Brian Cook

Tim Tebow: Does He Just Know How to Win?

For a number of reasons, the NFL universe is obsessed with Tim Tebow. He is one of the most polarizing athletes of the last few years. This post is mostly going to focus on how Tebow performs on the field. However, there is one off field point I feel I need to make.

Tim Tebow is very open about his beliefs in Christianity. That’s fine. Honestly, I don’t mind it. For reasons I guess I don’t understand, it really rubs a lot of people the wrong way. Other athletes are pretty upfront about their religion, so I don’t see why the fact that Tebow does it is a problem. Does the following Thanksgiving tweet really bother you: “Happy thanksgiving to every family in the world be thankful for your lord, family, and friends”. If it does, well then you better find a different Twins outfield to enjoy, because that was Ben Revere. Other athletes are up front about their religion, it doesn’t affect you. Move on. The real issue is how the media blows the whole situation up. Honestly, do we really need Tebow headlines with savior, resurrected, etc.? Drop the religious wordplay, you’re just making things worse.

Tebow warming up against the Vikings

Now to discuss what really matters: Tebow on the field. There are two sides to this argument. The first is that Tebow “just knows how to win” and the second is that Tebow is a quarterback who doesn’t belong in the NFL. Both sides are wrong.

First, I want to address the idea that Tebow “just knows how to win”. For all you Tebow fans out there, I’m sorry, but he doesn’t. For the past 5+ weeks, the Denver Broncos just know how to win. Look at the box scores of the last few wins the Broncos have. In most of those games, the Broncos defense has held their opponents to under 20 points. With the game against the Oakland Raiders as an exception, the defense has kept Tebow and the Denver offense in the game. The Broncos were the benefactors of a missed field goal against San Diego. Tebow had nothing to do with that. They beat the Vikings because of three costly Christian Ponder turnovers. Tebow had nothing to do with that. Tebow doesn’t “just know how to win”. I’ll explain soon what he does know how to do.

As for the anti-Tebow camp, I do say that at the end of day, wins are the only thing that matters in the NFL. He’s 6-1 as a starter this season. Clearly, he’s able to serve as a competent NFL quarterback. Does it seem laughable that he went 2-8 against the Kansas City Chiefs? Yes. It really does. But, the Broncos won. That’s all that matters. Results matter.

So here’s my real take on Tebow. He doesn’t suck. You cannot say he doesn’t belong in the NFL. That would be a wrong thing to say. Does he “just know how to win”? No. That’s a ridiculous statement. Here’s what Tebow can do as good as anyone else right now: manage a football game. Tebow manages the offense and helps put the Broncos in situations in which they can succeed. The Broncos are a run first team. Willis McGahee has the second most 100 yard games this season and is an excellent runner. Backups Knowshon Moreno and Lance Ball are also solid options. Throw in Tebow’s ability to run if a pass play breaks down and his ability to gain yardage in designed quarterback runs, and you have a powerful running attack. This running attack runs time off the clock and gives the Broncos tough defense the opportunity to rest up.

As he showed against KC, Tebow doesn’t need to throw the ball for the Broncos offense to put points on the board. When he throw though, it is quite the adventure. He’s not a great passer. A lot of his passes are in places where his receivers cannot get to the ball. That’s bad. But when he makes bad throws, it’s to places where even defenders can’t get to them either. Simply put, he’s not going to be a guy that tosses a lot of interceptions. That’s incredibly important. If the Broncos defense isn’t playing against a short field, they have a better shot at keeping the other team out of the end zone, making it easier for the Broncos offense. When a receiver is wide open, like they were against the Vikings today, he can get the ball to them. Sometimes he catches them in stride. Sometimes not.

In the end, Tebow doesn’t turn the ball over, and he helps facilitate the running game. He’s not the worst quarterback ever and he’s not the greatest quarterback ever. He’s the kind of quarterback that the Broncos need. To be honest, that is the only thing that matters. He helps them win, and that’s exactly what they’ve been doing.

