Posts Tagged ‘Michael Vick’

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Patriots 38, Eagles 21 (Embarrassed, mostly)

November 29, 2011

Belichick just consistently winning.

Going into this game, you had to like New England’s chances no matter
who started at Quarterback  for the Eagles. One guy literally ran a
dogfighting ring in his backyard, while the other quit on his team
last year, and nearly required an Amber alert when nobody could find
him, and friends thought him to be suicidal. In the old 50/50
psychopath coin flip, the Patriots landed on Vince Young. For the
record, we have a QB who scored a 6 on the Wonderlic (if you’re not
familiar with the test, think one of those annoying internet IQ pop up
ads, for a 4th grader) versus Bill Belichick… arguably the greatest
football mind, ever. This was like Ken Jennings going up against that
supercomputer, Watson, and not even being able to buzz in because it’s
so rigged. Yes, that’s the first and last time Vince Young is Ken
Jennings in any analogy.

Two plays after thinking that, Vince obviously lobbed a 60 yard tear
drop from God himself onto the fingertips of Riley Cooper to set up
the Eagles first touchdown of the day.

After the opening drive stalled on third down by the Pats, it got me
thinking, “Didn’t we use to score a touchdown on opening drives like,
all the time?” Then I thought, “Do we ever do that any more?!” Sure
enough, the Patriots have not scored a touchdown on their opening
drive of the game since week 4 against Oakland (9 plays, 80 yards).
Since then, the Pats have only scored two touchdowns in all the first
quarters of all their games. The 2011 Patriots offense is the 2007
Patriots offense, with a new ignition. Once it gets going, it can
still hum like the old Ferrari in the garage, you just have to worry
that early deficits catch up to this team in the playoffs.

Dan Dierdorff kept describing hits on Brady as, “paying the price for
delivering that throw,” while replays showed Tom being wrapped up and
gently laid upon the grass. Color commentators nowadays love
galvanizing any player/play as games go along. Has Roger Goodell taken
his fuhrer status to the level of spreading the propaganda that no
matter what happens on a football field, it is exciting and
hard-hitting? I’m also tired of hearing how every punk in the league
has matured and truly loves the game. Vince Young apparently did this
over the off-season.

The offside/false start debate has gotten out of control. Philadelphia
dove onto an unhiked ball and it took a minute for the refs to sort
out the penalty. Do these refs really forget why they threw the flag
just because one team is pointing at the other guy?

Benjarvus Green-Ellis is the anti-Maroney if I’ve ever seen it. He
never loses yards, and almost always puts his head down and gets his 4
yards, as evidenced on the Patriots first TD drive capped by, you
guessed it a 4 yard TD run. Sorry about the 4 yard repetitiveness, but
CBS also flashed Benjarvus’ game stats after the drive: 10 rushes for
41 yards. Yup, a 4.1 yard per carry average. On the season, he’s at
3.9 yards per carry, and for his career he currently sits at 4.1.
Sure, he rarely breaks a big run, but with the Patriots passing game
the offense only needs consistency on the ground.

In the second quarter, some dude named Tiquan Underwood, who we signed
because Ochozero was inactive, dropped a wide open touchdown. He
apparently plays football professionally, and somehow smiled his way
back to the huddle. Which is interesting, because I doubt he smiles
when he finds the pink slip in his locker this week.

On the very next play Brady slid in the pocket, directed Branch
mid-route, and hit him along the sidelines uncovered, to walk in for
the touchdown… only it’s not 2004, and Deion Branch now rumbles down
the sidelines like Vince Wilfork trapped in a skinny wide receiver’s
body, so he cuts and trucks and falls to the one yard line.
Thankfully, Benjarvus strolled into the end zone on the next play,
hurting his 4 yard-per-carry average, but getting him a touchdown.

