Reason #1A why I'd be a horrible columnist/beat writer/anything to do with writing professionally: I tend to check out once in a while. Like, this season for instance, which has been so utterly insane that all I've been able to do is just sort of stare wide-eyed with my mouth half open, kind of like Mike McCarthy trying to decipher whether or not he should call a timeout.
Even now I'm at a loss for words. I need some help - and what better to help me sort out the 2010 NFL season than the holiday classic, "Cliffhanger"?
Gabe Walker - Our hero, responsible for the scene that tells you all you need to know about this movie: after spending hours climbing a mountain in a t-shirt and nearly freezing to death, he finds shelter, puts on a sweater and is totally fine two minutes later. Well, duh.
This year's magic sweater goes to the Chicago Bears offensive line, coached by Mike Tice. Jay Cutler was getting sacked at a record pace earlier this year, including 10 times by the Giants in Week 4. They've been much better ever since they slipped on the sweater, allowing Cutler to actually perform... really well? Suddenly the Bears don't smell so fraudy. It makes no sense.
The Chick From "Northern Exposure" - The most aesthetically pleasing aspect of the movie should go to the most aesthetically pleasing part of the season, watching Tom Brady do his thing this year. The Manning/Brady argument now reads Advantage: Brady. It has to, injury to Dallas Clark be damned. Brady's been down that road before - remember when Reche Caldwell was his go-to guy? And he still commandeered that offense to the 2007 AFC title game, and almost won it. Lets see if Peyton can do the same with Jacob Tamme and Blair White.
By the way, Janine Turner is gorgeous, and therefore should've had a much better career. She left the inexplicably successful TV show "Northern Exposure" for a career in film... or actually, TV movies with titles like, "Fatal Error," "A Secret Affair," and "Circle of Deceit." How many more times does this need to happen to keep actors from continuing to David Caruso themselves?
The Guy From "Robocop 2" That Gets Shot in the Head - This guy not-so-famously played the Big Corporate Guy's Lackey in Robocop 2, and hilariously (to me anyway) shows up in this movie for about 3 seconds before promptly getting shot in the head. Sounds like the Cincinnati Bengals. Thanks for stopping by, guys.
Hal Tucker - A performance by Michael Rooker notable for several things - portraying his girlfriend falling to her death with the same vigor as if he dropped his Chipotle burrito, but spazzing out at every other opportunity, getting his ass kicked more often than a 1980s WWF jobber. See for yourself:
I'm gonna go ahead and predict that will be the Jets and their fans in a few weeks. They still reek of fraud to me. "Braylon!! BRAAYYLOOOONN!! YAAAHHRRRGGHHHH!"
Travers - One of the funniest characters in history, the cinematic equivalent of Rex Ryan. How do you not love this guy? "Come in, GOD DAMMIT" will never not make me crack up.
Two EXTREEEEME Outdoorsy Dorks - "Man I hate work, even when someone else is doing it!" I guess these guys were here for the comic relief, but little did the writers know that this movie already had plenty of unintentional comedy. That sounds like the NFC West. There's so many bad teams now that one of them has to win a division? Ugh.
I know the sensible thing is to play this scenario off as a rare one-time thing, but I'm not so sure. Just take a look at all the head coach firings that are coming, and all the terrible quarterback play this year. Sometimes it really doesn't seem like there are enough quality (or even qualified) head coaches and quarterbacks out there to fill 32 teams. Just like every other pro sport, the league is pushing towards an equal playing field at the expense of quality play. I wouldn't be surprised if we had another NFC West scenario a couple years down the line, especially if teams continue to hire the Mike Singletarys and the Brad Childressessseseses of the world.
FBI Guy That Realizes What's Going On - This marks the token Star Trek connection. Actor Vyto Ruginis also plays Chief Engineer Logan in a Season 1 episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. I'm seriously starting to wonder if there's a Star Trek connection to every movie ever made.
Lady That Falls to Her Death - The Pittsburgh Steelers could be a great team, better than the Pats in my opinion, if they'd just stayed healthy. Now with Troy Polamalu (who I consider the most valuable defensive player in football) banged up, they might not even get a 1st round bye. As it is with their decimated lines, they're a bad matchup for just about every other team in the AFC.
Eric Qualen - The guy commandeering the most incredibly implausible scheme in action movie history: having their inside FBI guy steal money and transport it in mid-flight from plane to plane using a zipline, while flying over a mountain range. May have been an ill-advised plan. You know who that sounds like? You guessed it, the Minnesota Vikings.
Childress giving the OK to bring back Favre in the hopes of lightning striking twice was, as Mike Lombardi is fond of saying, mistaking hope for a plan. Also, I wouldn't trust the ancient Vikings defense to shovel the sidewalk in front of my house, let alone look spry enough to keep up with the rest of the league. A disaster of Eric Qualen proportions.
Turns out, we were just getting started. There was also: trading for Randy Moss, cutting Randy Moss, Randy Moss yelling at a caterer (yes, this is national news in this day and age), Brett Favre texting his junk to Twiggy McBoltOns (previous note also applies here), Brad Childress mercifully getting fired, Leslie Frazier introducing his weird neck skin to the rest of the country, the Metrodome roof collapsing, playing a home game at Ford Field in Detroit, playing a home game at TCF Bank Stadium, and Brett Favre finally giving way to someone else, leading to Daunte Culpepper heroically charging in on his white horse to lead the Vikings to a 49-0 defeat at the hands of the Lions after 5 fumbles, 5 interceptions and a top 10 draft pick. (I only made one of those things up.)
Guy Getting His Face Grinded Into the Snow As He's Sliding Down A Mountain - Vikings fans. Is it over yet? Can we just fast forward to the draft please?