2010 in review

2 Jan

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

About 3 million people visit the Taj Mahal every year. This blog was viewed about 49,000 times in 2010. If it were the Taj Mahal, it would take about 6 days for that many people to see it.

 

In 2010, there were 9 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 32 posts. There were 35 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 2mb. That’s about 3 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was June 24th with 4 views. The most popular post that day was Crunch Time In The Bayou.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were search.aol.com, 74.125.67.100, virtualcontentca.com, facebook.com, and images.yandex.ru.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for kim kardashian, mark sanchez, tim tebow, kim kardashian pictures, and fat girl black bikini.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Crunch Time In The Bayou January 2010

2

Fat Tits & Fatsis: Hey, the NFL is back! September 2009

3

Sexy March Insanity with Presidential Trimmings March 2009

4

BEWARE! Tiger free zone! December 2009

5

The Playoff Payoff January 2010

Meat Of The Week

12 Oct

Due to time contraints we move ahead in this week’s NFL coverage:

FEATURED GAMES

ATLANTA FALCONS v PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

Falcons are very good, and look to go a lot further than Atlanta’s baseball team managed. The Eagles will still be a Vick-less wonder, but are at home.

ATLANTA WIN

EAGLES WON Kevin Kolb back in top form

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS v CHICAGO BEARS

Both of these teams can be terrific, or utterly, completely awful. However Chicago look like they’re beginning to gel. I hate Jake Cutler with every fibre of my being: he seems smarmy, whiny and full of himself. But he’s seeing the field the way co-ordinator Mike Martz wants him to and you will see a monster game from him at some point this season. This may well be it. Pete Carroll’s doing a very good job with Seattle, but he’s a long way from finished yet.

BEARS WIN

Um, no. They fell apart. SEAHAWKS WIN.

BALTIMORE RAVENS v NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

I dare say there was a bit of chortling going on in the greater Boston area last night as the bye week Pats watched new Viking Randy Moss suffering the glory and ignominy of being Brett’s new boy. He scored a classic Moss special, then watched balls sail slowly behind him the rest of the game.
On the sideline during the 2nd Quarter Moss could be seen explaining to Favre that he liked a straight on ball that he needed to catch up to as opposed to a ‘floater’ that he needed to turn back to catch. Brett was nodding. Think about it – no-one coaching the Vikes in the last 4 days had bothered watching Moss’ highlight reel? Randy is a greyhound – that ball needs to be JUST out of reach for him to chase. I know that. So either no-one told Brett, or hey, what if the old man can’t throw them that far anymore?

RAVENS WIN (Pats chortling stops)

NEW ENGLAND on OT FG. Mark’s chortling stops.

MIAMI DOLPHINS v GREEN BAY PACKERS

Two teams that seem to be close to being very good, but flatter to deceive. Green Bay especially. Poor running game, porous offensive line, and Rodgers has stagnated at QB. They’re not BAD per se, but they’re not very good either. Miami is very similar, just with a better running game. Given the QB situation down there, Spagnolo may be a throaty voiced genius. When he hangs up his coaching hat he has a long career as an evil voiceover in animation.

DOLPHINS WIN

PACKERS WIN

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS v TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

I hereby salute Tampa Bay, a sweaty shitheap of a city, because no matter how awful your environs (just typing the name of the place makes me want to get an STD test) you’ve managed to grow two (almost three) brilliant professional sports teams. And on almost no money. Yet still you refuse to come to the games. If any other city in North America had pro teams the standard of yours they would have decade long waiting lists for seats, and fans so insufferable even Cowboys and Pats fans would blanch. But no Tampa Bay, you are too busy opening your shirts that extra button, enjoying the chill blast from your Wal-Mart air conditioner on high while applying low-grade fake tan and admiring the algae in your greasy hot-tub to actually bother attending games. Sporting excellence? A brilliant baseball team made out of scraps and an over-performing football team with a young coach? Pah. It’s two-fer Tequila night at Banana Joes. Roll on Tampa, roll on.

TAMPA WIN (although it will be tight)

No. SAINTS WIN.

DALLAS COWBOYS v MINNESOTA VIKINGS

Who cares?

VIKINGS WIN, Jerry Jones fires somebody.

BOTH CORRECT. Well, not quite yet, but the day is young….

