It would seem that being a rich, chowder-brained pudwhack is contagious, as on the last drive of the Buccaneers’ Thursday night contest against the Bears, Tom Brady, perhaps showing the most dedication to his friend in the White House by letting his brain drip out his ear in tribute, forgot what down it was. Brady’s no-chancer of a fourth down throw was knocked down by DeAndre Houston-Carson, which led Brady standing there holding up four fingers and wondering what was going on like he’d just stumbled accidentally into a rave.
Whether it would have made any difference is unknown. Maybe thinking it was third down led Brady to make a riskier throw than he would have normally, counting on the safety net of another down. Let’s hope so, because it’s a brighter world when Brady looks helpless for once. Especially when he got in his petulant yelling at either the refs because someone’s aura intruded upon his or his own linemen for having his heart eaten by Khalil Mack.
Maybe it’s just living in Florida, and we can look forward to Brady arriving at the stadium with his left turn signal on for the past 20 minutes and then pictures of him staring at the automated checkout at the grocery store frozen in confusion before Gisele has to lead him by the hand to the car telling him it’s all right and it’s really the machine’s fault.
Not that much of this NFL season matters. The schedule is approaching having to go full MLS, and being made up week-to-week. The Titans game with the Bills has been pushed to Tuesday, because the Titans need two more days to prove they’re not an incubus or something? The Patriots game has been moved to Monday, though what we know about the incubation period of COVID-19 makes that utterly meaningless.
One can’t help but wonder if the paranoia football instills in both players and coaches will be its downfall. The Titans reportedly did this to themselves by having an unsanctioned practice. But throughout the entirety of a player’s or coach’s career, the idea that someone is working when you’re not is used as a spur to sign over your life. If you’re not watching film, your opponent is. If you’re not working out, your backup is, and he’s younger and cheaper. If you’re not game-planning at 4 a.m., the other coach is. So it’s no wonder that the Titans players felt they had to stay on the ball even when it was against protocols. This is what the NFL has demanded of everyone. The phrase you hear more than anything is “get better,” which means doing things we know are actually counterproductive — coaches sleeping in their office, working out at all hours, being juiced to the gills on drugs.
The Titans won’t be the last. Some other team will get caught doing this. It’s what the NFL demands. It’s all they know.
MLB is only going to get one Game 5 out of its Division Series, as the Yankees and Rays will go the route. Game 4 was the one where neither had a true starter and the Yankees got to Ryan Yarborough. Game 5 will see the Yankees roll out Gerrit Cole on three days’ rest, and the Rays turn to Tyler Glasnow on only two. The latter isn’t likely to be much more than an opener, but the Rays knew how to lose last night as they didn’t use any of their main weapons in the pen. They’ll all be fresh for Game 5, which is the quirk of the no off-days schedule.
Sadly, we had to say goodbye to the 2020 Padres, one of the few things that made this farce of a season seem worth the effort. It feels like they’ll be around a while, but it doesn’t always work that way. We don’t know what another 100 games in the season would have revealed about them. It doesn’t always go linearly. A division series loss was as good as it ever got for the Pirates in the middle of the last decade (and seeing Glasnow vs. Cole in the playoffs will probably kill the four Pirates fans left in the wild). The Phillies never even got to the playoffs. The Twins have yet to win a playoff game.
Still, it looks good, it looks flashy, and perhaps this is the first shot in what could be an epic Padres-Dodgers rivalry.
Oakland’s bid to prove starting pitchers are mere decorations was violently shot down by the Astros. The A’s never got a good start in these playoffs outside of Chris Bassit’s effort in Game 2 of their Wild-Card series against the White Sox, though the bouncy-castle setting of Dodger Stadium in the day didn’t help, as baseballs were flying out of there at the same rate as that borked San Diego fireworks show a few years back.
The A’s are still looking for a real playoff series win, and with Matt Olson and Matt Chapman getting to arbitration, and a good chunk of the bullpen hitting free agency, they’ll struggle to run this team back again. If the last few playoffs have taught us anything, it’s that you need your starters to take the ball for six or seven at some point and then be able to run them back when things are desperate. Where the A’s find that, I can’t tell you.
Oh, and the Marlins who had no business being here in the first place were finally sent to the right window to get their parking validated by the Braves. Let’s all forget that happened.