After recovering from a strange South Pacific flu virus that had me squirreled up in the
fetal position, shivering and sweating beneath a eight layer lasagna of blankets, it was
nice to be able finally reintroduce myself to society. I can think of no better way of doingthat than watching the second-best the NFL has to offer take center stage in the Wild Card weekend. Now, I understand that the play-by-play guys in an effort to conjure forth drama will constantly remind us that “quite a few” out of the last “several” Super Bowl Champions began their journey during the first round of the playoffs. Needless to say, I find it a dubious assumption to think that the aforesaid statistical anomaly has any chance of holding up this year.
Since that nightmare in Foxboro almost a month ago, Matt Schaub seems to have had some sort of life experience. He’s playing with an incredible amount of hesitation and recklessness that certainly wasn’t there earlier in the season. Many prognosticators anticipated that this would be the game where the Texans cemented their championship form once again. They were finally getting healthy. They had enough bad losses to get even their emotionally catatonic signal caller agitated. They were at home against a team that had all the makings of a one-and-done squad. Sure the Texans pulled out the win, but it was a clumsy battle of attrition that was largely unsatisfying. In fact the only one that was satisfied with it was my girlfriend who swooned, like most women… and some men,
at J.J. Watt’s Ubermensch physique and continued physical dominance. If there was any upside to the Texans performance on Saturday, it started and ended with Watt who had Andy Dalton looking like another famous redhead, Lindsay Lohan and laying on his back all night long--- thank Joe Aguiar for that gem.
The evolution of Christian Ponder’s arm injury was as phenomenon of medical science. It started out as merely tendonitis but developed, over the weekend, into a deep triceps bruise that significantly handicapped his velocity. The injury made him a less viable option than the guy who ended up throwing two balls straight up into the air while being sacked ten yards in the backfield. Once I saw Joe Webb almost single handedly deliver the game to the Packers in one play I said to myself, “this guy is going to single handedly deliver the game to the Packers.” It wasn’t my greatest prediction but it certainly came to fruition. The same can be said for my Albanian friend who was gambling at Mohegan with some friends for a birthday party. They were playing roulette and getting rowdy and swearing and security warned them to stop, which is an ominous sign for gamblers I guess. My Albanian friend went and immediately put money on the Packers to win outright, because as good as things were going for him, he knew they would go sour and he wanted to have enough money for hotel room so he wouldn’t have to drive home
drunk. Thanks Joe Webb for not letting my friend drive home drunk Saturday night.
Maybe I’m just a cynic or something but I wasn’t overcome with that much emotion
watching Ray Lewis do his pregame gyrations one last time in front of his home crowd. Even watching the video a second and third time I still can’t find the moment that drives other people to say it gives them Goosebumps or makes them want to cry. His entrance music is a semi-popular Nelly song about stripping for God’s sakes, you’d think if your entrance song was a mediocre Nelly hit from the early 2000’s you’d be planning on hanging up the cleats as well, wouldn’t you? To be fair this game had some very entertaining moments, like namely the time Ray Lewis recorded a pass deflection when he dropped an already deflected pass that Phil Sims excused as losing the ball in the sun—even though Ray was wearing a massive sun visor embedded in his facemask.
This game was built as the marquee event of the weekend and from the kickoff it was certainly the most exhilarating of all the playoff games. Unfortunately, what should have been a celebration of exciting football in the Nation’s Capital, in the end turned into a funeral dirge, with the most rousing moment coming in the postgame handshake between Richard “That Wasn’t My Adderall” Sherman and Trent Williams. But in regards to RG3, it’s become a real polarizing issue at this point between the old school of football and Roger Goodell’s player safety era, and a coach like Mike Shanahan-- who seems to be cut from the same cloth as Jon Voight’s character in Varsity Blues—faces serious culpability for trying to give his team the best chance of winning, albeit at sacrificing the longevity of young athlete. It’s a quandary that is a little too deep for me and certainly above my expertise, but I will say something always felt wrong about him playing after that hit from Haloti Ngata, and in some ways it felt like this was the unnecessary dark ending to what should have been the brightest season for the Redskins in decades.