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Happy Birthday To Me

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.



( 203 comments — Leave a comment )
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Sep. 21st, 2009 05:24 pm (UTC)
They were both wins. I am hoping to see more such wins from the Jets and Giants this season. Happy Birthday!
Sep. 21st, 2009 05:38 pm (UTC)
Go Bears!! Happy bday George
Sep. 21st, 2009 05:55 pm (UTC)
Happy B'Day!
I don't believe I've ever before heard of a head coach sending out personal robo-calls to all season ticket holders asking for loud support during an upcoming game. http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/jetsblog/rex_call_for_help_s7lmwjIunLbb07QpXx4kbK. I guess it also helps that he's also the equal to Bill B. in designing and calling a defense. Is the kid a natural or what? I'm a Giants fan and Jets rooter. He's turning me into a Jets fan too. Viva la QB!

Say what you want, that new stadium looks awesome. It's not the new Yankee Stadium, but it wouldn't surprise me if it pays for itself in 10-15 years. And, what's not to like about short shorts on overhead platforms. Yummy! Giants and Jets really needed a domed stadium. No Superbowl or even college bowl for NYC Metro.

Can the Giants please figure out a 'Go zone, green zone, red zone' offense? They've sucked before Plax and suck after him. This game would have been no contest if they knew what to do. The inability to stop the run doesn't yet concern me. They tend to have one or two games like this per season. The Cowboys linemen look considerably fitter than they have in the past. That looked like the reason for their dominance throughout the game. I'm heartened by the Giants' passing game. No Plax, no Toomer and the receivers are still catching TDs. The 'Our' Steve Smith and Manningham tandem are much better than I'd expected them to be. I think that they need to run more plays to Boss. That should open up the running game by keeping the LBs and DBs at home. Throwing in a couple of screens to Jacobs will also limit the run blitzes. So far this season he appears to have worked hard on improving his pass catching. You don't know what you've had until it's gone. I still miss Tiki's ability and running style. Well at least he saved Coughlin's job and got him to mellow out.

I'm glad they gave you a Happy Birthday George. May the Creator and the good spirits grant you many, many more. Oh, sorry wrong reference. :P. Cheers!
Sep. 21st, 2009 06:09 pm (UTC)
A very happy birthday to you!
Sep. 21st, 2009 06:14 pm (UTC)
Happy Birthday!!!
Sep. 21st, 2009 06:36 pm (UTC)
Happy Birthday, George!
Sep. 21st, 2009 06:36 pm (UTC)
Happy birthday
I know you won't read all the "happy birthday" comments, and that most of them will say the same, so...

Well, we're just forced by our conscience: Really happy birthday to you!
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 21st, 2009 06:56 pm (UTC)
Happy Birthday George! Valar Dohaeris!
Sep. 21st, 2009 07:04 pm (UTC)
I thoroughly approve of the results. A nice birthday present for you.

Now, if the Great Football Gods will be so kind, let the Dolphins win tonight and I'll remain approving.
Sep. 21st, 2009 07:17 pm (UTC)
Happy belated birthday, Mr. Martin! I hope this year is a wonderful one for you!
Sep. 21st, 2009 07:27 pm (UTC)
Happy eleventy-first, then! ;-)
Sep. 21st, 2009 07:54 pm (UTC)
Well, happy birthday!
Sep. 21st, 2009 08:07 pm (UTC)
Hearty Birthday Greetings
1,000,000 happy birthdays!

I was listening to the 5800 songs on my ipod today on shuffle, so occaisionally I got bits and pieces of the Storm of Swords audio book.

Very surreal when it popped up, but very welcome!

Sep. 21st, 2009 08:08 pm (UTC)
Happy Birthday George!
Happy birthday to the most talented, versatile, and entertaining author I have ever had the pleasure of reading!!!

Those were some great outcomes yesterday - my two most hated teams, the Pats and the Cowboys both going DOWN! Awesome!
Sep. 21st, 2009 08:08 pm (UTC)
Happy Birthday.
Good to hear you had a good day doing exactly what you wanted (as should be on your day).
Sep. 21st, 2009 08:11 pm (UTC)
Watching those games yesterday, I just knew that GRRM was doing backflips and that there'd be a post on Monday. Happy Birthday!
Sep. 21st, 2009 08:16 pm (UTC)
Go Giants
Being a Giant fan living in Texas last night was extra sweet.
Happy Birthday George.
Sep. 21st, 2009 08:37 pm (UTC)
Happy, happy birthday,
That is our wish to you.
We wish it was our birthday,
So we could party too! HEY!


Sep. 21st, 2009 08:37 pm (UTC)
Since Frodo turns 33 today, taken altogether, you make one gross.
Many happy returns of the day!
Sep. 21st, 2009 08:45 pm (UTC)
Happy birthday. Mr.Martin As the Beatles said. The love you make is equal to the love you take. So may you spread as much joy and magic as you feel today.
Sep. 21st, 2009 08:54 pm (UTC)
Hope this birthday was the best yet!

And while the win over the Cowboys may not have been text book clean, it was at least exciting! Makes for a better birthday surprise that way. :)
Sep. 21st, 2009 08:57 pm (UTC)
The Mannings shouldn't play football, their robots.
Well, I've wanted to make a livejournal account for a while and I knew that after the game I would have to. It was an awesome game up until the end, if Romo would have got the ball back with just a minute left it could have ended very differently. The problem with Romo is he has a crapload of talent but seems to get distracted by things(such as girls, vacations, or a flock of birds flying overhead). The thing about the Mannings is they have a crapload of talent and don't get distracted by shit. I am a huge cowboys fan, but also a fan of both the Mannings, so it's tough to watch games like the one last night. The Cowboys defense did a great job I thought, and the offense did as well, except for that guy throwing the ball who kept getting the Giants defense mixed up with his recievers.(Hey, they both wear blue, it's an easy mistake to make) So George, you won this one, but the Cowboys will rise again. They have to be the best team, just look at the size of their stadium. It's like the Superdome on Extenze. Seriously though, it was a good game, congrats to Eli and the Giants.
Sep. 21st, 2009 09:14 pm (UTC)
Hate to say it but Tom Brady's rust totally won the Jets that game.
Sep. 21st, 2009 09:39 pm (UTC)
Happy Birthday!
Happy Birthday indeed. The Manningham play was in no way more freakish than the INT off of Witten's ankle, though. In fact, you can watch every game this season and you'll doubtfully see a more freakish play. Hence the reason why the refs blew the whistle. Hence the reason the refs didn't rob the Giants of anything on that play. Have that play happen 100 times and the refs will blow the whistle every last time, at least they would have before tonight's game. After that play, refs may be more hesitant to do it next time. Doubt it, though.

Justice was served, though, with Manningham's brilliant 'recovery catch' (he should have caught it the first time, of course). All in all, deflected catches served the Giants quite well in this game. The INT off Witten's ankle, Manningham's recovery catch, and the third down conversion tipped pass on the Giants' game-winning drive. Throw in some horrible throws by Romo, and 2-0 happens. Happy Birthday!

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( 203 comments — Leave a comment )


George R.R. Martin
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