From The Cheap Seats
The Mets signed Ricky Henderson Sunday, which was no surprise since it's been rumored for a couple of weeks. Signing the greatest leadoff hitter of all time, even at age 40, gives the Mets a leadoff hitter worthy of the name for the first time in over a decade. It's been pointed out how he led the AL in steals with 66, 14 more than the entire Met team. He also had more walks than anyone on the Mets and his on-base average puts the Mets' leadoff hitters to shame. What no one pointed out was that with 14 homers last year, he also outhomered all the Mets' left fielders. He doesn't have to be as good as he was last year to be a serious upgrade. He also has a mission, to become the all-time leader in runs scored and walks. The Mets can only wish him Godspeed in that endeavor.
Denver's shocking loss to the Giants turned on a close call on the ultimate touchdown catch. The refs ended up calling this right, but it must be noted that the ref closest to the play called the pass incomplete. The ref from the other side of the end zone came running up and corrected the call. This leads us to the question of how the first ref came to his conclusion and how it could be changed. Was he calling something he didn't see? Was he guessing? The league office should be asking this question, of course -- are they?
Also on the officiating front, the Oilers were given credit for a touchdown they didn't score. Unlike last week's Jets-Seahawks game, it would have been first and goal at the one, so the touchdown probably would have scored, but stranger things have happened than them not putting it over. The crew involved? You guessed it, Phil "Close Enough For Government Work" Luckett and his band of visually impaired gems.
While the Broncos were obviously disappointed at the end of their perfect season, the folks at Disney were probably in greater pain. Next Monday night's game had the Broncs visiting the Dolphins, with all the history of the 1972 17-0 Dolphins behind the current edition's attempt to keep it unique. The sideline crowded with Dolphins of the earlier team, reporters from across the country, and a massive home audience would have made it great and profitable television. Just another Monday nighter now, and the losses to ABC are joined by losses to the South Florida area, as a lot fewer newspapers and local TV stations are going to send reporters to see if the Dolphins can hold on to their playoff spot.
Disney and the viewing public suffered another blow when Mark Brunell was injured, leaving the terrific Sunday night Jacksonville at Minnesota ESPN match-up a tad less so. The Vikings were probably going to be too much for the Jags, but it would've been a nice test of just how tough they were.
The Bus moved a bit Sunday, but still isn't rolling, held to 63 yards by the Bucs. Jerome Bettis's mediocrity has been a large part of the Steeler struggles, although the lack of a passing attack and a mediocre offensive line hasn't made things easy for him.
Bam Morris, whose running style and physique matches Bettis, ran for over 150 yards for the Chiefs. These two have never been good at the same time. Perhaps there is some odd connection invisible to normal observation. This looks like a job for the National Enquirer.
Gary Anderson, truly one of the all-time great kickers, set an all-time record yesterday by connecting on his 32nd consecutive field goal. He ended up running it to 34 and will doubtless add a few more before he's done. Unfortunately, it's slightly tainted. Remember a couple of months ago, when Jason Elam, with time running out in the half, attempted and, spectacularly, made a 63 yard kick? With five seconds to go in the half, the Vikes had the ball on the Ravens 30 yard line. The obvious thing to do is attempt a 47 yard FG, even if it was a little long for your kicker -- Anderson had, after all, made a 43 yarder earlier in the game. Instead of risking his streak, the Vikings instead opted for a Hail Mary pass into the end zone. If you ask me, that's chickens***.
Well, the USA lost the President's Cup to the team from places that aren't Europe. They'd get to take it home if they had one.
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