Monday, October 31, 2005

Part II Starts Now...

A few things happened today that I found interesting to note as our season has advanced to the half way point. A couple of things stood out to me as I finished watching the systematic destruction of the Chiefs and the subsequent failure to lose the entirety of our fourth quarter lead once again. Needless to say that the hear rate did climb into the lower three digit levels as the absorption of the padded point total reared its ugly head again. But, there were some positive signs during the second half of this game despite the 306 total yards we allowed T-Green and the Chefs to put up onto the home field scoreboard. Although it was nerve racking, it was not as dire as it may have seemed at the time.

I was very pleased with the flexibility of the offense. After Philadelphia put a little bit of an ass kicking onto our offensive line the week before, it appeared that the Chiefs were out to follow a similar game plan to attack up front and prevent Tomlinson from destroying them single handedly. They did achieve some level of success here, but it was less their ability to shut down the run, and more our defiance to just throw the darned thing to back them off a bit that dictated the first half of the game. I was slightly disturbed/ caught off guard to see that Brees was airing it out for most of the first quarter; twelve passes attempted in that quarter alone. I wanted to see the running game get going, just for the sake of my own psyche, personally determined that we could and would run the ball against everyone after last weeks performance on the ground. But, those involved with the decision making power obviously had no regard for my personal well being and just threw (literally) caution to the wind via the football. Gates got off to a great start, and managed to parlay that into a career game, 140+ yards receiving and three touchdowns. Far be it for me to second guess something, but, how can you not make some kind of adjustment here at some point? Don’t the Chiefs have a rather successful version of our guy on their side? Are they unaware of the effect a Pro-Bowl tight end can have on a game? Safe to say I was rather surprised to keep seeing number 85 catching the football with no one in red trying to stop him. I guess he really is that good.

Tomlinson is going to have to start to wonder if he is ever going to get free again. Sixty nine yards for him this Sunday, an obvious improvement over the combined performances of himself and the offensive line after last weeks total of seven. Their defense and our stubborn desire to heave the pig through the air led to this weeks rushing total. But fear not, if he can’t get it going on the ground, well, we will just let him throw it, again, and he will throw it and throw it well. He almost looked bored as he connected for his third touchdown pass of the year. Three more than our “Mr. Backup Superstar Trade Bait Quarterback”. Once again, it is going to be very difficult to generate the sympathy machine for me when speaking of the Quarterback who held out of his opportunity to be a starter in his rookie year. I wonder if he regrets his decision at all at this moment in time. If this was one of those “Choose Your Own Adventure Books” you read as a kid, do you think he is frantically flipping the pages back to the part where he makes his big decision, and upon finding out that he choose poorly, fell into a pit full of poisonous talking snakes that sang Spice Girls tunes to him before biting him in the eyes and killing his chances here. Do you think that he wants this to end a little differently? Yeah, I would too.

Lastly and sadly, Reche up and fumbled the ball again this week. As if it wasn’t a critical play when he coughed it up last week, he went ahead and did it again. Needless to say, he found a nice empty spot on the bench for the entirety of the game yesterday afternoon. Hang on to the pig kid. You gotta hang on.

Denver is still out in front. I hate having to say that. That really hurts to say, and to put down here in print so I can see it over and over. Jets first as the second half starts, and all sights need to be focused here. Denver will have to take care of itself for now…

Thursday, October 27, 2005

All Right God Doesn't Hate Us...

Halloween week and all is scary on the Western Front of the AFC. Winnable games are being dropped like razor stuffed candy apples into the pillowcases of the unsuspecting. Injuries are mounting more frequently than a couple of Molson stuffed Canadians during a cold winter spell. And now the Chefs are coming to town with a pair of ball carriers (running backs too) and a passing game that can rival any we have seen to date in ’05. Why I am getting that feeling in the pit of my stomach, that empty one you get after spending a half hour picking a splinter the size of a two by four out of your palm with a thumbtack. Yeah, that one.

The one saving grace that I can find in all of this is that Gunther Cunningham or whoever is running the ‘D’ show in Kansas City, still can’t manage to get his arms all the way around the obesity that is their attempt to keep us from scoring. Bad are the Chiefs yet again on the defensive side of the ball. Once again they find themselves amongst the bottom of the league in all of the major statistical defensive categories. Even with all of the new additions, these guys couldn’t keep a nun from scoring (although that Jared Allen guy seems pretty good). I mean that. And unfortunately to date, we have been the only ones that can stop us, and we have gotten pretty darned good at keeping us from moving the chains and finding the end zone, especially in the critical situation or two.

