Some People's Kids: September 2008

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

It Was a Nice Ride While It Lasted

Rumors of the Patriots demise weren't greatly exaggerated. Or so it seems to this guy anyways. I know that people shouldn't take too much out of one week in the long NFL season. This is not just one week. This will be the entire season.

Some thought that this juggernaut would just run on unleaded rather than the premium it did under Mr. Jissele. People thought Matt Cassel would be able to handle the reigns because he had been the backup for 3 years and, by god, he better have the offense pretty well down pat. Those people failed to see that there was an outstanding, young, hungry Miami Dolphin team coming to town to take down the Belicheck's. Nothing says "on the cusp of greatness" like 0-2 this year fresh off a 1-15 season a year ago. Okay, that "young, outstanding, and hungry" part was a gross exaggeration. The Dolphins are a brutally bad football team, but you could never tell it from the lambasting that they gave the Patriots this past Sunday, making it look easy in a 38-13 road domination. What? How did that happen? Even bad/mediocre teams drill the Dolphins from week to week. Hell, perennial doormat Arizona over matched them just last week, cruising to a 31-7 victory. The Patriots will kill the Miami Dolphins and won't even break a sweat doing it. They hadn't lost a regular season game since 2006, against the Dolphins.(total coincidence) And NOBODY wins in Foxboro!

These things didn't mean shit this weekend and the Patriots were officially exposed. Exposed as old, slow, and unable to adjust. They were even out-coached, which seems like blasphemy to people who have seen "Hey, who's the Dirtball in the Sweatshirt?" coach before. Now, I know that these players haven't seen the option since college, but almost everyone should have seen that form of offense by now. The Dolphins did this throughout the game, and the Patriots simply failed to adjust whatsoever at any point in the game, getting embarrassed in the process. You just let a guy score 5 touchdowns on you, mostly lining up at Quarterback where he proceeded to throw a touchdown pass left handed. You just got pummeled by a team who's best player is playing with a freshly reconstructed knee and you got flat outsmarted by one of the Soprano's, errr.. Sparano's. That ship sunk the minute Tom Brady crumbled to the ground in agony. This collection of extremely aging veterans needed to do it this year, if not last year. Now I know that any team with a healthy Tom Brady is a contender but no longer with they be the class of the NFL like we have come to know the Patriots as. Mark my words, until they get younger, we have seen the end of a dynasty. No more straight Class, homey

So, who will take they reigns from the Patriots. It could just be America's Team. Dallas is scary good. This week, the Cowboys toyed with the Green Bay Packers en route to starting 3-0 on the young season. I say "toyed" because Terrell Owens had a whopping 17 yards receiving and their second best receiver, Patrick Crayton was shut out completely and they still found a way to win by 11 points in Lambeau. Something called Miles Austin picked up the slack by hauling in 2 passes for 117 yards and a touchdown.

In the past, many people have had their issues with how the owner of the Cowboys, Jerry Jones, runs his teams, engaging in almost everything and being a constant presence on the sidelines, but you have to take your hate off to the man. He has assembled an amazing squad. If you look up and down the roster, the 'Boys have possible all-pros at every position, both offensively and defensively. Everybody knows about Me-O, Romo, Witten, and Roy Williams, but what people might not realize is just how incredibly well Dallas has drafted over the past 4-5 years. Its staggering. Getting Demarcus Ware, Marcus Spears, and Marion Barber in the same year in 2005. Getting Felix Jones and, who some say was the best DB in the draft this past year, Michael Jenkins from South Florida. They are just stock piling players at every position. Its not only been via the draft either, as Free Agency has played a great role in the revival of this team. Even though they drafted Michael Jenkins, they still felt the need to go out and get strip club aficionado, Pacman Jones to shore up an already strong secondary consisting of Anthony Henry and Terrance Newman. The rich get richer, I guess. This is an embarrassment of riches. Its a shame that none of this talent means squat until they get to the playoffs and actually win a game. They could go 16-0 and people would still not care if they get knocked out early like they have done every playoffs since 1996.

I think this is the year. They are just too good and I can only see them getting better when the newcomers get more accustomed to the system. I'm officially on the bandwagon, as I'm always a sucker for great offenses.

Speaking of great offenses... Anyone not notice the transformation that Denver has made this year? They have seemingly come out of nowhere to become one of the 1 or 2 most explosive offenses in the NFL this year. It's that offense thats has them at 3-0 so far this season, albeit with the help of a painstakingly bad gaff by Ed Holculi in the San Diego game. They have all the right pieces in place, excluding only maybe a stud running back. But when you have that great of a passing game, you can run the ball just from the respect they other team has to afford to the aerial attack. They have averaged the most points in the entire league through 3 games and although they are probably near the bottom in points allowed, they do just enough to scrape by for the win.

