I don’t have an NFL team. Ever since the teams of my childhood, Eric Dickerson’s Rams and Marcus Allen’s Raiders, both left Los Angeles, I don’t cheer for anyone. I stick with College Football and catch the pro games peripherally.
Still, despite my lack of full engagement, this NFL week seemed a little odd to me. And, as I write this, there are still games going on. No doubt, we will see other craziness. Check this:
1. Is it possible to run 104 yards and not score a touchdown? Yes:
Percy Harvin returned a kickoff 104 yards, but his well-known speed was not enough to get him in the end zone. To make it worse, the Vikings could not capitalize on that near perfect field position. Christian Ponder was sacked, and then Harvin and Toby Gerhart could not get in the end zone. The Vikings turned the ball over on downs, showing in a single drive just why Minnesota is 2-9.
2. Ndamukong Suh is a dirty player. In his latest infraction, he stomped a player. In a questionnaire (Sporting News polled 111 NFL players from 31 teams) on the dirtiest players in the league, he won. No wonder:
Ndamukong Suh will receive at least a two-game suspension for stomping on the arm of Green Bay Packers offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith during the Detroit Lions Lions Thanksgiving day loss, ESPN reported Sunday.
Hey Ndam, I don’t care that Ndamukong means “House of Spears.” You lack sportsmanship. Your sponsors better be aware:
Before Suh was even drafted by an NFL team, he signed an endorsement deal with Nike. Suh has also signed endorsement deals with Subway, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Omaha Steaks, and Chrysler.
Why are they supporting him?
3. I like soccer, but I hate the fake injuries. It has gotten to point where I do not believe any of them. None. If someone gets hurt, tough. Soccer players are the boys who cried wolf, over and over again. I rarely see this in football. But every now and then, a flop pops up. This one from the Bengals:
Jerome Simpson has been a crucial part of Cincinnati’s resurgence this season. Coming into today’s game, he had three 100+ yard games and is one of Andy Dalton’s favorite targets. As shown on this play late in the first half of the Bengals 23-20 win over the Browns, he is also quite a skilled actor.
4. I am truly sorry to report this. I have suffered this particular setback before, so I feel for Nick Novak. The San Diego Charger was minding his own business, when the call of nature tapped him on the shoulder.
5. In some “not odd” news, Tim Tebow pulled out another one. I never wanted to like him, but he is rapidly becoming someone I cheer for, no matter what. I hear whispers of people running him down, such as Jake “the Snake” Plummer. Well, Tim Tebow set a modern day record:
With four minutes left in the first half, Tebow completed his first pass. So it only stood to reason that, down by that degree and in a situation where they’d generally had to pass like crazy to get back in the same stratosphere as San Diego’s high-powered offense, Tebow would run the ball at a historic pace, Philip Rivers would have one of the worst games of his up-and-down season, and the Broncos would somehow pull out another victory?
Well, whether it makes sense or not, that’s precisely what happened.
Tebow ran the ball 22 times for 67 yards — according to STATS, LLC, the most rushing attempts by a quarterback since at least 1950, the Chargers’ offense shut down, the Broncos kept kicking field goals after Tebow’s 18-yard touchdown pass to Eric Decker with less than a minute in the first half, and Matt Prater kicked the winning field goal with just 33 seconds left in overtime.
Read this article on Tim being a modern day folk hero:
The values he embodies are an almost perfect counter to the nation’s sour and defeatist mood. He is relentlessly polite and optimistic, ferociously hardworking, and committed beyond all else to the idea of team over self.
6. Without Peyton Manning, the Colts are winless. The Colts! Is one player worth that much? Yes, apparently so.
7. Let’s not forget Melissa Kellerman, the Dallas Cowboy cheerleader, who got tackled by Jason Witten. I posted on her earlier and received a steady trickle of google inquiries to my site. Melissa Kellerman Jewish, were the search terms. (There were other ones as well, sportfans. You know who you are.) As for an answer, I do not know.
8. Chicago Bear Caleb Hanie spiked the ball improperly and got a penalty, along with a ten-second deduction from the play clock. And that ended the game in the dwindling moments of the Bears versus the Raiders.
9. Don’t mock other players. It could come back to haunt you as Stevie Johnson discovered after a TD celebration:
So far this season we’ve seen a Detroit Lions defender celebrate a sack of Tim Tebow by Tebowing. We’ve seen Maurice Jones-Drew imitate LeBron James’ chalk toss in front of a stunned crowd in Cleveland. But as far as mocking football celebrations go, none was as vicious as Stevie Johnson shooting himself in the leg and then acting like a plane crashing into the ground while playing against Plaxico Burress and the New York Jets.
Johnson was penalized fifteen yards and expects either a fine or a suspension from Roger Goodell. “It was very stupid by me,” Johnson told NFL Network’s Albert Breer. “I feel like it cost us the game.”
These were incidents that popped into the news cycle. I was not looking for anything weird. What did I miss?