Welcome Back.

Lumberg Was Here Saturday, Where were You?

I suppose before I start I should bid farewell to Leslie Neilson.  I was an appreciator more than a die-hard fan.  He always struck me as someone who would have been far more funny in person, but he’s probably going to continue to be quoted for the rest of time, and how many people can say that?

So, did everyone watch football, or did they go with the alternate programming over the weekend?  I saw two very masculine movies in the theater over the weekend.  Morning Glory (Rachel McAdams is still cute) and Love and Other Drugs (So is Jake Gyllenhaal), but I put in plenty of time with the pigskin as well.  With playoff pictures crystallizing, here’s a handful of things that stuck out over the long holiday weekend…

1.  What did everyone make of the Andre Johnson v. Courtland Finnegan fight?  Considering the intensity of the NFL it is surprising a bit, at least to me, that these scuffles don’t happen more often.  I’m sure we’ll see some hefty fines and a suspension for this one (Could Johnson miss the Eagles game on Thursday?), but aside from that I couldn’t help but think how much the scene reminded me of a hockey game.  You had Finnegan playing to the crowd for taking out the opposition’s best receiver (too bad the Titans got shut out), the helmets came off like hockey gloves, and they even got a few swings in before it was broken up.  Of course if this happened in hockey, it may have made Sportscenter for a second or two, but then again it might not have.  Maybe they should keep a little ice rink at all sporting events and let the guys go at it on skates.

2.  Can anyone explain Dwayne Bowe to me?  I’m not talking about why he’s good.  I don’t really care if he’s good or not, but what I don’t understand is why teams can’t stop him.  I don’t watch Chiefs games, but I just find it amazing what Bowe is doing in the receiving game there.  Bowe had 13 catches Sunday.  No other Chief had more than 3.  He has 13 TDs in his last 7 games.  Is this the Chiefs running game?  Can you not game plan for Bowe?  It’s not like if you double Bowe Tony Moeaki is going to kill you…

3.  I said it was going to be a big week in the NFC.  Well, the Falcons were the big winners, anyone else, I’m not so sure.  I wish I knew a Bears fan.  I’d walk right up to them and tell them that the Bears stink.  Now, if that means that the Eagles stink and the NFC stinks, that is a consequence I will take, but don’t tell me Chicago is a good team, because they aren’t. The Eagles’ defense was dreadful on Sunday.  Whether it was the hurt corners, Stewart Bradley being terrible, or just the fact they aren’t that good…I’m not sure.  But, I won’t be giving any credit to the Bears any time soon.  Chicago is still going 9-7.  I’m sticking with it.  After a couple of weeks of rising NFC momentum, the feeling has peaked.  I’m off the NFC again.

4.  It appears that when the Giants and Eagles meet again it may be the game that decides not only the NFC East title, but also the final playoff spot in the conference, meaning the loser could go home.  The Saints have 8 wins.  Green Bay and Tampa have seven.  Is anyone confident two playoff teams are coming out of the East at this point?  The Redskins probably dropped out of it Sunday losing to the Vikings, the ‘Boys are long since dead.  That leaves NY and Philly. The Giants were lucky to escape Jacksonville on Sunday, and the Eagles played their worst game in a month.  One of these teams will get to eight wins when they play again, but how much more than that is it going to take to win the division? Surely 11 wins is out of the question for both these teams.  Is 10?

5.  College taste?  Auburn somehow escaped and Boise State ends up taking the loss.  Too good a weekend for the BCS?   Too good from my perspective.  I don’t mind Boise State losing.  I heard someone say this week if these teams like Boise are tired of complaining, they should figure out a way to get themselves into a major conference.  And, while it isn’t that simple, it’s an interesting point.  Don’t you think a part of Boise State relishes this role and really is in no hurry to become just another team in the Pac-10, or whatever the super-conference will be called?  I think to a certain extent ignorance is bliss for Boise fans.  In the Iron Bowl, I thought Alabama was going to beat Auburn, and if I did a college picks post, I would have picked them, but the Tigers pulled it out and passed Oregon in the rankings.  Cam Newton update?  Who cares, let’s just see the game.  Oregon v. Auburn.  Shoot.  Out.



11 thoughts on “Welcome Back.

