Sunday, January 07, 2007
Wild Card Wonderment: Saturday
Tony Romo and the meaning of life
Hard to believe the year of Romo-erotic ends this way. This is a great example of how sports can act as a microcosm of life. Absurdity, chaos, luck, nerves, comedy, despair, pain, surprise, humility, humiliation, the wheel of fortune--ALL IN ONE PLAY. Possible Flurries laughed and laughed as the play was happening--then talked about how bad she felt for Mr. Romo. These are the moments sports provide us with (as all Viking fans can attest): completely unexpected, impossible to script moments that can change everything for a moment, for a game, for a day, for a week, for a year, for a career, for a lifetime. This is why we watch sports--the games can have the same resonance as art. Moments of human frailty that cause us to laugh as our hearts break. Cowboy fans must be in total and absolute despair right now. Well, while you're desparing go lick one of your five Lombardi Trophies, you whining pricks. Immediately after the game ended, Cowboy fans, you should have put in whatever commemorative tapes or home-recorded Super Bowl videos you own. Your team has won five of the damn things.
Identifying with Peyton Manning and the Colts
Not long ago, a friend and commenter noted it was curious how I was identifying so much with Peyton Manning. Frankly, I'm surprised it's surprising. I grew up rooting for Dan Marino, I've been a long-time Timberwolves fan with great admiration for Kevin Garnett, and I'm a devoted fan of a franchise with an 0-4 Super Bowl record and witness of the end of the 1998, 2000, and 2003 Viking seasons. I cling to a sense of drama, an aura of tragedy, figures with such obvious greatness covered with such glaring failure. Clear tragic flaws, larger-than-life figures, moments of tension and dramatic climax, moments of such inconceivable and unimaginable means of failure that all you can do is sit on the ground with your helmet on your head (like Tony Romo). The aura of greatness coming up short. It's no surprise I'm rooting for the Colts and Peyton Manning during these playoffs. And I've already conceived the possibility they will succeed.
Despite the obvious mistakes of three interceptions, Manning played a good game Saturday against the Colts. He completed 14 passes for first downs (I believe first downs should be kept as stats for individual offensive players. The number of first downs converted can tell you a lot about the performance of a receiver, back, or quarterback, as well as his importance to the team). Mainly through luck those three interceptions did not hurt his team, and in the second half he was masterful at maintaining drives. And none of us really thought the Colts could win a game like that--Manning threw 1 touchdown and 3 interceptions and Indianapolis still won relatively easily. They can beat Baltimore.
Marvin Harrison and the Playoffs
I'm glad NBC featured Marvin Harrison's playoff statistics. Peyton Manning gets the criticism, but compare Harrison's playoff stats to contemporary WRs like Randy Moss. Harrison has come up short in the playoffs as much as Manning, but a wide receiver disappearing from the game isn't as obvious as a quarterback struggling.
The Commercial Life
Of course I was ecstatic to see new Coors commercials featuring press conference footage. The sagging looks of those guys when Ditka said living in the past is for cowards was my favorite part. And when you saw Jim Mora, you knew what was coming...and it was still fun.
There's a new ad opens, "Here's to the men who want to spend more time having fun and less time in the bathroom." So it's a choice between having fun and being in the bathroom? Can't it be both? Bring in a book, or a magazine, or a crossword puzzle or something. As Larry David says, he can read an entire New York Times in a day of sitting on the toilet.
John Madden, like Tobias Fumke, should carry a tape recorder around and listen to what he says.
We learned that Tony Romo's balls look like they're going all over the place (perhaps like Kramer he feels like a naken innocent boy roaming the countryside?).
We learned that when Madden watches video, he's mesmerized by Walter Jones (so, ladies and gentlemen, what do you watch on video that mesmerizes you? That's a rhetorical question--don't answer it).
And when one player lines up against another, he might get inside of him, get a little penetration (we've all been there).
A note for Viking fans
If you're a Viking fan, you may be interested in checking out G.R. Anderson Jr's article "Eye of the Beholder" in The City Pages. It's a solid look at the Viking stadium issue. I don't talk about stadium issues much here, mostly out of avoidance (the idea of the Vikes relocating before winning a Super Bowl in Minnesota fills me with total despair--granted, as a Viking and T-wolves fan, I'm getting used to living with sports fan despair. The Vikings movement would just validate my feelings of retchedness). The article distracted me for much of the second half of the Seahawks-Cowboys game.
Miles Austin ran a kick return for a touchdown almost entirely in a straight line (good blocking, good scheme, bad coverage), then smiled like a goober while running it in. Possible Flurries loved his shit-grin. We don't blame him--he's a special teams player who probably sees his NFL career as a day-to-day experience--he should be smiling like a goober on a playoff kick return touchdown.
Why Wild Card Weekend is Odd
When the playoffs start, you are ready for the league's best teams to start the big games. But each conference's two top teams has the week off, so while you expect "the best of the best," the very best teams are actually not around. It's an odd week.
But that was a fun day of football--I doubt Sunday will match it.