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Happy Birthday To Me

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Today is my birthday. Yes. Today I am eleventy-one years old.

(Well, no, not actually, though some days it feels like that).

I got some wonderful gifts to mark the day... from the New York Jets, the New York Giants, and Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys.

In the morning game, the Jets defeated the New England Patriots, long the bullies of the AFC East, who had been pushing Gang Green around on their own field for more games than I care to remember. But not today. A win is always swell, but a win over Evil Little Bill and his minions is especially sweet, since they have been so scarce this past decade. The game did not begin well for the Jets, who came out, looked terrible, and shot themselves in both feet in the first couple of series. But after that they settled down, and before long they were actually dominating.

The defense was amazing. Blitz, blitz, blitz. The last time I have seen so much pressure on a QB was when the Giants beat the Patriots in the SuperBowl, but these were the Jets. Tom Brady will usually eat you alive if you blitz too often, but not today. He looked dazed and lost by the final series. And Darryl Revis just OWNED Randy Moss. (Though once again Vernon Gholston's name was never mentioned. Did he even play? I'm not certain).

My brother in law was at the game. He's been a Jets season ticket holder for years, and he tells me he has never heard a Meadowlands crowd make so much noise. Rex Ryan gets credit for that as well. All hail Rex!

The defense won this game, but the offense also performed well, especially Mark Sanchez. I know, I know, he's only played two games, but right now trading up to grab him in the draft is looking like the best move the Jets have made since drafting Joe Namath.

As for the evening game... what can I say? Aside from the fact that I sufferered several heart attacks during the closing minutes. It was not, by any measure, an especially well-played game, but it sure was an exciting one... and how sweet it is to be able to open the Jerry Jones Palace of Excess by handing the hated Cowboys a loss!

It had to be one of the weirdest games I have ever watched, though. There were times I thought these must be teams from the Bizarro world. For most of the game the Cowboys stifled the vaunted two-headed Giants running attack by stuffing Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw again and again. That's not supposed to happen. On the other side of the ball, they gashed the Giants D with their own ground game. Felix Jones and Marion Barber kept breaking free for long runs. That's not supposed to happen either. The huge, slow, ponderous Cowboys offensive line kept the Giant pass-rushers at bay through the whole game. We failed to record a single sack, and Tony Romo always seemed to have plenty of time. That's DEFINITELY not supposed to happen. The Giants red zone offense sucked too, just as it did last week. We had first and goal on three or four occasions, and came away with field goals every time. We had one interception TD taken away by the ref's whistle, and our field goal kicker missed a gimme kick at one point, so a good drive ended with nothing.

With all these calamities, you would have to figure the game was a Dallas blowout. And, hey, maybe it should have been. But thankfully, we had Eli Manning and they had Tony Romo. Tony must have known that it was my birthday, since he kept giving the Giants gifts. Three interceptions, I think. (There was a fumble too, so there were four Cowboy turnovers). Two of the picks were just awful throws. The third was a freakish thing where the ball bounced off the back of Jason Witten's ankle right into the hands of Kenny Phillips, who ran it back for the TD that the refs took away.

And that wasn't even the most freakish play in the game. That had to be Eli's long TD pass to Mario Manningham, which MM dropped, juggled, and somehow managed to catch again while sliding on his butt through the endzone. Not exactly classic form, but hey, it counted for six points just the same. Manningham had nine other catches, for ten total, and The Other Steve Smith had ten as well, the first time in the long and storied history of the Giants that they have ever had two receivers both catch ten balls in a game. Plaxico who? I think the Giants have found their starting tandem... and when Hakeem Nicks comes back from his injury and Ramses Barden gets a bit more seasoning, we could have one of the most dangerous receiving corps in the league.

The other great thing in the game was Eli Manning. With the running game shut down, it all fell on his shoulders, and he came through magnificently, especially in the fourth quarter.

In the end, though, it all came down to a field goal try with four seconds left. The Scottish Kicker (theater folk always refer to Macbeth as the Scottish Play, since it is thought to be bad luck to mention the actual name, and I have decided the same rule should apply to the Giants kicker) had missed a field goal earlier, so it was no sure thing. And sure enough, his kick only cleared the goal post by inches, stopping my heart for a second before the refs raised their arms to signal it was good... and then he had to do it all over again, since Wade Phillips had called a timeout a split second before the kick, a bush league move that has become popular with some coaches these last couple of years. Wade deserved to lose for that alone. And thankfully he did: the Scottish Kicker's second attempt was dead straight down the middle. Giants win, 33-31!

Life IS magical and full of joy. At least today.

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( 204 comments — Leave a comment )
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mayakda
Sep. 21st, 2009 03:22 pm (UTC)
Happy Birthday!
whitewolf6613
Sep. 21st, 2009 03:23 pm (UTC)
Happy Birthday George!!! Don't forget to squeeze some fun into your schedule to celebrate. Niners are 2-0, both divisional wins. Life IS magical and full of joy!
gottalovev
Sep. 21st, 2009 03:25 pm (UTC)
a very happy birthday to you! may this year bring you everything you wish for and more!
saturnscasualty
Sep. 21st, 2009 03:28 pm (UTC)
Happy Birthday! :D
firerosearien
Sep. 21st, 2009 03:32 pm (UTC)
That Jets game was utterly amazing
douglascohen
Sep. 21st, 2009 03:41 pm (UTC)
Flozell Adams is a punk for that trip on Tuck. Manningham and Nicks and maybe Barden are the future.
roflcopter_down
Sep. 21st, 2009 03:42 pm (UTC)
I'm glad the Jets won! I only got to see the first quarter. When I got up I was convinced the Patriots were going to win. I guess that's why they play the other three quarters, isn't it?
space_geek_ken
Sep. 21st, 2009 03:43 pm (UTC)
So, what will we call the new stadium for the Jets/Gints?
Since it will be about 50% more expensive than JerryWorld (currently estimated at 1.65 bn. And rising.) Or is it not wretched excess when it's your team's stadium? Shall it be the New York Palace of Horrific Excess? We need something more than merely 'wretched excess' for the name...

