Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Make English The Official Language Of The Super Bowl, 2011 Edition

Planto English persona lingua of Eximius Scaphium.
That’s Latin for “Make English the official language of the Super Bowl.” This is Hog Heaven's/Running Redskins' annual plea to bring some good, old fashioned American values to the American game by banning an even more old fashioned value from the Super Bowl.  
Roman numerals are the reason Latin is a dead language. Those old Romans needed four or more characters to express what we say with two or three. Just try to calculate the XI percent sales tax on a Super Bowl ticket (MMV Talents). No wonder the Barbarians sacked Rome.
They don’t even use Latin in Italy anymore.
I speak as a Catholic former altar boy of the old Latin Rite who flunked freshman Latin in high school. It was traumatic; an anchor on my grade point average that mocks me still. Hated it!
Super Bowl Ex-El-Vee? Can’t we just say Super Bowl 45? Or Super Bowl 2011? Or anything that makes sense?
Roman numerals haven’t made sense since the fall of the empire, much less since Super Bowl III. Does the NFL record scores in Roman Numerals? NO! NFL.com can’t fit “Saints XXXI, Colts XVII” in those little boxes in the box score.
And don’t even ask about stats. Did you know that in Super Bowl Ex-El-Eye-Vee Drew Brees was XXXII of XXXIX for CCLXXXVIII yards and II touchdowns?
Did EA Sports, who shapes so much of our modern view of football, introduce Madden XI? NO! They did Madden 11. You can’t sell Madden Ex-Eye to anybody. Surely, the NFL is as market savvy as EA Sports. Surely they can make their showcase game easier to understand than the CBA. If not, they should just cancel next season.
Oh. Wait....

This is America. We are Americans. We follow American football. Our numbering system is Arabic, but that's not the point. Can we express the American title of the American football championship in numbers Americans can read? Can we do it sometime before Super Bowl L?
In the Age of Madden, planto English persona lingua of Eximius Scaphium.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Washington will close the season as Giant-Killers

By every measure of logic, the New York Giants should have their way with the Washington Redskins when the teams meet Sunday at FedEx field. But there's a fly in the ointment. The mindsets of these two teams are moving in opposite directions since their Week 13 meeting. Back then, the Redskins were in continuous shock by Shananigans and the Giants were flying high at 8-4. New York's future was in their hands.
Both New York and Washington have gone 1-3 since then. Now, the Giants are in shock and the Redskins stabilized with holes plugged by hungry young guys playing for the chance of a lifetime.
Last week, the Jaguars, without RB Maurice Jones-Drew, were seven point favorites over the Redskins and lost. Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw are disgustingly healthy for the Giants, yet New York is only 4 point favorites over a six-win team they beat eight of the last nine times they've played. The gambling sharps have figured out that the Redskins are going to give you a game with the outcome in doubt until late fourth quarter. The Giants perhaps are not sure of their post-season even if they win. They could be one-and-done even if they make the postseason.
Washington still has to show that it can stop elite runners. Anthony Bryant has shown himself to be a capable nose tackle. December is a tad late for DC Jim Haslett to discover that. OLB Brian Orakpo's probable return helps, although DE Adam Carriker and ILB London Fletcher have bigger roles in run defense. If I were New York OC Kevin Gilbride, I would pound the ball at Washington and not allow QB Eli Manning to throw more than 10 times.
The Redskins offense is all about Rex Grossman. Washington's receivers do seem to find openings in Kyle Shanahan's offense. Head Coach Mike Shanahan is testing the trade-off of Donovan McNabb's mobility against Grossman's better reads and slightly better accuracy to extend drives. Grossman turns the ball over more than McNabb, with more of those turnovers turning into points for the other guys.
Grossman has one good game and one so-so game in his audition as starter. His tie-breaker is Sunday. He has no interest in handing the ball off to a rusher. He wants to throw and Shanahan wants him to throw. The risk for Washington is that they don't allow the rushers much more than 10 attempts against the Giants.
It's odd, but the Redskins have more incentive to win than the Giants. I say the Redskins will win this game by three. My Magic 8-Ball disagrees ("My sources say No.")