Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday football roundup

You’re probably wondering when these “shoulder season” posts are going to end. I’d like to know myself. One way or another, I’m getting out on skis next week. This weekend’s storm is supposed to be a good one, and I have an avalanche class next weekend, which I don’t want to be my first days on snow for the year. I’ll probably go Tuesday morning, even if it’s just to go hike around on low-angle terrain.

In the meantime, my thoughts are occupied with football (both kinds). Here are a few:

  • Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger can’t seem to figure out why his team has so many injury problems. Let me help you out with that one: your team isn’t deep enough. It’s not that Arsenal have more injuries than other squads, it’s that they have fewer first-team-quality players. When one goes down, there’s nobody to step up. Furthermore, fewer quality players means fewer opportunities for them to rest and therefore more injuries. Want to solve your injury woes? Go buy some players when the transfer market opens next month. Get a nice, deep squad. They won’t complain about sharing time with others if you actually win some trophies.
  • For the third time in six years, the Mountain West Conference has the best team in the country, but that team won’t get a shot at the BCS title game. Utah in 2004 and 2008, and TCU this year (sorry 331 Miles, but your Longhorns aren’t even the best team in your state, let alone the country). I was cheering hard for Nebraska in the Big 12 title game, not because I love the Huskers (I don’t) or because I hate the Longhorns (I don’t), but because I wanted TCU to get their due. I felt sick when the officials signaled the field goal was good.
  • Toby Gerhart without question deserves the Heisman trophy. If you didn’t watch him carry multiple Notre Dame defenders on his back en route to victory, it was perhaps the guttiest performance I’ve ever seen in college football. He shouldn’t be this good, but he is. I think because he just wants it more than the next guy.
  • Ben Roethlisberger isn’t nearly as important to the Steelers as Troy Polamalu. I thought it was Big Ben’s absence last week that led to the defeat at Baltimore, but then they lost last night to the 1-11 Browns with Roethlisberger in the lineup. It’s unheard of to see the Steelers get manhandled with Polamalu in defense. Not that I care. Anytime the Steelers or Patriots lose, I’m happy. Same for the Chargers, Raiders, Chiefs, and Cowboys. Which means it’s been a good season to be a hater.
  • The Broncos (my favorite team) are playing the Colts (my next favorite team) on Sunday morning. Unfortunately, the second half will begin right as I’m leaving for church. Would be a good Sunday to exercise faith on behalf of my team, but here’s the thing: I don’t care about the outcome, I just want a good game. The Broncos have a two game cushion in the wildcard race, so a loss won’t ruin their season. The Colts will break the Patriots win streak record with a victory, but have already locked up their division. If the Colts win, I’d be happy. If the Broncos win, I’d also be happy. Maybe sitting in church will keep me from taunting myself during the game.
  • Michigan should hire Jim Harbaugh. Pat White made Rich Rodriguez look better than he is. Maybe you could say Toby Gerhart does the same for Jim Harbaugh, but I think Harbaugh’s the real deal. He’s a Michigan man, so he knows the tradition and expectations. Besides, who else besides me thinks that crappy little run and shoot offense is a desecration to the Big House?
  • To Blackdog and his ilk, despite the apology, Max Hall still hates you. Since football is only the 19th most important thing to Bronco Mendenhall, you’d think that preventing outbursts like this would fall somewhere in 1-18. What an embarrassment.
  • Am I the only Arsenal fan that misses Jens Lehmann? Sure, he had some blunders as a keeper, and Almunia seems to have come into his own with Jens gone, but Almunia never shoves his own players or otherwise provides the drama of Jens. The latest is that he took a leak right behind the goal during a Champions League match this week. Awesome. I seem to have a real affinity for German athletes named Jens. If I were to have another son, that’s what I’d name him.