I figure that if we’re going to go to the game, we probably should know about the teams that are playing in it. All rules still apply, though I’ve expanded the scope a bit for the occasion. When grading the logos, 1 is prettier than Ginny Weasley, and 10 is creepier than Wormtail and his freaky-deaky hand. And yes, I’m an enormous nerd. Also, you may have noticed that we write about Arena Football, so I think dropping Harry Potter references might actually raise my coolness factor.
As usual, for a timeline, click here and say “I solemnly swear I am up to no good.” (See, I did it again. I’ll stop now.)
Now: San Jose!
I did not know that San Jose was the most common place name in the world before today. I will take that information with me, and use it on Jeopardy!, even if I have to use it inappropriately. San Jose came into the league in 1995 with Hartford, St. Louis, Memphis and Iowa. This makes them the
third fourth oldest franchise in the league, behind Arizona, and Orlando, and Tampa Bay. [Note: Whoops! Good catch.] In that time, they’ve won two Arena Bowls and have managed to never draw less than 10,000 fans at home. They’ve only missed the playoffs twice. They’ve basically been the stalwarts of Wacky Silly-Time Football. Which means if you hate success, you should hate the SaberCats. If you also hate that business of smashing two words together so there’s a capital letter in the middle of the word, you could also roust some ire for the SaberCats. Other than that, San Jose has been the model of consistency. The guys who own Fry’s run the SaberCats, so if you like gigantor electronics warehouses, there you go.
I’m trying to make the jokes, but they’ve just sort of existed, and been good, and haven’t had much scandal. They use cowbells as their noisemaker… Joe mentioned that in the liveblog. We made the “prescription for more cowbell” joke already. Soooooooooooo, yeah. They’re good, they’ve always been decent-or-better, and they’re named after the saber-toothed
tiger cat (apparently there’s a subtle, yet important difference), who had SERRATED TEETH. And this cat (Smilodon Californicus) is the official fossil of California. In other news, we’re renaming the blog in the offseason to It’s Still Paleontology.
Things you should know about this year’s San Jose SaberCats include:
- Mark Grieb has taken courses in nuclear physics, according to Commissioner Baker, who, I might add, is in the catbird’s seat, compared to Commissioners Selig, Stern, and Goodell.
- They’ve won 12 games in a row with limited difficulty, and I’ve had them as my favorite to make it this far since week 7.
- That bears repeating, because I’m right so infrequently: I’ve liked them since week 7, when they began that winning streak.
- A.J. Haglund is arguably the one of the best kickers in the league, putting up 158 points over the course of the season. I’d have gone with Seth Marler, until he gagged in the playoffs. So, A.J. Haglund it is.
- Back to Mark Grieb, he attempted an extra point in 2001. Weird. He’s also probably the best QB around not named Griesen or Dolezel.
Five Quick Points on How They Got Here (I
added will add this to Columbus’ preview too, to be fair):
- Defense, specifically team defense. Individually, Clevan Thomas is on the big board with 9 interceptions, but more notably, they’ve only had 3 teams in reasonable striking distance during their winning streak.
- They caught Chicago at the right time. I’m sorry to say it, but if not for the trick back of Matt D’Orazio, we might be a lot more vocal about which team we’re supporting on Sunday.
- Mr. Grieb distributes. His favorite target has been James Roe, but Ben Nelson and Rodney Wright also neared or eclipsed 100 catches on the season.
- For the record, I don’t like stats, I get them wrong or misinterpret them. That’s Joe’s gig. So, here’s my gut analysis: I like Darren Arbet. He’s calm, he knows the game, he got made fun of by Doug Kay.
- Did I mention defense? Suffocating, choking defense?
Now for the usual chicanery:
- You May Have Heard Of: Rashied Davis, Chicago Bears WR. He played for them 2003-05, and may not play all that much for the Bears, but I injure my wide recievers so often in Madden that he usually gets a battlefield promotion at some point during the season.
- Logo: One logo, ten-thousand years in the making. Pretty straightforward: if you have a scary animal with angry teeth as a mascot, you emphasize that bastard. The thing that’s always struck me is that the cat head is HUGE on the helmet, and it looks like the neck/mane of the thing is sliding off the back of the helmet onto the neck of the player. You can kind of see that here, but it’s easier to get the gist of what I’m talking about when they’re moving around. (This might be more useful.) Anyway, it’s a reasonable logo, inoffensive. I give it a 3.
[Update: Holy crap, that’s a scary animal. An animal that can open its jaw 120 degrees. Eeeegh…]