After a sideline interception, New England drove downfield only to
have a long third down pass go through Wes Welker’s hands. This led to
a 39 yard FG for Gostkowski, which he promptly pushed wide, leading to
a Tom Brady sideline triple-swear consisting of the one that rhymes
with hit, followed by a double F-bomb. Stephen Gostkowski has become
the Jonathan Papelbon of the Patriots. If your heart isn’t in your
throat every time he comes on the field (including PATs) you’ve got
better blood pressure than me.

Tom and Wes made their third TD drive much easier… Brady play action,
Welker undresses a cornerback, wide open touchdown strike. Nnamdi
Asomugha may have been hampered by injury, and mostly used to cover
Gronkowski underneath, but the Eagles secondary somehow managed to
look worse than the Patriots in this game.

Vince Young marched Philly right down field before the halftime
two-minute warning, gouging the Patriots secondary with the same exact
play four times in the drive. Yet, in classic Belichick
bend-but-don’t-break fashion, DeSean Jackson had a wide open touchdown
go off his hands because he had T-Rex arms anticipating a big hit. One
obvious about Jackson (and the reason he didn’t get a huge contract in
the off-season) he’s unreal in the open field, but he’s a different
player going across the middle. He also ended up getting benched in
the fourth quarter because of plays like this.

For all their troubles on opening drives of the game, the Patriots
were surgical driving downfield to open the half. Brady moved so
quickly down field one of the Eagles D-Linemen went down with a calf
cramp. To me, this is always one of the funniest sights on a football
field: a 300 pound man crippled by a calf cramp and tapping the muscle
as his leg flails out, unbending from pain as he screams for, “The
little white dude who rubs these things out!”

The second half turned into such a boring blowout that Gronk forgot to
be excited on his fourth quarter touchdown. After nonchalantly walking
towards teammates, it looked like someone had to remind him about his
signature spike.

Losing yesterday and dropping to 4-7 ended any hope the Eagles had at
the playoffs. After beating the rival Giants last week, it was
shocking how quickly the team quit yesterday. Andy Reid has earned the
right after 13 yearsto walk away from this mess of a team after the
season.

New England will be hard-pressed to lose a game the rest of the
season. These next five weeks against Indianapolis, Washington,
Denver, Miami, Buffalo and the Sisters of the Poor should be spent
getting healthy, fine-tuning the offensive problems early, and the
secondary problems always.

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Tom Brady Playing Madden, in the NFL

September 21, 2011

Two games: 940 passing yards, seven touchdowns. No, these aren’t the stats of my last two online Madden games (I’d clearly top those, let’s get real) they are real life NFL stats. Easily the top story in the NFL that nobody seems to be talking about is the dismantling of opposing defenses at the gilded hands of Sir Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr. (knighted in [New] England for his play. This parenthetical usage got awkward when I had to use a bracket, most likely improperly, to leave out the “New.” If you’re counting; including that semicolon, there have been six different grammatical conventions used inside these curvatures). Each pass seems to be guided by Hermes, Greek god of flight, as the ball nestles into receiver’s bosoms en route to first down after first down, resulting in touchdown. For whatever reason, the media and experts seem to have glanced over Brady’s two-week feat like a pubescent teen seeing an article in Playboy (as opposed to a grown man, who obviously reads Playboy for the articles).

Any time I can get a Playboy reference into a football blog, you know Sara Jean Underwood's cover is coming next...

The numbers are staggering, mind-boggling, obnoxious or any other expression synonymous for “insane as Van Gogh on an acid trip.” Referencing an artist is no coincidence. Tom Brady has been making the Mona Lisa look average (sidenote: the Mona Lisa is a pretty average-to-ugly chick. Does anyone know how it’s the most popular, highest insured painting ever? Like, you’re at a bar, Mona’s just sitting there, hands on her lap, and she isn’t getting two looks from anyone but your fat, blacked out friend who is convinced she’s smirking at him). Brady is throwing at such an indorinate amount of yards, he could be held to just fourteen in his upcoming matchup with the Bills and STILL be on pace to break Dan Marino’s single-season passing yards record.