Return Of The King

7 Oct

I missed a week of the season last week, which is odd because I was in the US, where its impossible (perhaps illegal) to be more than 20 feet from a TV playing ESPN.
Turned out it was an excellent week to be a spectator rather than a commentator. All the real action was in College Football (Nick Saban’s Alabama crushing a Tebow-less Florida, USC being dismantled by Washington, the phenomenal/heartbreaking end of Tennessee v LSU)  while over in the NFL the hyped matchups fell very flat.

When the lead news items following last weekend are Michael Vick’s injured rib cartilage (his Eagles losing to the Redskins in a very dull game) and the spectacular performance of a Patriots special teamer, then its not a high-point in the season.

So thank god for Bill Belicheck, who with his pen yesterday morning created the biggest news event of the NFL year. Randy Moss, the most electrifying receiver of the last decade, is going to back to the Minnesota Vikings. A free-agent at the end of the year, Moss was at his malcontent best the last 4 games with the Pats: arguing with coaches, criticising the organisation in the media, dogging routes and even committing the ultimate receiver sin of ‘alligator arms’. He was unhappy and proud of it, and unlikely to get a hefty deal from the notoriously tight Patriot management. So for a 3rd rounder in next year’s draft, Moss heads back to where it all began, to the absolute delight of Brett Favre.

When Favre was still with the Packers, four years and two teams ago, he BEGGED them to acquire the then free-agent Moss. When they didn’t, we knew two things: a) that Green Bay was no longer Brett’s fiefdom, and b) that Favre knew to stay relevant in the league all he needed was one big strike receiver. He may seem a big dumb lug, but he was absolutely right. If your one great weapon is your big arm, you need a speedy receiver that can get downfield fast to catch those mighty throws. AND, it would be handy if they were tall to increase the chances of beating most corners to the ball in the air. Moss is the best there is at that.

He was the first of the modern large and fast receivers. While no-one is ever going to argue that he’s better than Jerry Rice, in the NFL since 1998 Randy Moss has been the template for almost all the decent receivers that have followed. He showed that with the right receiver, you could build a very effective long-throw offensive strategy that placed less emphasis on the QB’s skills. Moss reduced the margin of error in any long throw in his direction. Just launch the ball, and he’d go get it. He made a superstar out of his first Vikings QB Dante Culpepper, who post-Randy barely managed a career as a backup QB before finally being out of the league. Moss managed a 1,000 yard season in 2005 as a Raider with Kerry freaking Collins throwing him the ball! Terrell Owens, Chad Ochocinco, Larry Fitzgerald – all took something from the Moss style, and owe him for being drafted so high in the first place.

The other receiver who resembles Moss is Sidney Rice, who he now effectively replaces for the Vikes. Rice is out due to injury, and without him Favre has looked every minute of 41 years old. Moss is older too, but is still stunningly fast, and if motivated, one of the top 3 receivers in the game. This then is the pairing that Favre has always dreamed of, and I couldn’t agree more with that assessment.

From now on, every Vikings game is a must watch.

Speaking of Favre? This.

FEATURE GAMES:

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS v INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

The Chiefs are turning into a fantastic (if slightly dull) football team, and it looks as if the weakness in the Colts coaching is finally being revealed (the team Dungy built won 1 SB, and went to another). It must absolutely crush fans of the Raiders, Bills and Browns to see how fast KC has become a serious team. Exactly 1 off-season.

CHIEFS WIN

ST LOUIS RAMS v DETROIT LIONS

I am ecstatic about the way Sam Bradford has reinvigorated these Rams. With the success of him and Mark Sanchez (last year) playing as rookies I think we’ll see a LOT of NFL teams go that route next year. And the Lions are more unlucky than bad. This is the youth game of the year with so many draftees on these teams.

RAMS WIN (Just)

TENNESSEE TITANS v DALLAS COWBOYS

One of the best things about this season so far is how perfectly awful the Cowboys are. Not so bad that they are forced to make changes, yet nowhere near good enough to play with the likes of the Pats, Jets or Ravens. They are just somewhere in the middle of the pack, which must drive Jerry Jones absolutely mad. They are not even the best football team in the State! Hehe.

TITANS WIN (Mainly because I want them too)

MINNESOTA VIKINGS v NEW YORK JETS

I think ESPN just had an orgasm. This is their Monday night game after this week’s news? I think a few people may watch.

