He's the Joker to his Batman. The Green Goblin to his Spiderman. The Sabertooth to his Wolverine.
I'm speaking of the NFL rivalry between New England QB Tom Brady and Denver QB "He-who-must-not-be-named." Early in the week prior to this game, the hype reached comic book proportions. The NFL Network even ran a series about some of the best rivalries in sports (which prompted my husband to ask, "Why is the NFL Network talking about Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi?"). Because, that's how you roll at the big networks -- make a comparison and then totally over-reach it!
In the comic book world of the New England - Denver game . . . it's a cold, dark night in the Fox Hole. The snarling horses roar ahead thanks to their defense, as Captain Uggs (Brady) and his offense fumble the ball three times. Soon, the proud Americans find themselves in a 24-point hole. "Bwaa-haa-haa-haa! Now I've got you, Captain Uggs!" laughs Doctor Offense ("He-who-must-not-be-named").
But Captain Uggs uses his mental powers to mount a comeback, pulling his team to within three. Suddenly, Doctor Offense throws an interception in Denver territory! Nooooo! Captain Uggs' mental powers must be crippling! He of course uses his powers to lead his team to a touchdown and the lead for the first time. But Doctor Offense cannot be contained. He marches his team down the field for a touchdown and forces overtime. Take that, Captain Uggs!
The extra quarter features a battle between the two superheroes like none other - Pow! Thwak! Zonk! Kerplunk! But - oh no! - one of Doctor Offense's minions has been infected with Captain Uggs' mental powers! The ball hits the minion on a punt and the Patriots recover! Captain Uggs leads his team to a field goal and seals the victory over rival Doctor Offense. "So long, Doctor Offense!" Captain Uggs shouts. "You haven't seen the last of me, Captain Uggs!" cries Doctor Offense as he fades into the horizon.
Er, well, the game went SOMETHING like that . . .
In other news, Brett Favre is old. OK, so he's only 44, and I don't like to admit that I'm about half a decade away from being "Brett Favre old" myself. But have you taken a good look at him lately? We're deceived by all those Wrangler jeans commercials. If you notice, he's always far away from the camera -- you know, pretending to chop wood or playing fetch with an actor dog. But if you happened to catch his interview a couple of weeks ago on the Today Show, he looks . . . worn. Scruffy. Just, OLD. Not that I'm picking on the guy, but his face looked like leather, his hair was white, and his facial hair made him look almost like a vagrant. He informed Today Show host Matt Lauer that if he had a son, he would be "leery" of letting him play football. After years of suffering blows to the head and multiple concussions, Favre now claims he's experiencing memory issues, and with all the recent focus on the disputed connection between playing football and CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy), this can get scary for the future Hall of Famer. If I had a son, I think I'd be leery of letting him play, too - especially if he's going to look like he's 64 when he's really 44.
Also this weekend:
-- It's the Donovan McNabb syndrome for the second year in a row.
Many of us remember Donovan McNabb's infamous post-game interview after a 2008 game with Cincinnati that ended in a tie. McNabb announced he didn't know a game could end in a tie. "What would they do if it was the Super Bowl?" he wondered aloud dumbly. And just last year, a game between the Rams and 49ers ended in a tie with similar musings among a handful of shocked players who expected a second overtime. Yes, I suppose because a lot of time had passed since the 2008 tie and the one last year, it's slightly less embarrassing for players to not know the rules. On Sunday, Green Bay and Minnesota played to a tie, and once again, some players didn't know the game could end that way. Sports Illustrated reported that "multiple Packers" expected a second overtime. One of those players was tight end Andrew Quarless, who said, "I thought we was gonna go to another overtime." Grammar, inexcusable. Not knowing the rules of a game you've probably played since youth, horribly inexcusable. I don't understand how you can suit up every week, practice daily and study film without knowing how to actually play the game. Maybe some of the obscure rules aren't well-known, and ties are pretty rare, but overtime isn't so rare, and you'd think players (and coaches) would understand the rules. Don't make me come over there and bop you with my NFL rule book!
-- Don't look at me, I'm just a punter!!
Giants punter Steve Weatherford was subjected to a "random" NFL drug test on Monday after having a monster kicking day Sunday. He averaged more than 54 yards a punt and boomed two punts of more than 65 yards. And he's a punter, who by rule are supposed to weigh 120 lbs soaking wet, therefore something must be fishy here - let's throw a "random" drug test at him! Perhaps I would believe the "randomness" of this drug test if it hadn't already happened to another kicker earlier in the season. If you recall, Colts punter Pat McAfee also had to submit to a "random" test after a big hit on a Broncos return man. There's bit of difference between McAfee and Weatherford though. McAfee claims to have the body of an adolescent, while Weatherford is a beast. His teammates call him a "fitness freak" and some say that pound for pound, he's the strongest player on the Giants. Side note for the ladies: The article I read was kind enough to post some photos of Weatherford wearing an open shirt on a fashion show runway, one of him shirtless in a weight room, and another where he's raising his shirt and showing off his abs. Six-pack abs are for pansies! Weatherford's bringing on the 12-pack! Excuse me while I wipe some drool off of my keyboard.
-- Ice is back with a brand new mission.
That's Vanilla Ice. And he's back. But not really. Only in the Texans dreams, apparently. The Texans are so desperate to change their luck and end their nine-game losing streak that running back Ben Tate suggested the team "Bring back Vanilla Ice," who performed at halftime of the Tennessee game in week 2. That was also the last game Houston won. Wouldn't it be cheaper just to pipe "Ice, Ice Baby" into the stadium during pre-game warmups than to hire Robert Van Winkle? And yes, that's Vanilla Ice's real name - no wonder he had to pick something with a little more "street cred." Of course, I can't imagine the going rate on Vanilla Ice is that high. Regardless, unless Vanilla Ice is going to morph into William "the Refrigerator" Perry and suit up for the Texans, it seems like a lost cause to me.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and involves two of my favorite things - eating and watching football. Our turkey day football buffet includes Green Bay at Detroit, Oakland at Dallas and Pittsburgh at Baltimore in the night cap. Local shoppers may be glad Pittsburgh is playing the late game because that might mean getting better spots in Black Friday shopping lines. On the non-Thanksgiving day plate, some good games on Sunday include the Rams at the 49ers, the Broncos at the Chiefs (part deux) and the big Monday-nighter, the Saints at the Seahawks. No teams are on byes this week, other than possibly the Texans, who are about to say bye-bye to this season.
Until next week, Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy the games, my friends!