Lost in Translation: Pretend Patriots Fan Edition
Back in the early days of Out-Takes, we offered up a translation of CARSON PALMER'S ROBOCALL to
Bengals Season Ticket holders. Upon hearing that New England's thrashing of Tennessee hadn't even ended before the organization started receiving furious e-mails about "running up the score," we thought it was about time for another translation. (Out of curiosity, did any fans bother to fire off angry Tweets to the *Titans * front office, complaining about their team bending over, lying down and mailing it in? Just wondering.) As with Palmer's Robocall, we kick it off with what was actually said. (And follow up with what was actually meant.)
"I am a long-time Pats fan."
("I am a die-hard jets fan.")
"...and I literally despise the Titans."
("...and I spend literally 75% of 'me time' surfing NFL message boards in my pair of vintage ADRIAN MURRELL jammies.")
"But the display I saw today was the most classless I've seen in my days of watching football..."
("And while it's true that I pass most of my time updating a video-blog called KEVIN MAWAE ERA CHEAPSHOTS.ORG (click me!), even I find it classless that the Pats* partied like it was 2007 on Sunday. In case you hadn't heard, This is supposed to be the Year of the Rex! By the way, I know classless. Three of my friends-with-benefits are CONCOURSE D GIRLS™, and unlike the ones "gone wild" in the Big Easy, at Concourse D beads are optional!")
"To run up the score so high on such a clearly disadvantaged team was shameful at best..."
No translation here. We're still focused on "such a clearly disadvantaged team," which conjured up a few questions, such as...Didn't the Pats have young players manning their secondary, too? And...isn't the object of the game to score and stop the other team from scoring? And...hasn't the NFL seen plenty of huge comebacks the last few years? Perhaps most obviously, don't players on BOTH TEAMS get paid millions of dollars to do their jobs, hurt feelings be damned?
How many times does ESPN, et al, glorify Spurrier-style, NCAA beat-downs against kids who play for free? Don't we ooh & ahh when OU, sooner or later, goes out and hangs 70 on Broken Arrow Teachers College? A lot of those kids are on scholarship, they're playing for the love of the game and the occasional, willing, nubile cheerleader. And, for God's sake, that underwater basket-weaving final isn't going to cram for itself! But in the wake of RICE's 49-13 loss to East Carolina, we're not supposed to feel even a trace of sympathy for them, not even at 0-7. Why? 'Cause their school just made a ton of endowment money off their abject humiliation? Really?
Meanwhile, the Titans went 13-3 last year, were a consensus pick to compete for a Super Bowl this year, and we're supposed to feel bad for them. Even though their obvious lack of want-to - we've seen less "quit" in anti-smoking campaigns - contributed as much as anything to that 59-0 final. So spare us the pity party for millionaire pros who fail to get up for a game just because they're shockingly out of it in October and no one predicted snow. But back to the translation...
..."and abhorrent at worst."
Gammy gave me a Word of the Day calendar!" and/or "Sometimes those CSI shows I watch use "abhorrent" to describe really bad stuff!")
"I take pride in my team..."
("My pride takes root in win-loss records, and my team is suddenly on a 3-game skid. Hold me?")
"...but today, I hang my head in shame at the blatant lack of grace and respect exhibited by both my team and their coaching staff."
("...I like to pretend that 'grace' and 'respect' are critical to my enjoyment of pro sports, but only when it conveniently fits my fake argument about a team whose coaching staff, fans and players make me hang my head in shame.")
Trust me, the city would rather have lost this game than won...
("Trust me, Long Island would rather have seen New England lose this game, especially now that the Bills just tied us and The Sanchize has thrown four - and counting - interceptions.")
"It was disgusting."
("That fifth pick, to Paul Posluszny in overtime, was disgusting.")
A final thought... We genuinely support the call for sportsmanship in a professional landscape too often sullied by taunts and trash-talk. And we understand the impact sportsmanship - good, bad and ugly - can have on impressionable kids and the little league parents who berate them. But this "running up the score" line is not merely nonsense, it's old nonsense. And that goes for NFL players, too. Got a problem with the opposing team scoring too many points? TRY STOPPING THEM. Want them to start taking a knee in the 3rd quarter? Point us to the Youtube of that EVER HAPPENING and Out-Takes will personally pass it up the chain of command. (That is, by the way, a long, loooong trip. We'll have to grab a sack lunch, a six- and a Sherpa.)
