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Football Is Back

The NFL regular season is upon us. And with it, the agony and the ecstasy.

I got a taste of both yesterday from my two teams.

The Jets ripped my guts out and stomped on them with an agonizing one-point loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in the morning game, as the Jets have a habit of doing. But in the afternoon game, the Giants made me smile and whoop and cheer with a rousing one-point win over the Dallas Cowboys.

A single point was the difference in both games. The difference between joy and despair.

Ah, we sports fans are a strange and peverse bunch. It really makes no difference whatsoever to my life whether my teams win or lose... yet somehow it makes a vast difference to my mood. And these close games are going to kill me, I swear. Even that wonderful Giants victory could easily have become a second agonizing defeat, if a certain Dallas wideout had cut right instead of left when he caught the game's final pass from the rookie Cowboy qb.

Fwiw, the Jet defense looked formidable even in defeat, sacking Bengals qb Andy Dalton seven times. How Gang Green managed to lose the game despite that boggles belief, but after decades as a Jets fan, I am used to being boggled.

The Giants defense was not nearly as impressive... but given that last year Big Blue had the worst defense in the NFL, I still have to give them props. I had rather hoped the Giant offense would rack up hundreds of passing yards against a weak Dallas D and crush the boys, but that did not happen, alas. Still, they played well enough to win. Odell is still amazing, the rookie wideout Shepard looks like the real deal, but the real highlight of the day for me was seeing Victor Cruz catch a touchdown pass and do his salsa dance. Cruz is one of my favorite Giants of all time, a true Cinderella story, and a lot of people thought he would never make it back after his devastating injury two years ago. It was so great to see him dancing.

Ah, well. A long season awaits. More agony, more ecstasy.

P.S. I love Chris Berman, but NFL COUNTDOWN, long my favorite pregame show, is not the same without Tom Jackson. I missed Mike Ditka and Chris Carter too, but Jackson and Berman were the Huntley and Brinkley of sports.



Sep. 12th, 2016 06:40 pm (UTC)
Tommy Jackson
Definitely second your sentiments re: Tom Jackson. As a lifelong Broncos fan I've loved him since I was a kid, and he was the rare great athlete who also was able to mold himself into a great studio presence.

Though I have to say the moment he impressed me the most was when he restrained himself from pummeling Rush Limbaugh over his Donovan McNabb comments.
Katrice Thomas Leach
Sep. 12th, 2016 06:41 pm (UTC)
Ha. Imagine my heartbreak at my Dolphins' loss. At least our defense looks like it's back.
It really was nice to see Victor dancing again. 😊
Sep. 12th, 2016 06:45 pm (UTC)
The Giants aren't looking too bad this year. I think it's a coin toss between them and the Eagles for the NFC East this season -- I'm not just saying that as a Philly fan, either. I think the two teams both looks decent-if-not-great and I can't pick between them. A lot depends on the Eagles' rookie quarterback, though if every game is like his debut yesterday we're going to the third round at least. Even if the Giants don't take the division they have a reasonable shot at the wildcard slot (early days to call the wildcard race, but I think they're probably #3 behind the Cards and Green Bay).

The Jets, well. There's always next year.

Edited at 2016-09-12 06:47 pm (UTC)
Johnny Martell
Sep. 12th, 2016 06:51 pm (UTC)
At least you are not a saints fan. Looks like our defense is still awful and we lost a heart breaker yesterday. Should be easy work for the Giants
Sep. 12th, 2016 06:47 pm (UTC)

Did you watch the Patriots game last night? They are off to a good start sans Brady.

Will we learn how Belicho Staegone does in the Triarch Elections in Volantis? His namesake always has a hard time losing, unless he is eaten by giants. ;)
Sep. 12th, 2016 06:48 pm (UTC)
Hi George, on the subject of football, do you have a favourite English/European football (I.e. Soccer team) that you may have have seen on your travels?
Sep. 12th, 2016 06:55 pm (UTC)
Victor Cruz
George, how great was it to see Victor Cruz salsa dancing in a Giants jersey again?
Dimitri Hrampanis
Sep. 12th, 2016 07:02 pm (UTC)
It could be worse, you could be a Bears fan... and cry yourself to sleep as they miss they continue to miss the playoffs. Speaking of missing, do you know what (who) else is missing? Tyrek Lannister. Will we learn some inkling of his fate? Also, personally, I think you are very pretty.
Sep. 12th, 2016 07:07 pm (UTC)
Larry Fitzgerald's last season.
Fitzgerald is one of the greats and I will be sad to see him go. One of my favorite players.
Sep. 12th, 2016 07:17 pm (UTC)
nfl, NFC East
Carson Wentz about to take the league by storm. Yeah I know it was the Browns we beat, as a Philly fan I know not to get my hopes up too much. Think the Giants are due for another Super Bowl run.
Sep. 12th, 2016 07:22 pm (UTC)
Bittersweet Sunday's
I was excited to see Cruz back out there doing his thing. But, I also really enjoy seeing rookies play well. I didn't have a dog in that race so I was happy with either outcome. It was a great game.

