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NFLOL: Sean Keane gets down and dirty with Week 9 of NFL Football

By Comedian Sean Keane

It was an unusually high-quality week for NFL football in Week 9. The Redskins were the most depressing this week, though the Raiders, Bills, Rams, and Browns had a bye, making them look even worse. Now that these teams are back, we’re again subjected to Brady Quinn versus Derek Anderson, the lowest-quality quarterback controversy since Joey Harrington battled with Jeff Garcia, and Coach Tom Cable’s inevitable journey toward anger management counseling, alcohol rehab, and a one-on-one meeting with Dr. Drew. The Colts and Saints stayed undefeated, the Ravens are looking like the best team to miss the playoffs, and Thursday Night Football could not have a less inspiring game to kick off its season. To the games!

Atlanta 31, Washington 17

Washington came out of their bye week fresh, and scored a season-high 17 points. Unfortunately, Atlanta scored 31. DeAngelo Hall nearly fought with Atlanta head coach Mike Smith, but was unable to get tackle Michel Turner, a Falcon actually participating in the game. It was fortunate that the Hall dustup happened on the Atlanta sideline; had it been Washington’s side, Jim Zorn would have had to consult with his Fracas Coach, and then the Assistant Fracas Coach, who would call up to the ownership box for approval. Meanwhile, Zorn would have burned two timeouts and then called a halfback option pass, while DeAngelo Hall was being choked unconscious.

New England 27, Miami 17

The Dolphins did well with the Wildcat offense, but the Patriots countered with the Randy-Moss-stiff-arms-a-rookie-cornerback-cat Offense, which is even more effective, if less catchy. The Dolphins are the best team with a losing record in the league, which means that while they’re out of the playoff picture, they’ll be a nightmare opponent for the rest of the year. It will be interesting to see if the Dolphins will continue to play hard with their only motivation being a chance to ruin the dreams of others. Only certain types of people respond to that – high school guidance counselors, loan agents, NFL columnists, and, of course, Freddy Krueger.

Tampa Bay 38, Green Bay 28

To celebrate the first victory of the league’s last unbeaten team, members of the 2008 Detroit Lions opened a celebratory bottle of champagne. The Lions’ place in history was secure for one more year! Unfortunately, many of them still play for the 2009 Detroit Lions, and they still had three quarters to play against Seattle.

People have credited Tampa’s first win to the coaching staff’s preparation during the bye week, or the steady play of rookie QB Josh Freeman, but I think that the return of swashbuckling mascot Bucco Bruce was a huge factor.  Bruce is a pirate with long flowing hair, a hat adorned with a huge feather, and a knife in his teeth. As if this logo weren’t homoerotic enough already, he’s winking. Comedian Joe Tobin adds, “It might as well be a rose in his teeth.” Perhaps the recent struggles of both pirate NFL teams, the Raiders and Buccaneers, stems from their unwillingness to embrace the gayness inherent to the pirate lifestyle. The Bucs let it all hang out with their glorious creamsicle uniforms, Bucco Bruce, and a willingness to go for it on fourth down, and they were rewarded with a victory. Meanwhile, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers delivered his own tribute to the homosexual lifestyle by going down any time that a defensive lineman paid the least bit of attention to him.

Seattle 32, Detroit 20

The Lions jumped out to an early 17-0 lead, but then the champagne got to them and they fell apart. Matt Stafford threw five interceptions to a team that had only picked off three passes all year, which is the NFL equivalent of giving up three home runs to Charlie Brown in one game. Detroit is actually worse than they were in their 0-16 season, yet still had a chance to win this one, on the road, with thirty seconds left. Despite this, Seattle has a chance at the playoffs, because that’s how horrible the NFC West is. Both these teams have an excellent chance of beating the 49ers in coming weeks.

Jacksonville 24, Kansas City 21

This game wasn’t nearly as close as the final score indicates. Kansas City scored 15 points in the final two-and-a-half minutes of the game, making me wonder why Kansas City doesn’t just run the no-huddle offense all the time. Sure, Jacksonville was probably playing prevent defense, but you’re the Chiefs! You’re 1-7! You just cut your starting running back! Huddling isn’t doing shit! Incidentally, even if you’ve found it difficult to make advances, the no-cuddle offense will have limited effectiveness with your girlfriend.