For whatever reason, and perhaps it’s just my New England bias, Peyton Manning’s neck, Michael Vick’s concussion, Tony Romo’s lung, or Cam Newton’s 0-2 record have captured all the story lines in the NFL. Meanwhile, all Brady’s done is win AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors in back-to-back weeks. With Buffalo, (who just allowed 35 points to Jason Campbell’s Raiders) next on the leger, a three-peat of that award should shock no one. The question that needs to be asked is: are we about to see the best offensive performance EVER by a football team? Here are five reasons why the answer is yes.

1: Nobody has ever played QB better.

Tom Brady has a home winning streak (29 games)  that makes Charlie Sheen look like a loser. In his last 10 regular season games, he has had a QB rating of 110 or better in all but one. That ONE being a 107 in a 34-3 win against Buffalo where he threw three touchdowns and no picks. In Dan Marino’s record-setting yardage (5,084) and touchdown season (48, since broken by Manning then Brady), he had a 100+ rating in 9 of his 16 games.

2. The Patriots Defense Sucks

While Brady has been the gold-standard for quarterback statistics, the Patriots defense has tried their best to make opponents look as good. In two weeks, Brady, with his ridiculous numbers has only thrown for 144 more yards than his defense has allowed. This means you better get used to offensive explosions that would make Michael Bay proud. It’s not absurd to think Brady has many more 400+ yards games in his back pocket, as the last game against San Diego, he went the entire third quarter with just two possessions, one being a three and out.

3. Don’t Worry- Opposing Defenses Suck, Too!

That little lockout thing really got in the way of defenses being able to come together as units. Every team in the league is throwing the ball all over the place. Four different Quarterbacks not named Brady are also on pace to break Marino’s record. Cam Newton, the rookie phenom who critics said couldn’t throw at the NFL level, has only gone out and thrown for 422 and 432 yards respectively in his two times stepping onto an NFL field. Ryan Fitzpatrick (Bills) and Matthew Stafford (Lions) are tied with Brady for the NFL lead in touchdown passes, and best record of 2-0. Nothing seems to be making much sense. The outlier here is that you could see this coming from Brady, not the rest of the league.

4. Patriots Receivers are Really, Really Good

New England is the only team in the league without a dropped pass. Wes Welker and Deion Branch, neither of whom tops 5’9”, are both averaging over 100 yards receiving per game. Hybrid Tight End Aaron Hernandez is splitting wide like a receiver and burning secondaries just as quickly, with two scores and an over 80 yards per game average. Behemoth Tight End Rob Gronkowski leads the NFL in touchdown receptions, tweets at Kate Upton–> http://bit.ly/p9rg2G, attendance at frat parties–> http://bit.ly/lL7yWY, and you guessed it, he’s in the top 20 with the above players in yards receiving. This hasn’t even brought us to Chad Ochocinco, the most well-known Patriot receiver. Ocho should finally know the playbook by Week 5, once he’s done tweeting his every move and buying his gold-digging fiancee, Evelyn Lozado, the stuff Antoine Walker could no longer afford. The scariest part here, is that Brady hasn’t even clicked with all his weapons. Additionally the offense has looked rusty on some of their wide receiver/running back screens that normally gouge defenses at key points.

5. Bill Belichick

We saw it in 2007, and we are about to see it this year. Not necessarily the 16-0 record, because this defense won’t be good enough, but definitely the unconscionable ability to show no mercy on a scoreboard. At this point in both Brady and Belichicks careers, they have seen everything, heard all the detractors, and decided to flip them the finger, in unison. If you don’t think records mean anything to Bill and Tom, just look at the way scores were run up in that 2007 season while Brady ran play action at the 1 yard line for TDs. Belichick is a football historian, and he knows full well the records within the team’s grasp this season.

Not to mention Kate Upton within Gronk's grasp.

Stay tuned…

 

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Mike Vick: Dog Fighter, Football Player, Freak of Inhuman Nature

November 16, 2010

Wowwww. No, I’m not raving about that this blog title’s alliteration. I’m not even talking about the one word that comes to mind after you’ve been blue-blogged for over a week without my words that bludgeon like a hammer yet slice like a scalpel (much like the hotness of Olivia Wilde). I’m talking about the collective thoughts of football fans, nay, Americans after the display Mike Vick put on last night.

