“Pump it” up for the Bowl

Torrin Thatcher

In search of inspiration this week to write a column, I consulted my iTunes library for a song that would “Drive” some thoughts into my head. I just needed to “Turn It On Again” and I would be the “Proudest Monkey.”
I think the most appropriate thing with which to start would be the realization that Willis McGahee is not “So Damn Lucky.” Anyone watching the football game Sunday can attest to this fact. After getting knocked out by Ryan Clark with 3:29 left in the game, the first thing that came to my mind was the hit he took in the 2002 Fiesta Bowl against Ohio State. I grabbed my computer, hit up YouTube, and showed that clip to the guys sitting around me.
The reaction? Collective looks of disgust. McGahee was released from the hospital on Monday, and he should be all right. Shaun Livingston’s knee injury is also worth a trip to YouTube – check that one out.
On a second note about the Baltimore Ravens, I was hoping my favorite “Raven,” Jim Leonhard, would make it to the Super Bowl. After being released from the Bills and nearly getting the ax from Baltimore, it was nice to see him make some big plays on punt returns and defense. I wouldn’t mind seeing him get a nice little contract, but Dawan Landry will be there to “Get Back” his spot alongside Ed Reed.
Looking at the NFC Championship game: what a “House Of Cards” that was! With the way the Eagles have been playing lately, I’m sure many people thought Philadelphia would get the victory, but Arizona got it together in the end. After blowing that lead I was expecting the Eagles to finish it off, but Warner and company came through.
Warner’s initial success with St. Louis was a great story, and now his resurgence with Arizona after a few forgettable years is once again going to be the media’s “Fuel For Fire” for two weeks.
I thought Anquan Boldin was one of the good guys in the league, but after all the crap he pulled this year, he is just becoming a “Beast of Burden.” First, he wanted a trade in August because he and the coach weren’t getting along and Larry Fitzgerald got a new contract while Boldin wanted his restructured after just one year out of a four-year deal. He played through the season, but Sunday’s game just showed his selfish side; he was seen arguing with the offensive coordinator during the game, and reports are that he left the field immediately after the game – skipping the George Halas Trophy presentation – and left the locker room when his teammates made their way in.
It will be interesting to see what happens there. It seems that “Nothing Else Matters” to him but his self-interest. What’s wrong with $4 million per year, again? It’s not like you are still paying for a Lawrence education.
I know it’s a little early for talking about the Brewers, but I thought I should update where the team stands on several players. Ben Sheets is still in limbo regarding where he’s going to end up, but the last report was that the Yankees – surprise? – were looking at him in December. The Crew signed Dave Bush and J.J. Hardy to one-year deals to avoid arbitration, but Prince, Hart, Rickie and McClung are still not signed.
Once again, we can’t do anything but play the waiting game, but arbitration hearings start in less than two weeks. Pitchers and catchers report Feb. 14, so baseball is just “Up Around the Bend.”
I think there are a few things to pay attention to in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl. Eugene Robinson was arrested the day before the Super Bowl when it was last held in Miami. This year’s game is in Tampa, so maybe Florida has some effect on players. I wouldn’t bother keeping count of how many times Kurt Warner mentions God or Jesus or how many times Ken Whisenhunt is asked about his days coaching the Steelers or trying to guess the last time Troy Polamalu cut his hair. The only thing I would focus on is the road; drivers are involved in more alcohol-related accidents on Super Bowl Sunday than any other day of the year except St. Patrick’s Day. Be smart and stay safe.