Oct 15, 2009
Throwback unis, one theme song, two barrels of buttercream, three stinkers, Sweet Dee, Tater Salad, and Ernest Borgnine's secret to looking younger
So it’s about a half hour after the Bengals game ended on Sunday. I’ve put a warm compress on my neck, spent a few minutes thinking about other people doing yoga, taken a hit (or two) from the gin bottle, and made use of our in-home oxygen bar (a.k.a. a used Capri Sun pouch with a silly straw sticking out of it), you know, all the usual things we non-smokers do to get the old heart rate back down to normal. I then settle back into the couch and flip the television on only to see what looks to be a football team dressed like chocolate-banana swirl Pudding Pops. Brown jerseys, yellow pants, yellow helmets, crazy vertical striped socks…. It looks like a Tim Burton movie about football and frozen dairy treats. At this point it becomes clear to me that either a) the bottle of gin was tainted or b) I somehow didn’t respect the Capri Sun pouch and this is some kind of voodoo being played upon my eyes. After getting a second opinion on the gin bottle from my daughter (not really) and a careful inspection of the condition of the pouch, I begin to wonder if maybe what I was seeing was not a hallucination. As it turns out, it wasn’t. As it turns out, it was just the Denver Broncos wearing some throwback uniforms. Throwback, throw up, throw away, whatever you want to call them, they were hideous… beautifully hideous.
If you haven’t realized it by now, the NFL is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the AFL by having each of the original eight AFL franchises wear throwback uniforms for two games this season. Aside from giving us some dated, colorful, and sometimes comical duds to look at, it’s also created some confusion. Take for example the Cowboys-Chiefs game on Sunday. The Cowboys (not an original AFL franchise) were wearing their 1960 Dallas Cowboys throwback unis. The Chiefs, who were one of the original AFL franchises, were also wearing their 1960 unis. The only problem is that in 1960 the Chiefs weren’t the Chiefs. And they also weren’t in Kansas City. In 1960, they were the Dallas Texans. So, we had the Dallas Texans hosting the Dallas Cowboys…. in Kansas City…. in front of about 80,00 people who for some reason were wearing Chiefs gear. AWESOME! Not to be outdone, in Week 3 there was the curious case of the New York Titans (Jets) hosting the Houston Oilers (Tennessee Titans). TOTALLY AWESOME! And in Week 1, you may remember that the Monday Nighter pitted the Los Angeles (now San Diego) Chargers against the Oakland (previously Los Angeles, previously Oakland, previously Los Angeles) Raiders. YOU’RE THE BOMB, NFL!
And not only is there the whole AFL throwback Pudding Pops and confusion thingy, we’ve also got the normal throwback thingies around the league. The Steelers will wear their yellow helmets a couple of times. PEE HEADS! The Lions will wear their stripped-down unis with the plain silver helmets. NO LOGO! In Week 9, the Buccaneers will be donning their original Bucco Bruce helmets and orange jerseys. ORANGE CREAMSICLES! And the Falcons, Bears, Redskins, Rams and others are slated to go retro as well during the season. KICKIN’ IT OLD SCHOOL!
And not only is there the whole AFL throwback thingy and the normal throwback thingies, there’s also the now-customary alternate jerseys. The Bengals, Bears, Browns, Broncos and Dolphins in orange tops, the Panthers and Chargers in light blue, the Titans in all light blue, the Texans in all red, the Rams in gold, and the Seahawks in Ecto Cooler green. GO SLIMER!
And not only is there the whole AFL throwback thingy and the normal throwback thingies, and the alternate jersey dealies, but October is Breast Cancer Awareness month in the NFL. While raising awareness about breast cancer (really, who knew?) is an reasonable and even noble effort, the best part is the really cool pink accents & ribbons on the jerseys and coach’s gear. PINK ACCENTS! Pink captain’s “C” patches, pink bills on the ball caps, pink wrist bands, pink gloves, pink towels, pink shoes… Nothing says toughness, courage and self-discipline like having little splashes of pink in your ensemble! And I say why stop with breast cancer awareness? How about yellow accents & ribbons in November for prostate cancer awareness? What about brown accents & ribbons in December for colon cancer awareness? Maybe all-white during the playoffs to raise awareness of albinism? IT’S A WHITE-OUT! And don’t forget purple accents & ribbons to raise awareness about the alarming rise in titty-twister injuries around the world. I’M TELLING MOM!