The Jaguars are meanwhile the softest 4-4 team in the league, unless you prefer the Packers. Inability to stop the run, or inability to stop the pass rush? Frustrated black quarterback with Crohn’s Disease or frustrated white quarterback with eerie resemblance to Scott Stapp? Accidental death via exploding meth lab, or accidental death via cheese-induced heart attack? The choice is yours. Neither Jacksonville or Green Bay will make the playoffs, but both will beat the 49ers.

Tennessee 34, San Francisco 27

Alex Smith is another quarterback who looks much more effective when his team is down two touchdowns. He’s like a college student who can’t make the Dean’s List, but is amazingly effective at completing a B-minus paper he only started at 3 AM. Of course, if he’d gone to college in Tennessee, Cortland Finnegan would have intercepted his paper on the way to class and returned it for a game-clinching TD. And then Alex Smith would have to settle for a mark that’s quite familiar to him: an incomplete.

Chris Johnson had another big game, but handled the ball over 25 times for the second consecutive week. It looks like the team has committed to wearing out their best player in a quest to finish 6-10, instead of 4-12, and salvage Jeff Fisher’s job. Backup running back LenDale White carried the ball four times for three yards, and after the game announced he’s planning to go back to drinking Patron tequila.

Arizona 41, Chicago 21

From week to week, it is very difficult to tell how good the Arizona Cardinals are. They pull out surprise victories against teams like the Giants they seem inferior to, and lose games to teams like the Panthers. One thing seems clear: they play way better away from Phoenix, which implies either understandable joy of getting out of the Arizona desert, or a defensive line with a weakness for the bars and co-eds of downtown Tempe.

Chicago’s horrific defense got even worse when Tommie Harris was ejected for punching an Arizona guard Deuce Lutui. This was stupid, both because Harris did it right in front of a ref, and because he punched Lutui in the helmet. Harris would have done more damage with an Indian burn, a wet willy, or the deceptive “Hertz doughnut.”

Cincinnati 17, Baltimore 7

The Bengals pushed around the Ravens on offense and defense, the defense intercepted two passes, and no one minded that Chad Johnson tried to bribe an official for a favorable replay review. Cedric Benson continued his career rejuvenation with 117 yards and a touchdown. In hindsight, Benson’s success with Cincinnati makes all kinds of sense, as it’s a team where he doesn’t stick out. So Benson got a DUI while boating? Chris Henry got a DUI, too, plus a gun charge where he was arrested while wearing his own Cincinnati jersey! Benson was a first-round bust? Cincinnati drafted Akili Smith and Ki-Jana Carter!

Meanwhile, when a reporter told Ray Lewis that Baltimore was likely to miss the playoffs, Lewis hit him after the whistle for a 15-yard penalty.

Indianapolis 20, Houston 17

In a testament to his own brilliance and Houston’s inability to adjust, Dallas Clark caught 14 passes on Sunday. It’s ironic that the Texans would be undone by a guy named Dallas. Comparable moments:

– Willie “Flipper” Anderson caught a touchdown pass against the Dolphins in 1992
– James Jett caught two TDs versus the New York Jets in 1997
– In 2005, undrafted free agent and former gold prospector “Tenderfoot” Sam O’Neill rushed for 143 yards and two touchdowns versus the 49ers. Deceived by the gold paint in the end zone, O’Neill immediately retired in order to pan for gold outside Candlestick Park.

Houston was again burned by a bad fumble, this time by Ryan Moats, the third different running back to cough one up at the goal line for the Texans. Coach Gary Kubiak has time and again stressed the dangers of dry skin, but at this point, he’s got to forbid his backfield from using hand lotion in the red zone. They can moisturize while the team’s on defense, Coach!

New Orleans 30, Carolina 20

A visiting New Orleans fan confessed this weekend that he no longer worries when the team falls behind by two touchdowns, because they often make up that deficit in five minutes. He hopes that the team does not share his lackadaisical attitude towards deficits – at some point, it’s got to come back to burn them, right? Not yet, as Drew Brees threw for 330 yards and a TD. On the plus side for carolina, Jake Delhomme didn’t throw a single interception, and only fumbled once – which was returned for a touchdown, but, baby steps, you know?

