Tag Archives: Norv Turner

Pinch me, the Jets are 60 minutes from the Super Bowl. And some Golden Globes thoughts

I have resided in sports nirvana just once before. It was on June 14, 1994, when something I never thought would happen in my lifetime occurred: The New York Rangers won the Stanley Cup.

I never thought a moment in sports could ever make me that happy again.

Dear readers,  the professional football team I root for is 60 minutes away from giving me that feeling again.

Unbelievably, improbably, ridiculously, the New York freaking Jets, a team that couldn’t beat the Ryan Fitzpatrick-led Buffalo Bills earlier this season, won their second straight playoff game on the road Sunday.

They beat the San Diego Chargers, a team many thought had too much offense, too many weapons, and too strong a pass rush.

But by God, the Jets did it the way they’ve done it the last seven weeks: Pound the ball with the running game, play excellent defense, hang around, hang hang around, make a few passing plays with our rookie QB Mark Sanchez, and then put the game away in the fourth quarter.

I mean, this game unfolded exactly as the Jets hoped it would. They didn’t do much early, but they kept the game reasonable (7-0 at halftime).

They got some tremendous breaks, yes, as Nate Kaeding, who just never misses against other teams, melted down and missed 3 field goals (although 1 was from 57 yards, which wasn’t his fault), but were 40 yards or less.

But the Jets earned this win every which way, and I cannot tell you how excited I am that they’ve got a shot next Sunday in Indianapolis, to go the Super Bowl.

God, just saying it gives me goosebumps.

Some ruminations from today’s 17-14 win:

— Rex Ryan, God bless you, you’re the Jets coach I’ve been waiting my whole life for. Not just because you’re smart and funny and know what you’re doing, but because today, and always, you don’t play not to lose, you play to win. Fourth and 1, at the Chargers 28, up 17-14, little over a minute to go.

EVERY other Jets coach in my lifetime either kicks the field goal there, which makes it 20-14, but gives San Diego the ball back with a (slight) chance to win, or even worse, punts it, to try to pin the Chargers deep.

But Rex said, nope, I trust my line, I trust my running back (Thomas Jones), and dammit, we’re not giving them the ball back. And the Jets got the first down,( with me on my knees, on the floor of Houligan’s, with my hands clasped). Game over. Fantastic. A coach with balls.

–What a tremendous game by the Jets defense. They got just enough pressure on Philip Rivers to rattle him a little, and the Chargers’ run game was totally shut down, and Vincent Jackson and Antonio Gates were held pretty well in check (though Gates did make a sick catch in the first half). You hold the Chargers to 7 points through 3 1/2 quarters, that’s damn impressive.

— Sad to see LaDainian Tomlinson a shell of his former self. Man, did he get old.

— Lot of people criticized the Jets for trading up to get Shonn Greene in the draft last April. Not hearing those people now. How about the strength of this kid, to run through tackles on his way to the end zone in the fourth quarter?

— Darrelle Revis, that interception in the fourth quarter was spectacular. Just spectacular. And Mike DeVito, the nose tackle no one talks about, had a fantastic game pressuring Rivers.

— Can’t say enough about the Jets’ offensive line. Nick Mangold, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Damien Woody, Brandon Moore, and Alan Faneca did such a great job run-blocking, and protecting Sanchez today.– Rich Cimini of the Daily News said this was the Jets’ biggest upset win since Super Bowl III. Hard to argue.

—Man the Chargers totally lost their poise Sunday. Stupid penalties after the whistle, Vincent Jackson kicking the challenge flag and taking a 15-yarder? Just stupid.

— I’m sure Norv Turner will get criticized for the onside kick attempt with just more than two minutes left, but I thought it was the right call. Ah, Norv. So good to see you on the other sideline.

–Finally, there’s this: Everything is going right for the Jets the last four weeks. Everything. Why won’t it continue? Especially with the Super Bowl just 240 miles from my home?

This week, I’m going to honestly think about how much I’d be willing to spend on Super Bowl tickets. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be doing that this year.

What a country, America.

