The Other Gruden, last seen searching for a whiskey sour.
Well, well, Orlando Predators. We meet again for the first time! We had heard rumor of skilled players present in the Greater Central Florida region, but we assumed that a search for them would be Juan Ponce de Leon-esque: fruitless and impotent, with a chance of mosquito swarms and ending with an unfortunate meeting with a poisoned arrow. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Welcome back to eating at the big kids table, Jay.
ORLANDO 57, Chicago 56 (OT)
If Orlando can stick around until late in the 4th quarter, they seem to be able to pull out the W. That’s reasonably impressive, especially as Shane Stafford isn’t putting up especially gaudy numbers, and their defense isn’t really at the forefront of anyone’s mind. Nevertheless, who’s 4-2 and second in the suddenly WILDLY competitive Southern Mitsubishi Division? I’ll give you a hint: it rhymes with “schmedators.” Plus, we got to see the surprise on someone’s face when one’s quadricep gives out unexpectedly.
See below for scores higher than the one that Michael Wilbon was shocked by.
COLUMBUS 51, Tampa Bay 49
Look, we’re going to have to have a sarcastic interview with Brett Dietz if things don’t turn around. And if we can’t get him to agree with us, we’ll have to fake one in which he cribs from Frederick The Great (“What is the good of experience if Brett Dietz does not reflect? Brett Dietz is the Great Elector!”*). What in the great holy fuck is wrong with Tampa Bay? I tend to blame injuries when I don’t have any legitimate information, so… um, that’s what I’m going to do. BUT – The Dietz ran a Statue of Liberty play, which will allow him keep his Most Favored Quarterback status. Meanwhile, Columbus removed the suck for the first week this season, caught a couple of favorable breaks, and came up with a timely interception as Tampa Bay was driving with less than 2 minutes remaining.
DR. CLINT DOLEZEL, PhD. 58, Cleveland 51
Yes, Dolezel returned, but perhaps his time calling plays from the cushiness of the bench area gave him a little rust to shake off, as he was but 18/27 for 220 yards. His 6 touchdowns (5 through the air, one on the ground) were enough, however, to put away the increasingly less-scrappy Cleveland Gladiators. Cleveland hung with arguably the best team in the league until a failed onside kick late, and didn’t let the Desperados put the game away, so expect outrageous things against a completely schizophrenic Los Angeles team this week. Speaking of which…
COLORADO 67, Los Angeles 54
Okay, every time Los Angeles looks like they might make noise somewhere, they turn into an un-housebroken puppy, as they did in the second half of this one. John Dutton got his act together and Joe’s favorite Minnesotan since Hubert H. Humphrey, Ben Nelson, was the beneficiary of said act getting together. In other news, Colorado coach Mike Dailey won his 100th regular season game, which speaks to a terrifying longevity on his part. Some might call it “dedication,” others “settling.” You make the call.
PHILADELPHIA 64, Utah 56
Look, Utah may as well just show up, curl into the fetal position, and weep on midfield. We have a certain fondness for Joe Germaine, but this is a train wreck. Can someone tell me how many times Germaine’s been blown up for a safety this year? Who does he have manning his offensive line? They were able to stay close-ish into the 3rd quarter, but they can’t protect their QB, and their God-awful defense didn’t have a prayer against Matt D’Orazio and the truly, truly scary Philadelphia Soul. The pickup of D’Orazio looks better and better every single week. Danny White first canned his kicker, then whacked his defensive backs coach, and this week threw his rookie linebacker under the bus: “‘That was all Kelvin, White said. ‘Everyone in the league runs that play. Eventually, he’ll figure that game out.'” White, you clown, look in the mirror. You’re the coach and the GM. Do the damn-hell-ass math, dillweed.
NEW YORK 63, Grand Rapids 34
We were ready to anoint James MacPherson the 2008 Brett Dietz, or some equally hyperbolic title. (“MacPherson MacTurns MacRampage MacAround!”) HA! Four interceptions makes us turn on you like… something that turns on something else speedily. ALSO: 176 points in two games is a record; we’ve established that. Dropping 34, 35, and 58 in your other three games is… less impressive. Also, Aaron Garcia managed to survive a whole game, continuing to prove that as long as Rohan Davey stays off the field, New York can win games.
NEW ORLEANS 72, San Jose 43
Holy hell! I need to invent new words to describe how shocked I am at the New Orleans turnaround. Lin-J Shell gets the award for Most Absurd change to a team. New Orleans is a legitimate threat behind Danny Wimprine and their completely changed defense. They are on some sort of crazytrain. Engineered by Defensive Player of March Calvin Spears, I can only assume. Steve Bellisari came into the game in garbage time and got a score. This is New Orleans we’re talking about? Might there be a home game for Arena Bowl XXI? Okay, I just got carried away there, but, I did start screaming about defense at this time last year, and it was about San Jose, and they won, so… Hm…
GEORGIA 70, Kansas City 63
Let no odes be written about comeback The Scrappy Chris Griesen led against the abhorrent Kansas City Brigade. Spotting the rudderless Brigade a 21-7 lead after a quarter is shameful, and the Georgia defense should be embarrassed. I thought it was the offensive coordinator who left to coach Grand Rapids. All-Name Team DL R-Kal Truluk finally registered on the stat list with a sack in the second, but apparently nobody played defense at all during the 21-21 fourth quarter. Georgia got in a shootout with Kansas City and won, but their mistake was allowing KC to stay in said shootout in the first place. In the suddenly hypercompetitive (Mitsu-never mind) Southern Division, trading touchdowns with the likes of Kansas City doesn’t bode well. Dear Kansas Cityans: you don’t care, do you? Kansas just won the NCAA Tournament, and you’re peeing yourself with glee over that. Unless you root for Missouri**, in which case, eh, you’re just practically full to the brim with disappointment, aren’t you?
**See, I know where Kansas City is. Also, I assume that nobody was rooting for Kansas State, because I’m not sure The Internet has arrived in Manhattan, yet. When this blogpost arrives via Pony Express, you can send me a nasty e-mail, wet with Michael Beasley’s tears. Oh, wait, he’s not crying, because he’s making a mockery of college athletics by going pro and earning a fucking fortune. What’s this soapbox, and how did I get up here?