Sunday, January 27, 2008

SB XLII Notes: 1 week to go, aka the Worst Sunday of the Year

I think we all can agree that the Sunday of the bye week between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl is the equivalent of pigskin purgatory: not quite as painful as the interminable hell that is the off season, yet not nearly as satisfying as the certainty of being able to watch a football game on any given Sunday between early August and mid-January.

After a week of unending commentary, relentless analysis, continuous comparisons and sorry soundbites, I'm so ready for some football that I had to replay the Pats/Giants game from Week 17 just to remind myself that New England has a chance to win the latest installment of the Big Game.

Because everywhere I go, from my son's Little League field to my office, and everything I watch and listen to, from ESPN to sports talk radio, I am subject to some form of the following phrase:

"granted, New England should win this one, but if the Giants can just...(insert some form of ingenious scheme or gameplan that they assume Belichick hadn't already thought of three years ago here)"


"(noticing Pats visor on my head) Patriots...psssssshhhhh, they suck. They cheat and they suck, and the Giants are gonna beat them this time 'cuz they nearly beat em in that last game of the season...(grinning idiotically)"

Which begs a question I've been asking myself after seeing the vitriol directed towards Boston sports fans lately: which is really worse, the Boston fans or the Boston fan bashers?

Check out the Deadspin comment board at any given hour to learn the answer to that one.

But I digress. The three major "news" stories related to the game this off week have focused on Brady's bum ankle, the fact that he brought cheesy flowers to Giselle's pad while flaunting his boot, and Plaxico Burress brazenly (i.e. foolishly) stating that he believes the G-Men have a better receiving corps than New England.

See what I mean. Purgatory.

But I would be a fool, or at least a terrible blogger, if I didn't throw a post into this football vacuum, so here's my takes on the major topics, and my ever-reliable prediction for each:

-Brady's ankle improving, chances of playing remains at 100%
Look, enough already, we get it -- Tom injured his ankle in the AFC Championship Game, which explains why he turned into Kerry Collins for a little bit, and he certainly tweaked it enough to merit some medical concern-- but to sit around harping about the chances of the injury affecting him come Sunday, or whether or not he's good enough to beat Eli Manning even if he's not, is a complete waste of time, words and breath.

In fact, the more everyone talks about it, the more I'm convinced there is absolutely nothing wrong with the man, and he and Belichick and the team are merely playing it up, you know, for shits & giggles. When you think about it Brady has been playing it so coyly, from a public appearance on the streets of New York with the boot then partying at Butter later that night sans said bulky footwear, to no-showing for a couple of practices but then greeting fans at a rally with no signs of a limp, that it makes perfect sense.

My guess: by next Sunday the story will have been so beaten to death even Britney Spears will have tired of hearing about it, and Brady will show no ill-effects of the phantom sprain as he picks apart the Giants d-backs like he chooses the next mother of his love child.

-Plexiglass Burress makes expensive comments his teammates can't cash Hey, Plex, look you had a nice game last week, and you've had a nice season, and you are a tall, tough receiver who can come down with a big catch or strive for that extra yard when you're team needs it...

...but when you say that you believe that your teammates and yourself constitute a better receiving corps than the Patriots collection of Pro-Bowlers and record-holders, well people dismiss your accomplishments and just think you're a fucking idiot.

Forget the fact that statistically speaking the New York receivers come up short in ever major category, (see NFL rankings chart for yourself):

: 4859(1)/3376(22)
REC: 440(2)/302(23)
TDs: 50(1)/23(14)
YPG: 304(1)/211(22)

and focus on the fact that Burress, New York's #1 target, isn't even better than Moss, Boston's primary weapon. In fact, Burress' numbers are more on par with Wes Welker's as far as yards and TDs (although Welker caught 42 more passes then Plexiglass), and the stats of Brady's 3rd & 4th options (Stallworth and Kevin Faulk) or 5th & 6th choices (Gaffney and Ben Watson) are comparable to Burress and his backup band of Armani Toomer, Jeremy Shockless, Sinorice Moss and Derrick Ward.

MY Guess: this boast will blow up in Burress' face in the same way that Anthony 'Memba me? Smith's and Igor the Idiot Olshansky's did this year, and Burress will admit to smoking too much winter green the morning before that press conference.

-Brady bringing flowers was bigger story than the boot
This is what happens when you've got scum-sucking leeches like TMZ dovetailing their coverage of skanky celebs and coked-out starlets into the sports world. Instead of just leaving it at "oh shit, Tom's in a walking boot", now we've got a debate about why he's bringing pansies to his girlie's house, and how come he's always holding little doggie and...oh just shoot me now.

my prediction: this story will still be talked about long after the Super Bowl ends, because after the Pats win their 4th championship, this is the type of shit the haters will have to hold on to.

One. More. Week.

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