A few things to take note of here:

-Their receivers are sub-par, Sammy Parker, Eddie Kennison, Marc Boerigter (Didn’t he pitch for the Padres). Not elite guys here, A PROFESSIONAL SECONDARY WOULD STOP THESE GUYS!!! (Hey it worked last week.)

-Tony Gonzalez is having a very small year. Maybe he should try out for the WNBA. I’ll bet that lesbian angle would work for him.

-Their two headed monster of a running game. Not sure what I think of this yet as we are still pretty good against the run. But every linebacker on our team is a little more than banged up. Donnie Edwards looked like an autopsy patient on Monday when I saw him he was so bandaged up.

-Roman Oben signed an extension on Monday. His agent obviously asked management not to review Sunday’s game film before the contract was signed. The Astros took fewer swings that missed than poor Roman did on Sunday.

-Lorenzo ‘don’t take me in your stupid fantasy draft’ Neal got an extension today too. 2:1 says he knocks somebody down on Sunday. Any takers? He was quoted as saying the he was to Tomlinson as an “onion is to a hamburger, just adding flavor”. Nice.

My Pick:

We win big on Sunday ask Jason Whitlock, he’ll tell you.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

God Hates Us...

During the week one debut of what is now the 2005 National Football League season, a friend of mine that I regularly football talk with asked me what I thought of this years Chargers team via one of the newest most popular forms of non verbal communication, the email. I wish that I had that email still saved to this day, had I the ability to reincarnate that communication from the archives, you would see that my frustrations (read: worst fears) to this point have been realized.

My biggest concerns for the 2005 season, were a) the secondary (most obvious, but since everybody knows it now and won’t shut up about it, I will take the lead and close my yap first) and b) the fact that we just might lose a whole bunch of close games. I thought to myself in looking over the ’05 squad that we never really ‘improved’ the team in any area. We just brought back a consistent group of guys who were able to get the job done last year. I thought (now it looks like I was correct) that we wouldn’t get blown out by anybody, despite the horror that is our schedule, but that we would give new meaning to the ‘Cardiac’ label that gets tossed around so easily. And we have.

(Side Note: I am officially getting off of the defense’s back. They played great. Failure to move the chains in critical times and questionable coaching decisions, and one HUGE holding penalty started this mess. The act of God merely finished it. So, listen up ‘D’, you are off the hook as far as I am concerned. The Iggles couldn’t do anything on offense. Absolutely nothing.)

How is a 3–4 team, us, a six point favorite against a 4-2 Chiefers team? Why is everyone with the exception of Sean Salisbury saying that we are the best 3-4 team that has ever played? Is it the 4 losses by a combined 12 points? Is it the fact that we held the lead or were tied in every one of those losses until late in the fourth quarter? Does losing a game by a last second field goal after having the lead for most of the entire game hurt less than getting destroyed by the same team? Does a miraculous blocked kick that gets returned for a touchdown that ultimately wins the game for those bastards from Philly mean that God hates us? Do any of these questions make you want to throw up in your Charger hat and then light it on fire?

(Side Note: Salisbury after the game was busy wearing out his knees servicing the McNabb’s and the Owens’ of Philly, by spouting off how Philly had dominated us all game. Yeah, to the tune of 14 run plays, three of which were kneel downs to kill the clock. Fifty plus passes, and nothing to show for it. Nothing short of an act of God miracle saved them. But I can see how the dominated us all game. Really I can…)

I can’t answer any of these questions. Call it bad luck, call it bad coaching, call it an inability to finish out these games we had the lead late in. The players haven’t been making plays, the coaches have been ultra conservative, and the dice have been rewarding the only guy on the “don’t pass” line at this season’s craps table for weeks now. No one is cheering, no one is celebrating, and no one is ordering shots and lining up limos to get the big winners to the adult entertainment bars in this our Vegas scenario. There is no Vegas scenario. Nope. If it was, we’d be the ultra drunk guy that keeps getting the pit boss all riled up when he swears at the dealer because she keeps dealing him garbage hands every time. We’d be the guy muscling his way to the front of the line of the only game he can win, high limit ATM. We’d be the guy calling his bank at a shade before midnight yelling at the customer service rep to release his funds for the next day a little early. This season has been standing on 20 with the dealer showing 16 and losing every hand. This season has been having your aces cracked by a guy playing a 5-2 offsuit cause his daughter was born on May 2. This season has been like a Halloween party full of guys dressed as chicks with a warm keg of PBR that has been sitting next to a broken Chevelle in the neighbor’s garage for three weeks. This is not our season.

