Longtime followers of the sports blogosphere will recall the days of The Mighty MJD doing his weekly Smorgasbord feature for Deadspin. During the years that MJD was the editor of Shutdown Corner for Yahoo, it appeared only sporadically, but now it’s back and KSK is pleased to be the home of The Smorgasbord. Enjoy.
Nick Foles has the haircut of a college sophomore who’s going to be a deep-thinking hippie for about two months, before his best friend takes him to a Young Republicans meeting. It’s not a look that inspires confidence.
Pornography producers of the world, I’ve got an idea for you, and I’m going to give it to you right here, for free: I want you to make a series of pornos that pick up the plot of Jared’s or KAY Jewelers commercials, right where they left off. For example: This happens. And then this happens:
LADY: Don’t let go … ever.
FELLA: (small laugh) Oh, sweetheart. It’ll be okay if I let go.
LADY: Oh? Why’s that, love?
FELLA: (pulls a length of rope from his pants) Because I’m about to tie you a pipe in the basement and go to town on you.
LADY: (rips off her clothes and offers her wrists)
And you can imagine where it goes from there. He fixes the cable.
I can’t hear it, but it’s time for Chris Berman to give his prediction on the Steelers/Ravens game. If my lip-reading skills are accurate, it goes something like this: “Okay, I’m the last one to pick, because I’m the most important. I hope everyone gets that. Anyway, everyone else’s pick took about, what, six seconds? Mine’s going to take about 90. You know why? Because I’ve been working here since Lee Corso could pee without assistance, and I don’t give a rat’s ass if everyone else here has actually played or coached football, I BUILT THE MODERN SPORTS MEDIA LANDSCAPE ON MY BACKBACKBACKBACKBACK. So I’ll take my sweet goddamn time, just to make sure everyone notices how much the cool kids like Keyshawn and Cris Carter like ME. 22-17, Steelers. Why? Steel town. Need I say more?”
I’m at a new place this week. They’ve only been open for about a week, and I’ve never watched a sporting event here, and so far, things aren’t promising. At 1:02 EST, I can see 15 televisions, and the Cowboys/Browns game is on 14 of them. The other is on SportsCenter. Side note: Eat shit, Notre Dame.
If you’re wondering, yes, I do kind of feel like a douchebag when I complain about being in a place where there are 15 HDTVs on the wall, but they’re not on the right channels for me. Waaaaah, me. I remember a time when I thought, “THEY PUT A TELEVISION IN A RESTAURANT?! GENIUS!” I’m absolutely a spoiled prick. But I’m still going to complain.
The Browns get on the board first with a leaping snatch from the sky by Ben Watson. And come to think of it, yes, this feels like a great week for the Cowboys to completely fuck the dog. They played Atlanta close, they beat the Eagles, and people are feeling good about the Cowboys at the moment, while the Browns are coming in less shitty than usual … it feels like it’s about time for a Romosplosion against Cleveland.
Nick Foles has already thrown two interceptions, and I’ve seen neither of them. It’s time to take action.
A talk with the manager reveals that this establishment does not currently have the Sunday Ticket package. They were supposed to, but the local Fire Marshall left them hanging (guess he was at a Japanese Steakhouse [and wow, those skits really don’t hold up with time]), and for some reason, that affects their ability to load a Brinks truck and drive it to DirecTV. Fair enough. It’s their first week open, and the manager was nice when explaining. I’ll forgive, and I’ll try again next week, but for now, I must seek more fertile football ground.
My new home is a Buffalo Wild Wings, which I’m quickly beginning to think of as the K-Mart of sports bars. Maybe it once had some ambition to be useful, but now everything seems dated, and there’s nothing they do that hasn’t been improved upon elsewhere. These days, BW3 and K-Mart are pretty much just there, and chances are, your local one is run by someone who doesn’t give a fuck. I’m there, but only because there are no better options.
Atlanta and Houston are both down at the moment. It’s still early, but maybe this turns into one of those days where the slate of games looks like rotten crotch, but magically turns into one of the more entertaining days of the season. There’s a chance for this, and much of it rides on Chad Henne and his Henne-stache.
Sitting two seats down Is a 50-60 year old dark complected Latino man with an oversized black mustache and a black Cowboy hat. If you couldn’t see him and only heard him speak, you’d think he was a Toby Keith-lovin’ country boy from down Alabama way. For some reason, his existence makes me feel better about the state of race relations in America.
