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Monday Morning Quarterback (Thoughts From A Football Weekend)

by Paul Semendinger

January 17, 2021


I spent (and enjoyed) my weekend time watching some of the Wild Card games.

The following are just random thoughts and observations as I watched:

I was rooting for the Bengals, and they won. I didn’t know much about Joe Burrow but he was fun to root for. I like how he and his wide receiver, Ja’Marr Chase, were college teammates at LSU. I can’t think of any other combination of players who played in college and the NFL together. I also can’t think of any from baseball.

It would be real fun if one day a college pitcher and catcher teamed up in the big leagues.

In the Saturday night game, I was rooting for the Patriots over the Bills. I want Bill Belichick to win without Tom Brady and I want Tom Brady to win without Bill Belichick. I don’t like the narratives that go, “He was only great because of …” No, they’re both great.

The Bills CRUSHED the Patriots. I stuck around only for the start of the game, the first half, but boy were the Bills good.

I can’t watch baseball (read Yankees games, because primarily that’s all I watch) without being emotionally involved. The Yankees have to win. When they don’t, it’s not fun for me. Most often I don’t feel that way with football games. As such, I can better appreciate teams that play great football. And boy did the Bills play great football. The results weren’t what I was hoping for, but it was fun to see a team playing so well.

Longtime readers here will know that what frustrates me to no end with the Yankees of today, the Boone-Era Yankees, is that they do not play a good brand of fundamental baseball. Even when they win, they don’t look good. Sloppy playing just isn’t fun for me to watch – and all too often the Yankees brand of baseball is sloppy. I hope that changes in 2022.

I know people don’t like success and rally against it, but, in sports, is there anything more impressive than Tom Brady? Who would have ever thought he would do what he’s done. He is obliterating all football records and standards not for excellence, but for greatness. The guy is 44-years-old and plays like he’s twenty years younger.

I am doing my best to appreciate every play Tom Brady makes because we’ll all be saying of the next great quarterbacks, “Yeah, he’s very very good, but he’s not Tom Brady.”

Jack Buck and Troy Aikman call a great game. My favorite announcers for football are Al Michaels and Chris Collinsworth, but Buck and Aikman come in second. Good announcers make games enjoyable to listen to. They don’t take away from the game. Too often the YES announcers for the Yankees take away from the game with their silly chatter. It’s just not enjoyable to listen to. This is especially true when they start talking about themselves and their inside jokes. I don’t want to hear their banter, I want them to talk about the game I’m watching.

It’s amazing how many betting apps there now are. It’s only a matter of time before there’s a scandal about someone getting tens of millions of dollars to throw a game and a championship (in a sport, not necessarily baseball or football) is brought into question because of a fix or players or a referee throwing the game. Money is often the root of evil and greed also does bad things to people. There is so much money in betting that it’s going to negatively impact sports. And once the damage is done, games will be questioned forever, or for a very long time after.

Once a sport’s integrity is lost, the sport itself, the whole purpose for watching, is ruined.

When it happens, pundits all over will say, “I can’t believe this happened.” All they have to do right now is open their eyes. It’s coming, we just don’t know when.

The end of the Cowboys vs 49ers game was a disaster. There was great excitement, but there were also, by my count (maybe I missed a few) 45,000 penalties in the last few minutes. Then there was questions over a spot and a first down and I think it took them no shorter than 35 minutes to measure and re-measure and then to play the down and then have another penalty anyway. I’m glad baseball games don’t have those issues.

I did not enjoy Tony Romo’s announcing. My goodness did he get worked up (mostly very positive) if things seemed to be going well for the Cowboys. And for a while, it seemed that everything was conspiring to allow for a Cowboys win. Alas! The San Francisco players won.

Boy, the Chiefs are good. Again, it’s great watching great football. The game got late though, and it was in the bag, so I went to sleep.

Next week should be fun. It’s great when there is a sport that runs and doesn’t lock out the fans. Hummmmmmm…..


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