Thursday, October 12, 2006

A way of thinking

The fact that many Google searches for "Yankee haters" bring people here should tell you how I feel about the pinstripes. I hate them. I hate them so... much... it... the.. f... flames... flames... on the side of my face... I love to see them lose like they did against the Tigers. I like the A-Rod bashing, the Giambi post-roid weight loss, and the slow decomposition of Randy Johnson. But today, the morning after Yankee pitcher Cory Lidle was killed when his plane flew into the side of a New York City building, the hate disappears.

Sports bring out a lot of emotion in me and us. When our teams play, we're exalted in their success and crestfallen in their failures. We taunt the opposition through the television, radio, or when we're at the stadium in person, but when the opposition steps off the field - and they no longer are our opposition - it's different.

Today I'm not a Yankee hater. Today I don't feel gleeful because they're out of the playoffs (though I do think it's a good thing they're out already because nobody should have to play after losing a teammate as they have). Today my heart goes out to the Yankees organization, and especially to the family of Cory Lidle. Sometimes we forget that, despite the fact that we root hard for our own teams, we're fans of sports as a whole. It's a shame it sometimes takes something like this to remind me of that.

Monday, October 02, 2006

36-30: An Overtime Thriller

Last night the Washington Redskins beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 36-30 in overtime on a 68 yard touchdown pass from Mark Brunell to Santana Moss. The victory brings the Redskins to .500 at 2-2 as they get ready to travel to the Meadowlands to face the New York Giants.

I now bring you the true and the false of this season to date...

TRUE: I-66 is likely a genius - I told the Redskins fans out there not to panic. I told my friends that the victory against Houston was no big deal in the grand scheme of things, but what it did do was give the Skins a chance to get into an offensive rhythm - something they did not get into in the pre-season (Deep Cover expounded my point, comparing it to D1 college football teams scheduling cupcakes for their early games). So what happened? After predictably beating Houston, Washington ran up 36 points and 481 offensive yards against one of the best defenses in the league on their way to victory.

FALSE: Everything's coming up roses at Redskins Park - The offense may be awake now, but defensively there are some glaring holes. The defensive generated 4 sacks yesterday, more than doubling their total to that point for the season (3), but the secondary had trouble tackling and covering receivers, allowing Jags QB Byron Leftwich to throw for 289 yards and 3 touchdowns. The first Reggie Williams TD and the Maurice Jones-Drew TD came after many missed tackles. To be a complete team, the secondary's going to have to get right. Granted, with Shawn Springs out, they're not yet at full strength. Hopefully things will improve when he gets back onto the active roster.

TRUE: Mike Peterson is an idiot - According to the Post, the Jags middle linebacker said last week that Clinton Portis would be lucky to rush for 20 yards against them. Portis ran for 112 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries and the Jaguars were dominated in the trenches.

FALSE: Jason Campbell should be warming up - Last week, Mark Brunell completed his first 22 passes. Yesterday he only completed 18 of 30, but threw for 3 tds and 329 yards. Right now Brunell gives the Skins a better chance to win than Campbell. But seriously, Mark, what were you doing on that flea-flicker?

There it is. A 36-30 victory in overtime in my early-season nominee for Game Of The Year. Byron Leftwich showed a lot yesterday, twice leading his team back to tie the game after being down 27-17 and 30-27. He never got the chance to do anything in overtime, but that's the way the NFL overtime system is designed unfortunately. Now the focus shifts to the Giants who will be coming off of a bye. Based on yesterday's performance, they now have a bit more to think about defensively. This game will double as LaVar Arrington's first shot at the Redskins since his uncerimonious departure in the off-season. Let's hope Washington can keep it going.