I Doubted the Madden Jinx and Got Punk’d (Plus Other Random Thoughts)

Posted: September 26, 2006 in Big Ten, Chicago Bears, College Football, Illinois Fighting Illini, NFL Football, Random Thoughts, Sports

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I’ve tried to avoid much fantasy sports talk on this blog, but I need to vent here. I heard all of the calls prior to the season about the Madden Jinx and that I should avoid drafting Shaun Alexander for my fantasy football team. However, I’m way too left-brained to believe in such theories, so I ignored all of such talk and grabbed the Seahawks running back when I got the number three pick in one of my drafts (although I would have taken my main man LaDainian Tomlinson if he had been available). Needless to say, we’re not even a month into the season and Shaun Alexander went ahead and broke his foot, meaning that he will be out indefinitely. With the long list of marquee players (compiled nicely by the SportsColumn Blog) either having injuries or numbers drop off drastically immediately after being on the cover of Madden, I’m now a full believer in the jinx. Some other random thoughts:

1) Bears Escape the Hump Dome – Without Tommie Harris, the Bears would have lost Sunday’s game against the Vikings. That being said, Rex Grossman showed that he could rebound from a Favre-esque aggressive mistake with a clutch play at the end. At the same time, it was jarring to no longer see Mike Tice prowl the sidelines in Minnesota after he was hired away in a bidding war by Isiah Thomas to be an assistant coach with the Knicks.

2) Juice Needs Some More FermentingRon Zook finally decided to start Juice Williams at quarterback on Saturday for the Illini, which resulted in the freshman not completing his first 450 passes of the game. I’ve come to the point where I was actually ecstatic when the game was still scoreless near the end of first half for Illinois (although Iowa promptly scoring three touchdowns in the last five minutes of the second quarter snapped me out of my semi-joy). What kind of crack/smack/crank hybrid was I smoking when I said the Illini were going to make a bowl this season?! I’m sure all of you have learned by now to never take me seriously on anything.

3) Sparty Crying in His Irish Coffee – I’ve watched countless Bears and Illini games in my lifetime, which means that I’m a certified expert in pathetic football performances. Therefore, I can unequivocally tell you that Michigan State played the worst fourth quarter I have ever seen in my life against Notre Dame on Saturday. I don’t think anyone watching that game on Saturday thought there was any way that the Irish would come back against the Spartans. In fact, the Chicago Tribune that arrived on my doorstep on Sunday morning, which was published before the game ended, had headlines and a page-long article proclaiming MSU’s dominance along with ripping the lackluster performance of Notre Dame. With the new college rules in place that make the clock run faster than even the NFL and the way that Michigan State was running the ball, even the worst coach could avoid giving up three touchdowns in the final quarter, right? Well, the flurry of turnovers, botched play calls, and the continued insistence of the Spartans to run the option even though they kept getting stuffed as opposed to using their 260-pound running back to pound the ball downhill (it should be noted that ABC announcer and former Notre Dame coach Bob Davie said on multiple occasions that MSU ought to keep using the option to keep the Irish off-balance, which is empirical evidence of why he is no longer coaching anywhere). Congratulations, Michigan State – your 2006 team picture is now next to the definition of “fugly” in the dictionary. I’m not even a Spartan fan and I was mortified by that performance, so you can only imagine how the Enlightened Spartan feels. I think I just saw John L. Smith’s head roll by my desk.

A post-mortem on the disappointing White Sox season will come at some point. Until then, enjoy your Tuesday!

(Image from Wikipedia)

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Comments
  1. Kenny says:

    Did the Irish do a flag plant to get back at MSU? I never heard the end of that.

    I’m a little worried about the Cardinals post season, especially because I have four division series game 2 tickets that won’t be much more than pieces of paper if we can’t perform the last week of the season. It’s frustrating enough to lose to Houston, but 6 in a row is tough and we gotta start winning at home.

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  2. Kenny says:

    Also, regarding the juice, I was pretty sure that starting him was a bad idea. People need to remember that he’s our future, he’s not necessarily our present. Also, by the end of the game I was sure they called him Juice because the I. on his jersey stood for incomplete or interception. Final four minute heroics aside, (too little too late,) the entire game had crap for offense.

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  3. Sully says:

    Kenny asked:
    “Did the Irish do a flag plant to get back at MSU? I never heard the end of that.”

    No, the Irish have class. They went over and sang the Alma Mater at the student section. MSU had a handful of players and their mascot “protecting” the 50 yard line. The Irish would never have done anything like that.

    I will say the look on the MSU Crowd at the end was priceless.

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  4. Kenny says:

    I’m not intimidated by Sparty. His abs are plastic, after all.

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  5. Jeez! I’ve been paying so much attention to the White Sox and the AL Central race that I didn’t realize that the Cards had dropped 7 in a row with Houston winning 7 in a row at the same time. It seemed like the Cardinals were in a funk all season, but there’s been so much parity in the NL Central this year that they still were able to obtain a sizeable lead in the division. The way that they’ve blown that lead is scary. Honestly, it might not matter in the long run since whoever comes out of the National League will get smoked by the American League champion. The Mets are paper tigers whose record is the beneficiary of the weak league this season. They have depended on way too many old starting pitchers (most of whom had ERAs that were a full run or more higher when they played in the stronger AL) for my tastes.

    By the way, today’s line has Illinois as 25 1/2 point underdogs to Michigan State this Saturday. That sounds about right.

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  6. Doug Graham says:

    “No, the Irish have class. They went over and sang the Alma Mater at the student section. MSU had a handful of players and their mascot “protecting” the 50 yard line. The Irish would never have done anything like that.”

    Good point. I guess that’s why Charlie Weis was claiming he was slapped during some pushing after a Notre Dame player took a run at Stanton on the sidelines?

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