by Ryan Meehan
Week Ten began with the media’s continuous around the clock coverage on Richie Incognito, a topic that has been on every major news show. I love how everyone is asking why Jonathan Martin isn’t talking…Hasn’t he said enough already? News also broke this week that Martin and Incongnowayagrownmanshouldntchangethatname exchanged over 1200 text messages in the past year. Who would text message someone that is supposedly “bullying them” that much? Something still smells fishy about all of this. I still think Incognito is a douchecanoe, but I’m starting to think this Jonathan Martin is an assclown as well. I found this out before long, because of a phone call I made to a friend of mine.
Tim Pilichowski is a friend of the First Order Historians and I have known him for almost twenty years now. I’ve been in bands with him where we are the two guitar players with no bassist. I love him to death, and he’s a diehard Miami Dolphins fan. He knows everything about everything Dolphins, and anytime I need any sort of Phin related Phanphare I turn to him.
Ironically, I called Tim because I had a question about his DVD collection and didn’t even know we were going to be talking about sports. But he asked me if I’d been covering the Incognito story, and of course I said yes. Then I realized that sometimes you just have to listen to a fan talk, and found out two very important facts about Jonathan Martin that you should know about.
1) When Martin entered the draft, 16 out of 32 teams had him on the “DO NOT DRAFT” list.
2) This guy’s high school coach told Stanford that he had issues when he was being recruited
Now, Chowski elaborated on both of these points. The first one (just so we’re clear) shows that in documents owned and issued by all NFL teams, HALF of them sad that they would not draft Martin. AT ALL. That’s the most important part of this story – Not a guy who might fall to the 5th or 6th round because there were character issues and a criminal record. Real, legitimate reasons why under no circumstances whatsoever this guy should be paid good money to be on a professional sports team. And the Dolphins rolled the dice and ended up losing. The whole thing has been a PR disaster, and there are a lot of management questions there…
On to the second point. Keep in mind that this guy’s high school coach was willing to communicate that he wasn’t all there upstairs which could have very well led to that kid not going to Stanford and getting a great education. BUT he did it anyway. That is probably the most important part of this entire story – that there is the possibility this guy was never fit to play on an NFL squad to being with. You won’t hear much about it (mostly because you won’t be able to attach the word “bullying” to the topic) but it’s true. Martin is probably a little bit of a rogue case in the NFL when it comes to wanting to do all of his business behind closed doors. I can understand how this information would be unacceptable for me to miss, but I did.
Like I said, sometimes you just have to talk to a real fan. Jonathan is coming off as being awkward at the very least, and in a team sport it’s very hard to correct that. So if this means that things don’t end up going “his way” from here, I’m fine with it.
That doesn’t mean I think Richie is right, because he’s a tool and I do believe that he is a shitty person. But you can’t just give Martin the benefit of the doubt because he spoke out, because there are many other elements here. As we learned this week: A lot can come out in a seven day period, and I am guessing that in this upcoming week we’ll find out a lot more.
The great thing about that story is that when all of the bullshit is said and done, they can’t take away from the fact that this weekend had a great lineup of games. Upsets were to be had, and I ended my Sunday with a huge birthday cookie that my sister made me so all is well with the world. So let’s do our first double digit wrap-up of the year, as we delve into a very exciting week ten.
Vikings 34, Redskins 27
You know, after the fact some things just seem so obvious and I can’t believe that this one wasn’t one of them. It should have been very cleat this was going to happen, but both Coach and I went with the odds and bit the dust…HARD. I don’t know why both of us picked the Redskins…they won a game against the Chargers that they probably shouldn’t have just 100 hours prior to game they were playing and they were playing a team who actually had a real shot against Dallas last week and blew it just six days after getting eaten alive by the New York Smurfs.
Both of these teams had the taste of the previous game in their mouth and that’s why you saw opposite results. This was an example of a reactive win, and it’s what makes picking against the spread so tempting. The Redskins dropped to 3-6 with the loss, ironically the same record they had at this point last year before ripping off a seven game winning streak after their bye week and winning the division. Now I understand ten wins in the NFC East is not exactly going to be monumental, but everyone reading this knows it’s not going to take anything more than nine anyway.
And also, I am tired of the NFL trying to tell me that these games are closer than they really are…If a guy doesn’t have one foot in bounds, then it’s not nearly as close as you’re selling it…Santana Moss didn’t even have one foot in, let alone both which would even make the game-tying play. I’m so exhausted with this happening…Just report the story – don’t add drama.