And will have higher ticket prices to boot. A night at an NFL game in New Jersey costs more than a good Broadway play and fine dining.

At least in Seattle, you can get an actual seat in the end zone for $20, $12 if you're painted in team colors (and thus, the Twelfth Man).

Green Bay hasn't raised their ticket prices in five years.

Now, you have to spend $30K to buy a Personal Seat License (which is the right to BUY a spot on the Season Ticket list) to sit in a stadium that's mostly paid for by taxpayers who couldn't afford to watch a game in it.
nycfalcon
Sep. 21st, 2009 06:41 pm (UTC)
Re: So, what will we call the new stadium for the Jets/Gints?
While the taxpayers are taking a small hit (relatively), the bulk of the cost is financed by the ownership/fans. The Maras and the Tisches are good citizens for being amongst the wealthy. They care about their parents' legacies and they understand that you can't screw the public. In the long term it's bad for business. It's an even better deal for the taxpayers than Citifield, but no where as close a good deal for NYC as Arthur Ashe Tennis Center. That place turned a profit for NYC almost as soon as the paint dried. And to think it's only being completely used for two and a half weeks.

The Giants/Jets and NYC/NY State should have pushed for a roofed stadium in Flushing Meadows. A positive deal could have been worked out. Unfortunately the previous and current mayors were too hung up(insider deals and all) on a Manhattan stadium. Sigh...
dome? - grrm - Sep. 21st, 2009 06:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
thistle_chaser
Sep. 21st, 2009 03:44 pm (UTC)
Happy happy birthday! I hope you have many more happy, healthy ones! :D
carl_spackler
Sep. 21st, 2009 03:46 pm (UTC)
Happy Birthday, George.

As a Pats fan, I have to tip my hat to the Jets. They simply outplayed the Patriots on both sides of the ball and it was one of the rare games where the Patriots were out-schemed. Kudos to the Jets fans also who made kept the noise and intensity up through the whole game, and caused some key delay of game penalties.

I'm looking forward to November when they meet again (hopefully the Pats will have Welker and Mayo back).

andhaira
Sep. 21st, 2009 03:47 pm (UTC)
Happy B.day GRRM. May you have many, many more. :)
mamculuna
Sep. 21st, 2009 04:03 pm (UTC)
Happy Birthday! And thanks for all the gifts you've given us.
barristans_sqir
Sep. 21st, 2009 04:11 pm (UTC)
happy birthday.
Happy Birthday Ser George. I am glad your team won. Clearly the fates aligned to provide you with this joy on your day of celebration.
fragilemuse
Sep. 21st, 2009 04:18 pm (UTC)
happy birthday!! =D
princess_vernie
Sep. 21st, 2009 04:33 pm (UTC)
Happy Birthday! Hope it continues to be great (who says you can only celebrate for one day?).
racebannon42
Sep. 21st, 2009 04:34 pm (UTC)
Happy Birthday George!

congrats on your teams winning. I'm always happy to hate both the Cowboys and the Pats.
cronos619
Sep. 21st, 2009 04:40 pm (UTC)
#1 Happy Birthday

#2 I would like to ask the entire football world if ANYONE, heard the supposed whistle that blew dead that freak bounce of the foot interception. How many times this weekend in College and NFL games did we see how important it is to play until you hear the whistle. The ref that signaled incomplete was facing Phillips, if he had blown his whistle, Phillips would have heard it. Oh well at least he still gets to log a Pick on his record.
texassky
Sep. 21st, 2009 04:41 pm (UTC)
Happy Anniversary of your birth!
mercydarling
Sep. 21st, 2009 04:42 pm (UTC)
Happy birthday!
thenetsorcerer
Sep. 21st, 2009 04:43 pm (UTC)
Happy Birthday, Old Man! Get out today and do something you haven't done in years just for the fun of it.
lampster65
Sep. 21st, 2009 04:48 pm (UTC)
Hippo Birdie Two Ewes!
Well, Happy Birthday!
lavon1
Sep. 21st, 2009 04:51 pm (UTC)
happy birthday
may you live to be 102, love your work and waiting for more fire and ice work. I think I lived in those books while going thru my divorce. Wild cards are good, quick and fun, but fire & ice are my all time favorites!
bbeitel
Sep. 21st, 2009 04:51 pm (UTC)
Best wishes on your birthday, George! At least you had some luck. On my side of the ball, life is miserable and full of pain. The Seahawks grumbled, stumbled and fumbled away the game to the Niners. I have to give Singletary credit; he has the SF defense playing very well. The Seattle defense did a good job of making Frank Gore look like Barry Sanders. To make matters worse, our oft-injured and inconsistent QB Hasslebeck is once again injured. Forget Seneca Wallace, start the Rookie Teel! He can't do any worse! Better yet, make a deal for Daunte Culpepper or a number of other back-ups that are better than anyone we have right now. It wasn't all doom and gloom though. The Mariners took the series from the Damn Yankees with a 7-1 spanking yesterday. I just keep thinking about what could have been without that 11 game skid at the end of May. While we probably wouldn't catch the Los Angeles California Angels of Anaheim (pick a name already!), we'd be right in the thick of the Wildcard race.
kagejim
Sep. 21st, 2009 04:59 pm (UTC)
Happy birthday/nameday!
dragonmen
Sep. 21st, 2009 05:13 pm (UTC)
Happy Birthday, Master! :)
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George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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