Random thoughts from NFL Week 5! (Yes, we’re a little late. Sue us. Wait, don’t do that.)

I am rather angry at the NFL and more specifically the phony media outlets that pretend to challenge the powerful league on, well, anything.

The latest phony outrage is over Greg Hardy, who didn’t play at all last season and served a four game suspension this season, yet I’m hearing all kinds of complaints that Hardy is now back with the Dallas Cowboys.

I’m not defending Greg Hardy, but what the league does to its players both economically and physically makes what Hardy did to his ex-girlfriend look like a gentle massage.  The league pays players less than any other professional league, and doesn’t guarantee contracts, so it can throw away used up or injured players like yesterday’s trash.  It’s also censored ESPN and threatened other networks if they pay too much attention to the “man behind the curtain,” specifically, the growing ugly mountain of evidence about how hideously awful playing NFL football is for your long term health and how the NFL has basically taken a shit on its veterans for four decades, while ownership have become billionaires in the process.

Yeah, it’s just awful that Greg Hardy is back playing football.  But, frankly, I can’t think of a better punishment.

This Week’s Sucked And Won

Sunday’s Catch Of The Day belonged to Browns TE Gary Barnidge.  If you somehow missed the replay of this find it on youtube.  Barnidge sandwiched a Josh McCown pass between his legs, then bent himself in half, snatched the ball into his hands and, just for good measure, rolled into the endzone for a touchdown.  Maybe it was luck (for a “lucky” receiver, Barnidge had a hell of day, catching 8 passes for 139 yards), but it nonetheless a remarkable play and, if nothing else, some truly heads up football by Barnidge just for realizing that the ball had not yet hit the ground and the play was still alive.

Shocking realization of the week

On Sunday, Charles Woodson became the oldest player since the merger to have a multi-interception game.  For you youngsters, the “merger” was when the NFL and the old AFL combined into one league about 50 years ago.

This week the NFL truly delivered on how exciting a Sunday slate of games can be.  Three early contests went into overtime, the Chiefs-Bears game ended with a very late Jay Cutler TD to take a lead with Kansas City then trying what would have been a record setting 66 yard field goal to win it.  The cherry on top was a thrilling finish on Sunday Night, with Eli Manning leading a truly outstanding end of the game drive to score the winning touchdown.   This is why football is forgiven for so many sins.  This and all the betting.

This Week’s Great But Lost

Todd Gurley, RB (STL):  The rookie running back was a real horse on Sunday, carrying 30 times for 159 yards, and was the Rams only real offensive threat against Green Bay.

Can everyone shut the hell up about how Tom Brady is so great but never had any weapons like Peyton Manning did?  First of all, most dopes who start this conversation then immediately turn to how Rob Gronkowski is the most unstoppable, most uncoverable, most valuable offensive weapon in the entire NFL.  He also has Julian Edelman, the best slot receiver in the NFL today.

Let’s remember Brady had Gronk and Aaron Gonzalez together for a while.  He also had Randy Moss for three seasons, Wes Welker (possibly the greatest slot receiver in the history of the league) for six seasons.  Before he had all those guys, he had one of the league’s elite defenses on the field, along with Corey Dillon in the run game and Troy Brown and Deion Branch at receiver, and while those guys weren’t elite, they were certainly good enough considering everything else the team had going for it, including one of the all-time greatest coaches in NFL history.

But yeah, Brady never had it good like all the other quarterbacks.

Listen, Brady is an all-time great, but this pointless argument advanced in his favor is a huge load of crap.


“All of them” – Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, responding to a question about which turnover bothered him the most this week.

“We haven’t played well enough.  It’s as simple as that. No, I’m not pleased at all.” – Tampa Bay coach Lovie Smith, criticizing his team’s play despite its second win of the season.

“Kickers are people too, but they’re not football players.” – NFL analyst and former coach Brian Billick, offending kickers everywhere.  I suppose it’s better than offending linebackers, right?

“It was cool, but I’m not one of those guys that likes publicity.” – Raiders K Sebastian Janikowski, on becoming the Raiders all time leader in games played.

“He’s worked hard, he’s a veteran player, he’s a smart guy, he’s been here for a little bit. There are always levels of knowing something. The more you’re around something the more experienced you are with the people doing it together, the better you’re going to be at it. But he’s certainly comfortable with our system.” – Cowboys coach Jason Garrett, uttering a bunch of nonsense about Matt Cassel, who will start for scape-goated Brandon Weeden this week.

“No matter how many times I look at this, I can’t get the end to change.” – Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, lamenting his inability to alter the past by watching video of it.

“We were going to the mattresses.” – Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, making an awesomely cool Godfather reference following the team’s win over San Diego.