Every January since this blog was created, we here at Dubsism have given an award for achievements during the previous year in some under-recognized categories in the world of sports. In prior years, the nominations for the awards were done exclusively by an internal committee. This was the first year we allowed nominations from the general public.
Between our committee and our valued readers, we had more quality nominations than we could ever possibly use. Thank you so much for that. When we received an outstanding nomination that proved to be a winner, we made sure to recognize those who submitted it. However, we did also receive nominations on multiple ballots that proved to be winners. If you see a winner that you nominated, and you weren’t credited, just know that you weren’t the only one who had the same idea.
With that, and after careful consideration, here are the winners of the 2012 Dubsy awards.
Raise your hand if you have a sibling. Keep your hand up if that sibling is in the same profession as you. Keep it up if you are one of the best at what you do, but your sibling is better. Now, keep that hand up if your sibling is a complete drama queen. If you are Eli Manning, right now your hand is still in the air. That upraised hand begs a question: Do you think after an entire Super Bowl week in which we’ve heard more about the Manning with the bad neck than the one who is actually playing in the game that Eli might be wondering what his life might be like if he hadn’t been named Manning?
That’s the question being asked by Andrew Sharp at SB Nation. It is a tremendous question, but without going all “It’s a Wonderful Life’” Sharp misses a bit on the answer. To fully understand this, let’s walk through his assertion.
As the playoffs have unfolded I’ve found myself rooting for the Giants, and a number of friends keep asking, “How can you root for Eli?” On the surface, he looks like a spoiled, spastic version of his big brother, part of a royal football family that just won’t go away. But to understand what makes Eli great, you have to look past his bloodlines.
Eli Manning has always been famous because of his family. First when he was playing high school football in New Orleans, then throughout college at Ole Miss, then through the NFL Draft process, and even during the first half of his career. Every step of the way.
“The two boys, Peyton and Eli, are as different as saucy shrimp Creole and a soothing mint julep. The whole family agrees about that. Olivia Peyton, their mother, says that Peyton was so organized at home, he bordered on compulsive. “He couldn’t relax until everything was perfect,” she said. “He’d be fluffing all the pillows on the sofa to make sure they were right.”
He may never become Peyton, but Eli is a legit quarterback.
This is the sort of backhanded praise that’s framed his entire career.
OK, there’s the premise right up front, the two brothers are different, but for some reason, Peyton is superior based only on his personality type. In his own second sentence, Sharp jumps right to Eli’s character and demeanor. The story goes for several more paragraphs until this commentary, and we have yet to get to anything remotely close about football.
It gets worse. Sharp lists a timeline of Eli v. Peyton anecdotes, and not one of them talks about performance on the field. In fact, let’s go through these dates and add some “What Ifs” of our own.
In 2001, the lead from a New York Times story on Eli at Ole Miss: “From the juke joints of the Delta to the feed stores of northern Mississippi, he is called Archie’s boy, a son of one of sports’ most famous Sons of the South. In Tuscaloosa, Ala., in Knoxville, Tenn., and in every other castle in the Southeastern Conference football kingdom, he is “Peyton’s brother.”
In 2003, from USA Today: “Like his father, Archie, and older brother, Peyton, before him, however, Mississippi quarterback Eli Manning appears to have fallen into the close-but-no-cigar family routine.”
The “It’s A Wonderful Life Moment:” It is important to remember that once Ole Miss knew they had a Manning coming in to play quarterback, it was a moment bigger than if Notre Dame found out Jesus McGod had just committed to come South Bend. The moment was so big Mississippi went out and got David Cutcliffe to be their head coach since he had been Peyton’s offensive coordinator at Tennessee.
In 2004, the day he was drafted: “It started in kindergarten. Eli Manning would join his classmates at recess, and they would already have a position picked out for him. Many of the children knew that Eli’s father, Archie, had played in the National Football League. Some knew Eli’s older brother Peyton, who was a neighborhood legend as a preteen. The decision was simple. Eli was playing quarterback again.”
In 2004, the day after he was drafted: “Can he be as good as Peyton Manning, the NFL’s co-MVP last season? … Did the Giants get another Peyton Manning or just a player with the same last name?”
The “It’s A Wonderful Life Moment:” Let’s not forget the Chargers and the Mannings have a checkered history with each other. Remember that it was Chargers who came up “snake eyes’ in 1998 on the whole Peyton vs. Ryan Leaf draft choice. Then it was Eli who made it clear he would not play for the Chargers if they used their #1 overall draft pick to select him.
In 2005, there was more backhanded praise from the New York Daily News: “Montana, Young, Aikman, Brady, Favre, Elway. … Nobody is saying Eli Manning is going to make that list. Or be an immortal. Nobody is even saying Manning is going to be his big brother. … But we have found out a lot about Eli Manning already.”
The “It’s A Wonderful Life Moment:” More proof that the name “Manning” carries serious weight in Mississippi. Eli’s footprints out of Oxford are hardly cold when head coach David Cutcliffe is essentially forced out in favor the “Cajun Mastodon” also known as Ed Orgeron.
In 2008, after Eli pulled off one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history, it was another excuse to highlight the Mannings. As the Washington Post wrote: ”When the New York Giants beat the Patriots in a stunning Super Bowl upset Sunday night, they did more than merely keep New England from completing an unbeaten season … The Giants also gave a second straight Super Bowl triumph to the Manning quarterbacks, as Eli reached the pinnacle a year after his older brother, Peyton.”
The “It’s A Wonderful Life Moment:” How many people think if it hadn’t been about the “Manning” connection, this story in 2008 would have been all about “Eli Whoever cock-blocks Tom Brady, the greatest quarterback of our generation.”
