Sports can often bring out strong emotions, both good and bad, from it's players and those watching. The Wide World of Sports summed it up best when they talked about "The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat." So it shouldn't come as a surprise when a player, such as Derek Anderson, has an emotional outburst. Especially when a reporter is egging him on towards that end. However, what does surprise me is when that player is made to apologize. "Obviously I was very frustrated by what had happened during the game, and I let my emotions get away from me," Anderson said in an apology.
And he's not the only one. In a radio interview, Giants safety Antrel Rolle was upset that home fans were booing them. "When soldiers come home from Iraq you don't boo them," Rolle said. "I look at it the same way." Rolle later apologized for comparing what he does to soldiers who risk their lives.
But why are they apologizing? Who did they hurt or offend? I don't know about everyone else but I enjoyed watching Anderson lose his mind. And Rolle didn't say anything negative about soldiers, he just made a poor analogy. An analogy that makes more sense when you consider how many times sports are compared to war.
Who hasn't lost their composure in a heated moment? Who hasn't given a bad example before? The difference is our mistakes aren't done on a national stage. Football is big business and the owners and commissioner want a homogenized product free from any human error. If Anderson and Rolle want to apologize to the guy who writes their checks for tarnishing their brand image by being human, then that's fine. But don't apologize to me or any other fan because it all makes for great TV.
I can't help but think the Lions are like Charlie Brown and the referees are like Lucy just as they pull the ball away at the last minute. Once again a big call went against the Lions that might have influenced the outcome. With the Lions ahead 20-17, the Bears had driven down to the Lions 22 midway through the 4th. On first-and-10 Jay Cutler rolled to his right, saw no one opened, then ran for 8 yards before being thrown to the ground by Ndamukong Suh. Ed "check out my biceps" Hochuli flagged Suh for unnecessary roughness, giving the Bears 1st-and-goal on the 7 instead of 2nd-and-2 on the 14. The Bears scored the go ahead TD on the next play. It did look like a violent hit, but replays showed all Suh did was push Cutler to the ground from behind. And it was no more violent than watching a punt returner get blasted by the gunner or a WR getting clocked by the safety on a crossing patern. Since Cutler was running with the ball, and had even made one tackler miss, the Lions argued he needed to be treated like a RB. Hochuli defended his call by saying, "When you tackle people, you come in and you wrap up and come with your arms and things like that." So I guess pushing someone to the ground or out of bounds is no longer legal. This just in. Defenses are now being told they can't touch the QB at all, but instead need to stand in his way and ask him nicely to go to the ground.
To read the rest of week 13, continue after the jump.
Saints 34, Bengals 30
With the Saints trailing 30-27, and with a 4th-and-2 at the Bengals 7, the Saints lined up as if they were going for it. Of course they weren't going for it. A field goal ties the game and it's 4th-and-2 not 4th-and-inches. Clearly they're just trying to get the Bengals to jump offsides. But no one's that stupid. Unfortunately, this is the Bengals we're talking about so of course someone jumped offsides. The Saints got the first down and Drew Brees threw the winning TD to Marques Colston on the next play. Most of the Saints players attributed the first down to the great acting of Brees, but one player was at least willing to tell the truth. "What is that guy doing?" Sedrick Ellis said. "You have to be smarter than that." But again, this is the Bengals we're talking about.
Orange Helmets 13, Dolphins 10
Cleveland finally got the win over Miami they were looking for. Too bad it was in the NFL instead of the NBA. Actually, neither team looked like they wanted to win, and if their was any justice in the world this game would have ended in a tie. Both teams combined for 16 punts and were 6 for 28 in 3rd down situations. In the end it was Chad Henne's 3rd interception that allowed the Browns to kick the game winning field goal as time expired. Which is ironic considering Jake "You mean the DB wasn't my WR" Dellhome was the QB for the winning team. With incredible astuteness, Miami head coach Tony Sparano summed it up best when he said, "The ball should've gone to a different place and didn't."
Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew tore up the Titans defense for 186 yards and the Jaguars cruised to an easy victory over the Titans. It also helps that the Titans have decided they don't want to score touchdowns anymore. They've now gone 11 straight quarters and an overtime without a touchdown. Is it too late for them to ask Vince Young to come back? But the Jaguars didn't just win the game, they also won the quote of the week when head coach Jack Del Rio said, "We rode Maurice hard today." Yes you did.
The Chiefs did their very best to lose this game. They tried a pass on a 4th-and-goal from the 2 instead of kicking the field goal or running it. They fumbled on another good drive at the Broncos 32. And on 4th down at the Broncos 33, they punted instead of trying the 50 yard field goal. Then again, maybe they saw the way the Broncos were playing and decided they didn't need to do much to win. NFL passing leader Kyle Orton only completed 9 of his 28 pass attempts for 117 yards. Chiefs QB Matt Cassell, who threw for 196 yards and a TD said of the win, "It wasn't pretty." No Matt, it wasn't. The Broncos ended up losing more than a game. They also lost their head coach, Josh McDaniels, who was fired today. Is it too late for the Broncos to ask Mike Shanahan back? Personally I'm glad McDaniels was fired. I hate seeing people my age who are more successful than me.
Michael Vick got the snot beat out of him but that didn't stop him from passing and rushing for a combined 350 yards and 3 touchdowns as he led the Eagles to a 4th quarter comeback win. "I'm used to taking hits," Vick said. "It's not that bad." No, the real torture was for Eagles coach Andy Reid who nervously looked over towards backup QB Kevin Kolb after every Vick hit. It could be worse Andy. Your backup QB could be David Carr.