That Philly game was something unlike anything I have seen in my years of watching San Diego sports. There have been times, like the 2-2 Mark Langston pitch to Tino Martinez in the ’98 World Series. The whole country saw strike three and we were out of the inning. Too bad that the ump saw it differently, or rather didn’t see it and one pitch and one grand slam later the Fucking Yankees as they are known around here flattened us. As that scene unfolded Sunday, I was without words. What the hell just happened? Did that just happen? Who does that happen to? What the hell just happened? I am still not convinced that happened. This felt like that Jets game that ruined my birthday last January.

Can this team rebound from that? I don’t know. Can we make a push and still contend for the division? I think so, but after that debacle on Sunday, I don’t know. And if I have any doubts, I think we would be asking a whole hell of a lot from the guys actually playing the game to put it out of their minds. I ran into Donnie Edwards on Monday, it looked like he had just finished practice, and he looked tired. I wanted to console him and say, “Tough Loss, man”, but I couldn’t. I didn’t want to be the one that brought that crap back to the front of the gray matter. Hopefully the guys can wash that residual shit off of them and get back out there on Sunday and make Vermiel cry. If they can’t, we can rinse ourselves off for the rest of the season.

More later…

Friday, October 21, 2005

Quick Hits...

Just to clarify a bit about last night’s post. The point that I was trying to make in that dialogue was that these teams have very high expectations placed on them by the media based on their historic levels of performance. Which is entirely acceptable. I would be rather ignorant to suggest that if injuries had not derailed the Patriots, that they would still be playing up to their dynasty form. The problem begins when the media refuses to accept the fact that the situation has changed, that things are indeed a bit different, and that there may be a swing in the balance of power. Instead of just blindly following the flock, stand up for yourself and say, “The (Insert Superstar Media Team Name Here) just aren’t any good.”. That’s all I am asking for.

Acceptable team names for the parenthetical statement to include:

And any others that I may or may not like further on down the road that is this season.

Well, it’s Friday and what better thing to do on a Friday than make an idiot of oneself by publishing the Picks ‘o the Week. Here they are in all of their golden glory...

kc +1.5 MIA- This game is going to turn out bad for me. The Vermiel doesn’t like me and I don’t like this game. My suggestion: take the opposite of who I like, which is the Chiefs. So of course Ricky and company will get rolling and win by 24.

Saints +5.5 STL- Jamie Martin v. Aaron Brooks. Is this even fair? I have to make a pick here? Heads I take the Rams, tails, the Saints. It’s tails, Saints and the points.

MIN NL gb- Is this the week that the Vikings get things all together as a team and have one big collective lap dance at the Packers expense? Ummm....No. The Vikings are terrible. I’ll take my chances against a Vikes rally.

indy -14.5 HOU- Two leading sackers and one interception leader on the same team playing against the Texans? This will get ugly. And Freeney was pretty much handled by Orlando Pace last week, he might be a bit upset.

Pit +3 CIN- I can’t buy into this Cincy thing. Not yet. But, if there is no Rowengartner playing quarterback, it could get interesting. I’m taking the road dog...

Sd +4 PHI- I think I made myself perfectly clear on this one already. Although I will go out on a limb and say that McNabb might be 33-65 with 455 yards and 3 touchdowns. It won’t be enough, but it will be impressive.

CLE -2.5 det- If two horses each had a broken leg, which one would you shoot? Yeah, me too.

WASH -12 sf- I think it’s safe to say that I don’t really believe in the Brunell led ‘Skins. And this feels like the most ludicrous pick of the weekend. When was the last time the Redskins beat somebody by 12? Oh well, what the hell.

SEA -3.5 dal- I heard somebody say Seattle has the number one offense in the league yesterday. There is really nothing constructive I can say to that.

Buf +3 OAK- When dealing with a bunch of quitting crybabies, take the underdog. I am standing by that last statement.