**OK, some quick thoughts on the Golden Globes, since this post is running way too long:

— Thought most of the big awards went to the right people; was thrilled to see Toni Collette rewarded for the underappreciated “United States of Tara” on Showtime (seriously, check it out on DVD if you can, it’s a great show), and equally thrilled that “Glee” won for best musical or comedy (though “Modern Family” getting a win would’ve thrilled me, too.)

— Christina Hendricks of “Mad Men,” wow, that was quite a dress.

–Robert Downey Jr.’s speech was very funny.

— Did James Cameron look like a guy who had just signed the Declaration of Independence, or what? Seriously, he was channeling John Adams or something.

— Sorry to see Jane Lynch from “Glee” not win, though Chloe Sevigny is awesome in “Big Love.” So glad to see good TV getting rewarded.

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Ice cream for dogs, Brady and the Pats suffer (yay!), and man, that’s gotta hurt.

So, I’m not a big animal lover. Nothing personal, I’m just not a huge fan.

But I realize I live in a world where many people treat their pets better than their spouses. A world that sees people like my crazy but lovable sister-in-law Lauren dress her dog in Santa outfits every December, then takes said puppy to get her picture taken with Santa. A world that sees pets often eat better and more expensively than their human owners.

But still, even I was taken aback at the supermarket on Saturday when I ran into the above product. Seriously, we need special ice cream for dogs now? The Butter Pecan from Baskin’ Robbins was being rejected by the canines? Breyer’s Chocolate chip just wasn’t good enough for the four-legged beasts anymore? Come on people, have dogs really been clamoring for this?

All the dogs I’ve known just want a nice, interesting place to pee (where they can smell other stuff, of course), some decent shelter, an occasional game of fetch, and a nice place to lay their heads.

Sigh. What at least made me feel a little better is that the Frosty Paws seemed to be fully stocked in the supermarket. Maybe, just maybe, nobody’s buying this stuff.

Then again, these dogs look pretty happy.

*** Pretty terrific day of football Sunday, unless you root for the New England Patriots, which of course I don’t.

Boy, did Baltimore ever manhandle Coach Hoodie and his pretty-boy quarterback. I mean, that was a dominating performance. Couple of caveats in the Pats’ defense, of course: Wes Welker was out injured, and Tom Brady does have about six different wounds right now.

There have been some people who are already saying this is the end of the Pats’ dynasty, no one’s scared of them anymore, yada yada yada. I’m not ready to say that yet; they’ll be back pretty strong next year, I have no doubt.

Still, it was nice to see the New England fans booing the hell out of their beloved Pats Sunday. Music to my ears.

**Debated this with a few Jets friends Sunday; who would we rather face, San Diego or Indy? I’m glad it’s San Diego. I know they’ve won 11 in a row and have a scary good QB in Phillip Rivers, but there were two reasons I wanted NO part of the Colts:

1. Peyton Manning is the greatest quarterback ever (yeah, I said it)

2. Norv Turner is coaching the Chargers. When Norv’s on the other sideline, you always have a chance.

***That was a great school-yard touch football game the Cardinals and Packers played. 51-45 in overtime? Were the teams aware that tackling is legal in the NFL these days? Damn exciting stuff, though. Incredible game from Kurt Warner and Steve Breaston, though I don’t know how in the world Arizona will have a chance to stop Drew Brees and Co. in New Orleans next week.

One other thing that cracked me up from that game: Cards defense gives up 45 points, then scores the game-winning touchdown, and the defensive players are acting all cocky. You made one play since the first quarter, fellas.

**And finally, if you think you’ve had a bad day, well, you could be one of these people: The biggest “ouches” of the past year (Tip of the hat to SI.com for this gem):

Finally, Jets kick the Patriots’ butt. And a word on the Emmys (and cockroaches)

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Nine years I’ve been waiting to see this sight.

Nine goddamn years I’ve been waiting to see Tom Brady leaving the Meadowlands with his head down. Nine years I’ve been waiting to see Bill Belichick, who I will never, ever forget should’ve been the New York Jets coach before he wussied out and quit after one day, running off the field in shame.

Yes, it’s been a long time since my beloved Green and White defeated the evil New England Patriots at home. Man what a great Sunday it was, as the Jets won, 16-9. A punishing, aggressive, harassing defense tortured the heck out of Giselle Bundchen’s husband, holding him to three measly field goals.

