It's all over but the crying.
If the games themselves on Week 17 were only occasionally exciting, the Greeby Time Pick-Em (version 5.0) came right down to the wire. This week was won by Osvin Torres, who has participated for years. He’s a Jets fan – one of a few who don’t wear silver fire chief hats to the games, that is – and specifically requested a picture of “Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart or Vince Young” wearing a Jets uniform. While I don’t have the time or inclination to indulge that specifically, the Jets need help – and quarterback is certainly one place they can address that need. (No chance they get Reggie Bush unless they trade up.) So, accordingly, I give you the potential Jets QB of the future:
For the record, I love this picture. Not only does Leinart look like a complete turd, but this girl he’s hanging on top of is clearly leading him on and enjoying the attention. But what really sells it is the look of the other woman in the photo, apparently the first girl’s friend. Not happy. She looks like a LOT of fun. This cracks me right up.
As for the season, we have our first ever TIE! That’s right - Judge Ito and Mommy and Me tied for first, with Mommy and Me’s husband (whose birthday is also today) Team T’s Todd Shriber coming in third. That’s a big win for the Shriber household, but it’s worth mentioning to the Shribers that Judge Ito never won a single week. That’s truly the mark of consistency. Look here at pensive Judge Ito, and remember that his courtroom let O.J. run loose. For the Shribers, a picture of your child Theo, albeit a dated one (come visit!) Todd, if you have a photo of him in a Patriots jersey, I’ll post that also.
For the record, that means Amy and Scott each share 1st and 2nd place prize money ($450 and $250, or $350 apiece) and Todd gets the $75 for third place. Good times.
FYI, I hate all of you for being so much better than me at this.
Some thoughts on the season:
Has anyone ever had a season like Larry Johnson? He didn’t start a game until Week 9 – yes, halfway through the season -- and ended up with 1,750 yards and 17 TD. There have been flashes in the pan before (Kevan Barlow, Willis McGahee, I’m talking to you) but it seems impossible to not think we are looking at one of the great running backs here.
Hey Marty Schottenheimer – good plan to start Drew Brees in a game that meant nothing to you. Brees is out four months with surgery on his injured arm, and yet you STILL don’t really know if Phillip Rivers is capable or not. This is why you are a moron, in case you are wondering.
Just about the only reason I want Brett Favre to retire – aside from the fact that watching him stink up a bad team is pretty painful – is that if I have to listen to announcers extol the virtue of all that is Favre again, I might have a nervous breakdown.
That being said, for all those who talk about Dan Marino being the greatest quarterback based on stats, it’s hard to ignore Brett Favre who is second to Marino in every important category there and has a ring. I’m not sure he’s the greatest ever, and Chris Berman and Tom Jackson implored me to believe, but he’s up there. Yes, he is.
In terms of other big names retiring, I’m more inclined to give Jerome Bettis (5th all-time rushing leader) his props than Deion Sanders. Sure, Primetime was bigtime, and he changed the game back when he was really something, but he almost never tackled anyone and was – along with Michael Irvin – one of the worst parts of the NFL in the early 1990s. (Of course, when he helped the 49ers win in 1994, I was willing to overlook it. Same goes when he briefly played centerfield for the Giants. Hey, at least I admit this.)
After Frank Gore’s last two weeks, which coincided with the 49ers winning and knocking themselves out of the Reggie Bush sweepstakes, I must say I’m pretty happy with the graphic and headlines I’ve been seeing a lot: Who needs Bush when you’ve got Gore? Ah, so true, so true…but then, who would spy on domestic citizens and flaunt the very laws he says are so vital to our security? But…I digress. The reality of the 49ers is they will now have something like the sixth pick overall, which sounds heinous until you realize they are more than one player away, the first pick is just as often a bust as not (jury still out on Alex Smith) and the financial burden Reggie Bush will place on, say, the Texans is something the 49ers can’t handle, as they are just getting out of salary cap hell.
I’m thinking that moving Monday Night Football to ESPN would have been a non-event, save for the fact that it means I’ll have to listen more to Joe Theismann. Can we have a rule that after he starts spouting off about some nonsensical topic – like, for instance, that Jim Haslett (the appropriately fired coach of the Saints) should be Coach of the Year – that ESPN is forced to air footage of him breaking his leg, a clip he says he’s never seen? I’m pretty sure that would shut him up.
As for the playoffs, I did predict a Colts-Panthers match-up, and frankly this is one of the first years that both teams I chose even made the playoffs, so I have to feel good about that. But the Panthers are not looking that tough, despite their trouncing of the Falcons on Sunday. (By the way, what a horrible lay-down by that team, which went 6-2 to start the season and 2-6 to end it. Atrocious.) The Seahawks are the best bet now to make the Super Bowl, not just because of their bye but because they have homefield advantage and, of course, a hell of a team. I’ll stick with my original prediction, but it could just as easily be Seattle-New England.
I think it’s safe to say that if an NFC team wins the Super Bowl, mouths will drop everywhere. From Indy to Cincy to New England to Denver, those are four great teams, and Pittsburgh and Jacksonville – well, Pittsburgh – is a very good team. I don’t buy the Jags at ALL. That schedule is softer than Mariah Carey’s grasp on sanity. In the NFC, there are the Seahawks, and then a LOT of question marks. The Giants, Redskins, Panthers, Buccaneers and Bears are all incomplete teams. The Super Bowl might not be fun, but the games leading up to it should be fantastic.
In any event, hope you all enjoyed playing the pool this year, and congrats to all of those who beat me into submission. I'll leave you with this gem, and before you start salivating too much, know this: this is bin Laden's niece, or cousin or something. I'm not really sure. But I do know this -- this is just one more example of why the world is a complex place. Grr.