Lions Good News/Bad News

I cannot wait to watch Detroit and New Orleans go at it Sunday Night. Good news arrived today as Matthew Stafford is practicing without gloves.

“He didn’t have glove on?” Lions coach Jim Schwartz said with a smile when asked about it after practice. “I didn’t notice.”

Of course, they also got the verdict that Ndamukong Suh was suspended for two games, with Sunday evening’s contest being one of those games.

Remembering Browns v. Bengals 2004

I love NFL Films Blog for posts like this one.

I was there. It was November 28th, 2004. I had been with my girlfriend (now my wife) for all of about two months.

Kelly Holcomb threw for over 400 that day and 5 TD’s. William Green amassed 75 yards. I got drunk with my friend Mike. I couldn’t believe the amount of scoring we saw that day.

It’s ironic that NFL Films Blog posted this because whenever I go to a Browns/Bengals tilt in Cincinnati, I often think of this day. It was one of the more memorable Browns losses since the return. It was entertaining, high-flying football. It was the last game I ever saw Butch Davis coach live (he ironically suffered panic attacks around this time).

Browns-Bengals Cincinnati Version 2011

I’ll sum this up with something from a Browns message board I read that really resonated the most with me. I would love to take credit for it, but I simply don’t have it in me. 
I know it was nothing flashy, but it WAS pretty efficient and to the point. You knew when they got up, that they weren’t STAYING up. The mistakes, the bad-decisions, the fear – all started to appear like clockwork. You saw that they really put their nose to the grindstone and really dedicated themselves to pulling defeat from the jaws of victory in this one. A true team effort.
The Rams game was Keystone Kops-type stuff. THIS game was like, “We are the Bizarro Green Bay Packers.” Just like the Packers decide when it is time to put the other team away, the Browns decide when it is time to unravel. Just like the Packers say, “It’s WINNIN’ TIME!”, the Browns say, “It’s LOSIN’ TIME!”

Other losses were flashier and more entertaining and more humorous, but I am truly impressed by the methodical nature of the unraveling in this one. It’s like they said, as a team, “We’re up by 10 – somethin’ ain’t right.”

And: 
You knew that, when they set their minds to it, there was no way they were going to let this loss slip through their fingers. There was no single glaring foul-up, like the quick-snap in the first Bengals game, or the bad snap in the Rams game. No – this was a methodical unraveling. This was a team that was in danger of winning and said, “Look, Guys – We are not this good. We need to start playing Browns football. We need to start going 3 and out, throwing incredibly stupid interceptions, let the opponent’s skill position players embarrass us, settling for FGs instead of TDs, and find a way to lose.”

And that’s what they did. It was beautiful in its parsimony.

These frickin’ losers. I don’t feel like writing much else. Just look at the pictures I took, know that the Browns are losers and champions only at driving away lifetime loyal fans and making golden goose type of investors in sports (people love the Browns when they’re good more than any other franchise in sports) go away slowly.

Honestly there’s nothing to be happy about. I used to get upset about these types of losses into the middle of weeks. They would dominate my thought. I don’t even care anymore nor am I surprised. They’re fricking losers. Their coach Pat Shumur is a loser and a bad hire.

Way to play not to lose football there at the end of the game, Pat. And then way to attempt a 50+ yard field goal into the wind on the road instead of punting. What a bad hire.

I showed up to my Uncle Frank’s house yesterday morning with my wife, Stephanie; and he had these surprises for us. We received two on-field passes for before yesterday’s games to watch the Browns and Bengals warm up. It was the first time I have ever been on the field for the game.

Here’s the end zone where Phil Dawson missed his field goal because of the wind and another bad snap by our champion long-snapper Ryan Pontbriand.

 The 50 yard line and the watercooler and all that good stuff.

Here’s a look at the replay booth on-field. This is probably as close as I’ll ever get to one again in my life.

Screw the Browns. I’m off to read and write about some real football.

