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Newz Forum: OTHER: The Sports Curmudgeon on Eric Barton, Randy Moss, Pats' linebackers plus more...

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posted on Jan, 24 2005 @ 05:45 PM
Progress comes one small step at a time. Take my friend The Ice Weasel for example. In the past she has passed up the opportunity to watch a weekend of March Madness to sneak off to Atlanta to watch an ice skating "competition".

She is sort of a football fan in that she roots for the Washington Redskins, which means that most of her Januarys for the last decade have not been - you know - busy. However, there may be hope. On Saturday night she taped the ice skating event on TV to watch the Rams/Falcons game live and actually stayed with that game into the third quarter before concluding correctly that the outcome was no longer in doubt. That's the good news. The bad news is that she went and watched the taped ice skating event. But progress comes one small step at a time...

Speaking of the Rams/Falcons game, David Copperfield must have had a chunk of change on that game because every time the Falcons ran the football, the Rams' linebackers disappeared. And can we now identify Alex Gibbs as the premier offensive line coach in football today? He created the Broncos OL and maintained that offensive line as a top shelf unit for years; now he is with a bunch of no-names in Atlanta and all they did was rush for over 300 yards in a playoff game after leading the league in rushing. I know it is fashionable - particularly here in the DC area - to toss out Joe Bugel's name and expect any other NFL fan to bow their head and acknowledge his greatness. He sure did a good job in the 1980s in Washington but after that, there were no encores that got anything close to marquis billing.

I was watching the Jets/Steelers game and heard one of the talking heads say that linebacker, Eric Barton, had been with the Raiders prior to his joining the Jets. You recall that it was Barton's ridiculous forearm to the head of Drew Brees the week before that gave the Chargers the opportunity to tie the game and send it to overtime where the Jets would have lost had not the Chargers' kicker swallowed s softball. As I recall, Coach Callahan said that the Raiders must have been the dumbest team in football and that comment brought him a lot of criticism. Well, if Barton was on that team...

My oh my, but Randy Moss sure came up small on Sunday. In addition to catching only a few meaningless passes, he wasn't on the field as the receiver for a trick play on a field goal attempt when he should have been. The commentators said that had he been there it would have been a 12 man on the field penalty but as I saw the replay for the umpteenth time, I only counted ten men on the replay so I'm not sure. But if there was that kind of confusion, why didn't he call time out so that poor Gus Frerotte would not stand up looking to throw the ball to Claude Rains out there and have to scramble around for his life before tossing the ball into Row 7. The Vikings were NOT out of timeouts when all this happened.

Here is quick quiz:

True or False: Randy Moss suffers brain damage every time he sits down.

You know who I like on the Vikings' squad? Mewelde Moore. He plays hard; he plays on special teams, he can run the ball a bit; he can catch the ball and he blocks too. A couple of times, the Vikings had a scheme where the line would slide one way and Moore was assigned to block Jevon Kearse one-on-one. The commentators noted his lack of success in doing that but I would fault the designer of that protection concept more than Moore; if Kearse could have a season where he got a steady diet of single blocking by offensive backs, he might get 50 sacks.

As poorly as the Rams' linebackers played, that's how well the Patriots' linebackers played last weekend. That linebacking corps is not the most athletic group in the league and they are not the biggest or the fastest or even the strongest. But they don't miss assignments and they don't miss tackles. Instead of going headhunting, these guys make sure that the person with the ball winds up on the ground instead of trying for a SportsCenter highlight play, missing the tackle and giving up the yardage for a first down.

And by the way, I have heard much more than enough about whether or not the Patriots "doctored the field" or "dishonored the game" by letting it snow on the field and all that stuff. It isn't a big deal and there had been a perfect remedy open to the Indianapolis Colts this season that would have prevented all of this. All the Colts had to do was win more regular season games than the Pats and all the "turf doctoring" in the world would have been meaningless in the dome in Indy. I hope that the hysterical commentators who focused on this last week can now get their bowels back in order...

Last Thursday night, I tried to watch the premier of ESPN's Tilt. I've seen acting at an equivalent level of proficiency in high schools and the plot line is hardly one that will be difficult to follow. This show is advertised to be from the same people who brought you Rounders, which someone said was the best poker movie ever. Be still my heart; in that huge body of work known as: "poker movies" including such giants as Maverick and The Gambler, we will be able to see a TV show written by the people who wrote the best of that sorry lot. Has anyone ever actually run across a situation where someone was using Rounders in the same sentence with War and Peace - except for this sentence here of course? Actually, I think they got the title for this series exactly right because about 25 minutes into the premier event, my head Tilt-ed forward and I went to sleep.

I read a reference somewhere about a "Snowmobile Hall of Fame". Wondering if that was a joke, I Googled it and found that there is such a thing in St. Germain, Wisconsin. They have all kinds of exhibits and people ride there - on snowmobiles of course - to take in all the exhibits. I wonder if they have one commemorating the time that tragedy befell Ben Blueface when he rode out to Freeze-Your-Ass-Off Lake and then his snowmobile broke down. Perhaps a plaster cast of the last thing his fingers wrote in the snow - - WTF...

Finally, here is a good line from Jerry Greene in the Orlando Sentinel:

"A Gallup poll indicates half the nation's sports fans don't care if the NHL doesn't play again and the other half said, "What? It hasn't started yet?"

But don't get me wrong, I love sports...

Copyright The Sports Curmudgeon

[Edited on 1/24/05 by SportzWriter]


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