UPDATED: Donovan McNabb’s Future (Or lack thereof…)

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about Donovan McNabb’s future. Yesterday, the Vikings placed him on waivers, ending his career in purple and gold. There has been a lot of speculation about where he will go from here. I’m feeling very confident about where he ends up: retiring as a free agent.

There are two main teams that people have been talking about Donovan going to. The first is the Houston Texans. Had this move been made a week ago, maybe they would have taken a chance on McNabb to replace the injured Matt Schaub AND Matt Leinert. However, they signed Jake Delhomme this week, so they already have the terrible QB roster spot filled (Delhomme is just awful. I’m sure Garret would agree).

So that leaves the Chicago Bears. McNabb is from Chicago, so it would be sort of like a homecoming for him. If the Bears put in a waiver claim for McNabb and get him, they would likely be starting McNabb over Caleb Hanie. What does that get them? Nothing. McNabb has nothing left in the tank. He has shown that the past two seasons. No reason for a team to spend over a million dollars on a QB who cannot get the ball into his receivers’ hands.

So what is everyone’s favorite Donovan McNabb moment? I have two from his time as a Viking. The first was when the Vikings were up 28-0 on the Cardinals in the first quarter. McNabb had a wide open receiver on a quick route. I don’t remember who it was, but they were standing still at the line of scrimmage (I think it was a WR quick screen). Donovan turns to his right, winds up…and throws it at the receivers feet. The entire Metrodome booed him. I joined in. We didn’t care that we were up 28-0. NFL quarterbacks need to make that throw. He couldn’t. He needed to be done. He just doesn’t have the arm left for this anymore.

My first memory has to do with his skill. My second memory has to do with his heart. On a Sunday night nationally televised game against the Bears, the Vikings were backed up in their own territory. McNabb dropped back into the end zone and was facing some serious pressure from Julius Peppers and the Bears’ D-line. Instead of fighting to get back to the line of scrimmage to avoid the safety, Donovan laid down. No contact was made. Safety. Any NFL contending team that saw this would not want that on their roster. I fully expect that to be McNabb’s last game.

As I said exactly a month ago, I think we’ve seen the last of Donovan McNabb. I added my post from then below if you care to read on.

Donovan McNabb. 5 time NFC champion, 6 time Pro Bowler, and now he’s sitting on the bench behind Viking’s rookie Christian Ponder.

McNabb always seemed successful in Philadelphia, but there was always something about him that drove fans there crazy (I’m sure Joey can attest to this further). He’d been on Minnesota’s radar ever since Brad Childress became the coach for the Vikings in 2006. To a degree, it seemed like his arrival in purple was inevitable.

Instead, McNabb gets traded within the division (which should say something about how much the Eagle valued him) to the Redskins. And when push comes to shove he is benched. FOR REX GROSSMAN! Nothing against Rex here, but come on. Next thing you know, McNabb is traded to the Vikings.

Donovan was worthless for the Vikes. They simply could not move the ball with him. He lost the ability to throw the long ball with any accuracy and teams were loading the box to stop Adrian Peterson. The effect? An ineffectual Vikings offense.

I went to the Vikings game against the Arizona Cardinals, and thanks to some great field position, they shot out to an early 28-0 lead. And guess what? McNabb was still booed. And you know what? I booed too. It doesn’t matter whether you are up by 28 or down by 28, as an NFL quarterback you cannot under throw the ball every time. Receivers catch with their hands, not their feet.

Leslie Frazier made the right move by benching McNabb. He stagnated the Vikings offense, and rookie Christian Ponder seems to be effective at moving the ball and managing a capable offense. His success seems to mean that McNabb will be riding the pine pony for the rest of the season.

So what’s next for McNabb? He’s 34, which makes it unlikely that he can be the centerpiece of any NFL team’s offense. As Donovan has shown this season, he cannot serve as a veteran stopgap for a team looking to buy some time for a young QB to develop. Barring any injuries to Ponder, I think we’ve seen the last of Donovan McNabb.

