Monday, October 29, 2012

Football this 'n' that, and some baseball, too

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones should be enjoying a heaping helping of crow right about now.

Before the season began, Jones invited Cowboys fans to see their beloved team beat the defending Super Bowl champion NY Giants, and it was assumed that he'd open up the Temple of Excess, aka Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, so folks could watch the Sept. 5 season opener, which Dallas won. In truth, Jones was pointing to the rematch in Arlington, which took place yesterday.

Since losing opening night at the Meadowlands, the Giants had gone 5-1 to move into first place in the NFC East. Dallas, with 10 days off after the opener, lost to Seattle in their 2nd game, and have been, well, mediocre ever since. In the first quarter and a half on Sunday, they looked positively awful, as Big Blue raced to a 23-0 lead. Dallas sliced it to 23-10 at halftime, and came all the way back to take a 24-23 lead in the 4th quarter. The Giants had taken their collective foot off the throat, and it cost them dearly.

However, back come the Giants, with 2 late field goals, and they sweated out an apparent game-winning touchdown pass from Tony Romo to Dez Bryant, which was later ruled incomplete, as Bryant landed with his left hand out of bounds, to run their winning streak to 4 in a row, extending their lead in the division to 2 1/2 games.

Meanwhile, the Jets looked flatter than a stack of stale pancakes, as Miami earned a split of their season series, beating Gang Green 30-9 at the Meadowlands. At least the Dolphins kept the pressure on all day, as they were never threatened. The fans and the media are still calling for Rex Ryan to make a change at QB, from Mark Sanchez to Tim Tebow, but the defiant Ryan may be writing his ticket out of town sooner than he'd like by sticking with Sanchez, the 4th year signal caller out of USC, claiming Sanchez gives the Jets the best chance to win. With New England threatening to run away and hide in the AFC East again, the time for change is now.

On the other hand, Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid is a little more receptive to the prospect of changing QB's, after the other Gang Green lost again, 30-17, to unbeaten Atlanta. Michael Vick, we might as well admit, may not be the elite quarterback he was before going to prison, and may never be again, but at least Reid is willing to admit that he's open to making a change for the good of the team.

I'm sure you've heard by now that Denver QB Peyton Manning, who doesn't know how to make unannoying commercials, has bought nearly 2 dozen Papa John's Pizza locations. This on top of upstaging Papa John himself in one of those annoying ads that won't go away. What is it with an anti-telegenic guy like Manning and commercials? The ads he did for MasterCard were just lame, and it seems that all of a sudden, DirecTV has put aside the bits he did with Deion Sanders, probably because Peyton discovered that brother Eli actually makes him look bad in front of the cameras.

Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants, who won their 2nd World Series in 3 years Sunday in Detroit. For the Tigers, it was a bad case of deja vu. 6 years ago, they had a week's layoff before the Series vs. St. Louis, and were promptly dismissed. After sweeping out the Yankees in the ALCS, the Tigers again had a week's rest, and it cost them. They caught the Yankees' offensive disease. Their best pitcher, Justin Verlander, was rocked in game 1, and the Tigers never recovered.

As a nod to the Tri-City Valleycats, Giants right fielder Hunter Pence became the first alumni of the Astros' farm team to win a World Series title. Playing for his 3rd team in 2 seasons after being traded from Philadelphia in July, Pence became a media sensation with his pre-game ritual in the dugout. Like, who'dathunk? Of course, we should also note that there were two ex-Mets on the Giants' roster, too. Angel Pagan, we all know, was traded last offseason, but as noted before, NLCS MVP Marco Scutaro started his career in 2002 with the Amazin's. Since the Giants were gracious enough to bring the World Series trophy to Troy last year, there's no reason for them to do it again, but there are Giants fans in town that probably wouldn't mind.......

I cannot figure out oddsmakers. Atlanta was a home underdog against Philadelphia. On Saturday night, Notre Dame was a substantial road dog vs. Oklahoma. Both teams remained unbeaten, and you'd have been a fool not to have bet on them. I looked at the lines in the newspapers, and I'm, like, are these guys idiots, or what? Like, even Yogi Bear would've known better.

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