The Mighty MJD's Smorgasbord runs every Monday. Do enjoy.
• By 12:45, two unusual things have happened today. 1) I got a phone call from my brother who just had a cigarette with Jim Leyland outside of Heinz Field ... and 2) Jason Krause is on the Sunday NFL Countdown set, running some kind of route against Mike Ditka.
• One disappointing thing that has not yet happened today: Mike Ditka did not forget where he was and crack Jason Krause's head open. I'm going to write Ditka a letter and tell him that Krause stole money from the NFLPA Pension Fund to buy baseball cards.
• This has the potential to be a boring Smorgasbord ... I'm going to do what I can for you, but right now, I am one of three people in the room. I'll have little outside help. I think it's the weather that's keeping people away. The forecast calls for this particular area to be a Japanese girl's face, and for a record-setting bukkake snowstorm to coat us this afternoon.
• Whatever storm is coming this way, though, it hit Cleveland first. It looks like they're playing this one on whatever planet it was where Han Solo cut open that big snow horse and shoved Luke inside it. Don't most places cover the field? There's gotta be four or give inches of snow on the ground, even before kickoff. It's a shame they're playing Buffalo and not some warm weather team that might just quit.
• So, the Patriots play the Jets today ... I heard Eric Mangini and Bill Belichick used to be friends or something. It's a shame the Jets aren't better, because this would be a reasonably exciting storyline if it revolved around a game that might be competitive. It's kind of like the WWF spent months building up an Ultimate Warrior vs. Brad Mulkey main event for SummerSlam.
• The ref is making some kind of a call in the Cleveland/Buffalo game, and you can't even fucking see him. Weather like this is where it's going to come in handy to have Brady Quinn on the roster. No one warms teammates packages better than Brady Quinn. No one.
• Pittsburgh's not off to a good start ... their first drive ends with them punting after failing to pick up a 3rd and 16, and now the Jags have ripped off three straight runs of about 6 yards each.
• Kellen Clemens is dead. The media's blaming it on his lifestyle, but I think Richard Seymour just killed him. Seymour devoured his own man, pasted Clemens to the turf, and the wobbler of a pass that ensued was intercepted for an easy Pats touchdown.
• And with this, the Patriots fans start throwing gobs of snow up into the air en masse. This would be cute if it was anyone else doing it.
• The Jets respond as if they have a chance today, though. They end up driving down into the New England red zone, and have a 4th and 2 at New England's 17. Mangini opts against the field goal and goes for it with a Brad Smith gadget play. The word "incomplete" doesn't do justice to exactly how far that was from being a completion.
• Uh-oh ... the Bills long snapper just sailed one over Brian Moorman's head, as if the blizzard didn't make things hard enough on the punters in that game. Moorman chases the ball back to the goal line, and just boots it out of the back of the endzone. That's probably the right call ... I doubt he would've had time to pick the ball up and make a play on it. But even if it wasn't, and he had all the time in the world, I don't blame him for just taking the safety. There's a time to be a hero, and there's a time to say, "Fuck you, asshole. If you're going to snap it over my head, we'll take safeties all fucking day. I'm not getting killed because you're incompetent."
• And the Jets block a Patriots punt ... we've got punt foibles galore. The Jets turn it into a touchdown, and it's 10-7 Pats.
• New policy: today's Smorgasbord is 100 percent about punting. Brian Moorman pulls one down on the fake and runs for a Buffalo first down.
• This is getting ridiculous ... the Patriots return the favor and block a Jets punt, and take the ball at the three yard-line. Laurence Maroney will plunge that into the endzone to make it 17-10.
• I imagine that this is a product of the writers strike, but there seems to be a proliferation of game shows these days. There are enough that Drew Carey's hosting two (one of which is being heavily pimped on CBS today — by the way, has anyone hosted two game shows simultaneously since Alex Trebek did Jeopardy and Classic Concentration?), and Mike Greenberg is hosting one. I stopped watching game shows a long time ago ... I don't know if it was because I turned nine and realized that game shows are inherently brainless, or if it was just because they stopped making new episodes of Card Sharks. But I'd really like for this to continue long enough for Stephen A. Smith to get his own game show. That could be fun.
• Breaking news: Rich Rodriguez is leaving West Fuckin' Virginia for Michi-Fuckin'-Gan. Nah, that doesn't work very well ... let's just call them West Fuckin' Virginia North, since they keep stealing WVU's coaches.
• Kurt Warner must've heard the Rich Rodriguez news, and he's taking it as hard as I am. He's laying into some coordinator on the sidelines. I've never seen Kurt behave this way before ... and so close to Jesus's birthday! The devil has a hold on him.
• While I've spent the last 20 thinking about violent crimes I'd like to commit against Rich Rodriguez and his family, the Jaguars have been mouthfucking (that was one of them) the Steelers for about that same period of time. David Garrard just hit Reggie Williams in the endzone after Ernest Wilford set a Ben Wallace-quality screen for him. 17-7, Jags.
• Check that. 16-7, Jags. They mangled the extra point.