JETS WIN (They’re for real folks)

The Mad Dog is back!

24 Sep

Usually I write this column on a Tuesday. The reason being I like to be ahead of the other 9,000 people making picks for the weekend, and its the day I usually make my bets. I bet early because the odds are usually so much better if you do what I do, which is bet favourites. Lines on favourites tend to tighten closer to the weekend in the NFL, as exposure to 400 hours of various forms of NFL Countdown tends to convince people that potential upsets are possible. When Keyshawn Johnson tells you that there’s no way 2010 Tampa Bay win more than 4 games this year (they’re 2-0 right now) people rightly tend to herd in the other direction.

"and who else has an injury? Peterson? Who does he play for?"

My strategy is even worse – in fact its actually anathema to the spirit of gambling.

I only bet likely blowouts.

You give me a horrendous mismatch and I’ll take those odds, no matter how thin. By likely blowout I mean Saints vs Raiders, or New England v Buffalo. God I love seeing those on the schedule. Because the truth is, the NFL produces very few surprises. It’s very skillfully engineered not to. My biggest losses in the last 3 years were on two Superbowls: 2008’s helmet catch (the Patriots should have won that game easily) and this February where Hank Baskett’s buttery hands (just landed in Minnesota!) and one terrible throw from one of the Top 2 QBs of the last decade meant the Colts folded.
If you ever wonder why I love Tom Brady so much (apart from my obvious latent homosexuality) its that in 2007 I bet EVERY GAME the Pats played from Week 3. And I only bet blowouts. They were the best team of the modern era (post 1987). Better than any of those 49ers teams, or Aikman’s Cowboys. You knew that although the cost of entry was high, it was safe money (Although I was sweating during the late season Giants game). Betting a dominant team at home against someone like Jacksonville is a better investment than real estate or bank stocks. And there’s always at least one every week (Buffalo @ New England! New England coming off a harsh loss? Whoo boy).

The other upside is that I get to enjoy the good, usually closer games, free from the likely homicidal rage that would descend if I’d had money on it, and lost on a muffed extra point. I’ve spent too many nights out in Vegas watching grown men cry for that.

Also, taking the points? In a sport where teams often kneel down to kill the clock, start throwing the ball in goal to go situations, or go to a ‘prevent defense’ late in a blowout to allow the other team to score? Are you nuts?
No-one talks about it, but the ‘prevent defense’ is not to prevent scoring, its to prevent other NFL coaches getting fired. You’re up 21 with 6 left in the 4th? Help your brothers on the other sideline by going ‘prevent’ and you win by ‘only’ 7.  This is why they (the media and staff of other teams) all hate Bellichick. He never played that game. (God I sound like a Boston homer. I’m not. Now excuse me while I go see ‘The Town’. Twice.)
You know how you can really tell the ‘prevent’ defensive formation (CBs don’t press at the line, Safeties stay rooted to the post and you get a lot of ‘soft’ Linebacker blitzes which go around the tackles – all of which means your backfield starts looking like a wide open Kansas prairie to the opposing QB) is total bullshit? No serious college team plays it. In college football, especially for BCS teams, every point of difference counts. They get marked on the ‘quality’ of their wins. Tomorrow night Alabama play Arkansas (Bama win, but close – no way I’m betting it). We will not be hearing any commentator use the words ‘prevent defense’ in that game.

GAMES OF THE WEEK

Not actually a mugshot

EAGLES vs JAGUARS

Yes I bet this game, even with Philly on the road. Vick is back, and playing angry. Maturity is a key QB component. After the last few years Vick looks like he may have aquired some. And his legs still work. And he’s one of the most entertaining players to watch in the game.But the most incredible thing of all is that he’s starting, and Kolb is gone. That sound you hear is Andy Reid’s 500 pound body landing on the common sense button.

PHILLY WIN

UPDATE: they did

STEELERS vs BUCCANEERS

When everyone was looking at the Pittsurgh Ben-less schedule, almost everyone had this circled as a win. Down to their 4th string QB, they may still pull it off, but Tampa look good and are at home. Tampa 3-0? People in Manchester and further afield may hate the Glazers for not being profligate Saudi billionaires, but very few succeed on two dimes and an IOU like they do.Ask Randy Lerner.

