How To Win A Game By Officiating [TeeCoZee’s NFL Roundup 2010 Week 1]
It’s that sexy-assed time of year again, folks. The sun is hiding out more, the trees are getting rusty & bloody & such, the babes are wearing sleeves, and assholes like me are starting paragraphs with “It’s that sexy-assed time of year again”. Like a werewolf, all of my unmale sensitivity goes out the window. Books and feelings start to matter a little less. On Sundays, I throw on my cult colors, and attempt to see or hear as much of the mass as possible. My boss is starting to treat it as a valid excuse to work the morning shift. I have something in common with every single peasant, dude, worker, shmoe, shitkicker, biker, bopper, popper, and of course, all of you readers:
The NFL Season has started.
The format of the NFL Roundup is going to be a little different this season. Last year, I was able to sit on my ass all day, every Sunday and watch NFL Redzone. I no longer have the luxury of having Sunday afternoons off. I think I have finagled a way to get opening shifts every week, but that would entail me missing every 1PM game this season, which is going to be detrimental to the quality of this series. Also, I am hindered by the handicap of not having cable. This means that any of the future Monday and Thursday night games may either be missed, or be drunken afterthoughts. Most games will be covered on a basis of me watchiong highlights, following stats, and expressing my personal bias for each team. There will be 3 sections, which I will name officially at a later date:
Games I Couldn’t Give 2 Shits About
Games I Could Give 2 Shits About, But Wasn’t Able To Catch
Games I Actually Watched
With this in mind, let’s all take a deep breath. We have waited 7 months for this. Okay. Breathe again. Let’s start another NFL season.
Games I Couldn’t Give 2 Shits About
Tampa Bay Bucs 17
Cleveland Browns 14
Well, fuck me gently with a penis. These teams should not exist. You know a game is looking sad and boring when the color of the team’s jerseys would severely affect my interest. I still hold my my stance that I will only root for the Bucs if they are wearing the creamsicle jerseys. Until, that day comes, I’m going to be talking as little as possible right now. You see, the NFL is going through a transformation phase. Last year, there was a vast influx of mediocre teams, and now these teams have picked up a few good players, to try to even out the score and make failed attempts at a .500 season. The Browns get Jake DelMan [who for some reason is still being treated like an A-List QB, even though he still throws more INTs than TDs. Jake is the Woody Allen of the NFL: more misses than hits, but at least SOMEBODY is trying!], and the Bucs, well, they really didn’t get much during the offseason. But I guess Cadillac Williams is pretty dope. I guess.
Miami Dolphins 15
Buffalo Billz 10
This is a game that I wish I could care about. I really do. This age-old AFC East rivalry has seen much, much better days. But Chad Henne is no Dan Marino, and Jim Kelly is too old to drive pick-up trucks. Over the past few seasons, I have shown infinite excitement for both of these teams, and they have let me down every time. Buffalo is supposed to have the RB duo from hell, with Marshawn Lynch and Fred Freddy Jackson, but their abyssmal yardage was almost surpassed by QB Trent Edwards, who from the looks of it, had nothing better to do than flail around and be Trent fucking Edwards. On the Dolphins side of things, the RB duo of Rick Ricky Williams and Ron Ronnie Brown both surpassed 60 yds each. It isn’t 100, but it also isn’t 16. And the Dolphin’s brand new vanity WR, Brandon Marshall didn’t do too bad for himself either. In the end, I can still say with a straight face that the Dolphins have potential this season, but I might start laughing afterward. Only time can tell on this one.
Pittsburgh Steelers 15
Atlanta Falcons 9 [OT]
As I had said many a times last year, there’s only one thing that can make a boring game more boring: have it go into overtime! I have no idea what happened in the first half of the matchup, because every highlight reel I can find starts at the end of the 3rd quarter. Yep, it was one of THOSE games. If you squint your eyes hard enough at the Steeler’s offense, you just might see Kordell Stewart, but really it’s just good ‘ol Dennis Dixon [and you’re probably racist and surprised that they didn’t retire Slash’s jersey, even though he didn’t do SHIT to progress the Steeler legacy.] The aspect of this game that makes me curious is that both QBs passed for over 200 yards, but the only TD was Rashaard Mendenhall’s 50 yd gallop in OT. I mean 111 yards receiving for Roddy White is pretty damn impressive. The Falcons just may be one of those dark horse teams this season, but at the pit of my soul’s heart, I hope the Steelers collapse at the return of their starting QB/rapist.