I can’t wait for the Ravens to wear their throwback Cleveland Browns brown jerseys with orange pants and purple accents & ribbons, hosting the Cleveland Browns wearing their alternate orange jerseys with brown pants and purple accents & ribbons. SUPERMAN, MEET BIZARRO. BIZARRO, MEET SUPERMAN! This is going to be fantastic. I know that some people hate all the throwbacks and alternates. They view it as nothing more than a ploy by the NFL to sell more gear, and that it’s being done at the expense of bastardizing their collective and individual brands. To those people I say, “You’re right” and I also say, “Duh”. Just stop and take a good look around you. Everything we’re exposed to has been created, focus-tested, refined, tested again, produced, packaged and placed in an effort to sell you more of it. Hell, I’m even using subtle messages in this post to try and get you to go out and buy Pudding Pops, and a few subliminal messages to try and get you to stock up on Smuckers jams & jellies.
The NFL’s pushing product, hard. So what. The MLB does it, the NBA does it, the NHL does it… Other team sports like soccer have taken it a step further by conforming their jerseys, logos, and even their team names to sponsors. Hell, look at NASCAR. They pimp out their sheet metal to any John who will buy at least a 6” x 6” piece of virgin quarter panel. So let the NFL put some more candy on the shelves. We don’t have to buy it, we just have to deal with it and if you don’t like it, there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it. I for one, am going to embrace the confusion and the fashion nightmares. I’m going to enjoy the subtle ironies of the transplanted franchises facing their contemporary replacements. I’m going to accept this as a celebration of 50 years of football for those eight franchises and a celebration of pride in the histories of the other 24 franchises as well. It’s important to always look to the future but we must also remember to honor and celebrate our past. It is with that in mind that I’ve decided to do something to commemorate my 40th birthday this season. All this week I will be wearing my throwback 1989 Pizza Hut delivery driver uniform. It’s the green polyester top with the thin, horizontal orange & beige stripes, brown pants, green visor and the America’s Best Pan Pizza button.
Hey ladies, who wants some pizza?
Now, on with the matchups….
Lions at Packers-
As far as the Lions are concerned, they’ve already won a game so this season is officially a success. Another win or two and we may need to start thinking about a parade. They’ve put some points on the board against good competition so far and stayed within 8 points of the Steelers last Sunday. Give a little credit to new head coach Jim Schwartz and his staff for the improvement but this might better explain their improved play….
Ravens at Vikings-
The Ratbirds streak of 39 straight games without allowing a 100-yard rusher was broken by the Bengals Cedric Benson. Now they must face Purple Jesus up in Minneapolis. If he goes off for triple digits, Ray-Ray might want to retire and start prepping for Dancing with the Stars 2010.
Giants at Saints-
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, this is the latest (in terms of games) into a season in which the Giants and their opponents were both undefeated since Nov. 24, 1929, when the 8-0-1 Giants hosted the 9-0 Green Bay Packers in the Polo Grounds. The Packers won the game 20-6. Also according to the Elias Sports Bureau, it’s the first time that a guy named Eli has ventured down to New Orleans on a business trip since Eli Yoder traveled by horse & buggy to deliver two barrels of buttercream to pastor Jethro Brasseaux in exchange for a potbelly pig and a bucket of nails in 1957.
Texans at Bengals-
Three straight 3-point victories for the Bengals and all five games decided in the last minute of play. These guys are involved in more close shaves than a Brazilian bikini waxer the week before spring break. Now that they’ve (finally) cut long-snapper Brad St. Louis, they should be able to win a little more comfortably. I’ll take the Bengals by four.
Browns at Steelers-
Having recently been benched and reading the writing on the wall, Brady Quinn has put his Avon Lake, Ohio house up for sale. Apparently his plan is to sell the house and buy one in a city where he can be the starting quarterback. You hear that, all you Canadian realtors? He’s coming your way!