Facing a second down and long, Tony Romo fires a short pass to Dez Bryant in the left flat, and Dez turns it upfield for a gain of 15. Hooray, Dez? Not really, because it was second and 16, and Dez had a very real chance at the first down if he’d been willing to make contact with a Cleveland Brown. He was not. He slunk out of bounds about a yard away from the sticks and a Cleveland defender.
Note: I am not calling Dez Bryant a pussy. However, that’s exactly what I’d have done, and I am a pussy.
With 4:02 left in the second quarter, the Arizona Cardinals have one passing yard. John Skelton was responsible for 6 of those yards, until he was relieved by Ryan Lindley, who was responsible for -7. Lindley, the lanky second-year player out of … ah, who am I kidding, I don’t have any idea who the fuck Ryan Lindley is. Also, I feel like Arizona might not hold on to this lead on the Falcons.
Jim Rome is moving to Showtime now? If I could ask a quick question of the folks at Showtime… Why? Don’t get me wrong, I like Jim Rome (sometimes I even call him “Romey”), but hasn’t he had shows on about 18 different television networks, and none of them stuck? He’s like an NBA head coach who keeps getting hired by different teams again and again and again. Jim Rome is the Lenny Wilkens of sports television.
Cowboys fans at the bar (and there are a lot of them today) are pining for Geno Smith to be their quarterback next year. Which I understand, but I’m also watching Tony Romo get chased like Daniel-san after he hosed down the Cobra Kai at the Halloween dance. The Cowboys offensive line couldn’t keep an international supermodel off a homeless guy’s jiz rag. I’m not saying Romo doesn’t need to replaced, or that he deserves another year, or anything of the sort. But if they don’t address that line, I don’t care if it’s Geno Smith, Joe Montana or the ghost of Roger Staubach back there, they’re going to have zero chance to succeed.
Here’s Chad Henne, finding Marcedes Lewis for another Jaguars touchdown. That makes it 27-17 Jaguars. Apparently, Blaine Gabbert is worse than anyone even imagined, and most people imagined that Blaine Gabbert was pretty goddamn bad. What if Chad Henne goes undefeated the rest of the season?
Matt Schaub seems willing to entertain the notion that this is the year of Henne. Down seven, after a nice kick return, Schaub drops back and overthrows someone by about nine yards, resulting in a Jaguars interception. This is Chad Henne’s day. I can feel it.
Trent Richardson fumbles for the Browns, which makes someone at the bar yell, “He hit him so hard, he shit a football!” To everyone else, this is apparently the highest of comedy.
Meanwhile, the Jaguars cash in that Schaub interception and go up 14. There’s a real chance that Chad Henne wins a game in the NFL in the year 2012. I did not see this coming.
I haven’t checked this with the Elias Sports Bureau, but it seems like the Cowboys are going to Dez Bryant on about 90% of their plays. Meanwhile, when Cleveland is in possession, they can barely run a play without the Cowboys touching the ball in some capacity. I guess the good news for the Cowboys is that the Browns are melting down worse than they are. The bad news is that the Cowboys allowed the Browns into a position where they could melt down, which is probably not a good sign.
Am I racist because I was taken aback upon hearing a black man ask the question, “Is Kyle Busch leadin’?” Probably. Leave me alone.
There are currently four significant upsets brewing: Arizona over Atlanta, Detroit over Green Bay, Cleveland over Dallas, and Jacksonville over Houston. Three are still in play, as Atlanta just took their first lead over Arizona, and I doubt they’re giving it back. Sorry, Cardinals ‒ the Falcons did as much as they could for you. The Browns, Jags and Lions are alive, though, and I’m excited about this.
Just minutes later, the Texans tie the game up.
And seconds after that, Green Bay takes the lead on Detroit. This is going to turn into one giant cocktease of an afternoon.
But I will not give up on you, Cleveland. Trailing by 4, the Brownies have a 3rd and 1 in the Dallas red zone… and the Cowboys come up big with the stop. Cleveland has to go for it on 4th … and they opt for a fade in the back left corner of the endzone to their backup tight end, the great Jordan Cameron. Unfortunately, this high-percentage play doesn’t work.
I’m starting to hear people yell, “HOW ‘BOUT THEM COWBOYS?” I thought you fucking people were over that. LET’S DO THIS, BROWNIES.
