NEW YORK, NY – This year I’m on a mission, and a very difficult one at that. My objective is to not be so dark and negative about things. If 2012 taught me one thing (and scores of algebra teachers will tell you that it’s hard to teach me anything) it’s that life is fleeting and we should appreciate all that we have. I’m trying to apply these same principles to sports, and thus far it has not been easy. Here’s what I’m talking about…
Vikes-a-done. Coming off a three-win season, my Minnesota Vikings miraculously made it to the playoffs this year as one-man wrecking crew Adrian Peterson came up nine yards shy of the single-season rushing record. So I’m all primed for their game with Green Bay last Saturday night only to find that starting QB Christian Ponder is a no-go. No big deal, I think, maybe backup Joe Webb’s rushing skills will give the Pack fits. Turns out, either Webb or the coaches had different plans. After successfully running down the field the first drive, Webb took to the air with an assault of dying quails and worm-burners not seen since Bob Avellini QB’d the Bears. In retrospect Minnesota very well may have been able to win that game had Ponder played. No sense crying over spilled milk. There’s always next year.
Fantasy Flops. My Fantasy Football Pool had its annual playoff pool draft, where we only draft players on teams in the post-season. I thought I had a pretty good haul, getting Aaron Rodgers with the second pick overall and picking up guys like Cincy receiver A.J. Green and bruising Redskins running back Alfred Morris with later picks. So what happens? The Packers decide to run the ball and dink and dunk their way down the field as Rodgers throws for single short TD. Cincinnati, meanwhile, inexplicably completely ignores their all-world receiver Green in the first half. By the time they figured out they should throw it to him, they were busy making golf reservations. Then Sunday night Morris, looking like a black John Riggins, shreds Seattle’s defense on the opening drive. So what does Mike Shanahan do? He sacrifices his injured franchise quarterback with a series of ill-conceived runs and forgets about Morris. The Skins never did truly return to Morris as they squandered a two touchdown lead to a team with an injured kicker and lost the game. I don’t understand how some of these coaches keep their jobs. Not happy about this, but what can you do.
I Dig Chix. Monday I was thinking of quelling any potential simmering rage with some comfort food. Problem is, while I was down in Florida I really developed a taste for Chik-Fil-A and their signature chicken sandwich. I am serious, I have been pretty good at avoiding fast food of late but this simple sandwich (chicken breast on a bun with pickles) is awesome. So, basically, that’s all I wanted. Problem is, there’s only one Chick-Fil-A in New York at it’s down at NYU. Not knowing whether I could even enter this University dining facility and purchase a sandwich with cash was enough to quash any potential trip down there. If anyone can advise me on this, I would appreciate it. I’m not going to get upset until I know for a fact that I can’t have one. (Just checked and it seems like I can. This positive attitude is already paying dividends.)
NHL on Earth. The NHL lockout is over. Praise be to Yim. But, should we really forgive and forget? I’m trying not to be negative but I tend to agree with Johnny Rox on this and other sports strikes: at some point the fans need to band together and send a message by picking a night and not attending a single game. Doubt it will ever happen but it’s nice to think about.
Roll Tide. Grote gave you the bloody blow-by-blow on college football’s National Championship Game yesterday as Alabama, in keeping with their lumbering elephant mascot, trampled Notre Dame. I watched enough of the game to know that the Irish were as over-matched as an eight-year-old one-legged mute in a shower with Jerry Sandusky. For most, this game was a lose-lose in that there are no shortage of Bama and Gold Dome haters out there. For me personally, the lesser of two evils won. I can’t stand Nick Saban, but at least I rarely run into Crimson Tide supporters in the Northeast. Once more with feeling: Roll Tide!