Kurt Warner Doesn’t Live Here Anymore 17
Everyone Moved Out of St. Louis when Kurt Warner Left 13
This is what happens when the high school dreamboat leaves the prom queen for the artsy girl with a lot of potential, turns the girl into a socialite, leaves her in a decision to take a break from women for a while, and then the 2 girls have a catfight for no reason. They still have a lot of fight in them, but they are both sans the man that made them special. The Arizona Cardinals venture into their first season without the safety net known as Kurt Warner. On the other side, the St Louis Rams have still yet to recover from Kurt’s exit oh-so-many years ago. And the result? Well, it looks like the game wasn’t half-bad. Cleveland’s dejected QB Derek Anderson threw for nearly 300 yards, and was pickless. Sam Bradford, the rookie that St Louis is banking on rejuvenating the offense [or to make it no longer a one-man offense, starring Steve Jackson [who couldn’t even cap 100 yds in this game]] threw 253 with one TD. Oh, but he also got picked off 3 times. Welcome to the NFL, Mr. Sam.
Seattle Seahawks 31
San Francisco 49ers 6
I was really damn pumped for the 9ers this season. Like, really fucking pumped. Like, they’re going to take down the NFC West pumped. I was dead wrong. And I’m not going to take the Seahawks seriously, even if they go 12-4 this season. I’ll be in denial of Matt Hasselbeck’s pseudo-prowess. The Seahawks WILL NOT do anything this season. No. It’s not going to happen.
They will do nothing.
Jacksonville Jaguars 24
Denver Broncos 17
I always feel a sense of relief when the Broncos lose. It’s like taking a really messy dump. For a while, it’s scary, and when it’s done, you are satisfied and extremely jubilant that it went down the drain alright. For all the years that the Chargers have dominated the AFC West, the Broncos have been following right behind them. It’s an overwhelming feeling of relief knowing that even though the chargers may lose, the Broncos will not get a leg-up on them. And why should they? Kyle Orton is a miserable quarterback, one of which Tim Tebow will learn nothing from. However, there is a chance that Tebow will learn from his mistakes. And I don’t like the sound of this nobody receiver, Brandon Lloyd, coming out of the woodwork to get 117 yards. Either the Broncos aint shit, or the Jaguars are going to be a sleeper team this season. I can see it going both ways. Maurice Jones-Drew is entering his 5th season, and defenses still aren’t able to “figure him out”. David Garrard isn’t finding huge waves, but he’s finding a pretty decent receiving corps. You know what? Fuck it. Maybe I WILL root for the Jags this season. Why the fuck not, right? Maybe I’ll get a Pocket Hercules tattoo on my ankle…
New York Gnats 31
Carolina Panters 18
The misspellings were intentional. Both of these teams wear me out. It seems like every Giants game I watch is the same. I may be a New Yorker now, but I still can’t find the gumption to root for the fuckers. And I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed a Panthers game. I mean, I’m glad that they dropped DelDude like a bad habit, but who the fuck is Matt Moore, and who the fuck does he think he is? He looks like a total douchebag.
Tennessee Titans feat. Chris Johnson 38
I wish they would just move back to LA so they’d be easier to root for 13
Can anybody fucking stop Chris Johnson?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?
Games I Could Give 2 Shits About, But Wasn’t Able To Catch
New England Patriots 38
Cincinnati Bungles 24
Man, I wish this game could’ve had a reset button. I spent the entire offseason having wet dreams about the Bengals. This is supposed to be THEIR season! I was more than ready for them to take the Charger’s throne as the team I geek out the most for. I mean, come the fuck on! TO and Ocho on the same team-o? Cedric Benson being a total fucking beast? Carson Palmer and his lil bro forming a QB duo? A true AFC defense? This team should be UNFUCKINGSTOPPABLE! This game made me realize how blind I actually am. The Pats got off to an early lead, and set the tone for a 60-minute shitshow on the field. I mean, when it was all said and done, the Bengals still put up great stats, with Ocho making onehundredandfuckingfifty-nine yards, and TO, well, making typical TO stats. Cedric Benson has hit a brick wall, and I truly hope that he can still be able to surprise future defenses. Although they played well, the Patriots were just too damn typical. They are one of the few teams that make the word typical look good.
