Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Well That Was Fun

Excuse the radio silence, it mostly had to do with a brutal all day hangover followed by the remarkably dumb idea that I could go drinking at midnight on a Monday and still get home at a reasonable hour. Who's a champ? I am.

First, most importantly, let me thank the New Orleans Saints for preventing my, Katie Baker's and a terrified nation's nightmare of Favre v. Manning in Miami. The amount of Manning home movies and "Like a kid out there" pabulum would no doubt push an edgy populace into open revolt. Now then, with business out of the way, let's get to the teeth gnashing.

Nah, just kidding. As much as it sucks to watch your team give away an 11 point lead in the AFC Championship game, it hurts a lot less when they had almost no business being there. When I was at Retail Hell today, I was talking about the game with a co-worker. We both agreed it was a hell of a run, although maybe I went a little far when I said "Anyone who said at the beginning of the season that this team would be in the AFC Championship game and have a lead at halftime should have been institutionalized." I still believe it though. Rookie coach, rookie QB, a new system for everyone except maybe Bart Scott and Jim Leonhard to learn, Jets fans weren't expecting great things, and that's before taking into account the Just End The Season mentality that we have.

Sometimes, like the first three games of the season, it was great. Sometimes, like the middle of the season, it was painful and we covered out eyes but didn't lose faith. Oh sorry, that should have read "totally gave up." Then things got miraculous (discounting the loss to Atlanta), which is a word that hasn't been ascribed to the Jets for forty years. Of course, every miracle carries the capability of running into a propeller of science and cold logic, and this propeller happened to have a laser rocket arm.

Yeah, I'll give Peyton Manning some credit, although you never would have guessed I could be that gracious during the game as I showed the world a ludicrously high person could be driven to screaming fits of "How the fuck do you miss that call?" and "Fuck yourself Dwight Lowery!" Dude adjusted and realized that Dwight Lowery was horrible and picked on him all the way downfield until the Jets would go into that zone coverage with ten yards between them and the end zone. So congrats Manning, I hope you throw four picks in Miami.

So I suppose now we wonder how to proceed. As the clock ticked down to zero, I tried to figure out what the Jets needed aside from another corner, and according to ESPN's ludicrously early Mock Draft, the Jets also need a wide receiver, specifically Notre Dame's Golden Tate. I'll take it, although I wonder about the kind of hatred a pretty boy USC QB teaming up with a ND wide receiver would elicit. It's already for the best to not go on the road, I don't even want to think about what would be next.

There are real downers in this of course, like the fact that Mark Sanchez will not be buying me that drink at the Northeast Kingdom. As a Met fan, I also can't help but wonder if this is a glorious retcon of a typically downtrodden franchise or just another 2006 NLCS. Getting close and not quite making it doesn't hurt as much if you think there's a bright future and before September 2007 that's what it looked like the Mets had. Stop laughing. Also, the Times also has a pessimist's view of potential off-season moves, but anything that involves getting rid of Lito Sheppard has to be seen with a silver lining.

Now that the magical ride is over, the question must be asked: Is our children learning (#Leno style) Have we learned anything about ourselves in the process of devoting our lives to genetic freak millionaires? Ordinarily I'd say no, but for once, I have learned something about myself, and it came on that fateful Sunday. As it turns out, I am absolutely horrible at explaining football to the uninitiated. I was sitting at a bar with my friend when the game came on and she asked me to explain football to her. For some strange reason, I started with the role of the offensive linemen, before going into the whole four downs thing, and then started trying to explain it by drawing the offensive and defensive lines. I mixed those up, using X for offense and O for defense and things eventually got to the point where she took my pen and drew a beard on Angelina Jolie to match the one on Brad Pitt. Admittedly, it was a pretty good beard.

So, while we probably retire the "FOOTBALL" tag for the foreseeable future, save for maybe a couple Super Bowl related posts, I can be content following the other teams I love, like the Knicks. Or uhh, the Rangers. Annnnd...the Mets? Christ, wake me up when Brett Favre is putting on his Bears jersey.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The View From There

I'll admit there's a little bit lacking in my trash talk this week. Most of it has to do with the fact that without someone that I know personally on the other side, there isn't that visceral sensation of hurting someone's feelings that goes along with trash talking on the internet. Where once I had Ush to kick around, now I feel fortunate I can even point out Indianapolis on a map. There's also the fact that the whole idea of talking shit about opposing cities was kind of murdered here.