TAMPA WIN

UPDATE: Ok, I’ll admit, Mike Tomlin just might be the best coach in the NFL. Steelers won easily.

JETS vs DOLPHINS

Both teams are on an upward curve, the Jets are just slightly louder about it. I still have trouble wrapping my head around the fact that Chad Henne is apparently an effective NFL QB, but here he is. Miami’s at home.

DOLPHINS WIN

UPDATE: Won on a last minute FG by the Jets. Glad I didn’t bet it!

NSFW link of the week: F#ck Yeah Stockings. Bookmark it.

FLATTER THAN A PANCAKE

15 Sep

– I put in ‘sexy Kansas City Chiefs fan’ this is what I got –

Well well well, one week into the new season and here’s what we know:
Elite: NEW ENGLAND (yet again), NEW ORLEANS
As Good As We Knew They Were: BALTIMORE, GREEN BAY
Surprisingly good: SEATTLE (Pete Carroll is back baby!), KANSAS CITY, HOUSTON, DETROIT, TENNESSEE
Surprisingly awful: SAN FRANCISCO, NEW JERSEY (Rex Ryan, um, baby!), WASHINGTON, PHILADELPHIA, DALLAS
As Awful As We Knew They Were: ST LOUIS, OAKLAND, JACKSONVILLE
Hanging On By Reputation Only: INDIANAPOLIS, SAN DIEGO
Desperately Aiming For A Winning Season: MIAMI, ATLANTA

And they say its only College Football that has a meaningful regular season.

The surprise that shouldn’t have been was Kansas City. That’s what comes of being a small-market team in a fly-over state with an awful record the last 10 years.
Factoid: Kansas is technically flatter than a pancake. And it feels it. It’s just wheat and corn 6 feet high the size of the North Island. There’s a reason Dorothy left.
The total clusterf*ck that was the Herm Edwards tenure still sullies the KC reputation 2 years after his ouster. Herm is now like the PE teacher from hell stuffed into a loud suit on TV, with a nice line in yelling over his fellow commentators. But it boggles my mind that he not only was an NFL Head Coach, but for TWO teams. Only now, 6 years down the line are the Jets finally being rebuilt and rebranded, and the new coaching staff installed in KC this offseason is also paying immediate dividends.
Charlie Weis, who flamed out spectacularly as a Head Coach at Notre Dame, and Romeo Crenell (ditto with the Browns) are now running the KC Offence and Defence respectively.
With ex-Patriot QB Matt Cassell at QB, this is New England West. That’s not a bad template.

– Ok, so not all of Kansas is flat –

FEATURED GAMES:

PITTSBURGH STEELERS v TENNESSEE TITANS

Pittsburgh are still in the ‘prevent defence’ part of their season, with Big Ben still out on suspension. Dennis Dixon is actually pretty competent replacing him, but Tennessee are rolling already and are at home.

TITANS WIN

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS v CLEVELAND BROWNS

The Chiefs will destroy the Browns, who are now in the second decade of their rebuilding. On current progress (last week they lost to TAMPA BAY, who it may surprise some to realise are still in the NFL) it may take the rest of my lifetime before they are any good. Imagine you are 12 living in Cleveland. Your basketball team just lost its mega-star and only point of interest, your football team is a disgrace, your once great baseball team in steady decline. You are an atheist, with an unhealthy interest in guns.

KC WIN

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES v DETROIT LIONS

Uh-oh. That sound you hear is 70,000 obese Philly fans grinding knives. And it’s Kevin Kolb’s head they’re after. If he doesn’t start looking like the Kolb of 2009, then his brief glimpse of the starter’s gig is gone, and we will welcome the Vick! Vick! Vick! era back. A scrambling black QB with mental issues – that went well last time didn’t it? Didn’t it? Meanwhile Detroit are probably destined to keep losing games they should win for just a bit longer yet. But once Stafford is back, it won’t be long til that changes….

PHILLY WIN

MIAMI DOLPHINS v MINNESOTA VIKINGS

This is the real test for Favre as a Viking 2.0. He’s at home, in a dome. He’s ALMOST learnt all the names of his receivers.

