1. Can we end the Michael Vick: Superstar nonsense? He’s not a superstar, in fact, he’s not even a star. He’s nothing but a sub-par quarterback in the Kordell Stewart mode at this point. Sure, he doesn’t have good receivers, but going 7-21, 119 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT against the Kansas City defense, (which is admittedly playing better this year, thought it would have been hard to do worse), is ridiculous. Drew Brees could make a far more reasonable claim to stardom.
2. The Patriots are a machine. But you have to respect Herm Edwards and his stones of steel. Going for it on fourth down inside his own thirty with seven minutes left was the right call, but it was an extremely gutsy one. You can’t beat the champ on points.
3a. Despite the win, the Patriots cheerleaders did not display cold weather cheerbabe professionalism. You know the Eagles girls would have been out there in their Vera Wang hot shorts, heck, they’d probably wear what they are not exactly wearing in their lingerie calendar if the team would only let them. They may not be the most attractive cheerleader corps out there, but you have to respect their weirdly competitive spirit.
3b. No other cheerleading corps does so little with so much sartorial possibility as the Vikings cheerleaders. The blueish purple doesn’t even match the royal purple of the team’s jerseys, for crying out loud. Let’s see some leather, chains and wolf furs instead.
4. It’s nice to see the Vikings win a game they should win against an inferior team. People are rightly blown away by Daunte’s 5-TD games, but it’s his one interception in six games that impresses me most. He even runs out of bounds instead of trying to plow over linebackers for an extra yard on first down now. That’s called the wisdom of experience.
5. I liked Jack del Rio as a player, (although not as much as some….) I think I like him even better as a coach. Did you have them in first place in the AFC South at this point? I sure didn’t.
6. Is Mike Martz certifiably insane? I just want to get a doctor’s opinion on this. I have no clue what he’s trying to do and I’m not sure anyone on his staff does either.
7. Ahman Green is back. Yes! Now, the Sports Guy is probably right in saying that Mike Sherman is a horrible coach, but it doesn’t take a rocket science to note that there is a causal relationship between Ahman carrying the ball and the Packers’ ability to win. Mike Fisher did the right thing in playing ball control to slow down the Vikings as did Jack del Rio with Indy yesterday. Mike Sherman tried to shoot it out with Indy in the RCA Dome, you may remember how well that worked.
8. The NFL needs to pass a rule banning short-yard specialists. This constant goal-line vulturing is a nationwide calamity affecting fantasy leagues everywhere. Do you seriously mean to tell me that Jerome Bettis has scored a single touchdown that Duce Staley would not have been able to take over the line?
9. San Diego is beginning to look like a playoff team and I really like the pickup of Keenan McArdell, who may be the one player described as underrated who actually is underrated. Seattle is beginning to look like it might have a late-season collapse in the cards.
10. Non-NFL note: Words cannot describe the antipathy I currently harbor for the loathsome whistle-carrying pond scum who “refereed” the Arsenal-Manchester United showdown. A record-setting 49-game undefeated streak should not come to an end because of a penalty gifted on a phantom foul. Unbelievable.
Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager, was characteristically eloquent:
“This defeat is very difficult to take because we feel like we were robbed today. We felt we were the better team but the referee made the difference. From out of nowhere, Riley has decided the outcome of the game. We can master our own performance but we can do nothing at all about how the referee performs.
Rooney admitted to my players that Sol Campbell did not touch him when he went down. There was no contact at all. That penalty was the turning point in the game. My players have a deep sense of injustice. But just look at Mike Riley’s record when he comes to Old Trafford and it says more than any words. He gave a penalty when it was impossible to be certain there was a foul and, especially in big games like this, you MUST be certain.”
Apparently Mike Riley is distant kin to Dick Bavetta. Sir Alex Ferguson, of course, was mealy-mouthed as ever after having yet another game handed to him by the referees. “Rooney was brought down in the box and to me that is a penalty.” When did the Premiership turn into Serie A or the NBA? I used to think I hated Manchester United, but now it’s not enough to see Arsenal win the Premiership for the second straight year. I want to see ManUre bloody relegated.