Mediocre halo, add a lens flare… Yeah, that sounds about right.
TAMPA BAY 69, Georgia 48
Whew, that’s more like it. The Brett Dietz March To The Sea gets back on track with an efficient, 7-touchdown performance, connecting with 34 different recievers and he saved some children. (But not the British children.) I’m not giving up on The Scrappy Chris Griesen yet, because his numbers were okay, but Georgia simply couldn’t get a stop. Plus, the Storm decided to resume murdering teams with the passing game. (Running touchdowns? What? Not today, my good man.)
The rest of the weekend is given cursory attention after the jump.
DALLAS 46, Columbus 36
Chris Sanders survives! Against a pretty awful Columbus team, but he did succeeded with quasi-coach Clint Dolezel’s voice echoing in his brain (Will Pettis: “Chris, you turned off your targeting computer: are you all right?”) and now only has to get through three or four more weeks before ceding back to The Doctor. Let us not forget, however, that The Scrappy Chris Griesen was once Dr. Dolezel’s backup, so there’s a precedence for quality supporting quality. Columbus is horrifying. Matt Nagy has to be cranky: he’s armed for a slapfight between high school sophomore drama club members over who gets to be Marian in this spring’s production of The Music Man
CLEVELAND 66, Utah 63
All right, Mr. Commenter-who-posted-while-I-was-writing-this-post: you have a compelling point. People in Cleveland are pretty excited about the Neo-Thunderbolts. They’re playing pretty well. Raymond Funnyname was a good QB with Kansas City (see also the upcoming sentence, “Kansas City: Horrendous?”), and it doesn’t take much to turn around a team in this league. Prove me wrong, Cleveland, but I think your division is too stacked to make a run. As for Utah… eeegh… this is not the direction they wanted to be traveling. Who will be force-choked this week?
Philadelphia 60, CHICAGO 49
Everybody’s saying this might have been a preview of Arena Bowl Whatever. Which of COURSE means that’s not going to happen. Way to throw the jinx on that, there, media persons. What I’m more interested in is turncoat traitor Gabe Nyenhuis, who was recruited to and played for Northwestern before transferring to Colorado to snuggle with Gary Barnett. I now wish to go back in time, attend this game, and boo him lustily. Also, Chicago lost on sloppy execution – Sherdrick Bonner intercepted on sequential plays is not the way to win – which makes me crankier. I’m done with this recap because it makes me mad.
NEW YORK 50, Kansas City 47
Rohan Davey looked not awful, according to his stat line. I can’t imagine anyone not being forced to watch this, A-Clockwork-Orange-style, actually saw this game, so I’m going to say that Davey performed… competently in lieu of Aaron Garcia (as presented by Hummel). Kansas City: Horrendous? John Fitzgerald (Not-Kennedy) is certainly presiding over a larger mess in K.C. than originally anticipated. I look forward to making fun of the Brigade for weeks to come. Of course, as admitted at the top of every page: We Know Nothing.
NEW ORLEANS 54, Orlando 53
Ah, yes, Gruden Deux has stones, going for 2 and the win on the last play of the game. Sadly for the Gruden family, Keyon Raymond of the VooDoo not only knocked that pass aside, but whose interception return for a touchdown on the previous drive put New Orleans ahead by 7, which necessitated the Stafford scoring drive in the first place. Danny Wimprine has a funny name, and was bailed out by Raymond and a kick return for a touchdown, but on the whole subbed in adequately for the injured Steve Bellisari. When all of these quarterbacks return in weeks 4-7, it’s going to be baffling. But seriously, Brett Favre needs to un-retire and secretly replace Shane Stafford. He could wear a fake mustache and a tinted visor and call himself Chester Arthur.
San Jose 66, GRAND RAPIDS 58
I’d be a little concerned if I were Silicon Valley denizens that cared about the SaberCats. In order to come back against the Rampage, they had to employ a little trickeration (offensive lineman Chris Pino lined up eligible) and good fortune (kickoff clangs off crossbar, into the hands of a SaberCat), as well as a fumble recovery or two. Let me reiterate: the defending champions had to come from behind against the Grand Rapids Rampage. Adrian McPherson made plays, as he does, with his feet as well as his arm, to keep them around, but it was his fumble with less than a minute left that ultimately sealed it for San Jose.
Los Angeles 65, ARIZONA 33
The Greater Maricopa County Free Ticket Watch is back on track, with this nationally televised stink-fest. Well done, Arena League! An 11:00 Eastern start on ESPN2! Woo! I know I zzzzzzz…. Look, Cumbie and the Avengers are going to have a good season. If their defense is as sturdy as it was against the Arizona Free Season Tickets, they’ll be the most exciting pro football team in Los Angeles. Nevertheless, what on Earth possessed the powers that be to make this the game that was on TV? I watched part of the Southern Conference Championship last night, because there was nothing else on. Jesus. I hope Commissioner Baker crushed someone with a boulder because of this egregious mis-management. Also: LANG CAMPBELL [dramatic chord] was driven from the game with an injury to his leg … or WAS HE? [Dramatic chord] He was, and was replaced by Jeff Smoker. I’ve already described Gabe Nyenhuis as this week’s villain of choice, but I’d like it noted that Smoker is a pugnacious diddler of orphans.*
Last week, we forgot about the Most Motor-Skills Challenged of the Week award, and I did miss it so. I could give it to Arizona’s offense, but there will be time for that later in the season. Especially when the ESPN/AFL Schedule Monkeys forgo prime time and go with the guano festival that was LA/Arizona. On the plus side, the CMRP was right. (2-0, baby!)
*Description courtesy Pat King