VIKINGS WIN

– Broncos Cheerleader and a saddled horse. What else could a man want? –

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS v DENVER BRONCOS

Denver have the advantage of being at home, and they’ll need it. Seattle look VERY good, while the Broncos seem to be carrying on from the disastrous late-2009. All the doomsayers re the Josh McDaniel era (he’s too young, too brash, too annoying) look like they’re going to have a lot of ammunition this year. He’ll have Tebow praying for him though, which is nice.

SEATTLE WIN (if they get a huge lead by the half)

ST LOUIS RAMS v OAKLAND RAIDERS

The sh*t sandwich of the weekend, and our first round in the wooden spoon contest for 2010. Its games like this that really make you wish that the NFL had relegation. It would make games like this totally compelling. Too late now sadly. What’s the over/under on bonehead plays, penalties, or gains under 5 yards?

OAKLAND WINS

HOUSTON TEXANS v WASHINGTON REDSKINS

Last week’s Washington win doesn’t count. Dallas played so badly, they might not have beaten St Louis. The Redskins look out of rhythm, and poorly coached. The Texans are FINALLY looking like the solid team they’ve been on paper for the last 3 years. The addition of a running game has knotted the system together, and they are going to beat a lot of teams this year.

HOUSTON WINS

tom-brady-stetson.jpg
– admittedly Beckham advertises cooler brands –

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS v NEW JERSEY JETS

You’re playing with the big boys here Rex.
Tom Brady is now the highest paid player in the NFL, and he has really gorgeous hair this year. Sort of like Jennifer Aniston’s. It looks so wistful when it falls over his face just so. Ah.
He is the American David Beckham, except that he’s actually won the highest prize in his sport 3 times, has a better looking wife who earns more than he does, and is about a foot taller.
His 2009 season coming off his horrendous injury was regarded by most as disappointing yet he had his second best year ever as a pro and was only bested by Superbowl winning Drew Brees in overall stats. He’s so good, we forget he’s good.
He is what Brett Favre pretends to be. A brilliant QB willing to take chances who is a decent guy off the field. And in the ‘whose life would you take’ stakes its between him and Derek Jeter. (Looking for a pied-a-terre in NY? Derek has just the place for you: http://www.luxist.com/2010/09/08/derek-jeter-lists-trump-world-tower-penthouse/ )
Randy Moss can keep bitching about his contract, but unless something terrible happens to Brady, Wes Welker, or the smartest defence in football then start pencilling them in for the payoffs, and perhaps more.

NEW ENGLAND WINS. Tom looks good doing it.

TAGS: Tom Brady, Kansas Sucks As A Place To Live, DEREK JETER HAS TOO MUCH MONEY, Charlie Weiss is still fat and awful

Fire up the Jet, the NFL is back baby!

8 Sep

Tony Romo? Really? The power of being a Cowboy people.

After an offseason that seemed only slightly less than a decade long, the NFL is back and so am I.
Did the Saints really win the Superbowl only in February? Did I really lose a packet on Peyton Manning’s 4th quarter meltdown? That was THIS YEAR? Not 2005? Hawking is right in his new book: time as we understand it is meaningless outside of our perception of it, and we create our version of history as our brains only experience time sequentially (NB: may not actually be the point he’s trying to make).

The last few years it has been fashionable to claim that the NFL runs all year, thanks to the Draft and constant offseason drama. Except for this year. The Draft? Meh. Ndamukong Suh was easily the best player (a massive and quick defensive tackle taken by the Detroit Lions, he can start on his Hall of Fame speech now) and he was still beaten out by a QB who I like (Sam Bradford, about to meat tenderised in St Louis) but who has the charisma of 4 day old bread.
4 day old white bread.

Off-season drama? Brett Favre un-retired again after being fellated by 3 players in a private jet (NB: metaphorically people!), and Ben Roethlisberger made an unwelcome sperm deposit on a woman in a nightclub bathroom while an off-duty cop watched the door.
This is NEWS? This is an NFL offseason? Pah. That’s barely an afternoon’s work for the Premier League.
When the highlight of the NFL Dead Zone is the Jets’ living embodiment Rex Ryan dropping f-bombs on HBO, well, lets just say thank god for the World Cup and Wayne Rooney’s sex life.
Here is the big sexy Rexy man himself. He takes a bit to get going, but he gets there.  (It’s a link because the embed code is crocked):

Rex Ryan Hard Knocks Speech (NSFW)

Bear in mind this is Rex AFTER the fitting of a lap-band.

