Daily Archives: December 6, 2009

Drew Brees’ magic, a Tiger Woods gift idea, and “Halleluja” like you’ve never seen it before

So I thought watching Peyton Manning play was as good as quarterback play ever got.

Then Tom Brady came along, and well, he was at least Manning’s equal for a while.

I didn’t think it got much better. But man oh man, take a look at what Drew Brees is doing for the New Orleans Saints these days.

Yeah, I know the Saints got a little lucky Sunday, as the Washington Redskins completely melted down at the end of regulation (missing a 23-yard field goal? seriously? And then fumbling in overtime after you win the toss? Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy, owner Dan Snyder, who makes Jerry Jones seem like a wallflower).

But here’s the thing: When Shaun Suisham, sure to join millions of Americans at the unemployment office Monday, missed that kick, was there any doubt whatsoever that Brees would lead the Saints back? Of course not. Every pass is precise. Every throw is deep enough, or short enough, wherever it has to be.

We’re watching a man play the quarterback position to absolute perfection, and he’s been doing it for three years now. What an amazing player, and the perfect guy to come to Louisiana and give the people of New Orleans a little bit of joy after so much suffering.

I hope the Saints and Colts do go 16-0, just so the hated Patriots don’t have that record all to themselves anymore.

Other NFL thoughts, on a bizarre day of games:

–Speaking of the Pats, pretty weak second-half effort by the boys of Belichick, allowing the Dolphins to pull out a one-point win. I know, I know, Jets fans should calm down, New England is still going to win the division, and the Jets will miss the playoffs.

Still, nice to see New England sweat a little.

–I will say this: Just about everything the Jets needed to go right Sunday, to stay in the playoff race, happened: The Pats lost, and the Steelers shockingly lost to the Raiders (was that Bruce Gradkowski in the fourth quarter in the silver and black, or was that Kenny Stabler?), and the Texans lost. The Jets are now a game out of a playoff spot (Jacksonville’s, at 7-5, and the Jags have a tough schedule the rest of the way.)

I know, I know, I’m deluding myself.

— Had to suck be a Falcons fan Sunday: Not only does your team get blown out at home, not only are your two star players (Michael Turner and Matt Ryan) hurt, but your old dog-torturing quarterback, Michael Vick, comes out and scores two touchdowns on you.

***Random Tiger Woods thought: I just know, in some basement office somewhere in America, someone’s printing “Honk if you HAVEN’T had an affair with Tiger Woods” bumper stickers.

I’ll purchase two, thank you. And if you don’t think all his mistresses are going to be pitched a reality show with all of them living in a house together, my friend, you’re just not alive in America in 2009.

**Finally, my wife’s cool friend Tamara pointed us to this today, and it’s truly brilliant. A high school chorus decided to act out, with cards, the lyrics to the “Hallelujah” chorus. So perfect. I love how they go high for the high notes and low for the low ones, and the short monk jumping in the air at 1:10 killed me.


“Friends of Jaclyn” moves me to tears again, “Adventureland” was great, and fantastic football finishes

HBO’s “Real Sports” show never fails to get to me, on an emotional level. Just about every episode of this superb show, there’s some segment that makes you think, laugh or cry. Most of the time, I forget them after a day or two.

Others, though, like this great story by Frank Deford on “Friends of Jaclyn,” (scroll down to 3rd headline), well, that’s still with me.  And makes me get emotional watching it all over again.

And since another great media outlet, NPR, just picked up on her story, too (at the same link as above), I wanted to share it with you.

I don’t want to spoil the piece, since I want you to watch it, too, but here are the basics: 8-year-old Jaclyn Murphy was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in 2004. A great kid with an outgoing personality, Jaclyn was cruelly forced to go through horrors no child should live with.

Jaclyn’s favorite sport is lacrosse, and through a friend of hers, she was introduced to some members of the powerhouse Northwestern University lacrosse team, the best team in the nation (they’ve won five straight national titles)

Soon, the players became Jaclyn’s biggest fans, texting her, emailing and calling, you name it. Seeing the kind of effect they had on his little girl, Denis Murphy started a wonderful foundation called “Friends of Jaclyn.” College teams all across the nation are now paired up with kids suffering from brain cancer, bringing a little bit of joy to the lives of all involved. Kids who see nothing but MRI machines and hospital walls 90 percent of the time get to run out into huge stadiums and lead a powerful, healthy group of young men do what the boys and girls can only dream of.

Sports gets such a bad rap, deservedly so sometimes, for being too important in our society. But watch that “Real Sports” piece and tell me you’re not moved by what sports can sometimes do for good.

**So the wife and I On Demanded “Adventureland” last night, which is one of those movies we always meant to see in the theater but never did. We were both very interested in it because it’s based on director Greg Mottola’s memories of working at the Adventureland theme park on Long Island, where Julie and I both spent many fun days of our childhood.

Good flick. Enjoyed it quite a bit. It was funny, it had the great Martin Starr in it (the famous Bill Haverchuk from “Freaks and Greeks,” maybe the best show ever cancelled), and the writing and acting were quite good. Kristen Stewart, the female lead, was particularly good. She’s like Anne Hathaway to me: I can’t tell if I think she’s pretty or not. Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

Anyway, as the locale was fun (I always knew those amusement park games were fixed!) and the killer 1980s soundtrack was awesome (with Crowded House and The Outfield, how could you go wrong?), I recommend this flick.

**Finally, sometimes sports on TV gives you five great minutes out of nowhere. After the movie I got to see two great college football finishes back to back; Texas and QB Colt McCoy (the greatest name for a football QB from Texas ever; I mean, could you see someone with that name as an accountant?) rallied to beat Nebraska on a 46-yard field goal at the gun, and then Georgia Tech held off Clemson, 39-34 in the final seconds of the ACC title game.

Not a big college football guy, but this was great stuff.