Quick Inside Slant:
by Dustin Fisher
Impressions of the 2011 NFL season as perceived by a Creative Writing grad student, part-time amateur stand-up comedian and collegiate intramural flag football legend (all same person).
The world’s most hated and mocked sports owner of the last three and a half decades died today. Al Davis, the Christian Bale of NFL owners, didn’t really try to endear himself to other owners or the NFL or really anyone. Not even the coaches he hired, 5 of them in the last 7 years. He made a personnel decision that made that Ryan Leaf decision fade away, and fired any coach who couldn’t figure out how to use JaMarcus Russell, who really only had one good game in college. Not to speak ill of the dead, but his last memory will unfortunately be Vince Wilfork catching his second interception of the year, tying him with 2 linebackers and 15 defensive backs for 5th place in the NFL. Al Davis will be missed by die hard 80s Raiders fans, some other old school NFL owners and stand-up comedians in the Bay Area.
Any other Eagles fans out there done watching football? It is no longer a source of stress relief anymore, but the exact opposite. Three weeks in a row, they gave up double-digit leads in the second half to the exact same inside trap. With all the talent, I imagine it was easy to overlook the fact that Juan Castillo, the new Defensive Coordinator, never coached a defensive play in his life. For next season, they’re going to have a reality TV show to determine the Defensive Coordinator. I’m voting for Snooki. She can’t possibly be worse. Now I know what it’s like to be a Cowboys fan.
Bonehead Play of the Week: People are stupid. I understand. Even given that, there are still some plays I literally cannot believe. My eyes bug out of my face, my brow is furrowed and my mouth uncontrollably opens, much like you see in cartoons. Ronnie Brown provided me with just that play last week. OK, I get that it was maybe supposed to be an option pass at one point. That point was well before you were being drug to the ground and facing backwards. I would expect that kind of bonehead play from DeSean Jackson and that’s not even necessarily true. But Ronnie Brown? And if the design of the play is to run into the line and chuck up the ball as you’re getting tackled and facing backwards, they should maybe have another reality show.
Fantasy Dud of the Week: I have no idea why I dislike Mark Sanchez as much as I do. Maybe because he’s the new sexy Southern Cali superstar in New York. Or maybe because I associate him with Rex Ryan and his puffy chest and foot fetish. I know why I hate Eli Manning. But it was fun to see him throw a pick 6 and lose 3 fumbles, two of them for touchdowns. He couldn’t even figure out the center-quarterback exchange, which I imagine is covered in day one of being a professional quarterback. And both balls hit him in the hands, so stop pretending it’s your center’s fault. Either way, it took his fantasy value into the negatives. Which is hard to do for a QB. Congrats, Mr. Sexy. -1.94
Bullshit Call of the Week: Victor Cruz, the Giants asshole that kicked the Eagles in the nuts in Week Three, fell down to the ground after a reception late in the Arizona game and appeared the throw the ball down. Maybe he was doing it on purpose to get back to the huddle. Maybe he dropped it by accident. Or maybe, nay – probably, he forgot it wasn’t college and throwing the ball down before you were touched would be ruled a fumble. Because it is.
The NFL rule book states that a play is over when the ball carrier “declares himself down by falling to the ground, or kneeling, and making no effort to advance.” I guess the refs have a shield to stand behind as he could have maybe possibly, unlikely, but maybe possibly been declaring himself down. Technically he was probably making no effort to advance. But here’s the question of the day. If he had gotten back up, aka Marvin Harrison vs. the Broncos from like 8 years ago, would they have let him advance the ball? Damn right they would have. Thus making this the bullshit call of the week.