Some Thoughts on the Football We Have Left

I went to bed while the sun was still up yesterday afternoon. It was likely the result of going to bed late the night before, waking up extremely early that morning, then having to sit through two in-service sessions as opposed to doing whatever I wanted. It’s rough going coming back from break.

It's like she's staring into my soul.

It’s like she’s staring into my soul.

That means I fell asleep before the BCS National Championship game was over. Well, before the clock expired, then. I would like to thank ESPN for gratuitous shots of Katherine Webb (left), aka the Face That Launched a Thousand Web Searches. She’s my new Girlfriend That I Will Never Meet, supplanting Rooney Mara (only in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo character), who only held the title for a single day. What can I say, Rooney, you ran into a buzz saw.

Alabama’s handling of Notre Dame was the latter’s worst nightmare come true. In their return to prominence, nay-sayers had said all along that the ND was overrated, that they were a Pitt field goal away from not even playing in the game. The win – hell, even a close loss – would have validated Notre Dame’s return to the top of the college football landscape. And then last night happened.

Of course there are going to be rumblings (as there already were) that ND didn’t even belong in the BCS Championship, but much like Hawaii’s Sugar Bowl appearance, they got credit for taking care of business all season long. All Kansas State and Oregon had to do was win out. No, ND, no Alabama. But I suppose this is why people love/hate college football with so much intensity.

It could have been worse. I don't know how, but still.

It could have been worse. I don’t know how, but still.

After the Cowboys’ loss to the Redskins last week, I was treated to the following tweet on Twitter:

[Mark] Sanchez is rejection. [Tony] Romo is blueballs.

Clever. Anyway, Joe Webb’s stand-in performance for the injured Christian Ponder this past weekend is exactly why I don’t mind having Tony Romo as the quarterback of my team. Webb was terrible but just about any standard; he curiously insisted on utilizing the unorthodox bounce pass rarely seen in NFL ranks.

The truth is, there are 32 teams in the NFL. Only a small handful of those teams possess “elite” quarterbacks. It’s standard supply and demand. Tony Romo isn’t an elite quarterback, but he’s better than half the quarterbacks in the league. The Cowboys don’t have a better option on the roster. A substantial upgrade isn’t likely through a trade or this year’s draft. For worse or worst, Romo is Dallas’ quarterback.

On one of Bill Simmons’ podcasts this week, he jokingly threw out a Dallas/Kansas City trade: Romo straight up for KC’s first overall pick. The person Simmons was talking with quickly said that KC does that in a heartbeat. Simmons was taken slightly aback, at which point the other speaker made the point, which was something along the lines of “What are you going to do with that number 1 pick? Take the d-lineman from Utah?” He continued: “Who did Dallas have at quarterback before Romo? Drew Bledsoe? Quincy Carter?” This is what irritates me the most about Cowboys fans – or anyone calling for Romo’s head – what’s the alternative? Will Tony Romo ever lead the Cowboys to a Superbowl? Probably not. But it could be – and has been –  a lot worse.

Maybe one last classic shoot-out, guys?

Maybe one last classic shoot-out, guys?

Since I don’t have a horse in the NFL playoff race, the only thing I am rooting for at this point is a Peyton Manning/Tom Brady shoot-out during the AFC Conference Championship. So long as the Ravens and Texans don’t screw things up, that’s where we’re headed.

I think it would be inaccurate to say that either Manning or Brady are still at the peak of their powers. They’ve still got plenty left, though. In my mind, I’m hoping for one of those games with call-and-answer touchdown drives as the cameras cut to sideline shots of both quarterbacks nodding their heads, knowing what must be done. They can leave the defenses on the bus for all I care.

Whatever happens, I’m hoping for one of those games where Manning or Brady has taken their team down the field for the go-ahead score, leaving three minutes on the clock for the other to take one last crack at it. I don’t care who wins, if the game ends up anything close to this, we’ll all have won.

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