Vikings vs. Packers MNF Game Diary

I’ll be writing my immediate response to what’s happening during tonight’s MNF game below. There are a few ways this could go. Either I make astute observations during the game and am vindicated as they turn out to be relevant, or it turns into an angry rant as the Vikings manage to lose in a new, inventive way. Check back here throughout and after the game to see which it is.

30 minutes before kickoff: Earlier in the week, I went out on a limb and said the Vikings would have a shot to knock off the unbeaten Packers. I’m going to stand by that. I’ll say 31-28 Vikings behind big games by Adrian Peterson and Jared Allen. If the Vikings defense can put enough pressure on Rodgers to make him a little uncomfortable in the pocket that will help a lot. Don’t underestimate the fact that Antoine Winfield is in this game, both against the pass and the run. Also, Christian Ponder needs to throw well enough to open up space for AP in the running game. Utilizing Peterson in the pass game will help that happen. Ponder will also have to utilize Tight Ends Visanthe Shiancoe and Kyle Rudolph so he doesn’t need to throw anywhere near Charles Woodson. All this being said, Aaron Rodgers commands on of the best offensives I’ve ever seen and it would certainly be no surprise if the Packers win this game. I just expect it to be close at least. On a personal level, the Packers need to be knocked down a few pegs, and I really hope that the Vikings can be the ones to do it tonight.

Coin flip: Packers win the toss and defer. Interested to see what they come out with in terms of a game plan. Had the bye week to get things set, this first drive should be an indicator of the game plan. We’ll see if they can come out with the same fireworks as the first game when Ponder hit Jenkins on the deep throw to get them down to the 1-yard line.

Kickoff: Touchback out the back of the end zone. Hate the new kick off rule.

14:02 1st Not exactly what I’d look for from the Vikings. Solid run by AP. Good pass rush by the Pack. Tough luck.

13:42 1st Oh. Well, I guess letting them run a punt back means you aren’t letting Rodgers beat you. Vikings need to come back with some points on this drive. Vikings have Lorenzo Booker back for this kickoff, while Harvin was back on the first. Don’t quite understand this. Put the playmaker in the position to make plays.

12:19 1st Vikes pick up their first 1st down. Expect to see a lot of this play calling. Run, run, pass.

10:24 1st Ponder fumble. Nothing good every happens when Joe Webb is lined up on the field. Solid run by AP and then a really poised throw from Ponder that’s dropped. He’s seeing a ton of pressure, but he’s still making the throws where he needs to. Let’s see what the defense can do.

9:30 1st First play. Sack by Jared Allen. Vikings need to have that happen a lot. Overall solid pressure on the series, but Driver makes a bonkers catch for the conversion

5:02 1st Vikings getting good pressure on most of the plays, but Rodgers just makes a perfect throw against a weak sceonday. 14-0 Pack. So, maybe I was wrong about the Vikings having a chance. Offense needs to answer.

4:27 1st Joe Webb takes a direct snap and then Harvin lines up as the RB with AP on the sideline. Bad stuff.

4:07 1st Holy crud what a throw by Ponder. Side steps Matthews then hits Shiancoe deep. Awesome poise.

2:40 1st Harvin with an egregious offensive pass interference penalty. But then AP just blasts through for the 1st down. He’s a joy to watch. Overused, but he does run violently.

1:18 1st Bad three play sequence ends with Woodson taking the ball away from Shiancoe for a pick. Said earlier Ponder needs to learn from the last game. Didn’t on that play. Undercut again. Looks like he may have bobbled it onto the ground. Will be challenged. I say no INT. Either way, Ponder is facing enormous pressure. Next drive, they need to keep pounding with AP and work some play action into the mix. To be honest, if this is the game plan with two weeks to prepare, it’s pretty pathetic.

1:14 1st Vindicated with the challenge. Overturned. Longwell nails the 47-yard goal, but Fred Evans gets called for the false start. Longwell then misses the 52-yarder. If you were watching with me you’d hear lots of expletives. Just so typical. Decent drive, no points. If the Packers can score a TD here, this game might just be over.