This is just another glaring example of how the NFL draft is so flawed and basically a crap shoot. Jay Cutler is quickly becoming the best quarterback from the 2006 draft class which included much more highly touted Vince Young and Matt Leinart. How the Vikings didn't trade up with St. Louis (with Scott Linehan!) to get this guy which would have filled to most glaring need on the ball club, I will never know. Instead they, like the 31 other teams, watched as Denver made the trade to get Cutler and proceeded to rebuild an entire offense in just the first three picks of the 2006 Draft. After Cutler, the Broncos next two picks that year were their current tight end Tony Scheffler and a guy who has become probably the second best receiver in the league, Brandon Marshall... in the 4th Round. (Talk about good drafts!) While the unpredictability of the NFL draft can drive fans crazy, it also gives us examples of what one good, calculated draft can do for a franchise. And while Denver won't do much in the playoffs(and they WILL get there) because of their awful defense, the early returns are....Impressive. Hats off to the Orange Crush.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remember This Guy?

Anybody? Anybody?

Anybody remember this Vince Young? The confident, if not sometimes cocky, Vince Young? The Vince Young who won a national championship with his whole team(shit, the entire state of Texas) on his back? The Vince Young who almost singlehandedly beat probably one of the two or three best teams ever in college football for the 2006 National Championship?

Okay, I'll stop. You probably get the point by now.

It seems like that Vince Young has gone missing(bad pun). Literally, actually. A shell of his former self, Young took a turn for the worst this past week. In the midst of yet another sub-par performance in his team's first regular season game of the 2008 season, Young was hit viscously at the knees. He lay, grimacing in pain with what would be known later as a sprained MCL. Knowing from experience, not a fun injury to deal with. Young will be out the next 2-4 weeks to recover, which is disheartening, because as bad as Vince has been, the Titans now have to rely of Kerry Collins for a month. This wouldn't be such a bad thing, but you have to realize that Kerry Collins does not have the luxury of playing the Vikings every week of the season. What we didnt know at the time, and since has surfaced, is that before getting injured on that play, Young almost refused to go into the game after being booed by the home fans after another ill-advised interception. What? This guy is gonna pull a Scottie "No Tippin" Pippen on us? This is same guy who was one of the most competitive college players I have ever seen. How quickly things can change. I didn't see this one coming.

This story still keeps gaining momentum it seems, because in the past few days, another juicy morsel has been reported. It appears people became worried for Vince's safety the other night after he apparently had a meeting with a team appointed psychologist. After the talk, Young got into his Mercedes and sped off and was gone for a couple hours. Now, this doesn't seem that weird to most people. Hell, I agree that sometimes you just need to get the fuck out of dodge to clear your head. His family, however, seemed overly concerned and called the police, who in turn put out an APB for Young. When he was finally reached, he claimed to just be kickin it at a buddy's house, eating some chicken wings. This whole thing just reeks of some one who is just not into it, with the "It" in question being playing football in the NFL.

Earlier this year, Young said in an interview that he had contemplated retirement after this season, causing alot of red flags to raise. When a rich, young man who is the starting quarterback for an NFL franchise and a legend in College Football history talks about retiring after only two seasons in the league, it doesn't all add up. What is not to like about this career? I can see not liking the fame or the pressure. That's about it though. You make a shit ton(yes, I said shit ton) of money playing football, and while your performance is nit-picked by just about everyone, when it breaks down to it, no ones life is really affected if you dont perform up to par. It's not THAT hard of a job, comparatively speaking. But something else could be going on here. Something more scary then just not wanting to play football in the NFL. There could be some major depression starting to rear it's ugly head here, and that is something that everyone is hoping is not the case. As a fan, who is starting to get concerned for this guy, I hope it was just a big misunderstanding.

From the football standpoint, if this situation doesn't get resolved, Young could go down in history as being one of the worst draft picks in history. So far in his NFL career, he hasn't proven enough to completely disagree with that. He can hardly throw. He makes bad decisions. And so far, his amazing athletic ability has yet to overcome those two big disadvantages for a quarterback. And you say that the Vikings have had some bad drafts? Have they ever drafted a player with all the "tools" you could want, who turns out not to be very good at playing football?... Wait, Troy Williamson. Bad example. Okay, have they ever drafted someone who didn't come close to living up to his "potential"? Wait.. Derek Alexander. Damn, strike two. Alright, well... have they ever drafted anyone who turned out to be missing a few light bulbs upstairs?? Ha!... oh wait, Demitrius Underwood. I give up.

I miss that Vince Young from the Rose Bowl. I miss tuning in every week to see what spectacular thing he will do next. I miss seeing that will to win so strong it's appealing even watching it on TV. I hope we get to see that Vince sometime soon. Playing football. Where he belongs.