Monday, January 18, 2010

Kick Em' When They're Up, Kick Em' When They're Down

"TURN OFF THE LIGHT?!?!" - My wife who got to sleep at nine PM while I was up work until around midnight

If you do not have a government-type job or work at a bank branch today you'll be sitting in your normal cubical none the wiser that today is a national holiday in honor of civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. Maybe the reverend forgot to tell my bosses about equality in workplace vacation days as with the great weather yesterday spilling over into today my kids will be outside shoring up their snow fort as we were after the Vikings game yesterday.

Waffles learned the number one lesson of being a cooler yesterday. Never pick a team to spite them, you must feel in your losing heart that the name printed on your slip is the one that will bring victory and cash into your Dockers back pocket.

It was a good day for the Purple but the game wasn't a rose petal trail for the Vikings victory over the Dallas Cowboys 34-3 as the highlights rolling on ESPN would have you think. The Cowboys dominated the first quarter, their offense was steam rolling as Romo was given time to find that 2nd or 3rd receiver. The defense picked on some holes in the Vikings O-line as DeMarcus Ware crushed Favre when he went unchipped, unblocked. But, due to a missed 48 yard FG when Phillips had momentum and just one yard to go and a Romo fumble the game was kept tight besides the lopsided stats favoring Dallas.

Then Favre hit Sidney Rice in stride, Ray Edwards went into some kind of beast mode after someone entered a cheat code from Madden 2010, and Romo went down and stayed down. No comeback, no life, just a ball of sulk unseen since Jay Cutler got his steak rare instead of well done at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse last week. Another missed FG by the Cowboys in the second half and another Favre-to-Rice connection put the game virtually out of reach going into the fourth quarter where the situation you'll hear all the Cowboys' faithful and every sportscaster with a blazer and tie have with an opinion about this morning. Might even get a few momma's basement dwelling bloggers who got spooked away from their epic loot raid in World of Warcraft in this mix.

Deep in the fourth quarter The Vikings had the ball at Dallas' 11 yard line facing a 4th and 3 with around four minutes or so on the clock. The three options: a) kick a field goal (also could be shown as running up the score) and its 30-3 b) have T-Jack come in to take snaps and kneel or what Chilly decided to do is c) run one of their go-to plays which is Big John Shade on a left slant in the endzone for a touchdown. For the record, I believe B and C are both viable as you're not going to please everyone. If you do B and take the knee, there's the hometown fan base wondering why you gave up on the game with time on the clock. Those are the folks who fueled the Free Agency grab (h/t to StB for the article)with hopes that Zygi will not pick up and leave if that suburban stadium does not come to fruitation soon (this year is certainly giving it a push). No one likes a blowout, if you played ANY form of sports you probably have experienced both sides of this. Looking up at the lop-sided scoreboard with rabid parents still cheering you on like the lights say 2-1 instead of 21-0 after that ringer team from Edina offered the future NHL prospects free private school educations and donuts from Wuollet's on Wednesdays. Or your team of work buddies playing the local bar softball league and finding out that half of them used to play minor league ball but have since got married with kids and found grabbing an education with a career more important than chasing Crash Davis' dream of making it to the show. Your team donned in the corporate colors goes on to demolish the other corporate teams that mostly contain players that once played T-Ball and were looking to get out from behind their actuarial tables for some night air and instead got bullet line drives coming off real athlete's bats.

But this is different. These players are PAID to show up and perform for 60 minutes, not 50, not 55, but all 15 minutes of each quarter when they take the field. If you want to blame someone, blame the coach. Chilly should/could have subbed in T-Jack for the ending but still trotted on his best lineup despite the defeat written on the faces of everyone sitting on the opposing sideline. Even so, if T-Jack had tossed that TD pass to say Jeff Dugan, would we have the same "uproar" from Keith Brookings (who by the way was part of that 1998 Falcons team that crushed our souls)? Perhaps they were just taking out the Dirty Laundry?



I'll leave that question open for the Cowboys' fans out there. If the backups score on that play does your opinion of "running up the score" change?

All in all the Vikes were the better team yesterday and now travel to New Orleans for what should be great game and I won't need to cut myself off after a few drinks since I'm off next week (but if you'd like to read the PokerStars Sunday Warm-up wrap I'd sincerely thank you for your audience as always).

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