End of the 1st Main takeaways: Rodgers is abusing this secondary. The D-line needs to keep putting pressure on Rodgers to try to keep him off balance. The Pack running game has done nothing. The Vikings offensive line needs to give Ponder a little more time in the pocket. Also, the play calling needs to start accounting for the pressure. In the 2nd quarter the Vikings need to start using some screen passes and play action to force more Packers back into coverage.

14:07 2nd Vikings bring good pressure and make the stop for the 3 and out. But Rodgers stays on the field and makes a solid throw to Finley for the first. On a side note, so sick of the ESPN crew pumping up Rodgers on every throw. Yes, he’s good. No, he’s not a heavenly being. Shut up. He just threw the ball into the ground. Guess he’s not perfect.

12:04 2nd Field goal for the Pack. Vikings bringing solid pressure, especially from Allen who picked up a big sack. The secondary just keeps getting beat. Too many mismatches over the middle. The safeties just cannot cover Finley. Like I said last time, Vikings need to put something on the board here.

10:10 2nd Ponder converts a big 3rd down with his legs. O-line still not protecting him well enough though. Need to see them get AP more involved in the offense.

9:04 2nd Oh. The flea-flicker interception into double coverage. That’s just…infuriating. Pack points on this one and I’m calling it.

7:05 2nd Vikings force a 3-and-out. So it’s not over yet. Points here would be good. Again, run the ball with AP. I’d love to see a few passes for him here. If he get the ball in space, anything can happen. Don’t force throws. Ponder needs to just manage this game.

2:47 2nd AP and Ponder make some solid plays. March down the field a little. Then Harvin gets called for holding, then falls over on the next handoff. Next play is a screen pass to him, but its covered. I get that he’s a play maker, but I’d much rather see the offense centered around AP, not Harvin. Kluwe punts it down to the 2-yard line. Vikings D should make this stand.

1:59 2nd How you give up that 10-yard run is beyond me. As usual, the Vikings defense folds when it faces a big play. I don’t know why plays like this still surprise me.

:57 2nd Vikings brought good enough pressure to force the Pack to punt it away. To be honest, the D-line is playing well and pressuring Rodgers. They’re saving the secondary’s scalps. Let’s see if the Vikings can put anything on the board with the 1-minute drill.

:29 2nd Well that was a quick 3-and-out. Hopefully the Vikings can just ride this into half time down 17.

Halftime Well it could be worse, but it could be better. Special teams errors have cost the team 10 points. Holding Rodgers to one touchdown in the first half is actually not that bad. As I predicted, Jared Allen has been instrumental in keeping Rodgers off-balance and under pressure. He needs to keep that up in the 2nd half for the Vikings to have a prayer. The real trouble is on the offensive side of the ball. The Vikings offense has no real flow to it. Peterson has not been involved enough. He can’t bust off a large run if they don’t give him the ball. Short passes to TEs, screens, and RB flat routes should help Ponder open up the offense a little more. Percy Harvin is good, but the offense needs to center around AP in the 2nd half. Plain and simple. I’m not hopeful about the Vikings turning this around. We’ll see how the Vikings adjust after halftime. The Packers opening drive will say a lot about how the defense will fare the rest of this game.

10:45 3rd Vikings get beat on a deep play action pass, but are able to force 4th down. Rodgers completes a pass to a wide-open Jordy Nelson. Should’ve been pass interference. Pretty big push off. Off course, no call. Sigh. Rodgers goes back to Nelson who abuses Griffin with the stiff arm and gets in for the TD. 24-0. That’s ball game. Unless the Vikings can get a TD this drive. I don’t know why I keep doing this to myself…

9:22 3rd 3-and-out. Just a terrible sequence. Packers bringing pressure, and no WR is open for Ponder. No space for AP to run. Game over.

9:10 3rd Fumble on the kick! Vikings ball. Need a TD here from the 15.

8:41 3rd Touchdown Vikings! Both Harvin and AP got space to run, and Peterson punched it in. Somehow, the game is only 24-7. Somehow, there is hope. Let’s see how the Vikings crush my soul now.