• You know one of the things I like about cold weather football, other than watching it from a warm sports bar? Those big jackets they wear over their pads. I've always thought those looked kind of bad-ass. The Browns are sporting jackets today that have some old-ass logo on them. I think it's this guy. These might be the same jackets they were rocking in the 60s.
• The Jags have the ball back, and David Garrard is looking deep for Dennis Northcutt ... and oh dear, the rough stretch for Steelers safety Anthony Smith continues. That was his play to make, and he did not make it. 23-7, Jaguars.
• Check that ... 22-7. They fucked up the extra point again.
• Another Steelers drive stalls ... and most fans in the building are either streaming out of the exits or staying and booing. Hm. This is the kind of behavior that Steelers fans like to make fun of other fans for.
• Meanwhile, the Jets find themselves down just 7 with 6:00 to play ... Marty Jannetty has found a way to compete with the Warrior.
• And now we've got some life for Pittsburgh, too. Anthony Smith intercepts a pass (maybe he won't be cut until next week) and puts a decent return on it. The Steelers are not dead.
• Hines Ward finishes off the drive for the Steelers. What looked like a Jags runaway is now 22-14. Several Steelers fans remain to see it.
• Brett Favre just broke the all-time record for passing yards (makes masturbatory motion).
• The Steelers would have a better chance at a comeback here if there was anything they could do about Fred Taylor. The Jaguars offensive line is just laying the lumber to the Steelers, and Taylor is running like a beast.
• Leon Washington returns a kick for the Jets and he breaks it out across the 50-yard line. And tack on 15-yards on some Patriots guy, for being an asshole ... the Jets are down 10 with 3:21 to go, but they're in business.
• A couple of plays later, Chad Pennington's looking in the back of the endzone for Justin McCareins ... TOUCHDOWN. It's 20-17, now ... unless ... aw, fuck. They're going to overturn that.
• So the Jets look to get at least a field goal out of that drive ... they'd be down a touchdown with about 2:00 to play. Here comes The Nuge, from 35 yards. Yanked it left. So long, Marty Jannetty.
• This does give CBS the opportunity, however, to present us with the Mangini/Belichick handshake montage. I don't think I've ever seen anything like this ... if you like to see grown men briefly making hand contact and then walking in separate directions, this is for you.
• Here's my prediction for the Mangini/Belichick handshake. They'll walk towards each other, shake hands for roughly one second, and then walk in different directions. Let's see how this one plays out ...
• BINGO! I nailed that ... except that Bill Belichick was smiling this time. But come on, I can't be expected to predict facial expressions.
• Meanwhile, Pittsburgh continues to swallow a steady diet of Fred Taylor's intense deviant masculinity. The Jaguars are just beating Pittsburgh up along the line ... it's been a great comeback from Pittsburgh, and Large Benjamin's made some plays, but ... they need a stop here, and they're powerless to get it.
• Bills receiver Roscoe Parrish fails to come up with a catch in the endzone, and then gets drilled in the shoulder with a snowball. I'm not advocating fans throwing snowballs at players, but that was awesome. I guess I actually am advocating throwing snowballs at players. Go to games and throw snowballs at players. Please.
• Fred Taylor busts through the line ... 12 yards for the TD, and that'll just about put this one to bed. The Steelers, muscled out of their own house. I am in awe, Jaguars.
• Holy fuck, Miami's alive ... I had no idea. Matt Stover just missed a 44-yarder that would've won it for the Ravens, and we've got overtime, baby.
• You know, I thought I wanted Miami to go 0-16 ... I thought it would be a cute little novelty. But today, watching them get so close, seeing them want it so bad ... I can't help but think of Crazy Fish Guy, and wonder what he's doing right now. I haven't seen him in over a year. I'm assuming he's dead, because ... I don't know, nothing else really makes sense. WIN IT FOR CRAZY FISH GUY, YOU LOSER MOTHERFUCKERS.
• GREG CAMARILLO. GREG CAMARILLO. GREG CAMARILLO.
• Cleo Lemon just hit Greg Camarillo over the middle, and hopefully, Crazy Fish Guy was somewhere to see it. I feel so warm inside ... if you could see me right now, there'd be a fuzzy thought bubble above my head, with Crazy Fish Guy's goofy face inside it, and I'd be smiling like an idiot. I feel wonderful.
• The 4:00 games are underway ... a fellow named Schobel for the Eagles just went over the middle and took a brutal shot to the head, and then stayed sprawled out on the turf motionless for a few minutes. Later, we'll get a sideline report saying he suffered "what the Eagles have determined to be a head injury." That's a great medical staff they have there. House couldn't have done it better himself.
• The Chargers actually look sharp in a first quarter ... LaDainian Tomlinson reaches endzone at the end of a Tomlinson-dominated drive, and this might be the first good first quarter Philip Rivers has had all year. This is what I was expecting, Norv Turner.
• Actually, that's not true ... this is what I'd have expected under Marty Schottenheimer. What I expected from Norv Turner was ... I don't know, Philip Rivers to drop back and soil himself on every third play.
• David Akers is going to start breaking field goal posts. They're going to have to reinforce those things when he's in town.