Lions 21, Bears 19
The Bears seem to possess a very interesting dichotomy – they appear lifeless on the surface, almost if the emotionless stance that their quarterback holds has spread to the rest of the team. But at the same time, they get almost sad about stuff. They are suffering from Jay Cutler-Eeyore Syndrome. Symptoms include: frequently dropping passes thrown right on the money and then dragging ass back to the huddle, failure to stop the opposition on third down, and overall disinterest. Detroit may very well be for real, I think it’s time that everybody realized even in years where the Lions are below second place that kid is their leader. The team listens to him, and they trust him and those two things are huge. Of course, having guys the size of Calvin Johnson and Brandon Pettiguit probably doesn’t hurt…but he’s still had a hell of a year. Those two guys remind me of the way Lebron James looks on a basketball court to the rest of the NBA. They’re about two and a half inches bigger than everyone they face 95% of the time, and that means that the Detroit Lions could be a real problem for everyone they face from here on out.
Giants 24, Raiders 20
Fantastic. This does give the G-Men their 3rd in a row and they are still very much in it, but seriously how bad is Oakland? How bad is Terrelle Pryor? You won’t find the answer to that here…I’m not going to waste any space on Oakland. And even in a win – the Giants still suffered from the many ailments that caused them to lose six out of the box. Eli’s still just giving the football away at almost every conceivable opportunity – and although it may appear larger in my rearview because I’m a fan, the picks he is throwing are just pure butchery. As a Giants fan, you’ll know that one of our main goals as fans is to hope they destroy the Philadelphia Eagles all of the time. Right now, they’d get crushed by a team like the Eagles. Speaking of which…
Eagles 27, Packers 13
I still just don’t think that the Packers were ever that good this year. I can’t have that feeling when I see how poorly they play without their leader. Make no mistake, Nick Foles was brilliant and has been. I got no beef with that kid at all and I have to think that if they let him stay in there, he somehow leads this team to the playoffs and can maybe win a game – Michael Vick’s future might include a different colored uniform. But with teams like the Lions and the Panthers looking great at the moment, it will be hard for Philly to get in unless they win the division. A similar situation with the Packers – only we already know they won’t win the NFC North and they will be fighting for their Wild Card lives if they are even in the hunt at that point.
Seahawks 33, Falcons 10
Although not against a worthy opponent by any means, this was a huge win for the Seahawks because it reminded everybody of the team that the Seahawks are capable of being. The thirty point, blowout, smack you around and just own you from even conceivable angle Seattle Seahawks are now back, and that’s scary news for the rest of the National Football Conference…But most importantly, Russell Wilson led that team to victory and they need to see more of that. (Doesn’t hurt to get 145 from Lynch either…)And the one fact that Seahawk haters have to deal with is…they are 5-1 on the road so it’s hard to make the comment that they can’t win away from home. You could say they have a hard time closing games on the road, but they do win almost all of those games. This is a sentence that mentions the Atlanta Falcons.
Steelers 23, Bills 10
Want some stats thrown your way? 527 total yards in this game and neither QB had a rating above 78. Now that’s either really good defense or really poor play, but if you’ve seen the Steelers this year you can pretty much understand it’s not the first of those two things. I didn’t attempt said feat, but I would assume that continuing to pay attention by the third drive was a chore in this unwatchable display of borecore and snorecore “sport”.
If you want to watch the worst wrap-up video of all time…check out Tom Waddle in this fine piece of video sedative:
Ravens 20, Bengals 17
So how does it work – if I say Joe Flacco’s name to a mirror seven times, he will disappear? I don’t know much about urban myths. I do know that this is the second game in a row that Cincinnati has lost, and although not a dire situation at 6-3 as some of the rest of the teams in the league it is still cause for concern. I’m seeing the same thing this week out of the Bengals that we had been seeing out of the Seahawks the past month – getting behind and being worthless in the first half on offense. This leaves you playing catch-up all of the damn time, and you can only get away with it for so long. (If you don’t believe me, find a Redskins fan and ask them…) I would understand the expectation of me to jock the Ravens here since they beat a good team, but it’s not going to happen. I still don’t buy one ounce of anything that’s going on in Baltimore, and if you don’t feel that way – trust me, I’ll have to set a place at the table for you in a couple of weeks. And you know how much I hate having to use my placemats.
Cardinals 27, Texans 24
Although a three point victory over the Texans isn’t exactly gangbusters when you consider all of the good teams in the league, the Cardinals are just one game behind San Francisco in the wild, wild NFC West. The team with the poorest record in the division is St. Louis, who at 4-6 only has a point differential of -10. What we’ve seen out of the West this year is the exact converse of what we are seeing in the East – that your own team’s play can be elevated if the teams which surround you are playing well. Honestly, it’s my opinion that every one of those four teams are good and I really believe that. Houston is going to have to accept defeat for this season and now at 2-7, that should be hard to do. It’s like when you have a noisy neighbor who won’t go away – You call the police over and over again but eventually the authorities simply view you as the annoyance and wonder why you keep calling them. You’re the Houston Texans franchise, and the 2013 season is the noisy neighbors. There isn’t a damn thing that you can do about it, you’re just going to have to wait for him to move.
