1. The Houston Texans are truly a cursed club…if only because I cursed out Quarterback Matt Schaub on Sunday. As the clock was turning zero on a pending 25-20 home defeat at the hands of the Oakland Raiders, Schaub was rolling to his left desperately looking for someone in the end zone who could steal the Texans a last-play triumph. From my seat on the sofa, Matt had enough green grass in front of him to entertain an entire herd of Texas steers quite comfortably. One pump fake on a lone defender and he could easily run in the winning TD. Instead, he continued his panicked, manic rollout and eventually deposited an end-zone strike…to a Raider. How sure was I he had enough room to score with his legs? With no rooting interest either from a fan or fantasy football standpoint, I found myself screaming “RUN” at the top of my lungs. I don’t recall screaming like that in years. With no passion whatsoever for the moment, I kept screaming “RUN, RUN” at the top of my lungs. My wife, who long ago became used to all sorts of my “activities” while watching NFL Red Zone each Sunday (and certainly has had her share of memorable moments when HER fantasy team players fail to perform as directed) looked at me like I had just spontaneously combusted into flames.
“Are you OK?” “Yeah, I don’t know what got into me. He just had so…much…room…to…RUN.”
2. The Detroit Lions are 5-0 for the first time since dinosaurs roamed the Earth and all the stories are once more rolling out like autos off the Motor City’s assembly lines about what a great Renaissance it is for the city. USA Today had a cover story Monday called “Detroit Rising.” Saw much the same thing when the Detroit Tigers started to get their act together awhile back…or when in-state Michigan State makes an NCAA Final Four. Be serious. Even the people who live in the area throw cold water on this sports success = fixing distressed city nonsense. In fact, if you dig into the USA Today article you find many statistics about Detroit itself way more eye-popping than the ones QB Matthew Stafford, WR Calvin Johnson, etc. are racking up. I do not want to rain on the Lions’ great start on the field but would caution Stafford is more injury-prone than University of Michigan grad Gerald Ford and if he goes down the Lions’ roar will become a whimper. His health is crucial to their long-term success. As for the health of Detroit being advanced by a football team winning games…the former mayor and his cronies have or are in the process of making reservations not at local hotels but local prisons…a population of 2 million is now down to 700,000 or so, with 38% living below the poverty line…and it retains the title of “Most Violent City” as it struggles to pay for sufficient law enforcement among other basic human services. It’s hard to celebrate these Lions’ victories when you’re hospitalized…or dead.
Please stop with the “sports success saves cities” nonsense. It is insulting to those of us with brains.
3. You didn’t think I’d get through the week without once more highlighting this series’ favorite squad the “J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets” did you? The good news is the Jets lost to the Patriots outright 30-21 on Sunday with no New York player being the best player New England could possibly have hoped for. It was a team loss. The bad news is the alleged “mutiny” the Jets’ WR’s staged earlier in the week by complaining to Head Coach Rex Ryan about Offensive Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and his system. Santonio Holmes, Plaxico Burress and Derrick Mason all were called out as calling out the offensive scheme…and all denied anything happened, as did the afore-mentioned coaches. Mason was almost non-existent on the field Sunday. Coincidence? In any event, some in New York are now referring to this receiving corps as the “Aging Amigos.”
Rex, perhaps your Super Bowl yakking could get tabled until your team at least gets back to playing .500 ball?
And..even though this is just supposed to be “3 Things” I can’t help myself but give a bonus shout-out to that other Super Bowl pretender in the Meadowlands, the New York Football Giants. The Seattle Seahawks had previously lost 11 of their prior 12 games in the Eastern U.S. and were 0-6 against the NFC East in their last six meetings. That is…until Sunday when the Giants tossed their helmets out on the field expecting an easy win and had them handed back to the tune of a 36-25 loss. Seattle even lost starting quarterback Tarvaris Jackson and beat New York with backup Charlie Whitehurst. Seahawks’ Defensive End Anthony Hargrove obviously was “feeling it” afterwards saying, “This sends out a memo to everybody in the league that you gotta play 60 minutes when you play the Seattle Seahawks.” True, Anthony. League rules pretty much spell out you have to play sixty minutes when you play everyone. I might add that as horrific as the G-Men played they were actually driving for the winning score until WR Victor Cruz mishandled a pass near the goal line and Seattle CB Brandon Browner cruised 94 yards for the clincher with a minute remaining.
Giants’ Head Coach Tom Coughlin won’t be happy this week. Oh wait, he’s never happy. Never mind.