Tuesdays With The Sorries

It’s Tuesday so this must be Belgium? Not exactly. Here in Curmudgeon Central, Tuesday means it is time for “Tuesdays With The Sorries”…

Some of the sorry performances in college football from last weekend were not downright embarrassing – such as when Idaho lost 70-0 – but one that jumped out at me was the loss by East Carolina against NC State. East Carolina had upset VA Tech and then WVU before winning a close game at Tulane. They had climbed to #15 in the polls and had been identified as one of the teams that might get into one of the major BCS Bowl games in January. NC State enjoys no such esteem this year; still, ECU found a way to lose on Saturday. Their margin for error in terms of getting to a New Year’s Day game has just been consumed. If they continue to harbor any such aspirations, they will need to blow away everyone else on their schedule – - which they might do because the rest of their schedule is anything but fearsome.

Oregon was supposed to be #17 last Saturday. They lost to Boise State at Oregon. That is not good. What is worse is that Oregon allowed a redshirt freshman QB to throw for 386 yards as a way to lose the game. Bad.

Notre Dame was supposed to be “back” on the basis of two wins to start the season. Last weekend they lost to Michigan State; and in the process, they committed 3 turnovers, missed two field goals and allowed a Spartan running back to gain 201 yards. Not good.

Temple should never have had to play Penn State in the first place but the score of the game, 44-3, may not indicate just how lopsided the game was. Temple gained 16 yards rushing on 28 attempts; that is about 21 inches per carry. Throwing the ball was not all that effective either; they gained only 122 yards in the game. Meanwhile, Penn State gained over 500 yards on offense. Miserable.

Florida State lost to Wake Forest 13-3. Scoring only 3 points is bad enough but the Seminoles committed 7 turnovers and 12 penalties in the game. Horrible.

UCLA came off their 59-0 pasting at the hands of BYU and you might expect the team to have come out fighting. Forget it. They lost at home to Arizona – - a team that had just lost to New Mexico. Very bad.

Tennessee lost to Florida – - again. And this time they managed to score all of 6 points. Ugly.

Rutgers lost to Navy and while that is not a horrid thing to have happen to a team, Rutgers now opens the season at 0-3. In addition, after the QB tossed a late game INT, one of his teammates must have said something to him that was “less than supportive” and perhaps caused a bruise to his self-esteem because the QB took a swing at his teammate on the sidelines. Clearly, a sign of team spirit here. Awful.

Moving up a level to the NFL, the New England Patriots need to be on the list this week. Miami was a 12.5-point underdog in that game and they won the game by 25. Double-digit underdogs sometimes win, but I cannot recall a situation where they won by twice the “double-digit” spread against them. Ronnie Brown had a great day and if all you did was watch the highlights, you might think that is all that Miami did to win the game. Not so. Chad Pennington was 17-20 for 226 yards with no turnovers and no sacks. Very bad.

The Houston Texans suffered a “pancaking” at the hands of the Tennessee Titans. Matt Schaub was harassed into an embarrassing stat line of 17-37 for 188 yards with zero TDs and 3 INTs. Brutal.

The Chicago Bears led the Tampa Bay Bucs by 10 points with 6:38 to play. The Bears’ defense supposedly carries that team. The Bucs’ offense is not awesome. Nonetheless, the Bucs came back to tie the game and then win in OT. Brian Griese – the poster child for “Journeyman QB Status” – threw the ball 67 times in the game, completed 38 of the attempts for 407 yards against a “dominating defense”. Horrid.

The Cleveland Browns appear to be on the verge of demonstrating that their 10 wins last season was indeed a scheduling quirk. The Baltimore Ravens turned two of Derek Anderson’s INTs into touchdowns in less than a minute in the third quarter of the game. Anderson had a bad day but look at the protection he got and you might conclude that there was more blame to be shared there. Anderson was 14-37 on the day gaining 125 yards. He was sacked 4 times and threw 3 INTs. His passer rating was an embarrassing 22.9. Putrid.