Lions – Turkey Day Recap

[Game Book]

[ESPN NFL Nation – Rapid Reaction] [Pride of Detroit] [ESPN NFL Nation – Suh] [Lions Insider] [The Lions in Winter] [MLive.com] [Wall Street Journal] [NFL.com Highlights]

Maybe the best Thanksgiving I’ve ever had ended without any football fulfillment. But that doesn’t matter. The experiences are all that matter. I kind of began to figure that the teams I wanted to win on Turkey Day wouldn’t get it done for me. And sure enough, my favorite player in the game of football tossed three picks and by the time I really got to settle in and watch the Lions, the game was basically over.

The greatest part of my day, without any shadow of a doubt; was waking up early to take a walk with my wife Stephanie and my dog Bentley yesterday morning early. We went down to the beach and our puppy just ran and played and had the time of his life. This is when I realized and said to myself that I am a lucky man. This is when I felt at peace and gave thanks to the Lord about the things I was thankful in life. It was just a really pleasant beginning to what ended up being a day that I’ll cherish for as long as I live.

After our relaxing walk on the beach with our pup, we headed over to my father in law’s residence and had a nice couple glasses of red wine and watched the kick off of my crown jewel Thanksgiving football game of the entire weekend.

I quickly had to go to the dining room for lunch and didn’t have the chance to see what seemed to appear like a pretty good first half from the Lions on my phone. Then a pick from Matthew Stafford came. Then a missed field goal. It was 7-0 at the half.

I went down to the den at my in-laws residence and kicked my feet up. My wife was not happy about it but I pretty much had her permission. Soon thereafter, Suh pulled his best Albert Haynesworth impression from his hat and was ejected. The Lions turned what would have been a 10-0 ballgame into a quick 14-0 game. It would grow to 24-0 until finally they cracked the scoreboard. My wife made me head over to her mother’s side of the family’s at that point down 24-8 and my belly was swelled with all the garbage I had eaten.

Basically, I didn’t get the chance to watch the game. But it was still a damn good build up. And I think the Lions can play with these guys, I really do. Green Bay clearly took away the deep ball, as Stafford checked down a frustrating amount of times and I didn’t see one attempt at a deep shot taken the entire game. He threw into the teeth of the 3-4 defense all day long underneath it instead of going overtop for the big play.

It was agonizing to watch, what little I did see. Aaron Rodgers again did his thing. It seemed a pedestrian game for the greatest there is; but he had his 2 TD, no turnover, 300+ yard game. 

I had some of the best turkey that I’ve ever eaten in my life (in my opinion, anything deep fried does not count). The rest of the Thanksgiving fixins are on the plate as well. I also had a great salad bar, some crab stuffed fish of some type, and vodka penne. Later on (our second meal of the day) at my wife’s mother’s house I could not eat at all. I had only a few bites of marshmallow covered sweet potatoes and that was all.

My second Thanksgiving away from home in New Jersey was a terrific Thanksgiving that would have been made perfect with a Lions win (and a Dallas loss to cover my bet). But all in all I really enjoyed my day and cherish the things in my life that I should. I’m off my soap box, and I apologize for turning a football blog into a journal momentarily.

Thanksgiving Early Game Open Thread

It’s Thanksgiving. Went for a walk on the Jersey shore beach with my dog Bentley and now we’ve got the Macy’s Parade on. In a little bit I’ll head down to my father in-laws where hopefully I don’t get in too much trouble trying to see my Lions get after the undefeated Packers.

Pics of my first plate, and maybe second to come later on. Eat til’ you’re sick! Happy Festivus everyone!

See you tomorrow in the Land of Turducken

Thanksgiving to me was always about great food, good football, my family, and relaxing in the comfort of my parents home that was heated by a woodburning stove. It’s also about the start of the Christmas season. It’s about John Madden (and Pat Summerall for that matter). Big performances by Barry Sanders, Emmitt Smith, Eddie George, Marcus Allen, and a handful of others.

It envokes so many memories of my childhood. It’s my favorite time of year. The football games in the front yard. The battles on Sega Genesis madden. The night before Thanksgiving trips to the bar with buddies. The Macy’s day parade with my sister.

The token Christmas movie they throw on every night. My dad’s oyster dressing that I’m running out of years to try.

It just means so much, man. The memories are rich and my life has been good. I’m really looking forward to tomorrow. Go Lions.

Goodnight everyone. Happy Festivus.