See, not only is Sharp ignoring the on-the-field stuff, he also ignoring that since Eli won a Super Bowl, the Manning family became a wholly-owned subsidiary of the NFL’s publicity monster. The whole family is in on the deal; this is why there’s a brother who shows up in photos who has never taken a snap in the NFL. Cooper is the Manning’s equivalent of Fredo Corleone; if they were a political family he’d be Billy Carter or Roger Clinton.
Instead, Sharp inadvertently starts to paint the picture some of us have suspected for a while; that Peyton is a narcissistic, anal-retentive dickhead.
Peyton was very much on Eli’s mind yesterday after the Giants arrived in Indianapolis for a week of preparation for Sunday’s game. He thanked him for all his support over the years. And he even brought us back into their childhood in New Orleans, when Peyton occasionally would beat up on his younger brother.
“He’d pin me down and take his knuckles and knock on my chest and make me name the 12 schools in the SEC,” Eli said. “I was 6 or 7 at the time, and I didn’t know them, so I quickly learned them. It was a great learning technique, but I don’t suggest anyone duplicate that or try that out.”
There was more.
“Once I figured those [SEC schools] out, we moved on to all 28 NFL teams, so I had to get my studying done for that,” he said. “The one I never got was naming 10 brands of cigarettes. When he really wanted to torture me and I knew I had no shot of getting it, that’s when I started screaming for my mom or dad to save me.”
None of this is surprising. The Manning family has all the mystique to football fans that Camelot does for political nerds and Vanity Fair readers. In either case we’re talking about surreal levels of fortune and success, and just enough mystery to keep everyone fascinated for years. It’s nobody’s fault that Eli’s seen as a Manning first.
Again, what happens to this all if he’s Eli Smith? There’s a ton of writers out there who might actually have to develop real story lines on this guy; the low-hanging fruit of the “Kennedys of the NFL” drops like the leaves on Martha’s Vineyard in October. If Eli was just another gun-slinger who graduated the college ranks to a starring role on the main stage of the NFL, the stories about him would be more about football than family.
If Eli weren’t a Manning, he would have a bit of the same problem Tim Tebow has. In this “fantasy football” world the NFL has become, you can’t simply be a winning quarterback, you have to look like one. Sharp runs his finger around the edge of this problem.
It’s impossible to look at Eli without seeing shades of his big brother, and next to his big brother, it’s impossible not to see where Eli comes up short. Peyton’s taller, stronger, more accurate, more commanding, and more consistent. Peyton personifies the word “elite”. With Eli, the first question’s always been “Is he as good as his brother?” and any objective measure says no. That alone makes it hard to take him seriously. Next to Peyton Manning’s Brad Pitt, Eli seems more like Owen Wilson.
But if Eli wasn’t named Manning, he wouldn’t have spent his whole life being compared to Peyton, and instead of looking down on his goofy style, we’d celebrate his ability to win that way. Instead of some off-brand version of his big brother, Eli would be a whole different commodity.
And he IS a whole different commodity. That’s what we’ve started to see throughout the NFL Playoffs. If he wins Sunday, we’ll have no other choice but to appreciate him apart from his brother. Next to someone like Peyton or Tom Brady or Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers, Eli’s nowhere near as perfect or consistent, but he’s every bit as deadly–the guy who can look truly horrible against the Redskins in Week 15, then turn around a month later and beat the best team in the NFL on the road.
This is the problem with framing Eli next to his brother, or even Tom Brady. It distracts us from what makes Eli Manning so much fun: He isn’t just elite, he’s unique.
There’s no doubting that Tim Tebow is unique. There’s no doubting Peyton Manning is unique. The only thing that casts a shadow on Eli’s unique nature is the fact he’s sharing a surname with another NFL quarterback. If Eli Manning weren’t constantly being compared to his older brother, he might just be a favorite son of the NFL. After all, people love it when “regular” guys succeed; Eli is the “elite” quarterback who is actually fun to watch, and isn’t afraid to show his “regular guy” status. He doesn’t hide his pathological obsession with pranks, his “mama’s boy complex,” or that stupid grin he always seems to have glued to his face. America loves a the “win at all costs” guy, but they also love a winner who has a certain amount of humanity; Eli would be that guy if he were Eli Smith rather than Eli Manning.
If you aren’t familiar, Ali-Favre Syndrome is a diagnosis common amongst aging athletes who lose their ability to tell when it is time to retire. Named for its two most famous examples, Muhammad Ali and Brett Favre, the name needs to be updated today with the news that Peyton Manning does not intend to retire.
Tom Condon, the agent for Peyton Manning, talked with NFL Network about the flurry of news reports we’ve seen this week regarding the current Indianapolis Colts quarterback. On Thursday, ESPN reported that Manning had received clearance to play, which Condon confirmed saying his client was “structurally sound.”
I’m no doctor, and I don’t even play one on TV, but I happen to be the proud owner of a neck, and I’m pretty sure that before I’m going to face on-rushing 300-pound defensive I want to hear something a bit more encouraging than “structurally sound.” The 35W Bridge was ”structurally sound;” I would really like to hear something more along the lines of “your neck won’t snap like kindling and we won’t be wheeling you around for the next 40 years.”
Also "structurally sound."
Wait…it gets better.
He did, however, point out that Manning is still waiting on the nerves to regenerate in his arm so, while technically healthy enough to play, he’s really not game-ready. So we’re pretty much in the same place we were before the ESPN report.
Now, unless I’m mistaken, “pretty much in the same place” means “Manning hasn’t seen the field in over a year, we’re on our third surgery to fix the problem, and if the Colts’ season started today, their options behind center are Curtis Painter or Dan Orlovsky.” To me, that means the key in that whole sentence is “he’s really not game-ready.” That could mean anything from “Manning’s just a little rusty; a couple of practices and he’s good to go” to “This guy couldn’t hit water with a football if he threw it off a fucking boat.”
