If you ask most people they will tell you football is the greatest sport in the world. They love the action, strategy, and the athletes are some of the best in any sport. For many, if a master work of art was turned into a sport it would be football. I am, of course, talking about the game that the only things required to play are a foot, a ball, and any open space that might or might not have grass depending on the economic situation of the country you live in. Here it's called soccer.
Personally, I hate soccer. I find it low scoring and boring. Sure they're running around a lot but there just kicking a ball back and forth. Plus it doesn't have any of those convenient commercial breaks that allow me to go to the bathroom because I've already downed a 6-pack by halftime and my chili nachos aren't agreeing with me.
I don't mean that as an insult to any soccer fan. If you love it, great, keep watching it. If you want to kill two hours of your life, what do I care? I've just never been able to make myself care about soccer, which is saying something because I even got into curling during the last Winter Olympics.
I do, however, love football. And no, I'm not going to call it American football since I live in America and any red blooded American (as if blood could be another color) will already know what I'm talking about. It's also a game people love for it's fast action and strategy but with strength and violent hits thrown in despite Rodger Goodell's best efforts to make it otherwise. Of course, when you really think about it, calling it football is the stupidest name in the world since the only players who actually touch the ball with their foot are the kickers and they're ironically the only ones that aren't really football players.
This past Sunday we got the annual football game played in London between the Bucs and the Bears, which the Bears won 24-18 thanks mostly to Josh Freeman repeatedly confusing the Bears cornerbacks for his own receivers. It was the 5th time since 2007 the NFL has played a game there and it was the second trip by the Bucs. Rodger Goodell has stated that he'd like to have a few teams make trips regularly to help establish a fan base and the Glazer's seem more than willing to oblige mainly because he owns one of the most popular football teams in the world. No, not the Bucs, Manchester United. Plus, since he doesn't have much of a fan base in Tampa he might as well try to get one in London.
The NFL has been trying to make inroads into Europe for years. Remember NFL Europe? You know that league where all the teams except one played in Germany. Once that proved to be a colossal bust, the NFL switched gears and now we get the game in London, which Goodell hopes to increase to two a year sometime soon. But is the NFL really making headway? Do most people in London look at the NFL as anything other than a curiosity? They already have the other kind of football that is insanely popular, and they also have rugby which is something of a cross between soccer and football only with more dislocated joints, a blood bin, and all the players afterwards going down to their local pub singing songs and drinking beer. Plus, with the other kind of football, it's not even so much about the game but whether our fan base can beat the crap out of your fan base.
This year's game was the first time the game wasn't sold out before hand. Wembley Stadium seats 82,000 and only 75,000 tickets had been sold before the start. The organizers and Goodell claim it's because of the lockout and tickets going on sale several months later than usual and not because even people in London are unimpressed with Jay Cutler. Maybe that's true. Or maybe the novelty is just wearing off.
Now that Goodell's 18-game season has been thrown into the trash bin of things that aren't going to happen, establishing a strong presence in London seems to be high on his to do list and he's going to keep pushing this for all it's worth. Only time will tell if it was the right move. Either one day the NFL's newest expansion team will be the London Gin and Tonics, or the London game will be discarded alongside NFL Europe, the USFL, the XFL, and the Big East. Now on to the rest of week 7.
Drew Breese threw for 325 yards and 5 touchdowns while the Colts did their best Rodney King impersonation.
Someone forgot to tell the Jaguars that they were supposed to lose this game as Josh Scobee kicked 4 field goals, including 3 over 50 yards, while the Ravens offense took the first 3 quarters off figuring one quarter of offense was all that was needed to get past the Jags. Meanwhile the Jags made sure the game wasn't blacked out by covering half the stadium in tarps but even then most people in Jacksonville didn't bother to watch.
Phil Dawson kicked two 50-yard field goals to lead the Browns past the Seahawks but very few people saw it since most had already fallen asleep in their 7 layer been dip thanks to boredom.
The Falcons suddenly resurrected rushing attack led by Michael Turner's 122 yards, handed the Lions their second straight home loss. Matthew Stafford got injured once again and Lions fans are starting to wonder how the Redwings are doing.
The Texans may be banged up but Arian Foster went off for 115 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns, while also chipping in 119 receiving yards and 1 touchdown. Fantasy owners everywhere who passed on Foster were banging their heads against the wall while Matt Hasselbeck suddenly remembered he was old and not supposed to be that good anymore.
Saint Tebow looked horrible for the first 55 minutes of the game, but he got it done in the end with 2 touchdown passes and a QB sneak for the two point conversion to send it to OT. Matt Prater kicked the game winning 52 yard FG and Dolphins fans everywhere are hoping the Rams win at least once so the Dolphins can get Andrew Luck.
The Chargers blew two 11 point leads while losing to the head coach who would have already given them 15 Super Bowl victories. Yes, he's that great of a coach. The Jets were led by Plaxico Burress who had 3 touchdown receptions for his first big breakout game of the season. Get it? He was in jail and he broke out. I'll keep working on it.
John Beck got his first start of the season for the Redskins and he did look better than Rex Grossman, mainly because he isn't Rex Grossman, but it wasn't enough to get past Cam Newton and the Panthers. It was Newton's second win while the Redskins were reminded they weren't supposed to be in first place in the NFC East anyways.
Kyle Boller threw an interception that was returned for a TD on his first pass. Not to be outdone, Carson Palmer matched him by throwing his own pick-6 in the 4th. Together they combined for 6 interceptions and 0 touchdowns, while Matt Cassel chipped in 2 interceptions of his own. Word is all three quarterbacks plan to go as Brett Favre for Halloween.
Ben Roethlisberger threw for 361 yards and 3 touchdowns to lead the Steelers past the woeful Cardinals and their ex-offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt. The Cardinals, meanwhile, are wondering if it would be too late to give Kevin Kolb back to the Eagles.
Rams 7, Cowboys 34
Rookie DeMarco Murray rushed for 256 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries as the Cowboys got back to .500 on the season. Gloating Cowboys fans were immediately reminded, "Of course they won, they were playing the Rams."
Rookie Christian Ponder got his first career start and confidently put up horrible numbers. Hey, did I say he looked poised and confident while doing it? The Vikings surprisingly had a chance to win it at the end but head coach Leslie Frazier decided he'd rather punt instead which gave the Packers the chance to run out the clock, which of course, they did.