Monday, January 10, 2005
VIKES PLAY NEAR PERFECT
THE MOSS MOON
CULPEPPER OR FAVRE?
THE OTHER PLAYOFF GAMES
BELTRAN TO THE METS
THE JENNIFER DEBATE
Good Monday Morning everyone!! I am guessing that people are still talking about the Vikings surprising win against the Packers yesterday. Well, or at least about the "Moss Incident." Carlos Beltran made his decision, which should open things up for the rest of the remaining free agents. And, we've got some results from last week's Jennifer question. Also, be sure to check out the results of the Demographic Survey finally!
As always, I hope you enjoy what you're reading here. If you have any opinions, comments, or ideas for future artcles, please e-mail me.
VIKINGS PLAY NEAR-PERFECT
Disappointing. No Heart. No courage. Chokers. Canít win the big one. Canít win on the road. Canít win in cold weather.
These are all words and terms that have been used in the last week to describe the Minnesota Vikings and some of their players and coaches. I know. I wrote some negative thoughts on them after last weekís loss to the Redskins.
Going into the Wild Card game against the Green Bay Packers, most people thought that the Vikings would fold. Most thought that Brett Favre would eat up the porous Vikings defense. Most probably thought that Daunte Culpepper would not be able to lead the team to a win. And way too many people thought that Randy Moss leaving the field early the week before would negatively affect the team this week.
I completely agreed that the defense was weak, but I also know that we all know that when this offense clicks, it is as good as any NFL Offense not in Indiana!
Before the game, I felt there would be one of two outcomes. The first is that the Packers would get off to a fast start and the Vikings would fold and get blown out. But I also felt that if the Vikings could get off to a decent start and keep it close, they could compete and maybe sneak a win.
So, when the Vikings got off to a 17-0 lead in the first quarter, I was in shock! I was thrilled when Moe Williams gave the team a 7-0 lead after just a couple of plays. When Randy Moss caught a TD pass on the next drive, I smiled, but there was a lot of game left. When Antoine Winfield intercepted a Favre pass that was thrown right into his gut, I got a little smirk on my face. And when Morten Anderson kicked a field goal to give that 17-0 lead, I was feeling pretty good. And then I looked, and there was still 6:48 left, in the FIRST QUARTER.
I expected a Vikings collapse, at least on the defensive end. But the defense just kept putting pressure on Brett Favre. The shaky, questioned defensive backs came up with four interceptions. But even so, in the 2nd quarter when a Favre TD pass cut the lead to just seven, I was very worried again. But Culpepper led the team right back down the field and Nate Burleson didnít drop a TD chance this time to put the Vikings back up by 14.
Now, in the third quarter, that Vikings D forced a couple more turnovers, but were unable to score any points off of them. At that point, I was resigned to the Vikings falling despite completely dominating the game to that point. And when the Packers Najeh Davenport got into the end zone from a yard out, it cut the Vikings lead to seven again, and I was just hoping the game would go to overtime! But again, Daunte Culpepper led the Vikings right down the field and audibled to set up the perfect play, a TD pass to Randy Moss.
The defense came through again, and the offense kept the ball for the last seven minutes with an impressive ball control, clock control drive!
So, no, I wouldnít say that the Vikings shocked the world. I am totally not surprised. But if you watched any of the pregame shows, the Vikings were consistently called the worst team in the playoffs, and that picking the Packers was the easiest pick of all of the games this weekend.
So with the 31-17 win, the Vikings advance to play the Philadelphia Eagles next weekend in the City of Brotherly Love. It is important to remember that this Vikings team is the same team that everyone hates a week ago. Theyíre still not good. However, that does NOT mean that I donít think they can beat the Eagles. If they play like they did yesterday, they will beat the Eagles. Can they duplicate this effort? I donít really know that they can play this well. However, as long as they play with the heart and intensity and give the same type of effort they did against the Packers, I will be happy with them!
