Thursday, December 23, 2010

National Festivus League, Week 16

Happy Festivus everybody.

This is a game I would say will be the biggest blowout the Vikings endure this season: they've got no answer for Michael Vick or DeSean Jackson, and they'll be starting their third or fourth quarterback of the season. But considering the Vikings have already lost games this year by scores like 31-3 and 40-14, really, where is the blowout range going to be worse than what we've already seen?

This Viking season feels like 2001: a disappointing season with a lot of dreadful losses, an offense that suddenly goes from explosive to inept, the coach is eventually ousted in rather ugly fashion, and by the end of the year the team is on a third quarterback and it seems almost hopeless that they can even score a touchdown. I barely had the stomach to watch those games (OK, I often didn't). Watching games this season feels like a burdensome chore, like it's something I have to do when I'd rather be doing something else, and I'm just hoping the team does something in the offseason to give some hope (at quarterback, at coach, somewhere important) so that games next year can be fun to watch again. I haven't had fun watching a Viking game in a really long time.

Other Interesting Games

Panthers-Steelers. Can Carolina pull off a Festivus miracle?

Jets-Bears. There's not an NFC playoff team that I can't see beating the Bears, and there's not an NFC playoff team that I can't see the Bears beating. They're playing for a bloody two seed.

Colts-Raiders. Peyton Manning has a reason to play through all 16 games for the first time in a very long time.

Giants-Packers. Finish those suckers off now.

Saints-Falcons. All season long, I sort of rooted for the Falcons because they seemed like one of the better contenders to stop the Packers from getting to the Super Bowl (they're killer at home). Now that fear of the Packers in the Super Bowl is significantly weakened (but not dead), I still kinda sorta root for this Falcon team anyway.

I was in a waiting room the other day, waiting, when somebody started chatting with me. This fellow asked me if I played "fantasy football."

"What's that?" I said. "Does that have something to do with those football games on TV?"

"Well, yeah, sort of."

"Hmm. I've seen those football games. What is 'fantasy' football?"

"Well, you pick your own team of players, like a quarterback, running backs, etc., and then your team does well when those players do well."

"So you make up a team?"

"I guess. You draft them."

"'Draft'? Like that thing they do in April?"

"Yeah, just with the members of your league. You draft a team from all the players in the NFL."

"Sounds interesting." I then returned to my magazine and continued waiting, going back to a life with no such thing as fantasy football. It sounds like the sort of thing that will take up way too much of your energy and time and can only leave you feeling miserable.

Airing of Grievances ("I've got a lot of problems with you people!")
If there were a Bizarro Pro Bowl, where players make it by being actively bad, Madieu Williams would be the starting safety. No other defensive back excels so highly in two key areas: being wildly out of position in pass coverage, and being wildly out of position when attempting to tackle. If an opposing wide receiver made a big play this season, look around: #20 was probably somewhere nearby. This year's airing of grievances is reserved for none other than Madieu Williams.

I would watch the Bizarro Pro Bowl, by the way.

Feel free to air your grievances.

Have a good one, suckers.


  1. Anonymous10:40 AM

    That fantasy football thing sounds silly.


  2. Anonymous5:17 PM

    No wonder you are so far behind in your league.

  3. Anonymous10:56 AM

    By some miracle, the Cardinals actually won last night, giving them 5 wins and giving Minnesota a chance to draft ahead of them. This is important, because Arizona needs a QB as badly as the Vikings do. At this point, all I'm thinking about is drafting high enough to get a QB.

    The 2008 free agency class has turned into a huge waste of money. Bernard Berrian and Madieu Williams were both given over $30M that offseason, and both will probably get released this offseason. You're right PV, Williams has been one of the worst safeties in the NFL this season, constantly taking bad angles in both pass coverage and run defense. Last Monday night a good safety gets an INT on that 1st and 30 pass, but Williams gets wildy out of position and Knox gets a 60 yard TD. And how many times has he done the mirror drill, where he just keeps backpedalling and mirroring what the runner is doing? Huge disappointment and one of my biggest misfires, because I thought he was a legit player in Cincinatti and was geniunely happy to get him. Not anymore; he's been awful.

  4. Plinthy the Middling5:32 PM

    Amazing how once the offense can not longer score quick, or score slow, or sustain long drives, or hold onto the ball, and the d-line is spending way too long with no rest on the field getting battered by the opposing team running game, and the linebackers and strong safety are forced to move in to concentrate on stopping the run, and now we have two cornerbacks each covering the other teams elite speed receivers one-on-one or each setting up in zones large enough to land an airbus, and all of sudden, for no apparent reason, Madieu Williams starts finding himself out of position. How dare he become so suddenly unaccountably inept and RUIN EVERYTHING.

    The Berrian odyssey ended early this season; but dumping Williams is a sign of denial. The Vikes system does not include a plan for the guy they acquired as a contain safety to lightly adjust into assuming the role of half dozen Marvel super heroes when everything else collapses in cascading failure. If we want to start down the road of promoting scape-goats, there are plenty of role models, both in and beyond the NFL, that will serve to provide a reliable plan to remaining the basement of the NFC North for a decade.

  5. Plinthy -

    I agree that a safety's job is harder when the D-line is tired and the LB corps puts emphasis on stopping the run, but you're leaning just as heavily on the scapegoat argument when you air 4 criticisms of the offense in the first sentence of your comment.

    pot | kettle

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