Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Not a sports blog

(as Dave would say) but I can't help but mourn the loss by the Cardinals last night at MNF. How deflating! They had the Bears beat and lost the game. Tragic.

Matt Leinart is every bit as good as we knew he would be despite the over-worked scrutiny of the NFL before the draft. Last night he looked poised, pumped, in total control. Gotta love his enthusiasm. He looked like a man-boy having a great time. That team is loaded with talent and if they can pick themselves up after this devastating defeat and recognize how close they are coming to big wins, I think the Cards can become a terrific team. Will Denny Green lose his job over this? I wonder.

Can Matt carry the team on his shoulders? Sure hope so. He hates to lose so that helps. Someone has to hate it.

I can't stand it when teams that deserve to lose, win, just because the other team collapses.

Oh the agony of sports!


Dave said...

Hey I respect what you're doing here, Julie, and I affirm our freedom to blog about sports to whatever degree we feel is of interest and relevance to our readers. And still remain "not a sports blog."

So having said that, I was kind of torn up about what to make of that MNF game last night. On the one hand, I think the Bears are a pretty impressive team and it is not a fluke that they won, since scoring two defensive and one special teams TD requires serious talent and an intense drive to win, even if the other team is vulnerable to collapsing before our eyes. And we have to keep in mind that this was a rather basic field goal kick for a guy who's been money in this situation in the past (Neil Rackers, who I'm sure at some level wanted to just crawl off into the desert and die when he shanked what should have been the game winner.)

As the announcers said, this had the ingredients of a mythical (he meant "myth-making" or something along those lines) win for the Bears in a season where they appear headed for a dramatic conclusion of some sort or another. And I'm fine with having undefeated teams go deep into the NFL season since the league is at its best when it features larger-than-life powerhouses rather than a bunch of 11-5, 10-6 teams in the playoffs. And I am able to pull for the Bears easily enough from where I live.

But I did feel so bad for the Cardinal fans who were so excited to have MNF in their house, a young star QB on the rise and saw a very entertaining first half of football that seduced them into dreaming "just maybe...!" And most of the Cardinals players didn't deserve the infamy that this loss thrusts on the franchise.

Still, these are the depths that a team sometimes has to sink to before the fundamental turning point takes place. The Tigers got there in 2003 and suffered horribly. That winter, some rock-bottom decisions were made, they paid way too much for Ivan Rodriguez as far as his actual skills on the field are concerned, but they began putting the right pieces in place, and look where they are now.

It's hard to say that the Cardinals will be "all right" since they have such a scant tradition to fall back on. But I think Matt Leinart will learn from this experience and it will bring the intensity level to a whole new pitch within that organization. Whether they are able to channel that angst and fury into winning football games is the big mystery, isn't it?

I'm also just glad that I was able to trade Rex Grossman for a bettre back-up QB before the game last night - he really sucked! Gross, man!

julieunplugged said...

Dave, a very level-headed response to what has been plaguing me all day. (Someone said on espn radio that the NFL this year has been all about emotional stories and I think I have been sucked right in.)

I hope you're right about going to the depths to dig out and find something better. The Tigers are a great example of that! In that way, the Cards have a chance... and perhaps that's what this loss will do is drive them to new introspection. I just heard that they fired the offensive coordinator. Hmmm.

The Bengals were also dismal not too many years ago (before Carson) and while struggling mightily this year with injuries out the wazoo, they are still putting up an entertaining season.... fingers crossed they aren't totally skunked by the Panthers on Sun.

Lol that you just traded Rex Grossman in your fantasy league! I was all exceited to see him produce and he just looked terrible.


Anonymous said...

Julie we should try fantasy football next season! Or do you already play?

Maybe we could get a TD league going, LOL.

I love all the drama of the NFL. I, too, am sad when David looks to be about to slay Goliath and then falters.

If you want another sport to follow, I highly recommend NASCAR. Two weeks ago, the two leaders were wrecked in the last lap and the guy in third, who wrecked them, won! Outstanding, heartbreaking drama. And these guys have to walk away and say, "that's just a racing deal"

Oh my.

From one fan to another,


julieunplugged said...

I think being in a fantasy league with gal pals would be a blast! And I love reading your latest fan musings on your blog. Basically, I just love fans. :)

I don't think I can do Nascar, though. I went to one race in Del Mar years ago. Just couldn't get the culture, the looping around the course thing, the near death experience of watching crashes.... :) Shudder.

But I totally relate to the ruch of watching what you love. I grew up going to LA Kings hockey games (we had season tickets) and just loved everything about hockey back in the day (even before helmets were required.... can you imagine?)