Week 10 is in the books and Dave Dameshek targets the Manning brother’s interception problem and Clay Matthews’ real life transformation into the mythical comic book hero Thor. Check out who else finds their way under Dave’s white light of shame.
Tag Archives: Eli Manning
The good news is summer has arrived. The better news is the start of the 2013 NFL season is less than 90 days away. While we wait, some of us are biding our time with fun little distractions like the NBA and/or Stanley Cup playoffs … but always looking to spin it forward to pro football.
However things turn out between the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs, you can be sure David Stern and ABC television execs are relieved the conference runners-up, the Memphis Grizzlies and Indiana Pacers, aren’t still playing. Over in the NHL, the league was no doubt pleased with a final that includes 1/3 of the “Original Six,” not to mention a final four that also included the defending champion Los Angeles Kings and the star-laden Pittsburgh Penguins.
As promised, it leads us to this question: which NFL conference championship games and ensuing Super Bowl would be the most captivating to us fans in February of 2014? I’m glad I asked …
This was the most popular reply after I tweeted for suggestions (follow Dave on Twitter @Dameshek) … and it’s a tough one with which to argue. On the AFC side, it’s the last prime-time showdown (probably) between Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, the two guys who defined pro football’s first decade in the new millennium. The NFC title game features Round 3 of the NFL’s newest “best rivalry.”
Every Super Bowl comes with pressure, but for these teams — who’ve combined to lose the last two Super Bowls and who’ve both played two straight conference championship games — another loss in the big game would be positively devastating.
In the AFC, it’s not quite Darth Vader vs. Obi-Wan Kenobi or Aaron Rodgers vs. Brett Favre (seeing as how those rivals were in the same place at the same time), but Peyton Manning v. Andrew Luck — in the Dome Peyton Built, no less — would be pretty compelling stuff. In the NFC, the Jints face yet another brutal title game on the road as they pay a visit to Soldier Field to face one of 2013′s most potent offenses in snowy Chicago.
If you think two brothers coaching against each other in the big game caused a ruckus, imagine what’d happen if the Brothers Manning went head to head for all the marbles. Sure, seeing it in their hometown last year might’ve been even better, but Peyton (and his one ring) visiting Eli (and his two rings) with the Lombardi on the line wouldn’t be too bad.
Forget the Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium — it’d be trumped by the events in the same joint two Sundays prior, when both the stadium’s residents host the championship games on the same day. Throughout the concourses and parking lots, potbellied guys in blue No. 56 jerseys and green No. 12 jerseys would be high fiving one another while just this once, Mike Lupica would be accurate in portraying New York as the only place that matters.
Two weeks’ worth of cracks about New York’s football teams playing each other in New Jersey notwithstanding, Eli vs. The Sanchise Geno Smith shooting it out for bragging rights would be fun for fans in the five boroughs and beyond.
Andrew Luck and Peyton Manning waging war a mile high to become king of the AFC mountain is the stuff of Shakespeare (assuming the Bard digs pigskin), while Michael Vick — the forefather to this generation’s running QBs — takes on RG3.
Fans couldn’t complain about a Broncos-Eagles Super Bowl, but we can’t miss the opportunity to see sophomore superstars Luck and Griffin go head to head.
For those fans who follow the game’s history, this would be the ultimate final four. On the AFC side, the six-time Super Bowl champion Steelers and thrice-victorious Raiders resuscitate their 20th-century postseason rivalry, while in the NFC another Dallas-San Francisco title-game chapter is written for the first time since Troy Aikman and Steve Young.
A showdown between the Steelers and the five-time champion Niners, arguably the NFL’s two greatest Super Bowl-era dynasties, would be great, but better still is the fourth Super Bowl installment of Pittsburgh and Dallas (the NFL’s version of Celtics-Lakers) battling it out — again — for the Lombardi. By late Super Sunday, the Steelers would have seven rings, or the Cowboys would have a sixth.
(By the way, Ben Roethlisberger vs. Tony Romo trumps any soap opera or reality show imaginable.)
If that last final four was for the league’s “haves,” this one’s for the “have nots” — specifically, some of the longest-suffering fanbases in the NFL. (Sorry, Arizona Cardinals fans, we only have four spots.) On one side, we have Cleveland visiting Buffalo, the home to some of pro football’s most loyal fans; and in the NFC, two North foes tangle in the Vikes’ dome, which has been rendered exponentially better by the football gods on the eve of the game when a blizzard breaks the baggy roof and dumps 10 inches of fresh powder on the field.
