We do a lot of really insightful, thoughtful and serious features here at Footballguys with some very smart people thinking deeply for you. This is not one of those features.
This is a few pages of me downloading my goofy and dysfunctional mental hard drive that gets stuffed with way too many random items from too many hours watching, reading about and listening to football every weekend and throughout the week. It's the only way I keep relatively sane. Here's hoping it has a tiny bit of value for you. Let's go.
The gif that's been begging to be made...
For you young guys that weren't 10 years old in 1974 like I was, this is why us old guys smile at this one.
Thanks to Footballguy James Schneider for that one.
I thought pretty hard about just ending this week's edition of Random Shots right here. Not sure there's anything more to add.
But you know me - I can't help myself...
We spent the first month and a half of this column with Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning providing more material than we could find places for.
All that changed Monday night with the happy synch from Tom and Eli.
This was the happiest Coughlin's been post game in quite a while.
And Eli finally got to smile.
And Peyton got to make the Eli Face.
You just knew it was going to be a fun week with Kurt Warner kicking off the Thursday Night game cranking the siren in Arizona.
Not sure why that seemed so funny to me.
Here's what it's like to play for Tampa Bay. When you leave the Falcon's stadium, they send in the Hazmat Team to clean the locker room you used…
(There's more to it as the Buccaneers have been dealing with a scary MRSA infection. But it still makes a crazy picture)
Agent Drew Rosenhaus broke the story on Twitter that his player Rob Gronkowski had been cleared by doctors to play.
The Patriots were predictably tight lipped all the way up till kickoff shouting that the decision on Gronkowski had not been made.
ESPN's Ed Werder had this one Sunday morning well before the Patriots had made their decision public: "@Edwerderespn: Agent Drew Rosenhaus would not have traveled to Jets-Pats unless he expected Gronk to play."
Werder and Rosenhaus making no friends with the Patriots brass there…
For Gronkowski, it didn't take him long to get back to being Gronkowski.
He hadn't entered the game and already his jersey was untucked.
Lots of ink will be spilled this week loving and hating Colts owner Jim Irsay.
My quick take.
Losing a first round playoff game seven out of eleven times is a fact. And it's pretty bad assuming you have goals bigger than just making the playoffs. The fact so many Colts fans and players seemed to have their feelings crushed by this fact is pretty interesting. Look in the mirror. It's ok to have bigger goals than just being happy to be there.
With that said, words like those probably come under the category of "things you keep inside the house". At least if you're a guy that cares about not hurting anyone's feelings. Which is not the impression I get from Irsay.
Bottom line is he said something that was factual and completely understandable. Anyone that had their feelings hurt needs to deal with it by playing better.
And yeah, I'll admit part of what I like about Irsay is he makes writing columns like this easy. He's like a cable TV version of Jerry Jones.
A little more goofiness on Denver - Indianapolis.
I've done plenty of stupid things in my life.
But there's just no sense in this…
If you google "bitter", this picture comes up.
Bill Polian is like a ventriloquist. I hear him talking and I know he's saying things but his facial expression never moves from this frown.
Hats off to the Colt Fans. You handled this just right. The ovation for Manning before kickoff was heartfelt and appropriate.
Manning seemed appreciative.
But once the game started and Manning took the field, the fans were loud for their defense just as they should be.
I wonder what would have happened if Manning had come to the line and asked the crowd to be quiet.
Much was made of Jim Irsay trying to get Manning off his game with the tweets and the Pre Game Thanks and even leaving the stadium roof open. People are calling him "masterful" and such. I think that's being pretty kind as if he had some sort of master plan for the week. Irsay strikes me way more of a "just do stuff" kind of guy.
The real shark move would have been signing Marvin Harrison and letting him play defensive back hoping Manning had a flashback and would throw the ball right to him...
This young fan summed up the day for Indianapolis.
All in all, a great day for drama and a great day for Football. The Colts got a big win and vindication for a huge move. The fans were fantastic. And Denver is still a front runner for the Super Bowl. All good.
Darren Rovell with an interesting fact Sunday: "Kickers have changed the NFL game. 25 years ago (1988), kickers only made 40% of FG's 50 yards or more. This year? 70% made."