In the meantime, let's all keep in mind that, as hopeful as some Patriots fans might be that the O is inexorably back on track, when it comes to winning by 59 points, it takes two to tango. Or, at least, one to tango and the other to trip all over himself, bite down hard on the thorny rose of defeat and slink off to fight - or not, ya know...whatever - another day. As for e-mails from our frustrated Jet fan friends...keep 'em comin'. They are unbelievable. (And hilarious.)
~ For KC victory #1, St. Pauli Girl-spiked kudos to old friends PIOLI, CASSEL & VRABEL (and, why the Hell not - you too, COREY MAYS and MIKE RICHARDSON!) You never forget your first.
~ Just thought we'd mention that OUT-TAKES had more passing yards on Sunday than KERRY COLLINS (-7). Also throwing for more yards than Vince Young's soon-to-be-backup: BO OBAMA, MICHELLE's much-ballyhooed arms, STEPHEN "Bleep! Blort!" HAWKING, TRIG PALIN and the tupperware that BALLOON HOAX KID barfed into on the *Today * show.
~ Every rook has his ups & downs, and there are only so many Flaccos and Ryans to go around, but it's worth noting that on Sunday MARK "The
Benchize" SANCHEZ had a passer rating, 8.3, that was a full point lower than the yards-per-carry of teammate THOMAS JONES.
Also worth noting: This was the first time "Hollywood" has played in temperatures below 55. It's assumed he'll make the same adjustment other warm-climate QBs have. (We heard one guy played for more than a decade on the Frozen Tundra despite the balmy climes of Mississippi coursing through his veins.) On Sunday, though, #6 got hit in the face with 44 degrees and a wind chill of 30. It didn't go so well. Was it a one-time thing or the start of a trend? Bet on the former - and on a bounce-back game in Oakland.
~ All of a sudden the Patriots find themselves with only a few good men in their wide receiver corps, following JOEY "Don't call me Lieutenant Commander JoAnne" GALLOWAY's release this week. Where he winds up - KC, Tampa or somewhere in between - is anybody's guess. Ours is that the Pats aren't too worried about Joey giving away any playbook secrets, no matter where he signs, what with never having earned the decoder ring himself.
One last item as the door hits Joey in the ass on his way out (presuming he was able to master* that* route). All those whiner-line calls wishing the Pats had kept GREG LEWIS over Galloway - calls that grew in volume when Lewis made that acrobatic, game-winning catch of #4's Hail Mary three weeks back - were, in our view, misplaced. Lewis hasn't caught another ball all year, before or since. So say what you will about Joey in '09, but say this, too: the guy has seven times as many catches as the guy he beat out. Eight, if you count that "TD reception" in the back of what we assume he thought was a CFL end zone. (Maybe give the Roughriders a call.)
~ Between DEVIN HESTER and a low-hanging DIAMONDVISION in Dallas, has there ever been a better time to not leave the room when the punt team takes the field?
~ (MIS)QUOTE OF THE WEEK, JIM NANTZ: "For those of you tuning in expecting to see *60 Minutes * you're going to see 60 points instead." Swing and a miss, Jim! 'Though, if not for a mercy non-call of what looked to be an obvious safety, you would've been right.
~ Word broke Monday that noted grudge-holder and NFLN talking head MARSHALL FAULK (we hear he also rushed a little) may have his eye on Limbaugh's slot in the investment group bidding for the Rams. Apparently, racially provocative statements DQs you, but biased blathering and mindless paycheck-stealing is A-OK! Sign him up, Dave Checketts!
~ Scary-good Raven runner RAY RICE - a Poe man's MAURICE JONES-DREW, circa '06. No?
~ Hey Titans fans, think that 59-0 drubbing you just witnessed made for a wretched Sunday? Try rooting for Philly as the Iggles went down to the previously punchless (well...sorta) RAIDERS. That was such a dog of a performance, MICHAEL VICK came this close to...oh, never mind.
~ THE NEW ORLEANS SAINTS are not. screwing. around. Hanging 48 points on a pretty solid NFC East D just a couple weeks after flashing some of their own playmaking defense against the other team that plays in Giants stadium? Wow. QB DREW & Company are living up to his last name and sitting pretty in first place. Now if we can just get those easy, wild girls to stop charging a strand of beads...
John Cockrell is a screenwriter, whose other work has run the gamut from "Sesame Street Parents Magazine" to Playboy TV's "The Weekend Flash." (He figures everything else is pretty much in-between.)