Balt +1 CHI- I am invoking the “Due” theory here. Although this might be a first score wins game. And yes I am picking an Anthony Wright led team to win outright. Of course watch Orton go for 5 touchdowns now. Or 5 picks.

Ten +3 ARI- This is a baffler. No idea. I am going to ask someone completely neutral where they would rather live and pick that team. Invoking a Karma Principal, the choice was made by weighing, “Unbearable Heat” v. “Unbearable People”. The decision, Tennessee, “because if I choose the unbearable people, then Karma may shift in my favor”. I don’t really understand the Karma Principal here but, I got a free pick out of it.

NYG -2 den- Really torn here by the intense dislike of both teams. A loss by Denver really helps our cause as well. Am I blinded by the division implications? No. I just think the Broncos suck. Ideally, Denver loses and Eli gets humiliated, that I can live with.

ATL -7 nyj- Too much working against the Jets right now. But, I will say that I believe that you may be seeing the beginning of the Phillip Rivers era in one of these two cities next year. I’m not saying which city. You’re on your own.

Oh, and Florida State’s De’Cody Fagg will be unable to suit up this week against the Duke Blue Devils due to a separated shoulder. I don’t even have a joke here.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

My Bandwagon Hurts...

Putting behind us the high that was once again beating one of the most hated rivals in football, unfortunately we cannot bask in the glory of the victory any longer. Focus must shift to the daunting yet not insurmountable task of Big Game Sunday as it will be known until well, Sunday. Another NFC East match up against the 3 time defending NFC East Champs, the Iggles. How do we go about beating this force that has shown itself to be all powerful and mighty and superhuman, and invincible in the eyes of the all seeing, all knowing, all wrong media. Let’s get something straight and let’s do it right now, this team is not as good as the prognosticators would like you to think. An explanation? Oh, you think that I am just sitting here running my windbag again, not really knowing of what I speak? How ‘bout it... all right here goes...

These guys, the Iggles are all over the t.v. They do commercials for soup and video games, bottom line, you could say that they are one of the larger revenue producing teams in the league for both the NFL and it’s licensed material, as well as sponsors galore. Starting with “Soup Time with Donovan’s Mamma” and T.O. starring in NO B.O. commercials for Right Guard starring ex-Camp Kill Yourself stars that have graduated to doing bigger and better pooh-canos on the MTV. This team has is beyond blessed in the eyes of the media, to call them darlings would make the Patriots look like Dana Plato having a video threesome with Macaulay Culkin during his drug years, and Michael Jackson. This team is almost bulletproof. So unless the planets are aligned and there aren’t two earthquakes, a flu outbreak and a hurricane today alone, we can’t win.

Soup and sponsors don’t win games. Media types don’t like to be wrong when it comes to their little darlings. In fact they never really admit to being wrong, or take a risk and go out on a limb and stand on their own convictions. Nope. Just hang around the bandwagon, and blow a little more smoke up the skirts of the fans. Get it? No? We can use the Pats again, off to a tough start this year aren’t they? Defending World Champs you say? Three time dynasty type World Champs? Lost two coordinators during the offseason you say? They are the World Champs, they will persevere. Lost their number one linebacker to a stroke? No matter, they are the World Champs. Lost their best safety (ummm... by the way you all are still welcome for that Rodney guy) to a severe case of hamburger knee with extra cheese, no matter they are the World Champs. Lost their best D-Lineman to a sprained forehead and all of their corners to some other malady, so what? They are the World Champs. Not anymore they aren’t and you don’t win games with words and accolades, sometimes you actually need players. And there are still some in the ‘inner’ circles that think that the Colts are going to struggle with the Pats again this year.

(And let it be said that the Colts just might struggle with the Pats, but only because they are playing a junior varsity schedule and haven’t shown me much yet. How Bulger didn’t get injected with everything they had in the meds cabinet at halftime on Monday night is beyond me.)

(And let it also be said, that the biggest benefactor of the Bandwagon Love; the main engine that powers the big train, is the Colts and their 'Quarterback'. Not a big believer in them either. I'm just sayin' and all...I'll have a bit more to say about that later in the season.)

This is the roundabout way of saying that I think we are going to win this game this weekend. Convincingly.

