Wednesday, November 14, 2007

No Corks Popping In Miami.

'I'm gonna win ANOTHER one!'Unfortunately, I don't see anything standing in their way.

The Patriots, I mean.

They made it past the Colts in the dome, had their week of R&R, and now they're back to work again this week. This could get ugly...unless you're a Pats fan, in which case it's turning into one big 17-week long party, that'll just get amped up a few more notches come playoff time.

I'm not a New England Patriots hater by any means, but I don't qualify as a fan, either. I don't have as much respect for Bill Belichick as I used to, simply because he's gotten more and more gruff, basically to the point of being a real asshole...shoving camera guys aside, giving two-word answers to the media (if they're lucky), Spygate.

But take away Belichick, and the Pats aren't so bad. They just happen to be a dynasty, and not too many outsiders cheer for dynasties. I think Tom Brady's a class guy. And while Randy Moss might not fit in the "class" category, he took a lot less money in New England than he could have made elsewhere, and has done nothing but work hard and catch touchdowns since he's been there. So maybe he's classy in his own sort of way.

Not that it was going out on too big of a branch, but I predicted that Moss and Brady would be a deadly combination, and that Randy would be a little less, "straight cash, homey!" and a bit more of a team player. Brady's even called him a...a...role model.

There's no question that I wanted Indy to beat them a couple weeks ago, but that didn't happen. So what are we left with? Seven more chances during the regular season for the Patriots to trip over their own cleat laces and get a mark in the "L" column.

Two of those chances are against the Jets and Miami near the end of the season, both games in New England. Those don't qualify as "chances." They're more like an extra two weeks vacation for doing such a bang-up job up to that point.

This week they're in Buffalo, followed by games against Philly, at Baltimore and against Pittsburgh. They close the season in New York against the Giants.

The 1972 Miami Dolphins are the only team in NFL history to ever record an undefeated season, and every year when the last undefeated team loses, they pop the corks on some bottles of champagne to celebrate their record still being untouched.

The members of that team have to be reeaal nervous, and are putting all their eggs in Pittsburgh's basket, as it the Steelers present the only real challenge left on the Pats' six-game schedule. Maybe the Giants can give 'em a run, but I don't think Eli can stand up to the Pats as well as Peyton can.

I foresee a perfect regular season for New England. If the Colts can get their act together in the playoffs, maybe they can pull off a win. But I don't feel comfortable saying that after they just lost pass-rusher extraordinaire and gazillionaire Dwight Freeney for the season.

I know you're never supposed to look past any one team in the NFL these days. Anyone can beat anyone, yadda yadda yadda.

But it wouldn't surprise me come early February if you looked on eBay and found the following item and description:

"For Sale: Several bottles of champagne. Never opened. Great for yacht christenings or your next New Year's Eve party. For pricing information, call Don Shula at 1-888-WE-SHARE-THE-RECORD."

"Sure, luck means a lot in football.
Not having a good quarterback is bad luck."
—Don Shula


  1. I've always loved that quote from Shula. It sure beats what he's been yapping about these days.

    If my math is right, the Patriots actually have seven games left.

    Every few years or so, a team gets off to a hot start, and the 19-0 talk comes. A few years back, it was the Colts. But their run ended at 13-0. I was really pulling for them that year. And they ended up going one and done in the playoffs, after not one, but two losses in the regular season.

    I will admit that the Patriots look unstoppable at this point. But "any given Sunday" always finds a way to make an appearance. 16 games is a long season.

    My prediction - Nick Buoniconti and the boys will be popping that champagne at some point. Will it be against Pittsburgh? Perhaps. But it wouldn't surprise me if it happened against anyone.

    On another note, I do hope that some team, sometime, goes 19-0. I for one am a little sick and tired of hearing about that 1972 Dolphins team, and their annual champagne toast. But will that ever happen? I have doubts.

    My ultimate dream - Brett Favre and the boys go into Glendale as 14-point underdogs and pull out a squeaker and finish the Patriots at 18-1. How sweet that would be! Would that finally send Favre into retirement? I doubt it. He'd come back to defend it.

    I agree with your assessment of the Patriots. It's hard not to like Brady. And even though my status as a Packer shareholder demands that I hate Randy Moss, I don't - never have really. Let's be honest here. He has been a pretty good boy for the last three years. And I was really pulling for him toland in Green bay this past off season. But in retrosepct, it's all turned out well anyway.

    As for Belichick, yes, he's an asshole. But he's a hell of a coach.

    I'm digressing here. I'm also probably the only one of your readers who will reply to this post.

    Here's to a fun Thanksgiving! Any predictions?

  2. P.S. I think it would be more fun if the Miami Dolphins went 0-16. How ironic it would be if they finished 1-15, with their one win against New England, and that win being New England's only loss. If it gets to that point, you know damn well the living ghosts of that 1972 team will be on hand.

  3. Ack! Shit.

    That's what I get for blogging with my eyes half open. The football mag I was looking at had the weekly schedules all in nice orderly columns, and then to fit it on the page, they put Week 17 across the bottom horizontally. I totally missed that.

    I should have known no teams are 10-0 yet. Thanks for the catch, Burt. The Pats play the Giants in New York to end the season. That one could be interesting...if Manning plays like his name suggests he can.

    Now my neurotic side is going to beat up my lazy side until I go and make that change in the post itself. But that'll have to wait until after work.

    As far as Thanksgiving...I wish I could say I felt more confident. I think the Lions will be ready to play, and I don't think it'll be a blowout either way.

    If I was a betting man (heh.), and was forced to make a wager on that game, I'd probably take the Packers. We'll see what the pointspread is.

    But I think I'm just gonna sit back and watch it while shoveling in turkey and dressing.

  4. Damn. I thought "No Corks Popping in Miami" something else.

  5. Yep, now that Ricky Williams is back with Miami, there's no way they can lose to the Pats. Never under-estimate the power of a shit load of pot!!!!

  6. A-Bomb...I don't know if they can find anything that good. But if Ricky shares with his teammates, at least they won't care so much when they lose.

    JJ...Sorry to get your hopes up.

  7. I've taken a cautiously optimistic approach to the Packers this year. But after two tough road wins in six days, followed by an absolute blowout, I'm just now starting to get some major confidence. And as much as I hate to jinx my team, I have to lean towards the Packers winning on Thanksgiving.

    Incidentally, if you compare the remaining schedule for both teams, the teams the Packers play have a winning percentage of .463. The Lions - .630. We'll now see just how good your team is. That's a tough schedule.

    Who knows where it will end. All I know is that I'm experiencing an unexpected joyride this year.

    I'll miss that old man once he finally decides to retire. I don't think most Packer fans even realize just how blessed we all have been, or realize just how incredibly good he is.

  8. Anytime I hear the word "cork," I'm reminded of that Saturday Night Live sketch from a few years ago, in which they showed us the job of "cork soakers."