Monday, December 22, 2008

Here's the Deal

No, not the Teixeira deal. The whole world remains in suspense over what uniform this guy will decide to wear in 2009. In fact, it's looking more and more like he's going to be a Red Sox and that it's just going to take a little bit of time. I say they need him, I'm happy if they get him, but don't bid against yourselves and dole out even more money to Boras. I think John Henry - a man who knows all about financial risk - gets it this time around. If they can't get Tex signed at $175-180 million over eight years, move on. That's an outrageous contract in these times. (See, I just go on and on about baseball... back to my original intent...)

No, the deal we're talking about here is the first question I asked my buddy Bobby yesterday after the Patriots had eviscerated a gutless Arizona Cardinals team in the snow at Gillette, to the nice little tune of 47-7. "Are the Jets incented to beat the Dolphins next week? I need to know that a win matters to them." See, the Pats and Dolphins both won their games yesterday, making them each 10-5. The Jets, predictably, lost in Seattle, making them 9-6 and on the far outer edges of the playoffs. The Jets' loss gives the Pats two possible pathways in: if the Ravens lose and the Pats win, we're a wild card team. And if the Pats win and the J-E-T-S win next Sunday, we're AFC East division champs again and we're hosting a home playoff game. Just like that. So I needed to know that Ratboy Mangini and his overpaid team of choke artists would at least show up. I even wanted to know what time the two games were scheduled for, taking the conspiracy theory a level deeper that one team could see that the other lost or won, and simply not care anymore.

But not to worry, I feel better that the Jets will play to win, even if I have to peg my playoff hopes to Brett Favre. (Imagine saying that five years ago?) The NFL got smart and moved both the Jets-Dolphins and Ravens-Jaguars games to 4:00 starts, while keeping Pats-Bills at 1:00. Why is this smart? Because if the Ravens lose and the Jets win, the Jets are in. And you have to think Ratboy is kinda coaching for his livelihood here too, the way they've played down the stretch. So that satisfies me in the incentive department.

It would be a shame if the Pats didn't get a shot in the postseason this year, a statement that was unthinkable just a few minutes into Game 1 this year, when someone named Bernard Pollard seemingly ruined our season before it even began. But the Pats very well could become the first 11-5 team in NFL history to not make the playoffs, all while having to stomach watching the likes of the Cardinals and Broncos make it in.

I hate to say it, but here we go J-E-T-S! We love ya Brett. You too (holding my nose, crossing my fingers) Ratboy. Coach 'em up! And remember who made you what you are today, you ungrateful little piece of ... like I said, coach 'em up.

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