Necessary Roughness, Week 1: Football is Here!
I’m back! Thought you were gonna have to face the trials and tribulations of another NFL season all alone, without the completely biased coverage you have come to expect from the dyed-in-the-wool (not quite sure what that means, but it describes me) Skins fan that I am? Well, you are… it’s not like we are hanging at BW3 or some shit. But after some rude cajoling, I agreed to return for yet another season of the column. And yeah, I finally realized there is (was?) a TV show called Necessary Roughness that stole the name of their show from this column. And I didn’t get a fucking dime!
Well, fuck them. I think that show might have gotten cancelled anyway, and this column lives on. But before we get into the Week One action there are a few things I need to get off my chest. Mainly this extra nipple!
It was about as ugly an off-season as you could have, but we won’t worry about that right now… in fact we are going to forget it immediately. It was actually a pretty cool one for me here as the Skins moved their summer training camp to Richmond, VA, right down the street from the Slave Pit, GWAR’s legendary production facility. Any time I felt like it I could skip work (mainly interviews and practices in case any of you were wondering what “work” is), walk across the street and watch the Skins slouch their way through a bunch of meaningless maneuvers. It was about as interesting as the rest of the off-season.
As was pre-season. I barely paid attention. Supposedly the Skins were unbeaten. Big whoop. The pre-season should be for one thing: testing out who makes the team and who doesn’t. I think the vets should be kept out of these games and the pre-season itself should be shortened by at least one game. But if the NFL is making money off it, you can count on nothing to change. Much like the Pro Bowl, you can expect the pre-season to remain.
But there are a couple things that are different about this season. First of all, we have the first-line referees. Remember that debacle from last year? And even better: Ray Lewis retired! No more having to suffer through his asinine dance routines or listen to his “God is beautiful” bullshit. I mean, the guy was part of a double-murder that he ratted on his buddies to get out of. Read this article and tell me what you think. For my part, he makes me sick. I know a lot of people in Baltimore are gonna miss him, especially after the Ravens Super Bowl run last year.
We didn’t have to wait long to see the impact Lewis’ departure and an off-season of Super Bowl success had had on the team. Bionic man Peyton Manning and his Denver Broncos laid a 49-27 beatdown on the listless Ravens to open the season on Thursday, in which Peyton threw for seven TDs, which is simply insane for a guy that was at one point a bump on the head away from being paralyzed for life. Peyton remains at the top of his game and has even managed to lay down a whole new series of Papa John’s commercials. Broncos look good!
Soon it was Sunday and like any self-respecting football fan I was up at 6:00 a.m. getting the grill in order and was glued to the set by the first pre-game show. OH NO! It’s Ray Lewis, the latest pre-game chucklebutt who plans on “spending more time with his family” by being a sports analyst. Those guys sure don’t travel to a different city pretty much all the time. Boy, now I hate him even more (of course this is a hate fueled by jealousy as much as anything else). Aren’t there enough people on these shows already? How many bulky dudes in three-piece suits laughing at each other’s lame jokes do I have to suffer through before I get to some decent analysis? Plus… there’s comedy! And I must say Frank Caliendo came back pretty well after a fairly humorless 2012, easily trouncing Ron Riggle’s lame “New York is Great for Football” with his spot-on Mike Ditka impersonation.
There was more off-field nausea to follow as Bruno Mars was announced as this year’s Super Bowl halftime show. BARF. But finally the chunks were swept aside and the soup-coolers stopped flapping. It was time for some football!
OK, the format for the year is to be as follows… since I have to have this in by Monday at noon, these columns must be brief, especially considering that I am going to be on tour with GWAR for nine weeks out of the season. I’m not even gonna try to cover every game in the league, just the ones that I have time to cover and interest me for whatever reasons. At the same time I am not going to use this column as my personal Skins jerk-off booth… they will receive as much coverage as any team deserves. I also call upon the readers of this column to respond or call me out in any manner you deem fit in the comments section, that’s what it’s there for. And finally I reserve the right at any point to relinquish control of this column to my infernal master, the mighty Oderus, if he ever decides to write about football. He does seem to enjoy watching it!
Ok, now that’s out of the way, we can get on with the show!
The New York Jets, target of so much off-season criticism, opened their season with an unlikely last-second FG victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, made possible by a completely needless Tampa personal foul delivered to Jets QB Geno Smith. It was a fitting end to a day where Tampa penalties dictated the complexion of the game, and in particular the new personal foul rules related to leading with the helmet. Tampa Bay defender I-can’t-quite-remember-his-name-right-now twice got flagged for leading with the helmet, even as he claimed to be trying to abide by the rule change. The unfortunate result of this attempt to regulate concussions will be for defenders to “go low,” which is going to lead to a slew of potential career-ending knee injuries. Only time and instant replay will tell. It is, after all, a contact sport.
But in much the same way as Rex Ryan loves feet, Jets fans love this win… it was ugly but somehow it brought them pleasure. A buddy of mine who attended the game said Jets fans were cheering even when rookie QB Geno Smith threw the ball away, so accustomed had they become to watching Mark Sanchez take the opportunity to complete another interception. Enjoy it while you can, NY, your team is unbeaten. Go Jets.
The best game of the day that I got to watch was undoubtedly the Green Bay Packers vs. the San Francisco 49’ers. It was a bruising game and quite an exhibition of football at its finest and worst. Its best was the dazzling play of the dueling QB’s Kaepernick and Rodgers, its worst when the officials made a wrong call and let the ‘Niners replay a down that led to a TD. In a 34-28 win that was the ballgame. Oh well, ain’t life a bitch. Nobody is immune to the occasional bad call and perhaps realizing that will make this game not such a bitter pill, Packer fan. What might be harder to take is that for all the criticism made this offseason about how the Packers were “soft,” and all of Matthews’ remarks to the contrary, I was a little shocked to see how much the ‘Pack was getting whacked by the time the fourth quarter rolled around.
OK! That’s it! Starting next week I will actually cover a few games. But I am out of time, and I really wanted to rag on the Giants for giving up the ball six times en route to losing 36-31 to the Cowboys. I am glad to be doing this again and I look forward to your feedback. Now, onwards to the big Skins vs. Eagles scrap tonight… all my bros at TLA will be thinking about my smiling face as we rip you guys! C’mon, let’s sing the Philly Eagles song…
DIE, EAGLES DIE…
Did I say I was NOT gonna use this column as my own personal Skin jerk-off cube? I LIED! See ya next week, football fans!