NFL

Rabbit Punches: NFL Week 2

A Rabbit Punch has two meanings, both of which describe the nature of the article. 1. A series of fast punches. 2. An illegal punch to the back of the head between the skull and the first vertebrate that can cause permanent damage to the nerves or death.

Week 2 of the NFL is in the books. I was lucky enough to get out of the major metropolis in which I live and take in some beautiful fall colors this weekend in northern Wisconsin. A weekend get away cannot keep me from Sunday football. I convinced my Bears fan girlfriend to stop at a roadside sports bar that looked like it could have just as easily been the town hall, and watch the Vikings game since the Bears weren’t playing and the Packers fans should be tame. What I came across was so much more refreshing than any time spent by the lake or in the woods.

We sat at the bar, my girlfriend had a few bloody marys that come with a complimentary beer chaser, I love Wisconsin sometimes. I had a few cocktails and a few beers of my own, our entire bill was $16.50. Refreshing yes but the best is yet to come. Slowly the conversation of a football sunday began to circle throughout the bar and we untied as a community of football fans. Eventually we got talking to the two guys sitting next to us who had been campaigning to get the Brewers game on one of the TVs. They had both worked in the same factory for over 40 years and were close to retirement. Eventually they found out they were watching football with a Vikings and Bears fan, and the older of the two stands up and begins to pantomime a heart attack. We spent the next couple of hours poking fun at each others fandom, and left with smiles around the bar. This interaction was the reminder I needed that even through sport has been riddled with bounty scandals, club fights, parking lot fan assaults, avid gambling, and the often present racial slur, there are still places in the country where people understand that sports are just sports. We are all people first and fans second. Playful banter enhances sports for everyone, but there are lines not to be crossed. When you spend too much time around booze fueled idiot fans, you can forget that most people have the ability to cheer and also treat other with respect.

That being said, here is week 2….

The big winner on Monday Night Football was of course the referees union. The union had been waiting for a colossal miscue from the replacement refs on a national stage and they got it on Monday. Watching the officiating of the first half of the MNF game was like that scene in Saving Private Ryan, where the soldier freezes on the stairs and lets his friend be killed in the room above. As things got crazy the refs looked as though they had no control and either did not want to responsibility of maintaining order, or did not have the ability.

Michael Turner was arrested for a DUI and speeding after the MNF game. The arresting officer said he originally suspected identity theft as well because he is not used to seeing Turner with any side to side movement or gaining more than 3 yards at a time.

The Arizona Cardinals came very close to not pulling off the biggest upset of the week, but they did. You can read all about how this seemingly struggling team was able to knock off the powerhouse Patriots, just after you sift through 90 articles about Aaron Hernandez’s ankle.

Brandon Weeden and Trent Richardson bounced back in week 2 providing an offensive speak for the Browns in one of the most impressive losses Browns fans have seen in years. one fan was quoted as saying, “We’ve waited years for talent to pan out [in Cleveland], and now we finally have a team worth watching loose.”

C.J. Spiller and Reggie Bush propelled their teams to victory with huge games. These are the guys at the party no one really thought much about them coming, but now that they started the conga line, everyone is having a blast. I do not go to many parties.

Michael Vick and the Eagles pulled off another comeback win in week 2. Owner Jeff Lurie said that head coach Andy Reid is still on the hot seat until he can get some solid first half leads.

For the second straight week the New Orleans Saints loose to a team, some would say, they should have beaten. As it turns out, winning with a third string head coach is just as hard as winning with a third string Quarter Back. So I guess I should not bet on Joe Vitt just like I would not bet on T.J. Yates or Caleb Hanie.

Finally, there are 20 teams in the NFL with a 1-1 record. Meaning, we know nothing yet and that’s why we watch football.

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