Coffee Cup Quarterback | Week 10: Livin On A Prayer…

Colts Quarterback Andrew Luck and Offensive Tackle Anthony Castonzo

Whooah…we’re half way there…

Give or take a week.  Or two.

Yes, I was inspired by the music coming from Soldier Field during Sunday Night Football.  And, it just happens to be my personal anthem.  Lucas Oil Stadium (or whoever controls the music at our pad)…take note.

We gotta hold on to what we got…

The Atlanta Falcons that it is.  Trying to hold on to their unbeaten record, the only one left in the NFL this season.  The Falcons played the Saints, who Falcons Head Coach Mike Smith is 2-7 against.  The Falcons fall to 8-1.  The 1972 Dolphins pop the champagne.  And then there were none…

It doesn’t make a difference if we make it or not…

Or so it would seem between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles.  Or…does it?  Tony Romo is living up to his nickname, Mr. November (no he was not in Playgirl), as he rallies his team to beat the Michael Vick-less Eagles (who left with a concussion in the second quarter).  And there doesn’t look to be a looming quarterback controversy with rookie Nick Foles at the helm.

Also helping the Cowboys, the Giants lost to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.  If Eli Manning’s arm was tired, it’s rested now.  He’s had two games in a row with no touchdowns.  You know what does look tired?  The Giants offensive line, which allowed four sacks on Manning.  And the Giants defense, which was holier than Tim Tebow.

We’ve got each other and that’s a lot…
For love…we’ll give it a shot…

That would be the Indianapolis Colts.  United by love for their sick coach, Chuck Pagano, the players shaved their heads for him this week.  Then went down to defeat their division rivals, the Jacksonville Jaguars.  The Colts, at 6-3, have a two game lead over the other AFC teams in the hunt for a wildcard playoff spot.  Yes, the Colts are the darlings of the NFL…and were also the darlings of the refs on Thursday night.  Still…the Colts are quickly becoming the team that no one wants to play.  Because, they are just that…a team.  And my team, so I may be a little biased.

We’ve got to hold on ready or not…

And the San Diego Chargers were not.  Ready.  At.  All.  For the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  But, they were cleared of any wrong doing in the Stickygate scandal.  So there’s that…

You live for the fight when that’s all that you’ve got…

Only the New York Jets don’t appear to have any fight left in them.  Or if they do, it is on the bench…praying.  The Jets were beat by the Seattle Seahawks 28-7.  Even Seahawks Wide Receiver Golden Tate had a chance to throw…and he did.  For a touchdown to Sidney Rice.

A few side notes…

The NFL may want to look into this concussion thing, *insert sarcasm* as three starting quarterbacks went out with them on Sunday: Jay Cutler (Bears), Alex Smith (49ers), and Michel Vick (Eagles).  Two of which had something to lose…

And for the first time since 2008, we had a tie game in the NFL.  And just like last time…one of the players was not aware of the rules.  *Insert Donovan McNabb joke.*

Do they not cover this at rookie camp?  Brush up on it during training camp?  If I’m an NFL coach (and I don’t aspire to be), the first thing I do when my team goes into overtime is…REMIND THEM OF HOW IT WORKS!  And maybe have a pop quiz on the NFL Rule Book.  Sorry.  Didn’t mean to yell…

So, here we are.  At the turning point of the season.  Some things are becoming more obvious…others, more puzzling.  The one thing we can be sure of…a wild ride from here.

Take my hand…we’ll make it, I swear…


This post brought to you by Bon Jovi.

Bold Predictions for 2012 NFL Season: Cutler Cracks a Smile, Brady Attempts the Impossible, and Eli Loses Some Weight…

Here we are…the preseason is behind us.  The regular season is before us.  And I have a few bold predictions (ten to be exact) for the 2012 NFL season:

10.  Bears Quarterback Jay Cutler will be more likable as a dad.  I didn’t say he’d be a better quarterback, but I do think fatherhood will soften his edges and make him a little more personable, or at least a little more human.  Hey, that commercial he did for The NFL Store was almost funny.  See?  It’s already working.

9.  On the other hand, fatherhood WILL make Tony Romo a better quarterback for the Cowboys.  He put a lot of pressure on himself (some deservedly) the last few seasons, but now seems happy and settled.  That will translate to the field in confidence, that he has someone to come home to…and it’s not Jessica Simpson.

8.  We will discover that Rex Ryan is a better coach when he’s overweight.  Maybe it’s the diet.  It’s possible he’s a little light-headed these days.  I mean, claiming this is the best Jets team he’s ever coached?  That may be more bold than his pre-preseason Superbowl predictions.  He must be seeing something in practice that we’re not.  Namely…touchdowns.

7.  We will learn why no one wants to coach (or play) in Miami.  If you watched Hard Knocks, you’re already half way there.

6.  We will discover that there was indeed something magical about Peyton Manning’s hands under Jeff Saturday’s butt.  Both will have decent seasons, but neither will be able to replicate what they had together in Indianapolis.  Seeing as they’re both playing in outside stadiums now, that’s mostly warm hands and a warm butt.

5.  Tim Tebow will become the starter for the New York Jets.  I don’t know when, but it will happen.  And when it does, the skies will part, the angels will sing, and Skip Bayless will crown him MVP…all before he completes his first pass (just before halftime).

4.  With the Patriots light on receivers, Tom Brady, upon suffering two Superbowl defeats to Eli Manning, will attempt to do the very thing wife Gisele Bundchen claimed he could not…throw the ball and catch it himself.

3.  Eli Manning will finally prove that he is an elite quarterback after all, and is undoubtedly the best quarterback in the Manning family.  Wait, didn’t he do that last season?  Forget it then.  Eli will find new joy playing for the Giants, without carrying a 230-pound monkey on his back named Peyton.

