Friday, January 12, 2007

(My beard's) The best around, no one's ever gonna keep it down!!!

While I’d like to say that I saw the 41-14 drubbing of Ohio State coming, I think we all know that everyone, Gator fans included, were somewhat taken aback by the ease with which the Gators so thoroughly dominated the Buckeyes on both sides of the ball. While its easy to say now, I (nor anyone with whom I watched the game with) panicked when Ted Ginn, Jr. took the opening kickoff back for a TD. If nothing else, this was a resilient Gator football team, one which was far too tough and had overcome far too much to roll over after being punched in the mouth by their opposition. In fact, it was my feeling that the game’s opening play would wake the Gators up and allow them to go out and simply execute the game plan. A game plan which would quickly prove to be vastly superior in every way imaginable to the game plan laid out by Cheaty McSwea, er, Jim Tressel.

While the Gator defensive line was absolutely dominating, the defensive staff at Florida deserves some level of credit for the blitz package that they installed for OSU. Early on, Florida’s scheme resembled something out of the mind of Eagles Defensive Coordinator Jim Johnson, with players blitzing from all angles and positions. The Gator defensive staff rightfully concluded that their defense was faster than OSU in nearly every matchup on the field and designed a defense that would maximize these mismatches. While it certainly didn’t hurt to have two future 1st round picks lining up at either end, the Gator defensive dominance went deeper than simply blowing by the brawny Buckeye tackles. Of course, one player made much of this possible: Reggie Nelson. Nelson was the one player who OSU seemed genuinely afraid of on the Gator defense was also the player whom allowed the Gator defensive staff to get creative while scheming for OSU. When you don’t fear being beaten deep in the passing game, it makes it an awful lot easier to design ways to stop the opposing offense. As simple as this may sound, it was the most basic of truths for this Gator team all season long. Reggie Nelson made everybody around him better and conversely, ended up playing on the best defense in the nation this year. It will be a long. long time before there is another player at the University of Florida that I love watching as much as Reggie Nelson. This was true before Monday night and will continue to be true for years to come.

As for the personal side of Monday night, it was, without a doubt, one of the greatest nights of my adult life. A 3 hour orgy of adrenaline, alcohol and out and out celebration. I’ve had a remarkable run as a sports fan over the last 10 months, however none of the three championships I’ve experienced can hold a candle to the feeling of satisfaction that I derived from watching this Gator football team overcome the odds and doubters to stand atop the college football world. Finally, there’s one last point I’d like to make with regards to Monday night:

My beard is fucking magic. There I said it. I usually grow a beard a couple of times a year in order to appease my girlfriend who, strangely enough, finds it very attractive. The last two times I began to grow my beard were the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament last March and prior to this season’s game against South Carolina. In both instances the Gators went on to go undefeated whilst I had a beard and, eventually, win the National Championship. So, for anybody who needs further explanation:

Mark’s beard + Florida Gator Athletics = National Championship.

Shouldn’t I get a ring or something?

Alright, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way we can get to the picks for this weekend’s slate of playoff games. After starting off 2-0 last Saturday, I quickly came back down to earth on Sunday which left me at 2-2 for the playoffs. Onto the picks:

Colts @ Ravens:

At the risk of pissing off Jerry I’m gonna just go out and say it: Peyton Manning looked like crap against the Chiefs. I mean, the guy had three picks in the first two and a half quarters. Two of which were thrown directly at a defender. I realize that the blaming of Colts playoff losses on Manning has gotten way out of hand, but sometimes you have to face reality. Manning has played embarrassingly bad in most of his playoff games. Even if you look past his gay feet (they are that happy), which would embarrass even Ben Vereen, its tough to believe in a guy whose body language and production have been so consistently underwhelming throughout the playoffs during the supposed prime of his career. Personally, I’d take Ray Lewis over Manning in a game of Connect Four at this point, if only because I think a black man of Lewis’ nature positively scares the living piss right out of Manning in any situation, much less one that allows hitting of the hair and face. With that in mind, I think this pick will come as no surprise. RAVENS.

