How do you spell pathetic?

"You Gotta Be Kidding!"
by Mickey Charles CEO,

Hatboro, PA (Sports Network) -- When it comes to doleful, pitiable, deplorable and even something as easy as rotten the spelling is achieved in a number of ways. W A S H I N G T O N. Other sections of the nation, of course - in the southwest, for example - might opt for D A L L A S. Then, again, on the west coast, they have a choice of S E A T T L E or the nearby and sometimes used A R I Z O N A. Folks in the Motor City are still voting on whether there should be an inclusion for their dictionaries so they are somewhat undecided but the strong favorite is D E T R O I T. There does remain one more possible entry that is speaking to Webster's Tenth New Collegiate Dictionary right now and that is B U F F A L O.

MarTay Jenkins
Cardinals' MarTay Jenkins is tackled by teammates in celebration after Jenkins scored a touchdown with nine seconds left to win the Cardinals first game of the season 21-20 over the Philadelphia Eagles.
All of the above, as a means of interpreting woeful or sad, are a disgrace to the sport of football on the professional level. If any were performers in a planned Broadway play the curtain would have come down weeks ago and the road show never allowed to enter the Big Apple. "Canceled" would have been boldly printed across the marquee. As a dance group, for example, their Michael Flatleys, their quarterbacks, cannot do a simple two-step, no less anything as semi-complicated as the choreography of the playbook.

In the NFC East it is solidly between the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles for the division title. Simple as that. Arizona, Dallas and Washington should have represented two wins each for the New Yorkers and Brotherly Love Boys. The fact of the matter is that the Cardinals, Cowboys and 'Skins are an embarrassment to the sport. They are like a wart that one cannot remove without some bleeding. That is why it was somewhat surprising that the Cardinals upended an Eagles squad that prides itself on defense with only seconds left in the game this past Sunday. And the 'Skins actually made a game of it into the second half against the Giants. It was not "any time on any Sunday." It was an over-rated and over-confident Philadelphia club and one in New York led by a quarterback, Kerry Collins, that is still not prime time.

The Seahawks got a triple by-bass and thumped a Jacksonville team out of the infirmary and Dallas put points on the board against Oakland while Buffalo tried to score all of its points in the last three minutes of the game against the Jets before succumbing.

Shaun Alexander
Seahawks' Shaun Alexander runs for a gain against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Alexander set career highs with 176 yards and 31 carries as the Seahawks won for the first time since a 9-6 triumph over Cleveland on opening day.
Alright, then, those games aside, maybe the NFL has to bleed a bit more and start to wonder about the product they are putting before us. Blame management, ownership, coaching and small checkbooks? Probably all of them.

The NBA hopes to be rescued by the third coming of Michael Jordan. Golf was not saved but it got an incredible shot in the arm that was better than Novocain and cortisone at one and the same time when Tiger Woods appeared on the scene. Barry Bonds has not been too bad for baseball right now despite the fact that he broke the record for walks in a season before catching up with Mark McGwire and his 70 home runs. So much for pitchers with fear in their hearts and managers ordering intentional walks. Football has no such luminary, someone so incomparable and unmatched that he can shed a light across football stadiums from New York to L.A. and wipe out the darkness of some of the clubs competing - dare I use that word? - this season.

Almost every football game, and team, is going to be exposed on national television or, at worst, regional TV throughout the season. Those fans that do not gag when watching teams like Dallas, Seattle, Arizona and Washington might be able to turn to other games or the latest HBO presentation. The diehards will simple elevate their stress levels off the charts and for what? It's like listening to Al Michaels, Dan Fouts, Eric Dickerson and the repressible Dennis Miller while we wonder who the producer of that fiasco is hearing. Maybe he is artfully tuned to the radio broadcast. Melissa Stark is in there to save the day with looks and a wee bit of talent. Michaels used to be good but he is now judged by the company he has been forced to keep and that is bad. Is anyone watching, listening, hearing or sensing what is going on?

It certainly does not appear so.

While the game gets worse, the broadcasters are fast joining them. Just as Michaels' real talents are being negated by the not so funny Miller, less than colorful Fouts and sophomoric additions and questions of a player whose past on the field talents are not quite the same as those he now exhibits on the sidelines with a microphone in his hands, the opposition to teams that could not survive in a good college conference might be brought down to their level of play. So far, happily, that has not been the case and the scores are as lopsided as the leaning Tower of Pisa. The hungry have feasted and no one wants to be the loser to any of these.

If they were vaudeville comics the hook would have been out there weeks ago.

The gamblers are going to have a field day and find themselves taking teams as two and three touchdown favorites in the pros as easily as they have laid 40, 50 and 60 points in the collegiate ranks. Most of their choices will have won by half time. Nice feeling.

These are times when you get out those hats and t-shirts that say "No Fear!"

St. Louis is on a mission, the Pack is almost back in Green Bay, Tampa Bay has more heart than ever before, San Diego is almost believing in themselves, Denver is a solid ball club, Miami will do fine without Marino, Baltimore will win their share without much of an offense (nice to keep in mind for that over/under situation), San Francisco will surprise and the rest, the appalling aside, will continue to play semi-entertaining football.

Such is the world of the NFL, where the dissatisfactory is proclaimed to be the best there is. As usual, do they care? You gotta be kidding me!

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