Speed Read: It’s All An NFL Mediocrity Rat Race

All this flowery speak about perfection and futility can bore easily. So the Titans are still 9-0 and the Lions are the opposite of that. Big whoop. But what about the teams that are between sweet and suck? What about the underachievers? The hangers-on? The — to borrow from the college hoops folk — bubble teams? Eight squads (excluding the Arizona Cardinals, who play tonight on MNF) finished Week 10 with a meh-worthy 5-4 record: the Bears, Broncos, Colts, Dolphins, Bills, Cowboys, Eagles, and Vikings. And two of those teams are in the rattiest of races to align themselves for just a few playoff spots.

NFL Rat Race

(Click right here for the big boy version)

Granted, with seven weeks left to play, a couple of those top teams could tumble, therefore a 6-3 record doesn’t mean jack diddly because (a) eight or nine teams are breathing down their neck, and (b) some of those six-win teams aren’t guaranteed a wild card spot. Isn’t it great when the bulk majority of the football teams are rather collectively unhappy? After all, they’re doing good work, but they are so pissed at the mistakes they’ve made this year that it gives their fans a little bit of solace that their favorite team is almost as miserable at their own jobs as they are.

Again, most teams. Not all.

Eli Manning

The New York Giants have to be at least cracking a smile with their 8-1 start after defeating their division brethren, the Philadelphia Eagles, 36-31 on Sunday Night Football. Eli Manning threw two touchdowns and Brandon Jacobs scampered for two scores of his own to go with 126 yards. Expect coach Tom Coughlin to yell at only 80 percent decibel level.

America's Funniest Home Videos over NASCAR

So what’s more of a value to America? Fast cars or trauma to the groin? The VIRGINIAN-PILOT’s Dustin Long feels that people will take bouncy camcorders over rubbin’, which is the same thing as racin’. After a couple of red flags in Phoenix’s Checker O’Reilly Auto Parts 500, ABC moved the final 30 minutes of the telecast to ESPN2 so they could show “America’s Funniest Home Videos.” Wait. Rain in Phoenix? Methinks ABC had a bucket full o’ dry ice up their sleeve.

Greg Maddux

And now for (mostly) non-crotch-pain-related news:

  • ABOUT.COM’s Scott Kendrick says the Gold Glove voting is a popularity contest, which is the only reason Greg Maddux has won one more than anyone else.
  • Chris Mullin’s time as the Warriors’ top basketball executive may be nearing an end, and SACRAMENTO BEE’S KINGS BLOG chronicles Mullin’s mistakes.
  • BLEACHER REPORT names this year’s MLB All-Rookie Team, and Armando Galarraga is named as the pitcher, so it’s a quality list.
  • Could Ohio State still make the Fiesta Bowl, yet again? The CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER says it’s possible … provided “six or eight upsets take place”. Gee, that’s all?
  • Where, oh where, will Matt Holliday land? The ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS’ answer: not the Cardinals.
  • Steelers’ tailback Willie Parker has a torn labrum, and might miss most or all of the season, depending on you ask. If you ask Parker himself, he doesn’t have one, since he says nobody told him that. So it won’t hurt, Mr. Parker, if I just take this doctor’s hammer and tap here?
  • Not only South Africa get shut out of the Beijing Olympics, but the DAILY NEWS reports they also wasted 11 million rand ($1.11 million) on a South African expo in Beijing that nobody really went to, since it wasn’t anywhere near the Olympics. See, America? We’re not the only country who spends poorly!
  • Time for feel good news, the court-ordered way. The WHEELING NEWS-REGISTER says cyclist Susan Haywood was entitled to $319,000 after she was improperly kept off the 2004 U.S. Olympic cycling team for some convoluted reason involving lost racing points and confusion over number of mountain bikers on a team. Hey, just because it’s not a sex scandal doesn’t mean it’s not worth mentioning.
  • The KC STAR’s Jason Whitlock says the Chiefs are heading in the right direction, even after their 20-19 loss, where they went for two at the end and missed. SHUTDOWN CORNER’S MJD concurs. Disagree with them? That’s two people, and you are only one person, therefore you are wrong.
  • And finally, THE SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER says Seahawks quarterback Seneca Wallace hurt his groin in their 21-19 loss to the Dolphins. Hey, I said it was going to be mostly-free crotch-pain news, didn’t I?

What athlete(s) earned a spot on President-elect Barack Obama’s cabinet?

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Boot on Beanie Means No Battle With Bobcats

Ohio State officially announced that star tailback Chris ‘Beanie’ Wells is out against Ohio University this Saturday, leaving Buckeye fans crying. The program is horribly vague, at best, about his injury. ESPN’s Joe Schad on a broadcast yesterday described the complicated foot problem thusly: “a soft tissue injury to the big toe on his right foot.” Got all that?

The odd injury most certainly has Ohio State fans dashing to Wikipedia or copies of Gray’s Anatomy to figure the whole thing out. On the bright side there does seem to be optimism that he’ll play against USC the following Saturday. Regardless Ohio State has three other backs on its roster that it likes who in theory will be adequate substitutes against the overmatched Bobcats. Read more…

Tressel Plays Numbers Shame With Wayward WR

Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel has had enough with Ray Small. He’s tried to reach the talented but mercurial wide receiver through encouragement, exploring different roles like kick returner, punishment, and even relegation to the scout team. However, he’s done soft-pedaling the message. Tressel’s pulling the trump card no one thought he’d throw:

The Prisoner

Jim Tressel has taken Ray Small’s jersey number away. No longer can Small pretend to be Big Man on Campus with his #4 jersey in rarefied air. Instead, he’s stuck down with all the other wide receiver scrubs wearing #82. You’re no one special now, kid. You’re just a guy. Take that!
Read more…

Rich Gets Richer: Terrelle Pryor Picks Ohio State

That is all.