Necessary Roughness, Week 17: Old Dudes Celebrate Silly Game, Are Delirious With Joy!
OK, I get it! Writing the column so it’s out Monday is way better than doing it on Tuesday. So again I flip-flop, and see the wisdom of my editors — and now I agree with them, after much pointless debate [Editor’s Note: Brockie did submit this column on Monday, but we were out for the holiday.]. On Monday the images are fresher, the debates are hotter. We can’t put off talking about how badly Romo failed because of some crummy Monday night game, especially when there are no games left in the regular season anyway! What, am I gonna wait until Tuesday to talk about the playoffs? Fuck no! Alright, I get it, we’re back to Mondays, sorry to waste your time, NEXT…
It was the last weekend of the regular season, and all manner of creatures were struggling for a playoff berth. Falcons and Bears, Seahawks and Colts… the league had become a veritable barnyard of madly thrashing mammals, creating violence few humans could weather. But this is the NFL, and that’s why they make the big bucks. I mean, I’m all for people being able to keep their limbs attached to their bodies, but if they get rid of kickoffs I’m probably going to cry. And I don’t like that new pass-interference across-the-middle bullshit, the one designed to protect the “defenseless” wide receivers. People hitting defenseless receivers was one of the biggest reasons I got into the game, for fuck’s sake! Separating the receiver from the ball (or his head from his body) with a cleanly delivered hit was an artful and awesome part of the game, but now it’s a 15-yard penalty. Makes you wonder where the game is going, and if it’s still gonna be good when it gets there.
As anyone who has even the slightest inkling of how the uniform/color thing works in the NFL, I hope it’s pretty obvious from the blatant imagery on this page that I am a Washington Redskins fan, and have been for a long time (because I am so old). That being said I think I have done a pretty good job not writing about them in this space all the time… hell, last week I didn’t even turn in a column, that’s how hard I have worked to not work. But I can contain my glee no longer! The Redskins are the champs of the NFC East for the first time since 1999 and life is fucking good!
The stakes couldn’t have been higher for Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys as they pulled into Fed Ex Field to face their hated Redskins rivals. Romo and the ‘Boys have been struggling to flip the switch from erratic to elite for years and on this national stage they had their best shot thus far at doing so. A big win over the upstart Redskins would get them into the playoffs. And that would take them a step closer to the Super Bowl win which is the only thing that will ever get people off of Romo’s back. I mean, it’s been the same thing with that guy his entire career; he’s a great QB, but only as great as you can be for a guy that is incapable of winning the big game. So it was time for the Cowboys to step it up. There was just one small problem with the scenario: the Cowboys had to beat a team that was born again hard and had won six straight leading into this season-ending showdown. With QB phenom RG III slowed by a sore knee, the Redskins had turned to the devastating rushing of humble rookie Alfred Morris and a revitalized defense led by the ageless London Fletcher to take them to the playoffs. The stage was set for an epic struggle between two very different teams, both with a legitimate shot at ascendancy.
AND THE COWBOYS FUCKING BLEW IT!
Romo looked confused and frustrated as the Redskin D burned him for three picks. His blank, doll-like eyes darted about his sockets like those of a deranged animal as he yelped out confusing commands on his way back to the heated bench. I have never seen a QB berate his receivers so badly. There’s not a ton going on in Jason Witten’s brain anyway, don’t yell at him! The “bend but don’t break” attitude of the Washington defense absorbed the Cowboys’ early surge and kept the Skins in the game until the offense finally hit its groove. When it did so it was with a mixture of deception and pure physical power that the Cowboys just couldn’t handle. Somehow the Cowboys managed to keep it fairly interesting, but in the end they lost, 28-18, and the Redskins claimed their first NFC East title since 1999.
Regardless of how the Skins do in the playoffs, this year has to be considered a big step up for the whole team. The Redskins have finally done what they and every other team out there wants to do; they have found a franchise QB capable of raising up his teammates’ level of play to the point where the team has the potential of beating any other team in the NFL. Watching RG III play, it’s hard to believe that he is a rookie. He seems so capable and confident… the opposite of Romo, whose strident sideline manner hardly inspires confidence. If there is one ray of hope for Cowboys fans it’s that this was the final illustration Jerry Jones should need of the fact that Tony Romo IS NOT the man. But he’s not about to fire Tony Romo, not when Romo could spill the beans about Jerry’s peculiar habit of injecting Botox into his dick. Oh, and by the way… HAIL TO THE REDSKINS!
But there were other games and other teams, and I would be remiss in my duties as a faux-sports reporter if I didn’t mention something about them, even if the vast majority of them were completely meaningless. Honestly, I don’t remember a time when so many teams were so fucking BAD, and I guess the owners agreed because on “Black Monday”, as the day after the last day of the regular season has come to be called, they went on a head-chopping spree as no less than seven coaches, including Chicago’s Lovie Smith and Philadelphia’s Andy Reid, lost their jobs. Damn, that’s a rough gig! Reid has been at Philly for 14 years; is it really necessary to fire him? Hasn’t he given enough of his life to that town that he could be given the option of “stepping-down”? Hell, Hitler did that for Rommel… oh, but that’s right, we are talking about Philadelphia. I love Philly, but it ain’t for the brotherly love!
My respect for Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos continued to grow as he laid five TD passes on the hapless Kansas City Chiefs in a 38-3 Denver victory. It’s great to see one of the true class-acts of the NFL bounce back from multiple neck surgeries to guide a new team into the playoffs. Watching Manning play is a real treat (unless of course you are playing AGAINST him), and the Broncos are in the hunt for a third Super Bowl. Adrian Peterson came up just nine yards shy of Eric Dickerson’s single season rushing record as the Minnesota Vikings managed to muscle their way into the playoffs with a 37-34 win over the Green Bay Packers. The New York Giants hosted the survivors of the Sandy Hook school shooting in their 42-7 beat-down of the Philadelphia Eagles, but the planets didn’t quite align and the Giants were eliminated from post-season play. Guess I was wrong about earlier comments I made concerning the Giants mid-season meltdown being all “part of the plan”. I think they waited a week too long to get their shit together. And finally the Houston Texans continued to disappoint just as the Indianapolis Colts continue to impress, beating the Texans 28-16. The other games were either pointless or just too lousy to care about.
I always enjoy the playoffs much more than the regular season. It’s the finality of it, the no-tomorrow aspect that makes teams play like they have nothing to lose and makes the games so much more fun to watch. So here we sit, on the edge of the post-season, and my Redskins are in it. And I think they have more than a chance to do some damage; in fact, if they can get by the Seahawks I will go as far as to say that I bet they make the Super Bowl. I know it’s crazy but I just don’t see another team in the NFC that is playing with the heart AND talent that the Redskins seem to possess. So get ready football fans, here come the playoffs!
Oh, one final thing… if you are gonna bring back Faith Hill, remember, sluttier…