I know it's been a while since the last blog, but don't do anything prematurely, like stop reading.

Unless you’ve been trapped in a mine for the last 4 years, you know all about Mike Vick. He became the ultimate tale of athlete-with-unlimited-potential-who-couldn’t-escape-his-friends. If what happened on Vick’s Virginia estate doesn’t best exemplify the age-old expression “you can take the thug out of his hood, but you can’t take the hood out of the thug” then I don’t know what does. You had a guy who just signed a 10 year $130 million deal, the richest in NFL history. You had a guy with an entire Nike marketing campaign based on the “Mike Vick Experience.” which became a Disney themepark ride.

Unfortunately, you also had a guy whose friends were digging dog graves in his backyard, and electrocuting, drowning and beating pitbulls to death in his basements cement pits. You had a guy who lost all that

This is not how you want your name to appear on an SI cover

money, and that really awesome theme-ride. Above all things, I think the theme-ride is the biggest loss. You know you’re at a new level of awesome when Disney designs a rollercoaster named “The (Insert Name of Awesome Person) Experience.” Yes, I have a new goal for this blog. I also like to think in some fairytale world, Disney saved the ride, and waited for something amazing to happen in Vick’s life.

Last night, Disney may have gotten just that moment. It’s taken almost four years for Mike Vick to absolve himself from his sins. Since I’m a Catholic, and since I don’t particularly like dogs, I have forgiven Vick. In no way does that previous sentence mean I don’t think what he did was inhuman, but really, nothing Vick ever did on a field made me think he was a human. Anyway, on the first play of the game, Vick ran a play-action fake, set his feet, bounced once, patted the ball and rocketed the pigskin with his mesmerizing lefty release over 60 yards in the air to a barely open receiver, who did the easy work from there. ESPN showed the “Drive Summary:” 1 play, 88 yards. TD. I’ve seen longer summaries of Haiku’s on Spark Notes.

All that happened in the rest of the first quarter was Vick rushing for a touchdown using his 4.29 40 speed on the next drive. Then after an interception, Vick threw another, less spectacular, equally frustrating touchdown. After Redskins defenders were as successful at catching Vick as Wile E. Coyote on painkillers, Vick slipped a shovel pass TD to his receiver. By the time Vick got the ball to start the second quarter, his team was winning 28-0.

In between the quarters, a friend texted me saying simply, “Mike. Vick.” I responded with “Amazing.” Three words. Two texts. One brilliant performance… and that was just the first quarter. On the first play of the second quarter, Vick decided he wasn’t done. He threw a 50 yard bomb to a receiver being double covered, to the only place where it could be caught for a touchdown. It was caught for a touchdown, and Mike Vick already had three passing TDs and one rushing. For the rest of the game, the announcers simply laughed while lauding the effort of an athlete we weren’t sure we would ever get to see again.

His final box score line made fantasy owners everywhere pause for a moment of silence. 20-28 for 333 yards and 4 pass TDs. Eight rushes for 80 yards and 2 rush TDs. It was like watching a video game come to life. But even those gaudy numbers don’t do the “Mike Vick Experience” justice. After the game, Vick’s wide receiver DeSean Jackson made the freudian slip of describing his teammates play as that of “pit bulls.” It might be a shame that even on a night where Mike Vick’s talents were on full display, his past can’t escape him. It also might be fitting, because it’s the only thing on a field he can’t escape.

Life is all about learning from mistakes. The first time, you complain about ugly girls at a bar. The next time, you drink more. For Mike Vick, he learned from a mistake most of us can’t fathom. Can’t fathom fighting dogs. Can’t fathom letting our friends leech off of us. Can’t fathom two years in jail. Can’t fathom $130 Million dollars. Can’t fathom having our own rollercoaster ride. Unfortunately for the NFL, they can’t fathom a way to stop Mike Vick now that he’s not behind bars.