My take? God Bless Soccer.
Baseball note for you with Random Shots favorite Prince Fielder.
This belly flopping guy makes $214 million guaranteed as Andrew Brandt noted Sunday. That's more guaranteed than Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers. Combined.
Last week I questioned the American Association of Retired Persons spending money to advertise on Cage The Elephant videos.
Footballguy Nathan Martin sent me this comment: "YouTube advertising is done based off of who is actually watching versus perceived audience when someone is logged in. So, IF you were logged in... Cage the Elephant may not be in AARP's target audience. But you are."
Glitch in the Matrix as pointed out by ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Roddy White and DeMarcus Ware entered the league in the same draft class in 2005 and never missed an NFL game. Until Sunday when both players missed.
Skinny Rex Ryan is hard to get your mind around. It just doesn't look right. It's like Mike Myers going Fat Bastard in reverse.
Ryan had a fun interview with Ray Lewis that aired Sunday. The bond between Ryan and his former linebacker was clear. He said to Lewis, "C'mon back for one game. I know you got it in you."
Then talking about New England, Ryan said, "Especially against them."
Then made this classic Rex face as he said it.
Back on the ESPN set, Chris Berman asked Lewis, "Did you think about it for a minute?"
Lewis paused and said, "I did."
I know it's popular to shred ESPN, but that's pretty good TV.
More on the Jets. I love Rex but the pushing call at the end of the game is a complete joke. This was the first time the rule has ever been enforced. I wrote a few weeks ago that I'm not in favor of "swallowing the whistle" and arbitrarily enforcing some rules and not others. What I'm saying is the rule itself is a joke.
Here's the penalty that changed the outcome of the game.
Ridiculous. And to be sure, you can't blame the Jets. They take their break and roll on to next week. That's how the NFL works. But it's a ridiculous rule that needs to change right now before something stupid like this happens again.
Here's how it's going for Kansas City. Alex Smith can play action fake to no one and still score.
As Andrew Siciliano pointed out, no team since the merger has started 7-0 with a new coach and a new quarterback.
I wonder how many teams we've had since the merger with a new coach and a new quarterback.
By 1:10 PM Eastern Time Sunday, we'd seen three defensive touchdowns. Crazy.
Music Note of The Week.
The Head and the Heart is one of my favorite bands. I had the pleasure Monday night to catch them at the Orange Peel in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina. Rolling Stone Magazine named the Orange Peel one of the top 5 rock clubs in the nation and it's easy to see why. Plus, I'm partial to any music venue that was once a roller skating rink. Throw in the fact that they bill themselves as a "Social Aid and Pleasure Club" and it's a done deal. I'm so stealing that one day.
Lost In My Mind is one of their better known songs. And I love Winter Song.
But I think without question, Down In The Valley is my favorite. If half the bands today had 10% of the soul these guys have, the world world be a better place.
Another downside of having a signature celebration move. Turnabout is fair play. James Laurinaitis had a little something for Cam Newton after his sack…
The world is abuzz this morning after Colts punter Pat McAfee took out Denver's Trindon Holliday.
Congrats. You knocked over a guy the size of the average middle schooler.
McAfee is 6' 1" and 230 pounds. Holliday is 5' 5" and is listed generously at 170 pounds.
He does have a rocking hair cut though.
And apparently this isn't a new thing.
Funny incident after the game. Evidently, blowing up the returner will raise the red flag for a steroid test…
Denver's Kevin Vickerson gave Andrew Luck a dumb shove on the back and Luck went into full on soccer player flop.
Whatever it takes I guess.
Serious question. Can you continue to charge full price for Vikings tickets?
And you know Monday Night Football can't be too happy. Here's some must see TV:
- Week 8: Kellen Clemens vs Seattle
- Week 9: Josh McCown vs Green Bay
- Week 10: Mike Glennon vs Miami
Wow. Thanks to my Buddy David Dodds for that one.
Belichickian Moment of the Week came Monday when he was asked about the pushing penalty at the end of the Jets game. We heard Belichick say words I'm not sure I've heard from him before: "We're wrong".