Cleveland holds for a quick three and out, and Josh Cribbs cracks off a nice punt return, and YEEEEOUCH. Some asshole tackled him by his hair. In what might be the first hair injury in NFL history, Cribbs is very slow to get up. The injury is very similar to the one suffered by the Governor’s daughter Penny as her father brushed her zombie hair last week.
Sorry. That’ll be the end of the Walking Dead nerdery.
Anyway, the yank of Cribbs’ hair was called a horse collar penalty, which sets the Browns up inside the Cowboys 20. They retake the lead on the next play. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
Meanwhile, in Houston, kicker Shayne Graham had a chance to finish off the Jags with a 47-yarder, but he couldn’t make it. The Jaguars remain alive, because It is Chad Henne’s destiny to triumph magnificently with his Movember mustache. Come on, Jaguars. You’re not going to get an opportunity to do something this significant until at least next season.
Both Jacksonville/Houston and Cleveland/Dallas are heading into overtime, which I’m starting to hate. I get why the system exists, and at the end of the day, I suppose it’s a little more democratic than the old “first team to score” system. But between this and replays, which only seem to be getting longer and more frequent, these games can just last too damn long. I guess seeing that as a problem puts me in the minority. I don’t know.
Eric Weddle of the Chargers gets a pick-six on Peyton Manning after a screen pass attempt was tipped into the air. The Chargers lead 7-0, which raises the question: In light of the unspeakable events of October 15th, how big of a lead would the Chargers need to have at halftime to consider the game in-hand? The minimum would be 34, since that’s what the Broncos put up on them in the second half on that cruel day five weeks ago. 34 wouldn’t comfort me, though. I don’t think I’d be comfortable with any lead short of 60. Honestly.
The Jaguars again get an interception, this one in the “next score wins” portion of overtime. And for someone who’s going to put up monster numbers today, Matt Schaub has bonered himself pretty hard a couple of times today.
The Jags, of course, follow up that golden opportunity with a three-and-out. Man, these overtimes are loooooooong.
Dallas finally gets their field goal, at 4:51 pm EST. Assholes rejoice.
For the record, I don’t feel that way about all Cowboys fans. On the whole, I don’t find them to be any better or worse than any other group of asshole fans. It’s just this particular group right now that I find irritating. There are maybe 20 people here and more than half are rooting for the Cowboys. I don’t know how that happened. Someone here needed to be on the side of the underdogs.
Seconds later, Andre Johnson beasts a screen pass into the endzone to end that game with just over 2:00 left in overtime. This completes the giant cocktease. Four legitimate upset chances. None of them came through. This feels like a depressing, all-chalk, first day of the NCAA tournament.
The end of the overtimes gives me a chance to head to the bathroom. From what I’ve gathered recently, the percentage of men who wash their hands after pissing in sports bar bathrooms is somewhere in the neighborhood of, oh, I don’t know … 0 percent. I’m done high-fiving people in sports bars.
Hey, Norv Turner is sporting sunglasses today ‒ look at Mister Hip! I’ve never seen Norv in shades before. I’m glad he’s getting in on this fashion trend early. I don’t know if this day in Denver is the brightest he’s ever experienced in the NFL, or he’s hiding a black eye because he feels like it was his fault that his wife punched him.
Aqib Talib gets a pick-six for his new employer, the Patriots, who picked him up from the Buccaneers for the price of almost free. Why is it always the Patriots who get these low-risk, high-reward deals? No one else was willing to take a chance on Talib? He can play. He steps into the Patriots secondary and immediately draws Reggie Wayne duty. It’s almost uncanny how convenient that was for the Patriots. Oh, our secondary is awful? And you have a Pro Bowl-caliber corner available? Well, how about you give him to us for a case of shaving cream? It seems like someone else should’ve been interested in Talib, if only for the purpose of keeping him out of a Patriots uniform.
At least two pregame shows this morning had features on Philip Rivers and his uneven play over this year and last. Once upon a time, I’d have sworn to anyone that Rivers was going to be a Pro Bowl-caliber quarterback for about a decade. Now I’m not sure he’s anything more than the AFC’s Tony Romo.
And with that, I’m about to call it a day. There are about 8 people in this warehouse-sized Buffalo Wild Wings, and it’s starting to depress me. There’s just no entertainment to be had from this K-Mart-like atmosphere, so I might as well head home. Until next week, friends of the Smorgasbord.