Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunday Night Third-String QB: Spotting Frauds With Robocop 2

"Robocop 2" is an interesting movie. It's directed by Irv Kirschner, famous for doing such a fantastic job with "Empire Strikes Back." The first installment was a fun and a legitimately good movie, and a lot of the same special effects guys, designers and makeup artists are back. There was a lot to look forward to.

The first 20 minutes or so start out surprisingly touching, as Robocop deals with the recurring memories of Alex Murphy pinging around in his cyborg brain, and wonders how human he really is. But then, that plotline is abruptly dropped and forgotten, as the rest of the movie deals with drug dealers and evil scientists and corporations or something.

That's kinda how the NFL season usually goes - remember last year when the Giants and Ravens were both 5-0 and looked like huge favorites in their respective conference? It wasn't to be, especially for the Giants who were completely forgotten by Week 12.

With the help of "Robocop 2", I'm setting out to find this year's fraudulent teams, among other things...

Wife In Denial - She can't come to grips with the fact that her husband is dead, while Bears fans can't seem to come to grips that they're the most fraudulent 4-2 team in recent memory.  They legitimately lost Week 1 against Detroit but were bailed out thanks to the bullshit "continuation of the catch" rule, they beat what turned out to be a terrible Dallas team, they were given a victory by the Packers' 18 (18!!) penalties, and beat possibly the worst team in the league in Carolina.  The one legit team they faced, the Giants, SMOKED them, to the tune of 10 sacks.

Seattle hadn't looked worth a damn outside their home field (lost big in Denver and St. Louis) until they came to Chicago.  They had an easy time dictating the pace, an easier time rushing Jay Cutler (who doesn't?), and forced the Bears to go 0 for 12 on 3rd down.  Time to admit he's dead, Robocop's Wife/Bears fans.

(Aside: there's been lots and lots of terrible quarterback play all across the board this year, but nobody does it with as much zeal as Jay Cutler.  He's the Louis CK of bad QBs - he makes me laugh more than anyone else.)

Cops On Strike - The parallel here is a team turning on the coach, and the first place I look is in San Diego.  The Chargers continue to egregiously waste the primes of Phil Rivers' and Antonio Gates' careers (both are truly remarkable to watch and don't get nearly the hype they deserve since they play on the West Coast) by trotting out high-school-level special teams (allowing 30 special teams points so far this year) and having a defense that folds like an accordion on the road.  These guys could be SB contenders if they had a coach worth a damn.

(Aside: the cop you see there front and center is none other than Boggs from "Shawshank Redemption.")

Guy That Looks Like Pau Gasol But Isn't - Goes to the team who looks like they should be good but aren't - the Houston Texans.  They did a great job fooling everyone the first two weeks of the season with that awesome Indy win and the comeback in Washington, but they're clearly the same old Texans who just happen to be getting some New-Orleans-esque calls and bounces this year, as evidenced by the gift pass interference penalty late against KC.  They're like a higher functioning version of the Bears, but without a complete retard at QB.

Speaking of lookalikes, "Robocop 2" easily has the most "Hey, isn't that...?"s, only it turns out it's not who you think it is.  This includes Not Sean Penn's Fat Brother as a corrupt cop, Not Helena Bonham Carter as Kane's woman, and Not Gary Cole (Lumburgh) as the car security system salesman.  This movie DOES feature, in addition to Boggs from "Shawshank", Ken Lerner (Jerry Korman from "90210") and John Glover, star of a "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" episode where he steals the Dax symbiont.

Robocop 2 Prototypes - The funniest sequence in the movie. In a desperate attempt to capitalize on the success of the Alex Murphy-model Robocop, Omni Consumer Products starts pumping out "more advanced" Robocops, fittingly titled... "Robocop 2."  Each one immediately malfunctions and shoots itself and/or pulls its own head off.

