October 14, 2007

Bye Weeks. Meh.

MY SUNDAY ROUTINE is a bit shaken up today. Normally, right about now I would be getting ready to go see the Pittsburgh Steelers defeat whomever their hapless opponent happened to be at Billy's Sports Bar here in Manchester. But the Steelers have a "bye" week this week, and since they're not playing, that leaves me out of luck in terms of watching football.

Admittedly, with the injuries the Steelers have suffered, having a week off is a good thing for the team. The trouble for me is that, with no incentive to go to my local sports bar, I have to rely on my local broadcasters to provide me with quality football, a prospect which fills me with fear and nausea. As it turns out, though, I think I lucked out: I'll get to watch the Tennessee-Tampa Bay game (go Tennessee!) and the New England-Dallas game (go ... uh, Pats, I guess). Both of these are on CBS, which is great, because it means I'll be free of the horrible cancer upon sportscasting that is Joe Buck. Slam-a-lama-ding-dong! The coverage maps, by the way, can be found here. Dig it.

Oh, which reminds me: what's up with CBS not showing all its games in high-definition? I ask because the Kepple family will undoubtedly gather around their new high-definition television back home in the greater Cleveland area and find, much to their annoyance, that the game isn't being broadcast in high-definition. Yet all the other early games are, including Houston at Jacksonville. Someone at the NFL needs to politely ask the CBS people to get working on this.

I have to admit I have mixed emotions about rooting for the Patriots today. For one thing, if they lost, it would help Pittsburgh in its quest to secure homefield advantage in the playoffs. For another, it might cause Patriots fans to consider the possibility -- as remote as it might seem to them now -- that they'll face a team OTHER than Indianapolis in the AFC Championship game. I mean, my God. More than one Patriots fan has said to me, knowing full well my affiliation, that there aren't any teams in the league the caliber of the Pats or the Colts.

I mean, come on. Hello? Pittsburgh's 4-1, and in winning the four games, crushed its opponents. I mean, it's not like we're Buffalo here. On the other hand, though, the idea of having the league's No. 3 team stay softly in the shadows kind of appeals to me, because that means our opponents won't be expecting it when we strike. It's eight weeks until the Steelers and Pats meeet in Foxboro.

Still, though, I have to root for the Pats. That's because it would be absolutely awful if the Cowboys actually managed to win today's game. Gad, I can just imagine it -- we'd be subjected to weeks of talk about the glories of Dallas and Texas football, and weeks of stories about Terrell Owens, and weeks of stories about how Tony Romo may not only be the best quarterback in football but also the second coming of Christ Himself. Please, God, spare us from these horrible possibilities, to say nothing of the insufferable smugness from Dallas fans we'd all have to deal with.

As it happens, though, there is some other football-related news we can discuss today. For one thing, the bowl schedule has been published and boy-oh-boy did I luck out. Not only do I have a three day weekend during bowl week, I'll get to watch like two straight days of great college football. Here's hoping Michigan makes the Rose Bowl.

Oh, and also, it looks like Spring Football is a Go. Yes, that's right. The schedules for the All-American Football League have been set and will run from April 12 to June 14. About the only downside is that the games are on Saturdays -- dammit, that's when I work -- but the good news is that I'll probably be able to figure out how to go see a game during my spring vacation. Go Presently Unnamed Michigan Franchise! Oh, and please broadcast the games at night, or at least after 4 p.m., so I can at least catch the second halves.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at October 14, 2007 11:14 AM | TrackBack
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