For those of you that have heard me talk (bitch) about the Giants and their trials and tribulations, then you know that I have been calling Tony Romo a fucking choke artist for 3 years. This fucking pole smoker gets thrown in there after Bledsoe, does OK for a few games, and all of a sudden ESPN and every Dallas sympathizer anoints him one of the best QBs in the league. Well you know what? Fuck that, fuck them, fuck Romo, and fuck you too.
Here are my examples:
06-07 Season: He fumbled the snap/hold on the FG attempt in the playoffs, which I hear everyone saying that they used a special ball that was slippery. Everyone that says that can go fuck themselves. At least 31 other people did this job without one person bitching. But Romo fucks up, bitches (along with his teammates, coach, and owner) and the ball gets changed. This is reason #1 why Romo is a fucking faggot and can never win the big game.
07-08 Season: The Great Tony Romo and the Cowgirls are about to host the New York Football Giants in a divisional playoff game. I'll spare you the entire analysis of the game, but basically the Romo's were down 21-17 with less than a minute in the game and Romo throws a pick in the end zone to R.W. McQuarters, ending their season. I don't really remember because I drink a lot but I am sure ESPN and the rest of the Romo loving media had all the excuses out about that play before McQuarters even took a knee.
08-09 Season Week 17 vs. Eagles: Win and you're in, lose and we'll see you next year. I stopped watching this abortion of a game after the Romo's second turnover, a fumble, was returned for a touchdown. What the fuck? Way to show up to the biggest game of the season. As I write this there are probably some douchebags out there writing about how it was Pacman's or whoever's fault, but ultimately it falls on Romo (that fucking failure) because he did not put his team in a position to win.
There are many more reasons why Romo is a choker, douchebag, and big time fag, but I would like to go to sleep sometime this week so I won't write them all. Please feel free to share your favorite Romo failure or dumbass reason why he isn't a failure in the comment section.
This week has dragged with no football on Thursday/Saturday. Week 17 of the NFL is finally here. This is by far the most meaningful Week 17 in recent history with 6 playoff spots up for grabs.
Here are my straight-up picks for games with PLAYOFFS implications.
Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints: Drew Brees breaks Dan Marino's record for most passing yards in a season and makes his claim for NFL MVP as Nawlins wins 34-31.
St. Louis Rams at Atlanta Falcons: Matty Ice and Turner the Burner tear up St. Louis to clinch the NFC South and a first round bye. Falcons 35-14.
New England at Buffalo Bills: The Patriots clinch the AFC East title with a New England win and Miami loss or tie OR New England tie and Miami loss. The Patriots clinch a wild-card spot with a New England win and Baltimore loss or tie OR New England tie and Baltimore loss. As I write this, they are expecting 60 MPH winds with goal posts knocked down. This means that the game will be won in the trenches. Can the Patriots win in the trenches? Buffalo's run D ranks #19 in the NFL and has given up 17 TDs. The Pats' run D is ranked # 13 in the NFL with only 8 TDs given up. Give me a Patriots win in the Wind Bowl. NE 16-6.
New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings: Much to the chagrin of Bears fans, Minnesota wins by virtue of the vaGiants resting their players. Minny Sota wins the NFC North. Minnesota 28-14.
Jacksonville Jaguars at BaltimoreRavens: Coming off their huge win at the Texas Stadium finale, Baltimore wins handily as Joe "Skinny" Flacco joins my boy Matty Ice as a rookie in the Playoffs. Sorry Jets and Dolphins fans--You're out. Baltimore 21-7.
Chicago Bears at Houston Texans: Bears win this ultimately meaningless game (due to the Vikings winning). Chicago 21-17
Oakland Raiders at Tampa Bay Bucs: Tampa Bay wins handily, keeping their playoff hopes alive until the conclusion of Dallas/bEagles game. Tampa 24-7.
