I happen to like Peyton Manning, so I wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t rooting for the Saints on Sunday. But watching them celebrate on the field, watching the fans celebrate back in New Orleans, it became apparent how much they mean to so many people. And I started to think about what their victory means to me.
I wanted to write something about the Super Bowl because, well, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the Super Bowl. I was thinking some predictions and whatnot, maybe a little analysis thrown in for good measure. But IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve immediately hit a brick wall.
The problem is that this can tend to sort of be a niche site, and football isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really a part of my niche. If this were the Super Bowl of horror movies, or the Super Bowl of high school basketball Ã¢â‚¬â€œ which, uh, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m actually going to next week Ã¢â‚¬â€œ then I wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have a problem. But itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the Super Bowl of football.
Here is my weekly look at what I saw from NFL Sunday. As usual, a reminder that IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m basically a football layman, and IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll also point out that I observed less than usual due to watching National LampoonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Christmas Vacation, possibly the greatest movie of all time, on Sunday.
As just about everyone did, I considered the death of Chris Henry to be a real shame. Obviously, Henry had something of a checkered past, but from all accounts was attempting to get his head on straight and his life in order, something all of us can appreciate.
Being on injured reserve and away from his team, he lapsed in his decision-making at the worst possible time.
Maybe thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s why I found it especially touching to see the efforts of Chad Ochocinco and Brandon Marshall, two other quirky Ã¢â‚¬â€œ to say the least Ã¢â‚¬â€œ wide receivers, to pay tribute to their fallen comrade.
Now donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get this twisted, I actually very much respect Derek Jeter. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s an excellent baseball player, keeps his name off Page 6, does a lot of charity work and has a work ethic I admire.
But Jeter as Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year? Either it was a slow year, or that Ã¢â‚¬Å“awardÃ¢â‚¬Â is a sham.
And it wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t a slow year.
Lots to talk about this week. LetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s get right into it.
As the Saints and Colts chase perfection, theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re doing it in a different fashion than the Patriots two years ago, and thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s probably a good thing, as theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re experiencing adversity.
After a one-week respite, letÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s get this party started. Hope all had an excellent holiday weekend.
Back in the day, before I had a job that caused me to work most Sundays and get up not before 1 in the afternoon, Football Sunday had a tremendous meaning in my week. Namely, it was a day I could completely devote to the supreme American pastime of drinking beer, eating fried foods at a sports bar and immersing myself in an entire day of watching overgrown men crash into each other. I started this tradition in high school Ã¢â‚¬â€œ minus, of course, the beer.
Of course, times change. As I said, I generally work on Sundays, and I sometimes get up after the games actually begin. I rarely drink, and itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s even more rare that I eat fried foods. I generally donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t like watching sports with loud fans around me. And it had been several years since I had given over nearly an entire day to watch football.
HereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s my weekly roundup of what I saw in football, starting with the latest nonsensical idea from a league commissioner. This turned into The Day After (thanks, day job).
Professional sports leagues constantly want to expand their horizons. The thinking is that the more people in more places that see your brand, the bigger market there is to sell jerseys and such. I get that.
But now I hear that the NFL may eventually want to move a team to London, and I think itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s an ambitious but preposterous sentiment.
As per usual, my look at the weekendÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s football games from a decidedly untrained eye, as evidenced by last weekÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s eulogy for the career of Tom Brady.
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s no secret that the Saints are currently the best team in football, as evidenced by their demolition of the previously unbeaten Giants. But just how good are they? What is the limit to their potential success?
HereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s my weekly look at the weekendÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s football games. Remember: I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t claim to actually know anything substantive about the sport.
A few years back, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady were the unquestioned kings of a sport in which quarterbacks are put on a pedestal. They were two golden gods with golden arms, leaders of men that handled thundering herds of massive men with a deft sidestep and a flick of their powerful wrists.
Again, some quick thoughts on the NFL. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not Ã¢â‚¬Å“the morning afterÃ¢â‚¬Â since I generally wake up after 1 p.m.
- IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve been a fan of Chad Pennington dating back to his Jets days. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s gutsy, smart and tough. I think my arm is stronger than his, but his guile and heady play have always set him apart in my opinion. He validated that last year by finishing runner-up for the MVP Award while leading an overachieving Dolphins team to 11 wins, a stunning turnaround and a division title. Pennington blended seamlessly with the Wildcat offense and was a joy to watch. But the problem with Chad has always been his inability to make it through two seasons in a row. And sadly, he was unable to prove the skeptics wrong in that regard. FootballÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a tough sport, and you canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t blame someone for having his shoulder shredded. But with Pennington paying greater attention to fitness at this stage of his career, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s just a bad break. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not sure weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll see him play again, and itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a real shame: Pennington is a gentleman and a fine player. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s just too bad that he lived up to his reputation, in a negative sense.