Monday, October 13, 2008

I Still Hate Baseball, But Football Is Making Me Happy

It has been tough to bring myself to writing about sports lately because of my utter disgust at the way the baseball postseason has gone. Not only did the Mets not make it, but the Brewers embarrassed themselves in the Mets' place, and now I have either the Dodgers or Phillies to root for...both of which are among my five least favorite teams in the game. I could also root for the Rays of course, but they are in deep trouble even after winning game 2.

When the final pitch was thrown in Game 1 of the ALCS and the Red Sox had won it on the road in Tampa Bay, I said to a co-worker, "well there's your World Series champ." He told me that it was a little early to say that and the memory of him cursing the Dodgers' season months ago flushed back into my memory. I looked through my sports-notes that I write and found the game.

The Dodgers trailed 2-1 in the 7th inning and were 2-games behind the Diamondbacks at the time. There were 54 games left. I hadn't been watching and asked him the score and he said in all seriousness, "Who cares? They suck. It's all over." This is the voice of reason telling me I am jumping to conclusions about the Red Sox winning the World Series after winning Game 1 of the ALCS on the road.

It is funny watching the playoffs from a relatively neutral observer's position. When Steve Phillips described Brett Myers Game 2 game-winning, 2rbi single as a "Chris Evrett two-hand backhand down the line," I thought to myself how much I would hate him at that moment if I gave a damn about that game.

Sometimes I think that the TV stations are having contests to see who are the least knowledgeable, least well-spoken, most arrogant people they can put on the screen and still get ratings. It is like a social experiment to find out if the sports are really important enough for us to watch despite being angered at their incompetence the entire time. Seriously, how else can you account for Chip Caray, Stu Lantz, Shannon Sharpe and DeMarco Farr's careers?

On the lighter side, the Redskins and Cowboys both lost in painful and embarrassing ways this weekend, and the Eagles narrowly escaped another tough loss. And the Giants are now everyone's favorite team. This does scare me a bit because being the one that no one respected fit their team psyche well and this is a new mode all-together. But this Giants team doesn't seem like the type to have an ego-induced collapse. A huge win over the Browns tonight will make me happy. No one seems to be mentioning it, but the Giants are the team that pretty much destroyed the Browns' season earlier this year.

If you remember, the Browns were one of the up-and-comers last year and actually had more Pro Bowlers than the Giants did. Big things were expected from the great Derek Anderson, the warrior Kellen Winslow, and the talented trio of Brylon Edwards, Donte Stallworth and Jamal Lewis. They were going to score a lot of points and have a bruising, physical defense. Then they went to New York and the Giants surged out to a 30-3 lead early in the second quarter and knocked Anderson out before before pulling their starters. Then the city of Cleveland sunk meekly into Lake Eerie.

Of course, they could be out for revenge and could ruin the Giants 19-0 season tonight back in Cleveland. The Browns are coming off of a bye week and at 1-3, this is pretty much a must-win if they want to play in January at all. But for the Giants, they are two-up in the loss column and have almost already made the playoffs. But I don't see the upset happening. Anderson has thrown twice as many picks and touchdowns and his longest completion of the year was barely a first down. Winslow has just been released from the hospital after an undisclosed illness (that allegedly had to do with one of two reproductive organs and the term "grapefruit sized"). Jamal Lewis has one touchdown and is averaging a little over three yards-per-carry. All of which has culminated in the defense spending more time on the field than Chad Johnson has spent coming up with touchdown celebrations that he doesn't get to use.

Giants 27-Browns 13

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