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Digging In

September 10, 2003

"You know much second place is worth? The same as last place!"
-Comment made to me in the lunchroom at DigiQuest on Tuesday

Talk about mixed emotions -- I was feeling them on Monday night. On one hand, I support the hometown Buccaneers. I like the Colts and Titans more, but beyond that I pull for Tampa Bay on the NFC side. But on the other, I stood to make $125 if the Eagles won. It was between me and one other person in the battle for a weekly work pool. $5 to get in, but thanks to many of my co-workers not looking at the point spreads I found myself in a nice position. And what took the cake was that my hope of homers (hometown fans) picking Tampa Bay -- which was a 3 point underdog -- paid off perfectly. Luis (the guy I went into Monday night tied with) had picked the Bucs, so I knew that an Eagles win would ensure me the victory.

The Bucs sack McNabb
Tampa Bay held Philadelphia's offense in check on Monday night.

I tried staying up to watch it... But the emotional pull was tough, plus I was dead tired from the adventures of this past weekend (where I didn't get very much sleep). It's tough to cheer for the Eagles. Not on a "cheering for the Red Sox" level, but still pretty bad. Ugh. So with that battling in my mind with the lure of the cash on the line, off to bed I went.

When I woke up, I clicked on my computer... and read that Tampa Bay had won 17-0. Ouch. This is the second time that an Eagles/Bucs game has cost me (I lost out on the money for a pool I was in for the entire 2001 season by a seemingly meaningless finish in the regular season finale between Tampa Bay and Philadelphia, who were scheduled to meet in the playoffs the next week). But so it goes in the world of wagering.

St. Louis Rams head coach Mike Martz earned his share of criticism with his bad playcalling in Super Bowl XXXVI against the New England Patriots. Martz is brilliant at drawing up plays and finding holes in the defense, but when it comes to actually managing the playcalling of a game, he's woefully subpar. It seems to me to be a case of his ego getting in the way of things. How could his three man slant pattern fail? So instead of a makeable field goal to cut it to a one-possession game versus New York this past Sunday, he went for it on 4th and 8 (or whatever it was). And he failed. When you're down by 10 with enough time to go, there's no sense in that foolishness. It cost them a chance to win the game.

Spurrier & Wuerffel
Steve Spurrier used QB Danny Wuerffel as a kicker in the 2002 season opener.

A few other NFL thoughts: the Cincinnati Bengals' new black pants look pretty cool. Unfortunately for them, the new pants didn't change their fortune any... The best three performances by WRs in week one were: 1. Anquan Boldin exploding for 217 yards and 2 TDs, the most yards ever by a rookie receiver in his debut game; 2. Chris Chambers' two touchdown receptions, including a one-hand snare in the back of the end zone that seemed to defy the laws of physics; 3. Charles Rogers for having an almost-as-impressive catch in posting a pair of TDs for the Lions in their win... Carolina's come-from-behind win against Jacksonville was improbable, yet amazing. Jake Delhomme is now Carolina's starting QB as the result of his heroics... Either the Texans' secondary is underrated, or Dolphins QB Jay Fiedler is way overrated (though I think it may be a bit of both)... Craig Hentrich kicking three field goals for the Tennessee Titans was a gutsy performance for a guy who usually is only responsible for punting. Better than last year, when the Washington Redskins lost kicker Brett Conway for the year in the midst of their Week 1 game and QB Danny Wuerffel got snookered into kickoff duty... I heard a few people compare Brett Favre of 2003 with Dan Marino of the late 1990's. Say it ain't so... What happened to the vaunted New Orleans Saints offense? Brutal start with a one-sided loss at Seattle (which may be the sleeper team out of the NFC this year -- yes, that is a bandwagon statement)... When the New England Patriots play the Philadelphia Eagles this week, it's a battle of teams in Week 2 that were both shut out in Week 1. When is the last time that happened in the NFL? I have no idea; if someone can give me an accurate answer, they'll win the prize of being mentioned in a subsequent column...

Nedly Mandingo
Ned is very popular with the BTLS audience.

The first cut of the Bubba The Love Sponge 2003 DVD is now finished. John at DigiQuest did a tremendous job editing it. Bubba has some changes in mind that we'll make to speed things up a bit, but when it's finished it's something that all straight men should enjoy watching (and even some of you ladies, too). It's going to be exciting to hear the results... From here, we're going to move on to planning on the new VIP webpage and merchandise ideas. I think the Ned "Let It Ride" t-shirts will be big sellers. There are a ton of Ned marks out there...

Incidentally, if you have XM Satellite Radio, you can hear Bubba's show live from 6-10 AM Eastern on Channel 152. It's worth your time to check it out, fellas, I assure you.

This is a great time of year to be in Tampa. Well, if you don't like hurricane threats, that is. The prime months are just ahead (October-March) for here, while the northern part of the United States is slipping slowly into "damn it's cold" mode (which replaces "damn it's hot" after about a week or two in the bitching meter). The tropical storm/hurricane threats are no fun, but that's why I don't live on the first floor. Luckily, Tropical Storm Henri skipped us with hardly any damage... though Isabel, lurking ominously in the Atlantic, is around the corner. I'll trust what Dick Fletcher says, since he's been doing this stuff for so long. Even if the Executive Meddler is "over hurricanes," Fletch will give us the scoop...

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