The best argument that I have in support of my opinion here is that they are just not that good. I watch them, I see them play. I see the Iggle brand of football. Guess what? It’s not working against us. It’s not going to work. They have two guys that can beat us. Two. It’s going to be eleven on Two. They can’t win.

They can’t win because they have to throw the ball. A lot. They can’t run it. They sure as heck can’t run it against us. So they have to throw. A lot. And they will. A lot. It’s time for this secondary to show all of us why they are out there. They are going to be challenged and I expect them to handle it like professional football players and win. I can’t believe that I just typed that.

So everyone climb on to the Iggles this week, everybody, get on. We can’t beat the Iggles when we got to go to their building. We can’t beat the Iggles, they’re going to Super Bowl Extra Large this year. They make soup commercials for cryin’ out loud. They’re important. Yeah, well, here’s my middle finger, we’re going to crush them…

I hope.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Aftermath...

Well it was the first of the season’s two bouts with all of the awful that is the Raiders. I cannot truly express my disdain for the Raiders, let’s just say that they are the Yankees of football. With the possible exception of the 49ers, there may not be a more hated team in this house. So, I thought that I would compile my thoughts as the game elapsed so that one could get a feel for what is going on in my head during a game with the aforementioned group of football players.

Sunday afternoon recap begins now…

1:15- Kickoff. I hope that the Raiders get hurt. All of them…

1:17- Hey, it’s our first penalty. Good start boys.

1:18- Tomlinson gets his first carry of the day. Gets no where. But at least he is getting the ball early. Good sign, now if somebody can tell the offensive line to block, we’re in good shape.

1:24- Eric Parker just got absolutely blasted. That looked like fun.

1:25- Still going to Tomlinson. Not doing much yet, but he looks fast.

1:31- Well, I have officially again determined with a lot of painstaking effort that the Raiders really suck. They are just terrible. Are they too dumb to realize that they need to cover Tomlinson? EVERYBODY, EVERYBODY knows that. Did I say that everybody knows that? Seven nothing good guys…

1:37- Somehow, our secondary picked off a Kerry Collins duck. Bwhao (sic) got a pick. Now people are going to think that our secondary is just awesome. That’s right, you can’t throw it against us!! (did that come off as believable at all?)

1:39- Well, I’m convinced that Ladainian is the best in the league. Give him the ball on every play. Every one. I mean it. Well, except for those times he is tired, cause the backup is the second best in the league and I’ll stand by that. Turner the Burner. He’s a favorite.

(side note: I am not at all in support of calling the Best “LT”. Not in favor of a nickname that is associated with hookers and crack. And, I am not swaying at all, yet, but, man there are a lot of letters in Ladainian Tomlinson, spell check always yells at me that it’s not spelled right, and it’s a lot of freakin’ letters. If I cave and start calling him that, somebody remind me of this with a punch in the nuts.)

1:41- Penalty #2. Holding on Gates. First profanity of the day. It was the big one. The one that begins with the letter between E and G. And now they are calling timeout. Somehow manage to avoid profanity # 2, only because I need to hit the john and it gave me the commercial break to do that. It also gave me the opportunity to think about McCardell dropping touchdown passes against the Raiders. Profanity #2 uttered now.

1:46- Well, if you know you can’t stop the Tomlinson, you shouldn’t even try. Fine, don’t try. He’s number twenty-one in your programs and number one in your hearts. I heard somebody say that once. Oh, and the Raiders might break easier than a Hilton in front of a video camera. “We should be filming this”, “Well, okay.”

14-0 good guys…

1:49- First mention by Steve Tasker referring to our awesome secondary.

1:54- Ass Hats gain 32 on a curl route. Ass Hat receiver breaks 946 tackles along the way. Ladies and Gentlemen our secondary!!!!

1:55- Nice work letting a broken team back into the game. Way to go. Nice work boys.


2:06- Fu(^!@$ Martyball. First sighting of that garbage today. *%*@$$.

17-7. I even get mad when we score.

2:10- Ummm….was that an earthquake???

2:10- I hope that wasn’t like a 12.6 in L.A. or Indonesia or something. Gotta go change my shorts now.

2:21- Tomlinson is still good. I thought once the second quarter started that he might not be good anymore. But, he’s still good. Announcer just calls the Raiders defense a “speedbump” in front of the Chargers. We’re the baddest speed bump in the league.

