Went on a football expidition to Sunday Central, home of ScaDilla (as he shall now be known in this space). I've never seen NFL Sunday Ticket in action before.
It was soooo purty. ScaDilla is a Master Clicker, so we went well over an hour without a commercial interruption. (His secret is NFL.com's Game Track page, so he can roll to a red-zone possession at a moment's notice.) If I had such access I wouldn't be stinking out Big Al's office pool each week, though in my own defense I note that my 16 and 12 pointers this week were lost by a single point each - including the Jacksonville game, in which the Jags' Josh Scobee shanked two field goal attempts.
But I learned a few things yesterday:
1. Brett Fah-vruh. The first hint was the stinkeroo in the playoffs against the Rams in 2001. Then there were disturbing portents such as losing a home playoff game, looking terribly mortal against ordinary (or worse) Viking and Lion teams... And now, five picks against the Ben-Gals, who were still begging to lose that game. FIVE! It would be great to see him pass Marino in career TD's (he trail 420 to 390), but I fear that even if he does come back next season he may not do it - or look "Namath on the Rams" bad while doing it. Just ride to the sunset, gunslinger.
2. Der Redskins. Smoke-and-mirrors, as I've suspected. On ESPN.com today, the ever-imaginative Skip Bayless says that the Skins could have been 6-0 instead of 4-2; he fails to mention that they should have been 1-5. Yesterday proved it. The G-Men crushed them. That could have been 52-0 if the Giants had been more efficient deep in Washington territory.
3. The hell? The overmatched Kyle Orton lost his best target to an injury and spent the rest of the afternoon leading Chicago on three-and-out possessions. The Lions, trailing 13-3, tied the game. But Jeff Garcia looked dreadful when it mattered most. I wish that teams would sit guys down more often instead of crossing their fingers and hoping. We're not talking about a guy with 390 touchdown passes, a guy who's led fourth-quarter finishes often enough to get the benefit of the doubt on a rough day. We're talking about JEFF GARCIA. He's a veteran - what on earth is he thinking, not taking the sack on that bizarre sorta lateral? And what is Steve Mariucci thinking by not sitting him down for it? That should have iced the game for the Bears; instead they got to do it when Garcia back-footed a wobbler over the middle that went pick-six the other way. "And now you are 3-4," as TMQ would put it.
4. Mmmmm.... Good, cheap, plentiful take-out food. Washed it down with iced green tea, unsweetened; hopefully the antioxidants will fight the cholesterol to a standstill.
5. Take the point. I have a theory I explained once - One for Two and Two for One. In short, if you know there's more than one possession left in the game, you should nearly always kick the PAT instead of going for two. Tennessee broke that rule in the second quarter yesterday; having blown the PAT and going down 17-6, they tried to cut it to 17-14 after their second score and missed. But take the point and go down 17-13 and what happens? Simple - at the end of the game, you're only down 8 instead of 9 with four minutes to go, leaving you with a much better shot of pulling out the game instead of having to rush down the field and get the ball back on an improbable onsides kick (which usually doesn't work if the other team knows it's coming).
OK, so I guess that last shouldn't go under things I learned yesterday - but the lesson holds!