Patriots provide their own asterisk

In this sea­son of Spy­gate, the New Eng­land Patri­ots seemed dri­ven to crush all oppo­nents in order to prove to the crit­ics that they could win with­out cheat­ing. They near­ly did it. But pro­po­nents of an aster­isk being placed on what could have been a per­fect, unde­feat­ed sea­son, should be sat­is­fied. The one loss pro­vides enough of a mark of shame. (Mind you, I firm­ly believe all the teams video­tape the oppos­ing play callers, which is why the NFL swept this thing under the rug.)

I am a fan of the Patri­ots, and I am sad they lost, but they did not deserve to win that game. With the excep­tion of that final dri­ve in the fourth quar­ter, they couldn’t have beat­en the (no offense) Dol­phins last night.

Con­grat­u­la­tions to the New York Giants, who played like Giants among men. Maybe now you’ll get your own sta­di­um, and you can stop play­ing in Jer­sey.

This game is proving hard to watch

Third quar­ter. This is awful. KU is play­ing like the team they were last year. Mis­souri is play­ing as adver­tised. I have offered a cou­ple of times to stop watch­ing and put on this week’s Sur­vivor instead. A Miz­zou fan holds up the best sign of the game, “Kansas Foot­ball, a Tra­di­tion since Sep­tem­ber.” I can laugh at it because it’s fun­ny. The KU radio guys are say­ing that KU has to be per­fect from here on out to win. The score is 28–7 Mis­souri, and my wife adds, “And what, Mis­souri is going to have to go home?”

The anticipation is killing me

I haven’t been so excit­ed and ner­vous about a foot­ball game since… a long time… maybe since John Elway won his first Super­bowl in 1997 (you can’t blame me, my wife’s fam­i­ly is Bron­co fan-atic, and real­ly, he deserved it). If KU wins, it’ll be because of their defense. None of the pre-game dis­cus­sion of Mis­souri has talked about their defense, so I’m assum­ing they have one, but it isn’t much to go on about (at least not to a bewil­dered nation­al audi­ence still try­ing to fig­ure out if Kansas City is in Mis­souri or Kansas). Oy, it’s Brent Mus­burg­er.

Not Since 1899

Damn. The Kansas Jay­hawks foot­ball team is now 10–0. They have not had a record this good since 1899. That’s more than a hun­dred years ago.

I’ve been reluc­tant to talk much about these games (nary a word about the thrash­ing of Nebras­ka last week­end, aren’t you proud?) because I am, at heart, a super­sti­tious man. Do you hear me, Mom, don’t you dare watch any of these games!

Okay, so, we start­ed lis­ten­ing to the game on the radio (you can’t beat local radio guys, man) while we were putting the boys to bed. Then we turned the TV on, and watched Brent Mus­burg­er and his part­ner talk about all kinds of things except the game. Sev­er­al series went by while they chat­ted about Ohio State’s loss to Illi­nois, the Big Ten, the big Okla­homa State donor they were going to have on lat­er… so we stopped lis­ten­ing to them. We got a radio from the bed­room and plugged it in to lis­ten to a cou­ple of guys who were actu­al­ly both­er­ing to watch the game in front of them.

The game was excit­ing, no doubt, espe­cial­ly when Okla­homa State scored a cou­ple of times on quick long pass­es, but they came through in the end. A lit­tle luck, a key injury on the oth­er side (you hate to see that) and some excel­lent plays, and we’re 10–0.

Wow. It is safe to say, even if we crash and burn against Iowa State next week­end, that I have nev­er had a col­lege foot­ball sea­son like this one. It’s fun.

A cou­ple of notes:

  • KU leads the nation in kick­off returns. One of the radio guys asked, after our return­er brought one back past the 50-yard line, “Why would any­one kick to him?”
  • Brent Mus­burg­er is mak­ing a smooth tran­si­tion into grumpy-old-man, with a com­ment to Adar­ius Bow­man on the side­lines gri­mac­ing at the cam­era shad­ow­ing his injury walk, “You play on Sun­day, you bet­ter get used to the cam­eras, young man.” Next for Mus­burg­er, a shot­gun and a rock­ing chair.
  • Doug Flu­tie has got to be tired of get­ting every small quar­ter­back who runs for his life out of the pock­et com­pared to him. He does speak with author­i­ty when talk­ing about final-sec­ond vic­to­ries, though.
  • Mark Mangi­no (KU’s coach) has nev­er seen a two point con­ver­sion that he didn’t like. The feel­ing does not appear to be mutu­al.
  • The mid-third-quar­ter lec­ture on flu­id dynam­ics was inter­est­ing. Not.
  • Wire­less radio com­mu­ni­ca­tions do not pre­vent Mangi­no from hav­ing a cable boy. Instead of mak­ing sure the coach doesn’t trip on the long cable allow­ing him to talk to the coach­es up in the booth, this cable boy gets to hold the radio box… because Mangi­no just doesn’t want to hang it on his belt? That job has got to suck.