Pay attention to the deliberate vagueries in the following paragraph.
Condon also confirmed that Manning wants to continue playing and plans to continue playing. This comes in despite of several reports recently that retirement is an option for Manning. The Colts quarterback said similar things publicly in an interview with ESPN.
Notice how the verbs are soft; “wants to” or “plans to” instead of definites like “will continue playing” or “commits to returning.” It’s no accident the word “retirement” comes right after those soft verbs.
Now, for the kicker.
Condon said Manning and Colts owner Jim Irsay remained close, despite communicating through the media lately, but all signs continue to point toward the Colts releasing Manning sometime before his large roster bonus is due on March 8.
This is all a chess game between Irsay and Manning. The whole reason Irsay gave Manning that ridiculous contract last year was because he doesn’t want to be the guy who tells Colts Nation the Manning era is over. As it stands now, Irsay wants Manning to be that guy by simply retiring. Manning can’t bring himself to believe that for what is probably the first time in his athletic career, he is the odd man out.
The bottom line is just as simple. Even if Manning can play, and even if he ends his career in a uniform other than that of a Colt, he’s never going to be the Peyton Manning of five years ago ever again. We’ve seen to many great athletes become sad figures by hanging on to the dream just a bit too long, and that list does not need a new addition.
I’m Peyton Manning’s neck. I’m creating all kinds of mayhem, and nobody can figure out how. Thanks to me, there’s a team of doctors arguing over whether Peyton’s career is or is not over, and thanks to that, I’ve got the entire sporting world having that same pointless discussion.
Face it, I have so much power just from tweaking one little neck bone. I started the sequence of events that led to Curtis Painter and Dan Orlovsky being starting quarterbacks in the NFL. I’ve got a multi-millionaire so wrapped around his own axle that he can’t go six days without pissing down his own leg on Twitter. I’ve got all of you so worked up that you’re missing really important stuff.
Let’s go back to that millionaire thing for a minute. I’ve got Jim Irsay so ass-backward that he’s really backed himself into a corner. First of all, I got him to give Peyton a $90 million contract after the first neck surgery without having Peyton get a physical exam of me. All because Irsay doesn’t want to be the guy who has to tell Colts fans the Manning era is over. Then, he got a cut-rate insurance policy in Kerry Collins, and when that didn’t pay off, he went to Curtis Painter, which is the equivalent of that insurance only people with 3 DUIs can get.
Now, let’s get back to you, the fans. Thanks to all the mayhem I’ve created, you’ve totally forgotten Peyton is on the downswing of his career even without the neck problem. You’ve totally forgotten that even if Peyton had played for the Colts this past season, there were so many other problems with that team they would never have won six games. More importantly, you’ve missed the fact that much like it is time for Peyton and the Colts to part ways, it that same time for me and Peyton.
Seriously, I’m not spending the rest of my life holding up that misshapen fetus-head. There’s a big future in this “Mayhem” racket selling insurance, and I’m not about to hang around for more crushing blows, failed comebacks, and general misery when I can make some serious cash scaring middle-class America.
Don’t be Jim Irsay. Buy good insurance and be protected from mayhem like Curtis Painter.
1) Andy Reid and Rex Ryan are just photo-negatives of each other
Andy Reid is quiet and studious. Rex Ryan is loud and brash. And they’ve both lost their locker rooms.
It doesn’t matter where the shit-talking came from, there was far too much of it. While the media didn’t do Reid and the Eagles any favors with that “Dream Team” bullshit, they fell victim to believing it largely because Reid failed to keep the Eagles grounded in reality.
With the Jets, all the shit-talking came from the Jets themselves. The word is starting to get out that Rex Ryan is all talk that he can’t back up. With all the crap that team spewed about how they were the team to beat, they ended up in the same place as the Eagles: 8-8 and playing golf in January.
Even if you don’t think their respective team quit on them, they certainly had pain-in-the ass wide receivers who did. Some people say Santonio Holmes may have quit on his team late in the last game against the Dolphins. Those people clearly haven’t been watching Jets football; Holmes has been a non-factor for quite some time. In Philadelphia, the obvious problem child was DeSean Jackson, or as I like to call him “Punk Bitch Vagina Face.”
This is what happens when you can't back up your smack-talk.
2) Defense apparently is now illegal
Consider the following: this season saw 2 quarterback s with 5,000 passing yards, 8 more with over 4,000 (including rookie Cam Newton), and 7 more mediocre-to-shitty ones with over 3,000 (Ryan Fitzpatrick, Joe Flacco, Josh Freeman, Matt Hasselbeck, Mark Sanchez, Michael Vick, Rex Grossman, Alex Smith, and Tarvaris Jackson – and that doesn’t include the 3K season posted by rookie Andy Dalton).
3) Bill Polian somehow went blind
The former vice chairman of the Indianapolis Colts, the man who built that franchise around Peyton Manning, apparently didn’t see the infrastructure collapsing. He thinks the reason he got fired was for not having a back-up for Peyton Manning.
Bill, the reason you got fired was because the team got old, can’t run, and can’t play defense. Manning didn’t affect any of that. Since football is the ultimate team sport, there is no way team should be so defined by a single player that it literally melts away the second that player is missing.
4) The NFL has some franchises that are in trouble
Stop and think about this: Where would the franchises in Jacksonville, Buffalo, Minnesota, New Orleans, San Diego and St. Louis be if the NFL did not do revenue-sharing? Discuss amongst yourselves.
5) The “Dream Team” moniker is a kiss of death
What do you do with a season that started with such promise, delivered none of it, but yet ended on a positive note? In Philadelphia, the standard operating procedure is “find someone to blame.”