2:26- Shots of drag queens at an alternative lifestyle bar. Oh, no, those are just Raiders fans. And I am pretty sure that if Darth Vader liked football, he sure as hell wouldn’t be a Raider fan…

2;27- Now he throws touchdown passes too. On the season if you are keeping track, he has two. Two touchdown passes. And, now we are toying with them…24-7.

**** Halftime*****

2:51- Randy Moss has a sore groin and won’t be returning to the drumming. He probably pulled it last night.

3:05- More Drag Queens…Guys with painted faces, wearing dog collars and spikes and leashes. Ummm… very interesting fan base. We are playing the Hillcrest Raiders.

3:17- First trick play. Reverse. Oh, God, Brees is looking to throw a block. OH GOD!!
Nate, get out there!!! 27-7.

3:33- Okay, here are the details. The Hillcresters scored. But no matter. We’re pounding them. Oh, and thanks go here to the WORLD CHAMPS, for getting pummeled by the Jake Plummer led Broncos. Thanks WORLD CHAMPS. Thanks.

3:43- Penalty #4. False start. Out of an Oakland timeout. Sloppy work guys. Go from third and three to third and eight. Are we trying to blow leads for fun or what? And now Brees gets sacked. Profanity laced tirade directed squarely at the television.

3:44- Muffed punt prompts Tasker to say that the receiver, “Misjudged the ball like an outfielder.” Cause that’s what outfielders do. Misjudge the ball. It’s a skill.

4:01- Kerry Collins is doing his pro bowl impression of picking apart our secondary. He is throwing the ball all over us. Somebody needs to make a play before the t.v. gets it.

4:03- Heeeyyyy, Cheerleaders!! Oh my the Raiders have uggo cheerleaders. It’s like they skipped the recruiting trip at the local strip club and went straight to the prisons and mental hospitals. 27-14.

4:06- Everybody! It’s Rap Artist, Actor, Writer and all around Superstar, ICE CUBE!!!

4:06- Profanity. Lots of it. Prompted by Tomlinson fumble. Profanity. Oh, there’s a red hanky on the turf. We’ll wait…

4:09- Still Waiting. I think he’s down. I think if they reverse this call, the Drag Queens might revolt and someone could get killed with a lipstick and a leash.

4:10- Hey it’s our ball!!! Tomlinson doesn’t fumble. I can’t believe they actually reversed the call. And in just a shade under an hour. Now, somebody run out the clock before I get mad.

4:19- Victory formation. I hope they run my favorite play. Snap the ball and somebody kneel down. Game over. We manage not to squander another lead. Good for us.

Things I Noticed:
-I haaate Martyball.
-The Raiders suck.
-I hate earthquakes.
-The Raiders suck.
-I like this team when they play to their strengths.
-I hate Martyball.
-We broke them and they caved. The Raiders suck.

Good for us. Now let’s try to keep McNabb from throwing for 500 against us this week.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Holy Hell...

To be as eloquent as possible about the performance of the football team last evening, it sucked. All of it. From beginning to end, with few highlights in between, the majority of the entire game just sucked. I couldn’t be less pleased with the performance of the team as a whole and it is wearing on me still to this moment. Why did we suck? Let’s highlight the evening shall we...

-Apathy. (noun) Lack of interest or concern, especially regarding matters of general importance or appeal; indifference. (from

Pretty much covers the entire first half performance by our secondary in general. From the stupid (and by stupid I mean stupid) holding and pass interference calls on Jammer and Florence (Drayton, who was covering his man at the time, decided to molest the receiver child like, even though he was already in position to make a play.) and Jammer’s indifference on the luck be a lady booth reversal of touchdown fortune for Hines Ward when the ‘phantom’ tackle was made. I had never seen my team quit on a play quite like that one before. Guys were just standing around looking like someone kidnapped their pet kitten, hung it by its ears in a tree and beat it like a donut filled piƱata, with an axe handle. I never knew what it would be like to have a secondary with no cover corners and all safeties. At this point in the season, I think all of the starters for the ‘All Pass Interference Team’ play cornerback for us.

One thing that I hate seeing more than anything is what Bill Simmons’ refers to during the less than spectacular coaching performances of Mr. Schottenheimer. Or as Simmons would say, “Coaching with both hands clasped firmly around your own throat.” Affectionately known as ‘MartyBall’ by those who support the ultra conservative, play not to lose, colossally unspectacular offense that has gotten no one particularly anywhere in terms of winning (Chargers v. Jets 01/05). So, since we have been forced to do so, we must repeat the mantra for the offense. AGAIN.