• Ugh ... the joy of the Dolphins win has been ruined. CBS has a postgame shot of Joey Porter leading one of those "let's all get in a circle and jump around" things. I hate to see that man happy. If you could see me now, there'd be a thought bubble above my head, and in this bubble, Crazy Fish Guy would be stabbing Joey Porter to death ... also, Cleo Lemon and Greg Camarillo are in the background showering, and I can't really explain that part of the thought bubble, but I ask that you not read too much into it.
• Eagles receiver Reggie Brown runs out of room on the sidelines, and hops into the big Salvation Army bin on the sidelines. He hopped out quickly, though ... I think he found one of the Reid kids in there with his arm tied off and a syringe on the floor.
• LaDainian gets in again ... and this is what it looks like when your playoff hopes are crushed, Denver. 17-0 Bolts.
• Meanwhile, Jon Kitna is being intercepted at an incredible pace ... between this and the Warner outburst on the sidelines, it's been a really bad day for religious zealot quarterbacks. I guess the pressure of Christ's birthday approaching can wear on anyone.
• FOX has shown Jessica Simpson roughly 217 times in the last five minutes. She's in a luxury box wearing one of those pink jerseys ... the way Romo's playing, he might as well be wearing one, too. If he finds it difficult to perform when she's around, it's going to be a detriment to both the Dallas Cowboys, and to Jessica Simpson's chances at sexual gratification.
• LaDainian Tomlinson currently has 15 carries for 116 yards ... and at the end of this drive, Phil Rivers is going to find Brandon Manumaleuna in the endzone to make it 34-7.
• Due to the lack of patronage, I've been thrown out of the downstairs area ... but it looks like I should've been upstairs the whole time, anyway. It's poppin' up here. A black guy and a white guy are in a loud, hostile argument about the merits of Donovan McNabb, and this one breaks down straight along race lines. I don't think McNabb's the second coming or anything, but ... the white guy is arguing that the Raiders would not be any better if Donovan McNabb was their quarterback. Kill whitey.
• These two assheads continue to argue at the top of their lungs ... a waitress comes buy and asks a friend of the McNabb guy if he needs anything, and he goes, "Yeah ... tell him to shut the fuck up." She goes and grabs the McNabb supporter by the shoulders and says, "Shut the fuck up!" The service in this place is unbelievable sometimes.
• McNabb's "friend" looks over at us now and says, "Get ready to see the funniest shit you've ever seen. Just wait until he gets up again."
• The Eagles score, and McNabb gets up the celebrate ... and when he tries to sit back down, his "friend" yanks the chair out from under him, and he crashes to the floor. Not the funniest thing I've ever seen ... but yeah, that was damn funny. And potentially dangerous ... that seems like it could fuck a guy up, doesn't it?
• Anyway, these two engage in a little wrestling match ... McNabb is grabbing the other guy's hat, and the guy keeps saying, "Get your dirty dick rubbers off of my hat."
• McNabb guy leaves the room ... and his friend stands up on his chair and takes a bow to the rest of the room.
• The Raiders fan who was arguing about McNabb before, by the way, has taken his hat off ... and he's got a mohawk. I'm guessing that Raiders fans with mohawks don't win a whole lot of arguments. Or anything else, for that matter ... perhaps the occasional prison boxing match.
• Thankfully, the Chargers game is a blowout, so I don't have to pay great attention to it ... there's been quite a show in here. At the same time all of this was going on, some guy just had to have the Devils/Flyers hockey game on, and he's treating it as if it's Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Anytime Philadelphia scores or does something positive, he tries to get McNabb guy excited about ... because they're both Philly guys, I guess. It couldn't be more obvious that McNabb could give a fuck about hockey, but the other guy won't let it go.
• The Flyers fan, by the way, just detailed his salary and benefits package to everyone in the fucking room.
• Also upstairs: Muff Stubble Girl. We've seen so much of each other this season that she's calling me "honey," and "sweetie" now ... and I feel terrible because I call her "Muff Stubble Girl." I feel like this is something for which I'll have to answer in the afterlife.
• The Flyers score, and Flyers fan grabs McNabb and goes, "LOOK AT DANIEL BRIERE! LOOK AT DANIEL BRIERE! GLOVE SIDE! GLOVE SIDE!" He gets a half-hearted high-five and an "Alright, man," out of it.
• As soon as Flyers fan looks away, McNabb's friend smirks and says mockingly, "Did you see that, man? Glove side."
• Back to football ... it looks like the Eagles are actually going to win this thing. I suppose it doesn't matter much if the grand playoff scheme, but it sure does help out McNabb in his argument against the Raiders fan. Not that anyone needs help in an argument against a Raiders fan, I suppose.
• Brian Westbrook breaks away at the line of scrimmage, tiptoes down to the 1-yard-line and just falls down. Brilliant. There was a 99.9 percent chance that the Eagles were winning anyway, but ... that took the quick score + onside kick out of the equation. McNabb's taking knees now.
• I don't know that any other back in the league would've been smart enough to do that. Again, 99.9% of the time it doesn't matter ... but it takes any risk out of the equation. And it also probably fucked quite a few fantasy teams ... and most leagues, at this point, are either in the playoffs or in the championship game. Sorry, you poor bastards.