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February 1, 2008

18 And Life To Go

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , , , — Peiser @ 4:00 pm

The perfect season has been foiled at the last minute before.

From The Washington Post‘s The Redskins Book:

The 1942 Redskins went 10-1. Their only loss was 14-7 to the Giants in the second game of the season, a score they reversed against the Giants amid a nine-game winning streak. The Redskins allowed only 13 points in their last four games. Once more, their title-game foe would be the Bears. The Bears, who had won 18 straight games, were favored.

The defending champion Bears’ 11 wins in 1942 were rough, physical victories staked on hard-hitting defense. The Redskins had gotten back into contending shape after a mediocre 1941 on the legendary arm, back, and quick-kicking leg of Sammy Baugh. The favored Chicago team quickly went up 6-0. But the final score was 14-6, with the last 1 yard scoring play a handoff to Andy Farkas. By all accounts, it was smash-mouth football, the kind of game that you can’t watch without wincing every minute of the way– despite the fact that “NFL commissioner Elmer Layden ordered ‘a clean game.'” (Goodell shouldn’t have to worry about a ‘clean game’ on the field- just keep Tom Petty from flashing some tit and everyone’s happy. Also, check the Giants’ Gatorade jugs for audio transmitting devices.)

The Bears had won 18 straight. The Redskins stopped them. All it took was a charter member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. And George Halas off coaching duty due to naval service. And… ok, fine, so let’s just stick with the “18 and out” part.

Then, there’s at least one recent example of a perfect season bid gone unrealized with a connection to this weekend’s contest:

That video is never going to get old.The connection, of course, is the coach of the then-victorious Eagles: Tom Coughlin. Sure, it’s a stretch, and there’s pretty much no comparison of even the biggest NCAA game to any pro game, but the man did coach an underdog to ‘glory’ once before. Hell, they even got to play in the Carquest bowl or some shit. And that loss sent the ND program into a slow spiral which… well, you saw what happened this year.

I’ve been a Giants fan my whole life. Baseball’s my first love, of course, but I can remember watching Simms, Bavaro, Mowatt, and LT lead the charge in Pasadena, mere months after Mookie poked a dribbler through some guy’s legs. It was a glorious time to be a six-year-old sports nut in Queens. And I am grateful to this day that my family were not Jets fans. That would suck. A lot.

Given the reigning baseball champions, I can’t shake the feeling like there’s some guileless little kid in Quincy or Watertown or wherever, MA, who doesn’t yet know that he’s supposed to be a smug asshole about cheering for his teams, just that he likes Varitek and it was fun to see the Sox win, and his dad yells about the Patriots a lot and it’s fun to see them win. For that kid, sure, it’d be nice if the Patriots won.

For the rest of you, eat a dick. 24-21, smash-mouth Giants victory.

This is the end of today’s PICKSTRAVAGANZA by the Nerds on Sports staff. Read the previous five posts for more “insight” from the nerds.

January 2, 2008

A Festivus For The Rest Of Us

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , , , — Perich @ 8:44 am

Happy New Year, NerdsOnSports readers.

Now comes word that the Ravens have indeed fired Billick, making him the honorary first coach to get canned after the 2007 season. Considering Billick’s earlier comments that his job was safe, the move came as a surprise, but it probably shouldn’t have, considering the team’s lackluster performance in the second half of this season. Billick had been with the team for eight seasons. He was 80-64 in the regular season, 5-3 in four postseason trips and led the team to a win in Super Bowl 35.

While Billick was known as an offensive whiz before taking the job as the Ravens’ second-ever coach (he replaced Ted Marchibroda), his defenses were usually the better units. Under Billick, Baltimore never had a high-level wide receiver or quarterback — Trent Dilfer game-managed the team to the Super Bowl win. The team instead thrived on the power-running game of Jamal Lewis and ferocious defense, led by linebacker Ray Lewis.

After the team finished a surprising 13-3 last season and won the AFC North, little went right this season. Though the club nearly beat the now 16-0 Patriots, it was humiliated in a loss to the then 0-13 Dolphins.

(source)

Let’s take a moment to remember this maverick genius in his best form:

Who do you think should replace Brian Billick?

Edit: See also: bootbootbootbootbootbootbootbootbootbootboot.com.

November 18, 2007

The Neverending Story

Filed under: Basketball — Tags: , , , — Sean @ 12:00 pm

Young Jerry SloanOlder Jerry Sloan

15,374 days.

That’s how long it’s been. Some days it snows and some days the sun burns your skin as you wait for your bus and some days Presidents are impeached and some days, some glorious, magical days, fate smiles upon you and yours and leaves you the ultimate champion. Jerry Sloan is waiting for that day. (more…)

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