Still, I had to do something. So over the last few days, I checked out the Indianapolis Star, the one newspaper in all of Indiana (TRUE FACT) and the bad guys' hometown paper to try to find something to pump me up more and maybe learn something about Indianapolis. Unfortunately, the people of Indiana are very tame, because even when I came across an article called "Jets' victory was a G-I-F-T, gift, gift, gift", it had a passage like this:

Listen, the Jets don't have to apologize for accepting a gift less than a month ago, don't have to take any grief about backing into the playoffs. You get there how you get there. To their great credit, they've made the most of their opportunity. Theirs is a great story, a reprise of Super Bowl III, starring the same franchise that legitimized the old AFL, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

No Bob Kravitz, you listen: disrespect us, please! Tell Jets fans to apologize. Are we no longer just a collection of left-wing, communist, Jewish, homosexual pornographers to the people of flyover country? What else is there to do to fill up a week, file painfully earnest reports about how Jim Caldwell feels the Colts are prepared? Very prepared even? Jesus people, get angry!

The only other remotely interesting thing I saw also turned out to be a mirage. "City blocks N.Y. writers' offense" sounds like maybe some Post beat writer got too uppity and got banned from the one bar in Indianapolis. Turns out it was just a blog post about how the Daily News has a couple guys writing mean things about the city farm town. Even more disappointing is the tone of the post, which takes a kind of "Mom shaking her head but also smiling about the crazy kids down the block and their antics" look at Filip Bondy and Matt Lysiak. Not surprisingly, it took a New York who moved to Indy to stick up for the burg:

In Anderson's letter to the Daily News, he wrote: "As a life-long New Yorker who moved to Indy 31/2years ago, I had to wince at the newfound inferiority complex of my hometown."


"Nothing about it is serious," said Anderson, who will attend Sunday's game. "This is the New York Daily News we are talking about. . . . My tactic was, the only good defense is a good offense."

HAH! It's the Daily News we're talking about, indeed. Although considering there are more people that work for the Daily News than even live in Indianapolis (ALSO A TRUE FACT) I can see why the corn-fattened yutzes turned to a New Yorker to defend their honor. Seriously though, we hate you and will break your legs.

The most curious thing about reading the Star was the paper's inclusion of biographical information of the writers and a phone number to reach them. We'd never do that in New York. Not only would anyone reading the Post or the News not really care if you were born to a banker and an artist or if you're married and have too many emotional problems to count (I guess that's not :(, it's funny?) but some crazy bastard would definitely use that information to do harm. I mean, come on, we all know Filip Bondy isn't Filip Bondy's real name, that's a ridiculous name. And we all also know that while Phil Mushnick is the man's real name, he files his columns from an undisclosed location, lest his hard-hitting anti-gang commentary move the Crips, Bloods and Latin Kings to form an alliance and take him out.

So now that I've gotten off track and would feel bad about categorizing this as a FOOTBALL post, let me end with this: The Colts will lose on Sunday, and before and after the game, Mark Sanchez's beard will be sideburns deep in some farmer's daughter's muff.

Friday, January 22, 2010

You Can Take That Razor And Recycle It Somewhere Responsibly

You worry too much Tex. I can assure you that I've been vocal about hating Brett Favre over at the Food Jerk, cursing and all. It's just that football hasn't come up much at headquarters (only once this season and not at all in the 2008-09 season), so I'm not gonna waste my time on the old man. I have better things to spend my time on, like Mark Sanchez's beard.

The beard, previously mentioned before the Jets matched up with some LOSER team, has only grown in stature now that it's won two playoff games. It also has the added effect of absolving Jets' fans of growing our own horrible playoff beards, which, considering my last playoff beard scenario, I am quite thankful for. I am also thankful for this hilarious Times puff piece on the beard, containing gems like:

On Wednesday, the Jets’ locker room seemed divided between pro-beard and anti-beard contingents. Tight end Dustin Keller described Sanchez’s facial hair as “terrible” and said Sanchez was aiming for the Bushwick Bill look. Others called the beard patchy, uneven and wooly.

