Sunday, January 11, 2009

Stupid Playoff Thoughts

I think conference championship game appearances are the mark of a successful franchise; they show a solid level of regular season and post-season success. It is very difficult to win it all, but successful, competitive franchises frequently put themselves in a position to win a championship. New England is obviously the team of the decade, but both Pittsburgh (conference title games in '01, '04, '05, '08) and Philadelphia (conference title games in '01, '02, '03, '04, '08) are also very well-run organizations.

Before a game on FOX, watch the intro with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman. While Aikman talks, Buck watches Aikman, but every few seconds he turns to look at the camera with an ultra-serious expression, as if he's checking to make sure we're paying attention. It is a very unnatural, robotic movement--he seems compelled to artificially turn his head toward the camera every few seconds. It is fascinating.

As I ate my Garden Burger at the Metrodome, I wondered whether it was not only vegetarian but vegan (unlikely, but I ate it anyway because if we don't support these things, they might not make it!), then I wondered whether the Metrodome was conning me and giving me meat (even more unlikely). Then I wondered how many Garden Burgers the Metrodome was going to sell that day. And I wondered, are there some events when they sell more Garden Burgers than others? And when there's some sort of monster truck rally at the Metrodome, do they sell a single Garden Burger? And then I thought, I have a blog--maybe I should do some reporting and contact the Metrodome to ask these questions. Then I thought, no, I'm not going to call anybody.

The night I got home from the Viking-Eagle playoff game, hours later, out of nowhere, my wife said, "Did you notice? Andy Reid has really let himself go." My wife watches a lot of football, but I'm still surprised she has watched enough over the years to notice Andy Reid has let himself go.

When my wife saw Kerry Collins, she said "That's Kerry Collins? He's old. He looks like House." And he does. I said "Wait until you see him throw; he throws like I imagine House would, too."

I'm trying to understand those Howie Long truck commercials. From what I can tell, Long point out the nice luxury features of the competitor's pickup, then makes fun of those features for being unmanly, implying that "real men" would or should prefer a pickup without special features. And this helps you sell pickups? I was actually more interested in the heated steering wheel and the step to the pickup's box. A company is pointing out the features that a competitor's product has that its own product does not, and the company does this to, apparently, play on stereotypical concepts of masculinity. And apparently, real men want their hands to be cold and want to strain to climb into a pickup box. I'm baffled. Is "baffled" a better word than "flummoxed"? Actually I'm neither--I'm "flabbergasted." Actually I'm only bemused, but "flabbergasted" is the best word of all.

I don't watch a lot of games on CBS, but Phil Simms' voice gets rather tiresome. He's like a fellow at a family reunion that talks and talks: little he says is interesting, insightful, or intelligent, but there are a lot of words there, and they just keep being there.

Ben Roethlisberger makes me think of Jim from The Office. This does not make me like him more.

Just how many fanbases now see Asante Samuel in their nightmares?

For as long as I've watched football, the Pittsburgh Steelers have featured fast, strong, tough, athletic, playmaking linebackers. It doesn't seem to matter what their names are--they're always there.

Only three more football games left, and I'm sort of looking forward to it all being over for a few months.


  1. Anonymous9:23 PM

    Well, at least the Vikings aren't the only NFL postseason team with problems! 3 teams seeded above the Vikings of a possible 4 teams seeded above them in the NFL lost, I repeat LOST this weekend! Talk about a near Vikingesque let'down. Kerry Collins's overthrows/lack of accuracy, Delhomme and Manning's INT.s! All these teams had there "better" QBs lay an egg like the Viking's TJack and all those teams have better coaching staffs then the Vikings!
    The parody in the NFL is truly amazing!
    Goes to show the Vikings may have had a chance at the "big dance" had they played 2 rather than just 1 half of football last week against the Eagles, man are they HOT! Next week, NFC Championship. battle of the BIRDS in AZ!!!

  2. Anonymous11:30 PM

    Ugh, I hate those stupid Howie Long truck commercials, too. But the very worst are those moronic Dodge ads with the rednecks in t-shirts with MILITARY and CONSTRUCTION on the front. Because those are REAL MEN, you know. They remind me of the Canyonero.

    I'm guessing that you, a vegan and a person with a brain, are not part of their target market (I'm not either, since I'm a woman).

  3. Joe Buck is an emotionless robot. I can't stand him. Putting Aikman and Buck in the same booth is like putting panties on every head in Abu Ghraib prison.

  4. Anonymous10:40 AM

    It is interesting how the marketing of the truck has taken on a decidedly masculinist discourse. Clearly, men are the target consumer. Purchase of said vehicle confirms one's participation in a men's world of physicality and dominance. But haven't the focus on the miniscule truck markets been the downfall of much of the auto industry (focusing on power, torque, and "toughness" rather than alternative engines and green tech)? This strikes me as not just an economic failure but also an indictment of larger cultural issues than I think the auto makers or others realize.
    Also, I think Buck is a pompous jerk who opines more than a play-by-play guy should.

  5. I had the exact same thoughts regarding the truck commercials. Damn, I want a heated steering wheel, too! Does that make me a not-real-man?

    (I've never had a manicure, BTW)

  6. My wife also hates the truck commercial that says "Remember the guys we used to cheat off of in science class?" So not only are trucks strictly for men, they are for men who would cheat in school (unintelligent men? men with no regard for learning?).