"Hell may have no fury like a woman scorned but heaven hath no sweetness like a sports fan vindicated." - Samcat

Monday, January 07, 2008

Jaguars on Tap

(Photo from NFL.com)

It's probably time for me to admit it: Maurice Jones-Drew scares the hell out of me. I'm scared of the rest of the Jaguars too. Especially considering David Garrard's frequent Houdini acts against the Steelers and my belief that Jack Del Rio - while looking like he would play a not altogether wholesome softball coach in a Lifetime movie - is underrated in the NFL. But mostly it's Jones-Drew. Because he's a good runner and the Pats are not so much with the stellar run defense this season.

Logic dictates that on Saturday evening I should have been rooting for the Steelers since the smart money states that the Pats could likely have handled them (again) fairly easily. But when have I ever been logical? I just cannot, in good conscience, pull for the Steelers. Unless they're playing the Colts. In which case Team Rogue Meteorite is preferable but I'd take the Steelers under pain of death. But I'm a Pats fan and a Pats fan rooting for the Steelers feels like...it just feels wrong. Like I would have needed a shower afterwards. Judging by the legions of Patriots hat-wearing bar patrons on Saturday who were loudly letting the world know what they think of Roethlisberger and company, I was not the only one. And before you send me your hate mail, Steelers fans, (of which I've been getting a lot lately), think honestly if you'd ever cheer for the Patriots in any situation. I'm guessing not. And I wouldn't expect you to. Look, some of us are just not meant to like each other's teams. That's how it goes.

Bye week notwithstanding the Pats weren't completely out of the news as Brady and Belichick won the league MVP and Coach of the Year awards respectively. I, of course, take issue with neither of these things. I don't even take issue with the sole first place vote that Brett Favre got. Any other season and Favre is right at the forefront of the discussion. It's just, this is Tom Brady's season is all. Amusing that the media that has spent all bloody season lambasting Belichick and raking him over the coals still saw fit to award him the Coach's award but really, not surprising since the media is nothing if not fickle.

Now, because we like football and because we also like beer, Amy and I spent about eight hours at the bar on Saturday which is a record even for us. This bar has become something of a regular haunt for us and we're now recognized by the bouncers and bartenders alike (shout out to Ron and new friend Sean) who never card us and always know which table we'll be occupying for the duration of the evening. But when we spend that much time at the bar, sometimes we end up talking about very bizarre things. Like Mike Tomlin's playoff smoky eye. Or how the dude at the end of the bar in the yellow polo shirt looks like the love child of Peyton Manning and Brian Cashman (headwarmer not included). And sometimes we develop alternate sports or pastimes of our very own.

Amy: Was it just me or did we not have the sassiest ref ever during the Giants game?

Me: I'm not sure. Since I'd lost hearing in my right ear and was bleeding from my left eye.

Amy: You were sick?

Me: No, I just experienced firsthand what it was like to go insane.

Amy: Oh, right, well anyway, the ref was totally sassy. He was all *pops hip to side* "Holding, defense, five yards" *swings arms in flamboyant circle* "Automatic first down!"

Me: I feel like the refs should have their own workout show or something.

Amy: Or perhaps a series of videos.

Me: Jazzercise, maybe.

Amy: YES.

Me: Why aren't we rich yet?

Amy: Because we spend eight hours at the bar drinking and watching football?

Me: Fair point.

We then discussed how positively delightful David Garrard appears in his interviews and how, we'd lay bets, he has no fewer than three holiday-themed sweaters in his closet.

"He just seems like an incredibly nice man," I said, "with no ego or anything."

"What if we end up playing the Jaguars?" Amy asked.

"Screw that guy," I said.

Amy replied, "He just got 793% less delightful."

In addition to turning my rooting interests on a dime, I suspect I've also giving myself carpal tunnel or something with all the knocking on wood. The NFL and seemingly everyone else has appeared hell-bent on jinxing the Patriots with their endless "Path to Perfection" visuals and dramatic Crimson Tide-style musical score and mostly it just makes me want to hide under the table. I think various members of my family are convinced I have OCD now since virtually anything out of a sportscaster's mouth regarding the Patriots "inevitable" rematch with the Colts in the AFC championship game has me lunging for the nearest wooden surface, knuckles poised. Look, I get that I'm a ridiculous human being, but that seems unlikely to change. At least right now, no psychiatric help is necessary. Provided, of course, that our table at the bar remains available.