Monday, December 20, 2004

Mondays Off!

Well, after a prolonged bye-month to get healthy, Mondays Off! is finally back for Week 15 of NFL action. This is the time—mid-December—when we separate the men from the boys, the contenders from the pretenders, the bold from the beautiful, etc. Right? Well, sort of. At least half of the league is working out that way, whereas the NFC continues its season-long quest for mediocrity. As of this moment, it is a mathematical certainty that at least one playoff team from the NFC will finish the season with a record of, at best, 8-8. Earning special consideration is the NFC West, the division from which that certain fortunate team will likely emerge.

Before we get on to our running features, Mondays Off! would like to devote a special portion of this week’s column to the creation of a new award, hereafter known as the Martz Award Recognizing Truly Zealous Incompetence and Egotism (MARTZIE). This week’s inaugural

MARTZIE goes, of course, to none other than its namesake, Mike Martz, for his play selection after the loss of his starting quarterback Marc Bulger two weeks ago and the abysmal play by his backup Chris Chandler. While great, veteran coaches like Bill Parcells, Andy Reid, Bill Belichick, Bill Cowher, Tony Dungy, and Jeff Fisher spend interminable amounts of time studying film, analyzing talent, eyeing injury reports and drawing on the knowledge of assistant coaches to determine the biggest strengths of their football teams, then using those strengths to their advantage to improve the chances of victory, Martz apparently did none of those things in the past two weeks. Mondays Off! wonders aloud: what has Bill Parcells done in the past few weeks, as his Cowboys have suffered through bad quarterback play? Why, run the ball, of course! Mondays Off! poses an additional query: What did Bill Cowher do this year, as his Steelers suffered an injury to their starter and thus spent the last months grooming along a rookie? Why, run the ball, of course! So what has Mike Martz done, in the event of his starter’s shoulder injury? Has he changed his strategy to play to the Rams’ strengths, putting the ball in the hands of future Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk and rookie phenom Stephen Jackson? Of course not! Hell-bent on winning his first MARTZIE, Martz handed the ball to two different over-the-hill backups and asked them to win the game by throwing on more than two-thirds of their offensive plays. The result? Two embarrassing losses and his coveted MARTZIE. Congratulations, Mike! At least a win wouldn’t have really improved the Rams’ chances of a playoff berth. Well, maybe it would have, but it wouldn’t have really improved his chances of a MARTZIE! After a month of blaming and cutting the punter, and now blaming the backup quarterbacks, it’s time for Mike to take his MARTZIE and try his luck somewhere else. I’m sure the Vikings never have injury problems…

And now, on to our running features:

Mondays Off! returns to its study of the Vick Effect:

As first reported in Mondays Off!, the Vick Effect has officially taken over the NFL. On Saturday night Michael Vick gave what was, essentially, an unspectacular statistical effort, yet dominated the game in every respect, and came up with the game-saving play in the fourth quarter. For you non-believers, just wait a few weeks. There is only one entity that the Philadelphia Eagles have to fear en route to the Super Bowl, and that is the Vick Effect. Just ask Brett Favre, whose Lambeau Mystique fell mightily to the Vick Effect not two years ago.

Mondays Off! officially proclaims these guys as "For Real"

Willis McGahee: For whatever reason, the Bills just win when he plays. It’s that simple. No matter how many Pro Bowls Travis Henry attended, he has never had the effect that really matters.
Julius Peppers: He may steal the moniker of "The Freak" from Jevon Kearse.
Antonio Gates: This weekend he tied the record for touchdowns by a tight end. Somewhere Tony Gonzalez wonders.
Billy Volek and Drew Bennett: This high-flying (8 TD in three weeks) combo has established itself as the post-McNair future of the Titans.

Mondays Off! Bullsh*t Play of the Week:

Jags safety Donovin Darius’s clothesline of Packers wideout Robert Ferguson. I’ve heard the arguments about the speed of the game, how he overran the play, he was just trying to separate the receiver from the ball, etc. Bullsh*t. Darius clobbered a defenseless guy, and he shouldn’t play for the rest of the year. It’s that simple.

Mondays Off! Fantasy Update

Well, to be honest, our crack research staff finally gave up on trying to keep track of the number of times ESPN analyst Paul Maguire has begun a sentence with "You talk about…" Instead, we’re entering the fantasy playoffs! Which means we'll be keeping track of the number of cosmically stupid things that Joe Theismann says. We’re getting the league back together!

The Triumphant Return of the "And Tweeins!" Award for the Most Creatively Chauvinistic Commercial

It should be clarified that the coveted "And Tweeins!" Award does not apply solely to male chauvinism. Thus, the award will be shared this week by two jewelers, Kay and Zales, who purchased approximately one hundred percent of the advertising time during the past two weekends of football. Let the record show that this particular award is not being presented for sexism, but rather for annoying the crap out of every male football fan. New official Mondays Off! mission: proving that every kiss, in fact, does NOT begin with Kay.

Mondays Off! Peyton Manning TD Record Update

As privately predicted by Mondays Off! prior to kickoff, Peyton Manning did not throw his 49th touchdown of the year against the Ravens last evening. In fact, he didn’t even bother throwing his 48th, choosing instead to call Edgerrin James’s number rather than his own. The result was a Colts victory, and Mondays Off! salutes this unique display of unselfishness. Rewards will surely be bestowed upon Mr. Manning come playoff time.

Mondays Off! Breaking News:

It appears that Eagles all-world (yet all-talk) wideout Terrell Owens has broken his leg and will be out for the remainder of the regular season and the NFC playoffs, meaning that an NFC team that is currently 6-8 now has a legitimate shot at a Super Bowl. Heaven help us all. The apocalypse is nigh.

Coming soon on Mondays Off!

Playoff Predictions! Draft Predictions! Coach Hotseat Predictions! Prediction Predictions! See you next week.

1 Comments:

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12:40 PM  

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