Jaguars 29, Titans 27
I have to think that any hope that the Tennessee Titans had of making the playoffs disappeared when they lost to a previously winless team who is missing their best player. Yet without Justin Blackmon, the Jaguars still pulled out their first win of the year and in the process knocked Jake Locker out. I’m beginning to see a lot of qualities in Locker that I saw in Cutler when it comes to overall sturdiness, and that’s never a good sign. In a way I’m kind of glad this happened…nobody wants to see the Titans play in January anyway. And one more thing…I’m starting to see signs of why this fantasy football thing is so intriguing – because a guy who looks like he’s be great against a bad team can end up looking like Chris Johnson did on Sunday. And to lose this game at home? That’s rough territory. Ouch… You pick that girl up from the bar on a Saturday – the first thing you do on Monday is get tested.
Broncos 28, Chargers 20
The Broncos jumped out to an early lead in this one, but the Chargers scored 2TDs really quick and for a second they looked like they were going to make a comeback. But then God remembered that the Chargers don’t play at all in the last five minutes of any game, and the streak was halted by the exalted. Manning threw for four touchdowns, three of which were to DeMarius Thomas. As far as single season numbers go, if Peyton Manning continues at the rate he’s going according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen he should be the front runner for the 2016 presidential race. We’ll see just how much that late shot affected him, as they have Kansas City next. The Chargers are another team that I don’t want to see in the playoffs. 16 weeks of them with only one weekend off is more than the recommended daily value of Bolts for me.
Rams 38, Colts 8
When I left my apartment Sunday morning wearing my Eric Dickerson jersey, I had no idea that the game between the two teams where Dickerson played his entire career would become so lopsided in the favor of the artist formerly known as the Los Angeles Rams. I definitely didn’t think it was a day on which we’d see Tavon Austin’s all purpose yard total at 314, which is a huge number. Austin was your stud of the week in the NFL’s stable of young, hot mares. I’m not going to beat around the bush here, but the Colts got beat in this one and they got beat bad. And it was at home, which teams that have the expectations like Indy does simply cannot do. But I have to see this happen in more than one game before I can really be worried. There’s no immediate cause for hitting the LifeAlert button, because the Colts are still young and in their twenties. They just had a bad hangover, and they get to face the Tennessee Titans on Thursday so they should be fine. The next game also features a team who lost who should remain calm…
Panthers 10, 49ers 9
Ready for your scary stat of the day? If the playoffs started next week, due to having a poorer conference record than Detroit or Carolina (only because they have played most of their inter conference games first) the San Francisco 49ers would NOT make the postseason. Unfortunately for the rest of the NFC, the playoffs DON’T start next week so the 49ers should be fine. I’m refraining from pushing the panic button as well because I believe that the Niners lost to Carolina, who is becoming one hell of a football team. They’re 6-3 and they’ve gotten there completely under the radar. Much like I said about the Colts in the previous game, the Niners lost to a good team and they shouldn’t let this detract from their season. They still have a great roster and they will rebound from this loss and be just fine.
Saints 49, Cowboys 10
I had a weird wish for my birthday. The Giants are beyond awful so anytime you are in that situation you look elsewhere in the NFL for sanctity, and all I want for Christmas is the New Orleans Saints. I can’t tell you how much I wanted the Cowboys to just get smoked in this one and that’s absolutely what happened here. At the outset, it looked as if this was going to be a battle of who had the ball last. But then DeMarcus Ware left the game due to injury, and the Cowboys went from “Can’t Stop Anything” to “No, seriously, we can’t stop anything…”. The Saints looked like a Super Bowl winning team at the end of the first half, scoring two touchdowns in two minutes. Drew Brees also threw for 4 TD passes, and you have to really admire him for just bulldozing a team like that.
Buccaneers 22, Dolphins 19, America 0
It’s fitting that this was the Monday Night matchup, because this game can go fuck itself six ways from Sunday. I have no faith that the Dolphins can still be a playoff contender after the way they played in the first 27 minutes of this one. Tampa is still a mess and now they’re out ANOTHER running back. I suppose it doesn’t matter, Schiano’s going to lose his job anyway. But the Bucs did get their first win so you have to hand it to them. However this game was just a sad display of what now passes for professional sport in America, and I don’t really have a whole lot to say about it at all. So here’s a picture of Kermit the Frog getting what I’m assuming is some nasty sexually transmitted disease from Lady Gaga.
Bonus comment of the week:
Returning to the Richie Incognito story, I’d just like to add my two cents here when it comes to Jay Glazer. I can not possibly express how disappointed I am that so many NFL players trust that guy when it comes to sharing a problem that they have with the media. He must be on another level, because every story that breaks comes from him and I find it incredibly irritating. And with this new Fox Sports One network, we’re going to see even more of him and it is going to suck. I can’t get through a Subway commercial without seeing his goofy ass mug, and it’s depressing to an almost crippling degree. And it’s not that I’m jealous of him (although he does have a sweet job) it’s just that he’s not very good at what he does. It’s exceptionally infuriating.
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