Brett Favre was in this game just long enough to throw one pass, an interception, and to get crushed and sprain his shoulder. Tarvaris Jackson threw 3 interceptions himself, but also led the Vikings on 4 straight touchdown drives in the first and second quarter to build up a huge lead. A big reason why was the play of RB Adrian Peterson who rushed for 107 yards and 3 touchdowns. So is Favre's consecutive game streak in jeopardy? "Can you be effective if you play?" Favre said is the question he'll ask himself. "If the answer is yes, if I think I can, I would love to play and see this through." Seriously, who is he kidding? He has about as much chance of not playing as Lindsay Lohan has of not going back into rehab.
Redskins 7, Giants 31
With it being a cold and windy day in December, the Giants decided they would run the ball. When the Redskins couldn't stop them, they decided to run it some more. And when they couldn't stop it again, well, you get the idea. The Giants rushed for 197 yards against the porous Redskins defense. A defense, interestingly enough, that didn't even have Albert "show me the money" Haynesworth suited up to play, and now has him suspended for the final 4 games of the season. The win was a huge confidence booster for the Giants. "We feel like we're a mismatch for every team right now," DE Justin Tuck said. "And that gives you a lot of confidence." Unfortunately for the Giants, it doesn't take much to be a mismatch against the Redskins these days.
For everyone wondering what's happening to the Colts this season, you don't have to look very far. The Colts can't run the ball and they can't stop other teams from running on them. Both of which puts added pressure on Peyton Manning and has resulted in him throwing 11 interceptions in the last 3 games, 4 being returned the other way for touchdowns, and the Colts losing 3 straight and currently siting out of the playoffs. "I don't make any excuses," Manning said. "I'm continuing to throw, I'll keep throwing." Sorry Peyton, but I'm not sure you really have any other choice.
The Chargers had won 4 straight and had found themselves back in the thick of things after a horrible start to the season. The Raiders had lost 2 straight and seemed headed back towards the basement. Considering the Chargers had never lost a game in December with Phillip Rivers as their QB, the outcome seemed like a forgone conclusion. But as they say, that's why they play the game. Behind the one-two punch of Darren McFadden and Michael "I'm not George" Bush the Raiders rushed the ball 52 times for 251 yards and 3 touchdowns, while only throwing it 17 times. "I think it's just really about getting back to who we are and what we do," coach Tom Cable said. If the Raiders were trying to get back to what they do, shouldn't they have lost this game?
If you're a fan of kickers, this was the game for you (Personally, I stopped liking kickers when they stopped wearing the single bar face mask). Jay Feely and Josh Brown combined to be a perfect 6 for 6 in field goal attempts, including three from over 40 yards and one from over 50 yards. Steven Jackson rushed for 102 yards and scored the games only TD. I knew there was something I didn't like about him. Derek "don't ask about my personal conversations" Anderson was benched in favor of Max Hall, who then had to leave the game in favor of John Skelton after dislocating his shoulder. After the game, coach Whisenhunt said he pulled Anderson because "he didn't seem right" after taking several hard hits. Maybe that's the excuse they should have used after his press conference blow up last week.
The Panthers jumped out to an early 14-0 lead and led 14-3 at halftime before remembering they were the Panthers and that they stink. They stink, that is, except for when David Carr is the opposing QB. Marshawn Lynch led the way, rushing for 83 yards and 3 touchdowns. Asked to explain the difference between the first and second half, coach Pete Carroll said, "I don't know. It's a little bit mystical there. I don't know what it was." Mystical? There was nothing mystical about it. You were playing the 1-11 Panthers, and please don't remind me where that 1 came from.
The Bucs had just taken a 24-14 lead and I was looking to score big points in our predictions game where I had the Bucs winning 24-18 (don't ask about the 18). Then Eric "I hate you for life" Weems had to return the next kickoff 102 yards for a touchdown to swing momentum all the way back towards the Falcons. Seriously!? What's wrong with taking a knee? Now bignerd, and he is a bignerd, is laughing at me. "That was huge," Matt Ryan said of the touchdown. "I saw urnext picked against us and I just wanted to ruin his day." OK, he didn't actually say that last part, but thanks for nothing.
There's no containing the vitriol being spewed at Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron right now. The Ravens seemed to have this game in the bag. The Steelers had done nothing all day, and it didn't seem like they were going to start with only a few minutes left to play. So on 3rd down, instead of running it and forcing the Steelers to use a timeout, and then forcing them to drive the length of the field, Cameron called a pass play. Troy Polamalu came in untouched on a blitz, forced Joe Flacco to fumble, and the Steelers got the ball 1st-and-goal from the 9. Three plays and two missed tackles later, the Steelers had the lead. The Ravens did then drive to the Steelers 32, but on 4th-and-4 Flacco's pass fell incomplete. If you're wondering why they didn't try the FG, apparently the wind was really blowing bad. Just like Cameron's play calling.
Tom Brady threw for 326 yards and 4 touchdowns, all while turning the biggest game of the week into a snoozefest. "We don't listen to the hype," Brady said. "I don't think we ever have. We really take after our coach, and he says 'When you win, say little. When you lose, say less.'" And when you get caught cheating say, "I miss interpreted the rules."
Admit it. For a half you thought just maybe. Then reality struck.