To the highlight games of the week then (all days US time):

Well put

THURSDAY NIGHTt:

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS v MINNESOTA VIKINGS

A repeat of January’s NFC Championship Game high tempo/great skills game, which turned on a late 4th Quarter interception from Ol’ Man Favre.
This won’t be anywhere near that close. The Saints are going to start hot mon cherie, and Favre, while still a football genius and a leader, no matter the diva off-field stuff, hasn’t had enough reps to get in sync yet with the Vikings terrific receiving corps.
The Vikings are going to be really REALLY good this year by the way.
The Saints are firing already – let’s hope they don’t peak early.

SAINTS WIN
COLIN COWHERD (85% on picks the last 2 years) AGREES

I listen to Colin every day on ESPN Radio. If you’re up at 3am on a weekday (NZ time) you’ll hear one of the best sports shows on air anywhere in the world. You get used to the nasal whine eventually, but no-one uses dead air better than Cowherd. If you care about US sports, and/or a fan of sports radio in general, check him out. (Note: He was also the commentator we heard on major HBO boxing events in NZ & Australia in the 90’s)

Colin looking like a dick on SportsNation

SUNDAY:

MIAMI DOLPHINS v BUFFALO BILLS

I grew up in the Marv Levy four straight Superbowl losses Bills era so I will always have a soft spot for these guys. Its destined to be the NFL’s first international team, if you count Canada, and Canadians certainly do. Ex Dallas coach Chan Gailey has the reins now, and despite appearances (Chan looks mostly like an angry marshmallow) he’s a good coach. However Miami are better, and its still warm in Buffalo.

MIAMI WINS
COWHERD AGREES

CINCINNATI BENGALS v NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

There has never been a collection of crazies like the ’10 Bengals since perhaps the heyday of the ’80’s Cowboys. TO and Ochocinco on the same team?? Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones?? There are 4 (!) reality shows being filmed simultaneously with various members of the team, and the team as a whole. How many 20 year old interns with Sony Z1s are there in this world? (Don’t answer that). I have NO IDEA if they are going to be any good. Neither do they.

PATRIOTS WIN
COLIN AGREES (I’m not cheating! Honest!)

DALLAS COWBOYS vs WASHINGTON REDSKINS

The Cowboys are loaded but are still led by someone who has more luck with the ladies off the field (see top) than he does with men on it. I’m just not sold on Tony Romo. You put Stafford, Matt Ryan or Rogers on this team and they are an NFC Championship lock. Romo is like Favre without the genius. At a crucial time he will F*CK YOU. Probably why he’s so popular wit hthe fairer sex actually.
This is Game 1 of the Shanahan-era Redskins. I loath Mike Shanahan. He is completely over-rated as a coach (Elway did all the work), and has the mein of Roy Schneider’s evil cardigan wearing CEO in ‘The Rainmaker’. The Redskins have upgraded their QB and their running game, and will be substantially better than last year with or without Albert Haynesworth. But they lose here.

COWBOYS WIN
COLIN AGREES!

MONDAY NIGHT:

BALTIMORE RAVENS vs NEW JERSEY JETS

The Jets are the sexy team this year, but wow the Ravens are good. This is a homecoming of sorts for Rex Ryan who built the awesome Ravens defense. The Ravens also picked up great possession receiver TJ Houshmanzadeh last week, who gives monobrow Flacco another serious target. If the Jets are for real, they have to be able to win games like this. Let’s see how real they are.

RAVENS WIN
COLIN AGREES AGAIN!  It’s like we’re twins.

Mardi Gras in Miami – Superbowl 44

5 Feb

Officially the Whitest Man in America


So.
Here we are.
The biggest NFL game of the year, in a city built for a party.
(puts sunglasses back on) “It appears the Mardi Gras has come to Miami!”
“YAAAAAH!!” (Huge chiming guitar chords, into hideously out of time Keith Moon tom fill)

Because of films and TV, we all think we know what Miami, or at least South Beach is like.
Trust me, you don’t know the half of it. While I still rate Sydney as being the most dangerous city to your health I’ve ever experienced (I’m sure I lost a kidney in the L’otel Darlinghurst once) , Miami is not far behind. I lived there for a year, and trust me, I barely remember any of it. Like none. Zero.