Blaming Andy Reid is easy. The irony is that the same media which points a collective finger at the coach used that same finger to type all the bullshit hype that destroyed this team.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ascribing the bullshit season the Eagles had exclusively on the crap the media spewed, but they own a part of it. Inasmuch as the team owns not meeting expectations, it was the media who set those unrealistic expectations in the first place.
Once the label “Dream Team” was hung around the organization, they were dead.
Rumors have been circulating for a while now about the future of future NFL Hall-of-Famer Peyton Manning. We all know the situation; his neck has been surgically rebuilt twice, and there are serious concerns as to whether he can ever or even should play football again. Coupled with the fact the Colts have collapsed so completely they seem to be a lock for the first pick in April’s NFL draft, a pick certainly to be shackled to Andrew Luck, the most-coveted college quarterback since John Elway, Manning finds his future to be very uncertain.
Today, our guest columnists will debate the future of the four-time NFL MVP. Mr. McGrath will be taking the “Manning must go” position, while Mr. Aykroyd will be taking the “Peyton should stay” position.
Editor’s Note:Mr. McGrath has long and storied history in the management of professional sports franchises, most notably as the general manager of the Charlestown Chiefs of the now-defunct Federal League. Oh, and this is probably a good time to mention that Mr. McGrath’s views are his own, and do not necessarily reflect those of Dubsism, our staff, or anybody else whose house you might want to burn to the ground.
Manning Must Go
It is time to face the facts. Stick a fork in Peyton Manning; he is done. I know nobody in Indiana wants to hear that, but it is a hard dose of truth Colts fans need to accept.
Even if Manning proves able to play at a high level again, even if doctors clear him for the skeletal re-arrangement playing in the NFL promises, there’s no guarantee that Manning isn’t one shot to that surgically-rebuilt neck away from being a potted plant Colts’ fans visit at the home twice a week to water.
If that weren’t enough, look at what sort of team he’d be leading. If you think this team is 0-11 simply because of the absence of Manning, you likely can’t read the top line of the eye chart.
The the best adjectives for the defense are “old” and “bad.” Granted, the Colt offense has never really been a factor, but now that the offense has completely fallen apart means this team is due for a complete overhaul.
The offensive line is shaky enough to be considered a rival to the San Andreas fault, and it isn’t going to bet any better with Jeff Saturday and Ryan Diem likely to be gone. As far as the receiving corps is concerned, Reggie Wayne is likely leaving for his last decent contract elsewhere, Austin Collie and Dallas Clark are now too injury-prone to make a significant difference, and Pierre Garçon may be the most over-rated wide-out in all of the NFL. If that weren’t enough, the Colts have no realistic running game to fall back on.
In other words, it is time to start over in Indianapolis. Much like you have to knock down some walls when you remodel, the pillar known as Peyton Manning needs to come out of the Colts’ house.
Cutting Manning loose frees up money for such a remodeling project. If Manning’s contracts is jettisoned before June 1, 2012, the Colts save against the salary cap, losing close to $90 million in future commitments for Manning’s haeavily back-end loaded deal, owing only $3.4 million in salary and a $3 million roster bonus in 2012. The rest of that money can go into the piggy back the Colts need for winning the “Suck for Luck” sweepstakes.
The bottom line: Peyton Manning is the past, not the future.
Editor’s Note: Mr. Aykroyd was the station manager for the news division of Saturday Night Live, particularly it’s Point/Counterpoint segment in which both sides of a current story were debated. This is exactly the role Mr. Aykroyd will play for us here at Dubsism. Again, Mr. Aykroyd’s’s views are those of the fictional newsman he portrayed, not those of the actual Dan Aykroyd (if he is even still alive), do not necessarily reflect those of Dubsism, our staff, or anybody else you might be thinking of suing.
Peyton Should Stay
Joe, you ignorant slut. When you said “Suck for Luck,” I thought you said “suck for a buck.” That would make more sense since you seem to be willing to swallow more than just words that get put in your mouth.
I think we can safely assume that the Colts and Manning know a lot more about this situation then they are telling us. There’s a reason why the Colts have refused to place him on season-ending Injured Reserve, and there’s a reason we keep hearing about a December return. Today’s check-up for Manning might just mean thye comeback is on; after all, tomorrow is December 1st.
Manning represents hope; Colts fans believe Peyton gives them a chance to return to the winning ways. Who are you to take that away from them?
Who makes a better mentor for the young Luck than the veteran Manning? Don’t give that twaddle about money; there’s ways to get around salary cap issues.
You speak of bottom lines, but you miss the obvious one. If Manning proves to be healthy, given the current state of NFL quarterbacks, he has value that you seem to ignore.
If this injury does in fact prove to be the end for the four-time MVP, then so be it. But there is no way arguably the greatest quarterback to ever play the game should be forced out based on the whim of some dried-out old boozebag of a general manager.
With such a full weekend of college and NFL action, let’s just cut to the chase…
1) We still don’t know if Notre Dame is any good
Every year, Notre Dame gets over-rated, and every year, they prove that by the time they get to Purdue. This year, they’ve done nothing but send a mixed message; lost to South Florida and Michigan, and now have won three straight. but honestly, those wins are over mediocre Michigan State and Pittsburgh, and most recently against West Lafayette Junior High Purdue. It doesn’t get any better since the Irish start their usual parade of service academies with Air Force this week.
2) Speaking of Purdue…
Yeah, I know Giant Drum A&M gets picked on every once in a while here, but they might get more respect if they quit doing things like this.
3) As long as we are in Indiana…
Memorial services for any hope of the Colts having a watchable season will be held Thursday at noon at Lucas Oil Field. When the most glowing reviews of Colts quarterback Curtis Painter are “not completely horrible,” it’s going to be a long season in Indianapolis.
