Out of the comfort zone
After watching the previous 13 Viking games this season in my living room, I watched most of Sunday's loss to the Jet's at my wife's grandmother's house. This made the watching experience very different. The day featured some things I don't usually associate with football Sundays (the sentence "If you enjoy Bible word searches, you'll love 101 Bible Word Searches, Volume 2" usually doesn't come up in my life in any way, shape, or form), some creepiness (the reindeer decorations in the yard looked like the horse costumes in "Equus") and people unfamiliar with my ways (when my father-in-law grabbed my pen without asking, I stared in disbelief for a few seconds before shouting "What are you doing!?!" My wife thinks I would have sounded less crazy if I would have said, "Excuse me, but I have obsessive compulsive disorder and I'm rather finicky about people touching my pens. Could I please have my pen back?"). All in all, it was a day.
A.E. Housman and the annual melancholic ode to mortality and the Vikings
Well, the Vikes aren't quite eliminated from playoff contention. Perhaps Tarvaris Jackson will take over, everything will roll the Vikings way, they'll get into the playoffs, and Tarvaris Jackson will surprise everybody and lead the Vikings to a Super Bowl championship this year. Maybe. And maybe I can go and catch a falling star, and get with child a mandrake root. But regardless of the improbabilities, the A.E. Housman ode to the Vikings gets pushed back at least a week.
Short Packer Week
Brett Favre broke Dan Marino's record for career completions. He also threw 0 TD passes to remain 7 away from Marino's career TD record mark, and threw 3 INTs to move into second place all-time and come within 7 of George Blanda's career mark.
And now the Vikes and Packers, both 6-8 and relatively pointless, get ready to play on a short week in a game that may or may not be on broadcast TV in the Twin Cities.
Ladanian Tomlinson made further claim to the award with another spectacular game. He's the best player on the best team, he's just broken the long-standing (and overrated) single season points record, he's played spectacular consistently, and he may even break Marshall Faulk's yards from scrimmage record. I've written that simply breaking the single season TD record isn't as great an accomplishment as you might think--however, obliterating it the way he is doing is quite fantastic. He'll have to do next to nothing for the last two weeks to lose this trophy.
Drew Brees didn't do much toward achieving the "if" qualifications I attached to his MVP candidacy. I wrote that if he breaks Dan Marino's single season yardage record (5,084) and the Saints go at least 11-5, he'd deserve MVP. The Saints will now have to win their last two games to go 11-5 (still very possible), but it appears Brees will join Warren Moon, Rich Gannon, and Daunte Culpepper as QBs who looked capable of breaking the 5,000 mark but ultimately came up short.
That record, by the way, is incredibly unlikely to fall. To break it, a healthy QB needs to be spectacular, play with spectacular offensive teammates in a pass-first offense, but still be behind in enough games to be required to throw a lot. I don't know when that combination will happen again. Occasionally a QB will come along with a great season and look like he could achieve it, but he ultimately comes up short.
MVPs seal their candidacy in the last few weeks of a season. Even if the Colts win out, Peyton Manning won't be MVP this season--he just had another typical Manning season. Brees will likely come short of Marino's record, so his statistical prowess won't be great enough to command the record. But Tomlinson has already achieved enough at this point to deserve the MVP award. 2,000 yards from scrimmage and 31 TDs on a 12 win team is now enough to convince me--and he's got two more games to make that look even more impressive.
The most absurd thing I heard on TV Sunday (and keep in mind, it was usually too noisy for me to hear Dan Dierdorf)
On the commercial for 60 Minutes, it was said of Larry the Cable Guy that "everybody calls him funny" and that he's "America's hottest comic." I thought my brain was just going to fall right out of its skull, but somehow it remained where it is.
And just a note, this week begins a month of inconsistent blogging. I should be able to blog a couple times a week over the next month. Just so you know.