I’m not quite done with the Bengals yet. I’m still going to be looking forward to all of their games, and who knows, it’s only week 1 after all…
Houston Texans??? 34
I’m actually talking about the Indianapolis Colts 24
It’s been 6 years since the Colts actually lost an opening game. Could this really mean the end of an era for Jim Caldwell’s Robosquad? Not very likely. But what a treat it is to see a team like the Colts falter in the opening game. Against the Texans, at that. Arian Foster broke a Houston record by rushing for 234 yards. He’s also on my fantasy squad. This may make it an easy season, if this little twinkle of surprise keeps up. Matt Schaub is still Matt Chaub, and he struggled to even pass for 100 yards. On the robot side, Peyton Manning was a regular Alex Murphy as he threw for 433 yards. 163 of those yards went to Austin Collie, who is also a robot. Reggie Wayne is an old and outdated model, but he still found 99 yards. Overall, things are still looking well in the ol’ Indy Factory. But they still fucking lost. And that means that the Colts are 0-1. Let’s revel in the moment, shall we?
Doesn’t it feel good?
Green Bay Packers 27
Philadelphia Eagles 20
For the past couple of years, I have been hearing nothing but bullshit analysts trying to tell me that the Packers are going to take over the NFC. I still don’t have the faintest hint of how this is going to happen. While Aaron Rogers is a good Quarterback, I don’t think he will ever be a great quarterback. Ryan Grant is meh at best. And Greg Jennings has potential, but needs on-target passes in order to be accurate. But yet, somehow, they keep on winning games. On the Philly side of the board, I thought it was a dumb idea to start Kevin Kolb. Although Michael Vick is still pretty rusty, this team needs to give him a fair chance, or they need to trade to a team that will. Kolb got a concussion in the first half. Vick got his fair chance. And although he was posing as a quarterback, he was the leading rusher in the game. And he had a 75% completion rate for 175 yards. They still lost. And so it goes…
Chicago Bears 19
Detroit Lions 14
When you move far away from a place you call home, it’s really easy to think fondly of ones that you despised at one point in life. This is how I feel about the Lions. As terrible as they may be, I can’t help but root for them as a sort of Alma-Mater team. It’s also really easy to root for them when they make national headlines.
Despite what the final score and statistics in the history books may tell, the Bears did not win this game. Nor did the Lions. Detroit dominated the first half, with 2 TDs by the promising rookie running back, Jahvid Best. After Matt Stafford hurt his shoulder [again], a slow burn began. This all culminated with 25 seconds left in the game. Shaun Hill threw a 25 yard TD pass to Calvin Johnson. The Lions won the game. I was at work while this happened, and I started receiving text messages up the ass. 2 guys came through my lane, proclaiming that they saw the Lions win. The text messages spoke otherwise. Calvin Johnson caught the pass, with both hands, and both of his feet touched the endzone turf. That is a touchdown. Calvin Johnson, with the ball in one hand, falls down, and the ball falls out of the endzone. Apparently, that renigs the touchdown. What. the. fuck? This is a rule that has been under review for a few years now. During seminars, the NFL has tried to explain this rule to the referees, and they become even more confused than they were to begin with. This play has been the buzz of the entire week, and it seems like nobody agrees with the rule. This is an Ed Hocouli situation all over again, and it makes me sick inside. In 2008, when a bad call caused the Chargers to lose to the Broncos in week 1, it set the tone for the entire season, and a losing streak ensued. Looking back at similar experiences, the Lions do not bounce back from screwjobs either. This may or may not result in yet another typical Lions season,, filled with games that they “should have” won. This makes me a little sad inside, because the team has more promise than they have had in the past decade. Nobody can take back a terrible call like that, and we can all hope that Detroit will take this with stride, and roll into week 2 with a clean slate, or a delusion that they had actually won. If not, it’s going to be a long fall for Lions fans…
Games I Actually Watched
New Orleans Saints 49 14
Minnesota Vikings 45 9
Judging from the balls-out shooting range session that was the NFC Championship, I was expecting a lot out of this game. It ended up being one of the most forgettable games in recent memory. The only aspect of the night that stuck out in my mind was me recoiling in horror, rushing to find the mute button twice when the Dave Matthews Band took the stage. Why does shitty music always have to be associated with football. [I’m sorry Ben Darcie, I still love you as a person, but DMB & the Packers are overrated and blow in my humble opinion. But I did love them both when I was in 3rd grade]. The game was so abysmal that I don’t even feel like regurgitating statistics. Both teams failed to impress, and one failed more than the other. End of story.