WARNING: The next three matchups are some of the worst games I’ve ever seen on an NFL calendar. Pay attention to them at your own risk.
Rams at Jaguars-
The Lambs are 0-5, quarterback Marc Bulger has an injured rotator cuff, and they’ve been outscored 146-34 so far. Over the first five weeks, they’re averaging a 29-7 loss. The Jags are 2-3 and coming off a 41-0 pasting at the hands of the Seahawks. This game has all the stench of a rotting tuna salad sandwich sinisterly hidden inside the driver’s door panel of an ’84 Ford Festiva.
Shirts (Chiefs) at Skins-
The 0-5 Chiefs roll into FedEx Field with the league’s worst-ranked defense and the third-worst ranked offense. Their trip gets them front row seats for The Jim Zorn Farewell Tour as it makes a home stop in DC. The Skins are 2-3 but don’t let that stellar record by my preseason sleeper team fool you. Their two wins have come against the Rams (by 2 points) and the Bucs (by 3 points). Meanwhile, they’ve lost to two previously winless teams: the Panthers last week and the Lions in Week 3 which just so happened to be Detroit’s first win in almost two years. This matchup stinks like the wet, dirty socks of a mysophiliac-ish crab boat crewman after 27 straight hours working on deck.
Panthers at Buccaneers-
Carolina’s 1-3, Jake Delhomme’s still cranking out interceptions like he’s got a quota to meet, their rush defense is abysmal, and they’re worst in the league with a turnover differential of -9. But the good news for them is they’re facing the Bucs. Tampa Bay is 0-5, they’re giving up an average of 28 points per game, over 152 rushing yards per game, and they have a journeyman named Josh Johnson starting at quarterback. This game smells like a used diaper filled with Indian food on the set of some horrible community college theatre.
Eagles at Raiders-
Time for this week’s poll question….
Which of these Philly quarterbacks is better than Oakland starting quarterback Jamarcus Russell?
d)Tony Graziani of the now defunct Philadelphia Soul Arena Football League franchise
Answer: all of the above plus Sweet Dee from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
Cardinals at Seahawks-
Our first Parachute Game of the season. Winner floats safely back down into the NFC West race while the loser spins and plummets rapidly before smashing violently into the earth.
So who has the edge in this one?
Special Teams: Even
Theme Song: Cards (by default)
Titans at Patriots-
Jeff Fisher’s bunch is still winless and headed to Foxboro this Sunday. Now there are rumblings in Music City about giving Vince Young a(nother) shot at quarterback. You know, I was thinking the same thing while watching them get beat by the Colts last Sunday night. I was thinking, man, if the Titans only had a quarterback who couldn’t read defenses, didn’t like to stand in the pocket, didn’t have the respect and confidence of his teammates and had a history of suicidal tendencies when faced with adversity, you know, they just might have a better record right now.
Bills at Jets-
Tater Salad should have his defense up to the task this week.
(Special thanks to NJPatsFan26)
Bears at Falcons-
This should be a good one. The Bears need it to stay close to the Vikings. The Falcons need it to hang with the Saints. These two teams met last season in what was one of the best games of the year. Chicago scored a go-ahead touchdown with 11 seconds remaining, but on the ensuing squib kick, Harry Douglas had a 10-yard return to set up Atlanta at its own 44-yard line. With six seconds left, Matt Ryan hit receiver Michael Jenkins on a 26-yard pass and he went out of bounds with just one second left on the clock, set ting up a 48-yard game winning field goal by Jason Elam. They seem evenly matched again this season but I’ll give the nod to the Falcons again, if only because their coach reminds me of a younger Ernest Borgnine.
And who doesn't love Ernest Borgnine? He certainly loves himself...
Broncos at Chargers-
Okay, after last week’s overtime win over the Pats, I’m now starting to believe in the Broncos. I’m also now starting to believe that I don’t care too much for Josh McDaniels . I’m also more than a little surprised that the Chargers are ranked dead last in rushing this season with just 54 yards per game. I’m also happy to report that last but certainly not least, it’s Cheerleader Posedown Time!
Posted by Smitty