Friday, January 16, 2009

NFL-related Distractions

I've been in denial all week. How in the world could the NFC Championship game be between two teams the Redskins went 3-0 against this season? Seriously, the Eagles? The bain of my existance, the team that has caused me more heartache over the years than any other during my nearly 23 years of life. All this on top of the fact that the ungrateful city of Philadelphia is now two wins away from supplanting Boston as Titletown USA.

At least with the perennial woeful Cards, it's one of those well they gotta have success sometime kind of thing. Speaking of which, not sure if anyone noticed, I think we can official call this the The Year of Hitchcock in the NFL considering three out of the four teams left are, well, birds and at least of them will be playing in the Super Bowl in two weeks.

As for picks, well, I really wanna pick the Cards, I really do. But I think the Iggles will be smarter than the Panthers and actually double and triple team Larry Fitzgerald, forcing anyone else to beat them. Do I believe the Cards have anyone else ... Nope. Plus, the Eagles dominated the Cards on Thanksgiving Day and I've always been a big believer in past results. It was part of the reason I picked the Cards to beat the spread last week against Carolina — see Zona lead almost the entire way before giving it up late when it faced the Panthers during the regular season. I've got a feeling there was something glaring Philly noticed in that game. Do I believe the Cards have anyone else, nope. As much as it pains me, that means Eagles in Tampa. Ughhh.

As for the AFC, the Steelers have been the most and probably only consistent team in football this year. Why go against that, especially with Willie Parker looking poised to break out at just the right time of the season. But seriously, let's go back to that Redskins going 3-0 against potential the NFC representatives in the Super Bowl. It has been driving me crazy all week. If the friggin' Cards can put together a run, I gotta believe had the Skins not brain farted against the Bungles and the Lambs earlier in the year, they could have done the same.

So in search of a distraction, I came across this enlightening "Where is he now" article about the one, the only, the cultural phenomenon that is Kevin Pittsnogle. Apparently he's teaching special-ed in West Virginia now, and you just gotta love this imagery:

Inside one of the trailers last Friday stood a tall man with a familiar face. He wore a Bugs Bunny tie and a gray dress shirt with sleeves rolled to the elbows. Tattoos spilled to his wrists. He spoke kindly to two of his special education students, who called him Mr. Pittsnogle.

He's come back from his John Beilein-induced popularity and turned into, well, a West Virginia hick again.

Now, at 24, he is a middle school teacher in his hometown. He is also an unpaid assistant coach for a high school basketball team. He bowls in leagues three nights a week and occasionally plays bingo at Big Bucks Bingo. His wife, Heather, is a bank teller. They have two children and live in a double-wide trailer, and together they wonder how much appetite they have for uprooting their lives again so Pittsnogle can have one more chance at a basketball career.

The first thought that came to my mind was what does this mean for DeShawn Sims. He's tall, he's got tattoos, he's coached by Beilein, he shoots 3-pointers well, and he could possibly break out in the NCAA Tournament as a junior (if Michigan makes it) and become the ghetto fabulous version of the Pittsnogle. Does this mean in four years he could be something random like a massage therapist in Southfield or something?

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