Guys like Bart Scott and Darrelle Revis and David Harris and Lito Sheppard and Shaun Ellis (really, the whole Jets defense played great) got after Brady and the Pats’ receivers all day long. Did the Jets greatly benefit from Wes Welker not playing? Of course. Welker is awesome. But the Jets’ defense was superb in all areas. Revis, in particular, totally shut down Randy Moss, and unlike in some games in his past, it looked like Moss was trying.

And the offense? It was good enough. I was a little worried about Mark Sanchez in the first half, but the kid turned it up. You don’t understand how nice it is for a Jets fan to see a quarterback zip the ball into receivers; after the last seven post-Vinny Testaverde years, we just haven’t seen that.

I was, of course convinced that after Jets coach Rex Ryan stupidly tried to throw the ball on 3rd and 3 with 2:30 left in the game and the Jets holding a 16-9 lead (come on Rexie, it’s 3rd and 3, a toss to Leon and we get the first down and the game’s over!), that Brady was going to march down the field and tie it.

What’s funny is that after the game, Bart Scott said he knew that’s what Jets fans were thinking (hey, just because he’s new doesn’t mean he doesn’t know the pathetic history of our franchise!). But dammit the Jets D stepped up and stopped the Pats.

I know, I know, the Jets are 2-0, and they’re in first place in the AFC East, but I’ve been down this road too many times before to get too excited. But you have to love how this team is playing: Aggressive, smart, tackling well (best Jets tackling team since the Parcells years) and making enough plays to win.

Good stuff.

Couple more NFL-related thoughts from a pretty awesome Week 3:

**Something’s just not right yet with Tom Brady. Maybe rust from all the time off, or his receivers aren’t good enough, but something isn’t clicking. As you can imagine, my heart’s bleeding for the guy.

** Chad Johnson (I refuse to call him by his stupid other name), you’re a wimp for only doing the Lambeau Leap into the arms of a Bengals fan in Green Bay. But damn impressive win for the Cincy boys.

**OK, you go gamble on the NFL: Houston scores seven points, all on defense, against the Jets last week. Then, against Tennessee, one of the best defenses in the league, the Texans score 34.

**Couple of real good late games, Pittsburgh-Chicago and San Diego-Baltimore. The Bears, well, they downright stole that win, thanks to Jeff Reed missing a couple of field goals he normally makes. And the Chargers, well, they absolutely, positively should’ve won that game. Except their coach is Norv Turner, and once again that’s why they lost. I can’t believe he actually has one of the 32 head coaching jobs in the NFL. It defies logic. I really thought my mother could do better.

At the very least, she’d make sure they had nutritious, low sodium pregame meals.

**Hell of a Sunday night game. Eli Manning will never be as good as his brother. But damn, he’s getting closer. Fantastic final drive for the Giants. Clutch, clutch win over Dallas in Jerry Jones’ new castle. And can I just say how absolutely freakin’ stupid the rule is that you can call timeout a split second before the guy makes the kick? So stupid.

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OK, so I won’t reveal any of the Emmy Award winners Sunday night in case you haven’t watched them yet, but can I just ask: Is Neil Patrick Harris becoming the next Billy Crystal?

He’s smart, he’s funny, he’s talented and can sing and dance, and he used to be Doogie Howser. He was an awesome host Sunday and I think we should just give him the job permanently. I thought it was hilarious that he introduced the presenters with their most obscure roles ever.

Also, during my favorite segment of these award shows, the “In Memoriam” part (I’m weird, I know), I was shocked to hear that Mr. Bentley died. From “The Jeffersons,” remember? I loved that character.

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Finally, a personal horror. Woke up earlier than usual Sunday; started to do laundry. Pulled out a bunch of towels from the laundry basket and I’ll be damned if I didn’t see the largest freakin’ dead cockroach I’ve ever seen.

This thing was like the Mark McGwire of insects. I screamed for the wife. She screamed. She kills cockroaches at our house, while I’m on body removal (it’s the opposite for spiders. Don’t ask, we all have our phobias).

I disposed of it. Kept doing the laundry.

The horrors of everyday life.