Miami Doplhins at New York Jets: By virtue of the NE and Baltimore wins, this game is meaningless. If it does become meaningful, Dolphins win as Pennington's small arm outduels the Gunslinger and #1 NFL Girly Man Brett Favre into retirement. Dolphins 24-21
Dallas Cowboys at Philidelphia Eagles: #2 NFL Girly Man always plays well against Philly and today will be no exception. By virtue of the Tampa Bay and Minnesota games, Philly can't get into The Tournament. However, they play tough in Andy Reid's (and maybe McNabb's) last game ever in Philly. Dallas wins 31-28.
Enver at San Diego: The Ed Hockuli Bowl. Karma proves a bitch for the Broncos as LT and Rivers tear up the 27th ranked Enver defense (there is no D in Denver). San Diego 34-24
Atlanta--NFC South and First Round Bye, New England--AFC East, Baltimore--AFC Wildcard, Minnesota--NFC North, Dallas--NFC Wildcard, San Diego--AFC West
I'm not a huge believer tagging someone as clutch and others as non-clutch, especially in baseball. Coming from a research background, it's troubling that you are nearly always working with a small sample size. You also have to take into account that baseball is the most random of sports, and that trying harder doesn't necessarily produce better results (see: A-Rod).
But I think there is a fundamental difference between clutch pitching and clutch hitting. The pitcher is the proactive while the batter is reactive. For the first part of the pitcher/hitter interaction, the batter is actually on the defensive; he is trying to protect the plate. Only after the ball is put in play does the burden of defense shift back to the fielding team. So, pitchers have more control of the situation, and more control means more responsibility for the outcome. And as the old baseball cliche goes, "good pitching beats good hitting".
That said, watching Sabathia in the postseason has been less than awe inspiring. In the 2007 ALDS against the Yankees, Sabathia walked 6 guys in 5 innings, after walking just 37 in 241 innings during the regular season. But CC was let off the hook by Chein Ming Wang who pitched even worse, allowing the Indians to win that game. Against the Sawx in the ALCS, he walked 7 guys in 10.1 innings, and rounded out his postseason line by giving up 15 runs, walking 13, and giving up 21 hits in 15.1 innings for a WHIP of 2.21. Yikes.
It wasn't just 2007. In his postseason career (only 25 innings) he has given up 33 hits, 22 runs, and walked 22 for a WHIP of 2.20. He's got a postseason WPA of -0.74. I know, I know, small sample size, but that is a pretty alarming trend developing.
You may want to offer up what he did with the Brewers this year, taking the ball on short rest and carrying them into the playoffs. In September, he had three awesome starts (25 IP/3ER), and two okay ones (14IP/7ER), and one that was pretty bad (5.2IP/4ER). In his only postseason start, he gave up 5 runs and walked 4 in 3.2IP.
Why would a guy who walks about a guy every three innings throughout his regular season career, nearly triple that rate in the postseason? If a top quality control pitcher were to fold under pressure, the first thing I would expect to go would be that control. You get nervous, lose your rhythm and can't find the strike zone. I'm not a world class golfer, but I've played in Club Championships, State Am's, and DII College tournaments that I felt were pretty important. I have not only felt some nerves, but had them negatively affect my performance. The golf swing, probably like the pitching motion, has little room for error and is best performed under relaxed conditions and a calm mind.
I'm not labeling CC a "choker" or anything like that, I just think it's worth pointing out that so far, he hasn't been able to perform in the postseason. Bad sportswriters like to brand guys with the tag of "clutch" or "anti-clutch" like its some indelible part of their character. David Ortiz, Reggie Jackson, Mariano Rivera, and Curt Schilling are forever enshrined in the Hall of Clutch, just as A-Rod, Bill Buckner, and Mitch Williams are portrayed as choking dogs.
For A-Rod and CC, there is still time to turn it around. A great season leading up to the playoffs could calm some nerves. A few small breaks from the get-go could inspire some confidence, which could snowball into success. A few big moments in October can swing the perception from goat to hero.