FLUSHING, NY – Lawd Have Murphy! … That was the name of the 1985 Eddie Murphy tour. I got a souvenir t-shirt from the Binghamton Arena show – which I wore out by summer’s end, but now I hope similar t-shirts are being drawn up to celebrate Daniel Murphy (though would he object to the “Lawd” part?). He’s this year’s MadBum, carrying the whole team on his back with a prodigious home run streak off the three top Cy Young contenders, and Jon Lester in between. He’s been completely unconscious. Wait a minute, why does that sound Familia? A guy named Murphy, coming out of nowhere, suddenly some kind of machine as he mercilessly takes down villains…he’s Robocop!
And Along Came Jones! Steeler fans were decidedly not happy when the team signed Michael Vick before the season, and then watching him actually play was like eating two-week old leftovers from a restaurant you hate… you hope it’s still edible, but it in fact gives you dry heaves, heartburn and the runs – but they were the only good thing about it). So when Vick clipped his pink heels together on the sideline after scrambling for more yards (7 on that one play) than he passed (6 for the whole game), in stepped a mysterious, mustachioed stranger with an incredible football name, Landry Jones. The only way that name would be more perfect is if he played for the Cowboys (and I imagine Cowboy fans agree about now), and he fit the offense like only a guy who’s held a clipboard for the last three seasons could. That “hamstring” injury Vick has now sounds like the old “arm fatigue” injury that sucky pitchers get, and with Roethlisberger due back in a couple of weeks, that may very well be the last time we see him on the field.
Ground Chuck! If you were watching baseball last night instead of the football game, you missed one of the best moments of comedy the NFL has offered this year. On fourth and three, with the game still surprisingly close, Chuck Pagano decided to run a play he must’ve seen work once in an intramural game on a school playground, and suddenly the entire team left the hash-marks and lined up near the right sideline, in their same punt formation, except for center Griff Whalen.
Soon, as if this were a dream and he was finally getting his chance to play quarterback, safety Colt Anderson (if that is his real name) raced over and got under center for the snap. The Patriots, like the rest of America, were indeed confused by this tactic…and apparently so was Whalen, who inexplicably snapped the ball to a stunned Anderson, who was immediately gang tackled. Shockingly, it turns out this formation, much like riding your bicycle on a freeway, is both stupid and illegal. After the game, Coach Pagano took full responsibility for the call, though he did complain that the Patriot defenders failed to count to a full three Mississippi before rushing.
Come back tomorrow for a man Sandy Alderson has nothing but kind words for, Big Al Sternberg/Fake Sandy Alderson.