6:21 3rd Two minute touchdown drive for the Packers. Vikings D couldn’t get any pressure on Rodgers and they had no issues scoring. Now its over. Again.

1:30 3rd Vikes turn it over on downs. Woodson undercuts another out route. Again! Vikings looking pretty ineffectual. Not sure what the answers are. Ponder starting to get roughed up.

10:59 4th Another TD for Nelson. The Packers sure do make it look easy. They are pretty good. It helps that the Vikings defense is equivalently not good though.

4:27 4th The Packers backup QB just ran the ball into the end zone. That is all.

45-7 Final

Well that was pretty embarrassing for the Vikings. The Packers are every bit as good as everyone expects them to be. Especially considering they were coming out of a bye week, the Vikings looked lost most of the game. Bad penalties, ineffective offensive sequences, and poor execution plagued them all game. They will be rebuilding for at least the next few seasons. I thought they could keep it close. I was very wrong.

Monday Night Football Preview: Vikings at Packers

This monday night, the Minnesota Vikings will travel to Lambeau Field to take on the world champion Green Bay Packers. The Packers are going into the game as 13 point favorites. Here’s why the game will be closer than that:

Two weeks ago, the Packers beat the Vikings 33-27 at the Metrodome in Christian Ponder’s first ever NFL start. Starting with Ponder’s opening bomb to Devin Aromashodu, the Vikings played competitive football, and, in doing so, surprised me. When push came to shove, Aaron Rodgers and the Pack were able to squeak away with a win that was by no means guaranteed until the last minutes of the 4th quarter.

I think Monday night’s game will be closer. However, there are a few things that will be working against the Vikings. First off, they won’t be playing in the friendly confines of the Metrodome. They will be heading into the heart of Sconnie country. Expect a rowdy Monday night crowd amped up for a border battle. The already dominant Packers should be able to feed off the Green Bay crowd’s energy.

While it is going to be a hostile environment for the Vikings, the timing does work on their favor. It’s Monday Night Football. This is the only Monday night game that the Vikings are playing this year. Star players like Adrian Peterson perform the best under the brightest lights. Expect AP to be ready to run like a bull. Also, don’t discount the fact that the Vikings are coming off of their bye week. Not only have the players had the opportunity to rest up and nurse nagging injuries, but the coaching staff has had a full two weeks to game plan for the Packers. There are definitely some weaknesses that a well executed game plan can exploit.

First and foremost, Christian Ponder must exploit the Packer’s porous pass defense. Last week against San Diego, Green Bay’s secondary got beat numerous time when Philip Rivers had enough time to make a decent throw. When they last played, Ponder tossed a pair of interception. The good news is that these picks weren’t terrible throws or egregious decisions (like River’s three picks last week). On both interceptions, Ponder’s targeted receivers got undercut, and the corner back made smart plays to get to the ball. Expect Ponder to have learned from those mistakes. Also, Percy Harvin has been nursing a rib injury for the past few months. If he is fully prepared to play, expect him to make plays across the middle and open up the deep routes for Aromashadu. Expect to see Adrian Peterson involved in the passing game in the flats to alleviate some pressure on Ponder and the rest of the passing game. It is key to remember that the Vikings will not beat the Packers due to Christian Ponder’s arm. Ponder needs to manage the game and free up running space for AP. If Peterson isn’t looking at 8-man fronts all game, he can take over and help the Vikings put up the points necessary to keep pace with the Packer’s offense.

