I am of the exact same mindset as Hiko from his Browns Outsider article. Nobody from the Browns gets bitched at today. Statistics today were as worthless as birth control classes for any female in the Spears household. (except for Jamal's)
So for once, I will not be playing Agent Smith to Mister Annnderson.
Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!
Pretty much everyone on this site has led off their columns with comments about the weather...and I won't be any different. Nothing like turning on the TV and being reminded one of the main reasons I didn't move back to Ohio when I had a chance. Don't get me wrong, it was fantastic watching on television, and like the rest of the loons here at TCF, I would have loved to be up there at the stadium joining in with the rest of the crazies.
I then I would have gotten in my car and drove back home to where I plan on playing golf this weekend. Yes, I am a wuss...but I'm a warm wuss with a tee time....so don't be questioning my fanhood.
I did ask my wife if she would have enjoyed being at the stadium for this game. The response from my genteel Southern Belle was something to the extent of "are you a f@#*ing idiot?" ("asked and answered", states my attorney).
I loved the part during the early part of the game where Steve Tasker was saying that Marshawn Lynch and some of the other West Coast and Florida lads where saying "they looked forward to playing in those conditions". Yeah...money talks and bullshit walks. Lynch and Trent Edwards looked as comfortable out there as Jesse Helms in a San Francisco bath house. (In fairness, Kellen didn't look too happy, either).
You could tell that there were a couple of Midwesterners running around there, as Braylon Edwards and Joe Jurevicius looked like they were having a ball playing in the snow. To say nothing of Derek Anderson and his short sleeves (but what the hell was up with that Oven Mitt when he ran out to congratulate Dawson? Did he leave some cookies baking in one of the heated benches?)
Given the weather, you could make an argument that the gameplan was the most brilliant Chud has come up with this year. Started right out with a long throw. It was incomplete, but it set the tone right there and delivered a stern message that the Bills would be severely punished if they stacked the box to stop Jamal.
Edwards remained the focal point of the offense in the first half, as he came up with more and more of his patented "how did he CATCH that?" grabs. Luck played a big part of things as well, as both QBs should have had passes picked off in the swirling wind, or off from tips, but it was a day when defensive players left their hands back in the locker room.
What a beast! As mentioned, the Browns mixed things up at the start, passing as much as they were running in the first half. But you could tell they were trying to pound away at the Bills defense early, in hopes that Jamal would wear them out later on in the game.
That "later on" started in the second quarter. Jamal's first six carries? Seven yards.
On his next 27 carries, he gained 156 yards, and completely crushed the spirits of the Bills. Like Anderson, Edwards, and Jurevicius, you could tell the cold wasn't bothering Jamal. But he wasn't enjoying it like a little kid making snow angels...he was enjoying it like Jigsaw making people torture themselves. Nothing like seeing a 5'11", 245 pound battering ram coming at you full speed with a demonic look on his face to make a defensive back from California question his career choice.
Jamal's running style of taking short, choppy steps was perfect for this field on this day. He has always been excellent at keeping his balance being able to deliver blows at the end of his runs, making him the perfect weapon for Chud's offense.
As many times as I see a replay of the impossible 49 yarder, I still can't totally comprehend it. Tiger Woods couldn't have shaped a shot as well as Phil did.
The first field goal from 35 yards was incredible enough, with Phil starting it at least 10 yards right of the goal post, allowing the wind to push it enough to where it split the uprights right down the middle.
With the second, I was screaming at the TV that Romeo going for the three was almost as nuts as me asking my wife to attend a game in a blizzard. You could hear the Primal Scream I let out three houses down when I saw Zastudil catching the snap, knowing a missed or blocked FG was coming. And then I'm dumbstruck (no d'uh, sez the wife) when I see the ball probably never get more than 20 feet off the ground, moving like a Joe Niekro knuckleball and finally settling over the post, once again hitting the stanchion.
And admit it...how many of you ever knew that the part of the goal post that held up the big "U" was called a "stanchion" prior to the Baltimore game? Everyone knows it now, although the idea put forth on several internet boards should be passed into law: It shall now and forever be known as "The Dawson Bar".
This might have been the Greatest. FG. Ever. Vinatieri's might have been more significant, since it got his team into a Super Bowl, but this might have been the most difficult one ever, as Vinatieri was just kicking in the snow, not dealing with gale force winds.
