Monday, September 11, 2006

NFC East

I apologize to the legions, but I've been busy moving into a house in Philly with 6 televisions, each hooked up to Directv and NFL Sunday Ticket. (Superfan, particularly the Red Zone Channel, may be the most important technological development the world has seen since the invention of the combustion engine). Also, my semester started.

But back to football. I've been involved in at least 4 debates during the last few weeks about the NFC East, crowned the "best" or "strongest" division in football by jingoistic Giants fans (and the jingoistic NY media). My contention has been, and remains, that the notion of the NFC East as any sort of powerhouse is total bullshit.

I could end up being wrong, of course, but for now I'll just revel in Week 1, as three of the four teams fell on their asses and got beaten by teams from outside the division. Yeah, the Colts and the Jags were very good last year, but the Vikings and Texans weren't. Bottom line: an impressive ass-whupping was delivered to the over-hyped, over-exposed darlings of the East Coast. Let's hope it continues.

Meanwhile, the Bengals (who dey!) scored a convincing victory over the Chiefs, who must be wondering why on earth they were willing to give up anything - anything - for head Coach Herman Edwards. The guy is a total dolt who has was largely granted a free pass by the NY media because he is both nice and black. Unfortunately for the Chiefs, those two qualities do not correlate with winning in the NFL (though they may coincide, as Marvin Lewis will continue to prove).

Tough break on the Trent Green injury, which is awful. I know this will sound biased (from a Bengals fan), but here is how the play looked to me. The defender (Gathers) left his feet while Green was still upright and running, intending to tackle Green in the midriff area. As Gathers flew through the air, Green left his feet to slide, such that his head was in the spot where his body had been a split-second earlier; as a result, the full weight of Gathers's shoulder-tackle crushed Green's head rather than a less vulnerable part of his body. Let's hope Green has a speedy recovery.

And finally, for all those interested, I am scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled "The Birds and the Babes: The Structure and Rhetoric of Psalm 8" at this year's conference of the Society for Biblical Literature - Washington, D.C., November 20. I suggest purchasing tickets in advance, as they probably will not last long.


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