4) The Detroit Lions – The Anti-Colts
Let’s face facts, this team has more upside that in all its previous 50 years combined. The Lions boast an emerging star at quarterback, a dominant weapon in Calvin Johnson, and a defense that is vastly improved, which is why they are the first team in NFL history to make two straight comebacks from 20+ points behind.
5) When is a fumble not a fumble, part III
First, there was the Rob Lytle “fumble” in the 1977 AFC Championship Game, then there was the infamous Tom Brady ”Tuck” rule from 2001, now there’s Victor Cruz fiasco this past weekend. Now I know why there is no coincidence between why Ed Hochuli is the best referee in the NFL and he just so happens to be an attorney; you need a law degree to even understand half the rules in the NFL anymore. Note to the Rules Committee…it is time to start simplifying.
6) Illinois – Your Cup-Check University
If picture is worth a thousand words, you would think an animated GIF would be worth more, yet this one is only worth two…
7) As The Romo Turns
With all the ups and downs, one would think you would find the “Romo-Coaster” at Six Flags over Texas rather than Cowboys Stadium. Week 1, he’s a choke-artist. Weeks 2 and 3, he showed “a rare brand of guts and leadership.” Now, he sucks again. Even ESPN doens’t know what to do with him.
There’s the “pro” side, as evidenced by Eric Mangini.
“But ex-Jets coach Eric Mangini said a couple of Romo’s picks against the Lions were not his fault. The gutsy Romo has also led the Cowboys to two victories this season despite playing with injured ribs.”
“Really, you saw the best of Tony Romo in a brilliant first half as he pushed Dallas to a 20-3 lead that swelled to 27-3 after the Cowboys took the second-half kickoff and drove for a touchdown. Then we witnessed the worst of Romo. He threw three second-half interceptions — two were absolutely awful decisions — providing the catalyst for Detroit’s comeback.”
After all the hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth, NBC’s Bob Costas probably has the best observation…
“Here’s a guy who see-saws between hero’s laurels and goat horns, seemingly game to game. And today, it was half to half. Romo had three TD throws in the first 33 minutes against the undefeated Lions, but then, three picks – two of them returned for touchdowns,” said Costas.”This has been the pattern of Romo’s season, and, as it’s shaping up, his career. At any moment he is apt to rescue his team with feats of daring do, often showing the presence of mind to improvise his way out of one crisis after another. And then, the next week, or maybe the next moment, he’ll turn in a performance or make a decision that sends Cowboys fans to the ledge.”
After all, good Romo or bad Romo doesn’t matter…Cowboys’ fans ripping their collective hair out is what’s important.
8 ) By The Way, Romo’s Not The Only Thing Wrong in Dallas
Remember that crap Rob Ryan was spouting about how Detroit’s Calvin Johnson would “be the third’ best receiver on the team” if he played for the Cowboys. Who else took comfort in watching Johnson pack that bilge firmly in Ryan’s “Head and Shoulders commercial wannabe ass? Did anybody else notice the part where Ryan’ s “vaunted” defense had 12 guys on the field and STILL didn’t double-cover Calvin Johnson?
What has two thumbs, Lynyrd Skynyrd-hair, and a football in his ass from Calvin Johnson? THIS GUY!!!
9) As long as we are in Dallas…
Remember last year when Jason Garrett became the poster-child for uptight, straight-laced white guys everywhere when he was the guy who saved the Cowboys? Remember how this was all supposedly due to Garrett’s being a “disciplinarian?”
So, can somebody explain to me why this Cowboy team looks as undisciplined as ever? Seriously, this team can’t even manage it’s own snap count, half the roster looks like they don’t even know the playbook, and nobody is calling out Howdy Doody Jason Garrett, the supposed Princeton Prince of Discipline.
Forget Jason Garrett...It was Mrs. Garrett who knew how to keep the girls in line.
10) Oh, and before I forget about the other Ryan brother…
Rex, you are one of my favorite guys in all of sports, but…
It’s “put up or shut up” time. I’ve watched your teams gag two straight AFC Championship games, and now your team is looking suspiciously over-rated. Start winning games you are supposed to win so I don’t have to start bashing you.
11) Speaking of “Time To Prove My Love” – The All-Pennsylvania Edition
The Eagles have managed in four short game to go from “The Dream Team” to “The Nightmare Team.” Two reasons – the hardest hit the offensive line has made all season was on their own quarterback, and in the immortal words of Jets’ linebacker Bart Scott, the defense “couldn’t stop a nosebleed.”
But the award for the worst offense in the Keystone State goes to Penn State. Don’t get me wrong, as a Nittany Lion fan, I’ve seen some Joe Paterno offenses that literally dated from the Paleozoic era, but this is the worst I’ve seen under the Galen Hall/Offensive Coordinator regime. With all due respect, GET RID OF THAT GODDAMN TWO QUARTERBACK SYSTEM!!!! I get they both suck, but pick one, shoot the other in the head and let’s move on.
12) Cam Newton Is Now A Poster Child
There’s new mentality in the football world…throwing the football is Nirvana, outcomes be damned. Cam Newton exemplifies this. The world is singing his praises as a young quarterback because in four games he has nearly 1,400 passing yard and 5 touchdowns.
But he also has 5 interceptions and more importantly, only one win as a starting quarterback. This makes him a stud in fantasy football, but not so much in the real game. But, for some reason, we let the fantasy mentality rule the day.
If you doubt that, look at it this way. This past weekend saw 11 quarterbacks post 300 passing yards, but only 4 of them won their games. In contrast, the running game (which has been relegated to the NFL scrap heap) saw 8 running backs rack up 100 rushing yards , and 5 of them played on winning teams.
13) The Dubsism Simplified College Football Top 25
With yet another weekend of football in the books, there are several more important lessons we should have learned both in the college ranks and in the NFL.
1) You “instant replay solves everything” people can all bite me…again.