What better way to describe the Vikings?  If you had told me 2 years ago that Brett Favre's throwing TDs for the Vikings to Randy Moss, I also probably would've tried to rip the skin off my skull out of disbelief.  What a strange, unexpected mish-mash of talent on offense.  Although so far, the Moss experiment seems to be working, only because it frees Percy Harvin up for underneath routes and allows him to go back to returning kickoffs.  Still, I gotta admit, even I'D laugh if Favre ends up suspended for texting his junk to Twiggy McBolt-Ons.

Robocop 2 Final - Purely evil concoction bred to destroy, fueled by drugs and hatred.  That's easily the New York Jets, right?  Needless to say, I fully expect the Jets season to end by someone pulling their brain out and smashing it to mush against the pavement.

Little Kid Running Drug Ring - It's not often people should be surprised that the league's best rookie is the #1 overall pick, but isn't Sam Bradford's performance in St. Louis kind of stunning?  His best receivers have been Mark Clayton, Danny Amendola, Michael Hoomanawanui, Billy Bajema and Danario Alexander.  Who the hell are these guys?  When I saw "D. Alexander" on the crawl, I thought, "They called up Derrick Alexander??  There was NO ONE else available??"  If they trade for Vincent Jackson, they could win the division.  Not kidding, this is the NFC West we're talking about.

(And yes, yet another team has a legit, capable, likable young starting QB, and it's not the Vikings.  Sigh.)

Kinder, Gentler Robocop - Reprogramming Robocop to be a Kinder, Gentler Robocop turned out to be a disaster, as it only re-awoke certain aspects of Alex Murphy's dead brain (don't ask) and his fierce cop instincts bubbled to the surface.  He ended up trying to electrocute himself to end the pain.  I can't decide who that sounds like more, Packers fans or Cowboys fans.

You're Dallas.  You've had five 3rd and 1s so far and you've completed all five by handing it to Marion Barber.  You face 3rd and 1 again in a critical spot late in a tie game, deep in your own territory.  What do you do in this situation?  If you're Jason Garrett, the answer is "7 step drop, not even a playaction fake, throwing the ball over the middle where EJ Henderson can make an easy interception."  Seriously, THIS GUY was supposed to be the heir apparent in Dallas?

You're Green Bay.  You average about 394 penalties a week.  You have 80 billion injuries.  Your coach has a 13-18 record in games decided by 7 points or less.  Also, you're Green Bay, so you inherently suck.

If you see Packers or Cowboys fans today hanging from telephone poles trying to electrocute themselves, just leave them be, its for the best.

Introspective Robocop - The most likable (and the coolest looking) character in the movie reminds me of the most likable team this year, Miami.  If I were flakey enough to have a "2nd favorite team," it'd be the Dolphins.  They just have this understated quality about them.  They're well coached and they always play well on the road.  They have a quality young QB that gets better every week, legit skill position players and a boatload of "no-name" talent on defense.  Cameron Wake might be my favorite non-Viking (now that Moss is back in the fold.).  They're better than 3-2.  I loved watching them dismantle the Packers today and I'm really glad the Vikings don't face them again. 

Evil Scientist Lady - This picture sums up Evil Scientist Lady.  Her reaction in this screenshot is at a pivotal moment in the movie - what is her expression here?  Relieved?  Bored?  Nervous?  Gassy?  Sleepy?  It's impossible to tell, and her character is just as ambiguous the whole movie.  She misguidedly reprograms Robocop but has good intentions, she valiantly stands up to Evil CEO Guy and his lackeys, only to create the twisted Robocop 2 Final, but then she kinda sorta feels regret?  Maybe?  Even though she eggs the thing on to destroy half the city?  That's what the above shot is supposed to explain.  I have no idea.  Neither does she apparently.

That screenshot doubles as my expression trying to figure out what the hell is happening in the NFL.  Who's supposed to be good?  Who sucks?  Who's out of it?  Who shouldn't we count out?  Who the hell knows? 
If someone says they do, they're lying.

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