1. We must run the ball with Ladainian. His effectiveness running the ball makes throwing it much easier. I don't care if it doesn't work perfectly every time. He must get going before...

2. Gates and McCardell get involved once the running game is established. Then the two opposing forces compliment each other and we score 40+ points.

So how do we open the game against the Steel City? Play action, play action, play action, punt. Or something similar to that, I was actively trying to drown myself in my toilet at that point and we were only three minutes into the game.

This team scores at will when they run the ball, and play loose and aggressive and utilize all of their talent across the field. This ‘MartyBall’ significantly reduces the effectiveness of a young offense that thrives on that aggressiveness and longs to make the big plays. And good lord who was around to help the offensive line adjust to the blitzes that Pittsburgh was using so effectively? Looked like the second half of the Denver game all over again.

The second half provided a little reprieve in terms of heart palpitations as we clawed our way back into the game with (f*$&!^&) Martyball, an Iowan chicken leg, and Pittsburgh mistakes. I looked at the score so prominently displayed on the television and it had us on top. ‘Wow’, I thought to myself, ‘Why does it feel like we are losing?’. Three pass plays later, we were. I almost felt relieved that we coughed up the lead like an emphysema patient ridding themselves of unwanted phlegm. I wanted to send Bhawoh (???) Jue a note telling him that I had a better chance of covering Heath Miller, than spelling his first name. That touchdown was amazing. Here comes Miller over the middle, and there’s Jue, waiting for his responsibility, and there’s the ball, and there’s the touchdown, and there’s the celebration. And it was about now, that Jue figured out that Miller was his, the only guy in his area, and he never even made a break on the pass. I have this play tivo-ed for anyone who wants to see what it looks like (pretty much resembles a bowl full of turd) from a multitude of angles and speeds. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, COVER SOMEONE!!!

The offense gets credit, they never quit and marched right down the field and got on the back of our horse, albeit well into the fourth quarter and a smidgen late, and scored to snap the lead back. The two point play was unsuccessful, although, I liked the motion of Gates out into the flat to draw the coverage from the middle. I generally like run plays more than pass for these two point jobs, but I thought Gates one on one on the outside might be a good match up. So, we ran it into the teeth of the defense. Not our worst play call, but certainly not our best effort at trying to WIN GAMES!!! It’s really funny to me that the games we have won, we have gone out to actually win the game. The games we didn’t win? The games we played not to lose.... Coaching Staff? Coaching Staff? Questions for you from the smart ass in the back of the room....Simmons wants to know if you can talk with your hands wrapped around your vocal chords like that...

Last Drive Summary...

Kickoff, Good Return

Pass, Pass (4th Quarter and still no one is covering Hines Ward, oh by the way, their best receiver) Quarterback gets hurt, fat guy runs, fat guy runs, kicker kicks, we lose. On national television.

(Unnecessary vulgarities and temper tantrum removed for content inappropriate for children)

Other things I didn’t like:

John Madden and Al Michaels constantly repeating how awesome San Diego is and how everyone and their seventeen children and grandparents should exhume pets and loved ones and move here next door to me.

For the love of God message to the NFL and Paul Tagliabue:

I would much rather see commercials with Al Pacino and whatever that guy from Dazed and Confused’s name is, in a completely implausible movie about sports betting and gambling and all the debauchery that is associated with things of that nature, than to watch Tim McGraw perform that awful 10 year old song about nothing without even having the consideration for us to bring his hotter more talented wife into the screen with him while he whines and squeals his way through a weekend roundup of football. Note to Paul, changing the words and making them relate to football EVERY WEEK, doesn’t make me like Tim McGraw, country conservative horse puckey or anything associated with country music, Nascar, and or wholesome country attitudes. It makes me hate country music, people from the country, Nascar, and makes me go to bed at night wishing that gonorrhea would befall Mr. Hill causing his wife to leave him for a twix bar and a weekend with Axl Rose.

We are going to try not to lose to Oakland now...

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Time to Get to Work...

