A View from Calico Jack’s – 12/14/2008

Joining you from the comforts of my living room with a sweet redhead sitting on my lap (aka, my daughter). She’ll keep me on even keel. I have the Sirius Satellite Radio on, so I can listen to Announcers Murphy and Kelso do the game.

I decided to try my hand at “real time” commentary this week. Not a live blog, per se, because no one else is reading this as I type. I just came up with the idea about 30 seconds ago. I promise I won’t do things to look smart (like type, “I think we should do a naked bootleg” right after they really do a naked bootleg in the game.) It’s the honor system all the way.

Here we go.

12:58 p.m.: Team looks the best it has in weeks. Of course, the game hasn’t started yet.

1:03: Um, where’s McGee? Not a good sign. Back spasms?

1:06: Brett Favre probably hasn’t run 27 yards in his career. And now, he does it on one play. Might as well just give them a TD now and get it over with.

1:07: It’s over with.

1:10 Celino and Barnes, your injury attorneys. Hey, I’m injured; the Bills are killing me. Wonder if they’ll take my case?

1:15: A fake punt for the Bills! The epitome of desperation. But, it worked, barely.

1:16: I love Marshawn! What a freaking run. 35 yards MVP this year, ending Moorman’s long title run. Someone’s hurt, I hear. James Hardy. He’s being carted off.

1:19: A Celino and Barnes injury update. The point of advertising is, of course, to have your brand or product name heard. Do Celino and Barnes sit around eagerly awaiting someone to be hurt. “Hey, Celino, they’re about to say our names! Cool!”

1:20: The Bills just ran Marshawn on 3rd and 8 at the Jets’ 20. I might have to take up sewing so I can make a white flag to wave.

1:21: A field goal attempt, and it’s good, thank goodness. At least we answered the Jets’ opening drive, if not with a TD.

1:30: Screw this game. Different subject: I’m still really pissed about that Toronto game. How do we allow ourselves to get screwed out of a home game 90 minutes from home? OK, I get not having home field advantage if you’re in London. But Toronto isn’t any further than a lot of Jets fans drove to see today’s game. Ticket prices. That’s the problem.

1:36: End of the first quarter. Nice little drive JP is creating here. 3rd and 8 again. Hmmmm…maybe…nah, they’ll throw it this time, right? Just don’t do anything dumb.

1:36: Just saw a text from NYCBBB co-founder Matt Kabel: he’s working and can’t watch the game until tonight. What’s he doing? His wife is a massage therapist. Maybe he’s filling in?

1:39: Sack. Perhaps I need to define what I mean by “stupid.”

1:50: First and goal, after a great Poz pick. You know, they might have to actually throw the ball into the end zone at some point.

1:51: TD! JP scramble. I wish I could combine Edwards’ head with JP’s physical tools. 14-10. Keeping the faith. It appears JP actually didn’t get a TD, but that’ll be our secret. No challenge. I think his knee was down.

2:05: TD! Again! Wow, the Bills have…what’s it called? Oh yeah…the LEAD! It’s been a while. I’d forgotten what it was called.

2:12: You give Favre all day to throw and bad stuff happens. The Bills seem determined to let the Jets tie this game, or re-take the lead.

2:14: That is one of the worst plays I’ve ever seen. I won’t even discuss it. It involved a Jets RB running for a really long time.

HALFTIME: The Bills can win this game. If they minimize the unforced errors and mistakes in big moments, I believe they will win. That’s what it will come down to: errors, not being outplayed. Sent the kids out to play. I’m in full Beast Mode, which is not good for my neighbors.

2:36: Bills don’t go three and out to open the half, which is good to see. But, two bad throws in quick order, to Marshawn and Evans. And now JP bobbles a snap. Oy.

2:43: Fumble. Double Oy. Bills recover. Time to punt, anyway. Punt to the three! Outstanding.

2:48: This play-by-play stuff is getting old: think I’ll go for bigger-picture commentary unless….INTERCEPTION McGee! As I was saying, I’ll go for bigger-picture commentary unless there’s a reason not to. That was a good reason not to.

2:50: The last play aside, I feel that the Bills have been playing 10 against 11 for weeks, on both sides of the ball – the defense has played alright, but they got off to a really weak start today. But the second I saw Favre’s arm hit on that last play, I knew that ball was winding up short and had a chance to be picked.

2:55: A Long Field Goal. For once the right upright is our friend. Within one point, baby.

2:56: A complete side note, but I’m sitting here eating some chocolate, which makes me think Calico Jack’s should put some chocolate out every so often, instead of nacho chips. I’ll have to add that to my ever-growing list of ideas – like the one where I believe the NFL should change the color of its footballs so they’re not so close in tone to the skin color of like 80% of the players.

