Often while watching football games on TV, I'll have to brief the Kid on which team we're rooting for and which team we want to lose, as you might expect. These discussions usually take the form of "the white guys" (i.e., the team in white or "road" jerseys) and then the "blue" guys or the "orange" guys or whatever color jersey the home team is wearing. OK?
So yesterday, after the Giants disposed of the Jets in OT, we cut to the Redskins and the Cowboys, not a game I really care much about, but it was the only late game we had, so that's what we watched. I informed her that we don't like the Cowboys, who were "the guys in the white shirts", or for short, "the white guys". Then she asks me about the other team, and I shrug and said the following (keep in mind that the Redskins' dark jerseys are brown in color):
"Well, yeah, we hate the Cowboys, but we don't really care about those brown guys much either, because they're the Redskins."
Now, there's a sentence I never thought I'd say. For a second I felt like I was a Klan member.
And now for some randomly collated thoughts about yesterday's football action....
:: The Bills, of course, were off yesterday, which accounts for my lack of rage and heart-palpitation this morning. In fact, the Bills had a good week even by not playing, because two of their three division rivals lost (the Jets and Dolphins, to the Giants and Colts respectively), and the third (the Patriots) could lose tonight when they play the Broncos. Thus, the idle Bills gained ground on one of the teams ahead of them and got some breathing room over the division cellar-dweller. Good news for everyone.
:: I suspect that Steve Spurrier's days in Washington may be numbered. The guy just looked totally bewildered yesterday against Dallas; he had no answers and nothing to offer while his offensive line, which might be the worst line I've ever seen, kept allowing young quarterback Patrick Ramsey to get tossed around like a rag-doll.
:: Readers who don't skip over my weekly football posts will recall that I've criticized the Bills for being too reliant on passing the ball in game-situations that would normally call for running it. This syndrome is sometimes referred to as "going pass-wacky", and it's a real thing. Buffalo News columnist Bob DiCesare had an excellent column in yesterday's paper about Bills' offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride, who, it turns out, has always been pass-wacky. It's a good column. Check it out. (A telling stat is that the Bills have faced third-down between the 20-yard lines 56 times this season, and they have passed on every one of them. Come on!)
:: Speaking of pass-wackiness, Tony Dungy and the Colts came perilously close to losing yesterday against the Dolphins because of it. Leading 23-17 with about three minutes to go, the Colts got the ball deep in Dolphins' territory. This was the perfect situation to just pound the ball on the ground, letting the clock run and forcing the Dolphins to spend their final timeouts before getting the ball back, on a day when the Dolphins hadn't been moving the ball consistently. (And if the Colts pound the ball on the ground and get a first down, the game's over.) But the Colts decided to go pass-wacky, which (a) doesn't grind enough time off the clock and (b) even worse can result in an interception, thus giving the Dolphins back the ball in the red zone. In this case, scenario B is exactly what happened: instead of running Edgerrin James up the middle (yeah, it was third-and-seven, but the clock is more important here), Peyton Manning goes back to throw and gets picked off. Dolphins' ball, at the 15-yard line, and if they score a touchdown and make the PAT, they probably win, unless they give Indy enough time to drive for a game-winning FG.
But maybe Tony Dungy knew what was going to happen. Maybe he looked across the field, spotted Dave Wannstedt on the Dolphins' sideline, and remembered that Wannstedt has put his own virtual trademark on "going pass-wacky". The Dolphins had all the time in the world to score the touchdown, they had Rickey Williams in their backfield...and yet, after rushing him just once, Wannstedt sends in a passing play. Dolphins QB rolls right, never sees Colts DE Dwight Freeney coming up behind him, gets sacked and fumbles the ball, which is recovered by the Colts. Game over. But then, what else to expect of Wannstedt, who in a low-scoring, tight game like this only had his offense run the ball 14 times in the entire game.
I don't care how good your defense is, Dolphins fans. Your boys aren't going to win the Super Bowl this year.
:: The Vikings have now fallen to defeat twice. My pick to win it all, the Bucs, are looking more ordinary with each passing week. I haven't checked the standings yet today, because I have the uncomfortable suspicion that not one team I picked to win a division is in the lead. Ugh.
Next week, the Bills travel to Dallas to take on the hated Cowboys. It's a must-win game (they all are, from this point on). Ought to be a good one. (I've pretty much become convinced that Bill Parcells is the greatest coach in football history.)