The Toledo Rockets got robbed by not just the officials, but also by the instant replay officials. The Rockets hit a last-second field goal at the Carrier Dome on Saturday, a score which only tied the game when it should have been the game-winner. Just a few minutes earlier, Syracuse was credited with a successful extra point try that actually missed. And in a moment which proves my argument against instant replay, even after officials reviewed the play, the wrong call was upheld. Here’s the video which shows the ball passing in front of the uprights.
2) Apparently, Sam’s Club sells testicles.
Two weeks in a row, Tony Romo has shown an industrial-sized set of balls he’s never shown before. First there was that comeback win in San Francisco with a cracked rib and a punctured lung, then there’s the performance he turned in on Monday night, leading the Cowboys to another victory in spite of themselves. The Plowboys offense couldn’t even snap the ball effectively, and even when they did, the receivers couldn’t run the right routes, and even when they pulled off those two minor miracles, they still couldn’t catch the damn ball. With the sole exception of Dez Bryant’s catch on that 3rd-and-21 play, the Cowboys offense played without organization and focus, which is why they stumbled into 375 Romo-led yards of total offense and a win considering they never once found the end zone.
3) The stock on quarterbacks rises and falls more often than Robert Downey, Jr’s career.
Romo’s transformation from a week 1 “gutless bum” into a week 3 “super-hero” is only the most current example of this phenomenon. Don’t forget about Joe Flacco, who has managed come full-circle in just four years. First, he was a rookie wunderkind because “he” won first two playoff games . Then he became dogmeat because “he couldn’t beat the Steelers.” There’s even a “Joe Flacco Sucks” group on Facebook. Here’s some of their recent handy-work:
Joe Flacco is wack yo! He is just your average Joe. Ozzie please fire flacco. This season 2011-2012 will be a hard season for us because he was a horrible QB, a wack as O-line, a wack as offensive coordinator and our head coach is a bum. Joe flacco’s stats says it all, he’s just average at best. He throws for 30 and catches 5. He throws for 20 and causes 10 interceptions.
It makes you wonder where those clever retorts are now, since Flacco hammered the Rams on Sunday, completing 27-of-48 passes for a career-high 389 yards and three touchdowns in Baltimore’s 37-7 demolition of St. Louis. “He” also laid waste to the Steelers in week 1. Kyle Orton, Jay Cutler, and Mark Sanchez all are on various places on this same roller-coaster.
4) Tom Brady is fallible.
Take the logic of the “Flacco sucks” crowd and imagine what they would be saying about Brady today if he didn’t have those three Super Bowl rings. Brady has thrown for 1,327 yards in three games; the most yards passing in any three-game stretch in league history. But remember, this crowd believes in the “What have you done for me lately?” theory, and lately Brady tossed four picks and blew a 21-point lead at Buffalo. Not to mention, just how long has it been since the Patriots claimed the Lombardi trophy?
5) The NFL really needs to decide what it wants to be.
Michael Vick’s commentary about officiating raises a legitmate point which nobody will discuss because his commentary lends itself too easily to a conversation about the protection of “traditional pocket passers” versus that of the “athletic quarterbacks.” We all know for what those terms are used as “code,” which is exactly where this discussion gets derailed.
The real point is that Vick has a point about his particular situation. Like it or not, he is treated differently because his mobility gets him out of situations that a “pocket passer” does not. Does that mean he gets hit more often? Probably, but that’s not for any other reason than does Ben Roethlisberger. Both of them escape situations and extend plays in ways not possible for Tom Brady.
Let’s face it, anybody can go back and look through game footage to find examples of quarterbacks getting hit illegally and not drawing a penalty. Conversely, you can see many examples of quarterbacks that seem to get barely tapped and the flag comes out.
The problem isn’t about what type of quarterback gets what sort of call, the problem is the NFL in it’s half-assed approach to “protect” players has made a series of rules which are nearly impossible for officials to call at game speed. the root cause of all this is rather simple; the NFL needs to decide if its product is a league of 275-pound leviathans slamming into each other at full speed or if it’s going to be a league of doilies and tea-cakes.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we should not care about the well-being of the players, but the NFL is going about it in exactly the wrong manner. The way to do this is not to lay it on the players by changing the way the game gets played and expecting players to change the way they play overnight considering they have played and practiced a certain way for decades. The way to do this is not to enact a bunch of rules the officials can’t’ accurately enforce. The way to do it is to get all the involved parties together to have a honest discussion about the future of the game; the time to do it is now since the NFL and the NFLPA just secured a decade with no labor distractions.
6) Robert Irsay and Bill Polian must cry themselves to sleep every night.
Did you ever have one of those nightmares so bad you couldn’t even wake yourself up? That’s how this whole Peyton Manning situation must feel to the owner and general manager of the Colts.
First, there’s the neck surgeries. Then there’s the fact they didn’t want to be the guy who told Colts Nation that the Manning era might be over, hence the enormous contract they signed Fetushead to after his second neck surgery. Then there was the panic attack when they realized the second surgery didn’t work and they were staring the reality of Curtis Painter, Starting Quarterback dead in the face. Then there’s the $10 million insurance policy known as Kerry Collins. And now that Collins was concussed by the Steelers defense, the Colts are trying out Dan Orlovsky and Brodie Croyle as back-ups to Curtis “Jeff Spicoli” Painter.
Stay tuned, Colts fans…the death spiral is only in week four.
