Maddenism - "There's not a lot of....there's not a lot of vim and vigor in this game...is there...I mean...by neither team...and you think that the Raiders haven't won a game but the Broncos are good...and...and...and neither team is playing like you know, this game is out there to be won by someone...let's go get it." Oh yes. For transcribing this into almost-English, I deserve the Nobel Prize for Literature. No one can dispute that I just made an outstanding contribution to society by recording eloquence in its purest form. Furthermore, not only is that statement the epitome of incoherence, it's almost like he wants me to change the channel. Still, how could I possibly do that when I know that there are more gems like this left in the broadcast? That sneaky old guy is trying to trick me with his double talk and head games. Well played, Madden. Well played.
Bruce Gradkowski > Chris Simms - That's right, I'm not afraid to make fun of a guy who is out with a ruptured spleen. I'm edgy. Plus, I've never been a Simms fan. He kept Major Applewhite, one of the few UT players that I actually like, off the field because his daddy was famous enough to use his influence to make a deal with UT so Chris would automatically start. Still, look at the results to compare Gradkowski and Simms. Chris had one TD, 7 INTs, and lost every game he played in this season. Bruce, on the other hand has 4 TDs, 1 INT, and has won one out of his two games. Even Gradkowski's loss was only because Reggie Bush had a late punt return for TD. The point is, Chris Simms is wimpy. The proudest that I have ever been of my brother, who is a UT grad, was when he told me the story of how he peed on Chris Simms' Escalade. Way to go, bro.
Steve Smith is good at football - In case you haven't noticed, this kid can play. Carolina has played two games without Steve Smith and lost them both, and they are undefeated with him in the lineup thus far. He had an insanely dominant 189 yards receiving Saturday, averaging 23.6 yards per reception. That is ridiculously awesome. Smith is a Welker-type player in several respects. Both players are small guys who play with a ton of heart and use their quickness extremely well. I'll get to Welker later. Also, in my research, I discovered that his name is actually Stevonne. Couldn't he just go by that and distinguish himself from the USC receiver? And the Steve Smiths that are NBA and NHL players? I guess I shouldn't really talk, since I don't go by Trenton. Still, there aren't several other sportswriters sharing my first and last name. When in Rome.
Thoughtlessberger reads my column - I think it's obvious that the turnaround for Big Ben is all because he got motivated to spite me after reading last week's edition. Roethlisberger was nearly flawless in the game against the Chiefs, going 16-19 for two TDs and no INTs. You're welcome, Pittsburgh fans. Wave those "terrible towels." Just don't tell A&M you wave towels; they'll sue you because they invented that. Anyway, the unsung hero in the Pitt-KC game was Santonio Holmes. The guy was tearing it up, as Holmes eased Ben's day with solid kick and punt returns in addition to a good receiving day. It must have been that pesky appendix that was keeping Ben down. I've scheduled an appendectomy for Graham Harrell. Now all I need is 10k for financing. Except if I somehow raise the cash, I'll use it to buy a new car. That, and some contingency whiskey.
Wes Welker is the best player the Dolphins have - We all know this to be true, but I'm going to prove it statistically. Let's compare Miami's drives against the Jets where they actually utilized his talents and Welker has a reception to those in which he does not. The Dolphins had seven drives where Welker did not have a catch, resulting in a grand total of three points. Wow. In the three drives where Welker had a catch, two of them were touchdowns, and the last one put them in position to send the game into overtime. On the critical third down, though, Harrington does not look Welker's way even though Wes was absolutely wide open for the first down and possibly much more. They attempt a FG, miss it, and lose. Wes proved once again that the only way to stop him is to keep the ball out of his hands. Welker is still the greatest man alive.
Saints kneeling for the last-second FG - For those who missed this game, the Saints had a 1st and goal from the nine yard line with exactly two minutes left. They proceeded to kneel the ball three consecutive times because the Eagles had no timeouts, and won the game on a field goal as time expired. Fine, it was a good strategy, and it won them the game. That said, it seems like such a wimpy thing to do. One could even argue that it shows a lack of faith in the team. They might as well tell the team "we're so afraid you guys will screw up any offensive play, and so afraid that the defense will give up a play in the waning seconds that we are going to play it safe." Okay, so I'm making too much out of this. You'll know how I feel if you've played a friend in NCAA '07 and that gutless jerk takes a knee several times just to win a game by a point. It's weak.
Here we go, Denver, here we go....uh uh - The Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos have one of the more fun rivalries in the NFL. These teams hate each other. I tend to side with the Broncos in this one, but since I'm generally unhappy with the state of Colorado at the moment, I approached this game with more apathy than usual. Then, I remembered those disturbing Oakland fans with the spiky shoulder pads, skulls, and chains, and it became clear who I should root for once again. The Raiders penalized themselves out of the game against the Broncos' strong defense, but there was never a moment in the game when Oakland looked like they were in the game. The Raiders remain winless in the league, and Denver's streak of dominating them continues. Still, it was kind of a boring game due to the lack of offense. John Madden told me so.
The Rams need to learn when to celebrate - The St. Louis Rams thought they had the game against the Seahawks won following an illegal formation penalty on a QB spike. Thinking the clock would run out, the Rams began to rejoice. Not so fast. Ed Hochuli stopped the clock, and it was the right call. You might know Ed as that referee who looks like he is on steroids. No one challenges him. Seattle had time for one last play, and in that play, they stole victory from the clutches of the Rams. Whoops. This game was crazy, though, with 812 yards of total offense. I also found Seattle running back Mack Strong's name to be rather humorous. (I have the right to make fun of names, given the schoolyard fun that surrounded mine.) It sounds like Mr. Strong is a comic book superhero, and his name definitely needs a title after it. Mack Strong: Public Defender.
T.O. is still a moron - Owens had three TDs Saturday against the Lose-ton Texans. (I hope I coined that term.) After every touchdown, he did a ridiculous celebration. Surprise, surprise. What bothers me more than that is that he got cheered on the midfield star that he once made a concerted effort to disgrace. Hey, Cowboys fans: He's the same idiot that he was then, the only thing that has changed is his jersey. I'm sure one of those fans would argue "but he's part of our team now." He's not. T.O. won't be a member of a team until he puts the team before himself for once. He's about as loyal as a politician. It's like Rick Perry flashing a "hook 'em" handsign at UT's NC celebration last year despite being an Aggie. Pandering to several crowds with conflicting interests shows a lack of conviction, not support for the latest audience. T.O. is a P.O.S.
Polish sausage, Ditka, Ditka, Sausage, Bearssss - Tonight's MNF game pits the undefeated Chicago Bears against the struggling Arizona Cardinals. The Cards won't have their star receiving corps at full strength with Larry Fitzgerald being injured. It should be an interesting game, because Arizona will be trying hard for a much-needed win at home on the national stage, but the Bears are the better team. Rex Grossman is playing well, and he also has a fun name. Imagine the epic battle of Mack Strong vs. Rex Grossman. That just sounds like it would be a level of awesome paralleling that of Walker, Texas Ranger. Never mind, that isn't possible. Anyway, back to tonight's game. In all honesty, I'll be shocked if Arizona pulls the upset with a green Leinart and no Fitzgerald, even at the Cards' house. Oh well, at least they have a really expensive stadium.
(Questions, comments, praise, and constructive criticism can be directed to Trent within the forums or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org