It was quite a weekend in Gainesville, with Florida reclaiming the War Canoe Trophy by beating Miami. Always nice to see familiar faces, and I ran into a bunch of them. The Gators get a couple of weeks to get people like Jim Tartt healed up before playing Tennessee, and for Dan Mullen to figure out that it's not a good idea to send 155 pound backs up the middle into a run blitz several times a game. As for the Hurricanes, if anyone can figure out the logic in Randy Shannon making a QB switch immediately after what turned out to be their only scoring drive of the night, you're better than me.
Tom Brady's done for the year, which completely shuffles the deck in the AFC and triggers waiver mania in every fantasy football league in the world. Chris Simms will likely be a Patriot by tomorrow - he'll save the day! If someone had said in June that the Jets-Pats game in week two would feature Brett Favre versus Matt Cassell as starting QBs, they would have been put in a rubber room. All three Florida teams took losses - Gruden has never had back to back winning seasons in Tampa, and he isn't going to start this year. Meanwhile, can someone explain how the Panthers and Bears beat San Diego and Indianapolis on the road?
I have to comment on two commercials which were in heavy rotation over the weekend. One is a campaign for a beef jerky brand (I'm not going to reward them by mntioning their name) entitled "Messing with Sasquatch". The spots all feature a group of people who, while in the midst of an outdoor activity, decide to share some tasty beef jerky. They then spot Sasquatch, the Bigfoot creature who is doing something harmless like marveling at a butterfly or sleeping. Our beef jerky eaters decide to handle the situation by intentionally doing something mean to the creature and then trying to run away. HAHAHAHA! So, is the selling point here that eating this particular brand of beef jerky will make you cruel and stupid, or are they trying to reach out to people who already are?
The other spot which grabbed my attention was for the National Football League. It's supposed to feature the variety of ways someone can get NFL content these days. One scene features a guy sitting in the airport with his laptop. Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue cover girl Marisa Miller, who's rather attractive, sits down next to him and looks over at his screen. What does our football fan do? He yanks his computer over so she can't see it, at which point she makes a bemused face and proceeds to start reading the SI swimsuit issue with herself on the cover. Wouldn't implying a shared love of football might help you bond with one of the most desired women on Earth be a better sales pitch than "we can help you avoid social interaction with anyone"? Oddly, the slogan for the spot was a studio musician singing "Every Day is Like Sunday". Yes, the NFL has decided to use a Morrissey song (although a cover of it) as a core piece of its marketing. I'm guessing Roger Goodell didn't get to the lyrics about "How I dearly wish I was not here.... come, come nuclear bomb".
The Tampa Bay Rays are suddenly in a tailspin, leading Boston by just 1.5 games now in the AL East. How did it all go so wrong? The answer can be found at the bottom of this story posted Friday on MLB.com:
"The Rays were under strict rules for their attire on the way to Toronto, as the clubhouse sign instructed the players to don Ed Hardy shirts and black pants."
The Ed Hardy t-shirt is the new version of the Von Dutch crap that was hot a couple of years ago. Everyone in Las Vegas between the ages of 18 and 33 hitting the town has been wearing them for so long that Treasure Island actually opened a nightclub with that as a theme. If those lame shirts were their rallying point, no wonder the Rays got swept by Toronto. Better toss them before they play Boston.
One sad note from the weekend: Don Haskins, former Texas Western (now UTEP) basketball coach, died at 78. Glory Road's a good book (never saw the movie) if you have curiosity about what it was like when race was as important a factor in a team's future as its style of play. Haskins was a legend and will be missed in the college hoops world.