7) Parity is a Parody
Does anybody think this league is better because it has 27 mediocre teams and 5 rancid ones? Seriously, look at the breakdown according to record after three weeks compared to their preseason power ranking:
* – Playoff team last season
3-0 Record (3 teams): Green Bay* (2), Detroit (18), Buffalo (28)
2-1 Record (15 teams): New England* (1), Pittsburgh* (4), New York Jets* (5), New Orleans* (6), San Diego (7), Baltimore* (9), New York Giants (10), Houston (11), Tampa Bay (12), Dallas (13), Tennessee (17), Oakland (21), Cleveland (22), San Francisco (27), Washington (31 )
1-2 Record (9 teams): Philadelphia*(3), Atlanta *(8), Chicago *(14), Arizona (20), Jacksonville (24), Seattle* (25), Denver (29), Cincinnati (30), Carolina (32)
0-3 Record (5 teams): Miami (15), St. Louis (16), Indianapolis* (19), Kansas City* (23), Minnesota (26)
The fact that half the playoff teams from last year are in the losing record category and that there are teams like Detroit, Buffalo, Oakland, San Francisco, and Washington clearly exceeding expectations means the NFL once again has achieved is goal of parity, or in other words making almost every team equally lousy.
8 ) The NFL has competition
Until further notice, the SEC will be treated by Dubsism as a professional football league.
Several important football lessons were learned this weekend, both in the college ranks and in the NFL. So, without wasting time on a clever introduction, let’s just cut to the important stuff…
1) What Do Cam Newton and Notre Dame have in common?
To be blunt, they are both now officially over-rated. The Irish are getting all sorts of love for beating a Michigan State team that couldn’t stop shooting itself in the face, and Newton hung up another 400+ yard passing performance against a team that couldn’t put pass-rush pressure on him. The fun part is they are both over-rated for the same reason…they both committed three turnovers, which is NEVER acceptable. In the case of Notre Dame, the only reason they won is because Michigan State did a better job of beating themselves than the Irish did. When it comes to Newton, passing yard totals are nice, but one touchdown to three picks isn’t going to fly in this league…ever. A nice start for getting off the over-rated list would be for Notre Dame to beat a real team away from the shadow of “Surrender Jesus,” and for the Cam-shaft to win a ballgame, period.
2) The Early Leaders in Terrible
The Kansas City Chiefs, Indianapolis Colts, and the Minnesota Vikings. The Chiefs and the Colts just flat-out have no hope, and the Vikings found a way to blow a double-digit lead late. These three teams may not win 10 games combined.
As far as the NCAA is concerned, it was hard not to notice how overmatched Ohio State looked against Miami. For that matter, it was hard not to notice that most of the Big Twelevten looked generally shitty. There’s the aforementioned Michigan State debacle. Then there’s the Penn State offense, which looks like eleven shock-therapy patients whacked out on Goofenthal. The only Big Ten team which didn’t look lousy against real competition was Iowa, and that was only in the fourth quarter.
3) The Redskins are STILL not as good as they look
And that goes for the Bills and the Lions as well. There are teams with a 2-0 mark after two weeks; the Patriots, the Packers, the Jets, the Texans, the Bills, the Lions, and the Redskins. There’s no way all of those last three are making the playoffs. However, I’ve got to give credit to Mike Shanahan for one thing…even though Rex Grossman still sucks, he sucks less than Donovan McNabb.
4) Bronco fans are retarded
Check out the mindset behind this billboard.
“We believe in Coach Fox. We’re just tired of Kyle Orton. We were sitting around after Fox said he didn’t hear the chants for (Tim) Tebow and we figured if he’s deaf, we hope he’s not blind.”
It’s crap like this that makes me think Denver doesn’t deserve an NFL team. First of all, the Broncos have been mediocre at best for close to fifteen years. The last few years have been a long, slow descent into suckitude, and there’s no way Tim Tebow changes that.
If you don’t believe that, look at it this way. If you say you believe in John Fox, then it is time for you to remember he has coached a team in the Super Bowl far more recently than the Broncos have been there, and Fox damn near beat the Patriots with a hump like Jake Delhomme as his quarterback. That means John Fox has forgotten more than you will ever know about what it takes to be a quarterback in the NFL, Mr. Bronco Fan.
That also means if you believe in John Fox, then you would also believe that he’s correct in saying Orton is the better starting quarterback than Tebow. Instead, you are out putting up billboards showing off your idiocy.
If you hadn’t noticed, Tebow isn’t even qualified to handle the clipboard. Remember, John Fox knows more than you, and John Fox’s number two man isn’t Tebow…it’s Brady Quinn. Let that sink in for a moment; a guy who knows waaaaaay more than you about quarterbacks thinks even BRADY FREAKING QUINN rates better on the depth chart than Tebow. So, where’s the “Start Brady Quinn” billboard?
Pull your heads out of your collective asses and understand something about Orton. He has a winning record as a starting quarterback despite the fact he’s played for Lovie Smith and Josh McDaniels, two coaches who have combined for exactly two winning season since 2006, and Orton was the starting quarterback in BOTH of them. He has a record of 22-10 as a starter at home; he DOESN’T suck.
Tebow is your future for a host of reasons, not the least of which is this guarantees Orton leaves town as a free-agent, and no other decent quarterback will sign on to be the guy you boo in favor of Timmy Rah-Rah. But the future isn’t now, and you need to come to terms with that. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… Kyle Orton is not, repeat IS NOT the reason the Broncos suck.
5) Tony Romo showed some balls
I can’t believe I’m defending Tony Romo in two consecutive weeks, but all the people who piled on him last week now have to give credit where it is due. Leading a comeback in overtime after suffering a cracked rib counters everything that was said about Romo last week; namely he’s soft and he chokes in big-game moments. Granted, he needs to pull moments like yesterday more often, but he can only do it one Sunday at a time.
While the rest of America is looking to remember 9/11 on its tenth anniversary, a decade from now people in Indiana may be remembering 9/8; the day their football world collapsed.
Yes, I understand that comparing a medical procedure on a football player to an act of war that changed the entire world is completely ludicrous, but if you lived in Indiana now, you saw the whole world stop just like it did on that horrible day a decade ago. You may think I’m exaggerating, but I’m really not. Every other newscast in America led this morning with remembrances of 9/11; every newscast in Indiana led with a 3D graphic of a human spine.