As a Patriots fan I want to see a strong AFC East and real competition. As much as I hate gang green... it's good to see them playing well, even if they didn't come away with the W.

Though, I am both shocked and pleased that there is only one team on top of the AFC East this morning 😉

Here's to another season!
AJ Drisc
Sep. 12th, 2016 07:23 pm (UTC)
Dem Patriots
No Brady, No Gronk, no series of other key players.
Off-season filled with distractions.
Away game against a Superbowl contender.
With a QB starting his first ever NFL game.
And what do they do? Why, they win of course.
Conor Henry
Sep. 12th, 2016 07:28 pm (UTC)
Jets Outlook
As a jets fan, a heartbreaking loss didn't come as a surprise, but I think there is a lot of positives to look forward to this year. I can't believe the jets fans on Facebook calling for Fitz's head and telling Revis to retire. The dline looked great and Forte gives us a huge boost. Revis clearly can't keep up with the elite receivers and will need more safety help, but we outplayed a good Bengals team and could have won (and the patriots would have lost) if not for some missed field goals. Although if we lose to Rex again this Thursday, I will definitely hit the panic button.
Berto Cordero
Sep. 12th, 2016 07:29 pm (UTC)
Glad you enjoyed the games, George. My Dolphins ripped my guts out in the most Dolphin way possible. Was pleased to see them be competitive with the Seahawks but alas, 0-1.
Chris Huggins
Sep. 12th, 2016 07:36 pm (UTC)
I used to feel my apthay towards sports was a major disadvatage. When i was younger everyone was playing/ talknig about it, the universal male icebreaker is sport (soccer over here) discussion. But more and more I am thankful that my mood is not dictated by the score of a match ... instead my mood depends on the book/show I am watching ... actually that may not be any better.
Sep. 12th, 2016 07:42 pm (UTC)
and the Pats won too :)
Ismael Martnez Dibene
Sep. 12th, 2016 08:22 pm (UTC)
Please don't die =(
Thursday game was cardiac too, *sigh* and that bad snap in the 3-point kick attempt allowed the NE Patriots win in Arizona. I think the NY Teams will do ok this season, specially the Giants. Meanwhile I can only hope that my Niners don't do another shameful season =(
Sep. 12th, 2016 09:42 pm (UTC)
Enjoy Matt Forte
I'm going to miss him, but he's going to be a great addition to the Jets. He does everything you could ever want from a running back.
Sep. 12th, 2016 09:46 pm (UTC)
Yeah, a 1-point loss is a real punch in the gut.

-a Saints fan
Sep. 12th, 2016 09:58 pm (UTC)
And our football season is nearly over, with the Grand Final two weeks away. Is football a religion in the U.S. as it is here Downunder?
Sep. 12th, 2016 10:11 pm (UTC)
I guess there were a lot of one-pointers yesterday. The Saints lost by one, too. It was agonizing.
Keith Russell Dulak
Sep. 12th, 2016 11:11 pm (UTC)
Why does belichick always seem to have lip herpies?
Stephen Richter
Sep. 12th, 2016 11:27 pm (UTC)
re: Los Angeles has a team, I am no longer a Free agent.
For the past 22 years I have had fun rooting for any team at the start of each season, but now I have the one team I did not want back. Rams will probably bolt the first time the area refuses to built a new stadium with public money. At least I like Coach Fisher so I will root for them while they are here, at least until hockey kicks in.
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 13th, 2016 01:39 am (UTC)
Will take some time for Jets...
Hopefully the Jets offense can get in sync soon. I believe allot of it has to do with Fitzy missing time and Brandon Marshall needing to get comfortable with an ailing hip(that is an injury that just doesn't get better, I know). Forte looked great both running and in the passing game, that will be big throughout the season. AJ Green was a tough draw for Revis Island, not much you can do when a perfect ball is thrown high over a shorter defender, all he can do is jam him. Hopefully it will light a fire under him, legends always bounce back.

Chargers fan myself and we lost Keenan Allen, who I think is every bit as good as your OBJR if only he could stay healthy.