Q: Yesterday you mentioned you didn't bring a player from the second level when discussing the penalty. Reading the rule after, it doesn't mention where the player comes from, but I found a lot of references by [NFL Vice President of Officiating] Dean Blandino to the second level. Why did you have the notion of second level pushing being illegal but line of scrimmage pushing after the snap being legal?
BB: Because obviously we are wrong. What else is there to say? We're wrong.
Q: How did the notion of second level get into your mind initially? I know it was in the proposal initially but did they do a good enough job articulating that second level is also illegal?
BB: Look, it's our job to understand the rules. Whatever the bottom line is, we didn't do it properly. So, what else is there to say?
How do you argue with that?
Tom Brady summed things up for Patriot fans: "Losing sucks, and especially to the Jets."
Ever wonder what players do when they have to miss a game because of injury?
If you're Giants running back David Wilson, you put on a giant rabbit head and make instagram videos.
Sometimes this thing just writes itself…
You probably heard about Rams DE Chris Long being ejected from the game Sunday. The real story though was Carolina's Ben Harsock with the baseball ump ejection.
Why can't the Dolphins find Joe Philbin a shirt that's the same color as the other coaches?
Why do I worry about these things?…
Target breakdown for the Vikings Monday Night from @FauxJohnMadden:
- Meadowlands Turf - 32
- Greg Jennings - 4
- Jerome Simpson - 3
God Bless Seahawk Fans
Love the girl on the left leaving her boys hanging there…
Minnesota may be terrible but Jared Allen is a Beast. His one handed take down of Manning here is one of the more remarkable sacks of the season. I had to watch it a few times to realize what happened there.
A still shot:
I thought the angry email I receive was bad. It's nothing compared to what Brandon Jacobs gets.
I'm convinced technology is kind of like money. it doesn't really change people. It enables people to make them more of whatever they already are.
I get it that security people have to watch the crowd. But keeping your back to the field doesn't seem like the best idea either. Justin Blackmon could have killed this guy.
Arnold Palmer with a Demon Deacon on a Chopper? Yes please.
I asked last week if Gordon Gekko knew that Bob Kraft raided his closet.
This week, Mr. Kraft upped the ante busting out cufflinks the size of Rhode Island.
Well played, Mr. Kraft….
Wrapping this week up with a social experiment type picture. I like donuts as much as the next guy. But I'm wondering what this picture means…
Hard Luck Awards for Week 7
And the Nullified Touchdowns
- TB QB Mike Glennon pass short left to WR Tiquan Underwood for 13 yards, TOUCHDOWN NULLIFIED by Penalty.
- DET DT Ndamukong Suh 2 yard fumble return TOUCHDOWN. NULLIFIED by Penalty
- NYJ QB Geno Smith pass deep right to WR Stephen Hill for 38 yards, TOUCHDOWN NULLIFIED by Penalty.
- STL QB Sam Bradford pass deep left to WR Tavon Austin for 63 yards, TOUCHDOWN NULLIFIED by Penalty.
- SEA WR / PR Golden Tate punt return touchdown for 54 yards, TOUCHDOWN NULLIFIED by Penalty.
- CHI QB Josh McCown pass short middle to WR Earl Bennett for 9 yards, TOUCHDOWN NULLIFIED by Penalty.
Sometimes it's better to just not know...
That'll do it for this week, Folks. Thanks to Footballguy Doug Drinen, David Dodds, Keith Overton, Will Grant, James Schneider and Nathan Martin for the help on this one. If you've got a Random Shot of your own, shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note for you folks inclined to pray or those that care enough to read all the way down this far. This season of Random Shots is dedicated to my close friend Mike Wenger who apparently has decided to upstage Chuck Pagano this year. Mike's been diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia and is undergoing aggressive chemotherapy. Much Love, Buddy. Mad Respect. Go Chiefs.
A ton of you folks have been so kind to reach out with nice comments for Mike. I wanted to let you know that we've got a cool fund raiser we're doing for the family where our good friends at Slantshirts.com have printed up MIKESTRONG shirts for us.
Thanks for playing along. I hope you make the most of whatever you're doing in your life. Love your neighbor and stick together.