I’ve tried to avoid much fantasy sports talk on this blog, but I need to vent here. I heard all of the calls prior to the season about the Madden Jinx and that I should avoid drafting Shaun Alexander for my fantasy football team. However, I’m way too left-brained to believe in such theories, so I ignored all of such talk and grabbed the Seahawks running back when I got the number three pick in one of my drafts (although I would have taken my main man LaDainian Tomlinson if he had been available). Needless to say, we’re not even a month into the season and Shaun Alexander went ahead and broke his foot, meaning that he will be out indefinitely. With the long list of marquee players (compiled nicely by the SportsColumn Blog) either having injuries or numbers drop off drastically immediately after being on the cover of Madden, I’m now a full believer in the jinx. Some other random thoughts:
1) Bears Escape the Hump Dome – Without Tommie Harris, the Bears would have lost Sunday’s game against the Vikings. That being said, Rex Grossman showed that he could rebound from a Favre-esque aggressive mistake with a clutch play at the end. At the same time, it was jarring to no longer see Mike Tice prowl the sidelines in Minnesota after he was hired away in a bidding war by Isiah Thomas to be an assistant coach with the Knicks.
2) Juice Needs Some More Fermenting – Ron Zook finally decided to start Juice Williams at quarterback on Saturday for the Illini, which resulted in the freshman not completing his first 450 passes of the game. I’ve come to the point where I was actually ecstatic when the game was still scoreless near the end of first half for Illinois (although Iowa promptly scoring three touchdowns in the last five minutes of the second quarter snapped me out of my semi-joy). What kind of crack/smack/crank hybrid was I smoking when I said the Illini were going to make a bowl this season?! I’m sure all of you have learned by now to never take me seriously on anything.
3) Sparty Crying in His Irish Coffee – I’ve watched countless Bears and Illini games in my lifetime, which means that I’m a certified expert in pathetic football performances. Therefore, I can unequivocally tell you that Michigan State played the worst fourth quarter I have ever seen in my life against Notre Dame on Saturday. I don’t think anyone watching that game on Saturday thought there was any way that the Irish would come back against the Spartans. In fact, the Chicago Tribune that arrived on my doorstep on Sunday morning, which was published before the game ended, had headlines and a page-long article proclaiming MSU’s dominance along with ripping the lackluster performance of Notre Dame. With the new college rules in place that make the clock run faster than even the NFL and the way that Michigan State was running the ball, even the worst coach could avoid giving up three touchdowns in the final quarter, right? Well, the flurry of turnovers, botched play calls, and the continued insistence of the Spartans to run the option even though they kept getting stuffed as opposed to using their 260-pound running back to pound the ball downhill (it should be noted that ABC announcer and former Notre Dame coach Bob Davie said on multiple occasions that MSU ought to keep using the option to keep the Irish off-balance, which is empirical evidence of why he is no longer coaching anywhere). Congratulations, Michigan State – your 2006 team picture is now next to the definition of “fugly” in the dictionary. I’m not even a Spartan fan and I was mortified by that performance, so you can only imagine how the Enlightened Spartan feels. I think I just saw John L. Smith’s head roll by my desk.
A post-mortem on the disappointing White Sox season will come at some point. Until then, enjoy your Tuesday!
(Image from Wikipedia)