In MetLife, it would be the Vikings (0-4 all time in the Super Bowl) against the Bills (0-4 in Super Bowls) — not exactly a legendary showdown, but the teams and their fanbases — accustomed to chilly conditions — are a perfect fit in what could be a frigid event. By NFL rules — and moral decency — someone has to win … even if the final score is 5-4.
The defending champs have to go on the road to play the AFC’s most complete team, while the Niners pay a visit to the toughest place in the NFL for a visiting team to win.
What, you didn’t enjoy the last Super Bowl? It had everything: Big plays, an exhilarating comeback attempt, and a convenient (albeit extended) bathroom break in the third quarter. In other words … Harbowl II!
The 2013 offseason (and AFC East) champion Dolphins visit Arrowhead Stadium, in the same city that on Christmas Day of 1971 Miami and Kansas City played the longest game in NFL history. The NFC title is a rematch of the teams in the 1960 NFL Championship Game, this time with the game’s best QB going against Chip Kelly’s revolutionary offense.
Andy Reid going against the Eagles about an hour away from Philly would be nice … and would extend the Christmas holiday with the green-and-red color scheme. You might have noticed we didn’t take the opportunity to match the Chiefs and Packers, which would be a rematch of the first Super Bowl … but that one’s better saved for the golden anniversary Super Bowl game in the 49ers’ new stadium, especially since it’d pit former San Francisco QB Alex Smith against Bay Area kid Aaron Rodgers.
That’s still two years away, though. We’ve still gotta figure out the best matchups for February of 2015 in suburban Phoenix.
Shek & Rank broadcast live from New Orleans where they are joined by colleagues Matt “Money” Smith and Jaime Maggio. Interviews include Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, actor David Koechner and much more.
Download: DDFP 126: NFL.com Live, Day 1
Keep that weak chin up, Eli. You might have lost the season opener to Romo & Co., but you’re still elite. I do, however, feel obliged to point out that being called “elite” has absolutely, positively zero actual value. It’s just an adjective media types started using when they noticed the first three letters of the word included “E-L-I.”
Somehow, the “elite” has become the industry standard for describing good quarterbacks … but no more. I can’t take it. It’s a virus that’s already made me sick just 60 minutes into the season. There’s a thesaurus full of alternatives. What’d be wrong with using aristocratic, choice, crack, elect, exclusive, gilt-edged, greatest, noble, out of sight, out of this world, pick, selected, super, tip-top, top, top drawer, top-notch, topflight, upper-class, or world-class?
I don’t mean to be a curmudgeon at such an exciting time on the sports calendar -– trust me, I’m over the moon about football being back and the baseball playoffs drawing nigh -– but there are a lot of things I don’t need to ever hear again: the obvious comments passed off as insight, the bogus clichés, the empty rhetoric and just-plain-lame wisecracks.
Yes, it’s interesting future Hall of Famer Tom Brady was drafted in the sixth round … but after hearing it 2.5 million times, I can confidently speak on the world’s behalf: We know!
In other words, it’s high time I update my ever-growing, semi-annual list of “Things I Never Need To Hear Again.”
Since I’m already talking quarterbacks, let’s start with the NFL rookies.
» I don’t need to hear that Ryan Tannehill played wide receiver in college.
» That Russell Wilson isn’t six feet tall.
» I don’t need to hear that Andrew Luck already looks like a five-year vet. And I definitely won’t be able to stomach headlines after Colts games declaring the team was either “Luck-y” or “Unluck-y.”
» Same rule applies after an NFL game in Tennessee: no more with the “Titanic Win (or Loss)” stuff.
» I don’t need to hear Ryan Fitzpatrick went to Harvard.
» I don’t need to hear that Antonio Gates, Tony Gonzalez and Jimmy Graham played basketball in college.
» Or that Jared Allen hunts.
» I don’t need to hear that the only statistic that matters is the final score. If that’s true, then please stop showing all those other statistics.
» I don’t want to hear analysts suggest that a soft team needs to “come out and punch someone in the mouth.” If a player took that advice, he’d be given a 15-yard penalty and fined by the league. Besides, it’s just not very nice.
