September 25, 2006

NFL Week 3: Things You Probably Don't Need to Know But Might Enjoy Hearing Nonetheless

A few of the many things that stood out while watching copious amounts of NFL football during Week 3:

You Got Some Spleening to Do: This is probably going to sound odd, but for some odd reason I generally find it amusing to make jokes about people’s internal organs combusting. (Example: “I think if I have another beer right now my pancreas is going to explode.”) Go ahead, try it out -- it's kind of enjoyable. However, as fun as these jokes usually are, for at least one day we are going to place a moratorium on all such humor considering that Bucs’ QB Chris Simms’ spleen actually did explode on Sunday. Well, truth be told, I don’t know if it exploded or not. And I guess that means I was technically “making a spleen joke.” (See? It’s hard to resist.)

In any case, this was scary stuff, though it looks like Simms will be alright. The same, however, cannot be said for the Bucs. As poorly as Simms had played this year, there was at least a decent chance he was going to turn it around at some point. Now the likes of Bruce Gradkowski and Tim “RAT-A-TAT-TAT” Rattay are set to take over at QB for Tampa. I know Jon Gruden is a coaching mastermind and undoubtedly has a cooler-sounding voice than any other coach in all of pro sports (a fact he seems to be acutely aware of), but this has all the makings of disaster. At this point it would be shocking if the Bucs do any better than 5-11.

The Slump Buster:
Anyone who’s occasionally tuned into the Jim Rome radio show at some point during the past eight years or so may be familiar with the term “slump buster,” as popularized by former Major League first baseman Mark Grace in one of the truly transcendental sports radio moments of this generation. In case you aren’t aware, on one occasion when he was a guest on Rome’s show, Grace (if memory serves correctly almost completely out of the blue) brought up this term, which he described as follows (and this is not verbatim but close): A slump buster is where you take the fattest, ugliest girl you can find and lay the wood to her. (His words, not mine.) It's admittedly a somewhat crude notion, but the principle is clear. (And in case you were wondering, that clicking sound you hear is any female reader this site ever had deleting this page from her bookmarks.)

Anyhow, if the NFL has a perennial equivalent of the slump buster, that fat ugly chick is the Houston Texans. On Sunday, a Redskins offense that had been so bad that QB Mark Brunell was said to be on the verge of losing his job allowed Brunell to complete 22 straight passes and permitted Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts to lay the wood to them for a combined 210 yards. Those Texans defenders tackle about as well as spastic kids playing freeze tag on the playground after drinking a whole bunch of Capri Sun. They seem to fly out of their shoes on even the most basic cutback move. Of all the teams I've watched this year, Houston's D has got to be the worst.

Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.” And speaking of defense, what’s the most overrated 3-0 team in all of football? Well, after Sunday it very well may be the Baltimore Ravens. For a team that appeared to be downright frightening in its first two wins (over Tampa Bay and Oakland), the Ravens sure didn’t look scary on Sunday, especially in the first half when Browns’ QB Charlie Frye was dicing them up like scallions on a marble cutting board. (Side question: Do people actually use marble cutting boards? Discuss.)

The Ravens did seem to turn it on in the second half when they had to (which is admittedly the sign of a good team), but the fact is that any supposedly elite team that only beats the Browns by one point on a last-minute 52-yard field goal potentially has some rather serious kinks to work out.

And on the subject of the Browns, here’s a little bit of fantasy league/general life advice: It’s time to get on the Braylon Edwards bandwagon immediately.

What About Brett Fav…ruh?
Unless you happen to live in the greater Green Bay or Detroit areas or happened to fly into either of said geographic districts to spend the weekend at your great aunt's house for Rosh Hoshanah, you most likely weren’t tuned into the Packers-Lions game on Sunday. And frankly, this is understandable, because both of these teams kind of stink.

However, the competitive deficiencies aside, there was still one compelling reason to watch this game. And it's nothing new, or particularly shocking -- just something we all tend to more or less take for granted on a weekly basis: There are very few things greater in sports than seeing Brett Favre throw a touchdown pass and then run towards the end zone, his arms raised in triumph and a look of pure, astonished joy on his face like he has just discovered chocolate chip cookies or beautiful women or the feeling of throwing a really sweet TD pass for the very first time.

There’s been a lot of talk already this season about how Brett needs to retire or how he should be traded out of Green Bay or how it's time to bench him in favor of Aaron Rodgers, but what about just enjoying Favre while he’s still around? Sure, the guy is about 47, and yes, his team is likely going no place this year, but at some point we all need to stop nit-picking and clamoring about the future and just enjoy the present. Because the fact is, there’s still something downright inspirational about flipping to a Packers game and seeing that gray-bearded bastard air it out come Sunday as if every new throw was the most important pass of all time.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really not impressed (or amused) by the slump buster reference. Maybe "lay the wood to her" wasn't your choice of words, but you chose to re-print the words, draw attention to the idea, and continue the sentiment through the Texans analogy. Dismissing the notion as "somewhat crude," while not necessarily condoning the behavior, is far from expressing towards it the kind of disgust it deserves. Disappointing.

12:10 AM, October 05, 2006  

Post a Comment

<< Home