Necessary Roughness




Hello everyone! Welcome back to the column that I have to drag my ass out of bed early to write, and when you are on tour with GWAR, and especially when you were up until four a.m. getting loaded in the back lounge, that is no easy task. But I have a job to do, so here we go!

Week two of the NFL season brought several teams back to earth with uncomfortable thuds, and reminded us all that the analysts and prognosticators have about as much psychic ability as a Chia Head. But before we round-up the action, an observation: first, Mike Ditka is as funny as ever. When asked on the pre-game show his opinion about coaches shaking hands after a game, he expressed his contempt for the proceeding, explaining that one handshake, before the game, was more than adequate. When the co-host cajoled him, threatening to call in the courtesy skills of Miss Manners to bring judgment to the matter, Mike threatened to “punch her in the face.” He’s one of the game’s greats!

I can understand why ex-Bear Ditka was in a pissy mood after Chicago suffered an ugly loss to Green Bay on Thursday night. The incredibly bland Jay Cutler threw four picks and got sacked seven times, and the Bears lost running back Matt Forte to an ankle injury. I was in Chicago this past weekend, and the city was not happy. As I walked around Riot Fest, I got more than a couple mocking remarks about my Redskins hoodie, and was reminded of the city’s inherent charm by being told that if I had worn a Packers jersey I probably would have been assaulted. Da Bears! Sorry Chicago, Green Bay has had your number for a while, and with Forte out and Cutler on his ass more than his feet, that ain’t about to change.

Playing in a band means weird hours and spotty internet hook-ups. It’s often quite a challenge to actually see your favorite teams play. Yesterday I had to take to the internet and utilize one of the variety of websites that stream the games live. You can usually find your games, but you might have to suffer through crappy refresh rates, annoying pop-ups, and weird foreign broadcasts, not to mention the FBI knocking down your door. Of course, I could just pay for it, but where’s the fun in that? And while it is somewhat of a relief to know that they watch American football in Equador, it’s quite disconcerting to listen to the play-by-play in Spanish. But that’s what I did as I watched my beloved Redskins fall to the St. Louis Rams 31-28 in a wretched display of lousy officiating and Redskins miscues that gave a never-say-die Rams team the win. Rookie potential superstar RGIII had a good game, but his team lost it, hopefully returning to earth in the process. The Redskins defense looked terrible again, and the D-Line is already decimated with injuries, with the Skins losing both Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker. It was a chippy affair, and the Rams deserve the credit for a tough win behind stand-out performances by Sam Bradford and Danny Amendola.

The Dallas Cowboys suffered a similar reversal of fortune with their 27-7 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. The Cowboys, much like their division rivals, the Redskins, enjoyed a smooth performance and a convincing victory the opening week of the season, but the same team didn’t show up this weekend. The Cowboys looked flat and listless and could manage only one TD against the stingy Seahawk defense. The Pittsburgh Steelers put a real beat down on the Jets, 27-10, who looked nothing like the team that racked up 48 points against Buffalo last week. Both Michael “Pick” Vick and Eli Manning had huge games in leading their teams to victory. Vick rallied his Eagles for the second week in a row, leading them past the Ravens in a 24-23 win marred by more crappy officiating, and Manning had his biggest day through the air, throwing for 510 yards as the Giants scored 25 points in the last quarter to sneak by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 41-34.

By far the upset of the weekend came as the Arizona Cardinals beat the New England Patriots, 20-18, with the normally dependable Stephen Gostkowski missing a 42-yard long field goal with only two seconds left. The Cardinals have won nine of their last eleven games. I watched a lot of the “Battle of Ohio” on the backstage TV at the Cleveland House of Blues, and it was nice to see Adam (remember “Pac-Man”?) Jones return a punt for a TD, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Cincinnati Bengals from beating them, 34-27. The Dolphins swarmed the Raiders, 35-13, and Buffalo got in the win column with their home opener, embarrassing Kansas City, 35-17.

Finally, the Texans and the 49ers continued to show up, beating the hapless Jaguars and the hard-fighting Lions. I know there are a ton of other good stories around the league that I can’t hope to touch on considering my deadline is in ten minutes. So that’s what the comments section is for! Where are we at after two weeks? Who’s looking good, who’s looking bad, and why won’t the NFL give those refs their fucking jobs back? It’s too early to tell much for sure, but let’s hear your feedback! See ya next week!


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