» It’s also quite rude to refer to a featured running back as bell cow. Matter of fact, it’s probably best to avoid comparing human beings to any kind of farm animal.
» We have to choose if teams lose games because A. They don’t know how to win yet, or B. They have a target on their backs. By definition, only one can be true, right?
» No more calling someone a matchup nightmare. Isn’t every good player a matchup nightmare?
» No more saying a player is so competitive, he even wants to win at tiddlywinks. What is tiddlywinks, and has anyone on the face of the earth played it in the last 150 years? Let’s go with “Madden” football ’til otherwise notified.
» And more saying an NBA prospect can score the basketball. We’re sports fans. If you tell us a basketball player can score, we’ll assume you’re talking about the basketball.
» And when we’re watching golf, you don’t need to tell us that a good shot is a good golf shot. That is, unless you’re talking about John Daly at the 19th hole.
» I don’t need to hear that a team would have the top seed in the playoffs if the season ended today. Unless you have some inside information about a league’s secret plans to call off the rest of the season, the point is moot.
» And no more Gatorade baths for coaches. It’s not original, it’s not funny, and one of these days a high-strung septuagenarian coach is gonna drop dead from shock.
» Sorry, The Wave’s gone, too. If you want to persist with things that were cool in the 1980s, put on your parachute pants and pop a Eurythmics tape in your boom box.
» I don’t ever need to hear again that Bob Knight once threw a chair on the floor.
» I don’t ever need to hear that Babe Ruth enjoyed drinking and womanizing.
» I don’t need to hear that a particular football team is very physical. It’s a sport that revolves around 300-pound men intentionally running into each other. Every team is physical.
» I don’t need to hear that fans’ towns with industrial roots have a deep appreciation for blue-collar football. Sure, it’s true, but what fans don’t like seeing their team push the other team around? Are you suggesting people in San Diego or Miami can’t stomach “smashmouth football”? And the opposite notion is just as silly. I’m fairly certain people in Detroit aren’t opposed to Stafford & Megatron’s pass-happy (“white-collar”?) brand of football as long it continues to result in their team winning.
» I don’t need to hear Bill Belichick is a defensive genius. Not only have we heard it too many times, but his inability to exhibit that so-called genius over the past eight or so years -– especially last year — tells us it’s not true.
» Sorry, College Football Player Who Just Scored A Touchdown — when you get to the sideline, no more looking into the camera and extending your index finger to claim your team is No. 1 unless your team actually is No. 1. And by the way, would it kill you to say “hi” to dad once in a while?
» Before a playoff game, no more saying, “This one’s gonna come down to who wants it more.” Since the two teams have already gone through the trouble of getting to said game, I’m guessing they’d both really like to win it.
» And spare me the line about the players on the losing end of a playoff game having nothing to hang their heads about. Yes … yes, they do! After a year’s worth of personal workouts, preseason games, training camp and a long regular season, they’ve made it all the way to the playoffs and lost. If they’re not devastated, they’re robots.
» I don’t need to hear NFL analysts say “National Football League” 37 times in a two-minute segment. “N-F-L” will suffice. Or are they just doing that to fill time because they have nothing better to say? Hmmm.
» I don’t need to hear that small-market teams in baseball can’t win. Great point, except for the fact the Minnesota Twins, Oakland A’s, Cleveland Indians, Florida Marlins and Milwaukee Brewers have all been in the playoffs in the past 15 seasons.
» Save your breath about how NASCAR is just a bunch of guys turning left for 500 miles. That joke was already overused back when the only driver anyone had ever heard of was Richard Petty.
» And speaking of NASCAR drivers, when you’re in Victory Lane, please stop saying, “the car was running great today.” Yeah, the fact that you just won gave me a pretty good idea that your car is superior to my ’91 Geo Prism.
» No more conversations about whether Team A won the game or Team B lost the game. I’m positive the correct answer is C: All of the above.
» Staying with the alphabet, no more “D-Fence,” either. (You know — the cardboard “D” and fence facsimile that shows up in the stands at every football game?) Trust me, Grown Man Who Thought A Good Use of the Limited Time You Have on This Planet Would Be Making This at Home Before Heading Out to Show It Off to 75,000 Strangers: I’m doing this for your own good.