Oh, by the way, to all of your who were critical of Mike Tice and Ted Cottrell in recent weeks had better be speaking their glories this week! Last week, I criticized offensive coordinator Scott Linehan. And, although I wish he would let the Vikings speedy running backs run outside from time to time, it is hard to argue with the results!
What did you think of the game, and what do you think will happen against the Eagles? E-mail me.
THE MOSS MOON
OK, all anyone wants to talk about is the Randy Moss TD celebration. Just in case you missed it (and itís almost impossible to), Moss caught his TD pass, and limped to the goal post, where he turned his back to the Green Bay crowd and pretended to moon them before warming his backside against the goal post. I feel the need to repeat the word "PRETENDED." I admit, as he was working his way to the middle of the endzone, all I could think was, "Donít do it. Donít do it!" But when I saw it, I laughed. And, Joe Buck did not. Hopefully people who read this site have realized that listening to Joe Buck is pretty awful and overrated! And certainly, he is entitled to his opinion. But do you know what I did? I laughed. I laughed, and I am not ashamed. Iím not going to agree with the mainstream media that wants to tell you how to think!
The NFL, like the NBA, MLB and other pro sports, is as much entertainment as it is sport. Now, before I go further, I will agree, it was not necessary. It was classless. It wasnít something you would probably encourage anyone else to do. But it was funny.
I can hear it now. I bet I get a few e-mails from people saying that their kids saw it. What do I say to them? I say, "Well, I hope you told your kid that they shouldnít do that. That it wasnít right, and then repeat that they should never do it. I would tell them that if they choose to do anything like that, they will be punished, as Moss will be by the NFL." But I wonít tell them not to find it funny. I think it is OK to see things on TV and use them as teaching visuals for your kids. You can use sitcoms or movies to teach life lessons and what is right or wrong. You can do the same thing while watching a ball game.
I heard former Vikings backup QB and current ESPN NFL analyst Sean Salisbury complaining about Moss. He made some comment about the classy Packers fans. OK, the Packers fans are just like every other fan group in the NFL. Donít kid yourself. How many people noticed Moss verbally sparring with some of the Packers fans along the sideline early in the game? You could hear him telling the fans to look at the scoreboard. He then backed up his actions with another touchdown and made a point. So, the Packers fans are not some special breed.
Now again, Iím not condoning what Moss did. Like so many keep bringing up, I liked when Barry Sanders would score a TD and hand the ball to the ref. Wonderful. I also loved when Deion Sanders would dance. I liked the Icky Shuffle. I liked the Dirty Bird. When Terrell Owens scores, I want to watch, just to see what heíll do next.
The NFL will fine Moss for his act, and they should. But donít kid yourself about this either; the NFL loves the controversy that Randy Moss provides. They love when Terrell Owens does something on the field. Just like the NBA used to love the attention that Dennis Rodman gave them.
So, my overall thoughts: Get Over It!! And get over yourself!! Those are just my thoughts. Maybe theyíre controversial. Maybe you agree. Let me know what you think. E-mail me.
FAVRE OR CULPEPPER
When the Vikings lost to the Packers on Christmas Eve, Brett Favre led the Packers to that late game winning field goal. That came after a Vikings drive stalled. People kept talking about how, in a big game, you want Favre as the QB, not the likes of Daunte Culpepper. Well, Sunday, in the playoffs, that was a big game!
I have to start this by saying that I am as big a Brett Favre fan and admirer as a guy from Minnesota can legally get away with. And that is even despite the mediaís love affair with all that is Favre! To me, that is the reason so many people just donít like Brett Favre. It has nothing to do with him, just a byproduct of his success and winning. Itís like Duke basketball. Itís like the New York Yankees. The reason that people hate them has nothing to do with their sports, only that they have exactly what every other team wants, and that is consistent winning. It makes no sense to me.