  1. my thoughts: re – Andre Johnson v. Courtland Finnegan fight?

    sad, why do we – westerners- live in such an aggressive society? or have we always, and we just play politely on other fields.

    ughhh, my mom read me this interesting vick/ethics article from fridays inquirer (i think)…all these academics weighed in on how to morally and ethically view vick’s redemption and what he does on the field and how great a blemish his crimes are to humanity.

    anyhow, before i lose myself to nerdom, my point:
    this one academic said – hardest part of NFL is asking for the heightened fight of these men, on the field, and then ask that they remove it across other aspects of their lives. kind of hypocritical.

    it’s like asking tom cruise to stop acting like a pretty boy.

    it’s like saying, play lincoln park and kill you songs before the game and listen to classical music in a milk bath afterwards.

    conumdrum. oh, and should i mention fight/flight head injury responses here, or did i already beat that to a pulp on another post?

    i dont condone he fighting. i just have no answer that blames the individual. accountable fine. but the game is nasty. and that’s why we watch it. know that’s why many watch hockey too…

    • B/c there aren’t ever fights in other sports. Please google “Soccer riots” and review the various issues stemming from Europe to far east Asia. Or how about Zidane in the world cup finals? Stop with the “western society” BS.

      • zidane is western? no. i dunno. i mean, western society likes crusades no?

        hahahahahhaaa. okay. fine. i’m just saying.

        i’m just saying. the sport of football is ABOUT
        THE BIG HIT and TACKLES AND ESCAPING THE HIT SO A LIL BALL can make it down the field and SCORE.

        tres western. gigs. and sounds like BK, you woke up on the same wrong side of the bed as q. not the same bed, think mine was on the eastern side of civilization. giggle.


  2. On the fighting, I’m kind of surprised it doesn’t happen more often too. I wonder if there’s enough hitting in most circumstances that you get to take out your aggression in ways that are within the rules? In other words, if a DE and an OT are pissed off at each other they can pretty much fight on every play and it is considered legal. I wonder if it makes sense that this fight happened between a WR and a CB who don’t necessarily get to hit each other hard.

    On the helmet thing, I thought Finneran maybe inadvertently pulled Johnson’s helmet off and then Johnson flipped out? Maybe I’m wrong there but I thought the first helmet looked like kind of a consequence of the general hands-to-the-face stuff rather than intentional. Obviously Johnson intentionally pulled Finneran’s helmet off. I don’t rule out the possibility that I have this sequence backwards.

    If this fight had happened in a Kings-Blue Jackets game I say it doesn’t even make sportscenter. Certainly no one talks about how it “overshadowed the game.”

  3. Leslie Nielsen should have changed his name to frank drebin- naked gun was amazing.
    Agree on the bears, I don’t get it. And I watched the jags/gmen game: the jags pounded the giants in the first half at will, and then the 2nd half they had garrard throwing one 50 yd bomb again and again. Your receivers are sims-walker and Karin osgood, who is best known for special teams. I don’t understand it, I will never get it.

  4. I think that’s a good point about the aggression release on every play…

    on the Jags game. I was watching that in the first half and really patting myself on the back for picking the Jags. I thought I had the pick, thought they were going to win it outright. It was like a dream scenario for me.

    the way the 2nd half went, i’m surprised they didn’t blow the cover.

  5. Personally, i don’t think Johnson should be suspended. The argument is you “have to” based on future fights between players. That’s complete crap. Every situation is different. Johnson doesn’t have any history of anything like this and by all accounts just goes about his business barry sanders style. Finnegan is known as an instigator and dirty player. Was it a horrible scene? Was it wrong? Yes. Fine him, then say “b/c andre johnson has a clean record, has never had any issues like this before we are viewing this as a one time, abnormal situation and will not suspend him.” Done deal.

  6. well that would be very out of character for the NFL, I think. To actually look at a situation and break it down. They like to pretend things are black and white when they never are.

    I wonder if they have the stones to punish Finnegan more severely. We’ll see, I guess.

  7. Agreed it would be out of character, i just keep holding out hope for rational thought to take over in one situation.

    They definitely WON’T have the stones, even though he 100% deserves it.

  8. yeah, good for them.

    Nothing says Big East like TCU.

    But, all these conferences aren’t going to have any regional affiliation soon enough.

    The Big East probably needs TCU at this point for football. They’re going to send UConn to a BCS game this year?

    That’s a joke.

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