Friday, December 12, 2008

Football. Nothing More, Nothing Less

I'll get to the various jersey-swaps taking place in Major League baseball soon enough, I think there's ample time between now and spring. For now, let's slog in the December mud of the NFL.

RBBAWB You've heard of Running Back By Committee. Your first-place club in the AFC West is currently employing the time-tested Running Back By Available Warm Body approach. We'll see how that pans out. I was contacted Wednesday by RB Coach Bobby Turner about a tryout, but we could not come to an agreement. The Broncos refused to pull No. 44 out of retirement for me (what the fuck has Floyd Little done lately?), they wouldn't guarantee me a roster spot and their signing bonus was pitiful. OK, I am somewhat of a prima donna, but this prima donna runs a 5.9 40 and hits the hole like an ornery moth. Their loss.

In my stead, Denver has promoted Cory Boyd from the practice squad to team up with Tatum Bell, P.J. Pope and possibly Selvin Young. That is one imposing quartet, a veritable Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Selvin's once again promising that he'll see some action, but let's just say that I'm not holding my breath. He seems a little, ahem, dainty these days.

It's been exactly one month since Bell was signed, and I doubt my opinion could have changed more in that span. Last month I was less than thrilled about the addition of the suitcase-swindling, always-underachieving tailback. At this moment, after Peyton Hillis became the fifth(!) Bronco RB this season to head to IR, I'm suddenly on board the Tatum-Train.

Fun fact about Tatum Bell, courtesy of Mr. Fun Fact himself, Jim Armstrong: We've all heard that Bell was selling cell phones at the mall when the Broncos called him in, but Armstrong revealed that it was the Aurora Mall. I don't mean to go all snobby on my Front Range shopping centers, but to say the Aurora Mall is sort of past its prime is to say that Mike Shanahan sort of likes cigarettes and tanning beds. I just assumed that Tatum was slingin' Crackberries at Park Meadow, Flatiron, maybe Cherry Creek. No wonder he couldn't afford to buy his old jersey number back from Jack Williams.

Sweet, Carolina Two teams that have considerably fewer backfield issues than the Broncos are the Tennessee Titans and Denver's Sunday opponent, the Carolina Panthers. Both clubs have really bad-ass RB platoons that hammer defenses all afternoon long. Unfortunately, there is an unwritten rule in sports that really bad-ass RB platoons need really fucking lame nicknames along the lines of "Thunder and Lightning." And sometimes, those nicknames end up in conflict with one another in ways that test the boundaries of reason. I hope all my fellow Prop 8 opponents will allow me to traffic in debunked cultural stereotypes: What you're about to read may be the gayest thing of all time.

Beat writers kind of have it made--free food, lots of free travel, and great free seats at every single game. Then they just write up what they saw in an easy-to-memorize formula with lots of overbaked cliches. Pretty good gig. All jobs, however, have their shitty aspects, and beat writers have two particularly gruesome ones. The first is massive amounts of naked athlete junk, which is a fairly disgusting occupational hazard. The other is the fact that pro athletes are mostly ignorant, illiterate, disrespectful, petty and juvenile. I have no doubt that when Lendale White heard that some other NFL team had the fucking audacity to steal his amazingly original intellectual property, he was genuinely hurt. And that is sad, because Smash and Dash is the kind of thing that 13-year-old boys think is the best (this comes from someone that proudly sported a Three Amigos shirt at 13) but the rest of us should sort of let go.

ANYWAY, my favorite part of that ESPN story was the comments section, where many, many Carolina fans jumped in to defend Smash and Dash as their sacred birthright. They even provided a footnoted timeline and documentation of the lineage of Smash and Dash. There is more scholarly research going into Smash and Dash copyright law than the human genome. And the epicenter of the field is Carolina Growl. Go there at your own risk, the more time I spent the more I wanted to put on a skintight cat suit and lick syrup off of a statue of a Confederate general. I know random message boards are not indicative of entire fanbases, but I feel comfortable in saying that your average Panther fan is a raving nutcase willing to duel over Smash and Dash. I'm pretty sure this controversy has led the Charlotte nightly news all week long, ahead of arrested governors and abducted toddlers.

What, pray tell, does this have to do with the Broncos-Panthers game Sunday? Not a damn thing. I just feel that Panther fans are major-league queers. That is all.

Fantasyland To all of you kicking off your fantasy football playoffs this week, congratulations and kiss my ass. While I hit home runs with my selections of Drew Brees, Anquan Boldin, Chris Johnson (that's "Dash" to you) and Eddie Royal, my downfall came via Steven Jackson, Torry Holt (yes, I picked TWO St. Louis Rams), and Carson Palmer (this league starts 2 QBs, I ended up platooning Frerotte and Orton, please stop laughing).

While my fantasy football management skills have diminished with the ball of marriage and chain of impending fatherhood, I'm still savvy enough to recognize its validity as a pastime. Let's go back to our pal Jim Armstrong, a sportswriter I once enjoyed due to his Palinesque "Joe Sixpack" schtick. Jimmy spoke for the average fan, don'tchaknow? As with most of the initial assessments I make, I was dead wrong about Jim Armstrong, who's the phoniest phony fuck you ever saw.

In his latest "blog" entry, Jimmy gave us this salient morsel concerning the Denver RB mess:

Three words of advice, fantasy-league nation: Don't go there.
Thanks, Jimmy, but I'll take my fantasy tips from someone who actually plays the game. Someone who doesn't look down upon "fantasy-league nation" with disdain and derision. You think that because you have access to the locker room you have some insight for a hobby played by nerds, dorks, and nobodies in their mom's basements? It's all about the numbers, Bubba! Just because you talked about fly-fishing with Ed McCaffrey once doesn't mean you know jack shit about fantasy football. So head on back to the press box, big guy, suck down another sausage with mustard and kraut, and regale us with tales for the common man.

If you want to know what Jim Armstrong thinks of you--you blog-reading, fantasy-playing, born-after-1959 sports fan, you--enjoy this masterpiece from Fire Joe Morgan. FJM retired a month or so ago, and I never even raised a glass to their excellence. Were there any justice in the world, this shitty blog would have shut down and FJM would remain. Sorry, America, you're stuck with us. And Jim Armstrong. Lousy freedom of the press...

What Up Big Herm? This is old news out there in Chief Nation, but I got a pretty big kick out of the rumors that Coach Herman may be the next coach at San Diego State. When asked about it:
"I've got a college team right now that I'm coaching," the embattled leader of the very youthful and 1-10 Kansas City Chiefs said with a laugh. "Next question."
Zing! Also causing consternation in Kansas City is the playing surface at Arrowhead Stadium. Apparently Bob Stoops and Gary Pinkel gave it a big thumbs-down following the Big XII Championship last Saturday, but college coaches (write this down, Herm) are by nature grumpy control freaks. They HATE anything they can't control.

Should Arrowhead just install the Fieldturf? I tend to think this is a rash step, because then you'll have to truck in alfalfa to feed the cheerleaders. ZING!

Real briefly, that last link came courtesy of The Pitch, the KC version of Westword. This publication is on the cutting edge of cock coverage.

The Perfect Season Your mighty Detroit Lions are close, and I did not want to jinx it until the record was in our sights. Expect the full-court HoG press on the Quest for the Impossible Dream soon, but in the meantime tell us your opinion in the Comments. What do you think, football fans? Can Detroit run the table, or will they stumble and win a game? Commenting is fun--you can cuss and make wildly untrue accusations about anyone. Just don't act like a total homo Panthers fan and ramble on about nicknames.


bankmeister said...

That post was horrible but at least it was really long.

old no. 7 said...