"You Gotta Be Kidding!"
by Mickey Charles CEO, sportsnetwork.com
Southampton, PA (Sports Network) --
Filet mignon would have been much better. But when you take Indy in a
squeaker over Miami and the Dolphins pull it out instead; St. Louis folds and
forgets how important the game is; Denver leaves their game in Colorado and
Tampa Bay proves that the Law of Averages are meaningless, a plate of stir
fried crow is about the best one can hope for.
Speaking of crow, why do the NFL and college football, multi-million dollar
enterprises, use part time labor to be the arbiters of their events?
This is the week that the Saints go marching into Minnesota and the welcoming
committee is limited to one drunk with beads around his neck and a Mardi Gras
mask to hide his identity. The Vikings have a sieve for defense but, given
that, they are better at it than St. Louis, which is not saying much. They
did learn one thing, however, watching the Rams and partygoers in
N'awleans?score early and often. Can the visitors stop them from lighting up
the scoreboard with unerring regularity? I think not. Will the team and
their owner with the parasol have something to rejoice right after the game?
I think not.
Brooks will need his "A" game to
outscore the Vikings. (Lyons/Allsport)
Don't you think that Chris Weinke should do the honorable thing and return
Heisman as soon as possible?
Minnesota is an 8 ? point favorite, which sounds like a lot on the surface.
But, can they outscore their guests by just one touchdown plus a wee bit? I
don't see why not. They call them teasers with good reason but you have to
like the Vikings at home minus 2 ?. The proverbial candy from a baby would be
a more difficult task.
When the Eagles keep flaunting their 7-1 record after a loss to the Giants,
has anyone noticed that they fail to mention the caliber of competition except
Miami goes across country to Oakland and the only thing missing from this
jaunt is the accompaniment of Don Meredith and the lilting refrain of "The
party's over." The Raiders are destined to be one of the combatants in the
Super Bowl. Or so they think. Only the winner of the Ravens/Titans clash
stands in their way.
When a team like Michigan lets almost every opponent it is capable of
annihilating back into the game in the fourth quarter, how poorly coached must
they be for the lack of effort to be put on display so prominently?
Miami is doing more than expected but is that enough? As I eschew some more
crow in dainty portions, one must question how much credibility to place in a
guy that went 0-4 last week. Hell, I am beginning to be referred to as
Buffalo Bill around the office and a photo of Jim Kelly has been left on my
door. With Oakland a 9-point favorite make them the other half of your Viking
tease and order the new Bentley.
Did the media make too much of the Tampa Bay defense and aren't most stats
deceiving anyway with teams against whom everyone chooses to pass due to a
porous secondary being given credit for a fantastic defense against the rush?
If you are looking for a really tough game, but a great one to watch, you
won't want to miss Baltimore and Tennessee. The Titans have been installed as
solid 6 point favorites and here come the Ravens with the defense the some
pundits are calling the best since the Steel Curtain. Not, but good. Can the
guys from the city of stoops and Camden Yards get into the end zone often
enough to be competitive and can their defense shut down Steve McNair on a
good day, the same McNair that was The Sports Network's 1994 Walter Payton
Award winner just a few
years ago? Check out the records of home teams in the playoffs over the years
and your decision can be prompted along easily enough. This is a good one to
McNair's elusiveness could be trouble for
the Ravens. (Lyons/Allsport)
Can the Eagles finish the season at 0-3 against the Giants and 0-9 in
years? Well, the Buccaneers managed to raise their record to 0-20 in weather
that sends Eskimos into Igloos to keep warm. Nothing is impossible.
Which brings us to the Meadowlands and a rivalry that bristles the laptops of
journalists in both cities, purveyors of rumor, innuendo and distortion to
raise the temperatures on and off the playing field. Yes, Philadelphia is an
improved team, despite beating up on the little kids in the neighborhood.
But, the New Yawkers have not been sitting around playing chess and checkers
while winning the Division title. Kerry Collins is far from a clone of Joe
Montana but he does get better, has a higher confidence level and knows that
the fellows coming up the Turnpike to visit with him for a few hours can be
beaten. That means one more game against Minnesota, at home (even New Orleans
would be at home) and they are in the Super Bowl in an era of incredible
Isn't the Super Bowl, partying for a week, just a big corporate
where millions are spent without even so much as a Waterford crystal bowl
coming down from the sky anywhere to announce the start of the game?
The Giants started out as a 5-? point favorite and the public, always wrong,
has now made them only 4. Go against the public and you are on holiday at
some of the most expensive resorts in the world every month. If the boys in
blue focus and don't let the week off work to their detriment, maintain their
rhythm and realize that this their house, their crowd, their noise level and
their chance to advance, they will be one of the final four to compete for the
trip to Tampa?and the last one to do it Sunday evening. They will already
know their opponent and they can beat the Vikings or the Saints. The Eagles,
if they win, cannot go to Minnesota and win. Donovan McNabb is good but he
cannot walk on water. Or ice, if the Giants want to water down the field
before the festivities start. If the boys from Brotherly Love make it that
far, Minnesota will end their trip. I have to wonder if the Eagles have
looked at next year's schedule yet and realized the price they will pay for
winning - i.e., losing.
Bobby Bowden and his Florida State team are as over-rated as Twiggy's
And, except for who he was, why is Eric Dickerson on the sidelines doing
commentary? And, did KFC close out their hiring leaving Terry Bowden's only
alternative a job doing commentary on football games? It has finally
happened, a former player that is just about as bad as his exploits on the
field...Gary Danielson. As much as the other broadcast teams on ABC push the
"great job" Dennis Miller has done on MNF, his presence is irritating,
unnecessary, intrusive, not funny, senseless and a must to let go.
There are no "they must win this one or else" signs that go up in your mind
these days, no law of averages, no team that has improved so vastly that it
eclipses the talents of its opponent. There are just a few that are better
than the others, not immensely so but just enough to outdo them on the field
of play. Are these the best of the lot? Some are. The rest are just
thankful to be here and have been reading too many press clippings while
looking into full-length mirrors taken from the fun house at the local
carnival. Distortion is everywhere.
Some network producer put women on the sidelines and now it is the thing to
do. I was happy with the cheerleaders and, without being a chauvinist, why
are these color commentators and questioners there? If it is to add looks to
the droll, great; but if they are there to just ask mundane questions then it
is a monumental error. They got the vote and corporate presidencies. Sounds
good to me. Phyllis George, look what you have started.
So, there you have it. Another selection of four. They all have to win just
to balance last week. There are only a few crows left on the roof and another
week like the last will invite the vultures.
Why do broadcasters and writers shrink from admitting errors and gaffs?
Because they think you, at a given moment, are as stupid as they have just
Can we even the ledger this week? You gotta be kidding! If I knew that for
certain we would have had four winners last week and been pressing to pay off
the mortgage this Saturday and Sunday. Go for the tease and enjoy the rest on
the new giant screen TV that you will finally be able to pay for. Order it
and use the credit card. Yours.
Are they really going to rename the prevent defense the allow defense when
teams get softer than Jell-O in the final moments of the game? It makes about
as much sense as all those missed tackles by defenders who would have been
better off using the tickets they gave away to family and friends, the same
helmeted heroes that try to stop runners by waving at them, tackling above the
waist and just putting a hand on a shoulder.
Have a great weekend!