Look for Peterson to bust off some large runs

Speaking of the Packer’s offense, there is literally no hope of the Viking’s defense shutting them down. The Packers have one of the best offenses that I’ve ever seen. Aaron Rodgers and his cast of wide receivers have been carving up NFL defenses week in and week out. Rodgers was masterful against the Vikings two weeks ago, and it’s hard to envision a scenario where he isn’t again. There’s a few things working against him compared to last time though. The Vikings will have their top cornerback Antoine Winfield back in the lineup. He’s been out of the lineup for over a month, including the game against the Packers. Winfield will have to play at a high level to help the weak secondary contain Jennings, Finley, Nelson, et. al. The key to the Viking’s pass defense will be making sure that Rodgers doesn’t have the time to find his receivers open in space (they will most certainly be open in space). The key to this is Jared Allen. Allen has been playing inspired defense all season. If anyone is going to make a statement on defense in this game, it’s Allen. He leads the league in sacks and if he can consistently beat the Packer’s weak offensive line, Rodgers could be rushing throws. A big game out of Jared Allen makes the game easier for the rest of the Vikings defense.

The Vikings D needs Rodgers to be seeing a lot of Allen

I fully expect this to be a close game, and it would not be outside the realm of possibility for the Vikings to pull this one out. I’ll go out on a limb: Vikings 31, Packers 30.

That’s my prediction. Be sure to check out the game. I’ll be doing a running game diary Monday night which should be published soon after the game ends. We’ll see how things go. I can’t wait for Monday night.

The Viking’s Bye Week (And Why They Should Get a New Stadium)

This week was the Minnesota Vikings one bye week of the 2011 season. While it is a week for the players to take a break from the weekly grind that takes a severe toll on their minds and bodies, it is a rough week as a fan. I’m not saying that the bye week isn’t necessary (it is), but I do really miss seeing my team out there on the field. Simply put, Sunday wasn’t the same without a Vikings game to watch. Even worse, the Minnesota media market means that the only late afternoon football game available to me was the Green Bay Packers. Instead of getting to watch the Purple and being thrilled with a victory or agonizing over a defeat, I had to watch the hated Super Bowl Champions put up 45 points against the Chargers.

Luckily, there’s just one bye week a year. However, there is a real chance that someday Minnesota won’t even have a team. The bye week scenario from this week would be repeated. Every. Single. Week. Early on last week a person unaffiliated with the Vikings put up this YouTube video


This video hits close to home. That’s what Sunday was like. I would prefer if it does not become a permanent situation.

Luckily, it appears that the State of Minnesota is slowly but surely moving towards a stadium solution that will keep the Vikings in Minnesota. Over the weekend they released this video, which sums up the issue quite nicely.


The video evokes a lot of emotion. The Vikings are an integral part of the Minnesota experience, and I would love to see them stay here for another 50 years in a beautiful new home. A new stadium could host Super Bowls, Final Fours, concerts, High School tournaments, an MLS team, and other sporting events Minnesota should be happy and appreciative to host.

Look for a preview of next week’s Monday Night Football (Vikings vs. Packers) later in the week. Thank goodness the bye week is over.

Fantasy Football Department

I was talking with my friend Andrew (feel free to follow him on twitter @aazorsky if you’re looking for someone who would like to marry the University of Michigan) about the ridiculousness of some college departments. Want to get a degree in Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology? No problem. Ancient Mediterranean Studies? Yup. Recreation, Park, and Leisure Studies, what’s that? I don’t know, but you can get a degree in it.

So, let’s be honest. I want a college degree in something I’m interested in. I want a Fantasy Football Department. Anyways, there’s more money to be made with a Fantasy Football degree than a Philosophy degree, right?

So what would it take to get a degree? You’ve got to take some required classes

FFL 100: Introduction to Fantasy Football
The basics of fantasy football. Basically, an easy A.

FFL 250: Drafting Strategies
Here’s where things get a little more complicated. Who do you pick and when? What round should you take a Tight End? Should you even draft a kicker or defense? Find out in this class!

FFL 320: Bye Week Strategy
Spread out bye weeks? Pack them all into one? Carry an extra D or Tight End?

Anyways, yes this is satire, but just a fun thought as people start registering for spring semester. Feel free to add to the Fantasy Football courses in the comments.

In Person: BU vs. UMass (NCAA Hockey)

Last weekend I was visiting Boston, and on Saturday night I was able to get tickets to the BU vs. UMass hockey game at Agannis Arena. I was always a big hockey fan when I was younger, but my interest has fallen off in the last few years. That being said, I am always excited to watch hockey in person.