Or even:

“This feels right,” Sanchez said. “This feels good. It feels like you dream it would feel. The biggest thing is not getting caught up in it.”

And, of course, continuing with the beard.

The ever-wise Tony Richardson of course, has the money quote:

“He doesn’t look like a kid anymore...He looks like a grown man now. He’s not playing like a rookie, either, so more power to the beard.”

More power to the beard indeed, Tony.

Even with the Jets locker room divided, I know if Sanchez keeps up his awful/awesome facial hair, he'll fit in getting off at the Myrtle/Broadway stop on the JMZ. If the rook brings home a Super Bowl will we see him sucking face with Cassie Ramone at a Market Hotel show? Our crack legal team begs me not to say "Yes, definitely", but will not stop me from saying "Probably, sure."

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Rare Exercise of the Right to Post Silliness on this here Blog

Old fashioned, head to head playoff matchups smack of college, so I thought I'd ride the nostalgia to a comeback cameo post.

While said roommates were locked in a skirmish of words (more like a blogosphere bleating, I suppose) I thought about how the Texans have a QB that is more talented but less scary than Mark Sanchez... which is saying something... unless he wins the Super Bowl.

-Pulpman, I know you're happy, but I'm worried about you. How could there be so little Favre-hating when he is having a season like this? I know you don't want to discuss the bastard any more than you have to, but you might want to slam him a little to make up for this. And this. He's definitely in that so good you have to watch the game category now. Put him in with Clemens, Bonds, Kobe, and everyone else the sports world hates. Ridiculous.

Anyway, the Mechites demand vitriol, Dave.

-Did you know that, until that last post, this blog had a post labeled "Brent Barry" but no "Barry Bonds"? Only in Mecheland...

-Then again, I'm blaming a lack of Barry Bonds on Ush. Sorry buddy. It's your territory.

-I know that it's been beaten like a dead horse, but may I point out (yet again) that this is the most pathetic Super Majority ever enjoyed in Congress? Did someone pass a law when I wasn't looking that literally changed the rules of numbers? I feel like some Republican got Washington drunk, told the old dirty bastards that ride pretty on our public dollar that there was a party in the Capitol Building, and convinced them to sign a bill called the Arithmetic Resolution. I could see it now:

HR 137


60 has been bigger than forty-one in oppressive fashion for too long


41, should like, be a bigger number than any number EVER


59 is the new 49, (or is 60 the new fifty)

We move to forever make numbers irrelevant in votes...

-Pretty soon, 33 will be the new 67 and the Righties will be easily overriding vetoes.

-I mean, for crying out loud, Brown should have needed 60% to take Ted Kennedy's Senate seat.

-By the way... you suck, Massachusetts. Your candidates were both terrible, terrible, terrible... weak, weak, weak... Stick to baseball... Where this election will curse you for another 2,000 years.

-Actually, I don't wish that on anyone. Houston hasn't won anything since the mid-nineties, but we cling to that like it's yesterday.

-The sports deities have nearly delivered Tracy McGrady to the all-star game. How's that for cruel fate? We can't get any of our very good players into the game, but we can get the star that slid to the back of the bench. McGrady should join Stephon Marbury in China so they can lose together in the first round of the Chinese playoffs.

-What's this about Lebron "going to the Clippers"? Jesus Christ, I wish there was a futures option on THAT. I would short the hell out of that. There is a ZERO percent chance he is going there. Money? LA? You're saying the two biggest players in the world? They can't even face off in the finals because of the East-West structure of the NBA.

The Clippers are out.

-Shaq has it right. Dunk for Haiti.

-Good luck to the Jets... Last men standing from the apartment teams.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Jets' Belief System Is No Business Of Mine

So what if the Jets' and Rex Ryan's constant return to making things true by believing in them is eerily similar to the hooey peddled by the folks behind The Secret? Sure, any rational person will tell you that the Law of Attraction isn't just hogwash, it's dangerous hogwash, but it's the Jets. What else is there to explain the magical ride we the fans are being taken on? This is a fan base that's used to January news conferences explaining all the things that went wrong during the year, and if we're lucky, maybe a playoff game to get stomped in.

