Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tuesday FourCast: Week 4

Three solid weeks of the FourCast to start off the season, and the NFL must have sensed I was coming to bat since it gave me a plethora of things to write/cheer/bitch/celebrate/groan about. Hell, so much happened that I didn't even have room to include an item complaining about the horrid officiating (Hochuli strikes again, and WTF happened in the MIN/TEN game??) or the horrid handling of fines for bitching about officiating (WHERE IS NORV TURNER'S F'ING FINE????). Y'all better behave in Week 8 ... otherwise I'll blast you then. For now, it's Week 4's FourCast...

#1. Enver Broncos (There’s no “D”)

I’m sorry, is it just me or is Paul Westhead coaching the Broncos? Westhead, of course, coached the other defense-less pro team in Denver history, the Nuggets, from 1990-1992. In his first season as coach, Westhead’s Nuggets put up a whopping 120 pts per game, kinda like the Broncos have been putting of 33.25 points per game. Problem? The Nuggets gave up 131 points per game. The Broncos haven’t given up more points than they’ve scored quite yet, giving up 29.25 points per game, but are well on their way to doing so. Denver ’s got a powerful offense that is relying heavily on the passing attack, but it cannot continue to win with a defense that gives up 33 points to Kansas City .

Unfortunately for Denver Fans, the Broncos Defense was listening to Peyton's chant...

#2. HOW BOUT DEM … Redskins?

Yes, I’m opting to use one of my points to be a homer. But how could I not, given that the Redskins outplayed a superstar-filled Dallas team in their last-ever meeting at Texas Stadium? The Skins managed an impressive ground game against DeMarcus Ware and Co., enabling the way to a balanced offensive attack (37 rushes, 31 passes) and over 38 minutes of possession time. After four weeks it seems that the Cowboys will have to tweak their defense quite a bit if they want to fulfill the glorious predictions that so many pundits have given (myself NOT included). As for Washington , given their penchant for consultation between players and coaches on the sidelines during each game, this is a team that is looking to learn, grow and develop after every single down played this season … and as a fan of both the Skins and of the NFL, this is something I really like.

Dat's mah Kotaback! Ima throw him under the bus for only gettin me the ball on 1/3 of the plays!

#3. Tragedy Strikes Collier

Why does it seem that I get tragedies related to NFL players for my Fourcasts? Monday afternoon I learned that Jacksonville ’s O-lineman, Richard Collier will be paralyzed from the waist down and also had his left leg amputated from above the knee. Following in the recent shootings of Sean Taylor and Darrent Williams, it seems that someone has painted a target on NFL players. Per the facts available in all three cases, the athletes were innocent in their actions prior to being shot. Taylor sought to defend his family from would-be burglars, Williams was having fun with friends on New Year’s Eve (though there are rumors of a potential dispute earlier in the evening at a nightclub), and Collier and a teammate were waiting for two women outside their apartment. While it is a miracle that Collier survived the 14 bullet wounds to the back, left groin, left legs and right buttock (per Yahoo! Sports), his promising career has been unfairly stopped at the age of 26.

Of course our prayers go out to Richard Collier and his family.

#4. No Family League

The other tragedy is the death of Matt Bryant’s infant son. Bryant buried his three month old son, Matthew Tryson Bryant, on Saturday, and then proceeded to play, and win the game, for the Bucs on Sunday. To lose a child is one of the most difficult things, and yet Bryant was pretty much forced to play. While, again, our prayers go out to the Bryant family, I also am disgusted and appalled that the NFL does not allow a roster exemption for bereavement and other drastically important family matters.

Given the current layout of rules in the “No Family League,” a team can receive a roster exemption for having a douchebag as a player (see Chris Henry, Pacman Jones, et al.), but cannot receive such an exemption for having a dedicated family man on its team. So whether a player’s wife starts giving birth to his first-born child or a player’s spouse, parent, sibling or child dies, that player is all but forced to play. I’m sure the Bucs gave Bryant the option of missing the game, but, being a consummate professional and realizing that his absence would require the team to cut another member in order to sign a replacement kicker, Bryant kicked his team to victory with a very heavy heart.

Kudos and prayers to you, Matt Bryant.

A double-dose of my middle finger to you, NFL policy makers.