Thanks to Phillip H. Anselmo for covering for me last week with a thrilling wrap-up of last week’s Saintsgiving day miracle. After millions of Saints fans came back to the Thanksgiving table, apologized for screaming at cousin Louie’s punk-ass five-year-old Cowboys fan (“Not in my house, kid! What? Shut up Louie, she needs to hear this. Come on, Brittney, cheer again! Say, ‘Yay Cowboys!’ again. I dare you! See what motherf@#$ing happens!!!”), and threw away their soiled underwear, their attention turned to coming up with a catchy name for Jenkins’ amazing strip and fumble recovery. The Times-Picayune dubbed it “The Turkey Day Takeaway. My suggestions: “The Jerry Jonestown Massacre” and (in feather-not-dot Indian voice) 3. The “Malcolm Scalp ’um Cowboys” play.
While I’m on the subject, check out these two takes on that play. This one is Jim Henderson and Hokie Gajan getting excited. Henderson always knows what to say, how to say it and when. I even love how tonguetied Gajan gets when the adrenaline’s pumping. Maybe they’re not so objective, but they’re doing the GD local call! They’re not supposed to be! Now listen to the “National”, supposedly objective call.
You can hear the tears in Joe Buck’s voice. Then how he dejectedly hopes against hope that the replay will show that Williams was down before the strip. Aikman, Aikman, brings him back by calling it like he sees it, but Dallas is clearly Buck’s favorite team. In Joe Buck’s head: “I have the best job in the world! I get to sit next to the dreamiest, coolest, three-time Super Bowl-winningest QB of all time. I just wanted things to go well for the Cowboys so it would be fun to hang out with Tee-Aik after the game. God, I hope he calls me. Aww shucks, he doesn’t even know I’m alive. And now the stupid Saints are ruining all my plans! Morton’s by candlelight, maybe some Michael Irvin back-in-the-day gossip, then back to the Four Seasons. Stupid Saints! I hate them!”
Does it make any sense for players to call games for their former teams? No, of course not, unless they are the local call. But I get that’s the way it is. But when the national play-by-play guy so blatantly picks sides…Come on! Take a wild guess who will be calling this year’s Super Bowl. Yep, this clown. Aikman, too. Makes you miss Madden (the real one).
Big win for sure, but this time of year don’t they all seem big? Likewise, both Atlanta and Chicago pulled some big ones out of their respective asses last week, with the Packers, Bucs, Giants and Eagles all just one game back. Home field advantage is huge, as we’ve seen, and it looks like this season is going to come down to who blinks first. If the NFC’s number one seed does come down to which of the Saints or Falcons can win out, I like the Saints chances if they develop the killer instinct they had last year when it was time to “crush your enemies, see dem driven before you, and hear de lamentations of de women.”
Like Dallas, Cincinnati is another one of those teams that seemed like a good pick before the season, yet have they have disappointed. Other than the Cowboys, is there a team with a bigger gap between the preseason expectations and their current reality? Well, there was a reason for all the optimism. This is a very dangerous club that swept the tough AFC North just last year. Their front line of Palmer, Ochocinco, T.O., and Benson have now added dangerous rookie WR Jordan Shipley to their potent offense. The Bengals have some problems on defense (15th against the pass, 23rd against the run), but can play well when motivated. This could be a tough match-up for the Saints, especially if the Bengals get Cedric Benson going. It takes at least two defenders to bring him down as he never drops at first contact. However, this team seems to be unraveling after losing their last five in a row.
Despite the Saints current hot streak, they seem to want to play down to the level of their opponents. Unless Brees and Co. put the Bengals away early, this game could easily go the way of the Cleveland game. Can Cincy pull off the upset? Here’s what Madden had to say.
Shockey scores, then enters another dimension.
Cincinnati gets the ball first and drives for a 31-yard field goal. Saints respond with a three-play, 75-yard drive that ends with Shockey in the corner of the endzone.
Saints D holds the Bengals on third and 1 to force a punt. Offense bogs down in the red zone and Hartley kicks a 41-yarder. On Cincy’s next possession, Robinson picks Palmer! Shockey scores again two plays later to put the Who Dats up 17-3. T.O. scores, then a missed extra point. Then Bush puts the game away with a 75-yard sweep for a touchdown!
Bush 75-yard TD run and ironic Heisman pose.
Saints go into the half up 24-9. Hartley tacks on 29 and 51 yard goals and Colston scores a 17-yard TD. Player of the game D. Brees ends his day 17-24, 275, 3 TDs, 1 INT, and Bush, Ivory and Jones combine for 110 yards on the ground on 14 carries. Bush redeems his Dallas gaffes with 185 total yards and a TD on eight touches, two punt returns, four rushes, and two catches. Saints defense has three sacks, one INT in forcing Palmer into a dreadful 11 for 29, 131 yard, 1 TD, 1 INT day. Benson is held to 68 yards on 13 carries as the Saints take down the Bengals in a 37-9 cold weather blowout.
Looking forward to: Tampa Bay knocking off Atlanta this week. Write it down. The Bucs were a yard shy of beating Atlanta in the Georgia Dome earlier this year, and Atlanta hasn’t turned the ball over in four games. That streak ends this week, and so does Atlanta’s five game roll.
Not looking forward to: My plane lands in L.A. at 9:38 AM Sunday. The Cincy game starts out there at 10. The rental agency is going to give me an aneurism waiting for the car, I just know it!
Media Prediction: Hype for Jets @ Patriots will make it seem like there are only two teams in the NFL.
Madden Tip: Okay, so I got Doritos 3D working, and I like it. However, it’s not Avatar 3D, it’s Friday the 13th, Part 3 3D. All red and blue glasses-style. So as fun as it is, it starts to give you a headache after half an hour. But that’s nothing beer can’t cure!
Rock Tip: Come see Supagroup (midnight) at Tipitina’s Friday night with special guests Happy Talk (11 p.m.), and Brah (10 p.m.), as part of Tips’ Free Fridays series.