2.  After two weeks of fumbled calls, Father Goodell will finally open his checkbook and sign the NFL officials to a new contract, just in time for week three.  The replacement refs will miss the call, report to work, and flag the league for too many men on the field.  They will try to reverse the call, but won’t remember what it was.

1.  And for my last bold prediction of the season…Terrell Owens and Chad (Ochocinco) Johnson will fall in love (no, not with each other) and ride off into sunset, never to be heard from again.  I know.  I pushed it too far with that one.  Damn, it was a nice thought though…wasn’t it?

Here’s to the 2012 NFL season.  The clock is down to hours…and they’re ticking away.


Defensive Backaches

Would somebody please get some mattresses to Albany, New York?  Stat.  Quite honestly, I’m getting sick of the whining.  We heard it last year, and now again this year.  Apparently the New York Football Giants are “not impressed” with their sleeping arrangements at training camp.  And honestly, I don’t blame them.

The last time I slept in a dorm room bed was my freshman year at Syracuse.  And thankfully, I didn’t spend much time in it.  No…dirty minds!  I was up late most nights partying, I mean…studying…alright partying.  But I don’t think I could spend one night in one of those beds now and not come out crippled the next morning.  And I’m 5’8.  I won’t tell you how much I weigh, but it is considerably less than a linebacker.  A couple hundred pounds less.

Tight End Martellus Bennett, for example, is listed as 6’6 and 270 pounds.  Not even one of the bigger guys on the roster.

“You can’t put a damn dinosaur in a twin-sized bed. . . . A normal-sized human jumps into a regular-sized bed and it fits perfectly.  Large, big humans jump in a regular-sized bed, the bed’s too small.”

Alright, Goldilocks, we get it.

But players are reportedly complaining of back trouble and a few have even been treated for it.  And we’re talking about the NFL World Championship football team!  These guys brought home the Lombardi trophy and we can’t get them some decent beds?  If the Indianapolis Colts were complaining about the beds in Anderson, Indiana…I’d tell them to buck up (get it?) after last year’s 2-14 season.  Sorry boys, I love you, but it’s true.

You know what I would do if I owned a furniture store in New York?  I would deliver a truckload of new mattresses to Giants camp in Albany.  Or at least 52.  Let the rookies and the guys on the brink of making the roster sleep in dorm beds.  But Eli Manning, the two-time Superbowl MVP?  And the rest of the guys who won two world championships in five years?  No way.  Get them pillowtops.  ASAP.

52 mattresses (wholesale)…approximately $26,000.  Delivery and setup…$5,000.  The Boys in Blue as your free company spokespeople…priceless.

Calling…Macy’s.  Just think, they could take the entire Giants football team, dress them up as the Serta sheep, with their numbers on their butts, and walk them in the Thanksgiving Day parade.  Can you imagine how adorable Eli would be?  Bet Olivia would be taking pictures.  Bet a lot of people would be taking pictures!

Superbowl XLVII, sponsored by Serta.


Mama’s Boys

In honor of Mother’s Day, Pigskin ‘N Pearls salutes…the Mama’s Boys of the NFL!

Tim Tebow

 To coin a phrase from my favorite movie growing up, Tim Tebow is a parent’s wet dream (The Breakfast Club).  Smart, attractive, athletic, charismatic, religious, and…a virgin!  Sigh.  That could be a first, by the way, for an NFL quarterback.  I’m not sure they keep records on that kind of thing though.

Tebow is the quintessential all American boy.  He grew up the youngest of five children in a Baptist family, was home schooled by his mother Pam, and played football for a school near his neighborhood in Jacksonville, FL.

“Timmy” as she calls him, was always thoughtful.  One Mother’s Day he didn’t have enough money to buy her a gift, so he went out in the middle of the night (in the rain) and weeded her garden with a flashlight so it would be pretty for her when she got up in the morning.  Is there anything sweeter than that?  Money is not an issue now, so after Tebow was signed by the Broncos in 2010, what was the first gift he bought?  A diamond Tiffany key necklace for his mom since she was the key to his success.  I think that story would even make Bill Belichick feel warm and fuzzy inside.  Maybe…

Eli Manning

I admit it, I am partial to Mannings.  And as much as I love Peyton, there’s just something so…sweet about Eli.  Even his awkwardness is endearing.  And he also happens to be my mom’s favorite quarterback!

Growing up the youngest of three boys couldn’t have been easy.  Especially in a football household where dad Archie was an NFL quarterback.  Mom Olivia admits she’s always had a special bond with her baby.  Protecting him from his teasing big brothers then, she says she wishes she could shield him from those big, mean linebackers now…but has somehow found a way to control herself.  It’s said that Eli takes after Olivia much more than Peyton and Cooper.  The two even resemble each other.

As far as athletics go, Eli’s parents say he was the wild card.  They didn’t know if he would ever like sports, much less football.  It was an up down and much scrutinized start for the youngest Manning in the NFL, but after winning two Superbowls for the New York Giants, there’s no question who the real athlete in the family is.  Just don’t tell Peyton I said that…

Hats off to these women on the fantastic young men they raised.  And to all the moms out there, including my own.  I may not be a professional athlete, but she’s supported me like one no matter what I do.  To my mother, best friend, moral compass, and senior editor…Happy Mother’s Day!  Love you, Mom.

Thanks also to my sweet and wonderful stepchildren, Hailey and Matthew, for turning me into something I never thought I would be…a mother!  I’m glad I never tried, because I couldn’t have done any better than you.  And thanks also to their mom, Stephanie, who has so graciously shared them with me all these years.  Love you all!