Washington Redskins 13
Dallas Cowboys 7
To be fair, I missed most of this game. I came in at the end of halftime, and had already missed most of the key plays. I was not particularly looking forward to this game, mainly because I thought it was going to be a blowout. When I turned on the TV to find the Redskins actually winning, I almost lost my mind. Tony Romo and company came back, with a lazy TD pass to Miles Austin, then the Skins retaliated with a field goal. It was still a very boring game. In the end, the Cowboys suffered a similar fate to the Lions. There was a touchdown pass with no time left on the clock. Cowboys win. Then there was a flag. Apparently, lineman Alex Barron had a Redskin in a complete headlock! Cowboys lose?!?!? It brings me infinite joy to see 3 stereotypically good teams start the season at 0-1. But the game still sucked, and I wanted my Sunday evening back.
Which then, leads us to Rudy’s Sport’s Bar, a nice little dive bar in Hell’s Kitchen. This was the setting for my Monday night. Cheap beer, free hot dogs, and 2 consecutive games, both of which I was decently excited for. I met up with BfD’s creative director, Joey Z, halfway through the New York Jets-Baltimore Ravens game. Joey had already snagged a duct-tape covered booth with a good vantage point to the bar’s only visible TV. The game was muted, and there was a loud and odd mixture of music playing throughout the night. For the first game, it was nothing but smooth jazz, that was all actually kind of diggable. The game itself, well, not so diggable. The Jets are a team that I love to love and the Ravens I love to hate. Moving to New York, I was excited to have the Jets as my new home team, and I spent probably just asmuch energy on hyping them as I did with the Bengals. And just like the orange squad, the Jets were a massive disappointment. The only player that looked good out there was LT, who still only rushed for 60-plus-some-odd yards. They lost the miserable defensive battle 10-9.
Next up was the San Diego Super Fucking Chargers against the always affable Kansas City Chiefs. The rain poured down Arrowhead Stadium, which was proven to not be so favorable for Phillip Rivers and his ariel arsenal. Dropped passes all around. There was still an early TD connection to Antonio Gates, and all was right in the universe, right before it got turned upside-down. As we indulged into our second pitcher of beer, Jamal Charles had the play of his career, rushing 45 yards into the endzone. Just a fluke. This isn’t going to come easy. This is going to be a shootout, son. Then after a terrible punt and a couple of first downs, Matt Cassel throws a 2 yard TD pass. No biggie. We can still catch up. Then the 94 yard punt return happened. And the Chargers were, in every sense of the word, fucked. The music in the bar switched over to nu-rock, and the likes of Evanescense and Alice in Chains drove me out of the bar before halftime even started. I went outside, only to get propositioned by a 7 ft tall drug dealer. This was not my night. I need to get drunker. The second half consisted of nothing but false hope. The Chiefs were playing terrible offense, and the Bolts kept on gaining and gaining, only to be stopped every time. Philly Rivs ended up slipping in a 59 yard TD pass to Naanee in the 3rd, but it was nothing from there. And Norv was making bad decisions left and right. Running the same play 3 times, going for it on 4th down, even though there’s plenty of time left and they’re in fucking field goal range, typical Norv Turner shit. At the end of the game, the Bolts had one last rally to try to tie it up. Right before the 4th down play, the bartender threw me a stack of napkins, because he knew I was going to start crying at any second. 25 seconds later, the game was over, and the napkins were on the ground.
Kansas City Chiefs 21
San Diego Chargers 14
And I die a little bit inside.
After the game ended, a fight broke out between a patron and the bartender. It was nice to see people living vicariously through my sheer anger. Almost cathartic. I think I will be coming to Rudy’s again…
This makes it a whole new ballgame. I never expected anyone outside of Denver or San Diego to ever be a force in the AFC West. Are the Chiefs really going to be somebody, or is the honeymoon in San Diego really over, with no hint of consummation? These questions, and many more are demanding answers. This is why we still have 16 weeks left. And this is why I am such a confused wreck.