Sunday’s NFL games were just the latest example of the sport’s seismic week-to-week swings that enthrall and infuriate devoted face-painting fans. Take last Sunday night’s slaughter, in which New Orleans humiliated Indianapolis, 62-7, and combine that with Dallas’ 34-7 laugher over St. Louis. Now explain how the winless Rams upset the Saints today, 31-21 -- without their starting quarterback! -- and the Cowboys got torched by the rejuvenated Philadelphia Eagles, 34-7. As the saying goes, on any given Sunday, any team can win. But after another Sunday-night beatdown, we might need a new corollary: On any given Sunday night, you can safely go to sleep at halftime.
St. Louis is enjoying a magical week. Just two days after its baseball team upset the Texas Rangers in the World Series, the Rams showed signs of life after seven straight losses. The Cardinals even showed up at the game with their championship trophy to rally the home team, and hatless manager Tony LaRussa donned a Rams jersey. (He’s no Leo Farnsworth but there’s no arguing with the end result.)
Meanwhile in Denver, last week’s Cinderella hero Tim Tebow turned into a pumpkin against Detroit’s defense, turning the ball over twice and getting sacked seven times in a 45-10 shellacking. And in Baltimore, the inconsistent Ravens had to rally from a 21-point deficit to edge one-win Arizona. During the Football Night in America pregame show, Dan Patrick inadvertently called Ravens QB Joe Flacco, Sacko. It was during a highlight of him being sacked, so I don’t think he intended to insult Flacco by comparing him to the last-place fantasy-football trophy from the sitcom, The League. Because that would just be cruel.
As Patrick and the FNA crew swept through the highlights from their Halloween-decorated set, it was impossible not to realize that today’s games were the final pink-themed affairs to honor national breast-cancer-awareness month. I hope it goes without saying that I salute their effort and honor the cause, but I have to admit I’m ready to retire the pink until next season. In some ways, the pink fashion highlights -- wristbands, shoes, towels, chin-straps, etc -- felt a little more like the flair scene at Chotchkies with every passing week.
Before the game, Bob Costas sat down with the Cowboys’ brash defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, whose comments about the Eagles ruffled a few feathers in Philly leading up to the game. In his first year in Dallas, Ryan, who’s a physical hybrid of John Madden and Joe Eszterhas, has the Cowboys’ D ranked first in the league, but I’m sure head coach Jason Garrett just loves that his subordinate always has time for a quote or an on-camera interview. Actually, after last night’s collapse, in which Philly’s Michael Vick
treated the Dallas defense like dogs picked apart the Dallas defense, Garrett might be grateful that the cameras lingered on his bearded lieutenant so frequently.
Finally, just before kickoff, Costas lobbed some softballs at NBC News’ Brian Williams about his new show, Rock Center, which debuts tomorrow night WITH SPECIAL GUEST JON STEWART!! So, you football fans who apparently love fast food (Subway, Wendy’s, Papa John's) and violent video games (Call of Duty, Elder Scrolls), clear your schedule for Monday nights at 10 to watch Ted Koppel and Harry Smith!! No, no, there’s no Monday Night Football anymore, why do you ask?
As a curious observer of the Philadelphia sports scene, I take great interest in every Eagles game. This allows me to know whether their head coach, Andy Reid, will be called a genius or an idiot for the next six days on local talk radio. Lately, Reid has been an idiot in the eyes of the Iggle faithful, as he’s been blamed for the team’s failure to live up to their high preseason expectations. No matter that he’s led the team to the playoffs in nine of his 12 seasons in Philly; he’s never won a Super Bowl and his current team is 2-4. Idiot! Ah, but Reid’s teams are a perfect 12-0 in games following a bye-week, and he’s had two weeks to prep for tonight’s showdown… Stay tuned.
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