It all started on Thursday when Colts’ owner Jim Irsay said on Twitter that Peyton Manning would be out “for a while.” There was already much anguish since Manning’s streak of consecutive starts was coming to an end; that uneasiness was magnified by the uncertainty of how long Manning would be off the field.
You have to understand, Indianapolis is a small city in a small state; the Colts are a major source of statewide pride, and nobody is more important to the Colts than Peyton Manning. Ever since Irsay’s now-infamous Tweet of uncertainty, all of Colts Nation is uncomfortably staring into the unknowns of a Post-Peyton world. Adding to the anxiety is the fact the news has been ever-changing. Estimates on how much playing time Manning will miss range from 3 games to 3 months to the entire 2011 season.
In order to restore some sanity to this situation, we here at Dubsism are going to offer the clearest possible picture we can as to what this all means.
1) What Actually Happened
Peyton Manning has had his third neck surgery in less than two years on Thursday. This time, the procedure was called a “single level anterior fusion.” Dr. Rick Sasso of the Indiana Spine Group said the following of the procedure:
“The disc herniation is on the front of the nerve, so we go in through the front, take the pressure off the nerve, and then we distract that disc space where it belongs. We also open the tunnel where the nerve runs out and then we keep it in that position with a little bone graft. And you usually put a little plate across that section so people can move their neck right away and get back to doing their normal activities very quickly,” he said.
By all accounts “the surgery was un-eventful.” But the last line of the quoted story is the problem.
“That timetable (for healing) takes most of the current NFL season.”
Without Manning, the whole world knows the Colts are a 5-win team. This means a decade-long streak of playoff appearances are over. This means an era of respectability is over, and an era of mediocrity is coming.
Moreover, how fast do you think the Colts will disappear from nationally televised games without Manning? The annual Sunday night Brady Vs. Manning Bowl loses it luster without it’s latter namesake; if he’s not ready by then, you can bet if the network which has the game has a “flex” option, they will check off that game faster than Manning checks off a run in the red zone.
3) And Now, From The Football Perspective…
The Colts are screwed. I don’t think I can be anymore succinct than that.
First, there’s this season which every blue-wearing Indiana horse-shoe brain can see swirling down the crapper. It’s not that they don’t have any faith in Kerry Collins or Curtis Painter (which they don’t); it’s that Peyton Manning isn’t just the quarterback, he’s the whole goddamn offense, right down to the play-calling. Without him, this team may spend the entire season offensively looking like a fraternity touch-football team well into its third keg of beer.
Now for the ugly little secret. Whatever happens with Manning, there’s the matter of the money the Colts have tied up in Captain Neckbrace. Manning was just signed to a 5 year, $90 million, $26 million of which he gets this year whether he sees the field or not. That’s a pretty big bite out of a $120 million salary cap.
What’s worse is they chased bad money with worse because they were desperate. What Colts fans may not realize is the really scary thing isn’t the money Irsay gave to Kerry Collins, it’s the length of the contract. Technically, Collins signed a two-year, $14 million contract.
This begs the question…Why would you offer a retired insurance policy a two-year deal? The only answer which makes sense is because you are gambling you won’t need two years of insurance. From a practical sense, this is really a one-year deal which nets Collins $4 million for the 2011 season, because the Colts can release him at the end of the season without any financial obligations beyond $2.5 million signing bonus and a base salary of $1.5 million.
However, the reality is the contract is a two-year deal, with a 2012 base salary of $10 million. That’s a lot of dough for a 41-year old retiree; to make sure Collins is willing to stick around for year number two, the Colts had to pony up the cash.
That’s also means the Colts know they may need that second year. It hit the Indianapolis papers this morning that the Colts can release Manning after this season free and clear of any further financial obligation. Stop and let that sink in for a moment; three weeks ago, we were talking about Manning might be ready for the season opener against Houston. Now, in a very short amount of time, we are making serious overtures about the end of an era.
If the Indianapolis Colts wind up having a wretched season due to Peyton Manning’s neck injury, they may find themselves in a somewhat similar situation. Granted, it’s too early to tell how long Manning will be sidelined after having his second neck surgery in less than four months. Maybe he’ll return halfway through the season and lead the Colts to the playoffs once again. Or maybe he’ll be out all season and will return next year at full strength.
Or maybe he’ll never play again.
Either way, there’s reason to believe the Colts will suffer at the controls of Kerry Collins. The most optimistic of Indy fans think Collins will do just enough to lead an already good Colts team to the playoffs by limiting his mistakes and just getting out of the way. But for those that watched him play in preseason, it’s clear that his arm strength and accuracy have declined and he has a habit of hanging onto the ball too long when he’s in the pocket…
…It’s not out of the realm of possibility that Collins and the Colts will be so bad this year that Indy will be selecting in the top 10 come April. And if they get close enough to sniff the No. 1 overall pick, Bill Polian might want to do whatever’s necessary to land Stanford’s Andrew Luck.
Folks in the blue buckle of the Corn Belt can forget about getting the #1 overall pick; the Colts simply don’t have that kind of Luck (pun completely intended). They are going to be bad, but not #1 overall pick bad. That’s reserved for the Bengals, Bills, Redskins, or maybe even the Panthers again. Believe me, anybody who has that pick is not going to trade it unless Luck pulls an “Eli Manning” and demands such a trade.
Here is what it all boils down to…no matter what, the Manning era is Indianapolis is over; at least the productive part of it is. Manning himself without the neck issue is past his prime, and the offense he led no longer strikes fear in the hearts of NFL defensive coordinators. The time is now for the Colts to look to the future rather than dumping money into the past.