Not no more. Now we have Calvin Pace talking about how the defense thought it was letting Rex down when they had a situation like Miami in Week 5 or Jacksonville in Week 10. Nick Mangold is quoted as such:

"It’s like a proud parent who believes in you and wants the best for you...You want to go to school to get the good grades to make them even prouder. He says, ‘We’ve got the best offensive line in football.’ Us as an offensive line take that as let’s make sure we don’t make him look silly and not be the best. It’s a trust thing. It’s a belief that he has in us that we’re going to do the right thing to get the job done."

Even the Daily News' resident football curmudgeon, Gary Myers, who less than two weeks ago wrote a column titled "There's no defense for New York Jets coach Rex Ryan's bold declaration" (clunky headline alert!) is now predicting Jets 23, Colts 20. It would seem the only way this could happen is Rex Ryan sat in his coach room and thought positive thoughts for months on end. So if he'd be shocked by a Jets loss then so will I, because right now, I'll follow this chubby, jolly motherfucker to the end of the Earth.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Omens 'n Things

I'll admit I was nervous heading into this game. Of course, it's not like I was going to be under center and fleeing 340 pound freaks of nature, but after a week of trash talk, it was very possible the Jets were going to get blown out by a San Diego team with a lot of weapons and a pumped up fanbase. I must have been so high nervous last night, because when I titled my post, I flubbed the BSG reference. For those that aren't eagle-eyed nerds, it should have read "All Of This Has Happened Before, All Of This Will Happen Again". Apparently though, I wasn't nearly as nervous as Nate Kaeding, who will be having green tinged nightmares for the rest of his life, providing Chargers security is able to safely escort him out of Qualcomm Stadium.

Then there were the omens of course, which I strenuously refuse to believe in, except in those times that I do. Last week, before heading out to my friend Dave's place to watch the Jet game, I was transfixed by a flock of birds that had taken up residence on my fire escape. I thought they were pigeons at first, but looking closer, they had big, pink puffed up breasts and bright heads. I have no idea what kind of birds they were, but stopping to watch them was instrumental in causing me to show up at the subway platform just as the L train's doors were closing in my face and me missing part of the first quarter. This week, thanks to the rain, I didn't get to see any pretty birds, but, thanks to my own laziness, I faced the same exact subway situation and same exact first quarter situation.

Last week when I was walking to Dave's place after getting out at his stop, I saw a cop car parked in front of Sal's Pizzza's Italian flag-painted fire hydrant. Same thing happened this week. I could swear the car hadn't moved at all. It's these little things you notice as you get acquainted with a neighborhood that could turn into omens, either good or bad, when you follow a historically bumbling franchise into the playoffs. But what would it be: no birds, no win or parked cops FTW?

We know the end of that story, and while I don't believe in curses or omens, it'd be hard to not wonder if the Chargers corporate offices were maybe built out of black cat skeletons. How else but by supernatural chicanery does a team that wins thirteen games take three personal fouls, not to mention a block in the back and facemask call? How does that ball bounce off Vincent Jackson's leg and land in the middle of Revis Island? How do Jackson, Phillip Rivers and Antonio Gates team up to gift wrap an interception for Jim Leonhard?

It isn't curses though, it's coaching. Proving once again that bloggers know more than jerks working at real papers, Chargers fan THN commends the Jets for being "disciplined" and "well-coached". I'm sure Chris Baldwin will tell you otherwise, but Rex Ryan coached the shit out of this team tonight, bringing out a squad in the second half that did just about everything right. Going into the second half, I think every Jet fan felt they were in good hands, that Rex and Schotty wouldn't panic. They'd tweak and adjust and find the weaknesses in the Chargers. They did that and then some, considering they fooled the hell out of me on that 3rd and goal play action touchdown. As if it needs to be pointed out, for all the bluster and wit, Ryan and this team work extremely hard at all aspects of this game. Now the Jets get a chartered flight to glittering (?) Indianapolis to beat the Colts a second time. It was an impossible dream in December, but it's starting to look like I'm gonna have to take February 9th off.

