Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Those '72 Dolphins can rest easy

I'm going on record now...the New England Patriots will not go undefeated this season. I've thought this the entire season, actually. Going undefeated is just too hard to do, no matter how good the team. Which is, quite frankly, why it rarely ever happens in sports. Any sport. And as we all know, it's only happened once in the NFL.

The proof? Indianapolis' loss to San Diego. New England's win over the Colts during week 9 was supposed to be proof that the Patriots were invincible...they played a less-than-spectacular game against another undefeated team that clearly played better...and still won. But then the Colts turned around and lost to an up-and-down Chargers team that, on paper, the Colts should have had no problem beating. But paper doesn't play the games, and Peyton Manning threw an unprecedented (for Peyton Manning, anyway) 6 interceptions. And now the Colts have gone from being perhaps the best team in the NFL to, at best, the third best team.

More proof? The St. Louis Rams beating the New Orleans Saints. Granted, like San Diego, New Orleans is another team that can't seem to decide whether or not it wants to be good. But St. Louis? Come on, who predicted that one?

The final proof is last December, when the Miami Dolphins beat the Patriots in a game that, again, on paper, Miami had no business winning. But it was the end of the season, and by that point, neither team had anything to lose.

It'd be funny if Miami beat a still-undefeated Patriots on December 23, ruining the Pats chances at a perfect season, assuring the '07 Dolphins at least one win, and preserving the '72 Dolphins champagne ceremony. But I'm not really counting on it. And it might be a moot point, anyway, as New England has to play Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore before the Miami match-up. Call me crazy, but I think the '72 Dolphins can sleep soundly knowing their accomplishment of being the only undefeated NFL team will remain intact.

I guess they were due

What? A Carolina-State game nearing the end of the fourth quarter with Carolina's defense on a goal-line stance? Like that's never happened before...except this time State actually made its way into the end zone. Gah.

Okay, phantom offsides call or no, the better team did win. Which I suppose makes up for last year, when Carolina beat the snot out of State (by the end of the game, I actually felt kind of bad for the State fans that had shown up at Kenan Stadium). And for all of the other games that Carolina won in the past ten years, causing State fans to scream about the injustice of missed/botched/otherwise unfair calls.

It was fun to see Carolina climb back into the game, though. I mean, hell, if Carolina did keep State out of the end zone, it probably would have assured the Tar Heels a win in a game that looked like an easy Pack win half-way through the first quarter.

It's funny...I was just thinking that what has bothered me about the Tar Heels all season (other than the ever-increasing number of interceptions) is the defense's ability to make otherwise so-so running backs look like All-American candidates. Cedric Peerman (UVa)? 186 rushing yards. Jamelle Eugene (NCSU)? 159 rushing yards. But as I looked through the season's statistics, I realized that those are the only two players to have posted ridiculous rushing numbers. Maybe I'm combining the Tar Heels' efforts with those of the Carolina Panthers' defense. Man, this has been a hard football season for someone who roots for the Tar Heels, the Panthers, and (perish the thought) the Miami Dolphins.

Friday, November 02, 2007

I'm Just Going to Rant Awhile Here...

I've lost my voice. It's amazing how you don't realize how essential your voice is until you can't use it. Especially when your co-workers decide to take the opportunity to pick on you when you can't say anything back. So now I've sat at home for the past day and a half, which hasn't been too bad since I don't make a habit of talking to myself out loud. What's more annoying is that I've also lost my sense of taste. This all may or may not have to do with the medication I've been taking for the poison ivy I got a few weeks ago, which thankfully is now pretty much gone. So as you can probably tell, I'm not a fun person to talk to at the moment, and wouldn't be even if I could actually talk.

So in the name of complaining, here are my sports-related gripes of the day:

1) Not that anyone feels sorry for me, but my fantasy team didn't win last week. They tied, leaving me at 7-0-1 for the season. The culprit is Brett Favre, who threw that spectacular touchdown pass in overtime against Denver to Greg Jennings instead of Donald Driver.

2) Until Kobe Bryant has actually left the Lakers for another team, I don't want to hear anymore speculations about where he is going to play. The same goes for Alex Rodriguez. Just tell me when the deals are done.

3) I'm currently watching PTI, where they are discussing the fact that the Dolphins are trying to pay celebrities to attend games. The assumption here seems to be that no one wants to attend Dolphins games because they are a horrible 0-7. Which is a valid point. But hell, the Dolphins have been awful for years now, and the one game I attended in Miami was arguably the worst sporting event I have ever attended (10-7 Dolphins win against Cleveland. It was cold, even though we were in Miami, and we just wanted someone to win in regulation so we wouldn't have to stay for overtime). So I would really encourage the Dolphins front office to find good players to play on the field instead of celebrities to fill the stands. Thanks!

4) There is no such thing as running up the score in pro football. I guess I'm biased, though, as Tom Brady is my starting quarterback. But let's think about it: these guys are getting paid lots of money to do the best job that they can. So, 1) a team should be able to score as many points as they can without being questioned, and 2) the other team should, in theory, be able to prevent the first team from scoring that many points in the first place. Right?

5) Barry Bonds needs to lose his voice.

I'm sure there will be more to come...