PALM SPRINGS, CA – A couple of days ago marked the 100th birthday of Frank Sinatra and while the late Chairman of the Board had more fluff pieces written about him last week than he had screaming bobby-socksers back in his crooning days, we here in the MTM Bullpen feel it’s better late than never to pay tribute… and we’d feel remiss without marking the passing. Plus, I like writing these bits.
Come Fly With Me: A song for a simpler time when flying by Jet carried with it a sense of class and the possibility that, if you could use some exotic booze there’s a bar in far Bombay. The Jets’ very name owes a lot to that bygone era’s spirit (as well as rhyming with Mets and Nets), but it wasn’t that long ago that losing 4 out 5 seemed to stick their season on the longest security lines with the smelliest feet and then getting seated between two men of encroaching girth, behind the guy who reclines into your lap, and in front of the sugar-addled toddler who won’t stop kicking the back of your seat. Now, however, after three straight wins and Ryan Fitzpatrick throwing for 930 yards with nine TDs to no interceptions, he’s making like a one man band in Llama land who’ll toot his flute for you!
The Way You Look Tonight: Riding a rare two-game losing streak, Tom Brady’s eyes were happy to see Rob Gronkowski’s freakish reach back on the field in last night’s game.
Luck Be A Lady: For a few weeks the Indianpolis Colts had actually been playing better with Elizabeth Hasselbeck’s brother-in-law at QB rather than their fantasy-team-buster Andrew Luck, but time makes fools of us all and now the suddenly tough Jax Jags played xylophone with Matt Hasselbeck’s old-man ribs yesterday. Luck may be rushed back onto the field for as important a game between two 6-7 teams as you’ll ever (not want) to see when they face Houston next week with division lead on the line.
Something Stupid: Before this season Andy Dalton was usually maligned because nobody trusts a ginger, but for a brief shining moment last week the Bengals were considered the defacto best team in the AFC. Now before the anyone could say something stupid like I love you, he tries an ill-advised shovel pass in the first quarter against the Steelers, then something even less-advised in tackling 6’6″, 303 pound defensive end Stephon Tuit.
The Best Is Yet To Come: Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers hadn’t gotten a whole lot of respect as a 12-0 team, but after shellacking the Falcons (remember when they were undefeated after the first month?) they seem to be be picking up steam. I was hoping to point out that the Best Is Yet To Come may also have something to do with the last three games of the schedule…but those opponents are the Giants, Atlanta again, and then Tampa Bay. So, in other words, More Mediocre is Yet To Come and an undefeated season is sounding more reasonable.
New York, New York: It’s contractually obligated that we go out on this song, with the Giants playing tonight down in Miami…two 5-7 teams playing on Monday Night Football. The Giants are miraculously still in the hunt but need this road win desperately, especially with the Panthers on deck. If they lose, playing spoiler next week is pretty much all they’ll have left this season.