Edited at 2016-09-13 03:07 am (UTC)
Alexander Pendergrass
Sep. 13th, 2016 04:59 am (UTC)
The Lions offense was fantastic, Stafford immaculate, and they managed to win on the road as underdogs. Hurray!
Anthony Gonzalez
Sep. 13th, 2016 06:16 am (UTC)
Are you alright with Kaepernick taking a knee?
Sep. 14th, 2016 12:20 am (UTC)
His right. Free speech and all.
Alex McDonough
Sep. 13th, 2016 07:09 am (UTC)
Us Bengals fans have been raving about the effectiveness of our O-line for the past few years, but yesterday we turned our cloaks. Shout out to the Jets for sacking the Red Rocket seven times... and shout out to AJ Green for showing Reeves how to run a football field. I'd like to see a rematch.
Phil Jonasson
Sep. 13th, 2016 03:08 pm (UTC)
How'd you like Sterling Shepard for the Giants? Their WRs look great so far, and it was nice to see the salsa again, and have such great compliments for OBJ. Their o-line looked a bit stronger than last year, too.

Tough loss for the Jets, but at least Forte looked healthy, and was producing! Too bad Marshall and Fitz couldnt really connect, but they competed with a playoff caliber squad, and came close.

Good luck week 2
Sep. 13th, 2016 03:23 pm (UTC)
Bengal Fan here
I see many Jet fans screaming for the head of Revis, but I don't think you need to call Ilyn Payne quite yet. AJ Green and Antonio Brown are the only two receivers on the schedule that are capable of doing something like that to a defense. Yes, you will see Fitzgerald and a couple other really good wideouts, but nobody outside of those two can completely take over a game.
Sep. 13th, 2016 10:17 pm (UTC)
Sigh... Rams.
When the departure of the Rams was announced, it was anguish. It's not that it was unexpected. The signs were all there, as if they were some form of three-fold revelation strategy. Kroenke gained the ownership, who made his mark on franchises by building new stadiums on privately held land. The Rams contract at the dome was expiring. The poor performance of the team... The instant franchise value boost of being in a larger market... All signs pointed to an LA move but I dreaded the possibility.

And then it happened, and I just wanted to armor my fandom away and wait. I didn't want to think about it. I didn't want to comment on a notablog post about the Rams leaving... I wanted to see how it truly felt once the newly rechristened LA Rams took to opening turf. Would I cheer for them? Would I loathe them? The human fandom in conflict with itself...

Finally, Monday night arrived. I still wasn't ready. And clearly the Rams weren't either.

Any hope that St. Louis would finally see a winning season didn't exist, and the Rams did their best to say "Hey, even if we were still under the Arch, we wouldn't be winning anyway." Despite the move, it had the feel of a classic STL game from the past decade, with nearly identical problems plaguing the team. You think you've hit the bedrock of NFL fandom yet it only takes you to new depths of the human heart.

My only solace from Week One was my QuadbeardSeaworths defeating BryndenBFish's ObjectivelyCorrects in the reddit ASOIAF moderator fantasy league.

Am I still a Rams fan? Maybe. I guess. *sigh*
Sep. 13th, 2016 11:34 pm (UTC)
Re: Sigh... Rams.
It is hard to lose your team, I know.

But the Rams really should be in LA. "St. Louis Rams" never sounded right.

St. Louis should have a team, of course. The Cardinals. "Arizona Cardinals" sounds even worse than St. Louis Rams. There are no cardinals in Arizona.

Arizona should get a new team. The Roadrunners, or something like that. The Wily Coyotes. The Fightin' Cacti.
Jess Dyba
Sep. 13th, 2016 10:34 pm (UTC)
Well, I guess this is payback for the poor clock management loss the Giants got from my Cowboys at the start of last season....

Something tells me this is going to be a long year for some of us.
Maximilian Rubell
Sep. 14th, 2016 02:43 am (UTC)
Do you think the cause of the Jets' poor end zone execution lies moreso with Fitz or with Gailey?

As a Jets fan who all summer was incredibly optimistic for our team this year (even with the tough schedule), I was dismayed by the first game. Our end zone execution and our secondary coverage are far shakier than I thought they would be, and I am terrified for the next 5 weeks.
Jeff Johnson
Sep. 15th, 2016 12:29 am (UTC)
Are you a college football fan too?
Don`t know if you follow the college teams,if you do who`s your team?Gotta say I enjoy the Vol`s games-at least when it`s a decent year.The Battle of Bristol had a heck of comeback and awesome attendance.

Edited at 2016-09-15 12:49 am (UTC)


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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