Anyway, all those QBs who bring their teams back have usually had a lot of help on those game-winning drives. Also, said QBs have put their teams in a position where a comeback was necessary. What Daunte Culpepper did today, in a BIG game, was got the Vikings off to a fast start and an early lead. And then every time the Packers would get back into the game, he would lead the Vikings to a touchdown.
So, people can ask the question, "Which QB would you rather have for one game, Brett Favre or Daunte Culpepper?" I will say Daunte Culpepper every time! Weíre talking about a QB who, if not for Peyton Manning, would be talked up tremendously because his 2004 season was one of the greatest seasons put in by a QB!
Any thoughts? E-mail me.
THE OTHER PLAYOFF GAMES
I was disappointed that the Chargers were unable to beat the Jets. Nate Kaeding missed a 40 yard field goal in overtime that would have won the game. I think that the Chargers were settling for a 40 yard attempt rather than trying to get it closer to help their rookie kicker. Former Viking kicker Doug Brien made a shorter field goal later in overtime to give the Jets the win.
The Rams not at all surprisingly beat the Seahawks. Iím actually surprised it was even a close game. Stephen Jackson is seriously really good!
Speaking of really good, how about a QB throwing for 360 yards and 3 touchdownsÖ in the first half! Thatís what Peyton Manning did against the Broncos yesterday. I thought it was funny when some people thought that the Colts loss to the Broncos the week before might hurt them this week. Yeah right! If Manning plays more than three plays, the week before was a lot different. Oh, Manning ended with 457 yards passing on 27-33 passing. He threw 5 touchdowns. Reggie Wayne caught ten of those passes for 221 yards and 2 of the TDs.
Another thing that bothers me is that Jake Plummer will be talked about as a bad QB because he canít win a big game. Iím not a big Plummer fan, but this loss had absolutely nothing to do with Jake Plummer!
So, I was 2-2 in my predictions from Friday. Oh well. I'm good with the Vikings winning!
BELTRAN TO THE METS
It looks like it is about to happen. Carlos Beltran turned down 7 years and $105 million from the Houston Astros to sign a 7 year, $119 million deal with the New York Mets. We kept hearing that Beltran had no interest in playing in New York City. But apparently the cost for him to get over that was $14 million, or $2 million a year over seven years.
I just donít understand. I understood why Corey Koskie signed a 3 year, $17 million deal with the Blue Jays instead of the Twins 2 year $8 million offer. Thatís more than double the money and an extra year! But when weíre talking about $105 million versus $119 million, does it really matter. Is Beltran going to be more happy with those $14 million while playing in New York than he would have been making just $15 million a year in Houston? I donít think so. And now, all the pressure of a bad franchise that is making really bad decisions lays on his shoulders. And, when he hits .260 again next year, or he misses 80 games in 2008 and 100 games in 2009, I wonít feel bad for him.
I would love to do what everyone else is doing and blame his agent, Scott Boras. But I canít even do that. Was this the conversation between Boras and Beltran on Saturday?
Boras: OK, Carlos, hereís what weíve got. The Cubs are interested, but they just arenít offering enough. The Yankees apparently didnít want to match our demands. The Astros are offering you 7 years and $105 million. The Mets are offering you 7 years and $119 million.
Boras: So, I am going to decide that it is best for you to sign with the Mets and get me, I mean you, that extra cash.
I mean, if that is what happens, that is ridiculous. I think that the agentís job is to get as much money offered to his agent, and to present him with as many options as he can get. Then they need to sit down and determine where that player feels he should go, taking the money and other things into consideration. So, Boras got Beltran the money offers, but it is Carlos Beltran who made the decision to leave Houston for New York City. If Beltran can't tell Boras that it should be about other issues than the money, he should get a new agent.