3:00: There’s Philip Seymour Hoffman, possibly my favorite actor. Just saw him in the movie Doubt last night. He was great, as always. But, Philip, what’s with the Jets hat? You’re from Fairport!

3:01: We have a little more than a quarter to go in the Karma Bowl: which team is more snake bitten? An added component: can we actually win a divisional game this year? I don’t like the way this Jets drive is progressing. But, Spencer Johnson just crushed Thomas Jones. Big third down stop! We really needed that.

3:03: Just saw Adam Sandler. The Jets can have him and his baby talk schtick, although I do like the Hanukah song. I still have an issue with Hoffman rooting for the Jets.

3:04: OK, commercial. Can you get from Philip Seymour Hoffman to Adam Sandler in six steps? Let’s see, off the top of my head: Hoffman was in “Punch-Drunk Love” with….Adam Sandler. Well, that was easy. Slightly more involved way: Hoffman was in “Magnolia” with Tom Cruise (love that movie); Cruise was in “A Few Good Men” with Jack Nicholson; Nicholson was in “Anger Management,” which I never saw, with Adam Sandler. Not bad.

3:09: Interception by JP. That was inevitable at some point. Reed’s fault, though, not JP’s. At least it wasn’t Robert Royal.

3:10: Defense must come up big here in the early fourth quarter. Third and short coming up.

3:10: I wonder how Kabel’s job is going today? Maybe he’s selling beer at the stadium.

3:11: Huge defensive save by the Bills in the end zone. Saved a TD. Wait…a flag? Come on…please. Please. Please. No foul! Phew! That was scary. That would have been a ridiculous call.

3:15: LEODIS MY MAN! 100 yards. Wait…holding? Jeez…you know, I’ve been holding off on talking about this, but these Bills announcers kind of blow. I miss Van Miller. At least he was enjoyable even when he messed up. They celebrated this TD well after the TV picture made it clear something was amiss. I have the TV/radio timing synched up, so that’s not the issue.

3:17: Whoa, not so sure about that holding penalty at all. I believe Leodis’ TD should have counted. I’ll take a 13-minute TD drive instead.

3:21: 3rd and 11 completion by JP. That’s the kind of moment we’ve been missing for the better part of six weeks, a few inspired minutes against KC aside. Is JP getting a little swagger?

3:28: 3rd down, Jets on their own 2. Big stop here should give us great field position. Incomplete. Perfect.

3:28: The Jets scored a quick 14, and then had a fluky TD before halftime. We’ve really put ourselves back in the game. Although we’re starting this drive from our own 36 – I really hoped for something closer to mid field.

3:31: I’m really starting to like Fine. He could be a good player.

3:32: I still think JP is due for a bomb to Evans. Let’s hope it’s soon.

3:35: ACTION JACKSON!!! A Fred Flintstone-type of TD run, carrying everyone with him. That was beautiful. I hate talking about trite things like “heart,” but this is the heart we’ve been missing. The sweet sound of booing Jets fans….

3:36: Still pissed about that holding call on the Leodis runback.

3:45: Keep the ball. It’s simple, but not easy. Just run out the clock.

3:46: I’ve seen a few bad things in my life. What just happened might be the worst thing I’ve ever seen. Everyone in the stadium knew it was about to happen other than JP.

3:47: OK. We have time and timeouts. The Bills can still win this game. The crowd actually sounds stunned. The Karma Bowl continues….

3:50: How old is that Fireman Head guy now, like 60? I give him credit; he’s loud.

3:51: My God. “Losman tried to squeeze one in,” says the announcer Murphy. I’m too disgusted to make one of several obvious lewd remarks. The inevitable interception occurs, proving once again why JP – a good guy by all accounts – will be someone’s back up next year. But not ours.

3:57: 41 seconds to go, but at least JP is trying to stay upbeat. Not the usual hangdog face. Intercep—no, he dropped it.

3:58: Now might be a good time for that bomb to Evans I mentioned earlier.

3:59: OK, about three yards to Evans. That’s a bomb these days. One play left before we’re 0-5 in the division. Yuck.

4:01: Thus ends the Karma Bowl. They had the game in the palm of their hands, says Murphy, and they let it slip away. Marshawn is slumped on the bench. Hey, he did his job. We must keep this guy for a long time.

So, now what? Now we fight for .500, right? This is a remarkable year, even for the Bills.

This blog would have worked out really great if the Bills had pulled out a victory. Instead…well, they just pulled it out. And let it sway in the Meadowlands breeze.

I still hope to see a lot of folks at the Broncos game. This game was enjoyable if nothing else. The Broncos game could be a real shoot out.

E-mail feedback and comments to Phil Mann at
pjmann at nyc.rr.com