Now we get to the usual suspects in “Tuesdays With The Sorries”. The Detroit Lions gave up 130 yards rushing to Frank Gore and 370 yards of offense to the 49ers. The Lions’ defense has given up 113 points so far this year; that puts them on a pace to give up 603 points for the season, which would surpass the NFL record for most points allowed in a season by 70 points. Awful.

The KC Chiefs started their third different QB in three games; I cannot recall any team ever doing that in the past. Rookie Tyler Thigpen started out the game 1-10 for minus-1 yards passing; his first completion for a gain was in the second quarter of the game. After that first completion for a gain, he threw his second INT of the day. He later threw another INT, which was returned for a TD by the Falcons. Shudder…

Not wanting to be left out, the St Louis Rams played their way into today’s rant. In the process, QB, Marc Bulger, was held to less than 200 yards passing for the third straight game this season. The previously winless Seattle Seahawks won comfortably 37-13. The Rams are 0-3; they are losing games by an average of almost 30 points this season. The Rams’ defense has been even more pathetic than the Lions’ defense mentioned above. The Rams are on pace to allow 618 points this season which would surpass the NFL record for most points allowed in a season by 85 points. Fetid.

Finally, here is a comment by Bears’ kicker, Robbie Gould, to the Chicago Tribune on the subject of what the final team cut downs meant. Remember this the next time you hear how a football team is like a family:

“There will be a lot more room on the plane.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports…

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  • Rich  On September 23, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    Curmudgeon: If the Dodgers don’t make the playoffs this year you could have ‘Tuesdays With Torre’ as a spinoff to ‘Tuesdays With the Sorries’. He hasn’t missed the postseason this millenium…..

  • The Sports Curmudgeon  On September 23, 2008 at 10:19 pm

    If the Dodgers don’t win the sorry-assed NL West, Joe Torre should be terminally sorry…

  • Tony  On September 24, 2008 at 8:03 am

    I had the “pleasure” of watching FSU/Wake and I have to say that the Deacons looked almost as sorry as the ‘Noles. Despite being handed the ball approximately every eight minutes, they scored no touchdowns (it was 12-3, not 13-3), missed three field goals and fumbled the ball away on the FSU 2 yard line…

  • The Sports Curmudgeon  On September 24, 2008 at 10:19 am


    You are correct. The score was 12-3 and there were no TDs in the game. Wake Forest did not cover themselves in glory in that game, but compared to the bed-wetting performance by FSU, they were stellar.

    Remember, the NINTH place team in the ACC is going to play in the new Congressional Bowl game in DC on Dec 20. Wake is in the upper echelon of the ACC. So, will you be boking a flight to DC to watch the ninth place ACC team play anyone in December in DC? I hope not.

  • Rich  On September 24, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    Curmudgeon: Your thoughtful, and apt reuse of the word ‘fetid’ brings back to mind memories of Shea Stadium and the public restrooms therein.
    A few weeks back you wrote something about NFL teams starting seasons on the road, and doubted if any had started their first four ‘away’. I remember rooting for the Jets back in the Namath era, and recall that the Mets would sometimes pull rank at the end of the baseball season and insist the Jets play on the road so as not to chew up the baseball field in September.
    I checked the 1969 Jets season record and found that they played their first five games on the road that season.
    How’s that for treatment of a Super Bowl Championship team?
    Enough to drive Broadway Joe to drink…….

  • The Sports Curmudgeon  On September 24, 2008 at 4:49 pm


    That is quite an accomplishment for the ’69 Jets. Five game road trips in football are very difficult – - especially in a 14 game season.

    Note that was before the NFL/AFL merger; I doubt a baseball team would try to “pull rank” like that today in a shared facility.

    In all the hoopla about the demise of Yankee Stadium this year, the end-of- life for Shea has gone pretty much unnoticed. Maybe that is because no one wants to jinx the Mets move to a new stadium; Shea is THAT bad.

    Even when Veterans’ Stadium was still polluting the MLB landscape, I always thought Shea was just as bad – if not a bit dirtier.

  • Rich  On September 25, 2008 at 6:01 pm

    Curmudgeon: When the Jets finally came home that year they played their next seven games at home. It may be a good idea to make it a league policy to schedule the Super Bowl champs’ first four or five games on road in the future, for ‘parity’s’ sake.

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