The Jennifer Debate
Last week, I asked a question asking you to Rank the Jennifers (Aniston, Connelly, Garner, Hewitt or Lopez). It did create some discussion over at BrentNet and I received a few e-mails from you as well. Over the weekend, I found out that my personal favorite, Jennifer Aniston, is splitting from her husband Brad Pitt. I never figured out what she saw in him anyway and knew it was likely just a matter of time before she and I would be together. Here is how I Rank the Jennifers, followed by some of the readerís thoughts:
1.) Jennifer Aniston - Friends clinched this, but I always wondered why I liked the movie Leprachaun when I was younger. I finally realized that it was because of her. She's stayed busy post-Friends by picking out some great roles, particularly in Bruce Almighty and Along Came Polly. But smaller roles like the one in Office Space and Rock Star also work for her. The 34 year old has clearly earned the respect of her teammates.
2.) Jennifer Love Hewitt - She's been #1 on my list for a long time. Unfortunately, she just has not been in the news, or in any real great movies of late. Party of Five was incredible, and I even liked Time of Your Life. She just hasn't made a really good movie of late, unless you count Heartbreakers or Garfield or The Tuxedo as great movies... I don't! She made them worth watching still. Her best work may have been in I Know What You Did Last Summer, and its sequel. But she's still just 25 years old, and her smile, laugh and a couple of other assets that are important in Hollywood, just completely work for me!
3.) Jennifer Connelly - I first liked the 34 year old actress in the short-lived Fox series, The $treet. The next year, A Beautiful Mind came out and she's not only attractive, but she can flat-out act too!
4.) Jennifer Garner - It's hard to believe that she's 32 years old. Garner played JLH's roomate in Time of Your Life. She played a number of bit parts like in Dude, Where's My Car? and Pearl Harbor. But Sydney Bristow is the character that made Garner a star. Because of Alias, she became a name and stars as Elektra Natchios in both Daredevil and the newly released Elektra. 13 Going on 30 was ok the second time I saw it.
5.) Jennifer Lopez - The 34 year old Lopez is really a far more impressive individual than a lot of critics seem to want to think. She is a dancer who has made it as a singer and an actress and been successful in each endeavor. She started on the great early Fox show In Living Color as a dancer. Later she combined her music and acting as the lead in Selena. Since then, she has played different types of roles. It seems to me that she is most successful when she plays a softer role, more of a cutesy character, like she did in The Wedding Planner or Maid in Manhattan. I loved her small role in Jersey Girl. When she plays a tough character, the movies don't seem to do as well, but I thought she was at her best in the movie Enough.
From Michael Richter
Jennifer Aniston - she is incredibly beautiful, fantastic in friends
Jennifer Garner - I never noticed how gorgeous she was until the past week as the girl in Alias.
Jennifer Love Hewitt - I loved her in Can't Hardly Wait
Jennifer Lopez - Very overrated, but pretty nonetheless
Jennifer Connelly - I donít know much about her
From Bill Ferris, Detroit Tigers Blog
Garner (Aniston and Garner are actually very close, and I may be still thinking of Aniston 5 years ago, but she's still my girl)
Lopez (J-Lo's just never done it for me)
From David Bergner, The Baseball Savant
1.Jennifer Love Hewitt
It's hard not to completely disqualify Garner and Lopez since they've dated the no-talent loser Ben Affleck. If we are not taking him into consideration then the above is my list. If we are taking Ben into action then I'd remove Lopez and Garner immediately.
Over the past week, I tried to get as many of you, the readers of this site, to send me an e-mail and tell me your age and where youíre from. I was a little disappointed that just 36 people wrote me, but I do need to thank all of them for doing so. I was hoping to get an e-mail from every state and some other countries. 21 people from Minnesota wrote me, and I did get e-mails from 13 states (MN, SD, SC, NY, TX, WA, IL, CO, MT, FL, MA, WI, IN). I got an e-mail from Canada and one from Belgium. To quickly break down the age of our readers:
10s - 2
20s - 13
30s - 9
40s - 5
50s - 6
60s - 1
So, thank you again to those who wrote. Iíve had some great e-conversations with a number of new writers.
And on that note, I encourage any of you to write me any time. If you have any comments, opinions, or ideas for future articles, please e-mail me. Have a great week!
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