San Diego 21, New York 20

The Eli Manning trade came back to haunt the Giants yet again, as Phillip Rivers threw a game-winning touchdown pass in the final seconds to send the Giants to their fourth straight loss. Shawne Merriman, another byproduct of the Manning trade, also came through with some big plays and some stupid-ass dances, probably due to steroid use and being a jackass, respectively. The Giants ultimately blew it when they had first and goal late in the fourth quarter, but had to settle for a field goal after Chris Snee, the coach’s son-in-law, committed a holding penalty that pushed the Giants back. The only consolation is that Thanksgiving is still two weeks away, and Coughlin can’t realistically wield an enormous sharp knife around Snee before then. Besides, someone else on the Giants will inevitably screw up in a loss before then.

Dallas 20, Philadelphia 16

Dallas won a huge divisional game, but the Wade Phillips Disappointment Cam was in full effect for the entire game. After every Cowboys penalty, NBC immediately cut to a shot of Wade Phillips, who has the saddest expression of disappointment in all of professional football. Every false start makes Phillips look like one of his pets just died, which actually might be a motivating technique used by owner Jerry Jones. He’s rich enough and crazy enough to kill Wade’s pets.

Near the end of the first half, Andy Reid used one of his remaining timeouts to ice the Dallas kicker – before a 22-yard field goal attempt. Yes, roughly the same distance as an extra point. This was due to Reid’s unfamiliarity with HAVING any timeouts left at the end of a half. Neither Reid or Donovan McNabb really understand timeout rule,s or the concept of temporality and the passage of time in general. It’s one of the reasons Terrell Owens didn’t work out – they just couldn’t understand anything related to a TO. It wasn’t Reid’s fault that the Eagles got screwed on a blown replay review of a fourth-down quarterback sneak, but given how bad Philly is at both short-yardage conversions and coach’s challenges, you can’t really blame the refs for leaning on historical precedent and denying the first down.

Pittsburgh 28, Denver 10

Pittsburgh safety Ryan Clark has a rare blood disease which causes his blood to sickle when he exerts himself at high altitude. After playing in Denver two years ago, he was hospitalized and nearly died. Despite this, he was only listed as “questionable” for this week’s game against the Broncos. That is how crazy football players are (“I might die, but on the other hand, this game might be a tiebreaker for the wild-card slot.”) Denver QB Kyle Orton demonstrated signs that he has a rare disease causing his arm muscles to atrophy when he exerts himself against a quality team, throwing three interceptions, including two to Clark’s replacement.

Thursday Night NFL preview: Chicago at San Francisco

Matt Millen, the worst GM in NFL history, is now working as a game analyst for the NFL Network. Since he’s working the TV broadcast, Millen was asked to give commentary about the upcoming Bears-49ers matchup. This week is perfect for Millen-specific analysis:

– Is it difficult for teams to face long losing streaks?
– Should the 49ers shuffle their quarterback for no reason?
– Where do you like to go for vacations in January?

What is Matt Millen going to say? “The 49ers used a first-round pick on a wide receiver even though no one on the team can block. I LOVED that move. Meanwhile, the Chicago defense has a lot of old players who can’t tackle – again, this is the kind of personnel move I can’t get enough of.”

Sean Keane is a stand up comedian, writer, and sports fan based in San Francisco, Ca. He has written for ESPN the magazine, Mc Sweeney’s, and the ever popular NBA tumblr.

Comments

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Time: November 10, 2009, 5:55 pm

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Time: November 19, 2009, 2:06 am

[…] The Colts and Saints stayed undefeated, the Ravens are looking like the best team to miss the playoffs, and Thursday Night Football could not have a less inspiring game to kick off its season. To the games! Atlanta 31, Washington 17 …. It’s ironic that the Texans would be undone by a guy named Dallas. Comparable moments: – Willie “Flipper” Anderson caught a touchdown pass against the Dolphins in 1992 – James Jett caught two TDs versus the New York Jets in 1997 …This Blog […]

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Time: February 15, 2011, 12:39 pm

The only consolation is that Thanksgiving is still two weeks away, and Coughlin can’t realistically wield an enormous sharp knife around Snee before then