And as if it needs to be said: Good game Ush, I'm sorry it had to be your guys.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

All Of This Has Happened Before, All Of This Has Happened Again

Now only hours away, I leave the blogosphere with three things to think about heading into this afternoon's game. None of them are anything like "The Jets will have to use the I formation to counteract the Chargers defense" or anything remotely resembling actual strategy. Just more things I think that point to a Jets win.

1. The Jets believe that Chargers are soft. Echoing comments made around Food Jerk by my co-workers, the Jets are mocking the Chargers for being soft and frolicking around in the sun, while they faced the unconscionably cold New York winter, with its howling winds and snow. Hell, Damien Woody promised he would personally break the knees of each and every D-lineman the Chargers run out there.

2. The sins of the father are not visited on the son. This is not necessarily true or false, it only becomes so when you want it to be. So in this case, Ush can take his "Schottenheimer Syndrome" and sink it in the San Francisco Bay. As this Times profile incontrovertibly proves, Brian Schottenheimer is some kind of child genuis who has been designing football plays in the sand since the age of five. I don't even know if Norv Turner had a childhood. Probably didn't.

3. Mark Sanchez and I are similar in more ways than you would think, especially if you first thought we were similar in zero ways. And yet, according to this poorly sourced tidbit on his Wikipedia page, Sanchez once broke a window at a frat party. Now, some of you may not know this about me, but I once kicked a hole in the wall at a frat party. True story. Put my foot right through it. Something tells me Sanchez didn't run from the house at nearly the speed I did after performing his pointless yet awesome bit of destruction, but in my defense, I'm not, nor was I then a 6'2", 225 pound human.

Friday, January 15, 2010

It's A Game That Means More Than You Think

You know Ush, I'm terrifically excited about this whole thing. It's given us each a new burst of energy and the site is actually alive for once. We should think of a way to keep this up even after the Chargers lose.

Just thought I'd chime in again to show you how determined the Jets are to take this game. That's right, Jerricho Cotchery is bringing it back to grade school days. From America's Finest Tabloid:

Cotchery, the Jets receiver, and Rivers, the Chargers quarterback, starred together at North Carolina State and also were high school rivals growing up in Alabama.


"It is a little weird, because we're very familiar with each other and the chemistry we had at N.C. State was unbelievable," Cotchery said yesterday. "I still owe him from high school, though, because he knocked me out in the second round of the playoffs my senior year, and that still hurts. I still remember that and I'm sure he still remembers that as well. I'm trying to get some payback for that."

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Reasons why the Chargers will win Sunday: Schottenheimer Syndrome

Nobody in San Diego thinks Norv Turner is a good coach. Even though he has the highest winning percentage in Charger’s history. Even though he is tied for most playoff wins in Charger’s history. Even though he has never lost in December as the Charger’s head coach. He sounds like an idiot. He has no presence on the sidelines. He often appears confused, impatient, and seems to lack a comprehensive game strategy. He teams often seem to underachieve, even while blowing out an opponent. He could go 19-0 next year, and I still wouldn’t be convinced he’s any good.

However, he wins. Damn it all, the guy wins. Especially in the playoffs. The past two years, he’s taken an underachieving team into the playoffs and suddenly they appear- as a complete, talented, disciplined team that wins in January.

This is in stark contrast to Marty Schottenheimer. Marty breathed like an NFL coach. He screamed at his players like one. He stalked around on the sidelines like one. He was charismatic, funny, tough, and led some pretty phenomenal Charger teams. He created defensives that could control every facet of the game. The loyalty he received from his players was something organic, that could not be faked or manufactured. And yet, when playoff time came, you could smell disaster coming. In 2005, he took a Charger team from the bottom of the NFL to division champions. And in the way only Schottenheimer could, he sucker punched San Diego. His team played scared, tense, overly emotional, and when it counted, scared against a mediocre Jets team. In a game that Bushido Brown and Pulp know well, the Chargers ultimately showed that old Marty was unable to do what all NFL coaches are paid to do; win in the playoffs.

