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Our Teams: A Requiem In Three Acts

I. So now it can be written and known: The spinning, sprinting 12-yard sideaways rugby punts are not, in fact, a device that has come to revolutionize the sport of football. Sorry, Coach Zook. Our Illini very well might be the worst team in Division I-A, and we see no reason they wouldn't lose to New Hampshire and Southern Illinois either. It seems cruel to make this team play Ohio State later this year. The Illini has somehow become worse every year since 2002; this is not easy. Actual quote from an Illini comment board this weekend: "A 24-7 loss is a win with this team." So, so true.

II. For those of us who had hope for The Buzzsaw That Is The Arizona Cardinals this year, most of it rested on the assumption that Kurt Warner still had MVP talent. With all the weapons, how could he not? You've been hearing all season about how close Vince Young and Jay Cutler are to starting, but you haven't heard it much about Matt Leinart. Well, you're about to. Do you realize that Warner has fumbled eight times this year? The most costly one was the most inexplicable, a plain dumb drop that cost the Buzzsaw a huge win over the Rams. It was one of those games when you wondered whether or not Warner had suffered a concussion early on and just hadn't told anyone. The season has already dissolved, so Leinart will be in there any minute. And we're already turning to 2007. Or 2008. Whenever, really.


III. It wouldn't seem possible that a team with a 7 1/2 game lead with a week-and-a-half to go in the season, with the two teams chasing them entirely uninspired and mediocre, could lose that lead. You'd have to try awfully hard. But hey: The St. Louis Cardinals are capable. (Or, as we've found ourselves saying this week, handi-capable!) A four-game sweep at Dick Cheney Field has kept the Cardinals' magic number stuck at 5, and even though it's still highly unlikely the Astros or Reds could actually catch up, we think the Cardinals might be able to figure out a way. Regardless, if the Phillies earn the wild-card — though we have a feeling they're gonna kick their fans in the nuts again — it's looking like the Cardinals will be swept by the Mets in the opening round. As some have proposed, it might be better if the Cardinals just collapsed entirely this final week. At least then we'd remember them for something.

So yeah: Yesterday was just an awesome sports day.

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