Sad as it is, last Sunday’s prime victory, one that will remain with me for some time especially since there is a large Boston contingency in my area, must be put on the back burner until the business at hand is behind us. And the schedule that never gets easier tells me that Pittsburgh is on the way, it’ll be a Monday Night Showdown, we’ll be in the powder blues, and a marathon will be had.

This thing is going to be interesting in so many ways. These two teams are exactly the same on paper. There will be a festival of handoffs on both sides of the ball, as those armed with guys named Bettis, Staley, and Parker commit themselves to that quite whole heartedly. Whereas on our side of the pig, there is but the one, the chosen one, who runs like the turd flows into the Tijuana river and cuts like a chick from New Jersey. Two able quarterbacks will man the offenses and throw deliberately, hitting their targets with the accuracy of a pre-teen in a National Spelling Bee. Man, is that a dumb sentence... moving on.

On to the defense where the similarities don’t really end. Excellent run stoppers on both sides of the field, and secondaries that can be beat. If our offense wasn’t clicking on about 650 cylinders right now, I might suggest that this would be a low scoring, knock down, drag out, good old fashioned football game. But, I am not going to do that. In fact, I am going to suggest something completely different than that. I have some beliefs, let me tell you what they are...

-I believe we are on the verge of a massacre.

-I believe after four weeks of Monday football, I am, and everyone else should be, sick of Tim McGraw and his stupid song.

-I believe that the entire country will be shocked on Monday. Except me.

-I believe in pizza in all its glorious forms and for all it stands for.

-I believe that if I knew how a Steeler shows its ultimate disappointment, I would express that here in words, for that is how they will feel when they leave America’s Finest (read: most expensive) City on Tuesday.

-I believe in Drew Brees, Ladanian Touchdown, First and Antonio, Keenan and the Gang, Santa Claus, The Chupacabra, and the Yeti. Okay, not Santa Claus, but all the rest.

-I believe there will be a tie for first place after next Monday night in the AFC West.

Arms up. Arms up.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Confucius Say...

Man, one can never pick a better time to be abducted by aliens. Seeing as how those skinny little creatures caught and tormented me for three days and forced me to endure all things Patriot at the hands of one of the Sharpe brothers, I was unable to put forth my prologue to what will be to date the best victory of the season.

I could rehash all of my thoughts pertaining to the big day, how we would overcome what has been the most dominating force in professional football for three of the last four years. How their injuries were finally catching up to them and how our secondary, if challenged, would actually rise to the occasion instead of folding like a Manning in a big game, we could in fact hand the Pats their first loss on the home front in something like 946 attempts. But, thanks to those aliens, I wasn’t able to put those thoughts down on paper and what do I have to show for it? Not a thing, except for the feeling of satisfaction and relief that came along with a win like that, and the warm happy feeling that knowing I knew it was possible and I wasn’t able to tell anyone. Much like the Bolts slow start, perhaps I may now know of what I speak.

Quite honestly this was one of the best team performances that I have seen from this group and that includes all of the magic that was ’04. Ladanian was setting the tone early and the passing attack was clicking, including everyone on the team with a set of hands. Our able quarterback had another outstanding day in terms of accuracy, specifically targeting the guys with lightning on their shirts and delivering strikes all but for five times the entire day. To put it in baseball terms, Drew has thrown 8 balls the last two weeks. Not bad. There is really no way to highlight the offensive performance any further, as Ladanian solidified his position as leader, no one wanted to be left out of the barrage, and truly no one was. This was one of the most balanced, powerful days of offense I have seen. There is just one thing that scares me about the way we played on Sunday...

I think we can improve on it...

Call me crazy, but right now, no one in the last two weeks has been able to even hang with us. It’s not that we have opened up the offense or are running complicated formations and schemes. We just have some serious weaponry right now that the foes just can’t contain. From Ladanian, to Antonio, to Keenan, to Eric and Reche, no one is able to cover all of those options for the quarterback. His vision right now is exceptional, he is seeing the field well, and he has all of the aforementioned personnel to thank for that. Balance. I haven’t seen this kind of balance on our offense since... well, since ever. Maybe those Fouts teams had some of this, but they never had the running game to compliment it, and well, I was too damn young to remember whether or not they were this good. So I will just leave it at this... I can’t remember seeing this much balance on the “O”, and it shows to the tune of a 45 and a 41 spot the past two weeks.

So come this Monday night we bring the fight to the members of the Steel City. Time to get to work boys…arms up.