I’m not the biggest follower of college hockey outside of the University of Minnesota and the WCHA, so I didn’t know too much about the matchup. BU is perennially good and was ranked nationally, and UMass seemed to be a conference rival. Solid matchup.

BU plays at Agannis Arena. To be honest, I haven’t been to many NCAA hockey arenas, so while it doesn’t compare to Mariucci Arena in Minnesota, it seems like it would be pretty average. The place never got very full or very loud, but it was still an enjoyable environment.

I got there a little late and UMass was already up 1-0. BU was playing sloppy and boring hockey, and by the end of the 1st period they were down 3-0. Throughout the second and third period, BU started to fight back hard and managed to score 4 straight goals to take a 4-3 lead midway into the third. However, UMass finally answered back with about 5 minutes left to tie the game up. Neither team could make anything happen and the game went to overtime. BU was able to draw a UMass penalty and scored a power play goal to get the exciting overtime win 5-4.

Overall, a game that started slow, but ended up being very exciting. Now I know a lot of people don’t like hockey, but I think they just don’t give it a chance. This game was a good example of why people should. Yeah, sometimes things can drag on, but that happens in every sport. Plus, hockey has the best overtime in all of sports. Hands down.

NFL overtime is simply the worst. Generally, it is determined by who wins the coin toss and can march down the field to kick a 30-yard field goal on 2nd down. Unfortunate to watch, and absolutely awful if you are on the wrong end of things (See: Vikings, Minnesota 2010). NBA/NCAA overtime does nothing for me. They trade baskets until the last 30 seconds when they foul and shoot free throws forever. No good. MLB extra innings are always good, but less dramatic when you are the away team and can’t get a walk off win.

Hockey on the other hand is the best. Both teams have an equal shot to end the game. One team can have all the momentum, and then one unlucky bounce and the other team can strike and win. There’s nothing like it. Non-hockey fans: I dare you to watch a 3-overtime NHL playoff game and tell me that hockey isn’t an exciting sport. There’s nothing better than hockey overtimes, and I am glad I got to see one.

Donovan McNabb’s Future (Or lack thereof…)

Donovan McNabb. 5 time NFC champion, 6 time Pro Bowler, and now he’s sitting on the bench behind Viking’s rookie Christian Ponder.

McNabb always seemed successful in Philadelphia, but there was always something about him that drove fans there crazy (I’m sure Joey can attest to this further). He’d been on Minnesota’s radar ever since Brad Childress became the coach for the Vikings in 2006. To a degree, it seemed like his arrival in purple was inevitable.

Instead, McNabb gets traded within the division (which should say something about how much the Eagle valued him) to the Redskins. And when push comes to shove he is benched. FOR REX GROSSMAN! Nothing against Rex here, but come on. Next thing you know, McNabb is traded to the Vikings.

Donovan was worthless for the Vikes. They simply could not move the ball with him. He lost the ability to throw the long ball with any accuracy and teams were loading the box to stop Adrian Peterson. The effect? An ineffectual Vikings offense.

I went to the Vikings game against the Arizona Cardinals, and thanks to some great field position, they shot out to an early 28-0 lead. And guess what? McNabb was still booed. And you know what? I booed too. It doesn’t matter whether you are up by 28 or down by 28, as an NFL quarterback you cannot under throw the ball every time. Receivers catch with their hands, not their feet.

Leslie Frazier made the right move by benching McNabb. He stagnated the Vikings offense, and rookie Christian Ponder seems to be effective at moving the ball and managing a capable offense. His success seems to mean that McNabb will be riding the pine pony for the rest of the season.

So what’s next for McNabb? He’s 34, which makes it unlikely that he can be the centerpiece of any NFL team’s offense. As Donovan has shown this season, he cannot serve as a veteran stopgap for a team looking to buy some time for a young QB to develop. Barring any injuries to Ponder, I think we’ve seen the last of Donovan McNabb.

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