestos aside, the Chargers simply have the Colts' number. You know, kind of like how the Patriots always had the Colts' number, save the one year when they almost had it anyway.
The Bolts were all over the Horseshoes on Sunday, despite the absence of Antonio Gates and injuries to Ladainian Tomlinson and Philip Rivers. Michael Turner, Darren Sproles, Vincent Jackson, Antonio Cromartie and Stephen "16 Tackles" Cooper were all the Chargers needed.
Meanwhile, the Colts struck back with a balanced attack of 402 yards passing and 44 yards rushing in yet another early playoff exit. This year, the Manning Apocalypse finally sets in as Peyton sits home watching well as watching himself in every other commercial that airs during the game.
Speaking of bad sports, Rivers is still taunting the Colts' fans. Could he be a future Patriot quarterback? What better hothead to throw the ball to Randy Moss?
--Going back to Mark Schlereth, his analysis on this game can only be described as "Vintage Schlereth", using the phrase "punched in the mouth" approximately 211 times in a 2-minute span. With all of those mouth-punches they absorbed, the Colts should keep Indianapolis dentists busy, at the end of the day.
--Everyone was all over Norv Turner, how he couldn't win in the playoffs, how he was an awful coach, etc. Well, he has the Chargers in the AFC Championship for the first time since the Dennis Gibson Limited Edition that took down the Steelers in '94. I guess he's not so dumb after all.
And while we're at it, why did everyone get on Turner for his poor playoff showing, but give Wade Phillips a free pass? He's a lifetime 0-for, never winning a single playoff game (much like his photogenic quarterback), yet most NFL know-it-alls had Dallas in the Super Bowl months ago.
Well, the story's changed this morning in Dallas. Phillips gets a first-class rip job in the Dallas Morning News, courtesy of columnist Jean-Jacques Taylor:
"Phillips, so defensive any time the Cowboys were criticized, coddled this team. He provided the players with ready-made excuses for their few deficiencies, while failing to recognize that they had become a collection of narcissists.
This team, which had accomplished nothing of real significance in the past decade, became arrogant and enamored with its success.
Either this humiliating defeat will help the team mature enough to win a playoff game next year or Jones must begin the search for his seventh head coach. "
How 'bout them Cowboys!
--I've never been an Eli Manning fan in any way, shape or form. In fact, I've always rooted against him, mostly due to the "I'm not playing for San Diego" stunt on draft day in 2004. But hats off for sending a QB better fit to appear on than into the offseason.
--Speaking of that 2004 draft, Manning and Rivers sit in the final four, while Roethlisberger sits home gazing at the ring he already earned two years ago. What next, J.P. Losman makes it to a conference championship in 2009?
--How bad are network execs salivating over a Patriots-Favre...I mean, Patriots-Packers Super Bowl? Talk about the epitome of good vs. evil. I'm sick of both of them and frankly, I'm excited. Which is why we'll probably get San Diego against the Giants. But that could be interesting, too. Eli's spurned original team against the increasingly-arrogant quarterback he was traded for? There could be worse ways to spend a Sunday.
--Well, the Pens' luck finally ran out on Saturday night, despite the best efforts of Sidney Crosby and Ty Conklin. But here they sit, 14 days into January, two points out of first place in their division and sixth overall in the NHL. Given all that the Pens have been through, from the injuries to the Mark Recchi disaster to the sudden drop in production this year from Jordan Staal, I'd take those numbers any day.
In other Penguin news, enjoy not watching Evgeni Malkin in the All-Star Game, uninformed NHL voting public.

--Hey, all you who wrote off the Pitt Panthers: they're still alive. They ran their record to 14-2 with a 84-70 win over Seton Hall on Saturday, behind 28 from Sam Young and 20 from Dejuan Blair, who added 14 boards.
Could this potentially be Jamie Dixon's best coaching job? Well, they're a long way from the finish line, but they are still sitting at 9 in the RPI. The Panthers have 15 games remaining - 10 against RPI top 60 teams and five against teams currently ranked 106 or worse. And if you haven't noticed, and many haven't, there are other teams already banged up in the Big East, such as Syracuse and Louisville to name a few. A final win count in the mid-20s should not be a surprise.
A few quick links:
--Everybody's talking about Terry Bradshaw's daughter.
--Steve Slaton decides that he's entering the NFL draft after all. Second-rounders make good money, no?
--These guys watched Weekend at Bernie's one too many times. It's a little tougher to pull off in real life.
--Family Guy's parody of Star Wars, Blue Harvest, hits DVD tomorrow.



Will said...

Anyone else catch Ron Cook in Monday's P-G describe DeJuan Blair as having a "world class fanny?"

GMoney said...

So are you saying that Norv Turner is a good coach??? Just because the Chargers won yesterday, that doesn't make him a non-terrible head coach.

//Redskins fan