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Archive for November, 2008

This occured to me last night as I was watching the Cowboys ride a series of poor Redskins decisions to victory.  Stupid Cowboys.  Sure, I hate the Cowboys, and wish them misfortune when they’re playing just about any team save the Patriots and Steelers, so rooting for the Redskins was a no-brainer.

But there was more to it.  It wasn’t just the usual twinge of hatred whenever Campbell got laid out by a lineman twice his size.  Something about Jason Campbell makes me want him to succeed.  Is it the fact that I have a little more disdain for the other three NFC East teams with each passing week?  Is it the fact that all signs point to his being pretty crappy, but Jim Zorn is kind of hilarious and awesome, and if he believes in him so should I?  Is he cute?

Probably not.

Probably not.

Whatever it is, it’s palpable, and I wish it would go away.  I already have ill-advised crushes on Brady Quinn and Trent Edwards.

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Mike Martz is a lunatic.

So apparently there’s been this whole kerfuffle about the last four seconds of the Niners-Cardinals game on Monday.  Mike Martz is complaining that he got a raw deal or something.  Yeah, okay, whatever.

I might be more sympathetic, if, at any point in his NFL coaching career, Mike Martz had been anything other than totally bat-poo insane.  I remember watching so many games with the Rams, and going “Wait, what?”  Sometimes scorching success would result from all the crazy.  In fact, for a while it did fairly consistently (we called it “The Greatest Show on Turf”), so people were all on the “Mike Martz is someone I might not run away from if I met him at a party” train.

And then the wheels started to fall off, and the Rams weren’t very good anymore.  His health took a turn for the worse, which was very sad, but he improved again and was able to work with the Lions.

Shockingly, trying to run a madcap offense of insanity did not work in Detroit.  Even Jon Kitna gets sick of being hung out to dry.  So it was good-bye, Detroit, hellooooo San Francisco!  Because when you have a plethora of young and not very good quarterbacks, and no offense to speak of, what you really want is a wacky old man who will be really wacky all the time and write a wacky offense.  And then be angry when it doesn’t work.  Yeah.  That’s what the Niners really need.  That is working out so well.

The man is crazy, people.  Yes, he can be a total genius.  The line is a fine one.  Unfortunately, he passed the ball beyond it some time ago on a wacky play of wackiness.

Not Mike Martz.  There are no cute Niners any more.

Not Mike Martz. There are no cute Niners any more.

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Brady Quinn is the right call.

It’s true: the Browns lost.  This is because the Browns suck, not because Brady Quinn sucks.  I guess you could also give the Broncos some credit, but who cares about the Broncos?  I guess the fact that Cutler plays despite having diabetes is sort of cute, but that’s a different post…for a slow day.

But in any case, even before we saw Quinn’s performance on Sunday (which, at 23/35 for 239 yards and 2 touchdowns, no interceptions, was more than solid), he was the right call.  Derek Anderson was demonstrably bad.  He has had more than a few good games, and I think he’s still better than many of the NFL’s current starting quarterbacks, but Derek Anderson is not the future of the Cleveland Browns, and he never was.  Even at the peak of his success last year, everyone knew that at some point he would be benched or traded away to make way for Brady Quinn.

Wow.

Wow.

So why not give the guy around whom you’re building your franchise’s future a chance to mess up while it doesn’t matter?  The Browns aren’t too far from .500, and still had a more or less legitimate playoff shot before they managed to blow it against the Broncos.  Either Quinn turns things around and makes you into almost-contenders, or he doesn’t and you’re no worse off.  In either case, Brady Quinn is the play, especially when the fans are screaming for him every game (and you’re Romeo Crennel, so the average drunken member of the Dawg Pound makes better coaching decisions than you do).

And finally, I would like to point out that when you google image search Brady Quinn, his first four hits are shirtless.  That should tell you everything you need to know.

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In my innocence, I was looking for news about Stuart Broad.  He’s cut his hair; I wanted to see how well this worked.

Alas, I found something far more horrifying.

Gah!  My eyes!

Gah! My eyes!

The photo is small to spare you both the watermark and the eye-gouging horror of his wearing neither a cummerbund nor a waistcoat.  Michael Vaughan’s waistcoat may be unfortunate and modish, but at least it’s there.

It would have been acceptable (though not recommended) just to wear a dark suit, with a long tie.  But no.  Mr. Broad opts for the bow tie, the peaked lapel, and (I believe) a stripe down the outside of his trousers.  No dress collar, no studs, no cummerbund, no waistcoat.

He should be drummed out of the team.

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And I wish Americans would stick to commercializing their own sports out of their ever-loving minds.  Seriously, if you have $20 million to burn, I can think of better ways to do it than ruining cricket for everyone.  You could, for instance, give it to me.

A recap for those of you who do not follow cricket: a rich Texan of the unfortunate mustachioed variety decided to have a team of his own selected “Superstars” play the England XI in a Twenty20 match for a $20 million prize.  Twenty20 cricket is a format in which each team bats for twenty overs (therefore facing 120 balls), and has roughly the length and interest of a baseball game.

I do not object to Twenty20 cricket all the time.  I think it can be a nice way to play a quick tournament.  But it’s also kind of like the American League–it might be more exciting to watch, but you also know, deep down in your heart, that it’s wrong as hell.

A lot of people take a cynic’s view of this whole thing.  If Test cricket (i.e. the kind that takes five days) doesn’t make money the way Twenty20 does, why bother?  People are voting with their feet and pocketbooks, and only reactionary diehards like you and Jonathan Agnew dislike the new format.  And there’s something in that, I suppose.

But I suspect that if you actually prefer Twenty20 to Test cricket, you have no soul.  Certainly you can go to more Twenty20 matches.  Fine, whatever.  But is it as good as spending five glorious days watching a civilized, strategic, white-clad Test?

Because, seriously, what is cuter than a lanky Draco Malfoy in his Test whites?

Because, seriously, what is cuter than a lanky Draco Malfoy in his Test whites?

And fine, let the market do its work.  But don’t inject your ill-gotten lucre into a beautiful thing and then ruin it just to show everyone that you can.

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