So the Chargers head into Sunday with a uninspiring defense, a lackluster pass rush, a weak rushing attack led by a fading legend. They pass first, throw long, and seem to be uniquely situated as the exact type of team that shouldn’t hold up in January. However, this is where Norv is at his best. And unlike 2005. the Jets have the Schottenheimer.

Breathing Into A Paper Bag Is So 2009

All that crap about baseball season never ending goes out the window when the football playoffs involve the most important team in the Universe. Therefore, it was much, much easier to take the news that the Mets and Carlos Beltran could end up in surgery court or something, rather soon. Who cares about panicking over whether this will do untold damage to the relationship between the two parties when you can dream about Darrelle Revis touchdown dances. Pause.

Anyway, continuing the theme of the week, piling on Ush because he is terrible for liking the wrong football team, I would like to relate the fact that the Jets are capturing hearts and minds across this great city. When I walked into Food Jerk (a wholly owned subsidiary of Cerberus Capital) today to put in my time, there was a "Go Jets!" sign, green and white everywhere and half-naked cheerleaders pouring liquor into customers' mouths while they stood in line. This did not happen when the Hated Yankees were in the World Series, which leads me to believe people are buying into the whole New Jets thing (because Lord knows it worked for the Mets). They are also calling your boys a bunch of chokers. They're pissin' on your lawn, man. What are you gonna DO about it?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Real Reason The Jets Will Win

In true New York hipster fashion, the team has its own beardo. From the Times:

Over the past month, teammates noticed the changes in Sanchez. He seemed more confident and comfortable. He played smarter, within the offense. He grew a beard his parents dislike [Emphasis added].

Fear the beard Ush, fear the beard.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Reasons why the Chargers will win Sunday

Reason #1

Hit the hole! Challenge that play!

Monday, January 11, 2010

And Starring Tony Richardson As Michael Scott

Jim Halpert: Several times a day, Michael says words that are Way beyond my vocabulary--
Michael Scott: I know where this is going!
Jim Halpert: Do ya?
Michael Scott: No.
Jim Halpert: Ok. Remember spiderface?
Michael Scott: No.
Jim Halpert: Ok because the quote was, "cut off her nose to spiderface."
-Courtesy of the aptly named

"I told him before the game, you don't have to have some outer-body experience [Emphasis added] today. Just go out and play the game, the same game you've been playing since you were a kid."
-Tony Richardson on his advice for Mark Sanchez Sunday night

Just kidding Tony, love your blocking!

As long as I'm taking silly pot shots at the man, it would also be unconscionable of me not to note the Times' mini-profile of Richardson, and to congratulate the Jets' fullback for winning his first playoff game in 15 seasons in the league. And also for lasting 15 seasons playing football. On to the next one!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I Shouldn't Get That Mad Because Metro Is Barely A Real Newspaper, But Still

Ladies and gentlemen, Chris Baldwin, "Rex remains a better promoter than coach" and the "That Yellow Bastard" vibe that Metro's design team give to his face.

I promise I won't go line by line with this. Except this line, because I just hate it.

It was easier to get into the AFC playoffs this season than a White House state dinner.

Actually, the answer the judges were looking for was: "It was easier to get into the AFC playoffs this season than Tiger Woods' sex van." Which was quite easy to get into. Know what isn't easy? Making the playoffs any year with a rookie quarterback. Since 1990, five teams have done this with a rookie starter. Well, six now with the Jets. HAH!

Want to know why the Jets did that? Because Rex Ryan is in fact a better coach than he is promoter, dummy. You think the Jets defense shot up to number one in everything with some magic beans? Shit, this team was missing Calvin Pace for four games and lost Kris Jenkins and Leon Washington in October. All you had to do was watch the defense hopping around and scaring the shit out of opposing offenses to know they were ready to break some necks this year.

And who do you think made the decision to run more and give more touches to Brad Smith, Zeus? Ryan promised to get more involved with the offense after Week 11, he did, and it worked. He didn't talk a new offense into existence, he schemed it, you know, like a coach does. A good coach.