Like many North Americans, I participate in a weekly football pool. There are 33 of us in this particular pool and we each pick winners against the spread to determine a weekly winner and an overall winner at the end of the NFL season.
Among the 32 other poolies are my two brothers and mother. I'm having a rough year. I've been close a few weeks, but I haven't been able to close the deal. I blame the parity in today's game. With these spreads and utter unpredictability, you may as well flip a coin. It's tough out there.
What's especially embarrassing for me is that my mom is kicking ass. She won 13 games this past weekend to win her second week in a row. I don't mind losing this football pool week after week after week, but when you're losing to your own mother, it's time to give back the testosterone.
Now I'm ticked. Sure, I realized making the playoffs was virtually out of the question going into todays game, but your mind plays tricks on you. You start thinking of what might be if the Bills run the gamut and win their last six games. You almost start to believe the impossible is possible. Then, with less than two minutes remaining, your team is up by four. You're holding a great offense to ten points while scoring your first touchdown in four games. You're going to do this. You're going to win.
Then, Edgerrin James plunges into the endzone with 1:38 remaining and you've lost four straight and have absolutely no shot at the post-season. Boy am I ticked.
The Bills and Raptors have a lot in common this season. Both teams are focused on defense and suffering on offense as a result. Two field goals and safeties are all the offense the Bills could muster this afternoon as they fell to 4-6 and will likely miss the playoffs. Look for Gregg Williams to get his walking papers during the off-season...if he makes it that long. A sure sign of this inevitablitly was the dreaded vote of confidence from team president Tom Donahoe.
Another snoozefest on the road for the Bills. It's now been a million years since they've scored a touchdown away from Ralph Wilson Stadium. At least we can be proud of the defense who played another spectacular game. Unfortunately, you need a little offense to actually win games.
I was flipping back and forth between this game and the CFL Eastern Conference final between the Toronto Argos and Montreal Alouettes, but ended up spending most of the afternoon with the Canadian game. It was damn exciting with the Argos almost pulling off the upset. In fact, if not for a blown call by the refs, the Argos would be Grey Cup bound. Alouette quarterback Anthony Calvillo ran the ball into the endzone to take the lead late in the fourth quarter but was stripped of the ball millimeters before breaking the plane. It was incorrectly ruled a touchdown and the rest is history. On this day, the CFL was a hundred times more exciting than the NFL.
Synonyms for pitiful at Thesaurus.com: deplorable, despicable, dismal, distressed, distressing, abject, affecting, afflicted, base, beggarly, cheap, cheerless, comfortless, commiserative, contemptible, fish, grievous, heart-rending, heartbreaking, inadequate, insignificant, joyless, lamentable, low, mean, miserable, mournful, moving, paltry, pathetic, piteous, pitiable, sad, scummy, scurvy, shabby, sorrowful, sorry, stirring, suffering, tearful, unhappy, vile, wimpy, woeful, worthless and wretched.
Now that's more like it. Travis Henry ran for a career-high 167 yards and scored twice to save Gregg Williams' job. Williams has been taking a lot of heat in the Buffalo media for the Bills downward spiral following week 2. Howls for his head have been growing louder by the day.
With the Bills induction of linebacker Darryl Talley onto the Wall of Fame at halftime, the greatest player in Bills history was visible along the sideline. Pro Football Hall of Fame member Jim Kelly will always be my all-time favourite Bill. Kelly owns the Bills record for passing attempts (4,779), passes completed (2,874), yards passing (35,467), passing percentage (60.14%) and consecutive games with at least one TD pass (18). In my opinion, he was still the best player on the field at Ralph Wilson Stadium today.
Saved by the bird! Allow me to explain... Yesterday's Bills game was the first of the year I didn't watch in its entirety. We were at my mom's for Thanksgiving Dinner and turkey was served shortly after kick off. Sure, the game was on in the background, but there was enough distraction to block out the horrific images transpiring on the television.
The previously 0-4 Jets sacked Drew Bledsoe seven times and held Travis Henry to 53 yards while making mincement of the Bills defense. You can't blame a 27 point drubbing by the lowly Jets on the absense of Eric Moulds, can you?
Sidney Crosby. Are you familiar with that name? You will be.
Sidney Crosby of the Rimouski Oceanic is the CHL Player of the Week. Crosby scored five goals and added four assists for nine points in four games last week. This 16-year-old native of Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia is being touted as "The Next One". Wayne Gretzky himself has stated that Crosby was the best player he'd seen since Mario Lemieux. Not eligible for the NHL entry draft until 2005, the legend of Sidney Crosby is already approaching epic proportions.
It took overtime for the home team Bills to get past the Bengals. If the Bills are truly a Super Bowl contender, this game should never have gone into extra time. Listening to WGR Sports Radio 55 after the game, the consesus among Bills fans is that this is a poorly coached team that will ultimately beat themselves if allowed to do so. Thankfully, Drew Bledsoe engineered the 22nd fourth-quarter comeback of his career and the Bills are 3-2 and face the awful Jets next week.
The sports section of The Toronto Star has a very interesting article today from Garth Woolsey on the EA curse. EA makes sports video games. In fact, the only video games I play come from EA with my favourite being their NHL hockey series. A big honour in the world of video gaming is appearing on the cover of one of these games from EA.
Woolsey was commenting on the curse that has befallen those athletes appearing on the covers of EA Sports games recently. Dany Heatley is featured on the cover of EA's NHL 2004. We all know of his tragic car crash earlier this week. Michael Vick appears on the cover of EA's John Madden Football. Vick subsequently broke his fibula. Randy Johnson appears on the cover of EA's Triple Play Baseball game. Johnson had to undergo arthroscopic knee surgery and only won six games last year following a 24 win campaign in 2002.
The reason we in Toronto should be particularly concerned about this curse is because of who is appearing on the cover of EA's NBA Live 2004. Air Canada himself, Vince Carter. Just what we needed...
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