Nov 30, 2005
So I’m watching the Colts dismantle the Steelers on Monday night and because apparently I’m the type of person who needs to be constantly entertained, I flip around to other channels during the commercial breaks, the referee huddles, the first down measurements, and each & every time Michaels and Madden toss it down to the sideline reporter. After a few flips, something catches my eye. No, not E!'s Celebrity Poker. No, not the latest Ashlee Simpson video. And no, not The Making of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Calendar. It was a show on the Food Network about, well, food (and again no, I’m not gay). Specifically, this show was about what we commonly refer to as “comfort foods”. You know, those foods that make us feel good, ones that we just have to have every once in a while, that we could eat every day if we had to, and that for some reason, just always hit the spot. Mine is a grilled turkey, bacon & cheese sandwich with a bowl of tomato soup. Yours might be a peanut butter & jelly sandwich with the crust cut off, or maybe your mom’s meatloaf, or perhaps a steaming bowl of Chunky Clam Chowder, or, if you’re Cardinals head coach Denny Green, five egg sandwiches, a stack of hotcakes, a basket of bisuits smothered in beef gravy, and fourteen cinnamon rolls.
So I built up an appetite, flipped around some more and found Pulp Fiction airing for just the 273rd time this month on the IFC channel. After a few minutes of Jules toying with Vincent, then Jules toying with Brett, then Mia toying with Vincent, it hit me- Pulp Fiction is one of my comfort foods. Yep, you see I don’t think a comfort food has to actually be a “food”. It could be a movie, a tv show, a cd, a book, a best friend, a pet, a weekly card game, a favorite chair, or, if you’re Michael Irvin, a lovely, well-stuffed crack pipe. It’s anything that makes you feel like, no matter what else is going on, that everything is somehow going to be okay. We have to have these things. We have to know that they’re there, waiting for us, whenever we need them. They’re our “go-to” receivers. Basically, they’re our Marvin Harrisons.
Flipping back to the game, I realized that Marvin is Peyton’s comfort food. First play of a big game on Monday Night Football against a tough defense, what do you do? Fake the handoff and throw it to number 88. Eighty yards later…. touchdown, statement made, game over. Comfort food.
Manning has plenty of other guys to throw to; Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark, and Brandon Stokley are all capable receivers but none of it works without Harrison. He’s the go-to guy. Why is he Manning’s go-to guy, his "comfort food"? Because Manning knows that he’ll be where he’s supposed to be, when he’s supposed to be there, and no matter what he throws at him, he’ll take care of it. No matter what else is going on around him- other receivers running wrong routes, an ineffective running game, too much crowd noise to yell out an audible...- all it takes is a look, just a look from Manning to Harrison & they're on the same page. Comfort food.
Believe me, none of it works without Harrison. If you don't believe me, take away someone’s comfort food and watch what happens. What if suddenly your dog ran away, or your best friend stopped talking to you, or the weekly poker game was no more, or mom went on a meatloaf-baking strike….? You’d be out of sorts....not yourself....a little lost, don’t you think? Of course you would. Being comfortable isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. Ask Brett Favre just how much fun he’s having without Robert Ferguson. Ask Duante Culpepper how grand life was without Randy Moss. Check with the Saints on how it feels to be temporary residents of San Antonio.
Not good times.
Why do I mention all this? Because with five weeks left, this is the time when quarterbacks start relying on the "go-to guys", coordinators start depending on their "bread & butter plays", and head coaches start saying things like, “we've gotta get back to what we do best”. That’s why this Sunday I fully expect to see a lot of Roethlisberger handing off to Bettis, Carson Palmer looking for Chad Johnson, Bledsoe looking for Keyshawn, Eli tossing to Shockey, Vick pulling it down & running out of the pocket, Delhomme throwing to Steve Smith, a lot of Green to Gonzalez in KC, and the Broncos making chop blocks….lots and lots of chop blocks. And me, well, you can be sure I’ll be watching it all go down while eating my grilled turkey, bacon & cheese sandwich with a hot bowl of tomato soup. Or maybe a Big Kahuna burger and five-dollar milkshake.
On with the Matchups...........
Falcons at Panthers-
Is it just me, or are the Falcons about as unpredictable as Courtney Love at an open bar reception? You really can't be sure if they're gonna just quietly pass out or if they're gonna yell at the DJ, take a swing at the maid of honor, puke in the champagne fountain and piss on the dance floor. It's a toss-up, really.
Bills at Dolphins-
The battle for second place in the crappiest division of all time! This Sunday, only on CBS!
Bengals at Steelers-
Hey Marvin Lewis, turn around, you've got something on your back. Oh, hey, it's a black & gold monkey! You may want to do something about that.
Cowboys at Giants-
So do you think Drew and Keyshawn have a package deal with Satan or did they negotiate seperately?
Packers at Bears-
I can't decide what's more overrated, The Dave Matthews Band or the Bears' defense. There seems to be a "space between" perception & reality here.
Texans at Ravens-
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the Don Criqui Game of the Week!
Jaguars at Browns-
I'll go out on a limb here and say the Jaguars win a squeaker.
Seriously, they're 8-3 and their eight wins are by a combined total of what, five points? Is that even possible?
Vikings at Lions-
I'm telling you, if Mariucci would've booked an orgy at sea, his team wouldn't have quit on him, he'd still be employed and the Lions would be making a playoff run right now.
Bucs at Saints-
Speaking of firing coaches, Jim Haslett has officially passed David Shula on the all-time list of Games Coached After Legitimately Derserving to be Fired.
Congratulations Jim, keep up the shitty work.
Titans at Colts-
Jeff Fisher's comfort food? I'm not quite sure but I know he hides it somewhere in that big furry cookie duster.
Cardinals at Niners-
Redskins at Rams-
You're telling me that the Rams new QB is some Irish dude fresh outta Harvard? Sweet. He's like the Good Will Hunting of the NFL. "Hey Bulger, you like apples? Well I'm starting this weekend, how 'bout them apples?"
Broncos at Chiefs-
Watch for the chop blocks, Watch For The Chop Blocks.....FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WATCH FOR THE CHOP BLOCKS!!!!!
Jets at Patriots-
J-E-T-S, Suck, Suck, Suck!!!
Raiders at Chargers-
If a big, fat, over-the-hill defensive tackle goes down for the season but no one really cares, will he still make a sound byte?
(Monday Night) Seahawks at Eagles-
Over/Under on the number of times Michaels & Madden mention T.O and Donnie Mac even though they won't be playing in this one: 73
Navy at Army-
UCLA at USC-
Posted by Smitty