This might be the sweetest picture that's ever existed.
On Saturday night the Detroit Lions will travel to New Orleans to take on the Saints in the kind of game that should come with a warning label: “if you are a former defensive coordinator over the age of 70, keep your heart attack medicine nearby”. There will be gobs and gobs of points in the Superdome. But the first part of the wildcard double header is a game that people are…well, a bit less excited about nationally. The Texans host the Bengals in a battle of rookie quarterbacks, ball control offenses, and stout defenses. This game has been charged with three counts of being super boring even before it starts. Ben Van Iten is the prosecuting attorney, while Nathan Raby is handling the defense. You can find a transcript of their closing statements below.
Ben emerges from behind his table and approaches the jury. Underneath his suit jacket is a Carl Pickens jersey.
Ben: Hey everyone, I appreciate you all taking time away from your friends, family, and hobbies to serve on this jury…hobbies such as watching 4 yard Cedric Benson runs on Youtube. I know those can really get a person worked up. Now let’s get right down to it here. This game is probably not going to be very fun to watch. Now, granted, I’m going to watch it…because it’s an NFL playoff game and WHAT ELSE AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE!??
In a perfect world, this could have been an interesting game. If Matt Schaub had not gone down with an injury, this Texans offense would be a lot better. But instead we are left with T.J. Yates who is averaging something like 160 passing yards per game, and possibly Jake Delhomme. Yes, Jake Delhomme for Christ sake. While we’re at it, why don’t we just dig up Jeff Blake and Carl Pickens on the other side and let’s just AIR THIS SUMBITCH OUT! BOMBS FOR DAYS!
Ben takes a deep breath.
Sorry, just getting a little worked up. My original title for the website was closetblakefan.com – but Nate vetoed that.
Andy Dalton has had a good year and he might end up being a great pro. But 3300 yards just isn’t what it used to be. The Bengals have a young exciting receiving core, but unless their wide receivers are doing upside crazy flips every play, I don’t care. This offense has only scored over thirty points one time the entire season! Now this is not to say that the only thing I am entertained by is offense. I can enjoy a good defensive battle, when the defenses are shutting down dynamic offenses. If T.J. Yates is held to 130 yards passing and the Texans score 13 points, it’s not going to feel like the Bengals defense did anything remarkable. My reaction is going to be, “well yeah, that’s what he does”.
It’s possible they will play in another close game like they did a few weeks ago, and even if it comes down to an amazing play in the last few seconds, what will actually be won? The chance to go to Baltimore or New England and lose by 20 points. Neither of these teams is the 2010 Packers, in case you were wondering. It’s like getting an awesome promotion at work when you have a tiny bomb inside of you that is going to explode sometime in the next 6 months and kill you but you don’t know when. Yes, it’s exactly like that! Try to come up with a better analogy, Raby. The prosecution rests!
Ben high fives the stenographer.
Nate: I could touch on a lot of different angles to look for in this game. The rookie vs. rookie dynamic. The feel-good story of a little redhead kid who got laughed at when he said he wanted to be a quarterback. The undeniable “Twilight Zone” feel of the fact that not only are Marvin Lewis and Gary Kubiak in the PLAYOFFS, they’re FACING EACH OTHER. Seriously, that kind of shit makes you look at the stars and wonder if we’re alone in this big scary universe.
But instead, my argument is based on something Ben said flippantly in the beginning of his argument.
The jury looks confused; Ben says everything flippantly.
It’s an NFL Playoff game on a Saturday afternoon. What the hell else are you going to do? Not only is it an NFL playoff game, it’s the beginning of the end of football. We only have 11 games left, guys, and this is the first one. There will be a poignant moment sometime during the first quarter when you realize, “Hey. In a couple of weeks this is all going to be over.” And you’re going to feel like jumping off of your roof. Hopefully you don’t, but if some of you in the jury do, I’m sure nobody will blame you.
Nate pats a hefty juror on the shoulder. The juror begins to weep.
There, there. I’m sad about football ending too. But rather than cry about it, let’s enjoy it while we still have it. And yes, maybe the Bengals and Texans aren’t the prettiest girls invited to the party. But when the night is getting long and the prospects are getting short, they start to look pretty enough to take home, have your way with, and kick out at 3 o’clock in the morning while making sure they forget their purse so you can make an extra 30 bucks. There’s your better analogy, Ben.
At the end of the day, it’s NFL Playoff football. And you’re going to enjoy it, because you know that you don’t have much of it left before it’s time to pretend like you really enjoy watching regular season hockey and basketball. You’re going to see at least one nice pass from Andy Dalton to AJ Green, in what will probably be the last big pass between them as rookies. You’re going to see some pretty good defense making rookie quarterbacks look less like Cam Newton and more like Jimmy Clausen. But, most importantly, you’re going to see some goddamned football. And honestly, isn’t that enough? Defense rests.
The jurors may now cast their vote in the comments section.