Sometimes I'm actually not unintelligent. I actively planned my JetBlue flight home to the Pacific Northwest on a Monday night so that the MNF telecast would eat up 3+ hours of the transcontinental flight. Then some reading, a little Conan and Colbert, and I'm home. It's a shame that this kind of foresight only happens once every three years or so.
• My iPod and headphones have mysteriously disappeared. I have to use the free airline headphones. They’re embarrassing-looking, poorly constructed, and largely worthless… kind of like the Detroit Lions.
• Jack Del Rio looks okay in a suit. Certainly better than Tom Coughlin on the opposite sideline. But Mike Nolan he is not.
• Michele Tafoya is missing this week. Must be her turn for Botox.
• Bob Whitfield, famous for loving the thick saddle of this site’s Patron Saint, starts at tackle. Oh please oh please oh please somebody make Suzy interview him.
• I’m reading What is the What, the new novel by Dave Eggers. It’s a harrowing and heartbreaking story of a Sudanese refugee who fled the country’s civil war, spent a decade in refugee camps, then came to America, where he got robbed and dealt with the murder of his girlfriend. It’s a nice bit of perspective that takes the edge off of listening to Joe Theismann. Because in all fairness, I’d rather listen to Joey T than walk naked through the jungle starving, running away from crocodiles, lions, and a ruthless Arab militia.
• On ESPN2, Dick Vitale is calling a Duke game. I would much rather be naked in the jungle, stricken with malaria, and torn limb from limb by lions than watch that.
• Aside from What is the What, I’ve packed Pale Fire and Life as a Loser to read while I’m at home. So it’s going to be Eggers, Nabokov, and Leitch. If Will doesn’t hold his own, we’re no longer friends.
• The Jags’ black-on-black unis look fucking sweet. Well, except for the Jaguar heads on each hip. That's a little gay. But still, note to people starting new sports franchises: black is awesomer than teal.
• Suzy Kolber reports that the Jags’ receivers claim that the difference between Garrard and Leftwich has contributed to their rampant drops. Theismann: “That’s a crock of baloney, Suze.” Christ, Joe. She’s just the messenger. Fuck off for a while, huh?
• With the Giants backed up near their own goal line, Manning has a pass batted at the line that’s nearly intercepted. This is an imporant moment in the game, as we get our first shot of a fan rocking a mullet. Oh man, and it’s a beaut: full-bodied, with just the right amount of curl.
• Mike Tirico really is great as the lead announcer. Following a Manning interception, Theismann launches into a typically bitchy hissy fit about Plax Burress’s lack of effort and Eli’s bad throw. As Thees pauses to catch his breath, Tirico – acutely aware that Ronde Barber, an actual, you know, defensive back, is sitting in the booth – says, “What did you notice about the play, Ronde?” Wow: involving a booth guest in the game, instead of just talking about People’s Sexy issue. Fucking brilliant.
• Jeff Feagles: an NFL record 298 consecutive games. And in some of those, he’s even made contact with other players. Sometimes on purpose.
• Byron Leftwich has to go to Alabama for surgery on his ankle. Translation: Jacksonville doesn’t have adequate medical facilities for its professional football team. And Los Angeles can’t keep an NFL team. I love it.
• Halftime: Chris Berman’s tie is two parts TV test pattern, two parts vomit, and one part Irvin. With just a little dash of epilepsy.
• Eli Manning is having an embarrassing game. The details are simply too much for this bullet-point format. Suffice to say, though, he’s bad when he has time in the pocket, and under pressure he’s downright Aaron Brooks.
• Jay-Z enters the booth, and Joey T and Kornheiser fall silent. I guess they weren’t fans of The Blueprint.
• Suzy begins a 4th quarter report by saying, “Eli Manning is just killin’ himself on the sideline.” And for the briefest of moments, I think she might mean that literally. I could see Eli doing it Elliot Smith-style, stabbing himself in the heart. But not in public. Because that would take stones Eli doesn't have.
And now I'm in Washington state. It's gray, dreary, and soggy. But this coffee is fucking awesome. I'm pretty sure you have to buy it off the street to get it this strong.