'hey...what time is it? I gotta go to work'

Occasionally I have random flashes like I imagine war veterans or 60’s hippies get, and they are as strange and as terrifying as theirs. Jumbles of colour and bodies and bass heavy sound.
The oddest part is usually the first part of the memory is feeling heat on my skin. Trust me, Jim Cameron’s working on how to replicate that for the Avatar sequels, because tactile memories are intense and frightening.
I feel that muggy Miami heat crawl up my arm, and then I feel the blinding whiteness of the sky at the back of my eyeballs.
All that burnt orange sky a la Bad Boys or Miami Vice is just filters folks.
CSI Miami, with its blue skies and sunsets is shot in Long Beach CA. There was a reason most of the original Miami Vice TV show takes place indoors or at night. Only the excellent Burn Notice uses the real, awful, hard Miami light.

Garielle Anwar of the excellent Burn Notice. Did i mention i like this show?

How will this atmosphere affect the game? 10, 20, 30 years ago Miami would have meant player arrests for solicitation, assault or public drunkenness and guys playing the game with hangovers. Now we’re either at vehicular manslaughter, or nothing. Even the fans are subdued these days. Rhianna is supposed to be playing to 300,000 on South Beach tomorrow night, but they will all be South Florida kids who couldn’t care less about the game except as a good place to score johns or cougars. (Please note: Rhianna playing a free gig at the beach while The Who play the SB halftime show. Thank you ‘wardrobe malfunction’.)

So no advantage for either side there. (Having said that, if Peyton Manning is busted with a transvestite hooker then Tiger will start running around Mississippi screaming ‘Free at last! Free at last!’.)

How do they do cheerleader wise?

SAINTS

Who Dey?

COLTS

Nice use of the horseshoe

Like the game, this is very close.
But given the poor recruiting area the Colts have to deal with (trust me, Indianapolis is a lot like Invercargill with a racetrack) you have to give them the vote.

Which is how the game will go.

The Colts win this going away. In fact it may be over by the third quarter. It will take a David-Tyree-catch level of upset to beat them.

The Colts are immensely good and ruthlessly efficient. And that’s BEFORE you add in Peyton Manning. Honestly, this team may well be in the SB with dad Archie Manning at QB they are that good, but when you have the smartest football player of all time running the offense, well, the Saints had the right idea when they talked about trying to knock him out early.
Peyton has no equal at reading the game while in it.
He is the Zidane of the NFL in a button down shirt and tidy sweater.
Other QBs have better arm strength, can run, or can match him for guts (including the Saints’ Drew Brees). No-one else can read what a defense is doing better than him.

On the other side of the ball is a defense that will use speed to counter Saints’ coach Sean Peyton’s inventive offensive schemes. The Saints will score, especially early, but its like watching a poker tournament where the old pro lets the kid win a few pots to learn his style, then destroys him over time.
Having the lightest defensive front in the league as the Colts do isn’t a weakness if you need to adjust quickly, which is exactly what the Saints are vulnerable to.

I think the Saints will score first, and could even lead close to the half. But then the Colts will drop the hammer.

COLTS 38 SAINTS 24

Meanwhile this year I will be watching the game in Las Vegas, at Emeril Lagasse’s (he of the ‘bam!’ and a boatload of plastic surgery) Stadium Grill at the Palazzo.

pass the hot sauce mon cherie

It’s a bar! Its a 5 star restaurant! It’s a sportsbook! It’s nuts! I’ll be able to place a prop bet on the size of Reggie Bush’s penis vs his rushing yards while scarfing $15 Salmon Tartare!
Obviously given Lagasse’s heritage it will be a Saints fest in there, but hey, most places will be. I mean let’s be honest – if you’re not from Indiana why would you be a fully fledged Colts fan?
Whereas New Orleans, birthplace of jazz and crab louie and the most sexy/godforsaken accent this side of John Candy in ‘JFK’ (see below)? Have you never seen The Big Easy (hilarious trailer here)? They will be the sentimental favourite sure.

But on Sunday in Miami, they will meet the least sentimental football team in the NFL.

(puts on sunglasses, looks away from camera)

“Mardi Gras,………(LONG ASS PAUSE)…..is officially over.”

CUE MUSIC

– Mark Tierney

PS: I will be tweeting the game because a) I finally want to use that space for something and b) I’m a dick. Follow me at http://www.twitter.com/marktierneyfilm