Monday, April 5, 2010

...And we're back.

Whew, that was some kinda layoff (Rochester's short post aside), huh?

You might ask yourself, "What was it that finally inspired Buddy to log into his account?" It might be reasonable to think I'd finally decided to comment on the Super Bowl (way to go, Saints!), but nope. It was a story so nuts, I'd've expected it to be posted last Thursday:

Donovan McNabb to the motherfucking Redskins! Guzzah whaaaa?!?

It's conventional wisdom* that when trading players - especially franchise players, especially especially franchise quarterbacks - a general manager will try to avoid trading within the Conference, but will avoid at all costs trading within the Division. In fact, there's a pretty obvious recent precedent for this sort of thing. If the Redskins were hot for McNabb, the Eagles should have dealt him to an AFC team where he'd play for a year, get released, and then sign with Washington. (Of course, the AFC front-runner here was the Raiders, and by accounts, if McNabb had been traded to the Raiders, he'd have retired. ...Of course, then he could have tried the old Junior Seau fake out retirement end around.)

The thing that really boggles the mind is that, even if partially magnified by the Liberal Jew East Coast Bias Mainstream Sports Media, the blood in the NFC East is as bad as any other NFL Division from the top down. While I'm certainly biased in my opinion of the Greatest Rivalry in football (if not all sports), and each division is going to have some rivals, it seems that every NFC East team (and their fans) hates every other NFC East team (and there fans) almost equally. (For frame of reference, as a Packers fan, I hate hate the Bears, strongly dislike the Vikings - Vikings fans that claim Green Bay/Minnesota is now a better rivalry than the Packers and the Bears are almost adorable in their delusion - and don't have much of an opinion of the Lions.)

Needless to say, the two Redskins/Eagles games will be required viewing next season (even though, like last year's Packers/Vikings match-ups, they'll be waaaaaay over-hyped), and you're crazy if you think the NFL isn't going to do everything they can to have them on Sunday and/or Monday night.

But, yeah, the McNabb trade isn't the only thing to have happened in football in the past couple months. The big event, of course, was the Super Bowl. And, hey, pretty good game. (Which makes two straight memorable Super Bowls; keep it up, NFL!) While the lasting image will be Tracy Porter high-stepping for thirty yards into the end zone with his game-clinching interception, I'll be remembering, almost as fondly, a cornucopia of Cathleen's seven layer dip, and cheese curds and summer sausage shipped from Wisconsin. (I'll admit I ordered them with the hopes of seeing Green Bay in the game, but having them on hand was a helluva consolation.)

The only other really big free agent move was the Bears signing Julius Peppers. Time will tell how much gas Peppers has left in the tank, the move is remarkable because of the size of the contract offered by the traditionally stingy Bears.

* You know, now that I mention it, a lot of times "conventional wisdom" becomes conventional because it's repeated many times by many people, but what exactly makes it wisdom? Look, for a second, at the oft-repeated assertion that the first play after a turnover is a good time to take a shot downfield. If you watch a decent amount of football on Saturdays and Sundays, September through January, I'll be you'd hear that said a half dozen times a weekend. In fact, I think we've heard it so much that Rochester and I stick to that rule of thumb when we play football video games. The thing is: Is it even true? I mean, I get that, in theory, a defense might be ill-prepared since they weren't necessarily planning on being back on the field at that moment, but in practice, is there any data to suggest that "downfield shots" on plays following turnovers are more successful than similar plays in any other scenario? Well, get on it, nerds!

Feel the excitement, Redskins fans!