An interesting tidbit from the college football landscape: former Notre Dame laughingstock Charlie Weis has been hired as the head coach at the University of Kansas. Pops oughta get a kick out of that one. After all, he had a field day with Kansas's previous coach who was a little on the obese side, Mark Mangino. While watching a Kansas game a couple of years back, Pops quietly thumbed through a "1001 Funny Jokes" book for about ten minutes before declaring to the living room, "Mangino's so fat, he eats Wheat THICKS!"
On to Lions football.
What if I were to tell you the Detroit Lions would be 8-5 in mid-December and in total control of their playoff destiny, is that something you might be interested in? Carson Palmer had better keep his head on a swivel, cuz' you know crazy the nDominator can get!
Until I can think of a few more Entourage references to squeeze out, I'd better continue. I've gotta say, I'm feeling very good about how the DTLs stack up against Oakland, despite their solid 7-6 record. After all, this is the same team that Tim "the Tool Man" Tebow beat by two touchdowns a month ago. How can you lose by two touchdowns to a team who requires supernatural intervention from their quarterback's Lord and Savior to even score two touchdowns in most of their games? And if you'll allow me to go off on a tangent relating to divine intervention in sporting events, what was up with Christopher Lloyd's "rules" in the movie "Angels in the Outfield"? The angels weren't allowed to help the Angels win their final pennant-clinching game against the White Sox ("Championships must be won on their own"), but they were allowed to practically hand talentless Angels to about 70 games in a row to even put them in that position to begin with? That just seems inconsistent and has never sat well with me. And besides, who blackmailed Danny Glover and Tony Danza into signing on for that movie anyway?
Let's talk Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer, the lesser known brother of Jessemon Palmer of "The Bachelor" fame. In case you all weren't watching ESPN this summer, Carson Palmer caused a bit of a disruption for his old team, the Cincinnati Bengals. Palmer didn't feel like playing for the Bengals anymore, so he stopped trying, threatening to retire rather than play another season in Cincinnati. Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes did that same thing once when his parents forced him to shovel the walkway path to the front door of their house. Calvin left huge clumps of snow blocking the path every few steps, proclaiming in the last panel, "Sometimes if you do a job poorly enough, you don't ever get asked to do it again!" Carson Palmer certainly did the job poorly enough last year for the 4-12 Bengals, but even so they asked him to do the job again, it caused a huge commotion when he just stopped showing up in Cincinnati because he didn't want to be there. Eventually, his demands were appeased and he ended up in Oakland, throwing 3 interceptions in his first 30 minutes of action this year. While his numbers have improved considerably since then, he still isn't really the type of quarterback that has given the Lions D too many problems this year. Like perhaps, I don't know, a good one. If the front four gives the amount of pressure that has come to be expected from them, Carson is screwed. With his concrete feet, he certainly isn't going to escape a rush and spin any Webb-like runs. Joe, not Spud. If you're comparing quarterbacks, I'll take Stafford over Carson Palmer any day of the week, if only because Staff was on the team that allowed this to happen.
At 7-6, Oakland is fighting for their playoff lives in this game, maybe even moreso than the DTLs. A loss would be devastating to their chances of winning the division over Timmy and the Broncos. So while they arguably need a win more than the Lions this week, on paper the Lions are the superior team, and as I've been saying all year, just need to take care of business and they will be OK. In their two games against AFC West teams this season, the DTLs have thus far outscored the division a combined 93-13. The only touchdown they've given up in these two games was a garbage time Halloween treat to Timmy's anorexic offense. The achilles heel all year for the H-Bromos has been penalties, we all know this. However, Oakland gets called for even more penalties than the Lions, so the discipline intangible should be about even for both teams. To quote my old English teacher, Mr. _____, it will probably "be a good day to invest in little...yellow...FLAYGGS." I hope I don't get in trouble with the SEC (the government SEC, not the college football one) for divulging that nugget of insider trading information.
I've engaged in a fair amunt of AFC West bashing at the office to my Broncos fan co-worker in some old fashioned water cooler trash talk. I already lost a bet that the DTLs would win more games combined this year than the Broncos and Panthers (his favorite teams). I hope I'm not made a fool of again this weekend. But from what I've seen, even at their worst, the Lions still have a better team than the Raiders. That's just what I see having watched each team a considerable amount throughout the season. I expect the same in this late afternoon matchup that I'll be able to catch the final three quarters of (You got me until 3 o'clock Nitch?).
My friend in Boston said that despite Oakland having a solid squad, if you're really a playoff team, this is the type of game you should be winning. Couldn't agree with him more. So come Sunday afternoon, let's all plop down on the nearest couch, pop open a box of Wheat Thicks, and cheer our DTLs on to victory number nine!