Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Odds and ends (sports)...

One of the things that happens when you don't write anything for a day or two, for whatever reason, is that the pressure mounts to make the next posting spectacular! Epic! Which, of course, serves to prevent anything from getting written on that day, and increases the pressure on the next. I've got to have been working on something fantastic! and that's the reason that I've missed days, right?

Uh, sorry. Nothing spectacular here...

  • I have no great affection for Steve Lyons as a broadcaster. But his firing for the comments during Saturday's game was ridiculous. I've seen blustery "outraged" commentary about how offensive it was. What I've yet to see is any explanation about what, exactly, was offensive about it. That's because there wasn't anything. It was gibberish, clearly just "airy persiflage," banter to bring "artistic verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative." He accused no person or group of any untoward behavior. Fox may have wanted to replace him, and that's their right, but the way that they did it was absolutely wrong.

  • Watched a little bit of football on Sunday. Saw the end of the Cincinnati-Tampa Bay game. Was shocked that the Bengals attempted a 62-yard field goal as time ran out. Surely Carson Palmer could reach the end zone from there. The odds of a win weren't great, but it struck me that they were more likely to get a touchdown or a pass interference call in the end zone than they were to hit that field goal.

  • I was unimpressed with the Bears on Monday night. They've got one really impressive win (at home vs. Seattle), and a couple of blow-outs against bad teams (Green Bay and Buffalo.) They struggled against Minnesota, and they struggled big-time against the Cardinals. I'm not convinced yet. Though they may be the best of the NFC. I don't think they win in New England.

  • The Cardinals, on the other hand, absolutely deserved to lose that game. The first Bear touchdown came on as bad a botched blocking scheme as you'll ever see. That wasn't a blitz from the outside. The end head up on the blind-side tackle went straight to Leinart and never even got waved at. The 2nd touchdown came when the multi-million dollar running back decided to go into a pile of 5 guys while holding the ball in one hand. And I don't care how good your punt returner is, a punt returned for a touchdown is always poor coverage.

    The Cardinals had things that they were doing to move the ball in the first half. In the second half, they stopped doing them. They decided to run the clock out, starting with about 17 minutes left. Edgerrin James has taken a lot of abuse for having the absolute worst rushing night in the history of the NFL, but the vast majority of that was not his fault. The offensive coordinator kept sending him into the middle of the line where there was no room whatsoever for him to run. The offensive line opened up nothing remotely resembling a hole - James had nowhere to go, and nothing to do. And then they did it again. And again. And again. Baltimore Ravens' offensive coordinator Jim Fassel lost his job this week. If there was an offensive coordinator anywhere who deserved to lose his job, it was in Arizona...

  • If Detroit beating the Yankees in the ALDS is proof that pitching is more important than hitting, isn't the Cardinals beating the Padres in the NLDS proof of the opposite?



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