Eagles @ Saints:

Everybody is talking about how this is a “no-win” situation for Philly. Um, excuse me? Have you ever had the food in New Orleans? Good god, Andy Reid might need an angioplasty before Saturday night’s kickoff. If you can get that fat in a city that considers Cheez Wiz a delicacy, I’m pretty sure that you’ll find a way to manage in a city that built it’s rep on food and booze. As for the game, its tough to imagine the Eagles going into New Orleans and winning, especially after they gave away the regular season matchup with the Saints in New Orleans. However, something about the Eagles just tells me they win this one (even without Lito), if only so we can see their pathetic fan base get all excited again only to be heartbroken once more in the NFC Championship game. In other news, did you hear that Yao Ming is dating Nia Long? That’s got to be at least a little embarrassing for Reggie Bush, no? Sure, Yao is 7’6” and all but he IS Chinese. Kind of puts a dent in that whole “going black” theory, huh? EAGLES

Seahawks @ Bears:

I’d love to see Rex Grossman play well in this game for two reasons: (1) He went to the University of Florida and (2) the pieces on the “Sex Cannon” from Kissing Suzy Kolber are among the funniest things on the internet today. Another couple weeks of those are reason enough to root for a Bears victory on Sunday. Beyond that, I just don’t think that Seattle is very good. The secondary is banged up, the offensive line has struggled to replace Chad Hutchinson and Matt Hasselbeck’s been surprisingly inconsistent this year. All of that and some typical Chicago winter weather has me thinking that this has all the makings of a Sunday afternoon snoozer/hangover cure. SEX CANNONS

Patriots @ Chargers:

Hey did you hear that Shawne Merriman sent Jason Taylor some “lights-out” gear and a box of popcorn so that Taylor could watch the Chargers in the playoffs? Isn’t that funny and original? You know what I would do if I were Taylor? I’d send Merriman a box of needles and a Whizzinator and a note that says something like, “Try and not to get caught again you lowlife douchebag.” But maybe I’m just mean and vindictive and find it positively ridiculous that Merriman has gotten a free pass from the national media for his steroid suspension. Or, maybe I want to jab a fork in Merriman’s temple every time he does his stupid fucking “lights out” dance. I think the only thing that could be more inane that that dance would be a tattoo of light switch on his forearm. Oh wait…nevermind. I guess, I should say something about this game at some point, so here goes: I wouldn’t trust Marty Schottenheimer to balance my checkbook in January, much less win a playoff game and Bill Belichick likes nothing more than reminding everybody in the country what a goddamned genius he is (Well, other than doing married chicks). Tom Brady bangs goats, but at least he does it to celebrate winning playoff games. Meanwhile, Phillip Rivers just bangs goats because he’s from Alabama and thinks they’ve got purty mouths. Do you see a them developing here? No, actually you don’t because as I said last week, I’m so fucking tired of the Patriots. CHARGERS.


CFunk28 said...

There's a difference between being scared of a guy and not throwing anything over 15 yards the entire game. Just a ridiculously poor game plan all the way around for the Bucks.

Did you know that yesterday was the 20th anniversary of "The Drive". I died a little bit more inside. I hope that Marty wins the whole thing and shuts everyone up.

Mark said...

The point I was trying to make about Nelson is that it seemed the gameplan was specifically designed to keep the ball as far away from him as possible. Can't blame OSU for that, though it was somewaht surprising that they wouldn't at least trya nd test Nelson early on. Maybe they would've if the o-line could've given Smith more than 3 seconds to drop back.

TJ said...

We agree on 3 of the 4, with you backing Serge Garcia and me taking God and his Saints...

Mark said...

Makes sense. My policy has always been: When in doubt, bet against God.

TJ said...

Rex Grossman just banged Pam Oliver in between quarters.