» And can we stop with the nonsense about a team taking on the personality of its coach? I don’t recall Steve Garvey, Fernando Valenzuela or any other player for Tommy Lasorda eating giant bowls of spaghetti and telling stories about Frank Sinatra.
» I don’t want to hear a coach or quarterback say the offense would’ve been great “if we hadn’t turned the ball over.” That’s like a surgeon saying an appendectomy went well except for the part when the patient died.
» I don’t need to hear a losing coach in a postgame news conference say, “I won’t make excuses,” then proceed to make excuses for the next 10 minutes.
» I don’t need to hear from a team with a 3-0 series lead that the toughest game is the elimination game. You’ve pounded your opponent into submission, proved your superiority and broken their will*. Yep, they’ve got you right where they want you. (* Exceptions that prove the rule: 2004 New York Yankees; 2010 Philadelphia Flyers)
» By the way, that team facing elimination if it loses is the only team playing a must-win game. Stop referring to any other scenario as “must-win.”
» No more news conferences featuring prepared statements awkwardly read by athletes who feel legally obligated to apologize. All I’ve learned from the experience is that your publicist has zero ability to write in your voice.
» I don’t need to hear that Ben Roethlisberger (a guy who’s not unfamiliar with scripted press conferences) has a linebacker’s mentality. I haven’t seen him make a tackle since the 2005 playoffs.
» I don’t need to hear Tom Coughlin is the most underrated coach in the NFL. When you sing his praises during every game his team plays, by definition he’s no longer unsung.
» I don’t like hearing a fiery player like Derek Jeter wills his team to victory. If that’s the case, then what gives, Jeter? Why haven’t you willed the Yankees to 12 straight undefeated seasons? Forget about Randy Moss taking plays off; sounds like Jeter’s taking entire games off.
» No more saying a guy “lacks natural ability but does all the little things right.” Please just say what you’re implying: he’s white.
» And no more saying that Anthony Davis runs the floor like a point guard. No, he doesn’t.
» I don’t need to hear a potentially serious injury really puts things into perspective. Who lacked that perspective before the game? I’m guessing all of the players on both teams would take a loss if it meant no one would lose the ability to walk.
» I don’t need to hear that the parents of NHLers Eric, Jordan and Marc Staal must have a tough time figuring out whom to root for when two of their sons’ teams play. I’m sure the six-figure loans they can get from each of their sons help ease the emotional torment.
» I also don’t need to hear that every father would love to have his daughter marry Tim Tebow. Yes, except for Jewish fathers, Muslim fathers, and atheistic fathers.
» I don’t need to hear that L.A. sports fans are too busy surfing to care about their teams. I’ve lived in Southern California for a decade now, and the closest I’ve gotten to a surfboard was watching “Point Break.” (So what if I’ve seen it 27 times? It doesn’t invalidate my point.)
» Going forward, stop referring to this season as being a freshman or rookie’s “coming-out party.” That no longer means what I think you think it means, Mr. Color Analyst in Your 60s.
» I don’t need to hear that when an over-the-hill athlete has some success (see: 50-year-old minor-league pitcher Roger Clemens), it allows every spectator in that athlete’s age range to bask in the reflected glory. By that logic, I should start feeling good about myself when any player in his 30s has a good game. I don’t. Matter of fact, when someone my age does something truly remarkable, it reminds me of my own failures.
» I don’t need to hear that “no one outside this locker room believed in us.” About half the gamblers in Vegas believed in you. And what about the fans who paid to come down and cheer you on? Are they just masochists who expected you to break their hearts?
» I could go on, but let’s cut it off here. Someone might be thinking of referring to Tony Romo as “elite” … and I simply won’t stand for it another second.
On this week’s “Top 100: Players of 2012″ reaction show, Dave and Rank debate where a pair of Giants placed on the countdown. Plus, where does Matt Forte deserve to land on the list? Take a listen, won’t you?
Coming fresh off a Super Bowl victory, Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz does the next best thing as he joins the show to discuss Super Bowl XLVI, teammates Eli Manning & Brandon Jacobs, and of course salsa dancing. Handsome Hank also stops by for a Gisele-inspired segment. We declare Victory for all who listen.
Green Bay’s non-receiving corps, the replay-review policy and Joe Flacco all have Dave Dameshek’s white-hot light of shame shined in their direction. Plus, something special for Ravens fans.