And this came the same day that Matt Stover (hack, spit) missed for the first time ever in OT, allowing the D-0-13-phins their first victory.
Phil...men and women will be remembering that moment fondly long after you are gone.
ANDRA!!!! (Did I just say that?)
I'm giving special props to Andra Davis? The man who has cornered the market on my prestigious "Of the Same Monetary Value as Mammary Glands on a Sus Scrofa Award"?
Looks like someone else really likes playing in the snow, as Davis was a one-man wrecking crew the entire game. He was credited with six solo tackles, the same as Leigh Bodden, but there was no comparison. Most of Andra's came while he was setting up his personal homestead in the Buffalo backfield. Several other times he scared Trent Edwards enough that you could almost hear the beleaguered Stanford man letting out Dakota Fanning pitched screams.
The defensive line stepped up as well. In fact, both the offensive and defensive line dominated in such a way that you could have sworn the opponents were from San Diego, not someplace that has even worse weather than Cleveland.
So if they give out a Pro-bowl invitation to the best Blizzardbacker, we'll know who it will be. Unfortunately, there are not many blizzards in Honolulu.
Blurbs from an ADHD Mind
~~ The frigid conditions led to some first half brain freezes from color announcer Steve Tasker. In the pre-game, he was stating that with conditions like this, it "could be a 52-50 shootout". Uh, Steve? You may be right in regards to the receivers knows where they were going, but in 40 mph winds, NO ONE knows where the ball is going. Later, Tasker also blew it when he said that a free kick out of bounds should be placed on the 40 (on the 50...30 yards away from where the kick was made), and he faulted Shaffer for being off the line, when the flag was really for Shaffer being the end man on the line, as Winslow was the one off from it. See? Too many years playing outside in Siberia type winters can damage the brain.
~~ Speaking of announcers, got to give props to Shannon Sharpe, whom I love in the CBS studio, despite his years as a Ratbird. "Grady Sizemore has a Grand Slam...Travis Hafner has a Grand Slam...8-0 Cleveland". Great stuff. And that group needs it, as Dan Marino keeps looking like he just gulped down a pitcher of prune margaritas...might have something to do with Bret Favre breaking all his records the same year the Pats go undefeated and the Dolphins look like an NFL version of a 1970s Indians' team?
~~ Congratulations to Joshua Cribbs and Braylon Edwards on making the Pro-Bowl, along with Thomas, Stienbach, Winslow, Anderson, Vickers, and Dawson being named alternates. Yeah, it's a bitch that some of them weren't named to the team, but respect comes in baby steps.
~~ Speaking of the Pro-Bowl, about the only thing I can't complain about is them naming Sean Taylor to the team. Classy.
~~ E$PN actually "reported" on whether or not Jessica Simpson deserved some blame in Tony Romo's bad game? "Welcome to SportCenter! I'm Joan Rivers, along with my co-host Kevin Frazier who will tonight be talking about those ghhhaassstttly red-on-red uniforms wore last week by the Texans. Then it's over to Jann Carl to discuss the heartbreaking story of Brian Billick and his painful divorce from his soul. Finally, Bob Goen will have a hard hitting interview with Bill Belichick; where Bob asks him who his tailor is, and Mumbles hits him real hard!"
~~ So Roddy White feels the need to wear a "Free Michael Vick" t-shirt and show it off to the world in the middle of the latest beatdown of the pathetic Falcons? Puh-leezzeee. Thug makes a bazillion dollars only due to freakish athletic ability. Thug continues to act like a thug, including torturing animals for fun and profit. Thug gets caught. Thug smokes several phat ones while awaiting sentencing. Thug goes to jail. Nelson Mandela this ain't.
~~ Roy Williams...dumbest player of the week. They make a new rule outlawing something (horse collar tackle) due to your continued use of it to injure players...and you keep doing it. You get fined three times for said continued use of it...and you do it again. You get suspended for a game...you cry "Not Fair!" Norman Einstein, this ain't.
~~ Roger Clemens...when a boatload of people that were named in the Mitchell Report (no relation) own up to the stuff being true (Pettitte, Vina, Roberts), it makes the denials your mouthpieces are laying out look a bit lame. No Hall of Fame for you...welcome to the Barry Bonds Hall of Asterisk!